Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Back Home In Michigan

So we have a pic of Julia and Andrea on the slide, and Paul and Megan, nice and tall at 7 years old.
Charlie playing drums at the playground.
We made it home Monday afternoon and have been busy ever since. Nice visit with Andrea, Ryan and Charlie and Julia. Had fun shopping with Andrea and planning her flower garden. Paul attended three baseball games with Ryan. He is the score keeper for the Silver Hawks in South Bend. Very fun for him.

We also had a great lunch with Stephanie in Grand Rapids. Sandwiches at the Founder's brew pub, just across from the GR Central Bus Station. Beautiful day and a nice new/redone building with outdoor seating. I forgot my camera.

So now we are back at the lake, lots of bass jumping out front and we have two wood ducks nesting in boxes this spring. Went shopping in Clare yesterday, fun to see the Amish horse and buggies in town again.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

More Pics

Patricks favorite words:
Bus, Megan's school bus
Get - garbage, he finds it offensive
Goo Goo - water
Dog - Daisy and Mae, neighbor dogs

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Saturday Morning in Kansas

We had fun playing Fisher Price People in the basement on Saturday morning.

Wild Fire

In Oklahoma, along I 35, there were several large areas of burnt fields, and areas where the wild fires jumped over the interstate to the other side. Parts of the park at Turner Falls were burnt also. This fire happened just a few days before we got there.

In Kansas, we drove up 77, and saw many, many large burnt areas. But they were set to burn off the dead grass. Thousands of acres burnt. In Manhattan, Paul went up to a golf course in the hills above town and the fire burnt right around the golf course, there was a cement golf path and that was the dividing line. We often could smell the smoke and the sky was gray that day. Julie has mentioned at times that it was smokey outside on nice days. Got to wonder why this is OK.

Friday, April 17, 2009

A night at Turner Falls, OK

We had a nice drive up to Turner Falls on Wednesday, sunny with a strong tail wind. The sky pic is the sunrise at Pioneer Park in Port A. We took a nice walk around the grounds at Turner Falls and Paul talked to a police officer who some very interesting stories for us. We thought this was just a tiny park with a few RV sites. Actually, last July 4th they had 25,000 people in the park, at $10 a head, plus a car fee and camping fee. It is so crowded that it is one big free for all. Besides the river and water falls, there is a 3,000 acre ranch that they can use ORVs.
These are wild flowers that were near our site. My toes got all bit up by fire ants as I quickly took these shots.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Going Home

Monday was hot and sunny, at one point it was 92 degrees. Too hot to spend much time on the beach, the wind was hot, like the furnace was on. Ended up in the pool before we drove to town. Paul washed the whole motor home, it looks ready to hit the road. Monday night we went out to dinner with Susan, Javiar and Carlie. We went to Trout Street. We sat on the deck and enjoyed the evening. Paul had chicken fried steak, I had amber jack with garlic crab sauce, rice and sauteed vegetables. Quite good.

Today Paul was busy packing the trailer and organizing. I did some inside stuff. Susan had invited me to the Bitches on Boats fishing trip. It was a perfect day, except that the Coast Guard had scheduled inspections of the boat that day, and came several hours late. We sat around the outside bar for over 2 hours and they finally cancelled the trip. So Paul and I headed for the beach again and enjoyed our last hours of sun and sand.

Paul took a great pic of a Blue Heron. I got a great pic of the cactus that is blooming in the sand dunes.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Kathleen the Artist

Kathleen Moore, sitting next to Paul, is a local artist and specializes in murals on buildings and RVs. This is a mural she is painting on the Island Cycle building next to the Gaff. She also has painted many murals in and out of the Gaff. I will try to get some more pics to put up. The previous blog entry show somes of her pics that are in the patio area.

Easter Sunday

Carlie, Susan, Victoria, Heidi and Sandy on the other side of the table.

