Archive for March, 2014

We’re still in Texas

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

PS:  If you noticed the blog was missing this weekend it was!  Paul had a little internet glitch and I was sure all this was lost in Web land forever!  That was close,  better back up more often.  I wouldn’t want to loose all this valuable information!  Right!

We left my sisters house early on Tuesday and made our way towards Austin and Georgetown where we will be staying at a Winnebago Dealer to get a couple of warrenty issues taken care of.  A nice peacefull night in their lot near the interstate.  The good news is it was so windy that we didn’t want to open the windows so we didn’t here any freeway traffic.

Wednesday I loaded Duke and my ipad and into the dealer we go to sit and wait while they work on our RV.  The plan was it would take a couple of days but we get to stay in our home at night.  They worked on Wednesday and I was out of the dealer by about 2 pm.  Thursday I planned to ride with Paul to dealers located near here so they could have the RV all day.  Everything went as planned until after they fixed the slide that wasn’t going in all the way it decides not to go in again!  The short story is on Friday they tell us it will take almost 2 weeks to get the parts they need and they have to remove the slide so when they fix it we will have to get  motel!  Yuck!  We don’t want to hang here for 2 weeks and wait.  The wind is still blowing like crazy!

After much thought and debate we decide to go ahead and drive the 1000 miles north to the factory and have them fix it.  This will save us over a week and if things don’t go as planned we will be at the factory and they should have any parts or resources to get us going.  This will add about 900 miles to our trip east to North Carolina but we think it will work out better.

Paul already had work lined up for Monday and Tuesday so we spent the weekend here.  Friday afternoon we had severe weather warnings from both the north and south.  We got a little hail and lots of wind but nothing compared to where Paul was at a dealer 12 miles north of here!  He saw golf ball sized hail and it was at least 4-6 inches deep on the sidewalk.

Saturday was a beautiful day so we got out and saw a bit more of Texas.  Georgetown is a cute little community north of Austin.  We took a drive just west of town to Lake Georgetown to do a little walking/hiking.



Interesting lakeshore

Interesting lakeshore

The lake had several boaters on it and lots of kids along the rocky bank who were sunbathing and a few guys were jumping into the lake although they said it was really cold so they were really resting between jumps!

Bluebonnets everywhere

Bluebonnets everywhere

The wildflowers are really starting to bloom.  You see these everywhere along the roads where they have a patch of grass.

We didn’t walk too far as there wasn’t much to see and the sun is pretty hot where there is very little shade.  So off we go to check out the downtown of Georgetown.  Southwestern University is right in the heart of town and we saw lots of students relaxing along the river enjoying the water and sunshine.   First we find the San Gabriel River which runs near downtown and was a very nice place to take a walk.


Lake Georgetown

Anytime we find a town with a river nearby I love to take a walk and find a nice bench to just sit and enjoy.  So does Duke!


We found another Geocache here along the river but the most interesting thing today was a new sport I have not heard of before!

Hang the bobber in the tree!

Hang the bobber in the tree!

We are sitting on a rock and I see this bobber in the tree right infront of us.  There was at least 3 bobbers in this tree.  I guess when you hang your bobber up or see that someone else did you have to try again!

For the first time since we have been here the wind is not blowing us all  around!  But never fear, it only stopped for about 4 hours Saturday evening and Sunday all it did was blow!  This is a very nice part of the country but I couldn’t handle the wind and those weather warnings are crazy!  You watch the tv and wait for it to pass over you and then you carry on with the rest of your day!

So we are off to Dallas on Wednesday and then to Forest City Iowa!  Pray there is good weather for us.

Crawfish Season

Monday, March 24th, 2014
Crawfish, crawdads, mudbugs,  whatever you call them they come boiled!

Crawfish, crawdads, mudbugs, whatever you call them they come boiled!

Poor little guys!  It’s crawfish season and they are serving up platters of these tasty little guys everywhere in the Houston area this month.  Known as mudbuds and served by the pound at local bars to fine dining spots everyone is eating them.

Boiled with corn and potato!

Boiled with corn and potato!

We had ours at the Kemah Crawfish Festival  where we drank pina colada’s and waited for about 30 minutes to receive our styrofoam container of mudbugs and started the task of removing the “good” part from the rest; you only eat the tail or at least that was all I was eating.  These critters are so small that each crawfish only provides one bit of the tasty meat, hence why you need several pounds per person for a meal!

