Sandy and I drove toward Tomball today to have lunch with Mindy and see the hospital where she now works as a nurse. After that enjoyable visit, we were driving back to Thousand Trails and once again became acutely aware of the aggressiveness of the throngs of drivers all around us on the freeways. It was sort of like a NASCAR race, with all the folks trying to get out of town for the holiday. Speeding is something I just don't see the need to do any longer, although not keeping up with traffic on the freeway can be downright dangerous, so sometimes I just tighten the seat belt and go with the flow.
It was during the drive through this demolition derby (we saw several wrecks) that I began to think of some things that I neglected to include in the previous post. Sometimes after I publish a post to this blog, I find that I may have left something out, accidentally--or even on purpose, if I thought the piece was getting too long. So, this post is more or less a housekeeping job that really has no theme other than the randomness of its leftover topics.
First of all, I have been cutting back on including so much foodie stuff in my posts, but you'll just have to bear with me here, as I need to catch up and identify a couple of restaurants that have made it onto the "Favorite Restaurants" page linked on the right side of the blog's website. When we were in the RGV, we ate for the second time at the Santa Fe Steakhouse, and found it superb, if a bit pricey. Although pretty doggone elegant for McAllen (they have white tablecloths and live piano music), we saw folks there dressed very casually, so you don't have to fret about getting all gussied up. We had steak and shrimp, and it just couldn't have been any better:
Another addition to the list was Lin's Chinese Buffet in Weslaco. This place actually returned to the list after being booted off a couple of years ago due to a disappointing experience. Lin's seems to have turned it around, however, and we thought it was just about as good a Chinese buffet as you can find out there. I do love Chinese food, and a really good buffet is almost too much of a good thing (not really; there's no such thing). I always walk around the steam tables, cruising the offerings to make sure the food looks fresh before I sit down, and Lin's offerings were nothing if not fresh. Even so, it's a good idea to go to any buffet within the normal meal times, just to be sure the food is turning over rapidly. Lin's has another location in McAllen, which I assume belongs to the same family; if so, I'll bet it's good, too, although I haven't tried it. Here's a photo of the Lin's on Hwy 83 in Weslaco:
I've also included in the list a new mom-and-pop Thai Restaurant in Arlington, Texas, named Lemongrass and Grill. I think this place serves the best Thai food in the Metroplex, and I guess I was so excited to find it that I forgot to take a photo. Just trust me on this one.
While I'm talking about favorites, you should know that I keep adding to the list of "Best of the Best RV Parks" linked on the right side of the blog's web page. The newly-added parks during 2017 can readily be identified by a red triangle beside the name of the park.
Okay, now let's talk about friends, of whom no one can have too many. We had a surprise visit from some dear friends from our RV club, Chip and Diane (forgot to get a photo again), who joined us for a fun-filled lunch at a local Mexican restaurant and then toured the Thousand Trails facility here on Lake Conroe. Their impression was sufficiently positive that they joined at the basic level, as we did a few weeks ago because we wanted to see if the value exceeds some bad press that has plagued TT for years. We've seen evidence that the outfit seems to be emerging from years of neglect by previous carpetbagging owners whose skimming and flipping
left it in a pretty sorry state. That all seems to be changing now, thankfully. If the improvements continue, a membership just might be the best bargain out there for RVers. Here are some web photos from around this huge 128-acre park:
Signs of improvement: 76 brand new concrete RV sites are nearing completion:
On another subject, I'll tell you about a hack on dealing with tank valves I learned about the other day while doing a little net surfing; unfortunately, I can't remember where I saw it.
For a while, I had been having trouble with the blade valve when dumping Phannie's black tank. It would sometimes stick open or closed, and I feared that my continued forcing of the handle would eventually cause it to break. So, here's the hack:
You drill a hole in the top plate of the valve's blade housing, like this:
Then you spray some lubricant in the hole (I used silicone spray):
Then you simply install a tapping screw in the hole to seal it.
The result? It freed up the valve instantly; It moves as smoothly as new, maybe better. If it needs lubing again, I'll just take out the screw and give it another shot. I did the same thing with the gray tank valve, so perhaps this will last for a long time. Now, I'm not very skilled or motivated to do any serious repairs on Phannie, but I don't think that even I could mess up this one. Easy-peasy!
Well, this post was kinda like cleaning out the closet, wasn't it? Even I didn't know what I would find! I hope you saw something interesting.
Sandy and I wish for you and yours the happiest of Thanksgivings, as we thank God for all of our blessings, among which we count each one of you.