Our Easter started in the usual way, church at 9 am. Ward and Michelle gave us a lift as it was pretty damp, and did rain while we were in town. Thanks very much for the ride. By 12:30 the weather changed from cold and damp to hot and steamy. We drove to town in the golf cart, got burgers at Whataburger, and went to the park. Spent a lot of time trying to get a good pic of the sea turtle. Not much luck there. Very beautiful day on the water. Then Carlie called us about a cook out at the Gaff.

So off we go, and were greeted with confetti eggs, Cascarones. Pic of Carlie and I. She is so sneaky. The moms planned an Easter Egg hunt. There were 5 or 6 kids and 130 eggs. Victoria made baskets from beer six pack holders. Perfect for the bar egg hunt! Carlie found a special hard boiled egg and won $10 from Kip, on condition that she take a bite out of the egg and them smash the yoke into her forehead. She took the bait and doubled her money.

The food was wonderful. In the pic of me, Sean and Javiar we are eating tiny grilled lamb chops. Very excellent. There were also wonderfull ribs with Sandy's home made rub on them. Sausage, venison sausage and chicken. Cole slaw and kettle beans too.

After dinner, Victoria and Susan and Heidi made Shrimp Deviled Eggs for the Deviled Egg throw down at the Back Porch. Before they filled the egg whites with the yoke mixture, they put a shrimp in the white. Looked great. Victoria learned how to make them from her step-mother. Neither she nor Heidi like shrimp, but they love it in the deviled eggs. Hope they won!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Our New BFFs and Dinner at The Pelican Club

Yes, Tom and Pat are our new Best Foodie Friends!! I wrote previously about our dinner at Fin's, tonight we tried a new restaurant for all of us. Tom and Pat have been coming down here for many years and didn't know The Pelican Club existed. This is our fifth year and never heard about it before. It is down in the old town on the harbor, a run down neighborhood. And really, when I say that Port Aransas is a little red neck fishing town, I am being kind. Remember the pics of the old, old trailers up on stilts or on top of an old shed?(pic attached) Still there. The oldest bar in town is in this neighborhood, it survived the last big blow. All else in town was gone except for a cement slab. That's the story anyway.

The food was extraordinary. White linen tablecloths! Haven't seen that here before. The waitress knew the menu and specials well. All the wait staff was well trained and intelligent. And of course, Texas friendly. We chose to eat inside instead of on the deck, due to the 40 mph winds today. It looked nice out there and not windy, but it was in the 80s and humid and the air felt good.

So our waitress is explaining the specials that weren't on the menu, and the menu was very large and innovative, the first one was ling with bananas and veggies and rice. Huh? "What is ling?" It's fried in tempura with caramelized bananas, like bananas foster. But what is a ling? Turns out it is a fish with firm white meat. Oh very yum, the sauce was sweet with some heat. The ling was fried perfectly with the thinnest coating of tempura imaginable. Just a wonderful mix of flavors. Paul had lobster and filet, he loved it. Tom had perfectly sauteed scallops. Pat had a fish with cheese on top, on pasta. Tom had a Caesar salad and the rest of us had the walnut blue cheese salad, made with fresh baby greens, red peppers and a balsamic dressing that was very tart. Again an excellent mix of flavors.

For dessert Paul had Spanish Coffee and Tom had brandy. Pat and I chose the Caramelized Ginger Creme Brule on a black berry bottom. They had a large dessert menu including cheese cake, lemon cup, chocolate silk pie, and more. The creme brule was pretty perfect.

Here is a link. I will try to remember more details too. Oh they also had a fish that is coated with corn starch and fried. It is whole, about 9 inches long and served standing up. A very impressive sight!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Great Fish at Fins - Foodie Update

After golf we went out to dinner at Fins with Tom and Pat. Three of us wanted fresh fish that wasn't fried. So Paul got a hamburger and we had great fish. Tom had blackened Mahi with cole slaw and hush puppies, and loved it. Pat and I had Crab Stuffed Blackened Red Fish with Creole Sauce, with grilled asparagus and rice. The sauce had a light creamy taste, it wasn't spicy, just very yummy, and Paul loved the taste I gave him.

