Circle Complete

Good morning. A chilly one too. It looks like it isn’t supposed to warm up much either, as our high today is only 50º. To make it even gloomier, the forecast is calling for rain starting late this afternoon and all day tomorrow. What a way to start our summer in Michigan.

Day 172. This was our final day of our first adventure in Winnie as full-timers. We traveled from the Lebanon/Cincinnati NE KOA in Ohio to the Proud Lake Recreation Area, a Michigan State Park in Wixom, Michigan without incident. This is where it all began last November when we left Michigan to become “snowbirds”. The circle is complete.

We left the cold Michigan winter to find warm sunshine in the south. That was a laugh. Everywhere we went people said “this is the coldest winter we’ve had in years”. Many said we brought the cold weather with us. Just kidding I hope. Even though the temperatures were colder than normal down south, it was still warmer than what our family was getting back home in the north.

We were able to visit family and friends, see places we had never been before and experience life in a new way. We had a few glitches along the way, but nothing major. Even those were far and few between. I would call them learning experiences. Next week we start the summer out with doctor visits. Not much fun, but necessary.

We have been full-time RV’ers, with no other home than our Winnebago Itasca Suncruiser, for 238 days. Next week it will be 8 months of living in a very small home on wheels. No regrets. I love our lifestyle.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

Canasta

Good morning. This will be our last day in Peoria. Tomorrow is a travel day. Our next destination will be Berea, Kentucky to see our daughter Karen and her family. We have really enjoyed our time here in Peoria even though we have had to endure cold weather and snow. We will miss Scott, Mel and Tina, but it is time to move on. We will be back here again in the fall. That is the best part of living in a motorhome – we can take our home anywhere we want, any time we want, for as long as we want.

Day 142. Scott came over for a while in the afternoon to spend some time with us. We decided to play Canasta. It is a rummy type card game that we haven’t played in years. It was a very popular game in the 1950’s when my parents used to play it all the time. I learned how to play it from them. You can either buy the card game (which we have) or you can use 2 decks of 52 playing cards with 4 jokers.  It took us a little while to refresh our memories and learn how to play the game all over again. Once we figured out the rules and the strategy of the game we decided we should play it more often. It really is a good game and I can see why it was so popular. It can be played by 2 to 6 players. We had the 3 of us, but it would definitely be a fun game to play with 4 players and have a partner. The strategy would be completely different. Another plus is that it is a good game to play while camping. It doesn’t take up much room and is fun.

For dinner Scott, Tina, Clyde and I went to Pizza Works. Mel missed out due to work. But we made sure to send some pizza home for her with Scott. Pizza Works is an old favorite of ours. We have been there many times before, whenever we are in the area. We weren’t disappointed. It was just as good as I remember.

Loving our lifestyle. Have a great day.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

Museums

Good morning. I’ve got my cup of coffee and I’m looking outside. The sun is coming up and it looks like it’s going to be a nice clear day. The only pit-fall I see is the snow they are predicting for later this afternoon. I sure hope the forecasters are wrong.

Day 140. With all of the cold weather we have been having and the prediction of snow forecasted, we decided we had better dump our tanks (grey and black) and fill up Winnie with propane. We still have no idea how we are going through so much propane, as we are using the electricity for heat and our “foodie” family has taken us out to eat more than I have been cooking. That’s one more item to put on our list to be checked out when we take Winnie in for maintenance at the end of May.

We were done taking care of business here, at the motorhome, and ready for a fun day with family just before lunch. Of course, our group had another restaurant for us to try. The Peoria area sure has a number of good restaurants. Today we went to the Blue Duck in downtown Peoria. It is right on the river and across the street from the museums we were going to after we were done eating. Three of us ordered the Brisket which was very good. I believe the other two ordered the tacos, which they had enjoyed before and wanted again.

When we were done eating, we walked across the street where we met Tina’s sister Jo and her son Edward to tour the museums with us. The two museums are right next door to each other. The first one we went in was the Caterpillar museum. As you walk into the building the first thing you see is the huge piece of machinery. The tires on it are enormous.

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Scott & Tina

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797F Mining Truck

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We were led inside of the truck where we sat down in a theater to watch a short movie about Caterpillar. As I said, this truck is huge.  The presentation was very informative. One interesting tidbit of information we learned about this truck is that 75% of the drivers are women, so watch out guys.

We enjoyed looking at and learning about some of the very old pieces of equipment.

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Clyde

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Scott

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When we finish perusing the Caterpillar museum it was time to see what the other museum had to offer. The Peoria Riverfront Museum has different main exhibits displayed throughout the year. This time the special exhibit was celebrating 200 Years in the Land of Lincoln.

The museum also has other permanent exhibits which is where we went first. The first area was an interactive, very kid friendly, exhibit which we adults enjoyed too. Another area was about the formation of the land, rivers and lakes throughout Illinois and about the wildlife native to the region. Again, I really enjoyed and learned some things I had not known before.

The Lincoln exhibit was interesting also. One piece they had on display that caught my eye was a framed quilt map of Illinois from 1888. It is pieced together in silk, wool and velvet. As a quilter and crafter I can appreciate the time it took to create this piece.

