WagginTailsRV

Living Our Dream


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R&R and MoHo Mods

Our last work day at Lone Star Yogi in Waller, Tx was Tuesday 8/12. We took a couple of days to get packed up and to get a hitch installed on or Ford Edge. Friday morning 8/15, we pulled out and said Good Bye! to Yogi Bear. Our first stop was my brother’s place in Burton, TX for a few days R&R and to get our dining room cabinet finished and moved into the RV. The cabinet project started off as a standard 60″x24″ sink cabinet from Lowe’s. That was too deep for our need so I reduced the depth of the cabinet to fit our space.

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Then I had to cut a slot in the faux drawer in the center of the cabinet for our table to slide into the cabinet. Plus reconfigure the two side drawers to fit the 16″ depth. Add a top and place a trim edge that would keep stuff from rolling off when we are on the road. And add a shelf on the inside.

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My brother helped me get it into the motor home. After removing the day/night shades and crappy valances, here is where she stood when we left Burton.

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I still have to alter the legs on the table and hang new roller shades and curtains on the windows.

Monday AM we pulled away from  Burton and headed for Corpus Christi. We stopped in Schulenberg for lunch and fuel. As we approached Corpus Christi, we encountered strong southerly winds and a little rain. Fueled up again in Corpus Christi so we would not need to do that when we leave in a week. We pulled into Colonia Del Rey and got our assigned space. No shade here so it will be hot in the afternoon. Our daughter planned supper for us, so as soon as we got set up, we headed to her apartment.

Tuesday we spent the day with our grandson, Gage. This was his last day of summer vacation. Carol washed clothes while Gage and I played a couple of board games. He and I made a couple of trips back to the RV park so we could walk our fur babies, Cody and MeiLing. After a great TexMex meal at Acapulco. Next, Carol and I headed to Lowe’s to get the new roller shades.

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Wednesday after breakfast, I got worked on installing the new shades. It took a little trial and error but they work fine. There are two different roller shade hanging brackets. The ones in front are standard and place the center of the roller about 1″ away from the wall. The ones in the back place the center of the roller about 1.5″ away from the wall.  Unless you have them made, most roller shades come in standard 74″ length. Big box stores (Lowe’s, Home Depot, Menard’s, etc.) can cut the roller shades to width. We opted to go that route instead of custom ordering for width and length. We had to get longer brackets to keep the shades from dragging on the RV’s window frames. We also opted to get the room darkening shades instead of those that let in a little light. They really make a difference on blocking heat.  The day/night shades we had sorta work but not as well as the shades we installed.

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Carol made curtains for the windows last summer when we where at Mark Twain Landing in Monroe City, MO. We are using standard curtain rods. This makes mounting a little tricky because the rods are mounted close to the overhead cabinets.

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Here is the final photo of the cabinet in place with new legs to support the table and the new curtains. Sometimes it is the little thing that make a drab RV feel more like home.

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We are still thinking through the process of replacing the carpet with laminate flooring. Until we do this, we still need to vacuum the carpet. Our 3-year-old trusty Dirt Devil finally broke down. We wanted something like the Dyson Canister but could not see spending almost $500 for a vacuum. So we went to Walmart and got a Shark Navigator instead at 1/3 the cost. I vacuumed the carpet 3. First pass got all the dog hair from Cody, second and third pass got the dust/dirt that was in the carpet. I can honestly say the Shark really sucks – in a good way. And it is easy to empty and clean the canister.

While on the subject of RV mods, we purchased a solar screen for our windshield. We have seen many motor homes with these solar screens and decide if we were going to survive Texas heat in August, we need one. The solar screen blocks the sun and allows us to still see out. RV Sunscreen out of Winter Haven, Florida make these shades along with other products for RVs. They come in all sizes and color configurations. Plus they ship fast. We got our just before leaving Lone Star Yogi in Waller. We will order some for our side windows when we get settled.

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Meanwhile, thanks for stopping by – y’all come back now.

