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Showing posts from September, 2010

Decorah IA

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We are in Decorah this week. I haven’t written anything partly because we have been busy. This is a beautiful little town in NE Iowa  and if you have never visited I encourage you to. It is the home of Luther college. This is a small private Lutheran college and it is where my youngest attends as a senior. This little town is of Norwegian American  heritage and houses the Vesterhiem museum which is the premier Norwegian American museum in the USA. The King of Norway has visited several times and you will see several large Lutheran churches here as well as the college. We have visited the museum and for me it was a treat as my Mother’s family immigrated here from Norway and I have a Norwegian bible an catechism that were printed here in Decorah.

 We have been here many times and never tire of it. It is a beautiful town set next to the Upper Iowa River. This river is a haven for canoeists and those who like to float in a tube.  The river is very picturesque with cliffs along the side wit…

"Cramping" my style

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Well it is 4 am and hear I am on the computer. Am I crazy? Probably a little but I am up because I pulled a muscle in my rib area that is making it hard to sleep comfortably. I am a side sleeper and the only way I can lay down without pain is on my back. That worked for 4-5 hours but then I was up and there was no getting comfortable. I'd love to tell a good story about how I was working so hard or doing something terribly physical but no I was just getting out of cousin Shelila's car at farmer's market and twisted the wrong way. Bummer!


I still wanted to do farmer's market so I decided to suck it up and keep going. The Madison Farmer's Market on the square is awesome. The inside of the square are all food and produce vendors and the outside of the square are the art vendors. The produce was fabulous and with Shelia as a guide you can't go wrong. Shelia likes to cook and is a regular at the market. Many of the vendors know her by name. I went a little overboard …

Christmas Plans

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While John was working on more projects here I was working on our Christmas plans. We have the boys flying into Las Vegas to join us. We checked into using our family (inherited from my dad) timeshare but with location upgrade and time of year our free week would be $400. Decided instead to go with the first idea we had which is to pick the guys up and stay on the strip for two nights, rooms at the Flamingo are just $40 a night. Take in one show and a nice restaurant then leave Vegas for more active pursuits. Luckily I have boys who do like to hike and be outside.


I stumbled on an RV resort that really appealed to John and I and have a great Snowbird rate if you plan ahead. The resort is the Zion River Resort and Campground. It is in Virgin UT and after reading lots of reviews and talking with the manager about the weather and hiking opportunities at Zion National Park this time of year we decided it was a good fit for us. We reserved the month of December in a back-in site along the r…

TV & IPad

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The weather has kept us from riding bikes here so we have been working on projects. We have a wonderful flat screen TV in our 5th Wheel home but it is directly mounted to the wall and cannot be swiveled to the direction we are sitting. So at the Escapade John found a wonderful wall mount at the Mor-Ryde booth that will allow us to move the TV but also locks into place for moving. Like most things Mor-Ryde makes it is pretty beefy, a real plus in John's book. So John had a project and I was the assistant (mainly holding things). He got it done without even visiting the hardware store. Amazing. So here are a couple photos of our home improvement project.



He is a handy guy to have around.
After that project we were both cruising the web. I had out the Macbook and John was on the old Alienware laptop. The Alienware was actually a good computer for us. It had some issues the last couple of years but it is almost 6 years old, ancient in computer years. Well it finally died. Earlier this y…

Thanks for the support

I  just wanted to make a quick post to thank all our followers and for all the kind comments on that last post. I think Gypsy G-mas had it right sometimes we know how we should do things but learning the hard way is human nature. After we relaxed a little, that and a few projects around the rig are all we have done since arriving here, we see things a little clearer and will go back to the plan. Today is Sunday and we have a plan for our move. We don't have to be out of here until 4 so we are going to drive into Madison and check the campground to see if some spaces have opened. If one is open for a week then we will stay for a week but if not we will try for 3 days and move to Decorah IA on Wednesday.  We know the Decorah area well so have several places we can check and it is within our driving distance so not a long drive. 


I have updated reviews on Notes from the Flamingo so if you think you'll be in this area they might be helpful I am doing them for us as I know if I don&…

End of Escapade and crazy travel day

The Escapade is over and we packed up our stuff to move on. One last task was to have our rig weighed. Thursday they weighed the truck by itself and today on the way out the whole thing gets weighed. John has fretted about the weight of our trailer and truck combination from the start. Don't want to be in the position of too little truck for the trailer we are pulling. Well, good news we are under on all of the parameters. The axel weights were good, our balance from side to side and front to back was good, pin weight was good. We get the final report in a few weeks but it was good to know all our purging of "stuff" was worth it. It even leaves room for the batteries and solar panels John intends to add one of these days.


So we left Goshen and headed towards Wisconsin. Now we are traveling on a Friday which we said we wouldn't do and for good reason (the reason is forthcoming). Well, we tried to miss most of Chicago by going on I80 and that was good. Now we were told …

Escapade Overload, Shipshiwana, and Big Trucks

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It is the 4th day of the Escapade and we re already exhausted. We did get to sleep in this morning as today there were no seminars. In the past 2 days we have gone to seminars on Basic RV systems, Driving basics, Fire Safety, Weight safety, a full timers panel discussion and RVing in the Southwest USA. Now it is almost system overload and we aren't quite through yet. One more day of seminars and a big party tomorrow night. Friday we leave but not until we get the whole rig weighed wheel by wheel, and that includes the truck.  That is a lot for one week. Man, I need a nap!
Today was kind of a free day, there were things going on but nothing that really trips our trigger so we took off to the post office and for Shipshiwana. Shipshiwana is a little town in the middle of Amish country. Buggies galore and the traffic was crazy. I was just looking for fresh produce but we ended up in the middle of a huge flea market. When you live in a space as small as ours it makes you look at shoppin…

