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Sat. May 18 to Fri. May 24- Cadillac MI

Saturday-  We went to Lake City, which is about 8 miles east of us. We stopped at Rustic Hog, a BBQ place. We had been told that it was very good, and we agreed. The only problem was that it was outside seating in a tent area, and it was rainy and cold. We did have good BBQ though…

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We went to Walmart shopping. We returned and took a short nap. We went to dinner at Clam Lake Beer Company. We were not impressed with either the food or the beer. They had mostly IPA’s.

While we were there, Bob’s niece, Stormi, called. She was working on John’s obituary. The funeral is on the 28th and he is being buried at the Cemetery at Fort Leavenworth. Bob is doing well with all this since he was able to spend some time with John last month.

Here is the obituary:

THIS POST IS PUBLIC SO IT MAY BE SHARED)
(This is a condensed version)
John Charles Gray, 69, of Olathe KS.
Passed away Thursday May 16, 2019.
John was born June 12,1949 the oldest son of Maurice “Jack” and Dora (Turpin) Gray.
He was a proud Naval Veteran. He was the proud husband of Ethel.
A proud father to two beautiful daughters,
Stormi Zacharias & Holly Olson,
Even prouder grandfather to 4 grandsons,
Colton Berry, Jason Berry, Keyton Yandell and Wyatt Olson. And 2 beautiful granddaughters Kailin and Tailar Olson
John was proceeded in death by both parents, grandparents, many aunts and uncles.
He is survived but his wife Ethel, of the home. Brothers
Robert (Denise) and Jack “Joe” Gray. Both daughter and all his grandchildren. One nephew Arron (Casey) and Brandy Gray.Services will be held at The Branches Church,Olathe, Kansas
Tuesday May 28, 2019 at 10:30 am.Full military internment at Leavenworth National Cemetery, to fallow a church luncheon. Memorials are requested to be made to the
Puppy Jake Foundation To assist Veterans with service dogs.
And may be made online or by mail.
(Obituaries will also be in the he St Joseph News press. As well as the Kansas Chief.)

Sunday-  We thought that the laundry at the park was too expensive at $3 to wash and 75 cents for 15 minutes to dry. So we did our usual Sunday tasks, then went to a laundromat in town, which, on Yelp, was listed as the least expensive. It turned out to be $3.50 per wash, and the drying was $0.25 for 5.5 minutes. About $1.25 to dry. Most other places you get 7-8 minutes per quarter.

We grabbed food at Burger King on the way home and ate when we arrived back at the rig.

We had thunderstorms all afternoon and it rained very hard. Unfortunately, the winds knocked the satellite over, which means we had to re-set it. It seems like the leaves are getting bigger, so we are having problems with the satellite.

Around 6, it became sunny, for a short period of time. so we went to dinner at Bob Evans. That is the end of us eating out for awhile, as we are going back on our diets.

Bobbie texted us our schedule for the week. We both work Tues-Wed-Thu. We thought that was odd, since this coming weekend is Memorial Day, and we expect the park to be busy. We may be wrong…. guess she needs us to assist with getting the park ready.

Here is Bob tugging with Koda.

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Monday- The weather is still cool (40’s overnight and 50’s during the day). I cleaned the rig. The rig settled a bit, so Bob re-balanced. We had a quiet day just doing laundry and settling in.

Tuesday-  My time today was 12 to 5. I filled bags of ice and swept. Bobbi showed me the computer system and we talked about a lot of items like the ice cream and the popcorn machine.

She let me go at 4, but the time still counts towards my weekly 14 hours.

Bob had worked on cleaning sites for his 5 hours.

Wednesday- It was pouring rain. Bobbie texted me and said instead of going in at 10, I should wait until 11:30. I arrived at 11:30 and Bobbi was not there. One of the guys, Brian let me in. Bobbie arrived a few minutes earlier.

Today I did some more ice bags, I processed two reservations, and we priced and hung up T-shirts and Hoodies in all sizes. She also gave me both of our staff shirts.

Bob continued to work on cleaning and getting sites ready. Bobbie sent me home at 4, which was the original time I was going to be leaving, if I had not gone in early. I was walking home and Bob picked me up and gave me a ride in the  4-wheeler that he was using today.

I had to clean up the rig when I returned. Karlie has been sick all day. She woke up this morning with diarrhea. Poor baby, she looked like she was sick! Bob said he had to clean up at lunch also. During the evening she started looking like she felt better. Needless to say, she did not eat at all today.

Thursday- Bob went to work at 9:00 so that he would work until 1. I went to work from 2-6. This was our 4 hour day. Bob continued to work on cleaning up the sites since the park will be full this holiday weekend. While doing that in the John Deer Gator, he accidently backed up into an old picnic table and got it stuck. He had to have help from Dan to get the Gator out of the picnic table. The table was demolished, which was not too much of an issue, since it was old and not one of the new ones. He is being teased so about it and so was I. LOL

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I worked on hanging more clothing, reservations, and checking folks in.  We also set up the candy counters and did cleaning. I cleaned the ice cream cooler and the all of the game machines. These include pin ball machines and other types of machines for the kids. I also sold merchandise like T-shirts, Hoodies, and toys.

We were both tired by the end of the day and we had a quiet evening.

Friday-  We went to the Cadillac Visitor center and did some  grocery shopping. We started at Aldi’s, went to Walmart then to Meier’s. All three are right in a row. We did some tasks around the rig. Nothing exciting today! I was glad I was not working, as the computer system went down and the printer broke. They did not have a great day! I found that out when I stopped in to get the activities schedule for the weekend.

Sat. May 11 to Fri. May 17- Holland to Cadillac Michigan

Saturday- We went to the Camp-host’s rig for coffee. We sat for about an hour talking with the camp-host’s and other folks from the campground. We stayed away from downtown Holland due to the festival. Traffic is awful on the weekends during tulip season!  One thing we did was talk to the couple next to us. They had this on the back of their motor home.

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It is called a Komo; it is from Canada. The husband saw it on the road, behind another rig, and took a picture of it. Then he went online and ordered it to be delivered to them in Florida. They store their bikes inside, with the front wheel off the bikes. They also store a lot of other stuff, as there is a lot of room. The Komo comes with an extension for the Blue Ox hitch. It also, so that you can get into the engine, unhooks and swings to the side, remaining on the back of the rig. They actually use it for extra storage at their site in Florida. We thought it was really cool! Unfortunately, it is expensive….

We left and went to de Boer’s Dutch Restaurant for lunch. It was right down the road from us. We had a 15 minute wait. They had a nice menu. Bob ordered a sandwich and the waitress said that on the weekends they only serve breakfast. So he had to punt and have an omelet. I had the Eggs Benedict. Geez, we went there for the Dutch food! Oh well…. They also had a bakery and there was nothing left by the time we arrived for lunch!

We returned to the rig and took the dogs to the dog park.  We ate dinner at home. The day was cloudy, so no sunset today. 

Sunday-  At 10 AM, we left for the Moederdag Market at the Civic Center. This was described at a Dutch Mother’s Day Market. It was focused on women. It was part craft fair and the write up said 50 handpicked merchants. Huh? There were about 20 there. Some inside and some outside. We stopped at Kohls then, stopped at Zoups for lunch.  It was cold and cloudy again, so soup was a great idea! We picked up the food and took it home with us.

We did our usual Sunday tasks. Bob ran to the laundromat and I did laundry at home.  That was our big excitement for the day! We took the dogs to the dog park in the afternoon, but we did not stay very long as it became windy and it was pretty cold with the wind.

