Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah'ing Around Texas - Wed., Nov. 20

So for my birthday Bob took me out to dinner last night at Saltgrass Steakhouse on the Riverwalk, a pre-birthday dinner. I had a rib eye steak, sweet potato, and salad; Bob had salmon, sweet potato and salad. For dessert, we shared a piece of pumpkin cheesecake. What a good birthday dinner!

Saltgrass Steakhouse
Today, my birthday present was a tank of gas and chauffeur (Bob) for a road trip around south Texas. My birthday card from Bob had a dog and cat on a couch. The dog is jumping up and down excitedly yelling, "ROAD TRIP!!" The cat replies, "We can't drive so quit saying that." Inside the card says, "Enjoy some adventure on your birthday." Bob took the afternoon off work and we headed east on I-10. Does Bob know me or what?

Our first stop was Palmetto State Park in Ottine, TX. We wanted to check out the park because we plan to do a weekend trip there. Our reconnaissance was to find the good campsites.

The park is primordial - swampy with dwarf palm trees, warnings of snakes, and lush undergrowth. My hiking feet wanted to hit the trails, but today wasn't about doing everything, it was more about seeing what the park had to offer.

Fall colors across from the park headquarters.

Oxbow Lake looks like a fun place to go in summer. They have rental kayaks, fishing boats, canoes, inner tubes, pedal boats and Hydro-bikes

Oxbow Lake
The park has a Volksmarch which must go on every trail in the park for a total of 6.2 miles. Can't wait to go on this walk!

The following photo struck our funny bones. It's a big enclosed tent. The sign in front says, "Tent here." It looked like there was a generator and heat pump for this tent.

Group picnic pavilion with kitchen
More swamp.
San Marcos River with erosion showing from recent flooding.

From Palmetto State Park, our next town was Gonzales. We drove through the historic old town.

Gonzales' Courthouse.
First Baptist Church, established 1847
Sculpture in courtyard of First Baptist Church.
As we continued south toward Victoria,Texas, the next town we visited was Cuero, Texas. Another beautiful courthouse graced the town square.

Bob in front of Cuero Courthouse

Such distinctive architecture.

I loved this little door tucked away beside a large entrance.
Farther south, Victoria showed off her stuff. Lots of history in Victoria. We drove part of the historic route past large mansions and humble smaller homes all part of the original historic district in Victoria.

Victoria Courthouse

Downtown Victoria, Texas
Victoria, Texas
What we learned from this quick tour of south central Texas is that we need to come back and spend a lot more time walking through and reading the history of each of these places. Also, I really want to go to the Victoria Zoo.

As we drove into the sunset, I was able to catch this lovely photo through the windshield.

Thank you, Bob, for a wonderful birthday celebration. You are right, we do love to travel! It was good to be on the road again, if only for an afternoon. Good job planning just the right birthday. Woo hoo.