Search This Blog

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Polo Anyone?

Just so you know I have never been to a polo match before...but that's okay because they had handouts for us to help with understanding the game. It was fun! Not at all what I had envisioned. It's pretty fast moving game and there is plenty of action to watch. The ball that is used was lighter and less solid then I anticipated. I was thinking a ball like a crochet ball. While similar in size not at all like it in substance.

During halftime there was a divot stomp. Definitely interactive for the crowd. This was a cool way to stretch your legs and move around during the break.This was not for those with flip flops or fancy shoes on cause you are poking the turf back down that gets tore up by the mallet and or the horse hooves. In this case it was mostly sand and without a substantial shoe you will come away with dirty feet. I might know this from firsthand experience. You will also want to check the soles of your shoes for cuckelburrs cause the field was full of them. We scraped 'em off as best we could and still hand to hand pull some of those suckers off. MiRV even had some sticking to his pant legs. Craziness! And they hurt when you get poked!

 Stomping the divots

Oh, back to polo...there are quarters, called chukkers, they last 7 minutes, then there is break. That's when the players change horses. There are six chukkers in a match. There were only four players. The official rode a horse, too. He did not carry a mallet but a ball picker upper thing! It probably has a name but our handout did not give that info!

The weather was perfectly sunny with a touch of wind. It was such a neat way to spend the afternoon. Who knew we would see a polo match while hanging out at South Padre Island!

Since we were out on the island we decided to stay for the sunset. As the afternoon wore on it became a little hazy and there were no clouds but the sunset was still quite stunning. The final glow made the sun just look like a molten liquid.


Saturday, January 30, 2016

8 Seconds

What else should one do in Texas on a Saturday night when there is a bull riding event going on? GO! So we did.

Now this was NOT the PBR...that's the one that's like famous and cost BIG bucks to see No, no this was the NPBR. Whatever, it was bull riding and on a Saturday night in Texas it's what you should do if it's available, I mean, this IS Texas, that's what they do!

We showed up early for the pre-entertainment...the people watching proved to be the best bang for your buck. The pre-entertainer was okay, but he didn't do songs we knew and his set up was at the other end of the arena therefore, he was hard to hear. The kettle corn was some of the least yummy I have ever had. So it was the people watching that kept us entertained. We also crossed paths with some folks we had met at a concert a few weeks ago, that was fun! They are a hoot!
Hanging at the NPBR with my man.

The bulls in the qualifying round were good and we saw some pretty decent riding. We also saw some injuries, yeah, no thanks, this is definitely a risky sport! EMTs were gainfully employed. But the riders seemed like they were enjoying it, the ones who could walk afterward anyway. The clown was entertaining. There were also bull helpers...they were earning their money with some of those beasts. One of those young men went down pretty hard with a bull stomping his leg but he made sure the rider was safe. Matt did return to action but he favored that leg the rest of the evening.

Pretty tough to capture the action without blurriness
The final round proved somewhat harder for the riders, NO ONE stayed on these animals These were, of course, higher rated bulls and definitely a harder ride. Couple riders came close, one was at 6.8 seconds but lost out for the full ride. They even allowed a re-ride but no joy. One of the highlights was a bull getting loose. Like out of the fenced in area. He was roaming the parking lot. For a few tense moments everyone was holding their breath. It was all hands on deck to try and get this bovine corralled. Finally, there was success and the riding went forward. Made good fodder for the announcer and clown the rest of the evening. I was just praying he didn't go near Roada!

At the close of the night they had bull fighters...yeah, we were not sure about this but it was somewhat entertaining and not at all like the traditional bull fighting that comes to my mind. First they were dressed somewhat like a rodeo clown and then they pretty much just chased the bull around the arena. They did try to use the Cavender's barrel as a prop to put between them and the bull to touch his head. Since the clown was in the barrel and the bull usually "nudged" it over he got shook up several times. It was definitely something to watch and but then we were also shaking our heads asking ourselves if this was really a smart thing. The answer after two injuries and one EMT visit was, 'NO". But the crowd seemed to like it and we couldn't pull our eyes away so I guess it was definitely entertainment at its finest.


Thursday, January 28, 2016

Thursday Thoughts - Ziglar

The hardest thing in life to learn is which bridge to cross and which to burn.

