You just can’t drape yourself over an Airstream

I know. I tried.

There's no hood, and draping myself over the top just wasn't going to work. Too many witnesses. Here's the best I could do.

There’s no hood, and flopping languidly over the top just wasn’t going to work. Too many witnesses (including that guy inside). This here’s the best I could do.

We’re in Houston for the 52nd Annual RV Show — which makes it older than we are, but younger than most of its attendees, although we were happy to see so many young families there on opening day yesterday. And by happy, I mean we didn’t grumble over dodging a few strollers, witnessing a few melt downs, and returning a sippy cup that had been left behind by a little girl who’d been understandably distracted by an electric fireplace.

Opening day is on a Wednesday. Hooray for no weekend crowds! (Remind me of this when we go back with friends on Saturday.)

Opening day is on a Wednesday. Hooray for no weekend crowds!
(Remind me of this when we go back with friends on Saturday.)

The show boasts a convention hall filled with more than 600 RVs of all varieties, from those cute little teardrop travel trailers (basically a towable hard-sided tent with a grill on the back) to conversion vans, to luxury motor homes with price tags in the six-figure range. One of those prices actually started with a 6. Not kidding. We walked through it. Meh.

Price tag for a much less expensive mobile home. Yes, you could buy an actual house for that, but would it come with a Lifetime Womanfy?

Price tag for a Mobile Suites fifth wheel, a few of which are for sale here if you want to see what such a thing looks like.
Yes, you could buy an actual house for that, but would it come with a Lifetime Womanfy?

After an incredibly expensive and nearly inedible lunch purchased from the only open concession stand we could find inside the NRG Center (Kirby Cafe. Don’t eat there. Seriously. Starving is better.), we attended a seminar called “Making Electricity on the Road: Generating & Using Power Efficiently.” I made it through solar and wind generators before my mind wandered off and landed on the true ol’ Texas cowboy sitting next to Tim. You know you’re in the presence of the real thing when he’s wearing a Wrangler shirt and pressed jeans, and his hat matches his boots, which match both his belt and suspenders.

This is Billy Thibodeaux, who's been a presenter here for more than 20 years. He's got miles and miles worth of knowledge to share, and it's certainly not his fault that I am so easily distracted.

This is Billy Thibodeaux, who’s been a presenter here for more than 20 years. He’s got miles and miles worth of knowledge to share, and it’s certainly not his fault that I am so easily distracted.

Anyway, after that we meandered in and out of what felt like about 800 RV’s — yes, even though there were only 600 there, and we stuck mostly to fifth wheels, with the exception of one mobile home, and the aforementioned Airstream.

We saw lots of nifty features, some more interesting and/or useful than others.

Yes

Wine rack: Yes!

Yes

Another yes!

Ewwww

Strip of LED lights above bed: Ew and no thanks.

Why, why, whyyyyyyyy?

Bathroom with a screen door: No, hell no, and seriously WTF, y’all?

The captain is in command -- of a fold-out porch.

Relax, captain. You’re in command — of a fold-out porch.

That's Tim on the right, getting the undercarriage report from the salesman of this unit. We uh, we could be in trouble...

That’s Tim on the right, getting the Undercarriage Report from the salesman of this 2016 Highland Open Range.
We uh, we could be in trouble…

And at the end of our long day (health app says I walked nearly 4 miles), this is how we found each other.

And at the end of our long day (health app says I walked nearly 4 miles inside that convention hall), this is how we found each other. I’d taken a seat; he’d marched on.

We’re gonna take two days off to consider a few things, and then go back again on Saturday with friends, and what the hell, maybe the checkbook and a pre-approved loan too.

Strap in, y’all. Road could get a little bumpy ahead…

Trying to embrace the beauty of a PNW winter, but mostly just drinking more

Scenes from our soggy week, with unmitigated gratitude for in-laws who share wine.

Our campsite overlooks Padilla Bay, with a view of several of the San Juan islands. Every 25 hours, it turns into something like 8,000 acres of mud flats. I literally can't even.

Our campsite overlooks Padilla Bay, with a view of several of the San Juan islands. Every 25 hours, the tide goes out, and the bay turns into something like 8,000 acres of mud flats. Mud. Flats
I literally can’t even. Also, nobody would buy shoes called mud flats.

Regardless, I stepped into my big girl boots (Not my cowgirl boots. OMG, not for this), and took a walk down to the shore when the tide was in. This is a typical Washington beaches in winter. Want to know what it looks like in summer? Keep staring.

Regardless, I stepped into my big girl boots (Not my cowgirl boots. OMG, no. Not for this. For this I’ve got an old pair of snow boots.), and took a walk down to the shore when the tide was in.
This is a typical Washington beach in winter. Want to know what it looks like in summer?
Keep staring.

I kept staring. And as if to slap me with a big old neener-neener lesson on life, Mama Nature rewarded me with this bit o' magic. Sorry, Puget Sound. I get it now. Again. Temporarily.

I kept staring.
And as if to slap me with a big old neener-neener lesson on life, Mama Nature rewarded me with this bit o’ magic.
Sorry, Puget Sound. I get it now. Again. But probably only temporarily, I’m thinking.

Later that day, look what else I found!

Later that day, look what else I found!

But the sunshine shut down 15 minutes later, and once again I was back to, "Seriously, why did I even bring these?"

But the sunshine shut down 15 minutes later, and once again I was back to, “Seriously, why did I even bring these?”

That's fine. We get it. If I had to clean a public restroom, I wouldn't allow pets in there either. But...

Meanwhile, back at the park: a common sign to which I have no objections.  If I had to clean a public restroom, I wouldn’t allow pets in there either. But…

... look what's conveniently located outside! Now *that's* dog friendly. I wish more public places would offer hitching posts for pets. Thanks, Bay View!

… lookit what’s conveniently located outside! Now that’s dog-friendly.
I wish more public places would offer hitching posts for pets. Thanks, Bay View!

We have no Christmas tree inside. Plenty outside, though! And thanks to Tim's mom, we've got a string of lights there across the front of the house. All is calm. All is... OK, mostly it's *gray*, but the twinkles help. A little.

We have no Christmas tree inside. Plenty outside, though! And thanks to Tim’s mom, we’ve got a string of lights there across the front of the house.
All is calm. All is… OK, mostly it’s gray, but the twinkles help. A little.

Relax. I don’t even own a baseball bat.

I’m not complaining about reveille again. Really.

After all, staying at military RV parks saves us a lot of money, so we have to be willing to put up with a few inconveniences. 

I’m just sharing the cartoon I resemble, at 0630, seven mornings a week, only with less fur and a lot more swearing.

(P.S. The full video is here, it’s nearly 8 minutes long, and even though Looney Tunes didn’t actually post it, I’m crediting them because it’s their cartoon, and probably the property of Warner Brothers, and I believe in at least trying to do the right thing by way of crediting sources. If they ask me to remove this clip, I will.)

Library time machine

RV park perk: Most have a take-a-book/leave-a-book library, either in the main office building or in the laundry room.
1167383_10154217538497995_6428330687321265912_oThis one is no exception, but wow, does it have some moldy oldies. Reader’s Digests dating back to 1980, anyone?

If not, there are also a few Bibles, a standard textbook of cosmetology, “How to Teach Your Baby to Read,” and two copies of “Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul,” which I’m guessing could not be dumped fast enough by their recipients.