Our fifth wheel and the truck

Monday, December 13, 2010

Break out the shorts!!!

Hi all and a warm welcome back.

Where is the time going? We have now been in America for nearly five months and at the moment I just can't contemplate going home. Not that I don't miss my wonderful family and friends, I do, it is just that I have really fallen in love with this country and there is still so much to see that another seven months doesn't seem long enough! But who knows. by the time seven months has come and gone I might be well and truly ready and have seen all I want to.

In the mean time let me tell you of the wonderful places that we see and the lovely people that we seem to meet everywhere we go. So stick around there is still so much to come!

The beginning of this week found us still in San Antonio, Tx. We went off to explore the Japanese Tea Garden and the Tower of the Americas in the Hemisfair Park.

The Japanese Tea Gardens were absolutely beautiful. The ponds, bridges, waterfall and gardens were lovely. It was a pity that the Jingu House was closed for repairs and renovations but the gardens more than made up for it. We really enjoyed our time and the peace and tranquility of the place as there weren't a lot of other people there.

On to the Tower of the Americas. The Tower has external lifts that take you to the top where there is an observation deck, bar and revolving restaurant. The view is gorgeous and in fact you can actually see the curve of the earth you are so high up.

A highlight of our visit to the Tower was the short 4D video that we watched about Texas. We wore 3D glasses for the show but it was the other effects that really made it so worthwhile. When the crocodile comes out of the water everyone gets sprayed in the face with a mist of water and when we were in the middle of a high school football match and we got bumped by the other players the seats jolted. We loved it and the only complaint was that it was far too short!

From the Tower we went back to the Riverwalk. While we were there before, Norm had lost his wedding ring in a restaurant so we went back just to see if it had turned up. No such luck. We stayed for lunch and it was just beautiful and while we enjoyed the visit on Saturday it was so much quieter and less frenetic. We sat and enjoyed a marguerita (I could really develop a taste for them) with our lunch without the crowds that were evident on Saturday.

After lunch we took a walk in La Villita, a very old part of San Antonio where the old houses and buildings have been retained and converted to artists' studios, craft outlets and art galleries. There is so much history to this country it is mind blowing!

From San Antonio we headed further south to San Benito in the Rio Grande Valley. We have heard so much of this area that we decided we needed to have a look. we arrived at the RV park on Friday afternoon - just in time for happy hour!! And it was a wonderful happy hour. The only problem - I need to change from my normal diet coke to margueritas!!!!

Saturday morning saw us up early to attend the breakfast in the club room. Wonderful people at this park and such a social group. We sat talking till about 10.30 when we decided we better head off for another day of exploring. Our destination was South Padre Island of which we have heard so many positive things. But.... before we headed off there was a need to change the outfit from jeans to shorts. The weather down here is just wonderful and I am going to thoroughly enjoy the warmer days.

It has been very rare that I have been disappointed by a destination since we started this odyssey but I have to be honest and say that S. Padre Island didn't do it for me.

Maybe it was because we visited in the winter (off season), but it seemed to me, that unless you wanted to be fishing, surfing, parasailing or other water related activity there really wasn't that much to do. The Gulf of Mexico side of the island is dominated by high rise hotels with very limited public access to the beach while the access to the water on the other side of the island is also restricted by the residential properties that have water front properties.

We went for a walk along the beach and both of us put our hands in the Gulf but that was about it for S. Padre Island.

We did stop at Port Isabel on the other side of the bridge to SPI and had lunch and a wander around.

One stop that we made was great. We stopped at some store that had all these amazing sea creatures and shells outside. Inside was just mind boggling. They must have had millions of shells, shell products and corals. I just loved it.

We stopped at Bobz Place on the way home and that was also pretty unique. The sculptures on the outside of the building were brilliant. It was also filled with shells, corals, knick knacks and clothes but the best part was outside. In the photos you can see that they are building a statue of King Kong which is still in the construction stage. The effort that has gone into making this attractive to the consumers is awesome!

Our last 'excursion' while in San Benito was to the Edinburgh Birdwatching Park. Bad luck that it was closed but we still got to walk around and see some beautiful birds. It is a truly gorgeous spot and we would have liked to visit when the visitor centre was open.

From Edinburgh we headed down to Hidalgo near the Mexican border however we didn't go across. There is a great deal of trouble in the border towns on the Mexican side because of the drug cartels and we just think we will stay well away from there.

From here we will be heading to Houston and then on to Livingston to get organised for our trip to Connecticut.

So... until next time a fond farewell to one and all. We hope you are enjoying a wonderful holiday season with family and friends. We will enjoy a marguerita (or two) and think of you all.

Take care our dear family and wonderful friends. Look out for each other and stay safe.

Love and hugs from both of us.

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