Sunrise in Monument Valley

Sunrise in Monument Valley

Sunday, April 22, 2018


We left Fort Worth, headed towards home. The traffic going around Dallas wasn't bad at all, except for the maniac drivers. On the way home we stopped in Mineola, TX for the night. The main reason to stop there was to visit Stitchin Heaven, a well known quilt shop that has a BIG on line business. They always seem to have a ton of fabric on line and a lot of Blocks of the Month. They also have quilt cruises and look like a great shop. The on line store is very impressive, but the shop--not so much. It was in a little run down strip mall in a tiny town in the middle of no where. They had lots of batiks, patterns, panels and fabric, but nothing that exciting. I did see some Tula Pink fabric with kitties that was really cute.

This is their mascot which I found in their back room. What else, but a Texas longhorn.
The best part of this stop was that the campground was only 2 blocks from the shop. I found a great campground at the Mineola Civic Center. I was a little worried about what type of area this would be in, but it was very nice and clean. The Civic Center was a great community area with basketball courts, soccer fields, picnic areas and a full hookup campground for $28 a night. The sites were arranged in a circle around a field and we actually had pretty good WiFi. We were one of only a few  people there and there was no one any where near us. The boys had lots of room to sit our in their play pens and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine without being worried about traffic or dogs nearby.

                                     What a pleasant surprise this campground was. Very spacious.

  When reading the reveiews of the CG we saw a comment that you must go to town and get some of the fried pies. So to town we went to find them. There were two stores next to each other selling what they claimed were the "best fried pies". We chose the one on the corner with the yellow fried pies banner. They had a huge selection and we bought a few to have with our coffee in the morning. They were not quite like Grandma's, but they were very good.

Mineola was a one night stop and we left the next morning for Vicksburg, MS. It was right on the Mississippi River, although our CG wasn't exactly on the river. We stayed at the CG that was part of the Ameristar Casino. It was cheap, we had full hookups and it was for one night.

They even had a shuttle that would come pick you up at the CG and take you to the casino, but we  drove across the street to the casino for a hamburger and to check it out. We aren't gamblers, but the did spend $5.00 on the slot machines. It was interesting, but not for us. I'd rather buy fabric. We saw many AA people sitting in there playing slots. Of all the many people only about 1% were white.  They were playing big time slots. One woman had over $800 worth to bet with. I don't think you can ever win with a slot machine unless you are lucky and can walk away after you win a little I couldn't believe how many AA were in there in the middle of the day gambling big time. Sad.

After Vicksburg we stayed in Cottondale, AL  for the night and left for home. It was a nice vacation, but it's always nice to come home. If only we didn't have to do mounds of laundry and cleaning afterwards.


Our next stop was Fort Worth, or actually Mansfield which was a little SE of Fort Worth. The campground was easy to get to, being just off a major highway,but close to absolutely nothing. It was a very nice campground and we had a great site right on the end of a row. It had a little grass and a picnic table, but it was just too windy to sit out. This is the windiest state I've ever seen. The wind has been like this since we were in Galveston.The people here drive like maniacs and fly past you no matter what the speed limit and cut you off. Usually they are in BIG pickup trucks. I guess Texans must have somewhere important to be because they all drive like that.

 I wish w had thought to count the number of Dollar Stores and Family Dollar Stores in Texas. I have never seen so many. There seems to be on every other block and sometimes more closely. We passed 2 Dollars Stores on the same block. Good grief! Then there are the donut shops. Texas must be obsessed with donuts. We noticed it more in Houston, San Antonio and Fort Worth rather than the smaller towns. We decided to go to one to see what they were all about---I mean what is so different about  Texas donuts?  BUT they were closed. As a matter of fact there were lots of donut shops, all closed or out of business. HUMM. Texans must have made some bad investments in donut shops and switched over to Dollar Stores.

