Monday, August 4, 2008


Got back from Colorado last Friday. It was soooo nice and cool there I was sorry to come back to these 100+ degree scorcher days. We had lots of fun, hiked up to Chimney Rock, rode innertubes on the river, played lots of 42 and cards and ate lots. Hope to get back up there in October and see the pretty fall colors.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Back from Australia

Melissa's home!!! I drove up to DFW airport yesterday to pick her up. Her plane came in at 12:15 AM. I spent the whole day driving up there and caching along the way. Got to near the airport just about dark and ate dinner and went for a few parking-lot night caches. I found 16 caches yesterday - my record for 1 day. We got home around 4AM this morning and slept and recovered today. She already is ready to go back to her apartment - stayed just long enough for me to do her laundry. Oh well, at least she's nearby.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Trip is over - time to pack

Got into Oklahoma early, but decided to stay there instead of heading home. We all went out to eat good mexican food that night with Judy and her mother. Headed home the next day - dropped bill and emily off at Temple and got home early Friday afternoon. Tim and Ruth had stayed in Denver a couple of nights and flew home Friday too.

It was a great trip - everyone had a good time and all were fun to be with. Nobody got mad (I think) or got their feelings hurt (I hope). Don't know what the boys have planned for their 61st birthday year, but I hope I get to go. I don't mind being the youngest of the group and tagging along, if they don't mind being the old folks, ha, ha.

Well, time to start packing for my Colorado trip - wheeeeeee!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Leaving the coolness

We got up really early (tim and ruth slept in tho) and loaded up and headed home. It was 54 degrees when we left Deadwood, and 95 degrees when we stopped in Kansas to spend the first night. Eeek. We saw a wagon train on the road in Nebraska or Kansas. Can't remember which - seemed like a perfect way to end a trip to cowboy country. Never knew what it was for - just a regular midwest occurrence I guess.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Spearfish Canyon & Sturgis

Today we rode/drove in Spearfish Canyon to Spearfish (big bill rode on the motorcycle) then on to Sturgis to have lunch and look around. Sturgis is a really small town, but they have a motorcycle rally for 2 weeks in August, and 500,000 motorcycle riders come to town. I wouldn't want to be there then. After lunch, everyone but bill and I went with Tim back to Rapid City to turn in his bike. Bill and I rode the motorcycle on the back road to Deadwood. I had never ridden for very long before and it was so much fun. The road was great - windy, hilly, not much traffic. Hmm, maybe I'll get a motorcycle!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Mt. Rushmore

Today we drove thru Custer State Park to Mt. Rushmore, then on to the Crazy Horse Memorial, then back to Deadwood. This is a beautiful area - lots of trees and water and rolling hills. It rained really hard while we were at Mt. Rushmore, but we were luckily inside and waited it out. The boys got a little wet on their bikes later in the afternoon, but they had put their wet gear on and were prepared. Emily got to ride on the motorcycle today.

and Crazy Horse

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Rapid city and the Badlands

We all drove into Rapid City to the Harley place so Tim could pick up the motorcycle he had rented. Then Emily and Ruth and I piled into the car and Tim and Bill and big Bill got on the motorcycles and we headed to the Badlands. It was a nice drive and we put the top down when we started going on the slower roads. The weather was great. This is a real bleak looking but pretty area. I was impressed that Big Bill was able to ride behind the motorcycle all that way - he had so much fun doing it too.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Arrived in Deadwood

Made it into Deadwood early afternoon and proceeded to hit the slot machines in our hotel. I'd never played penny slots before. You just stick a dollar bill in and play 1 cent at a time. You can play for hours at that rate and not lose much. Of course, you don't win much either. Tim and Ruth got there later in the evening and we all went out to eat across the street at the casino buffet. This picture is us with the free champagne lady in the hotel casino (the champagne was free, not the lady).

Friday, June 20, 2008

Leaving Oklahoma

We loaded up the truck and left early this morning - made it all the way to South Platte, Nebraska. Here we are ready to take off with the truck, trailer and motorcycle in tow in Bill's driveway.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

South Dakota trip

It's really July 2 but I'm pre-dating these entries so the dates will match the activities. For those of you who don't know the story - here's the setup. My brother Tim (Orlando) and his best friend from high school Bill (Edmond, OK) since before they were born (parents were best friends too) turned 60 this year and decided to take a trip to Deadwood, South Dakota to ride their Harleys. I invited myself along, then so did Emily (Temple), who also is turning 60 this year and has been friends with them since before birth too (her parents and our parents were all bestest friends for all their lives and her little sister Andrea was my best friend when we were growing up). So we decided to also take Bill's 90-yr old dad with us, Big Bill (see, there's little bill and big bill, even tho Big Bill is now skinny and little and Little Bill is now not, ha, ha). Ruth and Judy were coming too but Judy had to back out at the last minute so it was just going to be the 6 of us. Anybody not confused yet?

