Sunday, December 12, 2010

Thanksgiving Weekend! Mason and Albany, Texas

My family and I enjoyed a great Thanksgiving meal. Instead of embarking on another Black Friday extravaganza I decided to hit the road, Texas Style! I followed the Texas Highways magazine to Mason, Texas. Then I met my Aunt and Uncle in Abilene to head to Albany, Texas for some Christmas fun.

My GPS actually takes me through Bastrop, on TX 21 rather than US 290 to bypass Austin's busy I-35. On busy days I make sure to take it. I stopped at Bastrop this trip to get some gas and some lunch. They have a State Park that I hope to get to eventually...
I loveeee driving through the Texas Hill Country! So beautiful...this shot is taken right East of Llano, Texas (which is where I was yesterday for their Snow Day!).
One the road with my warm clothes, designer luggage and MEGA sunglasses, LOL.
Four hours after departing I was in Mason, Texas in the Hill Country!
First, I was off to the Ft. Mason City Park to see the Puncherdome, the high school football stadium. The Texas Highways November article was all about the small scale of tiny towns and their high school football stadiums. Too bad the stadium was closed!
The Mason Puncher's stomping ground. And, yes, I do mean STOMPING ground. They had a great season and even made it to the playoffs. At the bottom of the bleachers are actually folding chairs!! So different from mine, but great experience.
The visitor's stands...
Then I used the Chamber of Commerce website to find some fun attractions in Mason. One of them was the Library...although it was closed too...It's more known for.....
Old Yeller! I love this statue.
The other museum next door was also closed so I headed to the main square. Parked here in front of the Visitors Center.
Had to do some shopping! This children's store and gift shop had some fun items, but was very small and with other customers browsing I soon left since I couldn't really see much of the merchandise because of a lack of space.
Along the Main Street square is the Mason Square Museum. It's a very nicely done museum with lots of local history, and not all good history!
The Wooley Mammoth tusk was definitely my highlight. Love all of these that are showcased around the Hill Country!
It really was nicely presented. They did have some dark history of massacres and thieves with lots of murders and deaths but it made for some interesting reading.
More shopping... :)
Mason Square
This home design store was very nice...They had some great Western ornaments that I picked up for our UT tree! I love the local community spirit here. The football team was in the first round of the football playoffs, so the stores shut down to go watch them.
The Odeon Theater was on the square and runs Friday-Monday. I hung around town so I could watch a show.
The Courthouse was in the center of the square. A very nice building...
Love my historical markers! This was in front of the Courthouse, just the other side from the previous picture.
One more :)
It began getting dark around 5:30pm and the movie didn't start at the Odeon until 7:30pm. So, I found the Willow Creek Cafe on the other side of the square from the Odeon. They had free Wi-Fi so I got comfy and added some pictures from previous trips and played some Farmville. Also, had a great burger. :)
Really neat place... It was cold outside so I got some coffee first. Loved it!
Then I was off to the movies!! It was soooo cheap. I think the ticket in was $4 and the drinks were $1 and popcorn $2. I wish I could come here more often! Of course the $50 in gas kind of makes it not-so-cheap.
Well, after the movie I headed to Abilene, TX to visit my aunt and uncle. I got in late but we had some fun plans made for lunch and a Christmas parade. We visited and got some good sleep. Then headed off for a great Saturday!
As we were heading into town I saw these great cotton plants. I told my aunt and uncle how much I teach about Texas. We ended up stopping and stealing a plant to take back to my kids. Lol, oops...I hope they didn't mind!
We picked up Aunt Barbara's aunt and took her to lunch for her 90th Birthday!! Copper Creek was an amazing meal. Wine and nachos.....Yummy.
The Western decor was somehow nice and chic at the same time.
The meals were very nice and Nancy ordered this dessert of cheesecake and strawberries. Fancy, Nancy!!
Great looking bar, too...
We dropped Nancy off back at her house and headed to Albany, Texas about 20 miles NW of Abilene.
First, we headed to Fort Griffin State Historic Site. It was on Albany's visitors website.
This fort was used back in the late 1800s. Some of the buildings are still somewhat erect.
The soldiers quarters' were SO small! And three to four men would be in there. Guess not much has changed, though after looking at my sister-in-laws pictures of her bunks she sleeps in on the USS Kersearge on her current deployment.
The coolest part about our visit was the golf cart!! When we got to the park we were the only ones there. I visited with the desk clerk for a while on the history of the area then she offered us the cart, since it's a good 2-5 miles to see all the sites by foot. It was really neat, because I'm not sure we would have had time to see all of the items. They're pretty spread out...
Great view of the land from the look out area... Then we headed back to the town of Albany.
The Albany high school football stadium was somewhat similar to the Mason. But it was also closed to the public.
The Shackelford County Courthouse was really pretty, as well.
Cute gazebo in front of the courthouse...
Now, THAT is longhorn pride!!
We headed to downtown Albany for some shopping and to get ready for the parade.
The shops were cute but I couldn't find anything worth purchasing...Bummer!
A much better picture of downtown with the courthouse poking through!!
We shopped and sat in the car for a bit until the parade started...There were about 6-7 floats/entries into the parade. Love these horses! It was a cold night, though, so very Christmas cozy.
There was Mary and Joseph and yes, it was a real donkey!!!
And REAL camels!!!! Loved it.
And, finally, Santa Clause came around!! It was officially the Christmas season for me! Santa's sleigh.... Merry Christmas from Albany, Texas!!
The parade lasted a whole SIX minutes...Classic. My aunt and uncle have hardly stopped laughing since. We definitely have some inside jokes from now on.
As we came home from Albany we stopped in Anson to see the Courthouse lit up. Lol, kinda interesting...Love Christmas lights!! Even if they're just hanging off the roof :)
Overall, I had an amazing weekend away. I enjoyed it so much. Love being out on the open road!!

No comments:

Post a Comment