Thursday, February 28, 2013

Wednesday February 27, 2013-Oasis RV Resort

Today is Stella's birthday, so I sang Happy Birthday to her as soon as she got out of bed, just to start her day out right... I also gave her the day off for cooking and did without breakfast. Beside that, we didn't have any milk for cereal. I knew that we were going out for dinner tonight, so it's not like we're going without food today.

I called the insurance company to get things rolling on the truck repairs and learned that I need to get it back to the dealer for photos and so they would know to order the parts. We were soon on our way to Cook Ford, where we met with the body shop manager Melissa. She soon had her pictures and told me of the things I needed to get done before bringing the truck in. With that done, we went to buy some groceries before going home.

Cameron had baseball practice in Friendswood so we met all of them at Gringo's restaurant for Stella's birthday celebration. We had a good meal after a short wait for a table to open up and managed to embarrass Stella by having the waiters sing happy birthday to her.

It got cold after the sun went down and I was sorry I hadn't worn either long sleeves or taken a jacket, but we weren't outside very long. The truck was soon warmed up and we were toasty all the way home.    I had posted on Facebook about being at the restaurant for Stella's birthday and many of our friends wished her a happy day, so it had been a good day for her. Maybe someday, she'll get on Facebook too.

So long.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Tuesday February 26, 2013-Oasis RV Resort

Today I went to get information on getting the truck repaired, and boy, was I in for a surprise! It has been FOREVER since I've had to go through the hassle of having body work done at a dealership or anywhere else. Wow, what a deal!

I remember when a car dealer offered a low cost or no cost loaner car out of their fleet, in hope of a customer having a repair made at their body shop, actually buying one of their line. Not only that, how much more convenient could it be for a customer to come to your store, drop of their vehicle for work to be done, and then drive out in a rental/loaner car. Then when the work is completed, they bring the dealer's car back, settle up the bill and leave in their own car. Not so much like that now...

At any rate, I went to a Ram dealer and learned that they don't even have a body shop, but referred me to an outside shop that I was not impressed at all with. It was a long drive from the dealer, in a rough industrial neighborhood and then, instead of estimating a good repair, they wanted to knock the dent out and then use (a lot) of Bondo to make the repair. Maybe that's the way this dealership makes repairs, but I want it done right, so it won't come back to bite me later.

I contacted my insurance company and learned that they have a "preferred dealer" network. I used a couple of their suggestions and got some better results. I think I have found the place to have the work done. Now to work out the details, and I'll put the truck in the shop in the next couple of days and it will be all shiny and repaired soon.

Wow, what an ordeal!

So long.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Monday February 25, 2013-Moving day-Woodland Lakes RV Park to Oasis RV Resort

I woke this morning, watching the television weather and traffic reports with interest. I had heard that we were getting a cold front through this morning and that rain was expected. Of course, the news media says "Severe Weather" in that big voice, to frighten everyone listening, but if you listen carefully, the chance of rain was about 40% and expected to be east of I-45, so the Severe Weather wasn't so much after all. What was very interesting was a traffic accident that had backed traffic up to the Rayford-Sawdust exit and the wait time was approximately an hour and a half. Wow!

We decided to put off our leaving time for a bit, so I began packing up about 8:30, with a projected departure time of 10. We made it almost exactly on time, pulling out of the park about 10 minutes after 10. The traffic backup had disappeared and we breezed through without slowing down. In fact, we were in Dickinson, about 10 miles from the park exactly an hour after leaving. That 70 mile tow seemed like a breeze!

When we arrived, we learned that the site that we had been promised was still taken, so we chose another site after asking GM David what he wanted us to do. We got all set up and were relaxing when we got a visit from Stacy, the park manager. She said that the site we were in was the longest in the park (which we had noticed) and that it had been promised to another customer and that we would have to move. We finished up the move about 4 and relaxed for awhile before fixing some soup and a sandwich for supper. We were hungry because we hadn't eaten all day!

Kim called and we went over to visit them. The boys were glad to see us and it was good to spend time with them. We learned that Tyler has two band performances on Saturday in Texas City and Cameron has a baseball tournament on Sunday in Katy, so there goes our weekend! It's been a long time since we've seen them play, and we will have fun with them. Looking forward to the weekend!

So long.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Sunday February 24, 2013-Woodland Lakes RV Park

Today was another slow day around here. We had some noisy neighbors in a motorhome that left early this morning. No, they didn't play loud music or anything like that, they just made a lot of banging and clanging around as they loaded up to leave. I'm pretty sure they didn't do it on purpose, but when you're leaving at the ungodly hour of 6:30, please don't slam baggage doors and the front door of their home. It makes the old folks next door unhappy.

