The old sugar plantation ruins on Vieques Island, Puerto Rico. I spent about an hour walking through the jungle ruins. It’s hauntingly beautiful, but watch your step. Old vats and cisterns are scattered among the ruins, filled with rain water and a covering of dead leaves, making them hard to spot.
We had a lovely private tour of Bishop’s Palace in Galveston. Bishop’s Palace withstood the great hurricane of 1900, the deadliest hurricane in US history.
The house was built between 1887 and 1893 by Galveston architect Nicholas J. Clayton for lawyer and politician Walter Gresham, his wife Josephine, and their nine children. In 1923 the Roman Catholic Diocese of Galveston purchased the house, and, situated across the street from the Sacred Heart Church, it served as the residence for Bishop Christopher E. Byrne. After the diocesan offices were moved to Houston, the diocese opened the mansion to the public in 1963, with proceeds from tours being used to help fund the Newman Center, operating in the basement, serving Catholic students at the nearby University of Texas Medical Branch. The home is estimated to have cost $250,000 at the time ; today its value is estimated at over $5.5 million.
The house is owned by the Galveston Historical Foundation and self-guided tours are available daily. A portion of each admission supports the preservation and restoration of the property.
I’ve always been fascinated with trains. I think it had something to do with the Boxcar Children books I read as a child. Fried Green Tomatoes had a cool scene of Ruth and Idgy throwing food off an open rail car to homeless people. I grew up 100 feet from a rail road track… it would shake the whole house every time it went by. You got used to it. I learned to count the number of engines to get an idea of how long the train would be. I miss waving at the man in the caboose.
For those living in or around the Houston area, you might be familiar with Railroad Crossing BBQ on Hempstead Road. It’s in an old rail car. Check it out! http://www.rrcbbq.com/