WONDERS

Short Stories. Photos and pictures. Poems.


Welcome ♥ Tervetuloa

http://wondersbykaari.com/

A note to myself:

We don’t set out to save the world;

we set out to wonder how other people are doing

and to reflect on how our actions affect other people’s hearts.

~ Pema Chödrön

Rakastan kommenttejasi. Suurenna kuva klikkaamalla kerran tai kaksi. Kuvagalleriat aukeavat ensimmäisestä kuvasta. Vie mukanasi haasteitani ja vastaa! Löydät ne oikealta!

I welcome your comments. Click on the photos once or twice to magnify. Photo Galleries will open with the first image. Take my challenges and respond! You can find them at the right side, google translate if you will.


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a beautiful inn

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Riverwalk VISTA Inn in San Antonio Texas was a dream vacation place in a big city; quaint, quiet , quirky and historic. When one has visited hotels for quarter of a century as part of the work  and stayed in  Marriotts and Four Seasons and  Grand Bretagnes of the Europe and the Americas, historic  little inns are an antidote. We found this one on the net. Small 16 room hotel in center of the town, built 1864. “It’s hunted”, my husband said. “I hope it is”, I said. The welcome was personal and unexpected. Old elevator to the second floor with old city photos led to dining area, where breakfast is served daily as well as 3pm lemonade with cookies and 5pm wine and snacks. My kind of place. It was great to come in for a while after morning sightseeing and rest the weary legs and head out again for the night. High rooms size windows with view over Torch of Friendship monument, plank floors and comfortable furniture with period look but brand new. On the table were two journals for guest to records there experiences in this very room. Well, well, I am baffled what people do write! “We stayed here on our Honeymoon night, the bed head boards bangs too loudly on the wall.” “I came to see my old flame, but it did not work out. I cried all night.” ” We picked up a waitress from Durty Nelly’s to come up to our room. And boy did she serve!” To name the mildest. And the guests signed up their names and hometown to it! Insane. Well, we slept well, there were so many places to visit.

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The Inn sat across the street to River Walk, the famous area for restaurants and night life. It was once described as “The American Venice” and it’s easy to see why. If you tried to imagine a place where the sights, sounds and flavors of Native America, Old Mexico and the Wild West blend effortlessly with the hustle and bustle of a modern city, it would probably look a lot like the San Antonio River Walk. (Ernie Pyle) The $6 river cruise was worth the money, longer than I expected, several miles. it played some interesting  views like a house with only one wall full of windows. It actually was a triangle shape but from the angle on the boat, it looks like having only that one skinny wall. A hotel had been moved brig by brig to an other locations. The detailed architectural sites were closer to view. The river was enforced by walls and pedestrian walks were built to protect the area from floods and water damage. Restaurants  galore, music, shops, serenades. People, young and old. It was bustling every night! See also the collage here.

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One could walk to Alamo from there, to the Spanish Market (filled up with stuff you don’t need touristy knick- knack), to have lunch at Mi Tierra, mexican restaurant that was packed full (food tasteful, average, service good), and to downtown in general. And to visit  the missions around the town. Gorgeous old sites and each one more different from the other.

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Väriympyrä #8 vihreä

variympyra2015

2015 06 21 Texas14Kuvani on Teksasista, Riverwalk alue San Antoniossa. Muita vihreitä löytyy täältä!

San Antonio River Walk

The San Antonio River Walk is a network of walkways along the banks of the San Antonio River, one story beneath the streets of Downtown San Antonio, Texas, USA. Lined by bars, shops and restaurants, the River Walk is an important part of the city’s urban fabric and a tourist attraction in its own right.


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ode to pottery

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We had made plans to visit a glass blowing hut in the country side. While shuffling thru the guide book on the night stand, an other interesting place popped up: Sunset Canyon Pottery in Dripping Springs. There! I have not seen pottery I don’t like. (Well, yes I have, but not here!) It felt like the studio was far away from towns and cities, quietly sitting almost hidden on the road side, shaded with big trees. Actually is was maybe not more than 25 miles from Austin, Texas.

Friendly welcome from you gentleman made us eased to linger and admire the ware. The show room was full of colorful pottery,  clearly made by different craftsman yet all in mellow color scheme together. Shelves were bursting with plates, pitchers, cups, all things I could not live without. My husband knew we were in trouble!  Just a month ago I could not resist a beautiful pie plate in Zion, NM. It went so well together with the plate from St Thomas. You see the pattern here? I was sure one of these pottery items were going with us to New York. While I was admiring and contemplating my purchase, Hubby carried a conversation with the young man from Alaska and they compared their experiences of the midnight sun in Alaska and Finland. (Pottery dinnerware by Robin Hegemier.)

