Sunset in PV

Sunset in PV

Thursday, November 18, 2010

November 3 – 18, 2010 - "We be Winter Texans"

Click for Weslaco, Texas Forecast

We arrived at our new “home” for the winter in Weslaco, TX, the Country Sunshine RV Park. Originally, we had planned to stay here until Dec. 15, and move to either a different park in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV), OR, move to Arizona. The first week we were here, we drove around and looked at 20 – 25 different parks in the RGV, extending from Mission, TX on the west end to Port Isabel on the east end, a distance of about 60 miles. We also charted average daily high and low temperatures, not only in the RGV, but Arizona as well. After we discovered that the RV parks in Arizona are about 40% - 50% more than they are here, AND, the average temps in Arizona are 4 – 7 degrees cooler, we decided to extend our stay here until March 15. CC and I have made an appearance at the heated pool (85 degrees) and hot tub (104 degrees) every day since our arrival.

With that decision behind us, it was time to do some exploring, so it was off to Nuevo Progreso, south of the border, in Mexico. From our new “home” it’s a 5 mile drive to the parking lot, where $2 allows for all day parking. Walk up to the bridge, pay your $0.25 each and walk across. That’s it; no inspections, no customs, no immigration – nada. It didn’t take long to realize we were in Mexico, as the street vendors were aggressively “hawking” their wares as we strolled down the sidewalk. It reminded us of landing in Puerto Vallarta and being bombarded by the time share sales people at the airport. We just smiled, replied, “no gracias”, and kept walking. By the time we had covered 3 blocks, we were both in need of some refreshment, so we stopped at one of the many sidewalk bars, the Red Panty Bar.

On to lunch, at The Arizona, where for $9.95 USD, two can dine with margaritas included. We chose the beef fajitas, and they were very good. The presentation is not exactly what we expected, but good, none the less, and the portions were sized perfectly for our appetites.

(CC blogs) I had the opportunity to go to a “Ropa” (Ropa vieja, which is Spanish for "Old Clothes"). Ropas are located in large buildings where the old clothes donated from Goodwill, Salvation Army and the like are piled up on the floor 10 or 12 feet high at times. Those interested shoppers can climb up on the piles and dig through, pulling and tugging for special treasures; the cost of these purchases is 20 to 30 cents a pound.

A Winter Texas couple here at County Sunshine had married earlier this year so the park residents decided to put on a mock wedding for them. Part of the wedding festivities was to find the wedding parties attire at the ropa. The ladies of the park invited me on this wonderful adventure. We had a lot of fun climbing, laughing, giggling, crawling, tugging and pulling clothes at three different ropa locations. At the end of the day the exhausted group found a bridal gown and numerous bridesmaids dresses in need of some alterations. (Pictured below, in the foreground is Gayle, the blushing bride) And finally, what better way to end a wonderful shopping trip, but with a dip in the pool.

Since South Padre Island (SPI) is less than 60 miles, we decided to make a day trip, and check out things just southeast of our “home”. It was wonderfully warm, around 83, when we arrived. I captured this flock of fledgling sandpipers as they scampered in the shallow waters looking for lunch, with watchful Mom nearby and out of the picture.

After a stroll along the beach, and some “shelling”, we decided it was time to silence our growling tummies. Daddy’s was recommended as THE place for seafood and Cajun on SPI. Starting with calamari, and culminating with the main entrée of blackened red snapper, topped with shrimp and crayfish, the food was fantastic.

The following day it was back to the grindstone, and our winter job with The Border Patrol of apprehending illegal immigrants.  In the picture below, CC and her partner, zoom by on their way up river to make an apprehension. No doubt the culprit was young, as CC the cougar, was wide-eyed as she flew by.

Neighbors here at the park, have told us about a “burger joint”, in nearby Donna, TX, Gonzales Burgers, with instructions to get there early, as they open at 10:30, and close when they are out of meat. It's difficult to see in the picture below, but there is NO signage at all; NONE. The place was very crowded, and we waited about 30 minutes after we placed our order, to get our meal. This place is truly amazing, no signs, no advertisement, only word of mouth that drives their business; the quintessential "American Dream Success Story". The burgers are HUGE, probably ¾ pound each. CC and I both ate only half, and were stuffed, so we took the remaining half home for dinner.

That pretty much sums up what we’ve been up to the last couple of weeks, not to mention a couple of pot luck and buffet dinners offered here at the park. These Winter Texans love to eat. If we have a meeting scheduled, be on time; but if there is food involved, get there at least 15 minutes early. As they say, “The early bird gets the worm”.

Till next time, take care and stay well…………………….

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happy Birthday Jason

Today would have been Jason's 27th birthday. We miss him more each day, and although we have quit asking "why?", we reflect daily on how our lives, and the lives of others,  would be enriched if he were still with us. Mom says "Happy Birthday Turtle"; and I, well, you were (are) the greatest joy of my life and I did not deserve a son like you, but God saw fit to let me experience your kindness, warmth, compassion for others, and your superb intelligece and wit, and I am truly blessed to have had 16 years with you. We always knew how soft your heart was, and unfortunately others took advantage of one of your greatest assests. Miss ya buddy!