Thursday, September 30, 2010

For A Reason

This morning we were up and ready to pull out of the campground, when to our surprise, the rear jacks would not retract.  Mark tried to reset them several times without success.  He then made a call to the Tiffin Service Center.  The techs gave him instructions and with Jim's help they were able to manually retract the jacks using a drill motor.  However, this meant that we would not be heading west on I-20 to Texas, but rather back up I-65N to Red Bay.  Thank goodness, we were only 120 miles away.

Well, with jacks, up and engine running, we had our "see you later hugs" from Jim and Ellie and we were on our way to Red Bay.  We arrived there a little after noon and checked in with the campground office.  We found a parking spot out back of service bay 39.  Mark found Jimmy, the service scheduler, and he said he would do all he could to get us taken care of today.  So, I decided that while Mark was taking care of the service issue, I would take off and do laundry.  Soon, he came to report that the motor home was in the service bay and we would soon have two new rear jacks.  Great, I am almost finished with the laundry!

Once the work was complete, Mark went to check out and praise God, the jacks were covered under warranty by just a few days.

We then checked out of the campground office and found ourselves pulling out of Red Bay by mid afternoon with a little different plan than we had this morning.  We decided that we would go up to Tunica for a night or two which is only 180 miles from Red Bay rather than drive the 300 miles to Vicksburg.  It seemed like a plan to me...I mean we can be in Tunica in time to have dinner at Hurrahs with Paula Deen or settled in to watch the A&M/OSU football game.  And, even though this was not the original plan, we will still plan to be in Texas over the weekend.

Now, as we look back as to how our day played out, we do not question why the jacks would not retract...there was a reason.  Yes, we are taking a little different direction to get to Texas, but we do not question that either, there is a reason.  We are thankful that the jack issue was no bigger than it was, and it was fixed without too much effort.  We are back on the road and looking forward to a couple of  fun days in Tunica...Life Is Good and we are blessed!

And...for a reason our day has worked out even though it wasn't our plan!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Look Ahead...

The motor home did well in Red Bay.  All repairs were accomplished in record time.  We have a new window, a great new and upgraded radio and a new antenna.  We also had the year end regular maintenance know, oil changed, etc.

Wish I could say the same about my computer.  It still doesn't work.  Mark and I are sharing well, but using his computer for writing blogs is a little difficult for me, so you are are getting only pictures.  I still don't know if my computer can be fixed or if it will be replaced.  My nephew will be checking it out when we get to Texas.  However, just in case it can't be fixed, I have been shopping at Best Buy and have my eye on a new one!  So, soon, one way or the other, I will be back to my regular postings with pictures included.

After leaving Red Bay last Sunday, we traveled to Birmingham.  We have been here all week and have had a great time visiting with my brother and family.  Also, Jim and Ellie have been here in the same campground while their car is undergoing a few repairs.  Sorry, about the car, but, we have enjoyed spending a little extra time with them in between visits with family.

Our time here has come to an end and tomorrow which is Thursday, we will be packing up and making our way to Texas.  We have a planned stop in Vicksburg and maybe one Shreveport before arriving in Fort Worth on Saturday.  We are looking forward to spending time with our moms, kids, and grand kids for the next few weeks.

After visits, doctor appointments, and a little other business, we will plan to go on to the Rio Grande Valley the later part of October or the first of November.   We want to get the coach house open and get a little work done before we go back to Fort Worth for the holidays.  Then, after Christmas, we will go back to the RGV where we will spend a few months in hopes that the weather will be warmer than last winter!

We have had a absolute great summer and fall, and now, we look ahead to the winter and spending time with family in Texas and our extended family at Retama Village.  I am sure there will be lots of adventures with both.

Hopefully by the next time I post, I will be back to my own computer, programs, and pictures!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Need A Fix

Just to let everyone know that we arrived safely in Red Bay.  We will be here for about a week.  We are scheduled to get into a service bay by the end of the week.  Afterwards, we will be waiting our turn to get that once a year oil change.  Once all of that is taken care of, we are looking forward to a stop in Birmingham to visit with my brother and his family.

Not only does the motor home need a fix or two, so does my computer.  Since Mark's computer doesn't have all those little extra blogging features that I am use to, I will probably keep my posting to a minimum.

