Monday, June 27, 2016

#27    Monday-evening Update from LOCKPORT, IL

This morning, Lee, Harlene (my sister) and I went to Dr. Flatt's office in nearby Marseilles. I am his uncle.  Lee and I were in need of our Shingles shot.  Long story, our doctor in CA does not give it due to the requirements on storage.  Our Blue Cross Blue Shield plan only covers it if given in a doctor's office. The doctors who give it in CA require you to be their patient so we would have to sign up with as a new patient and then after the shot - leave and go back to our regular doctor.  The new place wanted lab tests etc before becoming a patient.  We just had our three month blood workup.   I found out that Mack would give it  since he was our doctor before moving and is aware of our medical status..  He is always wanting us to come to his office and town ( Marseilles is an old Illinois river town. So to get the insurance to pay---we drove to Illinois. Going to him was worth the drive from CA    Not only did we get the shot--we were able to visit and explore the town of Marseilles.  An event in itself.  Keep it in mind if you are driving on I-80 just a few minutes west of Joliet, Illinois.

If you are not aware, Shingles is a painful rash that’s caused by the same virus—varicella zoster—that’s responsible for chickenpox. If you had chickenpox as a child, the virus hasn’t completely gone away. It hides dormant in your body and can reemerge many years later as shingles. There are about 1 million cases of shingles each year, according to the CDC, and about half of all occur among people over the age of 60. Older adults are most likely to develop shingles, which is why the shingles vaccine (Zostavax) is recommended for people age 60 and older. According to the CDC, the vaccine can reduce your risk of getting shingles by more than half. Getting vaccinated can also help you avoid painful nerve complications from the disease.   I can remember my grandmother having Shingles and the pain etc. which she had to go through.
Marseilles Medical Building

Harlene and Lee outside
Harlene (mother of Dr. waiting gets no special treatment)

Sign on Door-drugs can be a problem in this area like so many other areas.  To keep someone from breaking into building looking for drugs.

  This area of Illinois, like so many others can have severe weather.. Doctor is pointing out to my sister (his mother) the office's Severe Weather Safe Area so she doesn't worry about his safety or those who work with him in the office.  
Before getting the shot

 Mother is so proud of her son

Doctor giving his aunt some laughs.

Dr. Flatt pointing out to his mother some of the import items he keeps on the wall of his office for reference.

The town where his office is located is an "old river" town with all of things that go along with it.  Below are some photos of the town.

I want to thank Dr. Flatt and his office staff for giving us the shot and allowing us to visit.  It was a pleasure seeing such a hard working staff with smiles.  It also was enjoyable driving around town and seeing a community hard at work to become something.  Don't forget to stop by if you need medical attention on your trip in Illinois.  I know Dr. Flatt and his staff would make you feel better and smile too.

We are planning on leaving Lockport on Tuesday morning and going south in Illinois to my real hometown of McLeansboro.  It is about 300 miles south of us here.  Should arrive in PM. I am not sure when my next blog post will be but please keep watching and you will learn and see other important items of our travels.

Until next time we meet on our journey:.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

#26    Friday-evening Update from LOCKPORT, IL

People ask what do you do in Lockport?   There are many things such as -  an annual event is OLD CANAL DAYS FESTIVAL (occurs in June each year), It took place last weekend so we missed it.  Hearing the words--Canal Days,  bring back memories of the past festivals attended growing up here in town.  My sister and I enjoy remembering the great events and specials that took place here in town when we were kids.  Why does anyone leave-looking back on our younger days. 
Coming up is the Comicopolis, Z.A.P. Movie Premiere and the STEAMPUNK Weekend.   I did ask the mayor once if seniors can get a discount - the answer was NO.  But don't let that stop you from "Cruisin Into Lockport".  You will have to look that one up so you won't miss it.

