Sunday, June 26, 2011

Texas 5

Hey Gang,
OK where was I?

We woke about 10 and met for breakfast in the hotels restaurant. After breakfast we split up. I went with Walt and the girls to go to Natural Bridge Caverns. That's one thing about traveling with Walt, there is never a spare minute, he fills up every second with something to do or see.

Natural Bridge Caverns was just awesome. Some of the large rooms had over 50 foot ceilings. The descent was over 200 feet. The temperature was about 78 with a high humidity. Good walking shoes is a must.

The cavern tours and the trip back to Houston took up almost the whole day. We arrived at our last destination the Woodlands Hotel. Very beautifully landscaped. After dinner at the hotel we wanted to swim. Unfortunately the pool closed. That didn't stop us. Walt, Jami the kids and I snuck around and went anyways. What a blast sneaking and hiding so we wouldn't get thrown out. Who says you have to grow up.

Well that's all, waking at about 10 to grab the plane back to Cleveland. Boy did this trip go fast. But what a blast. Let me say thanks to the Kelly's once again, I am blessed to have them as friends.

Gotta GoGo!!

texas 4

Well the day wasn't that bad after all, in fact it was great. I stayed behind at the hotel and slept in till about 11:30 while they went to Six Flags.

I did some emails and then headed to a restaurant close to the hotel called The Egg and I. A bit expensive but it was good food.

I went back to the hotel and asked for a shuttle to downtown San Antonio. The hotel doesn't give rides to downtown only to the park n ride. I never rode a bus before alone and was clueless to what I was doing. The bus driver explained how to pay. Hey its a new experience for me.

I guessed at what exit to get off and guess what, I guessed right. I got off in the middle of everything. I never knew the Alamo was right in the middle of the city. I thought it was much closer to the Mexican border and in the middle of no where.

San Antonio is a hidden gem. Why I never heard mention San Antonio as a travel destination is beyond me. Plenty of shopping, historic sites besides the Alamo and of course the River Walk.

The River Walk winds through the city. It is lined with hotels, eateries, bars, fine dining and little shops. Across the Alamo is a strip with more shops and museums. I have to return to walk or take the flat boat to see the rest of it. The flat boat sits about 20 on chairs and takes a lazy pace so you can enjoy the sights and sounds.

Then there is the Market. More little shops with all kinds of south western crafts, Mexican and Texas goods. It was so colorful and lively. The down was there was posted No Pictures. I ignored it and filmed away with my video cam.

I walked a good distance and kept finding new things to see. I came across the San Fernando Cathedral which is across of the old and new city hall. The old is another building you have to see, its made out of red sandstone.

When I got up to the cathedral I looked in and saw church was about to start. So I attended service. The church is fairly ornate with echoy acoustics. It was hard to understand what was being said because of the echo and also it was mixed between English and Spanish, maybe with even some Latin.

I just loved the Mexican style band/choir, if that's what the style is called. Never heard Hallelujah sang that way.

After that walked around some more until Walt and Jimmy showed up to head to the River Walk for dinner.

That's all, one more day to go. It always goes to fast.

Gotta GoGo!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Texas 3

Hey Gang,
I felt so at home at the condo maybe too at home. This morning Jami knocked on our door to give us the keys which I left in the door knob over night. A habit I have.

We left the condo and went to the Lone Star aviation museum. Quite interesting. Down the road was the Moody Gardens, the name is a fooler as it has little to do with gardens. We went to the aquarium which was nice. After that we headed towards San Antonio.

We made a mistake because we left the aquarium late and it was rush hour through Houston . I wanted to stop to eat but Walt wanted to hurry to San Antonio because friends were meeting us at the hotel. The last meal we had was breakfast at 9 am, the time was now 5:30 and San Antonio was still another 180 miles away. I came up with the plan to drive with Jami while Walt and the kids headed onward.

A Careyism! Jami and I were going back and forth of what kind of food and place we should eat at. I said I don't care, even if we find a town called La Grange lets stop there and eat. Well about 20 miles up guess what we ran into? La Grange! So we stopped and ate at a place called Nancy’s Steak House. Hummina hummina.

After dinner we sped to the Omni Hotel just outside the city limits of San Antonio. Terrific hotel. Indoor and outdoor pool. The outdoor pool had a small bar, a LARGE pool, small BBQ and they had a movie showing on a large screen.

The BBQ looked so good I had to try it even though I wasn't hungry. Ordered the brisket sliders. Tracy, the chef, gave me 4 stuffed sliders instead of 3. Then someone offered to buy me a beer. Even though I wasn't in the mood for one how could I refuse. Then Tracy came over and said don't say anything but here's some macaroni salad, its the bomb. Then Walt told Casey to get Carey some popcorn. I had more food than I knew what to do with.

I ate what I could and then jumped into the pool and then the hot tub.

Now in the room and dreading morning and whats on schedule. Meeting at 8 am for breakfast then heading to Six Flags. I hate amusement parks!

Gotta GoGo!!

Texas 2

Last night after Walt returned from racket ball we went to one of the pier's on the Galveston break wall.

It's quite long and elevated about 20 feet. In the middle of the pier is a small convenience store that sells snacks, beer and bait. If you want to go to the fishing pier or observation deck its 2 bucks unless you purchase something.

