Sunday, November 30, 2008

November 29, 2008
Lorraine's Report

Saturday night again, another busy week has flown by. We are still here in Morgan Hill, CA at TT. We spent the Thanksgiving Holiday with our daughter, Susy, her husband, Mark and our grand daughter, Kaitlyn. I forgot to say “Happy Thanksgiving” to all our friends and relatives last week. I hope everyone had a great holiday.

Monday and Tuesday of the week we were up by 7:15, (early for me) and went up to watch Kaitlyn. She wasn’t up to going to pre-school, so Susy asked us to watch her. She was still one ill little girl, running a fever, coughing, and still had little blisters on her tongue, hands and feet. But by Wednesday, she was starting to feel a little better and then she wanted to eat. I was so happy she wanted to eat, I gave her whatever she asked for. She is lots better now, and is well on the road to full recovery.

Thursday I woke up with a heavy cold. I figured I would probably get one, from all the people on the airplane who were hacking and coughing when I flew into B”ham last week. Sure enough, it happened and on Thanksgiving, of all times for me to catch a cold. My body has been telling me I need to slow down, but right now isn’t the time. Anyhow, we had a great dinner and wonderful time with Susy, Mark and Kaitlyn.

Friday; Susy and I would go out when we lived in B’ham for all the black Friday shopping. We would get up by 5 or 5:30 and hit the early opening shops, especially Fred Meyer, for all their goodies. This year, I woke up at 7:15, got up and took my cold medicine, so I could get going. I went back to bed for a half hour, enough time for the meds to take affect. Then, we went back up to Susy’s. Mark had gotten up early to be at Fry’s at 6 am, but there was a long line, so he went to eat. By the time he got back, most of the electronics he wanted were gone. When we got to Susy’s at 9:15, Susy was ready to hit several shops for deals. We hit several places she wanted to shop, but by 12:30, I asked to go home, I was out of ump. We went home and Susy and Mark went back out to look for a new television. When they got back later on they had found one. It’s going to be delivered today Sunday.

Friday night we went to downtown San Jose to watch the tree lighting ceremony in the park. They had lots of decorated trees, a bunch of carnival rides and some little food booths for people to go through. There were a lot of people in attendance, the big tree was full of lights and it was very festive. We then went and had pizza downtown. Fun times for all of us.

Saturday is put up the Christmas tree day. We spent the afternoon putting up Susy’s Christmas tree. It turned out to be spectacular. She has so many beautiful ornaments. Mark had taken baby to do a bunch of chores and Chuck was there to help carry up boxes of stuff, and whatever needed to be done. We went to Armadillo Willies for barbeque tonight for dinner. Then Chuck and Mark tried to take the old TV to the basement rec room to set up, but it was too heavy for them.

This next week is going to be busy for us also. We will be leaving here on Tuesday morning with Susy and baby, they will be staying the week in the motor home with us. We are headed to LA to Disneyland. Susy’s friend, Yami, from Florida is coming in on Wednesday to meet up with us. We will all go to Disneyland, probably Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Then on Friday, Chuck will take the motor home to a Thousand Trails by LA to leave it there until we return from our cruise to Mexico. Mark will come down on Friday night or Saturday to LA. Susy and Mark are going to watch Misty dog for us until we get back from our cruise. Our cruise is from December 6 to December 13. We will be going to Mexico, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas and Mazatlan.. This is the cruise I won when we were back in Missouri at Terrible’s Casino in May. It’s going to be a fun time for us, busy-but fun.

