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Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Movie Day

(Scott AFB, IL) Hi 62 Lo 36 -- We're really happy with our new heat pump, it's keeping us warm during these cold nights. I'm glad we're on the way south to warmer weather soon.

It was a normal relaxing morning, then we went to see the movie "Gone Girl". It was a good movie, but with all the critical acclaim it's received we both thought it would be better.

We made it a "movie and dinner" day by going to a Chinese buffet our son Frank recommended, Ginger Buffet and Grill in Fairview Heights. He didn't lead us wrong. It was great! They had a huge variety of food, including crab legs and frog legs. I over stuffed, and so did Jim. 

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Lunch With An Old Friend

(Scott AFB, IL) Hi 64 Lo 39 -- Today we went to have lunch with a dear friend from my military days when I worked at the Defense Mapping Agency (DMA) in St. Louis. Steve is a civilian analyst at DMA. His job is so secret that, although I've known him for about 25 years, I'm still not sure what exactly he does. :)

Steve is one of the most intelligent guys I've every known, and I look forward to our annual lunches. They remind me of a terrific movie from the 70's called "My Dinner With Andre." Just two guys conversing over a meal. But today wife Dee and son Frank were included, and we had a ball discussing our families, and subjects ranging from the Beatles to world affairs and politics. We met at Sqwires, a wonderful pub in the Lafayette Square area of South St. Louis.

For all you foodies out there, here's what we had:

I had a sausage and pepperoni pizza. I don't know what kind of cheese was on it, but it was different, and delicious!

Dee had a Greek Wrap Sandwich with seasoned fries.

Son Frank had a huge order of nachos.

And Steve had meatloaf, smothered with seasoned green beans.

Everyone rated their meal excellent! After three hours of stimulating conversation we reluctantly had to say goodbye. Thanks Steve, we'll see you again next year!

We have a movie day planned for tomorrow. See you then.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Relaxing Day

(Scott AFB, IL) Hi 67 Lo 40 -- We made today a relaxing down day. We caught up on reading: blogs, websites, Kindle books. I went to O'Fallon for a massage by a therapist I had been to a couple years ago. She's expanded her office since my last visit and now has several other therapists working with her. One of my projects this winter will be to list all the massage therapists I've been to and in what states, so I have a handy reference when we travel.

We lived in O'Fallon for 12 years when Jim was stationed here at Scott AFB. We still have friends here, including Butch and Ruth.

I paid them a visit today after my massage. We spent a couple of hours catching up on our lives, then I headed back to the RV. It was great to see them both again. 

A few years ago when we were in Pennsylvania we had an infestation of stink bugs. It took a couple of years before they (mostly) disappeared. Here we're getting a lot of lady bugs inside the rig. I guess they want to escape the winter and go to Florida with us. At least they're harmless, but they do tickle when they land on you. :)

See you tomorrow.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Short Move to Scott AFB Famcamp

(Scott AFB, IL) Hi 75 Lo 45 -- Jim was up at 6:00 to take his sister to her Medical Assistants' Conference in St. Louis. He was back in an hour, rush hour traffic wasn't bad for a Monday morning. We went through our hitch-up process, said our goodbye to Jim’s family, and headed to the Scott AFB Famcamp, a short 25-mile trip south. They're leaving tomorrow to head back to North Carolina.

I don't want to forget to do a review of Red Barn Rendezvous, our home for the past two weeks. We love this park. There are not a lot of RV parks in the St. Louis area, so we split our time in this area between Red Barn and the Scott Famcamp.
2014-10-06 Red barn Rendezvous edwardsville IL (1)

The owners, Rusty and Connie, live on site in the "Red Barn."
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This is the back of their house.
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The office is right across the entrance road from their house.
2014-10-06 Red barn Rendezvous edwardsville IL (15)

The office building includes the bath house and laundry in the rear.
2014-10-06 Red barn Rendezvous edwardsville IL (17)

An overall view of the park, with the dump station in the middle of the shot.
2014-10-06 Red barn Rendezvous edwardsville IL (14)

Our site.
2014-10-06 Red barn Rendezvous edwardsville IL (24)

When we got set up at the famcamp we relaxed and Jim took nap. He's been getting up early this week. We’re here for one more week with the grand boys, then we'll be on our way to Florida.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Busy Family Day

(Edwardsville, IL) Hi 70 Lo 46 -- Today was all about family time. It's so nice to have Jim's mom, sister, and Jimmie next door to us, instead of sitting 20 miles away in a repair center parking lot. This is their RV right outside our window.

