Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Nuevo Progresso!

We took a little trip down to Mexico today, to the border town of Progresso. Some people say you don't get the true flavor of Mexico in the little border towns, but they are quite interesting and fun anyway. We have been there probably about 4 or 5 times and it was neat to see how it had changed. We didn't buy too much, after all, we have NO ROOM in the motorhome for anything else. As it is, if we buy something, we must throw something away. I did buy a yard sign that you slip letters into, so our site now has our name at the front.

Our site we rented for the month is now ready, but we aren't going to move just yet. We are on the lot behind my parents, which they own as well. Dad didn't think we would be able to stay here because he didn't think his electric service was enough for both of us, but it has worked fine. He doesn't really want us to move, so we are going to stay put for now. So I think tomorrow I will start dragging out my Christmas decorations. Shouldn't take long, since it consists of one 14" tree. :-)

Not sure what we are going to do tomorrow. I know Terry has to have blood work done in the morning, so we will go from there.

Till next time. . .


Monday, November 28, 2005

Rio Grande Valley!

We made it to the Valley around noon today. Mom and Dad were waiting on us and we got parked and set up. We are going to be moving in another day or two. The site Mom and Dad had picked for us is not ready till the 1st, so we are on Dad's back lot. It is directly behind their spot, but it doesn't have full hookups, so we are going to be on another full service site for the month. The dogs are enjoying the attention Grandma and Grandpa give them and especially the walks. Bailey will make up to anyone who will take him on a walk, you just have to be prepared to go where HE wants to go. He is a Scottie, after all.

Mom and Dad have a new golf cart and it is really sweet. We have been busy taking rides and looking at all the other rigs in here. There are a couple empty sites, but it is rather full. I guess it was still pretty empty until about 2 weeks ago. I have met a lot of new people. It is good to be here with Mom and Dad. It's nice to have our own place, too. The weather is upper 70's-80's with lows in the 50's. Perfect weather.

We made plans to go to Mexico on Wednesday. We go to Progresso. That is always fun.

Till next time. . .


Saturday, November 26, 2005

Guten Tag!

We are camped just outside the German town of Fredericksburg, Texas, at the Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park. Very nice place, right next to an airport. But before I fill you in on Fredericksburg, I need to catch everyone up on what we've been doing. We have not had decent internet connections which is why I have been negligent in posting.

We left San Antonio on Tuesday morning before Thanksgiving. We drove to Hondo,Texas, to "The Lone Star Corral," which is the Escapees park. It is very nice and the people, of course, were super. We signed up for the Thanksgiving Day dinner. On Wednesday, we went to Bandera, Texas, which is the cowboy capital of the world. It is a quaint, rather unspoiled western town and we spent some time just browsing around. When we got back home, I fixed the dishes I was taking to the Thanksgiving dinner and we sat at our campsite and visited with the neighbors.

Thursday we again visited and enjoyed the warmth of Texas in late November. It was in the 80's and sunny. We went to the clubhouse and sat with people we had met and visited with earlier. It was a very enjoyable dinner. They had smoked turkeys in outdoor cookers and it was very good.

We left Hondo Friday morning and drove up here to Fredericksburg. We almost decided not to come because the forecast was calling for rain, but we have wanted to see this town for a couple years. It is in the Hill Country in Texas and the town and the surrounding area is very interesting. There are hills, and because of that, they have some cooler weather which means they actually have some color changes here. It is just now however, the time when the color changes, so we are getting to see it. It isn't on the same scale as we have it in the east, but it is lovely.

We drove into Fredericksburg yesterday afternoon and walked around a little, then went back after dark and took some pictures of the lights. We made plans to go in early this morning and start with the shops. It is a large town and there are a lot of shops and a couple museums. However, we had a very loud and wet thunderstorm last night. The dogs got us up at 1:45. At first, I thought it was morning and they just wanted out, but when I got into the living room, I could see the lightning and I knew what the problem was. So I got a pillow and a blanket, turned the TV on and a light, made sure the blinds were down and stayed with the dogs. Bailey climbed up on the couch with me. He is okay there as long as he is touching me. Then I have to throw an arm over Neal on the floor and he was content also when I was touching him. Just doesn't make for too comfortable a situation for me.

