Think about this ... "be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle"

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

On a mission

While we were in Goliad, at the state park, we "toured" the Mission Nuestra Senora Del Espiritu Santo De Zuniga.  Well, most of the original Mission is long since gone, after all it was built in the 1700's.  However, from 1935-1941 crews of the Civilian Conservation Corps worked to restore what remained.  In the 1970's the Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept. rehabbed the chapel and built exhibits in the restored granary.

The first photo above is of the chapel looking up from the parking area (the campground we were in is behind the parking area, with two other campgrounds on the same property, but a mile beyond the mission).  Directly above are some of the grounds to the left of the chapel.

The restoration and painting within the chapel was pretty spectacular.  I still have "issues" with the concept of what the Franciscan priests were trying to accomplish by "civilizing and Christianizing" three native American tribes.  A mission that quite clearly failed miserably.

Below is the granary and weaving exhibit within.  I found the exhibit quite interesting, but it was "fenced off", unfortunately!  I understand why but darn, it would have been nice to get a bit closer!

Down the road 1/4 mile is the Presidio La Bahia (photos below)

Isn't the chapel below gorgeous!

Below is the description of the Presidio as quoted from the Texas Parks website.  Rick toured this property while Sir Arlo and I waited outside and took a nice walk on a beautiful sunny day.

"Across the river, visit the Presidio La Bahía. Located 1/4 mile south of Goliad State Park on US Highway 183 and 77A and operated by the Catholic Diocese of Victoria. View exhibits, enjoy an interpretive program and exciting re-enactments and imagine life at the fort. Originally built in 1749 to protect the Mission and the frontier, it later played a major role in the Texas Revolution. Here, Colonel Fannin and his ill-fated men were held prior to being executed at Santa Anna's order, an act of infamy later recalled at the Battle of San Jacinto with the cry, "Remember Goliad! Remember the Alamo!" For a very special experience, make reservations to stay overnight in the comfortable Priests Quarters."

We left Goliad on Sunday and headed to the NAS in Corpus Christi where we had a  reservation for 11 nights.  What a nightmare that turned out to be!  The military campground website I used clearly indicated that this particular facility IS open to civilians (most military campgrounds are for active or retired military only) and there was no issue with that when we made our reservation on the phone.  

The problem came when we stopped at the entrance to the base - UGH .... the woman who took the reservation didn't tell us the hoops and passes and security checks we would need in order to be granted access - a process that in the end would have taken weeks!  So there we are, for an hour trying to get through this, while tying up one lane of traffic and keeping one guard busy trying to wade through the red tape ~ to no avail!

We ended up at a less than desirable KOA in the tiny town of Mathis, 40 miles from where we thought we'd be!  The closest grocery store is 12 miles away, the closest Walmart is 25 miles away!  

We will be leaving here tomorrow and headed to the Rio Grand Valley for 12 nights, before we head back to San Antonio.  I tried about 10 campgrounds in "the valley" before I found one that had sites long enough for us to leave the trailer connected to the coach.  That is one of the down sides to "resort" areas.  I'm not even sure it is "resort" like, but it is  where "northerners" go in Texas to try and stay warm during the winter ....

stay tuned .....

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Go go Goliad

We left Stafford ("south Houston") on Tuesday, another cold, gray rainy day in that area and arrived here in Goliad to a nice sunny, 65 degree day.

We are staying at Goliad State Park.  A beautiful state park, although we are "nickle and dimed" constantly.  In addition to the camping fee we've been charged $3.00 per person, per day to be here as well as $2.00 per day for the car!  Good thing we haven't had the bikes out because they'd be $2.00 per bike, per day as well!  A bit much but it is a lovely place.

Quiet and peaceful, and watched over by many many birds ~ the only species of which I know is the fella above.  We were sitting out the other day just "chillaxing" when the cardinal spotted Sir Arlo's water bowl and helped himself (of course the camera was inside at that moment!!).  After a lengthy drink, he decided he needed a bath ~ you guessed it, Arlo's bowl now served as a birdbath!  Surprisingly Sir didn't care at all ~ not sure if he was in total awe and therefore "speechless" or if he really didn't care!

