Villa De Cortez Luncheon and Tour….Fabulous

I scheduled a Tour of The Villa De Cortez in Weslaco last week.  This is a Villa with a very rich history.  They offer a wonderful luncheon menu and if you have 30 ladies present, they will also arrange a style show with several of the stores down town.  Then you are also given a tour of the beautiful former hotel.

20160125_125637The elegant Cortez Hotel, of Spanish Colonial design, was the landmark on Main Street in Weslaco during the 30’s and 40’s.  The hotel was diagonally across the street from the railroad station.  The modern hotel of its time, was a home to several businesses and a favorite spot for entertainment, celebrations and various events.  The three top floors each had 25 bedrooms with bathrooms.  It is also rumored that Al Capone had stayed their.  Eventually the hotel fell into a dilapidated state.  Only a few business existed.  In 1998, Patti and Larry Dittburner, decided to renovate this landmark and return it to its beauty of the past.  After many months and some set backs the renovation was completed.  The Villa now offers retail space on the 1st floor, consisting of a café, a barber shop, tuxedo rental, as well as a beautiful restaurant right off the courtyard.  The 2nd floor offers a Spanish style décor ballroom, several bar areas, and elegant ballroom seating.  It is used for Weddings, Celebrations, and Receptions.  The menu is catered by the onsite catering business.  The 3rd and 4th floors are offices and business spaces.  The basement has been made into a special party room called, “The Wild Thing”.  It actually consists of the whole basement.  The Villa is decorated with many of the arts and  momentos that the Dittburners collected in their travels around the world.

20160125_104807We all met at the South Hall, 38 of us, and carpooled the half hour drive to Weslaco.  We ordered from their luncheon menu which consisted of soup, a sandwich plate with tea or coffee.  Most of us had Chicken Salad Croissant, with chips.  I was delicious, and only $9.  While we were eating, Sandy, the owner of Lionels’ Western wear came in with another lady and modeled some clothing.  Their clothing was very stylish and fun.  We then was given the tour of the building.   It was so amazing.

20160125_123302We took the elevator to the second floor. This is the entrance on the second floor from the 2nd floor parking garage.  Beautiful wrought iron gates, grape ivy and lights hanging from the ceiling.

20160125_122234We walked through the elegant dining area to the ballroom.

20160125_122350This is the view from the dance floor into the dinning area.  It has beautiful white drapes  hung over the arches of brick and white banisters.

20160125_122142The dance floor is several steps lower, and has 2 huge glass chandeliers hanging from the ceiling.

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20160125_122533Here is a close up of the chandelier.  Notice the wire in the center of the glass arms supporting the glass structure, with its many hanging glass crystals.

20160125_122634Another Chandelier in the Dinning Area.

20160125_124635Here is the main Staircase from the Main Floor.

20160125_122623This is the Staircase from the 2nd floor dinning room.

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20160125_122821Many of the pillars were made to look like book shelves loaded with books.  They were really faux.  If you looked closely, it even looked like worn areas on the books.  Amazing….They were like this on all four sides.

20160125_123220This is a cozy sitting area on the way to one of the Bar Rooms.  Now on through the French doors on the right of the picture to one of the bars.

20160125_123035This was so elegant.  The base was made with carved wood.

20160125_123101Now when we turned around, here was another room.

20160125_123056It was a much smaller wine room.  The waiter was ready to take your order….lol…

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20160125_123004-1Of course I had to add the elegant powder room.  Finally, we took the elevator to the Basement……..WOW……Another Party Area……

20160125_124210The Entrance to …….The Wild Thing”……

20160125_123912The Dinning Area

20160125_123943The Dance Floor

20160125_124159The Spiral Stairway to the Main Floor

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20160125_124459After an Amazing Tour, we thanked the Guide and planned to do this again next year.  This was an amazing Villa.  It was so amazing to see all the things that the Dittburners have collected and worked into the theme of the design.  The rooms are filled with elegance and reflect the beautiful history of the past.  What a wonderful job they have done.  Weslaco has the honor of hosting a beautiful Historical Landmark in their city.  We left through the court yard, and walked down the street to check out the store that did the modeling.  Lionels’ is a Western store for men, and a beautiful line of clothes for women. They carry boots, purses, shoes and any kind of beautiful jewelry you can imagine.  Many turquoise pieces.

