Happy New Year! Where Did Dec. Go

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…..

 

 

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2 nd Annual Oktoberfest at Adventureland….Amazing

Finally, Oktoberfest arrived, the event we have been waiting for.  It was a long day but so much fun and amazing to watch what the Park had accomplished.  It was so professionally done.  It was a classy affair that had something for everyone.  It was affordable to anyone according to their wishes.  Or you could spend and drink and party to your hearts delight.

Oktoberfest was not something we knew about at first.  This is an affair separate from what the Workampers were expected to do to finish their season.  Last year which was the 1st, was much smaller, so this year the plans had grown and escalated to quite a large affair.  We kept hearing about the plans,  games would be open in 2 of the 3 areas, and many of the large rides would also be open.  It sounded exciting, so we decided to stay and work.  A number of other Workampers stayed also.  After last Sunday of working, which was the last day we had to stay to satisfy our bonus, many of the Workampers left the campground.  It was really a mass exit…..Then mid week all the weekenders started filling up the lots again, just for Oktoberfest.  By Friday we were quite full again….

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We knew they were putting new LED lighting on the Big Wheel.  Last Thursday, Rich looked out the window towards the park and he said, Look the Big Wheel lights are on.  We sat their and watched in delight, and then drove the golf cart to the parking lot.  I took pics and a video.  It was so beautiful.  The colors changed, moved in a wheel, moved in swirls…..It was so pretty.  They ran all evening till 10pm and again Friday nite.  Finally Saturday came.  We arrived at 10:15 am to turn in our uniforms for the year.  I was in Games again and was assigned Alpine which would be up by the main stage….This is just where I wanted to be.  Right in the middle of the action.  Now Rich was assigned to the Tilt a Whirl. He would be near the back of the park and probably wouldn’t see as much action.  This year they would be having 13 bands on 7 different stages through out the park at different times.  Wow.  It was a rather cool morning to start, so I wore jeans.  It was going to be a casual affair for us in Games as many of our rules were relaxed.  We could buy from the many food vendors in the park, and their were many (although Rich had to eat in the commissary, strange, it was a rule for Rides. ).  We were also allowed to take our phones.  Soooo pictures….YES…..So the gates opened at 11 am.

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Their just so happened to be 2 Iowa football games that afternoon, so things started slowly.  They had also brought in a big screen for the bands so they also played the football games for those interested.  Tickets were only $15 to enter, that also got you a mug with Samuel Adams Beer.  Very reasonable.  At break time I wandered the park and bought a sandwich and found some really cool things they were offering for fun to play.  No cost.

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Bean Bags on Main Street

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Connect Four….. King Size

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Huge Jenga……These were placed in a number of places through out the park.

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Ladder Ball

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This was really cool….It is a moustache Tetter Totter

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Beer Pong….Everyone was having so much fun.  They also added some other beer games that cost.

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Pumpkin Launch….Their was a small wooden boat in the water.  If you made it you got a fun trinket, Key chain or beads I believe.

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Keg Bowling…..lol…I think this is self explanatory….I believe all these games were $3 each….not to expensive…

How about Speed Beer….Shake up a can of beer and throw it…See how fast you can throw…..As the day progressed, more people came.  Finally I heard at 6pm the tickets booths outside were standing line, and the parking lot was getting full.  The last i heard our count was 7,000 people.  I was working the game Mr. Frog, which was near main stage.  All the bands were playing through the park at different times, but main stage was going to be playing last until 9:30 and then the ……Fireworks….Grand Finale…..The last band began…..The Spazmatics…..They were so good.   They played music of the 80’s….Fabulous sounds and High Energy music….It turns out, they are a “Chain Band” from Chicago.  That means their are many chains of the same band through out the US.  Listening to them and watching the Big Wheel lites behind them was just Magical.

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The people were having a blast, dancing and moving and singing to the music.  The crowds became so thick, I couldn’t hardly see the band anymore.   Lots of people were stopping to play Mr. Frog though.  I became very busy.

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This game is really a neat game that has been here for years.  You buy rubber frogs to launch in a launcher.

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You hit it with a mallet and try to land the frog in the white lily pad that is moving in circles in the water. So as you know, most people miss and the frog lands in the water.  So I have to pluck the frogs out…..lol…by the end of the evening I was soaked….You get 3 frogs for $3, 6 for $5 or 15 for $10.  People love this game.

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All through the park the big rides were running.  Rich said he had lines all night.  Nonstop.  The big rides were busy ..Monster, Tornado, Space Shot and the Storm SearchEveryone was having a blast, most of them walking around with a mug of beer in hand.  But was their any problems?  You would think that alcohol and all the rides wouldn’t mix.  I heard of a few problems but the police force were patrolling through the park all nite.  From my and Rich’s viewpoint, everyone was  well behaved.  They were laughing, singing, dancing….Being Happy…..Finally it was almost 9:30 and the band called last song.   Soon as the last chords were played the Fireworks began…..Beautiful  fireworks in the sky.   What a wonderful fitting finish to an Evening of Magic…..

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My Manager Devin……Really Good Guy…..

 

So the lights on the Big Wheel continued till 10 pm.   We packed up the games for the last time this season….Counted my frogs for inventory….lol…Put them in their plastic bin to be taken in the building….Said my goodbyes to the kids I worked with…..Little by little the people cleared out….Rich and I headed back to the employees area, turned in our last shirts we had on and left the building…..Got in our golf cart and headed to our campsite for the last time this year……Whewwww…..Finally, its over…..but its Bittersweet….We are ready to leave but, its also sad to leave…….Well weve been packing for several days, so Sunday we packed up what was left and left by 2 pm….Headed to Illinois….but ohhhh soooo Tired….Worked almost 12 hours Saturday…….Didn’t realize I was so tired…..

