Sunset in PV

Sunset in PV

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

March 21 - 28, 2011 "Corpus Christi & Galveston"

CC and I continue to scratch our heads and wonder where the time goes. When we were working, the days just dragged on and on; now they pass with what seems is the speed of light. If it were not for the photo journal of our exploits, I’m sure we could only wonder what we have been doing to “waste” so much time. A good friend, just this week, asked me if we were bored yet with this lifestyle, and all I can say, as we near our 10 month anniversary of “full timing”, is simply and unequivocally, ….NO…..!!! With that diatribe completed, on with our “goings on”.

The drive from SPI to Corpus Christi was uneventful, thank God, as one crazy driver passed me on the right side shoulder, as we headed north on Hwy 77, going at least 70-75 mph; Scared the jeebies out of both of us. No doubt college kids returning to school after spring break; I hope he got to where he, and his passengers, was going, alive and in one piece. We arrived at the Colonia Del Ray RV Park ( around 3 pm and decided to go to the pool; bad idea as it wasn’t heated. So, not to be discouraged, decided on the hot tub; wrong again, as it was about 85 degrees. The park was nice, but thumbs down on the pool and hot tub.

 Corpus Christi is home to the USS Lexington CV-16. ( Imaginations run wild aboard the USS LEXINGTON. The sights, the sounds, and smells, are so real and so intense you become a part of the story the second you step foot aboard this World War II era aircraft carrier. There's an adventure around every corner as you make your way through the maze of tunnels and ladders. Your seat becomes a cockpit in our Flight Simulator. You get behind the controls at our all-new Virtual Battle Stations. And the three story tall MEGA Theater...well you'll just have to see that for yourself. (Click on any image to enlarge)

We have a personal attachment to the carrier, as CC’s brother, Mike, aka call sign “Mad Dog”, actually made his first night time carrier landing on its deck, way back in the early 80’s, in an A-6 “Intruder”, like the one pictured below.

We decided to take the “scenic” drive around Corpus via Port Aransas, and find a place for a late lunch. After the brief ferry ride…………..

We arrived at what looked like a promising culinary establishment in the Port Aransas Marina, “Fins”.

And, what I can only describe as Waaayyyy overpriced, our combo arrived that we split; shrimp, oysters, fries and coleslaw. The food was good, not great, as the price may have indicated, but we were both famished, so had no problem devouring every morsel.

The following day we decided to explore North Padre Island, thinking it would be comparable to South Padre Island, but we were sorely disappointed. Not exactly a vacation hotspot, as far as we are concerned, the island is mostly residential and not overly populated at all. It just didn’t have the “it” factor we look for, and the beach was, shall we say, less than inviting.

We did however, manage to make a silk purse out of a sows ear, by discovering “Snoopy’s” Seafood Restaurant & Bar, right on the water of Corpus Christi Bay. The food was excellent, and very reasonably priced, we rated it two thumbs up.

OK, on to the Galveston area, with a nice tail wind we finally managed decent fuel economy; almost 8. The “toad” (Jeep) pulls down the MPG by at least 1, possibly 1.5 MPG, so I was pleased with what we averaged. We filled the tank about halfway up the coast for $3.49 per gallon. With prices approaching $4, we will just adjust our travel plans, move a little slower, and stay in one place a little longer. CC the travel planner, found a quiet, reasonably priced Passport America Park in League City, TX, about halfway between Houston and Galveston.

The following day we ventured to PPL RV Sales & Consignments, to look at Diesel Pushers. They were having a huge sale, with about 450 units to choose from. We found one that we liked and went in to “talk turkey” with the sales manager; bottom line, they really did NOT want our trade-in as they were out of space and money for new inventory. The 2007 Itasca Horizon may have been a good deal, but not a great one. We’ll wait until one comes along; they always do.

Now, on to explore Galveston Island. We were impressed with the architecture, beach, and the overall “feel” of the island. We took a stroll on the beach, toured a RV park as a possibly stay next winter for a month or so, had lunch, and then another 4 mile walk on the beach, hand in hand. (All together now……Ain’t that sweet!)

Most of the damage done by Hurricane Ike has been repaired and/or rebuilt. We did notice a few places right on the beach that were damaged, that had yet to be restored. After speaking to some of the locals, we speculate they either had no insurance or are still in a fight with their insurance company over damages.

Our next destination, Lake Charles, LA, a short hop of around 150 miles, where we will be staying at Sam Houston Jones State Park. See ya there. Until then, take care and stay well………

Sunday, March 20, 2011

March 8 - 20, 2011 "Spring Break at South Padre"

It’s hard to believe almost 2 weeks has gone by since our last blog entry, but we have been so busy, we just haven’t had the time; or I should say, we haven’t TAKEN the time. Why? Party, party, and more party.
Our last week at Country Sunshine was just a series of going away parties. We made many friends while we were there, and each of them wanted to give us a party. I’d like to think it was because we will be missed, but in retrospect, they were probably just glad to see us leave. Either way, we made some good friends, and will most likely return next winter for at least a month or so. Adios amigos y amigas.
Of course, we made 3 trips to Nuevo Progreso during our last week in Weslaco to stock up on the essentials (Tequila, medications, purses, gifts, etc.) , and to get our SOTB fix ($2 margaritas, Mexican food - lonches, $7 haircuts, $8 manicures and $8 pedicures). As always, click on any photo to enlarge.

