Monday, November 15, 2010

Harlingen, TX

Hi y'all!

Well, we've been in Harlingen, TX for a week now and are very happy with the Tropic Winds RV Park. The park is on the outskirts of Harlingen, so it's very peaceful out here. I have to say that we're also very close to the Valley International Airport...but the noise is minimal. The only two major airlines that use this airport are Continental and Southwest and there don't seem to be too many flights daily. And certainly, there don't seem to be any flights overnight. So we can deal with the occasional airplane flying overhead!

The trip here from Connecticut was thankfully uneventful! We spent most nights at Flying Js (these are truckstops right off the highways that are RV friendly). Alot of people don't like staying over at Flying Js because they are pretty noisy with trucks coming and going 24/7...but the noise doesn't bother us and we like the's a safety issue with us! They also have dumpstations, and easy access to pumps (our gas tank is on the back so it's tough finding a pump that we can use), and a restaraunt if we're hungry. Ed likes their coffee in the morning, too!

We met up with some friends of ours on the way down and stayed at a Walmart with them one night. Dinner at an Outback was alot of fun with them, too! The next day we stopped at a rest area and said our goodbyes as they headed to FL and we continued on to TX. Thanks Bonnie and Frank for keeping us company and amused!

Harlingen, TX is a city about 35 miles north of the Mexican border and about 40 miles west of South Padre Island. It is the third largest city in the Rio Grande Valley, behind Brownsville to the south and McAllen to the west, covering about 35 square miles. We've been exploring the area during the week we've been here...we've found the Valley Mall, Walmart, Target...all in the same area, and we've found the downtown district, which reminds us alot of State Street and Bank Street in New London, CT (our hometown). In the downtown district, there are several antique/flea market store fronts, along with cafes and restaraunts. There are also many empty storefronts. We found a restaraunt called O'l D's Soda Shop, which we think is located in an old Woolworth store...complete with the soda fountain and barstools! We talked to the owner, David, for quite a while and he was telling us how he's been open for only 2 months and is trying, along with others, to bring the downtown district back. There's alot of dissension tho...many people would rather have the activity on the outskirts of town, where the mall is. He invited us to come back on Saturdays, when he has live entertainment consisting of oldies and country music.

Well, we took David up on his offer and on Saturday we found a local Catholic church, went to the 5:30 mass and afterward, headed on down to O'l D's for a hamburger and entertainment. When we walked in, we were very surprised to find the restaraunt jam packed! So we grabbed a couple of barstools at the soda fountain and just watched everything! David came by and told us that they had two parties (one of which was supposed to be 30 people and turned into 70!) and that he only had 2 of his 6 waitresses working! We ordered our meals and just sat amazed, watching the activity. David is a true entertainer and kept the masses entertained and happy while they waited for their meals and I think the night was a huge success for him (if not quite stressful!). We'll definitely go back again!

Today is Monday, so after a week of relaxing and exploring, I'm heading out to the local Kelly Services to see if I can find a part-time job while we're here. I'm having such a nice time relaxing tho..... :-)
Not sure when we'll post another blog...we're not really travelling far...but we want to head over to South Padre Island and the surrounding cities, like McAllen, Brownsville, and Weslaco. I'll be sure to fill you in on these trips! When we leave here in early April, we'll head up to San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas and then over to New Orleans and home.
These pics are for mom!

More later!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Texas Here We Come!

Well, it's been 5 months since our last blog, but it's time to start up again! Tomorrow we begin our trek to Harlingen, TX. Don't ask me why we chose Harlingen to spend the next 5 months...actually, we were planning on returning to FL this winter, but just couldn't decide where we wanted to stay...sooooo....since we have never stayed in TX, we decided to keep our wanderlust going and head to TX! Harlingen is about 40 miles west of South Padre Island and about 35 miles north of the Mexican we don't plan on crossing into Mexico...too much violence for us snowbirds. It was in the 80s today in Harlingen...and since winter is fast approaching in CT, we're excited to be heading to warmer weather. I was glad to be able to watch autumn pass through here this year...last year we were already in AZ by the time Autumn made its entrance. I think the fall is the most beautiful season of the year, especially in New England!

Anyway, we should be in Harlingen next Sunday (not even a week away...yeah!). We're staying at the Tropic Winds RV had excellent reviews, so hopefully we made the right choice! While we're there we plan on taking a week or two and heading up to San Antonio to see the Alamo and the River Walk, and then on to Dallas. My dad was born in Dallas and I'd love to see where my grandparents are buried and the house (if it's still standing!) where we used to visit them when we were kids. Ed also wants to tour the Dallas Cowboys stadium while we're there. And I'd love to stop in Austin to visit my nephew Jeremy and his beautiful wife, Ana!

After our stay in Harlingen, we'll be heading home in April, making several stops along the way. I can't wait to see my sister's new house in VA and visit with my sweet nieces in NC! We also have to stay in a few states so we can add them to our map!

Stay tuned!