 


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It’s A Wrap for Waller

Carol and I are on the move to a new location. We’ve had all the drama, miscommunication, disrespect and incompetence we can stand. The time was right for a change plus we got a good offer on a winter gig. More about that later.

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Lone Star Yogi is a large destination RV Park about 35 miles Northwest of Houston. They have a medium-sized water park that includes water slides, lazy river, toddler splash pool, and a couple of adult pools. They have bout 150 RV sites, 150 cabins, 50 tent sites and a grand lodge that can accommodate 28 people. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, the park stays pretty full. Most weekends are packed, especially the three-day weekends. On those busy weekends, the roads in the park are filled with people, bicycles, skate boards golf carts and the Yogi Express tram rides.

DSC_0902Yogi Theater is adjacent to the activities building in the center of the park. The theater plays kid friendly movies every night. The activities building is a bustling center of crafts, games and other things suitable for kids of all ages. The multi-level playscape is between the theater and activities building. Yogi’s Karaoke stage, basket ball, volleyball and horse shoe pit are also around the activities building.

DSC_0941A fully stocked fishing lake is popular spot for campers of all ages. No swimming or boating is allowed in the lake. Tell that to the ducks. The walking path around the lake is full of campers searching for that hot fishing hole.

DSC_0919Behind the flag pole is a free 18-hole miniature golf course. This spot is always full of people from 8AM until 10PM.

Yogi Golf CartsBecause of the size of the park, campers love to rent golf carts. This makes it easy for them to move from campsite to pool to activities. It also adds to the congestion in the park. Cars, trucks and RVs must really have a watchful eye as they travel through the park.

IMG_1951During the past 5 1/2 months, Carol worked in registration, supervised gate operations and hosted 16 international students from Thailand, China, and Dominican Republic. They called her their Texas Mom. I worked on construction projects and was available as backup maintenance when needed.  The registration center had a 3 station call center plus front desk. The phones never stopped ringing. At the gate, Carol trained 5 college/high school students on gate operations which primarily included checking guests into the park and registering day use folks who came for the day to use the water park. On Thursday and Friday, the gate generally had about 300 guest check-ins. Sunday was a busy day-use day. Tuesday was shopping day for the students. Carol made sure they had a good experience in Texas. They visited Blue Bell Ice Creamery in Brenham, TX. Legacy RV Resorts corporate office provided tickets for the Houston Astros baseball at Minute Maid Park. And they enjoyed shopping at the mall. In the photo above, you see them gathered around their Texas Mom for a farewell dinner they prepared for us just before we left. Each person contributed something toward the dinner. All I can say is the food was yummy, tasty and authentic.

IMG_1904My work was primarily construction. I worked with the corporate construction manager on several projects. We built two 20×20 storage buildings for housekeeping, added a new enclosure on the well house near the activity center. We also completed several smaller projects around the park. On a few occasions, I was called out to help out with park maintenance and pump propane.

DSC_0945So as we drive off for a little R&R with family, we simply said good-bye to Yogi Bear. It was an interesting summer, not one we care to repeat in this park. Maybe somewhere else in Texas.

That’s it for now, next we will tell you a little about our remodeling project and our winter workamping gig. Thanks for stopping by, y’all come back now.


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It’s Official

Yes sir, it is official. Summer is here and Lone Star Yogi is about to become busy, busy, busy. For most destination RV parks, the busy season runs from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend. Kids are out of school and families are ready for vacation.

summerCarol has had a great experience working in the registration office and working at the gate on weekends. By the time she gets home after a day on the gate, Carol is wiped out. She is on her feet pretty much all day. During the week, she takes reservations over the phone and preps the camper’s info packets for the coming weekend.

DSC_0947Meanwhile, the construction projects (two housekeeping storage buildings and a new shell for the well house) that Robbie and I are working on are getting closer to completion. Two things are extremely important when building structures – the exterior walls should be painted as quickly as possible to protect the exterior T-111 plywood panels and the roof should go on as soon as possible once the walls are up.

