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Is There No Balm In Goliad For My Soul … And My Redneck … And Wi-Fi?

July 24th, 2016 · Tags:Cities · Coffee Shops · Hotels · Wi-Fi

ESPIRITU Plaque

“That’s right, ‘I AM’ from Texas,” to misquote a lyric from AggieLand’s Lyle Lovett … but even though I am from Texas, sorry to say I don’t like very much country music. But, there have been a few moments when country music has struck a chord … I remember several of my buddies and I made exceptions for Merle’s “Silver Wings,” Freddie’s “Easy Lovin,” Pure Prairie League’s “Tears,” Kenny doing Mel’s “Ruby,’ and all them “drangin songs” by Gary Stewart.  That’s my kinda country.  And of course there’s that Outlaw Country thing …

But today, the artist I want to talk about for a minute falls into that last sub-genre.  There was this one recording by the late Texas outlaw Rusty Weir …  Do you remember Rusty?  Yes, I Iove and still have Rusty’s “Black Hat Saloon.”  Only recently did I learn he wrote “Don’t It Make You Wanna Dance.”  Apologies.  I always thought that was a Jerry Jeff Walker original.  I was wrong.

But when I think of Rusty Weir, the recording that comes to mind most is not one of his hits, it’s an old Lone Star Beer commercial in which Rusty is singing about the “Turkey Trot in old Cuero.”  I have Googled until I got finger cramps looking for the old clip. No luck.  Do you know it? (Hopefully, it was Rusty …)

Well … ever since I heard that song in the TV ad — probably back before I was old enough to drink longnecks — I have wanted to visit Ol’ Cuero.

Mission accomplished.

GOLIAD Mission sized

 

Last week was yet another mixture of sunscreen, a Triumph motorcycle, Texas music, Texas history and Wi-Fi blogging as this wanderer completed what may now be known among Wi-Fi/motorcycle circles as … or maybe it won’t … as “The Ping Triangle.”  (See PingWF logo … I digress). That’s what I am now calling the 80-mile jaunt from Victoria to Cuero and to “Remember Goliad.”  What a nice little Texas history ride.

First stop Victoria.  After all, it is “The Crossroads of South Texas” (and Vega is The Crossroads Of The Nation … I digress …)

I spent the night in my hotel of choice as of late, a Hilton Garden Inn, right off the loop on the northwest end of Victoria.

 

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Hilton Gardens Inn has great Wi-Fi, with the only downfall being that you have to log back in every 24 hours.  Not a problem for a one night stand, but upstream in Houston, I have logged on about 95 times now at my other HGI.  Both HGIs have pretty good baked cookies every afternoon.  Whereas the Houston HGI serves too-sweet “lemonade” and also melon water, the Victoria HGI served up cucumber water … a first for me … interesting … its like a salad you can slurp.  Do hostesses with the mostestes serve cucumber water with cucumber sandwiches?  Regardless – 5 pings

(I was going to deduct a point from Hilton Garden Inn Victoria for the low-lives blockading one side of the pool and chain smoking in the public area … but I later found out they were hotel crashers … not HGI’s fault … much.)

Before the hotel,  my first stop in Victoria was merely for the air conditioning and a cold beverage.  The first place I spotted near downtown on US 59 Business was a chicken joint called Moo-Moo’s.  What’s up with chicken and cows these day, huh?  Well, I popped in Moo-Moo’s and downed a Dr. Pepper, but unfortunately had recently eaten.  The aroma of the fried chicken almost prompted me to eat again any way.  Smelled wonderful … but over eating fried food in Texas heat … not a good idea.   I skipped and then revisited a day later on Sunday.  NO!  Moo-Moo’s chicken was closed on Sunday.  What is it with chicken joints and Sunday?  By the way, I think that is about three chicken joint blogs in a row here on PingWi-Fi … I digress.  No Wi-Fi at Moo-Moo’s … no score.

