Written by Wildcat Dianne on 21 Jun, 2008
After 5 days on the road and about 2,200 miles of numb butts, traffic jams, and other adventures and misadventures, Mom and I were glad to get into the car at Baton Rouge and start our last day on the road. In about 4…Read More
After 5 days on the road and about 2,200 miles of numb butts, traffic jams, and other adventures and misadventures, Mom and I were glad to get into the car at Baton Rouge and start our last day on the road. In about 4 hours, we would finally arrive at my sister Erika's home in Pensacola, which would be our temporary abode while we got settled in our new life in Florida.
Mom, the zoo, and I hit the road for the final time about 9:30 on Saturday morning for what we thought would be a quick run across the deep south into Florida and little traffic being the weekend and no one was going to work over the weekend. WRONG! We weren't counting on Mother Nature to delay our trip a couple of hours along with stop and go traffic in Mobile, Alabama.
About 70 miles into the trip, the skies opened, and it was pouring buckets on I-12 East. Not wanting to get into an accident because of the lack of visibility, I got off the highway and pulled into a bank parking lot where we waited about 10 minutes for the worst of the storm to pass over us before getting back on the interstate again.
Good thing I pulled over during that storm because ahead of us just before we got onto I-10 from 12, we saw a three-car accident and a couple of Louisiana's finest attending to the people. "Glad I pulled over.", I said to Mom as we passed the accident site.
But the rain wasn't done with us, and we hit another storm shortly after getting onto I-10, but it wasn't as bad as the first one, and I slowed down and bore through the storm. A short time later, Mom and I crossed into Mississippi and I pulled into the Welcome Center so we could stretch our legs and take a potty break after 2 hours of rainy fun on the interstates.
When I was younger and studying for spelling tests for secretarial school, sometimes you had tests that were of the USA and the states. Sometimes, I had to study at Nana's because I took her shopping that day and would spend the night there to spend time wiht her. I would study at Nana's house which sometimes would be a pain because Nana would start singing words I needed to spell. It was really fun when the State of Mississippi came up on my list, and when I would start to spell the state out to my sister Erika, Nana would chime in and loudly sing, "M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I, MISSISSIPPI!" I had to tell Nana to be quiet after a while because I would be getting distracted and laughing at her at the same time. That memory was stuck in my head the whole time I was on Mississippi soil.
The Mississippi Welcome Center was one of the nicest rest areas on our whole trip. Designed like an old mansion, the inside had tiny rest rooms, but Mom got to walk around and check out some of the old furniture and jewelry displays inside. Outside, the grounds had nice magnolia trees and being the launching ground for NASA base tours nearby, a huge spaceship model is on display near the parking lot. After taking pictures and stretching our legs, Mom and I were ready to get to Florida.
I was hoping to drive the remaining 167 miles straight through to Florida, but traffic and another round with Mother Nature told me other. Mom and I hit Mobile, Alabama, which is only about 40 miles from Pensacola and traffic came to a stop and crawl. GRRR! We weren't counting on that and the tunnel that lay ahead of us. The only thing Mom and I could do was crawl along with the rest of the traffic and admire the nice buildings of Downtown Mobile. In fact being so slow, I managed to get some shots of the buildings with my camera before entering the tunnel.
The ride through the tunnel was an adventure itself when we finally got in there. I kept to the 40 mph limit, and then people were honking their horns all around us. Thinking they were for us, I was about to give my saluting fingers some needed exercise, but we realized that the honking was customary for traveling through this tunnel, and I holstered the fingers for a better occasion.
After getting through Mobile, I thought we were home free, but Thor and his other Norse God friends were having another bowling tournament in heaven and another rainstorm hit us. By this time, my butt was numb, and my back was screaming for a break. I told Mom I needed to pull over before I screamed, and we got off I-10 at Loxley, Alabama and into a McDonald's. It was pouring rain, and the parking lot was flooded in spots, but I managed to get the car into a parking place near the door and got out of the car into a little bit of a puddle. GREAT! Luckily, I had flip flops on, and the water was warm, and I squished my way into the restroom.
Bladder empty and a little bit hungry, I went to the counter for some chow. Mom wanted ice cream again, but I needed protein and got a couple of Ranch Snack Wraps. The boy at the counter was very nice, and I was talking to him about moving to Florida with the zoo, and he talked about his not being able to have cats because of his dogs. After getting our food, I said good-bye to the young man and returned to the car. The rain had let up a bit and would have been driveable, but I wasn't moving until I ate. We were making good time considering the rain and traffic and Mom had no issues about my eating before driving. Eating and driving is as dangerous as drinking and driving.