We left Weslaco on March 15, en route to South Padre Island (SPI), to re-connect with Carl & Carla, whom we first met at Country Sunshine in December. We ate our fill of shrimp, fish and oysters, and consumed a few(?) adult beverages during our 5 day stay.

South Padre Island – Coca-Cola Beach was the “happening place” daily from 11 am to 5 pm. We attempted a “walk around” and took nearly an hour. Everyone was having a good time, and all the kids we met made us feel as if we were a part of their party; maybe there is hope for our future generations.

The Capt Morgan Crew made an appearance, providing samples, trinkets, t-shirts and temporary tattoos; CC placed hers on her ??? and, I had my picture taken with the Captain and his first mates. Do I look like I'm having fun? This truly is a tough life we now live. Extremely tough.

CC the cougar, was not to be outdone in the picture department, so she rounded up a few young studs for this photo op. She is obviously NOT having fun. HaHa.........Yea right.

Our friend Carl only drinks Miller Lite, especially when the Miller girls are working. Again, all the young ladies were very friendly and very personable to all of us, even Carl.

AND, he can't resist when it comes to getting his picture taken with a pretty girl, even ones wearing Duct Tape!

My beer of choice is Bud Light on Wednesdays, and this day just by chance was a Wednesday, and it just so happened that the Bud Light girls were “sampling” their product, among other things???. They requested a picture, and who am I to say no; it’s just not in my nature.

And finally we caught Carla in the act of rustling up a young stud of her very own. I saw some phone numbers being exchanged, but my lips are sealed. What happens in SPI, stays in SPI.

We parked at the KOA on SPI, directly across the street from Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark, which had nightly concerts from 9 pm - 2 am. So, sleep was hampered by the loud music. On Thrursday night, Snoop Dog was the featured act, and at midnight, they REALLY cranked up the watts, so loud, in fact, it rattled the windows on the rig. So many in attendance they were parking cars EVERYWHERE; including the flats directly north of the campground. We awoke friday morning, and noticed 3 unfortunate ones that didn't make it out before the tide came in.

Eventually one made it out, with the help of a good samaritain unscathed, another twisted off a rear axle but managed to get out, and the third one was stll there when we left on Sunday moring. We speculate he called the finance company to tell them where their truck was located.

Today we moved northward to Corpus Christi, TX, where we will tour the USS Lexington, and visit North Padre Island, before moving on up the Gulf Coast to the Galveston area. We are back on the road and loving every minute. Until next time, take care and stay well………………………

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

March 1 - 7, 2011 "Vegas Night and Smokin' on the Rio"

Wow, time sure does fly; especially when you’re having fun. One more week here in Weslaco, and we’re on the road again. Hopefully, the weather north of here will be warming by then, as it is always a difficult task predicting when, exactly, Winter is over, and Spring has begun. Coupled with the rising cost of gasoline, has our travel plans in a quandary. It is our hopes that we leave here, head across the Gulf coast to Florida, (eating as much fresh seafood as humanly possible…..”What oil spill?”), and up the East Coast, seeing all there is, and on to Niagara Falls (Canada). CC has never been to New Orleans, Washington DC (Smithsonian), New York City, or Niagara Falls; she has led a very “sheltered life”……poor thing. (OK, now in unison…..aaahhhhh isn’t she mistreated?)

There is ALWAYS something going on here at Country Sunshine, most of which involves food and/or adult beverages. “Vegas Night” was an eclectic mix of Ropa Fashions and craziness. It was the topic of conversation for over a week amongst the pool “bobbers”. CC and I had no idea what to expect, as the majority of the participants were somewhat secretive about their “Jockey Uniforms”. (Click on images to enlarge)

OK, here is how it works. Participants dress up in a wide variety of costumes and ride a wooden horse through a column of taped squares on the floor. Six “Jockeys” per heat, line up at the starting line. The first of two dice are rolled to determine which “Jockey” will advance in lanes 1-6. The second dice is rolled to determine how many spaces the rider will advance, from 1 to 6 spaces. The winners of the heats make it to the semi-finals, and those winners advance to the finals. The mood for this evening could best be described as “Mucho Jocularity”.

For those of you that have not been to the RGV (Rio Grande Valley), upon arrival one of the first things you might notice is the overall majority of “healthy(?)” people, as it appears there is no malnutrition or descendants of “Twiggy” living here; the locals are a very “well rounded” Hispanic culture. Eating is not a necessity here, it is an event as witnessed by “”Smokin’ on the Rio” Texas State Bar-B-Que cook off in nearby Mercedes this past weekend, with 129 entries vying for the $10,000 first place prize money. We sampled far more than our $5 entry fee would buy at any restaurant, as this was easily the best $5 we’ve ever spent for good “Q”. Contestants with big towable rigs or smaller castered ones, everyone had a good time, and we left fully stuffed.

Next stop, we are moving to South Padre Island for Spring Break Week. Since CC and I never took a trip to the beach for Spring Break during our college days, it is on our "Bucket List", and it was a natural choice considering we are so close.

Until next time, take care and stay well..................