Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Am I the Only One?

We saw American Sniper yesterday because the weather was cold and drizzly so it was a good day for a movie.  While the battle scenes were truly remarkable in their authenticity, I felt like very little credence was given to what his family was going through at home.  They also rushed through his treatment when he returned home even though it was apparent he had issues.  I felt like there were three stories to be told - the war, the family, the return.  And though the war was covered realistically, I found how they portrayed the family situation and his PTSD very nonchalant.  Ted complains I am not fun to see a movie with because I am too logical.  He always tells me "it is just a movie."   But this was a true story and too much of it was left out.

We went to a 3:00 show so I did two loads of laundry and made a pot of chili before we left.  It was even colder when we came out of the theater so it was nice to come home to a warm, dry spot with dinner ready to go.  Add in The Bachelor and Castle and it was a good evening.

Tuesday was Couples Lunch Out so we decided to attend.  It was a very nice restaurant, good food and enjoyable conversation.  The weather was still chilly so we just came back home.  At 3:45 Ted and I both went for a haircut ($10 each!) and spent the evening at home.  I had forgotten to post on FB that we would be at the Clubhouse to play Shanghai so we didn't think anyone would be there.

The sun returned on Wednesday and Ted helped Niles with gates, concrete, raking, etc. on the gun range then he left to shoot at the gun club with Don and Dave at 1:00.  I cleaned some, took the afghan to Jan for the last hem and after lunch Eileen and I headed out.  Jan said I needed to add a tag to my afghan to put my name and date on it.  We found them at Hobby Lobby but now I need a fine tip waterproof marker to write with.

I used my new crockpot for a pot roast that was a jumble of my normal recipe.  Usually I use onion soup, mushrooms and red wine.  After trying a "3 envelope recipe" I have been including a ranch dressing envelope.  We are trying to use up what we have so I made do.  I had the two envelopes but replaced mushrooms with a small can of carrots along with a whole, cut up onion and white wine for red wine.  I was able to use a slotted spoon to fill a bowl with cooked onions and carrots and thickened the broth into gravy.  No seasoning was needed.  Ted loved it!  I made some noodles and he had a great dinner (his words!).

Thursday we headed back to Mexico to try the nail salon.  Eileen got shellac nails, Ted had a pedicure and I had both.  I just wanted it done so I don't have to do it as soon as I get home.  There is too much else I have to do.  Entire cost, $40 for all.  It was a wonderful pedicure and Ted liked it even better than the other salon.  He and Tom spent time at the Rose Garden outdoor bar waiting for us.  When we came back through Customs there were two ladies so drunk their husbands were holding them up.  I guess they got through okay.  The drinks are pretty potent I understand.  Ted said he had a beer for breakfast and a margarita for lunch!

We decided to try Cheddar's for dinner because we were in their 45 minute lull time period.  We were seated right away and by the time we left around 5, they were out the door waiting.  Survivor and Amazing Race started their new seasons so you know how glad that makes me.

Friday continued to be cooler than average.  We went to the grocery for a few necessary items and then Ted took Sue to the gun range.  He also took advantage of a box of grapefruits put out in the neighborhood that said FREE.  Nice Ruby Red ones.  He has all our tires checked, chairs stored and tanks dumped.  We are getting ready to roll.

Tonight was a baked potato bar supper.  Since it was cool, all 120 people ate inside and now they know their capacity.  We were home in time to watch the second episode of Amazing Race.  

We have a garage sale neighborhood wide tomorrow, finish packing up, church and card bingo.  We don't need to leave real early Sunday since we are going to San Antonio.

Here are two photos to finish out the week.  The first is my finished afghan, the second is Sweet little Miss Jemma who is already one month old but still not up to 10 lbs.  isn't she the cutest thing?










Friday, February 20, 2015

Our Last Week Here

We left early Friday morning for Mexico and Dr. Flores, the dentist.  They took Ted's plate and told him to return in an hour.  We went to Renee's for coffee and pastries then went to look for Ted's belt guy.  He moved from his original location and we asked around until we learned his new place.  Ted bought a new black dress belt.  We also found the optical place and nail salon highly recommended by people we know here.  We will be using them in the future.  We also needed to check the price of liquor but determined it was no cheaper than buying from Feldman's in the U.S. which is less trouble.  We bought some vanilla, eye drops and analgesic cream before returning to the dentist.  In no time Ted was out with a new tooth on his plate and a bill for just $80.  We walked back across the bridge, went through Customs and came home.

I hadn't slept well so wanted to take a nap while Ted and Niles took a table to the gun range and bought wood from Home Depot to build a counter to lay guns on.  After a short nap I started pulling the horizontal threads at the end of my afghan to make the fringe.  I didn't think this would take so long!  The selvedge sides need to be hemmed and it will be done and I will lay it out and take another photo to post.


We went to the Riverside Club for their fish fry dinner before going next door to see Link Union perform.  It was a great performance from Mule Skinner Blues to Bach on the banjo.  The young lady  of the family was so talented, played several instruments and had a great voice.  We really enjoyed the show.

Saturday was Eileen's birthday and to go with the throw pillows I bought for their motorhome couch, we got her a boot jack to allow her to take off her boots by herself.  She had a quizzical look when she opened it and we had to explain what it was and how to use it.  

We spent the day in Edinburg at Pioneer Days.  There were lots of folks working with wood and leather, churning butter, spinning wool, baking biscuits in dutch ovens, etc.  We also had access to the South Texas Historical Museum which was very interesting.  The entertainment was so good.  The Mexican dancing seemed to be a combination of tap dancing, clogging and flamenco.  Truly a melting pot example in dance.  The costumes were beautiful.  And no celebration would be complete without a cowboy poet.

Afterwards we went to Trevino's Restaurant.  The decor was gorgeous and the food outstanding.  When Eileen and I sat our purses next to us on the floor, a rack (looking like a short hatrack) was brought to our table and the purses were hung up.  I have never seen that.  

We returned in time for church at 4:00 and then went to Card Bingo over at Bentsen Palms.  I won about $10 in quarters which is always helpful on laundry day.  All that fresh air got to me and I was in bed early.

We planned to go to Art in the Park on Sunday but when Dave texted to confirm the time for shooting he said they wanted to go to Pepe's afterwards to dance.  Well OK!  Dave, Karen, Trudy, Don, Eileen, Tom, Ted and I all went after they were done shooting.  We ran into Randy, former sales manager for HitchHiker out of Chanute KS, and ended up sharing a couple tables with their group.  What a fun time we had!  On the way home I asked Ted what he thought kids and grandkids across the Midwest would think if they saw all these "seasoned" folks in leather (bikers), boots and jeans, etc. drinking and dancing the afternoon away.  We laughed about a song neither of us knew where everyone joins in the chorus "Alice, who the hell is Alice?"  Neither of us had ever heard it but it gets the crowd going.

