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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Frog City RV Park

Our time here in Louisiana is coming to an end, at least until March, when we will be back for Mardi Gras. We have enjoyed our time here, especially the visits with family. We haven’t done many touristy things but I have learned a lot about the Acadiana area, it is quite interesting. Niece Abby has given me a book on the history of the Cajuns so I will get it read by the time we come back and I can return it to her.

Frog City RV Park has been the perfect place for us. It is about 15 miles from family, 10 miles to the edge of Lafayette but is close enough to be accessible. The park is quiet as far as the campers, the only noise is from interstate 10 and it is not intrusive. We left the camper sit for 5 days while we went to Wisconsin and the managers kept watch on it for us. The sites are gravel and level with minor adjustments, small swimming pool, hot tub, propane, free Wi-Fi (which actually has a good signal), free cable and full hook ups. There are a number of long term residents, some are people working in the area. I would recommend this park to anyone passing through or wanting to spend some time in the area. We will stay here again when we are back in the area.

Here are a few pictures of the campground:

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Entrance to Tent area.                              Entrance to the campground

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Campground Office                                   Swimming pool, hot tub behind the brown fence

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Laundry and individual showers              The entrance of the park

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Our unit, fifth wheel.

We had good satellite reception, the trees in the park proper are small, in a few years they may pose a problem for satellite reception.

This is a park I would recommend to anyone, remembering it is not isolated but within a commercial area.

We are off tomorrow for our trip to Sarasota, with overnights in Robertsdale, AL and Lake City, FL.

Dreams Do Come True.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas

Sarah and I want to wish each and everyone of you a

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Wisconsin Trip

We arrived in Milwaukee on time the beginning of a great time. We collected our suitcase, Sarah was able to get everything she needed into one bag and of course the bag I used was small and I carried it onto the plane. My motto has always been if you do not have it, you do not need it or you can buy it. We on the Canadian Regional style jets, they are small but I like them. We picked up the rental car at Enterprise Rental; I have used them for years and have always found them to be the least expensive, although as all the others they want to have you add insurance and other options to the daily rate.
We left the airport about 4:15 and arrived at Robert and Sarah’s about six. Milwaukee is doing some major road construction around the I-94, 894 & 43 interchange and it looked like they had repairs going on further south of the airport exit on 94 so it took a few minutes longer to get to Beloit than it would have otherwise. Robert had bought some pizza so we were able to have something to eat when we arrived. It was good to see Robert and Sarah and of course, it was good to see Mason (6) and Madyson (almost three). They have both grown a lot since we saw them in October.
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We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in Beloit. I like the hotel; we have stayed there the most of any motels in the area. This time though we had a room that was the smallest one we have had there yet. The bed was suppose to be a queen size bed, but it wasn’t as big as the queen bed we have in the camper and I didn’t sleep well but we survived it. I do like the breakfast they have although I only had the cinnamon roll once, I really like the but they have over 400 calories in them. I had yogurt and bagels with cream cheese or peanut butter on them. I suppose the cinnamon roll would not have made much difference in the total calorie count. At least I did not gain any weight on the trip.
Friday we spent the morning with Robert and Madyson. Robert made sloppy joes for lunch. In the afternoon we went to Mason’s Christmas program at school, Mason is in kindergarten. It was fun to watch the kids and how enthusiastic they are in their presentation. I have to say Mason did very well; it was a pleasure watching him. That night we went out to dinner with the kids and Sarah’s parents at Domencios Pizza & Restaurant in Beloit. We have been to this restaurant before and have liked it. They have a buffet or you can order off the menu. We all had the buffet and as usual I ate too much but it was good.
Saturday was the big day, Robert’s graduation at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Sarah and Robert rode with us to Whitewater, we arrived a little over and hour before the ceremony but we wanted to be early to get a good seat for the graduation. Well I believe some of those folks slept there over night, there were many people already in their seats. We did not know which way the master’s candidates would come into the building so we opted to get as close to the front as we could. We took the second row on the right and Sarah Ann chose wisely because Robert marched in right by us.
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The program was not too bad, the student speaker did a commendable job and the main speaker spoke to long but overall it was good. They had about 650 graduates in all the programs so it was over in an hour and a half. We took a couple pictures outside and then went to the campus bookstore. Now remember I have a Nook eBook reader but I ended up buying three books, all less than $5 each. I still like the Nook and it is my primarily source of reading but I cannot get out of the habit of picking up a good book when I see one.
Sunday, night we went out to eat for Sarah’s birthday, we went to Olive Garden. It is interesting to watch the kids, both Mason and Madyson love the black olives, they put them on their fingers and eat them. I love that they order their own meal, macaroni, and cheese, I do not remember what everyone else had but I did not hear any complaints about them. No one had any room left for desert so we took off for home.
Sarah Ann had given me an idea for a couple of gifts for the kids, a castle for Madyson and a pirate ship for Mason. These are made out of cardboard, the kids can color the outside, and then you put it together. The castle had arrived before we got there so Madyson opened it, it is huge, so her and Mason began to color it. When they were done coloring as much as they wanted the castle was assembled and took up almost half of the family room. (Robert said the pirate ship arrived Monday and it is huge).
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Sunday was Mason’s Christmas program at church he did well there also. After lunch, we all went to the Wright Museum of Art on the campus of Beloit College, http://www.beloit.deu/writht. This is a small private college with a very good reputation and a nice compact campus. Mason goes to a place called Doodles Art in Beloit; they have the kids do different types of artwork. Each year they put the kid’s drawings on the walls in the Wright Museum of Art. It was fun seeing the work of the kids, I did some touring of the Museum by myself, and they have a number of nice pieces there. So if you like art and are in the Beloit, WI area stop by and take in some very nice artwork.
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Robert received a Wii for his graduation and Mason wanted to play bowling on it with me. So we played a couple of games Sunday afternoon, he had two strikes on his first two balls; I started slow but gained strength as we progressed. He ended with a 145 and I had a 175 for a while I thought he was going to beat me. I only won because I had a couple strikes in a row. I believe they will enjoy the game a lot. Robert said he played Mario brothers Friday night without feeling guilty because he did not have to study anymore.
We said our goodbyes to the kids Sunday night because they had work and school the next day.
Monday we slept in a bit but were still up by 7:30 and had our breakfast and everything by nine. So we left for the airport, our flight did not leave until 4:50 but we did not have anything else planned and I do not mind sitting at the airport. We got the rental car turned in and checked in with the airline, got our boarding passes and checked our bag, ($25) what a rip off. We did not go through security yet because I wanted to sit out in the main shop area because I figured there would be more choices to eat there. We did eat at a small local hamburger, made to order, it was very good.
About one o’clock we went through security, it was not busy which I liked. I found it interesting in Lafayette I did not have to remove my CPAP from its case but in Milwaukee I did, just goes to show security is not the same at all airports.
There was a winter storm warning for late afternoon and throughout the night so I was happy we were heading south. Those going through Minneapolis or east had some delays and cancelations. One of the Minneapolis planes boarded everyone and sat at the gate for another 45 minutes or so, I suppose they were waiting for a landing slot in Minneapolis before they took off from Milwaukee. Our plane was on time coming in and we all boarded on time, which was good because we had a 30-minute layover in Memphis, I worried about making our connection. They deiced the plane, the pilot said they had taken on a bit of ice coming in, we still departed on time. We arrived in Memphis with 35 minutes to change gates, of course, our plane was departing from A2 and we arrived at B2, they could not get much further apart. Now I have to ALWAYS stop at the restroom, but even with that, we got to the gate with about ten minutes to spare. The trip was uneventful; we arrived in Lafayette on time and got home about nine.
Yesterday was laundry day for Sarah and I spent the day trying to figure out expense and how much money we have left. Actually the trip was going to be made whether we flew or drove, I am glad we did not drive we wouldn’t be home yet, the cost for both was close but I believe flying was cheaper and we enjoyed the trip a whole lot more.
Therefore, that is all for now it was a great trip and we enjoyed ourselves immensely. We would not have missed it for anything.
Dreams Do Come True

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Vermilionville

We got through the cold night, Monday night, it go down to the upper twentys but the camper was a snug as a bug. Tuesday morning I hooked the water back up so we could take showers. There are some in the campground who do not unhook the water hose and do not have heat tapes on them and the hose seems to be okay. I suppose they may leave the kitchen faucet drip overnight which I have done once but I don't mind unhooking the hose and it conserves water.

