The ULTIMATE Swimmin’ Holes Road Trip!!


Texas is HOT no matter the season, but especially in the summer. It’s a fact that every Texan must come to accept. Thankfully, God had the great foresight to give us the perfect remedy for scorching heat: the swimmin’ hole. That’s right, when the sun gets to sweltering, us Texans get to swimmin’. So to make sure you get your fill of cool, natural waters this summer, we’ve created the ULTIMATE Texas Swimmin’ Holes Road Trip. Grab your swimsuits, pack your sack lunch and get to splashing in these Hill Country hot spots!



1. Barton Springs Pool – Austin, TX


Now, your first stop will be in Austin, TX and though there’s alot you could do in this town to “Keep Austin Weird,” we’re really only concerned with keeping you cooled off. Right in the middle of this city is an urban oasis at Barton Springs Pool with refreshingly cold waters of 68 degrees year round. And while you’re here, be sure to say “hello” to the endangered Barton Springs Salamander swimming around your ankles. Click here to see our video about Barton Springs.

2. Blue Hole – Wimberley, TX


When you’ve had your fill of city fun, head southwest to Blue Hole in Wimberley, TX, a quaint swimmin’ hole that’s part of Cypress Creek. This swimmin’ hole is surrounded by towering trees which make for some awesome rope swinging. You could definitely spend the rest of your day just hanging around Blue Hole, but when you’re ready for more Texas-style summer fun, pack up and head to one of the most picturesque swimmin’ holes in Texas. Click here for our video at Blue Hole.

3. Hamilton Pool – Dripping Springs, TX

Hamilton Pool in Dripping Springs, TX

At this point, you may be a little weary of the sun beating down on you, which is why the next stop is Hamilton Pool in Dripping Springs, TX. This pool is partially covered by a massive limestone grotto making it a great place to float in the shade and get drenched by the waterfalls cascading off the cliffs –  all while taking tons of pictures to make all your non-roadtrippin’ friends jealous. Sit back with your sack lunch and enjoy a picnic on the shores of Hamilton Pool because this awesome road trip is only halfway through. To see our video of Hamilton Pool, click here.

4. Krause Springs – Spicewood, TX


The fourth stop on your road trip is Krause Springs in Spicewood, TX, which is Texas beauty at it’s best. Underneath a canopy of luscious green trees, you’ll find a refreshing pool fed by 32 natural springs keeping the waters cold and you happily soaked. And you can take your pick between man-made, spring-fed pool or natural swimmin’ hole. There are even caves and waterfalls for exploring along the banks and an awesome rope swing to keep you entertained. Click here to see our video at Krause Springs.

5. Devil’s Waterhole – Burnet, TX


After you’ve floated all you can float, head to Inks Lake State Park in Burnet, TX for a more adventurous swimmin’ hole, the Devil’s Waterhole. It’s easy to see that the spot’s nickname came from the pink granite cliffs that tower over the lake, inviting those who are brave enough to take the plunge into the cold waters 40 feet below. And if jumping from daring heights ain’t your thing, no worries — there’s still plenty of fresh water for floating and relaxing down below. Click here to see our video at the Devil’s Waterhole.

6. Blue Hole – Georgetown, TX

A photo posted by Chet Garner (@chettripper) on

The last swimming spot on your road trip is the Blue Hole in Georgetown, TX. While the swimming hole is still inside city limits, this town’s got a laid back pace, making it the perfect way to end your day. Take a dip in the San Gabriel River or just layout on the grassy banks and watch as the sun sets above you, letting your summer day slowly come to an end.  And if you start getting hungry again, we suggest that you travel on up the hill to the Monument Cafe for a warm home-cooked meal and a slice of pie that will definitely hit the spot after a day of fun.

Congratulations, you’ve officially swam, splashed and sun-bathed your way through the ULTIMATE Swimmin’ Holes Road Trip…now wake up and repeat for an epic summer!

The Greatest Texas Sheet Cake EVER! Recipe included…

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Let’s be honest, one of the best things about Texas is the FOOD!  So we’re gonna try something new here on the blog and that’s to share some of the most Texan recipes of all time and our experience preparing them.  It may be one of our family favorites, or it may be something we’ve never attempted before.  We may succeed, or we may fail miserably.  Either way, we hope it makes you appreciate the rich food culture of Texas and makes you hungry for some Texas cuisine.

