It is about a four hour drive from Kemah to the RV Park just west of Austin. On the way we passed quite a bit of damage from some of the wildfires recently.
We are staying at La Hacienda RV Resort. It is going to be a nice place to spend December - level clean gravel site, HOT TUB, cement pad for the nice picnic table, HOT TUB, trash pick-up at the site, did we mention HOT TUB!! We went in it the first night - ahhhh! It was our first HOT TUB in 7 months.
As soon as we arrived Maureen began putting up the Christmas decorations. First the lights get laid on the ground with a timer - on at dusk, off four hours later. Then the tree went up. Doesn't take long to decorate but it sure looks nice. Over the next few days she made a tree skirt and a table runner. Later she made some coasters with the leftover fabric.
We did a lot of driving here. There are not a lot of stores very close to us. We've been to Costco a few times. Because we know there is not a Costco near Yuma (our next stop), we've stocked up on toilet paper and paper towel. It's also a good place to buy milk - two gallons for $5.69. We were paying up to $7 a gallon in New Brunswick. We've also visited IKEA, Crate and Barrel, the Container Store and Lowe's. We also located a little one-owner shop that replaces ink cartridges for our printer. We had a good conversation with him - he's thinking of eventually full-timing in a motor home and we thought his business might be a good fit for Sechelt. Something for the future!
When we checked in we signed up for the Sunday Brunch on the 4th. It was excellent and only $5. We met John and Mavis from Bancroft, Ontario and another couple from Ferndale, Washington.
On the 7th, half of one of Maureen's molars fell out. Turns out it was an original tooth, not just a filling. She managed to get an appointment quite close by at Lakeway Dental Center for the next day. They had to put in a temporary crown while one was being made and then the permanent crown was put in on the 17th. They were very nice and a hand massage was also included during the needle-for-the-freezing and drilling process. Nice!
We went again to the Sunday Brunch on the 11th and then on the 14th for a meatloaf dinner. We met some nice people at each one. After the dinner, we sat out for a while in a warm humid evening with our new fire pit which we bought in the Austin area. Strangely enough, the Patio-Flame Fire Pit is manufactured by Napoleon which is a Canadian-based company.
On the 15th we finally gave up waiting for a clear day. The weather has not been great since the day after we arrived. Cloudy almost every day. Some rain, heavy at times. Some of the nights were almost at freezing. You will see some of the pictures do not do justice to the possible views around Austin. We went to the Lyndon B. Johnson Library and Museum on the grounds of the University of Texas first. He became president when JFK was assassinated and was in office for six years. There are over 45 million pages of historic documents housed here. There are 10 floors and only 3 floors of exhibits (the 3rd, 4th and 10th). We started with a 20 minute video on Johnson's life. On the 3rd floor is a glass case which has the Heavyweight Championship Boxing Belt that was won by George Foreman in Jamaica the day before the death of LBJ. George Foreman gave the belt to Ladybird Johnson in memory of LBJ who started the Job Corps. George Foreman said that if it had not been for the Job Corps he would have been in jail as he had a bad past prior to getting into the Job Corps. On the 4th floor there are portraits of the presidents and their first ladies from George/Martha Washington to Bill/Hillary Clinton. Also on this floor are gifts from Heads of States from around the world and gifts from the American People. On the 10th floor is a 7/8 replica of the oval office as well as Ladybird's office and other rooms in the White House.
We then found some sushi for lunch and then drove by the Capitol Building. The building was built from 1882-88 and is 308 feet tall. It is 360,000 square feet, larger than any other State Capitol. On the way back to the RV we stopped at Mount Bonnell. This is almost the tallest point around Austin at 780 feet and there are 99 steps to the top. There is probably a beautiful view from the top but, as you can see from the photo, it wasn't very clear.
On the 17th we bought tickets for the Sunday Brunch which we had attended the past two weeks. When we arrived at 11:15am we discovered that the doors were locked. We went to the office and they said that one person had complained about the breakfast being at 11:30am so they moved it to 8:00am. At least they gave us our money back.
On the 20th we fly from Austin to Phoenix, then Phoenix to Vancouver, arriving about 11:45 pm. On the 21st we take the seaplane from the South Terminal right to our cottage in Sechelt.
We wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and hope y'all have time to spend with your families. All the very best for a safe and prosperous 2012!