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May, 2008
May 1 - 4, 2008
Thursday, May 1. We‚??re back on perma vacation status again. Although there was no alarm going off this morning, neither of slept past 7:00. It was a pretty mellow morning, getting ready to move. Frisco and I had a nice, long walk/run along the beach road this morning to start the day off.

We pulled out at around noon and headed for the gas station. There is always debate in the RV community as to whether to have a full tank or an empty tank when you will be sitting for several months. Last fall, we decided to have an empty tank. The price of gas was in the $3.00/gallon range back then. Today, we filled up at $3.59/gallon and very quickly dropped $156.00. Regardless, it felt good knowing that it wouldn‚??t be long before we were actually going down the highway.

Our destination today was a whole mile and a half from Watersedge, to the Bay View RV Park, one of the parks in our membership group. Manuel and Lenore invited us to stay longer at Watersedge but we are just so ready for a change of scenery. This place certainly gives us that, although the quality standard is much less than where we just came from. The view out our front windshield is a small lake, obstructed only by a large cluster of live oak trees. The buildings are old and have a fresh coat of paint, but that doesn‚??t quite cover up the years of use and lack of upgrading. The roads are pitted and broken down. Despite this, I think we will be enjoying it for the next week or so.

I took Frisco for a little walk around the park and found a cluster of people standing around, the men were wielding shovels, trying to find a large snake that had just crawled near a 5th wheel trailer. Nobody had identified it although that had ruled out the Coral and Copperhead. One lady had gotten a picture and it looked like it had a diamond pattern. Oh boy, that gives me a real good feeling, although I had already read that there were snakes in the area. I also read that there is an alligator living in the lake, but that it mostly hangs out on the other side in a reedy area along the shore. Guess we will have to keep our eyes open.

After settling in, taking a walk around the place, and just getting ready to fix a *bleep*tail, Jim and Diane stopped by to check out our new digs. We sat and gabbed for a while with them. Dinner was a couple of delicious filet mignon, grilled new potatoes, and broccoli. We watched the last of the series, ‚??Carrier‚?Ě and then hit the sack. It is so dark around here that we actually needed to have a night light on.

Friday, May 2. We actually slept in this morning, until 7:30, went for a nice walk, showered and headed out the door to The Diner for breakfast. Had the usual greasy spoon type breakfast but it was good.

Since Mike has been having trouble with phone reception on his i-phone, we headed to Corpus Christi to the nearest AT&T store where they replaced his sim card. Hopefully that will work.

Back at the campsite with no wi-fi signal, we are sitting outside the motorhome in the shade. In just a short time, we have seen Egrets flying around the lake, Cardinals, an Eastern Bluebird, some Goldfinches, and a couple of other little birds that I haven't yet identified. There are also a couple of large blackbirds doing some type of mating dance that is quite entertaining - they puff up their feathers and strut at each other. What a reward!

Saturday, May 3. We finally get a chance to hang out for a few days with Hair and Judy in Corpus Christi. Partly because of them and how well they liked the area, we decided to come here for a few months, hoping to spend a bit of time with them. Unfortunately, neither of our schedules permitted it. I baked a batch of oatmeal cookies, we packed the car, and got to their house around noon. We proceeded to catch up on the latest news while sitting around the pool (although the sun had disappeared), had a few *bleep*tails, and Farkeled our way into the night. Judy fixed some delicious shrimp *bleep*tail for a mid-afternoon snack.

Later on, Hair cooked a marinated pork tenderloin and complemented the meal with parsley potatoes, asparagus, and watermelon-grape salad. Everything was delicious and we definitely enjoyed the company. After another game of Farkel, we watched the movie, ‚??Snatch‚?Ě with Brad Pitt, a story about a British gypsy fighter. I couldn‚??t stay awake but everyone else said it was a good movie.

Sunday, May 4. Hair fixed us a great breakfast and then he and I took Frisco for a nice, long walk through some of the Padre Island neighborhoods. We spotted at house that might be affordable for us and set up an appointment to take a look later in the afternoon.

At 1:00 we met a bunch of their friends on the beach for a Bocce Ball tournament. The weather was kind of cloudy and threatening rain, but before long there was a line of SUV's blocking the wind and 2 bocce courts were marked in the sand. Since there were about 8 teams, that meant that the eliminations took quite a while and it was close to 5:00 when we left there, the final 2 teams still playing their last game.