But What a Wonderful Day and Evening it Was…..Adventureland, you put on a Class Act….

 

4th of July….Adventureland

The 4th was a beautiful weekend.  The temps had cooled down to mid 80’s.  We even brought our sweatshirts several days as the evenings were so cool.  The park was open till 10pm on Fri. Sat. and Sun.  Of course we have Fridays off together now.  We went across the street to Prairie Meadows Casino and Race Track for lunch.

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They had a great buffet with everything one could ever want.  Salad and Dessert bars were to die for.  lol.   Yes all for only $21 for both of us.  You could almost spent that at McDonalds.  After we went up just one floor and checked out the casino.

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Pretty typical of a casino.  All the same machines and tables.  It was decorated very colorful and all the bells were ringing of course.  The one thing I don’t remember was the smell of Cigarettes.  Must be smoke free.  But I still seen the people gambling with their Oxygen tubes hooked up.  Sad isn’t it, that’s all they have to do.  SSI check comes in and off they go to gamble.  We walked to the back and that’s where the big windows were that looked out over the Horse Race Track.

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The water trucks were preparing the track for the weekend races.  Their were lots of outside tables to the right and left of the picture and inside their were all the box seats.  Seems like a lot for just a few minutes of racing.   I guess I just have never appreciated horse racing.

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We left deciding to come back again for the buffet……Excellent….and maybe spending $20 next time gambling.  lol  .  Saturday and Sunday, we of course worked.  Rich is working the Himalaya this week as the Operator this time.  This gives him an enclosed area that has AC.  How nice.  I was up in the Alpine Arcade area.

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These pictures are taken with my old camera, as we cannot take our phones in to work…..Bummer…..The quality of colors inside is ok, but outside in the evening, they are horrible.  This is called Water Gun Fun.  Its a squirt gun game.  I worked this game all day.

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This was my friend Carolina, (pronounced Catalina, like the dressing) who was my reliever during break.  She is from Brazil, and is really a neat person to talk to with her accent.  More about her later.  The prizes are these cute little dragons.

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Another picture of the Arcade area.

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These girls are the Manager and Assist. Manager of Alpine for the nite.  Very nice girls, both still in High School, but very good at what they do.  Jordyn on the left and Morgan on the right.  We can tell what our positions are by the striping on our shirts under the arms.  Ours are a light blue.  Now Morgan’s is more of a medium blue, which designates an Assistant Manager.  Jordyn’s, if you could see hers, has a black insert.  That is for managers.  All areas have the same shirts so it is easy to tell what their position is.  Then by reading their name tag, you can tell what area they are in, Games, Rides, Retail or Foods.  All Company or important people…..lol…are dressed in Black shirts and Kaki colored slacks.

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This is a picture of the Big Wheel…..So much prettier than this.  In this picture the lights blended together, when their were really many different colors….That’s what the ole camera does.  lol.  But it is just beautiful at night.   All the pretty colors of the rides as they go around and round.   The sounds of the different rides and the laughter and voices of the kids.  And theirs always the sound of the train whistle as they start their ride on the rails.  At 9:30 pm Prairie Meadows had a fireworks display, but we couldn’t see anything because of the trees, but we sure could hear it.  Beautiful sounds.  The next night was the 4th of July.  I worked in County Fair.

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I worked the Goblets Game.  This is a game of chance.  You toss a whiffle ball in the rink.  If it falls on white, you lose.  Yellow gets you a small snake. Red is a medium and the center blue is a large.  You can also trade up.  3 small makes a medium, 3 med. makes a large.  Several guys came up and played and played.  You can also buy a bucket of balls with a small prize in it.

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After lots of laughter and money spent,  these guys won and traded up to several large snakes.   Notice the one kid has the snake head on top his head.  They had won many other prizes.  Now I am pretty sure that they had to have spent way over $100 to win all these stuffed animals.  But they sure had a good time winning.

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As the evening progressed I watched the Storm Chaser.  It is so cool to be near it when it goes up.  They leave their shoes and belongings on the ground as they will lose them.

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This is the Storm Chaser as the sun set and darkness came.  Such a beautiful site.

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This camera doesn’t show of the true colors.

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Once it reaches the top, it goes around faster and the swings swing way out.

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Finally it came time for the Parks fireworks.  They were set off on the other side of the park.  We were allowed to walk up a ways to watch.  We could only see the high ones, over the Monster.  They were pretty.

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The beautiful lights of the rides, the music playing in the different areas, and the laughter of the people made it a magical evening with the park closing at 10 pm.  Now that our golf cart  is here, it is so easy to go home.  Rich parks it right at the Security gate.  We meet each other there when the park closes and head home.  That nite the traffic was horrible.  The cops were directing traffic, which was stopped…….and we just drove off through the parking lot and sidewalks and over to the campground……it just takes minutes…..From now on the Park will be open from 11 am to 9 pm Sunday-Thursday and on Friday and Saturdays were open till 10 pm.  So our nites are late now.  We work all the Pm shifts.  The park stays open until the last week of Aug.  That week they will close on week days and only be open on weekends till the last of Sept.  As long as we stay till then, we will be paid a bonus money per hour we worked.  So it is worth it staying, especially as we still get free camping.   Its really a nice package deal.  More people are leaving every week, but they have their own issues.  Some depts. have their own problems, some of them can’t take the heat.    If you look at the whole deal, it is really a great seasonal job.  Just imagine if you received a pay check and didn’t have to pay rent or electric.  All we do is buy food.  Meals at the Commissary are cheap also.  Today we had Turkey, Dressing, Mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce and green bean casserole.  All for $2 with your drink.   What a deal.

Stay tuned for my next blog…..We went and met friends last Friday and visited Rieman Gardens in Ames Iowa…..FABULOUS…..