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Friday, June 21, 2013

A Wink & A Song & A Dune

Another fun day for us exploring the area surrounding Midland/Odessa area.... We loaded up the family and headed out early in the morning.  We drove by many Jack Pumps and Oil sites... this area is polluted with them and that contaminates the water so you shouldn't drink it... we really have bought more bottled water since we've been here then ever before.  Ok... back on track!!!

Kermit. Texas

Next was a drive through the small town of Kermit.  Kermit is a city in and the county seat of Winkler County, Texas, United States.  The population was 5,708 at the 2010 census.  The city was named for Kermit Roosevelt after a visit by his father Theodore Roosevelt to the county.

Our next stop was in the small town called Wink.  If you are old enough, you've heard Wink   mentioned for being Roy Orbison's boyhood home. If you're like most people, while you were on the way to get an atlas you probably got distracted, so you're still unaware of exactly where Wink  is. If you're young enough, you'll probably ask Roy who?  Despite its remote location approximately 50 miles west of Odessa-Texas, Wink draws visitors from as far as Egypt and Australia.  They make the trek to Wink to honor Roy Orbison, the black-clad crooner responsible for hits including "Pretty Woman" and "Only the Lonely". 

Roy Orbison Museum in Wink, Texas
Alyssah & Roy - Donna & Ralph - The Grandtreasures Hannah & Alyssah - Street Sign
Roy Orbison Museum is at 205 E. Hendricks in Wink.
Open by appointment, Tue-Sat. Call 432/527-3743. Free.

The Monahans Sandhills State Park - Dunes is exactly what this park is and located close to the interstate for easy access.  Imagine scenes from the Sahara Desert with miles of rolling sand dunes, great for sliding down on sands disks (available for rent at the Ranger station).  The visitor's center has great info on the history of the dunes and how they are formed.  For RVers there are great flat paved sites with water and electric and dump stations in park.  Great place to spend the day and take a picnic lunch.  Keep in mind, this is the desert, keep plenty of water with you and do not hike out into the dunes without letting someone know where and when you are going.  It is easy to get lost out there.  We had a great time visiting this park and the grandtreasues had so much fun!

Entrance to Monahans State Park - Alyssah - Camping area - Dunes

Info Board - The Girls - Dunes Oats - Picnic Area

My daughter Jennifer, Grands Hannah & Alyssah & me - The Grandtreasures - Footprints - More dunes

We had a great day together riding around and discovering the unnoticed things that people find when they take the backroads.  Get out and explore!

Until next time...
Have FUN & Travel Safe

Friday, June 14, 2013

Oil ~ Oil Everywhere!

Our main reason for being in Midland is spending time with our daughter, her husband Eric and our sweet granddaughters.... They moved to Midland because our son-in-law, Eric, is in the oil industry. Not to mention between Odessa & Midland there are thousands of Jack Pumps everywhere.   So it seemed fitting for us to visit the The Permian Basin Petroleum Museum.

Alyssah & Eric
The Permian Basin Petroleum Museum is a museum with exhibits relating to the oil and gas industry of the Permian Basin of west Texas and southeast New Mexico. Museum exhibits include the geology of the area during the Permian period, racing cars designed by Jim Hall, and paintings by artist Tom Lovell. 

It maintains a research library containing donated material related to the history of the Permian Basin oil industry. It also has a hall of fame, whose many inductees include the Odessa oil industrialist Bill Noël and the Bush family (both George's)

The Petroleum Museum is a wide-ranging journey through the history of the petroleum industry, so important to Midland, the Permian Basin and West Texas. The museum includes a Petroleum Hall of Fame, honoring oilmen (and women) who made outstanding contributions to the industry; and an archives and library that houses documents, photos, recordings, maps and films relating to the history of the oil industry.

But the main part of the museum has many exhibits that trace the history of the petroleum industry and the role it has played in the life of the Permian Basin. Many of those exhibits are interactive, such as one that recreates a natural gas explosion. There are also ancient artifacts that trace the natural processes that create oil back 500 million years. And there are plenty of artifacts on display, such as antique oil field equipment.

The visit to The Petroleum Museum was an amazing journey through over 230 million years of history.  We had a great time visiting it ~ and of course spending time with our family.  Thanks for following ♥

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Have Fun & Travel Safe !

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Watch out for falling METEORS and Stonehenge!!!!

Being the typical tourist everywhere we go the first thing we do is check the areas visitors centers and websites for area attractions.  We will be in the Odessa/Midland area for 6 weeks so we definitely wanted to find some fun stuff to do.  Today we headed out with my daughter and Granddaughters to find a couple of them but not before going to lunch.  We ended up at a little Italian restaurant called Mi Piaci' that my daughter really likes & I love Italian so it was a go for me.  I had the best dish I have had in a long long time... Chicken Verona
mushrooms, artichokes, asparagus, and white wine cream sauce - baked with mozzarella cheese... Yummo! To die for!!!

Mi Piaci Restaurant - Odessa, Texas ~ Ralph's Huge Stromboli ~ Hannah & her Calzone ~ My Chicken Verona (YUM)
After lunch we were off in search of the Odessa Meteor Crater.  The Odessa Meteor Crater is the largest of several smaller craters in the immediate area that were formed by the impact of thousands of octahedrites (an iron metallic type) that fell in prehistoric times.  There was a museum and the site to tour when we arrived there.  The museum was filled with meteor fragments and a lot of history about the area and crater.

It is 550 feet in diameter and the age is estimated to be around 63,500 years .The crater is exposed to the surface, and was originally about 100 feet deep. Due to subsequent infilling by soil and debris, the crater is currently 15 feet deep at its lowest point, which provides enough relief to be visible over the surrounding plains. Still, the site offers an excellent opportunity to view a relatively uncommon impact feature close to a major transportation artery near a major city.

It was a fun visit and good to do some walking after such a big lunch.... After we finished checking out the Meteor site we headed to Stonehenge ~ no not in England but the full scale replica over at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin in Odessa.  About 20 stone blocks, similar in size, shape, and appearance to the ancient Stonehenge in southwestern England, were unveiled in the summer of 2004. The replica matches the original Stonehenge horizontally, but it falls some 14% short in height from the English monument. The tallest stone on the original is 22 feet, while the highest in the Odessa is 19 feet. 

While the original may have taken 2000 years to complete, the replica was placed at UTPB in six weeks. The stones were moved two at a time on tractor-trailers and lifted into place on footings made of reinforced concrete. The original Stonehenge marked the summer and winter solstices. Each stone weighs more than 20,000 thousand pounds and is composed of limestone slabs donated from the quarry of TexaStone of Garden City in Glasscock near Big Spring, Texas. It was a fun visit and the best part is that it is FREE.

 It was a great day with our family and I sure wished our other daughter could have been with us.

Come on back and follow our adventures...
Have Fun & Travel Safe


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Midland Texas ~ Who'd a thunk!!!!

We have been here in Midland/Odessa area for almost 2 weeks to visit our daughter and her family.  That is just about the only reason to come here unless you are looking for work.  There is plenty of jobs here and the unemployment rate is at about 3%.  Mostly it is oil field workers and anything associated with that.  And that is why my daughter is here because her husband is in the oil business.  They try to make this a pleasant enough place, tons of stores, restaurants and some attractions but the landscape is dirty, the wind blows a lot of dust around and it is HOT!... not to mention the water is not fit to drink.  Most everyone has to buy bottled water.  So why am I here ~ Family which is so very important to us...
Yummo ~ Mexican
When we got here we just had to go get some of that great Tex Mex food which I love so dearly so out we headed out with our girls to Jorges' Mexican Restaurant for some very yummy food...  After last years eat fest from Florida to Nova Scotia, 2 bad knee replacement surgeries (which kept me from exercising) and a years hard work taking off the weight and getting healthy it was my first Mexican food in a long long time... but oh it was so worth it ~ YUMMOLICIOUS♥  We really didn't go crazy but we did have some delicious food....
We also celebrated my honey's birthday on the 24th.... With friends & family we went out to eat at a GREAT Chinese Buffet (his favorite food) and to work off some of the calories we went bowling after.  What fun we had ~ we haven't bowled in years except for WII bowling.  It was a riot trying to remember how to throw the ball with out bouncing it out about 10 feet onto the lane... soon around the 3rd game we finally started to play better.  This is something we both hope to do more often. (You know how I love showing you food... tee hee)
We had the pleasure of attending our oldest grand daughters, Hannah, Spring Concert at the Robert E.Lee High School in Midland.  She is a drummer in the band and it was fun to see all the kids playing so beautifully.  The best part was when all the grades got together and played the school song "Dixie for the graduating seniors.  Funny but when I was in High School at Dixie Hollins in Florida ~ that was our school song too... brought  back so many memories.

