Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Week, our recipes and more....

Well, the world didn't end on the 21st of December.  Damn Mayans.  They should be dug up and held on the charges of mass panic.

We spent a nice Christmas Eve with the guests in the park.  They do a Chinese Gift Exchange.  Everyone brings a $10 gift, gets a "random" number.  The first number is drawn, they open a present in front of everyone.  Person holding the second number drawn can either "take" their gift or open another one in front of everyone.  Process keeps repeating until everyone has been drawn.  That last person has the knowledge of every one's gifts, so they can "take" one unless it's frozen (been held by 3 owners).  The person who got drawn first ends it by having the choice of everything in the room.  We noticed that, just as last year, one person came in very late to get a last number and went looking for booze.  Some people get a little bent out of shape over people "taking" their gift.  It's a way to kill an evening.

Christmas Day, we called everyone and did a carry in with the camp.  Added a few recipes to the repertoire this year.  First is peanut butter fudge.  Couldn't be easier:


Peanut Butter Fudge Recipe:

1 (18oz) jar of smooth peanut butter
1 (16oz) jar or can of vanilla or cream cheese icing

Put ingredients in pan using wooden spoon and spatula.  Melt together both ingredients on low, stirring occasionally. When all melted like a thick gravy, pour into dish and refrigerate overnight

Variation:  use Chocolate icing instead of vanilla/cream cheese or try crunchy peanut butter instead of smooth

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Also added our daughter's sweet potato casserole:

3 cups mashed sweet potatoes (I've used the canned its easier/quicker to mash them)
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup melted butter

Topping:
 1/2 cup brown sugar
 1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup melted butter
 1 cup chopped pecans

Combine first 6 ingredients. Pour into a buttered 1 1/2 to 2-quart casserole dish. Mix remaining ingredients together and sprinkle over top. Bake at 350° for 30 to 40 minutes, until hot and browned.

Serves 6 to 8

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Christmas decorations are down.  The basement has been reorganized for the third time (at least) and it's time to start the week of watching College Football.

Not sure what the New Year will bring, but it will be fun! 

 

 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Hope everyone enjoys their Christmas and is looking forward to a prosperous New Year!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Getting into a Winter groove....

Starting to get into our winter groove here at Sea Breeze RV Park.

The sunsets here are the best (with Tucson a very close second).

Drove over to Aransas Pass Lowe's to get some "stuff" for a more permanent set up.  We like putting concrete blocks under our rear stabilizers.  Our sewage set up here is very close to being straight level, if not a quarter bubble up hill which isn't good.  Last year, we ran a 2x12, this year we went a little different and ran a piece of plastic gutter which is seeming to work.

Tuesday was a part work, part rest day. 

Wednesday, we met with some other Heartland Owners over at Moby Dick's in Port Aransas.  Really neatly themed restaurant that had some good lunch specials.  The group we met with were very good company.  They do this often, so we'll look forward to seeing them again. 

Also on Wednesday, was our first run at "Card Bingo" in the park.  Each table of four kicks in $5pp, and deals out all the cards in a deck.  A "caller" draws cards and each of the four at a table places the card called into a pile.  Once you have one card, you call out "One Card".  Once you have no cards, you yell "Bingo" and get all or split the pot with whomever else has Bingo'd.  Total of ten hands with the 1 - 4 and the 6 - 9 pots the same, while the 5th hand is larger and the 10th hand is the largest.  Fun game.  Bob won one hand and Connie split the 5th hand.

Not much planned for the weekend.  Christmas shopping (via Amazon.com) is all done and shipped.  Park hosts a Christmas Eve party and a Christmas Day Carry in that should be fun.  (Unless the world ends on Friday, then we won't be posting any more!)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

After a weekend in Schulenburg......

Loved our weekend in Schulenburg, TX at the Schulenburg RV Park.  Not so much the park, but the chance to meet up again with our RV'ing buddies, Fred and Vickie.  Typical evenings of laughing, cooking and conversations each night.



We used Friday as our "tour the area" time.  We went to Shiner, TX to see the Spoetzl Brewery makers of Shiner Beer.  The whole area is influenced by Eastern Europeans who migrated to the area after the Civil War.  A group of them founded together to build a brewery and make beer the way they did in the "old country".


Another part of that culture showed in their painted churches.  We went to the High Hill Church, which was "the one to go to" if you were only going to one.  Fascinating.  In the back of the church was a cemetery with headstones dating back to the 1880's.  The detail of the stained glass, the architecture, the upkeep was outstanding.


We wanted to see the Sengelmann Hall, which was a Dance Hall from the turn of the century.  Didn't open till 5:00p and it was 4:30p.  Right next door was a little bar, we thought we'd go in.  Upstairs was the scurviest, nastiest pool room we've ever seen.  The pool tables were littered with dead bugs.  The shuffleboard table was missing varnish by the points part.  There was a sign in Spanish that we'll let you translate.  It was so nasty, it was hilarious.



