Friday, April 30, 2010

Shifting Gears

This morning, we were up as usual.  Mark was reading blogs and watching TV.   I went out for my walk and about half way through, I felt the need to stop back by the motor home regarding an adjusted plan for the day.

And, the discussion was something like this...Mark said...the weather channel has indicated that tomorrow could be a stormy day across the, that being our planned travel day caused our brains to  quickly go into overdrive.  We went back and forth for a little while and finally decided that we should pack up and head on out to Red Bay today ahead of any storms.

You see...this girl takes after her mom...and we don't travel in stormy weather!

However, first things first...I needed to finish my walk. So, begin to take care of some outside jobs and hook up the Jeep.  Upon my return...I took care of the inside.  All that was left was to check out and get hugs from Kevin and Arlene.

I was really sorry we had to leave early as we were so looking forward to a great crab feast tonight, but it was best for us get ahead of any weather.  Kevin, keep winning because I am holding you to your deal at some future date. LOL

The trip route north from the coast of Mississippi was a new way one for us and was a nice drive.

We arrived in Red Bay around 4:30 this afternoon and were pleasantly surprised to find there was room in the campground.  So we settled into our site, which is #3 and on the pavement!  Yeah, no mud.

After setting up, we decided we would go for dinner...and our choice was Swamp John's.  The catfish was delicious as always with a baked potato and a side salad.

We were back to the camp ground in time for a nice evening walk.

Now, as I write this blog...the weather channel is showing all the severe weather that is developing to the west across Arkansas...and all the rain that is coming for the weekend.  Now, we are not looking forward to severe weather, but...we are glad we chose to shift gears and at least we won't have to travel through it.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Mississippi Coast from Bay St. Louis to Ocean Springs...

Yesterday, we left Lake Charles, Louisiana.  I-10 East took us on a drive that we have never experienced...and that was across the Atchafalaya River Basin...and it was miles of

Moving East 021

swamp lands.  The

Moving East 039

bridge that seemed endless was about 18 miles long.

The speed limit is only 55 and trucks are only allowed to drive in the right lane.  Wow, guess, it didn't take much to entertain me today. LOL

Well, on to our destination and layover for the next couple of days...the

Moving East 054Hollywood Casino and RV Park in Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi.

We settled in to our site by early afternoon.  Once we were set up and everything was in it's place and

Moving East 058

cleaned, we decided to take a break and have a late lunch/early dinner.  So, we headed up to the casino.  Wow, we were in time for the senior buffet, which was open until 3:00.  My choice was salad, veggies, grilled fish, and a little dessert...all for $3.49 including iced tea.

Afterwards, we took a drive around

Moving East 069

the Bay St. Louis area.  It has been a couple of years since we were here and were anxious to see how much re-building was going on.

It is still really sad to see since Hurricane Katrina in 2005 that

Moving East 070

there is still so much clean up going on and

Moving East 073

roads that are still under construction.

  There are those who have decided

Moving East 212

not to rebuild...and there are those who

Moving East 078

have brand new ocean front property.

After a Wall-Mart stop, it was back to the RV Park, then off to the casino for a little penny fun.  We both actually had $25 of free play on the casino.  Can't beat a deal like that and a fun evening.

This morning, we were up early...a 2-mile walk, computer time, and breakfast before we decided to head out for today's adventure.  We grabbed our cameras and headed east on scenic highway 90.

And, once again, from Pass Christian to Ocean Springs, we were humbled to amount of

Moving East 108

clean up and

Moving East 105

rebuilding that is still taking place all along the almost 5 years later.


Moving East 097

beaches are so pretty and white.

Today, was a perfect day for

Moving East 090


TheseMoving East 119

big tricycles looked like they would be fun.

Once again, the closer to got to Biloxi, more rebuilding was taking place.  FromMoving East 115


Moving East 219

to the rebuilding of the Jeff Davis House and Presidential Library.

