Monday, January 30, 2012

The Lone Star State: Part I

As I had mentioned in my previous post, Texas: Lessons Learned, my husband and I traveled to Texas recently and stayed on a 600-acre ranch an hour outside of Houston for the first part of our trip. We stayed at a "Bed & Breakfast" called Blisswood. I put Bed & Breakfast in quotes because technically I would not call this a bed and breakfast. To me that term implies that there will be a hot breakfast served every morning, not a box of stale bagels, muffins, mini clementines and orange juice placed in your refrigerator for your whole time there. This is my only complaint about our stay, other then the weather, but that wasn't the inn keepers fault. Otherwise it was a peaceful, beautiful, relaxing and well run ranch. 

There were many separate houses and cabins around the ranch. Each secluded from the others. Ours had a lovely porch across the front of it, with an unobstructed view of the grazing cows out in the fields. 

We would sit in our rockers reading our books as the sun dipped down, watching the cows fill their bellies with green grass. Just perfect.  

The inside of our cabin was surprisingly large. For two people, we had a table that sat 6, a full kitchen, a den, a living room, and our sleeping quarters was loft style on the second level. Personally the bedroom would have been better fitted for the first floor somewhere, as the angled ceilings made it hard to maneuver in and out of bed without heating your head. The place definitely had a rustic, western feel to it. Especially with the lack of, television, internet, and most of the time cell service.

Unfortunately our first day there was the only day were we were able to see the blue in the sky. Had I known this was to be the case, I would have taken far more pictures the first day. 

This was another house on the property. This would probably be rented by a large family or a group of people since it was quite a large house. 

It stood in the middle of this field filled with old live oaks. It literally took your breath away. (I also have a slight obsession with trees as you will see in my pictures.)

Other then the fact that Live Oaks have beautiful draping limbs that give them this eerily alluring effect, they are also great climbing trees for the same reason. The limbs dip low and can easily be reached by an average height person. I tried to climb as many as I could. What can I say, the kid in my just wanted to play!  

I loved the texture of the dried leaves and buds. 

 I know I'm a little strange, but I was so excited when I saw Spanish Moss on the trees! I have only ever seen Spanish Moss in Savannah, Ga and I thought it to be the most stunning sight. I mean come on, isn't this tree, dripping with Spanish Moss, just breathtaking?! 

We did A LOT of fishing. We had brought our own pole so it was free to just throw a line in any of the little ponds around the property. We caught a whole bunch a fish.  

 My fish was definitely bigger, sorry hubs. I LOVE this pic of my handsome stud, giving his best fish impression. 

Every morning we would wake up before dawn hoping to see a picture worthy sunset eliminating the land, but not one were we graced with. Through the clouds we saw a shimmer of red and orange, but not what I had been hoping for. 

But as my husband would say, at least it didn't rain. 

I try to see beauty in even the simplest things; grassy weeds on the edge of the water, a rusted park bench.

Red leaves against the back drop of a fleeting blue sky. 

There was this "honeymoon" cabin on the ranch that was deep in heart of the woods called "The Enchanted Cabin". In order to get there you had to cross this bridge. It brought you to this charming little gazebo, overtaken with Wisteria vines. 

A sign hung over the entrance that simply stated "All because two people fell in love".

The sign above the swing read "Together is a wonderful place to be". Ain't that the truth.  

Now I have a funny story. The kind that when you really think about it makes you kind of want to cry. Well here we are ready to take our hour long horseback ride around the ranch, also one of my many dreams. I of course bring my camera along, hoping for a few pictures of me in my cow boots slung over the back of the horse, posing like I'm a natural born rider. The first sight of my camera from our guide, and it's in the pouch on the side of my horse. Ok fine, I'll get pictures when we get back. On our ride there is a point where we stop and our guide tells us this is a nice place for a photo op so he offers to take a picture of me and my husband on our horse. I explain how to use my camera, but if you are not familiar with a DSLR it can be tricky. He promises that he is getting some good pics. He's moving around, getting different angles. I'm all smiles of course. Before I can check out his camera skills, my horse decides he found some grass about a yard away that he wants to eat. So I one handedly maneuver my camera back into it's pouch, without one look at what is on my memory card, but thinking there would be at least one good one with all the photos he took. Once back to the barn, we get off our horses and begin our walk back to our cabin as I flick my camera on and press play to view of our little photo op. But wait, why do I only see the photo I had last taken of the horse before we left? Where is my visual memory? The only tangible item you have after an event you want to remember forever? Nothing, not a one picture did he take. I blame myself for not looking before we left the barn. But this is the reason you will not see any pictures of me, beaming from ear to ear on top of my white steed. 

Back at the cabin, all we could do was laugh about it. 

These are a few photos depicting some of the dilapidated structures seen around the ranch.

A vintage Ford truck.

A antique horse trailer.

A run down, tin roof cabin.


 There was a cat on the property that followed us everywhere. It would wait at our door and when we opened it, it would run inside our cabin. At least it was very friendly.

More of those trees I love so much. I thought the bark on this tree looked like hearts. 

We will end on the cows, since they were what we saw majority of the time we were in Texas. On our last day, as we were leaving the ranch we saw the white faced baby calf lying in some brush far from the rest of the heard. 

I of course couldn't leave without making sure he wasn't hurt so I proceeded to get out of the car and walk towards it, hoping that it would get up and hurry towards the herd once it saw me. But it didn't. Not knowing what to do, I called the ranch owner and let her know where we saw the calf. She mentioned that this is not the first time the calf's mother left him behind. Poor little guy.

This beautiful calf we passed on the way out of town. I loved his coloring and his hairy ears.

So thats our ranch stay; full of cows, trees, and fish. Civilization is next. Check back for Part II in San Antonio.