Friday, January 20, 2017

JUDGE ROY BEAN MUSEUM…WONDERFUL

Wednesday, January 18 – We woke-up this morning in Houston anxious to hit the road. But what do we hear....rain. Heavy, heavy, Texas style rain. Thunder and lighting! Yikes! We check the radar and there are wild splotches of yellow, red, and green. There are even tornado warning in effect for the area. Unfortunately, in Houston that rain has no where to go and that means flooding. The roads are impassable and many are even closed.

With the rain came road closures. Commutes were horrible. The rain didn’t effect the East side of Houston. You can see by the photo below how long it took commuters to arrive in Houston. When your commute is in red, that isn’t good.

DSC08686

We don't tow our house around in that kind of weather, so we are forced to re-evaluate our travel plans, again. The weather girl on TV tells us that the heaviest rain should pass by 7:30 and the majority of the bayou flooding should subside by 9:00. Bayou's are the huge drainage ditches around town designed to carry storm water away from the city of Houston and into the Gulf. The city authorities are asking commuters to remain home or travel to work later in the morning. We had 5’' of rain in four hours.

The Bayou behind the campground is about 30’ deep. It was at the top.
bayou

To add to the problems, another line of heavy thunderstorms are forecast to reach the area around noon. And this whole weather forecast is predicted to repeat itself Thursday morning. The good news is this line of storms are skirting up the Gulf Coast and not affecting areas west of San Antonio. So we decide to leave about 9:00 a.m. if the roads truly are passable by then.

By nine o'clock, the weather had improved tremendously, and the rain has even stopped. Guess those weather forecasters are better than most people think. So we pulled out of the Houston Elks Lodge hoping the roads are passable, and the weather gods smile upon us.

Signs of previous flooding are everywhere, but luckily we are traveling on back roads and avoid most of the commuters attempting to get to work. We only have to detour one time around a bridge underpass that is full of water and only hit a couple of brief rain showers. But man are the fields full of water. We don't want to be around here if they get a similar batch of thunderstorms tomorrow morning.

We decided to stay away from I-10 and drive HWY 90 the entire route. By early afternoon we reach Hondo, Texas. When reevaluating our travel plans, we decided to wait until we arrived in this area to decide if we should stop for the night or plow on to our previously planned stop in Langtry, Texas, (near Del Rio). We both felt pretty good and decide to continue on to the Judge Roy Bean Museum. Judge Roy Bean is known as the only “Law west of the Pecos,” referring to west of the Pecos River.

Pecos River
Pecos River

By dinner time, we are high and dry in the Wagon Wheel RV Park, which is across the street from the Museum. This place is certainly not something to write home about or to recommend to our RV friends, but it will do for the night. The Judge Roy Bean Museum is closed for the night so we'll visit it tomorrow morning before we continue our travels Westward.

It was very very foggy and cold Thursday morning.Wagon Wheel RV Park

Wagon Wheel RV Park

Looking right.
Wagon Wheel RV Park

Looking left.
Wagon Wheel RV Park

Across from our site. Good grief.
Wagon Wheel RV Park

We were up and at the Museum when the doors were open, 8:00 a.m. What a magnificent place! Texas Department of Transportation has a Visitor's Center connected to the museum providing all the great pamphlets of places to see in Texas including the local Langtry area.

Judge Roy Bean Museum

We began with a very informative 15-minute video about Judge Roy Bean. It was a little funny due to the fact it was made in the 60's. Old cars, bell bottoms, and big hair. LOL There are also about a half dozen dioramas and a collection of artifacts for viewing. It was all very well done, and we walked out knowing all about the life of Judge Bean.

These dioramas had holograms. They were amazing. Here you can see them playing
pool in the Opera House. The people are the hologram.

Judge Roy Bean Museum

Each diorama had earphones to listen to the story. Excellent job. Judge Roy Bean Museum

Judge Roy Bean Museum

The Roy Bean Saloon/Courthouse, Billiard hall and Opera House is located next to the Visitor's Center/Museum. The Saloon is the original building that has been restored to its late 19th century condition.

Judge Roy Bean Museum

Judge Roy Bean Museum

Miss Lily Langtry, Roy’s love. He named the city after her.
Judge Roy Bean Museum

In this billiard hall, Judge Roy Bean and his visitors played for fun and profit. The Judge died in this room on March 16, 1903. He is buried in Del Rio.

Jusge Roy Bean Museum

The “Roy Bean Opera House, Town Hall and Seat of Justice” was not an opera house at all but rather Judge Roy Bean’s home.

Jusge Roy Bean Museum

Jusge Roy Bean Museum

Jusge Roy Bean Museum

Jusge Roy Bean Museum

Behind the Saloon is a beautiful Cactus Garden and Interpretive Trail. All the specimens are accompanied by labels naming the plant and including Indian and pioneer lore regarding each plant. A brochure is also available describing each plant. It was so dang foggy and cold that we didn’t get to enjoy this Garden. A quick walk through was about all we could do today.

Jusge Roy Bean Museum

Jusge Roy Bean Museum

Jusge Roy Bean MuseumJusge Roy Bean Museum

Across the street from the Museum, is the original Langtry Post Office. We talked with the Postmaster, who was a very nice gentleman. He said the Post Office serves about 30 people. No mail deliver in Langtry. Everyone must visit the Post Office to receive their mail.

Langtry Post Office

Pretty tiny inside.
Langtry Post Office

We enjoyed our visit to the Museum, and wish we had more time to spend there. We will return the next time we are in the area to spend several hours learning more about Judge Roy Bean.

It was a very long travel day (much longer than we prefer to travel), but the “hitch itch” was killing us. We were glad we decided to travel. We have another long travel day planned for tomorrow that we are not looking forward to, but long days are necessary if you want to travel across Texas.

Due to the fact that we are doing tons of sightseeing, we are going to be a few days behind posting. We are now in El Paso and will tell you all about this fair city in future posts.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y’all back real soon. Have a great day.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

LOOK OUT ARIZONA, WE ARE ON OUR WAY!

Tuesday, January 17 – After a two week delay waiting for Paul's cardiologist to give him an “all clear,” we will finally be heading west tomorrow (Wednesday).  It will be nice to get back on the road, although we will miss spending time with our daughter, Carrie.

We are taking a different route across Texas. In past years, we've traveled I-10 numerous times and one time US-190 (a route north of I-10). This year we will take US-90 (a route south of I-10) from Houston through Del Rio and stopping in Langtry, TX our first night.

We will continue on US-90 to Fort Stockton where we will pick-up I-10 and continue on to El Paso. We plan on spending several days exploring El Paso before moving westward. We've passed through El Paso several times but have never stopped to take in the city and surrounding area.

After El Paso, we plan on spending time in the Las Cruces – Deming, NM, area and then move on to Yuma, AZ, were we have dentist appointments in Algodones, MX, while in Yuma.

After Yuma, our plans are to roam through Why, AZ, area and then head up to Tucson, AZ. Weather permitting, we hope to visit Sedona, AZ, before heading to Phoenix where number one on our list is Baseball Spring Training with the World Series Cleveland Indians.

We have other places in Arizona we want to visit before returning to Houston sometime in early April. Looks like a fun couple of months!

We've again enjoyed our stay at the Houston Elks Lodge. This past week we've had a bonus visit with long time RV friends Pam and John, Oh The Places They Go, as they passed through town heading west. Even though it was for a few short hours, we had a wonderful time. We hope to see them again in Arizona later this winter.

Pam and John

Bella, our cat, also had a visitor but one she was not necessarily happy to see hanging around the RV. There have been two hawks hanging around all fall. They haven't bothered Bella, but she has certainly been aware of their presence.

hawk

So we're on the road Wednesday morning. Stop back and enjoy our travels with us.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y’all back real soon. Have a great time!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

A FUN EVENING IN DOWNTOWN HOUSTON

Friday, January 13 –  Our daughter, Carrie, was able to leave work a little early today so we headed to her apartment in downtown Houston to enjoy the evening. She lives in a very historic building called The Corinthian. At the turn of the twentieth century, it was not only the first steel structure in the city, but at an impressive eight stories was also one of the tallest buildings in the state - a skyscraper of its day! It is located in the Downtown Historic District.

The Corinthian

We parked at Carrie’s place and headed the few blocks to Discovery Green and Minute Maid Stadium, home of the Houston Astros baseball team. This is also the area where many of the upcoming NFL Super Bowl events will be held.

We needed to walk through the Law District of Houston on our way to Discovery Green. Located in this area are the courthouses and many, many law firms.

Harris County Courthouse
Harris County Courthouse

Harris County Civil Courthouse
Harris County Civil Couthouse

Passing by the Houston Astros Stadium.
Minute Maid Park

Things were happening today for this weekend's Houston Marathon. It seems like something is always brewing in the big city. We made a stop at the George R. Brown Convention Center. The Convention Center was set-up for the runners to check-in and for non-runners to get involved as a fan experience. There were hundred's of informational tents, freebies, and, of course, tons of runners gear for sale. One part of the NFL Experience for the Super Bowl will be held here also.

They have put new signs up all around town for the Super Bowl.
new Houston signs

Houston Convention Center

Houston Marthon

Marsha and Carrie having some fun with the Gieco Gecko. Geico guy

They had a really neat mural of the Houston landscape. The landscape was made up of all the participants’ names. Carrie has a friend running in the Marathon held on Sunday. We found Holly’s name. Pretty cool idea.

Marthon wall

Maraton name

There were photo booths just to add to the fun.

photo booth

Go Run Houston sign

Discovery Green is a park next door to the stadium where many outdoor events are held. They were setting up for Super Bowl LI, so we just walked around and enjoyed the activity.

There is a huge section of Discovery Green dedicated to the arts. There is a section that has a different theme every few months. The Enchanted Promenade, ten colorful, giant peony bouquets, is the current display.

Enchanted Promende

Enchanted Promende

Carrie waterfalls

us and Super Bowl sign

It was getting dark signaling the start of Houston Nightlife. We have never experienced a big city with all the restaurants and bars. There were thousands of people downtown enjoying the city after dark. I should mention that with all the people about, we never felt threatened or uncomfortable. Although, it is wise to be aware of your surroundings.

We visited several bars enjoying some craft beers and glasses of wine. We also played darts, and table top shuffleboard in a couple of the places. Of course, we enjoyed some snacks too!

One of the newest, hottest places in Houston is called Biggio’s. It is a two-level sports bar named after the former Astros All-Star Craig Biggio. This restaurant/bar is located directly across from the Convention Center.

Biggio's

Biggio's

If you visit Houston, don’t miss Phoenicia Foods. Phoenicia Specialty Foods carries more than 15,000 products with down-to-earth pricing from more than 50 countries. The also have a MKT BAR (short for Market Bar) that is beautiful.

Phoenicia Foods

Phoenicia Foods

One of the neatest bars in town is OKRA Charity Saloon. A group of independent restaurant and bar owners have launched a unique concept--a bar where 100 percent of the proceeds are donated to charity. The charities are all locally based. The charity with the most votes at the end of the month receives the next month's proceeds.  For each drink purchased, guests receive one vote that they may cast that night for one of four charities selected by OKRA’s members.

Okra

OKRA bar

OKRA bar

We gave our four votes to Main Street Theater. OKRA bar

Carrie could have gone on for hours but by 9 o'clock we were tuckered out and were ready to walk back to Carrie's loft apartment and head back to the Houston Elks Lodge campground. It was a very enjoyable evening with Carrie and fun to experience Houston after dark.

Houston after dark

Houston after dark

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y’all back real soon. Have a great day.