2015 November

One of the nicest things about Roberta being able to travel was her ability to visit her mom and sister in Scottsdale, AZ whenever she wanted to.

Mom’s famous!!

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And another tennis trip to Corona, CA……

(Roberta is also getting to know the Austin airport very well too!!)

Good food….

Good friends…

And good tennis…..is there anything else life has to offer =)

Thanksgiving was in Utah this year with the McRae family.  And Mother Nature did not disappoint – she blessed us with a dusting of Autumn snow.

See you next month.

 

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2015 October

In October Roberta planned another trip to play tennis with her southern California group – one of the activities she was able to do because of her 3-day working schedule.  Semi-retirement is ALMOST as good as full retirement =) so off she went, again, to Corona, CA.

Ontario airport …… quickly becoming Roberta’s new “best friend”!!

And then there was another trip to Fort Worth.  Another Dave and Geoff project to complete and another excuse to see the grandkids =)

And that was about it for the monthly highlights.

 

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2015 September

Roberta continued to play tennis with her meetup groups as often as she could well into September,  but sometimes the weather was not very cooperative =(

 

Roberta really began to LOVE her tutoring job at Lee!!

 

Another Groupon, lol…….This time for the San Marcos Wetlands “The Meadows”.   Another interesting, if a bit touristy, adventure on a glass-bottom boat.

McKinney Falls, where we had “camped” our first few weeks in Austin when we couldn’t find ANY spots at nearby campgrounds, was still a great place to go for hikes & bike rides.

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And, of course, the highlight of the month –

Eva Grace Wong turns 1 on September 19, 2015

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Happy Birthday Eva =)

Next up, the October post………………………………

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2015 August

2015 August

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Home, sweet home…..still enduring the hot, humid Austin weather………..

With the first birthday of our Austin granddaughter, Eva Grace, just around the corner, Dave decided that he wanted to do something EXTRA special in honor of her.  So he designed and built from scratch this incredible shadow box.  It took a lot of work, but it was truly a piece of art when finished =)

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This month also brought Roberta some horrible news about a childhood friend of hers.  Her dear friend from way back in the high school years, Jeanette Minier, had tragically taken her own life the previous December. Roberta had not been in contact with any of her old high school buddies so did not hear of this tragedy until she reconnected with some of them on Facebook.  Sadly, she had also missed the memorial service give in Jeanette’s honor the previous March.  One of her Facebook friends in the GHS alumni group was kind enough to mail her copies from the service and some of the articles published in the local paper where Jeanette had been living the past 20+ years (South Lake Tahoe).

Clearly Jeanette was deeply loved by many, many people.  A tragic loss for the world =(

 

About mid-summer Roberta decided that the subbing thing was not really enjoyable nor very cost-effective for her any longer and so had been pursuing tutoring jobs in the Austin district. She eventually found and gladly accepted the position of math tutor at Lee Elementary School in Austin.  Her “classroom” was actually the book-room at the school – a type of location she was very familiar with after all her years of teaching Special Ed in LAUSD & ABCUSD in California, often in whatever space in the school that could be found for her classroom!!  With Dave’s help, she made it work =)  Thanks Dave for building Roberta’s very functional white boards!

Roberta and her Groupons!!  She found one for a day of hiking with a tour at Westcave Preserve in Round Mountain near Austin.  It turned out to be a beautiful day and an interesting hike, even if a bit “touristy”.

See y’all next month………..

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I’m baaaack…..

Well, sort of – 

Please, let me explain……..

According to the words of a popular song – “life is what happens to you while you are making other plans”.  Well this is precisely what has happened to me.  If you had told me a year ago that this is where I would be right now, I probably would have laughed at you.  And yet, this is where I find myself…….

It is not a bad place – quite the contrary – I am just about the happiest I have ever been in my life – just not where I would have expected to be.  But when I started out on this adventure, that is what I wanted, after all, adventure.  Adventures of the mind, adventures of the spirit, adventures of the heart…….ALL of which I have been so fortunate to have found.  And what about all of the traveling and discovering of new places?  Well, that is just an added bonus =)

All that being said, I will now briefly “recap” those “missing” months of 2015-2016 where I left off with my “original” blog so then I can get on with where I am today.