Well, the roof material was two weeks late getting to us so the roof did not go on until after we encounter a major storm. This resulted in finding about an inch of water covering the floor. That was not a good thing. Fortunately the water did not cause any major floor damage.

IMG_1783A couple of days after the storm, we received the roof material. So it goes in the construction business.

IMG_1784Meanwhile we began tearing down the walls on the well house and raised a new frame.

IMG_1781After much discussion about roofing the well house, moving the well house, covering or not covering the well house tanks, we finally got the exterior walls up. Now there are two structures waiting for paint. Where are the painters when you need them?

IMG_1821Meanwhile the first housekeeping storage building finally got its roof, which means we were able to get the ceiling and insulation in place.

IMG_1797And we finished the interior walls, plus added four large shelving units.

IMG_1817Did I mention we had rain while this was going on? Fortunate for our campers, the rain started late Monday of Memorial Day weekend. Campers where already set to depart so most got out before the big rain. Here is what the tent camping area next to the pool looked like by Tuesday after Memorial Day.

IMG_1811Even the group camping looked more like a lake. That’s Robbie’s truck in the photo.

IMG_1815We finally got the roof on the first building and have turned it over to housekeeping. The exterior is still not painted. Hopefully that will change before the exterior T-111 plywood is damaged.

IMG_1790Things are drying out, campers are coming in droves which means summer has officially started. Here are some photos of what this place looks like when it is full of campers.

DSCN0612 DSCN0615 DSCN0621Meanwhile, we have already planted the support posts for the second building and are ready to start on it next week. In about 4-5 weeks, our work here will be completed; we will then have a decision to make about where we will go next. Yogi Bear bids you farewell for now.

IMG_1763Thanks for stopping by; y’all come back now.

 


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Working in Waller, TX

Waller, TX is a small community Northwest of Houston on Highway 290, about 30 minutes away from Brenham, Katy, and Tomball, Texas. Our campground, Lone Star Yogi, is a quick get-a-way location for many folks in the Houston area.

WallerWe arrived at Lone Star Yogi on March 1 after a short trip From Hidden Valley RV in Southwest San Antonio area. The first big event we encountered is Spring Break, which spanned three weekends and two weeks. The park is busy when it is full of people. It does not take long for the 125 RV site, 40 tent sites and 150 cabins to fill up. The park also has a small water park that is a major attraction for guests. As is usual for many RV parks, Thursday and Friday are busy check-in dates while Sunday is the mass exodus.

Carol works in the registration office during the week and is in the gate house on weekends checking in guests to the park. There are several ladies named Carol in the park so Carol has a new name. In this park, she is CJ. I work in maintenance, primarily focused on construction projects. I work with the Robbie who is the construction manager for Legacy RV Resorts.

So what have I been working on? Well, it is a long list so here goes.

Project #1 – Repair a weak floor in bedroom of one cabin. The floor was weakened by a leaking shower mixture valve that had been replaced.

01 Cabin FloorProject #2 – Mop Closet outside of the recreation center. Mops ‘out-of-sight’ makes for a cleaner look.

02 Mop ClosetProject #3 – Water Pump Enclosure. Water pumps adjacent to new tent camping area disturbed a camper. Enclosure is also insulated with 1 1/2 inch foam. After we completed this project, the tent camper thank us.

03 Noisey PumpProject #4 – A/C Repair. We replaced the outside A/C compressor as requested. New unit would not operate so we then did a little trouble shooting and found bad splices on the control cable. Repaired the splice and all is well keeping that cabin cool. We also had to keep this duck at bay since he did not like us being around.

04 ACProject #5 – Security Gate by General Store. The security gate keeps golf carts out of the solar panel farm which is located behind the general store.

05 Store GateProject #6 – Septic Tank Fence. In two areas, we built a short fence surrounding two septic tank areas. The fence will keep guests from driving golf carts near the tanks.

06 Septic FenceProject #7 – Yogi Theater Projector Platform. The platform for the projection room was not stable. We built a new platform and included a bench seat for the mature guests.

