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Sat. Sep. 21 to Fri. Sep. 27- Davenport IA to Des Moines IA to Winterset IA to Council Bluffs IA to St. Joe MO.

Saturday- We woke up to rain. We looked at the radar and it was supposed to stop later. We decided to go ahead and leave. We drove out of the park at around 10:30. I followed Bob in the car, as we were stopping in 12 miles for diesel and gas.

We stopped at a Pilot, across from the famous I-80 Rest Area. It was raining really hard by this time. I put gas in the car, $2.40 gal. Bob purchased diesel for the rig. We ate lunch and then Bob connected the car to the back in the pouring rain. His rain jacket, which was okay in a light rain, leaked right through and he was drenched. It was also cold, so he changed clothes and we drove farther west on I-80.

The windshield wipers started acting up. We had to keep stopping and Bob would adjust them. It turned out the wind was blowing the wipers when we were going over 45 mph. What a mess! It kept raining harder and harder. We had to keep pulling over on the interstate for Bob to make adjustments.

We finally drove north on I-35 and drove slowly to Bob Shetler COE park. As soon as we drove over the dam, we realized that we had been there before. Of course, now that we were driving slower, the rain stopped!

We arrived at the park and realized that we did not have water, so we had to fill up the water tank. We parked and realized that we were having a problem with the car battery. The car was very slow to start.

Of course, right when we started to set up, the rain started again. Bob had to walk the dogs in the rain. We fed them, then it stopped raining and Bob could do a longer walk with them.

We left at 5:30 to head to a Mexican Restaurant to meet up with Bob’s niece Holly, her husband Paul, son and daughter. The youngest daughter stayed home as she was not feeling well. We had a great visit with them.

They had received our mail, so they gave that to us and waited to make sure that the car started. We returned home and went to bed.

Sunday- We did some of our usual Sunday tasks. We left in time for lunch at the Main Street Diner. Wow, do they have a winner there! The place was packed, but we were able to find two seats at the bar, after ordering. They delivered the food rapidly and it was delicious. We gave them 5 stars on Yelp.

We went to Walmart for a new battery for the car. It was going to be a wait. We shopped, then sat in the waiting room. There was an African American mother with 4 kids who came in to wait. The littlest boy, about 5 years old decided that we were his grandparents. He kept climbing on us and wanting to cuddle.  He really took to Bob. The poor mother was really having a time trying to keep this kiddie under control. At least the other 3 were well behaved. After what seemed like a long time, but was about 1/2 hr., they left.

Our car took 2 hours. At some point they finished, but lost the paperwork. Bob had ordered the cheapest battery, since we are getting rid of the car.

We finally left and went to Costco. We purchased a few items, then went to Dick’s Sporting Goods and purchased a much better, Columbia, rain jacket for Bob.

We finally saw some sun! Yahoo! We drove back to the park, arrived, and it promptly started raining again! Grrr!

Once this storm passed, it cleared out. I had remembered that the last time through here, we had see a sign for John Wayne’s home, so we looked it up. It is in the small town of Winterset, so we changed plans and are going there on Tuesday on our way to Council Bluff/Omaha.

We ate leftovers for dinner and had a quiet evening.

Monday- We left around 9:40, to go downtown to the Iowa State Capitol. Their website had said to call for hours for the tour. So I had at a little after 8 AM, and each tour was on the 1/2 hour. So we were trying to take the 10:30 tour.

IA building

We arrived to find the visitor parking and we walked to the ground floor, south side of the building. This picture is of the east side. We walked in on the left.  We were a little early, so we wandered the exhibits. The ground floor is basically some offices, the visitor center, and cafeteria.

Our guide was Karen. She was so much better than the guy in Illinois! Our tour ended up being almost 2 hours long. We first walked up a long flight us stairs to the first floor.

IA rotunda

The Iowa Capitol is the only Capitol building with five domes. Above is the rotunda dome. Note all of the gold. The first capitol building was an ugly box. There is an east side of the river and a west side. The two sides both wanted the capitol. The west side offered 10 free acres on which to build the building. The east side offered 10 acres plus a building. The people said no, that the building should be paid for, so the east side folks sold them the old ugly building for $1.

The Legislators finally decided to build something much prettier. So all of the domes and much of the building have a lot of gold leaf adorning the building. All of the gold above is gold leaf. They use stencils and put the leaf on by hand. The sky in the middle of the ceiling is an arched painting. The flag, which represents the flag at the time of the Civil War, (they fought for the north),  is hung by cords that you cannot see. This gives the cloud effect. The next area is all gold leaf. Then there are the windows. Later, I will have a picture of Bob up there, looking down at me. He was able to climb the 92 stairs up there.

The next area, which look white, below the windows, are gold wheat stalks. Although Iowa is known for corn, they were initially known for wheat. The building was built by hand in the 1800’s using cement. The building is very heavy and the pillars you will see are all concrete underneath, and are load bearing. The marble is just put on the outside for decoration.

The ceilings and walls are all hand painted.

IA ceiling

IA ceiling 2

IA USS Iowa

Above is Karen, in front of the USS Iowa replica, compliments of the Navy. It is on the first floor, in front of the Governor’s office. We did not get to see the Governor’s office, as there was a meeting going on. Karen told us that the it is the ‘”people’s building”, we can enter any door that is not locked. The governor’s office had a sign on it that they were having a meeting.

On several of the arches, they had different sayings….

IA saying 1

IA saying 2

I really liked the two above!

IA SC

Above is the original Supreme Court. The court was moved in the 1980’s to a new building close by. This room is now used as a hearing room. The Supreme Court originally had 5 members, then 9, now 7. BTW, the chairs you see are all original wood, but have been recovered. 

IA SC Chairs

The bench is interesting. It is mahogany, from South America. There were 10 of the areas originally. The guy who was tasked with building this room, went to South America in the 1800’s and hand picked a mahogany tree. He and his assistants then  shipped it back up to Des Moines. Then he needed 10 perfect sections. He advertised for someone to carve them. A 22 year old guy, applied. The builder said nope, you are too young, with not enough experience, to carve this one time mahogany. If mistakes were made, it was impossible to get another tree!

This young man was from Germany. He started carving at age 9. He did a demonstration, and was given the job.Here are some of the carvings.

IS SC2

IA SC C 3

So when the Supreme Court was increased in number, they needed to add sections. Who better to do it, but the same carver? So they hunted him down, in Chicago, at age 60 and he did 3 more of the carvings on the right and 3 on the left. It is different mahogany and in looking, you can see a slight difference in the color of the wood. Below is one of the new ones.

IA SC C 4

Moving on, I had seen these round steam vents. Originally, the building was steam heated in the winter. They decided to change over to electric heat, using these heaters. It did not work well, but they added the marble tops and they are now used as places to stand and talk when the legislature is in session. Plus they are still a warm place, as the legislature meets from Jan. to Apr.

IA steam vents

Below is the same statue that we saw in Illinois. Remember, that Illinois legislature thought they were too risqué. A member of the Illinois legislature,  in the 1980’s,was touring the Iowa Capitol, and heard the story of the statues. The next thing, Illinois contacted Iowa and asked for their statues back. They had been in Iowa for 130 years!

Iowa said NO WAY! So Illinois sent someone to digitally copy the statue and they had their statues made for the Illinois Capitol. That is everyone’s story and they are sticking to it!!

So we walked up the stairs to visit the mural. It is a different one from the one in Illinois.

IA Mural 1

The women in the left corner are not angels. They each represent something. Then the middle, had the wagon train coming across. The left side represents going into the unknown, which the pioneers did…the middle is their arrival, and the right side is the future.

The gal on the left sitting on the wagon seat, was modeled by an Iowa woman. She evidently got around, as she is seen is several other state Capitol’s and the US Capitol in Washington.

IA Dome 2

Above is another dome ceiling. That is sunlight. Below is another mural. More on that later…it is located above the other mural on another floor.

IA Mural 2

IA entrane HR

Above is the entrance to the House of Representatives.

IA HR 1

IA Celing HR

Above is the House ceiling.In 1904, the building caught fire when they were trying to add electricity. There was one fire engine, two horses, and water half a mile away. There was no way they were going to save the building. The Governor at the time said to evacuate the building.

One of the workers said, I know how to stop the fire without water. Everyone thought he was crazy. He entered the chamber and closed all the windows, he entered the upper floor and closed all the windows, he entered the attic and closed all the windows. Naturally, with no oxygen, the fire, overnight, died down. This saved the rest of the building. There was a lot of damage to the roof and walls in this room, which was repaired in 1905. So it is not as ornate as the Senate, which we will visit next.

