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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Plimoth Plantation

So we drove to Plymouth and found a quaint recreation of an actual village in the 1700s called Plimoth Plantation. It was fascinating. There was a recreation of an Indian village and the people portraying the Indians were actual Indians from that tribe. They answered questions and spoke in modern times. They are teaching their children their Indian language and hope to have a school running by 2015. Fascinating people and fascinating stories of their culture.

The second part of the village was the settlers cabins and other buildings. The speakers spoke as if it was a day in 1740. They would answer questions but only based on the knowledge they had at that time in history.

 We also were able to tour the Mayflower II, a ship that was made from the actual blueprints for the first Mayflower. It was made in England and sailed over to the United States. It is still able to go to sea and does for special occasions. The crew on board are also dressed and respond from a date in the 1700s. John talked to one guy who was portraying a fisherman. When the young man asked John what he likes to catch, John said trout and the young man did not know what trout was. Another one spoke of the animals they had in the village and spoke of a new animal they had heard about and hoped they could domesticate....a moose. Very interesting and learned a lot.  John and Penny

Plymouth ROCK

We visited Plymouth and saw the actual ROCK!! You know, Plymouth ROCK!! Only it turns out they decided that was the actual ROCK about 120 years after the Pilgrims guy said, yeah, I think they got off the boat over there, by those rocks, maybe that rock, yeah, it was that they moved the bottom part to another location....then like 80 years later they moved the top part.....and then more years later they put the two together to be the big ROCK and then years later they put up this shelter and ta-da... here is a picture of the actual, most likely, almost guaranteed, PLYMOUTH ROCK!!!! John and Penny

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Cave of the Winds

We noticed the red walkway from the Maid of the Mist boat. What was it we wondered? Here is a photo of what we saw from our boat. Looks interesting.....

Then we got a chance to visit the Cave of the Winds. First we took an elevator ride to the walkway and then we hiked up the steps. The whole while we were getting hit by spray from the falls. We don't have any photos from the top as we were getting hit by water so hard and fast that we were afraid it would ruin the camera or lose it in the spray. What a view. What an experience. It felt like we were walking into the water fall. Did I mention incredible???? John and Penny

Niagara Falls

We have been blown away by Niagara Falls. It is breath taking...there are no words to describe it....this is from the U.S. side looking at both water falls and the city to the right is in Canada. The noise is very loud.

You can barely see a boat at the bottom of the Horseshoe Falls......we took a boat ride and sat in this spot for several minutes. 

 Here is our photo from the boat as we stayed there for several minutes. The noise, the water spray, the cold was all so very powerful and a wonderful experience. We highly recommend it. John and Penny

A General

While we were in Niagara Falls John attempted to take control over a squad of fighters. Here he is giving them commands....I was not allowed to record those commands.....but he was a general I think......

Doesn't he look tough? He is giving orders....and here are his soldiers.....

After a quick snack of chips, they all flew off to do as John requested.....

Cheers From Boston

Cheers from Boston!!! We took a tour of Boston on a tour trolley. Wow!!! What an adventure. We bought a two-day pass and will go out again tomorrow. Our tour also included a boat ride around the HA-Bur......We were able to board and tour the U.S.S. Constitution. And we had lunch here......recognize it???
Actually we had lunch at the recreated Cheers in Boston...this is the original site that Cheers was based on.

Cool building in downtown can't remember what building it is....but cool....

So tonight we are exhausted from all the fun we have had. John and Penny

Thursday, September 27, 2012

New York----Day Two

We stopped at the first rest stop in Pennsylvania early this morning and saw a gaggle of highway patrol cars. Ok, there were six or maybe eight. They were all parked in the truck/bus area, several on their phones, looking down the entrance ramp. We finally figured out that one of the Presidential candidates must be headed our way and going to get their new state we left quickly.

Poor John. This morning he went to get coffee for the two of us to find that there was no coffee made. He stopped at the desk and the clerk was on the phone. Now, there is no confirmation whom he was talking to but John insists he was talking to his mother in India. Finally the clerk said, in English, "may I help you?" John said, yeah, there's no coffee made. The clerk smiled and said, "oh, I forgot. Would you make it?" So John was quickly trained on making coffee. (Open the drawer to the left, pull out a coffee packet, put the packet in the tray, and push the button-----now you are trained.) so John made the coffee. Since he was bringing two cups back to me he interrupted the clerk again to ask for lids. "Oh, we only have lids for the big cups." So John returned to find big cups. No such luck. He returned to the clerk and interrupted his phone call again. "Where are the big cups?" The clerk responded "oh we are out of the big cups." John filled the small cups and brought two to me and two for himself. As he left he told the clerk to say hi to his mother. Geez.

So now we are in our hotel just a mile from Niagara Falls. We are heading out soon to do some sightseeing. We are planning the boat trip to the falls tomorrow. We got things unloaded from the car and John went back to the car for a few more items. There is no elevator and we are on the second floor. While he was gone, I cranked up the air to cool the room. Well, it is efficient. By the time he returned I even thought it was cold in here. As he came in the room I said "watch out, you might freeze off your b***s". The funny thing was he thought I said he would freeze his buffaloes. Really? Like I have said that never. What does that mean? We laughed. The room is really nice but the bed it too high. John had to pull me up on the bed as I was having trouble climbing up on it.

Off to the falls. John and Penny


We drove almost five hundred miles yesterday making our way through Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. We spent the night in Amherst, Ohio. We had a great supper at Sal's and Al's Diner. Great food, interesting atmosphere, and nice place. They seemed to specialize in Syrian food.

Nothing interesting to report from our travels through Illinois and Indiana. However a couple things to note in Ohio. My favorite is the road sign on the Ohio Turnpike. Emergency Parking Only on the shoulder. Ok. Makes sense because everyone is going at least 75. But under that sign was another......2 Hour Limit. Um. What if your emergency takes longer than two hours? Do you push your car to another spot? Interesting.

As we headed East we saw a caravan going West. There were probably eight highway patrol cars with their blue lights flashing, surrounding at least four big buses. On the side of one of the buses was "Romney" signs. It was pretty impressive. Now, question, did they have to stop and pay at the toll booth like we did? Just curious.

