Diploma, Owl Boxes and Travel

October 4, 2012

Owl Box at Skyview Apartments
Pflugerville, Texas

Display at Skyview Apartments
Austin’s T-shirt Design


So much has been going on and Donna and I have been on a 9,000 mile road trip. Six thousand by car and three thousand by plane. We gave up on the motor home and got in Donna’s new PriusV and hit the road. What a fun car to dive. We packed just enough to get by which included lots of yarn for Donna to knit. We visited Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Texas. Wahoo!

We stopped at any place that looked interesting, we just pulled over and checked it out. No worry where to park the Big Rig. We stayed at the historic Lake Yellowstone Hotel where they had no tv or internet. OMG what do we do now? Being unplugged is a shock to one’s system; others there also seem to be suffering the effect too. I set up a hot spot at one of the stores in Yellowstone National Park and I thought I was going to be mobbed with people wanting to get online. They were so disappointed when I told them it was a private connection and there was no internet connection at the store. The Zombies walked off with heads hanging low.

If you want to see a beautiful lake check out Bear Lake north of Salt Lake City. It is like a body of water in the Caribbean, a beautiful turquoise blue. We rented a lake view condo for three days and pigged out on local raspberries in ice cream, milkshakes and chocolate. Yes, fresh ice cold raspberries dipped in milk chocolate would just explode with juice and flavor. Mmm, good. And then there was Flathead lake were we rented a cabin right on the lake, absolutely beautiful and relaxing with a doe and two fawns feeding in the front yard. We didn’t want to leave and checked on prices but with lakefront starting at a million dollars we packed up and headed to North Dakota to see the oil boom.

And what a boom it is. Cars, trucks and oilmen going every which direction and in a small town like Dickinson that can be a sight to behold. Food and hotel rooms were at a premium, if you could find one and that is after they have added a thousand rooms. I got the feeling it was just like the gold rush days in California. Lots of excitement and employment with building and a lot development going on everywhere. Need a job, go to North Dakota young man, go to North Dakota. Just keep in mind that while the pay is good the rent is high, think New York or San Francisco prices in the middle of the prairie. We did have two of the best steaks of our life in Dickinson at the Brickhouse Grille. Knock your socks off delicious with horseradish in the mashed potatoes but not to much, just enough to make you wonder what it was.

We managed to get out of town without a gun fight and headed to Deadwood, South Dakota. We had already seen Mount Rushmore and the presidents carved out of stone before so this time we checked out Crazy Horse but found the most interesting story was about the guy who started the project over 50 years ago and as close as I could tell it will take at least another 50 years to complete, maybe more. If you are going to dream, dream big!

From North Dakota we cut across Wyoming checking out Cheyenne, Laramie and Green River as we worked our way back home also visiting Saint George, Utah and Las Vegas, Nevada. Just remember, what you take to “Vegas stays in Vegas.” Need I say more.

Back home we had no time to relax because we needed to go to Pflugerville, Texas and check out the transformation of Skyview Aapartments. Roscoe Properties had informed us that Skyview was now 97% occupied. We hopped on a plane to see for ourselves and to celebrate with them because it has been a hard 9 month long struggle to get them there.

To our surprise, they had also installed an owl box on the property. Seems they knew about the Molly Story, which brings up the next topic. Austin, our grandson, who made the Molly The Owl videos puts on his purple cap and gown October 12th at the Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center at 7 PM to receive his AA degree. Yes, we are proud of him.

You can check out his portfolio atAustin’s Portfolio  if you want to see what he has been learning in school. He is not finished yet but is half way there. He is now enrolled to get his BA degree. We want to thank all the Molly Watchers that have supported him. We know many of you feel a personal connection. Like one lady said with pride to Donna at a recent knit-a-thon, “I helped pay for Austin’s education,” and she is right. You can take pride in that you have helped a young man blossom. We have watched him go from a 17 year old kid to a young man on his way to success and greatness.

May your life be blessed,

Carlos, Donna and Austin


Other Goodies  (Just for fun)

Eric’s New Book: Fearless Click Here Save 41%

Fearless  is on New York Times Best Seller List of books to read.

Have you ordered your personal copies of the Molly Songs? If not be sure to check them out on iTunes.

