Greetings from New Braunfels, TX!

Monello

Sexually compliant
PREMO Member
After a quick overnight in Kingsville, TX, it was back on the road heading north. Sunday's get out of town challenge ended up being 1 of the last things before we rolled out. The entry step wouldn't go in. It's always something. And they just retracted the day before. I figured it was something electrical. I reconnected the shore power and that did the trick. Turns out the coach battery switch was in the off position. In 13 years of doing this, I never encountered this issue before. Now I know 1 more fix to an RV problem. We shoved off with a small contingent of winter Texans waving to us as we exited SPI. Most of those people will be back next winter.

Our CG in Kingsville was just for 1 night. We stayed here last year when we left to head out west. It was mid 80s in the after noon. I jumped in pool for a bit and the water wasn't heated. The temp was about 5 degrees too cold for my liking.

After a few hours drive I'm off the interstate at a traffic light to turn into the campground. I have .4 of a mile to go. But the street is blocked off. They are doing heavy construction. Instead of turning right I go straight and pull into a business parking lot that is big enough for me to fit in and exit with no difficulties. Vrai pulls up and we brainstorm how to best get to the campground. She drives a test run while I go up to the intersection where the right lane is blocked. They are running bot directions of traffic on the 1 side of the road. I end up driving down and crossing over the interstate, so I can double back and get to the traffic light that will take me to the left side lane that is open. As luck would have it, there is a truck idling in the right side of the narrow lane. When the light changes I have to squeeze the RV between the truck and the Jersey barriers. It's tight and I don't lose any paint. Then it's a short trip down the mangled road to get to our assigned spot.

We quickly get set up. Once we are good to go, it's time to explore this resort. Entry to most buildings is via a code. First stop is the event center. We try the door but it's locked. The note on the door says it's closed due to COVID 19. Same with the game room, craft room and the fitness center. Only things open are the laundries, rest rooms, CG office and the pools. Things will be closed until who knows when. We are here for a month. I hope things get back to normal by then.

Speaking of back to normal. Next thing we did was go grocery shopping. I was tired and the idea of staying back crossed my mind. But when we get to a new area there's always a lot of anticipation to what the area has to offer. Plus a Buc-ees is 5 miles up the interstate. Vrai wants to go the the HEB grocery store in hopes of finding her favorite flame grilled chicken. Not all HEBs offer flaming bird. The grillmaster at the Belton, TX HEB told me they sell 600 chickens daily on average. That's a lot of chicky bird. Not as much chicken as say Navy boot camp chow hall but pretty close.

Once in the car I suggest that we go to Buc-ees first then food shopping later. If you have ever been to a Buc-ees, you will understand the attraction. It's hard to describe. They bill themselves as a travel center. They are not a truck stop. 18 wheelers aren't allowed in their parking lots unless it's to deliver supplies to their store. It's like a convenience store on steroids. There's 60 gas pumps in 2 banks of pumps. It's a great place for fueling the RV. Inside you can get all sorts of foods from snacks to jarred preserves, brisket, kolaches, hot nuts, fudge, sandwiches. They sell raw steaks and a bunch of stuffed chicken products. If you need jerky or summer sausage, they have more choices than you can shake a stick at. Drinks galore. And there is also clothing for sale along with Texas related decor items. On display there is a propane gizmo used for cooking crawfish for around 80 of your closest friends. Deer corn is also a popular offering. Every Buc-ees I have ever been to has at least a pallet of deer corn for sale right outside the side entrance.

We each grabbed a basket then headed out on a personal treasure hunt. I ended up with 2 fresh made scones. That is my go to snack I get every time. Also grabbed a bag of nuggets in the salted caramel variety, some Australian licorice, toasted pumpkin seeds, a bag of honey glazed pecans and a drink. That should fill my snack bin for a while. Vrai always gets the spicier version of what ever it is they offer. Her nuggets were advertised as bold and spicy. To me bold and spicy means something that I'm probably not going to enjoy. She picked up some steak seasoning, cajun pecans and some flaming crackers.

