Published: January 16th 2011January 15th 2011
Evan and Tina, one of his long time workers
I can't be homesick these days, it feels just like home. The morning in San Antonio, Texas it was 33.7F when I got up and at home, it looks like it is about 34F. Not what I bargained for a winter vacation. Sure not like Mexico but I won't go there. San Antonio was a farse actually. Went downtown yesterday to do the Riverwalk in the 3C weather. It was closed as were most of the restaurants along the walk. I guess once a year they empty the river for cleaning and thats what was happening. Went on a nice and warm trolley ride and saw the sites around SA. Also, saw the Alamo. It was partially in and partially out. We dressed in every layer we could find around our 5th. I actually found some gloves in the bottom drawer but sure didn't bring alot of clothes along for this weather.
We had a wonderful time at home for Christmas. Our apartment is coming together very nicely. Christmas Eve was just perfect. Had a lovely day with Isabelle and Brady. As we were busy sprinkling our cookies with sprinkles, Isabelle got this horrified looked on her
face and said 'Leta, you don't have a chimney, how will Santa get in'. The consensus was that Santa would probably come in through the patio doors so we should leave them unlocked.
Mark and the kids picked us up at YVR on Dec 16th and we headed directly to Rosa Cocina in Port Moody. Everyone met us there and we had another perfect evening with our family. The whole 2 weeks was a whirlwind of being entertained and entertaining. Sharie Ford had a fake tree she scrounged for us. Opened the box, and pulled the top 2 pieces, the only 2 pieces. No base and no bottom piece. It was great. I set it in my bird bath base and decorated it on the deck and left it there. It was sure a Charley Brown tree but it was perfect. Having it on the deck left more room for chairs for Christmas Eve.
Christmas Eve was just great. We had our usual dinner, game and yes, Santa did find his way to our apartment. He arrived by the hall door but no one seemed to notice. He stashed his suit in the stairwell and eventually dressed out
there and made his grant entrance. He was a great success!! The kids all climbed onto his knee and shared their wishes.
Of course, Christmas Day is Larry's birthday. It never gets alot of recognition but he is good about it. Christmas morning we opened gifts at home with Clay and Evan and then headed over to Mark and Carli's to watch the kids open gifts. It was over whelming for them. There was so much. At one point, Carli just called a time out. The kids just needed a little time to unwind a bit. I think next year I will suggest that our kids open their gifts from us on Christmas Eve just before they go home. Pace a bit better.
We dropped in and saw Ed and Anita for a BD drink and then headed out to Sandy and Christines for Turduken. A turkey stuffed with a duck and then stuffed with a chicken. It was boneless and very interesting. I think there was even 3 kinds of stuffing aready in the bird.
When we got home and opened our mail, there was a letter from our strata Council about the noise we had
created. Obviously the noise was done when we left on Oct 17th so it was no big deal. We decided to have a cocktail party for all the Strata Council and our neighbours and others that we have met in the past year. It was a little like 'keep your friends close but keep your enemies even closer'. I think it worked. Everyone that attended seemed to enjoy themselves and many said they had never been invited to any ones apartment before.
We arrived back to Phoenix on Dec 30th. Had a lovely dinner together with friends and celebrated New Years about 9PM and went to bed. Wow, we are aging. On Jan 2, we packed up and headed to Tucson. Spent 2 days in Tucson. Met up with Mike and Marg Walsh and her sister Sheila and husband for dinner and then for breakfast the next day. They had seen all there was to see in Mesa so left our 5th about Dec 29th and head to Tucson to golf and sight see.
Left Tucson and headed to Tombstone to see the town and of course, the OK corral gunfight. You know the one, Wyatt Earp, Dr
Katie and Santa
Isabelle is on the left building up her courage. She did finally decide it was OK and asked Santa for her walking dog that we were able to find in Az.
We did our first Walmart overnight. We were in Kerrville, Texas. Stopped and asked permission and set up for the night. Went to Chili's across the street for dinner and slept soundly in the Walmart parking lot. It actually was a good first Walmart experience. It is certainly different paying for nightly camping rather then monthly. We belong to Passport America, so between Passport America and Walmart we are attempting to keep the costs down. No comment on going out for dinner, please!!
We left SA and headed to Harlingen, Tx where normally it is nice and warm but not right now. There are 3 other couples there so we might stay a month and let things warm up across the bottom of the states before we head out again.
Our new 5th, is great except we had to replace all our tires. We had one tire that developed a baseball size lump on the side. James, thankfully saw it before it blew. Huge costs if a tire has a bad blow. It can rip off alot of the side of your 5th. Another one of the tires also had a soft spot and was
ready to blow as well. When we bought the 5th we should have been more incident about the tires. WE have heard horror stories about Carlyle Tires and it came to pass for us. They had about 3,000 miles on them so we will struggle to get some satisfaction from someone. Camping World where we bought the new tires are keeping our old tires for a while so if someone needs to see them, they are available. It is the pits buying a lovely new rig and then having to spend $1800 on new tires within 3,000 miles. Ugg!!
When we arrived in Harlingen, Judy, Terry, Rick, Sherry, Eydie and Mike had a wonderful chili dinner for us. They were able to use a room in the clubhouse so it was nice and warm and fun. Thanks all of you. That is the best part of camping, meeting up with old friends and making new ones. We met all those people on our travels to Mexico. Sometimes I think I know more about a person, their families etc that I meet in LaPenita then I know about my old friends at home. We spend alot of time together.
The biggest beliver of them all
Is it Santa? Is it Merle, no its Santa. Not sure what he thinks!!
was not much warmer when we first got here. About 4C at night and a balmy 7 during the day. Today, Jan 15th, it has warmed considerably 17C right now but pouring with rain. Thats OK, I think it is running its course to sunshine. In Harlingen, the main highway into town was Hwy 77 and in town it changes to 77 Sunshine Strip. We have had lots of laughs singing "Cookie, lend me your comb". I bet some of you are too young to remember that. Unfortunately, we all remember it well!!
We got a very good Passport America rate here for 14 days so will move on Jan 26 rather then Feb 2. Off to Corpus Christi!!
I have attached some pix of our tire, chili dinner, Judy's BD dinner and of course Christmas Eve in our apartment.
PS Larry and I got a 3g Ipad for Christmas. I never thought I would like one but wow!!!!!!! It is amazing.
There are more photos below