Monday, October 27, 2014

Finally Going Home- Monday, October 27, 2014

On Sunday morning we were up and on our way before 8:30am. We were headed for home on the Ohio turnpike. Turnpike traveling is not my cup of tea but traffic usually moves along real well. This day was no exception. We made a stop on the Pennsylvania turnpike for lunch. The service plazas in western Pennsylvania are few and far between nowadays. We tried to stop at the first plaza we came to but there was no room to park so we had to continue on to the next plaza which had much larger area for parking. A little past 3pm and 360plus miles we stopped in Bedford, Pa. at a
Friendship Village Campground.

This morning, Monday, we took a little longer preparing to leave the campground. Tom dumped the black tank and rinsed it well to be able to winterize at home. We do not plan to be going out until after the holidays so we have to make sure nothing freezes. I had gone through cupboards last evening collecting liquids that needed to be taken into the house when we got home. By 9:15am we were on the road- Rte.30 we didn't need to return to the turnpike. And the 111 miles later and fueled up at 11:45am we were home. After our procedure of laying down boards at the bottom of our drive way to get the motorhome in the driveway we ran out to Pizza Hut for lunch. When we returned Tom tried to start the motorhome to finish setting it up in the driveway and it was dead. There was a code about the problem. Eventually it did start but the question is 'why did it do this?'. Phone are being made calls. First call to Tiffen resulted in recommending a call to Cummins.

Jim Beam, Neil Armstrong and Family- October 25, 2014

Thursday morning we drove the Jeep a few miles to the Jim Beam bourbon distillery.  There were 2 tours available- a free self-guiding tour with 2 tastings or a $10.00 guided 90 minute tour with tastings.  Feeling limited on time we chose the free tour.  We walked about the grounds and then ended up in the tasting building for our tastings.  We then returned to the campground, hooked up the Jeep to the motorhome and were on the road.  The traffic on this day was much improved over what we had the day before.  We traveled about 60 miles more (232miles), left 2 hours later and got to the next campground in Wapakoneta, Ohio about the same time as on Wednesday.  We spent the night in Wapakoneta KOA.

Friday morning we left the campground and drove the motorhome to the Neil Armstrong Air and Space Museum in Wapakoneta.  There is a nice parking lot there to accommodate buses and RVs.  We walked through the museum ($7.00/person-Senior) looking at the exhibits and then watched a 20 minute movie.  We were then back on the road for a short 58 mile trip to Van Buren, Ohio.  We stopped for fuel and propane at a Flying J before just getting to Van Buren.  Tom had made reservations at Pleasant View Campground for 2 nights to insure that we would have a site close to his family.  We arrived at 12:45pm but had to wait in the front for the manager to show up to register us for 30 plus minutes.  Eventually we were situated in our campsite and then drove into Findley, Ohio for lunch at Culver’s.   This area is where Tom graduated from school (North Baltimore).  Tom is in contact with former classmates and when he knew we were going to be here he had notified Karen Downs.  Karen called and suggested meeting at Cheddar’s for dinner which we did.  Unfortunately, because of the late notice of our being in the area others had made other plans for this evening.  Nevertheless, we had an enjoyable dinner with Karen.

Today, Saturday, we drove to Deshler, Ohio to visit the cemetery that Tom’s parents are buried in.  We were out here in May and had made arrangements to have a headstone placed on their gravesite.  That was done after we left here so we wanted to see the finished product.  Then in the afternoon we went to Findley for a celebration of life service for our 14 year old grand niece, Destiny Rivera, who lost her battle with the effects of leukemia.  It was a very nice celebration of a well loved girl.  Many of her friends shared memories.  We were able to visit with Tom’s brothers and sister and their families.  After the service we went to the home of Destiny’s parents- Larry and Missy Rivera and their sons, Junior and Reese.  Tom’s brother, Roger, (Destiny’s grandfather) along with his wife and other grown children  and their families were also there.  We had a nice visit and enjoyed a nice meal that had been furnished by the school that Destiny had gone to.  Our thoughts and prayers continue for this family as they deal with this loss.  Tomorrow we will be on the road headed for home.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Shepherdsville, Kentucky- October 22, 2014

This morning we were on the road before 9am, Central time. It was not a good traffic day. We started south of Nashville and needed to travel north on I-24 and then connect to I-65 on north into Kentucky. Through Nashville area the traffic, heavy with tractor trailers, just crawled. And then we were in road construction that had lanes closed and speed limits reduced. We stopped for lunch in Munfordville and then a few more miles we were back in Eastern time with an hour of time lost. About 50 miles further north we stopped for the night south of Louisville, Ky. in Shepherdsville (179 miles and 3pm, Eastern time)) and are camped at "Grand-ma's RV Camping". Before leaving tomorrow morning, we are planning to take the Jeep a couple miles south to the Jim Beam distillery for a tour of the facility before moving the motorhome. We then hope to travel to Dayton, Ohio although again we are facing travel through cities- Louisville and Cincinnati.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Finally!!!- October 21, 2014

Monday morning, bright and early, we were up and had the motorhome to Bay 24 at 7am where it was scheduled to to have the rails that had been installed last Thursday painted. We then went to Belmont to get breakfast. Returning to Red Bay we went to the Tiffin factory complex to take a tour. Tours are offered Monday through Friday at 9:30am. We had taken this tour the first time that we came to Red Bay but there is always something new to see. The tour lasted until a little after 11am. The fascinating thing about these tours is that the tour weaves through the work areas. Don't see that happening in other factories in other states. After lunch we went to the customer lounge for a while and then about 2pm we went to the bay where our motorhome was. The job was finished so we were able to return back to the campground to wait again. Surprisingly, we got a call before 3pm telling us to be in Bay 34 the next morning.

This morning, Tuesday, we were in our assigned bay by 7am but our breakfast had been eaten in the motorhome today. THe main reason for our return to Red Bay was to have the framing post in the right front corner check out. June 2013 we had been here for the snapping noise in that area that was found to have been the framing not properly secured. Recently, we began hearing that noise again. The techs immediately got into the problem and using heavier screws secured the framing. An awning that covers the top of one of our slides was showing signs of wear and we had that also replaced. By 8:30am the work was completed finally. We paid our bills-service center and camping fees. Because of the rail issue we were charged $10.00 per night of camping instead of the usual $20.00. These stays get more tedious each time we are here. We spend more time waiting to have work done than actual work being done. The one good thing is that whenever a problem occurs as a result of materials used in the manufacturing the company stands behind it and replaces/repairs at no charge as in the rail problem. In fact, we were not aware of this problem but while other issues were being addressed these fiberglass rails were inspected and found to have cracks. Aluminum rails are now on our motorhome.

