How time flies!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

First, thank you EVERYONE for all your good wishes. We appreciate them and promise to post some pics of the ceremony.

Now to backtrack a little, when we last left you we were leaving Dallas area and heading to MD with Big Red in tow behind Freddie. The weather got progressively worse with the last two days being solid rain. UGH! We had one little defugalty with towing the bike and had to pickup a utility trailer for the rest of the trip (further details from Stu pending the dealer's response).

We stopped at Shenandoah Harley (VA), where the conversion was originally done, and left Big Red for work (a long laundry list of things, not the least of which is the installation of an EZ-Clutch so I can drive). So, we are bikeless for about 6 weeks...EEEEK!!!

We arrived here in Maryland late Thursday afternoon, too late to pick up the stored Jayco so we spent the night at Stu's sister-in-law's house (thank you Carol!!!). We all went to dinner with the Thursday night dinner crowd, getting hugs, good conversation & food.

Friday morning we started running errands, the first of which was to pick up a new mattress (no more "Counting Sheep"). We had planned on getting one for KaZy anyway and since the one in the Jayco wasn't the most comfortable, we stopped at Sam's Club and picked up a great new mattress (the utility trailer came in handy) as well as some needed household stuff for the empty Jayco.

We picked up the Jayco, title and immediately headed to Western Auto for 2 new batteries. Since these were the originals (2003), they didn't owe us anything. LOL! Several hundred dollars later we took the rig to Stu's stepdaughter's and got it parked & hooked up. Now on to Kmart & the Dollar Store followed by grocery shopping. We're making do with minimal things...$1 for 3 forks, paper plates, 2 coffee mugs, etc. Some things will make the move to KaZy (two WONDERFUL new sheet sets).

It continued to rain off & on for the next few days while we caught up with family. Saturday we had dinner at Stu's daughter's, Heather, and enjoyed seeing Olivia & Jesse (the grandbabies) as well as the wedding daughter, Melissa. If this link works you can see some pics taken with our iPhones. Some of Heather's friends joined us for a great dinner.

Sunday was a veg day for me....Stu continued to bust his butt getting our RV dish working and some other chores. Monday we headed out to find a 30 gallon propane tank, one of the two in the Jayco had been stolen at some time. We ran a bunch of other errands including a WAY overdue haircut for me, getting watch batteries installed which led to our ordering our wedding bands. This link takes you to a similar one, ours will be a little wider. We wanted something Celtic and yet airy and open.

Today is tuxedo fitting day as well as dropping off our taxes and picking up hopefully the last item we forgot....a lighter for the stove. LOL! Tomorrow we have someone coming to look at the Jayco (yes, we would sell it out from under ourselves...LOL!) and will continue with wedding preparations. Not sure if I will get to blog until after Melissa & Mike's wedding but will try!

Thanks again for all the great thoughts & happy wishes!

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna & Stu

Still truckin' down the road!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Another short blog (I know, I should do more like these....LOL!). We had a very wet day on the road, getting progressively worse till we finally stopped for the night in Roanoke, VA. We were about 150 miles short of our target due to some 'issues' yesterday morning. Not going to expound on it...over and done with. Instead, I will pass along some good news....Stu and I are officially engaged. Yup, April is now a three wedding month for us.

First is his youngest daughter who gets married at April 4th, next is his best friend who gets married on April 11th. He and his wife will be going on vacation to Cabo with us on April 22nd and we decided that would be a great place for us to tie the knot! We both lost our spouses of 20 years so we both appreciate that life is too short (for BS, Stu would say). We're living life and will continue to kick it's butt for as long as we can. LOL!

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna & Stu

East bound and down.....

Monday, March 23, 2009

Thanks to Jerry Reed.... Well, we packed & loaded up the truck yesterday, put the bike into the garage and early this morning we took KaZy back to the dealer. Then Big Red got loaded into The Undertaker and we hit the road by 11:30. Here are some pics taken just before our shakedown run with the Undertaker. The only change was moving the side straps from the handlebars down lower.

We ended the day in Forrest City, AR about 8pm. Long day for us...we still have 900 miles but we'll take our time. We plan to arrive in Stevensville, MD on Thursday morning. Once there we'll pick up Stu's Jayco and get setup to live in it for the next 4+ weeks.

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna & Stu

Visiting Paris...TX, that is.... and more Jell-O

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Yesterday we spent the afternoon riding to Paris, TX to check out the Harley dealer and the town's famous Eiffel Tower replica. The story goes that it was built to be the highest replica in the US. Then Paris, TN built one that was slightly taller so TX put a huge red cowboy hat on theirs. Unique to say the least!

We got the news late yesterday that the new axle for KaZy won't be shipped until the 24th, at the earliest. That means we needed to make a decision on heading to MD for Melissa's wedding (Stu's youngest daughter) and the final return to get the rig.

