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

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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

……”ALL 55 CANDLES”…….20170219_180707

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

45th Anniversary…….January 14, 1972

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45 years ago tonite was a Friday nite.   It was the coldest nite of the year.  Brrrrr…I remember it was below zero.  Rich and I were married in the St. Johns Lutheran Church in Toluca Ill.  We had a simple ceremony with the reception after at the church hall.  All we had was cake nuts and mints.   lol.  Really cheap.  My mom hired a photographer and paid for the cake.  We paid for everything else which wasn’t much.  The entertainment was everyone watching us open our presents.  I remember they were all practical gifts.  Sheets, towels and washcloths, a Mirro Popcorn popper, lots of kitchen stuff.  My dress was made by a friend of ours.  It was a simple A-line dress made of polyester and we added some pearl trim to it.  It cost a whole $16.  Rich’s sport jacket was made at the Toluca Garment Factory where I worked.wedding2

After the wedding we drove in my 1969 Camero to Peoria.  We stayed at a hotel that nite that had underground parking.  Thank goodness we did, cause the car probably wouldn’t have started in the morning.  Who would have ever thought that 40 years later the hotel would be gone, and a parking lot to St. Francis Hospital built their.  Tammy would graduate their with her BSN and probably parked her car in that parking lot.  lol  The next morning we drove to Keithsburg Illinois on the Mississippi to Rich’s grandparents.  I had never met them before.  What a strange honeymoon.  We spent Saturday nite their and Sunday we had to jump the car to get it started because it was so cold.  We returned home to our apartment on Sunday in Oglesby.  I was suppose to go back to work at the Garment Factory on Monday, but I called in.  So that was the beginning.  lolwedding-3

Now to tell you a little bit that you may not know.  When I met Rich, he was living with a bunch of his friends in Chillicothe.  It was about the time the Vietnam War was ending.  Every nite, especially weekends, they would party in the trailer.  Black lights, Brightly painted orange walls, and 8 track tapes.   The music was loud, the lights would flash and kids would come and go.  As I hung around more, I realized that the guys were all divorced or separated and the girls that come had husbands that were over seas.   That is all but Rich……Well as I found out…..He was also married…..With a 2 year old daughter….Wow….He was working at Caterpillar in Peoria but had been calling off work telling lies.  Finally it caught up with him and he was fired.  I found out about his marriage, he found another job in Mendota at Motor Wheel.  He filled for divorce the next summer.  It took awhile, but around Thanksgiving he got the divorce in Peoria.  On the way home he stopped at a jewelry store in Chillicothe and bought my ring.  We were married by January.

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Now I was so innocent, I never even thought what people would think.  About a month later finally I was asked the question they all were wondering…….

“WHEN WAS THE BABY DUE”

What on earth were they talking about.  lol.   Finally April 6 1978 the baby was born.   Fooled them.   Well here we are 45 years, 3 kids, and 5 grandkids later.  Its really something as you think back to all those years.  At first your life is eternal.  You see old people who retire.  They have grey or white hair, and they simply stay home and grow older and die.  Either in the hospital or nursing home.  That certainly isn’t an age you will ever achieve.  Youth lasts forever.   It never grows old.  The family begins, baby’s come, before you know it youth is gone.  The weight problem gets worse.  Things start sagging.  lol.   And here comes the grey.  Finally retirement is before you……WHERE DID THE YEARS GO……We have retired ….  yes…  but were not sitting at home…..Nor in the Nursing Home…..Life has changed so much in the last several years.

We are now doing what we want.   Following the ADVENTURES in Life. 

It Is Our Plans.  These are the Best Years. 

Retirement is Grand……It Can Be What Ever You Want It To Be…..

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This is not my picture, but this is what my 1969 Camero looked like……If We Only Had it Today….

 

Happy New Year! Where Did Dec. Go

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December is almost over, in fact it might be after I get this posted….lol…We’ve done so much in the park already.  The park is almost full.  Some have driven or flew home for the holidays, including Canadians.  They are starting to return now.  After January 1st, they will all be back.  The ones who don’t come till after the holidays will probably all come by next week.  We’ve been ……BUSY BUSY BUSY…..We scheduled a Downtown Historical Jackson Street walk.

It was a beautiful day.  Harlingen offers this tour every Saturday to the public free of charge.  Over 20 murals to see, and so much history.  We did this as an Eastgate tour.  Its so nice for everyone to be together.  Lunch after of course.  20161216_092729

Racheal from SegValley Tours came for Coffee and Donuts and brought one Segway.  After her demonstration, she invited everyone to try it out in the parking lot.

