Exotic Resort Zoo — Wildlife Safari Experience in Johnson City, Texas

When I travel, I try to balance seeing some well known attractions with a few things off the beaten path. On my list of things to do while I was in Fredericksburg was visiting wineries, walking around the historic downtown, experiencing the bat emergence at Old Tunnel State Park and seeing the Lyndon B. Johnson Ranch. When I woke up on the morning I planned to visit the LBJ Ranch, I just wasn’t feeling like being a tourist and was wishing for something a little different to do. I was in the office of my RV park picking up a package when I saw a flyer for The Exotic Resort Zoo in Johnson City, Texas, and thought that could be just what I was needing.…

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Old Tunnel State Park — What’s the Draw of this Smallest Texas State Park?

Tunnel entrance at Old Tunnel State Park

Although the 16.1-acre Old Tunnel State Park in Fredericksburg is the smallest state park in Texas, it serves a very important function. There’s no camping and only limited hiking. It’s main function is to protect and preserve the colony of up to 3 million Mexican free-tailed bats and 3,000 cave myotis bats that live in the old railroad tunnel. Old Tunnel State Park History Over 100 years ago, on August 16, 1913, the first train steamed it’s way through the Old Tunnel. The farmers of Fredericksburg wanted a faster method to get their goods to market and were looking to the railroad. The businessmen of Fredericksburg were disappointed when a spur was built only as far as Kerrville so they decided to take matters into…

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Where to Eat in Harlingen — Readers’ Choice Best Places

a seafood dinner with text overlay: Best places to eat in Harlingen, TX Readers' Coice Awards Valley Morning Star

I don’t eat out a lot so, when I do, I look for restaurant recommendations from locals-in-the-know wherever I am. Review apps can be helpful but those reviews are often by tourists who may not know about local favorites. Checking out the “Best of” winners in local newspapers is a good resource. Therefore, I always looked forward to the Best of Orange County when I lived in southern California. So, when the Readers’ Choice Winners for the Valley Morning Star came out, I was eager to learn who won for the best places to eat in Harlingen. Would they be the same as the top restaurants on TripAdvisor and Yelp or would they be hidden gems? How are the Readers’ Choice Winners Selected? The Valley…

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Even when Life is Long, it is too Short!

palm tree lined pond with text overlay: Even when life is long, it is too short!

It has taken me a while to write this post, but I needed to do it so I can start to move on. You know the old saying, life can turn on a dime? Well, it happened to me a couple of weeks ago. Early in July, I wrote a post about why I haven’t been RVing and what I’ve been doing instead. That “instead” was spending time with my dad and I’m so very glad I did. He passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on August 4th. It was so unexpected because he was a healthy, active and mentally sharp 97-year-old. He still drove and did his own shopping. He watered the yard and did some of the light yard work. Keeping fit was important…

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Authentic Texas Barbecue — What it is and where to find it in the RGV

typical authentic Texas barbecue plate with text overlay: Authentic Texas Barbecue Where to find it in the RGV

I have to admit, when I was growing up, barbecue was not one of my favorite foods. Barbecue, to me, always brought to mind neighborhood parties with chicken on the grill with burnt on barbecue sauce. Or maybe it was dry baby back ribs, which don’t have enough meat on the bones to be worth the effort, with that same burnt on sauce. The only kind of barbecue I was even remotely fond of was a pulled pork sandwich with sweet barbecue sauce. Even in my adult life, it is not a food group I seek out. This lack of desire for barbecue was cemented in my mind even further when, a few years ago, I went to a barbecue joint in southern California with…

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