Use the “Prev” and “Next” links to click forward or backward through the images in this gallery.[portfolio_slideshow]Thanks for the great turnout at the first TCC Texas Chapter meeting of 2012 in Houston. We saw new members Sylvia and Ronnett, new faces, and dedicated members that traveled from Austin, Dallas, and outside the Houston metro. Special thanks to our featured speaker, Dr. Champion, for his enlightening presentation — we are all ready to head to the ends of the earth to see the 19 species of penguins! Following are some highlights from the meeting:
- Kay Champion, MD shared his amazing (and fulfilled) 13 year quest of visiting all 19 species of penguins in the wild. From Emperor penguins to Fiordland Crested penguins, his photos and maps brought nature to life for us. We were also impressed at the logistics of taking ice-breaking ships until the ice will break no more – then heading off on the ship’s helicopter to get near enough to then trek to the penguins for photos. Such determination left us in awe. For more information, click on his website: www.pkpenguins.com. Well done, Dr. Champion!
- We also celebrated Dr. Terry Myers attaining Gold Status of 200 countries! He actually missed our last meeting since he was working to reach Gold. Now we have 11 members in Texas that have reached this country count (10 current and 1 that has moved to Diamond Status of 300). Congrats!
- New TCC Texas Chapter members were welcomed: Ms. Carolyn Barkley of Austin, Mr. James Griffith of San Antonio, Mrs. Ronnett Mitchell of Deer Park, Mr. Mark Ramsey of Grapevine, and Mrs. Sylvia Russell of Houston. We also have a new provisional member: Mr. Geoff Connor of Austin. Our Texas Chapter now has 91 members and 11 provisional members.
- Our around the room sharing of travel tips or favorite destinations was delightful and included Jack’s letter from Brittany, France (written by his precious dog) and Bill’s retinal detachment warning. I hope I captured everything accurately — some notable favorites: Cheryl loved Equatorial Guinea, Jerry has been many places but the USA is his favorite, Donna‘s “will be” Tahiti (after her delayed honeymoon spot is finally reached), Bill and Jim favor New Zealand, Diane B. loves any island where she can swim though any passion that you can pursue makes great travel, Tom loves the Dunhuang Caves in China’s Silk Road, JR says a good friend makes great travel, Silvia enjoys any place with a waterfall like Iguazu Falls, Mark was keen on Galapagos, Barbara and Dr. Pat favor Antarctica, Kay is a fan of St. Petersburg, David and Ronnett like too many places but advise on trip insurance (which saved them after his recent collar bone injury), Jordan‘s recent trip to Afghanistan and Pakistan was a favorite and his trip advice was to use frequent flyer miles on all the airline alliances, Wendell loves the “closed off” places like Myanmar and gave us a reminder to always leave your pocket knife at home, Diane M. agreed that trip insurance is key (helps when having heart attacks in Turkey) and loves Bali (even their funerals), Larry‘s tip was to avoid going to Euro Disney with kids < 5 years old but to always travel with the one you love, Marian says everyone should get a good husband for traveling, Cynthia enjoys the Rwanda gorilla treks, Jeff said his favorite place is the USA, and Terry enjoys playing pranks on his wife with French mansions — too clever!
Gary Elliott, President of Texas Wine/Grape Growers, will be the featured speaker at the April 14 meeting at Driftwood Vineyards in the Austin area. It will be a tasting and wine education program. Other meetings for 2012 are on July 14 in Houston and October 13 in Dallas. All meetings are on Saturdays, from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.
Go Texans and safe travels.
—Kim-Kay Randt, Area Coordinator