Charro Bean Soup
The pot of soup arrived and everyone was ready to eat. By the way, it was very tasty.
Finally Made it to Mexico
This evening a group of us headed out to celebrate Zach's birthday. The restaurant of choice was Pancho's. We were seated in the room that had a view of the bird coop --- pigeons and quails and had an interesting time watching the birds. The mariachi band sang Zach an interesting version of Happy Birthday.
Zach in front of the Mariachi band
We saw some smoke this afternoon and drove out to see if they were burning sugar cane and they were. The cane must burn hot and quick .... as the flames are a couple of stories high and the fire lasts only a few minutes.
This evening was much better as we went down to the rec hall to watch Bob and Jean's slide show "50th Anniversary Trip to Alaska". It certainly brought back a lot of good memories.
The fire was a field from the road but you could see see the flames and hear the fire.
They started another fire moments after the first one was out.
Texas Citrus Fiesta
Just before 5pm we headed downtown to get a good spot to watch the parade and were surprised at the number of the people that were already there. Luckily, we were able to find an open piece of curb to sit on. Tonight's parade is special on two counts, one is that it is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of Mission in December 2008 and two it is the first time it has been held in the evening. The parade took about 90 mins. to go past us.
Oleander Acres Queen Caryl and King Gale.
One of the floats in the parade
The Oleander float.
This horse was prancing creating a real roller coaster ride for the occupants.
Arts and Crafts Show
Some of the photographs on display.
After dinner I headed out to do laundry and noticed what looked like a fire and smoke. My first reaction was that somewhere they were burning sugar cane, so I went back to the trailer and told Ed. He decided to check it out and discovered not the burning of sugar can but a power generation plant about 7KM away. One of these days I'm going to see the sugar cane being burnt off.
Cool and Drizzly
Today a group of us decided to venture out to see the movie called "I am Legend". A very intense movie guaranteed to keep you awake. Don't know that I'd actually recommend it. (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0480249/)
Tonight was Fun Night. Anyone so inclined can get on stage and perform. There were a couple of people who sang familiar songs with altered lyrics (i.e. Home, home on the Road...), another couple did a skit about arriving at a campground after dark and attempting to park the new trailer (especially funny to us as we've pretty much been there), a group of pirates mimicking what I think was a Monte Python skit, some "old men skits" and then there were the dancing cats ---very interesting. All in all I laughed a lot and so did the rest of the audience.
Clarence and Doc sang modified lyrics to Are You Lonesome Tonight
The dancing pirates
After 6 hands, the losers would move to another table with a switch of partners, so when we moved, my previous partner was sitting on my right. He opened with a one diamond bid, I responded with a two diamond bid because my hand matched his... There were some comments about my bid, but I didn't get it until it was time for the person across from me to make a bid --- That would be my partner at this table.
A four letter word came out of my mouth as I realized the familiar voice I had responded to was no longer my partner! oops... Luckily, everyone laughed and the third person to bid, overbid mine so I didn't have to play my "bad bid".
While I was at bridge, Ed went off with a group to have pizza and he didn't bring me any back.
Zaph hitched a ride when Bob headed to the garbage bin.
A Walk in the Park
It's Sunday so it's off to ice cream at 4pm and then just after 8pm it's off to the Dairy Queen for more ice cream and to meet Bob and Rosetta after the first concert of the men's choir (Rosetta plays piano for them, Bob sings).
The vermilion fly catcher
Tonight was the big luau at the rec hall. A nice dinner is provided along with some entertainment. Following the luau was euchre and pinochle. As we were leaving the couple Ed had helped earlier in the day asked if we played euchre. Ed said he didn't but I did, to which I indicated if they needed a forth I would stay. It turned out to be a lot of fun. One of the couples that played were Rollo and Dorothy (she had her 90th birthday recently and he's 91). They were the people Rosetta took photos of with her flowers. They are a testament to staying active keeps you young.
Jean played the piano and Bob sang a Hawaiian song.
The hula girls taught "Bobette" how to hula.
Ed and I had our photo taken with the "king".
I had promised Ed a steak dinner for his birthday, so Thursday evening we headed off to the Outback Steakhouse --- we haven't eaten at one in years. It was very good and my prime rib was $5 less than the price indicated on the online Canadian Outback menu. Think we'll do the fancy dinners out in the US from now on.