The guy, Lindhurst ( I think that was his name) was a hero. There is no plaque in the building saluting the guy who saved the building! The poor man was checking out the attic the next day, stepped on a burned board, and fell to his death!

IA HR desks

Notice that each desk has two chairs. The one with the arms is for the Legislator. The one without the arms is for the assistant. They vote via a push button like lots of the other capitols. The votes end up on the screen in the front and the back.

Back up two pictures, you will note the gallery for visitors. The seats are very narrow. They did not think women would ever come to the Capitol. Now, it is not a big issue, but in the old days, the ladies had hoops in their skirts and they could not sit in the seats. They had to stand over where the big board is now. There is a gallery on the front and the back of the room, which is different from most of the Capitols.

You might note, in the front, there is a picture of Abraham Lincoln on the left and George Washington on the right. In the center is Trump. They always have the picture of the current President there. It is also in the Senate. So far, this is the only State Capitol who has the President in their House and Senate.  The guides hate that they have these three portraits. When they do tours for kids, it confuses the kids. They think they are the state legislators, or President of Iowa. They would prefer the current Iowa Speaker of the House and Senate President.

Below is the more ornate Senate.

IA Senate

There are also two chairs at these desks, for the Legislator and their secretary. The terms are different for the Senate and the House. There are 50 seats in the Senate and 100 in the House.

IA seanate chairs

IA Senate Ceiling

IA Senate Light

Both the chandeliers in the Senate and the House, used to be hand cranked up and down for cleaning. Now they are both done via electricity. The Senate is original to the building, since they were undamaged during the 1904 fire.

IA senate ped

Our next stop was the Library. They have over a million legal books, not all in this location.

IA LIbrary 1 IA Library 2

Only employees can climb the spiral staircase. You can used the library, but you cannot check books out unless you are a member of various groups.

IA Library 3

They have a card catalogue. I opened one of the drawers, and they are the original cards. They do not use the Dewey Decimal System, they use the Harvard System.

IA Library 4

Below is a very old book.

IA old book

Below is a book printed by Benjamin Franklin.

IA Ben Frank

I laughed at this sign.

IA flash bulbs

From here, we went back to the mural. This mural is made of tiny pieces of glass. It was designed and manufactured in Italy. The guy who designed this mural,  had to come and take measurements, of what he wanted, then design, then put all the pieces together on parchment paper. They were numbered in order, then brought to the states. From there, they had to attach them to a concrete wall, WITHOUT, being able to see them. That meant that if they made a mistake, oops! A real problem. The feet, changed directions as I walked past them, but the pictures did not show this. This happened on two of the murals. All the eyes were “ Mona Lisa” eyes, and changed directions when you walked past, also.

This was the mural’s feet. Note the very tiny pieces of glass. 

IA mural ft 2

IA Mural 2

Above is the mural I am talking about and the feet are from the first panel on the far left.

Bob climbed the 92 steps up, as far as they allowed him to go. This is his picture of me, below, sitting on the bench. I am sitting on the right.

IA denise bench 2

Here is my picture of Bob, way up there… he is on the right side.

IA Bob up

We returned to the Library and were able to go up one flight of stairs, to take a picture from above.

IA library up

Across from the Governor’s Office, we found this display case of the First Ladies of Iowa.

IA first ladies

We walked back to the car, and went to a Triple D recommended restaurant …

IA triple d 2

IA Guy

We had a 1/2 rack of ribs with excellent garlic bread,  two sides, mac’n cheese and coleslaw. The mac had a bit of fire. The food was very good and we took some home with us.

Bob took the sheets and towels to a laundromat. I worked on the blog. When Bob returned, he worked on the windshield wipers. We are hoping they will work. He tightened a lot of places on them…

We ate dinner and I sat in my recliner. When I stood up I saw Bob’s glasses on the floor. Evidently, I had stepped on them. So we ran to Costco, to see if they could be repaired. No they could not. Bob is due for glasses soon, so he is just going to use his old glasses until we get to AZ.

Tuesday- We left around 9:30 and traveled south on I-35 to west on I-80. we only went 12 miles, and turned south on IA 169 to Winterset. When we drove in we saw a Quilt museum and found that we were in Madison County. Remember the movie, The Bridges of Madison County?  We drove into the Winterset City Park. We have a FHU 50 amp site for $22 per night. We decided to stay 2 nights instead of one night.

We set up, then went to the Visitor Center. The gal was great, telling us about things to do in the area. Then we went to lunch at a nice little café, Anything Sweet and More Café, which used to be in a bank. They still had the safes! We had nice sandwiches for lunch.

After lunch, we visited the Mercantile, then the beautiful Courthouse.

WF Courthouse

There was not much inside, as they have moved out all the offices. the Courthouse was designed by the same architect who designed the Illinois and Iowa Capitol Buildings. We went in the south entrance, above, and out the west entrance to Montross Pharmacy. This was the pharmacy where John Wayne’s father was the pharmacist. He used to ride his tricycle around the store!

WS Pharmacy

They did have a soda fountain, but other than that, it was just a little pharmacy. The town has a Ben Franklin! We don’t see many of them anymore.

WF Ben Franklin

Next we went to the Freedom Rock. Each county in Iowa is tasked with putting in a Freedom Rock. This was the first time we had heard about the rocks. So here is the one in Winterset, Madison County. It was dedicated in August 2017. All of the county Freedom Rocks are being painted by Ray “Bubba” Sorenson. There are 99 counties in Iowa, and he is also painting 2 rocks in each state. This is the 67th completed rock. Note below, all the soldiers on the first side are John Wayne. Wayne was not a Veteran, but made many iconic war movies. He tried to join the service, but received a deferment due to his found children.

WS Rock 1

The second side shows the four POW’s from Winterset. Three are from WWII and one is from the Vietnam War.

WS rock 2

The third side was George Stout (there is a George Clooney movie, The Monuments Men, about how George Stout rescued precious works of art during WWII) and Glenn Martin. He owned an Aircraft Company, which eventually merged with Lockheed Martin.

WS Rock 3

The fourth side was for Valor… The Quilts of Valor Foundation is a group of volunteers though out the US, who make, then award quilts to any service person, not matter when or where they served. Winterset is the National Headquarters. AS of 2017, 8000 are involved in creating the quilts and over 166,000 quilts have been presented.

IA rock 4

We went to the John Wayne Museum.

WS Wayne museum

We paid the senior rate of $14 per person. We wandered the gift shop for a few minutes until the 11 minute movie started. It was narrated by one of Wayne’s daughters. The chairs in the theater are from Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood.

JW seats

Here is an Andy Warhol picture of the Duke.

JW warhol

JW warhol 2

About John Wayne and his time in Winterset.

JW 1

JW 2

JW 3

JW 6

JW 5

Below are costumes that the Duke wore in non-western movies.

JW no clothes

Below is what he wore in True Grit.

JW True Grit

Guns he used in movies.

JW guns

Below are the costumes from Sons of Katie Elder.

JW costumes from SonsBelow is a statue.

JW Monument Valley

Below is the wrap that Maureen O’Hara wore in the Quiet Man. JW Ohara

Wrap 2

JW wagon

Above is the wagon from the Quiet Man.

JW car

JW car

Below is his suitcase.

JW suitcase

I thought this was cool, his phone book!

JW phone directory

The Reagans address and phone number!  Below is his family. He was married 3 times.

JW family

Above… from left Ethan, Patrick, Michael, Marissa, Aissa, Melinda, Toni.

Below is about his boat.

JW boat

JW JW

We walked back past the rock and to his home in town. It is four rooms. None of the furniture is original.

JW house

JW mother

Above is the doctor who delivered the 13 lb. Marian Robert Morrison. He was one big baby! 

JW birth cert

Below are two pictures of him and his brother.

JW with brother

JW brother 2

JW family 2

We left and went to visit one of the Bridges of Madison County.

MC Bridge 1

MC Bridge 2

Bridge 3

We returned to the rig, ate dinner, and had a walk around the park. We stopped at the Cutler-Donahue Bridge. This bridge is located in the park, just over from the RV park.

MC Cutler bridge

MC Cutler 2

MC Cutler 3

We walked up to the Rotary Maze. It was designed by a Professor of Landscape Architecture. The professor visited a lot of hedge maze’s in England. The Maze was planted in 4 hours , in 1998, by high schools students. It consists of 1,850 privet hedges. In the center of the maze, is an old English sundial.

