Monday, July 30, 2007

Monday, July 29-Day 15

Monday, July 29

With an early start, we are headed South.
We are headed from NY to Tennessee to visit with Kauffam if we can.

This ornamental grass and this lavender flowers were at Micky Dee's.

We were headed for mid-Virginia. We drove through the states of New York, New Jersey, Maryland, West Virginia, and finally to Virginia. We are packing in the states today. Staunton KOA is a President's Award Winner and we can certainly see why.
They had a fishing lake, playground, volleyball, a game room with pool tables, mini-golf, a swimming pool, 4 hot tubs, and laundry.

There were bunnies all over. They were very tame and not the color of wild bunnies. These were brown and white and would stretch out right next to you. There must have been at least 20 and this was a huge park.

The KOA was by a stream/river and you could fish or walk out on the stepping stones. It wasn't deep, but was clear and fast moving.

There was also a falls.

The only thing wrong is weak cell phone and Wifi signals. While I'm able to type this, I can't post pictures.

Sunday, July 29-Day 14

Sunday, July 29

I was lucky to get a date for my sailing XPerience since I only emailed them Wednesday and you're supposed to give them 14 days. Sail time was at 3:30. We all went to NYC early. We ate lunch at the Underground Mall near Penn Station & Madison Square Gardens.

Then we WALKED to Heavy Melody. This time Mark showed us the Guitar Hero. Blaine & I both played bass. Mark showed us his beat box project till it was time to head for Chelsea Piers.

We need to take the bus this time.

Of course pier 59 was the fartest one. Major walking......after about 1,000 stair steps in the subways, busses, trains.

My boat, the Adirondak

A view of us on our boat. Exciting!
Reality was rain.
I canceled. Gave the certificate to Mark to use , sell, or give away.

Now we have time to kill before catching the train so to Penn station and K-Mart. A Yankee's hat and a top later, we were finally ready to head to Hoboken.

Be Considerate
Talk Softly
Please Keep
Feet Off Seats

The train was faster because it didn't stop at every station on the week-end.
Again the most people get on at Secaucus.

Saturday, July 28-Day 13

Saturday, July 28

Since we had such a late evening last night, we had a lazy morning. Eventually we drove over to Chester to Shop Rite for supplies. We thought we'd take in a movie, but it didn't start for several hours so we headed to the bowling alley. Mark and Blaine bowled. I don't think Mark has bowled for quite a long time.

We still had time to kill, so we drove to a Target. We got off at the wrong exit and were on our way up a LONG hill to West Point. We had to find a place to u-turn.
We found our way to the Target and replaced Mark's old belt.

We finally were able to see our movie, Harry Potter. I thought it was well done.

Back at the campground, we worked on our evening meal. Blaine got out the safari grill while Mark & I worked on the campfire. We must have had the worst newspaper. The thing wouldn't burn even when the match was on it. Blaine was able to finally get the outside cooked, but not the inside. Mark & I were able to get a fire after using half the paper, about 10 fire starters, and 30 minutes of constant tending. Eventually we got it going and Blaine finished cooking the hamburgers on the fire and we roasted the hot dogs.

Next was the marshmallows. S'mores. Yum.

After the huge sugar rush, we played UNO. Mark 2 games, Dad 1, Mom 0
Then Trivial Pursuit. Mark 3 pies, Dad 4 pies, Mom 4 pies and then we called it quits. Moths were drawn to our lights and an energetic grasshopper scared us to death.

Friday, July 27-Day 12

Friday, July 27

We got to Harriman to catch the train in plenty of time. The ride is over an hour long with many stops. Secaucus seems to be very popular. We arrived at Hoboken and found our way to PATH. This is to take us over to NYC to 33rd st.

The first stop at Christian something or another didn't stop and I saw a lot of police officers. The train continued to 9th, 12th, 23rd and was supposed to go to 33rd, but they announced there was a problem and we all had to get off. Now we walk from 23rd and 6th to 28th and 7th.

Hoboken station
Empire State Building
We found Heavy Melody where we are to meet Mark after work at 6 PM. There was a Starbucks right next door so there was our coffee break. Since we have a couple of hours to fritter away, we headed towards Macy's. Walking another 6-7 blocks.

We rode all the escalators to the very top floor, bought a Macy's bags, and since my foot and knees were killing me, we had a drink. Then it was time to walk those same blocks back to Heavy Melody.