Tumbleweed is on the left, and Jimmie's motor home is on the right.

Jimmie with Charlie, their adorable little rescue dog.

We had breakfast together to start off the busy day. Jimmie and Sharon prepared eggs, bacon, and grits. After we were all stuffed, we rested for a while and then left for grandson Kendall's football game. His Little Panther team whooped the Belleville Little Devils 59-14. The game was stopped after the third quarter because they were over 40 points ahead.

Kendall (facing the camera)

After the game we all came back to our RV park and had cookout in Jimmie and Sharon's "front yard". We had both of our grills going, cooking burgers and hot dogs.

Frank, Kendall, Angie, Alberta, Kyle and Jim.

Sharon and Jim did the cooking, while mom Alberta "supervised".

Kendall is filling up his plate.

Jimmie is relaxing.

It started to get chilly once the sun went down.

Frank, Angie, and the boys left a little after sundown. It was a wonderful day. It's very special when we get the "North Carolina" family and the "Illinois" family together. It doesn't happen very often.

Tomorrow we'll be saying goodbye to Jimmie, Sharon, and Alberta. We’re moving about 23 miles south to Scott AFB (which is closer to Frank and the family), and they're leaving on Tuesday to return to NC. We have one more week with the grand boys before we head to warm Florida for the winter.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Motorhome Escapes the Garage

(Edwardsville, IL) Hi 61 Lo 47 -- Jim was up at 6:00 to to take his sister Sharon to her Medical Assistants' Conference in St. Louis. He was back by 8:30 and later he went to O'Fallon to the garage where Alberta and Jimmie are with their RV getting repaired. I stayed back at our RV. By 11:30 they finally got the right size fan belt installed and they were on their way to our campground. They're now parked beside us.

Jim and I went back to St. Louis to pick up Sharon, and we enjoyed visiting the rest of the afternoon and evening. Jimmie and Sharon prepared a wonderful vegetable dinner. We finally said our good nights and returned to our RV for the rest of the evening.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Family's RV Still In the Shop

(Edwardsville, IL) Hi 69 Lo 52 -- We made an early start this morning and went to O'Fallon to meet with Jim's family at the garage where their motorhome is being repaired. The fan belt disintegrated from the a/c compressor seizing up. Sounds like an easy fix, Right? Wrong! They went out and bought four different fan belts and none of them fit. They got the (supposedly) correct part number from Ford, but even it didn't fit. They ran out of time today, and and a couple of the guys are coming in tomorrow to see if they can find the proper one. The family is planning to leave on Tuesday, so we're hoping they get it fixed soon. They're staying at the side of the garage building with an electrical hookup, but we're missing out being together with them in our park. Isn't it so typical? Any repair on an RV always seems to turn out to be a long process.

We went to a birthday dinner at a restaurant in Collinsville for Frank's wife Angie. There were 13 family members from Frank's side and Angie's side. Happy birthday, Angie!

(Click to enlarge) Left to right: Alberta, Frank, Angie, Angie's niece Hunter, her brother Jim, his wife Kim, Angie's mom Sherry, Kendall, Kyle, Dee, and Jim

We had a great time visiting for a couple hours, then took the family back to their motorhome and we came home. We're all so tired from just waiting.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Family Arrives

(Edwardsville, IL) HI 71 Lo 46 -- Finally, a sunny day! Not a cloud in the sky, and the warm sun was very welcome.

We piddled around home today waiting for Jim's family to arrive from North Carolina. Jim's sister Sharon, her boyfriend Jimmie, and mom Alberta came in Jimmie's RV for the weekend. Sharon is attending a Medical Assistants Conference in St. Louis, so they decided to make it a family road trip. We got a text about 2:30 this afternoon that they were stranded about 15 miles from us with a broken fan belt. We went out to meet them and son Frank joined us as we waited for AAA to send out a tow truck. It took a couple of hours, but the truck finally arrived and towed the rig to a repair shop in O'Fallon. They're set up in the parking lot with a 30-amp electric hook up, so they'll stay there tonight. Hopefully it'll be repaired quickly tomorrow and they can move here to the park we're in.

We brought them back to our rig and had a dinner of crock pot chili that I prepared this morning. They were tired from their travel and a little stressed over the breakdown, so Jim took them back to O'Fallon for the night. It was a wild day!

See you tomorrow, which hopefully won't be quite so hectic.