Saturday, May 31, 2014

Another Perfect Weather Day! Great for a Bike Ride!

Plenty of sunshine all day with temperatures in the upper 70's.  A perfect day to be outdoors and ride bike!  Ken and I took a long walk around the CG before cooking breakfast and eating it outdoors.  Then we packed our lunches and the men loaded our bikes to head to the Heritage Rail Trail which runs from York to Maryland.  We rode a 10 mile section, stopping halfway to enjoy eating lunch along the trail.  It is a beautiful rail trail with a nice graveled and partly paved trail obviously running right along the train tracks.  We even got to go through a tunnel, not one of Nancy's favorite things.

This is where we parked and started our Bike Ride!

A really nice wide and scenic trail!

This was our lunch stop where we ate under a pavilion!
There were 3 bike sculptures here - tricycle, 2 wheel bike,
and a unicycle!

Back through the tunnel a 2nd time.  Sorry Nancy!

After some trouble with directions we got to Perrydell Farms Dairy for some homemade ice cream.  Some of the group had more trouble with the directions than others!  You just have to pay attention, Neil!!!!!

A very worthwhile stop for delicious homemade ice cream!
Back to the CG by 3 and after a little relaxation, we played some ladder golf.  We made a phenomenal dinner over our open campfire - salmon, steak, salads, and baked white and sweet potatoes - delicious!!  Then we spent time just sitting around the campfire talking about life!  What a special time.  So glad Neil and Nancy took the time to join us for this weekend.  We called it a night around 10!  We must be getting old!!!!!!

Friday, May 30, 2014

What A Gorgeous and Fun First Full Day at Gettysburg Farm!

Today, Friday, we woke to a beautiful morning with the sun shining, a welcome change!  We both enjoyed a great night's sleep in Waldo - this camping thing really agrees with us!

Ken and I took a short walk and then Martin's and us met after eating breakfast.  It was a very leisure and relaxing morning.  The 4 of us decided to take a walk around the CG and it is amazing - it is almost filled.  Also, there are so many Motorhomes and large 5th wheels here as well as lots of seasonal campers.  But, all of them are well maintained and many are beautifully landscaped.  An impressive place!!!

We enjoyed checking out the farm and exotic animals.  One of the baby goats had a "thing" for Ken.  We also enjoyed watching a mom and dad killdeer birds who build their nests on the ground - not too bright!!!!!!  Then one of them will act like it is hurt to distract you if you are too close to their nest while the other bird just "stares you down" and will keep coming towards you. They are fascinating to watch.  I also think they have beautiful markings!

The baby goat liked Ken and his pants!

Couldn't get the peacock to strut his feathers!

She was pretending her wing was broken

We played a game of miniature golf while waiting for Neil and Nancy Savage to arrive.  The course was rather wet and had lots of berries, leaves and twigs on the "fairways", but we had lots of good laughs.  Of course, as soon as we were done, the owners were using a leaf blower to clean the course.  We will have to try it again.

Neil and Nancy arrived around 2.  We played some ladder golf and then just sat outdoors chatting and "catching up on life".  We all had hamburgs on the open campfire followed by more chatting and then dessert - s'mores.  Can you believe Nancy had never eaten a s'more.  Well, we couldn't have that!!!!!  We insisted she wasn't a true camper if you have never had a s'more.  So, we mad her one and told her she had to try it.  I think Neil only got 1 small bite.   It was much better than she expected.  (She thought it would be way too sweet!).  Wow, another milestone for Miss Nancy!!!!

This is the side yard at Fred and Doloris' campsite!

We all enjoyed eating dinner together!

Another fun campfire!

S'mores made with large peanut butter cups are the best!

They are so tasty, right Nancy?????

Neil and Nancy headed back to their rig around 10:15, so Martins and us played a very close game of Skip-Bo.  They boys won, but we only had 1 card remaining.  It doesn't get any closer!

What a fun camping day!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

On Our Way to Gettysburg!

Ken and I were up early enough to take a walk before we drove to Mohnton for our granddaughter, Sam's, pre-school graduation.  What an adorable time! They even wore little blue caps and gowns complete with tassels!  There were awards for each student that were well thought out and explained.  A luncheon followed.

Cali had graduated from Pre-School last Wednesday.
They knew all of their songs, complete with motions, so well!