Terry got up at 6:30, and the storm was pretty much over (it was a LONG storm) so I went back to the comfort of the bed to nurse my sore back. Later when I got up we headed into town and spent the day in the shops and museums. There were a lot of people. The streets and shops were very crowded. We shared a table for lunch with two ladies from San Antonio. We had a nice chat with them.

I think we are going to leave here tomorrow, but I can't say where we are going. We are headed for the valley, but how we are going to get there is still a mystery. Terry changes his mind every day or so.

Till next time. . .


Sunday, November 20, 2005

Cruisin' Down the River

We started the day by taking the beltway around the city of San Antonio. It seems that the area around us is rather depressed and we wanted to see what the rest of the town looked like. The western and northern sections of the town are much more built up, particularly around the air bases. That area looks more like I was expecting. When we got back around to the northeast, we went on to New Braunfels, a German community. We did take a look at the Schlitterbahn and it looks like great fun, but it is too chilly today to do that. This is a water park, and there are several different types of water rides.

We went back to the motorhome and sat with the boyz for a bit before heading back into the city. We visited the Alamo this time and then walked down to the River Walk and took the cruise along the River Walk.
It was very nice and we had a good guide. We walked along the river again and it really is beautiful.
Too bad we won't be here Friday when they have their river parade and lighting of the Christmas lights along the Riverwalk. But I'm sure we will get to see a lot of Christmas lights wherever we happen to be.

Till next time. . .


Saturday, November 19, 2005

Sightseeing in San Antonio

We started out the morning by taking in the Missions of San Antonio. I must confess, I didn't realize there were four in addition to the Alamo. We have been to the Alamo before and it is hard to imagine the Alamo during the 1700's when it was a flourishing complex. It is now nestled into a downtown square with buildings around it.

The other missions, however, are not like that. And while they have a lot less land around them than they once did, they are situated on enough ground for one to imagine how it was 200+ years ago. We spent quite a bit of time at the first two but they were the most impressive.

The last two are smaller and there is not as much reconstruction. But they are impressive and stand as a testament to an earlier time when the Spanish worked hard to convert the Indians they found here. We also went to see a portion of the aqueduct which was a water supply from the San Antonio River to one of the Missions.

After we finished with the Missions, we went downtown to the Mercado, the Mexican market. There are a couple buildings and then an outdoor market. We had been here years ago with the kids when we brought them down to see Mom and Dad at Christmas and it was much as I had remembered it.

Not sure what we will take in tomorrow. There are many other points of interest in San Antonio, so we will probably visit something historical. I still want to the the river boat cruise too, so we shall see. :-)

Till next time. . .


Remember the Alamo!

We left our campground in Winnie, Texas, with yours truly at the wheel. We were approaching Houston on the east side at 9:30 and about 40 minutes later, we were safely through the city and rolling westbound. Never would have believed it. It was not too bad, if you consider running 65 mph with 18-wheelers running right along next to you. That was a little nerve-racking, but it all went smoothly.

We stopped at an RV dealer on west of Houston. They were having a grand opening and had a Camping World there also. We went in, won some free prizes, bought some stuff, and had lunch, courtesy of Camping World. Thanks, Camping World.

Got back in the motorhome and continued to roll west, stopping at the KOA in San Antonio and planning on staying here for the next 4 nights. We went downtown after supper tonight and went to the Riverwalk Mall and strolled along the riverwalk. I want to take a boat ride one night we are here. Plan to do some sightseeing while we are here and also look at new motorhomes. So we shall have fun. Then we head for the Hill Country.

I have a better connection tonight, so I am going to try and add some pictures. I am going to put them back on the days they belong, so you will have to scroll through to see them.

Till next time. . .


