As we watch on TV the demolition derby taking place on the icy roads of north Texas, we feel almost guilty for having enjoyed the mild weather among the palm trees here in the Rio Grande Valley. (Notice I said, almost guilty.) Since the first day of spring is only two weeks away, we will soon be making our way northbound again, hopeful that ol' man winter has gasped his last blast. But what a blast it was, with record snowfalls in some areas back home.
We had a nice visit with old friends in Mission, lunching at the Thai Red Chili restaurant with Ed and Marilyn, Mike and Marian and Chuck and Coletta, all fine folks with whom we shared a great deal of laughter along with the good food.
|Coletta, Chuck, Mike, Marian and Marilyn at Thai Red Chili; |
Ed and Sandy didn't make it into the frame. My bad!
|John and Bobbie Jo|
|Salazar's, a great burger dive where we met John and Bobbie Jo|
This is not an unusual occurrence in the RV community, gladly. Most of us are retired or nearly so and enjoying life on the road, and our common interests are already established to a degree.
We thought the replacement of Phannie's potty in Rockport would fulfill our quota of her maintenance issues on this trip, but we were wrong. While we were watching TV one evening, we heard a pop and began to smell electrical smoke. I raced outside and opened one of the belly cargo doors to be greeted by a good deal of smoke wafting out. It appeared to be coming from the water heater, so I quickly returned to the cabin and checked the water heater's circuit breaker, which was indeed tripped. The smoke dissipated in a few minutes, and the next morning I phoned Dennis, whose name was given to me by the park management. He is a fulltimer who spends each winter in Llano Grande and keeps busy seeing to the needs of the many RVs in the resort. He quickly found the culprit: The electrical receptacle into which the heater was plugged had failed and was heavily charred along with the plug on the end of the power cable. We were glad it didn't catch fire! We also had Dennis replace the electrical heating element that had become encrusted with minerals over time.
We also noticed a van on a nearby street advertising carpet cleaning, so we contracted with them to give Phannie's carpets a good cleaning. All About Floors (956) 463-2484 did a fine job, and we highly recommend them. Lee, the owner, was very friendly and professional. (FYI: All About Floors also does RV floor replacements.)
|Lee and his helper cleaning Phannie's Carpet|
Salazar's in Weslaco - Great burgers. Don't bother to order a double meat; the patties are huge.
Casa de Mariscos in Weslaco - Wildly popular among locals, probably because the servings are enormous. This place is in cahoots with Salazar's burger joint across the street...probably owned by the same family. I recommend the seafood over the Mexican dishes; I had some outstanding shrimp tacos, and our companion had the garlic grilled shrimp, which was also very good. Did I say portions were huge? One entrée is plenty for two people.
Don Beto's in Mercedes - A café favored by locals. Everything is homemade, tasty and cheap.
Lin's Chinese Buffet in Weslaco - One of the best we've tried for freshness and variety.
Nana's in Weslaco - Great taco joint that occupies what was once a house. Everything we've had here was terrific.
Milano's in Weslaco - Good Italian food in another restaurant fashioned from a former house. Great service and friendly staff also.
Lone Star Barbeque in McAllen - We must have been there on an off day. The brisket was dry and not very smoky, and the ribs were way overcooked and had a peculiar flavor. The fried catfish, however, was quite good.
Thai Red Chili in McAllen - This was our second visit and, unfortunately, we were a bit disappointed in comparison with our first visit. The food was fairly good, but it had been allowed to cool too much before serving, and the service was confused and slow. Maybe next time, they'll have it more together. The company was what was important, however; that, as always, was superb.
Thank you, Lord, for the wonderful life You've given me;
please forgive me if I don't appreciate it enough each day.