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Friday, March 29, 2013

Deeper into the country

We left Monday heading towards Golden, MO to visit our friends Steve & Suzy, spending the night at the KOA in Sallisaw, OK.  It was 25 degrees overnight but we were nice and toasty with the aquahot heater.
Steve had given us detailed directions to his home.  We drove on the interstate then onto a local highway, then a smaller highway, then an extremely hilly and curvy road.  One of the kind of roads that you would never want to drive a 45' motorhome towing a truck on if you weren't sure of the route.  Beautiful drive but of course Cindy does not like me to sightsee when I'm driving.
Finally we got back onto an easier highway where Steve met us to bring us into his 40 acre farm.
What a nice quiet place but kinda far from anything.  I like it!
Steve and I spent a lot of time going over the systems on the coach.  Really helpful since there are so many differences between this one and our '93.  Steve and Suzy have a 1999 Newell 45' similar to ours except theirs has 1 and 1/2 baths.
Yesterday we drove into Branson with our hosts to see the area then had gourmet mexican food.  It was different and very tasty.
Today we drove into Eureka Springs to see the area.  Very nice touristy town.  We also visited the Thorncrown Chapel designed by Fay Jones.  Very interesting archectiture.
Another day spent with great friends seeing our wonderful country.
Tomorrow we'll cook them gumbo followed by key lime pie.  Yum.

Thorncrown Chapel


Friday, March 22, 2013

Gotta love country life

We are still east of Dallas, parked in our friends driveway with a view of a
Texas shaped pond.  Yes, the pond is shaped like the state of Texas.
They live on a 200+ acre horse farm in a beautiful home.  We have been
 enjoying supper together every night since we arrived.  They are still working
but do work from home, so we say hi during the day but leave them to work.  What
wonderful hosts!  They have opened their home to us to use as our own.
 We have taken advantage of their washer and dryer so that we don't
fill our waste tank too soon.  We have power and water from them and
will be able to dump our waste on our way out.  They prepared
supper for us the first two nights and we cooked a corn & andouille soup for them
last night.  She is planning homemade pizza tonight and we will make a Key lime pie.
We have all blown our diets since we arrived.  Everyone will just have to work
harder next week to get back to our normal diets.

Early this morning I was invited by our host to have coffee with a few locals.  Sure, sounded
like fun.  So he picked me up in the golf cart and we rode over to the next house,
climbed a fence and went to the neighbors.  There were about 6 older retired neighbors
and the local undertaker (guess you gotta entertain your clients) so we enjoyed
each others stories and company.  Really was a lot of fun.

We are learning all we can about our new home before we head out
again.  We spent last weekend moving everything from our old coach to
our new coach.  Now we are trying to figure out what needs to be moved
around to make everything most comfortable and travel best.  So far we
have not moved too much, we did take our time last weekend trying to
put things where they will stay (did a pretty good job of it).

Currently we are planning to hit the road again on Monday.  The next
planned visit will be with Steve and Suzy in Golden, Missouri.  They
are a little west of Branson.  The drive from here will probably be a
two day trip, we don't like to go too far in one day.  Steve has sent
us directions with 3 recommended stops along the way.  It is nice when
you can get directions first hand from someone familiar with the
route.  They did get a light snow yesterday and we are going to watch
the weather.  If needed, we will delay our departure; we do not travel
in rain if we can help it and certainly not on icy roads.  Steve said
their weather should warm up nicely before Tuesday.  Having the "home
on wheels" makes travel so nice.  We can come and go whenever we
Here are some pictures of our new home:
Old and new, yes I'm that excited.

Parked in front of our hosts.

The slides make a huge difference.


