Think about this ... "be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle"

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


It's been a while since a post!

We are just south of Houston now ~ been here since the 18th.  We flew north on the 22nd to spend Christmas with a little Muffin Princess, and arrived back home at 1:00 AM yesterday.  

Stay tuned for pictures of Christmas as well as a long overdue post of our terrific stay in Gonzales, TX!

Kim and John/Jack you are in our thoughts .....

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A potpourri

King Richard has this habit of observing people then looking at me and saying "we aren't them, right?".  Case in point ... the last morning we were at Braunig Lake RV Resort (where we stayed outside San Antonio, where the King fell off the ladder etc.), a campground I really liked, by the way, I happened to look out the window and saw the gentleman above.  I had to do a double take when I realized he had his "dash dog" in his bicycle basket!  Seriously, can you imagine Sir Arlo in a bicycle basket!  I give the gentleman a lot of credit tho ~ at least he is out on his bicycle, as Rick says, we just carry ours around!  (I did, however, finally fix the latest flat on mine the other day as well as put a kick stand on it!)  There was a plethora of dash dogs in that rv park.  The area of the park we were in had a nice area to walk dogs, unfortunately it was loaded with dash dog poop - apparently the dash dog crowd doesn't see the need to be responsible dog owners ~ in fact the morning we were leaving I nearly stepped in some deposited right at our doorstep when I took Sir out for his first morning walk (when I am half asleep)!

Alright, my rant is over and I will now step down off my soapbox!

My youngest son (Chad, the marathoner) had his second knee surgery yesterday and hopefully this time it was successful.
My older son (Joshua, the Marine) is finally returning home from four weeks in Yuma tomorrow.  Not a moment too soon, I might add, as his wife and son have been sick quite a bit since he's been gone.  Speaking of which, their son (Connor) will be having tubes put in his ears again on Thursday (just like his Dad, this seems to be an annual event!)

We decided to stay here in Ottine, TX (a topic for a future post, I'm sure) for another week.  We just love it here and we have the place pretty much to ourselves (a single guy at the front of the park, we are at the back).  It is beautiful and woodsy, Sir can run around like a nut on this vast property, we can go for walks in the woods, we have campfires and we've gotten so much done here - upkeep sort of stuff ~ washing the trailer, washing the bikes, like I mentioned repairing my bicycle, washing the coach etc. etc.  The weather has been outstanding during the day - usually somewhere in the 70's, past two nights have been cold - 27 Sunday night and 32 last night (well those were the temps when Sir and I got up in the morning).  

Rick and I went out on the bikes the other day after we washed them and had a nice ride!  So with that rambling ..... we will be leaving here Saturday and headed to Houston.  I had wanted to get settled in there before we fly out next week, but the desire to stay here was greater I guess!

One day last week we went to New Braunfels (about 40 miles away) for an afternoon.  There is a section of town called Gruene (pronounced Green), originally settled by a German family.  Below are photos of Gruene Hall ~ Texas' oldest dance hall ~ and the reason we went to New Braunfels.

Does it look at all familiar?  This was where the dance hall scene in the movie "Michael" (with John Travolta) was filmed.  Sorry about the darned wires in the first photo - I hate them to, and don't know how to remove them from the photo (I'm sure there is a photo program that allows such things, but this girl doesn't know it!).  

We loved Gruene, just a charming old part of town with a couple interesting shops and a couple great restaurants.  After we left Gruene we went to the New Braunfels Elks Lodge - not at all a friendly lodge - thankfully we've been to so many that we do know this is not an example of Elkdom, but when several officers sit at a bar and never acknowledge, never mind welcome, visiting Elks something is clearly wrong!  We had a great day in the area so I tried not to let this event ruin it!

I'd like to go back to Gruene Hall one night this week for music, but don't know if we'll get there.  Last Sunday night Willie Nelson was there - sold out at $105/per ticket!  They have free music during the week .... we shall see.

Stay tuned ....

Friday, December 10, 2010

Pearl Brewery

One of the neat things we did in San Antonio (other than eat and drink too much) was tour the Pearl Brewery.  This wasn't a "brewery tour" (confused?) as in our Budweiser tour. 

Pearl Brewery went out of business in San Antonio in 2001.  The property was bought by an investment firm in 2002 and has been redeveloped into a multi-use facility - on ongoing project and what a project it is!

