Saturday, December 14, 2013

2013 Year end review

2013 Year end review
As our Roadtrek sits parked and winterized in the driveway & waiting for the new year, its a good time to reflect back on our travels over the past year.  
                                Drove to Florida for our nephew's wedding in February.
Jan. 25 to March 22 trip

Drove 2,520 miles to Spokane to celebrate our son and his bride's wedding,              exploring Iowa,  Nebraska & Wyoming along the way.
                     Visited our daughter, son-in-law & grandchildren in Seattle.                                          Visited our other son and daughter-in-law in Houston.

Visited 4 Presidential Libraries.  
                                       Visited Jefferson, James Madison, Monroe, Lincoln, Grant, Eisenhower's homes. 

Visited 22 National Parks, Battlefields, Monuments, Seashore and Historic Sites. 
Toured 4 state Capitols:  IL, KS, WY and NM.

Visited 5 states we had not yet explored.  South & North Carolina,  W. Virginia, Nebraska and Kansas.
                                 Visited 7 State Parks and numerous Museums.                                                               (Met up with other Roadtrekkers at many places.)
We went 650 feet deep into the ground (Salt Mine).

900 feet UP in a hot air balloon.
At the Albuquerque Balloon Fest.
Traveled many ferries. 

Saw many lighthouses. 

 Variety of campsites plus Flying J & Walmarts.

 Wisconsin Dells
 Jekyll Island
 Sandhill Crane Foundation, Baraboo, WI
 Roadtrek Rally touring the Wisconsin Dells area.

Brookgreen Garden, Pawleys Island, SC
In Galveston hurricane damaged trees transformed into art.

Traveled wide open places.


Taos Pueblo 
Ghost Ranch, New Mexico
 Roadtrek's 40th Anniversary Rally (500 attended)
We took 6 trips in our RV, traveling 131 days, driving 17,206 miles.   We explored portions of 21 states and "just" traveled through 6 more.     
We have enjoyed exploring our big country, going at a fast pace.  One of these years we will slow down.  So much to do, so many places to see.  We've have some unplanned visits to service centers for repairs.  But our RV has 82,000 miles so it's understandable. 

Sugarplums are not dancing in our heads, but dreams of where to go for next year.

Merry Christmas wishes and Happy New Year to all.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Seattle, 12/5 - 12/11/2013

On the road again (by plane) Thursday Dec. 5 to Seattle to visit Corrina, Tait, Teagan and Cooper.
We went to at Gabriel's Fire for lunch.  I had pulled pork tacos with chili, BBQ pulled pork glazed with chipotle sauce, topped with slaw.  YUM.  Corrina and Phil had Big Otter sandwiches, pork topped with sauce & slaw.  Great to be with the kids & grandkids again.

On the road again Friday Dec. 6.  Breakfast out with Tait and Corrina before he leaves for Los Angeles.  Before we bought our tickets he already had plans to visit his friend in L.A. and go to the Seattle - San Francisco football game.
I wanted something different so ordered a veggie sandwich. (It was delicious and HUGE.  I had half for lunch after Corrina and I went shopping.  After school Cooper and I made press cookies.

Ted and Allison arrived from Spokane about 9 pm.

On the road again Saturday Dec. 7 to Cooper's basketball game.  Had to leave home at 7:45 am.  UGH after visiting late with the kids.
I forgot to bring my better camera…so pictures taken on my phone.  Excuse the quality.  After Cooper's game we rushed home to get warm clothes on.
Corrina, Teagan, Cooper, Phil & I volunteered at the food drive sponsored by Northwest Harvest.  Corrina and I had a bucket to collect donations as people entered Safeway.  Several people took the time to talk about how impressed they are with this organization.  One lady gave a check for $100.
You had to be 18 to hold the donation bucket so Teagan and Cooper got to hold signs.  Oh, it was cold, in the low 20's for the 3 hours we were there (10 - 1 pm).  Most of our time in the shade.  We kept walking and moving.  The experience gave me a new appreciation of the Salvation Army bell ringers.

