TOWN & COUNTRY
Happy Wanderers Discovering Valley View Lifestyle by Ann Marie Ludlow
By the time you finish reading
this page, nearly 50 baby boomers will have reached retirement age. Some of them will decide to downsize their home, invest in an RV and live the kind of lifestyle they've been dreaming about for a couple of decades. Thousands of happy wanderers like these have discovered Central Texas is a great stopping place in the center of the mixing bowl of I-35, I-10 and I-20. Since March of this year, the quiet neighborhood at Jarrell's Valley View RV Park has been a popular spot for those en route from coast to coast and country to country. Situated atop a Central Texas high point and overlooking Glasscock Valley, Valley View RV Park has 98 spaces complete with state-ofthe-art hookups for vacationers and homesteaders alike. But it's not just a stop on a traveling trek. Owners Jeff and Kimberly Stockton have created a comfortable and welcoming place where people can enjoy nature, take day trips to the city, or watch a meteor shower from their own patio, all for about what you spend on your car payment plus expenses. "Our park is great for so many things in addition to travel," Jeff says. "Folks can live here in the park while their home is being renovated. We have some who winter here or live here while they are in rehab at a local hospital or even performing for a run at the Palace Theater in Georgetown." "It is also great for business owners," Kimberly adds. "Groups who are overseeing construction projects can house workers here short-term without the expense or worry of a house or apartment. We have also had a few college students here to save on rent money." Many of Valley View's customers are baby boomers who want the freedom to move across the country easily and at low cost. But they do have younger campers who work remotely.
With reduced living expenses, and high-speed Internet, guests can afford the freedom of the road without getting out of balance with a job. "What we have here is a quiet place to lay your head, have a little personal space and enjoy experiences rather than things. It used to be that folks in transition had no affordable options, but now you can live here for a month while your home is being built or waiting on a new home to close for less than $500 a month. It's a great way to be 'in-between'." Jeff also explains that RVs are great investments. "It's like having a good horse. If you take good care of it, you can get your money out of it when you’re done. When you rent an apartment, your money is gone. Today's motor coaches are outfitted like apartments anyway and they hardly look like vehicles from the inside." Valley View is also a great place to try out your 'investment' when you make the purchase. "What better way to try out your new vehicle," Kimberly says. "Come here for the weekend to learn about your RV, how it works, and make sure everything is in working order. Better here than when you're 600 miles away on the road." Valley View RV Park is on the I-35 service road in Jarrell and offers spaces daily to monthly. The Stocktons are very pleased with the growth of their shade trees, the support from Jarrell police officers who check on the property on a regular basis, their state-of-the-art surveillance system and the friendly visitors who keep things clean and look out for each other. "Our location gives people access to everything Austin-to-Wa-
co has to offer," Jeff says. "We are happy to offer a quiet place for people in transition or on their bucket list vacations. We work hard and we're transparent about our rules and expectations because we want this to be a safe and happy place where folks know what to expect and we will deliver with consistency." Valley View is the optimum destination for couples on travel, and those who want to live a cheaper lifestyle where everywhere is your backyard. Amenities are included; guests pay for the lot and electricity. Although open only since March, they are getting great reviews and referrals on a regu-
lar basis. Among the five-stars, Brandon R. says, "Valley View RV park is an amazing place to stay! Facilities are top notch, and sparkling clean. Everyone is very friendly and courteous. I like this place so much, I am still staying here. If I have the opportunity, I will definitely return. If anyone is looking for a GREAT RV park in the Northern Georgetown/Austin region, this is the place to stay. Safe travels RVers." Visit them at VVRVpark. com for information and rates. Each space has its own patio and access to laundry, tile showers, high-speed Internet and egress directly onto I-35.
TEXAS HOSPITALITY, LOCALLY-OWNED, FAMILY-OPERATED 13483 N I- 35, Jarrell, Texas • (512) 887-9168 Open Mon-Sat 9:00 am-6:00 pm • Sun 1:00 pm-6:00 pm
Large RV camping sites with full hook-ups • Rigs up to 45 feet Quality facilities • Most sites have parking for two vehicles On-site laundry facility • Private shower & restroom facilities 50/30/20 amp electric • Water, trash, and sewer Onsite management • Leashed pets welcome up to 35lbs
Jeff (right) with Valley View's first customer from KBD Group in Dallas, March 9.
