The Daytripper General Store Featuring Texas Goods!

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We are so excited about the new Daytripper General Store and the growing list of products that we offer. We’ve got Daytripper shirts for your day trips or just wearing around town. How about some Cuvee coffee to brew at home to drink in your Daytripper mug. Cooking some great Texas food, how about a Texas Food towel to have alongside of you while you cook. Many of you saw the Bike Texas shirt that Chet wore while riding in the MS 150, we’ve got that as well from Tumbleweed TexStyles as well as many other designs. You also saw a “Speedracer” style shirt in one of our episodes, that’s available in the store as well from Trick Pony Studios. Most of our products even have FREE SHIPPING!

We have something for everyone! So come on by the Daytripper General Store and grab some Texas products and know you are shopping local…local to the great state of Texas!

The Daytripper Podcast, Episode 1 – How Did We Get HEAR?

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Hey Daytrippers!  It has officially happened.  We are LIVE…sort of.  We’ve had many requests to do a podcast and we are proud to launch Episode 001. In this episode we talk about “How Did We Get HEAR?” which includes talk about how we started the TV show, assembled a crew, and even share a few stories from the road.

This endeavor is generously supported by  The Highland Lakes of Burnet County.

We are in the process of getting the podcast in the iTunes directory. We will keep you posted when that happens. Stay tuned for episode 2 as we talk about the “Top 10 Swimming Holes in Texas.” For now, enjoy episode 001 below.

Fort Worth’s Worth It

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I’ve always liked Fort Worth.  There’s just a rustic quality to the whole city that really appeals to me.  As a self-proclaimed history nerd and wanna-be cowboy, I must say that the answer to Terri Clark’s question “Is Fort Worth Worth It” is a resounding “YES!”
Even though it’s only a Texas-sized stone’s throw from Dallas, it couldn’t be more different.  You may have seen our Fort Worth episode featuring the city’s historic Stockyards District and world-class art museums (not to mention epic food).  However, that episode only scratched the surface of the “City of Cowboys and Culture.”  So with another episode bubbling in my head, I returned to Fort Worth to experience some of things I missed, both new and old…very old.
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We checked in to the Omni Hotel downtown and headed immediately to the newly-remodeled Sundance Square.  We could have walked but opted instead to hop aboard “Molly the Trolly,” a free shuttle taking folks around downtown.  It couldn’t have been easier.
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The new Sundance Square is fantastic!  And packed with folks dining, visiting, and just enjoying the night’s breeze.  It was crazy to think that this area used to be a parking lot. The vibe was something you’d expect to find in Europe, but not Fort Worth.  We ate on the patio of Bird Cafe.  Craft beer and craft food lovers take note – this place was great.  I had wild boar sausage on top of mashed sweet potatoes.
Over by the water fountains, the Fort Worthians (???sure???) were living it up.  Keeping our one-and-a-half year old from bolting toward the water was…”fun.”
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The next morning, I think our kids would have been happy just hanging out in the window of our room at the Omni, but I dragged them out of the hotel to explore.  Gotta teach em young.
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We hit the road and headed to the Fort Worth Zoo.  I hadn’t visited since I was a kid and was just as excited about it as my kids were….OK, probably more excited.  I’m like a big, dumb kid anyway.  I loved this zoo.  All the animals (big and small) were out to play.
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PLUS – the entire place was shaded.  If you’re a Texan, you know how important this is.  PLUS PLUS – they had GIGANTABUGS.  Seriously – Gigantic Bugs.   If you ever wanted to know what it felt like to live inside of Honey I Shrunk the Kids, just head to the zoo.
http://www.toddwhite.orgMy 5 year old was in heaven.  My bug-terrified wife – not so much.
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For dinner that night we headed to Tim Love’s new restaurant Woodshed which is on the Trinity River.  It’s got an awesome outdoor patio.
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And in typical chef fashion, rather than just stick with one sort of wood, Tim mixes it up with different logs for different dishes.  Awesome stuff.
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The next morning, we hit up the Fort Worth Water Gardens.  As a kid, I remember these being roughly the size of Niagara Falls.  They weren’t quite as big as , but are still pretty huge.
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That’s my 5 year old on the mountain
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That’s my wife way down in the valley.  I told you this place was big.
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Before heading home, we hit up Peters Brothers Hats (since 1911) which is still making hats the old fashioned way which takes something like 4 months to finish.  I didn’t get my head sized just yet.  I think I’ll save that for the episode.
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And just one block over was the JFK memorial where President Kennedy gave a impromptu speech before heading to Dallas.
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We left with much more still to see in Fort Worth, but that will have to wait for another trip.  I could probably do 5 more shows about this place.  If you’ve never been – get on the road and….Vaya con Dios Amigos!

