Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas!

To our family, near and far
To our friends, old and new
Merry Christmas to you!


They say “home is where the heart is”, and I agree.  And for us, “home” is also where the RV is parked, which is now in Azle, TX.  But no matter where we are at Christmastime, we celebrate in style—delicious food, pretty decorations, and good company!


Grandma's Nativity, a family treasure, now about 50 years old!



Our "Charlie Brown" Tree and Electric "Yule Log"


Even Stewey and Dewey Decorate for Christmas!

Hey, Tabatha the Cat Snuck Into My Picture!

We had our traditional Italian Christmas Eve dinner:  antipasta, stuffed shells with Mom’s homemade sauce, and fishes:  fried shrimp, fried calamari, mussels, and bacon wrapped scallops.  Dad is the fry master, making the best shrimp and calamari ever!  We started eating at noon, with Mike and Claudia joining us for two of the courses before they headed to Dallas for a 5:30 church service, and we just finished up our dessert at 9 p.m. while completing our Christmas Eve ritual of watching "A Christmas Carol."


Dad The Fry Master

I am one stuffed stuffed rat!  Now it’s time to get snuggled in bed so the visions of tomorrow's menu can dance in my head:  a huge roast beast and Mom's homemade cheesecake!

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!


Thursday, December 17, 2015

Holiday Happenings

'Tis the season, so our touring of the area has included special holiday events and spending time with friends.


We cruised on our motorcycles one afternoon to meet up with Brenda and Hank, co-workers from Crazy Horse, who were visiting the area.  It was nice to see them and catch up.  And, we actually enjoyed some terrific Margherita pizza at Grimaldi’s in Grapevine, TX!  Definitely worthy of Rambling RV Rat’s 5-cheese rating!


We learned Grapevine is the Christmas Capital of Texas, and it surely lives up to its reputation!  Mike and Claudia joined us one evening to take in the beautiful lights and decorations.   And the Christmas parade with bands, classic cars, and floats, was just what we needed to get us into the holiday spirit!  Mommy thinks Amazon should enter a float in the parade, and Daddy says “Big Boomer” could tow it!  We shall see for next year!


Mike, Claudia, and Yours Truly!


Since “Big Boomer” doesn’t do well with parking in cities, one day we took the train from Richland Hills into Dallas Union Station, where we hailed a cab to take us to the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden.  Our driver took us “for a ride”, taking us to the aquarium instead of the arboretum.  So we got a bit of a “scenic tour” of Dallas with the meter running.  The Arboretum was once part of the 44-acre Rancho Encinal, the estate home of geophysicist Everette Lee DeGolyer and his wife, Nell.   The estate home was gorgeous—beautiful woodwork, unique ceilings and rooms filled with original home furnishings.   But even more enjoyable was the special holiday exhibit—more than 500 nativities from all around the world on display, designed so creatively from an assortment of materials--ceramic, porcelain, pewter, crochet, seed pods, wood, etc.  There were different “character” themes for the nativities as well-bear, dogs, cats, penguins, moose—you name it! 





Outside were gazebos decorated for each of the “Twelve Days of Christmas.”  It was a magical, beautiful day!

We visited the Fort Worth stockades in 2009 when meeting with Wayland Long of 2L Truck and Trailer Sales, the custom builder of “Big Boomer”.  So while here in Haslet we just had to revisit what we consider the best steakhouse in the area—DelFrisco’s.  And our memories served us well—the food once again was delectable—we were not disappointed!  The place was packed, especially for a Thursday evening!  We burned a few of the calories we devoured by walking down to “Sundance Square”, Fort Worth’s version of Rockefeller Center.  Texas sure does take Christmas seriously!  All the buildings had coordinated lights, a beautiful tree the centerpiece of the square.  It was a “selfie haven”. 


Well, I am pooped!  Time to hit the sack!  Speak to you again soon!

















Friday, December 4, 2015

Taking Some Scenic Tours

Hi, everyone!  Hope you all had a good Thanksgiving!  Ours was quite nice!  Mommy cooked up a storm:  antipasta, roasted turkey, ham, sweet potato pie, cheesecake squares, apple crumb cake—I’m getting fatter by the minute just thinking of all the good eats!  Claudia and Mike, our traveling buddies, joined us, and a wonderful time was had by all.

I'm sorry I have not corresponded in quite some time, but it’s been quite hectic here.  My parents have been working 50 hour weeks, so they come home pretty bushed!  We have had some very traumatic weather here in North Texas over the last month or so, too.  Tons of rain causing flooding in many areas, severe thunderstorms with booms so loud, I fell off my chair.  And even more frightening, tornado warnings!  We have been fortunate, however, and have fared well.   Some of our friends and co-workers were not so lucky.  Several had to relocate their RVs due to flooding.  And one campground advised their guests to evacuate due to tornado warnings!

On the few days off where we had good weather and my parents had the strength, we visited some area attractions.
The Fort Worth Botanical Gardens were wonderful and a real value—the general gardens are free of charge!
How Cool--Madame Butterfly Got in This Pic!
The Conservatory, a tropical paradise complete with waterfalls, cost a mere $2/person.  What funky plants, trees, and flowers!

The expansive Japanese Gardens were $5/person, but well worth the visit.  There were HUGE koi in the ponds, and they were so accustomed to visitors, they actually came up and begged for food!


Turtles sunbathing on the rocks!
Yours truly resting on the park bench, taking in all the beauty around me!

The begging koi!

The visitor center had a huge aquarium filled with clown fish, yellow tang, long-nose butterfly, starfish, live coral, and an array of other salt water habitants, which brought back some memories of the 55- gallon reverse osmosis salt water fish tank Daddy had many years ago.  It was an expensive hobby—especially when the lion fish ate all the others!  Not to mention the $100 octopus Mommy bought him one year that kicked the bucket after 2 days!  Daddy didn’t want Mommy to know it died, so he went out and replaced it—for another $100!  Sorry, I digress…


We visited Eagle Mountain Park, a unique area “where the prairie meets the timbers”.  Most of these 400 acres of land remain pristine, natural habitat, unaltered by man.  Saw lots of wildlife—deer, cranes at the lake, even a red tail hawk who swooped down to grab a snake for lunch before soaring back into the blue sky!


Well, gotta run—Mommy is baking cookies and I am the “official” taste tester!  Talk to you soon!