Travel

New Adventures Ahead

It’s that time again – transfer season. Our time with Station Lake Charles is nearing its end and we will soon be moving and starting fresh somewhere new. If only we knew where! We’ve been waiting for the official news for over a month. The suspense is dreadful. Are we going to go back to the NW? To the East Coast? Will we stay in the Gulf Coast Region? Maybe today will be the day. (This has been our mantra, every day for the last couple of weeks.)

We’ve had some good times in Lake Charles but we are ready to make the transition to the next adventure. Four years in one place has been hard for our rambling spirits that look forward to the variety and opportunity that comes with moving every few years. This was the longest stretch we had in one place and our feet are itchy to get moving again.

We are on pins and needles to hear where the next landing point will be so that we can start making plans. We’ve discussed so many possibilities over the last month that our heads are spinning with ideas from living in military housing (which would be a first for us), to renting a small apartment for one year to save money and to give us time to search the area to buy a house for the first time, to building our own house even. (Don likes to dream BIG.)

Despite our eagerness to make a change, we will be saying goodbye to many good friends and to many experiences and opportunities that this area has offered. For me, I will always remember Lake Charles as the place where I learned how to ride a motorcycle! I’ve been intimidated by motorcycles my whole life. I loved being a passenger with others: my dad, boyfriends growing up, and with Don over the years. But I never imagined I’d have the courage to ride alone. Our frequent trail riding trips have been a blast and I hope that wherever we move we will still have nearby options for riding off-road. Living ten minutes from a local gun range has also afforded us ample opportunity to go out for a day of target shooting, skeet shooting, or pistol practice. Hardly a week goes by without a trip to the range. It is something I know we will miss. I dearly hope we live near a range again or live near forest land or wilderness that is open to outdoor shooting. Don has been privileged to join some great hunting trips and we’ve enjoyed trips together to New Orleans and southwestern Texas. We’ve even done some fun things with the local community like the Beast Feast and the Color Run. Lots of great memories.

As for the people…so many of you have opened your homes and hearts to us, given us opportunities, and shared your Cajun culture with us during our time here. You’ve stamped our lives with the blessing of your friendship and we will carry the memories and experiences with us always. (Sorry to sound so sappy; we aren’t leaving yet!) I just want you all to know that we appreciate you and that we have enjoyed our time with you in this corner of the world. We’ll make a few more memories before we go. 😉

A single rose can be my garden… a single friend, my world.
~ Leo Buscaglia

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Roughing It. Sort of.

We went camping last weekend at the Army MWR Toledo Bend Recreation Site. We rented a yurt.

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The yurts don’t have running water but they DO have electricity. Including, a mini fridge, A/C unit, microwave, coffee pot, and lamp.

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That was a LOT more than I was expecting! I had a heads up about the fridge (which I thought it would be smaller) and the microwave. But I didn’t realize we’d have all those other amenities as well. Still. Felt a little like roughing it compared to staying in our timeshares. LOL

Even though we had a fridge, our own fridge/freezer cooler is laid out better inside so we actually didn’t use the fridge provided. But we did plug in our ARB Freezer. NICE.

We had great weather the first two days/nights. We made dinner with our Cobb Grill Friday night.

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Don is working on remember how to set it up.
Good thing we printed off instructions on how to fit it all back into the bag too!

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We made brats. They turned out GOOD. Even the simplest food can taste good when you’re out in the middle of nowhere.

The yurts come with covered picnic areas as well as the porch in the previous photo. They are actually a pretty nice setup.

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And the swimming beach was a stones throw from our porch.

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Don went down to check the fishing from shore (see his orange shirt?) but it was too grassy close to shore for fishing. We did head down for some swimming enjoyment Saturday evening. It was great to enjoy the warm water. Pretty soon it will be too cold to want to do any swimming.

I hassled Don for a couple of more photos before dark. 🙂

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That night we remembered how to play cribbage. And realized that we could watch some tv previously downloaded to Don’s smartphone. Yeah. Roughing it. 🙂

Saturday we rented a bass boat and spent a few hours fishing on the lake.

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This little guy wriggled out of Don’s hands just as I clicked the photo.
He was ready to get back into that water!

We caught lots of little guys, too small to keep, but good for enjoying the day.

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Yep. Tiny. Hey, at least I caught something!
I outfished Don the night before, fishing from the dock after dark. But he outdid me on the boat.

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Not sure what he was laughing at but love it when he laughs.

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It rained Sunday and we dodged back and forth from the yurt to the truck to pack and leave but all in all we had a good weekend. I even got a chance to take some sunset pictures that I think turned out pretty awesome!

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The sky is the daily bread of the eyes.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

It’s Good to Be Home

We’ve been away for a week-long vacation in New Braunfels, Texas, visiting nearby family and just getting away from the usual routine. We had a GOOD time. Lots of laughs, good food and wine, tons of relaxation, and nice weather…with the exception of one creepy night of howling wind that set my imagination on fire. Even though it’s good to be home, leaving this morning to head home was hard. But we ripped that band-aid quick and I didn’t have time to get choked up. It’s so hard to say goodbye to people we only see once, sometimes twice a year. I’m so thankful for the time we spent with everyone and all the good times we had. For once, I don’t have any pictures because I was busy just enjoying all the great company, Scrabble games, and trips to the hot tub. (Therapeutic for Don’s knee of course.) 🙂

Now it’s back to life as usual. I’m still unpacking, doing laundry, cleaning overfull cat boxes and reassuring the boys that we are in fact not leaving them forever. I look forward to my own bed tonight. It’s nice to be in our own space again.

Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.
~ Dr. Seuss

Beach Holiday

We spent a few days in Galveston, Texas for our Christmas holiday this year. It was our first time to Galveston beaches and despite the grey weather it was not too cold. We even walked the beach in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve.

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The view from our room.

During our visit we toured the Bishop’s Palace, rode our bikes along the Seawall, enjoyed a number of local restaurants, and took a side trip into Houston to watch The Hobbit on IMAX.

We enjoyed a beautiful sunset while riding the Galveston-Bolivar Ferry on our way to Galveston and on both trips, coming and going, we saw many dolphins frolicking and feeding. I don’t think I’ve seen so many in one area before.

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Dolphins are my favorite animal. Don hushed me when I squealed with delight
when two surfaced right next to our boat at one point. (Much closer than these two.)

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Seagulls hoping for handouts from ferry riders.

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The USS Cavalla and the USS Stewart DE-238. We toured both.

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We look forward to going back and seeing more of Galveston in the future.

The happiness of the bee and the dolphin is to exist. For man it is to know that and to wonder at it.
~ Jacques Yves Cousteau

Christmas in New Orleans – The French Quarter

After the Cirque Show on Christmas Eve we wandered the French Quarter and browsed the shops, ate a great dinner at a Cajun restaurant, and walked back to WorldMark New Orleans on St. Charles Ave. It was a good day.

Artwork at Louis Armstrong Park.

Homes between the park and the French Quarter.

A glimpse of the French Quarter…

Sharing the spirit of Christmas with music.

The storefronts were even better after dark.

Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.
~ Laura Ingalls Wilder