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Apr 10, 2013 -

A Fun Afternoon at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Dallas

Undeterred by the pouring rain, Ms. Cinnamon and I headed out for the afternoon. I asked if she wanted to have lunch out and she suggested Vietnamese, which was exactly what I had in mind. So we headed over to the Bistro B.

The restaurant has a crazy huge and overwhelming menu. I decided that we didn’t have all day and that I wanted vermicelli, chicken, and lemongrass, which I found as a number 113. Ms. Cinnamon ordered the same thing.

The ginormous meal of fresh salad, noodles, meat, and a side of fish sauce looked lovely and tasted pretty good, but it was nowhere near lemongrassy enough for me. There was just a hint of it in some bites, but for a meal labeled lemongrass, it wasn’t enough. So I questioned the server and he offered to take back our food, but we refused since there was nothing wrong with it and we didn’t want to have to wait for them to make something new.

Well, he came back minutes later with a small plate heaped with more lemongrass and sautéd onions! And guess what he told us? That the chef purposely toned it down because the dish is too flavourful for most of the folks who come to the restaurant! Now, what we were served was not bland in the least, but the added lemongrass really made it shine. Yu-um!

Sated, Ms. Cinnamon and I headed out to tour the Perot Museum of Science and Nature, which is new in Dallas. I took a picture of the exterior when I was out the other day. It was almost 2:30 when we arrived and the museum closes at 5:00. Well, we had just enough time to see everything, but would have really needed another hour or two!

This is a very hands on museum with a lot of fun activities. From the lobby, you get a dizzying escalator ride straight up to the fourth floor dinosaurs and space exhibits, and then you work your way down.

The museum is great for kids and the kid at heart. My favourite exhibit was up in the fourth floor mezzanine birds exhibit where you put on 3D glasses and get to soar like a bird. The effect is remarkable as you get to swoop, dive, and fly by moving your body. This photo gallery gives a small sample of the exhibits. At $15, the museum isn’t cheap, but you get a lot of bang for your buck!

We stopped at the Central Market, a super fancy grocery store, on the way home to grab something quick and easy for dinner. I got a few groceries and then spent some time in the deli area trying to decide what I was in the mood for. The sushi very tempting, but I went with my first instinct, which was to have a mixed Mediterranean plate with hummus, falafel, tabbouleh, cucumber and tomato salad, and lots of other good stuff where you pay by the weight of your container. Yum!

It was really cold today (I doubt we hit 50F), but at least the sky has cleared.

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Countries, Finances, Museums, Nice Folks, Restaurants, Shopping, Social, Texas, Travel, USA, Weather    1 Comment
Apr 7, 2013 -

San Antonio to Dallas

Leaving San Antonio this morning wasn’t difficult. I didn’t feel ‘settled’ there the way I did on the beach. It also helped that I was heading to another good spot.

I was up early since I ‘had so much to do’ since it was departure day. Let’s see… I made coffee and breakfast, tidied the kitchen, checked my email, put away the computer, secured the filing cabinet, and then all I had to do was back out the motorhome so I could put it in the right position for towing. And then I discovered I finally mastered hooking up my truck since I got it done in one shot. In other words, ‘I had so much to do’ it literally took 15 minutes to go from ‘okay, breakfast is done’ to ‘oh, it’s time to say my good-byes’!

I took my departure from my neighbours, then headed over to Croft and Norma’s. I just learned that they are still in San Antonio. Yes, these are the same people who told me that they would not have time to detour to San Antonio to see me, or even drive an hour from Laredo to meet me halfway. 😀 It was so good to be able to spend so much time with them. I was gifted with their 2012 Good Sam RV park directory, which means I can finally retire the 2006 directory the previous owners left in Miranda! 😀

From the RV park, it was just a couple of clicks to I-35. The Valero on the corner looked like a great place to get gas as it iss angled in such a way that you can drive straight through and get right on the highway. I wasn’t sure there was enough overhead clearance, so I had asked Croft for his opinion. He thought it looked fine. It was only as I was driving into the gas station this morning that I had asked Roof Ripper Randle to gauge a clearance height… 😉

But it was all good and I ran my card twice to get a complete fill. After that, I had about four hours of I-35 N ahead of me.

To my surprise, Austin traffic was as terrible as I had been warned it would be, and this was on a Sunday morning!!! I white knuckled through there and was happy to reach a fairly quiet stretch of highway after, if only for a short while.

I had unusual foresight last night to check rest areas on my route and there was one just before Salado, almost exactly halfway. It was the perfect place to take a lunch break.

Shortly thereafter, I-35 splits into I-35 EN and I-35WN. Not NE and NW, but EN and WN. WN goes to Fort Worth and EN goes to Dallas.

There was a rest area about 45 minutes from my destination, so I called my host, Ms. Cinnamon, to let her know I was incoming! I had told her I would be arriving between 3 and 7, most likely around 5PM. My ETA was about 3:30!

Thankfully, Ms. Cinnamon’s directions matched my GPS’ route, so I was able to focus on the road when I got into Dallas and not worry about routing myself. The drive through town would have been fine had there not been a big accident that required me to get over about three lanes of traffic and then immediately get back over them again. Drivers were mostly courteous, but for the final lane change before the accident, I was only able to get over because a cop forced the folks in the other lane to let me in.

I only had a very short distance to drive on normal city streets right at the end of my journey, so I got to Ms. Cinnamon’s feeling quite good and not too frazzled. Oh, I was tired, but this had been a very good day of urban driving.

She got me rehydrated (um, with water!), then we got Miranda parked. I technically have FHU (20A), although I can’t leave my sewer hooked up and I never leave my water hooked up  since I live off the fresh water tank. Dallas has no good RV parking opportunities, not even any conveniently located RV parks, so having Ms. Cinnamon as a blog reader is a real blessing!

Once I was squared away, I was shown a luxurious bathroom with fluffy towels and just about all the products I could want to have a decadent shower. I think I was under the hot water at least half an hour. 😀

With me refreshed, we headed out to dinner, the subject of my next post. After dinner, she showed me around the neighbourhood a little, including scenic White Rock Lake.

We’re going to Dealey Plaza together tomorrow. The rest of the week is up in the air. I could be here a couple of days or even a whole week. The weather is noticeably cooler here and I really am not eager to get any further north…

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Countries, Nice Folks, Social, Texas, Travel, USA, Weather    6 Comments
Apr 5, 2013 -

Campbell River Visitors

I spent the afternoon with Croft and Norma catching up on everything that doesn’t get discussed on our blogs. They might be staying a second night. If so, we are going on a field trip to Camping World tomorrow. 🙂

I can’t help but marvel at the magic of this nomadic life that makes it such that you not only never know when you will next see friends, but also where you will meet again. It is a very long way from Campbell River to San Antonio, and I don’t just mean in terms of distance.

Norma wanted a Cracker Barrel dinner to celebrate their 44th wedding anniversary (wow!), so I was invited to come along (thank you!). I had the sugar cured ham for the first time (YUM) and took home a lemonade (not overly sweet and made with real lemons, a real treat!).

We had sun this afternoon again (YAY) so I made sure to unplug everything before heading over to Croft and Norma’s. I did that yesterday before going on my walk and came in almost 30AH up. I left at about 58AH down today and came home to a FULL reading. I would be frustrated with my badly working monitor if reader airmon hadn’t posted an explanation for that bizarre phenomenon. Instead, I am doing a happy dance!

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Batteries, Battery Monitor, Boondocking/Dry camping, Countries, Electricity, Nice Folks, Social, Solar Panels, Technical, Texas, Travel, USA, Weather    6 Comments