From Texas to Beyond

Local, Near and Far: Our journey of exploring the world.

Month: October 2015 (page 1 of 2)

Hiking at Palmetto State Park

Central Texas is filled with countless little-known gems. Palmetto State Park is one of these places.

On a recent trip to Rebekah’s parent’s house, the excellent weather called us outside, as it often does. Instead of spending time at our go-to outdoor venue, the family pecan farm, we ventured out. Her parents had recently visited Palmetto State Park, the setting for a church picnic. Even living only a few miles away, this had been their first visit to this little-known park.

When they recommended we hike at Palmetto for the afternoon, I was excited to visit a new state park, grabbing my camera on the way out the door.

Palmetto State Park - View of the San Marcos River

View of the San Marcos River

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The Art of Paris: The Top 5 Experiences at the Louvre

In continuing our series The Art of Paris, one must include the Louvre. With this impressive and giant museum, the only way I could think of tackling a blog article about it was to create a top 5 must see list.  You could spend months inside the museum and still not view every object.  So when you go, it is helpful if you do a little research, figure out what you want to see, it’s location, and everything in between is a bonus.

Originally the structure was built as a fortress in the 12th century.  Since then, it has had a history of never ending remodeling to meet the needs of various purposes with its latest addition in 2012.  It was once a home to Francois I and later to Louis XIV, which he found to be too busy so he built Versailles just outside of town as a retreat or place to get away.  The palace was established as a museum in 1793.

Top 5 Experiences in no particular order…

Musée du Louvre - The Flying Carpet Structure of the Islamic Gallery

The Flying Carpet Structure of the Islamic Gallery

  1. The Islamic Galleries “Flying Carpet” – This beautiful addition was complete in September of 2012.  Located in an internal courtyard, the roof or flying carpet, does not touch the original facade of the Louvre.   It is a beautiful marriage of traditional architecture of the Louvre, and valuing progress with a modern structure.   The exhibit space is submerged 40 feet into the ground to provide light sensitive objects a safe viewing space.  I am not sure how much time I spent looking at the structure.  It was truly stunning.

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The Art of Paris: Père Lachaise Cemetery

I proudly introduce my sister, Rachel Cabal, as a guest blogger.  Mom and Dad would would pile us in the van and take off for 1-2 week vacations across the US.  They officially gave us the travel bug.  We have spent time traveling in Texas, Belize, and recently met up in Madrid.  From Texas to Beyond is excited to bring you her unique perspectives as an incredibly talented care giver for the aging.  Rachel is a Licensed Recreational Coordinator for skilled nursing units, specializing in geriatrics.  Today Rachel is sharing her perspective on The Art of Paris.

Every day I get to go to work and encounter elders. I hear stories about spirituality, life’s work, family, loss and celebration, and TRAVEL. Reminiscing about travel is a favorite activity for our elders and they invite me to present my impressions of places they traveled years before. In my Paris presentation, I included Père Lachaise Cemetery.

You might imagine that a review of a cemetery wouldn’t be an interesting topic for folks in their later years, but I love to share that I understand death to be a part of life and that cemeteries are tangible celebrations of lives. Père Lachaise is a visual, physical, and spiritual experience not to be missed when visiting Paris.

Père Lachaise Cemetery - Jim Morrison's Grave

Jim Morrison’s Grave

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The Art of Paris: Monet’s Water Lilies at the Musée de l’Orangerie

The third art museum in The Art of Paris series is least known of the four museums we visited during our visit to Paris. Inside an old converted green house, the Musée de l’Orangerie offers Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces with less crowds.

While not as popular as the Musée d’Orsay’s Impressionist collection, l’Orangerie includes significant works by numerous French painters.

However, the headliner of the gallery is Claude Monet.

Rebekah at the Musée de l'Orangerie

Rebekah at the Musée de l’Orangerie

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The Art of Paris: The Stained Glass Windows of Sainte-Chapelle

In continuing our series, The Art of Paris, we have chosen to include the beautiful chapel, Sainte-Chapelle.  The artisans that created the stained glass windows must be celebrated and honored!  Walking into this chapel is like walking into your very own jewelry box filled with precious stones.

Upper Sanctuary Interior Sainte-ChapelleI had never heard of the destination until a cousin at a family reunion shared his experience with me.  He is an incredibly talented interior designer with exquisite taste.  Years ago, he stumbled upon this jewel and told me I had to go, so of course, I listened.

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