We decided in Fort Worth we were going to eat steak and or Bar B Que instead of Mex Tex.W  e ended up at a Mex Tex anyway the first night because that's the first restaurant we could find near where we were staying. It was actually very, very good. The second night we did drive to Arlington for a very nice steak restaurant and it was excellent. We didn't really have any plans of things to see in Fort Worth except a visit to the tourist area the Fort Worth Stockyards. I've been to Dallas/FT Worth several times either for medical dosimetry meetings and several times while on the Board of Directors for the Palm Beach Komen Foundation, but I never visited the actual stockyards. So away we went in search of the Fort Worth Stockyards.

Two times a day they have a demo of a group of cattle drivers herding longhorns down Exchange Street which was the original Chisholm Trail. Also, there are a few cowboys along the sidewalk with their longhorns, just in case you want to climb on and have your picture taken. We saw several people do that----HUMMMM I think I'll pass on that. One little boy about 5 yrs old was so nervous he just couldn't take his eyes off the longhorn long enough to look at the camera for his picture. He was so cute.

At 11 am they drive the longhorns over to one pen and then at 4 pm they drive them back. Pretty exciting. It was more fun watching the cowboys and the different outfits and hats they had on.
Here they come!!!!!

                       I couldn't post the video here, so you'll have to check it on on youtube.

Also on Exchange Street was the Cowboy Coliseum and the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame.
It was an actual rodeo coliseum and downstairs were photos of hundreds of Texas award winning rodeo participants.
 There was no rodeo going on while we were there so we could wander around and take pictures.

We walked over to the longhorns that were now safely in their pens. They were munching hay and how they kept from poking each other's eye out (and stabbing other areas) with those long horns, I'll never know. We saw one poke another right in the eye. OUCH!

There were a couple of nice sculptors along the street.

This tourist area was full of bars (saloons), restaurants and lots of shops full of Stetson hats and beautiful cowboy boots. The buildings were original and there were a couple of other museums there also.

                                                We had dinner here and the food was very food.

                                          The Stockyard Hotel, still in business.

Another saloon/restaurant.

                          This was a old General Store that still had T shirts and souvenirs to sell. I loved the                                                                            old buildings.

                                        All along the sidewalk were stars of fame for various famous cowboy stars.                                                           My hero was Annie Oakley.

Thirty years or so ago I was in Dallas for a AAMD meeting. At each annual meeting there was one night that you went to a local well know place for dinner or an event as part of the meeting. At this meeting the event was going to Billy Bobs. Being from Florida and not having a clue what Billy Bobs was I had no idea there was such a thing.. Let me say Billy Bobs is HUGE as in 100,000 sq ft inside and 20 ares of parking outside. I remember our tour bus pulling up and parking in this massive parking lot. According to the info BB's can accommodate 6,000 people. There are restaurants,
30 bars, a country dance floor (they give line dancing lessons regularly), they have live country entertainment with stars like Willie Nelson, Montgomery Gentry, Clint Black and others and they have a bull riding ring.
Thirty years ago I was amazed to see actual bull riding going on in a bar. Texans take their rodeo seriously. Billy Bob's is known as the World Largest Honky Tonk and it IS.


    We walked around from the back to the front door and went in. The visitor info booth had given us free tickets to get in. Of course at this time of the afternoon there wasn't much happening except a dance lesson and them setting up for the night.

   One quick walk through and David was ready to head for the door.
Everyone in there was dressed in jeans, cowboy shirts, cowboy hats, and boots. As David said he felt like an idiot wearing his shorts with his skinny white legs and his Jesus sandals.
 He was outta there!!!!!

It was a nice tourist area and we enjoyed walking around and checking out the old buildings.
Back to the MH for a nice relaxing night.

Friday, April 20, 2018


Our last day here was a little lazy. Since we were in no rush to go any where we made it a relaxing time with the kitties. Ever since we have been here the it has been quite windy, One day it is 80 degrees, the next 50. Crazy weather. Even though we brought long and short sleeve clothes we had to do laundry often because we were always out of one or  the other.

