Our Home

Our Home

Saturday, March 26, 2011

On the Road Again

Friday morning we weren’t in any hurry to get going, it was going to be a trip of only 139 miles. We were at the Oasis RV Park in South Haven, KS, you can see the park from the interstate exit. Now the GPS told me to turn right at the exit and even though I could see the park on the left I turned right and of course I should have turned left. I trusted the GPS, I will dig deeper into the directions from now on. Actually that is the first time it has been wrong in finding a RV park. The park is ok for an overnight stop but not long term, showers and laundry room are the only amenities and nothing else. So we left about 9:30, I don’t like going through large towns except during the middle of the day. We did opt to run the toll way, $3.75 for the 40 mile trip. There was some construction in Wichita but other than that we had a good ride.

We arrived at the KOA in Salina, KS about 12:40 pm, got to our site and set up. We drove into Salina, it seemed that all the businesses were located on ninth street, the street we were on, this was later verified by the campground host. Salina isn’t a very big town, 47,707 but it does have some old homes. If you are interested, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salina,_Kansas#History, this link gives a nice history of the town. I didn’t realize it had an air force base here back in the fifties and sixties. Anyway we will be here until tomorrow Sunday, when we continue our trek north to Smith Center, KS, then on to Omaha.

Because of the great Southern cooking I have been eating I am forced to curtail my culinary exploits and eat at home more frugally. So those of you who have commented about the amount of food news in the blog will be disappointed. Although last night we had pizza, the park here cooks Hunt’s pizza and it was very good. Ok that is the last of the food comments. Unless something good comes up.

Till later – Dreams Do Come True

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dallas, TX Area

We arrived at Hidden Cove Park Marina in The Colony, TX. At one time this was a Texas State Park but was sold to a private company. It is a very nice park but there are a few things they could do to enhance the camping experience, at least from my perspective and style of camping. The most important is the sewer hookups, not all sites have them, the PCV pipe is not buried deep enough to give a “normal” hookup.
The entrance is padlocked at 10 pm but you are given a code to the padlock if you come in after 10, why not install the key pad gate entrance or card reader, I suppose cost is a factor. The sites are fairly easy to get into and you are not sitting on top of the adjacent site. The Marina part comes from being on Lake Lewisville, it has a lot of fishing but from what I hear is primarily a boating lake.
Wal Mart was on the agenda today, we didn’t need many items but it always seems we take a trip to Wal Mart whenever we park for a few days. I guess we are always needing something.
Bill & Mable came to Dallas today to see some friends and they stayed the night at Teresa’s before joining their friends for the weekend. We went to eat at a Greek restaurant, I don’t remember the name, but the food was great. We got back to the campground just before they were going to lock the gate, so I didn’t get to try out my combination lock skills. I remember they weren’t too good in high school.
Dallas Arboretum, if you are ever in the Dallas area this is a must visit. I am not a garden person but the flowers in this place are spectacular, tulips were in bloom when we were there, roses are coming up next I would love to see those. The different color of tulips was amazing, I did not realize there were that many different color of tulips.

Cowboy Stadium is another must see in Dallas, regardless if you like the Cowboys or Jerry Jones this is a fabulous facility. We spent a couple of hours touring the place, the screen above the field is HUGE, I have seen it on TV but to see it in person gives a whole different perspective.
DSCN1855This is the tunnel through which the Cowboys enter the field.
DSCN1871Of course we have to have a picture of the cheerleaders.
Ray Roberts Park was our next stop for the day. This is still a state park and in many ways is much better than Hidden Cove and much cheaper. They have no sites with sewer, water and electric only, so most every camper had a blue boy underneath them. The sites were a bit closer together but they were still far enough apart to be private. They were all back ins and all of them had an iron pole to hang a lantern.
The Original Pancake House, http://www.originalpancakehouse.com/index.html. The signature Apple pancake is fabulous, it could pass for a desert, I would put some cinnamon vanilla ice cream on it.
Red Building Museum, http://www.oldred.org/, is the old courthouse used until it was outgrown and a new one was built across the street. I found it very interesting, we watched three videos each giving a different piece of history and then the exhibits in the area of the video gave more detail of that particular time. We didn’t get to see everything but what I did see was worth the price of admission.
The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, http://www.jfk.org/, is all about the Kennedy assassination and having lived through that period of time I found it very interesting in that there were aspects I had not heard before. A must visit for anyone in the Dallas area.
We had lunch with Beth & Ken, my youngest brother Larry’s sister-in-law, we stayed with them last March on our way to Mission, TX to pick up our truck. We ate at Stan’s,http://www.stanslakeview.com/, they have very good food, I had the shrimp Po-Boy and while it was good it wasn’t as good as Bubba’s in Thibodeaux, LA.
Today we went to the post office, Wal-Mart, Sally’s and gas station, then home for lunch. I I talked with Larry and Kathy and they told me Brad, nephew, was named Coach of the Year, http://www.thehawkeye.com/Story/All-HE-Hoenig-032311, congratulations Brad and all the girls on the team.
Our campsite here is good except for the sewer hookup, DSCN1905 Have you every seen anything like this. There is no way to secure the hose from the camper to the sewer pcv pipe so I tried taping it to keep the hose from coming out. I didn’t do a very good job because it leaked bad, thankfully I only had the gray water tank valve open so the only thing that went onto the ground was laundry water. I am going to unhook everything this afternoon and then dump the black water, toilet, tank tomorrow at the dump station before we leave the campground.
Other than that this has been a very nice park.
We have had a great time down south this winter but now it is time to head for the north, a stop at the factory for a repair of the old dryer vent hole, Omaha to see the kids and finally Des Moines to visit with family and friends and go to a few appointments. May will begin another series of road trips and new adventures.
Dreams Do Come True.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Battleship Texas

