I’ve seen miles and miles of Texas, and I challenge everyone to do the same. This is National Travel and Tourism Week and time to recognize the dollars tourism brings to all of Texas and beyond.
Hit the road and thank a hotel desk clerk, a server and attraction worker for adding to your travel pleasure.
The Lone Star State has so much to offer and I’m still processing my memorable Big Bend adventure from more than a year ago.
Here’s a taste, literally, of some Texas cities and meals I’ve recently enjoyed.
As a plus one for my husband, I watched birds, deer and other critters at the Spiritual Renewal Center in Victoria. There’s an oak said to be 2,000 years old (really!). An armadillo joined me in walking the labyrinth. The skies were dark and I when I woke up at 4:15 a.m. I thought it would be amazing to walk outside the cabin and gaze at the stars.
Instead an unseen something was gazing at me and making an hissing sound followed by what sounded like a big, big kitty. I got back inside that cabin in a flash. The next day a worker said it sounded like a mountain lion. Thanks Google sound bites, for confirming that.
I wanted to see the Texas Historical Marker in the cemetery, but I was told that there was a new bull in with the cattle, and they’d all made themselves at ease right by the gate. As advised, I kept driving.
In Victoria I sought out Mumphord’s Place, a barbecue place of merit. Not only was Bum Phillips’ autographed photo on the wall, there was an array of sports jerseys hanging from the ceiling. They were all in plastic bags, to protect them from a rich, smoky mist about the place.
A wedding got me to North Texas on Cinco de Mayo, and there was no way to escape Mexican food. Who would want to? The wedding’s actual theme was “Fiesta like there’s no manana.” The menu was traditional, but as guests left, they picked up souvenir bags of churros and Mexican wedding cookies. The rehearsal dinner was furnished by a food truck in the church parking lot.
If you find yourself this close to the border, of Oklahoma, explore Sherman’s downtown square, with fun vintage and trendy shopping opportunities and tempting bites.
Shrimp ‘N Stuff on Avenue 0 is known as a little place the locals love, and I do, too. My daughter often has business in Galveston and asked around to find this fun place that truly puts me in mind of a New Orleans neighborhood gathering place. Walk up to the counter to order fried seafood and grab a high-top table to get a good view of everyone else’s food and fun. It’s super casual and there’s outside seating, too.
There’s a left and right Woody’s Smokehouse in Centerville, on either side of Interstate 45 between Houston and Dallas. The first thing you notice is the smoky aroma and from the meats, then your eyes can feast on jars and jars of pepper jelly and other southern fare. I got a good deal on a half of a smoked chicken, that was enhanced by a pile of purple onions, peppers and free beans. While most folk consider Woody’s a mandatory highway stop, I have to let you know what you’ve been missing if you haven’t ventured in. It’s fun to see visitors who may not be from Texas taking it all in.
Darragh Doiron has her bag packed for the next adventure. If you have food thoughts to share, contact her at email@example.com