Fun with Travel…

So…  I needed to get to Chicago – last minute trip.  (Family issues) I flew United to LAX and then ORD.  I have not flown this route for quite some time and I was pleased to see that United is using terminal 7 at LAX and that my commuter gate was only several gates away from my flight to Chicago.  I had a less than 40 minute connection and this gave me time (on the commuter RJ’s from SLO you need to leave your carry-on at the stairs to the plane as the on-board space is not adequate for all but about 5% of anyone’s carry-on luggage) to stand in line once in LA to retrieve my carry-on and get to the connecting flight with ease.

Until the commuter from SLO was delayed.  But – Good News!  Much of the delay was made up during the flight so now I had 30 mins. to make my connection.  That’s ok.  Until…  They taxied, they parked, they taxied, they parked, they taxied… etc.  By the time the plane door opened I had 8 minutes.  8 minutes to deplane, wait at the door for my carry-on to come up, then run like crazy 4 gates down.

They were announcing the door was closing as I exited the jetway from the commuter flight.  I was running flat out (in cowboy boots, dragging a wobbling carryon) and waving my bright colored winter coat hoping they would see me and take pity.  They did.  I made it.  No real issues.

I got to ORD and saw my rental car bus pulling up so I ran for that too…  across the roads and curbs…  Stepped up on the bus and my left knee collapsed.  It was sore during that week – no doubt.  Worse at night.  The flight home was crowded but otherwise uneventful.  Several days after my return home I could barely walk.  I have a torn MCL (inside-side of the knee) and torn meniscus.  It’s a giant swollen knob of a knee and it’s about the most painful injury I’ve ever had.  I wear a hinged brace 100% of the time (other than shower).  I take the stairs one at a time.  This sucks.


Happy Christmas!


Another year is almost past!  This has been a bucket list year for me.  Ted and I traveled extensively and without a care this spring all around the UK and into Africa.  We had little set schedule – we drove a dream car (1995 LandRover 110 Defender -don’t judge!  “Dream Car” is relative!).  We drove EVERYWHERE!media

I can’t even pick “the MOST memorable moment”…  I absolutely want to return to the Hebrides in Scotland.  The Edinburg Fiber Festival was amazing.  Driving, driving, driving thru Wales was awesome – Castles, tiny roads, (all can be said for Scotland too).

Spending time in Morocco with a friend from St. Croix was also very memorable.  Collecting fossils, meeting people, eating amazing food…

So – a fantastic year!  Now in with the new!  2017 promises MORE travel!  More time on St. Croix (remodel of our living quarters there is still in process).  Another trip across “the pond” – with destinations yet unplanned.  Happy New Year!!!



Weaving, weaving, and m o r e weaving!!!

My sewing machine has been in repair status for several months…  I was able to do a really lovely piece to enter in a show in August – but since then I’ve been working at the loom.  In the recent process of moving from my little “room under the stairs” to the spare bedroom as a workroom I discovered quite a lot of alpaca yarns – much of which was acquired from Jan Grammar.

The great thing about Jan’s yarns are that they are labeled with the names of the animal(s) who contributed to the fiber!  It is very rewarding to me to attach a label to the finished piece with the names of the alpaca as contributors.

I am off to St. Croix soon but hope to enlist the talents of my Granddaughter when I return to show off my weavings for posting.



The Big Trip: Day 12 (Thursday)

Day 12 – Lafayette LA to New Orleans (February 12, 2014)

Lovely great day!  Neither Ted nor I have driven the delta area – Route 90 down into New Orleans – through those Parrish’s.  Fantastic drive.  We spent much of it on Route 182 – which is probably old Route 90.  It’s not a long distance – but it’s not a fast road.  We meandered and spent the better part of the day getting here.

Andi keeping watch for alligators! At the Bayou Delight Restaurant.
Andi keeping watch for alligators! At the Bayou Delight Restaurant.

Stopped for lunch in Terrebone Parrish – I ordered the shrimp PoBoy and Ted had red beans and rice with sausage…  We could eat only about half each!  Groaning we continued on to New Orleans.

My cold is better – but suffered with a bad headache much of the day.  I’m hoping wine and food at NOLA’s will make it all better!

We are enjoying our first endeavor with AirBNB in New Orleans.  We chose an apartment just out of the Quarter on Esplanade.  The owners are great.  The apartment is very nice!  The owners have 4 dogs and are pleased to have Andi here.  It’s kind of fancy inside – so I’m a bit nervous….

Mardi Gras is this next Tuesday.  All through the small towns and in New Orleans you can see the preparations for parades and decorations on all the houses and streets.  It’s like Christmas but with a Mardi Gras theme.

The small towns…  really something to see.  All the stately homes on the main streets.  The big oaks with the dripping moss.  Really beautiful and like a time long past.


Day 11: (Wednesday)

Day 11 of The Big Trip – (February 11, 2014) Denison TX to Lafayette LA

I’m still suffering from my crappy cold.  Ted drove.  It was a pretty uneventful day.  To be very honest – this part of Texas is not very scenic.  I was very much looking forward to our arrival in Louisiana.

I found Prejean’s Restaurant on the Google search – looked like a great place for a good Cajun dinner!  So I found a hotel to complement the location and we had a plan.  Prejean’s was great!  We ate a lot of crawfish!  They had live music.  Wait staff were perfect.  Local draft beer!  A great evening….

Until we got back to the car…  Apparently Andi had eaten something disgusting within the past day.  Poor girl.  We cleaned up poop.  Reassured our girl that it was all ok – and then went on as usual.  I felt terrible that she had to poop in the car.  Poor girl….  Ted felt pretty badly too.  She was still in some discomfort this morning (Thursday).  We have fed her lightly and stopped often.

The Alligator on guard at Prejean's in North Lafayette.
The Alligator on guard at Prejean’s in North Lafayette.

Day 7 – 10: Saturday – Tuesday

The Big Trip – Feb 7 – 10 Tucson – El Paso – Carlsbad Caverns – Abilene – Mineral Wells – Lake Texoma

Tucson was big fun!  In a such a different way than Canyon de Chelly.  It was great spending time with Tim and Pim.  Fun to see Byron Blessed from Whitby UK.  Amazing all the STUFF on display and for sale at the Tucson Fossil, Gem, & Mineral Show.  I’d love to go back!

We had an uneventful drive to El Paso – where we spent the night Saturday.  Sunday was the drive up to Carlsbad Caverns.  Watch out for the speed trap at the Guadalupe Mountains National Park….  A surprisingly friendly National Parks Officer – Officer Nichols – did not write me a ticket…  Carlsbad Caverns are amazing!  My favorite picture was of the “Whale’s Mouth” which you see on the decent down into the Caverns from the “Natural” entrance.

The Whale’s Mouth – Carlsbad Caverns

We hiked down – but rode the elevator back…  I have come down with a pretty crappy cold – and not to complain – but it has put a damper on things.

One result is that Ted has had to drive for the past several days.  He drives well – but long drives are not on his list of favorite things.  The good news – is that by today I feel better.  Not much better – but better.  I’m hoping tomorrow I’m back to fossil hunting with Andi and Ted and enjoying the driving.

Andi has just had a blast.  She and Ted were out last evening after we got here (Denison TX) at Lake Texoma – they went to a creek site that Ted had been informed of.  Andy’s first time encountering water (other than the Pacific Ocean) in nature.  She had a blast!!!  What a great dog.  She’s amazing.

Tomorrow we head off to a site or 2 more local here for fossils.  Then it’s east to Lafayette LA.

One really interesting part of the drive to Abilene – the Geese.  Part of that area must be a fly-by for geese.  In a very narrow area – there were flocks of geese – hundreds and hundreds all back along the horizon.  All in their “Vee” formations.



Day 6: Feb 6 (Friday)

Tucson Gem & Mineral Show continues…

Ted_Crystal Book SigningSo another long day…  saw more great stuff.  Ted got his Trilobite book signed (and a close encounter with Dr. Riccardo Levi-Setti).

We’ve been struggling with remodel ideas and plans for the kitchen in Los Osos – wanting to use fossiliferous materials on the counters and maybe bathroom sinks.  We’ve seen some cool stuff and thought we had a good plan.  And then we saw some more even cooler stuff….  etc.  So now at least we have contacts and we’ve looked at stuff up close and personal.  We won’t talk about the Moroccan orthoceras marble slab in the back seat of the jeep….



The Big Trip: day 5 (Feb 5)

Thursday, Feb 5th – Florence AZ to Tucson AZ

A short drive this morning from Florence to Tucson – we dropped Andi at DOGMA Dog Day Care (fantastic place!  Highly recommended!) so that she would enjoy playing with dogs as we scooted from one Gem & Mineral Show to another.

That’s what the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show is all about.  All these pretty incredible venues all across the city with massive amounts of incredible stuff.  From diamonds and gold and silver to dinosaur fossils to Indian and Thai clothing and knick-knacks.  Wholesaltedandtime and retail.  It’s amazing.  We hit 4 shows today – JOGS, Beads at the Doubletree, 22nd Street Show & Kino near the hospital.  Tomorrow we hit the city center shows.  Ted has a book signing he wants to attend.

We have met up with Pim and Tim (Ted’s brother and his wife).  Pim is buying for her shop in Ft. Lauderdale so we get to tag along.  Or run along as the case may be….  She’s fast.  Covers a lot of ground!


The Big Trip: day 4 (Feb 4th)

Chinli – Canyon de Chelly to ?, Wednesday

Canyon de Chelly is a beautiful, majestic place.  Clearly home to the Navajo peoples.  When we came in late yesterday afternoon we had just enough time to make a quick tour of the South Rim.  We were up early this morning and out to the Visitor’s Center and then the North Rim.

I’ve taken some pictures of the cliff ruins with my 300 lens.  They are so amazing – they look almost like dioramas.  The most amazing – I was able to get detail shots of some of the cliff art left several hundreds of years ago (Antelope House Ruins).

Whitehouse Ruins 3

White House Ruins







Mummy Cave Ruin 1Antelope House Ruins




Anteloe House Ruin Pictographs

The Cliff Art




Canyon de Chelly 1


Beautiful shot of the Canyon









Horses North Rim 3

Horses in the road (Andi thought they were big scary dogs!)






The Big Trip: day 3 (Feb 3rd)

Page to Canyon de Chelly (Chinle AZ) Tuesday

A  L O N G drive today.  We stayed in Page long enough to visit Blair’s Trading Post.  Send a postcard off to the grand-boys.  Then hit the road.

We drove south on the detoured Rt. 89 to Cameron.  They have a gallery there that is like a museum with very fine representations of Navajo rugs in particular.  Then back up to Tuba City and across the Hope Mesas.  We have always enjoyed that route.  Stopping at a few of the Hopi craftmen’s shops and trading posts along the way.

We got to Canyon de Chelly in time to make a quick tour of the South Rim.

Dinner in Chinle was bleak.  Few options.  We opted for the #1 yelp recommendation.  They seated us (at the Junction) in a room with bunches of kids.  The food was ok.  Nothing to write home about for sure…