The Lower Rio Grande Valley rolls out the red carpet for snowbirds. This is Shangri-la, a subtropical paradise, where the average annual T-shirt and shorts temperature is 74 degrees with an average rainfall of only 23.2 inches.
This area of extreme deep-south Texas is actually more of a delta than a valley. There are no hills and mountains to define it and its southern border forms the present-day wide, sweeping flatlands of the once mighty Rio Grande River.
It is rich agricultural land, on which the fertile alluvial soils foster a diverse variety of crops, including 56 types of fruits and vegetables. Most visitors are astonished at this diversity of Valley farm products. Fields of peas, cabbage, spinach, onions, and carrots are easily recognized, but there are less common vegetables too—daikon, kohlrabi, and aloe vera. This is the original area of aloe vera, whose marvelous natural cream has become popular in sunburn and beauty lotions.
It has been said that there are two kinds of ground cover: Perfect rows of irrigated citrus groves and winter vegetables, and semi-organized rows of recreational vehicles.
Lying at nearly the same latitude as Miami, Florida, the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) is arguably the best bargain in the U.S. for wintering in a warm climate. While the area offers everything you’ll find in other places, living costs are less expensive, with the added advantage of being right next door to Mexico.
Dining comes in all shapes and sizes beginning with Texas slow-cooked barbecues, where the pork, chicken, and beef fall off the bone, to Tex-Mex specialties, Mexican cuisine that’s as good as you’ll find in Mexico, fast foods, and buffets. Eating out here does not break the bank, and senior specials are available daily. The Las Vegas Café in Harlingen is a favorite of ours.
Winters tend to be mild and a bit breezy; however, the weather can be unpredictable.
It can be windy and some visitors dislike the wind. But those of us who enjoy the RGV will tell you that when the wind is blowing, the humidity is down and skeeters are grounded.
Unlike parts of Florida bugs are not an issue during the winter Snowbird season.
And, unlike Arizona, most evenings are warm enough to wear shorts and a T-shirt.
As a result, this is big-time RV country, and flocks of Snowbirds return year after year.
In other southern states such as Arizona and Florida we’re known as Snowbirds, but in the Lone Star State there are NO SNOWBIRDS. We are all WINTER TEXANS!
Winter Texans are a major part of the economy and are treated as such. Newspaper headlines and signs welcome Winter Texans back home. You will find none of the snowbird prejudice that occurs in Florida, Arizona, and Southern California.
Texas Spoken Friendly
Did You Know?
Many of the trees, shrubs and other plants of the South Texas Brushlands can be found nowhere else in Texas.
Little known and interesting fact about Texas
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS – TEXAS STYLE
People here in Texas have trouble with all those “shalls” and “shall nots” in the ten Commandments. Folks here just aren’t used to talking in those terms. So, some folks out in west Texas got together and translated the “King James” into “King Ranch” language:
Ten Commandments, Cowboy Style.
Cowboy’s Ten Commandments posted on the wall at Cross Trails Church in Fairlie, Texas:
(1) Just one God
(2) Honor yer Ma & Pa
(3) No telling tales or gossipin’
(4) Git yourself to Sunday meeting
(5) Put nothin’ before God.
(6) No foolin’ around with another fellow’s gal
(7) No killin’
(8) Watch yer mouth
(9) Don’t take what ain’t yers
(10) Don’t be hankeri’ for yer buddy’s stuff
Now that’s kinda plain an’ simple don’t ya think?
Y’all have a good Day. Ya hear now ?
“THE EYES OF TEXAS ARE UPON YOU”
Note: This is the first of a three-part series on the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas
Part 3: Flocking to Texas
Wasn’t Born in Texas, But Got Here as Fast as I Could
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If you enjoy these articles and want to read more on RV travels and lifestyle, visit my website: Vogel Talks RVing.