Leaving The Island

Leaving The Island

Friday December 28 Through Sunday December 30, 2018

We got up at 4:30 Friday morning so we could beat the rush. Thursday morning we had gotten up at 5:00 AM and ran out of hot water in the KOA showers. Also, we had observed heavy laundry usage all day Thursday and wanted to avoid problems in the laundry room Friday. Good thing we got showers and laundry done by 7:00 AM as Friday turned into an even bigger madhouse once everyone got up and moving.

We have noticed a trend. Since Christmas, everyday the KOA has been getting busier and busier. Nearly all the sites are taken each night even though the daily site turnover is 30 to 50%. Crazy. This must be the season to visit South Padre Island for short stays.

After 8:00 Friday morning, Linda called Carlos’ Royal Mobile Service Wash and Wax. This is one of the two wash your RV at your site services constantly driving through each island RV park every day trolling for business. Even though there were two of Carlos’ trucks driving around aimlessly through the KOA, Linda was told they wouldn’t be able to get started on cleaning our rig for another two hours.

I felt better about the wait after seeing one of the crews working on a travel trailer 1/2 hour later.

Royal Mobile Service Wash And Wax
Royal Mobile Service Wash And Wax

A crew showed up at our rig around 10:30. Not speaking Spanish, my communication was limited to just conveying that we wanted our rig washed. The team of two men immediately started hand washing the truck and camper. Carlos appeared fifteen minutes later. I added cleaning the Jeep (outside only) to our work order. Carlos talked to his crew and then left.

The two men did a wonderful job cleaning truck, camper and Jeep. They were meticulous, taking pride in ensuring that everything they were supposed to clean was completely clean. With a nit picky eye, I went around the rig after they left and found only two tiny missed spots.

While the workers were cleaning, I sat outside and read a book mostly, looking up occasionally to admire their work. Just before they moved on to their next client, one of them told me, as best he could, they were done. I wanted to give each guy a $20 tip. Once he understood that this was a tip, he was happy to take the money. Getting his partner to take $20 was easier.

Carlos showed up 1/2 hour later. $70 for the whole deal. Not a bad price. While they can take credit cards, plan to pay in cash. When I offered to pay using a Visa, Carlos didn’t have his credit card reader with him, a common way for people to say they really don’t like to be paid with a credit card.

Mid afternoon, we started making another big holiday meal. This is the same menu we put together on Christmas Day: meatloaf, scalloped potatoes and green bean casserole. Since we had more baking pans than would fit into the oven at the same time, we left 1/2 of the unbaked meatloaf in a pan on the counter. When it came time to take the scalloped potatoes out of the oven and put the second meatloaf into the oven, Linda found 1/4 of the meatloaf missing. Picasso!

The Dread Meatloaf Pirate Picasso
The Dread Meatloaf Pirate Picasso

Despite the meatloaf piracy, the meal was a success.

Meatloaf, Scalloped Potatoes and Green Bean Casserole
Meatloaf, Scalloped Potatoes and Green Bean Casserole

Cutting down on the butter and bacon in the scalloped potatoes made that much better this time.

Saturday morning started mild, in the low seventies.  We went to the grocery store at 7:00 in the morning to beat the crowds. Hardly anyone was in the Port Isabel HEB. 

At 10:00, the wind started up with a vengeance.  Temperatures plummeted into the low sixties as a cold front fought its way into the area.  By 10:30, sideways rain was pelting the camper.  When leaving for lunch at 11:00, it was still raining.  We drove Padre Boulevard north to Tom & Jerry’s Beach Club Bar & Grill.

Tom & Jerry's Beach Club Bar & Grill
Tom & Jerry’s Beach Club Bar & Grill

Tom & Jerry’s is a sports bar with a decent food menu.  We ate here five years ago at the same time of year.  It hasn’t changed a bit.  Love the atmosphere and the food.  I had the Patty Melt.  It was more than I expected.  Two beef patties and two slices of cheese.  Pepper jack cheese for one slice and Swiss cheese for the other.  Instead of fries, onion rings.

Larry At Tom & Jerry's
Larry At Tom & Jerry’s

Despite being full from the patty melt, desert was ordered:  key lime pie.  After all, this is an island in the tropics.

Mid afternoon, during a lull in the rain, it was time to put up all the outside furniture.  The temperature had continued to drop, going into the fifties.  Wearing my rain shell, gloves and a stocking hat, I loaded up the Jeep.

 After dinner and after the dishes were done, water and sewer were disconnected.

Campsite Gear Stowed, Temperatures Dropping and Wind Rattling Leaves
Campsite Gear Stowed, Temperatures Dropping and Wind Rattling Leaves

After dark, the temperature continued to drop to the low fifties.  The blowing wind continued to rattle palm leaves sounding like rain beating down on a distant roof.  Rattling the leaves.

Sunday morning, all there was to do was unplug from shore power,  disconnect cable and stow the cords.  Then north to San Antonio where the expected Sunday high was 45 degrees with rain.    Winter return had returned.

Hope to see you on the road ahead!

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