January 16, 2008

a taste of the lone star state

Since I'm playing catch-up here on the blog, I thought I'd post some pictures I promised way back when. November found my husband and I in Texas. He had to travel for business and thanks to some frequent flier miles from his buddy, I got to go too! He's been to Texas a few times for work but this was my first time there. Actually, it's the farthest west I've ever been. I really loved it - the weather was awesome! I wish we would have had time to go to west Texas but it was a jam-packed trip as it was. Maybe next time...

We flew into Dallas but immediately got on a connecting flight to San Antonio. My friend's daughter just moved there a few months ago and we stayed a few nights with them. The first thing we did was check out the San Antonio Riverwalk in downtown San Antonio. It was the coolest thing. Here is a picture one of the many outdoor restaurants available. It was so peaceful to me, but then again, I do have a thing for water.

Then we went to the Alamo, which is also in the middle of downtown San Antonio. Actually, we took a Segway tour first. I was going to post pictures of us doing that but we looked like morons with our helmets on. It was a wonderful way to see a lot of San Antonio in a short amount of time though. We really enjoyed ourselves. The tour guide was very informative. He took us along another part of the Riverwalk and also to the Tower of Americas Observation Deck building. He also took us through the historical King William neighborhood. Some beautiful houses! I would have taken pictures but we were flying by on the Segways! :) So anyway, back to the Alamo...It was really neat but kind of creepy to me. I don't know why.
I guess I should tell you that my husband has two main objectives when site-seeing. History and baseball parks/stadiums. Well, stadiums in general. I tell him that as long as they have a gift shop, I'm good. :) Here is the first of a few stadiums we saw. This one is where the AAA minor league team, Round Rock Express, plays. They are owned by Nolan Ryan. It was a newer facility and they gave us the run of it. We walked in and the lady running the store was originally from our hometown! We were far from home so this was a surprise for sure!

Day two - AUSTIN
Then it was off for a little more history. We went to the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library on the University of Texas campus. I love history of the First Ladies so this was a treat for me. Especially once I saw the handwritten letter from my favorite First Lady, Jackie Kennedy Onassis. No matter what your political opinions, anytime you have the opportunity to go to a Presidential library, GO. Take your family. It's an American thing to do. It was awesome. We plan to seek out more to go to. (By the way, they were working on the plaza of the library so that's why there are tarps and the like in the picture.)

And of course, since we were within walking distance of the University of Texas stadium, we just HAD to have a look. :)
Then, it was on to the State Capitol Building. I'm ashamed to say that before I married my husband, I didn't even know states had capitol buildings. But they do. We've been to the one in our own state and it was really neat. So, going to this one was a treat for me too. Lots of history here. I love to see how things were constructed in another time and another place. This building was actually planned as the city was planned so it fits in really neatly. Again, I recommend going. But get there before 5, because although the doors are open after that, there isn't much going on and NO one is around.
The inside of the dome. Isn't that beautiful?
We had dinner at this really neat place that's been there for years. It was called Threadgill's World Headquarters Restaurant, formerly Armadillo World Headquarter where lots and lots of famous people have come to sing. There was live music that night which was neat. I wish we would have stayed longer. Handsome tried to get me to stay but I didn't.

Day three - JOHNSON CITY
We headed towards Dallas on day three. Along the way, we stopped by Lyndon B. Johnson's childhood home. It's actually an exact replica that LBJ had built in the exact location. Pretty interesting. It wasn't far from LBJ's ranch but we didn't have time to make it over that way.
Somewhere along the way on that third day, we stopped at the Koffee Kup. Wonderful pie. I mean, wonderful! We also ate at a place called the Blue Bonnet Cafe in Marble Falls and I think that was on day three too. I don't know. If I looked at a map, I could tell you because it was all on the way to Dallas. The Blue Bonnet was cool. One of those hole in the wall places that's been around forever. I felt like I was in a movie or something. Same thing with the Koffee Kup.
Day four - DALLAS
We made it to Dallas on day three but it was way past bedtime when we got there! The next morning, we went to Dealey Plaza and the Book Depository Building. I got a creepy feeling there. I guess I never thought much about that time in history. I mean, I know tons about Jackie but being there was surreal. It affected me more than I ever thought it would.

Dealey PlazaCan you believe that they paint a white "x" in the road where the car was when he was shot? It gave me goosebumps. More than 40 years later and still an "x" marks the spot.
Acting on a suggestion (thank you!), we went to the Fort Worth Stock Exchange. This was so really interesting! Lots of shopping, some restaurants, and just the history of it all. Oh, and the cattle drives...
Every day of the week, they have a cattle drive twice a day. It was Sunday when we were there so there weren't that many, but that didn't stop one of them from wandering away. He came right up to us and just before he stepped up on the sidewalk to join us, a cowgirl came flying in and got between him and us. I wasn't that scared but there were some guys around us that were. Speaking of horns, you aren't going to believe what I did...
Look at me! Fat rolls and all. The way you have to sit in a saddle makes you thrust your gut forward, so there I am. This was one BIG boy. I am rather short and I almost didn't make it up there! What an adventure - I mean, do you SEE those horns?I have no idea what day but I'm sure my better half could tell you - ARLINGTON
We stopped by the Rangers Ballpark but they were closed. He did get his baseball though because the store was open. (For every park we visit, he buys a baseball for his collection. He's got a bunch!)
A bigger picture of the ballpark in Arlington.
And somewhere along the way, we saw Dr. Pepper Ballpark in Frisco, Texas. I don't know who plays there...
We also saw the Dallas Mavericks arena (and sat in the season opener game traffic) and we saw the Dallas Cowboys Stadium. My husband was one happy camper! We were in Dallas because my husband was meeting up with the guy he works with down there. We went to dinner with him and his wife. They are the nicest folks! I forget the name of the restaurant but it was really good Mexican food. My husband will remember the name - he's good like that. :)

The next day, he went on to Houston for business meetings and I flew home. It took five cities but I finally made it home. We landed once to pick up more people, then I had a connecting flight, and then I had to drive home from the final airport. It was a long trip but so worth it! I'm so envious of you Texans. I loved it! But I have one question...where was all the country music in Austin? I thought there'd be tons but I never did see it.

So, I don't blog for more than a month and then you get this MEGA post. Well, better late than never, I guess. :) Thank goodness for the interweb or I would never have remembered some of this stuff!

0 rays through the fog:

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