So, for now, we are just sitting in Camp Red Bay waiting on all the needed fixes!

Friday, September 17, 2010

What's Next?

Now, that almost 800

50th Escapade 2010 099

RVs have pulled out of the fairgrounds, the wifi might be fast enough to post a blog.

Yes, today all that is left of the

50th Escapade 2010 095

50th Escapade is a little clean up.

But, let's back up a couple of days.  We continued to learn from the seminars.  One that I especially liked was "Photo Story", put on by Chris and Jim of Geeks On Tour.  I can't wait to give it a try.

We did our share of shopping in the Market where we were introduced to some great products.  My newest favorite toy might be the "Click Free", a computer backup,  from TechnoRV.

And, of course, the fun and activities continued all week.  There was the

50th Escapade 2010 015

parade of Chapters and BOF's.  In addition,

50th Escapade 2010 018

the pets had their own parade.

There was always time to stop for

50th Escapade 2010 002

a visit with a friend or two.

There has been a nasty stomach bug running around the park this week.  We have all tried to be really careful.  So, some resorted to

50th Escapade 2010 006

virtual hugs.

We were sad to tell

50th Escapade 2010 023

Paul and Connie "bye" a day early.  But, we look forward to seeing them down the road.  Then, yesterday, all too soon, it was time to gather

50th Escapade 2010 047

for the closing ceremonies where there would be many "good-bye's".

As soon as

50th Escapade 2010 060

Cathy finished with this year's business, she introduced

50th Escapade 2010 068

Bob and Molly as next year's Escapade Directors.  Congratulations you will be great!

Next on the agenda was the farewell picnic with entertainment by

50th Escapade 2010 089

Melissa and Larry of "One More Time".

Wow...what a great week this has been!

So...what's next?

A few of us decided to hang out here at the fair grounds for a couple of extra days.  So, tonight, we decided on an after rally "Happy Hour".

Tomorrow, maybe the Apple Festival, or a little shopping might be in order.

Sunday, Mark and I plan to head South.  Our destination...Alabama.  There we will be a stop by Red Bay and then on to Birmingham for a visit with my brother and his family.

Then, it will be time to turn West and set the GPS for Texas.  It is past time for grandkid hugs.  We are looking forward to spending time with them before heading South for the winter.

As always, thanks for stopping by to visit.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Live, Love, Laugh!

These last few days we have been blessed with beautiful weather and we have taken full advantage of it.

We are up and out early every morning.  My line dancing class starts at 7:45 and I then choose to stay for the advanced class at 9:45.  So for 2 plus hours I dance.  Sometimes I get the steps right and sometimes I don't.  I sometimes get my twinkles mixed up in my boxes and wonder if I am suppose to be doing a cha, cha, cha, or a vine or a weave...but whatever it is, I am having a blast.

And, while I am line dancing, Mark

50th Escapade 2010 029

is off driving the tram around the park.

When we aren't dancing and driving, we are attending classes.  Yesterday, we enjoyed watching

50th Escapade 2010 002

Carol and Dennis show us how to properly

50th Escapade 2010 003

back an RV.

We also enjoyed a lunch break with

50th Escapade 2010 001

the gang.  Howard and Linda joined us for the day.

Mark and I were also on a panel with Howard and Linda, and several others.  Our topic was full-timing.

We had a great time.  It is interesting to hear how and why others fulltime.  But, bottom line, there is no right or wrong answer.  Just enjoy the freedom and do what is right for you!

While the guys are all off learning about electrical systems, the girls are having fun

50th Escapade 2010 031

learning how to make greeting cards.

Then there are the Happy Hours.  This is an hour of the day that is scheduled for everyone to attend.

It is the time for

50th Escapade 2010 008 

staff to make announcements and/or changes to the program for the next day.

There are

50th Escapade 2010 058

lots of door prizes each day.

And, then there is entertainment...and today, I was part of the skit...Carol, Marlene, and myself put on

50th Escapade 2010 038

panty hose and we had a team of four that tried to stuff as many balloons as possible into them!  What was I thinking?

Well, soon all the fun was over and

50th Escapade 2010 053

Carol was the winner and was crowned Queen.  Marlene and I were shared the title of princess!

