Bill and Kit’s 2010 Excellent Adventure
Latitude: Wherever ••• Longitude: Who Cares
The Bill and Kit 2010 Excellent Adventure Journal-Issue #3
Sunday, January 10 to Wednesday, January 13, 2010: Spent three great days with Kit’s sister Charlotte and her husband Donald. They are a couple of California expatriates who recently moved to the Texas hill country south of Austin. Don and Char have a really nice new home in a nice development…..perfect for “door yard surfing”:
Notice anything different? Yea…..no snow. In fact it was in the mid sixties while we were there. And that was a bit below normal for this time of the year.
The first night Don gathered the Crowe clan and threw a good old fashioned Texas Barbeque with a pile of beef brisket, potato salad, cole slaw, beer and wine. A Texas Barbeque sandwich is kinda unique. It consists of white bread, sliced beef brisket, onions, dill pickle slices and Texas barbeque sauce. Different than southern barbeque but still very good…..just to make sure I liked it prepared that way I had three of them……and twice as many beer’s.
The next day I left Kit and her sister alone for some bonding time and took off up to Austin for a visit to Mellow Johnnies Bicycle Shop. This unusual named shop is owned by Lance Armstrong, champion bike racer and an Austin resident. The shop’s name came from the French word for Yellow Jersey, “maillot jaune”, which Lance wore many times in his Tour De France victories. The place is huge and is part bike shop, part museum, part training facility and even has its own coffee shop. If you are a big bike nut, like I am, than this is a must see. Below are some photos I snapped:
While I was in Austin, Kit and char had a nice afternoon shopping at Hobby Lobby, having lunch and enjoying each others company. That evening we all went out to a Mexican place called Los Vega for some truly authentic Tex-Mex. It was in an old home owned by a Mexican family and looked to be very popular with the locals. I asked our waitress, Juana to snap the following photo:
It was a BYOB joint and we brought a lot of B. Those Texas wine glasses the ladies are holding hold ½ a bottle of vino as evident by the empty bottle. Kit made friends with Juana and had a nice conversation even though Juana did not speak English…..and Kit speaks no Spanish. I had some of the best Carne Asada in my life. All in all a great night with great folks.
On the final day in Kyle, Kit and I did a little shopping…..well Kit shopped while I walked laps around the huge outdoor mall. It was 68 degrees, sunny and felt really good! Back in Kyle, I did some maintenance on the truck, trailer and towing gear and otherwise just goofed off while Kit and her sister spent the day relaxing and chatting:
They really enjoy getting caught up on each others lives. Here you see them using their new “pink” Dell Netbooks to share family news via Instant Messaging. When they tired of that they e-mailed each other or communicated via Facebook. An amazing time we live in when two sisters can stay in touch via the internet. It’s almost like actually being there!
Speaking of Kit’s new “pink” Netbook we are traveling with two laptops this year. I have the hand-me-down Dell Inspiron running DOS while the princess has the newest, fastest and most capable of the two…..and to make sure I don’t touch it she ordered it in pink! Anyway, this arrangement makes for a more pleasant morning when we both want to check our favorite web sites and check e-mail or I have a hankering to work on these travel journals. Kit’s Netbook rides in the truck so when she “needs” to check e-mail, Facebook or what’s happening in the world she plugs in the Verizon Broadband Aircard and surf’s away. Having internet connectivity in the truck as we are rolling along also helps research what’s coming up down the road.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010: Enjoyed our final morning having breakfast with Char as Don had to go to work early. We got on the road at around 1100 and headed southwest toward San Antonio. We stopped at Lackland AFB campground so we could dump our holding tanks. However we also took the opportunity to visit the Base Exchange, which is like a modern shopping mall and drop by the Commissary for groceries. Since it was getting late we decided to stay the night at the base campground where we enjoyed full hookups.
Thursday, January 14, 2010: Keeping with our evolving plan of heading more westerly we decided to take US-90 out of San Antonio. We originally thought of heading south into Corpus Christi and then to Big Bend National Park for a few days however decided to save that trip for later. We gassed up at the Lackland AFB service station and picked up some “road snacks” at the Class Six Store (That’s for you, Bob).
Not on the road ten minutes and we noticed a mosquito in the cab of the truck. A good sign actually…..mosquitoes mean warm weather. It’s 57 degrees with drizzle, fo shizzle (that’s for you, Balz).
Our rough destination is Del Rio, on the Mexican border. Passing through Castroville, Texas we spotted a Bush’s Fried Chicken Stand…..glad George is keeping busy after his eight years in the White House.
In Medina, Texas we spotted a store called Ima Antique Shop. I bet the owners name is Ima….or maybe just has a since of humor. Didn’t stop…..we were afraid she would put us on display.
Crossed a bridge over The Blanco River…..which was dry, The Frio River…..which was dry, The Dry Frio River….which, you guessed it, was dry, and The Mud River…..which actually had some water in it. Go figure.
All along US-90 there were those hunting preserves that seem to be everywhere in this area. A lot of the places appeared to actually be private hunting ranches covering hundreds of acres. At one there was a large lodge with a barn alongside. Affixed to the side of the barn there must have been a hundred deer antlers bleached starkly white by the sun which was a striking sight against the side of the red barn.
Came across a banner across the street in a little town of Brackettville, Texas that read “Kinney County Livestock Show and Barbeque, January 23rd and 24th”. I’m guessing if the livestock in the show don’t win a ribbon then they are invited to be the feature at the evening’s barbeque.
Kit needed some “retail therapy” so when we spotted the Wal*Mart in Hondo, Texas we had to stop. Kit went shopping and Bill went for a stroll around the attached strip mall. You know…..a strip mall isn’t what I thought it was. Talk about false advertising…..really disappointing.
We decided to stop for the night at a camping facility in Lake Amistad which is about 20 miles west of Del Rio, Texas. Amistad National Recreational Area is the United States portion of the International Amistad Reservoir, which is formed on the Rio Grande along the border of the US and Mexico. With the damming of the Rio Grande, an interesting boundary was created…..the international border is now in the middle of the lake. According to the campground literature, there is reported to be great fishing and citizens from both countries can fish freely from boats in any part of the lake. However if an American citizen should inadvertently happen to set foot on the Mexican shore line than they must proceed to the nearest border crossing and be processed back into the United States. If a Mexican citizen should inadvertently happen to set foot on the American shore then they will likely run really fast…..due north.
Since it has been raining and part of the road was under construction it has been a long day. So we just hunkered down in the trailer, had dinner, checked e-mail and followed the terrible news out of Haiti. Turned in early to get an early start tomorrow……well actually because we are old. Most likely we won’t get underway until 1000 or so.
Kit’s Corner: Even though mosquitoes mean warmer weather, I DO NOT like them. I’ve been plagued with mosquito bites all of my life. Loved the Hobby Lobby store in Austin! Tons of neat things, I bought a tray to use with “Pinkie” which works well. Would have bought more but have no space to store it. We are easily falling into “retiree time”, not getting going till 10 am and stopping by 5 pm. We used to be able to make it across the US in 5 days – no more. Oh, one more thing… my so called “retail therapy” includes a few laps around the store and grocery shopping. J
Love, Dad/Mom, Poppy/Guma, Bill/Kit