By 9:30am we were joyfully leaving Red Bay and headed north east. Moving into Tennessee we decided to stop at the Jack Daniels distillery in Lynchburg. Free tours are given through the distillery. (If on a sampling tour there is a $10.00 charge) We took the free tour with an entertaining and knowledgable guide. Afterwards, a short walk from the parking lot at Jack Daniels and we were downtown Lynchburg (population 350). It was well past noon and we were hungry. We ate at a barbeque diner, B B Q Caboose cafe. Both of us ate jambalaya, rice and slaw that we thought was pretty good. Back on the road we continued a little further and then stopped south of Nashville (Smyrna) at Nashville I-24 Campground

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Rail Work and Natchez Trace Parkway- October 19, 2014

Wednesday, we waited around the motorhome believing that someone would show up to reinstall our TV antenna but that didn’t happen.  That’s the way it is in Camp Red Bay.  You never know much in advance.  Tom went over to the service area again today to check about when we were going to have these rails replaced and was told probably Thursday.  In the evening we were waiting for a phone call to tell us for sure if we were going in for servicing on Thursday.  Usually these calls come in about 4pm but about 5:30pm we finally got the call.

Thursday morning we dropped off the unit at bay 36 to have the rails replaced, this would be a warranty job.   We did not choose to stay in the unit as that would have meant that we would not be able to get out all day as scaffolding is tight against the unit not allowing the doors to be opened.  We spent much of the day in the customer lounge except for a break to go get something for lunch.  At 3pm we went up to the bay and found our unit had been backed outside, job was completed.  We returned back to the campsite and awaited a phone call about painting the rail area but we heard nothing.

Friday afternoon we went to Belmont, Mississippi, a few miles away to the complex that Tiffin where the painting of the new motorhomes are done.  We were given a map, a few instructions, safety glasses and then sent on a self guided tour of the facility.  Quite an interesting place.  Before we got away from there Tom received a call telling us that Monday we were to come to Bay 24 in Red Bay to have our rails painted at 7am.

Saturday morning we took off in the Jeep for the Natchez Trace Parkway by 9am.  I had packed a picnic lunch.  This parkway runs north to south from Nashville, Tennessee to Natchez, Mississippi.  We had travelled from Tupelo, Mississippi south but had not gone the northern segment.  We picked the Parkway up west of Red Bay near Dennis, Mississippi.  We were making stops along the way at the points of interests of those that had travelled this area years ago.   The third stop was at Buzzard Roost Spring.  We walked a short walk down to this spring that had a strong flow of water.  Thinking we could get a better view we moved from one side to the other.  MISTAKE.  It was really muddy, slippery mud that had me suddenly off my feet.  What a mess!!  My hands, knees of my jeans and shoes were full of mud.  Tom helped get back up on my feet.  I wiped my hands and shoes on dewy grass to remove much of the mud.  But my jeans had caked on mud on the knees.  Luckily, I had no injuries.  The route had a detour that took us off the Parkway because of road work so we did find a gas station that Tom got a bottle of water that I used to further clean my hands.  I had at this point felt that best way to deal with the mud on my pants was to let it dry and then peel the caked mud off.   So we did continue on our travels.  Along this detour we came to a field of turnips with a sign posted “Free Turnips” so we stopped and pulled up some turnips. 

From Natchez Trace Parkway
Probably an hour later after getting back on the Parkway we came to a sign about a Visitor Center in Collinwood, Tn. that we drove to.  Tom went in to the Center while I stayed by the Jeep scraping and then brushing the now-dried mud off my pants.  We continued on north.  Laurel Hill Lake was shown on the Parkway map as having picnic tables so we drove off on a side road to that area to eat our picnic lunch of fried chicken, macaroni salad, chips and apples.  This was a beautiful area for our lunch break.   Back on the Parkway we stopped at the gravesite of Meriwether Lewis, who died here in 1809 by what is suspected to be self inflicted gunshot. 
From Natchez Trace Parkway
We continued on to the end just south of Nashville a little before 5pm.  Then we had to return to Red Bay, Al. but we didn’t travel on the Parkway for this segment.  We took some state routes to the east of the Parkway down Tennessee and into Alabama passing through a few towns.  The homes off the Parkway in the outlaying area of Nashville were huge with beautifully landscaped yards- some big money in that area.  One town, Franklin, Tn., impressed us with a bustling downtown Saturday night.  We made a stop at a Wendy’s for a supper break.  Finally about 9:30pm we were to the motorhome.  A long day, 350 miles, but enjoyable despite the spill in the mud.

Today, Sunday, we did go to the local Methodist Church this morning and then stopped for lunch at a local restaurant.  But have been and will remain in the campground recuperating from yesterday’s adventure.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Florence, Alabama and Weather- October 14, 2014

Sunday morning we attended church services at a  Methodist church here in Red Bay.  The church was well attended and was quite lively compared to the churches in the northeast.  The minister gave me the impression of someone that had a bit too much coffee but his service and sermon were impressive.  We then drove to Florence, Al., northeast of Red Bay 30 plus miles, to go to a Sam’s Club and to get lunch.  It was a day of rain and some brief periods of sunshine.

Monday morning (Columbus Day) Tom went to the service center to see when we were scheduled to get into the bay to get the rails done on the motorhome and was told in 3 days.  He also checked as to where our TV antenna was and found it in Bay 31.  Brandon the main tech in that bay said he would have the “boy come to the site to install it”.  Well “the boy” did not find his way here on this day.  We drove into town for a few items at the grocery store and while there a clerk said to be careful that some bad weather was headed this way.  The clouds were building up all afternoon.  A little before 5pm our phones sent out a tornado alert advising to seek shelter immediately.   Quickly we gathered up a few things and went to the customer lounge.  The lounge was filling up and the TV was on giving details about the storm moving across this area.  The alert was until 5:30pm.  There was heavy rain falling but, thankfully, no tornado.  A little past 5:30pm we returned to the motorhome and spent the evening listening to the thunder and then the pelting rain.  By midnight the rain had lightened.

Today, Tuesday, we are again sitting and waiting.  Our biggest activity aside form reading is watching the ever changing skies and weather.  Big heavy clouds covered the skies much of the day with an occasional streak of blue showing through and very brief periods of sun shining.  And there were showers off and on all day.  And the temperature has remained in the low 60’s.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

DEF Repair and Hodges, Alabama- October 11, 2014

We did not get any calls to go in for servicing on Wednesday but we did get a call to be in a mechanical bay on Thursday at 7am.  So we were up earlier than usual to move into bay 42.  Once in the bay the area supervisor, Greg Dees, hooked up a computer to find out why the service light was on indicating a problem with the DEF sensor.  This has been the fourth time we have had this issue.  This time instead of replacing the sensor the whole internal mechanism that injects this fluid into the fuel line was replaced.  Apparently this has been problem has been seen in other units that are using DEF at this time.  Our motorhome is a 2011 the first year that DEF was used.  Then as we were leaving the bay Tom noticed that the need service light was still on and mentioned this to the tech.  The tech said it would go out as we drove it.  So Tom drove around town a bit but the light remained on.

