Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas Fun in San Antonio

On Thursday, we went to dinner with Too Tall Terry and Gloria and several others from the campground.  Terry has put together this little Christmas dinner celebration every year and has grown from just a few couples to all of us that went tonight.  What makes it extra nice (besides being with friends) is that the dinner is at the Chart House at the top of the Tower of the Americas in downtown San Antonio.

Around 3:45, we all walked out to the street to wait and catch the city bus downtown.

We filled up about half of the bus!

We got off the bus at Cesar Chavez Blvd and began walking over to the Tower of the Americas.

The Tower of the Americas is 750 feet tall and is located in HemisFair Park.  It was built as the theme structure for the 1968 World's Fair.  One of the elevators that takes you to the top is in the below picture.

And that's where we are going to dinner.  Way, way, way up at the top!

There was a nice view of downtown San Antonio from the elevator...

as well as from the top at the restaurant.

After visiting with our friends, enjoying the views and eating some appetizers up at the bar, we went down one level to the Chart House, the revolving restaurant at the top of the Tower.

Terry had done a great job getting this organized!!

Chuck and I weren't sure what to get for dinner so we got the same thing as Warren and Joslyn who had been here several times before:  the prime rib.  And it was delicious!!!

Everyone had such an enjoyable dinner.

The food, the company, and the views were just perfect!  (Can you see P-E-A-C-E written in the lights of one of the buildings below?)

As we headed back down the elevator after dinner, all of downtown San Antonio seemed like it was decorated for Christmas with red and green lights!  :)

Even the tower was lit up with red and green lights.

We walked our way through HemisFair Park...

...and then the long way around the block...

...back to our bus stop.  What a fun evening with all our friends from San Antonio!

On Friday evening, the campground had their annual Christmas parade which consisted of 4 or 5 golf carts,

our two resident musicians singing Christmas carols out of the back of a pickup truck,

and even a bicycle decorated up for Christmas!

After the Christmas parade was over,

we all went back to the recreation hall for some hot cocoa.  Yummy!  :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Back to San Antonio

Last Wednesday (Dec. 10th), while we were still in Beaumont, we took Chuck to an urgent care clinic because his throat was still extremely sore and he was still running a fever.  By 10:30, Chuck had seen the doctor, gotten a shot of steroids and antibiotics (ouch!), picked up a prescription for more antibiotics and gone back to the camper.  Chuck rested most of the day on Wednesday but was starting to feel a little better by Wednesday evening.

On Thursday morning, I walked to the meeting room where Gulf Coast RV Resort provides a FREE breakfast between 7 and 9 am.  I don't know if they do this all the time; but this was the first time we had been to a campground that offered a free breakfast.  The breakfast was as good as any "free" hotel breakfast I had experienced with biscuits and gravy, bagels, donuts, cereal, oats, coffee, various juices and waffles.  TEXAS waffles!!!

I spent Thursday getting all our laundry done at the campground laundry (rather than using our Splendide washer/dryer) since it was only $1.00 a load and had 3 loads of laundry done in a couple of hours.  Chuck was feeling better and we made a trip to Home Depot to get some nails so he could re-nail a piece of decorative wooden trim that was coming loose inside the slide-out that had been repaired back in September.  He had it fixed in just a few minutes!  

We left Beaumont by 8:30 Friday morning and headed west on I-10 towards San Antonio.  The weather was nice and the terrain flat.

As we approached Houston, we saw more oil refineries...

before coming into and going through downtown Houston.

Fortunately, the traffic was not bad at all since it was not rush hour.  There was an unusual looking building on the west side of Houston that almost looked like an air traffic control tower from a distance.

As we got closer, we discovered that it was not an air traffic control tower but a hospital:  Memorial Hermann Hospital.

The ride to San Antonio was good...

...and we arrived at Travelers World Carefree RV Resort around a little after 2 pm.  We are parked near friends we met last year:  Warren & Jocelyn and Too Tall Terry & Gloria.

We enjoyed visiting with them Friday evening at Gloria & Terry's and also visited with more of the friends we had met last year as well as meeting new friends. 

On Saturday, we attended the gift exchange in the recreation hall.  The gift exchange was more like a "Dirty Santa" where people can steal your gifts.  

Everyone who had brought a gift (and there were a lot of gifts) got a number.  The numbers were called in order and you had a choice of either taking a bagged gift or stealing one of the gifts someone else had already opened.  A gift could be stolen twice.  After that, it was "dead" and couldn't be stolen again.  

Chuck and I got fairly low numbers so we (along with most of the first gift receivers) just chose a bag to be opened.  I got and chicken wing rack for a grill, some barbecue sauce and marinade.  A nice gift but not likely to be stolen.  However, when Chuck went to the front to open his gift (so everyone could see it)...

...he opened a bag that contained a very cool little tool set with all kinds of wrenches and screwdrivers and stuff.