This morning we head to Niagara Falls. John and Penny

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Go East Old One

Wednesday, September 26. We are getting ready to leave on a fantastic trip East. Some of our stops will include Niagara Falls, Boston, New York City, Gettysburg, and Washington DC. Sounds like fun!

Yesterday, while shopping for new tennis shoes for Penny, we accidentally walked into the middle of a store meeting being held close to the shoe department. The manager decided to have fun and said "here is our guest speaker." Of course John moved up front and started talking to the group. The manager had no idea who he had encouraged to speak. It was pretty funny. When we made our purchase we said we hoped that helped their fourth quarter sales.....which the manager had mentioned.

Well, the paper is stopped, the mail is being held, and the car is packed. A quick breakfast and we are ready....after John finishes all his gyrations.

Penny and John

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Kinder, LA

We are now parked at the RV resort at Kinder, Louisiana. We have shuttle service to the casino but just relaxing right now. The drive around Houston took over an hour and included a very very high bridge. Penny was driving and had to hold back her screams!

We are getting much faster and more organized in setting up and tearing down the RV. No issues to report.

We stopped at a grocery store and some Girl Scouts were selling cookies. We bought a box of berry flavored. We found out they are only available in this area. We will let you know how they taste.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Shiloh RV Park

There were over 300 sites at the first park before Houston that we stopped at. Um. Full. A pipeline is being laid and no one is leaving. So now we are down the road at Shiloh RV Park. I think we are in Richmond, Texas.

We got the rvset up and everything is working fine. We are semipros.

Thanks to an unnamed truck we now have a cracked windshield. Not nice. It looks like a new windshield for us. Oh boy.

We did really well, we are parked for the night and very tired. It was hard to say good bye to all our friends. But we will be back.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Swan Drive Block Party

Yesterday was the block party for our street. It was held at the opposite end from us.....down where several Canadians live. It started off with happy hour, of course! There was great food and conversation. After eating we sat around visiting, listening to music, and watching people consume a huge container of margaritas. Mardi's and Bill's golden retrievers, Jake and Sam, got loose so we had some excitement when several people jumped on their golf carts and went racing after them. The dogs ran back to their own yard so it ended well. Then our very own DJ played "who let the dogs out". Great fun and laughs. We danced and sang along and had great fun. John knows a lot of songs! The Canadians told us we need to park closer to them next year but they party all the time. We just party sometimes.

We are leaving a day earlier than originally planned. We are pulling out around ten Friday morning. Our first night on the road will be south of Houston. We are sad to leave but excited to get back home to our families. Oh, the stories we have to tell!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Circus People

We learned today that several circus people live close by. We are at the end of a dead end road that goes past some interesting houses. There are no zoning laws so a nice new house might be next to a trailer. One house looks pretty good but we noticed an RV and several trucks parked there a few days ago. They set up a trampoline and high wire in the back yard to practice. We haven't seen them yet but hope we do.

There are two very nice and new homes on this road and neither one has any windows. They are boarded up. When we asked about them we found out they have been that way for several years. If your house is still under construction then you do not pay any taxes! We will let you know when they finally add windows.....if they ever do.

Another piece of propery had an old and dented trailer moved on to it recently. We were unsure it was livable but we have heard that the truly poor people around here live in some awful places. We watched for several days as a porch was added by a couple of noncarpenters. Then it was finally a functioning home when the satellite dish was added!

An interesting street!

Winding Down

We are even more busy now that it is close to the end of our adventure in the land of RV retirement. We played both dominoes and hand and foot yesterday. We found out about the Monday After Dominoes Steak Supper yesterday. It turns out that if you get to Golden Corral before 4:00, you get in for the lunch price. Then at 4:00 they bring out the steaks!! So, for less than $15 a couple you can have a steak dinner. LOL. So we joined in and had a great time. We sat by our friends Vicki and Don and we rode with our friends Millie and Lou. Wonderful time and great conversations. And we ate cheap!!! It is amazing how cheaply we are living down here. Of course we are mostly eating in our RV and cooking our own meals. It is like camping all the time.

Several RVs were washed yesterday so that was amusing to watch. A van full of Mexicans shows up with their hoses and cloths and they jump out and get busy. There were two on top and two on the sides and one washing the wheels and one working on windows. They scrub and clean and then spray a layer of wax. It was amazing and amusing to watch. And then we realized that our RV is very dirty. It sat in a farm driveway for five months before we took it out and then we drove in rain and splattered mud so it is pretty bad. So John got their business card, called and now we will be getting a good scrubbing on Thursday. The street will be lined with people in their folding chairs watching the amazing van full of Mexicans at work.

I was surprised at first how no one talked about their children or grandchildren. Well, I am happy to report that now we are all talking about our children and grandchildren and how much we miss them. I guess we try not to think about that when we know we are weeks away from going home.  Now the first thing anyone says is "when are you leaving" and "how long will it take it to get home" and "aren't you looking forward to seeing your grandkids?"

Sunday afternoon we went to a jam session with a variety of musicians. Leroy played the "gut bucket" which I had never heard of or seen before. Sorry I didn't take my camera. Each of the players took a turn picking a song and then the rest followed along. It was great entertainment. But the Canadian singing Elvis? Um. Like I said, it was great entertainment.

Tomorrow we turn in our rental car so today we need to buy whatever we need from the grocery store and anything else we might need. We can always park the RV in a big parking lot but it will be easier to get prepared today and not have to stop anywhere. And we have so many friends who would be glad to take us to the store or wherever we might need to go. This afternoon at 5:00 we have a street party and potluck. The tables will be set up at the other end of the street by the Canadians. Man, those people know how to party!! As always, Happy Hour starts at 4:00.

Thursday, March 8, 2012


Don West Flea Market
At the Don West flea market yesterday, we stopped for a quick bite to eat. A lady asked if they could share our table which was not a problem for us. Turns out she, her mother and her sister (all three joined us) are from Canada. Of course. It seems half the winter texans are from Canada. John commented that if a war broke out, they would have us outnumbered. They are staying in an RV park in Brownsville that is close to the Rio Grande and the Gulf. It sounds pretty nice. She told us about a weekly dance at an RV park here in Harlingen that we did not know about. They were very nice people and we all enjoyed each other's company. We are always open to meeting new people and making friends.

