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December 2017
    
This is proving to be a very cold winter season, Temperatures are projected to be near zero over the holiday period. Snow has accumulated early on requiring numerous shovelings. Going south for the winter is a long way off and making the necessary preparations are difficult. As we near Christmas there has been no relief in temperatures, 0 to 10.

December 24, Sunday 2017 - St Clair Shores, MI
    
Christmas Eve at Grandma's. With our youngest Grandchild almost 20 years of age and the great grand children all home sick with colds. Our oldest son, Glenn, called to say he and his wife are sick with cold/flue and sadly he will have to miss his first family Christmas since his birth over a half century ago. It was logical to think Santa would bypass Grandma's for the first time in many many years. Well after a super great dinner and way to many drinks there was a burst of laughter as Santa appeared with bag in tow leading the gang to the rec room for gifting.  The Children would be proud see how all  ALL the adults took there turn to talk and share with old Saint Nick. Here are all Christmas photos to see here, you can see why Santa said this is the last home on his route. .   Smile

December 29, Friday 2017 - St Clair Shores, MI to Shephardsville KY Grandma's RV   396 miles gas $2.55
    
After Christmas we faced the bitter cold and took the outside decorations down, then is was to start de-decorating the interior and then packing to go. It was Thursday afternoon, with a whole lot of the packing-up done, we heard  the weatherman say "Cold temperatures will be with us another couple weeks.) Hearing this Mom said maybe we should head south tomorrow (Two day ahead of our normal departing dating, can you believe?.)

Friday morning with another inch on fresh snow on the ground and more on the way we headed south. Flurries where in the air with limited visibility we drove on. With the Rouge River bridge shutdown we took the recommended detour which was I-94 to I-275 south back to I-75. While we were heading west near Metro the snow stopped and the was a little sunshine peeping through the clouds. Trip across Ohio was uneventful other then headwinds for half the trip. We arrived at 'Grandma's RV' about 5:20 pm and parked next Dick & Brenda. They were totally surprised as they knew we always departed New Years Eve.

Temperature was 44 this night and 38 when I woke. This is good we must be out of the cold. So I filled our water tank and flushed the the pink stuff out.

December 30th, 2017 Shephardsville KY to Tupelo MS  Barnes Crossing RV  fee $39GS  365 miles gas $2.59
    
9a.m. we are on our way, first stop is at Love's for gas and propane. Talking with the filler-up man about the cold weather here, he responded with "Yes dam cold and in the teens tonight". Groan! Once on the road I asked Siri  What's the temp in Tupelo MS? 45 with the nightly low in the mid twenties. I told Mon this is not good, we don't usually go as far as Tupelo. Checked the maps to see if I could shorten/quicken the route we always take down, the Natchez Trace. I decided on expressway most all the way. That's I-65 to I-40 to TN 22 to MS US45. The route was a little longer but we got to Tupelo in about the same time we take to get to Meriwether, in Tupelo we have full hook-ups. We pulled into Barnes Crossing RV at 4 p.m. on the dot.  

December 31st, 2017 Tupelo MS  Natchez MS River View RV  fee $24PA  297 miles gas $2.39
    
Drained the water tank last night as temperatures were suppose to be 24  till 10:00 a.m. Well when we got up at seven outside was 36.

     We jumped on the Trace with no traffic and cloudy sky, Mom said it was an easy drive. We lunched in a scenic overlook and checked in to River View RV at 3:10

January 1st, 2018 Natchez, MS to Bolivar Peninsula TX - Bolivar RV  fee $16PA  286 miles gas $2.19
  Happy New Year
     Cold but a good day for a drive, sunshine, slight tail breeze and smooth roads. Temperature similar to yesterday only a degree or two warmer. Decided to skip Gulp View RV and continue on to Bolivar Peninsula (Galveston TX area.) 32
this evening....

January Tuesday 2nd, 2018 Bolivar Peninsula, TX to Rock Port TX Ancient Oaks RV   fee $29GS  205 miles gas $2.09
     Cloudy and cold all day long. For a short time, driving through Galveston, we had frozen rain bouncing off our windshield, very fine droplets that were blown off to the side of the road leaving the shoulder with a slight white blanket. (pic)

     We decided to spend the night in Rockport, the landfall point of Hurricane Harvey. When Mom called ahead for a reservation we selected the first RV park that answered the phone with space available. Ancient Oaks is a frumpy old park, but for one night we decided  to stayed. 39 this night. Tomorrow Fun N Sun RV Park our most southern destination this year. 

