Travels with Bentley

Travels with Bentley
Bentley - our Heartland Bighorn

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Friday, November 14 - Lazy L & L Campground, New Braunfels, TX

Today we had a chore we needed to take care of - laundry.  Since we decided to stay an extra week we were running out of clothes.  We drove by a couple of Laundromats here in New Braunfels and decided we'd try out San Marcos since we planned to head that way today.  By the time we arrived it was lunch time so we stopped at the #2 Restaurant as listed on Trip Advisor - Hays County BBQ.  Can't remember what #2 was - but BBQ sounded much better.  If you are ever in this area - GO!  This was the best brisket I've ever had in my life.  It was nice thick cuts and it was the most perfectly moist and tender cut of meat I've ever had.  The flavor was wonderful.  The BBQ sauce they had was a vinegar mustard with a bit of heat.  I really liked it but Dean is not a BBQ sauce type of guy.
If you do go here try to stay away from the noon hour.  We held up the line a bit and it was LONG when we left.  I felt bad.  If you want sides (potato salad, cole slaw) they are in various sized containers in coolers right near the counters.  There are trays - so pick up the sides before you get to the counter and know what you want.  They do not sell plates of food, it's a pick and go.  They have linked sausages which I wish we would have tried and the brisket.  They sale the brisket by 1/4, 1/2 and 1 pound on thick paper if you are eating there.  We got 1/4 # each, but wish we would have ordered the pound.    Even if we couldn't eat it all we would have had extras for tonight.  It was that good!  I forgot to take a picture of the building - which set back away from the frontage road along I35. 

After lunch we found the Laundromat and 2 hours later we were ready to explore.  We drove around San Marcos which is home to Texas State University.  They have a very impressive campus with beautiful buildings.  I took this picture to share but it's not the best.  It's hard to snap pictures as you drive by.  All of their buildings had this same architectural theme and color.

San Marcos is also the County Seat for Hays County.  Again this picture of the courthouse is not very good.  They really have some beautiful courthouse architecture here in Texas.  The tents were set up to sell tickets to the Wine & Wassill walk some group was holding in the near future.  They were starting to take things down as they had sold out - at $25 a ticket.  We noticed the flyer at the LBJ Museum when we stopped.

The last stop we made before heading home was at the Lyndon B. Johnson Museum, which was absolutely fascinating.  I did not realize how much Johnson accomplished in his tenure as President.  In fact we are headed to Johnson City tomorrow to visit two LBJ National Historical Parks.  One incudes the "Texas White House" on LBJ's ranch where numerous events were held during his Presidency, and the other is the historic Johnson City which was founded by family members.  The information in the museum today really made me want to know more about Johnson.  I will include more about this after we visit the parks Saturday.

On our way back to Bentley this afternoon it was warm enough to get out and get close to the Guadalupe River that runs along the edge of the campground.  Here are a few pictures of the area we stopped.

                                      There are numerous camping spots right along the water.

                                             See the steps that take you to the water.

Saturday's temperatures are supposed to be in the mid-50's and Sunday will hit 60 so we are looking forward to that.  There was little wind today so it was pretty comfortable outside.

As we returned to the campground, we stopped to pay for one more night.  We asked the receptionist about things to do in and around New Braunfels.  She suggested that we visit Wurstfest in downtown New Braunfels and that we wait until Sunday when it is mostly locals and not as crowded.  She told us that Friday and Saturday nights are not only pretty crowded, but tend to be quite loud as it brings in lots of young people from surrounding areas.  Wurstfest as you might guess is an event to celebrate the German heritage in the area and features numerous musical groups playing throughout each day's and evening's events.

I need to check the time Willie is singing at Gruene Hall.  If we can get close enough to walk through the shops again I might at least get to hear him on Sunday.  Since the weather is supposed to be so nice, they might even open the building up where you could get a glimpse of him too.  The windows have large boards that can be propped open to provide good airflow.  You never know!!  Maybe we can visit Wurstfest before or after.  (Not sure Dean will go for this plan of trying to hear Willie - but I have high hopes.)

Saturday we have a full day planned.  Besides visiting the LBJ Parks, we plan to visit Fredericksberg's Trade Days which happens to be this weekend, as well as a trip into Fredericksberg, Luckenbach, TX and possibly a drive through Waverly. 

We missed our Friday morning breakfast out so we are doing that tomorrow morning.  I've scoped out a place but we still need to find somewhere for lunch today.  Finding good food is part of the experience of visiting new places.

