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Category: 2018

Oasis RV Resort

Oasis RV Resort

We stayed at Oasis RV Resort in Amarillo, Texas for a week in December as we made our trek west.  There was a mall and some larger stores there so we could do some shopping for Christmas.  This was a very nice park with lots of space, amenities and it was well maintained.  There were no trees so staying here in the summer would be very hot but for this cold and windy time it was a good find.

The first day there we had to go to The Big Texan Steak Ranch!  We had been there before when passing thru.  It has a great variety of steaks and that was what we were hungry for.  It advertises that if you can eat a 72 oz steak and all the sides in 1 hour then it is free.  There is an elevated table set up with timers in the front of the restaurant for anyone who want to take the challenge. We did not even try!  The whole ranch is a fun place to visit.   There is a line of limousines with longhorns mounted on the front to shuttle people to and from the ranch.  Inside is an over-the-top western decorated restaurant, a gift shop, western arcade and large desert counter. 

One of the iconic stops in Amarillo is the Cadillac Ranch along I-40.  There are no signs for it and it is very easy to drive right by as you are traveling along except for a line of 10 half buried older model cadillacs in the middle of a field.  Originally created in 1974 as part of an interactive public art display it has been featured in movies, music videos, album covers, etc. People park along the side of the road, enter thru an unlocked pass thru in the fence, grab a can of spray paint and add another layer of graffiti. So that’s what we did too!

As it was the Christmas season, we were excited to see the beautiful display of Christmas lights at Christmas in the Gardens in Amarillo Botanical Gardens.  The night was cold but we enjoyed all the colorful displays throughout the different gardens.  We have included quite a few pictures because it was so pretty.  A great way to get in the Christmas spirit!

In the middle of our stay we had a strong cold front come thru. Although the temperature didn’t drop dramatically, the winds were crazy. By 2 a.m. we were having gusts to over 60 MPH so we had to close all our slides, lower our DirecTV dish and hunker down inside for the rest of the day while we waited for the front to pass.  Around 8 p.m. we were able to open our slides back up and enjoy moving around our trailer again!

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
Location:  Amarillo, Texas
Site Quality:  Asphalt roads with concrete pads. There were mostly pull through spots although there were also back in spots around the edges of the park.    
Type:  Commercial
Access:  Easy access from Interstate 40 from the Arnot road exit (exit 60). Go south on Arnot Rd. to the park. Some parts of Arnot Rd. near the Loves travel center are very bumpy.
Staff:  All staff we met were friendly and helpful.
Amenities:  Full hookups, dump station, LP gas on site, swimming pool, two spas (one adult only), exercise room, playground, several showers and restrooms each with laundry facilities. The shower/restroom facilities were great with private rooms and nice clean facilities. The laundry machines were small – similar to the ones we have in our rig. Free Cable TV with over 20 channels was available but we did not use it. On site store. Rec Hall furnished with a cozy sitting area, television, pool table, ping pong table and kids play area.
Cellular/WiFi:  AT&T and Verizon 3-4 bars without amplification. Data rates were about 9 Mbps on both Verizon and AT&T. WiFi was available but we did not use it.
What we liked: Large well kept park. Sites were fairly spacious and there were many empty sites in December. This was interesting because many of the other parks in the area seemed to be pretty full. Weekly rates were very reasonable. Lots of stores and restaurants nearby.
What we didn’t like: The park is pretty barren with only small trees and bushes. The park would be quite hot during the summer.

Lake Arrowhead State Park

Lake Arrowhead State Park

Lake Arrowhead SP is near Wichita Falls and back in prairie land.  Here you will find oil, mesquite trees, cactus and miles of flat prairie. December was not the prettiest of time to be here with everything brown and barren. A much better time to visit here might be spring or early fall. Summer would just be hot!

When we pulled into our assigned spot we see lots of prairie dog mounds.  Dozens of prairie dogs were all around our site.  They are doing their little squeaking/barking trying to warn all their friends about our intrusion as they head for the safety of their homes in the tunnels. Our first thought was to move somewhere else in the park away from them but then we decided they might be fun to watch. They’re pretty cute but we later discovered they had been feasting on our extension cords! Lesson learned – you need to keep smaller cords off the ground, luckily they didn’t eat our water hose or our main power cord to the rig. 

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Tyler State Park

Tyler State Park

We loved our 5 night stay at Tyler State Park.  Gorgeous fall colors with cool, clear days and chilly nights that were perfect for campfires.  We arrived at the end of the weekend and stayed thru the week so the park was almost empty.  Daily nature hikes and bike rides with lots of hills and trails made us glad to back to nature once again.  

Several animal friends came by this visit but thankfully no snakes!  Curious armadillos along the trails and extremely friendly raccoons, which got way to close while we were enjoying our campfires for Anna’s taste .

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Lafayette KOA Holiday

Lafayette KOA Holiday

Starting with this post we are changing the order of our campsite posts and will be putting the rating and other information about the park at the end of the post and the hopefully more interesting text at the top. Let us know what you think about this change…

Although we typically only look at KOA parks for overnight stays, we stayed at the Lafayette KOA for one night on the way to New Orleans and for nine nights on our return trip so we could plan our next few months of travels. We also needed to get caught up on some other things we had been putting off like maintenance items in our RV which was a challenge with all the rain. KOA parks tend to have a lot of family friendly activities that we don’t usually take advantage of and you pay for those amenities so they tend to be expensive. On the other hand, KOAs are often easy to access from major highways. This makes them quite convenient for short stays.

The Lafayette KOA (actually in Scott, LA rather than Lafayette) was a nice park built around a pond. It had many amenities for families as well as a new area in the back of the park which was much nicer than some of the other areas within the park. We stayed both times in the newer area.  

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Tabasco Factory Tour

Tabasco Factory Tour

We spent a sunny afternoon visiting Avery Island and learning all about how Tabasco hot sauce is made.  We started out with a yummy lunch in the Tabasco Cafe with, of course all the dishes had Tabasco in them.  Our  tour began in the Tabasco Museum where we learned all about the McIlhenny family and the history of the world renowned and earliest recognized hot sauce.  The McIlhennys moved to Avery Island and began producing Tabasco sauce there since 1868.  The family still runs the environmentally friendly production and keeps the island as a natural habitat.  

We learned a lot about peppers, aging and storing.  We could smell the peppers and the aged whiskey barrels in the storage area.  Peppers are mashed and mixed with salt then aged in used Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey white oak barrels for 3 years.  After that the mash is strained to remove seeds and skins then the remainder is blended with vinegar and periodically stirred for a month in huge vats.  Feel the burn in the air! 

We were lucky to be touring on a day the production line was busy bottling several varieties of Tabasco.  The end of the tour was the gift shop with a Tabasco tasting area.  Feel the burn!  We left with a new appreciation for Tabasco, along with several bottles and a t-shirt.  Enjoy our pictures below.

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