 

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Callistie Anna Anderson Alsop – 1888

We had a very enjoyable day with family. There is so much to see and do in the Peoria area.

Enjoying our lifestyle. Have a great day.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

 

 

Making Reservations

Good morning. I’ve been thinking. My morning routine is no different now than it was before we began our journey. I get up early and make my coffee. I enjoy a cup of the freshly brewed caffeine while I look out into the woods and fields and tell you about our adventures. Sometimes my view isn’t as serene. I might have a highway or other RV’s out my window. But, still the routine is the same.

Day 137. I decided it was time to get busy and make our reservations for the months of May, June and July. We know where we will be during that time period. In Michigan, in the area where we owned our home.  We both have doctors appointments that will take up a bit of our time. Clyde will need to have cataract surgery on both eyes and the recovery time for that will mean we need to stay put for a short while.

We have two state parks in the area that are convenient and nice campgrounds to stay in. There is one private campground in the area we could use in a pinch, but I prefer our state parks. Michigan state parks have a rule that you are only allowed to stay in one campground for a maximum of 2 weeks. You then need to vacate for at least 5 days before you are allowed to return to that campground. I understand the reasoning behind that rule. This deters squatters and allows the parks to be used by many campers instead of just a few.

Planning out which of the two parks to stay at when was a bit tricky to maneuver around the holidays, but I managed to get it done. I just hope that we can now schedule his surgeries to coincide with our reservations. He will not be allowed to drive or lift heavy things during his recovery time. Unfortunately, the doctor’s office would not allow us to schedule his surgeries ahead of time. Changing our reservations would be not only costly (the parks are now imposing a penalty for cancellations and changes in reservations) but a big hassle.

I’m sure it will all work out in the end. I’m just glad I will not have to be concerned about the campgrounds being fully booked during those times. Still loving our lifestyle. Have a great day.

Until next time,

Kathryn

Famous Dave’s

Good Morning. Although we ended our stay in the sunny warm climate of Texas a little too soon, I do not regret it. We do not get to spend enough time with our loved ones who are spread out in different states. That was the reason we decided on the full-time lifestyle and bought a motorhome to do it in.

The only down side right now is that because the temperatures can still dip below freezing, the state park has not turned the water on. That means we must conserve our water and take our showers at either our daughter or our son’s home. Which is fine with them.

Day 130. As we are retired and have lots of free time to do what we want, when we want and the others have full-time jobs, we only get to see them a few hours a day. Yesterday Scott had a few hours in the afternoon, between appointments, to spend with us. We decided to meet him at his home to play some cards. Today it was Hearts; a good old-fashioned card game that can be played with a regular deck of 52 cards and an odd number of players.

When we left Scott’s home it was getting to be dinner time for us old people. We have started to enjoy eating dinner around 4pm instead of the 6pm we did all of our working years. Call me lazy, but I didn’t feel like cooking. We decided, being we were out already, we might as well stop for a bite to eat. I do not enjoy fast-food. I have gotten so that I do eat, nor does my system tolerate fried, greasy food. We also like to try places we have not been before or that we do not have in the area of Michigan where we lived.

Today we decided on Famous Dave’s. Famous Dave’s is noted for their barbecue. They are a chain restaurant with locations in different states. We went to the one in Peoria, Illinois. It is not too far from the campground we are staying in. Clyde ordered ribs and I ordered grilled salmon. I do have to say the food was very good. I thoroughly enjoyed my salmon, it was cooked perfectly. Clyde enjoyed his ribs. He said they were meaty and tasty. It was a little more expensive than what we would have liked, but well worth it. And, even though our dinners were much better than what we would have gotten if I had made something when we got back to our motorhome, we have got to stop eating out so often. It is killing the budget.

Loving our lifestyle. Have a great day.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

Missouri Wildlife

Good morning. Today we are heading a little further north to another Missouri state park. We have explored and seen all that there is here during this time of year. It’s time to move on and explore another area.

Day 123. As Clyde was taking Patty Pepper out for her first thing in morning walk he noticed three deer right in our backyard. He quietly called me on my phone to alert me to his findings and I was able to get a few pictures of them from our motorhome window. They weren’t very big and seemed as curious about us as we were about them.

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Later in the day I was able to get a couple of pictures of the two birds I had seen yesterday.

We have enjoyed our stay here, in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains.

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Loving our lifestyle. Have a great day.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

 

 

 

Road Trip

Time to take our girl, Kayleigh back home.  Our time together is never long enough. It’s our first out of state trip in Winnie.  The drive down was nerve wracking, heavy traffic with cement barriers on both sides of a one lane construction area almost all the way down.   We met our daughter, Karen and her family at the half-way point for both of us in Minster, Ohio at Lake Loramie State Park.  We set up in site #073 which had 50 amps and was directly across from the rest rooms.  Our daughter and crew were camped across the road one over from the rest room in a tent.  Water is only available at the rest room, which we found odd coming from Michigan were water is plentiful.  Water is not an issue for us in a motorhome, but those in campers or tents that need it had a hike.

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Loramie State Park, Minster, Ohio-site #073

 

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Loramie State Park, Minster, Ohio-site #081

It was a beautiful week-end, perfect for canoeing.

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Granddaughters Kayleigh and Meghan

Until next time,

Kathryn