Family Getaway
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Tranquility, Canoes and Outdoor Theater

a family getaway lead to adventure and family bonding in kerrville, texas


Newly licensed driver. Baseball player. Photography enthusiast. Yoga instructor. What do these have in common? They’re all members of my family. Hannah, our 17-year-old, just got her driver’s license and now loves taking her 12-year-old brother, Ethan, to baseball when my photography-enthusiast husband, Bill, isn’t home yet or I’m teaching yoga.

Thanks to all of our interests and activities, it can be hard to get together and spend time as a family. That’s where a getaway comes in handy. A friend recommended Kerrville, as a spot where we could reconnect without slowing down. So on Friday after school, we loaded up the car and headed west into the beautiful Texas Hill Country

RELAXING WITH FOOD, BREWS AND MUSIC

By the time we got to Kerrville, we were hungry. Bill had heard good things about the Pint & Plow Brewing Company from one of his co-workers, so we decided to check it out. From the minute we walked in, the Pint & Plow felt comfortable. Part of the restaurant was a converted house, with an addition in the back where we saw the big brewery tanks “where the magic happens,” as Bill put it. There was a live band playing on the patio so we grabbed a table where we could see the stage.

The kids split The Harvest House pizza—with meatballs, pepperoni and bacon!—and had Mexican Cokes. Bill, our burger fan, ordered the Hyphen-Burger, with a house-made beer bun, grass-fed beef and hand-cut potatoes. I got the Roasted Beet (not beef) sandwich with bacon and greens—so good! Then there were the craft brews. Bill had fun with his beer flight, deciding how well each brew worked with his burger, while I ordered the River Shandy, a beer cocktail with lemonade and Tchoupitoulas IPA. Both were delicious.

After apple cake and more live music, we headed to the hotel. Ethan and Bill enjoyed a quick splash in the pool while Hannah and I did some poolside stretches to unwind after the drive. Then it was off to bed for the next day’s adventures.\


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RESETTING OUR PACE

One of my yoga students suggested we visit the Riverside Nature Center to see its big collection of native trees and plants. The center had a garden of plants used for healing in native cultures and a xeriscape garden that could take the Texas heat. While Hannah and Ethan explored the butterfly garden and Bill took photos of the trees, I talked with the center’s volunteers, who were happy to answer my plant questions.

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The River Trail along the Guadalupe River starts at Riverside Nature Center, and we followed it over a bridge to Tranquility Island. Tranquility was right! We walked in the cool shade of huge cypress trees along the grassy island, watched kids on bikes, young couples with strollers and whole families out for a day at the park. That’s where we headed next—Louise Hays Park. Another bridge to the riverbank and we were there. Ethan immediately headed for the splash pad where kids were cooling off in the dancing fountains. Bill took photos of the splash pad’s Lone Star design while Hannah and I strolled over to Kerrville Kayak & Canoe Rentals to find out the best way to get down the river.

After talking with the staff, we decided on a combination of biking and paddling. First we rented bikes and all four of us rode the 20 minute route down the trail to Kerrville-Schreiner Park, watching the beautiful deep-green river through the trees beside the trail. The river widened into a lake at Kerrville-Schreiner Park, so we parked our bikes and rented a canoe at Kerrville Kayak and Canoe’s other location to paddle to the dam and back.

As all of us settled into the boat and Ethan and Hannah started rowing, I took in the Guadalupe River and our surroundings. It was a beautiful moment of calm joy in our busy lives. Bill got to take photos along the way. Hannah and Ethan got to keep moving. I got to relax and enjoy nature. Family time was already working out beautifully.

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Reconnecting with each other

After we paddled the lake and rode our bikes back to Louise Hays Park, even Ethan and Hannah admitted they were a bit tired. We stopped for cold drinks and then took a mini-siesta before a night at the outdoor theater. Bill and I met when we were in the spring musical in college, and we still liked to see shows when we could.

Just outside the Point Theatre was Stonehenge II, a nearly full-scale model of the ancient British site. Bill took plenty of pictures, of course, while Hannah and Ethan circled the site and I wondered about the folks who built the original. Then it was showtime! The outdoor theater sat on the riverbank, so we enjoyed a cool breeze while the performers gave a great show. A light breeze came off the river, and watching live theater under the stars was a truly unforgettable experience.

Final Stops

The next morning, we enjoyed breakfast tacos at the longtime local favorite Acapulco Restaurant, and then stopped by The Coming King Sculpture Prayer Garden for a Sunday morning moment of peace amid the religious art and beautiful scenic views. It was the ideal way to wrap up our weekend before the drive. On the way home, while Hannah drove, I thought back to the day before, gliding on the lake in our canoe and sitting together under the stars, and I realized that no matter how independent the kids get, and no matter how many different directions in which we move, we can always relax and unwind together in Kerrville.

Discover more family-bonding opportunities in Kerrville.

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