The Open Road : September-October 2012
We're lightweights. That's our biggest strength. You don't need a huge vehicle to tow your Adria caravan, so you'll always be miles ahead on running costs. Every Adria model is low in weight but ultra-strong and stable, designed for tough Australian conditions, and complete with a factory-backed 2 year warranty. No wonder there's more than 800 Adrias on the road, all around Australia. www.adriamobil.com.au www.carlons.com.au GMV 0242 Picture for Illustration purposes Carlon Caravans (02) 4272 6000 105 - 107 Princess Highway, Unanderra NSW A MUSICAL VACATION IN AUSTIN, TEXAS NRMA MEMBERS SAVE 5% WHEN BOOKING THROUGH NRMA TRAVEL Call 1300 292 803 or visit www. nrmatravel.com.au for full details TEXAS: THE LONE STAR STATE 13 days/12 nights from $1738* NRMA Members twin share Guided sightseeing tours and stays in Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Avery Island and New Orleans. 10 breakfasts. Valid for sale: Until Oct 31, 2012 Valid for travel: Departs once a month, Jan -- Jun & Sep. Twice during Oct 2013 BONUS Apr 2, 2013 experiences New Orleans French Quarter Festival. Oct 1 and 15, 2013 experiences the Texas State Fair (surcharges apply) AMERICA'S MUSICAL HERITAGE 10 days/9 nights from $2241* NRMA Members twin share Take a tour through a tapestry of country, blues, rock 'n' roll and jazz. Your experienced tour guide will take you from Nashville to Memphis, Clarksdale and Frogmore, finishing at New Orleans. 14 meals, plus stays in centrally-located four-star hotels Valid for sale: Until Oct 31, 2012 Valid for travel: Selected dates Apr12--May17,Sep6--Nov8,2013 NEW ORLEANS TO LA CROSS-COUNTRY TRIP 12 days/11 nights from $1849* for 18-30-something NRMA Members See seven southwest states on this fun-filled guided tour staying in Austin, Santa Fe, Grand Canyon & Las Vegas to name a few. Includes 15 meals, sightseeing in major cities and national park entry fees. Valid for sale: Until Oct 31, 2012 Valid for travel: Selected departures May4--Nov2,2013 * Terms and conditions apply. IVE MORE TEXAS MUSIC VENUES Granada Theater, Dallas. Opened as a movie house in 1946, its mural- covered walls now rock to the best live music. See www. granadatheater.com Billy Bob's Texas, Fort Worth. The world's largest honky-tonk holds 6000 people and features live bull riding on Friday and Saturday nights. See www. billybobstexas.com Armadillo Palace, Houston. Grab the pistol door handles and pass under a thicket of antler horns to discover this saloon bar. See www.thearmadillo palace.com Gruene Hall, Gruene. Built in 1878, this is Texas' oldest continually-running dance hall and the birthplace of many great songwriters including George Strait, Lyle Lovett and Joe Ely. See www. gruenehall.com The Grand 1894 Opera House, Galveston. This gorgeous old opera house suffered extensive damage from Hurricane Ike in 2008, but has been lovingly restored to its former glory. See www.thegrand.com is watching couples twirl around the dance floor of the Continental Club on a Saturday afternoon. There are disappointments. The warehouse-like La Zona Rosa -- one of the city's best-known venues -- lacks atmosphere and intimacy, but overall the quality of the bands and the venues is impressively high. While live music is Austin's biggest drawcard, there are other reasons to visit. Texas might not immediately spring to mind as a culinary destination, but Austin has a remarkably vibrant food scene, including an intriguing selection of food trucks. You'll find a dozen clustered on a South Congress Avenue parking lot, serving up everything from hot dogs to fried pickles to cupcakes. There are more traditional attractions too, such as the Bob Bullock Texas Museum, which will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about the Lone Star State. Inside, you'll find The Star of Destiny -- a presentation on the origins of the state. There's also the imposing dome-topped State Capitol building, which is free to enter and houses two impressive paintings depicting the battles at the Alamo and San Jacinto. However, my most enduring memory of Austin isn't the museums, the food or even the music; it's the generous hospitality and unfailing courteousness of its residents. Walk into any store, bar or restaurant and you'll be greeted with the same singsong: "How y'awl doin?" People in the city are almost exhaustingly polite, from laundrette attendants ("Here honey, let me help you with that") to lead singers ("I just wanna thank y'awl so much for comin' to see us tonight"). Once somebody discovers you've visited "all the way from Austrayleeya" -- expect a rock star's welcome. Which, coming from the Live Music Capital of the World, feels kinda neat. FROM TOP: Sixth Street -- where it all happens; one of the many food trucks; some of Allen's boots!