Monday-I went for a mani/pedi in the morning. We bought gas, $2.68, and ran the car through the car wash as it was filthy. We went downtown, since the festival was over, to Alpenrose for lunch. Bob had their unlimited soup and I ordered a crepe. Half of their menu was not available because they had run out of food during the festival. So the menu was limited. It was a lousy crepe, but the wild mushroom soup was excellent!

We walked up and down the nice downtown.

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The best store was Cherry Nation. They sold all things cherry. We tried a lot of the samples. We did not purchase anything, but the samples were really good!

We returned home and took the dogs to the dog park. One thing I have not mentioned before, was the house below.

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This is a fairly new house. It took 5 years to build and belongs to the “Amway” family. I have no idea what it cost, but it is right on the channel from Lake Michigan and faces Lake Michigan. The family helicopter in on weekends. There is a flag pole in the front, and when the flag is up, the family is “in residence”.

We took the dogs to the park again, for the last time! We went to dinner at Don Petroni’s again, this time ordering an excellent pizza. We had leftovers which we will have for lunch tomorrow.

We watched our last sunset over Lake Michigan.

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Tuesday- We took our time getting ready to leave. We did not have to be out of the state park until 1, so we drove out around 11. We traveled to Grand Rapids and turned onto Hwy. 31, which is a freeway. We stopped for lunch at a rest area, then arrived in Cadillac at about 1:30. Bobbi, the owner, was not there. We found out that she had purchased another RV park 2 weeks ago and was over there working on stuff. She had one of the guys escort us to our site. We are in a brand new site in the back of the park, with 50 amp FHU. The site was not even labeled yet! That means not a lot of grass, but good electric!

Unfortunately, there was a tree right in the way of our roof mounted satellite. So Bob had to put up our portable satellite, which is a chore. He managed to get it working well, so we are okay with TV. We are so far north, it is still pretty chilly. Michigan is running about 10 degrees colder than their average temp. 

After we were set up we went into Cadillac to view the town. It is small, but has several breweries, banks, gas stations, Walmart, Meier’s grocery story, Aldi’s, Hobby Lobby, and even a Bath and Body Works. Of course, there are the usual fast food restaurants.

We returned and stopped in to meet Bobbi and a few other workers on our way back into the park. We don’t need to start work until next week.

We decided that we did not want to cook, so we ran to Meirer’s and picked up a roasted chicken, coleslaw and some rolls.

Wednesday- We continued to settle in. There is a dog park in town, so we checked that out. We went to lunch at the Blue Heron, a very nice little cafe, which serves breakfast and lunch. At 4, I had a Chiropractor appt., so I dropped Bob off at the dog park in town and went to the appointment. I was very impressed with Chiropractor and had a good adjustment.

We had checked with Bobbi on places to use, so I made a hair appointment and Bob started working on other places we will need while we are here.

Thursday- I had a hair appointment at 10:30 AM. I was very happy with my cut. We ate leftovers from lunch yesterday. There is a dog run in the park, so we have been going over there a couple of times a day. We ate dinner at home

Friday-  We left at 9:30 and drove north to Traverse City. Our first stop was at Best Buy for a new phone for Bob. His battery is slowly dying, but we were not really ready to purchase a new phone, but with the tariffs, we decided it might be a good idea to make the purchase now. Bob purchased a Galaxy S10e. Fortunately, it uses the same cord, so we did not need to purchase a new cord for the car, since we already had one for my S9.

Our next stop was lunch at Café D’Amie a nice little french bistro. I had the Croque Monsieur. Bob had a beef similar sandwich.

We stopped at Target, Petsmart, and Costco. Gas at Costco was $2.68. In town the cheapest we saw was $2.89.

Our final stop was at Moomers Ice Cream! It is rated the best ice cream, in the country,  by GMA in their survey. We had it last time we were in Michigan and we were really looking forward to having it again.

It was easy to find, as the place was very busy! They even bused in seniors for a field trip from an Assisted Living!  I had a scoop of the chocolate almond brownie and Bob had the peanut butter chocolate. Both were delicious!

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We returned home. This was the longest that we had left the dogs since we adopted Koda, but all was well. They were happy to see us and took a nice long walk. We sat outside in out fenced area ( we had brought our fence from AZ in the back of the car). It was nice and sunny, with the temp about 68. There was a light breeze, which eventually picked up. Sunset is at after 9 PM, as we are so far north. We may even be able to see the Northern Lights if we can ever have a cloud free evening!

Sat. May 4 to Fri. May 10- Holland MI

Saturday-  We went to downtown Holland, leaving after lunch, waiting for it to warm up. Our plan was to go to the Windmill Island Gardens. A big mistake. We could not even get near to the turn off. The turnoff was closed, as,downtown was a mess with traffic and pedestrians.

So we punted and crawled thru town to try to find parking near the Artesian Market in Centennial Park. We managed to find a parking spaced 3 blocks away and we walked back to the park.

This park is designed interestingly, with a fountain in the center, but the sidewalks leading to the fountain were curved. So we went around the inside of the park, hen we walked around the outside.

We only purchased two items. One was a metal yard sign which says “Another Day in Paradise” for our site in Arizona. The second was a small sign that says “Living the Dream” for our bathroom. We are going to repaint both of them to colors that match the rig.

On the outside of the square, we found a Crepe truck, so we stood in line for a Strawberry, Banana, Nutella crepe, which we split.

We returned to the car, and rather than drive thru town, we drove south and picked up Hwy 40 to Hwy 31, going around town. There is a closed road on this route, but we found a detour around. We are glad we did not do it in the rig, but are happy to drive this detour route in the car.

Upon arrival back at the state park we sat about 15 minutes in line to re-enter the park. It seemed like a lot of people came to the park for the evening. The weather was perfect, with no clouds in the sky and a little bit warmer, with the temps in the 60’s. We watched the Kentucky Derby!

Below is the view of the Big Red Lighthouse from the rig. This lighthouse is not open to the public.

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We ate dinner and watched some TV. At 8:30, we walked over to the beach and watched the sunset over Lake Michigan. It was really beautiful. The dogs are not allowed on the beach, so we left them in the rig.

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 Sunday- . We had an easy drive thru town and arrived at Windmill Island Gardens right at 9 AM when they opened. We beat the crowds!

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We went straight to the Windmill and stood in line. Later, you had to get a ticket and wait for your line to form. There are only 25 people in a group and 3 groups at a time are in the Windmill. One group on each floor. There are 4 floors, but the top floor is very small and you go up there, then return down to go outside on the balcony.

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Below was the first floor docent.

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We did this tour in 2014. That time the miller was not present. This time we got to meet her. She is the only female windmill miller in the US. She learned Dutch, then went to Holland for 2 years to train to be a miller.

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The flour that she makes is sold at the gardens. It is also used by various businesses in town. There is no preservative in the flour, so it must be used immediately or be frozen. There is an oil on the wheat which will go bad if it is not used promptly, which is why most flour has the preservative. We did not purchase any of the flour as we would not be able to use it immediately.

Below is a view from the Windmill balcony.

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Below is the Miller getting the blades of the Windmill ready to turn when the wind picks up later in the day.

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She uses the big wheel to move the blades to the position which is best for the turning of the blades, based on the predicted direction of the wind.

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Another view from the balcony.

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Below is the replica of an Historic Dutch Trade Fair.

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We wandered through the Gardens and the Historic Dutch Trade Fair. The Trade Fair was only available on the weekend, so we wanted to go to the Gardens on either Sat or Sun. Plus, the weather does not look good the rest of the week.

