Friday, April 20, 2018

Upgrade and Maintenance While Visiting Family In Oklahoma.

After a year working at the Lake Conroe KOA we returned to visit family in Oklahoma. We will do some upgrades and regular maintenance while we are home. The first project will be upgrading the entrance door. First I replaced the worn looking and slightly damaged door latch and lock assembly to a tune of a $136.

 I dismantled the door to replace the latch so I decided to add insulation, paint the inner panels, and prepare it for some custom upholstery. I bought the reflective insulation at Lowes and chose gray as the color for the panel. I bought Plasti Dip paint as it's a rubberized paint and is supposed to adhere better to the plastic.

A fresh coat of gray Plasti Dip rubberized paint.

Kathy working on the insulation and material for the door. We purchased the material from Hobby Lobby, and used Gorilla Glue spray adhesive to attach it.

So we went from this to this! We have around $20 in materials for our custom door. We are proud of our project, not bad for amateurs.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Workamping with father-in-law. April 2017-2018

April of 2017 we brought Kathy's father, Jim, with us to Lake Conroe KOA to give him a taste of the real RV life and workamping. Our manager, Pat Childers, was gracious enough to give the 79 year old a job working at the pool, playground, and then later on doing some landscaping.
Jim had his own travel trailer and was parked next to us so we could all spend quality time together. Kathy helped Jim get his life back in order by setting up his bank account, medicare, social security, and other things he needed. Jim enjoyed the work and even built up his savings account with his earned wages.  Jim was plenty happy with his 30' travel trailer, it had all the comforts of home.

Jim, just like many other full time RVers, mentioned that he wished he would have done this a long time ago. The friends and the memories you make can be priceless. Kathy also got to spend quality time with him and make memories for herself.

Image may contain: one or more people, people playing sports and outdoor
Image may contain: one or more people, people playing sports and outdoor

The Conroe area has many nice restaurants and we visited most of them for the good food and entertainment. Sam's Boat was Jim's favorite for sure, followed by The Big Sombrero.

We enjoyed the music on the patio at Sam's Boat overlooking beautiful Lake Conroe.

After a year, Jim headed back to Lawton, OK to spend time with other members of his family. We all had a great time and hated to see him leave.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

German Festival in Tomball, TX.

During our workamping gig at KOA in Montgomery, we did numerous fun outings. The weekend of March 22nd, 2018 was the German Festival. We had a wonderful German schnitzel dinner and then wandered around the area enjoying the sights and sounds.

Lake Conroe/Houston North KOA for the summer of 2017/ winter of 2018.

We arrived here in Montgomery, TX by Lake Conroe to work at the KOA in April of 2017. We initially wanted to start in September and leave by April, but Pat, our manager, asked us to come early. Overall, it was a great experience, I must say Pat has been the best manager we have ever worked for. The park is pretty nice, not a "10" but nice.

It started a little rough after we were parked next to the lawn mowing guy, Robert. Our very first day he went on and on about how we will hate it here, and they will fire you for this and that, and you better watch your back, don't do this and don't do that. He was a jerk for sure. We arranged to get moved, which was a great thing as we got a spot that backed up to the pond. We enjoyed watching the wildlife and even had our hummingbird feeder out, which got a lot of traffic. Not too much longer I had all I could take from him, we had it out, and he decided to leave. YAY!
Next was the maintenance supervisor, he was an angry unhappy person that made life miserable for everyone. One of the worst I have ever seen. Not too much longer, I had all of him I could take and I gave him an earful. I could care less if I was fired because we were about to leave anyway. This was NOT workamping and I will not be treated that way. Things got better after I told him he will NEVER talk to me that way again, I don't care who you are.

Kathy really loved this place up until the last couple of months. She became very close to Pat and most of the other ladies,  they occasionally did girls night out things and had fun. We had numerous dinners and parties and really enjoyed ourselves. The downside of this place was the numerous family reunions scheduled as most of them ended up with problems. These were not the RV crowd, they were groups of people which were demanding and they always caused issues. Much of their "family" weren't family at all. They booked most, if not all of the 35 cabins here at the park. The word spread there was food and drink and the crowds grew and the problems did too. They took over the playground and swimming pool so the RV crowd got upset and left. The police were called often, and in my opinion these non RV events will be the downfall of this RV park.
Then the problem RVers started arriving. Not sure why but we had a few incidents of unruly and even mean RV people come in. Genuine "trailer trash, not your typical RV crowd. The police were called often and a few went to jail.

Being threatened in the office and having to call 911 often is not what we signed up for, so it's time to leave and probably never come back to this park. One man got sentenced to the federal penitentiary for 10 years for threatening to bomb this place, and it all started over him not having the proper car tag in his vehicle. Just ridiculous! 10 years , $25,000 fine for being an ass.

