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Author Topic: Texas With the Stocks - 2010  (Read 54245 times)

Wendy

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #150 on: April 18, 2010, 10:10:58 AM »
When you're in the "post reply" window, you'll see under the box where you're typing your reply a link called "Additional Options" - click that and an "Attach" box will show up where you put your pictures.
 
Wendy
Wendy, Mike, and Gordon
~We can't be lost because we don't care where we're going~
Here's where we are http://map.datastormusers.com/user2.cfm?user=2276
2015 Allegro Ooen Road
1973 Sunshine Yellow VW Bug

Tom

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #151 on: April 18, 2010, 10:17:13 AM »
There's always the Help button above, or the Forum Navigation board.
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

elkhartjim

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #152 on: April 18, 2010, 11:36:08 AM »
Thanks Wendy and Tom.  I spent about 20 minutes in help and came up helpless. 
Jim & Judy
38' Bounder DP
2005 Jeep Wrangler Sport

Tom

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #153 on: April 18, 2010, 11:48:12 AM »
I see this explanation in the Help file, but didn't realize it was so vague. When we moved to the new software earlier this year, I eliminated our own detailed help file, thinking the one published by the software developers would be better. Maybe I need to rethink that.
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #154 on: April 19, 2010, 12:42:40 AM »
DAY 36—APRIL 17—AUSTIN

   We woke up to rain, rain, and hard rain.  We had the volume on the TV turned up the highest we’ve ever had it because the rain was pounding on the roof of the RV so hard.  Texas even rains BIG!  So, we settled into a Housekeeping & Laundry Day.
    A little after noon, the rain stopped, and it looked like the sun was trying to break through, so we switched gears, hopped in the car, and went into downtown to the Bullock State History Museum.  It was excellent.  We paid $12 for Dean and $14 for me.  We got combination pickets—museum admission, IMAX Theatre, and the Spirit of Texas film. 
   The museum was organized chronologically from 12,000 years ago to present day.  There were recreations, realia, interactive exhibits, and it was all well-labeled.  The multi-sensory 20-minute Spirit of Texas film was a great overview of Texas’s history.
   The IMAX film on Hubble was filmed on a space voyage to repair the Hubble, in the Space Center in Houston, and in Florida.  I was amazed to learn that there are 100 BILLION solar systems, and our own Milky Way is not even a particularly large one.  We saw real Hubble pictures of a “nursery” of solar systems.  Absolutely incredible!
   It was raining when we left the museum.  We stopped at Best Buy to get a new disc for our camera and hopefully resolve our issues.  They didn’t have one.  While I waited in the car, the skies opened up, and I was treated to a lightning and thunder show.  When we entered the freeway, the rain was so hard that despite excellent drainage, we sloshed down the road.  We had our windshield wipers on maximum, and there was no much water on the windshield that it was hard to see.  Dean, who has a lead foot usually, was in the right lane doing only 40 mph.  When we arrived at the RV park, it was as if God said, “Turn it off”, and the rain stopped.  How nice! 
   Then the rain resumed.  Sherlock (cat) became so frightened he went behind the gas pedal into the dashboard area.  We couldn’t find him anywhere, and he wouldn’t even come out food—he loves eating!  Dean & I were in panic mode for about 15 minutes, at which time Sherlock appeared.  The rain was so hard that we couldn’t get reception from our Motosat.  Rain, rain, GO AWAY!
   We continue to be impressed by how nice Texans are.  It’s like consideration of others is part of the culture.