The trade fair was interesting. They showed how the Dutch lived and went to market their goods.

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Now for some of the flowers…

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Here is Bob trying on one of the hats in the gift shop. He said that the hat was not comfortable….

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What we read was that they had planted over 222,000 bulbs…

We left around 10;45 and went to Walmart and returned to the rig. There was no line getting into the park, so Bob took the sheets and towels to a laundromat, after lunch. I did laundry in the rig.

When Bob returned, we took the dogs to the Township Dog Park, which is located in the fair grounds, about 4 miles down the road from the state park.

The dogs had a great time running around the park with lots of sniffing. There were two other dogs in the small dog area. One was a full grown German Shepard, who was very well behaved. The the same owners small dog, who was a little shy, but became buddies with our dogs.

We returned home, fed the dogs, and went to dinner at the Holland Brew Pub. Bob had a flight of beers and fell in love with the Dragon Milk White. Bob had a Ruben which he said was very good. I had the patty melt, which was not great. Adding a lot of ketchup helped.

Bob liked the beer so much, he purchased a 6 pack. We returned home. The sky had clouded up, so no sunset tonight!

Monday- It was a cool day and cloudy, so we went to the Tall Ship today. The ship is located on Lake Macatawa. The entrance to the lake is past the Red Lighthouse, and Holland State Park, where we are staying.

The Tall Ship was a replica of the Friends Good Will. It is kept berthed in Grand Haven, south of Holland, but was brought up for the Tulip Festival. It cost $5 each to go through the ship.

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We were able to tour the inside as well as the outside. The ship carries 6 guys on board who were all knowledgeable about the ship and it’s history. The original  had participated in the Battle of Detroit in the Revolutionary War. The story was interesting, as the ship had been used to ferry goods to Fort Detroit and took pelts back. The man who owned it made lots of money going back and forth. The ship was seized by the British and then the Americans fought, and won the ship. The original owner was never able to get his ship back and it was eventually burned. The descendants of the original owner were invited to, and attended, the christening when the replica was launched.  

Next, we attended the Quilt Show. The quilts were beautiful and we were each given a ballot to vote for our favorites.

This first quilt was at the entrance.

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There was an exhibit of old sewing machines.

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A quilter using an old machine.

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Below was one of my favorites. It was made from the quilters father’s ties, after he passed, and was sewn in his honor. I thought that was nice…

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There were some unique quilts.

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The quilt below was one of three. The first was made by grandma, the second by the mother, and the third, the one below by the 11 year old…

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Here it is in finer detail…

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All three of the quilts were very similar. I thought this was very nice…

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The one below was made from a wedding dress…

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The one below was my very favorite. It was made from a downloaded pattern. It was made with over 5 miles of thread! Bob was really impressed with that fact. There was a huge number of pieces, but I cannot remember how many, but it was a lot!

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I went back and checked to see who won the contest. None of the quilts, here in the blog, won…

Since it was still cool and cloudy, we decided to go for soup. We went to a restaurant named Zoups, which is a chain. They serve soup, salad and sandwiches. They have flights of soup, like they have for beer. We each chose to have a 1/2 sandwich and a cup of soup.  All were excellent and we will go there again!

We returned and walked the dogs. There were a few showers. It remained cool and ugly, so we stayed in….

Tuesday-  It was another ugly day. There was not a lot going on, so we decided to go to the Civic Center for the Marketplatz. They had a lot of Dutch items, of course, made in
China. They did have a guy demonstrating making ( and selling) wooden shoes.

The lunch at the Marketplatz was a Dutch food buffet, $14 each. The lunch had split pea soup which was excellent, although it was very thick. They had salad, meatballs, a “pig in a blanket” which was a sausage in a phyllo type dough, and meat platter with gherkins and come cooked cabbage. The dessert was various Danish cookies.  Drinks were water and soda.

We ate at long tables while watching dancers. There were adult dancers and children.

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Since they kicked a lot, we were waiting to see one of the wooden shoes flying into the audience. Evidently, this does happen on occasion!

We stopped at Walmart  and Petsmart on the way back.

Wednesday- Another dreary day. It was not supposed to rain until the afternoon, so we decided to go south to the town of Saugatuck. We walked through the town. Most of the stores were not open. We did try, and purchase, this Cherry Reduction Vinegar. Wow, was it good!

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We could not find an open restaurant, so we went to the town of Douglas, just across the river from Saugatuck. We stopped at The Farmhouse Deli. This place was awesome. We each had a sandwich and shared a bag of cherry flavored chips. Bob had a ham and cheese and I had a BLT.

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We returned to the rig and walked the dogs. We had a quiet afternoon. We decided to go out to Crazy Horse Steakhouse & Saloon. When I went to Yelp to get the directions, they asked if we wanted to be on the waitlist. I said yes and signed in. We went to the restaurant and had a real problem getting parking! It was so crowded. Because I had done the wait list, we waited about 5 minutes, instead of about 45.

The food was very good and lots of it. We both took home leftovers for tomorrow night’s dinner.

Thursday- One of the things we have been working on over the last few days was our health insurance. We are trying to figure out the deductibles. The numbers are not adding up. I printed out all of the EOB’s and Bob had started an Excel spreadsheet.

Since it had rained like crazy this morning, Bob took the opportunity to call our insurance to try to figure out what is going on… He spent about 45 minutes on the phone with them. They did find some EOB’s that were wrong. They had also, on Jan 1,  changed Glucometers, so Bob has gotten that situation fixed. Still, the numbers do not add up. For some reason, my deductible has not changed. They could not explain that, but noted that the family deductible had changed.  Basically, we do not trust any of the numbers!

We had a quiet afternoon and evening at home.

Friday- We decided to run to Grand Rapids today. It is only about 20 miles north of Holland,  but the interstate is closed in one section, so we had to follow a detour.

We stopped first at Costco. We purchased a few items, then went to World Market. I have been looking for the wine that I purchased in California, Tropical Mango Moscoto. When I checked where it is sold, I found that it is sold at World Market. So we went there and I found 3 bottles of the Mango, one bottle of Passion Fruit, and one bottle of Strawberry.  At Costco it was $9.99. At World Market it was $11.99. They had specials and a discount with their rewards card, so I signed up and received lots of discounts.  I purchased all of those wines. The also, right next to the Tropical brands, had the Oliver Cherry Moscoto! Since that is a local vineyard, I doubt I will find that in Arizona, but I may find the Tropical brands! Wahoo!

We went to Brown Butter Crepes for lunch. The food was very good! It is a very small restaurant, but they turned over their tables rapidly, so no one was waiting.

We returned to the rig and took the dogs to the dog park again. We run Koda as much as we can! We ate leftovers for dinner and went to view the sunset again!

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Sat Apr 27 to Fri May 3- Indianapolis IN-Elkhart IN-Holland MI

Saturday-  Last night Roxie was making a really weird noise. She finally stopped. We started to go to bed, and she vomited all over the bed. Poor baby. We had to strip the bed and remake it with the clean sheets.

So this morning, Bob took the sheets, blanket, and quilt over to the laundry. Since he was going, he took the towels also so that we did not have to do them tomorrow. I worked on articles. Once everything was done, we left.

We drove downtown to the City Market. We easily found a parking space at a meter. There was the market and catacombs underneath, so we purchased 2 hours on the meter.