We were able to meet everyone and then headed to a pizza joint nearby for supper and off to Sunnyside, Queens. The problem with taking any subway in NYC is the steps. There are at least 30 down and then 35 up.

Sunnyside is cute. Mark's Apt is full. Once he was packed it was back across to 23rd and 6th to catch the PATH. We had trouble finding it and made a couple of wrong tries. MORE steps.

By the time we made it back to Harriman and our campground it must have been 11:30. Tomorrow is all ours.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Thursday, July 26-Day 11

Bath house is really close. Blaine warned me that it was like yesterday's shower where you had to continually pull on a rope to keep the water running. It will save on water. This time you had to push a button. He said his was timed for 3-4 minutes, but it was 12 seconds before I had to press it again. It was frustrating.

We went to the Arts/Crafts Village. What a disappointment. It was similar to Dunellen, but it looked deserted with very few open. I did get my flower shots.

Scott's Meadow was part of the Arts & Crafts area in Sugar Loaf.

Every road seems to be related to 17, but like every other crummy road in IL, OH, and NY it was pot-holey and bone jarring. Our next mission was to scout out where we will catch the train to NYC in Harriman. No thanks to Lola, we found the station, the ticket machine, and the parking machine.

After lunch we had another 'learning' experience. We think the continually jarring had loosened the water hose connection to the little water heater. Bottom line, there was water dripping from the camper and found there was water all over the camper floor. The floor is very clean now but several items will need to dry out.

Our 3 mission was to go to the Woodbury Commons Outlet Mall. It's huge and has all the big name designer names. I didn't really want to walk the mall with my foot to stores I wouldn't buy from anyway. We both got new shoes and me some underwear.

This mall has bus service to NYC.

Back home and supper.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

July 24-25/ Days 9 & 10

Tuesday, July 24-Day 9
We left our 'pig campground' and headed across Pennsylvania. Big hills, construction, and bumpy roads. At lunch at a Subway we found the Worlds most comfortable swing. Lola was a bad girl and led us a long way to the campground instead of the quicker way. We stayed somewhere in the Nittany Mountains. I had to use the Wifi at the hall but in the dark because it was movie night. I slept 'upstairs' for the first time. I wanted to be able to read (Harry Potter) and not disturb Blaine.

Wednesday, July 25-Day 10

Blaine went to take a shower this AM, but hadn't looked at the campground map and wandered all over and even had to ask someone where the showers were.
I guess this just wasn't his morning because when we dumped , it dumped some on the ground.

We filled our propane pig and the gentleman who filled it came into the camp store when Blaine was paying for it to tell him that there was a pair of pliers on the bumper then while we were just parked closing a vent he drove up and told Blaine that the sewer cap was dragging.

Tonight we're in Florida,NY We hope to make this our New York City base. We can take the train in. We have a spot and am looking to have a campfire with marshmallows. Wish you were here.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Monday, July 23-Day 8

We went out to visit Dad today. He was asleep and we didn't want to wake him. We had a longer visit with him yesterday.

Then we went to see Mom. Yesterday she was in bed, today she had been wheeled to a TV room where she and the 2 others there were sleeping with the TV on.

Blaine played one song on the piano and she watched, but there is very little recognition. She would 'leave' us and try to go back to sleep. At is very depressing to see both of them so withdrawn.

We left and headed to Wal-Mart to try to fix our refrigerator in the parking lot. The propane would not come on. Blaine packed it last night with ice from the motel to try to keep things cool. We had the panel off and read and re-read the manual on what to trouble-shoot. He walked by and asked if we were having trouble. He said he was in that big class A motor home and might be able to help.

Seems we had spider webs and stuff in the line and all we needed to do was blow in the hole with a straw. A lot of little stuff came out and it worked. We figured all of the washboard roads had dislodged the fluff. He was an answer to prayer. He and his wife are entertainers and just wanted us to go to You Tube and add our self to their view count. Their target is 5,000,000.

The rest of the day was uneventful. Yeah! We replaced most of the food that might have spoiled and I was able to find a copy of Harry at the Target in Streetboro, Ohio.

We saw a coyote cross the road near our campground.
It may have been after this giant pig at our campground.l It surely would have won a 4H size prize. The pig is the pink one.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Sunday, July 22-Day 7

Today was a cleaning day for our laundry and the front half of the camper. It won't fit into a self-wash bay, so we washed the front.

