Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Heading home, then running away!

Sunday, February 19th

Today, we got up and headed over for Nelly Muffins and the group photo. After that we headed backwards to he rig to start getting packed up. As usual, you don't get too far without someone stopping to visit.

Tony was able to procure a bunch of freebies donated to the Sweetheart rally that they had extras of, so he loaded the car full. We'll use them at our rally.

We had dropped off the propane tanks yesterday to get them filled, but their person never came in to fill them, so the park left us a loaner. Since we were leaving, we had to get our tanks back! So I called and they said it would be done soon. Well, an hour later they stilll had not brought them, so Tony ran and got us food. We were all hooked up and ready to go, eating our lunch when they came with the tanks. Yay!

We left about 12, got back to our park and set up. I decided to lay down and take a nap, which didn't last long because it was kinda hot in the rig and the cats were snuggling, making me too hot. It was warm and muggy outside, the bad atmosphere you get before tornado weather, so probably another reason I didn't really sleep.

We had some severe weather predicted, so I was keeping an eye on the developing storms to our south. About 4pm we got a severe thunderstorm watch area, and at 5:00 we had a severe storm warning box over us. I told Tony to get his shoes on, just in case.

Well, I was watching the clouds rolling in and thought they looked "funky"....  about 5:15 the tornado warning alerted us on both our phones, so we instantly packed up the cats, grabbed our computers (still packed up from Santo) and hit the door running! Our park doesn't have a building for shelter, so we headed in the truck, (leaving the trailer is not an issue when there's a tornado warning) and headed away from the area on I-20, down to Ranger where the rest area is that also has a tornado shelter.  We've done this before!

Luckily, it was only rotation on radar, and by the time we got to the rest area/shelter, the warning expired about 10 minutes later. The storm was fast moving and was gone from our park.

This shows the rotation sited on radar. Red is moving from the radar, green moving towards. Lighter colors indicate faster wind speed. When these are close together in a tight area, that is a rotation signature.

Here was the Tornado warning box as seen on my phone. Red pinpoint is our location.

We headed back home and stopped in at Dominoes to get a pizza and the mail, then back to the park. Luckily, cats just thought it was another trip, and slept through the whole thing.

We got a lot of rain as the evening progressed, but none was severe. They said about 2" in Cisco. Turns out the same storm system produced some weak tornadoes down near San Antonio, much later in the night.

All about the chillin'

Saturday, February 18th

Today Tony got up and went to get us donuts, because we hadn't had any on a while. After breakfast we went over to the rally hall and many folks were still there visiting from eating the "Nelly Muffins" provided  -- we didn't want to get up that early, another reason to get donuts!

We visited for a while, then went back to the rig for a bit. After lunch, we went outside and ended up visiting (sitting outside) with our next door neighbors, Monica and Don, for a while, until it was time to head to the rally hall for dinner -- BBQ from Natty Flatts. It was a great meal, and again, lots of visiting. We had a fun time.

Rallying some more

Friday, February 17

Today, Tony headed off to work again, and I did some work in the rig. Every so often I'd go and visit some folks that were outside, or take a walk around.

Jim B came by and we worked some on the National Rally stuff.

Another meal was planned for tonight, but Tony got away earlier from school so he came and picked me up. It was at Boo Rays in Weatherford. We had a good seafood meal there, and met some of the non-Heartlanders. Both of us got the shrimp platter and it was huge shrimp, with good seasoning that was not too overpowering. After dinner we were going to go visiting, but ended up just relaxing at home.

With a little help from my friends

Thursday, February 16th

Today, Tony hit the road about 6am, and texted about 7 that he got to work just fine. I got up and got dressed, and went to work on a few things for some clients. As I stared out the window, I saw a fellow Heartlander had everything out of his basement, on the ground, and the basement wall pulled back. (Usually not a good sign.) I decided to go investigate.

Turns out he was having cable issues, and Jason was helping him figure it out. Shortly a bunch of the other guys came over to help supervise, as well. They figured it out, and all was well.

So since I had a bunch of the guys standing around, I mentioned our fender needed to be replaced, and supported so it didn't flop. Well, Heartland friend to the rescue, Ed had a scrap of aluminum, Jason and Roy had their tools handy. In about 15 minutes, the fender was replaced and now supported, thanks to our Heartland friends.

Roy and Jason make quick work of it!

Adding the brace.

After that, I went back in to do some more work... only to be asked if I wanted to go to lunch at Mary's in Strawn! Well yes of course! So, Jason, Audra, Bob, me, Roy, Sally, Bette and Lou went to Strawn. We had a good time visiting, and had a great meal.

Bob, Lou, Bette, Jason, Audra, Sally and Roy at Mary's in Strawn

After that we stopped in at Gilberts Pecan shop, and got some goodies. We returned back to the park, and I went back to work.

At 4:30, I went back over to Jason & Audra's to ride with them for our trip to Mineral Wells to Mesquite Pit BBQ, for the traditional Sweetheart Rally steak dinner. Tony joined us from work, there. We visited with some other Heartland friends, Terry & Carol.

After dinner, I went over to the rally hall and watched them play dominoes. They let me sub a few hands, as folks took a break. I had fun. Tony came by for a bit, but then went on to bed. He had a long day.

A Sweet Deal

Wednesday, February 15th

Today we had planned to head to Santo, Tx for the Sweetheart Rally. This rally is for any RVer, and is sponsored by RV.net and Heartland. Many of our Heartland friends regularly attend this rally. In the past though, it's been held in the Hill Country, and usually when Tony is in San Antonio for TMEA convention, so we've never attended. This time, they held it at Coffee Creek, in Santo, TX, just 45 minutes from us! And it turns out TMEA was the week before! So we decided to attend. Sweet!

I prepped the inside of the rig, and Tony came home at lunch to do the tank dump. After school, we got hitched up and headed out. We planned to take my car as well, so Tony could drive back and forth for work the next two days. We pulled out about 5pm, and arrived just before 6.

We missed the meet and greet that happened at 4:30pm. That's ok. We got set up and ate dinner, then went over to the rally hall to visit some. Many of our Heartland friends were there playing dominoes. We visited for a while, then wandered the park a bit. Tony was pretty tired so we called it a night. He has to get up an extra hour earlier to get to work tomorrow.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Quickie trip without the Mammoth

Friday, January 27th - Sunday January 29th.

Earlier this week, we decided that since the snow was pretty good at Ski Apache in Ruidoso, NM, and my birthday was this weekend, we'd make a quick weekend to go skiing one more time this season (since our Angel Fire trip was so limited on the slopes.).

We probably could have taken the Mammoth, but we needed to get there fast and get back fast, and we don't tow faster than 65mph. So even leaving Friday afternoon, we would get there very late, and have to leave early Sunday. We decided to (gasp) stay in a hotel instead. Initially we were going to take the cats also go, so we shopped for a "pet friendly" hotel. We landed on the La Quinta, in Ruidoso Downs. All of the La Quintas have been updated, and many have a free full breakfast included. We have a rewards card with them, since there is one in Eastland and we try to let our family use it when they come to visit.

We decided mid-week to go ahead and leave the cats at home after all. We would really only be gone 56 hours. So we purchased some larger water and food bowls, and I set up one of our cameras to focus on their feeding area.

We have a security system that works well to alert us to anything, including power outages, temperature, and even water leaks. We decided to go ahead and unhook our hose from the rig while we were gone. Temps were possibly going to be freezing while we were away, so we didn't want there to be any possibility of a frozen water hose -- We wouldn't leave the water on, anyway, being gone that long.

We headed out Friday afternoon,  and got to the hotel about 7:30pm. We had no issues on the way.

The next morning, my birthday, Tony got us breakfast and brought it back to the room, then we got ready and headed out to ski. We had a great time on the mountain, except for lunch. The place we planned to eat up on the mountain could not get their grill going, so we had to ski to the base and eat. Tony stood in line nearly an hour to get food! Tony also ran into some other Cisco teachers while we were there! Small world!

We also checked on the cats via the cams all day and they just did their typical routine: eat, sleep here, sleeps there, run around a bit, sleep somewhere else.

Driving to the ski resort

Snow plowed snow up the guardrail -- I mean guard-cable!

Slopes of snow!

Ski Apache -- the fire damage is still evident on the slopes. They have cleared some of the torched trees.

Us at the top of the gondola lift.

Enjoying the slopes

Pic from the Ruidoso tower-cam from mid-town Ruidoso, the day we were there.

After lunch we enjoyed one more run, then headed back. We decided to stop for dinner at our favorite Mexican place, Casa Blanca. We had Quesadillas, and they were terrific! We then headed back to the hotel, and crashed pretty early.

Sunday, we got up and got to work packing our stuff back up for the trip home. We left about 10:30 Texas time, and got back about 5:30pm. It was a whirlwind trip, but a whole lotta fun!!

The kitties were glad to see us, and did not tear up anything we could find, so I think it was successful. :)

Happy Birthday, to me!