Ted invited everyone back for brats and I had to scramble to put a meal together.  Dave and Karen had tickets for a show so they didn't stay.  We were outside until it was dark.  There were no plans for the day and it turned out to be a great fun day.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

And the Cold Returns For A Day

Monday was warm enough for A/C and within a few hours you needed the heat on!   The rest of the country is gripped in cold, snow and ice so we will turn on the fireplace, get out our jeans and sweatshirts and deal with it for a few days.  Anyway, I can wear my new boots!

The fashion show luncheon at Bentsen Palms Village was very nice.  There were three stores modeling clothes and I wanted to go to Becs the next day and look for an outfit for our anniversary Mass and dinner.  A beautiful lady with gorgeous white hair modeled two outfits from this store and she looked absolutely stunning!  I will settle for looking "very nice."

It was so warm as Eileen and I walked back that I took off my white slacks and changed to shorts when I got home.  Ted had put a load of laundry in and we were getting ready to get it out when Kathy knocked and asked if I wanted to play Shanghai with her, Linda and Sue in the coach house.  I left Ted to deal with the laundry and went over.  We started with fans whirring all around us and by the time we finished we had a heater on.  Sue won again!  

We had leftovers for dinner and settled in to watch The Bachelor and Castle.  I think this farmer guy is a player.  It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

All four of us went shopping on Tuesday.  Eileen and I were dropped off at Becs and the fellows went looking for a jeweler to fix Ted's chain and to buy a boot jack for Eileen for her birthday.  In the meantime I found an outfit for our anniversary party and two tops to wear with jeans.

Tom loves Mexican food and found a restaurant nearby to try.  Most of the menu and specials were in Spanish so we weren't exactly sure of what we ordered but it was really good!  After a stop at the post offfice we brought the guys home and Eileen and I went back out to buy two baby presents.  Babies, babies and more babies!  I finally sent Jemma a gift card (she is one month already) but the two gifts I just bought I can take to the family reunion in June.

There was a Mardi Gras potluck and we attended though we only ate dessert.  It is a nice way to meet new people or get to know the others a bit better.  Eileen and I are in purple with our backs to the camera along side Tom and Ted.  Lots of King Cakes!



Eileen wanted to play cards so we told them to come over to our trailer after they took their things home.  When they arrived we received our first anniversary present, a new crockpot.  Last year the handle broke on mine and Bill made a makeshift wooden one that worked fine.  But Ted broke the lid while making his pulled pork so we really needed the new one!  They are flying to Houston for our anniversary dinner so that is one less thing for them to worry about.  We really don't want or need anything other than friends and family to help us celebrate but a new crockpot is great!

Wednesday got a little crazy.  Ted went pistol shooting at 11 and skeet shooting at 1.  So I did my walk around the neighborhood getting errands done.  I stopped at Sharon's who showed me some fringe stitches for my afghan.  Then Eileen and I went to Jan's to show her the T-shirt braiding technique but she was getting a haircut.  We met her 47 oz. Yorkie who is so tiny!  Tucker at 6 lbs. would look huge next to her.

Since we struck out I went to the laundry room to iron two pair of pants before heading home.  Jan came over eventually so Eileen came back so we could work on T-shirts.  Jan offered some more insight into the fringe question.  Kara called in the midst of this and Ted returned from shooting.  Then Niles came over to give us Don's shooting prize right before Don appeared with 15 packages of brats to put in our refrigerator for Thursday's German fest.  Grand Central Station!

It was pizza night so we left for the clubhouse where we ate our meatless cheese and pineapple pizza before leaving for a 7 pm liturgy with distribution of ashes.  There were 8 services and ours was totally full so I assume they were all full.  We stopped at the grocery for green beans for the German fest and called it a day.

Today we joined 17 ladies for breakfast and then went to Jan's for her to sew a line in the afghan so I could pull the horizontal threads for the fringe.  I tried doing the stitch with pulled threads but I couldn't discern where I had stitched because it all matched.  I tried using the yarn but it was too thick.  The machine zigzag stitch seemed the easiest answer!  Ted came along with me to meet Harold so they could talk about Harold joining Ted on the shooting range to try his hand at shooting. 

We came back so Ted could take the brats to Don and I could prepare my green beans.  At 3 we went next door for the German fest.  There were close to 80 people in attendance.  We had a great meal and an enjoyable time.  

Unfortunately Ted broke a tooth off his upper plate and Lord only knows where it went.  We have our suspicions but I am not even going there!

So tomorrow it is back to the dentist in Mexico to see if we can get it fixed quickly.

   

“You owe it to everyone you love (including yourself) to find pockets of tranquility in your busy world."








Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Great Weather Week

We opted not to go to the HitchHiker luncheon Monday much as I would have liked to have seen Bill and Judy.  I'm not sure they were going and we can stop by their park if we get the time.  Instead Eileen and I attended the T-shirt braiding class.  Eileen is in front in pink, I am over her left shoulder.  The T-shirt I bought had a curve at the bottom so mine turned out a bit different from everyone else's.  It gets pretty wrinkled with all the pulling and I assume after it is washed it will look great.  These are fun things you could do with grandkids, girl scouts, church groups,etc.



We shared DiGiorno pizza for dinner and retired to our respective rigs for me to watch The Bachelor and for Eileen to watch The Apprentice.  We all have our little vices!

Tom was having his motorhome washed so Eileen and I took the car to the nail salon and to do some shopping.  Ted took Sue from two doors down to the gun range to practice target shooting with her shotgun.  It was late afternoon when we all reconvened.  After a sandwich for dinner we went to the Clubhouse and had two tables of Shanghai with a few observers.  I hope we can get this on the schedule as a regular activity next season.

It was ladies potluck day on Wednesday so I made banana bread to use up some of the many really ripe bananas I had on hand.  It was going fine, Ted mentioned it smelled good and then nothing.  The electric went out on a circuit.  Ted managed to pull the breaker but he needed to go get a new one.  My bread was a half baked mess and I tossed it.  I figured I wouldn't go to the lunch!  Niles came down to take a look at the breaker and told me to go anyway because there is always too much food.  Sue stopped and asked if I wanted to walk with her so I did.  There wasn't a real big turnout but it was a pleasant time with my neighbors.  Eileen and Tom had gone to Mexico for her dental appointment.

Ted was meeting Don and Dave at 1:00 to shoot skeet so he planned to go look for the breaker afterwards.  He came home and after much fussing and fuming in such a tight spot, he got the new breaker in and secured.  Meanwhile I was finishing the very last row of my Swedish weaving afghan.  Tomòrrow I can corner Beverly at breakfast and set a time to get the rest of the instructions for finishing the sides and fringing the ends.

