Too Much Amazon . . .

When we were having lunch with Debi and Ed Hurlburt, he mentioned that he’d read that Amazon had built too many warehouses/distribution centers during the pandemic, thinking the big online ordering boom was going to continue. But now people are again out and about, and Amazon sales are off enough that they’re rethinking their expansion.

Which explains why the new one over on TX-96 has not opened even though it looks like it was done months ago. And I’ve never seen any of our orders coming from there, just the one on I-45 down in La Marque, and occasional the one up in Pasadena.

Of course, I really like the fact that I can order something at 3pm to be delivered between 5pm and 10pm, and have it show up at 7:03pm.

Nice

We got our new ice maker this afternoon, and so far we’re really impressed.

Vivohome Ice Maker

I set it up, and per the instructions, let it sit for an hour so the refrigerant could settle. And when we filled it with water and turned it on, it started spitting out ice within about 10 minutes. And within a couple of hours we had a big ZipLock Bag full of ice in the fridge.

Nice.

Tomorrow it’s Yummy Yummy for lunch and then Costco and WalMart for supplies.


Thought For The Day:

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office. – Aesop

 


June 17, 2009

Doing the Charleston…

Today we traveled 85 miles north to just south of Charleston, SC to the Lake Aire RV Park.

Unfortunately, it is more lake than aire.   The site was half underwater when we got here.  And then it rained more.

Here’s what we have out our front door.

Our Waterfront RV Site

Our Waterfront RV Site

We have to wade to the truck to go sightseeing.

I hope we don’t have trouble getting out of here.  We’re on a grass site with no gravel or concrete.

Last year we stayed for a week at a fairgrounds in Sioux Falls, SD.  It was dry when we got there, but then it poured down rain for the last two days.

What was nice hard grass and dirt became a soggy mudhole by the time we were ready to leave.

We finally had to be winched out by a very large tow truck.  Hopefully that won’t happen this time.

After getting set up and settling in, we headed out for supper.  After checking out restaurants in the area, we decided to try Sticky Fingers BBQ.

They’re a small chain of about 15 restaurants located mainly in the Southeast.  And they do have very good BBQ.

We liked the ribs better than Wiley’s the other day, mainly because of the different cut.  Wiley’s ribs are a much thicker cut, while Sticky Fingers are thinner and crispier/crunchier like I like to cook.

Sticky’s pulled pork was not as good as Wiley’s.

Wiley’s BBQ beans were much better, but I like Sticky’s potato salad better.

And Wiley’s Bread Pudding with Pecan Praline Bourbon sauce was pretty much a toss-up with Sticky’s Homemade Peach Cobbler with Ice Cream.

All in all it was a great meal.

Tomorrow we’re going to do some tours and other sightseeing. Hopefully the rain will hold off.


June 17, 2010

Abilene, My Abilene…

It seems like every Texas town has a song written about it, so here’s another –

Abilene, Abilene by Waylon Jennings

We left Amarillo a little before 9 heading for Abilene about 290 miles away. Not much to say about the trip. The roads, a mix of Interstates 27 and 20 and US 84, were good, and the trip was uneventful.

We pulled into the KOA here in Abilene about 2:15 pm and got set up.

AbileneKOA

Then later, after dropping off a stack of Gypsy Journals at the office, we headed out to find a nail salon so Jan could get a pedicure.

Luckily we found one near the local Cracker Barrel where, being that it’s Thursday and Turkey & Dressing Day, Jan wanted to eat dinner after the nail place, so that worked out great.

After the pedicure and dinner, we got back to the park about 5:30 pm and were in for the night.

Tomorrow we head south to Burnet TX about 190 miles away for a week for Brandi’s wedding on Monday, the 21st.

Then we’ll head a little further south to Canyon Lake, TX near New Braunfels until the 5th of July.


June 17, 2013

Now we’re Three for Three . . .

or maybe Four for Four.

We pulled out of Village of Trees RV Resort near Declo, ID a little after 9 am heading back west for a few miles to Heyburn, ID to get diesel and breakfast.

The reason we were heading back the way we had come yesterday was I had my choice of buying diesel from the Shell station near the park for $4.399, or going back down the Interstate a few miles to get diesel from a Sinclair station for $3.959. Saving 44 cents a gallon on 70+ gallons was worth a short drive. And even better, the stop came with breakfast.

When we scouted out the station yesterday after dinner, we saw the Wayside Café right next door and commented how busy it was, so we decided to have breakfast there after fueling up.

It quickly became obvious why it was so crowded. Everything was great, with some of best coffee I’ve had in a long time, certainly better than Starbuck’s. Great thick-cut bacon too.

