Monday, February 29, 2016

Sunday February 28, 2016-Palms RV Park

This entry will cover both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday was Stella's birthday and we celebrated it all weekend. Yep, she turned the big 7-0 which means that she is in another decade ahead of me! that's right, she is in her 70's and I am still in my 60's...

Saturday morning, I got up early and went to the donut shop and bought her a big selection of donuts, croissants, etc. which started her day out well. Jennifer had contacted me last week and asked what we had planned for today and we worked out a scheme that would take us to Sam's Barbecue in Fairfield with Kim and family for a surprise party, but Kim backed out of the deal so Stella and I made the long trip by ourselves. She was very suspicious of why we were driving all the way across the state, about 175 miles, for supper by ourselves, but she didn't say anything. I think she really knew what was going on, but was a good sport about it and went along.

The trip went well except that the Hardy Toll road was under construction and put us out in Spring, into the middle of an Old Town Spring celebration with lots and lots of traffic. It slowed us down a bit, but we made it through with no problems. There was a bigger problem on the other end of the trip when Jennifer and Melissa were delayed in arriving at Sam's because of a serious traffic accident and I had to come clean about the purpose of our drive. 

We had a very nice meal and visit with the kids and to hear about Ian's baseball stories. We never get to see the kids enough and it was good to spend some time with them. We stayed at our table for a couple of hours, and luckily the restaurant wasn't too crowded and we could visit. The trip home was good and we breezed right through Houston with no slowdown but it was still after 11 before we got home. 

Sunday we met Kim and her crew at Gringo's Mexican Restaurant in Texas City. It's always good to see the boys, but Ray's son Austin was visiting his mother this weekend so he didn't come. The food was good as usual, and we had some good conversations. It's a shame that we couldn't have all gotten together at Sam's but we made the best of it. 

I think that Stella enjoyed her birthday and hope that she was at least a bit surprised. At our age, we don't celebrate birthdays much anymore and I hope she enjoyed it.

So long.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Friday February 26, 2016-Palms RV Park

Today we met Tommy and Susan at Tookies restaurant in Seabrook. This is one of our favorite specialty sandwich stores and we eat here as often as possible. We met them about 4 PM so that we can head over to Deer Park to watch Cameron play baseball.

Today, Cam is playing on the varsity baseball team and is scheduled to pitch as the closer tonight. Since he is only a sophomore, he has been apprehensive about playing with the older boys, but I think today has made him a regular on the team. We'll see...

The South Houston team came out swinging, and scored 5 runs in the first inning. Then they followed in the second inning, scoring 1 run. For some reason the coach insisted on leaving the pitcher in, trying to get him to "work through it" and solve his own problem, but by the third inning the Texas City boys were down by 8-0 when they brought Cam in the third inning, down two more runs scored this inning and the bases loaded with no outs. Cam then got them out of the inning, striking out two batters. Whew!

The RC boys came back, scoring 6 runs when Cam came up in the 6th inning with the bases loaded, hitting a long fly into right field, scoring 2 runs and making the score 8-6. Cam continued to dominate in pitch, striking out 7 of 10 of the next batters, with the last three hitting easy-catch fly balls into the outfield. Cam was relieved in the 7th inning and his team won by 11-9 in the final inning. Wow, what a nail biter!

Tommy and Susan invited us to come by their house after the game to see the progress that their new yellow lab, Brie has been making. Brie replaced Tess, a wonderful yellow lab that was one of the best-trained dogs ever. She was trained as a search dog for missing people, and of course, had to be obedience trained before being search-trained. She was superbly trained, responding to both verbal and hand signals. 

Brie is only a few months old and is making improvement but she will need more work before any competitions but Tommy will keep working on her. While at their house, they recommended some television shows showing dog training and general information on dogs. We ended up watching a show on reading and identifying problems in your dog's poop. Yes, thats right, dog poop! It was informative and we all laughed about it when we thought about the show that we were watching. It takes a special person to watch a show about poop! 

So long.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Tuesday February 23, 2016-Palms RV Park

Today was an interesting day. When we woke this morning, it was storming, with heavy rain and high winds. We learned from Erika that we were under a tornado warning that we didn't know about. We don't watch local television in the morning, and simply missed the warning. Oh well, by the time we learned of it, the warning had expired. Thank you Erika for letting us know we were in danger.

