Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Oh No More Snow

Tuesday Dec 29th

We left Branson MO this morning at 9 am, drove 366 through Arkansas, Oklahoma and into Texas.  We arrived in Denison, TX at 4:30 pm, it was a long day, stopped only twice for gas. 

Mike found a nice RV park Grandpappy's Point Marina and RV Park.  It’s a huge Marina on Lake Texoma, and at $7.50 a night, not to bad.  I would not want to spend to much time here, the spaces are very small and right on top of each other, no room at all between sites. 

Oh and did I mention it is snowing, they forecast an inch or two overnight.  Should be fun driving in the morning. 

We hope to meet up with friends Steve and Sandy Algire tomorrow sometime.  They are headed east to Alabama to have some work done on their 40 foot Phaeton MH.  We are traveling the same highway only going in opposite directions.   Spent a lot of time traveling with them last summer.  They spend summers in Washington, so we have some catching up to do. 

Hope to find the warm weather soon.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Back In Branson

Hope everyone had the best Christmas ever.  Ours was a little off, a few of us had the stomach flu on Christmas day, other then that had a wonderful time.  Got to visit with the kids and grandkids, and my dad. 

Traveling in a small ford ranger truck with two cats was not fun.  I will be investing in a small kennel. They just could not get comfy, I think I need a bigger lap.  I have been working on that, but not their yet.

The trip home and back to Branson was pretty uneventful.  Just a few extra stops for Mike, he has some intestinal problems yet. 

I will get the pictures posted this week hopefully.  We leave Branson Tuesday morning for the warmth of the southwest. 

Saturday, December 19, 2009

We Made It To Branson Missouri

We left Summerdale Alabama on Thursday the 17th and drove 280 miles to Vicksburg.  We spent the night in a Casino campground, and received free breakfasts in the morning.  As you know nothing in a casino is free , I spent $4.00 on the slots and Mike spent $2.00, not to bad.

We left Vicksburg at 8:30am and drove 390 miles to Branson.  We are staying at the Turkey Creek Escapees RV park.  Mike wants to leave Tuesday to go back to MN and do it in one 12 hour day and I would like to leave Monday and make it a 2 day trip.  Not sure who will win this one.  

Woke up this morning to temps in the low 20s right now it is only 34 and not expected to get much warmer today.  We have both electric heaters going as the furnaces in MH are not that efficient.  They really do not warm the place up when it gets this cold.  Silly us, we should be in AZ where we only need heat a little at night. Soon, we will be headed to the southwest and the warmth of the sun. 

Thursday, December 17, 2009

We Enjoyed Our Stay

Our stay at Rainbow Plantation in Summerdale AL, was very pleasant despite the rain.  It’s a beautiful RV park and the people were all so friendly.  Mike spent time visiting at the various functions that go on at an escapees park, social hour every evening, bingo, poker, dinners, and many other happenings.  You know Mike he is a social butterfly, always talking and visiting with someone. 

To be fair our site was really the only one under water that much, and we could have moved at anytime, but that was more work then putting on the waiters (not sure of the spelling on waiters) before leaving the MH.   Our lake did dry up pretty fast when the rain stopped.  Mike was hoping to get a little fishing in, but he couldn’t get to his fishing pole. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Frogs Are Drowning Build Me An Ark

It has not stopped raining since we arrived in Gulf area of Alabama.  We have had 10 inches in the last three days.  Everything in the MH is damp or just plain wet.  Even when it’s not raining the humidity is 95%.  P1040813 P1040814

Wish the weather had been better for our short stay here in Alabama, would have liked to have done more sight-seeing.  We did go to lunch with friends, Ron and Linda Fleeger, they are work camping on a preserve in Mississippi, about an 1 1/2 hours from here. They drove over on Sunday and we spent the day catching up on where we have all been in the last year.  We will be seeing them again this winter in AZ. 

