Monday, March 30, 2009

A Wonderful Week-end

We arrived in Abilene around noon on Saturday. Set up was really easy because we have a nice level spot. The satellite dish set up with no problems, and we called Rick. What was so wierd was he was right down the road at the gas station we had just stopped at. We missed him by about 5 minutes. But because he was only 1/4 mile down the road, he was herealmost before we hung up the phone. We sat around and talked till it was time to go out to dinner. Tom and I had been looking for BBQ, and he knew just the place. Now we like local places more that chain restaurants, but he took us to Famous Daves. Man, what a good choice! We all got combination platters, but mine was by far the best. Well, maybe not. It depends on what you like. I had rib tips and chicken wings. Tom had chopped pork and spicy sausage link. Rick had chopped briskey and BBQ chicken. Each comes with corn on the cob, 2 sides, and a corn muffin, and toast. With all that you get refills on your drinks. There was enough left of mine to bring home for another supper. The beans were so good. There were chunks of pork (not pork fat), Jalapinos, and I think some beef also. Needless to say, we were all full and rolled on home. Rick to his, and us to ours. When we got here Tom got on the computer to see where else they may be.
Yesterday Rick came over somewhere about noon, and I fixed dinner for us. Rick being a bachelor, cooks and sometimes bakes. He asked me if I had Heart Attack Potatoes. I figured out he meant my bacon cheesy potatoes. His sister had made me a book of my mother's recipes, and I pulled it out. We had fun going through it and giving him copies of what he wanted. Soon after he left to do his laundry.
Rick has about 2 years left before he retires from the Air Force. He has been all over the world. Some places I'm sure he could have done without. But mostly he has been in safe places. The B1's and cargo planes fly over all day. He's done work on most of them.
Today we were supposed to head for Pecos. The wind has been so bad that we decided to stay another day. Tomorrow, windy or not, we leave. Off to another SKP park.
Oh, by the way, for all of you ladies in the class of 2007, BEWARE!!! I think it's catching. Yesterday for dinner I put some Texas toast in the oven.....You know what happened. Look at the photos to follow. Just be careful. I want to know who else has caught this dreaded disease.

Friday, March 27, 2009

L B J Historical Park.

What a wonderful day we had. About 10: we took off down the road to the Texas White House. You folks who are about our age remember when LBJ became president. This tour more or less takes you through his life. There are 2 parts to the park. When you first arrive at the visitors' center they give you a handful of information and a CD to play while you drive your car. We don't have a CD player in the car, so they gave us a booklet that we didn't use. If you read the signs and the map you know where you are going and what you are seeing.
The first part of the complex is a State Park. You begin with a 25 minute movie in which LBJ and Lady Bird narrate as they take you on a auto tour of the grounds. It was made about 1966 so it's old. Nonetheless, it was quite interesting. The next stop is a working farm. It has chickens, cows, sheep, goats, turkeys, and more. They have a rather large garden where they grow lots of vegetables. They use everything. They make cheese, bake bread, cook all the food they eat, and even make soap. You can go in and out of all the buildings and can see the canned goods such as corn, peaches, beans, cherries, etc. They do everything as they did it back in the 1800's
The state park also offers the things every other state park offers. Swimming, tennis, hiking trails, and picnic areas.
The next part of the day was spent at the LBJ National Historical Park. The Johnsons gave the ranch to be used as a park that is opened to the public. It came with 2 conditions. 1)There is to be no charge for people wanting to visit. 2)It will remain a working ranch. Both of the stipulations are in place. You have to drive carfully because of the cattle roaming free. I believe they said about 700 acres. As you drive you pass by the school house where President Johnson went to school as a child. Then comes the reconstucted house in which he was born. The next stop was the cemetery where many generations of Johnsons are buried, under the old live oak trees in such a beautiful setting. Then you drive past the house where his grandparents lived for the latter years of their lives. Then the map takes you along the border of the ranch up towards the start of the runway and back around till you reach the house itself. No one is allowed inside the house, but in May they will open the living room and the dining room. A Park Ranger takes you on a tour of the grounds and into the Texas Oval Office. While president Johnson spent 25% of his time at the Texas White House. He did most of his entertaining there. There is a little house where the secret service had headquarters while working there. It will also open soon to the public. The doors have been locked since the day Lady Bird died. It will be interesting to see what's inside.
We both enjoyed our day so much. It was much better than I expected. I would recommend a visit to anyone who is in the area. The flowers are now starting to bloom, since we had some rain, and things are greening up and the rivers have some water now. It is really an awsome part of the country. The Beautiful Hill Country. Tomorrow we will be leaving for Abilene. We hear it will be cold and windy there for a couple of days. YUCK. But it sure will be good to see Rick. If we don't like the weather we can go somewhere else. That's what's fun.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