For those of you who have followed me since the beginning, I hope you continue to enjoy reading my blog.  For those of you new to it, I hope you find something of value and pleasure in reading it……..Bon voyage!

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2015 July

July 2015

With summer now in full swing Roberta started to really enjoy her free time.  On the 4th of July her friend John took her to see some fireworks….

Austin Fireworks

Austin Fireworks

Then, that same weekend, Dave and Roberta went to the local Austin theater to watch the Chicago Fare Thee Well concert presented by Fathom Events.

Fare Thee Well Chicago at Fathom Events

Fare Thee Well Chicago at Fathom Events

Roberta had originally planned a two week trip to Denver and California for late in July but then had canceled it.  But during a phone conversation with her good friend Randy in Denver, she decided, spur of the moment, to go to Denver after all.  She and Randy planned a 4-day road trip to southern Colorado, then several days of great tennis during her week long stay.

Only in Colorado!

Only in Colorado!

The road trip began as soon as Randy picked her up from DIA and they headed south toward Durango.

Open road Colorado

Open road Colorado

Randy had lived and worked in that part of Colorado many years previous, so he took Roberta to see his old stomping grounds.

Randy's former

Randy’s former “home”

Next stop – Treasure Falls.  Treasure Falls is a waterfall located off U.S. Highway 160 about 15 miles northeast of Pagosa Springs, Colorado. The falls are named after a local legend of a treasure of gold on the mountain that the falls plunge from.

Treasure Falls

Treasure Falls

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Colorado deer – a common sight

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Thanks Randy =)

Roberta had had a dental procedure done just before the trip so she could hardly chew anything.  Randy was thoughtful enough to bring his blender on the trip so Roberta could blend all her meals!!

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Chimney Rock

After the night in Pagosa Springs, Randy and Roberta headed to Durango, Colorado where they boarded the Durango-Silverton Train.  In spite of rain forecasts, some of which were right, the day turned out to be beautiful!

The scenery kept getting better and better as the train headed up the mountain….

Lunch in Silverton at Grumpy’s Restaurant and Saloon…..

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….then the bus ride back to Durango, on which Randy and Roberta BOTH fell asleep so there are no pictures to share!!

From Durango they drove east to Great Sand Dunes National Park, located in southeastern Colorado.

In spite of the heat, climbing the sand dunes turned out to be a fantastic adventure.  And coming down the dunes was even more fun than going up them!!

We made it to the top! Boy is it windy up here!

We made it to the top! Boy is it windy up here!

Soon it was time to head home to Lakewood, so we got back on the road.  It was a wonderful trip!!

Back in Lakewood, Colorado, Randy had to return to work, so Roberta looked for ways to busy herself.  Walking to a local salon to get her nails done was one way she kept busy.

Another way Roberta kept busy was by checking out the nearby disc golf course.  As soon as she arrived though, a lightening storm began so she had to take cover at a nearby high school until the storm passed.  The she decided to walk back to Randy’s place because it was a nice day for walking.

Safely back at Randy’s apartment, Maggie is there to greet Roberta.

Lovable Maggie

Lovable Maggie

And this is the “guest room” where Roberta stayed in Randy’s apartment.  It was actually VERY comfy.

Home away from home

Home away from home

Of course a vacation in Colorado wouldn’t be complete without some Bear Valley TENNIS!!

Sonny, Brad, Richard & Roberta at Bear Valley Tennis Courts in Colorado

Upon returning to Texas, the summer fun continued with BBQ’s, disc golf, relaxation in the hammock, a trip to see the grand kids in Fort Worth, and, of course, MORE TENNIS for Roberta.

 

Fort Worth to see the grand-kids………..

……and included in the trip was Roberta and John competing in the Fort Worth USTA Adult Major Zone Tournament. Roberta and John lost in the first round of their mixed doubles (first time playing 4.0), but John won the consolation round of his 4.0 singles =)

 

 

 

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2015 April – May – June

April 2015 Recap

While in Colorado Roberta received a phone call from an Austin school in which she had worked a few days in February.  They asked if she would be interested in a full time position as a TA in a special ed classroom until the end of the current school year.  She gave it a lot of thought then decided to do it.  Upon returning to Austin in early April, right after spring break, she started her job there.

Great Thai food as well as a great sense of humor!

Great Thai food as well as a great sense of humor!

