Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Fun for a cause

this is our second year to attend the MS 150 Texas Tour of Champions, thanks to loyal and generous donors.  it is a fun filled weekend for top fundraisers to celebrate the cause for which we raise all this money.

Hiking, biking and lots of parties.  Who needs more?
Well you get more.  you get the people involved in the movement.  that is my long time friend Margaret with the memorable hair on the front row and if you look hard you can find Carl.  After only two weekends I have a dozen good friends in this crowd.  Pretty awesome people with hearts all in the right place.  
and attitudes that say FUN!  Do it!  (Maybe orange is the new black? )

For Carl the weekend is about being with people who are dealing with a life that will get worse while his gets better.  so many in wheelchairs with fabulous attitudes who are top fundraisers for the cause. 

My physical challenge was to get active after a summer of surgically induced sofa time. I rode 16 and 12 miles at Fort Collins elevation and hiked in Horsetooth mountain reservoir where I saw three bears.
I hurt all over after three days of activity, but I would not have traded the experience for anything.  I was hiking behind Karla, who has MS, who said, I 'm all about finishing, not about how fast I get there. Just do it!!!
these are two of my hiking buds, Erin and Travis.  Erin was willing to ride 8 miles with me at my speed, and since she is a Rice grad, she was super before she did that.  Travis is a personal trainer who works with MS patients and he gave me a mid hike stretch that was over the top.  With help like this, I made it to the top of Horsetooth falls. 

More photos of my hiking buds Sandra and Dorie.

And Erin and Travis.

highlight?  on Saturday nite after dinner there was a great duo taking requests.  mine was Piano Man by Billy Joel.  when they played my request I jumped up and started dancing.  guess who got up and danced with me?  yep!  Carl got up and danced!   he even let go of his cane!  and Lisa, who is the lady photo'd in the wheelchair above, danced too.  pretty awesome!!!!!

Leaf me here forever

Never before have I been here for the aspens.  Where have I been all my life?
I saw them first on the million dollar highway.  Then more and more.  I'll just paste a few here.  
And a few more....
Is that enough?
I wish there were words, but nothing can describe the feeling of the fluttering gold.  

On the Rocky Mountain National Park switchbacks I coud reach out and touch them.  Felt like driving through Christmas lights.  I'll attempt to transfer and post a video soon.  Have not figured out the technique yet in the blogger ap.   

Spa me

On a road trip to recovery hot springs are essential.  Last road trip we had our hot springs book out every day with the intention of hitting as many as possible.  This time I just wanted to go to the most accessible ones for Carl and plan a very efficient route.  We have done just that, starting with Ojo Caliente, then Pagosa Springs to the funky Healing Waters, then Ouray.  

The winner, which we have returned to twice this trip, is Joyfal Journey, near Moffat, centered in the San Luis Valley between Salida and the Great Sand Dunes. 

The landscape is like New Mexico with its dramatic skies. In addition to amazing sunsets, they have a masseuse named Frannie that is among the best I have ever experienced.  

Pool temps are hot, hotter and hottest.  I like the hotter one.
This spa is built on the site of Mineral Springs, a hot springs destination that died when the railroad did.  The current owner developed the springs, a hotel and conference center and yurt camping and finally removed the deteriorated buildings from the previous century.

RV spots are bare bones, but with skies like this, who cares?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Roswell and a solar storm

After two years off the road Carl is finally mobile enough to attempt an rv trip.  Since I had two surgeries myself this summer it is a return to activity for me as well.  We are both giddy like kids with new drivers licenses.   No one could mistake us for geezers.  

I felt a bit uneasy when  I heard about the solar storm coming right before we hit Roswell New Mexico.  That is just too much space junk at once to take any chances.  Had to fashion a hat for Daisy to protect her.

There are aliens everywhere!

I'm not sure if the solar storm influenced the weather, but around Roswell we hit a rain storm and a double rainbow. 
if I don't post again, it's probably the electronics zapped by solar flares, but then again we might be with the aliens.  In case it is the latter, just know we had fun on the way there.

Monday, June 9, 2014

A change in plans

I The sun came up brilliantly on our last day at lake Garda and three hikers took off on a level 99 high ending up somewhere close to one of the lower realms of heaven. 
I and three others headed out to rent bikes to toddle along the shoreline and then inland upriver to the next town.  I rented a mountain bike with more gears than the free tourist info bikes but was somewhat limited by the hard seat and no gel pants to cushion me. But the day was lovely and the path idyllic and I cannot believe no pictures!!!!  

We returned for lunch when my phone rang.  We needed to check out a day early, a mess up by the owner.  As a result we are right on the water for the night.  Perfect.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Famous in a foreign land

While wandering Bologna's central market zone, we were approached by a very attractive Italian woman and a camera man.  

"Garble blah blah blah" in Italian.  
We shake our heads.  No speak Italian .

She switched to English.  "What do you think of this thing kamut?  What is it?"
More questions followed before I figured out I was supposed to play along in a guessing game.   

Dessert I said.   What kind?  Panne.  And latte.  Like bread pudding.    

Dodie said it was a small animal.  Played in the yard.  Went anywhere it wanted.  Like an elephant.

Meanwhile I spoke to the producer who said she was making a promotional film for an Egyptian exhibit in town, and kamut was an Egyptian grain found in a tomb.

Selfies followed. 

Then we gave permission to be used in the film.  It's on Bologna tv in June.  Look for us at www. Didn't get the name.  Of course, you will need to pronounce www. Woo woo woo in Italian before anyone can help you find us.  

Holy Agricola

We arrived today at Il Sarelle , an agritourism accommodation with breakfast and dinner included in Northern Umbria.  Everything served tonight was raised here or in the area.   

First course. 
Bread and wine with farmed raised olive oil, carafe of red wine, bottle of still water.

Appetizer home grown Parma ham and sausage with olive oil and Brusetta with a tomatoe confit.
Then ravioli with pecorino cheese (we could see the goats but not sure where the sheep were). And sautéed sage and more olive oil.
Then insalade of farm greens with farm olive oil.  
Then thin sliced roast pork loin with roasted potato.
Then a slice of shortbread pastry with chocolate and cream cheese and desert wine and limoncello.

Never mind the offer of coffee.   It's 10:30 pm now.  

Tomorrow we will maybe make gnocchi with Sara , who came from Venice and married a Roman with the crazy idea of raising a family on an organic farm.

Buon notte!

Friday, May 23, 2014


Monday night the phone rang with an invite to Italy on....Friday!   Would I replace a member of the trip who was ill?

I had a million reasons why not, but Carl struck them off one by one, and  a week later I was on a plane to join Girl Scout Rebecca and family at lake Garda Italy, to be followed by Venice with Verdi.  I think I landed in heaven.  

Here I am having coffee overlooking Lake Garda in a lovely villa with six bedrooms, three and a half baths and fabulous company for day hikes and shared meals.  The seeds I planted for my next life are growing right here in my present one.  Karma ripened early.

Today we visited two villes one with castle and one with a hike to a lake, complete with pastoral cows and hay meadows and vineyards along the way.

This is one of my favorite shots of some of the group.

Lunch at an agritur restaurant was the freshest gnocchi in  butter sauce that ever melted in my mouth, and at fellow traveler Dave's suggestion we all drew on our placemats.

Food and art, my favorites.

Bon sera!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


Oi!  It makes my head hurt to think about replacing my stolen laptop for my summer blogging.  So I'm thinking iPad but trying the phone to see how it goes first. 
How's that for the most uninformed post known?  At least a funny for your trouble....