Call Us

On our trip to Brownsville zoo we saw several billboards that said if you have a crash call us. When we finally saw their place of business we might have jumped to a conclusion but it appears to us that they are ambulance chasers. On the side of their building it says "Call 1-800-CAR-CRASH". Really?

Martha Stewart

As mentioned before, our next door neighbor is Martha Stewart. No, not that one. They come down in November and leave in April. They have a huge fifth wheel and they are from......Dallas. Um. Ok. Well this is the second time I have met her. She does not play any of the games and she does not visit with anyone and they stay to themselves. So, I suspect I will meet her again. I think she forgets me. Oh well.

New Chair

I bought a new chair at the flea market the first time we went there. It was chilly and I was wearing my Iowa jacket. Turns out the lady selling them is from Iowa, Grew up in Cedar Rapids, and graduated high school the same year as me. But from Jefferson. Even after all these years our loyalties were with our schools. But she and her husband seemed very nice. This flea market is put on by winter texans for the benefit of winter texans with some of the vendors living there in their RVs. It is like another world. My sister Pam could probably do well selling her beads.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Brownsville Zoo

John and I both love going to zoos. We found out that we are less than an hour from the zoo in Brownsville, Texas, so we took off to see it yesterday. Wow! I highly recommend it. We have planned to go again next year and make it a yearly visit. They have a gorilla habitat that is world famous and they are working to increase their population. Here is a photo of one of the more bold gorillas.

They have several different kinds of monkeys which we enjoyed watching. This is a spider monkey with her baby hanging on while she was eating. They were on an island which had walkways around it so we could see them interact. All the different monkeys were on islands and the gorillas had a huge enclosure.

This is a white tiger. They have viewing areas that are behind glass so it seems like you can get pretty close to the animals. We were in awe when this guy decided to walk close to us.

Palo Alto

Yesterday we visited the site of the beginning of the war between Mexico and the United States. As we learned the history, we were amazed that we knew little of this battle and how the US obtained so much land from Mexico. Fascinating information. To summarize, the US won because of better artillery and fighting skills. Here are examples of both cannon power. This is what the US cannons looked like. They were more accurate and went further so the troops could be farther away and still hit their targets.

This is an example of the Mexican cannons. It shot smaller cannon balls, was inaccurate, and it had to be close to the target for any hope of hitting anything.

Interesting visit and lots of information to learn. It was the first time I had been to a historic site that had all the information in both English and Spanish.

There were warning signs about snakes as we walked the path to an overlook to see where the battle took place. I have seen warning signs before but I have never seen a sign like this!!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

New Friends

Monday night we learned how to play dominoes. It was fun and we met another couple. They are from Iowa! Susie, the wife, just finished carving a horse that took her twenty years to complete. It would easily be at home on a carousel. Incredible talent.

Late yesterday afternoon we went out for supper with Dale and Lynn. We originally met them in Madison, Wisconsin and they suggested we come here for the winter. They will be friends for a long time. Now we know why old people eat so early. It is because we have so many plans in the evening we have to eat early!

Last night we played Hand and Foot card game with Leroy, Judy, Rick, and Arnold. Leroy mentioned that Judy and Rick celebrated their fifty years together. Then we were totally shocked when Judy said Leroy and his wife were married over fifty years. I thought he was maybe fifty years old, but it turned out he is 73!!! I think it must be the water that makes everyone seem younger. Or maybe it is being retired. Or maybe it is the Texas air. Whatever it is, sign us up.

I guess we did okay last night as Leroy, his wife, Judy and Rick want to play with us again Friday night. We are unsure where Arnold is from but he was speaking with a thick accent. When he spoke with his wife we thought it might be German but just not sure. Her English was difficult to understand. She played at a different table.

So, we are enjoying new friendships. Today we are driving to Brownsville to visit the last Civil War site and a zoo. Should be a fun and busy day.

Monday, March 5, 2012

It Is Happening

Some people are starting to leave and returning back to their "real" lives. We are sworn to secrecy regarding what happened here....except for our blog of course. Now one of the first things asked is "when are you leaving?" We are heading home Saturday, March 17th. We will miss the big St. Patrick's Dance and the Adios Amigos Dinner and Dance. We plan it take about six days to get home...a slow progress. The fist night will be just south of Houston at an RV park. The second night will be Kinder, Louisiana, which just happens to have a casino. Then most easterly/northernly....based on weather conditions. But for now, as we walk around the park, we are starting to see empty spots where friends used to be.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Horse Race

Okay. I am not sure how to describe this latest event without everyone drinking.....I mean, the wine and beer were free so there was probably more laughing than some of this deserved...but gosh, it was funny. So, imagine taking several older people dressed up as horses or jockeys or donkeys.....and having a grid pattern on the floor with squares marked off for each horse. One die is rolled to see which horse advances and the second die is the number of squares the horse advances. And betting. Did I mention we all bet on the horse we want to win? Or our lucky number. But the outfits had to be seen to is one guy.......he is 6 foot 12 inches....LOL....yup, 7 foot tall (his wife is 4'10") and this is how he was dressed. Um....

We are unsure what he is supposed to be. The object he is holding in his hands is a child's hobby horse. His.....breasts.....were supposed to be in his shirt but kept falling out. When the bee (in the background) was racing against him, the bee .... well....nursed....Again, did I mention drinking was involved. The bee always had a beer in his hand and usually one at the finish line for his reward.

This is another of the horses after she.....well, dumped a load on the floor. Cleanup in aisle one....

So, a good time was had by all....but it was much funnier when drinking....

Bobs House of Crap

As we were driving toward South Padre Island, we saw the most interesting and gawdy collection of stuff....crap....statues.....we were not sure what we saw. So on the way back home, we had to stop. Here is the entrance to this place.

And what house of crap would be complete without it's very own dinosaur???

