Showing posts from January, 2011
Another week has gone by in sunny Texas and now I have to try and remember what we did special this past week. There has been lots of golfing since the weather has been nice. Here is a picture to show this to be true. Don goes out to men's golf on Monday mornings and I tried Ladies Golf on Thursday morning and didn't embarass myself too badly. At the weekly park meeting it was announced that there are 875 residents in the park now and some more expected in the next 2 weeks. I went to the evening entertainment on Tuesday evening - "Gold Wing Express" - a father and 3 sons from Branson Missouri - very good musicians/singers and funny too. Spanish class is an hour on Wednesday and we have homework too but it may need alot more time than that to get it to sink into our brains. Wednesday afternoon, Don and I went into old McAllen for a massage - a deal out of the newspaper - we each had a 45 minute full body relaxation massage for a total of $45.00 - it was a good deal. O…
It has been a disappointing rainy cool week in Texas but we manage to do what we can - no swimming or golf for a few days - but no snow either so we can't complain.

We did go on a outing on Thursday night to Quinta Mazatlan in McAllen (across from the McAllen International Airport). It is one of the largest remaining adobe homes built in Texas and dates back to 1935. There is a cottage and hooch (3, 325 sq ft)and a main house(6,739 sq ft)( all constructed of 12 inch adobe block). An unusual feature of the house was the aluminum sulfate paint on the inside and out to prevent radar waves from penetrating the building.

There was 25 x 55 ft adobe block bathing pool. When constructed, the pool was all one depth, that being 12 feet. It was known as a draw and fill pool, as it had no filtration system. It had to be drained and refilled whenever the water became dirty. It was filled from a freshwater well located at the back of the cottage. The owner would attach a six-inch pipe at an airpl…
Got to catch up again. Did go on the long bike ride to McAllen last Monday morning - great until we had to bike back from Country Omelette with full bellies and into the wind?

Wednesday's Mystery Tour went to the "Museum of South Texas History" in Edinburg - a town northwest of us. It was very well done for the history of the Rio Grande Valley from prehistoric times to 2000. Lots of unrest in this area due to border disputes with Mexico. This is also a rich agricultural area - with the help of irrigation for the crops of cotton, sugarcane, citrus and vegetables. One building was the original jail complete with gallows. Lunch that day was at a barbecue place and then we came back to the RV Park. We did have another adventure to a soup and sandwich fundraiser at another mobile home park not too far away but that wasn't too exciting.

We will try to be more exciting this coming week. I am off on another bus ride tomorrow to an aloe vera farm?
Sunday, January 2/11

Maureen (cousin Don's wife) and Gail from Manitoba and I visited the Our Lady of San Juan del Valle Basilica in San Juan - about 5 miles from our RV Park. This shrine averages more than a million visitors a year and is one of the most visited shrines in the United States. We arrived today while a Spanish mass was going on with capacity attendance - 3500 in the basilica - floor and balcony seated and about 2000 standing and more people outside. It was the 4th mass of the day with 2 more scheduled.
The history of this Marian shrine began in 1920 as a small wooden chapel. A bigger church was built in 1954 but was destroyed in 1970 by a tragic event. While 50 priests were concelebrating mass with another 50 people in attendance, and 100 school children in an adjacent cafeteria, the pilot of a small low-flying airplane crashed into the roof of the shrine and exploded into flames - the pilot was the only fatality. A new shrine was built and dedicated in 1980. The bea…