     Hurricane damage was very evident with trash about and trees broken and laying around. Some building damage but not as bad or as many as I thought it would be. Some RV parks were totally empty while others appeared as no hurricane even went through. Ancient Oaks has a lot of older units, so I assume they survived the storm.

     Our car and rig is so covered with dirt it must be costing us a couple of miles per gallon due to the drag (pic.) I hope we can do a drive through wash before Harlingen, suppose to be sunshine and warmer tomorrow.

January Wednesday 3rd, 2018 Rock Port TX to San Benito TX - Fun N Sun RV   fee $569mo+E  168 miles gas $2.29
     Radiant sunshine and mild weather, didn't go below freezing for the second night in a row. Mom drove the last 150 miles right up to the guard house of Fun N Sun. I went in and registered only to find the site we wanted was reserved. Counter lady, Brenda, said find a site and come back, I explained I cannot drive around the park until my vehicles are washed, I have go to the wash rack first. Brenda said "Since you know your way around the park I'll assign you a site and then after your wash job pick your site and come back so I can change it."

     After the hour wash job, we pull up to Charlene & Phil's place where she graciously told us to use their golf cart and find a spot. We found a nearby site, I went back to the office made the change and returned were Charlene said why don't you just use our extra car lot, we are using this another spot and ours is vacant and then you can use our WiFi. Back to the office changes made and finally got some what settled in.      

     Anita was over greeting us when Mom said she was hungry, plans were made to Los Asados's for dinner. Excellent eating and lots of conversation before we headed back. Mom was in the sack by 7:, I managed to make it to 9:30, that's 10:30 back-home time.

January Thursday 4th 2018 San Benito TX - Fun N Sun RV   
            Happy Birthday Glenn
    
What a perfect day, our outside thermometer read 72 with sun all day. We started out at the square dancehall where I filled in for a few tips as they were short a man. We got in a lot of talking and catching up with some of the Winter Texans we know. The two hours went by in a hurry before we knew it we were at one of the better Mexican restaurants, Blanquitas, with John & Anita and Nick & Dee for lunch.

     "La Especial", the nearest good bakery had a fire and will be closed for some time. John who enjoys "little pigs", some type of molasses flavored in the shape of a brown pig, though we should run out to Ornelas Bakery and pick some up. We of course picked up a few treats as well.

     It is Bingo night but we still have some unpacking and laundry to do so we passed up Bingo. Talked with two of the boys today, Glenn's birthday wish and Craig's drive to Florida.

January Friday 5th 2018 San Benito TX - Fun N Sun RV 
  
  Total relaxing day. Puttered with the camper on and off. Mom went over to do some crafting, looks like in interesting project, needle, thread and material. We joined John & Anita for dinner at the Blue Marlin where they serve some very good fish. Easy day...

January Saturday 6th 2018 San Benito TX - Fun N Sun RV 
  
  Garage sale at the Rec Hall first thing this morning. Mom came back with small leather purse for $2 and a wind up timer she needed for 25. Of course something for the camper Mom said we need "A nice steel step that folds up, and is larger then what we have." So over I went and looked at this $79 step that was price at $25 but Mon negotiated to $20. Looked worth the money so now we have two steps.

     John Picked us up in the early afternoon to do Jackson Street Days in Harlingen. Three blocks are shut down and the streets are filled with various vendors. We shopped both sides of the street, listened to the live entertainment and stood in line for a half hour to buy freshly popped bag of kettle corn. 

     Caller Nick & his wife Dee invited the four of us over his place to play some cards. We all met at Stefanos Brooklyn Pizza place for dinner, excellent eating, before cards started. I don't know what caused the special atmosphere of laughter, unless it was the sip of my Manhattan that Mom had, but we all laughed all evening long as Mom lead the chorus. The one hour game of Red Neck Rummy took us four hours to finish, I think we all will sleep well tonight.

January Sunday 7th 2018 San Benito TX - Fun N Sun RV 
  
  Overcast today. We took a ride with J & A out to South Padre Island today via the longer southern route. We drove along SR48 and observed several miles of an installation of an above ground pipeline. We understand it's a natural gas pipeline to Mexico. 168 miles of what appears to be a 42" pipe.

