Back home….Oh the Humidity

Arrived at Cherry Hill RV Park, College Park, MD on July 6th. (Just a few miles outside of Washington D C)

Back home because the family home is a few miles from this park in Berwyn Heights. My brother and sister went to high school just down the street. Mine, many years later, is on the other side of town. Mom and Dad are no longer with us. Departed '98 and '03 respectively. Amazing how much I still miss them after all this time, coming back makes the ache more pronounced. The house is still in the family. The same, but different.

My daughter, Angela, lives and works near by. Carla, my youngest, lives about a half hour away, just outside of Baltimore.
Work got in the way so we weren't able to visit right away. We all went out to dinner the following Tuesday evening.

It was great to spend the time with them, but, of course, it was too short.

On Sunday had a wonderful visit and dinner at cousins Fran home.


Fran, Fran & Fifi

What a great family visit. Cousin Kathleen joined us for dinner. And Fran's mom, Aunt Jo, ninety-seven in just a few months.


Aunt Jo ….. isn't she gorgeous!

We're not in Maryland very often so I do try to make a pilgrimage to the cemetery whenever possible. Always a few tears to shed.

The Washington DC region has an abundance of sites to see depending on your interests. So much history here inside and outside the Beltway. Beer and crab fests (if you haven't had a Chesapeake Bay blue crab crab cake you are in for a treat. Nothing compares!); concerts, oh and casinos, too. Gambling used to be illegal not too many years ago. Name your vice it's probably here.

On a Monday we traveled to Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

Tomb of the unknowns. Changing of the guard. Impressively, beautiful ceremony.

From a distance we thought it was a real funeral procession. Turns out it was only a practice run. Complete with a casket.

From Arlington we drove to Mount Vernon. George and Martha Washington's home. A beautiful home next to the Potomac River.

Amazing that this is the original building and not a reproduction.


Tomb of Martha & George W.

The property is vast and well maintained. Most of the items in each building are reproductions, though there are a few items in the main house that are original, unfortunately we were not allowed to photograph them.


Slaves quarters

Transportation

A few days later we took the metro to downtown DC. (Tip: if you do travel to D.C., the metro, rail and/or bus, is the best way to get there. Traffic in town is horrendous and parking is impossible)
We've been there before but there's always something different to see.


Mr Lincoln

Jefferson memorial


A view from the Washington Monument

World War II Memorial


Momma duck with her ducklings at the reflecting pool.


Vietnam War Memorial



Martin Luther King Memorial

The following several pictures are of FD Roosevelt Memorial. A long, winding pathway, several sections of FDR's legacy. So serene, almost spiritual in its setting.
I thoroughly enjoyed this more than most.


They wouldn't leave us alone, kept chasing after us. Of course, that was more than likely due to William throwing potato chips at them. Who knew they loved pringles?

After this we pretty much called it a day. Got on a bus to get closer to the metro station for the ride back. Can only guess about how much we walked that day. Not to mention the temperature was about 100. And the humidity….oh the humidity ….was close to 100. But that's normal for this area. I was drenched and my hair was frazzled. Whatever! We had a wonderful day!

That Thursday Angela invited us to dinner. The main course was one from Mom's recipes (pasta and chicken) which was wonderful. Grandma would be proud. Thoroughly enjoyed, plus she made chicken cutlets for William. One bad family trait, she made too much. The leftovers were welcomed tho, she had a few dinners for herself and we had lunches from the cutlets.

I hadn't been back to the house in ages. And tho furnishings were different it was still Mom and Dads home. Their presence was still there surrounding me. It was a good visit with Angie and I'm so happy she invited us.

And we got to meet Buster!

On Saturday we drove down to Quantico, VA. About an hour an a half south of where we were. William's granddaughter Nuri is stationed there for OCS – Officers Candidate School, U. S. Marine Corps.

We had a nice visit and dinner. It was fascinating for me listening about her training, her goals. As a Marine himself, William had tons of questions. The conversation flowed the whole evening.

Earlier in the day William and I explored the Marine Corps Museum. It's fairly new, from 2007, still parts unfinished. You can see the top of the museum from I-95. It's worth the time to explore. A stunning tribute to our Marine Corp, past to present.

While there were many exhibits, interesting in itself, what was most moving to me was the artwork. Most of the artists are Marines. "Go to war, Do art"

Outside the main building as you walk along the wooded pathways, quiet and serene, there are tributes, monuments dedicated to those who fought, who died, remembering the battles, from the beginning to the present.