We drove out to the airport, we leave tomorrow for WI, I like to know where I am going and so I do a trial run. It is a small airport so we won't have any problem with it. Then we went to Vermilienville, this is a historic cultural center about the area, http://www.vermilionville.org/. We only went into two of the many buildings on the property because we ran out of time and Sarah's foot was bothering her. We went through the Watershed Exhibit, here you see how the area was formed over the past 10,000 years. In the La Maison des Culteres building we looked at the different arrow heads and tools, all rocks, used by the Native Americans. Each building has a guide to give you a tour and answer questions and La Maison des Culteres was no different. We met Alan Simon, pronouced the Frence way, he was extremely informative about the inhabitants. His ancestory is Acadian and he speaks French except he speaks the old French and was one of eleven children. He is also a treater, http://www.websters-online-dictionary.org/definitions/treater?cx=partner-pub-0939450753529744:v0qd01-tdlq&cof=FORID:9&ie=UTF-8&q=treater&sa=Search#906. The gentleman was very informative and had many stories to tell. We spent to much time with him but he was very engaging.

After we left there we stopped for a bite to eat and then made our way to Mable's shop. We went with them to Don's Seafood Hut for dinner. Don's was having 25 cent oysters, I had 4 shy of two dozen. I love oysters on the half shell, put the oyster on a saltine cracker with cocktail sauce and horse radish, what a treat.

We got home in time to watch the NCIS programs. A good ending to a great day.

Off to WI tomorrow, we are really looking forward to seeing the kids. It is suppose to be cold but I don't believe there is any snow forecasted.

Until later, Dreams Do Come True.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cold Front

Another week has gone by, sometimes we forget what day of the week it is. Not much has happened this week, we have just enjoyed being around family and learning about the area from them. I won't try to replecate what is on the web but if you are interested this is a good site, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acadians.

Tuesday we took the camper to get a propane problem fixed. I searched the web and found Gauthier's RV, exit 100 in Lafayette, to be the closest to us. So we unhooked everything, I even left some items at the campground, I know most campers are honest, but..., it took us about 15 minutes to get to the dealer mostly because I had to sit and wait to make a left turn onto a busy street. We pulled up along side the bay doors and the technichian replaced the hose from the LP tank to the regulator, it was determined this was the source of the problem, it was and it new hose eliminated the noise. You see the tank made a pulsating whoosing noise whenever the furnace turned on because, it was thought, the point in the hose used to keep the tank open was not working correctly and it was opening and closing with as the gas was coming out of the tank. Anyway so far the problem is fixed and we were on our way in under an hour. I strongly recommend anyone needing RV repairs when going  through Lafayette, LA to give these folks a call, they were great.

We have gone into Mable's shop a couple of days this past week and Sarah helped with taking some inventory. Now the problem with this is as Sarah was taking inventory with Mable, she was also looking at new bras. Well guess what, she had to buy also. Oh well she looks good so it was worth it.

Thursday we came down to Thibodaux with Bill and Mable and have spent a nice weekend with them. I'm not sure it we are going back to Lafayette Monday or Tuesday but either is ok.

Last night we played a game of Po-Ke-No or at least I believe that is how it is spelled. I won, but not until the last hand. I don't enjoy a lot of the games out there but this was fun. I wasn't doing so well until I figured out I had the game card upside down, the printing should be on the bottom, and then I started winning.

There is a cold streak going through the area and is suppose to get into the 20's tonight and tomorrow night, but then it will warm up. Much better than snow.

Till later, Dreams Do Come True.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Feeling a bit better

It is Sunday already, I know that for two reasons we went to
church this morning and today was the day for the big paper. I am still not
feeling 100% but I am improving.
This past week we did not do much. Chuck, nephew, is letting
us use his extra car, he uses it for driving around town only, it has over
161,000 miles on it but we certainly appreciate his kindness. It makes me want
to have a car to drive instead of the truck but I don’t want to have Sarah
follow me and I am not going to try pulling it behind the camper. If it gets to
be a necessity, we’ll trade for a motor home and pull the car then.
We haven’t done any touristy things here, we know where the Wal-Mart’s
are and the closest mall but I haven’t felt well enough to do much of anything.
Tuesday we are taking the camper to a dealer five miles down
the road to have a propane problem checked and fixed. Then I would like to go
to the downtown area and see what they have to offer.
Thursday night Isabella, great-great niece, celebrated her
fourth birthday at Chucky Cheese; Sarah went I was not in any shape to go.
Sarah said Isabella had a good time and pictures of here looked like she was
very tired.
Friday we went to lunch with Bill & Mable, they were
heading back to Thibodaux for the weekend, we will see them on Tuesday.
Yesterday I got a burst of energy and cleaned out several
areas, consolidated a lot of items and reallocated some space. I had a bag of
office supplies, pens, posti notes etc. so I gave them to Brenda to use at the
shop. When I would go to meetings, when I was working, I took all the pens etc.
home with me; I had a lot of those and did not need them.
Last night Chuck & Cora took us to Mulate’s Cajun
Restaurant, “The Original Cajun
Restaurant”.
If you are ever in Breaux Bridge, LA and want good Cajun food
this is the place to go. It is a bit pricey but the food is very good. They
have live entertainment and a well used dance floor. I don’t dance but I did
enjoy watching all the folks dancing, especially the young lad, 7 or 8 years
old, dancing with his grandmother. Then there was the older gentleman, had to
be 80+, dancing with all the young ladies, he exhibited more energy than I have
felt in a long time. Their website is
http://www.mulates.com/.
That’s if for now I am going back to my recliner and catch
40 winks.
Dreams Do Come True.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sick Today

We went to a wedding on Saturday at http://www.lafrenierepark.org/ in Mataire. LA, it was a very nice wedding. The park had chickens running wild through it, I said something to one of the wedding guests and he told me people would drop off the chickens because they did not want them anymore and the park system lets them run wild. According to my source, some of the roosters get a bit ornery when approached by humans.
Sunday we went to church at St Joseph Co-Cathedral, http://www.stjoseph-cc.org/, click on their website History, this is a beautiful church with a long history. I really like going into different churches to see what they are like.
 
The rest of the day was spent with Bill and Mable enjoying their company.
Monday Sarah gave Mable a perm while Bill and I tried to correct some electrical problems. I have one on the camper; the roadside outside light does not work even though the bulb is fine. I am wondering if when they cut the hole in the side of the camper for the new dryer vent they might have done something to the wiring. Bill is having trouble with some our door lights not coming on at all. One is a motion sensor light, we checked the wiring and Bill got up in the attic but still could not find the problem. I am no help because what I know about electricity could fit on the head of a pin.
 
