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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Thursday Thoughts - Hemingway

Never go on trips with anyone you do not love. 
Ernest Hemingway

Some days are harder then others but at the end of the day there is still the love. I can be unlikable on the road just like anywhere's just harder on the 22 feet of space. Again, at the end of the day there is still the love.

And can you believe June is gone, like gone, over. done. I cannot believe the we are half way through the year; it has flown by! This might be that rare instance when I think slowing down time could be a good idea.
Never go on trips with anyone you do not love. Ernest Hemingway
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Never go on trips with anyone you do not love. Ernest Hemingway
Read more at:
Never go on trips with anyone you do not love. Ernest Hemingway
Read more at:

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Red Birds and Water

So the Daughter came to MO to see the Red Birds! What fun and Trigger attended her first MLB game in KC just like her mamma did! They were nearly the same age, though her mamma was a just a bit older. But it was a fun time. We had awesome seats! Trigger's head was swiveling with all the new sights and sounds. She slept through several innings and was awake for the loud win. She didn't care so much for all that noise but she did great!
Seeing the Royals play the Cardinals was pretty slick. Last year Daughter and hubby went to STL to see the Cards play about this same time. They won, they won last night, too. Maybe this will become a new family tradition for them...Kaufman Stadium was awesome. I have always enjoyed the K though it's been a long while since I have been at a game; it is always entertaining. It is a first class venue for sure We visited the new Hall of Fame building, nicely done, saw both World series trophies that the Royals have.

Honestly, we usually cheer Royals but tonight we were sporting the Red with Daughter. Trigger was a good little fan, really only fussed twice. She did have a bit of a tough time with the drive over and back from the hotel but I think she was tired of car riding for the day! And KC traffic was a bit slow and backed up as it often is around 5 p.m. especially on a game day it made it challenging to get across town in a timely fashion. However, we all survived!
This morning Trigger took her first dip in a real pool. She thought it was all right. She loved bath time already so she probably thought she was in the biggest bathtub ever since the water was really warm. After a nice playtime, she had bath time and we made tracks south.

Everyone is settled in and ready for a booming 4th with the famdamily this weekend!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Thursday Thoughts - Irish Blessing

May you never forget what is worth remembering, nor ever remember what is best forgotten.

Irish Blessing

I think the Irish have some wisdom going on in this it back around St Patrick's Day but just got around to posting it. 

Friday, June 17, 2016

Door County

What a good day to spend in such a beautiful area. Lots of lighthouses and the drive while not as lush as MI was still a nice one. The best part of course was the stop at Wood Orchard. It was cherry EVERYTHING. We sampled lots of yummy things and ended up with tasty apples, cherry donuts and strudel. Prior to this stop we popped in the Renard's Cheese and loaded up with curds, block cheese and cherry wine. In fact, we just went ahead and had cheese for lunch right there in their parking lot! What I especially liked about both these establishments was that they are family owned. So friendly, had pride in their business and offered plenty of samples so you knew what you were getting. Prices were fair and taste was delicious. However, cherry wine will be a no go for me. It's just hard to find good wine when you have lived in wine country...

Driving through Door County was quite an experience. it was diverse and very rural, lots and lots of crop land and lots and lots of orchards, apple and cherry! The little towns each had their own flavor and while we did not stop at everyone we did note how clean and well kept they were. Most had a very welcoming feel. Some also leaned toward the tourist, others catered toward the artsy-fartsy crowd, all were fun to explore I'm sure. At the very end of the peninsula known as Door County there is a ferry to Washington Island and then you can take another ferry to Rock Island which is just beyond Washington Island. I think we need to go again and plan a day just to hop on over to these two islands. I understand there are lighthouses, fields of lavender and it's perfect for biking.

