The Longdogs

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

Big Chief Rally Part 3

Sunday morning, there was an official "Hitch Up" breakfast with sweet rolls and coffee.  And there were actually some ladies that did hitch up and leave before noon.......usually because of that four letter word that comes on Mondays and affects the younger members..."work". However, there was a significant number that planned to stay until Monday. Some decided to take advantage of the nice weather and get some more kayaking in....Rita has scratched the itch for a lot of women who go on to buy their own kayaks.

Some of us opted to check out the Perissos Vineyards.

The Texas hill country has become a mecca for wineries and vineyards. Perissos is located on Park Road 4 south of Inks Lake State Park. They have in door seating, patio seating, and tables down under the trees.


We chose the patio since the weather was very nice but not overwhelmingly hot. There were two tables of women in our little gathering.

You don't have to be a wine snob or even a wine lover to enjoy visiting a vineyard.

Mary Ann had been to this vineyard before so she gave us a little introduction to wine growing. Soil, in addition to sun, water, and temperature all affect the grapes and shape the final taste of the wine. The soil here is similar to crumbled granite. The vineyard has jars showing different soils.

Inside the winery, you can se the various casks of wine as they age.

This poster shows the wineries all over the Hill Country. Hwy 290 between Johnson City and Fredricksburg is heavily populated with vineyards.

The winery was already decorated for the Christmas holidays.

They even had a tree that was quite unique.
 
We had a great time sampling some wines, cheese, and fruit and visiting with each other. Our waiter was really great and took good care of the group bringing tastings and answering questions. Definitely a fun time.

Big Chief Rally Part 2

How could I forget the Cookie contest on Friday night......because there was so much going on.

And the winner was........Rita! She had chocolate chip cookies drizzled with mint chocolate.

Saturday was a busy day. There was plenty of chicken left over for lunch for anyone that wanted it. The afternoon featured an ice cream social provided by SkyMed who came to give us a briefing on their services.  Then we were off to bless the rigs. New members or members who have gotten a different rig have the opportunity to have their rig christened/blessed for a long and happy RVing life. I got a photo of Brenda's blessing but there quite a few rigs that Jimmie anointed. There was also an opportunity to take a peek inside the rigs which is always interesting to other RVers.

Saturday night, Lynn and Nancy catered a fantastic fajita dinner for all of us. It was great! They had all the fixin's plus several sides. This was followed by our annual business meeting. In addition to other business items on the agenda, we reelected the vice president and elected a new secretary. Each were supposed to have one minute to speak. I was nominated but hoped to give an impassioned speech for someone who has been a member longer to step up to the plate. Somehow my moment to speak came after I was elected.

Then we had a surprise visit from Santa Claus. I say surprise because no one knew that the RV park staff was going to show up to entertain us with several Christmas songs.


The planned "Surprise" entertainment came next. Marlene and Donna did a fantastic clogging performance to a Christmas song.

Cookie did a great job as emcee and had some great jokes for us. then we were visited by "Phyllis Diller" aka Jimmie. She was absolutely hilarious and had the act down perfectly.

 Judith, in the yellow T, did a fantastic version of a Christmas song rewritten in her own words. She was great.  The whole evenings entertainment was way over the top. Congrats to the cast.

Big Chief Rally Part 1

We had a chilly spell the week before but when we headed up Hwy 281 towards Burnet TX and the Big Chief RV Resort for the Texas Ramblin' Roses Rally, the weather was great. I left the dachsies at home with Dave for the first time because, although this is a great resort, the last time I was there, they had a real goathead problem.....you know those really hard stickers that dig in and are very painful.  I will tell you right up front though that they have really worked the problem and it was 100% better. And I missed having the dachsies along. The rally officially started on Friday but a lot of us were there on Thursday.

We all gathered down by the boat ramp to see the spectacular sunset.

Can you believe that it started at 5:35PM?

It was really worthwhile though.

And promised us another beautiful day.

I did manage to get a few photos of the resort before the sunset gathering. Mary Jane is between her rig (left) and my rig behind her.

The clubhouse is really nice and a good size. It has a nice kitchen at one end and a big screen TV at the other end. The pool and hot tub as well as a nice deck are just behind the clubhouse.

The office is at the right end of this building and there is another rec room for guests at the left side.

 
Friday, we had a happy hour followed by a potluck dinner which included fried chicken provided by the 2018 officers. Needless to say, we could have served well over a hundred.....so much food!

Celebrations Are In Order

It seems as though our weekends are either pretty quiet or jam packed. Even though they are not always in San Antonio with their Dad on special days, they always want to celebrate with all of us too. So Friday night we celebrated Cameron's 15th birthday a few days late. I know, I know, it hardly seems possible that he is 15 years old already. Lots of changes over the last couple of years but he is still the same sweet kid under all that.  We have a birthday hat!