The happy pre-school graduate, Sam!

One proud Daddy!

Proud Daddy, Mommy, and sister, Katelyn!

As soon as we returned home, we hooked-up the car and were on our way to Gettysburg Farm CG only about a 1 1/2 hour drive from home.  This campground is a working farm complete with alpacas, llamas, a cow, donkeys, chickens, a pig, peacocks, lots of goats, and bunnies.  The campground was really full when we arrived, but we were able to get a site across from Fred and Doloris!  It had rained most of the time we were driving, but had stopped when we arrived to set-up.  Then it the rain started again and continue for most of the day and evening.  Had to cook and eat supper indoors.  We played games most of the afternoon and evening.  A fun time was had by all!!!!

This is a great Campground that is very well maintained!
Feels so good to "be home again" in Waldo!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Getting Ready For A Camping Adventure!

Today, Wednesday, was a mixed day of packing and then loading Waldo for our camping trip to Gettysburg Farm, halfway between York and Gettysburg.  After Curves, Ken and I went out to breakfast and then headed to Lititz to take a final tour of the apartment before we move in.  The painter was repainting the whole apartment, so the landlord told us to go check it out. Both of us felt so much better about the apartment now that the walls are freshly painted and it is empty.  

We spent most of the afternoon loading Waldo with food, clothes, etc. for our trip.  Amazing how many trips you make back and forth between the house and the motorhome until you get everything you need.  It went well and at 3 we went to Jamie's to meet Bria at the school bus and spend a little time with Bria, Cali, and Jamie.  Back home to finish the loading and then an evening to relax.  

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Sorting and Packing Has Begun!

Amazing how much you can accomplish in a short time when you put your mind to it!  I am going to give you a week's worth of blogging in this one blog!

Friday evening our youngest daughter, Jamie, invited Ken and I to there house for dinner.  Bria (7) and Cali (5) joined the Ephrata Swim Team this spring for their summer season.  It is amazing, considering that at the being of last summer they didn't put their heads under water and were a bit upset when someone splashed them!  Now they are little "guppies" swimming anywhere from 8 to 12 laps in one practice and they go 4 or 5 times per week.  They love it.  We went to see them that evening and were so impressed!  Then we spent till 11:30 that evening just visiting with Jamie and her family!  Great fun!

Saturday morning was a packing, sorting day followed by an afternoon spent with Fred and Doloris at a wine tasting day at a local Renaissance Fair.  What a fun time!  Then to dinner at a local eatery enjoying being on their deck. They came to our house following dinner to play some cards.  

After Church on Sunday the packing continued and we set-up addition items for our garage sale.  Monday was much of the same including going through all of our Christmas decorations.  I found that rather challenging.  I had made many of our decorations and gotten many from friends.  But, we only have so much room and purging was a necessity!

On Tuesday, Nancy Savage, a special friend, fellow camper and full-timer, came for about 4 hours to help me price all of the things we had in the garage for our upcoming garage sale on June 13 and 14.  What a job!  It was so kind of her to take the time to help me.  I was so grateful!

That evening I went back through numerous things that I had already packed to go to the apartment.  I realized I had to narrow down the items even more, especially my craft things!  We want this and we are excited, but it can be a painful process!!  It is also a tiring one both physically, mentally, and emotionally!  But it will be sooooo worth it!!!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Work Has Begun!

The hard work and "fun" is underway - packing and going through everything for our big move!  Amazing at what you find when you sort through all of your belongings!

Ken tackled the garage while I did the storage area in the basement.  It certainly is a process!  Yesterday, with my daughter's help, I posted some thing on Craigslist.  We will be taking some more valuable antique things to a local auction house to be sold.  We also rented a small storage shed for the next 4 months ( a promotion offered 2 months for FREE) which we will need until we "figure out" what things can be stored in the apartment.

Somethings are so easy to get rid of and others are a bit more painful to let go.  But, there is always a great "freeing" to have less and less things to be responsible for, clean, etc.  We are really looking forward to this move and know all this hard work will be worth it!

We are spending so much time on this moving process that we are beginning to wonder what we will do with our time when we move into a small place with no outside work!  I bet we will have no trouble filling our free time!  We look forward to the challenge!!!!!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Homeward Bound!

How do you like the new layout of my blog?  I spent time last evening using some of the information I learned at the Escapade improving my blog.  It was fun!

