Moving Day: Lodi, WI To Monona, WI

Sunday, April 23

A necessary evil

We didn’t have far to travel today…just 32 miles but we were up fairly early and pulling out of our site at 9:31 am.  We stopped at the dump station, which is smack dab in front of the office, and dumped the tanks before pulling out of Smokey Hollow Campground at 9:42 am.

We had a blessedly uneventful trip to Farm Lake Campground which is located in Monona, Wisconsin…a small suburb of Madison.  We arrived about 10:20 am and found that the park was nearly full but our site was vacant so we were able to pull right in!  Hooray!

We got set up in short time…Michael doing his outside chores and me rolling out the carpet inside.  We only have water and electric here so Michael didn’t have to mess with the sewer at all.   We’re here for 2 weeks so we’ll have to figure out what we’ll do about sewer…hitch up and pull the coach over to the dump station midway, buy a blue boy (not my first choice) or be really conservative and use the campground facilities as much as possible.  We’ll see…

Farm Lake Campground – Site 41. A very nice corner site.

By 11:30 am our chores were pretty much done and I had a snacky kind of lunch prepared for us to enjoy outside since it was so nice outside.

While we enjoyed our lunch, Michael tangled with the satellite as it did not want to cooperate…at all!  He fiddled with it for over an hour before we finally got any picture at all.  Once he got a picture (we only had one channel come in) he reset the receiver and the remainder of the channels came in perfectly!  Whew.
Mid-afternoon we headed into town (just a 2 mile drive!) and picked up a few items at Walmart and then headed over to Dan and Amanda’s (just a 20 minute drive!).  We spent the afternoon enjoying the beautiful weather outside, playing with the kids and visiting with Dan and Amanda.
We ate dinner together and played a game of Canasta before we called it a night and made the drive back to the campground, arriving about 9:00 pm.  I think we’ll really enjoy our stay here as the 20 minute drive is much nicer than the hour-long drive to Lodi.
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Our Stay at Smokey Hollow Campground

April 18-23

We moved back into our home on Tuesday.  We’d left the coach parked in front of Dan and Amanda’s home on Monday night, loaded it up and then all we had to do Tuesday morning was hop in the truck and hit the road.

Smokey Hollow Campground – Site 5

We moved to Smokey Hollow Campground in Lodi which is about 30ish miles north of Dan and Amanda’s.  However, the trip took about an hour as we drove through Verona, Madison and Lodi and then down several smaller roads before reaching our destination.

We knew that the office would most likely not be open and we’d have to do a self check in…which we did after we found a site and got set up.  We’d called and stopped in prior to coming so we had an idea as to where we could park.

We got settled into site 5, a pull through not far from the office.  We have no sewer and only 30 amp electric but we’re only here for 5 nights so it won’t be a problem.  Michael got the satellite set up and I worked on unpacking all the junk that we’d had at Dan and Amanda’s.

Internet and phone service are extremely limited so I will be creating this post in Word and then transferring to our blog when we get better service.

Everything you see is a seasonal camper and this is just a VERY small portion of the campground

We took a drive around the campground (it’s quite large) and found that nearly 90% of it is seasonal campers.  Right now there isn’t hardly anyone here so it’s fairly quiet but during the height of the season it’s gotta be crazy.  They have a man-made pond, several playgrounds, a bouncy thingie, several clubhouses, bike rentals, mineral panning…just to name a few of the activities.

The big bouncy thingie

They rent yurts, cabins, campers and a couple of park models.  The few actual overnight camping sites available are decent but only have 30 amp with no sewer.  Looking on the website it looks like there are quite a few of the park models and campers on the seasonal sites that are for sale.

With all that…I don’t think it’s a place we’d rush back to given the lack of internet.  And it would definitely not be our kind of place with all the hubbub that I’m sure goes on ‘in season’.

I asked Michael to take some pictures…all I got was of me falling!

The weather hasn’t been cooperating for us much…although these cold weather people around here think it’s plenty warm enough.  For us?  It’s been too chilly to do anything much outside and it doesn’t help that the sun hasn’t made much of an appearance either.

We’ve spent the last few days inside working on a couple of small chores but mostly test driving our new theater seat (I think I’m in love) while working on cleaning up our DVR.

I think we were both getting a bit stir crazy so when Michael mentioned that he needed to run into town to get something from the hardware store I jumped at the chance to go for a drive.

Dan and Amanda had fun too!

Michael had a case of the ‘Shakeys’ (you know…that thing that happens when your blood sugar seems to get a bit low and you need to find something to eat…fast) so we stopped at Cousins for a sub lunch.  It’d been quite a while since we’d had a sandwich from Cousins so it was quite tasty.

After picking up some white electrical tape from the hardware store we decided to take a short drive to Lake Wisconsin.  What a pretty drive!  We drove along the shoreline and out onto a small peninsula and admired the homes along the water…many were for sale and Michael even said he’d write a check for any one that I wanted…TODAY!

