Becker Vineyards, Fredricksburg, TXOctober 7 in the United States
Pics from winery tour with Earl and Annette Bean,
Pics from winery tour with Earl and Annette Bean,
Pics from Oktoberfest
This was a VERY informal gathering of Burges High School, El Paso, TX, graduates from various years in the 1960s. (Making us official geezers!) I didn't actually get pictures of everybody who was there, and for that I apologize--notable arrivals who didn't get pictured are Mary Lewis Hensley and Katie Lewis O'Toole. Here are the pictures I did get:
We arrived in Fredricksburg, TX, October 1, got set up in our new spot in Fredricksburg RV Park (we’ll be here for the whole month),. We decided on this spot because Les Fenter and Tim Stanley concocted a very informal mini-reunion of those who graduated from Burges High School, El Paso, TX any year from ’62-’67.
We ended up with some 20 so who showed up and we all seemed to have had a good time. We combined our gathering with Oktoberfest which is a BIG DEAL in this town that was the center of German immigration starting in 1846. https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hff03
They really do Oktoberfest big here. Lots of German peasant dresses and generations of handed-down lederhosen, and beer, LOTS and LOTS OF BEER! Not to mention wonderful weinerschnitzel, Jägerschnitzel, sauerbraten, bratwurst, http://www.visitfredericksburgtx.com/events/38th-annual-oktoberfest-2018/
Fredricksburg, and Central Texas in general, has become a hot bed of wineries. There are 17 on a small stretch of US 290 between Fredricksburg and Johnson City. Sunday, we took a little winery tour with another couple. Earl Bean and I both graduated from Burges HS in 1963 and he and his wife, Annette, and Herb and I had a really lovely time. We had wine tasting of some very nice wines and we saw some gorgeous scenery! I’ve never been to Europe, and it’s likely I never will unless Herb wins the lottery, but the scenery looked like I imagine Tuscany must.
My chosen blog site gives me pretty must unlimited space for writing, but only 10 pictures, I have a series of posts with just pictures. Stay tuned!Read more
We got here October 1 for a month-long stay and one of the must-do things was to go to Luckenbach, TX.
Luckenbach was originally established as a community trading post and the German settlers and the Comanche Indians entered into a peace treaty, which was one of only a few that was never broken. By the 1960s it was almost a ghost town. A newspaper advertisement offering "town—pop. 3— for sale" led Hondo Crouch, a rancher and Texas folklorist, to buy Luckenbach for $30,000 in 1970, in partnership with Kathy Morgan and actor Guich Koock. Crouch used the town's rights as a municipality to govern the dance hall as he saw fit.
It entered the 1970s zeitgeist as an icon of country music the summer of 1973 when Jerry Jeff Walker recorded the live album, "Viva Terlingua" at the Luckenbach dance hall--the album became an outlaw country classic.
In 1977, after Crouch's death in 1976, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson further vaulted Luckenbach into the national spotlight with the #1 country and #25 Pop charting song "Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love)." It has since become a part of every country music fan’s bucket list.
It’s a fun place on a very low-key scale. The buildings date back 150 yrs or more and there’s lots of music. Here are some of the pictures…Read more
We saw the PA on Tues., Sept 24 and he gave us the all-clear to hit the road with some restrictions and a list of exercises. We had our last family dinner of 2018. Kerry and Vince’s living arrangements have changed and Kerry and the boys are moving back with her mother; Vince is going to rent a room from Jesse.
We had left our vociferous Tonkinese cat with Vince in May since he had not tolerated travel in the Class C. But we needed to take him back—we thought he would do better in the Class A with so much more room, and so far he has—or he’s afraid to raise too much of a fuss or we’ll make him go back with all those other cats (7 at last count, I believe).
We left Albuquerque the morning of Sept. 26 and drove the 4 or so hours to El Paso. We checked in the Ft Bliss RV Park and settled down for a few days. The new RV drove well and we have decided to call her Lucy. It’s a comfortable home, and well-built. They used top materials and good design—but the workmanship is deplorable! We still have things that need fixing. The vacuum toilet still leaks even after it’s been back to La Mesa RV twice. The problem is intermittent which makes it hard to find. Then, when we left the KOA in ABQ, the power step wouldn’t retract. After talking to the Fleetwood company, repairs will be done October 18 at Ancira RV in Alvarado, TX. Amazingly, they have they’re own RV park next to the maintenance facility for people like us who live in their rigs.