Corrina, Teagan, Cooper, Phil & I went to Mass at St. John Vianney.

Corrina made a dinner to celebrate Allison's birthday:  Maple flavored pork roast, wild rice, brussels sprouts and a very tasty squash and kale salad.  Dessert was individual chocolate hot pot cake.  Yum!
 We celebrated Christmas and exchanged gifts as we won't be together on Christmas.   And played Golf, the card game.

Sunday Dec. 8  to work on the "reason that persuaded us to come for this visit."

Teagan and Cooper decorated their gingerbread house.
  Teagan's basketball game.
Cooper's archery classes.  Corrina is busy driving these two to many activities.

Monday Dec. 9 & Tuesday Dec. 10.  I stirred up more cookies and Teagan and Cooper rolled out candy cane cookies.  I made fajitias using Corrina's new Christmas gift cookbook.  Played 3 - 13 with Corrina, Teagan and Phil.

On the road again Wednesday Dec. 11.  Viewing the beautiful sunrise from their deck.  The Cascade Mountains in the distance.  They are snow covered.

 To Cooper's band concert.
 They played Frosty, Deck the halls, Old St. Nick, Joyeux Noel and Silent Night.  What a delight.  Cooper is playing trumpet.  This concert brought back memories when I played clarinet.

We had an uneventful flight to Chicago.  Got home for COLD TEMPERATURES.  I was minus 2 degrees Thursday morning, early cold temperatures.

Home again, home again.  Now to finish preparations for Christmas.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Thanksgiving, 11/28 - 12/1/2013

Thanksgiving, Thursday Nov. 28 on the road again to Merrill, WI.  Happy birthday wishes to our daughter-in-law,  Allison.  Best wishes for a great day, year and decades to come.

We were on the road by 7:15 am (by CAR, not Roadtrek) so we could get to Phil's sister's to watch the Packer game.  We were surprised to see 4 cars pulled over by Troopers in IL and one in WI.  We know WI is strict in speed limit enforcement but we've never seen many pulled over in IL.  Road were clear, a blessing.  Never know what we will encounter when traveling to Northcentral WI at this time of the year.  They got snow overnight,.

We arrived at Gig and Bruce's home in time to see the Packer score a field goal and touchdown but that was it.  I mean the game from the Packer's perspective was AWFUL..not awesome but sad and bad.  But the day is also about family!

Gigi, Bruce, Abby and Andi hosted a great Thanksgiving dinner.  Phil's sister, Kerry and Rick, Bruce's Mom, Dad, sister and 2 daughters also joined us.   Delicious yummy food.
Abby and Andi and their cousins.

Rick with a sleeping Oliver, Abby's new kitten.  
He usually was a spiral of energy.  Going and going and going.

We stayed overnight at Kerry and Rick's…out in the country  Since it is deer hunting season their dog, Bentley was limited in going outside.  He's a big dog and the color to be confused for a deer.

On the road again Friday Nov. 29 Phil, Kerry and I went to the Generations Antique, a thrift and consignment store in Merrill.
 We visited this store because it is where Phil's Dad had a shoe store.  It was interesting to see the store and also all the items for sale.  It was like visiting a museum.
An interesting item was 10 foot skis.    The owner of the store wonders about the story behind them.
Friday evening in Wisconsin is "Fish Fry."  Randi and Paul also joined us for the continuing of the family weekend get together.  Can you see me in the background?

On the road again Saturday Nov. 30.

Special order bar stools.  A local guy made the medal frames for Rick. 
Rick used wood from his land for the backs and seats.
Randi and Paul went with Rick on his land to get Christmas trees.
Phil and I went to 4 pm Mass at St. Francis.

 When traveling I take pictures of the Stations of the Cross.
 Apparently done by the school children.  How impressive.
Back to Kerry and Rick's.
for the wonderful meal the nieces, Randi, Abby and Andi made.  Everything was DELICIOUS.
 On the road again Sunday Dec. 1 driving home.  We stopped in Madison to have lunch with our brother-in-law, Dick, my sister, Bev and her husband, Tom.