The only thing of note in Port Lavaca is a museum that is closed on Mondays. My own reason for going into town was to mail two packages that could have waited another day or two, so I almost stayed in.
Instead, I decided to take Pam’s advice and go on a drive to Goliad, one of the oldest towns in Texas. Its name is an anagram, minus the H, of Hidalgo, a Mexican priest and leader of the Mexican War of Independence.
Most of the town was shut down, so I just followed my nose to the Empresario Restaurant, a sliver of a building with a warm decor. It had a simple menu with burgers and the like as well as a few Mexican dishes. I chose the cheese enchiladas and was a little surprised that they came smothered in BEEF. I didn’t send it back since the rice, beans, and corn tortilla enchiladas were fantastic. The little beef I took in was nicely seasoned. It’s not their fault that beef does nothing for me. Lunch was gigantic and I wound up leaving a bit of everything (well, a lot of the beef) and I still came out at $9 with the tip! Service was great, too. No regrets on my lunch choice! Amusingly enough, I checked my email on my phone while waiting for my food and there was an email from Pam recommending the fried chicken and iced tea at Empresario!
Then, I found an ATM of the drive-through variety (I got an odd look from a few people because I walked to it). That’s one thing about the US that boggles me; people just about never need to get out of their cars. You have drive through banks (not just ATMs, you can deal with a teller from your car!), drive through pharmacies, drive through restaurants (and not just fast food), and even drive through liquor stores.
THANK GOODNESS I took out cash because a few hours later my credit card was denied at a gas station. Not declined, denied. I haven’t been able to get through to them as the lines are busy, but I did my work around (called the main CIBC number instead of the Visa number) and got an automated message that they were having a problem with authorizations on their credit cards. I thought I might have a security hold, but it looks like the problem has nothing to do with me specifically. Ah, I just got a message from a friend while writing this post and the ENTIRE VISA SYSTEM ACROSS CANADA WAS DOWN THIS AFTERNOON. OMG. Anyway, it’s all restored now and I’m not stranded anywhere!
Next, I walked around the courthouse that features a hanging tree where justice was expediently served. From there, I strolled a block to the post office. I got a really nice lady who told me not to miss Presidio La Bahia, which I was planning to head to. She told me that that and the state park were pretty much the only things open at this time, so that was good info.
It was misting when I got out of the post office and walked the few blocks to my truck, but the weather cleared somewhat by the time I got to Presidio La Bahia. Presidio is my Spanish word of the week; it means fort.
Presidio La Bahia was founded in 1721 on the ruins of a French fort, moved several times, and was restored to its original state in the 1960s. It is now the best preserved presidio in the U.S. Until today, if you had asked me how much I know about Texas history, I would have replied, “Not much.” Now, I know I actually had a very good colouring book out line of it! I knew the general gist of events and the names of the main players involved. Very surprising! Who says you can’t learn anything from a TV mini-series like True Women?
This fort was at the centre of many sieges and battles in the Mexican War of Independence and ensuing Texas Revolution as well as the site of the Goliad Massacre.
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