Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Sun Sets on Another Year...a time to reflect

Though this year didn’t bring the quantity of Adventures as in the past...I feel it had the quality that a few of us are fortunate to experience....

Big Bend (c) Horst Kelly photographer

Last year closed with a trip to Big Bend National Park...one of my favorites, and the opportunity to try true “Boondocking” and also the pleasure of meeting Barney...the Full-Timer of the Blog OFM...
Big Bend (c)Horst Kelly photographer
Big Bend Sunrise (c)Horst Kelly Photographer

Waring General store (c)Horst Kelly photographer

St. Stanislaus Catholic Church (c)Horst Kelly photographer
The new year was slow in starting any Journeys...first was a Texas  Trip to Bandera...Cowboy Capital of the World, so say the locals......Ms Casita stayed home but we found a quaint place to stay.....Bandera has some awesome  structures... the Courthouse, St. Stanislaus Catholic Church, OST Diner, etc...Great folklore and even a Buffalo Herd.  Took side trip as we where meandering home to the Hamlets of Comfort,  Waring, Boerne and the like.....a quick trip but quality time!

In April came a trip north through “Tornado Alley”...Destination Kansas City, Mo...it was cold, but so was the rest of the Country...did have time to go  out with one of the Twins to places like “Loose Park”, Neighborhood called Brookside with its Old Homes, and eclectic stores and pubs....where we managed to chow now and have a Bloody Mary...or 3....
Daughter(c)Horst Kelly Photographer

Also made time to take a photo trip to the Local Zoo....get together with my BIL’s brother and wife who have a Bus conversion and go with Daughter downtown to an old Industrial area now converted into Lofts, pubs and music venues....a younger generation event...but a nice evening with a couple that she is friends with....chowed down with Sushi and Japanese Beer....

Stopped to visit a historical site that was called New Santa Fe.... a village that sits on the state line (Kansas and Missouri)..
(c)Horst Kelly Photograpger

Still made time for “Chores” around FIL’s home....and then it was back on l-35 heading south to Texas.
KC Zoo(c)Horst Kelly Photographer

KC Zoo(c)Horst Kelly Photographer
Painted Church Schulenbury, Tx (c)Horst KellyPhotographer
In May I took a trip East on l-10(100 miles) to Schulenburg, Texas and the surrounding area...known as the Official Home of the Painted Churches...what a fascinating history this area of Texas has....worth a stop over for anyone traveling along l-10 between Houston and San Antonio...if interested, see my 15 May ’13 post for details of the trip...

Painted Church Schulenburg Tx (c)Horst Kelly Photographer 

In June came the Grand Opi adventure with my two Grandsons from Charleston SC.....and what a fun experience it was...camping across half of the USA and back,  seeing old forts, pure white beaches,   Alligators, Dinosaurs,  Johnson Space Center,  miniature golf, Go-karting, swimming, hiking,  watching Barges travel up the Mississippi, visiting the like of Vicksburg,  Ft Pickens, The Alamo,  Ft. McAllister, watching sea Turtles, Trips to two Zoos, A day at the Wildlife Center, Theme parks with water slides, rock climbing, parachute drop, arcade games....and the list of Activities goes on...the time pasted so fast....

The Trip Begins

2 future Astronauts

Smores and more
Splash town Fun

How Far do we Drop Down.....Opi...HELP
First Campsite

A History Lesson
A Blue Angle

Another....Blue Angle in the Making


The Alamo

The River Ride at The Riverwalk

The Riverwalk
The Zoo
Another Zoo

Awww...to be Young Again

Amusement Park
Happy Campers...A Navy Family
Another Zoo
OK...enough Photos Opi

The Boys of Summer

Two months of pure unadulterated fun....a once in a lifetime experience for me.....one I will never forget...I recommend that it goes on every “Opi and Omi’s” Bucket list!!