About the only constructive thing we did today was wash clothes. It seems like that's all we do, but Stella likes to keep things clean. Me, I'm not that picky, and I don't think my jeans need washing every time I put them on. I mean, I'm not getting out and rolling around in the dirt, or doing work in them and getting them all sweaty. At any rate, we went to the little washateria here in the park and found that it is a little cheaper here. Whatever, I'll take it!

I want to do a little review of this park, as we prepare to leave tomorrow. It's a nice, quiet little park with a lot of potential. There is too much bare dirt around here. I don't mind dirt or gravel sites, but some grass to walk on would be really nice. The blacktop roads need repair and I've already heard that it's planned, so I'll be interested in seeing what happens while we're away. We'll return to this park next time we're in the north Houston/Conroe area.

So long.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Saturday February 23, 2013-Woodland Lakes RV Park

It was cool this morning and both of us slept in. Cold weather sure makes for good sleeping! When I got up, I found an email from S. Texas Chapter Leader Tom and Marti, asking if we wanted to get together for lunch. They are in our area today, so we agreed to meet at The Sweet Tomato restaurant, one of my favorite places to eat when in Houston. It was their first time to go and I think they enjoyed it. We had a great meal and spend about two hours chatting after our meal. It was a nice way to spend the lunch hour(s).

We hadn't been home for very long before Tommy and Susan called, asking us if we wanted to meet them for supper. Well, it had been about three hours since we had eaten, so we met them at the 3B's Burger place near Rayford. They have great burgers and Stella and I split one, since we had eaten not long ago. After our meal, we went over to Rayford where they were staying. We sat outside in the cool evening and had a nice visit with them. I've gotta admit that it did feel good to be back at Rayford. Maybe someday...

So long.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Friday February 22, 2013-Woodland Lakes RV Park

I woke up early to drive over to Rayford Crossing to have coffee with the guys. I had talked to Tommy and told him of my plan so he could be there to let me in and it worked out perfectly. As I walked up, I talked to a couple of the guys who were outside smoking, but then Tommy opened the door for me and all of them were very surprised. I wish I had a small video camera to take the surprised looks on their faces, because no one knew or expected me to be there. There were 15 or 16 guys there and I knew all of them but a couple.

It was very good to see my old friends, and we had a nice visit before the coffee ran out and we all split up to leave. I went by and talked to Big John and Jan, who had just bought a new Montana trailer that was being delivered later today, and also saw Jerry and Diane, Jim and Reta and Roy and June. It was so good to see so many of my friends and it makes me miss coming to Rayford and all the memories there.

I came back home and picked up a couple of donuts for Stella to eat for breakfast-what a good husband I am...  Tommy and Susan invited us over to their place at Rayford for lunch with them and also Warren and Judy, some more old friends. We had a great lunch of soup that Susan had made, and got caught up on what has been going on at Rayford. We later walked down to see John and Jan's new trailer. It is nice and I hope that they enjoy it. It has bunk beds for their grandkids and that will come in handy.

We ran a couple of errands and came on back home in time for a nap. We've been so busy lately that I haven't been able to nap as much and my chair missed me. It had been a good day and I was ready!

So long.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thursday February 21, 2013-Moving Day-Ancient Oaks RV park, Rockport to Woodland Lakes RV Park

We left the Coastal Bend area this morning. We had a great time visiting with our friends at the Meet and Greet and look forward to coming back next season. Stella and I talked about it on the trip today but haven't made up our minds about when we'll be back.

Here is the picture of the damage to the fender on my truck. I just couldn't see that tree in the blind spot and this is the result. Anyone do body work?

We slept late this morning, about 7:30 but once we got started, things went pretty well. I chatted a bit with a couple of the men in the park who needed information on going across Houston toward Beaumont which I was glad to give.

We pulled out about 9:40 and made good time going down Hwy. 35. Before turning off, I was getting more than 13 mpg by the truck computer. I know, I know, they're not accurate, but I'd rather be showing 13 than 8!

We made only one stop today, at the Buccee's store in Wharton. Love me some Buccee's! We got some sandwiches and kept on rolling.It's a good thing we weren't depending on this station for fuel. All of the pumps were down fore remodeling  but the store was open.

We made it  to Woodland Lakes RV Park  about 2 o'clock and were soon checked in. The couple that is working here also have a Landmark, but their's is a 2006 Mount Rushmore. They said they love their classic Landmark and we had a nice chat with them about it. The man, Fred, is quite a character and I am looking forward to our stay here. Please stay tuned.

So long.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wednesday February 20, 2013-Ancient Oaks RV Park and Campground

Today was the much-anticipated Meet and Greet in Aransas Pass that was put on by Karen (herbiesrig on the Heartland forum). She has been organizing all sorts of meals out to eat for the group in the Coastal Bend region of Texas/

We have a pretty good selection of food laid out for us. Jim is getting ready to ask the blessing for the food and it won't be long until most of this food will disappear.

