Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tuesday March 31, 2009

I woke real early this morning but went back to sleep in my chair. I went down to the rally hall and got the coffee ready for the guys. We had a pretty good turnout, with Jim, Bill, Dwayne, Mack, Bob and Heartland owner Bob Curry.

I went back home after coffee and ate some grits for my breakfast. I worked around the house this morning; I put away my Texas Boomer flamingos and fishing rods to clean up under the trailer. I put the new hummingbird feeder pole together and hung it up in the yard. It will be interesting to see how many hummers I can attract. A cold front came in with rain and cooler weather, which ran me back inside. I read some and caught up with my blog, so it all worked out.

Jim B called asking about a reservation that wasn't showing up on my list of attendees. I went to the office and found that the man had signed up online and had a reservation, but I had no record of his name. I plan to change the way people sign up in the future. It is confusing when people do their own thing to register with the park and I don't have any record of it.

After getting bored with sitting around, Bill and I decided to ride up to the Haven's Landing KOA to check it out as a possible site for a Heartland rally. When we arrived, I was not real impressed when the young lady in the office told me that she could not tell me about the rally rates. I asked her what the rates would be and she said "it depends". When I asked her what it depended on, she said she didn't know. I don't know why they referred me to her in the first place when there is another lady named Judy that is the events manager. Judy came out and gave me the information that I need to plan our next rally.

We stopped and filled up Bill's truck and acme on back to the park. The Bobcat called me to ask about my fire pit. He was looking at one at Target that has an ice bucket included but he didn't buy it.

We came back to the park and sat around at Bill's trailer until Stella fixed supper of spaghetti and meat sauce. It was very good, and we sat outside chatting. Bob came over and we hung out until I went in to watch NCIS on TV.

A nice finish to the day.

Monday March 30, 2009

It was good to be back in the park. I got up this morning and went to the rally hall and made coffee for the guys that are left. Jim, Mack Dwayne and Bill came down and we had a nice visit and worked on some of the world problems.

Stella and I went to the Post Office to send some letters to her clients. We stopped off at the Kroger store where I got fuel after the trip home. We took 15.3 gallons @ $1.999 peer gallon to go 306.9 miles for a 20.05 average.

We came back to the park and picked up Jim and Bill and all went to Camping World in Bill's truck. We stopped at the Grainger store to use the restroom and I bought a foam pad to kneel on and a big spray can of LPS-3. We went to CW and bought a new sewer hose and some braces for the kitchen cabinets to keep things in place when we are traveling. Bill bought several items, but Jim didn't buy anything. We stopped off at the Los Cucos restaurant for lunch and came on back to the park.

We all wanted to go out for supper with Jim and his wife Reeta, so we met about 5:45 and went to the Hartz Chicken buffet on the freeway near Rayford. The food wasn't very good but it filled us up. We came back to cold and rainy weather and all went back inside our trailers for the night.


Sunday March 29, 2009

We got up this morning, preparing to make a flying trip to Dallas for Ian's 1st birthday party. His birthday is March 24th but Jennifer is celebrating it today at Great Grandmother Matha Sterling's house in Farmer's Branch.

I went down to the rally hall and made some coffee because we were going to get together with Bill and Ornell for breakfast before we left and it was easier to make breakfast in the hall than one of the trailers. Dwayne, from the park, came down and had coffee with Bill and I and as soon as he left, we started making breakfast. Ornell fixed biscuits and gravy and bacon. It was a very good breakfast and a good way to start out on the drive to Dallas. We got away a few minutes before 10 and made very good time. We stopped for a stretch/bathroom break at the rest stop north of Huntsville and for fuel in Corsicana. We took 15.1 gallons @ $2.249 to go 289.7 miles for a 19.18 average. Not too bad for a truck with 177,000 miles on it!

Just as we got into Farmer's Branch, I called Melissa and played a little joke on her. I told her that we were at Rayford and that I had forgotten about the birthday party. I just pulled up at Matha's house when I hung up with her. She didn't really believe me, but then, she really didn't know.

We got there right behind Jennifer and Jay, so I got to hold Ian while they unloaded their truck. Ian and I had a big 'ol time sitting outside while his Mom did stuff inside. Everyone else soon arrived and it was good to see that side of the family again. Kay was there, but her boyfriend Bruce didn't make it. He had fallen while walking out this morning and twisted his ankle. It has been many years since I saw Kay's sister Laura and her kids. Matha's son Kevin came over and shook my hand, and said it has probably been 35 years since I have seen him. Kay's brother Roger wasn't there but his wife Vickie was, with her kids.

Matha had a long talk with Stella over our lifestyle now in retirement. She said that Bob had wanted to do something like this before he got sick and passed away. It was sad for her, but we are so glad things seem to be working out for us.

We left around five o'clock for home. We had decided to stop at Sam's in Fairfield for supper and made very good time down there. We had a good supper and came on home, getting home about 10:30. It was a long day in the truck, but well worth it.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Saturday March 21, 2009

Today I stayed in our trailer to drink my coffee and eat cereal for my breakfast. Bill and Ornell had told Ricky and Dee that we would come over in the afternoon to see their house and go out to eat somewhere. Bill drove us in Ornell's new Lincoln SUV.

Since Stella and I had not found any lawn chairs yesterday, we thought we'd go look today. We went to Lone Star RV to look at chairs and other RV items. While I was there, i had a chance to chat with Gordon Byrne, one of the sons of the owner and the man that had sold us out Mobile Scout trailer back in 1998. He flattered me when he remembered me and what i did when I was working. I told him about our Heartland rallies because they recently began selling Bighorn trailers. He said he would be interested in participating in the next rally, so I told him that I would be in touch before then.

We went on over to Ricky and Dee's house and had a nice visit. Ricky showed us his new handguns because Bill wants a new one for Ornell. We later went to eat at the Los Ranchitos mexican restaurant and had a good meal. We left Ricky and Dee after eating supper and went to the big Academy store to look for chairs. It was a disappointment because they only had the bag chairs, and none of the director chairs that we wanted.

We came on back home and hung out for a little while at Bill and Ornell's trailer.

Another pleasant day gone by.

Friday March 27, 2009

This morning I went to have coffee with the guys and Bill came down with us. We had a good time as usual but it was kind of sad too because most of us will be leaving soon for our summer travels and many to go back to their homes. Stella made us pigs in a blanket for breakfast which everyone enjoyed like we always do.