Thursday night we are going to the Pelican Club, said to be the best restaurant in town, with the best sushi ever. I am going to try it and hope for great fish again.

Golf at Port A

Paul and Tom played golf at the new course next door. It is a beautiful course and they had fun. It was voted best new US golf course by someone. Two young guys played with them

The course is on the gulf, you can see it in the pic of Tom. They have a mile and a half of beach frontage, behind the dunes of course.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Otis and Paul

Otis is one of the guys that plays poker every night at the club house. He is always telling funny and interesting stories. He played basketball with the New Orleans Jazz in the 70s.
The beach was extra beautiful on Monday, a flock of about 12 Blue Heron landed, and we didn't get a pic of it but here is just one. They are very friendly and always hopeful for a handout from the fishermen.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Beach

After the park we went to the beach with Susan, Javiar and Carlie. Then a horse trailer pulled up. Inside was this little mini horse, in the pickup was a little surry. To ride on the beach of course. The horse loves to go in the water. The owner is a college student from Portland, TX. He also has a 14 year old Mustang and a three yeas old Quarter Horse. His younger sister and brother were driving the rig.

The beer cozy says "Wild Horse Saloon" on it, since this is Mustang Island. Also a pic of Paul, Susan and Carlie.

The Park

Saturday was sunny, 80s and breezy. We hung out at the park near the ferry dock for awhile. Three huge tankers left port while we were sitting there. And two shrimp boats came in.

There was a small festival going on and lots of fisherfolks. Much to see.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Perfect End to the Day

Hey to Rebeca, a new reader and friend from Port A! We have great beach conversations.

Thursday was a very windy day, and hot. It was a north west wind, which means it was very dry and warm, coming over the hot dry dessert of south Texas and Mexico. At the very least we had 30 mile per hour gusts, probably more. We went to the pool about four and I could see my skin dry up. Even Paul has dry skin and uses lotion. It is either very high humidity here or very low. But it was a beautiful sunny day in the 80s.

Since it is light until almost 8 pm now we went to the beach for a walk after dinner. It was perfect. The wind had finally laid down and the waves were small. And the beach was very clean and empty. No beach junk!! Great to walk in the water. Hopefully we will have more nice evenings in our last two weeks. And the snow better stop up north. Not going home until it does.

I miss my washer and dryer

I had to do laundry Thursday. The park is half empty, you would think it would be easy to slip in and do it. It looked easy, six washers were open. There are eight washers, four large dryers and four small dryers. Two folding tables. So I throw in the laundry and run home. When it is dryer time, there are only two empty dryers. A couple that were drying their clothes when I put stuff in the washers were using six dryers and both folding tables. He was using one table to hold a sheet as he wondered how to fold it. She had stuff all over the other table as she slowly folded panties into 3 inch squares as she took them, one at a time out of the dryer, still keeping her hold on that dryer, and occasionally running across the room to another dryer and throwing something it it. Finally I got all my things in dryers. When I came back 20 minutes later they were still at it (he was still holding the same sheet) and a lady was waiting patiently for my dryers. I don't know how you can dry clothes for almost an hour. And still using both folding tables. Grrrr. They were probably French, up from winter in the valley. I really wanted to say "First time in a laundromat?" or maybe "The maid's day off?"

At least the little old man wasn't there. By the time his clothes is dry he smells like a wet diaper.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

It works!!!

We don't have to go to Rockport today!! After three days of waiting for the ferry, sitting at the repair place, ordering parts, we might have the air conditioning all fixed. Monday they checked the unit out to see what wasn't working, then had the part express shipped. Tuesday they put in the part and discovered that the fan motor had burnt out also. He had seen that happen three other times in the past 40 years or so he had been working on heat pumps. Then the compartment lid fell on his head and he got a concussion. On Wednesday someone one else put in the new motor. And on Thursday we were very glad as it was working as it was 88 degrees with 30 mile per hour winds. It works, it works.