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Monday, August 22, 2011

Cubs vs. Cardinals

We went to the Cubs vs. Cardinals game last Friday, we had a great time. Robert put it all together and I have to admit he did a very good job. I don’t really like driving in Chicago, but I love Chicago, so Robert had us drive to Harvard, IL and ride the Metra train into town. Harvard is the end of the line for this particular route so we were the first ones on the train which turns out was a blessing. As we proceeded into Chicago we picked up a lot of people to the point where some folks had to stand until we got to the Irving Park station where all those, a couple hundred, got off the train to catch a bus to Wrigley Field.
There were two buses waiting for the train at street level and they were crowded to the point of us standing the twenty minute ride, four miles, but with stop and go traffic it took a while to get to our stop. When we got off the bus we were three blocks from the ballpark. The day was beautiful so the walk was very nice. We were smart enough to eat at a Subway outside the park, inside the food is very expensive as most of you know. We got to our seats about fifteen minutes before the game began, the seats were better than I thought they would be. Wrigley Field has pillars, it is an old park for those of you who have never been there, these pillars can be a nuisance by blocking your view at times. We were far enough behind and to one side of the pillar in front of us that it didn’t bother us at all. Our seats were high enough so we had a good view of the action on the field. The Cardinals scored first and were ahead by four runs before we knew it and I figured the Cubs were going to add another lose to their record, but in the ninth inning they tied the game and were able to win it in the tenth inning. A perfect way to end a great afternoon.
Except the afternoon wasn’t over yet, our train didn’t leave until 8:30 pm so we walked about four blocks or so south of Wrigley to a restaurant called Leona’s, a great choice. We had our fill there and then began our walk back toward Wrigley. All of the bars along the way were packed with folks enjoying the Cub victory. Actually, I believe they would have been enjoying themselves regardless if the Cubs won or not. We bought a couple of t-shirts at a shop close to the ballpark, I found a shirt I really liked but I refuse to pay $45 for a t-shirt.
We made our way back up to Irving Park and Clark to wait for our bus back to the train station. We arrived at the station about a half hour before the train was to leave so we had a bit of a wait. Once the train arrived we boarded and was back in Harvard by 10:30 pm. The little ones were hungry, well so were the big ones, so we found a McDonalds and had an ice cream. Sarah and I got home about 12;30 am, a long day but a great one. Thank you Robert for getting everything together.
Saturday Sarah and I didn’t do much, some laundry, reading and went to church in the evening. Then yesterday we did about the same, nothing. Today we are with Mason and Madyson while Sarah and Robert are at work. It is fun being with them, they have so much energy and imagination, I hope they never lose either.
Here are a couple of pictures I lifted from Sarah Ann’s Facebook page.
298532_2334353195449_1148398338_2891517_2110117_nSarah Ann took this picture of her folks, Terri & Dick, Robert, Madyson, Mason and Sarah and I.
304817_2334355035495_1148398338_2891522_1622531_nMason and Madyson321552_2334354155473_1148398338_2891520_6634414_nAll of us in our seats.313767_2334357435555_1148398338_2891535_3355730_nIf you can enlarge this picture you will see a formation of jets doing a practice run for the Air & Water show which was in Chicago Saturday and Sunday.
313573_2334360235625_1148398338_2891546_8309614_nThis is something the Cubs haven’t done much this year a celebration meet on the field.
Sarah and I have been planning on wintering in AZ this coming winter and were pretty much set on Casa Grande but an opportunity presented itself and we will be workamping at Cal-AM Mesa Regal RV Park, http://www.cal-am.com/resorts/resorts_details.php?resorts_id=15&search=quick, this is one of nine parks. We will work 4 hours a day, three days a week. We are looking forward to saving some money and meeting new people. We are also looking into a couple of opportunities for next summer, more about that as we can finalize something.
That’s if for now, remember Dreams Do Come True.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

More from Wisconsin

Where does the time go? We have been in Wisconsin for two and half weeks and it seems like we just arrived except it isn’t 110 in the shade.

