Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Chocolates, cordials and Fried Turkeys

For another fun evening, the Happy Hour theme was Chocolates and Cordials.....everyone brought rich and delicious chocolate themed foods to share or a favorite cordial. Off and running again for a jolly night, as we tasted the many flavors.....Kahlua's, Bailey's, exotic fruits and cremes, Vanilla (43) and a wonderful set of German Schnappes...raspberry, pear, apple, and many others. Of course, this preceeded the Chilli Cook-off, so all of the Chilli's tasted wonderful!

Thursday brought the Thanksgiving in March dinner....or just any excuse to have Fried Turkeys! The "Turkey Chefs" gathered at the pot around noon, cooking three turkeys and five turkey breasts. All the Betty Crockers provided great sides: stuffing, gravy, sweet potatoes, salads, broccoli dishes, even homemade rolls, fresh from John Newby's oven!! We shared some mighty fine, and very fun dining adventures!

A few fun photos from the Rally....Greg and Jean Eckert, Mark and Renita Bracken with Jim and Nancy Tidball, John Kayart, Bob and Molly, Norah and Howie share a dance, Hank and Patti, Mark and Renita, Jim Tidball and his look-a-like, Simba, and John and Lora Newby

Saving the best for last, the final Happy Hour event, was an Appetizer contest....all the ladies and some gents, brought their best appetizer, and after feasting on the goodies, we all voted for the best. There were some tempting offerings including Crab dips, Shrimp dip, jalapeno poppers...yep, once again too many goodies...but the big winner was Deb's Ceviche.....Red Snapper in lime juice with cilantro and fresh tomatoes....WOW was it good!!

Deb with the Grand Prize for Appetizers! (Flip Flop coasters for your wine glass!)

Deb and Rod

By this time we are just about "rallied out" and very overstuffed!

More Rally folks........

......and more rally fun......

......Yes, indeed, it was the best of times!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Ongoing "Education"...Rally Style!

Well, it's not ALL fun and games!!! We really do learn a lot of things, and share lots of useful knowledge at our rallies!
Below, Marty Cassidy presents his interesting and entertaining seminar on Geneology!
And here, below, you see us doing some serious blogging and Picasa tutorials, in our Blogger Workshop.......
Below we are learning the stars and constellations in a Star Gazing event, authored by our very own Science teacher, Mark Bracken......

Hank Landry led a Geocaching workshop and demostrated the use of the Handheld GPS devices to locate geocaches!
(below, Bob finds his first Geocache!)

And Patti Landry led a Craft workshop teaching the ladies how to make their T-Shirts into lovely tops with a braiding technique!

The girls show off their completed t-shirts!

It truly was the best of times.....and we were exercising our brains daily!!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Eggs-in-a-Bag and a Chilli Cook-off

If you've never cooked "Eggs-in-a-Bag".....well, you'll just have to wonder about it until you do it!!
Joe Jones introduced most of us to this treat in the desert last year and it's the most fun you'll ever have at breakfast!

Everyone brings an omelet ingredient to share and the number of eggs they wish to eat. Crack the eggs into a ZipLock freezer bag and squish them up very well....then add the yummy things like, mushrooms, green onions, peppers, bacon, swiss, cheddar or jack cheeses, sausage, salsa or Patti's tiny diced Jalapeno peppers!

Lora Newby drops her eggs in the pot!

Then drop the bag into a huge pot of boiling water and cook for about 13 minutes or so.....
....and enjoy a wonderful and tasty omelet, fresh from the bag!
Another fun dinner event was the "Chilli Cook-Off", where the participants competed for the honor of Chilli Champion, as well as fed us all a tasty meal! There were seven participants creating seven delicious pots of Chilli.....and three "independent" judges: John Wehrung, Tom Nankivell, and Greg Eckert. After the blind taste test, they proclaimed Joe Jones the winning Chilli Champion!

Joe serves his winning Chilli!

Asked to reveal their "secret ingredients", Joe divulged that his was " a packet of Chilli seasoning mix from Wal-Mart and "the Love" he stirred the pot with!!

Bob then revealed that his "secret ingredient" was six pints of Wendy's chilli, dumped into his dutch oven......LOL.....and it was pretty darned good chilli too!!!

All of the chillis were great, so everyone was a winner!!!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A look at St Paddy's Day in Boerne

Pronounced "Ber-nee", Bourne is the lovely little Texas town where we gathered for our Reunion Rally....there were 18 rigs and 33 folks in attendance, all of us Escapees members and full time traveling RV'ers. Many of us first met in Quartzsite, Arizona last year, and some of us at other Escapee events previously.

Since St. Patricks Day fell during the Rally....we had to celebrate it!

Patti and Molly share some "Green Wine"

For Happy Hour, everyone brought Green snacks to share....who knew there were so many creative green foods? We had Pistachio nuts, guacamole, a wonderful green cheese, green corn muffins with little wienies, green jalapeno poppers, Good and Evil pickles, olives, Spinach dip, Key Lime mini tarts, green tortilla chips, green chile sauce, and lots of other yummy green things! Bobbie Chapman was our Happy Hour Hostess-with-the-Mostest and she did a fabulous job every evening!

Happy Hour was celebrated with GREEN APPETIZERS!

Howie and Bob add the "Secret Ingredient" to the Hobo Stew!!

A wonderful Hobo (or Roadkill) Stew was prepared with everyone bringing a can of "something" to contribute to the pot. The stewmasters worked their magic and served a wonderful stew for dinner!

The "cans" lined up for the Stew!

I can't remember having quite so much fun on St. Paddy's day...thanks for the memories guys!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Queen of the Flaming Croissants

Yes, I've lost my Martha Stewart job and been awarded "Second Place" in Croissant baking!

Early on the morning of our first "Coffee" gathering, thinking it would be so nice to have some flakey, warm croissants, I placed them in the range to warm.....hmmmm....not warming up so nicely......so the oven was turned to "broil" and those little flakey puffs were placed under the broiler.

Then getting my coffee in Grannies "Angry Bluebird" mug, I was chatting with Norah and Howie and Hank and Patti....until I smelled SMOKE......then opened the oven to see FLAMES...Oh My!......opened again...Oh My!....more FLAMES, more SMOKE.....Howie grabs the fire extinguisher....Patti grabs the CAMERA!!! Bob opens the door and grabs the flaming CROISSANTS, running them outside!!! Of course, our fireman, Jim Chapman had just left the building....where's our fireguy....we missed you Jim????

Thus began the entertainment for our Reunion Rally week....... photos with the charcoaled croissants were required, and then they were placed on the buffet counter with the sign "You snooze, You loose"....because all of the late arrivals had missed the fun of those flaming croissants!!

Patti, our official photographer, kindly had me join the torched croissants on the sidewalk outside for photos!!!

The next morning, I again attempted to warm a batch of croissants, only narrowly avoiding the same fate as the previous day.....mysteriously a "SECOND PLACE" ribbon appeared on the plate!!!

Hey, second place is not so bad!!

On the final evening of the rally, there was a presentation of a freshly polyurethaned, burned croissant...with a flashing tiara in the center.....

...being the Queen of the Flaming Croissants isn't really so bad after all!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Texas Bluebonnets and Steampots by the Gulf

I've been waiting to see the Texas Bluebonnets blooming, and they have been a little scarce, due to the drought, but yesterday we chanced upon a spot of them as we were locating a geocache hidden near the Rockport shore! Nearby were lovely wildfowers, so it was time to gather a tiny bouquet to grace the one little vase hidden in the MH! Driving thru the barrier Island of Port Aransas, we saw our first lovely Roseate Spoonbill, the corally pink, large bird that migrates thru the coast here. At first glimpse you may think it is a Pink Flamingo, but it's truly more like a Great Blue Heron, with rose colored feathers and a flat, spoon-like bill. Perhaps there'll be another one around when we have the zoom lens on!

In the evening we met John (JB) and Brenda at The Boiling Pot for a steam pot dinner (Freshly steamed seafood with corn, dumped from the pot, in the center of a paper covered table)...this was right up our alley as we love steaming the local seafood in the big pot.....and we are not strangers to picking crabs...YUM! Our Canadian friends did a great job attacking the King and Snow crabs, even though Brenda couldn't look at the little "faces" on the shrimp and crawfish! The crawfish were a new experience for us, but they were pretty tasty once we pulled the morsel from its spiny tail! The Blue crabs were good also, considering they were Texas crabs....so we shared the art of picking a Blue crab, Chesapeake style. Too bad we didn't take our crab knives! A fun and memorable evening with good folks!

John and Brenda, two wonderful Canadian folks!

The weather is warm, no, HOT, and breezy...really wonderful! Even though it has been overcast many mornings, it usually burns off and give us a little sun in the afternoons. I've been going through the many photos taken in Boerne and trying to get some writing done for the journal....whew...there were A LOT of photos and A LOT of memories! :) We are still completely infatuated with Rockport and the Gulf coast here...but we will leave, heading East, one day soon!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Rockport, the Seaside Jewel of Texas

Yes, I am way behind in keeping up my journal, but what a wonderful time we have been having!!!
We've spent much time with good buddies, eating way too many delicious meals, and laughing far too much....I just can't make myself spend time on the computer when the outdoors is calling me and there are memories to be made.
So, today, after two wonderful weeks in Boerne and San Antonio, we arrived in the seaside village of Rockport...and I'm not sure if we'll ever leave! It looks so much like home and our little place at the River...Who knew Texas had this perfect jewel hidden away on the Gulf coast??? Well, I know lots of you did, but we didn't!
So, now I'm off for the nightly walk, in the balmy weather with the smell of the sea and the call of the gulls......I'll write later!!
Hugs to everyone!

