Friday, January 29, 2010

January 29th--Blue Bell Creamery

Today we took a drive about 67 miles

west of Conroe to Brenham. This is home

to Blue Bell Creamery where the famous ice cream is made. It was a nice drive but a rather cool (43 degrees) and cloudy day. A cold front

came through last night and brought

thunderstorms, wind, heavy rain and

much colder temperatures.

First we took the tour and watched as they packed the ice cream in containers, boxed them for shipping and then the ice cream is frozen in the packages. We also saw the area were the ice cream novelties are packed such as the sandwiches and popsicles. The company was started in 1907 and and now ships to 18 states. It is still run by the grandson of the General Manager in 1919.

Of course one of the best parts of the tour is at the end when you receive a scoop of your favorite flavor of ice cream at the general store---included in the $3 cost of the tour. Harry picked White Chocolate Almond and my choice was Blackberry Cobbler. We voted both of them winners!

After our drive home we went to the Grand Buffet for dinner. This is a Chinese buffet that was really good and very filling!

Thursday we spent the day with friends Carl & Kathryn. We first met them through Marie & Keith a few years back while in Orlando TT. They are a wonderful fun couple with lots of good stories. We drove to their house where we started our tour of the area chauffeured by Carl and narrated by Kathryn. We started at The Heritage Museum in Conroe where we learned that the area was started by lumber and saw mills. We talked at length with a woman at the museum who was very informative. Then we were off to our driving tour with Carl & Kathryn showing us points of interest along the way. We drove across Lake Conroe with Carl explaining how it was all man-made. That is quite amazing considering it is so many miles long and wide that you can take hours to drive around it. After our tour we had a delicious dinner of spaghetti and meatballs, salad, bread and peach cobbler all made by Kathryn. Then a game of Dominoes was enjoyed by all, but especially Carl----he was the winner!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

January 27th--Sam Houston & Huntsville

Sam Houston's gravesite.

Sam Houston Steamboat House

Sam Houston Statue
Today we set out to expore the area. We drove to Huntsville were we visited the Sam Houston Museum and did the driving tour of the area. Sam Houston was a U. S. Senator for Texas and helped make Texas a state, among other important jobs in Texas history. The statue is 67 ft. tall and is the world's tallest statue of an American Hero. The homesite was very interesting and the gravesite is in an old cemetary with most of the grave markers being so old that the dates are not readable any longer. Interestingly the cemetary had a separate area where all negroes were buried. After exploring Huntsville we drove east to Livingston Lake. It is a very large lake but not much to see in the area. It was a cloudy day but at 68 degrees not too bad for site seeing.

Sam Houston Statue

January 26th---Into Texas

Tuesday we drove from La. to Texas. We are now at Thousand Trails Lake Conroe park in Willis, Texas, about an hour North of Houston. We will be here for several days and check out the area. The park is pretty full and good sites were limited due to a lot having large deep ruts from all the rain they had last week. We lucked out and found a level site paved with stones. After setting up we got on our bikes and rode around the park to check things out since we had never been here. Kate loved the run since we were riding in the RV for hours. It was a sunny 70 degree day. Lake Conroe is very large and there is a nice dock in the park for boaters to use to access the lake. There are 2 Pickle ball courts but I have not seen anyone on them. Hopefully we will use them while here.

Monday, January 25, 2010

January 25th---Louisiana

Today was a driving day--351 miles--from Alabama to Westlake, La. Was a very pleasant drive all along I-10 and a very sunny 70 degree day. The couple we met in Alabama recommended this campground and they were right. It is a small place without many ammenities but the sites are long, great for pulling in for the night and not having to unhook the car. The sites are concrete for parking and the patio is all cemented with a large picnic table. All are 50 amp and WiFi is available. The owner could not have been more friendly and they discount for almost all clubs. We are here for tonight only and in the morning will drive to Willis, Texas where we will stay for 5 nights.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

January 24

Yesterday, Saturday, we arrived at Styx River Resort in Robertsdale Alabama. It was a partly cloudy, chilly day, about 59 degrees. We set up camp and took a walk around the park to check things out. There is a river walk but two days ago they had a lot of rain and the river had over run it's banks. We were unable to get to the walking path because of standing water and mud. We did get a glimpse of the rushing water that was still at the very top of the bank. On return to our site there was a new camper setting up beside us. Turns out they live not far from us in Ephrata Pa. We enjoyed talking to them for quite awhile and they gave us good information for traveling west. Hope to see them down the road or at least in Pa.
Later in the afternoon we drove to Lambert's Cafe---home of the "throwed rolls". It was definitely a new dining experience. We were so full when we left and even brought home half of our food!.
Today we planned on doing some site seeing in the area and driving to the Gulf Beaches but Mother Nature had other plans for us. We spent the entire day in the camper because we were under a tornado watch from 9 AM to 5 PM. It poured all day with gusty winds but thank the Lord---no tornado. It rained so hard our roof leaked and the water ran in our ceiling light. We'll have to see the beaches another time for it's off to the west we go tomorrow.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Starting Our Trip West

Today was the first travel day of our trip west. We left Orlando this AM after a very stormy, rainy night. I never heard it rain so hard on the camper roof as last night. Some parts of Florida had severe weather and even mild tornadoes so we were blessed that we only had rain and some mild storms. It turned out to be a beautiful warm sunny day. We arrived at Pine Lake Campground, Fountain, Florida later this afternoon. It was a very pleasant 340 mile drive. After a walk to stretch our legs and a light dinner we are in for the evening. Tomorrow morning we will set out to our next destination.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Celebrating With Friends

This morning Harry and I drove north on Route 27 to visit with friends, Carlton & Dawn at their newly purchased Hawthorne Home. We were honored to be their first guests! Dawn served coffee as we sat around the table with note pad and pen in hand. They have been traveling full-time in their RV for many years and have been out west several times. They were a wealth of information for us as we plan our trip west starting tomorrow AM. After our note pad was full it was time for a "house warming celebration lunch". Turns out the Yalaha Bakery, recommended by mutual friends Marie & Keith, was only about 3 miles up the road. We enjoyed great deli sandwiches freshly made to order. The bakery idems liked wonderful but with bellies full and brains full of travel info it was time for Harry and I to return to our RV and pack up for our travels tomorrow. It is hard to say "so-long" to good friends but we will see you down the road. Thanks Carlton and Dawn for letting us celebrate your new home together! It was a great day.
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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

New Year--New Travels

Janet & Tom in their new Villages home.
Last week Harry and I left home for our planned trip to Arizona via Florida! Arrived at The Villages, Florida on Friday and stayed with my sister and brother-in-law for a 2 night visit. Had a great, fun time. On Sunday we drove to Clermont to get the camper out of storage. But first stopped to visit Carlton & Dawn at Wildwood for a quick hello. The rain stopped mid-morning and all went well getting the camper out of storage and set up at TT Orlando. Played Pickleball today for several hours. Felt really good after being indoors in Pa. in the cold. Our plan is to leave here Friday AM and begin our trip up Florida and then west. I will try to keep up to date with our blog as long as the internet is not too slow.