Tuesday, January 31, 2012


We'd heard a rumor that "Texas Jess" was going to be in Houston so we headed down to check it out.

Houston is Angie's hometown and she still has people there so we were also able to visit her Grandfather, Bill, who surprised us with some fantastic news...

He's engaged to this wonderful lady, Joan!
They were high school friends but had lost touch and hadn't seen each other in 65 years!
Joan's daughter found an old home movie from 1947, digitized it, and gave it to Joan as a birthday gift.  Joan tracked down the friends from the movie and Bill happened to be one of them.  They started talking regularly, then took a trip to Costa Rica, and, voila, they're engaged!

Congratulations Bill and Joan!

Bill will be selling his house and leaving Houston in the near future.
There's rumor that he might be looking for a home for his little Bijon Frise, "BeeGee"...

After a nice visit with Bill and Joan, we headed across town where we heard "Texas Jess" was rumored to be and sure enough, there she was.  Jess lives in Rhode Island so naturally some TexMex food was a high priority.  Here we are at dinner with Jess's family (and our adopted one), Nancy, M.A., Laurent, me, Angie, Jess, and her man David.

When in doubt, walk your dog, or someone else's!
Shadow, David, me, and Kipper take a stroll to the local "bark park".
Jess and Angie pick up the rear.

When we got back to M.A. and Laurent's house this Mardi Gras mask was on the door!

Inside a feast was being prepared...

The menu:
Boudin balls, Crab stuffed shrimp, Gumbo, Brisket, Bacon wrapped tenderloin, and more...
I'm getting hungry just thinking about it!

Cocktail time!
These are the components for "Pain Killers", a little concoction we were introduced to while aboard M.A. and Laurent's sailboat, "Blithe Spirit", in the Caribbean.


Jess and Angie
Jessica is Angie's BFF!

Laurent and myself doing what we do best...
Posing for pictures!

Jess salivates while Dave, aka Batman, and Doug carve the meat.

Thatcher chose to go with cereal for dinner.

Meanwhile Dave is transfixed with Jess's musical glasses.

Doug, Mark, Liz, M.A., David, Angie, me, Laurent, Jessica, Val, and Jarret.
Nancy is operating the camera and Thatcher has Vicki held hostage upstairs.
Right after this photo was taken the party...

.......went wild!
"When the Saints Come Marching In" was played multiple times and the whole place erupted into a dance party parade Mardi Gras celebration.
I am not kidding!

That's the mask decoration from the front door that Jess is stylin' while M.A. and her sister, Vicki, urge her on.

M.A., not to be out done, grabbed the decorations off the buffet and sported them like a feather boa!

I think we'll have to give Laurent the MVP award though.
When the music started playing he called us "Lard... something or other" and demanded that we get on our feet!
This man knows how to have a good time.

The aftermath...
Kipper was so exhausted he curled up in the nearest bed, which belonged to a much smaller dog, still wearing his Mardi Gras beads.

Thanks to Laurent, M.A., Nancy, Jess, and everyone for such a great time!!!

Oh but the party didn't stop there!
Next day Jess and Dave borrowed Doug's ssswwweeeet BMW convertible, aka the Bat Mobile, and headed to Austin for a night where Jess had LOTS of fried okra.
No joke, she got the "sides plate" at Stubb's BBQ (which includes 3 choices) and got triple okra.  Our waitress was soooo impressed.  She said that had never been done!
Jess ate every bit.

After okra at Stubb's we headed over to the event that Jess was really in town for, the KNACK 20th reunion party.  KNACK is a legendary Austin radio station that Jess worked for back in the day.

Me, Angie, Jessica, Amy, Dave in the back, and the KNACK "Psycho Baby."
Scott was there too, he's taking the photo.

Great to see Jessica and David in Texas.
Stay tuned, we'll be seeing them again when we get up to Rhode Island...


  1. Um, can I just say that Bill and Joan are the most adorable couple I have ever seen! I wish I could bottle their cuteness and sell it!

    Have fun back on the road!!

  2. Hi guys! I always have a deep respect for people like you....leave the rat race behind and enjoy their lives. As my all time favorite writer Mark Twain explains it: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed
    by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do.
    So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor.
    Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

    I have been into camper vans for more then a decade and being European, camping around Europe and North Africa make the top marks of my life. It got me so far, that I even started a website about my passion so you can read about it on....www.camper-van-fun.com

    Have fun guys!

  3. Thanks Greg! Your website is really cool. I hope you don't mind that we linked to it on our blog?