Temperature: 75°, rain and cloudbursts, lightning, thunder
Stayed at Oak Forest RV
Miles Traveled: 0
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #155 on: April 19, 2010, 12:43:37 AM »
DAY 37—APRIL 18—AUSTIN
   Last night after the RV camp’s office closed, we decided to take Jim’s advice and go to Pedernales SP.  Oak Forest has a 1:00 check-out time, which sounded great when we checked in.  But, we wanted to extend a day and the office didn’t open until 1:00, so we had some butterflies about going over an hour away without knowing if it was OK.  When we called at 1:00, it turned out that it was fine.
   When we were at Lady Bird’s Wildflower Farm, we met a couple from Texas who raved about the Blue Bonnet Café in Marble Falls, which wasn’t too far out of the way.  I read on-line that it was rated the #1 breakfast place in all Texas and was also famous for great pies.  We skipped breakfast here and hit the road.  When we got to the Blue Bonnet, we could see that others knew about it, too.  The line extended forever, so we decided to try for take-out.  We didn’t want to waste any time in case we had to scurry an hour plus back to the RV.  Dean got us hamburgers, which were very good, and coconut pie, which was excellent.
   Jim was so right to laud the virtues of Pedernales (pronounced Perdenales because LBJ mispronounced it and everyone copied him) State Park. They have 2 wonderful blinds with windows that open so you can photograph through them. We saw the house sparrow (English sparrow), Carolina chickadee, lots of house finches, the Western Scrub Jay, the Northern mockingbird, the brown-headed cowbird, the ladderback woodpecker, the chipping sparrow, the white-throated sparrows, a beautiful pair of cardinals, and a cotton rat (he liked birdseed, too!).     
   We learned from the two park volunteers that are usually at the blinds to point out birds and identify them that the brown-headed cowbird lays 86 eggs each year in other birds nests.  They leave them unattended and move on to another bird’s nest, where they lay some more, etc.  When the eggs hatch, they eat the songbirds’ babies.  The cowbird has proliferated to such a degree as habitat has shrunk that killing them is encouraged.  They are really hurting the blue jay population, as well as songbirds in general.  It used to be that there were so many trees that they didn’t have to compete for space, but each year we lose more habitat. 
   We saw lots of hummingbirds—mostly black-chinned, but also some ruby-throated.  Dean got an excellent picture of the ruby “flashing”, showing his red sparkling throat.
   There were lots of lesser goldfinches, and the male’s body is such a brilliant yellow as contrasted with his black head and dark back.
     I got three quick glimpses of an Eastern towhee.  Even if we couldn’t get a picture, I’d love a better look so I could admire him.  I thought he was quite striking.
   We were told that today was a “very light” (not many birds) day because it has been rain and cold.  Last year the painted and indigo buntings came April 12, but they haven’t come in yet this year.  They are eagerly hoping that they will return. 
   We thought it was a wonderful day!  We saw a lot of different kinds of birds, and we learned a lot about them.  Those volunteers were amazing!  We also met a lady from Fort Worth who told us about places on our schedule so we could delete the duds.

Weather: 71° with light clouds, but NO RAIN
Stayed at Oak Forest RV
Miles Traveled: 0
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

elkhartjim

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #156 on: April 19, 2010, 06:57:24 AM »
Great news Linda on Pedernales.  We are about 200 miles south of you and boy did the indigos show up yesterday.  Linda, there were litterly 100's of them.  Y'all slow down and they will catch you. The warblers are arriving daily in large flocks.  I will send you a picture of me standing with my hand within 18 inches of a rose breasted grosbeak.  He was so busy eating an orange that he didn't care I was there.

Safe travels....
Jim & Judy
38' Bounder DP
2005 Jeep Wrangler Sport

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #157 on: April 21, 2010, 02:05:06 PM »
DAY 38—APRIL 19—GRAPEVINE
   We got out early because we knew that the miles would go slowly today.  We passed through many small towns and downtowns, so our average speed was lower than average.  I just wanted to get to Fossil Rim Wildlife Center so we would have lots of time there before it closed. 
   Before we left home in February, I had called Fossil Rim several times with no answer to questions, so I called the Glen Rose Visitors’ Center.  They told me that we would not be able to drive the RV through the wildlife center, and they suggested we unhook at the Brookshire grocery store or the city-owned RV park.  I should have verified that information when I called this morning to get their closing time, but I didn’t. 
   We drove the Jeep back a few miles to Fossil Rim and discovered that their parking lot does accommodate RVs.  We would have needed to unhook, but we could have saved those extra miles.  Dean went inside and bought two senior admissions @ $17 each.  I also asked him to buy a bag of animal food @ $7.50 because the animals come close to the car if you throw out food.
   We were greeted by blackbucks leaping in the air and running.  The males were definitely interested in the females—even the juveniles.  The boys chased, and the girls always outraced them.  But they persisted and were so determined!
As we came upon other animal groupings, we could see courting behavior often.
   There were many African animals in large green unfenced pastures.  The whole drive through was 9 miles long.  The highlight for me was sticking my hand out the window (this is the only animal they say it is OK to hand-feed) and feeling the soft giraffe’s muzzle as he ate from my hand on 4 different occasions.  We saw 25 different kinds of large animals.  Almost all of the animals had babies with them and seemed very contented. 
   We fed a mom and baby zebra duo.  I had to close the window quickly as another zebra came up and nibbled on Dean’s side mirror.  The ostriches were also very insistent as they pecked on the windows and door handles.  I was amazed to learn that their brains are smaller than their eyes!
   This was a wonderful experience, and I would highly recommend it to everyone.  The Center is a non-profit, and it has many programs to help those animals that are endangered breed.  They also donate to other zoos and habitat restoration organizations.  The volunteer working in the gift shop had broken a rib 9 days ago and was working through her pain because they needed her.
   We got into the campground well after 7:00, but it was light enough that we could see its beauty.  Situated on a large lake with a marina and ducks, the campground has many trees.  However, they are trimmed well so we have perfect TV and Internet reception.  We also have beautiful mallards who are enjoying “treats” from RVers.  What a wonderful day!