Zig Ziglar

Monday, January 25, 2016

THE Global Hawk picture

It's been awhile but we were still excited to get this picture a few days ago from the tour we were privileged to go on back in June 2015! Neat stuff getting to be there and have an up close and personal look of this pretty cool bird! I blogged our trip here in case you missed it or need a refresher! I

 The long awaited for picture!


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Altamira Oriole Sighting

I'm not sure but we may be crossing the line.

Crossing the line from bird lookers into bird watchers. It's crazy, I know, but it might be true! I was totally stoked when we spotted the Altamira Oriole this afternoon. This bird is elusive, he swoops in and out and you barely know if you caught sight of him or not. That is until today. We not only caught sight but we were treated to seeing a pair. They were nestled in the tree to get out of the wind and they were gorgeous. It was as if there were two oranges hanging from the tree and that is why it caught my eye. I knew we weren't in a citrus grove so what were those orange blobs....OH MY WORD, it's the Altamira Oriole and there is not ONE but TWO...this is awesome!

That's one of the orioles!


Saturday, January 23, 2016


We had the some time and took the opportunity to stop at the McAllen Historical Society to see a quilt display a few days ago. It was a small collection of beautiful work and so varied. The colors, the technique, the stitching, it was amazing. They had a people's choice ballot for us to vote for our favorite. That was hard!

 One of these got our vote!


Friday, January 22, 2016

Bike flats

So the other day at the Resaca de la Palma State Park we rode the bike trails, it was fun. Lots of fun, not too much sun, a few birds, an ocelot, turtles, jumping fish, lookout tower. Fun! Fun that is until someone got a flat...yeah, that was me. THANKFULLY, we were back at the visitor center. The park was open but the visitor center was closed so we had to park outside the gate. This was fine, we rode in. Leaving only one of us who rode out. I walked my bike back since it had a flat back tire.

Walking it back...

Honestly, it wasn't bad. In fact, it could have been so much worse. We could have been out on one of the trails. THAT would have been quite a long walk back. Anyway, we are steering clear of some of these so called bike trails since the long thorns of the trees seem to be invading our tires. While MiRV made it back and we thought it was only my tire that was affected. However, when we found a park with a little shade to perform the flat repair both of my tires were now flat and one of his was. He pulled out 7 thorns from one tire. Geez. But he's really good at flat repairs so it's all grand! And we picked up a bottle of Slime tire repair goop! Should be all good now!

 Flat tire repair at the park in Edinburg, TX

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Monday, January 18, 2016

Gas Station Eats

Really, it's not a "who knew" cause we did know! But did you know that gas stations can and do have good eats? It true! At least sometimes anyway. And NOT just in Texas cause in Kansas City we ate some awesome good BBQ in a gas station, too!

But here in TX we have now tried gas station fair twice and loved it! First trip was to snag breakfast burritos. Oh my goodness, a homemade tortilla slathered with beans stuffed with scrambled eggs, potatoes, cheese and yes, my friends last but not least BACON! This breakfast burrito was delightful! Like REALLY, really good! And cheap at 2/$3.00. And I'm not talking tiny burritos like from MickeyD's these were much larger!

Our second trip into the gas station for food was the 6/$6 soft tacos after 2 p.m. They know I'm a sucker for a good deal so we sauntered on in and got our deal. Again, most delicious! My favorite was the beef fajita taco but the carna guisado was very tasty as well. I'm thinking we will do that again...soon!

Border Fence

So there you have it! Eating at gas stations and being happy about it in southern Texas. I won't even tell you that the young girl who waited on us didn't speak English and for an hour before we stopped we were looking at the "border fence" so really I shouldn't have been surprised! However, the amigo at the register was a partial English speaker who came over to clarify the taco fillings available. Guess we should brush up on our Spanish speaking skills!


Saturday, January 16, 2016

Happy Birthday Daughter

We celebrate YOU today, you bring us immeasurable joy, pride and in some ways regret. We know we were not perfect parents, we should have done better, we tried, believe me, we tried. We failed in so many ways, yet we see you succeed despite our failings, you are such the love of our life, happy birthday to the Daughter who made us laugh, cry, and everything in between, you are our everything...we are so excited for the new adventures to come. I constantly struggled with wanting you to stay my little baby, our little girl forever, and also being excited about all of the amazingness you would be when you grew up...
Much love to our birthday girl! We will party together in the near future!


