December 30, 2009

Birth Town Journey-Getting to Brownsville

In a few, I'll post pictures of this trip.

Having 2 weeks off from work, I decided to make a trip South and visit Brownsville, Texas (the place of my birth), which I have absolutely no memory of because we left when I was one year old. My father, who turned 80 this year, decided to come with since he'd not been back in 43 years either.

So, on Saturday we set off for Albuquerque to stay a day in the new house. Monday morning we rolled out.

Our first stop was Marfa, Texas. I'd heard about an arts festival they do so I wanted to check it out. Marfa also was the location for the James Dean movie "Giant," which i have not seen. Marfa is southeast of El Paso and about 7 hours from Albuquerque. Since we'd gotten an early start, we still had plenty of light and Marfa was really tiny. Cute, definitely worth coming for the festival, but no real hotel options. So on to Alpine, Texas.

Alpine, Texas and the next major city, Marathon, are the closest stops to Big Bend National Park thus the hotels were just too pricey. Being loaded down with coffee, we pushed on to Del Rio, Texas.

Now the weather was pretty crappy the entire time but we were making good time. Originally we were going stop in Marfa then San Antonio. But by stopping in Del Rio instead, we cut out a whole days travel. So on Tuesday we rolled out for Brownsville via Texas state highways along the Rio Grande. The weather was crappy and gray but wet not icy so we made decent time.

There's not much here except a few small towns and some private game reserves. Laredo seemed to be a decent city and had a distinct Mexican vibe about it. That is not a negative just a comment on the color of the buildings, the prevalence of Spanish, and a few border crossings. There are border crossings every where and the border patrol was out in force. About Mission, the traffic seemed to intensify and the population obviously became more dense and we hit the Rio Grande Valley. So last night we rolled into Brownsville about 7 pm.

Next post. Hometown sites (the houses we lived in, Matamoros, South Padre Island).

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