The Longdogs

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

San Antonio Holiday River Parade

We headed home from the zoo, had a short break, fixed a quick dinner, and got the kids focused on eating.  I don't know if they were just more focused or if the "this surprise starts at a certain time so if you are not ready to go by 6:00 PM, we can't go because it will be too late" did the trick but we pulled out on time and headed downtown.  There were signs about congested areas downtown but we didn't have any problem getting down there and found a parking lot a few blocks from the riverwalk.  It was a little disappointing to see that the city lot took advantage of the parade and charged a higher than normal price for their parking.

We had quite a wait for the parade as it was very late in starting and we were near the end of the route but the weather was good and the kids were able to play in the street as it was blocked off.  They used their time burning off energy.  The parade was great.  Instead of going down the road, all the floats actually "floated" down the river.  Of course that means no marching bands but that doesn't mean there wasn't lots of music.  They pulled the switch to turn on all the lights on the trees at 7:00 PM but the parade didn't get down to us until after 8:00 PM.  A river parade was another first for the kids so they enjoyed it a lot.  I wish I had more pictures but it was hard to get pictures with all the flashing lights so this is the best I can do but it was the kids favorite float.  It was the Chick-Filet float and those cows were dancing up a storm and singing "eat more chicken" at the top of their lungs.  What a hoot!

It was a long day and the kids were "out" before we were on the highway!

Trip to the San Antonio Zoo

Friday we were off to the San Antonio Zoo.  It always takes a little longer to get ready to go when you have kids but we finally headed out.  Traffic wasn't too bad on this "Black Friday Shopping Day" but not everyone was at the stores as the Zoo parking lot was packed.  Luckily we were able to find a slot and we were off.

It was a beautiful day as you can see by everyone's dress.  The jackets were left in the car.

Now that Morgan can read, she likes to check out all the signs.

And, of course, feed the fish.

We saw flocks of birds.

We had to spend time at the Petting Zoo so the kids could touch the pigs and goats.

Who to play with first?

Okay now, be sure to do a really good job of washing your hands after playing with the animals.

What are they doing Dad?  Is it time for a snack yet?

Woow, that's a big tiger.

How come that animal is on his knees Dad?

Hard to tell but the fish in the hippopotamus tank were having a field day nibbling on the hippo.  There were two hippos but the fish only liked one of them.

Okay now.  It is finally 3:00 PM and finally time for the hippo feeding.  Is everyone ready?

I know the hippos were ready.  The food was little tiny pellets like you feed the fish.  Either they get something else or a whole lot of the pellets at some other time to get as big as they do.


We saw lots of animals from elephants and tigers to zebras and crocodiles.  Everyone loves a trip to the zoo and the San Antonio zoo is great.

Thanksgiving

We had a very nice Thanksgiving here at home with our son and daughter-in-law and grandchildren.
While the kids played, Helen and I fixed dinner.

Then we all sat down together for a great meal.  The only thing better would have been to have our other son and his family here with us too.  But we still have a lot to be thankful for.
 Hope you all had a great day too!

Cameron's Birthday

My grandson's birthday was last week but he was home in Brownwood so we had another birthday party here.  Steve and Helen took Cameron and Morgan ice skating as a birthday surprise.  Cameron was born on the east coast where it gets cold but didn't live there long and Morgan has never been where it is really cold so ice skating was a novelty.  Helen grew up near Baltimore so she has lots of skating experience.  I'm not really sure where Steve learned to skate as he has lived where it is warm most of his life too but he definitely knows how to skate.  I think he's just a natural athlete.  And Cameron is just like his Daddy.

Morgan, however, is more like her grandmother.  Sometimes we are just coordination challenged.  But she was game to try and had a good time too.



I made spaghetti carabonara for dinner and we had a chocolate birthday cake.  I think it was a good birthday for an 8 year old.





It was a fun day and now on to Thanksgiving.

The Pholly Gets Shocks

When I got home from the GTG at Brenham, my son Steve and husband Dave were ready to put shocks on the Pholly.  Steve did some research on the online forums the last time he was here and figured out what kind of shocks we should use and then ordered them online.  The Pholly had places for shocks built in but didn't come with them, some sort of upgrade I suppose although they weren't listed on the brochure.  Anyway, they are from Monroe.

Steve's checking out the exact installation location.

 It takes two plus a jack and some strong muscles to get the job done.

Hmmm, what next?



Okay, I think we are almost there.


Everything is all hooked up and the Pholly is back in her storage spot so it will be a while before I know what a difference the shocks make.  It rode well before but this should stop any of that bouncing that those roads between Texas and Florida are prone to producing.

A Few Shots at the Dixieland RV Park




I think I should wrap this trip up with a few shots taken while we were at the RV park.

