San Antonio river cruise on New Years Eve

Sher and I and family spent a very cold afternoon in San Antonio on New Year’s Eve. We enjoyed the famed river walk and were excited to take one of the Go Rio River Cruises. Fully narrated along the way, the cruise was most enjoyable. Seniors, be sure to ask for your senior discount for this must do attraction in the Alamo city!

Ready to board the boat for the cruise!

The San Antonio River Cruise

Glad we brought some cold weather clothing!

Pretty view of the River Walk with a pedestrian bridge

River side sculpture at the Briscoe Western Art Museum

Captain of the boat and tour narrator in one!


Good bye Austin, New Orleans here we come

We said goodbye to family this morning and headed east. Our original plan was to drive to Lake Charles, Louisiana and stay at a casino tonight. On the way we made some cool stops, saw some neat things, and we ended up deciding to stop at the Rio RV Park again for the night. (See our review of Rio RV here.)

Burton, Texas train depot. Built in 1898 to the specifications of the Southern Pacific Railroad, this structure replaced the original from 1870 that had burned.

Neat old building with signage stating “Burton Auto Co.”. Might have been an early gas station.

Burton Farmers (Cotton) Gin built in 1914. Originally steam powered, it continued in operation until 1974.

New Mural in Brenham, Texas

Detail of mural painting

Built in 1870 for prominent banker, lawyer and landowner Jabez Giddings, this historic mansion in Brenham is known as the Giddings-Stone house.


We enjoyed a nice day in downtown Austin

With temperatures in the low 60’s and partly sunny skies we had a great day to tour Austin. Fortunately we were able to find acceptable parking for our RV enabling walking jaunts for photo ops. Below are some of the results.

The awesome Texas State Capitol building in the heart of Austin

Darrell K Royal–Texas Memorial Stadium has been home to the University of Texas at Austin Longhorns football team since 1924

The Santa Rita No. 1 oil rig first pumped oil in 1923. The rig was re-erected in 1958 on the University of Texas campus.

Grave of a Confederate veteran of the Civil War in the historic Oakwood Cemetery in downtown Austin. The grave of Sam Houston is here, as are other famous Texans.


Bishop’s Palace in Galveston Texas is remarkable

Known as Bishop’s Palace, this Victorian style mansion was originally the home of Josephine and Walter Gresham. Gresham was a railroad magnate and hired famed architect Nicholas Clayton to design the home. The structure was completed in 1892, and it survived the disastrous 1900 hurricane.

From 1923 until the 1960’s the house was used as the residence of the Bishop of the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese. It is now owned by the Galveston Historical Foundation. Guided and self guided tours are available for an admission fee.


Galveston’s Sacred Heart Catholic Church was built in 1903-1904

The original Sacred Heart Church was built in 1892, however it was destroyed in the hurricane of 1900.  During the years 1903 to 1904 the current edifice was built.

Beautiful architecture designed by Nicholas J. Clayton, noted Galveston Architect

The dome was damaged in the hurricane of 1915. Clayton was called on to redesign the dome.


On the road to Galveston, Texas via the Bolivar Peninsula

Today we headed to Galveston Island from the town of Winnie, home to the large flea market known as Larry’s Trading Days. The direct route took us down to the Bolivar Peninsula, a very narrow spit of land with the Gulf on one side. Most of the way the road ran right next to the Gulf shore.

We stopped at the sign for a historical marker and ended up at a fascinating park that was once an artillery battery that was built in 1925. Fort Travis had several gun emplacements and several magazines.

There’s our RV on the ferry

View of Galveston from the ferry

We then went on down to the free ferry that runs daily from the south end of Bolivar across the water to Galveston Island. We had a little delay for the ferry, as we did not make the cut for the first ferry that came to the dock and had to wait for the second ferry boat. The ferry ride was really pretty cool as we saw lots of large ocean going cargo ships.

This is a Pilot boat that leads the huge cargo ships in and out of the harbor

Sher and I are planning on seeing the sights here in Galveston for at least a day or two. We’ll let you know what we see, and we’ll give you all another campground review as well.


Pictures of Giddings, Texas

On our way from Austin to Houston we drove through Giddings.

A uniquely designed courthouse in Giddings, Texas

Classic old painted brick advertising sign in Giddings

A real Texas oil well!


Continued journey from Texarkana to Austin

We had another chilly night, this time in Texarkana. We hit the road again mid morning heading along I-30 towards Dallas. I was surprised to see the interstate speed limit of 75 MPH. I never run our RV at that speed, but I did run a little faster than our normal 60!

In front of the massive Dallas Historical Society

We really had a great time when we stopped at Dallas after we spotted the Cotton Bowl from the street. What we found when we turned in that direction was the Fair Park, a huge area filled with tons of different things to see. The plaza was built for the 1936 Texas Centennial World’s Fair and featured large statues and buildings honoring the six countries whose flags have flown over Texas.

Fair Park Plaza with Dallas skyline in the background

There was a butterfly exhibit in one of the science buildings.

One of the many pretty water features

We saw a neat Christmas lights/celebration set up along a large pond system. Bet that this is very impressive at night. Some of the buildings were closed, some were open, and there were very few people in the park. Otherwise, we would not have been able to drive our RV through the park! We met a nice dad who was there with his two kids and two dogs. He snapped the photos of us in front of the Dallas Historical Society building, and told us of the history of Fair Park.

We spotted this from the street and found Fair Park. This is the original Cotton Bowl

We finished today’s journey when we got to our family’s place in Austin. A great ending to a great day!


Do you see the ghost?

The photo was taken through the window of an abandoned and collapsed building in McLean, Texas. Some have seen a ghost in the photo. Others have not seen anything out of the ordinary.

What about you? Do you see a ghostly apparition in the photo???



McLean Texas on historic Route 66

IMG_3971McLean, Texas is one of the many towns on Historic Route 66 that harken back to the pre-interstate days of cross country travel. On our way from Tucson back to Indiana we stopped at McLean. Without knowing what to expect, we just drove around this small community.

The old Avalon Theatre front caught our eye. When we stopped and looked in the chained and locked front doors we could see that the entire roof had collpased. It was easy to imagine crowds waiting to buy tickets and see a movie back in the days.














There is a really cool restored Phillips 66 gas station in town. The Devils Rope Museum celebrates the history of barbed wire. Unfortunatley it was closed the day we drove by.

According to the 2010 census the current population of McLean is 778. The town is on Business 40 at mile marker 142 on I-40 east of Amarillo.