Saturday, January 30, 2016

Cruisin’ in Keller

Life has conspired to keep us in town for many days, but that hasn’t stopped the Near-
Sharp-shinned hawk in oak
Normal Travelers from visiting some of the local parks and eateries. We’d seen, from posts on Next Door, that some folks in our neighborhood didn’t know about the plethora of good restaurants in the area, so this inspired the topic of this blog. Of course, the majority of places to eat are Tex-Mex, but there are several other options available. Before we actually moved to Keller, all I knew was that it was a rural town that had schools with good athletic programs; they beat our school in baseball, football, and basketball, regularly. Keller, located fifteen miles north of Fort Worth, is in the western edge of the Eastern Cross Timbers ecosystem.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Tempting Temple

On the road to Temple, Texas
We headed to Temple, Texas for a bead retreat, thinking that although it is the home of actor Rip Torn, astronaut Bernard A. Harris, Jr., and football player “Mean" Joe Greene, there was nothing in the area but a railroad trestle, a bridge over the freeway and a few older buildings. What we found was something entirely different. Built as a construction camp for the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway on land purchased from Jonathan E. Moore, it was called Mud Town or Tanglefoot by local residents.  The town was actually named after Santa Fe Railroad official, Bernard Moore Temple, a civil engineer and former surveyor with railroad.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Where in the world will I go next?

Through the Arkansas woods
A question that I often hear when I talk about going to far-flung parts of the world is about safety. I used to say that I don’t go anywhere that isn’t safe. However, the threats from terrorist groups have raised concerns about traveling to third world countries.  After thinking about my options, I’ve decided that fear of what might happen is not going to prevent me from traveling to the places I really want to go. My biggest concern has always been keeping track of my travel documents, and it still is. My second worry, and it’s just slightly less chilling than losing a passport, is how to keep the images I take secure. So what can you do to make sure that your documents and images are protected?

Friday, January 8, 2016

The Best of 2015 - Dining

Dave with steak salad
Part three of the Best of 2015 blog reviews a bunch of restaurants that we encountered on our travels this year. Since this is the 'best of', only the places with a rating of four carrots or better are included. We found, or returned to, lots of good places to eat this year!

The Best of 2015 – Activities

Cynthia and Dave on a rainy day in Hawaii
This is part two of the year-end round-up and has to do with the activities we thought were fun, exciting, interesting, and so forth. For information about my rating system, see Reading the Reviews. If you'd like to see the blogs that describe these undertakings, just follow the links at the end of each short description.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Best of 2015 - Hotels

Restored cars
Planes, trains, boats, buses and cars – we didn’t ride bicycles or motorcycles, but those are two of the few types of transportation that we didn’t take this year. This has been a great year for travel and we’re looking forward to more voyages in 2016! In this blog and the two blogs that follow are only the hotels, activities or restaurants that rated four carrots or better. You’ll notice that we’ve given high ratings to hotels, restaurants and activities that are rather divergent. How can a hotel in Lubbock compare with one in France? For information about my rating system, see Reading the Reviews.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Running to Roanoke

There are lots of places to eat in our area, but along with not being a ‘chain’ restaurant one of the criteria for inclusion in the Near-Normal Traveler Blog is that there is something
Nash Metropolitan 
interesting to see in or near the town in which the restaurant is located. We’ve run up to Roanoke on numerous occasions and from the area we’ve visited, I thought it began as a collection of restaurants for farmers/ranchers and had progressed to places for suburbanites. However, the town has an interesting background and a few places that reflect its history.