October we took a quick trip to Wimberley and Salt Lick Texas for some of the best BBQ found anywhere ...and November we again got on l-35 for a Thanksgiving trip to KC...to be cut short by approaching storms which made us “hi-tail” it back to Texas...Christmas found us having us enjoy some downtime...and here it is New Years Eve.....spent in reflection....and a glass of Brandy or two...

Salt Lick.....it Can't Be beat...so go eat

I Love Liquid Samples

This retirement life is not bad.....no schedules, obligations or commitments...ok a Doctors appointment or so, minor surgery here or there, getting more medications for the cholesterol problem..though they keep changing what the high numbers are...so you finally say...Bring on a Rack of Ribs and another Guinness Beer please....and at the end of it all, you witness another Sunrise for a Brand New Year...Life is GOOD!!
Another Sunrise to another New Year of Adventures

I have no idea what the coming year will bring...other than I want to continue having new Adventures and meeting folks with like interests....I thank all of you that have taken the time to stop by now and again and also those that took the time to leave  comments....I wish for you a New Year filled with only Special Moments....Horst sends

Monday, December 23, 2013

A VERY Merry Christmas....safe Journeys

Hard to believe another year is coming to a close....but here it is Christmas....though we where seriously thinking of heading back to KC after the shorten Thanksgiving trip....we are experiencing a weather repeat, so its a no go....and needless to say the twins from up north are not traveling down here....

We are all set for a relaxing Christmas....have done all our shopping, wrapping presents, decorations....and other stuff....now its time to relax, have a “hot toddy”....and count our blessing and the family of friends we are fortunate to have...and  that includes all the wonderful Blogging friends I have made over the last couple of years.....so here is my Christmas greeting/card to all of you...Thanks for your Friendship...even though I have never met most of you, you are part of my circle of Friends....

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Pre Christmas Holiday Treat...Nature Video

Since getting back from Kansas City we haven't done too much...thawed out, put up Christmas Decorations, Christmas Shopping, writing Christmas cards, get together with friends and  trying to decide if we're going to return to KC or stay here for Christmas/New Year.

Now the real reason for this pre Christmas post...I received a video from National Geographic...

This Video won Grand Prize at International Wildlife Film Festival!
Video by Scott McKinley Productions, produced for Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation for
ad campaign.  Licensed music by Kenny G.. This short video won Grand Prize - Best
of Show at International Wildlife Film Festival in Missoula , Montana !..I believe it won a couple years ago...

The majority was shot on location in Yellowstone National Park , Grand Teton   National
Park and The National Elk Refuge in Jackson Hole , Wyoming....

It reminded me of the 2012 trip I took at the same locations this video was shot.... the "cub bears" looked just like the ones I was able to capture on film....so I thought I would post the video.....The Blogs that I follow and those that leave comments on this Blog seem to have a common interest...a love of the Outdoors, Nature, and Wildlife...so I hope you enjoy...till next time...Happy Trails ...Horst sends 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

7 December 1941 Remembrance and other stuff

 I thought I would provide a little update on our recent  happenings.
First I would like to remember 7 December 1941...The event that brought the United States into the Second World War and to honor the men and women that gave their lives that day...I worked at Headquarters Pacific Air Forces(PACAF) at Hickam AFB during the early/ mid 1990's...and had the privilege of being there and participating in the 50th anniversary of Pearl Harbor...Though The Navy bore the brunt of that Day, The Air Force also had loss of life and most of their aircraft was destroyed while sitting on the tarmac....The Building where I worked was a Barracks that housed over 3200 Airmen, plus had a couple Dining halls...and took several direct hits....In addition six  B-17s were approaching Hickam Field on the morning of December 7th. They did not have their guns mounted yet as they had been traveling straight from the factory... They touched down wherever they could.....most didn't make it...The Great part of that event was talking and spending time with the Men and Women who where their at that time, "The Greatest Generation".....The stories they told where profound to say the least.....I was proud to be an American!

