Life's Journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, totally worn out, shouting "Wow...What a Ride!"

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving From the Gulf Coast of TX

October 28-November 3, 2018
Up and out at 8am on a Sunday morning, great way to get around San Antonio with little traffic. 174 miles, almost 4 hours, and we were pulling into Gulf Waters Beachfront RV Resort in Port Aransas TX where we own site 623. We surprised our friends J with our early arrival. A quick visit with our neighbors, got things a little settled and we were off. First stop to say hi to our friend Pat and Rena who now own a home about 2 miles down the road. Then it’s off the Peggy Ann for some fresh shrimp, $100 later we were stocked with shrimp and bait for Dave. Shrimp prices this year are $8/pd for jumbos and $5/pd for the large/medium mix, we certainly have missed the local fresh shrimp. Back home and we pay a visit to the beach, then it’s time to get really settled and relax, we’re here until 2/1.

It took us 51 nights and 2752 miles to get here the long way from Iowa. We had a blast traveling with our friends Curt and Glenda, exploring new places, attending the TX Grand Design Rally with our friends Jim and Ginnie. Dave sampled 50+ beers and we stayed at some great places. Now to unwind, enjoy the holidays and get ready for our eastward trek. As usual when we’re in one place for a while I won’t be blogging as much, so don’t be surprised if you don’t hear from us regularly.

The first couple of weeks we had beautiful weather, Dave got lots of fishing in and I enjoyed beach walks and just being back in a familiar area where we don’t need a GPS to find everything. The last couple of weeks have been rainy and much cooler, sure hope that changes soon.

With the cold rainy weather keeping us inside we’ve tackled a few projects. One project I’ve been considering for a while, but never mentioned to Dave till now, is changing out the valences. Our valences are made of fabric stapled to a small wooden frame, with all the staples it was impossible to take the fabric off and wash them. Trying to find curtains and valences to fit RV windows was impossible for me. Since I so don’t know how to sew trying to make new ones out of fabric was out. We now have new wooden valences that can be easily dusted. So thankful to have such a handy husband. 

Most of the hummingbirds have migrated south for the season, we recently got an alert from a friend here in the park that there were some stragglers in the park so out went the feeders again. 

With Thanksgiving week upon us my brother, sister-in-law and niece are in town. We enjoyed a great visit with them. Next time we see them they should be living here in Port Aransas permanently. This coming April they are putting their home in Colorado Springs on the market and moving down here. They have been waiting for my niece to graduate from high school which happens in May. It’ll be nice to have them down here full time, we’ll get to see more of them when we are here next.
Today is Thanksgiving, a time to reflect on all we are thankful for. We have been blessed to live this nomadic lifestyle, we’re having the time of our lives. We’re thankful for our family, our friends both from before we hit the road and those we’ve made since. We will celebrate the holiday with good friends. To you all we wish you a safe holiday season.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Until next time…

Sunday, November 4, 2018

2018 Texas Grand Design Rally

October 25-27, 2018
Our next stop was just 54 miles away at the San Antonio KOA for the Texas Grand Design Rally. Before leaving Blanco that morning we got some prep work done on our dishes for the next day’s pot luck breakfast and dinner. We left about 11am and before we knew it we were in San Antonio at the KOA. While our site wasn’t the best, site O4, the location of the site was great. Near the hall where the meals were to be served and just a few sites away from our friends Jim and Ginnie, it was nice to have friends on the same street. The opportunity to reconnect with Tommy & Sharon, who we first met on our AK trip, was fun. Then there was Glen & Lynn, who we first met at our place on the Gulf Coast, a few winters ago, great to see them again too. We knew a number of folks at the rally, whether from meeting in person elsewhere or from the FB owners group we used to belong to. So nice to put names to faces and to get to know folks better.
Site O4 with shared yard

Jim & Ginnie's site 

Glen, Jim, Lynn, Faye, Ginnie & Dave

Sharon, Tommy, Faye, Gail, Matt, Jim, Ginnie & Dave

Julie & Faye

Ginnie & Dave-don't let them sit next to each other

We’ve been to three other rallies, two at Quartzsite and one the national rally in IN, now this one. Each are different but have many similarities: food, fun, fixes and friends/family. The Grand Design owners are great people, for the most park. We’ve made some great friends, because of Grand Design, that have become like family. Grand Design sends maintenance techs to all most all its rallies to work on customer’s RV’s. No matter where you go, when you get lots of likeminded folks together there's usually fun and too much food. 
Jack-Grand Design tech

Grand Design parts truck
Usually there are a few vendors at the rallies. You can purchase electric bikes for good prices like our friends did. Boy were there some jealous folks there who missed out on the limited deal for the bikes.
Lots of Grand Designs, over 100 there. 

