Friday, December 31, 2010

#143 One Last Blog For 2010

Well it is almost time for the new year to begin. We will have a quiet celebration to ring out 2010 & ring in 2011. This will be a party for two. Maybe three if you count Foxy. We have packed all the Christmas decorations away & I think we might actually be ready for 2011. It's coming whether we are ready or not!

Like everyone else we have to get everything ready to do our taxes. It seems that no mater how much we prepare there is always that stack of receipts, bills, & assorted papers that managed to get filed in the proverbial shoebox/junk drawer/ misc. file. That has been gone through & is semi-organized.

We also went over our bills from 2010 & our budget for 2011. Like I have said before, 2010 was our retirement celebration year & the bills showed it. 2011 will have a much tighter budget while we finish paying for 2010 & put away money for 2011 & beyond. It's always nice to have some extra cash put away for some extras or a rainy day.

So, anyway, this our Happy New Year to everyone & a wish for a healthy & prosperous 2011 from our home in Largo because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Sunday, December 26, 2010

#142 Whew!

Well Christmas is officially over. The presents were bought, wrapped, delivered, & opened. Everyone was happy with what Santa brought & are enjoying their gifts. Dinner was delicious, quiet, & spent with good company. Now it is time to relax & contemplate all the good things in our life as the year comes to an end. I can not believe that 2011 is almost here. Where did 2010 go? And what does 2011 have in store for us? We have our health, our family(especially the grandchildren), & all our friends that we consider part of our extended family. We have our RV lifestyle & a future of surprises down the road. We couldn't ask for any more.

Now we are looking forward to & planning for 2011. First of course will be taking down the Christmas decorations. After that there are a few things that we want to do around the rig. Mostly maintenance along with a few upgrades. We have the State Fair, the RV Super Show, & the Strawberry Festival coming up. We also have a list of places we want to go with our friends from Indiana. Add to this we will still be doing our volunteering at school. All this with a departure date of April 1st means we will be busy the next 3 months.

After April 1st we will hit the road. We plan on seeing family before leaving Florida & might be heading to Texas for our first Habitat for Humanity build. Our next destination is Pigeon Forge Tennesee. As I have mentioned before we will be working at Dollywood over the summer & possibly into the fall. I guess we will be busy the first 3 months of the year & beyond. I still don't know where all my free time has gone or where I found time to hold down a full time job before I retired.

Well we hope everyone has had a wonderful & merry Christmas. We also wish everyone a safe, happy, & healthy New Year. And all this wishes are coming from our home in Largo because...

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Friday, December 24, 2010

#141 It's Here!

Well Christmas is here. Christmas Eve was celebrated at our oldest daughter & son-in-law's home. Our youngest daughter brought her husband & of course the grand children. It was very nice to be able to get together with family. In fact it might be the best gift of the season. Tomorrow we go over to the grand kids home so they can open their gifts on Christmas morning.

We also had our traditional Christmas Eve trip to the mall. Our shopping was done but we still went just because we could. Mary was amazed the first time I took her to the mall on Christmas Eve to show her that the craziness that everyone talks about is just a myth. Also since the weather was absolutely beautiful we decided to ride the bikes.

Tomorrow we will open presents & have dinner with a few close friends. It is Christmas & we plan on enjoying it. We also hope that all of you have a wonderful & happy Christmas. So until the next blog, Merry Christmas to one & all from our home in Largo because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Sunday, December 19, 2010

#140 Only 6 More Days!

Can you believe it? Less than a week until Christmas! Heck, where did 2010 go? It has been one heck of a year but it has gone by so fast. I will not regret the fact that time is going by so quickly, I will just look forward to what life has in store for us next. So far I haven't been disappointed & hopefully it will continue. That will give me more to share & keep blogging.

Time going by also means that we are done volunteering at the grand kid's school until after the New Year. We are having a blast & we feel that we are appreciated by the teachers & their students. We are looking forward to getting more involved with the kids & making a positive difference.

Now lets talk about the weather. It has been cold but we did get a really nice day this past Friday. It was time to fire up the motorcycles & just enjoy the day. We rode down to the beach for the first time this snowbird season. It was our first view of the new John's Pass bridge & the first time over the Belleair Bridge. After driving up & down the beach & seeing how much it has changed over the years we stopped & had lunch at PJ's in Indian Rocks Beach. PJ's is a little seafood restaurant with extremely fresh seafood at a reasonable price. The weather is going to take a turn for the worst again so we enjoyed the day for all it was worth.

This final week before Christmas we will spend time making those homemade gifts that seem to be appreciated by all. Mary will be baking cookies & I will make homemade bread. We also will be cooking some foods to share with friends & family through the holidays.

So we will be busy cooking & baking for the holidays in our home in Largo because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

#139 This Is Florida?

Has anyone else noticed the temperatures lately? We, & a lot of other snowbirds, come to the Sunshine State for the weather. Needless to say we are disappointed with the temps of the past weeks. Winter coats, scarves, hats, & gloves are not normally attire seen in tropical climates but that is what we are wearing. Also it is just a bit too cold for motorcycle riding. Even the Canadians are cold! Hopefully we will see a break in this cold & get closer to the normal temperatures for the area.

I mentioned before how well we have done with our Christmas shopping. I also mentioned that it doesn't matter because we can always find something else to buy. We went to Walmart to return 2 items & bought 8 more. We went to Pennys to return 1 item & left the mall with something else & spent more money at the Hospice tree. I am not complaining though, everything was something we either needed or will put a smile on someone else's face. And the Hospice tree is one of those charities that we remember every year for the help they gave our families in our times of need.

Well the shopping is pretty much done so that means that the wrapping must begin. It took us 2 1/2 days, numerous rolls of wrapping paper, & yards of tape to wrap everything.Well everything that we have bought. I am sure that there will be more to wrap, especially whatever Santa may be bringing Mary. After all Santa is a man & everyone knows that men wait until the last minute to do their shopping.

I am going to call it a day & get off the blog, so we are going to try to keep warm in our home in Largo because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Thursday, December 9, 2010

#138 What Free Time?

Where did all the free time go that I was supposed to get when I retired? Time is getting away from us & that is the only reason for the time between blog posts. The hecticness that comes with the holiday season along with our volunteer work & doctor visits has filled our calendar.

We did start our volunteer work at the grand kids school. 2nd grade was a challenge so we moved down to 1st grade. This was better but we still felt a little awkward so we regressed to kindergarten. We found our niche!!! Apparently we were made for gluing popsicle sticks. Actually we did well in all grades and were pleasantly surprised at how advanced each grade was compared to when we attended elementary school. We are having fun & look forward to more time in school until we leave in the spring.

Hopefully our medical visits are winding down. Mary's tests are showing negative results, which is good, but still requires treatment that is much less invasive than was originally thought. My tests are another story. The gastric problems I've had over the past couple of months necessitated an EGD & colonoscopy(AKA throat-cam & butt-cam). For those who have not had the pleasure the throat-cam requires fasting after midnight & leaves you with a scratchy throat for a day. On the other hand the butt-cam is a whole 'nother experience. First there is the indignity of the bowel-prep or as I like to call it "extreme pooping". Think 4-6 hours with your butt needing to stay within several feet of the toilet. Also fasting for almost 24 hours. Not only do you get hungry but family members (my loving wife) feel bad about eating in front of you & if they do the smell is torture to the fasting victim. The day of the test is the final insult. Even though anesthesia is used they still shove what looks like a 40' hose up your butt. After the test is done you feel like a Macy's Day balloon and spend the day spouting enough gas to put holes in the ozone layer. Sounds like fun doesn't it? All looked good & it is now over so I can look forward to not doing this again for at least a few years.

As far as Christmas we are doing very well. We actually are just about done with our shopping. As I've said before, grand parents are not finished until December 24th or the money is gone. We are grand parents & proud of it. Now all we have to do is wrap a garage full of presents. We also plan to get together with friends & family this holiday season so the calendar is still very full. This is Christmas & we wouldn't have it any other way. My only question is how did we get this done before we retired?

Well it's time to do some wrapping so goodnight from our winter home in Largo because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Sunday, November 28, 2010

#137 'Tis The Season

Well I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. Ours was terrific not just for the food but because of the family & friends around the table. Now I am not knocking the food, our daughter Jessie has taken over Thanksgiving Dinner for the last few years & has made it her own & has done it in style. For family, friends, & food we all are thankful.

On to the Holiday Season part II. With Thanksgiving out of the way we are now focusing on Christmas. We actually are in good shape as far as gifts go. We know our kids & grand kids pretty well & have been shopping for a while. Most of the gifts are bought & paid for so we can concentrate on other matters. There are decorations to get out & put up, plans to get together with family & friends need to be made, & something we like to do is find ways to help others who are less fortunate. This goes back to giving thanks for all we have & trying to give back where we can.

We have several charities we like to give to & they are just personal choices. We like to help those who are least able to help themselves like kids, older people, & animals. Today we joined in the Marine Toys-For-Tots motorcycle run in Tampa. Toys-For-Tots has been going on for more than 60 years & is dedicated to bringing the joy of Christmas to needy children. With well over 200 motorcyclists each bringing a toy & a donation today there will be a Christmas for many children. The ride was coordinated by several groups & was escorted for the first time by off-duty Hillsborough County Sheriffs. A thanks to all who participated & a special salute to the officers who gave their time for all to have a safe & enjoyable ride.