We have ordered an "Undertaker" to tow Big Red back to MD and we'll head out on Monday after dropping KaZy back at McClain's RV (guess we empty out the frig/freezer again...sigh). We should be back in MD by Thursday....Friday at the latest. This gives us a week to enjoy family before the business of the wedding. We'll then house-sit for a week while the kids honeymoon. The following Saturday is another wedding, good friends Duane & Kathi. Oh, we'll be living in the Jayco - Stu's old 5th wheel which has been for sale in MD since he bought KaZy - while we are in MD.

After that we have about 10 days before we fly to Cabo with Duane & Kathi. That should be a geat week for all of us. None of us have ever been and there is lots to do (or not, depending on your energy level).

When we get back we'll head out to Colorado Springs, towing the Jayco and leaving Big Red for much needed service work. In Colorado Springs we'll get my RV out of storage, clean the last items out of it and head to Houston with both RV's, where we'll put them on consignment at PPL Motorhomes. We know the market is slow but better they be in a year round selling environment. We'll then drive Freddie back to Dallas to pick up KaZy and head back to MD to pick up Big Red.

Then we'll head to TN for whatever time is left of May and Nashville for Fan Fair (CMA Music Fest) in early June.

Phew! Are you tired just reading that? I am.....LOL!

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna & Stu

Frontiers of Flight Museum- Dallas TX

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

While we're stuck in the Dallas area we thought we'd do a little sightseeing. The weather was raining and cold last week, not good for motorcycle riding. We had previously gone to the Audie Murphy/American Cotton Museum so on Saturday we took Freddie and headed into Dallas to the Frontiers of Flight Museum.

Note to self....don't do museums on Saturdays....LOL! Like many museums of today, this one had a great educational play area for kids AND they allowed parents to book areas for birthday parties. At last count there were five while we were there. There was something for all ages, playground type items for the younger and partial plane to get up into and explore. What a blast (and some of it was interesting to us older folk, too.)

The museum was divided into several areas on two levels. It started with early flight (The Wright Brothers), moved through hot air balloons and blimps, on into early war planes, continued through the wars and up into space. The upper level was still under development with sections for local commercial airlines as well as historical uses of local Love Airfield.

I took way too many photos and Stu grabbed a couple on his iPhone, particularly of a WWII vet who was speaking. He had a funny story to tell but I'll let Stu post that... Here are some of the photos, the rest are on SmugMug.

There was one downside to the experience....there was a charity auction being held there that night and they were setting everything up while we were touring the exhibits. Not only was it noisy, which interfered with listening to the various audio exhibits, but exhibits were semi-obstructed by signs - tables - chairs - auction displays AND the actual exhibits were moved out of their original positions. At times this made it difficult to understand what you were seeing. At other times it totally destroyed the impact of the exhibit.

That said, both Stu and I entered feedback on their website. We both got back letters of apology, offering us tickets to revisit the exhibit. Class act! Regardless, we felt it worth the visit...we spent close to three hours there and if not for the disruption, would probably have spent even longer!

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna & Stu

July in Butte Montana

Monday, March 16, 2009

Got plans for early July? Going to be in the western half of the US? Looking for a unique and FREE experience? Love music of all types? Well then, we highly recommend the 71st National Folk Festival in Butte, MT. This is the second year in Butte and we were fortunate enough to make the first.

We won't make it this year but have it on our calendar for 2010 (the final year in Butte - they contract for three years in one location). Watching the video on the home page brought back so many happy memories. Our only regret was that we didn't get to attend more of the shows, next year we'll attend as many as possible AND spend more time in the area. Lots to see and do...we love Montana.

They close downtown Butte for the event, the stages are far enough apart that the sound rarely bleeds over from one to another, the wide variety has something for everyone and I promise you will find something new that you never thought you'd like. Ours was the band Le Vent du Nord (which is the closing music in the video). They ROCK...and we never understood a word they sang.

This is also a family event....bring the kids/grandkids and feel free to get up and dance as the music moves you. It's good for the soul....

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna & Stu

Rant mode ON!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I am in shock....this is the kind of stuff that happens to strangers, not to personal friends. Greed is going to be the downfall of our country. Wondering what I'm talking about? Read Buyers Beware! and prepare yourself. I have already written my friends offering any help but I know I'm powerless to do much more than offer them shelter in my old rig until things can be sorted out. I hope the State Attorney General's office goes after the dealer, this is outright fraud. No telling how long he had been preparing for many others have a payment on a rig that they can't get a title for. Credit will be ruined, continuing the downward spiral.

I'm so angry right now and feel so helpless, but wanted to pass the word along. If anyone has any suggestions or help to offer, please contact me personally and I will pass it along to my friends. In the meantime, be very very careful out there! I don't know if there are any escrow companies out there that might be used to help prevent this from happening, if not there should be...we are so at risk!

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna & Stu

Protecting our little ones....

Friday, March 13, 2009

I read a blog today that I felt was important enough to pass along - Ever lost a kid? If you ever venture out with little ones you know how quickly they can disappear. In this day and age, more than ever, that is a terrifying experience.