Friday, January 15, 2016

On the border

 It is not an exaggeration, we are literally right on the border... 

We have never seen this much of a law enforcement presence, EVER. As we travel Texas Highway 83 from the Harlingen area west through the Rio Grande Valley over past Roma we have seen more law enforcement than I have ever seen in my entire life.

There is NO DOUBT our border is being watched, patrolled, observed, enforced. There are hundreds on patrol. By golly they are on foot with and without dogs, in the air via helicopters, dirigibles and mobile watch towers and lastly, by vehicles. LOTS and LOTS of vehicles, in one stretch not more than five miles long we saw over 30 Texas State Troopers. There are also Border Patrol vehicles, the local sheriff, the local Constables, the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol and local Police. They are EVERYWHERE. We have seen them in fields looking, on the side of the road with folks out of vehicles, at gas stations doing drug dog walks, in the median just observing, going down the road (and not just the main ones), sitting along side the road. I kid you not, they are out and out in force! It makes you feel safe but a little paranoid as well.

 Mobile watch tower, dirigible, helicopter.

While I see what I see I can't help but wonder what I don't we travel the Highway 83 circuit for the next few weeks I hope they continue to keep it safe out there and know that we are good guys!


Thursday, January 14, 2016

Thursday Thoughts

The Daughter has a birthday this week. While we won't be celebrating together we will be celebrating in spirit. She has reached another milestone. So proud of the woman she is and still continues to become. I pray for many more birthday celebrations to come for her and with her!

This seemed appropriate.

10 Things Your Mom Never Told You

1.  You made her cry...a lot.

2  She wanted the last piece of pie.

3.  It hurt.

4.  She was always afraid.

5.  She knows she's not perfect.

6.  She watched you as you slept.

7.  She carried you a lot longer than nine months.

8.  It broke her heart every time you cried.

9.  She put you first.

10. She would do it all again.


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Bird Lookers

I can't believe we have become those people...well, not really but sort of we have. We are not true bird watchers as we do not set out on excursions for the primary purpose of watching birds (yet...) but when we are out and about we do look for birds! It's fun! We have made a few stops that are known birding areas and we take our looking glass with us on walks and hikes. Without a doubt we have definitely enjoyed the sightings in this area, so colorful and there are a few varieties that one can only see here without traveling to South America. The Kiskadee and the Green Jay. We spotted them before we ever learned their names! That's pretty awesome in my book, so we have become bird lookers!

While at Falcon State Park while hiking we spotted several colorful birds and had no idea their name. After stopping by the RecHall on our way out of the park we got a quick education from one of the volunteers of the Wildlife Refuge from up the street. She was so gracious and helped us to learn a lot in just a short time. Then while at the Bentsen State Park we encountered another volunteer who shared her knowledge with us as well. We feel so smart know what they saw a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. I think we are on the edge of that! 

 Green Jay from South America

This guy is MiRVs favorite. He caught a glimpse of him while we were at the county park and I was a tad bit jealous as I did not get to see him. Then while we were at Bentsen we saw a dozen or more of them. They are quite brilliant in their coloring and extremely mobile; it was not easy to get their photo! The Chachalaca is a large chicken like bird that we have also seen but quite common here since they are from just across the border in Mexico. They are noisy and often take over the feeders and they were even hanging somewhat upside down while eating, funny to watch and see.

Mr & Mrs Cardinal

The Cardinals are so red! I mean we have Cardinals in the Midwest but these guys are quite vibrant, more so than I remember in our part of the woods! Anyway they are flitting around everywhere in the parks here and quite fun to see. 

Lastly, the Kiskadee, again, one that migrates up from South America. Incredible bright yellow with little mask over the eyes. They are just beautiful and fun to watch, they scold and chatter to each other a lot, some might say they are too loud and obnoxious at they call back and forth but I thought they were just very social and they are my favorite so far. We also saw an oriole that has a gorgeous orange breast but we didn't see him in time to snap a photo. Maybe another day!

The Kiskadee! And as a bonus the Cardinal was in this shot!