Jim and Reeta told us that the Ace Hardware near the park had some nice looking folding chairs that we might want to check out. We went to the store and looked at the chairs but they weren't what we were looking for. These were the bag-type chairs, not the director chairs that we wanted. We then decided to go to some other stores to look. We went to Sam's club and found what we were looking for, but at a higher price than I wanted to pay. We kept on looking and went to the Wal Mart on 242. While shopping, we heard rain on the tin roof and then loud sounds that sounded like hail. I immediately called Jim at the park to ask him to put the awning up, which he did. I went to the front of the store and looked outside but didn't see any sign of hail. We later learned that it had hailed in Conroe but not around here.

We returned to the park and went to a potluck dinner with the other winter Texans that were getting ready to leave to go back home for the summer. We had a very enjoyable meal with our friends and stayed to play bingo.

I got a telephone call from Phil, my brother. He told me about Carol being laid off in thr reduction at UTMB but she will be starting a new job at Clear Lake hospital next month. His brother and sister-in-law have moved into a FEMA trailer in Galveston and the repairs to their house are almost complete. Clifford and katherine, his father and mother-in-law have sold their house in Galveston and are still living with Phil in Dickinson but are looking at a house around the corner from his house. He told me that Bobbye Sue has bought a lake house near Dallas and she and Pete are thinking about moving out of their house into the lake house soon. I told Phil about Aunt Frat and he said he would try to call Janie to talk to her.

I went back into the bingo game and learned that my card had won one of the games, but Stella had collected the money. I guess that will teach me to leave my game in her hands.....lol.

Another day done...

Friday, March 27, 2009

Thursday March 26, 2009

I woke real early this morning and checked email and read the newspaper reports on the Internet. I later sat in my recliner and went back to sleep, but woke in time to go have coffee with the guys in the Lone Star room. No one had come down, so I made the coffee this morning. We ran out of coffee and were low in supplies, so when the coffee bunch ended, I stopped by the office and told Melissa.

I returned to the trailer and had some cereal for my breakfast. I read a little bit and called Bill, who was coming in this morning. I found out that he was near Cut N Shoot and should be here soon. I went to the office and told Crystal that he would soon be here and that he had difficulty in hearing and that she would need to talk very loud to him (a practical joke on him). Bill didn't mention it, but his friend Ronnie, who had come up with him, said that he had noticed the girl in the office talking very loud.

Ornell and Vickie (Ronnie's wife) were coming up this afternoon after work. It began to rain real hard about four o'clock in the afternoon, about the time that they had planned to leave, and the rain was moving east, toward them. Bill talked to her and told her to stay home until the morning if she didn't want to drive in the heavy rain.

Stella and I went to Krogers this afternoon for groceries. We have been doing real well on our food and have not been eating out too much. When we left, I pulled up near Bill's trailer and blew my new air horn for him. He had bought one and put it on his truck, but I had replaced mine while we were in McAllen and wanted to show it off to him. He didn't come out when I blew it at him, but he came by my trailer later after we had returned and blew his horn at me. I'm sure that at some point next week, we'll have a "toot-off" to see whose horn is the loudest.

we met several other couples from the park that are leaving this weekend or next week at Luby's restaurant. They are some of our closest friends here in the park and it was nice of them to have invited us. Of course, we have been living at the park since November when I retired except for our month in the Rio Grande Valley. We had a very nice meal with our friends and sat around chatting and visiting after the meal.

We returned to the park after eating and sat outside with Bill and Ronnie. Ornell and Vickie later arrived and told us that they had almost turned around and went home because of the rain. We had a nice visit with them but the weather was very damp from the rain and had turned cooler, so we didn't stay out that long. We will have some campfires this weekend I'm sure.

Another very pleasant day gone by.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Monday March 23 thru Wednesday March 25

There were only three trailers from the Boomer rally left in the park. Jim and LeAnne had to go to their accountant's office to do their taxes, Bernest had to go to work and Pauleen took the day off to close up the trailer and get it ready to leave, and Ted and
Donna stayed in the park to get ready to leave this morning.

I got up this morning and went and had coffee with the guys. Ted came down a little before 8 and joined us for coffee. I walked home with him and fixed some breakfast for myself. About 9:30 or 10, I noticed Ted outside and walked over to check with his preparations to leave. He said he had trouble with his electrical, perhaps a battery problem, but as long as he stayed hooked up either to his truck or with his electric plugged in, they showed to be in good shape. He got everything working and they left about 10:30 or so. They have a long trip of 6 miles to get back to their storage lot, but he said they would have to stop somewhere because he couldn't make a long haul like that without a break ha ha :-)

Stella had to go to a Wa-Mu bank to make a deposit for one of Dr. Gulde's employees, so we went out to eat at the China Bear. This is a very large oriental food buffet that calls itself the biggest and best buffet in Houston. We like it but both agreed that it wasn't as good as usual tonight.

I messed up and called Jennifer for Ian's birthday this evening. My watch had somehow showed the wrong date, the 24th instead of the
23rd. We had a nice chat, and I told her I would call back tomorrow on the right day to sing Happy Birthday to him.

Tuesday was a laid back, stay home day for us. I woke and had coffee with the guys and came back to the trailer. The weather was cloudy and with thoughts of cleaning up the dirt and mud that had been left on the trailer after the rainy weather in Donna as we left and in Palacios, I began washing the truck and trailer. Intermittent rain all day kept me from finishing the job, but I did get most of the worst spots done. I got the truck completely washed and it looks much better. If the weather clears up, I plan to use some new spray wax on the front and rear caps but it doesn't look promising.

I called Ian on his birthday tonight. When I called, he was sitting in his Mom's lap eating his cake. We will see him this weekend at his birthday party. Looking forward to that....

I watched some television tonight but the president was on for an hour, so I had to find something else to watch. Thank goodness for cable TV with several channels!

Wednesday began very early for me. I woke much earlier than usual (3:30AM) but spend time on the computer and watching the infomercials on TV before going back to sleep in my chair in the living room. It was 49 degrees outside this morning and raining very lightly but I'm sure it will clear up during the day.

I went down to have coffee as usual, but this will probably stop soon because most of the guys are leaving. Most of the coffee drinkers will be gone by the time we leave next Wednesday for Tyler.

I went by the office and changed my fall site from #115 which is the last site in the park, to #46, which is on the first row about halfway in the back section of the park. This is not as close to the front as I want, but it is a step in the right direction. Melissa promised to find me a site closer to the front when she gets a cancellation.

The temperature got up to 84 degrees this afternoon, so we just stayed in the trailer all afternoon. Stella worked on her stuff and I read and watched television. I did accomplish something by going through my email box and cleared out some very old emails.

