Tombstone, AZ in a Day

We pulled out of the Fortuna de Oro RV Park in Yuma on Monday 2/11 about 9:20 am….after messing with the hitch that did not want to close.  We have a Trailsaver TS3 Air Ride hitch and have had no problems with is over the last 7.5 years so this was unusual.  Michael got out the WD-40 and squirted the jaws of the hitch down really well and we tried again and the hitch jaws closed perfectly!

Pit stop between Yuma and Ft. Huachuca.

We arrived at the Apache Flats RV Park on Ft. Huachuca Army post about 3:30 that afternoon.  We got checked in very easily and made our way to site 1…our home for the next two weeks.  Ft. Huachuca is just outside of Sierra Vista, Arizona.

We took the following days to just stay home.  We got a lot of PTB work done as we have a couple of rallies coming up in March that needed to be wrapped up.  PTB is getting busier and busier where we’re not just selling disc brake kits but also upgrading axles and suspension systems.  Something that the original owner didn’t concentrate to heavily on but we’ve really started to highlight.
With no ‘adventures’ to take us away from home we were able to relax and also get more ‘home’ stuff done.  Mostly little jobs like putting the new step covers on the steps, adding a hanger for a dust mop I picked up at the QZ show….etc.

Busy cleaning up wiring etc.

Michael was able to get into the basements are start ‘remodeling’ to his liking.  Re-running pex to make more room, re-situating some equipment that was installed strangely and hard to get at, etc.  This is the kind of stuff that he loves to do…so he was definitely in his happy place.

Later on in the week we did run away.  On Valentine’s day (our 34th together) we went to see ‘Cold Pursuit‘ and also went out to dinner.  We both really like Liam Neeson so it was only fitting that we see this movie…however, it wasn’t the normal Liam Neeson movie though.  While it was the normal bad guys vs good guys it was also comedic…a little too silly in some places but we still enjoyed it overall.
Since our weekends are fairly quiet we spent Saturday in Tombstone..which is about a 25 mile drive from Fort Huachuca.

Boothill Cemetery

We started our visit at the Boothill Cemetery and enjoyed walking row by row.  Admission is $3.00 and when you pay you’re given a small pamphlet that provides a listing (row by row, grave by grave) of the inhabitants…many are ‘unknown’ but others give the person’s name, date of death and cause of death.

Check out those causes of death.

We wandered for well over an hour…thankfully we had nice weather.  Down the hill from the cemetery is a Jewish memorial/cemetery as well.  The main cemetery has a small section for Chinese as there was a fairly large population of Chinese who moved to Tombstone during the ‘Silver Rush’.

The Bird Cage Theater

The remainder of the day was spent walking up and down the streets of ‘Old Tombstone’.  We visited the Bird Cage Theater & Museum (a bit pricey at $14 each) but it was quite interesting to see the remnants of the old theater (built in 1881) as well as relics from days gone by.  The original piano is still in place…can you believe it?  The self-guided tour was especially enjoyable as we could take our time and

The balcony still had the original wallpaper (peeling off the walls), drapes, etc…kinda eerie

Much of the original furniture and props were still in place which made it very interesting.  The table where the ‘longest poker game’ took place is in placed, covered with bills and coins tossed on it by visitors.  Several ‘bordello’ rooms are viewable and visitors who take pictures are often rewarded with ‘orbs’ or ‘apparitions’ in their photos…me….not so much.

$25.00 for 1 month….that’s pretty steep!

Did you know in those days prostitution was legal in Arizona?  The ‘ladies’ even had to have a license to ‘sell their wares’.  LOL  The license seemed to run anywhere from about $4.80 to about $25.00…not sure what the difference was….different services??

The Longhorn Restaurant

We had lunch at the Longhorn Restaurant (chicken fried steak & hamburger steak) which turned out pretty good.  We each had a margarita too….prickly pear for me, green iguana for Michael….they were pretty darn good too.

One of many reenactments done on the street in honor of vigilante days.

It just so happened it was ‘Vigilante Days’ so there were a lot people running around in period costumes and there were skits going on in the middle of the street all throughout the day.  We watched several but wouldn’t have seen anything else if we stayed to watch anymore.

Smokey pic!

We, of course, stopped by the OK Corral and checked out the various happenings:  Blacksmith working on some projects, Fly’s photography studio, a prostitutes ‘crib’, a staged gunfight with dummies for gunslingers.

The ‘dummy’ gunfight

We also watched ‘Historama’ a show narrated by Vincent Price that details the history of Tombstone.  While it was a bit ‘hokey’ it was actually pretty interesting and we both learned a lot from it.

Cowardly Ike McLaury caught in the act of running away from the gunfight.

After cruising around all of that it was time for the OK Corral Gunfight reenactment.  The gentlemen that acted the parts of Wyatt Earp and his ‘gang’ along with the Clanton’s and McClaury’s did a great job and really made it fun too.  We’d highly recommend this adventure – at $10 for everything it really wasn’t a bad deal.

Historic Tombstone Courthouse

One thing on our list to see was the Courthouse, which is registered as a state historic site.  We were so busy running from here to there to see this reenactment or that reenactment that we totally forgot about it until after they closed for the day.  Guess we’ll just have to go back!

We had a lightish dinner at Big Nose Kate’s Saloon.  The place was pretty busy.  The food was ok…nothing special.  We each had a sandwich (cheese steak for Michael, panini for me).  By this time we were both pretty tired and food just didn’t quite hit the spot, I think.
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Journey to the Center of the World!

The Peanut Patch

Yuma is a produce Mecca!  Years ago peanuts were a big crop but since the 90s the peanut farms have gone from about 35 farms to just 4.  However, there’s a shop called The Peanut Patch that provides a small informational tour about peanut farming and we took advantage of that tour.

The Peanut Patch originally grew their own peanuts but back in 1996 an infestation of white flies caused most of the peanut farmers to close down production.  Even though they don’t grow peanuts they still sell them and various other peanut products…as well as other treats.

Donna gave an excellent talk on peanut farming.

Donna, the owner, gave a group of about 20 of us a very informative talk, showing us pictures, equipment and even a dried plant that were all passed around for a hands on experience.  After explaining the process she walked us through the ‘back room’ where we viewed a woman making chocolate covered peanuts and another who had just made a batch of peanut brittle.

Peanut brittle made daily

Oh….and don’t forget the samples…Spanish peanuts, fudge and peanut brittle.  All very tasty.  We brought home a small batch of peanut brittle…couldn’t very well not, now could we?

Love meeting new people and getting to know them!

