Roy Bean Visitor Center: A Beautiful Hidden Garden in the Colorful Blooming Chihuahua Desert

When we left Marathon, Texas on September 27, 2020, we expected to be in Del Rio, Texas in 3 hours. Instead, after 1 hour of driving, we stopped the car, first in the middle of the Chihuahua Desert, and another hour later, at Judge Roy Bean’s original “Opera House/Town Hall”, Law West of the Pecos.

Our original plan for the day was to drive 3 hours non-stop so we could have time to do some sightseeing in Del Rio. Amistad National Recreation Area, Val Verde Winery, and Whitehead Memorial Museum looked good in pictures. Also, as a border town, I assumed the commercial areas in Del Rio would be interesting to explore.

Chihuahua Desert

The highway from Marathon to Del Rio is incredibly clean and scenic. So clean and white, I tried to put my sunglasses on and realized that I had them on already. At the end of September, the Chihuahua Desert did not look anything close to a desert. Instead, you could see an ocean of pink flowers, covering layers of mountains, near and far. The colors were so vibrant and impressive, and the thought of all these flowers being native and wild made us in awe.

We had to pull over the car to have a closer look at the natural beauty, which could be once of our lifetime of being in the Chihuahua Desert in September, during the blooming season of the pink flowers. Even today, I still don’t know the name of these plants. But I am glad I seized and enjoyed the moment on September 27.

Subaru Crosstrek
Subaru Crosstrek on the road to Del Rio

We resumed our journey, still thinking of visiting some sites in Del Rio.

Judge Roy Bean Museum

When we were about 1 hour from Del Rio, my husband saw a road sign “Judge Roy Bean Museum” and decided to pay a visit. I went along with him, thinking to myself that it should be a good place for a bathroom break 🙂

The visitor center is absolutely a hidden jewel on Highway 90, in between Del Rio and the Big Bend National Park. When it was first opened in the 60s, there used to be 400,000 visitors per year and the center reached its peak with Paul Newman’s movie portraying the legendary judge/bartender. And then a new highway changed everything. Nowadays, there are only about 40,000 visitors to stop by each year. With the current Covid 19 pandemic, there are even fewer people visiting. But all the facilities were kept clean and the ground was kept nice. The employees there were very friendly and helpful. It is worth to pay a visit there.

Path to the "Opera House"
Path to the “Opera House”

The opera house

What I found intriguing the way that Judge Roy Bean had a peculiar way to dispense hard liquor and harsh justice in Langtry, Texas around 1880. He fantasized and idolized an English actress until the day he died. He named his residence “Opera House” in honor of this actress, who he never got to meet in person while he was alive. And he even named the town after this actress, who eventually paid a visit to Langtry, after his death. Jersey Lilly Langtry, the English actress, Roy Bean’s idol, was quoted to say: I am happy as happiness goes, for a woman who has so many memories and who lives the lonely life of an actress.

I wonder what she really thought after visiting a town bearing her last name.

By the time we finally got to Del Rio, it was dinner time. We ordered some Thai food and called it a day, a day full of spontaneous decisions and wonderful encounters. Sometimes, no plan or “off the plan” could turn out to be the best plan.

Until next time, please take care!

Big Bend’s 5 Star Hotel, Gage Hotel: Manifest Of The Refined And Somewhat Compulsive Perfection

On September 27, 2020, our visit to the Big Bend National Park area was over. It was time to go back to Houston.

Our adjusted plan was to drive 8 hours straight home because we had some unexpected experience at our Airbnb stay in San Antonio, which was our place to catch breath coming to Big Bend. Please read my article about what happened in San Antonio if you are interested:

Leaving “Our” Adobe Home Behind
Leaving “Our” Adobe Home Behind

An eight hour driving in a day is intimidating nowadays for us. We are more used to an easy lifestyle. I decided to book a hotel room in Del Rio, which is three hours from Big Bend and five hours from Houston. As soon as the decision was made, I felt relieved immediately.

It turned out to be a good decision.

