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Vacation Again To New Braunfels

The hottest time in Texas and hardest to be working is in August. With temps over 100 every day, it is very hard to stay cool even inside an RV. There is only so much air conditioners can do and if you have to work outside it is just miserable. Everyone should take a vacation in August in Texas. While I couldn’t get my usual full week off work, I was able to get 5 days off to run back up to my favorite place, New Braunfels, where my favorite waterpark, Schlitterbahn, is. I bought a yearly pass at the end of the summer season last year which was also good for all of this year so I had to get more use out of it and more bang for my buck.

Once my relief guard showed up to take over my shift on the gate and stay in my RV, I was off to the Motel 8 in Seguin, TX just a few miles east of New Braunfels. I found a better deal staying over there and the motel was excellent. The room was very comfy. It had plenty of TV channels, a wonderful recliner for the evenings, good shower/bath, very nice and helpful staff, and a free breakfast of waffles, muffins, cereal, bananas, juice, and coffee. It is also located next to McDonald’s and a BBQ place with a Whataburger across the street and Wal-Mart just a few miles away. I would stay there again. That night, I tried to go to bed but couldn’t sleep long since I had been working night shift for over a month. At 4 am I got very hungry so I went over to the Whataburger for breakfast. It was surprisingly very good. Finally, I got tired enough to sleep more.

I decided to get most of my shopping out of the way the first day. My job in rural Texas doesn’t give me much time for shopping so I keep a list of things to buy when I get near a big city. After a quick stop at Game Stop to score a used balance board cheap for my WII, I hit Wal-Mart to return some items and pick up others. Then it was off to Camping World to replace a ladder rack my support people lost when they moved my RV while I was on a cruise in April. I was a good girl and managed to get out of there for less than $100 which is very hard for an RVer. I still looked all over but kept my cool. Next, I zoomed down the highway to the Costco in Selma, Texas. I had purchased a membership through LivingSocial.com In February which was running a great deal that included a $20 gift card and a bunch of coupons. Unfortunately, I rarely get near a big city and Costco and was unable to redeem my membership purchase until now. The coupons were already expired but they were very nice and gave me the gift card still after signing me up. The store there is smaller than others I have been in years ago but I managed to find some needed items there. The grocery section looks to be a good size. They also serve the usual hot dogs and pizza there. It was getting late so to end the day I went to Golden Corral for dinner. Yum! It was delicious! I got back late to the motel. I watched some TV and eventually went to bed.

Time for fun at Schlitterbahn! Since I got there late, the parking was pretty full but they have lots of parking lots all over and eventually I found a spot. The nice parking attendant even encouraged me to take two spots due to the size of my dually truck. Never had that happen before. Going on a Saturday in summer turned out to be a big mistake. With kids out of school and parents off work, it was way too crowded. All the slides had hours long waits. Even the main pool was pretty crowded. I hopped on the tram to the newer park in hopes of shorter lines due to the types of water rides over there. The Falls ride which is a continuous loop lazy river with some whitewater action thrown in now had a line which it didn’t have last September when I was there. The line moved fairly fast at least. Unfortunately, due to the crowd, you only got one ride around then they made you get out at the stop just upstream. It felt really good and cooling though. I went over to the wave pool and roaring river which was still a free-for-all and spent much of my time there going around and around as a wave machine made it interesting. I got out just long enough to enjoy a smoked turkey leg and drink then waded back in for the rest of the afternoon though I did get another ride on The Falls before I boarded the tram again back to the old park and my truck. Even as crowded as it was, I had fun that day. On the way back to the motel, I found the local Harbor Freight for more shopping fun.

