Wurstfest

We have been busy learning our new roles within Performance Trailer Braking.  Michael’s had his phone glued to his ear (seems like) chatting with people interested in purchasing a system, answering questions or explaining how the disc brakes are a huge improvement over standard electric brakes.

While he’s been doing that I’ve been working more on the administrative tasks – invoicing customers, updating our data base, reaching out to rally organizers to find out what needs to be done to attend their rally as a vendor, etc.

While we’ve been busy…it’s been a good busy.  We both feel like we have a purpose…rather than just wandering aimlessly through life.  We might change our minds come spring/summer when business really picks up but hopefully by then we’ll both be more comfortable in our roles.

Michael prefers his BIG truck over this little one

Even with all of the newness we made sure to find time for our weekly movie date on Tuesday.   We had an appointment to take the truck to Jordan Ford to have some work done.  We were given a rental car (truck) so while we were already in San Antonio we took in Blade Runner 2049.  In our old age we’d forgotten we’d already seen the movie!  Geesh.  However, rewatching it was kind of a good thing because it clarified a few things and helped me better understand what was going on.  Guess we’re gonna have to start a list for movie’s we’ve been too so we don’t do any more repeats.  LOL

Remember when we were driving back to Texas from Oklahoma and we stopped at the Czech Stop in West and grabbed some kolaches?  We picked up jalapeno and cheese just like we always get from the Donut Palace, which we love.  These were made differently:  smaller, with a slice of sausage, some cheese and a bunch of sliced jalapenos…and boy, were they HOT!  The ones we’re used to are a whole sausage with diced jalapenos and cheese INSIDE the sausage…they have a little kick but nothing like these.  We’ll be sticking to those at Donut Palace going forward.  LOL

That’s our new gray tank in that box.

On Wednesday of this week, Kenny and his son Brandon from GoRV came out to replace one of our gray tanks.  Last year about this time they patched a crack in the same tank and it was no longer holding so it was time to just completely replace the tank.

It took the two guys about an hour and a half to remove the old tank and install the new and when that was done they moved on to replacing our leaky ice maker which took roughly 30 minutes or so.

Before they left, they checked out or thermostat as it’s been acting temperamental for a while and Michael has had to reset it more and more often to get it to behave.  They’ve ordered a new thermostat for us and will replace it when it comes in.

All of these items fall under the extended warranty we purchased with our coach and we are very thankful that we went ahead and added it on to the purchase as it has paid for itself and then some.

After dropping the truck off at Jordan Ford on Tuesday we got a call on Thursday that it was ready to go…2 new shoes (tires), oil change done, ‘shimmy’ fixed and parts to fix our navigation system issues are on order.

We picked up the truck late in the afternoon on Thursday and from there we headed to the New Braunfels Wurstfest.  New Braunfels has a big German heritage so why wouldn’t they celebrate ‘wurst’ and Beer!?
When we first arrived we wandered around and checked out the various vendors selling their wares – Wurstfest hats, shirts, koozies, buttons, you name it.  Then there were beer steins, German candies, Christmas ornaments and other goodies.  I thought about buy a ‘pickle’ ornament for our Christmas tree but decided against it as it would have weighed it down too much.
We also checked out all of the food stands…sausage, brats, potato soup, funnel cakes, potato pancakes, pork chops on a stick, deep-fried Oreos, sauerkraut, potato salad…there was a LOT of variety and most everything seemed to come on a stick!  Michael and I each had a sausage on a stick and Michael also tried a brat in a bun…plus we split a funnel cake because we were told we had to!  Our friend, Victoria’s, granddaughter was working the funnel cake booth.  We promised we’d visit with her…and we did.

Hans & Helen

We met our old safety guy, Hans, and his wife, Helen, who traveled all the way from Louisiana just to attend Wurstfest!  We met Hans on our very first gate back in January 2014 and followed him around from job to job for quite a while but haven’t seen him for over a year now…and this was our first time meeting Helen.

We met in the Wursthalle where there was a German ‘Oompah’ band playing.  We visited, enjoyed the music and watching people dance.  Hans and Helen even did a little dancing of their own.  We’re hoping that maybe we’ll be able to hook back up with them this spring when we’re in Louisiana for a rally…but somewhere a little more quiet as it was very hard to hear what was being said.

Whoopsie!

I forgot to mention that as Michael and I were walking from our parking spot a few blocks away from the fest grounds we came across a low bridge (11 foot, 8 inches) and I said, “Well we can’t bring the coach here.”  I know sooner got it out of my mouth and a bus came along.  He was driving pretty fast but slowed down pretty quickly when he saw the bridge and low clearance sign.  He had a LONG line of cars behind him and this was a very narrow roadway with nowhere for him to turn around.  He stopped where he was, let his passengers off the bus (all fest-goers) and waited for help…all with that LONG line of cars still sitting behind him.  LOL  Not nice to laugh but it sure brought back memories of our run in with a bridge.  You can chuckle along and read about it by clicking HERE!

It’s been chilly here in the Texas Hill Country.  Only had a high in the 40s on Wednesday (fireplace was blazing ALL day long!) and Thursday only brought highs in the 50s.  It doesn’t help much that it’s been overcast as well.  We even got some light rain Wednesday evening…didn’t really amount too much but we haven’t seen rain in a while so it was welcomed.
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Travel Day: Oklahoma City, OK To Canyon Lake, TX

Dark and foggy as we hitched up this morning.

