Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge

Good morning. It is going to be another mild day with a high of only 71. Perfect for going to Mexico one last time before we leave here and start heading north. One thing I noticed that is different here than up north is that when the temperature drops suddenly there is no storm, no rain. The wind will whip up and the temperature drops. Up north the wind will whip up and the rain will pour down and the temperature drops. They sure could use the rain down here. Everything is so dry. Some of the riverbeds are dried up and the grass is dry and filled with teeny, tiny burrs.

Day 114.  Yesterday Steve and Judy took us for a drive. First we went to a town called Port Mansfield, which is along the Laguna Madre and across from where South Padre Island and Padre Island meet. It is a fishing village with many piers. It was a cool crisp day and the wind was blowing, but the pier we walked was filled with people fishing anyway. I didn’t see anyone catching anything, but they were trying. Just call them diehard fishermen.

What makes this little town unique is that there are deer wandering around all over. You see them in the yards, along the road, everywhere. Steve stopped the car so I could take a picture of one close by. I opened the van door, took a few pictures and the little guy just stood there posing for me. He didn’t take off when he heard the noise of the door opening like the deer do anywhere else. None of the deer are very big that I saw.

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We then headed south toward the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge. On the way we stopped at another of Steve’s favorite places to eat, Chili Willie’s Drive Inn, located in the Rio Hondo/Arroyo City area along the Colorado River. Only it wasn’t a drive-in as we would think of one-no car hop or eating outside. It was a quaint little bar-restaurant known for having good burgers and seafood. We each enjoyed a burger and fries or onion rings.

When we arrived at the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge we used our Lifetime Senior Passes to get in. It was our first time to be able to use them. We drove around the park looking for wildlife and we walked a few of the different marked paths. We were a bit disappointed we weren’t able to spot many birds or other wildlife. I guess it was too cold or the wrong time of year for the birds and animals to be out wandering around. We had a good time anyway and enjoyed the fresh air and company. It is a beautiful area that would be a great place to come when the weather is a bit nicer to hike and take photos.

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We enjoyed our day with friends and have another trip planned for today. Loving our lifestyle. Have a great day.

Until next time,

Kathryn

Wash & Wax

Good morning. Today is travel day. Only an hour away, but still a travel day. I am ready. I am looking forward to spending time with our old friend. That is one nice thing about our lifestyle. We are able to make our rounds and visit with family and friends more often than we would have previously.

The weatherman is forecasting high winds again this morning, which isn’t the best time to travel. Hopefully we will be on the road and at our next site before they kick in or we can avoid them all together.

Day 102. Yesterday morning we spent cleaning the inside of Winnie and preparing for leaving here today. In the afternoon I enjoyed sitting outside in the sunshine. That never gets old. I would spend all day sitting outside if I could also be crafting at the same time or if I had a good book to read (which I don’t at the moment).

While we were enjoying the fresh air, we watched two guys wash and hand wax Winnie. When they were done with Winnie, they also did our car. We thought they were only going to wash the outside of our car, but they also did the inside. We got our motorhome washed, hand waxed and our car washed, hand waxed and the inside detailed for only $140 (and of course a nice tip). We weren’t sure how much to tip the guys. When we go out to eat we usually tip 20%. But, when there are two people do you tip per person on the total amount or do they split the tip figured on the total amount. We decided to figure it somewhere in the middle, 15% per guy.  It took them 2 hours to do both the motorhome and the car. We were very happy with how nice they both turned out. I also feel much better knowing we got the ocean salt removed. It will help keep our vehicles looking nice much longer.

Loving our lifestyle. Have a nice day.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

 

One Last Day

Good morning. Well, this is our last day here on South Padre Island. It is hard to believe we have been here a month already. It’s even harder to believe tomorrow is the first day of March. Spring is almost here. They say March winds, well we have certainly experienced those here and it isn’t even March yet. Today is another high wind advisory day. I’m glad it isn’t a travel day. We leave tomorrow morning for Harlingen where we will be spending two weeks visiting with an old friend.

Today we will spend part of the day cleaning and getting things put away for traveling. We also have a mobile RV wash and wax truck coming this afternoon to give Winnie a good cleaning. It is important to get all of the salt from the ocean air off her. We want to keep our motorhome as nice looking as possible. We have seen 3 different companies come through the campground washing different recreation vehicles. They seem to keep themselves quite busy.

