Like a lot of y'all, we've preserved our
memories of places and people with photographs. We've got rows
of photo albums and drawers full of photographs and we've decided to
share some of the more interesting ones with you. You can access
any set of photos by clicking on the album cover below or from the drop-down
menu on each page.
And please remember, when we say "share,"
we're referring to viewing, not use. If you want to use an image,
please contact us for permission.
Jennifer had a great time in Sienna, Italy, over one
summer. She studied Italian at the University for Foreigners and
toured the beautiful Tuscan countryside..
A high point was Palio. It's
a horse-race, but that's really just the excuse for the centuries-old
event. It's a contest between the old political divisions
of this beautiful city steeped in tradition and pagentry.
"So what is it about Texas anyway?" our
Australian friend Amanda said to Sherry. "This is the only
place I've been where you see the state flag everywhere, not just
in government places.
" And what's with the stars!" The stars?
That's easy, we're the Lone Star State. Texas really is "a whole
We know we're lucky to live here, but the Texas State
of Mind, doesn't suit everyone. When someone told the Civil
War General Phil Sheridan he could go to hell, the former military
governor of Texas replied that he didn't need to because he'd already
been to Texas. Well, the feeling was certainly mutual.
Amanda's thought of Texas as a vast expanses of sand
dotted with cacti and sage. She was sure that tumbleweeds drifted
past our doors.
Remember please that most of the old Westerns were
filmed in California! Some parts of West Texas do have the same
look, but the state covers a variety of regions, from the coastal
prairie where we live to the high plains of the Panhandle, the piney
woods of the east to the tropical warmth of the Valley in the far
and Sherry had a wonderful stay in Puerto Rico several years ago. This
album has a lot of photos, so it's broken into four sections, the Rainforest
(which is on the main PR album page), the hotel, Fort El Morro, and
Old San Juan. The latter three are linkend to the PR album home page
or to the Sherob website home page.
We're very sorry to discover that the two lovely Hyatt hotels are now
closed. Hyatt apparently still operates a facility there but it's different
from their hotels. The golf courses are fabulous and so is the beach.
first Chinese Emperor Qin Shihuangdi was responsible for uniting China,
and the country takes its name from him, since Qin is pronounced like
"chin" in English. He wasn't a person do do things by
halves. His most remarkable building is visible from space--the Great
Wall of China.
His burial preparations were on the same
grand scale. He had over 8000 statues made from kiln-fired terra cotta.
Each is a unique portrait of one of his soldiers. They
vary in build, facial expression, size, and position. Even the
horses are different. Inside trenches, they are armed and aligned in
formation by rank, just as they might be for a real battle.
The Terra Cotta Army lay buried for over
two thousand years, until some peasants digging a well stumbled into
one of the archeological finds of the century. Excavations continue
today, although the actual tomb hasn't yet been found.
Most people will only be able to see this
marvel in photos, but tucked away in Houston is a little piece of China
that makes the marvelous real--The Forbidden Gardens.
Located just west of Houston off I-10
West is a 4 acre site that offers a glimpse into China's past.
The Terra Cotta Army is present in scale model with enough rendered
in life size to give visitors an idea of the scope of the tomb.
Inside the park's courtyard are exhibits
showing vignettes of life in ancient China, including the Emporer's
sedan chair, clothes, and typical meal service. There's even a
scale model of a more modern city as well as a scale model of the Forbidden
City in Beijing.
Guided tours are available. A small
gift shop and refreshment stand is available, but it's only open on
weekends. It's well worth a trip. Maybe soon, you'll be
able to see a model of the Great Wall as well!
went to the World Dog Show in Mexico City and Meredith went with her
to help translate. They went to the Museum of Anthropology together
and spent a wonderful afternoon at Casa Azul, Frida Kahlo's house. Meredith
went to Teotihuacan with a tour.
summer that Meredith attended Whittier, she and Sherry would drive back
and forth. Sometimes, they'd take Interstate 10 all the way from Houston
to Whittier. Other times, they'd take Interstate 8 which runs from San
Diego to Tuscon where it joins 10.
A mixture of mountains and desert, the views are panoramic and the
rock formations are unusual. Sunsets are spectacular. You can see some
of them here, including Texas Canyon which isn't in Texas at all, but
The Butterfield stage passed through the canyon which was also part
of the Chiricahua Apache range. Cochise's stronghold was located very
nearby in the Dragoon Mountains.
Today, its a welcome stop through the long stretch of desert. A lot
of cars are always parked at the rest area, and people clamber about
the rocks and, just like us, take lots of pictures.
you leave the Texas Hill Country, the landscape along I-10 is pretty
much some kind of desert spotted with sagebrush. El Paso, Las Cruces,
Tuscon, and Phoenix are far apart, and in between, there's not a lot
to look at and very few places to stop.