We just went there for lack of anything else to do (I guess) one Saturday morning and happened to stumble upon a tour just about to start.  Talk about timing!  I have no idea what our tour guides name was but she was so enthusiastic about this property that you couldn't help love the project.

There is so much "repurposing" of found objects from the former brewery - the great planters above and  barely seen in the photo below were formerly gas tanks used in the brewery (nope, I don't remember what kind of gas!).

Isn't that knife in the side of the building awesome!  One of the tenants here is the CIA (Culinary Institute of America).  Another of the tenants is the Aveda Institute.  I thought I should return (they weren't open on Saturdays) for a haircut etc., but it never happened.

Outside grill at the CIA (and our tour guide!)

More of the CIA area

Do you know what the photo below (and above from a distance) is?  

It's a pandolier!  Seriously, the light fixture is made of many many saute pans!  Cool huh!

The stable is now an events facility - be it weddings, conferences, parties ... whatever!

Another great example of the repurposing done at Pearl is these light fixtures in the stable - aren't they awesome!  Old bottles found on the property - I want one, seriously, I want one.  I know there was someone in MA that made lights out of wine bottles - I know i need one!

How about the ceiling of the stable - hopefully the photo can be enlarged so one can see the outstanding detail!

The brewery was one more of the reasons we loved San Antonio - so much to do, so much to see, so friendly, so clean.  We left there this past Tuesday - I with a heavy heart, I didn't want to leave.  I decided there was still things I wanted to do and see, particularly after reading this post from fellow full timers about their tour of the San Antonio Missions (which we did not see).

Even the bus stops are fun in San Antonio!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

rememmem, remememmember

The Alamo! 

 I really had no interest at all in seeing it (also, rememember that I am not a history fan).  Rick went into San Antonio one day to see it and to see a movie about it at the Imax theater.  

I had a change of thought the second time we went into the city, which was the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend so it was packed/mobbed.

Photography is not allowed inside the Alamo so you won't see any from there - nope, no picture of Davy Crockett's vest, no pictures of big old guns - nope, none, notta, ain't gonna happen.  You will see pictures of the grounds and outside area, and mostly I don't know what the things/buildings are!

Here is a link to the Alamo website.  What I've linked describes the battle at the Alamo (I have a brochure of this which I was going to scan and include in this post, but the link is better and easier to read than a scanned brochure.  The brochure does have a great diagram showing the original "property" and what remains of the original property, unfortunately I couldn't find that diagram on the website!

To digress a bit, when we were in Waco, Rick visited the Texas Ranger Museum.  Silly me (keep in mind I never was a blond, but this is a blond move on my part for sure), I thought he was talking about the baseball team!

Anyway, I didn't go to that museum so I can't describe it other than the first photo below is the entrance to the museum grounds.  The second photo describes the Texas Rangers involvement in the ambush of Bonnie and Clyde (in Louisiana).

Monday, December 6, 2010

Another river

Another river, another walkway, another river walk!  This is San Antonio's river walk.  By far the best I've seen ~ yup I loved Oklahoma City's and I love the river running through Providence, RI, but SA has just done a spectacular job.  

So many places to eat, drink and play.  So much activity in this area, but it is also so very peaceful ~ yup I loved it, in fact I've loved this entire area around San Antonio, to the point that I've seriously thought perhaps this is where we should buy that small piece of property (Rick however still says east coast!).  The campground we've stayed at is great as well ~ with very friendly and helpful staff with our continuous extensions to our stay.  With that said, we do think we'll be out of here tomorrow morning (Tuesday) and making our way 200 miles or so east to Houston, with one stop along the way which may be for three or more nights, but who knows with us and the way we travel, the only certainty is that we fly out of Houston on 12/22!

I loved the lines of this stairway.  On either side were water features (there were many many beautiful "water features" along the river walk (yes the obvious river but  also sort of tucked along the way beside the walk itself).  If you look closely in the above photo to the right of the stairs about half way up is a neat little wall fountain, then on the other side of the stairs (photo below) was this outstanding water fall which also ran under the stairway.

Water water everywhere!

Even these ducks have there favorite place (I think) along the walk way.

So we came around a corner and came upon these ducks just chillin' and I loved how the archway framed the colorful umbrellas across the river - lighting  isn't the best but ya just can't have it all!

I really thought we should stay in this hotel (Omni La Mansion del Rio) in a suite overlooking the river ~ then reality hit and I remembered that the days of staying in such a place are behind us, I'm glad I had those days, but I suspect we won't again!

