Worrall Travel R's - Kicking the Bucket List

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Following our Dreams and Kicking the Bucket List.  Started on a yacht, now it's planes, trains, Trailblazer 5th wheel, camels, rickshaws.  Exploring our wonderful world.

Our Mantra:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
~ Mark Twain

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SLIDE SHOW of Worrall Travel R's 2014 ODYSSEY

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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Thinking about Kathmandu, Saturday, April 25, 2015

We awoke this morning with the terrible news that Kathmandu in Nepal has suffered a catastrophic earthquake and that buildings have collapsed and thousands of people are injured, missing, or dead.  Traveling makes the world so much smaller.  Our joy of traveling is more about the interesting people we meet than the sites we see, and we are saddened by this disaster.

We have donated to the Humanist Disaster Relief (HDR) Network.   Here is the link if you would like to donate:
100% of the donations raised during this drive will be going to a secular organization working on the ground in response and recovery of this devastated region.
HDR Drive is a cooperative program between Foundation Beyond Belief and American Humanist Association.

The open markets and every day people making a living and providing for their families.

Narrow passages through old construction

Lovely, vibrant people, making a living in a crumbling city.

In March of 2013, we traveled to Nepal and India.  The lives of the people in Kathmandu are not easy to begin with. Life is hard and most of the people live in conditions that westerners would deem substandard.  Much of the time while we were walking in the narrow, crowded streets and visiting ancient landmarks, we were amazed that the buildings were standing at all given the smaller earthquakes that had rocked this area and the lack of rebar and shaky foundations.
This building like many others would not take a major earthquake or even a minor one.

Colorfully charming, but a dangerous place to be.

Repairs of previous damage.....no apparent building codes here.

We had been in New Zealand's Christchurch just a few weeks before the earthquake that brought down the church tower in 2011 and destroyed many of the buildings there.  At the time, we declined to take a tour of the tower because ...well we just didn't want to chance being in the tower or church if there was another earthquake like the one that had damaged it just a couple of months before.

In Kathmandu, it was obvious that these people were living dangerous lives in the old buildings where they worked, laughed, lived, and had families.   From the news this morning it looks like I saw the remnants of this tower.

Our hearts go out to them.

Saddened Worrall Travel Rs

Thursday, January 22, 2015



After the winter holidays, we stowed the decorations, played a few last rounds of golf in the California sun, and headed south....first to Las Vegas for a short visit to daughter Abby, son-in-law Neal, and Noodles, the dog who doesn't know she is a dog.  Hope she's not reading this!    Boy will she have a shock when Baby #1 is due in about six weeks!  While in Vegas, Russ helped Abby build a footstool/toybox for the baby's room, and we had the opportunity to visit the high school where Neal teaches English.  His school is a career technical academy for students interested in engineering,   robotics, medicine, hospitality-cuisine.  It is a first class facility, and we can see why Neal loves teaching here.

Our 3 days in Vegas passed quickly, and once again we were on the road again to southern Arizona to Casa Grande and the Palm Creek RV and Golf Resort.  We will call this home for the next 3 months, short of the time we spend commuting to Vegas when our second granddaughter is born.  Palm Creek is a five star RV resort.  We came here to play and relax.  So far it's been all play...golf, pickle ball, tennis, bicycling, hot tub, photo club, Mac Users club, Zumba, woodshop, silversmithing, card playing, bingo, and field trips to surrounding areas.  I am not sure we can count the few hours of sleep we are getting as the relaxing part.  At some point, we really do look forward to sitting by the pool and reading, but it hasn't happened yet.

Today, we went with the photo club on field trip to Saguaro National Park.  Cactus was certainly my theme for the day.  These desert plants are beautifully complex, their bristles glowing in the morning light.  Enjoy some of the photos, and if you can identify the some of them, let me know.


Birds build nests in the Saguaro

While the namesake cactus of the National Park is indeed the most prevalent and artistically decorate the landscape,

Saguaro Skeleton
there are many other varieties of cactus here:

Teddybear Cholla

The beautiful Fishhook:

Nature's Art

The Prickly Pear:

And a couple, I have yet to identify. Let me know if you can ID these cactus:

Tomorrow, we play in a golf scramble, and are looking forward to the weekend when our dance card looks pretty clear.  Maybe we'll make it to the pool.


All is well with the Worrall Travel R's in Arizona

Monday, December 01, 2014

Days 159-173 Vermont to California...End of the 2014 World Odyssey

Imogene is Ready for Her First Christmas
There has been no better way to end our 2014 Odyssey than spending time in Vermont with Garyn, Jessica, and granddaughter Imogene.  We were here when she was born, and now she is almost seven months old, sitting up (almost on her own), rolling, cooing, swimming,  discovering, and celebrating many firsts....

Thanksgiving and her first drumstick,

"Wow!  It's bigger than my leg," says Imogene

Her First Applesauce.
Hmmm.  Not sure about this applesauce.  The drumstick was much more exciting.
Her First Snowfall,
Hey, this white stuff is a little cold!
Her first out of country travel experience to Montreal, Canada.

Her first Santa Parade.

