Wednesday, August 28, 2013


August 27, 2013

We finally cut the cords and headed out of Minnesota.  Iowa is our next destination on our adventure.  This is a quick trip with an overnight at a casino on I-35.
  The cost of our overnight stay was $20.  The temp was 100 degrees when we arrived at the casino.  Ray set up the RV.  I turned on the AC and we headed out to the casino to cool down.

Hot days bring on the desire for a chilled draft beer.  Needless to say it went down quickly.  To our surprise, the casino policy is one beer per every 20 minutes.  This was fine with us but we would of timed our drinking better if we had known.

Nice park for an overnighter.  No bathhouse (restrooms/showers)  Full hookups and easy access from the freeway.

Lots of construction this summer.  I have heard Ray talk about reusing concrete for highways for years. But I have never seen it done or never noticed...  this time I did.  There was a mile of chewed up concrete.  They were removing the rebarb before grinding it up to reuse it.  Who knew this would peak my interest.

ALSO - the dirt is really dark brown.  Never seen dirt that brown.  Again..who knew this would peak my....

One regret, we forgot about the Bridges of Madison County until we saw the sign for the turnoff.  Darn, I would of liked to see them.  We have reservations in Branson for Labor Day and I don't want to mess with them so off we go....


August 22 - 26, 2013

We had a great time visiting Minnesota.  We stayed at the Grand Casino in Hinkley.  Hinkley is north of Minn/St Paul and, believe it or not, the closest campground we could find for the dates needed.

My nephew and his family moved to Minnesota a couple of years ago.  He has faithfully returned to the west coast and we have faithfully "promised" we would visit Minnesota -- soon.  There was no way we were not seeing them.

Ben was so impressed with our home that he decided to move in with us.  Took a couple of minutes to convince him he needed to go with daddy.  But Uncle Ray came through with a camp over while I was in Oregon.

No fish (of course) so a quick game of Frisbee golf.

THEN - we got to see Ben on the ice.  What fun to watch Ben show off his stuff.  We didn't know what he was doing, but he looked really good and fast!

MALL OF AMERICA - I'm not much of a shopper since I retired but I couldn't pass up the chance of visiting the Mall of America.  Ray and I dodged all the freeway construction and headed out to the Mall of America located by the airport.   It was fun to see the amusement park in the middle of the mall.  Most of the stores were the same as the malls we have in Oregon.  I was hoping to see the QVC store but couldn't find might be closed.

The lego store was as impressive as the rides.  Juli told me you could rent a room in Legoland for $250 per hour for parties.  hmmmmm

STATE FAIR - they say the Minnesota State Fair is one of the largest in the nation.  It was large and hot (97 degrees).  We arrived mid-day on Sunday and quickly found a parking spot.  Things were looking good.  Then we set out to find shade and fun things to do, see and eat.  By evening, we had tickets for the Grand Stand - Dwight Yoakum and Sheryl Crowe performing.  As we were walking to our car, there were fireworks -- right on top of us.  Made us giggle and run like heck to the car.  A great day at the fair.


August 14 - 21, 2013

Even though we sold everything and said goodbye to everyone, I had one more obligation that needed to be 40th class reunion.  Five years ago, my friend Linda called and asked me if I was going to the reunion and I said "Is there a reunion?"  Evidently, I wasn't the only one unsure there was a celebration scheduled.  Only 11 people showed and we pledged to make sure that communication was better for the 40th so everyone would have an opportunity to attend.

I am so lucky, I went to high school on the Oregon Coast.  We lucked out and weather was great.  A total of 50 people showed for the reunion!  


 Since I was on the West Coast, I also took care of a couple of housekeeping chores and visited with a couple of friends - thanks to everyone who took care of me.  I loved the BBQ pork chops (Joyce);  practicing Spanish with Cathy; Josh's B'day at Al's (Debbi); and the peacefulness of staying on a houseboat, except for the construction but I ignored it  (Jean and Mary's).

Wondering what Ray did while I was gone?  He played with our nephew Erik and g'nephew Ben.


Aug 7 thru 12, 2013

We are still traveling, we just had a recess in Wisconsin from the hectic schedule we were on.  Ray was in full vacation mode and we were not going to let a minute be wasted.  By the time we hit Wisconsin, I was exhausted and thankful there were no National Parks within a 50 miles radius.

We left Duluth by crossing a channel on Lake Superior and landed in Wisconsin.
Our first stop was the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center.  The center was full of information about the area and had beautiful views of Lake Superior from the viewing area on the upper floor.  The inside of the building had murals, information tables sponsored by National Parks, NOAH and US Forest Service.  It was a great place to take a break and learn about the area we were planning to visit for the next week.

Our next stop was Woodruff Wisconsin in North Wood Wisconsin.  The temp was in the high 60's and felt wonderful.  This is a busy place.  There is an impressive intersection where folks travel to three other towns surrounded by lakes, shops, and people.

 Our home for the week was Hiawatha Campground.  It was an older well kept campground with a majority of the spaces occupied by seasonal campers.  I now know what a seasonal camper is:  Someone that rents the space from May thru September.  Campers come up on weekends to fish or Loon spotters (Loonatics) This type of rental is not the case in the NW but I could see the appeal.  Most camp sites had long boats and Ray was anxious to purchase one...not.  The lakes were beautiful but most of the waterfront is private property.

I loved the signage.  Every intersection had signs for who had cabins down the road.

Sydney loved the green area around the campsite. Unfortunately, she ate something she shouldn't have and became ill.  We spent a couple of days watching Sydney.  She is much better but has lost the privilege of people food.

 We had a visitor at our campsite - a black squirrel.  The other animal we saw and was surprised by was turkeys along side the highway.

The other interesting thing we saw was a clothes line at the campsite.  This was a popular item.  I had never seen a clothes line for campers to use.  Doesn't take much to impress me.

I had my hair done in preparation for my class reunion the following week.  I was a little nervous when I found out it was the second week of employment for the hair stylist.  But she did a great job.

Back to Minnesota so I can catch a plane to Portland.