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Texas Trip – Day 5 and Day 6

Texas Trip – Day 5 and Day 6

This will probably be the last post I make while we are still in Texas.  In 3 more days we will be heading back, hoping to be as lucky in travel going back as we were coming here.  It is a journey into the unknown, so I’m a bit nervous.  I hope everything works out and we do not get stuck somewhere along the way, at least not for too long.  I have ‘maybe’ discovered an alternate route that would actually work better for us, but it’s not a sure thing and a bit of a long shot at this time.  I’ll have details later, most likely in a later post.

For today, Day 5, my Dad and I will go to try to get us a vehicle that we hopefully will be able to use for the duration of our visit here.  I really hope we get it because we want to go to the PX (Post Exchange), even though it is mostly just to look around.  We also want to check out the area where we use to live to see what is going on there.  Of course we also need to see my BFF in Leander.  Even though he knows that we were to be heading back, he doesn’t know that we have arrived yet.  It may be tough to contact him too since my Dad and my brother do not have long distance on their telephones.  I’ll get in touch with him somehow though. 

Bell County Courthouse - Belton Tx

Lita decided she wanted to go to Crow’s Burgers today and I didn’t argue the point with her since that is my favorite hamburger place in the world, her’s too.  There are quite a few things hinging on whether or not we get this vehicle.  I hope it turns out to be a pick so we will be able to move stuff from the storage unit, but I also know that beggars can’t be choosers.  Starting on Monday we will tackle that problem of the storage and it’s not something I’m looking forward to.

No car today though, we will have to wait until Monday.  The guy that said he would loan us the car was not there so we have to wait until Monday morning.

I’m happy to say that the rest of Day 5 was pretty boring and uneventful.  After such a long journey we needed to relax a little bit and shrug off the travel bug.  We did go by and look at the old homestead, but have not gone on Ft. Hood yet.

On Day 6 one of my sister’s (Cindy) came by.  She invited everyone to her house for dinner that night.  She was having beef tips with rice and green beans, a recipe that Lita showed her how to make.  We were glad to get the invite because it helped normalize things.  Lita and I were not doing much anyway except we did walk to the supermarket.  I doubt she will do that again though, she was pretty tired. 

At Cindy’s house after eating we hung around for awhile watching TV and talking.  Cindy said that we should have contacted her to pick us up at Fort Hood because she has a sticker to get on post and there would have been no hassle.  Of course if we would have done that, that little adventure of speeding down the highway to catch my Dad probably would never have happened.  However I think that next time we will contact her and ask her to meet us.  I do worry about my Dad having to drive so far, especially at night. 

Later when Cindy brought us back to my parents, we just hung around.  There is not much to do on Sunday with no vehicle.  Cindy was trying to get us to go fishing sometime, but I’m not much of a fisherman.  I still might go though, just to do it.  If she asks me again I will probably say I will.  She’s probably talking about fishing from her boat while sitting out in the middle of the lake somewhere.  I suppose that if the fishing was bad, we could always go swimming.  It sure is hot even to go swimming.

While Cindy was at Mom/Dads apartment, she tried to fix my Dad’s computer.  He was having issues with IE, so I think she switched him to Safari instead, at least for now.  There are less hackers trying to get into Safari anyway.  She actually stayed until around midnight working on his computer. 

Now it’s been a couple of days since I’ve written anything down,  but I’ll make sure y’all get highlights of everything that has been going on.  Most likely there will be days that I don’t write things down, probably a lot of days.  We’ve got lots of things to do and we have to get them done before we return.

We did get a car to use.  It was not a pick up though.  The guy, Mike, didn’t even make an argument or anything.  He remembered the deal we made and he was living up to his part of it.  The car he let us use is a Mercedes.  Yep!  A 1999 Mercedes.  It is the only Mercedes that I have ever driven, and most likely the only one ever. 

Lita and I went by to bring some forms for her Social Security.  I did the application on-line, but they wanted proof of her citizenship, original copy.  We have that so we let them make a copy of it and I hope that will be the last of what we need.