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The show room had a window into the studio where four people were deep at work. Lady on potter’s wheel opened the door and invited us in. Really? Can we really? Sure, come on in! She was the owner Bridget Hauser who ran the studio with her husband William, a successful business for some years. While talking with her maybe 4-5 bowl were born in her fast fingers. The shelves were full of vessels and pots ready to move. The company offers art classes and their ware is shipped all around the world.We got the visit the kilns and learned facts about them. We saw the pottery which is now very popular in bistros and eateries, plainer and more earthy, rough with softer colors. ( The sugar bowl and creamer of that series came home with us among some other items.) Bridget was very proud of her students work and we admired some of them also. She clearly loves the work she does!

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birth a a bowlI am not a big spender but love to take something local home with me, and even better if I had met the person who created it. It brings a piece of the place home with me. Besides the tour and friendly conversation, we got great advice of the sights in Austin and warning about the fallen bridge that was swept away by a flash flood just a day before. We continued leisurely to the Glass Studio. Thank you!

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(Pottery by Bridget Hauser.)


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Daytrips from Austin

2015 06 21_8195 blogOur hotel Vintage Villas was slightly further from town than we anticipated. Still not totally bad. We saw the Travis lake glimmer in short distance, however did not find a walks around it as we had anticapeted. We were closer to few other places that were worthwhile visiting. We saw  Wildflower Center, a Pottery Studio and a Glass Blowing studio to mention a few.

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The first one was Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. It rained and rained, but still worth visiting. Most of the blooms were on their best in May, but the hill country was still in bloom, black eyed susans, firewheels. buttonbushes, flax, lantanas. Colorful. We missed some,  but the country side was serene and quiet.

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is a public botanical garden dedicated to creating a more sustainable earth through research and education. Situated 10 miles SW of downtown Austin, Texas and just inside the edge of the distinctive Texas hill country, the 279-acre Wildflower Center attracts 100,000 annual visitors. The center is a self-supporting research unit of The University of Texas at Austin devoted entirely to native plants, with more than 700 species native to central Texas, and the environmental benefits of native-plant landscaping.. The Wildflower Center also hosts changing exhibits of visual art and photography and features outdoor sculptures, walking trails, formal and research plantings, educational exhibits, and an annual sale of native plants. In 2013, the syndicated television series, Texas Country Reporter, hosted by Bob Phillips, declared the center the No. 1 site from which to view wildflowers within Texas. wikipedia.org
wild flowers texas
To cover from rain we stopped in a shopping center, Hill Country Galleria. Upscale shops, but very quiet. We stepped into a furniture store during one of the downpours, where two young guys were just talking about Trump’s bit into presidential election next year. Great topic! Still is. The talk eventually moved to images and what people have from other places. Beau had an exchange student from Japan in his high school. The young man was very disappointed finding out that all Texans don’t don a ten gallon cowboy hat and silver buckle belt and yes, the famous cowboy boots! However Beau did ride into town to meet his friends on horseback. He came from poor family, he said, and did not have a car. That was funny, as everyone assumes only rich people do riding and own horses. The furniture was on sale, but way too western and way too big and bulky to our house and I truly I did not really need furniture. But the conversation was fun. The other young man in the store was Italian. His bet was that I am either Dutch or German based on my accent. I get that a lot. Better than some others. Don’t you think?
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outoa, sanovat

Austin, Teksas

….todellakin! Austinin iskulause on “Keep Austin weird.” (weird= outo, kummallinen, poikkeava, salaperäinen.) Osuva! Vanhempi väki mielummin sanoo, että Keep Austin cool. Kaupunki on pienehkö, alle miljoonan. Se on Teksasin pääkaupunki ja sen hallinnollinen keskus samoin kuin koulutuksenkin. Yliopisto on suuri, asukas keski-ikä on nuorta. Tietotekniikka on asettunut kaupunkiin uusine korkeine rakennuksineen. Musiikki on eliksiiri, mikä virtaa kaupungin läpi. Kantria, bluesia. Willie Nelson! Pääkatu, Congress Avenue johtaa suoraan kongressitalolle. En välttämättä halunut kierrosta talossa, koska se ei kuitenkaan ole minun elämääni lujasti liittyvää. Halusin vain kurkistaa sisälle aulaan. Heti oven edessä oli turvatarkastus. Jäimme seisomaan sen ulkopuolelle. Vartija sanoi, että tarkastuksen kautta sisälle. Vastasin, “En välttämättä halua kiertää, halusin vain nopeasti katsastaa aulan.” “Joko sisälle tai ulos!” sanoi mies tiukasti. Sanoin, “Mielelläni olisin tässä sekunnin verran. Ottaisin kuvan, jos saan.” Hän nosti etusormensa ylös, osoitti päätäni ja sanoi “BUM! Ulos!” En jäänyt riitelemään. Todella outoa!

