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Thursday, June 9, 2022

Best Things to Do & See - San Antonio & Austin Texas

 Texas, one of my favorite states, is loaded with so many awesome places to see and things to do. San Antonio and Austin, a little over an hour’s drive apart, have some of the most popular tourist attraction in the state. 

Along with the most popular, I have found some amazing secret spots!

The Alamo

The Alamo, originally the Misión San Antonio de Valero, is best known for the 1836 Battle of the Alamo during Texas’ war for independence from Mexico. It has played a role in many historic events for over 300 years. 


Open daily 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.



Free General admission with different cost for tours



300 Alamo Plaza

San Antonio, TX 78205

San Antonio River Walk (Paseo del Rio)

San Antonio River Walk, Texas’ #1 attraction, is 15 miles of beautifully landscaped walkways along the San Antonio River. 

Along the walk you will find unique architecture, shops, restaurants, hotels, apartments, and waterfalls.  

Riverboats tours are another way to experience the area without walking. 

Sea world

This popular marine park offers animal interactions, shows, and is even a theme park with rides.



Monday - Friday 10:30 am to 9 pm

Saturday  10:30 am to 10 pm 


$80.99 at door

$49.99 if preordered online



10500 SeaWorld Drive San Antonio, TX 78251

Cross Mountain Park

Historic Cross Mountain, a marl and limestone hill with an elevation of 1951 feet, was once a popular lookout spot for Indian tribes. 

Walk the trail to the top to see the cross and enjoy an amazing sunset. 


dawn to dusk




1510 N Milam St, Fredericksburg

Hamilton Pool

A short hike will lead you to this jaw dropping sunken grotto with a 50-foot waterfall. This is one of Texas’ most unique swimming spots. 



9:00am - 12:30pm

2:00pm - 5:30pm


Reservation Fee - PAID ONLINE (Required Daily) $12 ($11 + $1 credit card service charge) per Vehicle

Day Use - PAID UPON ARRIVAL  $8 per Person

Day Use for Seniors (62 years and older) - PAID UPON ARRIVAL   $3 per Person

Day Use for Children (12 years and younger)       No Charge

Day Use for Disabled Veteran (50%+ disabled)    No Charge



24300 Hamilton Pool Rd., Dripping Springs, TX 78620

Jacobs well

Jacobs Well is 140 feet deep under water cave system that is a popular swimming spot in Texas. Swimming is permitted May – September. 


8am to 6pm daily


Entry is free but swimming is $5 - $9 depending on age


1699 Mt Sharp Rd., Wimberley, TX 78676

Krause Springs

Krause Springs is a 115-acre Historical Sites popular for camping and swimming. Stroll through the garden or take a swim in a natural or manmade pool. 


Daily 9am to 8pm

Closed November 1st and February 15th


Adult (12+ years) $9

Child (4-11 years) $5

Camping is extra


 424 County Road 404 | Spicewood, TX 78669

Lake Travis


Lake Travis is 30 square-miles of beautiful clear water to explore and enjoy.

Watersports, lodging, restaurants, and ziplining are some of the things you can find around the lake.  

Muleshoe Bend

Muleshoe Bend is a 654-acre park with 9.8 miles of trails and scenic lake views. My favorite time to visit is during bluebonnet season. The bluebonnets usually bloom in April.


Daily 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM




2820 County Road 414, Spicewood, TX 78669-1468

Enchanted Rock

Enchanted Rock is a 325 feet pink granite mountain National Natural Landmark. It has

eleven miles of hiking trails surround the mountain.

Daily 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.


Adult: $8 Daily

Child 12 Years and Under: Free


16710 Ranch Rd. 965

Fredericksburg, TX 78624

Pederanels Falls

Pederanels Falls is an area of the Pedernales River where the water flows over descending boulders of layered limestone. 


Daily 8 a.m. - 10 p.m.


Adults $6

Child (12 & under) Free


2585 Park Rd 6026, Johnson City, TX 78636

Inks Lake State Park

Hope you are inspired now to check out the many awesome places in Texas!

Happy Travels!

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Top Places to Visit in the Louisiana Coastal Region


With the Exception of New Orleans, not many people go below the heavily traveled Interstate 10 traversing Southern Louisiana. This area is made up of mostly marshlands with a few awesome places scattered throughout.

