Settling in as Snowbirds … aka ‘Winter Texans’

Winter Texan Jimmy Smith watering freshly planted ‘lawn’. (J.G. Crane)

Along with the hundreds of wild bird species that migrate each winter to the Texas Gulf Coast, we have found a place in this milder climate to nest for a month or two.

We secured a small space at the Sandollar RV Park in Fulton-Rockport, a charming fishing-artist community on the Coastal Bend of Texas.

This is the first time on our six-month journey that we have decided to stay for an extended period. Guess this means we are officially Winter Texans.

As with our neighbors from Kansas on one side and Alberta, Canada, on the other, we have even planted fast-growing winter rye grass and flowers to brighten up our little spot.

Jimmy writes more about this notion of ‘homesteading’ a temporary plot of earth in his ongoing thoughts in Jimmy Smith’s Another View” (after clicking on link, scroll down to — Jan. 9, 2011).

Julianne G. Crane

Photo: Jimmy Smith watering ‘lawn’ of emerging winter rye grass. The blurry spots are the result of Jimmy spraying the camera and photographer with water. (Julianne G. Crane)

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  • Julianne

    Thank you. We plan on visiting the area this comming summer realizing the temperature may be a bit higher than now. We can only travel in the summer until my wife retires from teaching in June of ’12. Then we’ll be heading to Texas for the winters.
    Was stationed at Fairchild AFB years ago and lived in Spokane. We really enjoyed our time there and thought Spokane was beautiful. Many good memories.

  • Jim:
    We fell in love with this area (Rockport-Fulton) because it is small–but large enough–community that has all the necessities and lots of opportunities to socialize (art, music, belt sander races) and have fun outdoors (walking, bicycling, fishing, birding, photography).
    One of the greatest blessings for us is that it is not expensive, as are many coastal towns.
    Most of the folks who travel here for the winter are “good Mid-Western stock” (no matter where they are from) … people are friendly, ready to help if you need it and respect your privacy if you want quiet.
    I am positive there are many other great winter destinations … we just happened to luck into this place because our RV friends, (Thom and Dar Hoch) suggested we take a look.
    Our needs are few, we have a simple life on the road, so this place is perfect for us. Good luck with your search.

  • We have been “Winter Texans” for the last seven years. All of them have included at least two months in Rockport, Texas. Since I am an avid fisherman, we looked for an RV Park on the water. We found Palm Harbor RV in 2004 and have been coming back every year. Relaxed, low key, not a lot of rules (just pick up after your pets). Many winter residents are 20 year veterans. Fishing off the sea wall, or there are boat slips next door (shallow draft vessels only).

  • Please give us more info on Rockport and your stay at Sun Dollar. We’re looking at that area for when retirement arrives in ’12…. Thanks

  • I bet there are still people you know here at the Sandollar. There are a lot of people here from the Mid-West, particularly Michigan. One couple has been coming for 34 years; another for 14. It’s amazing. I guess the word spreads from one satisfied RVer to another. Rockport-Fulton is a wonderful, relatively inexpensive place to spend the colder months of the year.

  • I know the feeling – when we were still full timing we spent two months at the Sandollar – lot of great people return each year. This year we are leaving the MH in Mi and visiting kids in Houston – and then for 2 weeks at the Lighthouse Inn in Rockport – we love the Rockport area and all there is to do – and it is a lot warmer than Michigan this time of year – Note also in our many travels we love the way “fellow Texans” welcome the “Winter Texans” each year – not every place does that !!!

  • The timing of your post is perfect! My wife was just saying, as the snow was falling and the bitter wind was ripping apart our joints, that she wouldn’t mind being a snowbird once we retired.

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