There are 27 shopping days 'til Christmas but more important there are 27 days to think of ways to give back to the community. We have several more functions we will try to participate in while getting ready for our own holiday celebration. We are also starting to volunteer at the grand kids school this week. The past weeks have been filled with scheduling, background checks, & planning. We are finally going to get into the volunteer/mentoring program & looking forward to it.

Well it is time to put the old sleigh into gear & get the season going. Mary has put pictures from today's ride on FB so you can check them out. So good night from our holiday home in Largo FL because ......

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

#136 Procrastinate No More

We have been back in Pinellas County for 3 weeks now & I have put off figuring our driving costs for the past 7 months. Well the numbers have been added, divided, & analyzed so without further ado, the envelope please....

During the 7 months from April 1st - Nov 1st we traveled over a 7000 mile loop. Once all the side trips to the store, laundromat, & commuting to our job were added in it came to a grand total of 13333 miles. This doesn't include the approximately 3000 miles we put on our motorcycles. I'm tired just thinking about driving all that way! Now we don't just drive, we have to stop periodically to put fuel in the truck. This is the part I was trying to ignore. Again this does not include the motorcycle so it is diesel fuel only. In 7 months we stopped for fuel 34 times for a total of 1372 gallons of diesel. Prices for diesel varied from state to state from a low of $2.75 in Goshen IN to a high of $3.23 in Cooperstown NY which averaged out to $3.01 for the trip. For those without a calculator handy that adds up to $4,132 to feed the truck that pulls our home from place to place. On an up note we did average just shy of 10mpg for the 7 months. Now I know that sounds like a lot to most of you but for RVers that's pretty decent. You have to remember that we are not driving one of these econo-boxes or a hybrid down the road. We are driving what amounts to a semi-tractor trailer weighing over 25000 lbs.

I also broke this all down by month. We averaged 1900 miles & $590 per month. These figures are a bit higher than we would like but we knew this year was going to be the exception. This being our first year on the road we knew that we would be traveling more & not staying in one place very long. Starting next year we will be staying longer & at fewer destinations. This will be so that we can explore areas more thoroughly while we work in parts of the country we want to visit. This will be more of our RV lifestyle. The past 7 months was a cross between vacation & a celebration of our retirement.

We are getting ready for Thanksgiving as are most of you out there so Happy Thanksgiving to your homes from ours in Largo FL because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Saturday, November 13, 2010

#135 Routine, Routine, Routine

Well, like I surmised it has not been a week full of bogging material. We finally have gotten everything set up & are starting to get into our winter routine. That means cooking, cleaning, shopping, & seeing our friends & family in the area. Even though home is where ever we park it this is our "home base".

The trailer park is starting to fill up with the winter regulars & it is nice to see everyone again. Unfortunately with any group of retirees there is attrition due to age related issues. Some will not make it due to illness, some can't travel anymore, & sadly some aren't with us at all. It is all part of life but we all do the best we can. Mary is excited because Bingo has started. I am just looking forward to getting together with our good friends. Mary is also looking forward to line dancing, water exercises, & the Red Hat Ladies. She is fitting in with the little old ladies a little too well. I think they like having her around because she keeps things lively & makes them feel young. I know she does that for me.

Our friends from Indiana just arrived & we have a list of things we want to do together this winter. This with our volunteer work, spending time with friends & family, & the upcoming holidays will keep our calendar full. I just don't understand. With all this on the calendar & being retired when did I find time to work before I was retired? Oh well, the big difference is I get to do more things that I enjoy & I get to do it on my schedule.

We will try to do more interesting things so that I have more to blog about, but for now we are just enjoying being back amongst family & friends in our home in Largo FL because.....

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

#134 There's No Place Like Home

Well we've been home for a few days & we have been going non-stop. Getting settled in took a couple of days & we had to get our grandkiddie hugs. There was lunch with the daughter & her husband & all the friends calling. OK, so it is going to take more than a few days to get settled in with all the distractions but we wouldn't have it any other way.

Add the fact that I haven't been feeling great. Nothing serious, just enough to slow me down a bit. I have been taking my naps again(naps are good) & that takes away from productive time. We are getting all our doctor appointments taken care of & hopefully will be done before the holidays. Again nothing serious. Anything from annual physicals to surgical follow-ups to assorted aches & pains we have accumulated during our travels. Serious stuff is taken care of but if we can wait it is always nice to see our regular doctor.

I've mentioned that we have a few irons in the fire to keep us busy over the winter. That means we have signed up to volunteer as helpers & mentors at our grandkid's school. I don't know who is more excited?us, the kids, or the school! I'm sure it will be fun & will give us some quality time with the grandkids. Speaking of grandkids we are also getting into Christmas shopping mode & this is not something one does half-hearted. As grandparents the shopping is not done until December 24th or the bank accounts are empty, whichever comes first!

I can't believe it's taken me 2 days to write this blog. I guess we have really been busy & keeping busy this winter will give me more to write about. I don't know if will be as exciting as the past 7 months but hope everyone will continue to follow us. Heck I may not find it so interesting. I will try to blog at least once a week this "Snowbird" season. Hey!!! We are Snowbirds! I guess I can't complain about the snowbirds clogging the roads or filling the restaurants anymore. Oh well, I've just got to be me & hope everyone can deal with that. So until the next blog, this is goodbye from our home for the next 5 month in Largo FL because......

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Thursday, October 28, 2010

#133 Heading Home?

We say home is where we park it but our hearts are home when we are near those we love. It has been 7 months since we got hugs from the grand kids so we are on our way back to FL. We also planned to make all our doctor appointments once we got back to FL & are finding it easier to get appointments earlier in November due to the up coming holidays. That gives us another reason to head back a little earlier than originally planned.

The last couple of nights we spent reminiscing about the past 7 months. Without even looking at the hundreds(thousands?) of photos we have taken, this has been the most amazing trip we have ever been on. We hope that everyone who has followed us on Facebook & the blog has enjoyed it along with us. This winter we have made some tentative plans to keep busy but as with all our plans these are also written in jello.

The last blog talked about our checking out campgrounds for 2011. Some have expressed interest in where we decided to stay. I am sorry to say that we will not share that information. In this age of Internet security breeches & identity theft we DO NOT give out information on where we are or where we are headed. We will share info about where we have been so those who follow us can benefit from our experiences.

Today was a long day on the road & we are excited to be getting back to FL. So I will sign off so we can have dinner & call it an early night. This is a one night stay, so goodnight from our home in Ashburn GA because .....

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Saturday, October 23, 2010

#132 Tourist Trap #?????

Well we finally made it into Pigeon Forge but getting through it was another story. In Florida we have Orlando, in NC there is Cherokee, & Tennessee has Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge. From the visitors center in Pigeon Forge to the entrance to the Great Smokey Mt National Park which is only a few miles took us at least 45 minutes. Like all the above mentioned tourist traps traffic is bumper to bumper.

The reason we are in Pigeon Forge is to make plans for 2011. If you follow the blog you know that we plan to work at Dollywood in the summer of 2011. We are here to find a place to stay next year. Since we will be there for an extended period of time we want a place that will suit our needs the best. We felt that a look around in person was better than just making reservations based on ads, directories, or even word of mouth. Well we found a place & made reservations for next year.

The next week or so we will be relaxing before we head to Fl. We found out a couple of RV friends have checked into the park so we will track them down tomorrow & catch up. So tonight I will call it a night from our home in Tennessee because .....

Home is where w park it,
Frank & Mary

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

#131 Miracles Do Happen!

Well we arrived at our RV park at 4pm Tuesday after 410 miles & 1 hour lost crossing time zones. Yes that means that we actually got on the road before 9am. The time was unbelievably 7:08am. It was early & it was still dark but the wheels were rolling. The trip was uneventful & long. We arrived at an Escapees campground which was an experience. As usual there were the usual hugs but we were surprised that there was no charge at check-in. We only had to settle up when we checked out.

Wednesday we were supposed to go into Pigeon Forge but as we have been known to say...our plans are written in jello. Instead we slept in, after all we did have a long day the day before. We decided to defrost the fridge & freezer. How exciting, but like I said this is not a vacation this is our life. We think it is an amazing life, warts & all. Tomorrow we will be getting up early to get the truck's oil changed. Hopefully after that we will get into Pigeon Forge.

We are looking around the Pigeon Forge area for a campground for next summer. If you will remember we signed up to work at Dollywood next year. We will need a place to stay for an extended time so we would like to find a nice place. This trip is more of a fact finding expedition to make next summer more enjoyable. Success is all in the prep work.

Well I am now calling it a night from our home in Knoxville TN because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Monday, October 18, 2010

#130 Let's See What Happens

Tomorrow we leave Memphis & head for Pigeon Forge. It will be a long day on the road so we will try to get on the road early. We are also crossing into another time zone which means we lose an hour. If you follow the blog you know what that means. Yep, 9am. Mary says no way we are going to get going early. Things are all set to leave in the morning which improves our chances.

Well we are going to try to get to bed early, another "doesn't happen often" but we'll see. Since I don't want this to be my fault, even though we all know it is always the husbands fault, I am going to make this short & sign off now. The next post will keep everyone up to date on whether we made it on the road before 9am. So good night for the last time from Memphis because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Sunday, October 17, 2010

#129 No Elvis & Not Much More

Well we got here early Friday & spent some time just exploring Memphis. We first drove by Graceland & from what we could see it was a destination for tour buses & Elvis die-hards. Driving around the Graceland area all we saw was run down, dilapidated, & depressed neighborhoods. From there we drove north towards Beale Street, the home of the blues. There were some neat old neon signs & a few B-B-Q places but it was mostly tourist trap Memphis style. Once again we are somewhat less than impressed by the man-made than that made by Mother Nature.