We had planned to go to Bellville this morning to early vote in the primary election but with the weather outside, we decided to put off leaving until it cleared off. We had originally planned to go to Bellville to vote and then meet our friend Bill at Tony's Family Restaurant in Sealy. Since we didn't leave on time, we went to the restaurant first. We got there a few minutes early and Bill was walking into the restaurant when we drove up. Perfect timing! As always, the food was great and it was nice to catch up with Bill. 

We left the restaurant and saw a very small chihuahua dog that was running loose on the busy Hwy. 36. We felt sorry for the little dog and followed him into  nearby subdivision where he seemed at ease. He went to one home in particular and sniffed at the front door, as if to say he was home. He went into the fenced back yard, so we left him. I hope someone let him in the house.

We continued on our way to Belville and about 10 miles outside of town, I noticed something in the road ahead. I kept an eye on it and when I got up close enough to see that it was a turtle, trying to get across the highway. I swerved to avoid hitting it but didn't pay any attention to a car that had been behind me in the left lane but I did see that I hadn't hit the turtle as it was still in the road. We continued on toward Bellville when the little red car came up alongside and pointed over to the shoulder. I didn't notice anything missing or hanging off my truck, but the other driver pulled over onto the shoulder. He was still waving his arms, so I pulled over too. I was very wary but the other car carried a man who walked with a limp and a pregnant woman. They walked up and said that I had damaged their car with the turtle, when it apparently blew up when I passed them. I told them that I was not responsible for animals on the road and that although I was sorry he had damage to his car, I was not responsible. He said he wanted to call the police, so I said we would wait. 

We waited about 15 or 20 minutes so I walked back to their car both to check out the damage and to check on who they had called and their possible arrival time. When I walked up, I didn't see anything but some blood and fluid on the windshield but he showed me that the glass had shattered around the edges of the glass. He said he had called the Austin County Sheriff's office and sure enough, as I walked back to my truck Deputy Packard arrived. After speaking with the complainant in the red car, he agreed with me in that I had no control over the turtle and that if it accidentally hit their car when I drove by it, it was not a reportable accident. Deputy Packard called a DPS Trooper to back up his decision and after taking my name, drivers license number and telephone number, he sent us on our way. I felt bad about the death of the turtle and bad about the damage to the other car, but I had no responsibility. I had done what I could to avoid running over the turtle and didn't see the other car at the time. They just happened to be in the wrong place at the time but at least no human was injured. It was a newer car and should be covered with full coverage insurance, so they will need to call them.

We continued into Bellville and got our voting done in short order. Gotta love these small towns! No long lines and everyone is very courteous so it was a very pleasant experience to help Make America Great Again.

So long

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Sunday February 21, 2016-Palms RV Park

After all the food we ate late last week, my blood pressure took an upward spike on Monday, so I cut waaaay back on my food intake and managed to get it back into line in a couple of days. It never went to a dangerous level but it was somewhat elevated but back in line now.

We went to a couple of Cameron's baseball games and he and his team made good showings, winning their games. Cam made some good plays in the field (3rd  base) and got some good hits. He looked good when he pitched for an inning in one of the games, striking out two batters.As warm as it is during the day, it has been cool at night and long sleeves or a light jacket feel pretty good. At least it's not freezing or snowing like some places.

We stayed home mostly at night and rested up, with me trying to watch my food intake. I feel much better but have purposely not weighed myself, for fear that I will have lost a few pounds, which will cause me to go off the wagon and overeat again, so I'll wait a few days and see how I'm doing.

Saturday we went over to Kim's house for Stella to make her famous goulash that the boys love. I learned that Cameron had gotten a warning ticket for an improper turn, so Kim asked me to go for a ride with him driving to see what I thought about his driving abilities. I was actually impressed with him and told him so. I did offer a bit of advice on some things he can improve but overall he did a good job.

Our good friends Bill and Ornell came in to Houston today for Bill to get some medical treatment tomorrow. We went up to the Advanced RV Resort to visit with them and to go out to eat. We tried the Tacqueria del Sol in Houston but it had gotten some really good reviews on Yelp for having the best tacos in town and the place was PACKED! I guess the good report had made lots of folks try it out today, so we'll have to try it another time. We tried another favorite of ours, Cafe Adobe on Westheimer but found that it had closed or moved. I remembered another Mexican restaurant that we liked named Molina's Cantina, much further out on Westheimer. It is only a few miles but the traffic was very heavy and we finally made it. It was well worth the wait and we all enjoyed our food. We enjoyed our time with our friends and we returned to their RV park to relax and have some coffee with them. We spent a couple of hours with them but had to come home to take care of little Trampie. He missed us and was glad to see us, but most of all to let him outside. It was a good day...