From 2014/10/13
From 2014/10/13

Friday morning before eating breakfast Tom turned on the ignition, saw the light was still on and then we took a longer ride out to a neighboring town and back.  The light remained on.  So Tom went over to the service area and talked with the tech that said at times these lights have to reset with the computer.   Shortly after the lunch break, Greg Dees came out to the motorhome and hooked up the computer and cleared it of the warning light.  He said that it is not uncommon to need to do this.  While Greg was here he mentioned to us that a big camouflaged truck has been seen around here and if we should see it around this area we should let security know about it.  A mid eastern appearing man and woman have been seen driving this vehicle around and has caused some concern in the area.

Friday evening we went back to the Rattlesnake Saloon.  We have been to this place  couple times but never in the evening when there is music being played.  Once we got down to the Saloon area we were met by Security asking if we were going to drink alcohol beverages and we both said no.  A red X was marked on our hands.  If we were going to drink we would have had to show ID and then our would have been stamped.  Everybody has to have ID to be able to drink regardless of the white hair or no hair.  We had burgers and onion rings (only sandwiches type meals are available) but could not eat all the onion rings.  The music was a group of 3 men performing country songs.  We stayed for a little more than an hour.

From 2014/10/04

We have been having rain almost daily.  Last night it rained all night and by mid morning the rain had stopped but clouds remained.  We had seen signs about “Spirit of Hodges” festival for today, Saturday.  Hodges is another small town in this area.  We struck out not exactly sure of how to go and, of course, we took a much longer route than necessary.  But we had an enjoyable time after we got there.  There was musical entertainment scheduled most of the day.  Craft vendors were set up with their wares as well as food vendors.  We ate lunch of pork barbeque, slaw and baked beans and enjoyed the music.  After we returned back to the campground we went for a walk only to get caught in a rain shower that had us pretty wet until we got back to the motorhome.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Tupelo and Service Bay–Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Sunday we drove into Tupelo, Mississippi for dinner.  As previously stated the restaurant choices around Red Bay are not the best.  Tupelo is about 50 miles west of Red Bay.  We ate at a nice barbeque restaurant, Crossroads Rib Shack and the ribs were very good.

Monday morning we were just hanging around the motorhome.  We never know when we could get a call to move into a service bay so we stick around just in case but we really did not expect to get in this soon.  Surprisingly, about 9:30am we got the call so we quickly packed up and moved into the bay.  Brandon was our main tech and he along with another tech worked on several issues- out of place roller under the front passenger slide, replacing a couple breakers, removing the TV antenna for repairs.  A cabinet man came in to realign a kitchen drawer.  This was about 45 minutes of work but we were there until the workday ended at 3pm.  There were big periods of time spent with these guys just standing around.  As we left we were told that the rails on the motorhome needed to be replaced- a 2 day job covered under warranty – and we would be taken into the mechanical bay about the DEF sensor showing a problem and also the TV antenna would be repaired and probably reinstalled in the campground area.  We also need to go some place to have the frame work in the front corner by the windshield looked at.

Today Tuesday we have been waiting but no calls today for any work.  We did go out to the Piggly Wiggly grocery store and CVS to pick up a few items.   This morning was rainy with a couple claps of thunder and then it cleard up in the afternoon.

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Red Bay, Alabama, Storms and Dismals Canyon- October 4, 2014

On Tuesday, September 30th, we bid a farewell to the Rushes, Perrys and Woodruffs and traveled westward as they would be going northward from Myrtle Beach.  Our main route of travel was I-20 west.  Late afternoon after 329 miles we stopped for the night at Hard Labor Creek State Park near Rutledge, Georgia.  A real nice campground with spacious campsites of water and electric.  We had a nice walk about the quiet, sparsely occupied park.

On Wednesday, we continued our travels for another 325 miles to Red Bay, Alabama, our destination.  We are back to the Tiffin service center for some motorhome issues.  The campground at the service center is full but a downtown park had a space reserved for Tiffin owners opened.  So we went to this park and set up forever how we might be here.  We registered for servicing but were told the service writer probably would not get to us until Friday as things were really backed up.  We ate a late lunch at the local Mexican restaurant.

Thursday morning, much to our surprise, about 9:30am a knock on the door told us that the service writer was paying a visit to talk about our needs on this visit.  He did say that we would not be able to in for servicing this week but maybe next week.  We were in need of a new sewer hose so we decided to find a Walmart.  The closest Walmart is in Russellville 30 plus miles away.  So we drove to Russellville, found the Walmart that didn’t have the sewer hose and then had lunch at a much better Mexican restaurant than the one in Red Bay.  While eating lunch time got a call from the service center campground office that a space was available there if we wanted it.  So we left and returned to move campgrounds.  Tom did get another sewer hose at the Tiffin parts store.  The sky all day had dark clouds and occasionally we had some misty rain.  Thunderstorms were predicted for the night as a cold front was moving in.  About 12:45am our phones woke us with a message of a possible tornedo in this area until 1:30am.  We became uneasy and decided that we would get out of the motorhome and go into a building close by.  The campground bathrooms were open so we went there.  Thankfully, no tornedo occurred but there was some heavy down pouring of rain.  By 1:45am we were back in bed with nothing but some rain the rest of the night.

After the night of interrupted sleep we were somewhat worn out on Friday.  We stayed at the campground.  We walked about the grounds, did a few things around the motorhome and had dinner here.

Today, Saturday, we woke up to a chilly motorhome.  It was 45 degrees outside and 57 degrees in here.  The heat was pushed on.  It was a beautiful sunny cool day.  It was quieter this morning with the service center closed for the weekend.  We walked around the area and stopped into the office and asked about anything happening in the area.  Nothing special was happening but we were given some brochures.  Since it was such a pretty day we decided to go to Dismals Canyon, a National Natural Landmark.  An entrance fee of $9.00 each allowed us to walk the trail through the canyon.  Huge house size boulders line the canyon.  On the moss covered walls larva of a fly called dismalites live.  At night these dismalites glow at nighttime to attract food.  There are 2 waterfalls. 

From Alabama
The trail is not the easiest involving climbing over rocks , crossing a creek on rocks and squeezing through some narrow openings between rocks- not to mention the stairway back up to the entrance building at the end of the trail.  But we did enjoy the visit and seeing this pretty area.  Leaving the Canyon we drove to the Rattlesnake Saloon, a unique “watering hole”, for lunch.  A pickup truck picked us up from a parking lot and drove down a steep hill to where a huge cave-like area in the rocks has been set up to be a dining area.  Sandwiches are available- we had burgers which are very good.  Alcohol is not sold until after 5pm when entertainment of karaoke or bands happen.  We were returned to the parking lot by way of the pickup truck.  A fun day.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Last days in Myrtle Beach- September 29, 2014

This has been our last week in Myrtle Beach for this year. It was not the best of weeks with rainy weather. Yesterday, Sunday,was predicted to be a sunny day but it was cloudy except for a few rays in the morning. Our gang has gotten smaller- the Fordhams and Laudidios left their condo unit on Saturday so now it is just the Rushes, Perrys, Woodruffs and us that are here at Pirateland Campground. Sunday morning we had a breakfast together with everyone contributing. This evening we will all be going to Abuelo's Restaurant for dinner before departing tomorrow morning.