We are back at Frog City RV Park; we arrived back at noon yesterday. I woke up with a heck of a cold but it did not take long to tear down the camper because all we had hooked up to was electric.
I went to bed early last night hoping I could get rid of my cold, no such luck, I woke up this morning feeling rotten and other than going to the office to pay, our rent for December I stayed in all day and have not ventured out. I am feeling a bit better but will continue to take some cold medicine I got from the doctor the last time I had a cold, it seems to be working. We will see how I feel in the morning.
Until later, remember Dreams Do Come True.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thibodaux, LA

It has been a week since I have written anything; it is time
to bring everyone up to date on our whereabouts.
I left off last, saying we were going over to Chuck and Cora’s
for dinner. I was impressed, Chuck did the cooking and did a Five Star job, he
had pork, beef, and sweet potatoes and more I can’t remember. It was very good.
Marcus, a great nephew, and Brenda and Isabella,
granddaughter, joined us and we had good conversations along with the great
meal. It was very enjoyable. Chuck and Cora redid the interior of their home in
the last couple of years and I thought they did a great job. Chuck has a record
collection that is quite extensive. About nine Chuck took us back to the
camper, there is no way I could find their home without the gps and then I might
still get lost. It was a fun evening.
Sunday, church and Wal-Mart, then home and do nothing.
Monday, we went into Mable’s shop to pick up our mail, Sarah
decided to stay and help Brenda with pricing some jewelry. Sarah also bought
some jewelry; I really shouldn’t leave her alone like that.
Tuesday was moving day; we would be spending the next week
at Bill and Mable’s house in Thibodaux, LA. I spent about 45 min to an hour
getting the outside ready to travel. Once that was done, I helped Sarah finish
getting the inside ready also. We left the RV Park about nine and headed
southeast. We arrived a bit before noon. After a bit of maneuvering I finally
was able to bet the trailer backed into the driveway without too much problem.
I should have had Sarah taking pictures. The street is wide enough for two
vehicles and Bill has a single car driveway so I think I did a good job. I did
put some tire tracks in his front yard but he says when it rains they will come
out, I hope so. We only have 15 amps service so no A/C, other than a bit muggy,
it is tolerable. ( You can double click on the location map, click on the yellow guy above the map controls and drag it to the third house in the block. You can then see the house and driveway were we are currently located. I'll get some pictures once it stops raining.) Here is a picture of the driveway and the front yard, I made some dents in the grass.

I wanted to miss the pole, which I did, only took about 15 minutes to get it back there.
Wednesday Bill and I kept busy doing things to get ready for
Thursday. Marcus came down and we went grocery shopping so he could cook gumbo
for dinner. He spent all afternoon cooking and the gumbo was awesome.
For lunch, Tuesday and Wednesday, we had PoBoy sandwiches. We
have these in Iowa but they are Poor Boy sandwiches and they are not as good.
Both days I got the overstuffed oyster sandwich, truly awesome.
Thanksgiving Day Bill and Mable had 20+ guests at their
house for dinner, turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, rice, dressing, mashed potatoes,
scalloped corn, pie, it was a feast fit for royalty. Everyone did a fantastic
job of putting the meal together; I helped by staying out of the way.
There is a cold front coming through today, Friday, and
right now, the temperature is 54 with a high today of 60 and low tonight of 32.
I thought I was getting out of the cold weather by coming south.
Tomorrow we are going to a wedding in New Orleans it should
be a fun time and then we will stay until Tuesday when we head back to
Lafayette.
We have decided to fly to Robert’s for his graduation and getting
his MBA degree. I have said I wouldn’t fly anymore but since we are traveling
in December and it is a 2-3 day trip to get to Wisconsin one way I bought plane
tickets and we will fly into Milwaukee and rent a car, we are going Dec 16th
and coming back on the 20th. We would like to stay longer but the
kids are in school and Robert and Sarah work so we will plan on a longer stay
next summer.
That’s all for now remember – Dreams Do Come True.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Loving this Lifestyle

Here it is Saturday already, some days I do not know where the time goes. Sarah is shopping with Brenda, niece, and her granddaughter Isabella. I volunteered to stay home, I had some things I wanted to do and I wanted to watch the Iowa game, I have to watch it on non-HD but I get to watch it. Go Hawks.

We arrived here at Frog City RV Park in Duson, LA on Thursday afternoon about 2:30. We are in site 6 of 54 sites, there is no “it” factor here, as Howard & Linda Payne of www.RV-Dreams.com like to classify campgrounds, but it has a level sites and FHU with free cable and internet, so we are here until the end of the year.

I stated in the previous post when we were coming through Clinton, AR we were stopped at a police roadblock, they were looking for an escaped murderer. We told Fred & Lisa about the incident when we had dinner with them Wednesday night, on Friday Fred called and said the police captured the man two blocks from where they live in Texarkana. The escapee stole a truck and made it that far.

Thursday night Sarah’s brother Bill and his wife Mable came out to the campground we had not seen them since the middle of September. They took us to Fezzo’s seafood and steakhouse for dinner where Chuck and his wife Cora met us. The food was excellent and the company was great. Bill took us back to the camper where we opened a couple bottles of wine and had a piece of pecan pie.

Friday was laundry day, we went into met Bill, and Mable at Mable’s business, she sells prophesies to women who have had mastectomies. We had brought five bags of Sterzings potato chips for everyone here. Mable also asked us to take the camper to Thibodaux, their home, so we would have a place to stay over Thanksgiving, there will be 22 people there so I agreed to it so I would have my own bed plus we can help with whatever needs to be done.

We went to Wal Mart on the way home, it was a busy place, we did not get much but Sarah was looking for material to make a blanket for Isabella. I bought a 30-15 amp adapter so I can plug into the house in Thibodaux.

Friday night we went over to the casino at the truck stop next door to the campground. When we checked in, we were given a card for a $6 credit to play the slots. Therefore, we went over and unbeknownst smoking is allowed here. By the time we had lost all of the credit we had, I began to develop a headache and our clothes smelled of smoke, so we went home and washed them right away.

Tonight we are spending time with Chuck and Cora, Chuck is cooking, it should be a great time.

We are loving this lifestyle – Dreams Do Come True.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Texarkana

We are still in Branson, MO at the Branson Stage Coach RV
Park. This is a nice park but the road into it is a narrow and twisty road with
no shoulder to it, but it is doable if you take your time. 

Carl and Merilee arrived Sunday afternoon and checked into
their unit at Wyndham resort, there was a mix up in reservations and they did
not get the unit they wanted. They are going to meet with the manager sometime
this week to straighten it out. They came over to the campground and we went
out sightseeing, we found a “see the lights drive through” place and we drove
through it.

The highlight of Sunday for everyone but me, I thought it
was funny also, was having dinner at McFarlan’s restaurant. It seems they have
a table there that is bolted to the floor and the tabletop rises very slowly
while you are eating. When we arrived there, I went to the restroom and Carl
and Sarah sat down in a booth but then requested the table, Carl’s idea, so
everyone knew about it but me. We ordered and while I was, eating and I
noticed, half way through the meal that my plate was getting closer to my
mouth. Now this wasn’t a bad deal because I tend to miss my mouth and get food
on my shirt, I looked at my chair to see if I had a low sitting chair, I didn’t
remember it being too low when I first sat down. I said something to the others
and Sarah began laughing so hard I did not think she would be able to stop,
everyone in the restaurant knew what was going on but me. Carl said there was a
young boy who kept looking at us trying not to be conspicuous, I did not see
him, but it would not have matter because I thought there was something wrong
with my chair. Everyone had a good laugh, including me, over this. We are now
members of the McFarlan’s Rising Table Society, it was fun.

Monday we went to see the movie “Red”, I did enjoy it, but I
want to rent it again because I have a tendency not to hear some things the
actors say. We met Merilee’s nephew Harold and his wife Katy for dinner at the
Macaroni Grill. I had the king salmon, it had some type of rice with spinach
and cabbage in it, the meal was delicious. We had a good time visiting with the
young folks.

Tuesday was a day of running around; we took a drive in the
country. Carl wanted to take us to Kimberling, MO for breakfast, after driving
through some beautiful hills and seeing some nice areas we finally got to
Kimberling and stopped at a little diner. The server was very friendly, I do
not remember her name, I ordered biscuits and gravy, it was four whole biscuits
covered in sausage gravy with a lot of pepper in the gravy. This was the best
biscuits and gravy I have had in quite a few years, we left there and continued
our touristy travels. We ate lunch at Dana’s; they specialized in sandwiches of
pulled pork. Instead of a sandwich Sarah and I split an order of nachos, they
were great. After that, we went back to Carl and Merilee’s so she and Sarah
could go to a beading activity at the resort. When they go t back, we went out
to an outlet mall and looked around. It was time for dinner so we went to
Luigi’s pizza the home of the St Louis style thin crust pizza. We order two
mediums, one with everything on it the other one of their specialties, tomato,
cheese, and sausage, they were both very good.

