Sunday, April 26, 2009

We head towards Bellingham, currently in Oregon


Sunday, April 26, 2009                                                                                                   Lorraine’s report

It’s been two weeks since I last wrote for the blog, so here goes. We survived the busy Easter weekend and Kaitlyn’s fourth birthday party at Pump It Up Jr. We were all pooped, and we sure did have one tired four year old after everything was said and done, but she did have a lot of fun.

Sunday, April 19, we went to the San Jose Swap meet. It was unseasonably warm, the temperatures were up into the mid 90’s. A bunch of records fell that weekend for the whole area. There were tons of people at the swap meet, and everything you can think of, but we didn’t buy too much, mostly looking.

Monday was a quiet day spent watching Kaitlyn; we all needed that. Mark came back from Seattle that evening.

Tuesday morning Chuck got a call from the generator place to bring the coach in, so off he went while I went up to watch Kaitlyn. He called after 10am and I went back to pick him up. Then we drove up to see some friends, Melba and Carol in Walnut Creek, CA. It was great to visit friends we met last year in South Jetty, Oregon, and then again in Las Vegas. They both looked great and they sure live in a beautiful area of CA. We enjoyed our visit with them.

We went out to dinner with Susy and Kaitlyn on Tuesday evening, then it was time to say our goodbyes. That was so hard, I cried half the way home.

To my grand daughter, Kaitlyn, I have to say I really miss seeing and watching you everyday; you bring so much love and joy to our world, and you helped NaNa get a lot better, physically. It was so hard for me to say goodbye to you and Mommy, even if it is only for a few weeks.

We are now in Canyonville, Oregon at Seven Feathers RV Park. We left the Bay area on Wednesday morning, April 22 and went up to visit our friends Bill and Jeanette. We met them at Quartzsite this year, and they went to Mexico with the group. They have some land and a beautiful home in Lincoln, just out of Sacramento. They also had room for us to park the motor home. They called our other friends, Mike and Linda and they came from their home in Auburn and met us all at Bill’s and we all went to Thunder Valley Casino for a wonderful buffet for $9.95. It was great to see everyone and catch up.

I went shopping on Thursday to their big mall, while Chuck washed the coach. That evening the four of us went to Old Sacramento to the Crab Shack to eat and walk through all the little shops, although most were closed since it was a week day evening. We had a blast visiting Jeanette and Bill. Happy Birthday Bill, hope you had a great day with your family. Thank you both for everything!!

Friday we got up early and were pulling out to leave before 9 am when the turn signals wouldn’t work. Chuck and Bill worked on them for almost an hour before they got them to work. We drove from there by Sacramento to here that day. Usually we don’t drive more than two to three hours, tops but we had our friend, Tim waiting for us here at Seven Feathers. Tim drove down from Lynden, WA by Bellingham to meet up with us.

Saturday was Tim’s birthday. We took him to dinner at the casino and had a great meal, way too much food.

Tomorrow we leave here and head farther north. I still have some shopping to do here in Oregon where there is no sales tax, so we plan on stopping at Woodburn outlet mall. From there we go on into Washington. We plan on being in Birch Bay on April 30.

We have doctor appointments, wedding arrangements to help with, fittings for the wedding, etc, plus all the visiting with family and friends, before we leave for Alaska.

So that’s it. I want to say “Happy Birthday” again to Bill and Tim. Hope you had a great day. I’m looking forward to seeing our family and friends at home again. Thank you again Bill and Jeanette for letting us stay with you.

Till next time…..Be well…..Lorraine

4/26/09                                                                                                                               Chuck’s report

When last we wrote, we were sadly getting ready to leave Susy’s in a couple of days.  We started breaking it to Kaitlyn that we were leaving in 4 – 3 - 2 days so she could be prepared to not having Nana there everyday.  Talking to Susy and Mark after we left, that didn’t work as she still missed her Nana when she had to return to school on Wednesday and Thursday.  And I can attest that Nana is missing Kaitlyn too, I don’t make a very good replacement I guess. 

