Day 1 – Gainesville to Carthage – Bonjour, Y’all (340 miles)

And so the quest begins…

Debra Bustos, Morgan Taylor, and Diann Bayes begin their quest to answer the question “How Big is Texas.”

It was a whirlwind of a day starting with the packing of the rental car, a Chevy Equinox. Three women, nine days, snacks, drinks, cameras, and a minimum of 27 outfits, multiple pairs of shoes, and assorted beauty products don’t lend for small packing, even though we did our best. We won’t see the back windshield for more than a week but we are making it work.

Gainesville, Texas

Our departure city of Gainesville, Texas, is home to Frank Buck Zoo. While we didn’t have the time to visit the zoo this go around, we highly recommend a day out in nature, enjoying the wildlife and exotic animals the attraction has to offer.

If you’re looking for a great bite to eat, grab some great Texas BBQ at the Rib Crib.

Our first stop along our journey across the perimeter of Texas was the city of Sherman. While we saw a number of interesting locations, our choice was the Sherman Jazz Museum. Since we’re pressed for time on this trip, we didn’t get to go inside, but in researching the museum, we learned when it was being built, it was the largest Masonic Lodge in Texas. Named after Alamo hero Colonel William Travis, the museum houses items like Dizzy Gillespie’s Trumpet, a mural of Ella Fitgerald, and thousands of jazz albums. Definitely on the list for a return engagement.

Sherman Jazz Museum in Sherman, Texas

In the words of the great Humphrey Bogart in the movie classic, Casablanca, “We’ll always have Paris.” You haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Texas. The cowboy hat makes it so very Texas and the often heard greeting around the city is “Bonjour, Y’all.”

Time for lunch. We stopped in the northeast corner of Texas, the city of Texarkana. We grabbed a bite at Pecan Point Brewing. We skipped the brew for now, but enjoyed gourmet burgers, salads, and sweet iced tea.

We also got to see a fabulous mural and learned that the Father of Ragtime Scott Joplin was a native of Texarkana. This incredible mural is located in their downtown district.

Scott Joplin mural downtown Texarkana

While shopping seemed to be the scene of the day in Jefferson, we needed to stretch our legs so we explored the Port Jefferson History & Nature Center Trail.

When you’re traveling, there’s nothing like a home-cooked meal to get you through. My Aunt Ruth Sheppard’ neighbors, Clay and Stefanie Clevenger in Bullard, Texas, offered to give us a fish fry with all the trimmings. My Aunt made a fabulous rum cake and my cousin Wanda Johnson made a delectable peach dessert. It was great to catch up with family along the way. If Clay would ever open a restaurant, Clay’s Catch of the Day would be my restaurant suggestion.

We ended the evening in Carthage, Texas. Looking forward to our second leg on our quest. Safe travels and catch you later!

6 Comments Add yours

  1. East texas fish fry – how fun!
    Looks like y’all’ having fun.

    1. diannbayes says:

      So far so good. Thanks for following us, Joan!

    2. diannbayes says:

      It was a great time!

  2. Ann Barker says:

    Enjoyed the trip so far. My mouth is watering for some of that fried fish!

    1. diannbayes says:

      It was delicious!

    2. diannbayes says:

      Thanks, Ann.

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