Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Tuesday October 29, 2014-Ron Hoover Oasis RV Park

We are in the routine weather pattern of the Texas Gulf coast right now, upper 60's at night and low 80's and mostly clear. The weather guessers usually show a small percentage of rain possible but that seldom happens. 

We were invited to Rayford where our friends Tommy and Susan are staying for some barbecue that Ted and Donna made. We decided to drive up in the early afternoon to see other friends that are at Rayford.

I found another huge cache of high point Munzees in downtown Houston, near the George R. Brown convention center and we stopped off for awhile to cap some. I have become addicted to the high count ones but was only able to grab a few today but will likely return to get the others soon.

I had forgotten how bad the Houston traffic is. It took us abut 45 minutes to go 30 miles, not fun! I'm just glad we weren't towing the trailer.

 We were soon arriving at Rayford and the beautiful sites there. Tommy's motorhome is right up front in one of the deluxe sites. Just gorgeous! We later went to the office where we spoke with Gwen, the owner. It has been awhile since we've stayed here, and we discovered that we miss it and will likely return sometime next year.

 Here's the group, sitting around the table. Our meal was slow-cooked brisket, baked beans and cole slaw, all done by Ted and Donna. Stella made a cake and Susan brought an apple pie with Blue Bell to top off the barbecue dinner. The meal was delicious and it was good to spend time with our friends. Several of our old friends stopped by to visit while we were there. Frank and Nancy, Big John and Mark all came by and visited. Most of the Winter Texans have not arrived yet and sadly, we may not be able to get back up here to visit them.

This is Tommy and Susan's Allegro Bus, a VERY nice rig! If I was to buy a motorhome, this one would be high on my list.

The trip back home was much better. It only took us about an hour and fifteen minutes to get back. I don't much like driving at night any more, but there was little traffic and it made the trip almost enjoyable. Well, maybe not enjoyable, but acceptable...

So long.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Monday October 27, 2014-Ron Hoover Oasis RV Park

I left off on Saturday, so I'll begin this entry with Sunday. I hope you're not too confused by my hit and miss reporting.

Sunday was a quiet day for us. We stayed home in the morning and then watched the Houston Texans trounce the Tennessee Titans! It was good to see the home team win one again. 

We talked to Mike and Patrice and agreed to meet them at the Center Buffet in League City for supper. Kim and the boys had been invited but Tyler had to work and Cam had gone off to a friend's house to play football, so they didn't come. It was good to see Mike and Patrice again and to see Patrice getting around again. She suffered a fall a couple of months ago and shattered her kneecap and is recovering well. We hope that she is recovered enough to meet us in the valley in January.

Today I decided to go cap a lot of Munzees that I had found in League City and began at the Kroger store. I followed a huge trail back to the South Shore Harbor Marina and hotel, where I found a gigantic number of high-point count Munzees that had been put out at a geocashing festival that had been held there. In just a few hours, I had capped over 3900 points and captured every one in the area. The few "greenies" that I didn't cap were only 5 points each and I was simply too tired to get them. I can always go back if I need another 13 or 20 points. 

It was a tiring but successful day, but you gotta be a Munzer to understand.

So long.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Saturday October 25, 2014-Ron Hoover Oasis RV Park-LaMarque TX

Okay, thanks for bearing with me. This post should catch me up to the present time.

We made the short trip from the KOA in Montgomery to the Ron Hoover Oasis on Monday morning. We purposely waited to leave to allow the traffic to clear out in Houston, and of course, to say long goodbyes to our friends that had stayed over. The trip was uneventful and only about 90 miles, so we made excellent time. We had a couple of slow-downs in the middle of Houston (go figure) and pulled in here around noon. 

When we arrived, we were put into a different site than had been told. No explanation was given but most of the sites are identical. the only problem with our site is a lack of parking that is due to a bad layout of the site. The utility hookups are fine but the patio is the problem. The concrete blocks used to form the picnic tables and "chairs" are anchored onto the patio, making centering the trailer difficult and parking, either behind or in front of the trailer a challenge.

 Here is a picture of the porch and steps, showing how close the seat and the edge of the table. This park isn't that old, but they obviously did no measuring for the placement of the tables. Of course, everyone doesn't use a porch like we have, but the built-in steps on the trailer will still directly in the way.

Tuesday we ran errands and took care of some shopping but the main thing we got done was to drop Stella's computer off at Best Buy for a tune up. She has been having a lot of trouble with the computer shutting down and freezing up, and she had already bought a service plan. 

We didn't let Kim and the boys know that we were back in town, hoping to surprise them and it worked! We were able to surprise Kim at Cameron's football game in Missouri City Wednesday evening and since Cam couldn't see us in the crowd in the stands, he was surprised too. Tyler was working at Baskin Robbins tonight, so we went there after the game and surprised him too. 
Mission Accomplished!

 I know it's a long shot, but we were way up in the stands, but that is Cameron kicking off to begin the game. Cam plays on both sides of the ball, not including kickoffs. He plays on both the offensive and defensive lines and had a good game. His team crushed the Willowridge team 30-24.

