Thursday, April 19, 2007

Day Ten Vacation - Sunday, April 8, 2007

We drove through Madison (at night, again) and finally got onto Highway 51. We got to the Dells area and Gary finally pulled the RV over at a rest area around 1:30 a.m. We slept for about 4 hours or so and then we were on to Mosinee so I could pick up the Tahoe. After dropping us off in Mosinee, Gary stopped at King's Campers on his way home to see what RV's they had on the lot. He's ready to trade this one in, but we knew that when left Arizona. He did find one, so I'll keep up to date on that later!

We (Erin and I) arrived in Minocqua about 8:45 a.m. Stopped to pick up some things at the grocery store, called Rose to let her know we'd be coming by to pick up Cedar and Dutchess and grabbed some breakfast at McDonald's. Cedar and Dutchess were soooooo happy to see us as we were to see them. It felt good to get home except for one big thing. THERE WAS FRESH SNOW ON THE GROUND!!!! Yuck! Happy Easter!

So, until next time...

Day Nine Vacation - Saturday, April 7, 2007

We awoke in the WalMart parking lot at about 3:00a.m. or should I say Gary woke me up in the WalMart parking lot at 3:00a.m. and wanted to get on the road again. I was very worried about him driving again after only sleeping a couple of hours. Another concern was that everything had a lovely, thick coating of ice on it. We drove north to Denver.

In Denver, the roads were really bad with freezing rain. We saw dozens of accidents through Denver. We passed Mile High Stadium, though, and that was pretty cool to see. Got to go to Starbucks for a morning coffee so it wasn't all bad!! As we began to travel east the weather improved immensely.

We drove through all of Colorado into Nebraska. Don't really have anything to say about the sights in Nebraska as there really weren't any! Needless to say, I didn't take any photos in Nebraska. It was really windy and Gary really struggled with the RV.

We drove through all of Nebraska into Iowa. Don't really have anything to say about Iowa except, again there wasn't much to look at and again, no photos here. It is beginning to look a lot more like home, though. We drove northeast to Dubuque and across the Mississippi River into Wisconsin. Woo Hoo!!! Too bad this was at night as it probably would have been beautiful to see. I was getting really upset with Gary through Iowa because he just refused to stop and get some sleep. He was a man on a mission! What mission that was exactly I don't know, but you know guys with that macho driving thing. You know, "I made that trip in 29 hours! Aren't you impressed?"

Until next time...

Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Rest of the Un-Circle Journal Pages...

OK, I've posted the last 6 Un-Circle Journal pages here. If you don't want to see yours don't peek! I've got Kathy R., Connie, Dawn, Kathie B., Melissa and Trudi's all posted here.

Here's Kathy R.'s "Mom":

Here's Connie's "Growing Boys":

Here is Dawn's "Vacation":

Here's Kathie B.'s "Ethan from A to Z". I had X and W.

Here's Melissa's "Our Black Lab, Chocolate":

Here's Trudi's "Garden Walk":

Un-Circle Journals All Complete!!

Woo, hoo!!! I've finished my Un-Circle Journal pages! What a great feeling! I've posted 6 of them here. If you don't want to see yours, don't peek! I've got Kristine, Dannelle, Kim R., Jaimie, Kathy H. and Tamara's posted here. I'll post the rest in another post.

Here's Kristine's "Love Quotes":

Here is Dannelle's "Baby Shower":

Here is Kim R.'s "Tropical Vacations (Mazatlan, Mexico):

Here is Jaimie's "Baby Girl/Toddler":

Here is Kathy H.'s "Disney Autographs":

Here is Tamara's "My Grandkids".

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Day Eight Vacation - Friday, April 6, 2007

We woke up this morning not really knowing if we were going to start heading home today or not. Erin and I wanted to do some shopping first in Williams. I wanted to find some turquoise jewelry made by the local Indians, so she and I walked into town to do just that. There weren't a whole lot of stores in Williams. Mostly hotels, really. But we did find one really nice jewelry store. All the jewelry in it was handcrafted by local artists, so it was exactly what I was looking for. I purchased a matching neclace and ring and also another ring. Erin found a ring that she liked, too. At another store, I purchased a Navajo wedding vase handcrafted by a local artist. We had a good time shopping and found some real treasures that we can cherish and remember our trip by.

When we returned to our site, we all decided to start heading home. After some lunch, we left about 2:30 p.m. We drove and drove and drove. We drove across Arizona and New Mexico. New Mexico is beautiful! I couldn't believe how big Albuquerque, New Mexico is! We drove through Albuquerque at night and all the lights were magnificent! We drove all the way to the border of New Mexico and Colorado. When we drove through the Raton Pass, which is at the New Mexico/Colorado border, it was pretty scary. It was night time, the elevation was just climbing and climbing and then to top it off (no pun intended) when we reached the top it was snowing along with freezing rain. When we got over the pass there were signs warning trucks of the grade going downhill fast. I was pretty much white-knuckling the seat all the way. Gary finally agreed to stop for the night in a WalMart parking lot.

