San Jacinto Day Festival and Battlefield Reenactment 2017 – Part One

(Above photo:  Mr. Bill Lewis and Mrs. Kaye Lewis – Houston Area Square Dance)

I met this charming couple in their Square Dance attire and HAD to get their photo to help illustrate the fun of the day ahead.

Saturday, May 22, 2017 was the San Jacinto Day Festival and Battlefield Reenactment. It’s one of those events I’ve heard about for years and thought – maybe? This year I made it a point to check it out.  So glad I did!  I met some extraordinary people and the festival itself was extremely well organized! Parked at a chemical company parking lot – signage stating “Take a photo of what lot you are in” – happy I did! A shuttle then picked up our group in the G parking area.  Fast forward to leaving the event after the Reenactment – I thought we would be in a massive shuttle exit line, but it was probably the BEST organized shuttle line system I’ve ever seen in a festival situation! Kuddos to whomever organized that part of the festival!!! Great Job! Oh, bonus…parking and the festival entry were my favorite four letter word…FREE :)!

Note:  This festival series will be spread over several posts as I met far too many interesting people to put everything in one post so “stay tuned”!!

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Who was the first person I couldn’t help notice upon exiting the shuttle? The fun and lively “Mama Goose”.  Mama is a second grade reading teacher at Channelview ISD at DeZavala Elementary school and is the author of “Reading and Rhyming with Mama Goose” Mama Goose gears her words towards K-6th grade audiences.  Ms. Goose was additionally awarded Teacher of the Year within Channelview ISD and is a motivational speaker.  So lovely to meet someone promoting the importance and fun of reading to our youth and in such a magical manner!

 

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What child wouldn’t be entranced by Mama Goose reading them a story?! I just personally, really loved Mama’s positive energy and passion! 

Ok, so far we have the Lewis square dancing couple and Mama Goose… gosh, I barely got off the shuttle and into the festival!

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The San Jacinto Monument (click link at beginning of post to read more about the day and history-no sense in me retyping it :)) 

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The crowds were fun and lots of families were out enjoying one of our great weather days! 

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Mr. Paul Washington represented the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum well to the delight of many of us festival attendees – he was a super nice gentleman too.

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(Above Top Two Photos:  Mr. Paul Washington-The Buffalo Soldiers National Museum-Houston, Texas)

Mr. Washington speaks to inquisitive crowds at the festival, generously sharing his knowledge.  (we’ll learn plenty more about the Buffalo Soldiers Museum soon – promise! It warrant’s it’s own post!!)

Hope you enjoyed Part One of the San Jacinto Day Festival and Battle Reenactment!  Stay tuned for more fun – promise it won’t be what you expect!

Thanks for sharing your time with Houston Photo Journey!

Elizabeth and Max (he refused to attend once I explained it was an outdoor event as his majesty prefers the inside during hotter weather, his air conditioning and a light blanket!) 

Max a few years ago-still just as cute!

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Adventures in Birds

Adventures in Birds is a wonderful place that’s one of a kind in Houston! Opened in 1980, this is a bird lover’s paradise!

 

You’ll see this sign at 7414 Westview Drive, Houston, TX 77055 to welcome your arrival.  There are so many bird cages there my lens couldn’t capture it all!

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This sweet little cockatiel greeted me in the bird room.

 

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Peachfaced Love Birds happily looked at me with curiosity – I think they’re so cute!
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Beautiful little yellow canaries (sorry about the pix but hard to do while in cage)
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Ecectus Parrot – Now that is one stunning bird!!! The color is amazing!! (They have a gorgeous red one too!)
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Want a little guy with some pizazz? How about this Red Fronted Macaw?
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This Cockatoo was so sweet and bashful looking!
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Of course they have (Budgies) Parakeets, Finches of all kinds, Canarys of all colors and tons more if you want a smaller bird.
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I loved the striking colors of this Rose Breasted Cockatoo!! Gorgeous!!
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Love that this guy is right at home – not a care in the world!! I also spotted two cute cats running around too – one black and white sporting a super shiny coat who was rather curious and one doing what cats love to do – napping!

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This little one was visiting for grooming while I was there.  The lovely couple had him for over 20 years!!

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Beautiful right?!
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So you want some toys for your special little bird??? Pretty sure you will find it here!!
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Need any kind of seeds, treats, etc. – This is only a PORTION of what’s available here!
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It just goes on and on of the things you’ll be able to get your feathered friend!
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The nice gentleman working there on Sunday, took this huge guy/gal? out for a little photo shoot for me 🙂 – thanks! It’s a Blue and Gold Macaw who was very friendly.
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How could you not LOVE that face!?!
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What a character!!!

If you are in the Houston area and looking for bird grooming, need to safely board your feathered buddy or want to get a new friend, why not support this independent instead of some big chain store – these people care and are very knowledgeable! My Dad went to them for years for his African Grey or I may not have known they existed! Great place to visit and fulfill all your birding needs!

Thanks as always for taking time out of your day to stop and visit!

Elizabeth and Max (who is a bit scared of birds so he passed on this trip).

 

 

 

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo! Livestock Show – Part II

As promised – Part II of my trip to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo…minus the rodeo as I haven’t decided if I want to deal with the traffic in order to see the Rodeo and Concert yet. Saw Kid Rock last time I went a few years ago and he was great!  Then, back a million years ago, I saw KC and The Sunshine Band there back when they were popular, (and he was hot :)) – wow, I’m dating myself now!!  Just to put it in perspective, in 2016 the total attendance was  2,462,030 for the Rodeo Season.

This year’s concerts, held immediately after the rodeo each evening feature these artists: Banda El Recodo, Siggno, ZZ Top, Fifth Harmony, Willie Nelson, Thomas Rhett, Luke Bryan, Demi Lovato, Sam Hunt, Alan Jackson, The Chainsmokers, Alicia Keyes, Chris Stapleton, Aaron Watson, Cody Johnson, Zac Brown Band, Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley, Chris Young, Blink-182, and Florida Georgia Line. (Would love to see Alicia Keyes!! But good luck on those tickets/price!).

Oh, there’s also the traditional Bar-B-Que Contest each year before the Rodeo begins to kick off the rodeo and it’s VERY competitive!!! Typically 250 team entrants or so – this year’s Grand Champion Overall, Champion Ribs winner was American Royal Winner – Iowa’s Smokey D’s BBQ, Darren Warth (Chief Cook). The winner gets a belt buckle, trophy and banner.

Before the Rodeo begins there is also a massive Trail Ride and YES, they ride all these horses, carriages, etc. right down the major streets of Houston –  from various starting points and will eventually end up in the parade, which I missed, but it was in early March. It’s quite the site to see in Houston traffic! One of the Trail Riding Teams, Los Vaqueros Rio Grande rides for 333 MILES from Hidalgo, Texas!!! Ouch!!! They began February 25th and arrived March 3rd!!!! My behind hurts even thinking about that trip!!!

Ok, so on to the Livestock show we go….

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Onward! Not near as many cowboy hats this year 😦 but this gentlemen was ready to get his “Texan” on!
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There was row after row of these little piggies waiting to be judged, name a pig breed and it was there!
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Gotta wear your cowgirl clothes! (They were super sweet, cute young ladies)
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Cute little piggie! (I loved the nose)
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Now THOSE are some horns!!   (Not sure about the ring in it’s nose though… I bet his Mama was mad when he came home with a pierced nose and my guess is a tattoo too! 🙂
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I even got to see a calf born about 2 minutes after I got there! (not this cow – I wasn’t gonna bother Mama Cow!)
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And Chickie #18 was born!
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Love the cowgirl boots! Cute! (The little ones are cute to watch and see their excitement!)
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Yes, they are just strolling along the aisle… walking their cows around!
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Time to go outside now little cow.
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These students get their pigs to move by tapping them with these little wands (not hurtful in any way) but very funny to observe and see how well some of the pigs mind their students while some are just not gonna have any part of direction!
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Isn’t she beautiful?! She was just soooo relaxed!!!
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Outside in the parking lot there were like a bazillion cows!!!
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Mr. Cow here was being a bit stubborn!
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This guy reminded me of one of those wrinkly pups and his fur felt like velvet!
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Your animal better be sparkling clean for the judges! Yep, we have Texas Car Washes here 🙂
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Want some Texas style?? Plenty of vendors here!!
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Need those rodeo boots shined?
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Shop ’til ya drop….or go broke!
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Notice what’s hanging from the ceiling?
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All sorts of scholarships are awarded here but they displayed them all in sort of an odd manner, behind glass so it was harder to see the inside artwork which kinda bummed me out a little as I would have liked to have a better visual of the art but still…great job these students do – some are quite phenomenal artists!
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Ya don’t have a cowboy/girl hat???! What???? (Get a rope!! :)) Well, don’t leave without one!!! (In truth, no,  I don’t have any “Cowgirl clothes” except a ridiculous cowboy hat I got at a local thrift store for work for crazy hat day).

Until next time, Cowgirl Elizabeth and Cowpup Max wish ya’ll happy trails 🙂 – (sorry, couldn’t resist being cheesy!)

It’s not Houston without the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo! (Photo overload!!)(Carnival and Food)PART I of II

Every year since 1932, Houston hold’s the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.  Since then, it has given $430 MILLION to Texas kids.

(Taken from The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s website)

2017 EDUCATIONAL COMMITMENT

  • Scholarships: $14,272,000
  • Graduate Assistantships: $525,400
  • Educational Program Grants: $3,614,360
  • Junior Show Exhibitors/Calf Scramble Participants: $7,653,750
  • TOTAL: $26,065,510

“The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo was organized for charitable, educational and scientific purposes to encourage and promote the breeding, raising and marketing of better livestock and farm products at public fairs and to promote and maintain research and educational functions within the livestock industry.”  

This year I just decided to check out the Livestock Show and Carnival and skip the rodeo. My post was filled with so many photos, I broke it down to Food and Carnival, then Part II will be inside the Livestock Show area. No Rodeo photos yet as I’m still undecided.

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$10 will get you entrance to the Houston Livestock Show and the Carnival.  Note:  The gentleman with the black hat is one of MANY volunteers that you’ll find doing various tasks throughout the event – VERY nice of all these folks to volunteer!!!
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Even Reliant Energy (one of our local power companies), gets into the annual event!
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Upon your arrival you can head in the direction of the giant boot or…go to the mega tent with all the food options.  I know it gets crowded fast so….
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A passerby said I HAD to get THEIR funnel cake…well, you know I didn’t want to be rude right?!! I just didn’t have the guts to try the “Fried Desserts”.
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He was telling the truth for sure! Yum! (One Funnel Cake and Coke – $11.00)
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Of course this was another option but I passed on it.
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Yep…Fried EVERYTHING!!!! On to the Carnival next….
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Even the benches are Texas themed!
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You can ride this and be Superman!
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Within the hour everything was packed!! Early bird gets the best Carousel Horse!!
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Seeing the little kids all decked out in their Rodeo gear is the best part!!!

The little kids (and this big kid…me) enjoyed the petting zoo but the Kangaroo is certainly random and not exactly “Texas like” but still – super adorable!!

Cute place to stick your hand under the horses chin to activate the water to wash your hands afterwards (preferably before too) and cute places for photo ops with the kids throughout the event.

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Different local schools compete in all kinds of agricultural projects like this planter box.
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Yes, it’s March 19th and 81 degrees so the flying swings are a good way to cool off.
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Old fashion fun!
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Now we “Texans” don’t typically ride around on camels but…sure is fun for the kids!!
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Yes, the crowds are slowly arriving!
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The Houston Astrodome is right next door! Opened on April 9, 1965 to a sell out crowd of 47,879 for the exhibition game of The Houston Astros vs. The New York Yankees, it was the world’s first multipurpose domed stadium for sports.  It’s often referred to as “The Eight Wonder of The World” but sadly its hey day was over in 1999.The 18 story Dome was also used as a shelter for those displaced by Hurricane Katrina (New Orleans, LA) in 2005 – an estimated 25,000 called it home at that time!  I miss the Dome aka “The House of Pain” back in the day when the Houston Oilers played there! (Yes, I am THAT old :)) Oh, it was also the first sports venue to have artificial turf rather than grass…thus….”Astro Turf”! We had the first animated scoreboard too called “Astrolite”.  The dome is 18 stories high. Mikey Mantle hit the first home run of the Dome too. Judy Garland was the first artist to perform their too for a sum of $43,000 for one show. Just a little Dome trivia thrown in 🙂
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My Ariel shots
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No way would I bungee jump from a crane!!!
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The tea-cup ride is more my speed!

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I wasn’t kidding about Fried EVERYTHING!!!
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Love these cows!!

Stay tuned for PART II and thanks as always for visiting!

Elizabeth and Max

 

 

Doggie Party On The Plaza (Saturday, April 1, 2017 from Noon – 5pm)

My perfect little pup, Max (co-author of this blog), is a rescue dog.  I thank God for him everyday and can’t imagine life without my buddy!!

Every year now for the past 7 years, there’s an event in Houston, Texas called Doggie Party On The Plaza.  This year it’s April 1, 2017 – the 8th event – yea!  If you love dogs,  you have to go and bring your best friend with ya!!

Here are a few of my older photo’s but I hope to make it this year to see all the cuties!!! The “Rescue Me” Parade begins at 2:30pm and the pups and floats are all always adorable!  As usual, Citizen’s For Animal Protection will be there as will Rover Oaks Pet Resort, which are of course personal favorites of mine as without both of them I wouldn’t have my best buddy today..Max!! I try to support them both any time I am able! You can get a FREE 5″x7″ photo of you and your best friend, watch the parade, see what over 80 vendors have to offer, participate in the K9 Costume Contest, visit “Rescue Row” and learn about our city’s various rescue organizations and learn how you can help, get some FREE give-aways, eat, drink, get your face painted, play games, watch demonstrations and just have fun walking around and seeing all the cute pups!!!

P.S.   Just sayin’ Citizen’s For Animal Protection has a link on their site under the DONATE tab where you are able to set up recurring monthly, quarterly or annual donations of ANY amount and I know every cent helps 🙂 or you can do a one time donation. Thank you folks out there that are doing whatever you can to help out in ANY capacity to help Rescues!!

Doggie Party On The Plaza in Houston Texas
Doggie Party On The Plaza in Houston Texas

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Thanks for taking your time to read this and helping these pups!

Max and his Human Elizabeth

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Max says, “Come on out and make some new friends!”

 

 

Do you know who I am? Birding help needed :)

Happy Monday! Whoo Hoo! Does anyone know what this bird is? I found this one (above) at Galveston State Park in Galveston, Texas.

Update:  The pink bird is a Roseate Spoonbill

 

I am new to birding and really a lack of “models” (for practicing photography) is what got me started into birding.  That said, I am really not sure what any of these birds are so if you know, I’d appreciate it if you’d let me know 🙂

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No clue about this bird either??? Help! (Can’t recall if I found this little birdie at Edith Moore Sanctuary or Bear Creek Park but both are in Houston, TX)                                                             UPDATE:  This is a Ruby-crowned Kinglet (female)
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Then there is this unknown little guy I found in Bear Creek Park in Houston, Texas     UPDATE:  This is a Tufted Titmouse

 

Have a happy and beautiful today!

Thanks for stopping by!

Meet Max – My best Valentine!

Max has been a little peeved that he hasn’t had a post yet so this one’s for you Max 🙂

Max is my perfect pup! He’s my “Heart Dog” and best buddy! He has gone through a lot in his life, escaping death, etc. and I thank God for him surviving through it all every day and finding his way into my life!! I couldn’t find a more perfect and wonderful friend!!

Happy Valentine’s Day Max!!

Happy Valentine's Day!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Don't you think this is a good perfume ad photo? Or maybe I should sit beside Matthew McConaughey in one of his car commercials?!
Don’t you think this is a good perfume ad photo? Or maybe I should sit beside Matthew McConaughey in one of his car commercials?!
Max of Houston Photo Journey
“Serenity Now!”
Max of Houston Photo Journey
I’m bored…let’s go to the Dog Park Ma!!
Max The Best Pup In The World
Not too sure about this Ma but give me a treat and snap that box you drag around and let’s bust a move to the Dog Park!

Let's Go Houston Rockets!

Goooo Rockets!

Max of Houston Photo Journey
Do I hear treats being opened??
Cute Max The Best Pup In The World
I’m ready for my close up
Max of Houston Photo Journey
Really Ma?! This is embarrassing!
Max of Houston Photo Journey
I need coffee like Ma gets!!!