January has been a very busy month. It has been also a very cold month. Usually we only have a few cold days that reach maybe in the 40s but mostly 50s, 60s, and 70,s. This year it has been very cold. Several times it reached into the low 30,s for several days. We’ve lost many of our flowers. We had a good frost that killed many. They say its been the worst in many years.
We did a tour to the Marine Military Academy in Harlingen. We have done this before, but I feel it is such an important part of Harlingen to share every year. This is a private academy that can house up to 200 students. The cost is $20,000 a semester. An average student will spend only 2 years here because of the cost for the parents. Those who attend all the grades will almost be guaranteed entrance to a top college in the nation. The curriculum is military style with a focus on academics. Sports are also offered but no vocational courses.
Marching to the Cafeteria
They have a very strict daily plan for the students. They have a daily dress code and march in units. They live in barracks and have a counselor family also living in each housing unit to watch over them and take care of their needs. It is a very impressive place. We boarded their bus, toured the grounds including the gymnasium, weight room, library, rec center, auditorium and and finally the cafeteria. We ate, watched the kids march in formation and then they bussed us back to the Iwo Jima Museum parking lot. It is the home of the Original Iwo Jima Memorial.
It is the cast that made the Iwo Jima Memorial that sits in Washington DC. at Arlington Cemetery. It is such an honor that it was installed in Harlingen. It is across the street from the Academy and the back drop for the Academy’s Dress Parades. They also have a wonderful Museum on the grounds. It is also the burial site of Corporal Harlon Block, who was one of the flag raisers who’s picture was captured that fateful day. He was killed in action several days later. He was from Weslaco which is only about 10 miles from Harlingen.
Our next event was going to the Border Patrol for a Informational Presentation. The Canadians had to have papers filled out 2 weeks prior to the date. They said they use to take people back to the housing areas, but not any more. We were taken to a large room where they hold their meetings etc.
At the front of the room were 4 empty chairs. They were in Memorial to 4 of the Officers from Harlingen that have been killed. Their name is engraved and also notice the tree on the side holding a pair of empty boots, a gun holster and a hat. Very moving.
They held a slide show and gave us so much factional information. The hot spot of the Rio Grande Valley is in McAllen. The amount of family’s, men, women and children that have crossed over is astounding. They are coming to the Park on March 4 to give their talk again. Their was so much info and facts. So many people had wanted to come, and the limit was 30, so I decided to have them come and give the same presentation. Hopefully I can retain some of the facts to pass on. It was interesting though, the highest quarter for illegal’s was the quarter just before Trumps election. They thought they wouldn’t get over after he was in office.
Entrance to Hotel….Concrete tree stumps. Schlitterbahn has a very rustic appereance.
Next we had the Winterfest Concert in South Padre Island at Schlitterbahn Indoor Water Park. I sold tickets for this event which qualified Rich and I free entrance. They also had a 3 day special for a Dinner Show the nite before, Winterfest, and then a Matinee Dinner performance the following day. All in all, 3 nites at the hotel. Many went, but Rich and I chose to spend the just 1 nite. The Dinner Show that nite was “Mirage, Visions of Fleetwood Mac”. They were based out of L.A. They were very good. The next day was the Winterfest. Live music on stage started at 10 am and continued till 5 pm. We were also given a Shrimp or Fish Basket from the Shrimp Haus.
We seen some great performances. Many people from all over the Valley came to enjoy the entertainment.
Here is some of our Eastgate group. I can see about 12 here….It was hard to get everyone. We were so scattered around. Total I believe , just from our park was about 24 people. As we were watching the musical groups, we seen a zip line out of the corner of our eyes. We walked over and the line was getting longer. Only $5….Wow….Sure I’ll go. Many of the people from our park were in line. I found a partner, Laura from our park. Rich came over also and went with Gaylon. It is a zip line that 2 of you sit in 2 seats and are strapped in. It is called the Soaring Eagle…
No place for your feet, just hanging freely. So the only thing keeping you in is the seat belt. As I was in line, our friend Ron asked me if I wanted to use his Go Pro camera…..Wow…Sure…He had a short tripod that wraps around your hand. So finally my turn. I was excited but also a little scared. After you are strapped in, it is pulled backwards quite a ways up to the top of a pole. You stop for about maybe 5 seconds and then start your descent going 30 miles an hour till you get to the end. Then the brakes are applied and you stop abruptly. I describe it as a jet landing on an air craft carrier and it is stopped by the hook. So finally my turn. Now I didn’t realize that with the camera on my right hand, I also got into the right side. I now had no place to hang on to. I also didn’t realize, my seatbelt was not tight. Their was a lot of play. Finally we started going backwards up the line…..
We were almost to the top and I was feeling like I was going to fall out…All most at the top, it jerked you about 3 or 4 times. Each time I thought I was falling. ….. OMG…..But the View from the Top was…..ASTONISHING BEAUTIFUL…The island looked so small. What a View. I still had the Go Pro wrapped around my right hand with nothing to hold on to. I tried panning it around to get it on video. Then all of a sudden we were falling….faster and faster towards the ground. We came closer and closer and then I could see the end of the line….The platform where we loaded and at the end of the line???? The I-Beam holding up the zip line. If it did not stop….It would be a DIRECT HIT to the I-Beam….In those last seconds, all my thoughts were, when the brakes went on, I would fly forward and slip out of the seat belt….So at the last minute…The hand with the camera came down and grabbed the seat…..And we stopped really very easy…..lol..lol…OMG….It was a crazy ride. Many of you have probably seen the Video, It is on FB on my Time Line….So I got out and Rich was next….Him and Gaylon climbed on board and took the ride. Now he really enjoyed it and wasn’t scared. He also made them strap him in tight….So Would I do it Again??? Yes I sure would…..It was AWESOME...Now I will show you my Awful picture…..
….In the corner, you can see the overlay of us at the end near the top of the pole…
The next day I had to get up early. We had a SegWay Tour back down at Port Isabel. We ended up with 2 groups because we had 10 people. We held one at 10 am and then another at 1 pm. It was an absolutely Beautiful day.
The temperature was in the low 80’s and hardly any wind, and the water and sky was beautiful shades of blue. 2 more weeks and we will be doing SegWay on the Beach at Padre……
Next affair was the Super Bowl Party. Rich and I are in charge of that. I have a budget to go by. Rich cooked around 50 lbs. of pork and pulled it.
We had smokies, shrimp, nachos and cheese, veggies and dip, sausage cheese and crackers and a Keg of beer. I decorated with balloons from the ceiling in team colors, and made megaphones from construction paper for center pieces. Everyone also brought a snack to share ….
I had collected 27 door prizes to give away including 2 Director Chairs from the park owner. They all had a great time…..Most of the beer was gone, and food too…..Everyone was happy.
Our last event we just had was our Ladies Luncheon with our 2nd Annual Style Show. Everyone brought a dish for the food table. Their was so many wonderful homemade dishes.
The desserts were out of this world. Everyone filled their plates, and when we were done we still had so much food. Finally the Style Show portion. Last year we chose 3 stores that were in different towns. They were rather elite stores that are a little pricy. This year, they choose local stores that were more practical in style and price.
The first one was Cato’s. They had some really nice items for everyday. The ladies had so much fun doing this….
The next store is Quelles Boutique down town Harlingen. The modeled many items that were so inexpensive and yet so unique. Its really a great store that I need to go and check out. She carries new as well as gently used. It sounds very interesting to see. So that has been my month….So so busy…..soon it will be almost over……April 1 is officially the end of the season when everyone is going or has gone back north….
A Beautiful Day in Port Isabel looking over the Bay to South Padre Island