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Four Days in February for Conroe, Kemah and San Jacinto

Heritage and Harbors


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & AFV Winter 2006 & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Wednesday 1 February 2006

Yesterday Bob went to WalMart and couldn't find some things that he wanted (like cocoa in individual packets) but he bought a gallon of ice cream. Half a week is a very short time to eat that much ice cream, so I've been having it for breakfast.

I wanted to do a couple of tours today, so I called the Blue Bell Creamery
Blue Bell logo

Blue Bell logo


and they said the tours were all full for the week. I then called the cheese place and they said they only had tours T, W, and Th and the 10:00 tour had already left today, and she didn't know if they had space tomorrow. But I had other plans for tomorrow.

I decided to go to the Heritage Museum in Conroe before it rained in the afternoon. The directions said that it was on TX 105 at I-45. Bob asked about taking TX105 that had an I-45 direction sign on it, so I said OK. That took us north of Conroe.
West Access road north of Conroe

West Access road north of Conroe


We drove down the west access road toward Conroe but we didn't know which direction the museum was. After driving around about a half an hour, I finally called the museum on the phone. They asked if I knew where the Steak and Ale was, and I said no, I'd never been able to find it. She explained that the museum was on the east access road beside I-45.
Fountain out front and the highway beyond it

Fountain out front and the highway beyond it


Heritage Museum sign

Heritage Museum sign


We got to the museum and looked at the outside exhibits first.
This included the Joe Roustabout statue to the man who found oil in this area.
George Strake - Roustabout

George Strake - Roustabout

Stake #1 Discovery Well

Stake #1 Discovery Well


Also there was a printing press, a little train, a plow, a tractor,an old time gas station, a sawmill, and a tobacco trough,
Printing press

Printing press

Model of the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railroad

Model of the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railroad

6340.jpgAgriculture  - plow and tractor

Agriculture - plow and tractor

2c87f660-49ce-11ea-839b-ed562d581af8.jpgMobile Oil Station reconstruction

Mobile Oil Station reconstruction

Sawmill on the side of the museum

Sawmill on the side of the museum


Tobacco trough used to wash the leaves before they were dried

Tobacco trough used to wash the leaves before they were dried


There were 2 or 3 HVAC trucks parked all over the sidewalks and lawn, so we went in the handicapped door which was the back.
Heritage Museum front steps when we left

Heritage Museum front steps when we left


They were surprised to see us come in that way - they said their heater had given up the ghost and it was really cold so they had to have the repair people (It was about 50 deg F). Bob said to me afterwards that there was no reason they could not have parked in the parking lot like normal people.

The museum is free. Bob gave the museum $2 in the contribution jar. The docent gave us a tour and explained the Conroe area history. One of the things I thought was interesting was that there was an embargo on Cuban products (like cigars) back in those days, and Willis could produce very good tobacco - that explained the tobacco exhibit outside.
State Flag design

State Flag design


They had a copy of the original design for the Texas state flag - the designer lived in Montgomery.
Oil can label

Oil can label

Medical Library of Dr. Hooper

Medical Library of Dr. Hooper

General Store set-up

General Store set-up

Fireplace in a home corner

Fireplace in a home corner

Folded clothing

Folded clothing

China display

China display

After the museum, I decided we might as well eat lunch at the Steak and Ale now that we knew where it was.
Steak and Ale sign

Steak and Ale sign

Steak and Ale logo

Steak and Ale logo


Bob had
Meat loaf and carrots ($7.99)

Meat loaf and carrots ($7.99)


and I had a
Burger with cheddar ($6.00)

Burger with cheddar ($6.00)


Bob remarked that we might as well not have dinner now, that this was sufficient, and that was my idea too.

My original thought had been to go to the museum in Montgomery which was closed when we did our tour of the town (and this is Montgomery TX and not in Alabama), but it closed at 3 and by now it was 2:30. So I thought we might go to the cheese factory anyway. I had looked the address up on the computer but I didn't have the computer with me. We drove out through Cut N Shoot
Cut and Shoot PO and Stacy's Nailtique

Cut and Shoot PO and Stacy's Nailtique

Cut and Shoot Volunteer Fire Department

Cut and Shoot Volunteer Fire Department


(with all the Flea Market places)
Flea Market on a weekday

Flea Market on a weekday


and just didn't find it.
Bubba's

Bubba's

Fireworks

Fireworks


There was a train racing along beside us on the way back. We came up to it and passed it in Cut-N-Shoot, and then we had to stop at a light, and it passed us again
Train tracks with train beside the car

Train tracks with train beside the car


The same thing happens another time until the train turns off.
Driving range

Driving range


Bob stopped at Krogers and also got a pizza. We had pizza for dinner along with the salad I got yesterday.

Thursday 2 Feb 2006

Today is the day I was going to go to Houston to San Jacinto park. I wanted to go up in the monument and see the harbor, and also go down and see if I could see any CSYs in the marinas. So I took Bob right down through the middle of Houston on I-45 (after rush hour).
I-45 north of Houston

I-45 north of Houston


There were periodic lighted signs that said something to the effect that from this point to some intersection farther down the road would take x number of minutes. We passed The Woodlands
Woodlands

Woodlands


which is apparently something like Hilton Head.
Driving Through Houston

Driving Through Houston

Houston skyline

Houston skyline

Seven miles from Kemah at 12:11

Seven miles from Kemah at 12:11


We got to Kemah about 12:30 - that is the place where I see CSYs advertised. The Clear Lake Recreational Area has the greatest concentration of boats of any region in Texas Construction of the Marina in the late '80s is often credited with the rebirth of Kemah, Texas.
Arch

Arch


I called a broker whose sign was on a boat, but he said he didn't have any at that time. We drove around outside the marina and saw a CSY. After some finagling I got the harbor master's office to tell me that it was named So Rare.
CSY So Rare

CSY So Rare

large_2712797-_Houston.jpg
Later one of the other owners emailed me to say he'd like it if we came to visit him on Saturday, but we were going to be leaving the area on Friday.

I'd never stopped to eat at a Sonic, so I decided to do that.
2712781-Part_of_the_menu_Houston.jpgMenus

Menus


Then I realized that Bob doesn't like to eat in the car. So we got out and ordered from the area in front and ate at a table there.
Cars parked by their individual menus

Cars parked by their individual menus


Bob had a
Sonic Burger ($2.19)

Sonic Burger ($2.19)


Sonic fries

Sonic fries


and I had a
Toaster Bacon Cheeseburger ($3.19)

Toaster Bacon Cheeseburger ($3.19)

Then we went on down
Chemical plant

Chemical plant


to the park.
Monument from a distance

Monument from a distance


Monument with the entrance booth

Monument with the entrance booth


They weren't collecting the entry fee at the kiosk, which I thought was odd.
Entrance booth

Entrance booth

Looking down the road to the monument

Looking down the road to the monument

Monument and propellor

Monument and propellor


All was explained when we got to the monument - it was closed because they were working on it.

277830462649133-Base_of_the_..es_Houston.jpgBase of the monument With porta potties

Base of the monument With porta potties


The base of the Monument houses the San Jacinto Museum of History. We didn't see that either.
Top of the monument

Top of the monument


All we could do was take photos of the outside.

So we drove over and paid our $1 @ to get in to the Battleship Texas area, and walked around and took pictures of it.
Battleship from a distance

Battleship from a distance


Battleship Texas

Battleship Texas

2712816-Battleship_Texas_Houston.jpgDetail Battleship Texas

Detail Battleship Texas


BB 35 Texas information sign

BB 35 Texas information sign


There was a self-guided tour which includes the flying bridge, the engine room the restored sleeping quarters and medical facilities, engine room,
The BIG GUNS

The BIG GUNS


Guns on Battleship Texas

Guns on Battleship Texas


guns, and anchors. But the price of admission ($12.00 each) we thought was too much, especially since Bob was in the Navy and has been on many Navy ships. So it wasn't going to be that enlightening for him and Bob said he didn't think I wanted to go climbing around a ship (and he was right) So I just too photos of the informational signs and the monument to Sam Houston
2714638-Driving_Through_Houston_Houston.jpgSan Houston's monument

San Houston's monument

Base of San Houston's monument

Base of San Houston's monument


and the Ship's Store.
Ship's Store

Ship's Store

Bathrooms

Bathrooms


I said since we couldn't go up the monument, I wanted to take the FREE ferry from the park across the ship channel of the San Jacinto River. So we did that.
Signs for ferry

Signs for ferry

Sign about cell phone

Sign about cell phone

Bird on a Wire

Bird on a Wire

Numbers on a pole

Numbers on a pole

Ferry

Ferry


Lynch’s Ferry was started by Nathaniel Lynch in 1822.. When Sam Houston defeated Santa Anna’s Army at The Battle of San Jacinto, wounded soldiers were carried from the battlefield aboard Lynch’s Ferry to the town of Lynchburg.
Looking across the loading dock

Looking across the loading dock

Ferry on the other side

Ferry on the other side


There's a lot of current in the river, judging by the we the ferry crabbed into the dock. It doesn't take long to get across though. We saw quite a lot of barges and tugs.
tub pushing a barge in the San Jacinto RIver

tub pushing a barge in the San Jacinto RIver

Tugboat

Tugboat

Bridge upstream

Bridge upstream

Oil terminal and chemical plant skyline

Oil terminal and chemical plant skyline

San Jacinto River

San Jacinto River


From 1888 to today, Harris County has operated the Lynchburg Ferry Service. There is no charge for the ferries. Depending on the wind, currents, and traffic the ferry takes 7-10 minutes to cross the ship channel.
Ferry terminal on Lynchburg side

Ferry terminal on Lynchburg side

Coming in to the dock

Coming in to the dock

Approaching the dock

Approaching the dock


Ferry worker getting ready to let us off

Ferry worker getting ready to let us off


Cars waiting to go to the other side

Cars waiting to go to the other side


Restrictions:
No loaded 2-axle dump trucks or trailers over 60 feet, or any single vehicle over 20,000 pounds.