White Buffalo Bar
White Buffalo Bar

Pay a Visit to the Famous Gage Hotel

Before leaving Marathon, not only did we have time to enjoy our homemade breakfast at our adobe home, but also we got to pay a visit to the famous Gage Hotel.

It is very impressive to find a 100-year-old 5-star hotel in a remote town with only 500 population. The hotel has gone ups and downs with the passage of time. It was built on the speculation of big growth and was almost abandoned for a period of time, reduced to empty hallways and dusty rooms. And now the hotel has been remodeled and refurbished by the Texas State founder’s descendants, partly for business development and partly out of a sense of love and responsibility.

The hotel is doing really well, fully booked most of the time. Quite a few celebrities have lodged there. Wild West, the famous novel, was penned in the hotel…

In the Big Bend National Park, nature is so overpowering and a person feels subdued easily.
However, the very presence of Gage Hotel, the refined and somewhat compulsive perfection is human’s manifest in front of the broad wildness. For over 100 years, the hotel has been almost single-handedly representing the civilized world conversing with the broad wildness. That somewhat eccentric spirit is touching…

Well, I was going to write about our journey from Marathon, Texas to Del Rio, Texas today, but I got sidetracked by writing about our tour of the Gage Hotel.

Well, I promise that I will write about our trip from Marathon to Del Rio and our visit to Judge Roy Bean’s original saloon.

Until next time, please take care!

Fabulous Marfa Regresses to a Trivial Forgotten Desert Town

Rise and Fall of Marfa’s Mythic Status

The first time I heard the name Marfa was four years ago. A young colleague did an article for our internal monthly newsletter and mentioned a weekend in Marfa Texas, the new hyped art hub in West Texas. Back then I did not realize how far Marfa is from Houston and how small Marfa is in terms of population (about 2000) and physical size. The city itself consists of just a few city blocks.

Marfa, Texas: Pretty Quiet Saturday
Marfa, Texas: Pretty Quiet Saturday

Instagram snapshots have helped Marfa to quickly rise to this mythic status. You see all kinds of peoples’ posing in front of the art installation of Prada Store, the smallest Target in the world, and the movie site of Giant…I knew in theory that all these art displays are a few miles away from each other, but once I was in Marfa, I was dumbfounded finding out how far away all these hot spots were in different directions from Marfa’s city center. I guess it was the very concept of “snuggling art in a vast expanse of the desert”. Art is part of the landscape. The broad nature is the canvas of the compositions.

Giant Movie Site, Marfa Texas
Giant Movie Site, Marfa Texas
Prada, Marfa Texas
Prada, Marfa Texas

Instagram snapshots have also amplified the food trucks in Marfa, which captured my husband’s imagination. After our visit to Alpine and Fort Davis, we arrived in Marfa around 3:00 pm on Saturday, September 26, 2020. I was beyond hungry, so much so I was not hungry anymore.

Immediately upon arrival in the city center on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, we did see some pretty girls posing for their Instagram photos. It was so obvious! But our mind was on finding the food trucks. We went everywhere, literally, but did not find any! We saw two or three restaurants but my mechanical husband insisted on looking for food trucks. Eventually, he gave up. A pizza place looked good and he wanted to order pizza now. I was frustrated during this whole process already in now 95-degree weather, so I told him that I only wanted an ice cream bar.

Skip the pizza!

“Good idea! That is what I want too! Skip the pizza!” My husband was agreeable finally, after an all day’s arm wrestling about having lunch in Marfa from a food truck.

Marfa, before the pandemic, could have been once a booming artsy hub with creative works of art under starry desert night skies mixed with the primitive landscape…however, this September, after 6 months of the ongoing pandemic, we found it deserted, far and with no food trucks anywhere around, but there were still Instagram girls and their snapshots.

I will write about our trip from Marathon, Texas to Del Rio, Texas and our visit to the original saloon of Judge Roy Bean in my next article.

Until next time, please take care!

Fort Davis: The Controversial Black Military Officer from West Point

Lunch in Alpine or in Fort Davis or in Marfa?

