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 10º.
December 24, Sunday 2017 - St Clair Shores,
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. .
29, Friday 2017 - St Clair Shores, MI to Shephardsville KY Grandma's RV 396 miles gas
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
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.
was 44º this night and 38º 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.
30th, 2017 - Shephardsville KY to Tupelo
MS Barnes Crossing RV fee $39GS 365 miles gas
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? 45º 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
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 24º till
10:00 a.m. Well when we got up at seven outside was 36º.
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
1st, 2018 - Natchez, MS to Bolivar
Peninsula TX - Bolivar RV fee $16PA 286 miles gas
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.)
Tuesday 2nd, 2018 - Bolivar Peninsula, TX to
Rock Port TX Ancient Oaks RV fee $29GS 205 miles
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
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
Wednesday 3rd, 2018 - Rock Port TX to San Benito
TX - Fun N Sun RV fee $569mo+E 168 miles gas
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
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.
Thursday 4th 2018 - San Benito TX - Fun N Sun
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
"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.
Friday 5th 2018 - San Benito TX - Fun N Sun
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
Saturday 6th 2018 - San Benito TX - Fun N Sun
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
Sunday 7th 2018 - San Benito TX - Fun N Sun
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
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.
Monday 8th 2018 - San Benito TX - Fun N Sun
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.)
Tuesday 9th 2018 - San Benito TX - Fun N Sun
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.
Wednesday 10th 2018 - San Benito TX - Fun N Sun
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
Thursday 11th 2018 - San Benito TX - Fun N Sun
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.
Friday 12th 2018 - San Benito TX - Fun N Sun
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
Bridge walk tomorrow
morning, Port Isabel to South Padre. Temperatures near freezing in
the morning, I assume we'll pass on the walk.
Saturday 13th 2018 - San Benito TX - Fun N Sun
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
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
Sunday 14th 2018 - San Benito TX - Fun N Sun
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
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
If you click her link above then click 'Live Video'
and play "Rawhide" (4th down) you can sample her Banjo
All Show Pictures
Monday 15th 2018 - San Benito TX - Fun N Sun
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
Car Show pictures.
Tuesday 16th 2018 - San Benito TX - Fun N Sun
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.
Wednesday 17th 2018 - San Benito TX - Fun N Sun
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.
Thursday 18th 2018 - San Benito TX - Fun N Sun
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
40°s with a little wind made for a cold venture out.
Friday 19th 2018 - San Benito TX - Fun N Sun
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 ¼ 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