Friday, April 21, 2017

#atozchallenge20...R-RV Rallies

I have joined several RV organizations and have attended two rallies now and I must say I have really had a lot of fun! I am getting ready to attend my third rally and am excited to meet up again with friends I have not seen in awhile. 

The first RV Rally I attended was RVing Women.  The whole rally was for women only.  It was  a great confidence booster to know I could get out on the open road, that there were other women out there and if you had a problem there was help and encouragement. These women were

Our WWII Veteran
great!  I greatly admired them.  The oldest person there was 91 and going strong.  She had her own rig and was still driving. She was a retired Army nurse and a Veteran from WWII. We gave her special recognition during the dinner at the rally. 

We played games, attended lots of seminars, shopped lots of vendors and made lots of new friends.
We all had a great time and was sad when we had to say our good-byes.

The Winnebago or WIT Club,The Okiebagos, that I belong to is a lot of fun. We have monthly outings and a yearly State Rally. Last year was my first rally.  Since I sell seasonings,
mixes and marinades I used that time to work the rally and didn't attend any of the seminars.  This year I will be presenting a seminar called "Take that Cheese ball to Dinner", but will be attending more of the seminar programs and attend a Ladies Formal Tea.  This group is a great group and I don't have a problem with theft from my table. I find most RVers are honest people who look out for each other. 

This year will start out with a tour at the National Weather Center in Norman.
Since I live within a stones throw of the center I think I will attend and then drive my RV to Shawnee, OK. for the rally. 

The Highway Patrol will be coming to weigh our vehicles and I am curious to see how balanced my load is. I have a feeling mine is way off and needs to be re-balanced in a most serious way. 

I'm looking forward to seeing my friends in the club and making new friends. These people are so encouraging, supportive and helpful. I just love them.

I'm thinking about attending the big National WIT Rally in Indiana this summer. It will be my first, just to check the scene out. Time to make more friends!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

#atozchallenge20...Q-Quiet Please

Flowering Moss
As an RVer I go to the mountains to get away from the noise of the city and my everyday surroundings. I go to commune with nature, to enjoy the peace, quiet and solitude of my surroundings and listen to the birds and watch the animals as they move through the forest, NOT to listen to your BOOM BOX!
Mount Blanca

I don't think there is anything that bugs me more than to set up camp, build a nice fire, be reading my book, or listening to my music through my earbuds, painting on a canvas,
enjoying my quiet and other campers around me doing the same and some yahoo comes in disrupting the whole scene, not by setting up camp, but by turning on a boom box as loud as he can, talking at the top of his voice,

throwing beer cans all over his campsite and chase the wildlife out of the campground. Not only is it

disrespectful to the rest of us, but disrespectful to nature as well.  

I have actually known the Camp-hosts to call the Sheriff out to get rid of these type of campers. Or there are those campers who arrive after 10 p.m. and start setting up a tent by dumping all the poles on the ground, shouting and shining flashlights everywhere. I have set a tent up late at night and have been quiet about it without disturbing the other campers around me, I know it can be done. Don't wait until you get to the campsite to learn how to set the tent up!
Image result for pictures of tents for camping
I could have stayed home and listened to all of that with all of the college students that surround my house. I leave to get away from the tumult. If you want to be a good neighbor turn your boom box down to where only you can hear it, not the whole campground. The rest of us may not care for your music. If you want to be a good neighbor learn how to pitch your tent in the dark, quietly, the rest of us are sleeping. 

The mountains provides me with the quiet I seek, with that... Quiet Please!  
Day's End at Big Meadow Campground

Additional Pictures for your enjoyment.

#atozchallenge20...P-Pets We Travel With...

Like a lot of RVers I travel with a pet. I use to have 3 dogs. Two were my daughters dogs. Fitz William Darcy and Miss Elizabeth Bennett(Guess you know where she got those names from). I now have Bear my Schipperkee who was a rescue.  All our dogs have been rescues.
Me and Christie with
 Lizzy Fitz and Bear
Not only did all the dogs provide comfort to me, but protection and alerted me when someone approached the coach. The two larger dogs have gone home to their mama now that she owns a house and not an apartment. 
Lizzy and Bear
 Playing in the snow
Fitz a German Shepard/Lab mix and Lizzy a Malinois/golden retriever mix, both very loving dogs but big shedders! It was always a challenge traveling with them as I had to keep

Mr. Bear

them leashed inside Izzy. I also had to build barriers to keep them from getting upon the dashboard, which they did quite often and wreak my plants. No was not in their vocabulary.
One of my barricades
There was no taking them on a walk, they were to big for me to handle. Heaven forbid if they saw another dog! 