We are staying in Baytown Texas and moochdocking at my sisters home.  Her driveway is plenty wide enough for our huge new home although getting in under the phone wires and avoiding the drainage ditch out front required both my help and Curtis’ (Karol’s husband) to guide Paul into place.  The wires are raised by two poles on either side of the drive just for us and rise almost 14 feet while our new height is almost 13 feet.  Plenty of room except for the little detail the driveway slopes down into her yard!  The good news is we made it.  Next step is getting out.

Friday night was the crawfish festival and a walk on the Kemah Boardwalk which was full of folks enjoying the warm weather and the end of spring break in Houston.  Paul and I only walked and watched the people scream on the rides!  The highlight after eating crawfish was feeding the catfish!  You put a quarter into a gumball machine and it spits out about 6  pieces of catfood which you toss into the waters and watch hundreds of catfish scramble for a morsel!  We had a great time and spent 25 cents!

Saturday we lunched at the Monument Inn near the San Jacinto Monument, the monument of the battle for Texas independence.  Again I had a crawfish bisque, this time the mudbugs were already cleaned and again quite tasty.  Lunch was another chance we had to meet up with people we would not get to see if not for this crazy life we live.  We met George and Carol.  George is from Pauls years living in Old Forge, NY.  We met George last time we were in the Houston area. George and Carol shared lots of stories and lunch was very nice, overlooking the shipping channel which closed right after our lunch because of a Oil Spill cause by two boats colliding near Texas City .  So close but no idea!

There is no end to the fun we are having, Saturday night Paul talked me into going out and dancing!  Square Dancing that is!  We danced with Bob Baier who we have danced many times in California.  We enjoyed an awesome pizza with Bob and Dena after a great time of dancing.  I am thinking we need to dance more often as it is getting harder to fake it when we go months without dancing!  Paul will like to hear that.

Sunday was stay home and relax day except for a little gardening until it got cold and started to rain.  Crazy weather we are having, Saturday we needed the air conditioner and Sunday evening I turned the heater on!

This week we go to Austin and then to Dallas.

Wild Hog Explosion!

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

One hour west of San Antonio sits the Cowboy Capitol of the World,  Bandera Texas where we enjoyed an afternoon of Texas style family fun at the Wild Hog Explosion.  Bandera is in the Hill Country of Texas and it is definitely a cowboy town.  The Western Cattle Trail started here and headed north into Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska.

The Wild Hog Explosion is a weekend festival like no other we have been to.  The main event is  the wild hog competion complete with light, medium & heavy weight catagories along with children, couples, mixed teams, mens and womens catagories.

Two or Three against one wild hog!

Two or Three against one wild hog!

The festival also has several other contests where we got to sample all their bests for just our entrance fee of $7.00 each.  The whole day costs us $21 dollars,  thats food, drink and lots of entertainment.  There were lots of BBQ’s and smokers set up like a tailgate party where they were handing out large samples of each.  We sampled each catagory of:


*BEST MARGARITAS*BEST PIT  and some of the best Armadillo eggs!

The mascot of one of the BBQ teams!

The mascot of one of the BBQ teams!

The Wild Hog Competition was the hi-lite of the afternoon.  Teams jump into the arena and try to catch a hog, hang onto him and put him into a sack.

Here little piggy!

Here little piggy!


3 against 1 seems a little unfair!  But the pigs are pretty fast

3 against 1 seems a little unfair! But the pigs are pretty fast


Hang on tight while the other guy gets the sack

Hang on tight while the other guy gets the sack


Now,  just try to stuff the hog into the sack!

Now, just try to stuff the hog into the sack!

The first group I felt sad for the little pig cause he was a little one and you could here him squeeling so loudly as they stuffed him into the sack but as Paul says “they let him out and set him back into the pen where he peacefully ruts around for a morsel of food!”  I guess that is like catch and release?

Bandera is definitely still very much about Cowboys even with downtown lined with little shops and lots of places to get some southwestern eats.  They have a gun fight twice a day in the town plaza each weekend and you can take a wagon ride through town or just walk the two blocks and enjoy thinking about the 1800’s a simplier times.

The Western Cattle Trail

The Western Cattle Trail


Center of town,  The Courthouse

Center of town, The Courthouse


Want to try out being on the wagon trail?

Want to try out being on the wagon trail?


Marshall!  That's how you know you are in cowboy country!

Marshall! That’s how you know you are in cowboy country!

I am starting to really appreciate Texas!  Hill country could easily be one of my favorites.


Cowboys, Art, God, Geocaching and more Cowboys!