We decided to drive all the way back to Canyon Lake in one shot rather than overnighting somewhere down the road, which meant a 440 mile drive.  Ugh!

With that long of a trip staring us in the face we did nearly all of our travel day prep work yesterday – outside:  dumped the tanks, put some water in the fresh water tank, unhooked and stowed the water hose, took down and stowed the satellite dish.  inside:  stowed items that needed to be stowed, locked cabinet and closet doors, pulled all the shades.

The plan was to leave about 6:00 am and we ended up hitching up and pulling out at 6:10, which isn’t bad considering it was dark and foggy.  We made our way to the Piazza gate on the south end of the airbase and then to I-240 which took us to I-35.  Then it was just a matter of following I-35 all the way south to New Braunfels.

Back on Texas ground!

We made a rest stop about 140 miles down the road at the Texas welcome center.  They had some nice rocking chairs that we relaxed in for about 20 minutes before heading back out to the truck and getting back on the interstate.

In my new role with Performance Trailer Braking I worked as we went down the road.  I responded to some emails, sent some emails, did a little scheduling of rallies etc.  It sure kept me busy and the time really flew!

Smooth sailing!

Passing through Fort Worth on a Saturday morning about 10:00, proved to be a pretty easy task.  Traffic wasn’t bad at all and what there was moved smoothly.  Just the way we like to pass through a big city!

We stopped at just about noon in Waco for lunch.  We decided to stop at Bush’s for some fried chicken, which we’d never tried and it was pretty good.  I would have preferred a little spice to it like Popeye’s but you get what you get.  All in all it would do in a pinch.

The ‘short’ line to tastiness

Another reason we stopped there was so that we could visit the Czech Stop.  I’ve seen advertisement for years about all of the Czech stops in this area and today was the day to check one of them out.  (there are a couple more I’d like to Czech out – see what I did there!?)  We wondered why there was a large parking lot designated for the Czech stop across the street but once we got inside we found out why.  The line pretty long but I’d bet it wasn’t as long as it gets when they’re actually busy.

Fruit kolaches, breakfast kolaches, cookies…

The Czech Stop offers all kinds of Czech delicacies – pastries, pies, cookies, sausage, cheese, breads, etc) We picked up a couple of small (individual size that we share) pies, a couple of cookies (highly recommended by the woman behind us) and a couple of different kolaches (jalapeno and cheese and bacon, egg and cheese).  The place is a bit on the pricey side so keep that in mind if you decide to stop.

Our stop lasted less than an hour.  Very unusual for us…but we still had a 175 miles left to travel and we wanted to make sure we got to our destination in plenty of time to get set up before it started getting dark.

Michael’s idea of a workout!

We made another ‘relief’ stop just south of Belton.  This rest area had an area for a ‘rest stop workout’.  Michael tried out each piece of equipment and stretched out his back in the process…now he’s concerned of how well he’ll be able to move tomorrow!

One of my favorite things about staying in this area…the deer population is HUGE!

We arrived at the Joint Base San Antonio Recreation Area at 4:30 on the dot.  Since we’d already paid check in was easy, just a matter of getting our site number and a map and we were on our way.  As we drove up to our site we were greeted by six deer that were feeding on some corn in the road in front of our site.

Home until December 1 – site 28

Michael backed in like a champ…in one fell swoop!  It was so smooth that our neighbors commented that he put them to shame!  LOL  Other than connect to the electric we didn’t do any outside chores…no satellite, no water, no sewer.  Michael was too tired and decided it could wait until tomorrow.

I got the inside straightened away and warmed up some chili for dinner and we plan to do nothing more than relax the rest of the evening…wouldn’t even doubt if we head to bed exceptionally early!

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Travel Day: Gainesville, TX To Tinker AFB, TX

Brrrr…..while we were nice and toasty in our bed under the covers getting out from under the covers wasn’t so pleasant!  The thermostat showed 46 degrees when I fired up the generator to get the heat pumps going.

While the heat pumps went to work I wrapped myself in my favorite shawl and covered up with a soft minky blanket and perused Facebook, worked on this blog post and played a game of Spite and Malice on my computer.
Michael on the other hand stayed beneath the blankets, in bed, until 9:00 when I finally went and asked when planned to get up.  He’d taken a couple of muscle relaxers last night and was out for the count!

We weren’t quite sure of today’s destination.  We hoped to stay at the Tinker Air Force Base FamCamp but since they don’t take reservations we had to have a back up plan…and that back up plan was the Cleveland County Fairgrounds in Norman…about 15 miles south of Tinker.  Tinker is $107 per week for full hookup and the Fairgrounds is $25 per night for full hookup…kind of a no brainer…but the ‘no reservations’ thing kinda puts a crimp in things.

We headed over to the restaurant about 9:30 to get some breakfast and we’re surprised at how busy they were.  Lots of big parties of 6+ filled the dining room and the general store was hopping.  Thankfully we were seated right away, our order taken and then our food delivered very quickly.  As we are ate our breakfast the people kept coming and by the time we were done it was even busier than when arrived an hour before.

While at the restaurant I called the FamCamp to see if they had any sites available and was told they had one maybe two we’d fit in so I told we’d call again as we got a little closer to make sure the site was still available.

Look at that beautiful sky!

With just 133 miles to drive today we hit the road about 10:45 with beautiful blue skies to lead the way.

Before we got too far down the road we stopped to fill up with diesel so we’d be good for the remainder of the trip.  Fuel was $2.39 per gallon, which wasn’t too bad as we’ve paid much higher over the years.

