Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Little Travels in 2011 Part II May - June

Continuing to update my smaller trips in 2011, Phil and I returned from our New Zealand and Australia adventure on May 20. I was able to see Gwyneth, Rob and the girls for a few hours when they stopped at the start of their marathon road trip out west. I managed to stay in Texas until May 23 - 25 when I went to New York City for an NCWIT meeting which was held on the NYU campus. I shared a hotel room in Chelsea with Renee, my replacement as SIGCSE chair.

Jane and Barb with Washington Square Park in background

Then Phil and I went to visit Susannah and Luis in Palo Alto, California from June 16-20. Great fun, great weather and lots of good walks!

Luis, Duncan, Phil and Suze at Baylands

Little Travels in 2011 Part I January - March

I realized that this is my travel blog, but I have omitted lots of the smaller trips that I have made so far this year. I thought I would recap them with a few pictures.

After our snowed in adventure at the cabin in January, the small trips began. The first one was the side trip on the way back to Texas to celebrate Gwyneth's birthday with her and her family in Pine Lake.
January 19
A little over 10 days later , I flew to New Orleans for an NSF sponsored meeting on new funding opportunities. Since Rob had a meeting in New Orleans that overlapped my meeting, Gwyneth and the girls drove from Georgia to spend time with both of us. We enjoyed a great meal at Green Goddess. Because of weather in both New Orleans and in Dallas, my flight home got cancelled and I spent an afternoon with my Atlanta family going to the Insectarium and with Gwyneth and the girls; and then out for an oyster po' boy at Mother's with Rob. (January 30-February 2)

At Green Goddess
Barely time to unpack and re-pack before my February 5-8 meeting of the ACM Ed Council in Miami, interesting discussions, good food, good friends and lovely weather.

Miami Beach February 7
Another trip to the airport came two days later, but it was Suze who traveled from California whom we picked up for a long weekend visit.

Suze and Phil at ABIA February10
February 22-28 Phil and I flew to Massachusetts to visit his sister Belle in Carver. We engaged in a lot of ice chopping and snow shoveling.

IMG_0651 dopey
Ice chopping and wearing black and red in support of Christchurch Earthquake

On March 6 I flew to New York City for an ACM SGB meeting near Times Square. I arrived in a downpour and when I left the plane was delayed because it came from heavy snow in Vermont so I got home at 3 am on March 8.

Times Square in the rain

Later in the day on March I, I drove to Dallas for the SIGCSE Board meeting followed by the Symposium. I had a great room -- a suite, really. I even got to meet up with my Southwestern colleagues, since I never seem to be in Georgetown!

Southwestern Faculty
CS Department -- me, Sue Barbara A and Rick

t the close of the meeting, I drove on to Blue Ridge to oversee some plumbing repairs at the cabin and to go to Atlanta to attend a Ralph's World concert with Gwyneth and the girls (March 13-18 in Georgia)

Ralph Covert with Gwyneth, Chloe and Camille at Mall of Georgia

No more trips until April 16 when Phil and I headed to Australia. But we did have visits from our missionary friends, the Herrins (March 19-21), and a birthday/Capital 10,000 visit from Gwyneth and the girls (March 26-29) and from Suze and Luis (March 25-28).

Luis, Susannah and Chloe at a geocaching event at an Austin area ghost town

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Post ITiCSE Day 4 Winningen to Darmstadt

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View of Winningen
We went down for another big breakfast – eggs, sausage, multigrain roll, muesli, yogurt and an orange. We walked to the train station to find the times – the hotel clerk was unbelievable unhelpful. We finally asked a villager if we could take our bikes on the train to Koblenz and they were free because it was the weekend.

We went back to the hotel and set off for a geocache at the site of witches’ executions in the 1600’s. We asked a local for directions to Hexenhugel and with no English he was much more help than the innkeeper. We walked on paths up through wonderful vineyards and great views. At the top there was even an airfield! We came to a woods path where we saw the Hexenhugel monument and Judy spotted the cache!

Back to the hotel, where we checked out and walked our bikes to a café where Judy had coffee and tried the local red wine. We walked our bikes to the train and took off for Koblenz.

Luckily Judy checked in at the staffed visitor center where she found out we had to take the earlier local train in order for our bikes to be allowed, so we didn’t get to tour Koblenz but hd a slice of pizza

The train ride to Mainz was almost too fast to follow Rick Steve’s commentary but it was fun to read about what we had ridden by. We took our bikes to the shop. While I was in the train station (ran into Dennis Bouvier and Raven) the bike guy came – perfect. We had some time to spend, so we had a coffee and a cherry strudel. The train to Darmstadt was 20 minutes late so we got to the hotel just at 5 when the reception opened!