Steve and ThiThi came and we visited Dad. We tried to sit outside, but their was too much sun and wasps. He wears those stocking things on his arms because he bruises so easily.

We went to visit Mom, but she was in bed and so we will go back tomorrow morning and hope she is up then.

Then we went to the 4H fair with them. Steve hadn't been to a 4H fair in years so we saw everything; all the animals including the judging of the goats, the projects and even saw the antique tractor 'parade'.

When they left we went and kidnapped Aunt Lillian and got root beer. She didn't holler much. She was making quilts for 4 graduating great-grands.

We ended the day at Ellen's for a visit. I'm glad to see her hair is finally catching up to my color. (Even though I am YOUNGER)


I sent Blaine to Wal-Mart Sunday morning while I did laundry at the coin laundry in Huntington to buy the Harry Potter book. Sold out!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Saturday, July 21-Day 6 PM

One of the things I like about the northern states is the flowers. Queen Ann's Lace bobs gracefully by the sides of every rode.

We went to the 4-H fair this year. It is wonderful to see the involvement by parents, kids, and community. There are some elements that practically scream 4H.
Cars and tractors on display. Every child climbs up on the tractor seat and pretends to drive and make the seat bounce up and down. I know I did when I was much younger.

We visited the dairy and beef barns, the sheep, the goats, swine, chickens, and rabbits. They all produced and they had a couple of manure spreaders that were used when they cleaned their pens.

In the arena area someone had a reserved seat...with a back.
Sweet dreams!

Yum. GOURMET deep fried Twinkies with 'Twinkie the Kid' as the mascot.
Can't get any better than this.

Saturday, July 21-Day 6 AM

We gave them a Jacob Zook distelfink like we have on our garage. Bob seemed pleased with it and put it up on his garage door. He said we are also related to Zook too.

They have a viszla hound who is really smart and well behaved. When they talk to her she sits and cocks her head from side to side quizzically like she's trying to understand what they're saying. It's really cute.

We then headed off to Huntington via Chicago. Since there are no campgrounds in or near Huntington, we are staying at Holiday Inn Express.

Friday, July 20-Day 5

The drive today was maybe only 100 miles, but the road was still bumpy. One cabinet kept opening as the stove top bounced about.
Blaine was anxious to get to Bob & Nancy's home.

They live in Geneva National with 3 golf courses. We had 3 gates to get through, but their home is to die for. It must have 6 bedrooms, 3 stories, secluded one the 5th tee with woods all around.

The porch with view of the golf course.

View of the dining room.
Upstairs sitting room outside of our guest bedroom.
View of flower garden and back of the house.
Golf course tee 5.
Lake Geneva.

Bob showed pictures, told family stories, and had artifacts on display. Nancy likes flowers, birds, and is like me! They showed us Lake Geneva. What a pretty little town.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Thursday, July 19-Day 4

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Day 4

We were up and no one else was up. The bathhouse was great. I had a really nice tiled handicap shower. Finally realized again we were on FL time. It wasn’t 7 AM… was 6!

Blaine lost his reading glasses. We finally found them on the ground.

Illinois roads are really crummy. Everything inside the camper bounced around. Had to muffle the stove top.

At lunch we became Super Heroes! Everyone was posing. A family of 5 posed in every combination.

Later we saw a wreck. A Yellow Transit semi was pulling also pulling a trailer. The trailer was on its side and there were advertising mail out envelopes all over the interstate.

Also saw a huge cross.

Utica had each store decorate with flowers outside with the theme of their store. The wine place had a wine bucket/bottle, the grocery a lunchbox, and this bank had money! There was a gold bar, a bag of quarters and a bag of dimes.

We had a long detour that had Lola working overtime recalculating. She wanted us to turn at every county road to get us back on the interstate.

We finally made it to Hickory Hollow campground in Utica, IL.

Utica is near Starved Rock state park. Don’t know the story on the starving yet, but the town is cute and once was a stop on the Illinois/Michigan Canal.

Since Blaine REALLY lost his glasses we got directions to LaSalle 6 miles away. No cute here. Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Target, Home Depot. Home.

Tonight at the campground they allow fires so it smells really nice. The air is cool and we only need more family members to sit with us to play Uno or Trivial Pursuit.