Winter Texan Expo

Good morning. With yesterday being an overcast cold rainy day, we thought we would go see what the Winter Texan Expo was all about. We are now officially Winter Texans, so why not. It is held every January (this is the 26th year) in the McAllen Convention Center. The event is free and parking is free. We like free (but, so does everyone else). This years event was being held on both Tuesday, January 15th and Wednesday, January 16th from 9am to 3pm.

This was our first time in McAllen. The convention center was easy to find and there was plenty of parking (even for the amount of people who were there). There was a long line to get into the expo, but the line moved quickly. Once inside we found it extremely crowded. Shoulder to shoulder, people everywhere. Everyone was very nice and friendly. But, the number of people was overwhelming. At one point Clyde and I got separated and couldn’t locate each other. It is a good thing we had cell phones. I don’t know how we would have found each other without them. Even with the number of people that attended this event, we bumped into a couple other couples from our park. It is a small world.

As with other types of expos, this one had different vendors pitching their products and giving away small tokens to entice you over. If you filled out a questionnaire you could be entered into a drawing to win a bigger prize. As I am not a person who gives out my information freely, nor do I want phone calls or emails etc. after the fact, I do not participate in these drawings. I guess it’s my loss. We did come away with a few new tot bags, pens, mini flashlights, etc. as well as some reading material (that will probably be recycled).

The best part of our trip was our late lunch/early dinner at Cheddar’s. There was a slight wait to be seated, but the service and food was very good.

Loving our lifestyle.

Kathryn

 

 

 

 

 

Harlingen-Day 2

Good morning. What a perfect day it was yesterday for being outside. The sun was out and the temperature was mid 70’s; not too hot-not too cold, just right. It really could be like that all year round and I wouldn’t complain.

We were able to get a lot accomplished, but still have much to do. We did get ourselves a mailbox with a key and everything. And, we have an address so if I want to order something it will come here. Almost like when we had a S&B house. Then again this is a park that has both permanent residents and those just passing through.

What I like about Park Place Estates is that it has an area that is all park model homes and another area that is mixed and a third area for only those staying a short while. It is a very large park with something for everyone. We are set up in the mixed area. Our neighbors next door and across the street have park model homes. They do not stay all year round. They too are Winter Texans.

Back to what we got accomplished. My mind does wander. We got our patio set up; awning out, mat down, chairs and tables out, grill out, etc.. I was going to take a picture to show you, but forgot. Sorry, I will do it today.

I think I’d like to buy a couple potted plants to put out to make it a little more homey. I’m not sure what kind to get. I did ok with the fall mum plant. I didn’t kill it. I do have a brown thumb. But then, we did have a lot of rain that helped keep it alive.

Clyde still needs to finish pulling everything out of the basement storage areas to check for dampness, rust, dirt, bugs etc. as we were by the ocean with the salt air and we had so much rain. Besides, it is good to do spring cleaning every now and again.

Oh ya, I was going to mention, we did get our propane and it was an easy in and easy out just like our friend said. We also found out that they will come to us in the park to fill us up if we need it again while we are here. Nice, huh.

This morning the park is having a craft fair. We will probably go check it out. It looks today is going to be just as nice as yesterday. I will for sure be spending it outside.

I did start my second pine needle basket yesterday while enjoying the outdoors. My, how I love this lifestyle.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

 

 

 

Harlingen, Texas

Good morning. And a very good morning it is. We have arrived to our winter Texas home. We are now officially what is well-known down here as being “Winter Texans”. We will be staying here for the next 4 months. Yes, that’s right. You heard me correctly. Four (4) months. Let me explain. When I was in the office registering us, I inquired about what an additional month would cost. The longer you stay here the cheaper it is. I was told because we registered and paid for 3 months the 4th month would be free. It is a one time only offer. If we come back again next year that offer would not apply. I was shocked and surprised thinking how can we pass that up. I asked if I could talk to my husband about it first and she said sure. We decided we can’t pass up a deal like that. So even though we will have to re-think our summer plans, this is going to be a very nice winter for us.

Everyone here is so friendly and nice. They are making us feel at home and very welcome. While we were setting up we met a few of our neighbors. I will never remember everyone’s name. I am very bad at that.

I can’t believe how dirty the car got from being towed. It was the dirtiest it has ever been. I think all that rain we drove through did it. The first thing we did after setting up was find a car wash. She looks much better now.

The park also has a vegetable truck come through every Thursday afternoon. We timed it just right. I had just come out of the office and the truck was there. Oh my, what nice looking produce. I got a little of everything. We will be eating healthy for sure.

When we got back to our motorhome and were putting things away, our neighbor came over and invited us over for “happy hour”. It was a nice chance to get to know them and a couple other neighbors as well.

When we left there we headed over to our friend Steve’s for “happy hour” at his place. We took Patty Pepper who was perfect. She must remember being here last year, as she settled right down. What a nice time we had. It’s so nice to be back.

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I took a picture of our site. Our patio isn’t set up yet. We will do that today. But, don’t you just love our Yucca plant and the street is lined with palm trees. Our son pointed out that we have a sidewalk.

Loving our lifestyle.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

Don Wes Flea Market

Good Morning Family and Friends. This is our last day here in Harlingen, Texas. We will be starting our trek back north for the spring and summer. I just wish I could take this weather with us. I really don’t want to put on a winter coat again. I love wearing shorts and sandals every day.

