Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!
Luling, Texas
Riverbend RV Park

We're still in Luling, Texas for this Christmas day.  But it's not a bad place to be.  This park has been wonderful.  Such friendly owners and staff... Quiet park with good Wi-Fi and great Laundry.  And Monday night we just HAD to watch the football game since the 49ers were playing.  So they opened up the clubhouse (which isn't usually open) for us!  We highly recommend this park if you're in the area.

 Christmas Steak
We did something different for this Christmas dinner... We grilled up Steak!  Really Good!
The next praise of this post is the truck repair.  We had it towed to Luling Chevrolet on Saturday in hopes that they could get to it when they opened on Monday... and hoping that they would do honest work. 
They did get to it Monday, and they didn't try to pull anything on us, and the price was right!  We had all 3 transmission lines replaced, just to be safe.  They didn't have it done until closing time, but they came and picked Jeff up and even put the kayaks back on the roof rack for us!  (They had stored our kayaks in the service center so they didn't get stolen over the weekend)
So there is another recommendation from us.... Luling Chevrolet.
Tonight we are all hooked up, and things put away... ready to pull out of here in the morning and continue our journey back to Oregon.
Hope your Christmas day was merry!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Stranded... and so much more

Long Time No Post

Why O Why have I not posted for over a month??
Well, I've had a lot of computer problems, so everything is more complicated than it should be.  The work I did do towards a blog post awhile back was lost, so that added some discouragement, then the longer I wait... the harder it is!  But its time... and I have time now!

Stranded (but Thankful!)
We're temporarily stranded in Luling, Texas... a tiny little place between Houston and San Antonio.

A transmission line burst on our truck. 

So why are we thankful??  So many reasons... We weren't pulling the 5er when it happened.  Our wheelhouse was safely parked in an RV Park.  The RV park can extend our stay and the price is right.  We managed to get the gears to engage enough to get us out of the intersection and into a parking lot.  It was a beautiful afternoon, so we were able to walk to do our errands.  Finally, even though we are in a tiny town... they just happen to have a Chevrolet dealership!

We contacted AAA in Oregon who contacted AAA in Texas who contacted a Tow truck driver, who showed up, hooked us up, took us to Chevrolet, then took us home.
Now we wait until Monday when the service department opens.
Thanksgiving 2013
Before leaving Florida, we enjoyed Thanksgiving day with John and Janie. 
We had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner at our place.

Last Thanksgiving we were able to spend with my parents, since we were workamping just 150 miles away.  Thanksgiving 2011 we were in Las Vegas, and participated in a park dinner.  Thanksgiving 2010, our first Thanksgiving in the 5er, was spent in San Antonio as we prepared to open our Christmas tree lot the next day.  Never know where or with who you will spend a holiday when you're a full-time RVer!
We had such a wonderful time on the Emerald Coast of Florida.  We were there 33 days, and all but 3 days we spent on the beach.  Several days we also enjoyed Kayaking in the bay. 
This was definitely on our list of favorite places.
That's it for Alabama!
Our next stop for a visit after leaving Florida was Biloxi, Mississippi

I'd been experiencing some Keno and Slot machine withdrawal, and Biloxi had just the cure for that.  With 10 Casinos in the area, we made sure to hit them all to see what they might give us.
Most casinos give something to new visitors.  From 3 we got free buffet's!  The best buffet was at the IP... incredible food.  All the crab you can eat, salmon, shrimp, and so much more!  Jeff even tried frog legs... yuck!  He actually didn't know what they were when he was taking them, but a little girl behind him let him know.
 Mississippi also has beaches... but not nearly as nice as the Emerald Coast of Florida. 
One very cool thing that they do have...
After Hurricane Katrina, nearly all of Biloxi beach was destroyed, including the trees.
An artist from Ft. Walton Beach has sculpted many of the trees into works of art.

more of Biloxi

Next stop on our trip West... New Orleans, Louisiana
We chose to stay at the Bayou Segnette SP outside of New Orleans.
The park was quiet, and our site was plenty spacious. 
If we were there to hang out at the park, all would have been good!
But we were there to visit New Orleans... and that turned out to be an ordeal.
We just aren't city folk.  Every time we went out we got lost and stressed. 
But we did it... we saw the area and we have now been to New Orleans. 
We did enjoy the experience.
To visit the French Quarter, we chose to park at the edge of the city and use public transportation from there.  We took the St. Charles shuttle bus to connect to the St. Charles Streetcar which took us to Canal Street where we could catch more streetcars or walk... we did both.
One thing is for sure... they are serious about getting a handle on their high crime reputation.  There are police everywhere!
And another thing about New Orleans Louisiana... they are a very proud people.  Proud of their city and their heritage and what they have survived and overcome together.  They are big on traditions, and their New Orleans Saints are a big deal. 
Making our way back
After leaving New Orleans on December 18th, we stayed one night in Lafayette, and stopped briefly at Lake Charles, but then made our way back into Texas. 
A couple years ago, Texas seemed far from "home" but now when we crossed the border into Texas, we felt like we had arrived back home.  I suppose because it is a place we have been before.  We've completed our long anticipated trip into the unfamiliar territory of the East Coast, and now its like we've safely arrived back "home".  We're no longer on vacation, we've returned to "normal" RV life.

What Next?

We have a reservation near Phoenix, AZ where we will visit friends, then another reservation in Las Vegas where we will visit more friends.  Then we will make our way back to Oregon by January 21st.  Its a little early, we will still feel real Winter, but we have family to see.
Then we have taken a caretaking job at a lake resort in California that we start on April 1st.  We're looking forward to that.
Merry Christmas!