Wednesday, January 27, 2010

23rd Anniversary - Jefferson, TX

A few weeks ago, Dan and I took a trip to Jefferson Texas - about 3 hours east of here - to celebrate our 23rd wedding anniversary. We had originally thought of going up to Oklahoma - only an hour away. Hard to believe you can go to another state in hour, but it can take 5-8 hours to get half way across the state.

We had heard that Jefferson was a quint little town close the the Louisiana border. It's famous for it's ghost stories and antique malls.

I wanted us to stay somewhere other than the same old hotel chains, so I went to their official website and started looking for some place different. The first place I looked at was the Jefferson Hotel. I had heard about the ghost stories and thought that might be a fun place to stay. But after checking with them, they only had one room available and it only had a bathtub with no shower. Dan is to tall for most tubs and didn't think he'd like it so I started looking again. This time I came on the Excelsior Hotel. It was older than the Jefferson Hotel and had some Famous people registered at the Excelsior House including Ulysses S. Grant, Oscar Wilde, Rutherford B. Hayes and Lady Bird Johnson to name a few.

I had a couple of choices of rooms, but decided on the Lady Bird Johnson room - room 214. Lady Bird Johnson had stayed in this room and had given the hotel some personal belongings for the room. Her husband, the President, had also stayed at the hotel, but I don't think in this room. Some of the pictures may be a little blurry. We got a new camera from one of our daughters, and I haven't figured it all out!

It was raining when we got to Jefferson (always rains when I drive!) and a little cold. We got checked in late in the afternoon on Saturday and checked out our beautiful room. After making sure the bed was nice and comfy we headed out to check out the town. With umbrellas in hand, we went in search of treasures.

The one thing about some small towns is that they roll up the street at 5:00. We did find some places open and checked them out. One of our first stops was the store with fudge and other delectable goodies! I resisted the fudge and went headed on. Our next stop was a Vintage Car Museum on Lafayette St. It was owned and run by a very nice older gentleman. He had probably 10 cars. The oldest car was a Model T Ford. He had some beautiful cars. The building had once been a doctors office run by his father-in-law.

We continued to walk the streets and freeze our behinds off until we came to the Old Mill Antiques. It's amazing what you can find in these places. Some, down right scary! I was on a mission to find some stuff for our daughters house. And of course, I always look for 8-tracks!

In one of the far back parts of the building, Dan saw a couple of things that peaked his interest. One was a 50's portable Zenith tv. The other was an old organ called the Sardarflute from India. It's also called a harmonium. It is small and had a bellows to work the keyboard. Dan is fascinated by these types of things. Since we were walking and the car was back at the hotel, we couldn't take them with us. The great thing was that everything in this booth was 50% off! We paid for the two items and walked back to the hotel. Dan looked up the organ and founds some videos on youtube showing how it worked.

After warming up, we decided to look for some place to eat. We finally decided on the Old Fashioned Hamburger Store. It was just across the street from the hotel and we could walk to it.

What a cool place. When we walked in, there were decorated dollar bills covering the walls and ceilings. There must have been $6K lining those walls. Of course we did our part and decorated one to hang on the wall. I had the steak and Dan had the chicken fried steak. The food was mediocre at best, but it was something different.

(click on the photo to see where our dollar is)

After that we went back to the hotel to chill out (actually, warm up). Sunday started out a little cool and overcast but warmed up. Before we left Jefferson, we walked across the street to the Jay Gould Victorian Railroad Car. In the 1930's East Texas oil boom,it was a family residence. It was sold in 1953 and relocated in 1954 to it's present day location. Pretty neat!

They have a ghost walk too, but it was canceled due to the rain.

We picked up our purchases at the Old Mill and then went and looked at a few more stores before heading out of town.

We wanted to check out a couple of flea markets but couldn't find them so we head back towards home. One of the places Dan wanted to check out was Overton, TX. We had been there before and they had a cool old movie theater. It was closed and run down, but we thought it would be fun to buy it and reopen it and show movies on the weekend. It was still there, but after we got home and checked it out online, we found that it had already been purchased. Very disappointing!

Here was another cool building in Overton that is no more!

It was a fun trip. Maybe we'll go back for our 24th!

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