Thursday, November 17, 2005


We crossed the line into Texas today. Have settled in to a little camp right off the interstate at Winnie, Texas. Planned on staying in Beaumont, but all the camps were filled with FEMA people or relocated evacuees, so we came further west. As we passed through St. Charles, Louisiana, earlier we again saw some major destruction from Hurricane Rita. It was quite widespread. At one point we were crossing a bridge over a river and there was a railroad causeway on the right against which there were dozens of boats crashed up onto the causeway.
There were a lot of blue roofs, signs and billboards down and they are currently on the interstate removing and mulching trees that were blown down or uprooted.

Tomorrow we plan on heading toward Hondo where we hope to spend Thanksgiving. Terry has thought all along that Thanksgiving was two weeks away, so we have had to rethink our strategy. That's what nice about being retired, though. . . it just doesn't matter!

We did go back to the casino last night. Didn't have as much luck. I was a little upset at losing my $5 within 20 minutes, so I switched machines and won it back. Then I cashed out and we left. Hah.

Till next time. . .


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Paragon Casino!

We left Gary and Jo's yesterday morning and drove up to Marksville, Louisiana. We weren't sure what kind of weather we were going to run into, because the predictions including storms. Since they ran from the Gulf Coast up through the Ohio Valley, there wasn't a way to escape it, so we got here and hunkered down for the big event. Boy did it rain. The wind blew, lots of thunder and lightning. We ended up staying in the motorhome until the worst was over so the dogs wouldn't get scared.

After we got up here, the boyz both got baths. Neal was less than excited about that, but Bailey thought it was pretty cool. We are at about the nicest campground we have been to. The streets are all paved as well as the sites and we have full hookups. The sites are level with concrete picnic tables. Very comfortable, easy to set up, etc. The best part is that it is a Passport America park, so we are camping for about $6.42 a night! They have little light switches on the post and you flip that on and the casino bus will come to your site and pick you up. Hah! How's that for service.

Last night after the storm subsided, we hopped on the bus and went to the casino. Terry won $52 at his first machine, so we went and ate prime rib dinner in their restaurant. Then we hit some other machines and he won another $26. I didn't do any good, but I get good at playing my $1. . . it kept me entertained for quite a while.

We are staying here for another night before rolling toward Texas.

Till next time. . .


Sunday, November 13, 2005

Cousin Gary's!

We arrived in Zachary, Louisiana, on Friday and are staying in Gary and Jo's back yard. They have a really large yard and we backed the rig up to the barn and plugged in there. The weather has been warm during the day and cool at night, so it has been absolutely perfect. Warm enough in the day to be comfortable, but air conditioning is not needed.

Yesterday Gary drove us into New Orleans. This was a really special treat. Our original plan was to stay in a state park near New Orleans and sightsee from there, but that camp is closed to the public due to Hurricane Katrina. So we scrapped plans to go. But Gary took us down there and we drove in right next to the SuperDome.
Other than debris around it, you wouldn't know anything had happened to it. The roof appears repaired, but Gary said the estimates to repair it are astromical. Buildings right next to it are missing a lot of windows. .
They are repairing them, but a couple of the buildings are nothing but glass panes and it will take a long time to get them all replaced. We drove on down and parked and walked to the Cafe Demunde (sp?) and had beignets and coffee.
They are pastries topped with powdered sugar. I guess it is a tradition that people coming into the city have to go there first and have their treat before moving on. We went into the French Quarter and visited the flea market first, then strolled into the narrow streets with balconies overhead. I had never been to New Orleans and I was very interested in taking in as much as I could. I took a lot of pictures, and will post here when I have a good connection, so check back later.

A lot of businesses were not open, but there were enough places open to shop and buy some souveniers. We made it to the world famous Bourbon Street and we drove in on Canal Street. Some of the really "funky" places were open for business, but we didn't bother going in there.

