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Welcome to the travels of Doug and Nada. We love the Lord and are traveling full-time in our motorhome with our German Shepherd, Homer. Homer is the star attraction wherever we stop and he gets us talking and sharing with many people. DON'T FORGET: YOU CAN ENLARGE EACH PHOTO BY CLICKING ON THE PHOTO! The newest blog post is at the top and they go back in time as you scroll down. If you want to see each photo larger, you can just click on the photo and it will enlarge. If you decide to leave a comment, don't forget to sign it so we know who left it. ;-) Folks: This site is under continual construction as we travel and see this beautiful country. Check back for more updates and photos. Thanks for visiting with us! May God bless your day!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

2012.03.24 San Antonio & New Braunfels

On Saturday, our last day in the San Antonio area, we drove to New Braunfels, a northern suburb. We first picked up our friend, Denise, at Hill Country RV and then we all met our friends Bill and Sharon who have now sold their Allegro Bus after 10 years on the road and they have settled in New Braunfels. At Denise's campground we saw this unusual set-up of a modified American Coach motorhome with a smart car and a 5th wheel. Quite interesting but not our cup of tea. ;-)

Above, you have Sharon and Denise talking in front of the Huisache Grill. Notice the Huisache tree in full bloom. It is a tree that grows wild all over south Texas and they and the Live Oaks are in full bloom and pollen so we are both suffering from severe allergies. It has been a mild winter even in south Texas and so the pollen is out early this year. Usually we miss this batch of pollen because we are already north but not this year. ;-(

The Huisache Grill sits in an old building right in the town of New Braunfels and it is surrounded by huge old Live Oak trees. There are several artist studios and shops along the "Toe Path" from the parking into the restaurant. The gardens were beautiful with flowers blooming and sculptures.

I never seen a live armadillo even though everyone tells us they are everywhere so I had to take a picture of this statue. Below, you have Doug and Bill discussing "guy stuff" while we three ladies explore the shops.

Monday, March 19, 2012

2012.03.19 San Antonio - Day 1 with Denise

Today we got together with our friend Denise. She usually spends the winter in New Braunfels and has a motorhome the same as ours. We toured the mission trail here in San Antonio. The trail goes along the San Antonio River. The most northern mission is the Alamo in downtown San Antonio. Then going south you come to Mission Concepcion, then Mission San Jose, then Mission Espada, and finally Mission San Juan.

We started at Mission San Jose because it is where the National Parks has a visitor's center.

San Jose is suppose to be the most restored mission in the US.

There are beautiful Yucca plants in full bloom within the walls of San Jose. I just love these plants but the leaves are sharp, pointy, and stiff - Not a very people-friendly plant!

They are in the process of restoring Mission San Jose - It looked so different inside from when we were last here two years ago. They have painted and have restored the altar.

Below are some of the wall rooms where the people lived.

Above is a small section of the fresco exterior wall showing the color and design of how the church once looked. Below is a view of the front facade of the church. It is undergoing repair and restoration.

Above is a Prickly Pear Cactus growing at the mission. Made me hungry for my favorite breakfast down in the Rio Grande Valley - an egg and nopales tortilla. Nopales are the chopped Pickly Pear Cactus (minus the thorns, of course!) which are scrambled with eggs and rolled in a fresh tortilla.

Next we stopped at Mission Estrada. It had just closed but we stumbled upon a photo shoot by Express Jeans.

If you double click on the above photo, you will see the model in the light colored shirt and burgundy slacks. She was so painfully thin that I felt I wanted to give her some of my extra padding! ;-) We decided that Express Jeans must be a lucrative business because this photo shoot had about 30 support people, two motorhomes, and a food concession truck.

Because of the photo shoot, we were able to see the outside of the mission but not the inside.

Next we headed to Mission San Juan, but it is undergoing extensive restoration to the exterior so we couldn't get anywhere near it. That ended the mission trail so we doubled back to the first mission south of the Alamo - Mission Concepcion. It also was closed but we could at least walk outside it.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

2012.03.18 - Heading north

We pulled up stakes this morning and are heading north. It was hard to leave our friends but they will all be leaving soon, too, for the summer. We'll see them again in November. Here are a few photos of the hundred mile checkpoint by the border patrol.

We have never run into this many vehicles going through the checkpoint before in our 4 years of spending the winter in the Rio Grande Valley. I guess because we have never stayed this late in the Valley and also because it is spring break for the Texas schools so there might be many folks traveling. There were five lanes of traffic where usually we have only seen one lane with one or two cars ahead of us.

It took us 10 minutes to inch our way through the scanners and to be sniffed by the dogs. The border agent asked us, "Are you US citizens?" and "Only the two of you?" Doug answered, "yes, and our dog." At which time, Homer let out with two "woof, woofs" to verify what Doug said. On we went......

There were two dogs working our three lanes. A small German Shepherd and Belgium Malinois. If you enlarge the photo above by double clicking on it, you can see the small German Shepherd sniffing the tractor trailer on our right.

I love the Yucca blossoms. They are all over and in bloom. I plan on planting one of them at our RV lot in Mission next year.

We stopped at a rest area to eat our lunch. I looked out and every plant I could see had thorns on it! This plant, above, was just starting to bloom and reminded me of forsythia in Pennsylvania but the stems on it looked like the crown of thorns. Try enlarging the photo and check out the thorns.

Above was our view while eating lunch. It sure is flat, but we are now seeing more bushes and small trees. These photos were taken just south of George West, Texas on US 281.

We'll stop for a week in San Antonio and see our friends Ruth and Gavino, Denise at Hill Country in New Braunfels, and Bill and Sharon who just sold their RV after many years on the road and have settled down in New Braunfels.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

2012.03.02 Lunch on the Rio Grande River

Yesterday, I met Doug and Gary who were on a long bike ride, at Riverside Restaurant which is on the Rio Grande River. Turns out there was a border issue right before our arrival. The border gun boats sped down the river and then came back up the river. The constables and border agents converged on the river in about 20 SUVs and ATVs. We found that it was a marijuana bust on the nightly news. Meanwhile, we enjoyed our lunch on the river.

Riverside is a large restaurant with several small spaces. Above is one of the covered patios. Below, some horses on the Mexican side of the river coming for a drink. There was even a little foal among the group.

Above is a view looking down river. Below is an outside courtyard.

Below is a view looking up river. You can see the historical chimney at Chimney RV Park. It hard to remember that this whole area was under water in the flooding during the summer of 2010.