Sunday, December 27, 2015

2015-12-27 1st in a long time

We have been back in Florida since mid-October with lots to do, and no ambition to write a blog.

There have been visits to doctors and dentists as well as family and friends. We were able to spend Thanksgiving at Marilyn’s cousin’s, Paul Gifford and his wife Peg’s home.  Our son Doug joined us along with Paul’s daughter, Karen, and her two sons. Ken and Alice Miller were there also. 2015-11-26 Alice Karen Marilyn Peg2015-11-26 Anthony carves Joe in background2015-11-26 Doug Forbes2015-11-26 flowers for Peg 1130150948c2015-11-26 Larry Paul Joe2015-11-26 Marilyn Larry and Doug Forbes nov TG 20152015-11-26 TG dessert table 22015-11-26 TG table 32015-11-26 turkey number 12015-11-26TG table.

We had another wonderful visit and lunch with the 97 year old wife (Joan) of Marilyn’s 2nd cousin 1x removed. 20151215_133003.

Once again, we attended the Veterans’ Day ceremony at the Florida National Cemeter during our Escapees Chapter 57 Fall Rally.

In addition, there have been building projects. Phil Tobin helped me put a railing around the deck in front of our screen room.  And I built a set of steps to make it easier for Larry Jarvis to get into his motorhome.

We have had a wonderful Christmas at our son’s home in Columbus,GA. Our daughter, Bevely, and her boyfriend were able to make it another great family Christmas.IMG_6691IMG_6691-002IMG_6692

Hugs to All.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

2015-10-18 Sumter Oaks RV Park, Site 69, Bushnell, FL

It has been almost a month since we left our Daughter in Dayton OH. It was a great visit. We headed south on I-65 to Nashville, and then west to the Natchez Trace. We followed the trace south to Red Bay, AL.We parked in McKinney Campground on 9/26.  While in Red Bay, we had an oil change and lube job on the motorhome at Bay Diesel. Then Brannon Hutchinson added a new inverter, a door awning, and a couple of other small jobs. After leaving Red Bay on 9/29 we headed to Columbus, GA for a great visit with our son. After leaving Doug’s on the 4th, we drove to Hudson, FL to get our driver’s side window de-fogged.


We arrived at the Escapees Sumter Coast RV Park on the 7th of October. We plan to be here until April 2016. While here we have participated in the Sunday ice-cream socials, dine outs, and visited with our great friends here in the park.


Hugs, and Type at You Later.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

2015-09-20 Sunday. Dayton Tall Timbers KOA

We arrived here on Wednesday to visit our daughter, Beverly, and her boyfriend, Gene.


On the 8th, we drove to Hart, MI for the Escapees Chapter 6 rally. We met up with friends we had not seen for a long time, and made some new ones. We ate out well, had a lasagna dinner, had a potluck breakfast, and hitches pastries. Lee & Marsha Squires took us driving around the area including Little Au Sable Lighthouse. 2015-09-09 Little Au Sable Lighthouse2015-09-09 Little Au Sable Lighthouse. We did tour Country Dairy where they milk 1300 cows 3 times per day. They have a total herd of 2500. We did see a calf that was less than 2 hours old being licked by its mother. 2015-09-10 Country Dairy Tour.


After the rally, we drove to New Buffalo, MI on the 13th, where we had planned to visit Maureen Lubke. Before we had left the rally, Jimmie & Penny Hamann called and invited us to stay on his farm  It was a wonderful stay. We went to Casey’s the first night, and the second night, Penny fried Bass and Crappie for us. Great visit with Maureen, Jimmie & Penny.


We left New Buffalo on the 15th, and drove to Shipshewana, IN to visit Richard & Joan Micelli (our VCR parents). We even got to see Steve Masterson and his wife who were staying at the same campground.


Then, on Thursday, the 17th, we drove to Trotwood, OH. We went to dinner at Chappy’s with Gene and Bev. Last night, Amy, one of Bev’s college roommates who plays French horn for the Dayton Symphony, was able acquire comp tickets for us at the Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Theater for their performance of “American Mosaic”. Today, 15 of us went to lunch with Beverly’s boyfriend’s family, including cousins from Kansas. He has a delightful family.

Monday, September 7, 2015

2015-09-07–Labor Day–Whispering Pines Family CG, Mancelona, MI

Marilyn and I are enjoying our Labor Day weekend. We arrived here on Thursday. Then Friday we drove to Traverse City to get our first Sam’s Club shopping fix since California, a couple of months ago. We refilled Marilyn’s Rx’s at CVS (first CVS since California) and Wal-Mart.


Saturday we did cleanup work around the house. That evening, I checked my “Get Windows 10” App” sometime after 8pm, and learned that my Free Copy of Windows 10 was downloading in the background. By 10:30pm it was both downloaded and installed on my Microsoft Surface Pro 3. I went to bed, and waited until Sunday morning to begin playing with it. I have had no problems, and am starting to like it. Of course many things are in different places. Note that in order to download the Get Windows 10 App, you must sign up for a Microsoft Account, after which Microsoft will check out your computer for compatibility, and will schedule your download. Of course you can go to the Microsoft website and start your own download of Windows 10 without the compatibility check. We drove to Gaylord, MI for a Wal-Mart fix because our list had been forgotten on Friday. At least we had something to do. Back by 3pm, Marilyn finished getting our ribs ready for me to finish on the grill – delicious as always.