We went into the market to find that it was all food vendors, most of which were not open on Saturday! The farmers market is on Wednesday. We wandered through. Bob purchased Tamales and I had a really good crepe. Both of us had leftovers.

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After lunch, we went in search of the catacombs, but could not find the tour. Outside they had this neat book dispenser.

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We walked across the street to Whole Foods. Bob looked at the beers, but was not impressed.  So we walked over to the Tap Room, which has 50 beers on tap. While Bob was deciding which beers he wanted in a flight, I asked for a sample of the Olive Cherry Moscoto. Olive is the name of the vineyard.

It was awesome, so I ordered a glass and Bob became the designated driver!(It’s rare that I find a wine that I really like!). I drank the wine and we decided we wanted something sweet. We found a bakery called Longs Bakery. It had 4.5 stars with 174 reviews on Yelp. We arrived to find a traffic jam and a long line. Well, that was a good sign!

We got in line and ordered. Bob’s doughnut was very good. Mine was just okay.

We returned to the rig. It had rained, off and on, most of the day. At this point it was cold and rainy! We decided we wanted soup, so we ordered some Chicken Noodle Soup and sandwich’s from an Italian sub place. The food was excellent.

Sunday- We had decided to go to President Benjamin Harrison’s house since it opened at 12. So we ate yesterday’s leftovers for lunch. We arrived to find that the house was not open, because they were having a special event. It was not listed on the website!

So we went to Big Red liquors to purchase the Oliver Cherry Moscoto for me. I bought two bottles of the Moscoto and one bottle of their Cherry Cobbler wine, as it was on sale for $3.

We found a parking place and went back to the Tap Room for Bob to have his beer. He had a flight of 4, then the awesome bar tender gave him a couple of samples of some other beers. One was the Kentucky Bourbon Barrell Blackberry Beer. He fell in love with this seasonal beer! So we will go in search of it.

We walked down Mass Ave, the main foody place in town.

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We saw Subzero  Nitrogen Ice Cream, so we stopped in. This was our first time having this type of ice cream, but it will not be the last! Wow, was it good!

First you choose your size. We both chose small. Then you choose your cream, regular cream, lot fat, yogurt, sugar free etc. Then you choose your flavors. I chose Amaretto and Brownie Batter. Bob chose Chocolate and Cherry. Next you choose your mix-ins. Each was an extra 80 cents. I chose Brownie bits and Bob chose cherries.

They put it all in a large metal dish, then they fire it with the Nitrogen until it is frozen. Then they sort of mix it up and serve it in the dish. It was really good!

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We returned home to take the dogs out to the dog park so that they could run again. Koda and Roxie chased the ball and each other. Karlie just wanders around sniffing.

Monday- I worked on another article. Bob did some tasks. We left at 9:40 and drove the 20 minutes to the President Benjamin Harrison Home. We arrived right at 10, when they opened.

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The house is 10,000 sq. feet. 20190428_122440

We paid in the stable, which is the gift shop. $11 each, senior rate. We met the docent at the front door. We lucked out and had another private tour!

The first room is the drawing room. We could not enter as the rug is original. The entire house had all the windows covered to keep the light from ruining the original furniture, pictures and rugs, etc, in the home.

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The next room was the back drawing room, and this next picture is from that room into the front drawing room.

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The pictures below are of President Harrison and his first wife, Caroline.

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These are actually pencil drawings, even though they look like photo’s.

Below is the back drawing room and our docent, Patricia.

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Patricia played this for us….below…

Below are the stairs. All the wood was beechwood and gorgeous.

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The next room was the office which was behind the back drawing room.

This was a cane given to the President at his inauguration. He was inaugurated at 100 years of the country.  Each of the previous presidents are carved into the cane.

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This statue is the ‘dime’ statue. The country almost went to war with Chili during Harrison’s Presidency. Children mailed dimes to the president for the war, and the silver was melted down to create this statue.

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Below is a bookcase which was hand carved and very big. The books were all Harrison’s.

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The picture below of Abraham Lincoln, hung over Lincoln’s casket on the train, when it came through Indianapolis on the way for burial.

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Caroline Harrison, who died before the election for Harrison’s second term, (he lost) was a painter. She painted water colors and china.

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We went upstairs to the second floor. Below is a dress that Mary, his daughter wore. She was obviously very small, as she had a 13 inch waist, after having two children! Wasn’t Scarlett O’Hara’s 15 inches??

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This was Mary’s bed, with a really nice scrap quilt.

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Below was Harrison’s gym.

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We hiked up the next staircase to the ballroom on the top floor.  The interesting desk was there.

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On the left was the open part. On the right was with the desk open. The part on the left closes onto the other area. First time we have seen one of these.

Harrison was given this chair. It was not to sit on, but was a real conversation piece!

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Harrison had the first telephone in town and his house had electricity and a flush toilet. The water had to be pumped up from below to the roof, then drained down to flush.

The majority of the items in the home belonged to the family. H daughter realized that this was all going to be important for history, so she kept everything intact.

We left and went to Crown Liquor for Bob to get the Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Blackberry Beer. Then we went to the Tamale Place for lunch. They now have 3 restaurants, and one was closer to us than the first restaurant. We had stopped at the first one the last time we came through Indianapolis. When we arrived, Bob realized that the tamales he had at the City Market were Tamale Place tamales.  This is a “Triple D” restaurant, and they had Guy Fiery’s tape of his visit running on a TV.  The original location was super busy; this one was not, but we think it was brand new. I ordered the chicken with red sauce. Bob ordered the pork with green  sauce. We split an apple/pecan tamale.

We returned home, which was only about 2 miles away. We took a nice nap, then took the dogs to the dog park. They were not as energetic today.

We ate dinner at home and watched some TV.

Tuesday-  This morning, Karlie took her turn vomiting on the bed. I just stripped the bed and we will wash the items when we arrive in Elkhart.

The weather cooperated today, with breezes, but not super windy. It was cloudy all day. We traveled north on Hwy. 31 thru Indiana. We turned east on Hwy. 20 and drove to Elkhart. We had to drive through the city to Elkhart RV Park.

We have stayed at this park a number of times. The cost of all the parks has risen significantly. The site was $46 for FHU 50 amp. We received an Escapees discount of 15%, bringing the cost down to $39.10 per night plus the $8.21 total tax which made the total $41.83 per night. What a difference in pricing from when we were here the 1st time in 2010! I think we paid $20 total per night then…and we thought that was expensive!

It started to rain as we were setting up. Bob ran the sheets and quilt over to the laundry. It rained off and on for the afternoon. Later, it rained very hard. The rig is on gravel, so we did not sink. We went to dinner with Connie and Lavern at EWE brewery. The beer was good but the menu was strange. It took awhile to figure out the menu. It poured rain the entire time we were there. When they dropped us off, the rig was on an island of gravel, surrounded by a lot of standing water. It continued to rain, hard, all night.

Wednesday- Today was Koda’s turn to vomit on the bed. So I stripped it again! We will do the laundry later. She was upset because she had vomited on Bob and the sheets. We both comforted her.

We had a 9 AM grooming appointment for the dogs. I bought the car around to the front of the rig and we carried the dogs to the car. We traveled east on the toll road to South Bend and dropped the dogs off.

We ran errands in town, going to Target and Costco. We ate lunch at Metro Diner, which was pretty good. Just as we finished, the groomer called to let us know that they were ready. Perfect timing!

We ran over to pick them up. Bob always grabs the dogs and takes them out to go potty while I talk with the groomer and pay. Gina said that they did well, but Roxie had too much hair in her ears. Evidently, the groomer in Sun City did not do them, and they were impacted. Hmmm. We will need to talk to her about that!

