Thursday, October 27, 2011

Bentsen Palm RV Resort

We left Victoria shortly after 0900 Tuesday morning. Our drive was around 230 miles so the early start (for us) was necessary. The trip was uneventful and we only made one stop for lunch.

My job when traveling is to spot birds! I saw a lot of red tailed hawks and once we got south of the Corpus Christi area I saw the first Crested Cara Cara of the season. http://www.birds-of-north-america.net/crested-caracara.html We see them a lot here in the Rio Grand Valley.

When we arrived at Bentsen Palm we had to wait 10-15 to get into our site. No one was in the office and we weren't sure which site to set up in. After we got that all squared away we started setting up for the winter. Most of it was done when our friends started dropping by! First Pat Shearer, she let us know we were a day early and our happy hour party was Wednesday. OK, the fun has begun!

Still working albeit a little slower when Jeni and Don Wilson showed up. Well that put an end to any work as we sat and chatted and drank beer. When they left we made some coffee (no more beer, please!) and drove over to see Ann and Scotty. It's odd not being parked next to them!

We sat and chatted with them until hunger pangs sent us home just before 1900. We still had to take the trikes off the bed! That chore was done and then I re-heated some leftovers for dinner.

Whew! After dinner we showered and relaxed for the evening with both of us just waiting for bedtime because we were just plain tired....

Yesterday I was up just before 0400 for a bathroom break. I went back to bed but couldn't sleep so I got up at 0440! YUCK! I had coffee did a gazillion things on the computer and by this time it was only 0700.....so I ate breakfast. I woke Jim at 0800 and once he was up I started with some laundry and other chores.

Jim headed outside after his coffee and started gathering up all the stuff we left behind in storage. So far we haven't located all we need to set up the screened patio. It will happen, just not today!

We had our dinner at lunch time and after that I did dishes then crashed! Don't know how long I slept but when I got up Jim said he napped for about 45 minutes. We were getting prepared for happy hour later....

The happy hours here include foods that everyone contributes to. I made some spiced walnuts to take. When we arrived there were veggies and dips set out, chicken salad and crackers, M&M's, etc. As more people showed up more food arrived! Oh and the beer was flowing as was some wine and cocktails. I was being good just drinking water.....

After awhile Pat brought out the tequila so those who wanted to could do shots.....well I only had two! That sure warmed my tummy. Around dusk the party broke up and everyone headed home. I hit the shower and Jim followed. We watched some TV and headed to bed at 2200.

I'm happy to say I slept until 0700 this morning!

So we are settling in here and staying tired....I think we're going to dinner tonight at Hayashi's, one of our favorite Japanese grill houses.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Victoria, Texas

yesterday after a leisurely start we left Turtle Bayou and headed into Houston until we found hwy 59 and then headed south.

Turtle Bayou is very pretty but the campground itself is in need of some tlc. Great place to stop for a night or two! I thought the roads were a bit narrow and crumbly but Jim didn't have a problem navigating them.

Our drive was an easy one and after a stop around noon for lunch we drove another 100 miles or so until we got off on hwy 185 and stopped at Lazy Longhorn RV park. From what we've seen so far it's a crammed park. By that I mean the sights are close. There is some grass between sites and there are trees. I'll get some pictures posted. Both Turtle Bayou and Lazy Longhorn are Passport America parks so we got the lower rates which helps the budget!

Haven't seen any cactus or Cara Cara's yet, guess we aren't far enough south.

Went to dinner at Guadalajara #9, nice friendly place and the prices were good too.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Texas


We left Louisiana around 1030 this morning. Not without incident! Jim noticed I had a flat tire and after trying to put air in it decided we needed to carry it inside on the bed. At this time the slides were already in so it was a tight squeeze to bring it inside. When we tried to put his trike on my rack it didn't fit so inside with his trike too!

The drive over to Turtle Bayou in Wallisville, Texas didn't take long. We made one stop around noon for lunch at the Texas welcome center. we shall be in Texas until next April.......

