First Stop in Texas | Powerball | Meatballs

Our plan to cross the country really begins to develop as we enter Texas.   Everything leading up to this point was really an exodus from the cold weather of New England.  We specifically wanted to immerse ourselves in Texan culture for a week or two once we got here and this was our first stop, the super small town of Columbus TX.

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So far on our trip; our plans have been completely spontaneous.  Spontaneous in the sense we didn’t know where we were staying or which direction we were actually driving.   We set out with the simple intention of  just getting as far south as we could, with a realistic expectation of speed and adventure; all the while avoiding snow etc.   Columbus Texas and the Thousand Trails Campground at Colorado River was our first “reserved” campground.   We had reservations for 4 days and finally had the chance to feel as if we have “arrived”.  I know that is a strange concept to try to convey, but ultimately this was our chance to relax a little and get our bearings.

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Upon arrival at the check in station, we were able to receive our first package of mail and goods.  Since we had been only staying at most locations a day or two, there wasn’t enough time to receive any packages etc.   One of the items in our delivery from home; was a box of mail, bills and our custom trailer license plate.  We ordered this plate 7 weeks before we left, but it didn’t come in in time for our departure date.  Actually it came the first day we were gone.  Go figure.

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Leighton wanted to take photos of the celebratory “christening” of the RV.   The photos of the plate and installation were all by her.   She continued to photograph the setup and site below.

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The glamorous side of RVing… hooking up the sewer drain.  Thanks Leighton for capturing this… 🙂

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The site we chose, looked like it was one that had been passed over.   In the Thousand Trails Network, you arrive at a campground and drive around in order to pick and claim your spot.   No sites are assigned to you in advance.  There is always a level of anxiety up arriving that we might not get a good site, but those are the breaks.  Often times we look for sites that have a specific feature we’ve found to be the best.  We like to have open space on the awning side of the RV whenever possible.  What is behind us doesn’t really matter as much as what is outside our kitchen door.   So although this site had a huge orange retainer fence along the side of it, the kitchen door view was this picturesque view of the Colorado River. (the above photo).

Once we finished setting up camp, we made an early dinner and headed out into “town” to find some coveted Powerball tickets.  (Don’t laugh, it was the record big jackpot drawing night).  RV Across the Country Texas_0020Upon arriving into town this is what we found….

RV Across the Country Texas_0009 To our surprise, this is what downtown Columbus looks like at 5pm on a Saturday night.  (insert scratching head)  Although it truly looked beautiful and straight out of an old western movie; it wasn’t going to do us much good for our Powerball ticket purchase.

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RV Across the Country Texas_0011Headed down the other side of Main street, we found a similar state of affairs and lack of any human activity.  Powerball was slipping away from us I think.

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6PM found us at the local downtown church St Anthonys.   After mass we usually work our way to the priest and introduce ourselves.   Leighton is specifically collecting signed church bulletins for her religion class, but it does often give us the chance to talk with the priests a little and possibly make new friends.  In this small town of 3655 citizens we meet Father George.  After speaking with him, and telling him we are from Connecticut, he said HE is from Connecticut.  He was just in town for the weekend performing a baptism and would be flying back to Connecticut the next day.  What is even crazier, is that he is from the same town as us.  Crazier still… he is the priest at the church at the end of our road.  Well… if that isn’t a strengthening sign for purchasing more Powerball tickets, I don’t know what is!?!

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There are our winning tickets!!!   Won $12!!!!!

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An 8 photo panorama of our camp site.

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Each morning I would just chuckle that this site was passed over.  Sunny Side up!

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RV Across the Country Texas_0018Cole was appreciating one of the first times we were able to leave the screen door open.

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While I spent most of the day behind the computer editing, Jen took advantage of the warmer weather with the girls and did some exploring, mini-golf, and even an impromptu Safari!


RV Across the Country Texas_0021I just love the picture of the girls taking photos of the herd of deer that were grazing in the campground.

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RV Across the Country Texas_0024While the girls were wrapping up their safari with the deer, I began working on a sunset photo of our campsite.  Setting up the tripod and the system for the 20 photo panorama.

RV Across the Country Texas_0025Above is the panorama after I stitched the pictures together.  For the shot I did manually take down the orange fence that was protecting people from falling off the cliff.

RV Across the Country Texas_0026Then as the sun finally went away, Jen jumped at the opportunity to get her workout in.

RV Across the Country Texas_0027I often joke about getting up early and catching the sunrise, but the reality is I just can’t get up that early.  Except on this day… the sun was coming in right through our bedroom window and without hesitation I ran to grab my camera and snapped away.

RV Across the Country Texas_0028One of the chestnut trees all around the campground.

RV Across the Country Texas_0029We found ourselves the next day taking a mini tour of downtown Columbus.  It was a chance to catch a little history education of this wonderful small town.

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The above photos are all by Leighton and Shayla.   The picture of the Sunset Trail travel trailer was a throwback to our old Sunset trail.

RV Across the Country Texas_0032Jen was NOT pleased with my suggestion that we buy this little gem and tow it behind the RV and use it as my personal office.  Oh well I tried.

RV Across the Country Texas_0033Leighton insisted on doing a photoshoot of Jen and I in downtown.  I think she has been watching over my shoulders a little too long.

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RV Across the Country Texas_0035Once we left the small town of Columbus we ventures out to La Grange TX in hopes of stumbling upon some other fun things.  One place that we flew by was Rosemary’s Vineyard & Winery.  Jen and I looked at each other and said… yeah lets pull a U-Turn.   Despite the owner being super friendly and entertaining, the wine was mediocre.  Of course it was still worth the stop and adventure.

RV Across the Country Texas_0036Ultimately our main goal this day was to find a coffee shop or brewery or something that had free Wifi.  I had 2 full weddings to upload, so I needed some solid internet to get this accomplished.  We pulled into downtown La Grange, TX and found this cute little coffee shop with internet suitable for AIM instant messenger ONLY.  lol  Needless to say we couldn’t get our photos uploaded at this spot, but at least we got some wine and coffee out of the process.

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RV Across the Country Texas_0038Arriving back at the RV resort, the clouds were surreal, the deer were out in full force, and the lodge’s internet was just as horrible as the coffee shops.   I decided that it was time to just bite the bullet and upgrade our Verizon MiFi data plan, and upload everything on our own.

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RV Across the Country Texas_0041This photos became my phone’s desktop wallpaper for obvious reasons.

RV Across the Country Texas_0042Once I sucked it up and upgraded our data plan, I just sat back and enjoyed the view.

RV Across the Country Texas_0043The girls met our neighbors and with a ‘Leave it to Beaver’ courteous request to play from the older boy; we said absolutely! Into the woods they went to build a fort and explore for the next couple of hours.

RV Across the Country Texas_0044Below is the “posse” Joseph, Leighton, Shayla and Andrew

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RV Across the Country Texas_0048Here is a slightly better view of our site in comparison to the others on the road.  See the cones on the side.   To so many they must have thought it was too “ugly” to park at.

For dinner that evening we had Spaghetti and meatballs.   Leighton took control of the camera and said…”Daddy, I’m going to take photos of the dinner for you to post on our blog.” So here are her photos for the famous home made Braga Spaghetti & Meatballs.

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