Rio Grande Valley and "almost" Mexico .... ?

December 27, 2012 - San Antonio, Texas, United States

 It is now the day after Christmas and my hope is that you all had the best of Christmas' and enjoyed the holidays to the utmost.   My Christmas was really great ..... although I miss everyone I did have the best of company down in Texas with Jake, Aggie, and their friends.   Connie kept me company by phone also .... it was a fine Christmas.   I also got to talk to Terri and Jim and that meant so very much to me.

It was quite the adventure down there in Ole Texas town of Alamo.   Got to golf twice with buddy Jake.    It was so great to see that his hip is healing and he made it almost 12 holes the first day and 17 1/2 the second outing.    Enjoyed getting a birdie and improving my score significantly one day to the next.   The course is admittedly for some of the "old farts" who winter in Texas but "hey" ... you take a good score when you can get it, right?   Beautiful days both days .... a little windy the first day, but 88 degrees ..... the second outing was calm, clear, and 82 degrees .... perfectly perfect golf weather.    Jake is still indeed the luckiest golfer in the whole world .... once he skipped a ball across a pond, then the ball hit a concrete bunker and popped up and within 10 feet of the hole.   Our friend Willis and I just looked at each other ..... Jake had that familiar "Jake" face he always has.   Very funny.

Aggie was so nice to me.   I ate so well.   The park put me in a lot right across the street from Jake and Aggie's home so Aggie kept inviting me over to her house for meals.   I swallowed my pride and accepted gracefully of course.   Godddd, I ate good.   Thank you Aggie.

Jake cooked steaks on the grill and he told me he got the New York strips at the local meat market for $3.69 a pound.   No shit.   I had to go shopping and see it to believe it.   I immediately bought a dozen of them.    They were so good.   Once Jake got the grill going properly (he first put the coals on "top" of the grill surface before he realized he had to put them down below) everything went well.   Here he is at his best;


Almost forgot:  gotta tell you about this one ..... Jake did my laundry for me!!!    No, I am not crazy, he actually took my dirty laundry, washed it, dryed it, then folded my laundry.  (including folded underwear)    Some of my "guy friends" will find that all hard to believe.   I had a hard time believing it myself.   Laughed my ass off.

One night I had Jake and Aggie over along with their friends (my new golf friends) and I hosted a "Gumbo" soup party complete with Boudin.   I had some gumbo frozen in Louisiana so I could share it with Jake, Connie and Howard.   Boudin is a combo rice/pork sausage that is very Cajun.   You fry it and we had that for snacks before the gumbo meal.    Put some nice big shrimp in there with the gumbo sausage and chicken and it was quite the feast.    If you look real close you will see my Christmas lights .... no scrooge here!


Told Jake I wanted to go to see his auto mechanic because the folks at Rum River Auto in Princeton told me I needed new ball joints in my truck.    I assumed they knew what they were talking about.   Rum River told me it would be about $1200.   I went to see Jake's auto guy (a wonderful Chilean man named Renee) and he did an inspection, then sent me for another opinion at a confidant's shop ..... bottom line .... they both said there is absolutely nothing wrong with the ball joints or anything else they could find.   Mmmmmmmm     Anyway .... that was at least $800 saved.

We decided to go to Mexico with friends on Thursday last week.   Well, didn't quite make it.   You can go across easy enough but if you want to re-enter the US of A you need a valid passport.   I knew that and had packed my passport.   Well, maybe not.   I found an old passport in my "stuff".   Not the valid one.   I looked absolutely everywhere because I was so sure I had packed it.    I keep them in my dresser drawer so after the search I called my good buddy Danny and he went over to the house and searched the dresser while on the phone with me.    Although I expected him to say "Yep, here it is."   There was not a passport to be found.    Was so appreciative of Dan's efforts.    The trip was cancelled and then a day or so later I was going through some papers and I found a photocopy of the valid passport.    Then it clicked ....  I made copies of drivers license, credit cards, passports, etc. before I left and Ohhhhhhh, what if I left it by accident in the copier at the house?    Phone call to Danny ...... oh yes, you guessed it ..... there it was in the copier under the lid.    What a great friend he is to put up with my senior moments.   Danny immediately sent it to Connie and she will bring it down when I pick her up in San Antonio on Friday ..... just in case we decide to go south of the border.    What an adventure.    Sorry Dan! and Thanks!

I went shopping a few times and went to Anytime Fitness a few times too.   Saw something I've never seen before in the parking lot of the mall I went to.   Here it is;


Seems that to deter crime in parking lots the police set up these mobile unmanned units that videotape the goings on in parking lots.   Once I saw this one I looked around and sure enough .....saw a few more.   Makes sense I guess.   Quite the unit isn't it.    Don .... this is very close to the "perfect deer stand" we have dreamed about ..... we can just put some gun turrets on it and when the deer show up on the video that goes back to the nice warm lodge (with Howie) then we can swing the turret around and bag the buck.   Cool, eh.    We'll work on that next summer.

Christmas Eve I gave Jake and Aggie a gift of a nice sign they could put up in front of their Texan trailer.   It says "The Otters" and has a Minnesota emblem on it.   They liked it and Aggie hung it up right away.   I am equally proud of my trailer sign that I put up outside when I am in my park space.   Says it all !!!!


Connie and I bought it at the State Fair this year.    I love it.    When people walk by and see me wearing shorts when it is 60 degrees they just see the sign and .... well, they understand then.

Packed up this morning and then went over to Jake and Aggie's for one last wonderful breakfast with them.   They are such nice people and I will miss them.    Off I went for San Antonio area.   I am staying in a kind of "dive" RV park so that I can afford to treat Connie to a nice place when she arrives on Friday evening.    She has been working very, very hard and really needs a nice vacation and especially is looking forward to warming up a bit.    I'm sure we will see the RiverWalk in San Antonio but otherwise we will be "winging it" to Phoenix on Jan. 6th.    I look forward to having her with me on the road.

Until next time everyone ..... be good, Happy New Year, love each other.

I love you all.



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