Monday, December 26, 2011

Baby Face

We have a bird paradise in our backyard and so many guests at our feeders. We've seen this Red-Shouldered (?) Hawk for a few days and he is magnificent. The lady Cardinal is a frequent visitor.
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Sunday, December 18, 2011

I Have a Little Dreidle

Jeff and I conducted services at Parris Island on Sunday morning. We had nine recruits and enjoyed spending time with these fine young men and women. We brought our Hanukkah bear to join our camouflage bear on the podium. A very special day.
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Friday, December 16, 2011

It's A Small World

More Disney fun with technology putting our photos in the display during a ride in Epcot. The Christmas light show at the Disney Studios is fabulous. We still love Soarin' and shooting in the Buzz Lightyear arcade ride.
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I Won't Grow Up

A quick visit to DisneyWorld this week in our new RV. Lots of fun and still as exciting as ever. A little rain the first day, but that didn't dampen our spirits. People in Fort Wilderness bring lots of decorations for their sites and we love to look at them. Jeff and me at the Magic Kingdom and meeting Buzz Lightyear.
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Our House

Amazing wildlife in our backyard! Our resident alligator "Shoes" resting across the lagoon with a silly smile. Ziggy taking a stroll. She will be 14 on January 2 and still beautiful. She is our best friend.
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Sunday, December 04, 2011

Over The River and Through The Woods

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving in the Lowcountry. Brian flew in from Tokyo and spent the week with us and my sister, Carol, flew down from Boston along with her son Jon, daughter Sharon and fiancee, Jon and son Larry with his wife, Laura, from Virginia. Jeff's brother, Rick, drove from New Jersey so we had 10 for Thanksgiving dinner. Luckily we had good weather and were able to enjoy sightseeing in Savannah, golf and walking on the beach. Of course, eating was the main activity and lots of good conversation and cheering for football. Brian and I played a few marathon domino games and he beat me every time. Carol, Brian and I played "Casino" a card game that we enjoyed with my parents back in the Trenton area.
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Sunday, October 09, 2011

Autumn Song

Early October we took a ride north to visit old friends and attend an engagement party for my niece Sharon and her fiance Jon. First stopwas Yardley and dinners with several of our friends. Also visited the cemeteries where our parents and relatives are buried in Trenton. We spent a delightful day visiting the new Jewish Museum in Philadelphia which is a must see and also got to spend a little time with Jayne & Deb.

Drove on to Boston and admired the changing leaves and brilliant colors. Very pretty, but I don't miss the cold weather and traffic. At Carol's we attended shul and spent time with the family over Yom Kippur. At last it was the big day for the engagement party and it was a wonderful luncheon with lots of friends. Sadly, we said our goodbyes and headed home and looking forward to seeing everyone at Thanksgiving.

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Monday, September 05, 2011

Rock A Bye Baby

Our resident alligator near the nature trail just had babies. There are at least 30 and maybe 50 or more tiny striped babies and they are so much fun to watch. Mama delivers every summer and it is quite an attraction here. The babies are about a week old and swimming and sunning under Mom's watchful eye. In the top photo they are swimming next to Mom's head. Photo #2 she is watching a pile of babies in front of her. In photo #3 one little guy is already using his teeth on a plant and the bottom photo Mom has turned sideways to show the spectators her length. She kept a watchful eye on the humans on the edge of the lagoon.
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Sunday, September 04, 2011

California Girls

Just another day at the beach. Jeff and I went "down the shore" yesterday and spent two hours at Folly Field Beach. The water was warm and the waves were just right. It is so good to be home and we are enjoying reconnecting with friends.

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Good Night Irene

We're home! About 12,500 miles and back safely. We had a pleasant ride through Tennessee and northwest North Carolina. Saw no rain or wind and got home about 5:30 pm and unpacked essentials. It is hot and we are tired. Ziggy seems happy to be home and is sleeping in every room. Watching TV to relax and soon will go to bed. We are lucky that Hurricane Irene didn't strike here and wish well to everyone in her path. We passed lines of utility trucks heading north on I-95. Thanks to all who help.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Sunday I Got Friday on my Mind

No pictures today, just driving and fixing things. We woke up at 9:30 all refreshed and ready to tackle the day ahead. We got ready to leave and all was good. We pulled over to the sani-dump to leave our sewerage and that's when the troubles started. Jeff keeps the sewer hose under the slide-out room and needed to put it out one foot. He got rid of our poo and shower/sink water and got back inside. When he pressed the button to retract the slide-out nothing happened. Now that is weird and all of our hydraulics were not working. This is both slides and the jacks we use to level us when parked for the night. Jeff figured it was a fuse and checked everywhere to no avail. Finally we called the folks who make the hydraulic unit and then Winnebago. They told us where the fuses are and had no more suggestions except that the pump must have failed. So, Jeff hooked up the winch and manually wound the room in with lots of sweat and strength. We got on the road after one o'clock and stopped for gas and lunch and by then it was after 2:30. So we drove through beautiful Kentucky and then arrived in Tennessee. Outside of Knoxville we got into a huge traffic jam and sat and sweltered. The we continued on and got into another back up which confirmed that I hate driving in cities with traffic. Meanwhile we were monitoring the progress of Hurricane Irene and making sure there was no rain or wind on our route. We got to a campground near Sevierville, TN at 7:30. We didn't realize that this area is near Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, home of DollyWood. Luckily it is pretty quiet and the campground is more than half empty. What a day! Good news is that we are safe and sound and should be home on Sunday.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

