Pambling Roads continues. Our adventures keep us looking forward to meeting new people, seeing new towns, and experiencing different foods from different parts of the country. Well, Texas is huge! Texas is awesome and we took our time traveling through the state.
Next stop: TEXAS
We only stayed two nights north of Galveston at the LaQuinta in Baytown, TX.
Our first night after what felt like a long drive, we just didn’t want to do anything. We dined at the Tuscany Italian restaurant in Baytown, Tx. It’s a family owned restaurant, our server’s name was Tony. The service was good, the food was good, the atmosphere was wonderful, and it was very relaxing. The restaurant was half full and we knew we had beat the busy dinner rush. It was Italian cuisine that was mouthwatering perfection.
First thing in the morning, we drove to Galveston. An awesome and fascinating place to visit if you are interested in learning about historical events in the area.
We wouldn’t know what to tell you. It looked like an excellent interesting and fun outdoor entertainment facility for all ages. I believe we would have loved writing about it. However, they wouldn’t let us enter because they don’t allow water bottles, drinks, or food. I understand the “drinks or food” completely. A security guard was there to make sure no one went through with any food or drinks. But, there was no way I was giving up my water when it was steaming hot outside. The cloud coverage was doubling the humidity making it feel like we were walking around in a hot oven. I didn’t want to walk around for hours without my precious water in 90+ degree weather so we didn’t go. There was no way I was going to take a chance of getting overheated, or worse, heat prostration. I could see the headlines…Floridian passes out from Texas Heat.
Sorry, but I’m not dehydrating in that kind of weather and passing out for anybody. Well, I guess I could have and then sued them…nah, that’s not me, I just tell people not to go there, that they are not customer friendly.
A few people turned around and left while we were talking to security about letting us in with our water bottles. When they saw that he wasn’t going to bend about water, they left as well.
We told a few people at the bottom of the entrance that water wasn’t allowed, some turned around and left, and one woman put their bottles in her purse and they went in that way.
There were a few stores where we did some shopping, although, we didn’t spend any money in the downtown area at all.
We took the Pink Trolley tour, Treasure Isle tour train which was informative, the guide was polite and interesting person with a great sense of humor.
The tour was about an hour and a half and we learned about the infamous hurricane, the Seawall, why they built up/lifted all the houses and historic buildings, the Moody Mansion,
Jean Lafitte’s home, and much more. There is no kiosk or anything to buy tickets. You go to the tour train at the available hours of 9:30am, Noon, or 2:30pm and if there is room, you pay the driver (cash only) and off you go.
The Moody Mansion
We toured the Moody mansion, formerly owned by one of the prominent Texas financial tycoons. This home has been beautifully restored. The Moody’s were a prominent family in Galveston. (No, I did not bring my water. I know museums don’t allow it and, well, it is inside where it is air-conditioned.) No photographs are allowed. The home was absolutely gorgeous, with great history behind it. It is 28,000 square feet of breathtaking rooms that have been restored to its former glory. If we ever go back to Galveston, I would definitely want to see this home again.
At the end of the Moody Mansion tour, we didn’t know it had ended. It was really odd, the tour guide practically ended the tour mid-sentence. The guide opened the doors talking about the porches and what you can see from them. The tour group went through them and then she shut the doors behind us. She didn’t say anything about it being over, no that concludes our tour, no thank you, no good bye, no appreciate your being here for the tour … nothing. She just shut the door behind us. We, the group, waited for her to come out, expecting more because there had been no conclusion, but she never came out. People looked around in confusion asking each other if they had missed something. Nobody knew it was the end of the tour.
She left us hanging there waiting for her to come out. We, the group, probably waited for her to come out for about 5 minutes and when she never came out, we, just looked at each other, not sure what to do. One gentleman commented that he guessed it was over. Another commented that it would have been nice if she had said something. So, we all left, walking around the outer porch area to where the tour started and went to our vehicles. Still not sure if it was over…
We did walk back to the ticket office where they sold a few memorabilia (No, we did not say anything) and picked up a few things. By the time we were done, it was pouring rain so we left for the day and moved on to central Texas the next day.
Some residents have a sense of humor and have created scultptures with old stumps.
Some residents have a sense of humor and have created scultptures with old stumps.
The Alamo in San Antonio, TX
Misión San Antonio de Valero, the Alamo. I have heard of the Alamo for as long as I can remember. The words “Remember the Alamo” resonated in my head, and when I was younger, had no idea what it meant. Now, as an adult, I understand that it is hallowed ground, a tribute to those who lost their lives, making the ultimate sacrifice for something they passionately believed in, freedom.
So, of course, my husband and I being who we are could not miss touring The Alamo.
History tells us that it was originally a mission. Depending on your history teacher, you learned that it was a vicious battle over the control of San Antonio in the Texas Revolution with no survivors—at least that is how I remember it. Sometimes, unless you personally dig deeper, you have to depend on that vague memory, whether it be correct or not. The Alamo was one of those places, where my husband and I remembered the history vaguely yet, not quite correctly.
