Friday, May 30, 2014

Kansas City, One More Time

We are back in the Kansas City area.  We are staying at a county park.  They do not take reservations.  We arrived around 2:30 pm on Memorial Day.  We figured the check out time would be around 2 and we wouldn't have a problem getting a site.  It turns out that they do not have check out until 5 p.m. on holidays.  The gate keeper said she couldn't take payment until 5 p.m.  Dad asked where we could wait and she said the dump station. Well, the dump station was full of people dumping.  We deciding to drive around. We found an empty site and took it.  We didn't want to totally set up in case there was a problem with us taking the site.  At 5 p.m. the folks went to pay.  Well, it turned out that there was a line of people waiting for sites.  They had to take a number and wait in line.  Mama was nervous that they might give our site to someone else.  She talked to one of the volunteers and told him that we had already taken a site.  He said that is not the procedure.  He then started talking to them and it turns out that he is an Escapees member too and they are "virtual neighbors" in the Escapees mail system.  He became nice after that and said it was fine that we took the site, but don't do it again.  They waited in line for a half hour and finally paid for the site.  Their system definitely needs work.  They may start taking reservations later this year.

Our site is nice.  We have a big front yard.

Our front yard.

The backyard faces the street.

There are lakes.

I like this place!
 Mama and I have been exploring in the mornings. Scout has decided it is too hot to walk, so she stays behind.  She doesn't like sitting outside much either, so it's just me and Mama.

Staying here is kind of an experiment for us.  We only have 30 amps and no sewer.  We are doing okay with the 30 amps.  We dumped with a portable tank Wednesday night.  It took almost an hour as the dump is not that close.  Dad said he will take "Navy showers" from now on and we will see how long we can go without dumping.  Mama hoped she could use Buddy to transport the portable tank but there is not way.  It is too heavy.  Mama did laundry in the washing machine that the park has, but she is not sure she wants to go back. There is only one washing machine in each building. The first washing machine had several water bugs in it.  The sink was full of them.  She went to the next building and only found one water bug in the machine and he was dead. She got him out and then tested the water to make sure it was clear and not brown.  BOL!  The sink there was also full of water bugs. She said she was scared to look in the dryer, so she brought the clothes home and hung them up here and dried what she had to in our machine.  She used Buddy to carry the laundry and that was pretty easy.  She also used Buddy to transport our trash yesterday.  Scout and I hate when we are the "trash dogs".  That is what we call it when we have to walk with Mama when she is carrying trash.

This place is really quiet and feels more like camping than in a private park.  We like it so far.

The Greyhound Who Is A Happy Camper

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Our Visit Home

We forgot to tell you what happened before we left the rally.  We had to call another RV repairman.  We were turning the RV around so that we could get out the next day.  The brakes, I think, wouldn't hold air.  We can't drive in that condition. Dad called Good Sam's.  The repairman required $200 up front since it was a weekend.  He didn't have the part to fix it.  He was able to do a temporary fix though and we were able to get home.

On Sunday, we had our rig weighed.  We are not overweight, but we can't add much.  They weigh each wheel to see if one tire has more weight than the other.  We do, but there isn't much we can do about it.  It is how it is built.  They put the washer, propane tank, and air conditioner all on the same side.

We were "home" for a week.  The folks were on the go almost the entire time.  They filled up the Jeep three times and that added up to $155.  Crazy, right?

The folks had their yearly check ups.  We visited the vet.  Dad went trout fishing.  Mama went shopping.  Dad went to a company picnic and Mama went shopping.  BOL!  Mama didn't buy anything big. She bought supplies for a cross-stitch project.  The folks visited Grandma and Grandpa several times. They also visited Grandpa and Grandma E.

Saturday, was the folks anniversary and Grandpa E gave them an anniversary card.

 This was printed on the inside!

Yep, Grandpa E. printed our picture!  BOL!

Mama wasn't happy with our campground. We have stayed there before, but this time we couldn't get satellite.  The regular antenna didn't work either. They ended up buying a new antenna that worked sometimes. They were able to watch the finale of Suvivor, so that was good.  The campground doesn't have free Wi-Fi or cable.  It was really crowded . We hadn't seen that many kids in one place EVER.  It was crazy!  We took photos, but they have disappeared. POOF!

The Greyhound Who Is Relaxing After An Exhausting Vacation

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame

Mama has been a St. Louis Cardinals fan since the time she was a little girl.  She remembers her Dad telling her that they acquired Ozzie Smith and he was supposed to be good.  BOL!  Yes, it turned out he was really good.  She also remembers him telling her that they sent Kenny Reitz to "running school".  She doesn't know if that was true, but she thought it was funny.  Mama's favorite time being a Cardinal fan was in the 80's.  She remembers driving down 44 hearing Jack Buck on KMOX saying "GO CRAZY FOLKS, GO CRAZY!"   So, why am I telling you all of this?  Well, the Cardinals Hall of Fame opened this year, so Mama wanted to see it while we were home.

Approaching Ball Park Village which is where the Hall of Fame is located.

Busch Stadium - Mama still prefers the look of the old Busch.

Busch Stadium as seen from Cardinal Nation - a restaurant.
The folks arrived just as a bus full of senior citizens arrived.  It took quite a while to enter the museum because of that.  Mama said they were all trying to take photos with their cell phones and didn't know how and it was just a mess.  She said no flash photography was allowed, but one lady said "Well, I don't know how to turn it off, so too bad."   They then blocked displays not because they were looking, but because they were just talking to each other and not about the Cardinals.

This photo is one of the first things you see.  See the dogs at the bottom?
They looked like greyhounds to the folks.  It is easier to tell in person according to Mama.

The jersey belonged to David Freese. Half of it was torn off during the celebration.

Home base that Mark McGwire crossed when he hit his 70th home run in 1998.

Those were the days!

Model of the old Busch Stadium

View of part of the museum.

Jerseys of former managers: Herzog and Torre.

This was a very sad time in Cardinal history. Jack Buck died and 4 days later, Darryl Kile, pitcher, died in Chicago of a heart attack.
 The following are some of the 2014 inductees into the Hall of Fame.

After touring the museum, the folks ate lunch at the Budweiser Brew House.  Mama said it was definitely more for the younger crowd.  It is loud and many of the seats are bench seats.  She needs a back to her seats because of her back. They were given a booth, so it was fine for her.

Dad's burger had brisket on it.

Mama's burger.
The folks said the burgers were good, but the fries were terrible. They were hard.  Not a crunchy hard, but just hard.

Inside Fox Sports Midwest Live

The folks enjoyed themselves at the museum. It is nicely done.  They went during the day when there was not a Cardinal game being held so it was not very crowded except for that busload of people.  BOL!

The Greyhound Who Is A Cardinals' Fan Too!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

54th Escapade

Our vacation is now over and Dad is back to work, so we have more time to update our blog.

As we mentioned before, we really enjoyed attending the Escapade which was held in Goshen, IN this year.  What is Escapade?  It is a rally put on by Escapees, which a RV club that we joined a few years ago.  This year, there were something like 1,052 people and over 500 rigs.  It was very well organized.

The rally started on a Monday.  The vendors' market opened at 9 a.m.  The folks shopped for a while and then came home for lunch.  At 2 p.m., they attended a 1st timers seminars that told them how to get around the rally. Everyone was given a pocket guide to events and then a bigger guide that explained each seminar.  At 3 p.m., opening ceremonies were held.Two $500 cash prizes were handed out. Then they had an ice cream social. At 7 p.m. more attendance prizes. They gave away some really nice prizes.  Johnny Counterfit performed after that.  He does impersonations of singers and Mama said he was really good.

Johnny Counterfit

The seminars (classes) began on Tuesday.  Here are classes they attended on Tuesday:  RV Interior Refurbishing, Technology For Travelers, Highway History and Back Road Mystery (very interesting) and Smartphones/Tablets for Travelers.  At 4 p.m., they came home and walked us and then they had to rush back to the First-timers Social. There were several socials held each night, but Mama's compliant was that they were held at 4:30 p.m. and it was hard to come home after class, walk us and then head back by 4:30.  It would have been easier if she had skipped classes, but she wanted to attend as many classes as possible.  Attendance prizes were handed out at 7 and then the entertainment began.  The folks said it was really bad on this night.  A lot of people walked out including the folks.  They felt bad doing it, but the sound system was really bad and they couldn't understand what the performers were saying.

Wednesday, they attended the following classes: Insider Cleaning Tips (Excellent) Picasa & Picasa Web Albums, Ins & Outs of Towing Safety, Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda (Mama said she shouldn't have.  BOL!), Making Your Nest Egg Last, and Geocashing/Hunting Treasure.  There was no entertainment, so they went out for dinner after class.

Mark, instructor from boot camp on the big screen.  It turned cold during our stay, plus he is getting ready to head to Alaska soon.
The rain caused this person to get stuck in the mud.

Thursday, they attended the following classes: Your Bucket List, Wrinkle-Free Laundry (Excellent), Basic Genealogy, Realities of Full-Time Lifestyle, Escapees RV Club-What's New (Very Good).  Door prizes were held at 7 p.m. and then Ham-O-Rama was held.  Ham-O-Rama was performances by fellow club members.  It was really good.

Friday, they only attended one class:  Make your Rig More Live-Able (Very Good).  The Pet Parade was held at 11:15 a.m. The chili cook-off was held at 11:45 p.m.  Closing Ceremony was held at 3 p.m.  A farewell party was held at 7 p.m.

Posing for pictures after the pet parade.
Relaxing after the pet parade.

Saturday, there was a breakfast, but the folks did not attend.

There were several classes that Mama wanted to attend but couldn't because they were held at the same time.  There were craft classes held, but Mama didn't make it to any of those.  Yoga and Zumba classes were also offered. There was also a craft show, but Mama missed that, too. There was definitely more to do than there was time.

It was like a happy hour for dogs whenever classes ended.  All the dogs were out meeting and greeting each other with their people.  It was fun!

Mama really enjoyed sharing other stories of the road with fellow full-timers.  One person asked the negatives of living on the road full-time. The only answer that anyone would come up was the weather.  Yes, there are breakdowns, but houses need repairs too.  Sometimes, it is harder for Mama because she doesn't have a car and can't always ride Buddy.  Something as simple as buying a birthday card can turn into a big deal because she doesn't have a car and then if she makes it to the store, she has to find a place to mail it.  It is not as simple as walking to your mailbox to mail a card.  However, her situation is unique because most people have a car and they can do what they want, when they want.  Mama feels like she has lost a lot of independence not having a car on a daily basis, but I'm happy that she is home with us more.

The folks really hope to attend the next Escapade which will be held in March in Tuscon, AZ.

The Greyhound Who Enjoyed Escapade Too!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

3 Week Vacation Coming To An End

It is amazing how fast time flies when you are on vacation.  Our vacation time is coming to an end though.  The first week, we traveled to Iowa and then we broke down.  We then drove to Indiana for the 54th Escapade (RV rally), which we loved.  We planned on doing a post talking about all the seminars, but we are not sure anyone is really interested hearing about it.(If you are interested, leave a comment telling us so.)  We broke down there last Saturday.  We have a temporary fix that we may get fixed in Kansas City. 
These horses are being exercised by being tied to a truck and running behind it.

Scout was concerned about how the horses are being walked and hopes that Mama never does that to her.

It really bothered her.

Scout really liked watching the horses. This was at the fairgrounds where the RV rally was held.
 We were weighed on our way out of the rally.  We were within our limits, but not by much.  The problem really lies with how our rig was made.  The manufacturers put a lot of heavy items on one side.  There is really nothing we can do about it because we can't move the ac units, water heater, washer/dryer, etc. 
The Escapees truck at the exit of the event.
 We then drove "home" for doctor visits, vet visits and visiting family.  Mama said this part was not really vacation because it was stuff we needed to get done.  The campground we are staying at does not have cable or free Wi-Fi.  We had satellite for a few days, but now we are blocked by RVs.  We upgraded our TV antenna and we are able to get a few channels.  The campground is now completely full and it is crazy with kids running around.  I guess the quiet hours have been thrown out the window since it is the holiday weekend.  We heard people outside our RV at 11:30 p.m.  Do you remember Cousin Eddie from the Vacation movies?  There is a guy who looks and acts like him here.  Yep, it is interesting and somewhat entertaining here.

Today is the folks 28th wedding anniversary. They are old!  They ate at Rich and Charlie's the other night to celebrate.  It is an Italian place that Mama loves. 

Personally, I will be glad when we are back to our normal routine.  The folks haven't been around much and I miss my "Mama time" and she misses us, too.  I just wish Dad didn't have a J.O.B. (They spell it out at the Escapade event because it is a bad word.) so that he was around more.  We don't want him to loose his J.O.B., but if he was retired like us, that would be good.

The Greyhound Whose Vacation Is Ending Soon

Joey 11/1/2007 to 12/06/2018

It is with great sadness that I announce the death of our dear Joey.  He had a wonderful summer walking on the beach and playing in the w...