We were blessed to have lunch with new friend Lance & Tammi at Olive Garden one day this week.  They’re PTB customers who Michael worked closely with to ensure that they got exactly what they wanted installed on their Grand Design 5er.  We had a nice lunch and really enjoyed getting to know each other.  They’re here in Yuma for several months yet but we’re hoping to possibly cross paths in Indiana this summer.

We took a drive to the official ‘Center of the World‘ in Felicity, California.  Since the center of the world can be pretty much anywhere this little spot was able to claim the title because when owner Jacques-Andre Istel made the claim back on May 21, 1985, it couldn’t be disputed.  So he went ahead and placed a plaque in the ground and built a pyramid over it to protect it.

Center of the World is in Felicity, CA…who knew?

Two years later, a town in France recognized Istel’s claim and its made history ever since.  French history is recorded in granite on the site as well.

The pyramid with the church in the background.

For a very small fee you can be escorted into the pyramid, put your foot upon the round disk and make a wish while looking at a beautiful view of the Chocolate Mountains.  This is all witnessed by a staff member who records the time of your wish and then hands you a certificate with your name on it to memorialize your visit.

Here you’ll also find the Museum of History in granite.  There are 18 or so granite monuments (shaped like Toblerone candy bar) displayed in a semi-circle of sorts.  Many are still empty by many have been sandblasted with information about world events…various wars, pop culture, theology, ancient Greece, ancient Rome, animals, etc etc etc.  Things that the owner believes worthy of sharing with future generations.

Michael examining one of the many granite monuments.

High upon a man-made hill behind the granite Toblerone exhibit stands a small church which is reached by climbing 49 steps.  The views from atop the hill are magnificent and you can get a really good look at the layout of the strange exhibit below.

I’m not sure what type of services take place within the church but it was while up atop the hill that I really started to feel ‘spooked’ for use of a better word.  There’s a small ‘graveyard’ behind the church with one massive piece of granite with about half a dozen names carved into it.  The names of people who had been buried there.

The more we wandered around…the more I was reminded of the Heaven’s Gate scenario where people believed that if they killed themselves that a spaceship following the Hale-Bopp comet would pick them up and take them to a better place.

The layout as seen from the church

It was as if the gentleman who created all of this was leaving a ‘history’ of the world in granite (hoping for it to last longer than humanity) for future generations or aliens or who knows what to find it and to learn about lost generations.

It’s really a different kind of experience and I’d like to hear from others who’ve been there to see if they got the same ‘feeling’ that we did.

One of the cells – held 6 inmates.

One of the biggest attractions in Yuma is the Yuma Territorial Prison.  The prison in Yuma was opened on July 1, 1876 and was open for 1909 after a new prison was built due to overcrowding at the Yuma prison.  Over the years is housed nearly 3100 prisoners…29 of which were women.  Crimes ranged from polygamy to murder to selling liquor to Indians. The most common crime, however, was burglary.

Inmates ranged from 14 years to 88 years.  Only two successful escapes were made from inside the prison while many others happened from outside while the prisoners were working or being transferred to the prison.

Yuma Criminals

After the prison closed in 1909 the local high school was in need of a building temporarily so they used part of the prison for classes from 1910 to 1914.  During a local football game between Phoenix and Yuma high schools the Yuma team pulled off a win for which the Phoenix team dubbed them ‘Criminals’ (or Crims for short) and the name stuck.  Yuma high school is still the ‘Criminals’ today…they use the face of a hardened criminal as their mascot.

Nels explaining the date farming process.

We also went on a tour of Martha’s Gardens…a date farm on the north side of Yuma.  We were loaded up on a trailer pulled by a cart and our tour guide, Nels, who is the owners 21-year-old son drove us through the date palm fields making several stops along the way to educate us about the date farming process.  Harvest isn’t until August so there weren’t any dates growing as it is just now approaching pollination time.

Different varieties of dates on hand at the store

But Nels was very thorough in the information he provided.  His family grows Medjool dates…the top of the line pretty much.  There are 3,000 different types of dates and they have about 7 or so different types in the store.  Neither Michael or I had ever had a date but we sampled about 4 different types.  We actually weren’t big fans of the Medjools as the texture was too ‘mushy’ for out liking.  There were a couple of smaller types that had a firmer texture that we liked much better.  Though I don’t think you’ll find us munching on dates any time soon.

The 2Ps touring a date farm in Yuma, AZ

They are known for their date shakes so we had to try one and were quite surprised at how tasty they were.  Very, very good.  If you get a chance…try one.  We also picked up a date loaf (like banana bread) to enjoy when we get a hankering for something sweet.

I had someone tell us there wasn’t much to do in Yuma…I think we’ve been kept pretty busy and haven’t been able to do everything we’d like to do.  We’ll be back…next year if we go to the Quartzsite show again.  There’s even an airport here…maybe our offspring will come visit…hint hint!

We’ll be departing Yuma on Monday and heading east to Sierra Vista where we’ll be staying at the Fort Huachuca FamCamp for a couple of weeks while we explore that area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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First Spa Treatment for the New Coach

Fortuna de Oro – Site 1007

We are set up at Fortuna de Oro RV Park in Yuma.  This park was recommended to us by Heartland friends, Mike & Edythe and has turned out to be a very nice park.  It’s HUGE with hundreds of sites, lots of activities, two pools, an onsite barber & beauty shop (which we took advantage of) and so much more.

We are on a corner site which is nice…but our 45 foot coach is really crammed into the space….but we make it work.

Spa time!

There are all kinds of RV service people floating around the park…all the time.  Wash/Wax crews, propane companies, RV techs, etc.  We took advantage of one of the RV crews and had the truck and coach washed and waxed for $135….can’t beat that!

I found a couple of Roadside America adventures to check out.  Two were here in Yuma and fairly close together so we visited them one afternoon when or work was done and we had a couple of errands to run.

Surrounded by lettuce, cabbage and mountains!

The ‘Tiny Church‘ was built by Loren Pratt in 1995 on the edge of his farming land.  Built in honor of his late wife, the church was flung 60 feet during a storm in 2011.  The family repaired the church that has six tiny pews that hold twelve people.  I believe that services are held at the church on Easter Sunday and it is often used for weddings.

McPhaul Bridge

Less than a mile away sits the ‘Bridge to Nowhere‘.  Built in 1929, the bridge spanned the Gila River.  In 1968 the bridge was determined to be unsafe for modern traffic so the river was diverted and a new bridge was built…leaving this bridge ‘ high and dry’.

Michael had to get a closer look…I think this was Romaine lettuce.

Interestingly enough, we found out that this area grows a LOT of lettuce, cabbage and other fruits and vegetables.  It’s quite strange to see desert all around you and then to happen upon fields of lush, green lettuce and/or cabbage growing in beautifully straight rows.

