ONE….While in Texas, Paul and I went down to the hotel bar for “happy hour” because it wasn’t two for one, it was 2 free drinks per person! So may as well go down and meet some other travellers. We got talking to the bartender (only a few people at the bar). He was fascinated with Curling in the Olympics and wanted so much to put a team together and go curling (this is Lubbock, Texas, pop. 200,000). He thought the game was awesome and watched it as much as he could (he was about 30 years old). I said that would be great but where is the nearest curling rink. Well, that is the problem he says. I explained that in Canada every city has a curling rink and every single small town has a hockey rink with a curling rink attached usually. Texans are always interested in our life in Canada and always asking questions on our health care system.

TWO...This bartender’s friend was also at the bar with friends. This friend was defending the gun law in Texas. I explained that in Canada we don’t have any firearm signs explaining the law when entering a public place like the hotel we were at. He explained that one can carry a loaded gun in their car as long as it is visible. If he is stopped by anyone…. including a police officer, he brings out his gun to the dash so it is visible. If he had a loaded gun in his glove box, he would be arrested for concealing that weapon. A car and a house are considered personal space and you can have a loaded gun in these places. You are not allowed guns in public places. That is why there are signs as you enter a public place like a hotel or a Walmart. Now, all states are not like this, just Texas. This is what I was told, doesn’t mean these are accurate facts!

THREE….While we travel, we take the rural roads and not the interstates. Therefore, we travel through some interesting towns and if we get ONE radio station we are excited. We stopped at a town (after 90 miles, whew, we needed a washroom). This town had a Subway, so we used the facilities there and next door was a radio station. Great, we put on that station (only one, as we scanned the radio). This was a country music station which makes sense in New Mexico. This station’s DJ was hilarious. Very amateurish! He started playing a song, then about 30 seconds in, dead silence…. for about 15 seconds. We waited, then sure enough he comes on and says he was yawning and going to fall asleep with that one and he wants to change the song, so hang on. Sure enough, a brand new country song came on! Too funny. Then after the song was finished, he had taped recordings of local officials and got the tapes all mixed up of who was coming on next. This reminded me of long ago at Humber College when colleges had their own radio station and these DJs were in the learning process. (am sure they still do). We didn’t have the station long anyway, no station for awhile again. I did learn on this specific passage that no drinking of fluids unless it is 30 miles or less to a town (or a washroom). We could go 100 miles without a town, trailer, gas station or restaurant. We always have fuel! There are many trailer parks and we understand now… is a ready-made house. The nearest Home Depot could be hundreds of miles away. So when you venture to the “city” to gather all the stuff you need, don’t forget anything…. come home and lo and behold, where is that screwdriver you were suppose to buy and where is the milk and bread??? Yikes, marital problems could arise, hmmmm. Rural brings on a new meaning in rural New Mexico.

FOUR…We were visiting Sedona one morning and loved this small city. It has a population of 10,000 to 15,000 depending on the season. We travelled on scenic highway 89A to Prescott, Arizona after leaving Sedona and stopped at a small town Jerome on the way. We met a nice local at a local store and he informed us that on Valentine’s Day weekend that Sedona had 80,000 visitors! And their small town Jerome (about 20 minutes away) got their overflow because every hotel room was booked . That is great for the local economy but can you imagine the influx of tourists… I would say hey, honey, how about we go after Valentine’s Day weekend? The rates will be better and you can give me discounted roses!

All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware — Martin Buber




We visited a small city, Sedona, Arizona. This small city boasts views, restaurants, friendly people and most importantly…. silver! We arrived mid morning and loved it very much. We walked, shopped (like every good tourist does), used the bathroom and continued.



A Storefront window in Sedona, all white used paint cans, so unique!


A great sculpture in Sedona of a girl taking a picture. This one is unique!

We travelled on a highway (#89A)… this hwy is the scenic route to the places we want to go BUT, unfortunately it was like being on a slow moving roller coaster (I thought of my friend Rose!). One cannot look down at the scenery. … actually no looking down at anything. Just straight ahead! Up… winding, then down winding, then up again… we didn’t know when this route would end. Yes, very scenic is what we were told but I was looking at the lines on the road and Paul’s driving skills and the cars coming towards us. Have to keep everyone in check, right?


We ate at the Palace Bar, Prescott where this film was made?

We had to go to Prescott Arizona… why??? Because Paul grew up in Prescott, Ontario, Canada. Now and then when checking the weather in Prescott this place in Arizona comes up. This place is actually a city!! It has a Costco and a Sam’s Club…. you know it has a population to support it. We stayed at a Best Western… but was not a great hotel. BUT the lunch at The Palace Bar was awesome. There was a movie filmed there.

