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Blogging Driving Food Geography History Travel

Henrietta Texas

Welcome back to #TravelThursday. Last week I revealed that I spent quality time with family in and around Wichita Falls Texas. It’s an annual tradition for me every late-September to visit for a few days, and celebrate the wedding anniversary of my Aunt (by blood) and Uncle. This year was their 66TH !

Following an early Lunch at a local Mexican restaurant (another tradition) we went on a short road-trip (another tradition). This time we headed 20 miles ESE along U.S. 287 into Clay County and the small city of Henrietta (the county seat and population center). A little over 3,000 residents call Henrietta home, and it’s one of the oldest settled areas in the region – going back to the mid-19TH Century.

We visited the Clay County 1890 Jail Museum & Heritage Center – presented by the Clay County Historical Society. For those of you who have been following my #TravelThursday posts for awhile – you’ll know that not only am I a big fan of local historical societies and museums that they run, but I also plan to be a member and volunteer at a few upstate here in Florida once I retire and relocate.

Me, my cousin, and her husband were treated to an excellent docent early on a Friday afternoon. The museum is only open for 8 hours per week (4 each on Thursday and Friday), and we exclusively occupied 2 of those 8 hours. The docent showed us everything in the museum. (There’s a lot to see inside downstairs and upstairs.) I was studying our docent intently. I hope to be as good as her when I resume being a museum docent. She definitely enjoyed her museum, and she absolutely loved to talk about it. That’s the type of docent that I like !

On this visit to the Wichita Falls area we also drove over to Archer City – the county seat of Archer County (south of Wichita County). We visited a church lot where they were selling pumpkins and gourds.

We also drove all around Downtown Wichita Falls – the county seat of Wichita County. There’s a lot of history downtown – much of it mere memories with the original buildings left behind vacated. There are plans to continue to revitalize it with new cafes, bars, restaurants, events, and opportunities.

This was my 11TH visit to the Wichita Falls area to visit family over the past 9 years (since 2013). Each visit brings family love, good food, and pleasant surprises. I always look fondly back – and forward to – my next visit.

Next #TravelThursday I’ll present a tribute to a place that I visited 9 times and spent 17 nights from 2011 to 2020. It’s an island that will never be the same again due to the catastrophic destruction of Hurricane Ian. I’ll look back at those fun times on #FortMyersBeach on the Southwest Florida coast. Let’s keep traveling together.

All rights reserved (c) 2022 Christopher M. Day, CountUp

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Blogging Food Geography Travel Weather

Wichita Falls Texas

Welcome back to #TravelThursday. This month I’m virtually visiting 5 continents in 5 weeks. 4 weeks ago I wrote about Luxembourg in Europe. 3 weeks ago it was Yunnan China in Asia. A couple of weeks ago it was down under to Perth Australia. Last week it was Santiago Chile in South America. This week I’m back home in North America in the United States Of America – specifically the great state of Texas and Wichita Falls in the far north of the state.

This is actually not a virtual visit, but an actual visit. I’ve just returned home from Wichita Falls Texas. I flew out there last Friday morning for my annual late-September visit to spend quality time with family. My “first cousin once removed” and her husband picked me up at the small but modern Wichita Falls Regional Airport, and we proceeded to a local Mexican restaurant for an early Lunch. That’s a tradition for each visit. We must eat a meal at a Mexican restaurant, and I don’t think that we’ve ever repeated the same one. We’ve always gone to a new place with each new visit.

I returned home this past Tuesday afternoon (27 September 2022). My flight on American Airlines (Airbus A321) was packed like sardines – probably at or near 100% capacity. I think a lot of people who had previous plans to head for airports in the Tampa Bay area and even Orlando were on the flight(s) to Miami instead since #MIA was the least-affected airport in Florida from Hurricane Ian. There were a lot of flight crew sitting in coach. Despite the packed flight it was amazingly peaceful and serene inflight, and the flight itself was quite smooth (just a few chops here and there). The pilot took a different route to Miami from Dallas – staying over land for nearly all of the route – over to Tallahassee, and then down the Gulf Coast of Florida. (Normally it would cross the Gulf Of Mexico from New Orleans to Fort Myers.)

Note: I’ll post an impact statement on Hurricane Ian here in my hometown on Twitter @ChrisMDay.

This was my first time flying since the start of April. Mask mandates in airports and airplanes were lifted later that same month, so this was the first time in nearly 3 years that I flew without a face mask. There were a few people at the airport and on the airplanes who wore face masks. I’d estimate maybe 5% did so. On all of the flights to and from Wichita Falls the flight attendants stated during their safety briefing that whether or not we choose to wear a face mask please respect each other’s personal decisions. That’s good advice to follow. Be kind to each other.