Friday, March 14th, 2014

Today was a very busy tourist day through Texas Hill Country.  We started our day heading toward Fredericksburg on the Texas Hill Country Trail with a couple stops along the way.  Early into our trip I suggested that we Geocache today so I get out the app and find us one near Pipe Creek right next to the Post Office.  It was pretty easy to find although Paul had to stomp through the bushes as I am just not that interested in sharing the brush with who knows what!

Churches Chicken I like their advertising venue

Churches Chicken
I like their advertising venue

Next stop was a ways away and Paul finds this neat little spot that has apples.  This place served anything apple, sold apple trees,  had a full gift shop and the dog was welcome!  While we were enjoying out apple strudel we noticed the sign at the road. Who knew people ate catfish?

Paul "Do people really eat catfish?"

Paul “Do people really eat catfish?”

We will never know if it was any good,  the strudel was excellent.  I got apple butter for my toast tomorrow.

We passed through a couple really cute towns which we may visit another day,  Kerrville was the next large town that we were looking for.  Seemed large compared to what I was expecting but it had it’s charm.  Driving through Kerrville I found the best spot for lunch,  Bill’s BBQ!  But before we stopped for lunch we have to find what I have been wanting to see all morning!

Stonehenge II and Easter Island Heads 



Al Shepperd bankrolls his neighbor David Hill to build a replica of Stonehenge in his yard in Texas!  This replica is 2/3 the size of Stonehenge and has been relocated from Al Shepperd’s property to the Hills Country Arts Center after he died in 1994 and his property was sold to someone who was going to tear down Stonehenge II!  He also had two 13 ft Easter Island Heads as part of his display.




Pretty cool for those of us who probably won’t see the real thing.  We also found another Geocache here which it was inside an electric box of a street light!  The wiring was very iffy so we just noted we saw it and left it alone!

The Arts Center was having a weaving demonstration and we wandered over.  Amazing to watch women spinning and weaving.  It looks very time consuming but I bet you could watch all those mindless tv shows and create something amazing instead of eating!



The grounds had a few interesting sculptures outside.  A fun, interesting stop for our day.  Now back to lunch!

Bill’s BBQ in Kerrville,  very good BBQ.  This is our second BBQ and we have only been in Texas a couple of days.  Our first was with Paul’s uncle Ben here in San Antonio at a spot called Choke Canyon BBQ.  Both had awesome BBQ, although I think the atmosphere at Bill’s was definitely the most interesting!  We order inside a tiny little room where you start at one side of the u-shaped counter and order, then you get your bbq and head to the sides which you serve yourself whatever you like,  potato salad, coleslaw, bbq beans, green beans, and of course the bbq sauce!  Then you proceed to the other side of the U and that is where you get a drink and pay.  My favorite part of this joint was when Paul is asked if he would like bread with his ribs?  Of course!  White or Wheat?

White please!

White please!

They bring you the whole loaf and you just get yourself a slice of cheap, white, doughy bread and slather some of the whipped spread they bring you and that is how you eat BBQ in Texas!

Shiner Bock

Shiner Bock

A very good local beer to chase down the white bread and the excellent BBQ.  As we were leaving the patio area we checked out the pits that they cook your lunch in.

Hmm,  I wonder when that was cleaned?

Hmm, I wonder when that was cleaned?

A little Texas culture, a great lunch now for some spirituality!

Empty Cross

Empty Cross

Everything is bigger in Texas!  The Empty Cross is right off I10 in Kerrville and the view from the hill it sits on is pretty amazing itself.  The foundation is raising funds and is in the process of building this spiritual area on private land.  When it is complete (it is under construction now, complete with large equipment working while we tried to enjoy the peace) there will be a sculpture garden around the cross.  The whole thing is free to the public and you are encouraged to participate in the garden!.




The paths are lined with stones that you use provided permanent markers to write a message and then place the stone along the path.



I’m wondering how long my message will survive in the elements?

A really nice idea in the midst of all the craziness of life, now it is back to some Cowboy stuff!

We spent a little while checking out the shops of Fredericksburg but the big attraction in this area for me was Luckenbach, Texas and a little country music!  We saw a couple of boys playing some decent music but Waylon and Willie were missing!

Lets go to Luckenbach Texas with Waylon, Willie and the Boys.

Lets go to Luckenbach Texas with Waylon, Willie and the Boys.

What a fun little spot in the road.  It is no longer a town but a great stop with lots of country stuff. Cowboy hats, beer, music,  bbq, picnic and the dance hall which has music and dance in the evenings.  We enjoyed the music and again some people watching!

You don't see this very often anymore, or maybe you do in Texas?

You don’t see this very often anymore, or maybe you do in Texas?
I love the little girls have pink cap guns, and the little boy with the big gun in the holster.