We met a 25 year old lady who struck up a conversation with us. I mention her age only because her knowledge of issues was quite remarkable, to the left if center yes but still knowledgeable. How is it I always meet strangers that want to talk politics and issues? Unless its just a sign of the times. We went round and round. As I said she was bright but not on the right side of the argument. I got no where trying to make my case how Obama is walking all over the Constitution. She did say she missed Pres. Bush though. We ended our talk with a friendship hug. Before we left I asked her to say a big hello to Cleveland and give a big Go Mav's! She is from Dallas and a lover of the Mav's and Dirk. The celebration for the NBA champs drew about 250,000 to the downtown Dallas area.

Today I stayed behind at the condo catching up on business calls and emails while Walt and the family went to a water park.

After business I walked a good distance along the break wall. All day the tide was high so couldn't enjoy any of the beach.

About 10 pm they came back and we went to the Strand and the Harbor area of Galveston. Both are historic districts and something to spend more time looking around.

That's all. Need to wake early for the museums and then heading to San Antonio,

Gotta GoGo!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Texas 1

Hey Gang,

I am in Texas with Walt's family on a 5 day escape. The trip is a graduation present for Walt's son Jimmy. Jimmy graduated from the 8th grade on the honor roll and received a scholarship. For a present Jimmy picked where he wanted to go.

I was a little apprehensive about leaving because of how busy I am but I couldn't disappoint .Jimmy really wanted me to come along plus all the planning Walt put into the trip' I couldn't say no.

The flight to Huston was OK but there were times when the turbulence bounced us around quite a bit and we were delayed from landing because of a storm. We were in a holding pattern until the weather broke. It added an additional 45 minutes to the flight,

On the plane I sat next to a very informed person who said he wasn't that much into politics. Yeah right. He knew more than most people who are informed. His name was Don. He was heading to Peru for business and to visit family who are from there. He was an intern at Bear Stearns during the collapse. I learned quite a bit from him. He likes Ron Paul because he is far right and thinks if Paul is elected he won't be able to implement everything he wants which means Ron will end up closer to right of center rather than far right which is good. Follow that? And Hugo Chavez is a nut and must go.

After the long delay from the storm we landed to what looked like Cleveland weather, I wasn't sure if we even left Hopkins. Dreary sky's, raining and about 70'ish. Then we had another long delay. Walt rented a full size SUV to fit all of us and our luggage. Hertz made a mistake. There wasn't any full size left in their lot. So after some frustration Hertz agreed to give Walt 2 midsize SUV's with one being free.
So that's the lowdown on arriving.

We are staying at Dawn Condos in Galveston. The condo I am in is on the third floor with a nice balcony and a bedroom large with windows that open to a view of the Gulf. What a view! The sound of the ocean and the breeze – heavenly.

That's all for now.
Gotta GoGo!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Meet Chuck

Hey Gang,
You haven't received one of these emails in a long time.

Today I went to Dollar Tree to pick up a card for dad. I hurried to the door but noticed behind me an older gentleman with a cane walking slowly. I waited the extra 10 seconds and held the door for him. I am glad I slowed down. All it took was for me to hold the door open to make a new friend.

He blessed me and said have a great day. I said well you to. He responded let me give you a great tip, I discovered a inexpensive amusement park nearby, its in Erie, Pa, take 90 and get off at Exit 18, the park is called Waldameer. Its perfect for grandparents because you don't have to pay to enter, just pay for the rides.

He also told me right there is a free science museum that is very nice. And once you go under the roller coaster which goes over the road, to your right there are also two diners across the street. The one has the best foot-longs, its not in the silver diner, but the other. And all of this is right next to Presque Isle state park.

I thanked him again and said I really appreciate this because with the price of gas I look for places within a 100 mile to enjoy.

I started to walk away and he said here is another tip. I will tell you how to make the best windshield washer fluid and its acts like Rain-X. Take regular windshield washer fluid, add 4 tablespoons vinegar and two tablespoons of dish soap like Dawn. Make sure it doesn't have any added hand softeners in it. Your windshield will sparkle.
Then he said for cheap seat covers use extra large T-shirts.

I introduced myself and he said his name was Chuck, an older gentleman maybe about 70-ish.

Chuck then told me the story of how his hat saved his life. He was at a flea market and after walking too much he felt faint. He saw a monster truck with the HUGE tires. He made his way over to it so he could break his fall on the larger tires. Instead his head went over the tire and into the wheel well. Going in wasn't bad but pulling his head out he cut his scalp right across. They rushed him to the hospital and was told if not for the cap the cut would of been much deeper and he would of bled to death.

Yes - I got all these stories and I was happy to listen.

As we went about shopping we swapped stories back and forth of what to look for on cans and products. He also avoids Chinese and Mexican made products as much as possible. Chuck grabbed a bottle of apple juice and said here read this fine print. 15% juice. Never noticed that before, wonder what the other 85% is.

Chuck gave me one last tip before he walked away. There is a store in Shoregate in Willowick called Steals and Deals. One time they had a bunch of irregular and slightly flawed T-shirts on sale for .15 cents. He went through about a thousand of them to pick out the best ones. He said I was so sore I couldn't hardly life my arms when done. I took the 400 shirts I bought and brought them to the homeless shelter.

There is just something about old vets, no matter how much they have given, they still give and show pride doing it.

So just remember, if you see someone behind you slow down and hold the door open for that person, it could be Chuck or a friend you haven't met yet.

Gotta GoGo!!