Music: http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/barbara-allen/id428385724

Merchandise: www.cafepress.com/mollytheowl

Photo of McGee by Carlos Royal:  http://www.cafepress.com/mollytheowl.628020845

Books: www.mollytheowlbooks.com

Molly Watchers E-Cookbook http://mollytheowlbooks.com/store/books-bookmarks/molly-watchers-e-cookbook.html

Movies: www.austin4media.com

2012 Calendar www.cafepress.com/mollytheowl

Austin’s Designs (Your purchases help him pay for his schooling)http://www.cafepress.com/austin4media

52 Responses to “Diploma, Owl Boxes and Travel”

  1. DianaJoe Says:

    I think we all feel a special connection with Austin and you. You have taught us much. Thanks for the update I have been to all those places and you described them perfectly.

  2. linda howard Says:

    Carlos, My nephew that lives is Sturgis Sd won 659,000.00 at deadwood last April!

  3. Jo-Ann Says:

    I glanced at my email and “WOW” I was so excited when I saw a message from Carlos… Opened it immediately and so enjoyed the contents. I guess I was really missing your communications…Sounds like a wonderful trip and most of these are the places that I haven’t visited yet.. You have been missed!!!!!

  4. janice Veteran Says:

    Wish I had known you were going to be in Pflugerville so I could have come by and said hi. I have seen Great Horn owls in the area. There was a Juvenal GHO in one of my trees one day.
    Glad you had a good trip.
    Janice Veteran

  5. CAequuslvr Says:

    This is so great to hear from you. So glad you & Donna have had many wonderful, safe driving miles. Carlos, I always enjoy your travel blog. Thanks so much for sharing.
    Austin–so talented. Keep up the good work.
    Miss you all so much. Take care & Be well.

  6. Sherry Kelly Says:

    So good to hear from you Carlos – and so happy to hear all about the wonderful trip that you and Donna took. Also glad to hear news about “our” Austin. Thanks for sharing and keeping in touch!

  7. Michelle Says:

    Carlos & Donna it was so good to hear from you. Your adventures sound wonderful and I have to admit I am a bit jealous. Hope that someday hubby and I can just take off and see this beautiful country. Congrats to Austin. You are right when you say we have seen him grow from a kid to a young man. He is such a talented young man. Must take after his Grandfather!!! Take care and keep in touch. We love hearing from you.

  8. Karen Robinson Says:

    oh, Carlos, don’t tell about Bear Lake! it is a beautiful place, and they have the most wonderful raspberries in summer…….

  9. Karen Robinson Says:

    Congratulations, Austin! you did it and more………..

  10. Wolfgirl44 Says:

    Congratulations to Austin, who continues to make me feel inferior about my own academic progress. =)

  11. camperfamily Says:

    I was just sitting outside and heard my friend…who-o-o who-o-o! I closed my eyes and was thinking of M&M ( I know they are barn owls). Then I come in and see your email! Nature has it’s way of letting us know that we are all together! Sounds like a wonderful trip! Congrats to Austin!

  12. OwlyKats Says:

    Carlos and Donna,
    It is so good to hear from you. You 2 have had quite the adventure. Carlos you are so like my dad, he would have a destination set but would take the road less traveled and find the best hole in the wall places to stop at. Boy I sure do miss him. I hope you know how much I love your travel blogs.
    Glad you both had a Grand Time.
    Congratulations Austin, keep up the great work and dedication.

    Love and Blessing to you all. So glad to hear from you!

    Hello to all my OWL Lovin Friends I Miss YOU!

    Kathleen S
    COwlorado Springs.

  13. YTQ Says:

    It’s wunnerful to have an update, Donna and Carlos!

  14. Linda Greene Says:

    Congratulations to Austin..keep up the good work!!
    Donna and Carlos..so glad you got a Prius..Love mine and have had it for 6 years now and still going strong with great mpg. Love hearing about your travels and hearing from you!! Thanks for keeping us updated as we miss you both.
    (on the side; my daughter, chat name CuteLibby got to hold a rescued barn owl this summer. What a treat.) ldgreene123

  15. Lisa Burns Says:

    Congrats to Austin! We are so proud of you!!!

