Thursday 14 January 2016

Our holiday in Texas (part 1)

We have just returned from a holiday in Texas, during which time we spent nearly 5 days with Andy, Naomi and Crusoe.  So I have split my posts into three - before, with and after AN&C.

I took over 650 photographs and I have tried to sort out the most meaningful for the blog posts but each of the blog posts is really photo heavy.

We flew from Heathrow to Houston and picked up the hire car.   That took all day!  We drove to Bay City and stayed in a hotel there.

We drove to the coast of the Gulf of Mexico and along as near to the coast as possible.  We went to the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, famous for its Whooping Cranes.  We saw white tailed deer

a blue heron

and a Prickly Pear

We did see some Whooping Cranes in the distance but sadly they don't show up in my photos other than a white dot!

On the road out we couldn't resist visiting Hoppers Landing.

We stayed the night in Rockport and as it was New Year's Eve stayed up to watch the celebrations in Times Square in New York.  Once it was 2016 in New York we went to bed - there was still another hour to go in Texas!

The weather had deteriorated when we got up on Friday - it was cold and wet.  And it didn't stop raining for 48 hours.   We continued driving crossing over the causeway to Port Aransas.  As we got to the causeway we saw this sign.

We did see a lot of pelicans as we crossed the bridge and assume that when it is really windy - as it was this day - that there's a real possibility that the pelicans will get blown into your path.  Fortunatetly they and our car passed unscathed.

It was our intention to visit Corpus Christi but we never found the exit from the major highway to the Downtown area.  It was still pouring with rain so we carried on driving south to Brownsville. Another 3 hours or so!

We eventually found the hotel and went to Dirty Al's for dinner.  This was mainly known for its seafood.

We woke to another cold and wet day.   We were hoping to walk round the historic downtown of Brownsville but when we eventually found it, it wasn't worth getting out of the car!

So we continued along a road running parallel to the Rio Grande - the river that is the border between Texas and Mexico.  Sadly we couldn't see the river as it was a considerable distance away.

We eventually reached Rio Grande City and the rain had reduced to a drizzle so we were able to get out of the car, have a quick walk round and have some lunch.   This was the historic hotel in the town.

Here's our hire car parked outside some historic buildings on the main street.

We drove a little further to Roma- Los Saenz.  The Downtown area was full of historic buildings most of which needed some tlc.  This is the old Customs Building.

Here we managed to see the Rio Grande.

With Mexico on the other side.

Some of the other buildings in the town.

This interesting mural was on a wall.

As it was still pouring with rain we decided we might as well head back north.   We drove as far as Kingsville and stayed in a hotel there - when we had found it!

The weather improved although it wasn't particularly warm.  Our first stop was in Goliad where we visited the Mission Espiritu Santo.

We then went to the Presidio La Bahia where we learned about the Texas/Mexico history prior to the Battle of the Alamo.

We walked round the historic Downtown area in Goliad.

On our drive to Victoria from Goliad we stopped for lunch at McMillans World Famous BBQ.

The interior.

We checked into the hotel in Victoria which was 5 or 6 miles away from the Downtown.  Then we went into the historic Downtown and walked round.  It was very quiet - in fact we were the only people there.

We were fascinated by these drive-by library book return bins!

We walked through the park and alongside the river.

Monday turned out to be a beautiful day and we were heading for Austin Airport to pick up AN&C.

But firstly we made a stop at Hobby Lobby so I could buy a few craft items!  Yeah!  Roger & I don't usually go into shops when we are away.  Then we drove to a town called Gonzales, famous for a battle over a cannon.  This battle was where the first shots of the Texas Revolution took place.

We were given a tour of the jail museum.

We drove long straight roads and hardly saw another car.

We stopped off in Bastrop for lunch.  This was another small town with historic buildings.  I had to keep getting used to the fact that by historic they usually meant something built around 1910.  Although sometimes there were buildings from the 1880s.

The guidebook recommended Maxine's Cafe and we were very surprised to find it was full of customers.  We had the last table.

There were some interesting artefacts on the walls.

We went round the town museum and then walked back to the car.

Don't you just love the idea of Canoe Livery?

We had covered hundreds of miles in those five days and managed to see quite a bit of Texas even through the rain.  My next post will be about the days spent with Andy, Naomi and Crusoe in the Texas Hill Country.

If you've made it this far, well done.   Thanks for stopping by.


  1. I loved this post. These are parts of Texas that I have read about but never seen (except the Rio Grande River).

  2. Thanks for a wonderful tour. I live along the Gulf coast of Florida and it is very different from Texas. We are woody, swampy, some sandy beaches, and lots of nature - in fact they call my part of the Florida the Nature Coast. When we moved up here from the city in 1970, there was a black bear killed behind our house, we watched a cougar leap across the road in one long jump, deer graze in our yard (up to 15 at a time) and the birds are wonderful. Have to be careful of alligators on the Suwannee River banks, sharks and sting rays in the water near the beach and we had a bald eagle swoop down in our back yard to grab a snake. I appreciate your photos so much! You always catch such interesting things.

    1. You might like to read about our Florida trip in 2012 and here

  3. LOVE this Bernice! I've never really spent much time in Texas - have driven straight across on a few occasions... can't wait to see your next post...

  4. We've been learning about the history of Texas in our home school recently! It was nice to see your photos to round it out :) It must be so wonderful being able to 'visit' so many historic places in the UK.

    1. What a wonderful trip. Brownsville has a huge birding festival in the Fall. The old buildings are fasxinating as well as the tour of the jail. Thanks for sharing. Esther


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