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Day 72 – San Antonio, Texas – Caverns

30 Mar

Luis has always wanted to go down into a cavern since a young age.  While I was researching what to do while in San Antonio, three caverns came up; Cascade Caverns, The Cave Without a Name, and Natural Bridge Caverns.  Texas has thousands of caves throughout the state, but I believe only 7 caverns are open to the public.  The Cave Without a Name was a little further than we wanted to drive so, our decision was between Cascade Caverns and Natural Bridge Caverns.  We decided to explore the Natural Bridge Caverns since it was deeper, even though Cascade Caverns is the only cave with a 100 foot waterfall.  It was a hard decision.  I am not worried about missing out on the waterfall cavern since it is possible that we will be living in Texas when Luis is finished with school, and I plan (added to my bucket list) on visiting all 7 caverns.






The temperature of the cave was 70 degrees, but the humidity was 99% so, it felt a lot warmer.  My camera didn’t like the humidity.  Some photos came out good while others are blah.




Yep, that’s us wearing sweaters and jackets with 99% humidity.  When we reached the outside, I was drenched in sweat.  Sexy, isn’t it?


This last area was really neat, and the point where my camera told me it had enough.  The cavern opened up to the Hall of the Mountain King, which was a huge dome.  The dome is created by many layers of the ceilings collapsing over the years.  In the picture Luis is standing near the overlook that looks down into the cavern, about 130 feet deep.  As you can see, I did not get anywhere near the edge of the overlook haha.  Still afraid of heights, even below the ground.

The tour was about an hour long, and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.  I am looking forward to exploring another cavern and maybe do something a little more thrilling like a tour that includes hiking, crawling, and repelling!

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Day 71 – San Antonio, Texas – Riverwalk

29 Mar

Before leaving to Miami, Luis and I spent a weekend along the River Walk in San Antonio.

I have to tell you now, I did not take any photos while in Miami.  I didn’t even bring a camera, and I only went online twice.  My Miami visit was just for family.  Considering the reason for the visit, I had a great time.  I felt needed.  I was able to cook everyday, relax, watch a few movies I had never seen before, play with kitties, and most importantly be with my aunt.

A few people had told me that I was an “amazing person” for going home.  Thank-you for the nice compliments, but to me, I found it odd.  I was raised by a women who took care of family most of her life.  She was a women who stepped in to take care of her parents when they couldn’t take care of themselves any longer. When my mother wasn’t able to take care of me, she became my guardian.  If someone in the family needed money, she gave it to them.  She was always giving family gifts or trips, and it wasn’t until I turned 18 that she finally did something for herself.  She retired and spent the rest of her short lived years doing what made her happy, playing in her garden and cooking.  I learned from a young age to help family any way you can.  So, for me, when a family member needed some extra hands I knew I could be that person.  Especially for my aunt Kathy, she had a hand in raising me as well.  I love you.  I am thankful for this time in my life.  Not working a 9 – 5 job that allowed me to take off to Miami last minute, having money in bank for my flight tickets, and a loving husband who didn’t mind missing a few home cooked meals.

Okay, sorry.  I don’t mean any harm.  I appreciate all positivity, but I felt like I needed to explain what type of person I am.

 Back to San Antonio.

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No trip to San Antonio is complete without a visit to The Alamo.  It was a nice visit.  Mostly because it is free, and the line moved pretty quick.  Sadly, I did not learn anything though.  Instead I Googled the history of The Alamo later that night at our hotel.

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It was a nice day, the sun was out!  Good to know that the sun shines in San Antonio!

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We took a river cruise and learned a few things that we would have never known about the River Walk if it wasn’t for our guide.  That’s him with the hat and blue shirt, almost the same uniform as the people who work at Best Buy.  He had lots of jokes, corny jokes, and he liked to say hello to people walking by the river, then make fun of them if they didn’t say hi back.  I thought he was funny, but Luis just rolled his eyes.  Then again, Luis is hard to please.

 Isn’t that kid ‘s sun glasses funny?

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The friendship statue.

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Something neat our guide told us about as we passed under this bridge, that bats lived in it.  At first, Luis and I thought it was a lie, but since  Luis loves bats, around dusk we sat on the bridge and waited for the bats.  The bridge isn’t inhabited with as many bats as Austin, just a small family/colony.  We loved watching them fly over people, and dive beneath the bridge.  Every now and then I would look at the people, and no one knew bats were flying just a few feet above their heads.