The Winter Texan band did a good job of playing for us today. They are winter Texans from all over that get together to play music and they are very good.

The Winter Texan band getting ready to play. 

There was a good turnout of about 50-60 people here today. All of us are staying in the Coastal bend area of Aransas Pass, Rockport and Fulton. I'm sure that there may have been people staying in other areas.

Let the dancing begin. Not many dancers out there yet. 

Even Jim and Nancy got out on the dance floor. I think that's Bernie, the Happy Kraut behind Jim with his new Heartland cap on.

 I don't remember what song was playing, but they sure got out of their seats to dance to this one. Everyone seemed to have a great time.

There's Bernie, doffing his hat to me. I think he's just teasing me with that new cap.  I'll catch him napping and then I'll doff the hat at HIM!

 This is the original group that started having these meetings and delicious meals. Congratulations to the founders!

The founding ladies.

Don and Monica rode with us to the event. Don, being from this area, was kind enough to take us for a tour the other day, so I drove today. When I backed into the parking space, I didn't see a tree that was in my blind spot and hit it with my right fender. Big ol' bo-bo on the truck. I'll post some pictures tomorrow. I'm still nursing the cuts and bruises from Stella...

So long.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tuesday February 19, 2013-Ancient Oaks RV Park & Campground

We were supposed to meet a group of Heartlanders this morning at The Bakery Cafe in downtown Aransas Pass but when we got there, it was closed for remodeling. I called Karen to ask and learned that she had changed the location to Moby Dick's Restaurant on Port Aransas island across the bay from  Aransas Pass. I soon learned that my camera was missing the memory card, so all the pictures are from my phone.

We rode the ferry across to the island, the first time I've been on a ferry for a long time. When I was a kid in Galveston I rode the ferry often, over to the Bolivar Peninsula. The ferries in Galveston are much larger and there is only one boat in the dock at a time. Here there are four docks but today only two were operating. With the smaller boats, they run the short distance pretty fast and the wait wasn't very long between boats.

Here is our boat coming into the dock. I didn't notice or photograph the boat's name but it was interesting to me to compare the boats here to Galveston.

 Here are Stella and I at the entrance to the gift shop at Moby Dick's. I think the fellow beside us has been there for awhile.

 Here we are, about to get bitten by the huge shark in front of a place called Destination. It is a typical tourist-trap place selling tee shirts and other tourist items.

On our way back across to the mainland. Our breakfast was very good and the service was excellent. Good job Karen, choosing this place for breakfast.

We rode with Don and Monica today. He and his family own a house in Rockport so he is very familiar with the area. He took us on a tour of Rockport and Fulton and ended up at the Goose Island state park. Here you see the Goose Island Oak, which is estimated at being 1500 years old and is the oldest and certified as the largest live oak tree in Texas.

 These are some of the "babies" of the big oak tree. They, and several other live oaks are near their "mother tree" and have a very interesting root structure. With the drought, the roots are above the surface of the ground and are so close to each other, it is impossible to tell which tree they belong to.
Here is Stella standing below the park sign. In the background you can see the fishing pier that is also a feature of the park. Goose Island is a very small state park at 307 acres. There are few RV sites and none that we saw with full hookups. I am sure that this is because they are on an island and cannot take a chance on a sewage spill or leak. Without knowing more about the amenities, I don't think this is a place that we'd stay, but we have friends that wanted to work camp here.

We came home and relaxed until supper time. We decided to go with Don and Monica to Charlotte Plummer, a seafood restaurant in Fulton. The group was going to The Boiling Pot but neither Don nor I wanted only boiled food for supper, so we chose the other location. The food was good and we enjoyed our meal together. After supper we returned home, full and content. It had been a great day and we are looking forward to tomorrow.

So long.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Monday February 18, 2013-Moving Day-Buckhorn Lake Resort to Ancient Oaks RV Park and Campground

We got up about 7 and began packing up to leave. I did a little visiting as people pulled out but still made decent time in getting things ready to go. I was ready before 9, but of course, I had to wait for the inside to be finished. We pulled out about 9:45 or about 45 minutes later than we had wanted. We only have about 250 miles or so to go today, so it will be okay.

We stopped at a Subway in Floresville but it turned out to be a bad decision. Stella didn't like the sandwich she got but I liked mine. And beside that, they didn't have coffee, which made her even more unhappy. I tried to save the day by stopping at a service station at the next little town and bought her some coffee but she didn't like that either. It was too strong, or had a burnt taste, but mine was fine. I guess it just wasn't my day.

