grandson mason

grandson mason

grandson jaxson

grandson jaxson

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

01-31DEC14 - Houma, LA (merry xmas & happy new year!)

Obviously the month of December (& therefore this BLOG) for most people centers around Christmas!  Both in preparation for the day (unfortunately for most people this means shopping), followed by recovery from the day.  To us the hi-lite of this time of year is family gatherings, & now watching grandkids that believe in Santa Claus.  So here was our month in rapid review:

---Tuesday, 02DEC, was Tasha’s birthday, so Rebecca cooked dinner for her & Joe.

---Wednesday, 03DEC, Dan was involved in fender bender while xmas shopping (another reason to shop online!).  Early indications are that he was not at fault & the other party’s insurance will pay fully.  Thankfully damage was limited to the Toad’s rear bumper only.  Also Dan has learned to take pictures of the accident immediately, because some police will not respond to fender benders, & some people change their “story” later.  This time one of the drivers left the scene!  But Dan had a picture of his license plate & the cops convinced him to return within 30 minutes.  Then the cops took everyone’s cell phones & took pictures of all licenses, registrations & insurance cards!!!  Separate from the accident, we had a major service on the Toad later in the month because there are 110,000 miles on the truck (not counting towed miles).

---Friday, 05DEC, we attended the Houma Christmas Parade w/Rebecca, Jaxson & Mason.  This being Louisiana much candy & trinkets was thrown from the floats & vehicles in the parade.

---Oma, Opa, Rebecca, Jaxson & Mason explored a new path & bikeway built along some of the drainage canals in Houma.

---Thursday, 11DEC, in accordance with Cajun custom Mason (being one year old) got his first haircut.

---Saturday, 13DEC, we moved the RV to Joe’s to dogsit, while Joe & Tasha visit Disney World in Florida.  After some debate between Dan & Joe we parked the rig differently to make more room in driveway.  Then it was off to Nancy’s for the first crawfish of the season.

---Dan started working on a “shelf” for our satellite box, so it no longer has to constantly “sit” on the dash as we use it in our RV travels.  Unfortunately Dan makes one measurement mistake, so the first attempt won’t work & a second try was needed.

---December 19, Friday, we celebrate our 33rd wedding anniversaryJ!

---Saturday, 20DEC, Raymond, Rebecca, Jaxson, Mason & us head down the bayou to witness the annual Xmas boat parade on the bayou.

---Sunday, 21DEC, Dan discovers the RV antenna is not working & starts trouble shooting it. That evening Rebecca, Jaxson, Mason & us head into New Orleans for the annual xmas light display known as Celebration in the Oaks.  Last year we went (see below BLOG for background & better pics), but it was on a week night as opposed to a weekend.  It was so crowded you could barely move & Dan gave up on picture taking, because people kept walking in front of the cameraL  Lesson learned – don’t go on a weekend!!!

---Wednesday, 25DEC xmas, we, along with Tasha, headed over to Rebecca & Raymond’s at 0830 to open presents.  Unfortunately, Joe had to head offshore for work & wasn’t there (& won’t be home for New Years).  Then after recycling the mountain of cardboard packages it was back to the RV for a little rest.  After lunch we headed back to Rebecca & Raymond’s so Corrie & Rebecca could prepare xmas dinner.  A short time later, Tasha & her mom Brinda show up later with more food.  By 7:30PM after the family dinner, everyone but grandkids Jaxson & Mason were finished for the day.

The rest of the month was filled with:

---many family dinners including Dan’s BBQ pulled pork; Raymond cooking spaghetti; Tasha’s stir fry
---medical appointments, including one colonoscopy
---more illness; this time striking Tasha, Joe & Corrie
---babysitting; sometimes Jaxson & Mason together, sometimes Jaxson alone
---dogsitting Gracie so Rebecca, Raymond, Jaxson & Mason can sightsee in Lafayette, LA

Finally Wednesday, 31DEC, another year ends.  Our original plan was to welcome the New Year by ourselves since everyone (aka kids & grandkids) had other plans already made.  This all changed when Jaxson woke up sick, because Raymond & Rebecca decided not to stay home & not expose their friends to the “bug”.  So we headed over to their place & the evening started with a chicken wings meal; then early fireworks in the backyard for the grandkids entertainment; & back at the RV at 9PM – Happy New YearJ!!!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

07-30NOV14 - Houma, LA (with a camp trip to bayou segnette state park)

Thursday morning, 06NOV, after spending two great days with our friends Chuck & Anneke Guldenschuh, we left Tickfaw State Park & headed to Dixie RV in Hammond, LA, to have them look at our dash AC system.  After sitting around all day we learned the magnetic clutch on the new AC compressor was bad & it looks like we may need an entirely new compressor.  After all day at Dixie we had to drive from the RV facility to our daughter Rebecca & husband Raymond’s house in Houma, LA, after sunset; during the drive we learned how bad our front lights were.  Something else to add to the “to do list”.  Since it was dark we had to park the RV in their driveway using flashlights for hand signals, because Corrie couldn’t see Dan’s hand in the dark.