Some views of our "back yard" here!

I unintentionally wrote a non-truth in my last blog post.  I forgot that we had indeed done some "sight seeing" while we were in Stafford.  We headed out one day to Kemah (on the Gulf of Mexico) about 35 miles away.  The plan was to let Arlo have some ocean play time, well that was the plan, but we couldn't find any public beach access!  Another of those charming (not) towns that any access to the water are all marked "private" ... UGH.  

There was a neat lighthouse there however, and we did find a very pleasant Elks Lodge in town. The Lodge was very nice, on a lovely piece of land.  They had suffered major damage and flooding (four feet of water in their building) as a result of Hurricane Ike in 2008, but were able to get themselves repaired and back up and running in six weeks!

We've had a couple things happening in the last couple days.  First, niece Elisha and a friend are coming to visit during February vacation (Elisha is a teacher) so we will be heading back to San Antonio for their visit.  Prior to that we will be in Corpus Christi tomorrow for ten nights, then somewhere in the Mission area (hopefully) prior to heading back to San Antonio.

Secondly, we've accepted a work camping position with the State of Vermont for this coming camping season.  We will be in Quechee State Park and looking forward to being equal distance to my "baby" sister and brother in law as well as Patrick, Beth, Paige and new baby (due in July).  We're both nervous and excited about the opportunity.  It is a five month commitment on our part - something we are totally unfamiliar with!

Stay tuned ....

Monday, January 17, 2011

blah blah blah

Another cold, grey day in South Houston.  We've done nothing, N-O-T-H-I-N-G, notta since we've been here ~ no sight seeing, no beer can house, no Igloo cooler plant with the guard house that looks like a cooler (just in case you hadn't realized we'd done no sight seeing by lack of posts about such events, I thought I'd mention it!).

Tomorrow we are leaving here and heading to Goliad for five nights then to Corpus Christi for ten nights - in search of elusive warm sunny skies!  We may head down to the Mission area after Corpus for a while, but we shall see.  Rick said the other day that he thinks we waited too late to go south, perhaps he is correct.  Who knew!

That's it for today's very brief, boring post.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


I can and I want to 

and besides that, it is outstandingly simple and beautiful
and sometimes (like now) that's just what is necessary

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

at a standstill

We are still in Stafford, TX, just south, by 15 miles or so, of Houston.  We haven't done any sight seeing hence no blog posts about the area!  

The weather is going to be quite chilly the next few days - not expected to get above 57 until Saturday, with overnight lows of 31-34 degrees!  No complaints tho, seems New England is getting hit once again with a major one, with predictions of as much as 17 inches of snow!

So going back to our delightful stay in Ottine a month or so back .....
As I mentioned in a previous post, the town of Luling with it's decorated oil pumps was a neighboring town (to the north) while Gonzales was the neighboring town to the south.

There is a great deal of history in this area, as Gonzales was where the battle for Texas Independence from Mexico started.  We did do an afternoon trip to see some of the sites (there are a few small markers, but surprisingly not much else).  There also is the story of the cannon, on loan from the Mexicans, who wanted it back - resulting in yet another battle which lead to the phrase and future festival by the same name "Come and Take It"!  And they tried!

The photo above is a local watering hole in downtown Gonzales that we frequented on a few occasions. Very very old building, being a bank as well as a feed store in prior lives.  This area has very odd liquor laws ~ most places serve beer only, but you can bring in your own wine or hard liquor ... so strange to go walking into a "joint" carrying my bottle of wine!

As I'd mentioned before, we feel in love with this area.  The only negative I could find was lack of a good grocery store, heck there wasn't even a "decent" Walmart!

So many absolutely gorgeous older homes (most in the above photos were dated 1906 and 1907) and most of them were beautifully restored.  The two in the photos below were perhaps my favorites, across the street from one another and the smaller of the two is a bed and bath ~ Sister Candy, I think you'd love it!  The yard of the larger one was just absolutely beautiful, gorgeous and outstandingly wonderful!

