But when we come to Texas, we are usually on such a tight schedule that there is no time left.
This trip was planned with some cushion for just this sort of thing.
As we left the Houston area and headed towards Austin, we took a detour through Aggieland.
First I drove around looking for a few old haunts.
The town has changed so much.
I was able to find a Whataburger that I frequented on late nights after leaving my bartender job, but my old apartments and places of employment have been replaced with newer and bigger...
Some areas were really unrecognizable because of the growth.
And although the campus itself has undergone changes and growth as well, most of it remains just as I remember.
It's strange how something so far removed from your life can feel so familiar.
Our first stop was Kyle Field.
We walked around campus on one of the hottest days of our whole trip with temperatures reaching 104!
Afterwards, we found a parking garage and took off for a walking tour of some memorable spots.
One of the places I took the kids was Sterling Evans Library.
What was crazy was how it smelled!
EXACTLY the same as I remember!
We took the elevator to the 5th floor.
This was the week of finals for summer school Ags, so while there weren't many people there, we were quiet for the sake of those who were studying...and...because its a library.
You can't help but whisper.
I showed the kids the study carrels that I remembered soooooo well.
Ivan found a pencil and we grabbed some books so they could pose like studious college students.
Or maybe that was just me!
Cool Hannah photo!
Next stop was Mosher Hall in the Commons.
I guess we looked innocent enough as I was able to easily convince a student to let us into the hall.
We walked to the 3rd floor
Hannah pointed out to me that they were...
This used to be a girls dorm!
We left the Commons and took a walk through the Quad that houses the Corps of Cadets.
Love this plaque that is inside the Quad.
Lots of nice changes, but somethings just looked the same to me and I loved that.
Jenelle bought a hoodie that I'm sure will show up in future pictures as the weather grows colder.
Just look for a BRIGHT pink hoodie with Texas A&M on the front.
Wish I had bought this shirt...
Of course pictures at the Academic Building and Sul Ross statue were in order.
We saw piles of pennies at the feet of Sul Ross and I was at a loss as to why they were there.
This is apparently, a tradition that I didn't take part in when I was a student.
I found a great short article from the Battalion that explains the tradition.
You can read it here!
Carrying on down the walk and we came to the Century Tree...a 100+ year old live oak that has been home to many marriage proposals and even weddings!
Its big and beautiful and I can't even let my head go to a time when an amazing thing like this tree isn't around any more.
Just a couple more pictures Hannah took along the tour...
We left campus and found a Wings 'N More - a necessity!
Then, we made one more trip back to campus before we left for Austin.
I wanted to visit the Bonfire Memorial.
I didn't expect to be moved as much as I was...it was powerful.
And until I read this - I wasn't even aware of all the beautiful details that were included in the memorial.
Its a short article...and worthwhile.
This particular poem was written by one of the Aggies who died in the collapse.
Everyone feels strongly about their university.
But for Texas A&M, truer words have not been spoken...
After a full, fun and hot day, we needed to move on.
It had been a long afternoon for some of us...