Lee and I  went to a Memorial Service Thursday evening for a friend and the  husband of a teacher I worked with in the Frankfort Elementary Schools (during 1974-2000).  There we saw so many old friends and teachers who I hired during my years in Frankfort.  We were so sad to hear of his passing but felt so lucky to be in the area to attend.

When we lived in Frankfort and New Lenox (until we moved to Maui in 2000) Lee and I often went to an Italian restaurant called "Enrico's" in Frankfort.  So many memories were made eating their homemade Lasagna and their famous Minestrone soup.  The original owner died and it closed a few years ago.   But just five weeks ago, it open with the same food items and many of the same workers.  Lee and I went after the service on Thursday.  Met the new owner and even got a container of Minestrone soup to bring back to CA.  The food was just as good if not better than we remembered.  The place was full and we even met former students parents who remembered me as we were leaving

Homemade Famous Minestrone Soup and garlic bread. An Enrico's favorite for over 35 years.  It is made from scratch daily in their kitchen.  The bean based soup contains over fifteen fresh vegetables, herbs, and spices, and is made with pure olive oil.  They make over 20 gals. every day.  A must try if you get to Frankfort (approx. 24 miles from Lockport)

The Homemade Lasagna (the only main meal I ever eat at Enricos) is made of layers of pasta topped with their special four cheese filling (a favorite for over 30 years) served with a rich meat sauce and one meatball.

Lee's Enricos standard order item is the Baked Mostaccioli.  This too is an Enrico's Tradition and a must for you if you love cheese.  Their mostaccioli is tossed with parmesan cheese and topped with their rich meat sauce.  Then it's smothered with Mozzarella cheese and baked untill hot and gooey. 

Besides the Baked Mostaccioli---Lee must have a meatball in their sauce.

 As you can tell,  we like the food.  The new owner is trying to follow many of the traditions which were normal at the first Enricos.  It was a pleasure talking to him as he went around speaking to everyone dinning.  A special thank you for the Minestrone soup to take home. 
I don't want to say this is the only food ---no way.  Ever.y item is good we hear.  These are the items I knew well from the original Enricos.  We will be back at for another meal our next trip!  In the area stop by  Enrico's Italian Dining-2535 S. LaGrange Road, Frankfort, IL and tell them someone from CA told you to try.
Today the boys took a good bath getting ready for the big party tomorrow.  The tent is up and tables and chairs have arrived.  I made a quick trip to Cosco with my sister today to get soda and water.  The food is ordered and will be coming from two different places.  Lee and my sister are making salads (family favorites) this PM and evening.
You will need to read the next update to see more food.

Until next time we meet on our journey:

#25   Update from LOCKPORT, IL


The trip from our home in CA to Lockport,  was just a few miles over 2,600.  Almost 600 miles more than taking the southern roads.  We bought 323gals of gas at a cost of $764.19 .  Even using the air and the generator we averaged around 9 miles to the gal.  When you looked at smaller sections of the trip we were getting over 11 miles to the gal.  The mts. and head wind areas really took a toll on the overall mileage. We still did it cheaper than before going the short southern way.   We spent just under $300.00 on the cost for our RV Park stay.  They were overall better and more costly than the southern way.
If I look overall at the parks, they would be ranked as follows:
1. Coachland at Truckee, CA
2. Flying Flags at Solvane, CA
3. Casa de Fruita in CA
4. Kearney RV in Kearney, NE
5. Ironhorse RV Resort in Elko, NV
6. KOA Rock Springs, WY
Number 5 and 6 were gravel and gravel and  bad wifi cause the low marks
What is not great about being in the Midwest are the storms:
We were lucky last night.  The storms were west and south of the Joliet area.  We did some heavy rain but the storm warning were about 30 plus miles west.  Lee is not a storm lover and I think that is why she said this morning she did not sleep well.
My sister and Lee are shopping this afternoon.   The boys and I are working on website. 

