Sunday, November 18, 2018

Moving Days–FINALLY!

Stormtrooper guarding the cake!

We wrapped up our stay in Michigan with a few last family get-togethers . . . dinner with Bryce & Hannah, and a 5-year-old’s Star Wars birthday party.

Birthday Boy Graysen

The kids had lots of fun with the little robot, and were rewarded with lots of candy when Darth Vader finally broke open!

Darth Vader pinata

This little robot was quite the hit with the kids!

I made one last trip into the office, saying good-bye for now until next summer . . . our contact for the next several months will all be virtual . . . fortunately, that works well for all involved.

We were all set to leave . . . we picked up my Mom on Wednesday night so she could travel with us to Dayton, OH for my nephew’s wedding, and we woke up Thursday morning, ready to go . . .

Seriously!?!  We were supposed to leave today!

We were supposed to get snow showers for most of the day, and between Toledo and Dayton (our route for the day) they were getting ice!  There was no way we were getting on the road with that risk!

So much for moving day!  I cancelled my vacation day, and we postponed our arrival in Dayton, extending our stay in Monroe one more day.  Tom was really annoyed!  He had spent much of Wednesday afternoon clearing all the ice off the slide toppers and getting them nice and dry!  He would have to do it all over again on Friday morning!

Friday morning was definitely better for travel, and after once again clearing off the slide toppers, we got the slides pulled in (they moved really slowly in the cold!) and fired up the engine.  It was still cold, but at least the roads and the weather forecast were clear!

Ready to depart Michigan












Our first stop was for fuel for the motorhome.  We had over 3/4 tank when we arrived on October 15th, but over the last month we’ve been using the Aqua-Hot pretty extensively for heating, and were down to almost a 1/2 tank.  The first two weeks, we were using the diesel burner just in the evenings and mornings, but the last two weeks we’ve had it on 24/7.  We figured we burned through about 30 gallons of diesel in the month.  It was a pretty expensive month – $145 for electric, and about another $100 for diesel for heating.  Another reason to like warmer climates!

First stop – Ohio!  OK, it’s only one state away, but the weather did improve over the weekend! 

Step 1 in our journey south

Got Mom along for the ride!

We didn’t have a lot of RV Park choices in the Dayton area in November, so we ended up at a little park southeast of Dayton in the historic town of Lebanon.  Good thing we waited the extra day to travel – this area was hit pretty hard by the ice storm!  There were lots of tree branches down all over the park, and they were still in the clean-up process when we arrived on Friday.

The park stays open through the winter because they have a small group of people who stay there fulltime in one area of the park.  The “transient” area of the park, where we stayed in a nice long pull-thru site isn’t “technically” open for the winter – they shut off the water at the bath houses and at the sites, but they do rent sites for a day or two, as long as you bring your own water.  We had filled our fresh water tank before we left Monroe, so we were prepared for our 2 night stay.

The wedding was Saturday afternoon, so we spent a few hours in the morning checking out the shops in town.

Downtown Lebanon, Ohio

It’s a cute little town, with lots of antique stores and some other cute shops and historic buildings.

Town Hall

Many of the historic buildings have been re-purposed.

Historic Lebanon

Chocolate Factory

Lebanon is a nice little town, and we really enjoyed exploring it!

After our exploration, we had just enough time for a quick light lunch, and then it was time to get dressed for the wedding.

It was a very nice ceremony,

Wedding Ceremony

and soon they were Mr. & Mrs.!

Mr. & Mrs. Kreuz

The reception was very festive,

Cutting the cake

First dance

and there were lots of opportunities for photos.

Mom and son

Parents of the Groom

Sisters,

Sisters

plus one brother,

Siblings

and Mom.

Mom and Sisters

It was a nice way to wrap up our time with the family!

Mills Family

The next morning, several of us met up for breakfast and we handed off our extra passenger.  She didn’t want to continue travelling with us . . . not sure why she wants to stay in cold Michigan!  Texas is going to be much warmer!

It was a beautiful travel day today, and we were completely thawed out before we got back on the road.

Ready for step 2 of the journey south!












By the time we reached Kentucky,

Into Kentucky!

it was a balmy 61 degrees!  For the first time in months, I could go out without a sweatshirt, and I even opened a couple windows for a little while!

Renfro Valley RV

We’re in Renfro Valley to spend Thanksgiving with our friends Bryan, Janetta and Tessa . . . and looking forward to spending a few days with them!

Meanwhile in Virginia . . .

It was also finally moving day for Nicolas and his shipmates, too!

On Wednesday, their ship finally left the shipyard in Portsmouth,

Ike finally departing the shipyard

and made it’s way up the Elizabeth River,

This big ship dwarfs the surrounding buildings!

back to its place on the pier in Norfolk.

Nice shot of the Mighty Ike

We just saw little bits of video of the move on Facebook, but it had to be quite a sight to see that huge ship being pushed up the river!

CVN69

IKE travelling up the Elizabeth River to Norfolk











So, Nicolas is now officially in his homeport, and we’re headed towards our winter destination, Texas . . . it feels good to be back on the move!

Friday, November 9, 2018

All Things Detroit & a Food Truck Rally

Checking out the food options

On Facebook last week, I saw a post about an “All Things Detroit” market day at Eastern Market that was happening on Sunday.  It sounded interesting, and having lived almost my entire adult life in the Detroit area, I’ve never been to Eastern Market . . . so we decided to go.  Talking to our neighbor here in the RV Park, he told us that there was also a big Food Truck Rally going on at Belle Isle Park on Sunday afternoon, which is just down the road from Eastern Market, so hey, we’ll hit that too, and make it a truly blog-worthy day!  We don’t often get those here at home!

Eastern Market

Eastern Market is at the northern end of downtown Detroit, a very industrial area, well-known for it’s flower market in the spring and farmers markets throughout the summer.  There are a couple “sheds” that can be enclosed in the colder weather, expanding the market’s season through the year.  Thankfully, this market was in those sheds, because it was chilly outside!

The area around the market is very industrial, but the artists are around – that’s evident in the buildings and surrounding area!

Interesting structure - bumpers and wheels

Windand solar powered camera

The paintings on the buildings are pretty cool – I was trying to catch a few as we were driving, so not the best pictures.

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Painted warehouses

All Things Detroit

Inside the sheds, the All Things Detroit Market Day was pretty cool.  There were lots of vendors – selling clothes, jewelry, glassware, tile, paintings and other artwork, and some really nice items for the home (if you still have a house, lots a cool stuff!).

There were a lot of food vendors, too . . . and most had samples out, so that tided us over until we could get to the Food Truck Rally.




It was a really nice market, and we enjoyed it . . . only bought one thing, though . . . a new sticker for the Jeep!

Our newest sticker

Belle Isle

From there, we drove over to Belle Isle . . . it was crowded!!  Crossing over the Detroit River, we drove onto the island, which is now a state park, and were directed to an area to park on the grass.

The big circular picnic area in the middle of the island was surrounded by a huge circle of food trucks – like the pioneers circling their wagons as they travelled to the wild west!


We walked along the road until we found a spot where we could get through and into the center of the circle.

Just a few of the food trucks circling the park











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We spotted our neighbor . . . and a big enough opening for us to cut through!

and more . . . this is our neighbor from the RV Park












Once inside the circle, we were amazed at the number of food trucks there . . . and the number of people!

Over 100 food trucks in a huge circle!

We heard that there was supposed to be over 100 food trucks . . . and they they may possible set a Guinness World Record.  I didn’t count them, but there were definitely a lot!

We walked all around the circle to check out the options.

Lots of people and long lines!

There were long lines everywhere we looked, but the BBQ trucks seemed to be the most popular (or maybe just the slowest serving!), as they all had long lines, but the longest line was at the lobster truck – it went on forever (I was standing around the halfway point of the line when I took that picture)!!

The line for the lobster truck was INSANE!












There were several cute vintage trailers as food trucks – a coffee bar, a bakery, and an ice cream sandwich truck!  As cold as it was, his line was still pretty long!

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There were several vintage trailers - so cute!

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This guy gets the prize for the biggest food truck in attendance!

This got the prize for the biggest!

Mmmm . . . the donuts here looked really good – sounds like dessert!

Donuts - never did get back to buy some!











After walking through the whole circle, we decided to split a BBQ sandwich and a pizza.  We figured we might as well support our neighbor, so Tom got in line and I walked a couple trucks down to get a pizza.

With the looks of this line, the pizza was going to end up being an appetizer!

We waited an hour and a half for our BBQ!

It was!  Our pizza was ready in just over half an hour, so we enjoyed that while we continued to wait almost another hour to order our BBQ.  We ended up getting the pulled pork and brisket dinner, with 2 sides . . . huge portions, so we took half of it home!  We were so stuffed – and freezing – we completely forgot about getting a donut for dessert!

Another fun adventure!

On the way home, we drove through downtown Detroit . . . the city is looking quite a bit nicer than it used to!

We drove by the Ren Cen – GM World Headquarters,

GM Headquarters

and the Joe Louis fist.

Joe Louis' fist











Not a bad way to spend a day in Detroit.

With just a week left to our stay in Michigan, today our luck ran out and winter caught up to us!  We woke up to big fluffy flakes this morning!

We've stayed too long!

Maybe I jinxed us with my latest quilt square!

I hope I didn’t bring it on ourselves with my latest quilt square!  lol

Anyway, it’s a good day to stay inside and doing some cooking and sewing! 

A good day for chili!

A good day for chili

Good News – 2pm now, and all evidence of the white stuff is gone!!