07 Projection Room PlatformProject #8 – Headboards. I built 80 headboards to be installed in cabins. Sometimes it is the little things that have a big impact.

08 HeadboardsProject #9 – Housekeeping Storage Building. This is one of two buildings we are building for Housekeeping. This will place cleaning supplies closer to the cabins. We should be done with one of the building by Friday. Then we can break ground on the other which has to be completed before Memorial Day Weekend.

10 HousekeepingProject #10 – Signs. I made frames for several signs that were placed around the property.

10 SignsProject #11 – Repair siding on a cabin. We replaced 32 feet of siding on this cabin. The siding had to be custom cut and was expensive. Thirty-two feet cost $144. OUCH.

11 Cabin Siding On one of my trips back to the maintenance shop, I encountered a flat tire. Fortunately Lone Star Yogi has an excellent staff of Golf Cart folks who came to my rescue.

12 Flat TireThat is the end of project for the past two months. All these projects does not mean I work and have no time for play. There will always be playtime in our world.

March is rodeo month in Houston. Our eldest daughter arranged for us to enjoy a day at the Houston Fat Stock Show and Rodeo. WOW has that event has really grown. I bet you did not know they used a John Deere Zamboni to groom the arena.14 RodeoMiniature golf with our eldest daughter and our youngest Grandson. They also enjoyed the Yogi’s water park before we grilled burgers for a late lunch.

13 GolfCelebrated Carol’s Birthday at Goodson’s Cafe in Tomball. Great atmosphere and decent food. We had to get a birthday photo with their cow.

15 CarolI have been working with Richard, another workamper, we met last summer at Mark Twain Landing in Monroe City, MO. Richard and his wife Debbie, who worked in registration with Carol, left about a week ago. We hosted a farewell cookout for Richard and Debbie. Robbie and his wife Della joined us. Richard is in the back, Debbie is on the right. So that now leaves Robbie and I to finish the construction projects before Memorial Day.

16 BBQAnd there is always time for a campfire.

17 CampfireThat just about does it for a recap of the last two months. We’ve been pretty busy working hard on getting this park ready for the summer crowd. In one more month, school will be out and the park will be in full summer time operations. Thanks for stopping by. Y’all come back now.

 


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Adios San Antonio

Thank you Teri and Mark for making our stay at Hidden Valley RV enjoyable. Our workamping experience was a great one. You guys have done a fabulous job on rebuilding the park after the horrible flood last spring.

hidden-valley.jpgWe landed at Hidden Valley on Thursday Jan 30th after a short drive up from Corpus Christi. Teri showed us site #2 pictured above. Carol’s sister Donna met us as we pulled in. The two sisters were going to have a sewing marathon for a day or two. As soon as we got parked, they took off leaving me to nest on the site.

The sisters made it back on Saturday Feb 1, as expected to enjoy the Cowboy Breakfast, Hidden Valley was hosting. We had a grand time meeting new people and making new friends. Teri and Mark put on a feast that would fill any cowboy’s belly. Even the resident fur babies got into the action.

Hidden Valley Cowboy BreakfastAfter breakfast, I wondered through the park to catch a glimpse of the old and the new. The new sites are roomier and will have ample shade from the trees on the south side. Campers will enjoy that this summer.

HV RVFebruary 2nd was Super Bowl weekend. My niece Tammi invited us to come to their house. They were having a few friends over for a Super Bowl Party. We enjoyed our visit and meeting some of their friends. We did not get a photo of them so I borrowed one from Tammi’s Facebook page.

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February 10th, we met up with RVers Bob and Susan from Oregon. They have an interesting story of how they got into this lifestyle. You can read that on the blog Susan writes, Travel Bug. We had a delightful visit at Zio’s in San Antonio.