Experiencing "Hurricane Harvey" was a hoot. The rain was relentless, and not knowing the area very well and where the flood prone areas are, made me a little nervous. We were never in eminent danger, but we had no escape route if needed. All the areas around us were flooded and roads were impassable. Not fun, but we survived.

Oh yes, something bit me on the wrist that sent me to the emergency room, not sure what is was, but it got ugly. Got to love these Texas critters.

Entertainment wise, we enjoyed this area. Galveston Island, Kemah, and numerous good restaurants with entertainment was a plus. We often ate at "Sam's Boat" for fish and music on their patio overlooking Lake Conroe.  "Papa's On The Lake" for Tuesday night steak night, "Big Sombrero" was our go to place for Mexican food and margaritas. We always got good food here at reasonable prices.

Repair wise, we had the pleasure of losing our microwave/convection oven and our water heater. The microwave/oven was a challenge since we needed a Sharp, model R-1874, and it took 3 months to get one. Luckily we eventually got one and I installed the microwave/oven and the new water heater myself, saving us a lot of money. Actually Kathy's father, Jim Nix, helped with the installations.

We've given our notice and plan on leaving by the first of May, earlier if possible as we are just about fed up and burned out.
Next stop, Oklahoma to visit family, and then we'll see what's next!  But we will take a few months off since dealing with these people can get very stressful. Even though the overwhelming majority  are wonderful people, the small percentage can just flat wear you out.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Winter 2017 in Orange Beach, AL

After checking the winter long range forecast, we decided to try the Gulf Coast for our winter. We chose Orange Beach, Alabama after we got a gig at Buena Vista Coastal Motorcoach Resort. This is a very nice resort, but for me it did not meet my expectations. I won't go into detail yet about our experience. The sites are very nice and we were assigned site 102 which is next to the beautiful pool that has a lazy river attraction, water slide, and waterfalls.

One of the benefits of coming here was being close to friends who are currently in the Florida area. We got to make a couple of two hour trips to Destin and then to DeFuniak Springs for visits to them at different RV resorts.

One of the highlights of this visit was participating in the Mardi Gras parade at Orange Beach. The resort had entered a float in the parade and us workampers had a blast throwing beads, candy, and balls to thousands of smiling faces.

                        Kathy and fellow worker, Vickie enjoying a ride on the Mardi Gras float.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Still waiting for the Fall colors and it's almost November!

It's our last week in Sevierville - Pigeon Forge - Gatlinburg area. I'd heard on the news that the mid levels of the mountains were at peak colors. We drove up about mid level and...nope! Not even close to peak yet, it's just been too dang warm. It was still a nice drive then stopped into our favorite Mexican place in the area, Loco Burro, in Gatlinburg. Took a stroll down the busy as ever street looking for gifts to take home. We will miss the area but not all the people, just too many tourists come here.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A Day Drive To Bristol

The fun part of our nomad lifestyle is being able to decide on a moments notice what we want to do. We saw an ad with the little Geico gecko standing in Bristol over the state line marker of Tennessee and Virginia and said I want to do that! It was only 1 1/2 hours away so a good day trip.

We stopped for lunch in the cute town of Morristown. The downtown area was like taking a trip back in time. It was interesting how it was set up for 2 levels. We checked Trip Advisor for recommendations for a local restaurant and found The Dutchman. I enjoyed a Rueben sandwich and fries while Bruce had the French Dip and baked potato. We had a good laugh over their bathrooms. We never figured it out but Bruce walked in on a lady...

Very nice scenic drive, found the downtown area and a place to park. Nice to have our little Honda instead of the F250 in places like this. There's not that much here but did find Uncle Sams. I thought in was a general store but it is a pawn shop, oh well, talked with a nice clerk about the geeko commercial and off we go to stand in the middle of the street for our photo ops.

                                         Straddling the state lines of Tennessee and Virginia in Bristol!

We strolled down the street, laughing how we'd cross the state line several times. Decided we could us a snack and a beer so went into Quaker Steak. They would not let me bring my tea in say "people try sneaking in alcohol" Really? It's that big of a deal that on a hot day they won't let me keep my tea or even offer to replace it when we leave? I will not give an establishment my money that has that kind of customer service!

Again, looked up Trip Adviser for another place to go. Cootie Brown's they say, so off we go! What a wonderful choice!! Hot wings and ice cold beer at happy hour. A great server, Jimmy, took wonderful care of us.

When in Bristol you have to go by the speedway so next stop on our way out.

What a wonderfully fun spur of the moment day!