Fitz’s on the Lake

Friday night we went out for our first fish fry since being in Wisconsin.  The Wisconsin Barnett’s met us at Fitz’s on the Lake which is located on Lake Wisconsin and about six miles from the campground.

Yelp reviews were good so I had high hopes.   When we arrived shortly before our 6:00 pm reservation time (parties of 6 or more can make reservations on Friday night) the parking lot was packed and cars were overflowing onto the road.  A GOOD sign!  The inside was quite crowded but we were taken right to our table.

2PS and the Wisconsin Barnett’s

Our waitress was very friendly and helpful….another good sign!  Michael, Amanda and I all ordered the all you can eat Fish Fry ($13.99).  We had a choice of baked or deep-fried or half and half…we all went with half and half…never had that option before!  The fish is served with your choice of potato and cole slaw.  We were very happy with our meals…although Michael said he’d go with just deep-fried next time and I’d go with just baked.

Dan’s not a fish fan so he ordered a sirloin steak.  He wasn’t real pleased with its appearance when it arrived but was very happy with the flavor once he took a bite.  Yay!

All in all…a place we’d definitely go back to.

They woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed!

Ben and Alex decided to spend the night with Nana and Papaw (Mom & Dad had packed extra clothes just in case!) so we sent Mom and Dad (and Zoe!) on their way shortly after we got back to the campground.  We got into our jammies and turned on the TV to settle in to watch some TV before we all hit the sack for the night.

Saturday morning we headed out for the almost hour drive back to Verona so that we could spend the day with Alex, Ben and Zoe while their mom and dad went to Milwaukee to attend a Milwaukee Bucks play off game.  We counted all the red cars and trucks along the way and got to 120 about Middleton and then stopped counting!  Whew!

We met Dan and Amanda at The Great Wall Chinese restaurant in Fitchburg about 6:30 pm.  Enjoyed some pretty good food and then went our separate ways.  We got home just about 9:00 pm, put things away and then headed for bed to watch a little TV and do some reading.

 

 

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Mexican Food in Wisconsin? Yes!

What a motley crew, eh?

In honor of ‘National Make Lunch Count Day‘ we had lunch with my sister, Vicki, and her husband, Jimi, in Plover.  (although we had NO idea it was a ‘day’!)  Vicki contacted me a while back and asked if we’d be able to meet half way in between (she lives in Rhinelander) for lunch and we decided on Golden Corral as that seemed like a place we could commandeer a table for a long time without bothering anyone.

Our lunch turned out to be 4 hours long!  And we could have talked for hours longer but decided we’d better get going since we each had a couple of hours to drive home and wanted to make a stop on the way home.  We traded hugs and I took an ‘Usie’ and we headed our separate ways.

We stopped at the Smokey Hollow Campground in Lodi on the way back home to check it out as we’ll be moving there next Tuesday and will stay five nights before we move to a campground closer to Dan and Amanda’s for the duration of our stay here in Wisconsin.

One sugar high coming up!

Amanda and I picked up some donuts from Hurts Donut in Middleton.  The place is similar to Voodoo Doughnuts in Portland, Oregon but doesn’t seem to have quite the cult following as Voodoo does.  The donuts at both place are covered in out of the ordinary toppings – Reeses Pieces, bacon, cereal etc and are pretty tasty.  If you’re a donut lover (who isn’t??) give either place a try to thank me!  🙂

Alex squatting down to gather his very first egg.

Saturday morning the community that Dan and Amanda live in had an egg hunt for the kids in one of the parks and we all went to cheer the kids on.  The kids were divided by age and ended up in three different areas so it’s a good thing we were there as Michael and I went with Alex and cheered him on while Dan and Ben went to the 3-year-old area and Amanda and Zoe went to the under 2-year-old area.  The kids had a good time grabbing 10 eggs each and then turned them in for 4 ‘surprises’.

Before and after the egg hunt the kids enjoying playing on the playground equipment while their parents socialized with the other parents.  Kinda reminded me of something from TV where the women push the kids on the swings and chat while the men stand off a bit and chat among themselves.

Nachos

On Saturday evening we met Amanda’s sister, Ashley, and her girlfriend, Angela, at Laredo’s for dinner…a Mexican place in Fitchburg that none of us had been to before.  We’re always a bit wary when trying Mexican (or BBQ) anywhere but Texas but I think we were all very surprised at how much we enjoyed our meals.  Everyone had plenty to eat and either went home with full tummy’s or ‘to go’ containers.  Definitely, a place we’d go back to!

That evening Michael and I stayed home with the grandbabies while the younger adults went out for the evening.  We didn’t have much to worry about with the babies as they went to bed before everyone went out and we just waited til they were asleep before we went to bed ourselves.

