Thursday, March 17, 2016

Days Ten, Eleven and Twelve. Midway RV Park, Waco, Texas

So.  This is not the trip we planned.  Not by a long shot.  

Monday was travel day.  We only had to turn around once because of flooded roads, so it was a pretty nice drive.  We did see several fields that looked like lakes.

No, these aren't lakes.  They are flooded fields.

Some of the other interesting things we saw were Indian Mounds, a flock of sand hill cranes flying in circles, a few wildflowers, and two prison buses.  

We got the very last space available at Midway Corps of Engineers RV Park in Waco.  We've stayed here before.  Tim likes it here because of the fishing.  I like that it's just outside the city.  

Tuesday, we went to see the movie, Risen.  The theater is just a couple of miles from our campground.  Super convenient!

Yesterday was a hang-around-the-campground day.  Tim did some fishing, I did some reading.  Lunch was beef tips and mashed potatoes, then hamburgers for supper.  Yum.

We fit some sight-seeing in today.  After lunch at Chuy's, we drove to the Baylor University Campus.  First, we explored the the Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning Collection.  It's the largest collection of Browning memorabilia in the world, housed in a beautiful building right on campus.

The front door.  Very impressive, but I thought it was funny that they've looped a thick rope around the inside and outside handles, to keep the door from closing completely.

This is just a small part of the ceiling in the Meditation Room.  The docent told me it is twenty-five feet high, and all of that gold leaf was applied by hand.

There are so many beautiful stained glass windows.  
Each one depicts a scene from one of Robert Brownings poems.

This is the Elizabeth Barrett Browning Salon.  
This is the only room in the building with windows illustrating her poetry.

A small portion of the painted ceiling in the main library.

There are cases and cases of books about the Brownings, or by the Browings.  
Many are first editions.

After we left the Barrett Browning Collection, we just wandered around the campus.  It is so beautiful.

After all that walking, we rewarded ourselves with Sonic milkshakes, then headed on back to camp, so Tim could get some fishing done before the day was over.

Due to various problems with the fifth wheel, as well as some things that need our attention at home, we have decided to cut this trip short - very short - and head home tomorrow.  

We've been gone less than two weeks, but I must say, I am ready to be home.  Can't wait to see those grandgirls!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Day Nine. Sunday. Nacogdoches/Lufkin.

So, yesterday was, finally, a perfect day.  Still somewhat cloudy, but no rain, a slight breeze, and perfect temp.  So we went to the zoo!

The Ellen Trout Zoo in Lufkin is small compared to some big city zoos we've visited.  But, sometimes, small is good.  For one thing, the price is right...just $6 for seniors.  And, who wants to walk for miles and miles, anyhow.  It took us about two hours to see everything we wanted to see here, and that was just about right.

It's a lovely zoo.

Peacocks roam freely all over the zoo.

I always like the flamingos.

The landscaping was beautiful.  Lots of flowering bushes.


A lot of the big animals were having their afternoon naps.

Black and White Ruffed Lemurs

I couldn't get enough of this baby DeBrazza's Monkey.  Look at that sweet little face!

Just outside the zoo, there's a little train that takes you around the back side of the zoo, then through the park.  Of course we had to ride it!  We weren't the only grandparents on it either.  Although, we were the only grandparents without grandchildren riding!

The train goes across this little lake, into the piney woods beyond.

Yes, there really are alligators in the this little lake in the park.  
But that didn't stop people from fishing in it!

This trip hasn't exactly at all gone as planned.  But we seem to always manage to find some kind of fun wherever we land!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Days Four - Eight. Nacogdoches to Marksville. To Nacogdoches.

Last year, about this time in the Spring, we left home for a place we love, Abita Springs, Louisiana.  We first went to Natchitoches and spent a few nights, and had a great time.  When we left Natchitoches, I called ahead to our RV park in Abita Springs, only to find out they were booked.  Solid.  For weeks.

Bummer.  We had never had any problem getting a last minute reservation there before.  Big disappointment.

So we looked for reasonably priced RV Park where we could stop for a couple of days while we figured out a Plan B.  We landed at a little town called Marksville.  Not much there but a casino and a golf course.  Cowboy thought the golf course looked great, and they had a cheap inexpensive play all day golf package.  But, it was rainy that week, so he just promised himself we would stop there next time we were going to Abita.

