Sunday, November 28, 2010

Racing in Parker

Friday, we left Safford and headed on to Parker, Arizona. It was about a 7 hour drive. We decided to just stay at the Blue Water Casino in their parking lot for a few days while we are here for Michael's races. It is free which is nice. No hook ups so will be using generator and solar. WHen we got there, we were surprised at how many motor homes were parked at the Casino. I am sure the Casino doesn't mind as they know most people camping there will probably spend some money at the Casino. In fact we did. Casey, Michael and Chris arrived with the boats about 9 o'clock and hadn't eaten and so we went over to the Casino for a bite to eat. It was nice catching up on what everyone has been doing since we last saw our boys in June.
Casey and Michael got a room at the Hotel and Chris stayed with us.
The APBA(American Power Boat Association) races were being held both Friday and Saturday. However, Michael had to work on Friday and so only participated on Saturday. This is the APBA/ SCSC 63rd annual Thanksgiving regatta. It is also the last race of the season. Michael has two boats he is racing. He races the small hydro planes. His brothers help him out. He had some issues with his boats. He ended up borrowing an engine for one of his boats. Everyone there is very helpful that way. Michael ended up with two third place finishes. He thought he had won second place in one race but they checked his boat and the engine wasn't exactly sitting the way it was suppose to and he got disqualified on that one.

Michael pulls away in his little red boat

Casey waiting for the start of the race

Working on the engine

Chris and Casey pushing Michael out into the water

Close race at the moment
           Here are some pictures of the other types of boats that raced

   Above is a picture showing both Michael's boats. Casey recently bought a boat but it is just the basic boat without engine, etc. He will be buying parts for it as he finds them and then will start racing also. He did race earlier this summer in someone else's boat and had a lot of fun. Chris has been a great brother helping Michael out. Go Dirty Racing Team!!!!

We went over to the Casino and had their buffet which was very reasonably priced. Not like Las Vegas. At least these days. We then went to the award ceremony where Michael got several.

The boys left Sunday morning but we are staying through Monday. We spent some time checking out several campgrounds and are planning on going to Cattail Cove State Park in Lake Havasu, which is right on the river. We'll be there until Friday when we will head back to Newport Dunes. Back to California.



Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving at Roper Lake

We have just been relaxing here at Lake Roper, taking walks, reading, little working for Joe. Have just been in town a few times for supplies. Last time we were here everything was very green. Here we actually have a little of the fall colors.

This is the first Thanksgiving it has just been the two of us. Though we will see our boys on Friday at Parker.
I looked up slow cooker recipes for turkey as we had purchased a small turkey breast. I complied a few, using wine and a little chicken stock and some vegetables and basting the turkey with olive oil and herbs.
It really came out tender and moist as the blogs I read mentioned. We also had mashed red potatoes with sour cream and cream cheese added and some peas with thyme added. Very yummy. Also had some corn bread I had bought at the store and with a little wine, had a very good Thanksgiving meal. We are very thankful that we have been able to live this new life style. The first six months have been awesome. We have really seen some great places. THese months have also been pretty packed full and we have covered a lot of territory as we knew we would. We will be spending a month or maybe longer in Southern California and then spending the rest of the winter in Arizona at a slower pace.                                                    

Saturday, November 20, 2010

On to Arizona

We enjoyed the rest of our stay at Padre Island and hated to leave. However, we are planning on being at Parker, Arizona on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Michael, one of our sons, is racing his boats and all our boys will be there. It will be great to see them after our last six months of travel. We debated on where to stay next but ended up deciding to just do a couple of days of long travel and head towards Roper Lake in Safford, Arizona. We stayed there in June and it is one of our favorite places so far.

This is the view from our site. We arrived on Saturday and were just hoping to get any spot and then moving to one with a view of the water on Sunday when the weekenders leave. However, we were pleasantly surprised to find the same spot we had last time we were here open. Some of the best spots are non-reservable and so though most of the campground was pretty filled a few of the water view spots were open. Luckily for us. We plan on staying here until Friday and will then head for Parker, which is about a 6 or so hour drive.                                                                     

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Taking care of business

Reception on internet and cell service has been off and on. One day we drove over to check out  one of the other campground on Padre Island. Joe took along his computer to see if it would be faster so he could do a little work. Bird Island Basin has camping right on the water.  We still like where we are staying a little better as it is prettier with the dunes and flowers. Joe spend some time working while I still some reading and watched some of the wind surfers do their thing.

You can also camp right on the beach. Just down a ways from where we are staying is a part of the beach where you can drive your car right on the beach. Part of it , anyone can drive on and then you come to a section that is 4 wheel drive only. We, of course, had to try it out. We saw  tent trailer, a small airstream trailer and a fairly large 5th wheel camped out on the beach.  Also a number of people fishing. One of these days we have to get some fishing gear and try it out.                                                     

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sunrises at the Beach

Even though we stayed up late to watch the Ducks play and win, we got up a few mornings to watch the sunrises.                                                                                                                                                                                              

It is so beautiful here. The Padre Island Seashore is the longest undeveloped stretch of barrier island in the world. Birders would love it as there are so many types of birds here. It is also the only place in Texas where all 5 types of sea turtles are found. They are very protective  of the nesting sea turtles and during the nesting season, warnings to be careful if nests are sighted. they also ask the nests to be reported to the rangers.

