Monday, May 11, 2020

Traveling After Quarantine

Bergen, Norway

I can't wait to travel after quarantine! So many places we want to go. We may not have time or money for everything, but we are going to figure out some inexpensive and short weekend trips locally, then branch out. Our elderly Aunt has been watching the relaxation videos on Youtube that show scenic mountains, water, villages, and beaches from all over the world. I can't help but watch them too! Stay tuned for some new traveling blog post when we get sprung from this current nightmare. Happy trails will be here again. Keep the faith! 

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Dreaming of Norway

Viking Ship
I took this photograph when we were in Norway back in 2014. I have made my grandkids a large poster with it and a canvas for my Norwegian Aunt on my husband's side. She loves it except it would be nice if she could see the buildings on the dock too. They were obscured by the beautiful ships but overall she was very pleased with it.

Waterfalls galore! I saw so many and each one was unique. The beauty of the landscape was incredible. If you have never ventured to this historic and rich culture you should! Adventure awaits you.

This is the Church on the Island where my Mother-in-law and Aunt were born and raised. It is in the village of Gursken, on the western fjords.

The beauty of the rocks of Norway

The beauty of the landscape was around every turn and place. The rocks were amazing, a work of art in nature. 

Ulriken Cable Car 
The cable car was pretty scary for me, considering I am afraid of heights, but I did it! It was well worth it for the views and awesome photographs I took while at the top. I can't recommend enough the many adventures and things to do not only in Bergen but within the whole country of Norway. It was a lifetime adventure and I hope to return again one day.
At the top of Mount Ulriken overlooking the City of Bergen

Scenic view of Bergen Norway

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Pike Place Fish Market

Seattle Pike Place Fish Market

This past summer 2018, I acted as a tour guide for friends visiting Seattle for the first time. We had so much fun exploring not only Seattle, Washington but also Victoria, B.C. (which I will write about in another article).

If you visit Seattle, the main stops downtown are the central waterfront area which includes: the Pike Place Market, the Ferris Wheel overlooking Elliott Bay, Seattle Aquarium, a variety of restaurants, and unique shops. A monorail ride will take you from the waterfront to the iconic Space Needle, Seattle Center, Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP), and Chihuly's Garden and Glass exhibit.

If you find yourself in Seattle for business and/or pleasure, take the time to explore. You will be glad you did. If you don't you will miss some things that make Seattle truly remarkable.

I had to show my friends the fish market at the Pike Place Market. Pictured below, covered in ice, are some of the freshest variety of seafood.

Monk Fish

LOVE the sign on the lower bottom right

We waited to see a fish thrown into the air to a customer, and we were not disappointed. Our cameras, however, were not ready for it since we had just begun to head to the unique shops within the market. These shops sell flowers, food, jewelry, gift items and much, much more. 

I will post more Seattle and Victoria adventures as time permits. Seattle is a beautiful place, scenic, creative and entertaining, and I hope we can keep it that way.

Check out their official website: Pike Place Fish 

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Saturday, October 27, 2018

Seattle Aquarium 2018

Seattle Aquarium

We loved visiting the Seattle Aquarium this past summer. There was so much variety and the exhibits were bursting with colors as pictured below:

I think pictures tell a story sometimes as much as words.

The staff at the Aquarium can be just as entertaining! 

If you haven't ever visited this great venue in Seattle, then you are missing out on a very educational experience. It is conveniently located at Pier 59 on the Elliott Bay waterfront among the quaint shops that line the harbor area.

Check out their website Seattle Aquarium for events, tickets, and location. It is fun for the whole family.  

If you are a tourist or Washington resident that loves to be a tourist in this awesome city, then check out the discount tickets at CityPass. You can get unbelievable package deals for the hottest attractions in Seattle, including the Seattle Center, Space Needle, Argosy tours and Chihuly Garden and Glass!

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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

In Search of the Killough Massacre

Killough Monument
The winding black top country road shaded with huge east Texas pine trees protected us from the hot July sun as it pried its way through the branches.  As descendants of the Killough Klan living in a distant state, my husband and children had never seen the family monument dedicated to one of the greatest tragedies in East Texas history.  A massacre and tales of conspiracy are still keeping us guessing to this day of what really took place that set this tragedy into motion.  This was how legends are started so we wanted to uncover the truth.  Is it fact or fiction or could it be both?

