I feel like I am part of a tornado that just roared through Kansas! A lifetime ago I learned about something called the WorldWide Web. My first foray was AOL. Wow, it had news, chat rooms, shopping—simply amazing! All I needed to do this was a box called a modem, a telephone line, and patience—for when the connection failed—but I would just diligently redial and smile because I was able to shop the world and catch up with friends all from my home PC (don’t you just love tech talk?).Next I launched my company website, www.greatgetway.com which has morphed into www.greatgetaways.travel. I learned new stuff like HTML and flash. Can you believe we could .com, .net, .org, .us, .tv, and DOT TRAVEL .travel????Oh, and next came the weblog, the blog–an online journal of my activity…hmmm. Not sure if this idea will take off…So glad I’m not the tech prognositicator extraordinaire! I couldn’t believe how blogging has become an important part of life–personal, business, social.This world is starting to spin uncontrollably fast!Okay, just as I’m learning to navigate and use WordPress, somebody told me about facebook and myspace. “Watch out,” she warned, “your kids will spend hours on these sites.” I started watching my son’s activity. “Mom, can I use your computer?” “Why, Josh?” “Oh, I need to research something on the Internet.” And, of course, he was connecting to this thing called “Facebook.” Who would spend time doing that, I wondered. I tried to investigate this new “fad” called social media. I couldn’t penetrate this teenage only world. It asked me what high school I attended and would verify my answer (Remember back then?). I dismissed this as a passing fad and went back to stressing over why I can’t position photos where I want to on WordPress.
My memory gets foggy after that lull. At some point facebook opened up to those over 18, blogs began to influence thought, and you could watch movies and TV on your laptop. I joined facebook (Okay, Josh, now I can watch what you’re really doing!), invited friends to join facebook, facebook added filters so our kids could filter exactly what we parents could see (Okay, Josh, I now have NO idea what you’re doing—might be better this way—TMI before!), and I felt like I had arrived. Then it all exploded—Great Getaways got a facebook page (After all, companies MUST use social media for marketing, right?), and joined linkedin, plaxo, too. Heard about twitter…what’s the point? Now, of course, you know I am tweeting and tweetdecking, and hootsuiting. Let me tell you, I rock! Travelingking1 wakes up, checks facebook, twitter (now I can do both from tweetdeck), replies, posts, notes, comments, searches—and, lo and behold, the day is over and it’s time for bed!
I’m in the vortex of this tornado!
I think I need a life—right after I get my fix of smartoons, www.smartoons.net
A True Duck Story From San Antonio ….Verified on snopes.com!Something really cute happened in downtown San Antonio this week. Michael R. is now an accounting clerk at Frost Bank and works downtown in a second story office building. Several weeks ago, he watched a mother duck choose the concrete awning outside his window as the unlikely place to build a nest above the sidewalk. The mallard laid ten eggs in a nest in the corner of the planter that is perched over 10 feet in the air. She dutifully kept the eggs warm for weeks, and Monday afternoon all of her ten ducklings hatched.Michael worried all night how the momma duck was going to get those babies safely off their perch in a busy, downtown, urban environment to take to water, which typically happens in the first 48 hours of a duck hatching. Tuesday morning, Michael watched the mother duck encourage her babies to the edge of the perch with the intent to show them how to jump off!The mother flew down below and started quacking to her babies above. In disbelief Michael watched as the first fuzzy newborn toddled to the edge and astonishingly leapt into thin air, crashing onto the cement below. Michael couldn’t stand to watch this risky effort. He dashed out of his office and ran down the stairs to the sidewalk where the first obedient duckling was stuporing near its mother from the near fatal fall.As the second one took the plunge, Michael jumped forward and caught it with his bare hands before it hit the concrete. safe and sound, he set it by the momma and the other stunned sibling, still recovering from its painful leap.One by one the babies continued to jump. Each time Michael hid under the awning just to reach out in the nick of time as the duckling made its free fall. The downtown sidewalk came to a standstill. Time after time, Michael was able to catch the remaining 8 and set them by their approving mother. At this point Michael realized the duck family had only made part of its dangerous journey. They had 2 full blocks to walk across traffic, crosswalks, curbs, and pedestrians to get to the closest open water, the San Antonio River. The onlooking office secretaries and several San Antonio police officers joined in. They brought an empty copy paper box to collect the babies. They carefully corralled them, with the mother’s approval, and loaded them in the container.Michael held the box low enough for the mom to see her brood. He then slowly navigated through the downtown streets toward the San Antonio River . The mother waddled behind and kept her babies in sight. As they reached the river, the mother took over and passed him, jumping into the river and quacking loudly.
At the water’s edge, he tipped the box and helped shepherd the babies toward the water and to their mother after their adventurous ride.All ten darling ducklings safely made it into the water and paddled up snugly to momma. Michael said the mom swam in circles, looking back toward the beaming bank bookkeeper, and proudly quacking. Live simply, Love generously, Care deeply, Speak kindly. And leave the rest to God
Discover Snow Monkeys, Cranes and Other Natural Wonders of the Land of the Rising Sun!
Sit with the famed Snow Monkeys of Nagano as they soak in natural hot springs
Watch thousands of graceful cranes at two serene sanctuaries
Discover the tranquil beauty of Japan’s mountains and marshes in the winter
A mention of Japan often evokes images of fast-paced urban life and cutting-edge technology. But that’s just one side of this surprising country. The other is its lesser-known natural splendor. From the snow-capped peaks of Japan’s ancient volcanoes to its abundant wildlife dwelling in deep forests and coastal wetlands, wild Japan is diverse and breathtaking. We visit in winter, when crowds are few and natural backdrops are enhanced by the glitter of snow. This is a season of peace and enchantment, when tens of thousands of hooded and white-naped cranes dance together on the island of Kyushu, majestic red-crowned cranes congregate in the Hokkaido lowlands, and snow monkeys gather to bask in geothermal hot springs.
2 choice departures in 2010! From $8495 per person, double occupancy; single rates available