Day 1 of 14…..Tomorrow…. Shelter In Place..Harlingen Tx.

The Cameron County officials has decided to put us in the “Shelter In Place” phase for 14 days. That means we are suppose to stay home. We can go outside but stay away from others. We can go to the Grocery Store, Pharmacy, Appointments, or any essential personal activity that is necessary for you. All bars, restaurants, schools churches and theaters are closed. Restaurants are doing carry outs only and the schools are going to do lessons online for the kids. So the world goes on. People are still binge shopping but it is getting better. Walmart and HEB (Howard E Butts), our Texas based grocery store, is now having a better supply of meat and other products. We still are having a problem with eggs, wipes, and antibacterial soap. I went to HEB the other day at 1pm and had to stand in line. They let in 50 people at a time, sprayed down the carts as they came into the store from the parking lot and handed each person a wipe. The purpose of this whole quarantine is to slow the spread of this disease.

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The curve needs to come down. The worry is that to many will get sick at one time and the hospitals are not equipped to handle a mass of sickness. We need ventilators, masks, as well as other medical equipment to fight this disease. New York is a mess right now. As of today their are about 23,230 total positive cases of COVID-19 and 188 deaths in New York State, with more than 13,000 of those cases and 125 deaths in New York City. They have such a shortage of respirators, masks, and the things the medical community need. The hospitals have no room. They are converting other areas into make shift medical facility’s. Last weekend, they closed the Mexican border for tourists. You can only go over for a medical or a work reason. It is open for all the Commercial trucks so as not to hurt commerce. Not shopping or visiting. So that is the purpose of all of this, To Slow Down the Spread of The Disease.

So here we are today. Our freezer is full. I managed to get a loaf of bread yesterday. I have several pkgs of toilet paper and paper towels. So we have it all. Our day now consists of getting up when we please. watch the Today Show, Dr. Phil and then Price is Right. During that time, I take a shower. Today we went out and worked on the She-Shed. I painted the back and Rich worked on the wooden sidewalk. That was about an hour or so and called it quits. It was over 90 already. Back in the house to watch tv. Later, supper and then sit outside in the evening when it cools down. News at 10 and go to bed. Wednesday, do it all over again. So what’s happening in Illinois.

Tammy of course, being a nurse is busy. She is expecting her hours to go up. Little Carly is staying at Tina’s when Tammy is working. I think they are all having fun.

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Carly wrote this cute poster. It is so AWESOME that that she knows her Mom is making a difference for other people. Miley, Austin and DeeDee of course are enjoying themselves also.

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Austin has been spending time with Ed on weekends in the camper. Tina has also tried to start a Scavenger Hunt Game with the kids in town.

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This is such a cool idea. Kids can go for a walk with their parents and start watching other peoples windows. A great idea to do to keep their interest and get exercise. Ed is still working also. He works for Air-Products, which is a supplier to Hospitals etc. Tina works at Putnam Co Court house, and she is still their several days a week. She must be Essential workforce.

Scott and Brandy are out of work. They had to close the bar, and Scotts season in the truck hasn’t started up yet. Staci, Brandy’s daughter is home from Chicago also. So they are having their fun in their big machine shed garage.

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Around 7 or 8 years ago or more, I bought this yard tent for Scott. He just now put it up. Looks like a good place for Brandy to keep safe and keep her distance….Brandy, where’s your cooler with refreshments.

Scott is having fun on his Hover Board. This was a video and they had the music cranked up and he was dancing. He also had a beer in his hand…..

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Scott and Staci took a ride up in the Scissor Lift. They both had their beer in hand, singing Karaoke. When your bored, I guess you can have fun anywhere. Today, the local Fire Departments have decided to help kids celebrate their birthdays. Tina posted one today. The little girl was out on her porch. The fire engine pulled up with their lights one. They sang Happy Birthday on the Speaker. How cool is that. They made it a Very Special Birthday.

Illinois is also on a Stay At Home order from the Governor. As of today the have had 16 deaths, and 1,535 cases. The streets of Chicago are empty.

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State Street

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Marina Towers by the Chicago River

It seems like most people are taking it seriously, and having fun with it. The kids are doing ok and their is so much more family time. This is really a blessing in disguise. Family’s are home schooling online and entertaining their kids. Its really so nice to see.