I thought about going to see Ima Hogg's house, but we were too tired so we went back to the condo unit
100_6527.JPGGolf course

Golf course

Golf course

Golf course


via the bypass.
Fish on the Palm

Fish on the Palm


That night, we had dinner at the Yacht Club
Golf Club sign

Golf Club sign


in the Commodore Dining Room.
Inside the Golf Club

Inside the Golf Club


For starters, I had
Champagne soup with puff pastry

Champagne soup with puff pastry


It was impossible to cut the pastry with the spoon and it was too big to eat without cutting it. For the main course I had Grouper Champagne ($15.95) with mushrooms and spinach

Grouper Champagne ($15.95) with mushrooms and spinach


Bob had a green salad and then had pan seared top sirloin (also $15.95) with a pine nut rosemary crust. He didn't care for the pine nut crust . Then we both had
Apple crisp for dessert

Apple crisp for dessert


(The soup or salad and dessert were included in the price.) Someone next to us got Steak Diane and they came out with a cart and we had a big fire show.

Friday and Saturday (3 and 4 February 2006)

We didn't go anywhere Friday. I phoned our daughter for directions to her place and wrote them down on the Frisco brochure map.
Our condo unit

Our condo unit


We went to McDonalds for dinner and Bob got two plain hamburgers and a small shake, and I got a quarter pounder with cheese and a fruit salad. They were very disorganized.

Saturday, we checked out and drove to Frisco. I ate my fruit salad for breakfast.

We stopped in Buffalo Texas. I had been to Buffalo once before in 1997 when I went to a combined training event at a ranch nearby so I knew there were restaurants there but we found a limited number of places to eat near the interstate interchange.
Buffalo Welding

Buffalo Welding


We had lunch at the Texas Burger/ Subway place.
Texas Burger sign

Texas Burger sign

Menu

Menu

Big Tex Pack

Big Tex Pack


Texas Burger is a chain in Texas, but this particular outlet isn't mentioned on their website - possibly because they are also a Subway. Bob had a
Texas burger combo #1 with fries and a drink ($5.19)

Texas burger combo #1 with fries and a drink ($5.19)

Texas Burger cup

Texas Burger cup


and I had a drink and a
Bacon Lettuce Tomato Sandwich ($2.69)

Bacon Lettuce Tomato Sandwich ($2.69)


They sold Blue Bell ice cream.and although I didn't write it down, I'm pretty sure that I also had some ice cream.
Ice cream choices

Ice cream choices


Real Estate and Funerals in Buffalo

Real Estate and Funerals in Buffalo


Then we followed the directions I had
Horse trailer ahead of us

Horse trailer ahead of us


Access road along the Highway

Access road along the Highway


From the highway

From the highway


and arrived in FRISCO
Frisco housing

Frisco housing

Posted by greatgrandmaR 14:44 Archived in USA Comments (2)

Excursions From Frisco - Gardens, Sculptures and Mustangs

Visiting Family


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & AFV Winter 2006 & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Our visit in Frisco was to our daughter E., son-in-law, grandson (second grade and age 8), granddaughter (age 4), and new granddaughter (6 weeks).
New granddaughter

New granddaughter


We were originally to babysit our two older grandchildren while our daughter, son-in-law and their new baby went to a judge's clinic that was required for her continued certification. But our daughter had some medical complications so she decided to try to do this another way.

February 5, 2006 - Sunday

Today we took Flat Jillian (Jillian is our great niece) over to Phyllis and Bill's new house (our son-in-law's parents),
Flat Jillian at the entrance of Savannah homes with grandson

Flat Jillian at the entrance of Savannah homes with grandson

Grandson with Flat Jillian and granddaughter

Grandson with Flat Jillian and granddaughter

Son-in-law, E and Bob inspecting new house

Son-in-law, E and Bob inspecting new house

Grandchildren at the new house

Grandchildren at the new house


and then Bob and our son-in-law went to look at someone's pergola
Pergola

Pergola


which they thought might reduce the thermal load on the west side of the house. They also went to Home Depot and costed how much it would cost to build one. In the late afternoon, we watched the Superbowl. Our daughter made a really good dip for this.

Monday February 6, 2006

Bob put together our granddaughter's bed and fixed the light switch that blew all the circuits. Bob also went out and brought home KFC for dinner. I spent a lot of time uploading photos that I took in Montgomery over our daughter's wireless connection.
E and new granddaughter

E and new granddaughter


We babysat for a little while at night while our daughter went to Bunco and our SIL was at a meeting for our grandson's coach pitch baseball team.

Tuesday February 7, 2006

Tuesday we took Flat Jillian on an outing to see the Frisco The Shawnee Trail sculpture where the cattle are stampeding.
Stampeding steers bursting through the wall

Stampeding steers bursting through the wall


When I first visited Dallas, I was impressed with the many sculptures around town. The Mustangs of Los Colinas impressed me a great deal. So when we first visited our daughter in Frisco in 2004, I asked her whether she had ever seen them. She had not, but she did bring us here and to other outdoor art areas in Frisco, and then we went down into Dallas itself to see Trammell Crow's Pioneer Plaza Cattle Drive in 2004. The Mustangs (which we visited later in the week) and the Pioneer Plaza Cattle Drive are (in my opinion) very well done. But my feeling about this sculpture group is that it is an interesting idea - lively and informative,
Granddaughter walking over to the sculptures

Granddaughter walking over to the sculptures


Granddaughter walking along the wall

Granddaughter walking along the wall

Granddaughter and cowboy

Granddaughter and cowboy


Granddaughter at the Frisco stampede sculpture

Granddaughter at the Frisco stampede sculpture


but the individual statues are awkward and not very well proportioned. I think the cowboy in these pictures is a good illustration of the proportion problem. His legs are tiny (or his body is big) in relation to the rest of the piece.
Flat Jillian and me

Flat Jillian and me


It was an interesting place for 'Flat Jillian' to visit.
Me, granddaughter, Flat Jillian and the Cowboy

Me, granddaughter, Flat Jillian and the Cowboy


Bob on the wall with our granddaughter

Bob on the wall with our granddaughter


This whole Frisco area has an enormous number of sculptures by Texas artists. In the afternoon we visited the free Hall Garden Sculpture Park in Frisco.
Entrance to the Texas Sculpture Garden

Entrance to the Texas Sculpture Garden

Hall Office Park entrance

Hall Office Park entrance


The H.O.P. (Hall Office Park) is one of the most significant of the collections because it has the private collection of Craig Hall of 38 Texas artists on display for the public to view.
Celtic Spirit Catcher at the entrance

Celtic Spirit Catcher at the entrance


There are both indoor and outdoor sculptures. In addition to the 17 sculptures which are outdoors, there are more than 100 works created by artists from all over the world including drawings, sketches, paintings, glass art and photography. We didn't look at the indoor exhibits. There is a map of the outdoor sculpture locations,
Map of garden

Map of garden


and each exhibit has the name and the name of the artist.
Staples

Staples


The one named Staples also had a note that you shouldn't sit on it. (I was tempted)
The Wiz - this was commissioned for this Park

The Wiz - this was commissioned for this Park

Temple by Damian Priour

Temple by Damian Priour

Window 35/Iris, by David Graeve

Window 35/Iris, by David Graeve

La Mujer Roja by O'Michael

La Mujer Roja by O'Michael

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The grounds of the park include ponds and flowers. According to their website they are enhancing the natural environment with the art set among winding running trails that wander around landscape of lakes, and walking paths that cross bridges,
2723313-Lake_Frisco.jpgLake