Friday was "dues day" as well as the silent auction at the park. The activities are arranged and run by "the club" which are the people staying at the park. In order to help offset costs like coffee for Saturday morning coffee, paper for weekly calendars, etc. you are asked to pay a $3.00 per person due for the season. Some of the club members do an incredible amount of work for nothing. They decided to have a silent auction to raise money for the club. People donated unwanted items and other people bought them. Ed bought another remote control ---- I think we must have 20 by now but he says we need them all.
More Bird Watching
The sun was shinning this morning and the forecast was good so we headed to Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge to do a little bird watching. The rain had left the trails wet so we got to experience south Texas mud first hand --- you don't sink into it, it just attaches to your shoes and after a while it feels like your walking on high heels. The birding wasn't too exciting, but we did get to see an American Kestrel, Harris's Hawk, Black-necked Stilts, Ruby-crowed Kinglets and a mix of warblers and sparrows.
The Spanish Moss (Tillandsia usneoides) on the trees at Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge.
Need a pinata? Interesting sighting on the drive home --- you can't read the license plate but the truck is from Mexico.
Happy Birthday Ed!!!!
Rosetta has a tradition of making cinnamon rolls for birthday celebrations so she made a batch of buns and four were delivered to our trailer in time for breakfast ---- they were really good so I was pretty lucky Ed let me have one and half buns. Next Ed and I headed out to shop for his birthday gift --- the aging sci-fi fan wanted a copy of Dune on DVD (we found it in the first store we looked). After lunch and some more shopping we headed back to the park for cake and ice cream. One of the "gang" made ice cream and three more made cakes and about 20 of us got together to celebrate the three birthdays and eat. Then it was out for dinner and try to eat some more --- over half of mine came home for tomorrow's lunch).
I think Ed had a pretty good day.
As we do every Sunday just before 4 pm, we headed over the rec hall for the ice cream social. I think our stay here may be hard on our waist lines.
One of the butterfly's we saw at Bentsen.
The bird watchers at the hawk tower.
After the "photo shoot" Ed and I headed to the Valley RV Show to check out the new 5th wheel trailers. Luckily, all the trailers had issues (when we find one that doesn't we'll have to buy it and I'm not ready for a new trailer yet). Many of them didn't have room for a dog bed --- a necessity in Zaph's opinion, some didn't allow you to access your kitchen when the slides were closed (something we feel is important for the way we travel) and others just didn't feel right to us.
Dorothy and her husband checking out one of the photos on Rosetta's camera. Hard to believe they are 90 and 91.
No Ed we don't need a new truck we just got ours fixed, but Ed did note this puppy will pull 25,000 lbs.
Truck and Trailer Washing
Herb and Rosetta had a 50 lb bag of pecans in the trailer for the past year and one of the neighbours decided it was time to crack those nuts. Howard (yellow shirt), Maryanne (green shirt), Bob (white shirt), Rosetta (at the end), Glen (beige shirt).
If it wasn't for all the goop we put on the bottom of his ear, you wouldn't know Zaph had been hurt.
Zaph gets a Foe
The owner of the black dog said he recently rescued the dog, who had been badly neglected after the dog's previous owner died and that Zaph was the second male dog that the black dog had snapped at. So, I think Zaph has about 20 friends and 1 foe in the park.
Oh, Zaph wants everyone to know that he could have taken the black dog.
The "banana lady" gave us a couple of bananas to try. It definitely tasted like a banana but it was a lot sweeter. They are shorted and fatter than the bananas we buy in the store.
The remains of a garter snake are in the cactus gardens by the main office. It's interesting how some of the skin is still there are some of it has disappeared leaving the bones.
This woman has several banana trees in her yard. This bunch is ripe.
This bunch is not.
There are several banana trees here and a couple of bunches of green bananas.
Ed's Favorite Park Event
Ed's favourite park event takes places on Sunday afternoons --- the ice cream social. Lucky boy, he managed to get two servings.
Out for a Walk
Today it was time to get out and do something for fun --- Zaph picked going for a walk at Bentsen State Park which is about 5 minutes away from the park. There we saw some of our old favorites --- Javelinas, Green Jays, Northern Cardinals, Chachalaca and a new one --- the Armadillo.
We must have seen a dozen of these guys in different areas of the park. The Javelina.
A green jay having a bath.
This is the first time we seen Armadillo at Bensten State Park.
Look carefully and you'll see the Screech Owl in a hole in the tree.
2008 Has Arrived
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