Last Sunday we went to the San Jose swap meet with Susy and Kaitlyn.  The weather was unseasonable hot and set records from way back but we still had a good time.  In my opinion, the Yuma swap meet is better and has better junk but there are lots of vendors here. 

Monday we picked up Kaitlyn and pretty much stayed around the coach.  We did do a bit of shopping but it was a day mostly for Nana and Kaitlyn to be together.  Mark returned home from Seattle in the afternoon, Susy and I picked him up at the airport. 

Tuesday Lorraine picked up Kaitlyn while I took the coach to the repair shop for the last of our planned work this trip.  We got the coach back in the campground by noon and then took off to visit with friends of ours, Melba and Carol, in Walnut Creek.  They had invited us to stay with them for a few days but we were only able to spend a couple hours visiting them.  They live in a nice planned community, backed up to an open area with deer and wild turkey, very nice place you have, Melba and Carol, thanks for sharing it with us!  When we got back to Susy’s, we had a nice dinner but Mark had to teach a class that evening so he couldn’t go with us.  This was the last of our time with them before we left, wasn’t fun saying goodbye that night, either. 

On Wednesday we finished packing up the coach, started it up and turned it until the compass pointed North, heading for Bellingham.  We wanted to visit with a couple of friends and make a couple of stops along the way.  So that afternoon we went to our friend’s, Bill and Jeanette, in Lincoln, what a nice place they have.  They are a few miles out of town on 18 acres, a nice house, good size shop, horses for the grandkids and a full hook ups for a motorhome.  That evening we met with Mike and Linda and went out to a local casino for a buffet and good conversation.  We were with both of these couples in Quartzsite and Mexico and it was good to visit with them a few months later, catch up on what they had been doing and seeing what their plans were for the summer.  Although it doesn’t appear we will see them again this summer, we know somewhere down the road our paths will cross once again. 

Thursday turned out to be a bit cooler so I washed the coach while Lorraine went to a local mall to do some shopping.  Once she got back, I washed the car too.  After Jeanette got home from work, they took us down to Old Sacramento.  This is an area of town they have developed for tourist, very nice.  By the time we had dinner on a patio overlooking the river, it was late enough that some of the local shops were closing but we still got to experience the flavor of the area. 

Friday was going to be a fairly long travel day, at least by our standards, so we wanted to get an earlier than normal start.  We got up a bit earlier and things were going well, we would be on the road before 9:00.  However, once I hooked up the car and while checked the lights, I noticed the left blinker and tail light didn’t work on the car.  So with my assistance, Bill figured out our cord from the coach to the car wasn’t passing current through.  He had another cord that he let me have, everything worked and away we went.  Thanks Bill and Jeanette for letting us stay with you for two days, we will return for a longer period someday.  By the way, Friday was Bill’s birthday, Happy Birthday Bill. 

For the most part, the roads in California are ok but most need some work, especially in the slow lanes.  A few places we were bouncing along pretty badly, even keeping at the posted 55 MPH while towing.  Now of course, after washing the coach and car, it had rained during the night but the roads were fairly dry and we only ran into a couple of small rain squalls.  Lorraine was on the phone for some of the time, making plans with doctors, friends and campgrounds.  About 5:00 we pulled into the campground at 7 Feathers in Canyonville.  We walked into the office to register and there stood our friend, Tim, who had driven down from Bellingham to spend some time with us.  He had just walked into the office to ask them a question.  It was good to see him but we were surprised to see him waiting for us in the office.  We had a good visit before we headed over to the casino to try their buffet, it was as good as I remembered. 

Lorraine likes to shop in Oregon, especially nice since there is no sales tax here.  We had made plans to drive back to Medford on Saturday to the mall and a shoe store we found last year.  As I have very narrow feet, it’s hard to find a place that carries shoes that fit, this place has them.   Saturday was Tim’s birthday, we headed back to the casino for another birthday celebration dinner this week.  Happy Birthday to Tim, too.  Boy are there lots of birthdays in April for us this year. 

