2018 was an especially good year for travel. I was fortunate to be able to travel somewhere fun almost every month, both in the US and overseas. Many of the locations were new to me, including a new continent-Africa. I also revisited some of my favorite cities-London, Istanbul and Washington D.C. I have written about my experiences for many of these destinations-but some are still sitting in my draft que, waiting to be finished (one of the resolutions for 2019 before I start traveling again).
Like my treasured Christmas ornaments, my Christmas quilt comes out once a year. When it finally hangs on my family room wall, then I know that the Christmas season has finally begun. And like many of my quilts, I made the back interesting so that I can display it also.
Like many children around the world, I grew up believing in Santa Claus. As an adult, I discovered that there is a Santa Claus, and I met him in North Pole (Alaska).
Founded in 1720, San Antonio’s Mission San Jose was the largest of the missions in the area. The current building was built in 1768 from local limestone, and while the exterior my show signs of its venerable age, Mission San Jose’s interior is clearly a beautifully maintained space used for regular worship.
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I think the Big Bend area of southern Texas is an undiscovered jewel in our National Park system. My first visit was in 1990 and I loved it then and loved it even more on my recent trip this past September which was a perfect time to explore the park. The weather was not super hot (low 80’s during the day) and it was not at all crowded since the busy season had not yet started. I am sharing my 25 favorite Big Bend experiences to inspire your next trip to one of the least crowded National Parks in the lower 48 states.
Mission San Juan Capistrano is one of four historic mission complexes that are part of San Antonio’s Missions National Historic Park. The park preserves and educates about the history associated with these missions. But unlike other historical sites, the churches that make up the mission complexes are still very much in use, providing regular services to the local parishioners.
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The historic west Texas towns of Terlingua and Lajitas share a common location as gateway towns for both Big Bend National Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park. Though only fifteen minutes apart, their personalities are as distinct as their heritage. On my recent visit, I found that both towns are very much a reflection of their historic cemeteries: Terlingua is wild and woolly while Lajitas is more sedate and proper.
I have been posting many individual Big Bend photos from my recent visit to the Big Bend National Park area of Texas. I have gathered them all up along with a few other favorites into this one post for your enjoyment and reference. Here is my best of the Big Bend area in 25 photos.
Another great spot for watching the sunset in Big Bend National Park is the Sotol Vista viewpoint. When I got there just before sunset, I found that the area had recently experienced a wildfire. The ground was still charcoal black, many of the sotol plants were yellow and dried out, and there was still a slight burnt odor in the air. But none of this detracted from the view across the desert toward the Santa Elena canyon in the distance as the sun dipped below the clouds for a spectacular sunset. Make sure you catch a Sotol Vista sunset when you visit.
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Please note that my visit to the Big Bend area was hosted by Visit Big Bend but all content is my own.
Everything is bigger in Texas, so it should not be a surprise that a state park adjacent to Big Bend National Park contains almost 300, 000 scenic acres. For almost 30 miles from Lajitas to Presidio, the El Camino del Rio, or River Road follows the meandering curves of the Rio Grande river. Big Bend Ranch Sate Park offers camping, hiking and river rafting activities. No time for any of that? Then just a drive along this scenic route and enjoy an ancient volcanic landscape sculpted by wind and water.
Thanks for visiting.
Please note that my visit to the Big Bend area was hosted by Visit Big Bend but all content is my own