Here’s something that y’all may or may not know, and should know.  After your foreign spouse becomes a US citizen, she needs to check in with the Social Security Administration to have them change the status in their system.  The INS and SSA do not share information.  Lita became a US citizen in 1989 and this is the first time I’ve heard anything about that.  All’s well in that department now though.  It was pretty painless.  Very simple in fact.

We did go by to see the old homestead.  They tore down all our fence and most everything else.  The only thing that is still standing that is not a product of nature, is an old storm house that my grandfather help build back in the 1950’s.  The property only has one house on it now, a short double wide trailer, but we expect there to be at least one more.  The one there looks similar to the house we had actually.  At first I thought it was our old house, but this one is much smaller than our was. 

My Dad was telling us how much things have changed around here, but they are not so different.  There are a few more roads built, there is a HEB Plus  and a new upper level overpass in the the process of being built, but that’s about the extend of the progress.

We went by to look at the storage unit today.  It is still full to the gills.  We had to get some paperwork out of there but fortunately it was close to the front door.  It’s a task I an definitely not looking forward to, as I know I have already told y’all.

At this time we have still not heard from our son, but I have left him a message on Facebook and hope to be hearing from him pretty soon.

Do we ever hear from our son or will we end up leaving here without seeing him or the grandkids?  Stay tune to future posts to find out the answer.

Salamat Y’all

http://www.ssa.gov/

http://www.yelp.com/biz/crows-burger-shop-belton

http://www.co.bell.tx.us/history.htm

 

 

 

 

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55 Comments

  1. Nice post UJ! I really appreciate the effort you’ve put into this blog, the articles are entertaining and quite informative. Hope you don’t stop writing. Best wishes! 😉

    • Howdy, glad to have you here reading. I was a bit reluctant to approve this comment since you sent me 2 of them that said almost exactly the same thing (only 1 word different). I don’t mean to say that you are not reading, but I get so many comments from people that are actually just sending spam and I have to be careful. I hope you are reading the blog. I think that we will be able to help each other make our sites better and more productive. I have visited your http://www.etravel.ph/ site and it’s nice. I know that we would like to go on a cruise and if we could afford to, we would. I’d prefer a ship that docks in Manila so we wouldn’t have to take a plane to and from port though. We hope to be able to cruise, even if for just a couple or 3 days. We’d like to experience it since we have never been. Hope to hear more from you on future posts here.

  2. Thanks for info…i’ve tagged their sites and will contact same. I’ve been to Calbayog City several times, although it’s been a loooong time ago. I remember flying medical support missions into there from Subic bay. Best i can recall is a hospital or clinic there burned down and they little if any medical support. So the military gathered up like several plane loads of medical supplies and medicines and I made a total of 6 trips down there and helped them unload same and the people were so greatfull for the support they provided us a fiest of a dinner with marching band and all. We were just happy to help. but i’ll never forget the gratitude they displayed to us. Only in the philippines…Love it !! :).

    • That sure sounds like the Philippines. I hope those guys can help you, but don’t forget to read my site also. I still will be glad to help if you want to ask me something also.
      I going to turn the computer off now. My asawa fell asleep watching TV, but when I get in there she will say she just closed her eyes for the commercials. She will watch again until about 0130, then I will take over if there is anything good on, for a couple of movies.
      Hope to read some more comments from you later.

  3. Dang we’re pretty close in age as I’ve been married to my asawa 40 years next march, so i guess she’s a keeper :-). Now your talkin my kinda language..” a bunch of us expats, especially ones from Texas, can get together somewhere here in the Philippines and have a beer drinking, chili eating good time”. Thanks so much, although I lived there for 12 years while in the service, times have changed and your site has been a wealth of information. But the part about the areas you mentioned in Texas did get my attention big time. Last time I was down in the central Texas area was last year when both my folks passed away, so no need to go back anymore as I no longer have family there.

    I know there are hundreds if not thousnads of expats living in the philippines, but I don’t know any in the Cavite area which is where my asawa is from and an area I know well and plan on retireing to. I did run into an aussie there 2 years ago, it struck me as odd as I had never ever seen another lets just say kano, in that area and I’ve going there on and off since about 1972. So if ya know any expats in the Cavite area, yea it would help immensely so I can pick his brain on the do’s and don’ts of setting up a new life there, and I’m more than grateful for the assistance.