Our little ‘Belle’

Amanda and Dan hosted Easter lunch for 13 of us.  Amanda’s mom & Step dad along with her aunt and her family joined us for a very nice meal of ham, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, corn, glazed carrots, stuffing and a couple of different salads.

Alex & his Mama working on Easter Legos

We visited around the table for a while before people started going home and before long it was back to just Michael and I and the Wisconsin Barnett’s.  Dan watched the Buck’s game, Michael putzed out in the garage and Amanda and Alex worked on a Minecraft Lego set that he got for Easter.

A little later we played some cribbage and then all called it a day much earlier than normal.

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Beanboozled, Puzzlin’ and Going in Style

Dan grillin’ while Ben supervises

We had a nice weekend here in southern Wisconsin but Sunday was particularly nice with a high around 70.  We took advantage and spent the majority of the afternoon outside.  Amanda’s parents came over and Dan grilled burgers, brats and hot dogs to go with the sides that Amanda, Mary Jo and I had made:  Macaroni salad, Italian pasta salad, fruit salad and baked beans.

These balloons were a blast!

The grand babies had a great time making chalk drawings on the driveway, flying a kite, playing football and playing with a new balloon game that allows you to blow up a long balloon and then launch it into the air and watch it travel all over as the air releases from the balloon since you don’t tie it shut.  Lots of fun and laughter with that game!

Oh yeah…and we played Beanboozled, a game that I had gotten for both of our boys families and thought that they would play over the holidays with their friends.  Boy did that backfire.  They’ve both saved them til we could play too.  Ugh!

Be scared…be very very scared

Wondering what the game is like?  Here’s a brief description from the internet:

10 weird and wild flavors that look identical to 10 classic and delicious flavors. Think you can tell the difference between the sweet Coconut and pungent Spoiled Milk? What about delicious Strawberry Banana Smoothie and not-so-delicious Dead Fish? It’s a box of candy and game all in one! Use the spin wheel to decide what bean you eat. Will it taste great or gross?”    

Apparently Amanda’s jelly bean didn’t taste very good

Boy, did we laugh while playing this one!  Poor Alex…he spit everything out…we couldn’t tell if it was really a ‘bad’ flavor or if he just didn’t like any of them.  Although…the canned dog food could be smelled from several feet away so we knew that one was one of the ‘bad’ ones for sure.  Michael and Dan were able to mask their dislike of any ‘bad’ flavors they got.  I was lucky and didn’t get any really bad ones…lawn clippings isn’t bad at all, y’all!

Partyin’ with the grandbabies while their parents are away

Monday night it was just Michael and I and the three grandbabies as their mama and daddy drove to Milwaukee to attend the Milwaukee Bucks game.  We had pizza delivered and watched a movie until bed time.

We did some errands on Tuesday, the most important being Michael getting a MUCH needed haircut.  He ends up letting it go so long he looks like the Shaggy DA.  We found a itty bitty barbershop (Johnson’s) in Verona and the woman who owns it was really friendly and did a nice job on his hair.  We’ll most likely go back while in the area.

The new seating for the coach

We also decided to stop at a couple of furniture stores as we’ve been wanting to get a theater seat for the coach but hadn’t been having much luck.  We finally found a couple that we liked and would actually fit in the space allowed.  The drawback was that they would need to be ordered and would take 6-8 weeks to come in…which wouldn’t work for us as we’ll be leaving before then.

The salesperson was helpful and remembered that there was one in the style that we liked in the clearance area and it turned out we liked it and we got it for $1200.00 but it was normally $2600.00.  We’ve paid for it but will pick it up next Tuesday when we have the coach back and are settled into a campground.

That evening we four adults went to the theater to see the new version of ‘Going in Style‘.  I’d seen the original 1979 version (with George Burns, Art Carney & Lee Strasburg) at the theater with my dad and loved it.  This version (with Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine & Alan Arkin) was good…and we laughed a LOT but I preferred the original…as I do with most movies.  Still worth it to go see it, if you haven’t.

Castle Neuschwanstein

Amanda and I have worked three jigsaw puzzles since we’ve arrived and still have about 8 more that we can work on but will probably only get 1 or 2 done before we move back into our coach next week.  Alex likes to check our progress as we work, Michael will sit down and work with us once in a while (especially if we’re nearing the end) and Dan LOVES to steal a piece so that we look all over for it and then eventually say, “DAN! Where’s the last piece!?”

I’ve gradually been working on firm up plans for the summer since we pretty much had to start from scratch.

Nice weather means it’s time to bring out the drone

We’ve made plans with friends Skip and Denise to meet up around Elkhart/Goshen the first weekend of June.  I hope to take them to all the fun Amish spots around the area during the day and then we’ll go to the Blue Gate for dinner and attend the Air Supply concert there that evening.  Can’t wait!

