Sunday, August 28, 2016

Cajun Invasion

We had a wonderful stay at Rick and Denise's place on Lake Norman.  Of course a big part of the fun was getting together with Betty and her family who brought a bit of Cajun with them.  Betty and Brett left Louisiana on Wednesday evening and drove straight through arriving Thursday morning in time for breakfast.  
Rick now has a new welcome for visitors with a driveway chalk welcome.  He even included a "stick Betty" with a glass of wine. 
Here are Betty, Samantha, Dylan and Brett.  Dylan and Samantha live in Mooresville and have been to Rick and Denise's before.
They have a beautiful place overlooking the water.
This is the view from the house as I had my morning coffee.  Sure could get used to this.
Betty told us they were bringing some food, but we had no idea it would be this much.  They arrived with two coolers filled with over 100 pounds of shrimp and crabs.
Most of that shrimp had to be cleaned so Betty, Nanc and I went to work heading shrimp.....
.....while Dylan and Brett were boiling sausage, shrimp and crabs.  Brett brought the burner and bought the 50 quart pot which he left with Dylan as part of his Cajun boil starter kit.
Nothing like fresh boiled shrimp.
Now understand, there were only eight of us and all this wonderful food.  It sure was more then we could eat in one meal.
The next day Brett cooked a shrimp and crab etouffee while Nanc chopped up shrimp for salad and Betty prepped shrimp to be fried.
Rick checked out the etouffee and gave two thumbs up.
Betty making one of TWO shrimp salads and deep frying even more shrimp.
It was not just about the food.  Here are Betty, Nanc and Denise celebrating with wine.  Check out the drinking buddies they have on their glasses. 
With all that food Rick called in reinforcements. Here are Tim and Mary with Rick and Brett the chef.
Brett, Mary, Tim, Denise, Rick, Samantha, Dylan, Betty and Nanc getting ready to chow down.  There was more than enough for all.  The next morning Brett cook eggs with shrimp and we opted for left overs for lunch.
When you are at the lake it is not all about the food.  We got out on the water with some of Rick's toys.  Dylan and Samantha skied for the first time, though we did not get a picture of her.
She also mastered the paddle board even as Dylan harassed her with Rick's little power boat. 
Betty and Brett did not want to try the water sports but did like the boat.
Even the old guys got on the skies.  It has been years since I skied but it was just like riding a bike.  I got right up and did a couple of loops all without getting injured.  May have to do it again next year so I can say I skied at 70.
I took over the jet ski and Rick took a couple of loops around the lake.  Sorry, we did not get a good picture of him on the skies.
Dylan, Rick and I all smiles after skiing.
While Rick and Denise have a beautiful townhouse they have always wanted a house on the lake.  They are closing on this lot next month and are looking to building here in a couple years.
On Sunday a few of us hit the water.  It sure was refreshing.
Betty, Brett, Dylan and Samantha on board the boat.  It sure was fun and a great way to see the many beautiful homes on the lake shore.
Nanc, who is not a big water fan, wanted to master the board and looks real happy with the results.
One of the sunsets on our stay at the lake.  Betty and Brett left early Monday morning to miss the traffic and we headed out a bit later.  It was great getting to see Betty and to get to know Brett, Dylan and Samantha.  We sure had a great time with the Cajun invasion of Lake Norman.  Thank you Rick and Denise for your gracious hospitality and a wonderful time.  It's always a pleasure to spend time with you both.  

