Saturday, May 2, 2009


Yes, I am home, have been for over a week. Still plan to bring the blog up to date with pictures of my trip. It's nice to be here!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Plano with the Swartzendrubers!

Drove from Austin to Plano on Friday. I have to admit that I felt pretty emotional leaving Megan's house; hate to say goodbye to my rejuvenating experience.

I am embarrassed to say that I had not visited Lynn and Karl in Plano in the 15 years that they have lived there. I will be back sooner than 2024, they certainly made me welcome.

Keri is home and working east of town. She fixed a fabulous dinner for us. David had appointments near Dallas on Friday and a race on Saturday; he was able to join us for dinner. It was fun to have our families together after all these years.

David won his race on Saturday morning and will be back in Dallas next week.

Lynn and I walked a lot at shopping areas and parks.  We ate delicious Indian food and enjoyed  hours of conversation. Good friends.

Left Texas, hanging out in Clinton country??

No pictures right now. Sitting in hotel lobby in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Pretty deja vue; a la 1970 something. Couple of guys are busting out their guitars impromptu in majestic old lobby.  (They are actually playing House of the Rising Sun.) Expect to smell Mary Jane any moment. Feels like European spa town except for the "townies".

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Travel home oil change and check up!

Jimmy's Top Tech Auto

I've been using all of Emily's resources while in Austin; just got an oil change from Jimmy's on South 1st.
Blue Mazda 6 in and out in 30 minutes. Tires and fluids checked.
Nice guys!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Another first, riding bike to Muni court

In addition to turning 100k, Blue Mazda 6 got a parking ticket in the parking space right in front of Heritage Boots that I thought was for customers, turns out if was "commercial only".  Jerry at Heritage paid part of the fine. (Happens a lot.)
Today, I walked my bike, "Swiss Miss", (blue Lemond Zurich WSD) into Muni Court in South Austin to pay the fine; amused the officers.

100,000 miles

Blue Madza 6 turned over 100k yesterday. Is that like a birthday or something?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Wednesday, April 8, I met my brother Paul for coffee. He traveled here from Ohio by bicycle. He seemed to be doing fine, don't know how long he'll be in Texas or what is next on his itinerary, but is was good to see him.
Saw my Austin hair stylist, Trisha; got a great cut.
Emily's Mom, Jane, is in town for a week. After my hair appointment, we pointed Blue Mazda 6 northwest and headed up to Lago Vista. Spent the evening and following day with Jane and her sister Jeanne at Jeanne's beautiful Lake house. Some photos later.

Cycling in Austin, Way of Life.

Dave and Em (wearing their wedding hats) riding home from Maria's Taco Express.
Leeann Atherton plays here every Friday night and we can usually be found in attendance. I think we are "regulars" now.
The Driveway, a race every Thursday night. 
David and Phil in the break.
Every week there is a kids' race. Nice kids on real equipment. 2 girls with the last name of McCree and their mom Jen are in attendance most nights.

Back to Gruene , April 1, 2009

On the way back to Austin from San Antonio, I stopped in the Historical town of Gruene, known for it's traditional dance hall. Many major singers are represented on the wall of fame there. Touristy by day, authentic at the Gruene Hall.
Stayed just long enough for some photos and one Dos Equus.

San Antonio Missions, April 1, 2009

Spent 2 days at the Missions; Espada, San Juan, San Jose , Conception and the Alamo.
Each mission is quite unique from the others.  Fine examples of Spanish Colonial Architecture. I hope that some of my many photos are worth enlarging. Here are just 4.

San Antonio March 31,2009

San Fernando Cathedral, downtown SA
Day of the Dead, store window El Mercado (The Market)
Me in front of the Alamo
So far behind, not funny. 
I WILL post photos of the last week's activities.
This Friday, I am leaving Austin.
It has been a wonderful couple of months.
I am grateful to my family, both here and in Ohio.
I am enriched by the my family, some new friends, the Texas landscape and wonderful warm weather. I have fully enjoyed Austin and surrounding areas.
My first stop on my way home is to visit dear friends, Lynn, Karl and Keri in Plano, TX.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Veloway

Another curiosity in the Austin area is "the veloway"
The veloway is a paved 3 mile loop and oasis tucked in what is now part of Circle C development.
See the webpage for the uses and history. Rather forward thinking.
I did 5 laps; looks deceptively easy but has one short steep hill and several tight turns.
At any rate, it can wear you out and appears to get lots of use.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Lady Bird might be my favorite First Lady. I love nature and appreciate her great effort and life-long endeavor to promote the native landscape. On Monday, March 30, I visited the Wildflower Center in the southwestern outskirts of Austin. March is prime Bluebonnet season. The spring bloom is dependent upon fall rains, which were scarce last year. Nonetheless, there were beautiful stands of Bluebonnets as well as many other spring bloomers. I was blown away by the setting and the gardens. I've uploaded a few pics here and also on the Austin American Statesman (local newspaper); different pics, though. I'll let you know if they get published in the Statesman.