Kids running and playing with cap guns while mom and dad are enjoying a beer with friends in a friendly atmosphere of Country living!

Wow,  I’m exhausted but what a great day,  cowboys, arts, god and more cowboys!  Loving Texas.





A very peaceful, enjoyable evening – home by 8!

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

We made it to San Antonio after traveling for two days on the longest Interstate ever!  Interstate 10 from El Paso to San Antonio is very long and not too interesting after several hours!  The new motorhome rides so smooth I really wanted to take a nap but was worried with it riding so smoothly Paul would also doze off!  That is not a good idea.

Wednesday morning we were woken up to crazy wind!  The news said 25-35 mile winds but I think we had only gusts!  It was so windy.  I stayed inside the motorhome all day until Paul came back around 2 and moved us to a more sheltered area of the Elks Lodge here in San Antonio.

Finally around 4 the wind started to die down and we decided we would check out the riverwalk in downtown.  We were here a couple of years ago and wanted to have dinner on the river this time.  The walk is very charming although we are here during spring break and I think every family in Western Texas has decided to bring the family to San Antonio for vacation and I am sure for the historical education also!  The place is screaming with tourists with a lot of cowboy boots and hats!

You can take a cruise on the river

You can take a cruise on the river

Or just walk it!

Or just walk it!

Lots of bridges to cross to the shops on the other side

Lots of bridges to cross to the shops on the other side

We spent the evening strolling along the river with a stop for a couple enchilada’s and a margarita at one of the sidewalk cafes.  What a fun place to hang out and watch the people.



Back in the Saddle again!

Sunday, March 9th, 2014

We are all settled in, enjoying the heck out of this new home.  It is huge and very comfortable and now it is time to get back to the adventure.  We took delivery in Gallup and made it to Grants, NM for a couple of nights just to regroup and then it was to Alburquerque for a couple of nights for Paul to visit some dealers.  And now we are heading south to warmer weather!

We are spending the weekend near Truth or Consequence New Mexico at a very nice state park,  Caballo State Park is where home is for a couple of days and then it will be south to Las Cruces and then Texas.

There was a slight storm coming but that didn’t stop us from taking a drive into the Gila National Forest.  We hit snow at the 8,000 foot summit but not enough to stop us.  The landscape changed a lot from dusty desert to lots of beautiful pine trees.  We passed through Hillsboro, which had one historical marker and not much else – we saw maybe 2 people!



We saw a few homesteads but not much else between Hillsboro and Kingston but we did see this sign for a ranch!  I guess it is not failing?  Kingston was not much more than Hillsboro but it did have a resort that obviously this is not peak season because we saw even less people in this village!

The Spit and Whittle Club!  Paul wants to join

The Spit and Whittle Club! Paul wants to join

The Resort!  very pretty but deserted

The Resort! very pretty but deserted


An Adobe wall and home

An Adobe wall and home

You could actually see the straw in the wall.  Once we passed the peak we came upon the Santa Rita Open Pit Copper Mine.  Paul was so excited.

Santa Rita Copper Mine

Santa Rita Copper Mine

The mine is a mile wide and 1600 feet deep.


One of the tractor tires

One of the tractor tires

Sometimes I can get Paul to pose!  The mine was huge and the tractors were so tiny.  It seemed the tailings went on forever.  This is the oldest continually operated copper mine in the US, and one of the largest pit operations.  Moving onward….

Next stop Hatch, NM  the Chile capitol of  the World.  No Chile’s growing now but we did get to have the Famous Green chile and an even more famous little dive!  Sparky’s  BBQ.  It gets great reviews on Yelp and Google and we have to try the Green Chile Cheeseburger while in New Mexico so lets give it a shot.

We arrive and the place is just to much fun,  signs everywhere and memorabilia of all types.

Red or Green, what's your desire?

Red or Green, what’s your desire?


Bob's Big Boy

Bob’s Big Boy


where is Duke?  He is suppose to do the stupid pictures!

where is Duke? He is suppose to do the stupid pictures!


A water feature?

A water feature?


Ronald McDonald

Ronald McDonald


My favorite, brings back the good ole days!

My favorite, brings back the good ole days!

And the green chile cheeseburger was awesome as was the green chili sweet cream corn.  We even bought 5 lbs of green chile so we can make our own burgers!



So long to lots of memories, A new chapter begins

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

The end of an era,  March 4 and we say good bye.

Howmany states?

Howmany states?

So long Voyage,  it's been a great 7 years!

So long Voyage, it’s been a great 7 years!