Anyway, it was a full day of taking in the sights, sounds and taste of Door County. It was a beautiful day for travel and we had one of the best fish dinners we've had on the whole trip. It was super good, fresh and friend just right. Generous portions, good fries and a nice piece of Rye bread made it a complete meal. You cannot go wrong eating at Red's Pub & Grill in Algoma, Wisconsin. The lake view is pretty sweet and if the weather is nice they even have outdoor seating.
The after dinner walk was to this lighthouse, another awesome day of living the dream and knowing how truly blessed we are. Now it's off to Iowa! I know we are about to encounter the dreaded Midwest heat :/ Seeing Trigger will take some of the burn away, but I am not looking forward to the heat at all, only seeing her takes some of the sting away.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Yooper Land

We are totally impressed with Michigan! Amazing, beauty beyond imagination. I really, really, REALLY like it. The weather has been incredible. So much so that we nearly needed to turn on our heat! Now before you think I drank the Michigan kool-aid I am not a fan of their bugs..mosquitoes are horrid. Thankfully, it's not been everywhere nor every time we are out so it's doable just not pretty!

The people are pretty friendly, the roads are good and the amount of available low cost, free parking options for RVs is wonderful. They have welcome centers, city parks, county parks, township parks, rest areas and on and on. Most have at least restrooms, some showers, many offer electrical hookups, too. Like I said, wonderful. We bought the Michigan State Park Pass which was around $30/year. A lot of neat things are within their park system not to mention a lot of the waterfalls we would like to see so we thought it was money well spent.

The waterfall hunting was fun! They almost always included an adventure to find them and that adventure usually meant stairs. LOTS of stairs, it was good for me! But I have to admit I didn't always embrace it but I was always glad I went. And as I indicated I was NEVER overjoyed in the bugs we had to endure. UGH, mosquitoes were often plentiful and I was pretty darn happy to have that silly pullover netting thing I thought was such a waste of money! LOL best clearance $4 MiRV has found this year IMO!

The highlight I think was dinner at the Harbor Haus in Copper Harbor. The view was so peaceful, it wasn't too busy and the food was above average. I had bacon wrapped whitefish with mushroom risotto and steamed veggies along with a very yummy classic German garden salad. But the view, I did mention the view, right? Well, it was the real winner no doubt about it. After being satiated like Kings we motored on to see another falls and couple of lighthouses before turning in for the night. We actually found ourselves in the quiet of the lighthouse parking lot and thought let's just stay here, so we did!  The sunset that night provided another picturesque moment that could not adequately be captured.

As we made our to Sault Saint Marie we decided to do our first Casino stay. The Kewadin have campgrounds at their casinos, some with amenities. This one was tops...$20/night which is high end for us but the perks made up the difference. Showers, yeah, and so clean, FREE laundry, which is was time to do ours so that was really a benny we liked, plus wifi and access to the hotel pool and sauna. MiRV really enjoyed that! We lived large for 2 days! It was a great town for biking, too and we did all over, that was really nice! The Soo Locks were quite an adventure as well! We took the cruise and had a great time; met some neat folks, too. Those freighters that go through the locks are B-I-G! And watching the water level drop some 30 feet was like WOW? On our Soo Locks cruise we went through the locks. Being on the boat while the water dropped was even more WOW! We went through the American side first and then came back around the Canadian side. No comparison there the Americans have it going on and there are plans to redo two of the non operating locks to make then bigger and operational again.The size of ships that go through is amazing. The COE had a nice park and visitor center along with a viewing platform that gave you a great view all for FREE. Love the free!

Next stop was Mackinac Island. Hmmmm, while overall it was a fun day, I would say not gonna be on my list to ever go again. In fact after we arrived and there were hundreds of people on the main street I was honestly thinking we had really messed up on this adventure especially when you factor in cost. You ride a ferry out to the island and back to the tune of $20 or so bucks a person (w/MilDiscount). We took our bikes so add in another $8 each and you can see we were somewhat heavily invested to not like it. Getting off the ferry we collected our bikes and tried to make our way down the main drag. There were hundreds, I mean hundreds of folks who I had no intention of becoming BFFs with but felt like we might since it was wall to wall people, strollers, bikes, horses. The Island is vehicle free, so you get around via bikes, horse drawn carriage, horse drawn taxi or your own two feet. Hence the reason we brought our bikes. Of course it was way touristy in this area which also bummed me out; however, the farther away we got from the ferry docks the better things were.