We have spent time at the RV park walking the dog & just sitting by the Mississippi River watching the river traffic go by. We have seen numerous flocks of geese flying south in the traditional Vee formation & knowing that we are not far behind is a good feeling. We can cross Memphis off our list of places to go & move on down the road. With the size of our country the list is long & will take time. This is the life we have chosen & we love it.

On a sad note we just learned that RV friends of ours were recently run down & killed while out for a walk. We only met them a few times but RVers develop friendships quickly & I know they will be missed. This only reinforces our feelings that life is short & meant to be lived. We are better for knowing Margie & Bruce and send our condolences to their family.

Tomorrow will be spent getting ready to leave Memphis. Our Next stop will be Pigeon Forge TN. This will be another long day on the road so the more we can get done the day before we leave the earlier we can get on the road. Maybe even before 9am, HAHAHA. So this is goodnight from our home in Memphis TN because.....

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Friday, October 15, 2010

#128 Miles To Go Before I Sleep....

The last two days are the kind of days RVers have in between the adventures that make blogs interesting. We left Minneapolis with Memphis TN as our next destination. That means about 900 miles of driving with 2 overnight stops. Lots of road, lots of farms, & lots of wide open spaces. Basically lots of America. That is the one thing that always seem to make an impression on us, the wide open spaces. Whether it is acres & acres of farm land or miles of rolling hills it is the expanse & openness that always seems to get to us.

We set our alarms for 6am & finally hit the road at 9am. Our first night was in a little RV park in a city park in Independence MO. After 400 plus miles we parked, hooked up our electric, had dinner, & called it a night. We didn't even unhook the truck since we wanted to hit the road early. We set the alarm for 6:30am & slowly got started. By the time we got rolling it was 9am. It seems that no matter what time we get started we don't get the rig rolling before 9am. I can't explain it. Our next stop was Sikeston MO.

The RV park was very nice but it was out in the middle of nowhere. This is not a destination RV park but it is a very nice stop over on the way from point A to point B. Since the next day was only about 150 miles & the fact that we can't seem to get on the road before 9am anyway we slept in. We made a good breakfast & hit the road by 10:30am. We were headed to West Memphis where Mary found an RV park right on the Mississippi River.

As we approached our destination Mary once again got into an argument with TomTom. Now I'm not saying that TomTom is perfect or that he takes us on the best route but he usually gets us where we want to go. I'm more inclined to follow TomTom until I know that it is wrong where as Mary gives up on TomTom as soon as the directions vary from the guide books or RV directories. On top of it all she gets mad at TomTom like he did it on purpose. It's a machine not a person with evil intentions. Maybe it's an evil machine?

Well we are now camped on the bank of the mighty Mississippi & it is pretty neat watching the tug boats moving barges up & down the river. We aren't talking about 1 barge at a time we are talking a lot of barges tied together. The first tug had fifteen barges & later on we saw a tug with 35 barges tied together moving on down the river. There are benches & we plan to just sit there one evening, maybe with a bottle of wine , & just watch the river traffic go by.

The weather is forecast to be beautiful so we unloaded the bikes & plan to use them as much as possible to check out the Memphis area. We also cleaned the bikes, scrubbed the bugs off the front of the truck, & did a load of laundry. After all that we checked e-mails & blogged. Now we are going to call it a night so we can get an early start on the Memphis experience. So it is another good night from our home but this time in Memphis TN because ....

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

#127 She Came, She Saw, She Shopped

Well it was day 2 at the Mall of America & this time it was for real. There was shopping to be done & Mary is the girl for the job. We also got to see more if the mall with daylight shining through the skylights. It gives the whole Nickelodeon area a different look. You can check out Mary's pics on FB.

Back to the shopping, I kid Mary about having the "shopping gene" but in reality she isn't that bad. Like I said before, as RVers we can't buy everything we want. We have to always consider space & weight. Now that isn't to say that Mary didn't do some shopping...but it was shopping that needed to be done. Signs in the stores reminded us that there are only 72 shopping days until Christmas. How depressing. Anyway, there are grandchildren to shop for & others I can't mention because then they will just keep asking what we got for them. When all was said & done the only thing we really bought for ourselves was lunch & an ice cream for dessert.

After 4 hours we had had enough of the Mall of America. As I said before....we came, we saw, we shopped, we're out of here. Tomorrow will be a long day on the road but we will not be setting up. It is just an overnight stay on our way to Memphis where we are going to try to find Elvis. We are working our way south to FL & will check out a few sights along the way. So this is our last goodnight from our home in Minneapolis because....

Home is where we park it,

Frank & Mary

Monday, October 11, 2010

#126 Fargo In My Rear View Mirror

No more beets, no more roads paved by jackhammer, & soon no more 40 degree mornings. It wasn't all bad but we are glad to put this experience behind us. Westward 250 miles & we find ourselves in Minneapolis MN. Now for those of you who don't know much about Minneapolis let me educate you. This is the home of the Minnesota Twins who are now out of the playoffs. This is also the home to the Minnesota Vikings who right now at half time are losing to the NY Jets. But most important(at least to Mary) this is the home of the Mall of America. This largest shopping mall in the US is like the mother ship to my darling wife as well as all other admitted shopaholics.

We passed through here on the way to Fargo & Mary's shopping antenna was twitching like crazy. I had to promise that we would stop on the way back to keep her from jumping out of the truck. Well here we are & I have to say the MOA is something to see. As far as stores it is no different than any other up scale mall. The usual stores with things that real people can't use or wear or afford, food court vendors that are found in typical malls, & anchor stores that anchor malls across the country. The difference is there are 3-4 times the number of each category as your average mall. This place is huge! With 4 anchor stores, at least 30 food vendors, & over 500 shops you would think that was enough for anyone but no....there is more. In the center is a Nickelodeon Themed amusement park with numerous rides including 2 roller coasters & a log flume. This isn't a mall, this is an amusement park with stores!

We just walked around for a little while this evening but are planning to go back tomorrow.We will spend a little more time & hopefully not too much money. Living in an RV has changed the way we shop. Every purchase is now based on where will we put it & how much weight it will add. It also has to pass the "one item in & one item out" rule that should be the mantra of all full time RVers.

It has been a long day. Breaking camp in Fargo, driving to Minneapolis, & setting up takes its toll. Add the trip to the mall & we have had a full day so I will call it a night from our home in Minneapolis because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Saturday, October 9, 2010

#125 I'm Beet!

Well we lasted 8 days & decided that it was time for us to move on. The beet harvest is 75% done & it looks like there will be down time over the next week due to the weather. Sitting here & not getting paid when we could start our trip south seems like a good idea. We made enough money to pay all our insurance policies for the year so it was a worthwhile adventure. We met some really nice people & got a glimpse at life in another part of the country. We had both grown up near major metropolitan areas(NYC & Washington DC) so working in the agricultural field was an eye opening experience.

We are going to take a few days to clean up the rig & ourselves before we hit the road. The rest will also do us some good. We plan on being back in the St Pete area in about 5 weeks so we will take our time & see what we shall see. With plans written in jello anything can happen. We are this close to the Mall of America so we plan to stop there on the way just to say we have seen it. From what we have heard, it is more of an amusement park with stores around it. Over 500 stores!!!! Hopefully there will be too many for us to decide where to spend our hard earned "beet" money. Actually this is more of a tourist stop for us than a shopping expedition but one never knows.

There are a lot of states between here & there so I am sure we will see more of the country & the people that make it. That is the best part of this adventure we are living. We get to see parts of the country we have only heard or read about & meet the people who make each area unique. We have met some of the nicest & friendliest people everywhere we have traveled. We get to share our stories with them & they tell us about there little corner of the world. The locals seem to be as interested in our lifestyle as much as we are in theirs. It is a win-win situation of sharing knowledge & making friends.

Well we are officially ex-beet pilers & are better for the experience so it is time for us to move on. So I will call it a night so we can start getting things ready to go. So good night from Fargo ND our home for a little while longer because.....

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Monday, October 4, 2010

#124 Just A Couple Of Tired Beet Pilers

I know everyone has been in touch wanting to know what's going on. I told you the blog may be somewhat neglected while we worked our 12 hour shifts & that is exactly what happened. First let me say that I didn't know being retired could be so exhausting. 16 months away from working & jumping right into 12 hour shifts has knocked us for a loop. We come home, eat, shower, & go to bed. Sleep is instantaneous & morning comes way too soon. Also I will never take another teaspoon of sugar for granted.

Our job is basically to unload the sugar beet trucks & pile the beets for processing later. We don't physically do this. The trucks dump into a hopper & a series of conveyor belts take the beets, separate the dirt, & pile the beets. We then use another conveyor to put the dirt back into the trucks & the process starts all over again. After 4 days our pile is 20' tall & the size of a large city block. It takes 5-10 minutes to walk around it. The harvest could go on for another week or so depending on the weather. At times when things slow down we shut the machine down & climb in, over, & around the machine shoveling & scraping dirt & mud from the machine. With the machine all spiffy(wink,wink) we start with the beets again.

Today the weather has warmed up so they stopped accepting beets because they can't pile them if they are too warm. This gave us half the day off. We took full advantage of it & went home & took a nap. Then we got up & did laundry so we will be ready to go tomorrow if the beets are cool enough. If not we may get the day off or we will go in & maybe only work another half day. This has been quite an experience & the money is good but I don't know if I will do the beet harvest again.

