grandson mason

grandson mason

grandson jaxson

grandson jaxson

Saturday, February 28, 2015

18-25FEB15 - Kerrville, TX (via livingston, tx)

Early Wednesday morning, 18FEB, we departed Houma, LA, after saying goodbye to Joe & Tasha; with Ed & Elaine following us in their car.  Since Ed & Elaine were here to visit & sightsee, the question was where to go in Texas & how far to drive the first day?  Since we needed to renew our Texas vehicle registrations & get our vehicles inspected by Texas, we headed to Livingston, TX; planning to spend two nights there, giving us all of Thursday to get everything done.  See below BLOG link for our last visit here.
After six hours on the road we arrived at Escapees Rainbow’s End RV park, & Ed & Elaine continued to their motel in Livingston.  Rainbow’s End is the National HQ for Escapees RV Club that we belong to.  Our yearly visits allows us to renew our membership, update our mail forwarding service, & keep the vehicles registered.  After setting up camp Dan headed to the DMV in the Toad & got new vehicle stickers for the RV & the Toad.
Dan then went to the vehicle inspection facility & learned that because of changes in the law, our vehicles were exempt from inspection for one year.  And next year it will be one stop for both items, & one sticker on the windshield instead of two?  So we didn’t need to stay for two nights & could leave now.  But everyone was still a little tired from the last three days in Houma; & Corrie is still not feeling 100%, so we decided to just stay & relax before getting back on the road.
Thursday we headed into Huntsville, TX, with Ed & Elaine for a walk about.  The real reason for our sightseeing was to have a BBQ lunch at the New Zion Missionary Baptist Church’s Barbecue open Thursday to Saturday only, from 11AM to 5PM.  Although we arrived soon after opening, the very small place was filled with a 20 person group tour; but we got our food in about 20 minutes.  We were last here at this nationally recognized BBQ establishment in 2008 (see below BLOG link).  Dan thought it was sad that they now use a modern digital controlled smoker over the old fifty gallon drums they used to us, but the BBQ is still excellent!  Then it was back to Livingston for some short naps before re-gathering at the RV for cribbage.  Dinner was at Popeye’s which Ed & Elaine had never been to before.

Friday morning the plan was to get an early start at 8AM, but when the RV key was turned – absolutely nothing!  First thing Dan tried was jumping the starting batteries – still nothing!  Corrie then headed to the RV park office to find if there were any RV mechanics in the local area that would make service calls?  There was only one shop, but they said they were too busy.  But Corrie convinced them to send a mechanic who found a defective starting solenoid.  He didn’t fix it, just hit it with wrench & we were on our way at 9:30AM; with Ed & Elaine following us in their car.  Down the road Dan noted a one of our air tanks was at zero pressure; but determined the gauge must be bad, because zero pressure means the brakes would lock up – oh well?  The traffic from Houston to San Antonio was nothing but crazies; & at one point we witnessed a semi lock up his brakes & jackknife his rig just missing several cars.  We all finally made it to Kerrville, TX, for a light dinner & more cribbage.

Early Saturday morning Corrie was still very ill, so it was off to the local “clinic” to see a Doctor; followed by picking up a prescription.  The decision was then made for her to stay home, while Dan took Ed & Elaine to his sister Sharon & husband Tim’s house.  Followers of our BLOG know we see them once or twice a year as we pass thru Texas on I-10 heading to or from the Pacific Northwest.  (see the first BLOG link above for our last visit)  After visiting a little at Tim & Sharon’s, the five of us took the very scenic route to the Alamo Springs CafĂ© in a remote/hard to find location outside Fredericksburg, TX, for burgers where “Anybody is Nobody”!  After that it was short drive to Luckenbach, TX, where “Everybody’s Somebody”!  By late afternoon it was back to the RV where Corrie was still feeling ill.

