The Longdogs

The Longdogs
Harley takes his role as navigator seriously!

Crazy Christmas

Every other year, our Christmas celebration gets moved until after 28 December because the grandkids spend the 25th with their Mom. Most of the time it works out fine but kind of leaves you mixed up on days and dates. So the 25th, there were 4 of us for prime rib dinner.

 Steve and Helen picked up the kids at noon on the 28th and we spent the afternoon making Christmas cookies. Helen and granddaughter Morgan love to cook. That evening, we loaded up in Helen's car and headed to Windcrest…...a San Antonio suburb that has long held a reputation for community decorations at Christmas. They even have a website for it. There are all sorts of awards for different categories and they even put out a map to follow to see the best sites. I'm sure this yard must be visible from a satellite as it was so lit up.

You can barely see the house.

We saw one amazing site after another.

 This yard had a Blues Brothers theme.  Some yards are religious presentations while others are purely securlar.

The next morning, I got up and baked the breakfast casserole that I made the night before and we headed over to Steve and Helen's to open gifts. We all wait to open things until the kids get here.

Helen made waffles, we had breakfast casserole, and there were lots of cookies on the table too. The kids had already jumped ship here.

The kids hand out presents and we all wait and take our turn opening them.

Too bad I can't remember what Steve and Cameron found so funny.

Angus thinks tearing up the wrapping paper after the gifts are opened is great fun and he never eats it so he gets indulged.

Morgan got unicorn socks from her Grandpa as one of her smaller gifts.

Steve got a new motorcycle helmet and Angus was not at all sure he liked it. I missed catching a picture before Steve opened the visor to show him it was just him.

We grilled hamburgers for dinner back at our house and, later on, Steve, Helen, Cameron, and Morgan went downtown for a Laser light show on the cathedral. They caught a couple of good shots.

Then it was on to New Year's Eve. We had dinner at our house. Then, we had a fire in the firepit in the backyard for SMores and some cornhole games. The grandkids asked if they could spend the night as they knew Steve and Helen would not make it to midnight, lol.

Happy New Year from our house to yours! May it be your best year ever.

"Main Street Bethelem" in Burnet TX.

Sunday night a number of us drove into Burnet TX for a unique experience. Every year for the past 27 years, the First Baptist Church has sponsored "Main street Bethlehem". Regardless of your religious beliefs, it's a special experience. We arrived near the downtown square which was beautifully lit up. We found out that this is where the end of the line was. Altogether, the line was about 6 blocks long.

It was beautiful.

We waited in line a long time, a very long time...….over an hour and a half. They did have a place where those who couldn't stand that long could wait and their friends could come and get them once they got closer. I finally had to do that after an hour in line. The village is there year around but during the event, each little building or alcove is manned by actors.

The camels didn't come out very well but they are live animals.

Daily life is pictured in great detail.

Some of the actors are children.

There were crowds of people inside the village but I tried to get photos without them showing.

The final scene before we left was the manger in the stable.

I'm not sure I would do this again because of the extremely long standing wait which is even longer on Friday or Saturday night but I'm really glad I held out to see it.  I definitely had a hard time with my hip the next day.  It is a very popular event which only goes on two weekends in December.

Burnet Rally and TRR Annual Meeting

In early December, I was off to the Big Chief RV Resort on Lake Buchanan near Burnet, Texas for our Texas Ramblin' Roses (TRR) Annual Meeting. TRR is the Texas Chapter of RVing Women.

We arrived several days early to enjoy the park and get ready for the rally which was sponsored by the chapter officers (I'm the secretary).

They have a nice pool and hot tub. Only problem is that you have to ask them to turn the hot tub on and it takes about 4 hours to heat up.  Of course, by the time it is ready, I was busy doing something else so I only got to use it once.

It's a nice park and they take good care of those visiting whether they are at a rally or just staying there. I have to give them credit for doing a great job vastly reducing the goat head burs that were everywhere when I first visited there about three years ago.  For those who don't know, goat heads are really hard to get rid of and they are very hard on dogs feet or RV carpet.

The scenery is pretty nice too.

And the sunsets can be spectacular.

We had dinner at Mama's Home Cooking on Thursday night.

Every morning, Joyce Wallace leads whoever is interested in some fun group exercises.

You will probably be surprised to hear that Joyce (arms up on the right) is 88 years old. I wish I had half her energy and flexibility. Oh, and Joyce is waiting on delivery of a brand new Phoenix Cruiser like mine. I think she will be RVing for a quite a while.
Friday night, the chapter provided fried chicken and all the sides for dinner. Later on, there were lots of women still in the rally room playing games or working on puzzles or just visiting.

We had our meeting and election Saturday morning. Then women were off kayaking, visiting a local winery, relaxing, hiking over at Inks Lake State Park, etc. We had a delicious Cajun dinner catered by two of our members. Then came the entertainment.

We always take a group photo at every rally. We had well over 70 people women attend this rally. Most stayed in their RVs at Big Chief, a few were camping at Inks Lake State Park, and a few more stayed at hotels in Burnet.

We have a great chapter and lots of fun members.

 Hmmm, here is a part of the group back at Mama's.

Sunday night a number of us went into Burnet to see "Bethlehem" sponsored for many years by a local church but that is the subject for another post.

Japanese Tea Garden or is It?

Wait a minute...….I thought this was the Japanese Tea Garden.  Well, it is.  In the early 1900's, the Japanese Tea Garden was created to beautify the rock quarry abandoned by the San Antonio Portland Cement Company. It was designed by a Japanese artist named Kimi Eizo Jingu. In fact, the Jingu family lived in and cared for the Garden from 1919 to shortly after 7 Dec 1941 when the anti-Japanese fear hit San Antonio just as it did across the country. The family was moved out and the Chinese style entry was created and the garden was renamed.

It took until 1983 when the garden was renamed the Japanese Tea Garden but the Chinese entrance was retained.

This was our first visit to the Japanese Tea Garden for all of us...….Helen, Morgan, and me. The guys were out on a motorcycle ride.  This is the underside of the pavilion. It was very crowded since it was a beautiful day.

There a number of paths through the garden with lots of rock steps and rough spots but it is beautiful.

A visit to the garden is free. The is a place where you can buy snacks but it definitely is no longer a place to have a Japanese tea. Various events are held throughout the year so keep the garden in mind for a visit.