Oracle Park, Home of the San Francisco Giants, Wednesday, July 10, 2024.

Oracle Park, Home of the San Francisco Giants, Wednesday, July 10, 2024.
Oracle Park, Home of the San Francisco Giants, Wednesday, July 10, 2024.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

As 2014 Winds Down - Tues., Dec. 30, 2014

At Travelers World Carefree RV Resort where I work, I keep the Facebook page up to date. Today I wanted to write something reflective about 2014. It's nice to have a few days off to relax and let my mind work. Here is what I posted...
As 2014 winds down, let's give thanks for our families and friends, the blessings we received, the fun events in which we participated, the volunteers who helped throughout, and the safe travels we have had.

We also must remember, in prayer and in thought, those who are no longer with us, those who have had surgery, those who have been involved in accidents, and those who have had setbacks.

Our existence is ever changing. May we have fortitude to continue on when things get rough, empathy to help those in need, enthusiasm to get out there and enjoy life, commitments and actions to make a difference on our planet, and friendship enough to share.

Let's make 2015 a great year.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Our Christmas Celebration - Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Day started out cold in southeast Texas. Before brunch at Moody Gardens we took Randall on a driving tour of Galveston, then met up with Tom and Rosemarie, Bob's brother and sister-in-law at Jamaica Beach RV Park south of Galveston. We walked to the field behind the RV park to look for whooping cranes, but none were there today.

Entering Galveston
Galveston's cruise terminal
The Gulf of Mexico from Seawall Drive in Galveston
Tom, Rosemarie (with Coco), Bob, Randall
Tom, Rosemarie (with Coco), Bob and I
Jamaica Beach water tower
Loggerhead shrike
I'm thinking the two birds in the tree below are white-tailed kites. They have feathers on the tops of their legs and don't have the head shape of a pigeon or seagull.  I could not get a clear enough image of their white tails to make a good identification. They have the body style of a hawk.
White-tailed kites? Anyone know?
The next few photos were taken at Jamaica Beach RV Park. It's quite a nice RV park 11 miles south of Galveston. It has a large pool with palapas and Tiki Bar, mini golf course, large, enclosed hot tub, and a pond.

Pool area
Pool and Tiki Bar. Randall on second floor,
Rosemarie, Bob and Tom in front of Tiki Bar
Beautiful enclosed spa overlooking pond.
Black-bellied whistling ducks in the pond
Bob's picking up chicks with a nice booty.
Randall's checking her out too.
One of two resident tortoises at Jamaica Beach
Rosemarie and Jaws!
Jamaica Beach RV Park and pond
After our RV park exploration, we all piled into the Escape pod and drove to Moody Gardens for brunch in their Garden Restaurant. We met up with Bob and Tom's cousin, Linda, and her kids James and Mary. Mary's boyfriend, Robert, was there as well. What a lovely find this restaurant is. The food and service were top notch. I would go back to Moody Gardens anytime for a brunch like we had today.

Part of the Christmas decorations.
 The large structure in the background of the photo is an ice skating rink.

An alien jellyfish, perhaps?
Hibiscus and poinsettia.
Linda, James, Robert and Randall
The cornucopia of rolls and my fruit plate. (I had to set it
down somewhere to take this photo!)
The ice sculpture below is a Christmas stocking ice skate filled with a teddy bear and candy canes.

James and Linda
Robert and Mary
Tom and Rosemarie
Bob, Mary, James, Linda, Robert, and Tom.
A poinsettia tree
Bob and Randall
Moody Gardens
Cool decorations. At night, they're lit from within.
Pretty sky as we leave Moody Gardens.
Another view of Moody Gardens
Greater sandhill cranes (drat, I thought they were
whooping cranes until I looked them up)
Late afternoon sky
Driving home into the sunset (Galveston to San Antonio)
Bob's  and Tom's cousin, Linda, and her kids drove down from Seabrook, Texas, which isn't too far away. Tom had not seen Linda for many years. We had such a nice time, I think we should all get together again soon.

Our drive home on I-10 was stress free. Bob said it's the most relaxed he's ever been when driving I-10 from Houston to San Antonio. We hope everyone else had a Merry Christmas as well.

One downside to today...I came down with the scratchy sore throat that starts this nasty cold that's going around. Bummer!

Travel Bug out.

Happy Birthday, Bob - Wed., December 24

This will be the last year that Bob is in his 50s. Next year we are planning an adventure trip to celebrate his 60th, but it won't be at Christmas time! We may wait until January or February. In other words, it's not written in stone yet.

For his birthday present from me, he received two tickets to the Dodgers vs. Texas Rangers exhibition game in March. He loves the L.A. Dodgers! Because Bob is crazy about the Dodgers, I had to spill the beans about his birthday present earlier than his birthday. He was online getting ready to buy tickets, so I had to tell him a few days early. At least I know I gave him something he really wanted.

Both of us worked a half day on Christmas Eve Day. Randall joined us after work and we drove the Escape Pod to League City, Texas (between Houston and Galveston). The 5th wheel and kitties stayed in San Antonio (just one night). We stayed in a Candlewood Suites Inn and had a very nice room. We got one suite for $76 (because it was booked a week early) and one for $81 (senior rate) plus tax.

Christmas Eve, we went to dinner at Landry's in Galveston to celebrate Bob's birthday, and his brother and sister-in-law's anniversary. I doubt we would return to Landry's. We had five in our party. They brought us a big bowl half-filled with salad to share between the five of us and were told we could not have another bowl of salad. Seriously? We were practically counting the lettuce leaves to divide it up evenly. They did load us up with bread, however. Two of the orders were wrong, which they fixed pretty quickly.

The birthday boy
Tom and Rosemarie, anniversary couple
Randall and I (not in that order!)
Decorations at Landry's
Christmas decor at Landry's
When it came time for dessert, the birthday and anniversary celebratees were offered the shot-glass-sized dessert. The only problem was, for the anniversary couple, only one complimentary shot-glass-sized dessert could be ordered for two people. One part of the couple said, "Wait a minute, it takes two people to be a couple." Then decided not to fight with them. She told the waitress, "Forget it. It's not worth it."

After dinner, Randall, Bob and I drove around Galveston to try to show Randall the sights, but it was pretty dark! On Christmas Day we would be back in Galveston for brunch, so we decided to show him around then.

We headed back to Candlewood Suites.

Travel Bug out.

M & M & M & M & M Equals Mmmmm - Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2014

If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that Bob and I "kidnap" each other. That's when one of us writes "kidnap" on the calendar and the other one has no idea what is going to happen that day.

On Tuesday, "kidnap" was written on the calendar. Bob told me I needed to be available on Tuesday after noon. He explained it was an M & M kidnap. OK, I'll bite.

He got off work early and picked me up at the 5th wheel about 11:30 am. Our first "M" was a movie: "Wild." The second and third "Ms" were M&Ms to eat in the movie. I made up the fourth "M" when he asked where I wanted to go for lunch after the movie. I told him Marie Callendar's (I wanted to stay in the spirit of things). And our fifth "M" was an 85-minute massage. Doesn't that spell Mmmmm to you?

What a wonderful husband. As Bob says, he earned lots of good husband points today! What more could a girl ask for? Oh wait, don't ask that. {{{blushes}}}

Both of us had read the book "Wild," by Cheryl Strayed. In the book she recounts life experiences that led to her hiking a large portion of the Pacific Crest Trail. She is by no means a saint, but is brutally honest in what she went through. Reese Witherspoon portrays Cheryl. The movie is very well done. Both of us enjoyed it, although I did have trouble hearing parts of the dialogue. I guess that's part of my hearing impairment. Bob said he could hear it just fine. We ate the M&Ms after our popcorn.

At Marie Callendar's I had the Pie Trio: Chicken pot pie, salad and cherry pie for dessert. Bob opted for the tuna melt.

Our massage appointments were at 4:30 p.m. at the nearby massage school: Milan Institute Student Spa. (I guess that's another "M.") Ahhh, what a great treat. I was staying awake pretty well until she used hot towels on my feet. Soon thereafter I caught myself snoring. Felt good to be so relaxed. It's hard to believe 85 minutes goes by so fast!

Thank you, Bob, for my early Christmas present. You are the best gift giver and you know I love experiences more than things. I love you.

Travel Bug out.