The end of September desert heat could wear you down, making you lose perspective. Reflecting on our decisions not to visit Big Bend National Park again the second day, I believe we made a big mistake. We never got to explore the west side of the Big Bend, including the interesting Terlingua Ghost Town and Santa Elena Canyon. As much as we would have liked to go back to the park and continued on westward, we made a tough decision for the next day’s exploration to Alpine, Fort Davis, and Marfa, triangular on the map.

Alpine is the county seat of Brewster County, Texas.

Actually, when we first got to this region, we came to Alpine to buy groceries for our Marathon home, because the grocery store there are much bigger with a better selection and competitive prices. I remember we bought fried chicken dinner, wine, green onions, frozen pizza, mushrooms, bottled water, ice cream, sausages, and tortillas. They were all good.

Coming from Marathon to Alpine, it was a 30 minutes drive. You will see some red brick stately buildings as you enter the town that contain Sul Ross State University before you arrive to commercial section.

It was about 11:30 am when we parked the car in the commercial area of the city.

An old cowboy in a convertible

“What is going on? We used to be packed on Saturdays!” An older gentleman in a cowboy hat directed his question and comment at me. He was in a convertible, looking friendly. I guess the locals spotted us as visitors and kind of apologized for not being as cool as we had imagined, lol…

I suggested having lunch in Alpine. My logic was that we would have more choices here than in smaller cities like Fort Davis and Marfa. However, my husband made up his mind to having lunch in Marfa, the supposed cool town of artsy people, who made some big waves in the internet world. Even though I had proved myself hundreds of times in the past for having good common sense and instincts, my husband was stubborn insisting he was right 🙂

Alpine reminds us of typical USA small towns: The town was always small enough that no one insisted on tearing down the old buildings to make parking lots. It is still too small to interest most big-box store chains. The downtown businesses are still owned by local families and with this pandemic, who knows how they are doing. Most of the buildings here are one-story, except for the university building and Holland hotel, a landmark, built during a brief mercury mining boom, designed by Henry Trost, a distinguished regional architect.

No lunch in Alpine. We continued on with our journey to Fort Davis.

The research for Fort Davis was delegated to my husband. This man first drove us to a residential area. When being asked by a resident if he could help us, my husband said no. No idea where we were going. What I did know was we got to a dead-end, some jagged mountains in front of us, a church by one side of the road, and some barking dogs from some houses around us. Instead of irritating him by asking him questions, I decided to make the best out of the situation: leaving him alone and taking some pictures.

Dead Stop in Fort Davis
Dead Stop in Fort Davis
Fort Davis Mountains
Fort Davis Mountains

By the time I was done with my pictures my husband looked sure of himself again. 5 minutes later, we were at Fort Davis National Historic Site. A key post in the defense system of west Texas, Fort Davis played a major role in the history of the Southwest. From 1854 until 1891, troops stationed at the post protected emigrants, freighters, mail coaches, and travelers on the San Antonio-El Paso Road.

Fort Davis
Fort Davis, one of the many buildings

The place took us a good 2 hours to tour. Despite the 90+ degree weather, we went to the visitor Center, Enlisted Men’s barracks, Commissary, Office’s Kitchen and Servant’s Quarters, Post Hospital, and the Commanding Officer’s Quarters…according to the park ranger, 800 men and 400 horses used to live here during its peak times.

Fort Davis Jagged Mountains
Fort Davis Jagged Mountains

The whole visit was a vivid reminder of the significant presence of the military in the settlement and development of the western frontier. One story, in particular, stood out for me is Henry Flipper story.

Henry O. Flipper

Henry O. Flipper the first black graduate of West Point

He was the first black graduate of West Point. He served at Fort Davis in 1880-81 and assigned the rank of second lieutenant. However, he was later tried in a controversial court-martial and was dismissed from the army in 1882.

What impressed me the most was that in spite of the setback, Flipper continued to strive for success. He became a prominent civil and mining engineer. Also, Flipper worked throughout Mexico and Latin America as the right-hand man to the Secretary of the Interior.