Her First Christmas Tree,
Papa and Nana Gave Imogene and Her Parents a Circus Train to Go Around the Christmas Tree

Imogene is reaching out from her first Christmas Ornament from Grandma Linda
And her first Christmas a little early with her Nana and Papa.

 Ba Nana's Little Darlin!

No Question who the Center of Attention Is!

Imogene and Um Papa enjoying some play time with new toys

We head back to California tomorrow. After 174 days we have completed an around the world odyssey and enjoyed every single minute.  I think the blog will be quiet for the time being until our next trip, not sure when or where, but keep checking the blog because it won't be long before the Worrall Travel Rs are on the move again.

In the meantime,  Happy, healthy holidays and a New Year filled with love, wonder, and discovery.  We are expecting a second grand child in February.  So much fun!

All is Well with the Worrall Travel R's...Home is where the heart is, and we've left  little bits of our hearts all over the world.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Days 156-57-58 Driving Through Memory Lane - Ulm and Schwabisch Gmund

Ulmer Munster, shrouded in scaffolding and fog on a November Evening

Day 156 - Saturday, November 15 - Neu Ulm

We walked through Munich this morning and picked up our car at the Bahnhof.  By 12:30 we were on our way to Ulm in off again-on again fog.  We had forgotten how foggy the drive can be in this Donau Valley and how fast the Germans drivers are and oblivious to the fog.  When we arrived in the area we drove to the Neu Ulm side of the river to try and find remnants of the Army Kaserne and the 39th Engineering Group.  We lived here as newlyweds from 1970-1971.  Russ worked in the Community Leader's Office for a year before the Group was dissolved and we were transferred to Schwabisch Gmund.  We have so many fond memories of Ulm and still keep in touch with friends from here.

The environs have changed significantly.  Many of the old army buildings have been torn down or have been repurposed for private industry and apartments.  We found our old apartment building.  It has been remodeled.  The high pitched tile roofs have been removed for a flatter more modern look, the windows have been replaced with newer German windows.

I looked up to the fourth floor windows where our apartment was and wondered if a lift had been installed.  Four flights of steps was a challenge while carrying groceries, laundry, and hoping that friends would just drop by.  No one drops by a fourth floor apartment.  Lace curtains hung in all the other windows of the building, but not on the fourth floor where we had lived. Perhaps it is vacant.  Families were in and out. This looks like a Turkish neighborhood.  

The school still stands where Russ and I taught first aid classes, Dietrich theater old and expanded, and the NCO club is now the Wiley Club Bistro.  Across from the Kaserne area there is now a huge sports arena, and the streets were packed with cars and people trying to find parking and crossing busy streets.  We reminisced of people and activities that we knew here.  Those were the days!

We are spending three nights with our Airbnb host Elijah who is the same as age as our daughter, Abby.  His father was here as a soldier then a civil servant.  Elijah's dad has died now, but his German mom still lives nearby.  Elijah is a school teacher and speaks both German and English fluently.  We are enjoying his company.  His apartment is in Ulm within walking distance of the city center.

Day 157 - Schwabisch Gmund

Today, looks to be the best day for a drive in the country.  The fog is lifting and the sun is peaking out from behind the clouds.  We enjoy our day driving through the German country side.

Beautiful green fields are fringed with the orange and yellow hues of late fall.  We revisit our housing area.

First Floor Left Side

This too has been updated with balconies on the back of the apartments.  They are afterthoughts to the original design and don't look all that sturdy, but knowing the Germans they no doubt are.  The old Kaserne at the bottom of the hill is a university campus.

The town is now a college town and caters to young people and their families.  We spend the afternoon poking around and enjoying hot cocoa and apple strudel.

On the way back to Ulm we stop at the Steiff Teddy Bear Factory and pick up a few things.

Day 158 - Ulm

It is foggy again today, so yesterday's choice for a drive was a good one.  Not only is it foggy, it's quite chilly and the clothes we hauled through the Gobi desert across China, and the ones we bought in August while we were in Croatia, just aren't warm enough.  Since we are headed for Vermont, tomorrow we decide to buy some new gloves, scarves, shoes and boots, and for me a hat.

We spend the entire day walking around recapturing the beauty of the area.

I know we appreciated it while we were here many years ago, but it seems especially lovely and we had forgotten much.   Our favorite area is the walk along the old wall and the fisherman's quarter.

Crooked little house built before Columbus sailed the Atlantic

A walk along the old wall in Ulm
And of course we visit the famous landmark of the Ulmer Munster.  Once this church was in a wide open square.  Today buildings surround the church and the square becomes more crowded with the Christmas Market shops.

Both the inside and outside of the Munster are being refurbished, new electric wiring, cleaning, repairs.  We will look forward to another visit in a few more years when it is all completed. Nevertheless, the cathedral is a queen of beautiful architecture.

After a day of shopping, geocaching, and walking through the old parts of Ulm where the buildings date back to 1440,

we stopped in a wonderful little gasthaus for hot mulled wine, schnitzel and spatzle.

Oh my!  It seems as if we leave a piece of our hearts where ever we go.  Aufweidersehen, Germany.

Tomorrow we will fly to Boston with stop over in Iceland, then rent a car and head to Vermont.

All is Well With the Worrall Travel R's Coming Home to America