So till next time…See you down the road…. Lorraine

PS Happy Birthday to Dave from Minnesota and John from Blaine, WA

Chuck's Report
Another week gone by. On Monday and Tuesday of this week, we left our cosy little motorhome earlier than usual. We wanted to get to Susy's house before she had to go to work so Kaitlyn didn't have to be dropped off at her daycare. She was still not feeling up to par, the blisters in her mouth still were causing her some pain so she didn't eat normal. But she is on the mend.
On Wednesday, we had some errands to run so we picked Kaitlyn up from daycare, she was tired and ready to go home. But the big thing was, she was hungry so we let her eat whatever she wanted. Since then, she has been eating better so guess she is better. She sure didn't feel good for about a week or so.
Thursday was Thanksgiving day, we were able to spend it with Susy, Mark and Kaitlyn once again. In the past we spent Thanksgiving at our house, usually both Rich and Susy were able to be there. Last year was the first time away from home for Thanksgiving. Lorraine wasn't too sure how it would turn out but we spent it at Susy's house, Rich was able to come down and we had a good time. We had a good time this year also, although Rich was unable to come down and be with us.
On Friday morning, Lorraine and Susy got a late start on Black Friday shopping. They used to leave early in the morning and make a day of it but Lorraine wasn't feeling too well so they only stayed out for a few hours. I was able to use babysitting Kaitlyn as a good excuse to stay home, I don't like to fight the crowds.
After dinner, we went to San Jose for their tree lighting at the city park. This was attended by way too many people for me. Lorraine was pretty tired and still not feeling so well so mostly we just sat and watched people. Of course, by the time the big wigs finished with their speeches, the lighting was over 1/2 an hour late. I think we enjoyed this but not something I need to do very often.
Saturday was spent putting Susy's Christmas tree and other decorations up. Lorraine is still fighting her cold but was able to be lots of help. I tried to stay out of the way and was a good go-fer.
Here are some pictures of our week. Hope you enjoy them too.

Kaitlyn and her dog, Dora, riding in the laundry basket. Who says you have to spend money to have fun?

As I said, we let her eat whatever she wanted.

Here's one for you, Nana.

Reviewing the fliers for Black Friday. Think she enjoys it???

I don't know if I've posted a picture of Mark and Susy yet, here's a good one.

Kaitlyn having fun with Mommy and Daddy.

A picture just before sitting down to eat Thanksgiving dinner. Susy and Lorraine did a great job on it, as usual. Sorry, I didn't get a good picture of the dinner on the table.

Lorraine talking to our son, Rich.

Out to the tree lighting at San Jose on Friday night.
One of the displays at San Jose.

There must be over a hundred trees decorated by different groups.
Kaitlyn, Chuck and Mark at San Jose. How's that, Rachel?

Another booth at San Jose.

A big help decorating the tree at Susy's house.

Susy hanging decorations on her tree.

Here are all three of them, working on the tree.

And now that we are done, here is a curtsy.
So that was our week in review. We really enjoy spending time with Susy, Mark and Kaitlyn but understand how much we disrupt their normal life. At least with this lifestyle, we are able to return to our own house each night. Thanks for having us, Susy, Mark and Kaitlyn!
My brothers and sister plus their families got together yesterday. It has been a long time since almost everyone was in the same place without a funeral or something. I called and was able to talk with most of my brothers and my one sister, sounds like they had a good time. Sorry we were not able to be there with you but glad you spent time together. By the way, I forgot to ask if someone would send pictures of the event. I'm sure there were lots of cameras in action. I might be able to identify most of the nieces and nephews but not their kids so you may have to label the pictures.
So until next time, enjoy yourselves and be good.
Thanks Chuck

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Morgan Hill once again

Saturday, November 22, 2008
Lorraine's report

Another week has passed and what a week it was. We left Las Vegas on Monday morning at 9:15 and drove for eight hours with only one stop for Misty around 12:30. We stopped at a camp in Fresno; we decided not to stay there as they had just watered the grass and it was muddy, wet and right next to the freeway.

Chuck had looked up Wal-Marts for the area so we drove to the closest one. We decided to stay there for the night. I went in and asked if it was ok, they said yes, so we set up with one side of slides extended. I have to say that was one of the noisiest places we have ever stayed in the motor home. The trucks roared all night long, and it felt like we were in the middle of the freeway. For a first time at a Wal Mart, I was disappointed. I was awake until 3 am, so when we left the next morning, I slept off and on the three hours over to Morgan Hill. The only good part of the stay at WM was it was a short distance from the Anderson’s Split Pea Soup Restaurant. We went there for dinner; a great choice. Chuck had $1.00 cup of beer and $1.00 a pork rib barbeque; I had the famous split pea soup and sandwich. The only thing different was they changed the name of the restaurant to Stake and Rail.