Honorable Discharge

And he and his descendants didn’t give up on seeking to clear his name. In 1976 the military board reviewed the discharge circumstances and finally changed Flipper’s discharge to an honorable discharge. In addition, President Bill Clinton posthumously pardoned Lieutenant Henry O. Flipper on February 19, 1999, 118 years after his conviction. The sense of honor of Flipper and his descendants is one of the spiritual strength to make this nation great.

Henry O. Flipper

By 2:30 pm, we were done with the Fort Davis tour and felt hungry. My husband still insisted on going to Marfa for a late lunch. He read about the food trucks there, which captured his imagination. Did we make it to Marfa? Did we have lunch there from one of the food trucks? I will write a new article all about our trip to Marfa and our lunch.

The end of the September heat in the desert is grilling hot. The heat can make one lose his mind.

Until next time, please take care!

My Big Bend National Park Exploration: The Shortest Long Day In The Desert

Big Bend National Park Adventure

Our adobe house in Marathon, TX is only 30-40 minutes to the Big Bend National Park. This misled us to have a simple plan: we just sleep-in late this morning and take our time to get to the park. What I underestimated was the size of the park itself: more than 800,000 acres.

Big Bend National Park Welcome Sign
Big Bend National Park Welcome Sign

Half hour was the distance from Marathon to the first sign:
Big Bend National Park
Rio Grande Wild & Scenic River
A US Biosphere Reserve

It took a few minutes to get to the real entrance at the Persimmon Gap entrance booth where we paid $30 for the category of “private car”. The receipt was supposed to be posted on the windshield, which was good for 7 days. We grabbed a brochure at the booth’s brochures holder. The first paragraph says it well: “Big Bend National Park is in a remote part of southern Texas. Check supplies before leaving Alpine or Marathon. Gas stations and water sources are few and far between. Cell phone service is unreliable. Some park roads may require four-wheel drive.”

Cool Rock Formations Big Bend National Park
Cool Rock Formations

The Persimmon gap visitor center was closed, due to the Covid19 pandemic. By the time I seriously needed to go to the bathroom, it was another hour’s drive to get to bathroom facilities at Panther’s Junction. For a while, I was looking for a bush 🙂

Along the way, there were beautiful desert plants. Actually the desert’s rainfall mostly comes in the July-to-October monsoons. Some of the plants had leaf-like spines, however, if you think you can hide behind them, you are making a big mistake. The “leaves” are very sharp and spiky.

Big Bend National Park Desert Plants
Desert Plants

Not only does Panther’s Junction visitor center have nice bathrooms, there are also a post office and information center. The drinking water is provided here. Considering we only had soda in a small cooler, we quickly drank up the soda and filled the cans with drinking water.

In Big Bend National Park roads end at the Rio Grande, the boundary between the United States and Mexico.

Subaru at Big Bend
My White Subaru Crosstrek at Big Bend

Unlike in the park’s brochure, the Rio Grande looked yellow and muddy in my pictures. Maybe because the color is different each season.

I tried to be as close to the edge as possible to have a better view of the river, but I was stopped by my husband, worrying about me falling off the gravel paths.

Big Bend National Park
Big Bend National Park
Rio Grande at Big Bend National Park
Rio Grande at Big Bend National Park

I saw some Mexican art and crafts, off to the side for sale: $8, $10…but no salesman around. There was a glass jar, the cash register? No idea. I was tempted to buy a little wire snake but decided against it.

With no cell signal, you have to rely on the road signs like the old days. It took us a while to find our way back to Marathon.

One little highlight on our way back to Marathon: we spotted the world’s smallest Target store, a competitive parody to the Prada store in Marfa, TX.

The worlds smallest Target Store in Marathon, TX
The Worlds Smallest Target Store in Marathon, TX

When we got home in Marathon, it was almost 7:00 pm.
We had the shortest long day in the Big Bend desert.

I will write about our trip to Ft. Davis, Alpine and Marfa next time.

Until then, please take care!