Mom, Loki, Zoe, Xena, and I finally arrived safe and sound in my sister Erika's driveway about 3 p.m. Erika was getting out of work at the same time, and we had to wait in front of the yard for her just in case her dog Dakota was being protective. Mocha and Dakota were inside the house and barked at us from the living room window while we unloaded the zoo and our stuff from the car for the last time. The car blanket was hung on the fence next to the garage to air out after giving its life for Loki's comfort.
After we unloaded the car, Mom and I let Zoe and Xena walk around the front yard, but Xena went back into the car after a while. Loki was happy not to be crammed into the backseat anymore and enjoyed walking around Erika's yard sniffing all of the trees and tropical vegetation.
Thinking Erika would be home soon, we wound up waiting about 45 minutes before Mom called her on her phone to see where she was. After getting stopped trying to leave work by customers and co-workers needing help, Erika got out of work late and was en route. Mom asked her if she was talking on her phone while driving, and Erika said, "Yes", and Mom almost plotzed on the spot.
About 10 minutes later, Erika finally rolled into the driveway and we greeted each other. Loki was kind of out of it and didn't recognize Erika at first, and Xena totally blew her off. Zoe was busy checking out the bushes and didn't see Erika at first, but we got everyone in the house, and luckily, Dakota was happy to see us and too busy kissing her Mama and didn't go for our throats. She and Mocha gave us kisses though!
After getting settled and cleaning up, Mom and I got settled for the night while Erika went to a birthday party for a friend that was planned for a while. It was nice to be watching TV on Erika's big screen TV and sitting in comfy recliners and really great to crash in a real bed about 10 that night!
The cross-country trip across the Southern USA was an adventure for all of us and I have many fond and funny memories about it, but I don't know if I want to do it again. As for my life in Idaho. I will miss all of my friends there, but I am looking forward to a new future in Florida and to make new friends here!
As mentioned in a previous entry, Day 5 was going to be a special day in which Mom, Loki, and I were to meet my friend Ken in Marshall, Texas, a small town about 160 miles east of Dallas/Fort Worth. I last saw Ken…Read More
As mentioned in a previous entry, Day 5 was going to be a special day in which Mom, Loki, and I were to meet my friend Ken in Marshall, Texas, a small town about 160 miles east of Dallas/Fort Worth.
I last saw Ken in August 2003 when he came to Idaho for a train tour of the Payette River area near our home, and we had a blast touring around Boise, McCall, and other parts of the Treasure Valley. Pictures from Ken's train trip are published here on Igougo.com under his Guide Name ducksunset. Besides our friendship, Ken and I share a love of photography, travel, animals, and the same April 30 birthday.
Before I left Idaho, Ken and I made arrangements to meet in Marshall, Texas on June 13. He was in the area visiting his elderly parents and was doing some train watching and photographing what he saw. We made arrangements to meet at the McDonald's on Route 59 which is right off of I-20, and we confirmed our meeting the night before via cell phone.
Mom and I left Duncanville about 7:30 a.m. and made good timing getting to Marshall, about 2 1/2 hours away by car. We arrived in Marshall and got off the Interstate and rolled into the McDonald's parking lot. At first, I couldn't find Ken, who said he would meet us there, but rest assured, my buddy Ken came around from the other end of the parking lot and we greeted each other with a big hug.
Then Ken went to the car to see Loki and couldn't believe how old my boy was and was happy to see him. After rolling Loki out of the car, Ken pet him and we went inside for me to order lunch for Mom and me. Ken was planning on BBQ in Jefferson later for himself, but he wanted to buy lunch for Mom and me and a cheeseburger for Loki's lunch as well.
While we were waiting for the food, Ken and I caught up on our lives and talked about our trips. After about 10 minutes, our lunch was ready and I brought out the food to Mom and Loki, who were waiting under the shade on a grassy knoll in the parking lot. Mom couldn't find Loki's water bowl in the mess of the car. So I had to run back into McDonald's and get a salad bowl to use as a water bowl for Loki from the girl behind the counter.