We made good time to Rockport but then had a bit of adventure in finding this park. We had the park address in the GPS but it took us down a back street and almost took us down a dead end street. Stella called and got directions to the park but then there was more drama when we had to wind ourselves into the driveway. At least this is a Passport America park and we stayed here for half price or less than $50 for our three day stay! It made it all worth while. We got in and settled and later met our neighbor, Jack. He told us about his trip to Alaska last summer. We would love to make that trip one day but there are many other places on our bucket list to visit before we go to Alaska.

Our friends Don and Monica came in later in the afternoon. We made plans to go to Aransas Pass tomorrow with them for our breakfast meeting. We are looking forward to seeing more old friends and some new ones as well. Pictures to follow.

So long.

Sunday February 17, 2013-Buckhorn Lake Resort

Sunday morning, Nelly made more muffins but we weren't very hungry, so we didn't go over. We just stayed in and began getting things ready to go tomorrow when we leave for Rockport. Stella got our clothes gathered up and went to wash them while I stayed home and started putting things away. I did the usual stuff, taking down the porch and stairs and generally picking things up and putting them in their travel position.

I stopped by and talked with Terry Nance, an old friend from the Texas Boomers. He has been one of the founders of the Sweetheart rally and it was good to catch up with my old friend. He has a ranch in the south Texas area that has been the center of the latest oilfield rush. Lucky guy... He has lived in his town all his life, but it thinking about moving away because of all the activity in town. It's sad to see, but I can see his point.

Sunday evening, we went to the rally hall for the final dinner of the rally- a potluck- with anyone that wanted to bring something to cook on the large grill outside. Stella cut the remainder of our steak off the bone from the other night's 32 ounce steak. She cooked it up with some peppers and onions and put it all on a tortilla, which we ate with the veggie potluck dishes. It was a delicious meal and we had a good time visiting with both old and new friends. A couple of games of dominoes broke out after the meal was finished but we were tired of playing and went back home. Stella worked some more on getting things ready to go in the morning.

It has been a great rally and we enjoyed meeting new folks and seeing old friends. We will return!

So long.

Saturday February 16, 2013-Buckhorn Lake Resort

It was another cold morning on Saturday but we have been dealing with it. We were used to the warm weather in the valley, but this actually more like the usual winter weather.

This morning was the park breakfast in the rally hall, but we decided to go out for a breakfast buffet with our friends Don and Monica. Monica was recently made the Chapter Leader of the Colorado chapter and we were actually at the rally where this took place. We had heard some bad reports on the park breakfast, so this was a good chance to visit with them. At the end of our meal, we returned to the park and they went to visit some family in San Antonio.

Saturday night we had the  big barbecue meal with a choice of chicken and brisket or a rack of ribs. Of course, Stella chose the ribs and I got the chicken and brisket. The chicken was very good but the brisket left something to be desired. It wasn't bad exactly but it wasn't real good either. Oh well, we had a good time with our friends anyway. After some cheesy door prizes were awarded, there were more dominoes to be played. I was tired and stayed home but Stella played and didn't get home until 12:30. The dogs and I were piled up under the covers but they flew out when the front door opened. I would have been safe if it had been anyone but Stella. Nice to feel safe...

So long.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Friday February 15, 2013-Buckhorn Lake Resort

Friday morning, I took our large coffee maker over to the rally hall for a breakfast of "Nelly Muffins". These are pre mixed bran muffins that she adds different flavors into to make delicious breakfast muffins. Most of the rally-folks came down for breakfast, and those that didn't make it missed a real treat.

We came on back home and hung out for the rest of the day, enjoying the great weather. It was cold in the morning but it warmed up during the afternoon without a cloud in the sky, and we loved it! Kerrville is allegedly in a water shortage, so vehicle washing is not allowed except by the only washing service allowed in here. I looked on the city's website and saw nothing that prohibited washing vehicles, but did spell out lawn watering.

Later in the evening, we all went to Mamacita's Restaurant for a good Mexican meal. Michael and Kelly rode with us to eat, and we all had a good time together. We almost completely filled the banquet room, and everyone enjoyed their meal.

We came back to the park and played Mexican Train again. I had a good game tonight and probably won but Bobcat didn't add up the scores, so I really don't know who won. I know that I went out twice and caught the others with lots of points in their hands, but we all had a good time. We didn't stay up all that late either.

So long.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Thursday February 14, 2013-Buckhorn Lake Resort

It is still cold here in Kerrville. My thermometer showed 35 degrees but the official temp was 32, so either way, it was cold!At least it warmed up soon and was a beautiful day with blue skies and a nice temperature.

A good group of us, about 20 or so, drove over to Boerne to the Tweety's store to do some shopping for RV parts and equipment. Stella and I did not find anything we couldn't live without, so nothing was bought. I recently learned that they are moving the store from this location to Bulverde TX where the business began. Apparently they don't do enough in walk-in sales. Most of their business is done by phone or on the Internet.

