Monday, November 25, 2013


Sunday, November 24 - We were back in Houston last Wednesday to do some more visiting with Carrie.  She had some interesting city sights to show us. After finishing some work around her apartment (hanging pictures), we jumped in Carrie's car and headed downtown. She's a fearless big city driver, so it's good to let her do the driving in Houston.

Our first stop was Carrie's new office building, Enterprise Products. It's one of the highest buildings in Houston – wouldn't you know it. What a beautiful place to work, It is connected to the Houston Underground, a huge shopping/restaurant area located BELOW the city.

Enterprise Products

Enterprise Products

We walked around a bit downtown stretching our necks to see the many tall skyscrapers. Some very interesting architecture! With the train running right through downtown, it makes getting around fairly easy. Carrie rides the train to work...nice! They are currently expanding the train system to hopefully relieve the madness of the highway system here in Houston.

We ventured into the Historic District containing some of the oldest building in town. Most have been converted to restaurants or taverns. This area of town is also being revitalized with remodeling and planned events taking place to get the people here in the evenings.

La Carfe

La Carfe

cotton exchange

cotton exchange

The Hearsay building once served as a Confederate armory during the Civil War.hearsay

nai ni tai

old town

houston sign

We stopped to view Houston's 9-1-1 monument. It's a memorial to a Houston native, Lauren Grandcolas killed on United Flight 93. An interesting feature is the smoking fountain (We think they use dry ice for the smoke.) with a tall skyscraper, similar in appearance to the NY towers, in the background appearing through the mist. 

The information about this fountain is fascinating. DSC08254

Lauren's garden

It was getting near four o'clock, that means the three-hour rush was about to begin, so it was time to scram or hang around Houston for awhile. We choose this time to flea before things got nuts. Even during non-rush hour times, Houstonians drive a little crazy, during rush hour – forget it!

We'll be back on Saturday to watch college football with Carrie and her gang, a pretty constant happening during football season. Nice they welcome us “old folks” to come along and soak up some of their enthusiasm.

Flowers are still in full bloom.
downtown Houston

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y'all back real soon. Have a great day!

Saturday, November 23, 2013


Saturday, November 23 – Marsha's been busy, busy, busy! Her computer died on Monday, dead motherboard. It was time to replace her aging laptop with a new one. Buying the new computer is an “ouch” on the wallet, but that's the easy part. Now she has to load everything to make it useable. That is absolutely CRAZY!!! It's like buying a car without tires, or a transmission. Paul just doesn't understand this.

Regardless, Marsha has been using the DSL line at the clubhouse to download software and other updates, amazing.....a new computer needs updates. She broke away from the HP brand name and bought a Samsung. She read rave reviews about her choice. She loves the feel of the keyboard. Yes, it came with OS 8, which now causes her some additional headaches. The first issue she ran into was our printer software…not suitable for OS 8. She went on line to research update drivers. This is just one example of why it takes so long to set up a new computer.


It's been three days now, and Marsha is still at it! She had the hard drive removed from her old computer and placed in an NexStar TX 2.5” hard drive enclosure. Now she can transfer “stuff” from her old hard drive to her new computer. Will she ever be done???

Marsha wants to share her opinion of OS 8…..not difficult to learn at all. She can’t get over how many people are having so many problems with it. One girl here in the campground said she is having a difficult time leaning how to use the new operating system. All she wants is her desktop back. Marsha showed her how to hold the window key down and hit D…desktop appears. She showed her how to pin her applications to the task bar. Debbi is now a very happy camper. She says it looks just like her old desktop…imagine that.

Paul's been diddling around the RV, cleaning his truck, reading, and snoozing in his zero gravity chair. At least the weather has been beautiful here in Houston.

TIDBIT: November 22, 2013, marks our 1500th day on the road.

We will post a new blog hopefully very soon.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y’all back real soon. Have a great day!

Thursday, November 14, 2013


Monday, November 11 – Since we arrived in the Houston area, it has been nonstop visiting with our daughter, Carrie. She and her friends are always on the move.

Saturday found us at a beer festival. Even though the sign in the photo below says Hill Country, Houston is definitely not in Hill Country.

beer festival

A small sample of Carrie's friends.
carrie and friends

We spent the day in Houston on Monday visiting with Carrie. We spent the morning at her new apartment in Mid-Town Houston. She's right in the thick of things in the middle of a very exciting city. She's adapted well to big city living. Her apartment is very nice with plenty of parking, (Paul loves the ability to park his big ole' truck in a safe parking garage), an entertainment room, two pools, a computer area, two workout rooms, security systems, and cable TV all in a gated building.

After a short shopping trip, we returned to Carrie's apartment to park the truck. We then walked the two blocks to jump on the train ($1.25 for 4-hours of travel) to visit Rice University.


Rice University has a beautiful campus located right in the city of Houston.

Rice University

Many of the buildings have the Rice mascot carved in the pillars.

Rice owls

Rice is a is a private research university located on a 295-acre campus. The university is situated near the Houston Museum District and adjacent to the Texas Medical Center. It has a gorgeous walking paths throughout the campus.