MC Maze

Then we walked, all of this with the dogs, to the Log Cabin.

MC Log

MC log 2

Near the log cabin we found this rock.

MC apple

We returned home and watched some TV. It rained overnight.

Wednesday- Since the rain last night, there was less humidity and it was a little cooler. We left, after giving Karlie her medications, and drove into the park. We stopped at the Stone Bridge.

MC stone bridge

We drove up to Clark Tower. Built in 1926, the monument honors a family of stone masons who were among the early town settlers.

MC Clark Tower

The bottom is an empty round room. We walked up the stone steps to a room on the second floor. From there, we climbed a metal ladder up to the top of the Tower.

MC Clark top  MC tower 2

We drove back down the one way road, back into the main part of the City Park.  From there we drove west on Hwy. 92, 9.5 miles to the Roseman Bridge. This bridge was featured in the movie.

MC Roseman bridge

MC Roseman 3

It is hard to see in the river, but the water was running very fast after last nights storm.

MC Roseman 4

All of the bridges have a lot of graffiti. Some of the bridges have put up the white boards for folks to write on.

We left and drove to Pammel State Park. We took a short cut, which turned out to not be a good idea!

MC Pammel SP

We drove into the park and at the river, we found the Middle River Ford. The ford was open, but we looked at the rushing water and decided to turn around and go back. I forgot to take a picture of the raging water.

We drove to the main entrance to the park. For our RV’ing friends, DO NOT TRY TO STAY IN THIS STATE PARK. The entrance has a 12’6” entrance thru the tunnel below.  There was no where to turn around either, once you reached the sign.

MC Rock tunnel

MC tunnel 2

The Harmon tunnel is the only one in Iowa. It was built in 1858 and enlarged for cars in the 1920’s.

We drove back through town and to the  next bridge on our list. Below is Cedar Bridge. It is under construction, as you can see. They are repainting the inside, they have put some steel girders underneath, and added some fire protection.

MC Cedar Bridge

The original bridge was featured on the book cover of The Bridges of Madison County.

MC Cedar 2

The hanging orange canister is the fire prevention apparatus.

We left there and continued driving east. The next bridge we visited was the Holliwell Bridge over the Middle River. It is the longest, spanning 110 ft. It was built in 1880 and was featured in the movie.

MC Holliwell

MC Holliwell 2

This bridge is a little different from the other bridges. Note below the wood on the walls slopes instead of being straight.

MC Holliwell 3

The floor boards were not straight across, they were slanted to the side.

MC Holliwell 4

We continued on to the next bridge. On the way, we passed by the Madison County Winery/Brewery. So we pulled in and I sampled a sweet wine called Lollipop. It was not all that sweet, but sweeter than most red wines I have tried.

Bob had a flight of beer. He really liked their Hazy IPA and thought that the Brown was good.

We continued on to the Imes Bridge. It is the oldest of the remaining bridges, built in 1871. It was relocated from the Middle River in Paterson to St. Charles.

MC Imes

We returned to town. We ate lunch at the Pizza Hut Buffet. The pizza was awful!

Here is the Theater. It is a turn-of-the-19th-century theater, completely renovated and re-opened in 2017.

MC Iowa Theater

Our next stop was the Iowa Quilt Museum.

MC Quilt Mus

The museum is located in an old JC Penny’s.

MC Quilt 5

We walked in and while I was paying, Bob found a Barn Quilt book, written by an gal we know, Suzi Parron. She and her hubby own an Alfa and they travel. She is a Barn Quilt expert and she speaks all over the country.

MC Quilt 7

Until September 29th, the quilt theme is the history of quilt making. It was interesting, although, I think the quilts we saw at the quilt show in Holland Michigan were much prettier.

MC Quilt 8

MC quilt 14

MC Quilt 15

The quilt above is not finished, but it represents the town of Winterset.

Upstairs there were quilts on a bed. We had to put on white gloves to touch them. Here is Bob with one glove left on…

MC Quilt 10

I thought this was interesting about the history.

MC Quilte 11

Here is an old sewing machine, that an electric motor was added to at some point.

MC quilt 13

We went home to happy dogs. Bob worked on the water softener and I did laundry. We ate dinner at home and watched TV.

Thursday- We drove the rig out of the park at about 10:30. We were not in a rush, as at the next resort, check out was 1, and check-in was 3. We drove east on Hwy. 92 to I-35 south. We stopped at a rest area to eat lunch. We turned east just north of Kansas City, onto Hwy. 92 west. We traveled to Basswood RV Resort, arriving around 2:30.

We set up and cranked up the air conditioner. It was almost 90 and very humid. We had a quiet evening, eating dinner at home.

Friday- We drove into Kansas City to the Money Museum. We arrived at around 10:30. Parking and the museum were both free. We entered, having to show our ID, and go through the metal detector.  According to the website, there are two money museums, one in Denver and one in Kansas City. That may just be for the Federal Reserve district.

KC MM 1

KC MM 2

We started looking at the exhibits. They had a really neat exhibit on Origami. A 36 yo. man from Chicago, Steve Robins, has designed 26 objects, made from money. It was really fascinating!

KC MM 3

The ball in the right front too 1000 hours to make!

KC MM 4

KC MM 5

There are 600 bills in the collection at the cost of $920.

Next we looked at the Harry Truman Coin Collection. This was a collection of coins from the start of the country through each President up to Pres. Obama.

KC MM 6

KC MM 8

KC MM 9

KC MM 10

KC MM 11   KC MM 12

The gold weighs 27 lbs. You can reach in and try to pick it up. I could not budge it and neither could Bob.

KC MM 14

KC MM 15

It was very easy above to  see the difference in the real bill and the counterfeit. On an average day, the Reserve finds 5 to 7 suspected counterfeit bills.

KC MM 16

KC MM 17

The 40 millions dollars was doubled in the display. On the right hand side, was 1 million dollars.

KC MM 18

Here is the shredded money.

KC MM 19

We left the museum. Just a short distance was the WW I Museum. We have been to a WW I Museum, so we decided not to visit. Here is the outside.

KC MM 20

We went to Union Station, hoping to find a nice restaurant. We did, but it was way too expensive. Parking was free for 30 minutes. This is the back of the station, not the old pretty side.

KC MM 21

KC MM 22

KC MM 23

We left and went to a nice crepe café called Chez Elle. We stopped at Walmart on the way back to the resort. We went to dinner at Granite City with Bob’s younger brother Joe. We had a nice dinner, while it rained with terrible thunderstorms. Once the storms passed, we drove back home. It rained most of the night with lots of thunder and lightening.

Sat. Sep. 14 to Fri. Sep. 20- Lebanon IN, Indianapolis, Springfield IL, to Davenport IA.

Saturday- The Fairgrounds needed to use the free room that they had given to the Escapees Chapter 51, so this morning we had muffins at the tent that the Wagon Masters had set up. We took our decaf and wandered over to visit with everyone.

After the gettogether, we went to Menards for a couple of items. I had asked Bob to move the two ‘sticks’, that he uses to put up our front shades, to under the rig. He needed clips to hang them on the inside of the basement door. Also he needed new pipe insulation to cover the windshield wipers. We stopped at the Titus Bakery. They were more of a deli and doughnut shop. OMG, they were the BEST doughnuts we have ever had! We were told they were very good, but they were DELICOUS! Nice and fresh! I had a chocolate covered Bismarck and Bob had the Black Forest. Yummy!

We returned to the fairgrounds. We picked up pulled pork sandwiches for lunch. We split a sandwich. Bob then went to the Classic Car Show and I took a nap with the dogs. See Bob’s FB page for car pictures. There were also these antique tractors and there was an antique bottle show and antique bike show. In addition, this weekend there was a dog show.

20190914_121053Bob returned in time to go to the pot luck dinner at 4:30. This time it was heavy hors d’oeuvres. So we baked our Tyson Any’tizers Tequila Lime Wings, then placed them in the crock pot to keep them warm. They were a hit, and we had none left. We were upset that the second bag had only 7 wings in the bag,

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The 1st bag had 10 wings, which still did not seem to be enough. The bag says the weight is 22 oz.. The weight of the 7 wings was 15 oz.  We weighed them on our kitchen scale. I will be calling to complain.