After doing laundry we decided yo take a drive around to a couple of the other towns. We decided to check out a couple of the other quilt shops on the hop hop, just for fun. Our first stop was Boerne,  (I think pronounced Bernie)/ The town was another Texas town with German influence and it was a pretty good size. The quilt shop, Sew It Fabulous has recently moved into an industrial area and we had a heck of a time finding it. We thought for sure we had the wrong address or the GPS was sending us the wrong way. We found the shop tucked away in the back corner of the building. The people in the shop were very nice and friendly. I did find some thimbles that I had been looking for. I can't seen to keep a thimble on my fingers, because they don't fit snugly over my finger joints and fall off when I start stitching. These thimbles were more grippy and rubbery and actually snug to my finger, so hopefully I'll be able to use them when doing my applique. I found some blue Bonnet fabric to go with my Texas Wildflower  layer cake.

Next we drove to Blanco, Tx to visit  Uptowb Blanco Textile Studio. This was one of the most unique quilt shops and buildings I have ever visited. The shop was in an old mercantile store in downtown Blanco.

We parked around on the side street and this was parked there also, Someone had made a quilt cover for their Smart Car. Very funny.

Inside, this shop was so incredible. They had tons of fabric all arranged by color, but the shelving and woodwork was so beautiful. One of the people that worked there told us they had used the original flooring to make the cabinets, counters and shelves that went to the ceiling. They had a library ladder to climb up to get the bolts from the top shelves. The back of the shelves was bead board.
The wood was so beautiful you were so busy looking at it that you couldn't notice the fabric.

It was a great stop, but I didn't see any fabric I couldn't live without.
We were getting hungry so we stopped across the street for a hamburger at The Redbud Cafe.
This place was busy with locals and it was a good size place. Evidently on weekends they had live music. Their menu was mostly salads, soup, sandwiches, but the also had a bar that served wine and beer. We didn't try it, but the hamburgers we had were excellent---very fresh and cooked just right. It was an odd cafe with brightly colored oilcloths on the table and someones original artwork of country artists on the walls.

Back to Frederickburg we went to spend more time with the kitties and take Bentley for a walk in his stroller. I did get a few pictures of Blue Bonnets, but they were rather disappointing. We thought we would see more fields of them and they looked like little tiny miniature lupines (which they are). They are not nearly as impressive as real Maine lupines. I'll never forget the picture we took of Glynda standing in a huge field of lupines in Maine.

Thursday, April 19, 2018


This area has so many places and little little towns to visit and  is so great to just hang out and relax here. On our way home from Wildseed Farms we realized that Luckenback, TX was only about 5 miles down another road, so we were off to Luckenback.  Although the song is one of our favorites, the town of Luckenback is misleading as there is no real town. It consists of a General Store/Post Office, bar and a back yard with a stage and a bunch of picnic tables to sit and enjoy whatever live country music might be playing. On the weekends the entertainers are is a little more well know than on the day we were here. But they were great anyway.

 The parking is a dirt lot and as you walk up you see the General Store/Post Office.

                                          This is the back yard with the live entertainment.

Here's the you tube video of the entertainment.  LOL  

After Luckenback we headed back to Fredericksburg and decided to eat downtown before heading to the MH. As we walked along Maine St. David spotted some fabric in one of the shops. The shop was called  "Things In A Room" and boy did they have fabric and this is how they displayed most of it. I have never seen fabric displayed on a peg board system. It sort of made it hard to see each of the fabrics, but the were sure able to stack a lot of fabric.

We had dinner at Auslanders Restaurant which was a German cuisine. I had the sausage with cheese and jalapenos and David had their standard bratwurst. Of course we had to sample each others, and they were both great. The German potato salad was great and my favorite red cabbage had way too much vinegar to enjoy. I love red cabbage, but his almost took my breath away.  

