February 14, 2015

Christmas in Mission, TX

Christmas in Mission, TX

The 3+ weeks we spent in Mission for Christmas with Grandma & Great-Grandpa flew by too fast. Most of our days involved talking, shooting guns, shopping for RVs and drinking but not necessarily in that order.

All of the grownup "kids" flew in during different parts of our stay which was the highlight of my time there. Tyler arrived from Ft. Bragg from 19th till the 4th but spent a couple of days with his new girlfriend in San Antonio. Brittany flew down from Ft. Sill on Christmas Eve and stayed till the 30th. Scott and Sara had flown from FL to visit Sara's family in CA for Christmas and arrived Dec 30th. They stayed till Jan 4th as well but unfortunately we couldn't get everyone together at the same time. Brittany and Scott & Sara missed each other by a couple of hours. I really love it when the older kids can get together. It's fun to see them interact as adults; they've grown up to become great people.

I took off almost two full weeks from work so I had a lot of downtime. Grandma had the girls almost everyday so Cathy and I had time to do all sorts of frolicking. This mostly involved Christmas shopping and nights "out on the town". Luckily we saved quite a bit of money on "hook up fees" as we stayed right in front of Grandpa's house. He ran some power out from the garage and even had a sewer hole in his front yard from when he was RVing. Cathy and I slept in the RV while the kids slept inside with Grandma.

Grandma and the girls did all sorts of things including the movies, getting nails done, bowling, shopping, rollerskating and cooking. We tagged along once in awhile but the girls really loved spending time with Grandma. They were sad when we had to leave.

Luckily I had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with Grandpa. He's 90 now and in pretty good shape, but you never know. He's an early-riser so I'd try to get up around 6am and have coffee with him each morning. It was always quiet in the house so it was easier for him to hear me. I'd listen to his WWII stories, health issues, favorite guns and anything else he felt like talking about. Frequently we'd have the same conversation multiple times but I didn't mind.

Most of his life has revolved around shooting (he's great at killing paper targets) and that's all he really seems to love, with the exception of his iPhone and iPad. We'd try to go to the range each morning around 10am to get a few rounds downrange. Those paper targets never stand a chance against him. He's a crackshot. We'd bring whichever one of the kids were in town along with us sometime.

I took Hali and Kira as well and the former became quite a good shot. Grandpa was really impressed and took a liking to her. He ended up giving her (and the other two girls) some silver jewelry he had made for Great Grandma when she was alive.

Unfortunately, Brittany couldn't get her leave extended and she had to leave on te 30th. It was sad to see her leave but we'd be heading to Ft. Sill in a couple of weeks for a long stay with her and her boyfriend.

We had a blast going out with Scott, Sara and Tyler on New Years Eve. They found an 80's bar, Deloreans, in McAllen and we spent the entire night there listening to old music, playing video games and doing shots. I was the designated driver so I supervised. Everyone was a little rough the next afternoon when they woke up.

Since we had fallen in love with San Antonio, we decided to take everyone up there for a couple of days (in the RV!) to show them the city and meet Tyler's girlfriend. We parked the RV at Braunig Lake RV Resort again and got hotel rooms for the night. We spent a solid day in San Antonio at the River Walk, eating and drinking. Scott and Sara flew back to FL the next morning while we picked up the RV and headed back to Mission. Tyler left for Ft. Bragg that afternoon from McAllen.

During our stay Cathy and I tried to buy a new 5th wheel RV. We spent many days on this endeavor but ultimately it didn't come to fruition. We found the perfect 5th wheel for us and a used Ram 2500 Hemi to pull it. I even found a buyer for my Jeep. However, the RV sales guy couldn't find a buyer for our Class C for an acceptable price. We would have had to take a $15K hit and we couldn't swallow that. We ended up staying an extra week trying to get the deal done. Even though I still want a new 5th wheel, I was glad that I did't sell "old yeller" (my Jeep).

Dates: December 20th - January 13
Grandma & Grandpa's House, Mission, TX