Splendid Splendora

Trip Start Jun 04, 2010
Trip End Sep 08, 2010

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Guest of Alan and Donna Bilger

Flag of United States  , Texas
Sunday, June 13, 2010

Started our Day at: 7a.m., we waited for Bonnie to get home from work so we could say our last goodbyes. She was a very gracious hostess and we will miss her very much. But time has to move on and so must we.  On our way to Splendora we passed by a sign that welcomed us to Washington County, birth place of Texas.  Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site.  The 293-acre site, maintained by Texas Parks and Wildlife, is located on the original townsite of Washington, a major political and commercial center in early Texas.

We drove on back roads of Texas primarily State Hwys290 and 105 then some county roads.  We arrived in Splendora about 1:18p.m. and we were greeted by Chelsie and Donna.  I have not seen Chelsie since she was a babe in arms and Donna in over 15 years.  We relaxed for the afternoon caught up on years of chatting.  We then planned what we would do for the next couple of days.  things we talked about were the Houston Space center, Beer can house and Kemah Boardwalk. 
Splendora, Texas, in Montgomery county, is 34 miles N of Houston, Texas. There are an estimated 1,275 people in the city.  Families have pride of place in the city, and much of the housing seems designed with families in mind. "If kids are our future, then the future might look a little like Splendora". The kids here are young and many. How was the city named... One tradition says the community was named after a ship in a popular song; another says it was named for the splendor of its landscape.  Where ever the name came from Splendora was a splendid place on our vacation.
Alan and Donna treated us to dinner at Molina's Mexican Restaurant in Houston. What can I say....another great meal.  We enjoyed the food, the hot sauce is very good. The servers there are very nice and helpful without being annoying and very efficient.  They removed any dirty dishes, refilled drinks and salsa as needed without us hardly noticing.

On the way to Molina's we stopped by the Beer Can House.  In 1968, John Milkovisch was just another retired employee of Southern Pacific railroad. He lived in an undistinguished house in an undistinguished suburban neighborhood of Houston. Then John got antsy. He began decorating his patio with pieces of brass, marbles, rocks and buttons. Then he tore up the lawn and replaced it with similar glittery debris.  Because "got sick of mowing the grass", the house itself was next. John took beer cans and flattened them into aluminum siding. 
The house and landscape are adorned with many different brands of beer cans that John, himself, drank (though his neighbors and his wife, Mary, were always glad to lend a hand!). Did he prefer one brand to the next? His favorite beer was always "Whatever's on special".

Over the next 18 years the house disappeared under a cover of flattened beer cans for both practical and decorative reasons. Garlands made of cut beer cans hanging from the roof edges not only made the house sing in the wind, but also lowered the family's energy bills. Ripley's Believe It or Not estimated that over 50,000 cans adorn this monument to recycling. John considered his work an enjoyable pastime rather than a work of art, but he did enjoy people's reaction to his creations. He once said, "It tickles me to watch people screech to a halt. They get embarrassed. Sometimes they drive around the block a couple of times. Later they come back with a car-load of friends..."

We didn’t have a problem stopping and taking a picture or two of this unique abode.   A minor stop on our vacation, but one we will always remember with a laugh or two.

God Bless Donna, Alan and Chelsea for showing us a great 1st day in this area.  Bless all the people who are creative and come up with unique ideas to recycling and keeping our world free of trash.  Even if it is a beer can or two.
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Deacon Ken and Corky on

Dave and Patty,
Sorry it has been so long since my reply. School has ended and we have been very busy as normal. It was great reading your adventures and of course the flat. What cross country trip would be complete without one. It pays to get it out of the way early. I very much enjoy hearing the joy in your words as you travel this wonderful country, May God continue to bless you both and keep you held tight in His loving arms. I loved the Alamo pictures. I have always wanted to visit there as The John Wayne Alamo movie was the first picture show I remember seeing (7 times in a row) as a kid. Stay well and we will keep reading.

bonnwl6 on

Hi Patty and Dave, I am reading backward. I wanted to check to see that you made it to your next stop so started here. I had forgotten that I was going to a concert in Austin tonight. I had purchased 2 tickets on faith hoping someone would go with me and guess what? My grandaughter decided to go and it was great. I had purchased the most inexpensive tickets and when we arrived we were told that a group that was scheduled to have front row seats were not coming and we were being up graded to this section. The concert was calle the Mass in B minor by JS Bach. It was wonderful. The concert was held in the Long Center very close to where we were viewing the bats. Maybe I will learn to navigate Austin by the time you all return. Nice blog Patty, keep up the great work. You are such a talented woman. I stand in aawwhh. As Corkie said at least the blow out is behind you. Do enjoy your visit with your friends in Houston. I miss you already and I am sure your time there will speed by and they will be missing you also.

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