Tammy & The Kids Visit….Part 2

FB_IMG_1516214053865.jpgWe had a fun day in Progresso Mexico and then headed back over to the US side.  We headed for South Padre Island which is about a 45 minute drive.  Rich and Cameron were in our car leading the way, and us girls in Tammy’s Jeep.  We arrived after dark at our motel and settled in.  Now we had a number of things planed,  but the weather was going to cause us a problem.  Cameron wanted to do a Deep Sea fishing Trip in the Gulf.  We also wanted to take the Port of Brownsville  Tour and see the ship yards where they dismantle the decommissioned Navy ships.  The USS Ranger is their and the USS Independence just arrived last May.  The weather has not been stable at all this season.  The forecast changed from the 70s to the 60s with some rain.  We had tickets lined up for both but they were both cancelled because of the weather.  FB_IMG_1515893032735.jpg

Tammy did manage to take several drives up the beach.  The first one she was very excited to finally drive up to the end of the road.  South Padre Island has only one main road down the middle.  It continues north until it turns into sand.  It passes all the beach access points, the hotels, condos, restaurants and bars.  It also passes a Zip Line area.  They also offer horse rides on the beach.  It is the farthest north facility on the island.  Then it turns into sand a ways up the road.  It gets so windy the road is always blowing over.  The plows regularly have to plow and maintain the road.  As you see it was sputtering rain on her windshield, but that didn’t stop her.  She drove back to Access 6 and entered the beach.  She said she drove a number of miles north.  On the way they passes the horses out for a ride.

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It was chilly to be on the beach.  The wind blows in from the ocean constantly.

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But I guess if you love horses and the beach, it doesn’t stop you.   It probably was a dream come true for some of those people.  The weather just didn’t cooperate.

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Along the way Tammy stopped and they looked for shells.  She actually found some large Conch shells.  They probably had washed up from the storm that had just come in a day before.  Carly brought her fish net and loaded it up with all her special shells she found.  They loved ridding on the beach.  Its such an exhilarating feeling as the wind blows and the sea gulls fly and chirp.  The feeling of peace, tranquility and Freedom.  Mother Nature at her best.

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Carly on the upper deck…..It was so Cold and Windy

The next trip we did was the Dolphin Eco Watch.  The boat is a double decker.  It holds quite a few people.  It is around a 2 hour trip in the bay, looking for dolphins.  They also drop a net to the bottom and drag it to catch different types of fish.  It was so cold.  We bundled up in our sweat shirts and jackets and boarded.  The girls had so much fun….Even Tammy.  We seen the dolphins many times just swimming around near us.  They would surface and then go under and come up a ways ahead.  The deck hand had dropped the net and reeled it in.  He had quite a few different variety’s of fish.  He cleaned them out of the net and put them all in a bucket with water.  He took them out 1 by 1 and showed them to the kids and adults.

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He actually caught a Sting Ray.  He explained the danger and how to react when near a Sting Ray.  He also showed a Puffer Fish and several others.  Finally he dropped them all back into the bay.  Then they took the boat clear out past the Jetty’s of Padre.  The wind was blowing, the waves were blowing high and splashing against the Jetty Rocks.

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It was so beautiful to see all the hotels at a distance and the beaches.  We also seen Dolphins clear out here.   Finally after almost 2 hours we went back to the docks.

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Now we were all hungry.  We decided to go to Pier 19.  It is a restaurant out on a dock.  Very cool atmosphere.  Every table is by a window.  It is a long and narrow restaurant as it is built actually on the pier.  We had seen Dolphins near the restaurant when we were on the boat, so decided it would be a great place to eat.

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They had some great food.  I had a Hawaiian Burger.  It was awesome.  I can’t wait to go back.   The next day we decided to go to Brownsville to the Gladys Porter Zoo.  It is situated on 31 acres.  The zoo houses about 400 animal species and over 250 tropical and neo-tropical species and subspecies.

