Now in Crawfordsville, Indiana

Now in Crawfordsville, Indiana

We are now in Del Rio Texas

We are now in Del Rio Texas

Last week Indiana and Moving on to Grand Island New York

July 6 - 12, 2015 

This is it in Indiana for the summer of 2015.  Always a little sad as we say goodbye for now and see you in December.  However, life moves on and we are moving with it so we can see other family and friends.  We didn’t get to do as much in Indiana this year because of the constant rain. The last week lived up to the entire time; it was rainy and turned cold.  OK, see you in December Indiana!

During our last summer week in Indiana, we got to be there for Savannah's 12th birthday.  This is the first time we have been here for her birthday and she was looking forward to it. We also had our last meal together for the summer at the local Applebee’s. That was about it for the last week.

Hanging on our fridge.

Savannah greeting us at her birthday party.

We had a bowling outing before the party.  Savannah letting the ball go.

Bailey Bowling.

Tony bowling.

Patty (Grandma) bowling.

Savannah's friend Jocelyn bowling.  Looks like a gutter ball from here!

Livy had the right idea!

Bailey grew a mustache for the party!

Savannah had us all draw a picture during the party.  This is grandpas.  The thing that looks like a plane on fire in the center is supposed to be a bird!

Savannah getting her cake delivered by mom Tracy.

Grandma Brenda (Tracy's mom).

Grandma Brenda (Tony's mom).

Savannah likes to cook so she got a cookbook, apron, and a Kroger gift card.

View of the party.

New phone too!

Something from the Dr. Who TV show.

Livy is such a ham!

3 grandmas.  Brenda, Brenda, and Patty

Livy with Grandpa Barry looking on.

Grandma Patty's picture.

On the 10th, we packed up and headed out for our first of 3 travel legs to Grand Island NY (Buffalo).  We left the Crawfordsville KOA around 11 am and traveled the 220 miles to the Alton RV Park near Columbus Ohio.  

I need to add this caution again for anybody who is traveling this way on Interstate 70 east.  The road surface approaching Richmond all the way to the Ohio border is terrible.  It is so bad there is no way to keep my speed at 65.  I had to drop all the way down to 50.  This patch of road has been this bad for at least 3 years now and maybe longer.  It’s bad on the westbound side too, just not as bad as the eastbound.

We really needed to have the RV washed and the Crawfordsville KOA doesn’t allow any vehicle washing.  This is true for probably 75% of the parks we stay at.  Most of the time I take advantage of the parks that do allow washing and wash the rig.  This time I decided to wash the rig on the way at a rest park.  I filled up the fresh water tank on the rig so I could use the rig water pump.  I don’t like traveling with a full tank of water (weighs 400 pounds full) due to the weight. 

The rest area is only 20 miles down the road and we are just 2 miles off of the interstate so we have a good road and not far to go.  With the slides in I figure with Patty rinsing behind me washing it would only take a ½ hour to get it done.  It didn’t happen this time as the rain started and basically followed us all the way into Ohio!  We did pull over at the rest park and I opened up the fresh water tank drain so it could drain along the way.  The drain is very slow so we were draining water most of the way into Ohio.  

We arrived at the Alton RV Park around 4 pm in a little rain that followed us from Indiana.  As we were setting up I heard a familiar voice say “hey Mark” from behind me!  It was Bruce who we just purchased our lot from in Texas!  We haven’t seen Bruce and his wife MarySue since we were in Texas in April.  This is really a wild coincidence and confirming that it is really a small world after all.

Our rig on the left with Bruce and MarySue's on the right.

After setting up, Bruce invited us out for dinner at a Mexican restaurant just up the road. We had a nice dinner spent the time catching up with them and their new plans.  They have decided to purchase a condo in this area and are giving up full-time RVing after 11 years.  Bruce and MarySue are very special people who live life to the fullest and we will miss them in Texas.  Thanks you guys for dinner and we hope to see you again as we pass through here most every year.

