Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Avoiding Flooding during our Texas Hill Country Vacation

I've been off-line from the Internet for the past 10 days while vacationing in the Texas Hill Country, and I must say that being out-of-touch felt great, really great. Feeling rested and renewed, I'm now ready to plow back into the world of my electronic friends with a summary of our trip. My husband and I spent a week at the Silverleaf Hill Country Resort at Canyon Lake, and my son and his college roommate joined us for three nights and two days of their Utah/Nevada/Texas road trip. Later, I may add some photos to this, but in most of the ones of me, I look pretty wilted. I'm not used to the heat and humidity of central Texas summers!

Our first full day there, Monday, my hubby and I had a great time tubing on the Guadaloupe River, followed by a scrumptious dinner at the Gristmill restaurant located in an old cotton gin in Gruene, Texas. I recommend their amazing onion rings. Tuesday we toured the Alamo and two of the other four Spanish missions established in the San Antonio area. I fixed a pasta dinner in the condo for the two young men after they arrived that evening. That night, the mass of thunderstorms that later caused all those deaths in Arkansas swept through our area. The repetitive thunder and lightning kept us up all night, and 10-12 inches of rain poured down.

The next morning, Wednesday, we drove to Austin in the rain, taking an extra hour to detour around flooded low spots in roadways. We toured the aquariums and taxidermy animal displays in the huge Cabela's store in Buda, Texas and everyone found something to buy. Then we toured the state capital building in Austin and the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, appropriately viewing their 4D movie on Texas weather. We had a delicious dinner at El Sol y La Luna on Austin's historic Sixth Street, then meandered up and down the street, popping into stores that caught our fancy.

Thursday morning we scouted the flood damaged area in Gruene, near New Braunfels on our way to the Schlitterbahn water park. The RockinR outfitter's building where we checked out after tubing the river two days before had been totally demolished, along with other buildings along the river. Old school buses, used to shuttle customers, were wrapped around trees and scattered across the property. From the debris and mud lines we saw, the water rose almost 20 feet above the level on which we had floated. This is a dam-controlled river, but all that rain was concentrated in the area below the Canyon Lake dam. There was only one death that we heard of. The local fire department managed 89 high water rescue calls from people in trees, trucks and homes. One man saved an 11-year-old girl after she'd been in the river for almost two hours. He heard her calls for help after waking up and rushing out of his own flooded home. Schlitterbahn had been flooded, too, and only about one of the three park areas was open. We managed to amuse ourselves on the available rides, though, and came back sunburned and worn out to dine on pizza at the condo.

After the guys left Friday morning, my hubby and I drove to Pedernales Falls State Park and spent a couple of hours hiking up and down the rocks of the falls and taking photos. After a barbecue lunch, we sampled wines at five wineries in the Stonewall and Fredericksburg area, purchasing ten bottles to bring home, then dined at Der Lindenbaum German restaurant in town, figuring we should sample the local cuisine. Saturday, we returned to San Antonio to take a river taxi ride along the whole length of the Riverwalk from the Pearl Brewery to the Convention Center, then had lunch at the Chart House restaurant at the top of the Tower of the Americas so we could see the sweeping views of the city. Wilted by the heat, we returned to the Silverleaf Resort to laze in their pool. The next morning we departed on our two-day drive home.


Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Sounds fun but exhausting.


Sheila Deeth said...

I just got back from my first ever visit to Texas, helping our son move to San Antonio. I was amazed how beautiful it was. And I'd really not mind going back to the heat since it's cold and seriously wet here in Oregon.

Kaye George said...

You got to within a half hour of me, Beth. :) El Sol Y La Luna is one of our favorite breakfast places in Austin. I'm glad you found it.

Carol Kilgore said...

Beth, I'm in San Antonio - wish I'd known you were. I'm glad you didn't totally wilt in our Texas summer heat.