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November/December 2012

January 2, 2013

We’ve received several inquiries from readers as to our well-being, which made me suddenly aware of how long it’s been since my last post.  With the exception of some aches and pains related to age and lack of exercise, we are both fine.

We moved from Houston/Pearland to Berry Springs RV Park in Georgetown, Texas in mid-November.  We have a daughter who lives in Austin with her husband and our youngest grandchild.  Georgetown is a short drive north of Austin, which enabled us to spend Christmas and New Years Eve with them.

Our back-in site at Berry Springs

Our back-in site at Berry Springs

This RV park is only a couple of years old, but is alredy expanding.  The new section, which doubled the size of the park, has opened since we have been here, and filled up almost immediately.  Some of the sites in the older section, including ours, could use levelling, but overall, for a relatively new park, it’s not bad.  Landscaping is kind of minimal, but still growing.  As the trees grow, the “prairie” feel will diminish.   There is a nice little clubhouse next to the office.  While we’ve been here, the single shower and toilet adjoining the office is being replaced with three nice new ones at one end of the clubhouse.

I believe every site has full hookups (water, electric, sewer).  Wifi isn’t bad.  Since I’m the heavy user, I’ve used theirs almost the whole time we’ve been here, and Nell has used our Verizon MIFI mobile hotspot.  I’ve had better luck than she has.  There is no cable TV here, but we’ve had an abundance of DVD’s that come in handy when we want a break from reading.  There is also a laundry with four washers and four dryers.  While most RV parks have coin-operated machines, these at Berry Springs are free.

Office, Clubhouse, Laundry at entrance

Office, Clubhouse, Laundry at entrance

There are many pull-through sites as well as back-ins.  As it turned out, the pull-through that was reserved for us was occupied, and the folks were visiting family out of town.  It was a mixup that shouldn’t have happened, but we’re pretty easy to get along with, so we took a back-in.  We’ve been on the go a lot visiting family, so it hasn’t made any difference to us.

It’s pretty windy most of the time here around Austin, especially in the flat prairie areas.  Partly because of that, and partly because our concrete patio is in shade from the motorhome most of the day, we haven’t bothered with the awning at all.  In fact, we’ve only seen one or two awnings up the whole time we’ve been here.

Temperatures here fluctuate quite a bit in winter.  Daytime temps are ranging from the low 60’s to the low 40’s, with lows overnight that have gotten down around and below freezing at times.  That’s nothing to you folks up north, but this old Texas boy just really doesn’t like to be cold anymore.  Nell was born and raised in Ohio, and grew up in the cold and snow, but she agrees with me on this.  While the RV park doesn’t have propane onsite, they have apparently just worked a deal with a local company to deliver propane.  Naturally, this comes a week after we unhooked all the landlines and drove up the interstate to have the onboard propane tank filled.  I did catch the delivery guy yesterday, however, and since we’ve been using the furnace quite a bit, we had him top off the tank.

If it’s a sunny day and in the 50’s we run a little electric heater during the day instead of the propane furnace.  We just bought a new one the other day, and it keeps our 36-foot coach nice and toasty.  If it’s much colder, we’ll run the furnace during the day for a while.  At night, if it gets down into the 40’s, we use the furnace.  When we lived in a sticks-and-bricks house, we used to wrap the outside pipes.  Now, if a freeze is forecast, I go out and turn off the water at the ground faucet and disconnect and drain the water hose.  As long as there’s water in the fresh water tank, we simply use the RV’s water pump.  It’s a fairly simple process to reconnect the water the next morning.

Christmas at Berry Springs RV Park, Georgetown, Texas

Christmas at Berry Springs RV Park, Georgetown, Texas

We did get into the holiday spirit a bit more this year, with decorations and lights outside as well as inside…

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The outside lights were connected to an extension cord which was plugged into an outlet in one of the basement storage compartments.  A simple timer allowed the outside lights to be turned off and on automatically, a good thing on cold nights.  I inadvertently bought a timer that only took a two-prong cord, and had to go back and get a 2 prong to 3 prong adapter.

Santa paid a visit on Christmas Eve

Santa paid a visit on Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve, at our daughter’s home, Santa Claus dropped in.  I have to admit I wasn’t excited about it, but once the big red suit was on, my whole attitude changed.  Every man, whether he has children or grandchildren, or not, should play Santa Claus, wearing the suit and beard and all, at least once in his life.

The biking/jogging path in Berry Springs Park

The biking/jogging path in Berry Springs Park

Across the road from the RV park is a back entrance to Berry Springs Park, which I believe is maintained by the City of Georgetown.

A rhiking trail in Berry Springs Park

A rhiking trail in Berry Springs Park

In addition to the paved trails, there are others that take one out into various areas in the park.

Painting at Berry Springs Park

Painting at Berry Springs Park

A footbridge at San Gabriel Park

A footbridge at San Gabriel Park

San Gabriel Park, located near downtown Georgetown, is a large day park on the edge of the San Gabriel River.  If you park near this foot bridge, be prepared to be greeted by a very large flock of ducks and geese.   If you don’t have any food for them, they’ll dismiss you pretty quickly and wander away.

Brushy Creek, Round Rock, Texas

Brushy Creek, Round Rock, Texas

Round Rock is between Georgetown and Austin.  We stopped at Brushy Creek and took a number of reference photos for paintings.  According to a marker by the creek, this was the location of the earliest baptisms in the area.  Missionaries of various faiths came on horseback as the settlement increased.  Worship was often held in homes or under the spreading branches of oak trees.  Baptisms were held in Brushy Creek from the mid-1800’s until the mid-1900’s.

Lunch at The Salt Lick

Lunch at The Salt Lick

We had lunch one day at The Salt Lick in Driftwood, about a half hour southwest of Austin.  Our son-in-law’s family was in town for the holidays, so we all went for a great barbecue lunch.

jenaaronfamily2

This place is open 7 days a week from 11am to 10pm.  We went early and got in fairly quickly, but there were people waiting to get in when we left.  We were told that the huge parking lot is packed for every meal, every day.  Great food and great service.

Painting at Berry Springs RV Park

Painting at Berry Springs RV Park

This place has provided some outdoor painting opportunities, along with great reference material for future sketches and paintings.  We have spent a lot of time away from here, travelling in the Jeep to Houston a couple of times to visit kids there, as well as to San Angelo in west Texas to visit my brother, along with spending time with the kids who live here in the Austin area.  We’ll be here another couple of weeks, then we’ll relocate to Rockport, on the Gulf Coast, for the rest of the winter.   I’ll try to post some recaps of the drive to San Angelo, and a few other tidbits between now and then.

Stay warm.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 3, 2013 8:26 pm

    Happy New Year Ralph.

    Doug

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