MILES TRAVELED: 160 + 85 = 245
Stayed at The Vineyards Campground on Lake Grapevine, $25.60 with the 20%    discount coupon that I got off their website—Water and electric only—   Sewer hook-up is $10/night extra  This is one of the nicest campgrounds    we’ve ever stayed at.
Weather: Mid-70’s, partially cloudy
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

ArdraF

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #158 on: April 21, 2010, 05:24:54 PM »
Linda,

Never heard of Fossil Rim before but it sounds neat.  I LOVE giraffes and am envious that you actually got to feed one.  I love the way they look down at you through those gorgeous long eyelashes.  Hmmm - so the ostrich brain is really small.  Now I know why they're so stupid!  We drove through a similar wildlife park once and the ostriches (or maybe emus) constantly pecked at the window either wanting to be fed or thinking it would feed them.  That reminds me, the same place had a baby elephant that was so cute.  He came up to the car and put his trunk against the window.  I didn't want to wash the window because his trunk print was there.  ;D

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

elkhartjim

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #159 on: April 21, 2010, 06:34:46 PM »
I'm glad The Vineyards was beyond your expectations. 

I don't know how long you will be there but they have a old movie theater they've converted for stage plays, etc.  Its on the main street in downtown Grapevine.  Check the schedule that will be posted and if I remember correctly the chamber of commerce or visitor center is across the street to purchase tickets.  There are several vineyards in the area with tours and tasting also.

If you're so inclined, there are some horse farms north of Dallas in the Denton area.  These farms raise show quality horses.  I have a friend whose son is a vet and all he does is inseminate mares from the standing stallions at over $20,000 a pop.  Some stud fee. They offer tours.

I hope the mh checked out okay at Freightliner.

Continue to enjoy our great state.
Jim & Judy
38' Bounder DP
2005 Jeep Wrangler Sport

Bob Maxwell

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #160 on: April 21, 2010, 07:50:54 PM »
Jim, which "Elkhart?" I'm nd EHS, Elkhart IN grad, class of '59.

Thread police --our mascot was a flying Blue Blazer bird but it didn't migrat to TX even if several classmates did!
Adiós. . .

Bob †
and wife Betty Font
. . . still ridin' for the brand.



Holbrook AZ, west of the Petrified Forrest NP on I-40

Wendy

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #161 on: April 21, 2010, 08:05:15 PM »
Is The Vineyards campground the one on the lake near Grapevine (Silver Lake?)? close to the Gaylord hotel? If it is, we stayed there a couple of times back when it was a Corps of Engineers campground and really enjoyed it. Grapevine is a fun little town with lots of antique stores. And the Gaylord is worth a visit, too....not as spectacular as the Nashville Gaylord (Opryland) but pretty neat. I visited it while it was under construction and that was very cool. Coke convention was there a couple of years ago.
 
Wendy
Wendy, Mike, and Gordon
~We can't be lost because we don't care where we're going~
Here's where we are http://map.datastormusers.com/user2.cfm?user=2276
2015 Allegro Ooen Road
1973 Sunshine Yellow VW Bug

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #162 on: April 21, 2010, 09:33:32 PM »
Linda,

Never heard of Fossil Rim before but it sounds neat.  I LOVE giraffes and am envious that you actually got to feed one.  I love the way they look down at you through those gorgeous long eyelashes.  Hmmm - so the ostrich brain is really small.  Now I know why they're so stupid!  We drove through a similar wildlife park once and the ostriches (or maybe emus) constantly pecked at the window either wanting to be fed or thinking it would feed them.  That reminds me, the same place had a baby elephant that was so cute.  He came up to the car and put his trunk against the window.  I didn't want to wash the window because his trunk print was there.  ;D

