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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Mario's Ristorante - Little English but Best Pizza

Aloha Everyone,

J.J. and I were able to purchase last minutes 12-days cruise on Carnival Triumph to the Caribbean. We depart on Monday, March 2nd, from the port of Galveston.

Today we spent the day taking care of documentations required by the Department of Homeland Security and the cruise company. 

Frankie at the Office Depot where we made photo copies of documents also assisted us with the Girl's Day package we mailed to our granddaughter. We were amazed at the volume of work required by Office Depot which I suppose function as an agent for the United States Postal Service. It took Frankie nearly 20 minutes to process and input information required. It does not seem like a profitable relationship being an agent for the U.S. Postal Service to mail a package with $5.75 postage.

J.J. has lost nearly 20 pounds since we began our RV adventure. He is looking fit and healthy.  A minor inconvenience is that his pants became too loose. We purchased one size smaller slacks at PalaIs Royal, a local clothing store.

For lunch, we went to Mario's Italian Restaurant. Our wait was long because there was a large group of local high school baseball players and their coaches celebrating their "defeat".

The sign reads, "We speak very little English but we make the Best Pizza."

Sergio our server was very attentive and kept on giving me refills of hot water with lemon. Quality of our lunch was absolutely fantastic. We shared a small plate of Spaghetti Alfredo and a medium size Pizza Carnivore. Yes, the pizza was J.J.'s choice.

Here is Sergio bringing our pasta dish and Joe preparing our pizza.

The remainder of the day was spent doing our laundry and cooking trying to consume all perishable foods we have in Honu.

Aloha -- Cathi

Friday, February 27, 2015

Galveston Island, Texas

Aloha Everyone,

Galveston is located on the Gulf of Mexico on Galveston Island and Pelican Island  Approximately 48,000 people live on 208.3 square miles of land area. The island owes its name to the Count Bernardo de Gálvez y Madrid, Count of Gálvez (born in Málaga, Spain).

On September 8, 1900, Galveston was struck by a Category 4 Hurricane with 135-mile-per-hour winds. The flooding that accompanied it was considered to be one of the 10 most significant floods in US History. Over eight thousand people lost their lives due to that storm.

As a result, private homes and commercial buildings on bay and beach must be on piling 10' to 12' up in the air to be in compliance with their building code. This could increase the cost of construction by 10-15% compared to the rest of Texas. If you are interested in reading more details go to

We are staying at Bayou RV Park on Galveston island. Following a list of restaurants recommended by Sandy, the park host, we chose Shrimp & Stuff Restaurant on Avenue "Q" for our lunch stop.

This popular restaurant caters to "the locals' has been in business for 38 years. Everything looked delicious. We ordered a cup of shrimp gumbo, 6 pieces of grilled shrimp, a dish of crab balls and J.J. also ordered fried oysters with French fries and coleslaw.

Three days ago in the freezing weather, we overloaded our electrical system and triggered the circuit breaker. J.J. being inventive has been improvising different sources for our electricity and heating. Today we called a licensed mobile electrician. Jim spent about a couple of minutes listening to our problems then walked around and found the circuit breaker sort of hidden in the trunk of Honu. A seven minutes of service call and knowing which button to push was $80 well spent.

Tonight our backyard is the Gulf of Mexico. Thank goodness that all 3 heating systems are working.

Aloha -- Cathi

Thursday, February 26, 2015

To Galveston Island, Texas

Aloha Everyone,

Our lunch stop today was at Babba's, a Cajun style seafood restaurant in Seadrift.  Seadrift is a small town with a tiny population of just 1352 people. This restaurant is very popular as we heard about this place from at least three different sources.

J.J. ordered the combination platter of fried oysters and grilled shrimps.

I decided on grilled fish with side of grilled broccoli.

The food was tasty and spicy, and the quantity was too large for me. We ended up with enough leftovers for  our dinner.

Crossing Lavaca Bay, the color of the water is murky yellow-green.

On our way to Blessings on Texas 35 N we saw giant silos for rice

Chocolate Bayou on FM2004.  An appropriate name as the color of the water was chocolate brown.

Finally arrived in Galveston after 4 hours on the road not counting our leisurely lunch break. 

Tonight we are staying at a very posh RV Resort in Jamaica Beach. The site is about 1/2 block from the ocean. WiFi works superbly but it is windy and cold.

Aloha -- Cathi

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Port O'Connor, Texas

Aloha Everyone,

Melodic bird songs and a bright sun beam woke me up this morning.

It is 43 degrees Fahrenheit today. Braying Lake RV Resort was a friendly community surrounding an artificial lake. If their WiFi connection worked for us, we would've extended our stay.

Before beginning our drive on I-37 towards Corpus Christi, J.J. and I spent about an hour washing and cleaning the exterior and interior of Honu.

Van's BBQ billboard appeared about 45 miles from its location. Appearances can be deceiving. However, encouraged by the number of cars in front of the diner, J.J. and I bravely walked in.

We are deep in the heartland of Texas. We sat among diners who looked as though they just stepped right out of a cowboy movie.

Our meals were served on an extra-thick parchment paper. J.J.'s large portion and my smaller portion came out $27 inclusive of 15% tip. It was far from a vegetarian meal that I was looking for but it was a memorable lunch stop.

U.S.S. Lexington is an aircraft carrier that was in the Battle of the Coral Sea. The floating museum is anchored in Corpus Christi in the Gulf of Mexico. What little of what we saw of Corpus Christi was beautiful. I would add this city to our list of places we need to explore in Texas.

Using my iPhone Siri to navigate, we drove over bridges and causeways and remote farming communities which reminded us of the Florida Keys.

Tonight we are staying at Port O'Connor RV Park in a small town of Port O'Connor. Our friendly, gracious park host Betty is originally from Michigan. She moved here last May to manage this resort purchased by her grandson.

Aloha -- Cathi

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

To San Antonio, Texas

Aloha Everyone,

We woke up to a frozen world. What a joy to hear the sound of Honu's engine starting without any hesitation.

Today we covered 311 miles over 6 hours plus a lunch stop. This section of I-10 is very isolated. Most of the stretches had no houses or no business activities. As the road traversed through higher to lower elevations, we noticed changes from a frozen landscape shifting to dried landscape then back to frozen.

This is a Cracker Barrel Country. Lucky us, within the last 4 days, we enjoyed two of their daily specials.

Today's lunch special of meat loaf, mashed potatoes, white gravy on the side and country beans served with their corn bread and dinner rolls plus hot water with lot of lemons

Previous meal we had turkey with trimmings on a bed of wild rice...

plus their corn bread and dinner rolls baked apples all for $5.99 daily lunch special at Cracker Barrel. Sorry there are none in California or in Hawaii.

Tonight we are staying at Braunig Lake RV Resort just south of San Antonio. Tomorrow we head towards Corpus Cristi.

Be well and enjoy life!

Aloha -- Cathi