Busy January at Eastgate….

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.20180211_054906.jpg

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.

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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.  20180122_125212.jpg

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.  20180125_111638.jpg

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.

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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.

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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.

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We seen some great performances.  Many people from all over the Valley came to enjoy the entertainment.20180131_103735.jpg

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…Soaring-Eagle-Zip-Line-Mooresville-Indiana-6-of-7-1024x683

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…..zip line 2

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…..

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….In the corner, you can see the overlay of us at the end near the top of the pole…

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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.20180201_120705.jpg

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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……20180204_175349.jpg

Next affair was the Super Bowl PartyRich and I are in charge of that.  I have a budget to go by.  Rich cooked around 50 lbs. of pork and pulled it.

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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 ….

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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.20180209_120500.jpg

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.20180209_124311.jpg

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.

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The first one was Cato’s.  They had some really nice items for everyday.  The ladies had so much fun doing this….20180209_133346.jpg

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….

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A Beautiful Day in Port Isabel looking over the Bay to South Padre Island

 

 

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Our Ladies Style Show and Super Bowl

We just finished our 1st Style Show at the park with 3 different Awesome stores with 15 of our ladies modeling.  I surely can’t show you all 15, but these were my favorites.  These Ladies modeled from Lionels Western Wear in Weslaco.  They wore their fashions from their head including jewelry, down to her shoes and boots.   Such Beautiful and colorful items.  lionels-1

This all first started when I was invited to another park last year for their Ladies Fashion Show.  Our friends from McNabb, Jan and Bob Shuster are at Paradise park.  I attended with Jan and thought how beautiful it was, but thought Eastgate could never do anything like that, as we are so much smaller, and don’t have that kind of cash flow…..For that matter, nor could I…..I certainly don’t have the experience to know how to put together something so elegant as theirs.  As an Event last year, we went to beautiful Villa De Cortez in Weslaco for lunch.  20170217_150029.jpg

Sandra from Lionels Western Wear, which was one of the stores at Paradise Park,  came and modeled several items.  It was so much fun.  After our lunch several of us went down the street to her store shopping.   We were so Impressed.  I talked with Sandra as how to do a style show at the Villa De Cortez.   She said I should call her this past fall when we all arrived.

 

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My Friend Cicily Mahoney

This fall, after we all arrived, I realized the Ladies Luncheon was having a hard time come up with entertainment.  So I mentioned to Linda and Cheryl about the Fashion Show.   They were so excited.  So we contacted Sandra and set a date.  Several weeks before, Linda and Cheryl made appointments at all 3 stores for fittings.  We not only had Lionels Western Wear, also Wells of Weslaco and Bec’s of McAllen.  Those 2 girls worked so hard transporting all 15 girls to 3 different stores for fittings.  Each store had 5 ladies model 2 different outfits.  The day of, The stores arrived and set up their close racks in Lila’s mobile trailer right next to the hall.  That become the dressing rooms.  Each store had 1 room for their 5 girls to change.  20170215_193139.jpg

They were all so elegant and full of fun as they modeled.  Nancy was demonstrating her imaginary gun concealed in the pocket built into her purse.  20170203_153659.jpg

Pat was just so cool in her red flowing Poncho with black boots and her Cowboy hat.   20170203_134500.jpg

Of course we had Frances looking so beautiful in a black and white top. Her outfit was from Bec’s in McAllen.   All the ladies wore beautiful exquisite jewelry and shoes.  Sandra’s store is full of gorgeous Jewelry.   The show was just fabulous. lionels-5

A huge Thank You to Linda and Cheryl for all their work and of course the ladies from the 3 stores that traveled to bring this fabulous show to our park…..Many of the ladies are planning  fun shopping days.   20170203_120501.jpg

The hall was decorated in bright bold colors.  The girls made bright paper tissue flowers and suspended them from the ceiling.  They purchased bright colored table clothes and bought flowers from Progresso Mexico as centers pieces.   The luncheon tables were filled with so much awesome food.  Everyone brought a dish to share…..lionels-4

So See We Can Do a Style Show….It May Have Not Been Elegant as Some Are…..But

…….We Did It The Eastgate Way……

And we had a BLAST

It was so much fun and everyone so enjoyed it.  So next event was Super Bowl.  We left the flowers up in the ceiling, but I saved all the tables cloths for our Potato Bake next month.  Finally the Super Bowl was decided.  Falcons and Patriots.   Red and Blue.  My 2 favorite colors.  This year was so much easier to plan.  I wrote notes and saved grocery lists from last year.  I have learned if you write a plan when you begin and a summary when your done of good things and recommendations for change, it is so much easier the following year.  So it was much easier.  The menu this year was Brisket, Lil Smokies, Shrimp, Nachos and Cheese, Crackers, sausage and cheese, Veggies and dip, Soda and half barrel of beer. We asked for everyone to bring a snack to share.   Rich bought the briskets at Sams and found a new caterings service/bar that would smoke and season them.   They were fabulous.  20170205_172621.jpg

I found a cool looking inflatable ice tray for the table in the shape of a football stadium for the shrimp and veggies.  During the season I’ve been collecting things for door prizes.  I ended up with 25 items.

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…..2 white boards with all the prizes listed….my placemats and centerpieces…..

 

Top prize from Joe Shannon was a Garmin Fitness Tracker bracelet.  I had a fishing rod from Johnnys True Value, Yankee Candle for Quips and Quotes, and many many good gift certificates as well as other things.   It was grand.  Of course they went through not only the half barrel but another half of a half barrel.  I made center pieces of footballs from brown paper and Megaphones in Red and Blue.  It really looked nice. 20170205_155141.jpg

………And What A Game…….I don’t understand football but I did watch the last half.  It was sure an exciting game.  I didn’t take to many pictures that night, as it was such a busy evening.  We went up by noon to decorate and set up.  By 8 pm my feet were dead.  We left around 11 when the hall was finally cleaned up again

…..Back to Normal for another DAY…..20170209_082653.jpg

I will finish with a new picture of our pots in place in the Entrance of our Park.  I coated them with couple of coats of concrete sealer in hopes it will protect the pots from the harsh summer months.  The pots came from Progresso Mexico.  Bought them and had a Mexican wheel them across the border, straight to the truck.  He even put them in the back and put down cardboard for protection.  All for $48 for both including a $10 tip.   What a Deal……… So now the girls planted them with petunias, and they are

………BEAUTIFUL……..