     On South Padre we stopped at the Convention Center to visit the SPI Market Days. Lots of vendors and lots of goodies. After fulfilling my walking needs I grabbed a bench next John. We settled world problems while waiting for the women to finish their exercise. Mom finally showed up with new sunglasses and a new watch.

     On the island we stopped at Louie's Backyard for early dinner. Mom did Ribs and for me it was a patty melt. Service was slow for an empty restaurant but the food was very good, we enjoyed the time.

     This is Sunday and ice cream and entertainment start at 6:30 p.m. and it's on our menu. The Rec Hall was full, must be 400 to 500 folks in here. Can you believe this, with 8 tables serving ice cream with at least 3 three servers at each table each all with a different flavor. Each table was announced over the PA as to what flavor they had, you make a mental note and wait. Then one row at a time folks marched down the center isle paid their dollar and were given a large dish (pic) which you took to your destination table and got filled sometime stopping for more then one flavor, I did chocolate & French Vanilla. Everyone was back in their seat by 7:00 p.m. that took a half hour for the whole group.

     This is free entertainment night and tonight we had a male singer and a drummer accompanied by computer. They were fun and the group enjoyed them with dancing in the isles, singing along and showing support. They called themselves Music Town, local group. I didn't get any video or pictures as my camera appears to have a very serious problem. Don't you know the spare I always carry is back home.  Maybe I'll just use cameras and Go Pro, we'll see.

January Monday 8th 2018 San Benito TX - Fun N Sun RV    
  
  Bright sunny warm morning puts one in a good ambitious frame on mine. First things first, check on line for my camera options, 1. send out for repairs ($140 plus parts) 2. replace lens/chamber ($80/$170 DYI time & tool, too long time.) 3. Buy used in very good condition. ($120/$280 2 wks hmmm.) 4. Buy new same replacement of camera that I pd. $420 now sell for $650 (ouch!.)

     Mom an I outside puttering around, extra hose out, waste line connection on, chairs out, bikes off and cleaned, when company arrives via golf cart. Cookies and coffee to discuss world events and things to do with John & Anita. By the time we got a handle on things it was time for a late lunch, off to Chapitia's for their Monday specials. Later in the evening Cards were planned, Euchre (First known use 1835.)

January Tuesday 9th 2018 San Benito TX - Fun N Sun RV   
  
  Tuesday morning dance at Lakewood RV, six squares dancing.  Looking back at 2005 Tom Roper was calling to over twenty squares at the same morning dance. I find it hard to understand why the generation of 50 year olds don't find the fun of square dancing, good friends, good clean fun, with good exercise.

     Dance ending at noon, we went over to Don Kucos (Mexican) for lunch with Nick & Dee and John & Anita. We always have a few chuckles over lunch with these guys. Back at the park Mom went over to the laundry so she could be back for the light dinner Fun N Sun is hosting to "Welcome Back Winter Texans". We got to the dance hall half hour early and had a time finding seats for the four of us. There had over 800 to serve and did it all in a half hour. They had a band playing and dancing was on the menu. We had our dancing for the day so it was a quiet evening back at the rig for us.    

January Wednesday 10th 2018 San Benito TX - Fun N Sun RV   
 
Happy Birthday Bill
     Genealogy session this morning, very knowledgeable an enthusiastic speaker who presented a ton of information and procedures to organize family information. This for me was totally confusing because of no knowledge of DNA. She did convince me of how significant this correlation of data is in tracing your roots.

     Lunch afterwards at Chick Fil A, then finally a stop at Mc Donalds on the way home for ICE CREAM! A great day Huh. Spend the rest of the day trying to understand what cM means/does in DNA data. (centiMorgan Values).

Here are a couple of web addresses for Family Tree enthusiasts. Genetic TGG & USA profile

January Thursday 11th 2018 San Benito TX - Fun N Sun RV   
   
 Morning square dancing was with just a few squares. Dancing ending at noon so a dozen of us headed over to Los Nortenos. We, in the past, would enjoy their Turkey Plate Special, which became very salty. Over the year someone said something hence the visit to see if things were right. The reality I could have used a little salt on my plate. Table talk went well and with nothing else on our menu we headed back to park for a relaxing evening. 

    Mom & Anita went over and did a little shopping, I did some small RV jobs and bathed the pooch. Cold front is to blow through this evening and change our 84 to 44 during the night with a high of 65 for Friday. Around 9:00 p.m. winds were hitting 40 mph. At bedtime they had calmed to 15 to 20 mph so sleeping will be OK.

