Jan. 19: Stars & Stripes, New Braunfels TX

It’s Day 19 of my virtual Drive-In-a-Day Odyssey, time for another long Texas drive. This time, I drove from Mercedes TX, near the southern tip of the state, past San Antonio to New Braunfels, home of the Stars & Stripes Drive-In Theatre. It only took four and a half hours, one hour less than yesterday. Fun times.

The Stars & Stripes in New Braunfels has only been around since 2015 (so recent that I found a news video that’s still active to embed here), but its big brother in Lubbock was built in 2003. From my time in Texas, I remember New Braunfels as the home of the original Schlitterbahn water park and (separately) for inner tubing down the Guadalupe River. That’s all still here, but now New Braunfels looks like a movie town, with a 14-screen megaplex, an Alamo Drafthouse, and best of all, this fresh new drive-in.

The concession stand had some great prices for freshly made burgers and corn fritters with honey. Add the regulars of popcorn and bottled water, and I was set for the night.

With three screens to choose from, I was happy to find one early movie that I hadn’t seen yet. Which is why I watched Patriots Day, not just because it fits the Stars & Stripes theme.

Miles Today / Total:  284 / 2578 (rounded to the nearest mile)

Movie Showing / Total Active Nights: Patriots Day / 13

Nearby Restaurant: After a visit to Germany in November, I’ve developed a taste for German cuisine, but only if it’s authentic. After asking around, I found the Alpine Haus Restaurant. They seem to specialize in schnitzels, and while those are great, I prefer the tender, unbreaded schweinebraten. And Hofbrau Original beer, of course.

Where I Virtually Stayed: The water park is closed for the season, so I got a great rate at The Resort at Schlitterbahn. It always looked great when I’d visit during warmer months, and I can tell that it’s been around for a few decades, but the staff was very welcoming. Maybe they were just glad to see someone when the water slides aren’t running.

Only in New Braunfels: According to Wikipedia, this place was established in 1844 by Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels, Germany. After encouraging German immigrants to migrate to his land grant, the prince left within a year. His successor discovered that the prince had deliberately chosen a little-used port of entry and an isolated overland route to New Braunfels to keep the Germans from interacting with any Americans. According to his lieutenant, the prince had planned to establish a German feudal state by secretly bringing in immigrants and placing them in military fortresses.

Next Stop: Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive In, Austin TX.

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