Monday, October 31, 2011

Lousiana Bound

Sunday morning was beautiful in Livingston.  We were both excited because we were headed to Bossier City, LA to see our friends Jim and Elizabeth.  We haven't seem them in five years.  We met them when there daughter, Carolyn lived across the street from us in Wilmington.  Carolyn and her family moved to Columbia, SC five years ago.  Everything was going as planned until we got ready to put the big slide in and it didn't work. This happened to us when we were leaving the RV-Dreams Rally in Tennessee in April.  When it had to be repaired then Carriage sent extra switches.  The spare switches weren't easily accessible since we were preparing for travel but he did quite a bit of unpacking and got the switches.  We have to take all the panels out from under the sink in the kitchen to get to the switches.  After several hours of work we are now ready for travel.  We called Jim and Elizabeth and told them we wouldn't be able to meet for lunch but we should be there around 2:30pm.  The route we took had no rest areas, picnic areas or food places that were big rig friendly.  Finally at 1:00pm we found a convenience store that had a large parking area next to their building which we were glad to see.  We went inside and fixed us a sandwich and had chips, pickles and a drink.  We walked Mitzi and were back on the road again.  We had decided to stay at the Harrah's Louisiana Downs Racetrack.  Elizabeth had checked and it was free.  We arrived there around 4:30.  It was a great spot for free.  Lee tried to start the generator and it wouldn't start.  I tried the slide and nothing.  We are both trying to stay calm.  We decided we should probably find to find a campground where we had electric and Lee could work on the slide and the generator.  We called Jim and Elizabeth and told them what was happening and she asked if we would have time to come over dinner. I told her we would and we would call her when we got checked in at the campground.  I called the Cypress Black Bayou Park and Recreation Area and they had a site that would accommodate our rig.   We got set up and left to go have dinner with Jim and Elizabeth.

She made a casserole, Swiss Cashew Tossed Salad and Apple Crisp with whipped topping.  It was wonderful.  They made all the challenges for the day disappear.  Jim said he would come over Monday morning and help Lee try to fix the slide and they would look at the generator.  

They had to have a cup of coffee to discuss the situation.  No need to rush into anything.  Elizabeth was coming to pick me up and we were going to have a girls day.  When she got here this morning she had made sandwiches for the guys for lunch and had ours was in the cooler in the car so we could decide where we were going to eat.  It was a great day.  I had so much fun with her.  We went back to her house and I got to see the travel trailer, house, yard and then we had lunch.  We called the guys and they had gotten the slide and the generator fixed.  Elizabeth and I did a little more running around and then we headed back to the campground.  We thanked them for a wonderful time and said we would let them know if we decided not to leave tomorrow.  We also said we would not wait five years to see each other again.

                                                               Lee, Elizabeth, Jim

                                                                  Me, Elizabeth, Jim
After they left I put all the things back in the cabinets from the slide out repair and we just sat outside and relaxed.  Lee got out the grill and we had steak and baked potato.  I think we will stay one more night.  The price is right and our site definitely has the "it factor".  Thanks for following us.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


We went to Huntsville on Friday to see the Sam Houston Museum.  I was like oh no not another museum but this one was very interesting.

The first building we saw was the bear hunting lodge where he stayed while bear hunting.

We then moved around to see his law office.

After seeing the law office we went to the kitchen.  There were students from a school there so they were showing actual demonstrations of how things were in the 1800's so we were got to see cooking in the kitchen on coals.  She was making cornbread and popcorn for the schools children.

Then we moved to the demonstration of the musket and shotgun.  These were for hunting.  He put black powder in the shot gun and had the students say fire in the hold and fired the gun.  Boy was that loud.

The next stop was the Woodland Home where four of their eight children were born.

The last stop was at the Steamboat House where he died in 1863 and his funeral was held in the parlor.

When we left there we were both hungry so we decided to see if we could find Margarita's Restaurant.  It was recommended by our friend Judy.  The food was great.  We were both stuffed when we left.  Thanks Judy.