    You now have another Texan following your lifes adventures there, and look forward to your updates. John D.

    • Well as you know from the post or posts that your read, we just returned from there this past July. Also as you can see, it was quite an adventure. Drinking good beer and eating good chili is good no matter what country you are in. It’s just a good thing.
      A “wealth of information”, Wow! I like it. I have been told by several others that my site has helped them out. I’m really glad. I just type it as it is and hope someone benefits from it.
      I’ve seen several Aussies visiting here, we have several Americans living here and we even had some Germans visit once. Being right across from a large hotel, we see plenty of different people.
      I think I know of a blogger in that area, but I’ll have to double check. After this comment, I’ll go take a look and send another one, one way or the other.
      Well I’m happy to have another follower and remember if you see any of the ads you like, click on them. You don’t have to buy, just look and buy if you want. I say this because I make a few cents for every time someone checks out one of the ads on the site.
      I’ll have another message coming in a few minutes, just let me check out that other site right quick.

    • Well he doesn’t live in Cavite, but he does live in the Metro Manila area. I don’t know how active he is on his website and I will look at the other websites I have after this message to see if I have any more for that area. His website is: http://www.bjruth.com/.

    • Here’s another guy that lives out around Metro Manila, but I’m not sure of the exact location. He is very knowledgeable and he always answers my e-mails and comments on his site.
      It is: http://philfaqs.com/about/about-us/

      • When u contact them, please let them know that I sent u their way.

      • I guess it’s just http://philfaqs.com , not the rest of that … sorry.

    • John D., where in Cavite are you talking about??? I been living here in Bacoor since 2010… eventually hope to build a house in Dasma and live there for the duration….

      • Howdy Butch C,
        The area in Bacoor we stay in and go to is right next to the Bacoor municipal building and catholic church or as I call it Bacoor town square. Been going there since the early 70’s when it was still a sleepy little town. Just spent a month there this May, stayed at the Island Cove Resort as I need my a/c :). I really enjoy visiting there as we know quite a few people there, and I kinda stand out being 6ft 2in and kano…hahaha. I did see another expat there this May, from Australia I was told. He’s like the 2nd ever gringo looking person I’ve seen there in all the years I been visiting. I also was looking for a house this May when we were there, and also thought of Dasma. That was until I went through Silang, quiet and not so humid but close enough to everything needed.

        • John D… I assumed you were already living here but know better now… I am just down the highway from SM Bacoor… if you are retired USN then you might be interested in the Clark Space A group on facebook… https://www.facebook.com/groups/445784675474146/

          • Howdy again Butch C,

            I’m surprised we didn’t run into each other at SM Bacoor while I was there. It’s not like we’re small guys or anything..hahaha. Are you south from SM Bacoor? I drove down that way several times while there looking for places to live but only came across a few townhouse developments and 2 housing developments that were not very pleasing to the eye. that’s when we went further down to Silang. Great place from what i could see and their brewed coffee there was great, it had a kick butt taste just like Navy coffee :). Yes I retired USN 20 years ago, been working in D.O.J. here in oklahoma ever since, and soon to retire from here in the next couple years. Been wanting to retire there as soon as I can, but waiting to boost my retired pay from here prior to making the big move, to ensure a decent income after i fully retire.

  4. Holy crap…the places you mentioned are where i grew up in Texas. Killeen, Ft Hood, Harker Heights, Belton. Never in a million years did i think anyone from that area besides me would love the philippines as well and also be married to a filipina. I retired from the Navy about 20 years ago and working for DOJ in oklahoma at this time. Going over to the phils (Luzon-Cavite area)in May 2013 may for a month long vacation and also being our initial phase in getting ready to retire there. Glad to see another central Texan that loves the place as much as I do. John D.