So mostly we have been spending a lot of quality time together with our little ones and enjoying every minute of it. Going to try and start seeing some of the attractions in this area this next week!
Come on back and follow our adventures...
Have Fun & Travel Safe

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A Rabbit in the Bush????

We tried to see as much as we could find in Midland while visiting our daughter & her family.... we were surprised at some of our finds.  The first was George W. Bush childhood home... we stopped and visited this home but didn't get a chance to see The Presidential Museum in the Midland/Odessa area -  We found it amusing that the house was also occupied George H. Bush, Jeb Bush & Barbara and thought that it should be just called Bush Presidential Home.
Bush's Boyhood Home
George W. Bush Childhood Home is a historic house that was home to former U.S. Presidents George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush from 1951 to 1955. It is located at 1412 W. Ohio Ave. in Midland, Texas. The home was built in 1940 and was purchased by the Bush family in 1951 for $9,000. They lived in the 1,400-square-foot home until late 1955. It was also the earliest childhood home of Governor Jeb Bush. The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2004.

Information Signs & Childhood photos

We also went out to find the "World's Largest Jackrabbit" which is mentioned in Roadside America.

Built in 1962, the eight-foot-tall rabbit was the idea of Odessa Chamber of Commerce president John Ben Shepperd, hence the rabbit's official name of "Jack Ben Rabbit." It was Shepperd's way to pay tribute to the city's unique jackrabbit roping competition, held every year during the Odessa Rodeo. The competition ended in 1978, when The Humane Society shut it down for good.

The jackrabbit was displayed for years at the old Prairie Pete Park, then moved into storage in a maintenance yard -- until the public raised a fuss and forced it to be returned to a new location, in front of the downtown Ector County Independent School District Administration Building. Someone tried to steal the jackrabbit in 1997, so it's been bolted to the sidewalk ever since.

Several official Texas historical markers flank the rabbit, including one with a recipe for Jackrabbit and Dumplings. Click on pictures to enlarge.  Still way behind on my post but will try to catch up soon.  Thanks for following ♥

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Have Fun & Travel Safe

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Trekking Through Texas

Day 5 of our trip had us driving through Louisiana & Texas. We had one small rain shower that was just enough to get road dirt on Tassie & Silvie ~ After Ralph spent 2 days washing & waxing them... lol  When we went through Shreveport on I-20 we were just behind a small tornado that turned over several travel trailers at a dealer, many trees knocked down and bent many interstate road signs. I think if I had seen that tornado I would have messed my britches....

Other then that it was a smooth ride and after about 500 miles we started looking for a RV Park for the night.  After checking out our travel books and internet we found a small RV Park in Mingus, Texas.  Cactus Rose RV Park was an easy on and easy off back onto I-20 so we decided that was a pretty good pick... we didn't expect much and was pleasantly surprised to not only meet very friendly owners but a clean well kept park with all that you could want in any campground !  Click here to go to our RV Park review blog.  This park was so restful and nice we decided to stay an extra day and just enjoy it.

Cactus Rose RV Park ~ Mingus, Texas 
Our site at Medessa Oil Patch RV Park
After being well rested up we headed out to Midland, Texas where my youngest daughter & herfamily lives... We'll be staying in this area for about 6 weeks before we continue our journey.  This was only 320 mile day which is really how we like it ~ 350 miles or less on travel days.  The wind of Texas picked up for our ride and pretty much wore Ralph  out and didn't do our gas mileage any good either.  We had a horrible time finding any parks to take us and our first week was at Midessa Oil Patch RV ParkClick here for our RV Park review... Because there are so many oil workers in this area they fill up the RV parks so what a time we had trying to secure a spot for 5 more weeks after Midessa Oil Patch... we finally found a RV park out in the middle of nowhere filled with oil rig workers but they had one spot left in the back and that is what we took.  Normally I wouldn't stay in a park such as this but we wanted to spend time with Jennifer and the family.  So here we are at Stanley RV Park and all and all we have everything we need. FHU, no trees so great satelite TV, Water and so far very quiet. I think we are the biggest rig here...
Stanley RV Park
So we have already been in the Midland/Odessa area for a week and already have had many adventures ~ It is great visiting with my daughter, SIL, and granddaughters ~ will catch up on the next blog.
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Have Fun & Travel Safe

Monday, May 20, 2013

Hellllloooooo ~ I am still around ♥ and on the move....