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Back in WashPA

We left Essex Junction planning to take three days to get back to Wash PA.  The first night we stayed at Wally World in New York and were on the road so early the next morning we decided to do a long day and drive all the way across the state.  We called Pine Cove RV Park where we stay and were happy to hear we could come in a day early.  We have gotten to see many friends and have already completed many of our doctors appointments.  I'm happy to report I had a good check up at the dentist, dermatologist and eye surgeon, with no need for cataract surgery this year, but I do need to get new glasses.  Nanc does have to go back to the dentist for one bad tooth repair.  We still have appointments with out primary care doctor and Nanc's ob/gyn doc.  Hopefully those will also go well. 
Crossing the Delaware and we are back in beautiful Pennsylvania.......
..............where you are sure to encounter many many orange signs and barrels signaling construction ahead.  Somewhat of a pain, but much needed improvements.
We love going to our old favorite restaurants in the WashPA area and trying out new places.  This new spot, Bacon, Bourbon & Beer, is owned by a former student, Shawn Janovich.  While they are still in their "soft" opening phase we were very happy with our meals and are looking forward to many visits.  If you are in the area add this new place to your dining experience.
This was our first retirees Wednesday lunch bunch gathering this year where we always get together with so many friends.  Here are Reg, John and Pat. 
Lena and Linda
Ron, Becky and Nanc.
Tish and Sandy
Bill and Kim
Jackie and Dave 
Georgie and Chuck
Cheryl, Ann Marie and Joyce.  Out of all these people only Ann Marie is still working, but looking forward to retiring real soon. 
Another local favorite restaurant for us is Al' an Rubens, where they have great food and great music.  Josh on sax and Dan on guitar are former students.
We got together with Denise and Rick at Burgh's Pizza and Wings, another local favorite.
As I'm writing this we are at Rick and Denise's place on Lake Norman in North Carolina for a long weekend visit.  Also here is Betty and some of her family.  When Rick and Denise came to Betty's in the spring we discovered that her grandson Dylan lives nearby.  They invited Betty to come for a visit.  That will be the next post.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

56th Escapade

We moved on to Essex Junction, Vermont for the 56th Escapade.  We attended our first one in 2007 when we started our on the road adventure.  This is our fifth one but our first since 2011 in Gillette, WY. These rallies are always fun and informative with many seminars covering every aspect of RVing.  This time we were on staff and worked rather than attending the sessions.  
Part of the main stage display that Nanc helped set up.  Someone else made the trailer and she added her personal decorative touch. 
Lanny and Lois, whom we met at the 2008 Escapade.  All staff members worked to put together the welcome bags for the 1300+ attendees.
Bob and Molly are Class of  '07 mates who have been Escapade Directors for the last few years introducing Kay Peterson the founder of Escapees.  While Kay has cut back on her official duties, she is still going strong at 91.
Staff members came in early and where treated to a great dinner.  Here are '07 mates Mike, Sandy, Nora, Terry and Sandy.  One of the best things about the Escapade is seeing so many friends.
The Row has information about all the Escapees chapters and campgrounds. 
Opening ceremonies filled the room with the 1300+ attendees.
My favorite shirt.  Sure is true about us.
Staff members John, Monica and Sky.  We worked with Sky and were responsible for setting up, moving and tearing down the rooms where the eighty plus seminars where held.
There was entertainment each evening.  The first night was Jimmy Travis, a singer and comedian who had everyone in the place laughing.  Another evening was the Ham-o-Rama where SKPs had a chance to show their talent.  These are the Marlins, four brothers who played everything from country to blues, to a great piano pounding out Jerry Lee Lewis. 
Of course there was a marketplace with 50 vendors selling just about anything any RVer will ever need.  Since we had many miles and ten years of towing on our old one, I bought Nanc a new Blue Ox tow bar.
Even Santa was there passing out SKP hugs.  There is now a new branch of Escapees called Xcapers that is geared to families traveling with kids, so Santa was really busy.
The Class of '07 mates gathered for a happy hour social.  This group includes people who started fulltiming in '07 and many friends whom we have adopted.
This is the '07 group at our first Escapade in Goshen, IN in 2007.  Many of the original members are no longer on the road and a few have passed away.
Nanc with Sarah, who was helping her grandparents with morning coffee along with Jan and Bill who we just met this spring at Betty's.
We were happy to see Charlie whom we have crossed paths with several times.  His wife Sherri passed away and he had not been traveling for a while. He has since met Margaret and is once again on the road.  
What almost 700 rigs looks like at the Champlain Valley Expo.  It was the first time the Escapade has been in the Northeast and the turnout was great.  Opus is the rig with the white roof :-)
The day after the Escapade ended we had dinner with Michael McCormick, a former student who now lives in Burlington.  We have kept up with him through his father Bill who was our dentist but had not seen him since we went on the road.  We had a lot of catching up to do including hearing about his five week, 9,000 mile trip across America he, his brother Andrew and friend Patrick took a couple of years ago. 
He showed us around Burlington and we were treated to this beautiful sunset on Lake Champlain.  We had a great time in Vermont playing tourist and seeing friends and decided it is another place we would like to return to some day.