Thursday, September 28, 2017

Back in Escanaba and Plans Change

                            (Clicking on the picture will open it larger in a new window.)

September 28, 2017

We arrived back home Monday night around 9:30PM and amazingly it was still around 71 degrees. It is always wonderful to spend time downstate with our son and his family. I do not think we even get 5 miles down the road and we are missing them all. Knowing we probably will not see them again before May makes it even harder to leave. Our grandchildren change so much between visits. The nice thing about today's technology is we are able to video chat with them. Not as good as being with them in person but still great to see all their sweet faces in real time.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Waiting somewhat patiently, out on the porch at Cracker Barrel,
for our table. Thomas trying to explain checkers to our 

grandsons. While Nadine entertains our granddaughter. 

The food has been ordered and chocolate milk makes the
wait somewhat easier.

Monday, September 25, 2017

We decided to check out a new RV park near Algonac, MI before heading home. This slight detour  put us on some back roads as we headed north.

Mostly traffic free back roads as we cut across to I-69

We are on I-69 and there is some Fall color starting.

Turning off and heading north towards Frankenmuth, MI

Just got a quick shot of the RV park we usually stay at when
we are in Frankenmuth. No RV this time just the Jeep.

The reason we are stopping is so we can buy Christmas
Ornaments at Bronner's. Honestly, if you are looking for a
Christmas decoration and they do not have it I would wonder
if it even exist. They cover the other seasons as well. I love driving
through the grounds, especially in the winter, they have everything
decorated year round and there are lights galore.

Frankenmuth itself is a tourist destination. There are a shops, restaurants, wine tastings, brewery, a water park, several nice hotels etc... We have stayed here more then once over the years and it seems like more and more things have been added. It is fun to browse and walk around but like most tourist destinations it is an expensive place to visit. These days Bronner's is usually the only place we stop and it is about ornaments and having them personalized. (Side note: just a few miles down the road on I-75 is Birch Run's Outlet Mall which has been a stop for us more then once.)

Continuing north on I-75 we were seeing some red's and gold's but we thought there would be more color on our way home. Sadly the amount seemed about the same as on the way down. Maybe with the unseasonably warm weather the trees could not decide what to do. It was in the 80's until the sun started to go down.

The road ahead.

Lovely clouds today.

Darrow's Family Restaurant in Mackinaw City.
This is our favorite place to stop to eat. We have never
had a bad meal or service here.
Just to be honest, the main reason for this stop is the pie.
Delicious homemade pie. 
We cross the Mackinac Bridge and are back in the UP.
Looking down tonight as we started across there were
people swimming in Lake Huron. 

Looking over the railing across Lake Huron we can
see Mackinac Island in the distance.

We are now on US-2 going west and the sun is setting so you will be spared several pictures of the lake and trees as we travel.

I did take several pictures of the sun setting and had a hard time deciding on which ones not to share so I am afraid what follows is most of them. The first two we did make a stop to take. The rest I caught while we were moving. Tom thought it would be nice if we got home before midnight.

September 26, 2017

Today is Tom's Birthday. He turned 70 and we both agree we do not know how that happened. It seems like just yesterday he was walking me home after a school dance and saying goodnight at the door around the corner past the burning bush in this picture. Time sure does go by quickly.

Our burning bush, that my mother planted quiet a few years
ago, is turning a beautiful red.
(We bought this house from my parents in 1994.)

Now to explain why the title of this post includes the words "Plans Change". People who RV often say plans are written in jello and for us evidently the planned escape date of October 11th was written in just that. Tom unfortunately found out a couple of weeks ago he has a hernia. The earliest he could see a surgeon was on September 26th, Happy Birthday Tom, and after seeing the surgeon he found out the earliest date open for the surgery is October 16th. Though he is on the list if something opens up sooner. So prayers and fingers crossed that, that happens especially since he is not enjoying the pain involved in the wait. The doctor told him if everything goes well, and we expect it will, as long as he does not lift anything we can be on the road within a couple of days following the surgery . I am insisting we wait at least a week maybe even a little longer. So the new date of escape is now October 26th. (A request: if you are reading this and you believe in the power of prayer, we do, please say one that everything goes as planned with Tom's surgery.)

The good news is that the Stinger B is ready to go. (She did not get totally waxed like we wanted but Tom can do that down the road when he feels up to it.) Before this happened we had purged, cleaned out the inside, and cleaned out along with rearranging the basement. Tom had already took her to have the oil changed and whatever else had to be done to head out this year. All that is left to do, before we back out for this years adventure, is put back in our personal belongings and food. Both of which I have been slowly doing and can finish so he does not lift anything.

Even though we had hoped to be on the road somewhat earlier this year, if everything goes as planned we will leave Michigan six days earlier then last year, so it is all good...

Smiling Face With Smiling Eyes on Apple iOS 10.3

We are glad you took the time to read our blog today. 
Comments are always enjoyed and welcomed.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Visiting With Children and Grandchildren Downstate

(Clicking on the pictures will open them larger in a new window.)

