Sunday, February 26, 2012

Third Week In Mission

Monday, February 20 - It was a beautiful day.  We went to the Cinderella Animal Rescue and walked some dogs and played with some cats.  There were two dogs, one young lab and one lab puppy.  They were so sweet and they really did want someone to love them.  If I wanted to have a dog I would have taken both of them.  And some of the cats were friendly and playful.  One reminded me of Calvin, Alecia’s perfect cat, that both of us loved.  He sat in my lap and just looked me in the eye and let me pet him.  We really enjoyed being with the animals.  Then in the afternoon, we went swimming and soaked in the hot tub.  With warmer weather, there is more activity in the pool.


This and all pictures in this post were stolen from Life’s Little Adventures. Here, seven cats are paying close attention to a never before seen dog chain. Cats.

Tuesday, February 21 - Another beautiful day in Mission.  We went to grocery store (again), it’s just like being at home.  We went to the spa.  As the weather warms up more and more people show up.  There’s hardly room to swim.  Of course, they are all Canadians, mostly from Ontario.  I thought people from Ontario went to Florida, and a lot do since it’s closer, but those here said they think it’s prettier and certainly a lot cheaper.  Since it was Fat Tuesday, a group of campers got their trikes and themselves, decorated for Mardi Gras and rode around the park, throwing candy.  And then later in the day Bill & Ruby joined us.

Wednesday, February 22 - Ever since we have had the Jeep, it has had a quirk.  Sometimes, for no rhyme or reason, it just locks.  It is not very frequent and it is not the same way each time.  This morning we went to Los Ebanos to look at the last hand-pulled ferry.  It goes across the Rio Grande and the pictures we saw were quite picturesque.  So Bill & Ruby got in our Jeep and we headed off.  Bill got out first and then Don opened his door with the keeps in the ignition.  The Jeep was beeping and I told him to stop the beeping.  So he took the keys out of the ignition, put them on the dash and got out since we weren’t going anywhere. He wanted to park someplace else.  Then Ruby got out.  Of course, I got out, but I didn’t close the door completely.  The Jeep decided to lock itself.  Normally I have my keys on my belt look, but not this time.  We couldn’t call for help because all the phones were locked in the car.  The immigration people called the police for us, but they wouldn’t come out because of liability issues.  Bill got a ride back to the RV park to get his Jeep so he could try to find a locksmith.  The immigrations folk felt sorry for us sitting around looking forlorn and they found someone to find someone to find a locksmith.  Locksmith arrived in about 15 minutes and for only $25 the car was unlocked.  Of course, we couldn’t leave because we had to wait for Bill to return.

And by the way, the ferry crossing is no longer picturesque because they are building a very large immigration building so every thing is torn up.

2 - RGV 014

By this time we are really hungry and luckily we found a very good Mexican restaurant.  Ruby and I had gourmet - Napolitos (prickly pear cactus) & shrimp.  Yum. See how much fun we have in Retirement Land.

Thursday, February 23 - We went to Mexico today for dental appointments.  We both had our teeth cleaned and x-rays for only $45 each.  We will stay in Mission a few extra days because I have to have a crown replaced.  We then went to Arturo’s for lunch.    Don has been craving goat that they serve there and it is very good.  Food is excellent.  It’s a white linen tablecloth place and the waiters are dressed in nice jackets and bow ties.  Then continuing our Mexican adventure we did some shopping and finished up the  trip with margaritas.  Very very good and costs less than $2 each.


You pay two-bits and enter Mexico.   Our dentist.

Our day culminated with a two hour game of Mexican Dominos in the Rec Room.  We were too tired for the hot tub.

Friday, February 24 - Nothing today, just laundry and relaxing from our hard week of play.

Saturday, February 25 - Maybe I am getting a little tried of this place.  This morning we awoke to light rain and now it’s overcast skies.  All I notice is gray skies and big white box RV’s.  I haven’t really paid any attention to it before, so guess it’s just my attitude.  We can stay in an area for a month or more, but it’s usually with wonderful scenery without big white boxes.

But today wasn’t without fun.  First an exciting game of Mexican Train, followed by happy hour, then dinner and finally another game of Train.  

Monday, February 20, 2012

Bentsen Palm RV Village

Still in Mission, Texas until the end of the month.

Sunday, February 12 - Rain again, don’t need to say more.  So now we are wondering what to do next winter.  South Florida is a long drive to get where it’s warm and it is expensive.  Central Florida can still be cold and it isn’t pretty in our opinion. We like the Gulf coast the best, but it can be cold there if it is cold in Montgomery.  The southwest is windy and dusty - don’t want that.  So what to do - stay home and then take trips to Gulf coast if it’s pleasant - who knows. [I vote for Brazil]

Monday, February 13 -  Light rain and cloudy until the afternoon when the sun came out.  And it got warmer, so we got to have cocktails outside!