The above picture is our view for tonight. In the morning we leave and head south

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

More Beer!

Saturday we decided that we needed to take the Abita Brewery tour. This means we got to drink more beer! We took the first afternoon tour and for an hour we enjoyed the hospitality of Abita. When they let you in you get a wrist band and a go cup. The line fills up quickly and you can help yourself to all the beer you can drink.

You do have to listen to some of the history and take a tour but that takes about 10-15 minutes. I'm not sure who drank the most!


Sunday we packed up and left Fairview-Riverside SP. It sure is a beautiful area and you should stop if you're in the area.
Our destination was Kinder, Louisiana and the Red Shoes RV park at Coushatta Casino. Since arriving I've done laundry, laundry and more laundry! No sewer hook up at the state park.
On Monday Jim cleaned the bedroom and this morning he did the dishes, so we've both been working while here.
Yesterday we awoke to overcast skies and a little spitting rain, a front started coming through and we ended up putting on jeans and long sleeved shirts when we headed to the Casino for lunch. Jim had jambalaya with mac and cheese and slaw while I had a bowl of gumbo and some fried okra. We thoroughly enjoyed our Cajun treats! We then headed to Feather fuel to pay only $3.56 for diesel. Last stop was the Market Basket for a few groceries.
The temperature continued to drop all day and by the time we went to bed it was in the mid 50's. Over night it did drop to the mid 40's and when I got up shortly after 0700 it was 45 degrees outside and 56 degrees inside. Time for the fireplace! I also made a blueberry coffeecake for breakfast just to turn on the oven.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Abita Brewery

Last Friday we went to a beer tasting at Abita Brewery in Abita Springs Louisiana. The event cost $15 each and it was a lot of fun!


The tables were all set up with buckets, glasses with water for rinsing. four glasses for the beers and an Abita pint glass for comparison.


It was interesting to taste how different the beer is in the Spiegelau glasses. Even the smell was different! Kinda like tasting wines.


The first tasting was SOS, "This unfiltered Weizen Pils is made with Pilsner and Wheat malts. It is hopped and dry hopped with Sterling and German Perle hops. It has a brilliant gold color, a sweet malt flavor, and a pleasant bitterness and aroma"


The second beer was Purple Haze, "a crisp, American style wheat beer with raspberry puree added after filtration"


Third was Amber, "a Munich style lager brewed with crystal malt and Perle hops"


The last one was the 25th Anniversay Vanilla Double Dog, "Turbodog is the inspiration for this robust dark ale. It is brewed with generous amounts of pale, caramel, and chocolate malts and Willamette hops. Whole natural vanilla beans are added during the aging process.This combination provides a rich body and color with chocolate, vanilla and toffee-like flavor"


This last one was new to us and we both liked it!




There was a slide show and we learned a little bit more about the glasses and how they enhance the flavor of the beer. Also they tend to keep the beer cooler longer.

All of the glasses came home with us along with a bottle opener. Not bad for the price!

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fairview-Riverside State Park, Madisonville, Louisiana

We left Alabama yesterday morning under cloudy skies. Our trip wasn't long, about 166 miles. We stopped for lunch and we arrived at the park around 1430. Within an hour we were set up and sitting outside enjoying a cold beer under sunny skies with balmy, pine scented breeze.

This is the view we had...


After a dinner of leftover stir fry and egg rolls we went for a walk. We saw evidence of high water from the Tchefuncte River. Walking along the boardwalk you can see the waters edge has been eroded in spots.
the cypress trees are still lovely

not sure what this is but I've seen a lot of them in bloom along with the goldenrod

Tchefuncte River


This morning I was up early enough to see the Moon about to set



This oak looks mystical to me in the morning mist


Jim asked if I'd like to drive across the lake to drive down Magazine Street and visit Whole Foods Market. Well duh! So after breakfast, dishes and getting dressed we headed across Lake Ponchartrain to visit some familiar areas.

