Thursday, October 29, 2015

Wednesday October 28, 2015-Cajun RVera RV Park

A group of us went to Avery Island to tour the Tabasco factory and the rest of the island. 

The front door entrance to the factory for the tour. We went through with a group or about 30 people, which was much larger than the tour we took before but it wasn't a problem, just a bit ore crowded.

The entrance to the gift shop. They sell everything imaginable that is related to Tabasco from clothing to ice cream. I tried most of the flavors of Tabasco including some new flavors, both ice creams-both delicious, but didn't get to try the Coke with a Tabasco flavor. The lady attendant disappeared before I could ask for it.

This photo is really about the factory building behind this display. The building appears to be original but they are making some new additions using bricks which look the same as these, so I'm not sure.

This is the restaurant where we had lunch. The huge oak tree in front is just one of many on the island. 

Another shot of this huge tree. 

One of several alligators that we saw sunning itself along one of the ponds. 

Another gator by the pond.

I got out of the truck to see this one a little closer. 

I walked around this one a lot and he kept his eyes on me the whole time. Just after this picture, he jumped into the water. Maybe I frightened him?

This is a shrine that contains a centuries-old Buddha figure inside.


This is one of two elephant figures beside the Buddha house.  People have left change on the trays on the elephant's back as a wishing well.

I was interested in the landscaping around the Buddha house. There is no telling how much labor was involved in stacking the rocks and grading the terraces.

These are bird nesting areas for the egrets that come to this area. I am told that alligators are plentiful under these, trying to find any young birds that fall into the water.

This area is another alligator nesting area. We were disappointed that we didn't see any large gators or any other wildlife. Otherwise, we enjoyed our visit to Avery Island and now we have a reason to return.

So long.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Tuesday October 27, 2015-Moving Day-Bluebonnet Ridge RV Park to Cajun RVera, New Iberia LA

We had made arrangements with Dave and Nancy to meet on the highway to make the 370 mile drive to New Iberia Louisiana, the site of the next rally, for the Louisiana chapter. Nancy called as they left their home and we finished our loading and drove out to I-20 to wait for them to arrive but as soon we arrived at the meeting area, there they were! We could not have planned this any better, and we were on our way. 

We made great time on I-20 across Texas and then turned off onto I-49 n Louisiana. We only stopped for comfort stops along the highway, but things slowed drastically when we got to Lafayette. The roads  became very bad and we had to slow down dramatically. And beside that, there was heavy traffic and construction in the area. 

We made it in about 3:45 and were soon set up and ready to go. There were several rigs already here, so we spent time seeing and chatting with them. It's the beginning of another good Heartland Owners club rally.

So long.

Monday October 26, 2015-Bluebonnet Ridge V Park

It's been  a long time since we've had rain like we had from Thursday evening until Saturday morning. It rained constantly during this period, first a light and soft rain, then much harder and finally a downpour! I was surprised that we didn't float away! I didn't have my rain gauge out but wish I had because the only report from the Terrell area was that we had about 9" of rain by Friday noon. I'm certain that this amount was doubled or more by the time it ended.

We have had a great visit with Jennifer & Jay and of course, Ian, plus Melissa. We went over to Jennifer's house on Saturday morning, expecting to drive through huge amounts of water, but it wasn't really bad after all. The rain had just about stopped  by the time we got to their house in Garland. We sat around visiting with them for awhile before loading up to go to the Perot Nature and Science Museum in Dallas. My ex-wife Kay works there and got Stella and I some free tickets to the museum (Thanks Kay!) and the others are Museum members and got in free also. 

We all enjoyed the museum, although I thought that it was more for children than adults, it was still fun and interesting. Ian impressed us with his baseball pitching abilities in a sports display in the basement of the museum. I don't know how to download the video clip from my phone or I'd show it to you. He really does have some good moves as a pitcher. 

The kids took us to a new-to-us restaurant, the Cane Rosso in Dallas. This was some of the best pizza we have ever had and if you're in Dallas, craving pizza, try it out! 