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We didn’t see to many animals as it was still so cold.  But we sure seen Flamingos.  It is such a beautiful unique zoo.  The animals are all housed in areas that are natural to their habitats.  You don’t see many in cages, as they are all in natural out door settings.  But since is was so cold, I think they were mostly brought into their indoor areas to escape the unusual cold weather.  Just Carly, Tammy and I went here and we had a great time.  We also took another side trip out to Boca Chica Beach.  It is on the south side of Port of Brownsville.  It is a desolate beautiful area just a stones throw from the border.  After a 20 mile drive it dead ends into the beach at the Gulf of Mexico.  Several years ago they anounced that Space X had bought some ground for a new Missile launch area.  It is being built now, but we were told it would take another 2 years before the first launch.  That night ate out at Louies Backyard on the Bay sideTammy and Carly stayed at the hotel as they were tired.

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Glen and Kathy from the park came down to spend a nite.  They had spent the afternoon at another Club listening to the singer “Leslie”.  After she was done their, she came to sing at Louies.  We had some good food and fun times.

The next morning, Tammy wanted to go for another drive on the beach.  Rich and I and Cameron stayed in the room.   Awhile later, Tammy called…….”Dad do you have a tow rope in your car?“……lol….Oh no…..They had driven into Access 6 again and drove for miles up the beach as it was low tide.  They had a great time until they came back and tried to get back through the Access area.  In these areas the sand accumulates into drifts.  If not cleaned out regularly with a plow, it is like snow drifts up north.  You simply get stuck and end up bottoming out if you keep trying.  Well that’s what happened.   The other thing was, all this time she thought she was in 4 wheel drive.  Cameron had showed her to put the switch in 4 wheel but neglected to show her the other part of the process.  She was lucky she never got stuck earlier.  Well “Dad” didn’t have a tow rope…….Rich and Cameron drove out their and their was a whole crowd helping her.  She had of course bottomed out trying to get out.  Several vehicles tried pulling her but to no avail.   Finally another Jeep hooked up and pulled her right out.  She was so excited that she never took any pictures.  She was disappointed when she realized others were taking pictures but she didn’t get any.  So another Adventure for her to talk about…..lol….But no pictures.   Later she had to wash the Jeep as she was so full of sand.

Our stay at the island was coming to an end.  We had nice rooms.  Cameron stayed with us in ours so the girls could have their room to them selves.  Our room was obviously quieter.  When you went into Tammy’s room it was a disaster.  Clothes all over, and Carly always had her little toys out on the table playing with them.  She always has to have play time with her little toys.  We had a great Breakfast every morning down in the Lobby.  All the cold cereal, donuts, bagels, and toast as well as eggs, potatoes, waffles and juices.  Anything you could want for breakfast.

We left the Island to go home, but Tammy was still staying another day or two.  We both drove and headed for Brownsville,   77 Flea Mkt.  This turned out to be a beautiful day.  The Flea Mkt is huge.  Rich and Cameron took off and us girls started to slowly make our way through.  The girls had fun, even Cassidy.  We found a cheap stroller to put Carly in.  She would have never walked the whole thing.  20171230_133504.jpg

Cassidy found quite a few things.  Several pairs of slacks, make up brushes, and her best item was a blue tooth speaker with disco lites on wheels.  It was made like a rolling suitcase.  Great for taking to her friends or wherever she wants to go.  Tammy found a rolling suitcase for herself, and many other things and food items.  We were half we through and I was tired.  I mentioned, are you getting tired yet, but…… NO…..she wasn’t…..So we finally did the WHOLE FLEA MARKET.   I don’t think I ever walked the whole thing before…..Now we were very hungry.  We ate at a Chinese Buffet.  Good Food.  So we finally went back to Harlingen and Tammy went back to Padre.  That nite they decided to go fishing by the Causeway.  FB_IMG_1515891798874.jpg

Would you believe Cameron caught a Sting Ray.  It was being chased by a Puffer Fish.

