Custer State Park in South Dakota

Custer State Park in South Dakota
We saw a LOT of these guys at Custer State Park in South Dakota!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Alamo Trolley Tour- San Antonio Texas

We were in San Antonio for several days and we did a lot of walking.  We also did a two day pass on one of their Hop On Hop Off trolleys.

We used the Alamo Trolley and we were really happy with this group.

One thing that we liked about them is that they had a couple of the Missions on their route, and we wanted to visit them.

We had two great drivers while we explored, Perry and Phillip.  We spent so much time with them that we felt like they were our friends when we left.  Phillip was our last driver on the two days and as he dropped us off for the last time, he made a brief but very sincere "God Bless You" statement that touched us.  These guys care about their city, their passengers, and the experience that visitors have.

The drivers narrate the whole time you are on the trolley too, talking about history, places to shop and eat, local legends, etc.

Both drivers mentioned the Market Square area, and Perry strongly suggested that we try the Guenther House for lunch.  We were very happy that we did both, and those were stops we had not originally planned on our tour!  Both drivers also were helpful with our budgeting of time.  They knew about the weather, church service times at the missions, and the easiest ways to get to certain attractions after we got off of the trolley.  We were able to cover a lot of ground thanks to Perry and Phillip!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Sisters Grimm Ghost Walk- San Antonio Texas

I mentioned before that we did the Sister's Grimm Ghost Tour in San Antonio.  We had a great time with our tour guide Mark.

I won't spoil any of the stories, but I would say they were all dark, and interesting!

Here are just a few photos from the walk.  I was most crept out by the story relating to the Holiday Inn in town.

Here are some pictures for you to enjoy!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Andean Fusion

We caught these guys playing music on the River Walk in San Antonio and we loved them!  Its funny, I have pretty much stopped going to concerts but I still stumble into great live music here and there.... like I did in Texas!

These two guys (Andean Fusion) played some interesting covers (I remember John Lennon's Imagine being performed).  Some of the tunes I did not recognize, but I enjoyed them all.

They were drawing a pretty good sized crowd, and we were glad to see that their merchandise table was doing a good business.  I went over and bought a few CDs myself!

With the guitar, vocals, flutes and drums, this will be great music to listen to next time I am driving around the desert!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Menger Hotel- San Antonio Texas

San Antonio is FULL of cool, historic hotels!  We were pretty excited about getting the opportunity to stick our heads into a few of them.

Well, the Menger Hotel was at the top of our list!

Everyone has stayed at this hotel, from Robert E. Lee to Bill Clinton.  Teddy Roosevelt recruited Rough Riders here.

We hoped to explore the hotel some, grab a meal in their restaurant, and take a ghost tour at some point during our stay in San Antonio, and we were able to do all of that through Sisters Grimm Ghost Tours.  They have a dinner and tour at the Menger, and then a ghost walk through town ticket!

Our ghost tour guide Mark told us that the Menger has over 30 ghosts, and he said that many have spotted the legendary Roosevelt still at the hotel trying to recruit!

The place is beautiful inside and out, and we enjoyed sitting in their court yard before our dinner.  We had nice steaks and salad, and then had a half an hour tour through the hotel.

More on Mark and the Sisters Grimm later, but for now, check out some of the photos I took!  There are some cool shops inside of the hotel, including a toy soldiers shop.  They display  a miniature version of the Menger inside!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Hyatt Regency San Antonio River Walk

While we were in San Antonio, we had a great experience staying at the Haytt Regency San Antonio River Walk.

I know.  This is a big place, and I am sure that my endorsement doesn't mean much to them, but we really liked the hotel, and we were blown away at how classy this Hyatt was during our stay.  AND, it is physically spectacular!

Check out my photos- part of the River Walk goes right through it.  One evening, we had dinner in the bar area, and we were able to look straight down at the calming water going through the hotel.  That was very nice!

We had some amazing tacos in the bar area, and we had one of the coolest waitresses ever!  Jasmine took care of us and she was super!  We talked a lot, and found out she was from Tennessee! 

In the main restaurant, we had some great pasta one day for lunch by their "Pasta-Nator" (it actually says that on his business card) Danny.  I had shrimp, sun dried tomatoes, and mushrooms in the best pasta dish ever!  I am still thinking about it!

We spent a couple of mornings and evenings relaxing in the hotel's small coffee shop, "Mkt. Place".  This small place had a friendly staff and a nice selection of drinks.

We were maybe a couple of minutes from the front door of the Alamo.  All of the main attractions were a very short walk from this convenient hotel.

Our room was so conveniently located, we were able to stop by our room throughout the day to drop things off, or to change clothes.
We had a great view of the River Walk and the Alamo from our room.

AND....  the hotel has a swimming pool on their top floor/roof.  It is very open, and we really enjoyed the skyline view of the city from the pool area.