Some observations about life on the border – there are a lot more Mexicans than Americans.  All radio stations are Mexican, except for three religious stations. They do not integrate with us.  Everything is bilingual with Spanish being the first language.  Their culture is not ours.  I know that they were here when the Europeans arrived, so they must feel that this is their land.  This is a problem for the government and it’s not being handled, but I don’t think anyone else has any way to handle this either.

Don writes: Before the Spanish came, what we call Mexicans were the same blood stock as the inhabitants of what is now called the United States. Canada too. Many present day Americans have a soft spot for Indians. I wonder why this does not extend to Mexicans?

Tuesday, February 14 -  Happy Valentines Day.  Started the day by cleaning the refrigerator and defrosting the freezer.  See it’s fun on the road.  Once again the sun came out in the afternoon.  We have spent time planning the trip out of Texas, but it’s still two weeks before we leave here.  Got more veggies from the vegetable man.  Sure do like someone bringing fresh vegetables and it’s an easy walk to get there.  Also, it’s very cheap.  But today, we drove because I just had to have a watermelon along with the other things I bought.

Wednesday, February 15 -  We went back to the flea market and picked up a couple of things and then to H E B,  a Texas supermarket.  We enjoy it - they make fresh tortillas which are yummy.  Food is less expensive here, at least the fruits and vegetables.  We got back in time to rest before the margarita party.  We sat outside in the very pleasant weather and had a enjoyable chat with Jim & Gayle and a couple from Texas, Don & Donna.  Afterwards the weather was pleasant enough to soak in the hot tub.

Thursday, February 16 - We had planned to take the kayak trip today, but due to the weather forecast this morning, it was cancelled.  So, other than doing a load of laundry we didn’t do too much in the morning.  After lunch we sat in the palapa and played Mexican Train, then had Happy Hour, followed by dinner and another game of Mexican Train.  As you can tell, it’s very busy in the campground.

Friday, February 17 - A gray, cloudy and overcast day, but at least it was warm.  Also I had a little stomach bug, so not too perky all day.  Don went to the palapa for cocktails.

wx sunny - Copy
Saturday, February 18 -  A great day!  The sun was shinning and it got warmer all day, but not too warm.  We went back to the birding center.  We did take a little walk also and it felt so good to be out in the sunshine and pleasant weather.  The green jays are so beautiful and we just enjoy watching them.  After nap, we went swimming and soaked in the hot tub and chatted with some fellow campers, Kathy and Donald from Arkansas.  Then we went to the palapa for cocktails.  It’s very pleasant and we wish we had known about the happy hour party sooner, but it’s informal so it’s not on the calendar.  We had good news - our friends, Bill & Ruby will arrive on Tuesday for a week.

Sunday, February 19 – I spent three hours washing the KoKo’s roof. Dirtier than it’s ever been. I think Dorothy was eating bon-bons while I labored. Then lunch, nap and finish a book. Now, it is pizza party time. I will wash the rest of KoKo tomorrow?

How we feel about concrete parking. Anyone who knows us, has to know we seldom park on a hard surface such concrete pads in RV parks. We tried it again this year in the search for warm weather. Well, it has been been warm here, but there have been many more overcast days than sunny days. There is no escape from taxes or winter.

This is one of the nicest RV parks we have seen and it is reasonable in price. It stays full. Some people have been coming here since it opened six years back. They like it. It’s OK with us. We have little in common with most of the other “campers” as they only park on concrete, while we prefer to camp where we have nothing but horizon. They are interested in hook-ups. We are interested in a view. It’s two different worlds. It’s a life-style choice.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Another Week in the Valley

wx rainy

Monday, February 6 – Rain - don’t need to say more because we didn’t do anything.

Tuesday, February 7 – The vegetable man arrived with lots of good veggies.  I bought delicious pink grapefruit for $0.25.  I also bought a jicama, which is good for something crunchy in salads and also for a vegetable tray and dip.  Bought a very large cucumber for $0.50.  And avocado’s at $0.50 each.  There were many things I wanted to buy but just don’t have room for.  This is a great place for fruit and vegetables.

We went to play cards last night and luckily took a double deck with us.  It seems that everyone had made plans so we wound up playing in Canasta with another man that had hoped to play Bridge.  None of us had played in 15 years or more, so it took a while for it to come back.  We didn’t keep score, so that made it very simple.

Wednesday, February 8 -  I did not feel well at all today, but forced myself to go to the margarita party hoping that it would improve my health.  After two margarita’s I still wasn’t any better, so we came back to rig and put on our jammies.