Out for a dinner with Bruce, MarySue, Me, and Patty.
Alton RV Park was the first of our 2 bump and run stops along the way to Grand Island NY.  So, the next morning on the 11th we took off for our 216 mile trip North East to Conneaut OH and the Evergreen Lake RV Park.
We had a family of birds traveling with us in our RV hitch.  The nest was built in Indiana and we found that it still had birds in it when we arrived in Northern Ohio.  By the time we arrived in Buffalo, they were gone.

The Evergreen RV Park is one we will try to stay at again in our future travels.  The area has things we would like to spend time exploring.   The RV Park is mainly a destination park for seasonals.   The park is huge at over 250 sites, mostly seasonally occupied though.  I liked the park because it is perfect for my walk/run that I do every other day.  It has 2 small lakes that you can walk around, one of which is almost ½ a mile around and level.  It felt just like a running track that I use to run on many years ago.  I had a new record for me of 12 minutes and 44 seconds for the last mile of my 5 mile walk/runs.  I am not as good as I was 30 years ago but I am about like I was 20 years ago though. 

Our site at the Evergreen Lake RV Park in Conneaut OH.

Just interesting set up at the park.  Loads of seasonals.

Swimming lake.

Fishing lake.

Interesting item for sale.  It is a booze wagon that you pull around behind  your golf cart.

Another view of the swimming lake.

Our site at Evergreen Lake.  Patty on a walk with me.

The southern cross is still alive here!

On the 12th, we slowly packed up and got ready for our last leg of the trip up to Grand Island.  Today the trip will be around 150 miles.  The weather is great now so we decided to wash the rig on our way out.  Just a mile out of the park there is a little used strip mall that we can pull into the back of and wash the rig.  I decided to go ahead and wash the truck and RV; basically go down each side of the truck and rig with our long handled brush while Patty follows and does the rinse.  I was close on the time, it took us 40 minutes to wash and rinse the rig from start to driving away.  

This is how Rosey rides.

We arrived at the Grand Island KOA around 4:45 pm and were set up by 7:30 pm.  It takes us awhile to set up and tear down when we are sitting for a month or longer.  I like to get it all or mostly all done right away.  The only thing left is to move the picnic table over to our front mat.

We are on site 628 that we reserved last year when we were here.  The KOA has sites set aside for monthlies and we think this is the best of these sites.  It is a corner site at the end of the last row in the park so we have a lot of front yard to work with. The other sites are very close together.  Last year our neighbors sewer hose was under our picnic table, that is how close!

Our site at the Grand Island NY KOA.

Nice picture of the cabins at the Grand Island KOA.

Our site near dark with the blue lights on.

We will be here in Grand Island for the next 4 weeks and then leave for the Elmira NY area for a short stay and then off to New Jersey for 4 weeks.  After NJ, we are again sightseeing on our own and also visiting friends along the way. 

We just last week got confirmation that we reserved into the Cherry Hill RV Park near Washington DC for a week in September.  This park is very expensive at $70 a night but is the closest to Washington.  We can take the metro train that is very close or we can take a tour bus that stops at the park. So we can explore Washington with the truck parked!  We are really looking forward to that!

Stay Tuned! 

Second and Third weeks in Crawfordsville Indiana 2015

June 18 – July 4, 2015 

We have been stationed in Indiana now for 3 weeks.  I find it hard to write a blog when we are sitting in one place more than a week, not sure why that is, just is. Anyway, these past 3 weeks have gone by very fast.  We have been to the movies, eaten s’mores, played mini golf in the dark, seen fireworks, backed into the RV with the truck, eaten at one of the top 10 sandwich joints in Indiana, and got an annual site in Texas.  All of this and more in less than a month!

Savannah with a s'more.

Bailey with a s'more.

Livy making her s'more.

But first, we have some news about our winter hangout in the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas.  We now have an annual site at the Natures Resort near Edinburg TX.  This is the place we have stayed at the past 2 winters.  We stayed in Florida for one winter and then we stayed here at Natures in the Valley for the past 2 winters. So we decided that we will continue to stay at this resort for the foreseeable future in the winter.

This past winter we moved our medical care to the valley from Indiana.  Indiana was just too inconvenient due to the distance from our site there to the medical team 30 miles away in Lafayette IN.  Also, if for some reason we needed to stay in one place for medical reasons, we want to stay in a warm climate.   This will also allow us to leave some winter stuff there as well as it has a storage shed.  So site 19 at Natures became available and we purchased the improvements, mainly concrete, and took over the annual rent on the site.  The site is ours starting July 1st this year.

On Thursday the 18th we all went to the movies to see the new movie Jurassic World.  Patty and I, along with the grandkids and their parents, drove 40 miles to Indianapolis to an IMAX theater to see the movie.  Patty and I are not movie people but the grandkids are and this movie seemed like a good adventure, especially at an IMAX.  The movie was just OK, just not enough shots of the dinosaurs for me.  There was too much about the stupid plot to make this a great movie.  The original movie is still the best of this series of movies.  However, the kids seemed to like it.

Livy at the movies.

Savannah at the movies.

Bailey at the movies.

Out to dinner in Brownsburg after the movie.

Livy and Tony (Dad) going over the menu.

Livy with the funny glasses she made.

Around Patty’s birthday on the 20th she started to feel sick again.  (Here we go again!) Her complaints were that she was very tired and that she had nausea.  These symptoms have reoccurred many, many, times over the past year. Sometimes she gets over them and we go on for a few weeks before having them come back.  If they persist for more than 4 days we seek out medical help which usually is a hospital ER.  Patty stayed sick for 4 days and I took her to the local hospital here.  The hospital is almost walking distance so it was very easy to do. This hospital doesn’t have a great reputation with the locals here but the next closest hospital is 30 miles away.  

This time, we got some really different news at the hospital. As usual, Patty was dehydrated which was causing most of her symptoms.  We were still left with the question of what causes her to become so dehydrated in the first place.  We were assuming it was due to her recent diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis that she received before we left Texas.  We told the doctor of her diagnosis so he had blood tests done to confirm the issue.  

There were 2 blood tests they had for pancreatitis and both came back negative! The doctor then ordered a CAT scan of her pancreas.  The doctor in Texas said that 50% of her pancreas was damaged.  Amazing, the CAT scan showed no signs of a damaged pancreas!!  What the hell does that mean!!!!!!

The results were confirmed by 2 doctors here at the hospital that she doesn’t have pancreatitis.  They believe that her long term gastritis coupled with diabetic gastroparesis (vs. chronic pancreatitis) are the main culprits here.  She has a flair up that is not uncommon causing her to not eat and also causing her to not hold food or water down.  This cycle then causes her to become dehydrated then requiring medical treatment. 

The doctors determined that she should stay in the hospital until she was completely hydrated with an IV infusion and see how she does.  After 2 days in the hospital she was completely her old self again.  It really is amazing to me how she snaps back to normal like this!  She was given a prescription for an anti-nausea RX to take if and when she starts to feel bad again.  The hope is that the RX will get her past the dehydration issue so she won’t need the use of an ER.  Also she is to stay away from spicy and greasy foods. So far she is really making a good effort to watch her diet. We shall see!

We are still perplexed about the pancreatitis diagnosis in Texas.  She has made an appointment with another Gastroenterologist in Texas for when we get back there in November.  Until that time, she is going to do as she was told for the pancreatitis diagnosis.  Basically the only difference between gastritis treatment and pancreatitis treatment is the taking of enzymes with meals and refraining from alcohol.   This is another, we shall see!

Couple of weeks ago we headed up to Lafayette to have the truck serviced and to have the rear pinion seal replaced. Savannah stayed with us the night before even though she knew we were going to get up early, 6:30 am, and head out for our 8 am appointment with Ford.  Savannah was a trooper and got up and was ready without any fuss at all.  

