Saturday, October 27, 2007

Follow-up on Rockport and Houston

As we left Rockport, I took some pictures of the entrance of the park. You can see the dolphins and the fountain. Also how much like Florida it looks. I thought it was worth a few clicks of the camera. I also neglected to mention we went to see the big tree. It is this huge live oak out in the country. This tree is over 1000 years old. Can you imagine it was alive the the Civil War, The revolution, and so much more. How many hurricanes it must have seen, and lived through. Of course it was fenced, and you can not touch it. Some of the larger heavier branches have been supported over the years just to keep it from splitting. At some point the splits it suffered were repaired, and it is thriving. It sits in a little grove surrounded by it's offspring, and it's childrens' children. Something magnificent to see and just stand and look at with awe. I did touch the next biggest tree, which must be at least 500 years old. Amazing...something that was alive all that long ago is still living.
While we were on the ferry, we saw an oil rig being towed out to the gulf. It was going so slowly. The ferry had to go around it as it was going right through the path they take to the island. We wish we had gotten better pictures. On our first trip on the ferry we had seen dolphins playing in the bay. We couldn't get any pictures, the trips are to short to get out of the car to get pictures and get back in before it's time to get off. We also got some pics of the pelicans diving for lunch. It was fun to watch them dive bomb for their meal. They go in beak first, and just seem to be floating when the water settles.
The trip to Houston was something. We think we chose the wrong route, because we stopped at every stoplight they have on that road. We missed a turn, and had to find a place large enough to turn around. We finally got to the campground, and the lady in the office could have been a little nicer. Oh well, you'll have this. Guess what...more trains. St. Cloud had 40 trains a day. No kidding. They go through there up to Canada. The first two nights in Iowa..trains. It seems we can't get away from them. I hope in Livingston there are no trains.
We talked to June and Bob just before we got here, and they came to pick us up for dinner. We went to a place called Goodson's. It is said they have the best chicken fried steak in Texas. Let me tell you, they have our vote. I had asked Tom if he wanted the large or small. It's a good thing we got the small. I don't know how big the large is, but we still brought half of it home for the next day. The food was great. Especially the gravy. They even give you some extra gravy to take home with your leftovers. It's a little place on route 249 in Tomball, just northwest of Houston. If your ever in the area try it. Only $7.99 for the chicken fried steak. $8.99 for the large. Worth every penny and more.
On Sunday we go over to June and Bob's house to see them again before we move on to Livingston. It's so good to see them. Bye the way, they say HI to the rest of the family.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Rockport and Port Aransas