We came back home to get cleaned up to go to the Valentine celebration steak dinner. We are amazed at the quality of these 32 ounce T-bone steaks. They are all the same size, and cooked to perfection. One side is more done (doner?) than the other, so you have a choice of medium or well done, but both taste really good.

A large group stayed to play more dominoes tonight, but since I had stayed up past midnight the night before, I went home. I didn't feel to well anyway, so I went home and stayed with the puppies and tried to keep them warm. We went to bed before 10 and were snuggled in the bed when Stella got home about 12:30. I only know what time it was because the dogs woke me when they jumped up to see who was coming in. Luckily it was only Stella. I would have hated to see someone lose a leg or something to these ferocious dogs. They are killers! Especially when they are woke up.

So long.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Wednesday February 13, 2013-Buckhorn Lake Resort

Today was the official kickoff day for the 2013 Sweetheart Rally. We started out the morning at Jim Beletti's trailer for a small breakfast with some other friends. We came back home and hung out trying to decide what to do today. Tom and Marti & Pat and Lori wanted to go to the old Gibson's store in Kerrville, so we soon loaded up and went to town.

The store has the exact same sign as the original stores had. I worked at the stores in La Marque, Texas City and Seabrook that were owned by Bob Sterling, my first wife's father. When I left, I was an assistant manager of the store and managed the sporting good department, as well as being the buyer for that department. At one time, I managed and was the buyer for the camera and electronics departments too, which certainly kept me busy!

At any rate. the visit to the Kerrville store brought back many memories. This store looks a lot like the old stores but now has many knick-knacks and hand made items as well as huge selections in their hardware and houseware departments. It is like a throwback to the old fashioned small town hardware stores. We have shopped here before and will return in the future.

 Our group met outside and took a break in the outdoor furniture department. It was nice to sit down and talk about where we were going from here.

We ended up at a place called Buzzie's Barbecue for lunch. The food was pretty good and we enjoyed the company. We thought about taking a drive down to an RV supply store in Boerne but decided that it was too far to go today. We had the opening Meet and Greet to go to this afternoon and Stella and I needed to stop by a grocery store before going back home, so we split up and did our shopping.

After the Meet and Greet, we all met at Jim B's trailer for some hot dogs. We sat around a propane firepit furnished by Bernie the Happy Kraut and a propane heater that Tom Mangum had brought. We sat outside until it got too cold to sit comfortably and went over to the rally hall for dominoes. We all had a great time and stayed over there until about 11:30 when our Mexican Train game finally ended. Of course, I did pretty well throughout the game but ended losing badly because of the number of points I held in my last hand.

We had a great time at the first day of the rally and we are looking forward to more good times in the next few days.

So long.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tuesday February 12, 2013-Buckhorn Lake Resort

At least it wasn't as cold this morning as had been forecast. It was still plenty chilly, but I only saw 49 degrees on my thermometer instead of 34. The fireplace soon warmed things up nicely. I walked down to the other end of the park to visit Michael and Kelly. I don't know why we are so spread out, but I guess that's the way things go around here. I think the park could have done a much better job of assigning sites, but that's just my opinion.

We didn't do anything today but stay around here and visit with our friends that were already here and more that arrived later in the afternoon. The weather turned off nice with bright sunny skies but it was very windy all day. It started getting cool in the late afternoon, so we all went our separate ways at suppertime.

It was a nice, relaxing day, visiting with friends. The rally starts tomorrow, so I'll likely have more to report. Maybe I'll eat another big breakfast to have the energy to walk all the way down to the other end of the park again. At least I'll get my walking mileage in...

So long.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Monday February 11, 2013-Moving Day-Retama Village to Buckhorn Lake Resort, Kerrville

I purposely skipped a Sunday entry because all we did was prepare to leave on Monday. Stella washed up our clothes at Bentsen Palms (next door) and I put a few things away, including the large trash dumpster back into the coach house. I then took the keys back to Eddy, Ken and Kathy's friend who lives down the street. 

We got an early start on Monday morning, but we had all agreed to meet at the rest stop just after the Border Patrol checkpoint near Falfurrias TX. We intended to leave about 9 but it was 9:15 when we pulled out. It's an easy drive and we made good time with no slowdowns or stops. 

It seemed like before we knew it, we were at the rest stop meeting up with our friends who had been waiting. They had gotten up even earlier than us, and had been on the road much earlier than we were. They didn't mind waiting for us, so after a quick stop, we were all packed up and ready to go. We agreed to stop at a truck stop along the way and found a Love's station just past Three Rivers TX. We all got something to eat but when pulling back out onto the highway, who should we see but our friend Jim McGee and his wife Bette. They pulled in between me and Roy and rode with us until just before San Antonio when they turned off to pick up something to eat.