Lake

Bridge

Bridge

Fountain

Fountain


and by fountains specially designed to complement the art and provide a fitting backdrop for the work.
Blanco #17 by Whitney

Blanco #17 by Whitney

Reincarnation of Farmer Bradley by Hernandez

Reincarnation of Farmer Bradley by Hernandez

Coming Out of the Circle by Owens

Coming Out of the Circle by Owens


It was a nice day and our granddaughter had a good time running around and finding the animal sculptures.
Mouton (sheep)

Mouton (sheep)

Mouton by LaLannes

Mouton by LaLannes


The H.O.P. Rabbits are named for the place - Hall Office Park is abbreviated H.O.P.
H.O.P Rabbits

H.O.P Rabbits

Part of H. O. P Rabbits by Iles

Part of H. O. P Rabbits by Iles

598126492651909-Granddaughte..ens_Frisco.jpgGranddaughter and Bob at the 4 Ravens, Nevermore by Barrington

Granddaughter and Bob at the 4 Ravens, Nevermore by Barrington


Our granddaughter got to see ducks, and even though it was only mid February, there were some flowers in bloom.
Forsythia

Forsythia

large_100_6635.JPGSculpture

Sculpture


In addition to the Texas Sculpture Garden, inside Hall Office Park are
• Cross Creek School
• Frisco Family YMCA
• Gateway National Bank
• Hall Office Park Conference Center

Wednesday, February 8, 2006

Wednesday we took our four year old granddaughter to the Dallas Arboretum. We started out to go to Fair Park, but it was such a nice day we went to see the gardens instead. There were pleading signs as we came in from the parking lot
Please do not wade in the water feature

Please do not wade in the water feature

Garden Etiquette

Garden Etiquette


Rules:

  • Our plant collection is very important. Please refrain from collecting plants, flowers or plant labels, climbing on trees, shrubs, standing or walking in garden beds,...
  • Active sport games are not permitted
  • Campfires and outdoor cooking are prohibited
  • Radios or other sound devices will not be operated at volume levels annoying to visitors
  • Please respect birds, squirrels and all forms of wildlife within the gardens
  • For purposes of photography shoots, participants should arrive already dressed. Public restrooms are not available for changing of clothes.
  • No hangina objects can be placed on our trees or structures
  • No balloons

The Trammel Crow Visitor's Center is new
Bob and granddaughter walking to Trammell Crow Visitor's Center

Bob and granddaughter walking to Trammell Crow Visitor's Center


and they have food service there, but we ate at home before we left.
Poppy blooms at the Visitor's Center against our granddaughter's red pants

Poppy blooms at the Visitor's Center against our granddaughter's red pants


Most of the flowers that were out were the early spring variety. Lots of daffodils and pansies.
large_7ac60f90-4ae8-11ea-ad01-f9499bc4f4c4.JPG
Fields of daffodils

Fields of daffodils

Spring blossoms

Spring blossoms


We rode the tram which normally runs from March to December,
Fountain outside DeGolyer house

Fountain outside DeGolyer house


and he let us off in front of the DeGolyer House
DeGolyer House

DeGolyer House


(which our granddaughter did not appreciate - she kept asking if we could leave).
Ceiling

Ceiling

Reading lamp

Reading lamp

Looking out the window

Looking out the window


They were shooting commercials of appliances and so some of the house was off limits, but we could see the library with the hidden doors.
DeGolyer Library

DeGolyer Library

False bookcase

False bookcase

Peeking behind the bookcase

Peeking behind the bookcase

Carved wood cabinet

Carved wood cabinet


Most unusually, they let you take non-flash pictures indoors.
Window

Window


Chandelier

Chandelier

Bedroom

Bedroom

Hat section of the closet

Hat section of the closet

Bathroom

Bathroom

DeGolyer house pergola

DeGolyer house pergola


Pecan Tree dating before 1776- Bob and grandkid

Pecan Tree dating before 1776- Bob and grandkid


Also, they were working on the gardens
Worker

Worker


and not all of them were open - the Infinity Pool didn't have all the water in it so that it wasn't quite infinite
Infinity pool  (not full) and White Rock Lake

Infinity pool (not full) and White Rock Lake


Then went to Toad Corners
Walking between crepe myrtles to Toad Corner

Walking between crepe myrtles to Toad Corner

Tadpole sculpture in the Toad Garden

Tadpole sculpture in the Toad Garden


where our daughter had a lot of fun running under the .water that the toads were spitting out.Toad Spitting

Toad Spitting

Playing in Toad Spit

Playing in Toad Spit

Fountain in the middle

Fountain in the middle

Toad fountains and granddaughter

Toad fountains and granddaughter


Chinese Fringe Flower

Chinese Fringe Flower

Grape hyacinth

Grape hyacinth

Trial Garden

Trial Garden


Walking back to the visitor's center

Walking back to the visitor's center


Bob's also gotten his reflux medicine from the CVS here - he forgot to get a refill before we left home, and has been suffering without it.
Dallas skyline from the expressway

Dallas skyline from the expressway


In the evening, we went to the church dinner (it was Chick-fil-a) and the children had their craft evening.

Thursday, February 9, 2006

Thursday we drove over to Irving TX by ourselves to see the Los Colinas Mustang sculpture.
Bus stop sign near Williams Square

Bus stop sign near Williams Square


Across the street from the Los Colinas Mustangs is a Public Parking Lot.
Unattended booth with sign listing NOs

Unattended booth with sign listing NOs


This lot is $1 for all day. You have to pay the $1 even if you are only going to be here for an hour or so. You park in any space you want, and go put your money into a slot in a little box on the side of the lot. Bob objected to paying $1 for an hour, so he put in a quarter.

The sign by the booth says that there is
NO...

  • ..Free Parking anytime
  • ..Vehicles over 36' in length
  • ..Overnight Parking
  • ..In and Out on single payment
  • ..Parking in spaces without marked number

Then at the bottom it says

  • Unattended Lot. Park at your own risk

The second sign says
Additional warning sign

Additional warning sign


TOWING ENFORCED AT ALL TIMES
PATRON PARKING ONLY

No for sale cars, no tractor and or tractor trailer parking
No parking in fire lane, on grass, assigned or reserved spaces, obstructing drive or dumpster, unauthorized, abandoned, inoperable vehicles, with flat tires, on jacks/ blocks
expired state inspection/registration, will be towed at owners expense & liability.
Towing enforced at all times

To reclaim vehicle contact
1825 California Crossing - Dallas TX 75220
Al's Wrecker Service of Dallis Inc. 214-372-0733

In spite of all the warnings, I did see a truck with a For Sale sign in the window, and we were not towed even though we didn't pay the whole dollar right away.

I saw these sculptures on my city tour of Dallas in 1997, and thought they were marvelous.
My Photo from 1997

My Photo from 1997


So much so that I've been trying to get back to show them to my daughter ever since. We couldn't get back when we visited in 2004, but we made it this time. Unfortunately it was just my husband and me, and he wasn't too enthusiastic. According to the Irving Chamber of Commerce and Museum websites:
Sign outside the West Tower

Sign outside the West Tower

Sign at the side of the square with a map

Sign at the side of the square with a map


Approaching the square

Approaching the square


The Mustangs explanation

The Mustangs explanation


"Those galloping creatures represent the world's largest equestrian sculpture, the Mustangs of Las Colinas, captured in bronze as they move across a granite stream at Irving's Williams Square. African wildlife artist Robert Glen installed this spectacular piece in 1984, as a memorial to the heritage of Texas."
The Mustangs of Los Colinas

The Mustangs of Los Colinas


large_2608189-The_Mustangs_of_Los_Colinas_Dallas.jpg
In this fountain, the sculpture group, not the water, is the focus. The eight 1.5 scale horses, cast in bronze have water activated around the horses' hooves to imply splashing. The horses appear to be running through a river. It is the largest horse sculpture in the world. (They keep calling it an equestrian statue, but equestrians are the RIDERS and these horses are riderless.)
large_2609771-Mustang_Studies_Irving.jpg
large_2609780-Mustang_Studies_Irving.jpglarge_2609772-Mustang_Studies_Irving.jpglarge_2609770-Mustang_Studies_Irving.jpglarge_2608380-_Irving.jpg
large_2608381-_Irving.jpg
large_2608383-_Irving.jpg
large_2609795-More_Mustangs_Irving.jpglarge_2609796-More_Mustangs_Irving.jpg
large_2609797-More_Mustangs_Irving.jpglarge_2609798-More_Mustangs_Irving.jpglarge_2609799-More_Mustangs_Irving.jpglarge_2608382-_Irving.jpg
large_2609801-More_Mustangs_Irving.jpglarge_2609802-More_Mustangs_Irving.jpglarge_2609766-Mustang_Studies_Irving.jpglarge_2609767-Mustang_Studies_Irving.jpglarge_2609768-Mustang_Studies_Irving.jpglarge_2609769-Mustang_Studies_Irving.jpg
The buildings around the square rise to 358 feet (26 floors) on the north and to 217 feet (14 floors) on the east and west sides, the south side being open to O'Connor Boulevard.
O'Connor Boulevard

O'Connor Boulevard


The sculpture is substantial, but the scale of the surrounding structures means it does not over-dominate the space.

