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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Lulu is at Cocoa Beach - To Watch the Space Launch

The cousins are enjoying their refuge week.

They are all focused on Cape Canaveral.

It will be a great launch because they are in the"dark" and the rocket will be in the "sunlight."

The first stage is supposed to return to earth for a soft landing.

After the launch.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

The Cousins Appearing At The Cocoa Beach Theatre

The Cousins are at the Cocoa Beach Theatre. I am surprised they are up and dressed. they will be enjoying each other's company of the  next 5 days.

Lulu - Kathy - Ruthann

Filming Doc Martin in Portwenn in Cornwall - then Watching It on TV at Home in Florida

Bert Large was sitting in front of our hotel.
I had the captions on - because I could hardly
understand the Cornwall accent.
Here is a picture I took at the scene.

Lulu and I spent July in London. Originally when we planned our trip - we were going to spend time with Jan and Dick Davis in Cornwall. Dick had family that owned a cottage near there and we planned a good time in Lulu's family homeland - hoping maybe to catch a view of Martin Clune - the man that plays Doc Martin.

Doc Martin is the number one television show in England. It is filmed in a small fishing town called Port Isaac in Cornwall. The town itself is one of the big stars of the show. The show was filming its 8th season this summer. You can see it on Netflix or Acorn TV.

On the spur of the moment - Lulu booked a couple airline tickets out of London - and she got us a couple nights at The Slip Hotel. We had no idea if we would see anything - we took the chance.

When we got to Port Isaac (Portwenn) - we were surprised to see they were filming right in front of our hotel. In a few scenes we actually are in the background. We got to meet Doc Martin. We saw PC Penhill - Burt Large - and Aunt Ruth Ellingham (played by Dame Eileen Atkins).

See my original story here -

Doc Martin Story

You can imagine our surprise when we watched yesterday's episode and saw one of the scenes that we watched them shoot in July.

We were sitting in the restaurant under the awning
during some scenes. 

That is our hotel window in the top left

I took this picture of the scene from
our hotel window.
Martin Clune - as Doc Martin - Lulu and me.

Friday, October 06, 2017

Tallahassee Yard Debris

One of the nice things about Tallahassee - they remove any debris you put at the curb. We took down three trees and a lot of brush. The city came by and took away three trucks loads.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Kumquats - In Our Back Yard

In our backyard - we have oranges - lemons - limes - tangerines - grapefruits. On Christmas the kids were here and we planted a kumquat tree. It was very tiny - only about 2 feet high. We did not expect fruit for a while - but here we are 9 months later - and we have a couple kumquats.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Installed An Inverter In Our Camper

1100 Watt Inverter

The TV on its moving mount

When camping it is nice to have both 12 volt DC power and 120 volt AC power. The lights in our camper are all LED bulbs that run on 12 volt DC current from the coach batteries which sit in a cabinet under the king bed. If you want to run 120 volt AC appliances - normally you would just turn on the generator and you have 2800 watts of power. But many times you want to use 120-volt power but you want it quiet.

I just installed an inverter in our Dodge Roadtrek. Now we can operate all sorts of small appliances - television - vacuum cleaner - phone chargers - etc. I chose the inverter on Amazon because it offered a 3-year full replacement warranty. It also only cost $60. It produces 1100 watts continuous - 2200 watts peak. It is not enough power to run the air conditioner - but would run a large fan if you wanted.

A nice feature of this inverter is the digital readout on the front. It tells you what the battery voltage level is. It also tells you how many watts are being used. On the front of the inverter - there are two standard 110-volt outlets. There are also two USB outlets to charge cellphones. There is an on/off switch on the front and an optional remote switch.

The hardest part of installing the inverter was running the cables safely from the coach battery to the inverter. Because of high amperage -  I had to use 4-gauge cables. I installed the included 150 amp fuse in the line.