20160125_131739-1But, What did I try on?????  Cici and I tried on Hats…….””””BLING”””

THE END OF A WONDERFUL DAY……..

 

 

 

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The Trip To Illinois to Take the Kids Home….

The time had come to take the kids home.  It sure did go fast, but I think they were ready. I just wish the weather had been better and Rich was not sick the first few days.   I bought Amtrak tickets for the three of us.  We would leave from San Antonio on Saturday and arrive in Bloomington on Sunday.  I would then return on the train on Wed, arrive San Antonio late Thursday, stay in the motel and head home in the truck on Friday.  Their first day back at school after the holidays was Monday.  While they were down here, their had been lots of rain in Missouri.  I received an E mail several days before, that we would be taken off the train at Little Rock Arkansas and bussed to St. Louis and then return to the train for the rest of the trip.  We left in plenty of time Friday, for San Antonio so that we could arrive during the daylight, find a parking spot for the 6 days the truck would be their, and a motel for the night.  Our train left at 7 am.  Cameron let me drive until we got past the Border Patrol check points.   All the major roads have check points on them.

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Their are illegals from Mexico being caught all the time.  Once we were past that, Cameron drove the rest of the way.  He loves to drive, and he is a good driver, even in the city and on the interstates.  He’s really had a lot of practice on this trip.  He drove through Houston and now also San Antonio.  When we got their, we went down by the Amtrak station.

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It is located next to the sports center, the AlamoDome.  home of the San Antonio Spurs.They were having something special going on.  Their were white tents set up all over the parking lots and park areas.  The hotels were full.  No parking decks to be found.  We finally found a Travelodge that would let me keep the truck their for the 6 days, as long as I booked the room that night and on my return.  So that is what we did.  We went and eat out at a Popeye’s Chicken restaurant, and headed back and went to bed prepared for our early morning wake up.  We had called a cab that took us to the early morning train and ready to board for our 27 hour ride.

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I took this from the internet, but this is what we seen near the entrance to Sunset Station.  The old time locomotive was all decorated in lights for Christmas.  So Festive.  Alamodome tower lights in the background.

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Cassidy was rather excited as this was the first time on a train.  Cameron had went with us to New Mexico before, so he knew what to expect.  They are fun.  If you’ve never been on a train, you must take a trip sometime.  I find it to be so relaxing.  Comfortable seats, plug ins for your electric toys.  A nice glass observation car and a café down below, full of snacks and drinks, even alcohol.  Then their is a diner car that serves full meals.  Of course it is all high priced.  If you want to go first class, you can also buy a bunk in the sleeper car.  We always do the regular seats and sleep in them too.  We had a good ride, and Cassidy enjoyed it.  About 11:30 pm we finally arrived at Little Rock.   We looked out the window to see 4 buses, waiting for us.  3 buses were Little Rock Tours, and the 4th was Champion tours.

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Now that should have been the first warning.  They had the handicap and family’s with children detrain and board the buses first.  This is what we did because we had Cassidy.  We grabbed all our luggage and headed toward the buses.  They sent us to the Champion bus.  It looked good from the outside, but not so good on the inside.  The seats were small and so uncomfortable.  Cameron and Cassidy sat together.  He looked miserable. So many little kids on board.   In front of me were 3 little black kids in 2 seats and across was their mother and a little one in a carrier.  I looked at her and said.  Are they all yours?  Yes, she said.  Wow….Are you traveling alone?  No, I have my 2 older boys in the seat ahead of me.   OHHH Myyyyyy…..So she was traveling to Indianapolis with 6 kids.  Finally we were all loaded and the buses all started moving.  We crept through the parking lot of Amtrak and came across this area with a side concrete Abutment of some sort….All of a Sudden scraaaaaaaattttttttchhh……….Oh My….then KA THUD…..The back tire under me went up…. and ….down……Stop…..Lets back Up Now…………Ka Thud in reverse………Scraaaaaaaaattttchhhhhhhhhh……Gees….I thought he just ripped the tires off….Now our driver looked like they had found him down in the soup kitchen, took him to Goodwill, bought him dress pants to big and put a belt on him to keep them up with his dress shirt that didn’t fit tucked in.  He pulled out into the street, stopped and walked to the back outside in the dark to check it out.  He got back in and never said a word.  Now, what could he see in the dark?  I kept thinking the whole time the tires were going to blow.  Now the black lady with the kids was really nice.  One of the little ones got up a little later and stood  by their mom and said….”I peed my pants”…..lol…Ohhh My….poor lady….She took the little girl to the bath room and cleaned her up.  Finally she was holding the little one that peed her pants as their was no where for her to lay.  The little girl looked like a rag doll trying to sleep. I told the mom to lay her down in the seat next to me as it was empty.  So that was the rest of the 7 hour ride on this bus.  I sat in this seat and held this little girl so she wasn’t falling on the floor.  Poor Cameron was trying to sleep and he looked so miserable.  I finally found a double seat in back, told him to take it.  Finally arrived at St. Louis around 7 am.  Long Long nite.   When I got out of the bus, I looked at the side of the bus.  Their was a huge scrap running clear through the whole luggage door.  At the bottom of the luggage door was a huge hole.  About a 10″ square of the outer skin was missing…..Explain that to your boss, Driver……

