Monday, February 28, 2005

Montana Tours of 2005, February 28, 2005, Sand Art, HUGE Bee

We are still in Llano Grande Park, we contemplated moving to Victoria Palms on March 1st, however, we got a cold reception when we stopped to discuss the situation with them, they are contemplating a 1 dog per rig rule. They don’t want my dogs, they don’t want my $$. And life goes on.

Al has been playing billiards almost every night and has gone with the fellows to another park a few times to play in tournaments. He has been enjoying this very much.

We drove out to South Padre Island for the day, Al had SEAFOOD for lunch, HA HA, now there is a surprise! We looked around at the campgrounds. Most are county parks, and literally every site is reserved for a full year in advance, the same people keep coming back. One lady we met commented that the only way you might get one of those sites is if someone died. They really love it out there, salt air and all! There is one commercial campground that we found, it was rather pricy! The parks that we saw on the mainland, but close to the Gulf were horribly run down, not where Al and I would feel comfortable staying. There are probably more parks, yet to be discovered by yours truly, but for now, we will not be staying out in that direction!

So, what is the photo at the right of?? I call it "Sand Art". It is a photo of the sand on the beach at South Padre Island. This is looking straight down, we liked the unusual formations.

Al also discovered that Llano Grande has a brand new wood shop, since we were in desperate need of a shelf to secure the new TV, he took advantage of the expertise of the volunteers that run the shop and of the time. We now have a really great looking shelf, with DVD player and TV all secured. He also made 2 doors, one for under the refrigerator and one for under the stove, knocked out the panels below each, installed doors and oooeee, 2 great new storage areas. I have been rearranging the kitchen. (Photos can be seen here.)

This huge killer bee is actually a "monument" we found in Hidalgo, Texas. It is hard to tell, but those palm trees in the back are TALL. They say this is the world's largest killer bee. We just had to have a photo!

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Montana Tours of 2005, February 15 to 26, 2005, This 'n That

February 15 - 17th, 2005

Still lazy, we are now walking the dogs every morning, Al takes 1, then another, then he goes for a longer walk, when he returns I walk 1, then the last. The dogs LOVE it!

On the 17th, members of the Montana’s Owners Club (online forum) that are in the valley, meet for a late lunch/early dinner in McAllen Texas. You know who the MC for the afternoon was. We had about 30 people, spent a great afternoon of chatting and visiting and laughing. My cough is gone, except when I laugh, oh, we were laughing, oh, dear!

February 18 - 26, 2005

We have 3 or 4 days of wonderfully warm weather. We go to the pool and hot tub and laz around for 3 afternoons in a row. We go out and run some errands here and there. Some MOC members, Les and Julie, ended up in our park for 1 week, and we visit with them, talking fulltiming, and of course, Montanas! We go out to eat a couple of times with them, they are great people and we hope to run into them again sometime on the road!

We spend another afternoon in Harlingen, did a little window/antique shopping in the downtown area, which is like so many of our country’s downtowns, hard on businesses. Many empty buildings and a few “going out of sale” signs. We tried to go to the Rio Grande Valley Museum, but found it closed. They don’t publish their hours on their glossy brochure, very irritating. Had dinner in a all you can eat Chinese buffet place. Al had wanted to go to the Shrimp Fest that evening, till they told us it was boiled shrimp, and a tad pricey. So, we found this Chinese place, and they had boiled shrimp, and crab this, and mussels that, and catfish and salmon and more shrimp with flavorings. He still got all he could eat! And, got to say, that eating Chinese with Country music twaingin the in the background is different! Only in Texas?? What fun!

While we were killing some time that afternoon we happened upon the Harlingen Public Library and wandered in. They had a nice collection of art work, which we wandered around and looked at. I wandered into the genealogy area for a few minutes and found a book on Page County Virginia that has some photos of a house I want, connected to my families. Go figure, all the way to Texas and find something on one of my Virginia families. I found that they book is also owned by the Allen County Public Library, so I will take my scanner and look it up there.

On the afternoon of the 26th we run out to La Joya and take in the performance of the high school kids, like we did last year. They surely are a talented batch of kids. We stopped on the way home and visited another MOC member who is parked out that way, spent a few hours with John and Donna from Ontario, what a nice visit and afternoon.

Well, that about brings you up to date. We have been here almost a month, and have yet to be to Mexico. Have not done much at all, but we are in the Montana, and as far as we are concerned that is a good thing!

Monday, February 14, 2005

Montana Tours of 2005, February 11 to 14, 2005, Llano Grande & Iwo Jima

Finally we are able to show you the Montana as she sits this year at Llano Grande RV park. The grass is about half grown in, and the palm trees are only about 10 inches high. The lots, however, are very wide and the utilities are set up very nicely.
February 11 - 14, 2005

Still recovering from our colds we are still not doing much. Weather here is not the best, but then look at the weather they have been having in Arizona! OUCH. We have a day or two of rain, gray then we get a day or two that is rather nice.

