Saturday, December 27, 2014

December 2014

We stated December off in Nacogdoches/Lufkin so we took time to see some of things around there.  There is a place call Millard Historical Village that we went and spend an afternoon at.  This place has a lot of history that ties back to Houston in that Albert Thomas’ wife is the one that established the village.  It is historical homes from in and around the Nacogdoches area that she preserved and had moved to create the village.  It was interesting in that there is an old school house and the rules that had to be followed by teachers during the 20’s and rules for the students were so needed in today’s world.  The homes are all from the old Victorian Era and so are the furnishings.  We enjoyed the walk through the village and spending time talking to the manager.  Again history at its best.

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We then made our way back to Houston so we could be with our kids and grandkids for Christmas.  We went to Trader’s Village Market and RV Resort for the first two weeks.  We found the park to be really nice and was quite considering where it was located.  It also gave us a chance to try to sell the rest of things we had in storage.  After paying storage fees for over a year and not needing or missing any of the items its was time to get rid of them.  We were really surprised as we did well at the flea market and was able to go down to a 5x5 storage shed.  If you need a place to stay on the northwest area of Houston near Cypress we would recommend Trader’s Village and an extra bonus if you are there during the weekend you can get into the flea market and shop your heart’s desire.

Of course we had fun times with our grandkids.  We always have to have lunch with Kylie and Clayton at their school each time we are in town and this year we were invited to their school Christmas parties.  We also have Kylie’s cheer competitions, so we stayed busy. 

Kylie turned 7 years old this year so we also had her birthday party.  She is such a little social butterfly and got so many presents.  It is fun watching her grow up.  She is the youngest of our grandkids and we just don’t know where the time has gone.

Marlin and Judy Cook who we park hosted with at Bentsen State Park last winter was working their way down to the valley again this year so they stopped in for a visit.  We had moved over the Spring Creek again for our free week in December and they joined us there.  It was great to be with them again but was sorry that Judy had to fly back to Maine for a family problem.  We got to “babysit” Marlin though and had a great time taking him with us to church for Christmas program and then we all went to locate sport bar to watch the Texans game.  Marlin had to watch the Patriots though – lol


Trying to get all our kids and grandkids together for Christmas is getting harder each year. I have to thank Lisa (daughter-in-law) for doing such a wonderful job and getting things planned.  With some of the grandkids being in their twenties and having a son that is a firefighter it is not always easy to get schedules together.  This year we had family Christmas early on the 21st as schedules just were everywhere.  Andy fried the turkey and we all brought the sides.  The young kids exchange names and then we have a white elephant with all the older group.  As always it is fun and so wonderful to see all the kids.  Thanks again Andy and Lisa for such a wonderful job!!

With Christmas over with our family it time has come now for us to set out on the road for the next year and on to our new adventures.  We said all our goodbyes for the year and headed back to the coach to head out.  First stop – McKinney Falls State Park in Austin and Christmas Day with my cousin that lives in the area.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014


Fred and I left Lake Fairfield and headed for the Lufkin area.  We were staying at a COE park near Huntington called Hank’s Creek.  The drive there was really neat and I drove most of the way.  Up and down hills and around curves.  I felt we were on a roller coaster most of the time but it was great and I really enjoyed getting a chance to drive the coach.  Of course all the fall color made it a neat drive also. 








Hank’s Creek was a really nice place.  Very clean with water and electric only, but the sites were roomy and had great views of Lake Rayburn.  The cell phone and WiFi service was not that great and was spotty, but the park was wonderful and quiet. 

This was our first year in the coach for Thanksgiving.  Last year we were with family in Mississippi so we really did not have Thanksgiving in our coach.  This year was just Fred and I; so I just planned Cornish Game Hens, but with all the other fixings.  It was fun cooking everything in the coach and I think I used all my cooking items, but not the stove or the oven in the coach.  I cooked the hens and dressing in the NuWave Oven and they turned out just right, used the crock pots, my electric skillet and the induction burner for everything else.  Timing was fun but all got done and we had a great Thanksgiving outside in the woods and enjoyed every minute of it. Oh and as you will see Fred worked real hard helping in finding that right football game to watch – lol.   Making memories is what all this is about.

After Thanksgiving we went into Huntington where Fred got a chance to visit with his cousin and uncle that he had not seen in a long time.  It was a great visit and interesting listening to stories and their memories of the years past. 

and the beats goes on . . . .

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

November Travels–State Park Visits

Looking at the area there were a number of state parks in the area and in our plans to hit each and every state park in Texas we started making our plans.

