June 21, 2013
by Mark Pataky

The anticipation and excitement for my first trip was in part thanks to so many from the office sending me their recommendations on things to do, see, drive, eat, and drink.

My first Texas road trip started with one of the best drives in the state. The back roads from Dallas through hill country are less traveled and weave the awesome and rugged terrain of HC. I enjoyed every bend of this challenging and scenic drive. I live in the city of Dallas so not far into this road trip I realized this is the real Texas countryside with awesome open landscapes. Deep in the heart of HC is Enchanted Rock. The largest pink granite monadnock in the US. It was the perfect stop after a few hour drive to climb to the top of the rock and enjoy the view. Having conquered Enchanted Rock, we got back on the road passing longhorns, horses, goats, and elk on the drive. Next stop was Fredericksburg, a small town settled by German immigrants in 1850. Dinner was at one of the many German restaurants on Main Street. Auslander Biergarten and Restaurant has delicious schnitzel and handmade jalapeño Bratwurst.

I started my visit to San Antonio with breakfast at The Guenther House. Located south of downtown along the river and once the home of the Pioneer Flour Mills’ founding family. Now converted into a restaurant serving the brands biscuits, pancakes, and waffles milled next door. Checked out La Villita Park and the Arneson River Theatre where one of my all-time favorite movies was filmed: Miss Congeniality with Sandra Bullock. From the theatre, we continued along the river walk. What a great feature of the city to be able to walk along the river in the shade and walk up to street level to any point of the city. Checked out the Alamo and took the river walk back to the other side of the city to San Fernando Cathedral, a great church in the less touristy part of town.

This small city is incredibly packed with culture and surprises. One of the recommendations from a coworker was to eat at La Frite Belgian/French bistro. An interesting recommendation for a city a stone’s throw from Mexico but the best French cuisine I have ever eaten: white wine, shallot, garlic drizzled mussels and escargot. San Antonio has a great vibe with so much to see and do.