New Mexico Bound

If anyone has ever lived in central Texas, just visited or vacationed here in the summer, you know Texas summers are Hot, I would say sizzling!  I thought we would make it through the summer but by early July I knew we had to get to some cooler weather.  So after doing some research and talking to folks we decided we would head to New Mexico.  I’ll cover our trip over the next few posts, and include lots of photos, but I do want to say now before I go any further, it was a wonderful trip.  The weather was wonderful (meaning cool) and we saw some beautiful sights.  Both of us had never been to this part of New Mexico before so it was fun and exciting to share in the experience.

Our trip consisted of seeing Taos, Santa Fe, Los Alamos, Albuquerque and Ruidoso.  You probably see one thing in common here if you have been to New Mexico – Mountains!  We love mountain vistas.  Not only are they beautiful, but usually mountains means cooler weather.  So to start off the trip here are a few photos of our trip.

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Our outbound trip, that dark sky would intimidate anyone!

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Our Drive to Taos from Las Vegas, NM

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Historic Taos Plaza

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Gorge outside Santa Fe, NM

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Awesome Bridge over Gorge.

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Rafting down the Rio Grande River

Those are some of the photos, more to come.  Each area and city had something special to offer.  If you haven’t considered a trip to New Mexico, it’s worth putting on your list of “to do’s”.  Until next time, happy travels……..

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San Antonio and the Alamo Go Together

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A trip to San Antonio must include a stop at the Alamo and the Riverwalk.  These are both downtown and there is access to the Riverwalk right across the street from the Alamo.  While on the Riverwalk there is plenty of places to stop to eat and drink, and you should plan a trip on the Rio River Cruise also.  It’s about a 1/2 boat ride that you see the sights of the Riverwalk and also hear some history on some of the buildings along the way.  You can certainly walk around the same way you take the boat ride, but unless you have a lot of time the river cruise is probably the best way to see it, plus much easier on the feet.

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The Riverwalk has been expanded many miles over the last few years and although downtown San Antonio is the heart of the Riverwalk with all the shops and restaurants, there is also the Museum Reach and the Mission Reach portions of the walk that are well worth a visit.  There are many things to do in San Antonio,  the two mentioned here are only an introduction.  It’s a great place to visit, hopefully your next travels will take you this direction.  Happy Trails……………….

Visiting the Rodeo in Austin

 

We have been busy with visitors the last few weeks and have been on the go.  I have many photos and fun things to do if you have a chance to visit Austin, TX.  Austin is a great weekend destination, a stop during your vacation or a destination onto itself.  This will take a few blogs but each day I’ll try to update you on one of the activities.  Today’s photos are from the Austin Rodeo.

The rodeo is not a year round activity but approximately the middle two weeks of March.  If you plan on being in this area during the month of March, then I would certainly consider looking this up and plan on having a fun evening.  My best description of Austin’s rodeo is that it’s in a good location, out of city traffic, and the grounds themselves is like the size of a County Fair.  They have a stage outside for musical entertainment, about every 2 hours there was a new act.  Plenty of “Fair” food, and some shows periodically thru the day.  Of course there was the amusement park rides, but we passed on that section.  They had pig races, a “roper” who was very good, a western shootout, and a dog show in the afternoon.  The day we went to the Rodeo, the Rodeo started at 7PM.

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It had all the standard Rodeo things – roping, barrel racing, bronc riding and bull riding.  We went on a Monday evening so the stadium was only about half full, but it was still fun and enjoyable.  I forgot to mention they also have animal judging, cows, pigs, etc… just like at County and State Fairs.  So here are some photos.  I will mention that some might be a little fuzzy as these are the “action” shots.  If you haven’t been to a Rodeo, I think it’s a good American past time and you should try it at least once – have fun!

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I think all ages would enjoy this activity.  It’s not an all day activity, but if you can arrive a few hours before the rodeo starts you can take in the shows, possibly see some judging, have a fun dinner, then attend the rodeo.  Also, after each rodeo event there is Live music to enjoy.  So when next March rolls around and you’re going to be here, take a look at their website, and book your tickets.  Hope you enjoy.

 

Week Three

This Monday we will be here 3 weeks. In some ways it seems like 3 months and other ways it seems like we just arrived yesterday. We have accomplished a lot in 3 weeks but we still have had time to enjoy ourselves. Most things are put away, the Christmas decorations are up, so now it’s time to start looking at the big projects. It’s nice to be able to buy new, but buying resale you can find some good prices on homes. This time we bought a resale, and although it is certainly livable, and some people might not change a thing, we are getting to a point that we will start looking at the big projects that need to get done. Some we will do ourselves, but others will require getting some type of contractor in here.

Although it is nice to be able to come in and put your own colors on the walls, it’s still a lot of work to do. The house has no color. Every house in Sun City is painted the famous “Sun City White”. Let’s just say it’s not very uplifting, and rather boring. Especially when you get a room painted it makes the rest of the house look dull. We have the master bedroom and bath painted so now we are anxious to move forward with getting the rest of it started. This is not going to be a small job and you really want to make sure you pick the right colors because this is a job that you don’t want to do for a lot of years once done.