When lunch time came around, there was only one place to go...and we took off for Exit 57, on I-10E to

Moving East 144

The Shed for barbeque.  We discovered this place a couple of years ago and have talked about it ever since.  It is very unique to say the least.  It has

Moving East 148

$1.00 bills hanging from the ceilings and posted to the walls.  There are

Moving East 146

license  plates everywhere, from everywhere!

To make a long story short, Brad Orrison was a junk collector from his college days.   At the age of 24, he decided to take all his collection of stuff and build a barbeque joint.  Now, everyone bring him just to add to his junk. LOL.

  He then practiced cooking, smoking, and perfecting his rubs and sauces...And, pretty much the rest is history, as he has been recognized with many being the best pulled pork sandwich in America...and I agree!

Great place, great is worth the trip.  And, it is said you might have to wait in line cause it ain't fast food, it's FINE food!

Next stop for us, was at

Moving East 169

Gulf Islands National Seashore.  Yep, you guessed it....another stamp...and my first for this area.  And, we just stumbled across this park.

They have a campground small loop.

Moving East 192

The sites have water and electric only.  The nice thing is it will accommodate rigs 40 feet and longer.  It was a pretty nice park other than a few low hanging branches in a couple of spots around the loop.  Also, no reservations.

We took a walk looking for the local resident,

Moving East 200

a bayou gator.  I guess it was too hot for him,

Moving East 196

as we found him submerged in the back of the pond.

We also decided to leave the

Moving East 195

hiking trail to another trip.  It was time for us to head back the 32 miles to the RV Park,

Moving East 227

where we found that Kevin and Arlene had arrived and I was in charge of dinner for the evening.

Mark grilled chicken and we made sandwiches and caramel apple salad for dessert.  Then after dinner, the four of us decided to try our luck at the Silver Slipper.  And, this was the end to another great day on the Mississippi Gulf Coast!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Mission Complete...

Sunday was a beautiful day in the RGV.  We were up early, attended church services at First Baptist Church in McAllen followed by lunch at Jason's.   We made a stop at Lowe's and then headed back to Retama where we spent the rest of the day visiting with friends around the pool.

Yesterday...again, we were up early and out for our walk.  We only got in about 2 miles as we needed to get on with our day's appointments.  Around 10:00, I drove over and picked up Sarah and we headed out for a day of business and fun.

First on our list was to stop in at the Rhodes office to sign the last piece of paperwork for our lot.  This was also the office were I was issued my yearly pass for the State Park.  Two stop!

Yeah!  Mission Complete!!

With all of that behind us, Sarah and I were off for a girl's day.  Haircuts, pedicures, lunch, and shopping.

When we finally caught up with Mark and Richard, they were more than ready for dinner.  Now, after a day like Sarah and I had...we cooking for us, so we headed out for dinner at La Herradura for shrimp tacos.  Wow, I believe the best I have ever had and the Charro Beans were delicious!

We then had our, see you later, and travel safe hugs before heading back to the motor home for the evening.  It was time for us to start packing up for travel...which brings us to today.

We were up early, last check on the coach house, slides in,  jacks up, and we were off.

After a brief stop at the check point with

Moving East 007

the Border Patrol, we settled in for what promised to be a beautiful day for travel.  Well, that is, until the wind started blowing.  It wasn't bad, just a little annoying.

Even though it wasn't the beautiful blue bonnets, we enjoyed

Moving East 010

these beautiful yellow wildflowers.  And, oh, my what a crop of

Moving East 008

corn this will be when it is full grown!

We had a couple rest stop breaks.  These stops are so Mark can get out from behind the wheel for a little while.  He walks around outside checking on the Jeep and Motor home, including checking to see how

Moving East 016

hot the tires and brakes are.  All was good so we were off once again.

The day continued to be smooth sailing, even the wiggle

Moving East 021

through Houston wasn't horrible.  I just feel like the country girl that has gone to the big city.  I am glad Mark is the driver and I am the navigator!

