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Off to see THE WORLD

Highland Springs residents discover the joy of traveling with friends

Created date

May 22nd, 2012

Raford Cade is quick to dismiss the notion that he is taking on a second career as a tour guide. I just facilitate the trips, he says. Most of the planning has already been done. Since December 2011, Raford has facilitated three trips for his Highland Springs neighbors. The first, to San Antonio, was so popular that two more trips, to New Mexico and New Orleans, followed in quick succession. A number of Highland Springs residents didn t grow up around Dallas, Raford says. They moved to Texas to be closer to their children or other family members. Many of them are excited to visit nearby cities.

Alamo City, here we come

The idea for the Cade travel club, as it has become known around the community, stemmed from an invitation from one of Raford s long-time friends. A friend in Kansas organized a group there to visit San Antonio at Christmastime, says Raford. He called to ask if my wife Dorothy and I wanted to go. He said that Dallas was on the way, and the bus would stop and pick us up. Raford mentioned the trip to friends at Highland Springs. Word spread, and soon more than 40 residents signed up. We had to get another bus just for Highland Springs residents, he says. The trip, organized by a third-party travel company, included a visit to the LBJ Ranch near Stonewall, a stop at the World War II Memorial Museum, and a guided tour through San Antonio. We had such a good time, says Raford. The trip gave us the opportunity to deepen our relationships even further. Often, when you go on a trip like that, you re traveling with a group of strangers. That wasn t the case with us. It was fun to travel with friends. When the group arrived back in Dallas, it seemed as though residents had caught travel fever. Raford checked the travel company s listings and found a trip to New Mexico. Within days, he had neighbors signed up to visit Santa Fe and Albuquerque. We toured an Indian reservation and stopped at a casino, he says. The group took their third trip, to New Orleans, in late April. This time more than 50 people went. The five-day stay in the Big Easy included a cruise down the Mississippi River aboard the Steamboat Natchez and a visit to a plantation house to see antebellum architecture. The cost of the New Orleans trip, including transportation, hotel, all excursions, breakfasts, and four dinners, was very reasonable, says Raford.

Lock our door and go

As the founder of Moulding Associates, Inc., a company that specializes in making doors and related millwork from mahogany, Andean walnut, and Malaga cherry, Raford traveled all over the world looking for suppliers of exotic hardwoods. Dorothy and I moved to Highland Springs after I retired and sold my business to the Pella Corporation in 2007, says Raford. One of the great benefits of moving here has been the ability to lock our door and go. With more trips on the horizon, the Cades enjoy their freedom to travel without any worries on the home front. We re taking a trip to northern Italy in September with three other couples from Highland Springs, says Raford. We re looking forward to sharing our favorite places with friends.

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