Photo taken near Monument Valley, Utah

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Boot Camp at Llano Grande

At Llano Grande RV Resort, Mercedes, Texas…

After a windy drive through the nondescript south Texas plain on Highway 77, we arrived at Llano Grande around 5:00 p.m. on Saturday.  Ed and Marilyn were waiting for us at the registration center and led us to our site, only a couple of streets north of their location.  This is one of the nicest RV parks we have ever seen, and it is easy to see why our friends return year after year.  I'll have some more photos in future posts.

Our space at Llano Grande.  Love the palm trees!

Ed took us to Fat Daddy's, a burger and barbecue joint not far from our park, and we all had a nice meal and did some catching up.  

Fat Daddy's
Ed had previously supplied us with a 'schedule of events' for the first week of our stay here, and we talked about getting an early start each day, a phenomenon that we knew was standard operating procedure for these folks.  I reminded him of my confession in a previous post that Sandy and I had devolved into sloth-like creatures upon my retirement, thus celebrating not having to get up early by not getting up early. It's not something I'm proud of, but my shame is mitigated somewhat by my great satisfaction in thumbing my nose at the infernal alarm clock that had been my morning nemesis for oh, so many years.

Having arrived on Ed's turf, it was now time to 'man up' and abide by the rules, however silly, of my host. I thought for sure this is what arriving at boot camp must have been like.  I didn't complain, though, for we were grateful for their interest in showing us around.  I did mention to Ed that we had been unfairly portrayed in his blog as sleeping until noon each day. That was a blatant exaggeration, I told him; we have never slept later than 10:30 since I have been retired!  Ed was unmoved and even repeated this wicked falsehood in a subsequent post. Well, Ed is not without a few foibles of his own, so he will be fair game now in this rag.   

After not getting enough sleep to recharge a fruit fly, Sandy and I rolled out of bed, bumping into each other and commenting that neither of us had taken a shower before in Phannie when it was dark outside.  Somehow, we were able to get it together and exited our rig just as Ed and Marilyn pulled up to our site at 0800.  I didn't have to look; Ed was there exactly on time as I knew he would be.  I thought to myself how funny it would have been if someone had let the air out of his tires.  Then I thought it probably wasn't a good idea to think impure thoughts, as we were on our way to church.  

We made our way to the Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle, a very large and beautiful church seating over 2,000 worshippers. 

Inside Basilica
 It was filled to capacity, and the music was provided by very talented mariachis. 

Mariachis at Mass
We found the service and the sermon to be unique, moving and inspiring.  Marilyn gave us a tour of the building, and we enjoyed that, too.

Ed then drove us to the Don-Wes flea market nearby, where we looked around at the myriad of things offered by the vendors.  It was within the market that Ed had proposed lunch at the Bean Pot Cafe, an outreach of a local Christian organization.  Naturally, it was closed, leaving intact Ed's growing reputation of forever selecting restaurants that are closed or out of business.  Perhaps to assuage his guilt somewhat, Ed bought us a sack of freshly cooked mini-doughnuts, which were delicious.  This nice gesture brought us close to forgiving him and delayed our collapse from starvation long enough for him to locate another eating spot for us.

This one was a winner for sure; Don Beto's was very crowded, and we all ate until stuffed.  Sandy and I agreed this was definitely some of the best Mexican food we have had, and you can bet we will patronize this place again before we leave the RGV.  Ed, all is forgiven; you outdid yourself with this pick.

After returning to Phannie, Sandy and I sat in the recliners and conked out for the rest of the afternoon, after which, Sandy was revived enough to go shopping for stuff for the grandkids--one of her favorite pastimes.  Then we watched Downton Abbey and prepared for another early departure the next day, this time for Nuevo Progreso, just across the border in Mexico.  Ed, ever magnanimous, informed us that we could 'sleep in' in the morning--we would not be leaving until 8:30!  What a swell guy.


  1. Coffee nearly spurted out my nose as I read the title of your blog today. Well done my friend!
    It is a pleasure to get you up early in the morning, 'er I mean to show you around the valley.
    Looking forward to Mexico and Padre Island and all the other stuff planned for the limited time you are here. More fun ahead!

  2. When we were in Red Bay, we thought we were not going to live through all those 7:00 a.m. calls to the service area. It is not easy, this being retired, is it? Have fun at RGV.


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