July 28, 2013

Forest City, Iowa (Winnebago Rally)

For the most part, the 2013 Winnebago Grand National Rally (GNR) in Forest City, Iowa, was a success. Most importantly of all, the weather cooperated. It was a beautiful week with weather in the low 80s, very little humidity, and with minimal rain. Only the last night's entertainment was rained out.

Jerry was on the agenda for one of the seminars, "How to Write and Self-Publish Your Book." It was well received.

Jerry speaking at the seminar.

If you didn't want to walk the grounds, there were
hundreds of golf carts for rent.

The opening ceremony consisted of a parade with participants from the State Chapters of the various Winnebago Clubs. Some entries were more elaborate than others.

The Minnesota participant in the parade.
(Keep in mind, someone had to either ship or carry
on their RVs the various pieces making up their
entry in the parade.)

Jay and the Americans performing. They sang their hit songs of the 60s including, Cara Mia, Come a Little Bit Closer, and Only in America.

We both attended a number of seminars -- it is always good to learn new things! Keeps you young.

On the not so fun side of this trip, we had our motorhome in for some tweaking, like adjusting the slide out, repairing the air conditioner and reattaching the muffler that we tore off going over a bridge in the Grand Isle that was not made for motorhomes. Winnebago does not take appointments the week before and week after the Rally. So, it was take a number and wait. We were no. 260. Since they also only would work on seven items on your list, we made an appointment for September 3 to go back for the rest of the work. That is the not-so-fun part about owning a condo on wheels. But, we take is all in stride. After all, we are not on a schedule.

Iowa corn looking good! 

Last time we showed you a picture of Iowa soybeans and this time a picture of Iowa corn. Talked to one woman at the Rally who had visited northern California once and was shocked at all the other foods being grown there. In Iowa, they just have corn and soybeans.

Drove to Minnesota yesterday and are spending the week in Rockville in front of Dave and Dorothy's garage. Dave was kind enough to put in an electric outlet for us. We've been here before and love it. Time to spend time with relatives and also continue to upgrade our coach. Right now Jerry is working on taking out our heavy monstrous television which we will replace with a slim LCD. Soon we will have tons of storage that will be behind the new television.

Until next time, enjoy the week ahead.
Continue to live the life you love.

July 20, 2013

Iowa City, Iowa

Traveling from Ann Arbor, we spent one night at the Hickory Hallows Campground near Utica, Illinois. It was soooo hot and humid -- temperature at 95 and dew point at 73. But, looking at the weather map across the USA, we were certainly not alone.

We were making our way to Forest City, Iowa, where we expect to get some work done on our coach and attend the Winnebago Rally. The last time we attended a Winnebago Rally was in 2008. That was the time that I inadvertently put super glue in my eye, instead of eye drops, and had to be taken by ambulance to a hospital 30 miles away.

But, before arriving in Forest City, we spent two nights at the Colony Country RV Park in Iowa City. This is small (45 sites) beautiful park. My long-time friend, also named Mary S., has lived in Iowa City for some time, but now splits her time between Chicago and Iowa City. We saw her last year as we came through Chicago.

Parked at the Hickory Hallows Campground
near Utica, Illinois

This is a private park, very clean and with low rates.

Soy bean field next to the Colony
Country Campground

Mary and I had a great time catching up with each other again. For anyone who has had a close friend for over 40 years, you will appreciate how the topics of our conversations have changed over that period of time as we enter and have entered different phases of our lives -- from children, marriage, careers, retirement and the time frame ahead.

Mary S. and Mary S.

The day we were together (Wednesday, July 17) was very hot. As Jerry and I love going through Presidential Libraries in our travels, we were surprised to find one in West Branch, Iowa, 15 miles from Iowa City -- the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library Museum. So the three of us visited the Library.

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library Museum

Herbert Hoover National Presidential Site

Herbert Hoover was easily elected the 31st President in 1928. He was popular and the people loved him, until the stock market crashed on October 29, 1929, only 9 months into his presidency. It all went down hill from there.

Replica of President Herbert Hoover
Hey, is he having a Starbucks?

Really small house in which President Hoover
was born on August 10, 1874
(I could easily live in a house like this today)

Also at the Museum was a temporary display of 
items from the Civil War era.

