It didn't take long for us to begin reconnecting with RVing friends, many of whom make their home here in the Rio Grande Valley during the winter. And what do we find ourselves doing most often? Well, this:
|From left front around the table: Jackie, Marian, Marilyn, Sandy, Steve, Jackie, Jim, Carol, Ed. Mike and Denny.|
Now that we're here, enjoying the warm days and the breezes whispering through the palm trees, it doesn't seem like winter at all. In fact, we've put away our winter coats and have broken out our shorts and tropical weight shirts. We see news reports about the harsh winter storms elsewhere, but it's just really hard for us to relate to the reality that it is still the dead of winter in most of the country.
We decided to bring Mae with us this time instead of Beulah, the Escalade, which is decidedly roomier for potential passengers. My thinking was to put more miles on the car most likely to be traded soon, although I'm not sure when that will happen. With new brakes and a new transmission, Mae needs to pay for herself a good deal longer.
We've already had our favorite RV washing guy, Jesse, out to give Phannie a good wash and wax job. We never fail to get this done here, as he charges only about half as much as almost anyone else outside the RGV.
We'll also be calling on the carpet cleaners to give the carpets a good cleaning. By the time we leave, Phannie will look like new!
We found some more good places to eat--Dai Tung for Chinese food and the Smoking Oak for barbeque. These will go on our favorites list linked above. Here is a photo of my mighty fine brisket sandwich; I brought the ribs home to eat later, and they were excellent; their house barbeque sauce was really good, too. I really like the look of the ribs added below as garnish, don't you? Much better than parsley or some other fru-fru weedy thing:
Sitting outside on a pleasant evening, I noticed that one of our older Strongback chairs was not unfolding properly. Looking closer, I saw that a key attaching fitting on one of the legs had broken. Because of the nature of the break, I couldn't figure out a way to repair it, so I reluctantly discarded the chair, which was probably a mistake. I think someone really good at repairing stuff could have fixed it. This was painful, as we have really enjoyed this brand of chair which, as the name implies, is ever so comfortable because of its back support. This is a photo of the older model whose sliding leg attachment fitting had broken:
Here is a photo of the new and improved 'Elite' model that we've only had for about a year:
Not wanting to be without one of these chairs (we had four of them before this incident), I sent a quick email to Strongback to order a replacement. I knew that the failure of this fitting in one of their first production series of chairs was probably due to a design oversight--that being the use of a fitting attachment brad that was susceptible to rusting. The newer chairs I have bought have rustproof fittings.
I related my experience to Strongback and, to my astonishment, they offered to sell me the replacement chair at a very generous discount--recognizing, I presume, the inadequacy of the fitting that had broken in my older model chair. Now this was a good deal, I thought. We had gotten quite a few years of use out of that old chair, and it certainly wasn't eligible for any kind of warranty replacement. I was so impressed that I ordered not one, but two, new chairs.
Now that brings me to what may seem like a crass commercial offer that benefits me, but that's not the case. As you know, I have never offered anything for sale on this blog, nor have I placed any ads in it, although I certainly could have. But because of my positive dealings with Strongback and my belief in their products, they have agreed to offer a 15% discount to all of my readers who order one of their products from their website at http://strongbackchair.com and include the code "PhannieAndMae15" at the point in the online order where you enter a coupon code. This will save you about 15 bucks on an 'Elite' model (there are several others), but you should know that I receive no commission on such orders. I just like the chairs, and I think anyone who tries one would be equally enthusiastic.
On another subject, I have made several additions and deletions to my "Best of the Best RV Parks" linked above. These can be seen in red text within the listings. As always, I appreciate reader input if you find a "best" park not listed or if you find a park that you think doesn't qualify for its rating.
Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful life; please forgive me if I don't appreciate it enough each day.