Friday, December 31, 2010

Catching Up

It has been a couple of busy days. Norma has been cleaning the rig and we have been socializing around the park a bit, building up my tolerance for alcohol. Thanks Frank and Kelly!

Our friends Juan and Chris arrived on Wednesday from Mexico after picking up their brand new travel trailer in San Antonio. They are set up right next door to us. We spent Wednesday night catching up with each others news and last night the four of us went out for dinner to Shrimp n’ Stuff. Chris had one of the staff take this photo with his camera.

shrimp n stuff

Today we are talking about heading downtown to The Strand, the historical part of town and then there is a New Years event over in the park office. Everyone is invited and we will all bring an appetizer to nibble on. Happy New Years everyone!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Jamaica Beach RV Park

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Two Hurricanes Visit The Strand

This medallion is on the side of a building on The Strand that survived the Galveston Hurricane of September 1900. This was the worst natural disaster in the history of the USA and took 8000 lives, 20% of the population of Texas at the time!

Those of us who are old enough remember the Chad Mitchell Trio singing "Mighty Day", the story of this hurricane.

The second photo is a sign on another building in The Strand showing the high water mark from 2008's Hurricane Ike that flooded the city with a 12 foot storm surge. This sign was about six feet from the ground.
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The Strand

The historic part of Galveston is called The Strand. It has been around since the late 1800's. The highlight of the old business section of Galveston is the Moody Building and Railway Museum in the first photo. At one time The Strand was known as "Wall Street Of The South".

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The Strand Malt Shop

We strolled The Strand, the Historic District, today and stopped for a Hot Fudge Sunday. This Malt Shop has been around for about a hundred years or maybe more! I am sure the Hot fudge Sundays did not cost $6.00 back then though.

It was very good however and we got a taste of old Galveston.

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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Texas Dining

There is a little restaurant down the road called Nate’s. We tried to go there last night but it was closed so we went tonight. It is a friendly little place looking out over the Gulf. I ordered an Oyster Po’ Boy and Norma had a Chicken Fried Steak. With a glass of wine each the bill came to $32. Life is Good!


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Feliz Navidad

To all my Mexican and Cuban friends and those traveling in those beautiful countries (and those of us who wish we were),

Feliz Navidad!


 3 kings

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Festivus!


A Festivus for the Rest of Us!


Happy Festivus

And for everyone else… A very Merry Christmas!



Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy Hours

It has been pretty quiet around the RV park here in Galveston. It has been quite cool at night, keeping people inside when the sun goes down. The last couple of days however, it has warmed up appreciably. It has been hitting the mid seventies during the day and this warmth has been hanging around into the evenings. This brings out the old standby of RV parks, the Happy Hour!

The first night it was our turn and several couples brought their chairs over to our spot. Two of the men were retirees from BC Hydro and one was a Canadian Federal Prison communications and security systems contractor. An interesting bunch and all of us with similar backgrounds. I happened to mention that we had lived in Terrace, BC and one of the Hydro guys said his wife, Shireen, was from Terrace! It turns out that she is the daughter of Augie Gerhart (spelling probably wrong) who owned the Terrace Hotel in our first years in Terrace! She would have been just a kid back then but we remembered Augie fondly as we spent a lot of time in the Terrace, both in the meeting rooms and in the pub as this central hotel was the hub of activity in those days for Union & Political meetings, dining out and socializing. It was good to hear that both her parents are doing well and living in Kelowna. It really is a small world!

Terrace Hotel

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Little Galveston History

Galveston Island was first inhabited by members of the Karankawa and Akokisa Nations who called it “Auia”. In 1528 the Spanish explorer Cabeza de Vaca was shipwrecked on the island which they called Isla de Malhado “Island of Doom”. From here he began his famous trek to Mexico. During the charting of the Gulf Coast in 1785 the Island was named Galvez-town in honour of the Count of Galvez and this name stuck.

The first European settlement was established in 1816 by the pirate Louis-Michel Aury who used the island as a base of operations for his support of Mexico’s rebellion against Spain. In 1821 pirate Jean Lafitte (or “Laffite” as he spelled it) took over the island. Lafitte organized the island into a pirate kingdom and named himself as the head of Government.

In 1825 the new Congress of Mexico established the island as the Port of Galveston. In 1836 4,600 acres of land on the island was purchased by a Canadian and that area eventually became the City of Galveston.

During the Civil War the city was the site of the Battle Of Galveston where on January of 1863 Confederate troops expelled Union troops from the city. The port soon became one of the major cotton ports of the nation.

In 1900 the city was devastated by an un-named hurricane, which killed an estimated 8,000 people. This hurricane is documented as the worst natural disaster in the history of the USA and prompted the building of a seventeen foot high seawall to protect the city from future storms.

In 2008, Hurricane Ike made landfall at Galveston as a Category 2 hurricane with 110 mph winds. Much unrepaired damage from this hurricane remains today.


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Monday, December 20, 2010

Beware On The Roads This Season

Please, take care of yourself this Christmas.  A recent joint study conducted by the Health Canada and the Department of Motor Vehicles indicates that 23% of vehicle collisions are alcohol related.

This means that an astounding 77% of motor vehicle accidents are caused by those that choose to drink coffee, pop, juice, milk, water, etc…

Therefore, beware of those who do not drink alcohol. They cause three times as many accidents, and statistics don’t lie.
This message is sent by someone who cares about your well being.  Have a great Christmas and stay safe.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Work Goes On At Home

Brooks and Linda just bought a house near Victoria, BC. They have a fencing and decking business and need a workshop large enough to manufacture fence panels to be taken to the job site as there is no point in working in the rain when you don’t have to. They are currently working on a large workshop with a one bedroom suite on top of it, a carriage house type of building. There is also a rented suite in the main house so with income from the two rentals it will put a serious dent in the mortgage payments. We are really proud of the two of them. They are hard workers and have a very realistic goal in mind! Here are some shots of the construction which has recently turned into a mud hole. Photos by LindaLee, who is in the last photo back-filling the drain tile with gravel by hand. No need for Boot camp tonight Linda!.
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We spent a very noisy night in the Walmart with the highway on one side and the railway tracks on the other. We dragged ourselves out of bed at about nine and headed into Galveston. We passed the RV park on the Bayou where we stayed in April and turned down Galveston Island to the Jamaica Beach RV Park.

We went into the office only to be told that they could only guarantee us one week as they were “technically full” after December 26. He said to not worry about it too much as we were first on the waiting list and space was always coming free as people moved on early or cancelled reservations. If worse comes to worst there is room in the overflow section where there is electric and water but no sewer.

This is not the best situation and I would hate having to move on Boxing Day but we took him for his word that he will be able to take care of us. The other problem is Juan and Chris are coming for New Years and will need a spot. He said he did have a couple of empty spots for the 31st and 1st so not to worry. I am sure all will be well and there is always the overflow area as a backup. Everyone here is very friendly and Norma is going to put out lights today.

It is cold here but the reports say there is a warmer front coming our way tomorrow. It would be nice if the wind would shift and bring us some of Jonna and Mimi’s Yucatan weather! Sorry Jonna, I know that means you will have to pull out more blankets!


Friday, December 17, 2010

Moving On

We headed out this morning after my shower. It was not an early start, around 11:00. We set the GPS for Corpus Christi and found it was only about forty miles away. We discussed it for a minute and decided to skip CC and head for Galveston instead. After we got onto Texas Highway 6, traffic started to build and slow down. It was going to be dark when we got to the RV park in Galveston and I hate checking in and hooking up in the dark so we looked for a friendly Walmart. We are parked for the night in a Walmart Supercenter in a little town on TX 6 about one hour from Galveston. It will be a short run tomorrow.

It has been threatening rain today with a few drops actually hitting the windshield a couple of times. We are getting a couple of HD channels off air and the weather report for Houston looks pretty good for the next few days. Hopefully Galveston will catch some of that!

Our friends Juan and Chris from Mexico are going to be joining us for New Years so hopefully it will be warm enough for their Mexican Blood! Either way it is like Chris says; "It is not the place or the weather, it is the company"!


That was the temperature in Kingsville on Thursday afternoon. In the late afternoon though the clouds moved in and it was chilly this morning. This solved the dilemma of "shall we go or shall we stay?"