We didn't stop again until we got to the park, where we saw many of our other Heartland friends who had already arrived. It didn't take too long before we were all set up. A group of friends were going to eat at a local restaurant, but we were still full from the truck stop meal, so we stayed here and visited with Pat and Lori and later Jim and Bette came over. We had a nice chat with all of them before retiring for the night.

I've got to tell you about the weather changes. When we left Mission the temperature was about 70, a normal temp for south Texas. Incidentally, yesterday was a blistering hot day in Mission with temps reaching 100 degrees! We had to turn on  both air conditioners to keep cool. Back to the present, we knew it was going to be cooler in Kerrville, but when we got here, the temperature was 55 degrees! Not really all that cold, but going from 100 one day to 55 was a shocker! We'll be in these cooler temps all week here. Maybe by the time we get back to Houston, things will be back to normal. I'm ready for winter to be over.

So long.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Saturday February 9, 2013-Retama Village

Jim and Nancy left this morning, so after seeing them off, we met Roy and Sally & Kevin and Nelly at the border crossing into Mexico. The first stop we made was at Rene's Bakery for a quick meal. Michael and Kelly couldn't come with us because Michael had invited us over to their place this afternoon, so he had to stay home and clean up to get ready for their guests.

Here's the "gang", chowing down on some delicious Mexican food. We all enjoy the food over here and have never had a problem with eating and drinking. The restaurants are careful to serve only bottled water that is delivered to the table unopened, but Stella and I drink coffee, even though it's not prepared in front of us. We've never had a problem from drinking it across the border. Many other winter Texans also drink coffee, and we've heard no problems.

And the band played on... This trip plays at Rene's and we've heard them several times. I also saw them walking along the street this afternoon. They seemed to be playing (for tips) but I was inside and couldn't hear them.

Here I am, getting my very first ever pedicure. I know the ladies get them and seem to love the way their feet feel after, but although they didn't hurt me at all, it didn't really feel all that "wonderful" to me.  I'll have another one the next time we're here.

That girl seems to be paying special attention to Stella's feet.  

Here is a sunrise picture, taken out the back window of the trailer. We are lucky here that we don't have any neighbors beside us and a green belt behind, so we don't have to close the blinds. We're gonna miss this place.

I am very sorry that I haven't said anything about fellow blogger and retired Police Chief Sam Weibel's wife Donna who recently had heart surgery. I want to wish Donna well and offer prayers for her recovery.

So long.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Friday February 8, 2013-Retama Village

For our last full day here with the entire "crew", we hung out with Jim and Nancy, who are leaving tomorrow. Jim had been wanting some authentic Mexican food, and had talked to someone that had suggested a place called the Hidalgo Tacqueria on Expressway 83. He needed to go to the air horn store to buy some fittings for his horn installation, so we rode with him to get what he needed. We also made a couple more stops for Stella and Nancy to pick up some items for the doggies before we met the rest of the group at the Tacqueria for lunch.

It was different! Everything in the restaurant is in Spanish and all the employees only spoke Spanish, so it was a bit of a challenge to order food. The employees are used to "gringos" eating there and they could communicate a little bit, at least enough to take our drink orders. We had a trump card in Nelly, who speaks and reads Spanish, but to make it even easier, we all ate about the same thing. We all had an assortment of tacos, so that wasn't too hard to order. The tacos are small, almost bite-sized but well seasoned and delicious. We all enjoyed our meal and had a great time together.

Another thing that was different about this place was the salsa. The waitress brought one basket of chips but we served ourselves for the salsa. There were about five different salsa choices, from a very mild green to three that were red and marked spicy, then another green with bits of green veggies including avocado that was marked very spicy. We called it three mile island! It not only caused my nose to run, it bled! First time for that! One of the spicy reds had a bad fishy taste that no one liked. Some of us mixed the three mile island with the mild green and made something that we were able to eat on our tacos that didn't light our tongue on fire.

We all went home for naps and some relaxation for the afternoon but met again for ice cream at the Marble Slab store about 7 o'clock. We pretty-much took over the store and enjoyed our ice cream and it was the perfect way to end the week. We will miss Jim and Nancy, but made plans to get together tomorrow afternoon for a potluck dinner. Life goes on...

So long.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Thursday February 7, 2013-Retama Village

Our friends Dan and Karen (Karen's blog) came down from Aransas Pass where they have been staying for the winter season. Although I have been in contact with Karen quite a bit, we haven't seen them since we were in Gillette Wyoming for the Heartland rally last June. Karen is hosting a Heartland Owner Meet and Greet later this month. 

Maybe I'll stop taking photos with my I-Phone. I cut out Michael sitting on the left, but you can see Stella, Dan, Jim, Nancy, Kelly and Karen sitting beside our trailer where we had a nice visit before going out to eat at Cheddar's Restaurant, another of our favorites. We stayed in the restaurant about 2 hours talking and catching up. Jim gave Karen a quick lesson in using her I-Pad and they downloaded some apps. I'm still resisting buying one, but after seeing Jim use his, I can see how it could come in handy.

We came back here and visited a bit more, going over the rally stats for the upcoming national rally in Goshen. There are 240 signed up as of this afternoon after only a few days of registration. It's amazing to see the clamor over this rally. I am so glad to see many friends at the rally.

So long.

Wednesday February 6, 2013-Retama Village

Today four of us got together for a "Man's Day Out". Jim, Kevin and I met Dave at a restaurant that Dave knows about called Danny's in Mission for breakfast. 

This was my choice for breakfast, Migas, a Tex-Mex  mixture of scrambled eggs, tortilla strips, chicken and veggies. It makes a delicious meal and I enjoyed it. 
It was a great way to begin our day out. 

Dave wasn't feeling well and had to go back home but Jim, Kevin and I went on. We went to Tractor Supply, Air Horns of Texas, Harbor Freight where we looked at manly things. Jim picked out a train horn that is similar to mine and after giving it much thought, we returned to the store and he bought one. When our shopping was finished and we ran a few errands, we returned home with the new horn. We crawled around under Jim's truck (we had gone in Kevin's truck), deciding where the horn should be mounted but since we didn't have all of the hardware needed to actually mount it, we put everything away for another day. 

We stayed over at Jim and Nancy's place until the dogs needed attention and went home for the night. Our Men's Day had been a lot of fun and was a complete success. Maybe another time, we'll do it again.

So long.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tuesday February 5, 2013-Retama Village

We took a day off today to take care of some errands and to relax. I took a nice walk in the morning and when done, I ran into Jim who told me that he and Nancy were going to the Birding Sanctuary this morning. It was getting warm, so I took a pass and decided to stay home. When they returned he said it had been hot, so I'm kinda glad we didn't go.

We went to the Post Office and picked up some mail and went to Wal Mart and bought a few things, including over $200 in fuel! I filled up both tanks but it still hurts. Oh, I long for the days of long ago when fuel prices were much lower! I'm afraid those days are long gone and will never return. When I was a kid, driving my Mustang, $200 in gas would have lasted a couple of months! I will say that this fuel should last us until we leave in March for our summer trip, but really....!

I did manage to catch up on my blogging, so that is a positive. Until next time,

So long.

Monday February 4, 2013-Retama Village

Stella fixed biscuits with jelly and sausage this morning and Jim and Nancy brought some scrambled eggs, so the four of us had a delicious breakfast to start the day. Cassie and Tramp were left outside while we ate but they didn't mind, they were too busy barking at the walkers and other doggies that were walking by. It is really nice that Ken and Kathy have a cable attached to the coach house for a dog run. Tramp and Cassie like it because they can get outside and run around for a bit and get plenty of fresh air.

We met our old friends Tom and Judy at Cheddar's restaurant this afternoon. We had a nice visit with them during supper and decided to change our dessert location from Dairy Queen to Marble Slab which was nearby. Kevin and Nellie & Roy and Sally met us there, so we had a party! It was good to see Tom and Judy again after they moved out to Edinburg, quite a distance from Mission.

Tom and Judy went home but the rest of us came over to Jim and Nancy's to sit outside and chat until the winds sent me in a bit earlier than the rest of the group. I have been feeling poorly for the past few days and the wind, which is a constant down here, caused my nose to run and made my cough worse, so I came inside and kept the doggies company. The dogs and I went to bed early and I covered up to sweat out my cold, and apparently it worked because I feel much better today.

Our little group will start to break up soon with several of us going to Kerrville for the Sweetheart rally. We will be leaving next Monday but it's a short drive. We'll be looking forward to seeing some other friends there.

So long.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Sunday February 3, 2013-Retama Village

We drove over to South Padre Island for the Kite Fest. I have spent a good amount of time on the island when I was working for the City of Missouri City, attending conferences and executive committee meetings. It was a nice time and always enjoyed the trips.

Welcome to the final Kite Fest on South Padre Island!

As you can see, there were a lot of people there to watch the kites!  We all had brought lawn chairs (thank goodness!) and had a nice time watching the antics of the kite flyers.

On one side were the larger kites that were fixed to a vehicle or another structure. The announcer said that these are impossible to hold and use climbing ropes and professional-grade equipment to fly. 

 They are beautiful and colorful and fun to watch. The video below is amazing! Each kite is controlled by an individual, and I am totally surprised at how close they fly and how well choreographed they are.

I took several videos of the kites and if you'd like a copy, please let me know.

