Sunday, July 27, 2008

Weekend of July 18-20th, 2008

I'm finally getting around to posting last weekend's trip to Rayford. Work has been crazy and I just haven't taken the time to make this post.....

I took Stella up to the park on Wednesday night so she could spend some time with Brenda before they had to leave for Memphis. We met Ted and Donna and Rick and Brenda at the Sweet Tomato restaurant where we had a good meal of salads. We love to eat here and do so every time we get a chance to. I went back home and they brought Stella back to the park for me, so I wouldn't have to go out of my way. Thanks guys.....

Rick and Brenda were staying in Ted and Donna's house but had to get back to Memphis where Rick was working in his brother's exotic grass farm. And no, it's not that kind of grass either, it's a type of baseball/football field grass thats very hardy. They left Thursday to go back. Ted and Donna had just returned from their long summer trip and had left their trailer at their dealer's lot in Lufkin to have some new body panels installed after suffering a tire blowout that damaged their trailer. They had similar damage done to the other side last summer. At this rate, they'll have a new trailer in a couple more years and the best thing is, Goodyear is paying for it!

I went to work (ugh...) Thursday and Friday and returned to the park on Friday evening. About the time I got to the park, I was told that Ricky Cobb's mother had passed away in San Antonio. She had been diagnosed with cancer a while back and it finally got her. So sad! We went to Casa Imperial with the regular group that also includedBill and Ornell Sims, Harry and Judy Hartley and Jim and Sheila Gratz. We found this restaurant a while back and love it. They have good food at a reasonable price, but don't tell everyone. We don't want them to get so popular they raise their prices. We returned to the park and sat around outside talking until around 10 o'clock or so when I conked out and went to bed. I always sleep so well in the trailer....

Saturday morning we got up and fixed a breakfast of pancakes (Donna) and bacon (Bill and Ornell). We didn't get too much accomplished today but Ted did get his rig washed down after the long trip. Harry and Judy left to go to Texarkana for a funeral. I went down to the office where I reserved our space for next October after retirement. I am getting excited about the upcoming fun of traveling. I decided on space #115 which is the last space on the far back side of the park. The good thing about this site is that it has early afternoon shade but this all may change if the park goes ahead with their expansion project. I'm not too sure about their timetable but everything will change when that happens. I also reserved 25 sites for October 17th-19th 2009 for another Heartland rally at Rayford. We met another couple named Ted and Norma that were in a motorhome next to us. I gave them a Boomer packet so they can look into joining the Texas Boomers. This is the primary way we have recruited new members over the years, strictly by word of mouth and folks seeing how much fun we have.

We got up Sunday morning and began the fold up-put away process. It's funny that I can get fully set up in less than an hour but it takes me all morning long to get the same stuff picked up and put away. I guess its because I stop to talk to the others around me that are doing the same thing. We got away from the park around 12:30. The trip home took a little over an hour, which is not too bad considering we are dragging our home behind us.

So long until the next one!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Weekend of July 11-13, 2008

This is the weekend that our friends Rick and Brenda Taube come back to Houston. We left the trailer at Rayford so we could be there when they returned. We drove up Friday night and met Harry and Judy, who are staying in the park for the month of July and of course Ricky and Dee who are living there. We all went to Hooters Friday night for hot wings and beer. There were some girls representing Miller that were handing out free Miller Chill beer. It's a beer with lime that comes in an aluminum can shaped like a tall boy. The can seems to be real cold but the beer inside it isn't all that cold and none of us were impressed with it. It was great because it was free, but I probably wouldn't buy it, but I'm not that much of a beer drinker anyway. We went back to the park and all got in the hot tub and pool. It's so relaxing and we all slept like babies.

Saturday morning, Harry and Judy had to go to Texarkana to a funeral. We just sat around the trailer most of the day. I went to the office and tried to decide which space we want to reserve for next year in October when we return from our first month on the road after retirement. All of the end spaces are available and we will probably end up in space #94. This is starting to get exciting, making plans for being retired and living in the trailer. We're going to Blue Spruce RV park in Colorado for the month of September or until it starts to snow, then down to Albuquerque New Mexico for the baloon festival and then back to Rayford sometime around the 10th of October.

