Tuesday - After our coffee, breakfast and showers we headed to New Braunfels, TX this morning. We have been wanting to go to Camping World to pick up a few things we needed for the RV, and to just look around. Unfortunately the closest CW to us in in Rogers, AK so we wanted to take advantage of this opportunity. Dean does not enjoy traveling the Interstates, so we took highway 281, which was a beautiful drive into the Hill Country of Texas. You see so much more of the countryside on these local highways versus what always seems like the same old thing on the Interstate. We enjoy the slower pace versus the rush, rush, rush! There were still quite a few spring flowers along the highways and as I mentioned we began to see hills the further south we traveled. One of the things we love most is passing through the towns and smaller cities along the way. Often Dean finds he is looking at phone related equipment and I'm looking at parks, city halls, streetscapes, buildings, etc. Just the way we roll! You know old habits die hard! Fortunately as we neared New Braunfels, the GPS route took us to Camping World via a frontage road leading into their parking lot without ever having to get on the Interstate. This made my husband very happy!
We spent an hour or so looking around Camping World. We found a few things we needed, and a few things that we just wanted, plus we checked prices for items on our wish list! From Camping World we were going to try and find somewhere to eat lunch before we headed back to Killeen. I mentioned to Dean that I had really hoped to at least drive through Gruene (pronounced Green), Texas before heading back. I've heard so much about this neat little community and I thought it was fairly near to us. As we approached a major intersection that would take us under the interstate to a large shopping center with numerous eating establishments, I noticed a sign that said "Historic Gruene Downtown District". I was pretty excited to see the sign so soon after mentioning it and pointed it out to Dean in time for him to make the turn. In about 7 minutes we were driving into Gruene, Texas. As we drove down the first street right in front of us was Gruene Hall. See picture below.
Gruene Hall was constructed in 1878, and is Texas' oldest continually operating and most famous dance hall. The building is 6,000 sq. ft. with side flaps for open air dancing. There is a bar, small stage and a large outdoor garden. Gruene Hall is known as a destination tourist attraction and not only new artists but many well-known ones have played here over the years. Stoney LaRue is scheduled to play there this weekend. Some past performers you might recognize include Garth Brooks, George Strait, and Kris Kristofferson.
I wish we would have had more time to spend here today. We did take time to have lunch at the Gruene River Grill. While this building was constructed more recently it had a very aged look to it. There was outdoor patio seating overlooking the Guadalupe River. Fortunately it was not too busy when we arrived so we were seated here along the patio with beautiful iron railings. While waiting for our waiter to arrive we heard laughing and looked down to watch some kayaks, a small rubber boat and innertubes drift down the river. From our table we could look right into the treetops that grew along the river below us. The weather was perfect for outdoor dining. Such a gorgeous day!
Entrance to the Gruene River Grill
Our dinner was very good. I had a Sante Fe salad with grilled chicken and a spicy chipotle dressing. Even though I did not need it, they had really mixed the dressing into the salad and every bit was delicious. Dean enjoyed his choice of chicken friend steak with mashed potatoes and green beans. Wonderful meal!
Afterwards, we drove down to take a closer look at the river. It would be fun to take a leisurely float someday!
There were many shops and antique stores that I would love to visit, but not this time. It is definitely on our list for a return trip to Texas.
We headed home about 3:30 or so. Matt called us as we were approaching Copperas Cove and wanted to know if we wanted to come over for supper. Megan is a great cook so we were not going to turn them down! Tonight the menu was fresh catfish with a cornmeal coating that she baked, and a yummy green salad with lots of extras (avocado, cranberries, nuts, cheese). We had chocolate chip cookies for an after dinner snack. Yummy!!! We headed home about 8:00 or so since Matt and Megan are now back on the clock and have to be up for work in the morning.
Wednesday morning I decided I would start to plot our drive for the trip home. We enjoy taking different routes traveling to and from a location if we can as we enjoy seeing new things. We plan to travel 281 North to Bowie, Texas the first night and stay at a city park there. From there we will travel to Norman, OK and stay in the Fairground RV Park. Depending on when Joshua arrives we may make one more stop before we take the last leg of the trip back home to Oswego. I would like to be home no later than early afternoon on Friday, May 2. I decided about two months ago I was going to have a garage sale in conjunction with Oswego's city-wide sale, which is Saturday, May 3. If we do not make it home by then my sister - Cindy; daughter - Misti; and niece - Nikki will handle it as they are also participating.
After I finished selecting our overnight stays for our return home, we had our cereal for breakfast and got our morning chores out of the way. We then headed to Copperas Cove to pick up some groceries. Matt and Megan are coming here for dinner tonight so I needed to pick up a few things. After we returned and put things away we made a quick sandwich for lunch.
Tonight we are having grilled chicken, homemade macaroni & cheese, steamed broccoli & cauliflower, and garlic bread heated on the grill. I am making a simple strawberry shortcake for dessert. We bought some leg quarters and I had a few chicken tenders left so Dean grilled all of those. It sure was good! He is a great cook although he won't admit it!!
We set outside while he grilled the chicken. The weather is just perfect here right now - about mid-80's. I can't believe that I've only worn capris 2 or 3 days since we left on March 31 and we are in TEXAS!!! and it's almost May. I am so ready for summer and the lake.
After Megan and Matt arrived Megan told us they had some good news. Her doctor told her at their appointment today that if they did not have anyone else come into delivery by this evening they may call her to come in tonight rather than waiting until tomorrow. Sure enough about 7:30-8:00 she got the call. They left to take care of a few things before they headed to the hospital.
They spent the night at the hospital and assured us they would call if Joshua arrived that night or early morning.
Thursday morning we were anxious to get to the hospital. As you have probably figured out, no baby yet. It turned out to be a long day for Mom and Dad. Fortunately, despite the fact things did not progress like everyone hoped, Megan was somewhat comfortable for most of the day and evening - as much as you can be laying in a hospital bed with intermittent contractions. At about 10:00 we headed back to Bentley and went to bed with the idea we might get a anytime to head back to the hospital - however, that didn't happen.
Early Friday morning - At about 2:45 a.m. Matt called to tell us that they were going to take the baby Cesarean. We told him we would be there as soon as we could. As we turned into the parking lot, Matt sent Dean a text telling us he was in the operating room waiting for them to bring Megan in and letting us know to go to the waiting room. He will come and find us after Joshua arrives.
Little Joshua Dean Peine arrived at 3:27 a.m. This "little" guy weighed in at 10 pounds, 5 ounces and was 21" long. Needless to say, I think you can understand why a Cesarean was necessary. He is just as cute and sweet as can be -- as you can see for yourself in the pictures below.
First picture with proud Papa Dean Peine, Joshua's namesake.
I left my camera at the hospital with Matt and Megan and I wanted to include several pictures in this post, so that is the reason for the late posting.
We are so thankful that Mom and Joshua are doing so well and we Thank God for another special blessing to our family. It was exciting to be here to share in Matt and Megan's experience as new parents and we feel so blessed for the opportunity to do that. Matt was one proud Daddy!