Saturday, July 28, 2012

Charlotte, Michigan

(Jan) We journeyed to Charlotte, Michigan to have some maintenance done on our Motorhome. So, during the day on Thursday and Friday we were without our home!  They have a nice lounge with wi-fi and we also explored the town.

Charlotte is the county seat of Eaton County. They have restored their 1885 courthouse to it’s original state and are using it as a museum.

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The restored Eaton County Court House on West Lawrence Ave in Charlotte, Michigan.


Featured in the museum were a period sitting room, the circuit judge’s chamber, military uniforms and history, a carriage and an amazing collection of beautiful quilts.
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Behind the Court House is the 1873 Sherriff’s residence that once had a 2 store jail attached.
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The circuit courtroom, at left.

A country school house setting, at right.
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On Thursday evening we joined many in the community for a relaxing free concert on the courthouse lawn. A group of Michigan State faculty musicians, The Devil You Don’t, performed old time ballads.

Nappanee, Indiana

(Jan)Nappanee, Indiana is the home of Newmar. This is the ‘birthplace’ of our Mountain Aire Motorhome. We stayed on the factory grounds with full hook-ups for several days while went on the very informative factory tour and visited the 013area.

Nappanee is a delightful area with many Amish and Menonite shops and sites. One of these was a reclaimed furniture factory renewed as Coppes Commons. Part museum and part shopping mall, we thouroughly enjoyed our stop there.

002We also went to the Nappanee Produce Auction and came away the successful bidders on 3 small boxes of newly dug new potatoes and a small basket of fresh blackberries.

Noticing that many people were getting around on bicycle, Chuck decided to see if we could find a bike repair place. After asking a lady on one of the bicycles, we were directed to a country Bike Shop a mile or two out of town. The Amish fellow we found did an excellent job of cleaning, tuning up our bikes and repairing parts.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Whiteriver CG in Indiana

009(Jan) Our friends Bill and Gisela were in Indiana visiting family and since we were headed that direction, we met them for a couple of days at White River CG near Cicero, Indiana. It was incredibly hot and humid but that didn’t stop us from having a great time visiting outdoors in the shade.006 Gisela fixed us a wonderful chicken dish for dinner that evening. Playing Pegs and Jokers and watching a shared TV favorite, The Closer, filled our evening. The following day we had several spirited games of Bocci Ball, a drive out into the countryside and more Pegs and Jokers. It was our evening to cook but in the afternoon we saw a Big Dog Barbeque Place that looked interesting. Interesting but less than a place we would recommend. Bill’s ribs were good but the special ‘Rib Tips’ ordered by the rest, were not. Bummer! Guess we should have stayed home & grilled!

We were able to do a little genealogy work while we were in the area, also. Many of Chuck’s Moore, Richards, Lines, Ferrin and Sailors ancestors lived near here in the 1830’s to 1870’s. We searched several Pioneer Cemeteries as well as researching in the beautiful Wabash, Indiana Library.

004 006A quilt hanging in the stairwell, at right, and the dome of the Carnegie Library in Wabash, above. 007The America Cemetery northeast of Wabash was one of the pioneer cemeteries that were final resting places of many Chuck’s ancestors.

While in Wabash, we stayed at the Wabash City RV Grounds. It is situated near the Wabash River and a nice Bike Trail that runs along it’s banks and to several city parks. We enjoyed several nice rides in the evenings.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Near Elgin, Illinois

010Paul Wolff Park near Elgin, Illinois was our home this week. It has a lovely county RV Park and is located next to Burnidge Preserve were there are acres to explore on bike or walking. Best of all, it’s a 20 minute drive son Eric, d-i-l Cheri and grandkids Ryan and Jess’s house. We had a great visit with them! We enjoyed hanging out with them at their house, visiting and playing cards. Plus we went out to eat at Olive Garden for my Birthday and at Burnt Toast for Sunday Brunch after church.  What a wonderful time we had with them!

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Hanging out + Granddaughter Jess & I having fun with our hair.

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001During the day Chuck and I went on several bike rides around the Preserve and into the neighborhoods. The Fox River Trail was near-by, too so we took two long rides along that beautiful trail from Elgin to Algonquin and back.

Our friends Ron & Sharon are in the Chicago area visiting kids and grandkids, also, so on Thursday we invited them over for a day of visiting, Pegs & Jokers and dinner. Fun times! 018

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

It’s HOT

(Jan) It’s been a Hot couple of weeks. In fact, the first six months of 2012 accounted for the warmest033 January-through-June period on record for the contiguous U.S., the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced Monday. Add to that the humidity and lack of rain and it’s just about unbearable to do many outside activities. We did do a little biking, though, in the mornings and walking in the evenings at Swan Lake in between visits to my mom at her new home at St. Anthony’s. Also, our friends Ron and Edna joined us for the 4th of July and we headed out on the Sauk Rail Trail for a ride to Maple River and back.

On the 5th we got the MH back out on the road to stay at Little Wall Lake south of Jewell, Iowa. 091The campground is on a pretty little lake but most important to us, it has 50 amp electricity for our A/C and is 15 miles from our son Brent, D-I-L Donna and kids. We spent several fun evening going to the Ames Aquatic Center with them. Grampa and I had lots of fun on the Lazy River and going down the tube slides with the family. Grampa Chuck, Brent and grandsons Stephen and Michael even went down the High Tube Slide that ended in the deep end of the pool. Brent & Donna and Chuck & I had a fun time going to Garage Sales Saturday morning and we ended the family week-end with lunch at Pizza Ranch.

Saturday and Sunday found us at the Coralville COE CG near Iowa City. A lovely cool front came through during the night on Saturday and offered some blessed relief from the heat. Ron and Edna joined us for shared meals, visiting and cards as they were traveling east.  We took a nice hike in the afternoon to the Devonian Fossil Gorge. The floods of 1993 and 2006 ravaged the landscape here and exposed the 375 million year old ocean floor. It was an interesting hike/walk through the gorge looking and finding many fossils that had lain buried for many ages.

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room reservation in London