Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Saint Augustine, FL

Bob and I have been having a very nice time in St. Augustine, Florida for the past several days. This city is the oldest city in the U.S., dating back over 450 years to 1565 when it was founded by Pedro Menendez. On Saturday we drove into the city and walked around the historic district.

We ate lunch at the Floridian, seated outside on the patio. Bob and I had the fish sandwiches, except my “fish” was made out of tofu. It was very good.
We saw the Oldest Wood Schoolhouse in the U.S., dating to the early 1700s.
We visited the St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum, and saw the original Jolly Roger Flag (one of only two pirate flags in existence) as well as the world’s only surviving pirate treasure chest, owned by the infamous pirate, Thomas Tew of Newport, Rhode Island who was killed in 1695.

We walked around the Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest masonry fort in the United States, and enjoyed the beautiful day.

Besides sightseeing, we’ve been relaxing and enjoying the campground. I started weaving a hearts band, which I’m enjoying very much.

And today is the day we move to Walt Disney World for a week! Who hoo!!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Historic Pensacola

Yesterday Bob and I drove to the historic district in Pensacola learn about the history of this area. Pensacola has a very nice museum district and, using our reciprocal pass from Kern County Museum, we were able to take the tour without charge.
Our guide took us through several buildings typical of the era between 1805 and 1875, including the Dorr House. So many of the furnishings of the home were familiar to me since similar items were in my grandparents’ house when I was a child.

One thing that fascinated me was the home’s jib windows, which allow the wall below the window to open so that one might walk out onto a porch. These were used instead of regular doors because homes were taxed according to how many doors it had.

We also went into the Old Christ Church which has an interesting history.
Built in 1832, three of its early rectors succumbed to disease and were buried under the floor space of the church. During the Civil War, Union forces inhabited the building, using it as a jail, a military barracks, a hospital, and a chapel. In 1903 the church was desanctified and the congregation built a new church a few blocks north of the old one. The old building fell into further disrepair until it was repaired and restored in 1957. In 1988 an archeological dig discovered the three rectors under the floorboards, and the bodies were reinterred with pomp and ceremony. At least one observer to the ceremony saw three extra men in the procession who were assumed to be the spirits of the dead rectors.
They still lie under the floorboards of the church with a plaque commemorating them.
We also visited the Museum of Commerce and the Museum of Industry, as well as some of the smaller homes in the district. Reenactors were available at many of the sites to answer questions. We certainly enjoyed our visit to Historic Pensacola.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Biloxi, MS to Pensacola, FL

We had a great time in Biloxi, meeting up twice with our son in law, Jason who is taking a course at the nearby Air Force Base.

Bob and I met Jason for lunch on Friday and again for breakfast on Sunday. It was great to get a chance to see Jason since he’ll be here for a few months and won’t have returned before we leave next fall for Arizona.

Aside from our visit, Bob and I spent a couple of hours at an antique mall nearby, besides spending time on crafts (me) and fixing little things (Bob.) We did pick up a half-circle ironwork plaque at the antique store that we are going to turn into a pot rack, using some paint to update it. Pictures to follow when we have time to play with it.

On Sunday we headed for Pensacola. It has been cloudy for a couple of days and a bit cool, so we put off sightseeing for Wednesday when the weather looked better. Another visit to an antique mall yesterday yielded a cute ceramic napkin holder for $4.
I know Bob is going to put his foot down on the antique shops one of these days since they really aren’t his favorite thing to do, but until he does I’m going to enjoy them!

Tomorrow, I’ll tell you about our visit to the Pensacola Historic District.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Beaumont, TX to New Orleans

Our trip to Beaumont, TX was uneventful and we settled in for a two night stay. More often than not, we find ourselves choosing to stay two or three nights in one spot before moving on. I had hoped to visit the Thomas Edison Museum in Beaumont, but unfortunately the museum web page was out of date and it was closed on Mondays. Rats! We made the best of it, though, and visited the local Barnes and Noble before going to Walmart. As we were checking out with our groceries, Bob nudged me and pointed out the fellow next to us. He was bagging his items while balancing a small snake across the back of his neck. I couldn’t leave without saying hello and talking to the young man, who let me hold it.
This is Bella, a seven month old Ball Python, and she was very sweet. I asked if anyone objected to her being in Walmart and the man said no one had ever said anything to him about her.

On Tuesday we moved to a small town just east of New Orleans so that we could visit the area, driving into the city Wednesday morning.

 St. Louis Cathedral is just off Jackson Square and is the oldest cathedral in the United States.
We enjoyed seeing the local architecture with balconies overhanging the streets.
We ate lunch in the French Market at the Meals From the Heart CafĂ©, where I dug into a really good Black Bean Po’ Boy and Bob chowed down on Salmon, Grits ‘n Eggs. It’s always so nice to find good vegan food when we travel, and it’s been easier than I expected to find restaurants that serve food we both can eat.

