grandson mason

grandson mason

grandson jaxson

grandson jaxson

Thursday, December 31, 2015

25-31DEC15 - Houma, LA (merry xmas & happy new year!!!)

Friday morning, 25DEC (xmas), Joe finally was back from his job offshore & came over to Rebecca & Raymond’s early for the opening of xmas presents.  He then headed back to his house & hours were spent cleaning up the wrapping mess.  Then Corrie & Rebecca start preparing the xmas dinner.  Joe came back for the xmas dinner, followed by the adults playing Taboo; before everyone crashed for evening.

The next day Dan BBQ’d pulled pork at Rebecca’s request.  One of Rebecca’s xmas gifts was a two seater kayak.  So Raymond, the grandkids & her, met Joe to go kayaking.

Not much else was done until New Year’s eve, other than taking down the xmas decorations & cleaning up tons of pine needles in the living room.  Thursday, 31DEC (New Year’s eve), was spent prepping for the “big” celebration in the back yard.  After dinner Raymond started an outdoor fire & followed by fireworks w/the neighbors.

Hoping all the best for you & yours in the New YearJ!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

05-24DEC15 - Houma, LA (prep'ing for xmas & misc)

Very early Saturday morning, 05DEC, we said goodbye to Sharon & Tim, & started the long drive to kids & grandkids in Houma, LA.  In ten hours of hard driving (with some close calls thru Houston) we finally arrive at our daughter Rebecca’s & husband Raymond’s.  Our son Joe was already there with pizzas for dinner.  Unfortunately Raymond is drilling w/his National Guard unit & won’t be home until tomorrow.  579 miles driven (might be the longest distance driven by us in one day on the RV?).
Sunday Corrie ran errands, while Dan washed the RV & Toad.  At lunch Rebecca, Jaxson, Mason & us headed to a local playground for a picnic lunch & to play.  Later that day Raymond made it home from drill & Joe came over for dinner before heading offshore.  We began constructing a Xmas ginger bread house after dinner – everything went pretty good until the grandkids realized all the parts were candy.

The following weeks were spent preparing (mostly shopping) for Xmas day:

>decorating Joe’s house with Xmas decorations, since he is working offshore for most of December.

>Dan modifying a tool (an easy out) to repair RV hot water tank.

>medical appointments, including physicals & eye exams.
>Dan bike riding w/Rebecca & grandkids.

>heading to Houma Main Library w/Rebecca & grandkids to listen to the TARP Bell Choir.
>heading into NOLA on Saturday, 12DEC, for Celebration in the Oaks, to meet Rebecca, Raymond, Jaxson & Mason.  As we discovered last year, the crowd was overwhelming & Dan still feels we need to go during the work week.  Jaxson was not happy about the annual picture w/Santa & Mrs Claus!  Enroute we stopped at a New Orlean’s institution - Bud’s Broiler for a burger & hotdog.

>many days trying to figure out why our DISH system not working.
>attending Jaxson’s “pre-school” xmas program.
>34th wedding anniversary.
>major computer crash.  The problem is an unknown hardware problem & will require the computer to be shipped to a service center.  This required local computer shop to transfer our hard drive to a cheap laptop. 
>Xmas eve we help the grandkids put out reindeer “food” for Santa’s reindeer.  After they go to bed, Dan & Joe bring over a train table gift for Mason & complete the final assembly.
Meanwhile southern Louisiana has been experiencing record heat through most of December.  Looks like Xmas tomorrow will be in the 80s.  We could do without the heat & humidityL!

Friday, December 11, 2015

29NOV-04DEC15 - Kerrville, TX (via sutherlin, or; corning, ca; boron, ca; casa grande, az; & van horn, tx)

Early Sunday morning, 29NOV, we spent hectic two hours securing the house & property (the new solar array is still not connected to grid).  Then on to the freeway for a very long drive south & then east to the kids & grandkids in Houma, LA.  We start the trip experiencing bad traffic thru Tacoma & Olympia; followed by fog; & discovering that the winter sun is lower in the south sky, so the sun is in your eyes the whole day as you drive south.  By four in the afternoon the low sun was blinding & we decided to call it a day.  We ended up in the same RV park with a drive-in movie screen we stayed in during our 2012 furniture move.  Unfortunately movies are only shown every other Saturday.  After dinner we heard a bang outside the RV?  As Dan was checking the outside of the RV, he discovered that the hot water tank drain plug had “let go”; forcing Dan to find shutoff valve to the hot water tank.  383 miles driven.

Monday morning we got on the road to immediately run into stopped traffic on I-5 South.  Apparently no one listened to, or believed, the weather reports of hazardous driving conditions in the morning (ie black ice)!  Of the dozens of “spun out” vehicles we saw, about 80% of them were pickups & the remainder were SUVs like Tahoes, Durangos, etc.  After surviving the icy patches, it was mountain driving thru northern CA & southern OR; along with Siskiyou Summit, Grants Pass, Sexton Mountain Pass, Stage Road Pass, & Canyon Creek Pass.  Feeling slightly worn out from the drive we decided to stop earlier than planned at Rolling Hills Casino, Corning, CA, where we stayed 01APR14.  Back then they gave us $20 bucks each in coupons for the casino, now nothing & they charge $4 for a shower – we won’t be back.  308 miles driven.

Tuesday eight hours of boring driving to Boron, CA, mostly on I-5 South.  490 miles driven.

Wednesday shortly after hitting the road out of Boron we entered LA traffic on I-15, I-215 & I-10 east (not fun).  15 & 215 are undergoing major widening & lane markings are almost impossible to see during the day.  After entering Arizona we took the US 85/I-8 bypass around Phoenix (highly recommended) to the Escapees SKP CoOp RV park in Casa Grande, AZ.  456 miles driven.

Thursday Corrie did the first three hours of driving.  As usual we took the Trans Mountain road around El Paso.  The road is fantastic until it joins I-10 East, but still worth it to avoid the mess thru El Paso.  We stopped for diesel at truck fuel facility where Dan witnessed a “blessing” ceremony last spring on 27 FEB 2015.  We decided to continue to Van Horn, TX (arriving in the dark), to have dinner at El Capitan Hotel (see below BLOG link); but the RV park recommended the Van Horn Cattle Co restaurant.  It was good, but still just a steak house; next time El Capitan.  517 miles driven.

Friday, 04DEC, we made it to Take It Easy RV in Kerrville, TX, where we usually stay when visiting with Dan’s sister Sharon & husband Tim Tompkins.  We then spent an enjoyable afternoon, dinner & evening with Sharon & Tim.  After dinner they taught us a new dice game.  After saying goodnight Dan headed to the men’s shower where he noted two hangers with notes attached.  One said - “this hanger belongs to Bob ????, don’t use” (and the hanger was taped to the coat rack so it could not be removed); the other said – “this hanger doesn’t belong to anybody, feel free to use it except Bob!”  Tomorrow we will try to push thru to Houma, LA, & the kids & grandkids (a drive we usually split into two days).  Also we received pics from our neighbor showing that our solar array is now connected to gridJ!  375 miles driven.