Last weekend Deron had some errands to run down in Houston (about 45 minutes from where we are camped), and asked if I’d like to come too, for the heck of it, so we packed up the dogs, ran the errands and then stopped at a random (sketch) dog park to let the pups run around for a bit. (It’s always a gamble what kind of neighborhood we’ll end up in when we just Google “dog parks near…”) In the meantime, Deron spontaneously texted our nephew Fernando (who lives in Houston) to see if he happened to be available, and as luck would have it, he was just finishing a shift bartending at a Texans game. So we met up at a fun dog-friendly restaurant called Barkleys. (They have a little dog park on their patio.) It was so nice to catch up with Fernando and hear what he’s been up to since he moved to Texas… plus, the burgers were delicious!
After we left Houston, Hurricane Nicholas made its appearance down on the Gulf Coast. We’re far enough from the coast that all we got was a couple of days of rain, which made for a nice brief relief from the heat, but sadly no lightning this time.
Still no armadillos or fireflies – but guys, we got to see gators! Yesterday we took a little stroll around the property our RV park owner showed Deron last week. It’s a big, grassy field with a fish house sitting up over a big pond. As we tromped out onto the deck and looked out over the pond, we realized baby gators were quickly swimming away from us! (peep the video on Instagram!!) We stood and watched for a long time, and for sure heard them chirping back and forth to each other (like a Jurassic Park velociraptor chirp), but they didn’t come back out. We assumed there must be a mama gator somewhere, but she didn’t make an appearance. Lots of other wildlife did, though – a cute little bumblebee, butterflies, a copperhead snake, a family of rats, and plenty of frogs (although frogs are NBD around here – every night we can hear them croaking, and after it rains we can hardly avoid stepping on them, there are so many).
We went back to the pond today, left the dogs in the fish house so we could be less obtrusive on the deck, and saw the baby gators lazing around in the bog, plus some turtles. We also checked out a lakefront area that the RV park manager told us about, where bald eagles soar out over the lake around noon when the thermals are strong. We didn’t have any luck spotting eagles, but the view out over the lake was spectacular and we did see some white-tailed kites swooping around, catching fish. She also told us there’s an armadillo that lives just outside the RV park; we’re definitely going to be keeping an eye out at dusk from now until we take off, in hopes that we can spot it.
This afternoon Deron decided to take the raw chicken bones from last night’s dinner down to the pond to see if those might attract the gators. He came close to stepping on yet another snake (this time a cottonmouth), but ended up with a pic of it slithering away instead. Unfortunately, the gators didn’t seem to care about the chicken. But they did like trying to snatch the lure on the fishing pole that Deron borrowed from the fish house, and he got a pretty good picture of baby gator’s face mostly out of the water 😊.
We’re looking forward to some more fun family time – tomorrow Fernando will drive up from Houston and Savanah and Brad will drive down from Fort Hood so we can all have a sushi family lunch together in Livingston. When we finally take off next Saturday, we’ll meet up with my Aunt JoAnn near Fort Worth, and then spend the following Sunday and Monday hanging with my cousin Mike and his wife Heather in Dallas. AND – some friends offered up a perfect place for us to camp while we’re in San Diego, so we’ll be catching up with more family and friends in December after our long Thanksgiving holiday at the Christensen’s. Hopefully all that family time will be sufficient to carry us through the next long section of travel starting in January.
In other news, Deron has finished the first half of the steps to get his concealed carry license. He just needs to put in range time and get certified this coming Friday, and then get fingerprinted the following Monday. Not much else to report – our only other excitement next week will be when we get the new fridge installed (and whatever we figure out to try to entertain ourselves and the dogs while the RV is in the shop), and then take off on Saturday morning.
praise & prayer
We’re really really excited to get back on the road – but a little nervous too, since it’s been so long, and since we’re traveling into areas we’ve never been, where there’s more possibility of inclement weather – and obviously we’re pretty much over mechanical issues.
Thankfully Deron has an app that’s supposed to keep us from traveling onto roads our RV can’t survive on, but it’s still dicey sometimes.
Praying for God’s protection over us as we drive!
learning curve / random observations
The thought of staying in one place for a month seemed dreamy when we scheduled it – but the reality is it really depends on the place we’re staying. This month has started to seem pretty dreary.
4 thoughts on “hanging in Houston”
Yikes! Watch out for those snakes and alligators! Um I think that’s not a place to consider long term!!
Hi to the kiddos next visit! More pictures of them.
No worries, we won’t be here long term!
We’ll try and get some good pics of the kids today 🙂
“Deron decided … attract the gators.” Hmmmmmmmmm
Yeah, he’s dangerous like that 😂