Our list for guests on Friday kept shrinking!  Four succumbed to the crud and had to bail.  Eileen and I went to breakfast with the group on Thursday and then came home to get the fellows.  We had several errands to run including Safe Lite glass cleaner from the nearest service center.  Ted uses their cleaner ever since they replaced a windshield for us.  Then we stopped at Feldman's to price Scotch to compare it with the Duty Free and Mexico prices keeping in mind there is Texas tax when you bring it in.  A stop at Walmart got me new pillow inserts to replace the crappy ones that came in our rigs' toss pillows!  No wonder I could never punch them into a square!  I never did identify just what was in there.

 

We all bought groceries but Ted and I were buying more for the meal on Friday.  When we came home I started cleaning so I didn't have so much to do on Friday and could concentrate on the cooking.  He went to a gun class of some sort at Niles site.

Friday was another nice day and our pulled pork meal went great, just with fewer people!  The fellows sat at one table, the ladies at another.  It was almost 7:00 before they went home so I think everyone had a good time.

We had turned down an invite to Victoria Palms on Saturday.  It was a good thing because I had a go round with my diverticulosis and spent the day on the couch recuperating from my bout in the bathroom in the early hours of the morning.  I was feeling better by bedtime and woke up Sunday feeling fine.

We had Fr. Speedy again at church.  Then Tom and Ted went to the gun show in McAllen.  Once finished there they came back for me and Eileen to head to the flea market.  Tom had his name sign refinished, had a new battery put in his watch, bought flashers for theirs bikes and filters for his RV furnace.  I bought a sympathy card.

We stopped at Wallbangers for a burger and then Eileen and I went to the clubhouse for bunco.  It is our last time to play this season since they changed it to every other week.  There was better flow this time and people are understanding better.  I have promised to send Ginger the sheets that I use for my group.  They have been in use for over 20 years and it is hard to argue with that success I think.

Ted is off to the gun range and I am going next door to Bentsen Palm Village for a fashion show and lunch.  Trudy is modeling and maybe I will see some former neighbors from the last several years.  

Our time here is drawing to a close.  It has been a marvelous two months filled with new friends and adventure.  San Antonio is our next stop but my brother Dan who we were meeting has had to cancel his trip to have a melanoma on his nose surgically removed.  Please remember him in your prayers.  It will require three surgeries in all.  Tom has not been to San Antonio so we will go but for a shorter period of time.  

“What is that feeling when you're driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing?  It's the too-huge world vaulting us, and it's good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.” 
― Jack KerouacOn the Road











Thursday, February 5, 2015

This Is More Like It

Our weather has been way better than last month.  The temps have been pleasant, the rain has stopped, but the sun sure likes to hide out.  But recently even the sun has been peeking out more and more.

Jan picked me up after Julia for breakfast on Thursday and then we picked up Eileen and Becky.  When Other Donna returns next week we will have to split up because there will be six of us going to breakfast and no one has a car or truck to seat 6.  I think 31 ladies were there.  



We came home for the fellows then went to Academy for Eileen to buy cowboy boots.  Then we went on to Skecher's where we all bought two pairs of shoes each except Ted.

Tom and Ted went to Riverside Club for a late lunch and Eileen and I went to finish our mosaic piece.  The teacher, Kathy, is right next door to me so it was convenient.  Here are the 24 pieces completed this time.  


Here I am with mine.


There is going to be a prom after we leave in March so later in the afternoon we went to the clubhouse to see the formals brought by a ropa store that sells them for $10-15.  There was lots of modeling going on and many dresses were purchased for the big night.  The fellows will wear dark pants and a tuxedo T-shirt.  I am sorry we will miss it.  The ladies made corsages too.  It should be a fun night.

Friday we met up with Stella, Jay, Mike and Linda at the bridge into Progreso, Mexico.  I needed to replace the pills we both had taken getting rid of the crud.  Ted also had his teeth cleaned, Stella had her stitches removed and Eileen made an appointment for her cleaning for next week.  We all had coffee and a pastry at Renee's then split up for more shopping.  I bought a slide and earrings but that was all.  We walked around for several hours before coming back across the bridge and headed to Mid Valley Boots to pick up my new boots.  Now I can get my new black jeans hemmed and I will be ready for the rodeo!


We asked Jose at the boot shop for a lunch recommendation and he suggested Fiesta TexMex but since it was past 2:00 the buff-it (that's how he said it) was over.  It was a great suggestion, the food was really good.  We skipped dinner that evening since we ate so late.

Eileen and I spent Saturday morning at a salon where she had waxing and eyebrows done while I had waxing and a dermabrasion facial.  Next up will be our nails and before we leave, another haircut.  We came home and both did things around the house until time for church.  Ted came back from the gun range and helped me by vacuuming.  Fr. Roy was in San Antonio so we had Fr. Speedy Gonzales for Mass and were out in record time.  So we took advantage and went to Riverside Club for a bite to eat before card bingo.  None of us won anything but it was an enjoyable evening.  But winning would be better.

Don called Ted Sunday and he begged off shooting because he was under the weather.  So a phone call to Dave to come earlier got them to the club and back in record time.  I had the laundry ready to go and we finished that up quickly.  Then it was off to Pepe's on the River (the Rio Grande River) to enjoy the 84 degrees, sunshine and light breeze.  There was a good crowd but we found a spot and enjoyed margaritas and a few dances before coming home.  

Ted grilled steaks and I made a salad and baked potatoes for dinner.  At 6:00 it was time for the new bunco group.  There were 24 women but the leader was trying to tell folks how to play by reading rules off the internet.  She wasn't too interested in help from several of us well versed in this so I just went with the flow until she hit a wall.  You can't keep score without a sheet of paper, there is no point in passing around a fuzzy dice when you bunco if there is no prize for having it at the end, why would losers leave a table and keep moving to the head table instead of winners?  She got most of it settled with a little help but the confusion soured some on the game.  I only have two more Sundays here so I will play and keep my mouth shut unless I am asked!

Even a fish wouldn't get in trouble if he kept his mouth shut."



Monday, February 2, 2015

Cool and Dreary Again!

We woke to cool and cloudy weather which the weatherman had predicted.  We walked to the mailboxes to mail Bill's birthday card and stopped at Eileen's motorhome.  We decided Ted and Tom  would spend some time at the gun range with Tom receiving instruction from Ted while Eileen and I went to our mosaics class.  It took us a bit longer than time allotted so afterwards we came right home to have dinner and settle in for this weeks The Bachelor.  It is my revenge for all the football I have to watch.