The day after we arrived (Tuesday) in Yuma we dropped the truck off at the Ford dealer to get the issues that weren’t addressed in San Antonio back in December.  The dealership had it four days and got everything taken care of (front end shimmy, two new tires, new brakes and an issue with the DEF heater).  We were very impressed with the service adviser we worked with.  A nice little plus was that we didn’t even have to pay for the rental we had for those four days.

We squeezed in a movie…The Upside…and what a good movie it was.  The only complaint would be that they wrapped the entire movie up in the last 15 minutes of the movie and it just felt kind of rushed.  Other than that….go see it!

Da Works minus the mushrooms

We enjoyed a delicious pizza dinner (bruschette as an appetizer!) at Da Boyz.  It had great reviews and Michael had been hankering for some pizza for a while.  The food was great and so was the service.  Our server was very sweet and thoughtful.  We arrived just before 5:00 pm, which was perfect…no wait at all.  By the time we left just after 6:00 pm, there were people all over waiting for a table.

We helped Sandra celebrate 19 years of painting by purchasing this beauty she created before our eyes….no brushes…just scraps of paper, plastic bags and her hands.
She gave us free Margaritas…and they were DELICIOUS!

We spent an awesome day in Los Algodones, Mexico.  The weather was gorgeous for strolling around the streets checking out the wares of the many vendors.  We purchased a couple of Christmas gifts, some hats for Michael, a lightweight jacket for each of us and a couple of pieces of jewelry for me.  We also purchased some yummy prawns for dinner that evening (and some to freeze too).  Oh yeah…and we picked up some meds – some muscle relaxers for Michael’s back issues and also some Z-packs for just in case.

This is what was over our heads as we enjoyed lunch, the music and a Margarita (way strong!)

We had lunch at an outdoor restaurant (El Paraiso) that had live music – which was very enjoyable to listen to as well as watch several people go up and dance.  It was kinda fun as several vendors roamed around the tables showing off items for sale.  We’d pretty much already purchased everything we needed so we didn’t buy anything from them.

 

 

Los Algodones, MX

We really enjoyed Los Algodones as it had more ‘shopping’ area and was cleaner than Progresso.  Not once did we fell unsafe…actually have felt much more unsafe in places like St. Louis and Chicago.  Plus, there were police strolling all about.

We have one more week here in Yuma and have plans for a couple of outings yet.  We really like it here and will definitely come back.

 

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Quartzsite, Arizona

No…I have not been abducted by aliens, run over by a bus or quite blogging.  We were just SO busy during our time in Quartzsite we barely had time to breathe let along blog.

Let me give you a quick ‘catch up’ and then we’ll continue as usual.

Holiday Palms RV Park, Quartzsite, AZ

We arrived in QZ (Quartzsite) on January 9th and stayed at the Holiday Palms RV Park for a week.  Sites were kinda tight but we managed.  The park was quiet which was nice.

We attended the Grand Design rally that was held that weekend out in the desert on BLM land.  We’d been to the same rally last year by luck and were invited back this year.  Great group of people.  We had several installs scheduled during the rally and made several sales during the rally as well.  Michael drove out to the rally area each day to meet with customers and talk with Dennis who was doing the installs.

Michael also did a seminar for the group and had a really nice turn out with lots and lots of interest and questions.  We ended up having to move out of the tent to answer questions as we ran over time and needed to make room for the next presenter.

Yum!

We took a couple of drives (23 miles one way) to Blythe, California to pick up items at the UPS terminal, to pick up groceries and to enjoy some pretty darn good Chinese food.

Part of the reason we arrived in Quartzsite so early was that we wanted to be able to take a walk around and check out all of the various vendors outside of the RV Show.  That didn’t work out as planned as we only got about 2 1/2 hours one day to do a little ‘shopping’ and it rained for about a good half hour of that time!

Then to top it off…Michael lost his wallet at the end of the day.  We were VERY pleasantly surprised the next day when we went back and found that someone had turned it into the office…with everything in it!

One of the highlights of our time in Quartzsite was being able to get together with three of our installers (Dennis and Josh & Heather) for dinner.  We met at the Quartzsite Yacht Club (yep…in the middle of the desert!) and had a really nice time visiting.  We’d come nearly full circle with these three as we met them all a year ago at Quartzsite.

Dennis was an established installer with PTB when we took the company over and we met Josh & Heather at the Quartzsite Show and brought them on as installers.  Dennis was kind enough to train them at his ranch after they finished working at the show last year.

Open for business!

On January 16th we moved to the show grounds and were there for the next 12 nights.  We arrived on Wednesday and the show started that Saturday which gave us plenty of time to get our ‘booth’ set up and watch as the other vendors moved in.

The first few days of the shows were crazy busy but thankfully slowed down to a much easier pass the rest of the week.  We really did well with sales…many of which were customers that saw us at the Grand Design rally the weekend before and came by to ‘seal the deal’.

We chose to be on the ‘sunny side’ of the tent this year.  Last year we were in the shade and froze the entire time.  However, this time we couldn’t get away from the sun.  We were plenty warm but finding shade was hard.  Michael ended up getting sunburned lips (don’t use Blistex and then stand in the sun for hours on end!) so badly that he had blisters.  Poor guy learned a lesson the hard way.

You can be sure that we’ll be back in the shade next year and be layering on the clothes!

Hard to see all of the pallets of water but this gives you a small idea of the amount of product they had.

Right across from us was a company that was selling water infused with CBD oil.  We were entertained the whole week as they went from having pallet upon pallet of water brought onto the midway and deposited onto their site only to have it all removed the very first evening after the show closed for the day.  It seems that it was repossessed.  Lots of different stories going on…and who knew who to believe but it sounds like they didn’t pay for the water and whomever they bought it from repossessed it all.

There was no way they would have sold all that they had anyway…at $9.00 a bottle…or $7.00…$5.00 or $3.00…just depended on who you spoke to on what the price was.

They also had some oils and beauty products they were selling that they must have actually paid for that they were able to sell but I don’t think any of it went over well either.  Anyway…it was quite entertaining for us….and most everyone else around us too.  LOL

Tom & Marty!

We had lots of customers stop by to introduce themselves…which was awesome.  We know their names but not the faces so when we can put a face to a name it’s so much nicer!

We also had several friends stop by…Arvin and Vicki stopped by for a short while but we were so busy we barely had time to say ‘hi’.  Toward the end of the show when it was slower Tom & Marti stopped by.  It was so good to see them as we hadn’t seen them in well over a year.