Ricky washed his truck and parts of his trailer and got through around noon. He came over and wanted to go somewhere to eat lunch. We decided to barbecue some chickens tonight so after eating at the Tai Pei restaurant, we stopped off at Kroger and picked up the chicken and other items for tonight. We invited Jim and Sheila Gratz over to eat with us. He is retired from the Houston Police Dept. after 28 years. They travel a lot but maintain their home in Trinity. They are friends from the Heartland club and have one of the older Landmark trailers.

Sunday morning we drank our coffee and Rick and Brenda came over about 9 o'clock after Mass. We went to the Forest Cafe in the Woodlands for breakfast. We rode over to the Timber Ridge Village, the new park Gwen and Billy recently bought and looked around. They have improved the park a lot, but Rick's little car scraped on the speed bumps. They came back to the trailer and we visited with them 'til about 2. They still have some relatives to go see while they're here. They made a flying trip in from Memphis where Rick is working with his brother. They were supposed to have stayed at Ted and Donna's house but when they got there the air conditioner was out and couldn't be fixed this weekend. They ended up going to the extended stay hotel but will have to leave on Friday. Rick spoke with Donna this morning to tell her about the a/c problems. She wasn't happy to know that they will be coming home to a hot house with no air conditioning. They also suffered another blowout on their trailer but Goodyear is replacing all their tires at no cost. They still have some body damage on the trailer to get fixed in Lufkin.

We returned home about 4 o'clock and after Stella cut the grass in the back yard (I had already cut the front yard earlier in the week) we went down and took the boys to Uncle Chan's restaurant in Texas City for supper.

A nice ending to the weekend.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Saturday, July 5, 2008

I went home after work last night and drove back to the park about 9AM. When I got there, they were still serving the breakfast but I wasn't hungry. I had some coffee and hung out in the rally room for awhile before going back to the trailer to sleep some more. I didn't get much accomplished today because I was so sleepy.

Greg and Jackie had come in yesterday but I didn't get to see too much of them. Rob and Delia had come in with their new Open Roads fifth wheel trailer but I didn't get to go inside it to check it out.

I got dressed for work about the time the ice cream social began in the rally hall, and it was the same time that Michael Maker started playing. I got to stay and listen to two or three songs before I had to leave for work.

It was a dead night for work too. I guess that's a good thing for the police to be inactive, but it sure made for a looooong night. After work I drove back to the park. It worked out much better that way. I had to sleep with Tyler and Cameron who were sleeping in my bed but I don't think that either of them even knew I was there. I talked to Stella for a while before going to bed and slept until about 10.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Friday, July 4, 2008

We woke up on Friday morning and started getting ready for everyone to come over for breakfast. All we had to do was make the coffee but Stella kept busy in the kitchen. I wasn't needed, so I went outside where it was nice and shady and with a nice breeze, a very pleasant morning. Everyone started showing up about 7:30, and we ended up feeding about 20 people again. The BLT sandwiches were great (as usual) and Ricky fried up some eggs for those of us that wanted one on our sandwich.

It was a very laid-back morning. After finishing up our breakfast, I went back inside the trailer to try to nap a little bit because I have to work tonight (ugh!). I decided that I'm not going to let that fact affect my weekend, and tried my best to keep my attitude up. It still sucks to have to work on a holiday weekend, especially since I had plans that had been made months in advance. I guess thats the reason they pay me the big

I ended up leaving the park about 3 o'clock so I could beat any traffic or backups related to tonight's firework display downtown. I made it home just fine and just hung out at the house before having to get dressed for work. I got a call about 5:20 about an intoxicated driver that had been involved in a traffic accident. The officer said the man was uncooperative and had gone to sleep in the jail cell without being booked in. I went in about 30 minutes early to help out with him and had the search warrant affidavit all filled out and the DA called as well as a Judge to sign the warrant, but the man woke up and agreed to give the blood sample. We took him to a local hospital and had no further problems with him. Another officer made three arrests for intoxication, and a few fireworks were confiscated and tickets written to the owners, but otherwise it was an easy night.