Carl took us back to the camper so we could get the camper
ready for our travels today, Wednesday.

We had an uneventful trip from Branson to Texarkana, AR, the
roads were very good, I kept the camper at cruising at the speed limit or 60
maximum on the interstate. We did have one little episode, coming into Clinton,
AR we saw the northbound traffic backed up for about three miles. We drove a
bit further and as we came over the crest of a hill, I could see traffic backed
up in our lane for a couple miles. It was stop and go for the two miles so we
used this opportunity to eat the sandwiches Sarah had made. When we finally got
to the checkpoint I asked the officer, what was going on and he said they had
an escaped murderer out loose; he wanted to know if stopped in town, I said we
had not. He told us the man was dressed in a white t-shirt and gray pants and
to call 911 if we saw him.

We arrived at the Four States RV Park in Texarkana; this
park is at the Texarkana fairgrounds we have full hookups all for $18 per
night. We did not unhook and only hooked up electric and water.

Sarah’s nephew Fred and his wife Lisa came out to see us
after looking at the camper they took us to the Texas Roadhouse restaurant for
dinner and bought us dinner. We enjoyed their company and had a very good
dinner, thank you Fred and Lisa.

We will take off for Louisiana in the morning; we should
arrive by mid afternoon.

This has been a great trip – Dreams Do Come True.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Branson, MO

After a restful night in Iola, KS we headed for Branson, MO. The drive today was very pleasant, we followed the GPS and it did admirably, the directions were perfect. We stopped once for a break at Walmart, Sarah needed some ear plugs, she doesn't like the noise of the truck. Sarah had made some turkey sandwiches and we at them as we went down the highway. Today we had a mixture of two and four lane highways, all were very good roads.

We arrived at Branson Stage Coach RV park about 1:30 and were set up in about 45 minutes. Sarah noticed the fuel cap missing on one of the fuel tanks. I didn't put it back on after fueling the truck in Newton, KS. I called the Ford dealer but the parts department was closed, so we went to everyone's favorite store, WalMart. They actually had the cap so I bought two. I am not going to believe I won't forget to put the cap back in the future.

Tomorrow I am going to relax, eat breakfast, watch CBS Sunday Morning, go get the Sunday paper, get some groceries and then football.

Have a great weekend - Dreams Do Come True.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Iola RV Park, Iola, KS

We arrived at the Excel service center Wednesday afternoon about 2:30 pm. They had us park the camper on the backside of the center and we plugged in the unit. We were told we could spend the night there but the technician would be ready to pull the unit into the shop at 6:30 am sharp. We were up at 5:30 and had the unit ready by 6:15 am. We spent the day in the service center lounge. There were three other couples waiting for their units to be fixed also, one of the couples we discovered had been at the RV-Dreams Branson rally a couple of years ago, Alan & Jeanne Webster. We had a good time visiting with everyone, Daryl and his wife were from Clear Lake, IA and Jim & his wife (I do not know their last name) they all were done Thursday. Allan & Jeanne left early today and we left at 10 am today. I cannot speak highly enough of the folks who work at the service center; they are very friendly and helpful. Jacque did the work on our unit and she did a very admirable job. We are very happy with the service we received and the helpfulness of the employees.




We left the center at 10 am with a cloudy day ahead of us. By the time we turned south on highway 81 it had begun to rain and we had rain the rest of our trip. We stopped at Newton, KS for a break and I filled the truck in a driving rain, it did not need fuel but I will not ever pass up a chance to top off the tank. Highway 81 joins Hwy 135, we took it to Hwy 196, this is a Kansas state highway and a very smooth ride, then got on Hwy 54 and continued on it to Iola, KS where we are now camped at the Iola RV Park, this is a Passport America park, it cost us $11. I have kept the truck hooked up and if it is not raining in the morning, I will dump the black water tank.



We are headed for Branson, MO and the Branson Stagecoach RV Park on Hwy 165. We are meeting Carl & Merilee there for a couple of days.



I now understand why most full timers drive no more 4 hours in a day, it was an enjoyable drive, even with the rain, but I am tired and will not be getting up at 5:30 in the morning.



Dreams Do Come True

Monday, November 8, 2010

Almost Over

Our visit here is almost over, here is a recap of the last week.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday we were with Marie and the kids, they are a hoot. Eli cries every time I hold him. I keep trying though and occasionally, not very often, he will let me hold him and we talk. I wish we could have had more time with the other grandkids but next year we will see if we can spend more time with all of them.

Earlier in the week, I had put the Buick on Craigslist hoping to sell it, by Thursday I did not have one legitimate inquiry. I did have someone, Amanda, write and say she would pay the amount I was asking and she had a shipper ready to pick up the car all she needed was my PayPal account information to consummate the deal. I wrote back and said I think not. So Daniel and I were talking he said he heard CarMax buys cars, so on Thursday I went to CarMax to see what I could get for the car. After 45 minutes, they gave me a quote at the low end of what NADA indicated it was worth. I told them I would get back to them; you have 7 days to accept their offer. I knew I wanted to sell the car, it was in good shape but there were a couple issues I knew of that would have cost over a thousand dollars to fix. As I left CarMax, I noticed signs at the dealer next door indicating they also bought cars, so I popped in on them to see what they would give me. I was hooked up with a salesperson and asked the obligatory questions, I did get a free soda here, and she took the car and did the appraisal on it. She came back with the same price CarMax gave me so I figured that was about all I was going to get. I asked if I could keep the car until Monday and then bring it to them. She was taken back a bit and said no, the quote was for leaving them the car today. I told her I would need a ride to my truck she said she would take me to it. I hemmed and hawed a bit and finally she said what do you want for the car. I quoted here a price a thousand more than their offer she said she would ask. It was interesting, no matter what the deal, buying or selling, the sales person has to ask the sales manager to get the deal accepted. Anyway, she came back and offered 500 more than the original quote so I took it. I took a lot less for the car than if I had sold it on my own, but I do not have to worry about the upkeep on it anymore and the biggest benefit is now Sarah will ride in the truck with me. So now, we are a one-vehicle family living our dream.

Friday we went with Marie and the kids to see her grandmother Jewell. Jewell has moved into an independent living facility, http://www.rlcommunities.com/index.html. This is a very nice facility I believe a group out of Lincoln, NE. owns them. We had a nice visit, she is on the second floor and quite a ways from the dining room but she has a motorized scooter to get around. I know Jewell reads the blog so if we do not get over to see you before we leave, take care and we will see you in the spring
.
Saturday Daniel cooked a turkey on his Weber grill, he put some hickory wood in with the charcoal and the turkey had a nice hard brown skin to it, I thought maybe it was overcooked but the meat was very moist, tender, and very good. Robert is a good griller also, so I guess I taught them well.

Yesterday we went to church, picked up the paper; Omaha has a very nice paper the http://www.omaha.com/. On a previous excursion into Gretna, I had found a donut shop so we stopped there so I could get my apple fritters. I use to eat them once a week when working and they were good but these are much bigger and better tasting. So I bought three and some other pastries, I also bought the girls some donut holes.

Today was clean the camper day, we moved furniture and Sarah vacuumed, I wiped down the woodwork with Murphy’s Oil Soap, it worked great. We are having guest tonight and we wanted to have the place look good. A person I worked with at Ruan, Greg Welp and his wife Sue are coming out to the camper tonight and we are going out to dinner. I have not seen Greg for over seven years so it will be good to see him and catch up on with each other’s adventures.

Tomorrow we are going to spend the day with Marie and the kids and see Daniel when he gets home from work. Then Wednesday we will get up early, hook up, and head out for Smith Center, KS and the Excel service center to get a few items replaced and fixed. Then it is off to Branson, MO to spend a couple days with Carl and Merilee, then on to Duson, LA and Frog City RV Park, http://www.lafayettervpark.com/.

