Sunday, July 26, 2015

Vermont & New Hampshire

Hi Folks,  This will be rather short..............I think, as we are now in New Hampshire, and I want to get everyone caught up on our time in Vermont now.  We drove from Oneonta to Vermont on Friday.  It was a fairly short drive, but some of the roads were pretty bad!!!!  We were going to the Elks lodge in Brattleboro, VT.  About 8-10 miles away from there our coolant light came on, and the audible alarm went off.  Yikes!  There was no place we could stop (and we actually thought it was the battery light) so we pressed on and prayed we could get to the lodge without further problems.  When we got settled in, we got out the manual and discovered that was the alarm and light for coolant, so Jim diluted the Dex-cool and added it.  We hoped that would solve the problem.  Jim checked hoses for cracks or leaks, and the belt seemed nice & tight, so we hoped that was all there was to it.  By the way, there had been no signs of steam escaping, but it did smell hot when we got to the lodge. 
Yesterday we did the tourist stuff.  We went to see the Grafton Cheese Store.  It was nice, but very pricey.  We bought some aged cheddar, some garlc cheddar, and some smoked chili cheese.  Yummy!

Then we visited  Harlow's Sugar House.  As you can see below, it was quaint looking inside.  Here we bought some more cheese and maple sugar candies.

This last picture is the Hidden Springs Sugar Farm.  Besides buying some more sweets and stuff, we had lunch on the patio there.  The dogs enjoyed the outing too. 
Then we returned to the Elks, tired and hot.  The weather has been humid, so one gets tired and sticky!  We solved that by going
inside the Elks for a cool drink and good company.  We met a nice guy named Mike who talked about placed he had visited in California. 
Later we walked the dogs, and had dinner, got showers and relaxed until bed time. 
This morning we packed up to travel the 82 miles to get us here to the Epsom Valley Campground in New Hampshire.  Sadly, the coolant light was still on this morning, but no alarm today.  I hope we can figure that out before we leave here on Tuesday.  This campground is along the banks of the Suncook River, so I will try to add some pictures to my next post.  Too tired to walk out there today.  Will close now.  As always, enjoy America and keep the rubber side down and the shiny side up!  Bye for now.   :o)

Thursday, July 23, 2015

We're in New York State....Part 3

July 21st was Willie's birthday and he got a few extra treats to celebrate.  July 22nd was Jim's birthday.  We don't exchange gifts anymore, but I made him a nice breakfast, then baked him his favorite cake............white walnut with whipped cream frosting.  Since we were going to have to pack up to travel today, he wanted me to keep dinner simple, and he chose chili cheese hot dogs and potato chips.  After dinner with Jeff & Patty, we all drove down to Allyn & Sherry's house to have cake & chocolate ice cream and champagne.  Jeff & Patty didn't feel like going for a swim, but we did.  I need to tell you how very blessed I am.  Several months ago, Allyn emailed me after finding me on the Horseheads High School Alumni web site.  He remembered me from all those many years ago, and wanted to re-connect.  He says he doesn't really like people, but he is one of the nicest, most social people I have met in a long time.  He and his wife came over to see us at Jeff's house last Friday, and it was truly wonderful for me.   

Sherry loves to sew and do quilting.  Patty shares this interest, so they had a lot to talk about. 
 Here's Jim's birthday cake and a bottle of champagne we bought at the Firelands Winery in Sandusky, Ohio.  It was a perfectly lovely evening.  Allyn's pool was at 90 degrees, but the air was only 57 when we got out at 10:30 pm, so that was kinda rough! 
This morning we woke up early and packed things up to go.  It was hard to say good bye to Patty.  She said she wished we could stay longer, but we knew we had to go.  It's always better to leave while the hosts are still happy with you, than to stay too long and risk having them regret inviting you. 
We drove to Oneonta today.  We had planned to stay at the Elks, but we needed to dump our tanks, so we decided to stay at the KOA in Franklin.  We have all had some painful experiences in our lives.  I thought the death of my 8 day old son was the worst thing that could happen to me.  Losing my dad in 1982 was terrible.  He was the ROCK of our family, and even now sometimes things occur and I wish I could talk to him about them.  In 1983 Jim lost his dad, and in 2006 he lost his son.  In 2007 my mom died in our home.  I thought my crying was over when we had her memorial service, and later when we sent her ashes to Mike to be buried next to our dad.  But today, for the first time, Jim and I went to West Oneonta to visit the gravesite where dad and mom were laid to rest.  This is NOT how I had thought we would spend my birthday, but I knew I could not leave the area again without making this trip to see them one last time.  I hope each of you who read this realize how precious family and true friends are, and will treasure each day you have with your loved ones.  Please don't let disageements make you turn against those you love.  Please remember that life is short, so make the most of it.  Enjoy life, and love your family and friends.  Don't take life too seriously.  Remember to's the best medicine.  That's all for today, tomorrow we head into Vermont, and more adventures.  Bye for now.