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Mieheni oli Teksasissa USAF, eli USAn ilmavoimien alokasaikanaan. Hän usein sanoi, että haluaisi käydä joskus vielä San Antoniossa, ja näyttää kaupunkia myös minulle. Siis, kolme ensimmäistä yötä varattiin Austinista ja kaksi seuraavaa San Antoniosta.  Ajomatka kaupunkien välillä olisi alle kaksi tuntia. Tulopäivänä sääkartat näyttivät hurrikaania seuraavaksi päiväksi. Onneksi se nousi ylemmäksi Houstonin aluelle, ja saimme sadetta vähemmän, kuin luvattiin. Pari kertaa ajoimme mustat pilvet takapuskurilla, ja pääsimme niistä eroon nostamalla nopeutta. Eikä sateenvarjo ollut turhaan matkassa.

sixth street
Capitol, kuten sanoin. Kuudes katu eli Sixth Street on tunnettu kokoontumispaikka iltaisin. Baareja, yökerhoja, kuppiloita toinen toisensa perässä. Vanhoissa aavistuksen verran liian ränstiyneissä taloissa. Voin kuvitella kuitenkin illalla olevan toisenlaista menoa valoineen ja kitaroineen. Muutama edellisen illan juhlija horjui kadulla vielä, jutellen itsekseen. Söimme lounaan Driskill– hotellista, mikä houkuttelevasti kutsui sisään. Vanha upea rakennus oli saanut purkutuomin ja uuden liiketalon tuli nousta sen tilalle. Kansalaiset kuitenkin pitivät “cake-sale” lipunmyynnin, $10 lippu ja keräsivät $900 000 ja yhteistoimin kunnostivat hotellin ja vanhan ravintolan sekä sen leipomon. Ihanaa vanhaa artkkitehtuuria! Söin juustopiiraan, quichen; pala oli mahtava neljännes koko piirakasta. Sen päällä oli mielenkiintoista hilloa, oletin sen olevan viikunaa. Kysyttyäni,  tarjoilija kertoikin sen olevan tomaattihilloa! Sitä en ole koskaan syönytkään. Kävelimme katuja,  ihmisiä kulki, mutta kuitenkin siellä oli nyt hiljaista. Melkein elotontakin, jostakin syystä. Maanantai?

Driskill Austin Texas

Driskill Austin Texas

Kiersimme siis kaupungissa muutaman tunnin ennen yöpaikkan menoa. Löysin netistä todella hyvän hinnan Vintage Villas– hotellista. Hotelli ei kuitenkaan ollut kaupungissa vaan Travis- järven rannalla. Vähäiset 20 minuttia veivät meidät esikaupungin ulkopuolelle, maalle. Olimme hieman pettyneitä. Rannalle ei kuitenkaan suoraan sieltä päässyt. Otin uikkaritkin mukaan! Hotelli oli täynnä, mutta rauhallinen. Ensi näkemältä se näytti nukkavierulta, mutta vain parkkipaikalla kasvavan kuivan ruohon ja pihaa reunastavista likaisista lyhdyistä johtuen. Huone oli tilava, maalaus tuntui olevan suhtkoht uusi. Ranskalaiset ovet avautuivat järvinäkymään. Mieheni istui siinä iltaisin, mutta mäkäräiset tykkäsivät nilkoistani, joten vetäydyin sisälle. Kolibri lenteli terassin reunalla olevassa lantanassa. Koska olimme myöhään paikalla, kävimme pikaisesti syömässä lähiravintolassa italialaista ruokaa. Pizza Maragrita, grillatulla tortillalla! Mex tex oli paikallinen menu kaikkialla.

Aamulla lähdimme kiertelemään maisemia, pienessä vesisateessa. Kuka sanoikaan, että hyvänen aika, lähdette Teksasin kuumuuteen, kesäkuussa!

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