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On a recent long weekend, we ventured outside of Dallas into the countryside of Texas. We've lived in Texas long enough to call it home, but I don't think we'll ever get used to how enormous it really is! We thought about driving to Big Bend National Park, but after a quick search regarding drive time we put that idea on the back burner. Instead, we headed about 2 hours southwest of Dallas for our family getaway. We had planned to get back to nature - fish, hike, ride bikes, toast marshmallows for s'mores. Plans foiled again. The temperatures were unusually cold which prevented us from doing anything except sit inside by a crackling fire. I was totally fine with that, but two other people in my party (that shall remain nameless) need to be in constant motion.
So, I put on my cruise director hat and found a fun side trip to get us out from our cozy retreat. If you are ever near the small Texas town of Dublin, stop in at the Dublin Bottling Works for a tour of their soda bottling plant. (I use the word plant very liberally here.) This family owned company has been bottling sodas since 1891 at their tiny, historic plant which happens to be the oldest bottling facility in the State of Texas. Dublin Bottling Works also has the distinct honor of being the first facility to bottle Dr. Pepper. Nope, it wasn't in Waco. Our tour guide gave us the ins and outs of the intertwined history between Dublin and Dr. Pepper as well as a tour of their incredible memorabilia collection and of course the machines that still bottle their delicious sodas made from real cane sugar. Root Beer, Red Cola, Green Apple, Blueberry, Vanilla, Pink Grapefruit, Ginger Ale, Vintage Cola, Grape, Orange Dream... we couldn't decide on a favorite. Each was unique and delicious. The vintage designed labels on the glass bottles pay homage to this company's long history as the Keepers of the Sweet!