Saturday, February 26, 2011
We returned to this area yesterday to climb the massive rock. Enchanted Rock is supposed to be the second largest granite formation in the country. We are not sure where the largest is located, John thinks that it is Stone Mountain in Georgia. For whatever reason, John wanted to return to this park by way of the road we took when we got lost leaving there last week. He had a feeling it would be quite scenic. He was correct. As soon as we turned on this road we started climbing and soon found ourselves driving on a ridge overlooking a valley. That was the first of several beautiful vistas overlooking the hill country.
Friday, February 25, 2011
This was our last stop for the day on Wednesday. What immediately caught my eye as I entered the church was the golden altar. It has three golden retablos (altar pieces) which were completed in 2003. A memorial plaque on the wall near the altar notes that the retablos were provided by an individual in memory of two prominent families of San Antonio for their religious and civic activities.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
This historic town is part of New Braunfels. It is primarily a 19th century historic district. It was settled in 1845 by Ernst Gruen. At the time there was no land to be had in New Braunfels so Ernst bought land down river (Guadalupe River). His second son, Henry, built his home in the 1870s, and planted his surrounding land with cotton. The cotton business brought 20 to 30 more families to the area. In 1978 a mercantile store was built and a cotton gin powered by the Guadalupe was added soon after. We ate our supper in the old Gristmill River Restaurant, which used to be the old cotton gin. We had a table outside overlooking the river.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
We attended church on Sunday at Peace Lutheran in New Braunfels before driving to the caverns. After first sitting down I noticed many banners on the walls, for all the seasons of the year. One which particularly caught me eye was the one above the baptismal font, pictured below.
Monday, February 21, 2011
After we toured Fredericksburgh we decided to take a short side trip to see this state park before heading home.Driving through the picturesque countryside we saw a few of the original stone German farmhouses. And it was possible even to see that German influence on the names of the roads- many of them had the names of the first settlers like Weinstein, and another simply had the number eighteen- Achzehn.We soon saw the large rock off in the distance.The rock is a massive dome of granite, famed in Native American legend and said to be the site of human sacrifices. The dome is about 640 acres in area and about 1,825 feet high. It is a popular area for rock climbing and rappelling, or just plain hiking.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
We just had a great past two days touring Fredericksburg and the Lyndon B. Johnson Ranch. It was topped off last night here in New Braunfels where we attended a magnificent concert by the Mid-Texas Symphony. The concert had a guest violinist Charles Yang who played Vivaldi's The Four Seasons. We drove to Fredericksburg on Friday. This again is the beautiful hill country, and in this area are many peach orchards and wineries. We met some friends in Fredericksburg whom we had known from back in St.Louis, Jim and Diane Mayer. After meeting for lunch at the Bavarian Inn (great German food there) we toured their church Zion Lutheran. Zion was one of the first churches in town, the congregation was formed in the 1850s. Originally, as in New Braunfels, the town had only one church for Protestants, called the Society Church or Vereins Kirche. A replica of the church is pictured below.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
This park is a very scenic recreation area situated among crystal springs. From these springs, the largest in the state of Texas, flows the Comal river which is the shortest river in the state (its length is 2.5miles). We had a very enjoyable walk around the park. We first searched out the location of the springs where we were surprised to see a biologist exploring its depths. He had nets which he was using to capture the salamanders, bugs and small fish which wander out and die at the mouth of the cave pictured below. He stated that there were about 100 different species to be found in the springs and one of the goals of his research was to discover if they were of the same species which are found in other springs located in the area.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Friday, February 11, 2011
Another arctic blast hit the Houston area this past week. Before the frigid cold hit, on Tuesday, we took a walk on the Kemah Boardwalk and toured a small aquarium there. At that aquarium I was surprised to see sting ray coming up to the sides of a pool and begging for food. Visitors can purchase small fish which can be fed to the sting rays. The sting ray pictured below is one of many who came up to us and begged for food. They sure have wide mouths, John was brave enough to let one of them take the food out of his hand!