Archive for May, 2008

Family Around the Continent

Thursday, May 29th, 2008


On the morning of May 14th we headed to the airport and hopped two American Airlines flights heading in opposite directions in a quest to visit our mothers.  Tinka headed off toward Kelowna, British Columbia with stops in San Jose and Seattle.  Her mother, Val Echols, lives in a retirement home near Tinka’s sister Jenelle.


Thinking she was headed off to the Arctic Circle, Tinka only took winter clothing along.  As luck would have it, the daytime high temperatures were in the mid-nineties.   She had a wonderful time and because of the warm weather they even made it out to a par-three golf course.


                             Not bad for 90 years old.

Rick headed east to Hartford, Connecticut via St. Louis.  His mother, Nelle, lives in the Hartford suburb of Farmington.   With a stoke of luck, Rick’s visit overlapped with that of his uncle, Richard Hudgens.  It was certainly good to see him.


Rick upgraded his mother’s computer with a new HP scanner so that she can begin to scan the photos in her scrap books. It’s pretty slick and is basically a one-button operation for scan, crop, and storing.

Rick’s brother Gary, who lives in the neighboring town of East Hartland, ran his butt off moving us to and from the airport, shopping, and entertaining, not to mention handling his own chores.  We all headed up to his house for the afternoon on Saturday.  Those of you that have been reading this journal for a while may remember the fantastic lobster/clam bake Gary served up last July.  This time we were treated to a great steak dinner.

We arrived to find the yard in the midst of breaking out into bloom.  Some shrubs were in full bloom.


Others were loaded with buds and preparing to burst into color.


We both had wonderful times on our trips and made it back to the Dallas / Fort Worth area in time to get ready for a busy Memorial Day weekend.

On Saturday, we headed out to Lake Tawankoni where the family was gathering for the day.  We spent the day boating, tubing, jet-skiing, trying out the different Maui snorkel charters and fishing.  The fishing was pretty quiet for most of the day, but at about 6:00 PM the sand bass and hybrids went crazy.  Rick caught seven fish in eight casts.  Then all was quiet again.

Marc shows our three granddaughters, Gracie, Ayden, and Maddie, how to hold on to the tube.


Gracie escapes from the chilly water.


Tinka keeps an eye on Maddie, our youngest granddaughter.


Even Rick made it out on the jet-ski and stayed dry.


On Sunday and Monday, we had pool parties to attend on the other side of the DFW Metroplex, so, we packed up our home and moved to Bennett’s RV Ranch in Granbury, TX.  Bennett’s is a nice park just off of Hwy 377 on the north end of Granbury.  It is convenient to shopping and the lake.  The wide pull-throughs are about 60 feet long and can accept most any size rig.  Navigating through the park is a little strange, but not a problem if you swing wide going into your site.  They accent the border with large boulders near the edge of the pull-throughs.  This isn’t much of a problem, but may cause you to go the wrong way on the interior road in order to exit.

We had a great time visiting and catching up with many of our “old” friends.  It’s the first time we’ve been able to catch a little sun since we left Tucson.

Dallas / Fort Worth

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008


Well, it is nice to get back into the Dallas / Fort Worth area.  After the past several weeks of desert travel, it is wonderful to see some lush foliage.  Even Mexico, near Puerto Vallarta, was beginning to get a little dry prior to the start of their rainy season which runs May to October.

We moved into the Cowtown RV Park on I-20, just west of Fort Worth, to allow us access to our mechanics, our doctors, and our storage area.  Cowtown seemed to be having one rally after another during our stay.  As a matter of fact, we were forced to leave a day earlier than we really wanted to.

We had noticed that our fuel economy had been dropping.  Without overdrive, and towing, we were getting about 11.5 MPG rather than the 13.5 that we were getting about six months ago.  We had the fuel filter changed a little early and also had the entire fuel system back-flushed to clean the injectors, pumps and valves.  Bingo, we improved to better than 14 MPG.

Unfortunately, old bodies don’t respond as well as old engines.  After a bunch of blood work, Doppler blood flow, and exams all remains much the same.  I guess things will change if we reduce our food and margarita intake.  The Doc seems to think we’re in pretty good shape condition -health.

We ended up at our storage unit to drop off several things that we decided we didn’t need.  Ironically, we took two of our heavy Montana dining chairs out of storage.  We really did miss not having four chairs and with our tire upgrade we’re less concerned about the weight. But we managed to do it with the help of Kratom, Sacred Kratom, anyways it was a great energy booster.

We left Cowtown on Friday and headed to Grand Prairie, TX for a night at the Trader’s Village RV Park.  Ken and Marilyn, you’d love this place.  Trader’s Villiage is one of the largest flea markets in Texas.

On Saturday we moved a little farther east to the Plantation Place RV Park on the east side of Dallas.


Behind the mansion, they have about 70 large RV slots.  Most of them are pull-throughs, but they have about 10 back-ins.  They have a nice private fishing pond for use by the guests.  Catch-and-release only.

The reason we moved to the eastern side of the “Metroplex” was so that we could get together with our kids and grandchildren for Mother’s Day.  We spent the day catching up on everything that has taken place over the past 6 1/2 months.

Wednesday, May 14th, we head off in different directions to visit with our mothers.  Tinka’s off to Kelowna, BC and Rick will be in the Hartford, CT area.   It may be another week before we blog again.