I piddled around some outside, taking advantage of the cloudy weather. It did warm up soon, but I got some of my stuff rearranged and put away in the storage. The sliding tray is exactly what I needed to improve my storage.

I took a walk around the park in the morning and another this afternoon. It was a very nice day for a walk and I visited with several folks outside their rigs.

So much for the first three days this week.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sunday March 22, 2009

Today was the last day of my retirement rally at Rayford Crossing. I got up and made some coffee and went outside to talk to David and Charlotte before they left, a little before eight o'clock. After they left, I went back inside and ate a leftover biscuit for my breakfast and watched as others made their preparations to leave.

One by one my friends left to go home. It is always nice to now be able to sit back and watch as everyone leaves on Sunday morning while we can sit back and take it easy. There were no problems or incidents during the others departures, although Jim Sims had to find a roll of duct tape to work on Raymond's awning that had ripped. He found some in Don Allen's (who else?) trailer and made the temporary repairs.

Everyone was pretty much out by noon except Barbara and Larry and Vickie who had vehicle problems. There were four trailers including ours that stayed another night, Ted and Donna, Jim and LeAnne and Bernest and Pauleen. We all hung out all afternoon, and Bernest and Pauleen went for a ride on their motorcycle. It was a fine day for a motorcycle ride with sunny skies and warm temperatures.

We all got together at Ted and Donna's trailer for a hot dog/coney island supper. Everyone pitched in for the supper and it was a nice way to end up my weekend with friends.

Til next....

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Saturday March 21, 2009

We woke this morning pretty late, about eight o'clock for me. I took my shower and got Stella up to start making her biscuits for breakfast. I went and found some of the guys that needed coffee and invited them to the trailer where I had made coffee outside.

We all soon went to the rally hall where there was a delicious potluck breakfast. We were honored with an assigned table for all of us, including my "adopted son" Bob Wurch who had sat down with us. Everyone had plenty to eat.

Sandy made a little speech introducing the new folks to the group and visitors; family members who were visiting with members. Damon McCollum from Camping World had come again, and had brought some door prizes which he gave out. He gave out the prizes by handing out playing cards. People with duplicate numbers would choose a number with the closest to the chosen number would win the prize. I won a set of antique fishing lures patio lights but tied with Bernest Currey. We both chose numbers but I won, but gave the prize to him. I didn't feel comfortable in accepting the prize but we don't use lights on our awning, so they wouldn't have been used. Sandy called Ken Wilson to the front to be introduced as a new Administrator for IRV2. Then I was called up and given a retirement cap with a "mood meter" on the front. It has a pointer that has several "moods" Work Sucks, Sleepy, Do It Yourself, So What?, Shy Worry?, and I'm hungry on it. She said that I should go around and visit with people and have them sign the cap as a remembrance of this weekend. It was a very nice thought and I will keep this cap and its memories forever.

I spent the remainder of the morning walking around and having people sign the cap and visiting. I spent a lot of time in the display unit that Damon had brought over from Camping World. It was a Bighorn 3600RE with the rear entertainment TV. There is a 42" Samsung flat screen TV on a bracket that raises up when the TV is turned on. I, as well as others, am amazed by the picture off the "batwing" antenna on the roof. On my TV, the picture is so good you can see the individual blades of grass on a golf course, and the makeup lines on the actresses.

I stayed inside the trailer for awhile, but came out to get a few more signatures on my cap. I went down to the rowdy group's trailers #100-104 and found that they were well on their way to having a very good time, thanks to several bottles of tequila. They were very well behaved at the dinner though.....

We all met at the Rayford Room at six o'clock for our catered meal. Sandy instructed me to have my family and guest Joe French of Camping World, sit at one of the round tables and everyone else sat at the regular tables. There were 115 people at the dinner, which surely bulged the rally room. They had to bring in the outside tables to get everyone seated. I was honored to have so many attend my retirement rally. When the meal was finished, she gave everyone a 30 minute break to get a drink, take care of personal business or walk their animal before returning for my retirement ceremony. It was very touching for everyone to give me recognition for my years of service as the Houston Area Leader. Ted and Donna, the Jolly Rogers Revue, put on a hilarious skit about Stella and I in our retirement times. It was the highlight of the night and everyone loved it. They must have put a lot of work into this skit. Don had made up a slide show, complete with music, and had included some pictures from the Christmas rally in Boerne, where Sandy had done a smaller retirement party for me. Some of the people that went to Boerne were not able to attend the rally this weekend, so this was a chance for me to tell them so long.

The group gave us a $300 gift certificate for Wal Mart, a day clock to hang in the trailer and a photo album with pictures and comments from friends. Harry and Judy made us a posterboard with good luck wishes spelled out in candy bars. It was real cute and probably took a lot of time to put together.

Sandy got very emotional when telling me goodbye as the area leader, and it was really nice. Sandy and the other area leaders will always mean a lot to me and I am honored to have been asked to lead this outstanding group of people.

After the ceremony, we all went back outside and hung out at some of the trailers, talking to our friends. we went to Don's trailer he had the expected "campfar" (campfire). I sat outside until about eleven o'clock when I went in and crashed with the boys in the trailer.

A great ending for my time as the Houston Area Leader.....

Friday March 20, 2009

Today was arrival day for everyone else that was coming to my retirement rally at Rayford Crossing. About five or six rigs had pulled in yesterday and the rest arrived today.

I went to the Lone Star room where I met the guys for coffee and to solve some of the world's problems. I stopped by the office to ask about getting some propane in an empty bottle, and signed us up for the ice cream social on Sunday afternoon. When I got home, Stella had gotten the boys up and was preparing our breakfast.

We visited with our friends all morning, and around noon we went to our storage room to get the fishing poles for Cameron to use, and then to Kroger to shop for groceries for the rest of the weekend. Upon returning to the park, we hung out with our friends all afternoon and decided to go to Donnelly's Pizza for supper with Bernest and Pauleen and Tommy and Susan. As usual, we had a good meal. We came back to the park and later sat around Don Allen's firepit for our nightly campfire.

Kim and Jeremy arrived around nine o'clock. They joined us at the campfire and the boys and I went home about ten o'clock. Cameron made up their bed and the three of us laid down and went to sleep.

We later learned that Donna Smith had been walking her dog when she became entangled in the leash and fell down. she injured her face and broke her glasses and Bill took her to St. Luke's Hospital for care in their emergency room. We all hope that she is okay.

Til next time....

Friday, March 20, 2009

Thursday March 19, 2009

Today was the first day of arrival for the Boomers for my retirement rally. Several of our friends from the Boomers arrived today and we had a very enjoyable time sitting around and visiting with our friends all day long as they arrived.

