Monday, March 8, 2010

Paradise Key and Dan's Tiki Bar in the Fake Taj

View from sundeck at Paradise Key

Wednesday, March 3, it is chilly at 41 degrees this morning. It is 51 in the living room when I get up. The digital picture frame starts my day with a cup of coffee on the side. Then I work on journal pages and pictures. Bob and I have a light breakfast before I walk with Nan and Roxy at 9:30. A Keckner repair truck, different guy and different truck, comes next door on our curbside. Nobody is home. The guy next to us leaves for work early in the morning in his loud truck. Nan and I see the repair guy's truck in the permanent sites at the travel trailer. And then his truck is back by us and our neighbor is home. He must have called him.

Nan and her HUGE Nachos!

As we round the corner in the other section we see the construction is continuing on the new lot. We head home and I stretch and work on my journal pages. We clean up and meet Nan, Tom and Dan next door for lunch. Dan drives his Ford King Ranch pickup. We all pile in and on the way he points out Hemingway's on a side street in Rockport. Then he heads out to Paradise Key on this gorgeous day. We eat out of the sun deck as a gal clears the last available table in the sun for us. It's too chilly to sit in the shade but the sun is inviting.

Dan and his fried oysters

Dan and Nan have Paradise Margaritas (which turn out to be $9.00 each when the bill arrives.) Dan shares his Coconut Shrimp appetizer with all of us. It is served with a tasty pineapple sauce. Bob and I have Mahi-Mahi, blackened and grilled respectively. I have to try the sweet potato fries. Tom tries to get Ahi Tuna Sandwich but is served Mahi-Mahi when it comes out so he sticks with it. Nan has HUGE chicken nachos. The waitress warned her about the size because a lady yelled at her once for not telling her how big they are. Lunch was great and Dan tells us about a guy at the bar who walks out to his boat in the marina to get him a cigar.

Bob, Tom, Nan and Dan soak up the sun at Paradise Key

We have a driving tour past Oysterfest preparations in Fulton. We discover that Dan was at Rustic Cove maybe at the same time we were there last year. And as we get near out Park, Dan drives through two new RV Parks. Aransas Bay is right across 35 Bypass. It will have 75 sites when completed and all but three are reserved for next year. And you must commit to a minimum of four months! The Palms, behind Lowe's, has all concrete over every square inch of the Park and the sites are jammed together. Not my thing.

At last we head home to tour Dan's Holiday Rambler Presidential 5th wheel. On the outside it looks almost like Bud and Billie's Taj Mahal. But he had them gut the inside and did his own thing. His dinette table and chairs, sofabed and recliners are gone. Instead he has a tiki bar and rattan furniture with a big palm tree. It really looks homey. He serves a great German wine; Cabernet Sauvingnon that reminds me of the port at Hermanoff.

Dan offers a toast at his Tiki Bar in the fake Taj Mahal

We all chat and sip our wine until Dan's friend Steve arrives. We soon discover that we knew him from Rustic Cove last year. I would see him and Debbie with their dogs Angel the dachshund and Ranger the husky as I walked every day. They were in the Montana 5th wheel behind us. It was their dogs who were in the back of the truck a few days ago in front of Dan's next to us. What a small world.

Steve dials Julie's number and gives me the phone. How fun. Julie was my walking and shopping pal last year at Rustic Cove. We chat for a bit. I told her I asked about her at the Aquarium the other day in Rockport. Her and Chet have appointments in Corpus tomorrow and will try to come by here later afternoon.

Bob, Dan and Steve belly up to the bar

Debbie arrives on her motorcycle after work. We enjoy the fruits of Dan's bar until they all suggest food. We take a break for Steve and Debbie to ride their bikes home to Rockport. They are renting land from Keckner RV Service's owner who is also fixing their furnace that has a similar problem to ours. They got a new circuit board and it didn't fix their problem.

We all go to our RVs to get snacks for the feast. Bob and I get Aunt Dot's Cheeseball, crackers, beer and Smirnoff. Nan and Tom bring veges and Ritz PB cookies. I go back home for Bailey's to make butter nipples (or slippery nipples as they call them.) My little glasses are a big hit. We all visit, drink and snack until 9:00. As we leave we make tentative plans to go to Oysterfest together on Saturday. It's 10:26 p.m. The high was 72 today. This is the best weather day since we've been here.s

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