Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bandera, TX

I did not get to attend the Bandera Dance Rally last year, but heard about it and saw photos and videos. I knew I did not want to miss it this year. Sponsered by SI (Singles International), the singles chapter of FMCA (Family Motor Coach Association), it brings together 170 singles for 10 days of dance instructions, dancing and just good old fun. As you will see from the pictures, we all like to play and dress up, just like when we were kids.

Some line dancing.

And of course, regular swing dancing. We had a dance every evening except for Sunday, and then there was square dancing. The first week we had Ronnie Furr, a one man band, who was very good. This was his 3rd year to play for the rally. The last week we had a local band, the Lone Star Pickerz.

But we also did some sightseeing as well. One day we went over to Luckenbach, TX, made famous by Willie Nelson. It now consists of the post office above,

the dance hall, and one home. But they play live music every night and jam sessions all throughout the day.

Then on to Fredericksburg, TX. Settled by German immigrants, this was one of the first buildings built and was used as the church and community hall (this is a reproduction as the original building was destroyed).

But the museum was my main reason to check out Fredericksburg. Over 20 years ago my fathers picture was in the museum from his days in WWII. I did not find it, as they change out the exhibits regularly. They have over 41,000 WWII photos and they all cannot be displayed at once. It was a great museum on WWII and would recommend it to everyone.

And of course we couldn't miss San Antonio since it was only about 45 miles away. Here we are in front of the Alamo.

And here we are at the Buckhorn Saloon, which claims to be the oldest such establishment in San Antonio. Notice all the animal heads on the walls. The entire place was filled with stuffed animals.

Here is just a small portion of the riverwalk. We walked the entire riverwalk and then treated ourselves to ice cream at the end.

The oldest church in San Antonio. Here is where they have inturred the remains of Davy Crockett and others who fought and died at the Alamo.

Our first activity of the dance rally was a welcome BBQ called "Down on the Farm With Andy". The theme was Lil' Abner. Above is Mamie Hoackum I presume.

And here is our version of Lil' Abner and Daisy Mae. They even brought in gunfighters for a western show and Bagpipe Bob played his bagpipe for us too.

One evening we had a Roaring 20s theme. Here are some of us ladies posing for the camera.

And here were a few of the guys in their Roaring 20s garb.

Even those taking the pictures were dressed up as you can see.

But I think one the real highlights of the rally is the social times. We met every day for a full hot breakfast, then again at 4pm for social time. There were always snacks for social. When you registered at the rally you were assigned a color, thereby placing you on a team with others with your same color. Each day it was one color teams responsibility to cook breakfast, clean up, and do social hour.

Most teams put on skits and dressed up for their day as well.

This was happy hour at someone rig, which usually followed social time.

We usually met outside under this group of trees for our daily social time.

I was in the purple group and our skit was done the song "Purple People Eater".

On Saturday night we had formal glitz night.

Do you like Max's Tuxedo T-shirt?

The guys dressed up real nice too.

Bandera, TX, is known as the Cowboy Capital of the World. This is the Silver Bullet, the oldest bar in Bandera. They even put sawdust down on the dance floor.

Dance lessons were held in 2 buildings, one for beginners, the other intermediate. They were both morning and afternoon. If you went to them all you were too tired to dance every night, so most people went part time. The basic dances taught were the 2-step, waltz and swing. Some cha, cha, cajun and zydeco were also taught. The intermediate class was mainly learning fancy turns and moves to the basic steps.

One day at lunch a Tacky Fashion Show was held. Remember we all live and travel in our RVs. I can't believe what some people keep in their rigs.

But the real highlight was Wednesday evening when everyone when into town to the Cowboy Bar. They would only reserve us 70 seats, so we all went early and we all wore our rally shirts. We took up most of the bar that night. Wednesdays has live music and a 'burn your own' dinner. You bring your own meat and cook it on their large BBQ grills and they provide the plates and all the sides for only $4. What a deal.

The band invited us ladies to come on stage and help them out. Our nickname "The Irritations."

It truly is a cowboy town, someone even showed up on horseback.

Just one of 6 large grills.

And of course the dancing. I actually got to go to the Cowboy Bar 3 times while in Bandera.

We were informed the Today Show was going to interview a local man and his family about their hot dog stand. Some of us decided to put on our rally shirts and head to town, hoping to get on the Today Show. The segment aired on Saturday morning. The segment can be seen on the today show website. Many of us did get in the segment too.

Another day some of us took of to visit Stonehenge, not the one in England, but Stonehenge II, just west of Kerrsville. This is a 2/3 size replica.

Easter Island was even represented.

While out sightseeing we ran across the town of Utopia. How would you like to live in Utopia? I can truthfully say that I have been to Utopia.

We had lunch at the Lost Maples Cafe in Utopia.
Looking back at all the pictures and remembering how much fun it was, I can't believe we did all this in just 2 weeks. Yet, I can't wait until next year to do it all again!


Bob Parker And Donna Huffer said...

I said more often but 2 in one day. WOW! We will have to go to Bandera one of these days. It looks like a lot of fun.

Diana said...

Yup, that was a really fun time. I can't wait to do it again next year!

Barbara and Ron said...

Thanks for all the great pictures. Sorry we missed it (again.)