Psycho Silo Saloon….Langley Il…..So Unique….

If your ever crossing Illinois on I80, this is the coolest place to see…”Psyco Silo Saloon”….located in the ghost town of Langley Illinois.  It is now a renovated outdoor bar, with entertainment, built with old railroad ties and bridge planks.  It is bringing in bikers, hot roders, or anyone who wants to spend a relaxing afternoon or evening.  It is located at the intersection of Il. 40 and US. 6 between Sheffield and Wyanet.  It is only 2 miles off of I 80.  It was the elevator in Langley next to the tracks.  Built around 1901, it hadn’t operated for years.  The town with a few houses had become a ghost town and they were even gone.  All that stood for years was the elevator with trees, brushes and weeds growing up and  over taking the whole area.

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I had heard about this place just over a year ago.  I had wanted to go, but just wasn’t a priority.  Scott and Brandy decided to do a party run in their motorhome last sunday  and asked us to go.  Its only about 40 minutes away, so its not far.20170521_123758

We met at the bar at 11 am.  Only 6 of us went after all, as it was so cold.  It has a high of the 50s.  Sure not use to that temp.  After a fun ride over with music at its peak…..lol….lets say a few beers, certainly not the driver, we turned off Rt. 6 onto what use to be the Main St. of Langley On the way up to the elevator, the owner had placed old cars and vehicles in different places.  All old….old antiques.  As we approached, the elevator came into view as it was hidden in the trees.  Many different decks had been built.

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All around the edges were rusty car bumpers, some doors, and so many different old parts on display.  It was so unique.

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They flagged us through over a bridge and parked in a larger grassy area.  It was only the 2nd weekend they have been open this year.  Everything is outside.  Their is no inside, therefore they obviously close in the winter.

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As we walked up to the bar, their was so much to see.  Over on the left side was what appeared to be a junk pile….lol…

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But I’m sure these are the things that he displays when he finds a place for them.  The building in the background is the new restrooms.  Modernized too….that’s a +…..lol..

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We climbed up the first flight of steps…Their was a roof of an old silo and underneath was a bar in an Old Truck….

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That was so cool.  The back end of the cab was cut out and a cooler was set in their.

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Also on that level was the stage for the band.  They had 2 playing that day.  This was Cody Calkins who really has become locally very popular.  For 2 hours he played and hit every note….Later another band Vice Squad set up in the stage area and played.  They were awesome.  If you notice the stage is really the side of a trailer cut out still hooked up to an old truck….How cool is that….Then we climber the stairs to the next level…

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Their was the main bar.  Now were actually in the old elevator.  It was decorated with license plates and old things.  I was also told that one of the guys from “The American Pickers” also had been their to check them out.  This is their kind of stuff….

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The deck area is so big.  Many tables and also some old non matching rocking chairs.  We walked around the corner and found 1 inside room…..Of Course…

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The one with the Slot Machines….Almost every bar has them these days.

Then we walked to the back side and their was the souvenir clothing.  T Shirts, Sweats, bandana’s, tank tops, koozies,  sunglasses, etc.  so many things.

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Their again, it was an old trailer pulled along side with the side cut out.  At closing, they just put all merchandise back in the trailer and lock up…..Great Idea….Oh…..and don’t worry.   If you run out of money, they also have an ATM machine….You can always get more…lol

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This is on the wall in the bar area on the deck.  I walked around for quite awhile, just looking at everything.  As the story goes…..The Owner is Troy Thompson of Princeton Illinois, which isn’t far.  He had seen it many times as a kid, as they drove by.  Finally 3 years ago he decided to fulfill his dream, he bought it and with the help of family and friends he renovated it with all the antiques that he has been collecting.  He has done a fabulous job.  This little town that still had a name but no houses now has come to life every weekend.  Before that, its only claim to fame was a shoot out of some bank robbers.  The robbers had robbed a bank in a neighboring town of Manlius and hid out in a train car.

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As we listened to music, we looked through the parking lot…Their was Scotts Camper….It was a fun day, but it was so so cold.  Fortunately at the upper bar, they had a long heat pipe installed in the ceiling.  I finally went and sat in a rocking chair.  It was really quit comfortable.

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So many unique things has been done.  Love these old tractor seats made for the tables.  Finally it was time to leave.  I was cold to the bone but so glad I came.  Many people started coming in as we sat their, but it was so cold.  Usually the parking lot is filled.  We seen many bikers, old car enthusiasts, and many people just came to enjoy.  It seems to bring out everyone.   They are also gearing up for a 4 day Memorial Day Party….Full of Entertainment, drinks, and also they have sandwiches and appetizers.

 

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Scott Rich and Brandy

 

Another unique place in the Central Illinois Valley.  Amazing what people can do when they have a dream….and a desire.  What a preservation of Old America for everyone to enjoy….

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This is a barbeque cart….has a grill inside with serving table…..