Meeting our Mentors

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We arrived at the Elkhart County Fairground in Goshen yesterday for the 50th Escapade. This is a very large rally put on by the Escapees RV club that we joined. I have never seen so many RVs in one spot. All makes and models. John did a good job of listening to the parking crew as he got us parked in the tightest spot we’ve ever had to get into. We are packed tight enough that if we opened our window and the neighbors opened theirs we could shake hands. This is the first FHU (full hook up site) we have used. We had one the night before at the Elkhart Campground but we used so little of the tank we didn’t need to dump before coming here. John finds out we are missing a part we need for the sewer connection. With the help of a neighbor Carol, who has been full timing for 16 years we got it all figured out with an extra coupler she had that she lent us. So two learning experiences before the seminars even began. Today was the opening ceremony and we are meeting lots of people. We went to …

A much better day

Well we took our time today since we knew Elkhart was a short drive. Got our workout in and showers before packing up and leaving. I think we are both ok with moving even if is for only one day. We drove up on IN 5 to try and miss some of the construction and the nice part is it took us through Shipshiwana. I've read about this Amish area but have never visited. We have Amish communities just south of us in Iowa at Kalona and there are Amish in both the Decorah IA area and southern Minnesota which we are through from time to time so I find that a more normal occurrence then some might. We treat many Amish families in the Iowa Dental School also. I have to say though I was very impressed with what we saw. Many of the farms were right along the highway, we saw many buggies and even a team of horses taking some harvesting equipment to the field. In one field we watched as they were harvesting corn. It is definitely different from the huge combines we see routinely in Iowa. We really …

Illinois to Indiana

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We had a great day Wednesday. Started out with a workout, today’s was upper body so we decided to make our lower body workout on the bikes. The bike trail in the park is beautiful and we rode the length and back which according to the trail markers is suppose to be 10 miles so that would put us at a 20 mile bike ride which is a great length (not too short,not too long). Our campground was about 4miles from one trail head so we went that direction first. I should also mention that it was a perfect day. It was sunny and about 70 degrees,low humidity and a slight breeze - I don’t think it gets any better than that. This end of the trail is limestone which is fine with us but if you ride it you need to watch out on the hills as they have had some washout and so there are a couple sandy areas that can throw you. It was mainly shaded with a couple significant hills. When we got to the 10 mile marker the trail went on further but we decided to turn around because we knew we wanted to make it…

Off we go!

We are at our first stop after leaving the Cedar Rapids area. We arrived yesterday at Kankaee River State Park in eastern Illinois. It is a heavily wooded park with electric only. The sites are fairly private but the loops are pretty tight and in fact getting out of our loop tomorrow could be interesting the last turn is a doozy! One of the really nice things in this park is there is a 10 mile paved bike trail. We road part of it yesterday and plan to ride the whole length and back today. Tomorrow we take off for a park in Indiana nearer to Goshen. We are due into the Escapees rally on Saturday. I'm sitting in a Starbucks in Boubonaise Il. Our signal at the park is pretty weak so I will upload some photos later. Till then --Happy Trails!

Brady & Biking

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This week one of our hockey sons was back in town. Brady lived with us his senior year of high school while he played for the USHL hockey team the Roughriders. Then he went off to UMD for 2 years but was unhappy with his hockey situation there. Long story short he is back with the Roughriders for another year and hoping to find a college team that will be a better fit for him. Brady is a very good goalie and is glad to be back on a team he loves and with a coach he respects. On Saturday we met him after practice and took him to lunch. He is such a great kid and to us he will always be one of our kids. He gets a new hockey mom this year but I know she will take good care of him. We will miss getting to see him play, luckily the team has an audio feed of the game we can listen to online. For those of you from Cedar Rapids  we hope you will go to a few games and cheer him on for us.




Today was a beautiful day here until the last few minutes, now we are having another storm, the trailer is …

Kickin' back

Well as the week has moved on we are getting more in the swing of this retirement thing. John has decided to let his hair grow (maybe even long enough for a pony tail) and to grow a beard. Right now he looks like a homeless guy, pretty scruffy. I'm kind of excited about the beard, he had one when we met and it doesn't take him long to grow one. Someday I'll get him to write the story about how he shaved it off the morning of the wedding. I'd never seen him clean shaven and it was quite a shock. But that's another story.


For me it is a bit opposite. I polished my nails! As a dental hygienist I was never able to let my nails grow or wear any nail polish so doing my nails was a little celebration. I'm enjoying it but we will see how long that lasts. A very special friend of ours, Amanda, is into hair and fashion. She came to the party bearing gifts to keep us beautiful. She actually brought a bag full of hair and nail goodies for me and one of hair and shaving prod…

We forgot?

In all this madness of getting ready to leave, parties, etc., I was sitting at the computer on Tuesday night and my phone alerted me with a reminder. I looked at the phone and there it is September 1st, Janie and John's anniversary. I just started laughing, of course John wanted to know what I was laughing about. "Well it is September 1st, our anniversary, did you remember?" John being the honest guy that he is says"No" and acts a little embarrassed. Thats when I really started laughing cause guess what honey - neither did I!!   I guess we are getting old.
So Happy Anniversary to my Sweetie. The best decision I ever made was 26 years ago on September 1st. He once gave me a card that said "Get old along with me, the best is yet to be". And so it is.