The weather has been beautiful and we’ve settled in to our winter routine very nicely. We’ve returned to enjoying some of our favorite activities including tennis, water volleyball & pickle ball. We’ve also participated in many of the special activities around here including a trip to Mexico, a Funnel Cake Happy Hour, a beer tasting and of course our daily happy hours where we’ve been able to meet so many of the new people arriving at our park for the winter along with all our other great friends.
We do keep quite busy here and things will only get busier as more friends arrive and more activities begin to take place. This year we’ll have more dance classes to take, continue with our bowling league, and attend the weekly dances as well as the pub nights, karaoke and so many other activities. There’s no excuse for being bored around here.
I’ll try to post an update about once a month while we’re here in the Rio Grande Valley. We’ve already begun discussing our plans for next year’s road trip and will post more on that later. Till then, we hope you all enjoy life and stay healthy. Life is good!!
Tuesday, 3/3/2020 – Hey everyone!! I bet you thought we had forgotten about you. Even I find it hard to believe that our last update was posted four months ago.
Life at Sandpipers down here in the Rio Grande Valley is anything but boring. The weather has been gorgeous this year so we’ve spent most of our time outdoors. I’m playing a lot of water volleyball and tennis while Claudia has enjoyed more pickle ball. We’re both bowling each week with the bowling league and enjoying our daily happy hours with our friends. It’s not unusual to have more than 20 people at a happy hour down here. On a really nice day that could double. And of course, for a super happy hour where food is present, a hundred people are not unusual. As I’ve mentioned before, I retired from the band last year but I’m still playing my guitar at the jam sessions we have down here regularly and we’re enjoying the music of the band when they perform. We have a dance every Saturday night and we do go to most of them. It gives us a chance to practice what we have learned at the dance classes we take. Although I’ve just mentioned many of the things we’ve been doing to keep us busy, there are even more things I haven’t even mentioned. We live in a community where there is more to do each day than there is time to do it. And best of all, the people here are like family. We really are very lucky.
We have begun planning our trip for this summer. We plan to spend most of our summer along the Atlantic coastline. Currently we’re thinking about stops in Galveston, New Orleans, Savannah, Cape Hatteras, Virginia Beach, the Jersey Shore and a brief stop in Jersey where we can take a ferry into New York City. We’ll also of course be stopping in North Carolina and Massachusetts to spend time with our families.
I’m sure it’ll be a couple of months before our next update as we continue to enjoy our time down here in Texas. We’ll be hitting the road once again in early May and we’ll begin updating our web site routinely when that begins. Thanks to you all for checking in. Yes, life is still as good as ever!!
Monday, 3/23/2020 – Hi everybody!! Yes, we’re still in the Rio Grande Valley and yes, we’re still doing fine. We hope you all are too.
Obviously, like just about everyone else in the world, our lifestyle has had some drastic changes recently. As you all know, the arrival of the Coronavirus has had a significant impact on most people, and in several different ways depending on personal choices. About a week ago, Claudia and I, along with many of our friends here at Sandpipers have made the decision to practice social distancing. This means that we are keeping our distance from all individuals as well as all indoor activities. Due to our choice, our lifestyle is very much different than it was just a few weeks ago when we posted our last update.
No more tennis, pickle ball or volleyball. No more dances, pub nights or jam sessions. One of the hardest things to give up has been our daily happy hours where we were able to keep up on events and enjoy the company of our friends. Instead we’ve been hunkered down in our home. Other than football I haven’t been much of a TV watcher but I’ve finally had a chance to go through the guide and have discovered there really isn’t much to watch anyways. Instead I’ve been watching movies and spending time on the computer. Claudia has pulled out an old jigsaw puzzle that we’ve been carrying around with us all these years and she’s been chipping away at that. We both have bikes so we’re also getting outside and taking an occasional bike ride. We also have a list of minor repairs and improvements we've wanted to do around here so we're chipping away at that.
We know how lucky we are. We’ve got each other and we have friends in the park to chat with (from a distance) when we do get outside. We have the comforts of home and food in the pantry. We plan to restock our food supply once we need it by using the curbside service being provided by our local market. We do not have to travel and have the luxury of maintaining our distance from people at all times. That’s our plan to stay healthy and to keep our friends and family healthy as well.