Saturday, March 16, 2013


Not so long ago we moved out of the house since we finally got a sale.  After spending a couple months in our 1993 39 foot Newell and a lot of discussion between Cindy and I, and also speaking with a lot of friends who are either fulltiming or just take long trips, we decided to buy another Newell.  We looked at a few but none really struck us as the right one.  I had seen a 1998 2 slide 45' Newell on the internet at Motorhomes of Texas in Nacogdoches, TX.  And since it was only 3 hours from Calhoun where we spent a few days visiting Steve and his 1997 single slide Newell, we decided to drive over and look at it.  Well the pictures weren't as nice as the coach in person, usually it is the other way.  After spending two days going through it, driving it, just sitting in it and going through our daily routines we sat down and negotiated a deal with our '93 in trade. 
So we spent the first night in our new coach!  It's so much nicer and SO much larger.  Two slides make a huge difference, plus this one is 6 feet longer.  It even has a memory foam mattress so we both slept much better.  And it has a ceiling fan over the bed so I really enjoyed that!  It has a full size Amana refrigerator and a walk-in closet in the back.  The dealership wanted us to spend the weekend locally so they can take care of any problems that we may find.  So we decided to park in their lot with the old coach next to us making it much easier to move all of our stuff and take time to get everything situated like we want.  We plan to leave here Monday late morning unless there are some things to get fixed.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Steve took us around Monroe for a little sightseeing.  First we went to the Biedenharn Museum.  They were the first bottlers of Coca Cola.  Pretty nice museum, learned a lot about Coke.  One of the most fascinating things is that Coca Cola ships plastic blanks for their 2 liter and smaller bottles across the world.  I would have thought they would be made locally but the blanks look like a test tube with a bottle cap.  At the different locations they are blown into bottles using hot air and molds.  Pretty neat.
Then we walked next door to visit the Biedenharn's home.  Very impressive and modern for a home built in 1916.  The garden was patterned after an English estate garden and very nice.  The plants and flowers were very colorful, especially the tulips.
Then yesterday we went to the airport to visit the "Flying Tigers" museum.  This was where Claire Chennault set up a navigation school which the Army Air Corps used to train all of their navigators.
My dad was a navigator/bombardier so he probably came through here to train.
Today we're watching the rain but it looks like it is almost over.
Tomorrow is moving day, we've enjoyed our "courtesy parking" here at Steve's. 
A couple of Steve's toys, the good stuff is inside.

Some WW2 navigation tools

I remember as a kid playing with Dad's sextant

Beautiful painting of the "Tigers flying the hump"

Friday, March 8, 2013

On the road again

Well we finally got on the road Wednesday morning around 9:45.  We had a pleasant drive up to Calhoun, LA just west of Monroe.  We're staying at a friends place out in the country.  Steve has a beautiful home on a few acres with a huge shop and parking with hookups overlooking a nice small lake.  Kind of reminds of the property we sold near Kentwood.
Yesterday Steve helped me figure out the switch on the new steps.  Got those working properly.  Then I pulled the coach into his shop and we (Steve mostly) installed the new Zipdee awning over the dinette window.  We now have awnings over all the windows.  Thanks Steve!
Today we're just chilling, I need to find a barber. 
We plan to be here through the weekend then drive over to Motorhomes of Texas on Monday to look around.
Well Steve just passed by in his RZR so I gotta go play....

Friday, March 1, 2013

Winter Quarters

     Yesterday we moved to what will be our Winter Quarters each year.  Cindy's family has some farming land with a metal building and a concrete pad where we will park on.  Last week I hooked up a 50amp plugin.  Today I will hook up a sewer connection.  We are less than 100 yards to Cindy's mom.  Nice and quiet with a good view.  Such a welcome relief after being parked behind the civic center!  I look forward to November when we will return to settle in for a few months.  Heck I might even plant a small winter garden....
     We picked up Ella at noon on Wednesday then bought some take out lunch.  Off to Peltier park for a picnic.  As we were setting up a boy hollers "Ella!"  it was one of her classmates.  So after gobbling down her lunch she ran off to play with him.  We watched her play about 2 hours before we headed back to her house.  A nice relaxing afternoon.
     Last night was really quiet and dark.  The civic center had quite a bit of lights so we couldn't tell when dawn came.  Today was much different.  As we were drinking our coffee I heard some noise outside the coach in the building.  So I walked outside and talked to one of Cindy's cousins husband who was getting some ice.  Come to find out the company he works for is now part of Boardwalk pipelines the parent company I retired from, and he is in measurement also.  Quite a coincidence.
     This morning we have to meet with our cpa to finalize our tax returns.  Then plan to have dinner with Cindy's sister and husband.  We are planning to leave out on Monday but may stay a couple days longer since it is so nice here.  "jello plans"
Here are a few pictures of our new "home", it will take a bit of cleaning up but I'll work on that when we fly back for Mike's graduation.

That's Cindy's mom's house on the left

Lots of room to ride the RZR