Saturday, March 31, 2007

Day 88: Joplin to Lake of the Ozarks......

It was a quiet night in the RV Parking area of the Joplin Flying J, except for the storm that rolled in sometime during the night. Awakened sometime during darkness......even though we were sandwiched in between several other rv's......only about 3 feet apart on each side.....I felt the wind shaking TheHowserHouse rather strongly!! My first thought was that thank God we were so close to the other rv's or we would REALLY be rocking and rolling. It didn't last over 25 minutes, but it rained and the wind howled for the entire time and without any damage.

We were up a bit after 7am.....and then sometime after 8 we went inside to have the Buffet Breakfast at the Flying J. Not tooooo bad......the biscuits and muffins were the best part of the entire buffet. Just rather ordinary.....

I had to put fuel into the truck....and be 9:15 we were on the road. It was only about 160 miles up to the Lake.....and shortly after arriving we were unhooking the truck and attaching the umbilical cords to the power sources. It was VERY windy trip up here....and the wind continued all afternoon! Really strong and gusty.

Our RV Park is the Riverview RV Park just below the Osage River bridge.....and down from Bagnell Dam. Our large picture window at the rear of TheHowserHouse looks out and over the Osage River which flows by our campsite. A wonderful site......and not a bad rv park. We have a great view.....unbeatable cable TV with TONS of channels, and outstanding Wifi!!!! The sites are gravel.....perhaps could be a bit more level.....but he gravel is new and just needs to be packed down more. Not many pull thru spots....but the back-in spot we are in was at a 45 degree angle to the road which made it really easy to get all 38' put into the proper place.

After a bit of freshening up, we went to my sister's home to visit her and my mother who is not doing very well. She is pretty much bedridden........and I doubt that anything changes. She has nothing really wrong with her other than she is just tired, frail, and almost refuses to eat or take liquids........she is strong when it comes to having her own way!

The 1st Lady and I spent most of the afternoon there.....and then upon leaving we decided to dine at Chili's. Another good meal at a very reasonable price.....and the desert chocolate/caramel cake was very good! The in-house wine had a bit of the open-bottle-for-too-long syndrome.....but it was drinkable to accompany the Penne pasta with grilled cajun spiced shrimp with fresh tomatoes over the pasta and cream sauce. REALLY quite tasty....and the shrimp were excellent. Not over cooked, but not mushy either.......an excellent grilled taste with the cajun spice applied in just the correct amount......a very good choice the next time you eat at Chili's!!

Back to TheHowserHouse.....and several phone calls to discuss my aging more today! Great to hear from all of you....!!! Thanks for calling!! And for those that sent emails and email cards......a big thanks to all of you, also!!!! With all of this going on today and this evening........



Life is GREAT......and I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!

AN ADDED COMMENT: Thanks to my very good "younger" friend, Mike Goldsmith for his birthday wishes to me along with the picture of my new shower door at our stick and brick.....which he posted in his own blog. What a GREAT birthday surprise!!!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Day 87: Amarillo to Joplin, MO

Up in the dark……about 7am…..Amarillo is soooo close to the west boundary of Central Daylight Time that the sun is soooo late in rising it really bothers me. Anyway…..up and began getting the inside of TheHowserHouse ready to roll. There are always many items that must be stored away, my glasses for my dark red medicine must be laid on their sides, and other items such as the bottles in the shower must be placed on the shower floor. Just little items that need to be taken care of in order to keep a disaster from happening……and a mess to clean up later.

We left the Amarillo Ranch RV Park at 8:45 am…..and jumped onto I-40 for the trip to Tulsa and the Cherokee Casino parking grounds. Well……well…….the winds began the minute I left Amarillo…..and it got worse and worse. I had to take the overdrive off as it didn’t have enough power for me to get past 50-55 mph and then the winds began to REALLY blow from the north and just kept slamming against the side of the trailer.