Marathon, Texas : I Was Delighted And Thrilled To Find This Ancient Adobe Hacienda In The Starry Desert

Adobe Hacienda in Marathon, Texas

The house is located at a corner lot in a small town called Marathon, Texas

When I was searching for an Airbnb accommodation as my base to explore Big Bend National Park, one house caught my eye: a restored adobe style hacienda with a world-class garden, composed of native plants, rocks, unique garden furniture and art display.

Marathon, Texas
Garden Wall Marathon, Texas

Two days prior to our arrival day the owner lady communicated with me via text message about the check-in process. What came across funny to me is this: “I will leave the door open for you and the key is on the dining table.” This reminded me of a saying about Marathon: the best kept secret in Texas. Here we don’t have a  mayor; we don’t have a police department or city council. Please forgive me for including myself as a resident of Marathon’s 500 residents now. 

The original house was a farmhouse. It was recorded to be built around 1917 but the actual construction could be much earlier. The house is beautifully restored and renovated with love. There are a lot of custom features such as Spanish Talavera tiles throughout, saltillo tile and refinished hardwood floors.

On Thursday, September 24, we arrived at the adobe house around 3:00 pm. I came to the front door but found it locked. I went around the garden wall, getting to the back of the house. The kitchen door was open and the key was indeed on the dining table.

The house looked more charming than in the pictures, however, I found two bags of trash by the kitchen door. No big deal, I told myself. I soon found the dumpster and threw the trash in. Getting ready to unload our bags, a lady showed up.

Marathon, Texas
Native Plants Out of the Kitchen Window Marathon, Texas

She said the house was not ready for us and she was the cleaning lady. She offered us a different unit next door, which was totally cleaned and ready for the guests. I took a look at that unit and agreed to take it. However, my normally agreeable husband had a different opinion about this arrangement. He said at least we should talk to the owner about this and all the parties should be on the same page. Out of his laidback character, this time he even took the initiative to make the phone call to the owner.

Marathon, Texas
Backyard garden and picnic Marathon, Texas

It turned out the owner preferred us to stay at our reserved original space, and apologized for not getting it ready on time.

We like our adobe house and were glad we would be able to stay here. We told the cleaning lady that we would go shopping and she could take her time to clean. By the time we returned, the house was clean like a whistle.

Marathon, Texas
Mariachi Singers Marathon, Texas

A little patience goes a long way. Now we have been in the house for 3 days, loving it more and more. Not only do we love its old world charm, but also how we wake up every morning to the rooster singing.

I will write about our Big Bend experience next.

BTW, if you are interested in the hacienda for your Airbnb stay, I will send you a link. I am not related to the owner and don’t receive kick back for promoting her place.

Until next time, please take care!

San Antonio: Having an Easy Good Time Without Internet

San Antonio Subaru Adventure

On Wednesday, we arrived at the reserved San Antonio loft around 3:00 pm. The suite was nice and clean. Everything was as expected, except for one thing: no wifi connection. I texted the owner of the suite, assuming we would get a response way before our return from sightseeing.

It took our Subaru fifteen minutes to get to the Pearl District, one of the best shopping, eating and biking areas of San Antonio.  To my surprise, there was plenty of free parking. Pearl, located north of downtown San Antonio, as a former brewery operating from 1883 to 2001, reflects a vivid past while transforming itself to modern multi-use sophistication.

Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, Pearl was pretty quiet when we got there, and it was not even 4:00 PM. We walked around and admired the beauty of this charming region. Here are some photos of Pearl I took:

1. The Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio

The Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio
The Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio

2. Hotel Emma

Hotel Emma, San Antonio
Hotel Emma

3. Restaurant La Gloria

Restaurant  La Gloria, San Antonio
Restaurant La Gloria Skeleton
Restaurant  La Gloria, San Antonio
Restaurant La Gloria Guitar Man

Another hot spot we wanted to check out is the Historic Market Square. From the Pearl District to the Market Square, it took us 12 minutes by car. We got there around 5:00 pm, and all the curio shops were closed.

