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Sunday January 1, 2012

I decided to post some of our expenses for the year 2011.
Some of the numbers were rounded off.  I will only show the statistic for the car, the motorhome, campground, propane and the generator.  I did not convert Canadian dollars to American dollars, I just did 1 for 1.

Let's start with the car.
We drove 25135 km in 2011, but of this total, 8127 was caused by our move from Cold Lake Alberta to Belleville Ontario.  So in reality we traveled only 17008 km.  The average price for gas was $1.10 per liter and our consumption average was 9L/100km or 33 miles per gallons.

On to the Motorhome.
The motorhome did not go to Alberta for the move.  9159 km was traveled by the motorhome.  The average price for diesel was $1.12 per liter and the consumption average was 30L/100km or 9.5 mile per gallon.
As for the propane, we used 166 liters at a cost of $1.00 per liter.
The generator ran for 65.8 hours in 2011.

I averaged over 365 days or should I say nights!  This includes night at campgrounds and at family and Walmart.  Our average per night is $21.56, we had forecast $30 per night, not bad.  The most expensive night was in St-Jérome Québec at $44.09 per night and the cheapest was here in Texas at Pioneer RV park at $14.09 per night.  Of course, we had the cheapest of all at family and Walmart for $0.00 per night.

Summary of our travel in 2011.
We left Florida in February to go back in Ontario.  Followed by a trip to Cold Lake Alberta for our move from there to Belleville Ontario, then on to province of Québec, St-Jérome, St-Ignace-de-Loyola, close to Berthierville, to Chibougamau.  Backdown to Lac St-Jean followed by Tadoussac by the St-Lawrence river, up to Notre-Dame-du-bon-Conseil, next to Drummondville where we went to visit the cottage of my sister Estelle.  Back in Ontario and in the fall, we left for Texas.  WOW! Quite a year.

Our 2012 plans?
The plan is to leave Texas to go to Comox, BC to visit our son Jérémy and his girlfriend Danielle and our first grand child due on May 3.  Then to Ontario and in the fall, backdown south.
As per our saying, "The plan is written in the sand and it is windy".

But let's start 2012...

2012 starts easy.
A nice little bike ride on the beach.

Reading a good book, some computer stuff and the hot tub...

A day like we like them.

Monday January 2, 2012

Doing some shopping in Corpus Christi and just see what are the after Christmas special.
Here is the road to get to Corpus.  Lots of fishing going on and lots of water.

Today is Benoit's birthday, our favorite youngest son...
Somehow a tradition was started and we now have to have a tequila shooter for him.
Michèle is all exited...

A toast!


And finish with a bite in the citrus!

Sadly we had to try it a few times to get it right, hic!

Happy Birthday Benoit, already 24!

Tuesday January 3, 2012

Back at the Big Fisherman for the $2.25 meal and the $1.00 margaritas.

Right next to the Big Fisherman there is this weird looking fence.
Got to go and have a look.  Lots of junk, but I am sure some treasure is hiding in there.

Some more shopping and then back to the park.

Nice sunset as we cross in the ferry.  I cannot help it and I have to drive back to the park by the beach.

Wednesday January 4, 2012

The Corpus Christi canal goes right by the marina in Port Aransas.  They even have a nice park by the canal.  Lots of big ship go by there.
We always have surprises when we go for a visit.  Like this bent up truck!

What a nice day, we eat a sub as we watch boats and pelicans go by.

A cute little bird waiting for a hand out.

Only two big ship went by, first a tug boat and then a petroleum ship.  I was lucky to see a dolphin jump in front of the ship.

All afternoon we saw dolphins going in front of us.
A little walk along the canal.

Lots of shrimp boats and pleasure crafts in the marina.

Tonight is ladies poker night and Michèle is there and wins.

A nice starts for the 2012 year.

Thursday January 5, 2012

Not much today just a bike ride in town for me.  I even did a little detour on a birding trail.
Really nice place, but very few birds.  You have to remember that right here we are a big 2 feet above water level.

Friday January 6, 2012

Busy day today.
Visiting the aircraft carrier/museum USS Lexington.

What a place to visit.  We have never been on an aircraft carrier before.

The aircraft carrier tours are split into 5 different tours.   It took us over 4 hours to do them all.  I do recommend this visit, but be aware that you go up and down decks and you do need very good shoes.  Some of the guns to defend themselves.