As many of you know (or may not) I am from El Paso. I lived here from 1945-1965, then moved back with husband #2, 1976-1983. I was pretty much of a nonentity in high school; I can only imagine how I might have been bullied if I had been in high school in the age of social media, but I wasn’t and I turned into a self-sufficient woman. Since the advent of Facebook, I have reconnected with more than a few old classmates. Friday night we had dinner with a few of those classmates, and it was wonderful! We’re in our seventies and we have nothing to prove to anybody!
Tomorrow we leave El Paso and drive to Fredericksburg, TX where we will stay for a month. We will be there for Oktoberfest and Burges HS classes of ’63 and ’64 are having a mini-reunion in conjunction with Oktoberfest on Oct. 6.7.8, so I should have some good pics!Read more
Wow! It's been awhile, huh? We've been ensconced at the Albuquerque KOA since July 22—Herb had his rotator cuff surgery on Aug. 17. The surgery went well and he's 4 wks. out now and rehab is going extremely well. He is [mostly] pain-free.
My daughter, Sarah Eishen, turned 50 last Thurs. and she and husband Jeff with the assistance of Marissa Eishen, Jeff's cousin and Sarah’s daughter-of-the-heart, put together a massive party with a live band, bartender, and tons of food, plus a massive cake. There were about 50 guests (not counting the 6 dogs and 2 cat/dogs—cats that think they’re dogs). Since Herb was still in the midst of his rehab, we didn’t want to miss more than one session and since he couldn’t drive we loaded our stuff for the weekend and the dogs into the car and drove to San Diego for the party. The dogs boarded with Sarah—a dicey prospect since her group of dogs: the ones she owns, the new greyhound 4-mo old puppy she just acquired, the boarders and the day care dogs, have all had giardia diarrhea going from one to another. We stayed at the Inn at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station and couldn’t keep the dogs there. So far my dogs don’t have it.
However, the party was a great success and a good time was had by all. Jeff put together a wonderful video of her life [so far]: <https://goo.gl/fqp8NS>. She has had so many physical accomplishments: doing the Susan G Komen 100 mile bike race, finished a marathon, ran many half-marathons, in addition to stand-up paddle-boarding that it’s hard to remember that she has had MS since 1998!
We did break free for one afternoon to go down to Pacific Beach to take some pictures, which I have included.
As I write this, we are stopped for the night in Scottsdale. Tomorrow we head back to Albuquerque. But not for long. We plan to leave Sept 26 for a few days in El Paso, then we’ll be in Fredericksburg, TX for a month, before heading further South for the winter. It’s been eating at us to have this wonderful new Class A RV that has yet to get on the road! Watching the constant flow of RVs coming in and out of the KOA really makes us want to hit the road again!Read more
August 15, 2018, Albuquerque, NM
I know that many of you are wondering why you haven’t seen any blog posts from me in over a month, but after leaving Nashville, we headed for Albuquerque for Herb to entreat his Orthopedist, Dr. O’Guinn, to do a repair on his increasingly painful left shoulder.
At first I delayed posting a blog about this because I wanted to have a date to post. We waited about a week to get to see O’Guinn, but when we did get in we got a date: August 17. In the meantime, we’d about had it with the lack of storage and close quarters in the Envoy, so we started looking at Class A’s, and after looking and talking and getting all our ducks in a row, last Monday we took possession of a brand new Fleetwood Southwind 37’ with a V10, 6-speed transmission. It was a nightmare for two 70-somethings getting everything moved from the Envoy to the Southwind.
It’s finally getting there, though. The unit has bunk beds, which we need to put the overflow in. Tomorrow we will get shelving set up in the bunk beds so it will be organized.