Getting into Morgan Hill on Tuesday around noon, we set up the MH. Then I had to pack for my trip home to Bellingham to attend the funeral service for my brother, Colin. Colin lived in Anchorage, Alaska and passed away while we were in St. Charles, Mo. on May 2, 2008. He was cremated shortly thereafter, and the family decided to bury his ashes at a later date. The later date was chosen last week for November 20, 2008, at 2:30 in the afternoon. Colin’s ashes were to be placed in my parents graves at Bayview Cemetery in Bellingham. My son Rick, was appointed executor of Colin’s estate, and spent the summer and fall working to get him placed with my parents. Thank you Rick, great job.

I completed my packing and we drove to Sunnyvale to see my daughter, Susy and granddaughter, Kaitlyn.

Wednesday, Chuck drove me to San Jose airport and dropped me off. We left SJ on time and got into Seattle early. I had only a short wait till the next leg of my trip, when they came over the loudspeaker and said the trip into B’ham was delayed, mechanical problems. We ended up leaving 45 minutes late, getting into town 45 minutes late. My son, Rick and his wife, Lora picked me up and off we went to do some shopping and running. It was 10:30 before we checked into Silver Reef Casino and Hotel. What a nice hotel and very comfortable rooms. We still had paper work to go through, so we didn’t get to bed until midnight.

Thursday; we knew the night before we had to get up early, so we did. The Reef had given us a free breakfast buffet coupon, which we used; good food, great price-free. Then off to do the chores we had to do. It wasn’t until we were at Kinko’s making up the program for my brother’s service that I noticed my new camera Chuck had given me for our anniversary was missing. We had been all over, so I called all the places we had been the night before, but nothing was turned in.

We kept checking off the to-do list and got back into B’ham in time to check into Best Western Lakeway Inn, where we spent the night. We had time to change and head to the cemetery. There was still one chore left to do, which Rick and Lora took care of. While I was waiting for them, I called Macy’s to see if a camera had been turned in. Much to my surprise the clerk said one had been turned in; I described it and it turned out to be mine. I could pick it up after the service. The night before when we went into the mall, I took out the camera and put it on my seat chair in the car. Then I took off my coat and laid it on the seat. When we came out of the mall, I put my coat on, not knowing I’d knocked my camera out of the car. Thank God we didn’t run over it and who ever found it turned it in and didn’t keep it.

The service for my brother was very nice. Everything went off as it was suppose to. My preacher, Bill Gillifan was the officiant for the service. He did a great job. Pastor Bill was the preacher at my church I attended before we went full time. He is the man God talked to me through, when I was trying to decide if I wanted to leave my home and go on the road. I went to church seeking answers, and they were given to me by Pastor Bill.

The only complaint about the day I had was that it was rainy, windy and cold-44 degrees. It felt bitter to me, coming from 85 degrees in LV.

Friday, I flew home. I left on time and got into Seattle on schedule. I loaded onto the next flight, and they came on the loudspeaker and said we had to deplane. They would let us know in a half hour if we need to switch planes. It turned out they didn’t switch planes, but we arrive back at San Jose at 5:40 instead of 4:10. They said it was mechanical problems, again. This was Alaska Air/Horizon Airlines.

In the meantime while I’m going through all this, our granddaughter was taken into the emergency room on Wednesday night. She was throwing up blood and they had to check her out. My daughter and her husband were up all night. Susy called daddy and he went and watched baby so they could catch some sleep on Thursday. Kaitlyn ended up having hand, foot and mouth disease, a viral infection. She has small spots that hurt her mouth and tongue so it’s hard for her to eat or drink. She is still not over it and is having a hard time eating and drinking, but she is slowly getting better.

So that takes me to today, Saturday. Susy, Mark and Kaitlyn came to the motor home and spent the day. Baby and I watched movies she likes, and I cooked a nice dinner for all.