Thursday night we made another trip to Missouri City to see the varsity football team play, and to watch the High School Marching Band with Tyler in it. The Texas City team dominated their opponent but we enjoyed watching Tyler and his antics with his band members.

After the game ended, Tyler and the other seniors in the band lined up and did a dance. Tyler is in the middle of the photo and to his left is his girlfriend Loren. 

Friday we had to make another road trip, to Bellville, where we get our mail and are registered to vote. We wanted to vote in the early voting and while there, we got the truck and trailer license plates renewed. We could have done it online, but we were there anyway, so just another quick stop in the Austin County tax office and we were done! It was refreshing to go to a "country" tax office, with friendly and laid-back people there that actually spoke to us as we waited to vote. Gotta love those friendly Texans.

We met our friends Harry and Judy for supper at the Oriental Buffet and Grill in Texas City. It was good to see them again and to catch up on what has been going on with them. They have been confined to this area for a long time but hope to get back on the road after their oldest grandson Ryan, graduates from high school in June.

Saturday we planned to stay home and rest, but in the morning, I decided to grab some local Munzees around the old closed-down Mall of the Mainland. I managed to grab about 40 of them and then grabbed a few more at the new Buccee's store while I refueled. There are many more in the area that I will get while we are around here, but this was enough for today.

Kim called and said that they are cooking out this afternoon, so we went over and had a delicious meal with them. Ray, Kim's new boyfriend, has made a lot of improvements in their back yard, cleaning up a huge amount of trash, including an old above ground swimming pool. There is still much more work to be done, but he's made a huge difference. He did a great job with the boudain-stuffed pork loins.
It's good to be back...

So long.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Monday October 20, 2014-Lake Conroe KOA-Montgomery TX

This post will cover the travels between Amana and Montgomery TX. and the two chapter rallies we went to.

We left Amana on Monday October 6th along with Dave and Nancy & Mike and Peg. Stella and I were tired but we made it out of the park a bit after 9 on our way to the Peculiar Park Place RV Park in Peculiar MO. You may remember that we stayed there last year and were happy with their accommodations. Since there were three of us traveling together, we were put into some other sites than we had before and there was a noticeable difference in highway noise. Other than that, everything was fine. It was a drive of about 325 miles, further than we normally go, but we're on a mission to make the North Texas rally. Dave and Nancy are the Chapter Leaders, so it would have been bad for all of us to be late to the rally.

Tuesday October 7th, we were up and on the road again about 9 and soon back on the freeway, heading to Checotah Oklahoma, our second overnight stop. We made good time and stopped at a rest area near the Missouri border for lunch. We have started to do this when we travel with others, and I like it. Normally Stella and I would have just eaten while driving but this way, it is more restful and gives us a good break to the drive. Today was another long drive, over 280 miles. We really like this KOA in Checotah. It is quiet and shaded but still gives a decent view of the sky for satellite use. We ate supper in the park restaurant and were very surprised at the quality and low price of the food. We thought about getting breakfast before we leave in the morning but decided not to spend the time, although Mike did go down and get a breakfast biscuit to eat.

Wednesday we didn't leave until about 9:30, but we have a shorter drive of less than 300 miles today. We pulled into the K E Bushman Campground about 2 o'clock and were finally able to rest and relax. A small group of Heartlanders is here, and several of them went out to eat some Chinese but Stella and I stayed home to rest.

We were very glad to see our good friends Dave and Amy, Chapter Leaders of the Wyoming chapter who came down from their home in Cody as well as Louisiana Chapter Leaders Andy and JoAnna, who drove up from southern Louisiana. During the rally we enjoyed a Cajun food meal with them, Forum Moderators Dan and Ann & Terry and Carol at Razzoo's in nearby Tyler. We all had good meals and great conversation with our friends. It was also great to see our friends Bob and Connie again. They had planned to come to the rally at Amana but Connie has been getting treatment for cancer and it interfered with their attendance. 

On Saturday we drove down to Blessing TX for the wedding of Stella's nephew Randy and his long-time girlfriend Sondra. It was a loooong drive down to the coast, and again reinforced our hatred for staying in a motel. It was just too far to bring the trailer for an overnight stay and we have made plans for visiting Aunt Janie when we leave Bullard. The wedding was huge and was held at a huge grass farm that belongs to one of Randy's good friends. He has built a small village of old houses and artifacts that he has gathered over the years. There are two huge oak trees that have been inspected by tree experts that told them that these trees are about the same age as the "Ancient Oaks" in Rockport. The wedding went very well and we all enjoyed a great fajita meal with all the trimmings. 

We made the drive back to Bullard without incident. The only notable thing that happened was when we stopped at a state rest area, I jumped out, as usual, to capture some Munzees and while getting one, I noticed a car drive up with Munzee signs on the sides. The man that got out had on a Munzee shirt and cap, and when he approached me, I remarked that he must be an avid Munzer. He said that he was in fact, the President of Munzee, Rob. He gave me some Munzees before he took off to deploy and cap some for himself. Wow, how cool is this? We continued our drive back to Bullard and enjoyed the last potluck with the remaining rally-goer's staying over. Most of them will be going to Montgomery for the south Texas rally.