Friday afternoon Dan headed over to Polar Aut-O-Air to discuss the warranty on the dash AC compressor they installed last year.  We make an appointment with Polar’s owner to bring the RV in next week, for them to trouble shoot.  Not much is done the next week with Dan fighting a cold, medical appointments & Corrie xmas shopping.
Thursday, 13NOV, we take RV to Polar Aut-O-Air; & then head off to more medical appointments.  Dan who rarely gets sick has been under the weather for the last week, so for the first time in forever he will go with prescriptions to cure his ailment.  When we pick up the RV we learn that the problem may have been just a loose compressor belt not the magnetic clutch?  Since we have been without dash AC for almost a year, Polar’s owner extended the compressor warranty by six months.

Friday, 21NOV, we head to the Wetlands Acadian Cultural Center in Thibodaux, LA, a part of the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park & Preserve.  Jean Lafitte Park & Preserve is unique in that it is spread over six different geographic locations in Louisiana – New Orleans, Eunice, Lafayette, Thibodaux, Barataria & Chalmette.  See below BLOG entry for our visit to the New Orleans French Quarter Visitor center back in FEB11.  We had planned on visiting the Wetlands Acadian Cultural Center on Monday, 10NOV, to take one of their weekly bayou boat tours, but it was cancelled because they didn’t have eight paying customers.  On this particular tour you get a long boat ride of Bayou Lafourche, with a lunch & tour at Madewood Plantation.  It was great day, except the boat ride back into a headwind!

Sunday, 23NOV, we headed into New Orleans for Cirque du Soleil’s “Varekai”.  First stop was at the “Butcher” deli right next door to one of our favorite restaurants “Cochon” (that we discovered in February 2011) for lunch.  Then it was off to Varekai.  We have seen five of these Cirque du Soleil productions, but the last one was way back in October of 2007 (how time flies?).  We are big fans of Cirque du Soleil, & highly recommend seeing one of their “shows” if you haven’t!  In our opinion Verakai was good, but not as great as the previous five we have seen, still worth seeing!

Monday, 24NOV, around lunch we fired up RV & headed to Bayou Segnette State Park to “camp” with grandson Jaxson.  We had talked about doing this with Rebecca & Raymond previously; but this was a good time to actually do it because Jaxson’s daycare was closed all week for Thanksgiving.  After setting up camp it was off to the playground, followed by a short hike & then smores around the campfire.

Tuesday morning Dan made a Mickie D run for breakfast.  Then it was off to the Barataria Preserve Trails section of the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park & Preserve.  Unfortunately the visitor center is closed on Monday & Tuesday thanks to never ending federal budget problems.  While there we hiked most of Bayou Coquille Trail (2 mile round trip) before Jaxson ran out of energy.  Then it was back to the RV for late lunch & the movie PLANES (apparently one of Jaxson’s favorites?).  Late that afternoon we re-started the fire for a dinner of marshmallows & hotdogs.  Jaxson already wants to go home, but we showed the movie FROZEN to distract him & then tried to put him to bed; which did not work.  So Dan volunteered to stay up with Jaxson, who finally falls asleep laying on opa on the couch sometime after 11:30PM.  Wednesday morning was the short drive back to home in Houma, LA.

Thursday (turkey day) in the morning Dan headed out with Raymond, Rebecca & grandkids to tour replicas of Christopher Columbus’s vessels the NINA & the PINTA.  The organization that sponsors the vessels does not have a replica of the SANTA MARIA because its draft would preclude it from visiting inland ports; & most of their port visits for fund raising are shallow water ports.  As it is, the NINA is to scale but the PINTA has been enlarged to allow social events below deck (AC has even been added to the PINTA).  One fact Dan didn’t know was the crew lived on deck the entire voyage, because below decks was for storage of supplies only!  A great Thanksgiving turkey dinner was at Joe & Tasha’s, with contributions from Corrie & Rebecca.

The last day of November, Sunday, Rebecca, Raymond & the grandkids headed out to get a xmas tree.  Then the rest of day was spent getting the house xmas lights strung; & after dinner decorating the xmas tree.  A real challenge with Mason trying to help:)!

The rest of the month was spent:

---dealing with a string of illness probably started by Dan
---playing Yahtzee & a card game called Phase 10
---Dan BBQ’ing pulled pork
---Saturday, 22NOV, Rebecca & Raymond’s dryer breaks, it is decided to replace both the washer & dryer

---family dinners including Joe & Tasha in attendance
---xmas shopping including Black Friday shopping (including small business Saturday & cyber Monday)
---“camp” fires in the back yard
---taking batman to the local playground