Be back soon!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thursday, November 13, 2014 - Lazy L & L Campground, New Braunfels, TX

Hello!  We are camping along the Guadalupe River near New Braunfels, Texas.  It is just gorgeous here and even though it's quite a bit cooler than normal for this time of year - there is hardly anyone around so it just makes it a wonderful place to be.  I have a feeling this place is worse than Branson and Grove put together considering the long winding road you must drive to get here with all of the resorts along the river that provide camping and tubing.  It's about 10 miles long so you can just imagine.  Today was a bit warmer and Sunday is supposed to be near 60 so I hope to get some much better pictures if it doesn't rain.

                     Pictures taken along the Guadalupe River on the way to our campground.

We are at a beautiful resort.  It's a huge acreage with LOTS of room for RV's, and it looks like they provide quite a bit of outdoor entertainment for the summer months.  This evening as we drove in from New Braunfels, there were 15+ deer out in the pasture area.  They are such pretty animals.

                    Bentley is to the far left in the RV's above.  This is where we saw the deer.

Today we went into New Braunfels - hit Wal-mart for a few things such as gloves and ear muffs. The wind was pretty chilly however by this afternoon it was in the mid-40's; still cool but tolerable.  We drove around New Braunfels including downtown with a drive by the Courthouse located on the square.  Another one for Crystal and Lonie!

We ate lunch at a Mexican Restaurant that was rated high on Trip Advisor - Mamacita's and it was very, very good.  They served a wonderful spicy salsa and an avocado sauce/dip with the chips.  They were both very good however the avocado sauce we had in Arkansas was a little better.  I ordered a combination plate that included a cheese enchilada, tamale with chili sauce and taco served with beans, rice and guacamole.  It was all very good but the tamale was extremely good.  It's hard to find a good tamale. Dean had carnitas, and he really liked them.  They actually had quite a selection of cheesecakes from the Cheesecake Factory but we were just too full to eat any more.  Plus, we have a hankering for Dairy Queen!

After eating lunch we headed to Gruene, TX, pronounced Green.  This is a historic town where the famous Gruene Hall is located.  Many famous country & western stars have performed here in their early musical days.  I was devastated to learn Willie Nelson will be playing here on Sunday while we are in the area BUT it is already sold out.  On the way to Thackerville I found out he will be playing in Durant this Saturday but those tickets were also sold out.  I have wanted to see him for years and so close......but just didn't make it!  I told Dean maybe we could just go to Gruene and walk the streets - surely we could hear him even though we might not get to see him.  :)

                                  Where Willie Nelson will perform this Sunday, Nov 16.

By the way, Gruene has some great shops.

                                                     One of the shops in Gruene.

By the way we made a stop at Dairy Queen on the way home.  Great blizzards!  Very impressed with the fact they brought them to our table, turned them upside down and they were mixed very nicely with the right amount of toppings.  One of the best we've had!

I think tomorrow we might head to San Marcos or Fredericksburg.  Luckenbach, TX is close and I must make it there as well - another Willie Nelson reminder.  Love that song!  We will probably head back north on Monday morning with the idea of getting home by late Wednesday or Thursday.  Last night it did get to about 31 degrees but tonight will only be about 33.  It's supposed to be warmer tomorrow. I do not miss the cold temps and wind chills you all are having.  We didn't leave Bentley until 10 or 10:30 this morning so we would miss the worst of the cold.  We've decided to have lunch out and just eat a snack in the evening.  Love trying the local fare!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

