October 30, 2010

Independence, MO and Oklahoma City, OK

Happy Halloween, everyone!!  Keep it safe and fun.
We are covering many miles as we make our way back to California.  But first, let me finish up on our stay in Iowa City.  Have to post these pictures of our visit with my friend, Mary.    
Jerry with friend, Mary, about to enjoy Jerry's dinner on the coach.

Mary and I having our Starbucks in Barnes and Nobles. 
We have spent many hours over the years in bookstores with our coffee. 

Boy,  did we get out of Iowa just in time! But, we had to put up with the high winds for two whole days of travel.  Decided to stop in Independence, Missouri to visit the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. See http://trumanlibrary.org/. Having read the book Truman by David McCullough, I really wanted to visit this Library.  There were very few visitors to the Library at this time of year.  Here are some of the pictures we took while there.

Copy of the Liberty Bell with Harry S. Truman Library and Museum in background

Jerry standing in front of Truman statue

The burial sites of President Truman and his wife (Bess)

Front of the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum

Official portrait of President Truman

The replica of the Oval Room as it looked during President Truman's terms

Thomas Hart Benton Mural painted in the entrance lobby of the Museum

After leaving Missouri, we stopped to look at the Newell RVs.  Haven't really checked them out before.  What beautiful RVs they are!!

We picked up Route 66 and continued on to Oklahoma City where we spent one night at the Twin Fountains RV Park. 

Parked at the Twin Fountains RV Park in Oklahoma City. 
This is such a beautiful RV park that we expect to stay here
longer the next time we are traveling through this area.

We just had to see the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum.  Can't believe that it has been 15 years since the bombing of that Federal Building.  See http://oklahomacitynationalmemorial.org/.  The Museum lets you take a chronological self tour through the story of what happened on April 19, 1995.  Everything is so realistic, with the clock stopped exactly at 9:02, portions of the actual damaged building and the Ryder truck differential that landed on another car a block away on display, and the stories of the 168 people that died.  The front lawn contains 168 individually crafted bronze and glass chairs (with 19 smaller chairs for the children that were killed).  We were both emotionally affected by the experience.  Here are some of the pictures we took.

Plaque in the lobby of the Memorial

Personal items of loved ones lost on that day posted outside of the Memorial

The chairs named for each person lost and placed
in the row of the floor they were on when the bomb went off.

Reflective Pond

Reflective Pond and Chairs

This Oklahoma City Memorial is something that should be seen by everyone.  It is so powerful!

As we were leaving Oklahoma City, we stopped to pick up a Starbucks to go.  Jerry was having a hard time trying to find a place to park the RV.  This is one reason we were having this problem.  Looks like this mall (which includes Walmart) doesn't want any vehicle over 9 feet to park in its parking spaces.  Is this the way Walmart is saying "no" to RVers???   

Every entrance into the mall's parking lots was blocked with 9 foot bars.

After Oklahoma City, we drove for two days (spending last night at a truck stop) and are now in Albuqueque, New Mexico where we will stay put for the next four days, especially to be at a place on Tuesday, the Election Day, to watch the results on TV.  Our plan is to leave here next Wednesday and head back to Pismo Beach, California.

October 25, 2010

Forest City and North Liberty, Iowa

After leaving Rockville, we drove to Hayward, Minnesota and spent one night at the KOA.  It was the last night that this RV park was open for business.  In fact, the water was shut off in the morning before we left.  Most of the RV parks around are closed or are in the process of closing up for winter.

Corn field in Southern Minnesota

Leaves off of trees

Parked at KOA in Southern Minnesota
Then drove to Forest City, Iowa - home of Winnebago.  Spent three nights at the Winnebago place for repairs on the RV.  We didn't have an appointment, but we were able to get right in.  When you don't have an appointment, they will only fix 7 items.  We were able to get the most important things fixed, so we are happy. 

On Friday afternoon, we took a tour of the Winnebago operation.  They have over 500 acres with 82 acres under roof.  Each building is designated for fabricating or integrating certain aspects of the RV.  And, they make so many different models of each type, Class A, B and C.  After the economic downturn, they are still very much in business, but had to cut their staff in half (from 4,000 to 2,000 employees), turning out 100 RVs a month instead of 250 a month, and have no debt. Very very impressive!