Koda did not like having her feet done. Since day 2, I have worked with Koda’s feet, getting her used to us getting stuff out of between the pads. She was resistant at first but now lets us do it. Gina said that it is trust. She kept stopping and going back to Koda and she finally let Gina clean them out.

We drove back to the rig. When we arrived and entered the rig, Koda went bonkers. We think that she thought she had done something awful( the vomiting) and that we were going to dump her. She was so happy to get home! She was all over the place, she was so excited, so we let her celebrate! We think she finally realizes that this is her “forever home”. We are glad she is happy about it! LOL

Bob took the sheets and quilt over to the laundry. Once it was all dry, we went to dinner at Das Essenhaus. We both had the Amish broaster chicken dinners.

Thursday- No vomiting dogs this morning! We left and went back to South Bend to the Farmers Market. There were not many of the vendors open. This is our favorite farmers market, but it is only great on Saturday. The salsa guy was open, so we purchased some of our favorite cherry salsa. The meat vendor had very few items, but we did purchase some ham salad.

The sausage guy did not have any brats today, so Bob was not able to purchase any brats. Darn! Oh well…

We left and went to Bakers Dozen. They did not have their stand open at the farmers market, although the sign said they were there on Thursdays. We got the last 2 Bismarck’s! We had been so looking forward to them. They melt in your mouth…

I wanted to stop at a chiropractor, but there was no “The Joint” in South Bend. Oh well… it will have to wait until I get to Cadillac.

We returned to Elkhart, stopping at the Elkhart Walmart. Bob quickly walked the dogs, and then it started to rain, again! At 4:30 Bob left and went to Lavern’s house to have beer and to try some of Lavern’s smoked items. While he was gone, I ate dinner and walked the dogs to the dog park, as there was a break in the rain.

Friday- We took our time leaving, at a little before 11. We drove north on Hwy 40 to Holland Michigan. We stopped at a Pilot for diesel.

While Bob was pumping the diesel, I called Holland State Park. Check in at the park was 3 PM, so I was asking if we could arrive early. No, it was opening day and the gates would not open until 3. So we parked the rig, and took the dogs to the Quincy Street dog park.

This was a very nice park, with a huge large dog area and a smaller, small dog area. There were two men, with their dogs in the park. Bob ran the dogs and I ended up talking to the guys. The older man had his dog and his daughters little yappy mutt. They did not stay long.

The younger guy had two of his three dogs there. He had a beagle mix who was shy and a pure white husky puppy who he had picked up yesterday. We talked for awhile, while the dogs played. He said that he was working 14 hours a day at his family restaurant and he had to get to work. The restaurant was called Don Peroni’s.

We left and returned to the rig. I kept the dogs in the car with me,  and followed Bob in the motor home. There was a detour, so Google Maps took us through downtown! UGH! But we finally arrived at the state park. Bob did not see the turn off for the registration, so I turned off  and registered us, picking up books about Holland.

Bob texted me asking the site # and they let him in to the park. I followed with the car and rig tag and the state park pass, which I had to purchase. We can go free now to any Michigan state park.

We are parked on asphalt, with FHU 50 amp, $45 per night. The park is basically a parking lot next to the beach. No dogs allowed on the beach or the boardwalk…

We can see the Red Lighthouse from the rig!

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We went to dinner at Don Peroni’s. It had a limited menu, but the food was good and cheap. I had the lasagna ( $7.99) and Bob had the Stromboli. We brought a lot home with us.

Sat Apr. 20 to Fri. Apr. 26- Joplin MO, Bellville IL, Indianapolis IN

Saturday-  We left the Casino around 9:30 and continued north on I-44 through Missouri. We stopped for lunch at Roadrunner Truck Stop and ate at Subway. While we were there, we looked for a different RV park, since when we called the park they said that they did not allow Passport America on the weekends. We could not find another RV park in the area, so we continued on to Meramec Valley Campground. This is a lousy place and we will not stay here again. It is a membership campground, which will rent to the public. The cost was $43, but we received a 20% AARP discount, bringing the price down to $34. This was for 30 amp, FHU, on dirt. We knew it was going to be lousy, when they had a coin jar on the counter asking for money to pay to fix the roads! We did not donate.

The park was almost empty. The first site they gave us was very un-level, so we requested to change sites. It was a dirt pull-thru site. We set up and Bob walked the dogs. Then we went to the town of Cuba to look at the murals.

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I liked this one above because it was Amelia Earhart.

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The murals were to depict the history of the town. The artist was a man from the country of Cuba. There were a lot more of them…

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The above statue was out by the interstate and depicts the history of the Native Americans in the town. This shows how they walked through while selling various furs.

Sunday- We left around 10 and drove north to St. Louis. We took the beltway around the city. We stopped at a Flying J for a lunch at Denny’s. We continued on to Scott Air Force Base. We entered the base and easily found the FamCamp.

We  set up in site 13. 50 amp and water. We thought there was going to be sewer also, but evidently not! It was $20 per day and we are staying for 5 nights.

We left to go to a laundromat, but found them all closed due to it being Easter Sunday. Oh well…. We will get the sheets and towels washed tomorrow.

We ate dinner at home and had a quiet evening.

Monday-  We stopped at Kohl’s and ate lunch at Nathanial Reed Bakery, splitting a turkey croissant sandwich. Supposedly, Nathanial Reed is a well known baker who has won many awards. We thought that the sandwich was pretty good.

We saw this on the way… it is billed as the world’s largest catsup bottle.

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We reached our destination,

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We entered the facility at 12:50 pm. The next tour was at 1 PM.  We had planned this pretty well. I went to stamp our National Parks Passport and I had no room for the stamp. So we purchased a new, larger edition! It is called the “Collectors Edition”. It also has all of the National Parks listed.

At 2, we met with the NPS Ranger, Nick. We had a private tour!  Since we had not had time to watch the 22 minute movie, he filled us in on some of the information. These are Julia and Ulysses Grant.

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The house is known as White Haven.

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Naturally, my first question was why was it painted green? Because it was the Victorian Age and they painted in bright colors. Originally, the house had been a beige, but when it was purchased by the Dent family, Julia Grant’s family, they named the house after where the family came from in Ireland. These Dent’s came from Maryland and are related to the Dent’s we knew in Southern Maryland!

Grant was from northern Illinois. Grant graduated from West Point and was stationed at the Jefferson Barracks, a few miles from the house. His friend from West Point was one of the Dent son’s who invited him to visit. He met Julia, they fell in love and eventually married. He proposed on the front porch.

He ended up separated from her due to his time in the army. He quit the Army ( it may have been from being drunk on duty) and he did various jobs, including farming the Dent farm.

He did not believe in slavery and he and his Dent father-in-law argued about this for about 5 years. Then he took his family ( Julia, one daughter and 3 sons) to Illinois and worked in his father’s business. When the Civil War broke out, he rejoined the Army.  Due to his skill, Lincoln made him the Commander of the Army of the North.

Of course, he eventually became president. After being President, they moved to New York, to be close to the kids and grandkids. He lost all his money when his son’s business partner ruined the business. He eventually wrote a book, which earned enough money for Julia to live after he died. He is buried in New York. He and Julia had purchased White Haven from the Dent’s after the Civil War, but they never returned to live there.

We toured the house and the barn, which was a museum.

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We went back and watched the movie then returned to the rig.

We ate dinner, then took the dogs to a dog park in Shiloh, the next town from Ft. Smith.