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The actual bar is the same and the these doors above. Some booths are named after people, I had to take a picture of Big Nose Kate because the name was unique compared to all the others! Hmmm … do you wonder, like I do.. who is Big Nose Kate?

The food was awesome here and then we had dinner at a local Italian restaurant. This also was an excellent meal. Prescott was the city we got our oil changed in too. Paul was happy!!


We are now in Tucson, Arizona and heading to San Diego. Here is a fact…. we all turn our clocks forward 1 hour tonight…. right?? Well, not in Arizona. So when we arrive in California tomorrow, we are in the same time zone all of a sudden!! Now, if we travel through a Navajo Reservation on the way…. they do turn the clocks forward! They follow most states (and the world)… so it could be one hour difference for a short time. …. too funny!

We do hear from our boating friends and our friends and family at home. We do miss everyone so much!


Speeches, words, artwork, poetry or photos cannot give anyone an accurate description of the Grand Canyon here in the South Rim, Arizona!!





Majestic is just a word but we have no words when one actually sees the Grand Canyon. There are many stops along the way in the National Park. We stopped at many and saw so much of the Canyon all at different angles.



Our very first stop was the Welcome Center and we climbed up a tower because being at 7500 ft elevation wasn’t enough?! When one is at 6500 feet, one can experience shortness of breath, nausea, higher blood pressure, thirst etc. Well, yep, after climbing stair after stair of this tower, we seemed exhausted. I thought we were in better shape, afterwards I learned that this is normal at this altitude. Whew! (The tower was just another 60 feet higher).


Lost my footing here, help me !!


Mule deer and elk are everywhere in the park and don’t seem bothered by cars or people. We don’t get too close to them but wow, have to be patient when driving, they could just stand there for awhile. (they seem to know there is no hunting, hmmmmm)


This is a remote “helicopter” with a camera on the bottom. These Asian friends have a very expensive hobby of experimenting with their “toy”. They will fly this over the Grand Canyon and get footage on their camera. You don’t want to make a mistake, as it is a long way down and no retrieving their camera and “helicopter” back.


me grand

I am NOT leaning further Paul, no matter what you keep saying!

We stayed at the Best Western near the Grand Canyon and loved it there. We travelled to Flagstaff, Arizona last night and this morning we travelled to Sedona. Those travels will be another post for another day.

For low season we found the Grand Canyon quite busy but I guess not busy enough. There are 5 million visitors every year. About 83% from the U.S. and the other 17% from other nations…. high percentage from the U.K. and Canada. Paul is very happy we came now and not when it would be busy!


Breathtaking, Stunning, Wondrous and GRAND…

These are just a few words to describe what we have seen today. First tour this morning was the Antelope Canyon. This is a major tourist attraction here and afterwards we totally understand. We will let these pictures explain it all.

antelope 2

Antelope Canyon is a cave .. cavern with miles and miles to go. We saw a small portion of it. When there is flash flooding no one is allowed to enter. … there have been deaths. The floor bed can rise or lower by 5-8 feet depending on the kind of flash flood, either the sand washes away or the sand is brought down and left here. Different times of the day brings different sunlight which in turn are different pictures.

Antelope 3









P1060255This is the off-road truck we took to the site. It was ten minutes on a nice paved road and then ten minutes on the rough ground to the Antelope Canyon entrance. We hung on dearly! Paul’s back is just fine, whew!

Next stop today was a mile hike to Horseshoe Bend. Majestic!! No standing close to the edge! Colorado River is down below.

Horseshoe Bend

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 Don’t worry, Paul is not too close to the edge!


Next stop is in Utah (just across the border a few miles away)… went down to the Colorado River and had to see the dark blue waters and Lone Rock Beach.


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Yes, that is a huge marina down there and no, we did not go to the marina!

We have so many photos so will post the rest under the PICTURES section of this webpage. Tomorrow off to the Grand Canyon. For my sanity I had to post these to keep it all organized. More wondrous photos to take tomorrow.

DID YOU KNOW that the Glen Canyon Dam is here in Page and this and the Hoover Dam are the largest in the U.S. It is amazing to see in person.


We left Santa Fe, reluctantly, for more sights to see. We knew that heading further inland of New Mexico would be splendid. We headed to the Aztec Ruins in small town named Aztec. These ruins were mistakenly called “Aztec” by others, the ancestors of Pueblo people built and lived at this ancient centre place.



Paul seems very tall, our son who is over 6’9″ would seem like a giant!