The big score in Victoria was Ventura’s Tamales.  The locals tell me the place has “gone a bit commercial” now that they have plates and new digs and everything … alluding to a simpler time and a more “rustic” building.  Regardless, I ate it up and I am not a big tamale lover.  I had my usual enchiladas, but also a tamale on the plate.  Get this … Ventura’s smothers the tamale in sauce just like the enchiladas.  I had not seen that before, but what do I know?  It worked.

 

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Ventura’s smothers a mean tamale.  Sadly, no Wi-Fi, but hell, they just recently got plates.  You can’t have it all … 6 pings.

Next up … back to the triangle … I got an early start to Ol’ Cuero before the heat set in.  It’s a pretty straight shot, with little to blog about … mostly farm land northwest on 87..  I love that, but it’s not very exciting.  Then, I pulled the Thunderbird off the main road in Cuero and saw some treasures — so many old, cool two- and three-story mansions.  Very nice.

 

From THRILLIST

From THRILLIST

 

TurkeyFest

And yes, I rode the bike along the route where the turkeys actually compete for fun and prizes.  The Turkey Trot is now called TurkeyFest, but they say it gets bigger and bigger each year … despite the fact the same turkeys are featured every year … at least the same names.  And the name of the hometown favorite turkey? Ruby!  Love it. And there is quite a hoopla for the winner, upon which the titled is bestowed:  ”The Traveling Turkey Trophy of Tumultuous Triumph,” (yes Triumph … I digress.)

The old downtown looked like a great potential backdrop for a period film … or a turkey race.  Very cool.  But I cruised on.

 

GOLIAD Presidio sized

On to Goliad … Why did I think that was a famous line from Texas history?  I must have been thinking of some other war … But Goliad saw its share and “Remember Goliad” is a runner-up as famous slogans go from the Texas Revolution, helping to inspire the Texans who won the Battle of San Jacinto … you can read all of that (see link) … The Goliad story culminating in the infamous massacre/execution of 300-400 Texans by Santa Anna’s forces, after the Texans surrendered, out of provisions and ammunition.

Battle_of_Goliad

Despite the heat, I roamed around the fortress grounds at The Presidio Nuestra Señora de Loreto de la Bahía and saw the stone walls where the firing squad massacre took place … sweltering and watching other tourists “re-enact the battle” with their cell phones and Pokemon Go creatures.  Ha … I think that is what they were doing, as I was climbing around the old gun turrets. Pointer … stay inside the fort and read all of the historical accounts on the wall.  Sure, you can read the information on line, but the best-kept secret is that the air conditioning  vents in the tourist center are in the floor right below the plaques.  You read, you get cooled.  I like incentive-based learning …

Presidio

Also … checked out the old mission between Goliad and The Presidio, adjacent to Goliad State Park – the Mission Nuestra Señora del Espíritu Santo de Zúñiga. Pretty scenic … wish I had carried the Nikon.  I suppose shots from the iPhone will suffice.

Goliad State Park

 

GOLIAD COFFEE sized

Earlier in the day, on the square in Goliad I spotted a little coffee shop out of the corner of my squinty eye.  There was a sign that said coffee.  Needed it.  Got it.  And what a cool cafe — Mattie’s Bakery & Cafe — with an upstairs complete with a shower in the bathroom (I looked to make sure no one was in it before proceeding) and an awesome view of the old Second Empire style courthouse.  The cafe touts on Facebook their recent addition of a very cool and colorful saltillo tile stairway … and I agree it is pretty fancy … But not so decorative that I didn’t almost fall down it … missing the first step on the way out, still in my riding shades.  There was Wi-Fi, but the waitress didn’t know the password.  I assume it was just for the staff.  Regardless,  the coconut pie — both the meringue and the whipped cream varieties — were delicioso!

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Get me Wi-Fi and a better highlighting of the artful stairway and it could be a perfect score.  Two of the best wedges of coconut pie on the entire triangulated journey, and a room with a view … 6 pings.

And back to Victoria and Houston …

Know what I sayin?