””PARTY ON””

 

 

 

 

 

Back Home In Illinois

We are back home for a short time.  We’ll be here around 3 weeks total.  Its good to see the kids again.  We left Harlingen on Saturday afternoon and arrived Monday afternoon.  The goal was to make it to Scott and Brandy’s  bar for tacos.  They serve them only on Mondays 5-7.  20170515_174717

They are deep fried, something you can’t get in Texas.  Must be a northern thing.  Brandy puts in the meat filling, inserts toothpick.  Drop them in the fryer and immetiately open and put in lettuce, onions and tomatoes after frying…..mmmmm…..Saturday morning I had an employees meeting before we left.  I work at the Cinemark 10, 2 days a week on the weekends in the box office.  I, of course am the oldest.  Most are all kids or young adults.  It was rather interesting.  The General Manager of the theater held the meeting.  The purpose of course is to update all employees on new programs coming up for the summer, as well as safety issues, fire drill procedures, and many at risk situations.  But the think I find most interesting is the general manager is so good with these kids.  He is firm with rules, but he also builds them up, trying to get them to strive for the very best in life.  He demands respect and yet have fun at the same time.  One of the managers, Miss Ramos, has been taking the steps to climb the ladder in the company.  She has just taken a test and achieved a fabulous score.  The General Manager announced that she was 4th in the nation and is now titled “Assistant General Manager”  Everyone is called Miss or Mr.  In fact, this is something I have noticed here in the Rio Grande Valley.  Their is respect everywhere from little kids to Seniors.  You can be in a grocery store or on the phone, and everyone says, “Thank You Maam”……It is something that is taught from childhood on and still continues.   As soon as I came back home we finished packing. 20170512_145157

This little guy was hanging around on the awning.  There are zillions of these everywhere.  Kinda cute……It was so hot……Sweat was just pouring off Rich.   Finally we took off and had a rather uneventful trip home……but that’s good…

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Kitty enjoyed the ride as usual, sleeping most of the time.  He would of course also sit on his foot stool by his dad and paw at him.  He always wants Rich to pet him while driving.

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Finally crossing the Mississippi we made it into Illinois.  We seen some floods coming across Arkansas.  They were really hit bad on the White River.  The Mississippi was up but nothing out of the ordinary.  Its been so much worse.

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Brandy behind bar

We arrived in McNabb and parked at “One Pawz Pub”.  Brandy was working,  Scott showed up about a half hour later, from driving truck.  This was the first time we had seen the new progress on the bar.  Scott reconstructed a new bar and put stripe designs in it and covered it with epoxy.  This is not a good picture but it is beautiful.

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Patio area….it was getting dark

He has also finished his patio out back.  He made all his own bars and bar stools and painted them different bright colors.  He also made 3 octagon picnic tables and put down grass turf.  They have a Harley Davidson Bag game in the area you can’t see.  He is striving to gain a lot of bikers this summer on their poker runs.

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Tammy, Cassidy and Carly came for Tacos.  Also her boyfriend Bryan and son.  Ed, Tinas Husband showed up with Austin.  Tina was at a softball game with Miley.  Finally Cameron came in.  He was working…….”What a Nice Sound”…..lol….This past year, Cameron has made “HUGE STEPS” in his life.  He accomplished his GED, then went to Truck Driving School, obtained his CDL, and now has a seasonal job at AG Service.  He drives the chemicals out to the fields for the farmers as they plant.  He loves it.  He also has a truck driving job coming up after the season is over.  It will be a roller coaster for him as he is only going to be 19 in June.  Lots of companies can’t or don’t want to hire him because of insurance.  When he is 21 it will get better…..Just have to stay positive….Finally Connie, Richs youngest sister came and Brian.  We had a nice visit eating Tacos.  Finally drove to the house a block away before dark, parked and settled in.

Now time for a “Randy update”.  Randy has been in New Orleans and Galveston having a Grand time.  He went to a museum to check out and learn about alligators and turtles.

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Look at Randy’s COOL NEW PANTS

He’s been to many resturants checking out the hot sauces and peppers…..lol

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But he decided to eat Brownies instead…..Guess he knew it would tear up his stomach.

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So now Randy and his parents are all packed up.  They are heading on their way to Maryland.  Their having such a good time seeing the sites….

Cant wait till we see where Randy’s Adventures take him next…..

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Randy and his Mom in Galveston La.

 

 

The Last Days With Friends…..Randy is Traveling….

 

The Park is almost empty of all the Winter Texans.  We’ve had a few more head north.  On Sunday we went to the Island with Cathy and Bud and Ann, Cathy’s sister.  Ann flew down from Canada to spend the last week with them.  They are all leaving Wednesday.  We ate at Dirty Al’s, at the Pelican Station in Port Isabel.

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It sits right on the Lagoon near the bridge that goes to South Padre Island.  It has a beautiful view through the windows of the bridge.

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You can also see the Dolphin Watching tour boats that are right down the street.  Sometimes you can even see the Dolphins from here swimming and jumping in the water.

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After we eat a wonderful dinner we decided to ask for Dessert…..Oh How SINFULLY Delicious it was. 

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The waiter and waitress were so nice, the took our pictures and had fun with us.  Just look at those yummy desserts.  Key Lime Pie, Cheesecake, Pecan Pie with Ice Cream and chocolate syrup……Yes, We Left Full…..

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Last Friday we took a trip to Progresso which was also Cathy and Buds last for the season.  We walked around the streets and through some of the shops.  Bought some meds….(cheap)….eat dinner and stopped at Ponchos for a drink.  This girl is always on the streets trying to sell her jewelry.  She doesn’t speak English and is slow.  But she knows how to sell.  She know all the regulars and always hangs around.  Her name is Judy, although its spelled different in Spanish.  She calls Cathy and Bud her Mommy and Poppy.  But she also calls Glen her Poppy….I think she must call everyone that.  Last year, she hung around and wanted to carry my Piñata all the way to the border bridge.  Several of us gave her money and she was happy, but she still hangs around till you leave.  The last 2 times we have driven across now.  No more walking across the bridge.  But they get you for parking.   They find you a place and want money for watching your car.  You can also get a hand wash and wax for around $12.   It is a Good Deal.

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We had some fun trying on hats…..They always say…..”What you want Lady? It almost Free”  ……So another 2 days and they will leave for Canada.