San Antonio has MANY great, historic hotels... and you know I love historic hotels.  But I also love attractive, unique hotels too.  AND good rates.  We were really pleased with this Hyatt hotel.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Our trip to Texas and the San Antonio River Walk

San Antonio and Austin have been two places we have been wanting to get to for some time.  We VERY BRIEFLY drove through Texarkana a few years ago, and that has been our only exposure to the Lone Star State, and that just didn't feel right!  We really wanted to experience Texas! 

Its funny how a trip can evolve too.  Dallas has been way at the top of my "places to get to" list for years.  I have read a lot on President Kennedy, and seeing the sites in Dallas relating to his assassination is an absolute must.  So, we originally planned this as a Dallas/Austin/San Antonio trip.

As you probably know, seeing all three of those cities in about a 7 day period would be pretty ambitious.  We wanted to be able to really see the places we visited without skimping.  Finally, we realized that Dallas would be best left for a visit in the future.

So, we decided to spend a good chunk of our time in San Antonio, as we are constantly hearing great reviews of that town.

San Antonio IS a great town.  We spent several days right in downtown at a great Hyatt (more on that later) and we didn't even need a car.  Most of the main attractions are right in downtown, or they are a short walk.  We did use a Hop On Hop Off trolley for a couple of days, and that was a great way to see the area.  We made it to a couple of the Missions and that was great!

Austin was OK, but I have to admit, its wasn't as great as San Antonio.  Sure, we had some fun there..  and I will talk more about all of the cool things we did there later, but we felt overwhelmed by the conmen, scavengers, and general riffraff that literally approached us on every block.  Even in one business (Voodoo Doughnut) we were approached twice by someone wanting money.

We still had a lot of fun, and met some great people.

AND, we had a very cool experience at the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport.

While waiting for our plane, a very nice lady came over and sat near us with her Chihuahua.  You know I am a Chihuahua person, so we started talking to the lady.  Well, after while, several people were sitting around talking about their dogs!

During the discussion, a small girl came over and started asking specifically about the dog that was present.  The small child was very sweet, but she had no boundaries.  She hugged strangers and talked non-stop to everyone.

Well, all of the people around her politely talked to the young lady, and treated her as she treated them, like a new friend.

It was very sweet watching people interact so kindly with this little girl for probably over an hour.

So....  I will be covering Texas a lot over the next few weeks as I sort my photos out.....  For now, here are some pictures I took around San Antonio on the River Walk!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Stewart Beach Park, Galveston, Texas

Stewart Beach Park opened in 1941 is the City of Galveston's own safe clean beach with facilities for bathing, dining, dancing, picnicking, roller skating, deck games and other amusement.
This postcard was sent from Galveston in 1950!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Under Six Flags, Showing Alamo, San Antonio, Texas

"The Alamo has been ruled under six different flags, namely, French, Spanish, Mexican, Texas, Confederate, and the United States."

Monday, March 14, 2016

Lincoln Hall, Berea College, Kentucky

"LINCOLN HALL- built in 1886.  Contains the Administrative offices of Institution, and some of the College classrooms."

Saturday, March 12, 2016

The Stephen Foster Story- Bardstown, KY

"Scene of The Stephen Foster Story My Old Kentucky Home State Park Bardstown, Kentucky."

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Alice Lloyd College- Pippa Passes KY

"Caney Creek flows lazily past Alumni Hall, men's residence financed by challenge fund of College's more than 1500 alumni.  The two-year liberal arts college, financed through the private initiative of Americans coast-to-coast, was founded in 1923 to make leadership education available to mountain youth dedicated to lives of service."

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

French Lick West Baden Museum, Indiana

I have to give a HUGE endorsement to the French Lick West Baden Museum.

This is physically a smaller museum that packs a huge punch!  AND, it is the perfect museum to complement a stay at one of the historic hotels in the area.

I won't go on and on about it, and I will try not to give away to much info on what all they have inside, but there were many items displayed that were Holly Grail type items.

In another post, I mentioned the Pluto statues that used to be at the French Lick Springs Hotel.  Well, they were donated here and they display!  Also, as to be expected, there is a great Pluto Water collection here.

This museum has a great sense of local history and I enjoyed looking through several displays of postcards and other items relating to the two legendary local hotels, and items relating to hotels that were once in the area decades ago.  A circus once was based out of the area, and there is a lot of exciting circus memorabilia here too.

I love train layouts, and one of the most impressive circus/train layouts I have ever been around is here.  Check out my photos, but they don't do the layout justice at all.  The best word that I can use to describe it is "complete".  The town, the circus tents, and the streets looked right and to scale.  The stands under the main circus tent were full- and though the small figures stood unmoving, the display felt alive.  The layout, or the museum alone would be worth the price of admission.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Around Town in West Baden and French Lick Indiana

It is no secret that you go to West Baden and French Lick for the Hotels and casino.  We did find the area around the hotels to also be nice.  There is a very cozy visitor center near the West Baden Hotel.  Lots of flyers and info was available on the area.  They also show a cool video on the towns and hotels.  Anyway, here are a few pictures I took outside of the hotels.