Phew! I’m glad this week is over. So till next time…Lorraine

Sunday, 11/23/08
Chuck's report

Hello from Morgan Hill, California again. We were in Las Vegas last week and decided to leave on Monday vs Tuesday as planned. Lorraine needed to fly back to Bellingham on Wednesday so this would get us in the Bay area in plenty of time.
Getting out of Vegas was uneventful this time. Last time we left there the traffic was horrible and folks merging onto the freeway didn't want to be caught behind a motorhome so they were pushing as hard a possible to get in front of us. This time, we sort of sailed on through even though there was some road construction. Lorraine took some pictures on the way out, here are a couple of them.
We don't like to travel too far in one day anymore so we checked out the Passport America book for a campground to stay for one night. When we got to it, the roads were very tight, spots even tighter, they had just watered the grass and it was muddy. On top of that, the spot we picked out didn't allow us satellite reception. We decided to continue on and try a Wal Mart up the road. We got into their parking lot, Lorraine went inside and asked for permission and they told us where to park for the night. The only problem with this was we were too close to the freeway and the noise kept Lorraine awake for awhile.
The next morning, we headed out for the short trip back to Morgan Hill, near where out daughter lives. We pulled in, got set up and headed out to pick up our grand daughter, Kaitlyn, from day care. She sure loves it when Nana picks her up. Her teacher said she was excited all day long and we didn't get there until after noon. She was quite a chatterbox, telling Nana about her day. We went to Susy's house and waited for her to get off work. Of course, Lorraine had bought some presents for Kaitlyn, here are a few pictures of her and her mother, Susy.
Once again, what a smile. She likes this one.

Kaitlyn and Susy in their house. It may not show in this picture but Kaitlyn likes this shirt, too. After all, it came from Nana, what's not to like?

Kaitlyn playing with some beads Lorraine brought from Las Vegas.
Kaitlyn likes books too, Nana brought some of them for her.
On Wednesday, I dropped Lorraine off at the airport in San Jose for her trip back to Bellingham. I then went by and picked Kaitlyn up from daycare. She wasn't her usual bright and cheerful little girl but I figured she was just down a bit from being so excited on Tuesday. We went back to her house to wait for Susy to get off work again.
Kaitlyn never did get going too much and about an hour before Susy got home, she started complaining she wasn't feeling too well. We just continued having quiet time, watching one of her many movies on TV. She wouldn't eat anything and it was tough even getting her to drink water. After Mommy got home, she threw up a bit and said she was feeling better. I hung around for another hour or so then headed back to our Morgan Hill.
On Thursday, I got a call from Susy saying they were still in the Emergency Room, had been there since ~ 1:30 that morning. Kaitlyn had started throwing up blood so they took her in, scary stuff. The doctors pulled blood samples, sent tubes down into her stomach and gave here some anti-throw up medicine. Real tough night for Susy and Mark. By the time I got to the hospital, they were just checking out so I met them back at their house.
Kaitlyn has something called Hand, Foot and Mouth disease, I don't know the long, medical term for it. The doctor says almost all kids get it at least once. She has "blisters" inside her mouth, sores on her hands and feet. She is pretty miserable, can't eat or drink 'cause it hurts too much.
Seeing as how they had been up all night, I said I would stay with Kaitlyn and they should try to get some sleep. Mark had to fill some prescriptions for Kaitlyn first then they both went to sleep. I try to force liquids into her, don't want her to dry out. After Susy and Mark wake up, I leave to head back to Morgan Hill.
Next day, Susy calls and says she has a doctor's appointment for Kaitlyn and wanted me to go with them. I make it to their house in time to drive them to the doctor. Doc says it Kaitlyn will get better, force liquids and see here back next week. Some of the medicine she has helps with the mouth pain and allows her to eat some. I dropped Susy off at her work and then watched Kaitlyn the rest of the day.
Mark had to come home early, he developed pink eye at work and didn't want to stay there. Kaitlyn attached herself to Daddy so I was able to go pick Lorraine up from the airport. Of course, the airplane was late, they developed "mechanical trouble".
Lorraine had been back in Bellingham for a funeral service for her brother. I'm sure she has more info in her report about that. Speaking of that, we don't read each other's report until I put them together in the blog. I know that sometimes both of our reports sound the same but that's because we experienced the same thing together.
Here are a few pictures she took while she was back in Bellingham.
Our son Rich and his wife, Lora.
Lorraine's sister, Thelma on the right with her daughter, Kerri, on the left.
Kerri on the right, her brother, Carl, on the left.
Lorraine on the left with Thelma's other daughter, Asley, on the right.
Two pictures Lorriane too of the sun setting from 40,000 feet.
Well, that brings another week to a close. Lorraine wrote her report last night, I just finished mine this morning and will get them in the blog and posted with some pictures. I hope you had a good week, have a very good day and even better upcoming week.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving, a good time to spend with family an friends. In fact, my brother, Brian, has set up a Thanksgiving get-to-gether with all my brothers and my sister in Missouri. I believe all of them will be there, I'm the only one that will not make it but I plan on giving them a call and talking with them. Drive careful and here's wishing good weather for you.
'Till next time - - Chuck

