Memorable Journeys!

This website really started as a means to capture our adventures because friends wanted to hear about them. Some of our trips had a definite destination, but most of the fun times happened when we got off the major highways, read local newspapers and hotel travel fliers, and then arranged for a tour. Even more remarkable, we further researched our discoveries on the internet when we stopped every night to rest. Our journeys took us to presidential homes, museums, gardens, and anywhere we thought would be really out of the ordinary. We learned about growing sugar cane, harvesting from catfish farms, fresh water pearl farms, and much, much more. We hope that you get enjoy our stories and having a trip with your sister is in your near future!

*Trip to International Hot Air Balloon Festival,  NM

How many times have we discussed a trip to Albuquerque?   For so many years we heard about difficulties finding a hotel, parking, and viewing. But once we secured a Marriott room near the airport, we arrived in Albuquerque and took a practice run the day before the festival started. We decided to go early, find handicapped parking at the north entrance, take a blanket, camera, and money for eating and buying things. We showed up 4:30 AM, with volunteers already taking tickets at the gate. There were some benches available for early attendees. Balloons started going up around 7 AM. Watching 700 balloons was spectacular! I think I have over 200 pictures.

Note: We stayed from Friday thru Friday, going to the festival every morning. We  watched the balloons, come back to the hotel about 11 AM, and take a nap. The high altitude was different for us seniors and it slowed us down a bit. There were,  however, many places to explore in Albuquerque.

* Trip to Avery Island, LA

I don’t believe I have ever seen so many red peppers in one place! 

During a trip to Avery Island, Louisiana, on the “back door” route to New Orleans, we were delighted to find ourselves at the Tabasco manufacturing plant.  Tucked away in southern Louisiana, the grounds of this plant and its quaint gift store had us seeing red – in the best sense! 

The descriptions of hot sauce production were really interesting and valuable…since we treasure our recipes with hot sauce ingredients. It was a treat to hear the heavy Cajun accent of the young and enthusiastic tour guide.  And our tiny Tabasco-bottle souvenirs have made perfect gift for friends and family. Thank goodness the Tabasco plant made it through Hurricane Katrina.

“The picked peppers are mashed, mixed with a small amount of Avery Island salt (Avery Island is one of five salt dome islands off the coast of Louisiana, providing founder McIlhenny with a nice natural resource to make pepper sauce), placed in white oak wood barrels and allowed to ferment. The mash is then aged for up to three years and blended with all-natural, high-grain vinegar. The mixture is stirred over a period of four weeks, the pepper skins and seeds are strained out and the sauce is then bottled.”

* Trip to the annual BBQ Cookoff

Camp Craig Allen celebrated their 10th Annual BBQ Cook-Off at the Toyota Center parking lot in Frisco, Texas. Lots of supporters and BBQ teams gathered to raise money and cook the best BBQ ever.  Senior Sisters donated our time, serving as the Accounting Coordinator and the Judging Coordinator. Overall, we had over 50 teams who did a great job bringing in money for the organization. The sauce, beans, chicken, ribs, wild game, and brisket competitions were a joy to judge! Come join in the fun around the second weekend in October!

 * Trip to Ft Worth Zoo

This zoo is an amazing place with lush greenery and picturesque animal areas. There is a lot of room for strollers and fun for children and grandchildren. I took pictures of the zebras and giraffes because they are my favorite zoo animals. Have you ever noticed that the patterns on each animal are unique – like a human’s fingerprint?  The Halloween Celebration is extraordinary! These patterns reminded me of the patterns we studied in math class and led me to create a patterned Quillow. 

On a side note, I have an idea for zoo-improvement. If zoos would update their technology, they could incorporate videos to watch the animals. How many times have you traveled to the zoo and found animals asleep or hiding?  They could even supplement the experience with a video showing the zebra “on an active day.” They should take a tip from museums who have welcomed multimedia. My son and his wife took a side trip to the San Diego Zoo during a conference.  Much to their dismay, the Panda Exhibit was closed because the panda had just had a baby.  How they wished they could have at least had a peek at mother and baby via a video that would not have disturbed the little one, but still enabled them to enjoy the full zoo experience! 

 * Trip to Fredericksburg, Tx

Sometimes when we feel like we’re too busy to get away, a sister may have to come along and kidnap us!    My two sisters did just that one spring for a surprise trip through the Texas Hill Country. We found so many exciting wineries that provided a tasting treat. We were awestruck by the Wildflower Center located in Fredericksburg, TX.  Throughout the year, the center features seasonal flowers to please the senses as they show off in the fields growing around the center, which is right off of Hwy 290.  When we were there, the wildflowers were soft blues and greens and yellows.  Inside the center you will find more wildflower seeds, butterflies on banners or yard art, blue Mexican pottery (my favorite!), and lots of plants to take home.  A trip to see the spring Texas wildflowers should be on your wish list if it isn’t already.    

*  Trip to Houston International Quilt Festival, Tx

With the exception of holiday traditions, there is no tradition more sacred to our family than our annual pilgrimage to the International Quilt Festival in Houston, TX – at least for the females in our family!  For 30 years, at least one of us has made the trip to soak in the beauty and artistry of quilting.   As mothers, grandmothers, aunts, cousins, daughters, daughters-in-law, and of course, sisters, we have traveled across the state and across the country to admire quilts and buy fabric and sewing accessories.


The quilt festival, usually held around the Halloween time frame, is an awesome trip into color and creativity. My first few years I traveled the distance in order to look at the quilts that had geometric designs.  I could never get enough of it! I am sure it had something to do with my math background. As the years passed, I began to notice changes in the designs, color, and textures.

Ruth and I started a tradition of buying fabric and a pattern at the festival, then worked on our projects together during the Thanksgiving holidays. There are a few projects still in our sewing bins, but the enjoyment of being together and creating something with our hands was a treasure to remember.

The colors and the geometric designs of our “Houston” Quillow are dedicated to the many women and men who create quilts all over the world. It is truly an inspiring gift.

 *  Trip to Oklahoma Route 66 drive

We got our kicks on Route 66! 

My sister and I had a memorable trip driving on Route 66 through Oklahoma and Missouri. Our plan was to start in Oklahoma and drive to St Louis to meet our other sister. We bought about three travel books and set out in late May, right before Memorial Day.  We both fell in love with Oklahoma City and Tulsa. One afternoon in Tulsa, we ventured out for the day and found a fabulous bakery (Great Harvest Bread Company). While tasting their delicious samples of unusual breads was new to us, we learned that this company has been around for awhile. Just around the corner, we found a fabric store going out of business. At this store I bought material, never realizing I would be sewing it into one of our Quillows! Upon further exploration of Tulsa, we were able to watch an outdoor wedding in a large garden; the flowers were in full bloom, matching the bridal bouquet and the bridal party dresses.