Carla Clifton had offered to do a craw fish boil for everyone tonight. David and I helped her with some of her preparations and getting her trailer set up, and David then helped her fix the craw fish. We ended up with a lot of craw fish left over, but a great time was had by all.

Tommy had his campfire all set up, so when we finished eating, we went to Tommy's and sat around the fire. I stayed out until about 10:30 and finally turned in. Cameron helped me get their bed made up and me and the boys went to bed.

A short days recollection for a very nice day.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Wednesday March 18, 2009

I woke this morning and went to the rally hall to meet with some of the guys for coffee. Jim had made the brew for Mack, Dwain, me and later Tommy. We had a good time and solved some of the world's problems.

Stella and I got ready to go to see her clients today. First, we went to Donoho's Jewelers to send my watch off for service. I had already tried to replace the battery but it had quit running again, so it is time for service.

Then we left for Clear Lake for Stella to go to the doctor's offices and clinics. She went to the clinic in Webster first to see people in Dr. Merritt's office, then to Texas City to see Dr. Gulde at the Mainland Center hospital. We went by our house and picked up some items that we need, and looked at the work that had been done by the workman that Jeremy had used to do some repairs. When we got everything that we could think of out of the house, we went back to the hospital so Stella could meet with Dr. Merritt while I stayed in the truck reading a book. When she got through with her meeting, we went to Cameron's baseball team practice. Kim was there, but Jeremy and the boys hadn't gotten there yet. They soon got there but Tyler had stayed home to play on the computer. I watched a little bit of practice and went to get Tyler from the house. When we got back to the field, practice was over and we left to go eat at Uncle Chan's buffet.

When we finished eating, we went to their house to get their stuff and then to return to the park. We went back through Alvin so we could get some cheap fuel again. We stopped off at the Wal Mart (Murphy Bros.) station where we got 21.5 gallons @ $1.85 per gallon to go 2898.2 miles=13.45 average miles per gallon. Not too bad for a trip pulling the trailer.

We got back to the park around 10:15 and went to bed for the night.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tuesday March 17, 2009

Today is our travel day from Serendipity RV park in Palacios back to Rayford Crossing in the Woodlands. I went out about 7AM to start putting things away and getting ready to go. David soon came out, but he had started last night and was much more ready to go than I was. I made good time and we were ready to go soon. Stella got everything inside ready too, so we pulled out at 9:10. Since David and I had both refueled yesterday, we made good time down the road. The traffic was light and we made very good time. We made one stop at the Buc-EE's just outside of Angleton.

We made it to Rayford about noon, and in what seemed like no time at all, we were all set up and ready to relax. The winter Texans in the park had organized a St. Patrick's Day green beer party and potluck dinner at the rally hall. We went down at 4 and had a very good time seeing old friends at the park. We were welcomed back to the park by many of our friends here. We told and retold our stories about the valley and our good and bad times.

After supper, I went inside the trailer and watched NCIS, my favorite show on television. When it went off, I went back out to sit at Tommy and Susan's motorhome where Tommy had built a big campfire. Again, it was nice to see old friends again and a great way to return to Rayford.

Til next time,

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Monday March 16, 2009

Everyone came over to our trailer for breakfast this morning. Stella fixed some buttermilk biscuits and gravy, Tom and Judy fixed some pan sausage and David and Charlotte fixed scrambled eggs, muffins and David's homemade salsa. It was a very good breakfast and all enjoyed themselves.

We stayed in our trailers for awhile until the sun warmed everything up. We went over to Tom and Judy's Hitchhiker II and sat outside chatting. I got my CD's out of the truck to listen to on a player.

After awhile, Tom went to wash his truck and I went to fuel up for tomorrow's drive back to Rayford, along with David and Charlotte. I went to the Super S grocery store and bought my diesel for $2.06 per gallon (the highest prices we have paid since going to the valley). I took 19.0 gallons to go 195.8 miles for an average of 10.3 MPG.

We cooked steaks out on the grill later this afternoon. There was corn on the cob, baked potatoes, grilled asparagus and some of David's veggies. It was another wonderful meal with friends.

After cleaning up the supper dishes, Stella and I, Tom and Judy and Charlotte walked over to the rec hall where we played some more Farkle. It's a fun dice game and the best thing was I WON two of the three games!

It was a very nice way to end our final night in Palacios.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sunday March 15, 2009

We got up this morning to cold weather but no rain thank goodness. We all stayed inside our trailers for breakfast on our own, but agreed to go to the Blessing Hotel for lunch. The has been a landmark in Blessing Texas since 1906. We have been coming there for many years, and some of Stella's family is pictured on the walls of the dining room.

A note about the Blessing area. One of the old Texas cattle ranchers who lived in this area of Texas was Jonathan Pierce. Pierce set aside 640 acres for a town at the intersection where the Southern Pacific and the Missouri Pacific railroads met. Jonathan was so glad that the railroads had come to the area that he wanted to name the town "Thank God" but the Post Office wouldn't allow it, so he named the town Blessing.

Bob and Donna had to leave today because her school was on spring break last week and Judy's school is on break this week, so she and Tom could stay. Tom and Judy rode with us to Blessing, David and Charlotte drove their truck and Bob and Donna took their truck and trailer and left after lunch for home.

We drove by Stella's old home place in town, and by the Chaparral RV park where we have stayed in the past while visiting in Blessing. We then returned to Palacios where we went to the Ace Hardware for Tom to get a drill bit to repair his trailer. We stopped at the grocery store and picked up a few items before returning to the trailers.

We stayed in the trailer until 4:30 or so when I went for a walk with Tom, Judy and Charlotte. It rained on us near the Baptist Encampment and we took shelter on the porch of one of their buildings for a few minutes until the rain stopped. We saw what appeared to be an RV park while walking, but when we came back we saw that it was several RVs that were parked on the grounds of the encampment. It was a nice walk, even with the rain.

After a short rest, we all went to the recreation hall for an ice cream. The park was serving ice cream for $.50 a scoop, so we all got some ice cream, and what was even better, David bought it all! David and Charlotte brought some almonds that sure were good on the ice cream and some leftover brownies. I was a good boy and didn't eat any of the brownies, but I did have some ice cream and almonds.

After the ice cream, we played a couple of games of Farkle. This is a dice game that we had just bought at one of the flea markets in Donna. Tom and Judy knew how to play, so we all had a good time. We went home about 9:30 for a good night's sleep.