Day 101. As we were getting ready to leave yesterday to do our laundry the propane gas truck pulled up. We had scheduled a fill-up for today (Wednesday) but they decided to come a day early. That’s ok. We were still here and it was good to get it done. We like to keep the tank as full as possible because we have found it isn’t always easy to find a place that can accommodate a motorhome.

After the propane was filled, we were off to do our laundry. We had no problem getting the 4 machines we need. After we got our loads going the place got busy. It seemed like it was campers wash day. I visited with one lady from the Show and Tell group and one lady from the Beading group.

We were back home in time for lunch. I spent the afternoon divided between sitting outside enjoying the warm sunshine and beading. Just doing what I love most.

Loving our lifestyle. Have a good day.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

 

 

 

New Friends

Good morning family and friends. Only today and tomorrow left here and then we are off to Harlingen. With today being another overcast, humid and very windy day I won’t mind getting our chores done. Today is laundry day and we will be making one last stop to Walmart for a few items.

Day 100. Wow. It is hard to believe we have been on the road for over 3 months now. Spring is on its way. Yesterday at Show and Tell I found out almost half of the winter Texans were heading north right along with us. They still have another home to go back to and like to be there for various reasons in the spring. It might also be some of them don’t want to be here at the same time as the spring breakers.

I enjoyed my last time with the Show and Tell group. The ladies are fun to be around and talk my language-crafts. I oohed and ahhed at many of their items. The Red Hat ladies were having a luncheon afterwards and a couple of them showed off their hats. Of course, being artistic ladies, they had either embellished a hat or made one from scratch. Love, love, loved them. So creative. One of the red hat ladies showed a quilt she had made for their raffle.

In the afternoon I went back for the beading group. I took the bracelets I had made since joining their group to show them what I had finished and learned thanks to their tutelage. They were very surprised to see I had so many bracelets completed and that I caught on so quickly. They were also happy to see they had hooked me onto their craft. We spent time admiring each others bracelets. We talked about different patterns and where to find them. We discussed the different beads and color combinations that would look nice together. And, of course we beaded. It was a nice afternoon.

The ladies were sad to see me leave and begged me to come back next winter. They were already planning what to make next year. It felt nice to be included in their group. They have been together many years already. I told them we will see, but that we still have places to go and things to see before we decide where to settle back down. Every time I wear one of my bracelets I will remember these new friends.

Loving our lifestyle. Have a great day.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

 

 

Market Days

Good morning. I hope everyone had a nice weekend. I get together today for the last time with the ladies from both the Show andTell group and the Beading Group. I’ve decided to show the ladies Patty Pepper’s sweater I knit her and a hat I knit for myself, I will also show them the bracelets I’ve made over the past week. I enjoy going. It is a nice relaxing time with women who enjoy the same things I do. The down side is you don’t really get to know them very well. You only meet with them a few times and then we are on to a new adventure. But then that is the lifestyle we have chosen. No regrets. I am ready to leave here and I am looking forward to our next stop, visiting with our old friend and making a few new ones.

Day 99. What do you think about when you hear Market Days? When the kids were growing up, Market Day at school was once a month and you purchased a few food items for a fund-raiser.

South Padre Island advertised their Market Days in a free paper we had picked up and we also saw a sign along the road telling about it. It was held once in January and again yesterday at the civic center. We were not here in January, but we thought it would be nice to go see what they had this time. We were both thinking fresh vegetables and fruits, as well as some homemade baked goods and maybe some crafts and flea market items.

We got there just after it had opened to an already packed parking lot and lots of people walking around. We thought great. It must be pretty good if it attracts so many people. I had thought it would be held outdoors, but it was inside the large civic center. The entrance fee was $1 each.

We enjoyed walking around looking at all of the different booths set up. There were a number of jewelry exhibits. Some were selling handmade items, others had beautiful new jewelry for sale. And, there was also flea market jewelry items for sale.  We also saw handmade soaps, artists paintings, clothing, and an abundance of assorted flea market items. The one thing we didn’t see was food. It was definitely not a farmers market.