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Margene who is 84 and her daughter Kathlynn, and Rachael, owner of SegValley Tours

So much fun was had by all.  This was their chance to fulfill their bucket list.  Next we had our Annual Golf Cart Christmas Parade and after was Ice Cream and Singing Carols.

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The carts were all decked out in Christmas lights and decorations.  A group of ladys walked ahead of the carts dressed as the Reindeer and sang Christmas Carols.  They traveled all over the park ending at the hall for the rest of the party.  Of Course Santa was their too….fb_img_1482885997722

We had our Christmas Dinner, with platters of ham and everyone bringing a dish or two to serve at their table.  Also the table decorating contest.  fb_img_1482885968815

They all out did themselves this year.  The tables were beautiful, from fun and festive, to beautiful and elegant.  This was the first place winner.  Great group of people who put so much effort into their Gingerbread Truck and Camper.  The hill was also lite up with lights.  Awesome Job.  mistys-family

Rich’s brother John came down from Illinois to be with his daughter and family from New Braunfels Tx.  Its about 5 or 6 hours away.  They met down on South Padre Island for Christmas.  We went down the following day and spent the nite.  Misty, Mark and the kids had a great time on the beach. mistys-family2

They enjoyed fishing on the jetty.  The fog was pretty thick that morning.

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You could see it just come in and blow through the island.  It was hanging pretty low.  This was an awesome picture of the fog covering the lower part of the hotel.  The top part just appeared out of the fog like a ghost.  20161227_140444

Also the  Pirate Ship cruise went by.  It was rather spooky too with the fog that was present.  They offer games and pirates fighting.  A very authentic feeling of a pirate ship.  After Mistys family went back home, John and Glenda came by and spent 2 nites.  We took them to Progresso Mexico for their first time every.20161230_140634.jpg

They had a great time.  It is quite an experience for anyone.  We sat down at the Red Panty Bar on the tables on the street.20161230_151341.jpg

Ordered a few drinks and Glenda took it all in.  Street musicians playing drums and trumpet as well as a man playing guitar behind us. 20161230_162333.jpg

Now this is what every women loves including me of course…lol…..Shopping for jewelry from the street vendors. 20161230_143754.jpg

Now this was in a store for sale.   Beautiful isn’t it. The price on it is $250.  I love it.  Now if I had a house, …..lol….and a little extra money, I would certainly remodel my bathroom around this toilet.  They also have sinks…..lol.. The following day we went to the 77 Flea Mkt.  It is so big you can’t see it all in one day.20170101_001557.jpg

Rich did find a new pal.  This is for Scott and Brandy at the bar.  Were not sure if its a “Sally or Sam”….lol….Scott already has “Bones and Trixie”, so this will be a nice addition to the family.  We spent New Years Eve with a group of friends.

We spent the nite with a fire pit and Tom smoked a brisket…..At midnite the fireworks in town were huge.   They went off in all directions.  The next day we heard a lot of people woke up because of all the noise.  Happy 201720161221_183321

Some of the lights of our park.  This is 2 Mesquite Trees.  The owners have them decorated so beautifully.  They are near the entrance and give the park a great impression when you pull in…..20161221_183704

This camper is in the RV section.  It is beautiful and complete with music as you drive by.

“Happy New Year 2017”

……May it be everything You Want it to Be…..

 

 

Randy Reindeer Came to Eastgate

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Santa sent Randy to Eastgate as a back up for Christmas Eve if any of the reindeer got tired……Or the Story goes…..lol

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The very end of November Alice and Tom came to me with this really cool idea.  “Lets have a Scavenger Hunt.  They had this cute little reindeer that we named Randy and we decided on this story.  received_1817546911841039-1.jpg

So Alice and Tom would hid him in the evening and text me the clue.  In the morning I would post the clue in both halls and on FaceBook.  Someone would find Randy and bring him to me and get an entry into the drawing on Christmas Day.  Everyone started getting a kick out of Randy.  He would hide in flower carts, peek out tree branches all through the park.  Several weeks back Randy was taken to Port Mansfield which is over an hour away.  They have lots of deer that are very tame.  They come right up to your car.  fb_img_1482978285847.jpg

The group that took him said that Randy wanted to meet his family.  Then they all went bar hopping.  The funny thing was, Alice and Tom were part of the group.  Nobody knew they were hiding him.  lol.  They played the game well.  fb_img_1482974091376.jpg

So Randy started to drink.  He made new friends and I think sucked down beer, Margaritas, and who knows what all.   He was a Very Bad Reindeer.  I didn’t know where he was until the group was posting these pictures on Eastgate FB site.