The dogs had a blast! They played for about an hour. I tried to video them and the picture below is when they let us know they were done.

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Good grief! The pic of Koda makes her look devilish… she is very sweet and a real lovey dovey! Although she is a bundle of energy!

As we walked into the park, the dogs were greeted by the two other dogs who were there. After the required butt sniffing, Karlie ran the pack around the park. We stood there amazed. Karlie, who is terminal with Mitral Valve Prolapse and Kidney Failure ran for about 15 minutes, all over the park, playing and having a great time!

Koda and Roxie played and played with the other dogs! It was a lot of fun. We hope the weather cooperates so that they can visit the park again…

Tuesday- Bob took the sheets, towels and some clothes to a laundromat to be washed. I stayed home and worked on articles. I sent two off!

When he returned and after we put the laundry away.  We went to Eckart Family Restaurant for lunch. The meal was excellent. This was our kind of place!

They also have a farm store so we wandered through. I found a bottle of Cherry Moscoto which I purchased. We also found strawberry salsa which we also bought.

We went to Lowes and Walmart, then returned and took a short nap. We took the dogs to the dog park again, and they played with the ball. It started to rain, so we had to cut the visit short. We returned home, fed the dogs, then went to the Hofbrau House for our belated anniversary dinner. Bob enjoyed a pint of Dunkle and 17 oz of a Marzen. I poured him into the car and took him home.

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The food was not as good as the one in Germany and the restaurant was not very busy. There was more staff, at 6 pm, than there were customers. It is a beautiful place.

We returned home and had a quiet evening. It started to rain hard about the time we went to bed.

Wednesday- We left and went to downtown St. Louis to Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate, a St. Louis chocolate factory with a tour. We arrived just in time to take the tour.

Today they were making S’more’s. This first part is the base.

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Then the base went thru the chocolate.

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Then a marshmallow ( which they make here) is dropped on top.

20190424_110544 Then more chocolate is melted and put over the whole candy piece. Note in the picture that there is a glass barrier in front of the chocolate tub. A person, on a tour, put his hand in the tub. They had to close down the line, throw out all the candy on the line, throw out all the chocolate, wash the tub and start over. In all cost about $3000, so now they have a barrier. Think it was a kid? Nope, it was an adult male….

When the tour ended, we were given as many free samples as we wanted.

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We then went into the store and purchased some chocolate. We bought some blackberry ones, as they are Bob’s favorite.

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We left and went downtown. Here is the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis. We drove by but did not visit today.

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We decided we wanted to try some St. Louis ribs, so we went to Bogarts Ribs.

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We split a 1/2 rack of ribs which came with 2 sides. We chose beans and coleslaw, as the potato salad had bell pepper in it. Memphis ribs have a rub, and no BBQ sauce. The St. Louis Ribs had a rub and the sauce. We had our choice of sauce, but my favorite was the pineapple BBQ sauce. It was tangy and sweet.

We stopped at the grocery store on the way back to the rig. It rained a lot of the day.

Thursday-  We decided to take the Budweiser tour. We have taken many brewery tours, even Bud before, but this is the original brewery, and it is historic. The first tour did not start until 11, so on the way, we went back to the Basilica and toured it.

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Below is a side alter.

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Below is the main alter.

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Above and below are the side ceilings.

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Below is the back of the church.

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Below is the main dome.

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This was a beautiful Basilica. Much prettier that many we have seen before.

We left and drove to the Budweiser Brewery. As you can see, it was pouring rain.

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We chose the 11:15 tour. There were three tours to chose from. There is a 2 hour tour where they really get into the brewing process. There was a 45 minute tour, which is the one we took, then there was a 1/2 hour tour with just showed the brewery.

Our guide, Dave, was not all that great, but he could sing. He would sing the Budweiser songs to us. The first stop was to see the Clydesdales.

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This guy was Louis.

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Here are their harnesses.

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The horses are boarded and bred at another facility. The chandelier below is in the horses stable.

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Next we saw the tanks which held 30,000 barrels. They were too large to get a decent picture. There were a lot of these tanks. We also saw the beechwood which they use to help with the fermenting process. This room was 50 degrees.

Next it was the heating room, which was very warm.

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As you can see, this was a big building with many floors. This was the outside of the building with the clock. During the World’s Fair of 1902, people were able to walk outside of the clock area to look at the view of St. Louis. It is no longer safe to go out there.

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We continued downhill to the bottling room. Whew, they bottle a lot in a minute. The same with cans. We took the trolley back up the hill to the main building. Through out the tour, they gave you many samples of beer. Bob had all of mine, but he is never impressed with Budweiser beer. They finished the tour with two microbrews which he said were okay. We each ordered different ones, so he had the two different brews.

We ate salads in the restaurant. We headed back to the rig after the tour.

We realized that we we had not picked up our mail. So Bob ran to the Post Office in Bellville to pick it up. When he arrived, they said they did not have it. So he called me and I forwarded the email to him. He showed it to the idiot postal worker! She said to him that he had to have a General Delivery account. He told her we have been doing this for 9 years and never had an issue. She said that General Delivery was for homeless people. What an idiot!!! She did “find” the mail and gave it to him. This is the first time we have had this issue! We ate dinner at home.

Friday- Fortunately, this was the first day it was not raining. We were moving to Indianapolis today. So we dumped the tanks on the way out, and drove north taking a side road to I-70. We traveled I-70 through a windy day. The most that the winds were was about 20 mph, but with our high profile, it was a tough drive. It has been so windy,so far this trip,  that they did not even have a wind warning today.

We stopped for diesel at a Flying J. They only had a Denny’s there, but I spotted a Panera across the street, just past another truck stop. So we parked the rig and walked over to Panera. The Strawberry Harvest Poppy seed salad is back, so I had that.  Bob had a 1/2 sandwich. 

We took I-265 around the city and drove south to Lake Haven Retreat RV Park. They had called a couple of days ago to say that they could move us into a FHU site, but that it was a back in. We were supposed to be in a overflow site. We pulled into the park and I registered us, doing a Good Sam discount of $3 per day for our 4 nights here.

We backed into our very unlevel site, but it was the only one available. We had to put the rear end on blocks. Thank goodness they have a dog park, as we took the dogs over to get some of their energy out!

We were really tired, so I voted to go to Texas Roadhouse for dinner. Bob did the call ahead. We waited about 5 minutes in line to get to the gal who handed us one of the beepers. We waited about 5 minutes and were taken to our table. That call ahead worked really well, as the place was mobbed!

Sat. Apr. 13 to Fri. Apr. 19- Austin to Lake Takoma TX-Joplin MO

Saturday– There was a thunderstorm arriving, so we held off leaving. We worked quickly getting ready to leave, including bringing in the slides. We waited out the storm, and left a little before 11, which is the check out time.

We drove east and stopped at the rest area for lunch. We wanted the storm to get through Austin, so we would not be caught in it.

We continued on to Austin, and turned south on I-35, which was under massive construction. This created a terrible traffic jam. We exited and used the “Texas U-turn”, which are awesome, and we wish that they were everywhere.

We drove into Austin Lone Star RV park at about 2 PM. The office was closed, but they had an envelope with my name on it. It included a pass for the gate and a map with our site circled. While I was getting the information, Bob disconnected the car. We went through the gate and up to our site.

We set up and took the dogs for a walk. We also took them to the dog run. Bob was able to get Koda and Roxie to run, while Karlie and I watched.

We ate dinner at home, using all the leftovers.