Until next time we meet on our journey:

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

#24  Morning Evening Update from LOCKPORT, IL


Yes, we made it to Lockport, Illinois.  The town my sister and I grew up in.  I was about five years old when my parents moved from southern Illinois (McLeansboro) to Lockport.  Keep McLeansboro in your vocabulary because we may visit it on our way back to CA. 
We were here last December for the funeral of Lee's mom.  Let's say since we been driving RV's in the last three years, we have been here many times.  I am sure in the coming week I will spend some time on this great city and the many things one can do while visiting.  Very historical one could say. It is raining this morning, not hard yet so the boys and I went out for their morning walk.  I must say Sir Henry did not enjoy going outside in light rain.  Sir Lancelot just loved it.  They are expecting some heavy rain and storms this morning.  Storms and rain are the reason I decided to drive and drive yesterday.  Another 10 hour driving day, but it was driving for 10 hours.  We only stopped every two hours for the dogs and if needed gas which brings me to this:
As I said before about making many trips here in the last three years---never have had gas prices like this one above from Iowa.  We try to stop at Pilot or Flying J truck stops where using your Good Sam's membership card saves you an additional 3 cents. 
We try to stop near Lockport and fill up before arriving.  Notice the prices?  Yes, higher in Illinois than Iowa, NE, WY and UT but lower than CA!
I have been asked what does Lee and the dogs due on a ten hour day while you are driving?

Henry and Lance take turns (sometimes both) at the pet window looking out.  I love it.  This window allows the dogs to watch what is going on outside.  Our first RV did not have a pet window and these two boys never really saw things outside.  Sir Winston would sit on the table and look out but you needed to keep the curtain open all the time.
As for Lee, when she is riding up front, a lot of time she has the workstation  open.  It has power supply and allows space for the maps and things.  She also works on some of her "crafts" either at the dinning table or in the back area.  We listen to sat. radio most of the time.  I can listen to news or music.  Now with cell phones, Lee can text or read email while we are moving.  We only were without service a few miles in NE and a few places in WY.  We use "Verizon" and overall get great service. 

We have been asked about "dog hair".  Yes, with dogs who have long hair can and does fall off in the RV.  Our RV does not have a built in vac system so  we carry a Dyson pet vac and try to use it each morning before we leave on the road.  The boys love it when I vac them too.  We bought a "pet brush" from Dyson years ago and they love the attachment.  It really does help. 

My next update from Lockport will be tomorrow.  Hopefully today I will be able to work on mileage and pricing etc.  Today, enjoy the family and the heat and humidity from the great state of  Illinois.  Just an added note----my heart is now working again.  Went to publish this and it was not there.  for a few seconds, I thought I lost it all.  I closed out of the site and reopened and "thank heaven" the auto saved it.

Until next time we meet on our journey:

#22  Morning Update from  Kearney. NE


Great  night.  Everyone went to bed about 9pm and slept all night.  Even Sir Henry who either has been hot or cold during the night and would ask for the air to be turned cooler or the heat to be turned warmer.  I love smart dogs don't you.   I don't think I moved during the night.  Up feeling good with the first K-cup down.   Love those machine and I think of my sister every time I make a cup.  That was her gift for this mobile home.
Thanks Ann for the comment about open spaces.  Yes, when driving and seeing our country and the vast land and open spaces we have allows one to think about how lucky we are living in this United States.  We remember the history (those old enough to have been taught the history of our country).  Yesterday we drove past and stopped at a monument for President Lincoln.  It was on I-80/US 30 Lincoln Highway.  The monument was in honor of the first present of the Lincoln Highway association.

