Tag Archives: Texas

Texas Bucket List – T: Texas! Musical ~ Blogging Through the Alphabet

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Even when I was growing up in NM, I heard about the musical that took place each summer in Canyon, TX, titled TEXAS! It was supposed to be a really fun, outdoor experience. As someone who loves musicals, this has always appealed to me. Yet, I have never gone and not taken my girls yet!

Taking place in the lovely Palo Duro Canyon, this is a singing, dancing, theatrical production of the history of the settlers in the Panhandle of Texas. While it is fictional, it is based on the history of the folks of the area. With all styles of dance and music, costumes, and fireworks, there is something for everyone.

Taking place in an outdoor ampitheater, it features the history of the 1800s in the Texas Panhandle. It was written by Paul Green, a playwright who was brought to the area to interest him in writing it. He became interested and went right to work. The production he began in 1960 is still going strong today.

One of these days, we are going to take a trip to western Texas and the Palo Duro Canyon area so that we can view this wonderful history production with all the theatricals my girls would love.

Blessings,
At Home.

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This is a weekly series and will be linked weekly with the Blogging Through The Alphabet co-hosts:
Amanda at Hopkins Homeschool
Kirsten at Doodle Mom
Jennifer at Worth a Bowed Head
Kimberley at Vintage Blue Suitcase
Desiree at Our Homeschool Notebook
Markie at My Life As Mrs. Cooks
Hilary at Walking Fruitfully

Texas Bucket List – S: Sonora Caverns ~ Blogging Through The Alphabet

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Caverns are always interesting to me and I find myself drawn to visit them. Of course, I don’t get to as often as I would like. We have lived not too far from several well-known caverns for a while now and I still have not visited them.

Sonora Caverns is some of those sites I would love to visit. Technically called the Caverns of Sonora, they are supposed to be lovely. The formations are found all over the caverns and some are even overhanging the trails. There are several options for tours into the caverns.

Found outside of Sonora, TX, the caverns are on land that is rich in limestone. The caverns were found on land owned by a ranching family, the Mayfields. A small opening was found first. As folks began exploring, bit by bit, they found larger and more beautiful areas of the caverns.

In 1957, one of the cavers noticed that humans were beginning to impact the cave. He pushed for preservation and protection of the cave. He was successful and after steps were taken to protect the cavern, it was opened to the public in 1960.

Blessings,
At Home.

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This is a weekly series and will be linked weekly with the Blogging Through The Alphabet co-hosts:
Amanda at Hopkins Homeschool
Kirsten at Doodle Mom
Jennifer at Worth a Bowed Head
Kimberley at Vintage Blue Suitcase
Desiree at Our Homeschool Notebook
Markie at My Life As Mrs. Cooks
Hilary at Walking Fruitfully

Texas Bucket List – R: Rangers ~ Blogging Through the Alphabet

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So today, I have two for you. Rangers. Texas Rangers. Truly – that is what both of my groups are called.

  • Texas Rangers – the law enforcement group
  • Texas Rangers – the baseball team

Texas Rangers – Law Enforcement

There is an excellent museum in Waco about the Texas Rangers. It has informative and interesting displays about the men who have served in this difficult role from its inception in 1823. The Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum covers the history of this group and includes exhibits of artifacts and interesting cases. There are weaponry displays and information on some of the movies that have features Rangers. It is a museum that will take a couple of hours to go through, longer if you have an interest in law enforcement or weapons. Paying tribute to those who have lost their lives in the line of duty is one of the more poignant sections of this museum.

The museum hosts educational activities throughout the year and two of our girls were able to participate in a forensics class put on by the museum. We have visited the Ranger museum several times and enjoy it each time.

