Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Monday and Tuesday, November 28 and 29, 2011-Rayford Crossing RV Resort

Monday was another cold morning, the coldest of this winter season and of course, the coldest night in the new trailer. We have been impressed with the new trailer. It seems to be much better insulated but the rain sounds louder somehow. As you know, we had a small water leak but a couple of hours in the shop and that was fixed. The air mattress in the couch had an air leak but Stella and Tyler repaired that. They couldn't find a reason for the leak, but we'll keep an eye on it. The only other problem that I am aware of is a "popping" in the hydraulic levelers but I believe that this is caused by air in the lines. I am hopeful that the more we use them, the popping will go away.

I took Stella down to the washateria to wash our clothes and all the linens and towels that the boys had used. It took her a little longer because of all the additional stuff but she got it done. We have talked extensively about buying a washer and dryer for the trailer but she'd rather spend a couple of hours in a washateria once a week than to have to wash every day in the trailer. None of the washers available will wash a full load, so it doesn't make sense to spend the money on a washer/dryer along with the expense to run them.

Tuesday was another cold one, not quite as cold as yesterday but still in the high 30's. We've been having good crowds at coffee and there are still a couple of Canadians that haven't come south yet.

We went to the grocery store today, buying ingredients for this weekend's Boomer rally. It has been a long time since we've been to a Boomer rally and we are looking forward to seeing a lot of old friends. Tomorrow's pack-up shouldn't take too long but we don't need to leave here real early. It's only about 30 miles to the park. The truck should barely get up to a normal operating temperature.

So long.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Sunday November 27, 2011-Rayford Crossing RV Resort

We woke to cold temperatures this morning but soon had the boys loaded up and ready to go home. We stopped and picked up some donuts for breakfast and ate on the road. We made really good time to Texas City and got there in time to watch the football game between the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars, which Houston won. Congratulations to the Texans.

After the ball game, Stella and I came back home, alone at last!! Their stuff just seems to junk up the trailer, mainly because they are so sloppy. We don't have them enough to try to work on that, and I really don't want to make a stay at Me-Maw and PePaw's house a training camp. We love 'em, but thank goodness they're gone.

So long.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Saturday November 26, 2011-Rayford Crossing RV Resort

I know that I am very far behind on this, but there really hasn't been too much going on that is very interesting, so here goes. One other thing that happened to me today was that I was sent two spam comments to my blog and I suspect it is because I haven't been very active.

We have had several events here in the park and we went to several of them and had a good time. Frank has begun fixing a breakfast on Saturday mornings again, so that will be getting back to normal.

We went to Texas City and picked up Tyler and Cameron last weekend and they have been with us all week. We love them and want them to come as often as they want, but they sure do make a mess with all their stuff.

Wednesday Ted and Donna and Mike and Patrice all came in for the weekend. Our old friends Rick and Brenda came over from their work camping job at the Livingston State Park and we all went out to eat at a new place called Tewbeleaux. Its a sports bar that specializes in cajun food and was very good.

Of course Thursday was the big Thanksgiving feast here at the park. There weren't as many people as we expected but there was plenty of good food. We are all thankful that the park furnishes the turkey and hams and hope that the turnout doesn't affect their participation.

Friday, instead of shopping all day, we stayed around here and Donna and Patrice furnished us our supper meals. Donna made a taco soup and Patrice fixed a roast with all the fixin's. Stella made cornbread, so we all had plenty to eat and some good visiting. It's always good to be back with old friends. We played bingo that night and Cameron won the big pot. He was a proud boy!

It rained all day Saturday and started turning cooler, so we all stayed inside most of the day. We all went to Furr's for breakfast and had a very good meal there. There were several activities for kids today so that kept Cameron busy. Saturday night there was a "hobo stew" meal that we all brought ingredients for. Rayford furnished the meats and we all brought a variety of veggies and it turned out very well. After eating, we all had bought tickets for a drawing for several items and of course, we didn't win.

