Saturday, December 31, 2011

San Antonio Alamo, Gardens, and River Walk

After the Hill Country we headed over to San Antonio....decided to see a big city for a change. Our destination was the Sam Houston Army Base. (Kim is ex-Navy so she has base privileges. )Nice place. The military bases are usually clean, safe and orderly...not many frills, but about 50% the cost of a private RV park.

Our first stop was the Alamo downtown. I did a bunch of research to get a feel for the battle and where everything happened so, when we got down there, I could orient us to better understand what happened. However....when we got there, things were not quite what we expected.
This is the "icon" of the Alamo (the chapel) but very little fighting was done here.
They had some wonderful gardens in the back of this chapel but none of that was part of the original plot of land.
The circled area is the Alamo Chapel and the green area to the right are the gardens
This is a great overlay of the old, original Alamo area superimposed on what is there today. The large courtyard out front is where the battle took place and, as the walls to the left were breached, they retreated to Number 3 and fought there.

This is a great depiction of the battle (which happened before dawn). You can see the breach to the left. Most of this courtyard is either present day streets or buildings.
Another visit we made was to the River Walk. LOTS of restaurants but some very colorful places and, at night, the lights were wonderful.

We ate at Pat O'Brien's on the street. Had a couple of Hurricanes (ymmmmm!) and muffalettas...wonderful sandwiches.

Delicious !
Anyway...nice time in San Antonio....the downtown was safe and the River Walk was extensive.

Next Stop: East Texas and the Piney Woods area.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Roads, Vistas, and Horizons

Once we got to the Hill Country outside of San Antonio and Austin our roads-that-went-forever ceased. I've always loved being on those roads that go waaaay off into the horizon...don't know why...maybe the explorer in me. Driving the motorhome is so easy on these roads (with cruise control and air shocks) and all that just adds to the enjoyment.

Anyway, Kim and I decided to take photos of the roads as we went along to show them sometime in the future. We've posted most of them here.....

But here are a few to look at.

This is looking west towards El Paso from Fort Stockton, Texas. 240 miles in the distance.
Some of these roads went 150 miles like this one from Carlsbad, New Mexico to Pecos, Texas

Just something different to view. California desert, Arizona, New Mexico, West Texas.  It might look boring but we just couldn't get over the vistas, how far you could see, and that there is nothing out there....just miles and miles of horizons.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Texas Hill Country

There is an area in Texas called the Hill Country. The area is west of Austin and San Antonio and is becoming a very popular place for people to come to and live, especially retired folks. So, we wanted to see if this might be a place that we would buy a house and move here. We spent three weeks at the Johnson Creek RV spot and did some exploring.
This is the view from our RV spot....a pecan orchard. Quiet and serene.
Kim likes to take Hobbes out for a walk so he can see the outside once in a while. You should see the looks she gets while walking a cat !

The Johnson Creek at our campground. They had a very bad drought this past summer so the water is very low.

Ahhhhh...gotta love retirement.


Some of the two-lane roads that are all over the Hill Country.

...and none of them are straight or level. People go 70 on these roads !

Eventually all the leaves got blown off the pecan trees by the wind and rain (and the coming winter).

This is a small herd of deer in our orchard. We saw one herd over over 70 while driving one day.
Almost all the trucks have these guards in front because of all the deer.
I talked to one fellow and he said, after hitting a deer on the road, it cost him $9,000 in damages. Since he's put on the guard, he's hit nine more. And they just bounce off the guard. While running on the roads, I could see the herds off the road.

We went to Kerrville's Christmas parade. There were over 80 floats! This is Kim afterwards watching Santa talk to the children. Doesn't she look happy ?

At 9pm, they lit up all the lights at the county courthouse. So pretty.

A Nativity scene on county land !!?? We're not in California here are we?

Look at the size of this bed frame !
A very sweet set of gravestones in Bandera. Tender.

A picturesque cemetery in Bandera. I found a gravestone from 1870.

On the way home from Bandera we found a small herd of Buffalo.

Uh-oh....gotta go "downstairs" for some much needed supplies.

So much of the soil here is like this....look at all the rocks ! Sheep and cattle is all they can do here.

Some fellow built a 2/3 size replica of Stonehenge here in Ingram.

...and also some Easter Island duplicates.

I found it while out for a morning ride. Now we don't have to travel to England.

Even after looking at the label, I bought it. Good tasting dark beer.

One of the longhorn steers. Look at the width of his horns !

City hall in Llano, Texas.
The people in the Hill Country are very friendly, helpful and warm. We enjoyed it but decided not to move here. All the two-land roads and deer everywhere. Scary. We drove home from Llano one night after viewing their Christmas light display (next blog). The trip was about 34 miles to Fredericksburg, then another 18 from there back to the RV park. We drove VERY carefully....dark, no other cars, two-lanes, up and down, twisty turny....AND deer crossing the road. I was bushed when we finally got home. Don't really want to do that every day.'s on to San Antonio to see the Alamo!