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Best of Texas Photo Blog

Tour: Best of Texas
Tour Dates: April 26 – May 8, 2023
Tour Director: Skip (and Karen) VanderSchaaf
Tour Director Highlights…don’t miss Skip’s tour highlights and videos below photos!
[Click on any photo to begin slide show. Click on gray “x” in upper right corner to return to this page.]
Tour Director Highlights…
Our tour to Texas started at an old stage coach stop, the Penn Alps Restaurant, along the original National Road where we had lunch. Then we were on our way to Lexington, Kentucky. We visited the Old Friends Horse Farm and saw some beautiful, now retired, race horses. We arrived in Memphis and toured the home of Elvis Presley where he and his parents (and now his daughter) are laid to rest.
Big “D” Dallas was our next home for three days. We took a tour of Dallas, and stopped at the sixth floor of the Book Depository for a review of the sad Kennedy assassination. Our next stop, at the Presidential library of Bush 43, was really interesting. Sunday we were blessed to start our day by attending a wonderful Sunday morning service at First Baptist of Dallas, where Dr. Robert Jeffress is the senior pastor. Later in the day we went to Old Fort Worth,toured the area, and watched a Longhorn cattle drive.
Monday we toured AT&T, Dallas Cowboy, football stadium. Even an Eagle’s fan found it amazing! As we headed south we stopped at Magnolia Market where the fans of Chip and Joanna Gains could explore, and purchase, some of the many wonderful gift items. That evening we stayed at the YO Hotel in Kerrville, Texas.
Then we drove up to the YO Ranch, which is a huge wild animal preserve. We visited the exotic animals, close up, from inside on old school bus. Our guide even fed his camel friend a cookie by holding it in his mouth!! After a wonderful Texas Brisket lunch we went to see The Empty Cross.  This is a scripture-based sculpture garden. Within the garden there are a number of beautiful Biblically based sculptures highlighted by the seventy foot Empty Cross.
San Antonio was our “home” for the next few days. Our hotel was ON the the River Walk where we were able to stroll the beautiful River Walk, visited the Alamo and historic Market Square shops. Many chose to take the leisurely boat ride on the San Antonio river which runs through parts of San Antonio.

Tour Videos:

1. Enjoy REAL Cajun music at Martin Accordian, Scott, LA

2. A traveler making swamp music with Captain Billy on the Cajun Man’s Swamp Tour

3. The Natural Bridge

A real surprise was our stop at Martin Accordion. They are the premier company that hand makes the traditional Cajun accordions. We could have spent the rest of the afternoon there enjoying their typical Cajun music.  But we had to move along to cruise the Louisiana bayou on the “Cajun Man” Swamp tour.  We even fed some alligators. Our next stop was the beautiful Antebellum mansion, Houmas House and gardens in Mississippi, where we also had a wonderful lunch. Then we went on to Rosalie Mansion and Gardens in Natchez, MS. While still in Mississippi, we toured the Civil War battlefield in Vicksburg, and learned much of it’s history.
We ended our time together touring the capital of Alabama, Montgomery.  We heard some of the interesting history of the civil rights movement from a gentleman who lived there. Our final stop was the Natural Bridge in Virginia.
We arrived home with not only wonderful memories of the many places we were blessed to visit, but with a number of new friends that have enriched our lives in so many ways.
~Skip VanderSchaaf

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