Sooooo, we traveled for 253 miles like that…..all the way to Oklahoma City. Stopped for diesel fuel just before we got into the suburbs and as soon as we left there and got into OK City, the winds abated. From there on to Tulsa…..it was smooth sailing. We decided to not stop at the Casino…..it was way too early to pull over for the evening, and so we just kept driving up the Will Rogers Turnpike and finally reached the Missouri line…..and pulled into a Flying J just east of Joplin on I-44.

The RV parking appeared to be full, except for a couple of lanes in the middle of some rv’s, and there was a fellow standing there as if he was waiting for others in this group to arrive…..so I thought. Soooo, we went to the back of the parking area where the Big Rigs go…..and where they sit there and make sooooooo damn much noise with their gennies running, etc., etc. We pulled in beside a motor home and talked to the owner for a few minutes and he said he was staying there overnight, so we decided to just stay there.

After some looking at all of the interesting items that Flying J sells inside their store, we took a walk and wound up back in the front parking area. I went over to the fellow standing there by the empty spaces and asked him if he was the Wagon Master for a caravan. NOPE….he wasn’t……so I said I thought I would go get TheHowserHouse and bring it around in the front where it is soooooo much quieter. He said he would save the space for me….and so, I backed out of the space I was already in…..came around the front and then pulled into the space.

After that we all got out and had a great 30 minutes of rving conversation before it began to sprinkle. There was another Cedar Creek owner who is a full timer and he was on his way back to the factory for some repair work on his rig…..a 2006 CC. The same model….exactly….as mine! Lots of talking and comparison with him and myself.

It is now 8pm and I am writing this with no spare battery for the lappie…..and I will be brief and get this turned off. At 9pm, I can get on my phone and then online…..and then I will hopefully get this posted.

It has been a really tiring day…….457 miles from Amarillo to here…..more than I usually drive towing TheHowserHouse, and my body is screaming a bit at me. Of course, it knows full well…..that it will be another year older tomorrow, the 31st. My aging hulk is sagging a bit more tonight just knowing that I will be 64 years old tomorrow…….DAMN!!!! Where is my Life going to???? How long will it last??? When will this aging body begin to break down???? Hmmmmm…….lots of thoughts going thru my head tonight……hahaha.

What the hell……..I am having a great time right now……my rebirth (retirement) has been going on for almost 6 years…..and each day is a new adventure which brings on new experiences for me to enjoy, or to tackle and solve. I have soooooo much living to do and soooo many things I WANT to do….and I WILL get them done!!!!! Because…….

Life is GREAT…..and I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Day 86: Not able to post on wed...STORMS

I will catch up later.....not able to post last night(Wed) as we were in storm shelter due to severe outbreaks of tornadoes in the Texas panhandle. We did not go to Ok City yesterday because of severe winds here in Amarillo and east with 35-40 mph winds ALL day long. Couldn't pull TheHowserHouse in those winds. TERRIBLE all day long.

ADDENDUM #1

It is now 2:30 in the afternoon.....Thurs......and we are in Amarillo with bright blue skies and full sun. Yep........after much discussion and consternation, we decided to remain one more day in the hope that the storms which are now affecting Oklahoma will not be as severe tomorrow as they are expected to be today.......so we are still in Amarillo.

Yesterday we shopped, looked around the town....and returned to TheHowserHouse with horrific winds blowing....upwards of 45 mph during the afternooon.....sustained winds, not gusts!!! Sure glad we didn't try to drive yesterday.

THEN....the storms began to roll upwards from the south and into this area. By 8pm we were in the clubhouse/restrooms in a concrete block building......not the more secure, but one HELL of a lot more secure than TheHowserHouse would have been in a tornado. The tornadoes began to drop all around Amarillo......and we became more concerned. Soooo.....

We gathered up our important paperwork, the camera, both computers, and a backpack of "goodies" and went to the restroom building. We joined others there who were as deeply concerned as we were.....and with weather radios blasting we listened as the storms began to take their toll with 15-30 miles of us. Then we received word that just 30 miles east of here a tornado had touched down at a trucker's rest area.....and many semi's were blown all over the highway, with one being completely crushed by flying steel beams. We heard this morning that the driver was killed. I-40 eastbound was shut down for some time during that....and during the night.

About10pm we returned to TheHowserHouse and then received the word from TV that another severe thunderstorm was moving into east Amarillo with golfball to baseball sized hail and winds up to 70 mph. Well......we decided to just wait and see......and the hard rains arrived, small pea sized hail....and then it was gone.....THANK GOODNESS!!!!

Around midnight we went upstairs to bed........and this morning after seeing the weather report we finally decided to not start east and drive into the storms there.....that we had suffered with last night.

Yep.....it was 1966 when I was last here in Amarillo, doing my Basic Training.....and now I am stuck here again....hahaha! I WILL never return to Amarillo for any reason!!!!

More later......

ADDENDUM #2

It continued to be an outstanding clear afternoon.........and the 1st Lady and I decided to take a swim, so we went over to the Clubhouse to the indoor pool and hot tub. It is a really large pool....much larger than most rv parks.......and so we really did enjoy out time there.

We have met some great people here.....and especially the couple next door to us. They, too, are heading east....to Massachusetts(sp?).....and so they have remained here for the same amount of time that we have these past two days. There are several other rv rigs who also have stayed here rather than face the horrific winds yesterday and the horrible storms in Oklahoma today.
Next door, Alan and Janet have been full-timing it since 1989........and really enjoy this lifestyle. They are a great couple and we have had such a good time getting to know them through many, many conversations over the past couple of days.

The weather is NOT looking good for tomorrow and for crossing Oklahoma. Storms are predicted....and severe ones at that......DAMN!!!!! We would like to get over to the east side of Tulsa and stay overnight at the Cherokee Casino where we can park for free in their parking lot. Hopefully......hopefully.....we will not have any problems in transit!!!!

On Saturday, the 31st we will go on to Osage Beach, MO......so that we can visit my mother who is slipping farther down with each passing week. I have not reserved a site.....could be a problem on a weekend in March at the Lake of the Ozarks........will call tomorrow when I know WHERE we will be spending tomorrow night.

We have now been gone for OVER 12 weeks.......WOW and WOW!!!!! The time has gone toooo damn fast, as I have said before......but don't all great things happen to quickly????

With everyday going by so rapidly.......each day must be enjoyed to the fullest.....and having said that.......I must repeat:

LIFE IS GREAT.....and, I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!





Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Amarillo lunch with Betty and John....


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Day 84: Travel day, lunch with friends, great news from the home front...

WOW….what an absolutely stunning sunrise this morning!!!! Could barely take my eyes away from it!! Oh yeah…..I was up at 6:15 this morning to get things ready to move east to Amarillo, TX today. And…..we were on the interstate at 7:50, one and a half hours later. It was an easy trip as we went south on US 285 until we reached I-40 and then headed east. It took only 5 hours from the time we left Santa Fe, NM and then we found the Amarillo Ranch RV Park where I had made a reservation for tonight.

Called and reached our friends from F’town who were on their way west and they arrived in Amarillo an hour later. We met at the Big Texas Steakhouse on the east side of Amarillo, a mile from our rv park. It was great fun to spend almost two hours with them catching up on their news and the news from home. Then they had to get on their way to a small town northwest of here across the border into NM.

We returned to TheHowserHouse and before long we were taking a walk and as always……we spent more time visiting and talking to other rver’s than we did walking. Of course…….they were all “full timers” that we visited with. It is sooooo much fun to meet all of these people, hear THEIR stories, here where they have been, listen to them tell why they love being full time nomads…etc, etc. It sure gives us some thoughts about the nomadic way of life in TheHowserHouse!!

Ahhhhh……damn!!! The weather report for tonight and tomorrow is HIGH WINDS!!!!!! Perhaps 50 mph…….well, to say the least….I will NOT pull TheHowserHouse in that kind of wind……NO DAMN WAY!!!! And so, we are having to rethink our travel plans……and just wait to see if these high winds materialize…….??? I have already made reservations for a new RV park in Oklahoma City for tomorrow night so we can visit friends that we made in the RGV in Texas……..