I really enjoyed the architecture and details around the River Walk.  My uncle Danny told us he had visited san Antonio’s River Walk when he was younger.  He was about 17 and the waterway was empty, and hardly anything around it.  Pretty neat.

Before heading back to Houston, we stopped and explored a cavern, 180 feet deep!  I have never been in one, nor have I ever had the thought to go down into one.

Until the next post!

Day 28 – 30 in Austin, Texas and Chest Pains

8 Feb

We carpooled to Austin this past weekend with two other co-ops.  The drive was smooth and didn’t take as long as I thought, about 3 hours.

I am happy that I was finally able to see a part of Texas that is not ugly.  I saw green grass, small rolling hills, and lots of trees.  Yay! A part of Texas that was actually pretty.  I love seeing farms with rolling hills and cows on the tops of them, probably because it’s my dream to own a rolling hill farm.

I enjoyed 6th Street more than Bourbon Street in New Orleans.  If I had to pick a place to party, it would be Austin, which could change once I go to Las Vegas.  Until then, Austin it is.  The drinks were inexpensive (at least at the places we went to), and there were lots of places to step into and shake your booty.

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We met up with the other co-ops from the Freeport location, we are at the Deer Park location, making the group 13 of us.  We started off our nights at a bar called The Library.  It was a fitting place since Engineers spend lots of time in them.   They were serving $3.00 Long Islands. I have never paid $3.00 for a Long Island in a normal sized glass, it was awesome. We hopped around 6th Street, darting in and out of bars, having whatever the drink special was at the moment, stuck around and danced for a few songs, and then moved onto the next place.  We met some pretty cool Austin locals and some out of towners celebrating birthday’s, graduations, and new job opportunities.  Oh, and a guy who was showing off his rock band, even though he had just quit the band.  At 2:00 a.m. the bars and clubs shut down, and the police and fire department do a sweep of the streets (a clean-up if you will), making everyone leave. Very interesting, but none the less a good thing since most of our group was done for the night.  On our walk back to the hotel, a cold front decided to wake us up with a down pour. A very cold down pour.  I enjoyed running in the rain until I remembered I had my camera with me.  Thankfully, after a few minutes of waiting underneath a shelter the rain lightened up, allowing Luis and I to continue our run through the rain. It was a good night.

The next day, Luis and I split from the group and went to check out some items I had on my Austin list.  We walked around The University of Texas, Zilker Park, Austin Nature and Science Center, the bats at Congress Ave Bridge, the Capitol Building, and explored some of the 1400 food carts Austin has.

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I know I am only 28, but Austin kicked my butt, which lead me to believe that I am getting too old to rebound quickly after a few nights of drinking and dancing. Sunday and Monday my chest was tight with sharp pains. I called a doctors office to schedule an appointment, but was told to go straight to the emergency room.  The emergency room?  That freaked me out. I have never been to the hospital, and the thought of going to a hospital freaked me out.  It couldn’t be that serious.  So, being freaked out I called my uncle Danny, who has had heart issues and asked him for his thoughts. After a few questions to rule out a stroke or heart attack, I took some Aspirin as he recommended.  After a few hours the pain went away just in time for my mom to call me.  Now that I was much more calmer, I could actually have a conversation with someone.  Even though a trip to urgent care would probably not have harmed anything, I just really didn’t want to believe it could be something serious.  Monday evening did not help either, I felt like I was having an anxiety attack, a two hour attack.  Something I have never felt before.  I really think I just pulled something with all the dancing, plus being dehydrated, then the attack because I freaked out.  I still feel slightly odd, but much better.  I have a appointment with the cardiologist on Monday.  See what I mean about getting old? This is only the beginning, haha!

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I really enjoyed Austin, chest pains and all.  Austin has everything I love; parks, food carts, cheap drinks, interesting people, and a great assortment of bands/music.

Day 14 and 15 New Orleans, Louisiana – Architecture

23 Jan

I am feeling the love.

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They say Paris is the city for love, but this past weekend New Orleans was all I needed.