This is a volcano that is close to the entrance. You can't see it in this photo but there is a huge gorilla statue behind the volcano.

Inside we saw the biggest collection of stuff we have ever seen. I think every inch of the ceiling was covered with every imaginable wind chime ever invented. A lot of things for sale had sea shells, of course, but there were objects with sharks teeth and a variety of other things. Incredible conglomeration of stuff....crap.....very very strange. But we had a ball looking around and seeing what they had for sale. We probably need more photos to do it justice...just not sure I can go in there again...LOL.

Light House

A very old light house in Port Isabella just before crossing the bridge to go to South Padre Island. I forget how old it is but we love old light houses.

Flea Market Supreme, Weather, and Dinner with New Friends

Yesterday (Saturday) we went to a huge flea market that is put on by Winter Texans, attended by Winter Texans, and enjoyed by Winter Texans!! It was huge, big, really gigantic..... We bought tie downs for our outside carpet and for our canopy/awning. The wind here is so bad that we have not been able to have our canopy open for very long as it flaps around so much. After looking at what others have and asking questions, we were finally able to find the parts we needed to tie ours down. Later this morning we will put it all together and see how it works out. We have a few hours a day when the sun beats down pretty hard and now we should be able to sit outside without being in direct sunlight. We'll see how it works out.

It was pretty chilly last night. The temperature this morning was 46 degrees. YIKES!! And Friday it reached a high of 91. So the weather is amusing to say the least. Luckily we brought a variety of clothes and also we have a good furnace and air conditioner so we just go along with whatever happens. I mean, gosh, it is TEXAS!!!

Friday night we went out for dinner with a couple we have talked to several times. They took us to what has to be the absolute best Mexican restaurant in the world. The food was very good, the portion sizes were great, and the atmosphere was exciting. We enjoyed ourselves and got to know them a little better. Um. Enough on that subject. LOL.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Random Thoughts

When we returned yesterday from the laundromat (gosh I miss my washer and dryer) we had a nice big Airstream trailer on the lot behind us. After asking about it, we found out it is the travel trailer for "C" and "J" from Wisconsin. They bought one of the permanent trailers down here and travel down in their trailer. We know of at least four others who do the same thing.

Staying down here is one step closer to being a summer camp experience. Yesterday Penny went to a craft demonstration. Then she made her own. She learned how to add rhinestones to a shirt. Yes, it was craft hour.

The pool is starting to get busier everyday. We haven't gotten in to it yet but partly because we are so busy all the time. Lol.

The Mosquitos or gnats in the evening are bothering Penny. It almost seems like an allergic reaction after they bite. Thank goodness for Benadryl. But we have heard they don't bother most people. Wow. How lucky can one girl be?

John bought a small gas grill and put it together yesterday. It is a tabletop version and now he can help cook. Anyone want to buy a big Weber charcoal grill used only one season? It is boxed up and some assembly is required. No batteries are needed.

We are going to try again tomorrow to get to a local flea market. We didn't go last Saturday because of rain. We want to buy anchors for our canopy so we can have it open all the time. The wind blows all the time.

We are going to try a different church this Sunday. Last week Father Pedro spoke for over thirty minutes. English is his second language and we only caught a few words here and there. The next church has a priest from Mexico and one from Canada whom winters here every year. I must say there are a lot of Canadians. We have heard of one park where the Canadians run things. They have special hours that only Canadians can be in the pool. Yikes.

This experience has been amazing. It is like a fantasy land. Being retired is wonderful but being here is like being at camp with a bunch of friends. We have an activity schedule for every day and can be as busy as we want. Or not at Martha Stewart. Lol

Will write more our flakey Internet connection allows.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Bean Bag Toss

Yesterday was our first warm and sunny day for a few days and we enjoyed it. One of our roads was blocked off so we could have a bean bag toss contest. Names were drawn for partners and a short meeting was held for a reading of the rules. It was a blast. Penny played before John and her first throw was right in the hole for three points! Her team won the first game. Her partner was Gord from Canada. John was partnered with Millie who lives close to us. They won their first game. There had to be around eighty people playing and it was so much fun. In the second round, John and Penny played against each other with John's team the victor. They lost their next match but did pretty good. This went on from noon until after five. Of course drinking was involved. And then we followed it up with a potluck. We sat by a couple that we had not met yet. Again, lovely people. I never would have guessed she is 82 and he is 84. I think the water down here keeps everyone looking younger. We are two of the younger people in the park. There are some permanent units for sale and maybe in a few years we might buy one of them but right now we are content to drive down here in our RV.

Today we are going to Mexico with two friends. We are going to a pretty safe town over the border. One of our friends is making a drug run. She buys a lot of over-the-counter meds for herself and friends back home. Not sure we can find anything we need but will check it out.

That's all the news from here. The next big party is the horse race followed by Aussie Night which is a trivia game. We are having a hard time just relaxing because of all the events. Lol. But it is Texas. The temperature is going to be upper 80's and sunshine. And we are getting nice tans. We are in Texas. Having a ball. Who would have guessed this......

Friday, February 24, 2012

Family Visits

Over the past two evenings we were able to Skype and FaceTime with all of our children. We appreciate everyone being able to make the time to get together with us so we could see all your smiling faces. One of the worries Penny had as far as coming down to Texas for the winter was leaving children and grandchildren. It is being able to visit like we did that makes it okay. I hope everyone takes from this that it is okay to have adventures at whatever age....if you get a wild idea (and it doesn't hurt anyone or involve too many calories) then go for it. The memories you create and the inspiration for others is worth it.

Dolphin Watch

We went out on a boat yesterday for a dolphin watch cruise. They did not disappoint. We saw several dolphins and for a short time a group were running in front of our boat. They were hard to catch on the camera but we did get a couple of good ones. This morning we leave South Padre Island and head back to our RV in Harlingen. This was a nice getaway.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

South San Padre Island Getaway

I know.....why do we need a getaway when we are retired and in Texas for the winter? Well, it just seemed like a good idea...and it is!!! We came here Wednesday and will return to our camper Friday in time for a concert with Renee....we have been told she plays the fiddle like no one else....and uses striking positions and objects. Um. Okay. Worth $4.00 to see that.

