Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Messin' With Texas - New Adventures

Bentsen Palm Drive heading towards our RV park several miles outside of Mission, Texas.  The RV park is 1-2 miles from the Rio Grande River based on all the twists and turns of the river route.

It is a friendly, nicely maintained park.  Many people will stay here as long as six months while others, like us, only spend one month.

Many of the people pick the spots on the outer edge of the park and they also have cabanas to use.

If you don't have a motorhome you can also rent a one bedroom villa to stay in.

The inner section of the park has the rigs facing around a grassy circle with palapas in the center.  Here's our rig enjoying the view.

This is what we get to look at each day from the front of our rig.  It makes everything feel very open.

The palapa is quite roomy and the thatched roof keeps the rain out.

This palapa has pool tables in it while others have different forms of entertainment or places for larger groups to meet.

Two years ago we had met another couple, Greg and Barbara Jones, who live next door in Ratama Village which is another part of this enterprise.

In Ratama Village the RV spots are purchased and can be lots with very nice cabanas or houses where you can park your rig and live in a 2-3 bedroom villa. There are many nice variations to choose from.  

The complex is still being developed with acres of land nearby waiting to be filled.  Both Ratama Village and Bentsen Palm Village are only for those 55 +.

Across the road is a multi-family development called Tanglewood.  These are 3-4 bedroom homes and are in the 200k to 400k range.  Next to the complex is an IDEA public school.  It is part of a network of tuition-free K-12 charter schools serving students throughout the Rio Grande valley.  For the past consecutive six years the school system has graduated 100% of their students and all of them have gone on to college.  The  IDEA schools are targeted towards Hispanic kids in the Rio Grande Valley but all races are accepted based on a lottery system.  The schools are ranked as some of the best in the country. Very impressive!  

All along the area are popular hiking/biking trails.  Since we have been here we have gone on five mile hikes each day and biked 10 miles, too.  Phew!  You'd think we would get lean and mean but too often the good Mexican food and the margaritas get in the way :) 

One Sunday afternoon we went to the Riverside Club situated on the Rio Grande River and joined the Winter Texans who come here to dance.

The place was hopping.

The band was going strong and so were the dancers.

Line dancing was also quite popular

and the dress code reflected the area.

What can  I say........ black socks are always in.

Our friends, Greg and Barbara Jones, were 'cutting a rug', too.  I had to chase them all over the dance floor to get this picture. 
Outside the dance hall the Rio Grande River flows by. 

Fisherman and jet skiers were racing down the river.  Occasionally, the Border Patrol came past in one of their boats.

Next door is the restaurant area of the cafe where you can dine on the water.

As I said in our last blog, our adventures continue.  Our friends, Greg and Barbara, had recently adopted a dog from the Cinderella Dog Rescue in Mission, TX.  This is a no-kill shelter that survives on volunteers and donated money and the woman who runs the place has dogs, cats, and horses living there.  Many of the animals were abandoned or abused and were in dire straits.  We decided to take a look since our Lucy was moping around and seemed despondent being the only dog.  

So this is our new adventure.  His name is "Desi".  He's a mix of Labrador Retriever and Beaucheron (a French herding dog) who has been living at Cinderella Dog Rescue for most of his life (almost three years) waiting for a forever home.  He's a big, goofy pup who is just full of love and trying his hardest to do the right thing.  

Lucy is taking it in stride as long as "Desi" doesn't touch her toys or get in her space.  He immediately knew she was the queen and accepted his new role quickly.

Now I just want you to know I wasn't fond of the new pup's name. The owner of the shelter thought it would be cute and everyone with us immediately agreed (including the Captain).  I thought it was pretty corny! Interestingly, the younger generation doesn't pick up on the naming convention but all the older folks here understood.  Wherever we walk in the park we hear people calling out to Lucy and Desi.

Some of the pups we see in the dog park are this goldie, Miles, who can catch and carry three tennis balls at one time.  

One of my favorites is Berkley,  the Newfoundland/Lab mix who loves to wallow in a watering trough  in the dog park.  He is a real lover but such a wet mess most of the time.  I don't envy his owners. 

We drove into Mission for a three day festival where Mexican wares were brought in.  I was surprised to see many cars with Mexico license plates but people from Mexico often come into the US to shop, go to dinner, etc.  

Because Mission is so close to the border, there are police everywhere.  This police box on stilts can be seen in shopping centers and crowded areas all over Mission and outlying cities.  There are cameras inside watching the crowds. 

Mission, TX, is the home of Tom Landry, the football coach, and this mural can be seen in the downtown area.
This group called The Cruisers were rocking to 60's music.

I think they knew the songs from the past pretty well.

And people got up and danced to their oldie but goody!

There were a lot of goods to look at but the prices were often steep.

Some old lady was purchasing another set of earrings :)  She got a new purse, too.
Artists were drawing chalk murals on the street.

Hispanic performers were waiting to go on stage.

Across the park there was a venue for Winter Texans with more oldies being sung.

It had quite a crowd.

This was a family performing for the group.  The young man in the middle was rocking out a Jerry Lee Lewis song.  Check out his classic black and white shoes.

Near our RV park there are large canals that are used for irrigation.

On the upper banks along the canals are biking trails and walking areas so there are many places to exercise the pups.
Off the asphalt trails are dirt bike trails that many of the younger people use.

But you have to be careful because the cacti are everywhere.

Lucy jumped into the canal to cool off and Desi decided to harass her.

He finally jumped in and decided it was a good way to cool off.  The canals have fish in them so you will see people with fishing rods along the banks.

A lovely view of a sunny day in southern Texas.  What a way to spend a winter month.  Peace!

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