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Written by Texas Highways

Dolphin 2811

A sleek, gray bottlenose dolphin briefly breaks the surface of the water in a smooth, rolling motion. From my perch aboard the Mustang, a 65-foot trimaran, I catch just a glimpse, but before long, the dolphin emerges once again, this time with a second leaping next to it. Captain Tim Sonbert slows to an idle, and as the boat drifts, more dolphins appear. Parents and kids point and squeal with delight, and cameras click away while the dolphins play.

Independence Plaza, Space Center Houston

As visitors approach Space Center Houston, the space-themed museum located adjacent to NASA Johnson Space Center, a massive new exhibit looms into view—a replica of a full-size space shuttle mounted atop the original shuttle carrier aircraft.

TH Blueberries Final2

I sat cross-legged in the sandy dirt at the foot of a blueberry bush at a pick-your-own farm called Blueberry Hill Farms in Edom. It was a hot mid-afternoon in June—prime picking time in Texas—but a breeze blew through the long, green rows of bushes.

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I’m an occasional weekend paddler, launching a canoe or kayak about once a month with my trusty paddling partner and husband John. We’ll go for an hour or so together on Austin’s Lady Bird Lake or the Lower Colorado River.

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Amid the prickly-pear cacti and rocky hills of West Texas lies a literal oasis in the desert. It’s a place where streams of blue water cut through parched fields, exotic fish swim in crystal pools, and any sight of cool H2O
beckons overheated travelers to DIVE IN!  Unable to resist the call of Balmorhea, I spent the day exploring this paradise in the Chihuahuan Desert.

ramblin

A comparison can be made of Van Horn, a dusty stop on the trek from Pecos to El Paso, and a barbed-wire fence stretched across a grassland plain. Both are windswept, catching and holding travelers or tumbleweeds as they pass by before releasing them onward. Barbed-wire likely appeared in this desert mountain country around the 1880s. Van Horn, then an outpost on the San Antonio-El Paso stage line, entered perhaps its most defining era within the same decade. The tracks and trains of the Texas and Pacific Railway rumbled through the community in 1881, delivering growth and prosperity in their wake.

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When visiting Texas’ capital city, some may be tempted to spend all of their time exploring within the confines of the famous Austin city limits. But those who know better will roll up Interstate 35 to visit a different Texas town where the history, sports, and donuts will rock your socks.

hotel emma food

Like many urbanites, my daily grind includes too much traffic and too many frazzled nerves. After one recent particularly hectic stretch, my husband John and I were in dire need of an escape. We imagined a weekend without getting into a car that would allow us to relax, eat great food, take in some culture, and spend time outdoors.

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On six acres overlooking the Pedernales River in Spicewood, bees come and go from 20 hives scattered around a field of wildflowers and oak trees. The honey these bees produce goes into select dishes and cocktails at Apis Restaurant and Apiary, where fine dining and Hill Country ambiance blend seamlessly in a cozy limestone building surrounded by more wildflowers and oak trees.

JIMMYSItalians have a saying, “Mangia bene, ridi spesso, ama molto”—Eat well, laugh often, love much. This approach to life also sums up the 50-year history of Jimmy’s Food Store in east Dallas, where an extensive inventory of Italian foods and attentive customer service spearheaded by owners Mike and Paul DiCarlo make each customer feel like part of the family. Located northeast of downtown, just a few miles east of Central Expressway, the store is easy to spot: Just look for the awning sporting the red, white, and green colors of the Italian flag.

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I was 35 when I went to Paris for the first time, which coincided with my first cup of coffee. By the end of the 11-day trip, Paris had turned me into a coffee fiend. But I didn’t know the first thing about my new favorite drink.

METEOR

A meteor streaks across the pre-dawn sky, its long tail sparkling. Perhaps Chicken Little is right. The sky is falling. But what are the chances that a killer meteorite might land in West Texas? The chances are low, but it has happened before.

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