I’m so blessed to have such a wonderful daughter and her equally fantastic hubby!!! We hadn’t had a chance to sit down to catch up lately, so they decided take me to a fabulous breakfast this past Saturday. We met up at Breakfast Brunch Cafe at 9955 Barker Cypress Road Suite 110, Cypress, TX 77433 Continue reading “Breakfast Brunch Cafe Fun and The BP MS 150 Bike Ride From Houston to Austin!”
(Photo Above: Shivam Babu Enjoying the Armadillos)
April 29th, 2017 was the 10th Annual Bridgeland Nature Fest in Cypress, Texas. What a great day despite looking like rain a large portion of the day! So glad I decided to risk the rain and go! They had super fast shuttle service available at the Cy-Ranch High School and admission/parking were FREE!
Exiting the Shuttle bus, This was what welcomed us festival visitors.
Liked these colorful pieces from the Austin Bike Zoo.
There were a TON of Food Truck Caravans!! You wouldn’t go hungry here (although broke and gaining weight is not looking good 🙂 ) !!
Next time I am checking out the Waffle Bus’s food – looks good!
Not bad prices for festival eats!
The residence of Bridgeland community have plenty to do on a daily basis!
Texas seems to be home of the Armadillo’s – they even had Armadillo Races!!!
I liked being able to touch one, just like this curious little festival goer!
What’s a festival without a train for the kiddos!
Let’s help out our nature friends and build them a bird house 🙂
This is the stage where guests sat on both chairs and hay bales. They had a wonderful line up of presenters!!!
HEB grocery store was there handing out free cupcakes! Nice!
How can you resist wanting to hold this cute little roo!
I loved those dark, intense eyes!
Sorry, I forget what this one is called – if you know, please tell me!
Here we have the South American King Vulture, a scavenger that feed on the dead, thus preventing disease spread by disposing of decaying remains…If I saw one near me too close, they’d probably get their next meal from ME after I had heart failure!
Their colors are magnificent though!!
The females will just lay one single egg that both parents incubate.
You get Blog bonus points if you can tell me what this one is! Pretty sure it’s a Falcon.
May as well cover all the vultures – this is an African White Backed Vulture
He just LOOKS hungry…and scary!
The Great Horned Owl
What a beautiful creature! Love those eyes!!!
If you know me, you know I am DEATHLY afraid of snakes…but guess what this is NOT a snake, but rather a lizard! I touched it (barely!) (baby steps!) 🙂
All the kids and their adult people 🙂 were having a blast! The rock climbing looked almost safe enough for me to attempt 🙂
Plenty of inflatable bouncy house type of activities for the kids!
What kid (or adult for that matter) doesn’t want to go exploring on the Fire Engine!
Chick-fil-a and Wild Things Zoofari were there on stage doing line dances and tossing out t-shirts and stuffed animals
I’d have been happy with them throwing some Chick-fil-a sandwiches to us all 🙂 (I love that place!)
It really was a good day for kite flying too!
There was also what I will call a “Living Tree” wandering around.
She really DID blend in with the tree!
If I had on this make-up I would be tearing my face off! My skin just can’t tolerate face make-up (I learned this as a clown the hard way one year!!) Photo: 2 year old Hailey grabs the bubble
Little Hailey in the white,polkadot romper was the cutest little baby ever and was having the time of her life chasing after the bubbles!!!
Stayed tuned folks…more coming up including…..
Jeff Corwin, “Jeff is an American wildlife biologist and nature conservationist known as the host and executive producer of the Animal Planet television programs “The Jeff Corwin Experience” and “Corwin’s Quest.”
Thanks as always for your support of Houston Photo Journey!!
Elizabeth and Max
Today’s post is all about Birds of Prey! While at the San Jacinto Day festival, I was privileged to witness a demonstration on Birds of Prey graciously put on by the San Antonio based, nonprofit organization – Last Chance Forever. They are “dedicated to the rehabilitation of sick, injured and orphaned birds of prey, scientific investigation, and also just as importantly, the education of the public” (source: LastChanceForever.org).
