Friday, December 27, 2013

Wednesday December 25, 2013-Serendipity Bay RV Resort

Well, we've been here for several busy days and I haven't had time to make another entry. We've visited with Stella's family a lot and had a good time. The first couple of evenings, we went to a place affectionately called The Cantina. It's owned by a long-time friend of the family named Clarence, who is in the grass business. He owns several grass farms in the area and sold one of them to Stella's nephew Randy a few years ago. The cantina is on one of the farm properties, and is now the headquarters of his company. He stores his equipment on the land and has his office in the cantina building. The building is quite a story, beginning as an old barn with a lean-to attached. Clarence added onto the old barn and enclosed it with old lumber salvaged from other old barns. One entire wall was built with old pallet lumber, so the entire building looks like it's very old, but in fact is just a few years old. There is an old swamp cooler in the main bar area to cool it in the summer that is also a heater, which came in handy in the cold weather. He added a couple of bedrooms or apartments for friends to stay in. The place is rustic but very nice. 

We went over to the cantina on Tuesday night just to meet Randy and his girlfriend Sondra and Chris another nephew and a few other people that were there. Randy and Sondra are staying in one of the apartments. It was pretty cold that night and we didn't stay very long.

We returned Wednesday for an oyster fry with all the trimmings. I helped Randy some when he prepared and fried the oysters and fries while others cooked some grilled shrimp and veggies. It was good to get some fresh seafood, cooked just right! 

Kim and the boys came down on Monday afternoon and we spent a lot of time with them. We took them to the famous Blessing Hotel for lunch and we all enjoyed another great meal. The Hotel was built in 1906 and has stood here, serving travelers in the hotel and the locals in the restaurant. If you're in the area, you should stop in and have lunch, it's great!

Christmas Eve was celebrated at niece Jana and her husband Chad's house. They have a big old farmhouse with plenty of room for everyone, so we had our party there again. I love to watch the little ones as they receive and open their gifts. They are so excited!

Jana had gone out and bought about $400 worth of fireworks and the young ones loved it! I watched them shoot off what seemed like 1000 rockets and 10,000,000 firecrackers and remembered the times that we too joined in. Seems so long ago...

We had a nice quiet Christmas day dinner at Henry and Elaine's house. No fireworks here, just a nice meal and watching a little television. We found a John Wayne marathon and everyone loves him! Nice day!

We'll be returning to Inks Lake soon but want to stay a couple more days to rest up. We are hoping for good weather and warmer than the hill country. We'll see how that works out.

So long.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Thursday December 19, 2013-Moving Day-Inks Lake state park to Serendipity Bay RV resort. Palacios TX

I forgot to mention in yesterday's blog entry about spend some time with our friends Dan and Ann Mayer. We met them at the Bluebonnet Cafe in Marble Falls and had a great lunch and ended up spending about 3 1/2 hours visiting with them. We had a great time chatting and exchanging life experiences. What a wonderful way to spend an afternoon!

This morning, we got up pretty early and began making preparations to move down to Palacios for a visit with Stella's family who live in Blessing, about 12 miles away. We didn't actually leave until 10:30 because several of our friends stopped by to talk and then Stella had to stop at the headquarters and got hung up there.

We made good time but time seemed to be going sooooo slowly. We only made one stop at the Buccee's in Luling and I captured a lot of Munzees there. This was the first time I had been able to play in awhile because I have been busy with the deer hunts and there are no local Munzees for me to find. Anuway, I raised my score by about 200 points! 

We pulled into Serendipity about 4:30 and before long, everything was set up and we were relaxing. This is our first time down here in about two years and I know that Stella is looking forward to seeing her family. I guess you could say that we're on vacation? 

So long.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wednesday December 18, 2013-Inks Lake state park

As you may have noticed, I have not made any entries in some time. Please let me explain what happened. I have been experiencing a huge amount of data usage by my Verizon MiFi card for the past couple of months and when I called to complain about the unusual amount, I was told that any long entries, photos, videos and even leaving Facebook open could add the large amounts that I have been seeing. My normal use is 10-12 gigabytes per month, but last month it went over 25 gigs and the straw that broke the camel's back was a message today that I had used over 40 gigs! That would be over 1 1/3 gigs per day!

I called Verizon Customer Service and spoke with two very nice people who agreed to exchange the sim card on the MiFi which should take care of the problem. I must call them when the bill comes out in a few days and they will credit my account for the overage. We'll see how this works out...

So long.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Monday December 2, 2013-Inks Lake state park

I was up and about early this morning, going down to the maintenance shop for our last day of preparation for the deer hunt that begins tomorrow. John and I checked most of the blinds, putting out more corn to keep the deer in the area for the hunters. I only have three blinds to bring hunters to and John pointed out some low spots around the blinds and a few other hazards. I am excited and apprehensive about the upcoming hunt, but it should be fun and I expect to meet some new people.

We started putting out signs to guide the hunters to the shop and will go out the first thing in the morning to put out the warning signs. We will shut down all of the hiking trails except for the Devil's Waterhole for safety reasons. Although it has happened before, we don't want a hiker to walk into the hunting areas. 

There is still no firewood in the park except for a few stacks that haven't been sold. I spoke with Craig, the firewood coordinator, over the weekend and he said that wood has been ordered  but it hasn't gotten here yet. Stella will be doing this chore while I am tied up with the deer hunt. Maybe it will come in tomorrow...

So long.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Sunday December 1, 2013-Inks Lake state park

This is the Marble Falls Christmas Festival Lights that is sponsored by the City of Marble Falls and the Chamber of Commerce. There are many, many lights that they erect every season and display in a park area on the bank of Lake Marble Falls. The pictures are self explanatory. 

Christmas has got to be my favorite time of the year.

Kim and the boys left this morning for home. We enjoyed their visit and will see them again at Christmas in Blessing. 

So long. 

Saturday November 30, 2013-Inks Lake state park

Today we made a trip over to the Longhorn Caverns. Stella and I have been here but it was several years ago. Both of the boys wanted to come to the caverns. 

Here is our guide Leona, giving us an introduction and history of the caverns. The caverns were used by the Mohawk and Tonkawa Indians for shelter and tribe meetings in some of the larger rooms. The caverns were also used by Confederate soldiers to make and store dynamite. The explosives were made with some minerals and bat guano found in the cave. In the 1920's, during the prohibition era, the cave was used as a speakeasy. It had a more modern use when Lyndon Johnson was President, when it was used as a bomb shelter for him. The limestone found in the cavern is a good insulator from radiation, which would protect the President. She said that there were a lot of supplies left behind when Johnson left office.

This is a part of the natural entrance to the caverns. The State of Texas owns about a mile and a half of the cavern, which continues on for about six and a half miles.

This is a natural sculpture called the Queen's Watchdog. It was originally found in the Queen's Chamber.

More natural formations. 

 The milky looking walls and ceiling are limestone and were formed thousands of years ago when an underground river existed here.

 Interesting rock formations

This is one of several halls found in the caverns. The entire tour was a little more than a mile and took about 90 minutes to complete. It was nice and cool in the top of the cave but very humid in the bottom. We all enjoyed the tour but we were pretty tired at the end.

So long.

Friday November 29, 2013-Inks Lake state park

We had another cold morning here and I went out and started another warming campfire. I got the boys up early, at the crack of 10, to go on a hike up to the Devil's Waterhole. It was a great day for a hike.

Here are Tyler and Cameron at the waterhole. As you can see, it's a popular place for fishing but we didn't come prepared for that. 

Here is another shot of the boys with a nice little waterfall behind them. Actually I was surprised that we didn't see more folks taking advantage of the weather to hike. It was nice to spend a couple of hours with the boys. I wish we had more time to spend with them. They grow up so fast!

So long.

Thursday November 28, 2013-Inks Lake state park

I know that I've again fallen down in my  blog but I've been busy with my work and yesterday Kim and the boys arrived for a Thanksgiving visit. It is tight in the trailer with three extra people- two of them great big boys- but we managed. Cameron slept with me in the king size bed, Kim and Tyler bunked on the queen size hide-a-bed sofa and Stella slept in her chair in the living room. She and Kim stay up until all hours talking, so it really doesn't matter where they slept.

We returned to the Highlander Restaurant in Burnet for their Thanksgiving buffet and like last year, it was very good. We were accompanied by our friends and fellow hosts here at the park, Bill and Karen. We were seated in the old dining room that was being remodeled, and although it was a bit chilly- no heating vents hooked up yet- we had a nice time. 

We returned home and relit the campfire that we had started this morning. It's so nice to have plenty of firewood and having a morning and evening fire. It has been cold every morning and the fire felt good. 

Below are some pictures of the deer in our yard. These three does spend a lot of time in our yard and sleep in the high grass behind us every night.

I think they're saying "we're busy eating grass and a few acorns that are laying around and this guy comes along to take our picture. Can't he find something else to do?"

We're out of here...

So long.