Monday, April 17, 2017

I was up this morning with the intent to publish my Journal as soon as possible.  I wrote my entry for Sunday but when I tried to publish I was having all kinds of particular trouble.  At first I was having a problem trying to get my program up and running.  And when I finally got that working, I was having a problem with the campground Wi-fi.  That was an easier fix since we travel with our own Wi-fi but use the campground system whenever possible. By the time I got everything organized it was too late to actually publish the Journal.  So I put it aside and walked away cause it was time to go for Breakfast.
We were going to the Grand Country Buffet this morning down on Country Boulevard.  We’ve been there before and they have a fabulous buffet.  When we got there it seemed a little busier than usual but not crowded like I expected. But the rest of the restaurants are probably pretty crowded this morning.
We stopped for some groceries on the way home at Price Chopper grocery store.  I sat in the car and listened to Rush while Sharon went inside.  She was in there only about a half hour and when she came out we had another stop to make.
We actually went directly home so we could put away the groceries.  But after that was done we left and went to a T-shirt place so I could find a new one.  It was a place that embroidered its own shirts.  They had at least 6 machines that were sewing up a storm.  I was thoroughly impressed with a logo I found in one of their books of St. Florian (patron saint of firefighters) for a jacket.  I found a shirt pattern but they didn’t have it in my size.  So we’ll pick it up tomorrow after they make it tonight.
We had leftover Fried Chicken Breast Sandwiches for Supper tonight along with Fried Potatoes.  By the time she got done making them with Cheese and Lettuce and Thousand Island dressing they were quite good.
After Dinner we settled into our usual positions to watch the entertainment tonight on the television.  We had some regular shows on tonight that we normally watch every week either “live” or on tape.  We were having programs build up on our DVR cause there isn’t enough time in the night to watch them all.  In California we struggled to find enough to watch, and here we’ve got more than enough to fill our night.  We have a hard time getting to bed on time.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

We were up today with no plan for the day.  This will be our last day here for this year.  We opted out of Joe’s Crab Shack and Lambert’s Café for our lunch today with the local Steak and Shake winning our favor.  We had seen these places for years and we were always wanting to stop but never did.
As soon as we left this morning we headed over the hill to the local Steak and Shake.  It was about a mile from our campground.  We went “over the hill” because Branson is all hills.  This part of Missouri is all rolling hills.  In any event the food was good and we had a choice of about 20 different shakes to choose from.  Sharon had an Onion Burger and Fries and I had a Garlic Steakburger and Fries.  We both had Shakes, hers was a Peanut Butter and Chocolate and mine was a Black Raspberry and Chocolate Chip.  And the price was very reasonable.
After lunch we went to the T-shirt shop to pick up the shirt I had bought yesterday.  While we were there yesterday, I found an embroidery design of St. Florin, the Patron Saint of Firefighters that I couldn’t get out of my mind.  While we were there I decided I wanted that on a jacket.  So we ordered it and they’ll ship it to us.  We don’t have time to get it embroidered since we’re leaving tomorrow morning.
We came back home and decided to wash the front of the motorhome since the rain the other day didn’t clean it.  We got out the brushes and squeegee and cleaned off the remaining crap.  It took about 45 minutes to get it all squeaky clean.  We’ll just cut through the air tomorrow like an arrow.  haha!
No Supper tonight since we had a late lunch today.  But we did have a couple of naps after we got home this afternoon.  We’ll probably just snack tonight instead of sitting down to a meal. 
We settled in for our usual night of entertainment provided by the major TV networks.  It was all original programming, no reruns.  And it kept us awake with Deadliest Catch until after 11 o’clock.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