Dog slurping his water noisily and finally able to sit down and eat my lunch, Ken, Mom, and I spent the rest of the time talking about everything and having a nice time together. After finishing our meals, Ken had Mom and I pose for a picture, and he took three pictures of his old buddy Loki. I had Mom take a picture of me and Ken together and then we started to gather our things and lifted Loki into the car before Ken and I gave each other a final hug good-bye before we headed our separate ways. It was a short but sweet visit, and I hope we don't have to wait another five years to see each other again.
After gassing up at the gas station in Duncanville, Mom and I were on our way via I-20 East to our penultimate night's stop in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Before leaving Idaho, my co-worker David gave me an interesting bit of history on Louisiana's capital…Read More
After gassing up at the gas station in Duncanville, Mom and I were on our way via I-20 East to our penultimate night's stop in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Before leaving Idaho, my co-worker David gave me an interesting bit of history on Louisiana's capital city. Of course, I knew that Baton Rouge is French for "red stick" but did you know what that red stick is all about? David explained it to me. Louisiana is famous for its hot and spicy Cajun cuisine and lots of hot peppers are used in its food. In Louisiana, they grow hot red peppers for its Red Hot Sauce, and in order to determine which peppers are ripe enough for the sauce, a red stick is put up to the pepper, and if the pepper is the same exact shade of red of the stick, it's ready for harvest. If the red pepper is not ripe, and its color doesn't match the red stick, it is left on the pepper plant. This is how Baton Rouge got its name!
Mom found this information very interesting, and I was glad for the information from David. This was going to be the first time I stepped onto Louisiana soil, and I always like to have a little information on places I visit before I go there.
Friday the 13th wasn't going to be an unlucky one for Mom and me. We were almost finished with our long journey and were looking forward to seeing my sister Erika in Florida the next day, but before we hit Baton Rouge, we had to make a pit stop in Marshall, Texas to meet my friend Ken, who was in the area from his home in North Little Rock, Arkansas to feed his train habit nearby. We were looking forward to seeing each other, and Ken was looking forward to seeing his old buddy Loki one more time. (More on this meeting in another entry).
We made good timing getting to Marshall and were there by 10:30. Mom, Loki, and I spent about 1 1/4 hours with Ken and had lunch with him before he headed to Jefferson, Texas and home in Arkansas, and Mom and I continued onto to Baton Rouge.
The rest of our trip was uneventful and when we crossed the border from Texas into Louisiana, I was glad to be out of Texas. The huge state took three days to travel through for us and $165 out of my wallet later due to that stupid speeding ticket in Claude. I announced to all in car that this was my first time in Louisiana, and wondered if Cajun was on the menu for dinner tonight. Mom and I were hoping to meet her friend Chris, who used to live in Idaho and now lives in Baton Rouge, but Mom couldn't reach her by phone the whole time we were travelling through Texas and Louisiana.
About 30 miles from Baton Rouge, I needed a potty break and pulled into a gas station near one of the two bridges we were to cross that day. It was a nice view for us to enjoy on this short stop, but there was more entertainment at the gas station itself. A policeman from one of the neighboring towns had pulled over someone and had him blocked off with his patrol car in the parking lot right in front of the store. At first, Mom and I wondered if it was safe to go into the store, but after a minute, I saw people going in and out, so I guess the store wasn't robbed. It was a traffic stop. After coming out of the gas station, I took a picture of the bridge and got back into the car where Mom was waiting. Mom thought the cop pulling over the guy in his car right in front of the store was wrong and impeding business, but the policeman had a reason to do that. As we were just about to leave, the policeman had the driver in a spread-eagle position against his car and was slapping the handcuffs on him. Must have been an outstanding warrant on the guy and Mr. Policeman didn't have time to have the guy pull over to the other side of the parking lot.
The excitement for the day over with, Mom and I hit the road for the final leg of the day's trip. We got over the first bridge no problem, but Baton Rouge was in the middle of rush hour and it was stop and go the whole time going across the bridge over the Mississippi River into Baton Rouge. Usually, Mom is afraid of heights and this high bridge would have had her white-knuckled and clutching the dash board in fear, but Mom handled being stuck on a bridge over the raging Mississippi rather well.
After getting over the bridge and through the traffic, Mom and I staggered into our hotel in Baton Rouge about 5:30. We ordered Chinese for delivery (again) and settled in for a good night's rest and happy this was going to be the last night we slept in a hotel for a long time. Mom tried several more times to get Chris to no avail, and later we learned Chris and her husband Bob were visiting family in Oklahoma and had disconnected their phone before leaving. "Another time, I'll take you there.", I told Mom.