    • Well I’m glad that you found me here then. You sound surprised. I guess I really never thought much about it because I know another person living in that area that will be retiring here, probably next year. Also another guy from Texas that will be retiring here, probably next year also.
      I guess you must have read quite a bit of the site if you got all that information, or maybe it was the Texas Trip posts that I wrote. I guess I did say a lot about the area in those posts. John there are plenty of American Expats living here in the Philippines, including some living in the area you are talking about. In fact, I’d bet a lot of them live in that area. We are spread all through the Philippines telling our experiences through several blogs.
      When we made our trips to the Philippines, before retiring here, we also did several (5) month long vacations before making the final move. Maybe us Texans will take over the Expat community in the Philippines before long.
      My wife and I have been married for about 32 1/2 years now and have been living here since May 2010. But maybe you know that already from reading the blog. We live on Samar in Calbayog City. It’s a big place with a small downtown and no real supermarket at this time, but things are building up and by the end of next year we should have some good things around here. We like it because it is away from the big city and a very liveable place.

      If you need any assistance or information before arriving, let me know. I may be able to get in touch with an expat or 2 that live in that area if you think it would help to talk to someone that is already there and established. Of course I will assist you with whatever I know also, I’d be happy to. I assume you have already determined that the Cavite area is where you want to retire, but if you are open to other places, let me know and if I know of someone living in that area also. I can give you the blog information to check out.

      Well maybe I’ll see you someday. I always hope that a bunch of us expats, especially ones from Texas, can get together somewhere here in the Philippines and have a beer drinking, chili eating good time or maybe just eat some fried chicken and drink a Coke or 2. Whatever, I’m good with both.

  5. I c0uldnt thank y0u en0ugh for ur help.anyway eduardo’s has a free wifi.weeh. see y0u guys

  6. hello sir. Im sorry I failed to give out my name.. anyway my name is Reena. I’m already in Calbayog and is staying in Eduardo’s.. thanks for this site, I was able to find a right place to stay, clean and cheap.. thank you.. I’ll send you an email with my contact number so that we could change sms.. Im so excited to meet you guys. too bad I can’t be online all the time, I didn’t bring my laptop, find it inconvenient since it’s too heavy..:(..

    anyway see you on Saturday than 🙂

    • Okay Reena, we’ll see you on Saturday. We will have the water hot and the coffee ready. I’m really glad I was able to help with your hotel. It’s one of my goals to help as many people as possible to do just that. I know it’s impossible to find anything online.

  7. wow thank you .. well maybe we could have it after lunch maybe? ill bring my laptop so that I could get in touch with you, Im so excited I’ll be meeting people from here, if I’ll be lucky.. oh by the way how can we get in touch with each other?, is it only thru this site or maybe we can send sms?

    • After lunch is fine, no problem. I already told the relatives that you will be coming by and they were happy. They all speak decent enough English so you should be able to get most or all of your questions answered. They wanted to know your name and I realized that I didn’t know it. All I know is rAiNe, but I guess that could be your name.
      As for contacting me, well this website would ensure I saw any messages on a daily basis, but I don’t like to clog the site up with a lot of chit chat. If you need to you can send an email to: johnwjr7@texaninthephilippines.com
      We’ll be looking forward to seeing you on Saturday, let me know if your plans change.

  8. wow.. thanks.. well, maybe we could have a drink or talk about Calbayog over a cup of coffee? .. well maybe Saturday morning? is there’s a coffee shop across Ciriaco? I need to get a map for me to locate where Ciriaco is.. 😀

    • No need for a coffee shop, we got plenty of it here and it won’t cost you a thing. Don’t worry finding the Ciriaco, just get in a tricycle or pedicab and tell them that’s where you want to go. They all know. Just get one of the yellow tricycles downtown (motorcycle with sidecar) and it will only cost you P10 (about a quarter).
      What time Saturday morning are you talking about?

  9. hello all, will be in Calbayog this Saturday, maybe there’s someone here who wants to show me the place or maybe meet me and have some good talk regarding the city 🙂

    • Hello rAiNe. You don’t say what time on Saturday or where, but when you get to town if you stop by here, across from the Ciriaco, we can have a drink or two and talk about Calbayog. I should even have a few of the relatives around in case there are any complicated questions.

  10. I’ve been reading your website for about a month….going back and reading old posts. Finally caught up to the present. I’m glad you made it back safe. Looking forward to reading more!

    • Howdy Heidi. I’m glad you found the website and took the time to check out the older posts. I believe that will help you understand more about me and everyone else in my life here in the Philippines and even in the US. I should be updating much more often now that I’m back and I hope you continue to read and hopefully you will let someone else know about the site if you think they might be interested in it. I try hard to keep things as interesting as possible. The next few post will for sure be good, IMO, because they will be of the highlights of our adventure to, at and from Texas. If you think of something that might be good for me to put on the site, please let me know and I’ll check into it. Thanks for stopping by and especially thanks for commenting. Hope to see more comments from you.

  11. yeah sure.. but I’m thinking of staying in Eduardo’s Tourist Inn. what I prefer is I dont care if it’s small, as long as there’s a toilet and bath inside. Ive read Eduardo’s good for two room is just 5OO pesos overnight stay. so I’m thinking of staying there. Is Eduardo’s in downtown? or Is it just near chowking or jollibee?

    • Actually it is right next to Metro Bank. It’s a few blocks from Jollibee and Chow King (which are right next to each other).
      Eduardo’s seemed nice and I’ve heard good things about it. Be sure to read the reviews of others that have stayed there, if you haven’t already.
      I believe there are a couple of things you might want to be prepared for when staying there, like asking for towels and for the room to be cleaned. I think that was the place that you had to ask, or they don’t do it. It’s all in the reviews. All their rooms are upstairs, but so are most of the hotels here.

  12. wow.. i so love this site, thank you for replying so fast.. thank you so much.
    I might go there tomorrow, hopefully there’s no low pressure so that it won’t be cancelled :(.. crossing fingers*..

    i might check the hotel info, im into a tight budget so i might look for the one which is convenient, clean and not that expensive..

    thank you 🙂

    • Well I’m glad you like the site so much. If you have any suggestions for improvement, I’ll be happy to listen and take them into consideration.
      Probably the least expensive hotel is Joy Palace. I believe it is about P100 cheaper than the next lower one, if they haven’t changed their rates since I last checked.
      I have been gone for almost 3 months with little blog access, but I should be updating all that information this month.
      Joy Palace is not exactly downtown, but it’s close. The only ones on my list that are not downtown (or real close) are Ciriaco and Marju Krisel, but they probably would be out of your price range anyway, since you are pinching pennies right now. There are some reviews of people that have stayed at these hotels on the site also, but no one has done a review for Joy Palace yet, except the for short blurt I put on there. Let me know what you decide and please write a review of the hotel for the site when/if you stay at one of them.

  13. hello UJ, hope you can add resto info or hotels info on your site, that would be a great help for those who are doing DIY’s thingy in travelling :).. oh by the way, is still there a power outage right now? or how about yesterday?

    • I do have some information now about restaurants and hotels in the area now, if you haven’t already found it please take a look. No, no power outage now. When there is one, I can not be online because I do not have a generator. We did have a couple of them yesterday, a short one and one that lasted a few hours. I hope all that is over for now, but I doubt they are over for good.

  14. hello, thanks for the quick reply.. I just found your site when I was searching about Calbayog. yeah I bookmarked the site already. I might go there tomorrow. thank you so much.

  15. HI, I would just like to ask, IS there always a power outage in Calbayog? Ive been trying to contact my boyfriend but he said yesterday morning there was a brown out but I can’t reached him on his phone until now .. What is usually the duration if there’s a brown out? would it really take 24 hours or what?

    • Recently we have had a lot of brown outs. The seem to happen here more than any other place for some reason. They last all different amounts of time and yes it could be 24 hours, or even more, but those do not happen much. Our longest one recently was about 8 hours, but there have been 2 of those. They happen without warning, so that is part of the reason I have not been on recently because my surge protector was not working.

    • Thanks for checking out the site rAiNe. How did you find it? I hope that you will be a regular visitor as I will be increasing the information and also updating the hotel and restaurant information that I have on here now. I will also be adding restaurants and hotels, not all in the Philippines either.

