Summer 2012 Travels travel blog

Yakov Smirnov - "Whot a Country"

Dennis Hill's jeep

Collected for C.A.R.E.

SUNDAY: Woke up Sunday morning feeling much better. I think I dodged the cold bullet. We went over to the Hospitality Room and greeted lots of old friends. This rally is like a family reunion of people you like not the ones you are related to.

The Knights of Columbus are serving meals in Hospitality all week. Today was pulled pork, baked potatoes, green beans and cold slaw. YUM-O!!

At 3 pm we had the Opening Ceremonies. It is always a great time. We got a really good giggle as our friend, Chris Yust, who sells GMAC Insurance at the Rally won the price sponsored by Bancor, another insurance agency.

Then at 7 we went back for more door prizes and then the evening's entertainment, Yakov Smirnov. I think I spelled that right. He was very funny and gave a great performance. It was one of the few times I have been at the Sunday night entertainment as usually I'm too tired from our Sunday duties to stay up that late.

MONDAY: I had Room Host duties at 8:15 this morning so was there by 8. A Room Host makes sure all the equipment works, the room is set up, introduces the speaker and keep everyone on time so the next speaker can set up. We also distribute Feedback forms and speaker handouts and collect the feed back forms. We have an evaluation form to fill out on each lecture.

My first lecture wasn't exactly one that I was interested in – it was on Braking systems. So once he started and I got a count of the room, I read my Kindle in the back of the room. There is Wifi in every room so I was able to surf the net and check my email as well.

My next lecture was at 11:15 on Picasa. This is a photo program that lets you edit photos and organize them. The Geeks on Tour gave this lecture and they are so used to doing them (they run their own rally) that they are a joy to work with. Of course, we ran out of handouts – but that was the only bad thing.

After lunch, I had a space before my next lecture so hit the Market Place. Since we had been Asst. Market and Infomercial Hosts the last 2 years this was again old home week. It was so good to see some of the people we hadn't seen since Gillette.

My 3 pm speaker was late and I had a bit a heart failure about that. But he was working his booth alone and couldn't get loose from customers. Then he got lost finding the building. I should say here that we are at a fairgrounds and the building are all over the place. But he was good. He recruits for Amazon for their distribution centers for the Christmas shipping. A lot of Rvers work for them at several centers around the country. Not me – that sounds too much like that “W” word.

We didn't go to the entertainment on Monday night as we are not really fond of tenors. And I was tired. So we went back to the rig after door prizes and called it an early night.

TUESDAY: I only had one lecture today and it wasn't until 3 so I slept in and did some stuff around the MH. Then I went shopping at the Market Place.

I haven't bought a lot of stuff for me, but I really love microfiber. One of my favorite vendors was here and even had some new stuff. So I picked up a dish draining mat that I love, a brown bath mat for the house and a brown microfiber towel for me. Ron like terry cloth towels but I really like the feel of microfiber – and they dry faster. I also picked up a couple of her lipsticks. They are something different but I can't remember the name. Anyway, they are supposed to be good for dry lips. We'll see once we get back to AZ.

My 3 pm lecture was on Brakes again. So not very interesting. But I had a good time reading my book.

We had Happy Hour with Chapter 46 and spent a great couple of hours with them. After that we really weren't hungry so just snacked a bit and went to bed early.

WEDNESDAY: I had two great lectures today, both with the Geeks. The first one was on making banners and collages with Picasa and the second one on using the computer for navigation.

Today we were surprised by our friends, Dennis and Carol Hill. We read his blog each day and all this week they had pictures of Yosemite and talked about where they were. It was all a lie!!! They were traveling 400 and 500 miles a day to come be with us at the Escapade. They hadn't planned to be here this year as their daughter graduated from college last Sunday. But then they heard how much fun we were having and missed the friends so they came to see us. You can see in the picture what was done to their jeep to welcome them.

We went out to dinner with George and Janice, some good friends that we met in 2002 at the Escapade in VanWert, OH. It is so good to catch up on our lives. We only see them once a year – but consider them very good friends.

Then we went back for evening door prizes and the Ham-O-Rama. Ham-O-Rama is Escapees entertaining Escapees. All the talent is by members and this year it was great. Not as many of the goofy skits that we have had (and I have participated in) in the past but some really good talent. The evening seemed to go too fast this time. And we toddled off to bed.

THURSDAY: I didn't have any lectures today. So we hung out in Hospitality and talked to friends. Of course, we also ate.

I should also tell you what Ron was doing this week. He was also a Room Host and had some great lectures. He also got up earlier than I did and went over to the KofC breakfasts. They had made to order omelets and biscuits and gravy for breakfast. (I had breakfast in the rig as that is too much food for me in the morning.) He also picked up some stuff in the market. A sewer connector, a turn off for our shower and an LED light for the stove hood. Really exciting stuff.

Each year we have a donut day for C.A.R.E. our retirement community in Livingston, TX. This year the highest price paid for a donut was $500. The picture shows the coffee and donut crew with the total amount made. $2,085.13.

The closing ceremonies went off as usual and we didn't win any prizes.

We went to the Moose lodge with George and Janice and Art and Caroline and had a great time sitting around and talking. We met Art and Caroline when we were on the Parking Crew at Hutchinson, MN in 2003. We are also all in the Elk BOF together.

We didn't go to the dance as usually the music is too loud – but I hear it wasn't this year. But we knew we had a big day tomorrow so hit the hay.

FRIDAY: Hitch up breakfast. This is where we eat and say good-bye for another year. It is always bitter sweet as we never know who might not be there next year. Last year at hitch up we gave hugs to Bill and Janet. Bill passed away the first week in June and Janet died last Saturday. We had seen them at every Escapade and Fun Days we have attended and they were our neighbors at North Ranch. We will miss them a lot.

At 12:30 we gathered for the VCR workshop. VCR (Volunteer Club Representatives) attend Rallies like we did in IL last week. We help the chapters if they have any problems, encourage the members to volunteer for offices and duties and answer any questions they might have. Today we went over the manuals and handbooks to bring them up to date. We also had to eat – so pizzas were ordered in for our dinner. It was great. We also set up a closed Facebook group so we can keep in touch.

SATURDAY: WHEW!!! a free day. Well, not really. We had two weeks of laundry to do, groceries to get and my Droid wouldn't charge so I had to find a Verizon store.

We lazed around in the morning watching the rigs go out. We heard a big crash and Ron went out. Someone had made a turn too close to a light pole and the tail swing caught the back end of his MH on the pole. He tore the whole end cap off. The guys showed up like worker ants and soon had his toad off, the end cap pushed back in place and straps fastened to hold it on so he could get to a repair shop. In about an hour, he had his toad all hooked up and SLOWLY and CAREFULLY pulled out; So that was enough excitement for the day.

I found the Verizon store next to Wally world so Ron got groceries while I got the Droid fixed. All he did is take the battery out, blow on it and put it back. It now charges. Go figure.

At the laundromat, Debbie was doing her laundry. We trained Debbie and Tom in VCR duties several years ago. They are a fun couple. So the laundry got done.

We came home and hung out the SKP shirts to dry and put the rest of the stuff away. Then we went out for BBQ. It still isn't the place we found here 3 years ago. Don't know where we went – you know how the towns all start to look alike.

Anyway – tomorrow we leave for Kansas. We will be staying a a couple of COE parks to rest up and then head south. We have another rally in Deming, NM on Oct 6.

I will probably post an update as we travel – so check back on Monday, Thursday and next Sunday.

Anyway that is the way our lives have been going. Hope you and yours are well and happy. ENJOY!!

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