We met the real estate agent at the house and got a good look around. All of us were impressed and really liked it, but we left not feeling real strongly about doing anything that drastic right now. The house was recently remodeled and had beautiful tile floors, designer glass inside doors, a copper ceiling in the kitchen, nice layout, and the yard wasn't bad either. Since we haven‚??t quite decided what we want to do in the future, we are passing it by. It was fun to look at though.

Dinner was at Snoopy‚??s and was a nice burger place with a patio overlooking the water. We were all pretty tired by the time we got back, so the guys watched a movie and Judy and I hit the sack.
May 5 - 11, 2008
Monday, May 5. This morning, we went to IHOP for breakfast after a quick stop at the mall so I could make an exchange. Mike and I had our favorite Swedish Crepes served with lingonberries. Very tasty. We packed up and said goodbye, then headed back to Rockport for us. It was a wonderful weekend and we sure enjoyed the company.

Tuesday, May 6. I was awake pretty early this morning, so ended up getting the laundry started early too. We had a repair service come by to change the oil on the motor home and to repair the dash air conditioner. The found a part was damaged and replaced it, but it still only works on high (better than not at all). Guess we will have to pursue that at a later time.

Mike had a follow-up appointment with the doctor that did his colonoscopy and all is well with that - good news!

I got groceries this afternoon so we are all ready to head out. Jim and Diane came over for dinner tonight and Diane brought her special BBQ ribs and Mike and I complemented them with fried corn, red potatoes, cornbread, and brownies ala mode. All was good and Diane was certainly right about how good her ribs are. Yum! Yum! We had a nice time chatting until the mosquitos started to get to us, then we called it a night.

We've decided that we just might take off tomorrow, heading for San Marcos to meet up with Rita and Denny. We're certainly looking forward to that!
Wednesday, May 7
We got a slow start this morning, starting with a nice long walk through the park. There is so much wildlife around here. This morning I got right up close to a Little Blue Heron and was able to get a pretty good photo. We decided that we would pack up and head to San Marcos.

Before leaving, we stopped by to say hello and goodbye to Manuel and Lenore at Watersedge. We also stopped by the office here at Bay View to look into their long term leasing options for Western Horizons members. It looks like we could stay here for $200/month during the winter and we checked out some of the sites that were available. Will have to think on that one.

It was almost 12:30 by the time we hit the road. The drive was nice through some beautiful hilly country and we arrived at Pecan Park Campground on the San Marcos River at about 3:30 pm. There was a big old Bluebird sitting in front of the office as we came in, the Walkers. Pretty good timing I would say.

The park is very nice with large sites shaded by big pecan trees. Each site has a gravel pad for the RV, a nice sized concrete patio, and a picnic table. Scattered here and there are fire pits. The facilities are clean. It is costing us about $23/day.

It took a bit to get us both settled in. We're parked too close to the electric post (our storage doors won't open) and the Walker's had a hard time getting lined up. While directing Mike in, I ended up stepping in an ant hill and my right foot is covered with welts. Yuck! I think I might live, though. After hanging out for a few hours and getting the lay of the land, we all retired early.
Rockport to San Marcos, 167 miles
Thursday, May 8, 2008
What a nice day! Rita and I walked Frisco this morning, took him to play in the fenced in dog run. He had fun but would have had more fun if there were other dogs there to play with. Maybe another day.

Dripping Springs was our destination for lunch and we stopped at the Oak Creek Cafe and had a good sandwich, beans, and blackberry cobbler. We got to talked to a very friendly local man sitting at the table behind us. He gave us directions to the San Luis Spirits where our favorite vodka, Dripping Springs, is made. **Click Here for More Info** After lunch we drove there but were not able to have a tour, as the tours were by appointment only.

The plan had been to drive on to the LBJ ranch but decided to allow a full day for that type of tour. Instead, we headed back to Austin and toured the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum. It is the only free presidential library in the US today, as directed by President Johnson. **Click Here For More Info**

The exhibits were very interesting, included exhibits of his family throughout the years, Lady Bird's legacy throughout the years, the Civil Rights era, the 60's, and his years in the White House.

Mike and I fixed grilled redfish and sweet potatoes and Rita fixed a salad for dinner. A game of Farkel was the evening's entertainment.
Friday, May 9.
Yesterday, we all decided to rendezvous at 9:00 for a walk along the river path. We headed to the north and it wasn't far before the path ended and we had to turn back. Our walk along the river ended up being only about 15 minutes and it was quite hot by then so that was enough.

After hanging out and showers, we headed to Austin to Stubbs BBQ (a visit that was high on Denny's list. It was a good lunch. From there we went to the Texas State History Museum and got educated about the Texas history. It was a day for grade school field trips and the museum was full of kids and quite noisy. We toured the museum in reverse order, starting on the top floor and working our way down to the 1st floor. That helped quite a bit and we were able to hear the audio presentations when we wanted to.

We hung out at Walker's motorhome in the evening and had steaks, fried potatoes and onions, and salad for dinner.

The park has filled up and we were able to extend our stay until the 19th, as there is still a lot of the area that we want to see before we leave.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Today started with a phone call from Pat wishing me a Happy Mother's Day and we had a nice, long conversation. Mike and I talked to his mother shortly after that. Later in the day, as we were driving to Austin, Ben called with his Mother's Day wish. Talking to them made my day.

This afternoon we went to Ginny's Little Longhorn Saloon in Austin hear Dale Watson play. The place is just a small dive, crowded with people on the inside and almost as many outside sitting in lawnchairs and just hanging out. The band was crowded into a corner but was excellent, as expected.

While the band takes a break, the big attraction is Chicken Sh*t Bingo. A board over the pool table is covered with numbered squares and it has a chicken wire cage on it. Tickets are purchased for $2 each, feed is sprinkled all over the cage, the chicken is put in the cage, and whichever number it sh*ts on, the person holding that ticket wins the $100 prize. Keep Austin Weird.

For dinner, we went to the Austin Land and Cattle Company and had delicious steak dinners.
Fredericksburg Trip, 168 miles Monday, May 12, 2008
We got up early this morning and were on the road headed for Fredericksburg this morning. We took some farm and state roads through the hill country. Luckenbach was along the way so we stopped to see the crossroads post office, tavern, and dance hall that became famous when Willie Nelson sang a song about the place and hosted his 4th of July party there back in the 70s.

The National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg was our next stop. The museum included the Chester Nimitz Museum, the Pacific War Museum, a Japanese Peace Garden, and a guided tour of a Pacific Combat Zone. The museum is very nice and the tour guides were informed and easy to listen to. Click Here For More Info

A good German restaurant was the place for lunch where we enjoyed an outdoor dining area and some local music. We stopped at a few shops along Main Street before heading back. Poor Frisco was 8-hours in the motor home today. We will have to reward him with a nice, long walk tonight.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Rita and Denny made the decision to stay one more day, but would move to a pull-thru site later day so they could hook up their toad and be ready to go in the morning. We hung out together off and on throughout the day but all of us were ready for another day of taking it easy. We all got afternoon naps in.

This evening we got together for a dinner of grilled chicken, roasted onion, corn, and mashed potatoes. We sure have eaten well together. After dinner we took a walk through the park and stopped to let Frisco run at the dog run. He tore around there like a crazy dog but seemed to have lots of fun.

We said goodnight early and we all talked about what a nice time we have had together. Sure hope we will be able to do it again before too much time passes.
May 14 - 17, 2008
Wednesday, May 14. We woke up around 5:30 this morning to the sound of heavy thunder, Frisco's barking at it, and bright flashes of lightening. After laying in bed for a while, I got up to watch the storm but the worst of it had already passed us by. More storms are expected throughout the day.

Rita and Denny pulled out at 8:00 heading back toward KC. We were both dragging butt throughout the day, so didn't get much accomplished. The afternoon turned out nice, so sat outdoors enjoying the place. It's quiet around here with very few people in the park.

Thursday, May 15. We took Frisco for a nice, long walk this morning as it was cool and comfortable. Not much was accomplished today, as we sat around drinking coffee until almost 11:00.

The nearby outlet malls were just too much temptation, so we headed there and stocked up on undies and a pair of shoes. Mike bought a Zodiac watch but will be returning it today, as the band in not comfortable. I think we got out of there without too much damage done to the budget. Sorry, President Bush, but we're not rushing out to spend our rebate check too quickly.