On another note we found out that the show "Extreme Home Make Over" is doing a build right here in Fargo. There was a big town meeting to sign up volunteers & meet the crew & the potential families at the Fargo Dome on the campus of NDSU. They finally announced the family & the plans for the home. This project is supposedly going to involve moving the existing home & then adding on to it. It will be interesting to see. We won't see it while we are here but will probably watch it on TV with the rest of the world.

On a personal note I just want to send out our prays & positive thoughts for our friend Patty who is soon to have major surgery. Get well soon.

Well morning comes around soon enough, so us beet pilers are going to call it a night from our home in Fargo because......

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

#123 I'm Not A Boyscout but.....

First let me thank everyone who has been commenting on the blog. It's nice to know you are reading & enjoying our adventures along with us. Some of the comments come through signed anonymous which is fine but if you would like us to know who you are please sign your comments. Also we have a lot of new followers that we just met at the Escapees Rally & anyone who knows me knows I have trouble remembering names & faces. So if you are one of our new friends, hints & clues would be greatly appreciated. Nothing too specific but maybe where we met, rig type, what we talked about, etc. We want to keep up with you as much as you keep up with us.

When it comes to being prepared they say "It's better to have it & not need it than to need it & not have it" so we have tried to anticipate every situation & be ready. We did our big laundry day & will do a quick trip to get everything washed before we start working. There was a trip to the grocery store for sandwich ingredients & snack & comfort food. Mary also insisted that I get another pair or 2 of jeans so we didn't have to do laundry any sooner than necessary. Mary had plenty of jeans but they all were dragging on the floor. Now this isn't too much of a problem unless you are working in ankle deep mud so we spent the evening putting hems in all her jeans. It looked like a little sweat shop with Mary pinning & me sewing into the wee hours.

In our preparations we also put together a little first aid kit & will be packing extra socks & shoes. We got out a couple of coolers to take lunch, drinks, & snacks. You have to understand, this piling station is just a giant concrete slab out in the middle of nowhere. The nearest highway is 2-3 miles away. The closest town is a good 5 or more miles & an emergency room is closer to 20-25 miles so we have to be prepared to be out of touch with civilization as we know it for our 12 hour shift. No break rooms, no lockers, & bathrooms are porta-pottys. This is roughing it compared to what we were used to in the Post Office.

Tomorrow we are going to treat ourselves to breakfast & dinner out. We will then call it a night because we have to be on site bright & early Friday morning at 7am. 32 years of mostly night shift means that if I saw 7am it was on my way home from work. This rising with the rooster is going to take a little getting used to but we will adapt. I will close with this thought, the next blog you read might just be from a "beet piler". So until then good night from our home in Fargo ND because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Sunday, September 26, 2010

#122 Another Milestone

Today, September 26th, marks the 5th anniversary of our RV lifestyle. It doesn't seem like it has been 5 years since we picked up the trailer in Middleburry IN. Looking back it has been a heck of a ride & one we don't regret at all. If you follow our blog you can see that it has been the adventure we had hoped for & more.

This morning we decided to find the piling site where we will be working & check it out. We did just that & while taking some pictures got stuck in the mud real good. Mary was pretty upset but I tried to keep her calm. Mud is quite a bit slicker than snow but driving out of it requires similar techniques & I had plenty of that experience from my years living in NY. Mary learned to drive in FL & has never had to drive in snow. Well after a bit of rocking back & forth I got out of the mud. The big difference between snow & mud at this point is stick-a-bility. Where snow will melt & fall off, mud has a tendency to dry, harden like cement, & stick like epoxy. When we got back to the campground we washed the truck & had to scrape the mud out from underneath. It was not fun & I will make every effort not to have to do it again.

The campground here doesn't have sewer hook-ups so the employment agency for the beet harvest has arraigned for a "honey-wagon" to pump out the holding tanks once a week. With our holding tanks we have no problem going a week at a time between dumping so it should work out OK. Tomorrow the "honey-wagon" will make it's first visit & we will make sure that everything is good to go. This is the first time we have dealt with a pump-out service so it will be a new experience.

This week we will try to cook as much as possible to have meals ready to just heat up once we start working. Again 12 hour days won't allow for a lot of time for the usual day to day chores so we are going to make it as easy as possible. Since I am tuckered out from our mud ordeal I am calling it a night from our home in Fargo ND because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Friday, September 24, 2010

#121 I Love My Wife, But......

Let me start at the beginning. It is May 2009 & I am just waiting for June 1st, my first day of retirement. Mary, my loving wife of 21 years, comes to me all excited. She has found us work as work campers. Now I know that we had planned to work camp some once we started traveling but I just had to say something, What came out of my mouth was something like, "I haven't retired yet & you already have me working! Can't I have a year off before we start working?". Well here we are 16 months after retirement at our first job, the beet harvest. As I have mentioned in a past blog we signed up to work at Dollywood in 2011. We recently found out that if we work at Disney we can get all the grand kids in for free, so that job is probably in our future. Today my darling wife asks me if I want to work at the Tampa RV show. I snapped! If we do this I will be working more hours than I did in the Post Office!!! She got the message that we don't have to work every job that comes along. The RV show is a NO.

Anyway, today we did some driving around to get the "lay of the land". We found a grocery store & a 24 hour laundromat. 24 hours is important since we will be working 12 hour days. We also located the Post Office so we could get our mail. No problems here but you wouldn't believe how many PO's don't accept General Delivery mail. You would think if there are window services there should be Gen Del, but noooo, the PO can't do things simple like that. Another thing RVers have to deal with to enjoy the lifestyle.

Tomorrow we are going to find a place to get propane & do some more exploring. I am going to call it a night now & enjoy the time to relax until the beet harvest starts. Once it starts I expect that I won't be blogging as often or as long. 12 hour days will probably knock us out. So until I have more to blog this is good night from our home in Fargo ND because...

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Thursday, September 23, 2010

#120 We Need An Ark!!!

We woke up this morning to rain with puddles surrounding the rig. The campground we are supposed to go to is right on the river & we don't know if we want to stay there since the river is 2-4 inches from flood stage. We decided to check it out on our way into Fargo. It turns out the camping area is elevated quite a bit from the river so it will be no problem. It just sucks to hook-up & unhook in the rain. Onward into town to check in for the beet harvest. With all the papers filled out & signed there was just one thing left before we were officially hired. This is for all you postal workers out there. We had to see a safety video about "lockout/tagout", "blood borne pathogens", & yes you guessed it "slips, trips, & falls". I thought when I retired I was done with those mind numbing videos but I was mistaken.

Anyway, with that all done it was time to move the rig. By the time we got back to the KOA the puddles had grown to small lakes & the road in had turned to a river of mud. This was going to be fun. Oh, also it was raining harder! Everything got hooked up & we were ready to see if you can really go off-roading with a 40' trailer. With tires spinning, truck steering sloppy, & the trailer sloshing side to side in the mud we made it to pavement at the snails pace of 5mph. The ride to the next campground was short & uneventful but it was still raining. Once there we had to go through the whole hooking up process again & in the rain. We also tried to get some of the mud off the truck & trailer when we hooked up the hose. When it was all done we called it a day. Somehow Mary got soaked up to her knees while I stayed reasonable dry above the ankles. I guess since she is lower to the ground she is also lower to the water & that's what happens. She was miserable & a little cranky but I love her anyway.

The rain is coming down harder & isn't forecast to let up til the morning. We will go out then & find the grocery stores, drug stores, laundromats, & the Post Office. We will also be driving out to our work assignment some time this week. There is time before we start on October 1st. So this is good night from our home in Fargo ND because .......

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

#119 BRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!

This ain't Florida. Well we went to see the Wisconsin Dells on Monday & I now know what a "dell" is. Apparently 150 million years ago Wisconsin was covered by an ocean. When the water was gone, due to global changes, the sand & silt at the bottom of the ocean was left as layered rocks. A Frenchman called it the Dalles of Wisconsin & over the years it became The Dells. The boat ride we took showed the many layers of rock & how glaciers, water, & wind have eroded the rocks into fascinating & colorful natural sculptures. We were able to get off the boat several times & walk into the crevices created by the elements. Once again Mother Nature has created what no human could & in a breathtaking way. The weather has been chilly with temps in the upper 60's during the day & lower 50's at night. It still beats roasting in the Florida heat.

Today we left the Dells with plans to stop in St Cloud MN before heading into ND. I don't know if there was a tail wind or it was all down hill but we found ourselves just 3 1/2 hours from ND at lunch time. The roads were clear & we felt OK so we took it on down the road & stopped for the night right near our ND destination. It will give us an extra day to check the area out before we start our beet farming adventure. We check in on Friday for orientation, training, & assignments. The forecast is for rain the next 2 days with daytime temps in the 60's & nighttime temps in the 40's. Brrrrr! That is why we have a furnace, quilt, & electric blanket. Heck if it gets that cold we could always stuff the dog under the covers.

We still aren't sure where we will be staying while we are working but I'm sure it will be close to our actual work site. Right now we are in a nice campground next to the Interstate. I think I might have even heard a train pass nearby. When we talk to other RVers it seems that campgrounds are always next to a highway or train track. It has gotten to the point that I don't know if I could go to bed without the hum of the highway or the moan of a train whistle to put me to sleep. Ahh, the life of an RVer.

Today was a long day with 450 miles traveled & with the time zone difference it has put a kink in our biological clocks. So I will call it a night from our home on the MN/ND border because.....