I use the inverter mainly to power our 24-inch flat screen TV. The TV uses only 35 watts of power - and the inverter produces 1100 watts continuously. The cellphone use very little too. A hair dryer uses over 700 watts. Since the air conditioner draws over 1100 watts - I can only power it with the main generator running.

It is a simple installation - just two thick cables to the battery - and a ground. It is not tied to the camper's regular electrical system or battery charger. It is completely independent. The cables are routed under the king bed - then behind the wall paneling. They enter the TV cabinet through a hole in the bottom that was drilled at the factory. You have to remove a few screws to gain access.

Cost of installation -
Inverter - $60
Long Battery Cables - $30
Television - $110
TV Mount - $13
Total - $213

The TV tucked into the cabinet - rolltop covers it.
Inverter fits under and behind TV

Cables fished inside the wall - thru hole

Cables attached to coach batteries

Cables fished under king bed
Three cables - red - black - to the battery.
Green ground to coach.

Steve Simchak Drove His Mustang To Greece

My old friend Steve - looks like he drove his Mustang to Athens.

I think he is recreating the picture of Lulu's Dodge.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

FSU is 0-2 - and the Schedule Looks Tougher

Lulu and Sandi in the Champions Club

I am near-sighted - but that
has to be the worst view in the stadium

Can you pick out the 6 games the Noles will win
to make it to a bowl and winning season?

The once ranked number 3 Florida State is 0-2 - they are likely to have the first losing season since 1976 - when Bobby Bowden had his first and only losing season 5-6. Not only are we in danger of a losing season - but also not playing in a bowl - because with only 11 games this season - they may not get 6 wins required to be in a bowl. Look at the schedule above - which 6 will they beat? Maybe they will reschedule Louisiana - Monroe.

My brother in law - Jackie Cox said that it looks like tickets in Tallahassee will be really cheap this year. He is right. Lulu went to the game and sat in the Champions Club (nice food - drinks - and air conditioner) She said the stadium was maybe 70% full tops. From up there in the rafters - I do not think she sees the individual empty seats. It looked worse on TV. Yes - I sat home and watched it alone on the big screen.  Sandi - our friend from down by Disney - drove up to be with us. I am not a fan of the Champions Club - and all it stands for. Also - I am recovering from surgery - but that is just an excuse. Tickets were being given away outside the stadium.

I remind Lulu that FSU keeps moving up in the rankings - academic rankings. Although the football team brings in the publicity - FSU's moving up in the academic rankings to number 33 is so much more important. Lulu's FSU school library program is ranked number 1 in the nation for 4 years in a row. That is what really matters to us. I tease her that her paycheck comes in every other Thursday no matter what the football score is. Jimbo is safe. He has a contract of over $5 million a year for 5 years - right now that could be a plus and a minus.

We finally got the motorhome of our dreams - and I doubt that FSU will be in a New Years Bowl to attend with it.

So there is no joy in Mudville. Maybe it is the post-surgery drugs - but right now - football in Tallahassee is on thin ice.

Friday, September 22, 2017

New Tires For The Camper

Our 2004 Roadtrek had the original tires on it when we bought it. With just 12,000 miles they look like new.

We went to Costco and bought a set of Michelin Defenders and had them installed - size 245/75R16.

The old tires are in the foreground.

Added Friday afternoon - the tires are gone. Sold them for $160.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

New Finger Joint Completed - Safely Home

Two bionic fingers and one bionic eye
By Lulu

Harry rolled into the surgery center at 7 a.m. today to have a joint replaced on his finger.  Immediately they took him back for his prep which included putting on a pair of sweet white stockings, a hospital gown, and a surgical cap.  The nurse started the IV fluids but the “good drugs” didn’t come until about a half hour later.  Immediately, he began singing “Acid Queen” from Tommy. After enjoying the drugs for twenty minutes they took him back to surgery and told me to head out to the waiting room. I was there about an hour and his doctor came out to say all went well and gave me the x-rays of his finger with the new joint.  After another half hour I was summoned back to the recovery room and he was already dressed and very alert.  Just a few more items of paperwork and he was wheeled out to the car.    The nurses, anesthesiologist, and doctor were great.  Harry’s doctor, Dr. Brad Stephens, looked to be about 19.  They all remembered him from the last time he was there a few months ago to have the right index finger done.  Now to some recovery!