November 11, 2014 Boone RV Park, Lampasas, TX

It's been a few days since I posted anything.  We have been in Thackerville, OK attending a Heartland Oklahoma Chapter Rally.  We had a great time.  We've met so many really, really nice people and we love attending the rallies.  A quick update - we left Checotah, OK on Thursday morning and arrived at WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, OK on Thursday afternoon.  When we checked in we found out we checked in a day later than we were supposed to so they had cancelled our reservation when we didn't show up.  Ooops!  Wonder who did that?
But they had plenty of spaces and were able to find us another spot near our fellow campers - just not in the same row so we were kind of by ourselves.  I hate keeping a calendar these days!!!
There was a meet and greet at the clubhouse that evening.  We went up and visited for awhile and checked in.  There are a lot of really nice door prizes that attendees can win Saturday when we have the chapter meeting.  Everyone will get at least one, possibly two smaller gifts.
Each morning there was coffee and donuts or breakfast served.  I didn't go up on Friday but Dean did.  We played sandbag baseball Friday morning, lunch on our own and then we had a pot luck dinner that night.  I made corn dip and no-bake cookies.  By the way our team won at sandbag baseball.  We won 3-2, with Dean making two home runs.  Woohoo!
Saturday our host made sausage gravy and biscuits.  Very good.  We played ladderball today.  Neither of us did very good on this.  It was all fun though.  That night we caravanned to Sanger, TX to eat at Babe's Chicken.  WOW!  First of all I would love to see a restaurant in Oswego or our neighboring area that had this type of draw!  Unbelievable the number of people waiting and eating when we arrived about 4:15 p.m.  The place was packed except for a side room where we all headed to.  There was at least 30 of us.  You had the choice of fried chicken, smoked chicken, steak, fried fish and chicken fried steak.  Everyone at our table ordered fried chicken.  They bring 1/2 chicken for each person at the table.  The chicken was quite good.  They serve it family style and we also received mashed potatoes and gravy, creamed corn, green beans and homemade biscuits.  Yummy!  It was very good.  People were still coming in when we left with several waiting outside.
We headed up to the clubhouse after we got back to the RV park.  I played a game with several others called Logos - about various businesses in the US.  It was pretty fun.  Dean set this one out and just watched us.
Most people left on Sunday but we decided to stay until Monday as did about 7 other rigs.
The women decided to get together at 1:00.  One of the ladies brought craft materials and we made the cutest little "Rudolph" Reindeers out of wine corks and twigs.  I'll include a picture of one.  This was alot of fun and really had a chance to visit with the 4 other women who attended.
All 8 couples gathered later for a cookout with leftovers from the pot luck dinner a couple of days ago.  It was a great evening.
We decided to stay over another day until Tuesday.  Dean's knee started bothering him Sunday afternoon and by that evening it was swollen pretty good.  We went to Wal-Mart where I picked out a good brace for him and had him start taking Ibuprofen regularly.  We didn't have any ice but we put a cold water bottle on it as well.  I filled the ice cubes though in case we needed ice later.  He slept much better last night and while it is still sore he is doing better.
Tonight we are in Lampasas, TX.  It is just east of Killeen where Matt and Megan lived for the past couple of years.  We drove in to Copperas Cove and ate at Giovanni's.  We had eaten here with them at least twice on visits to see them.  It was as good as we remembered it.  We asked the waitress to take our picture in the barrel chairs.

I texted the picture to Matt & Megan to see if they could figure out where we were.  They sure never would have guessed we were at their old stomping grounds.  Wish they were still here but we'll see them next month.  Can't wait to get our hands on Joshua.
Tomorrow morning we will drive on to an RV Park outside of New Braunfels, TX.  We plan to spend 3 full days there and then work our way back to Oswego.  Hopefully the weather will warm up a bit before we get home.
On our way to Lampasas we passed through Weatherford County TX.  They had a really interesting courthouse and since my county treasurer sister and county commissioner brother-in-law enjoy seeing other county courthouses I thought I would share this picture.  It looked like you were going to drive right in to the building but then the road split going around the building.

Tonight we also went to H.E.B. the coolest grocery store ever!  Fell in love with them while visiting in Texas.  We bought some milk.  While paying, the checker was asking Dean about the milk and if he wanted it in a bag or a sticker on it.  I looked at him and it was absolute bewilderment all over his face.  I told the lady - just put a sticker on it.  I had to explain it was so they would know we paid for it.  He got really tickled over that.  He wondered if she was giving it to him so he would be good.  He's such a kid!!   LOL!!!  Had a good laugh about that 2 or 3 times since then.
Well, it's supposed to dip just below freezing so I need to get my shower tonight so Dean can pick up the water hose and store it in the basement.  Will be one less thing to do in the morning before we can take off.  It's only about 3 hours driving time tomorrow so we will not be in any hurry to leave.  Hopefully it will be relatively decent by the time we leave around 10 or so.
Bentley sure has missed us traveling with him.  We sure do enjoy being with him.
See you all soon.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Thursday, November 6, 2014 - Winstar World Casino, Thackerville, OK

We left Oswego Monday morning and headed to Grand Lake.  We had not stayed in Bentley for over a month and decided we would stay here a couple of days before heading to the fall Heartland Rally in Thackerville, OK later in the week.

