Dunedin Railway Station, Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand - Saturday, December 30, 2023

Dunedin Railway Station, Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand - Saturday, December 30, 2023
Dunedin Railway Station, Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand - Saturday, December 30, 2023

Thursday, January 31, 2013

For Your Mind and Spirit -- Thurs., Jan. 31

In the past week I have seen awesome quotes. Here are a few for you to ponder:
"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose."
~Dr. Seuss 
 Or, said in a different way:
"Everything you do is based on the choices you make. It's not your parents, your past relationships, your job, the economy, the weather, an argument or your age that is to blame. You and only you are responsible for every decision and choice you make, period."  ~Brenda Slavin, Life Coach and creator of Elements of Your Life. She writes the Positive Outlooks Blog.

"I shall live badly if I do not write, and I shall write badly if I do not live." ~Francoise Sagan, playwright and novelist (1935-2004)
 "You are searching the world for treasures, but the real treasure is yourself." ~Rumi
 "I Choose...
to live by choice, not by chance;
to make changes, not excuses;
to be motivated, not manipulated;
to be useful, not used; 
to excel, not compete;
I choose self-esteem, not self pity.
I choose to listen to my inner voice,
not the random opinion of others."
~Author unknown
"When I was young I was scared of the dark. Now when I see my electricity bill I am scared of the lights." ~Anonymous
"Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding about ourselves." ~Carl Jung
"I suffer from ADCD. Attention Deficit Cleaning Disorder. It's where you start to clean one thing, but get distracted by other things that need to be cleaned, which causes you to bounce around to different jobs only to end up doing a lot of work with nothing to show for it." ~Copyright 2013 by comicstripmama.com (TM)
"At any moment, you have a choice, that either leads you closer to your spirit or further away from it." ~Thich Nhat Hahn
"Society is like a lawn, where every roughness is smoothed, every bramble eradicated, and where the eye is delighted by the smiling verdure of a velvet surface; he, however, who would study nature in its wildness and variety, must plunge into the forest, must explore the glen, must stem the torrent, and dare the precipice." ~Washington Irving, writer (1783-1859)

"The sense of wishing to be known only for what one really is is like putting on an old, easy, comfortable garment. You are no longer afraid of anybody or anything. You say to yourself, 'Here I am --- just so ugly, dull, poor, beautiful, rich, interesting, amusing, ridiculous -- take me or leave me.' And how absolutely beautiful it is to be doing only what lies within your own capabilities and is part of your own nature. It is like a great burden rolled off a man's back when he comes to want to appear nothing that he is not, to take out of life only what is truly his own."~David Grayson, journalist and author (1870-1946)
Thoughts worth thinking about, for sure.

A few more places to visit in San Antonio came to mind after yesterday's blog. I want to see the Spanish Governor's Mansion, tour the SAS Shoe Factory (thanks, Colleen, for the suggestion), and go up in the Tower of the Americas. (I'm saving the last one for celebrating my mom's birthday in March. We're going to eat at the revolving restaurant on top!)

And since today is such a glorious day here in Texas, I went out and snapped a few photos. Temperature at 3:30 p.m. is 62 degrees.

A beautiful Texas sky today.

Your welcoming committee at Travelers World RV.
"Yes, sir!"
The back of our Holiday Rambler Presidential.
Side view.
Our view out the back window. We can keep an eye on the park. LOL.
What a day!
A Walmart purchase yesterday. Welcome to all who enter here.
A charming gentleman even snapped a photo of me.

I'm all dressed up for a date with Bob tonight. It's a mystery where he's taking me. Oooh, you have a blog to look forward to with a full report on our night out.

Colorful flag at the entrance to the RV park.
If you look carefully in the photo above, you can see the retreating figure of the man who took my photo. He's headed off to walk on the Riverwalk bike/walk path which has an entrance just outside our RV park. Very convenient.

The RV park office always knows when we receive a package from my mom. It's the one with calligraphy. Thanks, Mom!

Well, it's almost time for me to head out for our date. Nothing like a little mystery to make a good day even better!

Travel Bug outta here.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

New Places to See in San Antone -- Wed., Jan. 30

So I was goofing around on the internet looking at this and that. A few places of interest to see popped up. Look for my visits to these places on upcoming blogs when I will give a full report. (If there's anything to report.) Whatever did we do before the internet?
You can see there are some very eclectic offerings in the above list. You can thank Roadside America for those.

Random thought for today...

