Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ivy's Birthday

Location, Houston, TX

Monday was granddaughter Ivy’s 8th birthday. We were on hand for the opening of presents. None were very large or expensive but she loved them all. After the present opening we went to breakfast at the place of Ivy’s choice, Denny’s, where she had an “alien” pancake. It’s on the menu, honest!

Dinner was at Texas Roadhouse, again Ivy’s choice, where she had sirloin tips. The rest of us had way to much good food. We ate the leftovers last night.

Tuesday, Clyda and I watched Matthew while Diane took Ivy for a routine doctor’s appointment. After dinner we played games with the kids.

Diesel fuel Tuesday at my favorite (cheapest) station was $1.63 per gallon so I filled my two spare cans.

Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. The kids are busy today and tonight so Clyda and I stayed at the RV Park most of the day. We did run some errands which involved going to a used book store and an Ace hardware store to find a switch for one of our lights. No luck however as the switch has to fit into the light fixture and none I have found so far will work. I replaced a cord in one of our blinds which had frayed. This it the second blind that needed work since we bought this rig. It does take some patience to restring. I have instructions which show how to do it.

Diesel fuel today was $1.77 per gallon. I guess they are trying to make up for yesterday’s cheap price.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Houston, we have arrived!

Location, Houston, TX

Before I bring this blog up to date, I have added new photos to the last entry about Luckenbach, TX so please take a look at them.

We are in Houston, TX at Traders Village our usual stopping place here. The camper park is fairly full. We are already immersed in the grandkids activities.

We left Fredericksburg on Tuesday and drove to McKinney Falls State Park southwest of Austin. Tim had recommended this park to us and it turned out to be a nice park as well as ideally located for our Austin Visit. We visited the falls which because of lack of rain were very small but interesting from all the limestone formations in the river bottom. We also checked out the old Homestead and grist mill sites.

On Thursday we went to look at the property we bought back in March. Getting around Austin requires patience and fortitude, neither of which I have an abundance of. We did manage to find the property and introduced ourselves to Stephanie who showed us around the property. Work has started on upgrading the decking and stairways. Later this year new roofing will be done and the parking areas sealed. All of this cost big bucks but is necessary.

I am mystified by Austin diesel fuel prices. I saw prices from $1.78 all the way up to $2.59 just in a half hours drive. What’s with that?

Friday was a drive day to Houston. No problems and we arrived about 1:30 PM.

Saturday was a full day of kid’s activities starting about 9 AM with Ivy’s soccer match and Matthew’s pinewood derby race at his church. As soon as Ivy was done with soccer she had a rain gutter regatta sail boat race at the same church as Matthew’s pinewood derby was held. Matthew meanwhile went to soccer practice. We finished the day playing card games.

Ivy playing goalie with her new gloves while dad, Tim, coaches.

Playing photographer when not in the game.

Look at the blonde "Barbie" on the boat.

Matthew at the keyboard. He is very good.

Sunday was church and later Matthew had an indoor soccer game. The game turned into practice as the other team didn’t show up. Indoor soccer is fun to watch as it is fast and the ball is never out of bounds as the wall is in play.

Later we ordered pizza for us and the kids while Tim and Dianne went to a movie.

Oh by the way, diesel fuel this morning here in Houston has about the same range as Austin. I filled up for $1.71 per gallon. Yippeeee!!!!!! I doubt if it will last.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Changes in Fredericksburg, TX

Location, Fredericksburg, TX

Well…….We are still in Fredericksburg. We extended for one day as it is raining in Austin and the roads are a mess according to the TV.

The word for the year is “Change” right? Well things are changing here also.

Here is what we have been doing this week. On Sunday we drove to Luckenbach which normally only has a few people looking around or having a beer in the bar. Well… was different this time because of the Valentines Day Hug In. Lots of people around, a walkup bar setup outside, a food stand open, and an outdoor stage being readied for a band. We stayed around and listened to some pretty good country music, had lunch, and a long neck Lone Star to wash it down.

The Old post office, now a general store.

Inside the bar back of the post office.

Clyda looks good in a cowboy hat.

Ed and Clyda and Budd and Brenda inside the famouse dance hall.

We also drove out to Becker, a winery we last visited years ago. Things have changed here also. Visitors now come by the bus load, stretched limo, or stretched Hummer. The cost is $5 for six samples and is served from a long makeshift bar outside on the patio under an overhang. The bar is set on wine barrels with multiple servers to pour your choice. A chocolate bar and a nut bar are nearby with a musical trio for background. It is obvious that the Austin glitterati have found the Fredericksburg wine country and it is paying off for the owners.

On Monday we drove to the LBJ Ranch for a tour. Last time we were here the tour was by bus. Now, with the passing of Lady Bird Johnson, you are given a CD to play and you drive your own vehicle. It actually works out well as you can spend as much time as you want. The only cost is $1 per person at the ranch house for a tour of LBJ’s recently opened office. Later, more of the house will be opened.

Trio of us standing on the LBJ Ranchhouse front porch.

Johnson family cemetary. LBJ's is the taller headstone.

Last night we ate at the Auslander restaurant for a good German dinner. It was as good as the last time we ate there.

