Bloodless Bullfights will Continue in La Gloria, Texas

bull in arena with text overlay: Bloodless Bullfights, Santa Maria Bullring, La Gloria, Texas

Bullfighting is one of the best-known, and also most controversial, traditions of the Spanish culture. Supporters claim the bulls live a better, longer life than other cattle. They see it as art, much like ballet. As bullfighting aficionado Ernest Hemingway famously said in Death in the Afternoon (1932), “Bullfighting is the only art in which the artist is in danger of death.” Critics claim it is nothing more than torture. I have to admit, I attended a bullfight in Mazatlan in the 70s and would never go again. From the stands, it didn’t seem as “real” as I now know it is. When I learned about the bloodless bullfights in La Gloria, Texas, I was curious to see how they are different. A Very Brief…

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Living History Lessons at the Museum of South Texas History

large cracked bell with text overlay: Pioneer & Ranching Crafts Day Museum of South Texas History

Even though south Texas has subtropical weather, that doesn’t always mean sunny, blue skies. Such was the case last week when the event I had scheduled for Saturday’s post was essentially rained out.* Fortunately, I had planned to attend the Pioneer and Ranching Crafts Day at Museum of South Texas History in Edinburg on Saturday. In contrast to last week’s weather, it was a near perfect day. I burned the midnight oil to get that story ready to publish on Sunday morning. *Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter below to get all the behind-the-scenes scoops. Museum of South Texas History The Museum of South Texas History totally surprised and impressed me. It is quite large and gorgeous and I think it is my favorite…

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Discover the Agricultural Side of the Rio Grande Valley on a Farm Tour

green foliage with yellow flowers and text overlay: Discover the agricultural side of the Rio Grande Valley Farm Tour

It surprised me a little bit to learn that the Rio Grande Valley is one of the richest farming areas of Texas. I guess it shouldn’t have because I am literally surrounded by farms. The field next door, during the growing season, has either corn or cabbage planted. Sugar cane is grown down the road and cotton around the corner. The cotton gin is across the street and the sugar cane factory is only about 10 miles away. Although I moved to California from Missouri as a young child, I was born on a farm and I think it is just in my blood. I wanted to know more but I didn’t know where to start. Then I discovered that a couple of local tour…

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Tiny La Lomita Chapel Played an Important Role in the Valley

rustic white chapel with text overlay: La Lomita Chapel La Lomita Historic District

One of the things I love about travel blogging is that it “forces” me to learn so much more about a location or attraction than I otherwise might. That’s the case with La Lomita Chapel in Mission, Texas. I knew it was near the Riverside Dreamer so I wanted to stop by before I left the area. I read some quick reviews on TripAdvisor but, unfortunately, I didn’t delve into the history beforehand. It’s one thing to look at a building and say, “That’s a cool old structure.” But that cool old structure takes on new meaning when you learn about its place in history. A Brief History of La Lomita Chapel and Mission The Earliest Days The La Lomita Chapel is located on property…

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Riverside Dreamer Cruise on the Rio Grande in Mission, Texas

Rio Grane through trees with text overlay: Cruise the Rio Grande Riverside Dreamer

I first heard about the Riverside Dreamer a couple of weeks ago when I attended the Winter Texan Expo in McAllen. Another, yet quite different, opportunity to be on the water! I was very excited by the idea of a cruise on the Rio Grande on the Riverside Dreamer. And it is relatively close to me – less than an hour away. I haven’t done a river cruise since I was in Germany, too many years ago to admit to, so I was really looking forward to it. The Riverside Dreamer The Riverside Dreamer is a custom built 55-foot pontoon boat. It has cushioned seats and a maximum capacity of 49 passengers. There’s a snack bar and restroom. No alcoholic beverages from the Riverside Club…

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Is the Black Dragon Pirate Ship Just for Kids?

harbor scene with canon firing with text overlay: Black Dragon Pirate Ship Is it just for kids?

From my very first trip to south Texas in 2014 to visit my dad, I was intrigued by the Black Dragon Pirate Ship. Of course, I didn’t know then what it was but you can’t miss it as you drive by. You pass by it in Port Isabel when you drive over the Queen Isabella Causeway on your way to South Padre Island. That was my first view of it in 2014, just a quick glance on my way to SPI. After I moved to the Rio Grande Valley at the end of 2018, I put it on my list of things to do. As always, I researched it and decided to put off doing it because I kept reading what a fun adventure it…

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Winter Texans — Why the Snowbirds Flock to the Rio Grande Valley

Crowd watching performer with text overlay: Winter Texans Why do they flock to the RGV?

What, or Rather Who, are Winter Texans? It might be obvious, but for those who don’t know or haven’t heard the term, Winter Texans are people, (usually retired) who come to Texas, particularly the Rio Grande Valley, to spend part of the winter then return to their permanent homes in the summer. In some sun-belt states, these folks are called snowbirds, but Texas prefers the term Winter Texan, as the term snowbird has acquired a derogatory connotation in other places. Where is the Rio Grande Valley? The Rio Grande Valley (RGV) is an area comprised of four counties that lie along the Rio Grande at the southernmost tip of Texas. To give you some perspective, it is about as far south as Miami. What Attracts…

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Best Places to Visit in Schulenburg, Texas

Schulenburg Historical Museum sign at entrance with text overlay: Best places to visit Schulenburg, Texas

Schulenburg is a small city (population under 3,000) in eastern central Texas about halfway between Houston and San Antonio. It is known as “The Gateway to the Rolling Hills.” Immigrants who settled the area in the 1800s were of German and Czech descent and their influence can be seen everywhere. Even though I tried to visit all the best places while I was in Schulenburg, Texas, I just couldn’t quite fit them all in! Schulenburg RV Park Before I tell you about the best places to visit in Schulenburg, I want to tell you about Schulenburg RV Park. During my 6-week RV trip through Texas, my plans changed several times as I headed back south towards home. This was mostly due to the weather but…

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A Taste of Oklahoma – Durant and Ardmore

Choctaw Casino sign with text overlay: Durant and Ardmore Just a taste of Oklahoma

One of the destinations on my recent RV trip was southern Oklahoma to visit a friend. I had planned to boondock at a couple of spots in Oklahoma but the weather turned bitterly cold a few days earlier, so I decided to find RV parks instead. I figured they would make better bases of operations while I got at least a little taste of Oklahoma during the few days I planned to be in Durant and Ardmore. Durant, Oklahoma Durant/Choctaw Casino KOA I’ve never stayed at a KOA campground or a casino so I thought the Durant/Choctaw Casino KOA sounded promising. I later read on their website that they are “the #1 KOA RV park in all of the country.” I think KOA only accepts…

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Most Viewed Posts of 2019

Photos from six blog posts with text overlay: Most viewed posts 2019

It’s that time again when I get to write one of my favorite posts — the most viewed posts of the year. I love writing these posts for two reasons. Most important, I get to take a close look at what was most popular with and useful for my readers during 2019. Second, though, I get to take a walk down memory lane and relive some of the wonderful places I’ve been and amazing things I’ve done. The following ten most viewed posts of 2019 include five posts from previous years but views are only from this year. Five of the posts were published this year. Maybe I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to stats, but I really enjoy comparing numbers and…

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