Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

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094Chuck and I want to wish everyone a Joyous Christmas Season. We wish you peace and health and the closeness of family and friends!  Thanks you for all of the love and friendship we have been shown throughout the year.

For this Christmas, we have been blessed to have skyped with all three sons and their families and enjoyed Christmas Eve with Chuck’s mom, Joanne. I was also able to talk to my mom on the phone today. We joined some Boomer friends at Mittry Lake for Christmas potluck dinner this afternoon and had a wonderful time. 407953_514818545218994_646823223_n[1]

 

 

    

 

     Best wishes for a Happy 2013 everyone!

Friday, December 21, 2012

From Nappanee to Yuma PartII

As we end the day on Friday, we are in Yuma parked on friends Ron and Sharon’s place! It is so good to be done driving and be back in the Foothills.

Day 2 ended after 877.9 miles in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We literally showered and then fell into bed. 069our home for the short night was the Sandia Casino.  We woke up the next morning and it was 17 degrees outside! Yikes! Albuquerque’s elevation is 5,312 ft.

Day 3 started quickly. By 8:00 we were on the road, headed to Holbrook where we turned south to go through Payson on our way to Phoenix and then on to Yuma. The drive through the snow covered forest on the Mogollon Rim was lovely! Phoenix traffic was not. But we survived and hit Yuma around 6:30.  We drove 599.9 miles today.086

Our weather was clear after leaving Missouri. Cold as stated in Albuquerque, snow on the ground in northern New Mexico and northern Arizona but warm this afternoon in Phoenix where the temperature was 70. Other diesel prices on this trip were 3.89 in Tucumcari NM and 3.83 in Gallup, NM.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

From Nappanee to Yuma

036According to Streets and Trips our drive from Nappanee, Indiana to Yuma, Arizona is a 1998.1 mile journey. We started at 11:30 ET after the good folks at Newmar checked the final things off of the list.044

Traveling these days has some nice advantages. We have the laptop computer powered by a Verizon Air Card running through a Cradlepoint router for our internet service. My laptop is set to Streets and Trips and so we can easily gauge distances and highway routes. Zeroing in on travel flow at major Interstate exits and ramps is a real plus. The latest advantage for us has been using our Razr smart phone to navigate us through the cities. The Navigation Ap gives us turn by turn voice commands. And when we’re wondering what the weather is doing, we pull up Weather Underground on the Laptop and check the radar of the cities on our route. Also, the website Gas Buddy is excellent for finding the prices of fuel across the US.

So how has all that helped on this trip? When we left Indiana we knew that there was a storm front headed east. We chose to go south to Indianapolis and then southwest through St Louis and Oklahoma City using Streets and Trips mapping. The smart phone and Streets & Trips definitely helped us through Indianapolis and St. Louis traffic and Weather Underground showed us that it was just bands of scattered showers that we encountered in Indiana and Illinois. Watching the weather as we drove through Missouri in the dark also helped us decide that it would be wise to keep driving as long as we were alert because we were approaching the storm front coming from the west. We decided to call it a night in Lebanon, Mo. after 568 miles. BTW, Diesel Fuel in Indiana was $4.05 and $3.71 in Rolla, MO where we filled the MH Tanks. (An interesting side note. Ft. Leonard Wood is just south of here where Chuck did his Army Basic Training 41 years ago.) 015

The storm front hit us in Lebanon, Mo at about 4 A.M. this morning. The wind gusts rocked the MH a little and we pulled in the slides to protect the slide toppers. It was still quite windy when we got up and snow dusted the landscape. We chose to restock the pantry at Wal-Mart and wait for the wind gusts to lessen before we started driving again around 11 A.M. It was still windy and snowing until we got through Springfield. At the Oklahoma state line the sun came out and the winds died down.

So as the sun sets here in western Oklahoma, we’re thinking we’ll just keep driving and see how far we get tonight. The city lights are beginning to wink on at dusk. The roads are dry and smooth. Traffic isn’t too bad. Weather is clear, cool and no wind. We’re once more full fuel; this time $3.59 in Ok City. Happy Trails!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Staying with the Moores

023(Chuck) For the last 12 days we have been the houseguests of Eric and Cheri and family in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. They have been very gracious to share their house with us and it was a good time to cement family bonds.DSC_0005 Pictured at right are Eric, Jan & Chuck, Ryan’s friend Carly, Ryan, Jessica w/Sparkle and Cheri.