My Old Kentucky Home

We are only 10 hours from home! We drove almost 8 hours today from the middle of Illinois and through Indiana. Arrived in Louisville, KY and sat in traffic forever and with 90+ degree heat. I hate traffic and now want to go home. Tonight we are in Frankfort and will cut through western North Carolina tomorrow. We passed a huge Jim Beam "Old Grand Dad" factory near here. We are monitoring Hurricane Irene and won't go home until we're sure she won't be visiting. A view from the bridge of downtown Louisville. Next time we'll take time to visit.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Fight Fiercely Bradley

This afternoon we visited the campus of Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. I started college here in 1967 and spent 2 1/2 tumultuous years during the Viet Nam war and did lots of growing up. The campus was larger and quite different than I remembered and there are many new buildings. We met a professor who explained about some of the changes since I was a student. Jeff snapped my picture in front of Bradley Hall, the main classroom building which has been expanded. A new statue of Lydia Moss Bradley, founder, is situated where there used to be a grassy quad.

We were glad to see that they have the Osher Lifelong Learning Center (OLLI) on campus as we attend and teach in that program at USC near Sun City. It was fun to visit and reminisce and then we continued on our way home. Oh - I stole the title song from Tom Lehrer's Fight Fiercely Harvard. We had the Bradley Brave, but I don't remember a song.

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Ol' Man River

The view at our Wisconsin campground is fantastic. We slept late and then crossed the Mississippi back to Iowa and visited the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium. This center is located on the riverfront of Dubuque. The river is dammed just above Dubuque and they have also built a flood wall. The city is cute with some very nice buildings and several large casinos and paddlewheelers along the river. Jeff is standing outside the museum which had two buildings - one is about the Mississippi and the other covers other rivers. There are several aquariums that hold fish and other creatures found at the mouth of the Mississippi and in the Gulf of Mexico. We also saw three interesting movies. One was about barges navigating the Mississippi and the other about the river and narrated by Garrison Keillor. Another movie showed canals and how they affected American life. All in all a good stop.

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Some Lessons from Iowa

Who would of thunk we would wind up spending a week in Iowa? Part of it was because we needed repairs, but part was because we found neat stuff to do.

Judy will fill you on on the details, but I had a couple of thoughts I wanted to share. First of all, the view from horizon to horizon is planted fields in most of the state -- especially corn. Every once in a while there is a clump of trees with a house and other buildings. This is the farmer's home, and some of them are quite beautiful.

But sometimes there is a surprise right around the bend. We went to see the Winnebago factory (whence comes HaRVey the RV). We were driving through cornfields and the GPS said we were 4 minutes away. No way! No how! And then sure enough here comes this huge manufacturing complex virtually in the middle of the cornfields. The tour was great. More about that from Judy.

The other thing I found fascinating was that a large percentage of the trucks on the Interstates carried oversized loads. Some of them carried huge farming equipment -- no surprise there. But a large number of them carried parts for wind turbines. There are wind farms all over Iowa, and it's quite a pretty sight. I am not so sure that wind farms off the coast would be such an eyesore as opponents would like us to believe.

Iowa is quite different from states in the east. But different means different -- not better or worse. We enjoyed our stay in Iowa and learned a thing or two as well.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

King of the Road

Happy Birthday to my sister, Carol. While you were celebrating we were on a very informative tour at Winnebago. The company was started in the 1950's to provide employment opportunities in Forest City. After a few years a local businessman took it over and the company and RV industry took off. In the 60's it was the most successfull business on the NYSE for one special day. Our tour took two hours and was conducted by a retired engineer for Winnebago. He drove us around on a bus and we went inside several facilities. Winnebago buys the chassis and then customizes them for each model. They manufacture the fiberglass roofs, walls and most of the other parts of the RV's. They have a sewing shop where they make the seats and furniture. We watched as carpets, linoleum and ceramic tile floors were laid. RV's roll down assembly lines where the cabinetry and appliances are installed. They put out 100 RV's each week. It is amazing and we were so glad to see how it is all done. They don't allow photos, so can't share the experience beyond words.

Later we headed east towards Dubuque, Iowa. Our campground tonight is just across the Mississippi in Wisconsin. We always crack up at the speed limit signs in campgrounds as they just want to get your attention. We are staying in the middle of corn fields and there is a dairy farm on the hill below us. Very beautiful here as the landscape has changed dramatically to hills and lots more trees.Posted by Picasa