Saturday, Jan. 7/12
Happy 2012! Check out the beautiful Christmas display at the Catholic Basilica nearby - "Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan Del Valle National Shrine". Check out www.sanjuanbasilica.org for more info.
We celebrated the New Year quietly but the surrounding neighbourhood doesn't. The Texans seem to love fireworks. The booms start at Christmas and continue to New Years. There is a frenzie of booms as soon as dark comes on New Years Eve and you would think war broke out by midnite! We thought maybe fireworks were inexpensive here but that isn't true either?
Now the first week of 2012 is over. I have been busy teaching exercises classes - mat class on Tuesday morning, 30 minute low impact class on Wednesday morning and a combined low impact/mat class on Thursday morning. The lady who regularly leads the 1 PM aquacize class was away this week so she asked me to fill in so I did that 30 minute class every day this week too.
Monday morning I go out for a ride with the Bike Club here - usually about 6 miles, have breakfast at a restaurant, and then bike back. Tuesday morning after exercise class is the weekly Park Meeting - reporting 756 people in the park on 425 sites on that day. Wednesday morning I went with Don to his old guys slow pitch baseball game. Don is really enjoying playing Monday and Wednesday mornings but now is dreaming of a new bat - only $300 to $500 now for the latest technology. We also went to a Travel Show at the McAllen Convention Centre - geared towards the Winter Texan crowd - to entice people to take cruises and visit local sites and states.
Thursday morning I played in the weekly park ladies golf tournament. We have to pay $1 and if your team does well you may win that back. I was fortunate to sink my own birdie shot so I did win my $1 back. I lead a short golf warm-up session before we started - hoping to help our game and prevent injury but don't know if it helped - but then it won't hurt.
I have joined another 3 ladies at the park to volunteer for "The Cuddle Club"at a local Women's Hospital to hold babies for a 2 to 3 hour time slot once per week. We are just going through the paperwork now but hopefully will pass the drug testing?
Today, Maureen, Bonnie and I had an adventure to "Rancho Lomitas" with a local Birding Centre van trip. This 200 acre ranch is located north of Rio Grande City which is an hour west of us. It is native Tamaulipan brushland purchased by an ethnobotanist (Benito Trevino) in 1986. The land had been damaged by overgrazing but Benito has been restoring the health of the brush and education others regarding the importance of preserving native plants. At the end of our wagon ride tour, we were treated to mesquite flower sugar cookies and juice made from prickly pear cactus flower fruit.
We stopped for lunch at the Che Restaurant which was part of the "La Borde House" in Rio Grande City. The LaBorde House is a restored 1899 inn maintained and managed by the Starr County Historical Foundation. In the style of the Victorian period, each of the 16 bedrooms is named with the target of commemorating a bit of local history. Each room is beautifully furnished with antique furniture and accesories.