July 2, 2013
by Mark Pataky

My trip started at Running R Ranch in Bandera. I figured the best way to really see the Texas countryside was by horse. It was my first time riding and it was a great experience. We rode up the picturesque landscape and down through nearby brooks. My horse was awesome. I recommend this ranch for the complete Hill Country experience. I also met a real ranch hand, Fred the donkey, who was really more of a dog than a donkey. He even headed up the rear of our tour posse as we traversed the area. From the ranch, headed west stopping at a recommended BBQ. Salt Lick BBQ in Driftwood, TX was a great filling lunch on a hot Texas afternoon. In Austin, I grabbed breakfast at Magnolia Café and checked out Austin City Hall by Antoine Predock and Arthouse by NY based LTL Architects on Congress Ave. At the end of Congress is the Texas State Capital which I toured and viewed a voting session. From the capital, I headed north to UT Austin and explored their campus and school of Architecture. My tour guide was an old friend I haven’t seen since high school and who is living in Austin. I also checked out a project by HKS Frost Bank Building that I recognized because of a roof detail model I’d seen on Bryan Monger’s desk back at the office. The trip back from Austin was completed with a stop at the world famous Round Rock Donuts.