Saturday March 14, 2009

We woke to rainy and cold weather again this morning. It was a good morning to just stay inside where it was warm and cozy and watch TV and read books.

We went over to David and Charlotte's trailer where we ate leftover soup and sandwiches for lunch. We met another of Charlotte's friends and her husband, Tom and Judy. Charlotte and Judy worked at the school district together until Charlotte retired. We sat around visiting most of the afternoon.

Tom had a problem with his Hitchhiker trailer when they arrived. He let the landing legs down but when he tried to lower the entire leg, there was a pin that sheared off, so one leg wouldn't come down. He had to leave his trailer attached to his truck until he can get it fixed or until they leave for home.

We went over to Bob and Donna's trailer for supper of David's chili and cornbread. We were supposed to have gone to a karaoke session in the rec hall, but we got to talking and forgot about it. We remembered it about 8:15 and decided that it was too late to go. We sat around chatting and visiting until 10 o'clock and all went home. The rain had stopped but it was cold outside, so we didn't try to sit outside.

We watched a little television and went to bed. We didn't use the furnace because the electric heater in the living room kept the whole trailer warm. It was very pleasant sleeping but I'm tired of the cold weather.

Til next time.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Friday March 13, 2009

Today was our day of travel from Donna to Palacios. We woke pretty early but it was still dark and cold outside, so I didn't get in a big hurry to go out and do my chores. We did get away around 10 AM, which is about an hour later than we had wanted to, but we were on the road again! We stopped only once for fuel in Riviera Texas and took on 11.97 gallons to go 102.8 miles for an 8.58 average. I still don't believe all the crud is out of the tank and I don't want to let it get real low in the tank before we refuel. We got into Palacios about 3 o'clock and checked in without problem. It wasn't raining here but it's cold and cloudy.

Along the way, I called Aunt Frat, who is in a rest home in Tyler with cancer. I told her that we are coming to Tyler to see her next month and she was excited to hear it. She told me that although she is in this home, she knows she is getting better and should be out in a month or so. We were talking about family and asked about my brother, and when I referred to Phil, she had to ask me who I was talking about. She asked me about my sister, but didn't call her by name until after I did, so I don't know if she remembers Bobbye Sue or not.

We are parked next to David and Charlotte, our friends from San Antonio. They came down with their friends Bob and Donna, who Charlotte used to work with. We decided to eat some of David's tortilla soup, which is delicious, but the park is having a hamburger/hot dog appreciation dinner for the residents. I went to the office and got our tickets, and we all went to the rec hall for supper. We took some Thermos's with David's soup in them, and as usual, it was delicious. Since the weather is so bad, we just came back to our trailers and watched television. At least we have many channels of television now, not just the local channels.

This park has wifi, cable television and full hook ups and is very nice when the weather is nice. It's not much fun right now because of the cold rainy weather, but it will do.
We plan to stay here until Tuesday, when we go back to Rayford Crossing.

'Til next time....

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thursday March 12, 2009

This is our last full day at the Casa Del Mar RV park in Donna. We spent the morning just sitting around, with me reading and Stella watching television and piddling around putting some things away in the trailer in preparation for us leaving. She did cut up all the grapefruit that we have and put them into containers in the fridge.

Judy came by this morning and invited us to a Good Sam get-together at the Peter Piper Pizza. This is a twice monthly combination of a jam session and eating pizza with friends. It is Good Sam only in name, but the announcers all refer to the club so theres some tie in. It was fun and we enjoyed our time with Tom and Judy.

When we returned to the park, Stella and I went to check out the Alamo Palms RV Park for next year. The RV sites are very close together and the awnings of one trailer would almost the sides of their neighbor. They are all back-in sites, but theres plenty of space to maneuver and get set up. We'll see for next year.

We went to the Stripes (Valero) store and got fuel. We took on 15.27gallons @ 1.89 per gallon to go 248.3 miles for an average of 16.2 MPG.

We came back to the park and started getting things picked up and put away for tomorrow;s trip. I got the outside stuff put away including the stairs, so the only thing outside is the water and sewer.

Next report from Palacios.

Wednesday March 11, 2009

I woke this morning to find Ted outside already. He took his truck up to the car wash where they had agreed to wash and wax it for $25.00 but he soon returned because no one had showed up. He started picking up things in preparation to them leaving to go to Victoria today and home tomorrow. They pulled out about 10:30.

I carried the laundry down to the laundromat for Stella to do the wash. I came back and hung out in the trailer until she called me to come pick up the clean clothes and bring them back to the trailer. Upon returning, Tom and Judy came by to pick us up to go over to Mexico again. Judy needed to check on the price of some of her prescription drugs but we couldn't find the one she needed. She picked up a few pieces of jewelry and I looked at the fake Rolex watches, but didn't buy anything. We did go to one of the liquor stores and bought another couple of bottles of liquor to bring back.

We returned to the park but Judy asked if we wanted to go to Martha's for supper. We love going there, so there wasn't much discussion. Our next-to-last meal was at the little family-owned restaurant right outside the door to the park, and as usual, it was delicious.

We stayed outside chatting with Tom and Judy and some of our neighbors until about dark, and came in and watched some television until bedtime.

A very short entry for a laid=back day.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tuesday March 10, 2009

We stayed in the trailer today. The guys from Steve's Wash came by early this morning and washed and waxed our trailers. There were five guys scrambling all over the trailers. they started with Ted's and when they got through washing his, two of them used squeegees to dry the sides while the others started washing mine down. They really had a good system to get the trailers done, and got through with both trailers in less than two hours. Both trailers looked brand new.

I went with Ted and Donna over to the flea market fruit and vegetable stand where I bought some tomatoes and oranges. We now have plenty of fresh fruit and veggies to last us awhile.

Stella and I walked up to the rally hall and paid the remainder of our bill and the electric for our site. Zina had made a mistake on the amount we owed when we checked in, and we corrected her mistake. The electric bill was only $1.00 per day, a reasonable amount, so now when we leave on Friday, we are all paid up.

Stella made some of her goulash or soup and some cornbread that the four of us had for lunch. After lunch, we all sat outside chatting when one of the park maintenance guys came by to cut the grass. We asked him not to cut it today since our trailers had just been washed, and he said okay but wanted to trim some of the higher grass around the water spigot. I hope we didn't get him in trouble with the manager.

We went to Hooters with Tom and Judy for supper. Judy had never been to Hooters so it was a real treat for her. We all had a good time and got back to the park in time for Ted and I to watch NCIS on television.

Another laid-back day in Donna....

