Thursday, February 18, 2010

The First 18 Days in Rockport

Tuesday, February 2 - It’s cloudy and overcast so our “adventure” has been to go to the grocery store, H E B. It’s a new store, big, clean and a great selection. We have been looking for homemade tortillas and they had them at this store.

Wednesday, February 3 - This morning, we went into the rec room and watched “Imus in the Morning”, so that was a plus. Still cloudy and light rain. Today’s adventure is Wal*Mart.

Thursday, February 4 - We are ready for sun, but it is still warmer than at home.

Friday, February 5 - We have checked out some of the other campgrounds and they are not up to our standards. We went to the campground where we are supposed to move next. It’s is way below our standards. The sun has come out - yea!!

Saturday, February 6 - The sun is shining. We sat outside and had morning coffee. We drove to the bay to see if we can find a place to paddle. I cancelled our reservations at the campground where we were going. We probably won’t get our deposit back, but it’s worth the $29 not to have to stay there. Life is still good in Retirement Land.

Enough of the day-by-day. Not much is going on, so there is no sense of writing something everyday. We have had a few days of sun, the rest of the time, it’s been cool and windy or cool and windy with light rain. Maybe next month the weather will return to normal. We see that Dallas is getting sleet and at home is 20 degrees cooler.

We are amusing ourselves reading and watching TV and DVD’s.

We finally got the catalytic heater installed. On a warm day, I repaired the tow lights cable and replaced the turn signal indicator with one that can be heard. I have more projects I will get around to when the weather improves.

I think that there are more species of birds wintering here than in Florida. In Florida, birds hang out in large segregated flocks. Here the groups are much smaller and made up of several species.

South Texas is poor. The homes look a lot like panhandle Florida. OK, maybe not that good. I think there are more sailboats here than in Florida. The coastal homes range from really sad looking to Texas size mansions.

At home, we were waking up at 5 or so. Now we are sleeping until 8. It’s getting difficult to get dressed before lunch.

We found a good restaurant, Los Comales. We have driven by it many times and decided to stop in today. Their special today was fajitas for two for $12.99. When we told the owner we had not been there before, he brought a sample of the beef used in the fajitas. By sample, I mean about half of an order. He also brought an excellent dipping sauce. It was so good we decided to have that for lunch. It was accompanied by bean soup, rice, and guacamole. The tortillas are homemade. We will definitely go back.

Here's some pictures from a cloudy day on the north end of Padre Island.
The pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them.

You can drive on the beach - at low tide!

Dorothy liked the bird with the odd hairdo.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

2010 Texas

Getting ready to leave is always a little stressful for me, Don’s opinion is that I am more than a little stressed. I don’t know why because I always have plenty of time to pack. Maybe it’s because I can’t remember where everything is supposed to go.

One of the good things about traveling are the departing dinners. Monday I had lunch with some former Merrill Lyncher’s and Wednesday night we had dinner with more former Merrill Lyncher’s. It’s always good to visit with old friends. Thursday, Frank grilled chickens and Sandy cooked her fantastic green beans. We provided potatoes and the place to eat. It has become a tradition to have a farewell dinner with the Wolcotts.

Saturday, January 23 - Instead of heading directly west to the Texas coast, we started our trip by driving 50 miles south to Clanton to visit my brother, Doug, and my sister-in-law, Roxanne. The bonus was my niece, Melissa, who is living there for a little while, along with her dog, Sully. It was a good visit and a great way to start the trip.

Sunday, January 24 - It was a very rainy morning so we hung around until after lunch, and then continued another 30 miles south to our daughter’s home to visit her and son-in-law and grandchildren before leaving. We may be prejudiced, but we think we have a wonderful family. And we know we are not prejudiced by declaring dinner Sunday night as absolutely one of the best meals we have ever had. Lee had fresh venison and Alecia fixed a delicious rice dish and green beans and dessert.

Monday, January 25 - Don drove our granddaughter, Stacey Kate, to school and we continued the trek to Texas. We stopped at Tickfaw State Park in Springfield, LA. Louisiana’s state parks are a wonderful place to stay. They are well cared for and they recognize the Golden Age Passport, so you get a 50% discount. It was a beautiful and warm day.

Tuesday, January 26 - Today we drove to Sam Houston Jones State Park in Lake Charles, LA. This is an older park, but well maintained. We stayed here two years ago and remarked about how friendly the people were. That still holds true. I had a glass of wine outside and read.

Wednesday, January 27 - We arrived in Texas. We traveled by free ferry to Galveston Island State Park. The ferry is very efficient and employes quite a few people as they were hustling to get everyone aboard and moving on time.

Galveston, you will recall, was devastated by Hurricane Ike in September, 2008. There are two sections to the campground, the gulf side and they bay side. We elected to be on the bay side of the campground, which we think is prettier and did not suffer any damage from Ike.

Thursday, January 28 - We are staying today because, well, just because we can. There are several paddling trails which we would have enjoyed, but it’s too windy. This would be great with no wind and sun. Maybe someday we will come back. We did get a few chores accomplished.

Friday, January 29 - The rain finally stopped around 10:30 so we headed toward Victoria to stay with Bill & Ruby Cope. We met them at South Mineral Campground in Silverton, CO last summer and they said, “Y’all come”, so that’s what we have done. They have a cattle ranch in Victoria with a place for us to park the rig with water and electricity. After visiting for a while, Ruby took me for a ride around the ranch. It backs up to a pretty lake. Bill has a D3 dozer and he let me drive it and knock down some brush. It has always been a fantasy of mine to drive a tracked vehicle. I had a really big smile on my face.

When Bill and Don got to the lake the full moon was rising and the slant sun rays were golden on the oak trees. A great image. He did not have his camera.

After my fun adventure, we went into Cuero to have dinner at Dave Bravo’s. This is not a fancy restaurant, but good Mexican food at reasonable prices.

Saturday, January 30 - Bill & Ruby had plans to attend the cattle auction in Cuero, so Don and I followed along. We have never been around so many different types of cattle before. We stayed through the bull auction then headed back to take a nap. Two days and two adventures - life is good on the road.

Bill & Ruby friend's, Zane & Anita, were also visiting and they went into Victoria to make venison sausage at the home of Rex & Linda. A tradition after the sausage making is having beef stew and we were invited. In addition to having a large garage where several people can make sausage, Rex makes wines and liquors, including amaretto. I can attest to the amaretto being very good.

Sunday, January 31 - We had a relaxing morning and in the afternoon we all sat around playing card games. Dinner included tasty venison sausage and then we played Mexican Train dominos. So we have spent three days with the Copes and had a new adventure each day. Thank you for the wonderful hospitality!

Monday, February 1 - We arrived at Enchanted Oaks RV Park in Rockport for our month’s stay. This park is new - four years old, so it is still a work in progress. They have a nice rec building and the people we have met are friendly. But it has been raining and is still drizzling, so that probably keeps most people inside. We will probably get to know more of the people when the sun comes out.