Our directions and GPS seemed to fail us as we drove deeper into the countryside on Farm to Market (FM) roads that didn’t seem to end.  Farm after farm and roads that appeared to shrink in size as the large oak and pine trees overshadowed them with their huge century old branches.  As we parked along the side of the road a couple who lived close by stopped and asked if they could help us.  In our desperate situation we readily accepted their help.  They knew exactly where we wanted to go and appeared to have helped lost sightseers in the past find this elusive historic site.  

As we followed we quickly realized without a guide we would have never found the old Killough farm homestead.  As we traveled along twisting roads and turning onto one FM road after another our GPS was clueless.  We were fortunate that day unlike our ancestors years ago. 

As we reached the monument, thanked our guides and received directions on how to find our way out, we started to explore the area.  We quickly realized how foreboding and mysterious it appeared to us.  We gave a lesson in history to our children of what we knew yet there was so much we really didn’t know and could only speculate. 

As we approached the monument we did know that we stood on what was once blood soaked ground and the air around us felt heavy with sadness.  The monument area, however, was open and inviting but the surrounding area was thick with trees and overgrown shrubs.  We were thankful that we were there during daylight hours even though dusk was fast approaching by the time we reached the area.

The Killough massacre took place on October 5, 1838.  The Killough family, with Isaac Killough Sr. as the Patriarch, was Irish immigrant farmers who went out that day to harvest their fields.  Normally they would take their guns with them but that day was different.  They didn’t take their guns which proved to be a fatal error.  Eighteen were either killed or taken never to be seen again. It is still a mystery to this day on why they didn’t take their guns since there were known Indian raids in the area.   What happened to the captured family members?

History was awakening before our eyes deep in those east Texas woods.  No longer were we just reading about the event but we were seeing and feeling it just by being there where it all took place.  The monument stood with a large heavy stone base that thinned out the taller it reached into the sky.  It was inscribed with a summary of details that took place that fateful day. It was a pinnacle of a memorial that told of death and survival. 

It read: 
Site of the
Killough Massacre

“In this area on October 5, 1838, the Wood, Killough, and Williams Families, all relatives, were going to the fields.  They were gathering crops grown in spite of Indian raids.  Here less than a year, the settlers usually carried guns to the fields, but this afternoon were unarmed.  Attacked suddenly, 18 pioneers were either killed or captured, never to be heard of again. 8 horseback riders escaped.  The wives of Isaac Killough, Sr., Isaac, Jr. and Samuel Killough fled on foot, carrying a baby.  On their third day of hiding, a friendly Indian saved them.  This was the largest Indian atrocity in East Texas.  Bodies of the few victims were found were buried here.”  (1965)

We knew before seeing the monument that our ancestors had been murdered and some were missing.  That was fact.  We didn’t know what happened to the missing people who were captured.  Any answer to that question would fuel that which legends are made of.   

The fact is our family members died.  Some survivors were carried away by a band of rebels to never be seen again and others escaped to the local Fort. According to Jack Moore’s research paperback book, “The Killough Massacre”, this piece of history is not just about the massacre of innocent settlers. It also depicts the anger and rebellion coming out of the Texas revolution and how it said to have spawned some of Mexican descent to band together with some rebellious Indians to rid the Republic of newcomers.  

Survivors identified a man they knew and said he was disguised as an Indian during the raids that fateful day along with the rebels.  Could this man have fooled the settlers into leaving their guns and then betrayed them?  Answer to this question only produces a new legend.  We may never know.

History can’t be rewritten but we can learn from it.  We can study it up close by traveling to these types of sites and breathing the air, feeling the wind and yes standing where history stood still.  What we do know as fact on that hot summer day is that we found a little piece of history in the back woods of East Texas.  Tragic, ridden with conspiracy, it tells a tale of fact and fiction.  Truth and legend, all snuggled under a large pinnacle of a monument representing death and survival.