Only some restaurants and bars were open. We did window shopping literally, admiring the colorful and exotic curios and artifacts. Even though the streets were empty, the blooming flowers still made the streets look vibrant.

Historic Market Square
Historic Market Square
No call, No text, No Internet

By the time we returned to our bnb, it was about 7:30 pm. I checked my phone: no response from the owner of the loft. I sent her another message. Still no answer. The truth is that I have never heard from her again. Even when we checked out the next day and texted her goodbye. Not a word from her. Strange. 

Life without the internet is different. And life away from home without the internet is very different. You feel more alone and isolated but more observant at the same time.
Now we are connected again and I will write about our new Subaru adventure after San Antonio.

Until next time, please take care!

Escaping the Storms, Westbound to San Antonio and Big Bend.

San Antonio, here I come!

We are heading to West Texas tomorrow, visiting Big Bend National Park and the little towns in that area. It will be an 8-hour drive from Houston, a little too long of a drive for laid-back people like us.

To make things easier, I decided to spend a night somewhere in the middle to catch our breath. I am the one in the family to make those arrangements. Good thing is that I have the liberty to choose a place that caught my attention, and bad thing is that I have to do all the research, weighing the pros and cons of a location. I considered Del Rio first, which is a US-Mexico border town, 5 hours from Houston. However, even if the town is reasonably priced for a longer stay on Airbnb, it is expensive for a one night stay. The cleaning fee for one night is normally the same as for three nights, which is a deal-breaker.

Hotel rates in Del Rio are not too bad, however, during the pandemic period, we choose to have a more isolated place to ourselves as much as we can, keeping as much social distance as possible.

San Antonio
San Antonio trip in 2019
a charming place to visit

Almost convinced to have to drive straight to West Texas the same day, suddenly it occurred to me that I should take a look at San Antonio’s accommodations. To my delight, San Antonio, which is 3 hours from Houston and 5 hours from the West Texas area, has a lot of properties to choose from, a tourist town after all. I patiently read property descriptions and reviews from other travelers, taking these elements for consideration: rating, neighborhood, facilities, price, and parking. Since we have been to San Antonio many times, we don’t need to be right by Alamo and River Walk area. With that said, I don’t want to be too far away, just in case we are in the mood to hang out in the River Walk area. It is always a charming place to visit.

With our car parked at our nearby Airbnb home, we could get Uber rides and San Antonio is a good place to get around that way. Maybe we will have a couple of Margaritas on River Walk, lol…

I found a perfect loft in San Antonio for our tomorrow’s stay: highly rated; in a nice neighborhood, not too far into the outskirts; free parking and reasonably priced!

A tale of two crosstreks

Another choice we have to make for tomorrow’s trip is which car to take. We have two Subaru Crosstrek, one white and one red. The white one has fewer miles on it, even though a 2018 model, while the red one is 2019 model, having more safety features, such as a eye sight, adaptive cruise control, blind spot detector etc… We are still undecided at this very moment.

I am excited about staying in San Antonio Each time I find something new there. Oh, I have not been to the Pearl Brewery yet and the Mercado. I am looking forward to visiting both.

Until next time, please take care!

San Antonio River
San Antonio River in 2019
San Antonio River Walk
San Antonio River Walk in 2019

Immersed in America’s Hot and Bubbling First National Park

My August Subaru Adventure in Hot Springs Arkansas

I don’t know if you have had similar feelings and experiences.

You are impressed when passing by a place and at the time, you think you will visit again in the future. However, with the passage of time, this only visit gradually becomes a vague distant memory; while other places are quite plain at first, you think that you would turn around and quickly forget about them, but this place is so magical that you go back again and again. . .

Hot Springs Arkansas, is the second kind of city. In August this year, we came to Hot Spring for the third time.

Hot Springs
Hot Springs
Downtown Hot Springs

This kind of magic reminds me of the song “Fairy Tale” lyrics:

In that misty morning
When I saw your smiling face
You only looked at me
and I was yours


One of the main purposes we visit Hot Springs is for its naturally heated springs. Not only we would bathe in the famous bathhouses established in the 19th and 20th centuries in hot springs, but also we would fill some containers with hot springs as drinking curing water, which is common practice even for the Hot Springs locals.