September 18, 2017

When I posted the first day of school photos I did not have this little guys available. This is Jonah waiting for the bus on September 7th so he can head off to his first day of pre-school.

His mom said, the dandelions in his hand he
picked for his teacher.

September 15, 2017

We headed downstate around noon on Friday to spend some time with our son and his family.

This sign just keeps standing even though the restaurant burned
down several years ago.

The leaves are beginning to show their color in the UP.

Driving along Lake Michigan the water was a beautiful
blue green today.

You are on a curve coming down a hill when you first
spot the Mackinac Bridge.

Crossing the bridge.

Surprisingly we saw more color below the bridge.

I do not know how many times over the years we have went by
this sign. It is just past Gaylord, MI. I finally remembered to
have my camera ready and snapped a picture.

September 16, 2017

Our grandchildren playing outside on a beautiful Saturday in
September. It was 80 degrees.
(Noah (7) in the orange shirt, Jonah (5) in the blue shirt,
and Marcella (3) )

September 17, 2017

On Sunday we went to mass at St. Margaret's Catholic Church the parish they belong to. It is a beautiful church and is certainly family oriented. At their 10 o'clock mass they have a nursery for the little ones and a Catechism class for pre-school and kindergarten age children. Plus, they have a children's liturgy of the word during mass for the younger children.

A prayer area at one of the entrances
into the church.

The Altar

The Tabernacle in a prayer area next to the altar.

Baptismal Font

September 18, 2017

Today was Nathaniel's first day of Early Head Start.

Waiting for the bus on his
first day.

"Life is short.
Do stuff that matters."
~Siqi Chen

We are glad you took the time to read our blog today. 
Comments are always enjoyed and welcomed.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Stinger B is Getting Ready to Travel & First Day of School

Praying for those experiencing the devastation in Texas from Hurricane Harvey.
Praying for the safety of those in the path of Hurricane Irma.
Praying for those who have lost everything in the fires out west and those still in danger.
You are all on our minds and we pray you stay safe.

September 5th, 6th, & 7th, 2017

On Tuesday, the 5th, after going through our travel check list Tom started to back the Stinger B back towards the highway. I stood watching the traffic and when I said back out now Tom backed the Stinger B out onto the highway in front of our house.  Though he had backed our 5th wheel, the Crusader, out several times this was the first time with the Stinger B. I would just like to note that from where I stood it looked like it was a lot smoother back out and when I asked him later he said it was. 

Today's trip was just a few miles down the road to A&E Truck and Auto Repair for an appointment to have the oil changed etc...

The Stinger B waiting to be pulled into the bay.
Tom talking to the owner about what he wanted done.

The clouds over head. In the top one the sun is trying to peek out. It was one of those days rain on minute sun the next.

When we pulled back into the driveway I noticed someone, not mentioning who, had forgotten to move the Welcome carpet. What that someone said, to me, was he wanted to see how close he parked it back in the same place. Quick thinking on his part I will have to admit.

While waiting for the call to come back and get the Stinger B I went on Facebook and enjoyed seeing all the first day back to school pictures.

Charlotte and Noah

Ukiah, Nolan, and Aden

Top Row: Landon, Spencer, and Ben
Middle Row: Jack, Gabreille, and Claudia
Bottom Row: Trent and Eli 

Caleb on the left
Top right, Chase and Bottom right, Bentley

As we walked out the back door to go move the Stinger B
to its next destination we could see the faintest of rainbows.
In the picture it is about and inch above the roof line.

Parked for the night at Hilltop RV. Tomorrow they will
install a new water pump.

A small nostalgic side note: This is where we purchased
the Crusader.
The bottom picture is our first time boondocking
on Plomosa Road in 2015.

Back home and the contrast between the dark clouds and
the blue sky was beautiful.

Wednesday, the 6th, the clouds were big, fluffy, white and grey 
as we ran errands today. 
It feels and looks so much like fall.

Today, Thursday the 7th, in the grey and rain we picked the Stinger B up to bring it back home. It now has its oil changed, it has been lubed, it has all new filters, a new water pump, and the propane has been topped off. The basement and inside has been re-organized and purged. It is ready to go when we are. All we have to do is put our personal stuff in and back out. (We did not top off the gas tank we are rolling the dice and hoping prices will go down by the time we leave. Though Tom says we have about 7/8ths of a tank. So we are good.)

Parked back in the driveway. Almost right on...:) (I was in
front and tell him to pull forward a little more so that may be
why...LOL) Even though the blue was trying to make its way
through the clouds it was not meant to be today. It is raining.

On a bright note when I was standing there Tuesday waiting
for a break in the traffic I looked down and spotted these two
dandelions in between the leaves. I know many think weed
but I thought pretty yellow flowers enjoying the fall.

As I added the pictures of our grandchildren and great-nieces and nephews to this post I remembered this quote I had saved. It is so true. It feels like the time between these children going to school and their parents' first day of kindergarten went by in a blink of the eye.  (In case you have not guessed, yes, I am a collector of quotes.) 

We are glad you took the time to read our blog today. 
Comments are always enjoyed and welcomed.