Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving & The Day After

We had a fantastic dinner with John, Erica and Jessica (Erica's sister). The kids did ALL the cooking. The only thing I brought was a box of wine. I'm not kidding. These guys got up at the crack of dawn to start cooking. John was responsible for the 18 pound turkey and the girls took care of all the sides and the dessert. I'm not a big fan of Thanksgiving because frankly, I don't like the food. I don't eat stuffing, sweet potatoes, yams, pumpkin pie or that nasty green bean casserole with those onion things on top. The girls did none of those things except for the stuffing and one pumpkin pie. We had turkey, ham, regular green beans, corn, broccoli casserole, smashed red potatoes and gravy, and rolls. For dessert there was jello surprise, frozen chocolate pie, little pecan pies, fresh berries with real whipped cream and of course that one pumpkin pie for Erica.

We got there at noon as instructed and the table was already set and the food was out. They were supposed to pick up a couple of military recruits to join us for dinner from the nearby military base as they have done for years. When Erica went to pick them up she was told they weren't needed this year. It seems there were more people sharing their dinners than there were recruits. They really should have told her before she went but at least it's nice to know that so many families opened their doors to these guys. I totally forgot to take pictures of the food set out on the table. John, Erica and Jessica thought their food wasn't "blog worthy" but that wasn't the case at all. It was just me excited to be eating and not taking pics. By the time I thought about taking some the dessert was out. It looked pretty good, right?

Rod, Erica, John and Jessica

Rod, Erica, John and Me

Jessica just couldn't take any more excitement!

The next day we decided to go out and find a liquor store. I was almost out of rum (OH NO!). We knew there would be big crowds but by the time we get out I'm sure most people are already home. HA HA On the way there we saw a Big Lots so we stopped in there just to see what they had and then we saw an auto parts store so we went in there for a few things too. What boring shoppers we are. We found the liquor store but didn't like their prices. Way too high! When we were here back in April/May there was a liquor store right by the RV park we were staying in so we decided, what the heck, let's go there. It's not exactly close by (Schertz) but we weren't doing anything else. It was a nice drive and the rum was seven dollars cheaper. Hmmmm, good buy. The lady remembered us too. LOL

We went home and ate MORE leftovers. Erica packed us up with a TON of leftovers so I don't think I have to cook for the rest of the weekend. Thank you very much you guys for all the work you put into that feast. It was FANTASTIC!!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


It was just before Thanksgiving in Walmart and a woman was anxiously picking over the last few remaining turkeys in the hope of finding a large one.

In desperation she called over a shop assistant and said, 'Excuse me. Do these turkeys get any bigger?'

'No, madam, 'he replied, 'they're all dead.'

Things You Can Say on Thanksgiving & Get Away With It

1. Talk about a huge breast!
2. Tying the legs together keeps the inside moist.
3. It's Cool Whip time!
4. If I don't undo my pants, I'll burst!
5. Whew, that's one terrific spread!
6. I'm in the mood for a little dark meat.
7. Are you ready for seconds yet?
8. It's a little dry, do you still want to eat it?
9. Just wait your turn, you'll get some!
10. Don't play with your meat.
11. Just spread the legs open and stuff it in.
12. Do you think you'll be able to handle all these people at once?
13. I didn't expect everyone to come at once!
14. You still have a little bit on your chin.
15. How long will it take after you stick it in?
16. You'll know it's ready when it pops up.
17. Wow, I didn't think I could handle all of that!
18. That's the biggest one I've ever seen!
19. How long do I beat it before it's ready?

Hope everybody has a GREAT Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Errands and Company

Yesterday we decided to go out and run some errands. Rod needed a haircut (badly), we needed groceries and fuel. What in the world were we thinking??? It was SATURDAY!!! Everybody and his brother along with their 10 or so kids was out shopping. First, we found a barber shop for Rod. While I was waiting a lady came in selling huge bags of oranges for $6 each so of course I had to buy one. They were very thin skin oranges which are perfect for fresh squeezed orange juice. After we finished there we went to Sam's Club. We didn't buy all that much but man was it ever crowded. We got our stuff and left for the grocery store. That was even more crowded. I got a call from John who said he and Erica were coming to see us. I gave him the directions and left the store without even completing my list. There was just way too many people (and kids) and I had the excuse that John and Erica were on their way. Erica also informed us that we're invited for Thanksgiving. That's really nice but John was supposed to tell us awhile ago and I bought a lot of stuff for Thanksgiving dinner. Oh well, we do love turkey and we can cook it some other day. It'll be nice to have dinner with them anyway. We did have dinner with them last night. They were taking us to dinner to celebrate Rod's birthday (back in November) and his favorite barbecue place in San Antonio is Tom's Ribs. So off we went to Tom's. We got there and it was closed. WHAT??? How can Tom's be closed??? Sure enough there was a note on the door that said, CLOSED THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATRONAGE. Wow, too bad. They do have another one but it's pretty far from where we were. So we decided to go to Rudy's which would have been our second choice anyway. Actually, I think I liked Rudy's even better. We even bought a pound of smoked turkey to take home.

That's one BIG bag of oranges

YUM!! Fresh squeezed juice for breakfast

Today we planned on just staying put and watching football all day. We were waiting for one of my RV Chatroom friends Arlene and Kevin (leno) to arrive. They were on their way to Vegas and were going to stay in this park for the night. I got an email from Arlene at about 11:30 this morning telling me they were on the way when they had a blowout on one of their trailer tires 127 miles away from us. They had contacted AAA and were going to be rescued but AAA was 70 miles away so all they could do was wait. They finally arrived about 5:00, I think. We had no plans for dinner so I decided to make a pot of beef stew so they wouldn't have to worry about dinner when they got here. We had a really nice visit and we're so glad they made it. Tomorrow morning they'll be leaving early to go find a new tire and then continue their trip. Thank you so much you guys for stopping by.

Arlene and Kevin

Tomorrow we'll probably finish at the grocery store, go to Home Depot or Lowes and then do some laundry. It's way overdue.

Friday, November 21, 2008

San Antonio, Texas

First I have to do an update on Laughlin. Here's a picture of my Sissy's winning ticket. She told me to make sure everybody knows that's Rick's big ole fat finger and not hers that is holding the ticket. LOL You guys, that ticket was from a PENNY Machine!!!

Well, we made it to San Antonio!! Yay! It'll be so good to sit for awhile. After leaving Tucson we travelled all the way across Arizona and New Mexico and found ourselves in Anthony, Texas which is right on the border as you cross into Texas. In fact, we got off the freeway at exit 2. We had seen billboards along I-10 for a RV dealer that was also a Camping World and had a RV Park. Cool. We pulled in and they had plenty of sites available at $24.95 a night. That's a nickel under budget! It was basically a gravel parking lot but hey, it was only for one night. It was nice and warm during the day but man was it chilly once the sun went down. We even had to drag out the electric heater.

Gigantic cactus in the campground

Yep, back in New Mexico, just passing through

YIKES!!! At a rest stop in New Mexico! What kind of pets do they have back there?

We got an early start (for us) leaving at a little before 9:00. I thought the time changed as soon as we crossed into Texas but it didn't. We didn't enter the Central Time Zone until later that day so I changed the clock in the truck and also changed my watch. It was a pretty boring drive but then again, what part of Texas ISN'T a boring drive? I know I'm gonna piss off all the Texas people with that comment but, come on, it really is boring driving all the way across Texas on I-10.

We were going to stop here anyway but look what the sign said!!! It was barbecue and it really was FREE!!

We stopped at a truck stop in Ozona for fuel and saw a RV Park right across the street. Since it was getting dark we decided to go see how much it was to camp there. We could see the park was only about half full so we knew we'd be able to stay. The rate was only $18 a night if we paid cash! It looked like it used to be a KOA because of the tepee shaped buildings but they were no longer associated with them. I'm sure if they were we wouldn't be paying $18 a night. We didn't even unhook the truck from the 5th wheel because the truck stop had a restaurant and the guy in the office told us to show them our receipt and we could get 10% off on our meal. I had a couple of tostadas and Rod had a couple of burritos which he couldn't even finish. Very good food.

I set the alarm for 8:00 just to make sure we'd be up and on the road by a decent hour. Well, I guess I didn't set the clock for the right time. Don't know how that happened but we were actually an hour behind. Jeez, we've crossed too many time zones in the last few weeks. So, we didn't end up leaving until a little after 10:00. Oh well, we didn't have that far to go. Only 200 and some miles. Short day for us.

We arrived at Braunig Lake RV Resort at about 3:00. We had reserved a site here last year when we were in the San Antonio area in April/May. We scouted a lot of RV parks to find one that we liked and was close to John and Erica and was affordable. We picked a spot with a nice view of the lake and asked if they needed a deposit. "No, no deposit necessary", they said. Soooooo, we got here and lo and behold there was somebody in the spot that we had reserved and had been there for quite some time. Hmmmmmm, well that's just not right. Actually, there were no spots open with a view of the lake. We had no choice but to take another spot in the second row way at the end with a view of the hotel and it's parking lot. Bummer. They did offer to take $60 off the monthly rate which helps but still left a bad taste in our mouths. We're going to look around some more for another place to spend the rest of the winter. What they did is just not right. Apparently reserving a site here doesn't mean anything and I certainly don't think we should pay the same rate to look at a hotel parking lot as the people who have a beautiful view of the lake.

View out the front

View out the back

Monday, November 17, 2008

Tucson, Arizona

First we had to leave Nevada

We got up this morning at 6:30am (GOOD LORD!!!) and were on the road by a little after 8:00. Laughlin is on the Colorado River at the southern tip of Nevada right across from Bullhead City, Arizona so as soon as we crossed the river we were back on mountain time so it was 9:00 and we lost an hour. Bummer. We had such a good time there even though we didn't win anything. We stayed at the Riverside Casino and RV Park. They had a shuttle that picked us up right at our site and dropped us off at the sky bridge which went right into the casino. We paid $138 for 5 days. Joyce and Rick were at Harrah's which is at the other end of the strip but we spent almost all day and most of the evenings with them at various casinos. Joyce was the big winner at the Aquarius to the tune of $1200!!! Lucky her. She plans on visiting her daughter and family in Georgia for Christmas with her winnings. I'm so happy for her!

Joyce and Rick

Me and my Sissy. Man, that's a bad picture of me

We need to be in San Antonio by Thursday so we need to travel some long, long days to get there. We were supposed to be there on the 15th but we wanted to spend some time with Joyce and Rick in Laughlin so I called and changed our reservations. Normally we wouldn't make reservations so far in advance but with the "winter Texans" places fill up pretty fast. We're looking forward to spending time with John and Erica for awhile.

We had a really up and down drive today through some more mountains. We get such bad gas mileage on these kind of days but luckily diesel prices are way down. We're paying less now than we did when we bought the truck back in October 2007. Today we paid $2.35 a gallon. I know it's probably going to start going back up but for now we'll enjoy those prices.

So tonight we're at the Crazy Horse Campground just east of Tucson. We'll be getting up early again tomorrow to travel another three hundred and some miles. Not sure yet exactly where we're going to end up but hopefully we'll still be in New Mexico so we won't lose another hour until we cross into Texas the next day.

Having been born and raised on the west coast I really have missed the desert. Look at these gorgeous Saguaros

And the Joshua trees

So until next time, somewhere down the road.......

Friday, November 14, 2008

Laughlin, Nevada

I think this is the longest I've gone without updating where we are or what we're doing. We've had a pretty busy week. We spent all last week with the Ashton & Reilly so there's no way I was going to be able to sit down alone and write anything. We saw them almost every day and had them all last weekend. We really do love the time we get to spend with them though. We won't see them again until April so we really had to get our fill. Because it was so cold outside we were all cooped up inside. I did get a chance to make some awesome soups though.

Here they are again!!!

Naptime with her baby

We were supposed to leave Wednesday but it looked like a storm system was coming in with some more mixed snow and rain so reluctantly we decided to leave on Tuesday and WE decided that I was going to drive. I have driven the truck before but not with the 5th wheel attached. I was supposed to hook it up but I had too much inside stuff to do so Rod went ahead and hooked us up. I drove us out of the RV park and on to the freeway through Salt Lake City. Since it was Veteran's Day there wasn't a lot of traffic. It was surprisingly easy to drive. I couldn't even tell it was back there unless I looked in the rear view mirror and all I saw was white. I even pulled it into the Flying J Truck Stop for fuel and parked amongst the "big boys" (got a lot of double takes) while Rod went in and paid. All in all I ended up driving 348.1 miles that day all the way to Mesquite, Nevada. We were going to stop in Hurricane, Utah for the night but when we got there it was still daylight so we figured we'd continue on. We drove through some absolutely beautiful canyons but the camera was in the 5th wheel so we didn't get any pictures. Bummer.

We were going to look for an RV park but as we were driving through on the freeway we noticed a lot of rigs parked in the casino parking lots. Hey, that's right, people park overnight in casinos all the time. We figured we'd try it out too. The parking is free and we can go in, have a drink and maybe gamble a little. I got us in the parking lot of the Casa Blanca casino and parked next to another rig. We asked if it was okay to park there and they said they've parked right there before with no hassle so we were good to go. For my non RV'ing friends, this is called boondocking. We had no electric hookup so we were only using our battery power for lights. Our refrigerator runs automatically on propane so no worries there. Our heater is also propane but we were warm enough without it. We don't have an onboard generator but we do have a couple of little portable ones. It wasn't worth the hassle to hook them up for just one night though. We had dinner in the casino and did some gambling on the Keno machines. It ended up costing us $120 to boondock in the parking lot. LOL It would have been cheaper to stay at the campground in Hurricane. Oh well, maybe we'll have more luck in Laughlin.

The Casa Blanca Casino in Mesquite, Nevada

Our "free" campsite

I know we had said we were headed for Las Vegas but we had a little change in plans. We were going to Vegas to see my brother George and sister-in-law Jolene but as it turns out they were there the weekend we were in Salt Lake City. My sister Joyce thought since they weren't going to be there anyway it would be more fun to go to Laughlin. It's a little further south than Vegas and much smaller. There are only a few casinos but lots and lots of RV parks. Rod drove us the 180 miles here from Mesquite and we arrived on Wednesday afternoon and we're now back on Pacific time. If we drive across the river to Bullhead City, Arizona we're back on Mountain time. Good grief, it's so confusing. I think I have all the clocks set right but I'll have to change them again when we leave here on Monday.

Passing through Las Vegas

The long and winding road through the Nevada desert

We haven't had much luck in the casinos so far but it's got to change, right? LOL Isn't that what everybody says? Joyce and Rick will be here later today and I can't wait. We always have lots of fun with them and they like to gamble as much as we do. We don't go crazy or anything like that. We set a limit for the day and when it's gone, it's gone.

We're staying at Don Laughlin's Riverside RV Park and this place is HUGE! It's terraced on the hillside across the street from the casino of the same name. There are 740 spaces here. They have a shuttle that picks us up right in front of our rig and drops us off at the bridge that goes across the street and right into the casino. Hmmmmm, how convenient. When we're done making our deposit in the casino we cross the bridge and the shuttle picks us up and drops us off at our rig again.

We haven't been doing any cooking at all since we've been here. It's so cheap to eat at the casinos, it's cheaper to eat there than cook. One of my chat room friends, Bob, said to eat at a certain restaurant in the Riverside Casino where they had prime rib that they carve right at your table. The price is $12.99, which IS a great price but we happened to pass by the buffet and it was Italian night!! We couldn't pass that up. The food was incredible, not just lasagne and spaghetti, but veal marsala, canneloni, baked halibut, baked ziti, chicken marsala, etc, etc. ALL things Italian. I think we'll be doing the prime rib thing before we leave though, Bob.

Almost to Laughlin

The Riverside Casino

It's incredibly windy here today and I'm not just talking a little breezy. It's REALLY windy. We've got steady 20 mph winds with gusts of 40. I probably should stow the satellite dish but I'm looking at somebody else who has a dish and they haven't stowed theirs so I guess we're okay.

If we're not having too much fun I'll try to remember to take pictures of Joyce and Rick's visit. They're staying at the other end of the strip because Joyce got a free stay for some reason. It still won't be a problem to visit though since the strip is pretty short here.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

North Salt Lake, Utah

I did end up setting the alarm for 7:00 Monday morning but didn't get up until 7:30. We left Caldwell, Idaho at about 8:45 (yes, you read that right) and stopped for breakfast and fuel about 15 miles down the road just before hitting Boise. Boy, what a big difference between this part of Idaho and the area we were in back in the summer. This part is really flat and dry kinda like Texas. Island Park was very green, mountainous and beautiful. Anyway, it was another three hundred and some miles and a very long, long day.

We made it to North Salt Lake on Monday at about 5:30 in the evening. It was almost dark so we had to quickly set up. Michele, Todd, Ashton & Reilly got here just as we were getting finished. The grandkids were so excited to see us. They were talking nonstop and climbing all over us. It was great. We're actually going to have them stay with us the whole weekend (Rod's idea) so we'll have lots to catch up on. We had to go shopping yesterday because we didn't have grandkid food for the weekend. You know, the standard chicken nuggets and juice boxes and scooby snacks.

When we got here the temps were in the 40's. Not warm but not freezing either. This morning we got up to snow on the ground. It's been snowing off and on all day so far. The news people said it was supposed to stop at noon but it's after 1:00 and still snowing.

Well, that's about it for now. No kids today but after tomorrow we'll be very busy on the weekend. And of course, it's time for more pics of the grandkids.

Here's a few pictures of our campsite.

I don't think we'll be having a barbecue.....

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Caldwell, Idaho

I'm a little late on my postings. We left Port Angeles on Saturday morning. We had planned on leaving about 9:00 but actually didn't get out until 10:00. Oh well, those of you who really know us know that's an average time for us. The Ranger wrote a really nice letter of recommendation for us so if we ever want to camphost again we'll have a glowing recommendation. She even mentioned that the campers had written comments about us and our interaction with them. Nice. We did have to have one last fire before we left because we knew we wouldn't be able to have anymore campfires for a long, long time. We'll both miss that.

Rod's chopping more wood for our campfire

GREAT, lots of wood for the fire!

We headed out Highway 112 to the 101 Highway. It was a really beautiful drive but not the best route time wise. Oh well, we really weren't in a hurry and it was raining so I guess it was best that we took our time.

Highway 101 was gorgeous but wet.

We stopped in Tumwater, Washington on I-5 for our last teriyaki fix. In case you don't know Washington is as famous for the teriyaki as it is for Starbucks. It was good but nothing compares to the teriyaki at Koto Teriyaki in Tacoma. We got back on the freeway and took that to I-205 through Portland, Oregon and on to I-84 to The Dalles. I-84 follows the Columbia River through this incredible gorge on the Oregon side. We had to go across the bridge over the Columbia River (back into Washington) to a campground that the Garmin was taking us to. We passed a place on the way that kinda looked like a RV Park but really looked like RV storage except there were pickup trucks with the trailers. We pulled in but the office was closed. As we were reading the notices on the door a pickup pulled up and a guy got out and asked us if we were looking for a spot. We told him we were and he said he had one spot left for $20 a night. Cool, we took it. We got set up and unhooked the truck and went back across the bridge to a restaurant that was advertised on the freeway. It was not the best but, whatever, it was food and we were hungry. I don't know how many times we crossed back and forth between Oregon and Washington yesterday.

Look Jenny, I finally got a picture (sort of)!!

And then back into Oregon

Columbia River Gorge

This morning we got out at 9:30 after setting our clocks back an hour. That was pretty nice because we had gained an hour. We drove only a few miles till we had to get fuel. We paid $3.13 a gallon for diesel and we didn't even have to pump. It's against the law to pump your own gas in Oregon. $100 filled the tank with 31 gallons of fuel and it was really empty. We haven't done that since we bought the truck back in October!

We drove over the Blue Mountains (summit 4,000 feet) through lots of rain. Not really heavy rain but rain nonetheless. We stopped at a Flying J for lunch and I don't know if you've ever been in a truck stop dining room but the portions are HUGE. I ordered the chicken fried steak and eggs. It came with three eggs, hash browns, toast and the biggest piece of steak I've seen. Needless to say, I had the leftovers for dinner tonight.

This is how most of the road was through the mountains

Interesting cloud formation

Cool view of the windmills

We had to reset the clocks AGAIN ahead to our original time because we crossed into the Mountain time zone. So much for that extra hour we thought we had. We could have just kept them the same and not changed them at all. Rod never did change his.

We're now in Caldwell, Idaho for the night and believe it or not we plan on getting out early tomorrow morning for our drive to Salt Lake City. I'm going to set the alarm for 7:00 but probably won't get up. At least it will wake me up and once I'm awake I can't go back to sleep. We don't have a lot to do in the morning because we didn't unhook the truck tonight. We have another three hundred mile day but the end result is worth it. We don't usually travel on weekends but this has been kind of nice because there's not a lot of traffic and the construction sites are not working.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

The Dalles, Oregon

Just a quick update. We moved today and are in The Dalles, Oregon. I'll post more tomorrow when we're in Idaho. It was a long day.