August is upon us, often known as the dog days of summer. In the southern United Stares, August can be uncomfortably warm with relentless heat and humidity. Southerners are growing ever so tired of the heat and yearning for the slightly cooler temperatures of fall.
The best place to spend these warm summer days is at the beach or the lake…. or at least in a cool refreshing swimming pool. Another option is to visit one of the many rivers that wind through the Texas Hill Country. The water can be quite chilly and many rivers offer the cool relief of tubing or rafting.
While we didn't get away to the beach or lake last weekend, we did stumble across this pretty spot on the Medina River near Bandera. It was peaceful and quiet, the perfect spot to take a moment to relax and take in the quiet beauty of the river banks. Huge Cypress trees lined the banks offering plenty of shade from the hot Texas sun. Actually, we were quite lucky that the recent rains had brought cooler temperatures, a huge improvement to the mid nineties of most August days.
I couldn't get over the amount of birds that were wondering the banks and frolicking in the water. I did a little research and to the best of my knowledge they were Graylag and Swan Geese with a few Muscovy Ducks mixed in. (Thank you RH for your assistance on this!) I went crazy trying to capture as many photos as I could of these amazing creatures.
We came to the river after having a late breakfast in Bandera, also known as the "Cowboy Capital of the World." Why it's called that I'm not really sure, but I did find some hard to resist western boots in one of the local shops. Another interesting tidbit about Bandera is that Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie visited Bandera while taping their reality show The Simple Life. If you happen to be a country music fan, Bandera was once called home to country musician Robert Earl Keen.
We stopped for breadfast at the OST Restaurant in downtown Bandera. O.S.T. stands for Old Spanish Trail, a route that was designated to improve highway access back in 1915. The OST Restaurant opened in 1921 and today is one of the last original restaurants along the route. It features a John Wayne room which features, of course, a plethora of John Wayne memorabilia.
No trip to Bandera is complete without visiting the General Store. If you want to experience a bit of Texas history, this is the place to be. The store is filled with local treasures and there is even an authentic 1950's ice cream fountain. we did not sample the ice cream as we had just finished breakfast, but I'm sure it would be a delight!
Overall, I really enjoyed out quick trip to Bandera, Texas and the Medina River. Bandera is filled with a rich Texas history and left me with a desire to return and explore a little more. As they say in Bandera…..
When Life Gets Tough,
Maybe next trip, I'll wear my boots! – xxoo Gerri