Monday, June 26, 2017

Settling in at Camp Sandusky, and our Sailor finally arrived!

Sailor boy arrived!

As we were packing up and preparing for our short travel day from Monroe, MI to Sandusky, OH, Nicolas packed up all of his belongings and finally made the move from Charleston, SC to Norfolk, VA.  He just made a short stop there to unpack his stuff into a storage unit, and then he met us in Ohio to enjoy some well-earned leave time!

He was tired when he finally arrived, and ready to relax for a while!

Casey was so excited to see him, and could hardly wait for him to come through the door!  She hardly ever leaves his side now!

Casey loves spending time with her boy

We spent a few days back in Michigan in order to get some things taken care of right away when he arrived – renewing Nicolas’ drivers license and applying for his passport, dinner with the family on Father’s Day,

Dinner with the family

and Hannah’s graduation party.

Hannah's Graduation Party

Unfortunately, Bryce had to work and couldn’t spend the day with us.

Back here in Sandusky, the guys got my brakes working on my bike,

Fixing my bike

we enjoyed some fabulous ice cream at the local dairy,

Mmm . . . enjoying our ice cream!IMG_4241

and found a beautiful local church to attend.

IMG_4250St. Mary's

After that first weekend, Tom and Nicolas got serious about searching for a truck for Nick.  We had gone back & forth quite a bit about the truck and RV that will serve Nicolas best, and although the last couple of months he had been focused on a Super Duty, we ultimately decided that he should go with an F-150 instead.  So, with that decision made, they searched for ones that matched Nicolas’ criteria for what he wanted in a truck.

They spent a full day looking at several available trucks, driving the ones he was interested in, and calling on a few more, and then he picked one – once he had it narrowed down, it was actually a pretty easy decision.  On Wednesday afternoon, we all returned to the dealership to complete the purchase.    

Nicolas found his truck!

He’s a happy truck owner!

Happy boy

Dad’s happy that Nick got what he wanted!

Dad's happy that Nicolas found the truck he wanted

The first order of business after getting the truck home, was to find a tonneau cover for the bed so he could get his stuff out of our Jeep and into the truck.  He found a nice tri-fold cover by Lund that is a fabric very similar to the Jeep convertible top.  We ordered it on Amazon (birthday present from Mom and Dad), and it arrived the very next day!

It was a breeze to install . . . lining it up on the bed,

Installing the tonneau cover

checking for gaps,

Checking for gaps

and it looks pretty good!

Fits perfect!

With our work complete, it was time for a weekend of fun.  Saturday started with an adventure that will get it’s own blog post, and we finished it off with a campfire – the first one we’ve had all year!  Nicolas says we’ve forgotten how to “camp”!

We were joined by our neighbors – a nice young military family who are on their way from Norfolk, VA to their new duty station in Anchorage, Alaska.  With 2 young boys, 3 dogs and a cat, they decided that an RV was their best option for making the cross-country trip.  We really enjoyed getting to know them over the weekend, sharing RVing tips with them while they shared information about Virginia and military life with Nicolas, and watching the boys play reminded us of our own early camping days!  Safe travels, Adam and Blanton!  Maybe we’ll get to Alaska while you’re still there!

On Sunday I got laundry done after picking strawberries at a local farm.

Polter's Berry Farm

Strawberry Fields

It was a beautiful day,

Beautiful day for picking berries

and I came home with 10 lbs. of delicious berries!

10 lbs. of berries!

Meanwhile, Tom and Nicolas ventured to the nearby town of Norwalk, OH for the NHRA Nationals.  They had a great afternoon of father/son bonding . . . although they wished they had earplugs!

Great day at the races

race 2

They had fun, though!

Nick at NHRA

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Mercury Cougar 50th Anniversary

Ford World Headquarters

During our last weekend in Michigan, the Annual Shelby Mustang All-Ford Car Show was being held at Ford World Headquarters, and this year in celebration of the Mercury Cougar 50th Anniversary, there was a special show for them.

Tom’s brother, Joe, has a 1967 Cougar XR7 and he took it out of it’s hiding place in the barn for this special event.  His other brother, Dave, and their Dad went along to keep him company.

Joe and his '67 Cougar

Nicolas had hoped to go with them, but he didn’t get up here in time.  Tom and I joined them later in the afternoon.  It was a beautiful day - a little hot, though, – but a great day to be outside.  We walked through the rows of Cougars,

Walking through the rows of cars

and were amazed by the number of them there – from all over the country!

Usually at a car show, you might see one or two Cougars . . . but this was something different . . .

50th Anniversary Cougar Show

More Cougars

The organizers had done an excellent job of getting the word out, and with the great weather they had record-breaking participation – 248 Cougars – the most ever in one place at any time!  We heard that this set a record, but I’m not sure if anybody contacted Guiness, so it might not be an official world record . . . unlike the ice cream sundae thing we participated in last June!

So, there were lots of beautiful Cougars . . . several gorgeous shades of blue,





and one in Tigger orange!

Nice orange cat!

Every good car show has to have a couple support vehicles!

A good day for Good Humor!

Ford F-100

In addition to seeing Tom’s brothers and Dad at the show,

Gimmarro men enjoying the shade

we also ran into a family from the boys’ old school – we hadn’t seen them in a number of years, so it was fun to run into each other and get caught up on what all the kids are doing!  They had a Cougar in the show, too.


And the really funny thing was that they were parked right across from Tom’s brother!

Joe's Cougar

Trying his hand at JengaWe took a break from the Cougars to try our hand at a little Jumbo Jenga, and then wandered over to the other side to check out the Mustangs.


There were anywhere near as many cars over on the Mustang side, but they were still beautiful, so I took a few pictures for the Mustang lover in our family!

Some Mustangs

Which one do you want, Nick!?!

Mustang GT 500 - red, white and blue

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Summertime–Strawberries and Cars

Ford Blues

Temperatures are finally creeping upward, and summer-time activities are also popping up around town.

The local strawberry farm opened for the season,

Whittaker's Berry Farm

so on our way to have dinner one evening with my Mom, and Diane & Danny, Tom and I stopped and picked 8-1/2 pounds of berries.

It was a beautiful day, and there were lots of people that had the same idea!

Beautiful day for strawberry picking!

Nothing better than fresh strawberries!Picking strawberries up here in Michigan is harder on your back and knees than it is in South Carolina and Florida, but still worth it!


My sisters all have season tickets for “Broadway in Toledo”, and years ago when I still lived her, I did, too.  It’s been awhile since I’ve been to a musical, so when my sister Sandi texted me that she wasn’t going to be able to use her ticket this past Friday, I jumped at the chance to go with them.

Excellent show!

I met them for dinner at TGI Friday’s, and then we all went to the play.  It was really good – I love musicals, and this one was really good!

I think I need to make Tom go to an occasional musical when we’re south in the winter!

On Saturday morning, we had to run some errands in downtown Monroe, and ended up stumbling onto a small car show along the River Raisin.

River Raisin

Since it was just down the road from the Post Office, we stopped to take a look around.


It wasn’t a big show, but they had some nice cars.


1960 Mercury Station Wagon

Pink Panther

The Mercury Wagon, above, was in excellent condition . . . and it wasn’t even restored!  It was in original condition, still owned by the children of the original owner, and has just 18,000 miles on it!

This pink one was a real beauty, too!

American Graffiti car

These trucks were pretty cool!

Monster Trucks

Back at the campground, we enjoyed a beautiful sunset to cap off our weekend!

A beautiful sunset greeted us!