Police escort…

About 45 minutes before we were due to arrive at Tinker AFB I called again to be sure there was still a site for us and as assured there was so we continued on arriving at the FamCamp about 1:45 or so after having to find a different gate to enter through as the one we’re used to using is no longer open on the weekends.  We even got a Military Police escort to show us the way to the park from the new gate.

Home Sweet Home in site 24

This is is a little and tight park.  We stayed here once before in September of 2014 but only for 4 nights.  So after first stopping at the office we then made our way to our assigned site, site 24.  The park is just one long oval and the side that we are on only has one row of RVs while the other side has RVs parked on both sides of the road which makes it even hard to get parked.

Tight quarters…

The Camp host normally has to go to all the neighboring sites and ask them to move their vehicles when someone new comes in to park.  We were lucky, in that, Michael was able to back right into our site without anyone having to move their vehicles.

Too bad Michael doesn’t have a pole…

Our site is right across the street from a small fishing pond, which makes for a nice view…not that we’ll have much time to enjoy the view while we’re here…but it’s the thought that counts, right!?!  We’re here until next Saturday (6 nights) when we’ll go back south to Canyon Lake and stay at the Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA) Recreation area on the north side of Canyon Lake.

It was 73 when we arrived here at the FamCamp and instead of making sure that the air conditioning was going full throttle I opened several windows so that we could enjoy the gorgeous day!  Better do it while we can as it’ll be back down in the 50s tomorrow!

 

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Travel Day: Canyon Lake, TX To Gainesville, TX

With about 320 miles to travel today the goal was to pull out of the park about 9:00 am and with a stop at the dump station that meant pulling out of our site about 8:40 am.

We had an audience as we hooked up, checked the brakes and lights.  About half the menfolk of a group of 9 couples were sitting around the fire across the road.  They watched us so intently I expected them to raise score cards as we finished up!  Of course, I would have expected nothing less than 10s across the board.

We pulled up to the dump station at 8:32 and with the 40 degree temperature, Michael didn’t hang out outside…he hustled back into the truck for warmth while the tanks drained.  LOL

We pulled out of the park at 8:42, but not before seeing a deer cross the road ahead of us and being wished a safe trip by the gate attendant.

The beauty that is the Texas Hill Country

Rather than take I-35 all they way north we decided to take highway 281 north toward Forth Worth where we then picked up I-35 for the remainder of the trip.  The drive was nice and scenic.  I love the beauty of the Texas Hill Country and this route took us right through the heart of it.

The Death of a King

We weren’t the only ones who saw deer this morning.  Zack and Kelsea happened to see a big buck lying down off the road.  He tried to get up but his back end was not working.  They were sure he’d been hit and his back was broke.  They watched him for quite a while and he tried to get up a few times but just fell back over.  They called the police and the DNR to come take care of him but by the time the police arrived he had died.  Zack and Kelsea were given the deer and Zack took it home to process.

Lunch time!

We stopped in Hamilton (about midway) for lunch at Subway.  We have several Subway gift cards so it was a nice way to utilize part of one.  At not quite 50 degrees outside it would have been a little too chilly to enjoy lunch at Kelly’s Kitchen.  We were back on the road about an hour later.

This we along with the message I received on Tuesday…he was ‘waiting…’

On Tuesday of this week I got a message from our oil field Company man saying, ” Shouldn’t you be just a few miles down the road from me by now?”. Apparently he was keeping track of when we were coming back to work as that was the day we had originally planned to go back to work.

I explained to him that we weren’t coming back to the oil patch due to our new venture and never got a response.  Yikes…was he that angry with us??  Today I messaged him and asked if he was still talking to us.  He immediately responded with, “I was waiting for the punch line. Because you got to be kidding me!!!!”. Gosh are we gonna miss him…but we’ll stay in touch.

Passing by Ft. Worth

The drive was nice and peaceful until we hit I-35 on the north side of Ft. Worth…then we hit the construction and congestion of the big city.  However, the traffic still flowed smoothly and before long all the hubbub was in our rear view mirror.

We pulled into the Gainesville Cracker Barrel just a few minutes after 4:00 pm, our overnight stop for the night.  We got parked and put down the front jacks for a little stability and almost immediately went into the restaurant for dinner….we were hungry!  We double checked with the manager that it was ok to overnight in the parking lot and he confirmed that it was.

Snug as bugs in the Cracker Barrel parking lot!

When overnighting at places like Walmart, Cracker Barrel, Flying J etc we like to thank them for allowing us to utilize their parking lot by patronizing their business.  It’s good karma.

Another gift card purchased our meals tonight!  Michael changed things up a bit and ordered meatloaf rather than his mainstay chicken fried steak and I went with chicken and dumplings.  It’s the second time I’ve had it at a Cracker Barrel and have really enjoyed it both times.

We were back home about 5:45.  We fired up the generator so the heat pumps and fireplace could warm the place up and so that we could watch some TV before we call it a night…as I’m pretty sure it’ll be a pretty early night.

 

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Friends, Burgers and Time to Hit the Road

The most unassuming places usually have the best food!

We had absolutely no plans to go anywhere or do anything while here at Crane’s Mill….but….when Heartland friends, Tom & Marty, messaged us asking if we were free to get together for a burger on Wednesday, how could we possibly say no!?!

We met Tom & Marty at the Horseshoe Grill in Canyon Lake as they’d been there before and said they had a darn good burger.  It’s just a small burger stand offering burgers, hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, fries, tots and onion rings pretty much.