ArdraF

I don't remember exactly what I wrote, but Fossil Rim rates in our TOP 10 places on this trip.  It's hard to compete with Mother Nature, and her birds occupy most of the other places.  Seeing those eyelashes up so close was fantastic.  But, their gentle nature was what surprised me most--I actually got chills of excitement from feeding him.  Dean didn't want to do it, but I wouldn't have missed it for anything.  It was comforting to know that I had a handwipe packet in my purse, which I got out before I put mywindow.  But,  he didn't slobber or make my hand feel dirty in any way.  However, it did feel good to wash my hands with soap and warm water, which I did in their bathrooms, my first opportunity.  There is another similar park, Natural Bridge, which is also very good.  We've been through it at least 3 times, and it is a MUST STOP every time we come through Texas.  But, this one was even better.  And, I loved the fact that all the moneys go to care for the animals and contribute to conservation.  I feel passionately about habitat destruction.  Earth Day is my favorite holiday of the year because it reminds all of us how fragile our planet is.  I understand the special feeling of the elephant print, but I made the giraffe memory and I couldn't wait to wash my hand.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #163 on: April 21, 2010, 09:42:17 PM »
I see this explanation in the Help file, but didn't realize it was so vague. When we moved to the new software earlier this year, I eliminated our own detailed help file, thinking the one published by the software developers would be better. Maybe I need to rethink that.

Tom, do you have a copy of the old "help" files?  Could you send them to Jim?  Dean worked on our computer again today for about an hour, but we can't get our camera to transfer the photos that we can see in the camera over to the computer.  It is so frustrating!   I thought maybe I could ask Jim to illustrate my verbage.  He has a lot of wonderful pictures, and that way people could see what I'm talking about.  Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.  Just a thought--if you can do it without too much trouble, it would solve one problem.

Thanks for all the time and effort you put into this website.  I can't begin to tell you how much it has helped us.  I tell everyone we meet about it and write the address out for them.  They love the idea--no fees, no advertisements, lots of good experienced RVers giving lots of good advice, and a wonderful treasure of information about others' trips.

Linda
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #164 on: April 21, 2010, 09:51:01 PM »
Great news Linda on Pedernales.  We are about 200 miles south of you and boy did the indigos show up yesterday.  Linda, there were litterly 100's of them.  Y'all slow down and they will catch you. The warblers are arriving daily in large flocks.  I will send you a picture of me standing with my hand within 18 inches of a rose breasted grosbeak.  He was so busy eating an orange that he didn't care I was there.

Safe travels....

I wish we could slow down.  If we didn't have to be in Utah on May 1, I'd turn around and join you at Goose Island.  We are skipping Muleshoe NWR; we were told it's a lot like Bakersfield, and we are going directly to Canyon and Palo Duro.  I don't think the birds will get that far in three days, but we'll see what's there.  Your pictures were awesome--I asked Tom if he could help you post them.  Keep trying.   I so want to be where the migrants are when they come in.  Next year...DEFINITELY!
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Tom

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #165 on: April 22, 2010, 03:57:24 AM »
Quote from: Dean & Linda Stock
Tom, do you have a copy of the old "help" files?

Linda, here's the section relevant to attaching photos to forum messages:

Attach one or more photos to a message.
The procedure for attaching multiple photos to a message is essentially the same as attaching a single photo, but with a few additional steps:

  • After typing your message, but before clicking Post, click Additional Options immediately below the message composition window.
  • Click Browse to search for a photo on your local computer.
  • To attach a second photo, click More attachments and repeat the above step.
  • To attach a third photo, click More attachments and repeat the above two steps.
  • When you've finished attaching photos, click Post to post your message with attachments.
Note: There is a maximum size limit for each photo and a maximum total size for all photos attached to the same message. These limits, which are shown on the attachment screen, are in place primarily to help folks who are on cell phones or other slow connections. If your individual photos are under the limit but the total is over, try attaching some to a second message. Just reply to your own original message and attach the additional photos.

Various tools are available to resize your images, including:

Image Resizer for Windows XP.

Image Resizer Powertoy Clone for Windows (works with Windows Vista).

If you're still unsure how to resize your photos for attaching to messages, please ask in the forum and we'll be glad to help you.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2010, 04:00:25 AM by Tom »
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #166 on: April 22, 2010, 09:28:24 AM »
Tom, thank you so much!  I hope this works and Jim is able to post his wonderful pictures--a treat for everyone. 

Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #167 on: April 22, 2010, 11:18:06 AM »
DAY 39—APRIL 20—GRAPEVINE

   We are going to have such a limited time to see attractions in the Dallas/Fort Worth area that I had prioritize.  Several people we’ve met spoke negatively of the Dallas Zoo and lauded the Fort Worth Zoo, so one choice was easy.  I had originally scheduled both zoos; Dean and I like zoos.  Originally, I had 8 days planned here; we ended up with only 2 sightseeing days.
   One of the Texans we met suggested that we go to the zoo at 1:30 because of all the school children who go there on field trips.  What a great idea!  There were tons of 60-90 passenger school buses.  The zoo would have been wall-to-wall people!  It closes at 5:00, so we only had 3½ hours. We took our time, and we only missed seeing a Museum of Living Art exhibit.
     We read almost all the signs, and they were just right—full of interesting information, but not too wordy.  We have been to dozens of zoos, and this one had MANY animals we had never seen or heard of before.  We saw for the first time the gerenuk, the sarus crane, the Nubian ibex, the Andean condor, and others  whose names I didn’t record.  This is one of the most animal-friendly zoos we have visited.  The enclosures were clean and appropriately-sized, with the exception of 3 cat enclosures. The animals were well-fed.  The zoo used natural barriers instead of fencing, so we got good pictures.  My only suggestion for improvement would be to provide toys to give the animals more things to do.  I would highly recommend it.
   My favorite memory of the zoo was the sandhill cranes, birds we’ve seen often, most recently in Alaska.  Spring has sprung, and the male was definitely trying to impress his lady.  He was jumping high in the air and dancing around with his wings outstretched.  The female pretended to ignore his antics, but when he came over and stood next to her, they both raised their beaks in song.  I think that was an “I do!”  I waited for what would happen next, and was disappointed when they each went to different parts of the enclosure.  She must have said, “Not on our first date!”
   When we left The Vineyards CG in the morning, we saw the Grapevine Botanical Garden sign, so we stopped to explore it.  It isn’t large, but it was very pretty, had great labels, as well as many beautiful, well-tended trees, bushes, herbs, and flowers.  We talked with a photographer’s wife who told us of a rookery in downtown Dallas.  We will go and check it out tomorrow.
   Sherlock loves the mallard ducks who visit the coach. This visit to Dallas/Fort Worth is rushed, but I’d love to just sit at the RV, read, and enjoy this beautiful park.  This one goes on my RETURN TO list for sure.

Miles Traveled:  0
Stayed at The Vineyards CG
Weather: 75°-55°
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #168 on: April 22, 2010, 11:19:27 AM »
DAY 40—APRIL 21—GRAPEVINE
   6:00 is mighty early, but we needed to get the RV taken care of today, and Freightliner takes people on a first-come, first-served basis.  So, we bit the bullet, got up, and were underway at 7:30, something that RARELY happens.  The trip into Dallas took over an hour and involved about 20 directions.  I’m going to let Dean explain what’s wrong—but it isn’t good.  They had to order parts, and we hope they’ll come in tomorrow.  It will then take them 3 hours to install those parts.
   Dean: 

   We then brought the RV back to Grapevine and set off to try to find “the rookery”.  I found it on the Internet, but it doesn’t have an address the GPS can find. It is on the west side of Parkland Hospital.  The biggest clue we had was that there are only 3 parking spaces, 1 of which was a handicapped space.  It is off Harry Hines, and if you look skyward, the egrets will lead you in. 
   We couldn’t find the rookery and made a wrong turn.  We saw Sonny’s Barbecue, which has been in business for 100 years.  We hadn’t eaten all day, and it was almost 3:00.  We both had their lunch special, which included 1 meat, 1 side, and 1 drink.  I had brisket, and Dean had pulled pork.  Mine was good, but not the best I’ve had on this trip, but Dean thought his was excellent—so good that after we found the rookery, he wanted to come back and get some to take home.  Sonny’s has won the James Beard Award and has other impressive accolades on its walls.  Sonny sold the business decades ago, but he set it up so that the profits from this one went into the Employees Retirement Fund for the employees who had worked for him.  There are 8 or 9 other locations.  While we were eating, I started asking if anyone knew where the rookery was.  The first time I asked, at the counter, no one did.  But, as we were eating, I asked a lady who had come in later, and she didn’t, but another couple did.  They gave us perfect directions, and we found it!  I think sometimes I embarrass Dean, but people give me great information that improves the quality of our trips.
   When we pulled into one of the three parking spaces, we could heard lots of vocalizations from the birds.  There were tall trees with a path under them.  There were tons of snowy egrets, cattle egrets, and great egrets nesting—and so close that you had to watch where you were lest you receive an unpleasant surprise from the birds above.  We got to see the parents feeding baby snowies and great egrets.  One proud snowy papa stood tall and fluffed out his head feathers and his neck feathers.  I didn’t know they did that, and he also spread out his wing/tail feathers, just like a peacock.  In the couple of hours we were there, we saw this behavior several times. 
   We heard the call of the herons, and we found two pairs of black-crowned night herons by following the calls.  I feel like I’ve discovered gold when I actually am able to track them down.
   I also saw a little bright red bird quickly fly through the bushes; I wish I knew what it was—a small cardinal or a scarlet tanager—they’re the only two red red birds I know.  We didn’t wait for the white ibis to come in and roost.  They don’t come in until about 6:00.  We were told there were little blue herons nesting there, but we couldn’t find them.
   The most amazing part of this was its location—right in the middle of a very developed Parkland Hospital complex.  There were train horns, major traffic, pedestrians, etc., and they didn’t seem bothered at all.  However, the daddies did give us the “evil eye” and watched Dean and me carefully.
   By the time we were ready to go, it was 5:00, and we are disappointed that we won’t get to see more of this area.  We stopped at an AMC 24 and saw a good comedy.

