Friday, April 20, 2007

The Vacation Continues

Monday morning my brother went to work leaving Toby and I on our own. I like practicing for our empty nest days. Toby had some work to do before we could continue our journey and said his work would take him a couple of hours. First he took me to breakfast at the Magnolia Cafe on SoCo, which was another funky place to eat. Once again, I had the "Love migas" - eggs with tomato, green peppers, onions, cheese and tortillas - scrambled in butter. Then Toby took me to a book store on 6th and Lamar to find something for me to read while he worked. It was a good bookstore reminding me of days in Albuquerque at Page One. I found a good book and a real bargain on a journal/drawing book. I was content while Toby worked.

In the Austin newspaper, I read that the San Marcos Confederate Air force was celebrating the Doolittle Raid by displaying some restored B25 bombers. When Toby finished his work, we took off for San Marcos to see the air planes. Also, since San Marcos was our old college stomping grounds, we thought we would kick around and see the old sights. The college has changed much since we were there 29 years ago. We lived in the married housing near the river across from campus. Only a few of the "cell blocks" are still there. The campus has grown so much it was almost unrecognizable, but we found our way over to Grins (great place for burgers and beer) for a "neither here nor there" burger - some things don't change. We reminisced about the good ole days at Grins and other places in SM. We visited the SM airport to see the planes. I loved seeing the restored bombers and other WWII planes. We had to take pictures with a throw-away camera (I will try to get them on a disk soon so that I can share them). We did a small amount of shopping at the outlet mall and then headed for Houston.

We got into Houston late. Toby did most of the driving on this vacation, of which I am grateful, but it did make for some exciting times, a little stress, and a few arguments. His instinct was to get on the freeways and zip over to the inside lanes and speed. That was fine and dandy except we were never in the right lane at the right time to get off of the freeway. Several times he decided to get off the freeway to take an alternative route and miss traffic only to be stuck in major traffic jams. I told him, “Your instincts stink.” He fired me from being the navigator. What all of this boils down to is that Houston traffic sucks and you could not pay me enough to live there.

The highlight of our Houston stay was my day at the Fine Arts Museum of Houston. Toby dropped me off at 11:00 AM and picked me up later in the evening. I picked up my audio device and slowly made my way through the Metropolitan Art works savoring each piece. I love Impressionists art, so seeing Monet, Manet, Degas, Cezanne, Matisse, etc, was wonderful. I think one of my favorites was the Pissarro. Of course, Van Gogh’s “Cypresses” was impressive. The man may have had lots of problems, but putting paint on canvas was not one of them. Another favorite was Jules Bastien-Lepage’s “Joan of Arc” which was 8’x9’ – just wow! I also liked Bonnard for his choice in subjects, light style, and color. I could go on and on. I bought lots of postcards of the paintings from the Metropolitan Museum since it you cannot photograph the paintings. I did take photos of the MFAH paintings, which was allowed. I will see if I can post some later.

There are lots more to tell of my vacation, but I will post some pictures now and get my day going.

1 comment:

Buck Pennington said...

Wow. My kinda trip..good food, impressionist paintings, beer, and bombers!! It don't get no better than that...

I was going to ask if one is allowed to photograph the visiting paintings. MFAH is unusual in that they allow you to photograph nearly all their exhibits, as long as you buy a photographer's pass and abide by the rules. I really like that.

I hear you about Houston traffic. I've been toying with the idea of riding the bike down, but it's just toying. I still have memories of white-knuckle riding in Houston back in 2000. Part of my problem was the old didn't have enough power to get out of its own way. But the bike, as noted, was only part of the problem. I'm pretty sure I'll take the car...