We placed our orders quickly enough – bacon cheeseburger for Michael and a patty melt with bacon for me and an order of fries and onion rings to share.  Since this is a burger ‘stand’ there is no dining room but there have several picnic tables outside to sit at.  We chose a table with chairs that have backs and settled in to visit.

Thanks go to Tom for snapping the picture, that I couldn’t get!

Our meals were delivered to our table while we chatted with Tom & Marti.  Tom & Marti were the South Texas Chapter Leaders before we took over so we discussed the rally we just had and how it went.  They gave us some tips and ideas for future rallies too.  They went on a big trip to the east coast earlier this year and we enjoyed hearing about that…we really need to get that way!

Our burgers were delicious but what really made the meal especially enjoyable was our time with Tom & Marti, we hadn’t seen them in a couple of years, I think, so we really enjoyed the 2 hours we spent together.  We’re hoping to get together again in a couple of weeks and we’re really looking forward to it!

Can you see ’em? That don’t even budge when people are around…

Before heading home we made a quick drove over to the JBSA Canyon Lake Recreation Area (where we have reservations for the month of November) just to check out the campground since it’s been five yeas since we were there last.  We were greeted by lots and lots of deer…five when we first drove in, 3 more inside the campground and a couple of others along the road as we left.  This was one of our favorite things about staying there before…we fed the deer out of our hands!

Deliciousness, right there!

We made a quick stop at the Lowes grocery store in Startzville to pick up a small container of ice cream to go with a Pecan Cobbler I’d made earlier in the day.  This was a recipe Michael saw on Facebook and I told him I’d make it for him.  The non-baker in me thought it looked fairly easy…and it was!  PLUS…it’s delicious…but oh so rich!

Since we have time while we’re cooling our heels here at Cranes Mill Corps of Engineer Park Michael’s been do some small projects.  One such project was to clean the bathroom Maxxair fan.  After 6+ years it was in dire need of a good cleaning.

Giving all the parts of the Maxxair fan a GOOD washing!

Michael completely removed it from the roof and brought it down to ground level so that he could completely dismantle it and give it a thorough cleaning.  It looks SO nice now.  I should have taken a before picture to show the comparison, darn it!

In the same category…Michael took down both air conditioner ceiling covers and gave them a thorough cleaning as well.  They sure can collect a lot of dust!  Thankfully, they’re not too hard to clean and look as good as new when done.

Friday blew in like a Tasmanian devil!  Super windy with a high in the low 60s!  We kinda rocked and rolled all day long and the water in the lake produced lots of whitecaps.  There was a wind advisory until noon but the wind sure didn’t calm down much after that.

It looks like our new venture is getting closer and closer.  So now we must pull up stakes here at Cranes Mill COE park and head north to the Oklahoma City area so that we can begin this next phase of our lives.  We’ll be heading out Saturday morning bright and early to make the 450ish mile trip.  We plan to overnight along the route, probably at a Cracker Barrel or Flying J type place and then either stay at Tinker AFB FamCamp (no reservations) or at a nearby fairgrounds.  Gonna play that by ear depending on whether Tinker has space for us or not.

Hopefully by this time next week we will be able to share with all of you what our future holds.

I’m curious.  What do you think our new venture will be?  I can give you this hint:  We will still be RVing FULL-TIME.

 

 

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Travel Day: San Antonio, TX To Canyon Lake, TX

Just a short 45ish miles to travel today with a pit stop at the very beginning.

Since we now have a San Antonio, address we made plans to stop and get the coach inspected so that we’re one step further to switching our residence to Texas, rather than South Dakota.

Southwest Wheel had been recommended to us by one of our Heartland Owners Club members and it’s not far from Ft. Sam so we decided to give them a try.

After doing the usual move day chores (unhooking & stowing satellite, water, sewer & power outside and stowing & securing necessary items inside) we pulled out of the Ft. Sam RV Park at 9:58 am.

Ready to be inspected!

We arrived at the inspection place about 30 minutes after leaving our site at Ft. Sam.  We would have been there about 10 minutes sooner but we missed our turn and had to go a bit out-of-the-way.

The inspection was ridiculously easy…they checked the lights and turn signals, had Michael pay the $7.00 fee, handed him the paperwork and we were on our way 21 minutes later.  We would like to have had the truck inspected at the same time but they only inspect trailers.  We’ll get the truck taken care of here shortly…it’s much easier to deal with.

Set up in site 23 for who knows how long!

We arrived at the Crane’s Mill Corps of Engineer Park about in Canyon Lake (on the south side of the lake) about 12:15 pm.  None of the reservable sites were available but I felt sure that we could snag one of the non-reservable sites and we did.  We got one of the last non-reservable sites…and it backs up to the lake!

We got backed in and unhitched and then went back up to the gate house to pay.  We’re not sure exactly how long we’ll be here…possibly eight nights…possibly less if our new venture comes to fruition.  We’ll just have to wait and see…for now we just paid for two nights and will go for there.

​ By 1:00 pm I had dinner in the Instant Pot (Penne & Meatballs) and Michael had the water, electric & satellite dish up and running.  No sewer here, so no need to deal with setting that up today.

The view from my recliner

We relaxed the remainder of the day away.  I watched a couple of the old Halloween series movies and Michael even catnapped.  I couldn’t help but view out the back window every now and again…so pretty!