 

I knew Randy was going to come home with a BAD BAD Hangover.  Finally he came home.  He rested up a bit and later he was dressed up in a new Hat.  He decided to get out his inner tube and throw it in the hot tub.  He wanted to rest up and wake up in the morning floating in the sunshine.  The Clue for the morning was …….

Fun in the Sun before the busy week ahead…..fb_img_1482970704631.jpg

But poor Randy,  he didn’t realize a bad storm came up about 4 in the morning.  It rained and the wind blew hard.  In the morning, I had went up to post the clue and I got a mysterious text.  …… Randy was found in the water, his tube had capsized overnite…….  But he was safe, just water logged.  lol.  I had to towel dry him and use the blow dryer on him.  I feed him soup and tucked him in bed for the rest of the day.  So Randy hid again that nite…….Clue….”Randy has to check out a line for messages.  He will be sending out Daily Messages to Santa this week”….lol…So where do you suppose he was this time?  He was by a Direct Tv Satellite.   After several days, Randy decided he wanted to go to Mexico.

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He hid on the window of our neighbors, Glen and Kathy.  So this time Randy dressed up in his Santa hat, a red coat with fur and a snowflake on the front. He also had a glass in his hand…..He had a sign….’Help!!!  I need a Margarita”…..Now I think he’s turning into an Alcoholic.   So he went to Mexico with Kathy and Glen, Dawn and Rob, their son and girlfriend, who just came and Rich.  Now Rich was designated driver for Kathy and Glen,  and Randy also.

He had his passport and climbed in their back pack.

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He went through the turnstiles and entered Mexico.

It all went down hill from then.  He found the hard liqueur.

And the worst part was all of his chaperones didn’t stop him.  He even sang with Mexican band and they did a Hat Dance with him in the center of the floor in the hat.

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He was such a mess.  When I didn’t hear from him by late afternoon, I knew he was …..”WASTED”…..They finally got him home around 8:30 that nite.  Rich was fine…But then their was ….”Glenn”….He had a good time.  But he probably doesn’t remember.  So Randy took the nite off cause of a hangover.  He stayed in bed most of the next day.  The last days Randy was good and hid every nite, entertaining all of us.  Christmas morning Pastor Squire even invited him to church.  Pastor gave him a front row seat and announced they had a visitor for the services.  We all hoped he would listen to the sermon and see the error of his ways.  Later that day was our Christmas Dinner.  He sat proudly in front on the stage and helped us pick our ……Winner of the contest……..fb_img_1483062421563.jpg

…..Ursula Randall…..She was presented with a Gift Certificate at a local Mexican Restaurant  and Reindeer Ears.  lol….We then announced our wonderful Owners of Randy and who had been  hiding him all this time.  No one ever suspected Alice and Tom.  Every nite they would ride around waiting for people to go to bed so they could hid him.  Kudos to them for doing this for almost 24 days.  They only took several days off when they got sick with the Texas Crud….lol…The Park had so much fun.  Some were waiting everyday to see the clue.  Some enjoyed just reading about him and laughing and trying to figure where he could be.  Never the less,  Randy made a HUGE difference in the park this year.  Now will Randy come back next December?received_1827312584197805.jpeg

It all depends on what Santa decides.  He never used him for Christmas Eve.  So was it because he couldn’t trust him, or did he just not need him.  We’ll never know.  I did hear he was thinking of sending him to AA meetings.   He might go to Rehab for the Summer.  Randy had promised to stay in the Park, so he broke many rules.   So for now Randy is sitting in the Activity Office in the Park.    Just waiting for Santa’s decision…..

……………Poor Randy………..

 

 

 

Christmas is Coming At Eastgate

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Christmas is on it’s way here at Eastgate.  We took all the Thanksgiving decorations down and set a date to decorate for Christmas.  Many of the girls showed up and in an hour the tree was up and the hall was decorated.

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The South Hall looks so nice especially with the new paint job this summer.  I’ve been busy planning lots of activities and trips for the rest of the season.  It going to be a grand year.  Our good friends Larry and Cici, have been looking at trailers.  They want to leave theirs here permanently and not pull it back and forth.  So we went shopping with them.