There is a chapter of the FMCA having a rally here, the Bus Nuts.  I think there are 22 coaches here, most of them are Prevost with a couple of bus conversion.  They plan on leaving today after their breakfast, will be quite a sight watching them head down the road.  This morning Lorraine plans on going to the indoor swimming pool they have here and I will have a couple of repairs I need to work on so guess we should get ready to start moving. 

We plan on leaving here Monday morning, traveling to the outlet mall in Woodburn for a day’s adventure then pulling into the 1000 trails park in Chehalis, WA.   Our plans have us pulling into Beachwood Campground on April 30th for two weeks and probably at 1000 Trails in Birch Bay for another week.  I want to make sure Lorraine is getting over her liver problem before we head North and still have a couple of items to get ready for the trip.  We also plan on off loading a bunch of stuff from the coach and store them in the shop, no sense in hauling stuff we don’t need up there and back.  I don’t think we ever will have an empty compartment but that’s what I’m shooting for.  We will probably remove our outside TV and have place for a freezer too. 

So with that, I’ll add a few pictures and get this thing posted. 

DSCN4389 DSCN4394 Kaitlyn wearing Nana’s straw hat at the swap meet.  We sure miss her already and its only been 4 days.  

DSCN4399 Melba and Carol, nice folks we first met in Oregon and then again in Las Vegas. 

DSCN4401 DSCN4406 Kaitlyn and Susy at dinner on our last night there. 

DSCN4422  DSCN4425 Jeanette, Linda, Mike and Bill at dinner with us. 

 DSCN4430Here’s the group picture, Mike, Linda, Bill, Jeanette and Lorraine. 

DSCN4428I thought this was a good picture of Lorraine. 

Following group of pictures are just of part of our trip to here.  Although we liked the desert, it sure is nice to see real trees and mountains again.  Wish it was warmer however, we really got used to the weather down there. 

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DSCN4517  DSCN4528 Tim with his dog, Lady.

DSCN4531 DSCN4523Tim’s new coach and later getting ready to blow out his birthday “candle”.  He got it out with one breath too. 

So once again we say so long for now, 

Thanks  Chuck

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Kaitlyn’s 4th Birthday


April 19, 2009                                                                                                    Chuck’s Report


And now for the main reason we wanted to be here at this time, Kaitlyn’s birthday and her party.  She had been calling Nana at least once a week for the past couple of months to make sure she was coming to her birthday party, as if she would miss it for the world. 

On Sunday, Susy and Mark had a party for Kaitlyn and some of her friends at a kids place where they can play on those big blown up slides and such.  They rent this place out for parties so it wasn’t too busy they could go from one toy to another with no waiting.  She had a ball and really got tired out.  Afterwards they had pizza and cake for her and her friends.  Susy’s friend Mandy made and decorated a princess cake for her, it turned out really nice, good job Mandy.

Monday and Tuesday I picked Kaitlyn up at their house and she played all day with Nana, they sure have a good time.  Wednesday was her actual birthday, Mark took off work that morning to be with her.  We met them at their house until we left to meet Susy for lunch.  After lunch we did some running and then had a party at their house where Kaitlyn opened the rest of her presents.  After a good dinner, we had another birthday cake, chocolate this time.  

Thursday we picked up Kaitlyn from her house but on Friday, Mark had a business meeting close by and he dropped her off at our place.  After his meeting, we picked him up and dropped him off at San Francisco Airport for his trip to Seattle to visit with his dad.  His dad is still recovering, they have his pain under better control and he is at home.  We wish him and his whole family the best!!

Saturday Susy and Kaitlyn came by our coach and then the three girls when shopping and got their portraits taken for Mother’s Day. 

