Huge walk through ancient tree stump on I-5 Rest Stop

Usually interstate rest areas are straight forward: a truck and RV parking lot and a separate car parking lot. In between are the restrooms, vending machines and a scattering of picnic tables and a doggie “poop here but pick up” park.

The story

However, the Northbound I-5 Smokey Point Rest Stop at mile marker 207 north of Seattle has the above mentioned features (including an RV dump station) and a huge tree stump. Yes, it is a piece of local history. The story of this artifact is fairly well documented on the story board. The size of the stump is obvious in the photo.

The stump

When I first saw this I thought that it was some kind of new picnic table shelter. Then I saw the story board. Strange but true are the things you find when traveling!

Haircuts in Seattle

Here I am with my absolutely stunningly beautiful wife.

Haircuts were not the reason we came to Seattle this January.  While we were here we both had the opportunity to go to our daughter’s salon. We took advantage of that, and the result is in the photo above.

Beardslee Public House in Bothel, Washington

While our grandson was having his music lesson, Sher and I went with our daughter and son-in-law to a brewery/restaurant in the town of Bothel, north Seattle. This place was opened in 2015 serving brewed in house craft beers and food made from locally sourced ingredients.

We ordered the “Brewer’s Choice” selection for our flight to taste

The variety of beers was fun to sample. Sher and I liked the Tangelo Sour Ale with a sour citrus taste and a low IBU of 18. Our favorite turned out to be the Grappen Belgian Tripel. This ale is an American version of the famous Belgian ales. The 8.6% ABV and an IPU of 24 fits the bill for me for sure. We always enjoy trying the different beers in the flights. Sher and I are starting to know what we like and don’t like.

Current listing of the crafted onsite brews

The food was Excellent! This was my bacon cheese burger . Yum!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The food at Beardslee Public House was just as good as the beer, IMO. The burger I had was delicious, Sher enjoyed the tomato basil soup, and the kids had a huge appetizer sampler plate. The atmosphere here was informal and comfortable. Service was excellent and very friendly. Yet another good time during our winter stay in Seattle!

 

Elliott Bay Pizza and Pub

Tonight we had supper with our family at a great pizza joint and pub. The Elliott Bay Pizza & Pub has outstanding pizza. They also offer sandwiches and pasta dishes.

Very very tasty pizza!

This is a very popular place and we had to wait about 20 minutes to get a table big enough for all of us. The facility offers family seating as well as a 21+ bar area. Once our food arrived I could tell why the place was so packed.

Love the pink elephants

We are certainly enjoying this retirement thing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The pub also has a great variety of craft beers from local breweries. They state there are 20 craft beers in a changing rotation, and also a selection of local wines. All in all we all had a very enjoyable evening. It is fun trying different restaurants when we travel to different parts of the country.

Freddy Powers Pickin Party

Freddy Powers Pickin Party is where we spent New Years Day.  A New Years black-eyed pea and cabbage potluck was held at the community center at the La Hacienda RV resort where we are staying.  The party was fantastic!  We had a wonderful afternoon and evening with new friends.  We were fortunate to share our table with our son and his family and with The Singing Cowboy, Freddie Fuller.  His website is The Singing Cowboy.net and he is a wonderful performer.  We enjoyed his music and loved being able to socialize with him and his friend Debbie.

The Singing Cowboy Freddie Fuller and friend Debbie

Tonya Benson is with Songwriters Across Texas, an organization that supports and showcases musical talent in Texas.  She sat with us for awhile and shared her fun and interesting work with musicians in Texas.  It was a fun time with good food, good music and meeting some excellent musicians who perform all around the country.

More details will follow later as we write about some of our favorite performers.

 

 

Great brewery in Bastrop Texas

For our last jaunt in 2019 we took a road trip to the historic town of Bastrop Texas. We literally saw the name of a brewery and restaurant on the store front of one of the neat historical buildings on Main Street.

The 602 at Main Street

The interior of the 602 Brewery

We had lunch in the 602. The craft beer was great, and my oh my was the food delicious. The home made coleslaw and garlic fries were wonderful. The three fish pieces were obviously very fresh and fried to perfection in the “secret recipe” batter. Best fish and chips I’ve ever had.

The fish and trimmings are better than they look!

Bastrop is a unique and historic town south of Austin. When you visit make sure you stop at The 602 Brewery on Main Street. Get a great meal at a great price with super friendly service. You won’t be disappointed!

Roadtirement’s 2019 revisited

My gosh has this year gone fast, or what?  We started the year traveling from Indiana to Harlingen, Texas in the Rio Grande Valley. Park Place RV Resort was our home for two months.  Some pure tourist type stuff was of course a requirement in the new to us area. The border with Mexico, those daunting US Border Patrol SUV’s and the fence/wall were eye openers for us. We enjoyed the sights of Port Isabel and the beaches of South Padre Island. That 55+ RV resort living helped us realize that we liked being “Winter Texans”!

Nice concrete patio at our site in Harlingen.

One day we went to the border wall in Brownsville.