My 50th High School Reunion and Horseheads part 2

On July 18th we attended my 50th high school reunion for the Class of 1965 at Horseheads High.  It was so great to see some friends that I had not seen in that many years. 
 The lady on my right in the pink top was a dear friend named Moira Murphy.  It was wonderful seeing her again.

This globe was illuminated from inside and was really beautiful.The reunion took place at a Museum called The Wings of Eagles Discovery Center.

This beautiful lady, Ann Denhoff, was my 8th grade earth scence class.  She had a huge influence on my school life, and it was incredibly great to see her again.  Her husband Jack is sitting next to her.  He was also a teacher, but I don't remember what he taught.

The girl on the left, and to me we are still just girls, is Linda Kurtzenburger.  She was a classmate, friend, and lived in the house next to the one my parents bought in 1965.  She was also the New York State Junior Miss for 1965!
Next to her is Kristen (Kookie) Banfield, who was the NBC spoke person back in the day.  I am embarassed to say I can't remember the name of the girl on the right.  If anybody reading this recognizes her, PLEASE let me know her name.  Thanks. 
When we got home, Millie let me see just how worn out she was from her day.  LOL.

The next day, we cooked baby back ribs for dinner for Jeff and Patty, and had a very nice day together.  Patty hadn't been feeling well, so we were glad she was able to join us.

 On Monday Jim & I drove to Elmira to visit my brother Mike.
Last, but not least, after visiting the Horseheads Historical Museum, we went to visit my dear friend Pearline.  It was wonderful to see her again.  That's all for now.  I'll finish up on my next post.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

We're in New York State.....part 1

I didn't realize I had not posted since July 5th, so I will break this into two parts or it would be too long.  Before we left Ohio, our Campground had some serious rain storms with flooding. 
I also want to include a picture of something we had not seen in many years, and some of you might have never seen.When was the last time you saw a rotary dial phone?  We saw this one at the place that repaired the A/C on my car.

We got to the Elks Lodge in Niagara Falls, on July 10th for a two night stay.  It was a very nice lodge, that sits next to the Fashion Outlets Mall.  There was a huge parking lot, and we parked right next to the lodge building. 
This is the Grand Island Bridge going to niagara Falls.

The next morning Jim's brother Norm took a bus from Buffalo to the Seneca/Niagara Falls Casino, where we picked him up.  That was HIS idea to save us the trouble of driving all the way to his house.  There was a great deal of construction on the roads, and we had some confusion about where to meet him, and, in the end, it would have been easier to drive to his house in the first place!  We had a nice day together, and then drove him back to his home in Buffalo. 
This is Jim with his brother outside our RV. 

On July 12th we drove on to the Elks Lodge in Henrietta.  We got set up before anyone arrived at the lodge for the day.  Our daughter-in-law, Jennifer and her boyfriend, Tim arrived with our grandson, Larz and her new baby girl named Willow Elizabeth Kathleen Conrad.  She is a beautiful little girl, and that is a lovely name..............but I just wonder how long it will take her to learn her whole name!  We had a wondeful visit with them.

Here is Jenn with Tim and her kids.

When we went inside the lodge, they were having a birthday party pot luck for a member and generously invited us to join in on the fun!  We had BBQ pork and hot wings and salads and a chocolate cake.  What a nice day!  The next day my dear former sister-in-law Judy came to visit us from Mount Morris with her friend Steve. 

We think he is a wonderful person, and it was a lovely visit........except Jim had him look at our slide room rods, which were bent.  He said it was a really serious problem and suggested we call a place in Bath,

 NY called Wilkens RV to see if we could get it serviced.  We called on Monday and they had an opening for us to bring it in on Wednesday.  It was not cheap, but they did a fantastic job on the repair and we feel confident that the RV is now ready for the rest of our travels.  This place was huge, but they treated us like we were the only people who needed attention.  We got the oil changed and filled the propane tank while we were there.  It took almost four hours, but it was well worth it.  We hooked the car back up for towing and got to my youngest brother Jeff's house by about 5:30 pm.  All in all, a successful trip.  We got the RV parked and set up in his yard, and settled in to relax.  Then I realized I had not picked up  the 6 pack of LED bulbs I had bought that day, so Thursday morning we had to drive BACK to Bath to pick them up.  LOL.  The memory just isn't what it used to be!!!
This is the house I grew up in, on Mathew Circle in Horseheads, NY.
Millie loved it at Jeff;s house.  She really made herself at home!