We did go into the river walk area one night to see the Christmas lights.  Somewhere (I can't for the life of me remember where) we came across these planters with fire and water - outstanding!

As I've complained before I can not take good night shots, but here's a couple.  The last second and the last ones are typical of my night time photography skills.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

feeling the pressure

yeah yeah yeah, so I've been a bit slow blogging.  That does NOT mean I've been hanging around doing nothing ~ well I've been hanging around, but having days and days of sewing marathons ~ to the point that my hand and fingers hurt.

With that said, King Richard has been hurting far more than my hand and fingers, after his fall off the ladder!  Nothing broken, but a beautiful head gash and a rather serious puncture wound on his leg that finally got him to seek medical attention, not in a timely fashion however because it required stitches (which is why it has been so difficult to stop the blood flow) but because HE waited beyond 12 hours there were no sutures to be had (hmmm do you think that was intentional??).

So, we've delayed our stay here in San Antonio first by two days and now by an additional three days so we may be out of here on Tuesday.  I've LOVED this area for so many reasons, which I might "go into" in two posts that I truly do have photos uploaded for!

As the saying goes.....stay tuned

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

no photos but

realizing how much I have to be thankful for without posting photos ...

  • the opportunity to take said photos
  • health to allow my honey and i to continue this journey
  • healthy siblings (glad you are celebrating 60 JRP) and healthy children and grandchildren, healthy extended family ... isn't that such a GREAT joy and reason to celebrate ..
  • a cousin who just came through what to me is inconceivable surgery - OMG Cheryl ... YOU are a hero to me ..
  • a son who was able to run a marathon and a son who is here on US soil (even if he IS away from his wife and son at the moment, he IS in the US)
  • videos of a grandson singing the fish song and happy birthday (cha cha cha to his Dad), and a granddaughter telling tales of tubby toes ....

thankful thankful thankful I am .....

Monday, November 22, 2010

along our merry way

After leaving Oklahoma City a couple weeks ago we headed to a gorgeous Corps of Engineers park (our first stay at such a park) just outside the Dallas/Ft. Worth area of Texas.
Located on the very large Lake Benbrook (or was it called Benbrook Lake ~ hmmmm can't remember).  Very nice sites although many were horribly unlevel, seriously wheels dangerously off the ground unlevel!  NOT GOOD.

While we were there we went to the U.S. Bureau of Printing and Engraving in Fort Worth.  No photos allowed, so no photos to post.

There are two photos, however, of our trip to "Strokers, Dallas" - the motorcycle store etc. on which the TruTV show Ma's Roadhouse (yet another "reality" show ... surely not the best show out there, but it did seem that if we were in the area, well we should probably go "see" it).

The owner, Rick Fairless, below.

While we were staying in the campground Sir found a new toy, which was his best favorite toy for about 48 hours ~ he'd never had, nor seen, a shuttlecock before .... he was quite impressed for sure.

After leaving the Dallas area we headed to Waco, where we stayed three nights at the local fairgrounds.

While there we toured the Dr. Pepper Museum.  Who knew it originated in Waco ~ not I!  Another museum very well done.

Check out those gorgeous pottery crocks high up on the shelf beyond this bottling equipment.  They were just beautiful, reminding me of an old pickle crock that I used to have and probably sold for about 10% of its true value at the leaving MA yard sale three years ago as we were getting ready to hit the road.

After leaving Waco five days ago we headed to the Austin area.  We went into downtown Austin last Friday night in search of what we considered "local" music ... a country western, rockabilly kind of joint.  Never did find what we were looking for but found a decent blues place where we enjoyed a couple beers/wine.

I have no clue what the pretty building above is but it sure was nice all lit up just waiting to be someones photo op.

Below, the outstanding Driskill Hotel.  The hotel was built in 1886 with lovely architecture.  Unfortunately we weren't dressed in a fashion we felt was appropriate to even go in for a cocktail ~ sure would like to have though, I'm sure it is as outstanding on the inside as it is outside.  Maybe next time!

Only in Texas would you find such a site as that below (I think!)

We are leaving this suburban Austin area in the morning heading to San Antonio.  I thought while we were here that we'd see the LBJ library and the Lady Bird Johnson wildflower garden.  It was a great plan, but not a reality ~ I had a serious case of the lazies today and never made it.  OOOPS