Today is a kickback day with a few more places to visit before we leave tomorrow.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentines Day

Location, Fredericksburg, TX

Happy Valentines Day to all!

I hate not having internet while on the road!!!!! No internet-no blog!

We are now in Fredericksburg, Texas after traveling lots of miles this past week. Our friends Budd and Brenda joined us in Bouse last Sunday. After happy hour at John and Connie’s on Sunday, we left Monday morning and traveled together to Gila Bend, AZ. Budd and Brenda went to Ajo to see friends and we went to Casa Grande and the Elks club for two days to visit Clyda’s cousin Rodney and his wife Claralyn. We also saw our friend George from the WIN’s again.

On Wednesday we headed for Deming, NM and joined up with Budd and Brenda East of Tucson. We spent the night in Deming where the temperature was nice and balmy instead of the usual cold and wind we are used to until Thursday morning, which was cooolllddddd.

Thursday we stopped in El Paso and had lunch with our neighbor’s son Evan who lives there. It was a short but nice visit. We continued on to Balmorhea State Park East of Van Horn, Texas. This is a really unique area which has a very large swimming pool which is spring fed at 1 million gal per hour and is 25 feet deep. The campground has full hookups plus cable TV. It is a really nice stop in West Texas.

Fridays drive ended in Fredericksburg, TX. We had called for reservations and got the last two sites in over flow. We have water and electricity for now and will move to regular sites on Sunday.

Today being Valentines day means the town is crowded with tourists. We had breakfast at the German bakery, our favorite. Great German pancakes. Later we visited the Nimitz Museum. The museum is being remodeled and 41,000 square feet added. They hope to have it ready for a December 7th opening.

Here is a sunset from last week.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Shopping in Quartzsite

Location, Bouse, CA

Today was the last shopping day in Quartzsite for us. Jack and I went in this morning with a list of places to visit and check on things we needed. Many of the vending areas a vacant, especially the Main Event, which once was the biggest selling area in Quartzsite. We talked to the “sock man” who has been selling socks here as long as I have been coming. I always stop by to chat and find out what is happening in Quartzsite.

After lunch at Bad Boys restaurant we walked the remaining rows of Tyson Wells and Prospectors Panarama and picked up a few items. I found a couple of flags I didn’t have and a digital wall clock for the garage.

After buying produce and groceries we came home. Cocktail hour was on John and Connie’s nice deck.

It may rain tonight so I put the chairs and a few other things away after dinner. We will move from here to the BLM area several miles away tomorrow. Monday morning we leave for Casa Grande and on to Texas. Our friends Budd and Brenda will be joining us on Sunday and travel with us. There will be no update to the blog until maybe Monday or Tuesday.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

ATVing in the back country

Location, Bouse, CA

We are still at Bouse sponging off our friends Jack and Judy. Well, not exactly sponging. We just have so many things to do that it is hard to leave. We do have a departing date scheduled so that is progress.

Yesterday the guys, five of us, loaded ATV’s on a trailer and spent the day checking out old mines and back roads. We didn’t do to good on the mines as someone was grading a new road in preparation to reopening the mine so we couldn’t go in. The price of gold has many thinking about mining but the environmental laws are such that all but the wealthiest or large companies are kept from mining.

All loaded and ready to go.

I look like the helmet is pushing my head down.

Today was cinnamon roll day. Connie emailed all the people who are friends from Desert Gold RV where we once wintered to come at 10 AM for fresh baked cinnamon rolls. It is really nice to see everyone again even though we are all older and some have medical problems to numerous to mention. Thanks Connie for the rolls and the chance to see everyone and share a few laughs.

Yesterday was BP day here. I flew the big BP flag I have for the first time. It was just too big for my old flag pole. I also wore a BP chambry shirt and my BP hat.

I finally rolled out the awning to dry it out. It did have some moisture in it and also the start of some mold. A few minutes in the wind and it was dry.

Last week while we camped on Plamosa Road Clyda started knitting a shawl. She dropped a stitch after a few rows which resulted in this!

Looks like a cats cradle to me!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Super Bowl Sunday

Location, Bouse, CA

February already, my goodness, times does fly when you get older.

We have had very nice weather but still have a little wind which puts an edge to the warmth. In the sun out of the wind it is very nice. We had happy hour on John and Connie’s deck next door last night and a nice campfire in the barrel stove after dinner. A very pleasant evening.

I did the usual, dump the tanks, today plus a few other odds and ends required whenever you RV. We are gathering to watch the Super Bowl later today so defrosted some chicken beasts to marinate and BBQ on skewers later. We will do lots of snacks during the game.

In honor of the Arizona Cardinals being in the game we are all flying Arizona flags today. I took some pictures of that and will post one with today’s blog.

We are doing a little pre-planning for our trip to Houston later in the month. I always have a list of places to see on the way as well as a few unique places to eat. It makes the trip more enjoyable. The main reason we are going is for our grand daughter Ivy’s 8th birthday later in the month. We were in Houston for her birth and she asked us to come for her birthday this year. Who can turn down a cute 8 year olds request?

We have not had internet access since leaving home so now I am using Friend Judy’s laptop to post. I write the blog in Word on my laptop and transfer it and any photos to a thumb drive. I use Verizon’ webmail to do the actual posting. It is more involved but does work.