Return to the USA

American Flag, Google

We flew from Cusco, Peru to Guayaquil, Ecuador and spent the night with Tracey McGuiness, aunt to niece Bonnie Craemer’s step children. She had graciously had us spend a couple of days with her before we went to Peru and had offered to take us to the airport which is 10 minutes from her house for our very early morning flight out of Ecuador to Miami.

We arrived in Miami and then took a plane to Orlando where Pat Maloney, Dan’s sister, met us. It felt so good to be back on American soil where we could speak English to everyone and drink the water. (Fun fact, we didn’t see any water fountains in our Latin American travels because you don’t drink the tap water there!)

I flew back and forth to San Antonio to help with some things for my sister, Marsha, while Dan stayed with Pat and helped do some stuff on her house.

When we finally bid a sad farewell to her after over 2 weeks, we headed to Kennedy Space Center.

View of control room exhibit, Kennedy Space Center website

We only spent one day there and could have easily spent another day.  We went to the E. O. Wilson Biophilia Center after visiting friends in Tallahassee.  This is a preserve that is has a 100-200 year plan to return the area to native plants and animals. We had a pleasant private tour and got to see an endangered Gopher Turtle.

We drove to Alabama and went to The Legacy Museum and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery. These facilities are very close to each other and they are informative, thought provoking, sobering and very intense to visit. Even writing about them several months later, I feel touched almost to tears. The museum is extremely well done and I encourage you to visit it if you get close to Montgomery.

Memorial compliments of
Mountain carving is huge! A person can stand inside the horse’s mouth.

From there we went to Georgia where we met up with our niece, Bonnie, and stayed there several days. We took Bonnie and the 3 kids to Stone Mountain. That’s an amusement park/historical civil war site. After having been to the museums in Montgomery, it was very poignant. Did you know that more people died from disease in the civil war than from battle wounds? We enjoyed several activities there, especially the dinosaur show.

Front row: Bonnie, Finn, Astrid, Dominic, Dan, Lindie
Finn, Astrid (facing away), and Dominic in front of animatronic dinosaur
Elvis Presley’s birthplace

After a couple of more stops along the way (including a very quick stop at Elvis Presley’s birthplace in Tupelo, MS) and the restored ironclad USS Cairo ship in Vicksburg, MS, we finally made it to Austin. Can’t say how great it was to see Mitchell, Nicki, Bre, and Beth, not to mention a lot of friends. Beth rode back to Colorado with us stopping at the Abilene Zoo for a private tour with Krista Rader, Heritage Museum (cowboy museum) in Hobbs, NM, Carlsbad Caverns, Roswell, and the Georgia O’Keefe Museum in Santa Fe. She was with us for about 2 weeks, some of it in Denver at the Children’s Museum and Dinosaur Ridge and Red Rocks area.

Bre came for another two weeks, during which time we could finally move back into our home which had been rented out. We spent time in Creede seeing a number of plays/activities (9 to 5, Wizard of Oz, Barefoot in the Park; Ms Sherlock, a backstage tour, and an improv). Bre had a great time there.

Now we are settled in, happy to be back in Durango which had a major forest fire this summer about 10 miles from our house. Fortunately the fire fighters were able to handle it with no injuries, deaths, or loss of structures!

Now we stay busy with Lindie working out almost every day and Dan spending lots of time volunteering with the Solar Barnraising folks. And time with friends. Winter is here and hopefully we get a good snowpack this year. We’ve had a little snow so far and frost many days now.

Marsha Surad

Marsha Surad, my older sister and most avid reader of my blog, passed away on July 25, 2018…the same day that our mother passed away on in 2001.

Marsha was a frequent reader and often posted comments on my blogs. She urged me to make our travels into a book but that is unlikely to happen.

I miss Marsha more than I expected and our family with two remaining siblings (Ron in Austin and Judy in San Antonio) and Mitchell and his family in the Austin area feels much smaller…it has a large hole in it.

I am grateful that Marsha had many friends in San Antonio and other places. God bless her.

Thinking of Home

Spruce Tree House, Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado. January 2017

I am reading House of Rain by Craig Childs. It is non-fiction, about the Anasazi and Craig’s travels to their ruins in the four corners area of New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Arizona. I am enjoying it, even though it has me a little homesick thinking of SW Colorado and areas I have been and those I can go check out. Thinking of friends too!





Finally…on our way!

Here we are, at Houston Hobby, waiting for our flight to San Jose, Costa Rica in an hour. I kept promises to my brother and sister to contact them before leaving.

I am nervous. All the rushing to complete last minute tasks is over, whether they got done or not. Now it is time to just relax and flow.

It works.

Our day was a mix of rushing and waiting.

We left Austin this morning after a final visit with our friend, Ruby, who is 104 and in hospice. She was glad to see us and sad to see us go, knowing it was likely our last visit.

I expect Costa Rica to be our shakedown country to find out what works and what doesn’t, and more importantly, to discover what we never considered.

Time to get on the plane!