Oysters thrive in the brackish waters of Aransas Bay, and the people of Aransas Bay thrive on oysters.
On Fridays, shuttle to Space Center Houston for a planetary power lunch—“Lunch With an Astronaut.”
These days, Texas is practically synonymous with the oil business. But the industry was very new in 1901, when drillers tapped the Spindletop oilfield near Beaumont and set off the petroleum age.
I’ll confess that I have never been a big zoo fan—until recently, that is. I blame the small, sad zoos that I visited as a kid, where skinny, world-weary animals paced in tight quarters. Thankfully, matters have changed dramatically since then, as I discovered during a recent trip to Houston.
A longtime hub for innovation in energy and medicine, Houston has come into its own as a vacation destination in recent years.
To see south Texas in its natural state and how the Rio Grande Valley looked before it was cut into farms and cities, you’ve got to travel to the state’s southernmost tip. Here, on the bank of the once-mighty river, you’ll find the last remaining stand of original Texas Sabal palm trees, one of only two palm species native to Texas.
The bloody American conflict didn’t reduce demand for southern cotton at textile mills in places like England, France, and even New England. In return, the Confederacy’s cotton exports financed its war effort, supplying Rebel armies with imported guns, ammunition, swords, uniforms, and accouterments far beyond what limited Southern industry could produce. To squelch the trade, and hopefully shorten the war, the Union established blockades along the Gulf Coast, pushing foreign ships to seek ports free of interference. They found them at Texas’ southernmost tip—the destination of southbound wagons on the “cotton road.”
Each year the hectic pace of the holiday season takes me captive, rendering the days between Thanksgiving and New Year’s a breathless sprint devoid of their supposedly inherent jaoy. Every year I vow to change things the next go-round—to shop earlier, do less, enjoy more. So last December, my husband, Matt, children (Caleb, Madi, and Esther), and I took a drastic approach to carving serenity from the holiday chaos: We shoved the entirety of our to-do list to the side (even skipping Christmas-play rehearsal) and embarked on a weekend getaway to a purported winter wonderland, The Woodlands.
The woman at the next table whispered something to me. “Anchovy paste,” she said.
How does one convey the breadth of King Ranch in the annals of Texas history?
The woman behind the registration desk at the Hotel Galvez glanced at the number as she handed me my keycard. “Oh, you’re staying in our special room,” she said, eyebrows raised. “Did you know that?”