The weekend was filled with festivals in the area. Tom and I went to Huntington Beach State Park for the Atalaya Arts and Crafts Festival on Friday. This was a well attended festival with lots of beautiful items for sale. On Saturday we went to North Myrtle Beach to the Irish-Italian Festival and made a loop around the street where the vendors were set up selling various items and food. We then stopped at the Greek Festival that was at the Greek Orthdox Church where there were more vendors but the biggest draw is the sale of Greek pastries.

Sunday, we went to Murrell's Inlet where there was suppose to be an Octoberfest at a restaurant that turned out to be vendors selling liquors and beers to draw in the motorcyclists that are in the area for Biker's week. We did eat at Dead Dog Saloon and had nice lunch on the outside deck.

Today, Monday, it is raining again. Tom and I did get a walk to the pier in this morning before the rain. We most always go up on the pier when we walk there. We never know what we may see. One morning we saw a catch of a 16 pound triple tail fish supposedly a very good tasting fish. We also saw on the same morning a 5-6 foot shark in the water under the pier- exciting to see but scary thinking about ocean swimming in this area. This past weekend a king mackeral fishing tournament was going on and again no mackerals were caught. We're told that the sharks have really hurt mackeral fishing.

Tomorrow we will be leaving Myrtle Beach and will be headed toward Red Bay, Alabama to the Tiffin factory for some motorhome work.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Continuation of Life as Beach Bums- September 23, 2014

Our life on the beach continues. The weather is changing. We have had some rainy days- today is probably the rainiest as it has rained all day. When it rains the ducks and Canadian geese waddle through the campground occasionally stopping to float about a water puddle. It is also cooler- with the rain today temperatures have not gotten out of the 60's. One evening after a shower of rain a complete beautiful rainbow appeared. What a treat to see this.
Tom and I keep ourselves occupied with our walks twice a day, when it is not raining, along the beach. Tom has gone golfing a couple times. When he golfs several of us get together to sit around and talk and then go out to lunch. Over this past weekend Bruce and Cricket McGinnis, former Traveling American members that are now in Florida, came up to this area to spend a couple days with this group. Bruce and Cricket no longer have an RV so they were staying in a hotel.
One morning as Tom and I were walking along the beach we saw 4 or 5 baby turtles making their way into the ocean. The poor little things would get into the surf and would then be pushed up the beach but eventually they must have made it into the deeper water to swim away.
From South Carolina
This past Sunday Tom and I went south to the town of Georgetown. Last year when we were here there was a big fire along the wharf. Slowly clean-up of the area is being done. We had lunch at the Old Fish House eating outside on the rustic patio.
Today with the nasty weather we drove north to Calabash, N.C. just over the state line from S.C. We like to eat at a restaurant, Ella's. They have very good oyster stew and other seafood. Calabash is well-known for seafood as many shrimp and other fishing boats dock here.
We are starting our final week here. Time goes fast when we are having fun. The weekend ahead has several festivals that will probably keep us busy.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Life on the Beach Continues- September 16, 2014

We continue to enjoy life here in Myrtle Beach. The weather is changing. The first week and half was really hot and humid. Then this past weekend there were clouds and rain. Today there was some sun but clouds drift in and out throughout the day. Tom and I continue to walk the beach usually twice a day- morning and evening. This past weekend we were on the pier at the state park (our walk destination)and saw fishermen catch a shark that was 4-5 feet long. Sharks are not allowed to be kept so this one was cut loose before bringing up on the pier.
Last week another couple, Bob and Dotty Daniels, arrived after dealing with a family emergency. Ed and Barb Perry took a little trip from the campground leaving their motorhome here as they helped a granddaughter to move from Richmond, Va. to Jacksonville, Fl. They left Sunday morning and returned today- a lot of miles in a short time. Bill and Rita Fordham and John and Michelle Laudidio are in the area as of Saturday staying in a rental condo for a couple weeks. Tomorrow evening we will all go out to eat to celebrate Rita's birthday.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Traveling- Virginia and Myrtle Beach- August 29- September 5, 2014

It appears that I am behind in my duties and that being the keeping of this blog up to date with our travels. Let me catch up. Last Friday, August 29th we left our house traveling in the motorhome. We were headed for Milford, Virginia for a weekend with the Traveling Americans. Since we were passing by Todd and Beth's house it had been arranged that we would pick up Parker and Gabi to take along for the weekend. We met Todd with the kids in a park and ride lot, loaded up the kids and traveled a little farther south to R & D campground in Milford, Virginia. Gabi and Parker were with us until Sunday when Todd along with Maddi came down to the campground and picked up the them up. We had a nice weekend. We all went out for dinner on Friday evening to a "soul food" restaurant called Lou's, great food- the ribs were outstanding and so meaty. Saturday we had pot luck breakfast and dinner and Sunday a continental breakfast. Woody Woodruff treated the kids to some magic tricks. Dave and Libby Hagan had the kids come into their motorhome to see their birds and we walked the nature trail several times.

With the kids back to their home and Parker being readied for kindergarten, we were ready Monday morning to move on down the road toward Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. We spent Monday night in Selma, North Carolina at R Vacation Campground. We were one of 4 motorhomes from the weekend campout going to Myrtle Beach. We all spent the night in this campground. On Tuesday morning we again were on the road going south on I-95. Tom and I got to Myrtle Beach about 1pm. The others, Woodruff, Rush and Perry, came in a couple hours later. Shelly and Rich Rogan had come down on Sunday- they are a younger still working couple that wanted a full week at the beach. Unfortunately, Shelly and Rich will be leaving this weekend and, fortunately, for the rest we will be staying until the end of the month. Another couple, Daniels, have had a family emergency and have not been able to get down as planned.

This week we have gotten ourselves settled into the beach life. Walking the beach mornings and evenings, going to the pool area and floating around the lazy river and going out to eat. It has been really hot here with temps in the 90's and upper 80's, cooler weather is predicted next week. The census at the campground is down during the week days and then picks up on the weekend.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Week in Branson, Missouri- August 14-24, 2014

Years ago, when Tom and I were working we bought a week of timeshare. Since retiring and traveling in our motorhome that week was no longer something we looked forward to doing. We had attempted to sell by several means but that proved impossible. Finally, this year our home resort, Marriott Royal Palms in Florida, offered to buy it back. So we are to receive back about 1/10th of what we paid to be rid of this, not a good deal but the only deal, and we will be free of the yearly ever-increasing maintenance fees and the need to go travel in this fashion. We still had 2 weeks of timeshare on the books to be used, one that had to be used before October. Hurriedly, we were able to book a week in Branson, Mo. for August 16 through 23. We had hoped to take our granddaughter, Maddi, along but she had made the field hockey team so was unable to go.

