As soon as we pulled into Pioneer Resort RV Park in Port Aransas, Texas, it was clear we did not fall into the core demographic. Our first super-RV retirement resort had over 360 spots – all apart from ours filled with giant motorhomes - no shade, no barbeque (we had all been planning an outdoor food fest), and no refunds.
But worst of all, we were not invited to the Saturday night hoedown, one of many social events planned by the winter residents. I was told as much by the party’s costumed ringleader, who stepped in my path as I searched for the laundry room: “Do you have tickets? We are having a hoedown, and there are no more tickets”.
It turns out that clique-i-ness continues long after high school, we had no idea. But, then again, families with young children probably don’t turn up that often at retirement villages.
So we spent dinner inside Dan and Marlene’s Airstream, peering out the window at the party directly across the narrow paved road. We watched couples and singles bedecked in overalls and red wigs with braids, brandishing hoes and rakes. We hoped we were missing out on something scandalous (why else would we be left out of the party?!)– skinny-dipping in the small pool, partner-swapping, tequila shots, perhaps?
Unfortunately for us, we witnessed nothing salacious, and the party ended early and quietly.
So we watched the hilarious movie ‘RV’ starring Robin Williams as the head of a family who cancels a family trip to Hawaii to go on an RV adventure instead. Well, we thought it was hilarious – it probably helps if you’ve spent time RV-ing yourself. So it was nice to watch the movie with fellow RV-ers, who also thought it was funny.
Addendum: The next day, once the party was over, everyone at the park turned nice. Someone in the laundry room folded my laundry, so that they could take over the dryer. The ladies on Sunday reception duty gave helpful advice on to how to spend our day in the local town (seafood, dolphins, a bird sanctuary and a playground – plus another friendly Texan bus driver).
Claire – On maternity leave from career as editor of monthly finance trade magazines, and occasionally a freelance translator. Half-American/half-English, raised in the suburbs of New York, has lived in London for almost nine years.
Daniel – Furniture designer/maker based on London’s Columbia Road flower market, for ten years, also an aspiring painter and DIY supremo. On one-year career break to reconsider options. English by birth, but mother is half-American and spent part of her childhood in Bronxville, New York.
Sophia – 3.5-year old spitfire who loves school, singing, swimming and being a big sister
Lulu – Born May 8 of this year, a model baby who eats, sleeps and gurgles.
Special guests – American, British and international friends and family who drop in along our trip to see whatever part of the country they fancy. They’re welcome to travel in the car with us and sleep in an adjoining tent.