The Longdogs

The Longdogs
Willy, Harley (back center), and Gretchen

Another Year, Another Birthday

Another birthday celebration, this time mine. I've passed the birthdays where being a "senior" gives you benefits like lower cost entrances to national and state parks so now I guess that one must just be grateful to have another birthday and make the most of it. We had a nice family celebration at home with Steve and the grandkids who love anyone's birthday. Helen sang Happy Birthday over the phone along with the rest of them. She is still temporarily working in D.C.

It was quite a cake complete with strawberry trim added by Dave.

Wishing for many more RV adventures........some of you would have already guessed that.

Wild bulls, Bucking Broncs, and Clowns!

It's RODEO time in San Antonio. They are serious about rodeo here.....it lasts for an entire month....two major shows and two major concerts every day. The Cowboy Breakfast kicks everything off and is open to the public but, at 5AM on one of the few cold days....I missed it.

We arrived at 11:00AM, Steve thought our tickets were for the 1:30PM show but on closer examination, they were for the 7:30PM show. Whoops! Oh well, there is a lot more to the rodeo than just the main shows in the ring.

We started in the stock barns.

Do you have any idea how many different looking pigs there are?? Kids and 4H are heavily involved with pigs, calves, sheep, chickens, etc. In addition to teaching responsibility, there is a lot of scholarship money for winners and these kids take things very seriously.
 
 


Can't miss a photo opportunity like this....they have a lot of things available for family fun.


In addition to lots of displays in this big building, there was a magic show. Cameron got picked to participate but couldn't be persuaded so his Dad had to take his spot.

The Magician made balloon animals for each of the participants and they had to make the animal noises as we sang Old McDonald.


Good thing Steve is such a good sport. Guess who claimed Steve's hat as soon as he came off the stage?



The Magician blew up a really big balloon......

which ended up covering almost his whole body and while he was inside, he was blowing up smaller balloons and twisting them into small animal shapes.

There was another area where they had a whole western campsite set up and they were cooking beans and handing out samples.

On to another building where they had live animals. This is a sloth.

This guy kept a close eye on everyone.

On to the horse barn where there were competitions going on.


After the barrel racing, we went on to BMX stunts


We had an early dinner at the concession booths.....everyone had something different...not cheap for sure but pretty good and fun. Then it was back to the stock barns again to fill a little more time.


Sand sculptures were on display and a woman was even working on another one showing how it is done.

They had displays of Texas wildlife.





They also had a whole carnival area but we didn't go there as there is just too much real rodeo stuff to see.

We never made it into the petting zoo as the line was toooooo long.

And then.....on to the main event. The AT&T Event Center is huge. Looks kind of empty before the show.

Even during the entrance, it didn't seem full of people but that quickly changed and the place was full.



One of the funnest events is the kids sheep riding. These are young kids and it is the first time for many.

Some only made it a couple of feet before they fell off. They just hang on to the fur and go.

This little girl was the winner. She hung on all the way across the ring and they actually had to pull her off before her sheep ran her into the wall. It was her first ride and she was fantastic.
 
 
On to the bull riding events........



And the calf roping.........

And the bucking broncos.....         The announcers gave a real nice little speel about how important the livestock, the broncos and bulls, are to the families that own so they are very well taken care of both during and between rodeos.



The final event was a roping demonstration by an expert vaquero from Mexico. He was fantastic!
 
By this  time, it was 9:30PM.  They take a little break while they bring the stage and all the extra set-up stuff in but we knew we wouldn't make it through the concert so we headed on home. It was a great rodeo.
 
If you haven't been to the rodeo yet.....it only lasts to the end of February.  Grab your boots and head on out.

A Quick Run Down to Rockport/Fulton TX

Wednesday, I planned to make a quick trip down to the Gulf Coast.....Rockport/Fulton TX to be more specific. I am planning a rally for a group I belong to and I had already checked out online and called about 25 RV parks in the area. After narrowing it down to 5 or 6 possibilities, I wanted to visit and check them out in person.....sometimes websites can be a bit misleading. Mary Jane agreed to go along.

We planned to set out by about 8 AM since it would be a long day. I woke up to fog.....I mean the cotton ball kind of thick fog that is really unusual for San Antonio. I picked up Mary Jane and we set off hoping that the fog would clear any moment.

Well, we headed out the back way so there would be less traffic.  Going through town at 8 AM with this kind of fog was out of the question. We went slow and you could only see three car lengths in front of you. We both found it absolutely amazing that about 1/3 of the cars didn't have their lights on....they were virtually invisible 3 car lengths ahead unless they stepped on the breaks.  It took us about an hour and a half to go what would normally have only taken a half hour. Finally, the sun broke through and minutes later, the fog disappeared like it had never been. What a relief!  The rest of the drive was great with full sun and warm weather.

We came into Rockport from the north end with the GPS programmed to take us from one park to the next.  It was interesting to see each different park and know that what makes a park great for a rally is not the same thing as what makes it a great park for an individual RVer. We needed a park that had decent amenities, a reasonable price, and who could put the whole group together in one area with good access to the amenities. Our second stop fit the bill perfectly but we still went on to look at the rest to be fair. The second park was the best by fair and, miracle of miracles, also offered us the best price! Woohoo!

We stopped for a very late lunch at a Burger King with this view across the road from us.  Nice, huh?
 
 
Our last stop before heading home was the Visitor's Center where had a nice visit with a man from the chamber of commerce and picked up lots of pamphlets. I think everyone is going to love this rally.

Birthdays Are Big in January

January has always been a big month for birthdays in our family....my Dad, my brother, my son, and my granddaughter all celebrate during January. The kids were here this weekend so we celebrated Morgan's birthday on Saturday. The day started off with a trip to the movies to see Moana. Grandpa went to the Gunshow while the rest of us went to Moana. It was actually a really good animated movie show that we all enjoyed. Then came the birthday dinner and party.





In case you were wondering, Morgan had a King cake for her birthday. She loves the fact that she can have a special cake because her birthday falls when they are available.


After the party, Steve, Helen, Morgan, and Cameron were off to a Monster Truck show. Angus came home with Grandma.

Sunday dawned on another birthday......Steve's big day.

We had to have a second King cake to celebrate!



You may have noticed the hat the birthday worn by the birthday pair. Helen found this wild hat and it immediately became the family birthday hat. Those are candles on the top and it says Happy Birthday on the front. There is also a Ronald McDonald's birthday plate that the birthday person uses.


It was a great weekend and I think both celebrants enjoyed their day!