DSCN0599For Valentine’s weekend, Carol and her sister got back together for another sewing weekend. That gave me some more quiet time. I do enjoy that and I know Carol enjoys spending time with her sister. During that weekend our Calico cat, Patches, got mad at me. Apparently I went to bed on Thursday the 13th and forgot to check the water bowl. Cody drank it dry during the night and Patches got thirsty. When I woke up Friday morning, I could not find my glasses. After I took Cody and MeiLing out and got them fed, I went on a search for my glasses. I place them next to my side of the bed each night. This morning they were not there, not on the floor, not anywhere to be found. Since these were new glasses, I did not cherish the idea that I may have to spend another $250 for new glasses again. After I showered that morning, I saw something ‘shiny’ under a sewing accessory that Carol uses with her sewing machine. Eureka! I found my glasses. Apparently Patches moved them. Either that or one of the dogs did. I know I did not put my glasses there. Another mystery solved.

IMG_1640We have had a combination of beautiful spring weather mixed with cold from the Polar Vortex that has been producing extreme cold in the US. On those beautiful bright sunny spring like days, our neighbor John spends time flying his kites. He has quiet a collection of kites. His wife Carolyn says that it keeps him out of trouble. Here John is prepping one of his smaller kites. This one has a 20′ span across the base.

IMG_1642Carol’s sister Donna and B-I-L Tom stopped by for a visit. They parked their travel trailer next to us. While the sisters worked on a sewing project, Tom worked on getting some repairs done on their travel trailer. We did not get any photos of Tom working on their TT but did manage to snag a couple of photos of the sisters’ sewing project from Hidden Valley’s FB page.

Sister PursesOn Saturday 2/22, Carol and I drove into San Antonio to meet another dear friend and former Driscoll Children’s Hospital co-worker. After Rebecca left Corpus Christi, she moved to Austin, Tx and met Ron. Rebecca and I chatted on Facebook but just never could arrange a meet up. She suggested getting together before we left San Antonio so we set a date. She and Ron drove from Austin to meet us at the Lone Star Cafe on the San Antonio Riverwalk. We enjoyed sharing our RVing experiences with them and talking about old times and how times have changed.  Rebecca has recently retired from nursing and is enjoy this time with less stress.

DSCN0602On Friday the 28th, we had one more lunch date with another former Driscoll Children’s Hospital co-worker. Linda White was benefits manager there until she left Corpus Christi had moved to San Antonio. Again, we’ve chatted a few times on Face Book which eventually led to a phone call to set up this lunch time. Carol and I met Linda and Robert at Bill Miller’s BBQ on the northwest side of town. We had a great time catching up on things. Linda and Robert said they make regular trips to the Tomball area and would come for a visit.

IMG_1655As February comes to a close, several folks have asked what kind of work I had been doing. While Carol has been working with Teri in the office, I’ve been moving dirt. Part of this task is related to building up an area that washed out during the spring flood. The majority of the time was spent spreading dirt over areas in the field across from us that had large patches of exposed rocks. Mark wanted the field prepped for planting grass seeds. Just like a homeowner would do for their yard, spreading dirt means picking it up from one spot and spreading it in layers in other ares. The main difference is the size of the shovel. Here is the shovel I used.

IMG_1645We did not do much sight-seeing while in San Antonio, but we did notice a new building that was quiet large. I just had to find out more about this building. Maruchen, Inc. produces 3.6 billion packages of Ramen Noodles in two plants in Irving, CA and one in Richmond, VA. They are currently at capacity and selected San Antonio as the location for their 4th Ramen Noodle plant in the US. This 500,000 sq.ft building located near the intersection of I-35 and Loop 410 in Southwest San Antonio, is set to open later this year.

IMG_1653Saturday was a travel day for us. We woke up to a heavy fog so we were in no hurry to leave. Carol had already cleaned up the kitchen so fixing breakfast was out of the question. Instead, we decided to have breakfast Tacos at Benjamin’s Kitchen. This is not a fancy place. You don’t need a fancy place to be successful. Good food will draw a crowd. We arrived before the breakfast crowd and enjoyed our Tacos. By the time we left, every table was taken and people were beginning to wait for a seat. Thank you Benjamin’s Kitchen for the great breakfast Tacos.