We are back in the city after a few days out in the boondocks. We took a little field trip farther west to check out a state park and some longer term parking options. Found out that cell signal is either NON EXISTENT or you are pinging off the Mexican towers and will be charged outrageous fees for using said towers. We were certainly thankful for wifi at the Ranger stations! Even so we are considering returning even if it is a little off the beaten path it felt safe. The night time temps are what's holding us back as we would be opting for no hookups. It's been quite comfortable on most nights without heat but when it drops into the low 40s I am partial to a bit of warmth from our Alde; though snuggling works as long as it warms up during the day. We also need sunshine to keep our solar going and so far it's been sort of hit and miss on that. The weather is certainly NOT consistently sunny so doing a bit of circulating (driving) is good for supplementing our solar!


Sunday, January 10, 2016

Bovine Adventure!

It wasn't on a whim because I called and made reservations but it was still definitely an exciting sort of spontaneous adventure! Bullfighting...we haven't been to a bullfight since we lived in Portugal nearly 30 years ago. The bullfights in the Azores were mostly held in the streets during the local festivals and we loved going! In the springtime there would be one every weekend in the different little villages. Only once did we attend a bullfight in a ring when MiRVs parents came to visit. It was a much different feel. But lots of interesting for sure! This was NO different!

The Portuguese "bullfights" in the streets were more like a running of the bulls festival, where the local young men dressed in white shirts would taunt the bull as he was held in check with a rope around his neck. I think it was more dangerous to those participating than to the bull.He was not killed. In the fight we saw in the bullring there was a matador and he poked, okay stabbed, javelins into the bull. It taunted the bull. In Portugal the bull is not killed in front of the audience or at least they weren't when we attended. Sometimes even in Spain where the bull is often killed sometimes he is not depending on the severity of his injuries he may be turned out to pasture, used later for breeding or he may be butchered.

Anyway back to our adventure, we drove out to a remote 60 acre South Texas ranch where a man had a dream. He built it and they come. It's a Winter Texan destination on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon. We were amazed, intrigued and entertained. There is seating for over 1000 people so it's not a rinky dink deal and a lot of the seats were filled. Since it was the first fight of the season and only two matadors the gentleman next to us said the crowd would be less for that reason. I'm okay with not having a big crowd cause I don't like crowds! Gates opened at 1:00 p.m. with lots to see and do until the big event at 4 p.m. There was a BBQ stand for food and we partook, it was certainly yummy! The pulled pork was delicious but the soft taco was the best and the homemade pico to go on top was ohmygoodness good! We ate our share for sure!

We had excellent sunny ring side seats!

The entertainment was phenomenal with dancing Spanish horses and a top female mariachi vocalist who really wowed the crowd before the actual bullfight. Then it was time for the big event. It was very exciting and educational since the host and commentator spoke in English. When we went to the one in Portugal we had a bit of trouble taking it all in since it was a foreign favorite was Matador Montalvo from Monterrey Mexico. He was good! The other Matador did well but Montalvo entertained each time he interacted with the bull! He was not flawless but persistent and I liked that! The helpers were good too and it was fun to watch and cheer Ole' and Bravo. The judge can be swayed by the crowd cheering so we were always hollering Ole'! We did not have flowers to throw but many did and also they threw wine flask out to the fighters as a sign of appreciation of their efforts. Very entertaining!

The weather was cool but with the beautiful sunshine it was a perfect day, nice breeze and fresh country air. We should sleep well tonight! And just to let you know the four bulls used in today's fights will not be killed, but they will never be used in a bullfight again either, it's a one shot deal. They will be sent to travel on the rodeo circuit. Goodnight and Ole!


Saturday, January 9, 2016

Hanging in Harlingen

While it's not been super sunny every day we have seen the sun and it's at least been warmer...this is good! Our stay in Harlingen has been fun, they have lots to offer. We easily found free overnight spots from a TX Wildlife Management Area on the outskirts of town to the Bass Pro. Hey, they ALL work for us! Incredible what just changing sides of the parking lot does for a little too much road noise. But the trains, oh they have trains and lots of 'em in this area!

We've checked out most of the city parks, I'm happy to report they are all in use. It's good to see the locals enjoying the outdoors! Loved the people watching...some of our imaginations run a little wilder than others...huhmmm.
Observing the local activity at Dixieland. Playing Frisbee while at the Sports Complex

We've also visited a couple Starbucks and quickly had a favorite! We explored the downtown area, went to the farmers market, found a little bakery, toured the Marine Academy, home to the model sculpture for the Iwo Jima in Washington, DC. It's all interesting! The local walking tour was a large group and unfortunately the guide left something to be desired, but we met some nice people! The farmers market was really small but still neat to walk around and see the local flare!
Iwo Jima Memorial.