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Sunday, September 19, 2010

#118 Hallelujah!!!!!!

We are finally leaving Indiana. Nothing against the state but we have not exactly had fun the whole time we were here. We did enjoy seeing our friends & the rally was great but there was all the time trying to get the rig fixed in a less than efficient manner. Also the fact that I wasn't feeling up to par put a damper on things. My stomach was bothering me for some time & when I started to experience some chest pains Mary decided that the perfect way to top off our stay was a trip to the emergency room. Of course when they hear chest pains every test known to man is performed. Now I am not complaining about the care I got, I just thought there were other things I would rather be doing. After an overnight stay I learned 3 things. #1 I do have a heart, #2 it is just fine & dandy, & #3 my issues were all digestive related. I have to watch what I eat & losing a few pounds wouldn't hurt either.

Back to our adventure. We did get our rig weighed & as we hoped the weights were all within the safe range & we are good to go on down the highway. No RV diet right now but we will still lighten the load some this winter. The weighing was done as we left the fairgrounds & we decided to stay at a campground in Elkhart when I took my little detour to the ER. Once that was behind me we agreed that we had had enough of Indiana & would leave Sunday morning.

Sunday morning we had breakfast, broke camp, & hit the road. 2 hours later Indiana was in our rear view mirror. Yahoo!!! Our next destination is the Wisconsin Dells, but first we had to go through Chicago, over a bridge, & travel the Illinois toll road. I think we bought the toll road! Toll after toll after toll with 5 ,count 'em 5 axles we paid over $40 for the privilege of driving through the state of Illlinois. Oh well that is part of the RV lifestyle.

On to Wisconsin. We arrived at the campground at 3:30pm, hopped out of the truck, & grabbed a jacket. Yes a jacket, the temperature was 59 degrees & the overnight low is going down to the mid 40's.Brrr! Out comes the comforter & the electric blanket. Tomorrow we plan to check out the Dells whatever they are. Mary wants to see them & that is good enough for me.

So until I can tell you more about the Dells we will try to keep warm in our home in Wisconsin because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Thursday, September 16, 2010

#117 The End Is Near

It is Thursday & the last day of the Escapade. We have had a blast meeting new friends & catching up with old ones. When you are on the road you never know when you will meet up with another RVer down the highway. The weather has been all but perfect until today. It is raining off & on, & sometimes quite heavily. Tomorrow is forecast to clear some but the weekend looks like more of the wet stuff. We will pack as much today in between the rain to be ready to leave tomorrow. Also today we are scheduled to get the truck weighed. This is part of weight safety for our rig. Tomorrow the whole rig(truck & trailer) will be weighed on our way out of the fairgrounds. We will see how good(or bad) we have been about watching what we put into the rig. There might be an RV diet in our future.

I mentioned that we are headed to N Dakota to work the beet harvest. I know we are retired but I don't think anyone could be on vacation 365 days a year. We have decided to work camp at times through the year to have purpose in life & a little extra cash is always nice. OK here's the point of this little bit of rambling. While at the rally there were a few work camping opportunities for us to check out. The first was the Care-vanners. This is a group of RVers who travel around the country working with Habitat for Humanity. It is an organization that gives those in need an opportunity to have decent housing. For anyone interested in giving to charities this is one you should look at. As Habitat for Humanity says "we don't give a hand-out we give a hand up".

Our other work camping opportunity we signed on for don't laugh.....Dollywood. Yes we are going to work in a theme park named after Dolly Parton. When I heard costumes I said "NO!" but once I found out it was no more than jeans & plaid shirts I was OK. We will be working in food services & it is only 3 days a week. That will give us plenty of time to ride around the area on our bikes & relax while making a little money. We will be there some time during the 2011 season which gives us plenty of time to plan.

Well, the rain is still coming down & I have to get the truck weighed so I have to go, but while the truck is out we may head into town to do a little shopping before we hit the road. Grocery store parking lots are much easier to navigate without a 40' trailer. So this is our last day in our home at the Goshen Fairgrounds because......

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

#116 Let The Escapade Begin!

Sunday was the opening ceremonies & orientation. One of the things they mentioned was the number of people that were under the weather due to the "Goshen Flu". It has been going around for the better part of a month so the good news is that the RVers didn't bring it we just get to share it. This could explain my not feeling well for the past couple of weeks. Where have we been while the rig was getting fixed???? Why right here in the incubator! I didn't get full-on flu symptoms, just enough to put a damper on our plans. Today I am feeling a bit better & hope to get into the swing of things. Back to Sunday, it was amazing to see so many RVers in one place. The Escapees(SKPs) have over 100,000 members so it shouldn't have been so surprising but it was to us first timers.

Monday was still not a good day for me so I stayed in most of the day. Mary on the other hand jumped in to the activities with both feet both literally & figuratively. The alarm went off at the unholy hour of 7am(remember I've night shifted for 32 years) & Mary got up to go line dancing. Yes, line dancing! The dog & I went back to sleep. As I said, I wasn't feeling great so Mary went to a couple of classes & came back to get me for lunch. Plans had been made to meet up with some of our Internet friends from the RV Dreamers. It was fun finally putting faces to the names & swapping stories about how we got into the RV lifestyle. Info was shared & promises made to keep an eye out for each other while traveling.

I know that I have mentioned that we will be working the sugar beet harvest in N Dakota. That is all well & good but we want to do more in the way of giving back to the community. When we had more money than time we gave in the ways we could, but things have changed. Now we have more time than money & are able to give more in the way of time so we are looking into groups like Habitat for Humanity. SKPs have BOFs(Birds of s Feather) that are groups with like mind sets & goals. In fact there are several BOFs affiliated with organizations that travel about to help others & we are looking into several of them. There are several seminars this week for information & recruiting that we will attend & I am sure we will find at least one that will be a good fit for us.

Well it is Tuesday & I am feeling better so onward & upward. Out into the rally I go from our home at the Goshen Fairgrounds because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Saturday, September 11, 2010

#115 We Made It!

Well all is finally done with the repairs. We got out of the shop by 9am & headed out to the fair grounds for the Escapade. The weather was beautiful with temps in the 70's. The heat wave is over & does not appear in the near future. Once we got set up we walked around to see where all the events & vendors will be. We looked at all the rigs that had already arrived & met up with a few RVers that we had run into at the repair shop. When in RV country it is time to fix what needs fixin'. We also registered, met a number of Escapees, & got our "hugs" which is the official greeting for the Escapees.

Our first morning here we went to the coffee & donut gathering. Primary! More greetings & more hugs with promises to get together later in the rally. The rain started so it was a good day to stay inside. We braved the rain, which was really a drizzled, to get a preview of the vendors & pre-shop for all those things we just couldn't live without or just plain wanted. Throughout the day some of our Internet contacts stopped by to say Hi & make plans for the week ahead.

Tomorrow is the official first day with opening ceremonies & orientation. This is when the fun begins & we are looking forward to it all. Meeting new friends, sharing experiences, learning from each other & the experts is why we are here. Let the rally begin!

Until the next post from our home at the Goshen Fairgrounds because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Thursday, September 9, 2010

#114 We're Baaaaaack!!!!!

We had a wonderful & restful week with our friends in Poland IN. The best friends are the ones you are most comfortable with & these friends are the best. Their home was our home, there were no expectations, & as usual time went by way too quickly.While there we ate, slept in, ate more, worked on the rig, slept in again, did some laundry, slept in, ate even more, talked, laughed, & just enjoyed ourselves. Yes, we are fat but well rested.

While working around the rig we noticed a few minor things that needed to be fixed up on the repairs that were done at the repair shop. We called them & said we would be back in the area on Thursday & expected things to be taken care of as soon as possible. We arrived & were directed right in to the shop. Immediately 3 techs were looking at the issues we had & started working. Quite a bit of caulking needed to be redone with time needed for it to cure so we are setup inside the building for the night. We would rather not have had to come back but at least we aren't in a hotel. Foxy can't understand how she can look out the door & still be inside. I'm not going to try to explain it to her, she's a dog!

Hopefully we will be out of here first thing tomorrow morning because the Escapade Rally starts this weekend. We are scheduled to check in Friday & have plans to meet with a number of fellow RVers that have connected over the Internet. The rally should be a blast.

The techs start arriving anytime from 7am on so we have to get up early. That means going to bed early so I will sign off from our home back in Elkhart because......

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary & a confused Foxy

Monday, September 6, 2010

#113 Just Some Thoughts

First, thank you for all your well wishes on us getting back into our "at home" routine. It is like any other home that is having major repairs or remodeling. The mental relief of getting back in your own bed, eating in your own kitchen, & having all the rest of your own comforts of home at hand is worth more than money can buy.

We are now back at our friends home outside Indianapolis, but this time in our own beds in their backyard. We are here for 5 days including the Labor Day holiday instead of the 2 weeks we had originally planned. With no specific plans, except enjoying the company of friends, we are enjoying sleeping in most mornings. I hope to get a few minor projects finished while we are here but if not there is always the next time or the time after that. Family & friends come first.

When we leave here we will head back north to Goshen IN for the Escapade. This is a major RV rally sponsored by the Escapees RV organization. This particular rally is significant because they are celebrating the 50th Escapade. We look forward to meeting up with friends, both those we have & haven't met. Escapees(aka SKPs) are a close knit group that not only share a common lifestyle but a common goal of helping each other. SKPs are more like friends & family than an organization. We have been SKPs for some time but have not had the opportunity to meet with the group on this scale before. We have been told it is quite an experience & look forward to it.