We are staying at Hidden Valley RV Resort, you probably already know that, in Milton, WI. http://hiddenvalleyrvresort.com/2011-08-02_07-54-54_1072011-08-02_08-07-46_625

The entrance to the park has this guard shack which is only manned on Friday and Saturday because on those two days they charge five dollars per person to get into the park. I suppose it is to compensate the campground for visitors coming in and using the facilities. In the other picture our camper is the second to last camper in the picture, you probably can’t see it but it is there.

Sarah gets me out to walk two to three times a day, weather permitting. If we walk the circumference of the park it is one mile and if we walk to the entrance of the park we add another half mile so we can get in some nice walks. I do try to go at least twice a day but I have made it three times.

One of our goals in staying here for the month, in addition to being with the kids, is to see folks we knew when we lived in Marshall, WI.

Our first visitors were Jim and Jo Aubuchon. Jim and I were in the Air Force together, roommates when we were stationed at Dyess AFB, Abilene, TX. We had some good time there from 1965 to 1967. I went to Vietnam in ‘67 and Jim went to Thailand a few months later. Jo is still working, Jim retired from JC Penny Distribution in Milwaukee a few years back and now works part time at the Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee as a guide, http://www.harley-davidson.com/wcm/Content/Pages/HD_Museum/Museum.jsp.

Robert and Sarah asked us if we could watch Mason & Madyson a couple of days, we said yes and signed on to be with the kids for seven days. I know why you have kids when you are young because they wear you out. It is fun to be with them, I love their imagination. One day they were riding around the garage on their bikes and whatever when Mason pulls up next to me and says I want a hamburger and coke, he decided I was a McDonald’s, so I said “you want fries with that?”. After a couple of times doing that after he placed his order and paid me I told him to go to the next window, the business had grown so we used two windows for the transactions.

Max & Diana Varner were coming to visit but Diana’s mother fell and she had to go be with her, we wish her well and a speedy recovery, but Max came out to visit. Max was my boss at Ruan when we lived in WI. It was a pleasure working for and with him. Currently Max is Northern Zone Distribution Manager for Air LIquide. It was good to see him. We had a good visit and he said he was going to try to bring Diana out to see the camper. We look forward to seeing her. We went out for a bite to eat and Max bought, thank you Max.

Next was another Ruan friend Roger Mason and his wife Debbie. Roger was sales manager for Max and our region. Roger has always looked ten years younger than he is and that still holds true today. Debbie doesn’t look any older than the last time I saw her, they make a great looking couple. Roger is currently working for Ruan again after a few year hiatus with another company, he is Sr. Vice-President  of Sales for Ruan Transport. Roger picked up the dinner tab and for that we thank you. It was great to see both Roger and Debbie and hopefully it won’t be so long the next time.

Joyce Knapton is one of the nicest person you would ever want to meet, although she won’t let Wayne join us for lunch. Joyce lived down the street from us in Marshall, she works for the state of WI in the vital records office, not quite sure what she does but she has been doing that job for 17 years and has been with the state for 30+ years. We met here for lunch at Francesca’s al Lago Restaurant, http://www.miafrancesca.com/static.asp?path=3092. If you are ever in Madison this is a great place to eat, the food is very good and it is right across the street from the capital building. We had a great lunch and caught up on family and friends.

We have a couple more folks to get together with, if we can find mutually free time. Friday we are going to Chicago to a Cub – Cardinal game, that should be fun. We are riding the train from Harvard, IL to Irving Park and then a Metro bus to within a couple of blocks of Wrigley field. That will be a fun time.

A couple pictures of the kids to close out this blog:

2011-08-11_13-04-38_246Madyson in a pose2011-08-14_14-36-11_947Mason, just normal and I think a bit cold.