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I am not sure if it’s because he has given me the life I have always wanted as a child.  A life of traveling and living in multiple places, experiencing different cultures, exploring cities and towns, or the fact that I have walked aimlessly through this city, stopping every two feet to take a dozen pictures, and he didn’t get upset (that was the longest sentence ever).  Instead he smiled.

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I love him more and more everyday, and sometimes I wonder if that will stop.  Until then, I will continue to respect, encourage, and love him.

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We listened to a band that played music from the 40’s while eating jambalaya at the Musical Legends Park on Bourbon Street.

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Beautiful wrought iron.

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Jackson Square artists.

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The Crescent City Connection twin bridges over the Mississippi River.

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Listened to funny mountain music while sitting on the steps of a courthouse until a wedding procession started to drown them out.

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Our first steps into the French Quarter, Luis wasn’t sure if New Orleans was his kind of place.  It smells, it’s dirty, and it is full of crazies.   After finding a nice place to sit and watch the people passing by, he began to see the beauty of the city.  Either that or it was his drink kicking in.

To me, it felt like a dirtier, crazier version of Key West.   Outside of the wild Bourbon street, all the others streets are tame.  You can look around and see all the details the city has.  I loved it all.

I gotta convince my buddies back home to take a drive to New Orleans and meet Luis and I there for a weekend of fun.  Hey guys, it’s the same driving time as Atlanta (hint, hint)!!

Until tomorrow, swamps!

Atlanta Botanical Gardens Garden Lights, Holiday Nights

3 Dec

What is the holiday season without a night to wander through a garden full of lights?

Our walk through Atlanta Botanical Gardens Christmas light display really  got me in the mood for Christmas and excited for all the festive events that happen in December.  Then again, it’s not everyday you see a million lights on display.

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Just seeing the rows of trees covered in lights in the front of the garden got me into the holiday spirit.  While standing in line for our tickets, you could smell hot chocolate and marshmallows roasting.

Marshmallows… writing that word bugs me.  It’s odd to me that it isn’t spelled marshmellows, since that is how I say it.  I don’t say marshmAllows, maybe I should start to pronounce the A, but I digress.

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I really loved these gigantic fall leaves (had to be at least 8 or 9 feet long) that were on the wall in the main building before stepping into the garden.  I wonder what they were made of?  Metal, iron? I want them!

This is the first view of the garden when you walk in.  I absolutely loved it, and my most favorite display out of all of the displays in the garden.

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How I wish he would smile, he hates me.  No, just kidding, but seriously, smile!

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This is what happens to the camera when you don’t smile, or could it be the person working the camera?  I am posting it because I think the crazy streams of dancing lights look pretty neat, and I know my mom would enjoy it.  As she says; “that’s trippy man”.

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The garden had so many details, even the sidewalk had lights that shadowed snowflakes.

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Looking at the two pictures above, kind of make you feel like your in space surrounded by stars, or is that just me?

After taking a billion pictures in the first part of the garden, Luis and I took a right and went for a stroll on the canopy walk.

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Shots from below the canopy walk, looking into the next display in the garden.  I believe they call this part Dr. Seuss Land?

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Shots while walking on the canopy above the display.

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I couldn’t decide which shot I liked more so, I put both.  I won’t tell you how many pictures I actually took of this blue tree since it’s ridiculous.  Why!? Because, I wanted to focus on one light and have all the other lights come out clear, but still have the view of the red tree in the background.  Sounded cool in my head, then again,  I am an odd person.

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These awesome paths lights were almost throughout the entire outside gardens and gave off a nice romantic glow.   Another neat little detail to help guide you to the next display in the garden.

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In the courtyard every tree and bush had lights, and they also had fire pits so people can roast marshmallows to make s’mores and have hot chocolate, along with lots of other tasty treats.

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All that was missing was a group of Christmas Carolers.

Luis seemed to enjoy the next part of the garden the best, and I wished that I had taken video to post instead of just pictures to give you the full effect.

The Great Lawn had these color-changing lights that were choreographed to holiday music.  We stood there for awhile and just got lost in the music and the changing of the colors.

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Then off to wander through the edible garden and greenhouses.

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It was a nice night.  The garden wasn’t very crowded and the night wasn’t too cold.  The next morning I was inspired, and put up snowflake lights in our living room window, and added a few other holiday items around the house.  We are not putting up a tree again this year since we won’t be in Atlanta for Christmas and after putting up so much stuff for Halloween, I wanted it to be less crowded in our place.