Science fiction: I love science fiction. Call me a geek or a nerd, but growing up I got hooked on Star Trek and Twilight Zone. Throughout the years, I watched a number of Star Trek series: Original Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager. I did not, however, get into the Animated Series or Enterprise. I have also seen all of the Star Trek movies. One of my favorite parody/comedy movies is Galaxy Quest which mocks sci fi movies such as Star Trek.

Other science fiction I've enjoyed through the years included Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov and Poul Anderson novels and many sci fi movies: 5th Element, Men in Black, The Adjustment Bureau, V for Vendetta, Star Wars, Back to the Future, The Matrix, Logan's Run, The Time Machine, X-Men, Gattaca, and Minority Report.

Science fiction opened my mind to new technological ideas. Plus, there is an underlying message of tolerance of other people, even if they're "different" (though in sci fi those "different" beings are aliens). In the stories being told through science fiction, many creation stories are told as well as hero's journeys. Messages about human life emerge. The main themes in science fiction deal with rational philosophy, beliefs, compassion, creativity, diversity, ethics, social justice and reason.

Reading or watching science fiction stories help illuminate prejudices and ways to deal with people of differing abilities or cultures. It is necessary to make the jump (or translate the stories) from fiction to fact.

What may be a very odd power or physical attribute in science fiction aliens and the way they are dealt with can translate over to real life in how a person of a different culture, a disabled person or person with an incapacitating disease is treated.

Wars and tactics in sci fi, even though make believe, may have been actual tactics in war on earth in years past. There are parallels.

Today I have two new followers, Sandy Beaudry and Kelly--neither have a blog or website listed. If either of you are reading this, and if you don't mind, would you comment with a link to your blogs if you have them? Thanks.

That's all folks. Travel Bug out.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Social Butterfly -- Tues., Jan. 29

Our windows were all open today for the light breeze that was blowing. With the outside temperature 78 degrees at 11:00 a.m., it was nice to let in the fresh air. "Let the sun shine, let the sunshine in."  

Today, a new 5th wheel pulled in next to ours. I went out to welcome them to the "sardine can," i.e., our smooshed in spaces. They are Kim and Brian from Edmonton, Alberta. He was a roof inspector before he retired. They purchased a lot in Yuma which has, or will have (can't remember which), a modular home on it.

Brian and Kim are on a trip from Yuma to New Orleans and will be in this park for three nights. They're headed to Mardi Gras for a week.

I headed back inside so they could finish setting up. With the windows open, the cats quickly discovered that the new neighbors also have cats--female cats! My two boys spent a good part of the afternoon on the kitchen counter scoping out the "girls" at screen door just a few feet away.

A little later, Kim and Brian were sitting outside and had their cats outside in a really great enclosure. I went out and we talked for a while until the wind kicked up and the temperature dropped over ten degrees in 1/2 hour. While wechatted, my two (neutered) tomcats were looking out the kitchen window keeping an eye on the two femme fatale felines just below them, and their food source (me). I think my cats wanted to be in the enclosure with their cats.

We plan to spend a week in New Orleans in March (after Mardi Gras is over). I'll be looking for a good RV park or COE campground within 1/2 hour of the city. Bob has a great aunt there who is in her 90s who we want to visit. It's been a number of years since we've seen her.

I am doing some proofreading, editing and layout work on a presentation brochure for the construction company Bob works for. I should have it done tonight.

All for today. Travel Bug out.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Les Miserables -- Mon., Jan. 28

Today I finally made it to see the current iteration (2012) of "Les Miserables." While it was enjoyable and true to the spirit of the book, I thought the 1998 version with Liam Neeson as Jean Valjean, Geoffrey Rush as Javert, Uma Thurman as Fantine, and Claire Danes as Cosette was better. This musical version was darker and grittier. Even though I read the book in high school and have seen two or three movie versions, it still brings tears to my eyes to watch Jean Valjean struggle with his morals, offer comfort and hope to others, while he himself is in such misery or running from the law.

Driving back on the freeway from the movie theater, there was a black pickup in the fast lane just a little distance ahead of me. It kept coming over into my lane, then drifting back toward the center divider. I was very leery of that driver. I moved over a lane to the right and sped up to get around that pick-up. In my rear-view mirror I could see that the truck came within inches of hitting the center divider and then kept coming over into the next lane of traffic. I wanted to be in front of them because if they hit the divider or another car, I didn't want to be involved.

After the movie, I shopped at H-E-B then came home and defrosted the freezer. There was a layer of ice in the bottom and a thick layer of frost crystals on the back side. I had it done in a half hour.