Tomorrow we head for Biloxi, Mississippi for three nights.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

We Linger in San Antonio

On Wednesday Bob and I drove out to Kerrville, Texas to visit our friends Kathy and Ron.  It was pouring rain when we left and we even had to pull off the road at one point because Bob couldn’t even see where we were going. The rain lessened as we continued on, however, and we decided to detour to Comfort, TX where we found a cute little town full of antique stores and a weaving shop called the Loom Room. My kind of town!
Inside we found looms for sale, yarn, and beautiful handmade pottery and wooden bowls. I picked up a bag of 10/2 cotton in beautiful colors, just right for weaving into bands and dishtowels.

We didn’t spend too much time in Comfort but vowed to return one day and poke around a bit more.

Our visit with our friends was a delight, as usual. They gave us a tour of their new home before taking us to a great little Mexican restaurant nearby where we enjoyed a delicious lunch. Our visit ended all too soon, but we hope to see them again this fall.

We had planned to leave San Antonio the next day (on Thursday) but I was unable to secure a campsite. I should have figured that the holiday weekend would bring extra campers out for family fun. Fortunately we were able to extend our stay here in San Antonio until Sunday, and I made sure we had places booked for the next couple of stops. We really didn’t mind staying longer here. It’s a nice quiet campground with friendly people, and has the added bonus of being quite close to my sister Gail and her husband Mark.

On Friday, Gail and Mark came and picked up Auggie and me for a walk along the San Antonio Riverwalk (while Bob chose to stay behind and relax.). I hadn’t realized that the Riverwalk is not limited to the Alamo area, but follows the river southward for miles. It was a beautiful day for a walk. The wide, paved path meandered along the river, shared with the occasional family walking or biking in the sunshine.

 We decided to detour to Mission San Juan Capistrano, a lovely and serene spot if there ever was one!

Here are Gail and Mark (and Auggie) in front of the Kennedy Memorial Tree. A plaque in front of it states: This Thornless Moraine Honeylocust from the Kennedy Estate at Hyannisport, Massachusetts was presented to the San Antonio River Authority through the efforts of Senator Edward M. Kennedy and was planted on April 24, 1966 in memory of John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States.

On Saturday, Gail and I spent the whole day together, wandering through an antique mall and later eating out. Such fun!

We are on our way now to Beaumont, TX for a couple of nights before continuing east.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Fun In San Antonio

On Saturday, Bob, Emily, and I met up with my sister Gail and husband Mark, their daughters, sons in law, and their grandchildren. We were quite the crowd (totaling 15,) and we even managed to score a group rate at the San Antonio Botanical Garden.
Gail and Emily showed off their hula hoop skills. Bob and I were very impressed, being somewhat hula-hoop-challenged.
Moving all 15 of us, including 5 children, was like herding cats at times but we managed to walk all around the Botanical Gardens and see it all. What a lovely place.
The bluebonnets were in bloom and we were thrilled to see them. Bluebonnets are the Texas State Flower but up until now we have not been around when they were in bloom.
I was finally successful at taking a photo of our grandniece and grandnephews without anyone covering their face. Not an easy task. Such cuties!

Later on, Bob and I took Emily to Nicha's for dinner and enjoyed a delicious meal.

Early Sunday morning we bid farewell to Emily at the airport. We had so much fun with her that it was sad to see her leave.

On Monday we again met up with the family to spend the day at the Tower of Americas Park. The tower itself is 750 feet high.

What a view we had from the top, with all of San Antonio at our feet.
Afterwards, the children enjoyed playing in the splash park, sandbox, and swings. The Park also features 4D films and a museum.

We are taking a day off from sightseeing and visiting today (while Bob replaces a toilet seal,) but tomorrow will be taking the car north to visit our friends, Ron and Kathy.

Friday, March 23, 2018

From Las Cruces, NM to San Antonio, TX

We traveled from Tucson to Las Cruces without difficulty last Sunday, and quickly settled in before heading west again the next morning to visit Puerto Palomas in Mexico. We had a lovely time there, first seeing our dentist and then shopping and having lunch in the Pink Building. It’s quite a pleasant way to combine teeth-cleaning with a fun experience. Later that evening we drove out to Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument and fell in love with that beautiful area.
On Tuesday Bob, Emily, and I drove out to White Sands National Monument. Emily wore her handwoven scarf for the occasion. Temperatures were in the low 70s but in deference to the blizzard that was pummeling the Northeast, a scarf seemed appropriate.

Later in the day we walked around La Mesilla, the old part of Las Cruces, enjoying the old-world atmosphere.
We capped off our busy day with a lovely visit with our friend, Joan, and a yummy meal at Andele Restaurante. It was so good to see her again!

On Wednesday we were on the move, traveling to Fort Stockton, TX for the night before moving on the next day to San Antonio, TX. We had covered 1000 miles in just over a week.

Thursday morning we hopped on a bus and rode to the Riverwalk area to show Emily some sights. We toured the Alamo, then walked along the river, visiting La Villita Historic Arts Village along the way.
We ate lunch at Guadalajara Grill, enjoying a delicious meal and excellent service. Afterwards, the three of us got back on the bus and rode to San Jose Mission to walk around this most beautiful place.
Whew! It has been a hectic week but full of wonderful experiences and memories.