The Longdogs

The Longdogs
Harley takes his role as navigator seriously!

2023-11-30 La Grange Casino Hall Visitor Center

 We headed out in the morning to visit the historic Casino Hall. It's actually the city's Visitor's Center so it isn't at all what you were probably thinking.

The hall was built in 1881 by the Casino Society, a social club founded in 1858 by a group of La Grange German immigrants. Casino in this context means a gathering place rather than a gambling hall. As you can see it was wet outside.

By the time the Casino Hall was built in 1881, it was used by the entire community rather than jus the germans.

You may recognize the poster guys as well as the ladies with them if you remember the last post. Of course the ladies were very well desguised.

There was lots of history to review. The Casino was used a school for 200 hundred students in 1884. Later it housed the City Hall and the Fire Department. In 1992 it was used as a Senior Citizen Center. In 2014 a renovation began after the hall was vacant for 8 years.

We had a guided tour of the hall whch is one of La Grange's oldest and most historical buildings. Many different local groups use the second story of the hall for events. It's a large open area with a balcony and a stage.

After our tour, a few of us Murphy's Steakhouse in Winchester TX. Teri, one of our members, has fond memories of family visits to this historic restaurant.

We saw this adjacent to the steakhouse but really don't have any nformation about it. It certainly seemed strange.

And this house was right across the street.

After lunch, we followed a map of quilt squares in the surrounding area. It wasn't quite what we expected. The squares were painted on various homes and buildings and were usually small, about 20 inches, so I couldn't get good pictures from the road. The quilt squares I have seen before were usually large painted on the side of barns but it was interesting. I think the project was developed as some type of fundraiser.

2023-11-29 TRR La Grange Rally

 I've included pictures here of things that we actually did at the park during the rally. Other places and things we did are in their own posts. We had some great entertainment provided by our hosts and other guests. First off, our three hosts Anne, Judy, and Susan were unrecognizable in their ZZ Top personas as they entertained us the first night. remember this photo when you check out the next post.

We also had entertainment from the Lawrence Welk show as Rita played her accordian for us.

It was a Welk special "champagne" performance including dancers Vicki and Barbara.

Elaine, Mary, and Susan stepped up to the plate to sing accompaniment to Rita's  music. I should mention that we also had some great meals thanks to Elaine's magic changing the frozen shredded chicken from the last rally into some delicious chicken spaghetti along with garlic bread and a fantastic salad whipped up by Judy.  The next night we were all going to bring salads for a salad potluck dinner but that was changed to tacos and taco salad when Elaine worked some more magic with frozen ground beef from the last rally. She also whipped up refried beans and Judy had more salad for those who wanted to do taco salad instead of tacos. 

Next up with the christening of two new rigs. Mary just got this nice little trailer with rear entry.

We all got a tour and she showed us her outdoor kitchen that pulls out of the storage area.

Beverly also surprised us all with a brand new rig, a huge beautiful Class A. She and her six dogs were loving it.

I had to show Anne's site as she went all out with Christmas decorations. She also had blowups and lots of outdoor lights. It was really nice.

Cathy and Anne braved the pool on a sunny day. I say "braved" because the pool was beautiful but not heated.

It really was a lot more comfortable just soaking up the sun without the water.

More entertainment was in the works. We all wore some Christmas outfits. Host Anne had a fantastic Mrs Clause outfit and Mary made a cute elf. Susan made a decent Santa. We played Christmas bingo and they had some fantastic prizes to hand out. 

A lot of us were already gone when this wild bunch had a rousing game of Left, Right, Center. It was reported that Mary got so excited that she knocked a whole glass of wine over on Rita but I don't have pictures to share so that may only be a wild rumor, lol.

Here is our rally photo. It's a little different than our usual photo as we all brought an item to show something about ourselves. I have a dachshund on my shoulder. The kayakers are easy to see but  needlepoint, fishing, cooking, pickleball, hiking, dogs, and some other hobbies were represented.