I have to say I have enjoyed being at the West Omaha KOA except for the lady bugs. We are inundated with them so I thought I would do some research on them.

I guess we probably have the Asian Lady Beetle, well it is a lady bug to me and a pest. According to http://www.epestsupply.com/asian_beetles.html#asian_lady_beetle_facts.


I have made a couple editorial comments, in bold, but if you are interested it is “fascinating reading”, right.

Asian Lady Beetle Facts

Lady bugs surrounding and invading your home by the thousands? millions? I believe all the millions are at our camper. It's not lady bugs, it probably the Asian beetle. Asian beetles have become a homeowners worst nightmare. Asian beetles, which are sometimes mistaken for ladybugs or lady bird beetles, are familiar insects in many parts of the United States. For the most part, Asian beetles are beneficial predators that eat aphids, scale, insects, and many other pests that injure plants in gardens, landscapes and agricultural settings. However, in many places the multicolored Asian lady beetle has become a household pest. This beetle feeds on aphids and other soft-bodied insects that dwell on crops and trees. Soybean crops are reportedly a favorite of Asian beetles and when the soybean crops get harvested in late summer/early fall, watch out! Asian beetles will be migrating to find a new place to live and breed. Maybe your home! Of course, spring time is also a good time to have an Asian beetle outbreak. Why do we have such large numbers - sometimes epidemic numbers of Asian beetles? You can thank science and the US government.

The multicolored Asian lady beetle was first recorded as a pest in houses in 1988 in Abita Springs, Louisiana. It had been first released in the early 198%s as a biological control agent; and numerous subsequent releases have been made throughout the United States. Because the beetle was not recovered after this release, it was assumed that it had not established and was incompatible with North American conditions. The source of the 1988 infestation in Abita Springs, LA, is unknown; but it is not thought to be linked to the controlled releases. Guess where we are going to spend the rest of the year?

The original infestation site was close to ports used for international shipping including cargo containers from Asia. Since this inadvertent release, the beetle has rapidly expanded its range and is now commonly found throughout much of the U.S. Large congregations tend to be found on windows, doors, and porch decks, and in the walls of buildings.

Asian Lady Beetle Identification



Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle

Harmonia axyridis

Multicolored Asian beetles are slightly larger than most native lady beetles, with adults measuring 9/32 inch (7mm) long and 7/32 (5.5mm) wide. They are oval or convex in shape, and yellow to red in color (without black spots on wing covers). The beetles' spots, which can vary in size and pattern, number from no spots to as many as nineteen; however, nineteen is the most common number. The head is usually concealed beneath the disk-shaped pronotum, which is cream to yellow in color with a black 'M' design in the center. Asian beetle larvae are elongated, flattened, and covered with minute tubercles or spines. They are often described as alligator-shaped. The eggs, which are laid upright in clusters of about twenty, are oval and yellow.

Asian Lady Beetle Life Cycle

Once the weather starts to turn colder, lady beetle adults begin to seek over-wintering sites. The lady beetles appear to orient toward light colored, conspicuous objects, such as white buildings. What could be more conspicuous than a large white RV? It is like we have a WELCOME sign out for them. Large numbers collect on outside walls warmed by the sun, especially on the south and southwest sides. When one lady beetle lands, many others soon follow. Some research suggests that this aggregation behavior may involve chemical cues (pheromones), visual cues, or a combination of all.



Asian Lady Beetle Benefits

The Asian beetle is a voracious predator of aphids and scale on trees, shrubs, and crops. Adults are capable of consuming 90 to 270 aphids per day and larvae can consume between 600 and 1,200 aphids during its life stage. Both adults and larvae have been observed in soybean fields feeding on the newly introduced soybean aphid and are believed to be effective biological control agents in controlling this important new pest.

Asian Lady Beetle Damage

The greatest damage caused by the multicolored Asian lady beetle is the discomfort they give to homeowners. It is not uncommon for tens of thousands of beetles to congregate in attics, ceilings and wall voids. When the heating is turned on the beetles tend to move around inside these voids and exit into the living areas of the home.

In addition to biting, they exude a foul-smelling, yellow defensive chemical, which will sometimes cause spotting on walls and other surfaces. Most people are only annoyed by the odor of these chemicals. However, some individuals experience an allergic reaction to the defensive excretions. Sinus irritations and mild skin irritations have been reported subsequent to encounters with the Asian beetle. It is probably not an over-reaction to wash hands or other skin after contacting the beetles. In at least one study, the severity of sinus problems subsided with the removal of beetles from the home.

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Non-Chemical Control Measures For Asian Lady Beetles

I have one method to add here, stand around and squash them, I have killed, maybe, a trillion of them so far.

Asian Lady Beetle Light Traps may provide relief from beetles flying or crawling around the interior of homes. The Asian Lady Beetle drawn to the trap by its light source and a unique pheromone sex lure. Asian Lady Beetles will be attracted to the trap because of the pheromone lure. Once at the trap, the Asian Lady Beetles will be enticed into the jar by a special UV light source. No poisons. This is a live trap. This trap does not kill the Asian beetles. The Asian Lady Beetles will be collected into the collection jar. The jar will need to be emptied on a regular basis. If you decide to use a live trap such as the Asian Lady Beetle Light Traps, do not take the beetles outside and let them go. They will come right back. Remember, Asian lady beetles are not the same as Lady Bugs and do not make a good beneficial insect. The best way to dispose of the beetles is to fill the jar with soapy water and when all the beetles are dead, clean it out. DO NOT use the type of light trap that utilizes an electrical grid (commonly called 'bug zappers') to kill the beetles inside the home. Light traps are most effective at night when there are no competing light sources, or during the day when curtains are drawn and other light sources are minimized. The Asian Lady Bug pheromone lure needs to be replaced every 4- 5 weeks for best results.

Trapper LTD glue traps can also be used to trap Asian beetles. Trapper LTD's are small glue traps that can be placed under lights on window ledges and other places to capture Asian beetles. Once the Trapper LTD is full, simply toss it in the trash and replace. We sell Trapper LTD's individually and by the case of 72. Keep plenty handy, especially if the Asian beetle population is very large. Trapper LTD's also work well to capture cockroaches, crickets, flies, mice, geckos, lizards and many other insect pests.

Pest proofing or sealing the outside cracks may help to prevent Asian beetles from getting inside. This can be done by sealing all outside cracks and crevices around doors, windows, siding, utility pipes and other openings with a good quality silicone or silicone-latex caulk. Window screens should not have any tears and should fit snugly inside the window frame. Install insect screening over attic and exhaust vents. Take measures to exclude Asian beetles before late autumn when they begin to seek over-wintering sites - potentially in your home!

If numerous lady beetles are entering the living areas of the home it is advisable to locate the places where the beetles gain access. Typically, Asian beetles will emerge from cracks under or behind baseboards, around window and door trim, and around exhaust fans or lights in ceilings. Seal these openings with caulk or other suitable materials to prevent the beetles from crawling out. A temporary solution is to use duct tape or masking tape to stop the beetles. A helpful hint to remember - the beetles are attracted to light and can see light entering through cracks in the walls or ceilings. Initially, concentrate on sealing cracks in the rooms where Asian beetles are most prevalent.

Vacuuming may also help to collect beetles in your home. The major complaint for this method is that the beetles become agitated and expel the yellow, foul-smelling repellent, which is then circulated into the air by the vacuum exhaust. Also, it is advisable to empty the bag and beetles after each vacuuming to prevent them from escaping back into the house. It is possible to capture the beetles inside a knee-high nylon stocking that has been inserted into the extension hose or wand and secured in place with a rubber band. As soon as the vacuum cleaner is turned off, be sure to remove the stocking so that the captured beetles cannot escape. As you remove it, the rubber band closes around the stocking, effectively "bagging" the lady beetles. You then can discard the contents of the stocking. This way you will not need to change the bag every time you vacuum every time.

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How To Kill Asian Beetles - Get Rid of Asian Lady Beetles

Using pesticides may be the only solution for eliminating Asian beetles. Non-chemical control measures will provide some control, but spraying may be the only real solution.