The boys are going home tomorrow, so things should get back to normal soon.

So long.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Friday November 11, 2011-Rayford Crossing RV Resort

I woke to another cold morning, down in the upper 30's today so it was a cold walk down to the Lone Star room for coffee. At least I didn't have to hurry this morning because I only had to wait on Tomball Dodge to call me about my truck being repaired. When 10 o'clock rolled around, I decided to call them. When I called, the service advisor told me that he was just coming in to call me because "the repair had just been finished". Now let me see, the parts had been shipped and should have been received at 2 o'clock yesterday, and it took them until today to get the parts installed? Hmmm

We drove over to pick up the truck, and it was a good thing I called them when I did. The time on the delivery of the rental car was only about 45 minutes after we got back to the dealership, so we were close to having to pay for another day's rental of the car. It wasn't my fault that they were slow in installing two small parts... just sayin'

Then when I got the receipt for the work that had been done, there was an inspection that they had done that mentioned "rec. the rear differential", "ck alignment of front end" and "air conditioner service". None of these suggested repairs had been mentioned when I spoke to the advisor. If he had told me about something needing service, I would likely have told them to do it since the truck was already there and we had a rental car, but nothing was said, so the work didn't get done. That would have made an easy sale for someone, but they didn't take advantage.

On a happier note, we played bingo and I WON!!! I only won a small pot, but it was enough that we got to play for free, but it was nice to win. There was a low turnout and I don't know why. Most of the winter Texans are in but only a few came to play. Oh well, there's always next week.

So long.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Monday November 7 thru Thursday November 10, 2011-Rayford Crossing RV Resort

Well, we are back into our normal routine here at Rayford. The only difference is that Stella no longer has to go to work at Timber Ridge but we're doing okay. We're staying here most of the time and I'm proud of us for not going out to eat so much. The only times that we've been out to eat was when we went to eat breakfast at Furr's with Tyler on Sunday and yesterday when we stopped to get a snack at Denny's while we ran errands.

Monday afternoon was the first of the winter Texan meetings/block parties. Gwen made some announcements and introduced the staff again, including the new girl that is working at Timber Ridge. Last night was the potato bar in the Rayford room, and as usual, it was a lot of fun and good to see everyone back together again.

We took the truck over to Tomball Dodge today to have the leaking windshield washer reservoir repaired and a small plastic trim piece replaced both under warranty and to have the tires rotated under the maintenance contract that we bought. We were there at 8 o'clock in the morning (forgot how hard it is to get up that early!) and sat in the waiting room until about 1, when one of the service advisors told us that they needed to order some parts and arranged for us to get a rental car to drive home. The parts should be in this afternoon, but we didn't want to wait any longer. We got our rental and came on back home.

Please hang in there with me because there isn't too much for me to talk about, so it may be a few days before I add anything here. We'll only be here until the 8th of January when we leave for the valley again, and there will be plenty of things to talk about then.

So long.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sunday November 6, 2011-Rayford Crossing RV Resort

We decided to go to Furr's for breakfast this morning before we took Tyler back home. Cameron has a baseball game at 11 and another at 1:30 if they win the first one, so we got a move-on this morning and had the dogs walked and were at the restaurant by 9. After another delicious breakfast, we were on our way to Texas City. Again, traffic was bad on the Gulf Frwy. and we were late getting to the game (more on this later!)

Cam's team had beaten the team from Galveston a day or two before by a score of 13-1, so they must have been overconfident and got beaten this morning 6-4. It was a crushing defeat for the young men because they didn't get to play any more today but their season isn't over yet so there's next weekend for them.

