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.

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