January Friday 12th 2018 San Benito TX - Fun N Sun RV   
   
  Winds had died down by bedtime and it was quiet the rest of the night. Cool this morning but with sunshine and very little wind it warmed to over 60 before lunch. Went over to see Sharon this morning to sit in on some computer info sharing. Most of the two hours was spent on windows 10 menu icons. Nothing that I was really interested in but enjoyed be with computer savvy folks. While in class I check the shipping log for my replacement camera and found it had arrived here at 7 a.m. After the school bell rung I walked next door to our post office and picked up a package.

     Before I could check out my package the four of us headed over to Stefanos again. We were joined by Mom's instructor Pat & husband Glen of a project that she is undertaking, some crafty thing. Stefanos has a $5 lunch menu where I found stuffed mushrooms, I jumped on that and enjoyed them. Another good meal to markup for Stefanos. Our guest treated to a pizza fruit desert that we all enjoyed very very much.

     Back at the rig, I found a used camera like mind on line with a defect that reduced the price by 50%. The rotating button on the back that you use to change from one picture to another and also select different commands was not working properly (by not letting one select a menu item to change). My interest was to use the camera for parts, because everything else worked perfectly, I could still take pictures then when I get home swap out the lens chamber.

     When I opened the package I found what looked liked a brand new camera for $120. I ran the lens in and out took some picture then evaluated the rotating button problem. The problem made changing setting extremely difficult, even when viewing, going from one picture to the next was almost impossible.

     I borrowed John's micro Phillips drivers and took the camera apart. (You-Tube has a good video on disassembly). I loosened a couple of strap-cables and then reconnected them, then put it all back together. Next was to get in to the menu and trigger a new set-up. Lastly restart. Well well well, everything works perfectly I now have a almost brand new camera (pic) that works.  I'm Happy!   

     Bridge walk tomorrow morning, Port Isabel to South Padre. Temperatures near freezing in the morning, I assume we'll pass on the walk.

January Saturday 13th 2018 San Benito TX - Fun N Sun RV   
   
  Nice morning so I decided to crawl under the camper to identify a light squeak we heard every time we walked up our stairs. Mom stood and jiggle the step while I looked and listen and found the muffler was wiggling and making the squeak. I found a rusted hanger that wasn't hanging anything (pic). I'll have to fix this or maybe the muffler will come down.

     John stopped by looking to run up to Home Depot so I joined him for the short ride. He picked up a hose clamp for a house plumbing repair. I asked to stop at the Ford dealer to see if I could buy a hanger. After a long computer search at the service desk I was told the the muffler hangers are no longer used and marked obsolete, NAV. I guess I'll have to jury rig something to insure against further damage.    

     Pushing 2 p.m. Mom suggested lunch so we drove over to El Gallito's, nearby on bus 77. Enchiladas for me and Mom did the same. After we settled all the world problems we head to Walgreen's for a script then a stop for desert at McDonald, ice cream of course.

     Bindi walk and that's the day....

January Sunday 14th 2018 San Benito TX - Fun N Sun RV   
        
  Happy Birthday Mike
      Beautiful morning, we'll be lunching in Raymondville (about 30 miles N. of here) at the Casa Blanca Restaurant. Family business for over thirty years. We been there several times over the years but today, Sunday, they serve their well known Sunday Buffet. Lots to chose from only restriction is only two meats to chose from four available. They gave us a plastic baggie for our second piece to take it home. A ton of good salads and food for $12.

      We met  Dwaine & Bert along with Nick &Dee and his close friends from home. Talked an ate for a couple hours then we were on our way home.

     Sunday evening is ice cream at the Rec. Hall followed by free entertainment. You would be impressed, they serve ice cream to over 400 folks in about twenty minutes. Start serving ice cream by the row at 6:30 and at 6:50 we're waiting for the 7:00 entertainment.

     Tonight it's Helen Russell & Co. (her husband) she sings and does big time banjo and he's plays base guitar. We enjoyed the show as Helen honors several other singers i.e. Willie (pic), Cher (pic) Minnie Pearl (pic).  She is enthusiastic and full of go get'em making for a lot of entertainment. John & Anita stopped over after the show and talking about the performance Anita said this show was much better than the country band they paid to see the previous night.   

If you click her link above then click 'Live Video' and play "Rawhide" (4th down) you can sample her Banjo ability, WOW.

