🎶I was born in Louisiana down on the ol bayou
Raised on shrimps and catfish mame’s good gumbo
I got the ramblin’ fever said goodbye to ma and pa
Crossed that ol Red River and this is what I saw
I saw miles and miles of Texas all the stars up in the sky
I saw miles and miles of Texas gonna live here till I die🎶
—-“Miles and Miles of Texas” recorded by Asleep at the Wheel—-
Leaving New Orleans behind, we spent two days in Louisiana Bayou Country. We then crossed the border into the Lone Star State of Texas.
SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA – BAYOU
We boarded a flat bottom boat with a local guide and cruised the marshy streams and lakes known as the Bayou. It is a habitat for many species of animals and birds. The Bayou is a natural buffer that protects inland areas from hurricanes.
WINNIE, TEXAS – FLEA MARKET
TEXAS GULF COAST
Visiting NASA was a thrill for us. In July 1969, Marilyn and I announced our engagement the weekend of the lunar landing. On Sunday evening, we crowded around the TV with Marilyn’s parents to watch Neil Armstrong step off the Eagle onto the surface of the moon.
We will always remember his words “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Our visit to NASA was a step back in time for us.
We participated in a full day “Level 9” VIP tour. Our guide took us to areas not open to the general public including the pool where astronauts were training. Underwater training simulates weightlessness.
I took this image outside an elementary school in Chile. Our guide introduced Jim Lovell to the students. They showed their excitement by chanting “luna, luna” in Spanish. They were thrilled to meet a man that went to the moon. Jim was honored and excited to be with the students. He proudly emailed this image to his family. Jim Lovell is a humble man and a wonderful human being.
MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS – HOUSTON
Houston is the home to nineteen museums in a 1.5-mile radius. We were impressed with the life-like sculptures by Ron Mueck in the Museum of Fine Arts. Some of his pieces take a year to complete. His sculptures are either larger than life or a miniature version of his subjects.
Austin is the fastest growing large city in the U.S. One poll named it the best large city in which to live. Austin offers eclectic live music centered around country, blues, and rock. Austin City Limits, the country’s longest-running live music TV show began broadcasting in 1974. A then unknown Willie Nelson was the featured performer.
Marilyn is checking out a pair of red alligator boots (not exactly her style).
TEXAS HILL COUNTRY
The 300-year-old live oak tree in the foreground is known as the “Cabinet Oak”. Under this tree, Lyndon Johnson held meetings with cabinet members, senators, congressmen, generals, advisors and foreign leaders.
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS
We enjoyed our evening strolls and dinner along the Riverwalk. The sightseeing boats, waterfalls and plantings create a welcoming environment. There are numerous dining options along the river.
Our daytime excursions included the Alamo, the McNay Mansion Museum, and the Japanese Tea Garden.
JAPANESE TEA GARDEN
The Tea Garden and Jingu House are historic landmarks in San Antonio. The garden is a former rock quarry, and the quarry rock is present throughout the gardens. In 1926, Kim Enzo Jingu, a local Japanese American artist, helped design the garden. He was invited to build a stone home on the property and oversee the gardens. After Pearl Harbor, the family was evicted and sent to a Japanese internment camp. In 1984, the area was rededicated as the Japanese Tea Garden and Jingu House. The ceremony was attended by the Jingu’s children and representatives of the Japanese government. It is a place of beauty and serenity.
We have traveled miles and miles of Texas and still have miles and miles of Texas yet to explore!