Driving you see things like huge cattle ranches and feeding pens here in NE.  The boys are so funny when we drove by those cattle ranches---nose up in the - trying to understand what the smell was. 
I understand that most of us need to travel by air to get from west coast to the east or Midwest, but I am glad Lee, the boys and I have had the many chances to travel by RV .  The northern road we are taking is nearly 600 miles loner than the shortest way to Illinois-but it really is so different than the southern drive.  This has been only our second trip on I80. 
I have not decided the return trip yet.  We planned this way due to all of the storms we have had when we have gone the southern way and nearly been blown away in TX and OK.  I guess we have been lucky due to the heat they are having now too.  I will plan more after checking the weather next week.
Today we will start driving with no plan to stop or finish the trip.  We will see how far we get today.  You will have to check back tonight to find our location or you could sign up for an email update to be sent to your mailbox.  Just look to the right and enter your email and you will never have to go looking for this again because it will appear in your mailbox each time I write it.
Before I end today-I do recommend this Kearney RV park when you travel I80 in NE.

Until next time we meet on our journey:

Monday, June 20, 2016

#21 Evening Update from  Kearney RV Park , Kearney. NE


Ok,  I made it to the planned stop.  10 hours from when we left (one hour central time zone change-one hour due to road construction and about 30 minutes for stop)
I do have to say we moved even with the amount of road construction.  NE must be replacing half of the bridges on I-80.  Lee fixed lunch while we were getting gas once. So we kept driving as much as possible.
 Those of you in HI or CA you will fill sideways when you see the price I paid to fill up.  Not bad $2.22

Before we left WY we made a stop at the Lincoln Highway monument.  The boys enjoyed walking around.  WY even knew they were coming and had a sign made.
They fit in as
Tonight's location rates much higher than yesterday's park.  Here is a picture so you can see what I mean about gravel on the KOA site.  I was not able to download photos last night either.
I guess tonight's update will be short since it is late. 


Until next time we meet on our journey:

#20 Morning Update from Rock Springs WY


Hot when we arrived  then it turned cold here during the night.  I know the heat wavy is coming but ........  I guess it is really warm back in CA.  It was over 100 degrees at our house yesterday.
After we make it to Illinois, I will be rating the RV parks we used during our stay.  I will say--as of now, this is on the bottom.  As I said last evening - gravel and no trees.  Noise in the morning as people go off to work.  Wifi is also at the bottom of the spots we have stayed so far.  I am going to go out on a limb--but we have said the same thing at so many KOA's that we have stayed at during the past three years.  I would rather stay at Good Sam locations and FMCA sites first but when you need or want to stop  you may end up at a KOA.  But the cost! for this level is way to high.

Our goal is to get out of Wyoming and into Nebraska today.  Kearney NB is where we are heading.  It is nearly 600 miles.  We will see if it is possible.


Until next time we meet on our journey:

Sunday, June 19, 2016

#19-Evening Update from Rock Springs WY


We drove about 5 hours today.  MTS. and hills-some road construction before Salt Lake City.  Going east like we are was not bad--west bound going into Salt Lake City there was at least a 3 mile back up.  So far, I-80 really has not had much construction.  Hope that continues.
This morning getting ready to leave I was speaking to a individual who asked, "how do you select where to stay?"  It is easy only two ways--The way I like is to select three or four around where I think we will end up each day.   That is done by looking at Good Sam's book of sites (we are members), KOA book (we also are members) checking on line with FMCA to see recommended spots, and looking at RVillage (on line group with no fee or gold level fee) and the one I have mentioned before Harvest Host.   The second way is to drive as far as you can and have Lee start looking for nearby locations and watch for signs. 
Today, we used plan two.  Drove about as far as I wanted and Lee starts looking in the books for spots.  W e found this KOA RV Park for tonight.   It is ok but not as great as last night.  It has all of the things you need--electric   hook-up,  water,  tv ,  and wifi.  What I don't like is the gravel.  I would rather have some grass for the boys.  Being members of KOA we did get the spot for $43.00 with our discount. 
We  did stop at a super Flying J gas station in UT before we left the state.  It had grass, RV fueling spots and gas costing only $2.32 per gal.  Being members of Good Sam gives you a 3 cent discount. .   Driving across the country you see what a great country we have.  You see the size and the openness.  You think about those who went across in a wagon and on horses.  We complain that a RV park has gravel not grass.  I am sure those wagon travelers would have loved gravel
Lee is cooking tonight.  Yes, will have a home cooked meal (mac and cheese) is one item.  The boys are doing fine--tired because the watch me drive all day.  Maybe they are learning.


