Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Places We've Stayed -- Part II -- Day 62

It's been a little over a month and 1600 miles since I first posted a Top Ten list of our favorite places. When I made that list, we hadn't even stayed in 10 places yet! Oh how quickly things can change ...

I have learned so much in the last six weeks since that post that it boggles the mind. I attended the Escapees RV Boot Camp, which was an amazing daunting experience. We celebrated Thanksgiving with random strangers in Bay City, I had my birthday at a nudist resort down in Edcouch, and we got to see Star Wars during opening weekend back in Irving! Then there was the scary brake failure in Grand Prairie, and Christmas with my son. That's a LOT of adventure for such a short period of time!

There were 11 stops over the last six weeks, 3 of which were repeats (Hico, Lake Park, and our son's apartment.) Of the 8 new places, 4 were only for a single night and of those 4 only 1 made us wish we could stay longer. It's also interesting to see how priorities have changed with our experiences, and that influences the enjoyment of the stay. This Top Ten list will only be places that we stayed since the last list was made.

From worst to best (based on my enjoyment of the stay):

10. The corner of Skyline Rd and Center St -- Grand Prairie, TX. If you have read my other posts, this is where Fezzik came to rest after the brakes failed. I would be happy to never this intersection again for as long as I live.

9. Mustang Island -- Port Aransas, TX. As part of my birthday celebration, I wanted to hit the beach, see the ocean, stir up the spirit of my island heritage. This is not the place to do that. At least not in winter. It reminded me of the Oregon coast we used to visit when I was a child. Cold, windy, gray. No ocean view from the RV park, and no electricity in the first place that we were assigned. Nobody liked it here, and I don't see us coming back. 

8. Cedar Hill State Park -- Cedar HIll, Tx. Located just the other side of Lake Joe Pool from Loyd Park, which we loved, we were excited to try this park out. One of the top rated disc golf courses is just a few minutes away, and it's close enough to civilization to visit our loved ones. However, the roads were so bad I thought I was going to tip the rig over, and the camp sites were so uneven that we couldn't run our refrigerator! We ended up only staying one night, thanks to the brake issue, but we were not impressed.

7. Lake Park Campgrounds -- Lewisville, Tx. Still the least expensive option when staying in DFW. They even got their WiFi up, which was adequate. Internet access was limited though, so no YouTube or Netflix, and the disc golf course was closed because of the flooding. We'll still stay here for the cheap, but this was the least fun we've had here.

6. City of Hico's Bosque River RV Park -- Hico, Tx. Down from the former top spot, Hico was really put into perspective for us. Yes, the internet is still the best we've seen. Yes, it was cool that since we arrived late on Friday we didn't have to pay until we left on Monday. BUT the "Koffee Kup" restaurant that is one of their "famous" landmarks was terrible, and the disc golf course is not really that good. 

5. Mother Neff State Park -- Moody, Tx. Sleepy little town with a really well-kept state park. Great, level, concrete pads with crushed granite surroundings. Electric, water, and sewer for only $25? Plenty of trees for privacy, and even though the thunderstorms were violent, we felt safe and secure. Wished we could've stayed longer!

4 60 North RV Park -- Bay City, Tx. I'm not gonna lie, this is an ugly park. It's like a big parking lot, with only a few trees near the entrance. Having said that, we really had a great time here! We came during Thanksgiving week based on the online reviews stating fast internet. The internet was nothing compared to Hico, but the manager had her three kids with her the whole week. Zoe had playmates! The manager also invited any guests that didn't have plans to join her family for Thanksgiving dinner, which was really awesome. I doubt we'll come back here, unless we know the kids are out of school.

3. Lake Corpus Christi -- Mathis, Tx. Beautiful and serene, just the way we like it. Not very crowded, and plenty of wildlife to enjoy. We hiked and geocached, Zoe went fishing with some Brits she met. This was one of those magical places that we love to discover. We loved it so much that we opted to spend an extra day just relaxing in the peaceful atmosphere.

2. Randall and Jason's apartment -- Irving, Tx.  Our son Jason and his roommate Randall always let us crash at their place when we're in town. This time it was after the rescue of the brake failure. They were so gracious, and giving. It really makes a parent proud, ya know? Amenities included: hot showers, super fast internet, lots of video games, and pizza. Zoe would have loved to stay forever.

1. Nature's Resort -- Edcouch, Tx. To be fair, we haven't been staying in resorts, so the other places are at a serious disadvantage. Pool tables, darts, petanque, horseshoes, shuffleboard, pickle ball, two heated pools and a hot tub? Yeah, this was the best birthday present. We loved it so much, we talked about renting a spot for a YEAR (it was only $2300!) Calmer heads prevailed, as we realized that it's going to be hellishly hot in the summer months. But we're definitely planning to come back whenever we can.

The one place that I left off the list is our final stop, Independence Park in Gonzales, Tx. We just got here last night, so there isn't much to go on. I will say that although the park appears a bit older and the roads are pretty beat up, the campsite is one of the most level we've seen and it's quiet. There is a disc golf course 2 miles away that we're going to check out either later today or tomorrow, and THAT will determine where this spot lands on the next Top Ten list. Stay tuned!

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