Wednesday, April 15, 2009


My future in-laws were just here for a week, and we had an extremely pleasant time. We did a little road trip and they were able to meet lots of family and friends. They got on famously with my parents and we all had a jolly-good time.

If you're from Texas, or if you live here, I am sure that at some point in time you have probably had a conversation that goes something like this;

"So, where are you from."
"Oh, I hate texas. So did you vote for Bush or what? Isn't Texas just a big desert?"

There are several variations of this conversation, and you usually get a pretty good idea of how ignorant the person asking is. Well, in my travels I have had many conversations along these lines. I actually had a conversation with a guy (not in a mental hospital surprisingly) who said he hated Texas, especially Houston, it was a horrible place, but he had never been here. What an idiot. I find it sad that Texas has such a bad rap. Yes, there are places in Texas that are not that great--Houston for instance, and there are people who are not that great--as much as I'd like to name a few I will refrain. The key is who you are in Texas with, and whether or not they know of the good places to visit. Since I do actually have a degree in Tourism I may as well use it, even if it is just on my blog as a post that is mostly just making fun of myself.

This post will serve as a tutorial on how to make your visitors like Texas (a prerequisite is that the person doing the showing is not boring). First off, try and get them to come during a nice time of year, this is tricky as you simply never know. Go for late spring or early fall, when you have a better chance of being able to predict the weather, and chances are it wont be too hot or too cold. Next, choose your destinations wisely. Is Galveston really a good choice? Not right now, thanks to Hurricane Ike, and even in the best of conditions, you would never want to take someone there if they have ever been to a decent beach unless you are trying to impress them with the ugliest one on earth. This seems like a good time to mention that a key to making someone like a place is to artfully leave out the places that would give them a bad impression. Such as Waco. Never take a visitor to Waco. Instead, try a place like Gruene:

This is the main building of the bed and breakfast where I took Sam and his parents to stay. This is in Gruene, Texas. It is a quaint little town on the Guadalupe River and is very enjoyable to visit. Our room had a nice porch overlooking the river complete with rocking chairs, and was an ideal spot for knocking back some beers and eating chips and salsa. This place was a big hit with the future in-laws, and they want to go back. Keep in mind these are people who are from Somerset England (aka Heaven Itself).

After spending a day and night in this lovely town we were all ready for something a little more metropolitan, so we headed to San Antonio. This is a good place to bring visitors because most people have heard of the Alamo, or have seen the movie. It is important to note that people from other countries have a fascination with the "wild-west", and so a city with a rich cowboy-culture and history is ideal and almost just plain mandatory. My future mother-in-law, for instance, read cowboy books growing up and always wanted to see places where the stories occurred.

We stayed on the River Walk, at the Omni Mansion del Rio hotel which is wonderful. The River Walk is a good place to watch people and also to consume beverages like these....
Margaritas are key in convincing visitors that Texas is a delightful place. This trip was their first experience of frozen margaritas, and I believe the final touch to a pretty good little road trip. Needless to say, they loved it here and can't wait to come back. I am both shocked and very happy to know this, and also feel a tiny little bit of satisfaction knowing that I have helped get the good word out there. No, Texas is not my all-time favorite place, but it is much under-appreciated. There are some good spots, and anyone with half a brain can find them.


  1. Did Sam come too? I have a fond place in my heart for Texas, (despite all the strange people I've met from there) since one of my favorite people in the world is from there.

  2. Believe it or not! I live close by. I'm probably close to your parent's age. I got into blogging through my niece who has I grew up on the east coast and Germany. Landed in Austin in high school. My family is still there. I love Texas and there are beautiful places and it's pretty easy to live here. Tomball on the other hand .... Just go to the WalMart and you know what I mean. I sew too! I would love to meet you!

  3. Any place with margaritas is my kind of place. I live in California. We get a bad rap because everyone thinks we are snobs that drive BMWs and live in Beverly Hills. Little do they know that most Californians live in tiny apartments or homes in suburbs with no BMW in sight....but we do have margaritas!!