More Fun in Fredricksburg

On Monday we had a nice visit with our friends Everett and Carol. They had volunteered with us at CARE. Ev was flying into San Antonio from Florida after visiting his daughter. On the way back they stopped by. They are at the present time work camping at Inks Lake State Park. We had a nice few hours, and they were on their way.
On Tuesday we went to Kerrville to Culvers. We met Greg and Jean from our 2007 class for lunch. Tom and I have been waiting for a chance to go to Culvers. We haven't been to one since we were in Minnesota. That was much too long. They have frozen custard that is to die for. Those of you in the mid west know what I'm talking about. The only trouble is they only have a few in this part of the country. I guess if had those burgers when ever we wanted them they wouldn't be so good when we finally get them. We certainly enjoyed the meal and the yogurt after. And of course the friends and conversation. Such nice folks.
Yesterday we went into Fredricksburg to see the National Museum of the Pacific War. It it partially housed in the former hotel building owned and operated by the Nimitz family. Admiral Nimitz was born and raised there. What a great old building. The museum itself was so interesting. There is so much to see. The first building is just for Admiral Nimitz and the family. Another part of the museum is a Japanese Peace garden. It was donated by the Japanese to help promote peace. It's very beautiful. Then there is a big building the houses the Pacific War Museum. We could have spent hours in there. So much to see. Everything from compasses to nurses uniforms to Japanese swords and tools.
Outside in the middle of all this is the Veterans' Walk of Honor. What a wonderful tribute to those who served. There are so many plaques. It is supposed to have every boat and ship that served in WWII in the Pacific. So many men are pictured. Some in honor of and some in memory of. AWESOME! The Greatest Generation.
After we were done seeing what we wanted to see in these building, we went down the street a bit for the last part of the museum. It's called The Pacific Combat Zone and Center for Pacific Waq Studies. It is set up outside like an island ready for war and occupied by the Japanese. It has bunkers, pillboxes, tanks, and much more. It is surrounded by bamboo, and looks like a pacific island. There are 3 buildings at this part of the museum. The first one is a replica of the inside of an aircraft carrier. Complete with plane. We saw a brief old newsreel, and headed to the next building. It housed PT 309. It is the only PT boat from the pacific war in a museum. It was bigger than I thought it would be. Then we went to a building that was a Quonset Hut. It was set up like a military hospital would have been on Okinawa if we had invaded the Japanese mainland. Outside near the entrance was a housing of an atomic bomb they were going to drop on Japan. It was smaller than I thought. Looking at it, you wouldn't think such a small thing could do so much damage. The last exhibit was a mock burial plot like the ones on the islands. Complete with dog tags on the crosses.
What a full day. It ended with a trip to Opa's. They make sausage, etc. We picked up some bratwurst and knockwurst. Can't wait to cook them up. Folks say they are the best. Nothing like home town meat markets. We have one at home that makes terrific kielbasa and porketta. I'll get some when we hit home. I can almost smell it cooking.
Tomorrow we plan to go to the LBJ Ranch. We were going today, but then we got a severe weather warning, so we did the laundry and I got a haircut. On Saturday we hit the road and head for Abilene to see our nephew Rick. That is if Uncle Sam doesn't want him working. He is a lifer in the Air Force. What's nice is we can change plans if we want. We can always come back. This is a beautiful area. I'm sure we will be back to visit again.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Last Rally Night

