Sunday, March 11, 2012

Texas, A State of Extremes





      When I was camping around the United States, my first overnight stay in the desert was in Texas.  Hot and dry when I sacked out that night, desert temperatures drop quickly in the middle of the night.  I found that a desert night could get quite cool and eventually had to curl up in my sleeping bag.  The next morning I would travel to San Antonio where I spent a wonderful two days reliving the history of the Alamo. While the scene was almost idyllic,  "Remember the Alamo!" almost seemed to ring out from the walls of this mission in San Antonio.  Inside, of course, the utmost of reverence and silence is demanded, bringing to mind the somber reality of the sacrifice of the heroes who fought there.  I spent a good amount of time reminiscing upon some of the stories I had read of this place in bygone days.
     However, the Alamo is not the only attraction in San Antonio. The market square and the historic old city were fascinating places to visit.  I would also spend a great deal of time on the River Walk.  An evening stroll along the river is a fantastic way to end a day in San Antonio, observing the small boatloads of visitors glide through the water or sitting down to eat outside in the cool air down by the river banks.  Great scenery with tiny waterfalls along the way keep the visitor's attention.  The temperatures along the river provide a welcome relief from the heat of the day that I experienced as I wandered through the city of San Antonio.  All in all, San Antonio was a great place to visit.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Perfect Vacation

     I am not sure if there is such a thing as "the perfect vacation," but I have enjoyed a few great ones.  One that was particularly memorable occurred in the summer of 2001.  I was widowed at the time and was planning a trip to Sri Lanka where my eldest son was to be married to a girl he had met in graduate school at Purdue University.  At that juncture in time, I had no idea of all that went into planning a vacation abroad, so I engaged a travel agent that a colleague at school had used.  My time in Sri Lanka needed little planning as my son and daughter-in-law-to-be had my time pretty well planned out.  That turned out to be a terrific vacation.  We spent some time shopping for clothes at ridiculously low prices, touring the capital of Sri Lanka, visiting some outlying areas, dining at some great restaurants with terrific and very spicy foods.  Topping that off was a visit to one of the island's premier resorts for several days.  What a great two weeks!

     Returning home, I spent a few days in London, and that is where my travel agent really was helpful.  With his help I was able to arrange for sleeping quarters to fit my budget in the right section of town and to map out my stay ahead of time.  This allowed me to pack a lot of activities into just a few days, giving me a truly memorable London visit in a relatively short period of time.

     Looking ahead to my retirement years, I may possibly be interested in Seniors Cruising.  This would be a relatively short time in the future, so it is definitely something of interest to me.  I love to travel, but I have never had the opportunity to take a longer luxury cruise, so this interests me.  Of course, another cruise that might interest me in the next couple of years would involve cruising with kids since I now have a second family with two young sons.  With all the amazing family cruise vacations available to choose from, it definitely provides me with something to look forward to.
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