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I also want to report on Randy the Reindeer….Remember him from Christmas?….Randy decided to head to Maryland with his Eastgate Parents Alice and Tom.  He has never met his family so he is heading east….He will proudly ride on the dash in his chair and see the sites of this great America.  You realize he has only seen it at nite with Santa, helping to pull the sleigh on Christmas Eve.  So this will be a GREAT EXPERIENCE for him.  We’ve had our first report from him.

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He went out shopping to buy appropriate Beach wear.  He has new sunglasses, swim trunks, even flip flops on his feet.  He has a visor on his head also to protect him.  But he still has that Margarita glass in his hand…..I think his parents will help him control his drinking problem though.  Alice and Tom are good people and they know what’s best for him……lol…

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Here is a really cool picture of him on the Beach.  They are at Galveston Island for April before they start heading north.  So I will be reporting on Randy every time he reports in….. So I will close with several pictures of friends gone north…..Everyone goes North ya know…..We are the most southern point of the USA…….If you look at the map, you will see we are almost in line with KEY WEST FLORIDA

…..You just can’t go any further south…

……..”See You All Next Year”……

Summer Update…..Where are We Going

This winter season has flown by so fast.  Its so hard to believe summer is coming again already.  We were so busy this winter.  We did so many things in the park, that I haven’t written about.  I will start filling them in later.  It seemed we were so busy that I never had the chance to write, always thinking of my next activities to get ready for in the park.  So now we are starting to get some down time.  As of April 1st the Workampers were done.  Everyone is leaving to go up north and back home.  It is like when you were a kid and summer camp was over.  Then you hope all your new friends will come back.  So many good memories are always made.  Now we are having our last dinners out,  our last happy hours,  and our last trips to Mexico with friends.

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Here is our last dinner at Texas Roadhouse.  First couple on the left are Ron and Theresa.  We met them at Adventureland last year.  Theresa works from her trailer on the internet.  They left for Yellowstone National Park on Thurs.  A few stops visiting their kids and Ron will be workamping at a store at the North Entrance.  What a fabulous opportunity,  except for the snow….lol….Just imagine you days off the explore Yellowstone for a whole summer…..Such Memories they will make….”Good Luck Guys”…. Glen and Kathy are next.  They live in Canada at a trailer park.  They will be leaving this weekend.  Of course Canada is colder, so their park actually closes down for the winter.  They don’t turn the water back on till May 1st due to freezing.  They are parking behind us, so it will be sad to see them go.  The last couple on the far right is Bud and Cathy.  They are also from Canada.  This is their first year in our park, but they’ve been down before.  They have also become good friends with us all.   Such fun they all are.  They just had 10 of us over last nite for Happy Hour and Supper.  They will be leaving in another week or two.  Canadians can only be out of their country for 6 months with out getting Visa’s and more formal papers.  They all have a date they must be across.  So for the last month the park has been emptying out.  Some pull their rigs, some leave them and tie them down for storage until fall and drive home, and some leaving everything, including their car and fly home.  Our park has a capacity of over 300 lots, that is RV and permanent Mobile units.  So if you figure 2 people to a trailer, we probably have around 500 here at its peak.  By the time everyone leaves their are around 100 permanent people….A Ghost Town?…..No, They LOVE it.  They say its a time of peace and relaxation….Time to go swimming and lay by the pool all summer day….

So the BIG QUESTION IS…..”WHAT ARE WE DOING THIS SUMMER”?????

We are staying here also.  Rich is working for the park doing trailer repairs and maintenance.  So many of the rental mobiles are in need of things.  New floors, and just a lot of general work.  They sit during the summer, and it takes a huge toll on them.

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My new part time summer job is working at the Cinema 10.  I’m in the Box Office on weekends.  It has A/C.   Now how nice is that.  We have 2 in town, and this one gets the second run movies, so they are also called the “CHEAP Theater”….lol….A daytime ticket is only around $2.  The other theater is Cinema 16, much larger and they also get all the first run movies.   So we can also go to the movies anytime we want.  So something new again.  I’ve never worked a theater before.  So because of this job and staying on for the summer and then still being here next winter,

……..WHAT DO I NEED……”MY OWN CAR”…..

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So here she is…..My 1997 Chevy Lumina with 101,000 miles on it…..She is in excellent shape and a one owner car.  One of the campers decided to give up his trip down from Battle Creek Michigan every year.  He is getting older and his wife died several years ago.  He sold his fifth-wheel, and we bought his car.  Rich let him keep it till he was ready to fly home.  Joe came by at 4am the other morning and picked up Rich.  They drove to the Airport which is only 2 miles and Joe flew home, and now we have a car…..It is sure nice to have my own again.  Also automatic windows and transmission….lol…The little ranger is all manual….”Living in Luxury” now…lol….So now we own …..2…1997 vehicles…..only 20 years behind.   lol.  So now…..The REST OF THE STORY…..

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We are coming home the end of May and first part of June.  We have a time schedule that we have to be back because of my little job at the theater.  We will be doing a short part time job.    We will be working Security at Chillicothe for the Summer Camp Music Festival at Three Sisters Park.  Because we still have our Texas Gate Guarding Security license,   we were able to get this job.  We attended this Festival several years back and we had such a blast.  We are people watchers and it was such a good time.

