Fun Fall Getaways in Texas

Fun is a great time to visit Texas. Cooler temperatures, football season, a number of great annual festivals, plenty of outdoor activities… The list of “positives” for a fall vacation to the Lone Star State goes on and on. While there are numerous destinations that can result in a great fall vacation, these are some of the most fun fall getaways in Texas. Read More

Austin benefit raises money for musicians’ health

There’s a certain glamour to the musician’s life, no doubt. But for many working musicians, the reality of scratching out a day-to-day living means long hours, multiple jobs, and low income.

Shinyribs performs Tuesday at HAAM Benefit Day at Whole Foods in Austin.

Shinyribs performs Tuesday at HAAM Benefit Day at Whole Foods in Austin.

Austin residents came together Tuesday to support the city’s musicians at the annual benefit day for the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians. HAAM is a nonprofit that connects uninsured musicians with health care, ranging from primary care to basic dental, mental health, and hearing and vision health services.

“The purpose is to get music out to the community and for people to see the value of live music in the community,” said Alison Silverstein, a HAAM board member and volunteer, at an afternoon performance at Whole Foods.

Whole Foods was one of more than 275 participating businesses that agreed to donate 5 percent of their proceeds for the day to HAAM. More than 200 acts donated their time to perform throughout the day at various locations hosting HAAM events.

Alison Silverstein, HAAM volunteer and board member.

Alison Silverstein, HAAM volunteer and board member.

The Austin area is home to more than 2,000 working musicians who are members of HAAM, and their average income is about $16,000 per year, Silverstein says. The music business, meanwhile, generates about $2 billion in annual economic activity to the city.

HAAM raised more than $300,000 on its benefit day last year, or about a third of its annual income, Silverstein says. HAAM, in turn, contributes to partner healthcare organizations, such as the SIMS Foundation, Seton Healthcare Family, and St. David’s Foundation. HAAM then helps arrange appointments for its  members at the partner providers.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 24th, 2013 at 2:57 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2013 Houston Italian Festival

This popular three-day Italian cultural heritage and food festival is among Houston’s best annual events. Each year, the Houston Italian Festival features activities such as the grape stomp, children’s activities, pasta eating contest, live entertainment and, of course, plenty of excellent Italian cuisine. The 2013 Houston Italian Festival is set to be held October 10-13.  Read More

Parts of Guadalupe Mountains National Park remain closed after flood

Guadalupe Mountains National Park has offered an update in the aftermath of last week’s heavy flooding.

Park officials say parts of mountainous park on the New Mexico border remain closed this week as they continue to assess damage and make repairs to flood-damaged areas.McK flooding 9.12.2013[1]

More than a foot of rain fell in areas of the park during a 24-hour period last week. Over a three-day period, the park received more rain than it typically does in a year.

The flooding turned McKittrick Canyon, which is normally a dry creek with occasional shallow pools, into a raging river several feet deep.

“The Frijole Ranch Cultural History Museum, inside the Frijole Ranch House, and the Frijole Bunkhouse sustained heavy water damage to the carpet and walls, and mold is growing inside,” the park said in a news release. “A large section of water line was also lost in Frijole Ranch. Ship on the Desert sustained water damage from roof leaks. Park staff is drying out both the Frijole Ranch House and the Ship on the Desert, and have initiated repairs.”

Also, part of Williams Road and the salt flats on the park’s western flank remain under water.

Here’s the park’s list of what’s open and what remains closed.

Open:

  • Pine Springs Visitor Center
  • Pine Springs Campground (Both RV and Tent Camping)
  • McKittrick Canyon Visitor Contact Station
  • Guadalupe Peak Backcountry Campground
  • Wilderness Ridge Backcountry Campground
  • Frijole Ranch (Exterior Areas Only)
  • Guadalupe Peak Trail
  • The Pinery Trail and the Pinery Butterfield Station Ruins
  • Guadalupe Peak Stock Trail
  • McKittrick Canyon Trail (First 1½ Miles to 4th Water Crossing Only)
  • Devil’s Hall Trail (1st mile only)
  • The Western Smith Spring Loop (Smith Spring Trail is Closed Between Smith Spring and Manzanita Spring)
  • The Manzanita Spring Trail

Closed:

  • Frijole Ranch Cultural History Museum
  • Ship on the Desert
  • McKittrick Canyon Trail Beyond the First 1½ Miles, including Pratt Cabin
  • Devil’s Hall Trail After the First Mile
  • Williams Ranch Road and Williams Ranch
  • Williams Road, the Salt Basin Dunes and Western Part of the Park
  • Dog Canyon
  • All Other Trails, Backcountry Campgrounds and Backcountry Areas

The park reminds visitors that trails which have been opened still have loose rocks and soft, uneven ground, and many require shallow water crossings. “Hikers and backpackers should exercise extreme caution, and all visitors are asked not to enter closed areas, for their own safety,” the park said.