At the end of the path there is a chapel, elegant in its simplicity. A place for anyone regardless of what God one believes. A chapel for any denomination, as is the practice of any military base.

The rest of the stay in Maryland was quiet and restful. It was good to be there if only for a little while. The only down side — the humidity. Oh the humidity. Sweating from morning till the next morning. Quite thankful for a/c. I remember as a kid, our house did not have a/c. Just fans. The first a/c Daddy bought was a window shaker stuck in the dining room window. The little things one remembers.
I will say there is one benefit to all this humidity. I had forgotten how soft my skin used to be before I moved out west. Years of dry heat really did dry out my skin. It's kinda nice…..for now.

Till the next time!

Safe Travels!

Pennsylvania 

Traffic jam Lancaster

Our ride from Ohio to Lancaster was blissfully uneventful.  We took our time, William only driving about three hours or so each day.  There was no hurry, especially since I miscalculated by one day and couldn’t revise our reservation.   
Circle M RV Campground nestled in lush green woods next to the Conestoga River.  This park doesn’t assign sites so it took quite awhile to find one  that would work for us.  Plus it was very crowded due, I think, to the upcoming July 4th holiday weekend.   On a suitable spot the current resident was just packing up his coach, getting ready to leave so we waited and as he drove off we claimed it as ours, temporarily that is. 

This place was pretty nice overall.  Indoor and outdoor swimming pools, which seemed to be where most people spent their time, kids especially.   One perk for William was a very nice pickleball court.  Unfortunately very few people were interested in playing.  Still, we enjoyed our stay there.   

We visit Gettysburg on Saturday, several days before the 154th anniversary of the Battle, which occurred July 1st through 3rd, 1863.  It’s a solemn place in many ways. For what those that fought there endured; the loss of life was staggering, as were the casualties.  Townspeople told to evacuate, homes turned in to headquarters and hospitals; crops destroyed, fields now graveyards (many still buried there). A country so widely divided that war seemed the only path to bring it back together.  At such a high cost.  

There are few buildings still standing. 

This is the Lydia Leister house.  A cannonball did damage part of her home, she had it repaired after she returned to her home. 

She and her daughters had to leave her two room home that General Meade turned in to his headquarters of the Army of the Potomac during the three day battles. 


Reenactments:  a field surgeon here.  


Pharmacy supplies 


This block is actually tea.  I was told they scrape the block and then brew.  It’s supposed to have a very good flavor.   

Union soldiers.


Lots of monuments both Union and Confederate….. 


Lots of cannons too. 
Philadelphia was the next trip. 

The Liberty Bell
Benjamin Franklins burial spot.
Independence Hall
A conversation with Ben Franklin and James Madison.


William’s first Philly cheesesteak  👍

Streets of Philadelphia
Tun Tavern. Said to be the birthplace of the Marine Corp. Unfortunately there is only a marker, the tavern no longer stands.



Museum of Art; and Rocky’s steps.

And yes, William did the run!! 

On our trips I usually use google maps GPS. On the way out of Philadelphia we made one little wrong turn. Of course the GPS rerouted. We ended up driving thru New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland before we finally got back to Pennsylvania.  Funny thing tho, it only took us an extra 30 minutes longer in our return trip.  

Back in Lancaster I found out there are still many covered bridges.  They date back to the mid 1800’s.  



Cornfields everywhere. 

A pretty country church.  

A lot of evenings we just hang out at home.  Sometimes busy, sometimes relaxing. Some evenings when the weather is nice, which it has been a lot lately, just siting outside, enjoying a cool breeze.  Brought back memories of home in Berwyn Heights sitting in our back yard enjoying another cool breeze, watching the fireflies at dusk.  I haven’t seen them in so many years, maybe it’s just too dry in California for fireflies.   

Safe travels! 

Ohio…… 

Our trip through north Ohio was to visit with our granddaughter, Nadia in Painesville. It was wonderful to see her, so glad we did! 


She’s off to law school in Boston this fall!! 👍

Enjoyed the drive to Cleveland, there was more to explore if we had more time.  Next time! 

We took off south to Canton.  Home of the NFL Hall of Fame.  A must see for any football enthusiast.  As luck would have it a cousin was in Canton for several weeks for business and we met for dinner!  Stephanie and Al! 


