Recommendations

Apologies for the lack of posts as of late. Some unexpected events last week derailed me, and this week has been all about playing catch-up.

My boyfriend and I have grand plans to visit Texas in the not-so-distant future, home of my paternal relatives. He has yet to experience the joys of Texas, so I’m excited to introduce him to the South, particularly Blue Bell ice cream.

The drive from the midwest to Texas is non-trivial, so I was hoping to break it up with a basilica visit in there. Alas, if you check out the map, there’s pretty much nothing in-between Illinois and Texas, even on my list of non-basilicas. Since I am very unfamiliar with that part of the country, I am looking for suggestions from others.

In general, we’ll be going through southern Illinois, the western Tennessee/Kentucky border, and the middle and southwest of Arkansas during the day time. Some of the places we’ll be driving through which I suspect will be more likely to have some good candidates are:

  • Memphis, TN
  • Little Rock, AK
  • Shreveport, LA

All three of these cities are seats of Catholic dioceses, so I’m sure there are some interesting histories there. Additionally, Martin Luther King Jr. gave his last speech in the headquarters and church of the Church of God in Christ in Memphis.

Additionally, we’ll be in southeastern Texas during our stay, so recommendations for the following are also appreciated:

  • Bryan/College Station, TX (home of Texas A&M)
  • Houston, TX
  • Galveston, TX
  • Beaumont, TX

I make no promises about getting to any of these places during this particular trip, but since it’s family down there and all (and I’m actually closer now that I’m not in Virginia!), I’m hoping to make the drive every once in a while. Additionally, the basilica in Galveston, TX was closed indefinitely after Hurricane Ike in 2008 due to extensive water damage. With family in the area, it’ll likely be available for us to visit on another trip down there when it reopens.

Any recommendations for that general vicinity? Please leave them in the comments below!

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4 thoughts on “Recommendations

  1. It sounds like you’ll be bypassing the St. Louis area – but one obscure place is Trail of Tears State Park near Jackson, MO. It commemorates one of the saddest episodes in our Nation’s history, and has some beautiful views of the Mississippi River. A bit further off your route, in the Ozarks, is Blue Spring – near Van Buren, MO. Its out of your way, but its one of the most spectacular things to see in all the Midwest. It honestly looks like its straight out of the Caribbean or something. In Arkansas, you’ll probably go right past the historic bathhouses of Hot Springs National Park – which actually has a claim to be an even-older National Park than Yellowstone (but I haven’t been to that one myself yet…)

  2. Thanks for all of the suggestions! We won’t be heading directly through St. Louis, but even if we were, we’d be getting there around 7 AM or so – right at the beginning of our trip. But, we plan on heading out that way in the next year or so, as neither of us has ever been to St. Louis. However, the National Park *is* on our way, and depending on how good of time we’re making when we get there on either leg of our trip, we may have to stop! I’ll be sure to let you know how it is if we do go.

  3. I can’t give many recommendations for the parts of Texas that you’ll be passing through (I’m in Austin, which you just miss), other than to say that while you’re passing through A&M you should check out the Aggies’ Catholic center. There are some good people there, though most of my contacts at that university have graduated since i last visited.

    Sounds like a fun trip, though!

    • JC – I had a chance to attend Mass there during my Christmas break in 2010, and it was wonderful! I’ve read so much about how great the Aggies’ Catholic Church is, and even though it was break, it was great to see it in action!

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