We spent the night in a small city (I consider it a city if it has a Walmart). … Farmington, New Mexico. We realize now it may be 90 miles to the next town/civilization so no drinking of water unless absolutely necessary. We are on many back roads and in some very small “towns” if you want to call a gas station and a trailer a town. The scenery is breathtaking and majestic. We travel on straight roads with plains on both sides then turn a bend and all of a sudden we are viewing mountains with sheer cliffs and unique colours of terrain. It is a surprise around every corner.




We are now in Page, Arizona. This is a very special place before we head to the Grand Canyon on Monday. We are doing many tours tomorrow. Stay tuned for the pictures to come. It has been about 3 C in the mornings and then warming up to 10 C. I have a few layers of clothes on in the mornings….. tomorrow it will be much warmer, like 16 C! (60’s F)

MY OBSERVATION: In Louisiana, we noticed that almost every gas station and truck stop had a casino attached to it. That seems strange to see. It turns out that this is true in the sense they can have Poker Video Machines. 

In rural New Mexico we observed that most Pawn Shops and Gas stations in the rural area have Laundry facilities attached to them. This is different from what we are used to seeing in Canada. 

Video Poker

  • Video poker is a prevalent form of legal gambling in Louisiana. All casinos and racetracks have video poker machines, but so do restaurants, gas stations, bars and truck stops. In Louisiana, having a liquor license allows you up to three video gaming machines. Truck stop casinos can attain more machines depending on the amount of fuel they sell.


How did I pick this title for our post? Let me explain, as we drive through Texas, this vast landscape, we do see many cows (thousands)! However, the “C” means COTTON. We saw cotton fields everywhere. The “O” is for OIL. There are thousands of the pumpjacks that pump oil from the ground, different colours and some running and some not. The “W” is very interesting. Something Paul and I did not expect at all. The “W” is for WIND FARMS…. I mean a lot. We passed through the largest in the world; near Sweetwater, Texas. There are over 600 of them, I will post this picture but a picture is not worth 1000 words this time. From as far as we can see, 360 degrees, there are these huge structures.


We learned that Texas has the largest wind power than any other state. Roscoe Wind Farm is the biggest in the world. That explains everything now after we have driven through. Ten percent of Texas gets their power through wind.

The cotton fields are not picturesque but thought you might be interested to know that Texas is number 1 in the U.S. for cotton (the wonder fiber). They produced 5.5 million bales in the last 3 years and I know you are wondering … how much in a bale? 500 lbs of cotton in 1 bale! Yes, we have seen thousands of cows too but that is not too exciting for our blog.

We are in Santa Fe, New Mexico now and enjoying the mountainous, beautiful scenery. As soon as we entered this state the architecture changed instantly. Here are pictures.




This was a very very old church


This is downtown Santa Fe, New Mexico



St. Francis Basilica Church, beautiful inside




As we were travelling to Santa Fe we passed a town Farwell Texas, attached to this town is Texico, New Mexico. We passed state lines. When this happened the time changed immediately from Central time zone to Mountain time zone…… my cell phone went back 1 hour. It was freaky. What happens if you live in one town and work in the other?? These people need to have 2 clocks in their homes!


P1060076Stetson hat and cowboys boots; I am going to fit right in! Nope, only see a few with cowboy hats here in San Antonio. I believe if we were to stop in Houston or Dallas maybe a cowboy hat would be the fashion statement but not here. We are right downtown across the street from The Alamo and have enjoyed this city immensely. We love the history, the Riverwalk along the San Antonio River and the people are so friendly.


 The Alamo at night, just beautiful


The Alamo


The details are beautiful and our pictures don’t do it justice

DID YOU KNOW: Texas leads the nation in livestock with 13.8 million cattle and calves.

Travellers spent 57.5 billion (BILLION) dollars in Texas (in 2010)! Wow!