There were water marks on some of the buildings, but Gary said that most of the French Quarter was spared the bad flooding. Still, some water marks were 12-18 inches on the buildings. There was definitely a stench that smelled like garbage. Terry has been there before and he said he believed that may have been grease from some of the kitchens that leached out into the street. We did see one water main that was busted and water was bubbling into the street. Unfortunately, it will take a long time to get everything back in working order. Gary said they don't anticipate being there before 5 years is up. There is trash and litter everywhere

When we left there, he took us out through the lower 9th ward, which you may remember was flooded the worst when the levees broke. We saw water marks 6-8 feet, which was still not the worst of it. So much trash in the streets. Not a lot of people around, but those that were there appeared to be cleaning out their houses.
There is still no power to the area and businesses like McDonalds and Winn-Dixie's are not open. Nothing is open. We saw the marks the workers sprayed on the buildings indicating the number of live/dead occupants as well as pets they found when they entered after the storm. There was so much trash and the houses were so bad, cars in the streets were covered in mud and salt from the seawater. It truly was like driving through a landfill. Gary said they have been hauling trash out and even though it was piled high in the middle of the streets and boulevards, he said truckloads have already been hauled out. We continued out and were going to cross Lake Ponchatrain on the I-10 bridge (1 lane open), but there was a horrendous traffic jam. We sat and waited for over an hour before cutting through the median and going back the other way. Gary said there had to have been an accident. He is currently delivering trailers and supplies for FEMA into New Orleans, so he has seen the worst and was a good guide. Oh, I forgot that they are taking all the cars that were damaged from the flood and putting them under the bridge overpasses in the city where they will pick them up. They are going to scrap them all out. Cars that are flooded and in water for more than a few hours will be worthless except for scrap because of the salt water rust and corrosion.

Captain Gary, I might add, is a charter fishing captain. He is not chartering right now because his fish camp was wiped out during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, so he is working for FEMA at the present time.

Today we had a shorter day and went to another flea market in Gonzales, Louisiana. Tomorrow Terry and I are going out on our own to St. Francisville to see some antebellum homes.

It has been an interesting couple of days here. Tonight Gary's son Chris, came back from St. Charles. He has started a new job as an investigator for the state attorney general. We had not seen him since he was a young boy. He is staying with Gary and Jo until he is able to relocate his family here.

Till next time. . .


Thursday, November 10, 2005

Rainbow Plantation

After leaving Coach Care, we drove to Perry, Florida. There is a motel there with a campground out back which we have used before. It was a good stopping point and one of the few times we have stopped after dark. We try not to do that anymore, but since we got out of CoachCare so quickly, we decided to get a few miles down the road.

Last night then, we spent at Holt, Florida. Nothing of any interest there, just a reasonably priced park at the right time. Today then we rolled into Rainbow Plantation, which is an Escapees Park at Summerdale Alabama. We noticed on the Escapees forum then that some members of our "Graduating Class of 2005" group are here also. They were not at their rig when Terry went down, but we will try to see them before we leave tomorrow. We drove down to Gulf Shores. We were there last Christmas on our way south and saw all the destruction from Hurricane Ivan, I think. There is no doubt they have made great strides in rebuilding the area, but there is much more work to do. It did look like most of the hotels were in business at least to a small degree and a lot of the restaurants and tourist traps are open again.

Tomorrow we are headed for Zachary, Louisiana, to see Terry's cousin and his wife. We just talked with them and confirmed when we would be arriving. They are anxious for us to arrive. We have a fairly long day of driving tomorrow . . . the price we pay for driving a couple really "short" days. But then, that's why we retired. . . so we don't have to be in a hurry. :-)

Till next time. . .


Tuesday, November 08, 2005

* * * * * 5 Stars for Coach Care, Ocala!!! * * * * *

And a big thumbs up! Had our appointment scheduled for noon. Rolled in there at 11:45 and within a few minutes two techies were swarming over the coach. Within about 20 minutes they had the generator running. It was a loose connection on a board under the hood. Terry thought he had checked it, but it is hard to get to. They went ahead and tuned it up and then did the coach service. We were back on the road at 4:00 and the generator is running great.

So glad we took time to get that done because now if we want to stop during the day somewhere, we can run the coach air and keep the boyz cool.

So we are now in Perry, Florida, spending the night at a campground behind a motel. We have been here a couple times before on our many treks to Florida. Tomorrow we head toward Baton Rouge. We are going north instead of straight west because we want to go enough inland to miss the damage from Katrina. They don't need any more people coming in there.

They said today that Ft. Lauderdale schools were back in session. While at Tampa, we ran into a family who was there in the campground because they had been without power for 2 weeks.

The weather has been great. In the 80's during the day and cool at night, but not enough to need a coat or anything.

Till next time . . .


Monday, November 07, 2005

Bushnell, Florida

We are here in Bushnell, Florida. Just hanging out. We are leaving in the morning and going to Ocala. We have an appointment there at Coach Care for our generator and an oil change. Hopefully they will be able to get it all done and have us back on the road. We will probably stay there at least tomorrow night. Then we will start making our way to Louisiana to see Terry's cousin before heading for Texas to spend a few weeks with Mom and Dad.

Today we went to the world famous Webster flea market. I believe you could get all the fleas you wanted there. I think Auburndale is a better Florida flea market, but neither one comes close to Shipshewana. But it was an opportunity to get our walk in and we did just that. We are looking for a stroller for Neal, our handicapped Scottie. We need to get Bailey out to exercise as he needs some more activity. Neal cannot walk well, so if we don't want to leave him behind, we need to find some sort of stroller for him. We did buy some of those plastic shoes. . . hard to describe. We have been wanting something to slip on when the dogs want out and there is dew on the grass. Then we can slip them off when we come back in.

We went up to the ice cream social last evening and met a couple. . . she was from Anderson, Indiana. They live now near here in Florida and came down here for a rally. There are 2 rallies being held in this park right now. They are Escapee rallies, so we fit right in.

Tomorrow will be a long day. We have the dog park picked out and the dog stores to take the boyz too while we are waiting on the coach to get done.

Till next time. . .


Saturday, November 05, 2005


Still at Lazy Days RV Center looking around, enjoying the free breakfast and free lunch. Hah. Today our new friends across the road in the campground took us into Tampa. . . actually down to Clearwater to look at Newmar's at the dealer where they bought their Dutch Star. We did find one we liked, but aren't done looking. The weather is just beautiful--sunny and about 82 degrees. Been thinking that if we were at home, Terry would be inside all the time. When we got back I walked the dogs while Terry took a nap. That is what retirement is all about, isn't it?

We are leaving here tomorrow and headed up to Bushnell, Florida, to the Escapees Park. We have been there before and always enjoy ourselves. Terry wants to take in the Webster Flea Market there on Monday.

We have an appointment on Tuesday at Coach Care in Ocala. Time to get the generator fixed. It has worked since we got this coach and the day we left on our great full-timing adventure, it would not start. Imagine that. Terry has called Damon and Onan and done everything they asked him to, but it just will not do anything. So, since we are having warm weather, we want it fixed. We cannot run the coach air conditioners while traveling as they require the generator. That means if we want to stop and look at something, we can't because the "boyz" will get overheated.

Bailey and Neal did have an adventure today. They snuck out of their pen outside and Bailey got into ants. Neal didn't get far as he kept falling over. I got him inside and yelled for Terry to grab a wet washcloth. He got the ants off Bailey. Fortunately, he had just gotten in them, so he wasn't in too bad of shape.

We continue to enjoy the relaxed lifestyle of full-timing. We meet people everywhere we go and the view out our window changes constantly.

Till next time. . .


Thursday, November 03, 2005

Ho Humm.......