In Suite 105 of the West Tower of Williams Square. is a free Mustangs of Las Colinas Museum about the exhibit (mostly about Robert Glen the sculptor). There is a touch screen at the information desk in the lobby which will tell you where it is if there isn't someone at the desk. Open Wednesdays - Saturdays, from 11-5.
Sculptures from inside the West building

Sculptures from inside the West building


Inside the museum, there is a 20 minute video presentation narrated by Lee Ann Rimes about the creation of the statues.
Video with Lee Ann Rimes

Video with Lee Ann Rimes


The Mustangs were commissioned in 1976 and installed in 1984.
Museum exhibit on how the sculptures were made

Museum exhibit on how the sculptures were made


Apparently, there are no more pure mustangs in America - these horses are modeled after those that a group of monks that has kept as a pure mustang bloodline near the town where Columbus set sail. Most likely they are of the same stock that seeded the mustangs in the Americas. The whole project took about 7 years with the sculpting itself taking 3 years. The film shows how the detail in the statues, down to the veins in the horse's necks, was achieved and how the statues were shipped

Photo of shipping the statues

Photo of shipping the statues

and put in place.
Sculptor and Developer in front of the mustangs

Sculptor and Developer in front of the mustangs


Other sculptures created by Glenn are also on exhibit inside the Museum. It is informative and entertaining, and worth a visit. There is also a gift shop.

Now we were thinking about lunch. In Williams Square there is the William's Square Deli and the Cima Club, which is a private club. There are supposed to be three restaurants in the West Tower of Williams Square. The Mustang Club was not open - the tables were empty and it was locked. There were two restaurants on the ground floor. The pasta restaurant was apparently being redecorated - there was brown paper all over the glass. But the Mustang Museum lady recommended Susan's Omlettes which she said had a hamburger and chips for $3.00.

This proved to be a small place in the basement which was decorated with many wood plaques and objects that were carved and pierced. There were also about 15 clocks some of which chimed. They were set to chime in sequence.

The sign said that this was NOT a non-smoking restaurant, although the rest of the building was, and in fact there was a sign out front saying that you couldn't smoke within 50 feet of the entrance.
Inside of Susan's

Inside of Susan's

Wooden structure on the counter

Wooden structure on the counter


You can take the food out, or eat there. If you want to eat there, seat yourself, and the server will come with menus and take your order. Breakfast is served from 6:30 to 10:30,
Breakfast menu

Breakfast menu


and although Bob paid cash, they do accept VISA, MC and AmExp.
Bob inside (on left in black) paying the bill

Bob inside (on left in black) paying the bill


The daily special was Grilled chicken fettuccine with 2 vegetables for $5.95. I was tempted by the spinach salad (small $1.95, large $2.95) but I settled on the
Grilled Roast Beef and Cheddar on sourdough for $5.20

Grilled Roast Beef and Cheddar on sourdough for $5.20


Bob got a tuna salad for $5.20. They came with chips, or you could get fries or onion rings for an extra charge. We drank water, and the bill was under $12.00.

The day that I visited in 1997 was somewhat overcast. I managed only one picture of the Canal on our tour of Dallas and that has my thumb in it.
Canal with my finger in the picture 1997

Canal with my finger in the picture 1997


I did better on my 2006 visit. Los Colinas is a planned development where the sculptures are displayed. It consists of high-rise office towers, retail centers, upscale residences and apartment complexes, and golf courses in Irving TX. The Carpenter family owned the land and did the planning.

During WW II, Ben Carpenter was in the in the 124th Cavalry Regiment. Their mission was to free the Burmese people from the Japanese occupation force. In planning the first hotel for Las Colinas, he named the hotel "Mandalay". The furnishings and accessories relate to the history of the Mandalay with Far Eastern influences. There was an annual CanalFest celebration each June, which offers music, arts, crafts and a variety of entertainment.
Canals

Canals


Gondolas were imported from Italy, and the lakes and canals they plied added an Old World touch
Olde World influence walking back from Bell Tower

Olde World influence walking back from Bell Tower


but also helped control flooding. There was a downturn in the 80s, and the shops along the canal closed, but apparently you can again get a gondola ride.

I wanted to ride the monorail aka the People Mover. After we saw the Mustangs and ate lunch at Susan's, on the way to ride the monorail, Bob put the other 75 cents in for parking. The APT operated only from 10:30 am to 2:00 pm on weekdays, with two cars, one for each route. Operation is completely manual, with cars running on demand. Only one of the stations (Bell Tower) is generally accessible to the public. The other three are inside private office buildings. Most of the traffic consists of employees traveling to and from the Bell Tower for lunch.
Bob walking toward the Bell Tower

Bob walking toward the Bell Tower

Ducks

Ducks

Smith Landing bridge over the canal

Smith Landing bridge over the canal

2609728-From_across_the_canal_Irving.jpgFrom across the canal

From across the canal


When we were on the elevated train (People Mover), there was a man with a little boy, who remarked to the train conductor that they needed more restaurants in this area. It does seem to be mostly adult type restaurants - either hotel restaurants or ones where business people eat lunch.Fox Creek bridge from the street

Fox Creek bridge from the street

From the street above

From the street above

Approaching the Bell Tower

Approaching the Bell Tower

Routes of the two cars

Routes of the two cars


We walked to the Bell Tower after lunch and went up in the elevator.
From inside the Bell Tower station

From inside the Bell Tower station


There is a sign that says Push Button Below for Service, and when you push it a red light flashes, and a voice comes out of the loudspeaker to say how soon the car will be there. The electricity was off at the building at one end of the line, so we could only go part way there,
Riding the elevated in 2006

Riding the elevated in 2006

Inside the car

Inside the car

Looking out the front of the car

Looking out the front of the car

Clock and Bell Tower

Clock and Bell Tower

Bell Tower

Bell Tower

large_00309532298720110308184644145.jpgLooking down the track

Looking down the track

Fire station from the monorail

Fire station from the monorail

Flags

Flags

Fox Creek Bridge from the monorail

Fox Creek Bridge from the monorail

Line A goes into a building

Line A goes into a building


but I did ride all of the Blue Line and see the area from inside the cars except for that part. And on the Red Line, I get to go into the old Mandalay Hotel. I waited for Bob to pick me up at a bus stop
Bus Stop closest to the Bell Tower

Bus Stop closest to the Bell Tower


next to this restaurant.
Canopy on the street

Canopy on the street

Monorail

Monorail


Friday, February 10, 2006

Today, it turned wet and cold so we haven't been anywhere. Our daughter persuaded me to see the video tape of Madagascar (I don't usually 'do' movies). Our SIL brought home Chinese. I did a sketch on MDF of a castle for a valance over our granddaughter's bed.
Sketch on MDF

Sketch on MDF

The other grandmother's castle on MDF on the window valence

The other grandmother's castle on MDF on the window valence

Saturday, February 11, 2006

We went out to dinner to California Pizza Kitchen.
California Pizza Kitchen at night

California Pizza Kitchen at night


We didn't get underway until later in the evening, and we had to wait a short time to be seated.
Grandson coloring

Grandson coloring


The menu says: In the beginning there was pizza...
We call it our canvas and the art is in our toppings. First there was the BBQ Chicken. Then came Thai Chicken, BLT and Peking Duck. Then Vegetarian and Jamaican Jerk Chicken. And for the traditionalists, Mushroom, Pepperoni and Sausage. Since we opened our first California Pizza Kitchen in 1985, we have been playing with this simple, yet classic dish.
Pizza kitchen

Pizza kitchen


Our goal is to translate America's favorite flavors and tastes onto a great pizza crust. The result has been a complete redefinition of the traditional concept of pizza.

SIL with baby at dinner

SIL with baby at dinner


Their menu features hearth-baked pizzas. There is a special menu for the kids.
Children's pizza $4.99

Children's pizza $4.99


Bob had a
Half Field Greens salad $6.79

Half Field Greens salad $6.79


which had pears, candied walnuts and cheese. The other three adults, had two regular pizzas - the
Five Cheese Pizza ($8.99)

Five Cheese Pizza ($8.99)


Original BBQ Chicken Pizza ($10.49)

Original BBQ Chicken Pizza ($10.49)


The BBQ pizza had barbecue sauce, smoked Gouda and Mozzarella cheese, sliced red onions and cilantro. To tell the truth, I didn't really care for either of the pizzas. I would have rather had one like the kids had. Iced tea and Dr. Pepper were $2.19, and peach iced tea was $2.79.

