Roger here.... Our winter home at Retama Village in Mission, Texas is quite the active place. We tend not to write about all the events here. If we wrote about all of them, we would not have time to attend them.
However, now that the weather has stabilized to sunny and around 90 degrees every day, we have a couple of cool events to report.
Arrrgh! 108 villagers became pirates on Tuesday afternoon. The transformation from upstanding citizens to thieving, dastardly pirates was a thing to behold. Landlubbers hid in their quarters as the pirates invaded the village.
Ten of the most adventuresome bands of pirates gathered by the pirate ship, Chick of the Sea, to go on a quest for treasure in the Salty Dog Challenge.
I was the leader of our band, Roger's Jollies. The proud flag that we did hoist depicted the members of our fearsome group.
Here are two good shots of me and the mates: Roger, Roger's Wench, Roger's Wrench (a Somalian pirate) and Roger's Wrench's Wench.
During our quest we did solve many riddles. We sailed to the ends of the village (on our bicycles). We did fight many a brave battle. The picture below depicts our friend Graeme catching a screaming monkey.
Knocking oranges along a course with other oranges in panty hose (using no hands or feet), proved to be quite the challenge and a little risque --- quite a lot of hip thrusting--- perfect for pirates.
Throughout the challenge Blackbeard became a menace. He pilfered our banner and my bicycle, as well as my Somalian mate's water rifle -- dastardly deeds!
Alas, we did not win the treasure. That honor went to our friend Graeme and his band of Canadian hooligans on the "Foreign Legion" team.
We did, however, end the evening with pirate music, grog, a parade of pirates and a bountiful feast that included barbecued ribs and chicken and homemade key lime pie.
As the pirates were driven from the village, a new band of intruders soon took their place. On March 17th, the Irish invaded.
It became apparent that a new group of insurgents were forcing their way into the village, when we noticed that all the villagers were dressed in the green o' Eire. Being that they were Irish, the insurgency soon turned into a party.
Feeling the safety of a congenial group of Irishmen, Dianne and I threw on some green so that we could join the festivities. Even the doggies got into the act.
Hey look at our whippet friends, Gabe and Klick, in their racing speedos!
Here is a great picture of Dianne.
Here is a picture of Dianne and Tequila dressed as Irish lassies. They look alike, don't ya think?
As with all Irish gatherings a parade was organized. The procession was led by our very own bagpiper, William of Blarney.
Listen to Bill blow those pipes!
There were green golf carts.
There were spectators.
There were Irish dogs. No Irish Wolfhound this year :-(
AND of course, no St. Patrick's Day Parade would be complete without a synchronized Irish horse patrol.
(Complete with tootsie-roll "horse turds" left behind, and promptly swept up by Linda, the last member of their troupe -- D.)
At 4:00 p.m., all Irish lads and lassies gathered at the clubhouse for a happy hour. Our friends Cary and Jan brought some fine Irish whiskey for everyone to sample. Mmmm. A little Irish honey in the mix made this a smooth concoction.
A traditional Irish meal followed the happy hour thanks to the culinary skills of villagers Grant and Donna. Let's see: corned beef, cabbage, onions, carrots, potatoes, soda bread, and cake. Yum!
The pet picture of the day shows Tequila. She was on the way back from the parade when she executed one of her head-first rolls onto the pavement. She tends to do this on two different occasions: 1) When she does not want to leave the dog park; 2) When she is tired and/or hot and does not want to go further. In both cases, she lands on her back and refuses to move. No amount of coaxing gets her back to her feet easily. This was quite entertaining to the remaining parade spectators who were still lining the street!