Saturday, January 30, 2010

Kite Fest at South Padre Island

South Padre Island hosted its tenth annual Kite Fest this weekend. Teams from all over North America were here to show off their high flying talents. Although it was not a competitive event it was apparent that every participant was up to showing off their skills. Hundreds of spectators braved the cold and windy weather to watch this spectacular show! Each participant or team guided the gyrations of their kite or kites to specially selected music.

Some kites were flown by teams that guided their kites in graceful aerobatics.

This kite had three 120 foot tails.

How these teams keep the lines from getting tangled as they move from

one formation to another is a real mystery!

These colorful kites just float in the air from their tethers in the sand.

These five kites were interconnected and flown by one person. The winds drug

him back and forth on the sand.

Circle upon circle this kite spiraled through the sky.

This huge kite hovered over the sands of South Padre Island.

More colorful kites fill the sky.

The youngest participant, who was nine years old, guided this kite in gyrations to upbeat rap music.

As we left the festival we observed this young man as he was pulled along on some sort of wheeled board by the parasail he was controlling.

This ring kite rose above the sand as we left the beach with its chilly winds.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Kansas Day

Yesterday, a group of Kansas residents, former Kansas residents and wannabe Kansas residents gathered to celebrate Kansas Day here at Alamo Rose RV park. It turns out that Kansas became a state of the U.S. on January 29th. About twenty people from the park showed up for this social. As introductions were made the commonality of our Kansas ties was disturbed by a divisive element that made its presence known. Much like the friction between Kansas and Missouri residents that has been felt since the "Border Wars" during the Civil War, factions took sides. Groups took sides as Kansas Jayhawk fans and Kansas State Widcat fans made themselves known. Especially with the big rivalry game coming up on Saturday, tension in the room was apparent. All kidding aside everyone put the rivalry aside and enjoyed the finger foods and time to meet fellow Kansans.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Culinary Opportunities

The Rio Grande Valley provides many opportunities to eat out. We are always hearing about another "have to try" place to eat. This can be considered either a blessing or a curse. On Thursday we took our friends, Larry and Gloria, to the Riverside Restaurant in Mission, TX for the special of the day, pork tenderloin sandwiches. We didn't warn them in advance about the size of the portions because they probably would not believe us. Of course you can always save the extra for another meal. The restaurant is right on the Rio Grande River and Mexico can be seen across the narrow stretch of river.
While we were eating we saw US Border Patrol agents cruise by in a patrol boat. We also saw two patrol cars just days earlier near the river when we crossed the river bridge into Neuavo Progresso. We appreciate the dedication of these officers who help protect our borders.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Garcia's Mexican Show

We went down to Nuevo Progresso, Mexico with six other couples tonight to a show. The band plays Oldies for an hour and a half and then a dance group performs traditional Mexican dances. It was very good!
They asked who had birthdays or anniversaries. After all the birthdays were recognized, all of us pointed out Larry and Gloria who just celebrated their fiftieth anniversary on Sunday. They played a special song and they got to dance by themselves on the dance floor.
Sorry, but to see the video you will have to tilt your screen or head (whichever is easier) so it is not sideways. I'll try to figure out if it can be turned and then repost it.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Fiftieth Anniversary Celebration

The weather has been beautiful this week. There has been some fog but no rain. The lows have been in the 50s & 60s with highs in the 70s and 80s although it has been windy. I finally took my tall flag pole down. It is just too windy most days.

Today we attended church services here in the RV park. Last week there were 239 people at the services. There were somewhere around 200 again today. The pastor is good and always has a sermon based on scripture. After church services it was off to Golden Coral to celebrate Larry and Gloria's fiftieth wedding anniversary. It was nice to honor these special friends on this special day. All seven of the couples from Louisiana attended the celebration. It was back to our individual campers to watch the NFL playoffs. We watched the first game and then were able to squeeze in the ice cream social here at the park before the Saints - Vikings game.

"May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth."

Proverbs 5:18

Friday, January 22, 2010

Flea Market and U.S Border Patrol Tour

We have been busy here in South Texas. Four more couples came in from Louisiana that we know from our Good Sam Club. There are now seven couples here that we know from the Louisiana Go0d Sam Club. Nearly everyday there is something going on. Wednesday, January 20th we went back to a large flea market here in the valley. It was interesting to look but we didn't find much to buy. Across the street was a fruit market. We picked up fresh fruit and vegetables. Prices were very good so we bought cherry tomatoes, broccoli, lettuce, red bell peppers, and pineapple. They core and peel the pineapple for you. They even give samples so you can taste them. We will go back and get oranges, grapefruit and Pablono peppers.
On Thursday, January 21st we attended our weekly Escapee Club luncheon. Wayne and Barb Maxey came down form Rockport, TX to meet Barb and I. We have been conversing by email and wondering if we are distant cousins. He will try to find his ancestors in the book, The Maxey's of Virginia, that I let him borrow.
In the afternoon we took a tour of the Border Patrol station at Weslaco, TX. They host a great tour. These highly professional agents put their lives on the line daily to protect our country. We learned that every agent must be able to speak Spanish no matter where they are stationed. They explained all the different pieces of equipment that are used to help stop the flow of illegal immigrants and drugs into our country from Mexico. They use vehicles, horses, ATVs, boats, ground radar, motion sensors, and night vision devices as well as agents on the ground and in the air. We also got to see some of the weapons they carry. For obvious reasons they wear body armor. They drag dirt roads and trails so they can go back and check for foot prints especially when motion sensors are set off. They showed pictures of loads of drugs that have been caught. When we went back to a control room that over looks the area where illegals are questioned upon capture, they told us that they had picked up twenty-eight illegals already that day. I bought a Border Patrol hat but I don't think I will wear it when I cross the border.
" I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety."
Psalms 4:8