All in all it was a good show…busy…hot…lip blistering…but good.  The show closed on Sunday 1/27 but we stayed until Monday to let the majority of the vendors fight their way out.  By the time we left at about 11:00 am on Monday the place was cleared out.  It was unbelievable to us to see the garbage left behind by the vendors….just slobs.  Wow!

We didn’t. have far to travel…just 75 miles to Yuma where we’ll before for 2 weeks.  We’ve never been to Yuma and it sounded like a good place for some R&R.  We still have work to do but we won’t have to juggle it with 9 days of a 9am – 5pm RV Show.

I have a few ‘adventures’ in store for us while we’re in Yuma…so stay tuned!

 

 

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Bright Spot in the Middle of the Desert

Our time in Gila Bend went fast, too fast.  The park turned out to be a really nice KOA…and we’re not fans of KOA but we’d recommend this place.  The rates are reasonable (unlike many KOAs) plus when the owner found out Michael was retired military he gave us a discount.  Any other KOA we’ve been to only offers their KOA discount, which you have to pay a yearly fee to receive…some discount.

Love it!

The park is fairly new and very well maintained.  The sites are enormous and very well placed.  No looking out your window straight into your neighbors.  We had a gorgeous view out or door-side living room window of the mountain range in the distance.

Gila Bend is small – only about 2,000 population.  There’s not much to do, but it’s quiet and peaceful and everyone we associated with was very friendly.  Buckeye is 30 miles north if you wanted to do something more than whats offered in Gila Bend.

Arvin & Vicki – maybe we’ll see them in Quartzsite.

Shortly after arriving in town I found out that our friends, Arvin and Vicki were in town, staying at the FamCamp.  We planned to drive over to that way on Tuesday to check out the base and the FamCamp.  However, we were surprised on Monday afternoon when there was a knock on the door.  Arvin and Vicki decided to surprise us!  It was really a surprise since we didn’t recognize Arvin as he’d grown a beard since the last time we saw him.  We visited for a couple of hours before work called to us and we had to put our noses back to the grindstone.

Burritos as big as your forearm!

Tuesday was a bit slower so we took some time to scout the area.  Our first stop was at Mercado De Amigos (Mexican Market).  Arvin had told us about the huge burritos that they make and Michael was set on trying one.  We each ordered one and we each have 1/2 of one in the refrigerator to enjoy later.  They were very tasty and the green sauce they provided to go with made it even better!

We needed a few groceries to take us through our stay in Quartzsite so we picked up a few items at the Mexican Market and then went over to Dollar General to pick up a few others.  We had to make due with those choices as there are no other grocery stores in Gila Bend.

Came across this big guy on the air base!

We drove south of town to the auxiliary airfield to check it and the FamCamp out (less than 5 miles out of town).  To say the base is small would be an understatement.  I’m pretty sure we covered the whole place in less than 5 minutes.  Not much too see…an airfield, lodging and a FamCamp is about it.  LOL

The FamCamp is pretty nice, nothing special though.  It has just 37 sites with only one that was available.  The sites are pretty nice sized…actually a few of them were big enough to play a game of football on!  We’d definitely stay there if there was room….but that seems like it might be a BIG ‘if’ as I think it might stay pretty full.

Gila Bend Welcomes You!

Before heading home we hit two Roadside America attractions.  The Gila Bend Welcome Sign is a bit different from the average sign for a couple of reasons.  It’s hand-painted and it boasts 1917 Friendly People and 5 Old Crabs (and lists the names of those people).  It seems that the crabby people change as looking online the list has changed over the years.  Cute!

Michael inspecting the beam

Gila Bend was awarded a piece of the World Trade Center after applying for it eight years earlier.  The town built a pretty little park in the middle of town where the artifact stands prominently.  We’ve visited several sites like this and it’s just as poignant each and every time.  I’m so glad that these pieces weren’t just scrapped but are on display across the country to help us always remember that day and for future generations to learn.

For dinner we went to Little Italy.  It’s about the only place that isn’t Mexican or McDonald’s, Burger King, Subway or Carl’s Jr.  It had good reviews so we were game.  Arvin had told us that Prince Harry had eaten there and had loved the pizza…so we had to try it!

Woohoo! My butt touched the same seat that Princess Diana’s sons butt touched!

We were seated in Prince Harry’s booth (I guess they thought we were royalty!) and had Harry watching over us the whole time as there is a cardboard cutout of him placed on the wall over the table.  The waitress told us that he had been training at the airfield and that’s why he was in town and happened to come in for pizza.  We were told he was very friendly, just a normal guy.  Here’s an article about his visit.

We ended up not ordering a pizza (we’ll save that for our next visit) and both went with pasta instead (lasagna for Michael, chicken Marsala for me).  Our meals were good…the only thing Michael said is that he likes his sauce a little on the sweeter side than what his lasagna was.

Feels a lot more like home now that my babies are up!

We got some time while in Gila Bend to do a little more home decorating.  We finally got our ‘grandbaby wall’ put together.  The only thing that needs done now is to get updated pictures of all of the grandbabies as most of the ones we have are a couple of years old and they have all grown just a LITTLE bit in the last two years.  Zoe (now three) was only a little over a year old in her pictures.  I’ll get those updated when we’re with them this spring.

Our dining nook

I also put up wall decals in the kitchen.  They work SO well for RV living.  No added weight.  No falling off the wall during travel.  Easy and versatile as they can be removed and replaced if needed.

We’re heading to Quartzsite for a week in an RV park, leaving Gila Bend Wednesday morning.  It’s only 130 mile drive…so very doable….nice and easy.  We’ll be visiting the Grand Design Rally and Michael will be doing a seminar.  The rally runs from the 11th to the 13th and is a boondocking event out on BLM land.  We visited last year as well.  We’re hoping to have a little bit of time while we’re at the RV park to wander around all of the vendors that are set up outside the Show grounds as last year we didn’t find any time do that.

Then on the 16th, we’ll move over to the RV Show grounds where we’ll be parked on the midway (just like last year).  We’ll have a display set up outside the coach and will work 9-5 (show hours) from the          19th – 27th.

 

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Plans Are Made to Be Changed…

The RV Park at the Pima County Fairgrounds

Our original plan was to leave Deming on Wednesday but with the snow threat (that didn’t amount to anything) we stayed an extra day.  The ‘plan’ was to get a site at the FamCamp on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base for a couple of days.  However, when I called to see if they had any sites available (they don’t take reservations) they didn’t have anything.  We quickly came up with plan ‘B’ and called the Pima County Fairgrounds RV Park to see if they had sights available.  They did.

The next change came with plans for our next destination – Gila Bend.  Once again, we’d planned to stay at the FamCamp there but no reservations were taken so we were going to wing it.  We decided not to ‘wing it’ and made reservations at the KOA instead.  With all the snowbirds and our coach being four feet longer than the old one it’s been hard to find available sites so when I found a large enough site at the KOA we grabbed it.