We biked the perimeter of the island. Yep, all 8.2 miles worth. I even got the T-shirt, so did MiRV even though they are mailing his since they were out of the color he wanted in his size! Overall, it did end up being a really fun day. We even ended up enjoying the main drag much later in the day when most of the other tourists had made their way back to the mainland. We even found fudge that the Daughter could eat! Neat since treats are few and far between with her limited diet due to Trigger's little intolerance's. And my advice on the caramel corn, skip it, it's just way too sweet! However, the fudge, well everyone says it's awesome, we opted out except for what we got for the Daughter so no firsthand tasting to report but lots of folks were toting it back.

Let me take a moment to mention the foliage and blooms...Lilacs, everywhere, I mean EVERYWHERE and their scent just permeates the air, it's not in a bad way like walking into the Bath & Body Works store. No, not like that at all, it's just a light hint of lilac fragrance everywhere you go. In addition to the abundance of lilacs, there are lupines here, too. Which I did not know, but they are and we have seen quite a bit of it, not like in Maine but it's still around. Then there are the ferns, yes, ferns, all over. There are tall ones, short ones and everything in between and they are so green as are the trees. All sorts of greens, yellow green, green-green, deep green, light green. I can see why people return here in the fall the changing leaves has to be super incredible. The entire state has been lush and green with many, many gorgeous blooms of all varieties!

So, Michigan's UP is definitely up there on my list of favorite places, I have loved it. We have really enjoyed so much of the beauty of this area. The Pictured Rocks provided views of the waters of Lake Superior that would make you think you are in the Caribbean; yes, the water was that beautiful. The turquoise and deep blues along with the greens surprised us. The shore while certainly not oceany in the Pacific or Atlantic kind of way was also not like any other lake shore I have ever experienced. But be advised the water is c-o-l-d, oh yes, very cold indeed, MiRV said so.

As we say goodbye to Michigan, we will say hello again to Wisconsin as we make our way back towards home...Door County will be the next stopover for us. It's an area I have wanted to explore for some time so I am excited to be able to finally go. We will also pass through Green Bay, go Pack!

Thursday Thoughts - Unknown

Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Thursday Thoughts - Unknown

Sometimes you just have to accept the fact that certain things can never go back to how they once were. It's goes on.

Don't know who said it, couldn't find any contributing author but I thought it spoke volumes.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Going North...Oh Canada!

We are on now on our way celebrating our BIG 3-0. We had planned for 30 days of adventures for this little milestone; however, we got off to a bumpy start with MiRV needing an emergency root canal. This created some backtracking miles, NOT to be confused with backpacking miles...but once we got going it's been pretty smooth sailing so far... first destination for this leg, NORTH DAKOTA! Pizza dinner with friends was our first night! What a treat.

While in North Dakota, dontcha know, we headed on over to Minnesota to make the trek to the Northwest Angle.You go into Canada and then back into the USA in Minnesota to get there. It's the northern most point in the lower 48. Some guy messed up with the mapping way back when so it's somewhat of an anomaly. Since we have been to the southern most and eastern most we thought we would go on to the northern most! Of course now we will be trying to get the western most so we will have them all. Quirky little things we like to do. We also stopped in at the geographical center of the lower 48 last year in SD.

Since it was a trip through what some would say the backwoods we opted for a rental car to make this little jaunt. Quite easy to secure and very affordable. Less than $70 bucks out the door, unlimited miles (this was crucial). We had the car roughly 12 hours. We covered A LOT of ground. In and out of Canada without issues, thankgoodness, if you know our track record with border crossings this was a welcome event!
Checking in with the US when we went back into MN. Repeat the same drill when you leave MN only you check in with Canada.

We started in Grand Forks, ND  made it over to the angle and then came back down through Winnipeg. Neat city, we had dinner in "the Forks" area. Which happened to be packed with a colorful LGBT celebration. Whatever, we still strolled the area and enjoyed the food trucks. TIP-get some Canadian money otherwise you WILL be ripped off spend way more then you should! So after we paid a bit too much for dinner as the lady did say they take cards before we ordered-yes, debit cards. Which we did not want to use, I wanted to use our credit card as there is no foreign transaction fees with that and I wasn't certain on our debit card since I had no intention of using it. So we ended up paying US dollars and we paid entirely TOO much. But, hey, it was some AWESOME fresh walleye and poutine!