We stopped off at Dirty Al's for a delicious seafood dinner. We were all stuffed when we left! Jim checked out a few Munzees on the way back home but we didn't find any. We were within a few feet of one, but couldn't spot it. It was our first time to play and seems to be an interesting way to pass some time. I'm not sure whether we'd ever play, but thank you Jim for showing us how it is done.

So long

Saturday February 2, 2013-Retama Village

This morning, several of us met at Furr's Fresh Buffet for their buffet breakfast. Seven couples met and had breakfast and spent time together, laughing and chatting. I wish more of our heartland friends had come, but it's their loss! We all had a great time and enjoyed the huge buffet.  I highly recommend Furr's for any meal but the breakfast is especially good.

We went over to Jim and Nancy's place in the afternoon for a quick meal of hot dogs with beans and some fried cabbage that Stella had made. It was a delicious quick meal, but I don't think any of us were really all that hungry after the big breakfast, but we would have been really hungry later if we hadn't eaten.

Ted and Donna came by to pick us up to see an entertainer named Rainey, who did an imitation of Patsy Cline. She did a pretty good job and we enjoyed singing along with the old songs that she sang. We met Kevin and Nelly, who had also come over to the Chimney Rock RV Park for the performance. This park is right on the Rio Grande river and there is a large group of Border Patrol vehicles parked here. I guess this is one of their meeting points for patrolling the river. There is a levee on the east side of this park with a narrow road coming into the park. I don't think I'd want to stay here but it might be worth going back to during the day to look at it further.

Today had been a very nice day.

So long.

Friday February 1, 2013-Retama Village

Today a group of Heartlanders went over to Nuevo Progresso Mexico at the Progresso border crossing. This is the crossing that we've been using for years and as far as I know, there hasn't been any problems here.

Photo: Crossing over

Back row: Jim, me, Kevin
Front row: Kelly, Michael, Stella and Nelly
for some reason, Nancy, Jim's wife, didn't make it into the photo. I think our volunteer photographer must have cut her out of the picture.

We had a delightful meal at Rene's Bakery with most having Mexican dishes but I had breakfast, which I love. After lunch we went into a barber/beauty shop and everyone but Nancy and I got a haircut. Kelly and Michael had pedicures but if I get one, it will be a later trip over. We strolled around the streets and Jim and Nancy made some purchases of some yard art for their home in Tennessee. Most of us bought medicines but no one bought any liquor.

We crossed back into the US without too many problems. One of our group was questioned, but was allowed in, so all is well. Six of us stopped off at the Dairy Queen that was still offering the BOGO (buy one-get one free) and enjoyed a Blizzard to celebrate coming home. Michael and Kelly were still getting hair cuts and pedicures, so they didn't make it with us. We went back home to rest for a bit before going over to Jim and Nancy's trailer where he worked on the upcoming rally. We helped some and he soon had everything worked out and was ready to begin registering. I was amazed to learn how fast the rally went! It was later learned that in less than 24 hours, 213 Heartlanders had signed up for the rally!

While sitting around enjoying some "adult beverages" we had some good fun with Kevin, who ended up on the floor because his chair collapsed. I know it could have been dangerous, but it was funny and he wasn't injured. It has been SO much fun to spend time with our friends.

So long.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Thursday January 31, 2013-Retama Village

Everyone was tired from all the excitement of the last few days, so we decided to take today off from most activities and relax. We slept in this morning, but decided to go to the Museum of South Texas History in Edinburg with Jim and Nancy.

It was a very interesting museum and we enjoyed it a lot. When we got through, we decided to go to Chili's for our supper because they had a coupon. Coupons Rule!!! We all had a good meal and enjoyed  good conversation with our friends.

It was very good to have a laid-back day.

So long.

Wednesday January 30, 2013-Retama Village

Today was another of our big events in the valley, the dealer open house at the Ron Hoover RV store. I was worried at first about a low turnout, but as you can see below, it was anything but low!

As you can see, everyone seemed to have a good time and they enjoyed their free lunches. We estimated that we had between 150 & 160 in attendance. 
Here are the Hoover employees that worked hard to make us feel welcome and serve some very tasty burgers and dogs.

Hoover got a Landmark San Antonio for the open house and there was a lot of interest in it. Several members said they may be in the market for this rig, but so far, no purchases. They may buy from their local dealer when they go home, so I guess from Heartland's view, a sale is a sale.

About eight of us stayed after the show was over, visiting among ourselves and with other customers that came in. We didn't leave until about 3 o'clock, and went to the local Dairy Queen for a snack before going home. They had a special buy one-get one free sale so we all enjoyed a nice ice treat treat. Of course I had only milk with fruit but it was disguised as a Blizzard. That's my story!

So long.