Our first visit was to Dinosaur Valley State Park.  Going here was for my grandson, Hunter, as he wants to be a paleontologist.  We got all types of pictures and information about the park now his mom and dad is going to have to take him, which I am sure they will love us for bring all the information to Hunter.  There is some great camping spots both for tent and RV parking with a real nice day use area.  There are all types of hiking trails everywhere at this park and they do take you along the trail that dinosaurs used years ago.  There are places along the trails and in the river banks where you can actually see the footprints of the dinosaurs from years back.  If you are interested in the history of dinosaurs and love to hike this is a great park for you.  There are at least 12 trails to take that can take you up to 20 minutes to 3.5 hours to hike, so the trails are set up for the beginner to the experienced hiker. 

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Dinosaur Valley State Park

One of neatest thing about going to these area is also getting to visit a lot of the small towns around the parks.  Dinosaur Valley State Park is located just outside of a town called Glen Rose.  This is the county seat for Somervell County and was established in 1849.  It is still one of the old square courtyard towns and is really unique.  There are a lot of old buildings that are antique stores, general stores, and local places to eat.  There is a couple of museum there about the history of the area which are very interesting and some of the things brought back a lot of old memories for Fred and me.  It is a beautiful old town, one if you are in the area you will want to see.

The next state park we went to, I must admit it is probably for the DSCN7631most part the prettiest park we have seen.  As we drove into the town outside the park we were not impressed and really did not think the park would be much.  We headed up a “mountain” (at least for central Texas) and more we traveled up the scenery changed and wow we were shocked.  As you drive into the park it is really nice and the visitor center sits on the edge of tree line cliff.  The camping area has full hookup for RVers and has great tent camping area.  The screen shelters are down the cliff and overlook the lake and are just beautiful.  The park sits around Lake Meridian which has some great fishing.  It is just amazing to drive up a “mountain” and find such a great lake at the top with such a wonderful state park around it.  There is also some great birding in the area.  Again a wonderful state park to visit and stay at.  I got so caught up in looking around that I forgot to take pictures – which is unusual for me

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Meridian State Park

The next day we started out again determined to get to all the state parks in the area we could.  This time we headed to Cleburne State Park.  Again this was a very unique place in that this is a spring fed lake at the top of the hill with a lot of beautiful views.  The lake has great fishing and there are beavers up near the spring.  Great RV parking sites with tent pads and screen shelters also available.  The drive there is really neat and is up the hill from the City of Cleburne.  There are lots of bike and hike trails that are marked and a great group area also.  Another stop if you can and in the area, you will not be sorry.

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Cleburne State Park

After being at Lake Whitney for two weeks we finally got the slide to the coach fixed and reverted back to our original planned trip.  Even though we had not gone to the places we planed we got to see other places we had not and really enjoyed the area.   Our plan now was to head to Fairfield Lake State Park so onward and forward.


We had been to Fairfield and drove around before so we were somewhat familiar with the park.  It is a large park on a even larger lake that sits by an electric plant.  Because of this the waters of the lake stay warm year round so the fishing is great.  There are even some fishing tournament here during the middle of the winter as the water is warm enough the bass still are biting.  The park itself is just great with lots of wildlife and the RV sites are large.  We stayed here for four days and loved our visit there.  There are again lots of hiking and biking trails, great fishing just from the bank and wonderful sunsets.  You will enjoy your stay here as it is just off I-45 at the through the City of Fairfield.

This was the last state park we were going to hit on this trip as we now had to go into Nacogdoches/Lufkin.  To be continued. . . . . . .

Thursday, December 18, 2014

November Travels–Part I

Leaving Advanced

Time has come and we are hitting the road for a month long road trip just to get out.  We have been in one place just too long while Fred went through Chemo, we just had to get away for awhile.  We made plans to hit a few state parks in the panhandle, so we are not going to leave Texas just yet.  Our plans were to go to Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Caprock State Park, Abilene State Park, Fairfield Lake State Park and Mission Tejas State Park. 

We left Spring Creek Park heading to Waxahachie for our first night.  On the way a friend who was a park host at Lake Whitney State Park reminded us she was there, so we moved to Plan “B” and decided to go to Lake Whitney State Park our first night.  When we got there Shujen was still out shopping so we got our site and started hooking up for the night.  Fred tired to put out the living room slide but it just would not go out and then he notice hydraulic fluid all over the ground.  He could not find anything wrong so we decided we decided we better see about getting someone out to look at it as we did not want to “really” break it.  The park told us of a mobile RV guy they see in the park a lot so we contacted him.  He stated it would be morning before he could get out, since we were not in a hurry and if we had to stay another night so what.   The night was fun as we never got the living area slide out and with us and the three dogs it got crowded to say the least.   Jason Mobile RV Repairs was there at 8:30 am, as he said he would be, the next morning.  After checking everything out he told us the Front Ram/Slide Cylinder was broke and would have to be replaced.  He was really a great mobile repair person and showed Fred everything, got the slide out for us and pulled the part to ensure it was broken before he order it.  Well our one night stay turned into a 2 week stay at Lake Whitney State Park so now we move to Plan “C” for this trip.  We moved sites as the first site was just water/electric since we were going to be there only one night but now the stay was longer so we needed the sewer hookup.  We got moved and could not get the bedroom slide out this time.  We called Jason back out and he help us get both slides out and the jacks level as our hydraulic were all mess up.  Once we got all out and settled in and decided to make the best of where we were and started planning sightseeing trips.  To my surprise there was a lot around to see. 

Lake Whitney State Park was just wonderful and is a great place to stay for a while.  They have both just water/electric sites and FHU sites along with tents and screen shelter places.  There is a great beach area with a big picnic/day use area and one of the largest group camping area I have seen.  We were really impressed with the park and will add it to our list to park host at some point.  If you are traveling down I-35 and are looking for a place around the Hillsboro area I would highly recommend it.  Plan to stay a couple of days as you will not regret it!!

We had to find a place for Fred to watch his Texans games as there would be two Sundays and we did not get Texans games on the locate channel in Whitney – there was only the “Cowgirls” games and he was not going to have that.  Shujen showed us a local sports bar called “End Zone” which had only been open for a short period of time in Whitney so we headed there.  What a great place, the owners were Texans fans also so we had a great time watching the games with them on both Sundays.  The hamburgers there was some of the best I have ever had and were so big it was hard to eat the entire burger.  I would highly recommend you stop in there if you ever find yourself in Whitney and tell them that Fred and Charlotte sent you.

So we started sightseeing trips out in the area to see what there was.  I did not realize, but Lake Whitney is where a dam has been built across the Brazos River.  I never realized there was a dam on the Brazos, so we took off to see it.  There were numerous parks around the lake and the dam is really neat.  We were really surprise at how beautiful and unique the area was even during the middle of fall/winter. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

November - our life has started again


November 1st at 10:30 am we were released from “captivity” as we pulled out of Advanced RV Resort and started our life as a full time RVer again -  lol.  Well that was the way we were feeling.  Advanced is a nice place and was great for what we needed but we are so ready to get out and travel again. 

We headed to Rambling Vines RV Park in Magnolia, TX for a couple of days to see friends, go thank our church friends for their help and just to get away from sitting.  Rambling Vines was an okay place and was good for just  a couple of nights but not a place that you would want to stay for a while.  There are only two places for “overnighters” and all the others are full time residence, but then again this area is not on the main drag and you would not be in the area unless you had a reason.  We were backed up to the road so road noise was a major factor, but for two nights we survived.

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Morning of November 3rd we headed over the Spring Creek Park, with is a County Park that has full hookups and is free.  You are allowed one week a month here and it is really a great park.  It is maintained by the county and is a large city park.  This place is really great and is normally our go to park when we are in the area. 

While at Spring Creek we attended grandkids soccer, baseball games, had lunch with them at school and then to Show Off for cheer competition season.  The week was busy and we were excited getting ready for our travels again. 


Lunch with Kylie






                                                                  Lunch with Clayton

Before we left for our north Texas adventure we went to the Meet and Greet of RVers at the Luby’s in Conroe.  Was a good time and we got to met some of the people that we have been talking to on the many Facebook pages.  It is really great to finally put a face to the name and many of us are going to end up in Arizona for the winter so we will be able to meet up again.

In checking out all the systems on the coach before the trip, our generator was not working, but Jason came out and got that working for us so now we were head the the panhandle.  Our plans are to go to Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Caprock State Park, Lubbock, Abilene State Park, Fairfield State Park, Mission Tejas State Park and then back to Houston for Christmas.  Off we go- YEA!!!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Light at the end of the tunnel

October was our last month of “captivity” to the monster call chemo treatment and cancer.  We stated the month off with Fred getting his last chemo treatment YEA!!! We had been told that he was going to get a new doctor but thank God it did not happen.  We have been with Dr. George through the entire process and was so happy when we found out that he was still there – well at least for a couple of weeks, but it was long enough for us to get Fred’s last treatment.  He now has his three weeks of pills and a couple of doctors visits before the end of the month and we will be free from this nasty thing called cancer that has had us tied down this year.  We are so looking forward to moving on with our life and getting back to what we want to do – travel!!