On the downtown walking tour.

We were really thrilled to find an indoor aquatics center online and for $1 we thought we could "swim" and use the facilities. Awesome except it reality there were not 'facilites' as in real showers (just rinse off stations)/ Boooo! One of the issues when you don't campground camp, is that  you have no facilities so it is a challenge to get a shower! Of course Roada has hers but we try to minimize water usage when not sure where our next dump station and water fill will be. MiRV actually did end up swimming laps at the pool and did use the rinse offs so it was fine overall and well worth his dollar to do it!

I do believe Harlingen is a pretty neat little town, quite diverse and has an interesting history and we have enjoyed our time but we are ready for a change of scenery so we are heading west! Stay tuned for our next adventure taking place tomorrow afternoon as we travel into the Texas countryside to attend a bullfight in the Santa Maria Bullring!

The other Big News around here is the capture of 'El Chapo' and the lottery with it's BIG jackpot! Guess we should get a couple tickets...

On a side note I must say we have about a gabillion Customs & Border Patrol agents floating around down here. They are active, VERY active. We saw them in a full on chase with a K9 unit on our way from Kingsville to Harlingen. We passed multiple stations and there were hundreds of cars parked there. We were passed by one on the wrong side of the road going really fast, we have seen them just standing outside their cars observing the traffic flow, just going with traffic up and down the roads and in the drivethru lane at Starbucks!. It's impressive; while I remember seeing them on our last visit in 2012 I don't quite remember them having this much presence and I'm not really sure how that makes me feel.


Friday, January 8, 2016

OWT Theft Deterrence Redneck Style

We have gone into FPCON Charlie...

It's unfortunate that it has come to this but we would rather be safe than sorry. We decided on this after we had read on several of our user groups that in the RGV (Rio Grande Valley) RVs of all types can and do go 'missing' has been alluded to that most are making trips south of the border never to be heard from again. Therefore, we are taking extra precautions to prevent it from happening to Roada. Again, better to be safe than sorry in my book you know, since I'm NOT a risk taker and all it's A-OKAY with me. I don't care how silly it looks!

Our method is simple while we are in an area that we feel is potentially high threat unless we can keep Roada in our sights at all times we do not leave her alone, period. This meant we took turns doing our shopping at the local Wal-Mart the other evening. Wal-Mart was a spot that we have read is a gone missing spot. It's not that we thought she would be  procured by an unauthorized patron, we just didn't want to take any chances.

If we do feel, however, it's a relatively low threat area we are still taking extra steps to make sure she's protected. So MiRV locks her up now, literally!

Roada's newest Redneck AntiTheftDeterrence Device


Thursday, January 7, 2016

Thursday Thoughts - Unknown

If you missed Wednesday's Words yesterday you might be sad to learn that I am changing it up a little this year or you might not even care! However, Thursday Thoughts is my new standing weekly posting...mostly the same thing just a different day to mix it up a little.

The thoughts I share for today...

Your perception of me is a reflection of you; my reaction to you is an awareness of me.

I do not know who said it. I did give it a google and there is no one person it points to for the credit so I will leave it an an unknown.


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The latest buzz!

Seriously, can it get any better then being warned about African bees? our last stop it was "Be aware that snakes are in the area." I'm sorry no pic of that but it was BIG and red!

We are now truly in south Texas. We really hadn't planned to come this far down but you know we are flexible and all that! With the weather being a bit chillier in the overnights it makes having heat something we would like and that leads to getting an electrical hookup which means not boondocking and that was our primary we've found ourselves researching where we can go and not be in need of said electric. MiRV and I both joked that Florida would be good...and really I don't think we were joking! Then we considered going west as in Arizona but so far it's just further south in TX! After all, we are in the middle of "OWT" Operation Winter Texan for those not keeping up! So, I think this winter Texan thing is a one shot deal for us. You will probably find us back in FL next year...but we'll see, it's too soon to make that call!

Meanwhile, watch out for things going buzz from Africa!


Sunday, January 3, 2016


Seems unreal that a year has already passed. Miss him.