Saturday, January 22, 2011

Graham, Texas

So, the day after Trent I took off to Graham, Texas. The excerpt in TH was about the city named True, Texas bein outside of Fort Belknap and Graham. Although True is not longer in existence I did choose to visit Fort Belknap and Graham. Unfortunately, it was Sunday, though so NOTHING was open but the movie theatre.

I really liked the murals....Fantastic.
The downtown area was really cute. However, all the shops were closed :( Not even the ice cream store was open on Sunday! What about your tourists, Graham???
Beside the current courthouse was The Arch, left over from the original courthouse in the 1800s.
To the side of the courthouse was the Veterans Memorial. Most of the names were from WWI and WWII. However, there were names from other more recent wars.
The Confederate Memorial dedicated to the men who fought for our Confederacy in the Civil War.
I hate when there are so many trees in from of the courthouse because then you can't get a very good picture! However, this would be the county courthouse.
And the old movie theatre is in tact! There are three screens showing three movies on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. They even have two showings a day for each movie. So I caught the matinee of Gulliver's Travels for the great price of $4. Only three other boys were in the movie, it was quite nice. In fact, for a small popcorn and drink it was $5 so MORE than the movie ticket. But I like supporting the old movie theatres.
Before the movie started I took off to Fort Belknap, an old Army fort set up to help build the frontier and help fight against agressive Native Americans.

Fortunately, I had my GPS, although it's really quite simple to get here. The signs from Graham were pretty clear and it's only down a road. But there's no "1 mile" warning or anything of the sort. It just sorts of appears on the left. When I pulled in I didn't really know where to go, figuring there might be a place to get a map like most Ranger Stations or Welcome Centers. But, there were not. You can walk around (or drive around in my instance because of the cold) and there are little markers for each of the buildings over the doorways.
National Historical Landmark!
The barracks of the old fort.
Finally, I came upon this building and a little 8x10 piece of cardboard on the ground pointed to this museum being open at 1:30. Luckily it was 1:40. The museum was actually very impressive. They had many photographs and artifacts from wars from the Spanish-American to WWII. The people watching over, on property live-in managers, were really nice. I had a fun Texas football chat and continued my journey. In fact, I was calling it pretty close to the movie time!
This flag pole was made with stones from the original buildings of Fort Belknap.
Some of the cool shell casings from WWII.
As I was driving back to my aunt and uncle's house I drove through Breckenridge. I loved the Breckenridge in Colorado and it looked really neat, so I pulled over to take a few pictures. And totally glad I did!
The courthouse was on the main highway through the town. It was a really neat building. Loved the religious leadership put on the building! Again, all of the shops on Main Street were closed on Sunday :(

Gotta love Texas football!! It was a really nice mural, though, of the "spirit of the (local mascot)".
They also had an arch of the old courthouse in the 1800s.
The Arch beside the current courthouse.
Main Street! And the window displays were SO CUTE set up for Vday. Darn it!
Can I just say, "HECK YEA!!!" Put that Ten Commandments in the LAWN of the County Courthouse. I love that!!!!!
Then, on Monday I drove back to Houston. I stopped at this "shack" in Hamilton, Texas because it looked really cute and advertised cute, girlie items like purses and shoes, etc. It really is a garage-like store with cute earrings but higher prices. So I got a small coin purse to support the local businesses and continued on my way.
I had a great LONG weekend and am now enjoying another one with my Aunt in town to visit. Here's to another great weekend!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Trent, Texas

So last weekend was MLK so I got Monday off! The boys are in town for til February but I had to go and get my travel on. So I opened up Texas Highways January magazine and took off!