Texas Rangers – Major League Baseball

I did not know much about baseball when I met my husband. I came from an area that did not have baseball. Something I found out early on was that he and his grandad enjoyed baseball. A lot. That has petered out over the years, especially since his grandad passed away, but I still enjoy going to a baseball game every once in a while. One of the first times I visited my husband’s grandparents was when they bought us tickets to a Rangers game. It was so much fun! I have enjoyed baseball since then, though we seldom catch a game anymore. We have taken the girls to a baseball game but we could not afford the Rangers tickets so we went to the Rough Riders, which is a minor league team. They have gone up in price so much that it is definitely a major special occasion to go. Which is sad because it was such a lovely park and such fun to watch the players. Still, Texas Rangers baseball is a fun thing to do if you have the opportunity.

Blessings,
At Home.

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This is a weekly series and will be linked weekly with the Blogging Through The Alphabet co-hosts:
Amanda at Hopkins Homeschool
Kirsten at Doodle Mom
Jennifer at Worth a Bowed Head
Kimberley at Vintage Blue Suitcase
Desiree at Our Homeschool Notebook
Markie at My Life As Mrs. Cooks
Hilary at Walking Fruitfully

Texas Bucket List – Q: Quanah Parker Trail ~ Blogging Through The Alphabet

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The Quanah Parker Trail is a 52-county driving adventure that is designed to share with the traveler stops that highlight Quanah Parker, the Comanche, and other Plains Indians. It is found is the western part of the state of Texas, mainly the Panhandle and the Plains of west Texas. However, the story of Quanah Parker starts much closer to our current home.

Just a county over is the original Fort Parker, where Cynthia Ann Parker was kidnapped from in 1836 as a nine-year-old girl. The Comanche raised her as one of their own. She grew up and became the wife of Peta Nocona, a Comanche leader. She had children with him and one of their sons is known as Quanah Parker, the last great Comanche leader.

The Quanah Parker Trail commemorates this great Comanche leader and other Plains Indian tribes and peoples. Each stop of the trail is marked with a giant arrow stuck in the ground. The stops are places with a real or legendary connection to Quanah Parker and his people or other Plains Indians. This leader had the difficult job of helping the Comanche people realize that the white settlers were taking over and that the native peoples had to adapt or die off. Quanah Parker led his people into the new culture that was surrounding them and this trail commemorates that difficult leadership role he had.

I know that I have seen these giant arrows while driving through west Texas before but I had no idea what they were representing. Now, I know to stop when I see one next on my way to New Mexico. I will find something interesting there. Maybe we could make it a driving tour sometime and spend several days visiting these sites. I would truly enjoy that!

Blessings,
At Home.

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This is a weekly series and will be linked weekly with the Blogging Through The Alphabet co-hosts:
Amanda at Hopkins Homeschool
Kirsten at Doodle Mom
Jennifer at Worth a Bowed Head
Kimberley at Vintage Blue Suitcase
Desiree at Our Homeschool Notebook
Markie at My Life As Mrs. Cooks
Hilary at Walking Fruitfully

Texas Bucket List – P: Padre Island National Seashore ~ Blogging Through The Alphabet

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It seems that many field trip ideas for Texas run you back down to the Gulf Coast and the seashore. This is another one but I have a pretty good interest in this one. It includes sea turtles! Well, sort of.

Padre Island National Seashore is part of the National Park Service. This part protects a large stretch of undeveloped shore line.

Within the borders of this park, you find a wide diversity of treasure to discover. Literally. There is are Spanish shipwrecks from the 1550s. These three shipwrecks are documents to have lost many lives, much treasure, and damaged the Spanish fleet extensively.

You will also find a nesting ground for the Kemp’s ridley sea turtles. Other sea turtles have historically nested here and are found here relatively often, it seems. This is probably the biggest reason I would like to visit this national park. I find the plight of sea turtles interesting and would love to visit their areas.

Another treasure you will find is the number of bird species here. There are over 380 different species of birds and this is a fabulous bird watching area. Located on the Central Flyway, many migratory birds stop over at Padre Island. The undeveloped habitat here also makes it a secure location for many non-migratory species.

These are just a few of the reasons that Padre Island has a pull for me. One day, we’ll make this the place we stay for our trip to the coast. Hopefully, we can schedule it during nesting season for the turtles or during one of the major migrations of a beautiful bird species.

Blessings,
At Home.

