Saturday, December 02, 2006

Bye-Bye Brazoria

Sad to say, we left the Brazoria refuge after a little over three weeks of battling mosquitos and being kept prisoners in our motor home. While we were told by the volunteer coordinator to expect mosquitos, we weren't prepared to deal with the huge numbers day and night. Because the volunteer RV park was located on the refuge and near the water, the nasty bugs swarmed around us continually.....let me take you to a typical night returning to the coach: 1) I get out of car, make mad dash to unlock coach door; 2) I pick up can of mosquito fogger and create "fog corridor" from door to Brenda's door on car; 3) Brenda and I make mad dash back to coach spraying madly as we go; 4) once inside, we spend another hour tracking down bugs that followed us inside (the Dustbuster vacuum works great!). Along with the mosquitos, the area was infested with fire ants, venomous snakes (saw two rattlesnakes), and, of course, alligators. All in all, it wasn't enjoyable and while the people were great to work with, we realized that we were not enjoying ourselves any longer, and so, after 88 volunteer hours each, we advised them that we were going to move on. They were gracious and understanding; I'm sure this happens often in such a hostile environment. I knew I was in trouble when these two vultures kept following me around every day waiting for the blood loss to slow me down. We have the greatest respect for the US F&W staff that work everyday under these conditions; but the difference is that they went home to a relatively bug-fee area each night. We wish them well but have learned a valuable lesson - do more research on an area that we're interested in visiting.
We're now in San Antonio at a nice park that we stayed at last year. It's conveniently located near I-35 and the "loop", and we're only 15 miles to the Riverwalk, one of our favorite places to visit. Here we met with our friends Trixie and Bob Berry, who are on their shakedown cruise of a new motorhome. We spent a wonderful evening at a riverwalk restaurant during the annual lighting ceremony and Xmas parade. Our table overlooked the river and gave us a great (and relaxing) view of the events while wearing our stylish Santa hats. We were especially happy to be sitting down since over 150,000 people crowded the downtown area for the event. The downtown area and Riverwalk are magical places during the Xmas season; lights decorate the trees, luminaries line the sidewalks, and boats of Xmas carolers travel up and down the river. Being able to enjoy it wearing a short -sleeve shirt is an added bonus! We'll be spend a month here, and are looking forward to exploring more of the area and seeing old friends. Thanks for tuning in and enjoy the holiday season!

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