Friday, May 16. I finally got my carpet cleaned. This is a project I have been wanting to do for 2 months but I didn't have the time or it was too humid or some stupid reason. Today was perfect; plenty of time, low humidity, nice breezes, and I had the energy. I do it with one of Bissell's Little Green Machines and it does a great job but takes a while on hands and knees.

While I worked on the carpet, Mike cleaned the car and ran some errands. Frisco is such a good little dog, we kept him tied up outdoors and he doesn't make a peep. He was real tired by the time we finished.

Allowing time for the carpet to dry, we decided to go look at Airstream trailers, something we have considered as a possibility for our full time lifestyle. The dealer up the road has several on display, so we thought it might be a good place to see all of their options. No way! They are way too expensive, we like the styling, but not that much. The storage capacity would be a major consideration, as our motor home can carry a lot more stuff. It's crazy but we just keep on looking for something different.

This park has filled up this afternoon and once again, there are very few sites available for the weekend. As we were walking Frisco tonight, he started to go crazy, tugging on the leash, yipping, all excited. I finally saw what he saw - 3 young armadillo making their way into the woods. Kind of exciting for us too.

Saturday, May 17. What a morning! We decided that today would be the day to trim Frisco's nails again. The vet gave us a prescription for a tranquilizer to help us with the project. We gave him the pill and 90 minutes later, he was behaving normal except a bit slow and staggering.

He still fought and fought, but I was able to get the back ones clipped. No matter what we tried, he wouldn't stay still for the front claws, so Mike restrained him while I clipped. I was able to make progress until the 9th nail and I nipped the quick, which started bleeding. That started another whole challenge of trying to get the bleeding stopped. To keep him from getting blood on the clean carpet or furniture, we put him in his crate. Even though he was sedated, he looked so sad, as if he had done something wrong. Darn!!

We feel so bad that we have to put him through this, just to get his nails trimmed. This method is going out the window. What a torture for the poor dog and for us too. I think that plain old perseverance, determination, being gentle and reassuring, and lots of treats will be the future method. Might even have to do one or two nails a day. Maybe some day we will win his trust and it won't be such a problem.

After all this, we didn't feel like we should be leaving him alone, so we took naps. I was sleeping great until some little yapping dogs woke me up.
San Marcos, TX to Temple, TX, 97 miles May 19 - 25, 2008
Monday, May 19. . Other than taking a drive around Canyon Lake and preparing to move on, yesterday was pretty uneventful.

This morning, we were on the road by 7:30, our destination being Ancira RV at Temple, TX where the dash AC will repaired (our fingers are crossed that it will really happen this time). It took us a little longer to hook up than we anticipated so we got started a little later than the planned time. For us, it was quite an accomplishment to be on the road by 7:30. The drive also took longer than we expected as we hit morning traffic in Austin.

Right now, we are sitting in the Ancira RV campground, the AC is running, I found an unsecured wifi hotspot and Mike is reading. They got the motorhome in this afternoon and the diagnosis was some broken parts and the AC is running cold, but not directing it to the right places. They ordered the parts and we opted to have them sent overnight (an extra $80) so they should be here by Wednesday. In the meantime, it is not costing us anything to stay here, so we're ok.

The weather is hot, hot, hot, up to 93 today and expected to be hotter tomorrow.

This evening, we went to Chili's for dinner and used the gift certificate that we got from Manuel and Lenore for Christmas. It was a very nice dinner and the drinks were pretty good too.

May 20 - 22, 2008
Tuesday, May 20. It was a hot, hot, day of waiting. We kept the motorhome cool by putting the awning down and hanging towels over the windows that were exposed to the sunlight. There definitely is no shade around us.

Speaking of the awning. After sitting in Rockport all winter and not being able to use the thing because of the wind there, it was filthy. Cleaning it became our project for the morning before it got too hot out.

Later in the afternoon when we had more shade, we washed the car and the dog. It was a good day to play in the water.

Wednesday, May 21. Another day of waiting. Our parts are due in later this afternoon and hopefully, tomorrow the repairs will be made. We got our grocery shopping out of the way this afternoon. It is too hot and humid, mid 90s to do any outdoor exploring, so we are just hanging out in the air conditioned motor home. It is boring!!

The traffic in this area is horrible. There is major construction along I-35 and also where it intersects with US-190. We are right in that area, so whenever you go somewhere there are major traffic backups. I've mapped out a way through some residential areas to avoid some of it when we leave here.

Thursday, May 22. Billy, the repair technician, was at our door at 8:30 this morning, ready to do our repairs. We secured the movable objects and were ready for him to take it away in about 15 minutes.

After breakfast at McDonalds, we drove to Belton Lake, just west of Temple. The lake is huge, a Corps of Engineers lake with about 15 parks located along the shoreline. We walked along a trail at Iron Bridge Park and saw a Roadrunner, vultures, a Green Heron, and a Swallowtail Butterfly. We found a nice spot under a tree and relaxed near the shore for a while.

Since we had lots of time to kill, we then headed southwest about 20 miles to Stillhouse Hollow Lake. It too is a Corps of Engineers lake that has 7 parks along it's shoreline. We drove as far as River's Bend Park, looked around, and then headed back to Temple.

Once again, we got caught up in the heavy construction traffic, looking for a place to find Frisco's dog food. PetSmart was located fairly easily but didn't have our brand. Backtracking to other areas where we had previously spotted a Petco, we finally located it and they had our brand. Naturally, we couldn't resist buying another stuffed toy and a bully stick for our spoiled little dog.

While having a bit of lunch, the call from Ancira RV came in, stating that the repair was completed. After paying them $189 ($100 deductible for our extended warranty and $89 for overnight shipping of the parts) we were out of there. Mike's estimate was at least $1000 for the repair - we're sure glad we have that warranty! It has been a very windy day, so we decided to spend one more night in their campground and will head out of here in the morning. All in all, it has been a good experience. They provided us with great customer service and for now, it appears that all is working well.
Temple to Livingston, TX, 180 miles Friday, May 23.
We finally made it, driving 180 miles east of Temple today after getting on the road around 10:30 this morning. The drive was nice with the exception of all of the pushy drivers that don't like it if you go the speed limit or under. Many of the Texas highways have a wide shoulder and driver's expect slower traffic to move over so they can get around you. Trouble is, they go around you whether it is a passing lane or not. It sure makes me nervous.

The roadsides were very attractive in this part of the state. They are rolling hills, very bright green, many live oak trees and wildflowers. Cattle and horse ranches were abundant.

As we drove along there was one casualty on this trip. It happened when a bird (not sure what kind but a good sized one) tried to fly across the highway just as we came by. The Bravo won that battle, too bad for the little bird.

Once we got to Livingston, we had to stop at Walmart to replace the 2 house batteries, since we haven't been able to get the generator started, even after Mike did such a great tune-up on it. The auto technician was very helpful and did all the work. Mike thought it was strange that Walmart charges $1.00 to replace a light bulb but there was not installation charge for the technician's 45 minutes of work to install the batteries. Another job taken care of, but in doing so it revealed a couple of other things that need to be fixed. The joys of owning a house - on wheels!

We will be staying at the Escapees Park, Rainbow's End ($12.50/day for Escapees members) for the next few days. It is an RVing club designed for full-timers and we have been wanting to check it out. Members get low rates on sites, some of the parks have leased lots, and there is a discount for associate parks. The park is very nice, the sites are nestled in among tall oak, pine and sweet gum trees.
May 24 - , 2008
Saturday, May 24. We both were so tired last night that we ended up in bed before 9:00 and both slept through the night. That sure felt good.

I got the vacuuming, dusting, floor scrubbing, bathroom cleaning, and some window washing done this morning. Mike took care of some chores outdoors that needed to be done. That too feels good.

It is HOT and humid around here, mid 90s with humidity at 85%. Had a nice conversation with Pat this morning. We went to Livingston to check out the town. Stopped at the Whistlestop Cafe for a not so good cup of soup but a delicious cherry cobbler. Also stopped at a couple of antique shops. There's not much to offer in Livingston.

Monday, May 26. Yesterday was kind of a do nothing day, just hanging out kind of day. I took care of the laundry this morning - it had been almost 2 weeks since I've done it and I had 4 loads to do. When we first started full timing, we didn't have enough clothes with us to make up 4 loads. Guess we've found we can carry a lot more.

