Happy Independence Day!!

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Back in 1776…240 years ago this weekend…the Founding Fathers of our nation were still arguing and compromising, drafting and redrafting the document that would declare the independence of the 13 colonies from their King and Country, George the III and England. It is one of the most important pieces of political writing in recent history as it is one of the first, and certainly longest lived, guarantees of personal liberty for individuals. We are all created equal. Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness have sense-forth become Rights not Privileges, and these are affirmed before everyone. Because of that document, we spearate from England and after a long bloody war, we are truly independent. Other great documents follow.

For the first time in recorded human history the modern concepts of liberty and freedom are spelled out. We can believe what we want. We can say want we believe. We can worship how we wish. We can defend ourselves from tyrants at home and abroad. We are supposed to be served by our government, not the other way around. These are but a few of the changes brought about by our Declaration of Independence, and we lucky few who were born here, or who have become citizens, are members of the greatest nation on Earth.

This weekend please enjoy your burgers, and hotdogs, and fireworks, and beers, and get a little too much sun, spend time with your families, and celebrate the freedom and liberty that is yours. But while you’re enjoying yourself, please do no forget that your liberty and freedom are threatened every waking moment of every waking day. Be vigilant in it’s defense. Never allow the word security to take the place of freedom in your vocabulary. That way your future generations will enjoy the same Rights as you and your ancestors enjoyed. Long Live The Republic, and the Freedom for Which It Stands!

I May Love Galveston a Little More Now

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scott feldstein/Flickr Creative Commons

So… Galveston. Man, I love it. Texas’ favorite island getaway just got a little better than I ever thought it could get. Do you know why? I just found out they’re hosting THE TEXAS MARGARITA FESTIVAL! Holy Mackerel, if that doesn’t sound awesome I’m not sure what’s wrong with you…but I bet it’s hard to pronounce! Haaa!

I’m not sure if there is a more Texan drink, especially during those long hot months we have coming up, than the good ol’ margarita. We’ve talked in previous blogs about margarita recipes, where it may or may not have been invented, wether or not Peggy Lee the singer was involved…but I can tell you this: if the Margarita really was invented at the Bali Room in Galveston, what better place to have a durn margarita festival than in Galveston, TX?

So here’s the deal, the festival is happening at Moody Gardens Hotel there in Galveston the weekend of June 19-20. There will be live music, fajitas, and margaritas by the gallon. There will be tequila tours, Sauza and Herradura will be in the house, there will be tastings, and the Texas Tornadoes headline the music side of things. This couldn’t be cooler if they resurrected Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys.

Have you tried all the different flavors of margaritas they have these days? It’s not just triple sec and limes these days, they’ll have cantaloupe, mango, strawberry, and watermelon flavored margaritas just to name a few! At this point I think we ought to all be glad that the fest will be held very very very close to lodging, and if you intend to go you might as well go ahead and book your room now. Think strategically and get that room, so your festival experience remains the most positive it can be.

I love you Galveston, thanks for hosting this!

PPL MOTORHOMES

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!

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Bill Dickinson/Flickr Creative Commons

FIREWORKS! HOT DOGS! BBQ! PARADES! Ah, remember those sunny afternoons and dusky evenings when you were a kid impatiently waiting for the fireworks to start? It’s so nice to relive some of those memories with the grandkids. They’re hopping up and down, purely sugar powered by this point in the day, and the conversation usually goes something like this:

“Nana! When are the fireworks going to start?”

“When it’s dark enough honey.”

“Is it dark enough now Nana?”

“Ummmmm, it’s 7:30. We probably have another hour and a half before it gets dark, why don’t you go play?” I say looking at my watch.

Good news is, I have a lot of practice because that question will be asked at least every 5-10 minutes until the first fireworks explode! I love the 4th of July holiday. Families and/or friends get together for outside activities, the lawn chairs get dusted off, and it’s a perfect reason to buy stock in Mosquito Repellent Companies! (Betcha didn’t think you’d be getting a hot stock tip from RV Nana did you?)

