Sunday, August 26, 2012

Wrapping up our Indiana time!

Last week our son Brandon flew in to Indianapolis to go to the MotoGP races. He has been going for several years and had a nice long weekend of spending time with friends and colleagues at Purdue. On Monday we drove Mom and Dad in MinnieMee to Indianapolis where we met Brandon and his friend Aaron at TGI Friday's restaurant near the airport. It was so good to see them and we enjoyed spending time with them.

We actually arrived a little early and the restaurant was not yet open, but the guys arrived a few minutes later and we all sat in the motorhome and talked. Later we walked into the restaurant and enjoyed a great lunch. I'm so glad we were able to spend this time, even though it was brief, because Mom and Dad don't get to see the kids as often as we do.

Aaron left and headed back home to Michigan and we took Brandon to the airport. We were able to drive right up to the departure deck since MinnieMee is so small and we dropped him off right in front of the doors. It was great to see you Brandon! Wished you would have had Megan with you!

We have been trying to pick up things over at the condo and get it ready to close up for the winter. Every year we have big plans to do more than we do there, but we are making a dent in it. Trying to de-clutter and remove all but essentials is not an easy task.

We spent one day this week over here at Phaeton Place. We have had a mouse at some point during our absence and I do not like opening drawers and seeing mouse droppings. So we removed everything from the bottom kitchen cabinets and washed everything clean, then cloroxed it. Then we washed all the dishes and put them back in. Ugh. What a job. We bought a couple glue traps just in case the mouse was still around, but nothing has shown up. We have moved Phaeton Place since we noticed the mouse trail, so I think maybe it is somewhere else!

Tomorrow we are headed to Ft. Wayne with Mom, Dad and Nita to sit in on Dad's routine cardiology appointment. It's the yearly check on his aneurysm and we anticipate it will go well. Afterwards Terry and I plan on going to visit a colleague of mine from my teaching days. They live in Ft. Wayne now and are always asking us to come visit.

Next weekend Jocelyn and crew will be here. They are coming up for the week and plan to visit with Mom and Dad so they can see the baby. Mom can't wait to get her hands on her and neither can I! She is such a sweetie. I have to bring some toys up from the basement per Ronan so he can play in the living room.

Not much else is happening. We put MinnieMee in storage later and we will be heading out the middle of September. It will be a busy fall/winter.

Till next time. . .


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Time to go . . .

I really didn't want to leave my grandbabies, but our time there was up and we had to move on.

We spent all day yesterday at the house with the kids. Late in the afternoon, they wanted to run some errands, so Terry and I took Ronan to the sprayground. What fun! We were there for two hours and he really enjoyed it. He even stood under the water dump. It was a warm day and it was refreshing for him to play in the water.

Later in the evening they all came out to the camp and we had a campfire and roasted marshmallows. I got to hold wee girlie again. She is so perfect. She actually is five months old, but she was born at 28 weeks and only weighed 2 lbs. 12 oz. So in reality, she is an "adjusted age" of 2 months, 10 days. She's such a good baby and Ronan really loves her as well, along with Whiskey the poodle.

We will see them again when they visit in September.

Till next time. . .


Friday, August 10, 2012

I just can't get enough. . .


Our second day here with them resulted in more holding, burping, cooing, and playing trains! Some with Aenea and some with Ronan. Tonight we are hoping to take the trailer to their storage unit and get it unloaded.

Tomorrow will be more time with the grand ones, then we will be headed back to Indiana on Sunday to return the trailer and check in on the apartments. We won't drive it all in one day, so it will be leisurely.

Till next time. . .


Thursday, August 09, 2012

Travel days. . .

We continued on our way Tuesday and are happy to say that our fuel pump problems are apparently solved. No more problems and MinnieMee has performed admirably.

One place Terry has always talked about since his travel days with his company was Seneca Rocks. He would find himself in this area of West Virginia covering sales territory with one of his dealers. He was impressed by the rock formations and has always talked about taking me there someday. Well, someday arrived and we drove across West Virginia to see them. They are impressive. We spent some time gazing at the interesting rocks which jut out of the mountain. We walked around a bit studying the displays of history in the area and took lots of pictures. They we continued on our way toward Virginia. Seneca rocks is probably the most famous of the rocks in the area, but there are other rock formations that are impressive as well and you can see these as you drive north to Petersburg.

 We decided that we would take a detour at this point and head north. We have an extra day to get to C-ville because Tom had a work day in D.C., so we decided to do something we always wanted to do but never did. We entered the Shenandoah National Park and drove the Skyline Drive from Front Royal all the way to Rockfish Gap. It is 105 miles and a lovely drive along the ridge of the mountains. It is too far to go when we are visiting the kids and we always have Phaeton Place, which would probably not fit under the tunnel at the 32 mile marker, so we had never been on the northern part. So this was a treat.

We had just got into the park and saw a black bear lumber across the road in front of us! What a treat! We have never seen one in the wild and it was something special. It happened so quickly that I didn't get a picture, but it was exciting just the same. We drove along and I think we stopped at every pullout to look at the scenery. We did this north of Big Meadow, but after that, most of the overlooks were closed for resurfacing. We have been on that portion of it anyway, so we didn't spend a lot of time at the few that were open. It was a sunny day, but it was hazy in the valleys, so it was hard to get crisp, clear shots. It is still interesting to see the "layers" of mountains which are different shades. Looking out across the mountains looks as idyllic as a painting.  This was really a special treat and something I have wanted to do for a long time.

Yesterday afternoon we arrived at the Charlottesville KOA and have our regular spot which is more than adequate. We have room for the trailer and a nice spot to move in and out of, since we will be doing that with MinnieMee.

Today we went to see the kids and I got a good fix of Aenea and Ronan. They are both so cute and sweet. Aenea is a very healthy baby, actually 5 months old, but in reality more like a 2 month old because she was born so early. She is doing well and developing normally which is wonderful. Ronan loves her and she watches her big brother. When he touches her she gets all excited and grins and kicks her little arms and legs. We are looking forward to more time with them before we leave here on Sunday.

Till next time. . .


Headed to Charlottesville!

We were in Goshen about a week, then left for Charlottesville to visit the kids. We haven't seen the baby since April and she is now about 5 months old, but 2 months, xdays adjusted. That's because she was a preemie, born at 28 weeks, so you really can't expect her to look/act like a 5-month old. . . her age is closer to that of a 2-month old. She is doing great and is so cute, just like Ronan. We can't wait to see them both!

We spent a couple days finishing the packing of Jocelyn's stored items. We retrieved the enclosed trailer from my sister's place and got it ready to roll. Terry swapped out the tires for the ones stored inside it, as they looked better for the long haul from Indiana to Virginia. We washed it and loaded it with 22 bins of "stuff."

We took off on Thursday morning and enjoyed a carefree drive to Logan, Ohio. We decided to take US 33 which is a different route for us. Terry wanted me to see the beauty of West Virginia and we never take certain roads there because of the size of Phaeton Place. MinnieMee, our Class B+ is much more suited to making that drive.

At Logan, Ohio, MinnieMee suffered a collapse of sorts. Everything just quit. I steered to the shoulder of the road. Terry got out and found the battery cables loose, so he tightened them and we were on our way. A short distance down the road, it happened again and we knew we were in for some serious diagnostics. As we pulled over once again, we tried and were able to get her running again. We both recalled our Class A Intruder with fuel pump issues and we knew this was probably a similar problem. We had the coach totally checked out and everything that could be changed was just before we started traveling with her. But our mechanic told us he didn't change the fuel filter because it was in the tank. No matter, we probably would not have approved that expense since it was working. . . but not now. We limped, with MinnieMee coughing, sputtering, and protesting all the way into a tire store.

The people at Cherry's Tire could not have been more accommodating. They could not work on her, but they told us where to go and who to call and supplied me with names and phone numbers. We got a wrecker owner to come down the road to us (at least everything we needed was a mile in either direction) and he checked for an external fuel filter. There is none, but he suggested we let it cool down, then we could drive it a short distance. We stayed the night on the tire lot, then drove the next morning to Patton's Truck Service down the road. He diagnosed the fuel pump, ordered the part and said to have it there Monday morning. Not really what we wanted to hear, but certainly the earliest anyone could do anything. We were able to drive to a dumpy campground, the Logan Lake Campground, and stayed there for the weekend nice and cool and cozy inside MinnieMee. Monday morning we drove back to Patton's and they worked their magic. By 3:15 p.m. we were back on the road, four days late, but in good shape.

We drove to Roanoke, West Virginia, to the Stonewall Jackson State Resort Park. It is a lovely park, with a golf course and a lodge with fine dining. There is also a campground which was extremely nice. We got one of the last sites in the camp. We were right on the lake, but it was down a pretty steep cliff, so no walking along the shore! The next morning was so nice and cool I ate breakfast out on the picnic table.

Till next time. . .


Friday, August 03, 2012

Eerie Ontario!

We found ourselves camped on the shores of Lake Ontario one evening and we were in for a wild ride that night. We do always check the weather, but as you know, the weatherman doesn't know everything. We had a clue when the park ranger came around and gave us all pamphlets telling us bad weather was imminent. We noted the shower house across the road was concrete block construction, so we had a place to go if the going got rough.

Nothing was happening in the early evening and we sat out on the shores of the lake and read until it got dark. Later at about 2:15 a.m. the storm started. We were first awakened by what sounded like fireworks. I thought perhaps it was thunder associated with the lightening we could see across the lake, but it really didn't coincide with that. The thundering got really ominous, but we didn't get a lot of wind. It rained hard and the strange sounds continued. The next morning we found out the sound was created by "hail cannons." It is created by pressurizing oxyacetylene and igniting it in a long tube aimed up into the atmosphere. Although unproven as to its effectiveness, the idea is to disrupt the formation of hail in the atmosphere. The fruit farmers in the area use them to protect their crops. Interesting. The storm never got too bad and we were able to stay in the motorhome without any problem.

On our route from Vermont, we traveled along the "St. Lawrence Sea-Way" which follows the river along the border between the U.S. and Canada. The river was beautiful as we continued on our way. We eventually made it to Niagara Falls and spent a morning visiting the falls. We could not park the motorhome in the regular lot, but we drove over to Goat Island and parked there. We had plenty of room there and it was far better than staying on the mainland. We could walk between the American Falls and the Horseshoe Falls. We have been there before, but did not go to Goat Island. I think you see more there.

We made it back in time to prep for our next trip. We left yesterday and are headed to Charlottesville, Virginia to see the kids! Whoo hoo!

Till next time. . .