It was not just the weather that kept us from doing much, I still feel pretty lousy.  Mike made a doctor appointment for me, I just kept hoping I would wake up and feel better, or maybe I’m just a little stubborn like my dad.  Off we went to the doctor this morning and they did an EKG and chest X-ray. The EKG was fine but I have pneumonia.  Another trip to the pharmacy for more meds.. sure hope this time I start feeling better.  Mike is just about ready to put me in a medical coma until I’m well.  Not that I whine or complain much, just all the time.  I admit I’m a big baby when I don’t feel well.

Our cats Stormy and TT went to the Vet on Monday. Stormy and TT both needed vaccinations and TT was neutered.  TT’s not real happy with us and Stormy is always an angry cat.  

The sun is shinning and the temps are in the high 60’s today, and will be that way for a few days.  To bad because we have to leave tomorrow and head north.  We will be staying in Branson MO. for a few nights and then head back to MN for Christmas.    

Friday, December 11, 2009

More Site Seeing

We took another short trip to Mobile to Tour the battleship USS Alabama and the submarine USS Drum.  You can read about them following my links.

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Our tour was self guided with the help of a written guide.  I wish I had counted how many times we went up and down the steps. 

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After touring the Alabama we toured the sub USS Drum.  As we are going thru the sub I wonder how the men spent months in one of these things, I know they are much larger now, but still they have to be pretty confining.  My Son Rich was in the Navy for 6 years during the first Gulf War.  He served on the Trident Submarine USS Alaska .

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The picture on the left is the torpedo room and the one on the right is part of the engine room. 


The USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park has a beautiful rose garden, it happened to be blooming and I was able to get a picture of a lovely yellow rose. 

After all our touring we stopped for lunch at yet another Dinners, Drive-ins, and Dives eatery.  In the  small town of Daphne AL, Manci Antique Club.  Mr. Manci immigrated from Italy and open a small restaurant in 1924 and it has been popular every since.  They serve por-boys and  the best hamburgers. 

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The place is full of antiques, but they are not for sale.  After our lunch we spent some time checking out all the junk, stuff, treasures, or what ever you want to call it. 

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Little Sight Seeing Tour

Mike finally got me out of the MH, I still am not up to par, but getting stronger everyday. 

We took a trip to Fairhope a small town on the ocean.  It was a cool, cloudy, windy day, but I will not complain, back in MN they are having single digit temps and lots of snow.

We spent some time walking the beach and watching someone flying a large kite.  We pretty much had the beach to ourselves with the weather being on the cool side. 

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Along the pier there was a beautiful rose garden, I just had to take some pictures.  Flower are blooming everywhere.  The town is decorated for Christmas, it is very odd to us to see flowers and Christmas decorations in the same place at the same time.


Mike and I are big fans of Food Networks show, Dinners, Drive-ins, and Dives.  We checked the web site before we left to see if there were any restaurants in Fairhope that have been featured on the show, there were two and we choose The Gumbo Shack.  It was a good choice, they had the best seafood gumbo we ever had, not that we have ever had it before, but it was good.

I never got a picture posted from Thanksgiving of the family, Mike brought the with him and he did get a few pictures for me.


Starting in the back row. Grandson Ryan, son-in-law David, another son-in-law Mike, grandson Matt, daughter, Teresa, granddaughter Lizzy, my dad Merlin, granddaughter Amanda, and daughter Sherry. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Long Haul to Alabama

It was a long cold drive down here, but well worth it.  The temps are in the high 60s low 70s.  It is raining today, but expect sunshine tomorrow.  We are in Summerdale AL only a few miles from the gulf coast.  We are staying in a escapee park  Rainbow Plantation a very nice RV park.

We started out following the Mississippi river.  Our first night was spent in a casino parking lot in Dubuque Iowa.  Our second night was in Hannibal Missouri in a RV park as it was plenty cold and we wanted to use our electric heaters to keep warm. 

We stopped in St. Louis to check out Gateway Arch and have lunch. 

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If you would like more information on the Gateway Arch just click on the link.                                       

DSC_0103Viewing from inside the Arch  

DSC_0108 The pods you ride up to the top of the Arch.  Five people can squeeze into the pods very uncomfortably.