  16. Well thank God you and Lita arrived safely! Been checking your blog daily. Hope the typhoons don’t get worse.

    Winda

    • The typhoon weather has subsided for now. It doesn’t bother me so much, but the inability of Samelco to keep the power on does. I wish we had a alternate option for energy. If we ever win the lottery, or come across a nice chuck of money, I’m going to switch to solar power. I hope to have another post today, but no later than tomorrow.

  17. Ok, very relieved to hear y’all are safe and have made it home.
    Yes Papa knows you are home safe too.
    Tell Aunt Lita Hello and I love y’all!!!

    • We never had a doubt we’d make it home, eventually. We did get a little lucky again on the return trip home and learned a few more lessons that we will strive to not repeat. I’ll have all that information in future posts, which I hope to have a new one tonight, or tomorrow at the latest.

  18. Welcome home, lol. My wife went over to Santo Nino Island last week and got stuck there for the duration of the storm. She’s just coming home tomorrow. I hope your arrival finds you and yours safe and dry.
    Mark G.

    • Really glad to be back Mark, but I still can’t stand those brown outs. I don’t mind the stormy weather, but the brown outs suck.

      • Good to see you made it back safely. You had disappeared completely from the radar for a few days. At least you are back and can begin moving forward again. We still haven’t put our house on the market here yet. I started doing some minor repairs which led to some touch-up painting three weeks ago and now I am painting the entire house. I just need to find a jumping off point, put the sign in the yard and make the leap. I know I’ll stop procrastinating soon. lol

        • Getting back was touch and go for awhile. I know I was off the radar a few days and my Dad was worried sick.
          Well I know that when you really think it is ready to start selling, you will. You just have to know that you are ready.

    • Anyone looking for a nice 2 floor 2 bedroom apartment,and wanting to buy the existing furniture in it let me know, my American friend moving out of town for a new job needs to sell it all off in Sept.

  19. hi john,thanks for that info on social security,my wife became a citizen
    about eight months ago so we need to do that.If your are going back threw seattle let me know.

    • No problem on the social security information. It sure surprised me and I figured I wouldn’t be the only one. I wish we could go back through Seattle, but the Patriot Express seems to be booked, overbooked in fact for the whole month. We will have a better chance of trying to get back through Travis. Next time we travel though it definitely will not be during the summer vacation time here in the US and we will most likely be taking the Seattle route.

      • Hi John,
        Just wondering if you’re home yet.
        Mark G.

        • No Mark, not yet. We decided to try to get it free all the way to the Philippines instead of paying from Korea. We are now at Kadena AB in Okinawa because they usually have flights to Clark and/or Manila. We do need to get our luggage down to about 1/2 of what we have though to get on the smaller jets that do go there on a regular basis. I’ll have details about that in a post soon I hope. If we don’t get out by about the 2nd of August, we will try an alternate way. I did find out some interesting things I didn’t know that I will be sharing in posts. I have to hunt for a computer these days, but I’ll try to keep y’all informed as much as possible. Sure will be glad to get back and get the blog going full time. I’ve got tons of info to input, including updating the hotels and restaurants there in Calbayog.

          • Well then ‘Happy Trip!’ as they say. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for you. Good luck,
            Mark G.

          • contact me emergency

          • I hope you got the message by now that we made it here. I wanted to contact a few days ago, but when we arrived here the power was out and we were having typhoon like weather.
            We are fine. I hope that was all the emergency there was.

          • Hey UJ we are all pretty worried about you and Aunt Lita. NO one has heard from y’all in days. But as I just read from this post was that you might stil be there until Aug 2nd (its 7/31 today). So I am hoping that it i b/c you can not get to a computer to let us know you are okay. Papa and everyone is very worried so please call/message ASAP!

          • I’ve contacted Dad a couple of times. I hope he has got the message. When we got back the electric was out and the weather was terrible. My surge protector is out too. I’m online now without one, so if we have another power outage, it might screw up my computer. I’m taking care of the surge protector tomorrow.