The show was definitely *****5 Stars worthy!!!!
Photo: Ms. Kelly Rayner, Program Coordinator-Last Chance Forever, San Antonio,TX (Holding a Northern Crested Caracara). You can really see the huge talons and wing strength!
Photo: Northern Crested Caracara – What a truly beautiful bird! According to Rapture Technician, Mr. Ian Joplin, (and lifesaver for this article!), the Caracara’s are very intelligent birds that can hunt and eat carrion, sometimes incorrectly referred to as a Mexican Eagle.
The trust level these birds have for both Ms. Rayner and Mr. Schmid is amazing as they showed us the bird’s release and immediate return back to both handlers.
Photo: Ms. Kelly Rayner (Left)(Holding a A juvenile Bay-winged Hawk or Harris’ Hawk, both names are accepted) and Mr. Robert Schmid, Volunteer for Last Chance Forever (Right)
Photo: Here we a close up of the stunning juvenile Bay-winged Hawk/Harris’ Hawk
This is a hybrid falcon, a cross between a Sakar Lanner and a Lanner Falcon
Photo: This hybrid falcon, a cross between a Sakar Lanner and a Lanner Falconlitte was too cute!
I wanted to give you a perspective on the size of this Barred Owl
What a truly remarkable and stunning bird!!! Isn’t it just magnificent!!!!
This Barred Owl was just so captivating to look at I HAD to get a close up!
This red phase Eastern Screech Owl, (the red is a recessive trait to more common gray phase) was the cutest little thing ever!!!
Look at the HUGE size of this magnificent Golden Eagle!
Gorgeous isn’t it? What a rare opportunity for those of us in the audience to see such a bird!
The Golden Eagle (above)
Stunning isn’t it!
So glad I was able to see this unbelievable demonstration!! I was sad to say goodbye to the Golden Eagle!
Note: If you would like to donate to this worthy cause or volunteer in some capacity, please contact info@LastChanceForever.org or visit their website at www.LastChanceForever.Org. Here’s an interesting article if you’d like to read more.
HUGE shout out of thanks to Mr. Ian Joplin, Rapture Technician, who helped make sure I was labeling the birds of prey photos correctly!
Thanks for your feedback! Max and I always love to hear your thoughts!
Elizabeth and Max
Above Photo: (Left to Right) Jose Castro (Owner and First Trumpet), Armando Sanchez (Singer and Violin), Javier Hernandez (Guitarron or Big Guitar), and Oswaldo Garcia (Vihuela).
If you live in Houston, most likely you know a thing or two about Mariachi bands! Mariachi Mensajeros De Mi Tierra performed at the San Jacinto Day Festival and opened with one of my all time favorites, “cielito lindo” and they did a fantastic job! You will typically see the mariachi bands sporting their “charros” attire, as they are here – which basically translates to traditional horseman outfits 🙂 .
Photo: Jose Castro (Owner and First Trumpet), Armando Sanchez (Signer and Violin), Javier Hernandez (Guitarron or Big Guitar)
Within seconds of opening – the Mariachi Mensajeros De Mi Tierra had the crowd singing along to Cielito Lindo, (myself included and attempting – I’m certain unsuccessfully, to sing the correct Spanish words 🙂 )
Photo Source: Generously provided by Mariachi Mensajeros de mi Tierra
Names: Elmer Benavides (Second Trumpet,) Jose Castro (First Trumpet,) Armando Sanchez (Violin,) Javier Hernandez (Guitarron or Big Guitar,) Oswaldo Garcia (Vihuela,) Bryan Quinteros (Guitar,) and Manuel Perez (Guitar.)
Note: A special thank you to Ms. Patino for her assistance!
Photo: Armando Sanchez (Singer & Violin)
You could just listen to this gentleman belt it out and feel how much he loves playing for the crowd and singing! He was great!
Photo: (Left to Right) Jose Castro (Owner and First Trumpet), Armando Sanchez (Singer & Violin), Javier Hernandez (Guitarron or Big Guitar).
