Friday, August 19, 2016

West Texas

 A little something most people that know me know-I'm a fan of the weekend get away.  I want to explore every nook and cranny of a small town.  I'm in love with old Main Streets.  I grieve for close store fronts, and wonder about what was, and who experienced it.  Hotel Settles has been on my short 'to go' list since I read about it a few years back.  It was built in 1930 in Big Springs, Texas.  It's still the tallest building in town, and can be seen, with a back drop of the wind farms in the distance from many points throughout the city.
 The real draw for me, this was a town my grandfather called home once upon a time.  He's the only grandparent I really had the pleasure of knowing.  I didn't get to ask him nearly enough questions because I was still too young to know what questions I'd wonder about.  I do get the pleasure of spending the occasional lunch with his younger sister, and she fills in some of the gaps in his childhood I wish I had time to hear from him.  I love that this hotel was something he would have seen as a little boy on the streets of Big Springs.
 This hotel has sat vacant for years, and just a few years ago it was restored.  They did a great job of keeping the vintage feel, but bringing it up to date with modern conveniences.  Like, this pool....
 A little desert oasis, my Mom, Aunt, Cousin and I spent time at on the, much too brief trip to Big Springs.  The rooms are beautiful, and the lobby is classy, open, and it is surrounded by a great restaurant, bar, and a gorgeous ball room.
 I wish I had more pictures, but these few photos were taken from my iphone because a cooler was accidentally dumped on my camera, and it went on strike.  This means....I'll need to go back!
From Dallas, this was about a four out trip...if you don't stop at all the litttle antique stores in the little towns between here and there....and we did.  We also hit up Sweetwater, another town my Granddad called home. I was able to find the addresses where he lived here and in Abilene, and we swung by the houses he called home once upon a childhood.
 We also swung through Mineral Wells, which is a book end to this trip.  My Mom and Aunt have fond memories of this (currently closed) hotel.  My Mom took diving lessons in the huge pool that stands next to the pool.  It's currently in disrepair.  Windows are broken out, and the weather and human intervention have done a number on the innards, but having seen Hotel Settles...I can't imagine how awesome this would be with some TLC.  There is a group currently trying to get it restored.
We walked around the outside, and peeked through the fences, but while we were there for all of ten minutes, there were three other groups we ran into doing the same thing.  I have a feeling filling these rooms won't be a problem because it seems we aren't the only ones drawn to the past in hopes of getting to visit some of those memories again!