St. Paddy's Day fun.....Patti and Molly

Marcia, Norah and Bob

The Bull Rider...with Deb, Kathy and Donna in Luckenbach!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Time flies!

My, how times flies when you are having fun!
Despite the rain and chilly temps that invaded Hill Country this week, it's been a great week. We moved to Boerne (Ber-nee) on Tuesday, meeting Norah and Howie, Hank and Patti,Greg and Jean, and Marty, for some pre-rally fun, and avoiding the drive on the worst of the rainy days. So, when time allows (???? go figure????), there'll be more updates and photos!! (The internet signal is not the best, so uploading photos may be on the back burner). We've checked out the Rally room and facilities.....this is going to be FUN!!

Hugs to all the gang still in Kerrville and, all of you '007 guys, travel safely and come on in.....we've got the weather straight now!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Altdorf Biergarten, Opa's and Jolly Times

Eine Erhebung der Amerikaner....Our Gathering of Americans in the Biergarten Altdorf (Click on any image to enlarge) (The lovely ladies in the upper right kindly took our photos while we were dining)

Wednesday we headed back to the hamlet of Fredericksburg for a little shopping and dining on German food!! How many ways can you say "Delightful"??!! (Freude!) The weather man smiled on us again with brilliant blue skies and balmy weather....Did I say that we really like this Texas weather? :)

Kieth, Mac and Kevin checking the weather!

Zweibel Schnitzel (Pork cutlet with Bacon and Onion gravy

Eine schöne Gruppe!! (A handsome group)

The German influence in this town softens the hard edges of Texas in a most desirable way. There was German spoken in several of the small shops, and of course, the German foods and beverages were a real treat. There is a hint of Bavaria-gone-dusty-trail as you gaze down the streetscape.

After a truly delicious lunch with yummy schnitzels, wursts, and burgers, we ambled over to Opa's Sausage shop.....

Die Wurst-Esser (The Sausage eaters!) (Click on any photo to enlarge) The background photo is the lovely Mountain Laurel shrub blooming now in Hill Country

...we tasted some of the "best wurst".....bratwurst, knockwurst, cheese, jalepeno.... and we all had to stock up on this German delicacy!

This was my favorite porch....Texas-Deutsche style!

And, of course there was the campfire on Tuesday popcorn, turnovers in the fire...........

Toasting up the goodies!

Donna samples the apple turnovers!

How nice it has been to meet up again with folks we haven't seen since last year, and to meet more new folks here at our Gathering......
.....we are truly grateful for the most enjoyable days and evenings spent with friends and fellow RV'ers...these are the best of times!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Buckhorn Lake Resort

The Theatre/Dinner Barn

Buckhorn Lake is a very nice park with lots of concrete, 50 Amps, and great facilities! They have an amazing Barbeque Patio that we will use later in the week....maybe there'll be a photo!

The weather is pretty darn nice....sunny, in the seventies by 10 AM and still in the fifties at night! Very refreshing!

Monday evening we had a Texas Independence Day dinner with Beans, Rice, cornbread and all the other yummy fixings.....including several chocolate cakes and a German chocolate one.....

Deb... Prinzessin der Deutsch Schokoladen-kuchen!

(Princess of the German Chocolate cake!)

A picture is worth a thousand words.....no more to be said about our cakes!!! :)

Tuesday Bob and I drove up to Fredericksburg, about 25 miles North of here; it is a community settled predominantly by Germans, in the early to late 1800's and the Bavarian influence is still strong!!! We had a great Jaeger Schnitzel at Der Lindenbaum for lunch.....it was really good!!! The plan is to eat Schnitzel until we don't want anymore....hmmmm..wonder how long that will take????

Donna, Kieth and Bob at Der Lindenbaum

Tuesday evening, Buckhorn Resort served a Pork Loin dinner here at the park, so we all partook and enjoyed a very nice night!

Bob, Donna, Nolan, Kevin, Arlene, Kieth and Donna

Some of the RV'ing folks Gathered here.........

Kevin and Arlene

Donna and Nolan

Molly and Bob

Kieth and Donna

Greg and Lynette

Chuck and Kathy

it was a lovely dinner, and we were entertained by Sarah Getto, a young woman born blind and with a severe cleft palate. She most assuredly won the "parent lottery", and went on to become a talented singer and musician, with a sound that is something like a cross between Anne Murray, Karen Carpenter and Patsy Cline. (Visit http://www.sarahgetto.com/)

Sarah Getto sharing her talents!

There's been much to do and lots of good folks to visit with...we are really liking this Texas Hill Country!