9/19/07 - Austin, TX We had the great pleasure of spending the past four days with my cousin KJ and her partner Laura. The weekend started off with dinner on this great area on South Congress. I particularly liked the ice cream at Amy's, but you all know how I feel about ice cream ;) The next day KJ took us to her dojo for karate class. She is going for her second black belt next month. So Jay and I agreed to take class, which was an all levels class. Oh boy. Let me first say that KJ is a great teacher and that Jay and I are soooo out of shape. I know we keep writing about all these athletic things we keep doing, but it seems to be one great big smoke screen. The truth is that we barely held on through the class. The hardest part for me was holding the lunge pose for what feels like hours. Then there was the fact that we were suppose to lunge and use are arms in a series of blocks and punches. Jay's comment was "Well I just confirmed I am totally uncoordinated." When the class was over Jay and I were soaked through with sweat. KJ had another class, so Jay and I said we would go for a walk and be back. In actuality I was running from the scene of my humiliation. I have always had the utmost respect for people who do karate, and I still do and then some. We spent the rest of the day seeing the sites (Whole foods headquarters) and eating fabulous barbeque at the salt lick. We had high hopes of pub-crawling downtown, but ever expanding stomachs filled with barbeque had other ideas. So instead it was a wild night of dominoes; chicken foot and Mexican train. Then my amazing football playing karate teaching cousin set out a spread and a daylong marathon of football. Thankfully Laura thought of our need to expend some calories and took us on a walk around the old airport. We were able to see the beginnings of an amazing park. Then there were wonderful hours of football. The next day KJ took the day off to show us around town. The fun part was trying to find the Treaty Oak. It is this amazing oak tree that was here at the start of Austin. The best part was taking wrong turns and having KJ bs her way through each area. Then we decided to cool our heels in this great natural spring. It was one of our favorite swims so far. Then there was more great food and fun. I can't tell how much fun we had nor how much I appreciate the hospitality of KJ and Laura. Especially the part where they made sure us northerners didn't melt. As always it was sad to leave. It was our last planned visit. We are officially working our way back to PA and on to our new home in NH. We have planned a few stops on the way. So stayed tuned - Steph
9-13-07 Roswell, NM Yes believers and non-believers we went to Roswell. Jay and I took a short trip to the Mecca of alien activity that is Roswell. What do you think when you think of Roswell? Aliens perhaps? UFOs? Area 51? Government cover-up? My imagination went wild with all of the cheesy stuff we were about to see. As we drove into town Jay even proclaimed, "I know why the aliens come here undetected. There isn't bleeping anything around!" Sadly Jay was right and I was sorely disappointed. Roswell doesn't embrace the UFO stuff as much as the TV show did. We did go to the International UFO Museum and Research Institute. It did a very fine job of telling all of the different stories. They had tons of "Believe it or Not" signs. My personal favorite was "Hoax or Amazing Phenomenon?" There we tons of cheesy models of how they think it would have looked. We were audience to both strong believers and non-believers alike. In the end, Jay and I have an open mind about UFOs. So open in fact we are practicing a little UFO advice "Wear your seatbelt. It makes harder for the aliens to suck you out of your car." Not a bad idea as we drive across New Mexico and Texas, don't you think? - Live long and prosper - Steph
9/12/07 - Tucson, AZ We have found the best bed and Breakfast place in America J They don't advertise and it is invitation only. Do I have your attention? Come on water aerobics class. You know who I am talking aboutů.Peggy!!!! Bob and Peggy Morrison graciously allowed us to visit these past two nights. They made a big deal of taking care of us and calling this our vacation from our vacation. Bob was in charge of the paper being at our door in the morning and making sure I got my fill of ice cream every night. Peggy was the every doting hostess. Her food, as usual, was amazing. She would never let us go out the door empty handed. They tons suggestions for us for things to do. We decided that Tombstone sounded like fun. We went out there and saw the "award winning" Shootout at the OK Corral. We also walked around the dirt road and old shops. One of our favorite stops was the Histogram. This was a combination of movie and diorama of the history of Tombstone. I have to tell you I had a hard time swallowing my laughter when on the diorama they did a rendition of someone getting shot or killed. Remember those toys where you push the bottom and the figure falls over? Yep that is what it looked like. Add to that the film was narrated by Milton Burl and looked like it was filmed in sixties. Oh how I love the cheese factor. Sincerely Tucson is a place we could spend more time. The list of things left to see is very long. Peg and Bob made us feel like family. It was very sweet and Jay and I loved it. It made us feel like our own family was trying to take care of us. So thank you thank you thank you to Bob and Peggy. To the swim class: I am telling you people start signing up now for this gem of a bed and breakfastů you already have an in with a travel agentůso get your butts to Tucson. With wave and a yippee ki yea - Steph and Jay PS. We recommend that you order the mash potatoes.