Thursday, October 13, 2011

The final days at ALB & our CARE Auction

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(Jan) Sunday morning was the Farewell Balloon flight. We woke up to see the Dawn Patrol and then this beautiful wave tn[4]of balloons ascending, and some of them descending, by our rig. It was a joy to sit in our lawn chairs and watch this beautiful sight. And even though Chuck nor I got a balloon ride, over half of our Boomer group crewed with a pilot that gave them rides. The pictures at right was taken by our friend Dee from a balloon looking back at the mass ascension one morning. We did get to crew a couple of times with two different balloons and had our field passes for the entire event. On other mornings that we were on the field by 6 A.M., unfortunately, we were not needed by our pilot or the weather was too rainy or windy. It’s certainly an event we had a great time at though and look forward to doing again.IMG_5306_thumb[1]

We had a grand time in between the morning events and the evening glows riding bikes, visiting the Balloon Museum with Art & Connie, shopping for shirts & hats with Bruce & Dee, playing Pegs & Jokers with Ron & Sharon, Koz & Jackie and Bruce & Dee, Happy Hours with the group, visiting at each other’s rigs through the day, dinner at Koz & Jackie’s one evening and the CARE Auction.

DSC01814The Escapees have a retirement RV Village at Livingston, TX that we raise funds for each time we have a large gathering. This event’s amazing total of $2,876.00 was twice what we had targeted for! Our rainy start for the auction on Tuesday was continued on a sunshiny Sunday. Vicky Webb was our Chair for the event, Terry Webb and Chuck did an excellent job auctioneering as Beth Miller and I were their ‘Vanna Whites’, Ann Meileke & Joy Melton handled the money, Many, Many great items were donated including 2 wonderful copper balloons crafted and donated by Judie St. Croix, Ann knittted an beautiful afghan for the raffle, Chuck and Mick Meileke did water deliveries for CARE donations, Terry & Vicky donated wine, also for CARE donations and we had wonderful bidding and support from our Boomer Group!

DSC01833That evening we headed over to Rudy’s for some Bar-b-que with our “Clown-n-Around’ crew mates Mark Thornton, Judie St. Croix and Don Hankins. The brisket, pulled pork, ribs and stuffed baked potatoes were fabulous; almost as good as the bar-b-que that our son Eric makes in his smoker back in Chicago!

It was time to move to a new location Monday after spending the morning offering & collecting Boomer Hugs and fond farewells until many of us meet again at Mittry Lake for Thanksgiving or Quartzsite for our annual gathering. About 5 of us moved to Sandia Casino where Judie & Mark hosted a Happy Hour that afternoon. We are now at Canyon de Chelly National Monument on the Navaho Reservation at a lovely campground shaded by tall Cottonwood trees.

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