So, we are on South San Padre Island for two nights in the La Copa Hotel. It turns out some of our gang (lovingly referred to as our gang...Winter Texans...people with gray hair who eat supper at 5:00) stay in hotels on the Island rather than rough it in an RV. The cost is about four times more than we are these are our better-than-well-off gang members. We have a room with a small sitting area that is next to the pool. On the other side of the pool is the Gulf of Mexico. Need I say more? It is incredible.

Here is a shot of the beach. It was a little overcast but still nice.

 This is a shot of another beach that we were able to actually drive on. We were surprised that there were RVs boondocking on this beach. At first we were surprised and then we started to think it would be a blast to park for just a night or two. One guy really impressed us. He had solar panels on the top of his unit and then he had a windmill to generate electricity!!! That was my idea!!!
 Okay. John wants this photo included. I had a ball walking into the water and watching the tide bring the water and sea shells to my feet. Sometimes I feel like that naive girl from Iowa....incredible experience and I am always delighted and in awe.
This afternoon we are going out for a two-hour boat cruise to a dolphin watch. Should be a blast. ----Penny

Home Sweet RV

Here is our wonderful RV, hopefully not stuck in mud, and the palm trees around our site. The red car is the one we rented. Most of the time the wind is too strong to have our canopy out. We left it open one night and a thunderstorm hit. So, at 2:00 am, we were outside trying to remember how to close it up again. The next morning more than one person stopped by wanting to know what all the noise was about during the night. LOL.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Interesting People

Well. After a week we are starting to hear the scoop on some of the residents. Of course we can't share our blog with them in case they recognize themselves. All names will be changed to

We will call them "c" and "h". They are both on their second marriage and he is loaded and she has no money. They both snore and have trouble sleeping together at night. She gives up and goes to the couch or stays on her computer all night. Neighbors will hear her running the vacuum at 4:00 am trying to disturb his sleep. They have loud arguments and doors are slammed. Then every afternoon she gets to the bed....alone. To make sure he doesn't disturb her, she locks him out of the trailer. That is why he is wandering the streets and talking to everyone. That is until you spend time with him and start to suddenly remember you have to be somewhere else.

Then there is "j". We are in a mobile home and RV park. Some of the RV-ers have stopped dragging their RV back and forth and have opted for a mobile home. There is one for sale so we asked what it was selling for. Ok. Too expensive. But then we heard her story. She is a woman of.....let's say easy virtue. She flirts with all the guys and they keep their distance. The women, of course, hate her. Well she is selling her mobile home for too much to pay her daughters legal fees after the daughter, a teacher, had.....let's say an intimate relationship with one of her students. Luckily the young man was eighteen but it is still wrong. And evidentially expensive.

Oh and let's talk about "v" and "b". Another second marriage. Good news is she quit smoking for him. I guess. So he has a big RV parked down here all the time. A permanent spot with a porch and all. And then they bring another fifth wheel RV when they come down and he rents it out. One time a 92-year old woman rented it for two weeks and she asked him to help her put down the awning. He refused and told her to do it herself. So for two weeks she sat in the Texas sun. Nice guy.

That's all to report so far. Busy day today and the first annual Polish dinner tonight....preceded of course with happy hour. Penny

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Ours is Smaller Than Yours

We figured with an RV that is only thirty feet long we would have the smallest unit. Not so. There are some very small trailers here. There are a lot of fifth wheel units. One couple has a very nice fifth wheel and they are down here for five months. He is in construction and she is a Visiting Nurse so she works a couple days a week. The rest of the year they live in their other fifth wheel which is parked in connecticut. Another couple brought a fifth wheel down here and then bought a mobile home so now they have two places. They will be taking their fifth wheel back to Canada and stay in the mobile home from now on.

We met Millie and Lou last night. We know everyone by their dogs. They have Pixie. A little dog that barks a lot but she loves visitors. We hear Millie saying "no bark" to Pixie but it slows her down for just a second. She is a cute dog. And I have talked to Millie before. A very sweet lady.

A group set out this morning for a 100-mile bike ride.....although we have heard only one guy is doing the entire run. Not sure how many miles the others will do. Glad I am not with them. It keeps raining. Yuck.

We have fifteen couples on a cruise and they will be returning next week. More people to meet. Next year the cruise is to the Panama Canal. Tempting.

Time for breakfast. I enjoy relaxing but John is itching to go to a movie or somewhere. We'll see. Penny

Winter Texans

We have a Swans truck that goes through the campground. If we need propane there are two different companies who drive through here and deliver right to our door. There is a group of Mexicans who travel in a van and will come to your site to wash your RV. FedEx delivers out here as does UPS. We have addresses (ours is 32 Swan Lake) and there is usually someone who starts yelling "mail is here" which causes a flurry of activity. When we go to stores we can find RV or camping related items. The news of a good restaurant spreads through the campground in a flash. This town survives partly because of our temporary stay so they go all out for us.

Last night was the wine and cheese event. They furnished the wine and everyone brought a snack. Herb and his wife Connie joined us. It was the first time we met her and she was interesting. Then Gord and his wife, Barb, joined us. We spent time with them at the Valentine Party and really enjoy their company. They are also from Ontario. Actually it is a town close to Ontario and there are about fifteen or twenty couples from the same town. They said the only one left is Dave and he'll turn out the lights when he leaves next week. Gord was a hospital administrator and Barb was a nurse. Really nice people and we enjoy their company.

Yesterday morning I went to the Quilt Club meeting. About ten women were there and basically showed what they were making. There is a quilt show next Friday in another town so we are trying to figure out car pooling. My sense of direction suks so I have to hitch a ride. We met in the Rec Hall in one corner while the guys were playing pool at the other end. Of course no women can play pool. Lol.

It is impossible to get online at night. They advertise free wifi but they don't promise you can actually use it. So we don't count on it. It seems the residents take care of this place. Yesterday we saw one guy varnishing tables. Another guy drives a golf cart through every morning picking up any brush or palm tree froms that have fallen. For some people retirement doesnt stop them from staying busy.

