Dave

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Day Trip Report: TSC, Castroville & Hondo

Though we live in what many consider to be a pretty crowded area, complete with occasional bouts of bumper to bumper traffic on the drive to and from work,one of the beautiful things about living close to the ever moving edge of town is that, in 15 minutes or less, we can be out in the middle of open country. And we like to take advantage of that.

You need only take a single flight between San Antonio and Dallas or San Antonio and Houston, and you can see just how wide open and unpopulated the state of Texas is. But sprinkled between the major cities are small little towns, each of them with their own interesting history and architecture worth exploring when you get a chance.
Today, we headed West of San Antonio and hit three small towns: Castroville, Hondo and D'Hanis. This little adventure started because my wife wanted to go to the Tractor Supply Company.In case you aren't familiar with them, they are sort of an all purpose hardware store but with an emphasis on things you might need out in the country, on a farm or ranch. The have a slogan that goes something like, "The Stuff you Need Out Here" where "out here" is in the country or on a farm or a ranch or away from the city.But the main purpose of our going "Out Here" was so my wife could buy some toy animals.Yea, aside from all the farm implements you might need, TSC knows that country kids like country toys, including toy tractors, toy animals and the like. My wife needed some real farm animals, and specifically, a Texas Longhorn to complete her Christmas Manger set-up.So once we spent $120.00 on stuff I had no idea we were in the market for, we continued West on Hiway 90 into Castroville. I nearly shit myself with excitement when I passed a '72 Camaro just like mine from high school. Just this one was nicer.Castroville is a nice little town full of antique shops and meat processing places. Being so close to San Antonio, it is a frequent stop for people looking to attend flea markets and craft bizarres. But if you get off the main road, you can find some interesting old places to gawk at.We decided that after all the years we have been passing through Castroville on our way to other places, we were going to once and for all stop and take a walking tour of the town.Of course, this would have to happen on a day when it wasn't so cold or windy.So, we moved on down the road to Hondo. You may have heard of Hondo, TX either in the movies or from the famous sign that warns drivers in a nice and polite way, not to speed through town.In the past twenty years, Hondo has gone from a speed trap with a McDonald's to a full fledged, Wal Mart and now, Super Wal Mart metropolis, yet maintaining that Dairy Queen small town feel about it.We drove up and down a few streets just to enjoy some of the small town feel. I know that people in these towns have cable (or at least the Dish) and they certainly get the paper, but you can't help but feel as though you are experiencing life in a slower, simpler and more enjoyable pace when you visit. And please don't misunderstand, I don't suggest for a moment that these folks are bumpkins, just that they have a lot less traffic than we do.
My wife was especially fond of the Santa Cowboy. How appropriate for Hondo.
I liked the fact that the local country radio station went all out in their Christmas display along the main road.Up next: Lunch in D'Hanis.

2 comments:

Robert said...

You sure know how to make a guy miss the Lone Star State (sigh)

Dave said...

Robert, there is some good news. Texas will be here when you return!

Until then, I'll tell you about my little part of this wonderful place.

I must be doing an okay job of it, because I haven't been strung up or had Tommy Lee Jones come give me a good talking to.

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San Antonio, TX, United States
I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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