Until later, Dreams Do Come True

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Hidden Valley RV Resort, Milton, WI

We are in Wisconsin, I don’t remember the weather being this hot and humid when we lived here. The day we arrived it was in the nineties and the heat index in the hundreds, but more about that in a minute. I need to get caught up on our last couple weeks.
When we arrived in Elkhart I couldn’t get the toll booth to take my credit card, whoops it wouldn’t take the Visa so I tried MasterCard and it wouldn’t take it either, there was no attendant on duty. I had to resort to good old cash I had to find it first. We finally put together enough cash and the gate raised for us. I’m always afraid the gate is going to come down before we get the camper through and then we would have a mess. So I had the brilliant idea of getting the I-Pass, http://www.illinoistollway.com/portal/page?_pageid=133,1392734&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL,  or EZ-Pass, http://www.illinoistollway.com/portal/page?_pageid=133,1392734&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL,  as some states call them. Indiana’s is called I Zoom  and accepted in multiple states. It is a device you attach to your windshield and this allows you to go through the toll booths without stopping, the device is read by cameras and the toll is charged to your account. I bought the device in Indiana and it is good in fourteen states, including Illinois, I predict more states will begin putting toll booths on some highways, especially new construction, to pay for the maintenance of the roads. So on our trip back to Illinois it worked great.
More about our last week in Indiana. So on July 27th we went to the DRV Suites plant http://www.drvsuites.com/. This company used to be called Doubletree RV but the Doubletree Hotel chain made them quit using the name so they became DRV Suites. This plant reminded me a lot of the Excel facility. It is not as big as all the others, except for Forks RV, and you are able to get up close to the units as they are being built. We were the only ones on the tour who did not already own a Mobile Suite RV. They are a quality built unit and have many things in common with our Excel unit. Mobile Suite was my second choice going into this lifestyle and what I saw would make me consider them again if we ever replace the unit we have.
Out next factory tour was at Heartland Industries, http://www.heartlandrvs.com/. This was another company I looked at, they were in the top four on my list. They make a good product, again there production line is not as big as some of the other manufacturers but they still produce 14 or 15 units a day. I wasn’t as impressed with their production processes as Forks RV and DRV but the finished product looks very nice.
As usual Sarah had me out walking a least three times a day, first thing when we got up, noon, and evening. Of course I always had some type of excuse not to walk but she always gave this look, you guys know the look, and I always gave because I knew it was best for me anyway. Of course I haven’t lost any weight because most of the campgrounds have these freezers and in the freezers are the ice cream bars etc. I don’t indulge every day but whenever I can or Sarah lets me I get one and enjoy.
We left Elkhart on Sunday the 31st and drove to Hollywood Casino RV Park, Joliet. We stayed there on our way to IN and it is good for an overnight stay. I don’t understand, except for cost, why they didn’t put in sewer. The cost is a bit high but from my research not for this area. The EZ- Pass worked great I didn’t have to stop except for the toll booth in IN, they make you stop and it reads the device in the truck and puts up the gate, they sort of defeat the purpose of traffic flow.
We arrived at Joliet about ten thirty and Sarah called her niece Cheryl and her and Rod, her husband, came out and we met them at the casino and had lunch. We ate at the buffet, wrong thing to do because the choices were numerous and tempting. I did eat too much. We had a great visit with Rod and Cheryl, they go to see the camper and we caught up on the goings on in their lives.
That night Tom and Cathy, long time friends from the Ruan days, came out to the campground. We hadn’t seen them for a couple of years. Tom had a stroke about five years ago and even though he is impaired by the stroke a bit he hasn’t changed at all. He is still up beat, gregarious and as ornery as ever. Now Cathy is a saint mostly for having to put up with Tom. She is as young looking as ever, of course I always tell Tom we come to see him when in fact it is Cathy I come to see. We had a great time with them, went out to dinner and thoroughly enjoyed the evening. Tom even bought dinner, thank you for your graciousness.
Monday morning we headed north and got to our campground around one, more on that in the next post.
Remember- Dreams Do Come True