We left the Escapade and the Elkton County Fairgrounds at 6:45 this morning.  It was cloudy and rather cool when we pulled out!  The 1st 8 miles were on back roads with many beautiful Amish farms.  So many horses and colts along the way.  Both of us wished we could have stayed another 3 or more days in the Goshen area to tour some of the RV factories and visit the local farmer's markets, etc.  But we have plenty to do back home to get ready to move by June 27th.  

So, we decided we would try to get the whole way home today, a 600 mile trip.  We went through several rain showers, a couple downpours, and even some hail on the way home, but none of it lasted very long.  By the time we entered PA we had mostly sunshine!  The trip went well and we only stopped 2 times.  We arrived home at 6 PM to warmer weather, very long grass, and a sold sign in the front yard.  I unloaded most things and put them away while Ken mowed the yard. 

2 of our neighbors came by to talk and get the details on where we would be moving and when.  I guess we were the talk of the neighborhood while we were gone!

I hope we will be able to sleep tonight!  It might be way toooo quiet without the fast moving trains with the howling whistles.  We will just have to adjust!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Last Full Day at the Escapade!

Well, we woke to quite a cold morning - 34 degrees.  I thought it is spring!!!! At least the rain had stopped, but it was mostly cloudy.  There were only two sessions of classes today, so after breakfast we headed to 2 different classes - I went to Make your Rig more Livable, Efficient, and Convenient and Ken took Put Wow in Your Pictures.  We enjoyed both of them.  Then Ken sat in on another Geeks on Tour Class while I did one on Scrapbooking.

We were back to Waldo by 11:15 and went to say our good-byes to Cindy and John.  They decided to head home today instead of tomorrow.  I think they were a bit overwhelmed by the rigid schedule and the weather didn't help the situation.  So little time to just sit outside - it was either raining or extremely cold for this time of year.  They need to get some "normal camping time" under their belts where they can relax, spend time outdoors, and enjoy cooking outside too!  Also, Cindy has a commitment to sing with her church's praise team on Sunday, so they wanted to be able to take their time traveling home. We enjoyed our time with them!

John, Cindy, and Kylie in the LR of their RV, Harvey!

They are off and on their way back to PA!

We did some cleaning inside and out and then Ken spent sometime trying to understand his new Rand McNally RV GPS he bought here at the Rally.  It should be a great one once we "master it".  ( I don't know if that will ever happen!).

At 3 we headed to The Farewell Gathering for this 54th Escapade. Unfortunately, we did not win the grand prizes!   On the way back to Waldo we stopped at the outdoor Happy Hour, sponsored by Paul Evert's RV Country, who had brought about 18 large Motorhomes here and were For Sale.  They had live music, drinks, and great food everyday.  We decided to take a walk around the fairgrounds and then ended up back at the Happy Hour.  

The Farewell Gathering for the 54th Escapade!

Happy Hour was held here at 4:00 everyday!

Lots of people, wine, beer and food!

Ken decided to unhook everything but the electric this evening so we will be able to leave early and quickly in the morning.  By the time he started to disconnect, it was raining lightly again.  Like one gentleman said, "At least we were able to check out everything on our rig while here - the air conditioning on Monday, then the heat, and now we can check for leaks"!  How true!

The rigs parked on the infield track were given an extra night
for free, since it was almost impossible to get out of that area
because of all the rain - mud ruts were a problem!

We spent the evening in Waldo just watching TV and relaxing.  It has been a busy, active week, but we are certainly happy we made the trip to Goshen.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

More Fun Times at the Escapade!

Well, we woke to another dreary morning with light rain, which is an improvement from yesterday!  Today one of classes in each session is focused on full-timing.  It is amazing how many couples here are full-timers, probably at least 1/3 of the group!  Escapees has the most classes and services geared to full-timing, so these Escapades are a great resource for those folks or for those who are considering it for the future.

Ken started his class schedule with Your Bucket List!  I skipped the 1st session to "catch up" on my blog and get ready for the craft show.  Then Ken took a class on The Reluctant RVer while I learned more about Google Maps. 