Rice University

Public Art

We did a pretty extensive walking tour of the campus seeing many of the 70 buildings, the beautiful grounds, and the athletic complex.

Lovett Hall
Lovett Hall

Rice University

Herzstein Hall
Lovett Hall

Fondren Library
Fondren Library

Rice Memorial Chapel
Rice Memorial Chapel

One of the many lounges in the Student CenterDSC08183

The Shepherd School of MusicDSC08195

Rice Stadium
Rice Stadium

After visiting the University, we walked around Rice Village, the entertainment/restaurant/bar section of campus.

Not too many campus can boost about having a violin shop.
violin shop

Now this is unusual.
Istnbul grill

We even stopped for a cool beer and to talk with our other daughter, Kelly, back in Ohio, where they are getting ready for a couple inches of S@%W this evening.

paul and carrie

The flowers are still blooming in this area. Carrie and Marsha just couldn't resist a photo op.

Carrie and Marsha

After a couple screw-ups trying to find the right train, (We had to get on and off the train a couple times before we were heading in the right direction.), we jumped off again in Mid-Town where we grabbed a lunch/dinner at Pho Sa'i Go'n, a Vietnamese Noodle House. Carrie tried her best to teach Marsha how to use chopsticks – all in vain! Paul just asked for a fork, and Marsha finally gave in and got a set of silverware too!


With the famous Houston rush hour(s) behind us, we then jumped in the truck about 6:30 to head back to the RV Park. Unfortunately, we caught up with the traffic backed up behind three accidents. Golly, it would be wonderful to do this driving twice a day, five days a week! We just took our time and eventually found our exit and the Forest Retreat RV Park. Good to be home!

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y'all back real soon. Have a great day!

Monday, November 4, 2013


Thursday, October 31 – With the rain finally slowing down (Houston area received over 4” of rain from this storm.), we prepared to haul the RV out to find replacement parts for the broken landing jack.

Paul ran down to the office to let them know we were pulling out but would return shortly. To our delight, one of the campground managers said he would take Paul to get the parts. Marsha was delighted she didn't have to close up the RV, and Bella was ecstatic she didn't have to get all nervous about traveling.

So with the girls smiling, Paul and Jack, one of the husband/wife management teams, headed to town to find a shear pin for the landing jack. They visited several hardware stores and found close to what they were looking for at a marine/boat repair shop. The only problem was the new shear pin was 1" long instead of 3/4” long.

marking pin

Paul tried to cut off the shear pin using his hacksaw but it was just too difficult to do without a vise to hold it. So back to the campground office to ask for help. Jack took Paul down to the repair shop and gave him use of the bench grinder to shorten the shear pin.

Yes, Marsha yelled at me for cutting it this way.cutting pin

Now, Paul need to remember how to re-assemble the jack. It's been two days since he tore it apart....short term memory, you know. Luckily for Paul, Marsha had the sense to take pictures of the innards of the jack as he disassembled it.


By consulting pictures on her cell phone, he was able to get things back together successfully.

wiring jack


Again with Marsha's help (I love this lady.), we re-installed the jack. Testing proved the thing was working as designed. So after two days sitting hooked-up, we finally are were able to setup here in the campground. YEAH!!!

working jack

In case you're repair cost = $1.50. Lots of misery for a measly dollar and a half.....JEESH!…… And yes, Paul bought an extra shear pin as an emergency backup.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y'all back real soon. Have a great day!

Sunday, November 3, 2013


Wednesday, October 30 – We are about 30 miles north of the heart of Houston on Rt. 59.

Traffic isn't any lighter since we were here back in March.

We are staying at Forest Retreat RV Park, in New Caney, TX.


The park has concrete sites, concrete streets, nice grass between the sites, 50 amp FHU's, some nice trees, and a beautiful club house. We are in site 122. We have a Maple tree, and it is turning colors. Marsha just stares out the window. This is the first "real" autumn colors we have seen.

Forest Retreat RV Park Site 122

Forest Retreat RV Park Site 122

We stayed here before, back in May of 2010. The WIFI is excellent. They offer free coffee all day and night and one bag of ice per day. It's a very nice campground and fairly well priced compared to other parks in the Houston area. But compared to the Elks lodge the price is high, but the amenities are better.

Looking right.
looking right

Looking left.
looking left

When we got ready to unhitch the truck, we were disappointed to find the left landing gear jack would not work. Remember, we knew it was acting up but hoped Paul had repaired it. “Not so fast, my friend.” It is out of commission! Well, after removing the jack from the 5th wheel and figuring out how to dismantle it, Paul found an internal sheer pin broken.

remove jack

Pointing at the sheer pin that is broken.DSC08044

Of course, it was pouring down rain making repairs difficult, and now we were faced with the problem of how to get to a hardware store to buy parts. No bus service in the area, and the closest hardware is about five miles away. Paul asked the office workers if anyone was considering a Home Depot trip but didn't have any luck. So, I guess tomorrow morning we'll haul the RV with us to fetch repair parts.....JEESH!

The good news is Paul was able to locate the problem and is able to make repairs once parts are obtained. So check back and see how the fix turns out.

He needs to keep all the parts together.

One more splash of autumn for you.
fall colors

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y'all back real soon. Have a great day!