Temperature: 84°-61°
Stayed at The Vineyards
Miles Traveled: 0
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #169 on: April 24, 2010, 10:47:34 AM »
DAY 41—APRIL 22—EARTH DAY—GRAPEVINE
   First, an apology.  Dean ALWAYS edits our posts before we put them on the Forum.  Yesterday, because he was in a hurry to get to Freightliner, he just posted without reading it—for the first time ever.  Also, for the first time ever, I had a part for him to tell what happened mechanically.  So, he will  give the “man” explanation with all those technical terms today.
   Dean:  I have been told that I am supposed to describe what the blowout did to our coach, so here it is.  Other than a few minor dents in the wheelwell the main and strangest damage was the tube that provides cold outside air to the engine.  This tube is a large version of the vent tube used on a clothes dryer.  Basically it consist of a wire wound in a spiral, like a Slinky, with a flat cloth strip attached to it.  The result is a flexible tube.  When the tire blew, a flap of tread struck the tube, grabbed the wire, and pulled it  hard enough to convert the tube into a long wire with a ribbon of cloth attached, wrapping it around the axle and suspension.  It must have been 20 feet long.  In the process, the air suspension leveling system was disconnected, deflating the air bag.  The guy who changed the tire was able to unwrap the wire and reconnect the leveling system.  All appeared to function after the tire change so we continued on to Austin, 35 miles.  I had Freightliner inspect the suspension for any problems.  The only problem was the missing air tube.  We were lucky.
   Linda:  We got the call that our parts had come into Freightliner, so we drove to Dallas again.  It is a whole series of changes—freeway to freeway—and some of their streets have 4 names—2 numbers and 2 different names on the SAME ROAD!   It seems like we take the wrong road, and magically somehow we are on the one we want.  There were lots of accidents and traffic delays.  Even after we got off the freeway, someone had run a big SUV head-on into a tree.
   \While the parts were being installed, we went to the Dallas Botanical Garden & Arboretum.  Cost was adult $10, senior $7.50, parking $7, totaling $24.50, which was very expensive, considering that we only had about 2 hours.  We hadn’t eaten all day, and it was now after 1:00, so we headed to their Garden Café.  The lunches ranged from $8.25-$10, and they were wonderful.  Best of all was their tea—Dean had raspberry, and I had peach.  They don’t use sugar, and they were very flavorful—the best we’ve ever had.  Their desserts were tempting, but we didn’t have time and we were full. 
   The Garden was originally “a rich lady’s estate.”  The employees didn’t  know anything about her but her name, DeGolyer.  There are many grand trees, all of which are perfect specimens and very mature.  I especially loved the maples, the dogwood, and a really impressive tree by the café. It has a branch that has come down and rooted.   They had many flowers that I know well, and they were in artistic arrangements.  They had several beauties that I hadn’t seen before, and I wish they had identifying tags so I could look them up in my Sunset book and find out if I can plant them.  They planted over 500,000 spring-blooming bulbs (yes, 5 zeroes), and they have over 3,000 azalea plants that are huge with blossoms.  Over the years, I have killed many azaleas, so I had a great appreciation for their lush flowers.
   The gardens were well-manicured and had the feeling of elegance, from the endless pool that looks out on the lake to the koi  and the ladies wearing “Kentucky Derby hats” that look like they’re from the 50’s.  They serve afternoon tea for $32/person or champagne tea for $42.
   The gardens were exquisite, and we’d go again and have a leisurely lunch on their beautiful patio.  We’ll make up for this splurge by having soup for dinner.

Temperature: Low 80’s, overcast all day, drizzly almost sprinkling
Stayed at the Vineyards
Miles Traveled:  0
   
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

ArdraF

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #170 on: April 24, 2010, 05:28:13 PM »
Dean, that was a really good explanation.  I could picture it perfectly.  It was odd and, yes, you were lucky.  Presumbably it's all fixed and you're ready to roll again.