And in closing, here is my new friend ..... posing oh so proud and handsome is he!

Stay tuned

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A long long time ago

well, a month ago, in a very little town (called Ottine) so far away, we stayed!  Oh what a stop that was. We were there to see the decorated  oil well pumps that were purported to be in the next town (Luling).  Well we did see a couple of the decorated pumps and with the exception of the one below, they were pretty worn out (the painting on them) and had seen much better days!

I know it's not a decorated pump below, but it is an attention getter!

Another thing Luling is "famous" for is its "Watermelon Thump" held at the end of June.  I'm not sure I want to be in the middle of Texas at the end of any June as I'm fairly certain you'd be able to fry an egg on the street it'd be so darn hot, but anyway Luling has this festival celebrating their watermelons and it does sound like a heck of a fun time.  They even have a watermelon water tower!

Below are a couple pictures of the center of Ottine.  Oh how we both loved this area (I fell in love with the hill country immediately) and this tiny town just really got me.  I think the population is somewhere around 100.  They have a lovely state park there.  Unfortunately there were no houses for sale, in fact the only property for sale in the town is the Warm Springs Rehab center, which started as a polio treatment center many many years ago, then became an adult rehabilitation facility, but only houses a dozen or so patients now, as they built a new facility in Luling a few years ago.  The center is on the market for $1.7 million ~ just a tad out of our price range, but what a great piece of property it has the potential to be restored to.

The top photo below was once the Post Office.  The boarded up home's history I don't know, but I'm sure if it could talk it would have many a tale to tell ~ and I'd love to hear a few of them!

That's it for now ~ I'm gonna hit the publish button then head out to Walfart to pick up a couple things - maybe the King will be up and about when I return.

Stay tuned ...

Monday, January 3, 2011

It never fails

We get on an airplane and inevitably one or both of us is sick within a week.  This time it was my turn (thank you to the jerk across the aisle from me who saw no need to cover his nasty mouth when he sneezed or yawned - gross).  So yesterday was spent in bed while King Richard went out to watch the nine hour football game (I'll spare the rant).  He did bring me (??) back pizza ~ I got one piece and the next thing I know it's gone (I'll spare that rant as well).

So we flew to NH for Christmas.  We saw my youngest son while we were there and attended to some medical appointments (Kings cataracts are ready, willing and able to be removed ~ probably next summer it will be done).

We started a "bopper" thing a few years ago (Patrick's college graduation I believe) ~ you can count on us to have them for any Whelan celebration ~ rehearsal dinner, Princess birthday, and Christmas.  I can not believe I was able to get a picture of Snoopy wearing them ~ to say that he was not a fan is an understatement.  Paige didn't particularly care for them either.

How about her Christmas sleeping attire - is she too cute or what!

Princess Paige, Muffin is all about her beloved baby, so when she woke up Christmas morning and saw that Santa had brought her a slide baby was the first to go down it (family presents were opened Christmas eve)

Then she waved to her adoring fans as she had her first slide down!  Oh the child is too much ~ there is no baby talk spoken in their house and her vocabulary and diction is just amazing.  She was able to use sign language before she spoke ~ it is a constant ASL refresher course for Rick and I when we are around her!

It did indeed prove to be an exhausting day!


As I said before, our Princess Muffin is all about her baby.  See that "treasure chest" sort of thing front and center in the photo above?  Well, T~T (that would be me) made lots and lots of baby clothes, as well as a quilt and blanket to put in that adorable chest (it was one of the most fun projects I'd done in a long long time)

Paige and Bethie enjoyed going through them all (I think).  Over this past weekend Paige had a houseful of company and instructed the children how she wanted baby dressed ~ wearing nearly all of baby's new clothes!

We are still in the Houston area and have decided to stay here for two more weeks, as the monthly rate is much better and the weather is decent - usually in the 70's although it went down to 36 the last two nights!  As yet we've done no site seeing, but perhaps we will soon ~ who knows!

Stay tuned.