    Wonderful to read your update Carlos and Donna! Now I want to visit all the places you spoke of too and eat steak and raspberry treats as well. Lol!!! So glad about the owl box. Keep us updated. Missed you, but can sure see how busy you have been. So happy for my friends! : )
    Love from NE FL.

  16. June Schafer Says:

    Well, there you are! Always love getting a Molly’s Box email!! What a wonderful adventure you two had. My husband and I hope to take a trip like that in the not too distant future. We need to see the western part of our great country. How exciting that Skyview Apartments are pretty much full and they put up an owl box!! Congratulations! Also congratulations to Austin! Our boy has done so well and I am sure he will continue to make us proud!
    Pop in again soon!!

  17. kathy Says:

    So glad to hear you had a wonderful trip, after watching the owl box and all your broadcasts you seem like family. Hope you keep on posting and glad you visited SD when it was warm as it is suppose to snow tonight

  18. Sue Couch Says:

    Hi, Carlos and Donna…I thought last week that it was about time for a Royal update….and here ’tis. Wow! You’ve really been on the move and what wonderful experiences you described. And Austin …how marvelous to be graduating and stepping into the next phase of education. The owl box photo brings back such beautiful memories. Thanks!

  19. Vicki Eiden Says:

    I was just thinking that it has been a while since we had heard from you.
    Way to go Austin!!
    Your trip sounds fabulous. We have been to several of the places mentioned. Great news about the apartment complex.
    So glad you and Donna are having “fun” together.
    Blessings to the whole Royal Family!!


  20. FloridaSkye Says:

    Oh, Carlos, thank you for news of your wonderful travels. And heartiest congratulations to Austin for getting his AA degree. I always love hearing from you. FloridaSkye

  21. Diane from Montana Says:

    Carlos and Donna: It sounds like you guys had a wonderful vacation! I live in the Flathead Valley (Montana), just 7 miles north of Flathead Lake! I wish I would have known, I would have loved to have seen the two of you and showed you the sights. Congratulations Austin! I am sure the two of you are extremely proud of him!
    Diane Trout

  22. Beverly Unger Says:

    Thanks for the positn. Had just clicked on Molly’s Blog last night because I thought I may have missed a posting. Glad to know you were away having fun. May good fortune continue to follow you and your family, and all of our extended family out there in Mollyland.

  23. lilbirdz Says:

    Carlos and Donna, you are having quite the wonderful time: great food, fascinating sights, and a whole lot of knitting going on. I’m happy for both of you that you are enjoying life’s journey. I’m not surprised that our talented young man is already enrolled to continue his education (although I probably wouldn’t even understand what he’s majoring in!). We have missed your travel photos and blog notes. Does the owl box at Skyview have any tenants yet? May the blessings keep rolling in.


  24. jodimaher Says:

    Welcome home !! I am so happy to see a posting from my favorite Royal Family ! What an adventure 9,000 miles. I am so glad to hear that priorities were in order when you packed up knitting supplies and yarn for Donna! I love reading about all that you did on the trip and feel as though I just had a nice mini vacation reading through your story. The raspberries and chocolate sound delightful, and the lake, and the deer…. I agree with the comment above about how we are reminded sometimes how we are one with nature. Funny about your hotspot story Carlos. Have you ever seen the commercial with the parents and the little girl in the airport waiting for their flight? Parents went to go get coffee and the little girl starts taking money from people who she let use her connection! You could have made some money! Way to go on 97 percent occupied, what great news and a tribute to Molly and McGee by putting up an owlbox. I will be curious to hear if it attracts any visitors. So many exciting things going on this fall for the family. I cannot believe it’s been 2 years already and Austin is graduating! I wonder if we should have a USTREAM event for this ( ok, you can kick me now for saying that). I feel a connection and I am so proud of him and happy that he is our future ! Way to go Austin!! Please keep us updated on any happenings around the Royal backyard. I think of M&M each and every day, I’ve met some of the most wonderful people through all of this. Looking forward to seeing you on houseinvesting soon! xoxoxox Jodimaher MOD !