After many trips to this coastal region, I have found places that are unique and find myself visiting often. I am sharing a few of my favorites below. 


 Louisiana has beaches? Yes!!! Most people do not know that Louisiana has miles and miles of sandy coastline.

Holly Beach
, Little Florida, and Mae’s Beach are located to the far west.

These beaches located in Cameron Parish were once referred to as the “Cajun Riviera”. Due to many unlucky hits from hurricanes over the years, the beaches and water are not as clean as they once were. Buildings and houses are few and far between.

This area is a great place for shell collecting and camping on the beach. My favorite thing about this area is that you will most likely have it all to yourself.


Located along HWY 82 in Cameron Parish



Cypremort Point Beach 

  This half-mile stretch of sandy beach, located in Cypremort Point State Park is perfect for swimming, kitesurfing, and fishing.


306 Beach Lane Cypremort Point, LA 70538


Admission fee:

$3 per person

Free for seniors (62 & older)

Free for children (3 & under)

Grand Isle Beaches

See below

Rip Van Winkel Garden 

The Rip Van Winkle Gardens, located in New Iberia, is twenty-five acres of semitropical Balinese style paradise that surrounds the Joseph Jefferson Home.


5505 Rip Van Winkle Rd, New Iberia, LA 70560


Home Tours: 10:00 am-4:00 pm. Tickets: $12.00 Sr. & Groups $10.00

Avery Island

 Avery Island is best known for the Tabasco factory and Jungle Gardens

The Tabasco factory

Take a tour to see how the famous Tabasco sauce, that has been around since 1870, is made.


Jungle Gardens

This bird watcher’s paradise is also a 170-acre botanical garden located on Avery Island.



32 Wisteria Rd, Avery Island, LA 70513


Tabasco factory & Jungle Garden Admission:

$12.50 Adults

$9.50 Children (4 and under are free)

Grand Isle     

Grand Isle is a coastal town located on a barrier island with the same name. Located about a two-hour drive from New Orleans, this quite fishing town is the perfect place to get away from it all.      

While there, dine on Fresh seafood at one of the small local restaurants, spend the day catching Mahi Mahi with Captain Danny, enjoy birdwatch, or stroll along the ten-miles of coastline.

Be sure and check for updated status before going since the damage from Hurricane Ida was extensive and businesses may still be closed.

New Orleans

New Orleans, known as the "Big Easy," is one of the most popular destinations in the United States. It is known for vibrant nightlife along Bourbon Street, spicy creole cuisine, Carriage Rides, the French Quarter, and the legendary Mardi Gras festival.

 Fontainebleau State Park

Located on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain, Fontainebleau State Park is an old sugar mill plantation turned into a beautiful park with sandy beaches, hiking trails, and a massive fishing pier.


62883 Hwy. 1089

Mandeville, LA 70448


$3 per person

Free for seniors (62 & older)

Free for children (3 & under)

Happy Travels!



Saturday, April 16, 2022

Tropical Backyard Garden 2021 Tour in Arkansas

I am late on posting a garden tour from last summer. After the hard winter, it took most of the summer for what did survive to grow.


In February 2021, we had ice, snow, high winds, and negative nine-degree weather for a week. This is not something that you would ever expect to experience in southern Arkansas.

While we did enjoy playing in the snow, I was concerned about the damage it was causing.

I knew that the palm and banana trees would suffer, but I was not sure about the more native plants and trees. Six out of the eight palm trees died. Most of them being over ten years old.  

I cleaned up and set back to see if anything would put back up.

Slowly, the banana trees and a few other plants started to grow.

The crape myrtles, loquat, and some bushes struggled to put out new growth in July. Normally, this would happen in April. 


Everything continued to struggle throughout the summer, but by August, my lush paradise had returned. Well mostly..... things were smaller than normal and some of the trees still had dead limbs mixed with the green ones. The hibiscus and sun coleus that I had wintered in the greenhouse performed extra well, making up for the lack in the rest of the garden.  

This past winter was mild as usual and the trees and plants continue to recover. We have added new hardscapes and plants to the garden this year already.  I am hoping this summer will be better since I am already seeing a lot of green and new growth from the established plants and trees.

Happy Gardening!!!