03 April 2019

Wednesday 03 April -- 2019 Texas Painted Churches Day 3

Blue Bell and Bluebonnets -- It's Texas!
Today was the journey home, and although I hoped to squeeze in one more Painted Church, it was not to be.

We got Blue Bell ice cream, though!

Briefly, I slept in again until almost 08:00, then Anne and I went down to the lobby for breakfast. It was full -- a condition worsened by the hotel booking an 08:00 private meeting in a closed-off part of the dining area during the posted breakfast hours. Not cool! The worker minding the breakfast bar was very apologetic, and oversaw pulling together some of the lounge furniture as a makeshift expansion to the dining area that some of us used.

Some of our party had left already; others passed through on their way out as we ate; some visited with us. In all, I think we were probably all out of the hotel by 09:30 or so, going our separate ways.

02 April 2019

Tuesday 02 April -- 2019 Texas Painted Churches Day 2

L-R: Sydney, Sonny, Susan, Sue, Rita, Gwen, JoAnn, Ray,
Jeff, Carol, Anne, Kent, and our guide Wanda
Church of the Assumption of Mary, Praha
Although it was very cool -- mid 30s F -- when we first got up, it was an almost cloudless blue sky and warmed up nicely into the low 70s. It was perfect weather for our pilgrimage tour of the Painted Churches

Our hotel had a complementary breakfast bar in the lobby from 06:00-09:00. I got to bed late, woke up a couple of times and took a while to go back to sleep, and then slept best in those early-morning hours.... Anne woke me up about 08:00. I hurriedly got ready and we headed down to breakfast, including the requisite Texas-shaped Belgian Waffle.

Yeah! Texas!

Most of our party had already been there, but we visited with a couple.

I had sent out a text that Anne and I were heading for the Chamber of Commerce/Tourists' Center for 09:30, with the tour to begin at 10:00. We settled up with the Chamber and met our tour guide, the delightful Wanda, as our group assembled there. I purchased my usual coffee mug as well as a large map with an extensive description of the local churches and a DVD of a 2001 documentary about the Painted Churches. The Chamber made reservations for our lunch for 13:00 at Sirilo's Cafe (the other suggestion was the Oak Ridge Smokehouse which we'd had supper at last night), and we headed out pretty much dead on 10:00. We were three vehicles; Wanda rode with Anne and myself and one other of our number, Sydney; the nine others of our group distributed between two vehicles that followed us. We in the lead car therefore benefited from Wanda's running commentary on much else about Schulenburg besides the Painted Churches.

01 April 2019

Monday 01 April -- 2019 Texas Painted Churches Day 1

Sts. Cyril and Methodius Church,
For my wife and myself, our pilgrimage actually began on Saturday 30 March, when we traveled to Houston and spent the day with our son, who has since graduating college last year lived and worked in downtown Houston. His apartment is too small to accommodate us as overnight guests, however, so we usually stay in western Houston with Anne's sister and her husband. On Sunday, our son joined us out there for the day, then went back to his place in the evening to prepare for work the next morning. We, of course, would begin our pilgrimage to the Painted Churches then, today, Monday 01 April.

After a leisurely morning with Anne's sister, we headed out of Houston for the short, hour-and-a-half drive to Schulenburg. We saw patches of bluebonnets -- the Texas State Flower -- interspersed with a coral-orangish-color flower in even greater abundance, all along the way. It was quite cool and cloudy through most of the day; we experienced light rain at a couple of points along our drives, but the sun came shortly before we checked in to our hotel late in the afternoon.