Day 116. Yesterday Steve, Judy, Edie, Delbert, Clyde and I went to the Don Wes Flea Market in Donna, Texas, which is near Weslaco in the RGV. The place is huge and packed with shoppers, mostly winter Texans. Vendors are both inside the buildings and outside. The place reminds me of when we used to go to the fairgrounds in Illinois to a craft fair that was held once a year. You can find both old and new items, as well as food. Some of the food items were oranges, onions, honey, kettle corn etc. All as fresh as you could get. Many of the vendors are winter Texans. It was fun to walk around and look. Parking was free. We did find a few items to bring home.

Loving our lifestyle. Have a good day.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

 

A Normal Routine Lifestyle

Good morning. I’m so glad we picked this year to go south for the winter. I’m not sure why, but this winter seems to be colder all over the U.S. than previous years and with more snow. So while family and friends up north are wearing winter coats and shoveling snow, I’m down here wearing shorts and sitting outside in my lounge chair enjoying the fresh air. What a life.

Days 108 & 109. We’ve settled in here, at Park Place Estates, living a normal routine lifestyle. You know; shopping, laundry, cooking, cleaning, crafts, playing cards and sitting outside enjoying the fresh air.

I did go to the bead store and was able to get enough supplies to keep me busy for a while. As usual, I have so many ideas running through my head it is hard to know which project to start on first. And, because I will be gifting most of what I make, I cannot share my ideas or finished projects just yet. I know, boo. But be patient. I will share.

Staying in this RV park feels more like living in a small neighborhood. Everyone knows each other. You often see small groups of people gathered together, either standing around at the curb talking or sitting outside in front of their homes chatting away. Even though we are not permanent residents or even long-term winter Texans in this park, they make us feel welcome. I can understand why some full-timers choose to find one place to stay for the entire winter instead of traveling around.

We are just not ready to settle down. We have too many places we haven’t been and would like to see. If you ask us which of the places we have been this winter we’ve liked the best we couldn’t say. Every place has been completely different from the other. I’ve enjoyed each place for a different reason. That is what makes this lifestyle so wonderful.

Loving our lifestyle. Have a good day.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

 

Always Do A Walk-Around

Good morning. It looks like we are going to have a nice day with a high around 80. I am looking forward to a fun day too. We made plans with our friend Steve to go to Mexico. We will be walking across the border to do some souvenir shopping, experience some bartering and enjoy some authentic Mexican cuisine.

Day 103. With high winds predicted for the day, we wanted to get an early start on the road. Even though we were only going an hour away, driving in a motorhome during high winds can be dangerous and challenging. We were ready to roll shortly after 9 a.m.

Wait. A short delay. We were stopped before we were out of the park by an observant camper who told us our steps were still out. Our steps should automatically go in when the engine is on. This time they did not retract. We spray our leveling jacks faithfully with silicone spray to lubricate them and keep them working properly, but we never gave the steps a second thought. We should have known better. Especially with the all the salt in the air from the ocean. We will definitely add the steps to the list of routine maintenance. After giving them a good spray with silicone and working them in and out a few times we finally got them to go back in. It is a really good thing that nice person stopped us before we got very far, as we could have done some extensive damage to the steps, even lost them all together. Lesson learned: ALWAYS do a walk-around before you take off!

After checking out of Isla Blanca Park and hooking the car up to the motorhome we were finally on the road. We only experienced the high winds for a few miles, but that was enough. It was nice to arrive safe and sound at our next destination, Park Place Estates in Harlingen.

Park Place is a large park with a combination of mobile home, park model and RV’s. They cater to both winter Texans and permanent residents. There is plenty to do here. They have a swimming pool, hot tubs, dance hall, recreation room, tennis courts, dog park and more. The list of activities is numerous. There is something for everyone.

We spent the afternoon relaxing, visiting and making plans of things to do while we are here.

Loving our lifestyle. Have a good day.

Kathryn

 

 

Good Pick

Good morning family and friends.  The fog is thick this morning.  I can barely see the 5th wheel next door to us.  It’s going to be a great day though with a high around 80.  I’m looking forward to a perfect day spent outdoors.

Day 83. Choosing a laundromat to go to wasn’t easy.  There are a few different ones in the area, both on the island and in Port Isabel. The problem was looking at the reviews on-line, none of them were very good.  I decided on Relax and Just Wash Laundromat. It had the least negative remarks.  We got there mid-morning.  It was very small, with only about half the number of machines that were in other laundromats we have been to.  It was also very busy, but we were able to find 3 machines in a row. We quickly claimed them and got our wash started.  While we were waiting for the wash to finish more people came in.  They had to wait for open machines as all the machines were in use.

As we sat waiting, we got to talking to another winter Texan who was staying in a condo on the island.  She told us this was the best laundromat around.  They had tried the one on the island and found it very expensive with many machines not in use and no attendant on duty. It’s nice to know I picked the right one. The attendant on duty was very nice.  We watched her as she firmly but nicely kept the children from running around and getting hurt. The prices were good too.  We spent about $6.50 for 3 loads. That’s best we’ve done yet. Next time we will just have to try to find a quieter time to get our laundry done.

We then stopped at Walmart for our groceries.  That is a bad idea when you are hungry.  We ended up buying more than was on our list. You would think we would know better by now.

Thinking about family in Michigan and Illinois who were getting lots of snow, I decided to make chili for dinner.  Chili one night, chili dogs another.  My chili turned out really good and I probably ate more than I should have.  I was feeling really full.  It was nice that the day got warmer as it went along.  The weather was perfect for taking a walk.  The fog was thick over the water and the waves crashed along the shore even though it didn’t seem that windy.

Until next time,

Kathryn