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They found a beautiful 39 foot 5th wheel, and also a golf cart.  They have the golf cart at home already and the trailer will be delivered Tue.  This picture was taken in the RV Sales lot.  They have this rickshaw to run customers around in.   Rather cool.  The salesmen drove the bike while Cici and I were in the seat.  Larry and Rich took the Golf Cart.  They are standing in front of their 5th wheel.  So Tuesday will be their day to switch their belongings to the new trailer.

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I would like you to meet Randy the Reindeer.  lol.  Now I have an Accomplice that came to me with this story and plan.  Randy hides Every nite.  My Accomplice texts me a Clue.  I put out the clue on FB and in both halls by 10 am every morning.  So this has been going on for just over a week.

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Here is Randy’s story.  Last week we almost lost him.  Someone dropped him in Nite Deposit.   Today he was found and went to Progresso Mexico.  I don’t know if he crossed over or stayed in the car in the parking lot.  But he returned.  So this little game is starting to take off.  It seems we are getting more and more participation, and lots more people are getting a kick out of it even if they don’t hunt.  The clues are supplied by my Accomplice.  Today the Clue was….1, 2, 3,  Strikes….Your out…..    So finally he was found by a yard statue of a baseball player.   So they aren’t really that hard.

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We have also started Crafts finally.  This is Alice and Cici with their Tomato Cage Christmas Trees.  These are so easy.  Turn your cage upside down.  Use a zip tie to tie the wire ends together.  Wind the lights around and tie them, then your garland.

Our next project is a 6 point star.  Our friends from Canada, Glen and Kathy found one at a garage sale back home and brought it.  Another friend Roberta got all the sticks from our trees that are trimmed and cut a whole box sticks all the same length.  So the only cost was zip ties and twine to join points and a set of 100 lights and decorations.   Another very easy and cheap project.

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Our Christmas Decorations ….My Tomato Cage Tree, Stick Star….and Toilet….lol

Now the other morning at Coffee and Donuts, another couple was with us.  The question was “Why is the toilet in front of your trailer”  lol.  Well, the reason is,  one of the trailers needs one replaced.  Rich found this one at Habitat for Humanity….So he brought it home and it will be installed next week.  But until then, its our conversation peace.  So I said wouldn’t it be funny to sit on it and put that picture in the Eastgate Video at the end of the year.  So later that day,  …..THIS IS WHAT I WAS TEXT….

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So So Funny,  I want you to meet Rob.  He even had to pull his pants down.  OMG……I told him,  Love the Pic, but sure can’t put this in the video,  Some of these people would have a heart attack……No sense of humor….But WE ALL LOVE IT…..HILARIOUS……

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Last nite we had our first Entertainment here in our South Hall.  Jeff Gordon was here.   NO, NOT the Race Car Driver…..The Singer….

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He did a great job,  Elvis, Tom Jones, Conway Twitty, Glenn Campbell,  Neil Diamond, Merle Haggard, and more.  He was originally from Bloomington Illinois.  His daughter lives in Washington Illinois.  Only  1 hour from my town.  He now travels the south in the winter and heads to the Mid West in the summer.  Today we had a Christmas Bazaar at the hall.

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Lots of neat crafts.  Crochet and knitting,  jewelry,  woodcarving, and even lights made out of liquor bottles.

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This past week was by Grandson Austin’s 6th Birthday….Also Dexter had his 2nd Birthday.  So the boys shared a birthday party

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Yes, Dexter is a Very important member of the family.   He is another son….lol…Dexter is a good boy and always poses for pictures.  But he doesn’t look to happy about his hat does he…..lol

 

 

 

 

One Month at Eastgate

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We’ve been at Eastgate about a month now.  It already seems like we never left.  We arrived on Sunday and quickly settled into our jobs on Monday.  So much to be done.  The weather has been beautiful, in the 80’s and beautiful blue sky.  Every day more and more people pull in.   Motor Homes, Fifth Wheels, pull Trailers, and the ones that own mobiles.  Every time someone comes in, you look to see if you know them.  And everyone is always asking and waiting for their friends from last year to show.  You hope they all were healthy and can come back.  And then comes all the New Ones.  They’re all so anxious to finally be here after days and days on the road.

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We did have a storm front come through one night.  The winds suddenly picked up around 9:30 pm.  Rich was watching out the window and our stakes to the sunscreen came out and then a support pole broke.  We ran out into the blinding rain and wind and unzipped the sunscreen from the canopy.  It was over in about 20 minutes.  The winds were gusts of 54 mph.  Fortunately it was warm rain, but the wind took your breath away and the rain just beat through your clothes instantly.  Immediate feeling of a drowned rat….lol….All was good in the morning.  Rich fixed the bent poles and all was fine.  Now Cathy another workamper didn’t fare so well.  She lost her whole awning.  Now that’s expensive.