We went over to Kim's house to watch the football games and hang out for the rest of the afternoon before we drove home. That's what I want to talk about, the drivers that we have been encountering. Is it just me, or are there a lot more crazy drivers on the road these days? As I said in another post, this is the Lone Star motorcycle rally weekend in Galveston and all weekend we have seen lots of very fast bikes weaving in and out of traffic in a big hurry to get to Galveston but why did we see so many today, going back to where they came from? They are not only down here; just the other day I was passed by a small blue car. He continued on until he was about a quarter mile ahead of me when all of a sudden he began to spin around in the road. He didn't hit anything or anyone else, but I'm sure that he had a mess to clean up after that... just sayin'

We made it back home without any incidents and stopped by the grocery store before coming back home.

So long.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Saturday November 5, 2011-Rayford Crossing RV Resort

I woke pretty early considering that we were up very late last night to go down for coffee with the guys. I'm glad I did because Bill came by this morning with donuts. He and his wife bought a house over in Fulshear but they lived here at Rayford for several months and we became good friends.

After coffee, I returned home and managed to get Tyler up and about so we could leave for Center TX and the 80th birthday party for my Aunt Barbara. We had a good trip up there and only stopped for a donut for breakfast and for a rest stop around Diboll. When we got to town we went to Janie's house for a burger with her and Gail and then a pretty short visit with them before we had to leave for the party.

It was good to see so many family members and to visit with them. I was rather surprised at how many of them knew of our travels and it was fun to talk about some of our trips. Everyone was surprised at how tall Tyler has gotten. The last time Janie saw him, he was about 3 years old, so it was quite a change in him. The party didn't last all that long before it was time for us to make the long drive back to Houston. I forgot my camera, so I didn't get any photos of the party, but it was a good time and we enjoyed it.

We had an easy drive back and went through Livingston to check out a new RV park there that I had been recommended to look into for a park hosting job. We looked at the park but were not too impressed with all the bare dirt in the sites and the fact that there are many trees that need to be trimmed back to make it easier for patrons to get into their sites. I think we'll pass on this one, at least for now...

We made it home before 7 and again the doggies were very glad to see us. They remembered Tyler and didn't bark at him at all. Maybe he made a better impression than I thought, or maybe their memories are better than I think. He's a pretty memorable young man...

So long.

Friday November 4, 2011-Rayford Crossing RV Resort

It was nice and cool again this morning. I guess we're good luck because everywhere we've been since coming back has either had rain or cool weather soon after we arrived. Perhaps we shouldn't have left this summer and Texas would have avoided the drought and high temperatures...

We had "orders" from Tyler to come to his football game tonight to see him march in the band down Palmer Highway for the last time. The band hall is across the street from the football stadium and it has been a 50 year tradition for the band to march on Palmer Hwy. to the game but tonight is to be the last time. We were glad to be there for this historic event, so we left in plenty of time (we thought) to drive down and pick up Cameron to go get something to eat before the game began. I forgot that this was the Lone Star motorcycle Rally weekend in Galveston, so traffic was awful all the way down. We left at 3 o'clock but didn't make it to Texas City until about 5:30 and had to be at the stadium at 6 to watch the band, so we barely had time to pick up Cam and get him home to put on some warmer clothes and go.

We made and got to see Tyler march and then followed the band into the stands. We sat right beside Tyler's row and it was fun to watch him and others in the band dancing and having a good time. Tyler also was awarded the "Freshman of the Week" award tonight. This is something that is given to a different freshman each week and I learned that Tyler had said that if he won, he would like to have it awarded on this week when we would be in attendance. It was an honor for him to win, but especially to have it on the week that you asked for. We are so proud of all our grandsons, but especially when they win an honor like this.

Sadly the Texas City football team lost the game with Friendswood 35-34 but it was a really good game. It has been a long time since I've been able to go to a high school football game and just watch. For the last 30-something years, I worked the games and couldn't watch.

When the game ended, Cam and I came back home. Kim and Stella had left after the half because Kim was cold, but Cam and I stayed to watch the end of the game. Tyler had to stay after to put all the band equipment away but as soon as he called, Jeremy went to get him and we soon came back home. Cameron had a big baseball game tomorrow, so he couldn't come home with us. It was very late before we got back home, but at least there was no traffic through Houston. We are going to Center TX for a family birthday party tomorrow, so we all were in bed soon after getting here. Tyler liked the new trailer and the brand new air mattress bed. We all slept well tonight.

