Uncategorized

Sleeping With a Hippo in My Bed

In the spring and fall in Paris, I like to sleep with windows open, with an occasional owl’s hoot accompanying my dreams.  Only dogs barking interrupt the night’s peace.  Morning sounds expand with greetings from the local birds – cardinals, wrens, and robins.  Migrating birds announce their arrivals on schedule.  And cars and trucks from… Read more »

Memorable Train Rides from Around the World

When I was growing up in the 50s and 60s, passenger trains in the U.S.  were numerous and popular.  One even transported my kindergarten class between my hometown of Plainview, Tx. to Lubbock, 45 miles away. But with the advent of good roads and increased income, cars dominated and train routes dwindled. In other countries… Read more »

Funiculars – Funny Name – Fun Ride

I don’t remember the first time I heard the word, “funicular.”  Inclined Railroad or an Incline are more widely used words for the steeply tilted contraption that lifts passengers quickly up to a much higher destination – a kind of mountain side elevator. The oldest funicular in the world continues to operate in Hohensalzburg Castle… Read more »

The Trip Not Taken

I’ve always wanted to go to the Christmas markets in Europe.  The promotional photos look appropriately cheery with rows of booths filled with handmade toys, clothes, Christmas cake, and hot mulled wine.  Light snow may be falling. Chestnuts roasting on an open fire and Jack Frost nipping at your nose are available experiences. With travel… Read more »

Galveston Reveals Family Ties

I am not my family’s historian and have yet to joined Ancestry. Unlike many genealogists, I have never traveled to research past connections. Two brothers had their saliva analyzed for past relations which confirmed we are strongly connected to the British Isle and Ireland.  For the rest of my background, I have relied on family… Read more »

MEDINAS of MOROCCO– FULL OF LIFE

I admit to being partial to medinas – those cloistered markets and neighborhoods encircled by old city walls in Northern Africa.  Some, as in Tunisia and Egypt, have become centered around tourists, but in Morocco, many generations continue to call the medina home and there’s much to explore. An immediate challenge upon entering through an… Read more »

Jimmy Dean Museum – Remembering a Local Star

Small towns are rightfully proud of their people who make it big in the world at large.  Paris’ Coach Stallings’ name is recognized across the country for his Alabama championship teams.  Buddy Holly put Lubbock on the map.  In my hometown of Plainview, Texas it was Jimmy Dean, country music performer, actor, tv host, and… Read more »

Visiting Mosques – A New World of Faith

Ahmet, our Turkish friend, insisted we were welcome in the Eyup Mosque of Istanbul, Turkey, even though we were not Muslims.  He wanted us to experience one of the many local spiritual centers of Islam and only required that my friend, Mary Grace, and I cover our heads.  We entered through the women’s section in… Read more »

Uluru Rock – One for the Ages

The approach to Uluru rock in the outback of Australia is long, anticipation building as the view of the massive structure grows over the desert horizon. From a distance, it appears as an ordinary isolated plateau but up close, visitors are dwarfed against its looming fortress walls.  Millions of years ago the formation was pushed… Read more »