This entry was posted on Thursday, September 19th, 2013 at 2:04 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Must Visit Texas Cities

From tiny towns to major cities, there are certain places that are part of Texas’ iconic image. Although there are hundreds of uniques towns and cities in Texas, there are a few that qualify as “must visit” for anyone heading to the Lone Star State. Visiting these towns and cities gives one a true sense of Texas culture. Read More

We’ll Cotton to that

According to weather forecasts, cooler temperatures arrive in Central Texas this weekend. While it won’t be quite sweater weather, these projected 80-degree days most definitely foreshadow fall—and fall festival season in Texas.  What are you waiting for?

09 - Barn at Barrington for TxHwys blogThis weekend (September 21-22), at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site— where the Texas Declaration of Independence was signed on March 2, 1836—staff will present programs on the area’s 19th-Century cotton trade and folk-medicine remedies at 11, 1, and 3. And at the site’s Barrington Living History Farm, a two-day event called “It’s Cotton Pickin’ Time” welcomes visitors to help harvest the farm’s annual cotton crop.  Not only can you try your hand at picking, ginning, carding, and weaving the farm’s heirloom variety of cotton (called Lone Star cotton, of course!), you can learn how the industry shaped Texas history. See www.birthplaceoftexas.com.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 18th, 2013 at 5:42 pm and is filed under Events, Rambles and Gambles with Lori, TH Staff Picks. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

View the Changing of the Leaves at Lost Maples

Most people relate fall foliage and the “changing of the leaves” to the eastern portion of the United States. However, portions of Texas actually see dramatic changes in foliage coloration. Lost Maples State Natural Area in the Texas Hill Country has the most vivid fall leaf coloration in the state. Although the “peak” season is from mid-October through mid-November, area accommodations fill up fast so those hoping to tour the area this fall are advised to make plans early. Read More

SXSW Brings Home the Bacon

At a press conference on Wednesday, Sept. 18, Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell speaks about the phenomenal economic impact that 2013 SXSW Conference has had on the City of Austin. Kevin Johns of Austin's Economic Growth and Redevelopment Office shares enthusiasm over the numbers.

Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell speaks about the phenomenal economic impact that 2013 SXSW Conference has had on the City of Austin. Kevin Johns of Austin’s Economic Growth and Redevelopment Office shares enthusiasm over the numbers.

The numbers don’t lie. This afternoon, Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell shared the results of a comprehensive economic impact report that shows the 2013 South by Southwest Music, Film and Interactive Conferences and Festivals (SXSW) injected more than $218.2 million into the Austin economy.  That’s $25 million over last year!

This analysis, by Greyhill Advisors, validates the fact that SXSW is big, and it solidifies SXSW’s reputation as the world’s premier gathering, and Austin’s reputation as a creative Mecca for music, film and interactive arts.

“Few events can match the depth and breadth of SXSW,” says Leffingwell. He’s right.

SXSW continues to be the single most profitable event for the City of Austin’s hospitality industry with its offerings of

  • 9 days of industry conferences
  • a 4-day trade show
  • a 6-night music festival featuring more than 2,200 bands
  • and a 9-day film festival with more than 400 screenings.

How about these facts:

  • In 2013, SXSW directly booked 13,000 individual hotel reservations totaling 56,000-plus room nights—a 10 percent increase over 2012. Fueled by limited capacity and an overall increase in spending by registrants the average nightly hotel rate jumped 20 percent to nearly $255.
  • At nearly 155,000, the total number of 2013 SXSW Conference and Festival participants (defined as any individual who attended at least one SXSW activity) exceeded all previous records.
  • SXSW’s popular free-to-the-public consumer events, including the 3-night Auditorium Shores concert series, the 2-day Digital Creatives Job Market, 4-day Flatstock poster art show, 1-day Edu Future Plans Fair, 3-day Music Gear Expo and the 3-day SXSW Gaming Expo, attracted an additional 150,000 participants.
Justin Timberlake

Justin Timberlake and the Tennessee Kids perform at the 2013 SXSW Conference. (Photo by Jason Kempin)

With the recent additions of Education and Sustainability conferences to its portfolio, SXSW also extended its signature event-management expertise to new, innovative domains and broadened its local economic impact.

Ben Loftsgaarden of Greyhill Advisors says that SXSW “continues to flex its economic muscle for the Austin economy. He adds that of the registrants, about

“SXSW continues to be a truly remarkable event for Austin,” said Austin Chamber President Michael Rollins. “This festival not only brings the world’s attention to Austin’s strengths in community, creativity and commerce, but also provides opportunities to spotlight and support our small businesses which work tirelessly to prepare for – and engage with – the festival’s record-setting attendance of over 155,000. Every year we see more quantitative and qualitative benefits from SXSW, and are thrilled to see what the future holds.”

Flatstock Poster Show at the 2013 SXSW Conference. (Photo by Merrick Ales)

Flatstock Poster Show at the 2013 SXSW Conference. (Photo by Merrick Ales)

With the continued growth, year after year, it’s no surprise that sales for the next year’s event is already setting new milestones.

“It’s hard to resist thinking about what 2014 is going to bring for us,’ says SXSW Director Mike Shea, but the ticket and hotel bookings show 2014 is already setting a new pace.