Sunday after treatment, Fred was feeling well so we took a couple of hours and went to the Greek Festival here in Houston.  Neither one of us had been before so it was something different to do.  Of course the food was great and it was fun, but the heat soon got to him and we headed home

Clayton’s (grandson) baseball season has started so we tried to make as many of his games as we could this month.  He is so busy between baseball games on Tuesday and Thursday nights and soccer games on Saturday plus practice on other nights, he is always on the go.

 We tried to make as many of the Saturday games as we could but with all that was going on this month we only made it to a couple.  It is so much fun watching him.

Not that Baseball and Soccer was enough, his Uncle Brian runs marathons and some triathlons.  He had one that was in the neighborhood where Clayton’s lives and afterwards he told Uncle Brian he wanted to do one.  So for his birthday Uncle Brian got him an entry into a kids triathlon that was local.  His sister, Kylie, was going to do it with him, but she got sick and only swam in the first leg before she had to withdraw.  She has her cheer competition coming up the first of next months so she and mommy thought it was best to withdraw rather than get sicker.   He really enjoyed it and did quite well in it; I do believe the kid found his favorite sport.  I was very surprise at how fast he ran in the running sections.  He is ready to go again.  We were really proud of him.

Fred also got the opportunity to spend time with our other grandson at his cub scout campout at Camp Bovay.  He was only scheduled to spend on night as Brian had a marathon.  Friday afternoon Brian has a major problem at work thus he was running late so Fred went ahead and took Hunter out to the campout and just decided to stay for the night.  He had gone with Hunter a couple years ago so was knew more of what to expect.  They had a great time and as with all our grandkids it is always fun to experience things with them.

Even though we spend a lot of time with our grandkids we did find some time for us.  We spend one day and went out to Brazos Bend State Park that is close by.  It is one of my favorite state parks and is full of wildlife and trails.  The weather this month has been really nice not to hot or cold so we spent the day just hiking and enjoying being outdoors.  The park makes me feel at home with all the alligators – lol.  If you get the chance stop by as they have full hook ups and you will enjoy the peace at the park and all the hiking.  They also have one the largest observatory in the area and you can really get some great view of the skies and stars.

We also got invited to be judges at the Brazoria County Fair this month.  This was a first for both Fred and I but we had a great time doing it.  There were eight tables of judges and each table had six judges.  From there the top two entries were sent over to the final Judge Table and the winner was determined.  We were on a initial judge table and glad we were for our first time.   One day we had fajitas, beans and that evening we did the “feast”.  I have never eaten so much fajitas or beans as I did that day.  It was only the meat but we have 15 different entries at our table; I was surprise at how many entries tried to pass off brisket meat as fajitas and that no one used any salt in their beans.  If you complete remember to use salt in your beans, there would have been some better taste to a lot of the beans if there had been salt – lol.  In the feast we did not know what we were judging until the container was open as each entry was the contestants view of what a “outdoor feast with the family” would be.  We had everything from tacos, to grilled fish, to surf and turf to gumbo.  We had 18 entries that night.   

The next day we had chicken and brisket to judge.  We did the chicken that morning and then had the brisket in the afternoon.  There were 20 entries of chickens and about 20 entries that we sampled.  For the most part it was good, but it is surprising how many different ways people can cook their chicken and brisket.  I must say I only had to “indispose” myself of only two entries thank goodness.  This is certainly something we would do again if the opportunity arises.

Have some pictures of the fair itself as you are not really allowed to take pictures of the judging.   Hope you enjoy.

We even took some time this month to meet some of our Facebook RV friends as they traveled through Houston this month.     Adam and Christine Koeppel were traveling through for a wedding on their way to Arizona and were staying just across the ship channel from where we are at.  We made arrangements to meet up at their coach one afternoon.  Sharon and Kenneth Nelson were also there and we all had a great visit.  Adam has done a lot of fabulous work in remodeling of their coach, makes me excited to get to work on ours.  Sharon and Kenneth have the fifth wheel but just have not headed out fulltime yet, making plans but the time has not been just right for them.  We all had a great visit and Fred and I are looking forward to meeting up with them again while we are in Arizona.

As you can see we have not just sat and waited our time out while we were in having to stay put in Houston.  We did what we could on those days that Fred was feeling well and stayed shut in on those days that he was worn out and needed to rest.  We both are looking forward to traveling again and are anxious for November.  We will be doing some traveling around Texas during November and will be back in Houston for some doctor appointments and Christmas with our kids in December.  But we are off right after that for parts unknown.  We will keep you updated as our travels continue!!