Spirit Pieces-Memories, Remember Through Art in Austin, Texas

“Nothing is certain except death and taxes.” – Benjamin Franklin
So, today let’s talk about death…sort of…everyone has their own feelings about this, etc. but today I wanted to show you what David Blake at Spirit Pieces in Austin, Texas does to help those who are left behind.  You see, David creates beautiful art using the cremation remains of loved ones to honor and remember them.  I LOVE this idea!! While I didn’t have time at the moment to meet David in person, he was kind enough to agree to an email type of interview – thanks David! Ok, on with the interview!…(My questions in black, Mr. Blake’s responses are in blue). 
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Mr. David Blake of Spirit Pieces

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Dick’s Classic Garage Car Museum in San Marcos, Texas (DISCOUNT OFFER INSIDE!)

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Welcome to a car lovers fantasy!

While browsing online, I came across Dick’s Classic Garage Car Museum in San Marcos, Texas.  It looked so interesting that I reached out to the Museum Curator, Mr. Thom Fortney to learn more and arrange a visit.  Mr. Fortney was so unbelievably kind and helpful – I can’t thank him enough!

I really was impressed to learn they also offer FREE school tours! Nice to see them doing that to benefit our youth!

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You’ll find knowledgeable, friendly staff members like Ms.  Amanda Bird ready to answer any of your questions.

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Welcome to Bellville Texas – Home of Newman’s Bakery and a Castle?? (SPECIAL OFFER FOR HOUSTON PHOTO JOURNEY READERS!)

(Photo above:  Kim Bolin Auman with Tom and Joy Bolin)

My Dad told me about Newman’s Bakery and  the castle years ago! May 26th I finally got to see it for myself!!

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Tucked away in a small city, about a hour’s drive from Downtown Houston, in Bellville, Texas you’ll find two hidden gems…we’ll talk about  Newman’s Bakery first : ) .  

Bellville is a small city of around 4,100 residents and is the county seat for Austin County, Texas.  (See below for special offer for Houston Photo Journey readers!)

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Bridgeland’s Farmers Market – 2nd Sunday Of Each Month (Rain or Shine!) 10% Discount Offers Inside! :)

Photo Above:  Balakrishna, Vemuru, Sushma, Murali and Ramadu with Gage Lydahl of Atkinson Farms

I had no idea there was a Farmer’s Market near me until I received an email from Ms. Leah Stapleton of the SPR Agency telling me about it.  Why not check it out 🙂 .  I try not to shop/buy while getting posts ready, but I confess to leaving with 2 buckets of yummy tomatoes from Atkinson Farms 🙂 – yum!

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Tim and Mary King – The Royalty of BBQ Sauce at King of the Pit Bar-B-Que Sauce

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Matthew Brantley of BZ Honey

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Old Town Spring – Full of Quaint, Fun Shops and Eateries in Spring, Texas (SAVE UP TO 20% OFF!!!) Just Mention Houston Photo Journey!

Old Town Spring is an area not far from Houston, Texas…actually, it’s in Spring, Texas but these quaint shops are all grouped in an area we call “Old Town Spring” it’s sort of like stepping back in time when visiting.  It’s always a fun time visiting. Here’s a little taste of what it has to offer… (KEEP READING FOR MULTIPLE DISCOUNT OFFERS FOR HOUSTON PHOTO JOURNEY READERS!!! 🙂 – Plan ahead and do some early holiday shopping with these discount offers! ) 

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Meet the lovely Chanell Lauxman and her sidekick Clyde of Connie’s Bath Shack

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German Gift House in Spring, Texas – How One Woman Accomplished Her Dreams!

Allow me to introduce Mrs. Ursula Sledge.  Mrs. Sledge is from Hannover, Germany. She fell in love and moved here with her American husband.  Her story is interesting as she managed to make her dreams a reality and I love that!!  Ursula was once a customer at the German Gift House and fell in love with it.  When Mrs. Sledge learned the owners wished to retire and sell the shop she enjoyed visiting so much, she and a friend decided to buy it! That was in 2008.  By 2011,  Mrs. Sledge became the sole proprietor!  What a great story of turning your passions and dreams into reality – living “The American Dream”!   (READ FURTHER FOR 10% DISCOUNT)

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“We have a wide variety of German-made or Germany related items. Everybody can find something here. The collector finds unique hand-made German collectibles.”

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Houston Underground Tunnels – My Tour With Houston Historical Tours! (Highly Recommend!)

Traveling to Houston for the first time – wonder why there aren’t more people walking around downtown??? Well, the answer most likely is that they are walking 20 feet below the sidewalks, underground in the 7 miles of underground tunnel systems – 95 city blocks!  

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A More Detailed Tunnel Map
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Houston City Hall

I began my tour with Mr. Keith Rosen of Houston Historical Tours in front of City Hall. You truly can’t image the incredible wealth of knowledge about Houston that Mr. Rosen possesses!!! Dates, fun facts, history and humor are what made this tour absolutely SPECTACULAR and fun!!! I would HIGHLY recommend Houston Historical Tours.  (I have zero affiliation, etc. with them-just my 100% honest review)

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My fun tour group in front of the San Felipe Cottage (1868), in Sam Houston Park – no, I didn’t just see the tunnels! 🙂 but I wouldn’t want to spoil your Houston tour so not telling all I learned on the tour 🙂 – but it was a lot!! 🙂 

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See anything special about this building? I’ve gone past it so many times…it’s the giant T for Texaco!!
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The tunnels are easy to get lost in and you’ll crack up listening to more stories from Mr. Rosen! He rescued a few lost, grateful folks during our tour.
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Each tunnel segment is quite different from the next based on the time it was built and added to the tunnel system!
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It wasn’t packed with people as it was Good Friday, but pretty cool discovering underground Houston right?!
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Notice the difference in flooring and walls throughout (see above 2 for comparison)!
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If this were noon, Monday-Friday on a regular work week it would be jam packed!
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Aren’t all the different aspects of the Houston Tunnels wonderful?!

(YouTube by Fox 26 Houston)

Let’s face it…Houston is HOT – I swear it gets to 200F degrees!! Ok, I’m slightly exaggerating but 100F degrees happens plenty of times!!! I know when I worked downtown, that’s where I would be! Everything from restaurants, dry cleaners, dentist offices, shops – you name it – all can be found underground. 500+ businesses and 10 food courts await your arrival!

The tunnels were underwater due to Tropical Storm Allison in 2001 but have since had special doors, etc. installed to prevent a repeat performance.

I knew Tunnel Tours existed and reached out to Mr. Phil Stewart who is the President of the Professional Tour Guide Association of Houston and Owner of Discovery Tours. Although Mr. Stewart is not offering Tunnel Tours, he was kind enough to refer those interested to both Urban Adventures and Houston Historical Tours. I emailed both and Mr. Keith Rosen of Houston Historical Tours responded right away to offer his assistance in providing me photos as I can never seem to take the tour as I work during the week. As luck would have it though, I was off for Good Friday so guess what? Yes!!! I  got to take the Houston Historical Tours – Tunnel Tour!!!

In researching a little before my tour, I learned Mr. Rosen of Houston Historical Tours has been conducting tours in Houston since 1985.  He was also a Professor of History and Government with Houston Community College and has been either selected/nominated for Teacher of The Year four times! Pretty good credentials I’d say!!

Note:  If you are visiting without a tour, please be aware the tunnel system is only open Monday-Friday 6am-6pm!

Discover Houston Tours, LLC can be reached at (713) 222-9255

Houston Historical Tours at (713) 392-0867 (See their website for Monthly Specials!)   “Houston Historical Tours offers three different 2.5 hour tunnel tours that in totality cover the vast majority of the tunnels.  They range from 2.5 to 3.5 miles.  Tour A goes into several historic buildings as we see and learn about the interiors.  It has the least amount of walking.  Tour B has the most variety with sky bridges an observation deck, and the most visual stimuli of different buildings.  Tour C goes through long corridors and into hotels and businesses.  It has the most walking.”

 Every individual who prints and gives us a copy of this blog post to Houston Historical Tours will receive a:

$$$$   20% discount!!!  $$$$

 

(Courtesy of Mr. Keith Rosen of Houston Historical Tours)

Thanks for stopping by! I always love to read your comments!! I’d rate Houston Historical Tours as 5 stars easily, no question!!

Elizabeth and Best Pup in the World…Max 🙂

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I’m doing investigative research for Ma!