Sunday, November 16, 2008

2nd Week in Vegas, 2008

Sunday, November 16, 2008
Lorraine's report

Another week spent here in Las Vegas, bright lights, big city. Feels like the weeks are just zooming by. Each day we get going and we are never sure what the day will bring most of the time.

Monday was unmemorable to me. I can’t remember what we did. Tuesday was “Carol’s 81st birthday. Carol and Melba Smith are friends Chuck met on the Oregon coast. Mel recognized our rig here at 1000 Trails. We took them out to a new casino that was suppose to open on Nov 11; but it wasn’t open until 11:11 pm that night. So we drove to another casino and showed Carol how to play the new machines. She wasn’t sure what all the bells and whistles meant, so we tried to help her with that. She said she enjoyed herself. Then we went to dinner. Fun times for all.

Wednesday we got up and went to the strip to try and find cheap tickets for Jersey Boys. We went to the half price ticket place in one of the malls, and waited in line only to find out Jersey Boys was dark for the night. We would have to come back another day to try again for tickets. Chuck asked how much they were and they told us they were $125.00 each. We decided not to go. Just can’t seem to make ourselves spend that kind of money for a two and a half hour show.

Thursday was find a beauty saloon for my hair day. I needed my hair colored again. I ended up at a saloon on the far west side of LV at a place that had one hundred or so beauticians, nail techs and botox people. My gal was named Shar and I explained what I wanted. She said she could to it, so I let her try. While this is not exactly what I wanted, at least I can live with this for another four weeks or so, till next time. My hair is more blonde than I like. I had “hot” roots for a day or so. Oh well, it will fade out and grow.

Friday Chuck wanted to go to the painted desert. This park is on the far west side of LV.
The colors in the rocks were beautiful. We took lots of pictures. What a beautiful country we live in.

We got back about 3:30 and I received a call from my son, Rick. We will be burying my brother, Colin’s remains in Bellingham, on Thursday, Nov 20th. I spent the rest of the afternoon trying to get air fare for this.

After that, Chuck took us over to Sam’s Town for seafood buffet. What a great buffet!

Saturday Chuck got up and said his ear ache was back and hurting pretty badly. So we went and found a walk in clinic. He has swimmer’s ear and the Doc prescribed different antibiotics and ear drops for him to take. Hopefully this will get him feeling better.

Saturday night we went over to Fremont Street. We enjoyed the lights and music they have every night. We did a little gaming, but no luck..

So that brings us to today. We decided to leave here a day early because I will be leaving on Wednesday out of San Jose, CA to head up to B’Ham. I’ve been doing laundry and will have to pack up and pack my stuff for the funeral. Chuck took me to the champagne brunch this morning; we won’t have to eat for the rest of the day.

