03/13/05
Well, the weather here has been gorgeous all week, and we have been
taking advantage of it.  On Monday, we said goodbye to Laurel and
Jimmy at breakfast at Granny and Grandpa's place.  Then we came back
and did chores, and went back to Granny and Grandpa's to sit in the
afternoon sun.  On Tuesday (3-8-05) we went to Blanco state park and
played in the beautiful Blanco River.  We took the fishing poles, but true
to form, didn't catch anything.  The park had their low water bridge
blocked off because it had about 5 or 6 inches of water flowing over it.  
My "gotta have a 4 wheel drive truck" husband drove down every side
road until he found another low water bridge, this one with 8 or 9 inches
of water, so he could drive through it.  You all know what I was doing
while he insisted on being a boy.  That's right, I was squealing about how
he was going to break the truck, and reminding him of our Padre Island
adventures, but it didn't help.  Through it we went, then of course we had
to promptly turn around, and drive back through to get back to the main
road.  How do I survive?
On Wednesday (3-9-05) we took Granny out to Enchanted Rock (after
hearing Jimmy, Laurel, Richard and I bragging about it, she just had to go.)  At
77 years old, she climbed half way to the top!!  (And the weather was MUCH
better than when we went on Sunday, which of course made us hot as we
climbed.)
Taking a rest, 1/4 way up...
On Friday (3-10-05) we went to Kerrville to play in the Guadalupe River, but
the Kerrville state park has been taken over by the city, so our state park pass
couldn't get us in and we would have had to pay their stupid day use fee, so we
just went to a small city park in town instead.  Richard tamed a squirrel, but
didn't have as much luck with the ducks.
On Saturday (3-11-05) we met up
with George of the Saturday
Paddlers.  The rest of the gang
was floating the lower Guadalupe
River, but it was running "bank
full" and so they requested that
only experts attend.  Richard
considered it, but I finally
convinced him that we were not
experts.  George took us to the
South Llano River instead.  It was
an 11 mile float, with lots of still
water, so we did a lot of paddling.
  There were several low water
bridges where we had to stop and
"portage" our boat across.  Then
a little over half way down, our
guide George had to get out one
of the toys he was packing--a
foldable saw--and trim some
branches out of the river to make
it safer.  This man had
everything, a saw, a whistle, a
knife (not just a regular knife, this
one would have made Crocodile
Dundee proud,) a helmet, and
who knows what else.  You know
who was jealous of course.
Our
guide,
George,
and all
his
gadgets
About 9 miles down river, we saw a bunch of sticks that had been cut and
stripped by a beaver.  We had to stop and collect 60 lbs of wet sticks so Richard
can do some more carving.  So, for the remaining 2 or 3 miles we had to paddle
with no room for to put our feet, and no opportunity to kneel on the floor as we
had been through the few small rapids.  (The blurry spots on the picture are from
water spots on the lens of our new underwater camera.  We got it for our trip to
Costa Rica and I was taking pictures of river scum to make sure it worked.  I just
didn't know I had to wipe the spots off the lens.)
We had a great time, but lets just say we're both a little sore today.  We're
going to have to do a lot of practicing before our trip to Coast Rica.
COAST RICA
So, you want to know more?  It all started when Richard saw that SOAR,
you know, the makers of his inflatable boat, was organizing a 10 day tour in
Costa Rica.  We talked about going and I pointed out that we were going to
get down there, and he was going to start whining about how we're so close
to Panama.  (For those of you who don't know, he has been wanting to visit
Bocas del Toro, Panama for the last 2 years.)  So, we looked into
transportation from San Jose to Bocas del Toro and found that the only way
is via bus.  Well, I decided I wasn't comfortable enough with my Spanish
speaking to be responsible for getting us to and from San Jose by bus, so I
suggested we do a Spanish Immersion school.

So, we're leaving on March 27th to fly down for 3 and a half weeks of
Spanish language school and life with a host family.  Normally I would be
worried, but I figure my husband can't tell all those bad jokes since he can't
speak the language.  We should be okay.   Check out our school at
www.ipee.com/standard.html.

Then, we're doing a 10 day river trip with the SOAR group, April 21st to
30th.  Check out this fun itinerary:  
http://www.soar1.com/costa-rica/itinerary.htm

Finally, we will take the bus to Bocas del Toro and look at everything
Richard wants to see there for a week, then take the bus back to San Jose for
our return flight on May 10th.
I know, you've read this whole page with only one burning question.  You didn't
care about any of the above gossip, right?  You just wanted to know one
important thing:  How is Tad?  Right, well, I saved the best for last.  Tad is just
fine.  I've decided that the only reason lightning-quick Richard caught him is
because he is defective.  He has this funny wound-looking thing on his right side.
 I first thought it was a gill, but he doesn't have one on the left.  Anyway, he has
gotten fatter, but no legs yet.  His left side is looking bulgy though, as if there is a
leg forming in there, but nothing on the right.  You know our luck with 3 and
2-legged animals, this one may end up keeping the trend.  Anyway, here's a
current picture.  Isn't he cute?!
Starting out...
Here we are, half way up!