Back tracking a bit…yesterday we made our weekly pilgrimage to the movie theater.  This week we saw Only the Brave.  What an excellent movie!  I didn’t really realize what we were going to see…I just knew it was about firefighters and had a decent IMDB rating.  The acting was spot on, the story line was true.  We both really enjoyed it.

Pappadeaux – nice atmosphere

After the movie we tried out a restaurant we’d never been to, Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen.  We’ve driven past the one in San Antonio numerous times and it didn’t matter what time of the day or day of the week the parking lot always seemed to full.

This time it wasn’t any different but when we got inside we saw that there were plenty of tables in the dining room and we had no wait for a table.  The restaurant was much nicer than I expected and our server was very friendly and helpful.
We splurged a bit…Michael ordering a Filet & Lobster while I went with the Filet Oscar…plus we each got a cup of the lobster bisque.  Oh my!  Everything was absolutely delicious and we both really enjoyed our meals as well as the experience.  We’ll definitely be going back.
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Dinner With Friends x2 and Mail Call!

Waiting for the vampire to take my blood…

Thursday started out fairly early as I had to have some fasting blood work done…just routine stuff.  We left home about 7:30 am and made our way to my new doctor’s office, getting there just before 8:00 am when they opened.  There was one person ahead of me but I only had to wait just a few minutes before the vampire…ummm…I mean technician was ready to draw my blood.

When I was done we had a meeting to attend in New Braunfels regarding our possible new venture.  Things seem to be taking shape and hopefully we can ‘spill the beans’ soon.  It’s all very exciting…yet very scary too…(for me at least…I’m a chicken).  Anyway, our meeting lasted about 3 hours and then we headed back home.

Our Heartland friends, Lou and Bette stopped here at the Ft. Sam RV Park for the night on their way home from their summer adventure.  They spent a good portion of the summer in the Pacific Northwest and we enjoyed watching their fun via Facebook.

We attended our very 1st Heartland rally together in October 2011.

We’d last seen Lou and Bette at the National Rally in Goshen this past June but with all the goings on we didn’t get a whole lot of one on one time with them so we were looking forward to that with this quick stop.

We’d planned, ahead of time, to take them to The Tip Top Cafe as it’s kind of a San Antonio ‘legend’.  Having been in business since 1938 and being the subject of one of the Diners, Drive Ins and Dives episodes it’s just one of those places you have to visit at least once…or twice.  We were last there on October 27, 2012 (almost exactly 5 years ago!) with our son, Zack, and were ready to go back.  You can read about our first visit HERE.

We arrived shortly after 6:00 pm and they were busy but still have plenty of tables to choose from.  We gathered round a table for four toward the back of the dining room and were greeted by one of the friendliest waitresses we’ve had in a long time.

Chicken fried steak & fries

Michael and I split a chicken fried steak (it’s as big as your face according to our waitress), Bette went with chicken fried chicken and Lou went with one of his favorites – liver & onions.  The food was very good but the conversation, as usual, was much better.  We don’t get near enough time with Bette & Lou so we cherish every minute we get.  We also ordered their famous onion rings to share amongst us.

Unfortunately, for us they were just here for an overnight as they’ve been away from family all summer and their grandbabies in Mississippi are getting anxious to see them.  But…we’ll see them again down the road…somewhere…sometime.

Andrew and our very first San Antonio mail!

We picked up our very first mail delivered to our new address in San Antonio on Saturday.  We’d been notified that we had two pieces of mail and when we walked into the office, Andrew laughed and from behind his desk help up an envelope and said, ‘I was just going to enter this one in the system!’  So rather than two pieces of mail we now had three!

I can’t tell you how impressed we are with Andrew, the owner of Bexar (pronounced Bear) Mailboxes & Shipping.  He is so friendly and helpful.  It’s like having another son…LOL  I can definitely foresee a wonderful relationship blossoming.  If you’re an RVer and in need of a Texas address we would highly recommend Andrew’s services.

 

A great meal and excellent conversation over Mexican food…what could be better?

Saturday afternoon we drove to New Braunfels and spent a couple of hours chatting with new friends, Ron & Margaret.  We first met them while we were in Oklahoma City and now with no rally going on to distract us we were able to spend more time with them.

We had a good time getting to know each other and they were so sweet to take us to dinner at Mamacita’s which was just down the road from their RV park. They, too, are fulltimers so we had a lot of stories to share.

The food was very good, margaritas (per Ron & Margaret) were excellent, the chips were super yummy and getting to know Ron & Margaret better was the best treat.  We’re looking forward to spending more time with them in the future.

 

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Seeing Seguin

We spent several hours touring Seguin, Texas today.  Neither of us had been there before so it was great to explore for the first time together.

Nice and orderly…but not much to see

We stopped at the Seguin-Guadalupe County Heritage Museum and while it was very nice and orderly – clean and well-kept displays, nicely signed displays and very friendly personnel, it was kind of a disappointment as there wasn’t much too it.  What happened to everything’s bigger in Texas??  We probably didn’t spend much more than half an hour there…and that includes potty breaks!

Los Nogales

We also stopped at Los Nogales.  Los Nogales is the last remaining adobe structure in Seguin, having been built in 1849.  A quaint little building that now has a second life as a small museum.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t open today and there was no information about when it would be open.

What we didn’t know was that Los Nogales was part of the ‘Heritage Village‘ and there were three other historic buildings on the same corner.