Who’d of thought we’d meet our NY/Florida cousins in Ohio!  

There’s a lot to see in Canton.  Unfortunately we only stayed a few days.  But we did see the NFL Hall of Fame.  As much as I was enthralled with Rock & Roll, William was with this one. 

I did not know that the NFL had its beginnings in Canton. 





Hmmmm……..how did this guy get here….. 😉


As of this year only 310 have been inducted in to the hall of fame.  A very exclusive club. 

Right now we are in Lancaster,  PA.  We’ll sit here for a couple of weeks before we move on.  

Until next time!  Safe travels 

Rock on!!!! 

We hit Cleveland and a trip to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!  I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.  

Hank Williams

Dion’s electric guitar – 1967
Little Richards (orange) jumpsuit – 1970
Roy Orbison glasses and guitar

Petula Clark


The Beatles

Janice Joplin
Rolling Stones
 

Jimi Hendrix Experience

Alice Coopers boots

Lady Gaga
Taylor Swift
Blondie
David Bowie


The Supemes



The Who

Guns n Roses

ZZ Top



Tribute to Rolling Stone magazine

There was so much more……not to mention the music.  Awesome!! 

Rally time……

Our last days in Indiana we spent in Elkhart Campground for the Back Home in Indiana 2017 Rally. A three day event for us NeXus RV owners. Turned out to be a nice few days, made some friends, learned some stuff.  

They kept us busy.   


First evening was a meet and greet.

Of course there was food 🥘 

Next day breakfast at the factory showroom, factory tour, lunch, question and answers with the owners and staff, tour of the lamination / service center and BBQ dinner back at the campground. (Notice the food theme – BBQ was delicious, btw) 

Next day breakfast, owners meeting, outside vendor displays, pot luck lunch, complimentary repairs from Nexus and finally, bus trip to dinner at Amish Acres in Nappanee.  (more food) 

The next day, June 11th, off to Ohio.  

Thoughts!! 

Glorious day! Nothing better than sitting under the trees, nice comfortable breeze, blue sky, watching the puffy clouds drift by. Drinking iced tea and basking in the sunshine. We’ve been kinda laid back the past few days. Except for an occasional shower the rains have departed for awhile.  

Not much going on. Oil change for the Terrain the other day. Have to keep our ride running tip top. Grocery shopping the other morning. It’s funny, had a trip down memory lane at the store here in Buchanan. This is a very small country town. No mega stores here, including WalMart. Walking in to that grocery store took me back 50 years, like I was walking in to the old A & P.  Ah nostalgia.  They even had the same pasta Mom used to buy. Can’t remember the last time I saw that.  

This is definitely small town U.S.A. It does have a lot of appeal, living in a town like this. Slower pace. Mom and pop shops, few chain stores. Though there’s the usual McDonald’s & Subway. Didn’t see a Starbucks. Homes built early 1900’s and earlier. No cookie cutter homes here. Big yards, few fences. And traffic…….there’s so little of it. I could get used to that. But everything is a good distance away so I’d probably shop online a lot more than I do now. Hmmmm…..that could prove to be really expensive 😐

One big negative for us…..winter! 

It’s been an enjoyable stay. We’ll be leaving this region in a few days and on to new adventures! 


Safe Travels!! 

Back in Bear Cave  campground……

After two weeks, our coach is fixed and we’re back at the campground enjoying a partly cloudy day on this Memorial Day weekend.   

We got to the Nexus factory service center in Elkhart for our appointment on Tuesday, the 9th.  There are sites set aside for those staying overnight and longer on premises with an electric hookup.  Basically it’s part of the parking lot.  But it works nicely.   Inside they have set aside several rooms for customers to wait comfortably and separate from other customers. They took the coach first thing and while it took all day rebuilding the slide mechanism, it’s working just fine.   

There were still several other issues that needed attention, which they would get to eventually. The problem with the engine cutting out was taken care of by freightliner center, turns out it was not the dash but the key slot, it was loose and jumped whenever we hit bumps turning the key. 

The window still had that crack so we decided to have that replaced.  We couldn’t get an appointment for several days so we stayed at Nexus through the weekend.  

Window replaced, then back at Nexus for a few minor issues to complete then the kitchen slide started making odd noises.  Turns out we were quite fortunate we were still on site because what was thought to be a simple fix turned out to be a complete rebuild of the kitchen slide.  It was just a matter of time before it would of completely broken, probably out in the middle of nowhere.  