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He finally pulled it on the dock.  A Mexican who didn’t speak much English helped Cameron get it off the hook and finally sent it back in.  FB_IMG_1515891839792.jpg

Now that is something you sure can’t catch in Illinois.  More memories were made.  The next morning they decided it was time to leave.  The kids wanted to go home.  They arrived back at our camper around 11:30.  Tammy come flying in and said….”Dad, Dad, take me to Mexico one last time….Please?”  Cameron said ” No, you don’t need to go”…..Tammy looked at Cameron and said….“I’m the mom your the kid…..You can’t tell me what to do”…..Then she looked at Dad and said ” Please Please, I want to go back one more time”.….So of course, Tammy, Cameron and Dad went back to Mexico…..I took Cassidy and Carly and went to Mr Gatti’s.  Its a Pizza Buffet.   It also has Pasta, Mac and Cheese, Baked Potatoes and the fixings and a great Salad Bar.  We went back to the park and I had 2 more things to do with the kids.  My friend Gail Rollo has written a Children’s book.  She is selling it in certain book stores and on Amazon.  She has been doing some book signings also.20171210_124501.jpg

Its a wonderful book of a dream that she had when she was a child.  After all these years, she has written the book and Published it.  Were all so proud of her Accomplishment.

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I wanted Gail to sign one for Carly so we stopped at her house.  Gail read the book to her and then signed her very own book.  Carly loved it.  She held the book with 2 hands against her chest when we left.  It was very special to her.

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Our next stop was Roberta’s.  Roberta and Ken have 2 Parrots.  Maui is a Beautiful Red and Blue Parrot.  20171231_133908.jpg

Cassidy met her 2 years ago.  At that time Maui was the only one she had.  Since then, Roberta has been given Benny.  His owners had passed away and he desperately need a family.   20171231_134030.jpg

Benny is a beautiful blue and yellow Parrot.  Roberta is so good with birds, animals of any kind and has a wonderful green thumb.  She can grow anything.  So Carly poised for this picture with her doll and they had their matching dresses on, that they bought in Mexico.  Finally Rich, Tammy and Cameron came back around 5.  They drove across this time.  Tammy had to walk almost the whole length of the shopping area that we stick to in Progresso.  She shopped and shopped and made sure she had her Margarita.  She loved it.  20171231_173423.jpg

But now it was time to head out.  I thought they would be to tired to drive, but they wanted to go.  The kids sleep at nite and travel better.  So around 5:30 the left.  I figured they would stop and sleep.  It is a very long drive.  But with Cameron and her driving, they made it straight through in 22 hours.  They pulled into home in Illinois before 4 pm the next afternoon. …. OMG….No way.
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It was a great time having Tammy and the kids here.  We didn’t get to do everything we wanted but we did a lot.   We never had a dull moment.  It was so nice after going on 4 years that one of the kids have finally came down and seen where we live in the winter.  Their is so much to offer in the Rio Grande Valley.  It is such a different life style than back home.  Harlingen area has so much to offer.  So much to see and do.  It never gets old.  Much history and many things I’m sure I haven’t discovered yet.  It is a life style that is so unique, and so hard to describe to anyone up north.  It is an area the Winter Texans come back to every year to enjoy the warmth of the weather, the beach, and the culture of the Southern Texans……It is so nice to think, the beach and the ocean are just a short drive away.   

…….We Made So Many Wonderful Memories…..

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The Last Days With Friends…..Randy is Traveling….

 

The Park is almost empty of all the Winter Texans.  We’ve had a few more head north.  On Sunday we went to the Island with Cathy and Bud and Ann, Cathy’s sister.  Ann flew down from Canada to spend the last week with them.  They are all leaving Wednesday.  We ate at Dirty Al’s, at the Pelican Station in Port Isabel.

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It sits right on the Lagoon near the bridge that goes to South Padre Island.  It has a beautiful view through the windows of the bridge.

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You can also see the Dolphin Watching tour boats that are right down the street.  Sometimes you can even see the Dolphins from here swimming and jumping in the water.

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After we eat a wonderful dinner we decided to ask for Dessert…..Oh How SINFULLY Delicious it was. 

