Trip Start Jan 26, 2008
Trip End Sep 28, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Texas
Sunday, February 17, 2008

Back in Deep Texas territory. About 10 years from when I was here last - this time I brought Amy. Arrived in Austin after an early morning flight from Los Angeles. Was greeted by Jill and Marcia. Jumped in the car and headed to find some lunch.
Guess what was on the lunch menu - good old fashioned BBQ. Both Amy and I love it.
Made our way back to Victoria after stopping at a Antique store.
Wow the Kauffmans new house is very nice. It has a very Texas feel with large rooms, wooden furniture and a very comfortable feel. 
John would not arrive home until the next night. So we sat down to some fajitas for dinner and soon feel fast asleep after some reminiscing.
Awoke to Jill having cooked some bacon and eggs and Marcia having brewed some Coffee. So a great start. Gotta love that Southern Hospitality and the Kauffmans generosity.

Amy and I agreed to talk with some classes at Marcia's elementary school and have a look around here.  All up we spoke to 3 classes and had a tour of the school. They have a very unique model school. Which from what I can gather is criticized by some and adopted by others. From my limited knowledge about education systems, any school which caters for under privileged lower socio-economic students and gets results is doing pretty well. So the homely feel in each of the classes with lamps and the like, among the teachers respect for one another and the hands on approach towards the students must be working.
So we spoke to 3No. year 5 classes which were all very enthusiastic about us being there and had many many questions. The majority of the boys asking about computer games and the girls about animals. I hope that we may have inspired one or two of them. 
After the school we headed to downtown Victoria and had a personalized tour of the courthouse and some of the old Victorian style homes. They are very beautiful and grand. With massive columns and entrances. Just what you see in the movies. Victoria has over 500years of history. The next day we had a late start and traveled to San Antonio with John now part of the crew. We walked through the Alamo which is the historic site where Davey Crocket fought for Texas independence from Mexico. I found this pretty interesting> Texas was once part of Mexico and then a republic and then part of the US.

After this we strolled the river walk which is a river lined with restaurants, runs through shopping centres and makes for a pleasant walk. It is pretty unique. 

Then onto the Rodeo. Rodeo has really been ramped up with the venue being a roofed stadium decked out for the event. Outside the stadium there were other items like pig racing 'swifty swines' this was pretty funny we cheeered the swines on, Cattle and Horse Barns we managed to get up close and personal with a few winning animals, auctions (one pig went for $1000) and the Hall of Fame. The Rodeo kicked of with some fire works and a horse parade. Then straight onto the bare back horse riding. These guys are crazy! There were a number of different events with Mutton Bashing and Cattle Catchin standing out. Mutton Bashing where they threw a five year old girl or boy onto a sheep and watch them ride it - this proves to be pretty funny. One girl rode the sheep the length of the stadium and praised the crowd once she fell of, she ended up wining. Cattle Catchin being where 20 or so potty calves are released into a group of 20 or so waiting teenagers. Who have to catch and bring them back to the judge. The calves are strong. 
And finally the rodeo was finished with bare back bull riding. Only one or two of about 20 rides went the full eight seconds.
The Rodeo was topped of with a country and western performance at the end. 
The whole thing was a big stage production with lights, music etc. etc. big. big. 
Amy brought a cowgirl hat.

Arrive back in Victoria pretty late that night. 

Dined at a Mexican restaurant the following night. Which was really good. Grabbed a Margarita and a Shiner Bock (local beer) which brought back a few memories. 

Its really strange. I remember more than I though I would after 10years. Different streets, shops etc. bring back memories which I haven't thought about since living here. The Kauffmans also bringing up a quite a few stories which I think I had chosen to forget. 

I am soo glad I came back to visit Victoria and the Kauffmans.

Slideshow Report as Spam
Where I stayed
Kauffmans New House
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alexnrhonda on

Hi from Alex and Rhonda
Hey guys........great hearing about all your travels. I'm sooooo excited for your both. Sounds like you are having heaps of fun. Alex and I are enjoying being in Brisbane at the moment and up the coast. Head to Qatar on the 7th of March. Hope to see you there in a few months:) Continue having fun!!

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