August, 2022: rain, concerts, cruise

January 16, 2023 Leave a comment

We had some torrential rains this month. All the creeks and rivers were at max or flooding, and usually quiet little streams were dangerous currents. Debris (garbage) was washed downstream, even one of the bridges over the creek was washed away. Our back yard flooded again, but fortunately not in the house, just in the yard. It drained away in the next few days but did leave some muddy spots.

We enjoyed several concerts. The first was a pipe organ concert, given at the Myerson. Their pipe organ is world famous and can really fill the hall. Also went to a classical guitar concert, performed by the Romero family. All related, they are famous in their home country of Spain and are much in demand around the world. Then we had a violin concert given by Lucia Macarelli, who thrilled us with some spectacular music – both singing and violin. We ended the month with a Latino Fest at the AT&T Center, featuring Latino dancing, singing, and music.

We had the urge to go on a cruise (was it for the food?) so we found an inexpensive cruise out of Galveston. It went to several ports we had never been to, so we got off the ship to say we had been there. The cruise left from Galveston, so an easy drive and no airfare.

Categories: Traveling

June, 2022: cancer, illusions

January 16, 2023 2 comments

Not the best news, but I discovered a mole on my face which turned out to be cancerous. Our local dermatologist took quick care of it, but it did leave a noticeable scar. Guess that will help if I ever want to have a pirate disguise.

Tanya and Shane were here on a visit, having left their boat in the Bahamas. We had a very good family time, lots of food, and activities. I used my pellet grill to smoke a good-sized brisket, yummy. Used some typical Texas ingredients, too! One of the highlights was a visit to the House of Illusions, where we were able to play with illusions and learn how they were made. Interesting!

Categories: Traveling

A Looooong lapse

January 16, 2023 Leave a comment

After our west coast trip, I have made no entries on our blog. Some of it may be laziness, but also there isn’t too much happening now. At least, not as much as we were used to, when we still lived in or motor home. There, we regularly moved from place to place, and that is mostly what my blog was about.

But now, we sold our motor home and moved into a regular house. That is, one without wheels. So, we no longer had a regular change in environment to inspire new blogs. But actually, we have done a lot of things, and are still doing them, so I will bring this blog up to date with monthly summaries from May 2022 until now (February 15, 2023). Then we can pick up the regular posts again.

Much of these posts will take pictures from our photo album at So, if you like a blog here but want to see more pictures, go to the album and select the year and month you are interested in.

Categories: Traveling

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….

Victoria, BC

May 14, 2022 1 comment

Our cruise was enjoyable, just 4 days of relaxing and of course eating. The ship has a passenger capacity of 1,900 but actual count was about 1,000 so no lines to worry about. There were no big production shows but there were some very good music performances to enjoy. Good weather and calm Seas didn’t hurt either.

We met up with my brother Anton and wife Ita, sister Anne with husband Dick, niece Cat, and nephew Louis in Victoria and had a nice visit. A good time to rehash some old family memories.

John, Anne and Anton. The last of this generation of Laningas.

Categories: Cruising, Family Tags: , , ,

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, last day

April 27, 2022 Leave a comment

Our family is quite large and spread around the globe. Makes keeping up with many of them difficult, to say the least. In my early teens we lived in Holland, and we were fairly close to the Bolhuis family. This was my aunt Tine (my mother’s sister), uncle Jans, and daughters Hilda, Anneke, Ina and Aukje. Of these, Anneke lives fairly close to where we were staying and she invited us to their house for lunch.

And what a lunch. She made a real Dutch lunch, including Dutch vegetable soup, raisin rolls, krokets, smoked meat, cheese and more. She also gave me some very old family pictures to add to my collection. And yummy fattening things to take home with us.

My brother Chris was born in 1933 and died in 1987. Here are some baby pictures from then.

Left picture: my Mom, her brother Wietze, my Oma, her sister Tine and her brother Jan. Picture taken in Holland in the 1920s. My dad died suddenly when visiting Jan.

Right picture: my Dad, my Mom, uncle Jitse and aunt Remy. They lived in Edmonton, Alberta in Canada. Picture probably taken in the 1950s.

My sister Inge, Mom, myself, Oma, Jans and Tina. Probably taken around 1957 at my Oma’s house in Ten Post.

Categories: Family Tags:

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.