Hot Springs Historic Bath Houses
Hot spring Bath houses
Hot spring Bath houses
Hot Springs National Park
Hot Springs National Park

The mineral waters of Hot Springs are my magical elixir:

In that misty morning
When I tasted your sweet drops
You only winked at me
And I was yours

Each time we are in Hot Springs, we do something different from the previous times too. Hot Springs has never failed to impress us.

This time, with our Subaru, we explored the mountains and stayed at a lakefront condo on Lake Hamilton.

Boardwalk at the Condos
Lake Hamilton
Boardwalk at the Lake Hamilton Condo
Waterfront Condo
Lake Hamilton Waterfront Condo

Hitting the courses

To our delight, we found some very nice golf courses in the mountains.

Diamondhead Country Club
Diamondhead Country Club

On August 11, 2020, we played the 18-hole course at Diamondhead Country Club and by the time we were on the 9th hole, a thunderstorm hit the golf course: thunder and lightning…we were thinking about following the other players, meaning: QUIT! However, we came all the way from Houston and the course is so beautiful and we hadn’t played golf for really really 1000 years and we prepaid for it already…we made a brave and foolish decision to continue on.

Luckily the storm was brief. Not only we did not get soaked, but also we got the whole golf course to ourselves until the very end of the game.

Fairing the weather

On August 12, 2020, the forecast predicted storm all day. We stayed in the condo looking at the lake and clouds.

View from the Condo
View from the Condo

In the afternoon, we decided to take some chances and went to the Lakeside Golf Country Club, which is nestled around a gorgeous environment that sits on the banks of Lake Catherine. The road to get there is full of twists and turns. Our Subaru did an amazing job.

Threatened by a sudden storm any minute, we only played 9 holes. No other players anywhere around. We lucked out again: the sun showed up.

Each time I visit Hot Springs, I feel rejuvenated, maybe because of the natural springs baths, maybe because of the mountains and the fresh air, maybe because of the mineral water, maybe just because of my special bonding with the place. Hot Springs is truly a magical place for me.

In a couple of days, I will take another road trip with my Subaru Crosstrek. We are heading to the Big Bend National Park, for the first time! Is it going to be an one time visit or a spiritual home for me to go back to over and over again? Let’s wait and see!

Until next time and please take care!

Red Subaru Crosstrek 2019

Starship Crosstrek Achieves Warp Speed at SpaceX Boca Chica, Texas

Subaru Crosstrek
Subaru Crosstrek

Sand Dunes and Subie 2 in South Padre Islands
Sand Dunes and Subie

In June, despite the ongoing pandemic, the wandering spirit or the adventurous traveling bones got the better of me. I decided to take my Subaru Crosstrek for a road trip. I set off to the beautiful South Padre Island. It is just a 6-hour drive from Houston.

The ocean environment and sand dunes of the island are absolutely amazing.
Not only my Crosstrek drives nicely on the beach, but it also looks cool and photogenic.

Sand Dunes and Subaru Crosstrek at the South Padre Islands
Sand Dunes and Subie Close up

The South Padre beach and sand dunes are mesmerizing each time I visit.

However, my real focus changed and I decided to visit SpaceX Boca Chica, Elon Musk’s new base for the Starship near the US-Mexico border.

SpaceX Boca Chica, Texas

Although the trip was brief, I was marveled by the various projects that are expanding the progress of space travel, exploration, and technology. We continued on to the beach and decided to drive down the coast in our Subaru. There was an interesting text message on my phone. It said, “Welcome to Mexico”. Seeing the Rio Grande River in front of us, we decided we should stop driving south and turned the car around and headed back toward Boca Chica.

This June trip got me back to the American phenomenon called road trip. I will write more about my Subaru adventures.

Boca Chica
Boca Chica

Until next time and please take care!