The last night of the rally was as much fun as the rest of the week. We had a appetiser contest. I made the chicken wing dip that everyone likes, and came in third place. Second was a wonderful crab/seafood mixture on English muffins. YUMMY!!!! The winner was a fish dish with lime and other ingredients. I didn't care for it because it had so much raw onion in it. It won by a large margin, I just don't like that much onion. We all had fun with and ate too much. Then came dinner at 6:00. Bob and the guys had cooked turkey all afternoon. The deep fryer was right across from Emily and I smelled it all day. I made those candied sweet potatoes that Tom's Mom taught me to make. We had such a great array of dishes. It was billed as Thanksgiving in March, and since it was the third Thursday, I guess it really was. We all sat around and talked until the brown bag auction started. After lots of laughs and swapping of gifts we ended up with a copy of "RV Vacation for Dummies" which brought out the laugh if the night. Then we started good-buys to those leaving the next day.
In the morning all the left-overs were served, and the ones of us who were staying the extra day cleaned up the rally room. The rest of the day some folks went out to see the sights, and some like us just stayed home and did stuff. Tom got permits to wash the car and Emily, and I started to stow things to be on the move again. The next day most of the rest of us were on our way after many SKP hugs and well wishes. We know we will all see each other soon. Then we were on our way to Fredricksburg.
Fredricksburg is only about 40 miles from Boerne where the rally was. Just a short drive. It's a really nice little town. It was settled by German folks, and is still very much German. Last night we ate at the Altdorf. We each had Jager Schnitsel-a pork cutlet. It came with a choice of three-potatoes, noodles, red cabbage, and saurkraut. Also a choice of soup or salad. I also had some of the sugar cane root beer. It was all very good. Not something I could eat everyday because of the German flavor, but we enjoyed the meal.
We did some shopping in the really cool 5 and 10. It was just like the old Woolworth stores. We picked up a couple of little things for gifts. Then we went to a little Texas gourmet store. It had all kinds of jellies, jams, salsas, sauces, pickles, etc. Everything they sold had a sample opened with crackers or wheat thins. We could have made a meal there, but knew we were going to eat at the Altdorf. I bought-get this-Amaretto Pecan Honey Butter. What wonderful stuff. Kind of pricey, but I think it's worth it.
All night long we had really windy conditions. We woke up to cloudy skies and cool temps. After it warmed up some off we went. Two things on our list to do here were The Wildflower Farm, and Luckenbach, Tx. Luckenbach was not much. The pamphlet says it has a post office, a beer joint, and a dance hall. Well, that's about it. The sing says"Welcome to Luckenbach. Population 3." That's right 3. But Hey, they have live music everyday. The beer joint was going strong, and also a little snack stand attached to the dance hall. The post office is filled with memorabilia, and some stuff for sale. There is also a hat place that was molding the hats and selling assessories like hat bands to go with them. I was fun to watch. When you see the pictures you will notice the liscence plates nailed on the stage and the restrooms. They come from all over. Even Europe. What I was surprised to see was the bikers. They were everywhere. Hundereds of them. I would venture to say many more than cars. There were only a few cars in the parking lot. We'll have to find out if they are having some kind of rally thing going on this week.
After Luckenbach we stopped at Wildseed Farms. Well, no flowers. Too early. You can see the fields have been planted, and they are growing strong, but we weren't lucky enough to see them in bloom. The sell all kinds of lawn ornaments and some landscaping plants and cactus, etc. They have wine tasting, and also samples like last night at the gourmet store. We were sort of disappointed, but will survive I'm sure. Tomorrow is another day, and we have lots planned. We love being tourists.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Class of 2007 Rally