After the dinner, we went to the arena for a concert at 6 PM. The Wright Brothers were the band. They were okay, but the the seats were uncomfortable and we could not understand anything they said.

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We left around 7, and went to the campfire.

Sat campfire

Sunday- We went over to the “hitch-up doughnuts and coffee” at  a little past 8. We said good-bye to our new and old friends.  We were not going to leave very early, because the check in time at the RV resort was 2 PM. Bob checked the radar and there was a big storm coming thru, so we decided to take off and get settled before the storm. We were only traveling 33 miles.

20190914_091133

The people behind us stopped by to say they were disconnecting the water for a minute, and wanted us to know. We were all sharing a single water spigot. We said okay.

When Bob went to disconnect us, a few minutes later, he found their coffee cup ( a nice metal thermos cup) and our brass Y fitting gone. So I walked over to the dump station, and they were still there. I gave them their cup and asked for our fitting. Bob was with me, walking with the dogs. The gal swore that it was their fitting. We said, okay, some one else must have taken it. When we walked away, Bob said he knew it was our fitting, but he was not going to make a big deal out of it. So later in the afternoon, we went to Menards and purchased a new one. They only cost about $7.

I took the dogs in the car and Bob drove the rig. We drove south, watching the sky. We arrived at Lake Haven RV Resort, to find that the office was closed. They had an envelope in their mail box for us. We drove the car over to check the site, and it was empty, so we drove into our site and set up. We ate the left over pulled pork sandwich from yesterday and waited for the storm to hit. It clouded over and the storm dissipated!

Bob went to the laundry and washed the sheets and towels and I started many loads of laundry in the rig, since we had FHU 50 amp. We were staying for 2 nights. $39 each night with a Good Sam discount.

We went to the Metro Diner for dinner.

Monday- We left around 9:30 to go to the Indiana State Capitol for the tour. So far, all the Capitol tours have been free.

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Above is the floor in the rotunda, below is the ceiling.

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Below, is an enemy of the beer drinkers! This lady was head of the National and International Temperance League!

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Below is the Governors Office. He does not leave anything on his desk. The desk is made from wood from the USS Indiana. Below is a replica of the ship, which was in the office.

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Here is the very nice, and large, conference table.

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This little sign was on the desk.

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Below is the office ceiling.

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As soon as we stepped into the office, we noticed the difference in the carpet. It was much thicker. Another interesting fact, was that all the chairs at the conference table were the same. Most of the Governor’s offices, that we have visited, the Governor has a much nicer chair than everyone else. The current Governor was elected, not appointed, when VP Mike Pence left.

Outside the office, was this working phone booth.

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Our guide says that he asks kids what they think this is…they don’t know and answer with strange answers… one kid thought is was a coffin.

On the second floor, there are 4 of them, but they do not have the real working phone in them. They are used by the legislators for a quiet place to talk on their cellphones.

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Our guide took us to the Treasurer’s office to show us the safe’s. Below is the outer door.

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Notice that there is an inner door. Then inside, there were two safe’s. Here is the first one. Note, it has another safe inside of it in the lower left corner.

Safe 2

This is the other safe in the room. The tour guide had us try to open and close the door. It was extremely heavy and I had to put all my weight into it, to just make it move. We could not close it all the way, as they don’t know how to re-open the safe!

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Mural IN House

Above is the mural in the house. We were able to sit in the chairs, which were very comfortable.

IN House seats

IN Light house

The light above was the chandelier in the House. Each light represents one of the House members.

IN Seal

IN Senate Seats

Above is the Senate. These seats were even more comfortable. Note the I pads that they use for voting.

IN Senate Rug

IN Senate cubicals

Above was one of the Senators cubicles. They do not have offices, they each have a cubical that they use to work at during the session. Obviously, this takes up less room. Indiana is one of only a few states that has all of their government, still in one building.

Below is the Supreme Court.

IN Supreme court

IN Supreme window

Above are the stain glass windows. There were a lot of “Justice” related decorations in the room. This is the original room used for the Supreme Court with the updates identical to the original. Below are the original chairs, still in use, since the beginning of their court.

IN supreme chairs 2

IN Justices

These are the Justices. Note in the middle is a woman. She is the Chief Justice. She is the second woman to hold this post. The first was an African American woman in the 80’s. Below is the Capitol building.

IN Capitol

We left and went to lunch at the City Market. The City Market is a food court, we had visited before. I had the crepe and Bob had a tamale. Both were delicious. I asked where to go to find the Catacombs tour. The owner of the crepe booth stated that they only do tours on specific days and only by appointment made 2 days in advance.

So we walked over to the Taproom. Bob had trouble deciding which of the beers he wanted to drink. There are 70 beers on tap. He finally decided, after trying several samples, on a Bohemian Porter.

IN Tap room

After, we walked over to Below Zero Ice Cream, where they freeze the ice cream in front of you with Nitrogen. I had the same flavors as last time we were there, cream, brownie batter, and brownie bits. Bob changed to cream, cherry flavor and maraschino cherry. Both were very good. I looked them up and they are in a number of locations, so we will keep an eye out for them.

IN sub zero

We returned to the rig. We ate dinner and Bob took the car to Costco to load up with gas. The gas everywhere had increased to $2.69. It was still $2.30 at Costco. We took the dogs, when it cooled down, to the dog park. Koda and Roxie had a great time running around, chasing the ball until they both plopped down in the shade, saying, that was enough!

Tuesday- We left around 9:30, driving the rig north about 11 miles to I-72. We traveled to Illinois. We stopped at a Philips 66, parked the rig and ate lunch. All the rest areas were closed in both Indiana and Illinois. That is very disappointing!

We turned south and arrived at the State Fairgrounds in Springfield Illinois This is our third time here. So Bob parked the rig near where we want to stay and I walked up the hill to the office. I paid the $60 for three nights, and the Camp Host took me in the golf cart back to the rig. We parked in a site, FHU, 50 amp.

We had to run to an RV dealership to pick up a new sewer hose. Ours had broken. we ran past a park that had a dog park, to look at the bark park. It was way in the back of the park, so we could not see it very well.  We returned and ate left overs for dinner.

Wednesday-  We went to the Illinois State House to take the tour. This state capitol has tours are every half hour. We arrived at the Visitor Center.There was no parking in the parking lot. So we parked in the bus parking ( there were about 20 empty parking spots) and went into the Visitor Center. I asked the gal if it was okay to park there… she said no, we would get a ticket. It turns out, the employee parking lot was being repaired and was closed. So all the employees were parking in the visitor lot, which was also not allowed. They were not given tickets.

The Visitor Center gal gave us permission to park in her spot for as long as we needed. We gladly accepted and profusely thanked her! We parked and hustled over to the capitol to make the 10:30  AM tour.

There was a problem with them deciding who was next up to be the guide. The guy was under enthused with being our guide. Oh well…

Below is the seal of the State of Illinois.

Il Seal

He took us straight to the House, pictured below. We did not get to go downstairs to actually sit in the chairs. Note the big screens on both sides. There is the list of the House members names. When the voting occurs, via the boxes on the desks, their vote is seen on the screen. It is also streamed live on the internet. A few minutes later, the room filled with grade school kids on a field trip, which was the reason we were upstairs.

IL House

IL House Chandilier

When they updated the room, they put in an electrical system to lower the chandeliers for cleaning one time a year.

IL HOuse Ceiling

IL Senate

Above is the Senate. If you look on the right and left in the back, you can see some box seats, on the floor level. These are for the press. In front are some benches, where the Interns sit. The Dems are on the left and the Rep on the right, in both the House and the Senate.

IL Senate Ceiling

IL Senate Light

These lights do not drop electrically for cleaning. They have to be cranked, 1000 turns, to get it down to be cleaned one time a year. Then 1000 cranks to get it back up. Glad I don’t have that job!!

We went down the steps, to the second floor. Here is the rotunda.

IL Rotunda

Below is a mural on the main floor. It took a year to paint.

IL Mural

The statue below is of Lincoln. It is full size. He was 6’5”.

IL Lincoln

Near him, was Steven Douglas. He was 5’4”.

IL Douglas

IL former Supreme

Above is the former Supreme Court Room. The Illinois Supreme Court outgrew the main building and they are now residing in their own building. This room is now used for hearings. Note the uncomfortable chairs…

The ceiling and walls are still decorated with a judicial theme.

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Well, remember the grade school kids? They were in the governor’s office. Our guide left us at the door. We waited until the kids left and walked in. We looked around. It turns out, the people on the regular tour do not get to go into the office. The intern who was there, was very nice to us. He gave us a tootsie roll, like the kids were given, and let us wander around.