Out the door we go to the super market. Up to this point it was a mostly normal day. Shortly we would be plunged head first into our new reality. Pushing the cart in the store we realize that they don't have the flaming bird for sale. I figured the odds of them having it was around 50/50. In the vegetable-fruit area there are plenty of things but the area where there should be bagged lettuce is empty. It's weird that there would be a run on that. Or maybe they didn't send enough on the last reorder. Pushing past the bakery we come up to the meat counters that run along the back of the store. Staring at the empty shelves I briefly thought that this is what it's like to live in Venezuela.

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It quickly became evident that there was some massive hoarding going on in this area. Up until this stop we have not noticed any shortages other than sanitizer in the Port Isabel, TX Walgreens. The HEB down that way had plenty of everything they sold. New Braunfels was like nothing I've ever experienced before. But I've never lived anywhere that had that life changing weather event that momentarily disrupts daily life.

The more we strolled the worse it got. No pasta, I got the last olive oil, no eggs, even though you could only buy 2 cartons per person. Cheese, dairy, frozen foods, all of it down to the least desirable items left.

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So we won't be starving, just limited on what's available. It could be worse. Hopefully it won't get that way.

There's a lot we want to see in this area. We are close to Gruene and Bandara, 2 places we have been to before. The river is close by and there are a few lakes that I need to go see if they have fish in them.

Y'all be safe and knock that hoarding stuff off right now.
 

vraiblonde

Board Mommy
PREMO Member
Patron
I don't really understand the concept of grocery hoarding. It's like when there's a snow flurry and everyone freaks out, runs to the store for 18 loaves of bread and 20 gallons of milk. Good grief, how long do these people think they're going to be snowed in?

The good news is that the hoarders apparently eat differently than I do because I was able to get everything I needed, despite the empty shelves and cases. The first HEB didn't have eggs, but the one on the way back to the RV place did. I also bought a carton of cigarettes, which I haven't done in probably 7 years. But I figured I might be stress-smoking, or I can use them for barter in the zombie apocalypse.

New Braunfels is a nice small city with cute tourist towns dotted around it. I have a decent itinerary planned unless Greg Abbott decides he needs to be a fascist too and shut down Texas.
 

vraiblonde

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Today we spent the afternoon in Greune, which used to be a town on its own and is now part of New Braunfels.

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They are open for business, with the exception of one hippie dippy guy who belongs more in Austin and who I had to remind that he can shut his business down any time he wants, he doesn't need the Governor to make him.

Greune Hall is a world famous Texas dance hall that normally has bands every day and night, people dancing and drinking and socializing. They had to cancel the bands, but the bar is still open so we moseyed in for a Shiner.

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We shopped and got fancy hand made truffles and chili pecans.

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vraiblonde

Board Mommy
PREMO Member
Patron
This creepy RV park isn't helping my paranoid anxiety. It's mostly empty with a few people who apparently live here, but I never actually see. Everything is closed down and it has the air of a long abandoned amusement park. Plus it's been raining, just to add to the gloom and despair. You can tell it's normally a great park in a great location, but now it's just scary and sad.

I had high hopes for New Braunfels because I've been to Greune a few times and really enjoyed it, and Texas hill country is lovely. But this virus - or more specifically, the government's reaction to the virus - has pretty much sucked any enjoyment out of it.

I'm ready for this week to be over. And the next week, and the week after that, and who knows how long this hell will last.
 

Hessian

Well-Known Member
Apparently America has forgotten how to Speakeasy... Unless the Police state has gotten too strong, we will see an uptick on restoring the tradition by next week.
 

Bann

Doris Day meets Lady Gaga
PREMO Member
This creepy RV park isn't helping my paranoid anxiety. It's mostly empty with a few people who apparently live here, but I never actually see. Everything is closed down and it has the air of a long abandoned amusement park. Plus it's been raining, just to add to the gloom and despair. You can tell it's normally a great park in a great location, but now it's just scary and sad.

