The Longdogs

The Longdogs
Harley takes his role as navigator seriously!

Thanksgiving And We Are Thankful

Yesterday was Thanksgiving and we are very thankful for many things.  Helen and Steve wanted to host the holiday in their new home.....their very first holiday with the kids and us in their home.  This was also Helen's first time cooking a turkey by herself.  Of course I use that term loosely since she had lots of "help" with the basting from Morgan, Cameron, and Steve.

She figured out turkey size from a chart on the Internet which said she needed a 12 pound turkey for 6 people.  Steve just laughed and told her to get a 20 pound turkey as everyone liked turkey leftovers. She also fixed a fancy squash dish with maple, bacon, and onion topping that was delicious.  She and Morgan baked pumpkin, pumpkin pecan, and apple pies.  This stepmom has tons of patience when it comes to cooking with the kids.  She also made green bean casserole and stuffing.  She asked me to do the sweet potatoes and homemade rolls.  I also did the mashed potatoes to give her more time to get the turkey set up.  And I made the gravy for her when I arrived.  Dinner was great!

Having Steve and Helen here in San Antonio is one of the things for which we are thankful.  And all of us are grateful that the kids get to be here with us every 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekend.  They love being with Dad and Helen so much more often.  And Steve is grateful he isn't driving from Florida to Texas once a month just to see them for a weekend.  We would love to be together with all our family more often but we are grateful for the family members we do have with us.

I am grateful to have my computer back and working like a champ.  And I am grateful to have finally gotten all my pictures for the last month loaded up and edited.   My blogposts are now up to date. You may be grateful for that too if you thought I was gone and then you were inundated with backdated posts.

The Birthday Boy Celebrates His 10th

Cameron's birthday was actually over a week ago.  He spent that weekend with his Dad but Grandma was out of town at an RV GTG.  So Cameron, Morgan, Dad, and Helen went ice skating to celebrate but planned another party for when all of his San Antonio family could be there.  So we all got together on Wednesday night for a special dinner (steak and rice.....Cam's favorites).  Cam wanted vanilla cake with vanilla icing which caused some raised eyebrows and questions from several asking if he was sure he didn't want chocolate.  One of the benefits of growing older is more experience. I decided to go with a pyramid of cupcakes so Cam could have his choice and others could have their chocolate. Morgan wanted strawberry last year, everybody ate a little piece including Morgan, and the rest of the cake sat there.  It was good but not what everyone, this time....two kinds of cupcakes.

He thought it was really cool.

Those colored sugar cake toppings sure do leave kids with blue tongues and lips.

I think we scored with this present.  Some battling tops for his collection.

He also got two more books from the Diary of a Wimpy Kid collection.  He loves them.

The biggest hit was probably the Iron Man Mask.

Harley was not sure what happened to his boy.  I think it was the glowing eyes.

RV Ladies Rally for Lunch to Meet Liz

Even though it's only been a week since our Pink FlaminGoes GTG, a bunch of us took the opportunity to meet up again on Wednesday.  Another RVing lady, Liz, blew in from the East on Tuesday night. With Thanksgiving on Thursday, and Birdie and Liz heading out to Kerrville on Friday and then on to Big Bend....Wednesday was our only opportunity.  Travelbug Susan, MaryJane, Vicki, and Peri couldn't make it for various reasons but (backrow l to r) Birdie, Georgia, Darlene, Margareta, (front l to r) Liz, me, and Nikki had a great time.

Some of us belong to Pink FlaminGoes, some to the Women's RV forum, some to both, and some to neither group.....we just like to get together and share our passion for RVing.

I should mention that Liz is a fantastic blogger with great pictures and narrative that make you feel like you are sitting right next to her as she travels. Last year she and Birdie went to Alaska, then she went up the east coast.  Now she and Birdie are on their way to Big Bend country then on west.  Liz has plans to continue on to Baja.  Check in to her blog if you are interested in great armchair traveling.

Sunday Farewells and Medina Apple Store

Sunday morning we all gathered for coffee, some final chat, and goodbyes to several of our group members who had to head home.  As you can see, it was beautiful out and warm.

After those who had to hit the road home, we relaxed for a while longer.  Several of the ladies who didn't go with us to Lost Maples wanted to go to the Apple Store in Medina.  Now, the Apple Store doesn't sell Ipads or Iphones or Macs, and their official name is Love Creek Orchard Bakery....not the Apple Store.  Of course, the rest of us were happy to oblige. I remember when I moved to San Antonio, it was October or November and I told some friends it would be fun to drive up to Medina and pick some apples.  I grew up in the north and that is apple time.  Well, apple picking time in Texas is June.  lol.