In the holiday spirit, I am entering in a holiday dessert bake off this week.  It’s being held by our 10th and Home residence, and after winning the Halloween door contest, I would like to keep winning.  I will post pictures of my minimal holiday decor and dessert later this week.

How are you getting into the holiday spirit?

Budweiser Scholars @ Vicente Fernandez Concert Tour

14 Oct

Last weekend Luis received a scholarship from the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) and Budweiser.  Only three students in the country received this scholarship.

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Part of the Budweiser Scholarship included tickets to see Vincente Fernandez, a mexican musician in concert.  The day before the concert Luis also learned that the scholarship included VIP backstage passes for a meet and greet with Vincente Fernandez, an interview with a Spanish newspaper and Spanish news station, free beer, third row seats, and being presented on stage before the concert with the scholarship check.  Yea, that rocks!

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(On stage with Katherine, an HSF alumni and Craig, a Budweiser representative)

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Forgive most of these pictures as they were taken on my cell phone camera.

This man was awesome!  He was hardcore with no intermissions, no breaks, just non-stop singing for four hours. I am thinking all those straight shots of tequila he took after every song kept his energy up.  He was so amazing with his fans, excepting all kinds of gifts while he sang, read all the letters and notes that were passed up to him, and sang every song his fans requested.

You could read the short newspaper article of Luis on Mundo Hispanico here.

I wish we were able to keep the giant check!  =)

Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure @ Charlotte, NC

2 Oct

Luis and I arrived at my cousin Cary’s house in Charlotte, NC the night before the race to decorate our bibs and have dinner with the family.

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Sophia was busy decorating all the bibs.  She even helped Luis out on his since it wasn’t flashy enough haha.  She did an amazing job on them!

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While Adan watched =)

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After our belly’s were full and bib’s were completed with color and sparkle, we went to the hotel for night swimming and bed jumping.

The view from our rooms looked out to the Nascar Hall of Fame building.

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We woke up on race day to a morning of  45°.  Luis nor I thought to check the weather for the race since October 1st usually is not a cold, cool maybe, but not cold.  The race was held in downtown Charlotte, which did not help as the wind whipped between the buildings, but luckily there were enough bodies around us to keep us warm while waiting for the race to start.

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We stood next to this small band that kept us taping our feet while waiting for the race portion for the walkers to begin.  The ones who actually run the race start an hour and half before the people who are walking.

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Don’t let this smile fool you. Standing around looking at everyone’s bibs and signs made me very emotional.  It was a beautiful, yet sad sight.  The little kids with bibs that read “In memory of my mom” killed me.  Just writing those words at this very moment get me teary eyed.  It was such an amazing and overwhelming moment, everyone standing around us was touched by breast cancer, whether themselves or a loved one.  I was so proud of those who have survived and felt the loss of those who hadn’t survived even though I did not know them.

Sounds odd, but I think it’s because I met my grandmother, Bea in my early 20’s thanks to my uncle Danny for tracking her information down in Marco Island through her sister.  It was also the same year she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I felt I had lost her when I had just found her.  A few years earlier I had lost my grandfather and mother on my mom’s side and I really felt empty not knowing my other grandparents; who they were, who anyone was on my dad’s side. I wanted to know who I was and where my face came from.  Thankfully she survived, and because of her bringing me into the family, I now know my father and the rest of my Chereshkoff family, and met the man who gave me my face; my grandfather.

Here is a flash back of my first time meeting my adorable grandfather and grandmother.

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Back to the day of the race.

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The starting line.

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And the finish line… ta da!
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After the race, we went to Cary’s house for a brunch.  Cary went all out and had an awesome spread of food.  Where’d she find the time to participate in a 5k and make the food for the brunch?  Amazing women!  Thank-you again Cary for everything, it was my first 5k and I will never forget it!

Cary bringing out more goodies in her race day brunch attire =)

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My first ever Bloody Mary.  I have made them before when I worked at the bar, but never actually had one.  It was delicious with a pickle slice, olive, okra, lime, celery, and a spicy tomato mix.

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The day was perfect!

I am already thinking about next year, and I am thinking tu-tu’s!