We, sadly, took Robyn to the airport in San Antonio; but happily, Amanda and Kaia were able to spend a few more days with us before Amanda's vacation ended. The long drive from the Texas Hill Country was just that, L-O-N-G. The normal five-hour drive took us six + hours in the motor home. Thank heaven Amanda and Kaia have almost outgrown the "how much longer" syndrome.
The time at Retama Village was much calmer and more relaxing than the continual activity in the Hill Country. Lots of good meals, including steaks on the grill, beer can chicken, grilled salmon, and homemade maple ice cream.
As a side note... my grandfather, Clarence, loved homemade maple ice-cream. My grandmother, Hazel, always made it for his birthday. Later, my mom, Ann, continued the tradition. Amanda (and me and Robyn) also love it. My mom gave Dianne the recipe -- so the family tradition continues. By the way, Kaia is now the biggest fan. Lots of, "when are we having the maple ice cream?"
Amanda spent some quality time on my hammock.
Other than the pool and the quiet time on our patio, we had two adventures. The first was a visit to the Riverside Club, on the Rio Grande, for lunch. I can't express how many times Amanda and Kaia said, "Is that really Mexico?" on the other side of the river. We have a cute shot of Kaia checking things out across the river through binoculars. Amanda and Kaia waved at a Mexican on a bulldozer across the river and happily report that he waved back.
The other highlight was a bicycle ride through Bentsen Rio Grande State Park, right next door to Retama Village. Normally, visitors are attracted to the birds, and we have some pictures of those, BUT Kaia was attracted to the climbing trees.
And so was her mother... Probably genetic. (I broke a leg when I was in the third grade while climbing a willow tree at a friend's house.)
There were, of course, birds to see. Here is a better, though smaller, picture of a green jay. Plus, assorted birds at the feeder. Plus, Kaia cavorting in the bird blind.
The short hike to the "hawk tower" was fun. Mexico was visible in the distance, a continual fascination for our girls.
Amanda (the artistic member of our family -- D.) took a cool picture of a dead tree, probably a victim of the flooding from the last hurricane.
We took Amanda and Kaia to the McAllen Airport Saturday morning :-(. They are now safely home in Ft. Myers. Amanda starts her new job (a promotion) on Monday. Good luck to her!
Dianne here: I know I mentioned in the last blog entry that Kaia wanted to do a guest blog, like she's done on prior visits. Well, between talking on the phone with her little girlfriends in Florida and discovering we had "Photobooth" on our Mac computer (which I didn't even know we had) the blog never happened. Leave it to a 12-year-old to teach us something new about our own computer. Oh well, here's one of the 300 "creations" left behind on our Mac:
We are on the road again in a few days - getting the coach house, and ourselves, ready for a few months away from South Texas. Avoiding the wild fires, our first stop will be Seminole Canyon State Park (TX) to view the pictrographs.
The pet picture of the day shows Bandido making friends with our new whippet neighbors, Gabe and Click. (Chaplin was still recovering from his last skin cancer surgery and couldn't play.) Lots of good times ahead!