IL Gov desk

IL Gov Conf

IL Gov office ceiling

The intern said that the office is mostly ceremonial. The work is done to the right of the desk, in a back area.  But the governor’s bathroom was to the left of the desk. When we left the office, it was closed off with a rope, and no one else could enter.

Below is a statue, at the end of the steps down. They are reproductions. The legislature, when the building was built, thought the statues were too ‘risqué”. The architect already had the contract for the State House in Iowa, so he just moved the original statues to that building. The Iowa Capitol is designed very similar to the Illinois Capitol. We will be touring it next week. 

Il Statue risque

IL design in rotunda

This is the design on the railing around the second floor of the Rotunda. We thought it was very Game of Thrones….

Below is the statue in the center of the Rotunda, on the main floor.

IL statue rotunda

Outside, there were two statues. This first one is the memorial to the Police.

IL police memorial 2

The second is the Firefighter memorial.

IL firefighter

Il State Cap

We left and returned to the car. On the way, we stopped to look at this statue of a deer.

IL Deer

We ran into a Farmers Market. We parked and walked thru. There were only about 10 vendors. We purchased two ears of corn. We were not impressed with the corn when we ate it. Michigan and Indiana corn is much better than what we were finding now…

IL FMIL long 9

We parked under the Old Courthouse, and went to lunch at the Long Nine Junction restaurant. The Long Nine had great ratings on Yelp. We gave it five stars. Bob had the grilled cheese. I had the pork BBQ with peach BBQ sauce, over their version of mac ‘n, cheese. Wow, were they good. To top it off, they had the Great Lakes Cherry BBQ chips. We purchased two bags, which we took home with us.

We left and returned to the rig. We ate dinner at home and had a quiet evening.

Thursday- We had a busy day. We went to Walmart for groceries and Steak ‘n Shake for lunch. We took a nice nap in the afternoon. After our nap, we went to the Illinois State Farmers Market, which is held in the Fairgrounds every day from 4 to 8.

We purchased a few items and returned home. We had leftovers for dinner.

Friday- We went to leave and we could not get the car brake to work when connected to the rig. So we finally gave up. We moved the dogs into the car with me, and I followed Bob for the day.

We drove to Davenport IA. We parked at West Lake City Park. This park does not accept reservations. When we arrived, there was a sign on the door, that they were in a meeting, just go ahead and park. Come back later to pay…so we parked in site 63, FHU 50 Amp. $25. What a beautiful park. It was awesome, with asphalt sites, lots of grass between the sites and behind the sites. We had a beautiful picnic table and fire ring.

We left and went to Whitey’s Ice Cream. Now we know how they have been in business since 1933. Awesome ice cream!

I have had a cough, with upper lung lobes congestion, for 3 days now. So we found an Urgent Care for me, that is in our insurance plan. We arrived to find that it might be a 2 hour wait. So we sat and read on our phones. At a little over an hour they called me in. I was not terribly impressed with the Doctor, but she did write a prescription for Prednisone, which is what I knew I needed. It is my Asthma acting up. I am allergic to something, as I keep having hives and my eyes are really itchy.

We dropped off the prescription at Walgreens, then we went to Biers Stube, German Restaurant. We just picked up carry-out. We returned to Walgreens and picked up the medication, and returned home.

We ate our dinner and Bob worked on the rig. When he had tried to hook up the car to be towed, he had noticed that his bike was lower than it should be…he found that the seat was almost off. There was a piece missing, so he had to repair that. I sat out reading, with the dogs and doing laundry.

Bob also worked on the hitch for the car, and now it works.

Sat. Sept. 7 to Fri. Sept. 13- Hastings MI to Lebanon IN

Saturday- We went to the CARE breakfast of eggs, pancakes, sausage, coffee and juice. We had volunteered to clean up after breakfast, so we helped with the washing of the utensils and generally cleaning up!

Here is the kitchen crew.

Kitchen crew Hastings

The Annual Business Meeting was held right after breakfast. After the meeting, we picked up Lavern and Connie and we drove to Kalamazoo to the Bells Brewery. We took the tour of the brewery which was interesting. There were four samples of beers. Bob of course had eight, as he drank all of mine. The tour guide was very good and we learned a lot about the history of Bell Brewery and of the Microbrewery industry in general. Below is a history of the business.

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Bob and LAvern at Bells

Above is Connie’s picture of the guys.

Some of the brewery.

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A sculpture on the tour.

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We went to lunch at the Bell’s Downtown Brewery. From there, we went to Mooville for ice cream. We had both won $5 coupons for the ice cream, yesterday in the animal shelter drawings.  With the $5 coupon, we purchased 3 scoops of ice cream for $4.50. A pretty good deal.

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We returned in time to walk and feed the dogs before the catered dinner. We arrived late, and there were no seats for us. So we ate and left as, we were both tired.

Sunday- We went over to say good-bye to everyone at the “hook-up doughnuts and coffee”.

We left around 11, and stopped at the dump station to dump our tanks. We drove south to the Yogi Bear RV Park in Plymouth Indiana. We drove into site 33, in the rain. It let up a bit, and Bob was able to hook up to the 50 amp electric, sewer and water. We paid $20 per night, under Passport America. I immediately started laundry and Bob took the sheets and towels to their laundry room.

We were both tired, so we went to dinner at Hacienda Mexican Restaurant. They had changed the menu, and they did not have my Chile Relleno! Bob was able to eat his tamale’s.

Monday- My birthday! We went to lunch, in South Bend at the IHOP, for the free birthday pancakes. I had not realized I had to print out the coupon. So I had to speak with the manager, who said it was okay, after I threatened to leave.

We went to Costco. In addition to purchasing what we needed, we checked out the Gotham Steel Ti-Cerama Cookware with the Titanium Ceramic Coating ( the orange pans). At Costco, they were $39.99 for the two frying pans. We stopped in at Bed, Bath and Beyond to check them out. I have a 20% off coupon on the whole purchase. The large pan was $39.99 and the smaller pan was $29.99! Even with the coupon, Costco was a much better deal for the exact same items! These can be used on the Induction burner.

We returned to Plymouth, stopping at Walmart on the way, and met up with Cecil and Melissa, our neighbors in Paradise, who also have a trailer at Yogi Bear. They had just purchased the trailer this year. They have two sites, which are very nice, with lots of room.

We went  to dinner at Texas Roadhouse for my birthday. Both of us wanted a nice steak.

Tuesday-We were moving early, as we had to leave by 8:20. We readied the rig to travel. We have to be out of the park by 1:00. We took the dogs and drove the 30 miles back to South Bend to Paws and Claws Groomers. We dropped off the dogs and we went to the farmers market, where we purchased a cantaloupe.

We stopped by a car wash and washed our very dirty car, then we traveled on to Costco where we purchased the frying pans. We went to Michaels, to purchased a brush and fabric paint.  I had purchased some cheap tennis shoes and I am planning to paint the shoes, turning them into saddle shoes. The theme of the rally this weekend is the “Fabulous 50’s” .So we needed costumes.

We stopped at a local Chevy dealer, to look at the Chevy Equanox. We are starting to research cars for purchase this fall.

We stopped at Jimmy Johns for subs and went to a little park on the river, eating at a picnic table in the shade. It was a pretty little park that had been there since the 1800’s.

At 12:15 we picked up the dogs, and returned to Plymouth right before 1 PM. We disconnected, and drove out of the park, turning south onto IN 31. We drove south to IN 32, and turned west. We drove into the Lebanon Fairgrounds, at about 3:30. We were greeted by Dave, the Wagon Master for the rally. We parked between two 5th wheels and we have 50 amp and water.

At 4 , we went to social hour, then out to dinner at a restaurant called Arni’s. There were 43 of us. The reservations had been made months in advance. The Wagon Masters had called the restaurant several times, and the restaurant still had issues. It took an hour and a half for us to be served our meals. It was a disaster, with cold food and poor service. We were comped half of our meal by the manager.

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Wednesday- Today was the actual start of the rally. This is the Escapees Indiana Chapter 51 rally.

Furor lunch we went to a nice little restaurant called Bekahs. It was our kind of place! Good food, good prices. It did not look like much from the outside, but it was nice inside.

At 4 we had the social and we played a game where we had to guess who old actors where by their real names. We did not do well with our guesses! John Wayne and Marilyn Monroe, were easy, but the rest were pretty hard!

