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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 »

Ancient Kunming – Now the Garden City of China

I knew nothing of Kunming, China until discovering it was the terminus for most of the WWII flights over the Himalayas from India bringing supplies to the Allied and Chinese armies.  My father flew this dangerous route over the “Hump” 150 times.  When I journeyed to follow his WWII footsteps in 2014, a stop in… Read more »

The Thrill of the Sudden View

With photos available on the internet and travel sites galore, it is difficult to be surprised in traveling today.  Professional photos online with their perfect lighting beautifully reflect a location at its best. An in-person visit can sometimes be disappointing. I do believe in being prepared for a voyage.  If I know the history of… Read more »

Traveling against State Department Advisories

Travel Advisory Levels When I first began traveling internationally to Europe in 1969, no warning system by the United State Department of State was readily available for citizens abroad.  I have visited countries where travel advisories should have been in place.  When I first landed in Santiago, Chile, in the spring of 1974, a year… Read more »