It goes along with a special birthday plate which we usually save for the celebrants cake.

There was a special 10 year candle plus five one year candles.



This is a very special soccer ball that measure and records your shots in conjunction with your phone.



The next day, we celebrated another special day Thanksgiving. Of course it was several days after the holiday but the turkey was just as good Saturday as it would have been on Thursday.

But it's a special day whenever you celebrate it as long as you can all be together.....that is our philosophy and we are sticking to it.  Hope your holiday was as good as ours! 


Wrapping Up with Dinner at Paul's Place Steakhouse

It has been an interesting week and a half. We have done some sightseeing in the local area.Then there was lunch with another RV friend who lives in Oklahoma. We went to a concert put on by the Notable Exceptions which was fantastic. We relaxed with friends in the RV.

We put in lots of volunteer hours which made us appreciate all the work that goes into putting on a convention. We attended seminars, socials, and entertainment. We started out warm and chilled right down to temperatures we hope to never see in San Antonio even in January but we stayed warm and snug in our RVs. We did wish we had been smart enough to bring more sweatshirts and dog sweaters. We traveled in golf car taxi's and regular vehicles.. I had the front jacks quit working on my 5th wheel (verified by several other women) and then miraculously work perfectly when I finally got my turn with the mobile RV technician who was busy from early until late every day. He was a great young man and didn't even charge me anything for coming by. I unexpectedly ran out of propane on Saturday morning when I thought I had another full tank but I was able to get the propane delivery man to add me to his list when he was already coming out. I called and got on his list but he was flagged down by half the women in the park when he arrived. Fortunately he had propane and patience to fill us all. I also found time to get a couple of blind restringing repairs done this trip. I watched a video on how to do it a month ago and it really wasn't that hard to do......I only had to pull the existing strings back through the holes and reattach it properly but it was very satisfying to get it done.

When one of the Texas Ramblin Roses sent out an email about gathering for dinner at Paul's Place Steakhouse, we were ready to roll. Dinner was food, the service was decent and another wonderful time was had by all.

And we met several more women to add to the long list we met during the convention. Thank goodness RVW and our chapter are very big on everyone wearing their nametags as I am terrible at remembering names.....always have been although I always remember faces.

 
Mary Jane, Carolyn and I all decided to head out on Sunday rather than Monday as we had originally planned. Almost everyone else had the same idea as sleet/snow was predicted for Monday. Carolyn filled her water tank, dumped her black and gray tanks and headed north to Tulsa to visit relatives for a week before heading to an Arkansas State Park for Thanksgiving week. She did see snow but not until Tuesday morning. Mary Jane and I headed back south with an overnight at Coffee Creek RV Resort where we spent a night on the way north. Four other RVs also met up with us there for the night. We were invited for margaritas and snacks but I neglected to get any photos. It was a fun time for all of us though. We had fairly short travel days both Sunday and Monday so there was no need to head out early. Monday night found us back in San Antonio. I unpacked the RV and gave it a quick winterization job before putting it back in storage Tuesday morning. Mary Jane is a full-timer so all she had to do was hookup.
 
Another great trip wrapped up until next time which will come a week after Thanksgiving when I head up to Lake Buchanan for a Texas Rambin' Roses rally. Until later.....

Ice Cream Socials and The Sync Show

Mornings were spent attending seminars, or as a volunteer manning the help desk, or providing seminar or vendor security. We also found time to check out the vendor booths and the fund raiser baskets up for auction. My friend Sage donated quite a few camping items which I put together in two packages and brought to the convention since she didn't attend this year. There were an amazing amount of baskets for people to bid on but they all had bidders and brought in more money for future events.

the next afternoon, the Mid America chapter sponsored a an ice cream social. It was very well attended in spite of the cold temperatures outside. These ladies scooped a mountain of ice cream and poured a lot of sauce.

 
We were all back at the main ballroom for the "Sync" program that evening.

First up were the "Ukuladies" from Florida.

They meet up to entertain often and did a great job in their performance here.

Then there was a skit based on an old program.


There were a lot of good performers and I just didn't get pictures of them all.


You probably remember Rosanne Roxannadana from Saturday night live.


It was a very fun night. Our emcee for all the programs was Stephanie and she did a really good job of pulling everything together and moving things along,


I didn't get too many pictures at the seminars I attended but here is one with Donna Carmon telling us all about Letter Boxing. If you haven't heard of it, it has been around a lot longer than geocashing has and doesn't require a GPS.
 
I attended a number of other good seminars on tire safety, RV tank maintenance, and work camping.