But not all are really taking it as serious as they should. Their was an incident in the park the other day. We had a number of people in the pool. A resident came in with a guest they never registered. Of course the people in the pool began questioning them. They got in the pool which put the number over 10. So several of our people got out so the number came back to below 10. They talked about the quarantine issue and said that some parks had closed their pool. The guest said yes, she came from a park that had closed their pool. Of course that stirred them up and I agree. If your park has closed their pool, why do you come over to ours. We are suppose to stay away from people. Stay home at your park. That’s where you belong. The person who brought her over said, But their are no cases in her park…..I said to her….You can be a carrier and not know it….Educate yourself. This is a 55 plus park. We are really the higher risk. It is stupid to bring in a guest when this serious health threat is happening. She never really got it. She called everyone rude. “No, many are worried and taking this seriously”…..Why can’t she. She was more concered about the rudness. We are really lucky to have our pool still open. People need to follow the rules set down for us. They are all for a reason. Do what the government officials want us to do.

So much stuff is going across FB, that is funny and trying to help make this go by easy. I need to share a couple with you.

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Do you need a Vacation????….Here are some choices of places to go…..And its Cheap…

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Mancave, She Shed, Kitty’s Jealous????

I think it’s time for a Fun Blog. Too much uncertainty in this world right now. This morning we woke up to a Note on the Door…..It was taped to the outside. Rich went out and got it, and said….Official Notice.…My first thoughts were….Ron closed the pool, spas and both halls. How will the residents handle that…..MUTINY….Their will be Bloodshed..

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Rich looked really confused as he read it to himself….He finally gave it to me and I DIED LAUGHING…..I knew who wrote it. Lol…..

Official Notice

This House Now Belongs to Dashboard Kitty.

Papers have been filed at the County Court House. Due to Rich Bergen having his own Man Cave and Margaret Bergen Having her own She Shed, I DK (Dashboard Kitty) am laying claim to this residence. You may bring in food snacks and clean the litter daily. Leave the remote on the couch…

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Now you can see why he is called Dashboard Kitty. Now really only 1 person calls him that, so now I know who Kitty asked to draw up the Eviction Notice.…lol…Is He Jealous.?….Well Kitty, Sorry, You don’t scare me. I’m not leaving. You’d miss sleeping in bed with us. Nobody to scratch your neck. Besides this house is bigger than the Man Cave or the She Shed. Your going to have your Buddy (Roberta), take us to court….lol..So why is he Jealous??…….He must want his own house with the name “Cat House” on it….

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Pouring the Foundation for the Man Cave….Dec. 2018

Rich built his Man Cave about a year and a half ago. It started out as a nice shed and evolved to a pretty nice Man Cave. Roberta and Ken were at a Flea Mkt and found this sign made of Styrofoam and already painted….

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He has everything in it needed including a Frig and Kegerator. But it started to accumulate totes of stuff. Stuff we brought back from Illinois. Stuff from the Motor Home, Christmas Stuff and Craft stuff. So we decided this year to build a shed for my stuff. It started out as a regular shed for storage….But as we always seem to do, our imagination takes over.

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Cameron came down for 3 weeks and helped Grandpa build it. Rich started letting his imagination take over and he decided to make it look like a General Store.

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Cameron did a lot of the roof work as it was easier for him. They worked faithfully for several weeks. It was pretty neat to see Cameron working with Grandpa again. Rich started thinking about the Insurance commercial on tv about Sheryl’s She-Shed. So it became a She-Shed.

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This is what it looks like finished on the outside. We have had so many comments about it. It so darned cute. Rich is going to build a wooden sidewalk and connect with the concrete patio. Then the area that is dirt and grass will have a gas fire ring and finish it off with red mulch, joining the flower garden. Cameron worked really hard while he was here. He also finally got to go on the Deep Sea Fishing trip that he has wanted to do for years. Him and Grandpa went out for around 8 hrs with a group. Guess it wasn’t the right time as they didn’t catch much. But he had fun. Finally after 3 weeks Cameron went back home to the Cold, Cold weather. We put some lights on the She-Shed posts, so here is what it looks like at night.