Bear, on the other hand, loves to explore and make new doggy friends...also...

Bear the Schip is a mess. Terrified of storms, rain, thunder any loud sounds and he starts shaking like a leaf. I have tried the Thunder Shirt, it doesn't work with him. I have tried wrapping him in a big towel and holding him next to me in bed at night during a bad storm, does not work. I have ended up putting him in a hard side crate just about the same size as him with a towel draped over it to help calm him along with giving him some Benzedrine.  

If I go off and leave him in the RV I will come home to a "present". I either have to crate him for a short leave if I am running to the market, or if I am going to be gone longer I can leave him in my bathroom area with towels down on the floor with his water, food and bed and shut the doors. Sometimes he is a good boy, most of the time...not.  He thinks he is human and should go with me everywhere. I'm his third owner. 

Mr. Bear is a good traveler though.  He likes to sit in the passenger chair and look out the window and then curl up and go to sleep for the duration of the trip except when we get gas, he starts crying if he can't see me.  I try to reassure him that I am still there and coming back.  The dog has huge separation issues. 

Other than that he is a good traveling buddy and gives me lots of love, but can be stubborn as all get out. If I put him out in the morning, he wants back in, but then turns around and wants back out. The poor fellow can't make up his mind. However let someone approach the coach, I know about it. He is a good little watchdog.

I have met lots of people who have lots of different pets, some have birds, cats, dogs, snakes, ferrets and even chickens. So to all those RVers with your beloved pets out there, Happy Trails!

Now that Fitz and Lizzy are no longer with me in my travels it's time to change my blogs name to My Big Adventure...Traveling with Mr. Bear

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

#atozchallenge20...O-Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park

If you ever go to Wyoming, you have to go to Yellowstone park and see Old Faithful, one of the most predictable geysers in America, or at least it used to be until Mount St. Helens eruption in 1980.  You could almost time it to every hour, now it could be up to a 90 minute interval between eruptions. The geyser can attain a height of 106 ft. to 185 ft. and spew water for up to 10 minutes.
Old Faithful

We first saw Old Faithful and Yellowstone Park before the horrible forest fires in 1988. There was a lot of old growth trees and undergrowth.  After the fires, we went up the following year. It was amazing what a forest fire does. Yes, it is devastating, but it gives a forest life. The wild flowers were amazing! As a forest ranger told me a forest needs to burn in order to survive otherwise they die.  Everything around the Old Faithful Lodge was cleared out and you could see new life taking place. They almost lost the lodge that was built in 1904, but Mother Nature turned the winds and saved the structure. Matter of fact the fires cleared out a lot of old growth that needed to be gone as it allowed you to really see the beauty of the park as not previously seen before.

One thing that I will caution everyone on and when I say don’t do it I really mean DON’T DO IT! DON’T GET OFF THE BOARDWALKS!!!! I can’t stress this enough.  Yes, the earth’s crust looks solid and you see buffalo walking across it, but you don’t know what water or steam vent is running just below the surface that won’t support your weight and it is more than boiling.  You will be gone in a matter of seconds. Many people have lost their lives and parents, please, please hold on to your children’s hands! You don’t want a tragedy to happen.

Enjoy the park, marvel at the beauty of the surroundings, be in awe of the power of nature, but be wary of it.
Take lots of pictures and have fun. Come home safe and sound.

Monday, April 17, 2017

#atozchallenge20...N-New Orleans Road Trip

Ah, the Big Easy. What can I say other than it was a most interesting experience. One that one needs to see at least once, maybe more than once, depending...
The Super Dome

We had gotten up very early, got ourselves ready, fed and walked the dogs, secured them for the day and left in the dark to head to New Orleans. Good thing Christie was driving. We had made reservations for the Haunted Cemetery tour at 9:00 a.m. but learned they had just left and our tour didn't start until 1:00 p.m. Well darn! So we had time on our hands. 

