Saturday, November 13, 2010

San Antonio

We are in San Antonio, Texas tonight. We were walking down the road, on our way to the art museum, when I didn't see a curb and fell down hard. I sort of rolled right into the road, too, and landed on my right hand. Nothing broken, except the skin on the heel of my right hand, but I'd be very surprised if I didn't have some bruising tomorrow. Boy.. did I feel like an oaf or what? ;)

The art museum was really a good one -- huge! There were some interesting exhibits -- Egyptian art, Pre-Columbian artifacts, contemporary American art, and a fine display of Mexican artwork from different eras and genres.

After the museum, we walked back down via the River Walk. We were extra-careful, knowing that, if one of us were to trip on something, we'd be in the drink!

We then began our search for something to eat. The RiverWalk is teeming with cute sidewalk cafes and bistros, and we scoured several menus before deciding to eat at the Texas Cafe. I got the breaded catfish filet, which was wonderful! Jack had enchiladas and he ate every bite!

We walked to the River Center Mall for a little look-around. It was here where we found our I ♥ San Antonio pin! Tired and noticing that the bus would be at the stop in just 15 minutes, we headed in that direction. Easy ride, and now we're back here relaxing.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

One Rosebud

Today we drove down to New Iberia on Avery Island, Louisiana, to visit the McIlhenny Tabasco Plant. Although the road through Lafayette was horribly rough, we made it. The factory tour was different from the one that Michael and I had taken many years ago. It was actually far better. We got to learn more about the process of making the sauce and we were behind a protective glass panel, which kept us from the really strong fumes from the crushed powder. 

We got to see the bottles being filled, labeled, and boxed, and we were allowed to take photos. After the tour, we went to the Tabasco Country Store, which I didn't remember at all, if it had even been there. We got to shop and taste all the different sauces and concoctions made from the Tabasco sauce. This included, not just sauces, but salsa, chocolate, ice cream, soda, chili, and more! We even had lunch at the little Tabasco Kitchen parked outside. I had Chili Fritos, which was their delicious chili atop Fritos, served in a bowl. Jack had sausage on a stick with Tabasco on it!

I bought a dishtowel and a pin, and Jack got some Bloody Mary Mix and sauce. And we took our little free sample bottles and drove on.

Tonight we're in Lake Charles, Louisiana at the Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park. We're learning gradually that Yogi Bear parks are NOT all good. This one, for example, is not. We had to do laundry, and the laundromat is stocked with very, very old machines that are rusty and not in good repair. The room was dirty and the machines, for not working well, were $1.50 each run. Besides that, the bath house is about 1/2 mile away from all the campsites. Tomorrow will be better. I know.  

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Roses for you!

Today we are in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. We arrived yesterday, after a short drive, hit the Bass Pro Shops (within walking distance, but we drove our car), loved our lunch there, and had a little shop around.

This was museum day. We began the day visiting the Louisiana State Capitol. This building is unique in its HEIGHT! Thirty-four stories tall, this Capitol stands alone among capitols we've visited. The decoration on the outside is capitoline, with many, many beautiful limestone carvings and statues around and on the building.

Inside? We didn't get to see much, unfortunately. Because there was a demonstration (protesting cuts to higher education funding), we didn't get to go upstairs. But we enjoyed the rotunda and the exhibit on Huey Long, Louisiana's controversial governor from 1928 - 1932. We even saw a hole made by a bullet in the gunfire which shot both Long and the man who (allegedly) assassinated him.

We next headed down the road to the Arsenal. This 4-foot-thick-walled building is where the powder kegs were kept for protection of this area of the southeast. It was constructed in 1838.

Another museum was on our must-do list. The Louisiana State Museum, right up the road from the Statehouse, is a fabulous, contemporary building. And it's packed with so many fascinating exhibits about life in Louisiana - past and present. From the role of slavery to Mardi Gras traditions, Zydeco music to Indian Mounds, it's all here. Oh, and did I mention that it was free admission? Amazing.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Jackson, Mississippi

The palm trees are from near Savannah, Georgia. Jackson photos will come later.

We arrived in Jackson on Saturday. Sunday morning we went to church at Fondren Presbyterian, which we really enjoyed. While they didn't have a coffee hour -- the best way to really meet people, they did have friendly people in abundance.

We shot a few pictures of the church, and then changed clothes in the car. Off we were to lunch, which was a feast at Golden Corral. Next we drove into town, and visited the Mississippi Museum of Art. We enjoyed the exhibit of Oraien Catledge's photos of Cabbagetown, near downtown Atlanta. There was a fine collection of Mississippi artists' visions of the Mississippi River, and a great collection of nice watercolors.

The Old Statehouse Museum was open for visitors, so there we were! The Old Statehouse went out of use from 1837 till 1903, when the NEW Statehouse was completed. The building itself was beautiful, and we liked the historical exhibitions about the state and about the renovation of the old capitol building.

We've discovered in our travels that weekends are actually three days long, sometimes 4. Many places we like to visit are actually closed on Mondays. This commonly includes museums. But the Capitol in Jackson was open for business today - Monday! We shot photos outside and in, and looked into all the rooms. What a beautiful capitol building you Mississippi people have! Marble floors, beautiful tiles, wonderful Beaux-Arts architectural detailing, a tall and lovely rotunda, and stained glass windows make this a sight to see.

Lunch was interesting. We had not discovered any eateries in our preliminary wanderings, and we'd forgotten to ask anyone inside the Capitol. So we enlisted help from the GPS and found that Capitol Avenue had several restaurants with interesting names. So we left our car safely parked and walked the few blocks south to Capitol Avenue.

A local saw us appearing lost and directed us to one of his favorite eateries -- the Elite Restaurant. Upon advice from the server, we ordered the chicken fried veal cutlet which came with a salad and fries. Jack also ordered the gumbo. Wow! This was soooo good!

It was still just 2:30, and the weather was beautiful (71 and sunny) by the time we returned to the car, so we decided to find something else to do. Back to the GPS, we looked up Points of Interest > Attractions... and found the Zoo! The rest of our afternoon passed pleasantly as we looked at, read about, and photographed the many animals there! Another great day!