Escapees Class of 2007 have met in Borrne, Tx. for our first annual reunion rally. What a time we have had. The class reunited at the Alamo Fiesta RV Resort here. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 35 of us attended. What a great place for the reunion. We had a very nice Rally Center for any activities. Because it had a full kitchen we were able to have really nice meals as well as a place to meet to do crafts and workshops.
On Tuesday, the first day, when we went to orientation we were to take something for the Hobo Stew. It started with some beef and then we all added stuff. As you can see by the pictures there was quite a variety. It was sooooo good. What made the meal so great was the dishes folks brought to share. Everyone really enjoyed it.
It's good to see everyone again and catch up. The next day some of the ladies did crafts. I went over to the room to see what they were doing. Bobbi taught me how to do some great things with recycled plastic bags. She also got me into knitting some hats for newborns. I'll make some for the hospitals at home. Marcia also helped me with the plastic bag items. Patti did a workshop on T-shirt braiding trim. I will do some of that when I get a chance.
Then came happy hour. We were to take a liqueur or cordial for tasting, and something chocolate. Let me tell you, there were enough calories for a whole year on that table. There must have been about 15 different bottles to sample. We all had little cups. After we each took a plate of goodies some of the folks took the bottles around to each table and you could taste what you wanted. Tom and I weren't to crazy about most of them. I did like the Amaretto. The Bailey's was also good. Of course all of the chocolates went down well with the tasting. After all of that we had the chili cook-off. Tom was a judge for that. We had seven different cooks enter. Everyone else took bread or salad to share. Joe won the prize for the best chili. Bob came in second. I sampled each one, and each one was different.I liked Bob's best. So did Tom, but it was a really close call. Then came margarator time. Ours had strawberry Dacaris, and Marcia and Joe's had margaritas. That night Mark gave us a lesson in star gazing. It was neat to see each star come out and have him tell us the names and what constellation they belong to. We were lucky enough to see the space shuttle/space station go across the sky. It only lasted a few minutes. It was going much faster than I thought it would. Marty had taken his telescope, or what I thought was one, and we all saw Venus. It was like a tiny little crescent moon. I was amazed. We all were happy that he agreed to do in on such short notice.
What a terrific day. There is more to come tomorrow. I am sure glad we started fulltiming in 2007. I can't imagine missing this. How lucky we are.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

About One Week Left

We can't believe we have onle one week left in the valley. it has been really nice while we've been here. Sometimes it gets chilly at night. A couple of nights ago we had the electric blanket on. We don't use the furnace during the night. Maybe in the morning just to get the chill out. When the sun comes out it warms up really fast. I have been in the pool a couple of times lately. Today I was in the hot tub. The wind blow here quite a bit, and when you get out of the pool it's cold.
Tomorrow is the end of season picnic with the Chapter 19 group. I made those cheesy potatoes with bacon people like so much. We'll have hot dogs and pot luck. We hear they play a couple of games and have some kind of fun auction. We'll let you all know how it goes after. It sounds like a good time.
On Monday we took our last trip to Mexico. We bought some items for Connor's Easter box. Just some Mexican toys and such. They have these giant marshmallows, as big a a kid's fist, so they have to be in the box. I've heard they don't use as much sugar in Mexico to make them. Also a couple of bottles of liquor. There's a bakery there we stop at each time we go. We really like the cinnamon buns. They come fresh right out of the oven, 50 cents each. Yum!!! I looked again for a turquoise ring, but didn't find anything I liked.
There are so many empty spots available in the park. Lots of folks have headed out already. Why they would want to leave here and go where it is colder is beyond me. We have decided we would like to come back to Fig Tree next year for a couple of months. Maybe mid January to mid March. We'll see. We know we will be home for Christmas. Some folks have told me just come here and then fly home and back. I don't think that'll happen. Enough to think about this year. Next year will take care of itself.
Time to watch the news. Yuck. I'd rather watch something joyful, but we have to keep up with things. At least it has been a beautiful day.