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The first 3 pictures were taken thru the windows at the top of the Arch in the fourth picture.  Picture one is Busch Stadium home to St. Louis Cardinals.  The second picture is home to the St. Louis Rams football team.

We stopped for lunch at Showmes bar and restaurant.  We had no idea what kind of place this was, but Mike thought is was pretty fun. 

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The prices were a little high, but the food was good.  I had chicken wings and really enjoyed them.

After leaving St. Louis we stopped at a hospital which has an express emergency room.  I still was not feeling well, they diagnosed me with bronchitis, left overs from the flu.  Very efficient in and out in less then an hour.  I left with three prescriptions.  Hopefully this will do the job.

Our third night was spent in Perryville.  We stopped following the river and decided to do freeways, as I just wanted to get to our destination and rest.

The fourth night was in Memphis.  We stayed a an RV park across the street from Elvis house, Graceland.  We were going to tour the place in the morning, but I was not feeling well and was pretty weak.

Our fourth and last night on the road was a a campground, in Waynesboro Mississippi.  Would have liked to stay longer it was a beautiful place right on the water, and only $ 9.00 a night instead of the usual $30.00 we had been paying.

We arrived at Rainbow Plantation RV Park on Sunday afternoon.  We plan to just sit and relax and get healthy for a few days before going out and doing the tourist things.


Sign at a gas station we stopped at on the way down.  I wish I would have watched the people walk in to see if this was true. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Back To My Blog


It’s been almost 3 weeks since I lasted posted, but I have a good excuse, the flu which lasted 2 weeks and still not feeling up to par.

It was a busy time for Mike getting ready for our departure on Tuesday.  Dad had doctor appointments, Lizzy swam at state, and medaled in 2 of her events.  We had a few dinner plans with friends which Mike attended and I had to miss. I did make it to my Christmas party for the compost site.  A good time was had by all.  Hope someone emails me some pictures, as I forgot my camera. More on the party when I get pictures to post. 

We left MN. and headed south following the great Mississippi River.  It was nice going through all the small river towns.  Last night our 1st night on the road was spent in Dubuque Iowa, beautiful old town with lots of history and beautiful architecture.   We stayed at Diamond Jo Casino, there is no charge for spending the night, but we did pay a small fee.  

Tonight we are in Hannibal MO, staying in a RV park, it is going to be cold tonight and we wanted to be sure we had full hookups.  It started to snow as we were parking, thank goodness it didn’t last long. 

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mike And I Take A Road Trip And Lizzy Goes To State


Friday Mike and I headed down to southern MN, Fairmount, to pick up an awning for the slide on the MH.  300 miles round trip, wish we had been in the MH, you get a little spoiled traveling in comfort and a on board bathroom.  

P1040722 P1040725 We stopped for lunch at Grace’s Mexican Restaurant in Owatonna.  The food was unbelievable and moderately priced.  Mike had a chili burrito, does that look good or what.  Grace the owner waited on us, and at first Mike ordered a chimichanga, Grace said no if you have never eaten here before you have to have a chili burrito. Mike was not going to argue with her, and he order the burrito, turned out to be a good choice.  Grace told him next time he can order anything he wants.  I also had a burrito, that was so good. 

Our granddaughter Elizabeth swam in the finals for state swimming qualifications.  She swam in 4 events took a 1st place medal in 3 events and a 5th place medal in the 4th heat. 

In the girls 400 yard freestyle relay her and and the other 3 swimmers broke the sections record and the school record.  We are so proud of her.

The State finals are this weekend so you can bet Mike and I will be there cheering her and the team on.  She will be swimming in 3 events at state.

P1040739   She’s so fast it’s just a blur.  Or maybe grandma had the camera on the wrong setting. 