As many of you know I started following several blogs of different RV'ers in 2013 prior to our retirement.  We have learned so many things from these blogs and have heard about many places we hope to visit in the future.  Around March of 2013 a website was announced that is to help RV'ers connect with each other in order to meet up on the road, caravan together, meet others of like minds, etc. and is called RVillage as in "our village".  After looking at it for a month or so I finally joined the end of March 2014.  During this time I have become friends with several other RV'ers.  We have not had the pleasure of meeting any of them yet but recently we made arrangements to meet up with a couple who live at Grand Lake but travel part-time like us.  Our plans were to have dinner on Tuesday evening.  Unfortunately they had to cancel due to a medical issue.  We were really disappointed but things happen and hopefully we can reschedule a meet up next time we are back at Grand Lake.

Tuesday morning Dean was in the mood for eating breakfast out.  So we headed to our favorite cafe, Ms. Donna's.  I love their french toast and could not pass it up this morning.  Dean had his regular eggs, sausage, hash browns and wheat toast.  There was a large group of women having LOTS of fun in the back.  Dean wondered if the wife of a friend of his might be part of the group as they had mentioned the men from their church have breakfast on Monday's at Ms. Donna's and the women met on another morning.  As Dean went to pay I told him I was going to see if our friend's wife was in the group.  I immediately spotted her and went back to say hi.  I told her I wondered if she was back there with so much uproar taking place.  Everyone got a good laugh out of that.

We are always looking at places on Grand Lake - dreaming of possibly living there one day.  Not sure it will ever happen, but we never tire of looking.  We set out to go look at a place we had heard about. As usual, after we looked at it we decided this was not the one.  It had a great boat dock but the house itself just needed too much work for us for the price.

When we returned to the Bernice area, we ran by to see Dean's friend (whose wife I mentioned earlier), who was a former co-worker.  He sure hated it when Charlie retired.  We had a great visit with them.  I had made a pot of taco soup before we left home so that was dinner tonight.  Was pretty good too I might add.

Wednesday morning we got around and left for Checotah, OK where we planned to spend the night at Onapa Campground.  Dean had chosen this campground as a half way point from Grand Lake to Thackerville.  Checotah happens to be the home of Carried Underwood - Winner of American Idol 2005.  This is the first year I began watching American Idol and I was taken with her amazing voice and knew she would be the winner that year.  I thought it was kind of interesting we stayed in her hometown to watch the County Music Awards, that she hosted with Brad Paisley that night.

We ate dinner at a Mexican restaurant for dinner.  It was pretty good.  We really wanted Chinese but after looking at the menu at the local Chinese restaurant we decided we would wait until a different stop for that choice.

The CMA's were great as usual and one of my favorite singers "Vince Gill" was recognized for his musical talents.  What a great musician he is.

This morning we left Checotah about 9:00 and headed to Thackerville.  Quite a name for a town isn't it.  Not sure where the name came from - something to research, I guess.  We arrived at about 12:30 at the check-in office.  Hmmm.  Come to find out someone seemed to have made an error in the date we were supposed to arrive.  Seems our reservations was for Wednesday - not Thursday and they had cancelled our reservation.  Fortunately they had plenty of room as we were reassigned a spot.  The downside it was not with the rest of our group, but it wasn't too far away.  I don't know what it is about retirement that I can't seem to keep dates and times straight anymore.

Shortly after we got the RV unhooked from the truck, one of the Heartland group stopped by to tell us they were having hot dogs for dinner tonight.  Seems one of the group had a bunch of hot dogs left over from an event they recently held and was donating them.  Super.  They had a greet and meet at 2:00 so we headed to the meeting room after we had a quick bite to eat.

Most of the people we met in April at Durant, OK was present.  One gentleman, Jay is the Central Region Director for Heartland and he works with a number of states in this region (of which Kansas is a part of).  Currently Kansas does not have a state director and he has been talking to Dean and I about starting up a Kansas Chapter.  We are thinking of it but are undecided at the moment.  We plan to visit with other chapter leaders and look into the number of Kansas owners before making a decision.

Following dinner tonight, we made a quick Wal-mart run so I could make something for the pot luck dinner we will have on Friday evening.  I will be making corn dip and no-bake cookies.

Well, that it is for tonight.  It's 9:46.  It's been a long day and I'm really tired.  Hope we sleep well tonight.  The one thing about an RV at least you have your own bed with you no matter where you go. I love that!