Thursday, February 9 -  Not a very exciting day, I did laundry.  It rained. Don took the jeep for service because the driver’s side window was hesitant about going up and down.  They found dirt in the mechanism - can’t believe we could possibly have dirt in there.  We’ve only been driving it off road in red dirt and sand.  After dinner, we played Mexican Train in the Rec Room  -  always fun.

Friday, February 10 - Our new saying, “Rain, rain go away”.

Saturday, February 11 – After eight overcast days, we woke to a blue sky.  This is what we paid our money to get.  First thing we did was go to the coffee/donut gathering.  We sat at a table of Canadians, but that’s not unusual for this park because probably half are from the different provinces.  The furthest would definitely be Nova Scotia.

After breakfast we went to the birding center.  Our favorite bird was the green jay. 

2 - RGV 001

2 - RGV 009

Some people really do dress their dogs up, which just doesn’t seem right somehow.  We really like the standard poodles, but tiny foo-foo’s were the majority.

2 - RGV 010

Our Pick To Win


wx partly cloudy

The clouds were back after lunch. Rain the next two days. To our friends in Alabama who wrote to tell us how great the weather was there - we pray the pox we put on your home will be gone by Spring.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Valley

Wednesday, February 1 - We have arrived at the Bentsen Palms Village RV Resort in Mission, TX.  We weren’t supposed to arrive until the 6th, but they had an opening so we decided to come early.  This is definitely not the type of place where we normally park. This is a RV Resort, but the price isn’t bad at all.  The things we have are cable TV, wi-fi, swimming pool, hot tub, and planned activities.  The people here are happy - you can tell because they smile and always speak.  Wednesday nights is margarita party so, of course, we took advantage of that.  Our LD friends, Jim & Gayle, did not know we were arriving early, so they were surprised when they saw our rig.  We met up with them at the party.  After the party, we soaked in the hot tub for a little while.

Thursday, February 2 - We went to HEB Plus grocery store, which is a very big store.  But since the ‘fridge is still stuffed we could only buy the essentials.  Tonight was card games at the Rec room, so I played Mexican Train Dominos and Don played bridge.  It was a fun evening and we are beginning to meet some people.

Friday, February 3 - Not a busy day.  We went to Wal*Mart and did a little sightseeing.  Again, soaked in the hot tub.  We could really get use to this.  We did not participate in any group activities tonight.

Saturday, February 4 - A very good day.  It started off with coffee and donuts at the Rec  room.  I have been looking forward to returning the RGV (Rio Grande Valley), which is not a valley at all.  Then we went to the Flea Market.  This place is very large and sells everything.  Lots of RV stuff is available and we may get a custom front window screen made.  We bought a couple of games, more knives and fresh vegetables.  The radishes are very large, but the cauliflower is the largest I have ever seen.  We bought 10 lbs. of oranges for $4.00.  Lots of “Winter Texans” go every week to get their vegetables.  We had our daily soak in the hot tub. We went to the Rec room and played Card Bingo.  We didn’t know what it was, but Jim & Gayle told us that if you have drinks, it’s lots of fun.  Card Bingo, in my opinion, is more fun than regular bingo.  There were 84 people playing.  Each person takes $2.20 in nickels, dines, quarter and a dollar bill.  I won the first hand, which was 84 nickels.  Now the question is what do you do with 84 nickels!

Sunday, February 5 - It’s a rainy dreary, gray, overcast, cool day just like winter.  The forecast is cool and cloudy the rest of the week. Everyone says how nice it was in January. And so it goes.
We went to the Activity Room and Jim & Gayle came so we could teach them how to play Mexican Train.  It was a good time and we will play again.
Monday, February 6 – We planned to go to the animal rescue place where Gayle volunteers and walk the dogs. She called and said the rain made the road mushy. I did not want to wash the Jeep, so that will wait until it dries out.
We went to the Mission library and picked up a few books. After a short visit from J&G, the day was over. Where does the time go?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