While in the Cincinnati area we’ll be attending the Milwaukee Brewers vs. Cincinnati Red Sox game among other things.  I’m hoping to squeeze in a visit with RVing friends Ted and Donna as they will be in the area part of the time that we are too…just have to figure something out.

 

 

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Plans Are Made To Be Changed

Safely ensconced in its home away from home

Since there is no space at Dan and Amanda’s house to park our coach, Amanda’s parents were gracious enough to allow us to park our home in their driveway.  The boys (Michael, Dan, Alex & Ben) took the coach over to their home the morning after we arrived and got it settled and plugged in to 110 (just for the fridge) while the girls (Amanda, Zoe and myself) went to the grocery store.

Monday was opening day for our Milwaukee Brewers so Dan, Amanda, Michael and I treked to Miller Park to watch the game.  The kids stayed home and their Nana JoJo and Papa Gordy came to spend the day with them.

A vast sea of Brewers fans!

It’s about an hour and a half drive from Dan and Amanda’s home to Miller Park and we arrived about an and a half early and it was amazing to see the see of pop up awnings throughout the parking lots.  It was a bit chilly and misty but people weren’t about to let that stop their tailgating experience.  Cold and rain don’t stop a true Brewers fan from celebrating Opening Day!

He had me take a picture with his camera too!

Unfortunately, our boys weren’t able to pull out a win but we had a good time nonetheless.  We ate yummy stadium food, got loud, saw ourselves on the BIG screen and witness a gentleman 2 rows behind me catch a foul ball to which he declared, ‘oh…that hurt!’.

Ashley and Angela

After the game we met Amanda’s sister Ashley and her partner, Angela, at the Bamboo House for dinner. Four of us had the small buffet and two ordered off the menu.  I had the buffet and while it only had a small variety of foods everything was nice and warm, fresh and tasty.  However, the best part of the meal was the conversation…I haven’t laughed so much in a long time!  The restaurant was quite small and thankfully wasn’t real busy because I think we would have run everyone off with our obnoxious laughter.

Blue-hair isn’t just for old ladies!

Wednesday morning Amanda had an appointment to have her hair done…in Darlington, about an hours drive.  The same person has been doing her hair for about 20 years so she’s got a little loyalty going on.  She got a little wild today and had some blue/teal put in the back on the underneath layers and it really looks pretty cool.  While her hair processed I was able to get my hair trimmed too!

Amanda’s grandparents graves

On the way home we stopped at several cemeteries as Amanda is working on filling in her family tree.  Unfortunately, it was raining (which turned into a wintery mix) and cold (about 35) so the grave hunting didn’t go well.  Amanda got out (Ben, Zoe & I stayed in the warmth of the car!) and looked a little at first but soon she was turning into a popsicle and we hunted from inside the car.

Thursday was a fairly busy day as I worked on our income taxes (yes, we have not yet sent them off!) and working on changing our plans for this summer (I’ll tell ya more about that in a bit).  Michael and did a couple of errands in the afternoon.

When we were in San Antonio last month and my doctor canceled two appointments he agreed to refill my meds as long as I had some blood work done at any LabCorp office.  Yesterday I went and had that taken care of as there is an office on the northeast side of Madison.

This was one we liked inside of one of the display coaches

While we were on that side of town we stopped at the Camping World just down the road to see if they had any theater seating in the store that we could test drive.  Our recliners were given to us a couple of years ago and are in pretty sad shape so we’d like to find something in a theater seat (basically a reclining love seat with a console in the middle) that we both like.  They didn’t have anything so our search continues.

We also met a gentleman in the local Home Depot parking lot that saw our ad on Craigslist for our old Samsung S5 cellphones and was interested in purchasing them for his kids.  We got $55 for each phone, which we were very happy with and he emailed me this morning to let us know how happy they were with them.  SCORE for everyone involved!

Glarner Stube

We topped the day off with dinner in New Glarus with Dan and Amanda.  The kids stayed home with their cousin, Carson as this was an adult only evening.  We’d planned to go to the New Glarus Hotel for the Swiss food but found out on the way there that they were closed.

My dish:  Geschnetzelets

We ended up across the street at Glarner Stube which also had a Swiss menu.  We each ordered something different and everyone ended up tasting all of the dishes.  I think we all decided me like Michael’s Schublig (a mildly spiced beef sausage) best.  Although I enjoyed my Geschnetzelets (veal cutlets in cream sauce) very much too.

Now for the change in our plans for the summer.

We’ve had an issue with the floor in front of our refrigerator for a while due to a water leak (us with a water leak, no way!?!) that was fixed quite a while ago.  However, the water must have gotten under the linoleum and softened the floor to the point that the floor has rotted and now needs to be replaced.

