Campground Showers

Good Morning.  I can’t believe how warm it is already here in central Texas.  It’s 55 outside now and it is going to warm up to almost 70 today.  It will be a great day to take a drive and just be outside.

And, it will be a good day to fill up our potable water tank and empty the gray and black tanks.  That won’t be too hard as we have full hook-ups at this campsite.  As I mentioned before this campground (Airport Park in Waco, Texas) has very large sites with nice amenities and a great view.

The restroom building here looks much larger and nicer than the one in Lavonia Park.  And, this park does have showers, even a couple handicap showers, but Clyde was less than impressed with them. He said the floor in the showers is level which doesn’t allow the water to drain, so you are standing in the water.  The showers do not have shower heads, so the water just pours out.  He also said there is a hole in the wall of each shower up near the ceiling. We are guessing it is there to help air out the showers in the summers heat, but when it is this cold outside he froze.  I’m guessing his showers will be in Winnie from now on while we are here.

Day 62.  Yesterday was uneventful and relaxing.  We didn’t go anywhere, we just took care of mundane things like paying bills.  Clyde did have to call Social Security.  He sat on hold for over an hour before he talked to a representative.  It’s a good thing he called when he did.  With the government shut down, I’m not sure they will have anyone there to answer the phones.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

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Magnolia Market

Good Morning.  What a good morning it is too.  The temperature is above freezing, the freezer is making ice, we are using electric not propane, and we are sitting in a park with a beautiful view and plenty of room.  What more could we ask for.

Day 61. Yesterday we decided to take a drive and check out our new surroundings. We knew we wanted to find a grocery store and maybe locate a laundromat for the next time we needed to go.  Other than that we just wanted to explore the area.

The first thing people think about when we mention we are in Waco, Texas is Chuck and Joanna Gaines from the TV show on HGTV the Fixer Upper.  Everyone says make sure you visit the silos and Magnolia Market.  Clyde has no idea who they are but he was game to go check it out.  We found it easily thanks to maps on my phone.  Do you remember before we had this feature so readily available and our paper maps were not detailed enough.  I sure do.

It was fun walking around and looking at everything but I didn’t find anything I couldn’t live without and their prices were higher than I could afford to buy gifts.  When you walk in you are greeted with the wonderful scent from the candles.  The smell is not overwhelming but just right.  In another area they have plants for sale. I have always loved the fragrant eucalyptus plants.

After checking out the store and the outside area we visited the Silos Baking Company which was next door.  I was less than impressed.  When we walked in we were greeted by an employee who handed us a card and asked us to fill it out with our order while we waited in line.  You didn’t get to look at the baked goods before you bought them. When you got to the cashier you handed her your card, paid and walked by the baked goods. You were then handed a bag with your order in it.  It was very fast and efficient but not friendly.  The food however, which we saved for breakfast, is delicious.

We then decided it was time to get our grocery shopping done. The closest grocery store  to the campground is an HEB.  We had never heard of them before, but we love to try new places.  We were pleasantly surprised.  It was a nice size store with a good selection to choose from.  Clyde asked an employee about the stores name and was told the store was named after the owners son, Howard Edward Butt.  The chain has over 300 stores in Texas and Mexico.

We made one more stop before heading back to the campground.  As it was past lunch time and our tummy’s were talking to us, we decided to try out the Sonic drive-in.  Neither of us had ever eaten at one before.  The food was very good.  We will definitely pick them over other fast food places.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

 

Airport Park

Good Morning.  We are now in Airport Park, a Corp of Engineering Campground in Waco, Texas.  The temperature is currently 14.  We took the same precautions we took the last few nights to protect our home from having the tanks and pipes freeze up.  So far so good.  The only thing we’ve noticed is the ice machine is not making ice.  Hopefully when we warm up above freezing it will start working again with no ill effects.

Day 60.  We took our time getting on the road yesterday.  It was very cold outside and we knew we weren’t going too far to get to our next destination.  We left Lake Lavonia about 10 a.m.  

The only thing we really needed to do before arriving in Waco was fill up with propane.  By the time we were ready to leave we were down to a 1/4 of a tank.  Thanks to another reader and full-time RV’er, Al and Debbie of Our Coddiwomple Blog who suggested a Flying J in Waco that has propane, we weren’t worried about where to find it.

Once we were on the road, after looking to see what exit we were getting off and which exit the Flying J was at, I realized the Flying J was a few exits beyond the one we were getting off.  I needed to find another option to fill our propane tank.  Looking in the Next Exit book I found a Loves gas station, exit 386 off I-35, in Italy, Texas that not only had propane, it also was an easy in and out.  It was just ahead of where we were and Patty Pepper was restless and not settling down. We needed to stop and let her out.  How could you resist that cute face.