Sunday, 22FEB, Corrie was still really under the weather, so Dan took Ed & Elaine to Fredericksburg for sightseeing.  First stop was the Old German Bakery for pastry.  Followed by a walkabout of Fredericksburg.  To Dan the town has changed significantly from his last visit in 2010 (see below BLOG link); now most of the town is devoted to art galleries, high end boutique tourist shops (some closed on Sunday), & wine bars?  Next up was a German lunch at Der Lindenbaum (but it says Lindenbain on the receipt???), the restaurant still only takes AMEX?  Then it was back to the RV & hotel to just do nothing.  That evening Ed & Elaine come back to RV for a grilled hamburger dinner & no cards.

Monday morning we awake to freezing weather & drizzle; Corrie is still sick & makes an afternoon doctor appointment.  Meanwhile Dan, Ed & Elaine head toward San Antonio to do a little shopping.  First stop was Costco; followed by lunch & shopping at Pro Bass; last stop was Javelina Harley Davidson.  That evening we all got back together & opted for Chinese food at Soaring Dragon followed by more cribbage.
Tuesday we all decided to not do anything until after lunch.  Corrie feeling better ran a few errands & Dan got the necessary “starting” part for the RV.  After lunch Ed & Elaine joined us (including Corrie) for some sightseeing in the local area.  First stop was Camp Verde.  We haven’t been here in over seven years (see below BLOG link); & the place has definitely expanded but much of the general store “feel” has been lost & it carries mostly boutique tourist items now.  Camp Verde was followed by Dave’s Place (aka Backdoor Pottery & Botanical Gardens) at Center Point.  Dave’s unique to say the least, being a combination bar, pottery shop, green house, exotic bird sanctuary, etc.  The below BLOG link also has our first visit to Dave’s.  After our first visit we returned later that week for Dave & Shelley’s wedding on 10NOV07!  Last stop was a walk about in the town of Comfort.

In Comfort is a little known National Monument we discovered during our first RV trip in the summer/fall of 2004.  “The German language Treue der Union Monument (loyalty to the Union), is located in the Kendall County community of Comfort in the U.S. state of Texas.  It was dedicated on August 10, 1866 to commemorate those who died at the 1862 Nuances Massacre.  Thirty-four were killed, some executed after being taken prisoner.  With the exception of those drowned in the Rio Grande, the remains of the deceased are buried at the site of the monument.  It is the only monument to the Union on formerly Confederate soil, and only the sixth mass-grave burial site to fly the American flag at half-staff in perpetuity.  Designated a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 1968, Marker Number 15.  Added to the National Register of Historic Places listings in Texas November 29, 1978.”

Early that evening we all met Sharon & Tim at the Grape Juice Restaurant for dinner – excellent!  After dinner Tim & Sharon came by the RV to visit.
Wednesday, 25MAR, Corrie awakens back under the weather, the decision is made to take the day easy until we get together for steak night in Bandera, TX, at the 11th Street Cowboy Bar.  Dan starts prepping the RV for tomorrow’s departure.  He soon discovers one rear tire pressure cannot be checked?  A&A Tire sends out a service truck & discovers the tire valve stem is bad, problem solved!  In the afternoon Ed & Elaine come by the RV & we all head off to Bandera, TX, for a walkabout & steak night (see below BLOG about steak night).  We then meet Sharon & Tim at the 11th Street Cowboy Bar; & at 6PM the giant BBQ’s were going strong & the band was playing.  Once again showing our age, we all called it a night at 7:30PM.  Upon our return to the RV we said a tearful goodbye to Ed & Elaine, since tomorrow morning they will head north to Canada & we will head west.

Friday, February 27, 2015

01-17FEB15 - Houma, LA (we receive some family visitors)

Sunday morning, 01FEB, grandson Mason (who we are babysitting because mom Rebecca & brother Jaxson remained in New Orleans last night after Monster Trucks at Superdome) wakes up early, reminding us of one of the benefits of being empty nesters.  Thankfully he awakes in a good mood & appears not to miss the rest of his family.  By early afternoon mom Rebecca & brother Jaxson return from New Orleans & then Mason gets real cranky?  Then Corrie starts making buffalo wings for dinner & the super bowl.  Later Joe & Tasha came over for the super bowl & wings; unfortunately the Seahawks lost:(!, but the wings were excellent!