We went to an authentic Mexican restaurant yesterday for lunch. The menu is so different from our area. They have more cheese and less meat. The chips and salsa on the table were unique. The salsa was thinner but very tasty.

We are located on a dead end road. At the end of our road is an ayorra. We have heard of a restaurant that looks out over the ayorra where you can eat and watch the patrol boats go back and forth. And you can watch the small rafts get launched from the other side. We are aware of how dangerous it is to travel to Mexico. There is one town over the border which has been deemed safe. We are unsure if we will go there. There was a recent bus excursion that went and when they tried to come back they were routed to a different bridge. A gun battle was taking place on the other one. Yikes!

So, another day starts and who knows what adventures await us. I just know drinking will be involved. Penny

Thursday, February 16, 2012

We did a little exploring yesterday in our cute red rental car. We ate lunch at Jason's Deli which seemed a lot like Paneras. Very good food.

Last night we played the card game Hand and Foot. Everyone draws a card to see where you will be sitting. There were forty people there, men and women. I had not met anyone at my table before. I met Helen and Helene and Rose and Sharon. I have already forgotten the other lady's name. Sharon is from Nebraska and is married to Oscar who has the three-legged dog. She lost her leg in a farming accident just before they got her. They rescued her and she is a gentle and friendly dog.

Not sure what we will do today. It is raining and supposed to continue for three days. It is a light rain so far. Tomorrow is the Quilters Club meeting which I am going to attend. I will probably set up my sewing machine and maybe work on the purse I am making. Penny

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wild Animals

A shot rang out lat night after we returned from the dance. A neighbor had stopped by and said "hope he got one." then he explained that we have a coyote and a bobcat that prowl this area. But we have a neighbor with a gun who is trying to get them. Um. Is that reassuring?

Found out last night that our next door neighbor, Martha, has the last name Stewart. Yes, folks, we are next door to Martha Stewart.

We are starting to learn the names of all the dogs that are walked by every morning. We pet them and talk to the owners. Our friends said they just got a dog last June because everyone else had one. We hope to not fall into that trap. We don't want a dog. Really.

Found out a group of residents go to an elementary school on Thursdays and read to the kids. We think we want to join in.

Oh oh. Cally got loose. She's over playing with butch's dog. Lol. I haver known so many dogs. And here comes Oscar with his three-legged dog. Amazing how well he gets around. The dog. Oscar does just fine on his two legs.

Off to the shower to start the day. Everyone enjoy work. Sorry for the four letter word so early. Penny

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentines Day Party

Bill and Tom. The most popular name this year is Tom. The last six years it has been Bill. This year we have seven Bills and eight Toms. No word on how many Johns.

Tonight we met more Canadians. We sat at a table with a couple from Ontario and a couple from Georgia. The Canadians love to wear their cowboy hats. And can they dance! Wow. We danced five slow dances so I am sure John will be sore tomorrow. One fast dance I held his hand while he sat in a chair and I danced around him. What a hoot.

I met Jonick and his wife Christine. They have been married 57 years and are great dancers. They live in Ontario but are originally from Poland. Interesting people.

I drank several different kinds of wine and had a really great time....but for awhile my lips were numb.

There was a Mexican couple who live across the street. They have so many friends over here that they are invited to everything. I complimented them on their dancing and they gave us a ride home on their golf cart. Very nice people.

Guess that's all to report tonight. We have found a party place and will have even more fun as time goes on. We rented a car today. A sexy red Ford Focus. Tomorrow we will explore the area. .... Penny

Paper Products and Mexico

As everyone knows we started out January 17th but had to return home as John hurt his knee. Because of that we packed once, then unpacked and then packed again. In between I forgot what I had packed. So, I am discovering that I have at least eight rolls of paper towels, over six hundred napkins, and easily two hundred paper plates. If we could get local businesses to use paper as a form of money, we would be rich.

we are reminded that we are close to Mexico. Our Internet is flakey. For some reason the iPad gets and stays connected most of the time but not all the time. The owner of this park is a lawyer from Mexico and so most of the residents take care of any issues that arise. He is seldom here and we have not met him yet. So when I mentioned the Internet issues I was told...we are close to Mexico and it works sometimes. Um. Ok.

Well after lunch and it is quiet hour here for nap time. John is waiting for a car to pick up to go rent a car. Think I'll nap. Penny


We are wearing shorts and the sun is shining! Happy Valentines Day!

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Having a car delivered this morning. Gotta go hang with my gang.....the old geezer gang....Penny


On our second morning walk we met a man who was voicing a trumpet noise outside a trailer window. He stopped and said good morning. He explained that he was waking up the old man who lives there. He said he is 80 years OLD man. And the guy singing said he was sixteen months from eighty. I guess he is young?

We met Kenneth today. He is our next door neighbor and he and his wife, Martha, are from Dallas. They don't socialize but he wanders around and chats a little. Now John, Dale, and Kenneth are trying to solve the oil crisis. Wish them well.

We heard about an RV park close by that has over one thousand spots. This one is about 150 we estimate. In this other campground you have to wear a name tag and no alcohol can be consumed in the road. Here it is allowed and encouraged. Four is Happy Hour and everyone walks with drinks. Thursday night they are blocking off our road for a street potluck. Drinking seems to be one of the social obligations. Lol. So I am glad I grabbed two bottles of wine. We have a cooler with beer and John has his scotch. We will fit in.

A lady in a purple shirt just drove by and John yelled "good morning Mary" . She stopped and said she was Anna. Yesterday we met Mary who was wearing a purple shirt. Lol. But Anna seemed ok.

Well off to shower. Hard to stay on track with so many people stopping by. Penny

Canadians, dogs, fish, oh my

So we have lots of Canadians here. And the French Canadians are not as friendly so we have been told. The ones we have met and talked to have been delightful. Because of one Canadian, our RV park is having its first polish dinner. Yes we have tickets for that too. But the excitement today is for the Valentines Day Dinner Dance tonight. We are not sure John can dance but the beer will be flowing and he can drink. All events end at ten at night. I guess they figure we can't stay up past ten.