After a nice comfortable ride back on the train, we finally arrived in Bloomington around 11 am.  Their was Tammy and Little Carly waiting for her sissy and brother.  She missed them so much.  I was good to get back to McNabb for a few days.  It was chilly, in the 30’s, but not bad.  As soon as we got home, the kids opened their presents under the tree.20160103_132756

That nite, Tina and Miley and Austin came over and we had meatloaf.  We had a nice fun evening, and finally went to bed.  I was soooo tired.  Sure was good to sleep in a bed.  I met my new Grand Dog Chaos.   Perfect name for him.20160103_133416

He can reach for anything he wants.  Now I should have know better, but this is the next story.  Tammy and I were in the living room.  We didn’t pay any attention to the dog until we heard a …CRUNCH… CRUNCH….CRUNCH…Tammy Screamed…..”OMG…MY TEETH….Not Again”…..and then a little shiver went down my spine as a thought came into my head……”Could they be MINE?”   We both jumped up and …….Yes… they were mine….My Heart Fell…I had left them in the bathroom on the back of the sink, but he reached and got them anyway.  All we found was pieces.  Nothing to even glue together.  I know he ate some too.    All I can say I Hope it hurt when they came out the other end.  We sat their in shock at first, and finally started laughing about it.  How crazy is that.  Tammy said, I would never forget that sound.  You see she has already lost 1 and a half sets to Chaos.   He got her uppers and chewed them.  She was able to take them to the dentist and they were glued.  Then the dog got them again.  All she has now is the front section, and she glues them in.  After I calmed down….lol…I called down to Eastgate to Debby…..”Help”…. I need a dentist in Progresso Mexico as soon as I get back.  Finally that afternoon, I got names and numbers.  I finally found out, the Mexican dentists are all walk ins.  Ok.  That’s good.  So I made plans that I would go straight to the Mexican border and meet Rich with my pass port.  I refused to go to Cassidy’s first volley ball game….sorry Cassidy…also never got my hair cut.  I didn’t want people to see me.  I arrived on Sunday, lost my teeth on Tuesday, and Tammy took me back on the train on Wed.  Now the return trip with the bus again.  We got to St. Louis, and their we found only 3 Little Rock busses.  No Champion buss.  Probably in the shop with the driver fired….These busses were still small seating, but more comfortable.  I fell asleep and woke up to shouting and cussing.  Here a man was so drunk….He was calling people Mother F….r….the driver was yelling back….SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP….The driver never cussed, but for the next 2 hours, it was a shouting match.  The drunk was not making sense most of the time but the driver and him kept yelling as we drove down the road.  How did he ever keep control of that wheel, I don’t know.  I bet he had a sore throat later.  Finally after 2 hours, we pulled into a gas station .  We pulled right up to the door with the other 2 busses parked near the back.  The other drivers and Amtrak personal on the busses came and the drunk got of the bus after much more cursing.

Their was almost a fight as you could tell the driver was so angry.  They took him in the store and tried to keep them separated.  Finally the cops came, and we drove away with the drunk sitting on the curb after almost falling, his luggage by the building, and talking to a cop.20160106_224039

The rest of the trip was uneventful.  Made it back to San Antonio, spent the nite at the hotel, got into the truck at 6 am and headed south.  I arrived at the border by 10:30 and beat Rich.  He arrived with a bunch from the park about 15 minutes later.  We went across and went looking for dentist.  I knew the most popular one would cost $500 and take 2 weeks.  We were looking for another and couldn’t find him.  I bet theirs 10 or more dentist on every block, and I’m not exaggerating.  As we were walking back, a guy stopped us, like they all do, and said, come on in and check our prices.