Help has arrived!

We made all of these ‘changes’ on Thursday morning before we started prepping to leave.  Once the changes were made Michael went out to start the truck so it could warm up (low 20s over night).  Unfortunately, it wouldn’t start.  He waited a while and tried again…but still no.  He ended up calling our Roadside assistance plan to have someone come out.  He was pretty sure it just needed a jump.  And he was right!  The guy who gave us a jump was at the park less than 5 minutes!  We immediately hitched up and were on the road within 15 minutes.

We had a nice uneventful drive to Tucson and got settled into our site easily enough.  Matter of fact, Michael was backed in and ready to unhitch when I got there after paying for our three-day stay.

We had a fairly relaxing visit to Tucson (we’ll be back in March for the Escapade).  We took time to go to a movie (Bumblebee), which turned out to be really cute.  If you’re in the mood for a light-hearted, fun movie…this would be right up your alley.

We also took a ride to the Saguaro National Park (only about 20 miles from the park).  We’d forgotten about the government shutdown but it didn’t keep us from taking the 9 mile loop drive through the park.  The only thing that we weren’t able to do was go into the Visitor’s Center as it was closed.

There were a lot of visitor’s there the day we went…everyone was well-behaved, there were no overflowing trash cans, no garbage strewn about.  Matter of fact…someone had gone to Sam’s Club and purchased a large package of toilet paper and left in one of the bathrooms for others to use.

The 9 mile drive took us a couple of hours as we stopped a lot to take pictures and to marvel at the beauty.  It was fascinating to us to wonder about the large cacti…what did the seedlings look like (the smallest we saw were about 2 feet tall), why were some so green and healthy looking and others near death.

I did some ‘Googling afterward and found out the following interesting tidbits:

  • It can take 10 years for a saguaro cactus to grow to one inch tall!
  • By 70 years old a saguaro cactus can be 6.5 feet tall and finally produce its first flower
  • It can take 95-100 years for a saguaro cactus to reach 15 feet tall and start producing its first arm!
  • By 200 years old a saguaro cactus will reach its full height and can reach up to 45 feet tall!

These plants are absolutely amazing. We really enjoyed our visit to the park and it would be one that we would suggest visiting if you’re ever near Tucson.

There are roughly 25 different species of cacti within the national park and we were able to figure out several but not nearly what are actually there.

Sunday morning we woke up to rain but didn’t have plans to leave until 10:00 am.  We took our time with breakfast and getting moving that we didn’t actually pull out until closer to 11:00 am.  Unusual for us to not hit our ‘goal’.  We only had 137 miles to travel so we just kinda took our time.

On our way to Gila Bend we drove through part of the Sonoran Desert National Monument and were, once again, in awe of the huge Saguaro Cactus scattered all over.  Sadly, most of the saguaro’s we saw were sick with disease…bacterial necrosis, I believe (thanks to Google!)  The poor plants look so sad, slowly rotting away.

No problem fitting our 45 foot home into site 118 at the Gila Bend KOA!

We arrived at the Gila Bend KOA early in the afternoon and were welcomed by the owner who was especially friendly (completely the opposite of the hosts at the Pima County Fairgrounds).  We were escorted to site 118 by another very friendly gentleman.  What a nice trend!

Set up goes very quickly these days as most everything has a home so there’s not much that needs to be ‘unpacked’.  There’s no messing with a satellite dish anymore….just push a button and it does its own thing.  I put out the five slides while Michael hooks us up to water and power.  I slowly open cabinet doors and the refrigerator doors to ensure that nothing comes flying out after having been shifted during travel.  If anything needs to be put back in order I do that before Michael comes along because he inevitably will whip open a cabinet door without thinking and items will fall out.  🙂

The heat vents in the bedroom and bathroom haven’t been pushing out any heat so Michael dug into the basement when we arrived at the KOA to see what the problem was.  He found that the hose wasn’t hooked up to vent…therefore no heat coming through.  Quick fixes are great!

We are here for just 3 days before we head to Quartzsite to gear up for a Grand Design Rally (January 11 – 13) and then the Quartzsite RV show (Jan 19 – 27).

 

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Fort Stockton, TX & Deming, NM

We finished up the last of Michael’s VA appointments on Friday morning.  By a fluke we found out he has a hernia.  An incisional epigastric hernia to be exact.  Caused by gall bladder surgery he had done in 2008.  It doesn’t really bother him but we’ll have it looked soon.

Ft Stockton RV Park – site 4

We set sail about 8:30 Saturday morning, headed for Fort Stockton, Texas…just over 309 miles.  We like to make this stop as our friend, Herb, is the manager of the Fort Stockton RV Park.  So we were hoping to visit with him as well as make a pit stop. Unfortunately, he had gone out of town for a few days so we didn’t get to see him this visit.

Roadrunner Cafe Menu

The park has a small cafe that we usually have dinner at and also breakfast the morning that we depart.  This visit was no different. We were at the cafe after 5:00 (when the open for dinner) and had an enjoyable dinner (Michael – chicken fried steak, Me – hamburger steak).  Both were good as usual.  And of course each meal comes with either vanilla or chocolate Blue Bell ice cream…yum!

It was so cold that when we got back home (we were parked right across from the cafe) we went straight to bed to snuggle under the covers.  We watched an episode of  ‘Station 19’, did a little reading and turned out the light by 8:30!

We were awake about 6:30 but laid in bed snuggled under the covers until 7:00ish when we got up, made the bed, got dressed, brought in the slides and then headed over to the cafe when it opened at 7:30.  We had a nice hot breakfast while perusing the news on our phones and then headed back home to hitch up and hit the road.  We pulled out of the Fort Stockton RV Park just about 8:30.

Kelly’s Kitchen

Both days we stopped at Kelly’s Kitchen for lunch.  Saturday we ate or salads in the truck cab as we couldn’t get the steps (hate these steps!) to lower enough so that we could close the door to the coach.  Sunday we were parked on a level enough area that the steps weren’t in the way of closing the door so we at in the coach at the dining room table.  I will say that I do love my kitchen nook…nice big windows placed low enough that we can see outside while we dine.

Roadrunner Park – Site 65

We pulled into the Roadrunner RV Park in Deming about 3:00 pm, got checked in, settled in our site (65) and cranked the heat (only 35ish outside) and then headed over to the China Restaurant for an early dinner.  This is the third time we’ve been to this restaurant…in three visits to Deming…it’s that good.