Cell Phone Tips for Cross-Border Tripping

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I was recently swimming in the Rio Grande inside Big Bend National Park and just a few feet to my right was Mexico.  I fondly remember the days of crossing the border as a kid to eat enchiladas and paletas.  As I sat in the river, my buddies and I started considering the idea of visiting the small Mexican village of Boquillas.  Of course, this requires a passport, but our other big question was – What do we do with our cell phones?

Can we make calls over there?  Can we snap and share photos?  We didn’t want to get charged a busload of money because we’d crossed some invisible barrier, but also didn’t want our cell phones to hold us back from exploring.  Ever wondered the same thing?

To find out more about how to travel internationally with a cell phone, I did some research and here’s what AT&T told me. For Texans who want to explore the great big world beyond our borders (which does in fact exist) but don’t want a big bill, here are some tips.

  • Review the International Plans.  It turns out that as soon as you use your cell phone outside of the US, you are on an international plan.  If you know you are going to use your phone, you can sign up for a plan before you go, or you can just use the pay-for-use rate, which is going to be more expensive.  Details on AT&T’s International Plans are right here.
  • Turn off your data. Without a prepaid plan, data usage is going to hurt.  So you might want to turn it off.  An easy way to do this is to switch your phone into “airplane mode” so you can still use your camera or listen to music without racking up your phone bill.  And if you want to keep your data on, post to social media sparingly each day so you can keep track of how much data you are using. If you plan to be posting often, turn off the automatic video play settings.  Those videos will use more data than you expect.
  • Be Prepared to Avoid WiFi.  WiFi can be spotty, before you embark on your international journey, make sure to look up and program into your phone any emergency numbers for your area – doctors, the embassy, tour buses…  This way you don’t have to use bad WiFi searching for these things once you land overseas. To further monitor when your phone is using WiFi, set your email settings to receive email manually instead of automatically, then only check your email when you are sure there is a WiFi network.
  • Customer Service is Helpful.  AT&T also suggests writing down their customer service number (916-843-4685) in case something comes up while you’re traveling. To ensure comfort while abroad, AT&T even has a roaming app that will track your data use and alert you to when your allotted number of minutes is about to expire. While AT&T devices work in more than 210 countries, you will want to make sure that your device will work in the country you are traveling to by checking the AT&T Travel Guide.  Other carriers should have something similar.
  • Bring a charger.  But not just any charger, an international charger so you can make sure your phone is ready to go.
  • Consider Insurance.  Remember to get some insurance before you leave to make sure your phone is covered in case of theft.

I hope this was helpful so the next time you consider jumping to Mexico or somewhere else, you’ll know what you’re getting into…at least from your cell phone.  As for the rest of your adventure – that’s up to you….

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An Intern’s First Taste of Cuvee

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Howdy Daytrippers!  Let me first introduce myself…I am the summer intern, Linsey.  As a fellow Daytripper fan, it’s been fantastic to spend my days following Chet on his crazy adventures.  I’m having a blast!

A week into my internship, Chet found out I claimed to be a coffee-addict but hadn’t yet tried Cuvee Coffee.  Shocked and appalled, he immediately sent me to the Galaxy Bakery down the street to buy a cup.

If you’ve seen the Spicewood episode of The Daytripper, then you saw Chet take a tour of the Cuvee Coffee factory. If not – check this out.

Cuvee Coffee is one of America’s top specialty roasters, and they’re based right here in the Hill Country.  They roast their coffee meticulously, using formulas and coffee-labs to ensure the taste is just right.

While Cuvee gets their beans  from countries all around the world, including Brazil and El Salvador, I chose the Spicewood 71 Classic for my first cup. Usually, I need to load my coffee with tons of cream and sugar, but with Cuvee I didn’t. The taste was sweet and smooth, and not too strong, which I loved.