Tuesday was no better weatherwise so we went to the Winter Texan Extravaganza at the convention center.  There were very few vendors and was mostly seminars.  We happened in just when the entertainment/seminars broke for an  hour's  lunch.  So once we hit all the vendors we left for Gonzales Burgers for lunch.  They were on #41 and we got #60.  We had to wait for a table anyway so we were able to get a spot and get settled before our number was called.

We must have just missed our friends Jay and Stella because we saw on Facebook that they were there right before us.  I also received four calls in the time we were gone regarding bunco and the upcoming fashion show.  It is getting to be like home!

Eileen wanted small decorative tile put in the half bath of their motorhome so we drove to Penitas to the tile store.  They have what she needs and people to do it.  We decided she needed to take a piece of the counter back to be sure she chose the right color.  

Happy Hour was set for Tuesday evening but the weather just wasn't inviting enough to coax us out early before we left for the Mickey Gilley show.  What a fabulous performance!  It was like visiting with an old friend.  He sang everyone of his 17 number one hits, shared photos and clips from TV shows and movie performances, duets with ladies and told the story of his entire career including mentioning his cousins Jimmy Swaggert and Jerry Lee Lewis.  There were even news clips of firefighters trying to extinguish the fire that destroyed Gilley's in Pasadena, TX.  The highlight for me was when the clips of Urban Cowboy were run, up popped the wedding scene and there was our friend Tommy in the movie!  
I have never enjoyed a concert more.

Today we went back to the tile store and arranged for the chosen tile to be installed in the motorhome while Ted was shootiing with Don and Dave.  As soon as we got back we went next store to Kathy's coach house to grout our mosaic plates.  Because it was margarita night I needed to make an appetizer but Eileen and Tom couldn't go because the tile was being installed.  We met up with Don and Trudy and met a couple from Indiana.  The folks who arrived at the park 2/1 make much better snacks than the other folks did.  Nice spread!

Tomorrow is an early start with the ladies breakfast at 8:15.  Time is just flying by!



All the girls all get prettier at closing time
Oh, they all begin to look like movie stars
All the girls all get prettier at closing time
When the change starts taking place it puts a glow on every face
Of the fallen angels of the back street bars



Sunday, February 1, 2015

Rancho El Charco

Tom had to move his motorhome from his temporary stop down the street from us on Lark to his February spot on Mallard.  Ted went shooting with Don while they got settled in again.  I took my time getting ready.  This coughing is just wearing me out and keeping both of us from sleeping well.

When the dust settled we headed to La Joya to Rancho El Charco to see it when it was open and to take the wagon ride.  There wasn't a big crowd but people told us that was probably due to the Super Bowl because normally the place is packed.  It overlooks the Rio Grande River and is quite picturesque.






We listened to some pretty good music and had a margarita that was potent!  Two of them and they would have had to carry me out!  The wagon returned and we got on.  


It was pulled by mules that were a cross between a donkey and a Clydesdale.  We never had seen such a combination.


We rode through some very primitive Texas terrain to other venues within the ranch.  We came across this deer who was so used to people that it never flinched.


We came to an outdoor chapel that is used for weddings.  The primitive altar was done mostly in wood.  There was no indication of its age.


We continued on to the waterfall that had a nice atmosphere.  We walked across a rope bridge one at a time.  It rocked quite a bit but I just stopped whenever it started rocking and started up again when it stopped.  Ted has such height he had more difficulty but made it.




We continued on and saw a pool area used for picnics and such in the summertime when children are out of school.  Our guide said he does many nature programs for children.

It was getting close to Game Time so we came home.  Eileen fixed Skyline chili and we sat outside watching the TV embedded in the side of their motorhome.  I was so tired that I left the three of them there watching the Super Bowl and came home to my couch.  The Z Pak seems to be working but this coughing is so tiring.

Ted came home at half time  and I got up to watch the last of the game with a finish that was just unbelievable.  I had no horse in the race but can certainly enjoy a good game with a great finish.  Congratulations to the Patriots.


Friday, January 30, 2015

Down With The Crud

Well I drove to breakfast and back without incident taking Becky and Jan with me.  Once I returned and Ted was ready, we went to the grocery and also got fuel for $2.42 for diesel.  I can remember one summer paying $4.75 in Vicksburg, MS!

I put together the lasagna and laid down for a nap.  Everyone here has whatever this is going around and both Ted and I are coughing our heads off.  I took Nyquil Wednesday night and it always knocks me out into the next day.

Ted went to another gun thing around 3:00 and shortly thereafter, Eileen and Tom arrived.  I walked down and Tom was unhitching the car and then I helped him back into Walter's spot.  Eileen says she normally asks someone in the campground to help him!  He understood my hand signals just fine and he was parked in no time.

They didn't stop for lunch so I came home and put the lasagna in the oven, tossed the salad and sliced the bread.  By the time we finished dinner I was fading fast.  I was in bed around 8 with another shot of Nyquil.  I was hoping I would feel better in the morning.

I slept better but both of us coughed all night long.  We were taking antibiotics but the cough just lingered.  We were due at Karen and Dave's at 1:00 so I got the baked beans together, made up the ambrosia and filled our cooler with drinks.  Tom drove and it was nice to see our old friends, many of whom remembered Eileen and Tom from last year.  We were given an invitation to Vern's 70th birthday party in Colorado for the 4th of July.  However, we are already booked for a 60th anniversary party in Bowling Green, KY.  We came home about 5:00 and Eileen told me to go to bed.  I laid on the couch and was out like a light until 8.  I stayed up until 11, took my Nyquil and slept until 6 in the morning.

I took my time getting ready on Saturday.  It was 3:00 before we left for dinner at Cheddars.  Despite being told we had to wait 10-20 minutes, ww were seated as soon as the guys finished parking the car.  We had some time afterwards to stop at Academy for ammo.  Ted is going to take Tom to the range to familiarize him better with his handgun.

We went to the Shrine of Our Lady of San Juan of the Valley for Mass.  The road we use to get to Fr. Roy was closed for the citrus parade and he was riding in the parade so we thought it a good time to experience the mariachi band during Mass at the Shrine.  We left there and headed to a show at Canyon Lake park.  It was OK but not one I would tell people not to miss and I wouldn't see it again.  The comedian was funny and did great mimicking especially singing as Elvis.  He needs more of that and less of his wife singing karaoke.

We continued to be congested and coughing through the night so we are started on Z Paks.  We needed bigger guns to lick this thing.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Waiting for Eileen and Tom

Monday was the ladies lunch out.  I was picked up as promised and headed to BJ Brewhouse.  We have one close to home but I have been there just 2 or 3 times.  I really liked the menu.  They had Mediterranean chicken pitas complete with yogurt sauce.  These are a staple at the Greek restaurants in Detroit but I haven't seen them here in Texas.  They were every bit as good as the picture looked.  Out of 21 women I was the only one that ordered them.