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #171 on: April 26, 2010, 08:40:51 AM »
DAY 41—APRIL 23—McKinney
   We drove about an hour to McKinney to get our 3 cockpit windows measured for future electric sunshades.  We also wanted to get an estimate of cost.  Decisions, decisions—fabric, 1-2-3 parts on the front window, remote controls and how many, where everything would be situated, etc.  This took until well after lunch.  Dean saw a completed version, and by mid-afternoon we had scratched the rest of our stops from out itinerary so we could stay and get the shades NOW. 
   We will be able to stay hooked up to their electric and water from their building for 2 days. After that, we will have to boondock because other coaches with reservations will be coming in.
    The rest of this trip doesn’t sound like fun—boondocking and then traveling lots of miles each day to be in Utah by May 1.  But, we will never again be blinded by the sun, which is a real safety hazard, so I guess it’s worth it.  The final tab for only the cockpit area was a little over $3100.  Ouch!  But, Terry’s $6,000-7,000, which  must have included the whole coach and all the bells and  whistles, prepared me for the shock of the cost.

Temperature: 80°, rain, thunder, and lightning in the evening
Stayed at MCD RV Accessories
Miles Traveled:  0
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #172 on: April 26, 2010, 08:41:43 AM »
DAY 42—APRIL 24—McKinney
   Nothing is happening at MCD because today is Saturday.  We decided to see some of the Dallas-Fort Worth area that had been in my itinerary.  It seems like I print out a new itinerary daily because something is constantly changing.
   Today we went to the Amon Carter Museum.  Dean enjoys museums, and I had given him my notes, but he wasn’t prepared for an ART museum, not his most exciting place to go usually.  Amon Carter was a very successful multi-millionaire, and he left lots of money to his foundation to support art.  Admission is free.
   This beautiful museum is gem-rated by AAA, and they have some wonderful works by Frederic Remington, Charles Russell, and John Quincy Adams Ward.  Everything is artistically framed and displayed. You can stand right next to the paintings—no distancing velvet ropes, etc., but lots of guards.  In talking with one of the guards, a retired cop, I discovered that it is against the law in Texas to give someone “the finger”, they really do write tickets for it, and the fine is $500.  Maybe that’s one reason that we think Texans are so nice—greater expectations of civilized behavior.  We need a law like that in California!
   They had lots of bronzes by both Russell and Remington, and I enjoyed seeing how they make a bronze.  I learned that Remington was also a painter, and a good one at that.  He died when he was in his late 40’s from a ruptured appendix.
   It was an enjoyable afternoon—for me, at least.  We then drove out to the Fort Worth Nature Center.  We got there at 4:00, and they have a firm closing time of 5:00, after which you have to call the police to come liberate you from the locked gates.  It costs around $10 to enter (for both of us), and I decided that I didn’t want to have to be a clock-watcher in a nature park.  My info said that they closed at 7:00, but that doesn’t happen for another week—May 1.
   Throughout the day as we saw places that had items we needed. 
We stopped at the grocery store, a great car wash @ 1901 N. Central Expressway in McKinney, pharmacy, Petco, and Best Buy.  Dean was able to get his new disc for his camera, so we will now be able to take pictures at places as we whiz by them on our way to Utah.
   We stumbled across a movie, so we checked it out and found “Death at a Funeral” was getting ready to start.  It had some foul language and lots of laughs.

Temperature: 83°, rain in the morning, beautiful day
Stayed at MCD RV Accessories
Miles Traveled:  0
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #173 on: April 26, 2010, 08:46:56 AM »
Ardra,

     Yes it was an odd situation but all is fixed and we have resumed our trip.

     Thanks.
Dean
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Terry A. Brewer

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #174 on: April 26, 2010, 01:13:17 PM »
Linda

This is a really interesting place to see in Irving......http://www.mustangsoflascolinas.com/index.htm

Also the San Miguel Grill in McKinney is one of our favorite Mexican restaurants... They even had a "Harp Player" playing contemporary music onb Fri or sat.

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #175 on: April 27, 2010, 12:27:49 PM »
DAY 43—APRIL 26—McKinney
   We spent an uneventful day doing household tasks that needed to be done.

