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

Monday, February 28, 2011

yeah but but but

I just "can't" do a blog post tonight ...

Yup, I'll try tomorrow (seriously) in the mean time enjoy this photo that I took at the Japanese Tea Garden in San Antonio last week when Elisha, Charyl and I had a picnic there ...

as the saying goes, "stay tuned" ....

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Open Mic and the Quilting Ladies

Yikes - I'm a slow blogger again.  We've traveled miles and stayed at two Texas state parks and are now back in San Antonio since my last post (well alright, I wasn't so bad, I did do the roadrunner post).

I think I'd mentioned that the "resort" we stayed at in San Benito (when we were close to South Padre Island) had lots and lots of activities and was a very social pleasant group of "winter Texans".  Well every Monday they have an open mic session from 1 - 3.  We loved it!!!

While the tunes are happening so are the quilting ladies ~ I loved that ... it was nice to be with a group of quilters and help them with their projects that day.  Seems they donate these quilts (queen size and crib size) to a local homeless shelter.  When supplies run low they raffle off a quilt to provide funds for more fabric etc.  
After we left there we headed to Falcon Lake State Park.  Well this is on the Great Texas Birding Trail.  As I've mentioned before, I think the only bird I can recognize is a cardinal and a robin, so what is that green beauty right in the center of the trees below?


Little did we know that Falcon Lake was the scene of a very nasty event last fall involving and American citizen jet skiing with his wife and a group of Mexican "pirates".  And to correct a misconception ~ Kimmy we don't hate Mexico, in fact Mexico has some beautiful areas and lots of history.  What we hate is the corruption, the "politics" and the inability of the "authorities" to get a handle on it and stop all the violence.  

So once we found out about the tragedy that happened on the lake (thanks Chester) I was fearful to even walk the dog!  The lake was beautiful to look at and the park was nice and quiet, but there was nothing, and I mean nothing in the area, no where to eat, no where to buy groceries, another of those very depressed areas so common lately!

After we left Falcon Lake we went to another lovely state park.  This was Lake Casa Blanca in Laredo.  Oh my what a find this was (Laredo, well not so much, but the park well WOW).  I must admit the state of Texas, in spite of some nickel and diming, does a marvelous job taking advantage of and marketing their natural beauty.  Another huge quiet space with nicely sized sites.

There was an air show while we were there and we got to watch it from the campground - it was like a private show!  Rick thoroughly enjoyed it, as well as the old military planes, one of which had crashed in Alaska several years ago.  The pilot and crew walked away and the plane was encrusted in ice for many years.  It was rediscovered in the 90's, I believe, and repaired etc and that particular plane was flying in the show!

There was this really neat old building at the park as well.  Rick asked one of the rangers and was told it was the "science center" at the park and has been out of use for about 30 years.  At least it can still be used for a photo op with the bikes.  I loved how the doors and exterior woodwork blends in with the blue sky so you wonder if you are looking through broken windows!

Check out the dog in the front of the pontoon boat below.  We were out on the bikes one day last week and stopped for fuel and saw this boat/dog at the gas station.  When we got back to the park that afternoon the boat had just come out of the water and we recognized it.  I asked the man if I could take some pictures of his dog (whom Rick and I named "Petey").  Well, as has happened often over the last few weeks, communication was an issue .... um how to put this and still be pc .... I thought the language in America was English, not the case in these parts, not the case.

As I said we are back in San Antonio for a week.  Our niece Elisha and her friend are arriving tonight!  They needed to escape the cold and snow of upstate New York .... and the San Antonio weather is going to cooperate!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Beep beep

Chester, this one's for you.  You said it couldn't be done, but I did it and got a photo of a roadrunner from the front/side ~ anything but the back.

There are a few of them here at Lake Casa Blanca State Park in lovely (not) Laredo.  In fact we were all sitting outside yesterday and one "walked" by us and stood about three feet from Sir Arlo and the silly boy never reacted other than to lay there and look at the bird.  I was quite surprised by Arlo's lack of reaction.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

boca chica - cha cha cha

Bubba Gump is that you in either of these shrimp boats?

Our last trip while we were in the South Padre Island area was out to Boca Chica for a warm peaceful day.  Our neighbor at the campground told us about it and our original plan was to take the bikes there, but between mine having a dead battery and no one in the area having on, and the cold nasty weather the bikes never made it out there but the car did.

As it turned out Boca Chica is right across from the south end of South Padre Island.  In the previous post I did there were a couple pictures (I think) that show the channel that runs between SPI and Boca Chica.  The photo below is of the Island looking north from Boca Chica as well as the King and Sir enjoying the view of the channel and the Island.

