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Written by Lois Rodriguez

In the far reaches of East Texas where the Sabine River flows, there is an oasis of culture, nature, and food. It’s a place where swampy lowlands meet towering pines, locally famous cuisine meets world-famous art, and the sour flavors of life disappear into something much sweeter. It’s a place called Orange.

Chef John Tesar of Dallas’ Spoon Bar & Kitchen and TV’s Top Chef, Season 10 was on hand at Fort Worth's inaugural Food + Wine Fest to share some of his restaurant’s seafood creations.

Fort Worth is a fine city, with plenty of laid-back charm and style. It’s home to world-class museums, honky tonks and an array of notable dining options.

April 2014’s wildflower feature—“Oooh … Aaah”—mentions our longtime friends at The University of Texas at Austin Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Here are more details on our annual wildflower exhibit and other spring happenings at the Center.

One musical director, 6 days of rehearsal,  3-hour concert, 60 artists, 38 songs and 3 reasons to celebrate. It’s a labor of love for Austin’s musical roots, Kris Kristofferson and the life of beloved musician Stephen Bruton.

Photo © Theresa DiMenno

Over our 40 years as a travel magazine, we’ve been “Wowed by Wildflowers,” sowed “The Seeds of Spring,” joined in the “Dance of the Wildflowers,” and gawked at “The Great Texas Bloom Boom.” Our various themes have included thoughts from such diverse observers as Moravian-born author Karl Anton Postl, who in the mid-1800s described a Texas prairie “as if clothed with rainbows that waved to and fro,” and a modern-day fourth-grader from Woodville, who penned, “Thousands of blooming hands reaching in the sun … Marching through the meadow with hearts aglow.”

Photo by J. Griffis Smith Driving to Fredericksburg from the east on US 290, it’s easy to notice that spring adores the Hill Country: This oak-studded landscape is a hot spot for wildflowers—bluebonnets, firewheels, black-eyed Susans, and others color the vistas like a painting come to life, while roadside stands open in anticipation of peaches, tomatoes, blackberries, and other seasonal bounty coming to market.

The road to artist Philip John Evett’s Hill Country home runs along and across the Blanco River, past majestic live oaks and fields of goats. Tucked among these oak, cedar, and cactus-scrabbled hills, Evett’s art gallery showcases a range of his uncanny creations—drawings dreamed onto paper and sculpture seduced from wood—that reflect the life, work, and journey of the artist’s 91 years.

It was a case of mistaken identity. I thought I was Wendish, a descendant of that group of Eastern Europeans who fled religious oppression by the Prussian government in the 1850s.

About 30 years ago, a trailblazing soap opera about a greedy, glamorous, and volatile Texas family captivated millions of viewers around the globe.

From a sheltered platform more than 40 feet high, I step out into darkness, my heart beating a little faster than usual. The zipline cable from which I hang hums as I gather speed, cool air rushing past my face.

In a past life I wrote for Bon Appétit and other national food magazines—and the benefits such a career confers can be, to say the least, filling. Nowadays, I truly prefer smaller pleasures, like breakfast tacos from small-town cafés; pizza by the slice; and deviled eggs from the Cottonseed Café & Deli in Martindale.

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