Archive for the ‘Traveling’ Category

Vancouver, BC

First, thanks to Jack and Cindy, they have been great hosts. First at their “cottage” on the Sunshine Coast, then at their home. They made our family visit fun. And not to forget Jude, their wonder dog..

And talk about food… first at the Cactus Cafe with their superb lettuce wraps, then Joey’s Shipyard for steaks and an amazing view of Seattle.

On a sad note, we had been planning this visit for several years. My sister in law Wilma has been ill for some time and we really wanted to visit. We made to the Canadian border in 2020 and 2021, but we’re unable to cross the border due to COVID. And cancer took her away last February so we never had a chance to visit with her. But we were please to see the rest of our family this trip.

Now we’re in the airport, sad to leave but glad to be going home. Until our next adventure….

San Diego

We found a reasonable priced cruise from San Diego to Victoria, BC and ending in Vancouver, BC. Thought this would make a nice short cruise and to visit family in both places. So yesterday we flew in to San Diego, and booked into a hotel within walking distance from the cruise terminal.

In December 2010 we cruised from Barcelona to San Paolo, Brazil. We met Linda and Rainer on board and had a great time. After the cruise, we’ve stayed in touch and visited their home in Laguna Niguel, about an hours north of San Diego. They drove down last night and we had a very pleasant reunion.

Our travels have allowed us to see some amazing sights, but just as important make new friends. We enjoyed our cruise 12 years ago and to follow up with Linda and Rainer. And had a great dinner thanks to the recommendation of Filippe’s from our our RV friends Susan and Ted…..

We cleaned up pretty well too

Holland, day 4

April 24, 2022 Leave a comment

Sundays is usually quiet in Holland, today no exception. But we had another beautiful sunny day. Met Miriam and Els on a farm/bakery/restaurant called “Vroeg” (Dutch for early) for brunch and a lot of tales about our family history. Making new memories and reliving old ones.

The rest of the afternoon was just relaxing, and tonight we’re looking forward to fast food Dutch fish and chips. They are really 👍 . Our favorite place is called “Manneke Pis”, after the Belgian statue. They have some of the best French fries!

I mentioned our Hampton hotel room is small, but it is perfectly located, actually inside an upscale shopping mall. It has an unusual shape, kind of all rounded edges and different color windows. It is right adjacent to the main station for train, tram and bus service.

I have been increasingly nervous about our upcoming COVID test. If you don’t pass the test one day before flying, you don’t go. That would really be a problem for us as we have to be back home this week. Holland is a crowded place, and now almost totally mask free. It is impossible to avoid others, even just walking down the street.

We brought two home COVID tests with us, and it was a real relief that we were both negative. Makes us feel much better about going for our “real” test tomorrow!

Holland, day 3

April 24, 2022 Leave a comment

This was mostly a family day. Jaap, Els and us started by going to a “rommelmart”, Dutch for flea market. This was in a small town named Benschop, their mart is famous for having household items. Not much for us, but Els found some things for her son.

We then had lunch at a very nice restaurant located on the river Lek. I had one of my favorite sandwiches as a kid in Holland called “uitsmijter”, this was my first one in about 60 years!

Later that afternoon we went to Hans’s new house, met up with the whole family for a take out Indonesian dinner. Sure, good food again, but mostly just good family time.

Holland, days 1 and 2

April 22, 2022 1 comment

Our 15 hr. travel day from Dallas to Utrecht was quite uneventful, except for for a mad dash in Heathrow. Got to the Hampton in Utrecht and checked into the smallest hotel room ever. But it’s got a good shower and bed.

Met brother-in-law Jaap and niece Els for a wonderful dinner. A new concept, a high end kitchen serving small gourmet dishes. Fixed price for as many as you can eat. Only limit was that you could order only two at a time. I recommend it, try for full info. Then to bed with a time zone interrupted sleep.

Got up this morning and a short walk on the market. Yes, cheese, fish, and street food a plenty. But didn’t eat much, still absorbing last night’s meal.

Took Els’s advice and visited the University of Utrecht’s Botanical Gardens (she works at the university). Site of an old army fort that is now preserved as part of the garden. The walk to the top, maybe only two stories high, did give a good view. Probably one of the few times we got above sea level 😀.

Back to the hotel with some fast food to tide us over until dinner. Transportation is so quick, easy and cheap in Holland….. no car needed. A relaxing dinner is planned tonight, then on to more family fun tomorrow.

Back to cruising

March 29, 2022 Leave a comment

COVID caused us to cancel two booked cruises, but it seemed safe to finally start cruising again. So we booked a simple cruise out of Galveston, along with our friends Naomi and Larry Shirey. Easy drive down, five day’s on board, and an easy drive home.

The ship was the Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas, a class of ships we were quite familiar with. The crew appeared very pleased to be back, and we were treated very well. The food was good, although we felt it was a little below what we were used to. But Romola and I each managed to gain 5 lbs, so it wasn’t all bad!

The entertainment was pretty basic, a mediocre comedian, a funny bolero gaucho, and the ship dancers and orchestra. This ship class has an ice rink on board, we rather enjoyed the ice show. We’ve seen them doing their routines in rough seas, and that is quite amazing.

We didn’t get off the ship, electing to go to the hot tub when everyone else was on shore. Good idea, we enjoyed the hot tub when we had it mostly all to ourselves. On sea days, the hot tubs looked like people stew. Wouldn’t want to go in them no matter how much chlorine they added to the water!

Barking accompanyment

March 15, 2022 Leave a comment

We have a nice paved walking trail in the green belt area in front of our house. Just right for a quick mile or two walk to keep the joints loose. And we’re not alone, we have Dog in Wall and Dogs on Balcony the greet us every time we walk by……

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Flamingo Gardens

March 14, 2022 1 comment

While we were in Fort Lauderdale, we went for a visit to the Flamingo Gardens and Animal Retreat. This is about 60 acres of reserve for local birds and animals, and has become quite the tourist attraction.  We enjoyed our relaxed visit, both for family time and visiting the animals.

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End of the road

March 13, 2022 Leave a comment

We have been living in our motor home for almost 14 years, and enjoyed most all of it. We have been wanting to quit and settle down for the last 5 years, but always found an excuse not to. But this year was different. The warranty on our motor home would expire soon, we are seeing an increased need to visit our doctors, and we wanted to be close to family. So we put the motor home up for sale, figuring it wouldn’t take too long to sell it. But first, we had to find a new home.

It didn’t take too long to find a rental house we liked. Located in Mesquite, it was much closer to Stacy and since Tanya and Shane were about to start a new adventure (more on that later) that seemed like to be the best location. It is relatively quiet, with a green belt in front of us, so looking out the front window we see trees, not suburbs. So we signed the lease papers.

Meanwhile, we had found a buyer for the motor home, and he was willing to work with us as we moved from one to the other. So it was some hectic work, moving all our storage stuff to the new home. We received a lot of furniture from Shane and Tanya (later) and were able to find in stock most anything else we needed. But it will take a lot of adjustment time….

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Santa Fe, NM

March 13, 2022 Leave a comment

Next on our journey back to the DFW area was a stopover in Santa Fe.  There are some nice hikes here, but more importantly, we wanted to visit Jim van Early and Joanie Malone, who we met on our trip to the West Coast several months ago. We enjoyed our visited going west, and looked forward to meeting them again.

We spent a pleasant couple of days with them.  Since they are locals, they know the good places, so we stopped for some excellent coffee and pastries. And a delicious brunch at the Tea House. Then, to work it off, we had an enjoyable hike in Santa Fe’s Nature Conservatory.

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