So long.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Sunday February 14, 2016-Palms RV Park

This will be another catch-up post. We have spent the past few days spending time with friends and family and enjoying being back in our "home" area.

Friday we met our friends Tommy and Susan at the Topwater Grill in nearby San Leon. They brought some of our old friends Warren & Judy and Jim & Rita from Rayford Crossing where we used to live for a long time. We love the fresh seafood at the grill and we had a great time with our friends. We all ate way too much, but it sure was good!

Saturday we went to the Houston RV Show in the NRG Center. I contacted our friendly Heartland Dealer, Ron Hoover RV in Houston and worked out a deal with them to have a table for the Heartland Owners club and to also talk to prospective customers about our own Landmark and living in it full time. We have done this several times in the past with good results and today was no exception. Our table was set up between the two Landmark that were on display. One of them was a Charleston model that we liked and almost bought and we talked to many people as they came by. Several came back to look again and we heard them say that they really like the Landmarks. I talked to several people about joining the Heartland forum and club and gave out some handout material and business cards.

It was also a good day to run into friends at the RV show. Tommy, Susan and Bill came by but I was gone at the time, so I didn't get to see them. Mike and Patrice came by and are looking at the Landmark Newport. Chip and Bunky, friends from Inks Lake, came by while visiting the show. They didn't know we were there and of course, we had no idea that they would be coming to the show, but it was good to see them. I later ran into Rick Pearcy, an old friend that I worked with at the Dickinson Police Dept. many years ago. It was good to see him again after many years.

Sunday we met Phil & Carol, their daughter Lindsay, husband Mark and their two sons and brand new daughter, Carol's mother and father Clifford and Kathryn and her brother and his family at the Topwater Grill. I know, we just ate there a couple of days ago, but the good is very good and we love seafood, so it was worth it. Not only was it a celebration of Valentine's Day, but tomorrow will be Clifford and Kathryn's 68th anniversary. Wow, what a milestone!

We went by to visit Kim and family and to meet her new cat Bluebell. I got the boys to help me get the portable porch out of the back of my truck. We won't be using it this summer and I just wanted the clutter out of the truck for awhile. I also picked up my ladder, so I can do stuff on the roof and sides of the trailer. Now to get to Stella's doctor and find out what we'll be able to do this summer. Wish us luck...

So long.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Thursday February 11, 2016-Palms RV Park

Today was doctor visit day for both Stella and I. She went first, to the Ophthalmologist to begin her eye testing and repair. They dilated her eyes before testing her but she needs more tests run before they can schedule her operation.  She is scheduled to go back on the 22nd and we should know more then.

I went to my Cardiologist this afternoon and got a good report. They ran an EKG on me in the office and since I haven't had any problems since my last visit, he saw no reason to change anything and ordered me to return in 6 months. We'll still be out of state then, so we'll call and make an appointment.

We met Kim, Ray, Tyler, Cameron and Austin at the La Brisa restaurant in Bacliff for supper. It was good to be back with family. The food was pretty good too! We started getting caught up with the boys and we hope to get together with them again soon.

So long.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Tuesday February 9, 2016-Moving Day-Gateway to the Gulf to Palms RV Park, Dickinson TX

We were up before 7AM this morning but the bed was warm and I was lazy and stayed in it until about 7:30. I knew that I didn't have that much to do this morning, so I took it easy. The same "lazy bug" must have bitten Stella too because we didn't get out until 9:30 or so. We only have about 150 miles to drive today and it's freeway all the way, so no worries!

We made the obligatory stop at Buccee's in Wharton for clean rest rooms, cheap fuel and good snack foods. Of course, we didn't make it there in time for breakfast burritos but we did get some nourishment and excellent coffee. And those Heartland coffee cups keep the coffee piping hot for hours! In fact, we both finished our coffee after we got here and were all set up, about 4 hours after leaving the store. Amazing!

We got to Dickinson and immediately noticed very little has changed in our old hometown. I did notice that the  bank where Stella worked for many years was empty of cars in the parking lot, both employees and customers. I first thought it must be a bank holiday but it's not. Stella said that the last time she was in the bank, there were few customers. Sad...

We were set up completely by 1 or so, and we were able to sit down and take a break, drinking our coffee (see above). I was apprehensive about this park, never having been here before. It was a straight back-in site, which are more difficult to get into than an angled one, but I was lucky and got backed in on the first try. This seems to be a nice quiet park but time will tell how we like it. I'll let you know...

So long.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Monday February 8, 2016-Moving Day-Cottonwood RV Park to Gateway to the Gulf, Victoria TX

We were up about 6:30 this morning to get ready to leave. It was another cool morning, not cold, but long pants and a jacket would feel good. Of course, I dressed for warmer weather in shorts and my normal safety yellow tee shirt, and regretted it for the first few minutes that I was outside, but either I got used to the cool or I worked enough to keep warm, and I soon forgot that I was cold.

The pack-up went very well and I was soon finished with my work. At least, finished enough to take a last walkabout the park. I saw and said goodbye to several friends around the park before returning to finish my work. 

We were ready to go a little after 9, but  by the time we had a last visit with our friends and neighbors and pulled out at 9:36. It was about 30 minutes later than we wanted, but it will work. 

We went to the Discount Tire in McAllen to have three tires installed on the trailer. They told us it would be about an hour and a half until it would be ready, but they sent someone out and he was done in about 45 minutes. Great!!

We were soon back on the road and only made one comfort stop at the rest area just after the Border Patrol checkpoint in Falfurrias. It's an interesting stop because it is on the left side of the roadway, so that one rest stop services both northbound and southbound travelers. 

I also want to tell you about the friendliest Border Patrol officers we've ever met working at the checkpoint. I know that they are taught to be brusque and not overly friendly, but he certainly was. It was refreshing to meet him. I'm sorry that I didn't get his name because his supervisor needs to hear about him.

We got here to the Gateway to the Gulf RV Park about 3:30. In not time, we were checked in and escorted to our site. The weather has been good all the way down here but we were bucking a headwind all the way and my mileage suffered. It was still windy when we got here and I paid a price for it. While setting up the water, the door to the storage compartment got caught by the wind and it hit me on my face. Actually it hit my glasses and they hit my nose, so I got a bloody nose out of it. I knew it when I got hit but didn't know I was cut until a drop of blood fell on my arm. No, I didn't get light-headed from loss of blood, but I am a good bleeder and made quite a mess of a paper towel that I used to clean up and stop the flow of blood. 

We are all set up with television turned in and locked and still getting local feed- from Mission. Anyway, if there is anything on network television tonight, we'll be able to watch it. Not very likely...

So long.

Sunday February 7, 2016-Cottonwood RV Park

Today is our last full day in Mission. We will pull out the first thing in the morning and head "home" to Dickinson. For those of you that have just joined, We lived in Dickinson for almost 30 years and I was one of the original police officers there.

We had a bit of a problem with getting a place to stay in Dickinson! We have been staying at the Bay Colony RV Resort and had tried to make a reservation when we left there in March but they wouldn't make one that far out? I don't understand... They are assured of a guest that they know, and we would have gladly left a deposit to reserve a site, but no.....! At any rate, I called on January 11th and spoke to Dave, who identified himself as a manager, and he told me that he would have a place for us to stay when we returned in February. When Stella called a few days ago to check on our site, she was told that they don't have any sites. They said that they may have one guest that may leave but they have a waiting list and our name was not on it. Bummer!!! We probably won't go there again because I HATE to be lied to. 

She called around and found another park in Dickinson, the Palms RV Park, and got a site there. We haven't stayed there before but we'll check it out and let you know.

We met a large group of Heartlanders at Furr's Fresh Buffet for their breakfast buffet. We drove over with Dave and Nancy and met Jim and Nancy, Kevin and Nelly, Tom and Marti and four others and had a great breakfast. When we fot through with breakfast, we got some fuel and ran a couple of errands that included a last trip to the Don-Wes flea market. 

We returned home and hung out until the Super Bowl began. Actually, I put a few items away before going back inside so I can get a head start on tomorrow's move.

Congratulations to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in winning the Super Bowl. I think Peyton was everyone's sentimental favorite. It's good to see him go out a winner!

So long.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Saturday February 6, 2016-Cottonwood RV Park

We (Dave & Nancy, Corbin & Flora plus Stella and I met Jim & Nancy and Kevin and Nelly on So. Padre Island for the Kite Fest that is being held there this weekend. We had come down a couple of years ago for what we thought was the last time, but they have started it again.

Here is what we saw when we arrived, a lot of static kites including figures and characters. It reminded me somewhat of the Balloon festival in Albuquerque New Mexico.

