Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Natural Bridge Caverns, a Texas Sized Cave

Hello, people of blog land.  I'm here to share a little of my Texas with you, today.  In a quick day, trip, we drove over to San Antonio to visit Natural Bridge Caverns.  I have not been since I was a girl, but couldn't stand another moment on the sofa during our school break.  This cave was a nice reprieve and hard to believe such beauty exists just under the Earth's surface.  Take a gander...

At the entrance you see the name sake "natural bridge" resulting from a sink hole.
Dark discoloration, remnants from bats who occupied the cave thousands of years ago.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Meet the newest member of our family

We found this little beauty wandering the streets of a friend's neighborhood near Christmastime.  We called into Lost Pet hotline, searched craigslist, and fidofinder for lost dog ads, etc. and no one seemed to be on the lookout.  She's got some unique markings and our vet said to be sure to ask about those should someone call, but with no microchip or collar we were doubtful anyone would be looking. 

She's was such a sweetie, but when Christmas break was over and we went back to school and work routines we discovered our new friend suffers from separation anxiety.  Could this be the reason she was out on the streets or was she just a crafty escape artist?  We hired a trainer to work with her (and us) and things are going much smoother.  We really appreciate this sweet soul coming into our family.
Can't you tell?!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Spring Beauties

South Texas has seen a lot of rain.  The blue bonnets lining the highways near my house are evidence of that rain. 

Just when you begin cursing all that rainy weather for ruining plans like getting the dogs out to jog, doing home repairs, getting kids out and active, and canceling sports practices & games, nature slaps you with a sight of something beautiful, a reminder that there is purpose for those blessed rains...your plans be damned.

So stop and take in all that beauty and if you're not finding beauty in your neck of the woods, I'm happy to share a bit of mine.  Happy Spring, y'all!
Mon petit Bebe, "If you're a bird, I'm a bird."

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Peles Castle Tour

In a long overdue follow up to the Bran Castle tour, I give you my Peles Castle Tour.  The Peles Castle is quite exquisite and very opulent, a much different look than the more medieval Bran Castle.
Sitting atop a pine covered hill, Peles Castle neighbors the smaller Pelisor Castle so is convenient in that you can tour two castles in one outing.  However, the cost is pricier than the Bran tour.  You can pay for a guided version in various languages or go with a less lengthy tour with a guide speaking in Romanian.  Since my husband could translate, we opted for this version.  Also to be noted, we paid extra on our ticket cost to be allowed to take photos, but once inside were told that we couldn't use a flash which in so many dark areas seemed like we'd been ripped off considering we'd had to pay to take photos.
It's a good thing I snapped a lot of outdoor photos since the lighting was good.  The scenery around the castle was really my favorite part.  I don't know why, but I was really drawn to the statuaries.

Look at this beautiful iron work!
My eyes just went everywhere.  The frescoes, the iron detail, the woodwork!  It was all very stunning.
I'll continue our tour indoors in in a future post.  Until then, I hope you enjoyed these photos.  Have a great week.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Bran Castle Tour

I love seeing tours of old homes on blogs.  Between Naps on the Porch blog has shared some of my favorite home tours so I thought I'd do my own type of home tour.  Okay, so this home happens to be a castle, but a home none the less.  A former royal residence dating back to the late Medieval period, Bran is a rustic kind of place, what you'd expect of a castle built in that time.  Though it is not as lavishly decked out as its neighboring Peles Castle, Bran castle was a wonderful tour.  I snapped lots of pictures of Bran's furnishings because my Mom wanted details for her paintings so without further ado, 
Let's knock and go on in...
Here, a timeline of Rulers associated with Bran Castle.

I thought it was interesting to note that Vlad (III) Tepes, known as Vlad the Impaler and whom the character Dracula is said to be based upon, had not lived in the castle.  Despite this, the castle is known as Dracula's castle.  At the base of the castle, many vendors are selling souvenirs of Dracula based paraphernalia.
A view from a castle window
What castle is complete without its own armory?  The torture tools add a homey touch.
This was a relaxed, go as you please, tour and was inexpensive.  The tour cost let you take as many photos, without restrictions, as you wanted which was nice considering we'd been to another castle who made you pay additional if you wanted the liberty to take pictures.
I hope you enjoyed this little tour into Romanian culture.  Have a good weekend.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Castles & Carpathian Mountains

The first time I traveled to Romania it was blanketed in snow, not bad for a South Texas girl who rarely sees snow, but it didn't paint a true picture of the lands.  This time around, we traveled during the month of June and the views and roadways were much nicer.

Travel tip** If you haven't heard, Romania's roadways are not well maintained...important to know when factoring travel time to and fro.  What may depict as four hours driving on an internet map might actually take six, etc.  That's a signification consideration if traveling with little ones or on a tight timetable. 

But back to the views.  Because weather permitted, we traveled north thru the Carpathian Mtns., Sinaia and into Brasov.  At each, the views were breathtaking.  We visited the Bran, Peles, and Pelisor castles, traveled the Transfagarasan, and ate some wonderful food.  If pictures speak a thousand words, I'll let them say their piece...


Upon arriving to town, the Bran Castle emerging over treetops gave a sneak peak of what we were in for,
but first things first
lunch!  A bean soup with smoked pork served in a bread bowl.  Don't let my poor photography detract from the fact that this soup was yummy! 
After we refueled, we headed over to Bran Castle.  The scenery along the cobblestone walk up to the castle was like something out of a movie.
I'll follow up this post with pictures of our tour inside Bran Castle.  There were no restrictions on taking photos inside the castle which was great.  Between touring Bran, Peles, and Pelisor, although Bran is not as elaborate, I much preferred the loose vibe of this tour which was pretty much go at your own pace.  I preferred it out of the three castles.  I'll clarify a bit more in a separate post about Peles Castle.  'Til then, have a wonderful week.