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“Nothing burns like the cold. But only for a while. Then it gets inside you and starts to fill you up, and after a while you don't have the strength to fight it.” George R.R. Martin

February has long spelled vacation in this hemisphere. Winter is at its most ferocious and days remain short just to rub it in. The “Holidays” are by now tidied-up memories of good behavior and family pleasantry. In most of Europe, regional schools take turns spending a week in the Alps to keep down the crowds. America celebrates its presidents and lovers and the Superbowl, mostly to distract. So we went to Texas, the sunny land of bluebonnets, armadillos and Bucee’s, where Texas-size plumbing leads to ads like this: “The top 2 reasons to visit are #1 and #2.”

We went because of a son’s major turn of the odometer. He lives in Austin and had us paddle boarding on Lady Bird Lake and river hiking in the Hill Country made famous by the second 2 most important 20th Century president. Think the guy who would halt his Cadillac convertible on hilly curves so trailing Secret Service agents could “refresh” the ice-laden glass he held out the window with Cutty Sark. It sounded inviting and, frankly, COVID relieving.

(Open the attached file to read the rest of this essay by our office manager Charles Walsh, about his trip to Texas in February.)