The RV Road Trip Fulltimer's Blog for January 2011

Jan
1
2011
Welcome to 2011! We attended a New Year's Party last night here in the park along with about 639 other people. It was mostly folks "line" or "trail" dancing, or just sitting at a table with your friends munching on snacks and jabbering. Cynthia dressed up very nice and was looking like a model... whereas Jerry was more casual. We'll let you decide...

Jerry n Cynthia 2011

Our friends.

Yesterday we took CJ to the dog park in McAllen, TX. He sure enjoyed being able to run around off the leash. He ran this way and that way as fast as he could go, only stopping to play with the other dogs at the park. Of course, with all the new smells he spent quite a while hiking on every bush, pole and tree. Here's a few shots of the park, the rest of the pictures from the park and the party are in the picture gallery under Mission.

McAllen Dog Park

CJ at the dog park.

Jan
5
2011
Cynthia and I had picked up a GeoCoin several states back and wanted to drop it off somewhere here in Texas. Most geocaches are micro in size and aren't big enough to put anything in, but we found one near the Mission Museum. After we dropped it, we decided to go inside the museum to check it out. Once we were inside, we found they had a guest book so we added it to www.opencaching.us. That's our geocaching site, check it out if you also enjoy geocaching. We took about 10 pictures and have added them to the Mission folder in the gallery. Here a couple of teaser pics.

Jerry at the Mission Museum

Drug Store

I did a major overhaul of the picture gallery today. I got rid of the Picasa slide shows and after hours of tedious coding, I have it so the page will pull the XML data directly from Picasa when the page is viewed. It will automatically add new pictures to the page when we upload them and it now shows them in a thumbnail format. All images are clickable so you can view a larger image. Firefox users will get the best experience from the new code but Internet Explorer users can enjoy the new pages as well, it's just not as fancy. It should work for everyone but my apologies if you use a different browser and it doesn't display correctly. Some galleries that have many images may be slow loading for someone on a slow connection, so keep that in mind. Well, what are you waiting for? Go to the galleries and see what you think. :)

One last note on this, the new pages are written in PHP and not ASP. If anyone had a direct bookmark to one of the galleries, you'll need to update that bookmark.
Jan
9
2011
Did you know that this site has over 200 pages of content?! And you thought this was only a blog site. :) Of course, we have the blog pages which are the most popular, but we also have the expense summaries, the articles in the RVer's Library, product reviews, information about our hobbies, our Amazon store, videos and let's not forget all the pictures! Be sure to browse around while you are here today.


We had some weather issues here yesterday. We thought it was going to be worse than it was but we were ready for it. The front that is dumping snow and ice on the southeast now passed near us. We just got the tail end of it and weren't really expecting anything from it. However, at about 4:15am yesterday morning the weather radio went off talking about 60+ MPH wind gusts for our area and even worse for the coastal areas. So we got up and pulled the awning in!

Turns out we would have been OK to leave it out as we didn't get near as much wind as anticipated. But I'd rather be safe than sorry when it comes to potentially damaging winds. It takes 2 minutes to pull the awning in, but it is expensive and time consuming to get one fixed. After the front passed through, the temperatures plummeted! It got down to the mid 50s last night, Brrr! :) Ahh, south Texas in January, gotta love it.
Jan
11
2011
Well, after lots of prayer and discussion, we will be extending our stay in the Rio Grande Valley area. We had originally planned to leave in mid April but we will be extending that by a year. So we will leave in April of 2012. There is so much to see here, so much to do here and so many opportunities for us that we felt it was the thing to do.

Yes, it gets hot here in the summer. Really hot. No, hotter than that. But that's OK, we have A/C in the truck and camper and access to a very nice pool. We'll be getting a "new to us" scooter this year and we are VERY excited about that. We miss our Ruckus scooters tremendously. We'll have to find one that will fit in the bed of the truck next to the wheelchair but that shouldn't be a problem. Zoom zoom!

We awoke to 45° this morning! Brrr. The little electric heater was set to 70 and it has been chugging away all night. The furnace came on once to take up the slack but that was it. Since we don't pay for electricity, we'd rather use that instead of propane that we do pay for. Sounds reasonable, huh? :)
Jan
14
2011
I think winter in South Texas has arrived. We've had lows of about 42 and on 2 days this past week, the high never got above 45! Even so, that is much better than the 17° they saw back home this week!! It has been misting here, not really raining, just a constant mist. That's OK, it only does that outside but inside the camper it is a balmy 72° and dry.

We bought some wood the other day to make 2 new shelves for a triangle shaped closet, but the wood is still sitting uncut out under the awning. It has been too cold to go out and fiddle with that. This coming week we'll be back into the upper 70s so we'll get that little project taken care of then.

We've started looking at scooters again! Woohoo!!!!!! We sure do miss our scooters. If you go back through last year's blog you'll see why we had to sell them. Anyway, we determined that the wheelchair can ride in the camper while traveling and that frees up the truck bed for scooters. We thought about getting one larger scooter that we both could ride but all of them are too long for the truck bed. If we got on like that, every time we changed campgrounds Cynthia would have to ride it to our next destination.

We absolutely loved our Honda Ruckus scooters and they were only 50cc. Now we are looking at the Yamaha Zuma 125cc scooters. They are the same physical size as the Ruckus, slightly similar in appearance (just slightly), but they have a larger engine. The Ruckus would top out at about 35 MPH whereas the Zuma will top out at about 50 MPH. That will allow us to get out the way faster - LOL. We're not sure when we'll actually get them as we have to save the full amount first. We'll probably get them one at a time due to the cost. Our budget is tight but we'll be able to get them both this year. Here's what they look like in case you wondered...

Yamaha Zuma 125cc

Jan
17
2011
This past weekend they held the annual Rio Grande Valley RV Show in Mercedes, Texas. It's only about 20 miles away so we decided to go. When we arrived they offered FREE parking... but wanted $5 per person to get in. We reluctantly paid and went on in to check things out. What a spectacular waste of our time. This was by far the worst RV show we have ever been to.

There was a very small selection of RVs to look at. I kid you not, there was 1, yes ONE Class A there to see. There were a few park models, a dozen or so 5th wheels and about as many travel trailers. There was 1 Class B and 5 Class C units that we saw. The only consolation was the fact that Airstream had 4 units there. I realize that Airstream units are expensive but to go inside one always amazes me. They scream "quality" from one end to the other. They ought to when a 29' unit costs $86,000.00.

Airstream Travel Trailer

Inside an Airstream

The vendors were mostly places trying to sell you an RV Park lot, Tupperware or beef jerky. I can see a much broader selection of RV related products at a Walmart than I could at this show. We grew bored quickly and decided to leave, kicking ourselves for wasting $10 and the gas to get there and back. We took a total of 14 pictures while at the show, they are posted in the gallery.

On a more positive note, we did stop by Sonic on the way home and I got a Route 44 Vanilla Coke. Yum!
Jan
21
2011
I know you're not going to believe it, but it actually rained here in the Rio Grande Valley! The wind blew and the rain fell and it was great! The awning never budged thanks to the new shade and we are really glad we bought it. It has also been colder here so we tend to stay inside, me in the camper and Cynthia at bingo. Below is a shot of her hoping to win at least something, so far she hasn't won a thing.

The next picture is her serving rolls at the dinner party they had in the main hall. We could have gone to the party but we didn't so Cynthia opted to help serve. I played photographer so you won't see me in any of the pictures I took. Most of the images weren't for the blog, they were for the park itself so I didn't add them to our gallery. We'll try to get out this weekend so we can get some pictures to share with you all.

Cynthia hoping to win at bingo.

Cynthia serving rolls at the dinner party.

Jan
27
2011
Yesterday I went over to the local motorcycle dealer (McAllen Motorsports) to buy two new Yamaha Zuma 125cc scooters. I had to interrupt the salesman who was busily reading some sort of magazine, but I got his attention and told him what I was looking for. He quickly quoted me a price of $3450 per scooter... I quickly informed him that I knew that was $200 over MSRP and that he had to do better than that. He look a little surprised and then did a little calculating and said he could sell them to me for $3087 each. I said I'll take two, please.

I told him that they would be registered out of state so there would be no sales tax or title transfers, all he had to do was give me the MSO, the Manufacturer's Statement of Origin for each bike. He goes back to his calculator and proceeds to tap away at it, then calmly says the total for each bike would be $3655! The additional $568 per bike was dealer prep and freight. I told him that the MSRP was set high enough to cover those costs and that they were simply dealer add-on charges to pad their bank accounts. He said that he had been in the business for 10 years and that it was not. Gee, you think in 10 years a fellow would learn his business?

I wrote my number down on a card and told him to call me when he was ready to sell the scooters for $3087 out the door. He laid the card down and went back to reading his magazine as I left the dealership. Obviously, he makes enough money that he doesn't need nor want my business. So if you happen to live in this area, you better avoid McAllen Motorsports. I called the Yamaha dealer in Laredo, Texas and he said no problem, they are $3050 each out the door. The catch was he doesn't have any in stock, he sold his initial allotment already! For the difference in price, I can wait.

With the economy the way it is, you would think businesses would be bending over backwards for customers. Not so, pure old greed (or perhaps stupidity) is alive and well in the marketplace. I sure was hoping to bring the new scooters home yesterday...
Jan
29
2011
We moved today! Not very far though, still in the same park just on the other side of it. We decided that since we were going to be here until April 2012, we would get a spot more suited to a long stay. We are now at site 147 in the Trade Winds RV Resort. We now have a full concrete patio and we are next to the bath house, laundromat, pool hall, swimming pool, hot tub, mail room, shuffleboard courts and the main hall. I think the farthest thing is 100 feet away. Very convenient!

Still no scooters. I decided to give McAllen Motorsports until today to call me but they didn't. I will call the owner on Tuesday and have a little talk with him. Maybe he will sell me a scooter even if his salesman won't. :) If not, I will just wait until the Laredo dealer gets them in stock and go buy them there.

Cynthia got her hair cut again. She is trying to let it grow out and cut away the color she used to put in. There's a tiny bit of red left but not much, most of it is now gray. I'll try to convince her to let me take a picture and post it online. We'll see how that goes.
Jan
31
2011
Yesterday we participated in a digital scavenger hunt here at the park. We were given a list of items to find and photograph. We then showed the digital pictures to the judge and a winner was declared. We officially came in 2nd place by 1/2 a point, they counted 31 people in our group hug photo. There were actually 32 and that would have made us the winners by 1/2 a point but since we got the same prize as the first place couple, it doesn't really matter.

We had lots of fun looking for all the items and hope they will do this event again. The pictures we took for the contest have been added to the picture gallery, but here we are holding our prize certificate... pancake breakfast for two!

Jerry and Cynthia win!



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2014   We did our massive 22 state and 15 national park road trip.
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