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My Dentist and interpreter Jasmine……They can’t speak English

I finally did…….$300 and 1 week…..Yes, I liked that.  So they made impressions, an hour later, he did the bite impressions.  No money down….Pay when I came back………Good Deal…..They do all the same procedures, but don’t have the fancy expensive equipment.  I felt pretty good about them.  It is just a narrow office with 2 treatment rooms straight back.  The dentist and his wife can’t speak English nor can the kid that was the assistant.  They have an interpreter, Jasmine,  that is present at all times.  They also have a pharmacy that has an adjoining door with a street door also.  This is common practice.  Many of these business, have doors on the inside in the back to another business.  They all have workers standing outside trying to get customers.  “Lady Lady, come in come in….I give you good price.  Lowest prices.  Come on in”….You hear this over and over…..

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Our Canadian Friends

So after a tough long day, we had Pina Coladas at the bar and ate at a Mexican restaurant.

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Check out the brick ovens covered with mosaic….Beautiful

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As we were waiting, we looked up at the streets and 3 Mexican Army trucks went by with men in full uniform with their guns ready and waiting…..hhmmmm…now what’s that all about….

So its been a tough, embarrassing week, but I’ve survived.  I had several events that I couldn’t hide from, so I decided to just accept and deal with it……I told my story and watched people just cringe…..some laughed…some were in shock….some wanted to shoot the dog….but ya know, things happen…Chaos is really good with the kids.  Gotta laugh at yourself.   Its just the way of life….so Yesterday was my day to go back….I have NEW BEAUTIFUL TEETH….Every bit as good as my $5000 dollar teeth….all for just $300 as a walk in….

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Cassidy and Cameron are Here for a Visit…

Two of the grandkids made it for Christmas, but oh, we just don’t make things easy.  Last summer, Tammy moved into our house.  The kids changed school systems.  We promised Cameron (17), and Cassidy (11), that if they improved their grades, we would bring them down for Christmas vacation.  At first, we were going to drive up early and have a quick Christmas and then bring them down and spend Christmas at Eastgate and then send them home on the train.  We have a small Ford Ranger, so we would have to rent a car.  After we investigated the price of a car for that duration, and add the price of return tickets, we decided it was not an economical thing to do.  We decided to bring the kids down on the train.  Now that is where I went wrong.  I seem to think at times that anything will work, and I can do it my way………… and then it backfires.  Well this sure did……

Cameron is 6 months shy of 18, which is considered an adult to buy a ticket, but not enough of an adult.   Cassidy has to have an adult 18 or over to accompany her on Amtrak .  I decided he could easily pass as 18.  I don’t ever remember having to show my ID,  so he should be fine RIGHT?  He’s a big boy, he looks over 18. Tammy took them to Bloomington to the Amtrak station and they asked to see his ID.  Well he was too young to take Cassidy.  Poor Cassidy, she started crying.  The ticket agent felt so bad, he refunded their ticket totally.   That was a good thing.  Tammy called me and I just couldn’t believe it.    We agreed to drive and meet half way.  By 6:00pm, which was only 2 hours later, my other daughter Tina had packed them up in her car and headed south.  We agreed to meet half way……Little Rock Arkansas…..Now we had rented a car to pick them up the day after in San Antonio.  I called the car rental and said we needed the car now, the kids missed the train, and they were flying down to San Antonio.  (little white lie)….lol…They had already closed but she went back and we met her and filled out the papers.  As we were leaving, she made a comment    “Oh, just so you know the car has a tracker in it and if you leave the state, it will shut down……………….”What”………….Slow breathing….we walked out and looked at each other.  Now what………Called Tina,…… we got the car,………..but New Plan……….You must meet us in Texarkana…..lol…we can’t leave the state…..We left at 7:00 pm with an estimated ETA  of 6 am.  We did really good.  We pulled in to Texarkana a little after 6am, and Tina and the kids were only about 20 min. behind.  After breakfast, we traded the kids and went back in our own directions.  Now poor Tina had to be back to work the next day to get her Holiday Pay.

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We drove back with Cameron driving over half the way.  He even drove through Houston.  Good training for him.  We finally arrived about 6:30 PM, back at Eastgate.  24 hours later.  The kids were excited.  I gave Cassidy a tour on the golf cart and then we all went in the hot tub….Felt soooooooo so good……..

Now Rich had been sick.  He had just taken a Z-Pack just before all this happened.  He had what everyone calls the TEXAS CRUD…..its body aches , tired body, congested head and lungs.   He felt so bad once we got home.  For the next 2 days, he really didn’t feel good.

 

12405116_10205226880059243_862008482_oCassidy went swimming and played Waterball with many people.  That’s Her with her hand up in the air.  Cameron just hung out and did some trips in town to get snacks for the frig.  We did the hot tub the first 2 nites after dark.   It was really peaceful and they enjoyed looking at the stars in the sky.

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The nite we got their was Eastgates annual Golf Cart Christmas Parade with Santa Claus and the Reindeer.

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Santa in his Gulf Cart Sleigh

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All the Reindeer lined up to pull Santa in His Golf Cart Sleigh.  They line up and travel around the park singing carols.  Cameron drove Cassidy and me around in the Parade.  Grandpa was still not feeling well.  After that we had free ice cream and Karaoke till 9.

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Santa’s losing his pants…..He needs more ice cream

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We also have a New Pet residing at the Park this year.  Its a Sugar Glider.  He lives in Lori’s pouch when he travels. He is nestled in his blanket

He came for ice cream too, with his parents….lol..At home he lives in a tree trunk in his Motor Home…..

Christmas Day, Grandpa was starting to feel much better.  We had our Christmas Dinner at the hall and the kids enjoyed all the people.  Grandpa was tired after that, so we took off to South Padre Island to just check it out.  We took a quick trip to the beach and did some shopping.   They found sweatshirts and T shirts to print with South Padre Island logos.  The next day, we planned a Sandcastle Segway Tour of South Padre Island.

12421599_10205250756776146_1930402649_n                              We had a small group from the park and we all met at the Segway office.  Cassidy was so excited as this was her first time.  After instruction, it became apparent that she was a natural.

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The Tour guide took us up and down the streets of the Island as he showed and explained the many sandcastles.

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Our most favorite was the one at the visitor center.

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After that we split up and went to the Sea Turtle Rescue.

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It is a really cool place that rehabilitates turtles that have been found hurt and in danger for their lives.  They nurse them back to health and release them if possible.  If they cannot live in their environment, they will stay at the rescue center.  One of their most famous turtles is Allison.  She lost 3 of her 4 flippers in a predator attack in 2005.

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Allison at Sea Turtle Rescue

 

They have fashioned a prosthetic rudder on her back so she doesn’t swim in circles.  She will never be released.  For more info their website is http://www.seaturtleinc.org .  They have live web cams on some of the turtles.  While we were their, Cameron called.   They were down the road.  Grandpa and him were going to do the Port of Brownville Cruise.  It takes you down the waterway of the Port of Brownsville, to the Shrimp boat basin, and on to the Salvage yards where they rip apart old Navy ships and cruise boats for salvage.  Some of the boats that ended their life their are: USS Saratoga,   USS Constellation,  and USS Forrestal.  But unfortunately, they weren’t doing any tours for another week.  Grandpa and Cameron were at a place that rents ….BOYS TOYS…..Jeeps, Golf Carts, 3 wheelers and bikes….

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We met them and rented a bright red Jeep Wrangler with Bar doors and an open top…..It was the only thing we could rent for the beach.   So off to the beach we went.

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It was such a beautiful day….The sun was shinning, the wind was blowing.  Rich let Cameron drive once we were off the highway and on the beach.

Cassidy and I stood on the back seat with our body’s projecting out the top.  What a great ride it was.  We drove north up the beach and came upon a trail ride.

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A large group of horses were riding the beach.  We stopped and let them pass so we didn’t spook them.  We drove a bit more and stopped to pick up shells.

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Finally we turned around.  We only had 2 hours to return turn the jeep.

Rich took over at the highway, and then found another beach to ride through the water puddles.  We were all wet when he was done. …. lol….But had a good time.  He stopped at the car wash and gently wash the jeep as it was now full of sand.  We finally returned it and headed home.  But one more stop for me and Cassidy.  Another shop in Port Isabel…I found some sandals….

