Escape from Winter - 2012 travel blog



Yesterday once we were south of Austin we breathed a sigh of relief thinking that our weather worries were over. While it can snow or drop below freezing in San Antonio, it's a rare event and quickly over. But while we were still over one hundred miles from the coast we drove into a thick fog bank that went on for almost our entire drive to the Rio Grande Valley. Apparently it had come from the gulf, but it was hard to imagine what atmospheric conditions would make it travel so far inland. The fog probably wouldn't have concerned us at all if we had not just seen a report on the news about a 70 car pile up that occurred in a similar fog bank north of New Orleans.

When we pulled into the driveway of Tropic Star campground, it felt a little like we were coming home. We are restless gypsies and rarely stay anywhere very long with the exception of our real home. But in deepest winter there are only a few places in the US where you can count on warm temperatures, at least some of the time. So we have found ourselves hunkered down here more than anywhere else.

Many of our neighbors at home travel to Florida or Arizona for the winter, but Texas seems to be a less popular choice. We would admit that it isn't particularly beautiful around here, but the warm reception we get from the locals always makes us feel so welcome. The campgrounds are huge and filled with activities. It would be easy to stay on the grounds and be busy all day long. Some of the activities are wasted on us - square dancing, for example. But we can play tennis day or night, the campground has its own golf course, and the sponsored bike rides are favorites. The prices are low - 1/3 of what we paid in Florida last year. We like the Mexican flavor this area has so close to the border. And on an especially fine day the beautiful gulf beaches are an hour's drive away.

Since we were here last a wonderful huge grocery store opened across the street, remedying one complaint that we did have. It rivals anywhere we would shop at home with items ranging from sushi to hemp milk with an extra large selection of Mexican food products, of course. But chances are that the groceries we do buy there might be traveling on with us. Another feature of the campground is cheap meals - pancake breakfasts, lunches sponsored by various clubs, dinners paired with performances by entertainers from Branson on winter hiatus. Days could go by without me cooking a thing. What a shame!

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