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……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.


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.


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


Santa in his Gulf Cart Sleigh


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.


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


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.


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


Our most favorite was the one at the visitor center.



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


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.


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 .  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….


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.



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.


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.


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.


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….


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.


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.


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…….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……


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


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




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




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