Incidentally after that first meal at that Mexican restaurant upon arrival in Wichita Falls – we visited a fun historical museum. Next #TravelThursday I’ll write about it, as well as some other fun places that I visited in the local area. Let’s keep traveling together.

All rights reserved (c) 2022 Christopher M. Day, CountUp

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Blogging Driving Food Nature Photography Scripture Shopping Travel

Wichita Falls Texas

#TravelThursday continues, and in this edition we return to one of my favorite cities in the great state of Texas – Wichita Falls. It’s one of my favorite cities for one main reason – I have 5 family members (and their pets) who live there. I visit them every year.

And if you haven’t already guessed by now – I was there last weekend ! #Vacation

I was there from last Thursday morning through Monday morning (96 hours). I spent quality time with family and pets, and we celebrated my Aunt’s & Uncle’s 65TH anniversary together with a quiet spaghetti dinner at home. (Normally we go out to eat dinner at a nice restaurant (usually a steakhouse) to honor the occasion, but this year we decided to go “low-key”.)

As I wrote about last #TravelThursday we embarked on our traditional Saturday road-trip of a few hours away from the metro area. We went eastward this time along U.S. 82. We stopped for Lunch along the way at Tres Niños – a Mexican restaurant in Nocona. It was pretty good. I enjoyed my plate of a sour cream chicken enchilada, a beef enchilada with chili, a guacamole tostada, rice, and beans. Eating Mexican food has become a tradition within the tradition. I didn’t know that we were going to eat Mexican food on our road-trip, but I had a pretty good idea of it. Once something works – we just keep doing it, and the tradition continues to grow.

Nocona is about 52 miles east of where we started on the south-side of the Wichita Falls area. (We previously visited Nocona on our 2015 road-trip.) From there we proceeded another 22½ miles southeastward to downtown Muenster Texas (our final destination for this road-trip). Muenster is a very German-Catholic town of a little over 1,600 residents. More than 90% of its residents are of German descent. It was founded by settlers 132 years ago. It’s named after Münster Germany. They host German festivals year-round, and tourists come to visit to enjoy the eating and drinking fun. Much of the architecture of Muenster looks very German:

That’s actually a Glockenspiel. Read more about it.

On the return trip back from Muenster we drove the backroads through “Wine Country” where multiple vineyards dot the picturesque hilly landscape. We also drove through the Henrietta area, and we visited a couple of large gift shops / “tourist traps” adjacent to gas stations along the highway. (This has also become a tradition of our road-trips.)

It was a fun 4-day visit to the #Texoma region along the Red River. The sights and sounds on the road were fun as usual. The food was abundant every day. But most importantly I got closer to my family there. Above all – family always comes first.

Join me next #TravelThursday as we visit another location on the face of this earth.

They keep you safe on your way, and your feet will not stumble. You can go to bed without fear. You will lie down and sleep soundly. You need not be afraid of sudden disaster or the destruction that comes upon the wicked, for the LORD is your security. He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap. (Proverbs 3:23-26 NLT)

All rights reserved (c) 2021 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

Categories
Blogging Driving Nature Photography Scripture Travel

Wichita Falls Texas

#TravelThursday continues, and in this edition we visit one of my favorite cities in the great state of Texas – Wichita Falls. It’s one of my favorite cities for one main reason – I have 5 family members (and their pets) who live there. I visit them every year.

The 72-square-mile city of Wichita Falls includes just over 100,000 residents with little to no growth since 1960. The 3-county metro area of Wichita, Archer, and Clay Counties includes just over 150,000 residents. One of the weird aspects of this metro area is that they have nice modern wide highways and expressways with very little traffic on them. I think most of their expressways were built throughout the 1960s, and they were built to handle substantial growth. That growth never occurred, as they have the same number of residents today as they did in 1960. Their “rush hour” is fairly non-existent; although, some of the locals may contend that statement. I actually enjoy driving through the Wichita Falls metro area. It’s mostly peaceful on all days at all times.

I’ve driven there a few times – in my own car from South Florida – and also in a rental car from the #DFW airport about 2½ hours away. I’ve visited Wichita Falls every year since 2013. My Aunt, Uncle, and Cousins have showed me a lot of the city and the local area. As is tradition with each visit we all go on a road-trip of a few hours away from the metro area. We’ve gone southward, eastward, and northward, but not yet westward. They used to tell me where we were going on our road-trips, but now they intentionally keep it a secret from me so that I don’t do extensive research on the destination(s) and know more about it than them.

I’ve accumulated over 450 photos of my visits since 2013. I’ll share a few photos of my 2021 visit – next #TravelThursday.

They keep you safe on your way, and your feet will not stumble. You can go to bed without fear. You will lie down and sleep soundly. You need not be afraid of sudden disaster or the destruction that comes upon the wicked, for the LORD is your security. He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap. (Proverbs 3:23-26 NLT)

All rights reserved (c) 2021 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries