May 30, 2015

In 1827, 1829 and 1933 Davy Crockett from Tennessee won a seat in the United States House of Representatives.  He was chosen to be a member of the House by constituents in his Congressional District.  He also ran in 1831 and 1835 but was defeated.  His relationship with President Andrew Jackson was notably bad due to significant differences of opinion on various matters.  Davy felt the reason he lost in 1835 was Jackson’s opposition to his candidacy.  He was also completely disgusted with Congress. (Imagine that !!!!!!!)  His parting shot to the members of the House was, “you all can go to hell-I’m going to Texas”.  He had decided to move his wife and family from Washington D.C. back to Tennessee then leave for Texas.  He would purchase land, build a home, then relocate his family once established.  Santa Anna put a stop to those plans.  The rest is history, written large with the siege of the Alamo in San Antonio.

My family and I also traveled to Texas this past week to attend the wedding of our youngest son. He finally “pulled the trigger” and married a young lady he has been dating for six years.  The wedding was fabulous: beautiful bride, handsome groom, lovely family of the bride.  All-in-all a wonderful day for both families.  The great states of Texas and Tennessee are now once again intertwined, this time by virtue of marriage.

We had little time for sightseeing but did manage a few hours to take in a few of the sites.  Let’s take a look.


Lady Bird Johnson, our former first lady, and actress Helen Hayes founded an organization in 1982 to protect and preserve North America’s native plants and natural landscapes. First, as the National Wildflower Research Center and later as the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, this special place exists to introduce people to the beauty and diversity of wildflowers and other native plants. Every day, the Wildflower Center brings life to Mrs. Johnson’s vision in its public gardens, its woodlands and sweeping meadows as well as in internationally influential research. In 2006, the Center became an Organized Research Unit of the University of Texas at Austin.

Decades ago, Mrs. Johnson recognized that our country was losing its natural landscapes and its natural beauty due to encroachment by home and commercial building projects. As much as thirty percent (30 %) of the world’s native flora is at risk of extinction. The Wildflower Center was intended to help preserve and restore that beauty and the biological richness of North America. Since then, the Center has become one of the country’s most credible research institutions and effective advocates for native plants.

The Center’s gardens display the native plants of the Central Texas Hill Country, South and West Texas, while the Plant Conservation Program protects the ecological heritage of Texas by conserving its rare and endangered flora. The Native Plant Information Network is a database of more than 7,200 native species available online.

The Land Restoration Program applies knowledge of ecological processes to restoring damaged landscapes. The Center’s education programs for children and adults teach people about their natural surroundings and how to grow native plants in their own backyards.

We will take a very brief tour of the gardens.  This is where our son and daughter-in-law to be were married.


I think the graphic above will give some indication as to the scope of the Center.  The land mass is extensive with many acres available for expansion. You can see several of the green houses in the photograph below.


The entire facility is dedicated to plants, flowers and greenery found in west Texas.



The Texas State Capitol, completed in 1888 in Downtown Austin, contains the offices and chambers of the Texas Legislature and the Office of the Governor. Designed in 1881 by architect Elijah E. Myers, it was constructed from 1882 to 1888 under the direction of civil engineer Reuben Lindsay Walker. A $75 million underground extension was completed in 1993. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 and recognized as a National Historic Landmark in 1986. The Texas State Capitol is 308 feet (94 m) tall, making it the sixth tallest state capitol and one of several taller than the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.  The current Texas State Capitol is the third building to serve that purpose. The second Texas capitol was built in 1853, on the same site as the present capitol in Austin; it was destroyed in the great capitol fire of 1881, but plans had already been made to replace it with a new, much larger structure.

Another tour is in order as follows:



















Selling cowboy boots in Texas may sound as easy as selling sunscreen in Arizona, but many have tried and only a few have become as famous as the brands that stock their shelves — among them being Allen’s Boots, a family-owned storefront in Austin’s acclaimed South Congress shopping district.  Four generations in the retail business have taught the Greenberg family what works. “We always say our success is based on service,” says director of operations Sean Greenberg. “That is our top priority, and we always go above and beyond to make sure our customers are happy.”

Allen’s Boots is a retail store in Austin, Texas, that specializes in western wear. The store offers items such as cowboy boots, hats, jeans, and shirts. Allen’s Boots opened its doors in 1977; the big, red boot above the entrance has since made the store easy to spot among the many other boutiques and shops along South Congress Avenue.  If you travel to Austin, you must take a look.  The JPEGs below will give some idea as to why this company is a “must see”.


The number and variety of possibilities is absolutely mind-boggling.  If you can’t find a suitable boot in this place you are definitely not trying.  This is only ONE series of racks.  In addition to boots, there are belts, belt buckles, hats, and clothing.  Something for every cowboy or cowgirl.



The building that houses the Güero’s dining room was built as a seed and feed store in the late 1800’s. This Central Seed and Feed Store, now an Austin Landmark, served as a neighborhood meeting place for all of South Austin’s characters. Dice games in the back room and book makers paying off bets on the front porch were standard fare for the day.

The neighborhood held onto its eclectic roots during the development boom. As the city expanded in all directions during the 1970’s and 80’s, South Austin, and South Congress in particular, continued to serve the strong community now identifiable by zip code alone.

In 1993, the Central Food and Seed store closed their doors for good. Cathy and Rob Lippincott bought the building in 1995 for the purpose of expanding the modest taqueria they had on East Oltorf to a larger location, with the hopes of continuing the tradition of a meeting place for locals and newcomers alike.

The specialties:  handmade corn tortillas, specialty dishes, the salsa bar and of course, CERVESA. Their caldo de pollo and tacos al pastor are just a few of the tried-and-true favorites. Start off with a hand-shaken margarita in their cantina, or enjoy an icy cold cerveza while listening to music in the Oak Garden. Sit back, relax, and let them do what they do best.   Let’s take a look.




You be the judge.




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