Our site at Rock Crusher Canyon
Don't faint ~ I know it has been forever since I posted but I am hoping now that we are on the road I can get back to some kinda habit of posting...  I think Facebook is easier for quickie notices but the blog is still great for more detail.  Anyways a lot has gone on since my last post ~ first of all I had to have therapy on my left shoulder from when I hurt it last August when my knee went out.  It ended up being a frozen joint from me babying it but after 12 weeks of therapy it now feels better about 90% of the time. With exercise and time it will be well again.  We loved spending the winter up at Rock Crusher Canyon in Crystal River this year and have decided to go back to there when we get back to Florida in November.  We love the nature there and it is not as crowded as it was down in Pinellas County.

After traveling the entire country with our faithful and dependable 2002 PT Cruiser (Petie) who had over 350,000 miles on it and many more towable miles we decided, as much as we loved Petie, it was time to trade him in.  So in March we decided to buy a 2013 Chevy Equinox fully loaded and we are loving it... We especially love the On Star and GPS system in it... I am sure we will enjoy her (Silvie) and are looking forward traveling around the country with her and the many adventures we will share. 

"Silvie" ~ our new Chevy Equinox
We also decided, after 8 years, it was time to update the TVs in Tassie ~ we had analog TVs and so we decided it was time to change them out for Digital HDTVs.  We went to Creative Coach in Lakeland and had them change out all of the TVs.  What a great job they did rebuilding some of the cabinetry and installing the TVs.  In the bedroom they took the space the old TV took up and made it into a cabinet.  More room to store more stuff ~ Yippee!  Thanks Lester ~ they are awesome!!!

Living Room TV

Bedroom TV
Our spot up at our friends house....
After they finished the TVs we headed out for our Summer Adventure ~ first stop was at our friends house up in Lee, Florida for a 4 day visit.  Ralph was like the energizer bunny washing the coach, his truck and Silvie.  He pretty much didn't stop the whole time we were there.  Then it was time for us to start our long trek to Midland, Texas where our youngest daughter, Jennifer lives with her husband Eric and out 2 beautiful granddaughters, Hannah & Alyssah.  We haven't seen them for over a year so we are looking forward to spending about 6 weeks out there.  The first day we traveled about 450 miles and stayed at a Wally World in Jackson Mississippi.  It was kinda a noisy place and we had other travelers in a travel trailer pull in around 3 AM and make loud noises, talking and slamming doors, like they were the only ones that were there.  Well that will teach me staying in a Walmart parking lot... lol  Not all of us are courteous campers....

Anyways I wanted to get an update post going and to let you know I will try my very best to keep the blog going over the summer while we are traveling... and don't forget to check out our RV review Blog... "Tassie's Campground Reviews" for updates at the RV Parks we stay at.

Come on back and follow our adventures
Have Fun & Travel Safe

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Happy Birthday to ME

Well another year and my birthday has come and gone but oh what a great celebration I had.  We went down to stay with my daughter a day early and that evening we went out for a Birthday Dinner with her, her family and my younger brother Kenny and his family.  We went to Grill Smith in Clearwater and what a fabulous meal we all had... they even brought out this incredible dessert for my birthday ~ it was sinful! Chocolate Decadence, made-from-scratch, flourless mocha-chocolate cake, topped with chocolate mousse, whipped creme and a raspberry glaze ~ YUM

We had so much fun and our waiter was one of the best we've had in a long time. (at least a week) He really knew the meaning of customer satisfaction.  If you ever get a chance to visit a Grill Smith Restaurant I highly  recommend it. 

My daughter Denise, Frank and the twins Dominick & Wyatt ~ Nephew Ryan ~ Brother Kenny & wife Kathy
On my birthday which was Monday my husband Ralph, daughter Denise, the twins and I went out for lunch to a Mexican restaurant "Valartas" in Tampa ~ Mexican is my very favorite food.  After a GREAT meal their we went to Jared's so my daughter could have her rings check and to my surprise my Honey had bought me a beautiful Chocolate Diamond Ring... I was so excited!!! My daughter bought me a new charm for my Pandora Bracelet & some Herbs for my little Herb Garden that I haul all over the nation ~ you know how much Ralphie likes that...

The evening was topped off with Greek Gyros for dinner and a Ice Cream Birthday Cake
Birthday Candles
Have Fun & Travel Safe


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