I didn’t have a video camera with me so here is one of their YouTube videos below! Enjoy!
Source: YouTube Busca mas de Mariachi Mensajeros de mi Tierra
If you would like to book Mariachi Mensajeros De Mi Tierra for your next event, please contact them at Phone Number: 832-718-2440
Photo Source: Generously provided by Mariachi Mensajeros de mi Tierra
In case you are curious, here are the words to “Cielito Lindo” in Spanish and English as I never bothered to know the words to the Spanish song I like so much, I thought I’d share 🙂 “what I learned today” just like my friend over at Colors Of My Life!
|Spanish||Literal English translation|
|De la Sierra Morena,
cielito lindo, vienen bajando,
Un par de ojitos negros,
cielito lindo, de contrabando.Estribillo:Ay, ay, ay, ay,
Canta y no llores,
Porque cantando se alegran,
cielito lindo, los corazones.
Pájaro que abandona,
Ese lunar que tienes,
Una flecha en el aire,
|From Sierra Morena,
Pretty darling, coming down are
A pair of little black eyes,
Pretty darling, sneaking by.Refrain:Ah, ah, ah, ah,
Sing and don’t cry,
Because sing they get happy,
Pretty darling, the hearts.
A bird that abandons,
That mole that you have
An arrow in the air
Thanks for stopping by! You are appreciated greatly!
We’re coming to a close on my San Jacinto Day Festival and Battle Reenactment series…today we see the reenactment of the Battle of San Jacinto…CHARGE!!! (ok, that was for dramatic effect!!) – (of course “CHARGE” could also be something I could do if the man in my life wants to buy me a new camera lens and wants to hand over his credit card)…humm think I’m onto something here! Ok, well anyway….
I loved seeing the crowds heading to see the reenactment of the Battle of San Jacinto – this little boy was just the cutest ever!
Before the reenactment took place you were able to visit the camps of both sides of the battle.
These people are all volunteers so a big thank you to them all!
The Mexican Army is gearing up for the battle!
You can see the massive crowds in the background starting to gather and the cannon the Mexican Army would soon fire!
The Texan’s were leaving and crying out “The Mexican’s Are Coming!”
But it wouldn’t be long before the Texian Army regained their footing and kicked booty!
“Don’t Mess With Texas!” 🙂 The Texian Army was getting ready to attack while the Mexican Army had their afternoon siesta.
General Antonio López de Santa Anna’s Mexican army would soon be in a battle that lasted just 18 minutes – think about it…I can put together an entire Hamburger Helper meal in 18 minutes and make muffins! (yes, I am quite the cook…NOT!)
The Mexican Army just was not prepared for the Texian Army! (That’s why there’s a slogan “Texas Tough”!)
The Texian Army might have been a rather unorganized crew but they pulled it off!
The Texian Army of about 800 would charge and defeat the Mexican Army of around 1,500 shouting “Remember the Alamo!” (Note: Do you know that Ozzy Ozbourne once urinated on the Alamo? ..actually he peed on the Alamo Cenotaph which is nearby – I AM here to tell you about our fascinating history after all! 🙂 – oh, that was in 1982 by the way and the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836 (peeing in public was probably ok back then but not there!!)
Based on Sam Houston’s reporting, 630 Mexican Army members were killed and 730 taken prisoner. The Texian Army lost just nine. (Above is the Mexican Army trying to defend themselves against the Texians).
General Antonio López de Santa Anna would later be captured and taken prisoner as the Texian Army won. In exchange for Santa Anna’s freedom he signed a treaty recognizing Texas’ independence. So there ya have it – Texas History! 🙂
Source: YouTube posted by NYCYankInTexas
Thanks so very much for all of your comments/feedback, etc. as me and Max really appreciate it!!!
Elizabeth and Max
I was fortunate enough to meet Mr. Allen Mack, Founder of The Living History Foundation during my recent visit to the San Jacinto Day Festival. Mr. Mack, there on behalf of the Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Buffalo Soldiers Heritage and Outreach Department. What a master storyteller, effortlessly holding the interest of the festival visitor’s attention by staying in character as a Buffalo Soldier back in that time period. Mr. Mack managed to teach us so much about the Buffalo Soldiers history and lives in a fun and engaging manner – obviously, I became quite interested!
