Friday, August 27, 2010

Flashback Friday - Abilene, TX - Part One!

Hee-Haw! Today we are taking a trip to Abilene, Texas! It just happened to be a resting point for us on our way to Arizona, but this little town sure packs a wallop!
We stayed in a campground with few amenities. Wait, who am I kidding? There were NO amenities except the usual water, electric, and sewer. And if I remember right, the campground owner looked a little frightening, like any minute he'd hop over the counter, knock me down on all fours, tweak my ear and ask me if I could squeal like a pig, while his cross-eyed kid plunked the theme song to Deliverance. Jim reassured me that everything would be okay (how he knew this was beyond me), and we signed our life on the dotted line for  three nights.

I know. We like to live on the edge. Thus the name of this blog.

Unbeknown to us, the campground was situated right on the flightpath for Dyess Air Force Base. The first time those fighter jets came screaming overhead, we both jumped up and ran outside thinking WTF?

Another morning several C-130's took off; barely letting one get off the runway before the next one started down it. This photo shows six in the air, but there could have been more after that.

We went to the Visitor's Center, located in the Frontier Texas! building. Frontier Texas! is a neat experience and is fairly reasonable in price - $8 for adults, $6 for seniors/military. You can experience 100 years of the Texas frontier from 1780 - 1880. You meet some of the actual people (re-enactments) who had lived in that time, through film clips and holograms.

At one point you sit in a theater in the round on seats that turn completely around to get the full effect of the show.

The Town of Abilene offers a "Round-up Pass" for $15. You can see 6 attractions at one low price. We opted for that and actually went to four out of the six attractions in 3 days! (Frontier, Texas! being one of them.)

We went to the Abilene Zoo, and although it was small, it was very nice. It was clean and not crowded at all.
East African Crowned Crane
My favorite animal at the zoo!

Nap time! Can't you see  the "Zzzz's" above his head?

Look at the face on this monkey! Doesn't it look like a mask?
Abilene has 25 sculptures throughout the town, so we picked up a map and made a point of seeing each one of them. I will only show a few of the photos, but click here to see all the sculptures.

This one is called Jacob's Dream and consists of a 32.5-foot bronze sculpture of four angels descending and ascending a ladder between heaven and earth. Surrounding this beautiful sculpture are almost 100 limestone blocks, each etched with the words of scripture. Also at the site is a baptismal pool and a hidden cross/portal that can only be seen from only one vantage point. Jim found the "cross". Do you see it?

Pink Flamingo    

This next sculpture is called, "Childhood's Great Adventure" and is based on the book "Santa Calls", about three children from Abilene. It was written and illustrated by William Joyce.

The Pig
Bull Skull

We visited the Grace Museum, which actually houses three separate museums inside  - the Art Museum, the History Museum, and the Children's Museum - all for one price. I will talk about the visiting exhibition at the Art Museum in another post.

The first floor is the Art Museum, which has five galleries. This was on one of the walls.

It was an inter-active musical instrument made of wood. Each piece makes a musical sound when pushed, from a horn blowing, to the beating of a drum, to the strumming of a guitar. Jim and I had so much fun with this!

On the second floor is the Childrens Museum. We were the only ones there! This is a large Operations Game.

The third floor housed the History Museum. It had a 1940's boot shop, and period rooms furnished from 1910-1948. It was quite interesting.

I decided to break this up into two posts because there was so much to see in Abilene! So part two will be the next Flashback Friday, September 3rd!


Anonymous said...

I LOVE the giant flamingo, I can just see it as some b rated movie..attack of the killer

Steven Anthony
Man Dish~Metro Style
Life in the fish bowl

Unknown said...

Great photos! thanks for sharing your trip with us!

Gail said...

I saw the cross, that's good, isn't it?

Love the pictures, shall add Abilene to the places I will never see. Thanks for giving me a look.

Bossy Betty said...

Fun post! How is it sleeping under the flight path?

SquirrelQueen said...

The really fun part for me would have been being parked under the flightpath and seeing the planes. All of the sculptures are so cool, my favorite is the pig on wheels. Thanks for the tour Pat, I'm looking forward to part II.

Brian Miller said...

cool trip...i saw the the childhood adventure sculpture too...

wenn said...

great series of photos!

Gail said...

An award awaits you my funny friend, and I do mean funny in a good way!

Carletta said...

This was a great little great start to our trip with you. :)
I LOVE the flamingo and the operation game!
I didn't see the cross. Guess I'm trying too hard.

Valerie said...

I bet the 'round' show was interesting.
I didn't see the cross until I went back for another look. Guess I was too busy looking at the sculpture.
Love all the pictures, I feel I've actually been to Abilene.

becky said...

That's funny about not knowing you were in the flight path. Years ago, I checked into a tiny mom & pop motel in rural Montana- at night- not knowing it was a stone's throw to the railroad tracks. I just about flew thru the roof when I heard the train coming... sounded lie it was going to bust thru the walls! Interesting sculptures in Abilene- I've never been there. Can't wait to see what's coming next!
Have a nice weekend!

Ruth said...

Who knew Abilene was such a rich place? I saw the cross!

I laughed out loud, not a surprise, coming here. It made me think I want to live in your head for a while.

I laughed at the Deliverance paragraph. I laughed when you told us the people you actually meet are re-enactments. I laughed at Jim playing Operation.

The photo of the giraffe is gorgeous.

Betty Manousos said...

Your trip looks awesome, thanks for sharing it!

Great series of photos!

Big hugs,

B xx

Louis la Vache said...

«Louis» grew up in Lubbock and made a few trips to Abilene - he had forgotten about Dyess being there; the museums and the sculptures were added much later...