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We headed out of Natchez for Texas taking back roads that were pretty much empty.   Nice enough countryside, lots of water, rivers, streams, lakes and BIG puddles. We stopped for the night at the Twin Dikes COE (Corps of Engineers) park on Lake Sam Rayburn. A lovely large lake and a quiet, mostly empty campground. Took a nice walk before happy hour and enjoyed a peaceful sleep.Lake Sam Rayburn

Next morning the winds had returned with a vengeance and we were glad to not be on major roads as holding the RV steady was a real challenge. Crossing into Texas the speed limit on the 2 lane country road was 75 mile an hour!! We toodled along at about 60 something and thankful there was almost no traffic because what few folks were out there passed us at about 80 mph, blind hills and curves be damned!! East central Texas is not quite flat but pretty enough farm/ranch country. Lots of cattle and lots of big game ranches recognizable because the fencing is at least 8 feet high. Look carefully and you’ll note the livestock is actually antelope and/or other African wildlife. These places either are or supply places where folks can go on “safari” for exotic game without the expense of travel to Kenya or somewhere similar. Not sure how I feel about it but I think it’s cheating.

We arrived in Austin and checked into the Pecan Grove RV Park in the heart of the city. Most of the sites were permanent and mostly well maintained. Enterprise Car Rental was just down the street and Ed walked over and got a car so we could come & go easily both here and then later when we headed over to Bastrop (40 minutes way). Our evenings were spent with our daughter-in-law Christy eating good food, seeing her cute new home, checking out the Christmas tree conversion of a Moon Light ,20141202-20141202_221453 and really enjoying our time together. During the day we wandered around town enjoying the eclectic “weirdness” of Austin and its residents. We also went to the Zilker Botanical Garden which while a little less colorful (winter time, VERY few flowers) was nice.   Their Isamu Taniguchi Japanese Garden however is magnificent! Located on a hill side there are large & small pools and waterfalls hidden throughout and a small stream runs alongside most pathways connecting all the water features together. With rocks and plantings and the movement of the water a constant companion the place is just magical!! Put it on your must visit list!!20141201-20141201_124645

Later in the week we headed on over to Bastrop to visit John Wayne and Michelle Reynolds our “adopted” kids and their 2 year old, Lily. What a smart, sweet, well behaved little doll baby she is! Being a Texan she gives sugar, not hugs & kisses and Marti got as much as she could. Ed unfortunately sporting more hair than she’d ever seen didn’t get his until the day we left. Bastrop is a small charming little town and we enjoyed walking up and down the main street poking our heads in the many galleries and shops including having a chocolate soda at the old time soda fountain & pharmacy that looked like it was right out of “Murphy’s Romance”. A nice visit was had all around.20141203-20141203_134304

Today, we are back home for Christmas and will resume getting you caught up soon about our return to NOLA and sugar cane harvest time!!

Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! Ed and Marti