Friday, February 20, 2015

Catching up ...

I've been remiss in not updating this online journal!  We have been busy visiting several places in the area and I've not shared with you.  So in the next few days I'll try to put a few pics on here of where we've been and tell you what we've been doing.

Today is slightly overcast and only 60 degrees this a.m. when I got up.  We want to drive to Banderra this afternoon but might not go if it stays so gloomy -- we'll just stay home and vegetate!  We did go to New Braunfels yesterday and 'did' the railroad museum and a couple downtown antique shops.  Had a wonderful lunch at a local German restaurant.  This area, from NB to Fredericksburg, was settled by Germans in the 1800's.  Lots of German influence in all aspects of the local culture.  And yesterday at the RR museum the guy who was the host had a strong German accent, and a large family group touring ahead of us were speaking German. 

But anyway, today I want to share our experience a couple weeks ago at the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg.  We actually went on two separate days because we just couldn't cover it as we wanted to in one day.  This museum is in three separate locations but all near each other.  We first visited the Admiral Nimitz Museum.  Admiral Nimitz was raised in and near the Nimitz Hotel, which his family ran.  The old hotel building in encompassed by the museum.  It was very interesting because they staged the displays from his birth to his death, of course including his years as commander of the Navy in the Pacific. 
An exterior shot of the Nimitz Museum, built around the old Nimitz Hotel.
As we exited the Nimitz Museum into the courtyard to go next door to the gift shop (far left) there stood a larger-than-life statue of the Admiral himself.  Lots of people were taking pictures with him ...

His life story is very interesting (did you know that he made admiral in spite of being court martialed early in his military career? he went to sleep on duty!).  After we visited the gift shop we walked straight back of this building, through the Peace Garden, and on the opposite corner of the block was the larger War in the Pacific building. 

East entrance to the National Museum of the Pacific War.
We stayed in this building until we were feeling like we were saturated and getting nothing out of it, so we called it a day (for that day) and went for a late lunch.  Now let me say a word here about Fredericksburg.  It is a tourist town.  We went to a restaurant that was rated #2 by Trip Advisor so we expected something great.  What we got was surly service at a order-at-the-counter place where we 'enjoyed' a Boar's Head cold cut sandwich, drink and a bag of chips for $13.  Geeeeeezzzzz!  What a rip.  ANYWAY ...  Except for lunch it was a great day.

We went back two days later (you can use your ticket for 48 hours) and went to the third part of this wonderful museum, the Pacific Combat Zone ... 

This combat zone was one block south of the other buildings and it was just a beautiful day for the walk there from the parking spot.  Part of this area was indoors and part outdoors with a tour guide who talked about the air war, the war on the ocean and the war on land.  Our guide was an older fellow and he knew his stuff; he took lots of questions and knew all the answers.  The tour ended in a Quonset hut field hospital mock-up and was really a great experience.  I learned more about WWII those two days than I did in high school.  

After we finished the combat zone, we returned to the large museum building and finished what we missed the first day.  That building took you all the way from the reason Japan wanted to go to war, to Pearl Harbor, all through the Pacific war, ending with the atomic bomb and the surrender ...
This was one of the two-man type subs that the Japanese used inside Pearl Harbor.
This fighter-bomber was used in the Pacific islands.
This landing craft was used on Iwo Jima and was named Lucky Strike.
Here's an empty casing for another atomic bomb ...
So ... here's the lesson I took away from our visit to the museum:

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

I've been lazy ...

Not written anything here lately because I've turned just plain LAZY!  LOL!  But we have been on the go; not as much as in years past during our winter jaunts, but we haven't just sat around and read.  (Although, granted, we have done a lot of reading!) 

One of the things we like most is going to our usual places (library, church, grocery, barber/hair dresser, antique shops, thrift stores, etc.) and seeing what's different about these places in this part of our great country. 

The house we're staying in needed more than 4 teaspoons and 2 juice glasses, so we went to a thrift store.  That was fun!  The store we visited was just spotless -- they obviously launder all of their clothing and wash all of the dishes before they put them out.  And Wendell likes to go through the books at a thrift store.  I find a new/used cookbook every place we stay, and found a good one here, too!  (Lots of Tex/Mex cookbooks in all of the used book stores here.)  The library has a large choice of used books, too. 

We've been enjoying some pretty good weather here but have had more overcast days than we'd like.  No snow and no freezing weather, but not what's they're used to here.  Everyone we talk to says "this is not normal weather for this time of year."  The average high is 65 about now, but today it's not likely to get over 50.  However, when the sky is blue I don't care if it's 50 or 70. 

Found a great church and today I joined their prayer shawl group.  They meet every Tuesday a.m.  What a wonderful group of women!  They have two tubs of shawls ready to go, and distributed two shawls today while I was there.  About 10 women there today.  One of the two ministers (Barbara Aziz) came up and blessed the shawls and we all touched them and prayed over them.  Lots of interesting stories as well as some real heart breaking stories of people who will be receiving them.

Here's some pictures of one of the places we stopped at lately.  We went through Luckenbach, a real "tourist" spot and just a dot on the map along a county road ...

Here's the entrance to the Luckenbach P.O. and general store.  Sandwich joint in the back.  The firewood on the side is for an outdoor fireplace.  The mesquite wood they burn around here smells heavenly!
This stage is right out back of the P.O. and there's music there every day at 5 p.m.  It's right along the bank of Grape Creek.
To the right of the stage is a dressing/warm-up room and these chickens are a regular fixture just outside the door.  The roosters crow all the time!  Argh! 
This is the interior of the dance hall.  It's open evenings with live music.  Some of the benches that are usually placed around the edge of the room are up in the rafters!
I just thought this was funny ...
Along a back road, on the way 'home' that day, we came across this big guy!  Wow!  For some reason I love longhorns.  Just saw a program on RFD-TV about how at one time they were almost extinct.  Now they're abundant. 
Have a blessed week!