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Below are two of the table decorations.

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We had pizza and salad for dinner. There was an evening campfire. I sat talking to another retire nurse.

Lebanon campfire

Thursday- We had the CARE breakfast, $4 each. Eggs, pancakes, sausage, biscuits and gravy. They had the Chapter 51 business meeting, which we did not attend. We returned to the rig and I worked on painting my tennis shoes. I had done half yesterday and completed them today. A couple stopped by to discuss their issue with their washer/dryer, so Bob showed them how he rinses the lint out each month. We printed out the directions for them.

We picked up subs at Penn Station. We went to the social hour at 4, and played another game. We were worse with this one! It was recognizing who wrote songs for the 50’s.

At 5, we caravanned to Parky’s Smokehouse. It was a nice restaurant with good food and the service was very good this time. I felt sorry for the  Wagon Masters, as they  were really worried about having poor service again, even though it was not their fault! They had checked with the previous restaurant several times.

We were seated at a table for 10. We split a brisket dinner, which was perfect for us.

Friday- The CARE breakfast again this morning with the same menu. We sat with a couple discussing Genealogy. That was fun!. We returned and I worked on rolls for tonight’s pot luck dinner. I had put them in the refrigerator to rise overnight, then Bob took off half of the windshield cover and we put the 3 pans on the dashboard in the sun, to finish rising. Here are some of them…there were 36 in the package and we cooked them all. 

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They are Rhodes, and very easy to make. The first time I tried them, they did not raise right. So this time I tried the refrigerator method, and that really worked well. I had to bake them early, so unfortunately, they will not be warm for dinner. Oh well….

We went to the social at 4. Then we returned and dressed for in our 50’s outfits. Here are the tennis shoes I painted.

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Here are Bob’s shoes. We bought both pairs at Walmart. I painted mine, but Bob’s are as is…

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Here we are…

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What was really funny, another gal in the group had the exact same outfit as mine. We both had the Disney scarf and had purchased the sneakers at Walmart and painted them!

We went to the pot luck dinner. We had 1 roll left; Bob thinks that no one wanted to take the last roll. When we left, we put our containers in the car, and walked over to look at the cars in the field for the Classic Car Show.

A gal from the Fair Board came to us and begged us to be in their costume contest. UGH,but she was desperate. So we went over and were judged. We won the adult contest, as we were the only entrants! We won a $25 Meijer’s coupon and a $5 coupon to Titus Bakery. Just what we needed, a bakery coupon, lol. Our picture is supposed to be in the local newspaper, but we cannot get into the paper online without a subscription, so we cannot see the article. There was a good band, playing 50’smusic.

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We returned home and changed shoes. Actually, with the inserts, the Walmart shoes were not that uncomfortable.

We took our chairs and went to the campfire.

Lebanon campfire

Sat. Aug. 31 to Fri. Sept. 6-Cadillac MI to Hastings MI

Saturday- We drove 12 miles north to Manton for a little Fall Festival. We walked thru their Flea Market and then the Craft Fair. It was all the same things we see everywhere.

From there, we traveled back south to Cadillac and we went to the Thirteenth Street Market Restaurant. We both had the delicious Turkey Rubin. Bob had not had it before and was really impressed. I wanted one last one before we left. Both of us took half of our sandwich’s home with us, for lunch another day.

We returned to the rig and packed up some items getting ready to leave on Tuesday. We had a quiet rest of the afternoon, sitting out with the dogs. We ate dinner at home.

Sunday- We were working this morning. We were scheduled to clean the bathrooms this morning at 8. We cleaned both, and neither were very dirty.  I opened the store at 9. Bob went to work emptying trash, putting out the wood bundles, feeding the goats, pulling out the rental bikes and generally just catching up on what ever needed to be done.

The store was busy with selling ice cream, clothing and other items. We were off at 1 and returned to the rig. After lunch and walking the dogs, Bob took the sheets, towels, and bedding to the laundromat. I did laundry in the rig. Once that was done, we went to Tasty Treat for the last time. We are really going to miss Tasty Treat Flurries. We each had the kid size Dirty Turtle Flurry, which is chocolate ice cream, chocolate syrup, caramel syrup, and pecans. Yummy!

We returned and took down the fence and packed it up, placing it into the back of the car. Bob put the bikes on the back of the motor home. Once all that was done we cooked a nice steak for dinner. It is becoming dark so much earlier, so we were inside much earlier.

Monday- We had prepared the rig as much as we could today, so that we will be ready in the morning to leave. We are watching the weather very carefully. They are predicting rain and winds for tomorrow.

We both worked from 4 to 8 today, cleaning the bathrooms from 4 to 5. They were very clean, as so many people had left the park today. I was so bored, I kept just walking around the store because I was so sleepy! You can only sit and read a book for so long.

At 8, we checked the bathrooms again and they were still clean, so we closed up the store for one last time and left. Since this was Labor Day, the store will not re-open until the spring. The park closes Oct. 15.

Tuesday- We are so ready to leave! When we woke up, the first thing we did was check the weather report. It was calling for rain this morning, with the winds picking up in the afternoon. So we decided to leave. Bob ran to the Farmers Market for another one of the delicious cantaloupes. He was only able to purchase a small one, not one of the large ones, but it is still tasty.

Meanwhile, I readied the inside of the rig. Bob returned and disconnected us and took down the portable satellite dish. We had not been able to get going early today, and we left at almost 11 today.

We traveled south on M-131, thru rain storms, but luckily without any winds. We stopped at a rest area and ate a quick lunch. South of Grand Rapids, we turned east and traveled to Michawana Campground in Hastings MI for the Escapees SKP Chapter 6 Fall Rally.

The skies had cleared, and we arrived at the park in dry weather. We set up the rig, and the winds started. We had made it just in time. We were really glad that we had left when we did. We are in a 50 amp site with water. The sites where we are located, are long enough, but very tight, with our neighbors very close to us. Other sites in the park have much more room.

We went over to Jacque and Paul’s rig to say hello. Lavern and Connie were there also, and we were able to greet them in addition to Vernon and Donna.  We stopped in at the Social Hour at 4. Then a little after 5, we took our coleslaw for the pot-luck and returned to where the group had two canopy’s set up with picnic tables underneath. Dinner was Paul and Chris’s smoked ribs and Bruce’s Teriyaki chicken. Yummy! I asked for the Teriyaki recipe! I  think we will be making it in the crock pot in the future!!

We had a great time visiting with everyone. After dinner and sitting out talking, we returned to the rig and went to bed. 

Wednesday-  We had breakfast and at around 9:30, Lavern texted Bob asking him to come over for breakfast. There was a pot luck breakfast that we had not know about. We took our coffee and went over to visit with everyone, eating some french toast and delicious bacon.

We left and ran into Hastings to Walmart for a few items. I needed a dessert for tomorrow evening and some thing for breakfast.  We stopped at the local Farmers Market,  but there was not much there. The town of Hastings has some sculptures, below is the only one I liked. The rest were very weird!

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They also have a nice long walking trail along the river, but no dogs are allowed with in 20 ft. of the path, so that eliminated that activity!

At 1, Lavern had invited us over to lunch. He heated up some of his smoked chicken thighs and had sautéed some mushrooms and zucchini.Yummy!

I left Bob there to talk beer with Lavern and returned to make some Zucchini bread for breakfasts and the Chocolate Éclair Dessert for the evening. At 4 we went to the social hour, then went to the evening pot luck. We had another nice evening . Tonight’s menu was ‘staring’ Paul and Chris’s pulled pork.

We sat out until the mosquitos arrived, then we went back to the rig and watched Bosch on Amazon Prime.

Thursday- Bob thinks he had eaten some bell pepper last evening, so he had indigestion all night. I did not sleep well, so we were planning a nice nap.

At a little after 11 Lavern texted Bob asking if he wanted to go to lunch at the Walldorff Brew Pub. So we met them there. We had a great lunch and they had some good beer.

We returned to the rig and took our much needed nap.

At 4, we went to the Social Hour, which was the official beginning of the rally. The leaders had us all count out and go to tables with our number. Then we had to draw, in crayon, on the table cover. Then they decided that everyone won, so they passed out some candy.

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At 5, we returned to the rig, fed the dogs, and went over to the pot luck dinner. There was some of Lavern’s awesome brisket this evening. They even had a campfire this evening, but we were so tired, we returned to the rig and watched another episode of Bosch; we finished season 5. We started watching Sneaky Pete on Amazon.

Friday- There was a breakfast this morning. $4 which goes to CARE. Paul, Chris, and  Tom(?) did the cooking. We sat at a table and the gal ( Linda) next to me and I started talking, as she also belongs to the SKP Genies. Her family is named Gray and from Iowa, so it was an interesting conversation.

We had a quiet day as neither of us had slept well last night. We took a nice nap in the afternoon. Below are the donations for the animal shelter.

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At 4 we went to the social. They drew for prizes. For each item that we had donated to the animal shelter, we had a ticket. We had donated 20 items, so we had 20 tickets. We won four prizes. When you win a prize, you can look at the prize, without showing it to anyone, and keep the prize or you return it and take a different prize. Bob won first,and he won 4 mugs. Then I won a $5 gift certificate to Mooville Ice Cream. We kept that and turned the mugs back in. All of the prizes were in paper bags so you did not know what you were choosing. Next Bob won again, this time a gift certificate to a local restaurant for $25. It was worth more, but we knew we could not use it so we returned it. Bob won again, this time a floral arrangement in a bag. We returned that. This whole thing took too long!  We left early and ran to feed the dogs. I guess we did not win the 50/50!

We left the park,  and went to dinner at the Walldorff Brewery, (spelled correctly), with a group. There were 12 of us. We had a great dinner. Lavern and Bob had some wonderful beers.

Sat. Aug 24 to Fri. Aug. 30- Cadillac MI

Saturday- We left and went to the Post Office to send a couple of items. Then we were off, traveling south on M-131, to Big Rapids. Our destination was the Big Rapids Summer Fest.

We first stopped for lunch at Crankers Brewery. This was a restaurant with a brewery. Bob ordered a flight of four 4 oz. beers which were all good. My lunch was not great. I had ordered the turkey sausage with my eggs. The sausage was terrible. I told the waitress that! Bob’s Ruben was good.

We walked over to the Summer Fest. It was not much. There were a few sidewalk sales, one at JC Penny’s. We stopped and Bob purchased one shirt and I purchased two.

We walked the entire two blocks. There was a little train traveling up and down the street.

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We saw this nice mural.

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Near the mural was this antique drinking fountain.

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That was it! We drove to a park on the river, but never found the rapids. Oh well….

We drove back north and went to Ebel’s General Store to purchase brats. We bought 4 pkgs. of cherry brats, 4 of Hawaiian brats, 2 of regular brats, some lettuce and a small loaf of fresh bread.

We drove back through Lake City and stopped at Tasty Treat. We both had the kid’s size Dirty Turtle Flurry. Yummy! We both said, we are going to miss Tasty Treat!

We stopped at the BBQ place and purchased the last rack of ribs with some of their delicious baked beans.

We returned home and re-packaged the brats, and freezing most of them. We kept some of them un-frozen, as they are fresh until the end of September.

We had a quiet evening. The weather is already changing here. The days are in the 70’s and the nights in the 40’s.

Sunday- Bob went to work in the morning while I did laundry. He returned for lunch, then came back at 2:00. I went to work at 4. Bob joined me at 8 and we closed up and cleaned the bathrooms.

Monday- Bob went in to work at 9:30. I was scheduled from 10 to 2. Bob returned home for lunch and to walk the dogs. It was a very quiet day. We were off at 2 and returned to have a quiet rest of the afternoon.

Tuesday- We went to Traverse City for the last time. We both love Traverse City and will stay closer to there next time we are in Michigan. We stopped first at M and P Crepes. They were okay. Then we stopped at The Beverage Store for Bob to pick up some beers for the rallies. At Costco the gas was $2.53 for gas, still 20 cents less than in Cadillac. Of course, we stopped at Moomers for our “Moomers”  fix!  We split another flight.

We returned home and there were thunderstorms in the evening.

Wednesday- I had an 8:30 hair appt. with Megan, followed right after with my mani/pedi with Heather. I said my good-bye’s to both gals!

I returned to the rig. Bob and I went to lunch at Blue Heron. We arrived just in time to get the last table. Then the line started to form. Bob had their chicken pot pie soup and I had the Michigan Ham and Cheese sandwich. Both were excellent.

We went grocery shopping at Aldi’s, Walmart and Meijer’s We stopped at the Chiropractor for my adjustment at 2, and returned home. We sat our with the dogs until it became to too cool.

Thursday- We worked 9 to 2. We started with the bathrooms. I have now read an entire book while working, it has been so quiet. At least it was a little bit busier with scooping ice cream and pouring slushies today.

Bobbie was having a health issue and asked if I could stay a bit later. I agreed and so we both left at 2:30 with Bob, making up his 1/2 hour for lunch. We sat outside with the dogs for a short time before thunderstorms hit. The temps today were in the 60’s

Friday- We left at 9:30 to go to the Farmers Market where we purchased another cantaloupe. OMG these cantaloupes are sooo good!

We traveled south on M-131 to M-115 east. We were traveling to Clare for the Yoder Amish Flea Market. We arrived a little after 11. We paid $1 to park in the field.

Even though it was advertised as an Amish Flea Market, I thought there would be some crafts and Amish foods. There were a few. We thought it odd to see the Amish selling new Honda Generators!

This was a very large event with about 20 rows of items with lots of ‘stuff’’. A lot of books for sale, Tupperware, and old items. There were several popcorn stands, as the Amish love popcorn. There was an old fashion ice cream maker, and the Amish were making ice cream as fast as it sold.

We ate lunch at an Amish stand with chicken and ribs. We each had a rib sandwich, on freshly backed rolls. Very yummy! We stopped at the quilt auction. I watched a Christmas table runner with 4 placemats sell for $17.50. I also watched at double size quilt sell for $60. I had to leave before I found myself bidding on a quilt!!

We left and drove into Clare to see the very small town. Not much to see, but they had a “Cops and Doughnuts” bakery. We had seen this on TV this morning. They have a contest where people take pictures of their kids at the bakery.The best picture of the month wins a gift card.  We parked and walked over. There was a line, but not too long. We purchased two brownies. By the time we left, the line was very long!

We drove back and Bob mowed our small lawn. While he was doing this, MaryAnne called me. We have been texting back and forth about our other friend Diane. She and her husband Tom are stranded in Lyman WY at a KOA. They have a larger slide than our big slide and their motor broke. Since it is Labor Day weekend, they have been told they have to move. They cannot move with the slide out. Tom has talked to Leisure Coach Works and they are shipping a motor too them that Tom can install tomorrow.

MaryAnne then told me that Leisure did not get the motor shipped. They had talked to Jon who said that they could move a short distance with the slide out, so they did. They are plugged into the side of the KOA building with 110 amp. With the temp in the 90’s they are pretty miserable.  The 110 is enough to keep their refrigerator running. The resort will probably not want them to use their generator due to the odor and noise. What a mess! They have our sympathy!

Bob and I took up our rug outside, sweeping, folding and putting it away. The dogs liked the time outside. We sat out until it became too cool in the shade.

Sat. Aug. 17 to Fri. Aug. 23- Cadillac MI

Saturday- We drove south, then west to Ludington to the Suds on the Shore Beer Festival. It was located in a Rotary Park. This was the best beer fest that we have been too…first, the designated driver only paid $5. Bob paid $30, but this time he got his money’s worth. He had eight, 4 oz. glasses of beer. He liked the Bells Official Hazy India Pale Ale, he does not usually like IPA’s. He liked the Cranker’sBrewery Aphrodisiac Stout which was a chocolate stout. He also liked the Perrin Brewing Co. Blond Porter. That was really different, as most porters are dark. He also liked the Walldorff Brew Pub Empire Block Stout. Yes, I have spelled Waldorf the way that they spell it….

The festival was in the shade and this time we took our chairs with us. There were a lot of people partying. The festival was held from 12 to 6. We arrived at 1, as we had stopped for lunch first at the Jamestown Brewery. Bob did not have any beer there, since we were going to the beer fest. But I was able to have my cherry bourbon dumplings and I brought home some of the sauce.

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The designated driver, me, drove him back home!

We arrived back to the park and ate dinner. Since this was the second Halloween Weekend, they had a costume contest. We were walking the dogs, and Bobbie spotted us. She called us over and asked us to be the judges. So we did.

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It was harder than you would think! They were so cute! We chose the Vending machine, the Truck as 1 and 2. One of the little girls cried when she did not win! That is Bobbie in the picture and that is the same shirt that we wear. I wear the green, Bob has a brown one.