We contemplated trading the coach in for a new model but decided in the long run to just repair this one and worry about a new coach a few years from now.  Right now there just isn’t a model that we absolutely LOVE although we were leaning toward the Landmark 365 Madison.

So with the decision to get the necessary repairs done to our Landmark Key Largo we scheduled the work to be done at the factory in Elkhart, Indiana.  The earliest they could get us in was May 8 and we’re thinking they’ll probably have it for 10 days to 2 weeks.    We were due to begin workamping in Utah around the 1st of May so that kind of put a wrench in those plans.  We’ve contacted American Land and Leisure and cancelled our plans to work at Anderson Cove Campground this summer.

With that done we needed to make some decisions on where we were going to go and what we were going to do this summer.

The first thing we knew we needed to do was pin down some dates to fly out to Utah so that we could visit with Zack’s family. We’d promised to stay with the grandbabies for a long weekend while their Momma and Papa attend an Army Family Readiness leadership weekend in Oklahoma.  We’ll be in Utah from May 10 – 31.

Our second decision was to attend the Heartland Owners Club National Rally in Elkhart which will be just a few days after we pick up the coach from is spa appointment.  We’ll be in the Elkhart area from June 2 – 18.

Then it was figuring out what to do with the rest of summer.  We decided to just ‘chill’ mostly at various military FamCamps as we make our way, very slowly, back down to Texas to gate guard for the winter.

At this point will be at Wright-Patterson FamCamp (near Cincinnati) from June 18 – July 18, Scott Air Force Base FamCamp (east of St. Louis) from July 18 – August 1 and Camp Atterbury (just south of Indianapolis) from August 1 to September 1.  I still have more work to do planning for the month of September but that will come.

 

 

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Moving Day: Lincoln, IL To Verona, WI

Quick and easy breakfast

We were awake by 6:00 am and by the time we got the bed made, gathered a few more things that we’ll need at Dan’s house and I got breakfast thrown together (hard-boiled eggs & watermelon)  it was 6:58 am and we were pulling out of the Lincoln, Illinois Walmart.

The Walmart is not open 24 hours and was very quiet…great place for an overnight.  We ended up with one other camper in the parking lot but they parked quite away from us…which was nice.

We stopped at a rest area about 2 hours into our drive and had hoped to dump our tanks as it had shown as having a dump station on an app Michael has on his phone.  We found the dump station, or what used to be a dump station but found that it had been sealed over with concrete.  Bummer.

Boring, boring drive today

After getting back on the road we had just 98  miles left and those miles seemed to drag…knowing that my grandbabies were at the end of them.  Thankfully, traffic flowed easily and we had nothing to hold us up.  The Madison road construction we’ve become so used to had finally been cleared up even!

We’re here!

We’d told Alex (grandson #1) that we’d be at his house about 1:00 pm (during nap/quiet time) but really hoped to arrive before noon and ended up arriving by 11:15 am.  I took a picture of the coach and truck in front of their house and texted it to Dan and Amanda with no explanation.  Before you know…they were at the front door!

We got our hugs from the boys…Zoe at 18 months was a little leery so we waited until she warmed up to us.  Dan and Amanda helped us get the things we’ll need out of the coach while we’re here and then we went inside to visit for a little while.

Happy Birthday to us!

We even had a mini birthday party for Michael and I.  Amanda made a cake and we got birthday presents!   Dan, Amanda & the boys sang happy birthday to us….couldn’t get a much better welcoming!

Ben, Zoe & Amanda swingin’ at the park

Mid afternoon we walked to the park so that the kids could play for a while and Dan could play a little basketball with some of the neighborhood guys.  It turned out to be a nice day for it as it was sunny and 60.

For dinner we all piled in Amanda’s car and went to Gray’s Tied House.  A pretty cool place that brews their own beer, makes their own potato chips, and make their own soda.  It was fairly busy as we pretty much got the last table, I think.

Going up for the shot…

We all seemed to enjoy our meals.  Portions were large and everything had good flavor.  Amanda and I both went with the Saturday Special – prime rib, Michael got the haddock and Dan ordered the sirloin.  I’d go back…but I think I’d try to make it when it wasn’t quite so busy as it was pretty loud and hard to carry on a conversation.

We are here for a little more than 2 weeks and then we’ll start heading west toward Utah, where we’ll spend the summer with Zack and his family while working at Anderson Cove Campground.

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Moving Day: Ozark, MO To Lincoln, IL

A bigger travel day for us…350ish miles but with plans to spend the night at Cracker Barrel we weren’t in any hurry to pull out of the Stage Stop RV Park this morning.

We had pretty leisurely morning.  Watched a couple of TV shows from the DVR, enjoyed another kolache for breakfast, packed a few more thing for our stay at DnA’s and surfed the internet.

Since we didn’t unhitch from the truck we didn’t have much to do in order to pull out of our site.  All that we needed to worry about was unhooking from power, water and sewer outside and inside was making the bed, stowing a couple of items and pulling in the slides.