Well, Lazy Days has been a waste of time for us. . . well partially. We met some very nice people. . . all who told us NOT to buy from Lazy Days. Hah. Seems they have a good reputation for MAKING the sale, and then you're done. Gone and forgotten. They have 273 service bays here and the wait for service right now is 3 MONTHS. Well isn't that special. Not that we are buying for service. They play those little numbers games with prices. Won't tell you a price, won't tell you what your coach is worth on trade. . . want you to find something and put a deposit down, then they send you to the other guys who start playing with your money. And that's about it. I got a bit irritated today and said I wanted to know some figures. I wanted a "ball park" figure and I wanted to know what my coach was worth on trade. Sales gerbil got mad, but went and got a price which turned out to be quite do-able, but Terry said in the end it wouldn't fly anyway. The coach is not even available yet, supposed to come in tomorrow for trade. . . again, they wanted us to put money down on a coach they don't even have in yet. . . DO I LOOK THAT STUPID? DO I HAVE IMBECILE WRITTEN ON MY FOREHEAD? I had Terry look just to make certain. :-) Oh well, after that, everything went downhill. So we excused ourselves and went and found our friends. We spent the afternoon looking through coaches and going to Camping World. Had lots of fun.

We are leaving tomorrow. Terry is tired of this buy/sell game. We do have a decent campsite. Wish they would have had a coach we wanted.

Till next time. . .


Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Lazy Days and Lazy Nights!

Well, we left Melbourne this morning and are sitting in our spot at Rally Park, next to Lazy Days in Tampa, Florida. We are here to look at new(er) coaches. Going to look at something a little newer maybe in a diesel. Don't know if we will find anything. Doesn't really matter if we do or not. We are going to be here for a couple days. The sites are very nice, small, but adequate and there is a lot to see here.

Till next time. . .


Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Fun in Melbourne!

We took a little road trip up to Cocoa Beach the other day. Went to the Ron Jon surf shop. Went out to the beach. The water has stayed pretty rough since the hurricane. The weather has been great. It has been breezy and warm with cooler nights, but it has gradually warmed up since we have been here.

Yesterday while Brandon was at work we had Stanley Steemer come out and clean the carpet in the motorhome. It really needed it and we had some time, but it didn't dry nearly as quickly as we had hoped. So we took the dogs and went out for a ride. Drove along A1A from Melbourne Beach up to Cocoa Beach. You can still see some of the hurricane damage from the hurricanes that came through here last year. And of course, there were hurricane force winds with Hurricane Wilma just last week, so there is a lot of debris. There also were 5 tornadoes I think Brandon said with Wilma, and we saw where that went through. Hopefully with hurricane season almost at an end, it is over for the year.

Last night we went to Meg O'Malley's for dinner after Brandon got off work. It is an Irish Pub/Restaurant and the food was very good. We had a nice time for our last evening out with Brandon. Tonight he came out to the park after work and we fixed burgers. He is gone now and we will be on our way tomorrow. Brandon has to fly to Dulles tomorrow for work. He recently changed jobs within Harris and now his boss is leaving so they are sending Brandon out to do some of the things his boss would have done.

The park here has become interesting. When we arrived, no one was here as they had mandatory evacuations due to Wilma. However, some people told the park they couldn't get their units out, so they were allowed to leave them, but had to leave themselves. Turns out they are homeless, or at least "itinerant" workers who apparently have been here for quite some time. This park allows you to book for up to 180 days. But November 1, the snow birds have started moving in and they have most of the park booked for the winter. The rangers have been out here a couple times to get these people to move and they don't want to. The police have been here and today they have started to clean up a little. The have too many units on the sites and most of them don't have water in their units, so they are using a garden hose for everything. They really trashed their sites and we were a little worried about going away, but we haven't been bothered. Also this morning, the ranger came out and evicted someone who snuck in during the night without paying. He refused to leave, so the sheriff came and the guy left within 5 minutes. Apparently he is with a circus which arrived for 2 shows this week. We had decided that when we come back, we won't come here because we don't feel comfortable with this stuff going on. But there have been enough other people in here, so it really has been fine.

Well, tomorrow morning we pack up to leave. The snow bird who rented our site for 6 months is here and right next to us. He is ready to move over when we move out, so we will make sure we give it a good going over. I forgot to mention that of the two couples we met, both the women are cancer (colon) survivors. One for 27 years and the other for a few months.

I have started the Harry Potter series. Great fun, easy reading. I am on the third book now. Haven't had time all summer to read, trying to get the house ready to sell. It's good to get back into a book.

Till next time. . .