Monday 18 January 2016

Driving through Texas (part 3)

This is my last post about our holiday in Texas.  After we had taken Andy, Naomi & Crusoe to the airport we checked into our hotel which was next to the terminal.  It turned out to be an historic building!!!  It was built in 1968 as the Bergstrom Air Force Base headquarters - commonly known as the 'donut'.  It is a circular building with the rooms around the outside and a large atrium in the middle.

We took a public bus into Austin and walked around 6th and 7th streets.  We eventually found a Greek restaurant to eat in.  During our trip we had rather overdosed on Mexican food and as great as it was we were desperate for something else.

The Capitol Building

We found some old houses in amongst the high rise buildings.

And found these horse drawn carriages waiting outside a hotel on 6th Street.

We took the bus into Austin again as we weren't sure about the parking.  We needn't have been.  I have never seen so many multi-storey car parks in one place in my life.  Every block along one street was a large car park!

We went to the Capitol building Visitor Centre and looked round a display there before taking a tour of the Capitol itself.

The lady in the Visitor Centre had recommended a German Bar for lunch and it was great.

It was quite close to this stadium - the home of the Texas Longhorns.  However not the animal that I was still trying to get a photo of.

We went to The Bullock Texas State History Museum for a couple of hours.  The displays were great.  However I became all-Texas-historied out by the end.  This was the fourth time we had read or heard about the history of Texas.

More of the old houses as we walked around.

This one looks a bit French.

We had dinner in the city centre and then returned to the hotel.  Although the sun had shone all day there had been a bitter wind and a very low temperature.  We were glad to get back to the warmth.

Another sunny but cold day!   We drove across country to Elgin, then to Taylor and on to Cameron.

Much to our amazement we found a lovely little Italian place that served super food.  It was obviously where the locals went for lunch after church.

It had an historic downtown of course!  By now they are looking the same!

I couldn't resist this plaque about the first girl's Tomato Club in Texas!

We drove to La Grange specifically to go this Quilt Museum.  It was set up by the person who runs the International Quilt Festival in Houston.

Photography wasn't allowed of the quilts but I asked permission to photograph the interior of the building which I thought was beautiful.

However we were allowed to have our photograph taken in front of a quilt of our choice.

There was an exhibition by a British Quilt group in one room of the museum of the Magna Carter Quilt.  If you got to this page and click on the pages listed under Quilts you will be able to see the very impressive quilts.

There just happened to be a quilt shop next door.  And yes! I did give in and buy some fat quarters.  To stroke of course.

This was the rest of the historic downtown.

We drove on to Burton where there was a station and an old stage coach.

We unintentionally drove past Lake Somerville - we were lost at the time.  I do not recommend using maps that have a scale of 15.5 miles to the inch when you are used to using British Ordnance Survey maps (1.25 miles to the inch!)

We saw these white tailed deer who posed for a photo.

We saw this amazing sky.

Eventually we ended up in Brenham where we ate at the BT Longhorn Saloon and Steak Bar.

As we set out this morning we had 7 hours until we needed to be at the airport.  So only 7 hours left in which to photograph a Texas Longhorn!

But let's go look at another historic downtown: Brenham

From Brenham we drove to Independence - no historic downtown just an historic village of buildings.  Well worth visiting the village's website.  American's call them towns but they are villages.

This area was supposed to be the town square with the rest of the town built on a grid system around it, but it didn't happen.

Mrs Sam Houston lived here.

A cotton gin

The General Store

A plantation house

Our last tourist stop was at Washington-on-the Brazos State Historic Site where in the building below the document was signed declaring Texas as an independent state - leaving Mexico. 

The river Brazos

We visited the farm on the site - one which had been moved here from elsewhere.

The farmhouse.  The bedrooms were the two rooms on the left and the rooms on the right were a living room and a dining room.  The children's bedrooms were in the roof up a very steep ladder.

This was the kitchen in a separate building.

And these small huts were where the slaves lived.

And with 3 hours to go we saw some Texas Longhorns.  Yeah!

On the way to the airport we stopped in the small village of Chappell Hill for lunch.

Most of the village was made up of historic buildings!

So farewell to the Lone Star State.  A very slow journey through the outskirts of Houston and a flight home overnight.  And back to a country with proper historic buildings - pre-1850!

Despite the cold and the rain it was an enjoyable trip.  But next time we travel in January we're going somewhere warm like Puerto Rica.

Thanks for stopping by.


  1. Just got caught up on all three of your posts about your trip. You guys covered a lot of ground! Looks like you had a great time traveling and being with the Junior Hoppers!

  2. Wonderful pictures, even the long horn! I have enjoyed these blogs. Thanks. Esther

  3. Thank you for a delightful tour of part of the state I live in. I grew up in Illinois, but after Almost 30 years of my husband being a chaplain in the Air Force, we end up retiring in TX because our two children and their families settled here. I have been in Houston lots for baseball games and 4 pr more international quilt markets, and have driven through Austin lots because we lived in San Antonio Twice, but I had hardly been any of the places you visited. I live in Dallas in a retirement complex, apartment. (Flat) I too, love getting back to England, where we lived the first three years of our married life in Cambridge. (57-60)

  4. I have a soft spot for Texas since both my parents were born and raised there (and I spent time there as a child). Thanks for the three part photo tour. I think Part I was my overall favorite - loved the buildings and the horsemen for Christ. But I did really like the door and long horn shot in today's posts as well.

  5. Amazing! I may have to revisit and read again to appreciate all of this post. I know people who live in Austin and it sounds a very creative place to be. Amazing photos and the Capitol is so beautiful inside.
    I am very interested in history and places with stories and old buildings. The plaque about the Tomato girls really grabbed my attention. How inspiring to educate young woman to be self sufficient and independant. Yay! It made me think of Green Fried Tomatos. It looks an amazing visit Bernice. It's never occurred to me to visit but now I would be tempted! Thanks for sharing.


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