Joint Replacement In My Left Index Finger

One of the problems in old age is arthritis - I can hardly spell it but I have it in my left index finger. I have direct bone to bone contact - and it is a pain. Today at 7:30 am - they will replace the joint with a plastic one - like a little knee.

I have had this joint problem for years. In April - I had the right index finger joint replaced and I am amazed at both the relief and dexterity.

It is a simple operation that takes about one hour. I wish I had them done sooner.

Lulu will be with me. I will be sedated about an hour. Lulu has pictures of me from the last finger operation that I do not recall.

Watch for a good report of the results.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Tallahassee - We Were Lucky

We got home Monday at 5 pm. I just hooked the camper generator up to the home refrigerator and all the lights in the house went on. I thought I had a miracle camper generator.

The storm was headed straight at Tallahassee as category 4. We left. Then for some unexplained reason it veered right or east. It missed town by 55 miles. We only got 55 mph winds and 3 inches of rain.

Our house was untouched except for a small branch that blew into our yard - not from our trees.

3 inches of rain is nothing for us. We have had 11 inches in just a normal weekend. The ground was not real soft.

30000 homes - 25% of town - were without power. The city owns the power company and does a great job repairing.

I will be sweeping the yard of cones - needles - pine bark - leaves - for a few hours.

We chose to leave. We drove the new camper to Pensacola. It was a real shakedown cruise. The roundtrip was 400 miles. The camper has a nice king bed - hot shower - handy toilet - full kitchen - and great TV. With our iPhone - we had Directv - hotspot for computers - and full internet access. Lulu was happy to have her coffee in the morning.

My friend George drove his van to the underground city garage. They had a bed and toilet and stayed there. They were safe - 3 floors below ground. I will look to see if our camper would fit there - a great idea.

Our friends in South Florida got it worse. Also - Jacksonville east of us is still flooding. Our friend Sandi next to Disney slugged it out at home. I hope she can use her annual Disney pass today.

It was hard leaving the house behind. We have since looked at our insurance policy and want to buy some better coverage. Hurricane deductible is $6000!

We reflect on life in Florida. We lost nothing - but were glued to the TV for a week. We love the good weather here - beaches - palm trees - FSU job - FSU sports - great shopping - and not having to shovel snow or drive in it.

Florida has no income tax - and no inspection stickers to mar your windshield.

We still are without wifi.

On Tuesday at 8 am - I hear the clean up crews and their saws. There was a curfew last night from 9 to 7. Few cars passed.

I will post pictures when we have wifi.

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Spending The Hurricane In Sunny Pensacola

Today we left Tallahassee at 1 PM in our camper and headed west to avoid the storm. The winds were already picking up and the skies were overcast. We went 200 miles - choosing the old two lane Highway 20. We wanted to avoid traffic and we had the highway to ourselves. It took us 4 hours to get here.

We first went to the Gulf Seashore National Park - because when we called them they said we could stay for $13 with full hookups - a real bargain. When we got there - it was too windy to enjoy. So we drove into town and decided to stay at Camp W near the Naval Air Museum.

It is still light out because we are on central time. Lulu made a nice salad in her kitchen. We are watching the national news on our flat screen TV. We are using the camper antenna - and it gets 29 crystal clear channels.

Right now it looks like Irma will pass just to the east of Tallahassee. They expect Cat 1 winds in Tallahassee tomorrow. We are happy we got out of there. Our friends up north kept insisting and nothing matters without Lulu - so here we are.

I am typing on my laptop. It is getting wifi from my iPhone - using the iPhone as a hotspot. It is like being at home.