Monday was a rainy day do we stayed in all day, well except for the one time Sarah badgered me into walking the park with her. I was able to get some things done on the computer that I had been wanting to try. Of course every time I do something like this it messes up the computer and then I have to call my help desk and most of the time they don’t answer my call. I think they screen the calls to see if it is me calling. As all of you probably know my help desk is our boys, Robert & Daniel, I really wish I had their brains, they must have gotten them from their mother.

Tuesday we met Becky’s husband Ken, such a good name, at the Battleship Texas memorial. We spent a little over two hours touring the ship, they don’t let you go everywhere on the ship but you get to see a lot of it. Volunteers, along with Texas park employees, are constantly giving tours and doing maintenance, this ship was built in 1914, here is a link to the site, http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/battleship_texas/hist.phtml. This ship had a lot of firsts,

“In 1916, TEXAS became the first U.S. battleship to mount antiaircraft guns and the first to control gunfire with directors and range-keepers, analog forerunners of today's computers. In 1919, TEXAS became the first U.S. battleship to launch an aircraft.”

“The TEXAS received the first commercial radar in the US Navy in 1939. New antiaircraft batteries, fire control and communication equipment allowed the ship to remain an aging but powerful unit in the US naval fleet. In 1940, Texas was designated flagship of US Atlantic Fleet. The First Marine Division was founded aboard the TEXAS early in 1941. April 21, 1948 the Texas was decommissioned.

The TEXAS holds the distinguished designation of a National Historic Landmark and a National Mechanical Engineering Landmark.” (Taken from the Battleship Texas website)

I really enjoyed the time we spent on the ship, I don’t believe I could have lived on that ship, the quarters were really tight, privacy didn’t exist on the ship. Here are some photos:


After touring the ship we went to the Monument Inn for lunch. It was very busy but after a wait of 10-15 minutes we were seated. Ken had a hamburger, very good he said, Sarah had a grilled fish sandwich, also good, and I had a oyster/shrimp Peaux Boy, very good. Bill, it doesn’t come close to Bubba’s Po Boy. After lunch Ken said his good byes and headed home, about an hour away, we really had a good time with him and appreciate him taking time from his day and spending it with us. He has a website, http://mach3photography.com/, he takes some good photos, mostly sports and airplanes.

I wanted to go to the San Jacinto monument and battleground so we drove over to it. The monument resembles the Washington monument in DC but I believe is bigger in diameter. You can ride elevators to the top and get a view of Houston and surrounding area but the lines were long and I was tired so we opted to come back another time.

We took the ferry back across water and headed home where we sat out and read the rest of the afternoon. Our neighbor Gene stopped by and chatted, all in all it was a great day.

Today is a Wal Mart run to get a few things and to fuel the truck for our trek to the Dallas area tomorrow. It will be a long day in the saddle as I am going to circumvent the Dallas area, I don’t relish the idea of driving through downtown Dallas with the camper. So we will take I 45 to Hwy 34, to Hwy 380 and into the campground.

So until next time remember Dreams Do Come True.

Monday, March 14, 2011

On the road again–Houston, TX


Wednesday afternoon we filled the fresh water tank and dumped the others and unhooked all connections except for the electric. So this morning it only took a few minutes to hook up and leave.

The drive was uneventful except for the condition of the roads. They are extremely rough in this part of the country. I remember I-80 going through Omaha as being extremely rough last year and these roads are in the same condition. It makes one wonder where the road tax dollars are being spent, I don’t believe it is on the roads.