Yeah, we are now on the East side of Houston and we planned to stay at an RV Park on the San Jacinto  River, but, we both agreed it was way too early too stop.  So, it didn't take us long to plot the course on to The RV sites at the Isle of Capri at Lake Charles, just a little over 100 miles farther and across the

Moving East 027 the Louisiana state line.

We arrived by 4:30,

Moving East 029  503 miles from where we started this morning.

  And, after a short rest for my driver, we will be heading

Moving East 030

inside for a great dinner and a little penny fun!

Tomorrow's journey will take us

Moving East 028

up and over this bridge and on to Bay St. Louis.


Before I close this blog...I would like to extend our thoughts and prayers to the Warner family.  Their daughter-in-law, Meghan, lost her battle with cancer today.

  So, Adam, Randy, Pam, Kelly, and all of Meghan's family we pray that you will be comforted by the love you shared with Meghan and by the love that God has for you today and the days to follow.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Mission Continues...

Yesterday, we continued our mission to complete all the necessary business for the lot purchase.  It was back to the water department to set up an account.  Once the account was opened, then we had to fill out the paperwork to have them cut off the water for the summer and stop the trash pickup.  Go figure.

Next on the list took us by to inquire about insurance.  That was simple and cheap enough...doesn't take long to insure a 12 x 20 building.

Now we are down to 2 items and both have to wait until next week.  The transfer of the homeowners information needed some additional paperwork and hopefully, we will finish that on Monday.  Then, there is set up of the electricity account.  That we will do as soon as Sarah gets her account finalized which takes 3-5 business days.  The electric company is based out of Houston, so we will take care of it either with a phone call or online.

So, with all of that behind us, we decided to join several of the other couples at the pool and hot tub.  It was nice to be able to get acquainted with them.

After dinner, we took a walk around the at the end of the season, there aren't

Retmama Lot 011

too many of us left.

  But, as we are all leaving for the summer, the

Retmama Lot 004

butterflies are moving in.

But, there are enough of us left here, that this morning we still had Saturday morning breakfast at the clubhouse.  Becky made beer biscuits, and Pearre cooked bacon and French toast.  Mary brought some juicy watermelon.

Afterwards, everyone headed out for their own Saturday chores.

I tackled the laundry while Mark and Walt looked for an air leak in one his tires.  This afternoon, we headed out on our own for a little shopping excursion and lunch.

Once all the chores were complete and we were back to the RV,  we decided the pool was calling our name.

Nothing extremely exciting for the last couple of days, but we are getting a little closer to completing our mission here at Retama, and in the meantime, we are  going to enjoy a few more days here and just be lazy.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Our Mission in Mission...

After spending two wonderful days in Fredericksburg, we were up yesterday and ready to get on with our mission.

It was a

Hill Country 2010 010

foggy morning as we headed out, but soon the fog gave way enough for us to enjoy

Hill Country 2010 009

the pretty flowers and

Hill Country 2010 012

the highways through the Hill Country.  We then made our way right on through and around

Hill Country 2010 018

San Antonio to the less crowed Hwy 281 where once again we could enjoy more

Hill Country 2010 023

wildflowers.  By early afternoon we were in Edinburg, Texas where we stopped for fuel.  Diesel was $3.03....summer is on it's way.

Once we were fueled up, it was on to our destination in Mission.  Once we reached Retama, we parked on

Hill Country 2010 038

our newly purchased lot.

  From when we were here in January and February, it was nice to see all

Hill Country 2010 039

the flowers in bloom and the grass so green.

Before we knew it, it was time to head to the Clubhouse for Pizza with several other couples.  After dinner Sarah and Richard joined us at our motor home for a great visit and to make a plan for what we needed to accomplish in the next few days.

Today started leisurely...Mark was out and about washing the Jeep and the front of the motor home while I did a little inside cleaning.

While we were waiting for time to go to the attorney's office, we decided to discuss our plan for the coach house.

It already has a full sized

Retmama Lot 002

washer and dryer....

Retmama Lot 005

ceiling fan, a/c unit, some shelving, and lawn furniture.


