River Walk, downtown San Antonio, Sunday, February 25, 2018

River Walk, downtown San Antonio, Sunday, February 25, 2018
River Walk, downtown San Antonio, Sunday, February 25, 2018

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

An Accident, A Luau, A Ranch and A Carpet - January 21 - 27, 2015

My last blog reviewed the "Spare Parts" movie I saw on Monday afternoon, January 26. I'm going to back up just a little to cover the days I missed between January 20 and now.

From Wed., Jan. 21 through Sat., Jan. 24, I worked four ten-hour days at the RV park office. Friday afternoon, Jan. 23, I had a text from my walking buddy, Susan. She was driving to Half-Price Books on a rainy afternoon. The vehicle in front of her slammed on the brakes. She hit the brakes too, and stopped within inches of hitting the vehicle in front of her. Unfortunately, the pick-up truck behind her did not stop quickly enough and hit her at about 5-10 mph, pushing her car into the vehicle in front of her. She did not get hurt, but her car was totaled. (Note: That was the car we drove 5,000 miles on our trip in June 2014. A great car!)

My friend Susan's car
Her car was totaled and towed away.
I feel so bad for her. She loved her car.

Saturday: After work on Saturday, our RV park had a Hawaiian luau dinner appreciation party with dancing. After all the cold, rainy, dreary weather San Antonio had over the past two months, everyone was ready for a luau. On the menu: rum punch, pulled pork, potato salad, veggie plates, fruit plate, deviled eggs, baked beans, rolls, carrot spice cake, coconut cake, coffee and iced tea. Our team of decorators went all out to achieve a beautiful tropical setting. Over 100 people turned out dressed in their muu muus, sarongs, sundresses, pareaus, and tropical shirts.

Food table

Sea horse riding a saddle

Lots of people danced and socialized...

Me and Bob

Paul playing Hawaiian songs on his ukulele

People were enjoying the evening. A raffle for door prizes was held. A separate raffle was held with the winner getting "The Best Seat in the House" for the SuperBowl game - a sofa in front of the big-screen TV with beer at one end and wine at the other. We left the party around 9 pm as we had to get up early for a day trip to Kingsville and Riviera, Texas on Sunday, January, 25.

Sunday: At 7:45 am we headed south toward Kingsville, Texas along the Gulf Coast. We planned to meet MonaLiza and Steve, then decide what to do for the day. Bob and I arrived in Kingsville a little before our noon meeting at Chopstix Restaurant. We explored around downtown a little, then went out to King Ranch area to read historic markers. On our way to the restaurant, we drove through A&M University at Kingsville campus. 

Tile art of Santa Cruz cattle
The flags flying at the entrance to King Ranch -
notice the "Running W" King Ranch flag (left)
Texas A&M University, Kingsville, Texas
The Javelinas are the mascot for Texas A&M University. Notice their sharp teeth in the sculpture below.

Javelina sculpture at Texas A&M University

Over lunch, we talked about our options for the day and decided to take the 1-1/2 hour bus tour of King Ranch. 

Discussing options for the day with MonaLiza and Steve
We drove five minutes out to the ranch and found they were doing tours every hour instead of every-other hour because it's their busy season. We bought tickets for the tour that started in an hour so we could have time to watch the half-hour movie about the King Ranch, shop in the gift store (didn't buy anything) and watch some birds outside. Then it was time to hop on the bus. 

MonaLiza's blog has great information on Captain King, how he came to the United States, and what it took for him to begin ranching. You'll enjoy reading and seeing her different viewpoint of the ranch.

Our tour guide, Diana (pronounced dee-ann-ah), is fourth generation Los Kinenos (King's people). Los Kinenos were Mexicans from the small town of Cruillas, Mexico who were in dire financial straits. They sold all their cattle to Captain King to try to survive a terrible drought. As Captain King was driving the cattle back to Texas, he realized he had taken away their best chance for long-term survival. He returned to the town and proposed that the people move to Texas and work on his ranch in exchange for food, shelter and income. They were already excellent stockmen and horsemen. Many agreed to move north with him. Descendants of the original Cruillas people continue to live and work on the ranch today.

King Ranch is 825,000 acres, a bit larger than the state of Rhode Island. At one time, King Ranch had ranching operations in other countries: Morocco, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, and Cuba, to name a few. Fidel Castro took over the King Ranch holdings in Cuba, and the other foreign ranches have been sold. 

Bob was very interested in King Ranch because he grew up in Hawaii. The Big Island has Parker Ranch, which has always been second in size to King Ranch. Now he has seen and learned about King Ranch too.

King Ranch developed the Santa Gertrudis breed of cattle and had a Triple Crown race horse winner, Assault, in 1946. In 1950, Middleground won the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes.