We enjoyed getting out and walking around but didn’t see anything we couldn’t live without. That’s how we shop now that we live in a tiny home. We are always thinking do I need that item and where would I put it if I bought it. It sure does cut down on impulse purchases. We did buy a bag of kettle corn from a vendor set up outside of the civic center. We went for food and bought food.

Until next time,

Kathryn

Isla Blanca Park

Good morning. The weatherman says it is going to be another comfortable day with temps around 80, but it is also supposed to be overcast all day. That makes for a gloomy no sun day. The good news is no high wind advisory for today.

Our time here is almost up. Only a few days left. In reflecting back over this last month our stay here is not what we expected. From what we have been told, the weather has been exceptionally cool for this area (and everywhere else). I pictured us spending time walking along the beach or sitting in our lounge chairs on the beach enjoying the fresh air, sunshine and warm temperatures. That never happened. We did walk along the beach a few times but I never had the desire to bring my chair and sit. The wind was always too strong for my liking. Just call me spoiled. I love my Michigan beaches.

As I mentioned before, the campground is very large with many sites that are close together. Location wise our site is ideal. We can see the water from our site and we are close enough to the beach to takes walks anytime we want.  But the site has many flaws. It is rocky with lots of pits. There is no nice area to put out your chairs to sit and relax. The picnic table is cemented in the ground and is located so that when you open your door it is right there. When walking the park I’ve noticed some sites are nicer than others. Some have cement patios, others have nice grassy areas.

The campground is going through major renovations. I do not know if that means they will be cleaning up and redoing the sites or just some of the areas. I’ve also heard that they are changing the reservation system they now have in place. This change is not one long time campers welcome. I do not know, but I will assume that with the campground renovations will also come raised camping rates to help offset the cost of improvements.

The campground does have many activities that are available to participate in if you choose. I have enjoyed the beading group and the show and tell group. We also went to bingo. There seems to be something for everyone if you choose.

Will we come back? Probably not next year. We have enjoyed the area. There are many things to do and see here. We did some and left some for another time. But, there are still many places we haven’t visited and would like to see.

Loving our lifestyle. Have a good day.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

 

Pier 19

Good morning.  Good news. We are in for another nice warm day with a high of 83. Bad news. High wind advisory for the entire day with wind gusts up to 45 mph. I’m not sure we will be able to sit outside and that strong of wind gusts will even make going for a walk difficult. I guess we will just play it by ear.

Day 97.  I really enjoyed relaxing in the sun yesterday. The wind made it hard to keep my hat on my head, so I ended up taking it off. And yes, my cheeks got a little red. But it sure did feel good to have that sunshine on me. The breeze helped us not feel too warm while sitting outside, but it made it a little tricky to read or write. My papers kept trying to blow away.

With all the fresh air I was getting, I got so relaxed I didn’t feel like coming up with a meal for dinner. We also hadn’t eaten lunch yet. And, if you know my husband, he likes to eat. I on the other hand have been known to skip meals much to my family’s objection. I am doing better and I am trying to eat three squares a day.

Anyway, hubby suggested going out for a bite. We haven’t done it in a while and we wanted to try the restaurant very close to our campground, Pier 19.  We were told it not only had ambiance (right on the water) but good food and reasonable prices. How could we go wrong.

It was about 3pm when we arrived and the place was very busy. We were put on a wait list, but we only had to wait a few minutes for a table. Our booth overlooked the causeway connecting Port Isabel to South Padre Island. While we were sitting there I saw what I believe to be dolphins in the water. They jumped and dove back into the water so quickly. I got to see them do it a few times and then they were gone. That was such a nice surprise. 

The wait staff was very friendly and nice. They took very good care of us without being annoying. Our server went over the menu with us to point out the various selections and specials available. They have something for everyone on the menu; hamburgers, Mexican, seafood, steak and so on. It was hard for us to decide. Everything looked so good. We both decided to try one of the Friday lunch specials (11am – 4 pm). I had grilled grouper for the first time. It was served with rice and vegetables and was it delicious. It was cooked to perfection. I would definitely have it again. Clyde tried the seafood tampiquena. It was described as a seafood enchilada. His meal was just as good as mine was. We both had more than enough to eat and the prices were very reasonable. We left very satisfied. The restaurant and the food both get two thumbs up for sure. We highly recommend Pier 19.

Enjoying our lifestyle. Have a good day.

Until next time,

Kathryn