Monthly Archives: November 2012

Hostess Hunt

Hostess Hunt

We started off our morning on South Padre Island. Theresa really likes the beach but I think we really wanted to go back and try to eat at Manuel’s. Texas Monthly must love to eat at Manuel’s because it made the list of top 50 Mexican Food Restaurants, Top 40 Places to Eat Breakfast, and 63 Tacos to Eat Before You Die. We loved the salsa and the breakfast burrito. I would have shared with Greg but here is his before and after shots!



We depart Port Isabel and begin the final day of our adventure. We have been zigzagging across South Texas and the Rio Grande Valley and we continue that pattern with the GPS programmed for Falfurrias. We take a slight detour for Greg to check out some wind energy.


The Brooks County Courthouse in Falfurrias was a quick photo stop before we move on over to Hebbronville. There is an old run down hotel across the street from the Jim Hogg County Courthouse and it is worth a look. The three of us often talk about buying an old building, in a small town, restoring the building, opening a business and live on the second floor. If we could get all the siblings, nieces and nephews involved we could really boost the economy of a town! It is really sad to see a building with a historical marker to fall into such disrepair. The Hotel Viggo was built in 1915.



Hebbronville had a banner that boasted “Vaquero Capital of Texas”! I love churches so just a couple of blocks over is Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church and the old Scotus College, an Fransican Seminary.




It was late Monday night when we went through La Salle County so we have to backtrack and it was a good thing we did! We had been searching for Hostess cupcakes, Zingers, Ding Dongs, Snowballs or basically anything made by the now bankrupt Hostess. We found the mother lode in Freer and then again in Cotulla. We bypassed lunch for our favorite Hostess snack. The county courthouse in Cotulla was being worked on so we couldn’t get very close.

One of main destinations on this trip was Los Angeles, we blinked and almost missed it.


We go to Tilden, the county seat of McMullen before going North towards San Antonio. Jourdanton is the county seat of Atascosa. Their courthouse was beautiful!


Poteet, the Strawberry Capital of Texas, our final stop so we hunt down the large strawberry for our last photo.


No trip to San Antonio is complete without a visit to La Fogata’s. I love to eat there! Theresa had the Taco Campisino’s, I have nachos (I love their refried beans), but dessert was really what we were after. Their Mango Empanadas are wonderful, especially when it is accompanied by the mango ice cream. Yummy! Theresa had the Tres Leches and Greg didn’t speak while he was eating his sopapillas and vanilla ice cream he just kept rolling his eyes!

We made it to the airport and checked our trip odometer at 1289.4!

I have about 40 counties left in our great State of Texas. Next year we are headed to El Paso for our annual birthday trip.

See ya on the road!


Rattlesnakes, Killer Bees and Other Some Such

Rattlesnakes, Killer Bees and Other Some Such

The day started with a glorious sunrise, a bright yellow shirt and no shoes. My morning jog took my feet within inches of several jell fish. We departed the hotel and had breakfast at Andy’s, a quaint Mel-dineresque eatery. The food was good, the service was better but it was time to hit the road.

We went to Alice to see the World’s tallest cement water tower (built in 1927, 165 feet tall) with several discussions along the way about the difference between concrete and cement. I needed my pal John David McPherson to give as a definitive answer. It was very large. It was very heavy. It looked very old. It looked like it was not being used. We were grateful that it didn’t fall down… at least not today.

The next stop was San Diego. The first question is do you pronounce the town like the California town? Or do you pronounce the town like the cartoon characters name. We don’t know, but we had fun saying it both ways. We had our picture made at the sign at the city limit. I’m certain that one of the siblings will pass this off as having visited the city in Cali. The only highlight in San Diego was the courthouse.

The WORLDS LARGEST RATTLESNAKE can be found in Freer, TX. This snake was unbelievable Just an aside… all snakes are poisonous. I had to take the time to save my sister Theresa from the fangs of the snake. Good thing I was there. I wonder if a snake bight has the same problem as a vampire bite? hmm.

Laredo ( enticed us. We stood in a parking lot overlooking the Rio Grande towards the country of Mexico. No, we didn’t cross the border. We visited a church but we spent most of the time looking across the border. It was astonishing how many people were making their way back across the border (or just across the border from Mexico. Had to be thousands. We drove by a hotel called the Rio. I sure hope no one stays there… but I think it had a great view into Mexico. Driving along the banks of the Rio Grande we saw several areas for recreation (near the Rio hotel) that were not being used. I wonder how often they are used? Leaving this area almost got us into hot water. I made a wrong turn and we ended up in the line to travel across the border. Luckily they had a u-turn lane for wayward souls like us.