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The waiter and waitress were so nice, the took our pictures and had fun with us.  Just look at those yummy desserts.  Key Lime Pie, Cheesecake, Pecan Pie with Ice Cream and chocolate syrup……Yes, We Left Full…..

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Last Friday we took a trip to Progresso which was also Cathy and Buds last for the season.  We walked around the streets and through some of the shops.  Bought some meds….(cheap)….eat dinner and stopped at Ponchos for a drink.  This girl is always on the streets trying to sell her jewelry.  She doesn’t speak English and is slow.  But she knows how to sell.  She know all the regulars and always hangs around.  Her name is Judy, although its spelled different in Spanish.  She calls Cathy and Bud her Mommy and Poppy.  But she also calls Glen her Poppy….I think she must call everyone that.  Last year, she hung around and wanted to carry my Piñata all the way to the border bridge.  Several of us gave her money and she was happy, but she still hangs around till you leave.  The last 2 times we have driven across now.  No more walking across the bridge.  But they get you for parking.   They find you a place and want money for watching your car.  You can also get a hand wash and wax for around $12.   It is a Good Deal.

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We had some fun trying on hats…..They always say…..”What you want Lady? It almost Free”  ……So another 2 days and they will leave for Canada.

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I also want to report on Randy the Reindeer….Remember him from Christmas?….Randy decided to head to Maryland with his Eastgate Parents Alice and Tom.  He has never met his family so he is heading east….He will proudly ride on the dash in his chair and see the sites of this great America.  You realize he has only seen it at nite with Santa, helping to pull the sleigh on Christmas Eve.  So this will be a GREAT EXPERIENCE for him.  We’ve had our first report from him.

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He went out shopping to buy appropriate Beach wear.  He has new sunglasses, swim trunks, even flip flops on his feet.  He has a visor on his head also to protect him.  But he still has that Margarita glass in his hand…..I think his parents will help him control his drinking problem though.  Alice and Tom are good people and they know what’s best for him……lol…

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Here is a really cool picture of him on the Beach.  They are at Galveston Island for April before they start heading north.  So I will be reporting on Randy every time he reports in….. So I will close with several pictures of friends gone north…..Everyone goes North ya know…..We are the most southern point of the USA…….If you look at the map, you will see we are almost in line with KEY WEST FLORIDA

…..You just can’t go any further south…

……..”See You All Next Year”……

Home for 3 Weeks & Headed South……

Its been almost a month since I wrote the last blog.  We finished at Adventureland on Oct 1.  We headed home to Illinois on Oct. 2, parking in the lot of Scott’s house.  It is half way between both girls.  Tammy is in McNabb about 3 miles south and Tina is in Granville 3 miles north.  So Good Location, but bad location for phone or internet service.  Were 90 miles from Chicago, but may as well be at the South Pole….Hardly any reception…..Complaining does no good….Believe me…I’ve tried…

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First Day of School 2016

Rich’s plan for this time at home is working for a farmer hauling grain from the field to the elevator.  This is what he did everyday except rainydays for close to 3 weeks.  I began by babysitting the grandkids, Tina’s and Ed’s kids Miley and Austin and of course Dexter.  Tina and Ed both had to leave for the week for work related projects.  Ed went to Wisc. and Tina headed to southern Illinois to learn about the new computer system at the court house that links the State Programs.  On Monday I went in at 6:30 for my Orientation….lol….When to get them up, when and where to take them to school, when the bus comes, homework and bedtime.   So this was my first week home.  All went well until the last day of school, which was Thur.  Austin had the tablet in his hand before school and I took it away.  We got everything together and I took them to school.  Even Dexter goes with, cause Tina said he wants to go and send his kids off to school…lol.    Well about an hour later, Tina text me.  She just received a text from Austin’s teacher.  He snuck the tablet into his book bag and brought it to school.   Ohhhh Geees……Strike One…..The next day was no school.  The kids sleep in bed with mom and dad, Dexter too.   They woke up in the morning but didn’t come out till late.    They were being good so why both them…..Right…..Later that afternoon just before Tina came home, the kids went outside.  Miley came inside and layed down on the floor to watch TV.   I heard Austin outside yelling but didn’t really pay attention.   Tina pulls in the drive and comes in….”Why is Austin crying, locked up in the swimming pool pen”?    Really    Miley of course was grinning.   Then Dexter is so excited to see his mom.  He was jumping all over her.  He went and got a present which I thought was underwear or socks in his mouth.   Tina starts screaming,  “I smell SHIT OMG ”  She looked at what Dexter had in his mouth that he was so proud of……Austin had “SHIT” his underwear sometime during the day and left them lay.  Dexter had picked up the underwear which was full and was chewing it….I was rolling in laughter….It was so funny…..Strike Two….