Painting is one of the jobs, then there is getting stonework done for a grill, and the biggest job, changing and improving the landscaping. The landscaping really sucks! But what to do first and how quickly really depends on when we can get quotes and once picked when they can start. I foresee that maybe at our first anniversary of moving in we hope to have most of the projects done, but we’ll see. We moved here to enjoy the “fun stuff” and that is what we are going to do, and somewhere we will fit the work in.

Sun City is place to come to be with similar aged people, people who want to have fun, and hopefully people who you will find some common interests with. Once you attend the orientation programs it is really up to you to get going and get involved. You do need to have some of your own initiative. The activities are there, you personally need to go out and get involved. No one is going to pull you out of your house and say “hea, join our group”, but you need to make an effort to find out what time the activity is, and be where they meet and be socially adept to join in. You make of your stay here as enjoyable you as you want. If you don’t want to participate in group activities, be sociable with your neighbors, and volunteer to get involved, then don’t move here. If you’re happy to sit inside, stay on the computer all day or watch TV, and maybe meet with friends once a week, then you can live anywhere.

Our realtor was very helpful as she lives in the community to help us realize that it is not only the Community Association that is important, but your neighborhood. Each section is broken out into Neighborhoods. Some larger while ours is on the smaller number size. I believe we have gotten very lucky to have purchased in a rather active neighborhood. We have heard that purchasing in some older communities people are disappointed by the lack of involvement, but so far, I think we did pretty good. Our neighborhood is only 3 years old, so no one has gotten tired of “doing stuff” and considering this is a retirement community, they are rather on the young side. Many people buy new homes as most believe the newer communities are the most active. I do have to warn you, as we have been warned, don’t over commit, it is so easy.

As of today we are already involved in 3 different groups for game nights in a month, and I have joined the neighborhood book club, which is also monthly. Our neighborhood consists of 3 blocks so we have a monthly block party, and Howling at the Moon monthly party that the entire neighborhood participates in. We have 3 annual neighborhood parties, of which we just went to the Christmas party, which was very nice. Each block is responsible for handling a year, so every 3 years our block is responsible for the Christmas party. I have already joined a yoga class every Wednesday and I can tell already that I will certainly be joining more excercise groups. It’s close, it was fun and not that expensive, it is so nice that everything is so convenient.

We worked in the yard a little yesterday and really didn’t get much accomplished. After visiting with the neighbors, I only got about a third of what I thought I would accomplish. But that’s OK, it’s not like when I was working and time was limited and when you worked on something you had to get it done because who knew when you were going to have time again. There is a reason for this phrase “there’s always tomorrow”. My husband has a little issue with that but not me, interrupt me that’s my motto.

So as I said at the beginning, it’s been 3 weeks. With the tasks that we need to yet do, it feels like we’ve been here a short time, but the involvement with our neighborhood, activities and social scene I feel like 3 months. Our neighbors have been so welcoming. We have received more wine and cookies and more “welcome to the neighborhood” than ever before in my life. I can honestly say that I have never felt more welcomed then we have here, and considering the amount of times we have moved, that is quite an achievement. I hope that our relationships grow with our neighbors. I’m looking forward to the Ladies monthly luncheons, joining the woman’s golf league, learning how to play pickle ball, and participate in the Zoomers activities. I foresee my travels ahead to be exciting and to be very very busy. I’m sure we’ll hit a few bumps along the way, but I am hoping my road has few obstacles to block my way. Until next week, enjoy the Holiday activities and all the Christmas lights.

Vacations do not always have to be Far from Home

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I have always liked this Building – a little New Orleans in Boerne

We had a very nice day on Saturday.  We went to a town that is about an hour away, called Boerne, TX.  This town is located off Interstate 10 about an hour northwest of San Antonio.  We went on Saturday because they had an Antique Car show, plus Market Days, plus blocks and blocks of stores for shopping.  It’s a quaint small town where you can go to spend a day shopping from jewelry stores, to antique stores, to even a very nice Christmas Store.  There are good restaurants and also a bakery and you can even get pickles, which are fantastic and made locally.  The cars on display were all Pre-1949, so there were some classics that were restored and many Hotrods.  My husband is a car-nut so we have been going to car shows for years.  Coming from the Midwest you can go to a car show most weekends during the summer, but here in Texas they’re not as often or as big.  We try to attend this one every year because it is one of the best in the area.  Check out Boerne, TX website to see what weekend this car show will be.  If you have a pre-1949 car and haven’t attended this show you might be interested.  If my husband was nearby when I was writing this he would have made sure I wrote the year and model of each car next to its photo, but then this is my blog not his.

A hotel in Boerne, right in the heart of all the action.

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What was nice about the day is that it proves you always don’t have to travel far and wide to enjoy yourself.  There are many hidden gems probably within 1 – 3 hours from your home that would make for a wonderful day get-away.  You always don’t have to incur hotel expenses and drive a great distance, just check out the weekly events and happenings in your area.  As mentioned once before,  almost every State has an Event calendar and you can really plan your weekends.  One can only cut the grass so many times, work in the garden or wash your car.  I find when we go away for the day it’s like a mini-vacation.  Especially when I was working the day away made the weekend seem longer and when I went back to work on Monday, I didn’t feet like I wasted it sitting at home.  Even now, being home every day, it’s fun to go away but for a similar but different reason.  I find myself doing more of the daily house activities and by going away for the day I feel recharged and relaxed.