Birdie and I were the first to arrive.  If you read the first post on this adventure, A Trip to Carmine, you will know that it was raining that morning so these pictures were taken later on in the week.  The entrance to the park is next to a house on the highway.  Once past there you will find the office and after you check in you will go through the gate.

This was my site.  They have kind of unique parking here where two rigs are side by side for the hookups (one going each direction) and then each rig faces a open space before the next two.  I was a little worried at first since we were really close together but once I knew my big slide would open without touching my neighbor's satellite dish, it worked out okay.  Birdie and I were hoping that we would be in the two facing slots but they put us in the only two open blacktopped spaces due to all the rain.  Fortunately all the water was gone by the time the others arrived so they didn't have a problem parking.

"The Pholly" and "Moby Dick" all set up.

Birdie's "Bunky" and "Herbie".

These armadillos kept an eye on things around the park.

The park has a nice little laundry room with two washers and two dryers ($1 each).  They also have a little exchange library in here that was pretty well stocked.

Dixieland_Park_136.JPG


  This was the clubhouse we got to use for the GTG.

We had a pot luck dinner the first night and Darlene, one of the co-hostesses, had gift bags for everyone.


I also took a couple of shots in downtown Carmine (Carmeen).  This is a railroad museum but it wasn't open when we went past.

This is an antique shop.

You can't tell much from this but it was a basketball museum for the local team.  Only in Texas.

Carmine also has a very nice little park that was all decorated for the holidays.  There is a bank, a post office, and a feed store but no grocery store--it is very small.  There is also JW's Steakhouse which looked packed on the nights we drove past.

That's a wrap for this adventure.  Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.




Lake Somerville, TX

We decided to head out to see what kind of camping opportunities might be out at Lake Somerville after lunch at "Must be Heaven" in Brenham.

The first place we came to was the Overlook Marina & Campground.  The host at the gate was very nice.  He told us that the park was a former COE park that was now privately owned.  The entrance wasn't bad but the camping areas needed a great deal of work.  Apparently the COE had three parks and turned this one over but it was obvious that the private campground had done nothing to maintain let alone improve it once they got it.

The two COE parks are Yegua Creek and Rocky Creek.  Yegua Creek is currently closed for renovations.  Rocky Creek is open and about two thirds of it have already been renovated with a couple more campgrounds in the works.  They are adding 50 amps so they will have 50, 30, and 20 amp outlets on each hookup.  The restrooms are all new.  It was very nice and definitely worth a return visit.  We also saw a very interesting site there.  Looking out across the lake, there were two islands which would not normally be there if the lake wasn't so low.  One island looked like it was painted white on one end.  Nancy used her binoculars and detected something very interesting so she hauled out her big telescope.


Here she is holding Diana's camera up to the telescope so we could get some pictures.

Isn't this amazing?  Wait, it gets even better.

Better yet but still not the closest so you can really be sure what you are seeing.

Pelicans! They covered the entire end of this small island.  It is far from a perfect picture but without the telescope and the camera lens, you could only see a white covered island so it is pretty unique, don't you think?

We also checked out Nails Creek State.  Although open to all to camp, the sites are all set up for equestrian use as each campsite has a small corral for horses.  You are supposed to rake up the manure and put it at the front of the site where they will pick it up.   If the sites were in heavy equestrian use, we thought that flies could be a problem due to the horses.  There are about 22 miles of trails for hikers, bicyclists, and horses which was nice.  It was in much better shape than Overlook Park but not quite as nice as Rocky Creek.

There is another park, Birch Creek State Park, on the other side of the lake but we didn't make it over there as it is a pretty large lake.

Lunch at "Must Be Heaven" in Brenham

After the Poinsettia Celebration, we headed back to downtown Brenham for lunch.  There is a well known sandwich and pie shop there known as "Must Be Heaven".



There was a fairly long line snaking through the restaurant.

Birdie chats with a couple of other customers while she was waiting.  There is lots of interesting memorabilia to look at while you wait.  There is also another place to line up with almost no waiting if you just want pie.

You wait in line to order at the counter and then move down the counter to pick up your order.  Carolyn had her ever ready camera but I beat her to the punch.  She says the food was worth the waiting in line!  She had the rueben sandwich and coconut pie.

Sorry Birdie, I caught you in mid bit but this is a close up of the rueben.

Diana had the special, a salmon sandwich.

Martha, Gloria, Darlene, and Margarita were ready to enjoy their lunch when I caught them unaware.

It was a great lunch.  Afterwards, we broke into separate groups.  Some went back to the RV park, some to a holiday home tour, and some of us when out to look around Lake Somerville.  More on that to come.