College Station is our midway point on this mind blowing Best of the Road journey. And, as is now all too familiar, we had to leave when three (not even completely full) days had come to an end quite like midnight for poor Cinderella at her ball with the prince.
Only, our time here is far from sweeping hallways and mopping floors!
Day two begins with a fierce 3700 degree start bringing us to TEEX – a training facility for firefighters. Now this entire experience is documented fully in photo and video (where you will see Bob literally on the front line of a fire hose heading back a chemical fire with a crew from South Africa. Video and photos to come) … lets just wait for that because the video will tell the epic tale.
After cooling down in our hotel room (because the Texas heat rivaled that fire) we set out again mid afternoon. Off to Veterans Park, a site with a gigantic pavilion sheltering picnic tables and quite a large stage
We begin a horseback tour of the park, home to memorial sites for all of the wars in which the US has engaged.
Traveling the half mile trail, we pass several bronze sculptures depicting scenes from the various wars. As our tour nears the point of origin – a special surprise is revealed! We are lucky enough to fire an authentic musket with Dr. Louis Hodges who teaches us how to reload gunpowder and pull the hair-pinned trigger. What an honor.
Returning to the pavilion, the party has kicked into full action. With a true guest of honor, Miss Reveille, who greets us upon return. She is the highest ranking cadet at Texas A&M. So deeply rooted in tradition, this lass is in her eighth generation, originally a mixed breed but now a purebred Boarder Collie.
As the sun sets and our appetites rise, we visit food trucks that have come out. Eating shrimp wraps and blue crab sandwiches from locally and nationally famed Chef Tai’s mobile bistro, snow cones from Frost Bite’s Shaved Ice (where we actually invited ourselves into the back of the tuck and learned the magic behind their shaved ice) and tasty treats from Cake Junkie.
As soon as we sat down to enjoy this unreal feast, the Rhythm Rockers take the stage. The contagious line dancing seduces me onto the stage as I join them for a song. These ladies gather once a week to have fun and get loose; as they love to say, “we’re not here for a long time, we’re here for a good time!”
Next, the talented Lil’ Wranglers and Aggie Elites take the stage showing off impressive lifts and partner moves bring the whole pavilion to their feet! These young dancers are heading into a career of starlight! Such a splendid night of dancing, great food, and phenomenal company.
As the sun reaches the horizon, I head over to the horse trailers where the folks from Still Creek Children’s Ranch are beginning to organize the trailer for the horses. I linger about with dreams of getting back in the saddle again. I long for the chance to ride one of the beautiful horses they brought out that night. As a horse enthuaist and former rider (well, I should have some sort of amateur disclaimer along with that) I put my flip flopped foot into the stirrup of the saddle and swing myself atop of C.C. (short for Colonel Cloud), 22 years old 16.5 hand tall beauty who takes me quite literally off into the sunset. Our ride was far too brief but we reach a trot and canter within the grass fields surrounding the pavilion.
Unfortunately we didn’t have the chance to visit Still Creek Children’s Ranch – home to the wonderful young men, women, and horses who joined us this night. BUT, Please Please visit their website http://www.stillcreekranch.org/
Their organization strives to provide a safe home for disadvantaged children and youth who find themselves without a place to call home. To meet individuals behind such an essential cause rises deep inspiration. Thank you Still Creek.
June 30th (Bob’s birthday) rings in with a must visit breakfast at Hullabaloo. Their fantastic food must be enjoyed in person. We are treated to an assortment of pies and sweets. My personal favorite: the key-lime pie. Mayor Nancy Berry proclaims the day “Bob and Jen Day” and Bob is presented with handmade birthday cards and a framed photo from the youth at Benjamin Knox Summer Campers. As unforgettable as the gestures are thoughtful. Much thanks.
Signing in at the Texas World Speedway, we put on wrist bands, signed wavers and the action seemed to be moving as quickly as the roaring cars on the course. Moments later we jump into Z06 Corvettes and reach speeds of over 130MPH on this infamous track. WOOOW and WOOP. Crazy experience and spectacular drivers.
Concluding the evening we hit the night scene and club district of Northgate. Starting first at the Dixie Chicken we enjoy home made cupcakes in honor of Bob’s bday, beers and the Aggie traditions continue. Next door is a bar that only serves shots, quite a dangerous alley kitchen style joint and we take down several tasty 1.5oz liquid concoctions there. We visit bottle-cap alley, where much to the description of the name, bottle caps have been scattered like gravel for generations.
Dancing into the night we bar hop along the district! Now that was a birthday celebration in STYLE!
Many of these photos were taken by Mike Neu with the City of College Statin. thanks to the great city of College Station and the Bryan-College Station CVB who all worked together in helping put together this adventure. Cheers to you. For more photos visit their flickr site: http://www.flickr.com/photos/collegestation/sets/72157630372558876/