I’ve discovered that there’s a major difference between going on vacation versus living a mobile lifestyle. A vacation has a definitive beginning and ending with very little to no flexibility. A mobile lifestyle offers oodles of flexibility.
As a matter of fact, flexibility is key to enjoying this full-time RVing lifestyle. After all, we’re pulling/driving our home full-time and arriving to our next destination safely and fully intact is always the goal. With that said, a key component to a long travel day is the weather. The ability to change travel plans on a whim based on the weather is wonderful.
Al and I had allowed ourselves fourteen days to travel the 1,165 miles (1,872km) from Rockport, Texas to Phoenix, Arizona. That gave us the flexibility to roll with the weather, as well as give us options; get to Phoenix a week early, or take our time meandering along the way, or extend our stay in Rockport, which we seriously thought about – considering I wasn’t quite ready to bid farewell to the scenery OR the birds.
But that weather…. winter weather at that, made the decision for us. We hit the road while good road conditions prevailed. Plus, we usually prefer driving through major cities on a Saturday or Sunday. Sunday morning (January 31st) had us navigating through San Antonio, Texas toward the northwest part of town without issue. We settled into the Elk’s Lodge for what we thought would be a quick overnight stay.
That evening, we easily made a change of plans while reviewing the weather and road conditions for Interstate 10. High wind warnings accompanied by brown out conditions (blowing dirt) followed by freezing rain along Interstate 10 in west Texas and New Mexico had us hanging out in San Antonio for an extra night, then two.
Ah, what’s a gal to do parked in a less than scenic parking lot without a vehicle at her disposal? How about visit the neighboring mall for a little retail therapy and architectural photography? The Shops at La Cantera did not disappoint.
The weather was gorgeous which allowed me to hike this beautiful outdoor mall a couple of times. While strolling the mall, I enjoyed the window shopping, the trickling sounds of water features, and the fragrant smell of all the lush vegetation.
Although the mall had all the usual stores, the architecture was anything but boring. There was a unique feel – a combination of new, yet old. I think it was the blending of materials and angles that attracted my attention. One minute I was walking on concrete, then the next I was moseying across cobblestone pavers, then it was on to ceramic tile, or stone, or slate…. and that’s what was happening just under my feet.
Overhead was another visual delight; a combination of canopies, overhangs, or open blue sky adding another layer of ambiance. Each store front had its own special detail, wall color, and finish. Some of the stone used throughout the outdoor mall had a resemblance to that of the Alamo.I must admit, for a split second I felt a little guilty about being in San Antonio and spending all my time at the Shops at La Cantera. This city offers so many fabulous things to see and do, but since we weren’t unhooking the truck from the 5th wheel, driving anywhere was not an option. Plus, during previous visits to San Antonio, we’d already visited the River Walk, Alamo, and Missions.
The Shops at La Cantera is a rather large mall, which allowed me to get in plenty of exercise, but lead to working up an appetite. The day before departure, I retrieved hubby, and we were off to visit Penny at the Cheesecake Factory. Their large size entrees are perfect for taking half the meal home providing lunch on the road the following day. Yum!
Our flexible schedule allowed us to avert inclement weather, and extend our stay in San Antonio. The delay was indeed pleasurable and I might have even pulled out of town with a few new items in my already full closet, but I’m not admitting anything 😉
With blue skies and dry roads, we were on the road again. And for anyone who has ever driven across Texas knows, it goes on for what seems forever. We try to avoid staying in Van Horn, Texas, but we were on a mission to head west as quickly as possible in an attempt to avoid the next wave of weather expected to hit this part of the country.
It was a 6-7 hour travel day between San Antonio and Van Horn, Texas (431 miles or 694 km). We found a less than memorable campground to overnight in since the Walmart is out of the question. Yep, no overnighting at the Walmart allowed in this town. Van Horn? – you know the saying, “if you can’t say anything nice……..”.
The next morning, we along with the rest of the RV’s were quick to exit Van Horn. We made it through El Paso and into New Mexico and I was hugging rocks by early afternoon ……