Saturday, March 12, 2016

"March" ing in Texas

Before we left Texas, we snapped a few shots.
This is the grotto and courtyard at 
St. Francis Xavier in La Feria where we usually went to Mass

We spotted this tree stump on our mile hike

Haven't identified this tree, yet, but it had flowers and no leaves!

 Heading to the beach at access #11
Monday, March 28th

 Stopping for pie was a tradition for Jerry B.
Since they left that morning, they gave us money to carry on....
Thanks, Kathy and Jerry!
Bob relaxing (amazing, huh!)
 Last day on the beach for us this year!
 Benadryl took effect!
 The pigeons wanted to play Koob, too!
Actually, Dennis was feeding them crackers.
 Colors of the Gulf
Jerry and Wendy, Bob and Diane, Nancy and Dennis
We leave on the 31st, so the "gang" will be down to four

Gary Mitzel, Diane, Dennis Doyle, and Bob did the
5k/1mile walk in La Feria--a memorial fund raiser for
high school scholarships. Gary won in the 60 and over men's category,
Dennis got 3rd, I won in the 70+ women's, and Bob got 2nd in the 70+ men's!
(OK so there weren't any others in my age group!)
Last year when I was looking for a dentist, a friend
recommended Sabal Dental.  Turns out the dentist
is from Killdeer, ND, and went to school with Jimmy's wife,
Kelly.  This year she became famous on big billboards in Harlingen!
Street in Harlingen between "H" and "J"
Elementary school where I volunteered in the library.
There were 475 students ages three through 4th grade--and
this is the smallest of the four elementary schools in La Feria!
In-laws--together in the park pool
Enjoyed ribs and brisket at Smokin' Oak in Mercedes
on Kathy's birthday

Then went back to our place for birthday pie
On Nancy's birthday we headed to the Texas Roadhouse for steaks.
I gave my leftover steak to a beggar alongside the road.
Everyone else thought he preferred money.
This time we had creme-de-menthe cake
Tourist Day in Mexico is a big hit!

The Alley Bar is a favorite hangout in Mexico.
You can even get a "boot shine" there!

Siblings enjoy "refreshments"
They shopped,
watched the Mariachis,
and ate at The Red Snapper.
Caiden, Jett, Trina, Annika, Ariana, and Tom arrived on March 13th.
The fountain at the Harlingen airport was actually working that day. 
They left Minneapolis at 5 a.m. which was
actually 4 a.m. since it was the first day of DST.

Annika was sick, so Trina "volunteered" to stay 
while Bob took Tom and the other kids to 
the Mariachi Mass at the Basilica of San Juan

On Monday, March 14th, we went to "the Island"

Jett built his "dream house"

Annika's princess castle is under construction 
while Trina lounges in the background

Caiden buried Annika

Not your "usual" Spring Breakers

Princess and castle

 After we ate at Bob's favorite "oyster" place,
we headed to our rented condo near the beach

 On the "Ides of March," we went on a Pirate ship

We had a (squirt) gun fight with the pirates,
 saw lots of sand castles,
" grew" pirate mustaches, 
 watched Anni try to "kill" a pirate in the swordfight,
were greeted by dolphins, 
watched some jumpers,

 learned how to rescue turtles at the turtle hospital,
and "pretended" a lot
 The kids liked "driving" the John Deere golf cart

 Couldn't climb the lighthouse because it was foggy, 
so, the kids found a tree to climb
Caiden went "out on a limb" for this pic

 We traveled to Nuevo Progreso, Mexico, on St. Patrick's Day
 The kids were in the US and Mexico at the same time
 Ari had bracelets custom-made for her friends
Vicente showed the kids his "Mexican paintbrushes"--
pieces of cardboard, scrunched fabric, a toothpick,
and his fingers--which he used to shape the paint
he sprayed on his canvas

Before leaving on Friday, we went to the annual park picnic
Ari handed out pencils to everyone 
and was rewarded
The kids "played the horses" and won some money
 Then they watched the golf cart races.
That's gramma Diane in the pink cowboy hat
Aunt Wendy beat Aunt Kathy in their first lap

They flew back to cold and snow on the 18th!

We saw "Oklahoma" in Harlingen on March 6th
with Kathy and Jerry, Dennis and Nancy,
and Jerry and Wendy
The cast was mostly high school students
After the play, we went to Chili's to
help Dennis and Nancy celebrate their anniversary.
The boys at the table behind Bob and Dennis
were in the cast of "Oklahoma"!
Gackles in the tree outside Chili's

On March 3, sister-in-law Wendy and I took a tour
to the King Ranch in Kingsville.
In the 1950's, the ranch owned 13-15 million acres
all over the world. The international ranch land was
sold in the 80's.  Now there are 850,000 acres.  The 

family also owns the Minute Maid and Tropicana
orchards in Florida, and a John Deere dealership!
Nilgai were among the many animals found on the ranch...
they were apparently very hard on the fences

Bridge across the Santa Gertrudis Creek
Santa Gertrudis cattle are bred here.  They are
5/8 English shorthorn and 3/8 Brahman. The ranch has

Santa Cruz cattle, too, which are said to have better beef.
This sign is for real!
Can you see the alligators?
King family home is now a five-star hotel.
The house has 32,000 sq. ft. of living space and

a dining room table which seats 28-50 people!

One of many javelina living on the ranch.
A javelina is a collared peccary (google it).

The 1946 Triple-Crown winner, Assault, was bred on
the King ranch and is buried there.
Main gate has a secret code

Original ranch carriage house.  The ranch also has housing for
the employees and a public school on the property.
The museum is in Kingsville--880 acres were set aside
by Henrietta King for the town which was built in 1904.  

The "running W" is the brand of the King Ranch,
but no one knows its origin for sure.
We had a BBQ lunch on the ranch grounds
Our tour bus--we lucked out--Jo was actually our tour guide
Sign on the movie theater in Kingsville

I don't know why this sign was on the fence at
the Kingsville train station--maybe the train goes to Frisco (TX)
where the NDSU Bison won their 5th National football championship in January