In addition to pizzas, they also have (at a hefty price) desserts. For instance one of us (don't remember which) had the
Caramel Pecan Cheesecake  $5.99

Caramel Pecan Cheesecake $5.99


and I had a
Caramel Fudge Sundae for $6.99

Caramel Fudge Sundae for $6.99

Afterwards I painted a valance with a castle on it for our granddaughter's bedroom. We decided to use foam board instead of the MDF because the valence was to go over her bed and if it fell the foam wouldn't hurt her. I took a photo I had of the castle in Disney World and stretched it.
Princess castle

Princess castle


There were only three tubes of paint (red, blue and yellow) plus white to do the painting with.
Finished valance

Finished valance


We were supposed to have the confirmation letters for the last two AFV stops mailed to us, but we have not gotten them as of Saturday.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

We got underway on Sunday just about 9:00 which is a little after the time the kids and our SIL left for Sunday School. Our grandson had 5 waffles (with no syrup), three rolls and some sausage (I think) for breakfast. We were going through McKinney about 9:30,
McKinney water tank

McKinney water tank


and we passed
Lake Lavon

Lake Lavon


about 9:45. It had a forest of pilings sticking out of it, and there was also a road intersection in the middle of the lake

After we went through Greenville and got on I-30 (Our SIL tried to warn us about it, but it didn't really sink in until we did it, and Bob said - "Couldn't we have gotten on without going all around there?"),
Texarkana water tank

Texarkana water tank


we had lunch at a Ruby Tuesday in Texarkana. This was such a disaster (neither of us liked our food)Bob's hamburger

Bob's hamburger


and I had a
Weight Watchers quesadilla

Weight Watchers quesadilla


The service was slapdash and both restrooms were filthy. I didn't try to go to the courthouse and stand in front of it with one foot in each state.

Next: Hot Springs, Arkansas.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 19:43 Archived in USA Comments (3)

Hot Springs, Horse Racing, & Diamond Prospecting in Arkansas

"The Natural State"


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & AFV Winter 2006 & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

We spent the next week exploring Arkansas. Arkansas's motto is "The Natural State". Welcome Center in Arkansas "The Natural State"

Welcome Center in Arkansas "The Natural State"


We stopped at the information center - it is a new one which is about 8 miles from the border. The old one is being bulldozed.
Visitor's Center

Visitor's Center


The new one had a fire in the fireplace, and gave us a nice map and booklet of attractions.
Welcome station

Welcome station


We got to Arkadelphia about 2:34
Arkadelphia water tower

Arkadelphia water tower


and shortly after that turned onto Arkansas route 7 which is a scenic byway.
Road to Hot Springs

Road to Hot Springs


Welcome to Hot Springs

Welcome to Hot Springs

Bill Clinton statue

Bill Clinton statue


After I got burned at the Super 8 with a $10 deposit required to use the phone, I tried the AAA website to make reservations for Hot Springs. On that website, you have to pick which hotel partner chain you want to get a reservation for, and I picked Howard Johnson. I was unaware that the Baymont hotels were part of Howard Johnson.
Looking down on the hotel

Looking down on the hotel


We got to the Baymont Hotel which is right on one of the lakes about 3:30 and checked in.
Front of hotel and sign

Front of hotel and sign


This is a BRAND NEW hotel. On my computer mapping program it is listed as Baymont Hotel construction site. Either the hotel is down in a hole, or the road has been built up.
From the road looking down on the hotel

From the road looking down on the hotel


We thought it was somewhat dangerous in that if you were coming south and turned where the sign pointing to the hotel was, you'd go off a cliff.
From the parking lot looking up to the road

From the parking lot looking up to the road


The hotel has 4 floors (with an elevator and with luggage carts), free parking, an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness center, free local calls and free high speed internet access in all the rooms. They also had a coffee maker, hair dryer, iron with ironing board, and an alarm clock. There were washers and dryers (coin operated) in the hotel for laundry.
Bed in standard double room

Bed in standard double room


I found a discount in the booklet about Hot Springs that Bob picked up in the Visitor's Center, so we got the room for 10% off - it's only $60/night now including tax. They put us in a room overlooking the parking lot instead of the lake,
Lake behind the hotel

Lake behind the hotel


and perhaps that was one of the perks you would get with the higher rate. Some rooms have a microwave and refrigerator, but ours did not.
Sunset

Sunset


We went out at sunset - a spectacular red sky - to eat at La Hacienda which was supposed to be the best Mexican restaurant and one of the top restaurants in the area, and we both hated it.
Bob waiting for food

Bob waiting for food


Bob had
Tacos with rice and beans for $8.95.

Tacos with rice and beans for $8.95.

They were made with roast beef instead of ground beef, and he wasn't happy with that. I had
Cheese Quesadillas

Cheese Quesadillas


and chili relleno. The chili relleno was OK, but what I thought was sour cream on the quesadilla was spicy. Also neither of us liked the dipping sauce for the chips. I had a
Fried Ice Cream

Fried Ice Cream


which was heavy into honey.

The service was extremely quick, so that was one good thing and I also had a coupon from that same booklet for 10% off, which was another.
La Hacienda sign

La Hacienda sign


Restaurant at night

Restaurant at night

Monday 13 February 2006

After breakfast (which the Baymont does very well - they have tea, coffee, juice and hot chocolate,
Breakfast drinks laid out

Breakfast drinks laid out


hard boiled eggs, yogurt, waffle irons to make waffles,
Breakfast waffle irons overlooking the lake

Breakfast waffle irons overlooking the lake


toast and French toast in the toasters, cereal, rolls and bagels and you get a free local paper and eat looking out over the lake), we went to the Hot Springs National Park.
Walking up the street

Walking up the street


Hot Springs was made a National Reserve by President Jackson, and then was made a National Park in 1921. The Park consists of 8 bath houses built from the 1880s to the 1920s, and various mountain hiking trails and roads. The bathhouses which comprise a large part of Hot Springs National Park are in an urban area, surrounding the north end of the city of Hot Springs.
Panoramic view -Businesses opposite the bathhouses

Panoramic view -Businesses opposite the bathhouses


(Businesses in the area may say they are in "Hot Springs National Park" when they actually are not because the city's post office name is Hot Springs National Park.)
Non-National Park store selling Gifts and Souvenirs

Non-National Park store selling Gifts and Souvenirs


There are also two separate areas on mountains outside the city - West Mountain is one and the eastern part of that has the Hot Springs Mountain Tower and the Gulpha Gorge Picnic Area and campgrounds.

The core of the Hot Springs National Park are the eight restored bathhouses. Although all the literature says there are eight, I only count seven of them. The southmost one is Buckstaff, and then, in order are Ozark, Quapaw, Fordyce, Maurice, Hale and Superior. Of the bathhouses, only Buckstaff remains open for the traditional baths,
Buckstaff Baths

Buckstaff Baths


although baths can be taken at other locations such as the Arlington Hotel or the Majestic Hotel.. Both Fordyce and Maurice Bathhouses can be leased. I wish we could have tried a traditional bath, but our health concerns precluded it, since we are elderly and I am obese and have high blood pressure.
Information plaque

Information plaque


We parked on the street and walked up the street along Bathhouse Row and I took pictures of the bathhouses on the south end before we toured Fordyce Bathhouse.
Ozark Bathhouse

Ozark Bathhouse


The mission style Ozark bathhouse opened for business in 1922. In 1946 (a peak year) they gave over 82 thousand baths. Ozark closed in 1977 after giving fewer than ten thousand baths that year.
Ozark Bathhouse history

Ozark Bathhouse history


It is now being restored by the NPS and will be available for lease when restoration is complete. The twin towers are strictly decorative. Quapaw, Fordyce and Hale also have the red clay roof tiles.
Quapaw Bathhouse

Quapaw Bathhouse


The Quapaw bathhouse was named for the Quapaw Indians, and the owners incorporated an indian head design over the entrance. It was completed in 1922 and occupies the side of two earlier wooden bathhouses, the Horseshoe and the Magnesia.
Quapaw Bathhouse

Quapaw Bathhouse


Bob with the Maurice bathhouse and a hot spring

Bob with the Maurice bathhouse and a hot spring


Maurice and Hale Bathhouses

Maurice and Hale Bathhouses


The Caddo, Quapaw and Choctaw tribes lived in or visited the area in the 1700s and 1800s.
Sign pointing to the men's room

Sign pointing to the men's room


The sign outside Fordyce Bathhouse (which has been restored to the original appearance by the NPS) says:
"Inspired by the spas of Europe, Colonel Samuel Fordyce opened this Renaissance Revival bathhouse in 1915. With its copper-framed glass marquee and elegant window design, the Fordyce reflects a crowning achievement of the Golden Age of Bathing.
Fordyce Bathhouse entrance

Fordyce Bathhouse entrance


100_6978.JPGArchitectural detail

Architectural detail

Eagle post outside the Fordyce Bathhouse with E. A. HItchcock's name on it (Secretary of the Interior)

Eagle post outside the Fordyce Bathhouse with E. A. HItchcock's name on it (Secretary of the Interior)

Other side of the eagle with the name of David R. Francis (Secretary of the Interior)

Other side of the eagle with the name of David R. Francis (Secretary of the Interior)


The bathhouse occupied an ideal location next to the Formal entrance to the park, its roof garden was within sight and sound of the grandstand on the hillside above."

