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Written by Lori Moffatt

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As chickens chortle in the background and the raspy buzz of a distant tractor mirrors the clackety-clack-clack of happy cicadas in the surrounding oak trees, I lean in closer to try to comprehend what I’m hearing: That plants can communicate with each other. I’m here at Travaasa, a resort and spa about a half-hour from downtown Austin, and I’m touring the 3 ½-acre farm near the equine stables with Farm Manager Kim Grabosky, who clearly loves her work here.

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My horse Annie, a 16-year-old chestnut mare with soulful eyes and long lashes, relaxes her ears and ambles calmly toward me in the round pen, then breaks out in a yawn so wide I think she might be laughing at me. But things aren’t always as they seem. Wrangler Jodie James tips back his hat and looks upon us with a glimmer of pride. “That’s just about the biggest compliment a horse can pay a person,” he tells me in a calm drawl. Say what?

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The fun is in the anticipation, say some, in the moments before you take the plunge, eyes wide open. Others praise the adrenaline rush and elements of surprise that make you feel unmistakably alive. I love all of it, but also the euphoric moments afterwards, when I can’t wait to repeat the experience.

crowd-shot-Taste-of-TexasThe restaurant scene in Texas is as hot as a two-dollar pistol, with new eateries and bars throughout the state upping the ante each time they roll out a fanciful new menu item.

 Mpherson23Now that the dust has settled from the 4th annual Austin Food & Wine Festival, which took place at Auditorium Shores and Republic of Texas Park in late April, I’m thinking about all the things I learned and how to apply them to my everyday life.

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Around lunchtime on Galveston Island, there are few places I’d rather be than bellied up to the long, communal table at Maceo’s Spice & Import Company, elbow-to-elbow with amiable strangers, waiting for my muffaletta sandwich to come out of the kitchen.

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Lori Moffatt speaks with restaurateur Carmelo Mauro, whose Carmelo’s restaurant in the capital city dates to 1985, about his career path, life in Texas, and what inspired him to bring an accordionist into the fold.

modertartSummer is around the corner, and for travelers seeking a combination of outdoors fun and big-city attractions, Fort Worth may be the ultimate getaway.

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Billy the Kid, one of America’s most notorious gunslingers and Wild West frontier outlaws, was shot dead in New Mexico in 1881 by Lincoln County sheriff Pat Garrett. Or was he?

dino3Our recent story on archeological sites in Texas (January 2015) included some information about the Bosque Heritage Museum in Clifton and its depiction of the area’s Horn Shelter Man, whose 11,000-year-old remains were found alongside those of a child in a cave not far from the Bosque riverbed.

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Over lunch with some new friends from Laredo last spring, I learned of an event in the Gateway City that piqued my interest—the annual International Sister Cities Festival, which brings nearly 200 Mexican artisans to Laredo to sell their wares and show off their traditions. “It’s a big shopping party and my favorite event of the year,” one friend confided.

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It’s one o’clock on a sunny Saturday in January, and I’ve come to San Antonio for the day to learn more about mezcal, that delicious agave spirit that’s the mysterious older cousin to tequila. It’s all part of the 4th annual San Antonio Cocktail Conference, a charity-driven, four-day party that presents more than 50 drink-related seminars to the trade and general public.

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