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Monday March 9, 2009

We stayed home today to rest up and take care of some things around the house. I got up and rinsed the truck off, in preparation for tomorrow's washing and waxing of the trailer. It needs a good washing, but the rinse knocked off the hanging dirt.

I walked up to the office to get our mail, and while there, the new assistant manager, Zina, told me that we still owe $45.00 for a month's stay here. Stella had paid the amount that was requested when we checked in and has a receipt for the month in the amount of $330.00 but she told me it was $375.00 for a month. She also told me that the electricity would be $1.00 a day since our meter doesn't work. Stella said she will talk to them tomorrow about the bill.
Zina was also kind of rude to me when I asked her for a roll of quarters so we could do the laundry. She just said "no" in a mean tone of voice, but then said that someone had just bought the last roll they had. They don't have a change machine in the laundry, so we had to stop at a bank to get some change.

We needed groceries, so Stella made a list and we went to Wal Mart. Before going there, we stopped off at Feldman's which is an upscale liquor store/deli that we had seen on another trip through the area. The prices seemed high to me, but we bought a couple of bottles of hooch to go to Palacios on Friday.

We returned to the park and put the groceries away. Ted and Donna had come back from their Hitchhiker luncheon at Mr. Gatti's Pizza. They said they had a good time and the big topic of conversation there was that Nu-Way was starting production again in June.

We all sat outside for awhile and got hungry. We just cleaned out the refrigerators of leftovers, and ended up having a pretty good supper. We sat outside for a little while and Stella fixed us some ice cream drinks for dessert. Donna accidentally spilled Ted's drink but Stella made him another one.

Donna got out their smoothy-maker that they bought about two years ago and had never used. When Ted opened it, he found the plastic container to mix the drinks in was broken. He said he would contact the company to see about getting a replacement.

We all went inside and watched some TV before retiring. Tomorrow is Ted and Donna's last full day here, and they leave for Victoria on Wednesday. We will be leaving on Friday for Palacios for four days with David and Charlotte.

'Til the next time....

Monday, March 9, 2009

Sunday March 8, 2009

Today we went to the Borderfest celebration in Hidalgo. We ate breakfast in the trailer while Ted and Donna went to church this morning. We left for the festival about eleven and arrived without much traffic and no problems.

The Borderfest is a festival of the heritage of this area and showcased several entertainment groups and activities. The theme of this year’s fest is Jamaica, and the entire area was covered in beautiful colors.

The first one we went to was an animal act that featured snakes to tigers and was very interesting. The couple that showed the animals seem very interested in their well-being and the fact that some are reportedly endangered. The first animal that we saw in the display was a cougar but it was not showcased in this show. They began with a ball python, then to a monkey, a parrot, and a Bengal tiger.

We saw a steel drum band, a bagpipe group from Austin, many Mexican entertainers and groups, a couple of country performers and a very loud rock and roll group. We saw some fancy and expensive cars from a Harlingen car company, but no late model cars and trucks :0(

We got samples from Proctor and Gamble and a few food samples. The food at the festival was very expensive and we didn’t buy anything there to eat other than the samples. Interestingly enough, we all dreaded having to use the porta cans to relieve ourselves, but they were surprisingly clean. It really wasn’t bad at all. We did see the guys that operate the vacuum trucks to clean the cans out. I thought to myself, how would you like to tell your grandkids that your job was running a honey wagon for a porta can company. I know that someone has to do it, and I’m glad it wasn’t me…..

We came back to the park to put everything away and decided to go eat some Mexican food tonight for supper. I wanted to go to the El Palenque restaurant that Bob Wurch had recommended. Ted looked them up online and found that the taco dinner was $16.00, the same price as enchiladas and fajitas, so we decided not to go there. A little too spendy for us. We then decided to try the Taco Palenque, a sister restaurant to El Palenque. When we got there, it was too much like a very dirty fast food restaurant, so we didn’t stop there either. We ended up back near the park at Martha’s where we had Mexican food there. It was delicious (as usual), so we had a nice ending to another fun day.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Saturday March 7, 2008

Today we spent our last Saturday in the valley. We stayed in for the morning, missing out on the "garage sale" in the park. Donna got up and bought a couple of pair of shoes at a bargain price but Stella and I stayed in. We had decided to go to eat Gonzales Burgers for lunch instead of eating breakfast. Gonzales Burgers are famous here in Donna because they are very large burgers that are prepared by some sisters that inherited the business from their mother. The location is in an old store that has been converted to a restaurant serving only burgers, fries and drinks. There is still one rack of items for sale, but I don't think anyone else even noticed it.

The burgers were very good and very very filling! I don't know why anyone would order the double meat and especially the double-double (double meat and cheese). I did order the fry mixture of french fries and onion rings. It's a little cheaper that way and we still got plenty of fries to go with our burgers.

To give you an idea of how busy this place is, we got there about ten 'til eleven-they open at eleven o'clock on Saturday-and still had to wait about an hour to get our food. This place sells hundreds of hamburgers daily and is only open from eleven AM 'til three PM.

From there we went back to the Don-West flea market. I had decided to buy a cap from one of the shops, but when we got there, not only did I buy a cap, Stella and I both bought some tee shirts. We also bought a fold-up table for the trailer. It is a very nice oak table that will go well in the living room for us to work on our computers. Now I need to finish it and seal the wood. Another project!

We then went to find a car museum that Ted and Donna knew about. They had seen it in the Knapp Chevrolet dealership, three years ago on another trip down here. They remembered that it was downtown on Tyler street. We drove the length of Tyler St. before we stopped to ask directions. The store clerk said they thought it was on Hwy. 83, but we programmed the dealership into the Garmin and followed it to where the dealership used to be located on business 83, that is now a plant and tree store. We went back out onto the highway and finally found the Chevrolet dealership, but it is now known as Gillman Chevrolet. Ted went inside and learned that the museum is owned by the former owner of Knapp Chevrolet and that he had moved it downtown. We finally found the location for the museum but soon learned that it was not open to the public yet. Ted found an open door and went inside and we met Mr. Cooley, the owner. He told us that he had owned Knapp Chevrolet and that when he sold the dealership, he had kept his car collection. He had a 1961, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1974 Corvettes and was working on a 1957 and 1961 Chevrolets that are being restored.

This man is quite a character and would be a wonderful storyteller if we could find the time to chat with him. He said he plans to have the museum open sometime in April. We will return next year.