Ted was supposed to go to lunch and a gun shop with the fellows but when Ted went outside he saw Niles' car go around the bend.  They forgot him!  He went on to the gun shop on his own and found a new gun.  He came home to get his old one to trade and check to be sure he could spend that money.  Being on the road it is necessary to watch your cash flow.  Nancy is doing a great job of handling our mail (Chris will take it in but that is all!), so our money is getting to where it needs to be.  Ted called Don who went back with him and got a few things himself.

Ted ate leftover chicken soup for supper, I wasn't hungry yet.  Later on Trudy and Don came by bringing some dessert left over from their Progressive dinner.  When we came inside I had a piece with a cup of tea.  

Yesterday we tried the new laundromat near Mission West to compare cost and time.  Washing costs more but drying is in 4 minute increments so you can buy only what you need.  The dryers are big and get your clothes dry much quicker.  So cost is about the same but you save some time especially since there are as many machines as you need versus the two here in our park.

Ted then went to try his new gun out at the Gun Range while I did my best tracking Tom and Eileen's progress.  They drove beyond Holt FL where I thought they were stopping so scrambled to find a suitable park for them for the night.  They ended up in Robertsdale AL.  A 40 foot motorhome with a Jeep Cherokee behind it needs a long pull thru spot so they can stay hooked up.  Lots of coastal parks are dirt, gravel or grass.  If we and they can help it, we avoid those parks.  I found them concrete!

 

After dinner we went to the clubhouse and had three new players to learn Shanghai.  Joanne won!  These folks catch on quickly.  Next week we are going to a Mickey Gilley benefit show so we won't be teaching Shanghai that night.

This locale is a huge birding area.  I have always wanted to see a Painted Bunting and a friend saw two yesterday morning, but in Florida!  Aren't they beautiful?  I think they look as if they flew through a rainbow and picked up all the colors.  The first is a male alone, the second has the green female too.



Today is Spanish class and the grocery.  I am fixing dinner for Tom and Eileen tomorrow.  If all goes as planned they will be here mid afternoon.  I am also attending ladies breakfast in the morning.  In fact, I am the driver.  Love driving the dually.  Parking it is even more fun!

You may be a redneck if... you have spent more on your pickup truck than on your education.

Jeff Foxworthy



Saturday, January 24, 2015

Border Impact

I made an appointment Friday to get my hair cut and Carmen did a great job.  I have used her while here for several years.  It was so windy, there was no sense having it styled.  So it was just blown dry with a brush and that's all.  She said her business is down, many folks have not returned.

When Ted picked me up we headed west to La Joya to El Rancho Charco, a beautiful venue on the Rio Grande River.  I have carried an ad around for about three years advertising wagon rides, exotic animals, waterfalls, dance bands and a restaurant.  There is going to be an outing there for the folks of Retama but it is scheduled for after we leave.  I think one Sunday we will go there with Eileen and Tom.

In the evening we attended a production right from Branson, A Tribute to George Strait.  The couple presenting and singing were terrific and the history and life of George Strait was so interesting.  A short stint by an impersonator who could mimic anyone was a bonus.  I am going to find out where he is performing because he can talk like Gomer Pyle and sing like Elvis.  We had an enjoyable evening.

Saturday we headed to the flea market to pick up a few things we knew we needed.  These included a card holder for Carol, parsley flakes in a larger bottle than available in stores, greeting cards, wild rice from Minnesota, oranges and grapefruits.  About 1/3 of the produce vendors are missing and several vendors we frequented are gone.  

Afterwards we went to Gonzales Burgers since we hadn't stopped there on Thursday.  Best burgers ever!  We sat with a couple from Chicago and had a nice visit.  They are taking their motorhome to Houston 3/1 and taking the same cruise twice because 7 days is too short!  

I was developing a headache so I came home to lie down and we decided to go to church in the morning.  After about two hours I felt better and we went next door to play Card Bingo.  Unfortunately neither of us won.

Morning church was as crowded as evening church.  Fr. Roy gave his usual interesting homily but we had a different music group.  However, we were treated to Clay Walker's song I Want To Live, Laugh and Love.  There is always a cowboy song for the week's message as far as Fr. Roy is concerned.

When we got home Ted picked up Don and met Dave at the Skeet Club to shoot.   When he came back we went to the grocery and then over to check out Pepe's on the River.  The first 5 years we came here we loved going to Pepe's for $10 all-you-can eat fish or shrimp, $10 pitchers of margaritas and a country band for dancing.  When the river flooded in 2010 Pepe's became IN the river not ON the river.  It stayed that way until this year when it reopened.

Now they are only open on Sunday, there is no food other than a food truck and lots of motorcycles.  I am not sure we are going to frequent the place much.  We passed Riverside Club when we left that reopened in 2012 and there wasn't a parking spot anywhere.  I am sure people came from Pepe's to eat.  We like that place too and have gone there frequently and will continue to do so.  We actually saw it on Fox News last year filled with women and children filling the bar waiting for the Border Patrol to pick them up.

Ted grilled a pork tenderloin for dinner and I used some of that Minnesota wild rice to make a side dish and had some cranberries too.  We seem to be averaging eating out every other day, mostly for lunch.  Neither of us are big breakfast eaters so a big lunch and light dinner isn't so bad.  Today we skipped lunch because of our schedule and had a nice dinner, just going with the flow!

Now about my title.  For the past 10 years we had to make our reservations for the following year to insure a space.  There are a dozen or so parks on our road alone and they were all booked solid every winter.  This year every park has lots of spaces available.  The border situation is hurting the area which took in $700+ million from winter Texans last year.  

There were lots of folks over in Progreso, Mexico though spending money.  Renee's bakery was filled to capacity, all 13 chairs at the nail salon were filled with folks getting pedicures and the lines back through Customs at times have been longer than ever seen before.  I guess you have a lot of folks who still feel comfortable in the area and others not so much.  The wave of newcomers each year just didn't happen.  The answer will lie in the total spent by the Winter Texans.  People vote with their feet and pocketbook.  Until the border is truly secure, I think the Rio Grande Valley will suffer.

Choices made, whether bad or good, follow you forever and affect everyone in their path one way or another.” 
― J.E.B. Spredemann







Friday, January 23, 2015

Crossing the Border

Trudy and I had made plans to go to lunch and shopping while Ted and Don did another "double."  Pistols first at the gun range, skeet second at the Skeet club.