To me New Orleans is home. We spent over twenty years here and I've never lived longer anywhere else. We drove around the Garden District, even managed to hit new streets due to an accident. Don't you love exploring new areas?

We had lunch at the Louisiana Pizza Kitchen on Carrollton Ave before heading to Whole Foods. I love this store and had fun shopping there. I didn't even go down all the aisles because it tempts me to buy more than we need!

We stopped at a light I saw this beautiful home. You could spend a lifetime taking pictures of all the beautiful homes in New Orleans!





Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lazy Days

When we left Tallahassee we brought some of it with us! Spanish Moss drips from the oak trees and apparently we caught some on our way out of Big Oak RV Park.


This is our set up here at Hilltop RV, Robertsdale Alabama. Nice enough campground, the site are a bit close so wintering here would be ok. Certainly not like where we currently stay in the Rio Grande Valley. But this area of Alabama is very nice. Pensalcola and Mobile are about an hour's drive and of course Gulf Shores and the beaches are just down the road.

Last Saturday we headed into Spanish Fort/Daphne to get some dry food for Boo. The shopping center there has a PetSmart. We also had lunch at Olive Garden with both of us having a glass of wine and an entree. It was very tasty!

After one more stop at Publix for groceries we headed home. The weather has been just gorgeous with slight breezes, sunny skies and temperatures in the low to mid 80's.

Monday was bed day so I started early with laundry. We also decided to drive to Magnolia Springs, http://www.townofmagnoliasprings.org/. Perfect day for a drive and I only wish we could have taken some pictures of the homes we saw. Narrow streets prevented stopping, where do you park a big truck? It would have been nice if we had brought our trikes and rode around the area. Along the river homes still have mail delivered by boat!

We had lunch at Jesse's Restaurant http://www.jessesrestaurant.com/ and I was very surprised at the menu. We both enjoyed our lunch, Jim having sweet tea (we are in the south!) while I opted for water.

After lunch we walked down towards the river where you can pick up your meal from Jesse's after calling ahead.
These mushrooms caught my eye

The sun filtering through the trees was very pretty

Today it's a drippy, gloomy day so far. No plans other than getting ourselves ready to head to Louisiana tomorrow. We have a beer tasting to attend!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Nothing new here

We're enjoying some beautiful weather and yesterday we just stayed home. Jim worked on cleaning the rig (darn old love bugs are hard to remove!) and the truck. I did some laundry which seems to be a daily thing.

We both read some, Jim is reading the latest Ken Follet novel and I'm reading book by Maureen Ash, Murder for Christ's Mass a Templar Knight Mystery.

Forgot to mention that we got diesel fuel the other day for $3.55 a gallon. That's the lowest we've seen in a long while. Hope it continues to go down!

Had spaghetti for dinner last night along with a salad. I chopped up some pork loin for Jim's and I tried Gardein's Tuscan Chick'n. I didn't care for it and won't buy it again. Of course it wasn't really chicken and the taste and consistency wasn't to my liking. And the sauce was something I'd have to get used to. My sauce is better!

Friday, October 7, 2011

needed to mail a package

After doing our routine chores yesterday morning we headed out to find the Post Office in Robertsdale. Turned out to be a simple task! We took some back roads, winding our way among the roads being constructed, taking detours for I-10 (?) and viola! there it was, almost on the corner of hwy 16 and hwy 59.

After that Jim headed south on Hwy 59 with no particular destination in mind. We stopped and a visitor center mostly to see if there were any fairs or festivals going on in the area this weekend. No luck there. We've been to this many times but it's always nice to see something new.

About this time we needed some lunch. We stopped at Peng Garden for a Chinese buffet. Fell off the vegan wagon again by having pork dumplings, chicken spring rolls and wonton soup. But it was sooooo good!

