Tales From The Camping House

Tales From The Camping House

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Cookies and Ice Cream

Well, we are back at the Colorado River Thousand Trails in Columbus, Texas. Yesterday, Jim played golf and I went to the cookie exchange here at the park. There were 14 of us, each brought their cookie dough and it was then baked in the big oven at the farm house. Here's the finished product!

I came home with 4 dozen cookies of all varieties. Yum!!!

Today, we made the 35 mile drive to Brenham. Our destination was the

We arrived about 30 minutes before our tour was to begin. We picked up our tour tokens and then walked around the property until it was time for the tour.

When the tour began, we weren't able to take pictures inside. I know that in many factory tours you are not able to take pictures. I thought it was something about trade secrets in the manufacturing, but the guide explained it was for their employees' privacy.  It was interesting to see all the different aspects in making the ice cream. Blue Bell is the third most popular ice cream in the country and they use the milk from 50,000 cows each day in making their ice cream products. After the tour, we all went into their store and were able to choose a flavor for a large scoop of ice cream. Jim had Spiced Pumpkin Nut and I had Christmas Cookie. Both were scrumptious! As we were leaving, we had someone take our picture in front of the Christmas tree.

 We were expecting rain, there was a 60% chance today. Instead, we were treated to sunshine and it was 78 degrees outside when we completed the tour. It was a great day!

We'll be here through the weekend and will then head to Austin for the holidays.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Tree Sculpture Tour

December 7, 2011
Galveston, Texas

It's been cold, cloudy, and dreary the past couple of days, but today was sunny and we had to get out and do something. I remembered reading about tree sculptures in the historic district, so we took off to find them.  After Hurricane Ike, thousands of majestic oak trees were destroyed.  New life was given to some of these trees when sculptors came in to make lifelike sculptures from the remains.  Most of them are in the historic district and there is a self-guided tour to see them.  They were pretty amazing and the houses weren't shabby either.  Here are some of them.

The tin man was sculpted in honor of one of the directors of The Wizard of Oz who was born in this house.

 We returned in time to get some pictures of the sunset.  It was great to have a sunny day!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Dickens On The Strand

December 3, 2011
Galveston, Texas

Today is Dickens on the Strand in downtown Galveston.  Several streets are closed off downtown for a street festival that includes a parade, bed races, crafts and food booths, and other entertainment. First, we were extremely lucky to find a parking place with a meter rather than have to park in a lot.

We walked about 2 blocks to one of the entrances and found out we were right in front of the Tremont House Hotel. We watched a street performer juggling fire before finding a spot to sit on the street to wait for the parade.

As we waited, we were serenaded with Christmas music played by

the Salvation Army band.

It was finally time for the parade to begin!

There were people dressed in Victorian costume.


And our favorite, the bagpipes.

There were even some cute little Alpacas.

It was a fun afternoon of events and people watching!  We're looking forward to going back to the Strand to do some more exploring.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Moody Gardens

December 2, 2011
Galveston Island State Park, Texas

I woke up this morning and saw this beautiful sunrise when I opened the shade.

Our plan today was to go to the Moody Gardens. I had previously purchased a Group On for the Rain Forest Pyramid and the Festival of Lights. We went to the Rain Forest in the afternoon. This had also been damaged during Hurricane Ike. The pyramid withstood the winds, but the storm surge flooded Moody Gardens.  Employees were able to save the animals and only about 3% of the plants were lost. Here is the pyramid as we arrived.

The Rain Forest Pyramid is one of the largest replicas of a rain forest. Inside there were plants and animals native to the rain forest.

We went back later in the evening for the Festival of Lights. It was gorgeous. lights everywhere around the complex.   The sections were divided up by theme with lights and music to complement the different themes. Here are some of the lights. It really puts you in the Christmas spirit.

Galveston, Texas

November 30, 2011

Today, we would be traveling about 125 miles to Galveston, Texas.

 The last time we were in Galveston was July, 2008,  just a few months before Hurricane Ike. We are staying at Galveston Island State Park. When we were here before, there were 150 sites on the beach. Now, there are only 36.  The sites are not right on the beach, but are about 100 yards away-just a short walk from the rv. We still can see the waves from our window.

 Rudy and Roscoe, our two pugs, loved walking on the sand. They weren't too sure about the water though.

After Hurricane Ike, there was talk about not reopening this park after just about everything had been destroyed. The community would not let that happen and created the Friends of Galveston State Park. Countless volunteer hours were spent bringing the park back and it is still a wonderful place!

Just Relaxing

November 27, 2011

We spent the Thanksgiving holidays parked in a little RV park about 2 miles from Jim's sister's house.  It made it very convenient for visiting. We're now at the Thousand Trails in Columbus, Texas just relaxing.

A Morning Surprise

November 22, 2011
Inks Lake State Park

We had a wonderful surprise before we left Inks Lake State Park.  Jim had walked the dogs in the morning when he came back in and told me to look out the back window. I looked out and saw lots of big white birds on the lake. They looked like swans, but upon closer examination, they were pelicans! Inks Lake is at least 250 miles from the coast, so we certainly never expected to see a flock of pelicans on the lake.

Jim walked around the lake taking more pictures. I'm not sure how often this happens, but it was a very special experience for us!