Indoors

Use Demand or Demon WP and spray on all baseboards, window sills, doorsills, and other areas where Asian beetles persist. A direct spray on the beetles provides the best results. Demand provides a longer residual since it is microencapulated, Demon WP provides a much quicker kill. Use a good quality sprayer such as the Ortho Heavy Duty Sprayer to provide a uniform spray pattern. Be sure to read and follow label directions on any pesticide that you use.

CB80 is a pyrethrum based aerosol handheld fogger that quickly kills large numbers of Asian beetles indoors. Simply aim the CB80 can at the ceiling of every room, push the button and fog the room for 3-5 seconds (average size room) and then close the door and leave for 2 hours. CB80 also works best when the fog is directed to the beetles such as corners of rooms, etc.

Trapper LTD glue traps can also be used to trap Asian beetles. Trapper LTD's are small glue traps that can be placed under lights on window ledges and other places to capture Asian beetles. Once the Trapper LTD is full, simply toss it in the trash and replace. We sell Trapper LTD's individually and by the case of 72. Keep plenty handy, especially if the Asian beetle population is very large. Trapper LTD's also work well to capture cockroaches, crickets, flies, mice, geckos, lizards and many other insect pests.

Outdoors

Use Demand or Demon WP outdoors to kill Asian beetles. Treating outdoor areas is very time consuming and getting the appropriate coverage over the area can be a real challenge. That's why we recommend the Solo Backpack Sprayer or the Solo Backpack Mister for applying outdoor pesticides. The Solo Backpack Mister blows a mist of pesticide up to 40 feet away. You can mist the tops of trees and even mist the entire outdoor walls of your home or building in just a matter of minutes. This is especially important since repeat treatments may be needed every few days or weeks during a heavy Asian beetle siege.

Whatever you decide to do, ePestSupply.com is here to help. Call us or email us if you have questions concerning Asian beetles and we will do everything we can to help you kill Asian beetles.


So until we get to Louisiana remember Dreams Do Come True.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Good News

When we got home from Wisconsin Sarah was not feeling well so she stayed away from the little ones and spent a lot of time at the camper. Finally, on Thursday, I took her to Urgent Care and the doctor said she had bronchitis, so he gave her a prescription and as of now, she is feeling much better.


We have had a great time this past weekend with the grandkids and especially little Eli. Last Friday we went to the Vala’s Pumpkin Patch here in Gretna. This is a 156-acre farm raising corn and pumpkins. Over the past 26 years, they have made this into quite an operation. “Every year we look forward to one whirl-wind month when guests visit Vala’s to experience a spectacular Fall Festival. People love the caramel apples, the hayrack rides, and the Pigtucky Derby Pig Races. But it’s the memories and traditions that keep them coming back. We take great pride in our role as a wholesome family entertainment destination and we hope to continue growing and improving year after year.” The kids really enjoyed their visit but they were tired when they left for home.

Saturday Daniel and I picked up our bikes and took them out to the camper. I wanted to buy a cover for them but no bike store had any so I had to order online. I hope it will do the job I want.

Sunday we went to Daniel’s to see the kids and be there when Ernie and Shirley came over. Daniel needed a truck to get a fridge from Marie’s grandmother’s house, Ernie has a truck, and he brought it over so we could use it to get the fridge. Daniel rented an appliance dollie and we were able to get it over to Daniel’s without it falling out of the truck.

With Marie’s mom out of town, we helped Marie with the kids yesterday. Carl and Merilee stopped by on their way home from visiting daughter Amy’s in Mitchell, SD. Merilee held Eli the entire time they were here, Eli seemed to enjoy the moment.

Today we drove to Des Moines so Sarah could keep her doctor’s appointment for her foot. The orthopedic doctor said the foot was healing as expected and the worker comp doctor said has a nice retirement. She still has to be careful walking because if she turns her ankle she could break her foot again in the same place. Therefore, she will stick to walking on flat surfaces for a while yet. We visited with Cynthia, ran a couple errands, and had lunch with her.

Now we are getting ourselves ready to hit the road next Wednesday. I want to get my satellite radio set up in the truck on a semi permanent basis and get the Pressure Pro devices on the camper tires and the trucks tires also. These devices measure the air pressure in the tires and help prevent blowouts by warning you when the tire pressure changes. I tried to install them once before and could not get it done so I am going to take another stab at it this week. Other than getting the propane tanks topped off and water in the fresh water tank we should be ready to roll come next Wednesday. Until later, Dreams Do Come True.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

What a life this is.

Some of you may think we are nuts but Sarah and I did some horse-trading Friday; we got a good deal on trading the camper for these:



Doesn't she look good on this?

What a life this is.

Besides our new rides, we got a new Lexus so when the weather is bad we will not get wet. Anyway, a good trade, more on this later.

We have been in Wisconsin this past week.

Friday we drove to Milwaukee to visit the Harley Davidson Museum, a service buddy Jim Aubuchon is a tour guide there. He retired from J C Penny’s and since he is a Harley enthusiast he went to work there as a guide. I took a bunch of pictures and will put a link into this so you can look at them if you want.

Jim is a great tour guide, his knowledge and enthusiasm is very apparent, we had a great time and the museum is worth every penny of the cost. It is a remarkable collection of motorcycles and much more. The amount of other memorabilia pertaining to the history of motorcycles and Harley Davidson in particular is amazing. We spent two and a half hours looking at everything but we did not do justice to what you can see and learn. The Café is also a good stop, the food is very good and the servings are large so you should not go away hungry. Of course, there is the gift shop where you really get a good idea of the devotion of the Harley enthusiasts; the amount of clothing and other items you can buy is quite extensive. I bought a t-shirt; I need to lose some weight before it will look good on me, surprise, surprise.

The pictures you see above were taken at the museum, we have not traded for anything, we are having too much fun in the fifth wheel and do not plan on giving that up anytime soon.

Friday night was Mason’s birthday dinner, he chose Olive Garden, it was fun and even better because Robert bought. Sarah Ann’s parents and sister were there, Dick & Terri and Catherine; it is always good to see them. After dinner we went back to the house so Mason could open his gifts, he did ok in that department.

Saturday morning we were to go to Mason’s last soccer game of the season, but it was raining and they canceled the game, yea. I love watching him play but not in the rain. Next year we will spend more time here and get a chance to see him play more then.

In the afternoon we went to Mason’s birthday party at Kids Spot in Roscoe, IL, this is a gymnastics and dance studio, they had a room filled with gymnastics equipment. The kids had a blast and I will bet all of them slept well last night.

Today Sarah isn’t feeling well, she had a sore throat last night before going to bed so we are staying away from the kids for a bit this morning, we will see them in a little while. We are leaving WI today and traveling to North Liberty to spend the night at Carl & Merilee’s then on home tomorrow.

We have been blessed with good weather but it looks like next week it begins to get cold, oh well it had to happen.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Busy couple of Days.

Yesterday we met with Betty, Jane, Linda, Mary, Ginny and Betty’s husband Glenn at the 1855 Salon & Grill in Cottage Grove, WI, http://www.1855saloongrill.com. This was a very good choice it is a new building, very nicely decorated. We had a table in the back so the ladies could visit; Glenn and I were able to enjoy ourselves also. I even remember a couple of the ladies and I did remember Glenn, I was afraid I would not remember anyone.



We went back to the hotel and rested up for dinner with Jack and Belle. Jack and Belle lived across the street from us in Marshall, WI. Jack and Belle have three daughters they were in school with our boys. We met them at the Olive Garden in Madison, we had not seen them for quite some time and it was a great visit with good food and conversation. Jack is looking very fit and Belle the same as she did ten years ago. Jack has gotten into wood burning, he said he is burning designs on birdhouses and doing other such projects. He said he went to the library to get a book on wood burning and the librarian said she had a wood burning book for him; it turned out to be a book on burning wood, not quite the same.