So that’s been our week. Till next time…Lorraine

Chuck's report
Well, it's been another week, time for a quick report. We are still set up in 1000 Trails at Las Vegas and enjoying the weather. We are a couple of miles from the Las Vegas strip, much less hectic and less traffic around here.
We are under the flight approach for the airport but they are high enough that we can't hear them. The airport is very busy, seems to be a line of planes, one every 2 minutes or so. It's pretty neat to see them lined up at night, can usually see 5 big planes in row, heading towards the airport. At least, that was the normal for most of our time here. Two days ago, the wind picked up and switched direction so now we are under the takeoff path instead. There is still a plane every 2 minutes or so but now they are making more noise. It sure seems to me that a lot of campgrounds are under airport paths or around train tracks.
Monday we decided to head to the Strip, not our favorite area in Las Vegas. Here are a couple of pictures to prove we were there.
Lorraine standing in front of the waterfall at Wynn's casino. This isn't as nice as the big water show at Bellagio or the Pirate ships at Treasure Island.
Two pictures from a walkway across Las Vegas Blvd.
About two months ago, we were staying at a campground at South Jetty in Oregon were we met a nice couple from California. Melba and Carol Smith are not fulltimers but they are on the road a lot of the time. While walking Misty, I met Mel again here in Las Vegas. We remember each other and decided to spend some time together.
Mel, Carol and Show-Show.
On Tuesday, which happened to be Carol's birthday, I wanted to go to a new casino that opened in North Las Vegas last week. Mel and Carol agreed to go with us. It is about 15 miles away but the GPS would get us there, right? Of course, there is lots of road construction here and the GPS wanted us to go where the roads were closed. We finally got there, only to find the casino was closed, it's grand opening was this Tuesday, today, but at 11:00 at night. Oh well, with this lifestyle, no worries, back to plan B. We stopped at a Casino in that area for a couple of hours. We then headed back to our area for dinner. We went to a buffet and had a very good time visiting with them.
Also, Tuesday was Veteran's day. I would like to thank all our veterans and current military personnel for insuring we keep our freedoms. Not everyone may be pleased with the outcome of our election but everyone should be proud of the way it was executed. It may not be perfect, but there's nowhere else I want to live.
Wednesday we had to go to a medical lab to get some blood drawn for tests our doctor needed. We went back to the strip for awhile after that then returned home for a quite, restful rest of the day.
Thursday, Lorraine had an appointment for her hair so we kept close in the morning then headed out to the West side of Las Vegas. While she was getting her hair done, I was able to go to a couple of hardware stores, just looking, didn't buy a thing.
We stopped for a burger at a place called "Fat Burger". We had never heard of this chain before so thought we would give it try. Their burgers aren't as good as "In & Out" but still were good. Later on, we stopped at a casino near our area for a couple of hours.
Friday found our friends, Mel and Carol, leaving. They are planning on heading towards Arizona for awhile, hope to meet up with them somewhere along the way. Their house is in the Bay area, we may visit with them there someday. Good travels and goo luck, Mel and Carol.
After they left, we wanted to go to Red Rock National Park, about 10 miles East of Vegas. There were lots of people visiting this park, most of them were hiking or climbing. We just drove through, stopping often to take pictures. Once again, there are lots of rock formation with red rocks, the pictures don't do them justice but they're the best we have.

We really like the way the red is partway and white the rest.

One of the catus in the area, lots of them around but in areas it looks like most are dead? This one seems to be doing just fine.

A picture of the valley, Vegas is off to the left, can't really make it out here.
Saturday, I woke up with another bad ear ache. I decided to go to a walk-in clinic and get it looked at. The doctor said it is swimmer's ear and prescribed some medicine. After we got back home, I took a nap, don't have any energy, it seems.
Later we went to old Vegas, a place called Fremont Experience. I came here in the late 60s, I don't know how much of the strip was built then but this is what I remembered of Vegas. Now, the strip is what everyone thinks of when they think of Vegas. If you get here, this is a side trip I recommend you should check out. It has a canopy covering about three block with millions of LED lights. Every hour, on the hour, they turn off all the glittery outside lights and put on a light and sound show on the canopy. Sorry, the pictures we took didn't turn out very well but we think it is well worth the trip.
Also, the casinos are close together here, within walking distance of each other. The street is closed between them, just a nicer area. It's not as glitzy as the strip but we like it better. I believe the payout on their slots is way better than on the strip, same type machines, just programed better.
Last week I said we were hoping to harvest some of the money we left here as seed on earlier visits. We were both winning then, can't say the same thing after another week, we are both in the hole. I keep reminding myself we are paying for our entertainment. But still, given the choice, we would rather be ahead and I know they don't build these places from the winners.
We are planning on leaving here tomorrow morning, heading back to Susy's. Today we need to get packed up and ready to go. Lorraine is doing laundry as we will not have sewer hook-ups back at Morgan Hill but we get to be with Susy, Mark and Kaitlyn. Lorraine has to fly back to Bellingham on Wednesday, more on that next week.
So, another week, another posting. Hope everything is going well with you. We are sure enjoying the weather and the sights. Being able to be here for two weeks also allows us to explore the area which we always enjoy.
Thanks for visiting our site, 'til next week - - - Chuck