  Oh, me...maybe we never grow up...but, I guess no matter what your is best to

50th Escapade 2010 028

Live, Love, and Laugh!

And, if you haven't figured it out...yes, we are having a great time in Goshen!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Off and Running

On Friday,

50th Escapade 2010 001

we paraded out of the Elkhart Campground in Elkhart and headed to the

50th Escapade 2010 003

Elkhart Fairgrounds 12 miles away in Goshen.

Once we arrived at the fairgounds, we were

50th Escapade 2010 008

greeted by the parking committee as we were directed to

50th Escapade 2010 009

our parking sites.


50th Escapade 2010 011

is giving Mark a few directions.

It was at this point that we had a little glitch in the plan.  Before Mac could get set up in his site, he began to have trouble with his breathing.  We felt the need to call 911.  The fire department and ambulance came and took him to the hospital.  Lynette rode in the ambulance.  Arlene and I followed in our car.

The ER doctors did some test and decided that he had was retaining fluid around his heart.  With some medication, they felt that he would do fine and could be released that same day.  He is back at the campground and doing well.

Yesterday, we woke to rain that stayed with us for the majority of the day.  However, with rain jackets and umbrellas, we were

50th Escapade 2010 016

out and about around the fairgrounds.  There was plenty to keep us busy indoors with

50th Escapade 2010 018

tee shirts to buy and

50th Escapade 2010 017

volunteer positions just waiting to be filled.

Then there was the

50th Escapade 2010 019

indoor market with lots of vendors selling their wares.

Mark and I also made a trip over to Shipshewana to the the E&S Sales, the bulk food market.  We found several items we thought we needed.  On the way back to Goshen, we made a quick stop at Walmart and then headed to the campground to settle in for the evening.

This morning, we were glad to wake up to what promised to be a beautiful day.  We had time this morning to walk around the fairgrounds and stop along the way visiting with lots of new friends.

We located most of the buildings that we will be using this week.  I thought this one deserved a laugh...the

50th Escapade 2010 015

swine pavilion is being used for the "get fit" program.  This is were we will have our line dancing class.

This afternoon, we gathered in the Commercial Building for

50th Escapade 2010 027

Orientation and Opening Ceremonies.

After lots of introductions, an overview of the week and the Escapades Oath, we were dismissed and the 50th Escapade was officially underway.

Tonight, the Class of 2007 sponsored a Happy Hour/Visitation time.  And, yes, there was lots of

50th Escapade 2010 035

food, fellowship, and fun.

We even adopted

50th Escapade 2010 058

Darrell, Judy, Linda, and Howard into the class!

Tonight's entertainment also included a concert by Johnny Counterfit.  Johnny was selected as a top comedian of the the year by Music City News.  He does more than 25 voice-character impressions.  Very entertaining.

And, and with the close of this day, we are off and running to a full week of classes and fun.

We are looking forward to you tagging along with us.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Picking Up and Packing Up

Last night, sixteen

Gypsy Journal Rally 2010 029

of us had dinner at the

Gypsy Journal Rally 2010 030

home of Levi and Ester Miller.  This Amish couple prepares and serves dinner in their home.  They do this 3 to 4 times a week.

We were all invited into the house and

Amish Dinner

seated at a big table.

  Levi blessed the food in his German language.  Then both he and Ester started bringing out the food.  It was served family style.

  Our meal started with a cabbage salad, bread, butter and jams.  It was followed with mashed potatoes, chicken dressing, noodles, green beans, pot roast and gravy, and baked chicken.  Oh, yes, and more bread.  Just, when you thought you were finished, Ester was back, passing around more of the same.  And, just when you thought you could not take one more bite, she was back serving you a choice of Apple, Raspberry Cream, Chocolate, or Coconut Pie, and ice cream with chocolate sauce.

Wow...what a treat.  After dinner, we had the opportunity to purchase homemade jams and cookbooks.  Levi also had homegrown tomatoes and peppers for our taking.

We also enjoyed a tour of his garage where he keeps the

Gypsy Journal Rally 2010 026

buggies and wagons.

Molly and Donna pretended they

Gypsy Journal Rally 2010 027

they were taking a ride...Jim

Gypsy Journal Rally 2010 028

pretended he was the horse.

