Wednesday, November 11, 2015


This is very hard for me to do, but I have decided to close down our travel site.

At times I have found myself stressing out over keeping up with our blog especially when I get behind because of how busy we are.

It seems since starting this travel site,  I have lost a lot of my "quiet time". There are times where I just want to sit by the campfire in the afternoon and do nothing.

Just like now here at Lake Medina, I just want to sit by the lakes shore and read and take in the beautiful view but have yet to do that.

I have found myself waking up in the middle of the night, stressing over the fact that I need to get our travel site up to date. But then I realize we have a busy day ahead of running errands and catching up with all our annual doctor visits while we are here in the San Antonio area.

I know when folks read our blog, they see us having fun around the campfire, sight seeing, enjoying happy hours and gatherings with friends, but I am up late at night and sometimes in the middle of the night doing our travel site.

I really hated to do this to everyone because you all have told me how much you have enjoyed reading about our adventures.

From the bottom of our hearts, I just want to thank everyone for tuning in and traveling with us over the last 2 years.

Happy Trails to all.............Hugs and kisses, Angela and Ralph

Sunday, November 1, 2015


On Sunday, October 18th, we pulled out of Largo, Florida and headed due north. About 175 miles later we arrived in the sleepy town of Steinhatchee, Florida, population just under 2,000.

Steinhatchee is a small Gulf coastal community along the Steinhatchee River. The Steinhatchee is one of several rivers that empty into the Apalachee Bay of the Gulf of Mexico along Florida's Big Bend.

It is a fisherman's paradise along with scalloping and crabbing. When the town of Steinhatchee kicks off the scalloping season in June, they call their celebration "Scallopalooza".

I called Carolyn just before arriving in town and she jumped on her bicycle and soon met us at the end of her road. She led the way on her big heavy "beach curiser" bicycle and we soon arrived to what I had starting calling "their little piece of paradise".

We had met Carolyn and Buff a few years ago at a cowboy match and right away we enjoyed their company. We see them a few times a year at matches but this was our first visit to their home.

As many of you know I am an animal lover, especially cats. I have met "Cat" before. They take her to competitions and she loves to travel with them in their motor home.

After we set up our rolling ranch house, Carolyn and I went for a walk. She took me by this home that was built over the water. I just fell in love with this little home. You park your car and you walk on this moving dock walk way to this home. How awesome is that?

We picked lemons on the way home.

Later on we watched Carolyn piece together the skull of a gator including the teeth.

Even Ralph helped.

Buff made us Blue Margarita's for happy hour. They were absolutely delicious!

Oh my, after our happy hour we tried to toss bean bags into these little holes!

 I have decided rather than to do a day by day of our wonderful and fun week, I was just going to put all the pictures together because this is what every day was like here in "Paradise"! Happy hours, relaxing, bean bag toss and eating.

One afternoon, Buff fixed us peach margarita's. Do I need to say how delicious they were?

This is "Cat". She is a Manx. (Has no tail) She travels with them in their motor home.

Ralph, Buff  and Carolyn. Notice the cowboy cut-out behind Carolyn.

Telling tales, I am sure.

One afternoon our drink was a banana daiquiri. Oh my gosh, it was absolutely sinful!

Carolyn and I took a walk. You see a lot of air boats in these parts.

As we walked, Carolyn took me to where gators are often seen.  I was really hoping to see some in the wild but not today unfortunately.

This is our view from our RV.

Their home is nestled in the Spanish Moss, what a little piece of paradise.

Shells that Carolyn has collected.

On the other side of this lattice is a cozy little nook where their outdoor bathroom and shower is. It was awesome taking an outdoor shower.

Although Buff and Carolyn didn't know what to call their covered building, I called it a Party Veranda. There is a picnic table, long counter, refrigerator and several beautiful chairs made out of tree limbs and vines. This is also where Buff makes all our delicious drinks.

While in town one day, we saw a truck filled with natural sea sponges. They are collected by sponge divers.

The Steinhatchee River at sunset.

At one of our happy hours, I made Mud Slides and drizzled chocolate syrup around the glass before pouring in the Mud Slide. Then I topped it with whipped cream and sprinkled the top with hazelnut chocolate shavings. 

Mudslides are made with Vodka, Kahlua, Irish Cream and half and half or in my case I substitute a good quality vanilla ice cream for the half and half. I add ice and put it in the blender and the consistency comes out like a milk shake.

We took the golf cart to town one day to pick up a few things from the grocery store.

It was a lot of fun. Lots of folks get around town in a golf cart.

Ralph sharpening the pruning blade.

Cutting back this palm tree.

Just like in Gilligan's Island, fanning with a palm leave.

 Another relaxing afternoon on the party veranda.

Carolyn has brought her homemade Key Lime Pie to several cowboy shoots. Her recipe is absolutely the best Key Lime Pie I have ever had. I was so excited when she baked one for us.

One of there weekly rituals is to go to "Hungry Howie's" with their friends Karen and William. Then we  came back home for a game of Dominoes. 

Hungry Howie's is right on the Steinhatchee River.

What a view from the deck of Hungry Howie's

On Sundays,  Buff and Carolyn have a ritual. They have a Sunday brunch for their friends in the neighborhood. Although today was quiet compared to some Sunday brunches where they can get up to a couple dozen friends, it was still a nice gathering. They always serve delicious Mimosa drinks and appetizers. We all joined in for a nice toast.

This room is their screened in porch and this is where they have their brunch. It was so cozy with the fireplace.

This decor is of a buffalo and horse skull and it hangs in their screened in porch room.