On Thursday, the 14th of August, we left home in our Jeep with suitcases packed heading west toward Branson. We spent 2 nights on the road- on the west side of Columbus, Ohio on Thursday (Hampton Inn) and then the west side of St. Louis, Missouri on Friday (Drury Inn). This was our first time to stay at a Drury Inn. Included in the room was a dinner buffet (soup, salad, pasta entree, salsa and chips) as well as a hot breakfast buffet ( omelets, sausage, fruit,etc.). The room cost was less than the Hampton Inn and the bed was more comfortable.

We arrived in Branson about noontime and were able to check into Spinnaker Palace View but we could not get our room keys until 4pm. So we went out for lunch and the spent time at the Shepard of the Hills fish hatchery and Lake Taneycomo until 4pm. During the week we went to several shows. Pierce Arrow show had been recommended to us by a group we encountered at the hotel on Friday evening. The Duttons show was a well rated show as well as the Haygood show. These shows were about 2 hours long and all proved to be very entertaining. Tom and I agreed that the Dutton's was the best of the 3 shows. The Dutton's are a family of talented musicians and entertainers. The Haygood's are another talented family group with louder music. Pierce Arrow is a group of musicians that perform a lot of gospel songs.

One afternoon we went on the Showboat Branson Belle. This paddle boat cruises Lake Taneycomo for 2 1/2 hours while the passengers enjoy a dinner and show. We were pleased with the meals that we had- Tom had prime rib and I had Mahi-mahi. The show was enjoyable.

For lunch one day we went to the College of the Ozarks. This college made quite an impression on us. The 1500 or 1600 students work 15 hours a week in order to pay their tuition. There is a restaurant, an inn, craft shops (weaving, furniture making, mills making corn meal and flours, jelly/jam kitchens) and farming. This is a liberal arts college. All the students we encountered were well groomed and very proud of their college. Since the college was not in session at this time students are allowed to work 40 hours a week to pay for their room and board. Most students (65-75%) come from the Ozark area. A great program and the students expressed their appreciation for being able to take advantage of this educational experience.

For whatever reason, this particular week is a down time for Branson. We wanted to go to Silver Dollar City and to the Shepard of the Hills outdoor play. Both of these activities were only open on Friday of this week. Silver Dollar City is an amusement park that also has stages throughout with entertainment. Presently, the entertainment is gospel groups. We sat through a couple groups of entertainers and rode a few rides. This weather this week was dry but hot. Temperature were in the 90's all week increasing to 100 degrees on Friday. Needless to say,the day would have been better in cooler weather. Later in the evening, we attended the Shepard of the Hills play which is performed in an outdoor amphitheater. Again this would have been more enjoyable in cooler weather.

Saturday morning we packed up and started our trek to home. We spent Saturday night at a Fairfield Inn in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. We ate dinner at a Ruby Tuesday's restaurant. While eating,there was a thunderstorm with sharp lightning and heavy down pouring of rain. Drawing out the dinner with coffee, we finally made a break for the parking lot and back to the hotel when there was a let up of the rain. Sunday we continued on and got home about 7pm.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Home, Monday, July 14, 2014

There was a storm last evening at the campground but from the news I believe that other areas south of Gettysburg were hit harder. We just experienced a downpour of rain with a few claps of thunder. This morning it was very humid and the temperature was building up. After dumping the black tank and rinsing it well we were headed for Taneytown about 10:30am. The short 13 mile trip was made easily in 20 minutes. Getting the motorhome in the driveway and then moving things into the house was a hot chore. We were hoping to hear some good news about our house but that wasn't to be. We will have to continue to wait and hope for the right persons to come along.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Remington Ryde Bluegrass Festival, July 10-13, 2014 Thursday- Sunday

Thursday, July 10, we left the Manheim area and traveled 108 miles to the west to Centre Hall, Pa.  We were rallying with an Escapee group at the Remington Ryde Bluegrass Festival at the Grange Park.  Luckily, the area that we were parked in was not crowded and we were able to hook into 50 amp power along with water, no sewer (although, honey wagon service was available for a fee).  It was a busy weekend.  Bluegrass groups performed for about 45 minutes beginning at 12 noon on Thursday, 11am on Friday and Saturday and last performance schedule for 9pm.  Most groups performed twice on the day they were scheduled – once during the day and then again in the evening.  There were 6 groups on Thursday and then 8 groups on Friday and Saturday.  Tom and I attended most of the performances on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  Remington Ryde, the festival name, is a bluegrass group that the promoter, Ryan Frankhouser, belongs to.  Rhonda Vincent & The Rage was the highlight of the festival performing on Saturday with a great show.  Other groups that performed that we liked were: “Little Roy and Lizzie Show”,  “Gentlemen of Bluegrass”, “Idletymes”, “Nothin Fancy”, “Goldwing Express” and “Hillbilly Gypsies”.  An outside stage was used and spectators brought their chairs to sit outside or under a tent.  It was a warm bright sunny couple of days and fortunately we secured an area under one of the tents to place our chairs.  Workshops were also conducted throughout the days.  Tom attended 2 workshops lead by RB Powell, Bluegrass theory and Music Theory.  He also went for a workshop on Guitars but the instructor did not show up.  It was a very busy weekend.  There were numerous food vendors on the grounds as well as sales of CD’s and such and festival souvenirs.

Sunday, July 13, church services were planned followed by some performances until mid afternoon.  We did not attend the Sunday activities.  We were about bluegrassed out and had planned to leave on this day.  So we packed up and were on the road about 9:30am heading for Gettysburg.  A little past 12 noon we were at Artillery Ridge Campground after 128 miles.  We wanted to stay here tonight to be able to dump our waste tanks before going home.  An open house was also being planned for this afternoon by our realtor for our house so we could not go home during this time.

Roots and Last Day, Tuesday and Wednesday, July 8&9, 2014

Tuesday morning we drove just a little south of Manheim, Pa. to Roots Country Market.  This market is only open on Tuesdays and is well attended.  On this day the parking lots were nearly full but we finally found a spot to park.  The market has stalls indoors and outdoors.  We moved about the market as well as we were able purchasing some fresh vegetables and fruits and then some chipped beef and Lebanon bologna and made our departure.   After bringing our purchases back to the motorhome we went to a restaurant nearby, Rino’s, for Taco Tuesday- this really was an Italian restaurant but had tacos for the special.  We did spy a Mexican cook in the kitchen, though.  The skies became a little threatening in the evening and we did have a brief thunderstorm.

Today, Wednesday, is our final day at this campground as we will be going to Centre Hall, Pa. tomorrow to camp with an Escapee group at a Bluegrass Festival.  This morning we ran to a grocery store for a few things and then back to the campground.  I made a cake in preparation for the weekend and made dinner.  Midafternoon the electric went out in the entire campground for about an hour as I was trying to get some clothes washed.  Shortly after the electric returned the skies darkened and we had a bump of thunder with rain.  It has been hot and humid the past several days but it is predicted to be a little cooler and dryer tomorrow.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Reading, Pa. and Water Heater, Monday, July 7, 2014

Today we decided to go to Reading, Pa. for some outlet shopping. I wanted to go to the Easy Spirit store to look for shoes. I found the shoes that I would have liked to buy but not in my size so I struck out there. We then went into some of the other clothing stores and both of us ended up buying a couple shirts/blouses. The day was hot and the humidity was rising so we soon called it a day for shopping. We did stop for lunch on our way back to the campground.