Wayside Cafe Breakfast

Although we’d had the great coffee at the café, we wanted to get cappuccinos for the road from the gas station because they had Jan’s favorite Pumpkin Pie cappuccino. Then walking back to the rig, we got the truck hitched up and were back on the Interstate heading east.

About 10 miles down the road we split off from I-84 onto I-86. A little bit later construction on the westbound side took the roadway down to two lanes for about 20 miles, but it didn’t really slow us down. Pretty much all day our route snaked back and forth across the aptly-named Snake River

Teton Valley Trip 1

It seemed like there were great views around every curve.

Teton Valley Trip 2

Teton Valley Trip 3

Later, going through Pocatello, we got on I-5N that took us up on to Idaho Falls. There we got on to US26 S for about 40 miles before turning off onto SR31, also known as the Teton Scenic Route. And scenic it was.

Teton Valley Trip 5

Getting up into the mountains, the road started to remind me of the Alaskan Highway, with narrow lanes, no shoulders, and sharp drop-offs with no guardrails. Our route took us up to almost 8000 feet before we came down into the Teton Valley at a little over 6000 feet.

Along the way I almost smushed a car into the side of the mountain. Going up the 5% grade I ended up with about 5-6 cars behind me, with no passing lanes or pull-outs for me to let them get by. Then coming down it didn’t get any better.

There was a cyclist in front of me, zipping down the hill and pedaling fast. He was doing about 40, but I was still trying to get around him. But to do that I needed to move to the center of the road for a few seconds because with no shoulder, the cyclist was on the roadway.

I had my left turn signal on and then finally reached an area where I could move over. I was already across the center line when the car directly behind me decided he’d had enough and zipped out and started to pass. By this time I was beside the cyclist and couldn’t move back. The guy in the car got about to my rear wheels before he finally realized that his lane was getting narrower fast. As I watched him brake quickly I was afraid that he would forget about our toad and try to swing in right behind us. But he avoided doing that, and both he and the cyclist made it through without a scratch.

We got into Teton Village Campground and were quickly led to our pull-thru site. While I was outside getting us hooked up, I put Mister on his leash to roll in the grass.

After getting power, water, and sewer hooked up, I heard Mister making friends with our next-door neighbors. Checking things out, our neighbor said, “Hi, I’m Gretchen and we know you. We read your blog”.

In fact Bob and Gretchen Madison ended up here after reading about this park on our blog. Jan came to the door and we all talked for a while, finally agreeing to get together for dinner in a couple of hours.

Teton Valley is a beautiful park, with a lot of trees, but not so many to interfere with satellite access. This is the view out our windshield.

Teton Valley Campground 3

Teton Valley Campground 4

Teton Valley Campground 5

A little before 5 we headed out to have dinner at Big Hole BBQ, a place we found well-recommended on Yelp. Gretchen and Bob had ribs, I had a pulled pork and ribs combo, while Jan had a pulled pork sandwich.

Big Hole BBQ Platter

Everything was delicious, They have a real different take on their BBQ sauce, with an unusual spice complement. Different, but delicious.

We said our good nights at the restaurant, and then Jan and I drove around Victor for a while, checking out some of the area, finally getting back home a little before 7pm.

Tomorrow we’re going to make the 25 mile trip over the mountains to Jackson, WY so Jan can hopefully see moose.

 


June 17, 2015

Almost There . . .

We were up around 8:30 this morning so we could partake of the great breakfast here at the Quality Inn before we headed back to the rig.

About 10am the service manager called to see if we had the rig keys. I said “No, you still have the set we left with you when we drove back to Illinois last month. I do have a set that stays in my pocket, and Jan has a set that she keeps in her purse. But you have the set that stays in the ignition.”

I did find out that the reason they needed the keys is that the airbag had been installed and they wanted to crank up to test the system. He also said that pretty much everything had been finished up.

Well, maybe things are really looking up.

I told him we’d be down in a hour or so with my keys if he didn’t find the set he had. After getting the truck packed up, I went down to check out at the front desk. Turned out that for some reason the hotel had completely lost our stay. They had no record of us even being there. But finally after about 15 minutes he found our record on the corporate server, and got us checked out.

Getting back to the rig, I was happy to see it up on the airbags, so I guess that part was working. And after checking further, I found that the wheel well mud flap and trim strip had also been done.

But the grab bar light still didn’t work, although the switch panel had been re-installed in the enclosure. I put a new bulb in the socket that didn’t work, and then used my voltmeter to double-check, and still found no voltage.

Heading up to the office, I told them that the grab bar light still didn’t work, and was told that they had checked it and it did work.

Well, it didn’t work for me.

