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 busyness...it'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.