Friday, March 25, 2016

House/Dog sitting in Austin

Feb 22 to Mar 22, 2016:

Connie and I have been house/dog sitting for a month in Austin. This is for the same couple, Vic & Pam Gallagher, that we took care of their two King Charles Spaniels, Murphy & Emma, last year. They have a two bedroom apartment located in the Arboretum area of northwest Austin. It is a great location with lots of shops, grocery stores and restaurants within walking distance of the apartment. Pam & Vic go to the British Virgin Islands each winter and their kids/grandkids come to visit them during spring break.

Vic & Pam Gallagher
Murphy on the left and Emma
We got to see Xena, the labradoodle that we raised from a 8 weeks old until she was about three. We found her a great home with Crockett & Carol when we decided to go full timing in our RV. Crockett takes Xena almost everywhere he goes, even to work. The two of them take long walks every day. We spent about an hour with Xena at our friend's house, Katie, when Crockett was having his acupuncture treatment.

We have been able to visit with a number of friends here in the Austin area during the month. There have been a couple of happy hours with friends and we have gone out to dinner or lunch with friends on several occasions. We been able to eat fresh fish from the Highland Lakes caught by Brooks Ivey at their house. It has been good to visit with everyone here in Austin, but we are both ready to get on the road again. We are amazed at the changes in Austin during the year we were gone. Austin continues to be a boom town with all of the good & bad that go along with the growth. One thing we will not miss is the Austin traffic.

Connie was able to visit the senior living facility in Cedar Park where her parents resided for several years. Connie and her sister, Debbie, attended the "happy hour" that happens every Friday afternoon. One of the ladies at the facility, Dorothy, was a close friend of Connie and Debbie's mom and they all had a nice visit.
Dorothy & Connie's sister Debbie
While we were here we accomplished several tasks: (1) we both updated our wills, power of attorney, durable medical power of attorney & medical directives, (2) had blood work done to see if we need any changes in medications/diet, (3) had Jeep serviced & tires rotated, and (4) bought clothing to replace some we had worn out during last year.

We also purchased several items for the motorhome: (1) InstaPot pressure cooker, (2) Viair RV air compressor with accessories (much smaller than the one we had been using), (3) crossbar for the screen door in The Duchess (I'm not sure why the manufacturers don't install one of these with every RV), (4) a small Dutch Oven, (5) small sitting stool that folds for the bedroom and (6) a small Char-Broil propane grill that uses Tru Infrared Technology. Notice how many times I used the word small: see a pattern here? We have used the InstaPot several times during our stay and it seems to do a good job of cooking food quickly while keeping it moist and juicy. We also purchased a few smaller items for the motorhome kitchen and some tools to have onboard during our travels.

Connie went on a "girl's wine trip" with 12 other women to help celebrate Pat Robinson's 65th birthday. It was an all-day trip through Slowpokes Winery Tours that included visits to 3 wineries along with an outdoor lunch. The trip was organized by Heidi Ivey and a great time was had by all.

The group that went on the tour.
A good time was had by all!!!
We were able to meet with Fred and Bonnie Lee for lunch before we left Austin. The Lees  were staying in San Antonio/New Braunfels over the last month. They travelled to Nova Scotia last summer and we were able to gather a lot of good information about their trip during our visit with them. It always to great to talk to someone who has travelled in an area before to get their insights and advice. Fred & Bonnie are going to travel along the Lewis & Clark trail from Missouri to the west coast this summer. We were able to hold one last HAPPY HOUR at Brio's Restaurant near the apartment we were house/dog sitting. We had a good turnout with about 20 people attending over the 3 hours we were there.

We are planning to visit the north east part of the USA along with spending a month in New Brunswick & Nova Scotia, Canada during the summer. Our route will take us from Texas to Florida before we head north to an Escapee's Escapade in Vermont at the end of July.