Fordyce Bath House is also the NPS Visitor's Center. It is free. I had left the NPS Passport in the car, so Bob went back for it and I got my stamp.
Visitor's center gift shop

Visitor's center gift shop


First we saw the movie
100_7005.JPGMovie

Movie

Army and Navy Hospital

Army and Navy Hospital


The bathhouse is a museum

Taking the self guided tour we started with
List of Bath Rates

List of Bath Rates


First floor elevator

First floor elevator


The elevator took men and women separately from floor to floor
Ladies stateroom

Ladies stateroom

Ladies dressing room

Ladies dressing room


The spa literature at the time said that Private dressing rooms were provided for both ladies and gentlemen. Special attention is given to ladies and children.
Ladies Dressing Room

Ladies Dressing Room


Dressing rooms for ladies generally contained either benches or chairs as well as mirrors and clothing hooks in each stall.
Individual stalls

Individual stalls


The wooden doors on the Fordyce stalls were considered superior to the curtains in other bathhouses. Furniture in the lounge was salvaged from the old Palace bathhouse when it was razed to make room for the Fordyce on this site.
Treatment room

Treatment room

Steam therapy room

Steam therapy room

Ladies Bath Hall

Ladies Bath Hall


:No spa of ancient Rome had finer baths than these" A carefully timed temperature-controlled hot thermal bath was the centrepiece of the spa experience. Female visitors must have been aware that their bathhall suffered by comparison with the men's sumptuous facilities. The seven tubs originally installed were not enough and the manager noted in 1916 "We are badly crowded with lady bathers." One more tub was added.
Ladies Pack Room

Ladies Pack Room


Hot or cold packs, are applied to the affected part... Attendants applied carefully-timed moist packs. The entire body was generally wrapped with a sheet. Visitors usually went from the pack room to take a needle-shower before entering the cooling room.
Hydrotherapy room

Hydrotherapy room


Ladies Cooling room

Ladies Cooling room


The cooling room, furnished in porcelain enamel was a place for relaxing after the baths. Wrapped loosely in sheets or bathrobes, some patrons enjoyed reading while others preferred socializing or dozing.
Ladies Court

Ladies Court


Although the Fordyce Bathhouse advertised nude bathing, this was intended mostly for men. The custom of the day called for upper class women to maintain pale complexions. The 'ladies' court on the shady side of the building offered women a chance to get a little sun without risking a tan.
Ladies Parlor

Ladies Parlor


Stairs

Stairs


The men's side was more extensive than the ladies side
Men's Lockers

Men's Lockers


Men's hydrotherapy room

Men's hydrotherapy room


Men's steam therapy room

Men's steam therapy room


"The vapor cabinet is also part of the standard procedure. It is used to stimulate skin Secretions." The temperature of the steam varied from 115 degrees to 140 degrees F. A vapor bath caused profuse sweating, rapid pulse, and higher body temperature. In the treatment of rheumatism, advanced syphilis, Jaundice and obesity, prolonged vapor baths - up to 30 minutes were administered.
Stained glass ceiling in the men's bath hall

Stained glass ceiling in the men's bath hall


Men’s Bath Hall, with a life size statue of Hernando de Soto and a native woman

Men’s Bath Hall, with a life size statue of Hernando de Soto and a native woman


The Men's Bath Hall was very opulently decorated.
Men's massage room

Men's massage room

Gentlemen's Parlor

Gentlemen's Parlor


Men's Court

Men's Court


The men sunbathed nude, separated from the women's court. Snoozing and placid tobacco chewing was sometimes brought to an end by a rain shower.
Roof Garden

Roof Garden


The advertisements of the roof garden built the Fordyce Bathhouse reputation, but in actual practice it could not be used when people were using the outdoor courts (with nude men on the men's side) because the roof garden looked down on the courts.
Second floor elevator

Second floor elevator


The 2nd floor elevator operator was to promote services by appointment on the 2nd floor or the use of the Hubbard tub on the third floor. The Shoeshine stand served only the men and the beauty shop only the women.
Chiropody services

Chiropody services


Men's Chiropody Room

Men's Chiropody Room


Beauty parlor

Beauty parlor


Services offered by the beauty parlor included shampoo, finger wave, lacquer, neck-trim, permanent and cold wave, lash dye, arch, oil bleach, facial and manicure.
Bob  Hubbard Tub Room

Bob Hubbard Tub Room


The Hubbard Tub was available to both men and women to give underwater treatments. It was installed in 1939 in the room formerly used to administer mercury rubs - once a standard treatment for syphilis. Note the overhead transport for non-ambulatory patients
Mechano-Therapy Room

Mechano-Therapy Room

Exercise equipment

Exercise equipment


Gym with medicine balls

Gym with medicine balls

Punching bags in the Gymnasium

Punching bags in the Gymnasium

Rings in the gym

Rings in the gym

Machinery in the basement

Machinery in the basement


Fordyce Spring 46

Fordyce Spring 46

Fordyce Spring 46

Fordyce Spring 46


There was a spring in the basement of Fordyce Bathhouse which was fascinating to the guests. So it was covered with glass and well lighted
Spring in the basement of Fordyce Bathhouse

Spring in the basement of Fordyce Bathhouse

Behind the glass

Behind the glass


Cloak Room

Cloak Room


Models of the bathhouses and I only see seven

Models of the bathhouses and I only see seven

waterfall

waterfall


There are two kinds of springs outdoors. One type where the water is out in the open is decorative.
Decorative Fountain outside the bathhouses

Decorative Fountain outside the bathhouses


The other type has a place for you to fill up a jug or other container with the water from the hot springs. Containers are on sale in the Fordyce bathhouse and also in local stores. We did not go to one of the 'jug springs' and fill anything up with the water. That is free if you bring your own jug and there are several 'jug spring' outlets in the Hot Springs area.
The hill behind the bathhouses

The hill behind the bathhouses


It is NOT true that the water is hot enough to kill bacteria.
323908422728351-Hot_Spring_b..ional_Park.jpgGreen in the middle of the winter around hot water

Green in the middle of the winter around hot water


There is a relatively natural spring - not for decoration, not for bathing, and not for drinking, but just a natural hot spring, behind the Fordyce Bathhouse,
Hot Spring behind the bathhouses

Hot Spring behind the bathhouses


which we went to look at after we toured the bathhouse and put our fingers in it to test the temperature.

Keeping in mind that we were there in the winter time, the only way to tell that it is a hot spring is by the wisps of steam rising off the water.
Steaming hot fountain

Steaming hot fountain


Hot Spring fountain

Hot Spring fountain


Army and Navy General Hospital (now the Rehabilitation Center)

Army and Navy General Hospital (now the Rehabilitation Center)


There are two automobile roads up into the mountains in the Hot Springs National Park. One of them is up West Mountain. This road is steep (goes up to 1100 feet above sea level) but is relatively straight (for a mountain road). It has two or three overlooks,
From an overlook - telephoto picture of church

From an overlook - telephoto picture of church

Telephoto from an overlook

Telephoto from an overlook

Through the winter striped branches to town

Through the winter striped branches to town


one of them with a picnic area shelter and there is a loop at the summit. We drove up West Mountain after we visited the NPS Visitor's Center.
Sunset trail sign on West Mountain

Sunset trail sign on West Mountain

Sunset Trail

Sunset Trail


Panorama from the summit

Panorama from the summit


I took a lot of photos. We could see it better in the winter because the leaves the trees didn't obscure the details of the town below us.

Then we came down from West Mountain and ate lunch at Captain D's Seafood
Sign out front

Sign out front


which offers seafood at fast food prices. The franchise operation started in Donelson, TN in 1969 and was called Mr. D's. Now they have almost 600 restaurants in 23 states and several countries overseas.
Bob holding open the door

Bob holding open the door


I had the new pasta bowl (I got
Shrimp scampi pasta bowl ($3.99)

Shrimp scampi pasta bowl ($3.99)


and Bob had
Bob's fish and fries combo ($3.99)

Bob's fish and fries combo ($3.99)

They also have some shrimp, oysters, clams, salmon, catfish and chicken selections. The pasta bowls may no longer be available. We didn't get one of the desserts (they have pecan pie, chocolate cake and two kinds of cheese cake)
Mountain tower from West Mountain

Mountain tower from West Mountain


We saw the tower from the top of the opposite hill. The road up to the tower winds up the side of Hot Springs Mountain, with many hairpin turns which makes it inaccessible to motorcoaches. We had a difficult time, just in a regular car. On a clear day you can see 140 miles. There were two of those coin operated binoculars at the top.