All Show Pictures

January Monday 15th 2018 San Benito TX - Fun N Sun RV   
      Mom was over to the Rec Hall doing her knitting thing, I gassed up the car and stopped at the ATM.  When Mom got back the four of us headed over to Harlingen to the Welcome back Winter Texans event, this is coupled with a car show.

     They had the street blocked off in front of the convention center for the show. Lots of people attending this event we browsed around for a couple hours. I had to go back to the car for may camera because a trending thing got my attention, Old cars have been reconditioned to look "old". Fenders have been painted with spots made to look like the painted has wore off. Cars left rusty and made to look rot rod-ie. Definitely not my thing but some of the paint jobs got my attention.  As I was taking pictures I'm hearing "Bob Bob Bob", I finally looked around and seen Dee and her company visiting the show (pic).

     We left the show to head out for a late lunch. Since we were in the Chapitas area we headed there to eat. We got a  table, placed our order, and just as we started to chow down, Nick & Dee and friends came in we invited them to join us.

     Back at our park we walked Bindi then decided to see if our bikes still worked. We put on a few miles in the park and it felt good to ride. We took Bindi over to John & Anita's with us and played some euchre for the rest of the evening,   

    Cold snap coming in over the next few days but 80 again for the weekend. Tomorrow morning's temperature is to be the high of the day at 55, then it's down hill to 30 for the next morning with some wet weather thrown in as well.
Car Show pictures.

January Tuesday 16th 2018 San Benito TX - Fun N Sun RV   
     Dancing at Lakewood this morning, only four squares may be due to the extreme weather, 50 when we awoke and by noon is was down to 35. After the dance 8 of went to Los Asados's for lunch, one quick stop at Home Depot for John and then home to make sure we are ready for a freeze.  We stopped the LP gas man and asked to to be filled and that was our day.. Thinking we'll doing about the same tomorrow with a slight rise in temperatures.

January Wednesday 17th 2018 San Benito TX - Fun N Sun RV   
     Dropped to a little below freezing last night. They shutdown I-2 this morning due to the light freezing rain, I had disconnected and drained the water hose last night, it turned out to be a good idea. This morning I went out and turned on the faucet, nothing came out. We just used the water in our tank so no inconvenience. This after noon it warmed to 42, I went out turned the faucet on, water flowed, reconnected and all is back to normal. This is supposed to be the worst of the weather a little warmer each day now till 80 this weekend. 

     We loafed all day. Mom made some pea soup and that was the most work all day. Made a run to Wal Mart's and Walgreen's then home for the night.

January Thursday 18th 2018 San Benito TX - Fun N Sun RV   
     Dance this cold morning then ten of us went to Los Nortenos for lunch. Nothing planned for this overcast day so Mom headed over to do laundry and I took Bindi for her longest walk so far and the was still under two miles, hmm. The 40s with a little wind made for a cold venture out.

January Friday 19th 2018 San Benito TX - Fun N Sun RV   
    Weather has again turn the corner for the better, still cloudy all day but the temps reached the 70s. Weekend looks like it will be perfect.

     Mom and Anita went bumming around while John and I tackle a floor problem. John just had a lot of remodeling done last year including new laminate flooring. Appears while they vacationed during the hot summer, upon there return, the new floor had buckled up and separated. Contractor was called back in and said "Huh, big bucks to repair". We took a close look today and after pulling the baseboard from the outer-starting wall it became apparent the contractor screwed-up. The new flooring was started tight against the outside wall and the direct opposite end was tight against the kitchen island, no room for expansions. We were able to pull the separations tight, but a good inch still has to be cut from the outer wall to prevent a reoccurrence.

    The ladies finally returned and we all headed to Las Vegas Cafe for an outstanding meal. As you know I'm an enchilada person, every Mexican restaurant makes a different plate, but today this dish was just the thing. Three cheese an onion enchiladas, covered with melted mixed Mexican cheese browned to perfection, complemented with a bowl of Charro-bean, and a nice shredded salad. Ahh yes!

     Yes it was so good that sometime during the night sleep I was quickly awaken by a strong reminder that the chips & salsa were extra spicy, Charro-bean bowl was more spicy then usual, and then that I covered all my enchiladas with a heavy layer of delicious spicy salsa..... 

     Yes I'll go back, it was that good, but I will have a better handle on all the spice to be sure!