2023-11-28 Brenham TX & Blue Bonnet Ice Cream

The day after we arrived, Elaine, Beverly and I took a drive up to Brenham Texas where the Blue Bell Creamery is located. If you are from Texas or almost anywhere else, you know about Blue Bell Ice Cream. Blue Bell has been around since 1907 and started making ice cream in 1911.This was their first refrigerated delivery truck which is from 1936. It held 20 five-gallon cans of ice cream which were delivered to stores around Brenham.

Blue Bell expanded to deliveries in Houston in 1960 and then around Texas. In 1975 they crossed over to include Louisiana and have been expanding ever since. Here we are entering the main building.

There is an entry way with a few exhibits and then you take the elevator shown below or the stairs up to the second floor.

Stepping off the elevator the first thing you see is this beautiful Christmas display.

Next up is the showcase of all the different kinds of ice cream Blue Bell makes.

There is a gift store on this floor with many different Blue Bell related items for sale. This is also where you get to look out over the work floor below where employees are making ice cream and packaging it. You are accompanied by an employee and no pictures are allowed but you get a good overview of the process. We were told that the area we could see which was large was only one of four areas in the building where ice cream was being made.

Next up was the ice cream parlor where for $1.00, you could get a very large scoop of any kind of ice cream they had out. the choices were extensive and the ice cream was very good. It is probably a good thing I don't live in Brenham. 

We also went to the Visitor's center next door where the displays were mostly pictures. I definitely recommend a visit to Brenham and a tour of the creamery which is free.


2023-11-26 Colorado Landing RV Park, La Grange TX

 My sister-in-law Elaine headed out from Abilene and I headed out from Schertz to meet up in La Grange TX to meet up at the Colorado Landing RV Park for a Texas Ramblin' Roses rally. We arrived a couple days early to enjoy the park and area. There will be other posts about what we did at the rally and the places we visited so stay tuned.....but first the park.

It's a very nice laid back park. they have pull-throughs and back-ins. Every site has a picnic table and is quite spacious especially the back-in sites. they have a couple of family style bathrooms, a rally or community room with a kitchen, two dog parks, propane, and swings for adults around the park. There are a few machines for laundry as well. The owner and staff are very nice and easy to work with.

The park deserves it's well earned ratings. Keep in mind that you may not be able to get a site when the Roundtop antiques activities are going on because the park is reserved every year by long time attendees.

If you take a walk around the park, you can stop and enjoy the scenery in one of the many swings.

There is a nice play area for kids.

The pool is beautiful and surrounded by roses but it is not heated.

This was one of our hostesses who decorated her site for the rally but other RVers also had decorations out.

Inside the pool fence.

This is the Bark Park for small dogs situated in a beautiful wooded area. The other Bark Park is huge with lots of open running room. Both have places for people to sit and watch their walks.

The deer are plentiful and wander through the park morning and evenings.

This was my pull through site which would  accommodate almost any size RV. I think I would choose a back-in site in future as they are further apart and very large. The sites were gravel and level.

The park has several walking trails along with river under shady trees. At one time I understand they had a beach area and boat landing but the hurricane destroyed that. They do have plans to work on that area in the future.

All in all, it's a great park and I will definitely keep it on my list of places to revisit.

2023-11-25 Thanksgiving Dinner & a Tea Party

 We had a great thanksgiving at my son Steve and daughter-in-law Helen's house. Helen is a great cook and loves to do it so I just bring whatever she wants me to make. This year it was deviled eggs and my homemade rolls. I have to admit that, for the first time ever in almost 45 years, my roll recipe failed me and they were not good. Hope that never happens again.

Helen made her famous bacon squash casserole in addition to the other Thanksgiving staples like mash potatoes and pumpkin pie.

My granddaughter Morgan made a delicious apple rhubarb dessert. 

A few days later, Helen, Morgan and I went to the Doll House Tearoom in Seguin for a high tea. I didn't quite realize what I was committing to as you can see by my dress. Helen was neutral but Morgan was all dressed up appropriately for the occasion.

We had two different kinds of tea as well as salad, scones, tea sandwiches, and desserts.

It was definitely not crowded but there were a couple other parties that you can't see. Each area is set up differently with nice tea settings. It's an experience if you like English tea parties.