We returned to the trailers and left for the "Chicken House Opry" in Mission. Donna had found this in one of the winter Texan magazines. They served a chipped beef barbecue sandwich before the opry performance. The entertainers acted as parking directors or whatever was needed before the performance started. The meal was so-so, but for $2.50 I guess you can't expect gourmet food served on china. The performers were also just so-so with some being pretty terrible. One of the "headliners, Pam Milsap, forgot her lines in a song she was singing and started another some in the wrong key with the band. We don't know if she is any kin to Ronny Milsap, hut it appears to me that she uses her last name to her advantage. Another "headliner" was Red Johnson. We were told that he has been elected to the Minnesota Country Music Hall of Fame but we have never heard of him or any of the songs he sang.

To me, the real bothersome thing is the chickens living on the property. They are next door to the opry behind a wooden fence, and are all roosters that are chained to their individual houses. The are obviously fighting chickens that someone is raising there. tom had told us that the owner of the place is out on bond for a felony charge, so I would guess its related to chicken fighting. We didn't care that he is out on bond, but its cruel to raise chickens this way for fighting.
I guess its the cop in me....

Until next,

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Friday, March 7, 2008

We made another trip over to Mexico at Progresso. We had to pick up some more medications for both ourselves and others, and Donna wanted to pick up one of the handmade candy wrapper purses for her sister-in-law. We went back to the Almost Free Pharmacy which is just across the border, and got the meds. The clerk recognized us and gave Stella and Donna a pill carrier/pill slicer.

Donna found one of the purses she wanted across the street from the pharmacy and talked the girl down to $20.00 (from $25) but decided to look elsewhere to see if she could find a better bargain. We waded through an incredible amount of street vendors, both in booths and just walking around selling "handmade" items as well as candy and gum. She found one of these walking vendors that didn't have the size of purse that she wanted but said he could take us to them. He went directly back to the same booth that we had stopped at before and tried to get $28.00 for the same exact purse that Donna had already looked at. She told him she would give him $20.00 for it, which the girl had already quoted her but he kept on trying to get more money out of Ted. Ted pulled out a 20 dollar bill and the man snatched it up but called Ted a "cheapyskate".

I think these border guards need to keep up with current events on the necessary identification. After June 1, it will take a passport, passport card or enhanced drivers license. I asked the Border Patrol officer that passed us through back into the United States about using my Texas Drivers License, but he said it will take a passport. I verified online that Texas is in the process of getting the current drivers license approved as an enhanced license. We won't cross the border very often and will probably get either a passport or passport card because we have no plans to leave the country by air or ship.

We came back to the trailers to drop off our drugs and the "cheapyskate purse" before traveling to the Los Ebanos hand-pulled ferry. This is the last hand operated ferry in the United States and probably one of few in the world. The river is only about 50-60 yards wide at this point but it is interesting to watch the five men that pull the boat back and forth across the river. It cost .50 per person to enter Mexico and .75 to re-enter the U.S. We stopped off at the trading post to look around but didn't buy anything.

We returned to the park and ate supper in our trailers and sat outside in the windy weather 'til about 9 o'clock with Tom and Judy and our neighbor Ivan. Ivan is from Iowa and will be leaving on Sunday.

Until the next time.....

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Thursday March 5, 2008

We decided to stay at home today and rest up. We have been going somewhere every day, so we're taking a break.

Bob Wurch called to say that he was in town and wanted to come by to chat. He came by about 10 o'clock and we all sat outside and drank coffee and talking. Bob invited Stella and I to eat lunch with him at Lin's Chinese buffet. Ted was supposed to have had his trailer washed at one, so they didn't want to leave. Lunch was very good, and the variety is at least as good as anything in Housotn.

We returned to the trailer, and Bob left for Laredo for other sales calls. I talked to Ivan, our neighbor and learned that he had his truck washed and waxed for $25.00 at a car wash on Business 83. Ted and I later went to Wal Mart but when we talked to the lady at the car wash, she quoted Ted a price of $30.00. She said that the Wednesday special was $25.00, so Ted said he will be back on Wednesday.

Donna invited us to have spaghetti and meatballs with them tonight, so Stella fixed a no-sugar white chocolate pie and we went. Supper was good, and we all enjoyed our food. Donna wanted to watch Survivor on television, so we all went in early.

Another nice day in the RGV.

Wednesday March 4, 2008

Today was a pretty laid-back day for us. We went to the flea market at Don-West again and bought some more fruit and vegetables. From there we tried to get into the Gonzales Burger place, which is a very small restaurant in a questionable neighborhood that has apparently the best burgers in the Valley. Ted had read about them and we found the place, and sure enough, there were many, many people standing in line to order their burgers.

The girls decided that they wanted to go "rag picking" again at the Ropa Usadas. Donna had found two of them that sell nothing but new brand name items. We found them and bought a few items. I observed that they apparently buy overrun t-shirts that have been printed for different events and then are sold here. I saw shirts from many different places, from family reunions to race staff. These stores had many other items like shoes (very cheaply made) and clothing accessories that you would see in a clothing store (power tie racks, jewelry boxes, etc.)

We ended the afternoon at Furr's Fine Buffet in McAllen. This has gotten to be one of our favorite restaurants in the Valley.

We went back to the park after eating and just hung out until 7 when we went to the rec hall for karaoke. They have a professional karaoke guy that comes in with his own system and people can choose what they want to sing. I chose a Hank Williams song, Hey Good Looking. It was a fun night and none of us got into trouble.

So long for now,

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tuesday March 3, 2008

It wasn't nearly as cold this morning as it was yesterday, about 50 degrees today. The problem was, Donna called about 9 o'clock to tell me that their furnace had stopped working. The fan would come on but the furnace wouldn't light and warm everything up. Both Ted and I looked at the thing, but we couldn't see anything wrong. I got a number from Tom for a mobile service man, but when Ted called him, he learned that the man had already started heading back north to home. Ted is going to a Hitchhiker luncheon next week, so maybe he will find someone there that can work on it. If not, he will probably wait until they get back to Houston.

We drove over to South Padre Island today. Donna found an entertainer at Louie's Backyard whose show is called 12 String Tim. There is also a good looking buffet at Louie's too, so we decided to go there. The show and buffet didn't start until 3:45, so we just rode around the small island looking around. We stopped along the beach and walked out onto the sand. We walked up near the water's edge, when we noticed a "cliff" of sand that had been washed out by the ride. The "cliff" is only a foot or so high and when I walked to the edge to check it, it crumbled beneath me and I fell. I wasn't hurt at all and everyone had a good laugh at my expense.

We drove through the former Destination RV Resort which is now a KOA. The sites were a nice size, and full hookups but they are on coleche rock with blacktop streets. It seems pretty spendy to pay $55.00 per day for this.