What of America’s most famous Landmarks

We pulled out at 9:58 am and in less than 15 minutes we were hitting I-44 just outside of Springfield, Missouri.  Since it was later in the morning we missed any rush hour traffic, which was a blessing.

The first half of today’s trip was pretty uneventful with the biggest thrill being passing by the Gateway Arch.  But…when towing a fifth wheel…uneventful is a GOOD thing!

A working lunch…

We stopped for lunch at Kelly’s Kitchen about 28 miles into Illinois…pretty much once we got past the hubbub of St. Louis.  We had a very leisurely lunch (1 ¾ hours!), working from our laptops, snacking on cheese, sausage and crackers.  However, it was a bit chilly for our liking so Michael cranked up the generator and turned on the fireplace!  Ahhh…the comforts of home…from wherever we roam.

Thought this was a pretty cool pic…had to share

Back on the road, after our lunch stop, we had just 98 miles left to drive.  Traffic moved well and we didn’t have any delays.  We ended up stopping just before Springfield to fill up both tanks with diesel.  We paid $2.25 per gallon and filled up with 63.75 gallons…not too bad.  A little more expensive than down in Texas but not bad at all.  Certainly better than the near $4.00 per gallon (or more) we paid a few years ago.

We had planned to spend the night at a Cracker Barrel in Lincoln, Illinois but with all the leftovers from Lambert’s we decided to park at the nearby Walmart instead and have our Lambert’s leftovers for dinner.

Home for the night – Lincoln, IL

We arrived at Walmart just a few minutes after 6:00 pm.  We found a nice spot along a curb near the garden center and settled in for the night.  There was no one around us at all and no other campers in the parking lot.

We cranked up the generator, turned on the fireplace and furnace and got it nice and warm in the coach.  While the generator was running we took advantage and watched an episode of Gold Rush & Criminal Minds:  Beyond Borders and charged our laptops while doing a little surfing too.  Multitasking!

It’ll most likely be a fairly early night so that we can get an early start so we can get to those grandbabies (Alex, Ben and Zoe) and their mama & daddy who are waiting patiently for our arrival.

 

 

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Moving Day: Hot Springs, AR To Ozark, MO

They say it’s my birthday…and I’m not afraid to say that I am 51 years old today.  I’ve had a lot of birthday wishes wishing me a happy 49th, 29th or 21st…but I’m good with my 51 years.  I’m proud to say that I have been married to my best friend for nearly 32 years.  I’m proud to say that I have to wonderful grown sons who have taken wives that I would have chosen myself.  I am proud that I have FIVE beautiful grandbabies.  I wouldn’t have all of these blessings if I wasn’t 51.  I’ll take my 51 and run with it!

We started our day with kolaches (wow were they spicy!) for breakfast and while Michael did his outside move day chores I chilled…LOL.  Most of my chores were done yesterday so I didn’t have much to do this morning other than button things up.

We planned to hit the road at 9:00 am and then it changed to 10:00 am and were pulling out of the park driveway at 9:35 am…so…right on time!  LOL

Interesting bluffs along the roadway

We had very uneventful drive through some very pretty country.  The drive north on US 65 is gorgeous.  You can see the Ozark mountains, the green valleys, old worn down farms.  It’s just a very pretty drive and we both enjoy it.

We made one stop on the side of the highway so that we could use the house facilities since nothing else was very convenient.  Having your house with you at all times is really quite nice…anything you need (food, drink, bathroom, bed, clothes, etc) within reach.

Them there’s the Ozarks!

With one hour to our destination Michael decided that he was hungry and needed some lunch so he pulled into the McDonalds in Harrison (same place we ate last April when we were on our way to Branson – read about it HERE).  We stopped for about 40 minutes before we continued our journey north.

Settled into site 28 for the night. How’s that for convenient to Lambert’s?

We pulled into the Stage Stop RV Park about 3:20 pm after a 255 mile journey.  We checked in at the office and got to our site with no problems.  We stayed here, once before, in October 2015 (the 12th to be exact…our son Dan’s 27th birthday!) when we were traveling south from Wisconsin to Texas.  It’s not a fancy park but great for an overnight…especially since it is RIGHT behind Lambert’s Café.

We got some light rain just south of Branson and it continued all the way to Ozark and even after we were parked.  We got parked and leveled enough to put out the slides and plugged in the power and I told Michael not to worry about the water and sewer since it was cold and rainy.

Before doing any set up at all we went in the house and pulled out a couple of sweatshirts as it was COLD (48) outside…especially with the misty rain.  Then I turned on the heat pump in the bedroom and the fireplace in the living room.  Brrr…

The wayward sock has been FOUND!