Our last stop would be to see the Sam Houston statue.  It was a short drive from the restaurant.  The statue is 67' tall.

We headed back to the Escapees RV Park in Livingston.  We had to stop at Walmart for a few things and H-E-B for fuel on the way back.  It was a great day.

Today we just hung around at the Escapees Park for a down day.  We will be leaving Texas tomorrow after six months headed to Bossier, LA to see our friends Jim and Elizabeth.  Thanks for following our adventure.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Port Aransas

On Monday we headed out to see what there was to see in Port Aransas.  It is definately a tourist town but we found some really nice places to stop and look at the water and see if anybody was catching any fish.  Our first stop was Ancel Brundrett Pier.  Most of there piers are small and you fish free.  There wasn't much happening there except this big ship that passed us.

We went to the City Park and it also had a little pier.  People were fishing off the pier and off the bank.  The most interesting thing here was this pelican that appeared to be just waiting to have his picture taken and some turtles swimming right beside the rocks.  I took pictures of them but you can't see them in the water.

When we left there we went down Beach Drive and drove out on the beach just because we could.  You can't drive on NC beaches like you can in Texas.  So while in Texas do as the Texans do.

Then it was off to find something to eat.  We wanted seafood and Tom the workamper who escorted us to our sight said Kody's was a good place for seafood.  We both had a fish and shrimp combo basket and it was delicious.  We were really craving seafood.  Haven't had any good seafood since we left the NC coast in March.

After lunch we rode down to the Horace Caldwell Pier.  There was only a few people fishing and they weren't catching any fish but we found another pelican just waiting for a picture so we couldn't resist.  They are so neat.

We went back to the campground and decided to go and sit out on the beach for a while and then back to the rig for sandwiches.

Tuesday we drove to the Padre Island National Seashore.

 Lee has a Senior National Park Pass and a Passport to your National Parks book.  We get in free with the park pass and we get stamps for the book at each park.  Right now the Texas coast has red tide which is killing the fish and makes peoples nose burn, eyes burn and causes a cough.  The red tide appeared to be worse there than it was in Port Aransas.  There was a lot of dead fish.  The beach there is very dirty. They say it is because the currents in the Gulf of Mexico wash object from all over the world onto the beach.  They say they clean it daily.  The drive there and back was beautiful.  It is miles and miles of flat land and dunes. When we left there we drove back to Padre Island (not the National Seashore) and had lunch at Doc's.

We both had clam chowder and a salad because we were making Shrimp Creole for dinner.  Our friends Dick and Judy had invited us for dinner before we left West and Dick made Shrimp Creole and gave us the recipe.  It turned out really good for the first time.

We had decided we would go to the beach on Wednesday but not before I did our laundry.  I got laundry done and we had a great afternoon on the beach.  This morning we hooked up to head to Livingston.

We had to take the ferry from Port Aransas to Aransas Pass.  We weren't quite sure about that but it was okay. This was a first.  We took up almost one side of the ferry.

The drive to Livingston was great except for Houston.  Glad we weren't there during rush hour.  We are staying at the Escapees Park here.  Thank you for following us on our adventure.

Monday, October 24, 2011

More History

On Friday it was more history.  We visited the Admiral Nimitz Pacific War Museum.

The tickets are good for two days because there is so much to see.  We got there at 10:00 AM and took a break around noon for lunch.  We went to the Auslander Biergarten Restaurant.  This was a neat German Restaurant.
The food was great.  We both had the Opa Sausage sandwich with German potato salad.  Then it was back to the museum until 4:00 PM.  It was very interesting but Lee enjoyed it a lot more than me but that is okay. The ticket was good for two days.  Now I know why, because you can't see it all in one day.  We saved the Pacific Combat War Zone for Saturday morning.  It was a tour that started on the hour so we were there at 11:00 AM on Saturday morning.  The tour lasted a hour and was very interesting.  At this point I was at history overload.  The only other place we wanted to see while in Fredericksburg was Luckenbach.  When we left the tour of the Pacific Combat War Zone it was off to Luckenback.  When we got there we couldn't go through town because they had the roads blocked for a motorcycle rally.  This was really a bummer when the lady at the road block said they were having an event there for the weekend and it would cost us $10.00 to get in to see what would normally be free.  This was the only day we had left so we reluctantly paid our money.  When we got inside there were so many people and you had to be careful not to get run over by a motorcycle.  They were having the Harvest Classic European Vintage Motorcycle Rally.  This is something our friends Rick and Crystal and Keith and Haley from home would have loved.  We took lots of pictures to show them.  They had pre 1929 Motorcycles.  Check this out.  Before our time.
We took lots of pictures of other years to show them when we get home.  We also got pictures of the post office, a rooster in the tree and the feed lot.

