Saturday, December 26, 2015

Pictures from East Coast Trip

Finally got the photos organized and captions on them:

https://picasaweb.google.com/117452363263691970425/TripToTheEastCoastFall2015?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCOunsqKb-fG4-QE&feat=directlink

Now I need to work on the last trip to the West Coast!

Mary

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

East Coast Trip 2015, Part 2: ME to FL


It was a little difficult to leave the coast of Maine. We were enjoying the scenery and cool weather. Besides, the trees were not in full color yet! But we had more places to visit and people to see. We had decided long ago that we wanted to revisit Lancaster County where we had lived for 5 months in 2007-2008. So we headed south down I-95, except when trying to avoid the cities, which we learned is nearly impossible.











But there were some picturesque coastal towns along the way.










I surprised myself by being able to navigate the city of Lancaster after all those years. This is Soldiers and Sailors Monument (1874) in Penn Square, downtown Lancaster.







Lancaster Central Market was started on this location in 1730. It's like a farmers market three days per week all year. You can find just about anything here.








And then there is the Bird in Hand Farmers Market with mostly Amish produce, meats, flowers and handcrafts.


And north of Lancaster in the little town or Lititz, where I worked, is our favorite chocolate manufacturer, Wilbur. Their products are more like European chocolates than good ole American Hersheys. We had to buy some Wilbur Buds (the size of Hershey Kisses but different shape).

After leaving Lancaster we skirted Baltimore and DC to continue south. It was a long day but we made it to southern NC.







One of the highlights of the whole trip was visiting My uncle Lyman who is 98 and going strong. He lives in a senior apartment in Hilton Head, SC, and my cousin, Nona, works at the same complex.


After lunch with Uncle Lyman we saw our only "wild" alligator sunning next to a pond in the senior complex.


Our RV park/marina in Hilton Head was very luxurious and right on the water. Our site was next to one of the 2 pools and we took advantage of it!

Next stop was Savannah. We took a trolley tour and saw many beautiful houses and historical sites. I enjoyed how the old part of the city was laid out to create neighborhoods. And I had read "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" which was mentioned frequently by the tour guide. Also saw the bench where Forrest Gump talked about life and chocolates.



 


Halfway down the Atlantic coast of Florida we found a nice park with beautiful sunrises.











We visited several beaches from Cocoa Beach to North Beach.






We crossed to the gulf side to attend Living the RV Dream Rally south of Tampa. We learned a lot from more experienced RVers and saw some new electronics to make our lives easier.










Visited Siesta Beach which was voted the #1 beach in the US. It certainly was wide with very fine white sand.






To be continued...

Monday, November 2, 2015

East Coast Trip 2015, Part 1: WI to ME

Seems like I didn't have much to blog about in late summer and then we hit the road and I couldn't find time to blog! Now with just a week left of this East Coast trip I will try to catch up.


We left Monroe, WI, September 22 and hauled our little house to South Bend, IN, where my sister Barbara lives. We had a good visit that evening and then we were off again the next morning for Erie, PA.



In that far NW corner of NY we found vineyards, wineries and lots of pumpkins. It seems like there was a bumper crop of pumpkins wherever we went.




Next stop was Watkins Glen, NY, where we met up with friends we made in Fairbanks, Susan and Les, and a friend from Ketchikan, Alan. Turns out they have friends in common. Lab tech small world story! We were presented with Finger Lakes wines and fresh vegetables from Alan's garden.



We made it to Springfield, MA, the next day to visit Alex and Laura. We set up camp for 10 days at Sunset Farms Campground in nearby Monson, MA. I was excited to find 2 apple trees in the campground! No one else was interested in picking up the nice apples covering the ground so I made apple sauce, apple butter and apple crisp while we were there.






We drove to Worchester, MA, and rode the train in to Boston for a day and had our first of many seafood meals. It was raining so we didn't do much sightseeing, although the Barking Crab, where we ate, is right on Boston Harbor.








We drove up to southern Vermont looking for fall color but it was still early. I just wanted to make sure to knock that state off my list as #48!









We attended The Big E (Eastern States Exposition) in Springfield with Alex and Laura where they decided they needed foot massages after hours of walking around. Each of the New England states has a building that showcases the highlights from their state and was a great opportunity for me to pick up tourist literature and maps. There was also a horse show which I enjoyed.





October 4th we headed to New Hampshire, my 49th state and we did see some progress in the turning of the leaves in the northern part of the state. We had frost the 2 nights we spent in the White Mountains.



Mt. Washington







We intended to drive up Mt. Washington the next day but missed the turn so circled it instead!










Ah, Maine! State #50 for me and home of Rollie's favorite food. First thing after arriving at Bar Harbor Campground we went to the closest lobster "pound", picked out our victims and ate the local specialty.








The campground had a view of the water and beautiful sunrises and sunsets. We were just outside Acadia Narional Park and the town of Bar Harbor. The weather was cool and sunny, just the way we like it!








Acadia was beautiful and rugged. We hiked on a tame looking trail which turned out to be a rocky climb to get back to where we parked. We would like to suggest that the trails be graded on the signs!








Bar Harbor is almost surrounded by Acadia and is smaller than I had imagined. It is very "touristy" and a cruise ship port. Reminded us of Ketchikan, AK. The ships did not dock; the passengers were ferried from the ship to land in smaller boats, which was interesting to watch.




To be continued...

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Monroe, Wisconsin

Looks like we will be experiencing 3 seasons in the quaint town of Monroe at the Green County Fairgrounds. The fairgrounds were not open to RVs when we arrived in WI in early April for me to start work at the Monroe Clinic Hospital Laboratory. We spent a month at the Lena KOA just across the line in IL. Moving to Monroe allowed me to walk to work so we were able to share one vehicle while working opposite each other. I worked weekdays and Rollie worked evenings and weekends when softball/baseball season started in May.

Monroe is the county seat and has a beautiful courthouse in the middle of the town square.

Green County courthouse on farmers market day

It was settled by Swiss and German immigrants and still is considered by some to be the cheese capital of the USA. The National Historical Cheesemaking Center is housed in the Monroe visitor center. There are many award-winning master cheesemakers in town. The only place still making Limburger cheese is just outside of town. Swiss Colony started in a garage in Monroe, is still based here and is the town's largest employer.   http://www.nationalhistoriccheesemakingcenter.org/

Monroe Clinic, which includes the hospital where I work, has clinics in many small towns in the area. The main clinic is attached to the hospital and our lab serves all these facilities.

Monroe Clinic Hospital

Monroe Clinic
The fairground is only 9 blocks from the hospital and 8 blocks from the square. There are 2 resident RVs besides ours staying the whole summer. The other 2 couples have been RVing for many years, are retired and spend winters in AZ. They have been very helpful for us newbies!
Our little RV enclave 
The original livestock building

The fairground office and exhibit hall

The grandstand. There used to be a horse track on the other side but now the rodeo, tractor pull
and musical events are held there

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Life in the Fairground

We have been living at the Green County Fairground in Monroe, WI, since early May and it has been very enjoyable. Even though it has been a wet spring, I have been able to walk to work and home almost every day. It has not been difficult sharing one vehicle even though both of us are working because we work pretty much opposite of each other. I can also walk to the town square where farmer's markets are held every Wednesday afternoon and Saturday morning.

The fairground has provided entertainment in the form of animal/livestock events (horse shows, dog show, dog obedience training sessions, dairy cattle show) and one big flea market so far. There is a local amateur football team who practice and play on a field in what used to be the infield of the horse track. But the biggest event is yet to come - The Green County Fair, July 22-26! I will be sure to take pictures!

www.greencountyfair.net

Mary

Tuesday, June 2, 2015


It was a long trip from Tucson to Monroe, WI, in less than 5 days but we have very good travelers in the back seat. The humans need potty stops and leg stretchers more often than the canines! It is amazing how we notice and appreciate the green grass and the leafy trees and the beautiful flowers and the rolling hills now that we have experienced the desert. Travel opens your eyes! The ruggedness of the Southwest was also beautiful and we enjoyed a warm winter for the first time in our lives. We will return to there!

We are both working now, I in the hospital lab and Rollie umpiring for the City of Monroe plus weekend tournaments around southern Wisconsin. Our first month we were living at the KOA in Lena, IL, just across the line because it was the only RV park open in April. First of May we moved to the Green County Fairgrounds right in Monroe where they have a few full hookups and lots more electric only. There are two other couples in their RVs with us for the summer. They have been here every summer for many years and are very helpful  to us newbies. I can walk to work and downtown to the square so that makes it much easier to share one vehicle. It will get interesting during the county fair but the other RVers say it's not a problem.

http://www.greencountyfair.net/site/camping/

We will probably be here until September when we plan to head east. Monroe is an interesting place to visit with a brewery with a great tour and tasting (Minhas Brewery) and lots of cheese sampling and history. Swiss Colony is here as well as many other cheese factories due to the influence of the Swiss immigrant dairy farmers and cheese makers. Come visit! bring your RV or tent! New Glarus is just up the road which is will make you think you are in Switzerland.

http://www.greencounty.org/

Mary




Wednesday, April 8, 2015

What season is it, anyway?

You know that feeling when you take a little nap and are confused as to what time it is when you wake up? I'm feeling that way about the seasons. It really seems like fall this week. We had a little winter in Kingman, AZ, with 5 inches of snow New Years Eve that hung around for 5 days. after that it warmed slowly and our last week in AZ (last week of March) it was definitely summer with highs in the 90s. The cool rainy weather we are experiencing now in southern Wisconsin really seems like fall. But I saw a crocus and the tulips are coming up so I'm sure I will get over it, especially as the days get longer. But I am not sure I will make a good snowbird!

When I started working at Kingman Regional Medical Center, Kingman, AZ, December 1, I totally forgot about blogging. With some structure to my schedule for 3 months I got back into an exercise routine, did more cooking and bakiing and spent too much time on FaceBook. Besides, we didn't travel much so I didn't have anything exciting to blog about, or pictures to post. We went to Parker, AZ, on the Colorado River for Christmas because I had 3 days off. It was in the 60s! We also made a quick trip to Tucson for Rollie to umpire a softball tournament that got rained out. Otherwise we just resided at the Kingman KOA and planned our next adventure. When I finished my assignment we took off for San Diego and worked our way slowly up the west coast to southern Oregon. Three weeks wasn't really enough time! We saw the sights, sampled lots of wine, walked several beaches, met up with old friends and visited several national parks. Then we headed to Tucson one more time to meet up with Alex, Laura, Michael, Kendall and Josh (Alex and Michael are my sons, Laura and Kendall are their girlfriends and Josh is a friend). That's when summer arrived and we were happy that I had arranged to come to Monroe, WI, to work for 3 months. We are not big fans of hot weather.

I'll see how many pictures I can add...

Koalas at the San Diego Zoo

Sonny on the beach

Ripe strawberries

Moro Bay

Moro Bay

Moro Bay

Moro Bay

Obviously Monterrey

Southern CA vinyard

San Francisco, on the ferry from Vallejo

Chinatown


Alcatraz

Redwoods

Near Eureka


Elk Country RV Park

Northern CA beach

Logging country

El Capitan, Yosemite

Half Dome, Yosemite

Rollie just had to have a fire!

The road we took between Yosemite and Sequoia

The drive up to see the sequoias

This big!

Orange grove just west of Sequoia

Barrel cactus with fruit

The gang in Tucson

Saguaro National Park

Saguaro National Park

Saguaro National Park

Saguaro National Park

Saguaro National Park

Saguaro National Park

White Sands National Monument

Sonny and Mia in the back seat