The Dietz Doll House

Right next to Los Nogales is the Dietz Doll House, built in 1910 by Louis Dietz a German Carpenter.  Dietz and his sister, Miss Mollie, adopted Alice O’Brien, a foundling who arrived on an Orphan Train.  Alice and her cousin, Buddy, played in the house for many years.

The doll house has been restored over the years and now holds various toys from days gone by and there is also a wardrobe and dresser on display that were originally owned by Louis Dietz.

The Donegal Dog Trot

Across the street we found a cute little dog-trot style house that dates back to the early 1850s.  John Donegal from Ireland built a small cabin just five miles southwest of Seguin.  The year following, he returned to Ireland and convinced 23 of his relatives to move to Texas with him.  With the help of his relatives he added on to the small cabin, making it the dog-trot of today.  Descendants of Donegal lived in the in the cabin until 1952 without the comforts of running water or electricity.

Seguin’s first church & bell tower

Beside the Donegal dog trot sits Seguin’s First Church and bell tower, built in 1849 and originally located in the center of town.  There are two doors at the entrance to the church – the door on the left was for women and children while the door on the right was for the men…once inside the church members sat on designated sides…by gender.  The church is available for rent for weddings, baptisms, etc.

The Rusty Rooster

While we were roaming the grounds of the Heritage Village, Michael mentioned that he was hungry for fried chicken (he’d also mentioned it several times over the last few days) so I did a quick Google search for fried chicken in Seguin and came up with the Rusty Rooster.  Normally, I only get the usual KFC, Popeyes and Church’s so I was happy when I saw the listing for The Rusty Rooster and it was rated at 4.7 stars (out of 5) with 46 reviews on Google.

GOOD fried chicken and fixin’s

Our entire order was delicious (fried chicken, catfish, cole slaw, macaroni & cheese, mashed taters & white gravy).  The young lady who took our order was very friendly and accommodating.  The inside dining room was pretty small (and nearly full) so we opted to sit outside on the patio and our food was delivered to us there.  We’d highly recommend this place if you’re in the Seguin area and enjoy good fried chicken.  Another thing we really liked?  An open bible on the counter…where do you see that kind of thing these days?

The front of the building is part store, part museum

The biggest reason we went to Seguin was to visit Pape’s Pecan House & Museum.  Pape’s has been on my ‘list’ for several years and we just had not gotten there.  But…Michael found a recipe for a Pecan Cobbler that he drooled over enough that I said I’d make it for him.  So…off to Pape’s we went!

Huge Pape and his son, Kenneth, opened Pape’s in 1961 and while Hugo passed away years ago, Kenneth and his wife, Zee still own and operate the business.  Pape’s has its own pecan orchard a few miles away but they shell and package them at this location.

The biggest portion of the museum is in back. LOOK at all those nutcrackers!

Also on location is a nutcracker museum.  All of the nutcrackers (approximately 8,000 of them!) were collected by Kenneth and they come in all shapes and sizes from all over the world.  There are you typical wooden soldier types, Naughty Nellies, brass crackers, wooden crackers, big ones, small ones…you name it!  We enjoyed seeing all of them!

Vicky posing with Pape’s giant nutcracker.

Vicky, the young lady working the cash register was awesome!  She even showed me a ‘naughty’ cave man nutcracker that she said she wouldn’t show when men were around!  She told us about the owners and explained about the different types of pecans and when they were harvested.

2ps with a giant pecan!

Pape’s also boasts that they have the ‘Largest Mobile Pecan’ and we made sure to get a picture of the two of us with it!

When we first drove into town we happened to see signs for the Juan Seguin Burial Site.  After a quick Google search to find out who he was, we made a detour and found it.  Juan Seguin was born in San Antonio in 1806 and spent much of his life in the military.

Juan Seguin’s final resting place, nestled beneath several huge Live Oak trees.

He played an integral part in establishing the independence of Texas, reached the grade of Colonel in the military, served as a US Senator, was elected Mayor of San Antonio, was Justice of the Peace in Bexar County, defender of the Alamo, hero of San Jacinto, founding father of the Bexar County Democratic party and served as the County Judge in Wilson County.  Just a few accomplishments, right?

Sequin passed away while living Mexico near his son in 1890.  He was re-interred in Seguin (his namesake) in 1976 during the nation’s bicentennial ceremonies.

We really enjoyed our day in Seguin, a pretty little town with one of those quaint town squares that we wouldn’t mind going back to do a little more exploring.  You should too!

 

 

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Burgers & Toilet Lids

Because we missed our movie of the week last week, we decided to take in two movies this week.  On Thursday we tried a new theater, Santikos Rialto, which is closer to us and cheaper too.  We saw Blade Runner 2049 and both enjoyed it.  It was a bit hard to follow at times and at 2 hours 44 minutes long perhaps a tad bit too long.  Although, maybe it just felt too long and hard to follow because we were both freezing.  We have to remember to bring something to cover up with next week!

Even though we have our own washer & dryer in the coach (wouldn’t be without ’em!) I still take advantage of the washer & dryers at the Ft. Sam RV Park every time we’re here.  It’s nice to be able to throw our bedding, rugs, etc…the big stuff in and get it taken care of for $1.50 a load – used to be free 🙁 I got that all taken care of on Friday morning and now I don’t need to worry about it for a little bit.

Michael has been doing his favorite thing the past few days…piddling in the basement.  He’s had totes out of the basement – going through them, cleaning things up, sorting things out, disposing of stuff.  He’s just a ‘piddlin’ machine’.

Ready for the next rally!