Today is Memorial Day, so we went to the cookout that the park had at the club house. They had burgers with all of the trimmings, potato salad, beans, beverages, ice cream and watermelon for dessert. After lunch, we browsed the exchange library and both found a couple books of interest.

This evening, we sat with the neighbors, BJ and Nancy and gabbed for a while. Frisco really likes their dog, Victoria and wants to go there and play every chance he gets.

Tuesday, May 27. Today started with a tour of the Escapees Park system. We met up with our tour guides, Jim and Betsy and 2 other couples and heard the history of Escapees. A very interesting story that starts back in 1978 with Joe and Kay Peterson‚??s desire to live a life where they could be on the road, to share it with others and to make it easier for other people to enjoy the lifestyle. The name was chosen because it signified escaping from a conventional lifestyle to a more adventurous one. The acronym SKP stands for support, knowledge, and parking. Today, Escapees headquarters are based here and they have close to 100 employees, thousands of volunteers that help to make things work.

After hearing about the development, we were taken to the corporate office building where got to see the mail forwarding operation, the largest of its type in the United States. The nice thing about their mail service is that they will handle your mail exactly as you want it handled, sent to you with your specifications. We then met 2 of the corporate employees that told us how it all works. At the end of the 2-hour presentation, we were both quite impressed and paid the fees to join $70 ($60 annual dues and $10 administration fee). Not bad, for the use of any of their 8 parks, 11 co-op parks, and 1500 affiliate parks. Not only that, we saved $40 on this stay.

This afternoon we took a drive to see what we could see of Lake Livingston, a very large reservoir just to the east of us. This lake provides most of Texas with it‚??s drinking water. Unfortunately, the road did not take us very close to the lake. The town of Coldspring (named after the underground spring water) looked like an old Texas settlement. The historic part of the town included the old San Jacinto County jail building, school house, and several other little historic buildings. They were closed today, so we just drove around.

We also stopped at Wolf Creek County Park on the south end of the lake and at Lake Livingston State Park. We did learn that a fishing license is not needed in Texas state parks, as long as you do not fish from a boat. That is nice to know and we will keep that in mind for the future, as we have the equipment with us to fish.

It was a pretty laid back day. Threatening weather came through this afternoon, so we got a head start on packing up for leaving tomorrow by putting the awning up and tucking away the chairs.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
After a nice, long walk this morning, we hooked up the car and were on the road by 10:00. The route took us through the Big Thicket Preserve, traving on state and farm roads until we came to US 69. We traveled straight south until we could go no farther, then took a left on TX-82 that later became LA-82. We're not in Texas any more, that kind of feels good after being here for the last 7 months. It was easy to tell when we were in Louisiana by the condition of the road, much narrower and a bit rougher.

It wasn‚??t long before we smelled the good old Gulf of Mexico again, something we have both come to really enjoy. We also knew that we were in bayou country because we were surrounded by marshland all along the road, lots of Egrets enjoying the water and flying by. Signs of Hurricane Katrina were everywhere, since most of the buildings looked like new construction.

We stopped for the night at Holly Beach RV Park, that is just bouncing back after being completely devastated by Hurricane Katrina. According to the owner, everything was under water from the shoreline inland for 14 miles. How sad!! The price for the night was $32, a bit more than we have paid recently, but we felt it was fair, considering what they have been through.

We stopped to meet some of the neighbors that have been coming here for years and have homes not too far away from here. They shared stories of Hurricane Rita (the one that did the most damage here). It sounds as if everything was wiped out and you can see the evidence everywhere. Cement foundations, concrete steps, partial utility poles, etc are the only remnants of what was once here.

The one lady we spoke with told us that she had been coming here since the 50s, her family spent summers here. Back then, there was nothing but cottages. Over the years, they were made into regular homes - more for the hurricanes to destroy. Today, the homes going up around here are bigger and better built than before. I still wonder about how they might hold up.

Livingston, TX to Holly Beach, LA, 141 miles
Holly Beach, LA to Abbeville, LA, 101 miles Thursday, May 29, 2008
Frisco and I took a walk along the beach this morning. It's not very pretty, mostly due to large amounts of trash washed up or just left behind. There are signs posted that recommend people not swim there because of the high bacteria count. The water is not a pretty blue color either, but mostly a brown, rusty color. We did have a nice walk and I found several nice shells that will have to be soaked in bleach before I do anything with them. My best find of shells was right along the roadside in the ditch.