So long.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thursday November 3, 2011-Rayford Crossing RV Resort

Man, it turned cold overnight! Stella told me that it rained a little bit, but when I woke up the wind was blowing and the temperature was dropping. I knew the front was coming through tonight and it sure did! It was 53 when I went down for coffee and 49 when I returned home.

We can sure tell that the winter Texans have returned because there were 14 for coffee this morning. We had one man, Andy, that no longer lives here and even sold his motorhome, but he still lives nearby and comes once a week for coffee with us.

We didn't do much today and didn't leave the park. We did change the chairs with the couch to make the trailer more livable. It will take some getting used to, but we like it so far. We put the couch on some sliders that we recently bought to make the move easier and we already had the two recliners on a slider, so the move was pretty easy.

Later in the morning I got a call from Joe French, our friend that is the General Manager for Ron Hoover RV's. He told me about an offer for someone to put on a seminar at the next Boat and RV Show in January. I called and after learning what they wanted, I agreed to put on the seminar on full-time RVing on Saturday January 7th at 3 PM at the Reliant center. If you're going to the show, please stop by and say hello.

I promised to do a recap of our summer trip through Michigan, so here is a part of it. We traveled a lot of miles this summer but I'm not sure exactly how many. I had kept one of the trip odometers on my truck that recorded the miles for the entire trip but at the last oil change/service, someone at the Ford dealer in Canton that did the work reset the trip odometer for some reason, so I lost the mileage count. I believe that we traveled over 11,000 miles this summer.

We covered a lot of new territory in Michigan, Wisconsin Ohio and Pennsylvania and met a lot of new people at local Heartland rallies in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, the RV-Dreams rally in Hershey PA, the huge Hershey RV show that we worked in the Heartland Owners club booth, the Heartland National rally in Goshen Indiana and the Passport America rally also in Goshen IN. We also helped the local Heartland dealer in Elkhart with a small RV show. They actually sold 27 trailers at the show and we met some new friends there too. We returned to Texas and hosted our chapter rally in Canton TX and had a good turnout. This rally was also instrumental in the formation of the new Oklahoma chapter of the Heartland Owners club.

Of course, the high point of the trip was when we came back to Houston and bought the new Landmark. We tried to make the purchase before the rally so that we could surprise everyone with our new trailer but we just couldn't pull it off. Mike and Patrice did surprise us with their purchase of a new Landmark at the rally and I thought it would have been funny if we had been able to get ours too. Too bad it didn't work out...

That's probably enough of a recap for today but I'll put some more information together and share it with you soon.

So long.

Wednesday November 2, 2011-Rayford Crossing RV Resort

I went down for coffee with the guys this morning and we had a pretty good turnout. Since so many of the winter Texans had come in yesterday, we had more takers of coffee than Jim had prepared for, so we had to make some more coffee. We all know where all the ingredients are, so it wasn't much of a problem. It was good to be back with the guys...

We had chores to do today and errands to run, so we were up and had breakfast pretty early. We were on the road before 10 o'clock and finished up our errands around here pretty quickly. We went to the bank, the post office and were on our way to Bellville to get new license tags for the truck. We had been out of the state when the tags expired, so we had to go to the county courthouse to get the tags. On the way we stopped off at the Stephen F. Austin state park to get some names for references for future park hosting applications. While there, we took a short ride through the park because the office was closed for lunch, even though their time was up. When we worked there the office didn't close for lunch but I guess things have changed. They have certainly changed in the appearance of the park. There were hundreds of trees and large limbs down throughout the park and it looked very bad. It has always bee a state policy to not allow visitors to pick up fallen trees and limbs for firewood but it certainly detracts from the look of the park.