We met a Canadian yesterday whom now lives in Nashville. She assured us she is a citizen now. Her first husband traveled around the world and in Nashville he decided to continue without her so she stayed. She has a good sense of humor and loves her adopted country.

Herb just stopped by. We have to keep asking names as there are too many to remember. Herb said he thought his name was Hurry Up when he was younger. Hurry Up Herb. Trying to memorize names.

Mosquitoes have now come out. Oh boy. We have a pond close to where we are parked and it is filled with turtles, catfish, talopia, and other fish. There is a trash can filled with dog food and when you throw some in the water the fish and turtles come up to eat. Well time for breakfast. Archie is walking his dog. Dale has walked his dog. We think we are the only ones without a dog. Maybe they will have to issue one to us.

So good morning from Posada Del Sol in Harlingen, Texas......Penny

Monday, February 13, 2012

Is This Like Summer Camp?

This campground is full of activities and there is even an activity director. We are still trying to get a copy of the calendar but people stop by all the time to tell us what is going on. So tonight John played poker with the guys. No women are allowed. They play in the mail room (the ladies have the Rec Room for dominoes tonight). So when anyone goes into the mail room they stop to talk to them.

Don played tonight. He is a former physical therapist who has decided he is taking over John's recovery. It was reported that several times during the game he told John to stand up and stretch his knee. He has also stopped by several times to tell John to get up and walk. We are walking for exercise and to increase his flexibility but not enough for Don. He says move it until it hurts. Yikes.

Another player was Bill. When we got here this area was soggy. After a horrible drought it has been raining cats and dogs. Our spot was muddy and after several attempts back and forth, we were sinking....or so it seemed. Well we got it parked. And then John grabbed the electrical cord to plug it in while I did other setup projects. Plugged in. No power. Tried another electrical box. No power. So Dale took off to find Bill....the retired electrician. He tried several things and no power. Jiggle this, unplug that, jiggle again. Nothing. Finally Bill starts to checkout the cable. Turns out John had gotten out the extension cord that was plugged into nothing on the other end. Great laughs and then electricity. So at tonight's game another guy asks John about his extension cord. Bill assured John he didn't say anything. The story is spreading and we just say, yup, we are new to this.

So, poker is for guys and dominoes is for girls. But guys can play too. Pool tables are for the guys and Hand and Foot is for the girls....but guys can play too. Is this like summer camp? Boys camp versus girls camp? Gotta love it. This is our gang and we are having fun. Penny


Oscar is from Nebraska and is here with a wife and two dogs. He creates interest when walking his dogs. Between the two of the dogs they have seven legs. One of the dogs only has three legs. But he gets around really well and doesn't seem phased by it. The dog. Oscar has two legs and gets around very well. Penny

Card Games

So we heard there are weekly poker games. Nice! John and I both enjoy playing poker. So last night, at the weekly resident's meeting, we asked if the poker games were open for anyone. Yes! Wonderful. So I asked "can I play too?" oh my. Um. No. It is only for the men. But there are card games for women. So tonight John gets to play poker and I get to play Hand and Foot. I mean it is an ok game but it isn't poker! Penny


We finally arrived in Halingen, Texas yesterday afternoon and are having a blast. Everyone is so friendly that we find it difficult to just sit outside and read. Last night we went to a resident's meeting and ice cream social where we were introduced. Most everyone had heard about us and our delayed trip. Tomorrow night is a Valentine dinner dance. Thursday night is a block party. Oh. And we usually take a nap from three to four. We were informed by Delores and Lynn that everyone here naps after lunch. And Happy Hour is at four. Oh. It is after four. Well gotta go get a glass of wine and hang out. Penny

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Doctor, Doctor, Where are you?

Calling a doctor and actually getting an appointment are two different things. We have an appointment for Tuesday morning. When John protested and said we needed to get in right away, the nurse assured him that was the first appointment. The doctor is only in his office two days a week and the rest of the time he is doing surgery. Okay. We will be patient.

We are hopeful that this is just a bad bruise and maybe if the doctor drains the fluid from his knee, just maybe we can reload the RV and continue on our adventure. Okay, John says I am being too optimistic. And maybe I am. But until Tuesday I am not unpacking our bags. We'll see.

Thanks to Amy and Phillip for coming to our rescue last night. They helped me finish unloading the RV of all the perishables and clothes and things we might need over the next few days....or weeks of necessary. They also brought pizza and two grandchildren which was also a big boost. Today I feel well rested and not as sad. I have finally stopped crying at a moment's notice. Again, I am probably too optimistic. LOL.

So, John now just has to stay off his leg for the next few days and I will do whatever he needs to keep him comfortable. The challenge now is just keeping him off the leg. Yikes this man is stubborn. But I won't trade him for anything!!!----penny

Friday, January 20, 2012


We left Tunica at 10am and arrived in Decatur at 8pm. With only one driver it was a long tedious trip. We went to the ER as instructed by our doctor over the phone. X-rays showed nothing broken. The knee has a lot of fluid and hurt to bend it. They gave him some good meds, put the leg in a brace, and gave him crutches. We came home and somehow got him up the stairs. I had to find the essentials in the RV by flashlight and made several trips up and down the driveway. This morning we call an ortho doc and hopefully find out what happens from here. We are going to hold off unpacking the RV until we are sure it is cancelled. Now the fun of trying to get him dressed.

After spending so many hours driving that RV I feel like I could drive it through the eye of a needle. I stopped twice for fifteen minute naps and once for food. At least the wind was calm.

We did play in a poker game Wednesday night. John finished 27 out of 40. I finished fifth and actually got cash for my second time. I had a blast and want to play again. Lol.

So fans, don't count us out just yet. ------penny

Thursday, January 19, 2012

An Ending

Our adventure is ending. John has aggravated an old knee injury and can't walk. We will eat breakfast and pack up to turn around and head for home. It will be a seven to eight hour drive with only one driver. John is now in a wheelchair and we are both very sad. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers, but first breakfast! Not sure how I will get the RV unloaded lol but need to get him home for the doctor or hospital. ----penny

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Glitches, Yes We Have Them

Camper packed. Check

Food packed. Check

Bike in camper. Check.