Sunday-  We stopped at the office on our way out of the park, and paid the balance on our reservation. The employee gave us maps on how to get downtown without having to use I-35, bypassing the construction and the traffic back ups.

We drove to downtown Austin, stopping at Mean Greens for lunch, a salad place. We were disappointed. The salad was not as good as Café Zupas, it was more expensive, and we did not get the roll and the chocolate covered strawberry!

Our goal was to go to the Capitol, as we thought that the parking would be better. It was, as we found a nice, free parking space, near a side entrance. We walked up to the Capitol building, and the next tour was in about 5 minutes.

The tour was only 30 minutes, but since the Legislature is in session, it was a good thing we went on Sunday, as we were able to see both the House and the Senate. If we had gone on Monday, we would have missed these places.

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We entered thru the main entrance. We had to go thru security, and of course, I set off the metal detector. I always say,” two new knees”, but the security guy  still ‘wanded” me.

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All of the elevators have these emblems on them.

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Below is a picture of Santa Ana surrendering.

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Below is the rotunda, looking up at the dome.

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Throughout the Capitol, each door had these massive hinges shown below.

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Below is the Senate chamber.

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This is the House side with our docent, Chad.

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Even the light fixtures have the Lone Star.

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On one of the floor areas.

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Another floor display.

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Of course, the tour ended near the gift shop!

The salad for lunch, was not very satisfying, so we stopped at Voodoo Doughnuts for a treat. I dropped Bob off and drove around the block many times, as the line was long. It was located in a very “young” area, with lots of people in their 20’s. This Voodoo is open 24 hours.

We returned to the rig and played with the dogs in the dog run. There were some toys in the park, so I said to Bob, since Koda does not seem to like balls, why don’t we just leave some of our balls in the park.

So Bob pulled down the box. He went to hand me a regular size tennis ball and I dropped it. Koda grabbed it and ran with it. Huh?? Roxie had tried to get Koda to play with the medium size ball. ( we have 3 sizes, small, medium, and regular tennis ball).  When Roxie tried to get Koda to play, she grabbed the ball and dropped it. I took the ball and rolled it to Koda, who looked at it like it was from Mars! I rolled it to Roxie who picked it up and dropped it. We did this back and forth about 10 times and finally decided that balls were not Koda’s thing. So now, we find out she likes regular tennis balls. So that is her new toy!

Bob runs with the dogs in the dog park, and they both chase him, barking and having a great time. We ate dinner at home.

Monday- We left around 10 AM and went downtown to the University, where the LBJ Presidential Library and Museum is located. There was specific place to park, which was free.

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We visited the Library, enjoying the self tour.Below is a limo that LBJ had made for him to ride around in Texas. It is not armored or bullet proof. It is located right inside the entrance.

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The Library/Museum is 10 stories. On the main floor, they had  information about LBJ. then we walked up a marble staircase to the hall of Presidents and First Ladies.

It started with George and Martha Washington ….

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And went as far at George W and Laura Bush.

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The portraits are hung two years after the President is out of office, so Obama’s portrait is not yet hung.

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On the other wall was the Library portion open with glass so you can see the information. It is only open by appointment. These are between the floors that are open to the general public.

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Below you can see a really nice mural, depicting LBJ and others.

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Here are two views of the LBJ Oval Office.

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A view of Austin from the 10th floor of the Library/Museum.

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We left around 12:30, going to Terry Black’s BBQ. We waited about 30 minutes in line. The food was very good.

We returned to the rig, walked the dogs, then went to Costco, Walmart and the Liquor store. We returned, ate dinner and took the dogs to Petsmart. We thought we would have Koda pick out some toys. She ignored everything…. Oh well, it was worth a try!

Tuesday- We left and drove up I-35, ugh!. Bob had found a alternate route, so we turned drove east on Hwy. 71, past the airport. Then we found that it was a toll road, oh well. So we turned north on the toll road. We had no idea how much it was going to cost. There were no actual toll booths, just signs saying how much each segment was… Payment was either through Texas pass or by mail. The drive was much nicer than going thru the City of Austin on I-35, so whatever the cost, it saved us a lot of time and frustration!

We drove back onto I-35, north of Austin. We continued north, finally arriving, around 2:30  at the Thousand Trails Lake Texoma. There is nothing going on in the park during the week. We had to pay an extra $3 per day for 50 amp, but moved into a 50 amp FHU site.

We settled in and I sat outside with the dogs. Koda decided to dig to China! She was having a blast and dirt was flying! We do not know what she smelled in the hole, but she smelled something and went after it.

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When she finished, we washed her paws and scraped the dirt back into the hole so we would not turn our ankles in the hole.

We ate dinner and had a quiet evening.

Wednesday- We have no internet at the site, so we went to the Adult Lounge to use the internet. I worked on some articles and sent them to my Editor. We had found that the Elks Lodge in Oklahoma was closed, so we had to find another place to stay. We  are now going to a Casino in southern Missouri, then on to our next planned stop.

We returned, walked the dogs, and went to Backyard BBQ, a few miles down the road for lunch. We just did take out, returned, ate lunch, and took a nap.

We walked the dogs, ate dinner, and waited for the weather to change. The weather radio kept going off warning us of the severe thunderstorms coming. We had already checked out that the restrooms near us had brick walls and we would move there if there was a tornado alert.

When following the weather, we saw that we were in an area that just had rain, so we were lucky. The worst of the storms, and there were several, went around us, both to the east and the west. Whew! We went to bed late, because we wanted to wait out the last storm.

Thursday- We decided to have a quiet day at home. We completed some tasks around the rig. The weather was cooler and very windy. We were glad we were sitting still today.

We ate leftover BBQ from yesterday for lunch. I took a nice nap. At 4, I went over to the Adult Lounge to try to download the  pictures from my phone and to work on the blog. I sent another article to my editor.

I returned and we cooked dinner. The skies had cleared and it was bright and sunny, but remained very, very windy.

Friday- Fortunately, the wind died down this morning. We packed up and left around 9 AM. We drove north, immediately crossing into Oklahoma,  on horrible roads! The CD player would not work! We thought it might not be working because the roads were so bumpy, but it turned out it was actually that the batteries were dead.

We changed them when we stopped at a rest area, walked the dogs and changed drivers. We continued on through Oklahoma. Our destination was Down River Casino in Joplin MO.

Before we arrived in Joplin, our last drive through Oklahoma was on I-44, which was a toll road. We were glad to pay the $6.50 toll, as the road was nice and smooth. The first smooth road of the day!

The toll road ended when we crossed into Missouri. We exited at exit 1, and turned onto the road to the Casino. We could see the RV park on the right, so we drove into the park, chose a site, and I ran over and paid the $15 for the night. We could have stayed for free, if we went to the Casino and joined their club. We were tired, as it was already after 3 PM and we had decided to just pay the $15.

We set up, then took the dogs to the city to a dog park we found on Google Maps. They had not run in days and Koda really needed to get some energy out. ‘

We arrived to find that the park was not a dog park. There were baseball diamonds, a swimming pool, various playground equipment but no dog park. Bob checked Google and the next park was 26 miles away.

I spotted a fenced in picnic pavilion. There was no gate, but the shelter was covered and the tables were in the shelter, with grass all around. No one was around, so we took the dogs in and ran them around the large area. Even Karlie ran, which was good to see!

Finally, the let us know they were done, we loaded them back in the car and drove back to the Casino. It was bout 6 miles each way! We ate dinner and had a quiet evening.

Sat. Apr. 6 to Fri. 12- Fredericksburg TX.

Saturday- We had the Pancake Breakfast this morning. I really had not volunteered much this rally, because I have enough with the three dogs and my heel which is still bothering me. With walking over 10,000 steps a day, it has been very painful in the evenings.

They were having pictures today, but since Bob was not here, I did not do a picture. Rudy has said that he will take ours once Bob returns.

Bob and Stormi have been working diligently on trying to get the Doc’s to make a decision. They were pushing for Hospice. Each day, the Doc’s would say that the cancer is in another location. At this point there are 20 tumors in the brain, tumors in the lymph nodes, the lung tumor, and it is in his liver. They are still doing tests and they have not received the information from the VA hospital.

In the evening, we had the Sheriffs Diner. This is where the unknown Sheriff, it turned out to be Jeff Venable, fines you 25 to 50 cents for “infractions” like not wearing your name tag or anything else they can think of… he collected $187, which will be donated to a local charity.

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Sunday-  Bob was supposed to return today, but he had changed his ticket. He is going to return on Tuesday. He is staying because Ethel, the SIL, is being discharged from the hospital today. Bob has been trying to obtain home health services for John, to assist Ethel with his care.

Ethel came straight to the hospital. She is in severe denial. She called Stormi and told her she was taking John home, Tuesday, no matter what. She had Stormi very upset. We have been trying to back Stormi in everything. Ethel did make an appointment with the Oncologist for Wednesday. Stormi is planning to attend the appointment also…

I registered for the main rally, the AOC. That was about it for today. Linda and I walked the dogs. Someone had taken her dog to the Vet just down the street and the Vet told her that there had been 2 dogs from the park with Parvo. This meant that I could no longer use the dog park to run Koda. That created a problem, as doing a long, long walk with Koda was not possible due to my heel. I did go to Walmart, as it started raining.

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The problem with walking the dogs in the large grassy area are the dandelion’s above. They are very sharp. There is another kind, which did not show up well in the picture, which has fine sharp needles. So I was only walking the dogs on the road. I was able to let they walk in our site, as Bob had removed all of these dandelions.

The Mobile Lube guy arrived to change our transmission fluid. Bob had scheduled him and he was very nice. I had to take the jacks up for him to check to make sure that everything was okay. Then I had to re-level the coach. This is one of Bob’s tasks so I had to call him, to have him walk me through this activity.

We had the Welcome Dinner this evening. It was a catered dinner with Lasagna and Penna pasta. Dinner was very good. They announced that next year’s AOC is going to be in Branson MO. I immediately texted Bob to let him know. We are already planning to attend!

Monday-  I had nothing until 1:30, so I went downtown and walked one block. I was able to find an item to place over the valance in the bedroom. I took this picture and sent it via text to Bob. He asked me to measure it, so I borrowed a tape measure from the store employee and did the measurement. Bob told me to go ahead and purchase it.

Since our blog’s name is Wanderlust, this works! I had also purchased a new quilt which I was planning to surprise Bob with when he returned. No, it was not very expensive…

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At 1:30 I attended the RV Disaster Corps seminar. This is a group, Texas only, which works with FEMA to assist communities, following disasters. They go in for short term time frames, long past the time that the first responders are in the area, and have left the area, to continue to assist with helping people. RV’ers come with their own lodging, thereby, not placing extra stress on the fragile areas. It was an interesting service, which may eventually go nationwide. I went to the 4 PM Roadrunner social.

Meanwhile, Bob, Stormi, and Ethel were meeting with the Doctors. Ethel remains in denial about the seriousness of John’s diagnosis. Both Bob and Stormi want Hospice started. The Radiology Oncologist made a strong case for doing radiation of the brain and lung. John and Ethel made the decision to go with the radiation, which is their right.

Bob gave Ethel information on the available services in the area to assist her. She, smiled, took the information, and we believe she will ignore it.

Tuesday- I had a 9AM Women’s seminar where we discussed various items we really like that we have in our rigs. I was not really excited about the crafts, so I did not attend those seminars. We did schedule an Instapot seminar. ‘

Bob’s plane was arriving at 1:35 so at a little before 12, I left to drive to the airport in Austin. The ride was a hour and forty minutes. I arrived and there was a cell phone lot. So that was where I stopped. It was a well done lot. There was a gas station, restaurant, and a board listing the arrivals. Unfortunately, Bob’s plane was not on the list. Bob texted me and I ran to the airport to pick him up.

We drove back to Fredericksburg. The really nice thing was that the wildflowers are blooming and the area is beautiful.

We arrived back in time for Bob to greet the dogs, walk them, and we went at 5 PM to the Leisure Coach Works sponsored dinner. LCW has done this each year for the Alfa Rally. The menu is always hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, pasta salad, beans, chips, sodas and water.

This year, dessert was from the park, which was ice cream. The ice cream was from a local place and really excellent.

This was the sky as we left the dinner…

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Wednesday- We decided to go take the Willow City Loop to view the wildflowers. We found the road and drove the loop. The flowers were beautiful.

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The blue flowers are the famous Texas Blue Bonnets. The drive was awesome!

We stopped at Backwoods BBQ for lunch, as Bob missed the BBQ dinner which was so good. He enjoyed the brisket, which we both had.

We returned and Bob attended the Round Table with Jon Goldstein from LCW. We had our social hour, then we had the Roadrunner Chapter dinner with was a German meal. It was Schnitzel, gravy, German potato salad, salad,green beans,  sauerkraut, and bread. It was very good. Dessert was apple strudel or Black Forest Cake ( Bob’s favorite). We had a nice time talking with friends. Below is a picture of the park with some of the 90 Alfa’s in attendance.

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Thursday- Because we did not know Bob’s schedule, I did not sign us up for the dog show. We went to Walmart. At 11, I went to the Instapot seminar. One thing that I learned, was that our Sun City friend, John, had placed a PVC elbow over the steam vent to keep the steam from damaging the cabinets. Bob measured the top and we are going to do this!

We picked up lunch from Porky’s a really good carry out place about 1 mile down the road. At 1:30, Bob went to the Round Table with Dick Albritton. We had our social at 5. There was a ton of leftovers from the dinner last night, so we took some containers and loaded up with leftovers. We dropped them off into our refrigerator.

We took our leftover bottle of Tequila with us. We also sampled some Bourbon Cream. That was sort of like Baileys Irish Cream, but much smoother. Along with my wine and Bob’s beer, well, it was a good thing we were not driving anywhere! LOL.

Dinner was the AOC Farewell dinner. It was basically a Thanksgiving dinner with turkey, stuffing, gravy, mash potatoes, salad, green beans and peach cobbler for dessert.

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We did not win any of the prizes. We said our good-byes to a lot of people. Below are some of the prizes. The Roadrunners had two baskets, each worth $350. Note that the “leaves” are money…

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This second bouquet is from the Lone Stars. I am not sure how much money was there.

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Friday- We went downtown to visit the shops. We walked the area, waving at Alfa’s as they passed by on Main Street, heading out of town. We visited the “tasting” business, which has taskings of a lot of salsa, peanut butters, pickles,, jams, jelly’s etc..That was lunch!

We went back to the rig, took a nap, and had a quiet afternoon. We left around 4:30, to drive south to Comfort TX to meet up with my cousin Diane and her husband Vic. I had not seen them in a long time. Each time we came through Texas, they were out of town!

The original restaurant that Diane had chosen was closed, so we went to a new place in town called Soul Food. It was very good and became very crowded. We had a great visit.