Germany · My Thoughts

Our First Two Fun-Filled Days in Bavaria

Our first two fun-filled days came after two travel days. On September 12 we left Albuquerque, NM and arrived in Munich on September 13. Then we began to sample our destination in the next two days.

  • September 12—Day 1: Travel Day
  • September 13—Day 2: Travel Day
  • September 14—Day 3: Frelichtmuseum—Farmer’s Museum. Dancing after dinner.
  • September 15—Day 4: Berchtesgaden: Salt Mines & Eagle’s Nest Tour. Dancing after dinner.

September 12

What a delightful start we had on September 12 for this trip: we didn’t have to get up at 0-dark-30! We left the house at 10:00 am, ate lunch at the airport and had a leisure time at the airport. But we worried about our connection in Chicago because we only had one hour and twenty minutes, and this was our international connection. However, when we got to Chicago, we faced a two-hour delay. That didn’t bother me at all! We met up with friends from Las Vegas, NV and visiting with them made the time go quickly.

Also, I prepared for my e-book launch the next day of my new book, Hair on Fire: A Heartwarming & Humorous Christmas Memoir. That launch went on in the background of this entire trip.

Here’s a copy of haiku I wrote when we settled into our seats on our plane for Germany:

I love to travel. 

The secret is: flexible! 

It took years to learn!

We are moving now.

Two-and one-half hours late!

Now I am hungry!

Beforehand, we bought Economy Plus or something like that for the international leg of the trip, so we had plenty of leg room. Also, we sat on one side with three seats and the seat next to me was empty, so I stretched out and slept on some of the flight. Lin sleeps easily when we fly.

September 13

Waking up on an airplane fascinates me—so many miles have sped away! When we arrived in Munich, Germany, they checked our passports, then we got our bags—our bags came quickly. Then we met with up Gina & Curtis Crisp, our tour guides. Tom rode to Grassau on our bus. Off to Grassau, we went an hour and a half drive. 

They dropped us off at the Sperrer Hotel, the headquarters for the tour, for an orientation meeting. Then Curtis made two trips to transport all the apartment residences over to Gameis Apartments. When we arrived, our bags waited at the door. We had a gorgeous apartment in the Bungalow there. Ahead of time, we had volunteered to stay in the apartments and do the ten-minute walk over to the Hotel Sperrer daily.

So, at our welcome dinner, the Mayor of Grassau greeted us and a man played “the alphorn,” which I have seen on the TV commercial for Ricola cough drops. The actual size amazed me and then how it came apart. They continued the evening’s festivities with a welcome dance, but exhaustion hit, so we walked home in the rain. My yellow raincoat I bought at the Edinburgh castle in May came in handy, repeatedly!

September 14 

The next morning, we slept in and learned that was a bad idea! All the eggs and bacon/sausage were gone, so I had granola, which was delicious! A morning routine started for us in the apartment: we walked over and met the bus at the chestnut tree, about a five-minute walk. Then we drove for forty-five minutes to the Frelichtmuseum—Farmer’s Museum.

What an amazing place! It reminded Lin and me of the Heritage Park Historical Village Living History Museum in Calvary, Canada we visited in 2012. We had too many choices and not enough time. So, we headed in the opposite direction of the rest of the tour and explored on our own. A quaint train provided transportation around the outdoor museum, which we hopped on a couple times. We saw old farm machinery and amazing accommodations, dating back to the 17th century, that housed the animals below and the people above on the second floor. Many meager homes had an altar in the kitchen’s corner.

Religion played an important role in the 17th century farmer’s life, so we saw a beautiful small chapel and crucifixes in various places. We saw wood used in unusual ways, like a water trough. They also used a small tree branch to tie up fences. Beautiful gardens dotted the landscape.

When we returned to Grassau, we had dinner first, then we square danced. A friend who had taken this tour in the past warned me about the barn, where we danced, being cold. So, I put on a long prairie skirt and long-sleeve top and warm socks, but they moved the dance to a different location, and I overheated! Lin and I thoroughly enjoyed dancing to Tony Oxendine (my favorite caller of all times) and Jet Roberts. We especially enjoyed dancing in a square with a Sweden caller, a German caller and Tony & Jet’s wives!

When we got home, I checked the free downloads of my new book: 2000! Wow!

What a glorious day we had!

September 15

This morning we arose earlier and enjoyed a great breakfast meeting a new couple from Tucson. We walked to the chestnut tree and enjoyed sitting near the front of the bus on the forty-five-minute drive to Berchtesgaden Salt Mines.

Salt Mines

First order of business: everyone had to put on a jumpsuit. Then they packed us onto a wooden bench on a string of compact cars like a train to travel down into the mine. We had to straddle the bench, and they kept packing us on like sardines. 

Going down the slide—I'm the one hidden in the back! First two days
Going down the slide—I’m the one hidden in the back!

When we stopped, the excitement began. Four of us together slid down a wooden plank. We went down with Dean Singleton and his girlfriend, Nina. Oh, what a ride! We toured that area, then went down another slide with John & Rosie from Las Vegas.

On our next adventure down in the mine, we rode a boat out on the brine and they had a light show. We ended with sampling the water—very salty.

Eagle’s Nest

From there we drove to the Eagle’s Nest in Austria, Hitler’s hide-away. We missed our reservation to go up to the Eagle’s Nest, so we had an hour delay. During this time, Lin and I shopped and bought souvenirs.

