Monday, October 27, 2014

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.