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Texas Is Expensive

Maybe I should have title this entry “R&R Mode Is Expensive”. I’m not sure which would be accurate. Since we started on this journey in January 2012, our coming back to Texas for a stay has been costly for us. We came back to Texas so we could get our annual physicals and of course visit family and friends.

Potters Creek - Canyon Lake

In October 2012, we spent a week at Potter’s Creek in San Antonio enjoying a little R&R while we were between workamping locations. During that week, we took a trip to Camping World in New Braunfels to buy a new shower faucet for the 5th wheel we had at that time. By the time we were done, we had negotiated a deal to trade our 5th wheel and truck for a motor home. (You can read about that by clicking here.) After moving into our new wheels, we then went to Corpus Christi for a few days. While in Corpus Christi, we stayed at Sea Breeze RV in Portland and bought a car. (That story is here.)

cropped-seabreezeportlandtx.jpgJust like October/November 2012, we are between workamping jobs, we stayed at Potters Creek before coming to Corpus Christi, and we are staying at Sea Breeze RV.  We passed our physicals with flying colors and are good to go for another year. We also got eye exams, new glasses and had our hearing aids cleaned and checked.We also traded the car we bought in 2012 for a more suitable vehicle that we can easily tow behind the motor home.

IMG_1623We had an opportunity to meet Phyllis and Len as they were headed to the Rio Grande Valley.I have been reading their blog The Easts Head West for some time. It is always good to meet folks along the way – especially those I follow by their blog.

DSCN0591We had a great visit and enjoyed the extended time visiting friends in the area. It is now time to say ‘So long Corpus Christi.’ as we head to our next stop on this journey.

Sea Breeze Sunset


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Next Stop

Now that we are in the South, what’s next for us? That is the question I’ve been asked.

Today we leave Potters Creek for the 200 mile trip to Corpus Christi. We will be parked at Sea Breeze RV which is in Portland, just across the Nueces Bay from Corpus Christi. We have appointments for our annual physical, eye exams and audiology. We will have plenty of time to visit friends and catchup on the local stuff. After spending two years away from Corpus Christi, I hope to see it with fresh eyes. After three weeks in Corpus Christi, we end our R&R and get back to work.

Sea Breeze RVNext stop is Hidden Valley RV in Van Ormy, TX. Van Ormy is located in Southeast Bexar (pronounced – bear) county on I-35. We will be working with Teri and Mark, the owners of at Hidden Valley, in exchange for our site. Hidden Valley suffered a major blow in the May 2013 when the Medio Creek overran its banks and flooded the RV Park. They have since rebuilt the RV Park from the ground up. While the park has had its grand reopening, there is still lots of work to be done.

Hidden Valley RVMarch 1st, we head to our next stop, Lone Star Yogi, in Waller, TX. This little community is about 40 miles Northwest of downtown Houston and 35 miles Southeast of Brenham. We lived in Houston for a number of years before our 20 years in Corpus Christi and have family in the area. I will be working in maintenance and Carol in registration. Lone Star has just completed a major expansion. We understand this is one of the busiest parks in the Legacy Resorts family. We will be there through October 31st.

Lone Star YogiWe also have a commitment with American RV in Albuquerque, NM from November 2014 through April 2015. There we will be trained as assistant managers so we can continue our work with Legacy Resorts. We were originally talking with the manager at American RV for a possible summer work spot. During the conversation, the discussion shifted to our becoming assistant managers, thus the shift from summer to winter.

American RVWe look forward to getting back to work. We’ve enjoyed the down time so far and are looking forward to our time visiting with family and friends in Corpus Christi.

If you are in the Corpus Christi area feel free to find us at Sea Breeze in Portland. If you are traveling through Texas during the summer, we invite you to stop by at Lone Star Yogi in Waller, TX. Hope to see you soon.

Thanks for stopping by. Y’all come back now. I leave you with a photo of the sunrise at Potters Creek this morning. We are glad to be back in Texas for a bit.

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