Those 70ish girls…What a trip!

We’re back home. Our house hasn’t sold yet, so we have moved back in for the time being. Here are some highlights of the last days of our 6 week road trip.

All told, we spent time in Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, and then back to Texas.

Granddaughter, Liv in Tuscaloosa
Kip had to drive by Bryant Denny Stadium
We had brunch with Liv. at a cute Cafe on the Black Warrior River
Black Warrior River

We saw friends, family, and ended the trip with family and friends who feel like family. We stopped in Tyler, TX for 2 days. Kip had a doctor’s appt there on Monday. Sunday afternoon, daughter, Heidi and boyfriend, Joe, came to see us and brought friends, Ray and Janice. We got to spend a fun time relaxing on our RV deck.

That morning, Kip and I went to Cracker Barrel Cafe for one last food splurge. Kip’s HAPPY shirt aptly describes our final full day on the road

Yes, we ate it all!
Rylie and Nellie were awesome travelers
Thanks for joining us. We appreciate all of our friends and family on the road or back at home.

NEXT trip post: The Yays and Nays of RV living life… example: keep track of your purse. Some nays can create new yays

Those 70ish girls…So why isn’t he laughing?

Remember when I said I would tell you about the things that happened during our trip that weren’t funny at the time, but we laughed about, later? I think I should tell you about today because I need you to validate that it might be kind of funny…later.

I will admit that I might not be the sharpest knife in the drawer. Maybe the elevator doesn’t go all the way to the top. It could also be possible that I’m not dealing with a full deck. Everyone makes mistakes, but it is kind of nice to be blissfully ignorant of most of them. Today threw me.

We’ve had a wonderful trip. We have been having so much fun, that I have gotten behind in my travel posts. Thanks to Cousin Val/Baba/Lav, who is quickly growing a following, I can catch up as I have time. We have done a lot of things I haven’t told you about, yet.

We began today in Monroe, Louisiana and we ended the day about 90 miles down the road.

We were out of some necessities, so we stopped by the closest Walmart. The drill is that Kip stays with the dogs while I shop. I took an extra long time because Kip needed some things in the RV section and I couldn’t find the RV section. There weren’t too many people around to help. By the time I found what I needed, and had made my purchases, it was almost 11:00 o’clock which is kind of a late start even by our standards.

Kip helped me unload the groceries from the cart and began to put them away while I took the cart to the cart drop-off place. I’m not one of those who leaves a cart in the middle of the parking lot. I’ve had my car scratched up more than once by a wayward cart.

We finally got back on the road and had been traveling about an hour and a half, when I realized I had forgotten something at the store. When I told Kip I thought I had forgotten something, he said not to worry about it because we would be home in a couple of days and would have to make another run to the store, anyway. I hadn’t started to panic, yet. I was sure I had brought the item from the store, but after a quick perusal, I determined that I had indeed left without it.

“OH NO,” I yelled. “I left my purse in the shopping cart!”

Kip sighed a big loud sigh and said, “We will stop at this little town a couple of miles up the road and I will help you look for it. You wouldn’t leave your purse in a shopping cart.”

Fifteen minutes later, he became a believer. He decided we would find an RV park, get a spot, unhook the Jeep, and drive the hour and a half back to Walmart. I immediately got on the phone and called the store. After several rings, I heard, “Thank you for calling Walmart. We are very anxious to serve you. Please press 1 for the pharmacy, press 2 for the deli, press 3 for electronics, press 4 for automotive, and press 0 if you need to talk to an associate.”

I pressed 0 and after several rings an associate answered and promptly transferred me to customer service, who never answered. I called the associate back 3 times, no answer. I pressed 1 and got someone in the pharmacy who said, in not so many words, “Not my problem, lady.” I said, “Would you be a nice person and grab someone who can tell the people in customer service that you have a very desperate person on the phone, and she has been trying to reach them for 45 minutes?”

The nice lady at the pharmacy said she couldn’t do that because she was in the pharmacy and the pharmacy doesn’t do that. Before I could say something more convincing, I heard the sound of my call being transferred. No one answered. I was getting close to calling the gas station, nearby, to ask them to go to Walmart and find me some help. Instead, I called the store one more time, even though I could hardly stand to hear the recording tell me for the 10th time that they were very anxious to serve me. An associate finally answered. I began by saying, “Please stay with me. Do not transfer me, because I have called everyone in that store and no one answers. I have already pressed 1, 2. 3, and 4. You are 0, right? I am in an RV 90 miles from you and I think I left my purse in a cart that is in the cart return place. I can’t tell you exactly which one. I need to know if someone was nice enough to bring it into the store and hand it over to someone.”