For dinner, we had sloppy joes and a slice of Oreo cake. Normally we have a large salad with dinner, but we ran out last night. Bob will make a run to Costco for lettuce and avocados tomorrow. In lieu of salad, I had a glass of veggie juice.

Tonight we watched "The Biggest Loser." Bob watched a re-run of "Hawaii 5-0."

Other than that, it was a quiet day, especially since I did most of my chores Friday and Saturday.

Our temperature was 76 with 78% humidity today, so the movie theater felt quite nice. (And for a change it wasn't too cold!)

It's 11:45 p.m. and I have the window open behind my chair. The outdoor thermometer reads 68 degrees.

Our next few days will be very pleasant with temperatures in the high 60s and low 70s during the day, and overnight temperatures ranging from 66 degrees (tonight) to 36 degrees (Wednesday night). I won't be using the afghan tonight!

All for now. Enjoy your Tuesday.

Travel Bug out.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Leon Creek Greenway, San Antonio, TX -- Sun., Jan. 27

The Leon Creek Greenway Trail System currently has 15 miles of paved or natural surface trails. On today's Volksmarch Bob and I covered 3.1 miles, then turned around and retraced our steps for the other 3.1 miles.

Unlike other Volksmarches we've done in rural parks, this one is a suburban "greenway." Greenway parks are stretches of natural areas which provide trails through the city for local wildlife. (And people too, but no houses are on the greenway itself--although houses and apartments back up to the greenway.)

We started our walk at 12:09 p.m. to clouds and 65 degrees. About two-thirds of the way through the walk, the sun came out and the temperature soared to 76 degrees. It got hot on the trail and we were sweating...not a lot of shade. I can't imagine doing this walk during the daylight hours in 100-degree heat of summer. One nice plus was a cool-ish breeze blowing around us.

This is a very popular trail. We encountered walkers, joggers, but mostly bike riders, and one skateboarder. I'm sure it would have been a lot more crowded if we had been there earlier or later in the day. 

Let's take a look at what we saw:

A nice, wide, paved trail.

Some art on a trail wall.
Leon "Creek" is pretty much a dry wash.
Suburbia--see the apartments just off the trail?
Winter in Texas.
School bus line up.

Great trail directions.
All the stats about the trail.

Big clouds building up.
Love the nice lines on the bridge.

Doesn't Bob look like Lt. Provenza from "The Closer"?
Water appeared magically in this section of the creek.
Love how this bridge looks like it goes on forever.
Alert roadrunner. He ran off just after I snapped the photo.
It took us one hour and 48 minutes for today's 6.2 mile (10K) walk. As usual, after we walk we were ready to eat. We planned to see "Red Dawn" at Cinemark 16 and Wendy's is right next to it. I had the baked potato with a small chili all mixed together. Bob had a baked potato with butter and sour cream and a side salad. We made it to the movie just before they dimmed the lights. We were surprised how many people were in the theater considering "Red Dawn" has been out for a while already.

The movie was excellent. I really got into it. It was funny, exciting, sad, intense. I had never seen the original "Red Dawn," but Bob had. He told me, "If you like this one, you'll love the original. It had much more character development." So we will rent the original "Red Dawn" from Netflix.

After the movie, Bob drove me around the medical center complex of San Antonio--VA, University Hospital, several facilities in the Methodist Hospital system, Christus Medical Center and Baptist Hospital. That's a lot of medical facilities. I told Bob I hope I don't ever have to see the inside of one of those again.

On our trip back to the 5er we criss-crossed some streets in the King Williams Historic District. Here are some of the homes we saw.

Nice, eh?

Bob has been telling me for about a month that I need to read the historic marker in front of the Lighthouse for the Blind Activity Center. (That's directly across the street from The Lighthouse for the Blind that we toured last Thursday.) I didn't have time to run across the street and read it then, so we stopped today. It is a very lengthy, in-depth historic marker telling all about El Camino Real (King's Road) and the early history of Texas--the road is intrinsic to the history of Texas. It is also called The Old San Antonio Road.

In the picture below, note the progress (?) from deer to Native Americans to horses to missions to factories and then, ta-da, RVs! I think that's pretty cool they used an RV.

OK. That was a full day. We got back to the 5er at 5:30 p.m, watched "60 Minutes," and Bob watched the exhibition Pro Bowl game played in Hawaii.

Bob says, "And the Blazers are down by five at the half, if you need to get all the news in."

Ha ha, Bob, I guess I got all the news in.