He also built a stand for our Heartland banner.  Unfortunately, he didn’t get it made in time for our Braunig Lake rally but it is now all set for our next rally….or for any rallies that we might attend and the Chapter Leaders would like to borrow it!

Monday we played ‘tourist’.  The plan was to be at Joe’s Place Hamburgers when the opened at 11:00 am…which we were…but the place was closed up tight.  I asked some guys that were outside next door and they said no one had been there for a couple of weeks.  No clue what’s up with that.

Sadly, it doesn’t sound good for Joe’s

Joe’s has been serving up burgers since 1934 and the cast iron griddle dates back to 1928!! In October 2013, Phyllis, Joe’s cook of 40+ years passed away and customers were in a panic about no longer having their Joe’s fix.  They pestered Phyllis’ niece Susan about keeping the place open so much that by March 2014, Joe’s was back in business and Susan was the new owner.  Too bad…we’ll keep an eye out and see if they open again.

With visions of yummy burgers in our heads I did a search and came up with another burger joint not too far away.  Burger Boy hasn’t been around nearly as long as Joe’s but they do date back to 1985 as Burger Boy and before that it was a Whopper Burger chain that opened in 1965.  So these guys have been doing burgers for a long time too.

This is NOT the front of the building! LOL

The triangle-shaped building is kinda deceiving as we had a hard time finding the front door!  The back door is actually the front door and thankfully we weren’t the only first timers that stood at the ‘front back door’ trying to figure out how to get inside.  LOL!  An employed finally took pity on us and came outside to tell us that the door is around ‘back’.

Whatcha see is whatcha get. This IS the inside of Burger Boy!

Once inside, it was rather shocking to find how small the place was…there are two counters along the sides of the building and there are about 6 stools at each counter.  Then there is a counter to place your order with the friendly paper hat wearing order taker.

DEE-licious!

We each order the Bates Special (1/4 pound burger, fries and a soda) for $5.99 with cheese being extra.  Being about 11:30 the dining area was full so we sat outside at one of the 3 picnic tables.  We arrived at just the right time as there was no one in line when we arrived but as we placed our order a line grew behind us and after we sat down at our table the other two tables immediately filled up too.

Left to Right: Nick, Mark & Randy

We shared our table with a gentleman and his son-in-law and step son who work in the oilfield business…LOL…small world, eh?  We had some great conversation as we told them about Joe’s and where we were headed after lunch.  They gave us several ideas of places to try for other burgers and bbq in the area too!  Really nice bunch of guys.

We will definitely be back as the burgers were really good – perfect size with just the right amount of toppings and they were HOT when we received them.  Definitely a ‘must do’ in San Antonio.

Me, Barney & Michael while Michael signed ‘his’ lid!

After lunch we headed over to visit with Barney Smith, artist and creator of the Barney Smith Toilet Seat Art Museum.  Barney is 96 years old and has been creating collages on toilet lids for YEARS.  As a master plumber toilet seats were easy to access and since they were used…FREE.

Found a home for my beloved WI plate…

Barney’s inspiration is anything and everything.  He has lids with all 50 state license plates (we donated our old Wisconsin plate and he’ll use it for a ‘back up’…LOL), he has lids for all of his recent birthdays, his anniversaries starting with #60, he has an entire Olympics series, lids for all of the Armed Services, lids dedicated to dentistry, volunteer fire fighters, TV shows, McDonalds…you name it.

Just a few of Barney’s creations…

Another couple (Tony & Irene) arrived at the same time we did (you MUST call ahead and make an appointment the day you plan to visit….but don’t call too early as Barney likes to sleep late!) and we all had such a good time listening to Barney’s stories.  Barney would point out a particular lid from a distance and if we didn’t follow directions quickly enough or couldn’t find what he was referring to we’d get chastised or told ‘If it was a snake it’da bit ya!’

Irene and I got chastised a few times before we got wise and let Michael and Tony take the lead on finding the things Barney was pointing out!  Barney carries a bamboo stick with him to point out certain pieces and at first we were all a bit leary of getting whacked with it but after a while it was easy to tell that Barney was just a sweet old man with a wonderful sense of humor.

At 96, Barney doesn’t get around like he used to and isn’t able to draw or engrave on the lids anymore as he says he shakes too much and it ‘doesn’t look good’…however, this year alone he has completed 84 new works of art…as he currently has created 1324 custom lids.  He numbers them so that he can keep track.

Me & Barney saying ‘toilet seat’ rather than ‘cheese’!

He asks visitors to sign the lids that pertain to their life.  Today we all signed lids…Tony & Irene both signed the lid dedicated to the USMC as they’re both retired.  Michael signed the lid bearing US Army field patches as it had the 2AD patch on it and that’s the combat patch that Michael wore on his uniform from 1991 until his retirement in 2012.  I signed the lid containing the license plate from Wisconsin.

We all hung around in the street waiting until Barney got from the garage to the house to make sure he got their safely. What a man. <3

I’m not sure how much longer Barney will be able to entertain visitors in his museum as he uses a walker to get around and isn’t the surest on his feet.  He’s hoping to sell the museum before he dies so that it’s taken care of in the future.  I sure hope someone takes over as it’s a treasure…although I’m not sure it would be the same without Barney there to point out certain pieces and to relay the stories behind them.

This was BY FAR, my favorite Roadside America find.  If you are in San Antonio…go now….there’s no telling how much longer this man and his treasures will be available.