The camper performed flawlessly being pushed into this impromptu trip. Honestly - one of the main reasons we came here - was because I did not want the camper exposed to the falling trees of Tallahassee. We have the king bed made set up permanently in the back. Lulu took a short nap on the way over to try it out.

Tonight we will sleep with windows open - with screens in. We will not run the air conditioner or generator.

Thanks to everyone for encouraging us to leave town. Our best wishes to the friends that stayed in town.

We have an alarm system at home and a camera in the living room. I can check the camera on my iPhone - so we will know when the power goes out.

Tallahassee Is A Target Of Irma - We Will Be Gone

The path of Irma - right over Tallahassee

We woke up to this hurricane map at 7AM Sunday. It shows the Hurricane Irma going right over our hometown of Tallahassee. It will be at Tampa at 2 AM on Monday - then take 12 hours to get to Tallahassee at 2 PM. We will not be waiting for it. We will be in our Roadtrek camper heading west to Pensacola. It will be our maiden voyage.

Many folks do not realize that you can drive west from Tallahassee for 200 miles - and still be in Florida. That should be far enough to get out of the rain and winds. We will be poised for a quick return to pick up the pieces.

According to the map - it will only be a Category 1 hurricane that hits us - but why sit it out. Tallahassee is full of trees and they fall on powerlines and roofs.

Our Roadtrek has a king size bed - bathroom - shower - kitchen - water heater - generator - TV - 32 gallons of gasoline - and 7 gallons of propane. We should be quite comfortable in there. I will let you know when we are on the road.

We just bought this Roadtrek - our first trip.
Ironically - we bought it in Pensacola.

Our house is built like a fortress - 2 x 6 studs - 3/4 inch plywood sheeting - solid foam core insulation - engineered trusses - hurricane grade windows - steel straps in the walls - raised above grade two feet on a concrete foundation. My only concern is a few of the neighbor's trees that with the right wind direction could reach our roofs. We sit up on a hill - 10 feet above the street.

Our decider was "one it by land - two it by sea" - if the storm was over water at Tampa - we would migrate west. If the storm was over land at Tampa - we would stay and face it. Maybe we won't wait until it gets to Tampa at 2 AM.

We have a bunch of family up north with their fingerprints buried deeply in our backs. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Update - we plan to leave here after lunch in 2 hours from now.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Installing a Flat Screen TV in Your Roadtrek Camper

2004 Roadtrek Popular 190
Our Roadtrek had the old fashion analog TV and VCR in it. We wanted to update it to a flat screen smart TV.

We bought a 24 inch Samsung Smart TV at Costco for $109. I also found a very nice mount on Amazon for $13.

Not only does the new TV weigh much less than the old one - but it uses only 37 watts - 10% of the old power consumption.

Here is a video of the installation.

Irma and Tallahassee - the Red Spot is Us

The red spot is us in Tallahassee
Very simply - Irma is one bad lady. We are located at the red spot on this map. When she hits Miami on Sunday - she will be rate 4 or 5. If she travels over land like this picture - she will be down to a 2 or so when she gets near us. We would probably stay home if that is the case. If she follows this line she would be 140 miles east of us as she passes. We would get some rain and wind - probably enough to knock down a few trees and power lines.

If she comes up over the Gulf waters - we are leaving - we would probably drive our camper west to maybe Pensacola or New Orleans. There are several major highways that flow that way.

There are a lot of people here with bravado - wanting to stick around to "protect their stuff." Not me - I am a coward - I want to be protect Lulu and me. All our stuff is safely locked in the new house and garage. The only vulnerable thing we own is the camper. 

Have Roadtrek - will travel.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Hurricanes Are A Great Time For A Geography Lesson

Our home in Tallahassee is 500 miles from Miami
Whenever Florida makes the news - people from back home in Pennsylvania always call to see if we are okay. Many of the times we are sitting out on the porch or just enjoying the warm sunny weather. Our callers are flabbergasted when they find out that we are not near the action in Miami or Orlando.