A funny little side note…  Michael purchased some new socks a while back and one of the mates disappeared, nowhere to be found.  He kept asking me what I did with his sock and every time he couldn’t find something I told him it was with his blue sock.  Today, after we pulled out our sweatshirt and put them on that sock mysteriously showed up on the bed!  Musta gotten washed and dried and stuck to the inside of one of the sweatshirts.  Michael can now wear his black and blue socks again…he is a HAPPY camper!  LOL

Of course, since we were parked right behind Lambert’s Cafe and it’s my birthday…we had dinner at Lambert’s!  How could we not?  If you’ve not ever been to a Lambert’s (there are three locations – 2 in Missouri and 1 in Arkansas)…you need to add it to your bucket list.  There aren’t many places out there that throw your food at you, give you all the free ‘sides’ you want and actually have tasty food too! (a little known fact – your entree is actually all you can eat too!)

Crazy amount of food but SO good!

We both ordered the chicken fried steak…it’s our favorite.  We have plenty leftover for at least another meal.  We enjoyed plenty of the ‘pass arounds’…black-eyed peas, macaroni & maters, fried okra, fried taters and of course…some of those famous ‘Throwed Rolls’!

We seem to have a t shirt thing going on as we ended up stopping in the gift shop on our way home and picked up a couple.  Gotta show our Lambert’s pride…too bad they don’t have a ‘trifecta’ shirt…since we’ve been to all three.

Since it was my birthday and I had proof (my drivers license) I received $9.99 off of my meal, making my meal $4.99.  How awesome is that??  Happy Birthday to me!

We got home shortly before 8:00 pm and went ahead and got our things packed for our stay at Dan and Amanda’s.  We’ll be parking the coach at Amanda’s mom’s home and will stay at Dan and Amanda’s so we had to pack clothes and miscellaneous stuff.  Now we’re pretty much set.

 

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Final Day in Hot Springs

Our last day in the Hot Springs area.  We were up at 7:00 am so that we could get a few small chores done before we left the house for Glenwood.

Just before we planned to leave the house it started raining but being the brave souls that we are…we headed out anyway! It didn’t rain long at all so the drive was fine.

We stopped at the Dollar General Store to pick up something for Alice and ended up finding a couple of long sleeve t-shirts for ourselves.  Michael got an Arkansas shirt and I got a Lake Hamilton Wolves shirt…the high school I spent my senior year at…which is just down the road from the store.  They ended up being on sale (which we had no clue about) and ended up getting both shirts for less than $5.00 each.  Score!

From there we headed into Glenwood to the Hardware store with a can of paint from Alice’s house to have it shook up good so that she could do some touch up painting around the house.

Good pizza inside

We had an 11:00 am date with our good friend, Cherie.  Michael and Cherie’s parents have been friends for over 50 years so Michael and Cherie have known each other their entire lives and I have been blessed to have been pulled into that friendship.  In fact, Cherie was the person who threw us a ‘shower’ when we got married almost 32 years ago.

I do not like mushrooms…but I ate this whole piece of pizza to make my grown children proud! Can I get an ‘oh yeah!’??

We met at the Pizza Shack in Glenwood…one of our favorite lunch stops while here.  Michael worked at the Pizza Shack as a teenager and the food is just as good.  They have a lunch buffet with salad and pizza that is well worth the $6.50 or so that it costs.  The bill for the three of us, including drinks, was $20.99….can’t beat that!  Score, again!

We a really nice visit but all too soon it was time for us to leave to go pick up Alice and take her  into Hot Springs for a doctor’s appointment.  Alice’s appointment went really well and really quickly and we were out the door before we knew it.

Strangely enough all of today’s pictures are of food…what the heck?!?!

We happened to see a Donut Palace while we were in town and decided to make a quick stop to see if they had any kolaches….they did!  They make such a great easy, peasy breakfast, especially for travel days that we picked up a couple along with some donuts…of course…Michael can not go without donuts!  The lady was so sweet she even sent us home with a couple extra donuts.

After we got back to Alice’s from Hot Springs I made some Opa’s for dinner.  With the Opa’s we had potato salad, steamed veggies and baked beans.  It was just the three of us having dinner so it was nice and quiet and we were able to have good conversation.  It’s nice to have a lot of people around a table but sometimes it’s hard to carry on a conversation with a large group.

We visited for a little bit after dinner but then got our hugs before heading across the driveway to say goodbye to Eddie and Val.  While we were saying our goodbyes it started raining pretty good so we held out for a little bit until it slowed enough for us to not get completely drenched.

We made it home shortly before 8:00 pm and got things put away and stowed a few items in preparation of tomorrow’s move day.  We had originally planned on heading northeast to Poplar Bluff, Missouri tomorrow but after looking at the radar (which shows storms heading that way) we decided to head northwest toward Branson instead.  It sure is nice to be able to alter plans if and when needed.