In addition to Mom and I being happy this was the last night in a hotel for a long time, I think Loki, Zoe, and Xena were happy about that, too!
Written by melissabowman on 28 May, 2007
Port Aransas was probably the highlight of our trip. Like I have already mentioned before Mustang Island and Padre Island were pretty lifeless, but Port Aransas had more of what we are looking for. We spent most of the day in car driving around but…Read More
Port Aransas was probably the highlight of our trip. Like I have already mentioned before Mustang Island and Padre Island were pretty lifeless, but Port Aransas had more of what we are looking for. We spent most of the day in car driving around but that was because we kept expecting more and then found ourselves further away from that which we already found. In Port Aransas there is an HEB which was great because we needed to pick up a few things and did not want to have to drive all the way back to the main land. There were several souvenir shops, which always have endless beach, wear, shoes, kites, wave boards, mugs, cups, jewelry, tattoos, etc. Anything and everything you could want. There were also many restaurants and places to eat. In Port Aransas is a ferry to Aransas Pass, which eventually will take you back to the main land (Corpus Christi). This ferry ride is free. You drive your car on the ferry and it takes you on a five-minute ride across the ocean. It is the only way from Port Aransas to Aransas Pass. It is pretty cool however, I though you would be able to get out and watch, but you just stay in your car and drive on and drive off. The line for the ferry is not too bad. On our way back it took about 10-15 minutes to get on the ferry. Once you on the other side there really is not much to see. There are several places to fish along the road but other than that we did not see anything worth sticking around for. So we took the ferry back to Port Aransas were we spent some time shopping. There is also a beach in Port Aransas that is one of the most popular beaches in the area and is know for accommodating the family as well as the young college age crowd, we did not get a chance to see the beach but we sure wanted too. Port Aransas was what we were looking for and we enjoyed the little bit busier beach scene. Close
Written by jen480 on 22 May, 2007
My favorite time to visit Gruene is during Market Days, a monthly event that showcases arts and crafts by more than 100 artisans from around Texas. I find that it’s the perfect time to pick up western-style souvenirs for my non-Texas relatives. However, this past…Read More
My favorite time to visit Gruene is during Market Days, a monthly event that showcases arts and crafts by more than 100 artisans from around Texas. I find that it’s the perfect time to pick up western-style souvenirs for my non-Texas relatives. However, this past Saturday, I left with a little something for myself: a jar of pickles. Now these aren’t just any pickles, mind you, but some of the best I’ve ever tasted. Made by Fickle Pickles, a family-owned company based in Boerne, TX, these crunchy delights go from sweet to hand-me-a-glass-of-water spicy in a single bite. They’re perfectly crisp and juicy, and the combo of salty-sweetness is spot on. As I purchased a 16-ounce jar, manager Lisa Armstrong filled me in on the company’s history. It turns out that her mom, Billie Shaw, started Fickle Pickles in her home kitchen using an old family recipe. At first Billie would give jars of pickles to friends as gifts, but soon word spread, and the small operation outgrew the kitchen. Fickle Pickles eventually moved into a storefront (Carousel Antiques & Pickles) in Boerne, where Billie would make the pickles to order for customers. This became so labor intensive that the company eventually opened a pickle plant in Boerne that cranks out 40+ gallons of pickles a week. In July of last year, Fickle Pickles opened a second location in Gruene, which, like the Boerne location, sells antiques. A weird combination indeed, but somehow the prominently stacked display of pickle jars works well alongside the shop’s collection of antique school desks, pie cabinets, and an old wooden airplane propeller. Even if you’re unable to make it to either of the company’s brick-and-mortar stores, you can order by phone and have pickles shipped anywhere in the world. Fickle Pickles make a great finger food, but Lisa also recommends putting them in salads and sandwiches. The leftover pickle juice can also be used as a marinade. Even as a write this, I can feel my mind gravitating toward the kitchen and the leftover egg-salad I made earlier using—you guessed it—Fickle Pickles.For more information on Fickle Pickles, visit www.ficklepickles.com or call (877) 249-9306. Fickle Pickles are available at Fickle Pickles Antiques & Pickles in Gruene (1720 Hunter Road) and Carousel Antiques & Pickles (118 S. Main St.) in Boerne. Close
Written by zabelle on 14 Mar, 2007
When we found out that Ima Hogg was buried in Austin we made it one of our priorities to visit her grave. On Friday we headed to the Texas State Cemetery which was beautiful and had a great map to help us find all the…Read More
When we found out that Ima Hogg was buried in Austin we made it one of our priorities to visit her grave. On Friday we headed to the Texas State Cemetery which was beautiful and had a great map to help us find all the important grave. After our visit we headed up Navasota Street in search of Oakwood Cemetery. Oakwood is Austin’s oldest cemetery, provisions for it’s created were made in 1839 when the city was founded ad the annexe was opened in 1917. This cemetery is maintained by the city of Austin and I have to tell you there is no comparison to the state cemetery or even to privately owned Glenwood Cemetery in Houston, this cemetery has a neglected look, everything is overgrown and in a bad state of repair. The office was closed, there was no map available and so we did the impossible, we set put to find the grave on our own.Using logic, we tried to find a large monument since the Hogg family was well to do. We drove up and down and around looking at all the large monuments, no dice. We saw some maintenance men and decided why not ask them if they knew where it was. Oh yeah, that was a good idea, I don’t think they even spoke English let alone knew who Ima Hogg was, they just gave us a funny look which we took to mean no, they didn’t know where it was. We headed for the annexe and went slowly up and down and around every road. No Ima. Okay head to the right and start going down any row that is wide enough for a car. Finally we started to feel discouraged and I just picked a row and said go down that one. Guess what, it was a really good guess. There it was, the Hogg family obelisk, nothing too pretentious. And in front of the larger monument was a very small little stone that said Ima Hogg. A lot of work to find but Joe was very happy so it was worth it. Now here are the directions if you ever want to find this grave. Enter the cemetery and go past the office, take the fourth street on the left, there is a Norton family monument on the corner. Three quarters of the way down on the right hand side is the Hogg family plot. Close
This is a fabulous Library that is amazingly hard to find. There is a sign that tells you which exit to get off the freeway and then nothing. We drove by it the first time. I am so glad we found it because it ended…Read More
This is a fabulous Library that is amazingly hard to find. There is a sign that tells you which exit to get off the freeway and then nothing. We drove by it the first time. I am so glad we found it because it ended up being one of our very favorite stops in Texas. You begin your visit by watching an orientation film. Given the weather we watched with only one other couple. Entrance to the museum is free, LBJ wanted everyone to have access to the Library. For someone who lived through the Johnson presidency I found that I was woefully ignorant about the man. What I came away from here with was a very strong admiration. Also a great deal of sadness that the war that he inherited so overshadowed all the really wonderful things that he accomplished. Lyndon Baines Johnson is a true son of Texas, his grandfather came to Texas in the 1850s and built a log cabin in what is now Johnson City. His son Sam married Rebekah Baines and they had five children. Lyndon was the eldest and very close to his mother. She was well educated and more ambitious than her husband and I think she passed this on to her son. His father and his grandfather were both members of the legislature so politics came naturally to himLyndon went to teachers college and became a teacher to poor Hispanic students in Cotulla. This lasted only one year but made a lasting impression. He went on to become the secretary to Congressman Richard Kleberg. He used those four years in Washington to make valuable contacts. It was during this time that he met and married Claudia "Lady Bird" Taylor. In 1937 he was elected to the House and spent eleven years there. Lady Bird was the perfect political wife, she also had a great deal of business acumen and it was through her efforts that their financial stability was guaranteed. In 1948 he won the democratic nomination for the senate and then the race. By 1953 he had been nominated as the minority leader of the senate the youngest man to ever receive that honor. He was a tireless worker and in 1955 when the democrats regained control of the house he became the Majority leader. He worked so hard is health suffered and he had a major heart attack that same year. He was the ultimate politician. He knew how Washington worked and he surprised a lot of people by accepting the VP position in 1960. He was thrust into the Presidency in 1963 but was reelected on his own right in 64. The Vietnam War got a lot of press, so much so that I had no idea how much had been accomplished during his presidency to help the underprivileged. He can be credited with the Head-Start program, Medicare, student loans, Upward Bound and Medicaid. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was one of the real highlights of his term.We all loved this Library. There are loads of pictures and personal items. There is a wonderful picture of the family today with his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Come here with an open mind and at least two or three hours to spend.Some of the things we loved:The automatron Lyndon standing behind a fence telling jokes.The cases of presidential gifts. It is amazing what they receive from foreign dignitaries.The portraits of all the presidents and first ladies.The copy of the Oval Office and Lady Birds Office.The Presidential Limousine.The desk where the Civil Rights Act was signed into law. Close
