A Travellerspoint blog

Texas Hill Country

View from my condo

sunny 80 °F

Fall 2013 017

Fall 2013 017

Texas Hill Country is a unique geography - this is a golf course, so more grass, but same hills, same mesquite trees

Posted by MissRumphius 20.10.2013 19:27 Archived in USA Comments (0)

I'm in cowboy country now

Trick roping at the Flying L

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Staying at Flying L Dude Ranch. Friday night entertainment, Kevin Fitzpatrick, trick roper. Actually, quite entertaining. More interesting though – in addition to doing advertisements, etc. he does shows in places like Dubai – apparently folks from places we consider exotic find our cowboys fascinating!

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Posted by MissRumphius 15.10.2013 18:47 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Vacation should always start with a Bloody Mary!

River Walk San Antonio

sunny 79 °F

The San Antonio River Walk is quite pleasant. Leafy paths following the San Antonio River – lined with Tex Mex, BBQ and chain (think Rain Forest and Hard Rock) restaurants interspersed with tshirt shops and such. So I was quite pleased to find Ostra (Spanish for oyster) restaurant. A pleasant white tablecloth place with uncrowded outside seating for good people watching.

Perfect for the traditional start of vacation bloody mary – rimmed half salt, half chile powder, which was actually a nice bit of kick. Also had a blackened Texas redfish sandwich that was very good.

I can see why it's a popular place for conventions – the Riverwalk is a pleasant diversion close to the convention center. I'm thinking it's not an independent destination though. Beale Street without the music, French Quarter without the party.

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Posted by MissRumphius 13.10.2013 19:06 Archived in USA Comments (1)

Crownthorn Chapel and Eureka Springs

award winning architecture secluded in Ozark woods

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As I was planning this trip, a coworker advised - "You must see the Crownthorn Chapel - Fay Jones!" Turns out Fay Jones is a very famous Arkansas architect and this Chapel is listed by the AIA as the 4th on the list of top designs in the 20th century!

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It is quite remarkable - has the same soaring presence as the famous historic cathedrals but probably a 10th the size. The turnoff from the highway would be very easy to miss - I don't think I would have thought of stopping there if I hadn't been looking for it.

It's just outside the very touristy town of Eureka Springs. As the name suggests the town exists because of the springs and the downtown is on the National Historic Register. But once the buildings are admired, it's indistinguishable from any number of other tourist towns - shop after shop selling t shirts, jewelry and taffy.

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Posted by MissRumphius 13.05.2012 08:14 Archived in USA Tagged arkansas Comments (0)

Battle of Pea Ridge

Turning point for the Civil War in the West

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I suppose Civil War scholars know about Pea Ridge, but it wasn't familiar to me. Apparently it was a key early battle that led to the Federals holding the West for the remainder of the war.

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The interpretive center was small but interesting. That early in the war the units fighting were still intact reflecting their origins. Rebel units from Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas, including a Cherokee unit. Units from Missouri on both sides. The Federal units mainly from the Midwest and significantly new immigrants. In fact, several of primary Federal leaders had served in the German and Prussian armies and many of the soldiers didn't speak English at all.

Met a couple from Texas there to visit because his great great (maybe some more greats) grandfather had been wounded in the Battle. The grandfather had led a unit from a town in Southern Arkansas and he and many of his unit returned there after the war and had eventually been buried in the same cemetary. The cemetary has been restored and the couple had been to a rededication ceremony there. The connection to the present made the battlefield events seem somehow much more real.

Posted by MissRumphius 08.05.2012 04:42 Archived in USA Tagged arkansas Comments (0)

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