I had high hopes for New Braunfels because I've been to Greune a few times and really enjoyed it, and Texas hill country is lovely. But this virus - or more specifically, the government's reaction to the virus - has pretty much sucked any enjoyment out of it.

I'm ready for this week to be over. And the next week, and the week after that, and who knows how long this hell will last.
Yeah, the place has gotten crazy around these parts, too. :ohwell:
 

Monello

Sexually compliant
PREMO Member
Thursday we took a drive out to Canyon Lake. Reviews said that the River Road drive was scenic but not the fastest way to get there. On the drive out we road along the Guadalupe river for the most part. River tubing or toobing as many of the signs say, is popular once the weather warms up. There's no shortage of businesses that will rent you a tube to float down the river. You also get picked up and shuttled back to where your car is parked. None of those businesses appeared open right now. I've been told that homeowners along the river will sell you a cold drink as you float by.

ANother thing they had in abundance were riverside bars with enormous areas to listen to live music. It's not that long of a road but I bet there were at least 6 honky tonks were you could get a beer and do the 2 step. I hope in the future we get to come to this area when it's warmer. I think stopping at 1 of those places would be right up our alley. Texas seems to have perfected the outdoor music venue. We have seen places like that in Dallas, Austin, Luckenbach, Belton, Bastrop and now New Braunfels/Canyon Lake.

A picture from the website of 1 of the tube rental businesses
 

vraiblonde

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The toobing places and area bars are all closed. Depending on how long our overlords keep us quarantined, they may or may not come back. But they looked like fun, so...yeah...too bad.
 

RPMDAD

Well-Known Member
Vrai, Monello, have been seeing reports here about state campgrounds being closed down and private campgrounds being closed down. Are you all experiencing this at all ?
 

vraiblonde

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Vrai, Monello, have been seeing reports here about state campgrounds being closed down and private campgrounds being closed down. Are you all experiencing this at all ?
Not yet but that is my fear and no doubt it's coming.

Many of these RV parks have people who live in them full time. Not sure what they'd do with those folks.
 

vraiblonde

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What I do know is that this "oh it's just a couple weeks" is bullshit. It will be at least 6 months, and probably closer to 18.
 

Monello

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PREMO Member
Closing an RV park where people live full time would be the equivalent of shutting down a condo complex. Not a well thought out plan. I hope they backpedal on this.
 
Closing an RV park where people live full time would be the equivalent of shutting down a condo complex. Not a well thought out plan. I hope they backpedal on this.
I'll bet they allow documented* full time residents to stay and self-quarantine. It's the transients that are of concern.

  • Just sign these papers, old man.
  • I cannot sign the papers.
  • You cannot sign the papers, old man?
  • Old man, look at me.
  • Now, sign the papers, old man.
 

vraiblonde

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All along the Guadaloupe River there are recreation areas, honky tonk bars, campgrounds, and toobing facilities (and yes, I spelled that correctly). One starts in Gruene and follows River Rd until you find a place that appeals to you - and there are a large number of appealing places.

They are all closed now and likely won't be back.

Monello and I found Bubba's Big Deck, which is a Texas style bar/restaurant/music venue and general have a good time place. Normally this would be our happy place, but of course it's closed. So we went up the road and bought beers and BBQ from a shack (that will likely close for good tomorrow), came back, and had our own picnic on the deck by the river.

It was lovely and sad at the same time.

I'm glad I left SPI when I did because they are now under martial law and house arrest. They call it "sheltering in place", but when there's a fine and jail time attached it's really martial law and house arrest. Everything is closed, even for take out. I'm glad my memory of it is a vibrant beach resort area with happy wonderful people and not the dystopian wasteland the politicians have turned it into.

It's hurting my heart to see what's happening to America.
 

Monello

Sexually compliant
PREMO Member
March 28, 2020. A day that I'm sure we will remember. Our holistic healing center was suddenly and brutally attacked by air forces sent by mother nature.