I went back home and slept for a couple of hours before going back to the park for the day.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Thursday July 3, 2008

We got up this morning and just hung out in the trailer. Stella fixed us some pigs in a blanket for breakfast. We decided to go get our errands run this mornign to get ready for the rest of the weekend, but we just piddled around and didn't get away from the trailer until almost 1 o'clock.

I have been wanting to add an extra fuel tank to the truck for a long time. I want a flat tank that will fill the bed of the truck between the cab and the wheel wells/fifth wheel hitch so that I can add 40-50 gallons of diesel and still be able to lay my portable porch for the trailer in the bed on top of the tank. A friend of mine in Manvel had found a tank like what I wanted at the Trailer Wheel and Frame store on the north freeway. It was supposed to have been aluminum which is a must in diesel trucks because an iron tank will sweat, contaminating the fuel. At today's prices, I don't want to do anything to damage my fuel or the truck by getting water in the fuel. When I got to the store, they were very busy and it took a long time to get waited on. The man who waited on me did not know anything about a tank like I described but he did take me into the storeroom to see what they had in stock. I found one that I might have been able to use, and it was $700 installed and out the door and Stella said no to that! I'll keep looking though and maybe something will turn up.

We did the usual Sam's and Wal Mart thing and spent a lot of money but we're well prepared for the weekend, at least food-wise. We bought hamburger meat and hot dogs for tonight and came back to the park. Our friends Bill and Ornell from Port Acres had just arrived as well as our old neighbors Rob and Delia in their new Open Roads trailer. We all got together around 6 o'clock and started doing the hamburgers on Ricky's grill. Ricky is quite the chef on this new grill. We ended up with about 25 people eating with us. Quite a change from Harry and my original plans to have a small, quiet family weekend.

I forgot that I had signed up for a poolside "meet and greet" that was sponsored by the park. We were right in the middle of eating our hamburgers at that time and none of us showed up. Oops......

Kim, Jeremy and the boys arrived about 9. I was glad they got there all right. I worry about anyone that has to travel on a holiday weekend after dark. They had already eaten and of course the boys hooked up with the other kids in the park and wandered off. They later decided not to sleep in the trailer with us but stayed in the cabin with their mother.

We are in a very shady site so we all agreed to come to our site in the morning for breakfast. Harry and Judy had gone to Froberg's farm and bought some vegatables including a lot of tomatoes which were wonderful on our BLT sandwiches.

Another great day at Rayford.

Wednesday July 2, 2008

This evening we took the trailer up to Rayford for the 4th of July weekend. A few months ago, Harry Hartley and I had gotten together and decided to have our families come to the park for the 4th of July weekend, since it fell on a Friday. We made the reservations for all three cabins, one for Jennifer and Jay and of course baby Ian who had not yet been born and including Melissa; Kim, Jeremy and the boys and Harry had his daughters Lisa and Maureen and her two boys Cody and Ryan in the other cabin. Sadly Jennifer and her group had to back out because of the costs. Those gas prices are hitting everyone!

When we got to the park, there was already a pretty good crew there. Harry and Judy, Maureen and the boys, Steve and Pat Wilson, Tommy and Susan Hathcock and of course Ricky and Dee Cobb who live there and some other friends from the Heartland rally, Emmitte and Cary Hall who had just gotten to the park to live a week or so ago. When we arrived, they had already fixed some coney islands to eat, so we had something to eat when we got there. We just sat around visiting with some others that were in the park for the weekend. It was good to see our old friends back from their travels. I stayed up until almost 10 o’clock (shock!) and the rest stayed out ‘til about 11 before turning in.

A good start to the holiday weekend....