We went to Renee's which is a spa/beauty salon/boutique and tea room.  I bought a Vera Bradley bag as a camera case and Trudy bought a dress.  We had a nice lunch, her treat to me for Ted always picking Don up to go shooting.  From there we went to Victoria's to check it out.  We both bought a few gifts and I can't believe I am Christmas shopping already!  We returned home around 5:00 and decided not to do Margarita hour next door.  Other than Don and Trudy, all our friends have moved to other parks and it isn't the same.

Thursday morning was the weekly ladies' breakfast and it was not far so I planned to drive myself and let Ted sleep.  But these wonderful women of Retama sent a FB message saying they would pick me up.  I was tickled they included me!  I am still an eggs and bacon person and it amazes me so many of the ladies do the refried beans and tortillas like I do toast!  We had been instructed not to sit with whomever we rode with so we all chose a different table.  Two new (to me) ladies sat down and we were quickly joined by another three.

Ann asked if I was going to the lunch on Monday but I admitted I had not yet signed up.  You have to keep up with this calendar while here!  She told Linda who runs these things that I was coming to the lunch and she was going to pick me up.  So I guess I'm going!  I sure haven't cooked much while here.

As soon as I returned home we left to pick up Jay and Stella and headed to Mexico.  We all had our grocery lists of needed medicines and they along with Ted were getting pedicures.  It is the only time Ted will go, even though he enjoys the results.  I had mine when I had my manicure last week so I was good, I just waited and observed.  The instruments and basins were all cleaned with bleach after each customer.  One girl was being so thorough with one lady, taking longer than anyone.  When we left I said I wanted her if we came back.  The lady tried to ask the girl her name but she didn't understand and almost looked scared that maybe she had done something wrong.  Spanish class to the rescue!  "Como se llama" I said and she smiled and answered Selena.  I was proud of myself over such a little thing.

We went to the Super store to check prices and got the analgesic cream there plus penicillin.  We moved on to my favorite, Almost Free pharmacy, to get the rest.  Someone on Retama FB had asked if anyone was going to Mexico.  She needed lots of vanilla for folks back home.  At breakfast I asked who that was and she was sitting two seats over.  I bought her six bottles of vanilla at the pharmacy along with Ted's eyedrops and Retin A cream for a friend.  I picked up a Z pack to keep on hand just in case.  Traveling like we do it isn't always easy or inexpensive to get to a doctor for a minor thing that would require an antibiotic. I just toss them when they expire and we haven't needed to use them.

On the way home Jay wanted to eat at Luby's but Stella nixed that.  Then she suggested Gonzales Burgers and he nixed that.  Ted suggested Cheddars since we all like that and we figured mid-afternoon was a good time.  Wrong!  We had to wait about 10 minutes to be seated.  This restaurant is always packed!  I wasn't really hungry so only ate my bowl of soup and took my half sandwich home.  We left about 3:30 and finally there was no one waiting.  The hostess said 3:30 to 4:15 is about the only lull they have but not on weekends.  The food is good, plentiful and very reasonably priced.  There is the answer to success.

Tom and Eileen are due in one day next week.  Their spot is occupied until 2/1 so they need a spot for 1-3 nights depending on their arrival.  There is a place for sale and I wrote a private message on FB to the owner.  He called and agreed to let them park on his spot but he has someone coming in 2/1 so it will be a day of musical coaches as everyone settles in for February.

Our beautiful weather is giving in to windy and cooler for two days and then the next week looks really good!








Tuesday, January 20, 2015

SUNSHINE and 85!

It's been a long time coming but yesterday it arrived.  No rain, plenty of sunshine and 85 degrees.  Perfect!  I know rain is coming two days this week but I was basking in the perfect combination.


Folks finally getting to enjoy the pool.  It was kept heated the whole time!


Monday was Ted's day.  He met the "gun people" at someone's port home to attend a gun safety talk by a Border Patrol agent.  When they finished everyone went to the gun range for instructions from the agent because he is the trainer for the Border Patrol.  Ted said he helped him improve his accuracy.  Ted seldom shoots a pistol but he has them and does on occasion.

This is a port home that has a carport for your RV.  


There are four accommodations areas in Bentsen Palms.  Regular homes in Tanglewood, port homes as part of Retama Village where we are in a coach house spot 


and then the regular RV park next door. And there are one bedroom casitas within the RV park for those without an RV.

I spent the day doing a bit of cleaning and worked on my Swedish weaving.  I am 17 rows away from being done.  Then I have to learn to tie the fringe on both ends!

We went to a Mexican restaurant for the Couple's Lunch.  We met two more couples but we didn't like the food.  For one, they didn't bring what we ordered and then claimed the kitchen changed the special and two, what they brought we didn't like, greasy and drowning in melted cheese.  We didn't like Mambo's next door last year and we don't like Koko's this year!

I did a load of laundry when we got back and then put together a bag of things needed for Shanghai.  In the evening we hosted a game during Game Night.  Four others joined us and we have a start to getting a regular group going.  Bruce was the big winner even though it was his first time playing and Ted was last!  I liked that it turned out like that.











Saturday, January 17, 2015

Such A Sad Day

On Friday we had our unit washed and waxed then we went to a Skymed luncheon.  We invited Dave, Karen, Dulce and Berndt to join us as our guests.  There was a huge crowd, a nice lunch and new info on what our insurance policy covers.  I have left a message with the company because I want more info on some of these benefits.  "Certain circumstances" is a bit ambiguous to me when you are talkng about a legal document.

We were home mid-afternoon when I received an email from our church.  One of our beloved and gifted deacons had died in a tragic accident.  Ted and I are devastated.  I feel so badly for his wife and children especially, but also for our entire church community. It will take a long while for us to come to grips with this horrific event.

We returned home and eventually went next door to see a comedy team.  The wife was under the weather so the husband performed on his own and did a good job.  He took our minds off our sadness for a couple of hours.

There was an RV show going on in Mercedes so we headed that way on Saturday.  The weather has been great for a couple of days now.  After the show we ate at Olive Garden then headed to church.  Fr. Roy was in rare form and had us in stitches as soon as he stepped on the altar.  It lifted our spirits to be in church with laughter surrounding us.

Later that evening, we went next door again to hear Mario sing.  Ted said we saw him several years ago when he first came here to perform but I didn't remember him.  It was an enjoyable two hours and spending it with Trudy and Don made it even better.  Mario said he was friends with Mickey Gilly and talked about the movie Urban Cowboy.  He said he knew everything about that movie.  During intermission I told him about our friend Tommy and how he ended up playing the wedding photographer in the movie.  NOW maybe he knows everything about it.


Sunday was shooting and football for Ted.  For me it was banking, reading and swedish weaving with a peek or two at football.  I must say the last 5 minutes of the Seattle/Green Bay game were exciting.  I have no horse in either of these races so it was just something to pass time for me.  There was a talent show next door and Karen had offered her season tickets at Victoria Palms to us because David has the flu but we declined.  Playoffs you know!  Staying home was a welcome choice.