Hickam Field Hanger
Hickam barracks being bombed
Tarmac and Hanger

Barracks now Headquarters where I worked

We’ve just returned from a trip from Kansas City...prematurely I might add...we decided to go there to spend Thanksgiving with FIL and the Twins...since one of the Girls couldn’t be there on Thanksgiving day, we left on Thanksgiving and arrived on friday....to have the “Turkey Feast”
on Saturday.... the Twin from Jefferson City, Mo. still was down and out with the Flu, so we
had an abbreviated Turkey Feast  and planned to visit her, SIL  on 7 Dec(today) and then head back to Texas....

The First Thanksgiving

Well On 4 Dec. I got up around 0530 went to the basement and worked on the treadmill for an hour, got coffee and watched the early morning news..... then I saw the extended weather report, and it was ugly...something about a storm named Cleon and a following one named Dion....and it was going to hit the Oklahoma City Dallas/Worth Area on Thursday evening and the next several days it would be below freezing leaving a nice “skating rink”.....from Oklahoma to Texas....and the following storm will hit Kansas, Missouri and south...I get on the computer check the details and decide the window of opportunity was closing in on us unless we decide to stay in KC for the next week....which we couldn’t do....so we made calls to all, packed and by 1030 where on the road...the freeze line was below Ft Worth...so 500 plus miles later we ended up at Comfort Inn a few miles north of Hillsboro Texas....we bedded down, got up early and got home mid day Thursday...good thing, because the freeze line got a little south of Hillsboro..talk about threading the needle....and its been cold here...last night got down to 27 degrees...and if you watched the news you know what the Dallas/Ft. Worth, and Oklahoma City  is going through....So the bottom line...a good decision , though a shorter visit then we wanted....so we will probably head back up for Christmas...we’ll see what the future as in store.
Last Year during Thanksgiving

No photo’s.... in fact I didn’t even take the laptop...oh well, here is one from last year....It now looks that I am not going to take a trip with Ms Casita until January.....I’m going to look and see what would be a good trip..... until next time ....Horst sends

Monday, November 11, 2013

Remember our Fallen and Those who served past and Present

Have not been doing much...but have done it well...Ms Casita is getting some work done, I'm still trying to figure out the Logistics of a trip before the New year...other than that, just working around the Homestead.....

My main reason for todays Post... a Remembrance to all those that served in the Armed Forces, and those that  are currently serving....and especially to those that made the Ultimate Sacrifice for this Nation....

I leave you with the video.....God Bless our Troops...Horst sends

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Wimberley and The Salt lick...Brisket, Ribs and Sausage at its Best

Click on photo to enlarge

The Bride and I decided to do a little trip north of here to Wimberley...and then eat at the GREAT  BBQ/Smokehouse known as The Salt Lick up the road 12 miles at Driftwood....its only an hour plus from here...two hours if you stop and wonder....we where going to meet Son and DIL for some Brisket, Ribs and Sausage, Texas Style.....but instead of driving back we are spending the night at one of the local Inns...
I'm thinking this will be an interesting trip..(c)Horst Kelly Photographer

A little History:

Prehistoric Wimberley was home to native Americans, and evidence of their presence is found near now extinct stream beds and along the river. 16th century Spanish explorers came here looking for gold and adventure and by the 17th century Spanish church representatives arrived to stake a claim on the population and natural wealth.

I'm following the sign
I think we're in the right place

By the mid-1800s several families were living in this area, and explorers and adventurers from the southern states came to the Hill Country. Stephen F. Austin, Sam Houston, James Bowie and David Crockett became legends and died in the more populous areas here. Land along waterways was sought after, and trading posts were established near stream crossings. First came the grist and flour mills, followed by schools and churches. Thus a village was formed at the little trading post at Cypress Creek. This was Wimberley.