OK, South Dakota here we come! Emily and BIll and I set off for OK today, leaving Andrea and Sophia all sad that they weren't coming with us. Too bad!!! Nyah, nyah, nyah. Little Bill's house in Edmond is really pretty and the neighborhood is beautiful. We had a nice evening there.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Cool picture

Here's a cool tree I saw while hiking on the greenbelt last month.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

May post

It's May and I haven't posted anything this month! I actually am traveling today, tho I don't know if coming up to Temple to spend the night should count. Andrea's not even here - she went to Boulder this week so I'm staying here alone. But that's ok cause I'm staying up all night on her computer (drank too much diet coke earlier).

I came up to visit with Mary & Gary and her family - they're visiting this weekend and won't be coming back for the reunion in August. I did a little geocaching (my new hobby) on the way up here - took me 5 hours to get from Austin to Temple, and an awful lot of sweat too! After I got here and got cleaned up and got Andrea's digital TV box and new printer installed, I called Emily and she said to meet her at the French Quarter. So I drove over there and found Emily, Robert, Charles & Sophia, Chuck & Kathy, Paul & Amy and the kids - big crowd and we all ate and visited. Then I went to get the geocache that was right there and went driving around for a few more before it got dark.

Tomorrow I'm heading out to visit with the Newburns, then heading home to go to the movie with Sharon. We still haven't seen Iron Man and also want to see Indiana Jones this weekend. 3 more weeks till the big trip!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Home from Spain

Mon pm

We're home! The flights went well, although we had a close call with the connection in Boston. We had 2 hrs between flights, but there was a mob getting bags and going through customs, then re-checking the bags back thru. They just had us leave our bags and go, so I had a suspicion that the bags wouldn't get to the next flight on time, and they didn't. We had to hotfoot it to the shuttle bus and run to make our DFW connection but we did. Finally got to Austin at midnight and waited for bags that didn't come, but we were expecting that. Was first in line to fill out the lost bag form so we didn't have to wait too long at the airport.

Got to sleep late this morning and recover and our bags just arrived, so we're home free. Ebony is back from the kennel and she survived, so all is well. Sharon's doing her laundry and I'm going to go see if all my shows recorded - got lots to catch up on - LOST!!!!!

Oh, Melissa, I had about 25 Euros left at the airport, so we bought 2 huge bars of Toblerone and a bag of mini-toblerones!!!!!! Sorry!!!! mmmmmmm

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Mmmm, Hot Chocolate


We didn´t do too much today - just went to the Puerta de Sol and Plaza Mayor areas and walked around and watched all the tourists. Lots of shops, plazas with outdoor cafes, and wandering entertainers. A brass band, various statue-type mimes (pretending to be a statue then move and scare people), acordian players and stuff. It was sunny but cool, so we sat and had a hot chocolate and pastry. The hot chocolate was NOT hot choc milk, it was more like hot Hershey´s syrup, just a little thinner than that - yum.

Then we walked around some more, met Elisha, walked around some more, stopped for a drink at a sidewalk cafe, then went inside another and had a late lunch. Then we walked back to the hotel. Now we´re resting and packing - leaving in the morning. Looks like our flights have not been canceled, at least so far, so hopefully the airports won´t be too crowded.

Instead of going out for dinner tonight, we went to TGI Friday's and each had a nice, large chocolate dessert. MMMM

Bye for now.

Friday, April 11, 2008

San Lorenzo de el Escorial

Fri PM

Today we took an hour bus ride to San Lorenzo de el Escorial to see the Royal Monastery. When it was built in 1563 (took 21 years) and for many years afterwards, it was the largest building in the world. Lots of churchy paintings, stone hallways, king´s palace stuff, huge and beautiful basilica, painted ceilings, and the Royal Pantheon - burial place of all the kings of spain and relatives. It was pretty neat. It was really cold and windy too - it´s up in the mountains and there´s a tiny, cute town next door.