On Sunday, Rich and Cameron took of for 77 Flea Mkt, down by Brownsville.  Cassidy came with me.   I have managed to find another part time job.  What fun it is…..I rather stumbled into it.  Segway has a booth at the Don Wes Flea Mkt which is about half hour from us.  She was needing a workamper and I said I would help when available if needed.  Racheal took me up on my offer.  So Cassidy and I went to Don Wes and opened the booth.  They also sell electric bikes and trikes as well as the Promotion of the Segway Tours throughout the Valley and Island.  They also sell them to.  Cassidy took the Segway and rode it to the booth from storage.  I took the electric bike.

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For the rest of the day, she simply road the Segway around when she wanted.  It is good for advertisement.  Later we got home and found Cameron with his grand purchase…..A light bar for his truck…lol…Its a guy thing….

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We had one more day of fairly descent weather, so I took them to the Dolphin Tours on the Island.  We boarded the double decker boat and headed out to the Laguna Madre.  They also do a Eco part of the trip.  They drop a net in the water and drag it for 20 min.

They bring it up for us to see what is in the bay.  They showed about 6 different things,  several types of fish……A Starfish…..A Puffer….and a Stripped Jelly Fish….Then they took us out to the tip of the bay where it opens up to the Gulf.

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Cameron and South Padre Island Skyline

We did see several Dolphins swimming, but not as many as I seen last year.  But it was a nice trip.

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The Pirate Ship cruising out while we were on the Dolphin Watch…..Cool looking isn’t it…

Every nite or when she was bored, Cassidy would go to the hall.  Their you can get free WiFi….I cut her off my Hotspot as they used almost 75 %….Now we have to be good till Jan 16…..lol….But at the hall she made friends with all the ladies and guys who played games and cards.  It didn’t take long and she played every nite with them till almost 10 pm.  She played dominoes….I think they call it Mexican Train….She said she didn’t know old people could be so much fun….So the time had come for them to go…..Cameron and Rich were going to go Deep Sea Fishing….but it didn’t happen.  It kept getting postponed because of bad weather or high waves.  So hopefully next time it will happen…..I had decided to take them home myself on the train.  It would be so much easier for us all.  I bought Amtrak tickets to leave from San Antonio to Bloomington Illinois.  Stay a Few Days and Return……Stay Tuned for the Next Blog…..OMG……but won’t be till after the 16th….lol…gotta be good with my Data Pkg……

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Here’s a few photos, I was playing with…Rather Cool I think….

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I really like this one….Its  fits Cameron to a tee

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jjjj

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A Perfect Ending………To a Beautiful Day…..

 

 

No Blog In a Month?…..What Have I Been Doing…

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“MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR

Where has the time gone.  My last blog was Nov. 22, the anniversary of President Kennedys assassination.  We have been so busy at Eastgate.  So much to catch up on.   Soooo……….Lets get started.  I do think it will take several blogs…lol…

We have been so busy, and the weather has been great, up until last week.  The temps have been from the 70s to the 90s.  Plenty of sunshine.  Rich is busy everyday.  He plays pool in the mornings and then begins his day.  Always plenty of repairs.  Eastgate has more workampers this year, so the work is getting done at a faster rate, but theirs always things breaking and many things to replace.  Always water breaks….When the park has a leak that requires the water to be shut off,  Victor, the maintenance man rides the golf cart around, blowing the siren.  That means the water will be shut off in 15 minutes……lol…Guess what,  that even broke….lol…someone had to ride around in the golf cart shouting……”Water Shut Off”…..Water Shut Off”….Funny…I guess you had to be their to hear it…..Now we have a New Siren too….

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The Craft classes have been very busy.   We have made Sparkleballs from Christmas lights and Solo cups.  They have been so popular, that we keep making them over and over.  We will be making some more after the rest of the people come for the winter.

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If your interested in making them the web site is,  sparkleball.com.

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SOME OF OUR CUTE SNOWMEN, ALL BUNDLED FOR WINTER

We also have made log snowmen.  We bought 7′ posts and cut them into 1′ sections.  painted them and dressed them with hats and scarfs.   They turned out so awesome.  Everyone had different ideas on how to paint faces and dress them with the hats and scarfs.