We retrieved our bags from Stefanie’s room and checked email etc. in our own rooms which were the same ones we had been in before! We then headed into town for the festival which was unbelievable. So many rides, food and people – Wauseon homecoming times 50!

Judy and I ate at the Biergarten I had eaten at the previous Sunday. She order Frankfurter green sauce which turned out not to be a sausage but eggs – the name Frankfurter modified the sauce! I got another fish salad, and this time the fish was fried but good. We walked a good portion of the carnival but not all.

Back at the hotel we talked to Stefanie. We talked more before going to our rooms. I showered and went to bed about 11.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Post ITiCSE Day 3 Oberwesel to Winningen 60K

Click to see Slideshow
Between Boppard and Koblemnz -- Spay
We saw the boat signals Rick Steve’s book had talked about at the treacherous, narrow spots. The Loreley was a huge cliff near where boats frequently foundered. We were successful in finding a cache on the guardrail by the path which was next to the highway. Rheinfels castel over St. Goar , Katz and Maus castles on the other side.

The extraordinarily lovely village of Boppard caused us to stop for lunch. WE both had goulash soup – this time no veggies in it, followed by coffee and pastries. We really enjoyed sitting in the old town square.

We got spectacular view of the perfectly restored Marksburg castle and shortly after met a brigade of tourists on Segways.

On the entry to Koblenz I spotted a Coyote Ugly bar! The only woods we cycled through afforded me a impromptu WC. Judy dropped her sunglasses at our stop, however and when she went back to try to find them she couldn’t.

On ur approach to Koblenz we passed breweries but the parts of the city we cycled through were beautiful residential streets. We only rode a few blocks in the city center to the train station and then trying to make out way out to the Moselle valley, we got lost and a helpful lady gave us directions and yogurts with no English!

A detour on the bike path sent us crossing the reiver earlier than we planned and uphill into a a rather ugly suburban village but then onto a lovely path surrounded by individual garden plots.

The vineyards approaching Winnegen were superb and the Moselle was beautiful and much quieter than the busy Rhine.

We had a bit of trouble finding our hotel, the Adler, which was obviously recently redone by a decorator. There was lots of purple and gold and many interesting details.

We loved the village and ate in a covered garden across from the hotel. We tried two of the local white wines (Rieslings) and shared a huge pork dinner with a salad whose dressing was similar to thousand island but flavored with dill. Great! The potatoes were like “Ida Heise” potatoes.

We took a long walk after dinner and got back about 10:30 to check email on my iphone in the lobby wifi.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Post ItiCSE Day 2 Wiesbaden (Biebrich) to Oberwesel 50K

Slide Show

We had a big breakfast and set off to search unsuccessfully for a cache on the castle grounds but we had a lovely ride wound the park. There was a sign that Wagner had written Der Meistersinger there.

We got to the next little town ( ?? ) and it began to pour so we stopped at an ice cream shop for coffee Aother cyclist, a helpful local, told us about the area. Out coffee done, the rain over, we set off again and stopped at a beautiful village – Elktville which was preparing for a festival celebrating its bubbly wines. Gutenberg had lived in the town which had a castle ruin and pretty gardens. The trail got rather badwith detours but we found a nice place to stop and have fruit and chese. WE got yelled at by a worker for going on a closed protion of the trail.

We came to Rudeshiem which was a complete tourist trap – many junky shops. There was a wine museum and the house where Carl Jung had lived. With difficulty we found the ferry to Bingen and took the auto one. We rode through a pretty garden – at its end a pair of prim ladies greeted us by holding up a sign retrieved from her purse indicating by a graphic that bike riding was not allowed in the park! We walked them to a tea shop where Judy ordered a pretzel and cream cheese (the pretzel part was a surprise.) While she used the WC, it began to pour and I quickly covered our stuff but as soon as she returned it stopped raining!

There was lots of boat traffic – barges each of which had the captain’s car on board – many carried coal; lots of tour boats; trains ran on both sides of the river ad vines grew along the hills, especially on the right bank. The land changed after Bingen, becoming a gorge. We stopped and walked our bikes though Bacharach whose castle is a youth hostel. Several pretty villages including the Pfalz Castle in the river at Kaub.

We were very tired when we got to Oberwesel and wandered up and down looking for our hotel which we had passed! It was a very modern boutique hotel and quite nice. We had a hard time figuring out the faucet in the bathroom – the water came out over the tap! We ate at the hotel and had a very friendly waitress. I ordered a salad with fish in it and noodles. The noodles were a big mistake as they were too rich and too plentiful. The salad was great. During dinner David Cassel and his family walked by – Boots was waiting for them at the train station. Oberwesel had a wall and a castle. The hotel had wifi only in the lobby so I checked mail.