On The Ranch

Saturday, January 21 - We arrive at Bill & Ruby Cope's cattle ranch. We are once again "camped" in their driveway where we have water, electricity and good friends.  We met them at South Mineral Campground in Silverton, CO a couple of years ago and they said, "come see us."  Well, of course, we did! We have had a good time getting to know them and spending time with them. They took us to Don Pedro's in Cuero for dinner. The food is good and the margaritas are better.
Sunday, January 22 - We each did some puttering around with household details that must be taken care of, whether at home or on the road. It's fun being on the ranch, cows walking around and there's also a goat, but he is fenced in. If you go over to him, then he talks to you, baa baa baa. We've decided that with rain coming, we will probably be here a few days longer than we planned. Ruby fixed us lunch of brisket, pinto beans, potato salad, slaw and pecan pie. It was yummy.
Monday, January 23 - The main thing today was getting me a haircut. I should have done it before we left, but just didn't get around to it. This cut seems pretty good. That's the thing about traveling, you might get a good cut or you might not, just depends on how lucky you are. Don started cooking spaghetti sauce for tomorrow's lunch. We are trying to have our big meal at lunch and a light dinner. We played cards while the spaghetti sauce simmered.
Tuesday, January 24 - Today was clean the oven and stove day. It's just like at home, but a much smaller space. Now the space in Koko is more manageable and I can find what I need. Even though we took a couple of short camping trips and stayed in the RV while waiting to get the house ready to move in, it's just not the same as being on the road. Now don't ask me how it's different, it just is somehow. Winchester the goat got out of his pen, so he was allowed free time. It was so much fun watching him. The dogs "chased" him and then he chased the dogs. And goats can really jump. The problem was that he wanted to get on the Jeep and if not the Jeep, then he decided it would be fun for him to come in the RV. Goats are fun to watch, but I really don't want one.
Wednesday, January 25 - It rained a little last night and then again this morning and then cooled off. We played Mexican Train before lunch, then Ruby made a good lunch for us. And this afternoon it was time for more Train. We have certainly had a fun time with Bill & Ruby. Hopefully they will come to the Valley for a few days next month.

At The Beach

Thursday, January 26 - We arrived at Mustang Island State Park in Corpus Christi after a few stops.
One of the stops was in Goliad, TX and their courthouse is just gorgeous, probably the most ornate we have ever seen. I don’t see how we can possibly get anything else in the refrigerator.
We eye-balled the mission and presidio in Goliad. Everyone knows about the Alamo, few know about Goliad. Look it up.
The Cope’s told us about a grocery store that was a “must” in Beeville, TX, so we stopped and bought a delicious steak and some barbecue sandwiches.  Also, Ruby gave us homemade smoked sausage and organic lettuce plus some sweet tangerines from their tree.
We are parked next to LD friends, Ted & Liz Houghton.  When we arrived they were sitting outside enjoying the warm weather.  As soon as we got set up, we joined them.  The park is really a parking lot with water and electric hookups.  The main thing is sunshine and warm and an easy walk to the beach.  I did a “happy dance”.  Wonderful to sit outside and have cocktails.

Friday, January 27 - After breakfast we took a 1.5 mile hike on the beach with Ted & Liz.  When we got back I felt so good I did another “happy dance”.  We sat outside and read and had cocktails.  It’s a little windy but not bad.
Saturday, January 28 - We went to Port Aransas and took the ferry to Aransas Pass to buy shrimp.  We bought two pounds of large headless shrimp, which we will have for dinner tonight.   Since we were close to Rockport (about 18 miles) we drove to Los Comales Restaurant for lunch.  It was good two years ago and still is.  Next we drove to Ingleside to Grannie’s Tamales.  Of course, we bought more tamales - six with cream cheese and spinach, six with cream cheese and jalapenos and a dozen with pork.  Now the refrigerator is absolutely stuffed.  We have a lot a eating to do now.  It’s much windier today but we hope it is good weather to go to the Star Gazing program on the beach tonight.  The shrimp was delicious and we don’t have any leftovers.  Finally took a pain pill for my foot.
Sunday, January 29 - My foot was bothering me quite a bit last night and I could not stand up to watch the Star Party and today I am definitely staying off of the foot.  We had lunch and were getting ready to nap but I smelled smoke.  About that time Liz came over and said there was a fire, so of course I had to get up and go look.  The grass behind some campers was on fire and some campers had their hose putting it out.  Park rangers arrived and got their shovels and then the fire department came and took charge - lots of water and digging in the sand.  But the fire was very quickly put out, thanks to the quick action of the campers.  I bet someone threw a cigarette out and with the dry brush and wind it spread quickly.
Dinner was a mixture of the tamales and they are very good.  I think my favorite is the cream cheese and jalapenos.  The jalapenos are not hot but just taste very good.
Monday - January 30 - Today was laundry day.  We went to Port Aransas to a very nice Laundromat.  It was quite busy and I am sure everyone in there was RVers.  There was a used DVD store where we bought 10 DVDs for $20.  We watched The Caller but it wasn’t that good - we rate it C/C+.  Photography was A.
Tuesday, January 30 - said goodbye to Ted & Liz this morning.  It has been a very boring day.  We did nothing.  My foot/leg is still bothering me. One good thing is that we get to go to Mission, TX a week early.  We arrive tomorrow and it’s margarita night so hopefully we will get to meet some people there.  And we will be there for the Super Bowl Party.