So, the billboards for The Thing really stand out! They say, "Don't
Miss The Thing" or "What is the Thing" and they appear
every few hundred miles on either side of The Thing. Just in case you're
devoid of curiosity about The Thing, there are signs to remind you that
"You've missed The Thing" so you can make plans to stop there
on the return trip.
The first time Sherry and Meredith went from Houston to LA, they felt
obligated to stop and find out exactly what The Thing was. This very
effective roadside attraction was the creation of a Maricopa County
attorney named Thomas Binkley Prince.
According to Wikipedia, he was born in Texas in 1913, but grew up in
California until attending both Arizona State University and the University
of Arizona College of Law.
He practiced law in Phoenix, served briefly as a prosecutor for the
Maricopa County Attorney's Office, then worked for a Seattle law firm
during World War II where he also ran a pool hall.
"In the 1950s, Prince and his wife Janet opened their first Thing?
roadside attraction and curio shop on Highway 91 between Barstow and
Baker, until the expansion of the road into an interstate brought about
the loss of the building. In 1965 the Prince family packed up The Thing?
and moved to the current location. A heart condition and several strokes
led to Prince's death in 1969 at the age of 56.
Syndicated columnist Stan Delaplane traced The Thing? back to 1950.
Janet Prince, who later moved to Baltimore, was interviewed by Delaplane
in 1956 and told him, "Man came through here about six years ago.
He had three of them he got somewhere. He was selling them for $50."
Today, the attraction is operated by an Albuquerque-based company, Bowlins,
Inc., which owns several roadside trading posts throughout the Southwest."
It has fast-food franchises, welcome rest-rooms, a huge assortment
of touristy items that range from Native American craft to the Chinese
equivalent of Velvet Elvis's, and the--what to call it?--museum? that
houses the Thing and an assortment of stuff, some of which is kinda
January of 1942, the British were hard-pressed to hold Egypt.
The American military began preparations for a desert campaign, and
as part of them, Major General George S. Patton, Jr. received orders
to establish a Desert Training Center to prepare American soldiers for
He chose about 18,000 sq. miles in the Salton Sea area of the Sonoran
desert which the army named Camp Young. Covering land in Arizona
and Califronia, this is the hottest, harshest desert in the US.
The troops stationed there referred to it as the "place God forgot.'
Over the years, more than a million troops in seven armored and thirteen
infantry divisions trained at this desolate, remote post. It served
them well. Patton explained, "If you can work successfully
here, in this country, it will be no difficulty at all to kill the assorted
sons of bitches you meet in any other country."
He trained with his men before he left to assume his North African
command, and while his wife stayed at a nearby hotel, he lived under
the same conditions as his men. Accomodations were tents with
no electricity or water. They didn't even have sheets for their
Training began immediately upon arrival, and within a month, everyone
could run a mile in 10 minutes with a full pack and rifle. Having this
kind of training gave US troops a decided edge in the African Theater.
In Nov. 1988, a museum honoring the men who trained here and their
initial commander, General Patton. Called The George S. Patton
Memorial Museum, it is located just off I-10 about 30 miles east of
the town of Indio in California.
Outside, various tanks are on display and inside are exhibits and memorabilia
from Patton's life and career. Also donated to the museum is a
topographical map of Southern California that weighs about 5 tons, built
for the Colorado Aqueduct.
Although many groups trained there, Sherry chose the 2nd Armored Division
emblem for this collage because her father served in it.
a perfect vacation? For the Wallis women, it's driving along and
stopping whenever and wherever you see something you want to investigate.
This is Robert's idea of hell.
Meredith and Sherry discovered the Patton Museum this way on a trip
back from LA to Houston. Another time, they took a shortcut from
LA to I-8 and discovered the Great Southern Stagecoach Route.
In the mid-1800s, the Butterfield Stage traveled this route across the
Sonoron Desert into the Colorado dessert of southern California.
We don't have any pictures, because all you'd see is sand.
On another trip, we saw an exit for the town of Tombstone and decided
to take it. When Sherry was a child, a popular TV show was set
in Tombstone. It opened with a shot of the newspaper office, the
Tombstone Epitaph and it's slogan, The Town Too Tough To Die.
So, this was a good chance to check out the real thing.
That week, "Tombstone Days" were being celebrated and
people were dressed up in some version of period dress and the town
was quite crowded with tourists as well as people acting out bar and
Clearly, Tombstone survives on tourism, so it's not inaccurate to say
it's a tourist trap, but it's not an unpleasant one. We thoroughly enjoyed
our day. On bit of advice, though, if you decide to go to the gunfight
show in the outside ampitheater, be sure you have sunscreen. A
parasol would help as well, because in the summer, Tombstone is HOT!
E. Wallis, except where items are used with permission. Please remember
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