The Port Isabel lighthouse

We spent some time in March with family in Austin, then back to Indiana. It took a bit to get back into being in the Midwest again, but there was lots we did over the summer. We try to go to as many musicals as we can at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre in Indianapolis. An excellent buffet and even better show make for a great evening out. In May we also set up at the US Highway 40 Yard sale in Dunreith, a small town  between Greenfield and Richmond, Indiana. For four days folks travel the highway looking for treasures and bargains.

Musical “Hairspray” at Beef and Boards

Our set up for the Highway 40 Yard Sale

 

 

 

 

 

Camping with kids and grand kids became a fun past time this summer. We took our RV and our kids brought their tent(s) for themselves and any of the grand kids that could come along. An Ohio State Park, US Forest Service Recreation Area, and a Jellystone Park RV resort served us well. Never a dull moment when camping, especially in West Virginia’s Monongahela National Forest after a toad strangler of a rain which flooded a tent. Yes, we were able to sleep 6 fairly comfortably in our 24′ Class C Four Winds. We had to use an alternate route to leave the area as the main road was washed out.

Spacious campsite in the Monongahela National Forest

West Virginia’s Horseshoe Rec Area

Our campsite, tent is out of site on the left

Entrance to the Ohio State park, lake in the background

Gorgeous end to the day at Ohio’s Kaiser Lake State Park

Another summer highlight was our trip to Niagara Falls. The guided tour was definitely worth the cost. The small Gray Line tour bus picked us up at our RV campground. The tour was all inclusive, including of course the famous Maid of the Mist boat ride taking you into the soaking up close view of the falls. If you have not been to Niagara Falls, go!

Here we are after our Maid of the Mist adventure. That is the American Falls barely visible between us.

Restaurant view of the Horseshoe (Canadian) Falls. The food was good, too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sher and I were pretty busy during the summer, including some additional selling at several town festivals. By the time the end of October came around we were ready to head back out on the road and head south once again. We had talked before about visiting the Diamond Mine State Park in Arkansas. The weather had been rather wet, but we decided that it would be a great time to check this place out on our way back to Texas. We went and had a ball. No diamonds found, and the muddy ground was hard to traverse. But, we have a bucket of neat rocks for our rock garden.

Getting ready to head to the muddy field and begin our search for diamonds

Here I am shovel ready to find one of those huge diamonds shown in the picture next to me

 

 

 

 

 

 

On to Texas with a quick stop in Texarkana. There the courthouse is positioned literally on the Arkansas/Texas State line. Interesting to say the least. We stopped at our family’s place in Austin for a couple of days before we went to our spot at the La Hacienda RV Resort in Austin. The La Hacienda is a Sun Resort property, complete with all the expected facilities. We have been here since the first of November. The past two months have given us a chance to explore the Austin area. The Hill Country is filled with wineries, breweries and distilleries. Yep, we have enjoyed more than one of these establishments.

A beautiful Saturday at the Bull Creek Park in Austin

Los Pinos restaurant is only 1/4 mile from our RV Park!

 

 

 

 

 

 

2019 has been quite the adventure for Roadtirement! We can’t list everything, but know that we have had a great year. In figuring up where were have been, we discovered that in 2019 we actually lived 5 out of 12 months as Winter Texans. This could get to be habit forming! We are going to start 2020 by going to Seattle to visit our daughter and her family in January. Stay tuned, we’ll fill you in!

Wishing you and yours and all our friends a safe and prosperous New Years!

Maj and Sher

Family Business Beer Co.

Growler from the Family Business Beer Co

Sher and I had a ball one Thursday night at the Family Business Beer Company out near Dripping Springs. This brewery is co-owned by Jensen Ackles who was Dean Winchester in the CW smash hit Supernatural. One of the other co-owners, Gino Graul, was there the night we went, and we had a great conversation with him. We enjoyed a flight of four after the bartender was kind enough to explain what was new to us information about different beers. We also enjoyed the trivia contest as well. We came in last, but had a fun time.

It was a very comfortable and friendly brewery

When in the Austin area we strongly recommend a trip to the Family Business Beer Co. It’s kid and dog friendly, has a great food truck, and of course great beer! Here is the website.

Los Pinos offers real authentic interior Mexican cuisine

Just down the Hudson Bend Road from our RV Park (La Hacienda) is the Los Pinos restaurant. Sher and I have been looking at the place as we have been driving by, but never yet stopped to check it out. As it worked out, our family was coming to see us, so we decided to meet at the Los Pinos.

Interesting decor and comfortable seating

What a treat our visit turned out to be! The place is decorated in typical Mexican style. I was pleased with the prompt service we received. The menu is quite varied, and each dish is hand crafted by chef. Our waiter told us the tortillas are made fresh daily, and all the ingredients are fresh as well.

Top: Tacos and fixings. Bottom: Burrito and fixings

Long story short, we all had a great meal and a good time at Los Pinos. The food was very very good, portion sizes were large, and the service and ambiance of the restaurant was most comfortable. I noticed that they serve breakfast. I think a return visit is in the cards. Here is the Los Pinos Website.