Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hurry Up To Wait

I would like to welcome 2 new “Followers” to my RV blog.  Welcome aboard to Camp Host US and Wayne and Roberta…..THANK YOU very much for joining my group.  I hope you will be entertained by my simple musings about our everyday life in an RV.

We’ve been getting all of our routine maintenance done on the motorhome the past couple of weeks.  Down in Oregon we had normal engine service done and they saw a gasket leak on the exhaust manifold while they were in there checking things out.  They didn’t have the time to get to that on the day we were there so we opted to wait until we got up here to Washington.  Today was the day for that plus we got the transmission service done and the oil in the generator changed.  Except for the gasket repair, everything was normal maintenance.

We wanted an early appointment in case it took all day to get this work completed.  Bruce scheduled a 7:00 am.  Holy cow, that’s very early to have to be 30 miles south of us by that hour.  We were going to Cummins Northwest in Chehalis as they have done good work for us in the past.


When we made the appointment, the guy said we could come down the night before and park in their lot for the night.  Fine with us and that is what we did.  We had to get there before 6:00 pm on Tuesday night since they all go home and lock the gates after that.  When we arrived at 4:30 they told us to drive around behind the building to park by the 30 amp. connection.   Not the most beautiful of campgrounds, but it served our purpose.

DSCF5203  DSCF5210 

The gate to their yard was locked but they had given us the lock combination in case we needed to get out.  (you never know!)  We had the electric hook-up so we powered up the satellite dish, cooked dinner and enjoyed a peaceful evening.   Our view out the dining window showed us a field of weeds, some small wildflowers and trees. 


This morning we still got up early so we could get ourselves ready and pull the RV over to the service bay doors just before 7:00 am.  Then we went to McDonald’s for breakfast, read the paper and drank coffee.  Went back to Cummins Northwest and got to wait for a couple of more hours until they were finished.  The gasket repair was covered by our engine warranty so that was great.

We were out of there by early afternoon and drove back north to Tumwater.  Settled in at our usual site.  Such an exciting life we lead!  Tomorrow morning we begin our official babysitting job and have to set our alarm for 5:30 am.  I think we’ll be getting to bed early tonight!

Until next time… long for now!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

But Doc…I Don’t Want A Root Canal !!

I started having some weird feelings in one of my upper teeth while we were in Kansas or Colorado (can’t remember).  I hate when I get those weird feelings that aren’t normal in a tooth.  It’s never good news, that’s for sure.  I called our dentist’s office right away and scheduled an appointment for as soon as possible after getting back to Tumwater. 

Unless it would be an absolute emergency, I don’t want any other dentist but our own touching my teeth!  I know some RVer’s have gone to Mexico for dental work and have had great success with that.  I’m just not going to be doing that.  When we moved up to Olympia, Washington in 1994, one of the first things we did was find a dentist.  I called 1-800-DENTIST and was given a full report on Dr. A. Agustin Vega on Harrison Avenue in Olympia.  You get information on everything:  education, background, experience, etc.  You can now do the 1-800 dentist search thing online which is easier.  We called and made an appointment back then and were totally satisfied.  That was it….we found our guy…..good to go now and forever.

So today was my day for Dr. Vega to check out my tooth and give me the diagnosis.  I got the x-ray done and he came and checked it all out on his computer.  Listened to my symptoms and my story.  Given what I told him he figured the tooth was dying….nerve damage or something and I needed a root canal.  I also have some minor bone loss in that area.  So I did not need a crown at this time, just the root canal.   Root canal !!!! Just the words are enough to scare the you-know-what out of me.  Back in 2007 Dr. Vega had to do a root canal and a crown on another of my teeth, so I knew he would be gentle with me.  Still scared though.  I had no time to back out because he had time in his morning schedule to work me in.  Well, isn’t that great, I’m thinking with fear. 

Assistants Katrina and Christina prepared the torture devices… mean instruments for the surgery.  I surprised them all by saying I wanted to take photos of them.  I had to explain about the whole blog thing and how I try to document stuff from our life and travels.  I still think they all thought I was a bit nuts.  :)


When I was all ready, Dr. Vega came in.  Now…this won’t hurt a bit.  He jabbed me kindly with the giant needle thing to deaden the area where the surgery would take place.   Yowser…that first one hurt a bit, doc.  Fortunately, after that first stick you get numb and don’t feel the others (much). 


While we were waiting for the full effect of the numbing medication to do it’s job, I got out of the dental chair (you know, the kind where you feel like you are almost lying upside down) and took a photo of Dr. Vega and his office staff, Stacey and Barbara. 


Pretty soon the right side of my face was feeling numb and my upper lip felt like it was 3 times the normal size and I knew we were ready for action.  Dr. Vega is a very considerate doctor and he took great care to make sure I was never in any pain.  Once he drilled a hole in my tooth to get access to the nerve, he could see it was in bad shape and there was a lot of inflamation there too.  It was probably on it’s way to getting infected.  Before I knew it he had the dead nerve out and was prepping the hole in my tooth for the final repairs.  In a short time, he was finished and I was as good as new….minus the pain and the bad nerve.

I went out to the desk and took a final photo before saying good-bye and thank you for taking such good care of our teeth for the past 16 years.  See how Dr. Vega and Stacey are all smiles?  That’s because we are good patients and pay our dental bill on time, too.


Going to the dentist has never been the most fun thing for me to do.  But my Dr. Vega is fantastic and he is a nice guy too!

Until next time… long for now!

Monday, June 28, 2010

“I Do” 41-years ago today

Welcome aboard to my newest “Follower” Rebecca Carroll.  I THANK YOU very much for joining my group and taking your time to read about our RV lifestyle.


Here comes the bride and groom….back on June 28, 1969:


Yeah, that’s Bruce and me on our wedding day…..oh so many years ago.  We are celebrating 41 years of marriage today.  I was a child bride, of course! 

                           This is me around the age of 7.


                                 This is Bruce around the age of 3.


I had turned 18 on May 30th, graduated from Lakewood High School on June 18th, and got married on the 28th.  I kept my parents fairly busy that year. 

I first met Bruce when I was only 12 years old.  His sister, Pam, and I were school friends.  When Pam and I were 13 we became best friends and spent a lot of time together.  I was considered a real pest by Bruce at that time and he didn’t give me the time of day.  One thing led to another and when I was 14 and he was 18 there began a mutual attraction. 

Much to our parents dismay, we began going ‘steady’ as we called it back in the dark ages.  That was the summer of 1965.  That was an awesome year.  An awesome time, truthfully.  If any reader was a teen in 1965 they will know what I mean.  Great music played on our transistor radios.  American Bandstand was a hit on TV and the Beatles had already conquered America.  Bruce bought us tickets to see the Beatles in concert at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles… hero!

Making a long (but interesting) story short, I got engaged at 16 and we began planning the wedding.  In 1969 I was 18 and Bruce was 22 and we got “hitched”.  We’ve been together ever since.   Like 2 peas in a pod, or as Forrest Gump said, “we go together like peas and carrots”. 


It has been a wonderful life and we have enjoyed some great experiences, and some difficult challenges.  It’s all part of the journey.

Until the next time……so long for now!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Getting Back In The Groove

This weekend saw us getting back into our old groove of life in Tumwater.  The weather was great, we spent time with family, I visited my special friend Dorothy, and this morning we went to our usual church.  We go to church most of the Sunday’s when we are out on the road traveling, but none seem to be as terrific as our Tumwater United Methodist Church.  It’s a great place for us to be on Sunday mornings.

Saturday morning I went down to where we used to live in our sticks-n-bricks to visit Dorothy.  She is a wonderful lady in her mid 90’s and she and I became good friends after my Dad passed away in 2007.  I never forget her when we travel and send her postcards and e-mail messages.  She is awesome and she is one of the older folks that “gets our lifestyle”.  Some people we know almost come right out and ask, “when are you guys going to get over this RV thing?”  Dorothy totally thinks that Bruce and I are doing the right thing by taking time to pursue our dreams together.  She told me Saturday, “your life is wonderful”.  I think Dorothy is correct.

On Saturday evening as I was fixing dinner, Mackenzie phoned to say she and Zoey wanted to come and play at our house.  OK, that’s fine…..come on over!  Stephanie drove them over and they brought a lunch box with their own dinner in it.  We didn’t have anything fixed for them, so that was a good idea.  While I finished cooking, Zoey dug the play kitchen stuff out of the toy box we keep for them.  She got dressed up and began doing her style of “cooking” with the plastic food.  She had a lot of fun.



Mackenzie is getting a little bored with the whole play kitchen thing since she is almost 9 years old, so she went right to the computer.  She is learning to play Chess and likes to have Papa help her.  She is doing a great job of learning the game.  She also likes to play the card games on the computer, too.


                                   A lot of concentration going on here…….


After Zoey got tired of being a chef with plastic food, she dug out the art supplies and began creating a masterpiece for us.  One rule we have here in our small house on wheels is that the girls have to clean up one mess before they go on to the next activity.  It is the only way we can keep our sanity with 4 people and a dog in this small area.


Next Saturday night we are having a sleep over for the girls.  Two weeks after that we are taking them on the first of two camping trips for the summer.  I know we’ll have fun.  We start our first official babysitting day on July 1st and that will be interesting.

I hope everyone had a great weekend.

Until next time…….so long for now!

A Trip To Norway After A Reader Comment

My post about our 3-system back up camera in the MH brought a few comments.  Randy asked if we thought the side view cameras had distorted views and became a distraction.  He and Pam have the same camera system in their Allegro and he only uses the main rear view camera.  I e-mailed back to answer his question with the answer, “No, we use it all the time.”  The side-views are never a replacement for doing it the old fashioned way first….look in the side mirrors to check the lane of traffic next to you.  Then use the side-view camera to verify the safety of a planned lane change.   I think this is one of those different strokes for different folks areas that we RVer’s have a lot of. 

Saturday we enjoyed a glorious day in Tumwater.  It was about 72F with a beautiful blue sky to see…..and NO humidity.   That got me to thinking about Walt Disney World and how it is really heating up back there right about now.  Lots of humidity, too, I am fairly certain.  Glad we are not there right now. 

I had some left over pics from Epcot’s Norway and I thought I’d share them with my readers today.  We always enjoy touring this pavilion and eating in their main restaurant, Akershus Royal Banquet Hall.  A few years back they changed this to a Princess Dining Experience.  Not our favorite change, but we still go there because the food is so fantastic.


This pavilion is built around a center courtyard and the surrounding buildings are built in an assortment of traditional Scandinavian architectural styles.  It is a beautiful place to visit.  DSCF3199There is a ride called Maelstrom, which is an indoor adventure boat ride.  A little short in duration, in our opinion.  You board these dragon headed ships for a voyage through rivers and seas detailing some Viking history interspersed with modern day Norway.  After the ride you can walk to a small theater to see a 5-minute film about life in Norway.  In typical Disney fashion the theater will empty out into their gift shops with imported clothing and souvenirs from Norway.  Trolls are BIG in Norway.



Once outdoors again, we took a look in at Bruce’s favorite place…..the bakery.  Here they have wonderful pastries and small sandwiches you can enjoy in an open air seating area.


One of the finest displays in this pavilion is a replica of a wooden stave church.  A stave church is a medieval wooden church.  They were built in the 1500’s and have a post and beam construction.  There are estimates of about 2,000 of these built in Norway.   A few remain today.  Inside this one are some artifacts related to stave churches.


It wouldn’t be Norway without a Viking present.


Norway used to be one of the least visited pavilions in the World Showcase (and our favorite).  That is until they turned a wonderful restaurant into a Princess Dining Experience.  Ah well….it got the tourists to go in there and eat now, didn’t it?

Until next time……so long for now!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Making Plans

In my post yesterday I wrote about our 3-camera backup system for the motorhome.  Al of the Bayfield Bunch left a comment about that system and how it was foreign to him.  He’s probably not alone in that, so I thought I’d just show a couple of pics of those side cameras.

DSCF5173DSCF5174Since those side cameras are not functioning at this moment, I cannot show you what the view would be on the monitor in our dash.  When they do work they show you the traffic lane beside you as you are driving.  Turn on the left “blinker” and the view changes to show what is on the driver side of the motorhome.  Turn on the right “blinker” and the camera shows what is next to you on the passenger side.  Those side cameras are really useful and a boon to safe lane changing.  Unfortunately, we had to drive all the way to Florida and back again this year without those cameras working.  I spent a lot of time checking the traffic lanes when Bruce needed to change his lane.  It worked, but those cameras will be very welcome when we get the parts for them before our next trip. 

We’re always making plans for something.   Today I spent some time planning activities with the Grands for our babysitting days in July and August.  It appears that we will have most of the Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays off.  The kids are able to arrange their work schedules where Stephanie will not work Saturdays and Darin will not work on Mondays.  (a few exceptions, however)

I checked with our local library and found some activities the girls might like to attend.  We can also have them check out some books for the summer reading program.  I printed out a Reading Log from the library website so they can keep track of the book titles. 


I have a few resource books for Washington state and have located some state parks with day use facilities and walking trails, nature centers,  and city parks.  Since Tumwater is next to Olympia, we have access to the South Puget Sound with a lot of great places to explore.   I have also planned a couple of game days for staying at home.  The girls love to play games and they have a lot of board games.  They also like Dominoes, Yahtzee, and Kings in the Corner.   I’ve been filling in the dates on the calendar with these activities.  I’ll give a copy to the girls for posting at home and they can check to see what the activity of the day will be.


With Mackenzie being on a gymnastics team she has practice 3 days a week this summer, so that prevents us from taking the girls out for a lengthy RV trip.  We have been able to plan for a 3-day trip in July to Randle, which is near Mt. Rainier and then another 3-day trip to Long Beach, Washington.   It’s better than nothing. 

We have also been making future plans for our own adventures away from Tumwater.  We’ve got ourselves all planned out with possibilities through 2011.  All plans are subject to change however since we seem to change our minds every few months.  Goes with the territory since there are so many places to see.  Planning is part of the fun of an RV lifestyle.  Possibilities are almost endless!

Until next time……so long for now!

Friday, June 25, 2010

You Had To Know It Wouldn’t Be Just Right

First of all a great big Welcome Aboard to new “Followers” Dennis and Donna.  I appreciate the time you take to read about our RV travels and our lifestyle living in a motorhome.  THANK YOU for joining my group.

I’m not a betting person, but deep down I figured things wouldn’t go exactly right Thursday at the RV service center.  Darn if we didn’t have a “small problem” with getting the back-up monitor installed. 

First of all, when we got there at 8:30 for our scheduled appointment we were met by the new guy who was handling our service needs and another guy that we have been acquainted with for about 3 years.  They were both at the service desk but it almost appeared that they weren’t very enthusiastic at all in their job of getting us checked in.  I almost wanted to ask each of them if they needed a good strong cup of coffee to WAKE UP!  They mumbled a lot and didn’t crack a smile.  We left them the keys to the RV and our cell phone number and then went off to McDonald’s for English muffins. 

We got back about 90 minutes later and were hanging out in their nice lounge area.  I was checking in on my favorite blogs and leaving a few comments, Bruce was reading some spy thriller, and Annie was quite comfy on the floor with her pillow.


Bruce was back and forth checking on the progress.  Around noon, after checking again, he came back and said to me, “do you want the good news or the bad news?”  Good news first:  the monitor was perfect and it looked great in the dash of the motorhome, and it worked.  Bad news:  we have a 3 camera system and they had only received wiring harness for the main camera and none for the 2 side cameras.  That had to be back ordered now.

When they received the camera monitor from Winnebago nobody bothered to open it and check to make sure it was all there!!!!   Inefficiency really makes me want to scream.  I was ready to punch somebody square in the face.  Nothing I could do about it without getting the local police involved and me being carted off to the pokey in the back of a squad car for assault, so we wait again.  We had to pay our $50.00 deductible and we also got the propane topped off so we owed a few bucks today.  When we were up at the desk paying our bill…..guess who was oh so nice and smiley!!!  Yeah, those same two grumps that greeted us in the morning.  Now that they had screwed up they were all friendly and nice.  Fat lot of good it will do them!  Once we get the other 2 parts installed I hope we never see these folks again.  It is so close to Tumwater, we probably will.  BUT ONLY IF WE HAVE TO.

So we left there and drove up to Tumwater with the main camera showing us the view behind.  One of these days we’ll be able to use the side cameras again too.

We got our usual space here in the good old Allimor Estates and hooked up to our 50 amp service and turned on the A/C.  We have found some warm and sunny weather once again. 

We went over to our kids house in the evening.  Darin is on vacation but there was a crisis at the store and he had to drive all the way to Federal Way (45 miles each way) to check on that.  Stephanie left to go watch some of Mackenzie’s practice at the gym and Bruce and I stayed with Zoey.  She was happy to see us and show off the new empty space in her smile….she lost her first tooth.



Before I had to start fixing the veggies for dinner, Zoey and I did some coloring.  Papa then played on the trampoline in the backyard while I started dinner.

DSCF5155 DSCF5162

Darin got home around 6:30 and he fired up the grill to cook up these New York beauties.  

DSCF5159 Stephanie and Mackenzie got home at 7:10 and dinner was ready to be served.  Mackenzie was glad to see us.  I couldn’t get too many pics of her, we were all hungry and wanted to eat.  She is always striking a pose.


After dinner we played one round of Rummikub and then had to head back to the motorhome.  The girls needed to get into the shower and get ready for bed. 

  DSCF5165 It’s good to be back to our hometown, even for just a couple of months.  We have a lot of plans for the next 2 months to try and keep everyone busy.  I know Grandma and Papa will be ready for a peaceful time in Pismo Beach come September!

Until next time… long for now!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Returning To our Homeland

After 100 days of travel, we have returned to our homeland.  Not our native homeland, but our adopted homeland.  We adopted The Evergreen State as our homeland in 1994 when we became legal residents. 

We left Seaside, Oregon in a light fog Wednesday morning.  It was good to be getting out of the RV park now as almost all of the sites on the South side became occupied by Tuesday.  I guess folks are wanting to be settled in before the July 4th holiday gets too close.   We drove North to Astoria and then East on Hwy. 30. 

We crossed the great Columbia River into Washington just before the small town of Rainier, Oregon.   It actually felt great getting back to our familiar territory.


                            Not a lot of traffic Wednesday.DSCF5135                              Then we saw those great words overhead…….DSCF5136We had a couple of miles of driving East before connecting with I-5, and then about 13 miles South to Woodland.  We had to make a quick stop at the place we bought our MCD blinds.  They needed to make an adjustment on one because it wasn’t wanting to go up like it should.  We got that done in about 15 minutes and we were once again on our way.  This time going North on I-5.

We drove to Exit 79 in Chehalis and pulled off the freeway to Wally-Dock for the night.  After getting settled in our usual spot when we need to stay here, we went into Walmart and purchased over $100 in groceries.  Time to stock up again.


This morning is when we have our appointment (8:30) at Uhlmann’s RV to get the new monitor installed.  Even if we could have gotten a replacement ourselves, this is a covered warranty job and needed to be done by “professionals”.   We’ll wait and see how things go after the monitor is installed in order to determine if those professionals do it right.

Tonight we are going over to Darin and Stephanie’s house for dinner.  We can’t wait to see the girls again.  I bought stuff at Walmart to fix sweet potato fries and roasted asparagus.  Darin is going over to Costco to pick up some good looking steaks, which I’ll reimburse him for.  I’ve planned some angel food cake and fresh strawberries for dessert. 

Wednesday we did finally begin to feel some warm weather.  In Chehalis it was 75F and sunny.  Western Washington is one of the best states in which to spend the summer months.  We’ll enjoy it while we are here.  September will be here soon enough and that will bring about another trip South for us.

Until next time……so long for now!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Remember That Back-Up Camera Monitor?

Our current location:  traveling to Chehalis, Washington

While you read this post today, I’ll share a few final photos of Seaside with you.  We enjoyed our time there at the Seaside Resort, and since we paid nothing this week to stay here, it was all the sweeter!

DSCF5117                       Beach homes in Seaside

I don’t know if anyone remembers our story of ordering a new monitor for our back-up camera….but there is more to the story.  Originally Josh, who worked at Uhlmann’s RV, could not get the replacement monitor before we needed to leave on this trip in March.  So, he told us that when the shipment came in, Uhlmann’s would just keep it for us until we returned in June.  We figured that would have to do, since we needed to get on the road for Disney World.

DSCF5120                       Tillamook Head through the fog, looking South.

In April Bruce called Josh at Uhlmann’s to check on the monitor shipment.  Josh told him they had just located a replacement and it was still on order.  Josh then told Bruce to “call me back in a couple of weeks to make sure it’s here.”  OK…we’re thinking all is well.  Wrong! 

DSCF5118                       Early morning hours on the beach.

Bruce called in May to check on the status of the shipment.  He asked for Josh in the Service Department….”Oh, he no longer works here,” was the answer.  A new guy named Casey was now talking to Bruce and he checked in our file and found nothing related to a monitor order placement or shipment.  Bruce explained the whole, long story and nobody knew anything about it.  Josh had been stringing us along for quite a while until he left his job there. 

DSCF5115                       Small…very small…rental cottages in Seaside.

Casey was good enough to get moving immediately on the order.  He called Bruce back a couple of weeks later to say that the monitor had been received and was waiting for us!  Let’s just hope it turns out to be the right one when we get there.

DSCF5116                       Beautiful and large beach house with a great view!

We have one stop to make today to get our MCD blinds adjusted and then it will be on to Chehalis and our appointment with Uhlmann’s RV on Thursday morning.  Hopefully this new guy, Casey, will be someone who is easy to work with and keeps his word!  That would be a refreshing change.

DSCF5124                       Part of a sand dollar on the beach.

DSCF5122                       Here’s a half-dollar if you need change. 

We plan (make that: hope) to be back in our usual RV spot in Tumwater by Thursday afternoon.  We’ll be getting together at our daughter and son-in-law’s house for a steak BBQ dinner.  Can’t wait to see the “grands” once again!

Until next time… long for now!