We are in San Jacinto Riverfront RV Park, Highlands, TX. This is a big park, they even have about twenty or so sites with hot tubs, no I didn’t get one because I didn’t want to pay the price. We are here for a week, $189 rate, and have a very nice site in the first row. The park is along the San Jacinta river so we took a walk through the park and went down to the river, they have some nice places to sit and read or just enjoy the view.


Shopping day at Wal-Mart and fuel for the truck. I averaged 8.9 mpg coming over from Louisiana, I had a wind from the side but I doubt it had anything to do with my mpg. I decided early on if I got 8-9 mpg I would be very happy. We also wanted to find a post office so I asked the GPS to find the nearest one. It found several and the nearest one it found was about 8 miles away, so we took off for it. The directions took us through some industrial area and they a town called Channelview, TX. We returned to the campground and on the way we saw a Catholic church a block from the entrance to the campground, we will attend mass there Sunday. I like seeing how what the architecture of the different churches is like. This afternoon we met with an Air Force buddy, we served in Vietnam together at the 366th USAF Disp at DaNang. As we were leaving to go to their home we discovered a post office next to the entrance to the RV park, neither of us had seen it before. Powers of observation we are lacking.

We went to Sylvester and Joyce Rios’ home, I hadn’t seen Sylvester since 1968 so we had a bit of catching up to do.2011-03-11_17-03-38_178 He had a photo album of pictures it brought back a lot of memories. I don’t have many pictures from that time, I have thrown them away. We went to the Monument Inn for dinner and continued our visit, thank you for dinner it was very good and great conversation. Sarah and I our time with Sylvester and Joyce immensely, we took a couple of pictures and bid them farewell until the next time we are in town. Sylvester found my name on a veteran’s website, I am so glad he did.

When we left the restaurant we took a ferry across the river, it cut our return trip down to about three miles.

Saturday turned out to be a warm and very nice day, but what is with the wind down here in Texas. I don’t believe we have had a day yet where it wasn’t windy and we haven’t been here that long.

We met Becky and Ken Murray, newly weds, DSCN1483 at a restaurant named Lola, the restaurant was very nice and the food was good, but the parking is sparse and nothing for the truck we have. We found a parking lot a block away next to a park so it wasn’t bad, besides I needed to walk after eating. We had a great visit. Ken just retired from the Air Force after 25 years as a navigator on a KC135. Becky is an anesthesiologist here in Houston. We decided we had not seen Becky since she became a doctor. Oh how time flies.


Talking about time flying we went to see Jose and Emma Llana.DSCN1502 I met Jose the year I attended St Ambrose College, 1962, he had come to the USA from Cuba the year before. At that time he had no family in the area and spent thanksgiving of 1962 alone on the campus, so I told mom he had no place to go and she said to have him come home with me at Christmas, he did and spent most holidays at our house. In fact I told him he probably took my place when I left for the Air Force in 1964, I told mom that and she said yes he did. We had a great visit, they took us to The Galleria, it is a huge mall with over 375 stores in it, Sarah did manage to find something to buy and it was worth it she looks great in it. On our way to eat we stopped at The Williams Wall of Water, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerald_D._Hines_Waterwall_Park


This is quite a structure, it can be a be disorienting standing and looking up at the water, for an old person it can also lead to other things.

Jose and Emma took us to the Goode Company Seafood restaurant for dinner and introduced us to Campechana, here is a link for more information on the dish, http://blogs.chron.com/forkandcork/2009/10/chef_secrets_goode_co_seafoods.html.

It was great, Sarah ate one by herself, half of one and then most of another, plus some of my flounder. Everything was delicious. It was a great meal with great conversation. We had a great visit, it was so good to see Jose and Emma.

What a weekend, today it is raining so we are spending the day catching up on reading and other things. This retirement gig is great.

Until later, Dreams Do Come True.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Moving to Louisiana

I forgot to finish this earlier, so maybe better late than never.



The Yogi Bear Jellystone RV Park, the park is located close to I-10 making it a good stop. Reviews I read said the noise from the interstate was loud, we didn’t find that to be the case. If you are sitting outside you can hear the noise but we didn’t think it was to much. When I registered I forgot to ask for a site so we could have satellite TV so when we got to the site we had a huge tree over the camper. We spent the night with no TV. Actually it turned out to be a good thing, I watch to much TV as it is.