So I took off to Trent, Texas which is about 20 miles West of Abilene, Texas where my Aunt Barbara and Uncle Terry live. So I stayed with them while visiting too.
Love the water tower! And "downtown" which appears to be abandoned.
Gotta love the patriotic feel of the little Texas towns!
Close up of "downtown" which was absolutely ghostly on a Saturday at 5pm.
Trent was written up in TH because of their football field. It really is GORGEOUS! And very well kept. Check out the blue track :)
Scoreboard and background behind the stadium. Those are houses right beside it lol and I love the Texas hills behind it.
Go Gorillas...Blue and Yellow Gorillas?
Home small compared to the Houston fields!
I took this picture of the stadium with the wind farms in the background. Why? Because the money from those windfarms is what PAYS for the stadium. :) Thank you Natural Enery!!
The stadium is behind the "school" although I'm not real sure it is. I saw another building that said it was the school that looked more like it. But, this larger building can't just be administration since there are only 300+ citizens in the city so probably only 100 students K-12.
Sunday I travelled to Graham and I'll post those next, but probably tomorrow night or later. :)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Day 6: London Day 2

Well, to all my friends and family keeping up, I'm back in Houston, safe and sound! I even got to sleep in my own bed last night :) It was awesome.... But here is the last night (New Years Eve) in London. From Chester, I took the train back and found my way to the Heathrow Express. The "hotel hoppa" bus service from the airport stinks. You have to pay 4 pounds to ride and hotel shuttles are not allowed. Stupid Heathrow!
I stayed at the Holiday Inn Ariel because it was the cheapest on Expedia. It was fine...just needed a night to sleep before the plane ride.
The lobby was decorative...
Now, THIS is the traditional European hotel room. Lol if another person had been in this room it would have been a tight squeeze when getting around.
After I dropped my luggage at the hotel, I was out to the City to get one last look at London before leaving. My goals were Buckingham Palace and the London Bridge. So I studied the Tube system map and made it (quite easily) out to London.
First stop was Buckingham Palace. So, not what I expected. But still glad I was there.
Nice statue in front of the Palace.
Now, THAT'S a gate!
The palace from across the street...
And more up close...
From the gate, with my camera right inside the camera :) Couldn't see any guards, though. Guess it's just a day thing?
The coat of arms on the gate.
I thought maybe there was more to see so I walked around the entire grounds. Big mistake, that was like a 2-3 mile walk lol. In the freezing cold. But I liked the old walls with the spikes. Very protective lol.
Then I took the train to London Bridge station. Saw this Chapel as soon as I got out of the station. I have the name on my map, I'll have to look it up. Very Medieval though.
London Tower pretty. I walked up and down the London Bridge (which is just a normal bridge) but I loved the viewing of the Tower Bridge. So pretty!

Stopped at a cafe to get something to eat. But I couldn't understand the Middle Eastern people who were working at the cafe. I didn't want to eat pizza again but I think that's all they had. They had more on the menu but I think they were trying to tell me it wasn't available. I just got a can of Fanta (my obsession over there lol).
The concierge at the hotel had said the Tube was going to shut down at midnight for the holiday (which I just couldn't fathom-how are those 250,000 people going to get home??) but it was so busy on New Years Eve that I decided to take the underground back to Heathrow.
I was so hungry so I sat in the bar/lounge area of the hotel and had a salad and some drinks. As midnight approached I decided to stay downstairs and watch the coverage in the bar.
36 seconds til 2011!!
Happy New Years, Big Ben!!
They do a BEAUTIFUL, MAGNIFICENT firework display over the River Thames. It was quite awesome.
Over the London Eye!
And, that was my New Years. I left early that morning for Houston. It was a LONG day of flying but was happy to see my Daddy as I came down to baggage claim. Was excited to be home and even got to spend some time talking to Michael last night. Things are back to normal and fabulous! Going to wander around Texas when I can. School starts again on Wednesday. And the boys come January 10 for MEGA CHRISTMAS and a THREE WEEK STAY!! Woohoo, life is good. Thank you to all those who kept up with me and especially to God, who truly looked out for me on this journey. I had MANY talks and leaned on him more than you'll ever know. Such a fabulous experience for me. Can't wait for the next one!