About 10 days ago we experienced our tankless hot water heater not producing hot water. Tom called a technician that diagnosed the problem with a faulty thermister. The tech talked Tom through a procedure of bypassing the problem and giving us hot water until a replacement part could be gotten. Last Monday, a week ago from today, Tom called and got the replacement thermister ordered to be sent to this campground by priority mail. It was to arrive here by Wednesday or Thursday last week. When we checked in on Wednesday Tom informed the staff that we were expecting a priority mail package. Checks were made in the office on Thursday (Friday was a holiday) and then again on Saturday. We were told that nothing had arrived. We even suggested looking in the D and B boxes as well as the V, our name often confuses people where the last name starts. This morning Tom called the sender to let him know that we had not received the part. The sender did some checking and said that the package had been delivered here on July 3rd at 10 something in the morning. Tom had called the campground while we were in Reading with this information but they still insisted it was not here. When we returned to the campground this afternoon we went to the office again looking for this package. One gal, Stacey, in the office that I took to be the manager insisted that we needed to get them the name of whoever signed for the package and didn't seem to have any sense of being responsible for where this package could be. Another gal, Susan, immediately, began making phone calls to a neighboring business, as well as, tracking the package with the tracking number. And still no package was found. Tom returned to the motorhome and called the local post office and then called the office to inform them of this. Well, lo and behold, the package had been found and would be delivered to us. The gal delivering the package said that it had been found in the B box so much for the one that supposedly checked on Thursday. Within 15 minutes Tom had the part installed and the water heater working as it should.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Shopping and Dining, Saturday, July 5, 2014

Our ventures on this day took us first to the little town of Bird-in-Hand where we went to a small Farmer’s Market.  This market is unlike most markets in this area.  There are few Amish merchants and fewer fresh vegetables, fruits and meats.  Moving on, we came to the bustling community of Intercourse.   The Intercourse Canning Company store as the name implies has canned goods, many pickled items and jellies and jams.  Samples of the products are out so one can easily eat their way through this store.  On this day the salsa products (and there were quite a variety) were being promoted and offered at a dollar off per jar.   Kitchen Kettle is a touristy shopping area that emphasizes “strumming and jamming”.  In a shady central location on this day there was a group of four elderly musicians entertaining with their instruments and singing voices. 
From Pa 2014

 There are all kinds of shops many selling goods that is from this area as quilts and fabrics, jellies and jams and candy as well as a Christmas shop and home decorating shops.  While in the Christmas shop  was celebrating “Christmas in July” prize drawings were being done and Tom won a box of Christmas cards.
Venturing on, we drove to the town of Lititz.  We were at this time more than ready for a late lunch.  We ate at the Bull Head Public House in the outside patio.  It was such a beautiful day with bright blue skies and comfortable temperatures that dining outside was a real pleasure.  We both had burgers with sweet potato fries, good food.  We walked along the street stopping at the Chocolate CafĂ©, a place designated as a must see and specializes in sweet treats and chocolate drinks.  We each had a piece of salty caramel covered in dark chocolate ($3.89 for the 2 pieces, pricey).  We walked through a couple other shops before returning to the car and going back to the campground.  It was a nice day but there were many other folks out enjoying the day also.

Thursday and Friday, July 3&4,2014, Mt. Joy and Hershey

Thursday, the third of July, was a hot humid day.  At lunchtime we took off in toward Manheim looking for someplace to eat.  Manheim had gotten hit pretty bad on Wednesday with a storm that cause branches and trees to be blown down.  We could only go part way through town on Rte. 72 as the road was blocked off for a crane doing some clean-up work.  So we continued out of the town and drove to Mt. Joy where we found a little Mexican restaurant where we ate lunch.  On the way back toward the campground we stopped at a country market.  (It was surprising how the storm on Wednesday skirted around the campground.  We were in Cornwall, north of campground, and saw winds blowing strongly and then we saw the destruction in Manheim which is south of the campground).  We did have some showers Thursday evening and rain continued most of the night.

Today, Friday, the 4th of July, started out cloudy but gradually became clearer by afternoon although there was a good wind until evening.  The temperature remained in the 70’s all day and is to be a cool night (50’s).  Windows are opened and the air conditioning is turned off.  We started out this morning going to Green Dragon Farmer’s Market in Ephrata but when we got there it was so crowded and parking was almost impossible that we just continued on.  We then stopped at Sharp Shoppers super market and purchased a few items.  After returning to the motorhome to put away our grocery purchases we decided to go into Lebanon to see the town and maybe find someplace for lunch.  Many places were closed today due to being a holiday so we continued on.  The GPS showed a barbeque restaurant in Palmyra so we continued to that town but the restaurant was not at the location the GPS took us.  Continuing on we found Funck’s restaurant with a parking lot full of cars so we stopped there and had really nice fried chicken dinners.  A few miles further and we were in Hershey where we visited “The Hershey Story, the museum on Chocolate Avenue’’.  The admission was $9.00 for seniors.  A very nice museum about Milton Hershey and Hershey Chocolate. 

This evening at the campground a local band was performing and we sat through the first set of their music.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

PA Dutch Country Campground, Manheim, Pa. Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Today, Wednesday, we left the Gettysburg Farm Campground and drove 53 miles to Manheim, Pa. to PA Dutch Campground.  We arrived here about 11am but did not get set up until 1pm.  The campsites here are not level, the sites have a slope that makes leveling the motorhome very difficult.  We tried one site and then moved to a second site where with help of boards under the front tires and jacks we are level.  And it was a hot, humid day for this aggravation.  We then drove into Cornwall and had lunch at "Quinten Haus" restaurant.  The skies had become dark as we got to the restaurant and as we sitting inside the rain began with wind but it didn't last too long.  The rain did not offer much relief from the heat.  We stopped at an RV store located next to the campground to get a folding step- with the front of the motorhome elevated we needed an additional step to get into the motorhome.  Both of us took naps after returning - those grandkids took their toll on us.  We plan to be here until July 10.

"Good-Bye Kiddos, Hello Rest", Monday, June 30 and Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Monday morning we had to get up earlier than usual as Tom and I had dentist appointments in Taneytown starting at 9:30am.  The kids were not too excited about the early start but we also would be returning them back to their dad later in the day.  (We opted not to change the appointments when we had made plans to be out at this time knowing we would be less than an hour away.)  After the appointments and checking on the house we then drove to Frederick, Md. where we got Gabi and Parker some lunch at McDonald's.  And then their dad, Todd, arrived to take them home.  We had a nice time with these kids but was looking forward to a slower pace.  As Todd and the kids took off for Virginia we took off for our favorite restaurant in Frederick, La Paz, for our lunch before heading back to the campground in East Berlin, Pa.