We were hungry so we decided to head to head to a place called Oceana Grill,upon a tourists recommendation. It was at the corner of  Bourbon Street and Conti Street. We were seated in the courtyard and it was a treat for us. This was about the time I had found out I was gluten sensitive and anything with wheat was a no-no.  The head Chef came out and talked with me and we decided on a lovely dish of 
Eggs Melanzana  
fried eggplant rounds topped with shaved grilled ham, grilled tomato, poached eggs, hollandaise and a touch of parmesan. so good you'll wanna move to New Orleans to have it everyday

Eggs Melanzana
for me, but instead of a hollandaise sauce he put together another sauce for me without wheat that was spectacular! Don't know what it was, but it was wonderful!

Christie had the:

Eggs St. Louis
English muffin, grilled tomato, Louisiana crabmeat, poached eggs, homemade hollandaise and topped with cheddar cheese.

Our waiter was wonderful and funny and made our breakfast so enjoyable.

After breakfast we wandered the area and picked up some souvenirs. It was interesting to watch the shopkeepers washing down the sidewalks in front of their shops and the street sweeper cleaning the streets of the beer, piss and other bodily fluids from the night before, a rather interesting odor I must say but they do take the pains to Clorox it all down. They do try to make it smell somewhat decent. Ever so often you will get a whiff that makes you wrinkle your nose.  After awhile you don't notice it. 
Wonderful Coffee at PJ's Coffee and Tea Co.

I had made the mistake of walking to Bourbon Street without my back brace and was beginning to suffer the consequences and was in need of my brace and medication if I was to continue.  Christie and I headed back to the car, but instead she deposited me in a wonderful little coffee shop, PJ's Coffee and Tea Co.,  where we got a coffee and she went to the car to put more money in the meter and got my brace and meds.  The coffee was so wonderful we got J, my Son-n-Law, a pound. I picked up a pound to take home as well. I am a sucker for good coffee.  We did some more window shopping until it was time for our tour of the Haunted Cemetery. 
Me with my gre gre bag at
 the crypt of Marie Laveau

This is a interesting tour and we learned lots. We saw the tomb of Marie Laveau, Voodoo Queen of New Orleans. The to be tomb of Nicolas Cage and the story behind it. Why the all the tombs
Nicolas Cage's Crypt
are above ground. So much history there.  We all came away with a gre gre bag.  Our tour guide Mary was wonderful explaining things and answered all our questions.  We also went to the tourist center and saw where the areas of New Orleans were flooded when the levees
All the red is where the flooding
 occurred in the city

After the tour we ventured over to the Cafe Du Monde French Market Coffee Stand,  for a coffee and a benoit, Well Christie did since I couldn't have any   :(   I did however
Oh Yum!, says Christie
watch how they were made and it is fascinating! They have a big window in the kitchen so you can watch them fry and powder them!

From there we wandered down to a small shop that had gluten free pastries and picked up a drink of spirits and brownies. From there we decided to go up through the Old French market as they would be
closing soon. How fun that was.  There was so much to see. We circled back and got some T-shirts and a dress for our little Miss Maggie. Christie made another run to put more money in the car meter. 

We decided we were getting hungry again so off we went to fine a Mexican Restaurant my other daughter had found that offered a gluten free menu, El Gato Negro, To our surprise it was across from the French Market. HA!

We order drinks and dinner and it was wonderful! We got the Mixed Grilled Michoacan. A little bit of everything. Again our waiter was so attentive to our needs and made our dining on the cafe sidewalk so pleasurable. 
Oh so good! and so much food!

Afterwards, we slowly made our way back to where the car was parked going into all the different shops seeing what they had, picking up this souvenir or that souvenir for people. I love aprons, so of course I had to have another apron!  

We had so much fun that day in New Orleans with the shopping, tour, eating, and visiting the Garden District after dark. We did get lost trying to get out of the city after dark, but we did finally find our way out and got headed home.  We would do it all over again. 

If you have the chance to go to the Big Easy, don't pass it up, GO! Enjoy yourself, eat, drink, sight-see, drink the coffee, listen to the music and if you by chance see Scott Bakula, say Hi!

Here are some of the fun and interesting things we saw.