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We turn the lights on every nite and enjoy it. So now while we all seem to be quarantined at home. We are loving the evenings sitting out in our own little fantasy world. The weather has been so nice. Beautiful evenings. So for the next several weeks, we are living the Real Retired Life. Every day is the same. Nowhere to go, nothing to do, just relaxing and sitting on the patio in the evenings. “What Day is It???

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So Kitty, I’m sorry we are not moving out. Your Eviction Notice means nothing to me. It is Null and Void. You will have to have your friend file a restraining order I guess. All you get is 1 bedroom, and we share our living room and kitchen with you. You even sleep in our bed. So don’t be so Greedy….

“This Case is Closed”

….By the Order of the County Court House…

“Coronavirus”…The World is Going Crazy

Look back at 1 week ago today. What were you doing? Did you ever think we would be in the state of fear that seems to be possessing everyone? One week ago, I was planning for our Farewell Potato Bake. Ordering our potatoes, setting up the grocery shopping list, butter, sour cream, veggies and dip etc. We were excited for our final concert show of the season. It was Leslie Blassing from the Island. She has such fabulous vocals. A gifted singer, who makes it look so easy. She was singing a Sunday Matinee at 2pm. She sings at the Island mostly, but it is Spring Break for the month of March and she likes to leave. lol. Tens of thousands of the college kids come from around the country and party. Concerts are set up at different locations and bars. Different weeks bring different groups of kids according to their Spring Break from college.

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I was of course aware of the Coronavirus. I had watched it from the beginning in Wuhan China. I watched the news on the Princess Boat in the harbor with the passengers all quarantined. I have an airplane tracker App. on my phone, so I even watched as the first 2 planes that flew home with the Americans from China. One went to Alaska and the other California . Then they came to San Antonio. Soon the US was reporting the Coronavirus was breaking out in different states. Finally it hit Texas but it was only in the northern part, so what’s the worry?

And then reality set in………Friday morning one of the lady’s from the park came in. She just left Dollar General. They were buying toilet paper, paper towels and water like crazy. She said the line was all the way to the back of the store. Wow….I had no idea they were hoarding. So I decided to immediately go out and join the band wagon…lol...My excuse was….”The Cat Needed Food”….I went to Dollar General, the parking lot was full. They were grabbing the carts from the people who were done shopping and loading in the car. So I grabbed a cart from some guy and went on in. I headed straight to the back. Went around the corner and a bunch of people were grabbing 24 pks of water off the rolling cart. By the time I got to it, the half of cart of water was almost gone. I got the last 2 pks. They had plenty of toilet paper and paper towels, but they were picked over. So I picked up 2 big double pks of toilet paper and a large pack of paper towels. Wow, couldn’t believe how people were shopping. That night I went to a Concert at the Harlingen Municipal Auditorium.

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Cici and I seen Burlap to Cashmere. 3 guys, 2 guitars, and a keyboard. Very talented. I suspected that their would be some empty seats, and their was, but not to bad. Saturday was when I realized what hoarding was going on. A friend was at Walmart and took a bunch of pictures….

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No Water

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No Dish Soap, cleaning products, Wipes, Diapers, and Anti-bacterial Soap

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No Beans….Really, even the Pinto and Navy Bagged Beans were gone.

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Even the Flour was picked over….The sugar was worse

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Bic Lighters……Why…Oh Why….

The people are panicking. Even all the Cooking oil, Canola and Wesson Oil was totally gone. Hand Sanitizers and Baby Wipes are gone everywhere.….Everyone wonders WHY all the Paper products…..But I seemed to join them to an extent. I’ve made sure I have doubles of all paper products and Laundry detergent. I figure if I have to be quarantined for 14 days, we should be fine. Rich and I have both been shopping at different times to load on a few things, even for the cat. He is set with his treats and regular foods. Rich even went to Progresso and loaded up on Meds for couple of months.