We were up and rolling this morning by 9:30.   It wasn’t an early start but we didn’t feel like we were in a hurry either.  Our destination wasn’t anyplace special except for down the road as far as we were comfortable.
Our first stop today was in Ozark, Missouri to fill up with gas.  It was only about 25 miles down the road but it seemed to be the cheapest place for gas this morning.  The station was across the street from Lambert’s Café and we felt a slight tinge when we drove by without stopping to eat.  But we had already eaten Breakfast and Lambert’s wasn’t open anyway.
Back on the road and driving through St. Louis was a real treat.  It was just 3 o’clock and the traffic was quite busy.  As a matter of fact we don’t usually come through at this time as a general rule.  We don’t mind driving through cities, but rush hour is not our favorite time, to say the least.
We had stopped for lunch in Sullivan and found an unusual situation.  A good number of the business driveways had restrictor gates at their entrances.  Restrictor gates are usually heavy pipes planted in the ground that prevent taller vehicles from entering.  Even Wal-Mart had the gates installed.  They’re usually installed to prevent RV’s and Tractor Trailers from spending their nights.  They’re usually a result of unhappy campground owners thinking that we stay for free.  And if we’re self-contained why not?  They’re charging 20-30 dollars a night just for a parking space and electric.
Sharon was looking for campgrounds for a couple of hours today while we drove out of Missouri and into Illinois.  They were all $35+ or too far off the highway.  We drove as far as Litchfield, Illinois and found the local Wal-Mart.  We haven’t stayed overnight at a Wal-Mart for awhile, but tonight it seemed appropriate.
It was a good time to check all of our onboard systems.  The generator and inverter haven’t been used up until now and it would be a good test for them.  They both seemed to work very well all night until we went to bed at 11.  This Wal-Mart thing could work all the way home.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

We were having another leisurely start this morning since we had such a good day yesterday.  We got much further than we expected and so today we’ll be in the same situation when we stop.
We could see that gas was not going to be a bargain anywhere from here to home.  The price was in the high 230 range and it looked like it wasn’t getting any cheaper today.  Although when we did stop in Bloomington, IL we managed to find it for $2.26.  We couldn’t wait to fill it up.  The Flying J we found was a bit small and we just barely got in and out without attacking the curbs.
As we drove on for the rest of the day we realized we had found the gas for the cheapest possible price between here and there.
My Navigator was checking for campgrounds again today and was finding nothing worthwhile.  We knew there was another Wal-Mart in the vicinity of where we would be stopping so we focused on that for the night.
Sharon drove for awhile again today just before we got to Rockford, IL.  But the wind and traveling Semis were playing havoc with her.  While I was driving there was hardly any wind.  And as soon as I took over the wheel again the wind decided not to blow anymore.  Go figure.
We were still on the road as we crossed over the Wisconsin border and only had a few more miles to travel.  We’ll stop at the Wal-Mart in Delavan tonight and then go on tomorrow.  We’ll only have about a half hour to drive before we stop and disconnect the car to go and visit my sister Marge.
We settled in to the Wal-Mart off to the side in an undesirable parking area.  There was nobody there when we parked but in the morning there were about 5 trucks and 3 R.S. taking up space.  It seems the “campground” is open as soon as we get parked.
Everything worked fine tonight including the TV, Generator and Inverter.  We were still charged up enough to get the generator running in the morning.  We were up until just after 10 tonight after having a long day on the road.

