Sunday, March 6, 2016

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spring Break 2010 - Lockhart State Park

We packed up the truck Saturday morning and headed to

about 14 miles north of Lulling and 5 mins from downtown Lockhart. We got to the park about 20 minutes before Larry, Mitch and Jenna and found what turned out to be the largest camping spot available.....only problem was a 6-8 foot drop off from where you park so we got a lot of leg workout unloading and loading back up.
We got set up with all the essentials, bikes, tent, and night time relief chair.
 
As custom with us, we had already found a church in Lockhart and headed for a 5:30 mass at St Mary Of the Visitation Catholic Church.


Below Vicki got finished dressing just outside of the church....



After church we all went to Black's Barbeque (Lockhart is the official "Barbeque Capital of Texas") and enjoyed a really good BBQ dinner.

We got back to camp and had our first Domino tournament. I was ahead until the very last hand and my lovely niece Jenna beat me. I got the famous Jenna grin...she really enjoyed that.
Saturday night was COLD!! Our faces hurt during the night it was so cold....not freezing but tent-camping-cold.

Had Larry's famous chocolate chip and blueberry waffles for breakfast and waited for the day to warm up.

Sunday was a pretty lazy day. We had that great breakfast, did some bike riding, and snacked and took it really easy.




We had our first of two campfires and retired just after 10 pm. Sunday night was a little warmer but still cool enough to get inside the sleeping bags and snuggle up.

Monday morning we fixed a good breakfast of Lil Smokies and fried eggs and all, yes, All of us headed to play golf on the 9 hole golf course located in the park. Surprisingly the course was in pretty good shape. Larry, Mitch, and Joe played 18 holes and Jenna & Vicki lasted in the carts for about 10 holes. You had to stay in the fairway.....the rough was clover - deep clover - and all of us lost a lot of golf balls. You could mark the spot the ball stopped.....walk right to it....and never find your ball. We all had fun.

Vicki and I KNOW that our tent leaks and we all knew that there was a chance of rain headed our way Monday night. I put up the Fema roof on our tent just in case.

Monday night was steak night followed by a trip to Dairy Queen for Blizzards and sundaes. Then the second good campfire which was interrupted by the beginning of rain.

We all headed for the tents and listened to the rain falling on the tents. It rained on and off most of the night and we woke up Tuesday morning with just about everything damp or wet.

But....
Tradition calls for steak and eggs on the morning of departure from Spring Break camping and rain or shine we maintain tradition. Steak, eggs, Bloody Mary's and breakdown of camp.



Another fun Spring Break camping trip.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

GrandTwins Turn Two

The weekend of February 20 - 21st, Vicki & I, along with Evelyn Jordan (Mamah Two), hopped on a couple of Southwest Airlines flights - one from San Antonio & one from Houston Hobby both headed for Nashville Tennessee.

The occasion?

The GrandTwins, Ms Coppelia and Ms Estee Guidry turned 2 years old on the 21st of February.....and the Great Grand and Grandparents wanted to be there to help celebrate. (Oh....and we also wanted to see Tyler and Hannah :) )

We arrived at Nashville International Airport around 9:30 Saturday morning and had a Starbucks Coffee and one bloody mary wait for Evelyn to come in on her San Antonio flight around 11:00.

The visit was a quick visit....but we enjoyed playing with the girls and listening to Coppelia chatter away. Estee is still soaking everything in....not much to say verbally.....but expresses herself in dance.

We all got to go to their gymnastics class on Saturday morning and got to see the girls and Tyler & Hannah jumping on the trampoline, running into the foam pit, walking the balance beams, and generally having a great time. They know the gym....as Hannah turned down the street in front of the gym both girls started clapping and Coppelia chanted Yea! Yea!

A visit to the park afterwards to 'tire them out' and then we finished the afternoon with an early Birthday celebration at home.

Sunday we attempted some family photos and quickly ran out of time before heading back to the airport.

Always nice to see your kids and their kids.

Pics below....click on pics to go to Picasa....enjoy.



Quick look at changes from first to second Birthdays.  Click on picture to enlarge.....


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Fare Thee Well Wanda Rice


During the night last Friday, January 22, 2010, Wanda Rice passed away. Wanda was Lou Ann Allen's mother and grandmother to my children Tyler and Andrea as well as Great-Grandmother to Gabe, Chase, Coppelia, and Estee. She was also a good friend to all.

