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Friday, March 11, 2016

Road to Vegas, Day 1 (Van Horn, Texas)

Headed out a little after 11 a.m. on the road for Vegas and the GAMA Trade Show, March 14-18, where we will be exhibiting Skirmisher Publishing's product line for game store retailers. Drove 435 miles, about a third the distance to our destination, and stopped for the night in Van Horn, Texas, where we checked into the historic El Capitan Hotel and ate dinner at the famous Chuy's restaurant

Above left, lobby of the El Capitan Hotel, which was built in 1930. Above right, the mural at Chuy's, which depicts Jesus guiding John Madden's touring bus to the restaurant, an event that has been attributed to much of its subsequent success. 

Started off heading south on Highway 281 to Bulverde, where we picked up Highway 46 west in Bulverde and took it to the junction with I-10 in Boerne to avoid going through San Antonio (although we are going to look at going even further north and west through Hill Country and picking up I-10 in Fredericksburg next time). Rained the first 200 miles or so, which slowed our progress and made the trip considerably more hazardous and stressful than it otherwise would have been, especially as many Texans do not know how to drive in inclement weather. Stopped for lunch in Junction, a little town at the westernmost edge of Hill Country, and ate lunch at Dairy Queen (the rules for what we will eat and where going out the window on a road trip); fries were nice and hot. 

Above left, the sign for Chuy's on the main street in Van Horn. Above right, Van Horn looks pretty quiet during the day, but those tracks in the midground of this picture get pretty busy at night, when about one train an hour goes noisily blasting by. 

When we passed through Van Horn six years ago, on our way to Las Vegas for the same trade show, we stayed at one of the many local motels but noticed the beautiful El Capitan Hotel, and I was resolved to stay there this time. After getting situated in our room, we headed out to dinner around 7 p.m. and as the sun set walked the half mile or so up main street to it. When we ate there previously Diane, upon the recommendation of our friend Karen Holmes, Diane had gotten the carne asado, which I tried and thought was wonderful. She has been talking about it ever since.and it was the only thing either of us was interested in ordering this time, and we were not disappointed.