Showers: um. Mostly check. The shower curtain rod fell and we couldn't get it back up. glitch

Off to get haircuts at 9:30. Um. Our appointment card said Jan. 17th but they had us both scheduled for the 18th. Ooops. So we left without haircuts. My bangs were longer than Amanda's! Glitch

Gas: check. Wow. How about a contest. Enter by mailing your guess to How much do you think it will cost us for gas on our trip to Texas? The tank holds fifty gallons at a time. Closest guess wins absolutely nothing except recognition on our blog. Start guessing!

So, battled high winds all the way to tunica. Had to scale back on our speed just to keep control. So someone, to be named later and it wasn't me, that someone keep driving off the road. What fun.

So we arrive at tunica, SAMs Town casino and I go in to register. Um. After checking various computer screens it was determined we did not have a reservation. We are tired, my bangs are hanging over my face,and we need a room. Finally after several phone calls they found my reservation-----in Vegas! I did get a guy volunteer to drive me there but I turned him down. A credit card got us a room for the next three nights at a rate close to what I had in Vegas so we were fine. Glitch resolved.

It is Wednesday morning and we are having fun. We slept late. John went down for a coffee and to smoke and when he came back to the room I had my hair cut. Luckily I had a pair of scissors with me. So, off to have a good time. More later.----penny

Monday, January 16, 2012

Snow What.......

We took two snow shovels and a broom to dig out the RV this morning. It really wasn't snowed in so we decided to drive through the drift. big deal if you drive straight and then turn the wheels once you are past the drift. I decided to take the "shortcut" and turn too soon. Luckily I didn't really get it stuck but just had to drive back and forth a couple of times to straighten it out and bring it home. Here is how the poor pathetic thing looked when we arrived this morning. Just Friday morning she will be sitting in sunshine in Texas!!!!---Penny

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Bring Snow Shovels

We are driving to Mt. Auburn to pick up our RV tomorrow morning. No big deal, right? Um....we have been informed that there are snow drifts around our RV. So we are going there early in the morning with snow shovels to dig out the RV. Um. I think we are even more excited about going to Texas now....I mean, snow shovels to dig it out??? YIKES!!!!

We will be bringing it home to load it up with everything.....except the kitchen sink...we were unable to pull it from the wall. Dang!!!-----Penny

Friday, January 13, 2012

Packing and Rats and Poker

Oh my gosh!!! What do we take with us to Texas? I mean, the RV is only 30 foot long...and we keep adding more things to the pile to take. Seems like to me that we are probably taking too much. We have heard that most people take too much the first time and every year after that they take less. We will probably be normal.

We have friends at the RV park where we are going for at least the first two weeks. We have been calling them and they have called us. We are known as "rookies" which certainly fits us. Yesterday we called to find out if my bike will be secure sitting outside. Of course, they said. Then John asked about leaving his golf clubs under the RV. Um, no they said. The rats would eat them. RATS?!?!

It turns out that the ladies there have a quilting group that gets together so the wife, Lynn, suggested I bring my sewing machine (my NEW one I just got as an early present for my birthday). Sounds like fun. But I was glad to hear that they play Texas Hold ' sounds like it is a guy thing. Um, yup I enjoy quilting and sewing and all those girlie things...but I really LOVE I hope they let me play.

So tomorrow we spend refining our packing and cleaning the house. ----Penny

A Magical Lunch

John and I took lunch to his first mother-in-law at the nursing home where she lives. It seems that even 90-year-old ladies like Krekels hamburgers and shakes. She was so excited to have this special attention and we enjoyed her company for two hours. She had made special arrangements to secure a room for us to eat in. We also took along our wedding and honeymoon photos for her to look at. We left two photos with her and helped her get back to her room when we were finished.

I know at my advanced age (soon to get one year older on Sunday) I am aware of nursing homes and the possibility I will wind up in one. A quick plea to everyone. If you know of someone in a nursing home, please visit on a regular basis and remember to take goodies to them. Now, if it is me, please bring chocolate. When I am 90, I will not care about my diet any more!!!

So, it was a magical lunch with a lady who appreciated that we cared enough to spend the time with her. ---Penny

Thursday, January 12, 2012


I stopped at Wal-Mart on Tuesday to pick up just two items. It was during the afternoon when my gang goes know....the old blue-haired retired people. We have gang meetings at Wal-Mart and at restaurants... now you know. Well, for some reason there were even more people in the store. And when I went to check out the lines were full...all of them were at least three people deep. The "20 items or less" lines were about six deep on both ends of the store. The "do it yourself" lines were all shut down. So I just found a line and waited my turn.

The lady in front of me was complaining to me that the lines were too long and that this big store should have more people working and what were they thinking. I just wanted to get home after running errands and didn't mind waiting in line but I smiled which just encouraged her. She raised her voice so the clerk would hear her and kept up her ranting. Finally the lady in front of her was being waited on. She just wanted chewing tobacco (for her father) and it took the clerk awhile to find the right brand and the right package. Oh boy!! Now I know all the brand names of chewing tobacco in case there is a quiz.

Finally it was the complaining woman's turn. And she let the clerk have it....."a long wait.....biggest store in should have more people working...." And her voice kept getting louder. He assured her he would pass this information to his boss but he had no control. She left still growling. I was next! I just wanted to get out of there. Then the supervisor came over to our line just as I am paying for my stuff. The clerk relayed the customer's complaints and the supervisor asked me if I was also complaining. I said no, I was fine. But then the woman in line behind me yelled that she was not happy either and her wait was too long and and and....I flew out of the store. It was a mean day at Wal-Mart and I wanted to get away!!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Next Adventure

We are one week away from leaving for Texas and we have lists of things to get accomplished. Tomorrow morning John has his second cataract surgery so hopefully he heals fast so he can help drive!! Our plan is to spend the first three nights in Tunica, Mississippi, and have our final casino "fix" before we go to a dry state. It is amazing the planning that we are doing since neither of us has ever done anything like this. But I am sure that we will get down and realize there was something we forgot. On the other hand, we will get down there and wonder why we brought some of the things we packed. It will be interesting!!--Penny