On Monday the CDC had started addressing the area with limitations on restaurants and social gatherings. We can not have over 50 in a group, and later it became 10. The upper management made the decision to close all Park functions. So the St. Patrick’s Day Corned Beef and Cabbage was canceled. All activities, Bingo, Dances, Cards, Exercise classes and the Farewell Potato Bake have been canceled. So the season is now Officially Over. All the Parks in the Valley have now official canceled all activities. The Canadians have received letters from their insurance company’s. They have been given 10 days to get back home from the time Canada declared a National Emergency, or their insurance will be no good. Many of them are leaving this week. The Valley is emptying out. The Winter Texans are heading north towards home. Some stay because they say we are safer. Some are bored because nothing to do. Some have their family’s calling them to get home NOW…..Today many restaurants are closing dining rooms, only offering drive through and carry outs. All schools are closed.

Down at South Padre Island, all beaches, beach access points, and community buildings are closed. All Concerts canceled. They have 24 hours to move out their equipment. The kids are their already for Spring Break so now what…..Do they party in their rooms??? I really don’t agree with closing the beaches. At least on the beach, they are out in the open. They are not congregating together. They would be safer as far as passing the virus. But that is only my thoughts.

Now the Country is in panic. The Stock Market is Crashing, Canadian Border is Closing. Mexico has talked about it, but so far its open. The Hospital ships are moving to large cities to help. Their is a huge shortage of masks, ventilators, and other medical equipment. They can’t even keep food in the stores. Schools, restaurants, social functions, and many business are shut down. Even churches are holding services online. Unemployment is on the rise. The Cruise ship industry is in shambles, and the Airlines are flying with half empty planes…..

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So

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So now here we are. Our frig is full, we are practicing Social Distancing in public. We are told to wash our hands at least 20 seconds with soap and water. Do not shake hands or touch your face. We are in good shape. But we are on Social Security. Our check will still come. I feel bad for the young parents. They are trying to maintain a living and pay bills and feed their children. Many of them have jobs in the food industry, so now they are done for 14 days. Many are still working but now their children are home and they need child care.

So where and when will this end. At this time the Government is seriously talking about sending out relief checks to help. Right now they say this is 14 days, but the president makes comments that we really don’t know. It could last till July or August. It is going to destroy many business and lives.

In one week, we went from….Normal”…. to ….PANDEMIC”…. Definition….A disease Epidemic that has spread across a large region, for instance multiple continents, or world wide.

Who Would Have Ever Thought This Would Happen …. One Week Ago

Vacations Over, Everyone is Home…..Part 5

Tina and the kids returned home just before Easter. Is really funny how much kids pick up. The are so impressionable. The day after they return home, Tina walked into the kitchen.

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Their was Austin wiping his shoes. Tina asked him “What are you doing”. He said “I’m shinning my shoes. That’s what all the little Mexican boys do.”…..lol…..Can you imagine of all things, that is what he picked up in Mexico. He watched the little Mexican boys walking the streets with their box of shoe shine products and a stool, trying to make a dollar. Easter was the following weekend. Tina went shopping and amongst all the things she bought for Easter….Guess What….

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Shoe Shine Kit….Everything he needs to wash, wax, buff and shine shoes….What a nut…lol…Look how excited he is.

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So he proceeded to shine Mileys shoes and then the boots. He is such a character. They went camping out at Fish and Fun, and he got to do what he loves best…..

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He’s a Fisherman. This is what he loves to do…..Like Father….Like Son….He is a true Dolder.. He loves fishing, hunting, and the great outdoors. Ed and Grandpa Dan are teaching him well. Now Miley had an assignment at school to write a paragraph using contractions for English.20190616_2054356957540398378968055.jpg

She fell in “LOVE” with Texas……This is what it says……………….

“I’m hoping I can go back to Texas to see family. My mom loves it there. She’ll say yes. We’re gonna have such a fun time. I can’t wait. My dad hates heat so he’s not gonna go. Isn’t it fun in Texas? Aren’t you gonna answer me? Anyway won’t Texas be Fun.”

I hope they do come back soon. We Will Have A Fun Time.

Now Carly came home from school one day and wrote a story. Her First grade class was learning about Authors. Carly had picked out Gail Rollo, my friend here at the Park, as she met her the last time they were here. Gail Rollo wrote and published her book Gorilla of My Dreams. In fact her 2nd book in the series has just been released for sale on Amazon. Tammy made a video of Carly reading her story.

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It was a full page, front and back. It was so cute. She really did good. I sent the video to Gail, and she was so happy that she used her imagination. Meeting Gail and learning about Authors had allowed Carly to unleash her imagination a write a story. Something she probably never thought about before.