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The Summer Camp Music Festival is a multi-day music festival created by Jay Goldberg Events & Entertainment and held every year on Memorial Day Weekend at Three Sisters Park in Chillicothe, Illinois. The event normally attracts around 20,000 visitors, of which between 8,000 and 10,000 arrive before gates open.  It was listed as one of the top 40 music festivals in Rolling Stone Magazine in 2014  They offer over 100 different bands on 7 stages throughout the park.  The park consists of 400 acres of rolling hillsides full of grassy areas for parking, tent camping, amphitheater, Farmhouse, Chapel and authentic reproduction timber barn.  Acres of fields for festival events as well as shaded forest areas.   All the required elements for a Fabulous Music Festival. 

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When we were here before, it was so much fun to watch the activity.  All the “flower children”  from the 70’s, now grown up,  bringing their family’s and still wearing tie dye, funky clothes,  and having a blast dancing and doing what “all comes natural”…..lol….

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The entertainment is fabulous, the light shows are awesome.  I think the best part is just riding threw the camp sites and seeing all the people.   How they camp, dress,…..lol….and how they interact with everyone.  How much will we see as we are working?  I don’t know ….But just being their in the presence of it all will be enough.  After that visiting with all the kids and then back to Texas so I don’t loose my little job at the theater.   Then in September we hope to be back.  Rich will work the harvest, and I might only stay for a week or 2.   It all depends on the cat…..We want to drive up then in the car, and I would take the train back, but Its Kitty…..He is the problem….I guess time will figure that out…..We need a Kitty Care Person to babysit…

…….So That is Our Summer Plans…….

It’s Been A While…..Happy Birthday Time

The cover picture is the kids all most 3 years ago.  Tammy graduated with her BSN in Peoria Illinois.  A proud and Happy day for us all. 

Thinks have been so hectic here at the park, but really slowing down now.  As of April 1st, our Workamping contracts were done…..So now for a little R & R.   First I’m going to report on the family. 

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“It’s Birthday Season”……..Tina had her birthday on March 8.  She just ran for re-election to the Granville Village Board.  On April 4th she was re-elected.   So 4 more years of Village Trustee.   “Congatulations Tina”   She is very devoted to the issues of her town, trying to make it a better place for all residents.

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This picture is of Putnam County Courthouse in Granville IllinoisTina works in the Circuit Clerks Office.  This is the Judge, Cathy Oliveri, the Circuit Clerk,  Tina and the other girl in the office.  She loves her job and has learned so much working in the Courthouse.

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On March 27, Cassidy was 13.  She’s finally an official Teenager.   She is growing prettier every day.  She is also acting more like a teenager every day.  Ggrrrrrr…..Happy Birthday Cassidy…..lol….

 

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Tammy, Tina, grandkids, Cassidy, Carly, Miley and Austin.  Vacation in Florida visiting old friend Gertie and husband.  Gertie was our neighbor when the girls were baby’s……Gertie was close to them…

So today is Tammy’s Birthday.  I won’t tell her age, but she is just short of 40….lol…Wow …”Where has the years gone”….  Today she is helping out her good friend who is having some major family health issues.  I hope her day is going ok.  That is one of Tammy’s best qualities.  Always wanting to help.

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In 3 years she has came so far.  Since she received her BSN,  she seems to be flying in the nursing field.  She’s always looking for more challenging jobs to educate herself.

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Monday will be Scott’s Birthday.  He of course is the youngest.  Brandy and him own Scotties One Paw’z Bar in McNabb.  He is always remodeling and changing things.  His latest addition is to add a patio.  He made his bar and bar stools and also brought in some artificial turf for volley ball.  Always working on things.

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He is also always buying things….This is his latest toy….So now no more Birthdays till June….Then its Camerons’…..19….OH MY

 

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Just a another CRAZY picture…..Now this is their normal look…..lol…

These kids have come so far in the last years.  10 or so years ago, I was worried about them all.  But they have all found their way.  They have all excelled in their own areas of life and finding their way.  Yes we don’t see them often now, but….I see such progress in all their lives….We are so PROUD of Them…..We aren’t need anymore…They are living on their own…..lol….

……..Well Almost……

Ill be playing catch up now that I have time……Stay Tuned……

 

 

 

Happy Birthday Glen….”55″….Finally an Old Man

We met Glen and Kathy last year.  They are from Canada.  They’ve become good friends, even coming by McNabb to bring our golf cart down last fall.  This year he is finally considered  “Senior”.  Finally legal to camp in our “55”+ park….lol…He has been “whining” for quite awhile,  cause Kathy got 5 Birthday Cakes one year.  So couple of us decided to each get him a cake.  I went to HEB, on Sunday.  Who do you think I seen?  That darn Glen!!!!  He had to come and buy his own cake……lol….So I went over to the party supplies and bought 3 pkgs.  of sparkler candles and one big Star Sparkler Candle.

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I also bought a blue badge that said “Birthday Boy”.   Then I went back to the Bakery aisle and picked out a small blue  cake with frosted balloons.  I snuck out the store and put my purchases in the truck, turned around, and guess who was parked in front of me……”GLEN”…..So at home I finished my pot of spaghetti.  Bud’s Cathy (we have 3 of them) also bought him a cake.  It was decorated with confetti colors, very pretty.  fb_img_1487604855694

At 4pm we all gathered at Kathy and Glen’s.  Over 25 people came to celebrate.   So the drinks started flowing.

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 Glen’s Kathy, barefoot and passing out those drinks

 Finally the food began.  We had cabbage rolls, meatballs, spaghetti, different salads, barbequed ribs, crackers and cheese, veggies and dip.   So so many good things.  Finally Bud’s Cathy and I went to get her cake at her house.  Took them to our house to light the candles and get them ready for Glen.20170219_175548 Well,  ALL WENT WELL UNTIL BUD’S CATHY TURNED FAST…………..OMG……….