It is 500 miles from our house to the city of Miami - the city of our elopement in 1971. When people fly to Disneyworld - friends think we live just outside the gate to the Magic Kingdom. The Palma Maria restaurant is about 250 miles from our house - about the same drive as from Tamaqua to Pittsburgh. But many times we have driven the distance to have supper with visitors.

Irma is so far away from us - that we will attend an FSU football game at noon on Saturday before the storm even gets to hit Miami. I am not making fun of this storm - all hurricanes are bad - and Irma is looking to be the worst ever. I am guessing that Irma will hit Miami dead center on Sunday. Our friend Doris and others who struggled through Andrew 25 years ago will get it again. If Irma is traveling 10 MPH from Miami - and were coming straight at us - it would take 50 hours to reach us.

Don't get me wrong - Irma could skirt Miami around the west and come up and hit Tallahassee with 150 MPH winds. But that is not likely. First of all - Tallahassee is not on the coast. We are 40 miles inland and 200 feet above sea level. That means the storm would lose some power crossing over land.

In Tallahassee - most of the destruction is caused by trees falling. People here worship - pines and oaks - like they are cows in India. If you decide to cut a few down in YOUR yard - THEY have a seance. Then when the ground gets soft during a storm and the wind pushes the trees onto their homes or power lines - they act surprised. Doing the same thing over and over again - and expecting different results - what do they call that?

Since 1992 - Florida has changed the building codes dramatically. What used to be acceptable building standards are now jokes. For our new home we used 2 x 6's as studs - 3/4 inch plywood as sheeting. There are steel straps hidden all over. We built the home well above grade. The property was contoured to drain away from the home. We removed 15 pines trees - each about 100 feet tall. Many homes in our neighborhood have experienced giant pine trees in their bedrooms in the middle of the night. According to the law - if the neighbor's tree falls on your house - it is your problem.

We have been given plenty of time to react to this coming train wreck. We are watching constantly. Thanks to science - we know what is coming. As Kennedy said - "on earth God's work must truly be our own."

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Everyone in Florida is Focused on Irma

Dick - our new Roadrek camper

Everybody is focused on CNN or the Weather Channel. It is the 25th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew that had 150 MPH winds. Irma boasts 185 MPH winds. 

When we built our home 4 years ago - it had to pass all the latest codes that were enacted from the mess Andrew made. We took it even farther - we used 2 x 6 studs - and 3/4 inch plywood sheeting. We built our home on a hill about 10 feet above the street - and we sculpted the yard so all the water runs away from the house. We have two generators for electricity because we often lose power during a storm. We took down 15 pines that were about 100 feet tall. 

But our ace in the hole is our Roadtrek camper. It has a bathroom - kitchen - king size bed - generator - TV - and 32 gallons of gasoline. If a category 5 storm is headed toward us - we are gone. Everything we owned is insured and can be bought again. Our lives can be ended by one errant tree.

People are already calling or emailing and asking if we are okay. The storm has not even hit Puerto Rico yet. It will probably hit Miami first - and it is 500 miles up the Florida Turnpike to Tallahassee from there. 

The FSU football game is scheduled for 7 PM Saturday - they are talking about moving it to noon. 

As a joke - back in 2005 - when Katrina was heading toward Tallahassee - I published a mock prayer. I said "Baby Jesus - please steer the horrible storm west toward Louisiana." The storm made an abrupt left turn - and we were spared. I got much grief for that as if anyone would listen to me. Therefore - although in my mind I hope the hurricane goes up the East Coast away from us - I would never say it. 

People often say - we are fools to live in Florida with all the hurricanes. But not having to shovel snow all winter - and enjoying the sunny skies - I will take my chances. If trouble comes - we will hop in "Dick" our new camper - and like a turtle with its home on its back - away we go.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

25 Years Ago - Our Visit To Doris Hollenbach And Hurricane Andrew

This is our Airstream camper behind Doris's
hurricane blasted home - in 1992. 
Lulu and I - 25 years ago - already we were
sleeping in trucks. 1300 miles from
home - just two days
before school starts back home.

