Saying Goodbye to Austin, TX

Howdy Buc-ee's!

After a last early morning walk in Austin, TX, we said goodbye around 10:30 for an estimated 6-hour drive and a 344-mile drive to Harlingen, TX! I only took a few pictures during the drive. Heading south on Interstate 35, the corridor between Austin and San Antonio is almost wholly urbanized, so the beautiful Texas Hill Country is hardly visible. Of course, we filled our car at Buc-ee’s, a Texas gas station chain famous for its size; thus, it was a must-experience stop when traveling through the state! This gas station is an excellent example of “Everything is big in Texas.”

From Hill Country via South Texas Pains to the Rio Grande Valley

After San Antonio, we entered the South Texas Plains. The land flattened, and the vegetation became sparse. We saw ranch land and agricultural fields along the highway. Near Harlingen, we entered the Rio Grande Valley. Palm trees started to appear while the landscape remained flat, indicating we entered a subtropical climate.

Harlingen? In Texas?

The name “Harlingen” is fascinating! I have visited the Frisian city quite a few times growing up in Friesland, the Netherlands. This city, near the Gulf of Mexico and the Mexican border, is named after this Frisian town, although indirectly. Harlingen, Texas, got its name from either Harlingen in New Jersey (a second Harlingen in the US!) or Elizabeth Van Harlingen, the Dutch-descended grandmother of the Rio Grande Valley’s railroad builder. Or it might have been a combination of both.

Settling In and Restocking!

After settling into our Airbnb, we drove to the grocery store for a much-needed restocking of snacks, drinks, and food. We will stay here for four days. I can’t wait to revisit the Gulf of Mexico since my favorite activities are walking along the beach, feeling the sand between my toes, looking for unique shells, and hearing the sound of the waves.


Friday, April 12, 2024


344 miles

Moving Time

about 6 hours


81°F, sunny, fresh breeze