The Alamo is located in downtown San Antonio and not difficult to find. There were signs everywhere. Admission is free. Of course, they accept donations. I was even lucky enough to get a picture taken with a real Texas Ranger.
As we toured the Alamo, we did not see any bullet holes or cannon holes in the remaining original structure (This doesn’t mean there weren’t any). However, inside the original walls, we did see some marks from obvious bullet/ball holes.
There is a copy of the famous letter written by the Commander of the Texan rebels asking for help to defend the “People of Texas and All Americans” and signed “Victory of Death”.
We stayed at the Rodeway Inn, consistent as always, comfortable, and clean.
We went to Kimble County museum. The museum and was jam-packed with history. We spoke with the proprietor and one of the other volunteers for a little while. Just speaking with them about the area and Texas, was wonderful. They were both filled with historical information.
South Llano River Park
It was beautiful. They allow camping, swimming, and have tube rentals if anyone is interested. My husband put his feet in the river and we drove around the area watching and spotting the different wildlife.
They have raw campsites for tents and they have sites for motor homes, too. There are several hiking trails and a small section where you can drive. They allow swimming and they have tubes that can be rented if you would like to use tubes in the river. There are several turkey roosting areas that they request that you be careful hiking through and have limited hiking during certain times of the year to protect the birds and their nesting areas.
At the park, we met a gentleman and his little boy from the big bend area and chatted with them for a while. Speaking with him was enlightening. He spoke about Texas and you could hear the love and pride he has for Texas country. He reminded me of all the books I have read about Texas heroes, their gentle, yet a strong spirit. It was right in front of me, exactly as it was written in all of those books about Texas men.
Fort McKavett historical site in Texas Hill Country was next on our “to do” list. Located near the San Saba River, it was a military command post in the 1850’s to the 1880’s. It had almost twenty original buildings and ruins of the fort still standing. It is an old western fort that played a major role in the settlement of West Texas.
It is noted that General Sherman considered it the prettiest post in Texas. It also housed four regiments of the Buffalo Soldiers.
For a short time, it was closed with a command to withdraw from the area and later reopened and reconstructed by the army after the Civil War. A lot of history with this fort and well worth the time to go off the beaten path for a great historical adventure.
Van Horn, TX
We stayed at the Econo Lodge in Van Horn. The pool was not available to use. Not great since it was 102 degrees the day we arrived and didn’t get much cooler while we were there.
The movies, Blue Sky, Dead Man’s Walk and Lonesome Dove were filmed in Van Horn and portions of west Texas. Van Horn has a unique saying about its town. “The town is so healthy we had to shoot a man to start a cemetery.
Driving around looking for adventure, we came across Lobo, Texas. A ghost town of sorts. It was obvious that this was a privately owned property. However, there were several older homes that were on the property leaving us with the impression that the town had been abandoned.
We decided to head to the Wylie Mountain area. We caught pictures of several dust devils. Some of them lasted for several minutes. On our way back from the mountains, my husband hit the brakes. A road runner had done exactly what everyone says they will do to you, ran straight across the road in front of us. We pulled over as quickly as possible. I was able to grab some great pictures of the roadrunner…in the Wylie Mountain area. Alas, we did not see any coyotes until we were in New Mexico.
Clark Hotel Historical Museum
This is probably one of the best local museum tours we have been through. It is in the process of being repaired—sort of, so what you see is what it has become as it has aged in the last 100 plus years. It was a large building used in the downtown business district as a saloon, post office, county courthouse, until it was purchased and made into a hotel by the Clark family.
The museum has no admission price. Donations are welcome. The elegant mahogany saloon bar in the main entrance is well preserved with a few markings/swells from the heat of a fire that had started in one of the rooms. There are several artifacts and displays from several industries: mining, ranching, railroad, and furnishings to name a few. They have photos of petroglyphs and a section of Native American artifacts on display. They even have a huge dinosaur bone.
The tour of the second floor shows the different rooms used for the hotel guests and residents. In the rooms, they have displays of personal items from residents of Van Horn from days gone by.
Patricia was our guide and she was wonderful. Her patience with us was perfection, answering all our questions, filling us in on the history of Van Horn from past to present. The museum is a diamond in the rough. What an excellent opportunity it would be to finish refurbishing the building and be able to use it as a hotel as well as museum.
Known for their excellent food and the fact that John Madden bragged about them so much they ended up in the Haul of Fame. Honestly, I had to ask my husband who John Madden was but that’s me. I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who recognize the name. It was extremely busy so we decided to order take-out. The food was absolutely delicious and now we know why Mr. Madden made such a big deal about the food.
Thank you for taking the time to read about our adventures traveling the United States. It has been a great adventure, meeting the Americans, and meeting people from all over the world. Have you been to any of the places I have mentioned? Do you have stories to tell as well? Share with us, we want to hear all about it! Take advantage of comment section below and tell us your stories.
Have a good moments day,
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