Also, I want to add a thank you to those of you who are responding to my blog. I am happy to know that it is being enjoyed. To those of you who are "living vicariously" through the blog until it is your time, I would like to pass on a message of inspiration we saw on a roadside sign. It said,

"A dream without a plan is just a wish"

which I take as dreams can come true if you put the effort into it. We are living proof of that concept. Whether it is moving to the mountains, living on the beach, traveling the world, or adopting the RV lifestyle.....keep dreaming & keep working towards that dream & maybe we will cross paths somewhere down the road. Until then, from our home in Poland IN because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Friday, September 3, 2010

#112 Getting Back to Normal

Aaaahh, back in our own bed. The rig is all together again & we are just about ready to hit the road. We will stay here 2 nights just to make sure there are no surprises & the work is complete to our satisfaction. Something always needs to be done, a nail here or a piece of trim there, but it is best to find it before we leave. Being a thousand miles down the road won't help us get it fixed. If all goes well we will be on the road Saturday morning & will spend the holiday weekend with friends.

Today we spent the day putting everything back in order in the rig. It gave us an opportunity to go through our "stuff" & get rid of more things we didn't need. The weather has turned around quite a bit. The temps are no longer around 90. It is now in the 70's during the day & upper 50's at night. The wind has picked up also. It's not hurricane Earl but 25-35 mph is more than enough to shake the rig. Tomorrow we will get up early, load the bikes, dump the tanks, & will be on the road. We can't wait.

It's hard to believe that we have been on the road for 5 months & that we will be back in FL in just over 2 months. It has been a blast & we are positive that we made the right lifestyle choice for us. We miss our kids & grandkids so are looking forward to getting back to FL, but this time as full fledged Snowbirds.

So tonight we say good night back in our home in Elkhart because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

#111 Jello SUCKS!

We are still in the hotel. I can't believe it! This 4 day job has taken 16 days of our life & it is going to take probably 2 more. There is only so much to do around here so we are bored out of our minds. We did take 4 days & drove down near Indianapolis to see some friends. The only problem is we were supposed to be there already & with our rig. Tonight will be the last day in the hotel but we will be staying in our rig in the garage. They know we are pissed & we will make sure the job is done right before we leave.

Once all is done we will head back to Indy & stay through the Labor Day holiday. After that we will head back to Goshen for a Rally. We are looking forward to meeting up with more of "our people". RVers & a lot of full timers all gathering in one place to share ideas, swap stories,& trade lies. There will also be vendors selling everything RVers want & need. I am sure we will find something we can't live without, though after the repairs on our rig we will be watching the old purse strings a little closer.

We are so bored we are almost looking forward to harassing the RV techs just to have something to do. So for now we are looking forward to living in & not just near our home in Elkhart because.....

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

#110 I Don't Like Jello!

We are in the hotel & have had to go back to the rig twice for things we've forgotten. It also gave us an opportunity to check out the work being done. The plans on being done by Thursday seem to be written in jello. The parts will take a little longer to get than expected. Since we are here possibly until Monday we decided to upgrade the carpet in the living room.

The time spent in the hotel is driving me nuts. We are getting plenty of rest & Mary is enjoying soaking in the tub. TV is a little limited so I am catching up on some reading. We might even drive down to see some friends outside Indianapolis over the weekend. They have a guest room for us & the 4 of us always have fun together. This will be a whole week of not living in our home on wheels.

Well for now our home is a hotel in Elkhart near the repair shop because....

Home is (near) where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Saturday, August 21, 2010

#109 We Forgot How!

The satellite is all fixed so now we have to get ready to vacate the rig so they can replace some floor. For the last 5 years whenever we traveled it involved water, electric, & sewer hook-ups. There was also campground reservation & planning travel routes. Now we are spending time in a hotel. It has been a while since we have had to pack clothes, toiletries, etc. Heck, we had to see if we even had luggage to pack our stuff. Full time RVing means taking it ALL with, clothes, everything. This means never having to pack or decide what is needed at our next destination.

Well we have found a hotel with suites & that allows dogs. Both were important because at Foxy's age we didn't want to board her & wanted a kitchen of some sort to take advantage of the food we already had in our fridge. Once the rig is in the shop we don't want to keep coming back for things. I hope the less we bother them the sooner the job can get done. Today we will cook some things to bring with us, get a cooler ready, & pack up some non perishables. Tomorrow is dedicated to everything else. Some cabinets have to be emptied, laundry needs to be done, & clothes need to be packed.

We would have benefited from a refresher course in packing but will do our best. Also for 3 days we will have to amuse ourselves. We have to consider Foxy, we don't want to leave her in the room & she isn't up to a lot of activities. We will make do & I'm sure that it will all work out. Thursday we will be back in our home & on the road to continue our adventure. Here's hoping all goes as planned from our home in Elkhart because.....

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

#108 To.Make A Short Story Long...

I'm bored! We are still at the second repair shop & still waiting. The rig was inspected & we were given an estimate (you don't want to know) & were told that we would have to be out of the rig for 3 nights. Now you might be asking "why are you still there?". Well they couldn't start the job until Thursday & with the weekend that would have meant 5 nights out of our rig so it was agreed that they will start on Monday & we will have the rig back by Thursday. Oh well, that gave us an opportunity to go back to the first repair shop & have the satellite repair work done. All this time we are camped at a site at the repair shop. Tomorrow morning we head back over there with the rig & will return to the second shop in the afternoon. We will be here over the weekend & bright & early Monday they should start the 3 day job. The only consolation is all this camping at the repair shops is costing us nothing. When you figure camping in this area starts at $30 a night we are saving some money. This will offset the cost of a motel for the 3 nights we can't stay in our own home.

It hasn't been all bad though. We have taken the time to see the areas around Elkhart. We have seen our share of Amish people & their farms. We did go out to eat at an Amish style restaurant. All you can eat family style is not for the faint of heart or the weak of stomach. Throughout the Amish communities there are "Quilt Gardens". These are gardens with flowering plants laid out to form quilt like patterns. The planning & efforts produce amazing results. We also stopped at the American Countryside Farmer's Market which I am sad to say is closing it's doors in September. Hopefully with reorganization they will be able to reopen in the future. The building itself is a study in Amish craftsmanship with all the barn style woodwork. And then there are the Amish just going about their everyday activities. Of course instead of cars & trucks they use horse & buggy, bicycles, or walk. It is a simpler life & they seem happy for the most part, I just don't think it is for me.

I know I have mention that this is the RV capitol of the world so of course this is where the RV Museum & Hall of Fame is. We took a day & checked out RVs from 1916 through today. We learned about the people that started the revolution & followed the evolution from basic tent campers to fully contained motor homes. As much as it has changed it has also remained the same. Just individuals figuring how to take a bedroom, bathroom, & kitchen on the road. The one thing that did take us aback was a 1968 pop-up trailer by Jayco. Here was a museum piece that was almost identical to our first RV which was a 1970 pop-up trailer by Jayco. It brought back memories & amazed us at how far we had come.

Well I am going to get everything ready to move from shop to shop while still in our home in different parts of Elkhart because.....

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Saturday, August 14, 2010

#107 Shop to Shop to Shop....

We are still in Elkhart but have moved 3 miles down the road to another repair shop. Our satellite is working but not correctly. The manufacturer is going to send a replacement so we will have to reschedule to have it installed. Right now we are at the shop that is going to take care of some water damage. Our appointment is Monday morning so we are staying at the repair shop. Again the shop has water & electric sites for us to stay on until they start working & during the repair process. Once this job is done we will try to get back to the last repair shop to finish the work we had planned.

For now we are just sitting here & relaxing. No traveling, no sight seeing, no playing tourist. This week the most we will be doing is passing time & taking care of the dog during the day when the rig is in the shop. It sounds boring & I'm sure it will be but it has to be done. Like I've said before every house needs work from time to time.

So here's to a boring but productive week in our home at a different location in Elkhart IN because...

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Thursday, August 12, 2010

#106 RV Central

Elkhart IN, the RV capital of the world. RV factories, RVs dealers, RV part warehouses, & of course RV repair shops. Here we are at one of those repair shops to get some work done with 15 - 20 other RV owners. Since we all live in our RVs instead of a parking lot we are all in a large field with water & electric hook-ups. Our respective rigs go into the shop during the day & are returned to us at the end of the day so that we have our home back for the evening. The process goes on as long as it takes & we still have access to our own bed, our own shower, & our own comforts of home.

Right now we are at a repair shop to take care of our satellite system. Yes, the same satellite that has been a pain in the butt over the last month. The manufacturer has put us in touch with a specialist trained in their own factory so all should be taken care of now. Next week we will be at another shop that will take care of a leak & some water damage we have discovered. Again we will be able to live in our rig while it is being worked on. Every home needs work from time to time & this how RVers do it.

In between repair shops we hope to get to the RV Hall of Fame Museum. There are supposed to be examples of RVs from home made models of the 1920s to the "million dollar rock star" motor homes of today. We also will check out the Amish communities & especially the Amish restaurants.

Elkhart is now our home. Where in Elkhart depends on the repair shop we will be staying at. So until the next blog we are as always at home, this time in Elkhart because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

# 105 Rock On!

First, my apologies to any Cleveland Brown fans. When I hear Cleveland Browns I think about the team that skipped town to become the Baltimore Ravens & forget about the new team that more deserves the adoration of the fans.