 Every once in a while my pictures refuse to be up righted, so just tilt your head. Buff found this piece of wood and rusty barbed wire and created this beautiful wall hanging.
Carolyn and Buff did this glass etching. I wish the picture was better for you folks to see, but it is of a crane in the marsh. It is a very detailed etching and it was just beautiful.

The screened in porch has big picture windows across the front with the fireplace in the middle.  Just outside the windows their are numerous wildlife feeders. You couldn't ask for better wildlife entertainment. It was so peaceful watching the squirrels and birds.

Wash boards and a lariat hang on the walls of the screened in porch.

I love their beautiful yard decorations of boat buoys.

 Karen and William stopped by for brunch. I missed getting a picture of their friend Richard who  also stopped by.

 How wonderful it was to sit there and watch the birds and squirrels frolicking from one feeder to another.

Several afternoons and evenings we enjoyed cozy campfires.

What a nice front yard we this week.

Until our next adventure................Happy Trails!

OOOPS! There is more to our Paradise Adventure! Read On!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, on the morning of Monday, October 26th, the Weather Channel showed the big storm that Texas was having and it was heading our way. There was also flooding all along Interstate 10 in Houston, Texas  and more flooding was expected all the way to the Florida panhandle. That is the highway we would be traveling.

We decided to wait it out! So this gave us another day of food and drink with friends. I had a brisket in the freezer and we enjoyed a nice dinner with Buff, Carolyn, Karen and William. Afterwards we got into a fun game of Dominoes.

On Tuesday, October 27th, the big storm had stalled in the lower southeast states so we decided to stay put for another day. So this gave us another day of fun, food and drink!

So then, we try again! On Wednesday, October 28th, the weather is clear all the way to Texas.  The RV's slides are in and Ralph raises the rear landing jacks. By a stoke of luck,  he just turned his head and caught a glimpse of our spring bracket hanging down from the axle! It had come apart at the weld.

Well, my saying has always been, "don't sweat the small stuff" when it comes to issues with our RV and truck. It is a fact of life. Just like owning a home, there are repairs. Luckily he saw this now, because we would have had an issue on the road and it would have possibly caused a lot of damage.

This must have happened very recently because there was no rust along the welds.

We called a welding shop that Buff has dealt with for many years and he said they do excellent work. They sent out their mobile welding unit and in no time, Joel got the bracket welded back on. Joel said he has welded lots of these brackets back on trailers.

Buff, Joel and Ralph

So just when we thought all was well, it was not. Ralph went to put the tire back on and there was some play that was not suppose to be there. Turns out the axle bracket issue probably caused the bearings to go bad and these aren't the normal "run to the auto parts store bearings". We had to order them through Dexter Axles because they were "Nev R Lube sealed bearings" for 8,000 lb. axles.

We had them shipped out over night and we got 2 of these expensive sealed wheel bearings. After dealing with this, I wanted to have a back up in case this happens again.

So another day came and went. But it was a day of fun, eating and drinking.

For dinner, Carolyn made Shepherds Pie and then for dessert she made banana cream pie. Now all was well with the world!

On Thursday, October 29th, we waited for the part to get here and it arrived at 4:00 pm. So Ralph took the hub and the bearing to Dan the local mechanic who takes care of all of Buff and Carolyn's vehicles. Dan had said he would have the old bearing pressed out and the new one put in the hub by noon tomorrow.

So this became another day of fun, eating and drinking. We headed over to a local restaurant called Fiddlers Restaurant and Lounge. It is a family owned restaurant and it has been a part of the fishing village of Steinhatchee for the last 10 years.

Their menu was full of mouth watering entrees of seafood, steaks and ribs. It was hard to choose because everything looked so delicious! Fiddler's sits over the Steinhatchee River. We got there at dusk so the pictures turned out a bit dark.

 I loved looking over the deck and seeing schools of fish and even a few crabs.


Ralph got a seafood platter.

Buff and I had seafood gumbo and Carolyn had garlic shrimp linguine.

Everything was delicious including our wonderful Margaritas!

Life Is Good!

On Friday, October 30th was my 60th Birthday! Yes the "Big 60!"

Ralph picked up the bearing and hub from Dan the Mechanic before noon and put it on. All was well again, I hope.

Sometimes things just happen for a reason. So with all our delays this week, I was able to celebrate my 60th birthday with our wonderful friends!

 Karen and William came over for my birthday dinner. My job was to do nothing and Carolyn said absolutely nothing and just sit there. So there I sat and I watched Buff, Carolyn and Karen busily prepare dinner. It was kind of fun actually and I took videos of every one's hard work preparing this delicious birthday dinner.

In my own words, this was one of my most memorable  meals that I have ever had! Wow, was this meal absolutely outstanding! We all enjoyed the most flavorful juicy ham steak, sauteed brussel sprouts, potatoes, cole slaw, corn on the cob and a warm delicious loaf of bread! I got so excited seeing all this food on the table that I forgot to take pictures of the delicious table.

And the star of the evening was Carolyn's homemade coconut pie! Too die for! As most of you know I am a "coconut-aholic". Karen and William gave me a goodie bag full of all kinds of goodies coconut! Almond Joys, coconut candies, coconut cookies and coconut snowballs. I was in coconut heaven!

Now this is a candle. This will be a birthday memory I will cherish forever. Good Friends and a fabulous meal!

Finally on Saturday, October 31st, we said our goodbyes to Carolyn, Buff and Cat and we pulled out and headed east to Texas!

 Until next time...............Happy Halloween from Cat and Happy Trails from us!