TOWN & COUNTRY
GAREY PARK FEATURES FUN AND NATURAL BEAUTY ~ Mayor Dale Ross Fourteen years after Jack and Cammy Garey announced that they would donate their ranch and home to become a public park, the City of Georgetown held a grand opening celebration for Garey Park on June 9. The 525-acre municipal park is located along the South San Gabriel River at 6450 RM 2243. Garey Park is an oasis of green, rolling Hill Country land in our bustling metro area. I hope that every Georgetown resident will come and explore our new park along the South San Gabriel River. As Jack Garey said at the opening celebration, “I’m excited to welcome you all to Garey Park. This is a dream come true for me and my family. I hope you and your family enjoy this land as much as we have.” An estimated 12,000 people came for the grand opening event that featured tours of Garey House, food trucks, pony rides, a petting zoo, and fly fishing demos from the San Gabriel Fly Fishers. The Good Water
Master Naturalists offered information about wildlife viewing and the planned nature trail along the river. One of the most popular features at Garey Park is a splash pad and a large playground, including three zip lines, slides, swings, and playscape structures. This new splash pad and playscape rival the largest in the state, as Cammy Garey had hoped. Other features at the park include a dog ranch, an equestrian arena, picnic pavilions, two fishing ponds, and more than seven miles of hiking and equestrian trails. Garey House is a 6,000-square-foot estate home that has been transformed into an event center with 2,000 square feet of combined indoor event space and 7,500 square feet of combined outdoor event space. Garey House is available as a rental venue for weddings, family reunions, corporate events, and meetings. Find out more about Garey House at gareyhouse.georgetown.org. The park was donated by Jack and Camille Garey in 2004 along with $5 million for park development. In 2008 Georgetown voters approved a bond for an additional $10 million for the park’s construction. The total project cost of $15 million included
$1.5 million for design and $13.5 million for construction. At 525-acres, Garey Park is one of the largest city parks in the state and is roughly 1.5 times the size of Zilker Park in Austin. To maintain and plan programs for the City’s largest park, Garey Park is staffed with six full-time and three part-time employees, including a park foreman, Council Members Kevin Pitts, John Hesser, (former) Ty Gipson, recreation coordinator, Valerie Nicolson, Mayor Dale Ross, GFD Jonathan Gilliam and recreation specialist, and Koda, Rachel Jonrowe group sales and servicing costs for the park. No admission fees will be coordinator. collected on Tuesdays from Sept. 1-May 31. The entrance fee for city residents is $5 Park hours are 8am-8pm from April 1-Sept. for two people and for nonresidents is $10 30 and 8am-6pm from Oct. 1-March 31. for two people. Each additional person is $2. See all the details about Garey Park at The City is offering annual park passes for parks.georgetown.org/gareypark. I hope $100 for residents and $150 nonresidents. everyone from Georgetown will visit this There is also an Equestrian Rider Annual beautiful place where you and your family Pass, which includes all the benefits as a can connect with our natural surroundings. Garey Park Annual Pass, plus access to the Explore and appreciate this wonderful gift park equestrian amenities. Entry fees cover from the Garey family to all of us. only a portion of the City’s annual operating
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TOWN & COUNTRY
JULY 2018 is the “DMI Deluxe Swivel Seat Cushion” ($22), which is a round portable cushion that turns 360 degrees to help drivers and passengers rotate their body into and out of their vehicle.
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simple gadgets that can help older drivers Dear Savvy Senior, Are there any specific auto gadgets you can recommend that can help senior drivers? Both of my parents are in there eighties and still pretty good drivers, but due to arthritis and age they’re very stiff, which causes them some driving problems. Researching Daughter Dear Researching, To help keep senior drivers safe and prolong their driving years, there’s a plethora of inexpensive, aftermarket vehicle adaptions you can purchase that can easily be added to your parent’s vehicles to help with many different needs. Here are some good options.
Entry and Exit Aids
To help arthritic/mobility challenged seniors with getting into and out of their vehicle, there are a variety of portable support handles you can buy, like the “Emson Car Cane Portable Handle” ($12), which inserts into the U-shaped striker plate on the doorframe. And the “Standers CarCaddie” ($13) nylon support handle that hooks around the top of the door window frame. Another useful product
To help seniors with limited upper body range of motion, which makes looking over their shoulder to back-up or merge into traffic difficult, there are special mirrors you can add as well as back-up cameras. For starters, to widen rear visibility, eliminate blind spots and even help with parallel parking, get an oversized rear view mirror like the “Allview Rearview Mirror” ($50) that clips on to the existing mirror. You should also purchase some “Ampper Blind Spot Mirrors” ($7.50), which are 2-inch adjustable convex mirrors that stick to the corner of the side view mirrors. Another helpful device is the “Auto-vox M1W Wireless Backup Camera Kit” ($110). It has a night vision camera that attaches to the rear license plate, and a small monitor that mounts to the dash or windshield. When the vehicle is in reverse, it sends live images wirelessly to the monitor so
you can see what’s behind you.
Seat Belt Extenders
To make buckling up a little easier, there are a variety of seat belt extension products offered by Seat Belt Extender Pros like the “Seat Belt Grabber Handle” ($8), which is a rubber extension handle that attaches to the seat belt strap to make it easier to reach. And the “7-inch Rigid Seat Belt Extender” ($20) that fit into the seat belt buckle receiver to add a few inches of length, making them easier to fasten.
If your parents have hand arthritis that makes gripping the steering wheel, turning the ignition key or twisting open the gas cap difficult or painful, consider these products. The “SEG Direct Steering Wheel Cover” ($15)
that fits over the steering wheel to make it larger and easier to grip. The “Ableware Hole-In-One Key Holder” ($9), which is a small plastic handle that attaches to the car key to provide additional leverage to turn the key in the ignition or door. And for help at the pump, the “Gas Cap & Oil Cap Opener by Gascapoff” ($12) is a long handled device that works like a wrench to loosen and tighten the gas cap. All of these products can be found online at Amazon. com. Just type the product name in the search bar to find them.
Safety and Security
To help ensure your parents safety, and provide you and them peace of mind, they should also consider an in-car medical alert system like “splitsecond.” Offered through Bay Alarm Medical (BayAlarmMedical.com,
$30/month), his small device plugs into the vehicle’s cigarette lighter to provide 24/7 roadside and emergency assistance at the push of a button, automatic crash detection and response, and GPS vehicle location and monitoring capabilities.
Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.
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TOWN & COUNTRY
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TOWN & COUNTRY
July 2018 issue