This past week we decided it was time for a road trip. The convergence of being months since we got out of town and on the road, and wanting to see Jennifer’s Dad and wife, Otis and Judy, made for the perfect excuse to put some road beneath our tires and miles behind us.
So off we went to Alamo, TX. Now for those of you unfamiliar with the garden spot for winter Texans, Alamo is down in the Rio Grande Valley between Harlingen and McAllen, not far from Padre Island, and down in the southern-most tip of Texas. Otis and Judy have been there at Alamo Country Club for over 20 years now, first spending just the winters, and then a couple years ago, moving there full-time. So we have been there before, but this was our first out-and-back driving trip. Not to say Texas is a big state, but of the 1100 miles one-way, 800 of them are driving across Texas. The change in landscape is dramatic; from high, dry, and mountainous desert in El Paso, to sea-level, humid, and flat coastal.
To help picture the active yet laid-back world of Alamo Country Club, try to envision 500 over 55 couples, living on a golf course, with a giant community pool. All getting around from activity, to happy hour, to party, to activity on golf carts with lights and turn signals. However, the most impressive thing you see and feel is the warm, welcoming friendliness of all the residents. We are always welcomed with big smiles, warm hugs and open arms.
This visit we were fully immersed in the activities of the week; two different days of water volleyball and subsequent happy hour, watching the purple martins, fundraisers on the patio for community improvements, and some really warm weather.
Most mornings started early on the patio for coffee, visiting, watching the birds and enjoying the cool air. Otis and Judy’s Purple Martin house is home to 4 pairs this spring, and all had young chicks that took the better part of the parents’ day to feed. We had Purple Martins in Iowa, and these are the same. Their songs really are unique and they are constantly singing and cackling with each other.
Somehow, the morning patio time usually lasted until lunch, or until we needed to start an outside project. After lunch, we were treated to two days of water volleyball. Their local schedule is Monday, Wednesday and Friday, so we were able to get in on games both Wednesday and Friday. It really is a fun and some great exercise. Despite our being newbies to the group, the local Alamo Country Club folks really took us in and made us part of the group. The volleyball really is about the exercise and social time, and not really about the score. We played both days til about 4, then took time on the patio to enjoy a brief happy hour and tell stories of how the game went.
The truly best part of living at Alamo Country Club is the people. With so many activities, it takes a lot of volunteers to organize and keep track of everything and there is no shortage of people ready to stand up and get things going at Alamo Country Club. There are seriously so many activities, there is always more than just one thing for a person to participate in. One example is the group of volunteers organizing, funding and constructing a large dog park in the community to allow residents a place for their dogs to exercise and be off a leash. While we were there this past week, they even hosted a social fundraising diner and meeting to help get the word out on the progress.
Despite all the activities and busy time, the best part was catching up with Otis and Judy, and just spending time with them out on the patio chatting. We can not wait till our next visit.