When we did get into Sengelmann Hall, it was wonderful.  The upstairs, which was the hall, had that old wood smell that really added to the ambiance.  The bar was a recreation of what the bar would have been like in the 1890's.  The menu didn't quite fit the surroundings.  We learned that for 25 years it was an auto parts store!  Pictures didn't turn out great because of the darkness, but it was a great stop.

Saturday was a hang around day enjoying each other's company.  Sunday was splitsville as we made the 3 hour journey south to our winter home, Sea Breeze RV Park, and Fred and Vickie made their 4 hour journey north back to Dallas.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Almost there!

A lot of driving got us to Schulenburg RV Park from the Gulf Coast Elks RV Park.  

We had hoped to go to the Houston Elks Lodge and park there for a few nights, see some sights in Houston, etc. but the Inn was full.  All 10 sites were tapped with one RV dry camping in the wings waiting for a spot to open.  Really surprised (and disappointed) as its the first time we've been shut out.

We were going to meet our friends Fred and Vickie in Houston, but with the tenuous situation, we decided to move Plan A to Schulenburg which was a little further down I-10 for us and about the same distance for them.

Thankfully, it was an uneventful ride.  Enjoyed our one night at the Cajun Palms RV Resort.  We'll have to revisit this park.  It's a destination unto itself.  Not sure what all is around the area, but will be worth a re-visit some day.

Got through Houston fairly easily, hitting it around noon.  Got here around 2:30p, while Fred and Vickie came in around 5p.  Had another (of our many) enjoyable evenings last night.  We're heading to the Spoetzel Brewery today for a brewery tour.

Sunday will be getaway day and we'll be back to Sea Breeze RV Resort in Portland Texas for the winter.

Just did the calculations.  Since we left in May, we've done a smidge over 4,000 miles.  Whew!  We're ready to put it in park for awhile.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

It's Been Sooooo Long.....

Slow internet is a terrible thing.  Awful.

New Smyrna Beach RV Park was BY FAR the slowest our Verizon Mi-Fi has been.  Because of that, there was just no motivation to keep waiting, and waiting, and waiting to upload pictures, blog, actually much internetting (is that a word yet?) of any kind.

Not that there wasn't a lot to blog about, my goodness.

 First, we had a wonderful short cruise on the U.S. inaugural of the Carnival Breeze.  That review will be here when we are finished with it.  Had dinner one night with our friend and VP at Carnival Mike Julius, along with senior cruise director John Heald who writes a terrific blog for Carnival Cruise Lines.  Thanksgiving Night on a cruise ship was wonderful -- no preparation time, and no dishes/cleanup afterward!  Eating on a cruise is a main factor.

 Also on this sailing was our friend Ron Pass in the piano bar.  He's a terrific entertainer, and by far, the best in Carnival's fleet.




We spent Saturday with the Ohio State Broward County Alumni Club to watch the Ohio State/Michigan game.  We were there a few years ago (during another inaugural for another cruise line) and met some great folks from Jefferson, OH.  We've kept in touch and sat with them this year.  Great time, great win!



Sunday through Wednesday we spent at Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter at the Walt Disney World Resort.  Disney is magical this time of year.  Not all the decorations were up, but enough to give a great holiday kickoff.  Loved the theming of the French Quarter Resort, did some good recon on some things that had been updated or added since the last time we were at Disney.

The eating from the cruise continued at Disney with the Disney Dining Plan.  Some great dining experiences and a great value.

Returning back to New Smyrna Beach, we got the girls from their vacay (they were exhausted!) and pretty much hung out till getaway day.  We did get an opportunity to go to Toni & Joe's, our favorite place we've been to have a beer and watch the ocean.

We returned to Tallahassee on December 8th to the Elks Lodge for a quick overnight.  When we got up the next morning, we noticed a drip coming from the basement of our Fifth Wheel.  Not good since it hadn't rained.  Crawled inside, took off a panel and found out that the check valve from our hot water heater was leaking.  That took the morning, we got a piece to work without a check valve and got on our way since the system wouldn't be pressurized while we rolled.  I hate plumbing.  Hate it.



Got to Foley, Alabama and the Gulf Coast Elks Lodge which has a campground.  Yesterday was a run to Lulu's at Homeport Marina in Gulf Shores.  Lulu's is owned by Jimmy Buffet's sister, Lucy.  Enjoyed their Honey Ale "Crazy Sista" as we sat along the Intercoastal Waterway, then headed to the beach for a drive.

Today will be tear down day, then getaway day will be Wednesday.  We'll be off for an overnight in Louisiana before a few nights in Houston at the Houston Elks Lodge.