Our travel plans have changed for sure but we're waiting for time to pass before we make any decisions on when to hit the road again.
We hope you all stay healthy!! Bye for now!!
Friday, 10/9/2020 – Hi everybody!! Yes, it’s been over six months since my last update. And yes, we remain in the Rio Grande Valley.
As you may recall, we decided to skip traveling this past summer due to the virus. At that time, the Rio Grande Valley was one of the safest places in the country. That all changed this summer when the virus began spreading like wildfire down here. Claudia and I have continued to practice our social distancing and wearing our face masks whenever we leave the resort and have remained virus free.
We spent the spring and summer trying to stay busy. I began playing online games on a PlayStation 4 while Claudia began making puzzles. In addition, we started making improvements to our home. We now have an outdoor shower that was very nice to have during our summer temperatures of over 100 degrees. We’ve also finished up some indoor painting, built ourselves a new back porch and performed a lot of necessary maintenance. It was a lot easier to justify spending our time on that stuff when there wasn’t really much else to do.
We did plan on taking a short trip in the motor home for about a week last month but unfortunately I began feeling ill. We took a trip to the ER just in case and found out what it wasn’t. It wasn’t Covid. We still don’t know what it was, maybe just a bug or allergies but I’m feeling better at this point. We’ll probably plan another short trip later this year to someplace here in Texas. It has to be somewhere that it doesn’t snow.
Now that our winter season is approaching, some people will begin to return. Many regulars won’t be returning this year, either because they can’t (Canadians for example), or they may just prefer to stay isolated. Until there is a vaccine that works, life cannot go on as usual around here. There are some that will attend dances, play games and socialize indoors. Claudia and I both agree that we will wait it out and pass on those activities this season. It’s sad but that happens to be our personal opinion and we’ll err on the side of caution. It’s going to be a long winter.
We’re hoping that by spring a vaccine will become available and we can travel once again. No matter what, we need to see our families again. Since we’re over 65 we should be able to get a vaccine sooner rather than later. Once that happens, we’ll pack up the motor home and be off to see them.
Claudia and I hope you are all being careful out there. I know we’ve probably lost a few followers due to my lack of updates but we will be back. Travelling will once again be part of our lives and no one is more anxious for that than we are. Take care and stay tuned for future travelling adventures.
Friday, 2/9/2021 – Hey everyone!! We finally have some good news. As you all know, this past year has been difficult for everyone. The fact is it’s been close to 500 days since we’ve done any traveling and since we’ve seen any of our family. This wasn’t in our plan when we retired and hit the road full time almost eight years ago but we’ve taken the cautious route so that we can stay healthy and continue our lifestyle for years to come. Claudia and I still have many places on our list to visit as well as many other places that we want to see again. This virus has hit us all real hard but finally there is some light. Claudia and I have received both our first and second vaccine shots and are now planning to return to the road beginning in May with our focus this summer on family reunions. We understand that social distancing is still essential and we’ll continue to stay as safe as possible while on the road but the fear of contracting the virus, especially while travelling has been addressed. Our focus will be to visit our families while keeping them safe as well.
It’s been over four months since our last update and they’ve been anything but uneventful. In our last update I indicated that a short RV trip we were planning had to be cancelled because I wasn’t feeling well. That turned out to be more serious than we realized. After several doctor visits it became apparent that I was having some heart issues that needed to be addressed. In November I received two stents in the Left Anterior Descending Artery of my heart to address an 85% and 99% blockage. Needless to say I felt very lucky to have discovered it in time and while we were down here in Texas rather than travelling on the road. Since then I have recovered nicely and am actively staying as fit as possible in order to be ready for this year’s travel. At this point both Claudia and I are mentally and physically ready willing and able to proceed with our plans.
Our plans for this year will include travels to visit all three of our children and all nine grandchildren. We also plan to spend some time with our siblings, their families and my mom. We’ll also be visiting some friends along the way as we travel from Texas to New England by way of Galveston, Myrtle Beach, Virginia Beach and Lake George, NY. Once in New England we’ll spend some time at my sister’s home in Massachusetts before spending a couple of weeks at Newfound Lake in New Hampshire. Our return trip to Texas will bring us back down to North Carolina for a second visit with our daughter and her family before completing our trip. We expect to only be on the road about four months this year but it’s a good beginning to what we hope is a new normal. We have bigger plans for future years. We’re not ready to call it quits just yet.