We left sunny and tropical Orlando, Florida and drove up the Florida panhandle. We spent night one in Tallahassee. We have never been up the panhandle of Florida and the foliage and scenery is very different. From Tallahassee we travelled to Carrabelle Beach. This is a tourist area and is very beautiful. Paul and I are avoiding interstates and taking the “long way” to places. We see more and discover some great places. Of course we have to put our way points in the GPS as she is always taking us the fastest, direct route. P1060038   We stopped to use the washroom at the beach and found a history lesson there. P1060040   The sand at Carrabelle Beach was soft and so so white! Reminded us of the Exumas, Bahamas (o.k. just a little). Destin, Florida was our next day and did some last minute shopping before we leave Florida. There is a store in Florida I just love, Bealls…. and I knew once we leave Florida then no more of that store. On our walk to Bealls, this is what we saw…. P1060044   A barbequer’s dream! These are everywhere. Many restaurants here cater on weekends and these are conveniently hitched on the back of a truck and off one goes for a great beebee Q! I know some boys personally that would love this because it comes with a smoker and everything. Destin to New Orleans next day. We love the website because we can get deals on hotels. Pick a price and area and book a hotel, then once you’ve paid for it, you get the name of the hotel. We booked the Astor Crown Plaza right downtown for a nice low Canadian price. Beautiful hotel right in the center of the French Quarter of New Orleans. Well, we being a tourist and not too familiar with New Orleans got an eye opener when today Mardi Gras starts! There is good and bad to this. First, the costumes look great, and lots of people around. Second, there are hundreds and hundreds of people around and if we wanted to spend Friday night in New Orleans, we had to pay $429 for the night at the hotel!! Needless to say we decided to leave this morning after a wonderful one night in New Orleans. P1060047 Everything is decorated, from balconies, to storefronts to the people walking the streets. P1060055   This bar is special because it has probably fifty beers on tap. Many bars do offer this but this one advertises it just a little. P1060051   The fog from the Mississippi River coming onto shore was a mist. I had to snap a picture … the 2 persons coming up the stairs are not pirates. They are just normal everyday people here in downtown French Quarter of New Orleans. P1060058 On Friday night after a great dinner we saw people on these balconies. These balconies had so many people on them I was concerned they would collapse. They stand on these balconies and throw beads to the ladies below. The more beads you have around your neck the more popular you are. (Of course, one can just buy your own beads and place around your neck!). During the parades the favourite place to be is in a balcony. Today while driving we saw a sign that said: DO NOT PICK UP HITCHHIKERS, THIS IS A PRISON AREA Today we had lunch in Lafayette while watching the Men’s Olympic hockey team win their game against the U.S. We cheered a bit but a couple at the bar cheered very loudly. We assumed they were Canadian and it turned out they were here from Nova Scotia. No one else was watching the game.

Canadian Connection

The Acadia region to which modern Cajuns trace their origin consisted largely of what are now Nova Scotia and the other Maritime provinces, plus parts of eastern Quebec and northern Maine. Since their establishment in Louisiana the Cajuns have developed their own dialect, Cajun French, and developed a vibrant culture including folkwaysmusic, and cuisine. The Acadiana region is heavily associated with them.



We traveled towards the mouth of the Everglades and booked a 90 minute ride on an airboat to take us out to see wildlife! We had to wear headphones to communicate to each other as it sounds like a helicopter right behind you. We can go slow or super fast “flying” over the water (swamp). There is no reverse or “stop” button…. so the driver is a professional with this boat.


This is the airboat…. we shared it with a couple from Denmark. We were dressed very warmly as out there with the boat going fast it cools you down fast.








This is a 15 foot male alligator just beside our boat…. not a cage around it. We turn off the loud engine and just take pictures, of course we do not walk over there!!

Paul and I go and do a long walk most mornings (sometimes together and sometimes not). I have walked by ponds all the time and see birds and wildlife…NEVER thinking there could be an alligator there… until I came across this sign…P1050341

After I saw that sign I freaked out!! It may look like a fence but it is just a few posts in the ground to mount the sign… THERE IS NO FENCE. The alligators could be roaming the neighbourhood? What the heck?? I then never walked on that side of the sidewalk, I do not need to feed the alligator with my legs! This is normal here … I never thought a neighbourhood pond could be a home for an alligator or two?

DID YOU KNOW… That here in Florida alligators are hunted in October only. One alligator per hunter. They eat alligator all year round here because there are alligator farms just for that purpose.





We had the perfect weather for walking on Sunday. Our first time visiting Busch Gardens in Tampa. This theme park came recommended by friends and we agree it is fun! I did go on the fastest wooden roller coaster and regretted it 10 seconds in. There were young children on this ride, how bad/fast/scary can it be? Yikes, I did not have a voice for a few minutes afterwards because of all the screaming which I did not realize I was doing. Needless to say, no more rides, just enjoy the sights/sounds/animals and the beautiful gardens.






The plants and gardens are very impressive. Colours and plants we’ve never seen before!


It looks like we visited Egypt but there are theme areas within the park.


Yikes, my driving in a desert needs some practising…..


Birds that have colours is an understatement!




What a great place to visit. When in Florida, put Busch Gardens on your list of places to see. Take a roller coaster ride (or not!)