Friday, December 23, 2016

Spending time in Texas

November-December 2016:

We have not posted to our blog in quite a while. Here is a brief post to cover the time we have been in Texas during November and December. Sorry no pictures.

We crossed the border from Louisiana into Texas heading to Hanks Creek COE Park in Zavalla, Texas. This is Corp of Engineers park located on Lake Sam Rayburn in East Texas near the town of Lufkin.  We spent a few days at this COE park along with spending one day in Lufkin for Connie to get some lab work done for her physical later in the year.

From Hanks Creek we drove south to spend several days at the Escapees Rainbow's End Park in Livingston, Texas. We needed to change our "domicile" from Austin to Livingston to save money on our health insurance for 2017. The BCBS policy we will have for 2017 with a Livingston address is much less than any insurance we could get with our Austin address (Obamacare - Healthcare Marketplace). So we are now using the Escapees service for our permanent address. We changed our Texas driver's licenses to our new address, registered to vote in Polk County (where Livingston is located) and registered our motorhome home and Jeep in this county. While we were at the campground the Escapees were having a RV Boot Camp Seminar. We met several people who were attending the seminar including a couple of single women who are going to full-time in their RV's. I was fighting a cold in Livingston so I did not feel well during our visit. The cold continued on for a couple of weeks (thankfully this is the first time either of us has been sick this year).

From Livingston we travelled southwest to spend a few days with my dad on his "ranch" in Rosanky, Texas. The ranch is about 60 acres which is leased out to an individual who runs cattle on all but one acre. My dad has a large shed where he used to store his motorhome along with full hook-ups on the one acre. He lives in a 2003 Foretravel motorhome that my parents full-timed in while my mother was alive (she died in 2012). He is 84 and in good health, but doesn't have the energy that he used to. So we always try and do a few "chores" while we are at the ranch to help him out. We have 20 amp service when we are at the ranch so we have to be very careful about which electric items we turn on at the same time. We did run the generator a few times so that we would have full 50 amp service. Dad is hoping to put in a second 50 amp plug in the next few months so that we can have both rigs at the ranch at the same time each with full power.

After spending some time with my dad we left the Duchess at the ranch and headed to Cedar Park, Texas to "dog sit" at our friends house, Brooks & Heidi Ivey, while they were on a vacation in Mexico. They have four dogs (one Cocker Spaniel and three King Charles) that we have "dog-sit" before while Brooks and Heidi were on a cruise. They have a very nice large house which has a hot tub in the back yard we get to take advantage of while we were there. It was nice to be in a sticks and brick house for a few days to remember what our life was like before we started on the road a couple of years ago.

After Heidi & Brooks' return from Mexico, we headed back out to my dad's place for a few days before we will travel to the La Hacienda RV Resort in Austin for two weeks. We finished up storing a few items we have not used in the last year in his shed along with getting a few things out of storage to put in the Duchess. We also rearranged our underneath storage again (this is something we seem to do every few months). While we were there my dad's water faucet broke, so I spent one day fixing the break (new faucet along with PVC piping). Our water pump went out while we were at the ranch so I will have to replace it when we get to Austin. While we were there we trimmed up all of the brush along the road into the ranch (about 1/4 mile).

On December 12th we headed out from Rosanky to Austin and the La Hacienda RV Resort. We had stayed here last year and we hoping to spend at least a month here. But we could only get the time period of December 12-28 so it will be a short visit. It is a very nice RV Resort with two heated pools, hot tub, exercise room along with other amenities. I ordered a new water pump through Amazon and was able to install it with Connie's help in a couple of hours. The temperatures got down into the 20's here in Austin for a few nights and we needed the pump at night while we had unhooked our water lines due to the cold weather. We also got a few "Christmas gifts" to ourselves: a new canopy with mosquito netting, a MAGMA set of nesting cookware that works on our induction cooktop and a JIGSORT board for Connie to keep her jigsaw puzzles in place while we travel.

While in Austin we got our teeth cleaned, our annual eye exams and our physicals completed. All results were good although I will need to get new glasses (eyes are getting worse). We visited with friends and family, had several "happy hours" and ate too many large restaurant meals (it is the holiday season after all) and have enjoyed spending time back in Austin. We got to spend a few hours with my grandson, Rhys McKay, and his mother Grace a few days before Christmas. Thanks to Brooks for letting us join in his famous fish frys feasting on the white bass he catches at the local lakes. Connie and I both look forward to these fish frys all year long while we are on the road.

Each year Austin continues to grow and the traffic gets worse and worse. It makes us appreciate being on the road and spending our time away from big cities.

On December 28th we will head to San Antonio to spend the next two months.