Tuesday morning started out as an early morning again.  Tom was found to need a filling done on a tooth on Monday and he was able to be worked in on this morning (or he would have had to wait for several months).  So a little before 8am he left and I remained at the campground.  While he was gone I did some cleaning and cabinet reorganizing.  When Tom returned we drove to Hanover for lunch at Famous Hot Wiener and then to the movies to see "Jersey Boys".  In the evening we took a walk around the campground and noticed a storm headed our way.  We quickly put away chairs, picnic table covering and the grill before a couple drops fell and the storm circled around us.

Steam into History, New Freedom, Pa. Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sunday morning we all took the hayride that went through the campground and the out along the corn fields.  Parker said that he had never been on a hayride before.  After lunch we drove to New Freedom, Pa. to take a 2.5 hour train ride, "Steam into History" to Hanover Junction.  Parker has always been infatuated with trains so this was exciting for him and Gabi got caught up in Parker's excitement.  The steam engine is a replica of the locomotive that Lincoln traveled to Gettysburg to deliver his famous Gettysburg Address and the tracks that Lincoln's funeral train traveled.  The train traveled at 10mph taking about an hour to make the 10 mile trip to Hanover Junction from New Freedom.  At Hanover Junction we got off the train for about 40 minutes.  Conveniently, an Italian gelato truck was there selling ice cream treats which we had to have as we waited for the return trip.  Driving back to the campground we stopped in York at a Cheddar's restaurant for dinner.
The train ride was real nice.  Folks in period dress were on the train and at  Hanover Junction.  Narration  told of the history of the train and the sights along the way.  It was a warm day but with opened windows on the train a nice breeze made the trip a comfortable ride.

Friday and Saturday, June 27 & 28, 2014 Campground days

On Friday and Saturday we stayed around the campground.  Spent a few hours in the pool.  Took some walks about the park.  And played on the the playgrounds  Grandpa made a campfire Friday evening and hot dogs, campfire pies and marshmallows were cooked over the fire.  When lightning bugs made their appearance in the evening the kids had fun catching lighting bugs.  Saturday evening both kids had mishaps on the playground- Gabi had some scratches on her chin from falling into the sand and Parker hurt his knee on the sliding board.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Hershey Park, June 26, 2014, Thursday

We were at Hershey Park about 10:30 am and the kids rode the rides all day.  It was a hot day but we all had fun.  Parker got to ride on the train twice.  Gabi, a 2 year old, walked holding onto our hands all day.  We walked through the zoo which the kids got excited at seeing the animals. We made our last stop at Chocolate World and rode through the Chocolate tour.  The kids each got a teddy bear with candy.   Gabi fell asleep before we got off the parking lot but then we stopped at a Fuddruckers a short distance away for supper.  We were all ready for bed when we got back to the campground.

June 24 & 25, 2014 Tuesday and Wednesday

On Tuesday the 24th we stayed at the campground and spent some time in the pool.  On Wednesday we went to Columbia, Pa to the Turkey Hill Experience.  Turkey Hill ice cream is a well known brand in this area.  This “experience” was displays and activities about the making of ice cream.  We were given a scoop of ice cream and a small cup of tea which is also produced by this company.  The kids enjoyed playing in a room of plastic balls and a sliding board and, of course, the ice cream and tea.

Dutch Wonderland, Monday, June 23, 2014

We plan to be at Gettysburg Farm campground until July 2.  On this day we took Parker and Gabi to Lancaster area to an amusement park called “Dutch Wonderland”.  We bought tickets that were a combination of Dutch Wonderland and Hershey Park.  This is a nice park for younger kids.  We had a fun day getting the kids on the rides.  Parker being a great train boy enjoyed the train rides.  Gabi also enjoyed riding the different rides. 

Gettysburg Farm, June 22, 2014, Sunday

We met Todd as planned and picked up Parker and Gabi.  We then drove to Dover, Pa to Gettysburg Farm Campground.  As the name implies this campground is a farm themed park.  There are a variety of farm animals here- donkeys, llamas, alpacas, goats, chickens,cows, pigs and ducks.  After getting in and setting up our campsite we walk around looking at the animals and letting the kids play on the playgrounds.

Mid Atlantic Samboree- June 19-22, 2014

Thursday, June 19th, we left Taneytown and drove to Lincoln, Delaware- 143 miles.  We parked in the driveway of friends, Dave and Libby Hagan, for the night.  We had an enjoyable evening visiting with Dave and Libby and meeting their new puppy, Mac.  We all went out for dinner at the Pizza Palace in Milford, De., a very nice Italian restaurant that had much more than pizza.

Friday morning we said good-by to Libby and Mac, Dave had gone to work, and then drove a short 16 miles to Harrington, De. for the Mid Atlantic Samboree.  This Samboree included the states of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey and was just for the weekend.  We were really disappointed in the rally.  There were only 2 seminars, one on Friday morning about Pilot/Flying J and then one Saturday morning by Pampered Chef.   Friday evening was opening ceremony and an ice cream social.  Saturday evening we had a catered dinner and then entertainment by a group called the “Honeycombs” which performed music of the 50’s, 60’s and some 70’s.  Very entertaining!

Sunday morning we left before 9am and before closing ceremonies.  We had made plans with Todd to meet in Annaplois about 10 am to pick up our 2 little grandkids, Parker and Gabi.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Spring has Arrived and We are Home, May 20, 2014, Tuesday

Finally the weather is beginning to feel like spring.  I believe last night was the first night that the heat did not come on during the night in these couple of weeks of being on the road.  Yesterday was a bright sunny day and this morning started out that way but then the clouds started to move in and rain is predicted for tomorrow.

We were going to be home today but before pulling out we drove to Manheim, Root' Farmers in the Jeep.  Seeing the parking lots so full we expected the inside market to be crowded but in this warmer weather there were outside vendors that help to disperse the crowds.  We made a loop around the market purchasing fresh produce and then returned to the campground.  Tom dumped the black and gray tanks and soon we were on out way toward home about 12 noon.  Seventy-two miles and 2 hours later we were home.

Obviously, there was some activity with the house as we found a couple lights left on and the fliers in the box on the real estate sign had been depleted.  But, unfortunately, there must not have been anything noteworthy for our realtor to contact us.

Lebanon, Pa. May 18 & 19, 2014, Sunday and Monday

Sunday morning about 10am we were on the road again heading east.  We weren’t sure where we were going to go at first, just didn’t feel ready to go home.  So finally decided to go to the Thousand Trails Hershey Preserve at Lebanon for a couple days before going home.  It was a pretty day for traveling- sunshine, green grass and trees with leaves.  After 351 miles we arrived at the T.T. Hershey Preserve about 4:30pm.   We got into a site had dinner, took a walk and then relax the rest of the evening.  We had never been to this campground before but it seems to be a nice place.  There are some hills here and our site is on the biggest hill giving a nice view.

