Deep in the Heart...of the Texas Hill Country

The Texas Hill Country is one of my favorite places on the planet. The people, food, weather and geography are in my soul. I lived in the Hill Country in Jr. High and College and have many friends in the area. Because of this I had to make sure our route took us through the area. I really wanted to expose the kids to this part of Texas. And we did.

Our good friends Chuck and Kate, who live in Georgetown, invited us to stay with them. Thanks again to you and your family for letting us stay with you. We really enjoyed it and it’s always great to see you.

The first night we arrived we headed into Austin to get our taco fix. We hit Torchy’s Tacos (a local and popular chain). They did it up right! When we first got there Elle was mortified. There was nothing on the menu that she was interested in eating. Fearing a meltdown, in a last ditch effort, I asked the cashier if they had a kids menu...and they DID!

Bingo...Elle ordered a “Little Devil” which is Peanut butter and banana quesadilla hand-battered in corn flakes, served crispy with strawberry jam. She was in heaven. 

  Torchy’s Tacos Little Devil.  Morale of the story, ALWAYS ask if they have a kids menu.

Torchy’s Tacos Little Devil.  Morale of the story, ALWAYS ask if they have a kids menu.

The next day will be remembered as the river, pool, lake day and it wore the kids out. It started off with swimming in the Georgetown Blue Hole that morning. Blue Hole is a lagoon bordered by limestone bluffs along the San Gabriel River.

 Elle with our friend Kate at the Blue Hole

Elle with our friend Kate at the Blue Hole

 Fearless Tag climbing up the slippery limestone

Fearless Tag climbing up the slippery limestone

 The Blue Hole dam that creates the lagoon.  You have to walk across the dam to get to the best swimming.

The Blue Hole dam that creates the lagoon.  You have to walk across the dam to get to the best swimming.

In the afternoon we went swimming in a friend’s swimming pool and took a quick break to introduce the kids to Blue Bell Ice Cream sandwiches.  More on Blue Bell in a future post. 

We followed this up by going out on Lake Georgetown in Chuck and Kate’s boat. The weather was hot, the water was perfect, and the company with our friends made it a perfect day.

 Elle giving the thumbs up in route to our anchor point on Lake Georgetown.

Elle giving the thumbs up in route to our anchor point on Lake Georgetown.

 Success!  More swimming.

Success!  More swimming.

 Sunset while cruising the Lake

Sunset while cruising the Lake

The next day we headed South. Our first stop was the World Famous Round Rock Donuts.

  Yes, that is a donut in the case beside Tag's head. No, we did not get one, but Tag tried.

Yes, that is a donut in the case beside Tag's head. No, we did not get one, but Tag tried.

We then stopped in San Marcos, my college stomping ground. A lot had changed but some things have stayed the same.  The pizza at Valentino’s was still the same and the San Marcos River, which we played in all afternoon, is still flowing crystal clear at a nippy 72 degrees.

 The beautiful San Marcos River.  It's so clear because the mouth of the river is just a few hundred yards from this spot.

The beautiful San Marcos River.  It's so clear because the mouth of the river is just a few hundred yards from this spot.

 The river flows through Texas State University at San Marcos

The river flows through Texas State University at San Marcos

The kids loved the trip.  Elle is even interested in going to school here.  No trip to San Marcos would be complete without a trip to the Outlet Mall. Man that place has grown.  We decided to end the trip by hitting an infamous donut truck in Austin called Gourdough's.  We highly recommend it, just please don't tell Tag.  He was sleeping in the car when Mick, Elle and I scarfed this down.

 A must visit for any sweet tooth.

A must visit for any sweet tooth.

 This is called the Black Out Donut.  It is brownie batter, fudge icing, and chocolate covered brownie bites on top of a donut (yes there is a donut in there).

This is called the Black Out Donut.  It is brownie batter, fudge icing, and chocolate covered brownie bites on top of a donut (yes there is a donut in there).

One last thing...before leaving Georgetown we stopped at a local cafe where they were selling this....

 I wonder if Richard also invented the pet rock?

I wonder if Richard also invented the pet rock?

...REALLY, you can sell and bottle rain water? 

Houston, here we come.