How breath-taking the bus ride up the mountain! When we arrived, we had to walk through a tunnel Curtis suggested we make note of, and the construction was amazing! Then we rode an elevator up to the Eagle’s Nest—eerie to think Hitler had been there!

Lin and I hiked to the top, the mountain above the Eagle’s Nest. I struggled with some of the steep incline but it was worth every step! We saw Salzburg in the distance—amazing panoramic view!

After dinner back in Grassau, we walked through a park, hoping to hear a band that set up there earlier, but they had finished their concert. How hard to believe the first two days of our time in Bavaria are gone! I continued to get free downloads of my new book. My comment in my journal at the end of the day: “I’m beat! I’m going to bed!”


Tom, Gina and Curtis Crisp made our first two days in Bavaria delightful. I plan on sharing more next week on the next four days of our trip. Be ready!


Hair on Fire: A Heartwarming & Humorous Christmas Memoir - Our first two days

Marshall Flippo · My Thoughts · square dance

How Do You Capture & Celebrate Marshall Flippo’s Big Life?

A Texas childhood, a young sailor in the Navy during World War II, a young caller struggling with some basics—all key pieces that led to a successful calling career and a big life for Marshall Flippo. But how do you capture it all?

How do you do it? In words, pictures and sound. Obviously, I did capture it with words and pictures in his authorized biography, Just Another Square Dance Caller. I wanted to bring that story to life.

We are a visual and auditory world today! As a retired teacher, I know the importance of visual tools. I saw it every day in my classroom; students responded better to any lesson with some visual aide. Whenever I added sound, it also enriched the student’s experience.

In our visual/auditory world, people live their lives attached to their SmartPhones, iPads and desktop computers. Our digital world overflows with visual and auditory stimulus, so I harnessed those tools in a fantastic marketing tool to capture some of Marshall Flippo’s big life—book trailers (like movie trailers).

Here’s some key findings about visual learning:

  • Of all the information transmitted to brain, 90% is visual.
  • As opposed to text, visuals are processed 60,000x faster.
  • Humans are capable of getting the sense of a visual scene in less than 1/10th of a second.
  • 40% of nerve fibres are linked to the retina.
  • Our brain can see images that last for only 13 milliseconds.
  • Human eye can register 36,000 visual messages every hour.

As a retired teacher, I know the importance of visual/auditory tools, so I’ve created three trailers to capture three keys areas of Flippo’s life: his childhood and Navy life, his after party skits, and his motto and where that led him here in the United States and the world.

Here are the three trailers! Let me know what you think!

I have a fourth one in production, but what would you suggest after that? I know I need to do one for CALLERLAB. How about Flippo’s athletic interests? What else?

selective focus photography of gray stainless steel condenser microphone
Photo by Magda Ehlers on

An auditory opportunity came out of the blue for Flippo’s book! Marty Northrup interviewed me on Monday, July 13, 2020 on his podcast, Marty’s Podcast about Flippo’s book. Here’s the link:

Marty has interviewed many national and international leader/callers in the square dance world, so I felt honored to share my stories about Flippo and his biography.

The list of callers he has interviewed is a Who’s Who of Calling:

  • Steve Kopman
  • Jerry Story
  • Gary Shoemake and Ken Bower
  • Jerry Biggerstaff & Greg Jones
  • Lilith Kopman
  • Darryl Lipscomb
  • Justin Russell
  • Elmer Sheffield, Jr.
  • Tom Miller
  • Randy Page
  • Texas Tornadoes—Ross Howell and Darryl Lipscomb
  • Marshall Flippo Remembered – John Flippo
  • Ken Ritucci
  • Wade Driver
  • Tony Oxendine
  • Patty Greene
  • Betsy and Roy Gotta
  • Ted Lizotte
  • Noah Siegman
  • Mike Sikorsky
  • Jerry Junck
group of people having neon party
Photo by Marcin Dampc on

Lastly, I will celebrate Flippo’s big life at the Zoom Release Party of his biography on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. MST. I will have door prizes, stories about the book production, and Flippo’s songs. Here’s the link to the Facebook event to register:

Visual, auditory, words—all tools to describe! After interviewing Flippo, I had over 258,000 words, so I had to condense that down considerably. His biography is nearly 600 pages long with over 450 pictures, depicting Marshall Flippo’s life, a very big life!

What do you think?

~DO YOU WANT AN PERSONALLY AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF THE FLIPPO BIOGRAPHY?   AVAILABLE NOW! New shipment coming in this wee! Yahooo! Go to my website and pay for it there:

ALL FOUR E-BOOK FORMATS OF FLIPPO’S BIOGRAPHY AVAILABLE NOW.  Apple Books (US) –                        Kobo (US) –                                                      Apple Books (CA) –                     Apple Books (UK) –                    Apple Books (AU) –                    Amazon Kindle (US) –         Amazon Kindle (UK) –                                                                   Amazon Kindle (CA) –                                                                       Barnes and Noble Nook (US) –

~ RELEASE PARTY of Flippo’s biography on Zoom on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 at 7:00 pm MST! Be ready! Door Prizes, the inside story, Flippo song bytes & interview clips and more!~Visit my web site for all the information

~Visit my web site for all the information you need about me and my books: