Sunday, September 22, 2013

An EXCITING 3 weeks.....

So, finally, Dell came and repaired my computer (all the way to Ponderosa Campground, Gunnison, CO)
thus leaving me with a completely clean unit.  That's cool, because I DID A BACKUP of my hard drive before the Dell guy showed up.

The next day September 2, 2013 was our last at Curecanti for this summer, and we bade goodbye to some old (Dr. Charles next to me) and new friends (Bill Jones).
 Early the next morning we were off to Chicago, stopping to take a pix of Brian's (a ranger) house.
While out taking the picture, Bill spots a flat on the trailer.  I popped out of the truck to supervise and found the head of a 16 penny nail in the tread.  Pump up and get to town, where the patch was made.  By noon we were off  "like a herd of turtles".  Making it a long day, stopping in Ogallala, Nebraska at a QUIET campground.    Where, in the morning, Bill found a tire (different tire), with a football size bulge in the side.  After Praising the Lord for safety, we headed to a tire dealer and ordered a full new set of 10 ply.   

While waiting for the tires, we stopped for breakfast at the most highly rated restaurant in Ogallala....The Ogallala Livestock Market (aka Westside Cafe).  

True to it's reputation, the breakfast was fabulous! Very fresh :-)  Just sayin!

Back on the road at NOON again.  Stopping for the night at our favorite Iowa private campground, Jill and Ben Bright's wonderful place nestled in a huge grove of Walnut trees and bordered by their own pond.  Not only are we related (our son-in-law Brett's, sister),
Chealsea, Jill, Dalton, Ben & Isaac Bright with Macy
but they are good friends we do not see enough of, and their location in Iowa...6 hours from "home" makes it a perfect boondocking location.  After late night conversation (and great Iowa corn) we all headed to bed...going different directions early the next morning.

Which found us rolling into Kildeer, Il for a 2 week stay at my BFF's house.  Audrey was able to show off her 7 foot tomato plant which we had tied up together in July.
The greatest concern was whether or not our new 38 foot, 5th wheel was going to fit in her driveway?  It actually went in easier than our 30 foot tow behind trailer had
Audrey and Michelle putting us up in style:-)
.    Both Audrey and Michelle put up with the inconvenience for 2 weeks, and we really appreciate it:-)

We arrived back in the Lake Zurich area on Thursday night and eagerly awaited the Friday evening arrival of Kelly (Jan's oldest) and her boyfriend, Michael.  We had not seen Kelly for 2 years :-( and had never met Michael, so we were very excited to see how this new chapter in her life was going.  It is going very well...and we REALLY like Michael!
Kelly actually came to town to relieve our storage unit of her "stuff".....but the 1st order of business (on her request) was the traditional "Friday Night at Tacos El Norte" which, after 20 some years of habit with our friends, she has come to miss.
There was lots of this
And this

And friends we call family

Don't ask

GOOD to see Jeremy & Alyssa
Bad to have to say Goodbye

But "clear out the storage unit day" was breathing down our necks.  Saturday AM found us there bright and early with Kelly going through her stuff.  I think Michael was surprised at how MUCH Kelly REALLY loved cats:

Christine & Kate just inherited this one:-)

After "storage wars", it was time for Christine's 11th birthday party:
From the Oldest GRAND (Natalie age 14)
To the youngest GRAND (Moira 8+ months)
Cousin Teagan 2.5: 

Brother (Johnny 13) & sister (Kate 8):

From Papa's
To Nana's, Grandpa Ron & Grandma Jan

Mom (Cyndy)

Aunties: Katie & Tami

Christy & Kelly

And Uncles


And special friends 



Cyndy's Michael

Christine turned 11 with style and love all around!

After Saturday night the balance of our time in Lake Zurich became a whirlwind of seeing family & friends, while trying to get the storage facility downsized and feeling badly knowing we could not   see everyone we wanted to see, looked like this:
Checking Brett's rehab out.

Having Kathy for dinner:-)

Turning my cousin Lee into a real drinker:-) NOT

Having the best Brother-in-law ever for lunch!

Watching Moira getting to know Papa

Feeling Teagans excitement at having Papa around

Having a 2 year old show you how to operate an I-phone

Moira's 1st exploration of Papa's beard (Teagan also had this fascination)

Teagan telling Papa something VERY important.

Adrian likes my margaritas

His wife Angela was Maid of Honor at my 1st wedding

The girls were out, so Brett was able to stop by:-)

AND, last but not least, with no pix:  Don & Lisa dinner, Joie and Bill Capp breakfast at our place and Kevin & Beth dinner:-)

In the time frame allotted, we did not downsize the storage as much as we had hoped, but we made a huge least we have organized it all and now know where stuff is.

The only negative of the entire know that backup I did before Dell came and "repaired" my computer .....Chris (PC Optimization Services), the best comp. guy in the business, found it "corrupted"!!!!  I  lost 10 years of pix & data.

So now we have made the trek back to Colorado for Bill to become a Certified RV Technician and Inspector here in Monument...September 23 thru 28th.

Then on to Joshua Tree National Park for October/November/December....during which time (probably early on), Jan is going to have two little surgeries.

PS:  I feel the need to do an addendum of our last days at Ponderosa...stay tuned:-)

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