Tammy decided to order some T Shirts to remember the trip. Her and Connie had some ……Quality…… Time …..lol….. in the car on the way down, and on the way back…..The official saying that became a JOKE was…..“Get in the Car Connie”…..

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So these cool shirts finally came in. Tammy surprised Connie with hers. They all had a good laugh.

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So Texas Mexico “2019” is now OFFICIALLY OVER…….Hopefully they all come back again. But I bet it will be separately next time…..lol…..

“GET IN THE CAR CONNIE”

Connie, Tammy and the Kids Last Days of Vacation…….Part 4

Now that Tina and the kids had left, things quieted down a bit.  I took a day to take Connie site seeing and shopping.  Our first stop was the Museum of Arts and Heritage.  It contains the actual house belonging to the founder of Harlingen, Lon C Hill.  Also their was the first Hospital of Harlingen and the Stage Coach Stop that was moved in from several miles out in the country.  Then on to the Iwo Jima Memorial.20190418_1158548738467382576573432.jpg

This is such an impressive site to see.  It is the original first sculpture.  It is the clay cast that was made to mold the bronze Memorial in Arlington Cemetery, Washington DC.  It was a picture that was taken by an AP news photographer, of 4 soldiers raising the flag of the United States at the battle of Iwo Jima against the Japanese in WW II.  It was later in years made into a sculpture to honor our soldiers in battle. 20190418_1159311359531357824814867.jpg

One of the flag raisers was Corporal Harlon H Block, just a young man from  a little town west of here, Weslaco Texas.  He is buried at this site.  20190418_1208047820625982269052270.jpg

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Little did he know he would be killed in battle 3 days later.  This sculpture was given to the Marine Military Academy in Harlingen for several reasons.  1.  The Marine Military Academy was across the street.  2.  The street in between was already called Iwo Jima Blvd.  3.  Harlon Block was a home town boy.  It arrived on 10 semi flat beds in 1981 and was reconstructed.  In between the sculpture and the Military Academy lies a beautiful parade grounds used by the Academy for Military Parades.  Many visitors from Harlingen as well as far away including the students families come to view the Parades.  Nearby is a small but wonderful Museum filled with a wealth of historical memorabilia from World War II.  Also we seen a 32 minute black and white slide show, many actual shots of the Battle of Iwo Jima.  I never get tired of watching it.  It is so impressive and informative as to the reality of the war.

We drove across the street and slowly drove thru the Marine Military Academy.  I showed Connie the dorms, Gymnasium, Cafeteria, Class rooms and many others.  The school is a private college preparatory academy for classes 7th – 12th.  It is extremely expensive to attend therefore I have been told the average stay for a student is 2 years.  If the student attends all 6 years, they will likely graduate with an entrance into West Point or any other High ranking college, graduating with a very high rank.  Next we went shopping.  Amongst others Connie wanted to do Burlington Coat Factory.  First time for me.  We seen lots of bargain stuff.  I bought Carly an outfit.20190418_1711324737293413788877434.jpg

Of course we found something else.  This cool unicorn trunk to put stuff in.  We also went back to the Island to the new Sea Turtle Inc.  They rescue and treat the injured and keep the ones that cannot be rereleased in the waters.  It is a new building with a number of huge tanks for the ones that have found their forever home.20190419_1307384700962464836390273.jpg

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This one is Gerry.….Hes been here since 1980 and was on Johnny Carson.

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This one is Allison, she arrived in 2005 and has rudder attached to her back.  She is missing 3 of her 4 flippers. 20190419_1340591719390303973342248.jpg

Their was a very interesting display on the garbage that is found in the ocean waters and how dangerous it is to animals.  So much plastic is thrown overboard or washed out to sea.  The turtles think it is food and take bites.  It is so dangerous for them to ingest.

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The girls found a tank with a bubble in the bottom.  They crawled in from underneath.  It looked like they were in the tanks.  From their we went to the South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center.20190419_1437415067563501753533916.jpg

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It is a beautiful place full of birds, butterflies, and some alligators.  Its trails are all boardwalks that are built above the ground.  The birds, gators and wildlife have so much area to roam and be free and we are above them and…..SAFE…..20190419_1458192968984700477143471.jpg

This was a sleeping Alligator.  Or at least he looked like it.  He never moved.