Schlitterbahn Speed RaceSchlitterbahn ride through buildingSchlitterbahn tubing at sunsetSchlitterbahn tubing

The next day, back to Schlitterbahn again. I managed to go to bed earlier so I got to the waterpark earlier and got a closer spot to park. I spent a lot more time in the old park this time as the crowd was much better. The tourists had gone home (dang those tourists!) so it was just locals that day. Unlike last September, this time the biggest lazy river ride was not blocked off at the end and dropped me into the Comal River for a little river tubing experience. That was awesome! They have their own private canal. Another ride dropped me into a chute that runs quite a long way next to the river and sort of in it. That was also a lot of fun. I opted to wait in line for the Hilltop Slide with a fun group of people. When we got to the part of the line that runs next to the slide, we kept splashing water on the people below us and once we got on the ride, we splashed them again as we went by. I had forgotten how fast that ride is and failed to take my hat off on it so I lost it in some whitewater. I had to go buy a Schlitterbahn hat to finish out the day in the sun. Oh well. It goes well with my Schlitterbahn T-shirt and towel. Yes, I LOVE Schlitterbahn!

On my last day to play before going home, I drove up to San Marcos a few miles north to see Dick’s Car Museum. I wasn’t expecting much. I figured it would just be old cars with signs about where he got them or boring stats. Boy, was I wrong! It was a wonderful museum with some great cars and signs that provided one heck of an education on the history of automobile manufacturers. I learned a lot that I never knew and it was fascinating. I found out John Travolta hadn’t made up the words Ultramatic , Hydramatic, and other words he used in a song in the movie, “Grease”. Those things really did exist at the time. I saw convertible hard tops that stored in the trunk. I saw the first car to have reclining seats. It was meant to be used for couples to go camping. Instead, it quickly became the favorite car of horny teenagers. LOL. I also learned that seat belts had been invented long before they were used in cars but manufacturers were afraid they sent a message that their cars were unsafe so they didn’t include them until safety became a selling point.

1931 Cadillac Sport Phaeton1935 Auburn Boattail Speedster1921 Stanley Steamer Boiler

My next stop was the Lions Club Tube Rental place on the San Marcos River. For $10 they provide a tube with or without a bottom and pick you up an hour or more later down river at the waterfalls. Tubing the many rivers in Texas is very popular and big business. As usual for me, rain threatened but I went anyway. It was a very nice float with plenty of other people tubing to keep me company. At the waterfalls, you can get out and catch a ride back as I did, or you can go over the small waterfalls and get out farther down then walk back up the side trail for a ride. I would have loved to go over the falls but didn’t have the time. Happily, just as I got in the bus to go back, it started to rain. Nyah nyah! Beat it this time!

Lion's Club river tubingLion's Club tubing fallsGoing over the falls slide

Knowing I would be coming to San Marcos, I had previously purchased a gift certificate on restaurant.com to try an Italian restaurant out for dinner. I went to the Italian Garden and got $25 worth of food for $10.50 total. I bought two meals and had them put one in a doggy bag to take back to the motel for the next day. The food was excellent and so was the service. I will definitely eat there again. While eating, I noticed the waitresses constantly checking out the TV above me and looking dismayed. I finally asked them what was going on and learned that Robin Williams had died. I remember where I was when John Kennedy was killed and I’ll always remember this moment too. We’ll miss you, Robin. Goodbye.

On the way back to the motel, I spotted a Buc-ee’s. I had no idea what it was exactly but it seems to be a big deal here in Texas and has 4 times as many gas pumps as any station I have ever seen, maybe more. The building with them is the size of a department store rather than a gas station. I decided it was time to kill the Kat’s curiosity. Outside were dozens of ice vaults hawking very cheap ice. Inside I found my new river tube and walls and racks loaded with nothing but candy. There was clothing, toys, a deli, BBQ stuff, the usual tourist items, and lots of Buc-ee branded items. It is like the most super-sized gas station and convenience store you can imagine. Now you know.

Vacation went far too fast as always. The next day I had to go back to my RV and work. I dropped by Schlitterbahn to cool off a bit before the long drive home and cash out my Splash Card. Splash cards are like debit cards. They give it to you free with a lanyard to wear and you put money on it to use around the waterpark instead of constantly going to your locker for your wallet. I also took a chance and inquired at the lost and found desk about my hat I lost. I knew the waterslide I lost it on emptied into the main pool so I figured I had a chance. Sure enough, they found it! Hat in hand, I hopped in my truck and headed home.

For more pics of Schlitterbahn click here.

For more pics of Lion’s Club/San Marcos River tubing and Dick’s Car Museum click here.

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