We probably waited in line for thirty minutes for a sausage poor boy and a pulled pork sandwich that cost as much as a good dinner but at least it was really good.  This is definitely something that is not normally in our budget but there was a band that was really good and we saw some really crazy dirt bike stunts.  This guy has to be crazy.
When we left there we went back downtown but that was totally insane because they were having the wine and food festival.  We headed back to the background and chilled for the night to be ready for travel again on Sunday.
Sunday morning is was off to Port Aransas, TX.  We had decided that in our travels since we live on the coast in NC we wanted to see the Gulf Coast.  We had a great travel day and arrived at the Pioneer RV Resort around 4:00 PM.  We got set up and it was off to the boardwalk in the campground to the beach.

                                                                    First view of the ocean
We are here at last.
We are really enjoying it here.  It was great to feel the sand between our toes again.  It will probably be a little too cool at home to sit on the beach in shorts.  This is great.  I haven't downloaded our pictures from today so will post on them tomorrow.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


On Tuesday we went to the Texas State History Museum in Austin.  We have both agreed that in school history was our worst subject but since we started traveling we love history.  It is a lot more interesting to see it rather than read it in a book.
The museum has three floors and a lot of information beginning in the 1800's until present.  After we left the museum we went to see the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.  Even with the heat and drought that Texas has experienced this summer there were still flowers in bloom for the season and we really enjoyed our tour.
When we left there we headed home to check on Mitzi and prepare dinner.  We had grilled pork chops, on my indoor grill that Linda showed at the RV-Dreams Rally in April, red potatoes and green beans.  The pork chops were great.  We may never see the outside grill again.  I think Lee has an excuse now since I can grill inside.  Thanks Linda.

We left Austin on Wednesday morning heading to Fredericksburg.  The things we want to see while we are here are the LBJ State and National Park, The Pacific War Museum and Luckenback.  On Tuesday afternoon we rode to downtown Fredericksburg.  It is definately a tourist town but it was fun looking in the shops.  We spent very little money.  Like I said it is a tourist trap.  We were going to the State and National Park on Wednesday.  We went there today.  It was very interesting.  We went to Johnson City first to the Visitor Center and saw the exhibits and went on a tour of his boyhood home.
                                          Lee in the swing on the porch of the boyhood home
He said now I can say I sat on the same swing as LBJ did when he was a boy.  We had lunch when we left here before heading the the LBJ Ranch (The Texas White House).  The rangers recommended several places for lunch so we chose the 290 Diner.  We both had hamburgers and they were superb.
After lunch we headed on down to the ranch.  We went into the visitors center and got our pass and free auto tour CD.  It gave directions and told about each building along the route.  This is still a working ranch so there were cattle roaming everywhere.   We had to wait for one to cross the road before we could continue the tour.  We saw bison and deer everywhere.
                                          They all have LBJ branded on their horns
The final part of the tour was the hangar with Air Force One and the tour of the home.

 We purchased our $2.00 tickets for the tour of the home. They currently have five rooms available for viewing and the others are being renovated.

                                                            Texas White House
It was then home to do laundry and cook dinner.  Our plan is to head out tomorrow to the Pacific War Museum.  Thanks for following us on our adventures.

Monday, October 17, 2011

On Friday we had to work 8:00AM till 2:00PM.  Lee went in and worked until 12:00.  I worked from 12:00 until 2:00.