Until next time we meet on our journey:

#18 -    Morninng update  Elko, NV


Another good night-last night,, we had the air on when we went to bed then about 1 Henry was setting next to the temp controls and needed the heat on.  Some of my family knows Henry and what he does when the temp in the house is not right for him.  I am sure others with dogs have stories too about the pet wanting the correct temp.
 Before bed, the boys and I walked around the RV park.  Saw a variety of motor homes and people -  fun of traveling across country. We have had more people comment about the picture on the back of the RV than any other trip.  Of course they also wanted to know about the third-missing dog.  Sad but it is a great way to keep Sir Winston's sprite alive and with us. Yesterday, Lee could not get away from a lady talking about the boys at a gas station while I was filling up the RV.  That reminds me--gas prices are getting cheaper since leaving CA.  We paid $2.45 .  I am keeping track of all costs and will share later. 
As of yet, we have not stayed at a Harvest Hosts sight. I found out last night that we are one of the blogger sights they are listing in their Links for the Traveler.   It is fun to be put in a group of real bloggers and RV travelers.  Some of the others are full time RV'ers.  Thank you Harvest Host and if you have not checked them out---please do so.  We hope to stay at one or two locations this time to Illinois or on the return trip.

We are planning on getting past Salt Lake City and into Wyoming tomorrow.  Possible Lyman, WY.  It is almost 5 hours of driving.  We will see how it goes and maybe we will do more. 
As I have said,  I am still learning about putting the webpage and this blog together.  I was working on it last night and I found an answer I think to the question my sister had concerning signing up with something before leaving a comment.  I have taken care of that and now you can just leave a comment (I think) so write those comments.  Now to the question Karen had about getting told I have updated--- there is now a place to place your email to be informed when the next blog is written (I think too) . So try it out and see everyone.
Of all the locations we have stayed at-this one in Elko has the best wifi connections.  Important now days.  That is an area I will be working on in the coming months-ways to improve wifi when you are at RV Parks.
Time for another cup of coffee and the news.

Until next time we meet on our journey:

Saturday, June 18, 2016

#17 -    Evening update  Iron Horse RV Resort,  Elko Nevada


Was almost 10 when we left Truckee, CA ---- It had stopped raining and the boys went for a walk.  Then they got a bath.  Wet dirty dogs don't make for a good RV day.  So before  I put every thing  away,  they got a warm bath.  Here are some pictures from Truckee.
People have asked what do the dogs do  while you are driving?   As you can see, the either sleep-look out their window or watch what Lee and I are doing.  Lance likes to sit  between Lee and I and watch me drive.  Then when I get out to get gas he jumps into the driver seat like Sir Winston always did.

We drove about 320 miles today-into Nevada. It was mountain driving.  Tomorrow we will start  driving more miles.  Later tonight will look for places to stay.  Our current home tonight is nice.  Has grass and blacktop.  Sir Henry likes it because there are no coin machines to loose your money.  We are about a half mile from them.  Lee and I are resting and staying in the RV tonight.
Lee talked to my sister this morning. We are missing the big event (Canal Days) in Lockport, Illinois this weekend.  I was hoping to attend but due to the length of travel we could only choose one thing to go to---graduation and anniversary party or Canal Days.  I selected the family event.
Someone said they left a comment--I did not get a recent one.  Please make sure you go to the end of this blog and click on comment section and then publish it.  This is the area you can sign up for auto notice of updates so you don't have to come looking to see if I have updated it.  You will get a notice when I publish a new blog.

If you have questions or comments please send them our way.  Some may take a few hours or a day to answer due to driving.

Until next time we meet on our journey: