San Angelo, Tx ~ I would not call this town a tourist trap, but it was a nice place to lay our heads and explore the area. We always try to get out and see something. The sights we took advantage of were not on the top of anyone's tourist list, but we had a good time exploring.
We visited Fort Concho and took about two hours going through this Historic Landmark. It was fun and pretty interesting.
We then ventured over to an Artsy-Fartsy venue called Chicken Farm Art Center and were able to view some of the vendors and their artwork. A fun little place to walk around.
We did eat some good Texas BBQ but found out that the mesquite flavor is not my forte. I was not fond of it at all.
It was fun and got us out of the campground for a bit. After that, we ate Mexican food and stayed pretty close to the motorhome. We left San Angelo on November 8th and headed into Austin.
Austin, Tx ~ I have driven by this great city but never visited. Mark, I put it on our schedule and decided to explore. On our second day at the RV park, we took off and headed to Stonewall, Tx, about 1-1/2 hours from where we were staying and explored for the day.
Lyndon B. Johnson Historic Site ~ We arrived at the Visitor Center, and they gave us a tag for our car (FREE) and a map, and we were on our way. I will say there is an APP that you can download called NPS. Then you find the National Park you are touring, and it will provide an audio narration of the park you are exploring. As we drove, we were able to see LBJ's childhood home, the cemetery where the family is buried, and his home (Texas White House). We also saw the hangar where Air Force One (Lockheed JetStar C-140BA), a business jet, was located that Johnson used to fly the last leg into his ranch; he jokingly referred to it as "Air Force One-Half" due to its small size. We were able to climb up and look in.
When LBJ was president, I was very young, but I do remember seeing him on TV in our living room that my dad had rigged up with rabbit ears, and it just made me realize how far our technology has come since he was in office. LBJ's term in office was from 11/1963-1/1969. I was 8 years old when his term ended; so much of his presidency was before I can remember. This park is worth exploring. I would put it on your list if you are in the area.
Wine Tasting~ (William Chris Vineyard) We also decided to head up to Hye, TX, to check out a winery. I heard wine in this part of Texas is terrific, so what the heck. I picked a winery that wasn't too far from the LBJ site to make it easy. We have enjoyed wine tastings in Eastern Washington, Willamette Valley (Oregon), and Sonoma Valley (California), and I don't like to say this, but I think I'm a wine snob. The winery itself was beautiful. It was very modern and inviting. I guess I'm just spoiled from some of the wineries we have indulged in, in the past. The overall experience was mediocre. We ordered a charcuterie board and munched on some snacks as we sipped some vino and educated ourselves on wines in this region.
Wine tasting for me is more than just wine. It's the entire experience, the atmosphere, the food, the host (sommelier), the knowledge they share, and the overall engagement you have while you are there. In my opinion, it was MEH! We did buy a bottle to bring home and will open on Thanksgiving day to celebrate.
Last but not least, we did hop on the double-decker bus in downtown Austin and did a tour of the entire city. I highly recommend seeing any large city this way. It does give you a down and dirty what to see. They will talk a bit about the history and then tell you all the places to eat, places to visit, and allow you to hop off do the touristy thing and then hop back on for more adventure. It's so much easier than trying to navigate large cities with your car, pay for parking and then try to see all the venues on your list.
I did want to mention this only because it was part of the adventure, one evening, I took Izzy out for a walk, the RV park was not well lit, and she likes to cross over and walk in front of me. Well, being dark and her getting in front of me on the road, I tripped and had a face plant right on the pavement. (There will not be any pictures of this event.) Needless to say, no teeth were broken; that was the first thing I checked. My face looked like I had been in a barroom brawl, and I didn't come out the winner. After a couple of days, the black eyes appeared, and Mark was hesitant to have me seen in public. He feared everyone would think he beat me up. The more I thought about it, it probably was true. I had no wounds or scratches on my hands and a small scrape on my knee. My face got the worst of it. But I healed quickly, and within a week, I was back to new!
While indulging in the Austin culture, we stayed at a friendly resort outside of town called La Hacienda RV Resort. Lovely place to stay, and it is highly recommended in my book!
We left Austin on November 15th and headed into San Antonio. Mark and I have visited this city many times, and it's always nice to be back. We stayed at a Military RV Park called JBSA Sam Houston. There are many advantages to staying on a Military base. They are affordable, safe, and spotless for the most part.
We took one day and spent it on the Riverwalk. We did the boat tour down the river, and since it was a weekday, there weren't many people. With that check-in-the-box complete, we enjoyed lunch at one of the recommended Mexican restaurants and were not disappointed.
After San Antonio, we then headed into Del Rio. Before we arrived at our campsite, we pulled into a gas station in Uvalde, TX, and as we were turning the corner, a 5th wheel's rear square tube bumper was sticking out much too far, and our CrossTrek sideswiped the corner and took out the entire drivers side. (Well, not literally, but you check it out for yourself.) We had no idea this even happened until Mark got out to unhook the car to get into the pump area, and that was when he saw it. There was no damage to the 5th wheel's bumper, and the owner didn't see it necessary to exchange info. That was not a great way to start our holiday season. But like any of the ordeals we have dealt with, we didn't let it infringe upon our holiday festivities. We just moved forward and enjoyed our time in Del Rio.
Konner is stationed at Laughlin AFB and lives in an apartment off base. So, of course, this allowed me to cook Thanksgiving in a "real" kitchen. So the four of us, me and Mark, Konner, and his roommate Christian enjoyed all the fixings and ate until we were stuffed! We had a lot of leftovers and enjoyed it the next day, too, with the rest packed up for the bachelors to enjoy the next few days…
We got up early on November 28th and headed down to Corpus Christi/Port Aransas to a beautiful RV Resort called Gulf Waters. Wow, what a nice change of scenery. The thing that makes this Resort unique is individuals own the lots. For a mere $300,000, you can own your RV lot within walking distance to the beach.
We pulled in and were given a warm welcome, escorted to our site, and we were just in awe of the beauty here. We stayed here until the day after Christmas. As I've said before, spending Christmas in 80-degree weather is odd for me. I'm either used to rain or snow. And after staying here during these winter months, the temperatures rise, and the humidity worsens. That's the part I struggle with, the moisture. We did take advantage of the sun and did a few touristy things. We tried a few recommended restaurants and visited the USS Lexington – World War ll Vintage Essex Class aircraft carrier. My girlfriend was visiting us that weekend from Colorado, and she joined us on that tour of this humungous ship. Our private guide (Mark) helped us along as we climbed ladders, viewed the sleeping and eating quarters, mess hall, and learned about the flight deck operations.
If you are ever in the area, put this on your list. It's incredible to see and explore.
We took another day to explore Port Aransas, and we took the ferry over to Aransas Pass. The ferry system here is much different than that of Washington State. The ferry was tiny; they ran every 15 minutes, and the best part, they were free.
While hanging out in Port A, we met some new friends. One couple was from Wisconsin/Minnesota; they were a delight. We did happy hours, chatted, and got to know them better, and to top it off; the other couple was from Washington (Spokane.) We did indulge in a Seahawks game (The 49er's) together. That was fun, and we did win. It was an excellent game, in case you missed it.
Mark gave me one Christmas present - a year's membership to Planet Fitness( which there are quite a few along our planned travel route). I missed working-out so much that I nagged him every day, well not every day, but it seemed like it to Mark. So I spent most of my early mornings in the gym trying to get back in shape. Honestly, this was the best Christmas present anyone could buy me.
So as sad as it was, we had to say goodbye to our friends and the wonderful Resort and head on to our next destination, Galveston.
We arrived in Galveston on December 26th and pulled into Stella Mare RV Resort. It was not even close to being as lovely as Gulf Waters, but it was going to have to do. We visited downtown Galveston and the Historic District. We explored the Historic Seaport and toured the Tall Ship, Elissa.
We also drove Seawall Blvd and viewed the beach and tourists that line the sidewalks. That is one thing I did notice about Galveston; it's a very touristy city. Being December, it's was still very warm. However, the tourist activity is pretty minimal; I can only imagine what it's like in the summer.
We spent New Year's in the motorhome, watching movies, sipping wine, and eating wings and potato skins. I was asleep by 10:30 pm, and Mark stayed up and rang in the new year alone.
January 2nd, we woke up and departed Galveston. A cold front came in, and it was cold and windy. We had planned to take the ferry to Port Bolivar. We read all the restrictions and were a little bit concerned. However, we did it without a hitch. Yes, the wind was blowing hard, but it reminded me a lot of home. We arrived that afternoon in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and will start the next trek of our adventure.
Now, as we close one chapter, the pen is gradually inking up, preparing itself to write the next.
Here's to saying goodbye to 2021 and HELLO to new adventures in 2022.
Thank you all for following along!