I also ask for both my sets of keys back, and once again it took them a while to find the ignition set. But the other set had the patio remote control that I needed to check out that repair. And getting back to the rig, I found that the patio lights didn’t work either.

It wasn’t like I didn’t kind of expect this. I said in the blog right after the blowout that I thought the shredded wiring harness would be a major problem to get repaired. And it looks like it was.

But after fooling around with the grab bar switch panel, I figured out why they had voltage and I didn’t. The connector on the new wiring on the switch panel was loose. and tightening it down fixed that problem.

So all I have left was the patio light, and I’ll look at that tomorrow, But either way, we’re still on schedule to leave here Friday morning.

Finally!

The tire guy will be tomorrow about 10am to change out the front tire, and then as I said yesterday, we’ll have the rest done at the tire shop Friday morning on our way to Cottonwood.

About 4pm we headed out for one last visit to Beijing Garden, and always before, we got the same thing – Spicy Orange Crispy Chicken. I know it sounds like we’re in a rut here, but you’re always afraid you’ll try another dish that you don’t like near as much, and then you’ve just wasted a visit.

So it looks like we’re almost there, and we’ll finally be on our way again on Friday.

 


June 17, 2016

Way Too Early . . .

And Already Way Too Hot!

I was up at 9am this morning, all eager to climb up on the roof.

Well, maybe not.

But it needed to be done before we travel this coming Sunday.

So, once I was up there, I pulled the shroud back off and poured a bottle of water into the drain pan for some additional flushing to help wash any extra gunk out. As it was, it still looked pretty clean.

Next I used my Worx Power Driver to put a few screws in the sheet metal covering over the evaporator coil to hold it together until I get back to it. Which at this rate might be this fall when it’s cooler.

Finally, I put 4 new bolts and washers back in the shroud to hold it in place and I was done. I had so much trouble getting the old ones out that I wanted to just start from scratch with new ones.

I think the Worx Power Driver is my all-time favorite tool. It’s small and fits perfectly in your hand.

Worx Driver

Inside the barrel is a 6 bit cylinder that rotates a different bit into position every time you rack the slide. And it comes with a 2nd cylinder of square and hex driver bits. And of course you can just put your own bits in manually.

I also ordered this assortment of Black & Decker Driver Drill Bits.

Driver Drill Bits

The Worx Driver is strong enough that it can be hard to hold if you’re using it on a stuck screw, and it holds a charge for months until you need it.

Check it out.

About 3:45 Jan and I headed out to meet Judy and Dick Mott, and grandson Logan, at Vernon’s Katfish out on SR105. But on the way we made a Home Depot stop for a few minutes to pick up a new hose splitter and a couple of other things.

This was Dick and Judy’s first time at Vernon’s and they really enjoyed it. And as before, the food and the conversation were both really good.

Here’s a photo of the gang.

The Motts at Vernon's 3

There’s a story behind this photo that I’ll tell you about tomorrow.

Coming home we made a Wal-Mart stop to pick up some groceries, and drop off a prescription that we’ll pick up tomorrow. Judy told us about the Father’s Day BBQ dinner here at the park tomorrow evening, so Jan wanted to get the ingredients for her Heavenly Hash to take as our dish.

It’s really good and so popular that Jan and I both make a habit of getting a spoonful early, because it’s gone so quickly. Yumm!


June 17, 2017

Jan Got A Trifecta . . .

We were out the door about 10:45 this morning, to have lunch at Monterey’s Little Mexico, our first visit to one since we left the Houston area in March.

We were kind of worried about how the food would compare to our one down in Dickinson. But it was just like home.

Monterey's Little Mexico 1

It even looked the same.

Everything from the salsa to the Chicken Tortilla Soup was just as good.

Monterey's Little Mexico 3

Leaving Monterey’s we headed back toward town to check out a few places, but our first stop was to get gas for the truck.

Seeing as how Bartlesville is the home of Phillips Petroleum, I guess it’s not surprising that every station in town seems to be a Phillips 66 one. But the prices are great too.

$1.79 for unleaded and $1.99 for diesel.

But here’s something I haven’t seen before.

Unleaded with Ethanol and 3 grades of gas with NO  ethanol.

Phillips 66 gas pump

Guess it helps to have your own refinery in town.

Next up we drove by the Frank Phillips home.

Frank Phillips Home

And then back to the other side of US 60 to get a better view of the Price Tower, the only skyscraper built to a Frank Lloyd Wright design.

Frank Lloyd Wright Price Tower 1

Frank Lloyd Wright Price Tower 2

The 19 story, 221 foot tall building, built as the headquarters for the H. C. Price Company, a local oil pipeline and chemical company, opened in 1956 to pretty much universal acclaim.