To kick things off, we’re skipping past the main course and jumping straight to dessert.  One of the most decadent, delectable, and desirable desserts of all time –  TEXAS SHEET CAKE!!!!


It’s that delicious, chocolaty, fudgy cake smothered with that insanely rich chocolate icing and pecans…oh, the pecans!  You know it and you love it.  

For as long as I can remember, my family has called it “Grandma’s Chocolate Cake.”  It’s been at every family holiday, every birthday, and every graduation party since the beginning of Chet (which is to say – as long as I can remember).  My wife’s family calls it “Groom’s Cake” and, yes, it was served as the groom’s cake at our wedding.

Recently my wife and I set out to compare a few recipes and try to pin down the perfect one.  We started with 4 similar, but slightly different recipes – my family recipe, Laura’s family recipe, Pioneer Woman‘s recipe, and Texas Monthlys recipe.  Turns out, it isn’t the easiest recipe!  



But after reading, testing, tweaking, and eating – we think we finally figured it out.  So, Texas Sheet Cake has 3 main parts (dry mix, wet mix, icing mix),  and each of these parts has its own recipe.  


You essentially dump all the “dry mix” ingredients into the mixer and turn it on.  It’s easy to do by hand, if you don’t have a froo-froo pink mixer like my wife.  


For the “wet mix” ingredients, you melt the butter, boil the water and then add them all together.  


Once you have those two major components done, you ever so gently, mix the wet mix into the dry mix.  


You stir it up.  Taste test some with your finger (of course) and then pour it all into an ungreased sheet cake pan.  

Chocolate Pour

You bake it at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.  While that’s happening, you prep the icing.  Once the cake is baked, you’re ready for the best moment of all (other than the first bite).  It’s the moment when you pour the icing over the warm gooey cake.  


NOTE: We have some people in our home who don’t like pecans in sweets – I call it crazy, but anyway – instead of putting the pecans in the icing for even distribution, we cover half the cake with the pecans and pour the icing on top.  It keeps them separate and keeps my family happy.  

Once that’s all done, you eat it!  Enough said.  We didn’t get pictures of eating the finished product, because we were too busy devouring it to pause and take pictures.  Trust me, it was amazing.

Finished Cake

Enjoy, here’s the full recipe.



2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp soda
1 tsp cinnamon (this is critical to add a dash of Mexican spice and a truly “Texan” flair)
1/2 tsp salt

Blend all these together in a mixer if you’ve got one, but mixing by hand works too.


2 sticks butter (unsalted)
1 cup boiling water
2 eggs
4 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla

Melt the butter, then add the water and cocoa powder.  Mix the other ingredients separately and then add them to the butter mixture. When this “wet mix” is done, add it to the “dry mix.”  You can then stir it up and pop it in the oven for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.


1 stick margarine
4 Tbsp cocoa powder
6 Tbsp milk
1 box powdered sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp vanilla

While the cake is baking, melt the margarine and then add the other ingredients.  When the cake comes out, pour the icing over the cake while it’s still warm.


24 – “Talkin’ Texas – May 2016″


Join us this episode as the crew gathers around and shares some of our favorite stories from around the Lone Star State. Tune in to this podcast to hear what’s going on in Texas!

In our Texas Music minute, Bree Wagner from KJ 97 in San Antonio, features Wade Bowen.

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and the Windows store!

Windows – Search for the Daytripper Podcast in your dedicated podcast app.

This endeavor is generously supported by Mighty Fine Burgers.

History Awaits at Chestnut Square


Last week, we traveled to McKinney and we discovered a treasure trove of history right off the Square in the heart of town at Chestnut Square Historic Village — a wonderland for those who long to discover stories of the past.

Chestnut Square began in 1973 when, much to her dismay, McKinney resident Joan Palmer Hughston learned that the beautiful homes that held the history of her beloved town were being demolished. So Joan and a small group of women (the first members of the Heritage Guild of Collin County) started gathering up historic homes from around town to save them from ruin. Soon enough, this collection of 2 or 3 houses grew into an assortment of 8 homes and buildings each with unique architecture and each with a story just waiting to be told.

chestnut_Square The buildings on this Square are originally from McKinney and were moved to their current locations to form the ultimate real-life museum showcasing life from 1854-1918. The tour is rich in hands-on opportunities and stories about a simpler time, but perhaps harder life, in Texas.