This week we also got some necessary work done on the coach.  On Monday we got to the service center about 8:30, this meant having to get up earlier than normal and getting the coach ready for travel.  We picked it up about 4:30, there were a couple of things still needed and some parts that had to be shipped in so we scheduled it back there on Wednesday.  Tuesday I took it about 30 miles away for a recall to have the hitch replaced, took all of 25 minutes to do the work but was all morning driving in traffic back and forth.  Then back to the shop on Wednesday to finish up with the maintenance work, but of course they found more.  The radiator overflow bottle on the generator had a hole in it and can you believe. it was still under warranty for 5 more days.  I had to take it to another shop, he checked it out and ordered the parts and will call when they get in, one more trip to make then we should be done, hope, hope.  Lorraine has to put everything away for any trip we make so this week she hasn’t put all of the normal stuff out and it isn’t “home”, if you know what I mean. 

Friday morning started out nice and sunny, forecast to be in the 80s.  I decided to wax the roof on the coach, didn’t finish before it got too hot so stopped and finished on Saturday morning.  I can tell that I’m out of shape, I’m tired, sore and I got a bit of a sunburn but glad it’s done.  I’m not sure I could do a honest, hard day’s work now, don’t plan on finding out either, ha. 

We are scheduled to leave here on Wednesday and start our trip back to Bellingham.  The only schedule we have so far is to meet with our friend Tim, from Lynden, Wash.  He is driving down to meet us at Seven Feather’s RV park in Oregon.  We want to visit with a couple of other friends along the way too, we have to work out the schedule yet so I won’t make any promises.  Boy have we met lots of nice folks in our travels this past year and a half. 

I’m still working on the timetable for our upcoming Alaska trip.  I need to make a couple of phone calls this week but it still looks like the first of June we will be driving into Alaska for a 4 month visit.  I’ve done lots of research on what to see and do while in Alaska, don’t think we can see and do all of it even in the 4 months, its a big state with lots to do, plus this is their 50th anniversary of statehood so there will be lots of celebrations for that too. 

Now, here are some pictures of our week. 

photo[2] Here’s Kaitlyn telling Nana a joke.

photo[1] Must have been a funny one, they sure enjoyed it.

Following are some pictures from Kaitlyn’s birthday party at Pump It Up Kids.  She really liked the big slide, especially when Mommy or Daddy would go with her.  I also included a picture of the cake that Mandy decorated, looks too good to cut,doesn’t it?

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 DSCN4245 DSCN4247   DSCN4268 DSCN4254DSCN4262

On Thursday, Kaitlyn was so worn out, she actually took a nap in the car.  Later, we played with her bubble machine she received for her birthday.  She sure enjoys live, huh!!

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On Wednesday she was able to open the last of her presents and have her chocolate birthday cake.  What a big week for a small girl.  And you know, she didn’t change much from when she was three when she turned four like she thought would happen. 

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And now that all that is done, it’s time to clean up.  Here’s Kaitlyn cleaning the kitchen floor, what a big help.


So once again, that was our week.  Nana hasn’t had time to do her regular post yet, too busy but if the first two pictures show nothing else, they show what she has been doing this week.  If she does write a post, I’ll add it here and send out a note letting you know but I wouldn’t count on it this week. 

With Mark in Seattle, Susy and Kaitlyn spent the night with us in the motorhome.  Kaitlyn is now up and playing with Nana and I’m finishing up this blog.  Pretty soon, we will have to make our plans for today, looking forward to that. 

So until next time - - -  - -  

Thanks  Chuck

Sunday, April 12, 2009

We’re in San Jose


Sunday, April 12, 2009                                                                                                      Lorraine’s Report

Happy Easter to all our family and friend, we hope this finds everyone healthy and happy on this blessed Holy Day.

We are here at Trailer Tel RV Park in San Jose, CA. We got here Wednesday, having left Palm Springs Tuesday. We hit a terrific wind storm on our way up. The winds were gusting pretty hard, and down by Buttonwillow, CA, four big truck rigs were blown off the road and crashed in the blowing dust.