                                                            David had some kind of beer.

 Back at the MH. There was a small Class B parked next to us and when the man saw Bentley in his stroller he had to come over and talk with us about our cats. As it turned out he was traveling with his wife and his beautiful silver Maine Coon. He brought her out and she was gorgeous, a real show cat. When he saw Nicholas he was almost in tears because he said they had just lost their cat Duffy that looked just like Nickie. He missed him so much and just could get over how much Nickie looked like his cat.

                                              We have one more day in Fredericksburg to enjoy.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018


What a great little town this is. The population is about 10,000 and it is about 70 miles north of San Antonio, but what a difference from the big city. It has a strong German influence here with German restaurants, and culture. We stayed here 4 nights, but we would have liked to stay longer.

The campground we were in was Fredericksburg RV Park and it was very clean, organized and quiet. It was relatively close to Main St. where most shops were. Main St was lined with cute shops like a five &  dime, t shirt shops, but also had some really nice clothing stores, lots of restaurants, historic buildings and many wine tasting shops. This area had 30+ wineries. It is also relatively close to a lot of smaller towns around like: Luckenback, Blanco, Johnson City (the home of Lyndon B. Johnson), Comfort, Stonewall and Austin isn't too far away.

 On the road to Fredercksburg. We were constantly on the look  out for Blue Bonnets and saw very few. What a disappointment not to see fields and fields of them.

  In downtown Fredericksburg there were many historic buildings and sites. This is the Vereines Kirche Museum which sits in the Marketplatz. It is an octagon shaped building originally built in the 1830s and used as a church and meeting house.

                                                       Maine Street is lined with great shops to visit.

                 Usually while on vacation we would have breakfast in the MH (unless there was a special place we wanted to go and then one big meal for the day. Our first day there we were starving and David saw a hamburger place named Jenny's that he wanted to go to.
It was hard to find as it sat back from the Main St and was in a little hole in the wall building. We ordered a hamburger and tornado fires, thinking they were hot french fires and this is what we got.
The hamburger had a smoky favor and was excellent and the tornado fries were homemade potato chips cooked on a stick. They were excellent also.

 After walking around town for some time and checking out the shops and places of interest we decided to go to the Fredericksburg Pie Company. It was a little house off of Maine St that sold homemade pies and had antique quilts and some quilt supplies for sale. My kind of place. Pies and quilts--you couldn't ask for more.    The  shop stays open until the run out of pie. LOL

 I couldn't resist having a piece of coconut cream and David had chocolate. Mine was excellent!!!!!!

 It was a cute house/shop with lots of quilty things and doilies to look at.
 This was a Jodi Barrows quilt for sale. Jodi is a quilt teacher/designer of rulers and quilt patterns. The quilt appeared old, but was not. It was quilted on a longarm and was for sale for $350. The shop had several of her books for sale also.
 Very cute shop, but the pie was the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 The next day we found there was a local quilt shop.  Who knew??? One Quilt Place was a very large shop with a quilt retreat and longarm quilting area and classroom. The shop was only 4 years old, but very well stocked with a variety of fabrics, patterns, kits and they even have wool which is hard to find. I heard the owner tell another customer they were going to be in the May issue of Quilt Sampler magazine.
  We were told by the owner that they had just started their Shop Hop which consisted of 5 shops between San Antonio and Fredericksburg. I've never done a  shop hop and wasn't going to do this one, but I had a great time looking through this shop. They were really busy and the people there were all so nice. I did find a layer cake of Texas flowers.

Afterward we went to Wildseed Farm that sells plants, seeds, herbs and has fields of wild flowers. They also had a gift shop with wines, foods, etc.

 David loving on one of their many kitties that was laying in the sunshine.

                                                                        Fields of poppies.

                                              A close up of a few Blue Bonnets

                                                    It was a great visit to Wildseed Farm.