Friday, July 11, 2008

Colorado Rockies Such Beauty

We have been traveling thru Colorado the last couple of days. We only go about 25o miles or so every day. Try to stop off and on and check out antique stores or local cafes.

Yesterday we found a big antique mall called The Brass Armadillo. It is so big that you would need more than one day to see everything. We had planned to stay and go to the flea market in Denver but decent affordable campsites could not be found so off we went and this is how we came across the Brass Armadillo.
Stayed at a wallmart parking lot last night. Even tho it is posted no RV parking there was a couple of RV's parked with one having a note that manager had okayed them parking.
Nothing ventured nothing gained so we went inside to see if we could stay and all was okay for one night. Nice and quiet except for the big flag flapping all night.
Today we drove thru the Colorado Rockies and such beauty. Every curve was breath taking. We have driven this route before but I am never tried of it. Stopped at a rest stop and got some great photos.
We stopped early and have a great internet connection for the first time in days, so decided to sit and listed items to sell on ebay. Spooky is getting crowded and wants us to clear out some of this stuff.
Night for now all .... Each day is a blessing , live it as it may be your last. Smile at a stranger, pet a dog, engage a child in a conversation.... ( met the cutest little girl yesterday at breakfast. She walks in with her mama and she is wearing a pink cowboy hat, pink shorts, oink shirt and carrying a pink Dora purse. She sits behind us so of course I have to compliment her on her hat and purse ... kids are so much fun... ) and last but not least tell your sweety you love him or her.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Traveling Iowa and Nebraska In Our RV

We are having a great time traveling across the midwest in our RV. Spooky is doing well spoiled as always. Here she pictured with the packages to go to the post office.

We have gone through Iowa and Nebraska so far. We try to get off the main highway and stop in the smaller towns for hunting adventures at thrift stores or antique stores.

We spent Sunday the 6th in Waukee Iowa at a RV campsite. Was crowded and sites to close together. So not as enjoyable as other campsites. Before camping for the night we stopped at a little cafe in Booneville, Iowa. Town is about 300 people, food was pretty good, waitress was friendly and enjoy meeting someone from California. Even found an antique store to wander around. Was dusty and disorganized. Owners seemed to be just biding time till closing. Not the kind of antique store we really enjoy but treasures can be found anywhere. Not here tho. Best part of Boonesville was the post office we stopped at. Had to do our mail before leaving on Monday. Postal clerk was friendly and helpful.

On monday we took off again towards home. Stopped for lunch in Casey, Iowa. Kathy owns the small cafe that has been open for 5 years. Air conditioner broke down and she was apologizing for that and having to raise her prices. Once again a very small little town, but a fun patriotic cafe. Owner had walls painted with memorials for 2001 and customers were friendly visiting with us, pointing out places to check out and posing for pictures. Lowell and I enjoy going to owner owned business rather than chains. We like to support the small business person as often as we can.

While traveling we try to stop at truck stops and spend the night every other night or so. Helps with the traveling budget. The farther west we go the higher the price of gas. We are now at $4.05 or so a gallon.

Tonight finds us at a small camp ground just 20 miles from Denver. We hope to spend some time seeing Denver tomorrow.

Good night for now and remember take an adventure or two. Life is to short.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Minnesota Saying Good Bye for Now

Well we left Minnesota on Sunday July 6th , home of 4 of 5 children and 10 of 13 grandchildren, my daddy , other family members and several friends.

We had planned to go to Minnesota for a couple of weeks and then travel some but seemed to want to spend a little more time with everyone. So the traveling will be from California and back to California. Will have to go east and south another time.

Spent several nights and days off and on with my best friend Alison and her husband Cecil. They were so generous to us. Not only letting us and wanting us to park outside of their home but going as far as feeding us 3 square meals a day. This is one of Alison's rules and I don't want to cross by buddy Alison. I would lose any how. She makes yeast rising waffles to die for. Cecil will be starting some medical treatment so give a thought and prayer for my buddy Cecil. What a sweetie he is.

We spent time with children and grandchildren, sharing meals and reading books, grandson jacob spent one night camping in his backyard with us in our motor home. He thought that was great. He is full of wonderful stories and amazes me as I listen to him.

We visited with our friends Barb and Mike and spend a few nights at their house in our motor home. They are in South St Paul where I had my bookstore for over 15 years so felt like I was back home. Visited with friends at T & T Cafe in South St. Paul, Minnesota. If you ever find your self there it is worth the visit. Jeff the owner and number uno cook is a good friend and a great cook. Say Hey from Lowell and Grace to Jeff and the staff.