We’ve ordered the same dishes each time and have tons of leftovers to gorge on for several days – hot & sour soup for me, egg drop for Mikey.  Egg rolls for me, cheese puffs for Mikey.  Strawberry chicken for Mikey, Vegetable chicken for me and pork fried rice to share.  Oh so yummy!

We had planned to eat dinner there on New Years Eve but found out that they were closed so we made a change in plans and went a day early since they’ll be closed on New Years day too.

As we were eating dinner on Tuesday, I noticed an older man outside his trailer acting kinda weird. He was kinda piddling but strangely.

I sent Michael over to see if he could help him with something. Michael was with him 10 minutes or so and came home and told me to call 911 and then went back over to stay with him.  I called 911 and then went over to help. He was very disoriented, confused, incoherent.

Police & EMS

Police and ambulance arrived and found the same as us and decided to take him to the hospital to check him out. He became very combative when they tried to get him on the stretcher and it took three men and one woman all they had to get him on the gurney and handcuffed to it.  The police officer thought that he may have had a stroke…which was my thought as well.

Two police cars were at his place at 7:00 am Wednesday morning.  I’m thinking they were trying to lock his trailer as we weren’t able to lock it when they took him to the hospital.  We haven’t heard anything more but do know that he has not come back to his trailer.

We had planned on leaving Deming on Wednesday but were expecting snow between Deming and Tucson and decided to hang out an extra day as we didn’t have any reservations anywhere anyway.

While it did snow in Deming…nothing really stuck but according to the internet, roads were kinda iffy.  It was cold, cold, cold so we stayed inside with the fireplace, furnace and heat pump going.

 

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Making It Our Own

PTB has been pretty quiet which was nice as it gave us time to get some chores done around the new coach.  Slowly the new coach is becoming home.

Much more organized

We’ve done several organizational projects like adding office organization trays to the big drawer in the entertainment center which helped immensely with being able to find things easily.

Organization is key in small places

We also added baskets in the bathroom linen closet to help with organization as well as to help keep everything from floating all over the cabinet while traveling.  Since the bathroom is in the very back of the coach there’s quite a bit of movement back there while in motion.

We also added a few storage bins in the residential refrigerator.  Since the fridge is so much larger than our old RV fridge there’s lot of extra space which isn’t necessarily a good thing when traveling.  Now that some of the things are contained within bins we’ll have less to worry about on travel days.

Sweet!

We also added a few helpful mods in the pantry/laundry room.  A hand hook to hold the broom off of the floor, a plastic bag holder also went on the wall out of the way.

Cargo net in place for travel!

Plus, Michael added a couple of hooks above the door inside the pantry so that I can hang the cargo nets that we’ll be using to keep everything on the pantry shelves during travel.  It’s awesome and works really well.

 

 

Ta da! A new throne for the new palace!

We added a Dometic 320 toilet in the bathroom.  We’d installed one in the old coach and really liked it so we went with the same thing this time too.  Michael ordered it from PPL and got a good deal.  He had it shipped to our mailbox so it was waiting when we got back from Wisconsin.  Andrew (our mailman) messaged us when it came in and said, ‘Yay!  Now I know you’ll be back soon!’.  LOL

 

New door catch

Michael has also done countless small projects:  added outlets and usb ports on either side of the fireplace, hung a magnetic spice rack next to the stove, added a magnetic door catch to the bedroom door to help keep it open…just to name a few.

How fun is that?

When you purchase a Heartland Landmark 365 you also get a personalized light sign for the side of the coach.  You can personalize it however you like and many use their last name.  We decided to go with our nickname, ‘2psnapod’.  If you’re unsure of what that is….you read it as ‘Two Peas in a Pod’…that’s us!  We started calling ourselves that when Michael was in Iraq (2006/2007)…since we always seemed to say (type) the same thing at the same time while we chatted online.

Don’t think it’s been all work and no play around here!  We’ve found plenty of time for fun too.

The cast of Boogie Woogie Christmas

Fort Sam has a theater on post (the Harlequin Theater) that put on a Christmas show called Boogie Woogie Christmas.  We attended the performance on the 15th.  It was a good way to get into the spirit of the season…listening (and participating) in Christmas carols.

We also saw, A Christmas Carol (the musical) at the Roxie Theater on the 23rd.  I think it’s the smallest theater we’ve ever been to and the play was different from the traditional story but it was fun and cute.  The actors who played Scrooge and Bob Cratchit really did an excellent job…acting and singing both.

There was also a little girl of about 3 who played Cratchit’s daughter, Martha, who had me mesmerized.  She didn’t have a speaking part but she sure new the songs…even when she wasn’t supposed to.  LOL

Dinner on water

I’ve always wanted to go down to the San Antonio Riverwalk during the Christmas season and this year we made sure to make time to do just that!  We strolled around for a while, then had dinner at the Original Mexican Restaurant…sitting outside along the river.

Michael’s little buddy

The food was ok…nothing special but the company was wonderful.  Including the duck who kept pecking at Michael’s leg because he wanted more tortilla chips!

Fun! I’d do it again!

After dinner we took a boat ride along the river.  It was a very enjoyable ride as the boat captain told us about certain things along the way and pointed out various landmarks.  The entire cruise was made even better as the trees and buildings along the way were lit with Christmas lights.  The cost of the cruise was $9 (military) for about 35 minutes or so…worth it in my book.  It was the perfect way to end an already wonderful day.

We have also taken in a several movies over the last couple of weeks.  We watched ‘Instant Family’ with Mark Wahlberg and we both really enjoyed it.  The day we went to the Riverwalk we started the day with a movie at the Riverwalk Center AMC.  We saw ‘The Mule’ with Clint Eastwood.  I didn’t watch many of his movies from his younger days…but some day I may just have to do that because I absolutely adore him in his golden years.  At 88 years old he is just absolutely awesome!

Christmas Day we opted for our traditional double feature.  This year we saw ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ and ‘The Favourite’.  We both enjoyed Mary Poppins as it was quite similar to the original…with a guest appearance by Dick VanDyke even…who’s 93….can you believe it!?!

The Favourite…well…that was a different story.  While it was based on the true story of Queen Anne of England it had some content that was just kinda out there.  Not that it was a bad movie…just not one of our favorites for sure.

Before heading to the movie theater we had lunch at Furr’s Cafeteria where they served a traditonal Christmas feast (and had other things as well).  We didn’t have to wait in line at all since we arrived shortly after they opened.  We sampled several dishes and took our time since our first movie didn’t start until 1:30 pm.

The truck has been at the Ford dealer since the 18th.  It needed an oil change and we also had a ‘check engine’ light on that needed to be addressed.  We’d stopped at an O’Reilly’s to have them check the issue and were told it had something to do with the DEF heater.

We got word on the 20th that the oil change had been done and they were still hoping to get the other items addressed before we have to leave on the 29th.  By the 27th we gave up and picked up the truck and will try to get the rest of the issues addressed while we’re in Arizona.  Apparently, when you make an appointment at Jordan Ford it’s not an appointment to have work done…it’s an appointment to get it line to have work done.

There she goes….

We made a trip over to T&S RVs after Christmas to switch out our screen door for another as the one we had gave us problems from the beginning and eventually Michael realized that the screw holes were stripped out which kept the hinge loose which prevented the door from closing properly.

While we were there we witnessed our old coach leaving the property with is new owner.  We didn’t meet the gentleman but were told he was very excited…which says a lot since he traded in a 2018 Hideout for our 2011 Landmark.  It was a bit bittersweet to see her go…but I’m glad she’s got a new home.

Michael has one last VA appointment (just a CPAP check) tomorrow morning and then we’ll be pulling out on Saturday morning.  We’ll be heading toward Arizona with several stops along the way…the first of which is to see our friend Herb at the Fort Stockton RV Park.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What a week!

The clouds were so fluffy I couldn’t not take a picture

On Friday 11/30 we hopped a Delta flight that took us to the freezing cold of Wisconsin so that we could stay with two of our grandchildren (Paityn and Cameron) while their parents flew off to the Dominican Republic to bask in the warmth.  See anything wrong with this picture???

Miller Park as seen from the visitor’s dugout

Zack picked us up at the airport in Milwaukee and drove us the two hours back to their home in Mount Horeb…although not before stopping at Miller Park to check out the Brewers Clubhouse Sale.  Zack found a few things and I picked up a 3 pack of socks with ‘Milwaukee Brewers’ printed on them.

Shortly after getting to the house we all climbed into the car and drove to Barneveld where we met the Verona Barnett’s (Dan, Amanda, Alex, Ben & Zoe) for dinner at Glacier Ridge Pub & Grill…a new place none of us had ever been.  Most everyone had fish (Dan had steak) and it was ok…but not the best by any means.  Dan’s steak, a tenderloin, had to be sent back because it wasn’t good to desired temp and was super fatty.  The salad bar was kinda pathetic and was out of most everything (very few people at the place) and we had to wait for them to fill it.  All in all…probably not a place we’d go back to.  You win some, you lose some.

All so busy creating masterpieces

Saturday Nana and Papaw took all five grandbabies to Fired Up! Pottery in Madison so that they could each pick up and paint a piece of pottery.  The ‘Mama’s & the Papa’s’ tagged along and Zack and Kelsea ended up painting their own projects too.  The babies did great on their pieces (Paityn – small jewelry box, Alex – cereal bowl, Cameron – puffer fish, Ben – Santa plate, Zoe -butterfly dish.)

The pieces were supposed to be ready to be picked up in 7-10 days but ended up being ready in 5…so we were able to pick everything up on Thursday.  Everything turned out so good…the babies should be so proud of their work!

Fun & tasty lunch

Dan has been wanting us to try a place called Mod Pizza for a while so after finishing up at the pottery place we all headed there for lunch.  What a different and fun kind of place.  It’s kinda like a Subway but for pizzas.  You go down an assembly line having the employee add your favorite cheeses and toppings to a pizza crust (single serving or larger) and at the end they pop it in the brick oven.  They also do the same thing for salads.  It turned out very yummy and I’d go again, no problem.

Zack and Kelsea left in the wee hours of the morning on Sunday so we woke up to having to be responsible adults caring for a 5-year-old, a 7-year-old, a yellow lab and a chocolate lab for a week.  Eeek!

We spent Sunday afternoon at Dan and Amanda’s house visiting.  The five cousins played in the play room while the adults played a new game…one of those strategy types that I usually suck at but ended up winning this time!  Woohoo!  Go me!

Picked up from school and smiling!

Monday started our true test…could we get the kids up, fed and on the school bus and survive!  Don’t forget having to let the dogs out of their kennels, let outside, fed and let outside again.  We did that all week with success.  Plus, making sure that they wore hats on ‘hat day’, library books went back when they were supposed to, gym shoes went to school on gym days, snacks were packed in their back packs, etc.

Paityn’s flippin out!

Now throw in having to pick the kids up from school three days a week (M, W, Th) and get Paityn to her 3 hour-long gymnastics practice on time.  Making sure that she had her gym bag with all of its necessities and Cameron’s ‘keep him from being bored bag’ with it’s necessities with us when we picked them up, for them to use at the gym.

Keep in mind that Dan flew to NYC on Tuesday and Amanda works Tuesday and Wednesday so to help them out we watched their 3 (Alex, Ben & Zoe) those nights.  So on Tuesday night, Amanda brought her 3 out to Mt. Horeb and on Wednesday we watched everyone (except Paityn who was at gymnastics) at Dan and Amanda’s house.  Whew!

Pizza chefs in the making!

Having them all actually went very well.  Tuesday they made their own DIY pizzas and were all very proud of how tasty they were.  We also watched several Christmas movies I’d recorded so it was fairly peaceful.

On Wednesday, Papaw picked up McDonald’s for everyone (Paityn got hers after practice) and we ate at home and then started watching a Christmas movie before Amanda came home and we had to rush off since it was everyone’s bedtime.

To make it even more hectic, Michael and I had dental appointments with a new dentist on Tuesday in Madison…just cleanings but the appointments went well and we’ll be back in May or so for follow-up appointments.  It also worked out well that we dropped Dan off at the airport to catch his flight to New York and then just headed straight over to the dentist…perfect timing.

Crazy elf got into all kinds of mischief!

If that wasn’t enough to make your head spin….throw in Elf on the Shelf, a nightly ritual of posing an elf if some silly position or doing a goofy action.  The elf is a reminder to the kids to be good and to have fun while anticipating the arrival of the ‘Big Guy’.

Checking out their haul!

And don’t forget St. Nick stopped by on the night of the fifth and left goodies in the kids stockings to be found by them on the morning of the sixth.  Perhaps you don’t celebrate St. Nick…it’s a very German tradition and quite popular in German communities.  Something I grew up with as a kid, Michael did not.  I’m glad that the boys are keeping the tradition alive with their babies too.

By Friday we were all pretty pooped and ready to stay home.  The kids got off the bus and were immediately ready to build their gingerbread creations.  Paityn worked on a house and Cameron a train.  They’d been waiting all week but with so much going on they had to wait until after school on Friday to begin.

Proud babies!