Now I´m browsing AA website to see if our flights from Boston and DFW are going to be cancelled. Thurs both flights were cancelled, Friday´s flights I won´t know for a few hours. Maybe we´ll get to spend a couple of days in Boston. Both flights (Boston to DFW and DFW to Austin) are on the MD-80s which have been grounded.

No plans for tomorrow - maybe just hang out. Maybe the sun will come out again.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Thurs afternoon

Wed we took the metro to the bus station and got tickets on a bus to Segovia - another walled town about and hour away. It was really neat - they had an old Roman aqueduct, lots of little streets inside the walled part, a huge cathedral and an old castle. The castle tour was pretty neat.

Last night we met Elisha for dinner at a German beer hall type place - had apple cider and some real good roasted chicken and sausage.

Today we slept in late and then met up with Elisha - she took the day off. Went to another art museum, ate lunch, walked around a park, and then back to the hotel. I think we´re running out of things to do cause we don´t want to do any more art museums and it´s been pretty rainy. Tomorrow, we´re planning another bus trip out of town. Still haven´t found an Espana hoody and now I´m also looking for a polka hat!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Museum Day

Tues 10pm

OK, this first picture is for Melissa - we´re seeing lots of smart cars here but this one was particularly cute.

Last night we met Elisha and she took us to a favorite place for dinner with her friend Sara. It was another bar. I think the only place she knows to go eat at are bars that serve tapas, so that´s what we had. They were really good - the second picture is a shish-kabob thingy that comes hanging from a stand.

Today we took the metro down to the museum area. We tried to go to the Sophia art museum, but it is closed on Tues, so we walked down to the Prado and saw lots and lots of paintings and sculptures. Finally got arted out after a few hours. Then we walked around the city a long ways in the govt buildings and museums area and wound up at the Hard Rock cafe so of course, had to go in and eat lunch and buy tshirts. Then took about an hour to walk back to the hotel via a round-about route cause I had left the street map in the room, so we walked from metro station to metro station and figured out our route that way. The metro maps don´t really show any streets or street names, but we knew which metro station we wanted to end up at.

Stayed in a couple of hours and rested up, then decided to go to a movie. Went down to the Plaza Espana where there are a lot of theatres, some that show Original Version movies that are subtitled. Went to see Juno - really tiny theatre - good movie. They didn´t sell popcorn or anything tho, booo! Tomorrow, road trip to Segovia.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Toledo, Spain

Mon 6:30 PM spain time

Today we went to Toledo, an old medieval town about an hour from Madrid. Well, an hour if you went straight there. Unfortunately, the bus we took stopped at every hick town between here and there so it took us 2 1/2 hours with people getting on and off constantly. That´s OK tho, cause the town was really neat. It had very narrow cobblestone streets and lots of cute shops and pretty churches. We walked around quite a bit and then walked to the train station to take the bullet train back. We had to wait an hour for the train, but it only took 1/2 to get back. It was really fast and comfortable.

Now we´re back in the room and waiting for Elisha to come over and go out and eat with us. She´s taking us somewhere she´s been wanting to eat at. Last night we had fancy pizza and salad, it was really good. It´s hard to order without Elisha there tho cause lots of the words on the menu aren´t in my dictionary!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Market day

Today we had a good time browsing at the El Rastro open-air flea market. I had to ask Elisha the name of it several times and so I took a picture of a t-shirt with the name on it so I wouldn´t have to ask her anymore. They had blocks and blocks and plazas filled with all sorts of stuff: clothes, shoes, jewelry, lots of other junk, second-hand stuff - just about everything. Andrea, you would´ve thought you´d died and gone to heaven. I was glad you were NOT with us because I would have had to just leave you there. When we got there around 10:30 there were quite a few people there - when we left at noon we could barely squeeze our way out.After that we took the metro back to our hotel and rested for a little while, then walked to Elisha´s apartment. It was about a 15-20 min walk. I got her internet phone hooked up and copied all my movies & tv shows I brought to her computer because she´s tired of watching everything in Spanish. Unfortunately her computer wouldn´t play them. We went out for lunch at a local bar/restaurant and then went back to her apt so I could fix her computer. Which I, of course, was able to do.Sharon & I took the metro back and got off a stop too early to find a sunglasses store cause mine broke, so we wandered around a little and couldn´t find one then came home. I´ll look tomorrow. We´ll probably go out later for dinner. Planning to go to Toledo tomorrow on the train.