Monday we had another meal with Jennifer, Ian and Melissa at the Rio Lerma restaurant in nearby Forney. This new restaurant has had good reviews and is about half way between Garland and Terrell, cutting down on the traveling for all of us. The meal was good and we enjoyed a lot of fun and laughter. We stayed there for a couple of hours, but still, all too soon, it was time to break up the party. They had to get back home, since it's a school and work night and we had to get fuel for the trip tomorrow and then get chores done back at home. With lots of hugs, we said so long to them until next time. Love ya kiddoes!

So long.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Thursday October 22, 2015-Moving day-Center RV park to Bluebonnet Ridge RV Park, Terrell TX

We were up at our normal 7 AM to start the moving process. Since we only have about 160 miles to drive today we were in no big hurry. I didn't go outside until 8:30, just not in the mood to pack up, but I finally went out and got going. We pulled out around 10, and by using the newly-opened loop that is outside the park, we were off. By taking the loop, we bypassed downtown Center. Now Center is not a huge city, but driving around the town square towing a 39' fifth wheel is not a fun thing to do. 

We made excellent time with no stops, actually we did stop at a highway rest area for about 10 minutes, we were in Terrell! It only took a short time to get checked in and we were soon set up and home again! Gotta love these short trips!

So long.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Wednesday October 21, 2015-Center RV Park

Stella and I took a drive to downtown Center TX where many of my relatives are from. Most of them are gone now but my Aunt Janie is still there with a few others. We went to visit her for a few days and had a great time visiting her.

Stella found a man selling fruit and vegetables on the square so while she shopped, I took some photos of the old County Courthouse and the grounds. The old courthouse is now a museum but I didn't go inside.

This appeared to be the main entrance with flagpoles, benches and a statue in front.

This is the opposite side, and appeared to me to be the back side of the courthouse.

A side entrance with the year 1885 above the door.

A building with barred windows, that I assumed was the old jail. T on was another building on the square with no markings or signs

The Texas Historical Society seal on the building.

Look very closely at the rings on the concrete curb. I assume that they are the old tie rings for horses around the courthouse.

As I said, we had a very nice visit with Janie and wish that there was more time to visit with all our relatives but we do the best we can.

So long.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Monday October 19, 2015-Moving Day-Choctaw Casino KOA to Center RV Park, Center TX

We were up pretty early this morning to get ready to move to the Center RV Park, but it was only a little over 200 miles to travel, so we weren't in a big hurry. It was freezing cold when I went out the first time-in my short pants-so I was soon back inside changing into my sweat pants which were much warmer. They were warmer but not water proof! As soon as I stepped outside, I got soaked down by the stupid sprinklers. I went on outside and was met by several others which were taking a break from packing up because of the sprinklers.

They only ran for a short time, so we were back in business and ready to go a little after 9 o'clock. After hugs and handshakes with our remaining friends we pulled out around 9:30. We made good time down the highway. One odd thing that I want to report was that we saw a Pontiac station wagon, probably a 80's vintage. We had seen another one the other day when coming to Durant. It was a Chevy, with the wood panels on the sides. I just thought it was ironic to have seen two station wagons in two different locations. Man, those things were huge!

We made it into the park here in Center and were soon set up. We had a bit of a problem with an electrical hookup here, but we've experienced that before here, so we just changed sites. Everything finally got connected and we are home for a few days!

So long.

Sunday October 18, 2015-Choctaw Casino KOA

Well, the rally is over and we had another great time! Many of our new and old friends are leaving today, but we still got together for a quick breakfast of leftovers and coffee. Did I tell you that this park furnishes not only a coffee pot but coffee and all the fixin's. 

After breakfast, we saw many of the folks off. A few left very early but most left later in the morning. We will see some of them at the next two rallies but some will be awhile. 

Several of us that stayed behind went over to the casino to blow our money, but as usual Stella was the only one that came back with a few bucks. I'm married to such a lucky woman ! And not only because she is married to me!

