Sitting still like we have for almost 3 months allows us to catch up on a lot of things we don’t do while traveling. By having a direct mail address we can have stuff shipped right to us. We had shipped to us new Califon pots and pans to replace our old Corning glass ones. We also had shipped to us a new outside LED light for the RV and new rear mud flaps for the truck. I even was able to take my time installing the new RV light and the mud flaps.
Sitting for this long we have also fallen into more of a routine life style. We walk most days, Patty practices Tarot, and I do Spanish lessons. I also play water volleyball most every day too. This resort has so much going on all of the time we almost need a vacation from constant active fun.
We are expecting the activity to slow down drastically in April as most of the people here move on back north for the summer months. For us, we leave here at the end of April.
We are going to use the time in April to get ready for our 2014 travel season. We plan to completely wash the rig including the roof and seal it with UV protectant. I am planning to disassemble the 5th wheel hitch on the truck for inspection and lubrication, general maintenance. We are also having all of the tires replaced on the truck as well as the rear brakes. Lastly, we will steam clean the floorsand carpet inside the RV. We are planning to get a little more golf in with just the 2 of us. We plan to get to Mexico one more time too.
We have our general travel plan for this year pretty well set now. In the next few weeks we will finalize some of the details for the first couple of weeks after we leave here. We usually don’t make detailed plans until just before we leave somewhere. So far we have reservations at 2 places we know we will be staying during the summer, Crawfordsville IN in June and PA for the 4th of July week. We need to make one more for the Buffalo area ahead of time because it is tourist season near Niagara Falls.
The 10th (Monday) I was going to play golf with the resort group. However the weather turned bad again. It was 45 at 7am with 25 mph wind and spitting rain. Not a good day for golf at all! We stayed inside all day and hibernated. We took out some frozen chili to eat and watched TV. Sometimes it is good to be non-active.
That evening we attended the owner’s appreciation dinner dance. There are 4 owners here at Natures Resort. Near the end of every season they put on a dinner dance with catered food. It was a fun evening.
Tuesday the 11th I spent much of the day replacing the RV outside light. Most RVs are built with an amber light to light the door way at night. These lights just do not give much in the way of lighting except for just the door.
|New light fixture installed.|
So we purchased an LED fixture that is motion and daylight sensitive. It also has a clear lens so that we have white light at the door. This light also illuminates all of the area under the awning. This is much better for grilling outside at night.
It’s sort of cool how the new light works. There is no new wiring to install. Flipping the original light switch on will turn on the outside light. Flipping the switch again will put the light into the motion sensing mode. Also, if it is daylight the light will not turn on in this mode.
So far we really like the light. It is real nice to have the light turn on as we approach the RV. There is also a sensitivity setting that we have on the least sensitive right now. This seems to be fine for now but could be a touch more sensitive. We want wait and see how it performs in other campgrounds before we change the sensitivity. We don’t want to have it going on and off every time a car goes by. We shall see.
Wednesday the 12th we made cheese fondue for the regular happy hour in the park. We graded all of the cheese first in the RV and assembled the ingredients. We then took everything to the clubhouse and used the kitchen there to make the cheese dip. We wanted the cheese to be freshly off of the stove as it can sometimes set up if you wait very long before serving. It worked very well but not sure we would do it again. It was very hard to keep the cheese from clumping unless someone was stirring it all of the time and we didn’t want to do that. Anyway, for us, this was an experiment to see if this would work for a large group. We live and we learn.
Thursday the 13th we finally got to go on the bike ride to the fishing village Port Mansfield TX. The village is 50 miles mostly east from our site. There were 9 of us from the resort that left at 9 am to make the trip. We arrived a little after 10 am at Sweet Gregory P’s restaurant to start the bike ride. They were smoking meat when we arrived and it smelled very good!