The cake went flllyyyying through the air.   I heard it “PLOP”    UPSIDE DOWN on our mat.   We were dying in laughter, bent over,  had to sit down to NOT PEE THE PANTS…..Our ribs hurt, Cathy’s face was RED AS A STRAWBERRY….”WHAT CAN WE DO NOW”……I went and got 2 big knifes…..Stuck them under the cake and plopped the cake back onto the cardboard.  With the knifes, I wiped up big chunks of the frosting and threw it back on the cake.  What a mess.  Finally we composed our self, and tried to lite the sparklers, but now its to windy.  So we took the cakes over and told Glen to close his eyes.   Everyone was dying with laughter.  Glen opened his eyes and cracked up.  Everyone was rolling with laughter as Bud’s Cathy was explaining what happened.  Lol….

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Glen saying “WHAT THE FUCk”….

We tried again to lite the candles, but they just wouldn’t lite.  Finally Rich put our cake in the smoker to guard it from the wind.   That worked.  We finally was able to lite20170219_180624

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Glen blew out all his candles and we all sang Happy Birthday to him.  Everyone even ate the dump cake…..lol…We called it Organic Dump cake laced with a touch of grass and…..???   He had a great time that nite.  A Really Nice Party……He got a wee bit drunk, but that’s Glen…..Now this was Sunday.  Monday was Presidents Day.  Many of us decided to take the day off and go the Progresso.  I went up to the office early that morning to get a few things done, and we all took off by 11.  We rode with Ron and Theresa.  They hadn’t been to Progresso yet, so this would be fun showing them around.  Around 11 of us went in 3 different cars.  We met at Arturo’s for dinner.  Its a nice Mexican Restaurant on the main st. of Progresso.  Walked on down the street looking at all the vendors.  Of course their was the purchase of alcohol.  It is so much cheaper their.  Some went over to RED PANTY BARTheresa, Ron and I just walked around checking out all the stores.  The store I bought my pots, and then ended up at the Pharmacy were we buy our drugs.  I introduced them to Jasmine.  She is the girl who works the Pharmacy as well as working for the Dentist next door who made my teeth.  She is their interpreter.  They were amazed at the cheap prices for the drugs that are sold in the States as prescription.  Well of course they loaded up.

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We looked at all the hammock’s and macramé chairs they have for sale.  We met the rest at the bar, and finally walked up the street to Pancho’sGuess what that is?….lol….Another Bar…….Theresa and I went shopping in the store while they had more drinks.  We walked up to the 3rd floor.  Their was some Beautiful Pots up their.  The floor was filled from front to back and stacked.  Also saddles, blankets and all the leather gear.  We went back down to the bar, and this is what we found…..16831888_10154748485066321_5285052301937266720_n

Typical isn’t it….Glen got his Margarita, in fact Rich talked them into a FREE one.   Glen made sure he wore his Birthday Boy Badge……Finally the sun was starting to go down.  The advice that is always given………GET OUT BEFORE DARK………lol….So we finally left, crossed the border, they had to pay liquor tax of course.  But it also seemed the Border guards were much more thorough in checking what we had.  They seemed rude and actually went through our bags.  Now that’s a first…..So what’s up with that……

“TRUMP” and his Immagration Laws?

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…….Glen, Kathy, Rich, and Ron….THE OFFICAL PARTIERS…….

“HAPPY BIRTHDAY GLEN”

 

 

 

 

Our Ladies Style Show and Super Bowl

We just finished our 1st Style Show at the park with 3 different Awesome stores with 15 of our ladies modeling.  I surely can’t show you all 15, but these were my favorites.  These Ladies modeled from Lionels Western Wear in Weslaco.  They wore their fashions from their head including jewelry, down to her shoes and boots.   Such Beautiful and colorful items.  lionels-1

This all first started when I was invited to another park last year for their Ladies Fashion Show.  Our friends from McNabb, Jan and Bob Shuster are at Paradise park.  I attended with Jan and thought how beautiful it was, but thought Eastgate could never do anything like that, as we are so much smaller, and don’t have that kind of cash flow…..For that matter, nor could I…..I certainly don’t have the experience to know how to put together something so elegant as theirs.  As an Event last year, we went to beautiful Villa De Cortez in Weslaco for lunch.  20170217_150029.jpg

Sandra from Lionels Western Wear, which was one of the stores at Paradise Park,  came and modeled several items.  It was so much fun.  After our lunch several of us went down the street to her store shopping.   We were so Impressed.  I talked with Sandra as how to do a style show at the Villa De Cortez.   She said I should call her this past fall when we all arrived.

 

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My Friend Cicily Mahoney

This fall, after we all arrived, I realized the Ladies Luncheon was having a hard time come up with entertainment.  So I mentioned to Linda and Cheryl about the Fashion Show.   They were so excited.  So we contacted Sandra and set a date.  Several weeks before, Linda and Cheryl made appointments at all 3 stores for fittings.  We not only had Lionels Western Wear, also Wells of Weslaco and Bec’s of McAllen.  Those 2 girls worked so hard transporting all 15 girls to 3 different stores for fittings.  Each store had 5 ladies model 2 different outfits.  The day of, The stores arrived and set up their close racks in Lila’s mobile trailer right next to the hall.  That become the dressing rooms.  Each store had 1 room for their 5 girls to change.  20170215_193139.jpg

They were all so elegant and full of fun as they modeled.  Nancy was demonstrating her imaginary gun concealed in the pocket built into her purse.  20170203_153659.jpg

Pat was just so cool in her red flowing Poncho with black boots and her Cowboy hat.   20170203_134500.jpg