So, until next time...

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Day Seven Vacation - Thursday, April 5, 2007

Today we traveled to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. We took the Grand Canyon Railways train there. The train ride was 2 hours and 15 minutes long there and the same back, of course. The day started off with breakfast at the buffet, the Wild West show and then we boarded the train. The trains are all refurbished vintage steam engines. They were really neat, inside and out. The railway was abandonded in 1968 due to the popularity of the automobile, but Max and Thelma Biegert bought it in 1989 and the Grand Canyon Railway was reborn. The train was "robbed" on the return trip by the cowboys from the Wild West show earlier in the day. It was pretty neat!

The Grand Canyon was absolutely breathtaking! It is hard to imagine how anything this beautiful was created except at the hand of God. I would have liked to the hike the 2 mile trail to Yavapai Observation Station, but Gary was not in favor of it so we kind of milled around the Grand Canyon Village area for our 3 1/2 hours. The views were spectacular. The weather was a bit cooler than in Tucson, but it was still wonderful. The morning was cool and we opted to wear jeans, but I wished I would have worn shorts as it quickly warmed up to the mid to upper 70's. I got some fantastic photos! And I'm getting much braver about asking strangers to take shots of all of us, so I can actually say that "yes" I was there, too!! I'd love to come back to the Grand Canyon again someday. It's incredible.
We arrived back at the train depot around 7:00 p.m. pretty darn tired!
So, until next time...

Day Six Vacation - Wednesday, April 4, 2007

We left Tucson today. Boo, hoo! It's hard to leave such fabulous weather!

We're headed north for Williams, Arizona which is about 30 miles west of Flagstaff. I hear the weather is quite a bit cooler there. We'll soon find out! We're staying at the Grand Canyon Railway RV Park for 3 nights. Thursday we will be taking the train from there up to the Grand Canyon for the day and then riding the train back in the evening. I'm really excited about it. I think it will be great fun.

We did have to stop in Camp Verde to pick up some bumpers for Lynn. Not a big deal.

I got the job of playing navigator for the driving part of this trip. Which isn't a problem for me. I was bit nervous about driving through Phoenix, but it wasn't really a big deal. The city is kind of neat. The overpasses are decorated with stone art and are really quite beautiful! We left Tucson about 10:00 a.m. and arrived in Williams about 3:00 p.m.

Gary noticed that the tires on the motorhome were really low, in fact, the inside tires were practically flat. We looked all over Williams to find someone that had the right kind of air hose to fill those inside tires. We found someone at the 76 Station. The old man wanted to know where we got our gas and proceeded to lecture him about the rich tourists coming in and not spending their money here in Williams. He gave Gary such a hard time about where he bought his gas, but we REALLY needed air so Gary tolerated it. He told Gary if he topped off the gas tank, he would let him use the air and help us out. Well, the old man squeezed about $20 more dollars into our tank and when he finished, told Gary to bring the motorhome over in the morning and they'd take care of the tires because he was going home for the day. Gary was livid! We went back to the RV park check-in office to ask them where to get air. They told us the 76 Station and I proceeded to tell the story of what just happened to us. Then they directed us elsewhere and finally, after about 2 hours of goofing around trying to find air, we finally found a tire shop that let Gary use their air hose. The guy didn't offer any help whatsoever, in fact, he sat in a lawn chair and watched! But at least we got the air that we desperately needed. I don't have anything nice to say about the people in Williams, Arizona. They certainly didn't want to help any tourists out, that's for sure! It sure doesn't make me want to come back here anytime real soon! We finally got settled into our site about 6:00 p.m.! Three hours screwing around trying to find air for some tires!

Well, onto better things. One bright side is that the Grand Canyon Railway RV Park is quite nice. I think it is relatively new, too. It has showers, laundry facilities, you can use the pool and hot tub at the hotel, shuttle service, etc... The people working at the RV Park, at least are pleasant and helpful, so it isn't all bad, so far.

We called Jason after dinner to wish him a happy birthday. Can't believe he's 22 already! I was actually surprised that he answered the phone. He said he wasn't going out tonight because he wasn't feeling too good. There were a lot of colds and stuff going around campus and he was just going to stay in.

The weather is definitely cooler here. It really cooled off in the evening. I think it had to be in the mid to upper 30's. But it was nice when we arrived at 3:00 p.m. Hopefully, it will be nice tomorrow for our trip to the Canyon.

Until next time...

Day Five Vacation - Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Today was a free day, meaning we scheduled nothing other than relaxing and enjoying the sunshine! Erin and I spend a couple hours at the pool in the morning and then went back after lunch. We didn't stay out in the sun real long because it was really, really hot! You'd lay there for five minutes then get in the pool. When you'd get out, you'd dry off in a matter of minutes, only to get hot again very quickly and need to get back in the pool.

Gary spent the day negotiating on a different motorhome. We decided this Class C just isn't big enough for us. A Class A Sea Breeze motorhome is what he was looking at, but he couldn't agree on a price with the salesman, so we just kept what we had. He's pretty confident that we'll sell it when we return home and get a bigger one. We decided that we really need a separate bedroom and that we would tow a trailer with the motorcycle and/or car in it.

The weather was wonderful, if not a little on the hot side for a short while! But who's complaining? Certainly not me! I think it got into the low 90's, but sunny once again!

Until next time...

Day Four Vacation - Monday, April 2, 2007

At Lynn and Cindy's recommendation, we drove to the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum. We arrived early so as to beat the heat because this is not a museum like you think of a museum. It is mostly outdoors showing the desert in its natural setting. It was also part zoo with many animals and birds you might see in the desert and there were also some indoor exhibits. It was really a neat place and definintely a place you could visit more than once. We stayed there until about lunch time. Then we decided that we had time to drive south to the Kartchner Caverns.

I had purchased tickets for Kartchner Caverns for the 9:40 a.m. tour, but we decided on going to the Desert Museum when it was cooler in the a.m. and then hitting the caverns at the hottest part of the day so we took a chance that we could reschedule our tickets. We arrived around 12:30 p.m. hoping we could get in for the the 12:40 tour, but they were booked up until 3:20 p.m. We decided to stay. Gary was NOT a happy camper (no pun intended!) about having to wait. Patience is not in his vocabulary. They had a 45 minute film about the discovery of the caverns and also displays that we could look at while we waited. When we finally got to the Throne Room and Rotunda tour, it was sooo worth it! The caverns were magnificent! Unfortunately, they don't allow photographs at all. I purchased postcards to use in the scrapbook, though, so at least I have some pictures of it.

Once again, the weather was perfect! In the upper 80's! I could get used to that!

Well, gotta go! Until next time...

Day Three Vacation - Sunday, April 1, 2007

Shopped again for things we forgot or needed from Camping World, the dollar store and the grocery store.

Lynn and Cindy visited us for an hour or two. Lynn might purchase some bumpers for a vehicle of his and the guy happens to be on our way to Flagstaff. He's going to see if we could pick them up on our way north on Wednesday.

Erin and I went to the pool. It felt really nice! So far, the weather is absolutely heavenly! In the upper 80's, but it really cools off at night as we found out last night! (Gary had to get up around 4:00 a.m. to figure out how to turn on the heat in the motorhome.) Gary joined us at the pool for little while.

We pretty much lounged and relaxed for the day.

Until next time...

Day Two Vacation - Saturday, March 31, 2007

Arrived at Central Wisconsin Airport at 4:15 a.m. only to find that I had overpacked my suitcase! Surprise, surprise!! Had to take some out and smash it into Erin's suitcase and even then I had to pay $25 for it being overweight! Our flight left on time to Minneapolis. Luckily, we had a really long layover in Minneapolis so we didn't have to run from one end of the airport to the other. We had plenty of time to get something to eat and sit down and wait. We did arrive about a half hour late in Tucson, though. Nothing to complain about.

When we arrived, Gary met us at the airport with the rental car. Our motorhome was not done being inspected and detailed, so we had to kill about 3 hours. We did some shopping for things we didn't have in the motorhome and found a Radio Shack to buy a power cord for the computer. That was a costly mistake!!! Oh, well...

We set up camp at the RV site in our new motorhome. We have a jacuzzi site, which is pretty cool! The park is really nice. There's a pool, hot tub, fitness center, laundry facilities and a restaurant. It's pretty much like staying at a hotel except you stay in your motorhome rather than a hotel room. Then we went grocery shopping and dollar store shopping. I am now officially a Fry's grocery club member! It saved us like $36! After we got it all back to our site, of course, there were some things forgotten! Made a list of things we forgot to get so we could run again in the morning.

Everyone's fuses were getting a little short by later evening, but not really too bad. There was no blood shed!

Well, gotta go! Until next time...

Day One Vacation - Friday, March 30, 2007

I took Gary to the airport in Rhinelander this morning at 3:00 a.m. Came home and slept for an hour before getting Erin up for school. Took a nap around 2:00 p.m. after all the last minute packing was done.

Erin came home from school and we grabbed a bite, then took Cedar and Dutchess over to Rose's where they'll stay for the week we're gone in Arizona. They got a surprise when they arrived, as there were two other dogs there for the week, also. Another golden, Riley, and a chocolate lab, Hannah.

Drove to the hotel in Mosinee where we stayed overnight because our flight, out of Mosinee, was so early (5:10 a.m.). We discovered already that I had forgotten something important. We didn't have the power cord for the laptop! Not a good thing to forget. I guess we'll have to find one in Tucson when we arrive.

Gary called from Tucson and said he didn't like the motorhome we purchased on Ebay, but found a different one, a Class C toy hauler, which is what he was looking for in the first place. I'm a little disappointed that it's not the Class A, but I'm sure it will be fine.

Lynn and Cindy are in Tucson, too and they visited Gary at Beaudry RV Resort.

I'm exhaused, so I'm off to bed. Have to get up early for my flight.

Until next time....