We got a ride on one of the golf cart shuttles to take us and everything we needed to set-up for the craft show.  It was raining and had gotten a lot colder when we headed to the craft building around 11.  Ken helped me get ready and then left for a Point and Shoot Camera Class at 11:30.  He checked back with me before going back to Waldo for lunch.  Cindy stopped by too! After lunch Ken took another class on RV Maintenance followed by one Full-timing FAQ. I encouraged him to continue taking the classes - I was doing fine at the Craft Show.  Cindy helped me pack up and John was a volunteer for "Golf Cart Driving" so he picked us up and took us back to Waldo.  It had stopped raining, but it was cold and damp!  I didn't pay anything to be in the craft show, so everything I took in was a bonus and I had a good time!

I had a small set-up for this craft show.  Cindy was
there part of the time to help, especially when it was time
to close!

Ken and I went to Happy Hour at 4 and then to the RVillages Social Hour, a new website connecting RVers with other RVers in the same crampground, groups, hobbies, etc.  Curtis, the founder, gave a powerpoint presentation explaining how and why it was created and the many fantastic features it has. Chris and Cherie of Tech Nomadia helped develop the site and they were also there to answer questions.  Great concept and one that will be a great asset for RVers as well as Campgrounds.

Curtis, the founder, is in the black shirt speaking, and Chris
and Cherie are standing off to the right and left!

After dinner, we went to the main hall for another prize giveaway, but we came away empty handed.  We did enjoy the Escapade Talent Show.  The last act was a younger mother attending the Escapade with her husband and 6 young children.  She is also very pregnant.  She is a former music teacher and sang a song from Carmen.  It was a show stopper!  What an incredible voice. Their family has been here the entire Rally and are looking to go full-time in the next few years.  Wow!

This is a line up of the participates in the Talent Show.
They did such a good job!

More card playing with Cindy and John and by 11:30 it was time to call it a day.  

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A Very Full Day at the Escapade!

It was a great day for learning and socializing, but the weather is really nasty. We have had lots of rain and dropping temperatures.  Today it rained most of the day, rather heavy at times, and it was only in the lower 50's.  Not exactly spring type weather.  Plus, the trains continue to run frequently and at a very rapid pace!  But, with all that said, we are having a great time!  Why not? We are camping!!!!!

I took classes during all the sessions today and Ken only skipped one.  I took another class on the secrets of cleaning with microfibers and non-chemical cleaners while Ken learned about RVing in Atlantic Canada.  I took a class on Picasa Web Albums and then a Blogging class to learn how to improve my personal blog while Ken got helpful tips on Safer, Simpler RVing.  Then we took 2 classes together - Learning about the new Rand McNally GPS for RVers and one on Geocaching.  It was a great day filled with many valuable information.   Cindy and John took numerous classes but also decided to take it alittle easier today and have a bit more free time.

We invited Ron and Jari over to Waldo for Happy Hour so we could get better acquainted.  We shared our adventures and dreams for about 3 hours.  They just sold their horse farm in Minnesota and started full-timing in their 5th wheel 2 weeks ago.  It is really a new time in their lives.  Then Ken and I joined Cindy and John in Harvey for games and cards.  By 11:30 all of us needed to call it a day.  It was still raining when we headed back to Waldo. It has been a very wet and dreary day, but our spirits are still happy and excited. 

There is a craft show here tomorrow from 12 to 3:30 which I signed up to do. Depending on the weather, I may decide to go to classes instead.  We shall see! 

Cindy and John will probably head back to PA mid afternoon Friday, for they need to be back for Cindy to sing in their Church's Praise Team Sunday morning.  Such dedication!!!!!  
Hopefully tomorrow will be a better weather day, but Oh Well!!! Whatever!!!!!!
We will enjoy ourselves despite the rain and cold.  

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

1st Full Day of Classes and Seminars at the Escapade!

Well, the daily schedule has begun.  By 8:30 this morning we were in our 1st class.  They offer about 6 classes per session time and you can choose 1.  So, Ken and I decided to go to separate classes some of those times to get even more helpful information.  Ken began with Understanding, Monitoring, and Protecting Your RV Electrical System  and I took Maximum Connectivity, Staying Online.  After those classes we had 1/2 to go through the Vendor area before our next classes.  We both took Technology for Travelers with Geeks on Tour (Jim and Chris Guld), folks we had met in our travels and had even taken a Boot Camp with them.  So good to see them again.  I went back to Waldo after that class while Ken took Slide-outs and Leveling Systems.  All classes last just one hour with a 1/2 between each session. 