We looked at the Cameron County park on the south end of the island, but they wanted to charge us $4.00 to drive in and check the place out and no one was willing to pay. There is an area that is outside the gate that we drove through, but a couple of the sites look like something from the Beverly Hillbillies, with tarps strung over everything and junk everywhere. This is not a place that I would want to stay.

Another problem that we noticed down on the coast here is that the wind blows so much, with the beach sand, everything down here looks as if it has been sand-blasted. I don't think I want to bring my rig down here to stay very long, and certainly not for the entire winter.

It is so far down to SPI, it would make it very "unhandy". It is very pretty down here, probably the prettiest beaches and waters in Texas, but it took us over an hour to get here from Donna.

All-in-all, we liked our trip to the island, but I think we'll stay where we are, at least this year. If/when we return, we'll look at some other parks, but for the money this one isn't bad.

Til next rime....

Monday, March 2, 2009

Monday March 2, 2008

Yikes, it's 34 degrees here in sunny south Texas! At least its not snowing. Donna spoke with Brenda who is in Memphis while Rick works for his brother there, and they had 5" of snow on the ground yesterday. There was so much snow they couldn't make it to church.

It soon began warming up, so Ted, Tom and I went to get our propane bottles filled. I went ahead and filled both of mine, while they only filled one. We probably looked like a propane delivery truck with all those bottles.....

Ted and Donna and Stella and I later went over to Harlingen to the Iwo Jima memorial. The memorial is in Harlingen because one of the men holding the flag was from Weslaco. We learned that he had been mis-identified at first, but his mother recognized him in the photo and set the record straight.
It was a very moving experience to see what those brave young men did so long ago.

After leaving the memorial, we went by the Llano Grande RV Resort in Mercedes. It is a very nice park, but a little bit pricey. There are so many RV parks in this area, it would take a couple of weeks to visit all of them. While there are several things I don't like about the Casa Del Sol's amenities, it is centrally located and easy to get in and out of.

We returned to the park where Ted grilled our supper. They had bought some steaks at a meat market in Brenham and Stella had some boneless pork chops. It was a good meal with good friends. Tom and Judy stopped by and we sat around chatting until it got too cold to sit outside and we all went home.


Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sunday March 1, 2008

Today was a rest day for us. We stayed in the park all day long and did household chores. I cleaned up one of our lawn chairs that had gotten some mold on the top, but it looked to me like it was merely dirty. I sprayed it with some cleaner and then brushed it with a stiff bristle brush and after it dried, it looked very much improved. Stella went to the laundry and did the clothes washing. I stayed in the trailer and dusted around and picked up some clothes while she was gone.

After finishing our chores, we met Ted and Donna and went down to the rally hall and played a rousing game of Mexican Train in the card room. We also got to listen to a banjo concert that started at five o'clock. I guess we technically cheated by not paying for the concert but we were in the card room first.

After finishing our game, they were serving ice cream in the rally hall. I didn't feel like having any (trying to be good on sugar) so we walked back to the trailer and Stella fixed me a sandwich for supper. We stayed inside and watched TV for the rest of the night.

Saturday February 28, 2008

Stella and I got up this morning and drank our coffee in the trailer. We had decided to go to the park breakfast about 8:30 this morning, thinking that the breakfast would be served until 9 like last weekend's was, but we were wrong. Last weekend's was a special breakfast buffet but this one was only served until 8:30, so most of the food was already gone. We did get some pancakes and eggs and they threw in some tater tots on my plate, so we had a decent breakfast for about $4.50. It was a good thing we had already had our coffee, because the park coffee would float a horshshoe.

We all wanted to go to the flea market at Don-Wes, which stands for Donna-Weslaco. We cameback to our trailers to get ready to go in a light rain and while walking over to Ted's truck, the cool front came in. The temperature dropped ten degrees in about fifteen minutes, so by the time we got to the flea market grounds, it was raining and much colder. Most of the outside booths had not opened today, so we only shopped in the covered building. Ted wanted to have his outside sign refinished and dropped it off at the guy's booth ans piked it up in about an hour, all repainted and sanded smooth again. Stella bought a couple of games at one of the booths, and we went across the street to a combination flea/farmer's market. Stella bought some clothes at one of the booths and I bought a decal for the front door, and we stocked up on vegatables and grapefruit before we left. 0we brought all our goodies back to the trailers and changed into warmer clothes.

We loaded back up in Ted's truck and drove over to the border crossing at Progresso. This was our first time to cross the border here. Stella crossed one time at Laredo and I have crossed at Brownsville. Both of our prior crossings were much different than today's. Stella said Laredo was much dirtier than Progresso and I observed that Brownsville was cleaner but didn't have the street booths or beggars that we saw in Progresso. The conditions are very bad over there and there is a huge military presence with armed Humvees, sandbagged gun emplacements and lots of military officers with automatic weapons walking around on patrol at the crossing. It was pretty unnerving but very necessary to keep any violence away. There have been so many problems at other border crossings with drug cartels and violent drug gangs that have kept many people away from Mexico, and I'm sure the Mexican businessmen have felt the effect on their stores.

The biggest thing that we bought was at a pharmacy. We went into one of the first ones we came to, called the Almost Free Pharmacy. Stella and I bought at least a three-month supply of our medications and spent a lot of money, but it's worth it. We saved at least six hundred dollars and won't have to buy more for at least three months, and Stella for ten months.

We then went to two liquor stores where we bought two bottles fo liquor. Another great savings! We got a one liter bottle of Absolut vodka and one liter of coconut rum for a total of $25.50 ($28.00 with the tax). When the clerk rang it up, it showed 376.00 but that is in pesos. It freaked me out to see that until I realized what had happened.

We left Mexico, ignoring the beggars and bridge trolls who were begging for nickles. The Customs checkpoint was way backed up but all we had to do was show our driver's licenses and birth certificates. After June, a passpport will be required. The Customs officer asked me how many liquor bottles I had but didn't ask Stella anything about our medicines. I stopped and paid the liquor tax at the TABC booth and we were good to go.

We drove around for a bit and went to a furniture store that was having a sale on Lazy Boy recliners before returning to the park. After putting our purchaces away, we went to eat at Martha's. After supper, we stopped off at the Rec hall to play bingo. I decided not to play and came back to the trailer. I did bring some coffee cups down to the group because coffee was furnished, but no cups.
Ted later got in trouble for banging his bingo card and Donna got in trouble for not wearing her name tag, so I was glad I didn't stay.

Another nice day in the valley.....