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Playing Tourist

**I was recently made aware that if you’re reading my posts through an email you received notifying you of a new post that the pictures are not showing up in the email.  If you click on title of the post, in the email, it will take you to the actual blog post and the pictures will then be available for viewing.  We will be at our son, Dan’s, home on Saturday and I will get his expert help to figure out the problem.  (hint, hint Dan)

We’re off to do some sight-seeing!

We got a little later start than we had originally planned since we got home later than expected Monday night.  We picked up Alice about 10:30 am and headed into Hot Springs to do a little sight-seeing.  Being from the area we’ve kind of taken things for granted and have recently started seeing Hot Springs in a different light.

Filling up with fresh spring water

Hot Springs has various ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ springs scattered around the area and we usually try to fill some containers with fresh spring water whenever we’re in town.  Today was no exception.  Our first stop was at a spring located on Whittington Avenue not far from the Alligator Farm.  Most of the time we’ve had to wait to fill our jugs but today we were the only people there so it was a really quick stop.

Today we drove the Hot Springs Historic Baseball Trail.  We recently learned that Hot Springs is the birthplace of baseball spring training which was held here from the late 1800s well into the 1950s.  Who knew??

Just look for the green signs around town

Players such as Honus Wagner, Rogers Hornsby, Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron and Jackie Robinson came to train and play here in Hot Springs.  Hiking the mountain trails and the healing powers of the therapeutic baths were a big draw for the players.  For more information on spring training in Hot Springs click HERE.

We learned during the audio phone tour that Hot Springs High School colors are black and gold due to Honus Wagner donating new uniforms to the school with the Pittsburgh Pirates colors, the team with which he played for the majority of his career.

On March 17, 1918 Babe Ruth  was pitching in a game at Whittington Park and was not known for being a hitter.  He came up to bat and whacked a ball out of the ballpark, across the street and into a pond at the Arkansas Alligator Farm – a total of 573 feet, no one thought it was possible to ever hit a ball that far.  That home run is known as the Home Run that Changed Baseball.  

Hot Springs High School – Bill Clinton used to ‘march’ down these halls

Hot Springs is also the boyhood home of President Bill Clinton.  He went to high school at Hot Springs High School, graduating in 1964.  He honed his saxophone playing skills while being a part of the high school band.  A new high school was built in 1968 and the old building was used as a junior high and now serves as housing units for disabled people.

Historic Ohio Club

We stopped at the historic Ohio Club for lunch.  Established in 1905, The Ohio Club claims to be Arkansas’ oldest bar.  It is filled with history as infamous mobsters such as Al Capone, Bugsy Segal and Lucky Luciano spent time there.  Baseball players and celebrities (Mae West, Al Jolson, Sammy Davis Jr. etc) were known to frequent the place as well.

During the depression the name changed to the Ohio Cigar Store and there was a false wall put up in the first 6 feet of the building which contained the cigar store while the back of the building still held an illegal bar and casino.

Looks good…but just didn’t do it for us

While the business is rich in history, with lots of memorabilia covering the walls, and definitely worth a visit for that reason alone the food wasn’t anything to write home about.  Michael had a burger, Alice a Reuben sandwich and I had a patty melt and none of us was thrilled with our meals.  We did, however, go next door to their gift store and pick up a couple of t-shirts to remember our visit.

Michael had to park the truck several blocks from the restaurant so we enjoyed walking past the bath houses, gift shops and galleries that line the downtown area.

Vinegars and oils lining the wall

We stopped at Evilo (Olive spelled backward), an Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar shop.  I, happily, picked up a bottle of garlic infused olive oil.  I had purchased a bottle Eureka Springs last April and loved it so when I saw another store similar to that one, I had to get some.

We also stopped at Ginger’s Popcorn and picked up a mix of caramel & cheese popcorn and watermelon flavored popcorn.

This guy was slobbering all over himself. He was either pissed or lovestruck…not sure which…

On the way back to Alice’s house we made a pit stop by the camel and zebra farm so that Alice could get to see them too.  Our friend the ‘white camel’ came rushing over to see us again and made growling noises and stuck his tongue out for us.  If Michael moved the truck down the road he’d follow.  I think he must be the ‘King of the Camels’ as the other camels give him a pretty wide berth.

We got Alice back home and settled and then made the trek back home, arriving shortly after 7:00 pm.  Michael had the park owners top off our propane tanks during the day while we were gone so he placed them back in their rightful homes while I went in the house to switch the laundry and put things away and get things ready for tomorrow’s excursion.

After getting things squared away we retired to our recliners to relax (haven’t done that since we’ve arrived here in Hot Springs!) and watch the latest episode of The Walking Dead as well as a couple of other shows.  Another Good day!

Here’s a couple of the post I recently wrote for Heartland RVs:

Water, Water Everywhere

Amish Haystacks

Destination:  Door County, WI

 

 

 

 

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