So here's what happened. I was inside taking first nap. Out of nowhere a heavy gust of wind kicks up. Suddenly my dreamy trance is rudely interrupted by the motor home shaking. It felt like we were rolling down the road. But we were parked and hooked up to shore services. Vrai is screaming for me. I'm running for the door. I grab my shoes and head out. It's beginning to rain.

The gust of wind has come up under the awning and lifted it up out of it's supports. Half of the fabric is on top of the roof. The other half is still attached to the front support arm. Somehow we need to get the awning retracted before any more damage is done. Half of the rear support arm is on the ground. Vrai is holding the front part in case any more wind decides to show up and ruin our parade.

I climb up on the roof. The ladder is slippery due to the rain. I grab the awning and slowly lower it back down. I scramble back down the ladder to inspect the damage. We think we can get the awning retracted if we can get the rear support arm put back together. I lower the front arm to as low as it will go. We take turns holding the front half while the other checks out the rear section. We try to slide the arms together but from the current angle that isn't possible. Some adjustment needs to take place.

After some finagling we have the 2 pieces where they should slide back together. But for some reason the bottom piece is acting like it's too big to fit in the upper section. Our weather conditions aren't helping. Then it seems if we get everything lined up at exactly the right angle they will slide back into place. Voila, it's back together.

We lower the back arm as low as it will do. Loosen the arm supports. Now it's just a matter of retracting. There is a knob that gets pushed or pulled depending if you are trying to open or close the awning. But for some reason now that has decided that it doesn't want to move in either direction. Vrai gives it a shot after I couldn't do it. Not sure what she did but she got it to switch positions. We retract the awning. Once again life is good. Of course it has now stopped raining and the wind decided to stop blowing.

I just had the awning fabric replaced when we were in South Padre Island. The old awning was starting to shrink. The edges were fraying and it looked really trailer trashy. For a moment when I saw the awning on the RV roof, I thought I was going to have to purchase a new one.

Back inside we dry off and marvel at the power of the wind. The awning has been down for a few days. It's pleasant to sit under the awning to give us a break from sitting inside. I'm skittish now. At some point the awning will come back down. But it will go up quickly at the first indication of impending winds.

Stay safe and maintain a safe social distance.
 

Monello

Sexually compliant
PREMO Member
A map of the local area known for it's river float trips. Not sure how much longer we will need to stay here. Perhaps once the remain in place is lifted the tube rental places will reopen.

We are a short drive to the town or Gruene. River Road is the scenic drive and 306 is the direct route to Sattler where we would probably begin our float.

 

vraiblonde

Board Mommy
PREMO Member
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The awning and I have a dysfunctional relationship. I love it - it's nice to sit under and makes the motorhome look attractive and homey. On the other hand, it is prone to giving us panic attacks when a gust of wind comes out of nowhere. And this one did.

Monello was napping and I was sitting on the sofa reading. All was calm, light misty rain, nothing to suspect that all of a sudden an enormous gust of wind would threaten to upend the whole motorhome. BOOM! Me: "Monello! Monello!" as I race for the door. He was already on his feet and hot on my heels. We see what looks like a disaster: one side of the awning has come apart and is laying on the roof.

That awning arm coming apart turned out to be a blessing because otherwise it would have ripped the whole thing out of the motorhome side.

Okay. Stop. Think.

Monello got on the roof and lowered the awning and arm while I'm hanging onto the other side to stabilize it. (Also exercising my cussword vocabulary) Trying to put it back together, it being balky, the wind and rain not helping.

But we endeavored to persevere and got the arm back together with its mate, and I muscled the retractor knob into place. Zip! Up it went.

(Insert more creative cussing here)

I am traumatized by that awning since a gust of wind in Solomons ripped the whole shebang out of the side, bolts and all, a few years ago, and then our adventure in the Keys when a sudden storm flung us out of bed at 4am in a downpour to get it fixed. It has taken years to get lulled into a false sense of security....and then today happens.

:jameo:
 
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