We started our tour at Faires House which is proudly known at Chestnut Square as “The Oldest Standing House in McKinney” dating back to 1854. And though this little white cabin looks diminutive by today’s standards, it was a mansion in its time. Fun fact: The front door was carved by the original owner Mr. John Faires, who was a blacksmith!

Faires House

As we stepped inside this house we were transported to the olden days when cotton was the main industry in McKinney and everything was made by hand. Inside the house is a spindle and wheel and a loom that are used in demonstrations to show visitors how cotton was woven back when McKinney was “the Largest Cotton City West of the Mississippi.”

Faires House Wheel

We next arrived at the only replica (and possibly one of the coolest buildings) on the Square, the J.B. Wilmeth Schoolhouse. The tour guide told us It was modeled after a schoolhouse opened in 1892 by J.B. Wilmeth, who first taught classes solely for his 13 kids (holy-moly that’s alot!) and then opened it up for free to all children in McKinney.

Outside it looks like a shabby white cabin, but once inside you’ll forget it’s a replica and almost expect Mr. Wilmeth and his students to burst back in the door from lunch and continue their lesson where they last left off. IMG_9363_editAnd if anyone in your tour is acting up, there’s a solution for that. Just give them some time in the corner with the “DUNCE” hat and they’ll straighten right up! Luckily that didn’t happen to any of us…


We were shocked to find out that this tiny red house was once the “Two-Bit Taylor” Inn, providing shut-eye and a hot meal for traveling salesmen in 1863. The Taylor family lived in the bottom and guests were hosted upstairs.


For a mere 25 cents (which is actually the equivalent to $200 today) guests shared the attic-like room upstairs with as many men the Taylor’s could fit. The guests helped with chores and washed their own laundry in exchange for a home-cooked meal. Five-star service sure has come a long way since then…



We toured one of the first homes on Chestnut Square, Dulaney Cottage, which was built in 1870. The first owner Dr. Joseph Dulaney was a surgeon in the Civil War and his quaint green house was the epitome of opulence in his day. Luxurious details like the glamorous dining room with marble top furniture expresses his wealthy living.



By far, our favorite house on Chestnut Square was the light blue and very elegant Johnson House. This home is just as luxurious inside as it is outside. Built in 1870, the house remains in its original spot on Chestnut Square where Captain Johnson and his 13 children once lived.


The tour guide informed us that the furniture inside Johnson House is originally from Tuck Hill a few blocks away, which belonged to Jesse James’s cousin and is rumored to have been a hideout for the notorious criminal and his pals. It’s so crazy how fascinating stories exist all over this city!


Another fun stop on our tour was the Brimer-Anderson Grocery store that was built in 1918 and moved to the Square in 1994. It was fondly called “Dixie’s Store” by its customers after Brimer’s granddaughter Dixie who used to pass out goodies to children that visited the store.

DixieThe front of the store still sells goods like it used to, except now instead of groceries you’ll find Chestnut Square souvenirs and hand-made crafts. In the back of the store is a museum showcasing items from the store’s past and even an antique cash register.

Cash Register

On our journey through Chestnut Square’s Historic Village, we found that around every corner and within every building in McKinney is a story of the past. Chestnut Square is a place where visitors can step back in time and experience this history for themselves.

“Dia de Rudy’s” in Houston, May 21


Who’s ready for SIX delicious Bar-B-Q meals in ONE day?  Well, that’s gonna happen on Saturday, May 21 as we eat our way through Houston at every Rudy’s location.  It’s a meaty job but someone’s gotta do it and I’d love for you to join us!  We’ll start the day at the Spring, TX location for breakfast tacos and end it with BBQ and the premiere of the new Richmond episode at the Richmond, TX location. If you can’t make it to all of them, join me at one or more.  But you should know, there’ll be awesome prizes for anyone who can make it to all 6.


9:00 a.m. – Spring, TX location (20806 Interstate 45) How about some breakfast tacos to start the day?

10:00 a.m. – Tomball, TX location (24503 Tomball Parkway) Who doesn’t love a brunch of ribs and sausage?

11:00 a.m. – Houston, TX location (14620 Northwest Freeway). Time for a lunch of brisket by the pound.

12:00 p.m. – Katy, TX location (21799 Katy Freeway) Yum! A second lunch of, well, everything.