We had plans to head back to the oil patch on Monday, October 24th but we’ve had some interesting stuff come up that is still in the works and once it’s confirmed and set in stone we’ll be able to share that news with you.

With that ‘stuff’ in mind we decided to skip the oil patch this year (hooray!…oops did I say that out loud!?) So our itinerary has changed somewhat for the next few months.  If we’ll be in your area & you’d like to meet, we’d love to get together…just let us know what works best!

Ft. Sam, San Antonio, TX – 10/9 – 10/24

Cranes Mill COE, Canyon Lake, TX  – 10/24 – 10/31

Canyon Lake Recreation Area, Canyon Lake, TX  – 11/1 – 12/1

Ft. Sam, San Antonio, TX – 12/1 – 1/1

Val’s Kountry Corral, Mission, TX – 1/1 – 3/1

 

 

 

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New Address!

With all the hubbub last week we didn’t get to go to a movie so this week hit the ground running and went to see Victoria and Abdul our first full day here at the Ft. Sam RV Park.  I’d been waiting all summer for this movie and it didn’t disappoint.  Michael enjoyed it too.  I’m gonna even say it’s my favorite movie this year.

Bexar Fax & Mail Center

We started the process of changing our residence to Texas.  Heartland friend Lisa and Dan told us about a mail service they use in San Antonio that they were pleased with.  The business (Bexar Fax & Mail Center) is owned and run by 21-year-old Andrew Gonzalez and we drove over to meet him on Tuesday and get some more information about his services.

Andrew…so young and accomplished!

Andrew took the time to show us how to register online, answer all of our questions and even have a friendly, personal conversation about RVing (he’ll be moving into a pull behind soon).

Once back home we signed up for the service using (mysamailbox.com) and now the job of getting our address changed with everyone will begin.  Next step is to contact our insurance company and have our home state changed from South Dakota to Texas so that we can get the coach inspected.  Stay tuned!

Since the office was closed for Columbus day when we got here we stopped in and paid for our two weeks, hoping we could extend for another week.  Unfortunately, Baker didn’t have room for us the last week of the month but that’s ok.  I found a Corps of Engineer park in Canyon Lake (Crane’s Mill Park) and we plan to go there, hoping they have a first come first serve site available and since we’ll be arriving on a Monday I don’t think we’ll have a problem.

Crane’s Mill is just 16 miles away from where we’ll be staying the month of November so that will work out great and if we can get one of the lake front first come, first serve sites it will be even better!  Wish us luck!

When we were at the office to pay for this current stay I inquired about making a reservation for the month of December and was told there were plenty of openings.  So we’re all set!  We’ll be back here at Ft. Sam for the month of December.  Part of that time we’ll fly to Wisconsin to spend the holidays with ALL of our babies…9 of them….adult and children alike!

Wednesday I had a doctor’s appointment.  I haven’t been real happy with the doctor I’ve been seeing here in SA for the past 5 years.  He didn’t do anything wrong but he never really ‘shined’.  So I finally took the plunge and found someone I was hoping might ‘connect’ more with me.

As I get closer to that thing called menopause (sorry guys!) I felt the need to have a female doctor to speak with and guide me.  With my mom gone, one sister having had a hysterectomy and the other not remembering much of the process I just felt lost without having someone to give me a little guidance.

My appointment went well and the doctor was very thorough, something I never really saw with my previous doctor here in San Antonio.  I was given a flu shot and an ekg…just a baseline since I do have elevated blood pressure (well under control with meds).

I also have a list of appointments to make – blood work, thyroid ultrasound (my sister and I have been blessed with overly large thyroids) and a good old mammogram.  Plus, I have another appointment with her for a lovely female check up in December.  I was with either the doctor or a nurse for about an hour and a half.

Tacos!

For dinner we went to Ray’s Drive Inn.  Friends Andy & Joanna had seen something about the place on one of the travel/dining shows on TV and messaged us on Tuesday about it.  We were looking for a place to try after my appointment and who doesn’t like TACOS?!!?

Ray’s has more than just tacos but they’re really known for their tacos.  Specifically their puffy tacos.  Ray’s actually trademarked the ‘puffy taco’ name in 1992.  Ray’s was opened by Ray Lopez in 1956.  In 1982, Ray sold the business to his brother, Arturo, with one stipulation…that the name remain Ray’s Drive Inn.

Enchiladas: cheese, beef & chicken

I ordered tacos – soft, hard & a puffy taco…some with beef, some chicken fajita style.  Michael ordered enchiladas and a puffy taco.  We’d both tried puffy tacos here in San Antonio back in 2012 at Taco Taco.  You can read about that visit HERE. Neither of us were real impressed with the taco there but enjoyed these at Ray’s much more.  I also enjoyed the chicken fajita taco over the beef taco.  The chicken was seasoned very well but the beef was almost kinda mushy.

GOOD old music coming out of this relic!

Unfortunately, our visit was really dampened by our server’s service.  She didn’t write our order down and only relied on her memory.  She had to ask us several times to repeat our order and we both knew when she walked away that she wouldn’t remember it correctly.  And she didn’t.  I was supposed to have one puffy taco and got two…Michael didn’t get his puffy taco and we had to hunt her down to remind her as well as having to hunt her down for drink refills and our check.

On a brighter note…there is an old jukebox that sits in one corner of the restaurant and it constantly plays music…REALLY good music!  60s, 70s, 80s….all of our favorites.  We were be-boppin’ the whole time we were there!

 

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