March 5, 2012

January Flight from Austin Cold

So, what’s been going on lately!!?? Lots, but let me first step back to early in the year.

We left Austin in cold early January to find out why the Rio Grande Valley is so popular with RV’ers. Chuck was wearing a bandage after nose Mohs surgery. Honestly, it was ugly at first, but with daily peroxide and Vaseline, seven weeks later we removed the bandage. It’s as beautiful as ever! I had a bit of a scraping procedure, myself, and hope the scar will fade.

We rendezvoused with Mexico camping pals Russ & Ruth Ann at the Anglers' Nest in Los Indios, not far from the border fence. Though cold fronts go through occasionally, it was downright tropical compared to Austin and San Antonio. Campgrounds, businesses and events all cater to the huge winter senior population. Rather trippy, going to the zoo with an audience that is 95% seniors - OK, like us! There's lots of history here, and it's fine for birding.

This part of Texas has a cross-cultural, rural atmosphere. I did my walking 'round the fields. We crossed the border on foot to Progresso for lunch and shopping. Cute flowered bag, Ruth Ann! I bought one too, in blue.
Several campground residents visited one of dozens of Ropa (clothes)warehouses that sort and pack used clothing into bales that are shipped abroad by the ton. This is the source of American clothes we saw and bought at outdoor bazaars in Mexico and Latin America! Clothing here sells cheap by the pound, and seniors go wild while dodging the forklifts. We, and R and RA, did NOT climb on the piles. I frankly prefer to pay more for clothes sorted on racks, but grabbed a great purse for 35 cents that I'd lusted for in retail shops. Chuck bought t-shirts for cleaning rags.
At Anglers' Nest, residents entertain themselves: A crafty camper guided us in making “redneck wine glasses” from Dollar Store candle holders and canning jars. The jar lid is handy for strolling potlucks. Hint: use sandpaper and strong glue.

We spent quality time with other Mexico campers, too. Dave and Sara’s Mission campground is like a mini birdwatcher site and offers watercolor and other classes. Gene and Dana’s condo in South Padre Island is lovely, as are his watercolors that line the walls. About half of our Mexico camping pals did go south this year, but the rest of us stayed in the states and talk about how we miss the southern stomping grounds.

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