Photo: Mr. Allen Mack
In to speaking more with Mr. Mack, I discovered his passion for history and his creation of The Living History Foundation. The goal of the foundation “is to inspire children and adults alike to learn about the accomplishments people of color made in the building of this great nation.”
“Our history is a mixture of many things with ancestors who did things right and those who made mistakes just as we do today. We should be proud of who we are, proud of the ancestors we descended from and the heritage we have to pass on to our children and their children. One by one, our grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts, cousins, brothers, sisters and friends are moving out of our lives, they take with them the very history and knowledge we seek to preserve. We believe there is nothing more important than to approach history with a purpose and portray it as true and close to real life as possible. Without your support none of this would be possible; our sincerest hope is that you see the value in what we do and join us in representing those people and times who came before us. To find out how you can help make a difference by either volunteering or make a donation contact the Living History Foundation at (512) 578-6267.”
(Source: The Living History Foundation – Facebook@livinghistoryfoundation)
Photo: Nina Simone (Left), Leon Spinks (Right) Source: Facebook@livinghistoryfoundaton
Mr. Mack will teach you things about all kinds of people from Nina Simone and her autobiography quote of “If I had to be called something, it should have been a folk singer because there was more folk and blues than jazz in my playing” – to Leon Spinks, the Light Heavyweight Olympic Gold medal winner of the 1976 Olympics – to the history of the Buffalo Soldiers.
Photo: Mr. Allen Mack, (Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Buffalo Soldiers Heritage and Outreach Department) during The San Jacinto Day Festival and Reenactment
I asked Mr. Mack if he would be kind enough to answer a few questions…
Houston Photo Journey: I really loved your various demonstrations of how coffee would have been made back then and other stories and appreciated how you stayed in character depicting life as a Buffalo Soldier. What led to your involvement with The Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Buffalo Soldiers Heritage and Outreach Department and The Living History Foundation?
Mr. Mack: When in school I liked history but I didn’t love history, I couldn’t relate because when I looked in the history book to a larger extent, I didn’t see people like me in it. And once I found out we did play a big part in the founding of this country and world, it opened a flood gate, I wanted to know more. Now I just want to share what I have learned with whoever will listen.
Houston Photo Journey: What influenced your decision to begin The Living History Foundation and what are your hopes for its future?
Mr. Mack: I believe everyone has a calling and when I look back at what I have done in my life it has been leading me to this point. I founded this origination to inspire our youth and the young at heart to start to think about themselves and the world differently.
I end most of my programs with this, “what I see when I’m standing in front of a group of students are Buffalo Soldiers and it doesn’t matter if you are black or if you are male. What I see are young Buffalo Soldiers looking at where they can be (standing where I am) 10 to 15 years from now talking to the next group of young Buffalo Soldiers telling them where they can be (standing where I am) 10 to 15 years from them.”
None of this will happen without your support, between Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Living History Foundation we have close to a hundred programs scheduled for this year. All we ask is help however you can, contact me at 512 578-6267 or email@example.com and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/livinghistoryfoundation.
Houston Photo Journey: Would you like to add anything else?
Mr. Mack: We are also in the process of forming an Honor Guard to honor our fallen veterans, follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/lhfhonorguard. Keep an eye out our website will be up soon.
Preparing the Child. . .Preserving a Legacy
The Living History Foundation.
Thanks for taking the time out of your day to read – hope you enjoyed learning about some of the interesting people you’ll always meet in the Houston area!
Elizabeth and Max (Max wanted to share his soldier picture)
Photo Above: (Left) Eheca – Chikawa Aztec Dance. (Right) Javier Herrera – Danza Azteca Taxcayollotl
We are back at it again…STILL posting about our day at the San Jacinto Day Festival! Wow…lots to cover!!!