The rear pinion seal has been leaking for a while so I finally got around to having it replaced.  Our extended warranty covered all of the cost above our $100 deductible so it wasn't too bad.  I also had the oil changed just a bit early.  The truck was at 4,700 miles since the last oil change and I go to 5,000, so I was 300 miles early.  We arrived there at 7:30am and got right in.  We all went for a walk and had breakfast at a little diner just up the road.  After the diner we hit a clothing store, Plato's Closet, which has semi-used clothes.  We had never heard of a store chain like this so we went in.  They had great clothes for Patty and Savannah but not really for men.  So Patty and Savannah got some nice stuff and I caught up on Facebook.

We got the truck back around noon so we headed out to a Walmart to get a new table for the portable grille we carry. The old table was just about to fall through.  We have had the table for over 10 years and it looked it.  Now we have a plastic tabletop that should last for ever!  After Walmart we had lunch at a pub and sat outside.  It was great day with Savannah!

Savannah and Patty shopping.  Savannah likes to push the cart.

We have had lots of rain here!  One night it was very windy with loads of lightning and thunder.  The next morning I was surveying the damage and found that a branch had gone through the awning.  It was just a small hole and it was near the bottom edge so it really was mostly cosmetic.  However, it could turn potentially into a rip so I set out to fix it.  I looked up how to fix awnings on the internet and came across a lot of fixes.  Since I have some rubber roof patching material (White Eternabond), I used that.  It looks like it will last forever or as long as the awning does.

Hole in Awning from the storm last night.

The fix.

A week ago we had an outing to Lafayette for lunch and then to play a special mini golf.  First we had lunch at the Olive Garden.  We had not been to an Olive Garden in a long time and we are not sure if we ever had lunch at one.  The lunch was good and we all had fun just being together.  Then there is mini golf completely inside and covered in black light.  The place is called monster golf.  True to its name the place has a monster setting. The golf balls are different colors and glow under the black lights.  This was a lot of fun and we enjoyed this as much as the kids did.  The cost wasn’t bad either at just around $45 for 7 of us.  This was a very good day of adventure with the grandkids!

View of the Monster golf course.

Livy, Bailey, and Savannah at the course.

Bailey hitting the ball.

Grandma Patty glowing in the dark.


Bailey and Savannah under the gargoyle. 

Bailey on a motorcycle ride.

Tracy with Bailey and Livy in the hurricane box.
The box had wind speeds up to 80mph.

Livy and her dad Tony playing air hockey with Bailey and Grandma watching.

Livy under the snake.

Bailey under the snake.

Savannah with the snake.

On the 27th and 28th we stayed at my brother's house in Acton Indiana to visit with him and my sister (Roger and Diana) .  Acton is a little over an hours’ drive from our site in Crawfordsville.  We always get together with them at least once while we are in the area in the summer and then again around Christmas. 

For Patty and I it was a very different experience as we do not drink now.  Always before we all sat around and got drunk talking until very late into the night and early morning. Funny thing is that we still stayed up very late taking but just didn’t get drunk doing it and didn’t wake up the next morning with a bad hangover.  I really enjoyed it this way better! 

A little while after we arrived we all went out to eat at Red Lobster, one of our favorites.  Well, it was one of our favorites until the really bad meal we had at the one in Edinburg TX. This time Red Lobster came through and we had a great meal like all of our past experiences with the exception of the Edinburg experience.  Now we can go back to Red Lobster again and not worry too much about the food.

Since we were last here this past fall Diana has become a realtor.   We think she will be really good at this as she has the people skills for this.  In just a few days she will close on her first house!  We hope she has many more closings in her future.  Good luck Diana!

Patty had a little truck issue this past month.  She backed into the RV hitch and pushed in the tailgate a little!  It has been very wet here so the KOA was putting more stone down so it wasn’t so muddy around the campsites.  Patty moved the truck so they would put some on our site where the truck was.  After they put down the stone, Patty brought the truck back and attempted to back the truck into the site in front of the RV.  The site has about 4 feet of extra clearance with the truck parked there. However, it is difficult to determine if the truck is out of the road in front due to the size of the truck hood.  Yup, she went back a little too far and pushed the truck into the RV 5th wheel hitch!  The truck sank a little into the new stone, and with the truck being so big, she didn’t feel the truck hit the RV.  The result was a pretty good dent in the tailgate.  The damage is only cosmetic, the tailgate still worked fine, just looks real bad.