  25. Donna Simonson Says:

    Ah. . .
    our dear friend, it was past time to hear from you, Donna and Austin. I had thought of you all just within the last few days. That warm fuzzy feeling was renewed with your blog post. Thank you so much. My dad was from South Dakota and yes I’ve been to Deadwood and my dad’s final resting place is at the foot of the Black Hills in Rapid City. Dad knew all the unknown fishing spots for trout as a local. You and Donna are the best and yes I am proud to say, ‘gee wasn’t that fun and I was a part of it!” Austin I couldn’t be more proud of you . . . I remember at the first picnic when my husband and I were leaving and you told us you were going to be making a DVD about Molly. Well as they like to say, “the rest is history”! I am so glad to have helped in a small way to help one fine young man on to his way to accomplishing great things. We love and cherish all of you “owlways”. Keep posting, please!

    Love, hugs and prayers “owlways”,
    OwlLuver, Murrieta, CA

  26. loveyourdna Says:


    Don’t you just love a good road trip?? My dream one day is to get an RV and travel the states and visit/volunteer at all the wonderful animal rescue’s I’ve been following on SPO and facebook. Your trips are always inspiring as I imagine myself following along the same routes.

    So happy for Austin (and me too) as I contributed to his education in a very small way. He will no doubt succeed!

    The Owl Box is a perfect addition to Pflugerville. Molly and McGee would approve!!!

    take care. keep us posted…

  27. Leta Says:

    Such pleasure to read about your travels and about Austin’s successes. Who could know that Molly and McGee would be the origin of so many success stories, also for Eric Blehm and others. All good, fun, entertaining…you are all such wonderful contributors to life. May you continue to be blessed, all was not without very hard work and vision. Thank you so much for all you have given to yours, Donna’s and Austin’s fans, as well as all who have contributed to these successes.

    Please keep us posted about your travels and your Pflugerville investment. The owl box there was a tribute!


  28. erindort Says:

    It was great to read all the fun news. I am so happy that you and Donna are enjoying your travel time; reading this post made me realize all-over-again just how much you guys gave up 2010 and 2011. (Thank you again for the Molly experience) Carlos, your words for Austin are perfect…”a young man on his way to success and greatness”. Austin, we are so proud!!

  29. Kim Gorman Says:

    Welcome home to the intrepid travelers, and thank you for the wonderful report on your travels! Big, big congratulations to Austin on this first step of his big college journey from ‘all his aunts and uncles’ here in Molly land. By the way, any word about our girl?

    Kim and Dave

  30. Vikster Says:

    Dearest Carlos & Donna: Just sat down with morning coffee and my busy backyard birds. It’s a wonderful life you share with your internet family, and I am enriched beyond words. You give me a spiritual lift, and remind me that life is at it’s fullest when you look for Joy.

    Love & Peace to everyone

  31. Lisa Says:

    Great to hear from you and just love your adventures! Now all that new owl box needs is a camera lol. Congratulations to Austin!

  32. Madonna Says:

    Good to hear from you…so glad you are enjoying life! Congrats to Austin! Keep us posted.

  33. Judy Sackson Says:

    Welcome home from your fabulous trip! We missed you! I love to read your descriptions of your travels, Carlos, you two have such a wonderful time whereever you go (that’s a special talent, I think!)
    Glad to hear about Skyview…97%! Wow! And an owl box, how appropriate!
    Austin is right on scedule, and doing all his M&M family proud! He will go far in life!
    Keep the updates coming! We love them!

  34. Diana Briscoe Says:

    So glad that you guys are seeing the States. Thanks for taking me along. When I read your adventures I can picture all the places that I will probably never see. Always great to hear from you. Oh how I miss the Owl Box! God Bless you and Donna on your travels.

  35. Sarah Lehl Says:

    I am just so delighted to hear from you all again! It sounds like you have had many grand adventures and here’s to many more! Congratulations Austin.
    Hugz, Sarah

  36. sandy/Racoona Says:

    How wonderful to take such a long road trip! Lucky you guys! Also, so proud of Mr. Austin…and I was glad to help out with his education as well! I still take walks over by “the Owl Box” and Walnut Grove Park, and always think of Molly and (sniff) McGee. Sure miss those days, but , hey, thanks for keeping all of us posted on your adventures. Apartments look and sounds great. Good for you!

  37. Cathy Messer Says:

    Congratulations to Austin! You all have to be so proud of him, I know your followers are. Love your posts from Molly’s Box you all feel so much like family :). What a wonderful trip you and Donna had, I am envious. Blessings!