Of course we had Frances looking so beautiful in a black and white top. Her outfit was from Bec’s in McAllen.   All the ladies wore beautiful exquisite jewelry and shoes.  Sandra’s store is full of gorgeous Jewelry.   The show was just fabulous. lionels-5

A huge Thank You to Linda and Cheryl for all their work and of course the ladies from the 3 stores that traveled to bring this fabulous show to our park…..Many of the ladies are planning  fun shopping days.   20170203_120501.jpg

The hall was decorated in bright bold colors.  The girls made bright paper tissue flowers and suspended them from the ceiling.  They purchased bright colored table clothes and bought flowers from Progresso Mexico as centers pieces.   The luncheon tables were filled with so much awesome food.  Everyone brought a dish to share…..lionels-4

So See We Can Do a Style Show….It May Have Not Been Elegant as Some Are…..But

…….We Did It The Eastgate Way……

And we had a BLAST

It was so much fun and everyone so enjoyed it.  So next event was Super Bowl.  We left the flowers up in the ceiling, but I saved all the tables cloths for our Potato Bake next month.  Finally the Super Bowl was decided.  Falcons and Patriots.   Red and Blue.  My 2 favorite colors.  This year was so much easier to plan.  I wrote notes and saved grocery lists from last year.  I have learned if you write a plan when you begin and a summary when your done of good things and recommendations for change, it is so much easier the following year.  So it was much easier.  The menu this year was Brisket, Lil Smokies, Shrimp, Nachos and Cheese, Crackers, sausage and cheese, Veggies and dip, Soda and half barrel of beer. We asked for everyone to bring a snack to share.   Rich bought the briskets at Sams and found a new caterings service/bar that would smoke and season them.   They were fabulous.  20170205_172621.jpg

I found a cool looking inflatable ice tray for the table in the shape of a football stadium for the shrimp and veggies.  During the season I’ve been collecting things for door prizes.  I ended up with 25 items.

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…..2 white boards with all the prizes listed….my placemats and centerpieces…..

 

Top prize from Joe Shannon was a Garmin Fitness Tracker bracelet.  I had a fishing rod from Johnnys True Value, Yankee Candle for Quips and Quotes, and many many good gift certificates as well as other things.   It was grand.  Of course they went through not only the half barrel but another half of a half barrel.  I made center pieces of footballs from brown paper and Megaphones in Red and Blue.  It really looked nice. 20170205_155141.jpg

………And What A Game…….I don’t understand football but I did watch the last half.  It was sure an exciting game.  I didn’t take to many pictures that night, as it was such a busy evening.  We went up by noon to decorate and set up.  By 8 pm my feet were dead.  We left around 11 when the hall was finally cleaned up again

…..Back to Normal for another DAY…..20170209_082653.jpg

I will finish with a new picture of our pots in place in the Entrance of our Park.  I coated them with couple of coats of concrete sealer in hopes it will protect the pots from the harsh summer months.  The pots came from Progresso Mexico.  Bought them and had a Mexican wheel them across the border, straight to the truck.  He even put them in the back and put down cardboard for protection.  All for $48 for both including a $10 tip.   What a Deal……… So now the girls planted them with petunias, and they are

………BEAUTIFUL…….. 

Winterfest at South Padre Island on The Gulf

Winterfest is held every year on the island.  It is an all day music festival of 5 musical groups that are playing in the Valley for the winter.  Last year we went and the weather was so cold.  They had it in the indoor water park at Schlitterbahn.  It was still cold   They had patio heaters running but it didn’t help.  I usually get a pair of tickets free as its one of the perks with the job.  Rick from Schlitterbahn came up and gave me my bundle of tickets to sell in the park.  He is the manager or chairperson for Winterfest.  As the date came closer we realized it would be warmer weather.  We decided to spend the nite at Schlitterbahn.  They were running a special of $59  for a nite.   Great way to spend the evening.  Finally the day came and the weather turned out to be beautiful.  It was a little chilly but sunshine blue sky and no clouds.  We met some friends their.  Ron and Theresa Fisher our friends from AdventurelandS met us their, and Alice and Tom met us also.  20170125_115012.jpg

We enjoyed watching and listening to the bands at the Outdoor Water Park.  It was a beautiful outdoor Tropical setting.  We were served a Shrimp or Chicken Basket from Shrimp Haus.  Then we decided to take a walk to the crossover bridge that took us to the beach on the Gulf.20170125_115134.jpg

This is the bridge view from the concert area.  The water park of course is drained right now for the winter.  We took a walk up the stairs behind the stage area to get to the bridge.

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From the top of the stairs we had a great view of the Concert area.  Onward we went, all 5 of us, as Tom stayed back.  He can’t walk that far.   We crossed over the bridge and the boardwalk extended a long distance ahead stopping at the beach with the ocean lapping on the sand…..20170125_133033.jpg

What a beautiful view it was.  Left to Right.  Alice from Maryland, Theresa and Ron from Nebraska, and Rich.  Were all Eastgate folks…..lol….We headed on down the boardwalk to the Gulf.  20170125_133548.jpg

It was a beautiful day, a little windy and beautiful blue sky.  The sand was so pretty and the sea gulls were flying around enjoying the wind and the waves.

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The view up the beach to the hotels was so beautiful.  The haze in the air made the hotels look so magical.  People were just walking and enjoying the sun, water and the sounds of the waves lapping on the beach.  Rich found a chair that someone carried down from the Water Park….lol….received_1354518004569754.jpeg

Theresa snapped this picture.  One of the few pictures that I allow of me…..lol….

