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As I had mentioned last weekend, the annual event held in the month of October is the Texas Jazz Festival. Inside the program this year they devoted a couple of pages to the history of the event. Shown here from scanning my program. It all began back in 1959 where a few Del Mar College students who were members of the Jazz Club requested several musicians to come entertain the students...turning into 150 or more attending. A month later...more entertaining at the Student Union with over 350 in attendance to hear Jazz. Hence it's grown. This year, 2009, the Festival had a record breaking total in attendance. And the last five years we've gone....we've never been disappointed. It's held outdoors, at Heritage park. And luckily enough the weather was perfect. There have been rainy weekends at times, but that doesn't stop us Jazz lovers. The musicians now come from all over the state of Texas and there are three stages where at one given time all three have bands, singers and great entertainment. Below are a few of the photos I took of different stages while we were there this past Sunday. Along with the program cover of which I scanned the history above---
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Yesterday, just after sunrise, Bud and I left for a short [but what seemed to take forEVER getting there] trip to the border town of Brownsville, Texas. [South West where the Rio Grande River dumps into the Gulf of Mexico]. We've been as far as Harlingen, Texas before, but we've never driven to the Rio Grande. Guess what? We didnt' make it to the Rio Grande River this time either. We went there for a couple of reasons. To visit the one lighthouse and its museum near South Padre Island over the causeway and into Port Isabel, Texas. And then go to the largest zoo in this area of Texas. Well, while driving the desert Southwest [They call it Texas Tropical Trail, but it's more reminiscent of the Interstate Hwy 19 that goes south from Tucson Arizona to Nogales Old Mexico...sage, cactus and dirt!]...you know you're getting close to Harlingen when the divided highway is lined with tall, stately palm trees on each side and in the middle!! LOL -- that's when the tropics begin to show. Anyway, what makes the drive long for us is for the fact there are many many little towns in between where you have to slow down to 55 MPH and if it's a weekday, some towns have you slow down to thirty-five MPH!!! Ugh! I was driving, and I have a heavy foot! It's torture. LOL So, the drive is about two and a half hours from our home to the town of Brownsville. By the time we arrived it was BREAKFAST! Yay...food. Just food, and eating out of boredom from that long stretch of highway. [By the way, if you ever have the opportunity to drive #77 ---take it easy and OBEY the laws!!!! State Troopers, Sheriff's Deputies, County Constables, and USA Border Patrol all have the right to pull you over!] And they do!! Trust me. [Not to mention coming back...there is a Federal Border Inspection for each vehicle -of any kind- for illegal immigrants! And that takes a lot of time off your schedule as they check everyone's trunks...backs of cars, buses and semi-trucks for drug smugglers and smuggling Mexicans across the border.] After breakfast at a Denny's, we decided to go to the zoo first. We'd never been! And I've been to several zoos across the USA...San Diego's Balboa Park and Zoo, Denver's Zoo, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs, St. Louis Zoo, San Antonio Zoo, Tucson Zoos [there are two there...one at Reid Park and another on the west side of the mountain ranges...the Outdoor Museum with Desert Animals], even the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. ---and this little berg in Southwest Texas has by far the best zoo I've ever seen. We spent hours there! Absolutely WORTH it!! Of course, I love zoos! So needless to say, we decided not to take the little jog to Hwy 100 and go to the island and the lighthouse. We shopped, then headed home. Not reaching there until nearly 6PM. [It's only about a 330-350 mile round trip...but with desolation in the landscape, it seems like a 1000 miles. LOL] Another long drive back of obeying the laws of the highway. While there, walking around and marveling at the super layout and landscaping and animal exhibits of this great area...I took pictures. And boy, did I EVER take pictures. Tons of them. They'll come to my blog soon. Whenever I get a chance to upload them. Personally I can't wait to see how they all 'turned out'. I took way too many I know. Stay tuned....
Note: Today marks the 5th year since we relocated to the Gulf Shores and our Texas home...
POSTED: Wednesday, October 21st, 2009