Such a lovely couple, a beautiful simple home,  and an evening we won't soon forget.

We woke this morning to what is our last day here at the Elkhart Campground.  So, everyone has been busy picking up and packing up for tomorrow's trip to the Elkhart Fairgrounds in Goshen.  However, we could not leave here without

Gypsy Journal Rally 2010 037

one last Happy Hour/Visitation time.  And, we were even surprised by the early arrival of

Gypsy Journal Rally 2010 039

Jenny and Don.  Glad you guys finally got here!

So, with the gang all gathered together, tomorrow, we will make the big 12 mile trip to Goshen and patiently await the official opening of the 50th Escapades Rally on Sunday.

And with that will come lots more food, fun, and friends!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Catching Up...One More Time!

Just because Nick's Rally ended certainly didn't mean that the fun ended.  On Saturday, we met everyone in Goshen for

Gypsy Journal Rally 2010 002

breakfast at the Lux Cafe.  Then we headed over to the fairgrounds for an

Gypsy Journal Rally 2010 004

Amish Auction.  Since they don't like to have their pictures taken, you will just have to take my word that there was lots of stuff, even

Gypsy Journal Rally 2010 009

trees and shrubs!

While the guys were sifting through all that stuff, Molly, Karen, Donna, and I took a trip out to the

Gypsy Journal Rally 2010 007

home of the Miller's.  This is an Amish Family who open their home for tours and dinners.  We have scheduled a dinner for the gang tonight.  So, I will have more about that later.

Once we were back in Goshen, Karen and I gathered Mark and Donnie and headed for Elkhart.

The weather has been considerably cooler this week, so we thought a

Gypsy Journal Rally 2010 013

soup night would be good.

  There was Taco Soup, Potato Soup, White Chicken Chili, and Amish Noodles and Chicken.  To go along with the soup, there was all sorts of great breads.  And, of course, there was dessert!

Once it was ready, you only had to tell

Gypsy Journal Rally 2010 016

this crowd once that dinner was ready.

After dinner, we enjoyed a game or two of Hand and Foot.

Yesterday, we were up early and off to Michigan City, Indiana which is about 50 miles west of Elkhart.  First stop was at the Visitor Center of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.  I got my official passport stamp and sticker.  The ranger gave us a map and instructions for getting to

Gypsy Journal Rally 2010 019

a back road that would lead us to

Gypsy Journal Rally 2010 018

the only stretch of lake road.

Mark found a turnout where we could park and walk

Gypsy Journal Rally 2010 035

walk down to the beach.

Gypsy Journal Rally 2010 043

Lake Michigan is like looking out across the ocean.

The ranger told to be sure to stop at

Gypsy Journal Rally 2010 053

Mt. Baldy.

We decided to take the

Gypsy Journal Rally 2010 058

beach trail rather than the

Gypsy Journal Rally 2010 056

summit trail.

We made it to the

Gypsy Journal Rally 2010 065

beach where we enjoyed a walk along the water.  But, I couldn't resist a hike up the

Gypsy Journal Rally 2010 076

dunes.  Walking in the shifting sand

Mt Baldy 

was a real workout.

Then it was on to Michigan City where we found

Gypsy Journal Rally 2010 104 a lighthouse...can't pass up that photo!

After leaving the Lake Shore, we decided to make a stop by the

Gypsy Journal Rally 2010 109

Blue Chip Casino.  We had a lot of fun and played a few pennies before heading back to Elkhart.  By the time we arrived back at the campground, Jim and Dee, and Darrell and Judy had arrived.

After visiting with everyone for awhile,

Gypsy Journal Rally 2010 111

several of us decided to make a trip down to Chubby's for a fish sandwich before it was time for the evening card games to get started.

Today, we have all been puttering around, getting things a little organized for the move to Goshen on Friday.  We have really enjoyed our stay here at the Elkhart Campground, but we are looking forward to the move to Goshen.  The 50th Celebration of Escapades starts on Sunday.

  Nothing big was planned for today since we are going to the Miller's for dinner tonight.

  And, speaking of that, it is about time to start gathering everyone up to head that direction.  So, for now, that catches us more time!