Sunday, October 4, 2015 - Bullard, Texas
We pulled out of the park in Minden, Louisiana at 9:35 this morning. It wasn't long before we could tell we were nearing Shreveport, LA due to the numerous casino signs. Here are a few shots I took as we drove through Shreveport on Interstate 20.
We soon passed into Texas and began the drive on to Bullard.
We were soon set up and settled in. As usual we just set around for awhile enjoying the freedom of being outside. After dinner of cheeseburgers we decided to take a walk. The park is quite nice. It has a great building at the entrance that houses a large office area, an indoor swimming pool (with a very large, oversized garage door that opens to give an outdoor feeling and a hot tub. On the opposite side of a double wide covered entrance (big enough for two RV's to pass each other) there is a large meeting room, restrooms with showers and a Laundromat. There is a small pond on one side with a large concrete pad you can fish or swim from. I'm not sure you could get me to go down the steps into the water as it appears to be quite full of algae but it is a beautiful spot to just set for the enjoyment of it or to visit with others. On the other side of the park is a large event center that is used for weddings and other celebrations.
The RV sites are two ribbons of concrete with grass between them. There are plantings of trees and/or bushes between each site. Each site has full hookups, with 50 amp service. We are in site #78. Even though it is a pull-through, since it is on the very end, we had to back-in to the site as there is not enough space to make the corner and utilize it as a pull in.
As we approached the office area we saw Allen, the gentleman we met as we were getting set up and stopped to visit for awhile with him and his wife. They too have a Big Horn. Deb gave us a tour of it. It has a living room in the upper area (where our bedroom is located) and the bedroom is in the back (where our living room is). It was quite nice but I think I still prefer our set-up. Mainly because Dean would never go for pulling a rig as long as theirs and I still prefer our floorplan.
We had a nice visit with them before heading back to Bentley for the evening.
Monday, October 5, 2015 - Bullard, Texas
Since we arrived a few days early we have some extra time on our hands so we decided we would get out and find some things to do today and tomorrow before the other Heartland Owners begin showing up.
This morning we drove to Canton, Texas for First Monday Trade Days. It took us about an hour and a half for the drive. We arrived to find no one in the parking lots and only a few vendors and we weren't sure if they were really open for business or not. We left and drove toward downtown as I was looking for more information and soon found out the problem. Just because it says First Monday Trade Days, it is not on the First Monday. Trade Days is held on the Thurs-Sun BEFORE the First Monday of the Month! So we missed it by one day. We still enjoyed the drive and we had a great Mexican lunch at Ochoa's Mexican Restaurant in Canton.
We headed back to the campground and after dinner we took another walk around the campground. As we were passing one of the Heartland RV's on the other side of the park, a woman walked out and we started visiting with her. She was going out for an evening walk herself so she joined us. Judy Parker is a full-timer, mostly residing within Texas for most of the year. We ended up back at Allen and Deb's and visited for quite awhile. We had to leave after about an hour as Matt, Megan and Josh wanted to Skype with us this evening. We had a good time visiting with them and we were thrilled that Josh remembered who we were.
We watched TV for awhile and headed to bed so we could take another day trip tomorrow. I forgot to take any pictures today so will try to do better tomorrow.
Tuesday, October 6, 2015 - Bullard, Texas
We had originally planned to arrive in Bullard on Monday (yesterday). Since I knew we would have a day with nothing much going on we already had something we wanted to do - as I mentioned in an earlier blog post. Once we were up and around we headed west to Waco, Texas to visit Magnolia Store. You might remember I mentioned Chip and Joanna of the HGTV show Fixer Uppers. They own the Magnolia store. It was a bit more of a drive than we thought but it was a nice day and an enjoyable one. We chose to just take a Texas state road versus the Interstate so it was relaxing since we were not pulling Bentley along with us.
We were about an hour from Waco and it was almost noon so Dean suggested we stop in Mexia to have lunch. I checked Trip Advisor real quick and there were great reviews on The Farm House so we headed there. It looked busy, which is always a good sign. I thought it was pretty neat looking inside so I took a snapshot. Here it is.