Here's our little darlings:

Sunnie and Bowie.
Travel Bug out.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Saturday, Part 2 -- Jan. 26

After our Volksmarch, we were hungry. Peter Piper Pizza at City Base in San Antonio was where we decided to eat. At 3:00 p.m. the restaurant was packed. Apparently Peter Piper Pizza is the place to go for children's birthday parties. It was loud and crazy. The pizza was so-so. I don't think we'll be going back there.

As we were driving back to the 5er, Jim mentioned he had never been to Stinson Airport. Bob went into tour guide mode. We crossed three lanes of traffic to make a left turn and off we went to the airport. There we read the history marker and went inside the building to look at the historic photos and read more history.

Since we were in the neighborhood, Bob took us to see the acequias (aqueduct). We had five minutes until the park service locked the gate. It gave us barely enough time to do a quick look. In fact, as soon as we finished reading the history sign, the park ranger was waiting in the parking lot for us and one other car to leave so he could lock up.

Peri, Jim and Bob reading history marker at acequias.
From the acequias, we drove a little farther to look around Mission Espada which closed at 5:00 p.m. This time the visitor center was open. When I went by myself a month or so ago, the visitor center was locked tight at 4:30 p.m.

Mission Espada exit from Indian quarters.

Bob in visitor center looking at exhibit.


Spinning wheel.

The church is still in use.

Keyhole door in church.
Interior of church.
On the way back to the 5er, Bob drove by the bull ring. An event was in progress. When I got out of the car to take the photo, the riders were lining up to take a bow.

Pinochle was next on our list. Jim and I won the round. After we finished the six hands it took to finish the round, Jim and Peri had to head back to their 5er to walk their two pugs.

It was a full, fun day.

Tomorrow Bob and I will walk the Leon Creek Greenway walk we weren't able to do last Sunday.

Travel Bug out.

St. Mary's University walk -- Sat., Jan. 26, Part 1

A cool and drizzly morning greeted us. We were up early to do laundry before going on our St. Mary's University Volksmarch. 

Jim and Peri met us at our 5er and we drove to St. Mary's University. The temperature was 58 degrees and cloudy when we arrived. We all debated whether we should take our coats with us and decided against it. After all, the forecast high was 76 degrees.

When I finished signing in, we started following the directions for our walk and came upon the school mascot...a "Rattler," after passing by the Bill Greehey School of Business/Alkek.

Jim and Peri on the path behind the Rattler sculpture.

Lots of cheerleaders were in competition in the university Alumni Athletics and Convocation Center. We saw girls practicing on the lawn. Sorry the pics of the girls practicing did not turn out well.

We walked past V.J. Keefe Memorial Stadium, the Law Center, Treadaway Hall, Marianist Heritage House, Garni Science Hall, and a cemetery--all on campus. From the University, we stayed on city streets through local neighborhoods.

Very cool fence finials.
[An aside: I felt like a celebrity today. When I signed in first thing in the morning, Pat from the Randolph Roadrunners Club said, "Oh, you're Susan. I'm Pat, the one in charge of the the Crownridge Walk and the Cibolo Wilderness Walk." She recognized my name from the start cards I sent to her from those two walks which we completed in the past couple of weeks. While we were out on the course, I got to talking to another woman, Joanne, who was one of the people who answered my email about free vs paid walkers. She and I walked and talked together for quite a while. Very interesting conversation. When we arrived at the checkpoint at Woodlawn Lake Park, Ellen, another lady I've been conversing with online recognized my name as well. Wow, I felt special.]

The nicest part of our walk, in my opinion, was Woodlawn Lake Park. We walked the 1.2 mile trail around the lake and saw...

Bob, Peri and Jim

Lighthouse in the lake.
Basilica of the Little Flowers (San Antonio downtown in the haze).

Northern shoveler
Double-crested cormorants.
Pied-billed grebe.

Woodlawn Neighborhood Library.
Geographic center of Bexar County, Texas.
Tiles on front of the library.

Dry neighborhood pool.
 From the lake, we headed directly back to the university. Here are more shots from the campus.

Statue of Santa Maria

Bob and Peri in front of the Bell Tower.
Bell Tower (smokestack in back shows through arches).
Reinbolt Hall (contains Assumption Chapel).
At the end of the walk, Peri joined volkssporting and will start earning pins and badges as she completes distance and event levels. I'm happy she joined. I've been a member for 30 years and for me it's a fun, non-competitive way to get in exercise.

In addition, the Randolph Roadrunners gave me a free one year membership to their club.

This blog is getting long, so I will continue the day in a second blog.

Travel Bug still writing. (To be continued.)