Jim and Chris Guld teaching the Picasa Class

Following lunch, Ken rested and I took Microfiber Truths and Myths - a very interesting class.  We continued with Ken going to Smartphones/Tablets for Travelers while I did The Frugal RVer with Nick Russell, who does a blog that Ken has followed for years.  We got to meet and talk with Nick and his wife and were so glad to have the opportunity to finally get to talk with them.  

Then it was on to the daily Happy Hour followed by a Social Hour with all the folks that are at an Escapade for the 1st time.  I believe about 1/4 to 1/3 are 1st time attendees.  We were John and Cindy most of the day, even attending some of the same classes.

This is a photo from the Grandstand of the Fairgrounds.
Hard to really see how many rigs are really here! 

Another view from the other side of the Grandstand!

No need for dinner after Happy Hour and the Social, so we went to the evening door prize drawing time followed by the evening's entertainment, The Homestead Pickers".  They were great musicians and storytellers that provided a very nice evening with lots of laughter.

What a fun loving, talented group!  The fiddle player was
backup for Loretta Lynn!

This genttleman played the dulcimer, hamonica, and the bass
and was excellent on each one!

Cindy and John joined us in Waldo to play one game of Pinochle before calling it a day.  They are not getting a very good feel for actual camping - this is a rather rigid, busy schedule.  But, we are having a great time and learning a lot.

Monday, May 12, 2014

It's a Done Deal!

Well this is another exciting Day!!  The agent for our buyer sent us the contract via digital signature around 6 AM and we were able to do all the signing to finalize the contract on our computer!  We live in quite an interesting time!  So, our house is officially sold.  The buyer also agreed to moving the settlement date to June 27 to give us a little more time to get everything packed, have a garage sale, take things to an antique auction, etc. We are thrilled to have some additional time and not feel under so much pressure.  After all, we have some camping to do before moving!

We went to the hospitality social after breakfast for hot tea and Amish donuts.  Then we walked around the Vendor Expo where Ken purchased an Escapees hat.  We went with Cindy and John to Wal-Mart to get a few items, had lunch, and then headed to the Expo Center for the 1st Timers Welcome. After that they had the Opening Ceremonies with 2 door prizes of $500.00 cash each.  Unfortunately none of us were the winners!  Then it was the ice cream social followed by Happy Hour with free wine and beer with corn chips and chili.  Boy, this is a tough life!

There are lots of rigs at this Rally - about 600 we were told!

The Elkhart County Fairgrounds is quite the place - huge!!!

Part of the fairgrounds!

We rode in John and Cindy's new jeep to Wal-Mart

After Opening Ceremonies all of us were treated to ice cream!
What a line up for a Popsicle!

At the Happy Hour we met up with Wallace and Wanda, a couple we had met in Florida this past fall, who are the Assistant Directors of this whole Escapade.  They introduced us to the Directors, Bob and Molly Pinner.  What fun loving, quality people.  The 2 couples will be leading a trip to the Rose Bowl Parade on Jan. 1, 2015.  They really encouraged the 4 of us to join them. Both Cindy and I have the Rose Bowl Parade on our "Bucket List", but I am not sure that is the right year for us to go there.  We know we would have such a good time with them.

A Fun Happy Hour!

So nice to be here with my sister and her husband!

This is Wanda and Molly on the "dance floor"!

Ken has been following the blog of Chris and Cherie for many
years and was so happy to meet them!

Back to Waldo to get ready for the evening festivities including a time for more door prizes and then a concert by "Johnny Counterfeit", who does many impersonations from Vince Gill to Frank Sinatra!  What an entertaining, very talented gentleman.  We really enjoyed his humor and his singing ability.  The 3 guys in the band were good too!

Johnny Counterfeit and his band..  They have sung many places including
TV and the White House.  

A Large Crowd of Escapees!

We went to Harvey to play Skip-Bo and the women won "big time"!  It has been a funfilled, beautiful day with lots of sunshine and temperatures in the 80's.  Tomorrow the classes begin at 8:30!  I thought RVers don't begin that early!  We should learn lots of good information at the many classes offered throughout the Rally.

Nice to share a camping experience with John and Cindy
in "Harvey"!  Their "Virgin Voyage"!