We were quite fortunate to arrive at Magnolia at a bit of a lull. While there were several people in the store it did not seem many cars were parked close by. Before we left, the store was getting quite full and there were cars everywhere. I really enjoyed getting to see the store even though it was small and while I did not buy any decoration pieces, I did buy a T-shirt which I really like. I went back and forth between it and a coffee cup and finally decided I had enough coffee cups, but can you ever have enough T-shirts?
|Inside of Magnolia Store.|
|Outside shot of Magnolia Store.|
|I really liked the way the sign was made out of mismatched letters.|
When we left the store we headed to the silo's. If you watch Fixer Uppers you know they recently purchased some abandoned property near downtown Waco where two old silo's set along with some other buildings. They are hurriedly working on getting final touches done as there were a number of workers on site moving around outside and on top of the large white building (I assume this will be the new store). They have a grand opening planned for the end of October. The entire work area was blocked off with fencing so you could not get close and that only makes sense with construction taking place. I would not be surprised at all if one or both Chip and Joanna would have been in the building. So wish our timing would have been such that we could have visited the new store which is supposed to have quadruple the space of their current store....per something I read somewhere.
|If you enlarge this picture you might see some of the workers on the roof.|
|Here are numerous shots of the silo's and outbuildings.|
I do hope they have a lot of parking nearby as I believe they will need it.
When we left there I had a great shot of the ALICO building which you see in a night shot of Waco included in Fixer Upper's show overview, and a pretty decent one of the McClennan County Courthouse. What a beautiful structure it was.
As we left Waco we crossed the Brazos River so I was able to get a picture of it. It was very pretty with walkways running along the riverbank.
When we got back Dean talked with Deryl, our RV dealer, about the roller under the refrigerator that has been giving us problems. He asked if we could send a picture of our flooring. They will see if the factory might have a piece to repair the tear that was made by the slide.
Tomorrow many other Heartland Owners will be coming in so we look forward to visiting with them.
Wednesday, October 6, 2015 - Bullard, Texas
About mid-morning we started seeing several Heartland's pulling into the park including a few folks we knew. We needed to make a Wal-Mart run so I would have something to make for our potluck on Saturday evening and we needed a few other things as well, so we headed to nearby Jacksonville, TX. After we returned I cut up broccoli and cauliflower for lunch. We set outside for awhile and visited with a few people as they walked by.
We really didn't do much today. I did a little cleaning around the RV, dusting, vacuuming, etc. and just visiting with folks.
Tonight I fixed a pork roast that we had with a loaded baked potato. Pretty tasty. We walked over a few sites to visit with Paul and Nan Lineen. We met them at the Oklahoma rallies although they live here in Texas, and only about 30 minutes from the park.
Tonight most of the Heartland Owners that are in the park drove about one half mile east to eat dinner. Hondo and Shorty's was a great little restaurant with a pretty decent menu and very affordable prices. Dean and I both had the chicken tenders, fried okra and one other side. I had cole slaw and I don't remember what Dean had but we both thought our meals were very good. There were four others at our table and they all said they too enjoyed their meals.
When we returned we decided to stay here at Bentley although several were getting together for some games at the rally room. We'll catch up with everyone tomorrow.
Friday, October 8, 2015 - Bullard, Texas
This morning there was a breakfast for the Heartland Owners who have arrived. One of the Texas members cooked breakfast of scrambled eggs, sausage and bacon. Another member made pancakes. There were numerous breads, fruit and muffins to go along with them. In addition to coffee there were several types of juices. What a great breakfast! We set with the Chapter Leaders from South Texas, along with Connie from Ohio. Connie and her husband full-time. They own a travel agency which they can operate from any place they have internet connection. We had a great time talking to this couple (Tom and Marti) and Connie about places to visit across the United States. Time flew and before we knew it was nearly 10:00. We have met some of the nicest people and really enjoy our time at these rallies.
We moved around talking to various people in the park today. One of our stops was at Orville and Barbara Wright's. They live near Moore, OK and have made it through two or three tornadoes. Sometimes I think Southeast Kansas has it bad, but Moore seems to be a major attraction for tornadoes. Barbara quilts and she was kind enough to show me some of her work. I really think I'd like to try one but not sure how well I will do. I guess I won't know unless I jump right in. We set outside for a while earlier in the morning but it was pretty warm in the afternoon as the temperatures were over 90 today and yesterday. Sure would like to see some 70 degree temperatures.
We made hash tonight from the leftover pork roast. It sure was good. I am so glad Dean introduced me to this when we met. It's one of my top 5 favorite meals. I also made the crust for four-layer dessert that I will take to the pot-luck dinner on Saturday evening.
