Is the Black Dragon Pirate Ship Just for Kids?

harbor scene with canon firing with text overlay: Black Dragon Pirate Ship Is it just for kids?

From my very first trip to south Texas in 2014 to visit my dad, I was intrigued by the Black Dragon Pirate Ship. Of course, I didn’t know then what it was but you can’t miss it as you drive by. You pass by it in Port Isabel when you drive over the Queen Isabella Causeway on your way to South Padre Island. That was my first view of it in 2014, just a quick glance on my way to SPI. After I moved to the Rio Grande Valley at the end of 2018, I put it on my list of things to do. As always, I researched it and decided to put off doing it because I kept reading what a fun adventure it…

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Baking in an RV Oven — Do you do it?

RV oven filled with pans and containers with text overlay: Baking in an RV oven Do you do it?

Why There’s no Baking in my RV Oven I have now been on two 6-week RV trips and not once during either trip did I fire up my RV oven for baking. Since I eat low carb, I don’t bake things like bread, cookies or cakes, but I do like to use my oven to finish off meat I’ve seared on the stove top. Also, I like to use the broiler once in a while for things like frittatas. So, what did I do on those trips? Well, I have a grill pan I used for things like steak if I didn’t cook outside on the barbecue and I just had to forego frittatas. Are you wondering why I didn’t bake in my RV oven?…

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Winter Texans — Why the Snowbirds Flock to the Rio Grande Valley

Crowd watching performer with text overlay: Winter Texans Why do they flock to the RGV?

What, or Rather Who, are Winter Texans? It might be obvious, but for those who don’t know or haven’t heard the term, Winter Texans are people, (usually retired) who come to Texas, particularly the Rio Grande Valley, to spend part of the winter then return to their permanent homes in the summer. In some sun-belt states, these folks are called snowbirds, but Texas prefers the term Winter Texan, as the term snowbird has acquired a derogatory connotation in other places. Where is the Rio Grande Valley? The Rio Grande Valley (RGV) is an area comprised of four counties that lie along the Rio Grande at the southernmost tip of Texas. To give you some perspective, it is about as far south as Miami. What Attracts…

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Best Places to Visit in Schulenburg, Texas

Schulenburg Historical Museum sign at entrance with text overlay: Best places to visit Schulenburg, Texas

Schulenburg is a small city (population under 3,000) in eastern central Texas about halfway between Houston and San Antonio. It is known as “The Gateway to the Rolling Hills.” Immigrants who settled the area in the 1800s were of German and Czech descent and their influence can be seen everywhere. Even though I tried to visit all the best places while I was in Schulenburg, Texas, I just couldn’t quite fit them all in! Schulenburg RV Park Before I tell you about the best places to visit in Schulenburg, I want to tell you about Schulenburg RV Park. During my 6-week RV trip through Texas, my plans changed several times as I headed back south towards home. This was mostly due to the weather but…

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A Taste of Oklahoma – Durant and Ardmore

Choctaw Casino sign with text overlay: Durant and Ardmore Just a taste of Oklahoma

One of the destinations on my recent RV trip was southern Oklahoma to visit a friend. I had planned to boondock at a couple of spots in Oklahoma but the weather turned bitterly cold a few days earlier, so I decided to find RV parks instead. I figured they would make better bases of operations while I got at least a little taste of Oklahoma during the few days I planned to be in Durant and Ardmore. Durant, Oklahoma Durant/Choctaw Casino KOA I’ve never stayed at a KOA campground or a casino so I thought the Durant/Choctaw Casino KOA sounded promising. I later read on their website that they are “the #1 KOA RV park in all of the country.” I think KOA only accepts…

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Most Viewed Posts of 2019

Photos from six blog posts with text overlay: Most viewed posts 2019

It’s that time again when I get to write one of my favorite posts — the most viewed posts of the year. I love writing these posts for two reasons. Most important, I get to take a close look at what was most popular with and useful for my readers during 2019. Second, though, I get to take a walk down memory lane and relive some of the wonderful places I’ve been and amazing things I’ve done. The following ten most viewed posts of 2019 include five posts from previous years but views are only from this year. Five of the posts were published this year. Maybe I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to stats, but I really enjoy comparing numbers and…

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My First Experience Wine Tasting in Texas Hill Country

When I lived in northern California, a big part of my life and this blog was visiting local wineries and writing about my experiences. I was a little disappointed when I started researching Texas wineries and learned that the closest region to my new home was about a four hour drive away. I knew that once I got back on the road in my RV, Texas Hill Country for wine tasting would be one of my first destinations. Texas Wine and Wine Tourism If you are not familiar with Texas wine and wineries, you might be surprised to learn that Texas Hill Country is one of the most popular wine tourism destinations in the nation. With 5 million visitors a year, it is second only…

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Home of the Painted Churches — Schulenburg, Texas

white church with text overlay: Home of the Painted Churches Schulenburg, Texas

There are as many as 20 painted churches throughout the Hill Country of Texas and at least 15 of these churches are listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. When you visit Schulenburg, Texas, you’ll be able to see four of the most well-known and impressive examples of the painted churches. You can easily visit these four painted churches of Schulenburg in one day as they are just a short distance from one another. Schulenburg is officially designated “Home of the Painted Churches.” What are the Painted Churches? The Texas Hill Country was settled in the 1800s by German and Czech immigrants, many of whom were fleeing religious oppression. They built the churches in the late 1800s and early 1900s and decorated them to…

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An Unexpected Delay — Car Trouble at Apache Pass

carved entry doors with text overlay: An unexpected delay - car trouble at Apache Pass in Texas

Car trouble. The possibility is always in the back of my mind when I’m traveling. I don’t dwell on it but I know it is a possibility. On the Friday before Veteran’s Day, I had planned to boondock for just one night at Apache Pass through Harvest Hosts. My car had other ideas. Apache Pass Apache Pass is a 1,000-acre working pecan and hay production farm on the San Gabriel River near Rockdale, Texas. There is an event center, the Steakhouse, the Icehouse (a more casual restaurant), an RV park, and an airpark with three runways. A 325-foot suspension bridge that was hand built by the owners spans the river. The property has been in the Worley family since the 1800s but has only been…

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Texas Legato Winery — On the Edge

barrels and a waterfall in front of large grassy field with text overlay: Visit the northern edge of Texas Hill Country AVA Texas Legato Winery

Staying with participating wineries through Harvest Hosts is one of the ways I discover some wonderful, and sometimes lesser known, wineries. That’s how I found Texas Legato Winery. It is a family owned and operated winery in Lampasas at the very northern edge of the Texas Hill Country AVA (American Viticultural Area). Sulynn and Bill Bledsoe are the owners of Texas Legato Winery and Vineyard. As a Harvest Hosts member, I called ahead to make sure they had room for me on the night I wanted to stay. Bill greeted me when I arrived and directed me to a spot near the parking lot because it had been raining and the ground was too wet to risk parking farther away by the vineyard. It was…

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