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Patty Pepper

 

I love the Next Exit book.  If you are a traveler and haven’t heard of it, I recommend getting one.  It lists each exit and rest stops along the highway and what you will find at each one.  We have the 2017 edition but the 2018 is now out.

When we pulled up to the propane tank at the Loves gas station a young man came out.  You could tell he had no idea what he was doing.  I asked if he had ever filled a motorhome before and he said no.  I then asked if he could get someone with experience to show him what to do.  He did.  It all worked out in the end, but they only filled it 3/4 full.  That was ok with me.  I’d rather 3/4 full than overfilled.  Propane there was only $2.09 a gallon.  That’s the cheapest we’ve seen it on our recent travels.  We got 10.8 gallons for $22.57.  We wanted to fill Winnie up with gas but we didn’t like the price.  The young man we were talking to said it was cheaper further south.  So we decided to wait and get it later.  With that accomplished we were back on the road.

We stopped for lunch at a rest area that again just happened to show up when we wanted to stop.  How convenient.  It was a really busy place.  Every trucker on the road must have been hungry too.  I love the ambiance of the Texas rest areas.  Each one is a little different but inviting.

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Texas rest area at 362mm off I-35

Our next stop was gas.  We got off at our exit 339 and saw gas at $2.13 a gallon.  That’s the cheapest we’ve seen in a long time.  It was a Valero gas station and it was an easy in and out.  $81 later we were on our way to our campsite.

Like the last Corp of Engineering campground, this one was off the beaten path too.  The GPS on my phone had us turn in a road too soon.  The sign said Airport park but it was the boat launch and also the road for airport personnel.  A nice lady was right behind us and told us we needed to go down one more road.  Unfortunately we had no room to turn around so we had to unhook the toad. While we were unhooking the car from the motorhome two more RV’ers also pulled into the wrong road.  I guess we aren’t the only ones who mess up.  Instead of hooking the car back up once we were turned around, I just drove it to our campsite.

We arrived at our site #61 about 2:30 pm.  Again it was a bit later than we had thought we would be, but then again we are in no hurry.  We traveled a total of 136 miles.

This campsite is perfect.  We have a beautiful view, a long paved pad, large site with a separate patio area with a picnic table, fire pit and standing grill. We also have full hookups with 50 amps!  There are a lot more campers here than at our last campground.

We are looking forward to exploring our new area.  Loving this lifestyle.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

 

 

Short Travel Day

Day 60.  Good morning.  Well, we made it through another very cold night.  The temperature is 13 right now.  This has been by far the coldest night we’ve ever spent in Winnie.  I just hope she hasn’t sustained any damage.  We took some precautions again last night; heat on higher than normal, cupboard doors open, hot water tank on, disposable water tank filled.  I don’t know what else we could have done.

We’ve gone through a 1/2 tank of propane in the last two days.  That is fine by me.  We’ve stayed warm and protected Winnie.  It’s a small price to pay.  The hard part is finding propane.  If you have small removable tanks that isn’t a problem.  You can find places to fill or swap out tanks easily.  Finding places that have large propane tanks with employees knowledgeable in properly and safely using them is a not easy.  Another issue we have when we do find a place is do they have room for us to pull in with a large motorhome and do we have to unhook the toad. We will be on the lookout again today for a good place to fill her up.

Today is a travel day.  We have reservations at Airport Park, a Corp of Engineers campground near Waco, Texas.  It is only supposed to be a 2 1/2 hour drive from here, but you know how that goes.  No matter, we aren’t in any hurry.  We will take our time, see the sights and get there when we get there – as long as it’s before dinner.  Us old people don’t enjoy driving in the dark or through rush hour traffic.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

Staying Warm and UFO’s

Day 59.  Good Morning.  We made it through the night with no ill effects.  The temperature is 20 right now and still dropping.  It looks like it could go into the teens today.  Our high for the day is only 29.  You can hear and feel the wind against the motorhome. So I’m assuming the wind chill would make the temperature even lower.  We opened the cabinet doors under the kitchen sink and in the bathroom last night to help keep those areas warm.  I didn’t turn the heat down as low as I normally would have hoping the extra heat would help the pipes and tanks.  My kids call me the heat miser.  Yah, maybe I am a bit, but I really prefer sleeping in a cool room snuggled under my quilts.  We will need to take the same precautions again tonight as the temperature is supposed to go down even lower to only 14.