1:30 p.m. – Webster, TX location (21361 Gulf Freeway) We just love an afternoon snack of pork loin and pulled pork.

3:00 p.m. – Richmond, TX location (20500 SW Freeway)  We’ll have an afternoon dinner and the premiere of the new Richmond episode!

Of course, eating TONS of BBQ in one day will be awesome, but the fun doesn’t stop there! At each location, we will be handing out a playing card and at the end of the day, all card-holders will play a game of 5-card stud for the chance to win a $250 Rudy’s gift card.

Throughout the day, participants will be given a BINGO card to play on for an all-day contest. Winners will receive awesome Rudy’s swag.

AND THAT’S NOT ALL! Each participant that completes the challenge of eating at all 6 locations on May 21 will win a $50 gift card to Rudy’s!

So join us for a day of fantastic BBQ, fun games and sweet prizes!

Cinco de Mayo…a Texan saves the day

Cinco De Mayo_Header_New

Grab a margarita and sit back, because here’s a history lesson on the Mexican holiday “Cinco de Mayo.”  Psst… it’s more Texan than you think.


Presidio La Bahia in Goliad, TX

First of all, let’s clear up the misconception that this is Mexico’s Independence Day….it’s NOT!  All this time, you’ve been throwing fiestas thinking you were celebrating “Dia de la Independencia,” but that’s on September 16. “Cinco de Mayo” actually honors the Battle of Puebla in 1862 when the Mexican Army was led to victory by, none other than, a native-born Texan.

But our story begins years before that in the town of Goliad, TX near Presidio La Bahia, where the Goliad Massacre took place. Outside the walls of this historic Spanish fort (in Texas, I repeat!), General Ignacio Seguin Zaragoza, the hero of “Cinco de Mayo,” was born in 1829.  His childhood home is now the reconstructed Zaragoza House.

A smart, young nino - Zaragoza joined the military and moved to Matamoros, Mexico before the Texas Revolution and fought in one of Mexico’s most important battles — The Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. You see, Mexico was in major debt coming off a civil war in 1860, so the president called a two-year halt on paying back debts to France, Spain and Britain. The three countries decided to attack the small, war-torn Mexico hoping to take control, but Spain and Britain withdrew after seeing how determined and well-equipped the mighty French Army was.

“Batalla del 5 de mayo de 1862″ portrays the battlefield at Puebla.

Napoleon III (nephew of the Napoleon you’ve heard of) sent 6,000 French troops to Mexico, hoping to not only receive debt payments but also to invade the country and rule it. Mexican General Zaragoza (our fellow Texan) heard they were coming to Puebla, so he gathered up all the men he could and formed a little army to defend the city. It seemed like suicide for such a small group of men to stand against such a powerful legion of French troops twice its size.

The Battle of Puebla lasted the entire day of May 5.  In the end Zaragoza and his skilled soldiers defended the city and won the battle, killing over 400 French men and losing only 86 of their own.  Zaragoza became a national hero!

Zaragoza statue

The Zaragoza Statue in Goliad, TX

Well, the story doesn’t go well from there. Zaragoza died of fever and France went on to capture Mexico City and win the war.  However, the bravery of that little battalion of men and their leader proved that Mexico was not to be messed with and ignited hope in the hearts of the Mexican nation. They eventually won their independence back from France in 1867.

To show their appreciation to Zaragoza and his Texas roots, the citizens of Puebla, Mexico dedicated a statue of the General in Goliad, TX, his birth place. So today, when you’re toasting your margaritas and eating your tacos, take a moment to appreciate the bravery and courage this day represents.  And it’s all because of a Texan you’ve likely never heard about.  Viva Tejas!

23 – “Tacos, Tacos, Tacos – May 2016″

Tacos, Tacos, Tacos_Final

Caution: the delicious contents of this podcast may make you hungry. Here at the Daytripper we love tacos! So we joined Texas Monthly Food Editor Pat Sharpe, writer of the “120 Tacos You Must Eat Before You Die” to discuss tacos, tacos and more tacos. Tune in!

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and the Windows store!

Windows – Search for the Daytripper Podcast in your dedicated podcast app.

This endeavor is generously supported by Mighty Fine Burgers.

New Episodes Are Here!

