March Roundup and A Texas Update

The Alamo at Dawn San Antonio Texas

The Alamo at dawn – San Antonio, Texas

This month, I read several articles which are germane to this blog (whatever that means). In any event, I’ve developed a habit of saving things I enjoy. And some of it does resonate with what I write about.

First, and perhaps my favorite, a big part of The World in Between – my story – is to continue chasing goals. Crazy, age defying, independent of rational thought goals. In that spirit, the New York Times produced a great piece for all dreamers. A huge reminder, it ain’t over ’til it’s over (unless, of course, you take yourself out of the game).

When we lived in Central Europe, Pat and I met or exchanged emails with several Americans coming to the region to research their Jewish roots. The picture in this New York Time’s article of the Jewish graves in Bratislava has me kicking myself. Although I knew about the grave site, I never made reservations to see it. No problem, we’ll go back. This article is for anyone searching their Jewish roots in the Danube cities. Don’t repeat my mistake. (Unless, of course, like me – you can’t wait to return.)

Ever since our daughter, Taylor, spent a month in Nepal, culminating in a hike to the Everest Base Camp, I have been drawn to pictures and articles about this region. I am not ready to say it is a place we will live (largely because Pat follows this blog, and he may disagree). Yet, it is an intriguing country. Fantastic pictures and article – enjoy.

As I age, my references age with me. When I was growing up, people said, “Everyone remembers where they were when they heard John F. Kennedy was assassinated.” But I am 57 and have no remembrance of that day. My kids don’t connect with reference to Dudley Moore movies, Lulu singing “To Sir with Love” or I Love Lucy episodes. I try to consider this when I write a blog post. In that context, this article made me laugh out loud. (and yes, sometimes, a reference is just so perfect, you just have to include it).

If Peter Hessler wrote it, I will read it. This piece is about so much more than working with his Chinese censor. It is an insight into a country which can be a challenge for a westerner to understand. China is not yet on my list. But who knows?

Lastly, I never read Stephen King. But this short story hit it out of the park for me.

Now, to catch you up on what’s going on here. We have avoided Austin for the last two weeks while the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference and music festival overran the city – and more specifically the tattoo’d and heavily pierced attendees (all of whom apparently came by bus because no way could they pass thru a metal detector).

This most recent weekend, we visited San Antonio. The weekend prior, we explored Texas Hill Country. I’ve learned a bunch; about myself, Texas, travel, you name it. In no special order:

  • I know nothing about the United States in spite of visiting all 50 states and living here most of my life.
  • Texas is not the dismal dust bowl I imagined. Texas is awesome.
  • In 1848, a mass migration occurred from Germany to Fredericksburg and the surrounding hill country. Here, to this day, the German influence is everywhere from restaurants to Rieslings. Who knew?
  • Biking the mission trail south of San Antonio might be the funnest thing you will ever do in your life.
  • The Salt Lick has the best turkey barbecue in the world. We confirmed this…. Twice.
  • LBJ is the first president I remember. And he was a pretty interesting guy.
  • Texas has a thriving wine industry. I read (can this be possible???) that it is the only place in the world where every single type of wine grape grows.
  • Davy Crockett died at the Alamo (I learned this, then forgot it). My favorite quote “You can all go to hell. I’m going to Texas”. I bet he is rethinking this quote.
  • Texas is the only sovereign nation to then become a US state.
  • A month is going to be too little time to live in a place we enjoy.
  • Retirement is going to be awesome.

We have tons of pictures to process, research to complete and stories to write. I’ll get on that.

Categories: The United States

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