Roberta also had been playing a lot of tennis with several different meetup groups she had joined in Austin, and her efforts were beginning to pay off as she found more and more players at her level who love tennis as much as she does.  It was at one of these meetups where she met her future mixed doubles partner, John Foster, who was about to become her co-champion……..

May 2015 Recap

The month started out with a celebration of Dave’s 56th birthday at a local restaurant that he loves named Threadgill’s.

Happy Birthday!!!!

Happy Birthday!!!!

One of Roberta’s tennis groups had been advertising a tournament coming up in May at a place called Horseshoe Bay, about an hour drive from Austin, and Roberta decided to ask John to be her partner in the tournament.  It was a gorgeous place, with (pseudo) red clay courts but Friday evening it rained continuously, so they were not even able to get on to a court to practice.  Instead they found a local carnival and had some fun (see below, lol)  In spite of the rain the courts remained dry long enough on Saturday and Sunday to play the matches without too many delays.

Roberta monkeying around

Roberta monkeying around with a new friend at the carnival

And lo and behold……Roberta & John won first place in the 3.5 mixed doubles category!!!

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Horseshoe Bay 3.5 Mixed Doubles Champs 2015

What a GREAT Mother's Day weekend!!!

What a GREAT Mother’s Day weekend!!!

The rest of the month was pretty uneventful.  John and Roberta became good friends and he, being an Austin native, was kind enough to show her many “tourist” places (when they could tear themselves away from the tennis courts) and to help her sample many “native” Austin foods.

“Migas”

Roberta really enjoyed her job at the elementary school and learned a lot from the awesome team that she had the pleasure to work with there.  One day the team decided it would be fun to teach the students all about “mock apple pie”.

One Sunday morning, during Dave & Roberta’s traditional watching of “Sunday Morning” on CBS, Roberta decided to try HER hand at making the migas that John had taught her to make.  Voila!

Roberta's Migas

Roberta’s Migas

June 2015 Recap

The school year ended on June 4 and Roberta was looking forward to the summer break!

June 4th was Water Day!!

Shortly after the end of the school year Roberta & John entered another local tennis tournament at Lost Creek.  There was only one other entry at their level in the mixed doubles competition, but they beat them, despite brutal humidity that almost knocked Roberta out, to win another trophy.  They celebrated at County Line Restaurant in Austin with their famous ribs.

Roberta continued to unwind from the stressful job she had just completed by listening to music and cooking, while Dave continued to work at the MegaPlex next door to the RV park.

Next, was a trip to Fort Worth.  Roberta had to fly to St.Louis for her annual doctor visit and it was best for her to fly from Ft. Worth instead of Austin, so she took the bus there and Dave drove there to pick her up when she returned.  At least that was the plan.  What actually happened was that Dave got stuck at the RV repair shop in Fort Worth for 3 days alone, while Roberta’s return flight to Ft.Worth got diverted to, of all places, Austin! due to very high winds and lightening where she had to stay with a friend until Dave drove the RV back, alone, to Austin, after not even getting to see the grandkids at all because he couldn’t get a ride to their house.  Weird, but true!!!!!

And now for the highlight of the month of June……the much anticipated trip…..months in the planning….the 5oth anniversary Fare Thee Well Concert of the Dead in Santa Clara, California!!

Roberta flew to Phoenix, Arizona the Wednesday before the concert weekend so she could visit her mother since she had recently relocated to Scottsdale. Then Roberta was able to pick up her stepdaughter, Aubrey, and fly with her to San Jose. Dave’s two sons, Geoff and Joel, drove up from Southern California Friday and Dave flew in from Austin on Saturday afternoon.  We stayed at the beautiful San Jose Garden Airport Hotel, which was just across the street from the light rail that took us directly to Levi Stadium in less than 20 minutes.

(Be sure to scroll over each picture to read it’s caption)

2015-06-27 Aubrey & Roberta at SkyHarbor

Roberta and Aubrey at SkyHarbor Phoenix Airport on Saturday morning waiting to board their plane to San Jose

Sunday morning Roberta did a little exploring by herself in downtown Santa Clara.

And, of course, since this was the first time in 20+ years that Dave had his three kids together, at a Dead show no less (!) – family pics were a must =)

And so began the summer of 2015 ………

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