The nice associate said, “I remember talking to you a while ago. You’re looking for your purse, right? I transferred you to customer service and then I went on my break. I just got back. Lady just take a breath, and I will find out if anyone has your purse. Are you for sure that it was this Walmart? We have more than one Walmart in Monroe.”

“I called the Walmart that I left 90 miles ago. My husband has all of the information in his GPS. The phone number was in the same area that has the button he pushed that said, DIRECTIONS and then START!”

“Okay lady,” the nice associate said. “Take a couple of breaths while I go find out if someone has seen your purse… Oh, what does it look like?”

Kip had been on the phone trying to find an RV park. When he hung up, he asked me who I was talking to. I was busy taking deep breaths so I didn’t answer him. By that time the nice associate came back on the line and asked me if they did happen to have my purse, what would be in it that would identify me as the owner?

I won’t go any further with the blow by blow. They did have my purse, and I am very thankful to the person who found it. I am also very thankful that we weren’t 300 miles down the road before I discovered my purse was missing.

Kip has been biting his tongue, hard. I don’t think he enjoyed driving the same route 3 times. I also don’t think he’s even one bit grateful.

Why isn’t he laughing? 

“I think we’ve been down this road, before. Do you think she forgot our bones?”

Those 70ish girls…Basic Baseball by Baba

I have been watching the World Serious this week. It’s the biggest baseball tournament in the World and it is serious.

These two teams try to score with one guy at a time, taking turns by hitting a small hard ball after a guy from the opposite team throws a ball at about 90 mph at the guy who is home (you’d think he would feel safe being at home. He is not ). The guy at home tries to defend himself with this wooden stick. Naturally he doesn’t want to get hit with a 90 mph hard ball. The guy with the stick gets a few chances.At least there are two other guys behind him, one crouched way down protected with a big mask and mattress in his mid section and another guy behind crouching guy called an Emperor. That guy kinda runs the entire game and yells out, “Ball” or sometimes, “Strike”. The Emperor is dressed in black and is also disguised with a mask and mini-mattress to protect himself. He yells a lot.

So the stick holder is out front with NO PROTECTION and two cowardly types stand or crouch down behind this poor fellow who only has a stick while a thrown hardball comes hurtling toward him. But sometimes the stick holder hits the ball away and naturally runs as fast as possible. Now it gets interesting. The police should be called and lawyers brought in but noooo—the guy running often tries to steal a base, often not even feeling remorse. And get this: there is actually a baseball diamond somewhere on the field and the players don’t try to steal that. They try to steal bases!Who the heck wants to steal a base?

I would much rather have a diamond. The other guys in the team even encourage this thievery yelling, “Run!” Or certain helpers whisper what a player should do next. They coach them on when and how to steal. I just do not believe the lack of common decency in this game. Stealing and trying to hit poor defenseless players. I can see why everyone at the stadium needs to stretch and sing after about seven parts or innings. “Take me out of the ball game” is what they all sing and can you blame them? I would want to get out of there, too.

Too bad…looks like Baba needs to get a booster!

Those 70ish girls…Traveling truths

Here’s the unvarnished truth about life on the road. Sometimes it’s hot and sometimes it’s cold.

Tres Natchez Parkway in Tennessee
Tennessee

Some days the sun shines and some days it rains. If the wind doesn’t blow, no one complains.

Each morning we rise and go walk the dogs. We love to build campfires, but have to buy logs.

Charleston, West Virginia

We drive our big rig from Walmart to Walmart. We feel right at home and load up our cart.

We find places to eat without even looking. Anything is better than Mary’s cooking.

Hendersonville, North Carolina. We tried to have Amazon delivered there, but no one was home.
Kip’s favorite bear claws can be found at a bakery in the fun downtown area in Hendersonville NC
Our favorite breakfast place in Hendersonville, NC
I don’t remember where this was, but they have good pizza
We were at The Pit Stop with friends. We all went to the Covered Bridge Festival in Rockville, Indiana
Delphi, Indiana

We raise our eyebrows at the high price of gas, but an electric bill is a thing of the past.

One of  our pleasures is now long gone. Its not possible to order from Amazon.

We don’t really have a permanent address and tomorrow’s location is anyone’s guess.

I bought delicious Pink Lady apples at this orchard in North Carolina

We don’t have grass that grows under our feet. We don’t have to mow or pile leaves in a heap.

We visit old friends and make new ones, too. They always make sure we have fun thing to do.

Molly and Cary Cline live in Lafayette, Indiana. They attended college at the University of Wyoming with Kip
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOLLY!!!
Visiting Fran and Merrill Spahlinger in Lake Milton, Ohio.

Rick Spahlinger and wife, Rita, helped make the day so special.

The highways and byways make us ooh and ahh. We can’t believe all the beauty we saw.

Near a camping spot, (The Fancy Gap Campground), close to the Blue Ridge Parkway

There is so much more to share on this venue. We’ll keep you posted as our adventures continue.

