Texas Independence Day 2018


Happy Texas Independence Day, y’all!

Texas Independence Day is the celebration of the adoption of the Texas Declaration of Independence on March 2, 1836. With this document signed by 59 delegates, settlers in Mexican Texas officially declared independence from Mexico and created the Republic of Texas. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_Independence_Day)

Groundhog Day, Imbolc/Mid-Winter

While we wait for Spring to arrive, Punxsutawney Phil predicted another six weeks of Winter for us in the USA and Canada. Yep, the Groundhog saw his shadow in Pennsylvenia this morning. On the hand we have our own little critter, which predicts the weather here in Texas. Alvin, the Armadillo predicted an early Spring in the Lone Star State. Oh boy! We really could use a few cold weeks and some snow to kill those pesky bugs. And the land needs the water.

Today we also celebrate Imbolc. The days are getting longer. And Nature prepares itself for the emerging of new life. In many places in the Northern Hemisphere, little snowdrops and crocuses peak through the still frozen soil. It will get warmer and life will flourish with new baby animals. It’s the Coming of Spring.


The sunrise over my neighborhood on Groundhog Day.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2018


Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!

The “I have a Dream” speech’s most famous passage

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys I have a dream today.and white girls as sisters and brothers.

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Minister, Civil Rights Activist

Travel Journal, Day 6 & 7: From Arizona Back To Texas

December 29 & 30, 2017

Friday was a much better day. I was back to my normal self. After getting cleaned up and leaving the motel, we ate breakfast in a family owned restaurant. At the table next to us sat four tourists from Sweden. They were here to see the canyons in Arizona and Utah, before they would go to the Californian coast. I shared some information, about the Antelope Canyon and the Colorado River Discovery Tour in Page. Back in May 2008, Kevin, Katelynn and I went camping at the Grand Canyon. While we were in Arizona, we also did the above mentioned tours, walked the rim of the Barringer Meteor Crater for half a mile, and looked at petrified wood and mesas along the Interstate 40. This is the reason why we stayed only for a couple of hours at the Grand Canyon, this time. That way Sara could see the canyon, before we drove back home to Texas.

A little bit north of the Barringer Meteor Crater is a rest area at Interstate 40. I let Kevin know, that I would like to stop and capture several photos of the outer crater rim. Katelynn, Sara and I climbed up on some boulders to get a better few of the rim. It is still huge, seen from a 6-mile distance. Since Kevin, Katelynn and I have seen the Barringer Meteor Crater almost 10 years ago, we decided to save the money and move on.


The Barringer Meteor Crater in Arizona

At Friday evening we left New Mexico and made it past Amarillo in Texas.  At the rest area we slept for several hours in the car. It was nice and cozy with all the blankets and comforters we were wrapped in. And it was a good decision, we stopped in the Texas Panhandles. Shortly after some dense fog rolled in. But the colder wind blew it out of the area over night.

On Saturday morning, we got some breakfast from a drive thru place and moved on. There were only 290 miles left to get home. We all were relieved, when Kevin drove up the driveway. Lexi, Luis, Joshua and Chewbacca greeted us, as soon as we opened the front door. After a long trip with the van, it was so nice to be back home. 🙂

~ The End ~

Travel Journal, Day 5: From California To Arizona

December 28, 2017


Viva Las Vegas! Sin City looks like an average city by daylight.

On that Thursday, I didn’t feel well when I woke up with a neck ache. I took an Ibuprofen and made sure I stayed hydrated throughout the day. But I still could not get rid of it. Later in the day it turned into a headache. We think, the higher elevation driving through California and Nevada played a part in it. Hoover Dam was planned in. I told Kevin, I can’t make it all the way up the stairs to stand on the bridge and look down Hoover Dam. “How about we cross it and find a parking spot on the other side? I don’t mind seeing it from the backside. It still will be impressive”, I suggested. Said, done. After looking at the Hoover Dam and parts of Lake Mead/Colorado River, capturing some photos and a potty break, we found out we had to cross the dam again. The road to the dam in Arizona was closed. So, we had back track to get to Highway 93. Driving through Arizona, I grabbed my neck pillow and took a nap for most of the way to Williams, AZ. I was glad, when I could stretch out and sleep in the motel bed. Kevin, Katelynn and Sara went for a walk and had dinner in that small Western-style town.

… to be continued …

Travel Journal, Day 4 (Part II): Disneyland ~ From Power Outage Until Leaving The Park

December 27, 2017

First of all I like to say, I experienced first hand how the media is full of themselves. Worldwide it was reported, that Disneyland had a mega power outage and the guests had to leave the park. BULLSHIT! (Yes, I said it “B-U-L-L-S-H-I-T!” And I’m too old that I have to explain, why I curse sometimes. So, if someone feels offended in any way: Don’t let the door hit ya, where the dear Lord split ya! 😉 ) The outage lasted maybe 15 minutes maximum, and the people who left the park, where just too exhausted with that many people vistiting the park that day. Now this is said, I move on with my regular vacation blog.

While Fantasyland experienced a power outage, Kevin and I decided to go with Katelynn and Sara to Tomorrowland. Oh boy, that was a mistake! That part of the park was even more gridlocked than Critter Country and the New Orleans Square. I said to Kevin: “Do you know, what? Since it is so crowded, let’s take the train and go back over to Mickey’s Toontown. Maybe we run into some characters. The girls would enjoy that. Waiting in line for a ride seems so much less stressful, than trying to get from one place to another.” Kevin agreed, while we walked over to wait for the Disneyland Railroad.

Several trains came and left the station, before it was our turn. We got the train car booth all the way at the end, which was very nice. Arriving at the station by Mickey’s Toontown, we had some ice cream under the railroad bridge. Kevin mentioned, it was short before 3:30 pm. If we wanted to see the parade, we needed to hurry. But the girls and I enjoyed sitting with our ice cream on the bench next to Mickey’s Toontown. After the refreshing break, we ran into Pluto and went on the Roger Rabbit Car Toon Spin ride. While Kevin and Katelynn rode the Gadget’s Go Coaster, Sara and I walked around and looked at some characters’ houses and boats.

It was dark, when Kevin and Katelynn came back from their ride in the coaster. When we left Mickey’s Toontown, we passed “It’s A Small World”. Wow! It was breath taking seeing the display lit up in all these wonderful Christmas lights. We didn’t care, that the line was long. When it was our turn to sit in the boat, we spent about two and a half hours in line. But it would be all worth it. The ride was fun and made up for a lot of stuff in the park.

Our plan was seeing the fireworks. But when Katelynn and I sat on the ground, while Kevin and Sara got some hotdogs for dinner, we both felt the exhaustion. Katelynn just wanted to go to bed. She was very tired. And once I sat down, I had a hard time to move a muscle. Kevin and I decided to skip the fireworks, and go back to the hotel. It was a very good decision. We avoided the big crowd trying to get out of the park after the firework display. Spending about twelve hours in a park, was long enough.

When we came back to the hotel, we all were so tired, we fell asleep within a few minutes.

… to be continued …


NOTE: My two blogs about Disneyland might come across negative. But it is not against the park or its staff. I love Disney. And I love their parks as well. But we’ve noticed, that the visitors are a little more “aggressive”, than what we usually experience in Walt Disney World. Some of them trying to get to their rides fast, without acknowledging their surroundings; or they are lost and don’t know, what to do next, stop in the middle of the bottle neck, which makes the walk not flowing smoothly. This can get very frustrating for other visitors, who would like enjoy their day in Disneyland. It’s food for thought. 😉