The drive up is Free and there is Free Parking at the top. It is part of the National Park, but is operated by a concessioner, so even though there is no admission for other parts of the park, there is an additional fee to go to the top of the Tower.

The tower, which is a 65.8 metre high observation tower built of lattice steel built in 1983 is not the first tower to be built on this location. The Wikipedia entry notes: In the nineteenth century, a 75-foot wooden fire tower was constructed on the site. This tower was later struck by lightning and burned to the ground. The mid-twentieth century saw the construction of a 175-foot steel structure [later renamed the Rix Tower] which later proved unstable and was torn down.
Base of the tower from the parking lot

Base of the tower from the parking lot

Tower shop

Tower shop


I had a coupon for $1 off so it cost us $4 each rather than $5 each for seniors.
Ticket prices

Ticket prices


Coins for admission to the tower

Coins for admission to the tower


They have an elevator to the top of the 214 foot tower. The elevator goes up the outside of the tower, but I had a problem getting the camera to fire in between the beams that are on the outside of the elevator.
Bob in the tower elevator

Bob in the tower elevator

From the tower elevator

From the tower elevator

There was always something right in the middle of the picture.

The second level is enclosed and has a lot of information about the area, which includes a small exhibit on Taylor Instruments,
Taylor instruments

Taylor instruments


and a section debunking the myths.
Information display at the top

Information display at the top

Al Capone tunnel myth

Al Capone tunnel myth


One of the myths (which is repeated in the AAA book) is that the water is sterile. It is not - it's only 143 deg F. So it isn't just the view - there is also historical info is located on the enclosed observation deck.The top level is not enclosed, so it is much better for taking pictures.
Wasp warning

Wasp warning


Parking lot from the tower

Parking lot from the tower


View from the tower

View from the tower

Highway from the tower

Highway from the tower

Convention center

Convention center

Telephoto from the tower

Telephoto from the tower

View from the tower

View from the tower

Army Navy Hospital from the tower

Army Navy Hospital from the tower

Road up the mountain

Road up the mountain


Hot Springs Confederate Monument is located in Landmark Plaza

Hot Springs Confederate Monument is located in Landmark Plaza

BubbaLu's restaurant

BubbaLu's restaurant


Statue in town

Statue in town

Painting the roof white from yellow scaffolding

Painting the roof white from yellow scaffolding


I was going to try to straighten out the AFV reservations because the last one in Montgomery TX, they had no record of us coming. So I called our daughter to see if she had gotten it yet, and she sent our granddaughter out to get the mail (it was her day to get the mail), but it had not come. She said I should call her sister, and that was when I found out about my mom being in the hospital. I called and talked to her and she sounded like she was getting better.

We went out to dinner at Perkins which we thought should be safe (after two previous disappointments).
Sign

Sign


There used to be a Perkins in Leonardtown, but it closed. I really miss it. Perkins started some forty years ago as a pancake house in Ohio, and now is a full restaurant with an associated bakery.
Bakery section

Bakery section


Their food is largely 'comfort food'. We like it because they have a senior menu which has smaller portions than the regular menu. Breakfast is also served all day. We had a very nice dinner. I had the
My broccoli cheese soup

My broccoli cheese soup


Senior pot roast with no gravy

Senior pot roast with no gravy


and Bob had the
Chicken Noodle soup

Chicken Noodle soup


Bob's Senior meatloaf

Bob's Senior meatloaf


I also had
A small sundae

A small sundae


Our waitress was cute - I said we wanted the Senior menu items, and she said that she hesitated to ask anyone if they wanted the senior menu, but we were pointing to the Senior section when we ordered so she didn't have to ask.

Tuesday, 14 February 2006 - Valentine's Day

Hotel Lobby decorated for valentines

Hotel Lobby decorated for valentines


When I woke up this morning, there was a box of chocolates (from Bob) on the other bed.

We started out later today
Road to Garvan Gardens

Road to Garvan Gardens


because we are just driving a short distance to the
Garvan Woodland Gardens sign

Garvan Woodland Gardens sign


We had another coupon, and we got in for the senior rate $5 minus $1 each. We took the golf cart tour which was $6 each. This was very enjoyable.
Rivulet and a pool

Rivulet and a pool


(These are not hot springs)
Waterfall

Waterfall

Moon bridge

Moon bridge


Blossoms and blue water

Blossoms and blue water

Peaceful pond

Peaceful pond


There were snowdrops and crocuses out, and some daffodils, some camellias,
Winter Camelia

Winter Camelia

Pink flowers

Pink flowers

Path through the woods

Path through the woods

large_100_7183.JPGDried flowers

Dried flowers

Creek with flowers and ferns

Creek with flowers and ferns


and an occasional azalea. There were a lot of water features, waterfalls and bridges.
Bridge for golf carts

Bridge for golf carts


Daffodils under the trees

Daffodils under the trees


Even though it was quite early in the spring, there were flowers in bloom. It must be really spectacular in March.
Yellow crocus

Yellow crocus


Daffodils at Garvan Garden

Daffodils at Garvan Garden


Purple

Purple

Golf cart bridge

Golf cart bridge

Workers lined up for instructions

Workers lined up for instructions

large_100_7239.JPGlarge_100_7233.JPG
Ceiling of one of the meeting buildings

Ceiling of one of the meeting buildings


Path

Path


There was a model train set up near the visitor's center.
Train garden

Train garden


Railroad bridge

Railroad bridge

Model Railroad

Model Railroad

Model train

Model train

Panic switch

Panic switch


Afterwards they asked me to fill out a questionnaire about how we had liked it, and one of the questions was what other Botanical Gardens we had visited. I started to try to list them and remembered 12 of them, but I forgot the Santo Domingo Botanical Garden, the Birmingham Botanical Garden and the Brookgreen Gardens in SC. That would have made 15.

This year (in addition to Santo Domingo and Birmingham) we've been to

  • Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
  • Bellingrath Gardens
  • Harry Leu Garden

Previous years

  • Fairchild Gardens
  • Edison Estate in Ft. Myers
  • Key West Botanical Garden
  • Sugar Mill Gardens in Port Orange
  • Elizabethan Garden on Roanoke Island
  • Bouchart Gardens in Canada

Long ago

  • Winterthur
  • Golden Gate Park
  • Longwood Gardens

We had lunch on the deck at Garvan Gardens. In the summer or later in the spring this would have been a great place to eat. This early in the spring though it was quite cold.

The food cooked off site and brought to a tent where it was served. If it had been warmer, the sides of the tent could have been rolled up. As it was there wasn't much room in there for people who were waiting for their food, so it was a good thing that there weren't a lot of people.

There was no real menu, so we had to kind of look around to see what other people had and what was in the pots. If it hadn't been so windy, I think they would have had a menu posted. I had
Bean soup

Bean soup


and a corn meal muffin and Bob had
Chili

Chili


and potato chips. It was good and also it was hot.
View from the deck

View from the deck


The seating area consisted of metal chairs and metal mesh tables (which were cold).
Woman's bathroom

Woman's bathroom


On their FAQ page it says:
Do you have a restaurant at the Gardens?
A pot of pansies and purple cabbage

A pot of pansies and purple cabbage


Yes. We have a tent-café,
Sign

Sign


which serves sandwiches, hot dogs, soups and salads. Hours vary with the season, so please call our office to check current opening times (phone number below). The Gift Shop also sells beverages, ice cream, chips, etc. throughout the year.

Crane sculptures on the porch

Crane sculptures on the porch


Can I bring a picnic lunch?
Yes. There are many places in the Gardens to have a picnic, including our designated picnic area. We do not allow large rolling coolers and lawn chairs and ask that you please put your trash in the many cans located throughout the Gardens.
Eating on the deck

Eating on the deck

Hot Springs isn't a large town.
Approach from the south - first lights

Approach from the south - first lights


It only has one main street through the middle of it. Just south of town, a limited access highway (US 270 aka Martin Luther King Expressway)
2nd and 3rd set of lights - MLK cars entering Central

2nd and 3rd set of lights - MLK cars entering Central


crosses the main street (Central Avenue which is also Arkansas Route 7).
Going under the highway - two sets of lights ahead

Going under the highway - two sets of lights ahead


2nd and 3rd lights after the highway

2nd and 3rd lights after the highway


At this location there are multiple lights (one on each side of each lane of the highway to allow people getting off the highway to turn onto Arkansas 7)
Last set of lights

Last set of lights


and also a constant traffic jam at almost all hours of the day and evening because lights were used to control access to the highway instead of using merge lanes.