Season 7_April

Brace yourselves because here at The Daytripper Headquarters we’ve been traveling to awesome towns around Texas and you won’t believe what we found: Texas-sized dinosaurs, Indian tales, ravenous alligators, towering canyons and Elvis… Starting this week, we’re airing the last FIVE episodes of Season 7, so here’s the list of episodes that you won’t want to miss. Be sure to check your local PBS station for premiere times.


DTSite_dallas160122_019 In Dallas, we soar to new heights on the Reunion Tower, learn about the Alamosaurus (a Texas dinosaur) at the Perot Museum and get into all kinds of crazy adventures in the Bishop Arts District. We also explore the nature side of the Big D on the trails by the Trinity River and eat all the food we can fit into our stomachs at Pecan Lodge and Chicken Scratch.


DTSite_newBraun150924_010 Between holding deadly snakes, feeding gators and learning to water-ski, things get pretty slippery in New Braunfels. But don’t worry, we also take time to enjoy the relaxing float of the Comal River and of course, eat up the delicious German goodies and spicy history in this town.


DTSite_richmond160321_003 In Richmond we trip across the past, present and future of Texas. We learn about the good ol’ days on the George R. Ranch in the 1930s, eat phenomenal ethnic foods and learn about the mixed cultures in the area, and then catch a glimpse of the galaxy at the George Observatory.


DTSite_turkey160211_002 If you think Texas is flat then check out the Turkey episode to see the beautiful rocky canyons we explore in this Panhandle town. We also learn about the Indians that once inhabited this area from a modern-day Indiana Jones and see tools from the barbershop days of Bob Wills, the King of Western Swing.


DTSite_Hillsboro160219_022Our day trip to Hillsboro is a blast to the past – we enjoy homemade ice cream in a 50′s diner and find all sort of classic knick-knacks at the Roadside America museum. We even come across an old jailhouse with cells that hold tales of Bonnie and Clyde, Willie Nelson and Elvis Presley.

Can’t Miss Spring & Summer Festivals

new festival header

It’s festival season which means that in the next few months, cities all over Texas will be throwing awesome parties celebrating the best things about Texas. Now this list isn’t comprehensive, but there are enough cool festivals here to keep you and your family busy partyin’ almost every weekend this April through July.


RED POPPY FEST – Georgetown, TX

Picture by Live and Play in Georgetown, Texas Facebook

Picture by Live and Play in Georgetown, Texas Facebook

When: April 22-24

Admission: FREE

Each year Georgetown, TX throws a huge weekend-long celebration in April when the red poppies bloom to celebrate their title as “The Red Poppy Capital of Texas.” The 17th Annual Red Poppy Fest includes all kinds of fun events and activities from a classic car show to a self-guided red poppy tour through town. There will be food vendors, live entertainment and a craft fair. All guests are invited to wear red and attend the “Paint the Town Red” parade at 10 a.m. on Saturday – which is actually being hosted by Mr. Chet Garner, himself! And to add to the weekend’s celebration, there will be a performance by country superstar Tracy Lawrence on Saturday night. Find more information here.



 TEXAS SANDFEST – Port Aransas, TX


When: April 29 – May 1

Admission: $5

This beach festival is all about sand, fun and a little competition. Texas Sandfest is a three-day competition where you can watch as pro sand sculptors create mind-blowing castles and sculptures out of the sand on the Port Aransas beach. Not a pro? That’s alright – they also have competitions on Saturday for amateurs, kids and teens. The festival includes craft and jewelry vendors, live music, a Beer and Wine Garden, and more! Purchase tickets here.


Picture by Texas Crab Festival Facebook.

Picture by Texas Crab Festival Facebook.

When: May 6-8 

Admission: Fri. or Sat. entry is $11.54, Sun. is free

Join the city of Crystal Beach for a three-day festival of family fun and lots of seafood at The 31st Annual Texas Crab Festival . The festival features all kinds of activities from a Texas 2-Step Dance Contest to a Crab Gumbo Cook-off. And the Wiener-Dog Race is a can’t miss event! There will also be a 5K Run, a 1K Walk (for those too full of crab to be athletic) and live music. Find more information here.

TACOFEST – Fort Worth, TX

Taco Fest

Picture by Fort Worth Weekly.