We soon found Carmen at work in the office but saw no one else out in the park. She gave us the information that we needed and we verified that they do not need anyone to work there, as we had heard, so we took off. We went to Bellville and got the tags in short order and returned to Sealy where we stopped off at Tony's restaurant for a quick snack of coffee and pie. They have some of the best pies that we have ever eaten and today was no exception. After our coffee break, we went to Ron Hoover RV to pick up the license plate for the trailer. We also needed to get some advice on a couple of issues that we had found on the trailer and to pick up some replacement light bulbs. The new trailer uses halogen bulbs in most of the lights in the trailer and four of them have burned out along with two spotlight bulbs. We got most of the items we needed except the bulbs which were out of stock.

We had a nice chat with Joe French while we were in the store and he asked us to do a short video about our purchase for their company website. The video hasn't been posted yet, but if you want to check it out, please do and let me know how you like it.

We came on back home and the pups were very glad to see us. We hadn't planned to be gone all day but they were fine when we got back and were soon taken care of. We just relaxed for the rest of the evening. Jim and Reta came over to see our new trailer and liked it. It was good to be back at Rayford and we'll miss it when we leave.

So long.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tuesday November 1, 2011-Moving day-Gateway to the Gulf to Rayford Crossing RV Resort

I got up pretty early this morning to cool weather. Stella had set the coffee pot to come on, so the coffee was ready. I had one cup and Stella woke and after having her coffee, fixed us some sausage and egg breakfast sandwiches. She began getting things ready to leave inside and I went outside. I noticed two men walking down to the office and found that they have men's coffee in the morning here. I went in and was welcomed by the three guys that were there this morning. After a short visit with them, I returned to the trailer and did my chores to get the outside done and we were ready to go about 9. After hugs and handshakes with Dan and Karen and our new friends Larry and Ginnie, we pulled out about 9:30.

It is only 124 miles to Rayford from here, so we didn't make any stops along the way. I had thought about stopping at the Buccee's in Wharton but there was no need, so we just sped on by. The truck and trailer were very dirty and dusty, so I decided to find the Blue Beacon truck and trailer wash on the 610 loop in Houston. After enduring some traffic and construction delays, we finally got in line for a wash. After an hour, we had our truck and trailer washed and treated with a Rain-X rinse. I thought it was a good value for only $37, so we were soon on our way with a sparkling clean truck and trailer. I knew the guys at Rayford would admire the clean rig.

When we arrived, we found that there were four of our friends that also arrived today, so we had a nice reunion with several of our friends. Men's coffee here will be fun tomorrow. We will have a lot to talk about.

I am going to recap our summer trip in the next few days, so you might want to check back. Excitement will be running high!!

So long.

Monday October 31, 2011-Moving day-Mission West RV Park to Gateway to the Gulf RV Park

Today was the dreaded moving day for us to go back toward Houston and Rayford Crossing, our former home base park. Things change...

We got started about 7:30 and found that many things were much better to pack up in order to leave. We were ready to go a little after 9 and after hugs and handshakes from Tom and Judy (no hugs from Judy-she's still sick) we pulled out. I still marvel at how easy this new trailer pulls. Even my fuel mileage is up, with over 11 MPG for most of the trip today.

We only made one stop today when we found a Subway just outside Raymondville. We picked up breakfast sandwiches and coffee and went on our way to Victoria. We made good time and pulled into the Gateway to the Gulf RV Park about 2 PM. Our friends Dan and Karen, the folks that we had stayed with in Michigan, were here waiting for us to arrive. We were excited to be able to show off our new trailer as well as seeing our friends.

We also met some new friends here, Larry and Ginnie. They are also from Michigan and had met up with Dan and Karen here yesterday. They are all going south to Aransas Pass where they will spend the winter. We will see Dan and Karen again in Mission when we have a couple of get-togethers in February.

Karen and Ginnie had made plans to have hot dogs and brats for a mini-potluck dinner. We contributed some of Stella's goulash and we all had a fine meal. We sat outside and chatted for awhile after eating, which was nice with our new friends. It was a good travel day.

So long.