This will be sort… Zapata… court house… BORING… unless you are from Zapata… LOVED it!

We visited Rio Grande City we saw a grotto that was modeled after one from France. Built by the church priest.

We traveled to los Ebanos to see the only hand pulled ferry in the United States. Unfortunately for us… we were not able to determine if it was there. The road was under-construction and my phone decided to go international mode. At least one of us went to Mexico.

Mission, Texas… the home of the late great TOM LANDRY. We stopped on East Tom Landry Boulevard and saw the mural on the side of a building that was painted in honor of his career(s). At the base of the building in the side walk concrete was the hand print, foot print, and the signature of each (not all players just a few).

WATCH OUT – We visited Hidalgo and the worlds largest Killer Bee. I guess when bad things happen, you have to commemorate it with something larger than life. This killer bee is way larger than life. I avoided it’s stinger.

We ended our daily dining experience with dining experience at Palenque Grill. We didn’t eat the road kill but we did eat what we were served. The food was excellent and the service was even better. So, if you ever find yourself here… ask for Manny, he has the menu memorized.

I’m tired of typing… and it’s time for bed…

drive fast…. and be nice.










South Texas Part 2

South Texas Part 2

I love the annual birthday road trip. This year I am celebrating the 50 year mark! It’s exciting and scary at the same time. The best part of the trip is getting to spend time with my siblings. Even though they make fun and laugh at me, I still love them!

We came back to South Texas because Key West just wasn’t in our budget this year. I love the beach and Lynda still has counties to visit, so it was a win win alternative.

After landing in San Antonio, our first stop today was in Castorville to check out the Landmark Inn which is a state historic sight.


We also stopped by St. Louis Catholic Church
and drove up to Cross Hill.


20121118-230220.jpg. The view was simply beautiful.

Our next stop was the Medina County Courthouse.


We also caught a glimpse of this sign:


And of course, no day is complete without the cheese….so here is our cheesy shot for the day: the world’s largest peanut!


Now off to find the Frio County Courthouse!


We drove closer to the border and stopped off in Eagle Pass at the Maverick County Courthouse

And then off to the Kickapoo Casino….in Texas!!!! Greg was the big winner of our 30 minute gambling excursion.

Moving on to Carrizo Springs and the Dimmitt County Courthouse

And then we drove to Crystal City to catch up with Popeye at the spinach capital of the world!!


We are finally ending our journey for the day in North Padre Island at the Island House Condominiums. We have a beachfront condo, and we are sitting here listening to the sound of wind and waves hitting the beach. What is better than that?

After landing in San Antonio, we drove 450 miles today. I’m ready to do it all over again tomorrow!
Look out Laredo, cause here we come!

See ya down the road!
(The youngest sister ….. )

The Younger Half

The Younger Half

I am about to embark on an epic journey. Well, actually, I will not be leaving until tomorrow but nonetheless the journey will be epic.

My traveling companions for this trip are very close to me. I have known them since the day they came home from the hospital. We have a lot in common. We were all born in Fort Worth, Texas. We have the same parents, the same siblings, the same blood type and we all graduated from the same high school. We are all children of the 60’s, we all worked at the same hardware store (Elliott’s in Dallas) and we have all been teachers at some point in our lives. We are also very different. I never got a spanking from Granny Bic, I am not sure if Greg did, but Theresa did! We all went to different colleges and Theresa is a lot braver when it comes to trying new foods. Greg and I both are afraid of heights, while Theresa will sit with her feet hanging off in the Grand Canyon.

Theresa is the reason we started this blog. We decided to start writing after our epic adventure with Greg last November. I am sorry you missed out but I will share a few highlights with you. We saw the world’s largest pecan, Theresa ate pickled pork fat (she thought it was an onion) and we laughed a lot. We climbed to the top of a lighthouse, looked at courthouses, saw a giant tree and laughed a lot. We stood on the beach until our feet sunk down into the sand, we stood at the infamous fence, on the edge of the Rio Grande River, and looked longingly into Mexico because Greg forgot his passport. We sang a song at Freddy Fender’s grave and stopped by Little Graceland. We laughed,we sang (A Thing Called Love, Red Solo Cup, Blessed Assurance) and we drove over 1,000 miles in South Texas, hugging the Gulf shoreline. This year we are going back to South Texas to explore the Rio Grande River side of South Texas.

We are going to San Juan, Havana, San Diego and Los Angeles, all without leaving our great state of Texas.

I am ready.

See ya on the road!