(Jan) One of the great things about living with the our family for several weeks was being able to be there for Jess’s Choral Concert and Ryan’s Madrigal Performance. Although Jess’s first musical love is playing clarinet in the band, she has a lovely voice and chooses to be in Chorus as an extra curricular activity. Her Middle School Choral Concert was entertaining and very good. Their rendition of ‘The Unsung Hero’ brought tears to Grampa’s & Gramma’s eyes and was Jessica’s favorite. Jess is at top, left.

Ryan’s Madrigal was a play, a concert and dinner all rolled into one awesome performance. The dinner featured Wassail, a bread, cheese & relish tray, cheese soup, Cornish Game Hen, green beans, & ear of corn, and then cookies, brownies & cake all eaten with out utensils except for a spoon for the soup. Fun! The Madrigal Singers, in splendid period costume, sang 30 different selections in many languages including Latin; all of them a cappella. Ryan and the other nineteen Madrigal Singers auditioned for a position last May and started working on the Music in August. One of our favorites was their rendition of the William Tell Overture using their voices instead of musical instruments. Magical! They all did a wonderful job. Their candle lit rendition of Silent Night to close the program was utterly lovely. Ryan is pictured below, the fourth from the left.

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Being with our Illinois family was as close to being in one’s own home as you can get. We were able to have our ownEricDec2012 068 space in the lower level and still join the family after work & school in the early evening. On many evenings, Cheri graciously shared her beautiful kitchen and this mom/gramma got to cook dinner. I thoroughly enjoyed having a family to cook for again. Plus, for 12 days I got to enjoy the family’s dog Sparkle, a Bichon Frise. Eric was able to take this past Friday off from work and he and Chuck & I went to the new Hobbit movie, An Unexpected Journey. We loved getting to see this Middle Earth Adventure with Eric. Cheri’s parents joined us on the week-end so they could see Ryan’s Madrigal. It was wonderful for all of us to be together and we will have fond memories of the visiting and fun games of Whole Enchilada all 8 ofEricDec2012 070 us played.  Here’s Jess showing us that she loves us even after she won several games handily. We loved every minute of our stay and miss them already!

(Chuck) At this time we are in Nappannee and our home should hopefully be finished soon. It was out of the paint shop today and there is about a day and one half work to install all of the awnings and the exterior lights. We hope to be on the road Wednesday. It will be a furious three days drive to Yuma. Streets and Trips indicate 1998.1 miles, 3 days, 5 hours and 7 minutes. We usually try to avoid a mad dash like this, however, it seems to be in our future. Warm weather, Christmas with my mother and our Rose Bowl float schedule take priority.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Life on the road staying in Motels

(Jan) For five days, Chuck and I have stayed in motels. It was our only choice with our motor home in the Newmar shop. Our first stop was in Nappanee to check on the rig. Things are going well and proceeding as planned so we decided to head west to Iowa. We got into Carroll a little after 7 p.m. after 700 miles and 12 hours on the road. 057We were in time to have a wonderful visit with my mom. In the last month her health has not been the best and she has had some meds changes so we were very glad to find her in great spirits and feeling well. The following morning was spent at a couple of business appointments and putting up the Christmas decorations with mom in her room.

017From Friday afternoon through Sunday noon we were with Brent and Donna and grandkids Stephen, Katie, Michael, Anne, Libby and Maddie. We enjoyed their lively household and had a fun visit. We went to Libby’s First Reconciliation with her and Brent Saturday morning and Stephen’s Wrestling Tournament after that. It was the first wrestling meet for Grampa and I and it nearly wore us out just watching! On Sunday we all went to the Mongolian Buffet together. The extensive choices were delicious and we had a fun time trying new things.

Sunday afternoon Chuck headed down to check on the farm while Jan met her local girlfriends for a Holiday home tour in Carroll. After that Nancy, Betty, Becki, Edna & I enjoyed a co-op dinner at our friend Karen’s house in honor of her Birthday. 063

Linda and Richard joined us for a day of visiting Mom at St. Anthony’s on Monday and Tuesday. In the evening we headed down to Glen & Mary Ann’s for a delicious meal followed by visiting, cards and much laughter. We dearly missed Ron & Scarlet and are sending Big Hugs to them in California!

Tuesday evening we were delighted to be back ‘home’ here at Eric and Cheri’s house. Motels have their purpose but they are Not Quiet nor particularly comfortable or clean.

 
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