I think we hit the "Mother Load"
.....that's my plate
Ok...also some of that...there're Pork Ribs

In the mid 19th-century, William Winters built a two-room cut limestone home on the north side hill of Cypress Creek and constructed the first grist mill on Cypress Creek.  The home and mill were eventually purchased by Pleasant Wimberley for $8,000 in gold. His family moved here and the mill was used for a flour, grist, sorghum, as a saw mill and a cotton gin. Pleasant also helped establish a church and a school here. In 1880 an application for a post office for "Wimberleyville" was made, and the postmaster general shortened the name and granted it. Thus, Wimberley became an official postal destination.

The windmill that once provided water to travelers between Blanco and Wimberley.
West of Wimberley lies Blanco, another destination for travelers. Water along the travel route between Wimberley and Blanco was precious, and legend has it the windmill still operating at Wimberley Valley Ranch furnished the only watering place between the two settlements. First travelers on horseback and by carriage, then those in early cars, stopped at this location on the "Blanco Road", now FM 2325, for water.

In May of 2000 a central portion of the Wimberley area was incorporated as the Village of Wimberley (click here to see incorporated area), comprised of approximately 10% of the Wimberley area residents and many of the centrally located businesses.  But the Village of Wimberley survived only until 2007, when that city council voted to make it a "city," not without controversy. Now it's just plain Wimberley. However, the 13,000 plus residents of the Wimberley Valley are those that make up Wimberley as most folks refer to it.

A brief word about The Salt Lick BBQ:

Driftwood Texas
Driftwood Church
Church Historical Maker

The Salt Lick was opened in 1969 by Augustus 'Texas Boy' Roberts, Sr. and his wife Hisako T. Roberts.[1] It quickly grew in popularity and went from being open just a few times a year to seven days a week. Roberts and Hisako built the Salt Lick restaurant on the ranch where he was born, using locally-quarried limestone. Hisako's Hawaiian heritage inspired the sweet barbecue sauce used in the restaurant.
The Salt Lick's primary cuisine is beef (brisket), sausage, and pork ribs. Chicken and turkey are also served.[2] . The Salt Lick is currently owned by Scott Roberts and his wife Susan. They only take cash and if you want to have some alcohol related Spirits it's "BYOB" of choice.... which we did....

In late 2008 The Salt Lick was featured during an Austin episode in the first season of the Travel Channel's show Man v. Food (hosted by Adam Richman),[5] and the restaurant was positively reviewed by Food Network chefs Bobby Flay and Duff Goldman.[6] Then in 2012 it was featured on another Travel Channel show, Adam Richman's Best Sandwich in America, for its spicy brisket jalapeño sandwich topped with habanero sauce (which was recommended to Richman by Flay).

Old Town Wimberley, Tx
Popular Café
Wimberley, Tx
Wimberley, Tx
I tried...but got in trouble

So, back to the trip.......left Sunday around noon time....stopped off at a few places and about two hours later landed at the Wimberley Inn...22 rooms sitting  up on a hill...very quaint setting....the room was spacious...and  as the  Bride said "very cozy"....we registered, got the lay of the land, walked around the grounds, relaxed...and left for Salt Lick....as luck would have it, we pulled in the same time Son and DIL arrived.....the place was huge....two eating establishments...and to our surprise no wait...Son brought beer, we brought wine, and Salt Kick provided Water and ice tea...the stars where aligned just right...

Its five o'clock somewhere
Wimberley Inn view from front door

The Ladies ordered a proper meal while Son and I decided on "all you can eat"....that means the Brisket, Ribs, and Sausage just kept arriving.....all with potatoes and slaw...I know I'm trying to lose weight...but it is a special occasion....we spent 3 plus hours and had a great time eating, reminiscing... and a lot of BSing...but that's what family and good times are all about....we all said our Good-Byes....Bride and I got back...sat outside for a while then crashed and slept like hibernating bear cubs...

Next morning we slept in...finally got up...made coffee and decided to walk around the old part of town...around noon we headed back home...couple hours later we landed, unpacked and then relived our time at Wimberley.... and smiled.....another great Day (Plus) Trip....thanks for stopping by...Horst sends