The route from Holly Beach to Abbeville was only 101 miles but it took us almost 3 hours. Just east of Holly Beach, we had to cross the shipping channel on the Cameron Ferry, a first time experience for us in the motor home. I called ahead to be sure we could take the ferry and was assured that eighteen wheelers could go on it, so we sure could. In addition to many cars and trucks, there were at least 3 eighteen wheelers on it at the same time we were - a huge ferry boat. We are both so glad that we took this route and not the interstate highway. Most of the trip, there was water on both sides of the road and just when it seemed that we were back on dry land, we would be surrounded by water once again.

There was still a lot of evidence of the hurricanes and a lot of new construction. Best of all was the terrain, from beautiful marshy lands to heavy, dense pecan forest and cypress trees. Many species of birds were seen along the roadsides including herons, egrets, roseate spoonbills, red-winged blackbirds, ducks, and many others that we couldn't identify. Also abundant were the wildflowers including bright yellow daisy-like flowers, canna lilies, water lilies, day lilies, water hyacinth, morning glory, colorful marsh grasses, and tall masses of an unidentified purple flower.

We pulled into Betty's RV Park ($15/day with our Escapees discount) in Abbeville, just before 2:00 and were greeted by Betty herself, a very friendly woman that invites her guests to "get caught up in Betty's web". The park is nothing fancy and has only 15 sites that include full hookups, cable TV, and free wi-fi, all for $15.27/day for Escapees (the membership has already paid for itself). We also learned that Betty's RV Park was voted in the top 25 RV parks in the United States in 2005. Wow!! It sounds as if we have a lot to look forward to around here. Click Here to view Betty's website.

At 4:00 we met up with Betty and most of the other people in the park for happy hour. Had a nice conversation, some cheese and crackers and pralines. We were invited to join Priscilla and David (from Baton Rouge) to Black's Oyster Bar for dinner and Cajun music. Couples from California and British Columbia also joined us. The band was Richard LeBouef and Detour. Richard is a practiced singer and accordian player and the band played more modern, untraditional type music that was lively and entertaining. Click Here to see Richard's website.

We had a nice time and sampled the good, catfish and stuffed shrimp for dinner. On the ride home, we talked about how nice it is to just meet people but feel comfortable enough to spend an evening with them - another real good thing about the RVing lifestyle. People are so friendly and welcoming - it seems that nobody is a stranger.

Click Here to read about Vermillion Parish Louisiana
May 30 - 31, 2008
Friday, May 30. Today's big adventure started with the purchase of 10 pounds of shrimp, fresh off the boat. Another couple in the park picked it up about 10 miles south of here. Mike and I proceeded to remove the heads from the critters (an ugly, stinky job), rinsed it several times in fresh water, and divided it up in bags to provide us with at least 5 meals.

The afternoon was spent at T.G. Thibodeaux's Honda dealership in New Iberia, where the brakes were checked (due to the warning signal that we received last week), oil changed, and transmission fluids flushed and changed, all to the tune of $400. The service was excellent and we were in and out in an hour and a half. Unfortunately, just as we got back to Abbeville, Mike started to feel a vibration in the steering wheel and front end. We'll have to take it back to have it checked out.

Back at the park, we joined several other couples for happy hour and ended up sitting there for 2 hours. Back at the motor home, I cleaned the shrimp while Mike made a salad for dinner. All was good!

Saturday, May 31. Another trip to the Honda dealer in New Iberia. The outcome was good, as they found one tire out of balance so they rotated all of the tires and balanced them. The return trip was much nicer. We drove some back roads back to Abbeville and saw some beautiful scenery along the way. Rich, green farmlands, well maintained homes and yards, and lots of birds.

This afternoon we went to St. Mary Magdalene square in downtown Abbeville to the annual Day Lily festival, where booths were setup with plants, arts, produce, and some foods. Across the street from the square was the historic train depot, so we stopped and checked that out too.

We joined the rest of the guests in the park for happy hour, then grilled some chicken, potato, and onion for dinner. Dinner was followed with a nice walk through the nearby neighborhood.

Created on 05/02/2008 04:48 PM by bridge
Updated on 06/05/2008 08:49 PM by bridge
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