Today we drove into Madison and went to Costco; I wanted to see if they had any portable hard drives, specifically Western Digital, they did so I bought one. I gave Robert an external hard drive and forgot to get all my files off it, so I wanted the WD to collect the files.



A great surprise for us was Joyce Knapton contacting us and we were able to meet her for lunch today at Pasian’s, http://www.paisansrestaurant.biz/, I called her house last night about 10 and Wayne, Joyce’s husband answered, he said Joyce was in bed, so he and I talked for about a half an hour. So it was great when Joyce called. If you are ever in Madison and in need of a meal this is a very nice place to eat. Seeing Joyce was great, she looks the same as we remember her, I do not believe she has aged at all. It was a great meal and we enjoyed seeing Joyce very much. She even bought our lunch, thank you Joyce.




After lunch, we picked up some hair supplies for Robert and Sarah Ann at Marshall Supply House and Sarah Jane bought a couple of items for herself.



We drove up to DeForest to Camping World it is amazing we drive 400 miles to see the kids and we went to Camping World and spend money. I guess that is the hazard of full timing you visit all camper sales facilities and Camping World’s.




Since we had busy day so far we went back to the hotel, well we did stop at Wal Mart on the way, I had to buy a sweat shirt for the soccer game on Saturday because if it is as cold as then as it was today I will need it.

We went to Mason’s soccer game tonight and I about froze so I needed the sweatshirt. It is fun watching the kids play soccer; the kids are young and still learning to play soccer. It brought back memories of coaching the boys when they were first learning to play a sport. I enjoyed the game but would have liked it better if I had not been so cold.

Madyson was prepared for the game with her new sunglasses, to bad the sun was almost down by the time the game began. Isn't she cute?


As Sarah stated today we are doing everything we had planned on doing in 30 days we are doing it in 5 days. I am beat but loving every minute of it. Dreams Do Come True.



Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Recap of week

I have not written anything for a few days, of course some folks may say that is good, but I feel bad about it so here goes. This is a summary of the last week or so.

Last Monday the 11th, we had lunch with my aunt and uncle, Shirley and Ernie, also their sons Mike and Dan and Dan’s wife Heidi. We met at the Olive Garden in Omaha, great food, great company and great conversation.

Tuesday 12th, laundry day, it is nice having the washer and dryer in the camper. We needed to get a bike rack for the camper so we can take our bikes with us when we leave Omaha, Daniel told us about the Bike Masters so we went for a look see, we bought a Thule bike rack from them. Since it was a floor model it was assembled all I had to do was put it on the camper, mission accomplished.

That night we ate dinner at Daniel and Marie’s, then went to see Jewell, Marie’s grandmother. She is at the Brookstone Meadows, Elkhorn, NE; this is a very nice place. My favorite part of the building is the room with the ice cream machine, chocolate or vanilla.

Wednesday 13th, another day of laundry, not much to do but did get it done, well Sarah did anyway. Then it was time to find the post office, we had a letter to mail. You would think it would be easy to find the post office in a town as small as Gretna but find it we did.

Thursday 14th, for a long time I have heard about Mahoney State Park and it was time to see it. Sarah and I drove out to the park, paid our daily entry fee, $4 for the day, $20 for a year – good at any state park. Mahoney is a very nice park, I was very impressed, they have two campgrounds, many trees. I though the campsites pads were rather short looking but I saw a 35-37 foot Mobile Suite parked in one of them but there is not much room to park the tow vehicle. All but 4 or 5 sites are 30 amp, no water or sewer, the 4 or 5 have 50 amp and full hook ups. The rates range from approximately $18 to $25 dollars a night. I talked to the camp host and he said the sites are reserved a year in advance.

The Buick was overdue for an oil change and with an upcoming trip to Wisconsin; it was time to get the oil changed. We found Plaza Buick in Omaha, very nice people and very reasonable price $29 and it included a car wash. I spent the time walking around their showroom looking at new and used cars, all in doors. Then it was off to Daniel’s where I fixed spaghetti for dinner, it was delicious.

Friday 15th did not have a whole lot going on. I took Sarah’s computer to Daniel’s, the fan was making noise so I ordered one online, it turned out to be the wrong one. We had to take the entire computer a part, there were 113 screws to be taken out and the number of pieces is unbelievable anyway, we got it a part I just hope we, Daniel, can get it back together.

Saturday 16th, we spent the morning with Daniel and the girls while Marie was at a baby shower. Sarah and I went home after this to get things ready for a cook out with Daniel and family. Daniel, Marie, Emily, Isabel, Eli, Elia and Eddie, Marie’s parents. Daniel made the hamburgers and a sauce to go over them, delicious.
Sunday we went to church and then drove over to Ashland, NE, it is suppose to have a historic district, not much there but I did get the paper. After lunch, we went to visit Daniel Ertz; he ended up in the hospital with blood clots. Ernie and Shirley came in also followed later by Heidi and kids. Later in the afternoon Ernie, Shirley, Heidi and the kids came out to the camper and visited.

Monday 18th, we went with Marie and the kids to buy fleece blankets for the girls, then it we met Daniel for lunch at the mall. We went home about one. I took the truck out for exercise and to get it fueled, at $2.99 per gallon. Since we are in Wisconsin this week I got the propane tanks filled, $29 to fill both tanks. We took off about five to try to find Toys R Us but did not get that done so we went to see Jewell her birthday is Tuesday and we would not be there.

Today we left the camper at six this morning; we made a couple of stops, Cynthia’s for some mail and Marsh to pick up a package, other than those two stops we stopped for lunch and breaks. We arrived about three thirty, called Robert to find out what was going on tonight. We met Robert, Mason and Madyson at the house, took Mason to Doodles for his art class and then to Jimmy John's for dinner.

It has been a great day; we are in Wisconsin for the week and look forward to spending time with the kids and seeing friends we have here.

A few pictures of West Omaha KOA and the grandkids.

This is the entrance to the campground.

Another picture of the campground.

Grandkids and others on a jumping bag in the play area.

Sarah with Isabel and Emily.

Eli is looking good.

That's it for now, sorry about the length but Dreams Do Come True.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Long Post, but Great News.

Saturday, 10/2 we went to see my mom in Centerville, IA, we got there by ten so Sarah could cut mom’s hair. We won’t be back until April 2010 so mom will have to her hair cut in the facility salon. Brother Larry and Kathy, his wife, arrived a little after noon. We were all there to see mom but also to partake in the picnic style lunch being served, hamburgers, hotdogs etc. After lunch, the ladies played bingo and Larry and I went out to the Honey Creek Resort, this is a development built by the DNR of the state of Iowa, in my opinion it is a very nice resort with golf course, campground and cabins ranging from 1-4 bedrooms. Here is a link; http://www.honeycreekresort.com.


Kathy won most of the prizes playing bingo; I don’t think she kept anything other than some gum. They had a good time. The day went by fast and before we knew it, we were heading back home. It was good to see Larry and Kathy; we will see them in Sarasota in January. We bade goodbye to mom and assured her we would see her in April.

Sunday, 10/3, the Hawkeyes played football Saturday night, the game was on TV so I watched it until we had to leave to pick up Cynthia at the airport, she was returning from her Greek Island Cruise. This morning when we got home from church and the grocery store I turned on the TV, now remember I watched the Hawkeyes Saturday night; the TV would not give me a picture or sound. I tried resetting the satellite receiver, I tried the TV antennae, and I even tried to make sure all there were no loose wires. Still no TV picture, the Bears were playing but I didn’t get to see the game.

I sat down and wrote a letter to the president of Excel, explaining to him about my dilemma and assuring him we have no complaints about the construction of the camper but I do have a problem with the electronics we have in it. I was very nice I wasn’t too upset and tried not to sound like a whiner. I emailed the letter to him and set about to wait for an answer in a day or two.

Having gotten all of my frustration off my chest it was time for marguerites and visiting with the neighbors. Dick and Judy, next door, John and Kathy, Larry and Loretta, four others who I don’t remember their names joined us. I believe we went through two bottles with the tequila all mixed in and Dick made some marguerites with tequila he bought in Mexico, all I know the drinks were very good and I slept well that night.