First we saw Pancho and Panda two resident longhorns.
An old bridge on the ranch, now in disrepair.
White-tailed hawk
Santa Gertrudis cattle

Santa Cruz (lighter red) and Santa Gertrudis cattle
Crested caracara
Below is a "bump gate" designed to open when you tap it with your bumper. If you don't tap it hard enough it will come back and break your headlights. If you tap it too hard, it will hit the back of your vehicle and break the tail lights as you drive through. Tricky.

Bump gate
Sandhill cranes hanging out with the cattle.
Doe-eyed beauty.

Ranch horses
Workers' horses
King Ranch livery
This used to be the General Store on the Ranch
The King Ranch house.

Green jay
We had such a fun time with MonaLiza and Steve. On the bus it was fun to search for birds, deer and javelina (didn't see any javelina, although an earlier bus did). 

After our tour, we drove over to Texas A&M University so MonaLiza and Steve could take a look at it.

MonaLiza found the javelinas!

Yowzers, don't put your hand in there!
MonaLiza and Steve
From Texas A&M University, we drove to the RV park where they're staying, took a little walk and did some birding. Their RV park is right on Baffin Bay behind the Gulf barrier islands.

Baffin Bay beach
Looking back at the observation tower from pier
Interesting sky
Fisherman cleaning fish, birds benefiting
Long-billed curlew
Long-billed curlew
Golden-fronted woodpecker
Papaya and orange trees in the RV park!!
Bob, MonaLiza and Steve in front of their MH.
Thank you for an excellent reason to visit Kingsville and Riviera, Steve and MonaLiza. It was an excellent day. Safe travels on your way West. Hope to see you again soon.

Monday and Tuesday: During our travels to Michigan last October, our roof developed a severe leak. We sopped up as much water from the rear of our living room as we could. Bob fixed the roof leak, but there was still water intrusion, not as bad as the roof leak, but still some wet carpet in the back. Mold was starting to grow in the carpet. A couple of weeks ago, we took a carpet sample to Home Depot and matched the color, bought a big piece of carpet (because they wouldn't sell us a little one), and arranged for an RV repair person to install it. 

Monday morning Bob picked up the carpet from Home Depot. Our repairman came and tore the old carpet out, found out where the water incursion problem was, gave us a price to fix part of the problem, and told us what we could do to fix the rest. The outside seals on our windows were old, and the seals on the outside seams down by our floorboards were old and cracked. He resealed the windows and seams by the floorboards. Also, our gutters were loose on the sides of our roof. Bob went up on the roof, cleaned, then resealed the gutters down each side. 

When our repairman had the old carpet out, he bleach treated the floor where it was wet. We put heaters on it for the rest of the day and overnight. On Tuesday, he returned, treated the dried flooring with Killz (sp?). He then put down new carpet pad and installed the new carpet in the center section of our living room. Since it was such a good match to the carpet on our slide outs, he did not need to do those. Love, love, love the new carpet. He put a thicker pad in and the new carpet is much softer than the old carpet. It feels so luxurious under our feet.

Just a little aside: We worked two months as gate guards in the oil fields of South Texas in 2012. We traipsed in and out of our 5th wheel in sand and caliche dust...much of it got tracked in our 5th wheel. No matter how much we vacuumed or shampooed the carpet, I knew there had to be lots of dirt that sifted down through the carpet. I was right. When he pulled up the old carpet and carpet pad, there was a layer of sand underneath. When I vacuumed it all up, we had about two cups of sand in the vacuum cleaner. Glad to be rid of that!

Enough rambling. I'm done for the night.

Travel Bug out.


  1. Very interesting post on the King Ranch and new carpet. And I like the pictures!

    1. Thanks, Randy. The King Ranch is so big and has such an unusual history, that it makes for quite a tour. In addition to the King Ranch tour, Kingsville has the King Ranch Museum and the King Ranch Saddle Shop (www.krsaddleshop.com)...definitely worth another trip to Kingsville for us.

      We are loving our new carpet...much more soft texture and a thicker pad. Feels so good on bare feet!

  2. Ugh! I was rear ended by a Class C at a stop light in Las Vegas a couple years back. That's no fun at all and all the problems getting it fixed wasn't exciting either.

    1. We love our vehicles, don't we? And with an RV, it's not just a vehicle, it's our home!!

  3. well goodness. . .I'm glad you prefaced all this by saying it was a catch up post. ..otherwise, I'd be wore slap out. . .LOL!

    You've picqued my interest in the King Ranch. . .I believe we would enjoy that tour as well. . .

    Glad your friend is okay. . .I know insurance covers repairs. . .what they don't cover is the inconvenience of it all. . .hope replacements and such go smoothly for her.

    We once had a water leak in our fiver from one of the side rails not being caulked correctly, and leaking into a corner. . .of course by the time we found it, repairs involved replaced floor boards in one corner. . .never fun! Glad you got yours resolved. Having new carpet is almost like having a new house.