Six, ten-hour work days in a row - Wed. - Mon., Dec. 17-22, 2014

I knew it was coming; in fact, I volunteered to work two extra days to help cover for a co-worker who was on vacation. I love my job, so it's fun for me, but it left little time for anything else.

Wednesday night, Dec. 17, we went to our RV park employee Christmas party. Carefree Properties and Travelers World put on the party in appreciation of their employees. What a wonderful evening. We didn't have to do anything but show up. Appetizers were placed on the table with care. Crackers and cheese were what we found there.

Vicki, my co-worker's wife
Dinner was catered by The Big Bib BBQ. And a scrumptious BBQ dinner it was: chicken, pulled pork, beef tips, brisket, sausage, and jalapeno sausage, sweet potato casserole, green beans, peach cobbler, cheesecake squares, BBQ sauces, and bread. Brenda (manager) made her yummy corn casserole.

The staff presented Terry and Brenda with gifts, both serious and funny. Terry had a serious accident about a month ago. The staff's gag gift to him was a child's plastic chest shield and safety goggles to protect him from further accidents.

Terry modeling his safety gifts.
It was a memorable evening. Thank you to Brenda, Terry, Travelers World and Carefree Property Management. 

Bob is still under the weather with his nasty cold. Lots of deep coughing, nose blowing, and sneezing.

Thursday: Work

Friday: Work. Travelers World RV Resort had their Christmas Parade at 7 pm. Residents and guests decorate their golf carts, bicycles, and pets and go on a parade around the RV park. Everyone votes on the RV site with the best Christmas decorations. Then cookies and hot chocolate are served in the Recreation Hall. With Bob feeling under the weather, we opted to stay in to watch the finale of Amazing Race and then Shark Tank. Earlier in the day at work, I took photos of Ralph's (my co-worker) decorated golf cart. He was very clever. See if you can figure it out. [*See the bottom of this blog for the solution.*]

Ralph and Vicki's cart
This is the puzzle

Saturday: Work. Oops we snuck in two more Christmas parties tonight. Bob does accounting work for Z's Wood-Fired Pizza and they invited us to their party and gift exchange. They live on a 60-acre ranch with goats out in Welfare, Texas. When we drove through their gate, we were definitely on a ranch that raises goats. We stopped to take a picture. Big mistake! Immediately every goat within view came over to the car. Soon, there were goats putting their hooves up on the Escape pod trying to stick their nose in Bob's window. He was trying to get a picture for me since I was driving.

Did I mention there were some adorable kids in the tribe? When it was time for me to drive on, I was freaking out because some of the kids were in front of the car. I couldn't see them. So I crept along and didn't hit any.

Zach and Jodi greeted us warmly and welcomed us into their home. Their Christmas tree was beautifully decorated and had all blue lights on it. A table in the kitchen was loaded with appetizers, and another table had punch, soda and liquor. In the oven were three lasagnes: one vegetarian, one with beef and pepperoni, and one with beef and mushrooms.  Jodi and her friends were busy in the kitchen preparing even more food. You could tell they were used to cooking for lots of people.

We munched on veggies, chips, crackers and cheese, and then a hot artichoke dip. Soon after that dinner was served. We helped ourselves to our lasagne of choice, hot garlic bread, and green salad. Bob was pretty miserable with his cold.

The gift exchange was supposed to start at 7 p.m. We ate dessert. Still no gift exchange. Bob's coughing was getting worse as the evening wore on. Around 7:40 they started handing out numbers for the gift exchange. We opted to head out because we had one more party to go to at Random. We left our gifts there and headed out, with apologies to the host and hostess.

Random's Christmas party was also tonight. Bob's son Randall works there and we love going out to visit Randall, hear live music, and have a beer. Lucas Jack, who sounds a lot like Elton John was playing. Just so you know how good Lucas Jack is, he opened for Journey when they played the AT&T Center in San Antonio. The music was wonderful. I had hot chocolate with mint and marshmallows, and Bob had a hard cider (which he didn't finish). We were there about 25 minutes and home by 9 p.m.

Sunday: Work.

Monday: Work.

And that pretty much takes care of that week. Tuesday is much more varied. Stay tuned!

*Solution to Ralph's clever decoration: "Chess nuts roasting on an open fire."