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day and Mikes Birthday

I want to thank all the men and women who served our country.  My son Rich Okeson who was in the Navy for 6 years and served during Desert Storm.  My dad Merlin McCalla who was in the Navy and served in World War 2.  My son-in-law Dave Skinner who retired from the Navy after serving 23 years and our Daughter Teresa Skinner who was in the Navy Reserves for 8 years.  And thanks to Mike a veteran who served in the Army in Vietnam. 

It was Mike’s birthday yesterday, I fixed him his favorite breakfast, and then made him go on a long walk.  Mike is not much of a walker, I have to pretty much bribe him with food or drink to get him to go with me. 

We have been getting the MH ready for our trip south, we cleaned the bays and threw out stuff we haven’t used in the last year.  Probably dumped 100 pounds or close to it Mike figures.  I also went thru our clothes and some of the drawers in the MH and dumped some more things. 

Mike and I  had fun on our weekend away. 

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Mike and the guys at the deer shack.  To many to post all their names, sorry guys.  Maybe Mike will take care of that later.


The girls LeeAnn, Cheryl and Sharon.  It was the most lovely weekend, sunshine everyday.  The only problem was we had to drive into town to do our walk.  To many hunters in the woods around Cheryl’s house.  In fact we could see a couple in their deer stands when we sitting on the deck.  Woke up every morning to gun fire.  Hope some of the hunters were shooting at deer.

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Our walk around the town of Pine City, MN. The lake in town was so calm and some of the trees still had color.  Not sure what the name of this tree is but it had beautiful berries on it yet.

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I just loved this building it used to be a gas station years ago, and now is a real estate office.  The roof is all stone, I had never seen a stone roof before, I thought it was very interesting. 


Friday, November 6, 2009

We Are Getting Out Of The Motor Home

Mike and I are going are gong our separate ways this weekend.  Mike is going to the deer shack in Hoveland, MN, with 15 other guys, to drink, talk stupid and lose his money playing poker.  Deer hunting season opens here in MN this weekend.  No one at the deer shack hunts, no one even brings a gun, just a guy get together.  Farting and belching will be the entertainment for the weekend, I’m sure.    

Me on the other hand is doing a girls weekend in Pine City, MN at our friends Cheryl's house.  We do this every year in November.  It will only be four of us, but we do have a good time. Lots of good food, we all bring something to share.  Unlike the guys we drink a moderate amount of wine, never talk stupid, only intelligent conversations take place.  As for gambling we play farckle much more fun.  Farting and belching I don’t think so, we are ladies and we would never think of doing that. 

What happens at Cheryl’s house stays at Cheryl’s house.  I will take pictures, but they will be edited before posting.  What can 4 ladies all in their 60’s do that would be so bad.  We will try to come up with something. 

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Deer Roast Instead Of a Pig Roast

Our son-in-law Mike cooked a deer on the pig roaster for dinner the other evening.  Unfortunately I missed it but Mike was able to go.

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I really thought Mike would bring back some left over's, but no such luck. Looks like everyone enjoyed themselves.  That’s daughter Sherry in the foreground.  

Never saw a deer being roasted before, not a pretty sight.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

Mike and I took a road trip in the car, to southern Minnesota following the great Mississippi River.  Southern MN is beautiful with the bluffs along the river and the leaves turning amazing colors. 

Our first stop was Red Wing, home of Red Wing shoes and Red Wing Pottery.  I happen to grab a picture of a very large boot outside the Red Wing shoe store.

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Historic downtown Red Wing.

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The colors are not yet at there best, but still wonderful.

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Our next stop was Lake City, as you can see from the sign it is the birthplace of waterskiing.  Lake City is located on a part of the Mississippi called Lake Pepin, the river widens in this area.

P1040652    We stopped and picked up some delicious MN apples and some snacks for the rest of the trip.

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The people in Lake City really now how to decorate for Halloween, there were some pretty awesome displays. 

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We stopped in the Old Bank Bar and Grill for a glass of wine and hamburger.

Our last stops were Lanesboro and Harmony well known Amish communities.

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We traveled 330 miles, saw some beautiful country, maybe next time we can do it in the MH and spend more time enjoying the small towns along the river.