The Apple Store has amazing apple struedel and apple turnovers and cookies.

This is in addition to their famous apple pies.

Of course, we were all good and had lunch first.  I had an amazing BLT, others had fantastic hamburgers, Carolyn had a plate of different kinds of salad.  Everything was fantastic.

Of course, we had to try the desserts too.  I bought some apple struedel coffee to bring home.

Once we got back to the RV park, we took a stroll back through the back of the park again.  It is such a lovely peaceful place.

Everyone but Birdie and I headed home Monday morning.  We headed out but we went to Kerrville so that Birdie could have her Class A wheels aligned and then we came back to Skyline Ranch for one more night.  Tuesday morning we both headed home ending a fantastic week.

The Fun Just Keeps Happening on Saturday

Saturday morning found everyone gathered at the rally hall for breakfast.

Things were coming together nicely.

Carolyn was hard at work cooking sausages for an army.

Dawn was hard at work on her special pancakes.  They were delicious.

Everyone was hungry so there wasn't much to clean up.

Pat brought some neat decorations.

Then we headed back into Bandera for a little sightseeing and shopping.  Need a photo op?

Carolyn was easily pursuaded to hop on board.  She is a fantastic sport.

One of our stops in town was the General Store.

They had Bluebell Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream.  Who could resist?

We also made a stop at the famous Arkey Blue's Silver Dollar.

Arkey Blue's is an interesting place to check out even when it is isn't hopping in the middle of the afternoon.

We found this fun sign in the store next to Arkey's.

We were a little disappointed that we didn't get a chance to see the Bandera Cattle Company Gunfighters perform on Saturday afternoon.  They normally put on a little gunplay at 1 and 4 if they don't have a special gig someplace else.  But we did get to go on a covered wagon ride with Ron Dakotah, wagonmaster and storyteller.  It was fun.

Sharon hopped up front with and Ron was definitely busy spinning stories.

He has the wagon on Main Streets every Saturday afternoon so stop by and ride around town with him.

Saturday night was our traditional bingo night.  Everyone brings a wrapped gift and everyone goes home with a prize because if we have already won once, we just pass our second win on to someone else.  I think Birdie was pleased with her prize.

I know Carolyn was pleased.  I ran my battery down so I didn't get any more photos.  Once bingo was over, Sue brought out a new dice game called "Left, Right, Center".  Everyone thought it was great fun and very easy and it works really well for a crowd.

Good friends, a little vino, lots of fun, warm RVs nearby.....what more can one ask for????

A Walking Tour of Bandera, TX, Dinner at O.S.T

Some of us went on a walking tour of Bandera on Friday afternoon.  Just stop in at the Visitor's Center and they will give you a map for the self-guided walking tour.  This is the 11th Street Cowboy Bar again where we cooked dinner on Wednesday night. The entrance to the semi-inside bar is on the far right but they can also open the entrance in the other building when they have big crowds.

You just never know what you will see in Bandera.  Looks like customers were enjoying the bar on Friday afternoon.

A typical Texas Hill Country style of house.

Next stop was the gothic style St Stanislaus Church which was built in 1876.

It doesn't matter what your religious preferences are, this church is a work of art.

We saw this huge rocking horse on a nearby porch so we had to get a picture.

The Methodist Church is a completely different style.

The Carmichael Mansion was built in 1890 by H.H. Carmichael.  It was actually started in Medina TX but an Indian raid so disturbed his wife that he moved it down river to Bandera.

And then there is the Bandera Courthouse built in 1890.  Courthouses are special buildings in Texas.

Closeup of the art in front of the Courthouse.

The courtyard in the Western Heritage Park shows the route of the Western Cattle Drive.

You can also take a close look at a lot of famous brands.

This was only a small portion of the sites we saw on the walking tour.  Friday night, we headed to the Old Spanish Trail (OST) restaurant.  They didn't have a buffet the night we were there but the covered wagon contained the salad bar.

The food was great.  They are well known for their Mexican food.

And their delicious chicken fried steak.

Chris and Gloria hopped on the saddles at the bar for a photo op.

We were full and tired when we headed back out to the Skyline Ranch RV Park.