Also, it’s not often you hear a Grumpy Gus on 4th of July. There’s just too much festive in the air, and absolutely no argument over what this day is about. This day is about celebrating the very first proclamation in mankind’s history that we were all born free and each of us come with unalienable rights that cannot be infringed upon by other people and certainly not by our, or anyone else’s, government. Hundreds of thousands of fellow Americans have died to preserve that right  for us here at home, as well as in the hope of providing those same freedoms to people overseas. I am almost as proud to be an American as I am a Texan, HA! And even though we are a young nation and we have made some mistakes along the way, we are pretty good at self-correction and getting the kinks worked out.

Come celebrate the red, white, and blue with us here at PPL by paying us a visit over at the website and HAPPY FOURTH!

July, 1776

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Beverly & Pack/Flickr Creative Commons

On July 2, 1776 the Second Continental Congress decided to legally separate the thirteen colonies from England. In order to explain that decision to the citizens of the thirteen colonies as well as justify their action to the crown, a Declaration Of Independence needed to be written. Five men were chosen to draft the declaration: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston. They wrote an amazingly detailed list of grievances as well as the very definition of “A Free Man” which is duplicated below:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

Their idea of a proper relationship between the government and the governed was also spelled out, and isn’t it interesting to note the difference between their ideal as the reality we find ourselves facing a mere 239 years later?

Needless to say, many Americans think this was the victory date of the Revolutionary War, but in reality there were eight long years of war and strife between the opening salvos and the last British soldier boarding ship for the journey back home to England. September 3, 1783 was the date the Treaty of Paris and the Treaty of Versailles was signed, but the last British soldiers did not embark from New York until November 25.

Visit PPL Motorhomes.com!

Happy Earth Day

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Emilio Küffer/Flickr Creative Commons

When Earth Day was first declared in 1970, the date chose was March 21 which of course is the first day of Spring up here in the Northern Hemisphere. But somehow April 22 was also chosen as an environmental teach-in day and that date has stuck ever since as Earth Day. It appears from 1970 to 1990 that Earth Day was primarily an event held in the United States, but in 1990 a reported 200 million people in 141 countries world-wide came together to raise awareness of environmental issues all over our plant thus bringing Earth Day to international status.

What does Earth Day mean? It is meant to bring focus to individual environmental issues such as water pollution, air pollution, species loss, deforestation, climate change, etc etc etc. This year marks the 45th anniversary of Earth Day and the stated goal is to plant one billion trees worldwide. If you’re not in a location to plant trees, go out an enjoy them instead! Every city park across this nation has at least some trees, heck in some towns the tree IS the city park!

Here in America we are very fortunate. We have National Forests and Parks, State Forests and Parks, as well as the local city parks. When this country was younger, forward thinking leaders recognized that if certain lands were not place off-limits to expansion and development, they would disappear forever. So luckily, massive land allotments around interesting and beautiful geographic feature were set aside for future generations to enjoy. Not every civilization has followed that model, and we should go out and appreciate what the previous generations set aside for us!

As RV’ers we choose to visit and support with our patronage the Parks and Forests of all kinds and descriptions, and it is our job to introduce the next generations to these incredible gifts. There is nothing more beneficial for our country than to teach the coming generations what was done for them, and what needs to be done to protect what was done. Help us celebrate Earth Day by either planting a tree, or  going to enjoy one!

RV to the Crossroads

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Shawn Rossi/Flickr Creative Commons

According to legend, blues guitar player Robert Johnson is alleged to have gone to a crossroads at midnight to meet the devil and trade his eternal soul for fame, fortune, and incredible talent at playing the guitar. Ever since he was “rediscovered” in the 1960’s, folks have argued until they were blue in the face about which crossroads was home to  The Deal. Rosedale, MS claims it happened at the junction of Hwys 1 and 8. Clarksdale, MS claims Hwys 49 and 61 were The Spot. Historians claim it might have been closer to Cleveland, MS over by the Dockery Plantation. Does it really matter? No it doesn’t because legends don’t survive fact-checking too often because we all enjoy the story more than the reality.

