Thursday, June 25, 2009

Winks Saloon in Brownsville, Texas

This is the 19th installment of the series "Top 100 Things to do in the Brownsville/South Padre Island" area. Today we feature a booming business on the outskirts of Brownsville on Highway 1421 that is quite different from anything else you can experience in South Texas. It is called Wink's in honor of the owner, Winky Garza, a true cowboy at heart.

It has impressively rustic decor.

This is the sink in the restroom.

First, it is a restaurant with excellent food.

Offering the coldest beer in town to the hottest wings has kept this place busy every day they are open.

Look at the size of those onion rings.

The neatest thing about this restaurant/bar is that on Thursday nights you can watch the calf roping that is going on outside from the coolness of the air-conditioned dining area.

The horses are beautiful.

This one belongs to Winky, the owner.

The calf roping brings out the cowgirls. From the big girls...

to the little ones.

This place is consistently packed.

It is also a saloon and a great place to go have some drinks with friends.

There is live music and even touring bands make a stop to play there. They play nothing but country music.

You can ride kind of fast here.

This is a fantastic place you must see while you are in the area. In the winter, it is packed with Winter Texans. Here is the link so you can find out how to get there.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Visit Little Graceland in Los Fresnos, TX

This is our 16th installment in our series, "Top 100 Things to do in the South Padre Island/Brownsville Area," a guide for the visitor for the best in this tropical area. Today our feature is "Little Graceland" in Los Fresnos, TX.

Los Fresnos is a small town on the way to South Padre Island via Hwy 100 where you'd better watch your speed or you will be sorry. This tiny little town holds a hidden gem called "Little Graceland."

The gates are replicas of the real Graceland in Tennesee.

This is a really cool sign.

Story at their website by South Padre Network here.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Shrine in San Juan, Texas

This is the 15th installment in our series entitled, "Top 100 Things To Do in the South Padre Island/Brownsville Area," a series designed to highlight the area's most interesting and beautiful attractions.

The Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan Del Valle National Shrine is located in San Juan, Texas was dedicated in 1954. Find out more of the fascinating story behind this marvel here.

The shrine serves as a symbol of hope for many pilgrims who come from all over the world.

Many miracles have been attributed to the prayers made at this amazing shrine. Pictures of the miracle room were not included here. That room has objects such as crutches no longer needed and many pictures that serve as inspiration and hope to others who are hoping for a miracle, healing, or help from the intercession of the Virgin Mary. You must see the miracle room in person.

Friday, November 7, 2008

86. Do the Anzalduas Run

This is the 14th installment of our series titled, "Top 100 Things to do in the South Padre Island/Brownsville Area." If it is a beautiful day and you want something different to do, consider doing the Anzalduas Run, don't worry there is no running involved. You can make it a whole day's event involving barbecuing or enjoying a pitcher at Pepe's on the River while watching the jet skiers zoom by.

To do the Anzalduas Run, you need to go to Mission, Tx. on Hwy 83, a beautiful city known for its citrus groves. In fact, the last week of January and early February heralds a full schedule of fun and activities and includes the Parade of Oranges.

A great place to visit is the Shary-Shivers Estate.

It was built by John Shary, known as the Father of the Texas Citrus Industry. The estate has been given to the University of Texas - Pan American and is open to the public.

Doesn't this look like the perfect subject for a painting?

There are some very nice houses to look at on your leisurely drive.

You travel on 1016 and turn right on old Military Hwy. til you see this.

The St. Joseph and St. Peter Seminary is your marker.

In fact, here is the marker...

The trail of the Oblate Fathers is noted here as it was in Brownsville at the cathedral downtown. In 1888, seven dedicated Oblate Fathers were traveling a circuit 150 miles long and 40 miles wide offering masses in homes at more than two hundred ranches. This is an area seeped in history.

When you pass this seminary, turn right at the first road and continue. Go south on FM 494. Do not be phased by the levee. Drive over it and you will be very surprised.

There is a big county park back there. Back in the 80's, it was packed with car after car booming loud music, girls, guys, children and their pets. People used to cruise around it just passing the time. Now it is very serene and there were only 5 cars in the whole park and we went on a Sunday. You used to have to wait in line for an hour or two to get in on weekends, but there wasn't even anybody at the entrance to collect the toll. There were two county sheriff dept. cars there and two separate families enjoying the playgrounds and barbecuing. It was very quiet and peaceful. Nothing like the old days.

The Spanish moss hung from the trees like wistful tinsel.

It was a melancholic scene.

A young tyke got his line caught in the brush.

I needed this fisherman's help to convince my family of the fact that the bank they saw only feet away was in Mexico. He was a descendant of one of the original owners of the land and remembered how busy the park used to get.

He remembered the good old days when the park was busy and everybody took their families there, cooked out, met girls, met guys and had fun. The Mexican side of the park was bustling with activity with boaters, fishermen and guys just out listening to music and checking out the girls.

The park has an undeveloped area hidden over a levee. You go over the levee and follow the road to the bluffs overlooking the Rio Grande and the dam. There is no road directly on the damn because this is an international border. The Anzalduas Run includes the La Lomita Mission and Pepe's on the River.

La Lomita Mission is right next to Pepe's On the River. It is the cornerstone of Mission, Texas.