We unhooked and set up the camper and then went in search of fuel for the truck. When we returned to the campground there was a mini motorhome at the gate. The owner was inside registering. I missed a picture opportunity because hanging on the ladder of the camper was a walker. I looked at Sarah and said we can do this for a long time to come. So there is hope for us after all.


Foley, AL is a nice town, we spent the night there at the Johnny’s Lakeside RV Resort (formerly Palm Lake RV Resort). Friends Shari & Dave Frantz are camped for the month of March. We arrived about two and were taken to our site, this site was a bit easier to get into than the site in Florida. We got set up in a short time and then Dave and I went in search of fuel for the truck. Robertsdale, just north of Foley, has one of the biggest Camping world's I have been in. I wanted to get the items needed to connect two sewer hoses, I had a premonition I would need the ability to connect the hoses. Sure enough we did but I forgot one piece to use the items I wanted but I was able to get the two hoses together and we were hooked up.

Wednesday was travel day to Schriever, LA, we arrived about 2:30. I don’t like to complain about to many things but I am going to make an exception with the Louisiana roads. I was leery about going through New Orleans, it wasn’t bad, I didn’t know about I-610 which bypasses the city so we made good time. As we approached the town we crossed

  1. Lake Pontchartrain

on a new bridge. Off to the right was another bridge with the railings missing in places and one whole section was gone. I later learned Katrina caused the destruction of this bridge. Also, we hit one section that had a roller coaster effect where I thought the trailer was going to come off the truck. All in all it was a good trip.

We got set up and Sarah’s brother Bill and wife Mable came out to the campground. Now this campground is nothing special, but I have full hook ups with 50 amp service. We are here because of Mardi Gras and a lot of Sarah’s relatives will be here at Bill’s. So without going into a lot of details Sarah went to the parades in New Orleans on Saturday and Sunday, I went to the parade on Sunday in Thibodaux. The parades are interesting because it seems to me the object of going to them is to collect as many beads as possible. There was a young man next to me who was filling a gunny sack with beads. I later found out the beads are either donated to Goodwill, they recycle them to the krewes, this is the name for the group who puts on the parade, for next year’s parade or the krewes buy them back. After the parades the streets and trees are littered with the beads.

Here is a link and information about krewes.



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

"Spanish Krewe" float at Springtime Tallahassee

A krewe (pronounced in the same way as "crew") is an organization that puts on a parade and or a ball for the Carnival season. The term is best known for its association with New Orleans Mardi Gras, but is also used in other Carnival celebrations around the Gulf of Mexico, such as the Gasparilla Pirate Festival in Tampa, Florida, and Springtime Tallahassee as well as in La Crosse, Wisconsin[1] and at the Saint Paul Winter Carnival.

The word is thought to have been coined in the early 19th century by an organization calling themselves Ye Mistick Krewe of Comus, as an archaic affectation; with time it became the most common term for a New Orleans Carnival organization. The Mystick Krewe of Comus itself was inspired by a Mobile mystic society, with annual parades in Mobile, Alabama, called the Cowbellion de Rakin Society that dated from 1830.[2]

Krewe members are assessed fees in order to pay for the parade and/or ball. Fees can range from thousands of dollars a year per person for the most elaborate parades to as little as $20 a year for smaller marching clubs. Criteria for krewe membership varies similarly, ranging from exclusive organizations largely limited to relatives of previous members to other organizations open to anyone able to pay the membership fee. Krewes with low membership fees may also require members to work to help build and decorate the parade floats and make their own costumes; higher priced krewes hire professionals to do this work. Parading krewe members are usually responsible for buying their own throws, the trinkets thrown to parade spectators according to Mobile and New Orleans tradition.

Some krewes also have other events like private dances or parties for members throughout the year. Some also make a point of supporting charities and good causes.

Among the most famous krewes are the Mistick Krewe of Comus, the Krewe of Proteus, Rex, the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club, and the Krewe of Momus.

The floats are interesting:

DSCN1299 DSCN1304

Then Monday evening there was a ball in Thibodaux, it seems there are a lot of balls given by the different krewes. So we went to it with Bill and Mable. Now I don’t have a suit anymore and really didn’t know if there was a dress code, so I wore my jeans and t-shirt, needless to say I was a bit under dressed, but enjoyed the festivies anyway. A lot of the people were in in gowns and tux. Here are some pictures of the festivities.


The the king and queen of the parade;


We were planning on leaving today for Houston, but the forecast was for rain and I don’t like hooking up in the rain so we are leaving tomorrow. We are staying at the San Jacinto Riverfront RV Resort in Highlands, TX, http://www.sjriverfrontrvresort.com/. We will be there for about a week and then on to Dallas.

So until later Dreams Do Come True.