 I cooked chicken and broccoli with pasta for lunch.  I ate before I went to work and he ate when he got home.  He continued to get things ready to go while I was working.  When I got home I started getting things packed up inside and then Dick and Judy came by to tell us the good news about them getting a job in Colorado next summer.  We were very excited for them.

We had to work on Saturday.  Our normal schedule was from 11:00AM until 8:00PM.  We had worked 6 hours for Mindy, the Office Manger so she was going to work from 2:00 until 8:00.  I worked 11:00 until 2:00.
Saturday night our friend Brad came over and we had pizza together and he brought pain killers a drink he makes that is awesome.  It is made with Pussers rum, orange juice, coconut and pineapple juice.  Boy are they good.  He also brought me a bottle of Pussers rum so I could make my own.  Thank you Brad.
                                                                              Brad & Me
Sunday was the day for departure.  I knew it would be hard since we had been here for six months but I had no idea how hard.  We had lots of friends come by to say see ya.  Brian and Pattie were there.
                                                                   Brian & Patti
Mindy and Joe also came by to see us before we left.
Mindy is the Office Manager so she is the one we worked very closely with and she was just a daughter to us even though she was our boss.  She is the greatest.  We will really miss her but she is supposed to come see us on the coast in North Carolina.  There were many tears shed between the two of us.  Lee was strong even though she was very special to him too.

                                                            Me, Mindy & Lee                
We finally left the campground around 12:30.  We said see ya to Terri, Paul, Dick and Judy.  We were only going to Austin so we only had a couple hour drive.  We had a very nice trip and arrived at the Oak Forest RV Park where we are staying for three nights.  We had a very relaxing night.

This morning we headed out to see the State Capital.  We spent about 3 hours there between the Capital and the exhibits at the Capital Visitors Center.
Austin Capital Building
It has been a great day.  We came back had chicken, fresh corn on the cob and fresh asparagus.  Time to relax for the night and get ready for our next adventure tomorrow.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Not Much Happening

On Tuesday we started out with a haircut for Lee.

Have to be handsome for the trip.  I did laundry.  Then we decided we would go to Up In Smoke Barbecue a restaurant just down the road.  We have not eaten Texas BBQ since we have been here.

The food was great.  Probably a good thing we didn't find this restaurant sooner.  Then we went in to town to take some pictures.  West is a Czech town with a population of 2,807.

We had to have a picture of the grocery.  Not like our hometown grocery.

We were having dinner with our friends Judy & Dick Mott.  They fixed a wonderful meal of shrimp creole, green beans with new potatoes and corn.  We had vanilla ice cream and sour cream pound cake for dessert.  We were stuffed but it was delicious.  We told Dick we had to have the recipe.
After visiting for a while it was home to walk Mitzi and to bed.

On Wednesday it was off to Bellmead to get fuel for the truck, Walmart and chicken from Sam's.  We have really been in to getting our fuel at the H-E-B because if you buy a gift card you get a $.11 discount per gallon so we were able to get diesel for $3.42 per gallon.  Our friends Terri and Paul came over for a little while and then Terri had to go home and fix dinner for Paul.  He has to get up at 4:00AM to get ready for work.

Today we did a little better.  I defrosted the freezer, did more laundry.  I am trying to have all the laundry done before we leave on Sunday.  Dick and Judy came by and gave us a bottle of wine Dick had made and some homemade fig preserves.  We were quite excited.  We are really going to miss them.  They just got here and we are leaving.  I packed some things inside and outside for travel.  Our friend Mary left today to go home for the weekend.  She is a college student attending Baylor University.  She came over and we said our see ya's.  We will miss her but hope to stay in touch.  I made a big pot of spaghetti sauce to freeze for our travels.  We work tomorrow so Lee will go in tomorrow morning at 8:00AM and I will make lunch and go in at noon and he will come home eat.  I will work until 2:00pm and we will be finished for the day so we will continue final preparations for travel on Sunday.