Very impressive.

As we’ve been driving around Bartlesville, we’ve noticed the local mascot statures.

Now as we’ve traveled around the country, we’ve seen mermaids in Beaufort, SC, pelicans in Seabrook, TX, moose in Coeur d’Alene, ID, bears in upper NY state, and now buffalo in Bartlesville, OK.

Very colorful buffalo.

Bartlesville Buffalo 1

Bartlesville Buffalo 2

Bartlesville Buffalo 3

Bartlesville Buffalo 4

We had next planned to drive out to the Woolaroc Museum and Wildlife Preserve, but Jan was afraid we’d run out of time and not get to visit The Lodge on the Drummond Ranch, which closed at 4pm. So I guess that’s for next time.

When we decided to come to Bartlesville, it was just a place to park the RV while we did the Pioneer Woman thing, not realizing how much stuff was in Bartlesville. So our next visit we’ll have to allow more time here.

The Drummond family lodge is not only used for parties, banquets, and overnight guests, it’s also where her TV shows are taped.

Following the directions on our pass, we left US60 and headed north out into the ranch. We passed a couple of oil production areas with a number of large storage tanks, and off in the distance we could see at least 30 large wind turbines.

Along the way we also saw several large herds of the controversial wild mustangs that the BLM pays the Drummonds to house on their land.

Drummond Ranch Mustangs 1

Drummond Ranch Mustangs 2

Finally we arrived at the Lodge and found a place to park.

Ree Drummond Lodge 1

From the front entrance the place is not real impressive, but once you get inside you realize how large it really is.

Ree Drummond Lodge 2

Ree Drummond Lodge 3

It just keeps going back, and back.

Ree Drummond Lodge 8

With four large bedrooms,

Ree Drummond Lodge 5

multiple storage areas for dishes, pots and pans, and small appliances

Ree Drummond Lodge 4

it’s much bigger on the inside than it looks on the outside.

And then there’s the area where the TV shows are taped.

Ree Drummond Lodge 6

Ree Drummond Lodge 7

A really beautiful place.

Wrapping up our tour of the Lodge, we drove back into Pawhuska to once again have dinner at the Merc. We got in line at 4pm and were inside by 5:10, a longer wait than yesterday, but then we were an hour earlier.

Ree Drummond's The Mercantile 5

This time we each got the Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Dippers, which as I  said yesterday, is a 3 Cheese Grilled Cheese sandwich on homemade bread, sliced into dipping sticks.

Ree Drummond's The Mercantile Tomato Soup

And of course we split an order of the Whiskey Glazed Carrots.

Ree Drummond's The Mercantile Whisky Carrots

These things are addictive.

I mentioned in the title about Jan’s Trifecta. Well, the first two were to eat at the Merc, which we did, twice, and to visit the Lodge, which we did.

And then came the last leg of the Trifecta.

We were seated near the area of the open kitchen, and as we were finishing our meal, Jan looked up and said, “Ladd!”

And who should walk out of the kitchen but Ree’s husband, Ladd. When he heard his name called, he came over and talked to us for a couple of minutes and then posed for a photo

Jan and Ladd

I want to commend Jan for not ‘babbling’ as she is wont to do in moments like this. Especially when the next thing Ladd said was, “Ree’s right behind me.”.

I’m actually surprised Jan didn’t just faint at that point, but she managed to keep her cool, even when Ree walked out of the kitchen and started talking to her.

Jan had questions about several of Ree’s recipes and Ree took the time to answer each one.

And then of course the obligatory photo.

As you can tell from the photo, at this point it’s all Jan can do to not giggle uncontrollably.

Jan Ladd and Ree

As it turned out, Ree was there to have dinner with her family, Ladd, her brother Mike, and her father and stepmother. And they were sitting at a table right behind Jan.

Ree Drummond Family

I think it’s telling that rather than eating upstairs in their offices, they were right here in the middle of the place, just like us regular folks.

Deciding we had room for dessert, we split an order of the Tres Leches.

Ree Drummond's Tres Leches

Once Jan figured her shaky knees would support her, we left about 6:45, noticing there was still a line waiting to get in.

What’s kind of ironic is that we almost didn’t eat at the Merc this evening, since Jan wasn’t sure she wanted to wait in line again. Now she’s really glad she did.

Tomorrow we’ve got a 200 mile run down to Pauls Valley, OK to visit for a couple of days with our son-in-law Lowell’s parents, Sonja and Lendel. Really looking forward to it.


Thought for the Day:

“I find it rather easy to portray a businessman. Being bland, rather cruel and incompetent comes naturally to me.” — John Cleese

 

 

 

 

 

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