They, first, constructed their projects and let them dry while we ate dinner.  After dinner they decorated their respective ‘buildings’ with a little help from Nana and Papaw.  They did a great job and had a good time too.  They couldn’t wait to start eating them once Momma and Papa got home and to see them first.ZackWe spent the rest of the evening watching Christmas shows, playing Cat’s Cradle (Paityn’s gift from St Nick) and making & flying paper airplanes (Cameron’s gift from St. Nick).  It felt good to not go anywhere!

Paityn & Auntie Amanda playing Cat’s Cradle

We spent Saturday afternoon at Dan and Amanda’s since it was our last day in town and we wouldn’t see everyone until probably May.

Don’t forget that on Saturday, Paityn had a birthday party to go to at Gymfinity.  After dropping Paityn off at the party the rest of us went out to dinner.

And on top of all of that….don’t forget…Performance Trailer Braking was still in business so we were fielding phone calls and emails all week as well.  Thankfully, it’s our slow time which helped tremendously.

Zack and Kelsea arrived back home about 9:00 pm on Saturday night and the kids stayed up to get hugs before heading to bed.

Home is where the heart is

We caught our flight out of Milwaukee, with a stop in Minneapolis and arrived in San Antonio about 30 minutes before our scheduled landing.  We picked up our luggage, Michael called Lyft for a ride and we walked outside to our waiting car.  We ended up arriving home about 6 minutes after our flight was originally supposed to land.  It was awesome.  We unpacked, ordered a pizza to be delivered and then relaxed for the rest of the night.

Would we do it again?  You bet your sweet patootie we would!

 

 

 

 

 

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Historic Castroville, TX

We took the day on Saturday (11/24) to go and explore Castroville, which is about 25 miles east of Hondo.

Visitor’s Center

Our first stop was at the Steinbach Haus Visitors Center which is in a building that was originally built in Alsace, France in the 1600s.  The home was dismantled (its built with pegs) in 1988 and stored and then gifted to Castroville in 1998.  For three summers volunteers from Alsace came to Castroville to assemble the building and finish it off.

It’s fairly small but has two stories and is quite interesting to see.  It’s furnished with furniture that was sent/donated from France to make it that much more authentic.

We picked up a walking tour map of many of the area homes and set out for that when we left the visitor’s center.  There we 60+ stops on the tour so we decided to drive it rather than walk as it would have taken us a LOT more time than the 3+ hours it took us to drive it.

The guide shows the year the home was built, current owners, address and then a write-up about the building’s history.  We really enjoyed it as its fun to see the different types of architecture in an area and much of this had a German influence.

St. Louis Catholic Church

One of the stops on the tour was at the St. Louis Church which also has a small tour inside that you can participate in, which we did.  The tour takes you around the church describing the people depicted on the stained glass windows, as statues, etc.

A little over halfway through the tour, the tour crosses the highway and we took a brief break to get something to drink and to stop at Haby’s Bakery…an Alsatian bakery with lots of goodies.  We’ve been to many different bakeries (German, Italian, French, etc) and this was similar…however, we did each pick out a couple of cookies to snack on.

Could be very calming if it weren’t for the traffic overhead.

The first stop after our break was at the Landmark Inn, a state Historic Site with several buildings on the premise including a gristmill (in quite a bit of disrepair).  The main building houses a bed & breakfast, small museum and gift shop.  We watched a video that gave some of the history of the place and then wandered a bit before heading outside to check everything out.

The Landmark Inn is situated along the Medina River where there is a man-made dam…which is a very pretty setting.  There are a few grills and tables down there for picnickers to enjoy.

Yikes!

The river must get pretty high at times as there was a flat bottom boat wrapped around a tree…way up off the ground.  Pretty sad.

The ‘walking’ tour ended right next to our next stop…Dziuk’s (pronounced Jooks) Meat Market.  Friends, Mike and Tina, had recommended we stop…so we did.  It’s similar to the Opa’s Meat Market in Fredericksburg, which we like so much.

Yummy! Can’t wait to try it all.

We picked up a few things to try:  chicken cordon blue, chicken Caliente (bacon wrapped chicken breasts stuffed with cheese & jalapenos) and sausage sticks.  And also tried their specialty…Parisa.

Parisa (pronounced ‘Pah-ree-sa’) is similar to something you might know as Cannibal sandwiches, Steak Tartare or Ground Round.  Parisa is ground round, cheese and onions.  It’s served on saltines or by itself.  At Dziuk’s you can also get it with jalapeno’s.  We tried it without jalapeno’s and while it wasn’t bad…it wasn’t anything we’d buy but would eat if we were somewhere that was serving it.

Monday we were back in San Antonio for a couple of doctor’s appointments.  I had a GYN appointment at BAMMC (or SAMMC…whichever you prefer) which is the Army hospital/clinic on Ft. Sam.  Before my actual appointment I had some blood work done and also tried to see if I could get in for a mammogram.  The mammogram will have to wait until we are back in town next year, this time as they were booked until January and we’ll be gone by then.

Michael in the hot seat

Then it was over to the other side of the city for Michael’s appointment with his primary provider at the VA.  The person he saw last time is gone so he got a temporary person who neither of us were pleased with…thankfully, she’s only temporary.  She did however, order a back x-ray to check on the progress of his degenerative disc disease as his back just seems to get worse and worse, causing him more and more pain.

Chicken fried steak

Finally done with doctor appointments we headed northwest to Bandera as we were meeting Mike & Tina at Brick’s River Cafe.  A nice, cozy place with plenty of seating and if it were light enough out we might have been able to enjoy the view of the river.

Southwest chicken & fried green tomatoes

We all got something different:  Michael, chicken fried steak, Mike, seafood platter, Tina, vegetable platter and me, Southwest chicken.  Michael and I also ordered Devil’s on Horseback (Gulf shrimp w/Monterey jack & jalapeno wrapped in bacon) as an appetizer.

Everything was very good.  Tina and I each had a cup of cream of squash soup…and it was delicious!  The bacon wrapped shrimp appetizer was awesome.  I’d recommend the place.

We really enjoyed our visit too…so much so that we’re already talking about meeting up in Fredericksburg next month after Michael and I are back from Wisconsin and Mike and Tina have changed locations.

Michael and I are moving to Ft. Sam on Thursday 11/29 and then flying to Wisconsin on Friday (11/30).  We’ll be staying with Paityn and Cameron while they’re mom and dad head off to the Dominican Republic to enjoy some time with Kelsea’s family.

It’s been a LONG time since Michael and I spent a week alone with little folk.  Little folk that have LOTs going on.  (Don’t forget their puppy siblings, Oakley & Maggie!)  We may need a vacation when we come back to Texas…but we’ll love every second of being with them as well as their cousins and their Uncle Dan and Auntie Amanda.

 

 

 

 

 

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