Russian General Store in Houston, Texas

Today I had the pleasure of entering the Russian General store in Houston, Texas and having the chance to sit down and speak with Mr. Alexander Kogan while his business partner, Ms. Anna Levitin tended to the business, they have shared for over 20 years! Ms. Levitin is a bit shy and didn’t wish to be photographed, although you’ll have to trust me that she is quite the attractive lady!  Smart as a whip too according to Mr. Kogan! I think he feels a bit badly that she’s been taking on so much more than her fair share of the work load since he became ill as he mentioned his gratitude more than once toward Ms. Anna Levitin.  Very touching to see these two friends in business together still after so many years.  What a team!

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Mr. Alexander Kogan – Partner/Owner of The Russian General Store
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Rhea’s Ice Cream in San Marcos, Texas – Get Your Crazy, Fun Flavor On!

Like the idea of crazy flavored ice cream? Then this is your place! Rhea’s Ice Cream in San Marcos is a tiny, cute ice cream shop in the heart of San Marcos surrounded by other quaint shops, restaurants and fun stores to explore. (You can always search this blog in the SEARCH box on the right side for Things to do in San Marcos, etc. so you can help plan your visit).

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Hays Co. Bar-B-Que in San Marcos, Texas and NEW …. Hays Co. Burgers and BBQ in Martindale, Texas (5 Stars for both!!)

Since I was making a day trip to  Dick’s Classic Garage Car Museum in San Marcos, Texas, I asked the Curator, Mr. Thom Fortney a good place to eat lunch nearby.  He suggested Hays County Bar-B-Que & Catering. Wow….GREAT recommendation Thom!!! Thanks!!

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Upon my arrival to a rather simple looking restaurant, I see these two beautiful ladies leaving, (I asked and they confirmed it was a thumbs up BBQ joint!) …if it’s good enough for 2 Beauty Queens…

 

 

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Newman’s Castle in Bellville, Texas as promised :)

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Ok, so we got our coffee and apple fritter….next it’s was on to see Newman’s Castle!!

To see it though, you’ll need to call Newman’s Bakery at 979-865-9804 to book your tour. The day of the tour, you’ll meet up at Newman’s Bakery around 10:15 am.  Why not go a little early and taste one of Newman’s Bakery donuts, danishes, Quiche, pigs in a blanket, cinnamon roles or choose from whatever grabs you from the display case and if you’re like me – a large coffee! (Remember to mention Houston Photo Journey at the Bakery and you’ll get 2 FREE Pastries with your purchase!)

Chuck Norris even filmed a Russian beer (Hoegaarden) at Newman’s Castle (See at end of post)

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Who WOULDN’T want to have their very own castle?!! It’s beautiful!! Mr. Newman began building the castle in 1998.  Today it’s a Bellville landmark.  The moat completely surrounds Newman’s Castle and it’s believed that this is the only Castle with a moat fully encasing a castle in the USA.  It’s truly a sight to behold!!!

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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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It all started with an Elementary School Principal…What’s happening June 22-25 in Luling, Texas???

I recently drove through Luling, Texas on my way to San Marcos so I looked around a little bit….who knew… 

Watermelons are more than 90% water. Watermelon’s are a VEGETABLE (not a fruit)!

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In 1954, school Principal, Mr. Hermon Allen of Luling Elementary School decided a Watermelon Thump would be a wonderful way to honor and promote Luling Watermelon growers. Little did Mr. Allen know that his idea would stick for 64 years with no end in sight!! Each year visitors flocking to the 4-day Festival outnumber Luling’s residents by about 6 to 1!! This year, the 64th Annual Watermelon Thump Festival from Thursday, June 22nd through Sunday, June 25th . 

What’s there to do at the Watermelon Thump Festival?? Carnival, Kiddie Rides, Live Music, Food Booths, Exhibitors Market, Beer Garden, Mechanical Bull Riding, Champion Watermelon Judging, dancing, Selection of the Thump Queen, Seed Spitting Contest, Magicians, Ventriloquist, Watermelon Eating Contests, Arts and Crafts Competitions, Jugglers, a Veteran’s Tribute and finally a Car Show!

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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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