Several Danza Azteca groups performed, but I met the two above, Eheca and Javier prior to their show for a few photos. Sadly, their names were the only ones I wrote down before it became too hectic. I have to say, the extreme passion shown by Mr. Herrera for the dance was beautifully touching!!
Photo: (Above) Mr. Javier Herrera – Danza Azteca Taxcayollotl
Without a doubt, respect was shown to/by the dancers indigenous traditions – I’m sure their families are all quite proud as they should be!
More cool stuff to follow so “stay tuned” … we’ll see more about The Buffalo Soldiers, Hawks, a Golden Eagle, Screech Owl and more!!
Thanks for stopping by!
Elizabeth and Max
P.S. Don’t forget about the Houston Press BrewFest 2017 May 20th, 2017
As promised, here is Part II of the San Jacinto Day Festival and Battle Reenactment event yours truly attended on Saturday, May 22, 2017. I stepped back in time to April 21, 1836 for the Battle of San Jacinto…General Sam Houston led the Texian Army to fight and defeat General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna’s Mexican Army. The fight lasted just 18 minutes. Good thing for ME I am not THAT old, as I couldn’t stand the thought of no air conditioning! Ok, on to the fun stuff….photos!
Photo: The Taylor Family
I met this charming, beautiful family standing beside the “Flags of Texas”. Please help me welcome our newest Houstonians from Malaysia! They are already following the blog here so please extend them a warm Houston and blogger world welcome!
All the little ones were having a blast with their train whistles riding the San Jacinto Day Express!
There were TONS and TONS of food and drink vendors – variety out the ying yang!!
Photo Above: Oscar and Suzi Aleman
Above Photo: Charles Lara of Bandera, TX (President, Alamo Legacy And Missions Association Inc.) at the Black Beaver Trading Company (right) and Paul Washington (Buffalo Soldiers National Museum) (left).
I’ll leave you – JUST for TODAY 🙂 with a photo of all the ongoing activities during the San Jacinto Day Festival and Battle reenactment so you can understand why this will be a multi-post event!
Thank you so much for reading and your support of Houston Photo Journey!! Welcome to Houston – Taylor family!!!
See ya and “stay tuned” for more of the San Jacinto Day Festival!
Elizabeth and Max (who is equally as happy we weren’t around in 1836-he’s a lover not a fighter! and definitely is NOT used to “ruffing it”!)
P.S. Late breaking news….. 🙂 … for the Houston Beer Drinking Crowds 🙂 🙂
Houston Press has just let me know about this limited time special for BrewFest 2017 “while supplies last” 🙂 ….
BEER ME PACK: Beer Me Pack includes 4 General Admission Tickets for $100 ($25 per ticket) – $40 Savings! All General Admission Tickets includes access into the event, entertainment and craft beer sampling – Eight (3oz) beer samples are included in the ticket price. Additional drink samples are available for purchase.
(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”!!
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!
What child wouldn’t be entranced by Mama Goose reading them a story?! I just personally, really loved Mama’s positive energy and passion!
UPDATE: From Mama Goose (##mamagoose), “How do we help children develop a love for reading? One nursery rhyme at a time. How do we capture the brilliance of their imagination? One picture at a time. Mama Goose grew up with Mother Goose nursery rhymes as a child. The classic style and simplicity of life taught her valuable lessons, as well as a spark for reading. Mama Goose grew up in the United States of America and wanted to share with the world traditions, values, and concepts that are germane to the U.S.A. Mama Goose is not a fictitious character; she is as real as the air we breathe. She’s a potpourri of Mary Poppins, Mother Teresa, and Willie Wonka all rolled into one. Get ready for a magical journey of nursery rhymes that are sure to inspire any child to fall in love with books.”
Ok, so far we have the Lewis square dancing couple and Mama Goose… gosh, I barely got off the shuttle and into the festival!
The San Jacinto Monument (click link at beginning of post to read more about the day and history-no sense in me retyping it :))
The crowds were fun and lots of families were out enjoying one of our great weather days!
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.
(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!