We have been here at Rockport, Texas for about a week. It is just beautiful here. Tom and I are in a RV park called Lagoons. The folks here are really friendly. Everyone waves or stops to talk. It is so opposite of Florida were we have stayed. We are seriously thinking of coming back next year. Of course, we have lots of places to go yet, but so far this place ranks #1.
On Sunday and Wednesday we went over to the gulf. To get there you have to drive down to Aransas. It's about 11 miles down the road, and then 5 miles to the ferry. You drive onto the ferry ride for about 5 minutes, then drive off. Next you drive through the streets for a a couple of miles, and right up on the beach. It's so cool. Everyone just parks on the beach. Lot's of people were fishing from the rocks that are lined up out into the water. Some are throwing nets out into the water to catch fishing bait. Some people are just swimming. Some folks take out inflatable boats. The water was warm. Tom and I waded in the water for awhile. We picked up a few shells for Connor, but it's not like Florida were there are lots of shells.
What was really neat, was that some folks had taken their motorhomes onto the beach to camp. You can get a permit to stay 3 days. We were thinking about it, but decided we didn't want to be cleaning sand out of Emily for the next year. You can have a fire if it is contained. Animals are allowed on the beach, but only on a leash.
We really like this place. I guess I already said that. Rockport is a nice little town. When we stopped at the Chamber of Commerce building, the ladies were very helpful. They answered any questions, and went out of their way to make sure we knew where things were and how to get there. They told us were to get fresh off the boat shrimp, and how to tell the difference between fresh and farm raised. Anything we wanted to know or see was all explained.
We have eaten a lot of shrimp. I hope they have shrimp this good in Livingston. Yummy!!!!!
This morning we went for breakfast with Leona and Joe. We met Leona's brother Larry and his wife Carole. We talked for quite awhile, and ate a really nice meal. Leona and Joe work here at Lagoons. When you RV, you get the chance to meet really nice folks like Leona and Joe. We are glad we got to know them. Maybe we'll see them next year.
When we came back, we started to get ready to leave tomorrow. Everything is just about ready. We have to wait to pay our electric bill, then we will be on our way. First we'll go up to visit June and Bob and their family. They live in northwest Houston. We made reservations today for a campground up that way. We'll stay for a few days, and then off to Livingston. It will be nice to see family for the first time since June. It's hard to believe it's almost November. We may be leaving here, but we know we will be back.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Well, let me just tell you about yester day. I had a complete blog entry written and when I hit the publish post button the whole thing just dissappeared. The connection to the internet had stopped, and I lost it. I was so tired, that I just decided to wait till today to do it. Now we have more to add. Maybe I'll just do some today and some tomorrow.Let me start with saying that St. Cloud is behind us. We left on Sunday morning early. We got as far as Terribles in Iowa. It is a casino with a RV park. It's about the only place to stop on route 35 going south. We ended up parking right behind our fellow work campers Jim and Barb. We didn't plan it that way, it just happened.We ended up staying 2 nights because of high winds. With it being Tom's birthday he got a free meal, and extra credit on his player's card. They also gave us half of the camping fee. When all was said and done, we left there ahead of the game, with and with more money in our pockets than when we arrived. Not bad considering we only pay penny machines. We aren't much for gambling.The next morning we left earlier than Jim and Barb. We took our time. As it sometimes happens, we ended up traveling the afternoon just ahead of Jim and Barb. They saw we didn't exit where we said we would, and called us, and we stayed at the same place that night also. As most of you know, there was some really bad weather going through the center of the country. Well, we happened to be in the center of it. We stayed put for 2 nights. It rained quite heavily, and we had some impressive thunder and lightning.All went well till we decided to go out when Jim came over and said he and Barb were going out when the rain let up. It seemed fine going down the road. We stopped at a little casino-convienence store-gas station.We spent a few bucks, and decided to go for dinner. We ate at a nice little Italian place.We were right on the border of Kansas and Oklahoma, and went from one to the other as we drove. On the way back home the weather took a bad turn. The sky got really scarry. It was like you could reach up and touch the clouds.They were swirling around and it started to rain really bad. We pulled off the road because Jim just couldn't see.I said we would be ok if it didn't hail. You guessed started to hail. We could see the sky was clearing in the west, and when the hail and rain subsided a little we took off. We just wanted to get passed those awful clouds. By the time we got back to the campground,we were in the clear, and the sun was shining. That was a little closer than I ever want to be to something that could be a tornado.The next day we were off again, and in much nicer weather. Our destination was Waco, Texas. Jim and Barb left ahead of us, and where going to head west. They said good-bye and headed off to Yuma. We were going straight south. We'll see them again in Arizona.We got to Waco with not much excitment. It was a really nice traveling day. The folks at the place we stayed in Waco were really nice. There is a little cafe there that serves breakfast. It's only $5 for what ever you select. I had a bacon and chesse omelet with toast, hash browns, and juice. They had home made jellies for your toast. Tom had pancakes, sausage, hash browns, and all the coffee he could drink.We were full!!. Then it was off to Rockport. We really like it here. It's alot like Florida. Joe and Leona, who worked with us in St. Cloud, come here every winter. We thought we might as well check it out and see if we like it. It's a really nice RV park. The water is only a few minutes away. There are lots birds. The hummingbirds have come and gone. They fly accross the gulf without stopping. I found that amazing.Well, that's enough for now, and I will write more tomorrow. We have plans to go out to the gulf. I'll let you all know how that goes. I hope this entry comes out all right. I am trying something different. I just hope I don't loose it again. Oh yeah, it's nice to sleep with just a sheet and no blankets.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Getting Ready to Be On The Move

