Kay and I seriously “simplified” packing for the winter in the Rio Grande Valley, e.g. no satellite antenna (aka Tailgater), no satellite receiver, no water softener, fewer outside chairs, etc. In turn, that eased our set-up upon arriving in the Valley, and consequently allowed us to be less dependent on THINGS. Another real positive is that in readying to depart the Valley, we had very little to do in terms of packing away outside items, and Kay quickly got things ready inside, particularly the kitchen and pantry, for traveling. We were pretty much through packing by mid-morning, allowing time to say goodbyes in the afternoon. Many of the folks at the resort have been coming for years; we have developed a tight knit community and it always takes a good day or more to bid farewell. This year proved to be more difficult than most as we said goodbye to Al and Sharon who do not plan to return to South Texas. We will miss our golf rounds together, our weekly bridge games, and happy hour, but hopefully we will see them again. Having packed everything away, we dumped the tanks and disconnected the sewer hose, hooked up the Honda “toad”, and fastened the bicycles in their rack on back of the Honda; we were ready to travel. Happy hour was full of goodbyes, good wishes, and a few tears. Afterwards, we attended a steel drum concert by the Pan O’ Steel Steel Drum Band of McAllen, Texas, High School, and returned to Circle 3 palapa for more goodbyes, effectively ending one of our (certainly my) happiest winters.
Tuesday morning, we were up early and departed the resort by 7 AM. Most of our neighbors were still asleep (we told them we were leaving at 8:30 AM), so we didn’t have to go through the emotional torture of saying goodbyes again with teary eyes—we’ll sure miss our Winter Texas friends until next season! Our day’s travel took us north over 400 miles to Franklin, Texas, east of Killeen and Temple, where we spent a quiet evening and night.
Wednesday morning, we were on the road again just before 7 AM. The almost 400 mile drive to Hot Springs was uneventful; in fact, the entire return trip to Hot Springs Village was uneventful which is just the way we like it—no motorhome problems, breakdowns, etc. We squeezed into the driveway, with maybe a foot and a half to spare, hooked up shore power, leveled the coach, opened the slides, and began unpacking. At the house, the internet had gone down requiring re-powering, and the thermostat had to be turned up for more heat; otherwise, all was well.