Getting Warmed up!

We don’t want to get everyone all excited about our travels, but I thought that a couple of pictures might be in order. . . . Just to get you started. No, I am not going to tell you where we are going, but you can guess. Here’s a picture or two.

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We do Love ARTE and the pubs, so this crusty, old stairway may lead to a very interesting place. (If we can just get by that guy at the top). I really want to sit at that table right behind him. In any case we’ll follow the little orange arrow (Bottom, right) until we score something scrumptious to eat. I hope that lady will share her water as it is going to be a long haul up those stairs!

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We don’t know what everyone else calls these trees, but we call them “Umbrella Trees.” They sprinkle the coast line of this gorgeous country and we can’t wait to show it to you. Stay tuned. The water is much bluer than this, but we ran into a bit of cloudy weather.

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This delightful (Breathtaking really) walkway is right beside our hotel for our first few nights. The only rule one must follow here (There are other rules in other places) is to go SLOW. We agree! See you there on the 23rd!

Paula Hikes!

Paula takes to the trails like the pro she is.  This nifty trail is secretly hiding just behind our new Villa. The best thing is that someone grades, rakes, smooths and grooms the trail for her. She is in hiking heaven! That thing in Paula’s hand is a dead flower from one of the gorgeous yucca plants which dot the Arizona landscape. Lucky us! We get to harvest to sticks (For hiking Poles) and the flowers (dead though they may be) for Paula’s creative endeavors.  Keeping it Real in Pinal County!

Yippee!! – Hiking Season is Here!!

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Tom boldly scans the far horizons for a direct path to the top. Sadly, the only way up is directly behind him and Straight UP! You go Hiker Buddy! All arrows point to the top!

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Yes Tom, it is straight up that thing. Be not afraid! Also, all those giant, tall, skinny things are Harmless (more or less). They DO Look scary, but rest assured; if you leave them alone they will leave you alone. Trudge on brave strider!

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See! You’re half way there already! Quit your stopping and loafing and looking around and you’ll be there in a flash. Well, maybe not a flash, but soon and almost certainly before dark. Now get going.

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What? ! ? Now you’re camping under a shade tree? That is NOT going to get you to the top. In full trail-disclosure mode, yours truly (Your trusty Hiking bud) wasn’t really up for the full assault on the summit today either. Lets find a sign and go home.

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Are you sure this is “The Sign” . . . . What if this sign is pointing the wrong way? What if this sign is “The Wrong Sign” and we’re headed in the opposite direction? You’re sure?

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Really? This is the way home? it looks dark and scary and full of terrors. . . . . . . . . . Okay, if you insist. . . Will there be ice cream at the end? . . . Yes? I’m in!! . . . Thanks for a great day on the trail! Some day we will conquer this thing!

Great Wolf Lodge!!

We missed Christmas. . . . Well, Actually, we didn’t miss Christmas at all, we just refused to pay American Airlines $1,600 to fly to The Great White North in December.  We did find $400 to fly to Minneapolis in January and that made all the difference to Duane’s Mental Wellbeing. With all of that saved $$$$$$$ we took The Grands to Great Wolf Lodge on Sunday night. There were other pictures, but this one says it all. We had a Spectacular time and to top it off the Vikings won their Football game!! A great time had by all, and for the record we didn’t miss All the hullabaloo that is Christmas. Cheers!img_6676

Once upon a time in Mexico

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Debbie and Rick, long time traveling buds, joined us in Mexico for a week of Mexican Emersion therapy. It worked! We loved every minute! Here we are inside Diego Rivera’s lovely museum. Sure we went other places beside San Miguel; Guanajuato, Santa Rosa, Delores Hildago, but we have no pictures of us in those places.

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This where we actually stayed, San Miguel de Allende, in the Provence of Guanajuato. As you may be wondering, no we did not stay in this particular facility. This is the great, grand and glorious Cathedral in the heart of San Miguel. We stayed in a wonderful House in the village and walked here every day. Dining and shopping and people watching and non stop praying are the order of the day. Get on your knees sinners!

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Same place later in the day. Actually this is at night. Everyone is still praying. This is a very special Cathedral dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe and several other unnamed virgins. Who knew? We spent hours in the gorgeous plaza (Jardin) talking, watching, shopping, bargaining, eating, drinking and praying.

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The entire town of San Miguel is a Giant Splish-Splash of extraordinary color. It is as if San Miguel himself, or one of the virgins perhaps, was in the Paint business and declared that everyplace must be painted in bright, bright, bright (Yet Spectacular) colors. Success!!

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Once again, Duane has NO idea what this is (Paula took this extraordinary picture with her new camera), but Wow! Yet further evidence that someone very, very important has access to ALL the very best, and most colorful, paints in the world (Or at least, Mexico)

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Paula just wanted to sit here all day and soak up the sun and the atmosphere of this delightful little court yard. Duane said, “No, we must take the shot and be on our way. There is much to see!” Duane doesn’t think that sitting down is legitimate endeavor whilst on vacation. Quick! Over here is a completely and equally astonishing photo opportunity!!

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Our intrepid travel companion,Debbie, haggles over a bobble. We can say that she was extraordinarily successful and went home with about a thousand little heart shaped thing-a-ma-jigs. Wahoo! One can, if one is so inclined, buy almost anything on the plaza in front of the cathedral. Duane and Rick Settled for hats and chicklets.

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No trip to Spain would be complete without a statue of these two intrepid travelers. Wait! What? We’re NOT in Spain? How did this happen? . . . Still Don Quixote and his little friend, Sancho Panza deserve a tip of the hat for all their amazing journeys and for fooling all these wonderful people into buying into their mis-pent adventures.

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Duane shows off his new hat, his old Bagalini and his ancient Mephistos. The Shirt and pants are much appreciated gifts from two of his favorite people, Paula and Rick. Thanks! We hope you enjoyed your trip to Mexico as much as we did (No, you couldn’t have!). However, it was a grand vacation, and if all works out as planned, we will return. We barely scratched the surface of things to see and do and pray about. We’ll be back!  Adios!

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We can’t leave you without sharing this. This was a nightly show from the rooftop of our casa. . . sure you had to climb several thousand stairs to get here, but what a show!! Adios!

This brings a whole “New Meaning” to the term, “Badlands!”

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We said, “Well, we’re here we might as well take a look.” We didn’t expect to be blown away. We were thrilled. Yes, they are “The Badlands” and depending on your point of view, they may be Bad. Not us!! We thought they were gorgeous. In fact, we set a date to return when we can take the entire day, maybe two, to hike, photograph and marvel at this natural wonder. Whatever you do don’t drive by this!