Al finds a replacement TV at the local Best Buy, a 20 inch flat screen Toshiba. It has a great picture! A day after we get that all set up, we go to play a CD, and you guessed it, the CD changer will not open and we discover that it is fatally ill. The day we did laundry, it was rather damp outside and I could not hang out the shirts to dry, so we set up the little clothes rack we have in Montana. You guessed it, in the middle of the night, crack, crack and crash, the rack broke and I had to gather up all the still semi-wet clothes. Next morning we went to Linens N More and bought a new one, this one a bit more substantial than the old one. This is turning into the “replacement tour”.

On the 14th, we finally feel we are strong enough to undertake a day of sightseeing, so we head off to Harlingen. We visit the Iwo Jima monument. This is taken from the same mold as the monument in Washington D.C. It is quite breathtaking. There is a nice park, lots of memorial live oak trees placed in memory of fallen soldiers, a museum and a interesting movie on the Battle to take Iwo Jima. We have lunch in what is supposed to be one of the 50 best Mexican restaurants in the US. It is fine, but we think we found one here locally near our campground that is at least that good, maybe better! Yep, we have eaten there a couple of times! We also wander out to the Texas Air Museum, which will be closed by the end of February for ever, the collection is being sold off and all artifacts will be moved to other locations. It is an interesting collection of airplanes and World War II war memorabilia. The collection needs to be moved away from the salt air (we are near the Gulf) and parts of it needs some TLC, but we still find it an enjoyable way to spend a few hours. It was 92 degrees in the afternoon, February 14th! OK, we loved it, it is part of why we come to the Rio Grande Valley, the high temps!

Iwo Jima Monument in Harlingen Texas

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Montana Tours of 2005, January 30 to February 10, 2005, Texas and Still Sick

January 30, 2005

Today we drive to Dallas Texas. It is another LONG day, 410 miles. The campground we end up in is OK for overnight, but has small lots, crowded, they want us to unhook, which we DO NOT do as they gave us a site where we could just manage to get into. It is cold, it is raining, and wind blowing, rather nasty all the way around. Carol drove today, and was reminded how wonderful this Montana pulls.

January 31, 2005

Dallas to George West, Texas, did not record the mileage, exactly, something like 300 to 350?? It is still cool, rainy and frankly nasty. The campground we pick for tonight has HUGE lots, pull throughs that run alongside the road. Concrete pads, nice little covered picnic area on each site. Bad side of the coin, the access roads are all dirt, it is raining, so the access roads are all a slimy slippery mud. Both of us are starting to feel bad, ok, worse, again. Nasty colds! SIGH

February 1, 2005

Arrive Mercedes Texas, staying at the Llano Grande Resort. Victoria Palms was full, so we are in a sister park. We arrive it is about 45 degrees, cloudy, breezy, and raining. We will set up in this nastiness. Or, partially set up, we only do what is strictly necessary, as we both feel so bad and this weather is so nasty we don’t want to be out in it. We are in a brand new section of the park, the electric meter reads 00000. We have signed up for 1 month, then we will see, maybe we will move on, maybe not.

February 2 to 10, 2005

Well, we have been very sick, nasty cold, cough, slight fevers, just generally crummy. We mostly stayed in the Montana, nursing our wounds! A few trips out for groceries, gas, and not much else. Some days we even managed to take the yorks for short walks. No fun being sick, but we were warm, safe, comfy in Montana. Carol read a LOT of books. We had trouble getting the cable modem to work, went back to the office for 4 different modems, only to find that they had a filter on the line, which we were told was NOT there, and that one of the poles had some missing equipment. Once the cable company was called about the missing part it was less than an hour and we were up and surfing. Al now has both laptops hooked together, network style, via a cord, (cord goes into the LAN connections) and we are surfing the net at the same time with our cable modem. VERY COOL!

Our TV is kaput. Al opened it up, found a blown fuse, went out, purchased new fuse, replaced fuse, plugged TV in, and FLASH! Lit up the whole Montana. What a blast! Took the TV into a local repair shop, where it was pronounced unfixable. So, we are surfing the net looking for a new one. Constrained by the size of the cabinet, this is turning into quite the search.
The weather has been, well, lets put it this way, has not been the best. We were here several days before the temperature got above 50. It has been mostly gray and icky and spitting rain here and there. The temps finally climbed out of the dungeon, and we had a couple of days of 70 and 80's. It is now back in the 50's for a day or so.

We did splurge on ourselves and had one of the local guys wash and wax the truck and wash down the sides (not the roof) of the Montana. With all the road dirt off, they both look better.

Nothing very exciting to report on our first couple of weeks out. Sometimes it just is like that.