Friday, April 21, 2017

We woke up in the Wal-Mart parking lot and found a few people had followed us in here last night.  We had 3 R.S. and about 5 Semis that were still parked when I got up.  We were not in a hurry this morning as we only had about 45 miles to travel to get to my sister’s Nursing Home.  There was only one problem with us getting there.  The GPS decided to take us on every back road in Wisconsin.  While the map was showing us one road that we could have taken, the GPS was going to go the shortest possible way to get there.  It was actually a nightmare since we were driving around all the farmer’s fields between here and there.  We didn’t actually know where we were going since we had never come in this way before.  We were at the mercy of the GPS.  We finally got there after about twenty turns around Wisconsin Real Estate and an hour later.
We had a nice visit with my sister and she looked better than she did last Fall.  A fact that nobody likes to hear.  My nieces husband Pat Conley was also there since my Niece was sitting for Grandchildren.  Pats taking over that job this afternoon.  We stayed and visited for about an hour or so and then we were on our way again.
This time we were headed to West Bend by highway.  It didn’t take us long to arrive in West Bend at Sean’s house.  We got set up but we didn’t have any TV because of a power pole in his front yard that was emitting static.  Our Dome on the motorhome wouldn’t receive the signal but we managed to find several Digital Stations.
When Sean got home we gave him the tour of the new coach and he and Julie informed us that they had planned to take us out to Dinner tonight.  That was a very pleasant surprise.
At 6 we headed out toward Dinner and found that we were going to Chilli’s.  We had a very good time and the restaurant was really crowded.  Julie had called ahead and put us in the waiting line so we walked right in, past all the people who were waiting,  when we got there.
After Dinner we came back home and almost immediately came back out to the motorhome.  Sean, Julie and Kaitlin had to go to Volleyball tournaments tomorrow so we knew they had some stuff to do before they left in the morning.  They had to drive to Milwaukee to get there.
We came out to the coach and watched Blue Bloods which was a rerun tonight.  We stayed up until our usual time tonight and then headed for bed.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

When we got up this morning I took Sharon up on the offer of Egg McMuffins from yesterday.  We were in no hurry to leave since Sean, Julie and Kaitlin were already gon to the volleyball tournaments.  We sat and had a leisurely Breakfast before we packed everything up and headed out.  We actually left about 10:30 today but we were in no hurry to get to our destination.
When we left we were on good road for about 30 miles and then we hit the bumpy rattlemaker roads.  There were a couple of roads on the way to LaCrosse that practically shook our teeth loose.  I’m never all that excited about going to LaCrosse this way.  From the other way the roads are much better.
We arrived about 2:30 and drove straight to our campground.  But the way we came in was different than the last time we came here two years ago.  I still remember a little about coming into town.  We found the campground with help from the GPS and settled into our site at the Veteran’s Memorial Campground in West Salem, WI.  At about 4:30 our daughter Jennifer stopped over as promised.   We sat and talked for awhile and then got ourselves ready to go out to Dinner.  We found ourselves at a restaurant called the 2 Beagles.  Brady, our grandson had joined us for Dinner.  We sat and had a nice Dinner together tonight.
After Dinner Brady departed and we stopped by Nicole’s apartment to pick her up.  She would come back to the campground with us to see the motorhome.  Her and Jennifer would stay for about an hour before they left and went back home.  We had a nice visit before they left.
We sat down in front of the TV even though we were only getting digital stations tonight.  We had about 20 stations to pick from so we surfed the channels to find something to watch.  In any event we still stayed up until our usual bedtime before we folded up for the night.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

On the road for the “last” time today.  We are 5 hours from home and we’ll get there about 4:30 or so this afternoon.  We got a leisurely start this morning and we were looking for a place to stop to have Breakfast.  We managed to find Smiley’s Old Time Diner in Hancock, Wisconsin.  As we entered at 11:40 the waitress announced that they were still serving Breakfast as long as it wasn’t Pancakes, Waffles or French Toast.  We thought that was strange since those are the easiest to make.  No matter, we were having eggs, Hash Browns and toast anyway.  We sat down to a very nice Breakfast and soon we were back on the road again.
We had decided early that we would be going up through Rhinelander instead of the way our daughters get back and forth from LaCrosse.  We had been on Highway 21 that goes directly across the state before and don’t like it.  So we thought we’d travel the way of a little more variety of Real Estate.
As previously noted, we arrived at home right around 4:30 with and invitation to Dinner from our daughter Jessica.  After a quick shower of mine we headed over to Jess and Mike’s.  We sat down to a very nice Chicken Dinner. She also had a green salad that I was not forced to eat and another salad that I could describe but couldn’t name.  It was quite good indeed.  We finished off Dinner with a Chocolate “Brownie” cake that we had second helpings of.  Needless to say it was very good.
We came home and I watched TV for awhile before going to bed.  Sharon however, needed to go to bed to rest the wine she drank at Jess’s.  It was a fine welcome home that Jess and Mike provided for us and it was good to be home.

The End