- Nada and Doug
- Welcome to the travels of Doug and Nada. We love the Lord and are traveling full-time in our motorhome with our German Shepherd, Homer. Homer is the star attraction wherever we stop and he gets us talking and sharing with many people. DON'T FORGET: YOU CAN ENLARGE EACH PHOTO BY CLICKING ON THE PHOTO! The newest blog post is at the top and they go back in time as you scroll down. If you want to see each photo larger, you can just click on the photo and it will enlarge. If you decide to leave a comment, don't forget to sign it so we know who left it. ;-) Folks: This site is under continual construction as we travel and see this beautiful country. Check back for more updates and photos. Thanks for visiting with us! May God bless your day!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Doug's mom who we call Oma, sent us a lovely Christmas arrangement. I am posting some photos so she can see what it looked like. There is also a photo of our "Christmas Corner" in the motorhome with our little Christmas tree and manger scene - everything has to be smaller in the motorhome. It is two days until Christmas and we have enjoyed our time shopping in the gridlock shopping areas of San Antonio! Our friends, Ruth and Gavino who live here in San Antonio, have taken us under their wing and invited us to attend their church services. Sunday evening, we had the opportunity to attend their church Christmas dinner and to taste some of the traditional Christmas dishes. We also have enjoyed the Christmas lights as we travel around the town.
Merry Christmas to all!
Monday, December 15, 2008
On Friday, we settled into a beautiful resort on the west side of San Antonio called the Admiralty RV Resort. The spaces are close together and little tighter than we would like but the people are friendly and the grounds are immaculate. The resort was recently bought by Sea World and is just up the road from Sea World. We will stay here until January 12th.
On Saturday, our first order of business was to drive in to the Market Place to eat lunch at Mi Tierra - We have such fond memories of this restaurant from when we were here in November of 2007 and the chicken tortilla soup we discovered to our liking. On that previous trip, we had flown to San Antonio because Doug was doing a Penn State Conference at the Westin Hotel on the Riverwalk. Both of us had been recovering from bad colds leading up to the trip so upon arrival, we were not in the mood for spicy Mexican food. Our native-Texan friend, Rick Denney, had given us the run-down on possible restaurants in San Antonio prior to our trip so we had headed to Mi Tierra's (http://www.mitierracafe.com/about_history.html#) for some chicken tortilla soup. So our first order of business was to see if the chicken tortilla soup was as good as we remembered and to also purchase a supply of their delicious bakery items! The soup is still delicious!
We're going to be doing some volunteer work for the FEAST ministry here in San Antonio while we are here for this month. Yesterday we attended church with our friends Ruth and Gavino and then we all went to dinner at La Fonda on Main (http://www.lafondaonmain.com). Since we forgot to take a photo of us, I had to take a screen shot from their website. The setting was beautiful and the food delicious! We marked it on our GPS in the car so we can return there Last night it was 80 degrees so we decided it would be a good night to go down to the Riverwalk and see the Christmas lights so that is what the remainder of the photos are. For those that don't know about the San Antonio Riverwalk, it is beautiful. The river flows through the downtown city and is below the city's street level. So, when you are down on the riverwalk, you do not hear the city traffic and noises. It is a lush oasis within the city. There are walkways along both sides and hotels, restaurants, and shops line the sides. Barges take you on a tour of the circle the river makes. At Christmas time, there are thousands of lights, they put out thousands of the the luminaria candles in the paper bags, and there are barges of singing carolers who travel around the river loop. As you can see, it was quite crowded last night.
The last photo is of the Alamo and the lights - Unfortunately, we couldn't stop to take the photo and my camera would not freeze our movement. I included it because I thought it was a unique photo with the blurred lights.
Hope you have a merry Christmas!
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Coming through west Texas we saw windmill farm after windmill farm as we traveled I-10. You can see a small section of these farms on the 2nd and 3rd photos.
Hello from the Texas German country! We stopped a few days in Kerrville, TX to see the sights in the Texas Hill Country. It is the fault of my nephew's wife, Deirdre! They live in Austin, TX when they aren't in Singapore. They keep telling us the Hill Country is so beautiful - You know what, they are right! A year or two ago at Christmas, they sent us several sauces from a place in Fredericksburg, TX. We just loved the Raspberry Chipolte Sauce. We had to go see where it was made. Along the way, we discovered LBJ's Texas White House and thought we'd stop and see his ranch, too. The big oak tree was where major deals were struck by LBJ. We also discovered Opa's Smoked Meats in Fredericksburg. Opa is German for grandpa which is what we called Doug's dad and his mom was Oma when the grand kids came along. We felt like we were back in Lebanon, PA! Of course, along with the German foods there is always the requisite jalapenos!