We started to go out to dinner at Fisherman's Wharf,
Fisherman's Wharf entrance

Fisherman's Wharf entrance

Fisherman's Wharf sign

Fisherman's Wharf sign

Fisherman's Wharf sign

Fisherman's Wharf sign


but even though we got there about 5:45, they said there would be a 30 minute wait, so we went to Doe's Famous Eat Place On the Lake.
Sign closeup at dusk

Sign closeup at dusk


The original Doe's is in Greenville, Mississippi but this is a franchise. Doe's specializes in tamales and steaks.
Front of the menu

Front of the menu

Inside Doe's

Inside Doe's


They had a Valentine's Day special - Dinner for two for $44.95 which would include a rose for the lady, a choice of steak entrees, salad, potato, bread and dessert, which might have been good but was far more than we wanted to eat and also more than we wanted to pay.
Valentine special

Valentine special


Bob got a crab cake appetizer with remoulade sauce ($6.95) which he said was more like thousand island dressing than anything else, and I got a Lemon chicken and twice baked potato $12.95

Lemon chicken and twice baked potato $12.95


which was $1 extra. The potato was good.. We had dessert - I got a
Chocolate Lovin' Spoonful Cake ($4.95) - (layers of fudge and cake with chocolate chip icing)

Chocolate Lovin' Spoonful Cake ($4.95) - (layers of fudge and cake with chocolate chip icing)


which was far more chocolate than I really wanted to eat, and Bob got a carrot cake for $4.50. The bill was just under $30.00 before tip. Better than $45, but not frugal.
Does at night

Does at night


After dinner

After dinner


Wednesday 15 February 2006

I've read that one of the Natural things that Arkansas has is that they have a lot of minerals. There are places that you can prospect for crystals.
And there is one state park that is on top of an extinct volcano where you can prospect for diamonds. . I thought maybe I could find a little diamond, so after a late breakfast (we didn't finish until 9:30) and doing the internet, we started out for Crater of Diamonds State Park. This park is down in the southwest corner of the state. After we got out onto the back roads it was very peaceful with very little traffic except for an occasional logging truck.
Logging truck

Logging truck


We got to Murfreesboro about noon - there was a circular round-about around the courthouse,
Courthouse in Murfreesboro

Courthouse in Murfreesboro


and it was difficult to tell which of the roads to take, but we got to the Crater of Diamonds State Park about 12:30.
Sign

Sign


It is pretty cloudy and a bit cool.

We went into the visitor's center - there is a mannequin inside the glass case who explains about diamonds,
Mannequin

Mannequin


and there's also museum exhibits showing the different kinds of minerals that might be found,
Mineral display in the visitor's center

Mineral display in the visitor's center


and the procedures for looking for diamonds.
Directions for mining

Directions for mining


The park also has hiking trails, camping, and in the summer there is a restaurant and a water park.
Sign on the diamond field

Sign on the diamond field


I wanted to try my hand, but Bob was decidedly unenthusiastic. We went out to where you get your ticket, and I still wanted to try, so Bob went back and rented a screen (that is one way to do it if it is dry and I thought it was) and bought a trowel and got a ticket. I gave him my camera.
Park rules

Park rules


They periodically plow up the field so that new dirt comes up to the top.
Sign at the end of the plowed field

Sign at the end of the plowed field


I walked out to a place near to the 'gate'. I could have brought a chair to sit on, and I was afraid to sit down because I would get dirty, so I sat on a rock
Me sitting on a rock</p><ul><li>

Me sitting on a rock

  • and tried to screen some dirt. I found it was really kind of wet and clumpy. I moved to another spot and just crumbled stuff with the trowel and my hands.
    Sift, or Dig

    Sift, or Dig


    Since it was cloudy, I didn't have the advantage of using the sunlight to shine off the diamonds. I found a tiny stone with a bit of spark in it, but I didn't think it was a diamond, and I was right. I also found a big clump of pretty shiny rocks, and the slice of agate. Bob took some pictures of me with my camera.
    Walking back - Crater of Diamonds State Park

    Walking back - Crater of Diamonds State Park


    I tried to wash off the screen and trowel, but they had all the water turned off, so I went into the ladies room, which I'm SURE is not allowed, and washed off. Then I turned in the screen and we got the deposit back. The lump of shiny rocks that Bob told me I should just split apart, the park ranger told me was an aggregate which wasn't split apart-able. I kept it and the slice of agate anyway.

    I went into the regular ladies room (which had a sign saying you were not to wash your muddy shoes off in the sink) and then about 2 pm we
    left. I wasn't really hungry, so I decided not to try to eat in Murfreesboro when we went back through there, but to have a very late lunch/early dinner when we got back to Hot Springs.
    Road on the way back to Hot Springs

    Road on the way back to Hot Springs


    Fisherman's Wharf would be a possibility, but it doesn't open until 5, and it is not quite 4 when we get back. So we went to the Dixie Cafe.The Dixie Cafe

    The Dixie Cafe


    This is a mostly Arkansas chain of restaurants - although they do have a couple of restaurants in Tennessee. The place was almost empty that early, but we were greeted warmly. When we walked in (after parking) they asked us what part of Maryland we were from.
    Too early for crowds

    Too early for crowds

    Roll basket

    Roll basket


    Bob had the
    Bob's chicken tender dinner ($8.39)

    Bob's chicken tender dinner ($8.39)


    with mashed potatoes and applesauce, and he had a milkshake to drink.
    Bob and his milkshake

    Bob and his milkshake


    I got their version ofMy greens, and Shepherd's Pie

    My greens, and Shepherd's Pie


    (which was meatloaf topped with mashed potatoes, gravy and grated cheese), a kind of squash pudding which was a cross between
    corn pudding and bread dressing. They said that because it was our first trip to Dixie Cafe, they would give us a free cobbler. Bob didn't want one, but I took the peach cobbler.
    Peach Cobbler

    Peach Cobbler


    Dixie Cafe in the evening

    Dixie Cafe in the evening


    We got back to the hotel about 5. One thing about the hotel is that you can see it even though it is down in a hole, but at night, you can't see where the driveway is, especially if there is on-coming traffic. I keep expecting someone to turn too soon and come plunging down the hill.

    Thursday 16 February 2006

    I've been putting off writing about what we have been doing because I was worried about my mom who was in the hospital. It seemed heartless
    to write about our enjoyable (!!) trip while she was there. But she's coming home.

    We went to Oaklawn Racetrack
    Mural on the front of Oaklawn

    Mural on the front of Oaklawn

    Flags (Oaklawn, Arkansas and US) in front of Oaklawn

    Flags (Oaklawn, Arkansas and US) in front of Oaklawn


    which wasn't open in February except on weekends.
    Saddling enclosure for inclement weather

    Saddling enclosure for inclement weather


    Bob had never been to the horse races, and he was bored to death. He also thought it was quite expensive
    Betting windows

    Betting windows

    Inside the betting area

    Inside the betting area

    TV inside the casino area

    TV inside the casino area

    Betting windows

    Betting windows

    Sculpture at the track

    Sculpture at the track


    Outside the grandstand

    Outside the grandstand

    Track from inside the grandstand

    Track from inside the grandstand

    Sculpture in the center of the track

    Sculpture in the center of the track

    Horses coming onto the track

    Horses coming onto the track

    One minute to post

    One minute to post

    Tote board

    Tote board

    Getting ready for the start

    Getting ready for the start

    Number 7 with the outrider

    Number 7 with the outrider

    Lining up to go into the gate

    Lining up to go into the gate

    Loading the horses into the gate

    Loading the horses into the gate

    Coming down the home stretch

    Coming down the home stretch

    Racing to the finish

    Racing to the finish

    Finish

    Finish

    Crossing the finish line

    Crossing the finish line

    Hold all tickets

    Hold all tickets

    Discarded betting ticket (not mine) for race 8

    Discarded betting ticket (not mine) for race 8

    After the race

    After the race

    Getting ready for the winner's photo

    Getting ready for the winner's photo


    I had fun however, betting on paper, and I ended up (on paper) $1.80 ahead when I bet $2 to show on each horse that I thought would win. I think that's pretty good. Had I bet with real money, I would have paid for the price of the program.
    Jockey and horse at the entrance as we leave

    Jockey and horse at the entrance as we leave


    Friday, 17 February 2006

    We checked out of the motel in Hot Springs and drove to Branson, MO.
    Superior Bathhouse on our way out of town

    Superior Bathhouse on our way out of town

    Posted by greatgrandmaR 15:02 Archived in USA Comments (2)

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