The Winnebago Voyage has served us well and now it is time for a new owner to enjoy her as much as we did.  We drove the Voyage through all but Kentucky, Wyoming and Rhode Island in our 5 years on the road with her.  Several states we drove through but did not spend a night so they don’t get stickers.

Ready, Set, Go......

Ready, Set, Go……

Finally,  we are all loaded, the bikes and car are ready to roll.  We left the dealership about 10:30 am with us following a transport guy named Frank who wore a really big cowboy hat and headed to New Mexico where we will officially take ownership of our new home.  As soon as we made the first turn out of the dealership, Frank was taking the next right turn and cut it really short, barely missing an electrical box!  This isn’t going to work so quickly I direct Paul to turn and head for the highway while our home, our livelyhood and Frank head to the Fueling station.  We will meet Frank and the chase car in New Mexico,  following is way too scary!  As it turned out we made a stop in Payson for some lunch and decided to wait for our home.  From Payson to the New Mexico State line we lead the caravan,  probably a bit slower than Frank and Al wanted to travel but it is our home and we always travel a bit slow.

Snow in Arizona

Snow in Arizona

The drive was beautiful as we stayed off the interstate until just before the border.  Once we stopped at the Welcome Center, took a quick picture of us and Frank at the border we headed to Gallup where we will take possession of our new home!  Once we hit the interstate, Al took over and we had trouble keeping up with them!  The new rig goes up the hills really well.  We made it to Gallup,  signed the papers and in a rainstorm we took our first steps in our new home!  We only went 50 miles to Grants where we will spend a couple of days just relaxing and getting to know our new home.  We needed our new fireplace last night as it got really cold!  We need to head south again soon!

I wonder how long it will take to fill another map in our new Winnebago Journey?  Happy travels to us

Good Morning Monday!

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

7:30 am we are awakened by a really loud noise followed by an air horn right outside our window!  The good news is it was not our rig that was being tortured, the bad news is a brand new huge 5th wheel and a new owner Motorhome are both going to be spending more time at La Mesa RV for some body work!  The 5th wheel was being newly delivered to the dealership and the driver backed right up into the front of the Motorhome waiting in line to enter service at 8:00 am.  The motorhome was pretty new also.  Both Paul and I had a sick feeling after looking at the damage and thinking how awful it would be to wreck our new home!  I guess that is what the insurance is for.  I hope we don’t need it for a very long time!

We are almost completely moved into the new RV, now I just need to be able to find things.  It looks like everything fit ok, but we don’t have all the extra space we thought we might with a rig that is 5 feet longer!  It is time to purge again.  The Dealer has been great and it looks like all the fixes will be complete today and we can be on our way tomorrow.

Driving this Yacht is going to be pretty scary so we will be sticking with the interstate until we both feel comfortable.  Next stop is Selma, NC!

Here it comes…..

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

Happy 30 years to me…



After 5 years of living and loving our little home on wheels I really wanted to be a grownup RVer!  We bought a Brand spanking new 2014 Winnebago Journey; 41 feet of luxury living on wheels.

Right side

Right side

Left side

Left side

And now for the really good stuff!

The kitchen table

The kitchen table

Can you see that shiny huge refrigerator behind me?

Thats just the refrigerator part, the bottom drawer is all freezer!

Thats just the refrigerator part, the bottom drawer is all freezer!

It is a large 3 door residential refrigerator so now I can have more than 2 kinds of salad dressing open at one time!  Can’t wait to really fill it up with goodies.

40" TV with a electric fireplace below

40″ TV with a electric fireplace below

This will be our main heat source when we need heat.  How romantic!

White!  ouch! Duke will use a blanket  for a short time until I get used to paw prints as part of the decor!

White! ouch!
Duke will use a blanket for a short time until I get used to paw prints as part of the decor!

Paul is stressed from writing the check,  Duke is wondering what was wrong with his last house!

Paul is stressed from writing the check, Duke is wondering what was wrong with his last house!

The bed looks pretty now! I have already banned these fancy items to the storage compartments!

The bed looks pretty now!
I have already banned these fancy items to the storage compartments!


It's comfy!

It’s comfy!

No more laundrymats!  Yeah!

No more laundrymats! Yeah!

Now I have to figure out where everything is going.   Everything is bigger but the layout is so different so I will be spending the next several days trying to fit our stuff in the new cupboards!  The storage underneath is huge, infact one of the slide out trays is big enough for a full size mattress so I’m thinking we have a guest room now!  It is so pretty inside I am not sure we fit in but once we get settled and get our stuff into it and the showroom feel removed we are going to be happily moving about the country again!