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Time now to start enjoying the luxury of southern living.  One of our 2 hot tubs….This one is maybe 100 feet from our campsite.  Rich started working in the rentals.  Many of these trailers seem to develop soft spots in the floors after time.  That is his first project, pulling up a carpet in the living room and fixing the floor that is disintegrating.  Then he will also be replacing a bathroom sink and the kitchen sink.  I busily started to plan our season of activity.  The board usually does the everyday schedule and I arrange the outside trips and special events within the park.  Our first event was Veterans Day Breakfast.  All Vets ate free.

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2 little girls and their parents were invited to come.  Launa 4, and Pearl 2.  Their parents have been teaching them what a veteran is.  So they wanted to come and meet them and give them a bag of candy.  They were so sweet.  After presenting all our Veterans, we gave them a copy of a poem we read and the girls gave them candy.  Then the girls took the mic and sang our National Anthem.  Then Launa put her hand over her heart and said the Pledge to the Allegiance.  They were just so amazing.  Their was a few misty eyes let me tell ya.  It was so touching….These are wonderful parents to teach their children at such a young age about our heritage of our country.  Their an Amazing example of Great parenting. 

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We just finished Thanksgiving.  We had cooks this year, we didn’t cook….Hurray…We have a wonderful NEW RESIDENT that has only been here 2 weeks.  She had agreed to cook last Sept.  She didn’t even know us yet….lol…Paulette and her Husband moved from Houston.  Paulette and Roberta, another good friend here, cooked 7 turkeys, dressing and gravy from scratch.  We served 112 people this year, up from last year.  Our park is full this year.  No more prime sights available.  Many people go out or go the South Padre Island for the Holiday.  They did an awesome job.  Thank You so much girls.  Your so Appreciated.

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Everyone brought their own table decorations.  Some elegant, some fun.  Then we have the fun ones, the ones we love to laugh with, cause we know every time their around, they will do something crazy…..

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This table was so pretty.  They used regular brown paper for the cloth and handed out crayons to color and write what they were thankful for…..Great Idea….Actually, if you didn’t see our faces, you’d think many of us were children.  lol.  We have reverted to childhood.

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We also had a more somber moment.  We lost several more residents this summer and the families and friends wanted to plant 2 different trees in their memory.  So our new area that the Garden Club was going to develop, took a new and much more meaningful path. A MEMORY GARDEN.  A Miniature Bottle Brush Tree and a Pine Tree were planted and 2 plaques were installed in their memory.  It will be a beautiful area with room for more if needed.

I attended the Convention in Mission with Sandy.  It was for the Park Managers and Activity Directors.  You could obtain info on services and fun stuff that you can offer your residents.  We received lots of free stuff as well as making many contacts.  I was surprised at how many places I already knew of and new many of the people because of last years contacts.

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Seg Valley was also their.  They offer tours all over the Valley including South Padre Island.  I worked for Racheal and Brian last year on Sundays at DonWes Flea Mkt.  Brian has now attached LED lighting to the Segways…..Amazing….Can’t wait to see it at nite.  It was so good to touch base with them.  They will be coming to the park in a few weeks for our Friday morning Coffee and Donuts.  They will do a talk and demonstrate the Segway.  Then outside people can try it out.  I can’t wait to a ride again.  They’are so much fun.  I will be scheduling a ride on the Island soon.  This time the beach.

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Now we had a new trailer come in couple of weeks ago.  This is what we all do…..Gather around and sit at a trailer and watch…lol…Entertainment….So now Thanksgiving is over.  Time to take down decorations and Decorate for Christmas.  This is always a fun time.  Well all be doing that next Thursday.  Our park is very full this year due to the reduced rates our Park Owner has offered.  He also gave the Canadians the cost at Par.  That means they pay the price at their money rate.  They save lots of money that way as their dollar is worth much less than ours, so we have many new Canadians, even French Canadians.

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Now I don’t want to make you feel bad, but this is South Padre Island…SPI….It is only about a half hour away……Beautiful beach’s…..lol……Beautiful Blue Ocean

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I’ll finish with a new family picture that Tina, Ed and the kids had taken.  This is just 1 of many.  They were so so good……And of course Dexter is so cute….