Sunday, February 21, 2010

Hawaiian Luau

This is absolutely the cruelest thing we have done as bloggers and maybe in our entire lives. With most of our friends and family experiencing the worst winter many can remember in the Midwest we choose this point in time to post an entry on our Hawaiian Luau experience at the RV Park we are staying at. To put this into perspective Iowa has set a snowfall record with at least 4 inches of snow on the ground for 55 days. Council Bluffs/Omaha has had 75 days of at least one inch of snow on the ground. Kansas City is way ahead of the normal snowfall rate and the temperatures have been below normal. At one point the normal is 24 days above 50 degrees and they have only three days 50 or higher. To make matters worse the Kansas City area was hit with an ice storm and snow while we were at our Luau : )

After all that discouraging weather news we would like to state how much we like the Destiny Phoenix RV Resort. We chose this because friends of ours, Bob and Wilma, come to this park every year escaping the Kansas City weather but this park stands on it own as a great place to visit. There are activities galore so no excuse to be bored. We have been to a potluck and a Hamburger Night put on by the park along with the Luau. For the first few days we just enjoyed the weather and went to Wal-Mart our home away from home.

There were 150 of us at the Luau and it was a great time. The start time was 4:00 p.m. which meant you needed to get there about 3:45 p.m. Since there were so many of us they kept us out of the area until it started so by the time the gates opened there was a very long line. Well, here I go again, as we sat there for about an hour chatting with the other people at our table it got very hot since we were sitting in the sun by the pool. Jo luckily remembered a little hand fan which she used to keep cool. We know we are getting a lot of sympathy from our friends and family up north right about now.

A little after 5:00 p.m. they brought the food out and man it was good including the meat from two pigs along with good salads and dessert. We went table by table so as to not swamp the buffet tables, luckily we were about in the middle but there was no worry, there was way more food than we could ever have eaten although Bob made a great effort going back for seconds. As we were finishing the feast the sun was setting and we got this excellent photo.

No Hawaiian Luau would be complete without an Elvis Show. The Elvis impersonator did a two act show, the first act was dedicated to the movie "Blue Hawaii", other Elvis movies and lesser known Elvis songs. Act 2 was dedicated to the 70's and the Aloha from Hawaii television special. It was a very enteraining show and we enjoyed ourselves. Our friend Wilma even got Lei'd by Elvis right in front of us! So about 8:40 p.m. the evening concluded which is the latest we have headed back to our site in a long, long time. But this time was a short walk from the club house.

Till next time,

Bob & Jo

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Unbelievable Weather

And we mean UNBELIEVABLE! After 3 months of unseasonably cool temperatures we now have temperatures in the mid-70’s for as long as the long rang forecast goes. The only change is whether sunny or partly cloudy each day. We are in Goodyear Arizona just west of Phoenix. A valuable lesson we have learned is that during an El Nino the best place to be is probably where we are now. This is not saying that El Nino did not impact this area because it did but it was lot less of an impact than in Texas where we spent the majority of the last 3 months. Another lesson learned is to pick an area and stick with it instead of starting out in Texas and then heading to Phoenix.

One brief story indicates how unbelievable the weather has been, for the very first time in February we had to hunt for shade to park the truck while shopping so it would not be too hot IN February!!

We will be here for 5 weeks until mid-March at which time we will begin our one week at a time sojourn back to the Kansas City area. It sure is different when you will be some place for over a month versus one week. We put the tire covers on when we got here which we usually do not do. There is also a great lack of urgency to do sightseeing when you know you will be there for awhile.

We still are adapting to this life style but we were able to do a couple things that made it feel more like home. First we brought home a take and bake Papa Murphy pizza and cooked it in the propane oven. We were surprised at how well it worked. Next we want to try a medium sized pizza since that size will fit into our convection oven. This is huge since we did a Papa Murhpys pizza once a week while living in the old Stix and Brix. The other thing we accomplished was buying a bird feeder and mounting hardware to hang the bird feeder from our ladder that goes to the roof. The cats really love seeing the birds and we do too. Don’t know if it was the bird feeder or not but a road runner jumped up on the wall that is at the rear of our site. This is the first road runner that either one of us has seen.

We are working on the Texas Hill Country update and hope to have that completed and posted shortly. Since we will be visiting Benson Arizona and Deming New Mexico on our way home we will combine the two weeks at each location into one post.after we have been there on our trek to the Kansas City area.