When: May 7

Admission: $10 – $50, price depends on pass purchased

If you aren’t getting enough tacos in your diet, then head to the Panther Island Pavilion in Fort Worth for a taco fiesta! This celebration of Cinco De Mayo hosted by Fort Worth Weekly lasts from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and features live music, mariachi bands, vendors and of course lots and lots of tacos from area restaurants and food trucks. At TacoFest, there will also be a celebrity judged taco competition, and from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. is unlimited taco sampling. “Taco” ’bout a good time…(sorry, couldn’t help myself!) Click here to purchase tickets.


Picture by Houston Crawfish, Crab & Grill Festival.

Picture by Houston Crawfish, Crab & Grill Festival.

When: May 14

Admission: $20 before event, $25 at the gate

Calling all foodies: This is a party dedicated to Houston’s finest Cajun and New Orleans-inspired eats. HCCGF is a weekend designed for the purpose of stuffing your face with all the scrumptious crawfish specialties, mouth-watering crab dishes and fantastic grilled foods you want from area restaurants and caterers while honoring the culture that created these amazing meals. And what pairs perfectly with delicious Cajun food? Why, live performances from R&B, Reggae and Soul musicians all weekend. Just be sure to wear clothes that you don’t mind getting covered with butter from your crawfish boil. Click here to purchase tickets.


Picture by General Sam Houston Folk Festival Facebook.

Picture by General Sam Houston Folk Festival Facebook.

When: May 13-15

Admission: $3 – $5, price depends on age

The town of Huntsville, TX is hosting the 17th Annual General Sam Houston Folk Festival to celebrate one of their most historic citizens. This year’s festival features historical reenactments, craft vendors, live entertainment and more on the grounds of the Sam Houston Memorial Museum. There will also be opportunities to learn more about Sam Houston and Texas history from the Lone Star Chapter of the Sons of the Republic. Click here for more information.


Picture by Grapevine Convention and Visitor's Bureau.

Picture by Grapevine Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.

When: May 20-21

Admission: $5 – $15, price varies depending on time

The 32nd Annual Main Street Festival promises to be a blast for kids and adults. Mom and Dad can enjoy a selection of over 80 craft brew beers or a glass of wine from the Grapevine wineries while kids check out the KidZone, museum exhibits and kids shows. There will also be a Carnival and Midway with rides and games for families to enjoy, lots of shopping and live entertainment. You can find more information here.


Strawberry festival

Picture by Pasadena Strawberry Festival.

When: May 20-22

Admission: $5 – $30, price varies depending on price and day

This is one sweet celebration! The Strawberry Festival has been going since 1974 and is one of the biggest traditions in Pasadena which is deemed the “The Strawberry Capital of the South.” The three-day festival starts with an Opening Strawberry Festival Parade and the unveiling of the World’s Largest Strawberry Shortcake, which is a 2073 sq. ft. cake that is made each year and served throughout the festival. The festival also features a mud volleyball tournament in a 3-foot mud pit, a carnival, performances by Aaron Watson and Eric Paslay, and much more. Proceeds from the event go toward scholarships for area colleges. Learn more here.


Picture by The National Polka Festival Facebook.

Picture by The National Polka Festival Facebook.

When: May 27-29

Admission: $8 – $25, price varies depending on day

Get your polka on and join the people of Ennis as they celebrate Czech heritage at the 50th Annual National Polka Festival. The three-day festival kicks off with a Polka dance competition, then on Saturday morning guests are invited to watch the free parade through downtown. The festival also features a Kolache-eating contest, a 5K and a weekend full of live music from polka bands including Grammy Award-winning Brave Combo.




Picture by Taste of Dallas Facebook.

Picture by Taste of Dallas Facebook.

When: June 3-5

Admission: $14 – $50, price varies depending on pass purchased 

The residents of Dallas come together every year in Fair Park to experience the best music, food and arts the city has to offer. At this year’s 30th Taste of Dallas festival there is something for everyone like a Kids Zone with a petting zoo and inflatable slides, the Foodie Experience complete with free samples of the area’s best foods, wines and beers, and the Main Stage where a free music festival will be hosted all weekend. In celebration of Taste of Dallas‘s 30th birthday, a cake has been created by “The Cake Boss’s” Carlos Bake Shop and will be passed out at the festival. You can purchase tickets here.

