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July 11th 2013
Published: July 17th 2013
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Gruene Dance HallGruene Dance HallGruene Dance Hall

Although many claim it, this is actually the oldest, longest operating dance hall in Texas. All of the greats have played here, and there is still live music nightly. Gruene is a must see in the Hill Country.
We headed out of Austin around 10:30 a.m. on Monday morning. We were on the south side of town when we began talking about Lady Bird Johnson's wild flower park on the southwest side of town, so we decided to make a quick detour to see if we could find the park. We quizzed Siri, and she seemed confident in her directions. (Siri is the on-board "personality" of the iPhone 5. She talks to you, answers your questions, and helps you navigate the web, as well as the world!) It is odd, but it does seem that Siri has somewhat of a personality, and even at times gives an infliction to her speech of confidence, stern direction, and even coyness. She led us directly to the park, but it being Monday, the park was closed. Her responses to some of Cynde's general questions and comments that morning we really very interesting. Someone made a comment to Siri to which she relayed a quote from HAL (the computer from 2001 A Space Odyssey). When I asked her if she knew HAL, she stated that she would rather not discuss since "everyone knows what happened to HAL"! (For those of you who do
Shop in GrueneShop in GrueneShop in Gruene

All of the little shops in Gruene are located in turn of the century, German influenced pioneer homes. These folks in Gruene have taken great care to restore and preserve this area for all of us to enjoy. If you are lucky enough to be in the area, be sure to visit!
not remember, or did not see the movie - HAL was turned off, decommissioned, by the lone astronaut remaining on the space ship. Seems HAL began to overstep his boundaries so the off switch was the only answer for Dave!

Since we were on the outskirts of Austin, i suggested that maybe we should avoid the interstate traffic and go on the back roads to Gruene. The distance did not seem to be very far, but it was the back roads and they are always eventful. We had gone only about 15 miles when we encountered a huge traffic jam caused by a car crash in a construction zone. We were delayed for about 45 minutes on this two lane curving backroad. The scenery was great, but it did slow us down a bit. After about an hour, we finally made San Marcos. We wanted to go through San Marcos so we could visit Aquarena Springs. Although the name has changed, this great little tourist attraction still is intact. At one time, Aquarena Springs was operated commercially with a type of marine museum and tours of this great little lake on glass bottomed boats. Several years ago, the entire
The RiverWalkThe RiverWalkThe RiverWalk

We truly love our Bricktown Canal, but the San Antonio River Walk is the original and has such unique charm. It is so cool, so natural, and so much fun!
operation was purchased by the University of Texas in order to preserve this unique site. It was almost purchased by a water company whose plan was to close this site to the public and begin bottling the water. This stop was a great diversion, as was a quick tour through San Marcos. The river originates at Aquarena Springs and flows through town eventually emptying into the Gulf. Through town, the river is a favorite for tubing. There were many folks in the water, even though it was a constant 71 degrees.

Gruene, Texas is home to the oldest dance hall in Texas! There is still live music nightly. This old German settlement is home to a great restaurant located in an old cotton gin. This was a thriving town until the boll weevil took the cotton crop, and everything else just fell in behind. Now, there is still the general store, several other restaurants, boutiques and specialty shops offering their unique wares to visitors. Just around the bend in the road leading into New Braunfels is the Comal River, home to the Schlitterbahn Water Park and all the activities associated - kayaking, floating, swimming, and anything else you could
Walkin' Across TexasWalkin' Across TexasWalkin' Across Texas

Lots of walking in Texas - but it really will start when we hit Fiesta Texas tomorrow!
do in or on the water. We had lunch at the Old Grist Mill Restaurant where we had burgers, fries and onion rings.

Another hour and we were arriving at the DoubleTree in San Antonio. This is our favorite hotel in San Antonio. We began staying here about 20 years ago when it was a Red Roof Inn. It was built around a Mexican style courtyard so that all the rooms open onto the courtyard to provide a great view of, and access to, the pool and hot tub. After checking in, we headed for the River Walk and RiverCenter Mall. The weather was great - cool and a little rainy. When we got to the River Walk, we decided that since it was cool and rainy, it would be a great time to ride the boat for the river tour. After a great tour of the river and the downtown area, we headed to Casa Rio for a Mexican dinner on the RiverWalk. Cynde and Terry had a great time feeding the fish in the river - not realizing that feeding them was prohibited. Luckily, they did not get caught and the fish got full bellies!

Tomorrow will be a day of fun at Six Flags Fiesta Texas.


17th July 2013

Gruene, San Marcos, and finally, San Antonio!
Great memories of my trip with you Guys 4 or 5 years ago.

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