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HIGH IN THE HILLS:  This shot overlooking Medina Lake doesn't really show the real experience you get in real life, but if you're out that way it's worth a stop.  Ms. lntrepid and Nigel the Land Rover waited patiently while I took several photos.  Just ahead we discovered La Cabana, but more on that later...                               

MEDINA LAKE & LUNCH
Story & Photos by IRA KENNEDY

Back home, when we were pulling out of the drive, I remembered we forgot to remember to pack a lunch.  Being hard pressed for time we backed off on our promise not to rely on restaurants again.

Who cared if we had to feast on soggy ice-house sandwiches or anemic hybrid burgers? Adventure beckoned -- actually it was more like a scream after so many weeks of confinement. 


B.jpg (7557 bytes)efore we finished our conversation on how flat the landscape was, the daily liquid intake of so many mesquite and such, I started noticing cedars and limestone -- a sure sign we were entering the Texas Hill Country.  We were on County Road 1283 all the way to Pipe Creek so I had a reprieve from the Roads of Texas map with its teeny-tiny type moving up and down and forward.
       Now don't go looking for CR 1283 on your Rand McNally Texas State Map.  It ain't there. Neither is the community of Mico with the sign advertising "Attorney, Hair Stylist, Ladies Fashions".  I reckoned it was a one-stop-shop for a lady divorce attorney who covered all the bases for any court appearance with a little left over.
       Like I was saying, we were starting our climb into the Hill Country with Nigel the Land Rover was earning his keep, when we topped a sizeable hill -- I'm sure its considered a mountain on USGS maps -- and off to the left was panoramic view of Media Lake.
       I didn't have to tell Ms. Intrepid to pull over.   I piled out with my Sony digital camera and a couple of floppys to take it all in for posterity, or at least the balance of my life.  (I have a pretty good idea which will come first.)
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       Then I took the first picture of Nigel the Land Rover in nearly two months, and later the photo above as we coasted down the far side.  We were in the Hill Country for certain.  Then it happened.
       I gazing off into space when Ms. Intrepid slowed down kinda sudden like and turned into a parking lot while she commented about the cute little restaurant, it looked promising and did I want to stop.  By then we were already parked with dust settling around our tires. 
       The place, La Cabana, was cute alright, and if the menu was as varied as the paint job we were in luck.  I reckon whoever worked up the color scheme must have been raised with the BIG box of Crayola crayons. Lucky stiff.   (That reminds me.  Seems Martha Stewart has come up with "new colors" in her line up of paints.  I didn't know that was possible, but my experience has been limited to color wheels, prisms and rainbows. So what do I know.)
statue.jpg (16311 bytes)        You can usually judge the quality of a restaurant by the availability of parking space, and this place was packed.  We were seated in the back at the only empty table and before long we were served iced tea, chips and salsa -- all fresh and homemade.
       The only drawback to the experience was the noise the window made as it was being rattled by the air conditioner outside.  Ms. Intrepid said it sounded like a woodpecker on crack which pretty well sums it up.  At first we tried stuffing something along the window frame but nothing held.
       Then came the food.  Ms. Intrepid ordered their Chicken Enchiladas Verde topped with fresh tomatillo sauce with cheese melted on top and real guacamole on the side.  Being less adventurous I settled on the Beef Enchiladas with rice, beans, and lettuce & tomato salad.  On a scale of one to ten these folks get a nine point nine.  Once I started in on the meal I forgot all about the crackhead woodpecker so I only deducted one-tenth a point.TurnA.jpg (4971 bytes)
       Before leaving I took photos, inside and out, pleased to report that our run of bad luck lunch search had been broken.  Next stop: Bandera, Texas, the Cowboy Capital of the World.

PAGE 1: ON THE ROAD, FINALLY /   PAGE 2: MEDINA LAKE
PAGE 3: DETOUR TO PRIVILEGE  PAGE 4: BANDERA 
PAGE 5: LOST MAPLES & BEYOND  /  THE MAP

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Texas Hill Country Wine: Torrie de Pietra Vineyards and Winery near Fredericksburg Texas