It was another coolio thing to be in the CENTRE of Canada, even cooler was stopping at a Tim Horton's. I love Tim Horton coffee It was quite a welcome treat after MiRV just sorta sprung the whole we could drive on over and hit Winnipeg on our way back...suuuure! Tim Horton's made it all good :) It was also an opportunity to use wifi since we had put our phones in airplane mode to deter any Canadian roaming fees, no, no, no, we most definitely didn't want that! Too much $$$$! We are on a budget you know!

After breakfast and church this morning with our dear friends we are now on our way to the UP! We hope to hang out, enjoy the Yooper way for a few weeks and take in their amazing waterfalls as well as some lighthouses along the way.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Thursday Thoughts - Nordeman

Time brings change. Change takes time. Nichole Nordeman

Believe it or not we went to church with Nichole in the 90's before she went off to Nashville. She is a neat person. We also enjoyed her playing the piano. She was awesome, still is from what I can tell. Love to hear her music on the radio, too!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Mile Marker Thirty as in 3 - 0!

Another milestone...

 St Mark's Lighthouse - Florida...March 2015

MiRV and I started our journey over thirty years ago...we met in 1982. We weren't even friends. In 1983 that changed, in 1984 we were engaged and in 1986 married. And as they say the rest is history.  So here we are and it's 30 years later since that day. Can you say W-O-W?

I won't say I didn't think this day would come but really you don't give much thought to these milestones when you are saying "I do". Of course, I firmly believe in the "until death do us part" part. And certainly we have had our ups and downs, happiness and sadness, rewards and disappointments, we have had to work through issues, we still work hard at our marriage...every day. It is ongoing; it is a choice.  Marriage is not maintenance free, there is definitely upkeep, everyday really. If you do not keep up your marriage, I can promise you it will get away from you and there could be serious suffering.

I will be the first to tell you we are not always living the dream (GASP) or the happily ever after that you might think. Some would say that we tend to present that image. I would argue that you see what you choose to see. I also think we make a conscious choice to NOT air our dirty laundry so to speak. Have we discussed, in limited talk, our marriage with others? Sure, but I think we wisely guard our words. We were given good advice early on that spewing words of anger or disappointment to others is not something you should do with others...unless of course you rented their ears (professional counseling). Therefore, there are very, VERY few people you can or should confide in who will be able to let go of what you say when things have righted in your world. That person who you shared your moment of anger with just doesn't forget what you told them and sometimes there can be tension in the aftermath. It's just not a good idea to abundantly "share" about the your marital life so be careful who you chat with when you are spun up. For certain there might be a very good friend who can handle it but I still would be cautious and hesitant to recommend it.

 MiRVs first look at our daughter - OKC...March 1991

Our greatest joy and challenge has been the birth and rearing of the Daughter. She holds our heart; she is amazing. She has blessed us with another incredible chapter in our lives as she became a mother earlier this year and gave us a granddaughter. This my friends is beyond words...we have never loved so deeply. We are in love with her and relish being BeBe and LaLa. There are just not enough words for our newest love. What an indescribable joy we are experiencing...

 Our first look at our granddaughter - NE...March 2016

It is good that our lives our enriched with additions. We are thrilled to have so many family and friends who play such a crucial role in our lives. We know it is much better living life with others and we have a wonderful groups of "others" who love and inspire us, who hold us accountable, who encourage and love on us. We are blessed no doubt. We pray that our daughter continues to grow roots in her community and finds those others to do and enjoy life with to team up with to make memories to get through the good, the bad and the ugly.

This child...

The other crucial KEY factor in reaching this mark, I believe, is our faith. I won't even be so bold as to say our "strong" faith because there were (still are) days we felt our faith waiver. We have had our moments of crisis (still do). However, if we would not have had what I call a solid foundation and relationship with Jesus I feel we could have been in trouble. He has sustained and encouraged us in hard times, sad times. He is faithful, even when we are not. We are Christ followers and know without a doubt this is an integral part of any part of our successful marriage. I would not even want to speculate where we would be without Jesus.  I am thrilled to have done life with MiRV these last 30 years and look forward to many more years together. Life is good, not easy, not perfect, not without struggles but it IS good!
Union Covered Bridge - Missouri back road...May 2016