Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Ketelsen's are: IN

We arrived home from the "Tour de Texas" this evening, thus concluding our official 'summer vacation'! While I was back in Tucson for a 7 night visit (6 nights of work to break up the vacation); Dean has been gone from home for a full month. Needless to say, it was a joyful reunion between him and the cats!

We had an uneventful driving trip (an improvement over last year when the wheel fell off about 50 miles from home) today, sharing the task of driving. Fortunately, we both enjoy driving. During my 'riding' time I explored learning to play the harmonica that our friend, Elinor, gave to me! I was a little too self-conscious to seriously try at it, but plan to practice and serenade Dean with "Red River Valley" (one of the songs in the accompanying booklet) as soon as possible!

We don't have many pictures to post from our visit with Elinor, however, we had a wonderful time with her! We visited with Elinor last year, on our trek to Tucson with the four cats along for the ride. She was disappointed that we didn't have any cats with us this time, though she now has 'joint custody' of a sweet little kitty named Missy. Missy started as her neighbors cat, but now travels between the two houses - spending most nights with Elinor. Our first night at Elinor's I came upon my first scorpion. I was so excited that I grabbed Dean out of the bathroom to kill it! I had never seen one (they sneak into houses when no one is the wiser) alive, and I'm told by Dean and Elinor that this one was 'big'. It was about 2.5 - 3 inches long. Did I stretch it out on a ruler to verify....NO. You'll have to take my (and Dean's) word on it!

We also, with Elinor, spent an afternoon in Marfa, Texas - a small town about 26 miles west of Alpine. Marfa is a growing artist community, though many of the galleries were closed on Monday, the day we chose to spend there. This picture is the county courthouse, as Marfa is the county seat. In a 'rough and tumble old west town' it was a delight to see this pristine Victorian jewel! We ate at a nice little cafe, having wonderful Mexican food, before taking in the shops in El Paisano Hotel.

El Paisano Hotel is noted for having been the place that some of the cast of the movie "Giant" (1955-Eliazbeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, James Dean) stayed during the local filming of that movie. For you movie buffs out there, that was James Dean's last movie before his death in a car crash (1955). The first floor of the hotel is filled with galleries and shops, though the lobby, dining room, and swimming pool are very elegant in the 'grand old hotel' sense of the word.

Marfa is also known for a phenomenon called "The Marfa Lights". The lights are unexplainable 'orbs of light' that sometimes show up in the sky (oh so scarey!!!), and 'dance' around! There have been articles about them, they have been studied, and they date back to over 100 years, or so some sources report. We did not go out in search of the Marfa lights, opting instead to relax and enjoy dinner and a nice glass of wine (and/or beer) at home with Elinor.

We both agreed that while it's nice to get home from a vacation, we enjoyed being able to spend a couple of nights with each of the relatives/friends we stayed with in Texas. One night is never enough, so two nights was just about perfect! To the family/friends we visited who are reading this blog entry: thank you! We had a great time and are so happy to have been able to spend some time with you!


Anonymous said...

sounds like you two quite enjoyed yourselves. it's good to hear that you had a fun, safe trip.

-victoria [alias torie]

David A. Harvey said...

Sweet shots! Welcome home. So - you saw the UFOs! Awesome. Say hello to Kaldar of Romulus V for me! :-)

Shannon and Alex said...

I saw a HUGE scorpion when we were in Mexico and it was in our neighbor's bedroom. *shudder* At least they were packing to go! That thing was a good 6 inches long and FREAKY. We had itty bitty ones in Georgia and I always found them dead in the pool. I remember being so scared to come visit Vicki when I was little b/c she told me about scorpions. Childhood trauma!