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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