Tuesday, September 7, 2010


As I write this entry, Tropical Storm Hermine is making her way up through Central Texas, with strong tropical winds from her inner bands creating quite a messy day indeed. Her arrival all but guarantees a no-water restriction year for us and is a welcomed visitor for the rain gauges, though not for the folks who must “cruise” the flooded roads and highways today.

I’m glad she waited until now, however, since Ben and I made one final summer “land” trip out to West Texas with two other couples to enjoy the majesty of the Davis Mountains. Yes, Texas has mountains--some as high as 7000 feet! We stayed at the historic Indian Lodge in Fort Davis, which was constructed by the former Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) back in the 1930s. All six of us hiked the mountain ridge to the perimeter trail for 2 ½ miles and were blessed with stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

We’d planned a jaunt down to Marfa about 20 miles south to try to catch sight of the mysterious Marfa Lights. Torrential rains that evening thwarted that plan, so we had to call it a night after our table-top picnic on the patio outside our rooms. Thankfully, our final day brought clearer skies that remained decently clear for our visit to McDonald Observatory in the evening. We drove up for the daytime tour and video and returned that evening for both the Twilight Program and Star Party, seeing amazing stars and constellations via both a fantastic software program and specifically focused outdoor telescopes. Absolutely amazing and well worth the trip.

Fort Davis is a 6+ hour drive from San Antonio via I-10 West to Balmorhea and State Highway 17 south to Fort Davis. The observatory is easy to reach from there.

To our friends, the Fletchers and Bacons—let’s do it again!

In cruise news today, we’re gearing up for Royal Caribbean’s big sale beginning tomorrow, September 8 through September 11 featuring onboard credit and a free alternative dining restaurant on select ships and dates. Featured is the Liberty of the Seas January 30, 2011 sailing with ocean view prices beginning at $599 (cruise/port charges). Other ships are included, as well. Call for details!

Hope you had a wonderful summer and Labor Day holiday. Ben and I were thrilled to have our family together for a day of football and food.

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