We came back home and watched the football games and napped until about 5, when we went back to the rally hall to eat the various leftovers that were in the fridge and freezer. We had a filling meal and best of all it cleaned out much of what had been left from the rally. A win-win!

We can't wait until we return here net spring. 

So long.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Thursday October 15, 2015-Choctaw Casino KOA

It was a bit cooler this morning when I got up for my walk, but again, it warmed up in the afternoon. A cold front is supposed to be here tomorrow, so maybe we're going to see some fall weather.

We got word this morning that our good friends, Michael and Kelly are coming in today for an overnight stay. They are coming from the Branson MO area and going to south Texas to work in the oil patch again. 

We had our rally kick-off Meet and Greet in the rally hall. They really know how to present their park for rallies. They have a completely furnished kitchen with coffee and tea pots available for use, with all the extras. It makes putting on a rally easy!

When the M & G was over, I went up to the park office to wait for Michael and Kelly to arrive, and sure enough, about 20 minutes later, they were here. After hugs and handshakes, they went to check in and were soon on their way to get set up for the night. Michael only put out the minimum for the overnight stay and we made arrangements to meet up to go over to the buffet dinner. Dave and Nancy along with Larry and Mary Ann went over with us, so we had a nice group. They put us in an area by ourselves and we had a nice visit, catching up with our friends. Larry and Mary Ann had a fire at their house and while checking on the roof, Larry fell onto a fence, narrowly avoiding being impaled on the fence. What a lucky guy!

We sat and chatted for almost 3 hours before calling it a night. Michael and Kelly stayed in the casino to gamble. They both got $10 in credit on their players cards but I didn't hear and screaming about how much money they won, so like almost everyone else, they came back home broke. And I was so hoping that they would win so Kelly could buy me that new Landmark!

So long.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Wednesday October 14, 2015-Moving Day-K E Bushman Camp-Choctaw KOA, Durant OK

We woke this morning to cool temperatures and clear skies, a delightful way to move. We got our normal 7:30 or so start and took our time and actually pulled out about 9:30. Dave and Nancy were traveling with us and knew of a better route to take around Tyler on a toll road and it really did the trick! With very light traffic, we made excellent time and it seemed to be no time at all and we were nearing Dennison. We made no stops and made it to the park about 1PM. this has got to be some sort of record for us. Of course, Stella said it's only 168 miles. 

Before we knew it we were set up and ready to have fun with our friends that were already here. Mike and Peg came over and invited us to go eat some bacon wrapped jalapenos at their place. We haven't seen them since we were in Creede, and they were such a help to us. 

Several other friends came over to eat the appetizers with us and we had some good chats with our friends and many laughs. It was a very pleasant night for sitting out and we stayed out until about 9 o'clock. There is a cool front coming in this weekend, so we need to take advantage while we can. More friends will be in tomorrow, so more fun to follow!

So long.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Sunday October 11, 2015-K E Bushman Camp

The South Texas chapter rally is over and we had a great time...again. There was a huge turnout for this rally with 7 newbies attending. I was able to spend some time with some of them, making new friends.

We stayed home for most of the rally, only going out to eat once at a nearby family-style  restaurant. The food was typically good and plentiful and we enjoyed ourselves very much.

I sold my old Carryout antenna while we were here. I told one of the other attendees that I had one for sale and Tim looked me up and bought it. While we were here, I met Ron Russell, a representative for Titan Brakes, who was here for a seminar on disk brakes. Ironically, Tim had bought and installed disk brakes on his Bighorn while here at the rally.

We had good weather for the rally, but it has been hot! We had some cool mornings, but no rain and hot temps. This area needs some rain badly but the temperatures are unusually hot for this time of the year. It's good to be out and traveling again but I'm ready for some cooler fall weather. Oh well, I'm sure it will cool off soon. At least by Thanksgiving!