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The “Famous” Kings Inn

Tonight we went for dinner at the “Famous” Kings Inn just a couple of miles up the road from us. This was another place where you order by the pound and after a little research on the Internet this morning, we knew to order a pound of fried shrimp and a sliced avocado salad to share from the “verbal menu” the waiter recited to us. The shrimp came with a huge plate of french fries, some sliced tomatos and some spicy home made tartar sauce.

The tartar sauce is interesting. Every restaurant prides itself on it’s recipe and always serves a bowl of it with crackers to nibble on while you wait for your food. This one was dark in colour and had a bit of a bite to it. Norma did not like it too much but I found it quite delicious.

The “shrimp” were HUGE! There were nine of them on the plate to make up the pound and Norma managed three of them (one more than I thought she could handle) and I had to force the last of my six down as I refused to leave any of these morsels on the plate! The avocado salad was also delicious, a lettuce and tomato affair with at least two perfect avocados sliced on top with a very nice oil and vinegar dressing. Try as I might, I could not finish it. We passed on the key lime pie, paid the $34 tab and headed home.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Baffin Bay, Texas

We left Brownsville this morning heading for Corpus Christi. A couple of days ago we were talking to someone in the pool who told us about a nice RV park on Baffin Bay that we should think about. It is a County Park and is reasonably priced so we decoded to stop for a couple of nights. The daily rate is $23 and includes WIFI but there is no pool.

We asked the woman who checked us in about restaurants and she told us about a couple. We went to one of them, The Baffin Bay CafĂ©, for a late lunch. They sold fresh seafood by the pound so we shared a pound of fried oysters, a pile of onion rings, cole slaw and hush puppies. For $23 total there was more than the two of us could eat and we are doing without dinner tonight. Tomorrow night we will go to the other place, The “Famous” Kings Inn, where people come from hundreds of miles away to eat.

I forgot my camera today but will make up for it tomorrow. Anyway, here we are:

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Croft's Pizzeria

I just discovered I can cook great pizzas in our convection oven! We have never experimented with the Apollo Half Time Convection Oven that came with the motorhome. It works great as a microwave but that was all we ever did with it. Today I bought an oven ready pizza and tried it out. Sixteen minutes later I had a perfectly cooked, bubbling, two and a half pound pizza! Sometimes I amaze myself!
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Great Starchoice Aiming Aid

I have probably mentioned this site before but it is worth repeating. Set the satellite as "Starchoice 107W & 111W", put the cursor on your location on the map and you are given your aiming information. It works on all systems like Bell, Dish etc. Slick! (I guess now the expression is "Sick")

Rio Bravo del Norte

In Mexico it is the Rio Bravo del Norte and in the USA it is the Rio Grande. No matter what you call it, a short section of this river between El Paso (Juarez) and the Gulf of Mexico sets the line separating the United Mexican States and the United States of America. No, those of you north of the border, you are not the only “United States”!

In the years prior to the Civil War, the Rio Bravo was used as an escape point for fleeing slaves as slavery was abolished in Mexico in 1828. It is now being used as a crossing point for Mexican workers trying to find work in the USA.

The river flows right beside our RV park and the boat ramp here is used by the Border Patrol for launching their rubber boats which patrol the river. Sitting at the pool the other day a long time resident of the park told us one day shooting was heard from up the river and the Border patrol came to the pool and ordered everyone out of the pool and clubhouse and to the other side of a berm on the property. Another time she said a Suburban Van backed down the boat ramp in the middle of the night and began loading bales of marijuana that were floating down the river until they were interrupted by the Border Patrol. Many bales of the drug sank in the river and she says divers were collecting it for several days after. Humm, maybe they missed one..

Never a dull moment! Yes, that is Mexico on the other side.


Here is the pool and hot tub at the River Bend RV Park in Brownsville, TX. The pool is kept at 84 and I don't know the temperature of the hot tub but it is very warm! It is a great park at $171 per week and NO ANTS!
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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Point Isabel Light

Point Isabel was a strategic area during the Civil War. Whoever controlled the area also controlled the shipping point into Mexico where smuggled cotton found it’s way to Europe. I decided not to climb the fifty some stairs and the ladder at the top but now am regretting it. Oh well, there will be more lighthouses this trip!


Cart Rumble

This is MY cart. You got a problem with that?
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