An adventure for Christmas part 3: gatos and golf carts


For part two (bodies, butterflies, and butter chicken) click here.

My dad and stepmom are big history buffs.

Like everyone else in the family, when I first proposed an adventure for Christmas, they were kinda bewildered. But shortly after I shared the castle trip experience (part 1, click here to read), they suggested we visit historic Nacogdoches, Texas.

It’s known as the oldest town in Texas, and there’s evidence of settlement by the Caddo tribe as far back as 10,000 years (more on the Caddo later on). And it’s also the home of Stephen F. Austin University (go lumberjacks! I’m not even shitting you – they’re the lumberjacks.)

We only had one challenge: it was Sunday, December 26th.

The day after Christmas in the bible belt, in a small Texas town. Would anything even be open?

That thought only occurred to us after we rolled into town, of course, so we decided… what the hell, we’ll see what we see and have an adventure regardless.

There were a lot of places that were closed for a long and well-deserved holiday weekend. However, we did find a place called Clear Springs Cafe to sit down and have brunch. They had some of THE best banana pudding I’ve had in awhile. Total yum.

They also had some of the most weirdly motivational bathroom graffiti I’ve ever seen.

Across the parking lot was the historic train depot (closed), so we wandered around chatting while we figured out what to do next. After snapping a few pics…

… we found a place called Millard’s Crossing and decided to go. It’s a reconstructed historic village, and was super quiet and peaceful.

Of course Dad had to go and make a new friend.

And she followed us from building to building as we explored.

We never did see a docent or manager, and even though the parking lot was open, most of the buildings were closed and locked.

Except this badass log cabin, which we definitely explored.

After awhile of poking around and porch sittin’, we hit the smartphones again to see what else we might find. That’s how we stumbled on SFA and the Lumberjacks – I loved their purple football field, which was right next door to their GORGEOUS walking trail and azalea garden.

My stepmom wanted to sit and take it all in, and encouraged me and dad to walk around and look at all the plants. We snapped a few pics here too.

By then we were all a bit thirsty, so we stopped off for drinks at a local convenience store, and decided to head out to the Mounds of Alto, TX. These were once home to a thriving village of Caddo natives, and since we were all about history geekery, we hit the road again.

That was one of the most interesting little museums/exhibits I’ve ever been too. We drove into a big open space where there was a construction trailer and the mounds off in the distance. Turns out in 2019, a massive tornado destroyed the museum and several homes in town.

The guide at the Caddo Mounds Historic Site showed us where the museum was being rebuilt, and encouraged us to look through the indoor exhibits, watch the videos, and ask any questions we had.

Then came the coolest part… admission included use of the golf cart.

Angie had never driven a golf cart. Angie has now driven one, and no one was injured.

Sorry to report, no wheelies, and no videos of me doing horribly. I was actually pretty good once I figured out the trick of it, especially when I had to back up.

It was a beautiful day to go trucking around a historic site on the golf cart as the sun slowly set.

Soon it was closing time so we started to head back home. As we got back in the car, my stepmom proclaimed it “Texas day” and insisted we cap off the adventures with a barbecue dinner.

It took some hunting (day after Christmas), but we finally found one that was open and went to town on tasty smoked meats. This, my friends, is a brisket baked potato. YUM.

Third adventure down… stay tuned for the fourth and final trip with my sister and her family.



If you’re an aspiring freelancer who’s working up the courage to leave the day job… good news! I’m sharing all the things I WISH I’d known before making the leap so that hopefully your journey goes a little more smoothly than mine.

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