We’ve been busy with our granddaughter, Kaitlyn, watching her while her mom Susy, and Dad Mark are at work. She just loves for NaNa to watch her. We read, watch TV, do art work, play, eat; just your everyday stuff.

Today is the day Susy is having Kaitlyn’s fourth birthday party at Pump It Up, a play land jumping house, with all kinds of things for kids of all ages. She had it there last year and all the children loved it. Her actual birthday is Wednesday, April 15, 2009, tax day.

Friday was Chuck’s 60th birthday and Susy’s home was all decked out with 60 everywhere. She and Mark took us all out to the Outback to have a grand birthday dinner. We went back to her home for cake and presents. Kaitlyn, and Kim, Susy’s friend Mandy, her sister Beth, and Kim, who came down for Kaitlyn’s birthday, from Bellingham, were happy to help PaPa open presents. The girls had a fun time. What a great birthday party-Thank you everyone!!!

I should let everyone know, I’m feeling quite a bit better. Yesterday, I went shopping with Susy to a big mall. We made it through the whole mall, which is great, because I hadn’t been able to do that much walking. My fingers got pink color back, not the yellow tinge they had been. While I still have good days, bad days, it feels like I’m having more good days. Hopefully that will keep up as I continue to improve.

Monday evening our friends, Tom and Dorothy came over to the motor home and wanted to find out more about our trip to Alaska this summer. They had lots of questions, which we answered. It turns out they want to go to Alaska with us, so we will have six coaches going to Alaska with us this summer. It’s Alaska’s 50th birthday of becoming a state, so there should be lots of celebrations going on all over the state. I’m looking forward to going, it should be fun!

So that is it for me for this week. I love being here with my granddaughter and daughter. Kaitlyn is such a joy for me, I love being with her and Susy.

Here’s hoping Pat is okay from his hip surgery; Kerri, my niece, recovers from her surgery, Betty from Palm Springs, TT has good news, Bill, Mark’s dad continues to be comfortable at home from his time in the hospital, and the rest of the people I’ve been praying for continue to improve.

Till next time…Happy Easter……..Lorraine

4/12/09                                                                                                                               Chuck’s Report

First, Happy Easter to everyone!!  Hope you have a good day and can spend it with family. 

Last week I posted about my cousin Lucinda’s husband, Pat, having a hip replaced, hope everything is going good there, I haven’t heard.  Our son-in-law’s dad is now home from the hospital and they have his pain treated somewhat, hope he is resting more comfortable.  Our niece, Kerri had surgery in Bellingham this week and here’s hoping for a quick recovery for her, too. 

Lorraine seems to be getting better each day.  She sometimes tries to do too much and gets tired but at least she’s out there trying.  I think a lot of her recovery can be attributed to being with Susy and Kaitlyn this week.

We stayed in Palm Springs an extra day last week due to high wind forecast in the area.  We had very high winds for two days, the clean coach got dirty, sand was blown into every nook and crevice.  On Monday night, Tom and Dorothy came by to talk about our trip to Alaska, they decided they will go with us, good deal.  By Tuesday morning, the winds had died down so we decided to leave Palm Springs and head for the Bay area. 

But while we were traveling up on Tuesday, the winds picked up again and we went through some pretty windy spots.  We were getting hit broadside with ~ 6omph winds, in some places we went through sand storms bad enough to almost lose visibility and the wind was trying to blow us off the road.  We decided to stop early for the night and wait out the wind storm.  We stayed in a campground and hunkered down, the winds finally died down late that evening.  Not fun driving with heavy winds hitting the rig broadside, I can tell you.  We heard that 4 big rigs had overturned on the highway due to the winds, glad we didn’t do the same!  All in all, it handles the wind pretty well but given the choice, I’d rather sit it out and wait for the wind to die down. 