Anyway, on to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Does it need 4 hours to be seen? HA! We were there almost 5 1/2 hours & skipped at least 2 movies that could have taken another 2 hours to see. The history of Rock & Roll, the memorabilia, & the personal contributions are amazing. Pages & notebooks of hand written lyrics give an insight to the individuals not as Rock Stars but as people. The progression of their personal possessions as they became more famous & the contributions they made to friends, family, community, & the industry allows us to see their personal growth. Some also showed their demons & ultimate downfalls.

All of this in one place makes it a trip to remember. If you are a real fan of Rock & Roll then this has got to be on your bucket list of things to see. If you just happen to be in the Cleveland area & have ever owned a radio in the last 50 years it is worth the visit. Unless you have lived under a rock for the last half century this museum will bring back memories & touch the "singing in the shower" Rock Star in all of us.

Tomorrow we leave for Elkhart IN, the RV capital of the world. We are having some work done on the rig & will enjoy visiting the Amish communities in the area. This is not the time to start a diet. Elkhart will be our home for a couple of weeks. This RV lifestyle allows us to take our home to the repairmen when it needs work instead of waiting for them to show up. And like any home it does need some work from time to time. So this is our last night in our home in Huron OH because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Monday, August 9, 2010

#104 Crossing State Lines Like Crossing The Street

As I mentioned last time we planned on being busy over the weekend & we were. We got everything done & all before it started to rain. It's no fun in the rain! We were both tired & wanted to get to bed early so there was no last blog from Niagara Falls. We are now 250 plus miles down the road in a little place called Huron OH. Yes, Ohio. That means we skipped out of NYS, through Pennsylvania, & a good ways into Ohio. Sometimes state lines just buzz on past like telephone poles. I'm sure that will be less so once we start spending more time out in the western (& larger) states.

This little town of Huron is about an hour west of Cleveland... the home of MLB's Indians, ex-home of the NFL Browns, & more importantly the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Since we are here for a couple of days it is a must see for us. From what we have read & the people we have talked to the museum will take at least 4-6 hours to see. With that in mind & after a long day on the road we are calling it a day. Early to bed & hopefully early to rise will give us time to see it all.

So it is only 9 pm but for me it is goodnight from our home in OH because...

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Saturday, August 7, 2010

#103 Back In The USA

Well we made our third border crossing this week & I will say again that crossing into Canada is easier than crossing back into the US. The return to the US this time was much easier & less intimidating than the last two except for the guy in front of us. He was taken away by border guards & his car was driven off by another guard. We looked at each other & said nothing but horrible thoughts were running through both of our minds. Our encounter with the border guard was uneventful & we were on our way. We know that we had done nothing wrong but something about the way we were treated was definitely intimidating. What doesn't make sense is most of our Canadian friends tell us that they don't have half the trouble getting into the US that we've had. Go figure?

Friday we went to Lockport NY to take a tour on the Erie Canal. This included going through 2 sets of locks & under 2 lift bridges. I have always been amazed by the concept of lifting boats up & down rivers through a lock system so I was enthralled to actually travel through it in person. Farther on down the canal were a pair of lift bridges. As opposed to draw bridges which split in the middle to allow boat traffic to pass, a lift bridge lifts the bridge's road surface straight up as one piece. When they were built there was so little road traffic that the bridges were left in the up position & only lowered for the occasional vehicle. Now with most transportation done by road & very little on the canal the bridges are kept in the down position. The 2 bridges are about 200 yards apart & operated by one bridge tender so when a boat needs to pass one bridge is raised & lowered let the vessel pass & the tender must drive to the other bridge to repeat the process for the second bridge. The whole process is interesting as well as amusing to watch.

It had been a beautiful day as forecast so the motorcycle ride as well as the canal tour was thoroughly enjoyable but as anyone who follows us knows that when Frank is on the motorcycle it is going to rain. On the way home the skies did not disappoint us. Fortunately we had made a stop when the skies opened and were able to put on our rain gear before we got soaked. It did clear up on the way home but there is still the road spray, & wet is wet no matter where the water comes from.

We are leaving here on Monday so we will spend the weekend getting ready. The truck needs a bath & the trailer is almost as dirty. The bikes could use a cleaning after the rain & need to be loaded. And then there are all the rest of the things that are part of the RV lifestyle. Remember, this is not a vacation, this is our lifestyle & this is our home. I will blog again before we leave our home in Niagara Falls because...

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

PS Get well Sare

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

#102 One More Chance

Today we went into Niagara Falls Canada. From the Canadian side there is a much better view of the "Horse Shoe" or Canadian Falls as well as different views of the American Falls. So it was over the Rainbow Bridge into Canada. This border crossing is primarily a tourist crossing so we expected it to be a little different from the Lewiston crossing which has a lot of commercial traffic. We were welcomed into Canada with the usual why, where, how long, & questions about weapons. We had a wonderful time taking pictures & staring in awe at the wonder & power of the falls. Mary is posting pics on FB but as we've said before, pictures just don't do it justice. Once we had seen what we came to see & taken the pictures we wanted to take we headed on back to the US side.

Just like the day before there was a back-up coming in to the US. It was the attitude & absurd questions by the border guard that seemed to make the border crossing a pain in the butt. Some queries were expected & acceptable like "are you bringing any purchases back from Canada?, any plants or produce?, how much was spent?". But why did he need to know where we parked our RV in NY, are we going home to FL right away, why don't you have your license plate memorized,& why did you buy a souvenir key chain? As retired postal workers we feel that these government employees are an embarrassment to the rest of us.

Once back in the US we went to the Niagara Falls State Park on Goat Island. I've mentioned that we have been to Niagara Falls before, sometime around 1992. At the time we had done all the tourist things but when we got to the Cave of The Winds, on Goat Island, Mary wasn't able to go. Nothing serious, just something to do with being a parent. So it was just my daughter Rachel & me for that adventure. I had always felt bad about Mary missing the attraction & was determined that if we ever got back to Niagara I would take her. So down to the Cave of the Winds we go.A 175' elevator ride down through solid rock & we come out about 25' above the river clad in raincoats & flip flops. After a few hundred feet of steps & wooden walkways we found ourselves at the base of the Bridal Veil Falls. Inching the last few steps on the "Hurricane Deck" we found ourselves being pelted with sheets of water deflecting off the rocks at the base. This is one of the ways to experience the power of the falls. All that I can say is if you haven't gotten wet then you haven't seen Niagara Falls.

Tomorrow we head back into Canada for the third & last time on this trip. We will see how our reentry into the US goes. I guess it will be either "third time is the charm" or "three strikes & you're out". I am going to sign off now so we can get up early. So goodnight from our home in Niagara falls because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

#101 On To My Second 100

We took a day just to ride to downtown Niagara Falls & get a "lay of the land". We wound up walking around the State Park & taking a couple of hundred photos of the falls. You can check out Mary on FB. We will try to get to the Canadian side later this week.

Today we drove into Canada to visit with a friend. It was about an hour's drive including a 3 minute stop at the border. They checked our IDs, asked if we had any firearms, our reason for visiting, & how long we would be staying. We had a nice visit & took the return trip back to the
"good old US of A". This trip took at least an hour & a half. Now I know that 9/11 happened to the United States but all that I can say is a little paranoia sure goes along way. On the return to the US in addition to all the questions from the Canadian Border they checked under the truck, checked the license plates, wanted to know if we were going home right away(to FL), & checked inside every mini-van that passed through. The back-up at the US border was every bit of 30 minutes or more. It is one thing to feel a little uncomfortable going into a foreign country but to feel worse about coming back home doesn't seem right.

Tomorrow we have to go back & hopefully this next trip will be uneventful. Later this week we are planning to do a tour of the Erie Canal locks & also some of the touristy things around the falls. So until our next adventure goodnight from our home near the falls because.....

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Maniaci

Sunday, August 1, 2010

#100 I Guess I've Got A Lot To Say

100 blogs, wow! I guess I really do have a lot to say. I don't expect to keep up this pace of blogging all the time. There will be times when we are not doing much. I've said it before & I'll say it again. We aren't on vacation, this is our lifestyle. Yes we get to stay in some awesome places & see some amazing things but we still have the hum drum chores of everyday life. Also, who could keep up the pace of a vacation 365 days a year? We are planning some workcamping which may be boring & not blog suitable or we may just stop & stay someplace to relax & do nothing. Again not fodder for a scintillating blog.

Right now we are in Niagara Falls NY. We left Vermont with plans to see some friends on our way out to N Dakota. Our plans are, as always, written in jello so we weren't able to stop & see friends in the upper central part of NY. We do have friends that are in Canada just over the border from Niagara Falls that we needed to see due to personal reasons, & may need to do so several times this week. First things first, needs before wants, we do what we have to do. While we are in Niagara Falls we will try to see some of the things the area has to offer. We heard they have a water fall somewhere around here. Seriously, we have been here before, in 1993, in a pop-up tent camper with 2 kids. It will be interesting do see how things have changed.

The weather is forecast to be nice so the bikes will be our mode of transportation. This is nice because we like to ride & it makes parking much easier than with our big truck.It is already later than I had planned to go to bed so I don't expect an early start tomorrow. So this is my 100th goodnight, but this time our home is Niagara Falls because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Thursday, July 29, 2010

# 99 Wasted Day & Wasted Night

The drugs didn't help. Mary still wasn't feeling great & I was feeling like crap. Wednesday, day & night, was a total waste & we will leave it at that. I guess we will have days like that from time to time. It doesn't make for good blogging material.