Sunday, March 29

I've used the last week to do some things out of town that I have been planning to do.
Last Sunday was a gorgeous day. David was racing in the morning. I thought about calling Emily to join me but decided not to be a bad influence on her. (She has papers and projects due.)  I drove out toward and beyond Johnson City, very pretty terrain and apparently successful grape growing region. Texas has lots going on; but abundance of vineyards is a very obvious attraction. I visited 3 small Vineyards on Sunday afternoon. There were lots of other folks doing the same thing. The last and most commercial vineyard that I stopped at was Becker Vineyards. They have several award winning wines and much acclaim in local and national periodicals. (they also have a lavender farm, lovely!)
Enjoy some photos from the day.

Trying to do everything on my list!

Visited wineries, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower center, and the Missions of San Antonio. Took lots and lots of pictures, when I'm not busy making the most of Texas, I will stop to update this blog.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Other people are working hard!

I would be remiss if I did not mention that while I am enjoying this great adventure, 2 people near and dear to me are working their butts off. 
First Emily is finishing the last of her course work for her Master's (Licensed school psychologist), working many hours a week in a school district in addition to course load, accepted for a summer internship in Ecuador and interviewing for internships for next school year. Makes me tired just to think about it.
Sara has a few more weeks to finish up her courses and her senior thesis, is attending the urban planning convention in Minneapolis, and completed the arduous process of applying to the Peace Corp.
I know these ladies will be happy for mid May, but panic because it is approaching so quickly and the uncertainty that accompanies the waiting. Hang in there, everyone who knows you respects you so much, even though we can't quite comprehend the pressure. Love, Marilyn aka Mom , bluemazda6

Alan and David are both working hard at their jobs and supporting me emotionally and financially also. Big thanks for their love and caring.

Belterra Wooly Mammoth Race

There would be photos here of Danielle Staskal Wikoff (Austin Flyers) on the Women's podium and David Wenger (Super Squadra) on the Men's podium but my fancy dig SLR does not alert you to the error of NO MEMORY CARD.  Crap, I feel stupid! Anyway it was a very hard, hilly course and very spectator friendly. Nice to have Phil's mom in town. We have good boys.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Texas Time

OK, I admit it; I like it all.
Now I have the perfect western shirt!

The Driveway, Thursday nights in Austin
On Thursday nights we head to the east side for a night of socializing and racing at The Driveway ( a closed car testing track.)


I see I've picked up a few new followers
(and a few people who read but are not followers)
Thanks for taking the time to look at my blog.
More to come!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I don't know how to make sense of SXSW 
but I didn't buy a pass.
Every show I saw was FREE
and there was so much more!
Just pick a street and walk or hang out in someone's back yard!

Real Estate

Adam Walker, Beyond the Move Realty
I saw several duplex properties.
These 2 are promising.
Not what I'd live in in Ohio, but nice owner/occupant and  income possibility.
Need to do some homework.

South Congress SXSW

Golf cart converted to Batmobile
Security resting on my bicycle while he eats his lunch.
I guess my bike is well-guarded.

Everyone gets in on the SXSW action.
These young ladies played their violins and then sang verses of "Yellow Rose of Texas"
Definitely threw a dollar in their violin case.

Waco Brothers, Yard Dog, SXSW, nuff said.

Free Beer, Free Music at Yard Dog
This was Rolling Rock Day.
Great couple from Tampa, Michelle and David, in the awesome black Western shirts.
Jon Langford of the Waco Brothers and me;)

Alt rocker Freedy Johnston at Yard Dog
Great show, families rockin'out.
The best musicians and they pack up their own gear.

SXSW Auditorium Shores

People watching, not music is the name of the game at Auditorium Shores.
My new friends, moved here from Tampa 3 months ago.
Cute couple, really.

Amazing energy; country meets punk with the Waco Brothers, Bloodshot records
Yard Dog