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We walked back up to the Concert   This is the view from the top of the bridge over the drained Water Park.  20170125_115045.jpg

We went back to our seats by Tom.  This was the view of Schlitterbahn Water Park from our table.   We stayed for the rest of the performances.  20170207_075654.jpg

This is John Sager.  He is a performer from Branson.  Very Popular in the Valley.  He is an Awesome singer and has won many Awards.  The last performers were the Port Isabel Mariachi Band.   They were awesome also.  Wonderful musicians and singers and only High School.  They played last year also.  We all finally left, and stopped at the Schlitterbahn Resort to check in.  Alice and Tom and us were staying the nite, and Theresa and Ron heading home.  But not before we had supper together.  We headed to Louie’s Backyard.

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Its a really cool restaurant on the Bay side of the Island.  Most everyone had the Sea Food Buffet.  Of course I don’t like fish so I had Prime Rib.  After a great dinner and conversation we all left.20170125_182519.jpg

Outside was a Catamaran taking off with a party group.  The music was blaring and laughter in the air.  Such a beautiful Sunset.  The lights on the boat were so pretty as it went floating by.  Finally we said goodbye to Theresa and Ron as they were driving back to Harlingen.  Tom and Alice and us went back to the hotel to enjoy a peaceful evening in our hotel room.  In the morning we headed back to Harlingen 20170124_140710.jpg

We have been doing crafts on Tues.  This is our latest one.   I’ve been trying to do things cheaply and using recycle.  These are water bottle made into Whirlygigs.  They are colored with permanent markers.

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This is the finished product.  Really easy and very cute.  Great project for kids….lol

or Seniors????

 

Bill Chrastil, An Evening at Eastgate & The Birthday Girl

Bill Chrastil was our Friday nite entertainment at Eastgate.  Every Friday we have a group or person come in to sing and play for us.  Many are from Branson Mo.  They come down for the winter and work the Winter Texan circuit here in the Rio Grande Valley.

This year I was invited to the Show Case in Harlingen.  Each park pays for 4 ticket for their Activity Directors to attend and book their acts for the next season or two.  I wasn’t able to go with my park, as 2 other couples take care of this, but I have gotten to know the person from Schlitterbahn in South Padre Island, who attends.  Rick books for Dinner shows as well as hosting the Winterfest, which is an all day music fest which will be happening Wed.  Jan 25.  We’ll be attending it.  But Rick invited me to attend the Show Case as he had an extra ticket.  Of course I jumped at the opportunity.  We attended at another larger park, Park Place.  All the audience sat in the center.  On each side their were 2 rows of tables from front to back with all the entertainers sitting in their spot.  The stage included 3 different areas at different levels that the entertainers could perform on.  The idea was that as one was performing, others could be setting up to play as their turn came.

We were handed a paper with 36 different entertainers listed.   Each one had 8 minutes to perform.  They were timed with a stop watch.  Their was to be 2 minutes between each performer.  So total of 10 minutes between acts.  After each performance, the performer would go to the other hall.  Then an activity director who would be interested in booking them would go to the other hall and talk business, arranging the date and price and payment options.  It can be for the next year or even 2 years out depending on the popularity of the performer.  The contract can be signed at that time.  Well it was a very interesting day.  Many of the acts were good, some were not organized or ready.  Some weren’t even that talented.  Needless to say, by the end of the day, we were over the time by more than an hour.  I think that was to be expected by most everyone.  One of the performers stood out to me.  I had seen him during the day walking around and waiting his turn.  Finally Bill Chrastil got on stage.  I felt like he SHINNED in his 8 minutes.  He was organized, each song ran into another one, not wasting any time.  He knew his equipment.  A press of a finger and his next song was playing.  He had High Energy, worked the stage and had so much fun with his songsbill-chrastil-32.jpeg

I was excited as I knew he was coming to our park.   Bill Chrastil played at our park last Friday and he was so good.  He pulled into the park about an hour and half early.  His wife and little puppy was with him.  We arrived around a half hour early and got our seat.  He started with songs of Neil Diamond, Conway Twitty, Willie Nelson, and other country songs.  Finally after break he moved on the Tom Jones, and my favorites, Elvis.20170120_204201.jpg

He was good.  He moved across the stage from one side to another.  His music blended from one song to another.  When he sang Elvis he put on a belt, and sunglasses.  20170120_204447.jpg

He did many of Elvis’s moves and worked the audience.  I found out later that he had scope knee surgery on Dec. 16.   Wow.   It sure didn’t stop him.  His wife said he was ready to start the more daring moves that he makes to look like Elvis…….  The splits ……Once he was warmed up in the second half he sang Tom Jones and Elvis, His voice was so Awesome.  The deep deep sound of Elvis and how he could hold it.  It was Great.  He also was a great guitar player.  He changed from 2 different guitars.  He played a guitar solo, Wipe Out from the Ventures, that was just amazing.  He is an accomplished musician playing the guitar, keyboard,  drums, bass guitar, and harmonica.  Finally the time came for the show to be over.

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He was very gracious and took pictures with anyone who wanted it and chatted with them.

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My Friend Alice and Bill Chrastil

 Bill has been a full time musician and entertainment  since 1983.   He is a songwriter and producer as well as an accomplished instrumentalist.  He is from Lincoln Nebraska, as well as performing in Branson Mo.  He has won many awards in Branson including Best Gospel CD of the year,  Best Vocal impressionist of the years, Best Horizon Show of the year.  He’s also been inducted into the Nebraska and South Dakota Country Music Hall of Fame.

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Last year here in the Valley he won the much sought after Male Vocalist of the Year at the Valley Star Awards.  He has been nominated again this year.  So if you ever get a chance to see his show……  DO IT….. He is a great singer and an Accomplished musician.

