Scooter racing

Scooter racing
After parking for the night, we'll still have time for a little racing

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Another Mystery Solved!

I have good news and bad news.

The good news is that I've discovered where all the socks go when they disappear from the dryer.

The bad news is that you’ll never see those socks again.  Sorry.....

Down here in Texas, everything is big but what we saw last week made my jaw drop!  They call them “Ropas” which is Spanish for clothes.  That is an understatement!!!  These are massive warehouses that are filled almost to the ceiling with clothes.  People scale these mounds of clothes like they are crawling up Everest.  When you have a pillow case full (you have to bring your own pillow case), they weigh the clothes and charge you by the pound.  Most is 25 cents a pound but the really high end stuff can go as high as 60 cents – depends on the pile you climb.  Oh yeah – and you get a 5 cent discount if you wear your badge.  So, if you have the agility of a billy goat, a high tolerance for the smell of dirty clothes, a name badge and 20 cents, you too can outfit yourself for the foreseeable future.

Just don’t expect to find your old socks.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

The Walk of Shame

We’re still having trouble with our timing.  Jackie and I felt quite smug that we had planned our schedules to the point where we could arrive at all of the scheduled events at least 10 minutes early.  So it came as quite a shock to find out that we were always the last to arrive.  Nothing compares to walking into a room and having 150 people stop talking en masse and stare at you as you do the walk of shame to try to find a seat.

In theory, every activity starts at 6:30 p.m.  In reality, most people arrive around 6 pm. (or earlier).  This explains why old people all seem to have dinner at 4 p.m.  I always thought it was just a sign of old age and felt kind of sorry for them.  I was wrong!   It turns out that all these old people have secret lives and the party starts at 6:30 (and ends promptly at 8 p.m.).  And if you want a seat, you’d better be there by 6 p.m. by golly.

In the last couple of weeks, Jackie and I have actually gone out to dinner at 4 p.m.  We have also given new meaning to the term “dine and dash”.  Crock pot cooking is now almost mandatory.  We’ve mastered the art of eating, cleaning up and getting out the door within 15 minutes.  This retirement business is exhausting!

Another skill we've (almost) mastered is the "wearing of the badge".  When we arrived, we were issued a name tag which is to be worn at all times and particularly if you are playing games that involve money (it's a law in Texas).  And we're talking serious money here - last night, for instance, I won $1.80 (USD) in two games of 31.  Jackie is the all time winner, though - she won $13.75 in quarters at Card Elimination.  And our big discussion, at Tripoli, was how pennies can get moldy in a sealed container and should you wash them or not.  Mind-numbing discussions, I know. No wonder we're exhausted!  Seriously, we've calculated that it costs us about $7.00 a week to pay for all the games.  Sadly we had not factored this into the budget but we're making do.

After a few (a lot) of false starts where we had to do a second walk of shame to go write our names on little scaps of paper, we've finally gotten to the point where we remember the badge 90% of the time.  Especially when we don't actually need it - like for ice cream, dominoes and snackers.

We still haven't mastered the concept of "snackers".  They just mysteriously appear at random events.  Obviously some people are getting the memo but we still never know if, where or when to bring snacks.  We are given a lot of leeway, though, since Jackie and I are considered the "young'uns" around here.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

December - Part 2.... Where did it go?

In mid-December, our sister Carm joined us here in Texas and we hit the ground running.  First stop was the Don-Wes Flea Market, one of the biggest in Texas.  The next day, we were off to see the Hidalgo Festival of Lights.  For $12 we got a roast beef dinner, a Christmas concert and a trolley ride around town to see over 3 million lights.  It was so spectacular that we went around a second time by trolley and then we went around by car!  Wow!

When we weren’t at potlucks, card games or Christmas shopping, we were busy sightseeing.  We enjoyed a “secret santa” gift exchange party, went Christmas carolling on a hay ride through both RV parks, followed of course by snackers.  Everything is always followed by snackers, it seems.   We even found time to decorate a gingerbread house.

Sand casle
forget snow drifts - we have sand drifts
One of our favorite side trips, of course, was South Padre Island (which, btw, was the last warm and sunny day we had…. More on this later).  We booked a harbor cruise to see the bottle nose dolphins and were treated to views of dozens of them.  That’s one thing off my bucket list.

Then it was Christmas eve and we spent over 3 hours opening gifts.  Christmas day was another spectacular dinner sponsored by the park.

Between snackers, potlucks and special event parties, we’re gaining weight at an alarming rate!

Carm left for home on Boxing Day or, as they call it around here, the “day after Christmas”.  She took the sunshine with her because we haven’t seen it since she left.  Carm – we want it back!

December - Part 1

Dang last month went fast! After Jackie’s friend left, she and I started getting ready for Christmas and the arrival of our other sister, Carm.  First priority – finding and decorating a Christmas tree that would a) fit in the RV and b) not block the TV.  I found a little four footer and it took us about an hour to decorate the place.  The Beast looked pretty good once we had decorated it all up and put some presents under the tree!

Of course, every job needs a foreman so Jackie’s cat Tessa oversaw the work.

And every job needs a critic….. Tessa expressed her admiration of our handiwork.  She may have been put out because the xmas tree blocked her access to my dashboard.


The rest of the two weeks PC (pre-Carm) were spent just getting to know the place, playing lots of card games, Bingo and learning to play dominoes.  There is something going on all the time around here and it’s a lot of fun.