Today, Monday, we decided to drive into Ephrata to the Ephrata Cloister, a place we had passed numerous times but never toured.  The Cloister was a creation of Conrad Beissel in the mid 1700’s at which time there were about 80 celibate Brothers and Sisters.  There were also families(Householders) in the community(about 200) that chose Beissel as their spiritual leader that contributed with funds, products and assistance to the Cloister.  Life in the Cloister was regimented and disciplined.  Diet was one meal a day of mainly vegetables and bread, rest was limited to 6 hours, long hours of work and periods of meditation were required.  A printing press was operated for 50 years and is known for printing the largest book in colonial America when they translated and printed the 1500 page “Martyrs Mirror” for the Mennonites.  Beissel died in 1768 and along with a decline in this monastic lifestyle lead to the demise of this community.  The last celibate member died in 1813 leaving the Householders to maintain the property and the faith as the German Seventh-Day Baptist Church.  Some Householders lived at the Cloister until 1934.  In 1941 Pennsylvania acquired the property and undertook a program to restore and interpret this historic site. An interesting day.  We grabbed lunch and made a couple stops at some of the unique stores in this area before returning to the campground.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Hurrah, We’re Out of the Mud!!, May 17,2014, Saturday

Last evening Tom and I went to the Farewell Party.  Had a nice time talking with others above the loud music that was being played.  We had heard at the party that a couple RVs had left the infield Friday and it was felt that we should be able to get out in the morning.  Unfortunately, after returning to the motorhome it began raining again.  Now we weren’t sure if we would be able to get out without hanging-up.

We had an 8:45am appointment this morning to get the motorhome weighed but with empty black and gray tanks.  Some RVs were leaving the area without problems.  So we got up and immediately started preparing to leave without breakfast.  I drove the Jeep out and then Tom followed in the motorhome without any problems.  A big sigh of relief!  Tom drove to a site that had a sewer outlet, backed in and dumped the tanks.  And then to the parking lot where the weighing was being done.  There was no wait so immediately the weighing was done and then we hooked up the car to the motorhome and were on our way.

We finally found a place to eat breakfast about an hour after being on the road at Churubusco, Indiana.  Tennis’ Ramblin’ Inn was a small local diner next to a CVS and an IGA grocery store that had room for us to park the motorhome and also we were able to get some needed orange juice and bananas.  The breakfast food was very good.

Continuing on we had a mix up in the directions from the GPS around Fort Wayne that we eventually worked our way out.  When we finally got to Columbus, Ohio area we met up with I-70 east that we would be traveling on to Wheeling, West Virginia.  Before reaching Wheeling, we stopped in Zanesville, Ohio for the night at Wolfies Campground.  There have been dark clouds much of the day with occasional periods of sun.  And it continues to be chilly with temperatures in the mid 40’s. 

Tonight I made dinner and have been washing clothes.  And we watched the Preakness to see California Chrome win.  Sure hope he is successful at the Belmont to become a Triple Crown Winner.

Last Day at Escapade, May 16,2014, Friday

This is the last full day of the Escapade and everything is slowing down.  Just a few seminars in the morning but we opted to skip that.  We took off for Nappanee.  Tom had received a call from Newmar parts department that the propane cap he had ordered last week was in and we could pick it up if we were still in the area or it could be shipped.  So we were going to pick that up.  From there we drove to Shipshewana, a touristy Amish area. 

From 2014-05-17 Elkhart
From 2014-05-17 Elkhart
There are numerous shops for buying Amish foods as cheeses, meats and baked goods as well as craft shops selling furniture and household goods.  We stopped at several shops mostly looking, not much buying.  Returning back to Goshen we stopped at Das Dutchman Essenhaus for lunch.  This restaurant has a noon buffet lunch of Amish type food- fried chicken, roast beef, noodles, gravies, mashed potatoes and assortment of vegetables along with a soup and salad bar.  And for dessert we had a piece of strawberry/rhubarb pie a la mode.  Good food- pie especially good.   (Almost as good as our daughter-in-laws, Beth)

Returning to the fairgrounds we went to the closing ceremonies and still came out not winning any door prizes. 

From 2014/05/16
Tonight we will be going to the Farewell Party.

After yesterday ended with beautiful sunshine we awoke this morning to clouds again and cold (34 degrees).  The clouds have remained all day with periods of misty rain.  Now at 5:15pm it is raining.  We are not sure when we are going to be able to get out of here.  The ground has dried up some but now with more rain, who knows.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Sunshine Finally, May 15, 2014, Thursday

Last night it really rained again and continued drizzling all morning.  It didn’t get too cold last night but tonight it will be in the 30’s.  A cold front moved in this afternoon and we could feel the coldness in the wind, even though ,the sun came out this evening.  Being parked in the infield of the racetrack, we are in the muddiest area.  Some motorhome attempting to make an early departure today found themselves hung-up in the quagmire.  The Escapade ends on Saturday and we were to leave at that time but due to the conditions of this area everyone parked here have been asked to stay until Sunday to allow an additional day of drying and, hopefully, prevent people getting hung-up.  The extra night is being given to us without cost.

This morning Tom and I started out in the vendor area as today was the last day for the vendors.  We had not been here except for the first day.  We then attended more seminars.  The seminars that we attend cover a variety of topics, sometimes we both attend the same seminar and other times we go in different directions according to our interests.  One seminar that I attended today was called “My Personal Amish/Mennonite Story” given by a local woman that had been raised as an Amish and later changed to being a Mennonite.  Area surrounding Goshen has many Amish and Mennonite folk living here.

This evening the entertainment was called “Ham-O-Rama” which was fellow Escapees displaying their talent.  There was a nice variety of talent- singing, telling jokes and playing instruments.  Nice evening.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Yucky Day at the Escapade, May 14, 2014 Wednesday

The temperature has remained in the 50’s all day along with rain most of the day.  The rain has not been heavy but from the previous days it has been enough to make a muddy mess.  We are parked on grass but surrounded by a dirt racetrack.  Naturally, the entranceway out of this area over the track is messy but now the grass is also getting tore up and muddy. 

From Elkhart
2014-05-17 Elkhart
From 2014-05-17 Elkhart

In spite of that we were in seminars again this morning at 8:30 am and stayed in that area all day.  Tom and I both attended 5 seminars today.  Lunch is available at 2 locations- a buffet meal at one and hot sandwiches at another.  We opted for brat sandwiches today.

There is no entertainment this evening except a jam session.  Because of the weather and the unheated buildings we decided we would be more comfortable in the motorhome than going to the jam session featuring amateur musicians.  We did drive downtown to the South Side Soda Shop and Diner for dinner.  We both had a seafood pasta dish that was good after adding some pepper flakes to it but the best was the pies for dessert- homemade and yummy.  This restaurant had been featured on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” several years ago.