    1. If you go to Kingsville, don't just go to King Ranch for the tour. We didn't have time to go to the King Ranch Museum or the King Ranch Saddle Shop (Saddle shop closed on Sunday). Both looked immensely interesting too. I wanted to shop in the Saddle Shop!!

      Sorry to hear you had to deal with a leak too. Totally a bummer.

  4. Wow you have been very busy! Your tour of King Ranch sounds really interesting and so glad to hear you are all back in good repair! The luau looks like it was a lot of fun (and probably a lot of work)!!! Cheers!

    1. We try to keep life interesting even though both of us work full time. Kingsville is in our future plans to see the King Ranch Museum and King Ranch Saddle Shop. There's also a Railroad Museum. (I think about every town has a railroad museum. LOL.)

  5. We've headed to King's Ranch about 4 or 5 times and somehow we take a turn in the road to see something else. I'm putting it higher on the bucket list.

    1. Jan,
      When you go to Kingsville, make sure to leave enough time. Not only is there the Ranch Tour, but there is a King Ranch Museum in town, King Ranch Saddle Shop, Railroad Museum, and there are birding and wildlife tours on the ranch in addition to the ranch tour. We were surprised by how much there is to see in Kingsville. Oh and Texas A&M University, Kingsville.

  6. I "knew" Rhode Island was small, but to consider that there is a ranch in Texas that is larger than a state is a little mind boggling. Obviously, I have not travelled back east very much. Was the carpet installation expensive? We have new carpet to lay in our rig too (post water leaks and wood rot). I'm trying to convince my husband to hire that part of the job out, rather than to try to attempt it himself. Oh the joys of owning an RV!

    1. Betsy,
      We found carpet that is so close to our original rug color that we only replaced the carpet in the living room between the slideouts. The cost was $300 for the install and the repairman provided the carpet pad. We bought the carpet--Home Depot only had the carpet in a certain length which was one foot too short. We had to make it up by buying more carpet than we needed. (Carpet for 12' x 14' was $680!!) It would have cost us more if we wanted our dining room slideout carpeted because one edge of the carpet would have to be bound. (Extra cost and extra time.)

      You have to make sure if you hire out the install that it is someone who can re-carpet an RV. They have to know how to re-carpet around/under the slideouts. We were very lucky to find a good repair person!

      Luckily our flooring dried out after he pulled up the old carpet and pad. He bleach-treated the pressboard floor and we put heat on it overnight. The next day, he painted on something called "Killz" (sp?) to make sure no mold would grow under the carpet and pad.

  7. We had fun on the ranch. It was great to meet up with you and Bob and thank you for visiting us. You took wonderful pictures.
    Till next time.
    Steve and MonaLiza

    1. Yes, great fun and very interesting. You have excellent photos too. I love your photo of Poncho! Thanks for your blog and the shout outs.

  8. Sounds like a fun time with ML and Steve and the King Ranch sounds like interesting history. Glad the rig is all dried out and like new. Always scary when these things leak.

    1. We love ML and Steve. She is so effervescent, curious and fun. Steve is thoughtful and laid-back. Then to take a tour like the one at King Ranch, was the icing on the cake. Thanks for writing.

  9. Great post! You can learn so much by reading blogs. I'd like to replace our carpet one day. Glad the leak is taken care of.

    1. If you do get your carpet replaced make sure it is someone who has experience with RVs. Our repairman said most carpet installers won't have anything to do with carpeting around/under slideouts.

      Our 5th wheel is 11 years old, so we really needed the main living room carpet replaced!

  10. So sorry for your friend. Glad she did not get hurt.

    The Hawaiian luau dinner sounds delicious!

    Sounds like a great visit with MonaLiza and Steve.

    1. Luau was so good. The ladies who planned it made plenty of food. There was no sign-up sheet so they didn't know how many would attend. It's a credit to them that we did not run out of anything, including deviled eggs. (Every dinner we go to seems to run out of deviled eggs before we get there. We were at the last table to get in line and there was plenty of food, even the eggs.)

      If you haven't met MonaLiza and Steve yet, try to arrange a visit. They are good people.

  11. Thanks for a preview of King Ranch, trying to figure out when...like when the weather is nicer. Glad to hear the leak is all taken care of, and now your sand is all gone.

    See you next week.

    1. As I told some of the other commenters, make sure to leave enough time to do everything in Kingsville: the ranch tour and gift shop, King Ranch Museum, Railroad Museum, and King Ranch Saddle Shop (closed Sunday).

      We are looking forward to next Sunday, let's hope for great weather. What length walk would Dave like to do? There are 10K (6.2 miles) or 5K (3.1 miles) walks. One of the walks in Port Aransas is mostly on the beach; the other walk goes through town, neighborhoods, along the ship canal, and into two bird refuges.

      See you soon.

  12. Oh my goodness that looks so bad. Thank goodness she's okay. Stinks about the car but whew could have been so much worse. My mom had that happen this Winter and can really give you a good scare.


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