A life mask of President Abraham Lincoln and
hands cast March - May 1860 by
sculptor Leonard Wells Volk

Replica of the gun that killed President Lincoln

Burial sites of Herbert Hoover and his wife, Lou

The grounds around the Library contain walkways

Later that evening, we all went out to dinner at a great restaurant called the Iowa City Power Company Restaurant. Both the food and ambiance were fabulous. 

View from the window of the restaurant

Jerry and Mary S. sitting at our table

I had the chocolate mouse and Jerry had the 
raspberry chocolate cheese cake.
(What a memory! I can still taste it.)

Then, after saying our "good byes" to Mary S., we travel a couple of hundred miles to Forest City, Iowa where we will be attending the Winnebago annual Rally, and getting some work done on our coach. 

Appreciate your blessings and
continue to live the life you love!

July 14, 2013

Williamsfield, Ohio and Ann Arbor, Michigan

Spent three days in Williamsfield, Ohio, as a stop off place on our way to Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Parked at the Pymatuning Adventure Resort
in Williamsfield, Ohio.

This Resort is part of Resorts of Distinction, of which we are a member. So we stayed for free.

Geese in the large Reservoir, next to the Resort.

Day Lilies along the country road next to the Resort

There are patches of Day Lilies all over the place.

On Friday, we drove a couple hundred miles to Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Do you think that there is a left hand turn ahead?

Our reason for going to Ann Arbor was so that we could connect with our friends, John and Gail. Again, these are friends that go way back to their California days some 19 years ago. This is the fourth time we have passed through Ann Arbor to see them in our seven years of Rving. John is an internationally recognized leadership consultant, author of numerous books and speaker. Gail has a very responsible position in upper management in the University of Michigan system. Really enjoyed catching up with them. Jerry and John exchanged a couple of books.

Gail and John

Finally, we got away from the high humidity, high dew point, weather and have had three very nice days here in Ann Arbor. 

Leaving here tomorrow and heading to Iowa. It will take us two days to get to Iowa City where we hope to connect with my long time friend, Mary. If anyone is wondering what are some of the benefits of Rving, it is getting to see and stay in touch with friends across the country that we would not otherwise see.

Continue to live the life you love!

July 8, 2013

Niagara Falls, NY

Spent the last week at the Lazy Lakes RV Resort which is 12 miles from Niagara Falls. The weather has been hot, humid and rainy (off and on). The RV Resort is very close to a small town called Cambria, NY.

We see all kinds on things when living in a motorhome. For example, there are some beautiful Cardinal birds around our RV. One morning, one young male saw his reflection in our bedroom window and tried to mate with himself. He woke us up with the knocking on the glass. So Jerry washed the window later that day and put up a large piece of cardboard so that he would not see his reflection. Last night the rains came and washed the cardboard down. The red bird return this morning, "did his thing," and now Jerry has to clean the window again.

Picture taken with Jerry's new close-up lens

In 2008, we visited Niagara Falls from the Canadian side. This time, we stayed on the American side.

Niagara Falls with Canada across the water

Water coming towards the Falls

And, if you want a better view, you can
pay to walk out of the walkway

You can imagine the roar of this
powerful waterfall.

We also visited the 15-acre Lady of Fatima Shrine. It is maintained by the Barnabite Fathers and contains more than 90 life-size marble statutes of Saints.

Our Lady of Fatima Shrine

The dome of the chapel contains a map of the world.

The top of the chapel contains a 13-foot granite statute

A few of the 90 statutes in the Shrine

Our Lady of Fatima and the three children statutes

On the 4th of July, our plan was to go over to the Canadian side to see the fireworks over Niagara Falls. They were shooting the fireworks off from the Canadian side and we thought that we would get the best view. So with our cameras and tri-pods, we decided to walk across the bridge to Canada (as opposed to drive with the car). But, when we were on the bridge, we realized that the view from the bridge might just be better than actually going into Canada.

The bridge over to Canada where we stopped to take
pictures of the fireworks. (See the long line of cars
trying to get into Canada for this occasion.)

View from the bridge before the sun set. Fireworks
started at 10 p.m.

Fireworks over Niagara

Colored lights on Niagara Falls

On last item. Yesterday Jerry drove to Toronto, Canada to meet with an associate. I decided not to go along with him, and thank God, I didn't go. It took him three hours to go a mile and a half to reach Customs at the border. It's as if half of the New Yorkers went to Canada over the long holiday and all tried to get back at the same time.

Leaving here tomorrow and heading to someplace in Ohio.

Have a great week, everyone; and remember to keep living the life you love.