As I write what I can, I really must hurry. It’s time to move on and today we must flurry.

We’re hoping we can make it to Vicksburg, where a battle was fought. (Maybe you’ve heard.)

We can’t stay on the road for ever and ever, but we always say. Never say never!

Whatever we see. Where ever we roam, Texas (and Murdo) will always be home.

I’ll write about the funny things and the things that are funny now, but weren’t at the time, later…And we have so many more photos. I’m not keeping up very well, but that’s life on the road…

Those 70ish girls…Baba gets booed on a typical street

Baba Wawa is back on the streets of Anytown USA which we all know is Happy Down in the Valley, CA. I’m just sayin. I happen to be a no opinion editor. All of us no opinion editors have no opinions. I’m just sayin.

My name is Tiny. (This Is Not Yram.)

Baba Wawa…

Hey Martha…I told you we shouldn’t have moved to Happy Down in the Valley…Martha?
Harold…Does this dress make me look fat?
Well, I haven’t seen everything, now!!

Happy Halloween every BODY!!!

BWAAAHAHA…Tiny

Those 70ish girls…America is beautiful

We had wonderful times with our friends in Indiana and Ohio. I can’t begin to tell you how much we enjoyed both visits. It’s part of what makes RV travel so awesome.

This blog is going to be mostly pictures. I have to show you the scenery as we traveled from Virginia into North Carolina and now begin to drive through the southwestern part of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Our spot last night
My early morning walk with Nellie and Rylie. They are amazing travelers.
These shots are not in order. I’m trying to get this posted before we lose service.
Nellie thought this was pretty cool
Except for the driving shots, all the photos were taken at the Fancy Gap Campground

We had beautiful surroundings last evening. We stayed at The Fancy Gap Campground. Today should be an awesome picture taking day, depending on how many stops Kip let’s me make to photograph all the beauty. Our goal is to reach Ashville, NC.

Those 70ish girls…98 is just a number

Four years ago while Kip and I were on an RV trip in the northeastern part of the country, we stopped for the night at a little RV park in Ohio. Kip mentioned that he thought Ron Spahlinger’s parents lived in Ohio. Ron and Barbara are friends of ours and live near us in the Mabank, TX area.

Kip decided to give Ron a call and find out where in Ohio his parents lived. As it happened, they were only about a 45 minute drive from where we were staying. Ron’s brother, Rick and his wife, Rita live next door to Ron’s and Rick’s mom and dad. Ron gave us Rick’s phone number. (That’s a lot of Rs.) After talking with him, we decided to stop by and meet everyone. We had no idea what was to come.

During that first visit we sat on Fran’s and Merrill’s porch, which overlooks the beautiful Lake Milton, and visited for a couple of hours. Rita was gone that day, but Rick, Fran and Merrill made us feel so welcome. We talked about our families, current and past events, and a little about politics. By the time we left, Kip and I felt we had been blessed with some pretty great new friends.

Kip and I with Fran and Merrill on their porch in 2018
Rick, Kip, Merrill, and Fran in 2018

This time when we planned our trip,  we knew we wanted to stop and see Fran and Merrill along with Rick and Rita.

Rick had a wonderful breakfast including scrambled eggs, bacon, fried potatoes, and toast waiting for us when we arrived. Fran had set a beautiful table and prepared hot coffee. After breakfast, and since it was Sunday, we all watched the live stream of our church in Mabank’s service. Ron was directing the choir, and we saw Barbara sitting in the congregation. Fran and Merrill watch every week and said they know where Kip and I sit and look for us each Sunday. Since we should tell the truth here, any of us watching from Lake Milton would be stuck for an answer if asked what the sermon was about because we talked all the way through it.

Fran’s table set with beautiful china

A while back, our church advertised the position of choir director. Fran has a great sense of humor and as a fluke, she sent an elaborate resume and applied for the job. She and Pastor Dan along with Lance, our church administrator, went back and forth discussing salary, housing requirements, and other conditions of employment. The negotiations broke down, but it really was the church’s loss as Fran is an accomplished musician. In fact, the whole family can sing and play several instruments.

Fran told us about her years teaching children with a mental disability and regaled us with fun stories about her kids growing up and their various musical talents. As we were looking at all of the family mementos and pictures, Kip asked Merrill about the photos and other WWII memorabilia he had displayed. Among various other things was a model of a B17 airplane. Merrill was a navigator during the war and flew on numerous missions over Natzi Germany. It’s not often you get to talk with a WWII Veteran these days.

There is an American Association of Rosie the Riveters and Fran is a Rosie. The association honors women who were employed in an industry or agency that was directly related to the war effort or employed in a capacity usually held by a man, therefore releasing a man for military duty. Decendants of Rosies are Rosebuds.