Saturday, January 10, 2015

Making the Best of It

This weather has been the pits!  I know many have it a lot worse but cold and rainy is not fun when it is supposed to be sunny and 70!

Friday we did laundry, then got fuel, shopped for a coat for me and bought groceries.  That was about it.  We are warm and dry but getting cabin fever.  Everyone is expressing the same thing.  We are used to being out and about.  Having a potluck with the grill going is not possible on the patio right now.  And I watch the energy being wasted on heating the pool and hot tub that no one can use.

Saturday morning was a couples' breakfast and it was good to be in so many folks' company.  No one really wanted to leave the clubhouse but the clean up crew wanted to get things back in order.  Ted went for another fill up of our propane.  The furnace is running constantly.  He ran into the lady that has Mark's mailbox key and she said we received mail yesterday.  It is a check so we will stop by the bank and deposit it.

We decided to go to the boot maker to order the custom boots I am having made.  Seems cheaper than bunion surgery!  Since we were already that far east we traveled on to the Premium Outlets.  I bought a new Coach purse, a pair of Lee jeans and two more sweatshirts since I have been wearing the same 3 or 4 everyday we have been here!  Ted bought a pair of jeans too.  As we left, Ted pulled into Whataburger to use the bathroom and ordered a coffee.  When he went to pay they told him there is no charge to seniors for coffee!  Good to know.

We hurried home and boiled spaghetti for when we returned and then left for church.  Fr. Roy is real upset with those "damn terrorists."   He said their dark evil will never extinguish the light of Christ.  We returned to the park and completed our Skyline chili for dinner.  Then we went next door to the RV park for card bingo.  I won over $50!  

Sunday was cleaning, catching up with my sister by phone, tortellini soup for dinner and Ted shooting.  Not too exciting.

But today the sun is out and it is in the mid 60s!  At least it is heading in the right direction.  Here is our spot with double drive and coach house.  


We went to the HitchHiker luncheon today and old friend Bill was there but Judy is under the weather.  They are parked right down the road from us and next to the park Jay is going into.  Speaking of Jay, they were on their way here when they got the call that his uncle died in East Texas.  So they headed that way and won't be here now until Friday.  

Ted is washing his truck and I am alternating between arguing with my lawn service and finding the closest Enterprise so he can rent a car.  He needs to make a trip to Corpus Christi to see a new customer tomorrow.  He will be going into the McAllen newspaper at some point but that is local.  

I pre-paid my lawn service through January and tried to send a photo of the check to two different emails I was given.  Both came back as invalid.  They said they would send me an email so I could reply and that never came either.  I finally called, got voicemail and told them I have checks proving I have  paid through January and I am not paying the bill they just sent for December. 

We spent one hour at Enterprise waiting for a car!  People were returning them and they were going out as quickly as they turned them around.  It was crazy!  I drove the car home and Ted drove the truck stopping at HEB for drinks and snacks to take to Tom's who had the guys to his coach house to watch the Ohio State game.  Ted was the only Ohio fan!

Ted drove to Corpus Christi for the start up of the press run and then drove back.  I took the truck to the nail salon!  I miss having my own car.

The ladies potluck was Wednesday afternoon and we went next door to Margarita hour to visit with Don and Trudy.  They stopped by earlier in the week to tell us they have rented a spot here for next year.  That means all our friends will have left there by next year.

Today I joined 20+ ladies for the weekly breakfast.  The weather guessers are saying the weather will warm up and dry out starting tomorrow.  Today is warmer and dry, though overcast.  Keep your fingers crossed!



Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Not a Great Start

The weather on Sunday and Monday didn't improve but we did take a walk next door to visit Don and Trudy.  They are only one of two of our friend couples still in the RV park.  They are going to look over here next year too.  We also attended computer school to learn how to navigate the website to stay on top of things.

Our biggest problem has been the electric.  Our rig has a built in surge protector.  If voltage drops or peaks, it shuts the electric down to protect us.  It kept shutting off and our readings said low voltage.  We had an electrician out twice and they said the electric post was fine.  We tried the 30 amp instead of 50 and it did it less but we still needed to get it fixed.  Mark, the owner, told us to do whatever needed to be done.

On Tuesday Ted called AEP, the electric company, and then went shooting at the range.  The fellow arrived and pulled the meter and we could hear the crackling.  It was obvious where a part was burned and was causing the problem.  That's when the fun began!

AEP said only the meter was theirs.  The post belonged to Rhodes Enterprises or the HOA or the lot owner.  Great!  I finally determined that Mark owns the post, Rhodes should have spare parts, AEP needed to shut off the electric and we needed the electrician back to change the part they needed to get from Rhodes!  Whew!  I called Ted to come back because this was getting complicated.

AEP turned off the electric, the electrician came back then left to get the part, returned and fixed it.  Now it got to be even more fun.  Ted called AEP to come restore the power.  We waited a couple hours and at 3 he called back.  THEN we were told the city had to inspect it but no permit had been pulled so our request was just sitting there.  So Ted called the electrician who was probably sorry he had ever met us.  He said he would go right then to pull the permit so the city would inspect it!

By now it is the end of the work day and we know nothing else is going to get done and we have no electric.  If it wasn't for his CPAP machine we would have been OK on 12 volt and propane.  Ted finally asked Kathy next door if their post would support both of us, one in 50 amp and the other in 30.  She said no problem.  We turned off the water heater and kept the fireplace off and had no issues through the evening and night.

The inspector came the next day and we waited and waited for AEP to come and restore power.  By the end of the day I was on the phone with the city saying they sent a clearance to AEP and AEP saying they never received it!  The next morning at 7:45 the original AEP guy showed up and said he thought we were going to call back that same afternoon two days ago.  I told him we did and what had transpired.  He said we didn't need a permit, inspection or the green card the inspector gave us!!

It is all fixed and we unplugged from Kathy's and into our own.  I wrote Mark and told him what happened so he has a record to reconcile any charges.  They felt bad we had to go through this.  It would  have been much worse if Kathy hadn't been agreeable or her post wouldn't have been able to support both RVs on it.


I went to Spanish class that is being taught by Marisa who is in a Mobile Suites just like ours.  She and I were picked up by Beverly and Carolyn to go to the breakfast Thursday morning with 30 other women.  We had to speak Spanish in introducing ourselves and others as part of our 10 minutes a day practice!  Fun times.  I am third on the left holding my coffee cup.



Last night we went to a Victoria Palms dance featuring a 17 piece orchestra.  All our old Bentsen Palms friends were there, 5 other couples.  We had not seen them since July in Michigan at Dave's 70th birthday party.



