Monday, September 28, 2009

Uh Oh, here we go with the Bill & Hillary vast, right-wing conspiracy thing again...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Prez considering plan by VP Biden to scale back U.S. forces in Afghanistan. SURE, Joe Biden knows more about war than the generals... Isn't this is how we screwed up Vietnam?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Where Everybody Is Somebody...

120px-Hico_sign_IMG_0764Image via Wikipedia

If you haven't been to Hico, Texas, you are missing out.

Located at the junction of the classic US Highway 281 and Texas Highway 6, on the Northern edge of the Texas Hill Country, Hico is a small town that is a fascinating blend of the old and the new: part of the "Old West", part Main Street and part mini-"strip mall", all in one.

Hico, TexasImage via Wikipedia

This town manages to connect two arteries that cross Texas, US Highway 281, and highway 6 , along with highway 220 and a couple of farm to market roads all in this small town known as Hico.

Hico is an interesting place to pass through, and for years, that is exactly what I did. I have blown through there so many times, rushing to get to somewhere else: Stephenville, Brownwood, even Dallas and home again to San Antonio, stopping there only to get gas or coffee and snacks.

Hico, TexasImage via Wikipedia

What I didn't know then is that Hico is a really great place to spend the day and escape the rush of the city. It is also an excellent place to help you escape the pressure of everyday life, if only for a few hours.

All that rushing around and blowing through town changed a few years ago, when we had a family reunion in Hico. That afternoon when it was over, several of us decided to stay and check out the local scenery. Wandering around town with my wife and parents, little by little, I began to discover Hico.

Hico has some VERY friendly locals, a revitalized "old town" shopping district - Pecan Street, lots of local color, outstanding steaks, excellent Tex-Mex and is home to one of the top five chocolatiers in Texas.

Hico, TexasImage via Wikipedia

Many of the buildings were built when the "Old West" was still alive and well, and have been restored to their previous look.

Hico museum director Jan Canup stands in front...Image via Wikipedia

Check out Hico Chamber of commerce: Tons of useful information concerning the town and local attractions

It also home to the Billy the Kid Museum.

Hico is known for being connected to the legend of Billy the Kid, claiming to be his home town - although there is a question of accuracy to this claim: There have been books written and claims proven and disproved.

Billy the Kid Museum operated by the Hico Cham...Image via Wikipedia

The folks at the Hico Chamber of Commerce and the Billy the Kid Museum say you should view the exhibits yourself and come to your own decision. I'm thinking there must be fairly convincing evidence to keep the legend alive.

Koffee Kup Kafe sign in Hico, TXImage via Wikipedia

I've heard that one of the best coffee shops in Texas is in Hico - the famous Koffee Kup itself! I also understand they serve one of the best pieces of pie for miles around as well!

Mexican food can be found at Jersey Lilly's Restaurant - a medium priced venue with friendly waitresses and large plates! Excellent food in a rustic atmosphere - see the tax receipts for some of the city's more infamous residents, you may be surprised!

Image via Wikipedia

No visit would be complete without a trip to Wiseman House Chocolates, one of the finest chocolatiers in Texas, even recently featured in Southern Living Magazine!

Image via Wikipedia

You can see the chocolate being made for Wiseman's further down the block on Pecan Street.

For the Masons among us, there is one of the oldest continuously chartered lodges in Texas located in Hico as well: Hico Masonic Lodge no. 477, AF & AM located on Pecan Street, across from Jersey Lillies Restaurant. It is always good to find friends in new places and the Lodge is a great starting point.

Image via Wikipedia

If you enjoyed this brief photo-travelogue, stop into Hico sometime when you get the chance.

For more information about visiting Hico, click Here or follow the link:

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Lost Cities on the '281

U.S.Image via Wikipedia

I love traveling on highways that take me to places I've never been before - I also love traveling these same highways when they take to favorite places I have visited before: Beginning with this article, I am planning an on again/off again series of articles about the small and large towns and cities along these highways and the areas surrounding them that help to shape who or what they are now.

Through the years, in my travels (with rare exception), my favorite highway has been the '281.

US Highway 281 is a highway that bisects the United States, connecting Boca Chica Blvd in Brownsville, Texas to the International Peace Garden at the Canadian Border, just north of Kelvin, North Dakota.

The Peace Towers

Hill Country farmhouse with bluebonnetsImage by jmtimages [hopeful] via Flickr

The '281 is a legendary highway to me, filled with memories of quiet late night drives taking me home to San Antone, and early morning runs outward from San Antonio to various destinations both on the '281 or on nearby highways that connect to it.

Destinations South of San Antonio include cities like McAllen, Alice, and Pleasanton. Passing through beautiful San Antonio, continuing Northward for the far greater portion of the highway's length: Blanco, Johnson City, Hamilton, Hico and Stephenville.

"These are a few of my favorite things..."

I've left out too many to name and am only covering the part of '281 where I have done most of my traveling (primarily in central Texas). Small town hamburger stands full of homemade goodness, and Tex-Mex mom and pop shops, roadside fruit stands and historical markers of Texas history.

"It's Bluebonnets and Indian Paint Brushes,"

More to come later....


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