Parked at Winnebago in Forest City, Iowa
At Winnebago Visitor's Center

On Sunday, we drove to North Liberty, Iowa which is only 8 miles from Iowa City.  We are here specifically to see my old friend, Mary.  She drove over here last night and Jerry made a delicious maple-walnut chicken dinner for us.  Didn't take any pictures, but she is coming back today, so will follow up on our visit in the next blog.

October 16, 2010

Cold Spring, Minnesota

We have not disappeared! It's just that the last couple of weeks have been spent with family that we haven't had time to update this blog.  Even though I tooks tons of family pictures, I'll only be posting a few on this blog.

After we left Minot, we spent two nights in Bismarck to get the benefits of full hook-up, and get the wash done.  From there we drove to Fargo and spent another two nights at the farm with Sean and Rachelle (also met Rachelle's two darling children, Donovan and Danica).

Jerry (with his computer), Sean and Rachelle around the fire at night in Fargo
We normally stay in Dorothy (my sister) and Dave's long driveway when we come to Cold Spring.  But, we were here to attend a wedding and they are the parents of the bridegroom.  So, with lots of family coming to their place, they are generously allowing us to stay on their lot in Rockville, Minnesota, that is just 4 miles from Cold Spring.  And, my brother (Tim) and his wife (Jan) have given us a car to get around, which makes hopping from one house to another a breeze.  Thank you Dorothy, Dave, Tim and Jan.

Rockville, Minnesota is a small town of a few hundred people.  This is Main Street.

Here we are parked in Rockville, MN on Dave and Dorothy's lot.

The wedding last Friday (October 8) was beautiful.  Chris and Kristina beamed with joy.  They will live in Pennsylvania.

Chris and Kristina's wedding

Kristina and Chris right after the ceremony

We've been eating a lot.  I have four brothers and sisters living in Cold Spring, and two others that came in from Minot, ND and Westchester, PA.  Each of the Cold Spring folks have entertained us at different times.  Needless to say, Jerry and I have both gained weight.

Kasi making a wonderful dinner.

Brothers and sisters (Tim, Dorothy, Ann, Me, Dan and Lavern) (Ron had already left for Minot)

Then, on Thursday (October 14), l drove Jerry to the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport where he caught a flight to Atlanta to attend a Speakers Bureau.  He will be back on Monday, and we will need to get out of this northern area ASAP as they had snow here last year at this time.  We've lucked out this year.  The weather has been in the 50s and low 60s, but gets down to the mid-30s at night.  Chanti and I are holding down the fort (RV).  I'm having a ball with my family!

These pictures were taken about a block from where we are parked in Rockville, MN

October 4, 2010

Minot, North Dakota Norsk Hostfest 2010

We had a great time in Minot at the Norsk Hostfest. 

The leaves are turning and it was really very colorful.  Good thing we took these pictures when we did as most of the leaves fell off of the trees by the end of the week.

There are usually 35,000 people attending the Norsk Hostfest, and 1,500 RVs were scheduled to arrive.  We saw Vince Gill, the Four Tops, The Temptations, Abbacadabra (who put on one of the best shows featuring the music of ABBA and whose next stop is the Oasis, the world's largest cruise ship) and many other musical acts.  The five halls were filled with vendors, crafts, and entertainment. 

Had a great Norwegian dinner one night with my brother and sister-in-law, Ron and Pinky.  The decor in itself was beautiful, all white with colored lights behind the panels.  We all enjoyed our food.

During the day, there were all kinds of other "Norwegian" foods, including bread pudding with cream and caramel sauce (so great, we had it 3 times), ableskivers and, of course, sausage.

We rode our bikes into town and had them serviced at Val's Cyclery, where I purchased my bike two years ago.  Took some pictures on our way back to the RV.

Our visit with Ron and Pinky was really fun. Lots of grandkids, a new 6-month old dog (golden retriever) and a real nice evening fire in the large fire pit just made the week a great one.  Also, spending time with grandson, Dan, was special.

We left Minot on Sunday and drove to Bismarck where we will stay for a couple of nights. Then, it is back to Fargo to see Sean again.