This was one of many trick and performance kites that we saw today. They were very skilled and some of their moves were absolutely breathtaking. This was a group of four kites that "walked" along the ground, flew up to form circles and then separated and flew apart, much like trick airplanes like the Navy Blue Angels.

This large kite spun around in a circle on it's string. I don't know how they do this without getting the strings all tangled up, but they make it look easy. They moved too fast to get it on video and it was interesting to watch the "kiters" as they controlled their kites. It seemed to be quite a workout to perform as they do.

We saw several figure kites including an octopus and several other cool-looking kites.

I'm sure that there were several thousand people here today and the weather was just about perfect, cool in the morning and warming up during the day. As you can see, not a cloud in the sky. The only problems that we noticed was very long lines to the Porta-Cans and traffic/parking. I know that So. Padre Island has a very small Police Dept. and they do the best they can but it could use some improvement.

After leaving the Fest, we traveled back across the Queen Isabella Bridge to Port Isabel where we went to Dirty Al's Pelican Station for lunch. Just as the last time, we had a delicious lunch and a great time with our friends. 

So long.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Thursday February 4, 2016-Cottonwood RV Park

A group of Heartlanders met this morning at the Progresso border crossing to go into Mexico for the morning. Jim and Nancy and Kevin and Nelly and some others agreed to meet with Tom and Marti, Mike and Korine, Dave and Nancy and us at the parking lot where we always meet before crossing.  

Soon after making the crossing we made our way to Angel's Restaurant that is located on the fourth floor of a building on the main drag of Progresso. The first floor is a large liquor store with a dental office on the third floor of the building. We didn't go to the second floor and don't know what is there. The restaurant offers a deejay playing music which is pretty nice. 

The restaurant was very busy today and the waitstaff could not keep up. We gave our drink orders but they were delayed. My margarita was very slow to be delivered and Nancy's water that she ordered was never delivered. The food, when delivered, was tasteless. At the end of the meal, we were full but unsatisfied. I doubt that we'll return to Angel's

We stopped at the pharmacy and made our last purchases of medicines before departing Mexico for the last time this yer. We came back home to rest and recuperate and Jim called to invite us to an entertainment performance at the Holiday Village but we were too tired to go anywhere. We weren't too tired to go to Dairy Queen later in the afternoon for an ice cream snack. A nice way to end the day!

So long.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Wednesday February 3, 2016-Cottonwood RV Park

Today was the dealer open house at the Ron Hoover RV dealership in Donna. Stella and I went to the dealership about 10AM but Jim had already beaten us there with some door prizes. The tables and chairs had been set up to accommodate 300 people and folks began rolling in a little before 11:00. We were a bit disappointed that only about 75 people came but we still had a good time and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. 

We saw lots of old friends and I saw a few people that I had met in the RV parks around us. I spent a couple of days walking the parks inviting people to this event and it apparently paid off. There was one lady that I met that was upset over her refrigerator, but she came anyway and I had a nice chat with her and her husband. I made a couple of suggestions on fixes for the fridge and I hope one of them helps them.

We went from the dealership to the Don-Wes flea market where we walked around for a couple of hours. I bought a few odds and ends, so it was a worthwhile trip.

We came home to rest for awhile before meeting everyone at Martha's Tacqueria for supper. We ended up with 14 of us eating, and had a great time, but we always have a great time with our Heartland friends. There were still a few couples that weren't here but maybe next year...

So long.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Tuesday February 2, 2016-Cottonwood RV Park

We've been busy with friends arriving in the valley and having fun with the friends that are already here. We've been out to eat more since we've been here than we have in the last several months, but the food is delicious and cheap down here, and it's all about the fun isn't it?

Tom and Marti came down, arriving on Sunday. They came over here for a visit and we were able to sit outside in the delightful weather and catch up with them. Jim and Nancy B. came down yesterday and I talked to them on the phone, but we haven't gotten together with them yet but will see them tomorrow at the Ron Hoover open house.

Today we took Tom and Marti to Gonzales Burgers, which they haven't been to before. We met Dave and Nancy there and we all enjoyed the huge burgers and being together again. Remember, both couples went to Creede Colorado this past summer and it was good to get back together with them.

After our meal, we drove them around the area, showing them some of the other parks and ending up at the Riverside Grill. We were all still full of hamburgers so we didn't eat but did have something to drink (unsweetened tea for me!). It was nice to sit by the Rio Grande river and watch it flow. It brought back memories of Creede, which is near the headwaters of the river. It was a nice rest stop for the afternoon. 

I should have more after tomorrow's open house, so please check back.

So long.