The forward part of the flight deck.

Very impressive view!

They have a part of the flight deck set up like it was back in the early days.  Teak wood for the flight deck.

Today the flight deck is made of steel.  The flight deck has a nice display of aircraft.

An F-18.  With lots of corrosion!

Here is a look below the flight deck.  The hangar space is huge!
Just like the ship. Everything is big.

What can I say?

The sleeping quarters for the men.

And the captain's sleeping quarter when at sea.

And the captain's quarter when the ship is in port.

The visit continues in the engine room.

Michèle at or on the fantail.  I will let you read the meaning of fantail...

She does have a face!

A nice view of the USS Lexington.

A snowman or a sandman?

Pier 99 is a well known seafood restaurant and our meal was really good.

USS Lexington at night.

Surprise, even the bridge is full of colors.

On the way back home, we witness a brush fire.
This area has not had any significant rain fall for the past 8 months.

Of course we had to drive on the beach...

Visiting the USS Lexington was a great.
A great day.

Saturday January 7, 2012

Wash day today.  First the motorhome, then the car and the bike cover last.

After a busy day, time to relax with a good book, an e-book that is.
Why am I between the motorhome and the car?  Because I feel no wind there and it is warmer...

Today I got to do a lot of maintenance on the motorhome that needed to be done...

Sunday January 8, 2012

Sunny, but still cool, off we go to the Trade Center.
We heard it was a flea market, but it was all new stuff.
We were a little disappointed.

Now when you think Red Neck you would think Texas has some of the best.
Well, we saw him, all 5 foot 6 inches tall,  driving this monster truck including the Long Horn.

Today must be "hub caps" day because we saw some very nice one...

Michèle went to play cards tonight at the club house.

Monday January 9, 2012

A real confused day today.  We started with rain and thunder storms and a +26 C.
By afternoon we had strong winds with a nice +14 C.
Still windy with +10 for the night.

So we go shopping!
I made the first purchase for our first grand child coming in May.

We laughed because we taught it would be Michèle who would buy something first, but I beat her to it!

Tuesday January 10, 2012

Our last Tuesday here in Port Aransas.  We have to go one last time at the Big Fisherman for cheap food.

Did Bob drink all those margaritas?  Of course not!

The total costs for our meal, $4.50 and for our 4 margaritas, $4.00.
Just unbelievable.

A brown pelican.

Can you see our home?

Wednesday January 11, 2012

Last day for souvenir shopping in Port Aransas.
I always like the theme of the stores.

Last time driving on the beach... sniff sniff!

Wednesday is also our last meal at Moby Dicks for the all you can eat boiled shrimps.
We are 10 tonight.  A great time!

Another very good meal.

As you know, plans change.  We are not going right away down toward Brownsville, but we are actually going north to San Antonio for a week.

We are leaving tomorrow morning for San Antonio.
Our month spent here at Pioneer RV park was very good.  The weather was not what we would have hoped for, not as warm as we would have liked, but still.  We got to walk, bike and drive on the beach, wow!
And like all the places we went before, it is the people that make it a very good place to be.  Thanks to Nancy and Bob for being friends so quickly with us,  let's not forget all the other people we meet at Pioneer.  Thanks for the great time.  Hope our path will cross again in the future!

Thursday January 12, 2012

And we continue our travel!
Are we going backwards?  We are going north and not south!
Off to San Antonio, about 3 hours away, north!  For a week.

The temperature is just right for traveling, not too sunny and hot, but with a downside, we now have a headwind of over 30km/h.  I sure work the steering wheel, especially on the causeway on the way out of the island.

We did not know that Texas was a producer of cotton.  Here is a field of harvested cotton.

Everywhere down south in the US, you have those "Evacuation Route" for hurricane time.  We have seen them in Florida, but not so well displayed as this.

My God! Are we back in Québec, in Trois Rivières?  (French joke!)

We chose to take the secondary highway 281 to go up to San Antonio.  Less truck traffic and more to see.
More than on Interstate 37.

Finally got to our campground, Traveler's World RV Park.

Nice campground, clean and quiet.

Got caught in the lasso of the cowboy!

Gorgeous sunset.

A little over 280 km of driving for today.  The wind made it a little harder, but still a nice traveling day.

Friday January 13, 2012

We are taking it easy today.  Just a little car ride downtown San Antonio.
I guess this homeowner does not want anybody to sit in his yard!

Right downtown you have the historic site of the Alamo.  We will visit the Alamo in a few days.

The football stadium Alamodome, without a football team for the last 15 years!

When we phoned to book our campsite, the owner told us not to follow our GPS direction.  She mentioned twice more to "not follow" our GPS.  The reason is on this photo.  We would have got high centered when going over the railroad tracks.
This was the road the GPS wanted us to take!!!

Ah! Hot tub!

A relaxing day.

Saturday January 14, 2012

We took the city bus to get downtown, for only $1.10 per person, you can't go wrong.

Once downtown we took the trolley package.  The package includes two days of trolley, IMAX movie "The Alamo" and a cruise on the San Antonio river in the River Walk area.  We started with the trolley tour.  This way you get to see all the important sites you may want to visit later.

The shadows on the wall of the building "grow" taller as the day goes by.  The horses eventually will touch the ground.

We went by the Alamo.  It is a little to the right of the center of the photo.

The trolley driver/guide told us that after heavy rain, sometime the river floods the downtown area causing extensive damage.  So the city drilled a tunnel under the city to take the excess water before it gets to the city and put it back in the river on the other side of the city.  It comes out in those gates you see on the left.

The city, like many other cities in the US, they have people dressed with a yellow shirt walking around the downtown area.  You can ask them direction or information.  They are walking information center, it works very well.

The San Antonio river and the River Walk.  It is actually a loop of the San Antonio river, 4 km with sidewalks on both sides with a canal in the middle.  The canal is about 1 meter deep.  Both sides of the canal have shops, restaurants and small boutiques.

Our ship for the tour.  The captain tells us all kinds of information about the canal, the buildings and other historical stuff about the city and the river walk.

The restaurant where we are having lunch.

One of the oldest restaurants in San Antonio, of course they have Mariachi musicians!

The view from our table.

I can't remember the name of our dish, but it was OK.  Mexican is not one of our favorite food.  Maybe if we were with someone who knew about it and guide us on our choice it would be better, but hey!

Saint Antony, the fonder of San Antonio.

To keep the water from turning bad, they have waterfalls and other means to aerate the water and create movement in the canal.

Some more photos of the "River Walk".

Me with my friends...

We ended the day with the IMAX movie.
A very good introduction of the Alamo.

The "River Walk" is not to be missed if you come to San Antonio.  Really well done and fun to walk around.  You can easily spend a few days on the river walk because of the changing light during the day.  The evening is also very pretty.

Sunday January 15, 2012

The campground has a nice community hall.

We are visiting Mission San José.  It is about 3 km south of the campground.
The missions were a way for the Spaniards to convert the Indians  to  catholicism in the early 1700.
There are many missions in the southern US and northern Mexico.

What is the purpose of a Mission?
I may chock some folks, but here is my version of the purpose of a mission.  It was to convert the Indians to catholicism to save their souls, but also to  make sure they stay dependent of the church and work for "salvation" for the church.  Almost like slaves.  Only my personal opinion.
Built in 1777, Mission San José is one of the prettiest if not the prettiest of the missions around San Antonio

A view inside the mission walls.

From hunter/gatherer and living free, the Indians had to move inside the mission into a small 2 rooms apartment...

The entrance of the mission.

San José church.

The "convento" or the residence of the missionary and lodging for the visitors, situated behind the church.

Kind of hard to imagine, but the church side and front were painted of bright colors.
You can still see some of the painted wall at the bottom of the tower.

The church entrance.  Some restoration are ongoing, it explains the different colors of the wall.
Like all churches, every statue and carving has a religious meaning.  All done by the local people at the time and all forgotten.  Still very beautiful.

The San José church is still an active church.  The inside is very simple, but still impressive.

Down south, you have 4 different variety of Mesquite trees, but only one allow the mistletoe to grow on it.

What do you have to do under a mistletoe?


We continue on to another mission, this time it is the Mission Concepción.  Built in 1755, it is one of the oldest churches non restored in the US.

I have seen squirrel walk on wires before, but never on the tip of a wrought iron fence!

In Mission Concepción (no spelling mistake here) there is a garden of cactus.
A few of the them.






WOW! What a day.  The architecture was great to see.  I do recommend this visit, and it is free!

Until next time.

Life is good...

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