Sunday, April 18, 2010


Yesterday, my wife and I took a long drive, the kind we used to take regularly. I didn't get nearly enough photos to commemorate the event, but I did take a few that I'm willing to share.

The primary purpose of our trip was to view wildflowers, and we saw enormous fields of wildflowers of all sorts...bluebonnets, Indian paintbrush, evening primrose, and vast pastures full of yellow and deep red and orange flowers we could not name. But I only took a few photos...and not of the most breathtaking scenes, either, because I was so overwhelmed by them I forgot to get the camera. Instead, I took two photos of little clumps of bluebonnets, close up. (Click on any photo to embiggen.)

We stumbled upon a little town called Teague and my wife noticed an old train depot that had been turned into a museum. We stopped (expecting to be there a few minutes) and were transfixed by the old place. It's a treasure-trove of information about trains in general and trains that used to be the heartbeat of Teague, in particular. Just like the wildflower situation, I failed to take many pictures of the building or the trains and train-related equipment it housed. I did get a photo of a room that portrayed the way "it used to be."

As we were leaving, we noticed the old Teague Hotel right next door and I commented that I'd like to have the money and the time to rehab the old place.

Later, as we were meandering through backroads on our way home, we came across an area that was marked with dozens of signs like this:
I've never seen "Forbidden Zone" signs before, but they gave me shivers, as if I had re-entered the George W. Bush years. The signs were meant to warn people away from the watershed area of an important reservoir. I guess their targets are terrorists who would poison our water supplies. I thought to myself, "That should work. Terrorists wouldn't dare go into an area marked with such ominous, threatening signs."

Then, as we were wending our way back home, we came upon a Tex-Mex restaurant in the middle of nowhere (just outside a tiny town called Grays Prairie)...Tena's Tex-Mex. It looked sufficiently funky and was so "out of the way" that we had to try it. We tend to assume such places will be fantastic "finds" on our travels.

We should have acted on our first impulse when we walked in to see the place had not had its tables cleared from the last patrons. There were dirty tables everywhere; we finally found a cleared table and sat there, but I took a photo of some surrounding tables, which looked just like almost every other table in the place.

The appearance of the place notwithstanding, we decided to stay. The chips and salsa were more than adequate, which often signals what's to come. But when our meals were served, I was deeply disappointed. The only thing on the plates that was even remotely warm was the pork flauta, which had just been fried. Everything else was just under room temperature. Even the beans. I didn't take a picture of the LOOKED alright, it was just cold.

I rarely advise people NOT to eat at any restaurant, because I tend to think of restaurant selections as personal choices as much as selections based on quality of food. Not so with Tena's. Obviously, Tena's Tex-Mex has never had a food inspector visit...otherwise, it either would have been closed down or threatened with same unless their food-handling practices were upgraded.

1 comment:

Me, You, or Ellie said...

This is the saddest thing I have ever read. There is nothing worse than expecting a good Tex-Mex meal -- from such a cool looking place! -- and not getting it. Har-umph.