Today, Marilyn had some articles to write for the Chapter 57 newsletter, and I needed to send a treasurer’s report plus write a short blog.

Thursday, September 3, 2015


We left Sault Sainte Marie, Canada on the 30th of August, and drove across the bridge into the US at Sault Sainte Marie. Here are pictures from the bridge and the US Customs booths. 2015-08-30 International Bridge between Sault Ste Marie's2015-08-30 International Bridge between Sault Ste Marie's2015-08-30 International Bridge between Sault Ste Marie's2015-08-30 International Bridge between Sault Ste Marie's.


Tuesday, 09/01, We watched this freighter heading down river in front of the Aune-Osborn Campground first thing in the morning. 2015-09-01 Aune-Osborn CG Soo Locks.  After lunch we drove in to town in order to take the 1:30pm Soo Locks Boat Tour. 2015-09-02. We saw another freighter going up river. 2015-09-01 Soo Locks Tour. This is our little tour boat. 2015-09-01 Soo Locks Tour. We headed towards the American side locks. 2015-09-01 Soo Locks Tour2015-09-01 Soo Locks Tour2015-09-01 Soo Locks Tour. Along the way, we saw this Fake Lighthouse. 2015-09-01 Soo Locks Tour. On the up-river side of the locks, we went by the Canadian Algoma Steel Mill and its piles of Taconite, etc. 2015-09-01 Soo Locks Tour. The tour took us back down-river through the old Canadian side lock. 2015-09-01 Soo Locks Tour2015-09-01 Soo Locks Tour - Canadian Lock2015-09-01 Soo Locks Tour - Canadian Lock.


In the afternoon of 09/02 we went to both the Soo Lock’s Visitor Center and the Sault Ste. Marie Farmer's Market.  In The Visitor Center we saw “Two Ships Passing in The Daytime” through the locks.2015-09-02 Soo Locks' Visitor Center.


Today, 09/03, we moved south across the Mackinac Bridge to Whispering Pines RV Resort in Mancelona, MI. We will be for the Labor Day weekend. Of course we will find some lighthouses and shop at our first Sam’s Club since California.


Hugs, and Type at You Later.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

2015-08-29 Sault St Marie Ontario, Canada

We left Thunder Bay yesterday, the 28th, continuing east. We spent last night in Wawa, Ontario at the Wawa RV Resort. The this morning we moved to Glenview RV Park & Cottages in Sault St Marie, Ontario.


When we entered Canada, we changed our Verizon plan to get 100 voice minutes and unlimited text messages from Canada to the US and back. It worked great until we moved to Ontario, and were covered by the Thunder Bay Cell Phone Company. They must not have an agreement with Verizon because we were without voice and text from the 22nd to today. In addition, the Wi-Fi in the campgrounds we stayed in was lousy until today. We are happy to say we have phone service again, and tomorrow we will be in Michigan and Verizon service.


Hugs and type at you later.


Monday, the 25th, we drove through Thunder Bay, Ontario. Our first stop after the Visitor Center was to get a picture of the Thunder Bay Lighthouse. 2015-08-25 Thunder Bay Lighthouse2015-08-25 Thunder Bay Lighthouse. We continued through Thunder Bay to an Amethyst store to search for gifts. Next up was the Thunder Bay Museum. We were surprised to find out that the entrance fee was waived today.  The museum was a history of the area.  Unfortunately they did not include an explanation of the origin of the name Thunder Bay. We asked the clerk on our way out. He said maybe it was related to the name of a mountain that the Indians called Thunder. At any rate, he explained that a referendum was held in 1970 to merge the two towns Port Arthur and Fort William, towns that were founded in the late 1800s.


Today was the 26th, and we went to the recreation of Fort William. 2015-08-26 Fort William, Thunder Bay, Ontario2015-08-26 Fort William, Thunder Bay, Ontario. Our Metis (half Indian, and half French) guide told us that the year was actually 1816. 2015-08-26 Fort William, Thunder Bay, Ontario. She explained that Fort William was not a military outpost, but was a place for The North West Company to transact business. Its Voyageur an Indian trappers brought their furs to this headquarters to trade for personal goods and goods to be used to trade out west for Indian pelts. We were able to watch a re-created skirmish between members of the Hudson’s Bay Company an members of the North West Company. We did not partake, but for CD 5.00, you could paddle a Voyageur Canoe. If you are ever in the area and like re-creations, we highly recommend Fort William. 2015-08-26 Fort William, Thunder Bay, Ontario.