The neat thing is, these days you can go enjoy the culture and music that spawned the legend of Robert Johnson because Clarksdale, MS (winner of the publicity battle of the “true” crossroads location) is host to the Juke Joint Festival every April. Music lovers from all over the world converge on Clarksdale that weekend and it’s not the typical music festival atmosphere you would expect. The average age of the festival goer runs from mid 30’s to Baby Boomers, so if you’re being kept up by the noise and frivolity it’s being created by someone your own age! The main stars of the festival are the local Mississippi bluesmen who still pound out the music in local juke joints and dance halls. Another good thing about this festival is the rooms in town are generally booked up a year in advance so campers and RVs are welcome! Not only that but there is probably no other music festival in America that is better suited to the tailgater BBQ than the Juke Joint Festival. The pre-parties generally get cranked up on Wed and Thurs night, then the main events are Friday and Saturday nights, but there is live music happening all over town, all day long.

And as we always say, before you hit the road, hit our website for any parts and accessories yo may need!

The Real First Thanksgiving was in Texas

Don Oñate celebrating the first Thanksgiving in North America with the Mansos tribe in 1598. photo from: http://www.texasbeyondhistory.net/paso/images/oniate-utep.html

Don Oñate celebrating the first Thanksgiving in North America with the Mansos tribe in 1598.

Thanksgiving means many things to many people, and the point of the entire exercise is to be grateful for what you have. Be thankful for good health, financial success, a happy family, even for something as trivial as your football team whooping theirs.

We here at PPL Motorhomes are thankful most of all for y’all’s continued support over the years, we couldn’t possibly do what we do without you folks supporting us and patronizing our business, and for that we are supremely grateful.

Seeing as how we are a company proudly based in the fine state of Texas, we thought today might be a good opportunity to describe the first Thanksgiving in North America, which actually occurred near El Paso, Texas, a good 23 years prior to the Pilgrims hitting Plymouth Rock way off up in Massachusetts.

What happened was, there was this mighty successful Spanish gentleman by the name of Juan de Oñate. He and his family were responsible for discovering the mines in San Luis Potosi and Zacatecas and shipped much wealth back home to the Spanish King. In return, the king granted Oñate vast lands up on the Rio Grande among the Pueblo Indians and the title Governor of New Mexico. So Oñate gathered up a few hundred settlers and soldiers, thousands of head of cattle, and struck out heading north out of Chihuahua across the desert towards the Rio Grande. It took 50 days and at one point the only thing that saved the caravan was a sudden rainstorm. By the time they reached the Rio Grande, they were in desperate straits and the waters of the Rio literally saved their lives.

After recuperating for a week or so, Oñate ordered a celebratory feast and invited the local Mansos tribe to join them. A survivor wrote, “We built a great bonfire and roasted the meat and fish, and then all sat down to a repast the like of which we had never enjoyed before. We were happy that our trials were over; as happy as were the passengers in the Ark when they saw the dove returning with the olive branch in his beak, bringing tidings that the deluge had subsided.” Thus proving that the first Thanksgiving happened in Texas.

All of us here at PPL Motorhomes would like to wish a “Big ‘Ol Texas-sized Happy Thanksgiving” to all of our RVing friends and family around this great state and across America.

 

Thank You, Veterans

Poppies and war graves in France. photo from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/festivalsandevents/8654155/Book-now-short-break-holiday-ideas.html

Poppies and war graves in France. photo from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/festivalsandevents/8654155/Book-now-short-break-holiday-ideas.html

***A VETERAN***
Whether on active duty, retired, national guard or reserve, is someone who,
at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to “The United
States of America,” for an amount of “up to and including my life.”
That is honor, and something to be proud of!

One of the most significant, yet least heralded holidays of the year, November 11th, is almost upon us. 96 years ago, at 11am on November 11th 1918, The War To End All Wars came to a conclusion. The negotiations had yet to begin, treaties had yet to be signed, but for the first time in over 4 years the guns were silent. An entire generation of Englishmen, Frenchmen, Belgians, Australians, Russians, Germans, and more than a few Americans were wiped out in those four short years. That conflict forced many changes world-wide, some for the better, most for the worse…BUT one of the better changes was world-wide recognition of what our veterans go through to ensure our freedoms and liberty remains intact.

At first November 11th was Armistice Day, and on the first anniversary of the cease fire, then-President Woodrow Wilson said in 1919, “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory…” However, full recognition wasn’t achieved until the first Veteran’s Day was celebrated 52 years later in 1971.

