Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Message to Everyone

We arrived here in San Angelo this past Tuesday. Al and I have both been a little under the weather with colds, but we are glad to be here for the Christmas Holiday. The kids are very busy now with the Nutcracker performances that 3 out of the 5 are in. Last night was opening night, and I was told it went very well. We have tickets for the last performance which is on Sunday afternoon.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Joyous New Year. I will be taking a little break from blogging until after the New Year. Stay warm everyone!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Boondocking on Padre Island National Seashore

This is one of two campgrounds at the National Seashore on North Padre Island, run by the National Park Service.

We enjoyed walking on the beach and even driving our truck on the beach

Some campers on the beach were feeding the seagulls

Al took this picture from on top of our RV. All along the beach at the campground there are covered picnic tables.

We had the best campsite. On the far left is a path leading to the beach.

Our truck on the beach. We did a little combination of driving and walking. You can't drive on the part of the beach where the campground is. But you can drive for miles beyond it going south. There were people in RVs camping right on the beach.

I got up early enough yesterday to catch the sunrise over the water just outside our door.

We had a nice time camping at the National Seashore on N. Padre Island. We stayed for 4 days and had really great weather (except for a lot of wind). We were practicing our boondocking (meaning camping without hook-ups). We were totally off the grid as there is no electricity furnished and no water or sewer at the campsite. We were able to get water to fill our tanks, and they did have a dump station there. Since we have solar and a generator, it wasn't too bad. In fact, it was kinda fun.(In fact, we didn't have to use our generator at all). It seemed good to just relax, walk on the beach, pick up seashells, read, and watch a little TV. Not having too much on the agenda can sometimes be a good thing. I must confess, though it was a little hard to get into the Christmas spirit while there, as nothing reminded me of Christmas.
I'm really glad we went there, and we really enjoyed it. But, I must confess that 4 days was just enough for me. I guess I like being closer to civilization. I think it would have been more fun also if there were more people there. Even though the weather was good, not that many campsites were filled, probably because of the approaching holiday, and it just seemed kinda lonely.

We are now in Kerrville, TX for a couple of days, and then we head to San Angelo for "The Nutcracker," as 3 of the grand kids are in it again this year, and Erik is the Prince! We just couldn't miss it and, of course, it's less than 2 weeks til Christmas, so it will be nice to be with loved ones during that special time.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Revisiting Goose Island in Texas

We are spending a couple of days here at Goose Island State Park. Just relaxing a little, as we drove from Florida to here in 2 days. That's a lot of miles for us considering we are pulling a 38' Fifth-Wheel. It seemed good to sleep in a little this morning. We are getting ready to head out to Padre Island National Seashore, which is less than an hour from here. Anyone who read our blog last year, may remember we wanted to go there and try out our solar, but the weather was terrible, and we never seemed to get any sun that lasted for more than a day. So, I have been grocery shopping, doing laundry, and getting ready for 4 days at one of the prettiest places I have ever been. It should be fun. Our solar seems to be working good, and this year we brought our generator as a backup. Not sure if our aircard will work there, so I may not be updating the blog until after we leave there.

The weather forecast is sunny and in the high 60's and 70's for the next 4 days, and I'm hoping for a very relaxing and enjoyable time. We are all stocked up on groceries, and will be heading out tomorrow morning. I'll take lots of pictures!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Ft. Pickens Campground, Gulf Islands National Seashore

Entrance road leading to the National Park and Campground.......No, it's not snow!

Path from Campground leading to the Bay

This was taken late in the day, so the sun wasn't so bright. Boardwalk across street from campground leading to the beach.

It looks like snow for sure in this picture. I just love how white the sand is here.

The previous 2 pics were so dark that I took this using the flash. Such a beautiful beach!

More of the same beach

Inside one of the buildings at Fort Pickens

Buildings here really show the damage done over the years, don't you think.

Another interesting building at the fort.

Al and I were headed somewhere totally different, and decided to take a detour to check out this place. I had read about it online and was curious, so since it was in the general direction of where we were already headed, we decided to spend the night here. We were so glad we did, as it is really beautiful here. Located on Santa Rosa Island, west of Pensacola Beach in Florida, it is truly a National treasure. We only spent one night here, but I'm sure we will return sometime in the future.

We drove a mile down the road from the campground to see what the Fort was like. It was sad to see how the place has been affected over the years from hurricanes and such. Hurricane Ivan really did a lot of damage here in 2004 when it hit the Gulf Coast. The Fort was closed for a few years after that, and it just reopened in 2009. Ft. Pickens was completed in 1834 and was named after Revolutionary war hero, Andrew Pickens. It was built to fortify the Pensacola Harbor. Famous Apache Indian Geronimo, was imprisoned there from 1886 to 1887. They do offer tours of the Fort, but unfortunately, we arrived there too late in the day. One more reason to return.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Visit with Aunt Edna

Aunt Edna, looking really good at 93

After Leaving Winter Haven, we decided to drive over to Largo and pay a visit to Al's Aunt Edna. She is 93 and we hadn't seen her in many years. Al called her a few days ahead of time to make sure she would be home. So, yesterday we headed to Largo and stayed there at a nearby RV Park. It was only about 75 miles from Winter Haven, so we were able to set up our Montana in the park, have lunch and then head over to her place.

When we arrived, she did a cute little dance before hugging us both. She was so cute and seemed so happy to have us there. We had a wonderful visit with her and it was so good catching up on things going on in her family as well as ours.

Today, we drove to Quincy, FL near Tallahassee. It turned out to be a horrible drive for us. We didn't realize that the route we took would be a lot of stop and go. What should have taken no more than 5 hours, took us almost 7. We would have had to drive 50 more miles if we went the fastest route which would have been mostly interstate. Lesson learned.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Spook Hill near Winter Haven, FL

This is a video I got off of U-Tube. I had trouble getting good pictures of this, so I thought this would demonstrate our experience better than I could explain it. Al and I heard about this place from Ed and Mary, friends of ours that stay here for the winter months. When you stop at the white line, put your car in neutral, your car will roll backwards up the hill. We went there with our friends, Wayne and Julie one day this week and tried it ourselves and yes, after we put it in neutral we rolled up the hill in our big truck!

We have been having a great time here in Winter Haven! We got here on Sunday and have been visiting with our friends, Ed and Mary who are our neighbors back home. We also met up with Wayne and Julie, friends we met last year at Goose Island, TX. They came by to visit us on Tuesday and on Wednesday we went to Frostproof, (about a half hour south of here) to see them and we went out to lunch together before checking out Spook Hill. We had so much fun and we can't figure out why this works.

Tonight we went out with another couple from back home who are also staying in Winter Haven. Alan and Brenda. It was Alan's b'day, so they asked us to go out to the Longhorn Steakhouse with them.

We've had lot's of fun and lots of good company these past few days and tomorrow we head to Largo to see Al's 93 yr. old aunt.