Sunday, March 11, 2012

The schedule shapes up a bit!

I've been playing with a Google map of our travels. Eventually I may customize the markers and I should probably add dates, but for now, previous places are blue and our current location is red. Each marker has some simple notes along with it.

View Costello Family Travels in a larger map

Over the last few weeks our internet has been pretty awful. As much as we liked the Bay Landing resort in Bridgeport, you had to be at the rather cold and empty activity center to get decent internet. Since I am not much for cold buildings, I stayed closer to the bus.

After leaving there we made a stop-over park in Schertz, where we jumped in and played some music for the ice cream social at Stone Creek RV park. It was a lot of fun, but I do need to find a way to reduce the use of junk food as the way kind and well meaning folks show their appreciation for my kids' talents! (I really appreciate the gestures. Honest. It's just they don't function well with too much and I'm at a loss as to how to refuse without sounding mean.)

We purchased them each a small bowl of a single scoop of ice cream or sherbert before they played, but unknown to me, the servers saved them all a HUGE bowl for after the impromptu show we put on. By the end of the night, Sean was rather twitchy and unfocused from all of the sugar and dyes in his favorite sherbert, and Mary had a tummy ache. I have since then yanked most sugar and even many flour products (which can be worse than sugar), from the bus. They still had a goody here and there when offered, but this bus is a sugar free zone, outside of select Friday evening food. This way the outside offers can be allowed (hopefully in smaller quantities), without it accumulating too much in their systems.

We definitely enjoyed Stone Creek and may never have had a chance to go there had our first choice, Pecan-something-or-other, taken our coupon and discount. They were not taking any discounts or coupons due to spring break, which is when budget-conscious families need it most, and to top it off, they had an "additional person" charge of $5/person over 4 people. No ice cream socials, no activities, entertainment... nothing, and they wanted $50/night total. Uh... no. We drove another hour or so down to Schertz and it was just perfect! We paid about 1/3 that per night at Stone Creek, thanks to our discounts, and we also made enough in tips to pay for that and some diesel to the next town! Guess where we'll be heading straight towards next time?

After that we headed to La Feria, TX to one of the ONLY RV parks in the entire Rio Grand Valley that accepts children. It's a near complete lock-out. Bass Lake is very tiny with no on site showers, so it was bus showers for all, and the parking sites were on the soft grass so you may just find yourself stuck if it rains a lot. However, it was just amazingly friendly and cute! So much so that we may very well try to reserve a full 3 month spot there next winter while we perform down in the valley. (Provided we have a second vehicle so we don't have to find ourselves trying to pull a bus in and out of there in the rain!) Due to the number of people in this bus needing regular showers, we may call one or two other parks that are 55+ that I have been told will make a few exceptions just for performers, but if not, I think we'll be quite happy at Bass Lake RV.

While in the Valley we played for the Canyon Lake RV Park. We knew a lot of the winter Texans were already heading south, so we didn't expect a big show, and though the audience was a bit small, we were not disappointed anyway. They were all so appreciative and we really enjoyed ourselves.

At the moment we are at our 2nd RV park in Rockport. Yesterday we stayed at the Bayview RV. Very nice park, from what I saw, which wasn't much because it rained the entire 2 days were were there. Someday I do hope to go back when the sun is shining, because it looked charming! The park was welcoming and we had a mostly great show, despite a really mean gremlin that appears to have moved into our sound system's mixer. I don't get the feeling it likes being strapped off the bus bumper on a cargo carrier and bounced around, but that just can't be helped right now until we get some more storage or something. A car. A car would be really nice. One to tow...

Speaking of cars, we've narrowed down what we need, something that will fit us all and tow with all 4 wheels down so no dolly. The problem is, we are Colorado residents down in Texas. Colorado will not license a vehicle unless you drive it all the way to Colorado and have it physically present when the title is transferred. That's not happening until June, so now we have to decide if it's worth remaining Colorado residents or if we want to consider changing it to Texas, so we can get a vehicle. After all, we'll be spending more months in Texas over the next year than in Colorado, but it's one more hassle to establish a permanent address in Texas, transfer the bus plates to Texas plates, too, (I am soooo not wanting to deal with any DMV ever again in my life where this bus is concerned), and then get a car. Alternatively, plan B is to get a vehicle in Colorado, Michael will fly out, get it licensed, then drive it back when we're in northern Texas. Plan C is get get one in May, within 30 days of going back to Colorado so we can license it when we return in June before the temporary tags expire. Not sure which we'll do, but right now I'd like to get that sound system off the bumper and into a car, plus have an extra vehicle to run errands instead of driving the bus to the grocery store.

Well, that about catches everyone up. We play tomorrow night at the Taco dinner for this park, then Thursday for a senior dinner at a local Baptist church, then one of our favorite South Texas churches on Sunday! We're very much looking forward to seeing everyone again at the Trinity Worship Center. Then it's back to San Antonio for a bit before we go... not sure yet. Funny how the schedule randomly appears only a couple weeks out each time. I'm sure God has it on His calendar. We just wait for our next marching orders!


  1. We're enjoying your updates. It's funny that here in the states it is near impossible to find a standard transmission van. When we were in Europe a few years ago, it was impossible to find an automatic transmission van.... We did have friends years ago who bought a Mazda minivan with a standard transmission. Oh well, it sounds like you have figured out what you want.
    Does Texas still have no income tax? Not sure no income tax is worth having to deal with another DMV....

  2. No, I don't think Texas has no income tax, but I have been told it's cheaper in general. However, we are here more than Colorado, which makes it easier to get things to titles and other hassles, and some laws are much easier to work with on the road, like their homeschool laws, which they have none, so I wouldn't' have to worry about complying with a state where I am never present. Plus, I'm hoping to find a state with cheaper health insurance options. Colorado's cheapest plans run about $150/month more than some states, thought I can't remember if Texas was one of the cheaper there. That alone could be worth visiting a DMV, but I'll be going by to ask them how hard it would be before we actually change anything.