We have friends and relatives that we plan to see while in Goodyear, plus the park has so many activities that we will be busy until mid-March.

Till next time,

Bob & Jo

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Friday, February 5, 2010

San Antonio 2010 Stopover

We are currently in Benson Arizona continuing our westward trek to the Phoenix area. Our first stop after Rockport was San Antonio where we stayed for a week. This is where we encountered the coldest temperatures that we have had so far while full-timing. The lowest low was 18 degrees which requires a little preparation. Bob made sure that the fresh water tank had some water to get us through the night and enough propane for the furnace. While it was still light Bob turned off the water, drained and put the hose in the heated underbelly we call the “basement”. We then ran off of the water pump and freshwater tank until it was warm enough the next day to put the hose back on. This continued for 3 days as temperatures were from 18-22 each night. We did notice that the pressure in the shower was better if we were running off of the water pump instead of city water and the pressure regulator. Bob will be looking into getting a better pressure regulator at our next Camping World stop. The water pump is noisy so we are hoping a better water pressure regulator will do the trick.

In spite of the low overnight temperatures it warmed up during the day enough for us to do a little sightseeing. Both of us had always wanted to see the Alamo so we did that the day after we arrived just south of San Antonio at Braunig Lake RV Park. What stood out to us was the bravery exhibited by everyone, especially the couriers, because everyone had to know that no reinforcements were coming yet they stayed. The couriers were sent out to plead for help and they kept coming and going, one guy three times. The couriers kept coming back into the Alamo when they really knew the bad news. We heard an outdoor lecture by a historian and another lecture inside the church which has become the symbol of the Alamo. The outdoor displays were good as well as the displays in the Long Barracks Museum. In the Long Barracks Museum we saw a rifle in a glass case that has a great story. While Davy Crockett served as a Representative for Tennessee in the House of Representatives the Pennsylvania Legislature gave him a rifle to honor him. Fast forward a number of years and the Pennsylvania Legislature gave a replica of that rifle to Fess Parker who played Davy Crockett on television. Fast forward a few years and Fess Parker donates the rifle to the Alamo Museum, great story!

Another great story we learned at the Alamo is that Phil Collins is obsessed with the Alamo. He has a great collection and had a diorama of the battle built. This diorama is in the History Building across the street from the Alamo and he narrates a 15 minute light show detailing the battle. There are other exhibits in the History Building which make it a must see while in San Antonio.

Usually another must see while visiting San Antonio is the Riverwalk. One thing we did not know until this trip is that the Riverwalk is drained once a year for clearing debris, cleaning and maintenance. Although the shops were still there and it was an interesting walk it was a little disappointing for the Riverwalk to be drained while we were there.

What we like so much about full-timing and traveling around the country is that we are learning so much we never knew before. We were excited to find out that Mission San Juan Capistrano, one of the five Missions in San Antonio, is still an active Parish, in fact the Alamo is the only Mission that is not an active Parish. Because of this we visited Mission San Juan Capistrano on Saturday so we could tour the grounds and then attend Mass. Parking was very confusing because all the signs directed you to the National Park Service parking lot which closed at 5:00 p.m. the same time that Mass started. Luckily we saw that sign and asked the Park Ranger where to park and moved our car before Mass started. Five minutes before Mass started the Priest made an announcement about the parking and there was a mad dash to move cars.

Although the weather did not cooperate we were able to see a few sights and eat at a couple of places of note during the week we were there.

* Landry’s – on the Riverwalk as mentioned before is one of the better seafood places to eat.

* Tom’s Burgers – located near the Braunig Lake RV Park in Elmendorff Texas serves up a great burger. Being so close to the park we were able to eat there a couple of times.

We certainly will be coming back to San Antonio sometime in the future because there are still a lot of places to see and food to sample. Here are things we missed and will try to do next time:

* Visit the other San Antonio Missions

* See the Riverwalk when there is a river to walk by

* Museum of History in Hemisfair Park

* Botanical Gardens

* Seminole Canyon State Historic Park

* Governors Canyon

* Tour St. Joseph's Catholic Church

* Military Base free museum

* Eat at The Cove (a diner, car wash, and laundry all in one), Tip Top CafĂ© , Big Lou’s Pizza

Photos from this trip have been added to

Till next time,

Bob & Jo

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