So we made our plan B, and had a lovely trip through Central Texas, enjoying various state parks and the exceptional crop of wildflowers along the way.

Fast forward to this week.

Finally.  We're going to Abita.  I made reservations weeks ago, so we are guaranteed a spot.

You already know about our first stop at Nacogdoches.  

Next stop, Marksville, and that wonderful golf course Tim had promised himself.  There's rain in the forecast, but, hey, maybe the weatherman got it wrong.  That happens.

Yep, he got it wrong, all right.  Instead of the 1 - 2 inches predicted, the whole state of Louisiana became just an extension of the Gulf of Mexico overnight.  The governor declared a state of emergency.  The newsman reported that at least six parishes were completely under water.

So here's what this week looked like:

Day Four - Drove to Marksville

Day Five - Watched the rain.  Went to WalMart.  Got wet.  

Ate lunch at this lovely establishment.

I've heard it said that if you want to find a good place to eat in an unfamiliar town, just look for where the law enforcement vehicles are parked.  I guess it works.  This place didn't look like much, but the food was pretty good.

Day Six - Watched the rain.

Day Seven - Watched the rain.  Called Abita RV Park.  They said the roads were flooded all around them.  Made our Plan B.  

Day Eight - So, here we are, back in Nacogdoches, Texas.

We were never in any danger.  It never really stormed, there were no tornadoes, not even any strong wind in our area.  But the rain came down in buckets!

I took these pictures on I-49 this morning, north of Alexandria.  Looks like a chicken farm.  Hope those chickens can swim.

(I think the pictures will enlarge if you click on them)

We still don't have much of a Plan B, other than to stay here a couple of nights, then a week on Lake Waco.  Yes, Waco.  We traveled all the way to Central Louisiana, just to end up at Waco.  Well, maybe I'll finally get to see the Dr. Pepper museum.

There's still much to be thankful for.  I'm so glad we had a place to stay during the bad weather!  We never encountered the least bit of flooding on the roads we traveled.  And we were able to meet with our son again tonight for supper in Henderson.  We ate at a catfish restaurant called Hushpuppies.  The food was good, and the decor was quite unique.  

I loved this old tackle box used to store condiments and crackers on the table.

Unfortunately, they were out of banana pudding tonight.  But our son came up with a Plan B of his own, and ordered the Fried Snickers.  Fried.  Snickers.  

And here it is.

He couldn't finish it all, so I snuck a bite.  Y'all.  It was good.  Son thought it tasted like a Snickers wrapped in funnel cake.  Cowboy thought it tasted like a Reeses peanut butter cup.  I thought it tasted like chocolate peanut butter pie.  

As always, I want to thank our precious daughter for watching the house and taking care of the horses while we're gone.  

All in all, I think we are among the most blessed people I know.

P.S.  Please pray for Louisiana.  The flooding there is no joke.  So many people have been forced out of their homes.  Others are basically trapped in their homes, and can't get to jobs, because so many roads are flooded.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Day Three. Garrison and Nacogdoches, Texas

Today we drove back to Garrison...looks like there's not much there besides the restaurant where we ate the other night.
And this.  The Wiley Hotel, founded sometime between 1885 and 1890.  Doesn't seem to be open, except for special events and a once a month lunch.  The only information I could find online is here.

Sweet gazebo behind the hotel.

Train runs right in front of the hotel.

But this may be my favorite thing in Garrison.  Happy Cow Feed Depot, right next door to the hotel!
"Livestock Feed" "Garden Supplies" "Gifts" "Udder Things"

No time to shop for any gifts or udder things, though.  Drove on into Nacogdoches to see a few things we missed last Fall.

First stop was the LaNana Creek Trail.  It was a nice walk.  
Not much blooming right now, but we did find a few pretty things.

Love these tiny flowers that grew all along the trail.  Violets?

A very old, very tiny cemetery.

Redbud tree.

There's more trails at the Gayla Mize Garden.

Lots of azaleas, camelias and magnolias here.  
Very pretty, although many of the plants aren't in bloom quite yet.

Red Slippers Azalea

Magnolia Hybrid - "Susan"

Peter Pan Camellia

Florida Flame Azalea

By the time we walked through the second trail, I was exhausted, so we headed back to the RV Park, where I started sorting through today's photos, and Tim went out and WALKED some more!!!  
Crazy Cowboy!

We head out to Louisiana in the morning.  I hear there are storms headed this way.  I'm praying for safe travel.