Last stop was in Alden Minnesota with dear old friends David and Cheryl. Spent two nights there visiting with them and their two dogs. This is a very quiet small rural town where we sat on the porch and watched what went by. Lowell and I joined them at a trap shoot. Both Dave and Cheryl enjoy this sport and spending time with their friends. They had a huge pot luck and everyone made us feel very welcome. The hostess even went as far to invite us back next holiday if we are in the area.
So with that I bid you all good night and will continue our adventures with you soon.
Remember life is short so have an adventure every day

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Flea Market at Elko Minnesota

We went to the Flea Market at Elko New Market in Minnesota on the 4th of July. I think this is a wonderful way to spend the holiday.

The weather was perfect. Sunny with blue skies. Not overly hot. We started at 10 in the morning and went till 5 in the afternoon. Hard to believe but we never did get to see everything. They have great places to sit under the trees if you need something to eat or just a break from the walking, which I needed to do several times.

You can find everything from live plants for your patio to antiques here. Lowell and I were on the quest to try to find a treasure at a great price. No such luck. I was hunting for items from Alden, Minnesota to give to our friends David and Cheryl from Alden. No such luck. Another thing on my list was a tacky pair of pink flamingo salt and pepper shakers to send to my girlfriend Alison and her hubby Cecil. Once again no luck.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Independence Day to everybody! We may have our problems, but this is still the greatest country the world has ever seen. How many people do you know who try to slip into Greece or Sweden illegally to live? Remember, if you love your freedom, thank a vet. A lot of good men and women have died to give us the freedoms we enjoy today. So if you see someone in an uniform go up to them and say thank you. So many of them are young and are paid so little for what they are doing. If you see them out eating maybe surprise them by treating them if you can afford to do this. I had a favorite restaurant in Chula Vista that had coupons of buy one meal get one free. I always had extras so would hand them out to those in uniforms.

We had a great time at the horse races at canterbury in Minnesota. One a few lost a few but great weather. Was crowded and long lines to get a hot dog or soda for a $1.00 but most did not mind, just having a good time. You can sit down next to strangers and soon you are talking horses and sharing tips of who should win.
Fireworks at dark were wonderful. I have always enjoyed watching them and reminds me of great times at my parents every year watching the fireworks.
Parked in parking lot for the night. Free and safe with security around. They have a club card that is open all night so someone always around.
Well bye for now. Off to Elko and the flea market. Have a wonderful and save 4th of July
Life is an adventure enjoy each day.

Deep Thoughts ... .If you're ever shipwrecked on a tropical island and you don't know how to speak the natives' language, just say "Poppy-oomy." I bet it means something.
I wonder if angels believe in ghosts.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Lowell and I have enjoyed hunting for treasures at garage sales, thrift stores, estate sales, flea markets and auctions over the years. We buy something of interest and turn around and resell on ebay. Have done this for about 10 years and is great extra income.
Nothing can get the heart a pounding then to spot a rare first edition book at a sale. We have sold books for over 15 years and I still get goose bumps when I spot something special. We are spreading out into different areas of hunting since good books are getting harder and harder to find.

One of the delights of having the RV is the ability to stop and check out thrift stores in different parts of the country. We have hunted in California, Oklahoma , Illinois , Wisconsin and Minnesota so far.

A great past time while in Minnesota is to spend Monday evenings at Luther's Auctions in North St. Paul , Minnesota. Friendly people, food on the site from a Catering company and a treasure or two hiding in the bottom of a box. Recently found 2 Vintage high top boots and 2 White cotton ladies outfits all from the 1920's era among vintage linens. We now will be leaving Minnesota for California and I will miss those monday night outings. Check out the site and if you find yourself in the area stop in and say Lowell and Grace from California sent you . With all the people they meet they will probably say " huh" but so what I and you know I sent you.

We will visit the flea market at Elco New Market in Minnesota on July 4th then will say good bye to Minnesota till next year. We were there for Memorial day with friends David and Cheryl. My find of the day was a red and white swimsuit from the early 1900's. I showed it to the granddaughters and they thought it was the ugliest thing they have ever seen. I looked at this vintage swimsuit ( yes it does look like a clown suit ) and I saw fashion history.

If you are interested in finding flea markets or thrift stores around the country check out these sites., along with these sites and our GPS we are in hunting heaven.

We thought of closing our apartment before we left California but decided we should try Rving for a couple of months and make sure that we could live in such close quarters. It is crowded with boxes of items we have found, but I find enjoyment sitting outside at a picnic table with my computer.
We have enjoyed out time traveling, spending time close to the grandchildren, hunting different areas so we have decided to head back to California, give up our apartment, sell off most of our belongings and take the big jump of full time RVing.

Spooky the cat is not sure she likes this idea but I am sure she will put up with it and us as long as Lowell continues to give her Tuna , she is with us and she has her place at the head of the bed .
Well good bye for now. We are off to Canterbury Race Track in Minnesota to bet a couple of ponies, see grandchild #9 Carter and grandchild #13 Kennedy for the last time this year.
I will let you know how we did tomorrow.
Keep on with your own adventure.
Joke of the day ..

I've sure gotten old. I've had two By-pass surgeries. A hip replacement, new knees. Fought prostate cancer, and diabetes. I'm half blind, can't hear anything quieter than a jet engine, take 40 different medications that make me dizzy, winded, and subject to blackouts. Have bouts with dementia. Have poor circulation, hardly feel my hands and feet anymore. Can't remember if I'm 85 or 92. Have lost all my friends.But.....Thank God, I still have my Florida driver's license!

Joke for the day

Robber met animals
Late one night, a burglar broke into a house he thought was empty.

He tiptoed through the living room but suddenly he froze in his tracks when he heard a loud voice say: "Jesus is watching you!"

Silence returned to the house, so the burglar crept forward again.

"Jesus is watching you," the voice boomed again.

The burglar stopped dead again. He was frightened. Frantically, he looked all around. In a dark corner, he spotted a bird cage and in the cage was a parrot.

He asked the parrot: "Was that you who said Jesus is watching me?"

"Yes", said the parrot.

The burglar breathed a sigh of relief, and asked the parrot: "What's your name?"

"Clarence," said the bird.

"That's a dumb name for a parrot," sneered the burglar. "What idiot named you Clarence?"

The parrot said, "The same idiot who named the Rottweiller Jesus."

Catching up with old friends in Muskogee Oklahoma

On our way to Minnesota we stopped in Muskogee Oklahoma to visit a friend of Lowell's from 20 some years ago. His name is Bob S. Lowell worked with him on the Minnesotas Iron Range many years ago.

Bob and his wife, Debbie are living full time in their RV. They travel the country and work as vendors at Renaissance fairs. They offer over 31,000 medallions in Gold, Silver and Bronze. The " drop hammer "coin mint was designed and built by Michael Stewart in 1971, based on descriptions from Leonardo da Vinci. Bob and Debbie dress in period costumes and are fun to watch as they interact with the crowd making custom ordered medallions. She is known as the Winching Wench because she cranks up this 150 pound hammer to a height of 9 feet, yells out "striking " and lets go off 40 tons of force to make the two sided medallion of your choice.

We had a great time visiting with Bob and Debbie for a couple of days. They dry camp at the fair site for any where from 2 to 4 weeks and then go on to the next Renaissance fair and do it all over again. They work about 11 months a year and take the last half of the month of December and first half of January off.

We attended our first Renaissance Fair, we have friends in Minnesota who go almost every year but we had never been to one.

Renaissance Faire (Ren Faire or just Faire) is an amalgam of many things. Its partly a craft fair, its partly historical reenactment, its partly performance art. Everyone working at Faire dresses in costumes (or garb) typical of the late Elizabethan period. There are many booths selling both crafts and food. Parades wind their way through the crowds. Jugglers, musicians, magicians, and other entertainers perform through the day. You wander about, examining goods for sale, sampling foods, watching plays and performers, and of course drinking fyne English Ale.

The camping area at the Renaissance fair is a small village of vendors. The RVs range from large to small and even a renovated bus. Small groups will mingle with each other. As in any little town there are clicques and local gossip.

We met several of Bob and Debbie's Renaissance friends one night over a spaghetti feed that Bob and Debbi put on. The quests brought various dishes with Debbi cooking the main dish.

One of the strangest vendors was a man we called the Monkey man. He travels in a large RV with a monkey. He and his daughter who also has a monkey take pictures of people with the monkeys on the customers shoulders. People line up to have their pictures taken with the monkeys at $5.00 to $8.00 a picture. The film is Instant so the picture develops on the site.

One of my favorites of their friends is this big guy called "Hoss." He is dressed in leather, blue jeans, rides a Harley Davidson, has tatoos and lots of silver jewelry. He makes drinking mugs and shoes out of leather and is also security for the camp area. Looks tough and probably can be if necessary but still is a sweety.

Lowell had to share stories of Bob and his adventures with working together. Soon "Hoss" is calling Bob "GOAT BOY." This will probably stay with him for some time, at least I hope so.

If you ever find your self at a Renaissance area in the middle of the country and see a " drop mint " making medallions check out to see if it Bob and Debbie. They will be in Geneva Ohio all of July. Should it be Bob and Debbie S please say " Hey " from Lowell and Grace.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Ethan, Evan and Aaron

Our next important stop is in Illinois. Tracy, Lowell's daughter is awaiting the arrival of the wandering parents. She is making several calls to us to make sure we can find our way and are not lost in some thrift store. " Where are you now ?" " Stay off the Martin Luther King Bridge with your motor home" You are going the wrong way turn around ". This is just a few of our conversations in a few short hours.

Finally we pull up to Tracy's and out comes running Ethan, Aaron and Evan. I think it is me they want to see , no I am passed. Must be grandpa. No they run pass him. Yes you have it right. Miss spooky is who they want to see. Spooky Spooky that is all I hear.

We spent several wonderful days there. Ethan has a spelling bee and a geography bee. Ethan had a baseball game for us to attend. He was outstanding of course. Aaron loves to play games so every night after dinner is game time. Grandpa loses of course.

Evan is adorable, of course in grandma's confused mind I have to call him every name but Evan. "I am Evan" My mother used to say several different names before saying the right one and I would laugh. Now I am my mother.

We had a wonderful time in Illinois with the family. Tracy , husband David and the 3 boys have since transferred to the Washington D C area. That will be a wonderful place to visit and hang out for a few days in the future.

Joke of the day found from the Internet:

Where is this place?
A man and his wife were driving their Recreational Vehicle across the country and were nearing a town spelled Kissimee. They noted the strange spelling and tried to figure how to pronounce it - KISS-a-me; kis-A-me; kis-a-ME. They grew more perplexed as they drove into the town.

Since they were hungry, they pulled into a place to get something to eat. At the counter, the man said to the waitress:

"My wife and I can't seem to be able to figure out how to pronounce this place. Will you tell me where we are and say it very slowly so that I can understand."

The waitress looked at him and said: "Buuurrrgerrr Kiiiinnnng."

Saturday, June 28, 2008

We have begun the dream

For some time Lowell and I have dreamt of traveling in our RV with spooky the CAT. Spooky is a small 15 year old black cat. She got her name because she is afraid of just about everything. It is important to realize tho that she is Queen of all she observes. She rules what ever roost we are in.

We left Chula Vista on May 5th 2008 and started out towards Minnesota. Our granddaughter Dani was graduating from high school, I wanted to see my 86 year old Dad and Lowell's mama had passed on and we were to have a celebration of her wonderful full life at Lowell's brother Ken's home. We have 5 children between us and 13 wonderful grandchildren to see and visit with. So off we went for an adventure in our new RV.

First stop was in Las Vegas at the KOA park. This is a very nice park right off of the strip. It has a friendly staff and is within a walk to Circus Circus and fairly reasonable considering where you are. I am sad to say it will be gone soon. Another big building will replace this hidden paradise for the RVer.

We continued our travel up and down the mountains. The winds were strong rocking us as we went. Rained day after day but still we were following a dream.

We passed over the hoover dam where we had breakfast at a roadside Casino and had our motor home checked out by two handsome Federal agents. They were nice enough to pose with us. Too bad my son in law David was not with us so I could embarrass him again by saying " Oh Officer" " Oh Officer" which I did in New York City at Central Park.

Next stop was a sight we have passed before but never took the time to visit. Craters of the Moon. This is a monster of a crater that was created over 55,000 years ago. It is an awsome sight and worth the time and money to visit.

After that another wonder. Roswell, New Mexico. Did an UFO crash there? Is the goverment hiding something? Everone has an opinion but is a fun place to spend a bit of time. We stayed overnight at a small RV park. Clean and friendly site. Breakfast was at the Cowboy Cafe. This is a small little cafe with good hometown food just off the main drag.

This is a small part of our trip towards Minnesota. Will return soon
Good night all