Thursday, April 29, 2010

Richmond Sights

There is lots to see and do in Richmond, VA. I was interested in the Virginia Capitol, which was designed by Thomas Jefferson. The center part was built in 1788, and the wings were added in 1905. It is one of the few state capitol buildings in the US that does not have an external dome.

Inside, however, there is a dome, over a statue of George Washington and busts of the seven other presidents born in Virginia.

The General Assembly of Virginia, the oldest lawmaking body in America, still meets in this building.

During the Civil War, the building was not maintained well, and in 1870 a floor collapsed, killing 62 men. Despite calls for the building's demolition, the damage was repaired and the building renovated.

Close by the capitol is the Old City Hall. It was completed in 1894, and served as the City Hall until the 1970s.

The inside is quite a colorful surprise!

Richmond has a lot of nice museums, but they aren't my favorite thing. So where did I pick to go? To the Hollywood cemetery! It opened in 1849, so it has some really interesting tombstones. Nice azaleas too!

It's a huge cemetery, built on rolling hills overlooking the James River. There are lots of ghostly legends surrounding the graves.

Two US Presidents are buried here - James Monroe and John Tyler. Monroe's grave in inside the intricate cast iron cage. John Tyler's grave is nearby.

Jefferson Davis, the President of the Confederacy is also buried here.

The spider web on his face looked a little creepy.

Also buried in the cemetery are 18,000 Confederate soldiers, under a mixture of new tombstones or old numbered stones. Many had no stone at all, but the rows were numbered, and must be mapped somewhere.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Zipping East

After the Dance Rally in Bandera, TX was over, we started out on a fast tour East to see relatives.

Since we were in a hurry, I had to be content taking pictures out the window. There were lots of pretty flowers along the road in Texas.

Several of these trucks loaded with egg-laying chickens passed us. I felt sorry for the poor things.

You can see the poor wind-blown things and their eggs, mostly broken.

The first night, we stayed at the Isle of Capri casino, right off the interstate in Lake Charles, LA.

The next day, we crossed the Mississippi River. I just dread this - I would much rather stay in the West!

Got a shot of some of the many paddlewheels on the river.

Well, maybe the East isn't so bad after all - the azaleas are in full bloom everywhere, and I realized I've missed them.

Took some shots driving through Atlanta.

Even this terrible shot of the Capitol!

Arriving in Durham, NC, I saw something really unusual - a True Value hardware store with a pharmacy! I thought maybe this was a new thing for True Value, but when I googled it, it appears this is the only one like it anywhere.

We're here to spend some time with Phil's mother, who lives in a very nice assisted living center. One night Phil brought in her request for a meal for her and all the relatives - Kentucky Fried Chicken, and strawberry shortcake.

From here, we're headed up to Richmond, VA for the NASCAR race, and some sightseeing.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Goodbye to the Dance Rally

The dance rally is over, but I wanted to show what we did in addition to the theme dances. We were all divided up into 5 teams, and each team took turns making breakfast, providing snacks and entertainment for the social hour, and cleaning up.

Each morning there was a hot breakfast for all 160 participants. It's quite a job, and Phil was in charge of getting all the food, doing the menus, and sometimes supervising the cooking.

There were dance lessons during the day by Betty and Troy - beginning in the morning and intermediate in the afternoon.

There was also time during the day to sightsee. I never did get to see the wildflowers in the Hill Country, but saw some locally. Also found a great piece of "rusty stuff" on sale for $1500. Wow! I like rusty stuff alot, but not that much.

Each afternoon we had a social hour under a gigantic live oak tree.

And each team provided snacks on its work days.

Ronnie played for us in the rally hall 5 of the evenings.

One day we had a Tacky Fashion Show, entitled "What Was I Thinking??" This is just some of the participants.

On Wednesday evening, we went back to the 11th Street Cowboy Bar in town for the "Burn Your Own."

And shared a table with Rellene, Tom, Nancy and Donna.

You can buy a plate of sides to go with your steak. Too bad I didn't think of taking a picture before I ate half of it!

The Lone Star Pickerz performed, and invited the women in our group to be their backup, and named them "The Irritations."

There were a few on the dance floor not with our group. Isn't this little guy just precious? A future lady killer in the works.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too

Another theme dance here at the All-Singles Dance Rally was the pajama party. What a great time we had! I had originally gone looking for satin pj's in the thrift stores, but I found this in the first one I went to--

A one-piece footed Winnie the Pooh getup that fit me perfectly!

There was plenty of satin in attendance, though.

Even Ronny got into the pajama party mood! But notice he still has his jeans and boots on...

During one of Ronny's short breaks, Tigger and I did the Cupid Shuffle, a very easy line dance.

Another night we had a 5th Avenue dress up dance. Phil dressed in the 5th Avenue Bermuda style. (It was warm out.)

Eighty-some-year-old Ron came in a white tux. I think Trish was dressed as a cigarette girl from the 40s or 50s.

All us girls showing off our duds.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Mexican Fiesta

Finally, the night I was waiting for - the Mexican Fiesta. I had gathered my outfit together over the last few months, spending less than $20 on the whole thing - skirt, blouse, belt, boots, earrings, necklace, and hair decoration! I love thrift stores!

Had a great time looking at the other outfits, while we waited for the music.

Ronnie Furr was playing, as he does all week in the rally hall. He's really a great entertainer, and we love having him.

He plays great dance music nonstop, rarely even taking a short break.

The men got into the theme too, Don's hat was a big hit - a REALLY big hit!

Some more great outfits.

A Mexican train?

You can hear a little bit of Ronnie's performance.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Down on the Farm

Each year, the Bandera TX All-Singles Dance Rally begins with a hayride down to the river, where Andy puts on a hot dog roast with entertainment.

We all dress up in our best farm clothes and relax along the river.

I had some overall shorts that were just perfect, along with a straw hat I was just about to throw away.

I thought Sandra's outfit was the funniest, with a skunk, rabbit, and raccoon, attached to her, along with a chicken on her back - Elly May Clampett and her critters.

All the farmers liked Carolyn and Pat.

Andy's a purist when it comes to cooking the dogs, and uses a stick to turn them.

Our entertainment was Kevin Fitzpatrick, a local cowboy who is a trick roping champion. His horse, Chief, is trained to stand motionless while Kevin goes through his routine.

One of his tricks involved roping and tying up Terri. Uh-oh, what's he up to?

He got out a bull whip and put a piece of spaghetti in her mouth, but in the end just tricked her into thinking he broke it off with the bull whip. However, he did the trick for real on himself.

Phil got into the show too, as Kevin did rolls over his shoulder.

We had a blast, and it was a great way to start the Rally!