We hope you’ll return to enjoy the ride with us. Once we hit the road again on May 12th we’ll do our best to continue the updates to our web site as frequently as possible. We’re looking forward to it. I’ll post more updates as we get closer to our departure. In the meantime, please stay safe and healthy!!
Thursday, 4/15/2021 – With less than 4 weeks left before we finally hit the road once again I thought it would be a good time to post an update.
With our shot in the arms behind us we’ve once again felt comfortable enough to enjoy the social part of our beautiful resort. It’s been so nice to enjoy the company of our friends, many of the activities and even enjoy a couple of dinners out. We’ve mostly been staying busy with projects around the house as we prepare to leave our home behind for about 4 months. Our reservations have been made and our focus will be on spending some quality time with our families.
We’ll be leaving here on May12th and have a route planned that will take us first to North Carolina for a week of camping with my daughter, her husband and three of our grandchildren. We’ll be making stops in Myrtle Beach, Virginia Beach, the Pocono’s and Lake George as well as other interesting spots for some relaxing camping as we move along to my sister’s home, aka Camp Sawash in Massachusetts. While there we’ll enjoy the company of our other kids and grandkids as well as our siblings and my mom. We’ll be making two trips into New Hampshire, first on a camping trip with my sister and her family for a week and then a couple of weeks later to Newfound Lake for a 2 week stay on our own. Once we complete our New England visits it’ll be back to North Carolina for another visit with my daughter and her family, this time near their home. It’s a short trip this year where the entire trip will take less than 4 months and we’ll be back in Texas by Labor Day. We’ve shortened our daily driving distance and extended our nightly visits in order to make this a more relaxing visit as we get used to being on the road once again.
Over the next few weeks we’ll be preparing the motor home for travel as we pack it up, clean it up and do what needs to be done to close up the mobile. I’ll be sure to post an update once again before we begin our travels and of course, much more frequently once the traveling begins. Thanks for checking in and hope you’ll enjoy the ride with us as we once again hit the open road.
Sunday, 5/9/2021 – Hey everyone!! We’ve been working on our final countdown and have been busy getting things ready for our trip. It’s been exciting to think about hitting the road again and we’re anxious to complete the last of our preparations before hitting the road this coming Wednesday.
Unfortunately, we did have some heartache since our last posting. Our sweet and loving Stella is no longer with us. She was 12 ½ years old and her health had been deteriorating much faster over the past few months. We had hoped she could make one last trip with us but she was struggling and was definitely in some sort of distress. She was looking at us with those beautiful but sad eyes asking for help more and more each day. After many tests and attempts with several medications we decided that we couldn't let her suffer anymore. For the past 12 ½ years, Stella had been our baby and a love to all who knew her. She had known only love and was always quick to show her love to others. She travelled and enjoyed more parts of this country than most humans. On April 16th, Stella was put peacefully to sleep with both Claudia and I by her side. We miss her terribly but she’ll share this trip with us in our hearts.
A week ago we drove the motor home from our storage lot over here to Sandpipers where we’ve been deep cleaning it and preparing it for our trip after a year and a half of mostly sitting idle. It’s looking beautiful and the packing process has begun. Tomorrow we will move into it in order to stay there for a couple of nights before heading off. This gives us the chance to try and be sure we haven’t forgotten anything and leaves the mobile home empty so that we can prepare it for while we’re gone. It’s amazing the amount of details that need to be considered both for moving into the motor home and moving out of the mobile. Thank goodness for years of experience and most importantly, updated checklists.
Our next post will be from the road. On Wednesday night we’ll camp about 200 miles north of here in Victoria, Texas for an overnight stop. On Thursday we travel to Galveston where we’ll be staying for three nights on the beach and celebrating Claudia’s birthday. Looks like a fun place to spend a few days.
Thanks again for checking in with us and we look forward to you joining us on our 2021 road trip!!