After our wonderful dinner at the South Congress Café we headed back toward the Austin Motel on Congress. We came upon Uncommon Goods 1512 South Congress St which is open daily until 7pm but on Thursday they stay open until 9pm. We can never resist…Read More
After our wonderful dinner at the South Congress Café we headed back toward the Austin Motel on Congress. We came upon Uncommon Goods 1512 South Congress St which is open daily until 7pm but on Thursday they stay open until 9pm. We can never resist an antique/unusual item store. This shop has 30 dealers who offer an eclectic variety of object d’art, second hand cowboy boots, loads of stained glass windows, baskets, books, pottery, and a whole lot more. It can be a little crowded in some of the booths so be careful as you look at items. In some ways it was very flee market in the way objects are displayed. Be prepared to dig and look under tables and in cupboards. We were looking for a painting of bluebonnets and we did find a couple that were of interest. We didn’t buy but we did enjoy. There is a lot to look at allow yourself at least an hour. Rues Antiques: 1500 South Congress. This is an interesting shop they have loads of really unique things but as to antiques, I am not quite sure how they get away with calling this an antique store. What I saw were a lot of reproductions that we not marked as reproduction. They had a very extensive collection of reproduction metal signs, quite a few Coca-Cola and others that were automobiles. The furniture seem to be authentic for the most part but don’t expect to find anything with any real age here. In the window they had a large display of stained glass but it was new glass not old an all the funky cats in the other window I just didn’t get, they obviously were new and sort of artsy crafty. Having said all that I bought a large out door thermometer here with a bass on it for our cottage. Al is a bass fisherman and we have his stuffed large mouth bass on the wall of our back porch ( it beats having it in our parlor at home) so I figured this would be a nice addition to that lake cottage feel. Joe found a couple of old art postcards so it was not a waste of time by any means.Allens Boots 1522 South Congress, if you have always wanted to own a pair of real western boots, this is the place to stop. These beauties don’t come cheap but it’s all part of the Texas experience, this is the real thing. It doesn’t stop at just the boots either, you can get all your western wear here. Close
This is a unique cemetery. When State Senator Edward Burleson died in December of 1851,Andrew Jackson Hamilton donated the 21 acres that comprise the cemetery to the state of Texas so that Burleson could be buried here. It became the Texas State Cemetery in 1854.…Read More
This is a unique cemetery. When State Senator Edward Burleson died in December of 1851,Andrew Jackson Hamilton donated the 21 acres that comprise the cemetery to the state of Texas so that Burleson could be buried here. It became the Texas State Cemetery in 1854. After the Civil War the State took over the home for Confederate veterans and they buried the veterans along with their generals in the cemetery. In 1910 Stephen Austin was moved to the Texas State Cemetery. In the 1920s Louis Kemp spearheaded a drive to have as many prominent former Texans reinterred in the cemetery. Starting in 1929 with the former governors James Pickney Henderson and Peter Hansborough Bell over 70 men and woman were moved into the cemetery. In appreciation for his efforts the cemetery road was declared a highway and named Lou Kemp Rd and it is Texas Highway 165, the shortest highway in Texas. We began at the visitor center which was built in 1997 to resemble the long barracks at the Alamo. We picked up maps and then headed over to the museum. What is particularly interesting about this cemetery is that all the monuments aren’t grave stones some of them are cenotaphs (memorial markers), so not everyone whose stone you see is actually buried here, case in point Former Dallas Cowboys Head Coach Tom Landry. The is a very well organized cemetery and though not beautiful in the same sense as Glenwood cemetery, it makes up for that by its vast historical significance.We headed down highway 165 to the only allowed parking area which is on top of the hill. Just our luck it was bitter cold with a biting wind when we were there but we still managed to enjoy poking around and trying to identify as many of the graves as possible.One that is hard to miss is the Elizabeth Ney sculpture of Albert Sidney Johnston. He was a general for three countries, The Republic of Texas, The United States and the Confederacy. He was killed at the Battle of Shiloh. His monument is amazing. The Stephen Austin Monument and the Joanna Troutman Monument were both done by Pompeo Coppini. Joanna Troutman was known as the Betsy Ross of Texas She created a flag that was carried to Goliad by Colonel Fannin and raised as the National Flag when the Declaration of Independence from Mexico was signed. Reading the gravestones is like a who’s who of Texas History. We found Governor John Connally of JFK assassination fame. We found Barbara Jordan the first African American Woman elected to the Texas Senate. Some we didn’t know like Susanna Dickenson Hannig one of the woman who survived the Alamo and as her stone says “Carried the news to General Houston at Gonzales”. She has a new stone in the shape of the state of Texas.Entrance is free. Allow as much time as your interest dictates. We spent at least an hour. Close