So long.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Wednesday October 7, 2015-Moving Day-Bay Colony RV Resort to K E Bushman Camp, Bullard TX

We were up about 7 to drink our coffee and get ready to start packing up to travel today. Today will be my first pack up and drive trip in a long time. Everything went very well with the pack-up process and we pulled out about 9:30 or right on time. 

We made excellent time through Houston and were in the Spring area about 10:30. I had made plans to meet Tom and Marti at Sam's Barbecue in Fairfield. We had decided to call when we were out on the open road to determine if our times would work to meet for lunch and it worked out perfectly! We were both about 2 hours out from Sam's so everything is cool! Actually we pulled in a couple of minutes before them.

We had another great meal at Sam's as usual, and enjoyed out chat with Tom and Marti. We hadn't seen them since Amarillo, when Tom came up to drive me back home a few weeks ago. 

It was only about 70 miles from Fairfield to Bullard and the Bushman Camp, so it was no time at all and we were here! After a quick check-in we were getting set up. The site that we were assigned to is a pull through but we couldn't pull through it because of the way it was laid out and the surrounding truck and trailers, so I had to back in. It was very difficult but we managed to get it in without tearing anything up. In another 30 minutes, things were connected and we were set up!

I later walked around to see who was already here and helped Dave and Nancy carry their rally supplies and door prizes into the rally hall, so my work was done for the day and came back home to rest up. Actually, I came in and laid down on the couch and slept until time for bed. Ah, the life of the retiree!

So long.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Tuesday October 6, 2015-Bay Colony RV Resort

Well... my 50th class reunion went very well. We skipped the daytime activities, a Friday tour of Galveston by trolley after a lunch at Maceo's Spice in the Strand district, A Saturday tour of Ball High school, and a Sunday brunch at the San Luis hotel. 

Our Friday night meal was at Willie G's which is a very expensive (excessively so) restaurant which turned out to be a total bust, at least for us. We happened to be at the end of the line in getting served and they ran out of food! Well, not really ran out, but Stella and I only had 7 or 8 shrimp and some dried out chicken. 

Saturday's meal at the Fisherman's Wharf was much better. Waiters came around with quesadillas and bacon wrapped shrimp for appetizers and they were delicious. The main course was a good chicken dish with good fish and great fried oysters. The best thing was that there was plenty of food for us, as we were again one of the last tables called. 

The best thing about the reunion was visiting with many, many of my classmates. I can't begin to list everyone that was there but I would say that there were almost 150 of my classmates and their spouses. It was flattering and gratifying to me that so many of them knew of our travels and adventures. Many knew of my recent medical issues and expressed concern about my health. Of course, we are all of the same age, so medical issues were a big topic of discussion around the tables. 

It was so good to see so many old friends and we all wished the weekend could have run on longer. We will have another reunion in five years but I would like to see some other restaurants used. I volunteered to help with this reunion but was not chosen. Oh well, I had a great time and no pressure...

Sunday we went to Pearland to watch Cameron's select ball team get skunked 10-0. Cam was the the only one on his team to get on base, but he was stranded on base. He was pretty disgusted over the loss, but it didn't hurt his appetite. 

Monday we went to a doctor appointment for Stella and ran errands in the afternoon. We went to Kim's house in the afternoon and Stella fixed some of her goulash for supper. We finally got a chance to see and spend time with Tyler, who is now working for  construction company as a general laborer and taking college credits online. He says he likes his job with the additional money that he makes but says he doesn't know his grades. We'll see about that!

Today began with a doctor appointment for me. It didn't go too badly for me and she is starting me on some new diabetes medicine. It is a weekly injection, so I won't start it until next week. 

This afternoon, it was another reunion with a classmate, Bob Narvaez. Bob and I went to the junior high school together but drifted apart and lost track of each other until recently. It was fun to catch up with our lives and to recall stories from our youth. We had a nice 2 hour supper visit with him and hope to meet him again when we return to the area.

Tomorrow will be my first pack up and leave day and it will feel good to be back on the road. I don't expect any problems, and hope that there are no surprises.

So long.