Sunday, November 9, 2008

1st week in Las Vegas, 2008

November 8, 2008
Lorraine's report

Saturday night and it’s time to write another blog entry. We are here in Las Vegas at Thousand Trails by Boulder Station Casino.
We left the Bay area on Monday morning and drove to Bakersfield. We spent the night at River’s Run RV Resort. After Morgan Hill, this was a nice full service RV park. I hate to admit it but I’m spoiled. I love full electricity, sewer services and good running water. We left Tuesday morning and immediately got into a 55 minute traffic jam. A u-haul truck had run off the road and broke the light pole, and there were live lines down across the east bound lanes. It took that long for them to get the power people out to cut the live lines.

Here is the traffic jam we sat in for about an hour.

After the delay, we continued east. The drive across the desert was very windy. One gust of wind pushed the motor home into the inside lane; luckily there was no one else driving beside us, otherwise I think we would have been in an accident. It was really windy, but the sun was shining.

We should have figured it would be windy in this area, look at all the wind generators on the hills.

The oranges are ready for picking.

We arrived in Las Vegas around 4:30 and Chuck wanted to stop and get the motor home filled up with diesel. I punched in the Flying J closest to us and the GPS tries to take us there. Unfortunately, the GPS doesn’t know that road work was being done, and the road to Flying J was closed. It took us three passes to get into the Flying J. Five o’clock traffic is no place to be when you are 50 plus feet long.

We pull into Las Vegas Thousand Trails, get registered, Chuck starts the engine and slowly starts going ahead when the little gate comes crashing down on the windshield. He stops the coach and gets out to talk with the ranger. Chuck tells the ranger we will inspect the coach for damage the next day. Luckily, there was only a small ding in the Diamond Shield, it didn’t break the skin. So we head to our site, it's 30 amp with sewer and water, we have to move tomorrow to a 50 amp site.

Boy was it ever a day coming into Las Vegas, glad to have it over.

That's Vegas in the distance.

Wednesday, we get up and move to the site we are now in. I can put everything in its place, since we will be here until the 18th. Then we head off to Wal mart for supplies. It was sunny, but windy.

After that we head to an older casino we found last year. It’s called 4 Jacks and we have a little luck there.

Thursday, Chuck took me to breakfast buffet at Sam’s Town Casino. It is $5.49 per person with a discount for people 55 and older. What a great buffet-an omelet station, a carving station, a desert station, and being so close to lunch, they set up for lunch. We didn’t eat again that day.

Yesterday, we went to brunch with a new couple we met. Joe and Goldy; they have a 2006 Phaeton and they drive an Outlook just like ours. The buffet is again at Sam’s Town and is $13.99 for two with the discount for 55 plus. It was very good and again we don’t eat for the rest of the day. We played at that casino but none of us have any luck.
Goldy and Joe, nice people.

Today, Saturday, we went out into the desert. Our friends, Joe and Alice said we needed to go to see Valley of Fire state park. What a great park. The rock formations and the red colored rocks were spectacular. We enjoyed the trip a whole lot. All in all another great week we just had.
The rocks are really red, just doesn't show up well in our pictures.
This is call "Bee Hive", if I remember correctly.
One of many arches in the area.
Can't figure out how these were formed?
Big spider in the middle of the road, can't spell
tarantella. This is the first one I've ever seen in the wild.
Another arch.
A picture of early Indian writings.
Here are some early Indian writing on the rocks.
The whole hill side has early Indian writings.

