Along the Natchez Trace

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Happy Birthday & Future Plans

My baby's birthday was yesterday.  She lives in New York but spent most of the day in various airports...  I talked to her briefly while she was still in NY  (okay, she was actually in NJ) waiting to put her "grandcats" on board.  Megan, my granddaughter moved to San Diego a month or so ago but took a road-trip getting there.  So Donna, my daughter, took the cats and went for a visit yesterday.  She'll leave the cats with Megan, who has a surprise waiting for them.  They got a dog last weekend to round out their pet menagerie.  Wonder how THAT will go over?

Happy Birthday, Donna!
That's my baby on the left (she is now 49 years old!).  She's holding Evie G, (our great-granddaughter) with Heather, (our granddaughter) on the right.  Heather is mom to Evie and sister to Megan, who now lives in California.
They are all blue-eyed beauties!
(Photo taken when Bill & I visited September 9)

Bill & I headed for Ft Worth on Tuesday...  made a slight detour to the Avalon Urgent Care Center in Grandbury.  No...  nothing urgent for us...  but that's the place Bill needed to get his DOT physical so he can get his CDL license transferred.  

The Texas Dept of Transportation requires that the applicant for a Commercial Drivers License to have a physical (even if the applicant already has a valid CDL from another state)...  and they even have a specific place for the applicant to get this physical.  

About an hour after arriving (no appointments at this place) Bill emerged from the building with his documentation in his hand, and his wallet $85 poorer.  But he passed (no surprise there) and when we get the rest of the paperwork together, we'll head back to the DMV to get our tags and our TX driver's licenses.

A new Trader Joe's opened in Ft Worth since we were in Texas last May.  I'd read the reviews of it on its website and was surprised that several were not particularly good.  Mostly about the parking, the size of the store and some other odds and ends.  We have shopped at Trader Joe's in at least 5 other states so had at least some idea what to expect.  And we weren't disappointed.  We certainly found the parking more than adequate.  The store itself was exactly what we expected.  I mean, if we'd wanted a store the size of Wal-Mart, we'd have gone to Wal-Mart instead.

If you've shopped at Trader Joe's you know about "2 Buck Chuck".  That's the Charles Shaw line of wines that TJs carries...  and, depending on what state you're in (I mean your location...  NOT your state of mind) it sells for $1.99 a bottle....  up to around $4 a bottle in some areas.  I can't remember if you get a case discount, but at those prices, who cares?  Anyway, it's a pretty decent wine at a very low cost.  

Our other stop in Ft Worth was at the Barnes & Noble.  Both Bill & I use our Kindles a lot these days, but Bill gets his magazines on genealogy and linux and stuff like that ....  and he likes the hard copies of these.  I don't think I've ever left a book store without buying something, but since I knew my Amazon order would arrive today, I restrained myself to just one book.

Which brings me right to the "future plans" part of this post.

We have spent several winters in Mexico.  Bill's Spanish is good enough to get us by, but about all I know is "cerveza" and "banos".  We've thought about living in one of the larger cities, like Guadalajara, and enrolling in one of those immersion programs, but just never got around to it.

Last year we spent some time in the Mediterranean and gave those immersion programs some more thought.   One of the blogs I read.... Mitchell is Moving...  is written by a guy who lives in Seville, Spain.  His photos of the city, the artwork, the festivals and his life are just fascinating.  Spain was already our first choice, although Castilian is different than Latin American Spanish.  

There are lots of companies out there, and again, the internet is such a wealth of information.  We did some homework and decided on Enforex....  a language school in various Spanish-speaking countries.

Then, we started accumulating our information...
Our "library" and maps

We decided to make this a 2 month adventure - January and February of 2013.  We're now registered for classes, and will live with a local family....  (the school makes those arrangements) There's a lot more we have to do, (like get our airlines tickets) but most of that stuff, Bill will do on-line.

It's interesting that while we've wanted to do this for quite a while, it was through reading blogs and "meeting" new friends that spurred us into action.

Not sure what all we'll do in the next couple of months, but I'm sure it will be another adventure.

That's All For Today!


  1. Your "baby" is 49? Here I thought when our "baby" turned 40 last May, that couldn't be topped.

  2. What a wonderful adventure you have planned! Can't wait to hear all about it.

  3. It looks like you've got the ball rolling for you trip to Spain. Staying with another family should really add to the experience, plus getting to meet Mitch and Jerry! My youngest will turn 50 in July and his hair is turning gray. My youngest grandchild will graduate from high school in June. Growing older is just amazing in so many ways! I keep wondering how it happened so fast when I don't feel that much older.
    It still shocks me when somebody treats me like an old lady!

  4. That's a pretty exciting adventure you have planned. I'll be very interested to see how that goes.

  5. How exciting and I am sure it is a great way to learn the language.

  6. Now that's some great adventure I will be glued to reading. And by the way those 3 ladies are sure beauties and yep, those blue eyes sparkle..

    God bless

    Zeee and critters 3

  7. Beautiful girls you have...all 3 generations...They got that from you. (not offense to Bill meant)...Living with a family in Spain for 2 months is a great way to learn the language..Me?...I think I would have just ordered the Rosetta Stone program...I couldn't live with any other family but my one else could tolerate me! ;-)

  8. WOW...another great adventure on the way!!!

  9. Oh my!! That is an adventure to say the least--I admire you guys!

  10. YOu have a beautiful family for sure! Love their blue eyes. Have a great time in Spain and don't forget to keep us all posted on your experience living with a family. That sounds exciting and a great way to learn the language, culture and about the area.

  11. First: Wow! Four generations of beauties!

    Then: So excited about your plans. We have the identical library!

  12. Out of curiosity, do you ever need anything more than "cervezas" and "banos?"