A photo of part of the Main Street with all the shops.

If your husband doesn’t mind this type of day, going from store to store, then even when there is no car show, Boerne is a wonderful town to go see.  This is also a great Girl’s Day Out or part of a Girl’s weekend.  Forgot, there are also art galleries too.  Not too far away are a few Hill Country Wineries that can add to your day’s adventures.   At Christmas the town is decorated very nicely and they do have different Holiday activities.  No matter what day you choose, I think you will enjoy your visit.

Some of the cars at the show parked on Main Street

A very Nice One!

The nice thing about the Car show is that the Main Street was closed so there was plenty of room for walking and viewing the cars.  You could go from cars to shops and never have to worry about traffic and crossing streets.  The Market Day that Boerne hosts is one of the better ones in the area, and they always have some local music that you can sit and listen to.  Not very much seating so you might want to bring your own chairs with if you plan to sit awhile and listen.  I hope if you go for the day that you enjoy.  These are photos of Boerne and the Car Show hope you enjoyed  traveling down Main Street of Boerne with me.

One of the Buildings in Boerne dated 1908

Our road to Eureka Springs, AR

 

This is a small town in Northwest Arkansas, called Eureka Springs.  It has not been touched in hundreds of years.  I’m not sure how many men will like this town, but this is a shopping haven for women.  This is a great Women’s weekend retreat.  The area around this town is very nice, and they have many events, so if traveling to the area, I think it’s worth a stop and check out their event calendar.

If ever in northwest Arkansas do not miss Eureka Springs. What a quaint town.

 

A mural on the side of a building in Eureka Springs, AR

 

One of the many unique buildings in town

 

The Courthouse in town

 

A New Road to a County Fair

At one time in our life’s we probably have all gone to either a County Fair or a State Fair. As a child I remember every August my family going to the Wisconsin State Fair. We lived in Illinois, but because we lived close to the Wisconsin border it was much easier for us to go to Milwaukee, WI then to drive to Springfield, IL, which would have required an overnight stay, so to Wisconsin we went.

I remember the smells, sights, and sounds of the Fair – the fried foods, the animals, the exhibits, and the amusement ride area. Being a city girl it was my one time of year that I enjoyed walking around all the animals. I remember how beautiful some of the Rabbits were, and the cows; how the kids took care of their animals with such love that I wondered how they could ever sell them. It was a lifestyle that I could not relate to, but was fun to see once a year.

We ate all the wrong foods that day, anything that was fried, cotton candy, and popcorn and of course you can’t go to a Midwest Fair without corn on the cob. I remember the beer tents as that was my Dads favorite spot. He wasn’t into the animals so my Mom was the one who usually took my brother and me around to see the animals. We weren’t too fond of the pigs, but were always amazed at how big some of them were, and pretty in their own way.

We didn’t ride too many amusement rides, as my brother and I usually got sick, but we did enjoy one ride on the Tilt-A-Whirl, that usually was enough to hold us for the day. It was an all day event. We left early in the morning and didn’t get back until late in the evening. We were exhausted with all the things to see and do because as we know a State Fair is quite big and you need to cover a lot of ground to see everything. We went to the State Fair for many years, so as I grew older what interested me when I was younger changed over the years, but something new always caught my attention, so a Fair is good no matter what age you are. So if you haven’t been to one, I think you might enjoy the experience.

Well, as an adult we really haven’t been to any State Fairs as we are not close to where they are held so we have been attending our local County Fair. On a scale of 1 to 10 with the State Fair being a 10, I consider most County Fairs about a 3. They are very small on scale, but basically have the same things, just extremely downsized. They have the food, animals, tractor pulls, displays and now as an adult the beer tent! They usually have good music in the evenings. So recently we have been going to our County Fair and it’s been a nice evening out.

While at the fairs we usually go thru the Exhibit halls and I always comment how it would be fun to have something on display, but I never really looked into it. Well this year I did and I am proud to say that finally I have put 4 things on display in the Antiques and Heirlooms exhibit hall. I went this morning and dropped my items off. I was as giddy as a kid thinking I might win a ribbon. How silly, but now I understand after all these years why these kids and adults do this. I am excited and think this is really cool; I have things in a Fair. Now on the grand scale of things it’s all kind of silly, but it is one of those things that was on my list of “to do’s”, and I have now done it. The next step is hopefully I will win something, I’ll let you know. Of course it’s not the winning, but when I go to the Fair this weekend, I’m going to look in the cases this year and smile and say “that’s my stuff.”

In addition to the Fair, the County Fair parade is this Friday, one of those things I have never been able to attend as I have always worked. So we will be at the parade on Friday and I’ll let you know how it is. Until then I went down a new road and I’m excited as a kid, it’s a good feeling. Until next time, enjoy your travels.