Below is a view of the bridge leading from the mainland out to SPI - and this photo was taken from Boca Chica as well.  Rick has commented that uh oh we're going to be driving the coach on that bridge next year! 

Lots and lots and lots of people fishing here.  Lots and lots of people catching fish here!  This fella had been at it for an hour and a half he said and had three fish when we passed him.  He said the one at his feet was a "sheep head" (I believe that's what he said, language was a bit of an issue between us) and the one further out from him was a red fin or red tail (hey I thought red tail was a hawk).

As we were leaving I said to Rick, I wonder if there are any dolphin here (we'd seen a couple playing when we'd taken Arlo to go swimming on South Padre a few days earlier).  I no sooner got the words out of my mouth when I spotted one then another.  Well let me tell you it isn't easy to get a picture (never mind three or four pictures) of dolphins at play, but gosh darn I DID it!

Oh what a great day that was.  Wish we'd had a picnic with us and a cooler of water. 

WOW have I been on a blog frenzy tonight, perhaps an advantage of having no alcohol in the house, but then again there hasn't been any here for months so I guess that's not why the blog frenzy but I suppose it does help!

Stay tuned ....

more beach time

Sure looks like "our kind" of place above huh!  It was, but the ceviche was absolutely disgusting ~ one bite and that was it for me ... I don't even want to think how old it was.  My stomach doesn't have enough problems without bad ceviche.

This was our last trip over to South Padre Island and Port Isabel while we were in the area (we left there two days ago).  We stopped at the Pirates Landing as we were heading home and discovered the worlds largest fly rod and reel.  I can't imagine how we missed this when we were there the week before but we sure did.

Made me think of my siblings and question how it is that out of four of us, I am the only one who doesn't fish?  In fact I can't stand the thought of fishing?!?!  Go figure.

While we were on the Island we checked out the Cameron County RV Park there.  It is in three areas, one very large, one only seven sites and the third is about 40 or 50 sites.  It is of course all on the water and over seen by the statue below.

Well we fell in love with it all and made a reservation for March and April next year .... oh I can't wait.  We really fell in love with the area, much smaller and perhaps less intense than the Florida Keys which we love love love but there was something about South Padre that really clicked for both of us.  As I mentioned in a previous post we loved it enough to consider looking at property - too bad the realtor wasn't into showing properties that day!

That's it for this post ~ stay tuned, I seem to be on a blogging roll tonight trying to play catch up I guess!

Baldemar Garza Huerta


Hey it's not everyone that gets their name and likeness on two sides of a water tower now is it?  Seems when you're staying in San Benito for 12 nights you certainly should go to the Freddy Fender (born Baldemar Garza Huerta) museum, don't ya think?

Now I can not get "Before the Next Teardrop Falls" and "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights" out of my head and it's been a few days!  Trust me, if I could figure out how to play music on the blog (when you blog on a Mac) you too would be listening to Freddy/Baldemar right now!

Now Chester, when we told you we were going to the museum I don't believe you had a clue who we were talking about ~ your comment was something to the effect that "oh the guy who made Fender guitars" well honey, you weren't far off ~ sort of.  If you  can enlarge the photo above you will see what I mean - read what it says above the picture of him to the right of the bike.

Speaking of the bike, the day we were there all the ice from the major ice storm was melting and falling from power lines etc.  Of course the roof of the museum was leaking, of course it was leaking on the bike - Rick offered to help the man working the museum move the bike - no way, no how was that man going to let Rick help him - he was waiting for the maintenance guy to come with two others - he said when they put the bike in there it took four of them ... HUH?  Seriously, I don't make this stuff up, but as far as I can tell, motorcycles have wheels so they move easily ~ just a thought!

After we left the museum we went to the San Benito Memorial Park where Freddy is buried.  Freddy's site is above, very well done, very close to the road.  Since we had no clue where in the cemetery to look we rode through the entire place before we came upon this plot that look considerably different than the others!

I did a lot of scratching my head going through here.  Yup a clear case of different strokes for different folks, ya think!  Interesting how this varies between cultures.

I'm so glad we did this little "field trip" while we were in the area, seems it's been a long long time since we did one of these blog worthy "adventures" hasn't it.

Stay tuned ....

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

She stopped by

So I'll set the stage here before the video (the video that I hope I've "loaded" correctly so my readers have the pleasure of seeing it!) and three photos ....