DAY 44—APRIL 27—McKinney
   We started our day with a very entertaining show.  A humongous group of 3 attached vehicles came into MCD.  The first vehicle is a huge sleeper cab semi-truck.  Attached to it was a 40-foot fifth-wheel.  The car was not attached at the time I saw this group.  The truck driver went through a series of turns as he went from forward to reverse and back again & again & again, too many times to count and each time getting closer to our coach.  We were already preparing to move to the boondocking area, and as we saw the situation getting worse and worse, we were able to “break camp” in record time and get out of there.  I can’t imagine traveling in that thing and trying to go into RV camps.  He can’t keep it all attached in many states like California, so his wife has to drive the car separately in those states.  To me, retirement is about no stress and having fun—and that set-up doesn’t do either.  Different strokes for different folks, I guess.
   We went to the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. Admission for seniors was $11.  It is a gorgeous building with all the latest technologies, but its exhibits are weird.  There was a nice 5’ square case hanging on the wall, with butterflies of Texas, nicely labeled.  Next to it was a similar case with birds’ eggs, not labeled.  Then we moved on to their 1 dinosaur model in a room with computers and activities to measure the stride, etc.  There were dinosaur facts on the walls.  The gift shop had an appealing dinosaur slide for the kids to use as parents browsed, and they had a nice inventory.  And that was all there was on the first floor. 
   The second floor had an energy exhibit and a fun 4-D movie about natural gas and our planet.  Movie-watchers were vibrated and were squirted with little drops of water as we went underwater and out into space.  There was also a large series of exhibits about raising cattle and a 5-minute movie projected on the ceiling of a planetarium.  We paid $3 extra to see the planetarium show, which was a slow-paced little narrative of each of the planets and major constellations.
   If I had kids, I’d buy an annual pass.  There was a Children’s Museum, which we didn’t explore, as well as hands-on water games outside that would explain physical concepts. There were child-centered activities throughout the museum.  It would be a great place for parents home-teaching their kids.  As for us, we had extra time, so I’m glad we went, but I would not go again.  They spent so much money on the building and the technologically-advanced instruments, but the exhibits need to be their focus for the future.  It seemed embryonic.
   We found another Abuelo’s on our way home and had another wonderful meal—and the price was right.  A two enchilada dinner (choice of ground or shredded beef, spinach, cheese, guacamole, or chicken enchilada) with choice of 2—refried beans, rice, or interesting mexicanized mashed potatoes (papas) was only $7.  I splurged on guacamole, since it was still Happy Hour (until 7:00), and it was only half-price.  They had fancy drinks available for only $3, too.

Stayed at MCD
Weather: 80°, winds 20-30 mph
Miles Traveled: 0
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #176 on: April 27, 2010, 10:45:49 PM »

This is a really interesting place to see in Irving......http://www.mustangsoflascolinas.com/index.htm

Also the San Miguel Grill in McKinney is one of our favorite Mexican restaurants... They even had a "Harp Player" playing contemporary music onb Fri or sat.

Thanks for the tips, Terry.  We thought we would go to  the Mustang Museum  today, but  we looked it up on-line and it is only open Wed.-Sat.  I followed up by phone, and it was accurate. Dean wants to watch the drapes being installed tomorrow, and once they are in we have to boogie.  We have to cover 1300 miles in 2 1/2 days, so Dean will be unhooking the electricity as they finish up the sunshades, and we'll be gone within 5 minutes of their feet hitting the pavement.  So this will go in my "Next Time" list.

We did go to the San Miguel Grill today for lunner.  It was good, but no special music on a weekday afternoon.

Linda
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #177 on: April 28, 2010, 11:20:44 AM »
DAY 45—APRIL 28—McKinney
   This will be our last post.  We will be scurrying to Utah, and while we will be traveling through Texas, we’ll only be seeing the interstate.  Today Dean got an OK haircut at Country Barbers ($9), and I got the best pedicure I’ve ever had at T-Nails, 501 E. Princeton Dr. in Princeton.
   We had a nice lunner at San Felipe Grill, recommended by Terry.  The server was very nice, and the food was good.  MCD should get the shades installed tomorrow morning.
   Many thanks to all you RVForumers who have shared information and given suggestions.  Each morning when I got up, I looked forward to your replies.  Thanks again to Ned and Lorna for letting us stay with them.  You Texans are a great bunch.  I am already planning our next trip here.

Stayed at MCD
Weather: 75°, winds 20 mph
Miles Traveled:  0
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Wendy

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #178 on: April 28, 2010, 11:48:21 AM »
Have a safe trip on your mad dash to Utah.
 
Wendy
Wendy, Mike, and Gordon
~We can't be lost because we don't care where we're going~
Here's where we are http://map.datastormusers.com/user2.cfm?user=2276
2015 Allegro Ooen Road
1973 Sunshine Yellow VW Bug

Tom and Margi

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #179 on: April 28, 2010, 01:10:06 PM »
Thanks for taking the time and effort, once again, to share your Texas adventure with us, Linda.  I always look forward to reading your trip logs.

Margi