So….. everything that needed to be was fixed. We’re hanging out at the campground for a couple of weeks just relaxing this time.  Staying around to attend the Nexus Rv rally early June.  Then it’s on to Ohio and eastbound. 

Hope everyone has a happy and safe holiday weekend.  

🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

Elkhart County IN – RV Capital of the World 

So they say.  

We’ve heard that 80% of rv’s built are manufactured here.  Imagine that! 

It’s pretty cool what they have in this building…..if you’re in to that sort of thing! 


Cool huh!!  When you just have to get away from the bear cave for awhile……

Travel trailers 

1931 Ford Model AA Camp Truck 

          

.
…….

Winnebago  1969            Breaking Bad!!

The Mae West  1931 HouseCar 




1935 Covered Wagon travel trailer

1969 Stites Chassis Mount Truck Camper 


1978 – 1982 Travco Motorhome 

This region is so picturesque….and green. Country roads, lush farmlands, a partiality to red barns, a bustling Amish/Mennonite community….. 










City of Elkhart- Downtown 



Artwork around town: 

Murals 


And all through Elkhart these guys are hanging around ….





     







Get It??  😄


And here’s my heart! 💕

Till next time! 

Michiana …..

We arrived at Bear Cave Campground on May 1st.  (yes there really is -maybe- a bear cave on site, get to pay $3.00 to tour it which we haven’t done yet.) 

Rather small, very rustic campground, full hook ups, very green, nestled next to the St. Joseph river. 


Most days it was cloudy and lots of rain. 

But the sun decided to shine the day we left! 

So many dogwoods around the area……. I’ve missed this springtime beauty. 

The following Sunday we took a day trip….we were so close to Lake Michigan I had to see the beaches in the area.  I love the beach! Any time of year.  
Silver beach park, St Joseph, MI 


A working lighthouse, one of many in Michigan. 

Sand dunes 

Coast Guard 

Cold and windy that morning 


After lunch we headed to South Bend, IN to walk around Notre Dame U.   

Home of the football legend Knute Rockne 


That little green speck in the photo is the field….. this is the closest we could get.  The whole stadium is fenced off, looks like they’re getting ready for the coming season.  

It’s a beautiful campus 



Library 


Administration building 


I love these doors in the administration building.   


Norte Dame Basilica of the Sacred Heart


Pipe organ, 2929 pipes.  

Lady Chapel with Bernini Altar


Our Lady of Fatima Chapel 


Beautiful stained glass windows 


There are over 1600 relics in the Basilica from over 800 saints.   The remains of St Severa are below this wax figurine of her.  


No matter what religion you adhere to, the artwork here is wondrous. 

Very glad we decided to drop in this museum.   A wondrous collection of ancient to modern art.  










…….on to Michiana 

While the trek from Texas to Michigan was slightly anxious due to the mechanical and weather issues we had, overall it went rather smoothly. Each day we stopped for the day early afternoon at a rest area. Learned a lot about nostalgic Route 66. All the fun places travelers used to stop that most are long gone. They had the right idea back then for traveling. These days along the interstates are so sterile, no charisma! It’s a shame the most sites of that era are gone. Route 66 is an icon. Funny thing is growing up in Maryland I had no idea it was real. I just knew the tv show (Route 66) and that oh so cool corvette.  


Yeah I’m dating myself …… 😂😊😂
We did drive by St Louis and saw the arch in the distance. (We had stopped there a few years back). Then we had to cross the Mississippi River. I’m not to fond of bridges, in fact it’s a phobia …… Gephyrophobia!  Been that way since I was very little hiding in the back seat while Dad drove over the Delaware and George Washington bridges……those were the worst. 😳😬

 I know…… TMI 

Next we hit Illinois. Land of Lincoln and ⚡️⚡️🌬💦💦🌪 We did stop in Springfield and took a break at the Abraham Lincoln museum. Did you know he was terribly ridiculed ……



…..and widely loved by he time of his death. 

There is a library adjacent to the museum, tho no exhibits while we visited, the library is used mainly for research.  

Being too cold and still raining to walk around the area to see more sites, we left and continued on our drive north. 

Next day we were at the rv park in Michigan. 

FjK

…….thoughts from being on the road…..