We are in Cocoa Beach - FL for a little vacation with the kids. Houston is being pounded by Hurricane Harvey. It is sweltering hot here and it seems like yesterday we visited Doris Hollenbach Meneses in her tropical home south of Miami.

We were at home in Pennsylvania enjoying the last few days at the pool before we started the 1992 school year. Lulu was teaching at Tamaqua and I was back at Panther Valley.

All of a sudden we got a strange phone call from Doris. We could barely hear her - her bag cell phone was going dead. She said Hurricane Andrew put them through a nightmare. They had no power - the well pump burned out so they had no water. They lived on the edge of the Everglades - and monkeys got out of the wild animal farm. They needed help.

The family spent the terrible storm - barricaded in the bathroom - under mattresses.

We had just purchased an old clunker Airstream camper. Doris and Lulu graduated from THS in 1972 together. We had to help. Her father Bob - brother Bob - and Brother Jay - started collecting stuff around town. Batteries - generators - well pumps - food - clothes - blankets were collected and loaded into our camper. Father Bob piled into the camper with us and away we went. Jay and Bob hopped into a pickup followed. We were all driving 1300 miles from Tamaqua PA to Homstead FL to help our fellow Coal Crackers.

On the way down - my camper broke down twice. Once in South Carolina - the water pump failed. Then in Miami - a wire came off the generator. But that night - a wrecker piloted by a man named Angel towed us right into Doris's yard. Angel was really an angel because for the last 40 miles we passed through bombed out Southern Florida. We rode in the cab with our Angel - and passed through miles of desolation. First - it was August in Southern Florida - and all the trees were bare. Andrew had sucked every leaf off every tree with his 150 miles an hour winds. Next all the power and phone lines were gone - again pulled off the poles like spaghetti. The only lights we saw were blue lights on police cars circling the stores and shopping malls. We breezed through toll booths at 50 MPH - not stopping to pay the fee as they waved us through.

Finally - we saw what was left of Doris's home. Elias and the kids were happy to see us. After we unloaded all the booty - the only thing the kids wanted were showers. Having those kids there reminded us of our two boys back home. That night - as the sun set over the beautiful flooded farm fields - Lulu said to Doris - that she did not know they had lake frontage. That water did not go down for days.

That night - after the kids had showers - they piled into our camper - and slept in clean fresh beds - with the air conditioner running off the camper generator. It would be a while before they could do that again.

Jay - Bob - and Elias got the well pump fixed. We struck up the generators that would power them for 4 months. Finally on Thanksgiving power was restored - when Doris bribed the power crew with a Thanksgiving feast.

We stayed a week. We helped cover the roof with blue FEMA tarps. We ripped out soaked carpet and tried to prevent mold. We woke up at 6 AM to the tune of two DC-3's carpet spraying the neighborhood for mosquitoes. Elias had the unpleasant task of shooting an invading monkey inside his home. It had escaped from the research farm down the road - supposedly they experimented with AIDS at the time - a terror worse than the hurricane.

It was the day before Labor Day - we had to head home for school in 2 days. We were feeling post-tramautic stress syndrome.  We woke up from nightmares (that lasted for several weeks)  and Lulu had a need to stop at every outlet mall on the way home to grasp on to civilization.

It was a terrible feeling leavng Doris and Company behind to subsist on that place - like a third world country. I tried to talk Doris out of staying - I suggest pulling up the family to Orlando or even Tamaqua. But they were determined to rebuild - and they did.

FEMA moved a house trailer onto their lot and they lived there while it took almost a year to rebuild their home. 25 years later they are still there. Doris still sobs when you bring up the topic. She writes for the local paper - and her stories tell the history of their community. But more than that they are therapy for Doris and how she deals with life. Doris is a survivor and one of our longest and best friends. She is now a grandmother several times over. There is nothing she likes better taking care of the grand babies.