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Last week was the Birthday of our littlest Granddaughter Carly.  She is now 5.   Its hard to believe she is that old already.  When Tammy found out she was pregnant, she was just in her 2 year of nursing school for her BSN.  She couldn’t afford to take but several days off, so the doctors worked with her and induced Carly’s delivery. Tammy only lost a couple days of school and went back.  She was so devoted to obtaining her BSN.  The next few years were tough, but today she is a very successful nurse in Peoria.  Carly is now in preschool and loving it.fb_img_1484850165611.jpg

She can be such a princess when she wants to be…..HAPPY BIRTHDAY CARLY……

 

 

Our Riverside Dreamer Cruise in Mission

Last year we rode this boat with Larry and Cici. They offer an hour ride and a 2 hour ride.  I wanted to try this as a group activity but I was worried because it is almost an hour away.  We always have to car pool.  So I booked a cruise for afternoon from 1pm to 3pm.   Hoping to get 25 so we could still go, I hung up the sign up sheet…..Would you believe, I filled the boat for 45 people.  Put up another sign up sheet for standby.  Over 50 signed up the 2nd time.  Amazing.  Never believed they would be all that excited.  The cruise was $19.  They have a nice restaurant with seating indoors or patio areas outside amongst the tropical settings of plants and patio areas.  So last Tuesday we all met at the parking lot and made the drive to Mission to the Riverside Club on the Rio Grande River.  It was a beautiful day.  We all took our time and enjoyed ordering from the menu.  Some ate inside and others outside.20170110_114529.jpg

Many of us ordered their good ole Midwestern tenderloin.  It was only $8.99.  Not a bad price.  You can’t hardly find one done here so this was a real treat.  It was huge, the size of the plate.  Rich made a face on his.  …..Ketchup and Mayo face…..20170110_173038.jpg

Finally we were all done.  I paid for the tickets and handed out 45 boarding passes for our very own private cruise.  We all went outside and wandered the grounds and lined up.  The boat came in from its 1 hour cruise.  Everyone debarked and we all boarded.  20170110_172934.jpg

Usually the boat goes down river for the 1 hour cruise to the Anzalduas Dam and then back.   The 2 hour cruise goes up river as far as it can go before turning around.  Since this was our own  cruise we were given the option to go down to the dam and then up river as far as we could go.  So that is what we decided.  We hadn’t been to the dam before.  It was a nice ride.20170110_133055.jpg

We cruised up near the dam so we could see over.  On the other side the captain said occasionally the water gets shallow enough that one can walk over to the other side.

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The flood gates were huge.  You can see how far up the gates can go to keep the water from flowing down river and flooding the low lands.  Their was a lot of flooding and damage along the river back in 2010 when Hurricane Alex came inland.  Also note the American and Mexican flag flying overhead.  We turned around and went back past the Riverside Club up stream.  20170110_171633.jpg

We passed Chimney Park boat ramp.  You can see the police lookout up in the area.  These are all over on the boarder areas, even at shopping malls and busy areas in the city’s.  They have a great visual to watch for migrants or crime.  You can also see all the border patrol trucks parked.  20170110_171507.jpg

Right past the ramp is the actual Chimney Park Rv Resort and the Chimney of the original lift station that was started in 1907.  The brick was made by hand in the small town of Madero not to far away.  They chimney is 106 ft tall, and 6 ft in diameter.  The boilers were started in 1907, and the lift station started pumping water for irrigation.  The station was used for irrigation until 1952-53 droughts.  After that Falcon and Anzalduas Dams were constructed and the pump wasn’t needed anymore.  In the 1960’s it opened as a fishing area and eventually became the Chimney Park Resort.  20170110_173338.jpg

We passed one area on the Mexican side which was a resort.  They had sheep grazing on the grounds.  riverside-club-6

On down the river was beautiful home with an Infinity Pool out front.  Just Beautiful.  All this area right now is deserted as its off season.  I would love to see these areas in the summer.  On the Mexican side we passed several resorts.  Some were classy with boat docks and beautiful buildings with large ground areas.  One was damaged in  Hurricane Alex in 2010, and has never really been rebuilt.  On the American side it, other than Chimney Rock, it was mainly Sugar Cane fields.  Bentsen State Park also boarders on the Rio Grande as well as The Butterfly Gardens by Mission Tx.  .20170110_141832.jpg

We also seen the Border Patrol speed by…..and then another one….Along the river, we also seen the Border Conservation Police tied up on the American side.  Eventually after an absolutely beautiful day, we turned back.  The Captain told us many facts on his PA system as we rode.  Also mentioned that a wall would take 40 years to build partly because of land that would have to be take by imminent domain.  Its true. There is so many homes and business all over the banks of the Rio Grande River.  Also the sugar cane fields go all the way the the Rio……

So I guess Time Will Tell……What Will Trump Do…….

So back to the dock and we all headed home after a gorgeous day on the river.  While I was their I booked a 3rd trip.  We’ll see how this goes.  I’m collecting money right now for our next one on Feb 9th.  Already have 20 paid.  Will stop at 40 and start collecting for the 3rd trip on Feb 23.  Who would have ever thought.   I was only hoping for at least 25 so we could send out the boat…..

So tomorrow I have Segway in Bentsen State Park.  This will be an awesome ride.  I’ve never been their before.  Again this is a park event.  Wednesday nite, Us, Cici and Larry, Alice and Tom are all going to see the Oak Ridge Boys.  Now that will be a fun evening.  Busy days ahead.  Oh gees, that means we eat out AGAIN…..lol