  38. Nancy Anthony (homedaleteach) Says:

    Congratulations to Austin! It is wonderful to know we were a part of his success, if only by paying for a part of it.
    Carlos and Donna, my husband and I took a trip this past summer similar to yours. We did take our travel trailer and cat and logged over 8000 miles. We live in SW Idaho, travelled north to Glacier NP (love Flathead Lake) and then off to Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse and the Badlands. If you did not take the journey through Custer State Park where there are 30,000 head of buffalo, you missed a real treat.
    We headed on to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and spent a week there, then south to Harbor Springs, MI where we spent July 4th with friends. Next down to see the lower peninsula and off to New Orleans to see daughter and grandkids. Spent a week there, then back home via Mesa Verde NP, Arches NP and Canyonlands NP.
    We stayed at a lot of KOAs and Good Sam places where they have plenty of pull through sites and Big Rig sites. If you do not have the app on our iPhone, please get RV Park Finder by Trailer Life Directory. It is wonderful and I rate it 5+ stars. We would decide during the day where we thought we would like to stop, look up a park using this app, check out its facilities, and then call and make a reservation. It worked every time!
    Sorry I missed your live show.

  39. Vickie Says:

    I was looking at photos on Flicker that Angowleyez took of Molly and McGee and reliving the wonderful sweet time and fellowship while people across the world watched this phenomenon. My thoughts turned to you, Carlos and Donna, and how you are doing. I’d love to hear/see your latest travels and adventures! Thank you for everything.

    Love, VeeTX

    • carlosroyal Says:

      Donna and I are in Bangkok, Thailand just starting a 30 day cruise. It is extremely hot here this time of the year. We had a great time today exploring this city of 12 million friendly people.

      All the best,

      Carlos Royal

      • VeeTX Says:

        Thailand!!! How wonderful. I know a few thousand people who would love to see pictures if you have the time to post. Keep having fun – we love y’all.

      • Jo-Ann Says:

        Thank you so much for the update… Loved Thailand… be sure to take the elephant ride. Happy trails…Have a wonderful trip…I look forward to your next updates. So happy that you keep us updated on your lives…

  40. YTQ Says:

    Maybe your house is for sale? I assume it still has the owl box? Oh what fun to think about it! HA!
    I’m so happy to hear from you, and hear about Austin. Everything sounds wonderful in your lives; praying it will stay that way.
    Watching new owls, now, and I can’t help but hold these owls to the same standard that Molly and McGee gave us, and many times they fall short. Maybe a little bias going on? But this new clutch of Roy and Dale’s are so precious! And remind me of Molly’s Fab Four. Keep on having fun and enjoying life, I think of you very often and remember “the good ole days”. What a treasure we gained from your owl box! Priceless!

  41. floridaskye Says:

    I hope you enjoy your visit to Thailand. Thank you for the update and safe travels to you and Donna!! Love, FloridaSkye

  42. Hmm is anyone else encountering problems with the
    images on this blog loading? I’m trying to determine if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog.
    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  43. When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment
    is added I get four e-mails with the same comment.
    Is there any way you can remove me from that service?

  44. robbe mcgregor Says:

    Has anyone watched this wonderful video on the barn owl and cat? It brought back such memories of us all watching Molly and McGee. http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=mWhD5bc6Fmg&vq=large

    • Jo-Ann Says:

      Thank you Robbe McGregor… I loved loved loved it… I smiled all the way through it and sent it to all my email friends… I really enjoyed it and it did bring back lots of very fond memories and hours and days of my time… thank you again….Jo-Ann

  45. VeeTX Says:

    Been a while since we heard from y’all and wondering what you’re up to these days, where you’ve been, etc. We’d sure love some photos if you have time to post. Praying for your safety during your travels. You two are living my dream! Have fun and know that there are a lot of folks who love you and thank you for all you did. A lot of we Molly/McGee chatters stay in touch, and VacaDude broadcasts occasionally as his work allows. We also love to hear about Austin and what he’s doing. I hope my grandson grows up to be like him.

    What a ride!!!! It was fun and I’m glad I was a part of it!

  46. Jo-Ann Says:

    Well said VeeTx….. I agree. Would love to hear some updates..

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