 

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This is a weekly series and will be linked weekly with the Blogging Through The Alphabet co-hosts:
Amanda at Hopkins Homeschool
Kirsten at Doodle Mom
Jennifer at Worth a Bowed Head
Kimberley at Vintage Blue Suitcase
Desiree at Our Homeschool Notebook
Markie at My Life As Mrs. Cooks
Hilary at Walking Fruitfully

Texas Bucket List – O: Odessa College’s Globe Theater ~ Blogging Through the Alphabet

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If you enjoy theater, plays, Shakespeare, and all things theatrical, this one is for you!

Odessa College has a reproduction, life-sized, of the Globe Theater. The original Globe Theater was the home of William Shakespeare’s acting company. It is a 450 seat venue used for classes, plays, and community events. It is considered the best replica of the original Globe Theater in Southwark, London. It contains an authentic Elizabethan stage and is octagonal in shape (as it should be to be a replica, right?).

This stage at Odessa College hosts both classical and modern plays, as well as a festival that pays tribute to William Shakespeare.

What a neat place this would be to visit! Maybe we can work it in sometime.

Blessings,
At Home.

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This is a weekly series and will be linked weekly with the Blogging Through The Alphabet co-hosts:
Amanda at Hopkins Homeschool
Kirsten at Doodle Mom
Jennifer at Worth a Bowed Head
Kimberley at Vintage Blue Suitcase
Desiree at Our Homeschool Notebook
Markie at My Life As Mrs. Cooks
Hilary at Walking Fruitfully

Texas Bucket List – N: Newman’s Castle ~ Blogging Through the Alphabet

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Y’all! I found the website for Newman’s Castle a few months ago when I was looking for a day trip for our family. It looks incredibly fun and interesting. We haven’t gone yet but I am still hoping to!

Newman’s Castle is a custom build, medieval castle in central Texas. Truly! This castle has a moat, a working drawbridge, turrets, a central keep, and a surrounding wall for “safety”. It is open for tours but reservations are required. It is a privately owned castle.

Mr. Newman built the castle. He became interested in doing so after visiting Europe in his 20s. He also has a successful bakery.

A visit to the Bellville area for a tour of the castle and lunch at the bakery is definitely on my day trip list of “want to do soon!”

Blessings,
At Home.

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This is a weekly series and will be linked weekly with the Blogging Through The Alphabet co-hosts:
Amanda at Hopkins Homeschool
Kirsten at Doodle Mom
Jennifer at Worth a Bowed Head
Kimberley at Vintage Blue Suitcase
Desiree at Our Homeschool Notebook
Markie at My Life As Mrs. Cooks
Hilary at Walking Fruitfully

Texas Bucket List – M: Mammoth Site ~ Blogging Through The Alphabet

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Today’s place to visit – the Waco Mammoth Site. I absolutely enjoy visiting this site each chance I get. I will enjoy it even more when they begin additional excavations in the coming year or two. I can’t wait to see what else is uncovered.

The Waco Mammoth Site is part of the National Park Service. It is the site of a nursery herd of Columbian mammoths. There have been 24 mammoths have been uncovered, as well as a camel and the tooth of a baby saber tooth cat. Most of the mammoths discovered are females or a juveniles. There has been a bull mammoth identified. There is much speculation about why these animals are here and whether it was a single incident or multiple incidents that left the remains in this area.

It is really quite interesting to hear the guides talk about the possibilities and to show what they have discovered.

We have enjoyed visiting three or four times, as it is not a long drive for our family. I recommend a stop by if you have opportunity. See a couple of posts that I wrote about with previous visits and activities we did.

T . . . Talking About Mammoths – Part 1 and Part 2

Blessings,
At Home.

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This is a weekly series and will be linked weekly with the Blogging Through The Alphabet co-hosts:
Amanda at Hopkins Homeschool
Kirsten at Doodle Mom
Jennifer at Worth a Bowed Head
Kimberley at Vintage Blue Suitcase
Desiree at Our Homeschool Notebook
Markie at My Life As Mrs. Cooks
Hilary at Walking Fruitfully

Texas Bucket List – L: President LBJ ~ Blogging Through the Alphabet

Years ago, my mom and I stopped by a presidential home in northern Texas. (It was the childhood home of President Eisenhower.) I enjoyed the stop and found it really interesting. That has made me want to make a visit to see the sites related to President Lyndon B Johnson.

L

I have been very close to the Johnson family ranch, yet have not had opportunity to stop at the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park.

The LBJ Ranch is part of the National Park Service, having been donated to it by President Johnson and his wife. They donated it during their lives with the retention of ownership and use until they passed away. President Johnson died in 1973 and Mrs. Johnson continued to live on the ranch until her death in 2007.

Visitors to the Ranch are able to tour it at their own pace and in their own vehicles. On the tour of the Ranch, you can see President Johnson’s birth place, the Johnson family cemetary, and the Texas White House. President Johnson was born, lived, and died on this Ranch; it truly was his home. The one room schoolhouse, called Junction School, where he attended is still standing, as well.

Education is the only passport from poverty.

– Lyndon B. Johnson

Additionally, you can visit the Johnson family settlement from the 1860s. Johnson’s grandfather and great-uncle started a cattle business on the property. The site and an exhibit on the modern cattle business are available.

There are guided tours available; visit the NPS site for more information on those.

There is a lot to do at the LBJ Ranch and I sure would like to visit sometime. It is always interesting to see what influences our leaders. Perhaps when we hit this portion of history in the coming year, we can take a day trip down there.

Blessings,
At Home.

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This is a weekly series and will be linked weekly with the Blogging Through The Alphabet co-hosts:
Amanda at Hopkins Homeschool
Kirsten at Doodle Mom
Jennifer at Worth a Bowed Head
Kimberley at Vintage Blue Suitcase
Desiree at Our Homeschool Notebook
Markie at My Life As Mrs. Cooks
Hilary at Walking Fruitfully

Texas Bucket List – K: Kell House and Kemp Center for the Arts ~ Blogging Through the Alphabet

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Ten plus years ago, we lived closer to Wichita Falls. And now that I have found these two places, I am bummed that we didn’t visit when we lived closer. I have a desire to make a trip up there to check out The Kell House Museum and the Kemp Center for the Arts. Both of these buildings are beautiful, historic structures and the both hold exhibits that would be very interesting.

The Kell House Museum

The Kell House Museum is an architecturally stunning building. It was built in 1909 as a family home overlooking Wichita Falls. Frank Kell is considered to have been a driving force in the development and growth of the town. Along with his brother-in-law, Joseph Kemp, Mr. Kell was involved in the grain industry, the development of Lake Wichita, utility companies, the newspaper, streetcar system, the railroad, the local college and more. It is opened as a museum and on tour you can experience period costumes, furnishing, textiles, and more. The CVB page mentioned that it is currently undergoing renovations but it open for tours; please call ahead. (Information from the Wichita Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau website.)

The Kemp Center for the Arts was originally built in 1917 and operated as a library for the town. It is now the center of the arts community for Wichita Falls and surrounding areas. Hosting multiple exhibits at any given time, the visual arts are showcased in a lovely and historic setting. There is an outdoor sculpture garden and both permanent and rotating exhibits. Performances by theater groups are showcased alongside the various venues for visual artists. It sounds like there is always something going on at The Kemp, including lots of classes to help teach and encourage others in the arts. (Information from the Wichita Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau website and the Arts Council, Wichita Falls Area Inc. sites.)

These places are definitely on my bucket list now! I love to visit art museums and historic homes so this fits right in with what I enjoy doing.

Blessings,
At Home.

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This is a weekly series and will be linked weekly with the Blogging Through The Alphabet co-hosts:
Amanda at Hopkins Homeschool
Kirsten at Doodle Mom
Jennifer at Worth a Bowed Head
Kimberley at Vintage Blue Suitcase
Desiree at Our Homeschool Notebook
Markie at My Life As Mrs. Cooks
Hilary at Walking Fruitfully

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