TOMATO FEST - Jacksonville, TX


When: June 11

Admission: FREE

Come join the “Tomato Capital of the World” for a day of music, fun and – of course – LOTS of tomatoes at The 32nd Annual Tomato Fest! Events include a Tomato Peeling Contest, in which contestants peel tomatoes with their teeth; a Tomato Shoot, where kids use BB-Guns to shoot tomatoes and a Salsa Contest. There will be a Farmer’s Market where you can buy some of those famous Jacksonville tomatoes, and you can also eat your weight in fried green tomatoes. Learn more about the event here.


Picture by Texas Folklife Festival Facebook.

Picture by Texas Folklife Festival Facebook.

When: June 10-12

Admission: $5 – $12, price varies depending on age and day

The Texas Folklife Festival was modeled after a celebration of cultures at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. Throughout the weekend, the festival celebrates the differences of over 40 different ethnic groups. The Folklife Festival showcases ethnic heritages through foods, crafts, entertainment and more on the grounds of the Institute of Texan Cultures. Tickets can be purchased at the gates on the day of the event or here.



When: June 18

Admission: FREE

The 2nd Annual Route 66 Festival will really help you “get your kicks!” This free festival features all the things you need to celebrate Historic Route 66 from Antiques to Classic Cars. There will also be a Swap Meet, food, live music, shopping and more! So grab your family and plan a road trip to this iconic highway. Check this site to find out more information.



When: June 23-26

Admission: $5 – $15, prices varies depending on day

The Watermelon Thump has been a beloved tradition in Luling since 1954. Start practicing your seed-spittin’ skills in preparation for the World Championship Seed Spitting Contest, and practice polishing off melons promptly because the Watermelon Eating Contest is judged on speed not quantity. The festival also features a mechanical bull, carnival rides, craft fair, live music and more! Learn more here.



Picture by Great Texas Balloon Race Facebook.

Picture by Great Texas Balloon Race Facebook.

When: July 22-24

Admission: $12, $15 at gate

Take flight with the city of Longview at the Great Texas Balloon Race. During this three-day festival guests can get up close and personal with giant, colorful hot air balloons and watch as they soar over the festival grounds. A highlight of this festival is the Special Shapes Spectacular, an event when hot air balloons in fun shapes float above the grounds and the Balloon Glow when the hot air balloons are lit at night. There will also be live performances by Aaron Watson and Restless Hearts. Find more information here.

The Blessing of the Vines


This past weekend, the Daytripper crew did a little wine-trippin’ in Grapevine at the Blessing of the Vines event. We had so much fun celebrating this year’s “awakening of the vines” with the fellow wine-loving Texans who gathered at the Delaney Vineyards on Saturday. The morning started off with a little meeting, greeting and eating. We loved meeting the awesome daytrippin’ fans that showed up to the event. We even drank a glass of wine with Bacchus, the Roman god of wine and his wife, Ariadne. They traveled all the way from Mt. Olympus to join the Grapevine festivities!


As the crowds gathered, it was time for the procession of distinguished guests to walk through the still-budding vineyard. The parade of people was led by the 12-piece mariachi band. Following them was the American flag and members of the Grapevine Knights of Columbus.


Knights of Colombus

This giant cluster of grapes followed after them in the procession to represent the bounty of the grapes we are asking for this season.


Dignitaries carried flags (who better to carry the Texas flag than Chet?) and the rest of the guests were invited to join the procession as they made their way through the rows of the vineyard.Chet_Flag_Edit


The crowd gathered in the middle of the vineyard and Father Ken Robinson of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Muenster began the blessing that dates back to Europe with the rise of Christianity. This blessing, which asks God’s grace on the vines and fruit of the vineyards, has remained the same for the past 400 years.  He also prayed for the health of the workers.


He read from Genesis 1:29 and asked God to give an abundant harvest. He gave thanks for the bounty of the past, and asked God for it to continue this season. It was amazing to see this blessing knowing that for centuries people have gathered just like we did on Saturday to ask for God’s hand and blessing in the bounty of the harvest.


After he blessed the budding vines, the procession continued to the other side of the vineyard for more music from the mariachi band, wine tastings and more celebration. And even Miss Grapevine, a truck with a tiara, made an appearance.

Miss Grapevine in all her glory.

Miss Grapevine in all her glory.


Pictured here is the cross carried during the processional along with wines from the various vineyards in Grapevine.


So cheers, Grapevine, to a wonderful day! It was an awesome experience getting to be involved in a centuries-old celebration.  And this is one tradition that truly does get better with age.