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This was a beautiful walk out to the pier.  This was all shallow water full of crab, fish snails and ducks. 20190419_1515471042480478050570140.jpg

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Such a beautiful view of the bridge coming from Port of Isabel to the island in the distance.  On the walk we seen several turtles.  They loved to dig in the mud. 20190419_1552485231534597102920834.jpg

Many bird watchers were their with their binoculars.  The area was full of lush foliage that was a home and haven for birds and wildlife.  We came across 1 more pier and found another sleeping alligator.  He was right next to the post and never moved.  He was much smaller than the other one.20190419_1603116609505219380753557.jpg

Finally after a full day, time to head home.  The next day we took off to Boca Chica Beach again.  Tammy loves that place because she can drive down the beach in her jeep.  We went through Brownsville and past the Border Patrol check point, past Space X again and right down to the beach entrance.  I wouldn’t let her go south as that was Mexico.  So we went north on the beach.  It was such a beautiful day.  I had also checked the Tide report.  I certainly didn’t want to be marooned on the beach.  We drove 4 or 5 miles on the beach, watched the ocean waves beside us, passing  vehicles fishing and grilling out.  Just enjoying a fun day of sun and water.  We approached the end and found ourselves in front of the Port Of Brownsville inlet.  Just across from us was South padre Island.

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It was so pretty.  We parked the Jeep and climbed up the big concrete/stone retaining wall.  Right in front of us was South Padre Island and one of the Dolphin Watch Cruises.

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It was windy but so pretty.  Behind us was a number of houses on a hill.

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These houses do not have any utilities to them.  They are all owned by private owners.  All water has to be trucked in from Brownsville.  They all require generators for power.  We are told when you take the Dolphin tours that if these houses are ever demolished in a hurricane, the government will not let them be rebuilt.  They don’t want them their.  So far they seem to be fine.  What a great Vacation home away from civilization.  But I bet the weather is brutal at times.  It gets the direct wind and rain from the Gulf.  We turned around and started driving back slowly.  Tammy, Connie and Carly started walking the beach while I drove the Jeep.

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It was so beautiful watching them walk, listening to the waves roll in from the ocean.  The wind blew and the sea gulls swooped and fly from the shore line to up in the air, chasing anything that looked like food. 20190419_1911514184852462720873849.jpg

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I came upon a log that had been washed to shore.  It had apparently been submerged for a long time.  It was full of barnacles that had attached to it.  I had never seen them before.  Pretty interesting. 20190419_191923165950046638024157.jpg

It was nearing time to go.  We still had to go over and visit my friend Gail Rollo.  She has written a series of Childrens books.  I bought Carly one last year and now her and Tammy wanted to purchase one for her First grade Class.

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Gail was so Happy to see us and Carly Gail dedicated a book to the first grade class.  Carly was so excited.  She read the whole book to Gail and all of us.

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She really reads well for only first grade.  Gail has just released her 2nd book in the series.  Its called …..”Gorilla of My Dreams”……Its a dream she had as a little girl and has never forgotten it.  She has self published her books and they are available on Amazon as well as many book stores.  She is an ….”Awesome”….. lady.  You can also check her out on Facebook as well as Amazon.  Finally it was Easter Sunday and time for them to go.  We went to Golden Corral for Breakfast.  When we came home guess who had been their…The Easter Bunny…

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Carly was so happy.  She thought the Easter Bunny might miss her.  She got her bag and started collecting all her eggs and surprises.  The Easter Bunny left Cassidy her new hair iron that she has been wanting.  Now they had to pack.  You  would never believe all the stuff they had to pack.  The little trailer was so loaded down.  They had bought so much, including bags of fruit.  They also brought back the things Tina had bought that she couldn’t put on the plane. 20190421_1251364733610969203983122.jpg

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Finally it was time for them to leave.  Their was just enough room the kids to sit.  After Hugs and Good Byes they took off loaded to the hilt.  24 hours later they pulled into home again.  I can’t imagine driving with her,  packed in tight like the kids were, but it is what they do.….lol….. and Connie survived….

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“GET IN THE CAR CONNIE !!!!!”