After we were finished not watching the church service, Rick and Rita took us for a drive around Lake Milton. We got to see where Fran and Merrill raised their family and the church several family members attended and some, including Rick’s and Rita’s daughter, were married in. We passed by the farm Rick’s and Ron’s grandfather owned and the house that their aunt and uncle and family lived in back in the day. Rita lived in the area, too and we saw the house she and Rick built before building one next door to Fran and Merrill. Rick told us he had a special surprise and took us to a farmhouse that had a stand full of sweet corn. Kip and I bought several ears and finished it all off in two days.

Rick and Kip picking out corn.
A sign near the farm with the corn
Kip got to see another covered bridge
The home where Fran and Merrill raised their kids still looks pretty good!

The day wasn’t over, yet. Kip and I were treated to some first class entertainment. Fran played the electric keyboard…her foot going a mile a minute on the pedal while her nimble fingers flew over the keys. Rick played a mean guitar and Kip and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to old favorites such as, “Has Anybody Seen My Girl,” and “Sweet Georgia Brown.”

Kip and I brought one of those good old Walmart cakes and after listening to the wonderful music, we had dessert. Much too soon, it was time to say goodbye. When we got in the car to leave, we could see Fran waving to us from her kitchen window. I told Kip I thought I was going to cry. I looked at him and saw a tear in his eye.

It was a wonderful day. Oh, did I mention that Fran and Merrill are the same age. They are a true testament to the fact that 98 is just a number.

The cake
I think this is a great picture of Fran and Kip.
Rick, me, Fran and Merrill…Rita escaped photo opportunities.
We love these two very special friends

Baba on football…

I think Baba tried to interview a football and the football said, “I would rather be kicked down a non-grassy field than be interviewed by Baba Wawa.”

News and Views. Football declines interview with Baba Wawa.
Sorry Baba…I’m a basketball cheerleader not a ref
This future cheerleader is demanding an ice cream sammich. Her agent says he can get her one. Will Baba be able to score this big one?

Those 70ish girls…It’s all just food under the bridge

Kip and I spent the last three days having a huge amount of fun with two of Kip’s old college buddies. The three of them went to The University of Wyoming, together. Two out of the three are, let me just say, uh… different. Is different a bad word? It’s the best I can come up with to describe those two. I didn’t know Kip was quite so, uh…different until I witnessed him with Cary. It wasn’t an anomaly, either. I’ve witnessed the two of them together several times and it’s always the same, right Molly? Molly is Cary’s wife.

As you know, Kip has been underwhelmed with the Covered Bridge Festival in Rockville, Indiana. Oh, he managed to choke down some breaded pork loin with all the trimmings, a huge frosted sourdough cinnamon roll, a breakfast fit for a couple of kings, and a few bites of Molly’s persimmon pudding.

Persimmon pudding…yummy
A light snack before dinner
Guess who the 2 different ones are.

The thing Kip was missing was the covered bridge that the Covered Bridge Festival was celebrating. Someone told him there are 32 of them. So, just to shut him up, I mean put his misgivings to rest, we took one of the maps available all over Rockville and surrounding communities, and went on a hunt for covered bridges. Cary drove, and Kip rode shotgun. Kip read the map…sort of. Molly and I sat in the backseat and alternated between rolling our eyes and trying to stifle laughter. (We were laughing at them. Not with them.)

“The Bridge is there not here,” said Cary.” “Bridges cover creeks not cornfields,” said Kip. Seriously, we drove by the same house 3 times. The first time there was a guy out front walking his dog. Cary wanted to stop and ask him to direct us to a covered bridge. The next 2 times we drove by the drapes were pulled shut and we noticed there was a for sale sign out front that hadn’t been there before.

I think I see a bridge behind those trees
Is there a creek?
Guess which ones are different
It’s got to be here somewhere.
It can’t be. There aren’t any creeks or cornfields. Could it be the bridges are on roads?
Yup! It says right here…road closed.
Great pic of Molly and Cary. The different one is on the left.
You know these two. The different one is on the left.
Finally! Someone who is not uh, different has the map.

After a couple of hours listening to this repeated conversation and driving up and down the same road several times, Molly grabbed the map, and I googled, covered bridges near me. Within 30 minutes we had seen three bridges so we headed back to Rockville. We stopped for some ice cream at Dairy Queen on the way to the Parke County Fair Grounds where we had out RVs parked. We’d had a huge brunch, but we had to get back so Molly could make us all delicious taco salads.

“You walk over there, I’m sort of over it,” said Cary ” “We are too,” said Molly and MG. “Let’s go eat, ” said Kip.

Kip is happy…

Next: Never tell friends you’re having Amazon packages shipped to their house in advance of your arrival. One couple left and went to visit 5 European countries. They said they would be gone for over a month.