As we still are having sunny and warm days we went to Mustand Island to do some kayaking. We went there last year and liked it. We probably should have looked at the tide charts as it was low tide when we were there and so we couldn't go through some of the inner trails. We paddled out to the Corpus Christi Bay. We had quite a workout coming back as we were going against the wind. However, we still enjoyed the paddle. This is a big fishing area and the only people we saw were  fishing, no one but us actuallly out paddling .                                                                                                                         

Monday, November 8, 2010

Padre Island National Seashore

Sunday, we left Conroe, Texas and headed on down to Malaquite Beacg, which is on the Gulf on the Padre Island National Seashore. It is about 15 miles from the town of Corpus Christi.We stayed there last year on our vacation. Wow, that seems long ago. We got a good spot where we can see the water through all our front and side windows. Not a big campground and no electric or water, but cheap and great view. It is only $8 a night and only $4 for those with America the Beauty pass which we have. Hardly anyone on the beach and nice and peaceful. Monday we took a long walk on the beach. Weather very nice in high 70's or low 80's and sunny.

Tree from storm/hurricane as there are no trees on the island.

We are planning on staying here at least a week to just kick back and do a little kayaking, biking and walking on the beach.                                                                         

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Spring, Texas

The rest of our time in New Orleans was uneventful. We had more rain and then strong winds. Friday we left and headed for Texas. We want to spend some time on Padre National Seashore on the Gulf in Texas. However first we are going to make a few days stop in Spring, Texas.  Near the beginning of our drive we take Interstate Hwy 10. We cross a bridge that is 18.2 miles and crosses the Atchafalaya Basin, which is the largest swamp in the United States.


We got to Woodland Lake RV Campground in Conroe, Texas. It is fairly nice and our site looks on one of the three fishing ponds they have there.

The reason we are stopping here is to see some Cavalier King Charles puppies that we saw for sale on the internet. Madaan Cavaliers is the breeder and we set up a time to see the puppies on Saturday. We arrived to find a litter of beautiful little puppies. All but one were the blenheim coloring. The one we picked out is a tri color, which is black and white and tan. It was very hard to choose as they are all so cute.


    Isn't our little southern puppy, Savannah so cute. We had a hard time leaving her as she won't be old enough to come home with us until at least the middle of December. Mary, the breeder is very nice and really loves her Cavalier dogs and the puppies. She has shown dogs for years and has been a breeder for a long time as well and we can see she really takes wonderful care of the dogs. We look forward to have Savannah join our family.                                                             

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The French Quarter

Tuesday we went into the French Quarter. THere is a shuttle from the campground into the area which is good as driving in that part of New Orleans isn't recommended. Once we got there, we decided to get a pass to use the street cars so we could get an overview of the area.  There are three different lines, St Charles, Canal Street and Riverfront. They all start downtown but go to different areas. We started on the Riverfront but switched over to the St Charles. It started in the Business area but then goes through 100 year old Oak Trees and past many antebellum mansions.

It started raining and so we decided to head back to the French Quarter. Luckily we brought an umbrella as rain had been predicted for the next few days. Oh Joy. We walked around on Bourbon St and some of the other streets in the Quarter. I really like a lot of the architectural of the buildings but we weren't that crazy about Bourbon Street itself. I guess night time would be better to bar hop and listen to music. I had a few restaurants in mind, such as one of Emeril's but with the rain we just wanted to pick one without walking too far. We found one called the Royal House Oyster Bar which has seafood and creole/cajun food. We got a nice little table right by some open French doors so we could watch the rain coming down and people watch as well. Joe got a muffuleta and I got a taste of New Orleans, which had small cups of gumbo, crawfish etouffee and jambalaya.


After lunch we walked around in the rain. We walked over to a museum but it was closed, maybe because it was election day(we mailed our absentee .ballots last week)    We watched a scene being filmed what we heard later was for a soap.

We had a few hours before the shuttle would pick us up and so we ended up just going into a few bars to get out of the rain. It was raining hard enough so even with an umbrella we were getting wet. Maybe it was partly because of the rain but we wouldn't say this was one of our favorite places. We would have liked to take a tour of the garden district or a swamp and bajou tour but with the rain that was out. And tomorrow is expected to bring more rain. Just part of traveling. It seems we have rain almost everywhere but we have had our share of beautiful sunny days too. Can't really complain. We caught the shuttle and headed back to the campground where we could just look out the windows at the rain while we have our fireplace on and are cozy and warm.

Monday, November 1, 2010

New Orleans

Monday, we left Florida and made our way to New Orleans. As we neared the area, more construction. What a surprise. Looks like they are building new bridges. These are higher up which makes sense in this area.

We arrive at Pontchartrain Landing RV Park. It is just on the outside of New Orleans. You drive through an industrial area. We would probably have been worried about the area, but had read about it in RV Reviews and had been mentioned it was in a relatively safe area. We got signed in and set up. Here is the view from our site which is right on the Canal.

      It is our anniversary today but we decided to celebrate tomorrow when we go into the French Quarter. The resort has a bar and outdoor seating over looking the water. They also offer pizza and wings and so that sounded good to us. We ended up spending several hours there talking to some other people who were camping there. One couple was from Texas and the other from Hawaii. The couple from Hawaii had gone into town last night for Halloween plus it was Voodoo Days weekend, which was a big music festival that included Ozzy Osbourne and Muse, among many other groups. There was also a football game that day and so from what we heard, it was pretty crazy.