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First Day of school 2016

A few days later, I stopped by and visited.  Tina said to me, “I sure don’t know what you were doing Friday morning when the kids woke up”.     Why.   Well those sweet children had some fun.  They had the bed full of coloring books and crayons.   Now Miley being a carbon copy of her mother, thought of something really cool to do.  She took rolls of scotch tape and ran it around all the bottle lids in the bedroom.  Then she moved on to the bathroom.  All lids were taped shut.  She even took the shampoo and conditioner out of the shower and replaced them with peroxide and other things.    Hahahaha…..Good One Miley.…Then she asked if I could sit again the following Friday…..Really…You Trust Me?…..

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This is what happens when I babysit

That next Friday, Ed’s dad had just flown in for several days.  He had things to do, so I went over around 10am.  We were talking the kids came out laughing.   They had put on makeup.  Of course I had to take their picture.  Did I get in trouble for that?  No.   I got in trouble for NOT closing the doors to the cabinets.   One is always suppose to check those cabinet doors and make sure their closed for pictures.   lol.

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Carly’s 1st day of Pre-School

I also spent time at Tammy’s house.  I always like to hear her stories of her patients at Kindred Hospital.  She is a RN and always has some interesting patients.  She really loves her work.   Little Carly is now in afternoon preschool.   She is so happy to go to school and ride the bus.  She is really growing now.  She insists her hair is always done.  She has natural curly hair.

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Cassidy, 2016. So Pretty

Cassidy is 12 and is becoming quite a young lady.  Tammy and the Kids went to Boggios Orchard and took some great Pictures.

I spent the day with Cassidy and we took this picture.

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Cassidy 2016, at the Mansion

We went shopping to the Mall, of course Bath and Body.  Bought some fun stuff.  We went to her favorite restaurant, House of Hunan, Chinese buffet.

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Now Cameron is 18.  He hates his picture take, but I thought I’d put this one in again.

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Cameron loves his car but he is a typical teenager.  The cops stopped him because of no license plate light.  So did he fix it?   NO   He simply taped a Flashlight to the car…..OMG….Just don’t forget to switch it off or your batteries will run down….lol…Or is this a BERGEN THING?……lol…..It’s kind of like Rich’s saying “Why fix it before it brakes” We also had some issues with our 2 rental houses.  It called for a dumpster…..Yuck……But fortunately part of those problems were resolved before we left.  Miley had her 8th birthday.

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Mileys 8th Birthday Oct. 2016

Her mom bought practical this year.  She is sick of toys.  Miley wanted her room painted so, she got paint brushes, roller with pan and paint samples.  She loved it.  Halloween was coming up.  Tammy took the girls to Peoria to buy costumes.

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Carly’s Halloween 2016

Carly is Strawberry Shortcake.  So cute.

 

Austin and his Friend….Miley…

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This is some of Scott and Brandy’s cliental for Halloween at One Paw’s Pub……They don’t drink much….lol….So after almost 4 weeks, we headed out to Harlingen Texas…..Eastgate MH & RV Park.….Our winter home, also our next workamping job.  Just like last year, Rich in Maintenance and I’m an Event Coordinator.  We visited many friends while home, took care of business, visited the kids and grandkids, and away we went…….

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Southward bound…….from chilly weather wearing jackets to 90 degrees weather…..YES, we are here…..Left on Thur and arrived on Sunday…..

Harlingen Texas, the home of the Winter Texans