Written by zabelle on 21 Feb, 2007
Actually our adventure began happily enough. We had weather in the 70s our first days in Texas. We saw Houston through a sunny glow and somehow we were living in a delusional state not having any idea what was coming. This was January 8, 9,…Read More
Actually our adventure began happily enough. We had weather in the 70s our first days in Texas. We saw Houston through a sunny glow and somehow we were living in a delusional state not having any idea what was coming. This was January 8, 9, and 10. January 11 was repositioning day. We left Houston at about noon and headed north toward Dallas/Fort Worth. We arrived in Irving before dinner time. Friday, January 12, was cloudy and the weather was beginning to get colder. Freezing rain was starting to fall and we decided to go to the local Kroger and pick up some groceries just in case we were trapped in our cute little house. Saturday we awoke to a thin film of ice covering everything. Nothing too bad but it was slippery to walk. One of the good things about a B&B is you have someone friendly to talk to. Lee and Tom encouraged us to go to Dallas, they gave us directions how to get there without having to go on the freeway.Sunday was more of the same and we headed to Dallas again, though we always waited until the day warmed up a little.Monday we slipped our way in the sunshine to Fort Worth where street-shaded buildings were totally covered with ice.Tuesday was repositioning day and we were heading south. I am ashamed to say that in the 5 days we spent in Irving I never watched the news or checked the weather in Austin on the computer. It proved to be a very serious omission.One of my cardinal rules for winter travel is always travel and connect below the Mason-Dixon Line (okay, usually I go to Europe, but when in the States), and in this particular instance my rule was useless.We hit the highway and kept our eye open for antique malls. We found one, Antiquibles Mall & Dog Museum, and spent about an hour just wandering around looking for bargains. I found a couple of small items and we headed for our next stop. The Texas Ranger Museum was a planned stop to keep Al interested in our trip.After a very interesting visit we decided to try to find some food. This area was bereft of restaurants and we finally settled on Arby’s. It was here that we got our first hint of what was waiting for us. There was a car that pulled into the parking lot as we were eating that was totally covered with a thick coating of ice. We kept looking at it trying to figure out how this could have possibly happened. The couple was happy to tell us that they had come from Austin and we didn’t want to go there. Didn’t want to go there, we had reservations, we had to be there. We come from CT. A little winter weather didn’t scare us. Within the hour it did scare us. It was sleeting and freezing as it hit the road and we decided that the next halfway decent hotel we saw, we would stop. I began seeing signs for La Quinta hotels and they were advertising free Wi-Fi. They had me with that. We ended up at the La Quinta in Georgetown, Texas. Little did we know it would be our home away from home for 2 days. It proved to be a lucky choice. Free breakfast was included and the price was an amazing, $69. We had lots of company, including tractor trailers, in the parking lot. By mid-afternoon on Wednesday we were ready to attempt to get out and we headed into downtown Georgetown. I swear we were the only ones in every shop we visited. We were just delighted that some were actually open. We visited three: the Georgetown Antique Mall, the Escape, and Hill Country Bookstore. After a couple of hours shopping we were ready to find a place for supper. We asked at every store for recommendations and Wildfire was a unanimous choice. Thursday we slowly headed to Austin and joined the traffic jam of everyone else who was headed into the newly opened city. "The January ice storm that brought Austin to a frozen halt cost city government $1.6 million, officials said Friday. The city spent more than $1 million on personnel alone during the three-day storm that blanketed the region in ice and freezing rain during the week of Jan. 14. "Austin Business Journal, February 8, 2007"The winter storm, which moved into the Austin area the week of Jan. 14, produced bitterly cold temperatures, freezing rain and ice throughout the area; created hazardous driving conditions; and forced the cancellation or closure of schools and businesses, including many City services and departments. "Austin City Connection Close