Just a little review. We have had a great time here in St. Cloud, Mn. I neglected to mention the great Booya feast. Booya is indigenous to Minnesota. It's this wonderful soup with any kind of meats (yes plural) and lots of vegetables and seasonings. Churches and organizations all over the area have Booya dinners. Everyone brings something to put in the pot. It is cooked in a huge pot outside on the open fire. It gets a great smoky flavor from the fire. In ours was turkey, pork, chicken, and beef. I'm not sure how they seasoned it, but it was definitely delicious. Two brothers-in-law, Tom and Bill, go shopping and cook the soup. Their wives, the sisters, Kathy and Cindy, made the bread. We had garlic-basil, and another kind of bread that I can't recall. Fresh rolls were also in abundance. Let me just tell you, it was just about the best soup we have ever eaten.
We went today to get some groceries, and a few things we will need for our trip south. Tomorrow we will fill up Emily's propane tank, and get her ready to go. We work on Friday evening, and on Saturday morning, then we'll close up Emily's slide-outs and be ready for an early departure on Sunday morning. We want to leave no later than 8. Earlier if possible. We have to go a long way to get to a casino outside of Des Moina, Iowa. There is not much between here and there. Most everyone will be leaving that morning. Most going to the same casino. Where we stop after that is just a guess. We don't have to be in Livingston, Texas till the 1st of Nov. We are hoping to go to Corpus Cristi for a few days. Then we'll back-track to Livingston. We'll be there for 2 months. It's just about an hour from Houston.
It has been so cold here the past few days. On Sunday it was so warm, we had shorts on. That evening it rained. The wind started, and it got cold. Yesterday was so cold we pulled out the heavier coats. Today isn't much better. Up north they got some snow. None here yet. The furnace is going more now than usual. Texas is in the 90's.
Sunday evening we went up to the Rally Center for little Jonahs 1st birthday party. He is Cris and Deb's youngest. Such a sweet boy. He always has a smile--except when he is hungry. Man, can that boy eat!! There was lots of family and many friends there to help share the fun. We gave him one of those rugs that looks like a town. Something he will have for a long time. He and his brother will have a good time with it for years. We picked up a bike horn for Nolan. He rides his bike all over the grounds. The family goes for a walk most every night, and he rides his bike. Everyone who comes back next year will remember us when he honks his horn as he pedals around. It was all great fun.
Monday night we went out for dinner with 3 other couples. Our neighbors David and Ruth, regulars Roberta and Gary, fellow workers Jeanne and Gary. We went to the Green Mill. It's an Italian restaurant chain. The food was pretty good. Tom had lasagna, and I had shrimp Alfredo over linguini. The brochette we had as an appetizer was really tasty. You never know when you order it what you'll get. Everyone makes it differently. We all enjoyed the evening, and agreed we should have done it sooner and more often. We all exchanged addresses and phone numbers, etc., and hope to meet up in Arizona and Texas.
We were going to go to Culvers for the ice cream tonight, but it is just to cold, and besides we had changed into jammie pants to get comfy, and just didn't want to go back out in the cold. You'd think it was 20 below outside. Does it mean we're getting old? We don't feel old, just cold.
We'll keep you all posted on how we are doing getting ready to go. We'll keep in touch better now, we have an air card for internet service. We don't use it much here unless we can't connect. We can't wait to get into warmer weather. It will be sad to leave everyone here, but we'll meet more wonderful folks where ever we go.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Ready to Get Moving

Today we did some running around to get a few things. First I went for a haircut. Same place, different girl. Nice haircut. Then we hit Wal-Mart for just a few items. Then it was Home Depot for a gift for Cris and Deb's little guy. He's 1st party is on Sunday at 5:00. We got him one of those rugs that look like a town for match box cars. The next stop was the dollar store for the card and wrapping paper. Last but not least, the grocery store. The Wal-mart is not a Super Wal-Mart, so we have to make 2 stops. What a pain in the neck.
We know we pay more for food here. Can't wait to go somewhere different.
The bugs here are horrendous. We have box elder beetles, some kind of orange lady bugs, and the tiniest little black bugs that bite like the very devil. They are so small that they get through the screens. On the side of Emily that gets the sun, it is covered with all three kinds. We have to keep the door shut, and it is up in the 70's. We have windows open, but we hesitate to turn on the fan for fear they'll come in that way. I went out to do my nails just to keep the smell outside. I was out there for about 2 minutes and I was covered with those little buggers. They were in my hair and all over my clothes. YUK!!!
We only have 5 days left of work. We have to work the last 2 days, so we can't leave sooner. Come Sunday, it will be mass exodus. We are all leaving that day. We want to be on the road pretty early. We'll fill up the propane, and off we'll go. Down through Iowa, and directly south.
Roger and Dorothy left on Monday. He was quite a story teller. They own a ranch in South Dakota, but their daughter and her family live near here. They visit the ranch in-between trips North and South. He was quite a character. Wears his six-gun when he goes home. He could really tell the stories.
We will be filled again for the next 2 week-ends. That means we won't get bored in the office. Sometimes during the week, the phone won't ring for a couple of hours. Tom is always busy with leaves and picking up around. Sometimes the wind gets pretty strong. It leaves some debris.
Well, that's all I can think of to add today. Time to start some supper. Spaghetti tonight and probably tomorrow. Good to have left-overs when we work the mid shift.