Dent in the upper left corner of the lift gate.

The next day after the damage we took the truck to a local body shop to have it repaired.  We plan to keep this truck for the next 2 years before we trade it so it was worth it to us to have the damage fixed.  The cost will be just under $600 to get it fixed and should have it back this week.  It better be done this week as we leave this coming Friday and head to New York.

Just can’t believe we are at another 4th of July so quickly.  It seems that the 4th comes so fast after the summer arrives. This is the first year we are here in Indiana for the 4th.  We are here at this time mainly for our granddaughter Savannah's birthday this week.

We all went to New Richmond IN to see the fireworks and visit the food and fun activities the town was offering.  We got to New Richmond around 5pm which was way too early.  The fireworks were not till 10pm so we had 5 hours to eat and then the grandkids could play some games.  That was way too long as we were done eating and playing games by 7pm. So we ate some more stuff and sat around talking.  The time went by pretty fast though and then we saw some really good fireworks!  It was a good time had by all!

Downtown New Richmond Indiana.  Just a small town in America.

The group setting up chairs for the fireworks later.

Line to get ticket for the food and games.  This wasn't cheap, around $100 for the 6 of us to eat and do a couple games.

Got to have BINGO!

Bailey riding the mechanical bull.  Both Savannah and Bailey rode the bull and stayed on just about the same time, 20 seconds

Bungee race.  Both girls, Savannah and Bailey are attached to a bungee cord.  They both have a bean bag to place as far as they can before  the cord snaps them back.  It was funny to watch.

Very common now a days, the smoker.

The event had 2 WWII planes fly over before the fireworks.

The crowd builds for the fireworks.

The girls and Tony put together some glow in the dark glow sticks.

Grandma has a glow stick on each ankle.

On the 5th of July Patty and I went to Greencastle IN to visit with my cousins on my mom's side of the family.  I don't see these cousins very often, in fact the last time was 10 years ago.  We met at my cousin Nana Canada Rising and her husband Tom's house.  My brother Roger and Diana as well as cousin Fred and Allen where there too.  Allen was the husband of Susan who died this year.  We met around noon, had lunch and stayed til around 5 telling old stories and just catching up.  We can't wait for another 10 years to see each other that is for sure.  We had a great time.  Thanks Nana and Tom for lunch and hosting!

(l-r) Nana Canada Rising, me, Roger Hooley, Fred Canada.

Tom and Nana Rising.

Fred and his wife. 

Fred relaxing.

Last night the 6th of July Patty, Tony, Tracy, Savannah, and I went to the Japanese restaurant here in town to celebrate Patty’s birthday.  Her birthday was actually last month on the 20th but she was not feeling well so we didn’t go out then. This restaurant called Yamato is one of the best restaurants in town.  It was Tony’s treat to take us out, thanks Tony and Tracy!  Again, we had a great time!

One of the deserts from the Japanese restaurant.  It has a very familiar shape!

Now our time here in Indiana is winding down.  We have Savannah's birthday party this Wednesday that we are looking forward to. And then, after the birthday, we are out of here heading north east to Grand Island New York near Niagara Falls.  Time goes by so very fast and we treasure every minute we have with family and friends.  I will have one more post from here in Indiana just after we leave to wrap up this past month here.

Some random pictures that didn't make the story above but I couldn't leave out.

The Brown Bag sandwich shop in Crawfordsville IN.  Voted in the top 10 in Indiana.

Random wall hanging in the Brown Bag.

Our new water filter system for the RV.
The original was not put together correctly so it was time for a new one. 

Yea, it rained a little here.  These poor people in the tents set up in the wrong place!

My son Tony with their new cat Jaxon.

Livy talking like a robot into the fan.

Stay tuned!