The following is copied from her obituary as published in the Houston Chronicle on 27Jan2010:

Born on May 9, 1928 on Prince Edward Island in Canada,WANDA SOPHIA COSTAIN RICE unexpectedly passed away on January 22, 2010. She lived in the Spring Branch area and worked as a nurse for many years at Spring Branch Memorial Hospital. She was an active member at the local YMCA and Curves. Her favorite hobbies included knitting, crossword puzzles, dominos and bingo. She enjoyed the daily get togethers with her friends of playing games and chatting. She loved to bake homemade chocolate chip cookies and make biscuits and sausage for all her grandchildren. She is survived by her son, Daryl MacKinnon and daughters Lou Ann Allen and Tena Buzek; grandchildren Tyler Guidry, Naomi Linker, Andrea Collins, Ross Buzek, Kyle Buzek, Neil Buzek, Emily MacKinnon and great grandchildren Gabe and Chase Collins, Coppelia and Estee Guidry and Cooper Linker.In lieu of flowers please make a donation in her honor to your favorite charity.

I have posted the following pictures from my collection in honor of her joyful memory.

Friday, January 22, 2010

New Orleans Adventure 2010

At 4:35 p.m., 13Jan10, out of Houston Hobby, Georgia, Larry, Vicki, and I rose into the sky with our bags checked for FREE to begin our second adventure to New Orleans.


Arriving at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport we retrieved our bags, that we checked for FREE, hailed a cab, and headed downtown to check into the Loews Hotel near the river and across from Harrah's Casino & Hotel. Our cab driver instructed us that there would be plenty of Who Dat being yelled over the weekend as the Saints were in town to beat the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Divisional Championship Playoff. She pointed out Mothers Restaurant right across from the hotel and told us it was a pretty good place to eat. We checked in, got the rooms we wanted (both had river view rooms with King Size beds). The Loews is a really nice hotel.

Our plan was to not blow our wads on the first night, but we wanted to go into the Quarter. We wandered around and all four of us asked each other 1,353 times (exact) "well where do you want to go?, what do you want to do? its up to you....no its up to you." So believe it or not, we returned to the scene of a previous visit meltdown - Pat O'Brien's. All four of us agreed before we went in to only have one or two hurricanes and we all swore we were not going to repeat the mistake we made 10 years ago. Yeah right....went in...drank one, or two, or four....sang along with the piano players and left grinningly happy.....again.




The next morning, Thursday,  we were all survivors....not nearly as bad as ten years ago, and headed to Cafe Du Monde for coffee and beignets.....of course we had black jackets on and everyone commented that we must have gone to Cafe Du Monde that morning for breakfast. Wondered into Jackson Square and thru the St Louis Cathedral before realizing that powdery sugar donuts wasn't enough fuel to restart our engines after Pat O'B's. Larry asked a merchant where he goes to eat the best muffuletta....he tells Larry "His house"......then he recommended the restaurant next door....Franks Restaurant. Muffuletta's were good....our eyes were bigger than our stomachs....and we ended up taking some back to the hotel.

That evening we dressed appropriately and took the St Charles Street Car into the Garden District to dine at the Commanders Palace.  This was a very enjoyable evening as the food, wine, and especially the choreographed service made for a really special evening.  The wait staff performed like a ballet,  carefully timing and placing every item onto the table.  I will go back there again....was an enjoyable evening once Larry decided which cut of lamb he was going to order (just kidding).....hard choices on the menu....all was good.  Vicki and I finished dinner off with a bread pudding souffle....  mmmmmmm :)

Friday we needed a BREAKFAST so we went across the street from the Hotel to Mothers Restaurant.  Was an interesting place....you walk in.....they hand you a menu....you get in line....order your food at the cashier.....find a table (if you are lucky - pretty busy)...and then someone comes and takes your receipt thus becoming your waiter.  Interestingly enough, there were "No Tipping" signs everywhere....almost traumatic for Vicki being the patron saint of waiters and waitresses.  Food was good.....service was good after you figure out the system.....go before 9:00 am and there is a really cheap big breakfast for $2.99.  We got there at 9:02.

Took the street car again and went to The National World WarII  Museum.  A must see as far as the four of us were concerned.  Very well presented and layed out.  Reasonable - $20 a person includes a 40 min 4D movie about WWII which is very interactive and well produced.

We wandered the Quarter again that afternoon in a drizzling rain.  Georgia had been looking for some "cheese and bread" to help soak up our partying.  I made a suggestion to stop and have some pizza.  Unanimous decision.  We stopped in at the French Quarter Pizzeria for a late afternoon lunch/dinner.  Vicki and I ordered "The Central Grocery" pizza made with Pepperoni, Salami, Canadian bacon, olive mix and mozzarella cheese....kinda of a "muffuletta pizza".  Again.....good food and good service. 

On the way back to the hotel, we all decided to kinda take it easy Friday night....decided to buy some wine and beer and head to the hot tub at the hotel to finish off the evening.  On the way back we found the Vieux Carre' Wine & Spirits store (right next door to K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen on Chartes Street).  What an adventure in wine and beer purchasing.....apparently you can buy and DRINK your liquor in the store.  The place was a party in the front.  I picked out a couple of bottles of wine and Vicki asked me how was I going to open them? .....told her I would buy a cork screw at the counter....a guy dressed in a tux overheard me and said "here take this one....on the house"....must be a waiter somewhere in the Quarter.  It was that kind of place.