I always check my emails before going to bed and when I did, low and behold, I had an answer from Excel. Now, in this day and age, you can make the best product in the world but if you don’t have good customer service it will be all for nothing. Brian Tilled, president of Excel, said they would take care of everything and I should Jack at the service center the next day. I called Jack and we have arranged to get all the problems taken care of. I will always recommend Excel to anyone interested in buying a very good RV.

Monday another day in the land of retirement. We met Russ and Candi for dinner and Russ handed me a gift, I told him he didn’t have to buy me anything, he said he didn’t the gift is for Eli our new grandson. Therefore, I put the gift in the car and we had a great meal, we were at Jesse’s Embers on Ingersoll in Des Moines.

I forgot to mention Monday morning when I got up, I turned on the TV and it worked, maybe we have a haunted TV.

Tuesday was a busy day. We met a cyber friend Janie and husband John, http://flamingoonastick.blogspot.com/. Janie is a good writer and photographer, check out her website. We had a great time visiting with them, they have the same camper we do only a bit shorter. It is always interesting when visiting with other full timers; it seems whatever problems, situations, and challenges you have had with your camper or new lifestyle. Others have had them and when you talk about them, you realize they are just part of the process of the lifestyle you have chosen to live. Sarah and I hope to see Janie and John again somewhere down the long highway of life we are traveling.

Sarah had two doctor appointments pertaining to her foot both went very well. She can shed the boot and begin walking with her tennis shoe instead of the boot. She still wears the boot once in a while but most of the time she is in tennis shoes. Tuesday we met Mike and Sheri for pizza. We got to see their photos from their trip to Italy. Mike and I worked together at Marsh and we wanted to see them one more time before we left.

Wednesday we didn’t do anything today but get ourselves geared up to move out on Friday.

Thursday we began our day with a trip in to see Cynthia and to get whatever mail she had for us. We also got to see her pictures of her cruise. She had a good time and that is what counts.

The rest of Thursday was given over to getting the camper ready to move. I fueled both vehicles for the trip. I tried something I haven’t done before we hooked the truck up to the camper Thursday so we wouldn’t have to be doing that so early in the morning.

Friday morning I was up before six, showered and outside unhooking water, sewer etc so we could meet our start time of 7:30, we needed to be at Bob & Jo’s at nine. We did it and were on the road a couple of minutes early.

The reason for stopping at Bob & Jo’s was to have them check our furnace it wouldn’t work. When we got there, I turn the truck and camper over to Jason so he can back the rig into the shop etc. He took the outside plate off the furnace and tried to get it to run, it wouldn’t work, so he tapped the side of the blower housing sometimes the fail-safe switch will stick, no luck. Next, he checked the propane tank and it was empty. Now this tank was not empty when I was trying to get the furnace to work because I was cooking with gas on the stovetop in the camper. I switched the tank over and the furnace worked, so we should have heat now. However, I80 through Omaha is one of the roughest roads I have been on in a long time so I am hoping we will have heat.

We arrived at the West Omaha KOA around noon, checked in and then it was time for me to back this rig into our site. Now I have never backed this rig into a site, this was my first time. I don’t believe I did too bad, it took me four times of pulling forward etc. to get it the way Sarah wanted it situated in the site. I put up the satellite dish and it found the satellites it needed but we had no TV, the bedroom TV worked just fine. .

We went to the kid’s house for dinner, we had pizza, and the girls cornered Sarah and me to read to them. Emily told me the story of 101 Dalmations and then I read four or five books to her. It was a very enjoyable time.

This is the beginning of our full timer travels and we are so looking to them. Dreams Do Come True.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hitch Itch

Now I understand what the term Hitch Itch really means, we are getting anxious to move to our next destination.

Last Saturday, 9/25, it rained all day and we didn't venture out except to go to church in the evening. The nice thing about a rainy day once in a while is you have the opportunity to get done whatever you have been putting off for so long.

Sunday, I made a meat loaf and put it in the crock pot for a couple of hours, it was delicious, I made enough to last all this week. Late afternoon Tiffany, Matt, Bryan and Alexa came by. It seems Alexa's school has the kids selling dough to make rolls. It won't be delivered until late in October so I asked Alexa what she liked and bought that and told her to keep it. It was good to see them, it will be March or April before we see them again.

Monday I began walking again, I have to lose some weight. Four laps around the perimeter of the campground equals three miles, so that is what I try to get in each day. So far so good.
Did some laundry and vegged out the rest of the day.

Tuesday we took the truck to Ankeny Auto Spa and had it washed, waxed and detailed, they did an good job on it. I wish I could find someone to wax the camper but I believe I will wait until we get to FL. Of course Tuesday night a new NCIS was on, in my opinion it is one of the best shows on TV.

Wednesday we finally made it to the DMV to get the address changed on our driver's license. We should have done it before now but I kept putting it off and we needed to get it done. The DMV is an interesting place to go, it is a great place to study human kind. I am always amazed at the different characters you see there. The amazing choices of dress people choose to wear out in public, there is an email running around on the internet showing the various choices of dress people choose to wear to Wal Mart. It isn't that bad but still fun to observe. We went early in the morning, there were three agents working and about fifteen customers to be helped, we were still there almost an hour. Then off to Wal Mart, Sarah has the idea she wants to make a tie blanket, it seems you buy material to make blankets and cut strips about four inches long around the perimeter of two pieces of material and tie the strips together forming a blanket. I guess they will hold together. In the evening we met Orren and Norma for dinner at Prarie Meadows Racetrack and Casino. We got there before they did so I went off to try my luck. I found a penny machine and inserted a twenty and began playing. It seems to make any money on the penny machines you have to play the max which actual cost fifty cents not a penny. I played four times at max play and I got some type of bonus thing, I didn't have a clue what to do next. I was pushing buttons and looking around when one of the employees must have seen my confusion and took pity on me. He helped me with what to do and I ended up winning twenty-five dollars. I played a couple more times and won another four dollars, I cashed it in because I knew if I kept playing I would lose it all. So our dinner didn't cost me anything. Wednesday is prime rib night at the casino and it was good. It is a buffet type setting and there is plenty to eat. We were there three hours and had a very enjoyable time. We always have a good time with Orren and Norma.

Today I wanted to go to the Iowa Military Museum, I have seen the signs for it for a long time and decided to go. So Sarah and I took off early this morning, didn't have any problem finding Camp Dodge but the museum isn't the easiest building to find. They are a work in progress but they had a lot of items already on display. Outside they have a series of tanks ranging from very old to fairly recent and what I believe is a F100 Super Sabre jet plane. Inside the exhibits are still being built on a lot of the displays but it is still worth a visit. There is one room that has a large exhibit of military rifles and pistols. There was one exhibit where someone donated there medals and I thought my brother Larry should donate his dress uniform with all his medals and ribbons it would be an impressive display.

Then we stopped at Starbucks so Sarah could use the gift card Mason and Madyson gave her for Mother's Day. Sarah got her coffee and also bought a batch of coffee to make at home. That will keep her wired when she drinks it.

We came home and I worked on some things on the computer. I found a disk that had some old files for the Family Tree Genealogy program we have. I tried to merge a couple families and it confuse things so I wanted to find the files for before I merged them. I lucked out and found some files I had saved on a disk in 2005, these turned out to be what I was looking for, now I will work to update all those files.

We have an appointment at Bob & Jo's, where we bought the camper, for them to look at the furnace, as you know it isn't working. I did work Monday night but not since, so I sent an email wanting to know how soon we could get in to get it looked at, they set an appointment for 9 am on Oct 8th. We will begin our prep work the day or two before and leave here by 7:30 am on the 8th. Once the furnace is fixed we will continue to West Omaha KOA in Gretna, NE. We will be there a bit over a month, with a week in WI without the camper.

So until next time, Dreams Do Come True.