Tonight there was a meet and greet at the rally hall. The Chapter Leader for the South Texas group brought several containers of Blue Bell ice cream that had everyone cheering. I guess North Texas does not yet have Blue Bell back on the shelves after the big issue they had earlier this year. We rarely have Blue Bell but what we had tonight was pretty good. We enjoyed our time at the meet and greet. Usually they play board games as well as Mexican train but tonight only Mexican train was on the agenda so we headed back to Bentley at 9:30. It wasn't long before we headed to bed.
Saturday, October 9, 2015 - Bullard, Texas
Dean got around this morning and headed up to the rally hall to have doughnuts and coffee. He said it was mostly guys who showed up. He was really happy they had an apple fritter and he told me it was delicious. I asked if there were any left over and when he said yes, I asked why he did not bring me one. He said there wasn't a sign saying it was also carry-out. :(
While he was gone I did up the dishes from last night's supper since I didn't have time to do them last night, made the bed and made the next layer for my dessert. Once I showered I added the next layer and after doing my hair and makeup I added the last layer. I'm ready for tonight.
We set outside for awhile. It was surprising how the temperatures dropped overnight. It feels about 60-65 outside with a nice breeze. I think it's supposed to warm back up this afternoon though.
About 11 we walked down to David and Donna Williams', new to them, RV. Since we saw them in Durant last year they upgraded from a Big Country to a Landmark. They plan to go full-time when David retires in a year or so. It was a beautiful rig, about 4 feet longer than our Bentley. They probably have an extra 2 feet in the living/kitchen area, 1 in the bathroom and another in the bedroom. It's amazing what 4 feet will give you in space. I love looking at other's rigs as everyone has great ideas. Two they have done is adding tension bars to shelving in the back of the closet and also wire shelving to hold shoes. Both of these will be happening in Bentley over the winter. Such a great use of space that could be better utilized. We oohed and awed over all the extras and left about 30 minutes later so we could have a little lunch and let David get back to cleaning the outside of their RV.
After our lunch, Dean was watching the golf game and I worked on the blog for an hour or so. We took a walk over to the next row of RV's where a guy was set up to test air pressure gauges for free. Ours tested 2-3 pounds heavier than what it should which wasn't too bad. I wanted to take some pictures of the park to include in the blog so we walked around a bit and then stopped to visit with Flora Tayloe and our neighbor a few doors over, Nan. We soon headed back to Bentley as I want to get as much done on the blog as possible today. I hope to post tonight after the pot-luck dinner.
We will pull out tomorrow morning and head to McAlister, OK for an overnight stay before moving on to Grove, OK to attend an Escapees rally before heading home. I suspect Dean will be making a drive to Oswego on Monday or Tuesday from Grove just to check things out. He is really having withdrawals! He's done great though and I am proud of him for making this sacrifice for me. We've had a good time and done very well living together in a small space for two and a half months. Of course if the weather is nice the whole outdoors is our living room. How nice!
Here are some pictures of the park.
|The two pictures above were taken Friday evening.|
These pictures were taken Saturday afternoon as we made our walk around the park.
|This is the sand volleyball and pool area.|
|You can see the pool better in this picture. This large garage door opens to provide fresh air during the summer.|
|Notice all the flags. A number of the rally members are veteran's. I love seeing the flags fly on their rigs.|
|This is the large building I mentioned in an earlier post where two RV's can pass through the center as they check in and leave the park.|
|View behind our rig.|
Everyone met at the rally hall around 5:45 as the plan was to take a group picture of us before our evening pot-luck meal. The smoked meat of turkey, brisket and sausage was provided by the North Texas Chapter with all of the sides provided by the Heartland RVer's attending the rally. There was so much food. I made a four layer dessert and it was all gone at the end of the evening. I was so glad I didn't have to take any home and be tempted with it for the next day or so.
There are some great cooks in this bunch. Something new that I've never experienced before was corn pudding. It was almost like a custard topping over the corn portion and it was delicious!
We said our goodbyes to a number of friends this evening as we plan to leave by 9:30. By the time we get around and pack up we won't have time to really see anyone before we take out. Jay Coffman walked with us back to Bentley as we discussed some upcoming rallies for 2016. Branson in April and Las Vegas in October. We definitely plan to make it to Branson but we just aren't sure about Las Vegas yet.
Next time you hear from me we'll probably be in Grove, OK.