After lunch we pulled into Tanger Outlet Mall (Foley Alabama) to stroll around, the weather was lovely and after our lunch we needed to walk. We both managed to find something to buy!

We checked out the Oakley store for sunglasses and I may be able to get some but first I need an eye exam. I have such a narrow bridge that it's hard for me to find glasses that fit.

We had leftovers from the Japanese restaurant for dinner....

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Alabama

Around 1015 yesterday we left Tallahassee and headed to Robertsdale, Alabama. Hilltop RV Park http://hilltoprvpark.com/ was our destination and we made it good time arriving around 1330. Of course we're back in Central Time Zone! We made two stops, one after an hour or so to check the new tires on the truck and another for lunch an hour or so later.

We are parked so the sun is on our street side but it will do for a week. There isn't a lot of shade here but there are trees planted for that purpose, just have to wait for them to grow up. I didn't notice it yesterday but this morning I can hear the traffic on I-10. There are 8 TV channels but our new dome satellite dish for Direct TV works just fine! They say they have free wi-fi but we've not been able to get online with it.

Dinner was simple last night, garlic mashed potatoes, peas and carrots, sauteed kale and Jim had some pork loin. Although I'm not completely vegan I'm working on it. I still love seafood! At home it isn't a problem but when we eat out, like our dinner at Osaka Japanese Steakhouse Tuesday night I just have to order shrimp teppan yaki! It was a delicious dinner we shared with Sonsearae and Chris. Each couple could have shared a dinner and still be well fed. We'll probably have our leftovers today for dinner. I'll let Jim eat my shrimp....

Not sure what we'll do while we're here. Jim mentioned going to the USS Alabama as we have done that in a few years. Maybe we can find some kind of fair this weekend.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Wedding 27 Sept

We did some arranging of potted plants Tuesday afternoon. Pat moved them out onto the dock for us and a heart was drawn and Robyn arranged flower petals on it. The ceremony was performed by Roy Stanley. Roy, Susan Stanley, Chris and Sonsearae wrote it. Part of the vows were from Broken Arrow, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broken_Arrow_(1950_film)

This film influenced me as a teen and it's where I got Sonsearae's name.



You can read the vows here




Before the ceremony Chris and Sonsearae present her parent with embroidered hankies because they knew we'd cry! Matter of fact most of the pictures were taken before hand for this very reason!

Chris posted a lot of pictures on Facebook. Cindy and Pat Bonish did an excellent job. For that reason I didn't even pick up my camera.

After the ceremony and a few more pictures we toasted the Bride and Groom with sparkling wine. Some of us took time to clean up and off we went to dinner where the newly married couple treated us to a lovely dinner. For dessert we had a decadent chocolate cake and Italian cream cake to choose from. Both were yummy!





Monday, October 3, 2011

What A Week!

I shall attempt to start blogging about this past week. It has been busy, fun and emotional.

Last Monday the Bride and Groom arrived mid afternoon. Sonsearae and Chris are getting married on Tuesday right here at Low-Key Hideaway, http://www.lowkeyhideaway.com/. You see they visited us over the 4th of July holiday and fell in love with the place. Of course the managers Cindy and Pat Bonish are super hosts and have become friends with all of us. Now they are part of our extended family!

As we waited for other members of the wedding party to arrive we had a chance to talk and catch up. Soon we were getting hungry and decided to find dinner! Tony's Restaurant was our choice where we started the trend of ordering more than we can eat! Who knew the side salad was enough to feed two people!? Any way we had a good dinner and took some food home.

As we were leaving Jeff showed up and followed us back to Low-Key Hideaway. We all sat outside enjoying the weather and chatting. Soon Roy and Susan showed up. Roy is Sonsearae's poppa and he officiated at the wedding.

Tuesday morning we all headed out to breakfast at Ken's Diner. I think we all had a good time just discussing the plans and having some down time. I think we had lunch out but truthfully I cannot remember! Chris rented a golf cart and everyone had fun with that.

stay tuned! more to come