These last 13 years have seen our men and women in uniform fighting for longer and, in some cases, more hopeless battles than at any other time in our nation’s history and they deserve our gratitude, our admiration, and our support. Remember, it doesn’t matter if you agree with WHY they are fighting, because you can help influence those decisions by VOTING. These returning servicemen and women don’t have a choice in when or where they serve, only that they CHOOSE to serve.

How many times have you gone to the supermarket and seen shoppers in uniform? Most of the time they seem to be with their families, toting young children, trying to go about their business. How much time or effort would it take to simply say, “Thank you for your service”?

Be respectful, be gracious, be grateful. The security of, not just our Nation, but those of our allies around the world depends heavily on our volunteer military. No one forced them to join, no one forced them to fight, and yet they bravely face wounds and death because they believe that the sovereignty of our nation, and of others is worth more than their own lives. Mothers and Fathers leave their children and children leave parents and friends because they know that there is nothing greater than courage in the face of imminent danger, or honor and bravery on the battlefield, and even accepting the ultimate sacrifice for God, for Country and for family.

PPL Motorhomes honors and salutes all those who have served past, present and future. We are grateful for your sacrifices beyond any words that we can express. Thank you — from the bottom of our hearts — thank you!

Is It Time For A New RV?

With vacation season in full swing, you may be realizing that your RV you’ve had for a few years just isn’t cutting it. Maybe you need more space to handle a few more people who’ve jumped on the RVing bandwagon. Maybe you want to downsize to a smaller unit. Maybe you’ve decided to invest in an ATV or jet ski and want to get a toy hauler so you can take it where you can get the lead out. Regardless of the reason you want to start searching for another RV, now is the best time to do it.

Let Us Buy Your RV

If you are ready to get rid of that RV and put it towards another one or pay off some bills before you start looking for a new one, we can buy it from you! Don’t put it off any longer, bring your RV in and we’ll make you an offer and you can walk out of here with cold hard cash in hand.

Let Us Sell Your RV

We are the largest consignment RV dealership in the USA and when you choose to sell with us, you’ll know why! We can off a free appraisal, extensive advertising through our network of interested RV buyers and a free Ultimate RV Cleanup (that’s $485 worth of service!) when you chose to let us sell your RV. There’s no cost to you until we’ve got a buyer for your RV. Check out our RV consignment process and give us a call!

Trade Your RV

We also do RV trades! If you’ve had your eye on an RV in our lot we will consider any trade. There are almost 500 RVs to choose from and we’re certain you’ll find something that fits your needs and won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

Come by and see us at either our New Braunfels’ or Houston location and let us take care of your RV’s needs and help you find the one you’re looking for.

RV Selling Season Is Here!

Support Our Veterans This Memorial Day

Photo Courtesy of FleetOnFields.com

Memorial Day is just around the corner and it’s a special day for me. I give thanks to our soldiers and I believe this day should be dedicated to enjoying the freedoms that we have as a nation because of the brave men and women who have sacrificed their lives defending our freedoms. There are plenty of charities out there that do great work with veterans and families of soldiers who have lost their lives fighting for us. I wanted to highlight a few and ask you to make a donation this Memorial Day.

Special Operations Warrior Foundation

The Special Operations Warrior Foundation was founded in 1980 to provide support and assistance to personnel serving in the U.S. Special Operations Command. SOWF dedicates over $116 million to the education of children who have lost a parent in service. To date, over 1000 kids have gone on to college using the funds from the foundations.

Navy Seal Foundation

The Navy SEAL Foundation provides immediate and ongoing support and assistance to the Naval Special Warfare Community and its families.Established to serve U.S. Navy SEALs, Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen, Naval Special Warfare (NSW) support personnel, and their families, the Navy SEAL Foundation provides a comprehensive set of programs specifically designed to reduce the stressors associated with the tremendous amount of uncertainty and pressure that comes with life in Naval Special Warfare (NSW).

Wounded Warrior Project

One of my favorite charities out there. They support disabled or physically-limited soldiers who have returned from the service and works them back into as normal of a life as possible. While providing support the soldiers, they also provide support for the families to deal with injuries and mental issues concerning their return home.

On Memorial Day, don’t forget about the reason you’re enjoying as many freedoms as you are. Give thanks to the people who have fought for everything we have and never forget those who’ve perished in that fight.