Thursday morning found us both feeling better. Not great but better, so we decided to take the truck instead of the bikes. Our destination today was Waterbury-Stowe Rd. Why that road? It seems to be the central location for the factory tours & outlet stores of Vermont. Our first stop was Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Factory. Between the dozens of flavors, tens of thousands of pints, & temps going from 130 degrees to pasteurize to -40 degrees it was very interesting. The free samples were a perfect end to the tour. Ben & Jerry's charges for their tour which at first put me off, but once I found out all the money gets donated to local children's charities I felt good about it.

Next stop was the Cold Hollow Cider Mill. Not much of a tour but you could see the equipment they use & taste many of their products. The cider was awesome & several of the homemade jams, dips, & spreads found their way into our shopping bag. We also found a couple of spiced apple cider donuts in the bag. Farther on down the road was the Cabot Cheese annex & store. Unlimited samples of some of the best cheeses we have ever tasted. Again the shopping bag started to fill but we only have a small RV refrigerator so we had to restrain ourselves. Full of cheese we headed over to the Champlain Chocolate Co. Fortunately being full of cheese made it easy to exert self control. We left with a very small bag of what we wanted but did not need.

Tomorrow we leave for NY so when we got home we loaded the bikes & got a lot of things ready for our morning departure. Hopefully it will be an early night & an early morning. It is always better to get to our destination early enough to set up & get a good nights rest so that we can get an early start on enjoying our new neighborhood. So this is our last goodnight from our home in Vermont because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

#98 Still Crossing State Lines

With NH in our rear view mirror it was Vermont in the windshield. If you have been following us you know how much we enjoy the creations of Mother Nature but here in VT it is going to be different. On the agenda for the next few days is Cabot Cheese, Ben & Jerry's, the VT Teddy Bear Factory. Not exactly the finest of Mother nature but there will be fun & calories to be had.

Mary had not been feeling well for a couple of days but is doing much better. The problem is now I am having issues. Either Mary gave me what she had or I am allergic to the "Great State of Vermont". Mary stopped at a drug store & bought a veritable cornucopia of cold & allergy medicines. With any luck I will feel better & the factory tours can begin.

The weather looks promising for the next few days so miles will be put on the bikes. We will also try to get down to Lake Champlain. Until then I will drug myself & hope to feel better tomorrow in our home in Vermont because .....

Home is where we park it,

Frank & Mary

Sunday, July 25, 2010

#97 And Away We Go!!!!!!

Sundays weather looks kind of iffy so we figure Saturday would be our last day on the bikes. It's no fun loading them in the rain. After breakfast we headed out in search of covered bridges. The weather was beautiful and the roads were a motorcyclists dream. The curves, the hills, & driving through all the small towns it just seemed like we were driving down Main Street America. It is real & so much better than Main Street Disney.

The first bridge we drove over was a 4 trestle wooden bridge in Bath. At about 250' it is the longest wooden bridge in NH. Farther on down the road we drove over the Swiftwater Bridge. The bridge was smaller but no less photogenic. We then stopped for lunch. As I've said before, touristing is tough & we had worked up an appetite. After lunch we found the Haverhill Bridge but were not able to drive on it. It had been restored & was closed to vehicular traffic so we walked across it & took some more pictures. Mary will be posting them on FB.

It had been a wonderful day but we wanted to get home before the evening rains came. Also since it was going to rain most of Sunday we hoped to get the bikes loaded when we got home. Mary was exhausted & not feeling so great so she went to take a nap. I was feeling pretty good after a great day on the bikes so I loaded them in the trailer. No sooner did I have them loaded & the door locked up it started to rain. Talk about perfect timing.

Sunday we slept in. After a late breakfast Mary got started on some laundry & I began dumping our holding tanks. We try to get as much done the day before we leave to make our departure as painless as possible. It doesn't always work but we try. I went out to get some bread & milk & came home $124 poorer. Oh yeah there was almost 40 gallons of diesel fuel in there somewhere. It is so much easier to fill up without the trailer attached. Some of the local gas stations just don't have the room needed to pull in to the pumps with a 40' long & 13'6" high trailer.

Tomorrows ride is only about 120 miles so we don't have to be on the road too early. It will be an easy trip into Vermont, the land of Cabot cheese & Ben & Jerry's ice cream. We look forward to both. So this is our last goodnight from our home in NH because....

Home is where we park it,

Frank & Mary

Friday, July 23, 2010


As expected it was a late night & as promised we saw moose. The night wasn't perfect though. The tour bus had broken down so the driver showed up with a borrowed 14 passenger van. The van was borrowed from a kayak tour company so it was a bit soggy with trash bag seat covers. Oh well they promised moose so let's see what happens. Basically they drove us up & down the local roads where moose are regularly spotted. With flood & spot lights we searched the roadside woods. Once the sun was completely down the moose started to appear. First there was a female with a calf. A little farther down the road we spotted the whole family, a bull, cow, & calf. It was dark & the moose stay in the woods so photography was very iffy. Mary got a few pictures & will post them on FB.

Roaming the roads in & around the mountains we saw more moose, some deer, & found a bear rummaging through a restaurant dumpster. By the time the "Moose Safari" was over it was after 11 pm & we had about a 45 minute ride home. It was already late so we figured we would look for more moose. Well there were no more moose but we did see another bear & a family of raccoon. Mary was starting to feel like Marlin Perkins in her own version of Wild Kingdom. I think we will be shopping for safari gear soon. She will be ready for the next safari.

Today we took the bikes out & just rode with no destination in mind. We took pictures of waterfalls, stopped at a covered bridge, & checked out a cider mill & bakery. Tomorrow we will do more nothing on the bikes & see what we shall see. I enjoy reading your comments & look forward to more in the future. Until the next blog, Ta Ta from our home in NH because.....

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary & Bullwinkle

Thursday, July 22, 2010

#95 In Search Of Moose

The first thing I would like to do is thank everyone who has started to comment on the blog. Mary lets me know when people talk about the blog but it is nice to get the comments directly & encourages me to write more. So, again thank you & keep the comments coming.

Wednesday turned out to be a pretty miserable day weather wise. We slept in until the rain let up & decided to tour the area in the truck. It was a short drive over to Franconia Notch & the visitor center to see what there was to do for us tourists. I think that is what I will start to put down as my occupation, "Professional Tourist". Armed with a stack of pamphlets that would choke a moose we headed down the road. We stopped at "The Basin" which is a naturally carved pot hole fed by streams & water falls. We weren't the only ones who saw a photo-op so the woods were filled with tri-pods, cameras, lenses, & the click-click-click of dozens of cameras. Mary will be posting on FB shortly. There were also a few brave(or foolish) souls who thought it would be nice to take a dip in the 45-50 degree mountain spring water. BRRRRRRR!!!!!

Continuing on down the pike we stopped at the viewing sites of "The Old Man of The Mountain". The Old Man is a natural rock formation featured on NH licence plates & state quarter but has since collapsed. Since its collapse in 2003 large numbers of people feel that it should be rebuilt. I personally don't think that man should rebuild what Mother Nature built & caused to collapse. Nature is a process that includes creation & destruction. We can't stop Mother Nature. If man was around should he have stopped the erosion that is the Grand Canyon, the volcanoes that are Hawaii, the glacier that made the New England shore line, & more? No, what man should do is minimize his own impact on that that was created by Mother Nature so that generations can see the process that is Mother Nature. Well I'm off my soap box because it is starting to rain.

Mary has found us a "Moose Safari" & hopefully we will see moose this evening. We will be getting in late so the blog & photos will probably not get posted 'til Friday. It is time to get dinner put together so we can head out on the "Moose Safari". If we "bag" ourselves some moose, with a camera of course, we will share with everyone as soon as possible. Until then from our "Moose Safari" base camp (aka home) in Twin Mt NH because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

#94 Back Home, Again?

Sunday was spent getting ready to leave Bar Harbor. Mary's lobster hunt was officially over so our sights were set on New Hampshire. Yes, we are back in NH so we are sort of back home. This time we are in northern NH up near Mt Washington. Our ride from Bar Harbor to Twin Mountains NH was a little different from our normal travels. There are no interstates from point A to point B so we took mostly 2 lane state roads through the small New England towns in Maine & NH. The roads were good & we got to see more of small town America.

Once settled in we decided to go to Mt Washington the next day. Tuesday we rode up to the mountain & I convinced Mary that it would be fun to ride to the summit so off we go. 8 miles of twisting, winding, narrow, no guard rail, climb from 1800' to 6288'. Oh by the way part of the road wasn't paved & wasn't wide enough for 2 cars to pass. As Mary says, "it was freakin' awesome!". The views from the top were unbelievable with the clouds floating by below us & clear views between the clouds to the bottom of the mountain. Again the only sound was click, click, click from Mary's camera( see FB).

Mary was so excited about getting to the top of the mountain she hadn't thought too much about the ride down. The road is not for the faint of heart. So much so that while we were at the top a gentleman had to make arraignments to have someone drive his car down because his wife was having a panic attack. All of a sudden Mary started to think about the ride down. This was just another case of Mary being the only one who didn't have faith in Mary. We took our time, stopped at pull-offs to relax, & had no problems with the descent. Mary was "Woo Hoo"-ing all the way home.

We stopped for groceries on the way & ran into our obligatory rain storm. A quick stop to don rain gear & we proceeded home. All in all an awesome day. Tomorrow we are on the lookout for moose on one of the guided "Moose Safaris". So tonight we will dream of mooses or meese or moose or whatever in our home in Twin Mountains NH because...

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary