Sunday, April 17, 2011

Happy Birthday to my Dad

Today we celebrated my Dad's 92nd birthday.

He lives in an Assisted Living Center in Purcell, Oklahoma. (My Mom lived there with him until last August when she needed full nursing home care. She is now in a nursing home a few blocks from the Assisted Living Center.) My oldest brother and his wife provided a large cake and ice cream which was shared by our family members and the other residents of the center. We took our oldest grand daughter, Emma, with us and she had a good time with her Great Grandpa. He also had a big time showing her some of the memorabilia he has collected in his many travels over the years. He also made sure she got to take home some of the trinkets he has collected. It was a great day and everyone had a good time. The only down side was not having Mom there with us. Come this May my parents will have been married for 74 years. This is Dad's first birthday without Mom at his side. HAPPY BIRTHDAY POP!

Monday, April 4, 2011

East Coast Bound--Day 33

Well, actually we are not bound for anywhere. We are home in Oklahoma.

Yesterday was fairly uneventful as we traveled northwest up through Alabama and Mississippi. When we got to Tennessee we were able to take a bypass to the south and west of Memphis and picked up Interstate 40 in West Memphis over in Arkansas. At this point we were heading due west with heavy wind coming out of the south. This was hitting our very high profile vehicle very heavily. This made it very hard to keep the coach on the road. We made it all the way to North Little Rock and stopped for the night at the Downtown Riverside RV Park. After going out to dinner we returned to the coach to relax and turn in early. The wind had gotten even worse and we were told a cold front was moving in with heavy rain. To protect the awning slide covers from the wind we pulled in all the slides except for the one that hold the bed.

This morning we got up to heavy rain which had been coming down since the wee hours of the morning. It slacked off long enough to allow us to unhook the utilities, dump our holding tanks and get the car hooked to the tow bar. About 9:00 am we headed out again. Drove in rain for the first 50 miles or so and then heavy wind, this time coming out of the north and still hitting us broadside. The wind really made for two very hard and tiring driving days. We arrived home about 4:30 this afternoon. Unloaded the necessary things and then locked up the coach. We'll get back to it later. Joanne did immediately start doing the laundry that has built up over the last month. We had a very good trip, saw a lot and enjoyed visiting with our friends in Georgia. Not everything worked out as planned but that is what sometimes happens when we are out on the road. That is one good part about being retired, we have the flexibility to take things as they come and rewrite the schedule as things happen.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

East Coast Bound--Day 31

Actually, we are western bound now.

Finally got our car back yesterday afternoon. Although it took a week longer than the shop originally told us it looks like a brand new car. They did a very good job and we are pleased. After we returned to the RV Park our friends, Diane and Russ, picked us up to go to dinner on the beach in Tybee. We had planned to go back to Fannie's on the Beach but Russ suggested another place that was owned by the same people. This one was in a beach front hotel and was actually right on the beach instead of across a parking lot. The food was wonderful as was the company. Afterward we returned to the coach and visited for awhile. Little Bridgit Jeane was very pleased to see her "Aunt Di" again. Since she lived with Di and Russ for several weeks before we were able to get to Savannah last November to get her she always is happy to see them again. (Russ claims to dislike dogs but somehow he manages to live in a house that has six permanent ones plus often several that Diane is fostering until she can find them homes.)

We rolled out of the RV Park on Tybee Island a little before 9:00 am this morning. It took about an hour to get across Savannah, including stopping at a truck stop to fill the fuel tank with diesel. The it was west to Macon and north to Atlanta. Traffic just south of Atlanta was horrendous. In that area Interstate 75 is four lanes in both directions. For some reason traffic was backed up and at a crawl in all four lanes in both directions. It took us just over an hour to travel twelve miles. Then, all of a sudden, the traffic cleared and we were back up to highway speed. We never did see what had caused the backup. After Atlanta we headed west on Interstate 20 toward Alabama. We have stopped for the night in Heflin, Alabama, just about 10 miles west of the Georgia state line. This is a nice RV park just off the Interstate for a reasonable price. We plan to be in eastern Arkansas by tomorrow night and hope to be home by Monday evening.

Friday, April 1, 2011

East Coast Bound--Day 30

We've pretty much had down days this week. It had been pouring down rain since last Tuesday evening so we have not ventured out much. We did make a trip over to the body shop yesterday. Not to pick up the car but to take them a second set of keys since the Tech locked the first set in the car. They were planning to finish it yesterday so we could leave Savannah today. Unfortunately, they ran into some problems with the "after market" parts (meaning non-General Motors parts). Mainly the left front fender and the bumper cover. They got the correct parts in last night, plan to paint it today and, hopefully, get it back to us this evening. If that happens we'll plan to head west tomorrow morning. Due to the rain we have been pretty lazy and even sleeping as late as little Bridgit Jeane will let us. (After about 8:00 am she starts yapping to be let out of her kennel and be taken outside.) As you can see from the picture, Buddy Joe does not sleep in a kennel but takes his share of the bed. As we wait around for the body shop to call we are enjoying the glorious sunshine that came out today. The storms have finally moved out to sea and the weather has turned nice, although a bit on the cool side.

One thing that has fascinated me while we've been here is the tide from the ocean. It goes out every six hours and then comes back six hours later. Just down the road is a place where some folks have a small inlet that comes in directly behind their houses. They have built some nice docks and have their boats tied up there. Each time the tide goes out this inlet is completely drained and the boats wind up sitting in mud. When the tide comes back the boats then float again. Guess these folks have to really follow the tide tables when they want to go out fishing. I'm just amazed they let their boats sit in mud for half the day every day. I went over there yesterday morning an took a picture about the time the time was nearly out. In another hour their would have been no water in the inlet at all. Amazing what interest a person when boredom sets in.

It is finally such a beautiful day we decided to walk back down to the Tybee beach. The sun is out but it is fairly windy with the wind coming out of the northwest. When we got to the beach it was at low tide so the surf was out really far. With the wind blowing so hard the sand was really whipping out toward the water. (Not sure if it really shows on this picture but those streaks of white sand are what was blowing directly toward us as we were walking.) Down the beach were so "kite surfers" having a good time in the wind. These guys were amazing in what they could do on these small surf boards using a huge kite to move them around. A couple of them were able to life well off the water and do flips. This last picture is of one of them in the air. If you click on the picture to enlarge it you'll see his lines going up to the kite. I missed getting the actual kite in the picture.