More and more I try to travel during the Christmas season. Even if it’s just a daytrip, I like to blast away from the clatter and take a few deep breaths somewhere the trees don’t have lights on them. I highly recommend any sort of outdoors getaway to urban dwellers overwhelmed by stress. A spare winter landscape regenerates the spirit like nothing else I know.
I was in Tucson’s international airport circa 1984 on my way to Mexico to join a press trip being hosted by a new beach resort. I was young and delighted to be earning something close to a living writing about food and travel.
Autumn is my favorite season for a roadtrip. Obviously, cooler weather factors into my affection. Also, smaller crowds make for broader landscapes. And while in Texas leaf peeping is not often a motivation for hitting the road, there is an appreciable, if subtle shift in the landscape, a change of textures and colors, as the night temps cool. Along with the fresh slant of sun, clouds seem to drift about more often in the fall and I appreciate dappled sunlight.
There are all sorts of travel experiences, each of which require different sorts of flexibility for success. There’s travel with extended families. Travel with small children. Travel with romantic partners. Then, there’s travel with pets.
I am a planner. I arrive hours early for flights, almost that early for doctor’s appointments and even —much to my child’s annoyance — movies. I inherited the “be prepared” gene from my father, a career military man. I have likened his approach to planning any vacation to creating a battle plan. There were always endless maps, brochures, schematics and graph paper (for packing) involved in every trip, well into the years when he was just planning a weekend getaway with my mother.
The trouble with the traditional American school calendar is that it conditions you to believe that summers should be spent on vacation.
Throughout my life, in every neighborhood, on every summer's vacation, road trip, or nature hike, there has been a memorable swimming hole.
Almost 30 years ago, I drove every mile of Texas’ interstate highways in search of something to eat. Every mile. And not only did I drive those 3,232 miles, but I stopped for a bite approximately every 30 miles along the way.
Babs Rodriguez’s son becomes a true-bluebonnet Texan in the April 2014 installment of Travel Matters. Here’s the full story.
Babs Rodriguez unpacks a lifetime of travel memories. Here's the full story from the March 2014 issue of Texas Highways.
Babs Rodriguez recalls her German mother-in-law’s Big Bend epiphanies. Here’s the full story from the February 2014 issue of Texas Highways:
After he turned 80, it was difficult to get my Pop to leave the house. I found it hard to accept this sea change in the man who had been my travel mentor. But Pop’s joie de vivre had been stolen by dementia. I longed to awaken his spirit of discovery, and allow my young son to see his grandfather as the man I remembered.