This morning, the 27th, we drove 30 kilometers west to view water flowing down rocks at Kakabeka Falls. We were told that it is the second largest falls in Ontario next to Niagara Falls. Niagara Falls is only 13 meters taller than Kakabeka. 2015-08-27 Kakabeka Falls2015-08-27 Kakabeka Falls2015-08-27 Kakabeka Falls. We drove back to the house for lunch, and then 30 kilometers east to see the Amethyst Mine Panorama. It is an open pit mine, and claims to be the largest amethyst mine on the continent. 2015-08-27 Amethyst Mine Panorama. When we started back home, Marilyn stooped to view Lake Superior from the high point of the road. The lake is too far away for a good picture. 2015-08-27 Amethyst Mine Panorama2015-08-27 Amethyst Mine Panorama view.


Hugs, and type at you later.

Monday, August 24, 2015

2015-08-24 Thunder Bay KOA, Ontario, Canada

We left the Winnipeg West KOA on 8/21, and continued traveling East, which took us to Ontario, Canada 2015-08-21 Entering Ontario, Canada. We spent our first two nights in Ontario in the town of Kenora. The third night we spent in Ignace. Then today, after entering the Eastern Time Zone for the first time since February 2015-08-24 Entering Eastern Time Zone, Ontario, Ca, we arrived in Thunder Bay Ontario, and will spend the next 4 nights here at the Thunder Bay KOA.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

2015-08-20 Winnipeg West KOA, in St. Francois Xavier, Manitoba

When I last wrote on 8/9, we were packing up to leave Cochrane, AB on Friday, 8/10. We have continued to move east, and are now just west of Winnipeg, MB. Here is a Google Map that shows our drive from Florida to here.

Screenshot (25). I found it interesting that Google only allows you to use points A through J to show your route on a map. I will have to figure out how to display the rest of the circle back to Florida. It may require more than one map.


After leaving Cochrane, AB, we moved to Drumheller, AB 2015-08-10 Atlas Coal Mine in Alberta Badlands, north and east of Calgary in order to see dinosaur bones and Canadian Badlands. There are statues of dinosaurs all over town, including these at the visitor center. 2015-08-10 Drumheller Visitor Center.  We visited a great museum, The Royal Tyrell Museum, which is full of dinosaur bone and skeletons. 2015-08-11 Royal Tyrrell Museum, Drumheller, AB. Driving around, we saw the Atlas Coal Mine 2015-08-10 Atlas Coal Mine in Alberta Badlands, and hoodoos in the badlands. 2015-08-10 Hoodoos in Alberta Badlands2015-08-10 Hoodoos in Alberta Badlands.


We left Drumheller on the 12th, spent one night in Maple Creek, SK, and arrived in White City, SK on the 13th, just outside of Regina, SK. In Regina, on the 14th, we toured the Capitol of Saskatchewan. 2015-08-14 SK Capitol in Regina. Note that the dome is being reconstructed. We also went to the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, which is their natural history museum. 2015-08-14 Royal SK Museum in Regina.  We had Marilyn’s birthday lunch at The Willows, across the lake from the Capitol. 2015-08-14 Birthday Lunch at The Willow, Regina, SK. One of the best museums in Regina is The Depot, where all Royal Canadian Mounted Police receive their 6 months basic training. DSC032072015-08-15 RCMP Heritage Museum, Regina, SK. In addition to seeing the normal artifacts in a museum, we were all given a golf cart tour of the grounds, and a re-enactment of the meeting between the RCMP and Sitting Bull. 2015-08-15 RCMP Heritage Museum, Regina, SK2015-08-15 RCMP Heritage Museum, Regina, SK2015-08-15 RCMP Heritage Museum, Regina, SK.


We left Regina behind us on the 16th, and with one night on the road move to St. Francois Xavier, MB. On our way east toward Winnipeg we saw a field that, from a distance, looked like they were growing thousands of marshmallows. As we drew near, they turned out to be round bales of hay covered in white plastic. We have ended up staying at the Winnipeg West KOA. Besides being a nice park, the price was very close to that of nearby parks. On Tuesday the 18th, we toured the Manitoba Provincial Capitol 2015-08-18 Legislative Building, Winnipeg, MB2015-08-18 Legislative Building, Winnipeg, MB2015-08-18 Legislative Building, Winnipeg, MB with its Bison mascot. We also toured the Royal Canadian Mint at Winnipeg. The loon 2015-08-18 Loon, Symbol on Toonie at Mint ended up on the Canadian Dollar Coin because the original die disappeared on its way to Winnipeg.  Wednesday, the 19th was our 48th wedding anniversary, so we opted to not do any sightseeing. We did go to Safeway for steak, shrimp and sparkling wine to celebrate with. Today, the 20th we drove to Steinbach, MB to see the Mennonite Heritage Village. Those settling in Manitoba came from Russia in the early 1900s. The museum has gathered buildings and farm equipment dating to their early days in Manitoba. 2015-08-20 Mennonite Heritage Village, Steinbach, MB2015-08-20 Mennonite Heritage Village, Steinbach, MB. We were surprised to find that they even have a section of the Berlin Wall. 2015-08-20 Mennonite Heritage Village, Steinbach, MB2015-08-20 Mennonite Heritage Village, Steinbach, MB.