While in Tucson we toured the Mission San Xavier del Bac which means "White Dove of the Desert." It is quite beautiful in its restored state in the first three photos. The next two photos are looking east and west from Gates Pass just west of Tucson.
We also visited the Pima Air Museum and also cruised around the Boneyard. The Boneyard is where thousands of decommissioned planes are parked in the desert for storage. The idea is the desert climate will not cause deterioration to the plane parts. Pima has many of the airplanes of the past on display including the Blackbird and also Presidents Kennedy and Johnson's Air Force 1 plane. The huge guppy plane looked to us like it would be impossible to fly, but it did. It was used by NASA to give the astronauts the opportunity to experience weightlessness.
Friday, December 12, 2008
We finally arrived in Yuma, AZ on November 2nd. It was hot (mid 80s) and very dusty. In Yuma, the wind always blows and since they get a a whopping 5" of rain a year, there is not much that keeps the soil from blow'n in the wind. Yuma's major industry is growing vegetables for your winter table. In the month of November, the thousand acre fields were formed into rows with trenches running between them, planted, sprinkled with water to start the germination, and growing with lettuce of all varieties, celery, broccoli, cabbage, etc. The area is also a large citrus producing area - we are still enjoying fresh picked oranges. Our campground was quite beautiful sitting on a bend in the Colorado River. The campsites were situated along the golf course. I think we were the only folks in the whole place who did not play golf! We were surrounded by Canadians in the half empty campground. The Americans don't come until December or January when it isn't so hot - daytime temps were in the upper 80s for the whole month. An interesting note here - most nights we heard the drone of a helicopter going up and down the river looking for wetbacks. Mexico was just down the river 1 mile so routinely they found them swimming upstream.
We thought we were going to be in Yuma for the whole winter as Doug was told his aerial photo business would have enough photos to keep him busy for the winter. While on our way to Yuma, we got a call that we would only be in Yuma for one month and then move on to Tucson, AZ. We did that on December 1. Sales really fell off in Yuma as our economy fluttered. While searching for a campground in Tucson, we got a phone call that due to economy, the aerial photo business was cutting back on salesmen and keeping only their full time top sellers. So we were now free to go where ever we wished! We thought of going back to Yuma since we like the resort and had been part of a Bible study group there and a church service that had about 300 people from the campground. We decided against that since Nada suffered asthma-type symptoms from the dust the whole month we were in Yuma. We decided we liked south Texas when we were there 3 years ago so we decided to head there. Along the way we visited with our friends, the Shaws, in Carlsbad, NM.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Another revisit! From the Grand Canyon, we traveled to Las Vegas where we stayed for several days. We paid a second visit to the Hoover Dam and we were surprised at how the area had changed since 1998. Henderson, NV has grown to meet Las Vegas. What used to be 10 miles of open desert is now condos, stores, and homes. We visited with Ginger's brother and his wife, Rick and Gail. They showed us around Las Vegas and told us stories of living there as Christians and as a businessman who has put shutters on the homes of many of the stars. We went to Hoover Dam and couldn't believe the change there. They are building a bridge just downstream from the dam which you can see on several of these photos. Soon, you will no longer drive over the dam - a safety precaution since 911. Remember the washer/dryer problem we had back in Colorado? Well, the temporary fix from Colorado stopped working so while we did some sightseeing, we had a new washer/dryer in the motorhome. A humorous sidelight about this is we have been getting some campgrounds which unknown to us making the reservation ahead of time were located close to a noisy highway or train tracks. We have discovered the trains run all night sounding their horns for the cross streets. (In Las Cruces, we noted the trains ran every 20 minutes 24/7) So when I called to make our Las Vegas reservation, I asked each campground: ""Are you next to a noisy highway or train tracks?" The answer to those question at our Las Vegas campground was "No" so I made the reservation. As we pulled into our campground site Monday evening, two huge fighter jets went over so low that we could read the numbers on the underside of the wings. Turns out we camped one mile from Nellis AF Base which is home of the Top Gun Training School and also the home base for the Thunderbirds. We feel like we are back home only these planes are a LOT louder than the A-10s that went over our house to do their practice bombing runs at Indiantown Gap. Yesterday, 4 of the F-16s took off together in formation. Now that was really a noise! Now I'll have 3 questions for campgrounds: Are you near a noisy highway, train tracks, or an airport/airbase? Anyway, here is a photo of one of the planes going over and some photos of Hoover Dam. Hope you enjoy.
Doug and Nada
Monday, October 20, 2008
Nada wanted to go back to the Grand Canyon in the worse way and go the whole way to the western edge of the park and also to the north rim. Well, we did go back to the Grand Canyon (because the weather warmed up) but we still haven't been to the North Rim or to Hermit's Rest!
The North Rim was closed for the winter and it had snow - it is 1000 feet higher in elevation that the South Rim. The road from Bright Angel Lodge west to Hermit's Rest was closed as they were putting in a new road bed. So I guess we will need to have another trip to the Grand Canyon in our future! One thing we did do that was out of this world was take the hour long helicopter ride over and down into the canyon. We can't say how much we enjoyed this! It was one of those thing we thought MIGHT be worthwhile but we weren't sure if it really would measure up to our expectations. One has no idea how huge the canyon is, how far it stretches, and how deep it is. We flew the quietest helicopter there is. We flew at 90 MPH and it seemed like we were standing still. They do not fly in the areas of the south and north rim. You fly east to what is called the Marble Canyon section of the Grand Canyon and that is where you dip down into the canyon. We saw where the Little Colorado River joins the Colorado River. It took me back to 1869 and I could almost see John Wesley Powell climbing the walls of the canyon here at the confluence in search of game animals since they had lost most of their provisions in some previous rapids.
In the last photo, we had the joy of seeing Bright Angel Trail where Doug and Josh had hiked part way down into the Canyon back in '02 and our friends Mary Ann, Nate, and Miriam Eagleson had camped last year. Indian Gardens is the lush green area you see about the middle of the photo. I also had to check to see if a favorite Bible verse is still on the wall of Lookout Studio and take another photo of it.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
We traveled back in time as we went to Tombstone, AZ - "the town too tough to die." There we saw a re-enactment of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday's shootout with the "cowboys" (the old west term for those who did not obey the law). We ate lunch at Big Nose Kate's Saloon where customers were encouraged to "dress for dinner." That is Doug, with two guys from Germany, who are dressed and ready for their dinner!
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
As I said in the last post, we had run out of USA in our search for warm weather. We decided to stay a few days in Las Cruces, NM to see what the weather was going to do and also to sightsee at White Sands near Alamagordo, NM. Las Cruces was warm and sunny and we were relishing the warm weather. We drove to White Sands and visited a pistachio orchard just north of Alamagordo. Boy were those nuts good! And we had the best pistachio homemade ice cream we have ever had! On Monday we made it down to Las Cruces, NM where we camped for the last two nights. We took a day trip over to White Sands National Monument and Alamagordo, NM. Didn't see any stealth fighters on this trip, though. This is where they are based and fly their missions from. We had gone through that area back in 2003 but had not taken the time to stop and see it. In Alamagordo we went to a pistachio grove and had the most delicious pistachio ice cream! Then went to White Sands and had fun playing on the dunes and watching children sledding on the dunes with saucer sleds. White Sands is the only gypsum and field in the US and is the largest in the world. Gypsum sand does not get warm like beach sand so even though the sun was intense and it was near 80 degrees, the sand was cool to our feet. Homer had such fun. He thought it was snow and tried to roll and eat it for water content - found out it wasn't what he thought! He had so much fun running and digging in it. The Ranger was laughing at him and said " No problem! What he digs up the wind will move and cover over 15 minutes after he leaves." The dunes move about 30 feet a year and it is a sort of self perpetuating situation. Since there is no drainage from the Tularosa basin, the minerals are dissolved by the rain water in the mountains and come down to the bottom of the basin where the water evaporates and leaves the crystals behind. The wind blows them and they scratch each other to form the white particles of sand as they tumble. About 1/4 of the sand field is in the national monument. The rest is part of the White Sands Missile Range - site of the first atomic bomb test, the Trinity Site, and home to most of the US missile testing.