One of the reasons I started this blog was to remember……for some reason my memory isn’t quite as sharp as it once was, I needed a way to track where we were and when, maybe some interesting trivia and thoughts along the way. And if those who read this get a laugh or two or find something interesting…..that much better.  

Weather is something we talked about, realizing that it will be a factor in our travels. And intending to stay away from the worst! Now that we’re on the road I find it’s not quite as easy to keep away from some really severe weather. Different seasons in different regions each unique and I guess I’ve been in Southern California way too long, just spoiled with that weather. Note to self: do not travel from Texas to the Great Lakes March through May.   When weather looks like this:    


{{….yep that blue dot in the middle is us….}}

…….it’s best to avoid. Trouble is one can’t travel west to east without crossing the Midwest. While we were in Texas each storm that went through our area brought lots of rain, wind, possible hail, possible tornadoes and flood watches. Luckily for us at least, the locations that did get hail, flooding and more were somewhat to the east of us. We missed the worst, but got enough. There was storm after storm, even after we left Bridgeport, TX. From Oklahoma to Michigan, rain, thunder, lightning….. while the threat was there and very real in some of the areas we passed through we missed the flooding, hail and tornadoes. Again the worst of the storms east of us. William didn’t mind driving in rain much, tho the wind really made it much more stressful. He was much happier driving on dry roads. After arriving in Michigan on May 1st there was still rain and this time cold. Several mornings we woke up to below freezing temperatures. In May! 😳

Driving the house around, I think I’ve said it before, there’s always the possibility of problems. Just south of Oklahoma City on I 35 we hit a bump, while I was blissfully ignorant in the passenger seat, William quietly mentioned there was an engine issue. And just as fast he exited the highway (amazing there was an exit just when we needed it) pulled across the street and landed half in half out of a motel parking lot….yep the tow car was still in the road. He didn’t tell me the engine quit while still on the highway….. we just coasted through the exit. Fortunately he turned the key and the engine kicked alive and we parked…..looking at each other wondering what happened and what to do next. 😐🙁

Nervously we got back on the road. And the drive went smoothly. Stopped for the night and wondered what the next day would bring. Rain!! 💦💦💦

Driving through Missouri every now and then hitting a bump we’d loose the instruments, radio and the engine. A second later all was right again. This continued all through the drive to Michigan, not every bump but enough to be vigilant. Fortunately the engine always started back and didn’t completely stop.  

Since our appointment wasn’t until May 9th we bided our time at the campground. And now we wait. And wait. I’m writing this as the coach is in service. Yesterday the slide was fixed, now we’re waiting to see if they found the dashboard issue.  

Till next time! 

Safe travels! 

Leaving Texas…… 

We’re on the road again, left Texas on Wednesday. This time though we’re headed to Indiana.  

Last Friday afternoon there were impending thunderstorms (which seem to happen often in Texas in April) and a tornado watch so we decided to put in the slides just in case.  3 closed just fine, the fourth wouldn’t, then it tilted, totally out of alignment. Can’t drive with the slide open, so until we found a way to close it we were stuck. Nice place to be stuck tho…… 

Not much to be done with it over the weekend, so on Monday we gathered some help with strong arms, and after several hours, manually pushed the slide in.  (It’s a big, heavy slide) Met some very nice neighbors too.  And we really appreciated their help!!   They shored up the slide with some two by fours, yes that’s to keeping it from sliding out on to the road.  That would be so messy!! 😂

We decided to leave Bridgeport a day early and change our plans to go directly to the factory and get the coach fixed.  It was our intention to go to Kansas, Nebraska and S Dakota first….. but we’ll hit those later this year.  Sometimes plans change.  It’s nice to be able to be flexible. 

Right now we’re driving along I 44 (Route 66) in Missouri.   Yesterday was a lovely sunny day……today it’s rainy with a few ⚡️ bolts ⚡️ of lightning.  Chilly too.  

The rest stop we stayed at last night just outside Conway, MO, was so nice. Clean, plenty of oversized spaces. Lots of trees all around.  Missouri is so green! There was a welcome center dressed up as a diner from the 50’s along Route 66. If only they served chocolate shakes, that would of been perfect! The ladies there we very friendly with lots of trivia. It was interesting talking with them.  

We’re taking our time and plan on arriving in Elkhart this Monday.  See what happens from there.  

So far the drive has been uneventful.  Home is intact, the engines working, we’re Good! 👍

Relaxing a bit…..