Retmama Lot 004

bathroom is complete and the whole coach house has this

Retmama Lot 008

nice tile floor.

There are a few things that Mark and I want to change or do a little different, or just spruce up...but all those projects will have to wait until we return later this year.

  But, for now, we needed to get on with today's plan.

We grabbed a bite of lunch,  jumped in the Jeep, stopped for a brief visit with Jack and Danielle, picked up Richard and Sarah, and headed out on our day's missions.  First, was the lawyer's office...paper's signed, sealed, and delivered!  Then, it was off to the tax office and the water department.

After taking care of most of the items on our today's list, we decided we were hungry...and with that we also decided that the rest of our business could wait until tomorrow!

So....our mission in Mission be continued....

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

LBJ Ranch Tour and More...

This morning we woke to the beautiful sunshine.  What a great day we had planned...

It started with breakfast of a half waffle, eggs, bacon, and coffee at

Hill Country 2010 038

our favorite bakery on Main Street in Fredericksburg.  We passed up

Hill Country 2010 035


Then we were off to

Hill Country 2010 041

The LBJ Ranch for a tour.  This is a combination National Park and State Park, first stop was the

Hill Country 2010 043

visitor center to collect a stamp for my passport book.   We signed in and were given a

Hill Country 2010 045

CD for our self guided tour.

Our first stop was the

Hill Country 2010 057

Sauer-Beckman Living History Farm.  Johann and Christine Sauer settled this land in 1869 and eventually had 10 children.  One of those, Augusta Sauer Lindig, served as midwife at the birth of LBJ on August 27, 1908.


Hill Country 2010 081

we learned that they are keeping this land as a working farm as was it was known in 1918.  They

Hill Country 2010 096

milk the cows...

Hill Country 2010 077

gather eggs...

Hill Country 2010 049

slaughter hogs once a year...

Hill Country 2010 063

grow a garden...

Hill Country 2010 083

make bread and

Hill Country 2010 085


Everyday lunch is served for the rangers and workkampers on the farm.

They even

Hill Country 2010 087

do their own laundry and hang the clothes to dry.

From here, we drove along the banks of

Hill Country 2010 104

the Pedernales River before entering the

Hill Country 2010 100

ranch property.  The first stop on the ranch was at the

Hill Country 2010 107

Junction School where four year old Lyndon learned to read.  He returned here 53 years later as our 36th President to sign the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. was on to the

Hill Country 2010 112

house where he was born.  This house was reconstructed by LBJ in 1964 and was used as a guest house.

On this same property is where today both he and Lady Bird are

Hill Country 2010 121

buried in the Johnson family cemetery.

Next on the tour was the

Hill Country 2010 128

Sam Ealy Johnson Farmhouse.  This was the home of his great grandparents.

As we continued on through the ranch we noticed lots of cattle, deer, and other wildlife roaming freely.  It was noted on the tape that he wanted everyone to know that he was from the West.

Soon, we found that we had reached the

Hill Country 2010 157

Texas Whitehouse.  The original century-old rock farmhouse was greatly enlarged over the years.  Out back was the

Hill Country 2010 146

hanger and run way were he landed when flying into Texas.

Today, the ranch is managed by our National Park System as a working ranch as planned out by LBJ.

Great tour!

Then, it was on to another Texas icon...the

Hill Country 2010 180

Post Office at Luckenbach.  Population 3

We went through the Post Office, bought a Diet Dr. Pepper and

Hill Country 2010 196

sat out back and enjoyed a little country music.

We found that it was soon time to head back to Fredericksburg.  We made a stop at

Hill Country 2010 203

Opa's Meat Market for some sausage.  Then it was back to the RV Park to wait on Bill and Helen.

The four of us went down to Main Street for a little shopping before stopping in at

Hill Country 2010 204

one of the local German Restaurants for some great Jagerschnitzel!  Yummy

It was great getting to see and visit with Bill and Helen and the perfect conclusion to a great day in the Texas Hill Country.