Unfortunately, his gift got stolen fairly quickly.  He opened another gift and got movie tickets and then it got stolen.  He stole another tool set identical to the one he had opened.  Then, it got stolen.  Finally, he opened a gift that nobody else wanted but still wasn't a bad gift:  a knife and plier set.  There were a lot of bags and with all the stealing going on it took over 3 hours to finally finish up the gift exchange but it was a lot of fun.  :)

On Sunday night, we were invited to go to the annual Christmas concert at First Baptist Church in downtown San Antonio.  Nineteen of us from the campground that were attending the concert met at Luby's for dinner before going to the concert.  Our dinner was good but I ate too much pie.  :)  

After dinner, we rode a few blocks over to the concert.  This year's presentation was called "The Light Shines and the Angels Sing."  It is an annual event that includes not only the church's children's choir, youth choir and adult choir but also the San Antonio Symphony.  As we walked into the church foyer, we saw a beautiful Christmas tree in the lobby.  They were handing out apple cider and green Christmas punch to all of us waiting in line.

The church's auditorium was huge...

with beautiful stained glass windows in the parts of the ceiling.

We were ready for the concert to begin!

The concert began with the choir members filling the aisles single-file holding candles in their hands.  Their first song was performed with them standing right there in the aisles.  This was my favorite because they were so close to us and you could better hear their beautiful individual voices.   After that, they filled the front of the auditorium and all of us (audience included) sung 4 familiar Christmas carols together.  The children's choir (who were so cute) performed a song next, then the youth choir performed a song, and then the adult choir and symphony performed the rest of the concert.  The whole concert was very good!

On Monday morning, we decided to go for a walk along the Riverwalk which runs right next to the campground.  

There were several birds along and in the water including this comorant that was drying his wings.  

The sun would be out at times...

and then go back in for awhile.

But by the time we headed back, the clouds had gone away...

...and the turtles were out basking in the sun.

Later that afternoon, we decided to go to Home Depot to look for an owl to scare off the doves who are roosting (and pooping) in the tree right over the camper.  

Chuck tried it out on the blackbirds pirched in the ceiling of Home Depot but they didn't seem too scared.

We're hoping the doves will be more scared!  :)  Later that evening, we attended the soup potluck dinner at the recreation hall and then I played a couple of games Farkle with Nancy, Jocelyn, and Lynda while Chuck talked with the guys outside at Terry & Gloria's.  

I had noticed Monday afternoon that my nose was starting to drip, drip, drip and by Tuesday morning I had a low-grade fever.  My nose had been bothering me for about 10 days because it feels very swollen and dry inside.  With the drips, sore throat, and fever, we decided I should go on to the doctor.  We found another urgent care clinic in San Antonio and I got a shot of steroids and antibiotics as well as a prescription for steroids and antibiotics.  

I spent the rest of the day Tuesday resting and then got caught up on our blog Tuesday evening.  Chuck is still not up to 100% either but has the rest of his antibiotics to finish up.  We are both tired of feeling kind of yucky and are ready to GET WELL QUICK!!!!  :)

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Heading West

We decided to leave Pensacola on Tuesday to give us plenty of time to get to Travelers World Carefree RV Park in San Antonio by Friday, December 12th, the day our reservations started.  We had done just about everything last night (hooked up the car, dumped the tanks, disconnected the water) so we didn't have that much to do before hitting the road Tuesday morning.

Unfortunately, Chuck woke up with a very bad sore throat and was not feeling very well so we weren't sure how far we would make it today.  We said our good-byes to Jerry & Pam and Donald & Anna and left the campground by 7:40 am.

The weather was nice and was only going to get warmer the further west we traveled.  I-10 is the road we will be traveling for most of our trip.  We were leaving Florida and entering Alabama by a little after 8 am.

Within 30 minutes, we were nearing Mobile, Alabama.

We could see the USS Alabama off to the south and Mobile straight in front of us.

As we got to downtown Mobile, we had to go through a tunnel.

By a little after 9 am, we were entering the State of Mississippi.

The closer we got to Louisiana, we crossed more and more bayous.

Those creepy swamps that Louisiana is known for began appearing the closer we got to Louisiana.

After we crossed the Wastehouse Bayou of the Pearl River,

we enter the state of Louisiana around 10:35 am.  I don't know of many places in this country where you can go through at least parts of 4 states in less than 2 hours.

I kept asking Chuck how he was feeling and gave him coffee and hot tea to help soothe his sore throat.  I found a campground near Baton Rouge which would have meant our pulling off the road around 12:30, but my dedicated husband and very good driver kept us going down the road.

We drove through Baton Rouge and crossed the mighty Mississippi River a little before 12:30.

From the top of the bridge, we could see Baton Rouge to the north.

Look at my man!  What a trooper he is!

After crossing the Mississippi River, we started across a bridge that seemed to go on forever.

The Atchafalaya Basin Bridge runs between Baton Rouge and Lafayette, Louisiana, and is 18.2 miles long.

By around 2:45, we entered the town of Lake Charles and crossed a very tall bridge...

...over Lake Charles.

After crossing Lake Charles, we noticed a huge refinery at Westlake right next to I-10.

We stopped in Iowa for diesel.  Iowa, Louisiana, that is.  There was a campground at this exit and I asked Chuck if we wanted to stop here or head on further to where I had hoped we could make it to day:  Beaumont, Texas.  We had about another 1 1/2 hours to go and then we would only be about 276 miles from San Antonio.  So we kept driving on and by 3:15, we were entering the great state of Texas.  Notice the BIG star at the welcome center for the BIG state of Texas.  :)

By 3:45, we pulled into the the Gulf Coast RV Resort in Beaumont, Texas, and quickly had the camper all set up so Chuck could go straight to bed and GET WELL!!!!!