My Daughter in law announced a few weeks ago that our grandson (Connor) had his first loose tooth.  I had seen this youtube video (Chester was it you that sent it to us??).  I in turned sent the video to my son and daughter in law for their viewing pleasure but strongly suggested they not let Connor watch it.  You see, Connor was very nervous about his tooth, convinced it was going to hurt when it came out and it was going to bleed copious amounts of blood (Connor is quite a worrier as it is, so this uncharted territory for him was particularly perplexing for a nervous almost six year old).

So Connor had an dentist appointment for a six month check up yesterday and the hygienist just plucked that tooth out of there - not even Connor knew it happened before she showed it to him, but I am fairly certain that Connor was probably a wreck walking into that office yesterday for that appointment ... my poor grandson.

Oh, another thing about Connor, he is very "into" stickers and "taptoos" (aka tattoos) ... 
So, when he got home he had a cookie or two and another photo shoot (below)

Now would y'all please take a trip down memory lane for me ~ what was the going rate for the tooth fairy when YOU were a kid, losing your first tooth?  I'm quite certain it was one shiny quarter back about 1960, or so, when I lost my first tooth.  When my boys lost theirs it may have been a dollar.

The going rate in 2011 is five neatly folded one dollar bills (or "dollar bucks" as his father used to call them when he was three or four years old)

Congrats Connor ~ Grammie and Rick are very proud of how brave you were about your tooth.

Ice Ice baby

Just so y'all know it isn't always beach weather here in the Rio Grande Valley, here are photos I took last Friday morning when Sir and I went out for our first morning walk around 7:00 AM.

Three days last week it never got above 37 degrees during the day with terrible winds and the mornings when Sir and I got up it was 28 or 29 degrees!  Then on the weekend it warmed up to temps in the 70's, thankfully.  

Check out the photo below  of the front of the car ~ see that funny icicle that as Rick says, looks like a whisker, sticking out then up!

We are leaving the San Benito area today.  We've been here 12 days and are now heading west to a small state park that I believe is in the middle of nowhere, then on to Laredo for a week before we head back to San Antonio where our niece and her friend will be visiting us for a few days of warm weather (unlike what they are having in upstate NY) so I sure hope it stays between 75 and 80 for them!  

I've really loved this area, although I would like to have been closer than 20 miles to South Padre Island.  With that said, we booked a stay there on the Island for two months next year, unfortunately it won't be until March and April ~ no space available in January and February there!  Also we had intended to look at a home down here yesterday but the realtor called back to say the homeowner was sick and unable to have showings until the end of the week.  Strangely enough the realtor didn't offer to show us other properties ~ I guess business is so strong here they don't need to "work" at it!  Oh well, I guess it just wasn't "meant to be"!

Stay tuned .....

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

it was a beach day

We arrived in San Benito (or is it Los Fresnos ~ I truly don't know!) last Thursday to the weather that Rick has been searching for!  Mid 70's to mid 80's - in other words, motorcycle weather.  Motorcycle weather that is, if you don't have a dead battery (my bike does ;-(    A mission for today ... buy new battery.

Anyway, Thursday afternoon we went out on our "see what's in the area" ride.  We ended up about 20 miles away in Port Isabel.  Port Isabel is the most eastern town in the valley before you take the bridge and causeway over to South Padre Island.  Above is a picture taken from Pirates Landing (a very fun place in Port Isabel).  In the picture above the bridge to SPI is at the far right and in the distance is the Island.

We also went to Pelican Station before we headed home to Sir Arlo!  Below is a photo of one of the doors in the restaurant - isn't it great.  Having done some stained glass work in a previous life I can't imagine undertaking a project like this door!

Pelican Station is located on the site of the Rio Grande Rail Road in the late 1800's.  Some interesting information on it here.  Makes me think of my Dad of course, he was such a railroad fan.

Pretty flowers abound in these parts. 

We went back over to South Padre on Saturday and took Sir with us this time so he could go swimming and play at the beach.  We came across this great place ~ Boomerang Billy's right on the beach - dogs allowed!  There is also a motel on the property.  It reminded us very much of one of our favorite places in the Keys ~ the Ocean View Inn.  The "OV" is owned by Gary Dunn, a former player for the Pittsburgh Steelers ~ sure would LOVE to be there Sunday night watching the game!

Now we are in a deep freeze like most of the rest of the country!  It never got above 37 degrees today and with the wind it was like 24 degrees, which I believe was colder than our New England families!  Friday can't come soon enough for us, when it is suppose to be back in the 70's.  We had planned on going into Mexico today or tomorrow, but only went outside to walk Sir Arlo and/or take rubbish to the dumpster and the same will likely happen tomorrow!  Perhaps Mexico will happen Friday ~ hopefully.  Then I'd like to go back to South Padre on Saturday or Sunday.  We shall see so ~

stay tuned