Stella texted me this morning to let us know they have hail at Inks Lake and aren't coming until Monday.  With no road crews around, it is best to stay off Texas highways in this crazy weather.

Now if we can just get the temperature up to normal.  Enough of this jet stream dipping all the way down to the Gulf.



Thursday, January 1, 2015

Cold and Dreary

Wednesday dawned cold and drizzly but the temperature had stayed in the 40s so the icy roads they had warned of did not materialize.  We hit the road by 8 am for our final destination for the next two months, Mission, TX.

It was an uneventful trip with just two restroom stops and we arrived in weather that was rainy, windy and cold.  As soon as we arrived, Niles, from the spot two doors from us, came down to help Ted back the trailer in.  There were garbage cans out, a repair truck across the street, palm trees and the bushes that divide our two drives to dodge.  Niles is a former truck driver and talked Ted back into our spot in no time.  This is a sample spot, not ours and not our rig.  But they are spacious and some folks have a studio set up in their coach house.  We do not have access to ours.  It is filled with the owners stuff.


I just wanted him to get it set up level so I could go inside.  Poor Ted had to deal with the utilities and came in cold and wet later on.  We both had a hot drink and then settled in before Ted decided to go get our propane tank filled because it appears we will be using the furnace for a few days yet.

Our favorite church was only having an 11 pm Mass followed by a potluck party so we chose to go to the Basilica for a bi-lingual Mass at 5:30.  It was decorated as beautifully as last year.  




I have found you really have to pay attention because you never know when the priest is going to switch between English and Spanish.  The opposite language is displayed on a screen except for the Sermon.  Father just wings it between the two languages.

Afterwards we ate at Furrs Buffet since things were starting to close and the few open had long waits.  We like Furrs and eat there on occasion with Jay and Stella and it was fine after a day of travel and bad weather.  There was an open city party at the Convention Center and a dance at the RV park that Don invited us to but even with three things to choose from (four if you count seeing a movie), we just wanted to come home and relax.  I missed the ball drop in Times Square and that was only 11 pm here!

New Years Day did not get any better weatherwise.  Since our DISH satellite is not set up yet the football games Ted wanted to watch were unavailable to him.  So we went to Walmart for a few groceries.  Having the kids for a week lowered my inventory.  After dinner Ted went to the clubhouse to watch the Alabama/Ohio State game.  I went to bed at 11:00 and did not learn until the next day that Ohio had won.

Friday I went to the coffee and muffin gathering for the ladies.  Afterwards I stayed to help take down the Christmas decorations.  An hour later I returned for the Swedish Weaving class.  It was an introductory one but I am going to need help with the edging since I didn't get that far last year so I will be attending.  We are also having Introductory Spanish in January.  I don't think I will have any trouble filling my time here.

On Saturday the Welcoming Committee came to give us a packet and answer questions.  Other than needing info on how to access their website calendar, we didn't need any info.  They stayed for an hour as we got engrossed in conversation.  Everyone has been so friendly and helpful.

We went to our favorite church and saw Fr. Roy.  His three dogs were dressed in red robes and crowns in honor of the Epiphany.  There were also three human kings and a llama posing as a camel.  Never a dull moment at that church.  We stopped at CVS then tried Cheddar's for dinner.  There were people outside, in the vestibule and mobbing the hostess so we moved on.  We have a Landry's card so went next door to Saltgrass, flashed that card and were seated immediately.  I don't know what the folks waiting thought!  By the time we left, the wait was one hour.

We had a bit of sunshine, blue skies and 55 degrees.  I am hoping it continues heading to that sunny and 70 we like best.






 


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

San Antonio Visit



We were on the road at 8 am Sunday morning despite the cool temperatures and rain.  We stopped for breakfast at the Flying J just before getting on I-10.  As we moved west, the rain stopped and tiny bits of blue sky peaked out.  We had no difficulty locating our campground and the cabin the kids were staying in.  Once settled in we left to visit the Alamo and Riverwalk.  We watched the movie in the long barracks and looked at the artifacts but did not get to see the inside of the Alamo itself because the line was so long.  We were pretty sure we did not have enough time to make it through the line before closing.  Besides being the weekend between Christmas and New Years, the Alamo Bowl will be played over New Years.  The city is swamped with visitors.

The decision was made to do the boat ride the next day because it was quite chilly.  So we ate at The Republic of Texas restaurant.  We walked a bit up and down both sides of the river walk before heading back to the campground.

Monday we spent a good part of the day at the Mission of San Jose.  We saw the video about the Indian tribes that are classified as Tejanos, Mexicans who found themselves living in Texas as governments changed.  It is very well done.  From there we toured the buildings and grounds on our own.

Ally with the mission church in the background.


Ted as we approached the buildings.


Pat, Kelly and Ally in front of the famous Rose Window.


Pale reminders of the colorful designs used on the church by the Mexicans.


The current altar which included four very old statues.


Pat and Kelly walking in front of the church.


Kelly and Ally in the garden.


We moved on to El Mercado where we did a bit of shopping and had a late lunch at La Margarite.  It was so good and we left really full.  The waiter needs to work on Sweet and Unsweet.  No matter which tea we ordered, he brought the opposite!




We left there and walked to the boat ride on the river.  The kids really enjoyed that.  Eventually we walked back to the car and headed home with a stop at Walmart for some breakfast items.  

You are the first to see the initial photos I have taken with my new camera.  The learning curve continues!

We had breakfast in the RV before heading to Mission Concepion Tuesday morning.  We were just in time for a tour and Danny did a great job.  It is the first time I have heard of the blending of Christian beliefs and symbolism with Mexican beliefs and customs to teach the people who lived within the mission walls about God and Christianity.

This is the oldest stone church in the U.S. and has never been damaged so it never had to be rebuilt.  Frescoes within the church have been painstakingly restored as best as they can be.  It is the only one of the five San Antonio Missions with a double bell tower.  One of the eight original bells remains and is still in use.  Four of the five missions are still used as parish churches.  Only the Alamo is not.


The main altar featuring the Assumption of Mary.  The circle (God) above the triangle (Trinity) above the door in the previous picture is positioned so that at 6:30 pm on 8/15 (feast of the Assumption) the sun spotlights the painting.


The chapel with a partial frescoe restored.  It was a red drape with a valance pulled back to show something that is mostly green.  One can only surmise what it was in its entirety.


The kids left for Austin from there to get Cassie before continuing on to Dallas.  We did some running and returned with just enough time to cut up some cheese and sausage and get dressed before Gus and Melissa arrived.  We had a nice visit and dinner at Texas Roadhouse.  If the weather had been better I would have fixed dinner but needing to cook and eat inside gets a bit crowded.

I was able to download the latest pictures with no problems or cursing!  But there is lots more to learn.