What we gain is monstrous: I have my own bathroom!! OMG! What a gift! We have a wide, comfortable living space. We have a luxurious master bedroom with enough floor space so I am not endangering either Touly or myself trying to get around him to go the bathroom at night. (I used to have 2 ½ ft max, now I have at least 5’). And we have a washer/dryer combination!
Herb will have about 5 wks of rehabbing the shoulder before he can drive the RV. In the middle of that time, my daughter, Sarah, will be having her 50th birthday celebration in San Diego on Sept 14th. We had planned to take the RV and stay a couple of weeks, but we have decided that I will drive us in the Honda Civic with the dogs. Herb and I will stay at Miramar MCAS, and farm the dogs out to Sarah.
We plan to leave here Sept 26 (we are at Albuquerque KOA, but Balloon Fiesta is coming up in October and the rates about double), we have reservations for Fredericksburg, TX RV park for the month of October, which coincidentally, occurs as a sort of Burges HS classes of ’63 and ’64 mini-reunion.
In November we will head for Corpus Christi for a few weeks and then meander toward Florida for the winter.
The general plan is to go North when the weather warms up and spend some time in Georgia and the Middle Atlantic states before coming back to Albuquerque for 2-3 months, then San Diego for 2-3 months. The plan is to spend time with family here and family in San Diego, and the rest of the time to stay wherever the temp is a pleasant 72°! Read more
NEW JERSEY TO TENNESEE
From Colt’s Neck, NJ to Nashville is not just a long drive—it’s a whole culture away! We left NJ on July 11 and it was a really long day. We elected to take the long way around since getting through Baltimore and Washington DC meant careful re-routing to avoid low bridges and tunnels (you can’t take an RV through tunnels as a rule).
So we went through Harrisburg, PA to Lynchburg, VA, making for a 400 mi jaunt. That makes for a hard day of driving and even the dogs complain.
The next stop was Knoxville and Friday we completed the short stretch to Nashville.
We got to Nashville in the early afternoon Friday and had plenty of time to change our clothes and get over to the Grand Ole Opry venue for the 7 pm show.
The Grand Ole Opry was a major bucket list item for me and it did not disappoint! I knew, rather vaguely it seems, that it is an actual live radio program, and has been every week since 1925! Most of know that I am a country music fan. It’s the music I grew up listening to and it’s a part of the fabric of my life. I married at 19 to a man who was 8 yrs older than me and who considered the Mantovanni Strings a musical genre (think: elevator music). He frowned on country music (Jesse and Sarah must have got it from him). I always listened, but only when he wasn’t home. When he died, I went back to country music and it’s been mine ever since!
Saturday night we went to dinner at Valentino’s—a restaurant owned by the uncle of Herb’s great-nephew’s wife, Megan Oliver. Valentino’s is a 3-star fixture in downtown Nashville—very elegant, very good and very expensive.
Then we went to downtown Nashville. An amazing place! If you’ve never been there, it consists of about 4 blocks of Broadway St between 5th Street and 1st St. There are dozens of bars, no more than about 50 ft wide, with open windows and live bands playing loud country music and huge crowds of 20-somethings working on killing their livers. The streets are gridlocked with pedestrians and the homeless who sit on the curb. It’s a major sensory overload!Read more
This was a very moving experience. For the second time in my lifetime (the first was the Kennedy assassination), an event occurred where I can always remember exactly what I was doing at the moment I heard about it. I was just out of the shower and getting ready for my 7am shift at Kaiser Hospital, Pediatrics in San Diego when they broke into the morning news to say that an airplane had struck one of the World Trade Towers. I watched as the second plane struck the second tower and I immediately woke Herb to tell him we were under attack.
The first picture shows what to me is the iconic picture. The quote from Virgil's Aeneid strikes me in the gut. The blue squares are each one a different shade of blue that represent how this most horrid of days started out beautifully, with the sky a marvelous shade of blue. There is one square for every victim. Behind the wall is the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for the State of New York where they still labor to extract DNA and identify the few victims that have not yet been identified.
The panel that shows where the first plane hit the tower--when you look at the girder you can see the curve where the nose of the plane struck it. The last picture is called the "Last Column" It was the last column and it was found whole, still attached to the bedrock under the tower.Read more