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OUR SPINDLE SNOWMEN IN PROGRESS. WE PAINTED HIS HAT BLACK, GAVE HIM A FACE AND BUTTONS AND A LITTLE SCARF FOR HIS NECK

The 3rd item we made, was snowmen from railing spindles.  I had over 20 the garage for years that came used from an auction.  I seen a picture on Pinterest that would be easy to do.  We cut them to length, and added the hat to the top and painted them.  A hole was drilled in the bottom and rebar was inserted.

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OUR MAGNIFICENT COOKS, RICH, CAROL AND LARRY, SUZI AND BOB ……I CUT UP THE ONIONS….LOL….

Thanksgiving and Christmas have come and gone.  For Thanksgiving, we cooked 7 Turkeys, dressing and gravy.  The rest was supplied by the residents.  Each table has a card table at the end.  Each table holds 8 people.  They bring a dish to pass for their table only.  It is put on the card table.  One person from each table goes up to the kitchen counter and receives a plate of turkey, dressing and gravy.  That is also put on their card table.  Each table therefore acts as the family unit, as they pass their food from the card table.  It saves time, and everyone can almost eat at the same time.  If it was served as potluck fashion, many of the best dishes would be empty before everyone was served.  It has worked out so well.

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OUR CHRISTMAS COOKS…LARRY, RICH, CAROL…AND THE YUMMY SPIRAL HAM……X 7

For Christmas, we served Ham and glaze.  7 hams were purchased and almost nothing left.  We had 15 tables for Christmas.  The table decorating contest was a Great success.

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THE WINNING TABLE DECORATING CONTEST…..NOTICE THE CRAYONS AND THE COLORING TABLE CLOTH….VERY ORIGINAL…AND THEY CALL THEMSELVES SENIORS?

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……..THE CRAZY, JUVENILE WINNERS…..

Our neighbors, decorated their table in a very pretty, entertaining, and JUVENILE manner…..lol…They had a kids coloring table cloth with crayons and all.  They colored through dinner and guys wore silly hats.  They won a bottle of wine…as if they needed it.   They are a riot whether you see them around the park, or at the dinner table…..

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BARB….WINNER OF THE UGLY SWEATER CONTEST…..A HOMEMADE BADGE FROM EASTGATE WITH “UGLY SWEATER WINNER 2015” AND RIBBON

The hall was decorated so festive.  Many of the residents got together one Friday morning and got out all the decorations and the tree.  We turned on Christmas music and turned it up and away we all went.  It was so much fun to be a part of it and watch them enjoy the Christmas Spirit in the Air.

Another craft project we did for both halls, was to make paper snowflakes.  I seen it on Pinterest, and made one.  It was so easy.  That after noon we made many more.   I takes 30 sheets of computer paper.  5 sheets for each point.  The reasoning is to make it thick enough to hang and not rip.  They ended up well over 12″ in diameter.

I have also scheduled some activity’s that we have done.  We have had several Segway tours of downtown Harlingen.

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Their is so much history in this town and the art work of hand painted murals are all over town, depicting to history.  One of the most magnificent pieces is in a park.

A special area has been constructed for it.  It is a collection of 905 mosaic tiles that tell the history of Mexico.  It is stunning and beautiful.

 

One of my favorites…This mural covers almost a half block area on a wooden fence.   If was painted black and then painted with dots….Its magnificent.. The artists are Benjamin P. Varelo, and Celeste De Luna. During the Segway tours, we visited these murals, and many others and are given the history of the town.  It also takes us to Grimsells which I have written about before.  It a fabulous garden Center that is over 100 years old, situated almost in the middle of down town.

They have the tallest flag pole in town, so if your looking for its location, just look up over the buildings and look for the waving flag of the United States of America, and you can make your way to Grimsells.  This last time we were their, they had their larger birds out.

So so cool.

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About a week ago, 16 people from the park, carpooled downtown for the 1 1/2 walking tour.  It was a fun time.  We had 2 guides that walked us through the downtown area using a megaphone to tell us the story.  After we had lunch at a local Café.  We learned a lot more history as well as we found many more cool stores and boutiques to shop at.  One never gets tired of shopping do they?  lol…..These are just a few of the things we have been doing……

Next blog….Guess who came down for Christmas….The 2 older Grandkids….Cameron and Cassidy…..