We had a bad storm come through, which made us put off leaving. We called the park, the Center RV park and learned that power had been knocked out because of fallen trees. The man there recommended staying where we were because more storms were possible. We left Tuesday for the 80 mile drive to Center TX a visit with Janie. Her husband Gail has been very ill and was not up to meet us for lunch with other relatives that had been planned for noon. We did have a nice lunch visit with my cousins Barbara, Connie and Dot and her husband David. It was good to catch up with all of them and we spent a couple of hours chatting and reminiscing with them. We later went over to Janie's house for supper with her and Gail. We had a great time with them as well, so my family visit was complete.

We got up on Wednesday morning and pulled out for the 160 mile drive to Montgomery. We arrived just ahead of the group that had come from Bullard. We had called Woodlands friends Ted and Donna and went to eat "lupper" with them at the Salt Grass restaurant in Conroe. It was good to catch up with our old friends and to compare notes on our separate travels. They had just returned from a Europe trip and it was fun hearing about their travels. 

We returned to the park- which has not really improved anything since we last stayed here in February of this year- and watched as other old friends arrived. We haven't seen Jim and Sheila at a rally for a long time. Jim has been receiving treatment for cancer for several years and they haven't been able to come to several rallies due to their part-time job, so it was really good to see him (them) again. We had another great time at the rally and are looking forward to some down time in LaMarque, visiting with Kim and the boys. We have traveled almost 1200 miles, attended two rallies and a large wedding and visited with family since leaving Amana, so I hope for some rest.

Sorry for the length of this post.

So long.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Sunday October 5, 2014-Amana Colonies Event Center and RV Park

I know that I (again) have been remiss in updating this blog and I apologize (again). The Amana Regional rally wore me out and then we traveled over a thousand miles in three days to the north Texas rally in Bullard, made a flying trip down to Blessing for Randy's (Stella's nephew) wedding, back to Bullard, then traveled about one hundred miles to visit my Aunt Janie in Center Texas, then drove almost 300 miles to Montgomery to the south Texas rally, which is where we are now. This rally is officially over but there are still 6 trailers here and we plan to have a small potluck tonight.

Below you will see some photos of the Oktoberfest celebration in Amana. This was our first chance to get downtown to enjoy these festivities. We were here last year but didn't have a chance to come into town. I'm not complaining, just telling you what happened. 

This is the main hall in the barn, where the bands play. 

One of the many "oom-pah" bands.

Here are our friends Bernie and Judy dancing to the music. Bernie is German by birth and he usually wears his authentic Leiderhosen that he brought over from Germany. 

 We stood outside in the freezing cold to watch the Oktoberfest parade through downtown Amana.

We had a delicious meal Saturday night at the Ronneberg Restaurant in downtown Amana as part of the rally package. I think that the rally team made a good choice of this restaurant and everyone enjoyed their meals. We came back to the park for our last-night campfires and visits but the weather didn't cooperate. It was cold and rainy and a few had started their fires but no one came out. A sad time because everyone was looking forward to one more night of campfires. 

Sunday morning we had our last furnished meal. It required an extra amount of work to set up tables and chairs because there had been an Oktoberfest race on Saturday and everything had been put away, but we had a great crew of helpers to get things set up so it didn't take very long. We also had a bunch of great helpers to cook and prepare the breakfast. It was sad to see everyone finish eating because many were leaving this morning.

After breakfast, Gary Lippe, father of David, the Iowa Chapter Leader, suffered a TIA, requiring a trip to the hospital. As it turned out, he wasn't admitted and was soon back at his trailer and getting things ready to pull out tomorrow. We ended up taking him out to eat with us at the Ox Yoke Inn in downtown Amana. We hope he recovers well.

We thought the rally went  very well and received many compliments. We must thank all the team members and countless others that pitched in to help pull this thing off. Great job!!

So long.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Tuesday September 30, 2014-Amana Colonies Event Center & RV Park

We woke to cloudy skies and cool, about 60 degree temps here in Amana. It remained cloudy until early in the afternoon when it warmed up and the sun came out for a beautiful afternoon.

Wow, the first day of the pre-rally started out busy for us! A group of us met at the rally hall and got the rally bags stuffed and delivered. It took a few hours, but we got 'er dun. As I delivered the bags, I visited with the folks and answered questions about the area and the upcoming events. 

I came home and relaxed for a bit before we went to eat with a large group of Heartlanders at the Pizza Ranch in Cedar Rapids. If you've never been to a Pizza Ranch, try it out! They serve very good pizza and also have a buffet of chicken and veggies. With our large group we pretty-much filled the restaurant!

We came home and I crashed inside for a bit but later went out to visit at a couple of campfires. It was cold and the fires felt really good and we will have many more during the rest of the week. 

So long.