GREAT NEWS from F’town!!!! My h.s. piano student in F’town called me this afternoon and he had performed in the South East Missouri District Music Festival this morning…..AND…..he was the only pianist who received a I+ on a solo!!!!!!!! WOW…..what a tremendous accomplishment……I am sooooo damn proud of him and the hard work he has done….on his own….while I have been gone the past three months. He is such a wonderful pianist with such a wonderful talent. He performs with so much emotion as well as wonderful technique……and is always soooo modest about his abilities. Through cyberspace I say: CONGRATULATIONS CORY!!!!!

It has been a good day……a good 300 miles over here……a fun time for our late lunch with Betty and John…..and loads of interesting conversations and laughs with the nomads we met here in the RV Park, and the news about Cory, my piano student. And…….with all of these great things going on today…….

LIFE IS GREAT!!!! And, I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Sculpures for the lawn




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Wind scuptures and others in the Art Galleries




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Cafe Pasqual's



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Day 83: Santa Fe's Art Galleries........

A beautiful day......what more can we ask for! After a rather leisurely morning Fr. Roast coffee and the 1st Lady's tea.......we headed into town. Following the map, we soon were driving up Canyon Dr, the home to almost 300 .....YES, I said 300 art galleries!!!! This entire city center of Santa Fe and the 3/4 mile of Canyon Drive is soooo filled with art and sculpture.......WOW......what a place, what a place!!!!

So, we found a place to park on the narrow street and began wandering in and our of the open doors of the adobe, pueblo-styled buildings housing galleries of modern and traditional art, sculpture, baskets, and fabric works of art. Superlatives of the works of art pale beside actually being there and seeing them! Some we liked, some we didn't, but the enjoyment of being able to just view them in a wonderful setting was fabulous.

There were many of the entrances, patios, etc., etc. that also served as venues for bronzes, copper, marble, etc., etc. of statues and various new designs of wind twirlers. My biggest disappointment????????? That I didn't have nearly enough money to purchase some of these so that I could enjoy them on a daily basis........the lowest item we saw was $2000.....and the most expensive that I actually saw was for $153,000. Out of my league, I'm afraid.......damn it!!!!

After about three hours of wandering and enjoying and making this day even brighter than the weather made it, we went to the truck and drove to the city center around the Plaza for lunch.
OK........we made an EXCELLENT choice as we once again had been advised by several people where we should eat today. And our choice????? Pasqual's Cafe!!!!!! OMG.....what a wonderful place, ambience, and food was discovered there by the 1st Lady and myself!!!!!

The cafe/restaurant was located on a corner.....and the door opened right on the diagonal. The looks from the outside my lead one to question this place as one where you might to dine, but......looks are deceiving, as I learned from my 12 trips to Europe. As there were others standing around on the sidewalk, I went inside to leave my name with the young man at the computer.

Returning to the street, I began talking with others waiting for a table. I noticed while inside that the seating was really VERY limited, but the aromas........what can I say??? I was intoxicated by the time I had just left my name! Everyone waiting for a seat were from out of town....and all had heard of Pasqual's.....and heard of the great cuisine here. It wasn't long before the three member family from Chicago that I had been visiting with.....discussing the Berghoff closing and our trip to Chicago just for dinner at Berghoff's last year......well, they were called inside as well as the 1st Lady and myself, and two young ladies that we later discovered were from Denver.......educators.

AND....we were all seated at the same oval table, as well as one gentleman who was "known" by the restaurant staff who was seated next to me. Before long we were all introducing ourselves and learning more and more about each other and the lives we are currently leading. Just the kind of conversation I most enjoy!!!!! As it turned out, the gentleman next to me eats lunch at this cafe 4-6 times EACH WEEK!!!!.

