TRAVEL HERE/TRAVEL THERE: TRAVEL PLANNING WITH TEXAS HIGHWAYS MAGAZINE
Texas Highways is the only magazine I subscribe to. Oh, I buy Poets & Writers with great regularity and I never mind spending a little time in a grocery store line, because I get a kick out of the celebrity-filled weeklies, but I can live without them. I can’t live with out my Texas Highways.
Other Magazine Loves
In my single days, when travel was not in my budget, magazines were a necessity. I took Smithsonian , Gourmet and Conde Nast Traveler . Each page was a promise to the future. Since those days, I’ve realized many of the dreams those slick magazine pages inspired. Now, my dreams focus on finding a literary agent and getting my novels published (something wilder than my hopes to visit the Taj Mahal), but I read Texas Highways.
Love of Hard Copy
Though completely connected to the digital world, I still love my paper. I might enjoy my Kindle, but it merely feeds my ongoing addiction. It couldn’t replace any one of my twelve Bibles, my hardbound set of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy or my Don Quixote with notes from Dr. Cotter’s class. Nor will email ever replace the thrill of opening the mailbox. Yes, I get snail mail rejections from agents out there, but more often the box is filled with coupons from Market Street, greeting cards and invitations or my latest Texas Highways.
For most of my adult life, I just depended on my parents’ copies of Texas Highways. I can’t remember a time when their coffee table didn’t sport the latest three issues. I was tempted to get my own subscription while I lived in California, but I feared the arrival of each issue would set off a crying jag. I was already suffering from the world’s most severe case of homesickness and didn’t need any encouragement.
Once I returned to Texas, the joy of being home manifested itself with an uncontrollable desire to steal my parents’ Texas Highways. Some picture of an attraction just an hour or so from home would make me think , “I could go there if I wanted to!” I would never take the latest copy of the magazine, just something from their horde of old issues. (We do not throw away Texas Highways in this family. If you don’t believe me, check out my parent’s front bedroom – decades of Texas Highways fill the bottom shelf of a built-in bookcase.) When I discovered the few issues I thought I’d borrowed had become significant stack of reading material, I decided it was time for my own subscription.
My Own Copy
Now one of my favorite days of the month is the day my magazine arrives. I try to guess what the picture on the front cover will be, before I even pull it out of the mailbox. When I’ve guessed correctly and it’s someplace I love, like the Riverwalk in San Antonio or the beach on Padre Island, my face can barely contain my smile. And my favorite month for Texas Highways is March, because that’s when the April Wildflower Issue will arrive.
This April’s edition did not disappoint. The cover is a field of bluebonnets taken in Washington County. The contents page sports Black-eyed Susans and Indian Paintbrushes from Austin’s Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Then page 30 starts an eighteen page orgy of wildflower blooms. If wildflowers are not your thing, then there’s an article about ecotourism in East Texas, a Fine Arts Center in Granbury, bakery treats in Presidio and tales from a road trip to Wimberly.
Since I subscribe, I could already tell you what’s in my May issue, but you’ll just have to get your own subscription. Like my parents, I horde away all my old copies. Sometimes I just pull them out for entertainment and get as much comfort from them as I do from my own scrapbooks. Or I might be writing about an area and need a reminder of the way it looks. Another time I refer to my Texas Highways is when I’m planning a trip. On my last vacation, I found articles that allowed me to appreciate the Texas Grasslands, find a place to eat in Amarillo, plan the most scenic route through the Palo Duro Canyons and add Cadillac Ranch to my itinerary. One of the advertisements pointed me to a website where I found a Pullman Railway Car to stay in at Fredericksburg. And those are just the articles that I actually used on the trip – I had others in reserve that we didn’t utilize.
Most everyone has a magazine they’ll read every time it appears, whether that’s a doctor’s waiting room, under the dryer at a salon or in line at the grocery store. What’s your favorite?