“SXSW® Music, Film and Interactive Conferences and Festivals serves as a cornerstone event for the innovative culture of our city,  and Austin continues to prosper alongside their tremendous growth,“ said Bob Lander, President and CEO of the Austin CVB. “It is also the primary building block in an extremely robust convention season for 2014 and beyond.”

This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 18th, 2013 at 4:19 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Must See Attractions in Texas

Texas is a big state, full of unique attractions. Every major city in Texas, as well several smaller towns, is home to numerous attractions. Although there is never time to see everything one wants to on a single vacation, there are some “must-see” attractions that just can’t be missed during a visit to the Lone Star State.  Read More

Recreational Vehicle Guideline How You Can Ready Your Recreational Vehicle For Summer Season

RVs are constantly improving in home comfort and class, the amenities and options offered are astounding. This collection of RV articles contain the likes of used RV buyer’s checklists, top ten RV tips, RV garage plans, online RV social networks and a lot more. RV owners and enthusiasts are sure to find them interesting and helpful. Find out how you can enjoy more of the air with Jeep soft tops, and learn how you can choose the best campsite when you are traveling in your RV.

RVs are constantly improving in home comfort and class, the amenities and options offered are astounding. This collection of RV articles contain the likes of used RV buyer’s checklists, top ten RV tips, RV garage plans, online RV social networks and a lot more. RV owners and enthusiasts are sure to find them interesting and helpful. Find out how you can enjoy more of the air with Jeep soft tops, and learn how you can choose the best campsite when you are traveling in your RV.

The irony of commonly made job interview mistakes is that we all seem to be aware of them, yet keep making them again and again. Job seekers seem to overlook some of the simplest and most basic things that speak volumes about character, personality, attitude and professionalism. If you have an interview lined up, you may want to brush up these tips and remember these 10 things you should never do in a job interview.

This is so comprehensive. Amazing information! I am coming to the US for my first time this year, and am so nervous about coming through security, but hopefully these tips will help me know what to expect!

RV supplies are absolutely important to your outdoor experience, and also using and servicing your motorhome. On his website MotorhomesGalore.com, Alex Morgan provides users with latest tips and expert advice.

Zombie Farm 2 allows you to create an army of zombies by growing and harvesting crops. Adding a scary twist to the farm sim genre, this iPhone game lets you invade areas, rake in some gold and use them to build farms of the undead. There are also special incubators that allow gamers to combine zombies to create monster mutants. This guide will help you create your own zombie farm and have a successful invasion. It provides tips and tricks that might prove useful during farming and invading.

There is a very small change that you’ll end up trapped in a jungle. However, there’s no harm to prepare for the worst. This article will give you a few basic yet effective tips that can help you survive while trapped in a jungle.





Using a recreational vehicle, or RV, to travel in and use for camping is an ideal way to enjoy the outdoors while having many of the comforts of home. RV�s can be affordable for rental or purchase and can be a great way to camp in comfort. There are several things the RV user should consider when traveling to get the most out of the experience.
If you have never used one, a class may be useful in learning the ins and outs of properly driving and maneuvering the vehicle. Campsites may be tight to get in and out of so being able to move the vehicle safely is important. Pay close attention to dealer instructions and adhere to any safety requirements. Joining an RV club will also give you valuable tips from experienced RV�ers on what to do and what not to do.
Carrying blocks of wood, or chocks, to secure wheels will help prevent the RV from moving while camping. Traveling with a companion is advisable so they can help remind you about tasks that need to be done for daily maintenance. They can also assist in visual directions for backing up into camp spaces. Many people take RV�s on long driving trips and having someone take over driving periodically can be a safe way to ensure one does not get too tired, causing a driving hazard.
Take proper care of water supplies. Do not clog sewer pipes with paper; instead keep it as free from debris as possible. This will also help conserve water and minimize problems when draining. A great tip is to recycle cleaning water for use in the commode instead of using the fresh water supply. Have a longer, good quality hose available. This will make disposal more convenient. Slowly open the valve and ensure the other end is secure. Check to ensure all valves are closed before removal of the hose. In your sink, do not dispose of food or grease as this will clog and damage pipes.
Before embarking on a trip have a checklist available for all your packing needs. Be aware of weight restrictions and only pack lightweight items to ensure you do not go over the weight capacity of both your camper and your towing vehicle. Balance the load in the vehicle so it is not heavy in one area. This will provide a safer driving experience.
Maintain the vehicle properly. Always check gauges and detectors for proper working order before starting a trip. Have tools available on board in case maintenance is needed while on the road. Always have at least one fire extinguisher on board, though multiple ones are advisable. Have a survival and first aid kit available and fully supplied at all times.
Being prepared and using a checklist to ensure nothing is missed will make your RV�ing experience much more enjoyable. Always maintain your vehicle properly for maximum potential. Keeping your RV in good condition will also enhance the resale value in case you want to sell it or upgrade to a larger model. Using an RV is a great way to travel in comfort and style.

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