Just two friends traveling Texas and beyond …Navigation
Come along as we enjoy good places and great things
Sometimes when we travel, we don’t have a destination in mind, but this time we did. We went to New Orleans for two reasons: to take a cooking class that promised amazing gumbo; and to take a glimpse into the past of a great grandfather I never knew.
We understood there would be few traces of man who lived in New Orleans only for a short time, and over one hundred years ago. He arrived there in 1906 aboard the Vincenzo Florio as an Italian immigrant. The ship’s log listed his intended address as 616 Ursulines, the home of Pasqule Taromina. Lucky for us, today 616 Ursulines is the Villa Convento, a budget hotel in the French Quarter.
It seemed like the perfect place for us to stay.
The hotel’s French Quarter location was great and so was the price. The free parking was a nice long walk from the hotel. It was behind colorful doors in an equally colorful part of the city.
Choosing what to do on our last day in St. Francisville was easy. We would divide our time between two plantations: Laura and Myrtles. Since nighttime is the best time to tour a haunted house, we made the Myrtles reservations for 8:00 pm. It’s known as one of the most haunted places in America. We chose the Laura Plantation tour for morning. It was 80 miles away in Vacherie, Louisiana. There were closer options, but the Lonely Planet named the tour of Laura, “The Best History Tour in the United States”. That’s a pretty strong endorsement.
How could we not go?
When we arrived at Laura, the parking lot was almost full. The gift shop was packed too. We stood in line to buy tickets. There was no time to browse Laura-related gifts before our guide ushered us outside and down a path to the colorful, raised-Creole style home.
Once a sugarcane plantation occupying 12,000 acres of land, Laura is just six hundred feet from the Mississippi. Today, a levy blocks the view of the river so completely, you would never know it is there.Read More
When Garden & Gun magazine ranks a city number #1 on a list of “Sweet and Soulful Southern Hideaways”, you know you’re in for something special. After all, who would know the Deep South better than a publication that is a must-read for all those who drink sweet tea on accessorized porches. Don’t let your first glance at the town’s main street discourage you. There is just a scant block of shops. This town isn’t about shopping. It’s about the people who lived here long ago and the spirits that many say still linger today.
For us, this was one of many trips heading east on I-10, but once we turned north at Baton Rouge, we realized that this part of Louisiana is unlike where we’d been before. Instead of swamps and coastal landscapes (and that bridge that’s way too long), we followed a winding road upward onto the bluffs of West Feliciana Parish. We were told that these bluffs are actually a part of the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains; that Andrew Jackson passed by on his way to the Battle of New Orleans; and that the longest battle of the Civil War was fought just down the road.
Ghost stories are an integral part of the history here. In some circles, they are accepted as fact. Maybe the spirit world is more active because St. Francisville began as a burial ground for eighteenth century Spanish settlers. Or maybe it’s because over twelve thousand Union and Confederate soldiers lost their lives at nearby Port Hudson.Read More
We can’t believe years have passed since our last blog post. Fortunately for us, while we haven’t been sharing our experiences, we continued to search for good places and great things. Along the way, we found a small Texas town or two that we love; we discovered that Louisiana is so much more than just Bourbon Street; and we visited our favorite Mexican town, one that is nowhere near a beach.
We will be ready to go as soon as the widgets and plugins and themes that allow our blog to function are updated. (No easy task!) If all goes well, we are back to blogging next week.
If you have subscribed to our blog in the past, our next post should arrive via email. If you haven’t signed up and would like to do that, our “Subscribe to Blog” function is up and running. It’s on the right sidebar. All you have to do is enter your email address and click “subscribe” to automatically receive posts. We are on Instagram now, so please “follow” us there as well. You can click on the Instagram icon on this page or you can click here to go our account.
We are very excited about our new beginning. See you next week!Read More
On a rainy Tuesday morning, we headed to Goliad, Texas for a bowl of soup. Normally, it would take a decadent chocolate dessert to lure us on to a slick highway for a two-and-a-half hour trek, but the Blue Quail Deli’s cream of jalapeno soup had too many rave reviews to ignore. Rumor has it that ex-Oiler coach, Bum Phillips, may have retired in the Goliad area to place himself as close as possible to his next bowl.
After our own personal taste test, we can see ourselves packing to move to as well, but soup is only one of the reasons.
Out-of-town guests are keeping us home, but we’ll be on the road again soon!
Hope everyone had a great weekend.Read More
Seems that small Texas towns close early on Sundays. It’s actually a nice thing when you think of all those shop and restaurant workers enjoying dinner with their families. When you’re a hungry traveler, it can be a huge problem. As we drove from one end of Salado, Texas to the other, we couldn’t help but notice two things: the town was very charming and it was deserted.
Even the bed and breakfast hotel where we hoped to stay, didn’t answer their door or their telephone. (We should have called ahead.)Read More