So on Wednesday we got to the Bay area.  We dropped off the coach in a parking lot and checked out a couple of different spots to stay.  One was the fairground close by.  They had full hook-ups and a good price but we didn’t feel safe there so we moved on.  Next spot we checked was the local Elks, very nice but they don’t have a sewer dump there, would have to leave the lot to dump the holding tanks, plus they only had 30 amp for power.  So we decided to head on to a park we have stayed at before, Trailer Tel RV Park.  The good thing about this one is it’s close to Susy’s place, about 5 miles or so, has full hook-ups and it’s quiet.  Bad thing, it only has 30 amp and it’s expensive.  But, being close, we decided to stay here for at least a week, maybe two. 

Once we got set up, we went to pick up Kaitlyn from her school.  Boy was she excited to see Nana!! We also had her all day on Thursday and Friday, picked her up from their house and kept her with us both days.  It was raining and windy outside so Lorraine and Kaitlyn played, did art work, watched movies and rested but mostly just enjoyed being with each other. 

DSCN4148 Kaitlyn and Papa Wednesday evening, something tickles her fancy here.

DSCN4151 Kaitlyn with beads from NaNa, Misty watching, hoping to get some food.

DSCN4152 Kaitlyn wasn’t feeling too well on Friday afternoon so we waited in the car while Lorraine finished up shopping.  Kaitlyn liked playing with Lorraine’s straw hats and I managed to get a couple of pictures. 

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On Friday when we brought Kaitlyn home, this is what we saw.  Must have been my birthday or something.  Susy’s friend, Mandy, came down from Bellingham for Kaitlyn’s birthday.  She and her sister, Beth, put up the decorations Susy had bought.  Good job.

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DSCN4161 DSCN4164 This is the cake Mandy made, good thing it didn’t have 60 candles, however.  Kaitlyn helped blow out the candles when they were lit though. 

We went to dinner at Outback for my birthday, thanks Mark and Susy.  Here are some pictures from dinner.

DSCN4171  DSCN4172  Me with Lorraine, Kaitlyn

DSCN4175  DSCN4176 Susy and Mark

DSCN4167  DSCN4166 Mandy, her daughter Kim and sister Beth

DSCN4179 Kaitlyn helping blow out the candle on our desert. 

After dinner we went back to Susy’s place, had cake and opened presents.  Thanks for a good day Lorraine, Susy, Mark, Kaitlyn, Mandy, Kim and Beth.  Also thanks to those who sent messages and/or called.  It’s good to have that over with, now we can celebrate Kaitlyn’s birthday.

DSCN4181 Kaitlyn helping me open presents. 

This week we will be celebrating Kaitlyn’s 4th birthday.  Today, Sunday, there a party at a place close to their house where the kids can jump in those blow up jumpy things.  Her birthday is actually on Wednesday the 15th so I’m sure there will be a cake that day also.  She is sure excited about being 4, seems lots of things will happen when she is grown up.  She says “When I’m 4 I will ----“  all the time, she really expects to have some big changes happen to her on her birthday. 

We also have some maintenance work planned for the coach this week on Monday and Tuesday.  Only bad thing about that is we have to get there in the mornings and the traffic can be bad.  We only have to get the oil changed, grease the chassis and have the normal checks done once a year, want to get all that done before we head North for the summer.  We also have a recall on the coach (change out the tow bar connection) that will get taken care of during that time too. 

By the way, I have three brothers who have birthdays this week also.  Happy birthday to Gilbert (15th), Brian and Brad (17th) this week!  April was a busy month for birthdays around our house when we were kids, 4 within a week. 

With Mark’s dad still recovering from his surgery, he wants to head back to Seattle to spend time with him.  So we will be staying here to help Susy, and of course, spend more time with Kaitlyn.  We don’t have our schedule set yet but we have doctor visits scheduled in early May up in Bellingham, will have to leave here the following week sometime.  But for now, we know we will be in the area for at least another week, Lorraine is very happy about that, I’ll tell you.  More time to be NaNa and be with Susy!!

So until next time, this OLD guy will say so long. 

Thanks   Chuck