How can you beat a weekend adventure that includes camels, caverns, and croquet in the Texas Hill Country? Sounds like fun so we packed our safari hats, added a flashlight, and some sporting gear and headed to T Bar M Resort in New Braunfels for a fun weekend.
T Bar M Resort & Conference Center is just a few miles from downtown New Braunfels and it's conveniently located to lots of fun things to see and do. For us it was the perfect place to spend some time enjoying all of the resort amenities, a wildlife safari, a round of golf, some music at Gruene Hall, a dip in the Guadalupe river, and a cave tour - by Monday, I was exhausted but sure had a great time.
On our way to T Bar M, we couldn't resist stopping for a round of golf at Landa Park Golf Course. Not a great way to start the weekend - I lost 3 golf balls, about killed a deer with a stray golf ball, collected a lot of sand from the bunkers in my hair and shoes, knocked a lot of bark and branches off the trees, and lost a margarita, which I badly needed after playing so poorly. Landa Park Golf Course is a fun 18 hole course that plays along the Comal River and next to Schlitterbahn Waterpark - it was 100 degrees when we played and there were several times I was tempted to give up golf and tube down the river! We were surprised by the good course conditions and several fun holes and reasonable rates - read our review of Landa Park Golf Course to learn more about this course.
Thank God it was only 10 minutes from Landa Park to T Bar M and their pool, which I was soaking in within 5 minutes after checking in. Now I'm in heaven - cool water and a cold beer - and I quickly forgot about golf and started mentally focusing on winning back my margarita. T Bar M is a game and sports enthusiasts heaven - their motto is "160 acres of fun!" Any direction you look and anywhere you walk, you'll find another game or activity to enjoy. Next to the pool and the Lone Star Grill is a putting green with nine holes and a huge Sports Complex which is home to a gift shop, full basketball court, tennis courts, fitness room with everything I needed to lose some calories from drinking margaritas (of course I never used it!), and the game area with pool, foosball, ping pong, air hockey, and shuffle board.
It was tough making a decision on what to do next until I heard "bet you a another margarita that I can beat you in pool and a game a horse (basketball)." It was hard to leave the pool and grill patio, but it was time for the next game and the start of the T Bar M Olympics. It didn't take long for me to head back to the Lone Star Grill to buy another round of drinks as well as some appetizers. Lone Star Grill serves a breakfast buffet, lunch, and dinner. The menu includes appetizers, burgers, pulled pork sandwiches, corn dogs, salads, meatloaf, pot roast, fajita tacos, and more - plus cold drinks including margaritas!
By 8:30 I was ready for bed - all the muscle groups had been used, the Advil didn't seem to be working, and I could barely walk. But on the way back to our hotel room we walked past the "movie under the stars" which was Mrs Doubtfire and the popcorn smelled so good, I had to pull up a chair and watch the rest of the movie, which was followed by a good night's sleep.
Saturday started with the breakfast buffet at Lone Star Grill - delicious sausage, scrambled eggs, potatoes, pancakes, cereal, juices, and more. Because of all that exercise the day before, after my third trip to the buffet the staff was calling me by my first name! But I now had enough carbs loaded and ready for another day, so I waddled to the Jeep and put the top down - it was time to go on a Safari! No way I'm losing a margarita on this adventure.
It's a scenic 15 minute drive through the rolling hill country to Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch which is a drive through an "African safari, Texas style." We took a leisurely 4 mile drive though some scenic ranch land in hopes of spotting, touching, and feeding some of the 500 animals from 40 exotic, native, and threatened species. We saw a wide variety of species, had an ostrich stick it's head in the Jeep, a zebra lick my hand, a ram looked ready to ram the Jeep, and lots more. Here is a link to learn more about our Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch Safari. I was sure I would be the first to spot a camel, but lost that bet too!
From the safari it was back to the pool and some more games (a set of tennis then golf - a putting contest, a short round of frisbee golf, and some ladder golf) - finally, I was sipping a cold one that someone else paid for! And I got brave and challenged my worthy opponent to a game of lawn chess - my sore body need a rest and I was out of Advil.
After a another dip in the pool to cool off we hit the road for a 15 minute drive to Gruene for a swim in the Guadalupe River (wished we had scheduled some extra time for tubin') while the ladies were checking out the shops, a good dinner at Gruene River Grill, and Roger Creager at the infamous Gruene Hall. Roger was fantastic and Gruene Hall is a classic - built in 1878, it is one of the oldest dance halls in texas and everybody from Willie Nelson to Pat Green to Bo Diddley to Garth Brooks to Lyle Lovett to George Strait have played here. A fun filled day!
The next morning I was warmly greeted by the same friendly staff at the Lone Star Grill - "good morning Mike, we have lots of good food to get you ready for your games and adventures today." I loaded up on carbs and was ready to go (after some more Advil and lots of stretching to loosen up the sore muscles). Today's olympics was washers, croquet, horseshoes, and shuffleboard. No comment! However, I did find out that Advil didn't help my throwing arm.
Next up was a short trip to Natural Bridge Caverns for a cave tour. Natural Bridges is Texas' largest underground adventure and it is very impressive with majestic and natural formations ranging from gigantic towering columns to fragile soda straws. Read about our tour of Natural Bridge Caverns to learn why this is an adventure you should add to your list of "things to do in Texas." After a great tour it was time to head home to rest the tired body!
What a fun filled weekend and T Bar M was the perfect location and a great place to stay - friendly service, reasonable rates, comfortable accommodations, and lots to do.