And since I enjoyed my first cup so much (and since Chet was paying, of course!) I just had to try the Cuvee Meritage Espresso. I’d never had a cup of espresso before and was expecting to be bombarded with bitter coffee grounds and overbearing tastes, yet Cuvee was just the opposite. It tasted fresh and sweet, with just the right of amount of kick to get me through the rest of my day. After all, coffee is an intern’s best friend!

So, fellow coffee lovers, grab yourself a cup of Cuvee, and raise a steaming mug to Texas family values and world-class taste!  I’m now a faithful drinker.

If you’ve never had it (or need to restock), Cuvee Coffee is now available via The Daytripper General Store where Chet is compiling some of his favorite Texas-based shirts, food, and cool stuff.  Order some today.  You won’t regret it.

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DogTrippers on South Congress

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002Howdy Daytrippers.  We’re Mason and Lexi, the latest addition to The Daytripper Blog.  Just call us the Dogtrippers.  Chet asked us to travel the state, looking for the best destinations for “Man’s Best Friend.”  For our first travel installment, we wanna show you how to explore our hometown of Austin, but on 4 legs instead of 2.

For a place that’s happy to kennel both dogs and their humans, check in to the Hotel San Jose on South Congress.

The rooms all face outdoors (no early morning elevator rides to attend to “business”), and there are plenty of places to explore and relax outside the rooms.  They charge a very reasonable dog fee of $10/night.

Staying here, we were right in the heart of the South Congress District.  Many of the shops are dog-friendly and some even keep a treat jar hidden behind the counter.  Just make sure to look extra cute.  There’s a reason you’ve got a puppy dog face – use it.  Also, most of the restaurants have outdoor seating and are happy to bring out a bowl of water for well-behaved pups.

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Of course, after a busy morning and lunch, we decided to head back to the hotel for some much deserved napping.

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Now no dog-trip (or any trip for that matter) to Austin would be complete without heading to Zilker Park and Lady Bird Lake.

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Zilker’s “Great Lawn” offers plenty of room for off-leash exploring. The nearby Hike and Bike Trail is another great way to explore the city with your owner.

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And if you’re tired of just admiring the lake from the land, head over to Zilker Park Boat Rentals for some on-the-water adventure.

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None of the life jackets fit us, but oh well.  Luckily our owners were decent paddlers and we never had to swim.  Although we were tempted to jump out and start chasing some ducks.

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There is plenty of wildlife to check out as you paddle down Barton Creek and onto Lady Bird Lake.

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Finally, our owners were hungry for dinner and there are tons of places in town that practically encourage doggy dining.  In East Austin, Silo or Takoba are both great for pets.  And for one of the most family-friendly and dog-friendly places in Texas, head to Freddie’s Place on South First.  But for a great outdoor biergarten with its very own fenced-off dog run, we headed to Banger’s Sausage House in the Rainey Street District.  Our humans were so busy enjoying house-made sausages and their expansive beer selection, they never noticed their phone was missing.

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As you see, there are tons of places in Austin that both pups and people can enjoy.   After all, doggies love day trips too.  Until next time, we’ll see you on the road!  Vaya con Perros.

Guest Post by: Will Garner, Mason and Lexi

Fredericksburg Wine Tour

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We had a great time on our recent bus trip through part of the Fredericksburg Wine Country. Big thank to Ernie and his team at the Fredericksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau for helping to set this up. Everyone had a great time sampling wine, eating great food and visiting the Nimitz museum as well. Thanks to all the places we stopped along the way:

Fredericksburg is a great place to visit with plenty to do for everyone. For more ideas on where to go, check out our Fredericksburg episode.

Be sure to visit our website and subscribe to our newsletter to stay informed on more tours! Currently, we have a few seats (less than 10!) available for our San Antonio tour. Check out our site for more information and we hope to see you on the bus!

New Bus Trip to San Antonio!

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We are very excited to announce our next “Trippin’ with Chet” tour happening on Saturday, August 16, 2014.

Join us as we spend a fun filled day exploring San Antonio! We’ll be leaving out of Austin for a full day of adventure. I don’t want to give too much away, but we’ll spend the day exploring the Missions, digging into some Tex-Mex and ending the day with some Bar-B-Q…German style!

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the Tour Page at our new online store!