grandson mason

grandson mason

grandson jaxson

grandson jaxson

Friday, March 18, 2016

27FEB-13MAR16 - Houma, LA & Various (leaving la & heading to pacific nw)

Saturday & Sunday, 27/28FEB, we take it easy & begin prepping for our departure from Louisiana & the long drive back to the Pacific NW.  On Saturday night Corrie made steamed mussels w/various dipping sauces (a traditional & very common meal in the Netherlands) for the family.  And on Sunday, Joe made pulled pork BBQ for everyone.

Monday morning, 29FEB (happy leap year), we had to say our sad goodbyes to kids & grandkids, & hit the road to Escapees RV Park in Livingston, TX.  Where we stop every spring to renew our TX vehicle registrations (& licenses if necessary).  Upon setting up camp Dan took the Toad in for inspection & license tags.  Dinner that night was at the Blue Duck – a new restaurant, which has a very different menu & is pretty upscale for Livingston (& highly rated on YELP)?  Late Tuesday morning we successfully got the RV inspected & tagged.  The rest of day was spent doing minor choirs, & relaxing in preparation for tomorrow’s drive thru HoustonL

Early Wednesday morning, 01MAR, on the road to visit Dan’s sister Sharon & husband Tim in Kerrville, TX.  As always the traffic in Houston is no fun as usual.  After our arrival at the RV park in Kerrville, we visited with Tim & Sharon, before all of us headed out for Thai food.  Thursday was a day of relaxation enjoying the good weather; before joining Sharon & Tim for more reminiscing & BBQ.

Friday, 04MAR, early morning we started the long drive to our next stop – Van Horn, TX.  Last year we had planned on eating at the Hotel El Capitan Restaurant; as we did in 2010 when they first opened.  But we ate at a steak house recommended by the RV park.  This time we did eat dinner at the Hotel El Capitan Restaurant.  The food was very good, but it appears the menu has not changed since our last visit?

Saturday morning back on I-10 West for more boring driving to Lordsburg, NM.  Once again, like last year 27FEB15, the KOA person that took our reservation when we asked for a pull thru, had assigned to a back in.  So even though park was empty, they reassigned us to a pull thru barely long enough for the RV alone; & the Toad would still have to be disconnected to get it out of the road?  On our own we pulled into another pull thru, & Corrie went to the office to tell them.  After all this, they still couldn’t understand why we wanted a longer spot then assigned & did not want to disconnect the Toad.

Sunday morning we finished the drive to the Freightliner dealer outside of Phoenix, AZ, for our annual RV maintenance service.  During the drive we decided not to stop for a break/lunch like we normally do & drive straight thru to Phoenix.  Good thing – we got the last RV parking spot with hook-ups at the Freightliner facilityJ!  It must be spring break because AZ has their programmable highway signs w/messages targeted at spring breakers, like – Spring Breakers would your mom approve of how you are driving?  Dinner was at Haus Murphys (German restaurant w/Irish name?) where we last ate in April 2010.  Still excellent schnitzels!

Early Monday morning, 07MAR, it is straight into the service bay.  Assuming that the annual maintenance will take all day, we made a Costco run.  Upon our return at noon, we find the service had been completed.  Also, they have no empty RV spots for us to stay overnight & we must leave.  We were unable to find a RV park vacancy near us; & needed to head to Goodyear, AZ, to find a RV spot because of MLB spring training & NASCAR this weekend in the surrounding area.  That night we headed to one of our favorite Phoenix restaurants (La Piazza al Forno) only to discover it is closed on Mondays.

Tuesday,08MAR, we continue westward on I-10 for Desert Hot Springs, CA, where we plan to take a two day break for R&R (& laundryJ).  We stay at Catalina Spa & RV.  One of the many (& we mean many!) RV parks surrounding Palm Springs, CA, frequented by snowbirds from across the northern USA & Canada.  It was a very nice facility, but it is obvious from the empty spots that the snowbirds are migrating northward.

The next morning we headed into Palm Springs for a walkabout before the temperatures hit the mid-80s (we were last here in April 2009).  Lunch was at Pinocchio in the Desert.  Pinocchio is a very popular (& different) local establishment.  It appears one of the owners is Dutch, because the menu states “wij spreken nederlands” & they proudly serve Douwe Exbert coffee.  Dan went w/the Bavarian Meatloaf Dip.  We are not sure, but part of the popularity w/the locals might be bottomless champagne for $3.95 or martinis for $2.95?  Then it was back to the RV to shelter from the sun (except for pleasant few hours at the pool).

Thursday morning we continued our drive & had to decide if we want to take the recommended route on I-10W thru Los Angeles, or go around LA?  We decide to drive around LA at San Bernardino.  But our planned route on CA 138 is completely stopped do to some unseen problem at Cajon Junction.  So we are forced to detour north thru Boron, CA; finally getting on I-5N & needing to find a RV park soon.

During Friday’s, 11MAR, drive we had to deal with on & off rain w/gusting wind to Woodland, CA, where we stopped to visit w/Bill & wife Liz Albert who we last saw 10MAR2015.  As happened last year, Liz was not able to join usL.  But Bill bought us dinner.  We threatened not to stop next time unless Liz was there.

For Saturday & Sunday the National Weather Service forecasted a major winter storm in northern CA along I-5.  Supposedly Saturday is heavy rain along I-5 followed by snow on Sunday.  So we decided to get an early start Saturday & try to drive to southern Oregon; & hopefully miss the snow.  Unfortunately just south of Weed, CA, we ran into heavy wet snow, that quickly began accumulating on the road (& the RV’s front window)!  So around noon we decided to call it a day & found a RV park.  Of course the snow stopped & the sun came out around 1:30PM.

Sunday which was forecasted to be the “bad” weather day, was better than Saturday.  But the entire drive was on again, off again, rain squalls & gusting, high winds.  We forced ourselves to drive further than normal & finally called it a day at a RV park in Kelso, WA.  Looks like a good decision because major story on local news was the Seattle area being slammed by high winds, w/lots of power outages & downed trees.  170 miles left to go tomorrow.

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