This is a good day to stay indoors and work on a craft project.  I brought along a UFO (unfinished object) to complete.  I may have 2 or 3 projects going at one time, but I usually continue to work on a project until it’s completed.  This project has been picked up on and off for years.  I started it when my daughter was pregnant with my grandson.  He will be 22 in March.  I guess it’s a little late to give it to him now.  It’s a stamped cross stitch bed cover. It really is cute and I am enjoying working on it.  I’ll just put it away to gift out at a later time.

Stay warm and safe and have a good day.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

BBQ with Friends

Day 58.  This day started out to be one of the warmest days we’ve experienced since we’ve been here in Texas.  We almost hit 60.  But knowing another cold front was coming in, we decided we’d better get the propane tank filled as we were down to 1/4 of a tank.  It was 5 days ago that we put Winnie down and took her to Tractor Supply for a refill.  Between then and now the price per gallon went up 10 cents.  With that accomplished we feel much more at ease knowing we won’t run out or have to ration the amount of propane we use.

We could have gotten propane yesterday, but we decided to do laundry and grocery shopping in the morning so we could spend the afternoon watching the Red Wings (hockey) and the football playoffs.

When we got back from getting the propane we got set back up and did some cleaning.  One nice thing about living in a small area is cleaning doesn’t take very long.

Our afternoon was spent with our friends Gary and Gale.  We had them over to our home this time.  And, because of the poor electrical connection we have here, (Clyde couldn’t even pop a bag of microwave popcorn the other night), I didn’t want to cook for them.  Instead we went out for BBQ.  Our kids told us when we entered Texas to make sure we had some “real” BBQ.  So we did. We went to Big Daddy’s Roadhouse BBQ.

We love going to new and different place, especially those that are not part of a chain.  When we went in to eat the weather was beautiful and warm.  When we came out, wow! what a difference!  The temperature had dropped and you felt the chill in the air.  The cold front is coming quickly.

We went back to our place for more good conversation and dessert.  We really enjoyed getting together with them these past 2 weeks and look forward to doing it again.

We will be leaving here Wednesday morning and heading down by Waco to another Corps of Engineering Campground called Airport Park.  We are hoping the electric situation is better than we have here (less than 25 amps).

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

High Winds and Modern Technology

Day 53.  Thursday we experienced high winds in our motorhome. You could hear the wind whistling, see the white caps on the water and feel the power of the wind from inside the motorhome. Inside our sticks and bricks home we could hear the wind through the windows, but not feel the power it emits. This was not a day I would care to be on the road. It’s a good thing we’ve got plenty of propane for heat.

We were expecting colder weather, which we got – temperatures in the 20’s and 30’s.  Add in the wind chill and you have winter without the snow.  We thought we left Michigan to get out of the cold. We had no idea what the weather would be like when we started our adventure. I guess I was naïve enough to think the further south you went the warmer it was.  No sitting outside reading a book on the beach yet.

DSC_0003.JPGSome people talk about the “good old days” when things were simpler.  Maybe they were.  Looking back some things were quite different when I was growing up than they are now.  And, it was a whole lot different when my parents and grandparents were young,  But, I’m not sure I’d say things were better.

When I was growing up there were no cell phones.  We had one phone attached to a short cord on the kitchen wall. There was no privacy.  Grandma and grandpa had what was known as a party line, where other families were able to hear your conversations on their phone line.  It was long distance to call someone not too far away.  You paid for your phone bill by the minutes used and those minutes added up. The farther away you were from the person you were calling the more those minutes cost.

I remember when I was first married and only lived 45 minutes away from my parents that mom and I talked every Saturday morning.  She would call me one Saturday and I would call her the next. When we moved out-of-state those weekly phone calls meant all the more to me.

Now with the invention of cell phones we are able to talk to anyone, anytime, no matter how far away we are.  And, what about face-timing our loved ones on our phones.  How fun is that!  These new inventions enable us to stay close to our loved ones while on the road.  We not only can hear them, we can see how well they are doing.

We even have the internet on our phones.  Growing up we didn’t have computers or the internet.  Now we can pay our bills right from our phones, get directions, look up information and so much more. 

Without these modern conveniences our life on the road would be so different.  I’m not sure I would enjoy this lifestyle as much without my I-phone.  I look forward to hearing from my children and grandchildren.  They are free to call us anytime.  Face-timing with them is such a treat, especially with the little ones.  They grow-up so fast.

We don’t have to worry about how many minutes we’ve been talking because it costs too much.  We only have to worry about cell towers and a good connection.  Yep, I like these technological advances.

Until next time,

Kathryn