A little tough to see this arch, bad picture taking on Chuck's part.

Till next time…Lorraine

Chuck's report

We left Bakersfield on Tuesday morning, planning on a 5 hour trip to Las Vegas. We got about an hour out of town and were stopped in a traffic jam for over an hour. It happened when a U-Haul truck hit a power pole and dropped the wires over the freeway. This is the first time we have set and listened to the CB radio for any length of time, boy you don't want your kids to hear that kind of language.

So after the traffic got moving again, we headed on East. We went through lots of farm area, looks like the oranges are getting picked about now. There was also lots of miles of nothing but sage bush and wind. Our motorhome handles pretty well in the wind but there were a couple of places we were hit broadside by a strong gust and it actually moved us into the next lane. We saw some smaller coaches all over the road.

We got to Las Vegas about 4:00, lots of road construction and too much traffic. We needed to get fuel and it appears you can't get there from here, with some of the on ramps closed. It took about an hour to get into and out of the Flying J but we finally got fueled up and headed towards our campground.

When we got to the campground, the guard couldn't get his act together and it took a bit longer than normal to get checked in. By now it was dark and we wanted to get set up before it got too late. He raised the bar that was across the road and we started through. When we got just about even with the gate, the bar broke and hit our motorhome between the passenger mirror and the windshield. The gate didn't close, it just broke at a bad time. Lucky for us, we had a product called Diamond Shield installed while in Red Bay this spring on the front end so no damage was done to the coach but it didn't sound very good when it happened. I talked with the manager the next morning and couldn't believe he wouldn't give us hundreds of thousands of dollars, guess I just don't live right or something.

We got set up in a spot for the night, it only had 30 amp but was fine for the night. The next morning we moved into a different spot with full hook-ups and 50 amps, Ah, life is good. Now we could run both air conditioners, microwave and Lorraine's hair drier all at the same time without tripping a breaker.

On Wednesday, we ran some errands, went to a Super Walmart, I got a hair cut and Lorraine did laundry, a busy day.

On Thursday, we decided to head to the world famous Las Vegas Strip. Although both of us like the Vegas area, we don't really like going to the strip, too busy and everything is spread out too much to walk from place to place. We only stayed for a couple of hours and came back to a casino closer to our park.

We met a nice couple here, Joe and Goldie Barbour, who are also full timers. They have a Tiffin Phaeton and have lived in it for three years. We went to a lunch buffet and played some slots with them on Friday. They have to leave on Monday, we hope to spend some time with them this morning before they head out.

On Saturday we took a trip to the Valley of Fire, the first Nevada State Park about 35 miles east of Las Vegas. Our friends from Bellingham, Joe and Alice that we met with last week, suggested we might enjoy this park. It has outcroppings of red rocks and lots of formations. We did enjoy our trip (thanks Joe and Alice) and it's close to town. It wasn't very crowded there, I wonder how many people even know about it. Once again, that's a big reason we like this lifestyle so well, we can take time to explore the area without having to hurry back to work.
This morning, Sunday, we woke up to rain. It was raining pretty heavy for awhile but by about 9:00 the sun was out and the sky was blue. For those back in Washington, it doesn't stay gray and dreary for a most of the winter everywhere. One more reason we like this lifestyle. (Is it ok to gloat a little bit?)

Now of course, being in Las Vegas, we feel we have to harvest some of the money we left here as seed. So far, we have been successful, both of us are a bit ahead of the game, Lorraine more than me but at least I'm still playing on their money. We will be here for another 10 days so that can change but so far, so good.

We got an e-mail from our friends (Mike and Linda) who are setting up a trip to Mexico after our Quartzsite stay. At this time we are planning on going with them but Lorraine and I both are having some second thoughts about it. We have read a lot about the gang activity along the boarder, mostly killing locals but some travelers are getting shot also. Mike and Linda have tried to assure us the area we will be in is safe. We will need to make up our mind soon as we will have send in a deposit.

Well, that brings us up-to-date once again. So until next time - - -

Thanks Chuck