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Alamo Rose RV Park, Rio Grande Valley, TX

We finally got some warmer and drier weather! It is to be in the seventies next week and nearly seventy this afternoon. It will also be clear or partly cloudy for the rest of the week. This will be a welcome change since it has been rainy and cool since we got here.
Our site is just as you enter the park . You can look down the street and see the activity building and office.
If you look the other way you can see the gate and the guardhouse at the entrance.
We have been busy since we got here. Sunday night after we got here our neighbors, Ray and Carol, who we met last year for a week, invited us to go out and eat with them. We went to a Chinese restaurant. It was good.
On Monday we went to the HitchHiker luncheon in McAllen. There were 88 HitchHikers there. Five of the couples were some that we knew. It was good to visit and check up on what they have beeen doing. Monday night we played Mexican train dominoes here at the park with several other couples.
Tuesday I spent the morning at a wood carving group here in the park. There were about six of us. It was an enjoyable time and I met some fellow wood carvers. Meanwhile Barb was signing us up for a Border Patrol tour next Thursday and did laundry.
Wednesday, we went to the big flea market here, Don Wes, with Jerry & Benola and Jim & Mary Beth. It was fun to see our friends from our local Good Sam Chapter, the Cenla Roadrunners. From there we went to this great hamburger cafe. It has no sign and is only open from 11:00 until about 3:00 or whenever they run out of hamburger meat. If you know what street it is on you can find it by looking for all the cars. They make huge hamburgers and the best onion rings. Each couple split a hamburger since they are so large. We had to wait in a long line to put in our order while part of us waited to get an empty table. It took about thirty minutes to get our order but it was worth the wait. We all left full! From there we went back to Bit of Heaven RV Park where the other couples are staying. The men went to see the Mexican flea market that is next door to their park. It was definitely interesting but none of us bought anything.
Thursday, we picked up our friends, Chuck and Kathy and went to the Escapees luncheon in Weslaco. It was good to see them again and get caught up. There were about thirty people at the luncheon. After the luncheon we went to an RV show in Mercedes. All these small cities seem to run into each other. We looked at RVs and bought a few RV accessories and then went back to our rigs.
Friday Chuck & Kathy picked us up and took us to a luncheon with another group, the RV Dreamers.We ate Mexican food and visited. When we finished we went back to Chuck & Kathy's rig to visit. When we were about to leave I got a call from Larry & Gloria that had just gotten in the day before. They had stopped by our rig but we weren't there. Since we were about to leave, Chuck and Kathy brought us home. We visited with Larry and Gloria a while and then called our other Cenla Roadrunner friends. Barb suggested we all go out to eat so we all met at their park and went to a small Mexican restaurant nearby. We had a good time visiting and then all headed back to our rigs. We have at least two more couples from our Good Sam chapter that are coming in this week.
This morning we went to the Saturday breakfast at our park. They have a variety of menu items. It all looked good. We RVer's sure know how to eat!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Heading for Warmer Weather

We left our home base in Oberlin, LA on January 9th while we were having record lows. Saturday morning, the day we left for the Rio Grande Valley of Texas it was to be seventeen degrees. We planned on leaving at 10:00 AM after it warmed up a bit. I got up early to check on an inside dual tire that had been abnormally low the day before when I had checked tire pressure on the truck and camper tires. I discovered that it had dropped fifteen pounds in pressure. I decided to put the spare in its place and fill it to 80 pounds and put it in the cargo compartment and get it fixed later. It was awfully cold to be changing a tire. I warmed up the truck and then put our three hibiscus plants on the floor of the back seat of the dually. Barb was not aware we would have these three hitch hikers. I knew that they would die if left at home and that they would enjoy the warmer climate.
We were able to leave shortly after 11:00 despite the tire change. We travelled in two vehicles to see what it would be like. It will be nice to have the smaller vehicle to run around in for the month we will be in the Valley. Barb went ahead to get lunch while I stopped to dump the holding tanks. Barb had the GPS in the car and would warn me about upcoming turns. Most of the time I led with the truck but sometimes Barb would go ahead to scout out fuel prices or a place to stop and eat that had a large enough spot for the rig. It was sure nice to travel without hearing Barb's excited screams about driving too fast and too close to other cars and objects while turning. We had hoped to make it to Victoria,TX for the night but stopped just north of there at Ganada. The campgound was nice. As I was pulling to our campsite I saw two deer about fifty feet away with at least nine or ten buddies on the other side of the fence.
Shady Oaks Campground was a good spot to spend the night. We slept well but heard the furnace kick on a lot. It got down to around 20 degrees overnight according to our outside thermometer. We headed south again in the morning. Barb finally got a hold of the people at Alamo Rose RV Park in Alamo, TX about 10:00 AM and they said it would be okay to come in a day early. We arrived at 4:30 and checked in. We settled in after checking out several sites. It will be nice to relax for a while! God gave us traveling grace as we made this trip!
The Lord watches over you - the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day , nor the moon at night. The Lord will keep you from all harm - he will watch over your life. Psalm 121:6-7