Hit the hot tub and indoor pool.   Drank our wine.  Slept good.

Saturday morning we headed back to Cafe Du Monde for a last beignets fix.  Wandered the shops again with Vicki looking for beads and boas.  The Quarter was a bit more lively this morning because of the game happening in the Superdome that afternoon.  Was really foggy and damp.  We ate one last French Quarter meal at Sammy's Seafood.  Seafood Gumbo was good.....then we headed to the airport to return back to Houston. 

Got to the New Orleans airport a bit early, like 2 hours, and sat in a small airport bar drinking bloody mary's and watching the beginning of the Saints/Cardinals game.  We were a little concerned about the fog building at the airport that might delay our flight but that was not to be.  In fact, we think Larry was the last one on the plane because he went looking for a "Lucky Dog" (hot dog) and actually heard his name being called to proceed to the gate.  "Lucky Dog" in hand he made it to his seat and we headed back to Houston.

Final story.....we have just taken off and I look across the aisle and this guy is "chin-to-chest" asleep just drooling away....Georgia and I got a pretty good laugh.  He is the next to last picture in the slide-show.  Look for pearls. :)

(Click on the slide-show will take you to the Picasa album)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Our Annual New Years Eve Baby Sitting

Vicki & I traveled north to McKinney to fulfill our annual honor of watching the boys while Shane and Andrea enjoy New Years Eve with other adults. Something we look forward to. Around 10:00 pm Vicki broke out the champagne for her and I plus she 'uncorked' a bottle of Welch's Sparkling Grape Juice for the boys. We toasted the New Year appropriately. As you can see, Chase has already developed the proper social skills for celebrating the New Year.

However....as the last picture in the story explains.....Gabe was not impressed with the Welch's, ran to the bathroom to spit it out, and then proceeded to lecture Chase, Vicki, and I on the fact that Chase was drinking alcohol and how bad that was! I don't think we ever convinced him otherwise.

I made a pot of Blackeyed Peas and Ham for New Years Day and enjoyed watching football and visiting with family and friends.

Happy and Prosperous New Year to all.





Wednesday, December 30, 2009

First and Second Christmas

First Christmas - Houston December 19, 2009

Shane, Andrea, Gabe and Chase were in town this weekend and we decided to do an "Early Christmas" because we didn't know if we would get to be in McKinney at Christmas time. As it turns out it was a good move.

The boys had gone shopping at an Elf Land shopping event at school so both Vicki & I got really special gifts from both Gabe & Chase. Mamah got an angel tea light holder from Chase and a candle holder from Gabe. PeaPa got a Texas Longhorn "Things to do" pad to write down my lists from Gabe and a dozen golf balls from Chase. All appreciated gifts because of the thought and love poured out in choosing them.

Chase got a set of Legos and Gabe got a Dallas Cowboys blanket. Andrea and Shane got two loaves of Poppyseed bread. We enjoyed our early Christmas and always the visit of family.

Second Christmas - San Antonio December 25, 2009

We had talked about the 'Tour of Texas' (Houston-McKinney-San Antonio-Houston) but all the plans kept changing around us so we decided to do our "normal" Christmas - San Antonio with the Jordan clan. Was not an easy decision as Tyler, Hannah, Estee, and Coppelia actually were in McKinney for a couple of days including Christmas. But, we headed for San Antonio on Wednesday.

Got to San Antonio and were invited by Tommy to help celebrate Cortney's MBA graduation by dining at P F Changs.....great meal....great drink....and good way to start off a family centered holiday. Big Thanks to Tommy and Cindy.

Christmas was at 202 Renner....bedrock of the Jordan's. First serving was Mimosa's. Next was opening of gifts along with the traditional lineup of kids at the kitchen door. Problem is....we don't really have any "kids" anymore.....they have all grown up....but tradition rules....so the older (unmarried) kids lined up at the door before the gifts were opened. Click on this link for a look at past and present lineups.

Christmas Lineups

Gifts were handed out, gifts were opened, and for the third year in a row Dan failed to show for the Christmas gathering.

Afterwards some time was spent visiting and snacking waiting for our Christmas feast and close to 3:00 pm dinner was served. Meat was a 5 rib Standing Rib Roast with homemade noodles, gravy , green beans, jello salad and a variety of wine. We drank a lot of wine. Was an excellent meal

The next evening we all gathered at Bobby & Diana's house for the continuation of the Jordan Egg Nog Party. It was a passing of the "punch bowl" of sorts.....Bobby made the Egg Nog for the first time this year. The party began around 4:00 pm and was going strong when we made our early exit. The traditions continue.

Vicki got her wish by staying over until Monday morning and finally gave in to going back to Houston around 10:30 that morning. A quick trip to the cemetery to pray for our departed family members and then back to Houston.