Tuesday morning, 10FEB, we moved to Joe & Tasha’s driveway to help with some of their house projects & share the wealth (ie freeload off them for awhile).  The next day we started packing the RV for our departure in about a week.  Once again finding a place for xmas gifts & supposed good deals we have purchased in the last four months is a challenge.

Friday the 13th the plan was to get together with Rebecca, Raymond & grandkids for crawfish dinner in celebration of Rebecca’s birthday.  Unfortunately Rebecca was not feeling well & by mid afternoon grandson Jaxson had a fever.  End result is no family birthday dinner; & Joe, Tasha & us settle for Popeye’s chicken take-out at their house :(!  Sunday, 15FEB, there was a big change to the Houma Mardi Gras parade schedule.  Because of predicted bad weather on Monday (Lundi Gras) & Tuesday (Fat Tuesday), those Houma parades will all “roll” today (Sunday)!  That means four parades in one day & none on Monday or Tuesday.
Meanwhile Corrie’s brother Ed & wife Elaine arrived from Manitoba, Canada, to visit with us for over a week.  We last saw them in September in Canada, as we headed west for Dan’s 40th college reunion.  (see below BLOG link)  Their plan is to stay at Joe’s & visit with us & the kids (Joe & Rebecca), whom they haven’t seen in over 25 years; & the grandkids, whom they haven’t seen.  And when we hit the road west to the Pacific NW, they will follow us to sightsee in the Texas Hill Country.  Knowing they were arriving today, Dan made his pulled pork for a big family dinner.

Monday AM, 16FEB, Dan headed into New Orleans to pick up Joleen Kiesel & fiancĂ© Nathan Peever, then bring them back to Houma for the day.  Joleen is the daughter of Dan’s cousin Steve & wife Bonnie (if you follow our BLOG, you know we visit with Steve & Bonnie at least twice a year).  After visiting with Joe, Tasha, Corrie, Ed & Elaine, Dan took Joleen & Nathan on a car tour of Houma & the surrounding bayou.  First stop was lunch at A-bears Cajun Restaurant.  Then they got an up-close look at local Houma Mardi Gras floats parked at the civic center.  Followed by the cement art work in Chauvin called the “Kenny Hill Sculpture Garden” – Hill arrived around 1990 & worked on the sculptures before disappearing in 2002.  The last stop was the one hundred year old Cecil Lapeyrouse Grocery in Cocodrie.  Then it was back to Joe’s for burgers & dogs w/Tasha, Rebecca, Raymond, Jaxson & Mason, along with Ed & Elaine.  Then Dan got them back to their hotel in New Orleans; after dropping them off, it took Dan over an hour to go eight blocks getting out of New Orleans.

Tuesday (Mardi Gras), 17FEB, we finished the final loading of the RV & Toad.  Unfortunately Corrie is starting to get sick?  That evening Rebecca, Raymond, Jaxson & Mason came over for one more family dinner before our departure tomorrow AM with Ed & Elaine.  Although it seems nothing was much was done during our four month stay, we did do the following during our shortened February:

---many family dinners (like BBQ beef ribs, Corrie makes spruitjesstamppot, garlic chicken,etc)
---we took the RV in for new rear tires & four new shocks; BBQ beef ribs at Joe & Tasha’s
---Dan finished our 2014 taxes, we owe uncle sam so we won’t pay until April
---Dan fixes the engine monitoring system – see our 14 September 2014 BLOG about why we don’t like driving without this system
---Friday, 06FEB, Raymond returned from his aviation school in Savannah, GA
---Corrie prepares some lattice for installation on Rebecca & Raymond’s sun porch; Dan installs it

---catching a few Mardi Gras parades – Hyacinthians & Titans

---mostly spoiling the grandkids