Of course.....we asked him for recommendations on what to order. But......when the last couple whom we had not met..... was seated at our table.......we were in such animated conversation and discussions that we had to quickly make decisions as to our choices. Pasqual's serves New Mexican cuisine using the spices, herbs, and chiles of the northern area of the state. As I have said, the aromas emanating from the kitchen......well, they were almost erotic.

I ordered "Mole Enchiladas".....which was the chef's "free-range organic chicken wrapped in white corn tortillas served with Cilantro rice and cotija cheese"........and the entire ensemble was covered in the Mole sauce......chocolate and chile sauce.......and.......well, what can I say??? This was the best meal we have had during the 12 weeks we have been on the road.....and THAT is really saying something!!!! The Mole is a sauce that comes from the Oaxaca area of Mexico.....and WOW.....what an intense experience this particular rendition provided!!!!!

The 1st Lady ordered "Plato Primo".....and she was literally oohing and ahhing with each bite which she consumed. This dish is "Chile Relleno with a Tamal served with Cilantro Rice with a free-range organic chicken mole tostadita"......and after sampling it myself.......the one bite was another experience that I just can't describe.......I just don't know what to say.

Other than........get yourself to Pasqual's Cafe in Santa Fe!!!!! Write it down someplace where you can refer to it when you have the time to get out here for a few days. The service was outstanding....quick, pleasant, and business-like servers who seemed to be enjoying themselves as well. As you can imagine, our table conversations turned to the flavors, the preparations, the presentations(gorgeous), and the entire dining experience that we were enjoying. Everyone's food was perfect!!!!

The entire experience of the hour and a half was one of the most pleasant that the 1st Lady and I have had in many years. What helped that??? Not only the incredible meal, but the sitting at the table with so many others from different areas of the country, as well as backgrounds which made for such great conversation.

We all left the table at various times to continue the day.....and the 1st Lady and I did some last minute shopping/looking in the stalls on the sidewalks and the shops around the Plaza square. We left a bit later and returned to TheHowserHouse.........and just relaxed and enjoyed the remainder of the day. Sort of a warm glow from the meal continued to affect us for the afternoon......

Tomorrow, we leave for the night in Amarillo, TX. Hopefully, we will be able to meet up with our friends from F'town for a late lunch.......it all depends on the trip ahead of us and them so that we arrive at approximately the same time coming three hundred miles from each direction. This should be interesting..........

A great day, a great dining experience, a wonderful place to spend a couple of days........and....

LIFE IS GREAT!!!!! And, I hope it is for all of you, also!!!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Mariachi Band performing on the Plaza


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Native American artisans selling their crafts.....



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A GREAT place to have lunch or dinner!

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Red Chilis that Santa Fe has everywhere

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One of the many hotels using this style of architecture

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1st Lady enjoys looking and shopping among the stalls




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Plaza musicians


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Day 82: The Plaza in downtown Santa Fe

WOW.....what a great morning it was this morning when the sun came up!!! We have such a great spot on the side of this mountain/hill...whichever. The day dawned as clear as possible.....not one cloud in the sky.....and what a change over the past couple of days.

We scurried around to get ready to drive to the old downtown area of Santa Fe and to the Plaza. We wanted to be at the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum by the time it opened at 10am.....so that we would be there for the 10:30 tour/lecture by the Docent. And......after making a couple of wrong turns since the furnished map was not very definitive.....we found a parking space about two blocks away from the museum. On Sunday.....the parking metered spots on the street are free....so why pay $10 for a parking lot????

We sat in the patio of the museum for a few minutes waiting for the gates to open....and then we were soon inside and had paid the Senior Citizen price of $7 each. We wandered around the museum a few minutes and then watched the film about O'Keeffe's live and paintings. We then joined a group of people for a listening/asking questions lecture about her life. It was really interesting, but just not quite what we had thought it might be. Then we went through the museum and, to be quite frank........it was very small and just didn't have as many of her more well-known works of art on exhibit. We were both rather disappointed...........

We spent some time in the museum gift shop......and bought a couple of post cards of two of her paintings. Then we began our own walking tour of the old section of town and the Plaza area. It is really, really a great place to spend a beautiful day!!!!!!!! First impressions were that I have never seen sooooooooo many jewelry shops....can't begin to count the number......since I was last in Florence, Italy. Just unbelievable.......and all of the highest quality!!!!

We spent a lot of time viewing some of the many, many private art galleries that are all free.....and saw some stunning works of art! Then as we headed to the Plaza......we heard some music coming from there and hurried around the corner to find a wonderful plaza......a very green area with a "band stand" in the middle of it. On the stand was a Mariachi Band and they were really quite good....music and some fancy footwork dancing.

Along the sidewalks of the adobe buildings surrounding all four sides of the plaza were many, many Native American artisans displaying their jewelry, paintings, ceramic tiles, blankets, etc., etc., etc. We looked and looked.......and each display/stall was different. Lots of sterling silver and turquoise, as well as other semi-precious stones. I really enjoy this type of thing.....and we spent quite a bit of time there enjoying the various items for sale.

We then found the Blue Corn Cafe.......as it had been recommended to us by several different people.......and enjoyed a really excellent light lunch of blue corn tacos, wonderful salsa for the tacos, pinto beans and rice. We had very good service.....it was quick....and the tacos themselves were sooooo crisp and crunchy........ummmmm!!! SO GOOD! When in Santa Fe....try it out for yourselves.

After lunch, we once again hit the streets. It is sooo difficult to explain the shopping areas, galleries, cafes, etc as they can be found in soooo many places. You can go through a little archway....and another long covered sidewalk/street will open up with little stalls and shops opening up on each side. Once again.....it is soooo much like shopping in Florence or Venice......it is just fun to explore these little alleys and narrow streets. And.....all....I repeat....ALL of the buildings are of the adobe style and the same color everywhere. And....let me add that as we left the downtown area this evening.......all of the buildings in the main shopping mall on the edge of town were ALL of the same style and color. Sure did make it difficult to find Target....or any other specific store that you never see in this style/color!!!

We then wandered back to the Plaza and another group of Latina musicians were entertaining there. We sat and listened/watched for a while.....and enjoyed people watching, also. My pics will show some of the musicians......these girls were really quite good!

We continued to stroll, amble, window shop, view the galleries until about 5pm.....and then being rather tired, we decided to head back to TheHowserHouse for a rest before dinner. Guess what......???? Once back at home......we decided to eliminate the dinner tonight and enjoy the evening with our feet up. Dinner will be the #1 priority tomorrow night!!!!

Yesterday we had had an email from a couple......good friends....from F'town and told us that they were driving out to Phoenix/Mesa and wondered where we were on our way back to Missouri. Well....after another round of emails.....we found that we could meet in Amarillo on Tuesday for a late lunch. We had planned to be there anyway on Tuesday night.....and since they were coming through there that day.....we are hoping to make connections and spend some time together before they have to go on down the road. Betty is a sorority sister of the 1st Lady's and so she and her husband, John, are often with us at social functions during the year.....so it will be fun to meet them on the road.

And soooooo......our feet are tired from much, much walking today. My feelings about Santa Fe??? It is a wonderful town.......and the Plaza/downtown area is just soooooo great. I love the way all of the arts are displayed in the galleries.....and the way the style of the buildings has been maintained as it was for the past couple of hundred years. At times I felt like I was strolling down a movie set......except it is the REAL thing.......such fun!!!

More to see tomorrow.......and lists to be made for things we will see the next time we are in town. I would love to be here for the music events......the incredible Santa Fe Opera performances during the summer.....the Santa Fe Chamber Music concerts....etc, etc., etc!! The town is in such a beautiful setting with mountains surrounding it......and at 7000 feet in altitude, it is dry, crisp, and stunning in it's beauty! WOW!!!!!

Hmmmmm, for the umpteenth time........with days and places like this, of COURSE.....

LIFE IS GREAT.....and I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Painted Desert National Park




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Misc. pics from sunset and Painted Desert N.P.




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Day 81: And now we are in SANTE FE, NM!!!

A bit of rain fell in the early hours of the morning, and so I found myself awake waiting for the sun to rise so I could get up and prepare for the road. By 7:15am, I was out and making the routine preparations for a trip down the road with TheHowserHouse. The 1st Lady was up much earlier than usual and be 8am we were pulling out of our site. However....since we didn't have sewage at our site it was necessary to pull around by the dump station(soooo aptly named "dump".. heehee), and to hook up my little sewage hose, pull the handle and a little slide opens.....and voila! All of our un-needed items were rushing into the hole in the ground!!!!

I had just started the process of hooking up the hose when a motor home pulled in behind me and seeing that I had just begun....the engine stopped and this young fellow jumped out and came over to chat ........all while I was doing the not-so-fun task of disposing of our crap...literally. He was all excited as he had just picked up this motor home in Phoenix......one that he had "purchased" on Ebay!!! Last night had been his first night in his new "home" on wheels.

Well, as we became "friends at the dump", he mentioned that he was a pilot for Southwest Airlines......and loved to camp via an rv. He had owned a Class C....what used to be called a mini-motor home, but that he wanted something larger. He was very young looking and said he lived in Dallas and was on his way back with his motor home via Colorado for some snowboarding! I mentioned that I was a retired band director.....and he then became more excited as that was his favorite class in school and he said that without having been in band, his life would not be the one he soooo enjoys now. Soooo, we continued to chat as the crap continued to slosh into the hole in the ground.........and soon.......my dump task was finished. As I pulled the hose out and ran water through the hose for the necessary cleansing action, he then asked if I had any more of the rubber gloves that I use for this not-so-sanitary task of rving. Soooo, I gave him a couple of pairs of the gloves........we said our goodbyes over the dump hole.....and the 1st Lady and I drove on out of the rv park and onto I-40.

348 miles and six hours and 15 minutes later we pulled into Sante Fe Skies RV Park on a mountainside about Sante Fe, NM. It was an uneventful trip through some interesting country.....both high desert and then more and more long hills as the topography changed the farther east we drove. And......OF COURSE.....as we began the descent into Albuquerque with traffic on all sides of TheHowserHouse.....it began a heavy rain. Would I have expected anything less than that for my first trip into this fine city???? HELL NO!! Not knowing in which lane to keep my 53' rving ensemble I slowed down and kept squinting out of the front window between the rapid movement of the wiper blades........and made the transition from I-40 to the northbound I-25 which would take us up 50+ miles to Santa Fe. SUCCESS despite the natural elements playing havoc with my mind, my physical stress, and making TheHowserHouse a dirty mess! (not intended to be a rhyme)

The RV Park has a beautiful main building facility with the best restrooms, laundry, and reception room of any park I have been to in a long time. The sites???? Well, they are not as nice as I expected.....gravel..a bit uneven and unlevel.....and each site being a different length and width. However, having said that, the wifi here is EXCELLENT!!!!!! The best we have had the entire trip!!!!! Can't believe it. The price is a bit elevated.....but this is a "1st Class City" and a very popular tourist destination for not only us Americans but more of a world class city with many rv'ers here from other parts of the world......in rented rv's. Paid $98 for three nights which included a 10% discount for being a Good Sam member.

And soooooo, after doing a bit of laundry, we decided to enjoy the views of the city lights below us, have a glass of wine in front of the fireplace as we look out the window at the glow of Sante Fe. Tomorrow we will be up and going as there is MUCH to see and do. Our first stop will be at the Georgia O'Keeffe Art Museum........she lived here in the area for many years. I hope to get a couple of prints of two of her works for our stick and brick.

You guessed it.......it has been a really good day.....from the start with the new "dump crap chat" friend to the finish with the vino and twinkling lights below......and the vino also had a good "finish"! Sooooooo, as you might realize.....

LIFE IS GREAT........And I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!!

Friday, March 23, 2007

As FAR as you can see........

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