Ah, summer in Texas. Rangers’ baseball, 100+ heat, (and this year), Dallas Mavericks playoff basketball, and tubing the rivers of the Hill Country.

I can only hope that this post doesn’t find you residing in a scenario where you have yet to take part in one of the most holy, quintessentially Texan of all traditions. Tubing the Guadalupe, or Comal for that matter, is an experience that few other states can offer.

Simply put: If you haven’t yet. It’s about time to get to it. Below are some resources available to help you in your quest for the spirit of Texas summers…

Gruene Texas - It’s kind of crazy how one small town can have just about everything you need for a fun day of tubing. River outfitters, great restaurants and, in case you haven’t made the connection yet: The legendary Gruene Hall. Texas’ grandest and oldest dance hall. If tunes are blaring from the open widows that line the walls of this hollowed palace, than it’s time to get on in and grab a cold one.

Also, check out the Comal River for tubing good-times…

OK, that’s enough to at least get you started. Believe us, it’s almost a deal where you will have a hard time convincing other Texan’s that you’re a real Texan if you can’t say you’ve tubed the river. It’s kind of like saying you haven’t seen Willie Nelson live in-concert, or paid your respects at the Alamo…wait, you have done those things, right??


Not sure about you, but one of my favorite places in Texas is Gruene. Gruene and the iconic, music lover’s staple, Gruene Hall might have faded away – it was pretty much a ghost town until the 70s – had it not been for the hard work and TLC of  Pat Molak.

Thankfully, Molak bought Gruene Hall in 1975, made a few tiny repairs and the 6,000 sqft, open-air dance hall became a starting point for many of Texas’ up-and-coming performers, and once again, the heart of Gruene. With the help of Mary Jane Nalley, Molak labored to preserve Gruene by purchasing and spiffying up several of Gruene’s most notable structures and transforming them into thriving businesses.

Molak and Nalley remain committed still today to the town’s motto, ‘Gently resisting change since 1872′, and devoted to preserving the town’s spirit.

And speaking of Gruene and Mary Jane Nalley, she sends this press release today:



  • Road will close for street activities & shopping for 2 full hours
  • Cowboy Kringle’s Kids’ Workshop will be open
  • Face painting
  • Musical performance by New Braunfels High School Choir
  • Fire Truck “The Demon” onsite for children to explore
  • Glow sticks available for purchase
  • Festival food & wine available street-side

Gruene’s annual town lighting has created a memorable experience for a number of local and visiting families for many years, and Cowboy Kringle’s appearance on horseback is a magical moment for adults and children alike.  As in previous years, we’ll have a live musical performance by Centex Brass Quintet and Cowboy Kringle will light the many brilliant lights of Gruene and hand out candy canes to the children.

In addition, visitors will be able to safely stroll a closed block of the historic district from 5 to 7pm. Caroling will be performed by the New Braunfels High School Choir.  Cowboy Kringle’s Kids’ Workshop will be open, alongside face painting and popcorn – all benefiting Communities in Schools.

Other festival food will include kettle corn, coffee and hot chocolate benefiting Cub Scout Pack 380, Christmas cookies by 2Tarts and funnel cakes benefiting the Comal Cops for Kids Foundation. Mulled & spiced wines will be sold outside The Grapevine. Children will also be to get in and explore the New Braunfels’ fire truck, known as “The Demon.” Glow sticks will be available for purchase through Got Toys.



All are welcome in Gruene as we kick off this year’s Holiday Season celebrations.

Downtown Gruene Historic District, New Braunfels, TX
December 5th from 5 to 7pm
Public welcome. Free admission.
FEATURING: Live entertainment and appearance by Cowboy Kringle on horseback.

And, hell, speaking of Gruene Hall…I never miss an opportunity to see Robert Earl Keene when he’s in Gruene. And speaking of REK, here’s Merry Christmas From the Family…