On Friday morning I began after breakfast by baking a chocolate cola cherry cake for that night's dessert.  Then Jim used his bread maker (on the dough cycle) to make two loaves of Italian oregano bread.  Once he had the dough out of the machine, I set up my Ninja to make the spaghetti sauce.  We had invited two friends from here in Breesport, Allyn & Sherry, and Jeff and his lovely wife Patti for dinner.  Sherry made a wonderful tossed salad to go with dinner.  I was amused to see that only the "girls" had salad, while the "guys" went straight for the spaghetti, meat sauce and bread!  It turned out to be a very nice evening, but I was exhausted by the time we got the dishes done and everything put away.  More news soon.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Seven Days in Ohio (and 3 more to go)

We arrived at Kenisee Lakes last Monday and it has been a really nice week.  We were interested to learn that there are 18 covered bridges in Ashtabula County.  Back in 2010 we visited several covered bridges in Indiana, so we were looking forward to visiting more bridges while we are here. 
 I got a kick out of this.  When we exited I-90 in Austinburg, we saw this on Ohio-45.  I just thought it was funny.  It reminded me of the big rocking chair that Lily Tomlin sat in, on Laugh-In as Edith Ann.
Tuesday we went to Ashtabula.  On the way, Jim had to "herd" some geese out of the road.  Later we got to this Covered Bridge Pizza Parlor and Eatery.  The pizza was grand and the ambiance was wonderful.  The service was great too.  This Pizza Parlor is in an actual covered bridge built in 1862. 
Wednesday we drove over to the small town of Jefferson,
which has beautiful older homes and is quaint.
Here in Ohio, we have seen the prettiest homes, and landscaping that we've seen since we began this trip back in January.  It is amazing how beautiful it is here.

Thursday we decided to go see some of the covered bridges in the county.  We had to get a few things at Wal-Mart in Ashtabula, so after that we drove to see the longest covered bridge in the US.  This bridge was dedicated in 2008 and is 613 feet long and 30 feet wide.
We drove on to the next bridge listed, but it had such a severe down grade, I decided to pass this one by.  We started to drive to the next one, but when we saw this on
on the roadway, we decided to pass on this one too!  We went into a driveway and turned around to leave. 
This isn't an actual covered bridge, but this is on Mill Creek Road on the way back to the campground.  We can drive under it in the car, but for sure, not in the RV!!!
We didn't try to see any more sights that day as traffic was really terrible.  This was the beginning of the July 4th weekend, and there were lots of people on the roads, so we came back to the park.  We stayed home on Friday and Saturday.  They had a short holiday parade here in the park, so we took chairs out to watch it, but it was over in 2 minutes and 15 seconds!  I know because that is the length of the video I took.  Our little dog Millie is fearless, and the fireworks didn't phase her a bit, however poor Willie was terrified by the noise.  It kept up until after 11 pm on both Friday night & Saturday night, and intermittently until after 4 am Sunday morning.  We decided to take the dogs and get away for a while today, so we went out to see more covered bridges.  It was a beautiful day and we had a grand time. 

The last one, on the right, is the shortest covered bridge in the US.  It spans only 18 feet, and is supported by only a single Kingpost and its roof is a Scissor Truss, which gives the bridge a lighter, open feeling.  This bridge includes a toll-keeper booth to remind visitors of pioneer days when travelers often had to pay for the priviledge of crossing the bridge.  This description was taken, in part, from the Official Driving Tour Map for the Covered Bridges, Wineries, and Barn Quilts of Ashtabula County.  
We tried to visit the Old Firehouse Winery in Geneva-by-the-Lake, but being a Sunday, this tourist attraction was overwhelmed with visitors.  We have a couple pix to post, but were not able to park so we didn't get to go inside.  Many visitors came by motorcycle, as you can see.
 These were taken at the Old Firehouse Winery before we left the
area of Geneva-by-the Lake.  We made one last stop at the Old Mill Winery in Geneva.  Jim had a beer called

   the Great Lakes Monster.  It was a pale ale.  He enjoyed it, but said he wouldn't want it again.  I tried a couple sweet wines, and bought two bottles to take with us to NY. 
I hope you will be able to read the Rules of the Bar from the Old Mill Winery.  They were amusing, so I took a picture.
It was a wonderful day, and now I'm glad we are back home to our wheel estate.  We hope you all had a wonderful July 4th weekend.  Enjoy these great United States of America, and keep the rubber side down as you travel.