Monday, July 28, 2008

July 28, 2008

Hi Again,

We spent the week with Mary's sister, Lavern, and her husband, Bob, in the mountains in Northern Pennsylvania. (See photo of our RV parked on their property.) They have a get-away retreat on 14 acres with their own pond right outside their back door. Every night we would burn wood that they gathered up with their truck ATV during the day from the back woods of their property. One night we all went out with their pontoon boat powered by a quiet battery operated motor to have appetizers before dinner on the pontoon.

As you can see by the pictures, their place is serene nature at its finest. Blueberries, apples, raspberries and other fruit grow wild there. Between Jerry and Lavern's cooking, we ate well. It rained, with thunder and lightening, a couple of nights, just enough to get Chanti panicky. Other than that, the weather was perfect and we had a very relaxing time.

Tomorrow we head out again. It is always exciting to take off to new places and experience a different part of this great country that we live in.

Monday, July 21, 2008

July 21, 2008

Hi Everyone,
You don't have to wait any longer! Just what you have been waiting for -- is finally here! Pictures of Niagara Falls!!! Seriously, pictures do not do justice to the experience of seeing the spectacular force of unstoppable water going over the Falls, feeling the power and energy of the fast moving water and the mist as it constantly drizzles on us and our cameras, and hearing the unremitting sound of the moving water. Although we didn't take the tour boat that carries people under the Falls, we can just imagine how drenched they were -- and maybe a little scared, too. Instead, we chose to see the IMAX picture of traveling through and flying over the Falls. That was scary enough and we didn't have to get wet.
We were on the Canadian side of the Falls because that side is the most beautiful. Tomorrow we leave Canada for Pennsylvania, where we will be staying on Mary's sister and her husband's lake home property for a week.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

July 16, 2008

Hi Again -- You may be wondering why we are up-dating this blog just two days after our last up-date. Well, for one thing, lots has happened. And, secondly, we are about to enter into Canada on Friday. (More about that later.)

When we left St. Ignace on Monday, we crossed over the longest suspension bridge in the Western Hemisphere. This bridge, the Mackinac Bridge, connects Michigan's two peninsulas. (See picture of bridge below, taken from RV.) We drove all day Monday and arrived at the RV park in Ann Arbor, MI by 6 p.m. This is the same park we stayed at last year. We ended up in the exact space as last year, too. We love it because, from our front window, we see only trees and the lake.

Last night (as we did last year when we were here), we had dinner with our long-time friends, John and Gale, and their 19 year old daughter, Annie. We enjoyed catching up with them. John never fails to remind us that, when he knew us years ago, we were the only people he knew who had a teenager in the house. He always wants to know how hold she is now. Susan, he is talking about you!

We have a rented car from Enterprise, so today we went to the Ann Arbor Art Festival, which is hugh. Thousands of vendors from many differents states come here for the Festival to show their art works -- paintings, glass, pottery, jewelry, wood, clothing, ceramics etc. That part was great. But, we couldn't take the heat. It was 94 degrees -- too hot to enjoy the sights.

On Friday we leave for Canada to see Niagara Falls from the Canadian side. We checked with Verizon today, and were told that our PC cards (to get us on the internet) will not work in Canada, and our cell phones will cost between $.78-$2.00 a minute to use. Soooo -- we've decided that we will turn off our cell phones when we are in Canada. If anyone absolutely needs to reach us, we will be at the Niagara Falls Jellystone Park (tele: 905-354-1432). We will be back in the USA on July 22. Later -- Jerry and Mary

Monday, July 14, 2008

July 14, 2008

Hi Everyone,
We've spent the last two weeks in Wisconsin and Michigan. (Right now we just arrived at an RV park near Ann Arbor, MI.) Wisconsin is beautiful -- especially if you love trees and lakes as we do. It was a quiet time for us.
But it was in Michigan that we did a bit more exploring. Probably the most fun we had was taking the ferry over Lake Michigan to Mackinac Island. Now, Mackinac Island is home to 400 people -- the Grand Hotel -- small shops (especially home-made fudge shops -- we bought two pounds) -- horse carriages and lots of bicycle rental places. No cars are allowed on the island. We rented a tandem bike and asked the young boy who prepared it for us if the island was hilly. "No, it's all flat," he said. Well --- we biked up and down the hills, really getting our exercise, and had to push the bike a number of times. We said, "how can he say that this is flat?"
Nearly two hours later when we returned the bike, we asked him why he said that the island was flat. We told him where we biked and he said "Oh my, you did that?" Turns out that there was a flat bike trail that circled the island close to the water. Guess he didn't figure that old folks would take to the hills. Turns out that we were the only ones on tandem bikes traveling the hills. But, in doing so, we saw the Grand Hotel and other island wonders of nature. (The Grand Hotel was the place where "Somewhere In Time" starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour was filmed.) We asked how much it cost per night to stay there and were told that rooms go $250-$400 per night.
On a more sober note, the high cost of fuel has certainly put a damper on this country's RV economy. One day, we traveled 300 miles and only saw 11 other RVs along the way. RV parks make their money in the summer time. Most of the parks are near empty. (See photo below. In that park, there were 145 spaces and only six RVs were there last Saturday night.) We, ourselves, have decided to travel less and stay longer at the various places we visit. (We will update our map of projected travel shortly.)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

July 3, 2008

Happy 4th of July to Everyone!
We just left Sean's farm in North Dakota where the family held a large birthday party and reunion. All of Mary's children and grandchildren, plus most of her brothers and sisters and some of her nieces and nephews with their families, were there, along with many friends of Bob, the birthday boy. The weather was beautiful EXCEPT for the day of the party when there were heavy rains, and some thunder and lightening, the whole day. Luckily, they rented a tent and the party went on. With a rented sound system, speakers and microphone, the music continued until 2:30 A.M. Raul, our son-in-law, created beautiful fruit platters -- making palm trees, birds, sharks, chickens, and leaf designs out of the various types of fruit. (See pictures below.)
With all of the space on the farm, everyone had a great time -- especially some of the city grandkids from LA -- who really felt their freedom. The younger ones chased after the farm animals, rode bikes all over the place, climbed hay stacks, helped feed the goats and rode on an ATV with Sean. We took lots of family pictures, and even dressed with overalls for some group shots. (See picture below.)