The tips in this blog may help prevent some heartache. You don't have to use the commercial product, come up with your own if necessary, but definitely use the idea AND take the digital photo. Our little ones are too precious to risk...

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna & Stu

Audie Murphy/American Cotton Museum

Thursday, March 12, 2009

We woke to another gray day but one with less wind and rain. We didn't want to sit inside all day so we headed out to Greenville, TX and the Audie Murphy/American Cotton Museum. With senior ticket prices at $3 it was truly a bargain and a nice way to spend a couple of hours.

The lady at the counter was very helpful and informative. She set up a short movie for us and after watching that we wandered through the displays. That said, this museum is much more than a tribute to native son Audie Murphy (who was much more than just a war hero & movie star) and a chronicle of the cotton industry in the area. Several other favored townsfolk are featured including the first woman high school principle and several professional athletes as well as other war heroes. Toss in embroidery samplers dating back to the 1700-1800's and there is something for everyone.

Here are a few pics we snapped with our iPhones (so forgive the poor quality).

From there we headed 25 or so miles back west towards Dallas where there was a nice Bass Pro Shop (Garland). We had noticed a restaurant and since it was well past lunch time, sounded like a good stop. We both love visiting these stores, lots to look at and we always find a little something to buy. I picked up the perfect floppy hat for Cancun/Cabo trips (finally) as well as a pair of boot socks for my riding boots.

Stu had a Grouper Reuben sandwich and pronounced it delicious. I had blackened salmon linguini and it was great as well. Here are a few pics of the restaurant, fish tank and inside the store.

We recommend taking time for both stops if you are in the area. A little history balanced with a little recreation.

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna & Stu

Our stay in Flint, TX

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

What a whirlwind the last week has been. When we last left you we had dropped off the RV at McClain's RV. We headed off the the timeshare condo for the week, hoping for some good news by Friday.

Our condo at Silverleaf Resort's The Villages was very nice. Two bedrooms, two kitchen setups, large living & dining area, washer/dryer and a great porch where we could enjoy our morning coffee and evening wine. We did snap a couple sunset shots but for the most part it was obstructed by the trees. One morning we discovered a huge moth out by the can see it next to Stu's boot as well as the close-up. Later he was gone so I was glad we used the iPhone to grab a couple shots.

We spent our week doing as much riding as we could....we both really liked the local area and enjoyed visiting the surrounding towns. We ate three times in Frankston, at two different restaurants. We visited Tyler more than we wanted, the traffic & congestion turned us off as well as a poor customer service experience at the Harley dealer. Longview had a totally different feel to it, the Harley dealer a completely different experience. Kilgore was, well, Kilgore....if you've visited one energy town you know what I mean.

Then we discovered Edom...a small town with attitude! We had pie & ice cream at The Shed Cafe and then took a quick tour around downtown. Loved the atmosphere and the local gathering spot for afternoon chatter. You can see all the photos at SmugMug.

The biggest outing of the week was on Saturday when we rode over to Rusk to take the Texas State Railroad steam engine train ride to Palestine and back. What a treat! I loved hearing the whistle...managed to catch a little of it on one of the short videos I snapped. On another I tried to capture the car in front of us bobbling around and another was to just get the sounds of the train ride. You can see them all at SmugMug, I won't post them here.

We took a TON of photos, all on another album at SmugMug but here are a few to whet your appetite.

So, Friday came and went and there was no update on when our new axle would arrive. For whatever reason we thought we'd move into an extended stay hotel in the Dallas area, getting us closer to where the RV was situated. This meant packing up everything again and moving, including all the refrigerator and freezer stuff. It ALSO meant figuring out how to move two vehicles and the BRAT. We ended up renting a trailer for Big Red and loading BRAT onto the back of Freddie. Phew!

We got everything packed and loaded into Freddie and headed to Dallas where we unloaded and unpacked everything into the extended stay room. It was bare minimum but we thought it would suffice...that is until about 1am when an infestation changed our minds. We loaded up all our clothes and personal items and headed out to a Best Western for the night. By morning we were dragging and had decided to go pickup up KaZy and move to a campground till the parts arrived. This meant going back to the extended stay hotel, getting a refund, packing up & loading all the food again. Then driving to McClain's to pick up KaZy and get set up at the KOA in Caddo Mills, just down the road. Once again, we unloaded Freddie and unpacked everything back into KaZy.

Way too much activity on Sunday and Monday....WAAAAYYY too much. Tuesday we went to breakfast at the Cracker Barrel a few exits away, picked up some groceries at Wal-Mart (the last move I found myself tossing everything that would be dangerous after 6 hours out of the frig, minimum). We drove around town and then came back and vegged.

Now the rain and cold have set in...looks like we won't be doing much except relaxing. One day we might head into Dallas, if the rain slows a bit. If not, then maybe next week...but we are REALLY hoping the axle arrives then.

So, blogs will be infrequent for a bit....but I'm still reading yours!

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna & Stu

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