Lots of Grand Design owners there too. 

What to do when your decals fade.

Leave it naked

Or add a mural 

For the most part we stayed at the park but one afternoon we caught the bus just outside the park and headed to the San Antonio Riverwalk. Our friends Jim & Ginnie had suggested we get out and down to the Riverwalk for lunch. While the bus was cheap and convenient we only had one issue which was finding the bus stop to go home. We enjoyed the rally but the most fun was getting to know Jim & Ginnie better, looking forward to meeting them when we get back to AZ. Thanks for a great time guys!!!
Buckhorn Saloon, some interesting things on their walls.

Fun house mirrors on the way to the restrooms, the boys just had to play.

Saloon = beer = sampler
Lunch at Dick’s Last Resort.

San Antonio Riverwalk

When I made the reservations for the rally way back early this year our plans were different. We would have just been getting released from our jobs in mid-October. Back then I didn’t want to go from the rally down to the Gulf Coast immediately and had planned 3 more stops on our way there.  Our eta at Gulf Waters was 11/15, after talking with our friends Jackie and DuWayne we learned they’ll be leaving on 11/12 and not getting back till mid-January. So this time we stirred the Jello, we cancelled the next 3 reservations and will be heading to Gulf Waters in Port Aransas TX when we leave here. Guess who’s going to be surprised.

Until next time…

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Hunkered Down In Texas

 October 18-24, 2018

A break in the weather and we headed to San Angelo State Park just 77 miles away in San Angelo TX. We decided on a long back in, water and electric $20/night with a TX State Park pass. We got set up and took a walk before the rain came again. We chose site 14, lots of room on either side, views of the lake and lots of park roads to walk on. We either hunkered down on rainy days or explored San Angelo a bit, we were last here about a year ago. Then it was only as a detour on a travel day to get the truck worked. I'm told that as a kid I came to San Angelo to visit family. Needless to say we knew nothing about the city, what we discovered had us enjoying our explorations.

Last campfire on this leg of the journey

Our wildlife sighting

San Angelo has their own Riverwalk, while it doesn’t go thru the heart of the town it does go through some parks and has access to the historic downtown. We saw lots of folks fishing along the banks, didn’t see any catching though. Along the Riverwalk is lots of artwork from the group Art In Uncommon Places a non-profit organization based in San Angelo.

While it’s not Lily season we did stop at San Angelo’s International Water Lily Collection to see what was still blooming. San Angelo is home to the most extensive collection of varieties of water lilies in the United States. Peak is September but in mid-October there  were still some beautiful blooms to see.

Fort Concho was established in 1867 to protect frontier settlements and to explore and map west Texas. Made up mainly of the native limestone, Fort Concho does not look like what most folks think of when thinking of forts. At it's peak it supported up to 500 men,  companies of infantry and troops of cavalry, staff officers and support personnel called Fort Concho home. In 1889 it was deactivated, today it is a National Historic Landmark with many original buildings.

After visiting the fort across the street we saw what appeared to be some street food and a food truck. Being hungry we investigated, all the vendors were selling Lumpia, Pancit and some sesame balls. Thanks to our friend Mona Liza we knew all about the dishes being offered, lunch was great but not as good as Mona Liza’s.

Our original plans had us only being here two nights before heading on. With all the rain, Inks Lake State Park, our next stop closed due to flooding, time to jiggle with the jello again. We ended staying 5 nights at San Angelo before moving on. We really liked the San Angelo area and who knows maybe one day we’ll volunteer for the state park. A few evening we were treated some fabulous sunsets.

Our next stop was 197 miles away at Blanco State Park in Blanco TX. A small, less than 40 sites, a campground where larger RV’s will be limited. They have some FHU's but they are under lots of trees, we chose a 30amp water/electric site for $20/night with our pass. Site 15 was plenty long enough for us and with the cold rainy weather 30amp was jut fine. We chose Blanco because of its proximity to San Antonio, our next stop is the TX Grand Design Rally.

We did get to walk the park, find the parks geocache but again the rains came and there isn't much to Blanco. 

Bridge to campground, there are emergency exits if this floods

Large table, think we could fit about 50 friends around it

We really like the TX State Parks and are sad our visits to them are over for the time being. They've been a great place to ride the out the cold rainy weather that's plagued us for the last few weeks. 

Due to the rain over the last few weeks I've gotten lots of reading done but not many steps in.  Thankfully the weather looks good for the rally. 

Until next time...