Sunday, March 14, 2021

Happy π Day! 🥧

This is indeed an important day.  "Marie C" has done a lot of work for us today, including an apple crumb pie and beef pot pies.  In all fairness Pat did bake them!  

We also celebrated the day with a game of Monopoly.  I thought it wouldn't be fun with just two people, but Pat was right, it was a lot of fun!😁  I guess I am "south acclimated" because Pat laughed when I had to put a jacket on today at 72°.

Beef pot pies, not quite like what Mom makes, but easy.  Cool enough to use the oven today.

See those hotels?  They were mine!  I don't like to gloat, well ok maybe I do, but this game was all mine!🤩

There are LOTS of RV parks to choose from in the RGV.  Lots of northerners, including Canadians, head down for Dec. - March, or parts of that.

Different parks offer different amenities, activities, etc.  We chose this park based on location, activities offered, cost and lot size.  

I wanted a place not too close to the Mexican border that had a town with some shopping, restaurants, etc., although we've ended up only doing curb-side pick-up or take-out. On my list was a pool and hot tub (haven't used either), an activity director , and some kind of sewing group.  Pat wanted lot sizes that weren't too close together.  If the registration form asked if you had slides on each side of your RV that probably meant the sites were too close together for us.  A paved patio or parking spot was a bonus.  Picnic tables, we found, are nearly non-existent.

Cost was a biggie.  We still have a few  years till social security and Medicare kick in so we are living off of savings. We also have to pay for our own health insurance, after having a company policy for our entire lives.  Pat had Cobra for a year, but that was not  cheap and it isn't an option any more.  We had a first time "Encore Park" discount for staying here for 4 months so it came out to around $534 a month plus electricity, which has been less than $30 a month (thank you solar panels and lithium batteries). This was acceptable.

Last spring I made a list of questions and called many parks. We also checked out reviews and asked for suggestions from RV groups we belong to. Then we kept narrowing the parks down until we could agree on one that we both could commit to for 4 months (better rate), site unseen, except for pictures.

We've selected most monthly sites this way since we've started traveling.  Some have been good, some so-so and some, well, let's just say Pat has had to listen to my whining about a few!  This was a "good" one.  I would enjoy coming for another winter some time, and would definitely recommend it to others. We are now starting to prepare our itinerary for the next year.

Below are some pictures showing the different types of yearly sites available here.  I'm not sure how many of these are year round sites, or how many pay for the year but only come down for the season. Some have no back yard, some little front yard and some neither. There are those of us that only pay for the months we're here.  Our park, and I'm sure many others have a dedicated "Thousand Trails" area.  They pay an amount to join Thousand Trails and then an annual fee, and appear to have a restriction on how long they can stay at the park. 

Park models may come in various sizes but many only  have 1 bedroom and 1 bathroom.  Many have been added on to.  Permanent improvements at yearly sites become the property of the park.

This park model has an addition they call a "Texas room."  Some of the rooms are used as an additional living room or bedroom, and some include an additional bath.

Some have patios, porches or screened in areas.

A park model.

A mobile home is bigger than a park model but they vary in size.

A double wide mobile home.

 Triple wide mobile home with a driveway on one side and a patio on the other.  It may be the largest unit in our park.

A trailer with a yearly site. 

A 5th wheel with a yearly site.

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