The campers decorated their sites.

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Below is our next door neighbor, who won the contest.

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We had a campfire and gave candy to the “trick or treater’s”. There were a lot of kids!

Sunday- Back to work again. Bob worked 9:30  to 3 and I worked 10 to 3. Bob goes in 1/2 hour early so that he can come home for lunch and walk the dogs. It was pretty quiet,  but I dusted the room and the games. No bathrooms to clean today.

Monday- We worked again today, from 9 to 2. So we did have to clean the bathrooms today, in the morning. It was really, really boring today! I did not even need to fill ice bags! I read my book most of the day.

Tuesday- We went grocery shopping, ate lunch, then caught up on our budget and checking the accounts. Then we worked on our plans for travel in 14 days!

I was able to make a reservation at a COE park and we already have reservations for after the 1st rally and the 2nd rally. We are planning to leave Cadillac on Sept. 3, and go to Hastings MI for the Escapees Chapter 6 Fall Rally.

Because the dogs will need grooming by then, we are going to stop at Gina’s in South Bend, so we have reservations for the Yogi Bear RV Park in Plymouth,IN. That is a Passport America park, so it is $20 per night. We have to stay 2 nights, because Gina is closed on Sunday’s and Monday’s. Darn, I am going to miss my birthday with family and friends, again…

We will have the dogs groomed on Tuesday morning, then drive directly to Lebanon IN for the Escapees Chapter 51 Fall Rally.

The weather was wonderful, so we sat outside with the dogs and had a campfire.

Wednesday- We left at 9 and drove north to Traverse City. We stopped at Petsmart and Target. Then we went to Costco where we met up with Tom and Sue Rodgers, who are Alfa Roadrunner friends. We took them in our car and toured Traverse City.

We stopped at the largest Cherry Pie Plate.

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We drove to downtown and found the PERFECT parking place on State Street. A centrally located parking meter.  We parked and traded taking pictures with some other folks of the Traverse City sign.

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We walked over a bridge to the Farmers Market where we purchased some corn and a zucchini. Tom and Sue purchased several items also.

We took them to Cherry Republic, which is always a treat. They have lots of samples. We purchased some Cherry Vinaigrette salad dressing. We spent about 1/2 hour there.

We kept dropping bags off in the car. We walked over to 7 Monks Taproom. Bob and Tom had flights.

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We all had the grilled cheese sandwiches. From there, we went back to State Street and fed the meter some more quarters!

We were out of Blackberry Vinaigrette, which we use on pork chops, so I suggested to Bob and Tom they look in Fustini’s for some. They guys had a great time sampling the oils and vinaigrettes.

Meanwhile, Sue and I went to Nifty’s a really cute store with lots of stuff. I found two signs to put up in the rig. They are over the door.

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Bob texted me to come to Fustini’s to sample. We ended up purchasing some cherry and cranberry vinaigrette. Bob was not impressed with their Blackberry vinaigrette. Tom purchased 4 bottles.

After loading the parking meter again, we walked down to the Grand Traverse Pie Company. Tom purchased a small pie for us and for them.

We left and returned to the car. We drove them to Moomer’s where we both had flight’s of ice cream.

Tom and Sue flight Here is Sue’s picture of Moomers’ farm.  Doesn’t’ t it look like a painting?

Sues pic of Moomers farm

We dropped them back at Costco, and we did our shopping. Gas was $2.33, which is a lot less than gas in Cadillac at $2.64!

We returned home, ate our Costco roasted chicken and had a quiet evening.

Thursday-  We worked again. It was so quiet. I did speak with one lady who told me about an Amish Flea Market on Labor Day weekend, so we may be attending that!

We worked from 10 to 3, again, with no bathrooms.

Friday- We went to the Farmer’s Market. There was actually a lot of vegetables. We purchased a large, heavy cantaloupe, a cucumber, and two ears of nice corn.

We returned and Bob did some work around the rig and I did laundry.

Sat. Aug. 10 to Fri. Aug. 16- Gladwin MI to Cadillac MI

Saturday- We went to the rally breakfast. It was really good again. Then we stayed for the meeting. We joined the Chapter this morning, for a whopping $5 for the year. The meeting was fairly interesting with lots of discussions about the places that they are going to have rallies next year.

We left and went to the Farmers Market, where we were able to purchase 2 new belts for Bob. They were made and sold by the Amish,  $16 each, for really nice leather. We returned to the rig and ate lunch at home.

We went to the Social Hour at 4 PM and were adopted by Connie and Lavern. The Chapters have adoption policies for new members. When we joined Chapter 20, years ago, we were not adopted, so it was nice to be adopted this time. Thank you Connie and Lavern! Also, this makes Bob’s cousin, Jacque his  adopted “grandmother”, as she and Paul had adopted Connie and Lavern! Adoption photo

We had a large pot luck dinner. The meat was provided by the chapter, and members brought salads and desserts.

Sunday- There was coffee and doughnuts this morning for a “good-bye” time. Many people had left early this morning.

We left around 10 and arrived back in Cadillac a little after 11. We set up, ate lunch, and did lots of laundry. The weather was nice, so we sat outside with the dogs.

Monday– Back to work again this morning. We started work at 9, with cleaning the bathrooms. Then I opened the store at 10. It was fairly busy with reservations for next year. Lots of folks wanted the same weekend next week. The theme this past weekend was Halloween. This theme is so popular, they do it two weekends in a row, so we will be here for this weekend, although, we do not work. Bob cleaned some of the cabins and cleaned up sites.

Tuesday-  We went grocery shopping, did the usual bills and budgeting, as we did not get that done on Sunday. We went up to the store and sat in there working on our plans for travel when we leave here in 22 days! We are down to counting days….

We sat outside with the dogs, as the weather was really nice.

Wednesday- Bob headed out to work at 9:30. Today is out 4 hour day. I do not work until this evening, so I worked on two articles that my Editor had sent to me.

I went to the store at 5, and relieved Bobbie, who had worked from 10 to 5. I immediately started filling ice bags, as they were low. Bobbie has started to condense the store, as the store closes right after Labor Day.

There were a lot of phone calls from folks asking for reservations for this weekend. There are no openings. I scooped a lot of ice cream and poured a lot of slushies. There were a lot of bike rentals.

Bob joined me at 8 and we closed the store and cleaned the bathrooms. There were 3 gals taking showers, so that slowed us down a bit. I cleaned the ladies room and Bob started on the men’s room. By the time I was ready to head to the men’s room, the guys taking showers were gone, so I was able to clean the mirrors, counters, urinals and toilets. Bob does all the floors in both bathrooms, as that much sweeping and mopping sets off my torn rotator cuff. Once we were finished with the men’s room, we went to the ladies room again and Bob did the floors. It took us about 35 minutes, which is still pretty fast. We have this down to a science and can get through very quickly, while still doing a good job!

Thursday- We left just before 10 AM and drove north for an hour and half to Charlevoix. We had wanted to go to a Festival in Petoskey, but it did not start until tonight. So we changed and went to Charlevoix.

We arrived to find a traffic jam, backing up M-31 thru town. I found a route on a side street on Google Maps, so Bob turned and we went one block over. Our original plan was to head straight to the Farmers Market, but Google could not seem to find it.

We saw a sign pointing to the Lighthouse, so we headed there. I jumped out and took a picture.

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Then we continuing looking for the Farmers Market. Bob turned into the Library. I spotted some folks on the next street with white bags. So we left the car there.

We walked over a block and there was a couple with bags of vegetables, so I asked them where the Farmers Market was located. They gave us directions, for about a block away.

The market was on M-31, in Eastside Park. The traffic in all directions was at a standstill, due to the bridge being raised for a boat to cross into the bay. We crossed to the market and walked the two blocks along the bay. There were the usual items plus a few vegetables.

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We stopped for lunch at the Great Lakes White Fish and Chips. Bob had the fish and chips, which were excellent and I had a nice BLT.

The town was having their sidewalk sales, so we wandered through the crowds, sort of looking at the items for sale. One vendor had Sonoma t-shirts. Since Sonoma is a Kohl’s brand, I think they bought excess from Kohl’s and was selling them for this sale.

There was this pretty mural.

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We returned to the car and went in search of the famous Mushroom Homes. Here were the ones that we found.

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We returned home to happy dogs.

Friday- We worked again. We were very tired after work, but we spent the evening with the dogs outside, enjoying the nice weather.