Port Mansfield is basically a non-commercial fishing village with lots of rental houses. It reminded us of the Jersey shore with a few exceptions. Unlike the Jersey shore Port Mansfield is somewhat remote. There is only one way in and out of the village. The village is also remote; must be 25 miles to a grocery store. One of the things that make it interesting is all of the deer that inhabit the town. There seems to deer everywhere including the small downtown area.
|Riding into the village of Port Mansfield TX.|
|Port Mansfield with the Gulf in front.|
|A view from one of the fishing piers back to the village.|
|Some deer hanging out.|
|Riding through a newer part of town.|
|A little hard to see, but a heard of deer laying down along side the house in the shade.|
After the 10 mile bike ride around the village we had lunch at the restaurant we started from. The restaurant only serves Texas BBQ of brisket and pulled pork that they smoke and cut right there. They mostly sell by weight. We both had sandwiches. Patty had the pulled pork and I had the brisket. Both sandwiches had ½ pound of meat! It was so good that we left nothing and maybe due to the bike ride, we really didn’t feel stuffed either. This was a very nice trip and opportunity to eat real Texas BBQ.
|Entrance to the restaurant.|
|Making my brisket sandwich.|
|The back of their business cards.|
Friday the 14th Patty got her new Caliphon pots and pans. We had been planning to get new ones to replace the old Corning glass stuff for a while. Then a couple of weeks ago the handle broke off of one of the Corning pots. We wanted the new pots to be lighter than the Corning glass too. So Patty did her usual internet shopping for the lowest prices and found the Caliphon for under $150. The old Corning ware we are giving to her son Chas when we get up there in NJ this summer.
|The new pots and pans.|
Saturday and Sunday the 15th and 16th were great days for hanging at the pool and that is what we did. I also put on the new mud guards for the rear of the truck. Patty had originally got some guards that were a little too small for the dually tires in the rear. I wasn’t in any hurry to replace the small ones but then good old Amazon sent me an e-mail with the correct size guards for just $36. I couldn’t resist so I purchased them even though I would need to supply my own hardware to install them.
|New mud flaps. Now maybe we can keep the RV a little cleaner during rain.|
I went to Lowes in Weslaco to get the hardware I needed to install the mud guards. Of course while I was there I picked up a new hose sprayer, a hose Y connection (I have left 2 of these at campgrounds along the way), and whole house water filter replacements.
I also stopped off and looked at new BBQ grilles. Our current grille just didn’t hold up like we thought it would. It is one of those Coleman tailgater portable types. I love the grille but it has completely rusted out in the bottom. It still works but it now leaves chunks of itself in the truck when we move it. I found one that I believe we will pick up in the next few weeks before we leave here. It is a table top that is completely stainless steel with 2 burners. The best part is that it is only $99. The Coleman cost around $150 and only lasted 18 months.
|Maybe our new grille.|
|All beautiful stainless steel.|
Monday the 17th Patty and I played in a golf scramble with players from our resort Natures and from the Sandpipers resort just up the road. It was cold start at 48 degrees at 8:30 am tee off. We had 8 foursomes who played. The foursomes were picked in advance with a random draw. I was on team #4 and Patty was on team #8. My team won with a score of 71, one under par! I won a free round of golf! We had fun so it was great day again.
|Lining up to tee off. Patty is on the right standing near the cart.|
Tuesday the 18th was another beautiful day. Temps started out in the mid-60s and went up to the low 80s. There was a lot of wind though which seems to be usual here in south Texas. We did our usual walk in the morning. Patty and I walked 2 miles together and then I walked one more as fast as I could go without running, just under 14 minutes and 20 seconds now. Just a note, our neighbor here walks about 4-5 times a week like we do. However, he walks 6 miles at about an 11 and a half minute pace. He is around the same height as me so he really is moving. I just can’t make my legs move much faster.
This coming week we will start to see people leaving here for the north. We really don’t have any plans right now except to relax and enjoy.
Below are some pictures from the area outside around the resort.
|Farmers Market near our resort.|
|A typical road side food stand. These are all over the place.|
|A food stand with a tire repair place attached to it.|
|Patty really likes this pink car.|
|Typical water station. It costs $.25 cents for a gallon of water. |
These are also all over the place down here.
|Cool mural in Raymondville TX about 25 miles east of our resort. The scene is depicting 3 Spanish ships that sunk in a storm with $10 million in gold and silver in 1554.|
|Center of town in Raymondville TX. This is typical of south Texas small towns.|