Where do people get courage like that? How do you hang on when Nature deals you a bum hand. Doris picked herself up - dusted herself off - and just went on with her life.

As I type - Hurricane Harvey is pounding Houston. We wish the victims the strength of Doris to pull them through.

Doris's two vans formed a wall against the hurricane.
All the windows were blown out by Andrew.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Disney Cruise Over - We Are Back in Cocoa Beach

Lulu and Harry enjoyed Sunday at Castaway Key with the kids.
In the background is the Disney Dream - their ship.

The Disney Dream just docked at Port Canaveral - ending our family cruise. We will spend 3 nights in Michelle's condo in Cocoa Beach- before putting the kids on a jet in Orlando and then making that lonely drive home to Tallahassee.

It was a great cruise - enjoying the neat staterooms - fantastic meals and shows - and just watching the kids making family memories forever. Lulu just loves the beach and sharing her favorite things with the kids. A highlight was Kate getting made up for the Sunday Night Supper.

The ship spend a full day in Nassau - Bahamas - then went on to Disney's Castaway Key. On this private island is a full day of activities that includes a barbacue buffet and lots of time in the prettiest warm clear waters. Imagine ice cream machines on the beach full of vanilla - chocolate - strawberry - and banana swirl. You swirl your own cones.

We all got to ride the "AquaDuck" a giant water ride that circles the ship.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Our New Camper - 2004 Roadtrek

After a pressure wash and a hand wax - here is our camper.

Although it is only 19 feet long - it has a kitchen - bathroom - and king bed.

It is built on a Dodge 3500 chassis. It has 12,000 miles on it.

Roadtreks are made in Canada. Hymer from Germany recently bought them out.

Roadtreks are designed for winter camping.

Jerry Lewis - Mocking Elvis Presley

The guy could be a pain in the ass - but his early work was wonderful.

Monday, August 21, 2017

USA/Canada - International Peace Garden

Lulu on the border between Canada and the USA - Manitoba and North Dakota.
On the border in the Peace Garden
Sunday we drove down to the North Dakota/Manitoba Border to visit the International Peace Garden. With the current political climate of Nazis - immigrants - and nuclear war - it is a sobering place to visit. Since 1930 - this garden has maintained a mile of the border that you can freely walk back and forth without showing your passport. The gardens are beautifully landscaped - there is a chapel - and a few smaller memorials. In the chapel are many quotes engraved in granite.

To get to the Peace Garden from Winnipeg - you take the Canadian National Highway 1 west - and then turn south on 10. You pass through miles and miles of peaceful prairies and farmland. We had lunch in a town called Minto - population 100. This restaurant  was just opened by a Canadian mother and her Egyptian son. We asked her why she chose Minto - such a tiny town - over Brandon (78000) - where she lived 30 miles away. She said the rent was lower. The food was great and we wished them well. I cannot imagine them making it to the first snowfall in September. 

I am writing this from the Hampton Inn by the Winnipeg Airport. We have 3 flights home with upgraded seats for free. There is little chance of being bumped. We will pass right thru the path of the eclipse - alas a couple hours past.

Winnipeg - Minneapolis - Atlanta - Tallahassee - midnight home. One more trip for the summer - next week a Disney Cruise with the grandkids. Then 2 months at home. 

If life is a marathon - and not a sprint - I am hoping I saved enough energy for the stretch. 

The scientists hope
Churchill commented on the 4000 mile border
What a peaceful and serene place
No - it was a not a toilet
Gardens were fenced to keep deer out
World Trade Center parts
Shop in the USA or Canada
The Canada maple leaf is everywhere
Cactus Pavilion
This must be pretty in winter - in 3 weeks. 
Peave Doce on border
Peace Clock
Miles of grassland to get there
This bomber trainer was in front of our Brandon Hotel
Lots of pilots trained in Manitoba