Monday, August 23, 2010

Who knew?

Louise in the middle

Grand Haven lighthouse

G H beach

Enjoying the water

Can you hear the waves?

Wooden shoe production

De Klomp factory

Holland strip mall

Delftware factory

All hand painted

Holland State Park lighthouse

In the bay

Old lighthouse

Jonathon Livingston Seagull
My good side

Rays and yacht--what more do I need?

Holland S P
We are free once again. We spent three days in a resort rv campground in Howell MI before heading to Gillette's for our repairs. Mostly we walked around the campground and tried to keep cool. There were too many people there to enjoy the beach or the pool. A week ago we moved to Gillette's little campground. They mainly keep it for people who buy a new trailer and use their old one as a trade-in so they can move door-to-door. Our appointment wasn't until Wed. at the earliest, but by this time we were having slide problems so we were allowed to move in early. Good thing. Once the slide was opened it stayed open until it was fixed. We spent the better part of Fri and Sat in the waiting room before everything they could fix was fixed. There are still some minor things to be addressed when we move to Elkhart IN tomorrow. That's where this place was born. Between times we decided to explore a little of the eastern coastline of Lake Michigan. As you can see from the two state parks we visited it is mile after mile of beautiful tan sand beach. The day was perfect (as they have been for the last week--bright sunshine with high puffy clouds, a cool breeze. On the two beaches we visited the sand shelf extended out about 100 yds. Here the water was no deeper than 18" or so and warm--80-85d. Further out with the cool breeze I think people were getting cold. People were everywhere but there was plenty of room for everyone to do their things. Along the causeways to the lighthouses people were diving and jumping into the deeper water and climbing out via the ladders placed there. The lake was a pleasure to be in and around. The water was a very clear brownish green to a depth of at least 15'. It smelled clean and refreshing. We had a great time. We got our walk in too. We counted double time for walking in loose sand. In pic one Duane had a hard time telling me apart from some of the young babes walking around. He thought he was taking a pic of me! In the fourth one I was talking to my daughter-in-law Brandey who is in TX with her one-year old twin girls. She loves the beach. Whenever I'm near waves crashing I call her to give her a "fix". The crashing waves temporarily transported her away from the activity and the heat. Glad to do it for you, kid!
Before we hit the beach we checked out one of the local tourist traps. There are several here with the Dutch theme since this is a Dutch settlement. (The rv park where we are staying is called Dutch Treat). Just north of Holland, home of the famous seed catalog, is Veldheer Tulip Gardens and Bison Ranch, home of 5+ million tulips, the wooden shoe factory and the Delftware factory. One stop shopping at it's best! One building houses the garden store where you can pick up your favorite tulip bulbs and buy your bison steaks. We wanted some bison meat, but had to pass--way too expensive for us ($24 for an 8oz tbone). We passed on paying to view the garden also--no tulips this time of year. At the other end of the strip is the bison ranch. Sorry, no pix. The bison were too shy. Actually they were all out of sight at the other end of their pasture behind their barns. No tours available, so we were out of luck in the bison department. We struck gold in the middle. In one long building we saw hundreds of pieces of Delftware. No one was demonstrating except the painter, but that was interesting enough. I am now the proud owner of my own Delftware--a tiny cup and saucer for drinking my hot brewed loose tea. We did get to see a part of the construction process for wooden shoes. The demonstrator was very glad to answer all of our questions. There was a whole wooden shoe store there too. Wooden shoes were available for trying on. Then you could find your size pair in plain or painted--red, blue, or yellow. From there we went to lunch at Red Robin, a chain restaurant known for its burgers and "endless basket of fries", then on to the beaches to walk them off.

Enough for now,
Louise and Duane

Friday, August 13, 2010

We are FREE!!!

We finished our workcamp job on Wednesday and headed north on Thursday. We drove all the way to Crittenden, little over 200 miles. We drove into Cincinnati to visit with daughter Stacy. The last time we were in Ohio she was on the road for her work. She is hard catch, so we took advantage of the chance to catch her home. We went out for bite to eat, took a walk, ate ice cream and had a real nice chat. She leaves on a trip this morning, did I say was hard to catch, we leave for points north.
We're heading for East Lansing, MI to have a few things tweaked on the trailer. We purchashed the trailer from a dealer in Lansing, they delivered it to TX for us. After repairs are made we are going to hang out in MI till time to go to the Escapade RV Rally in Elkhart, IN on the 10th of September. Plans are to meet up with some of our RV friends that will be in the area at the same time. We are making a quick trip to Ohio on the 11th for granddaughter Maddy's birthday, then back to Elkhart for a week at the rally. After the rally we head to Troy, Oh for a visit with daughter Rachel and her family. At this we have no idea which way we will head next. We are leaning toward going to the east coast and down. We may head across the mid west and down, who knows? Our next work date is January 2 in Deming, NM so we have plenty of time to get there. We need to stop for doctors in TX before going to NM, so we will visit the TX kids on the way by.
That's it for now
Duane and Louise

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

This work shop is great!!!!

Here are some lapel pins I have been making. I can sit in my work shop, in the rv, in the air conditioning and carve. Much nicer then sitting outside in the heat. I have been able to get a lot done since getting the trailer. I have been working on these pins to have something to sell at the rv rally we are going to in September. I hope they I could use a little money coming in off the

Monday, August 09, 2010

We Survived!

Atop Norris Dam
Bombarding Cumberland Gap

Circus performer

Tough artiliaryman

Water babies

As the title says, we survived our summer of heat and humidity at Raccoon Valley RV Park. This week they both abated to the June levels and are again fairly tolerable as long as you avoid the midday heat. This our last week here. Duane works tomorrow and Wed. and I work Wed. afternoon. We plan to be packed up and ready to hit the road Thursday morning for East Lansing Mi. Last week our daughter Rachel, son-in-law Benji and grandchildren Maddy (almost 6), Simon (3) and Judah (1) came for a visit from the Dayton OH area. Having 7 people in our little rig wasn't as bad as you would think. Everyone got along well and had a good time. They arrived late Thurs night so most of the activity was aimed at getting everyone to bed. Next day we went swimming, cooked out then went for a drive to the Cumberland Gap National Historic Park so some overly-excited, under slept children could have a nap on the way. We drove through the gap tunnel between TN and KY and to the pinnacle for some views. We had fun re-enacting the valley bombardment , then went down to the visitors ' center. On the way home we stopped for pizza, then topped off the day with some more pool time. Next day after pool time and lunch, we drove to Norris Dam for some sightseeing, then home. We had one last time in the pool and Maddy and Simon and I had time for a little creek walking before time for the kids to leave. We are glad they came and are looking forward to seeing them all again in Sept.
Enough for now,
Louise and Duane