Monday, November 13, 2017

A 60th celebration like no other

The cast of characters

Four turned 60 this year - only two could make the celebration.....and what a celebration it was....

The day began innocently enough at the commuter lot at Gravois and 270. With a 10:00 start time we out did ourselves when we were on the road by 10:02! Our first stop was Clancy's Irish Pub in Rosebud. OK OK maybe calling it an Irish Pub is taking the term 'Irish Pub' too far but it proved to be an excellent watering hole with big, juicy burgers. 

Next stop the White Mule Winery

Yes there really was a white mule....

And finally on to our final destination - We hadn't been there in 25 years - the place had changed a bit but no matter - the laughter and friendship proved to be richer and fuller this time around. Use your imagination to determine what you perceive fuller to mean!

 Now ladies - let the party begin!

She's as sweet as sugar til she gets ta drinkin'

Oh I love you so much Mary she says
Two minutes later

you, you white mule water drinker!!

Sweet little Mindy, get a few in her and she can not stay out of the camera!

And where would we be without our Mo Mo

And they danced all night...

they have been friends since grade school....
time can't tear them apart - 
but I think beer can - once Mary figures out that Glo
is double dipping in the cooler!

How many bell employees does it take to put on a CD?
Two with one Sr. Technical Director!

Sometimes we get a little sassy

Other times we may get a little gassy

But at all times we remain happy!

What? What? I saw nothing, I say nothing

And that's a wrap folks.

The Big Rig Part II

The last night in the big rig as written from journal:

KOA Camp - Nashville TN
Our last night in "the rig". I'm glad we did this - I liked it a lot more than Shelly did. Glamping is not for her. I will say thing though - Shelly kept her outside responsibilities up to a T. She can hook up an and disconnect an RV in minutes. Although I will have to say Shelly and I are pretty boring, we work well together and accomplish what we set out to do but bottom line - we got no game. Need an example? Yesterday in Asheville we attempted to go to the Biltmore mansion - $70 admission, but we had so many people say it was worth it we thought we would give it a try. First problem - we didn't get there until noon on a Saturday. The line long. Really long but we are persistent if nothing else. When we finally got to the window the man told us the next tour of the mansion was not available until 3:45. We said "OK - we don't have a car can we walk?" "No, you will need to take the shuttle" he replied. "OK, how much is that?" we asked. "$15, but ladies before I ring you up I have to tell you the shuttle won't be back here until 2:00, and since we haven't booked yet now tickets to the mansion aren't available until 4:00"  In unison we said "what time is it?" He said, "1:10 - shuttle comes on the hour you just missed it. We said "forget it." Put our tail between our legs and walked out. We decided if we ever come this way again we are going on the tour - but now we know - Go Early with a car! We enjoyed using Uber this vac cay but it does get pricey. We make it to Nashville around 2:30 and shocker of all shockers we went out to dinner! What fun it was. This trip was fun but I think for our purposes we are more the hotel/restaurant kind of travelers. I'm glad we did it and I ever to it again it will be with someone who is a camper

The low down on RVing.

1. We are not really "campers" so this was a stretch for us. At least I have gone camping before and knew a little bit about it. I realized from the git go that we were sitting in tall cotton having a place with electric, a toilet and a shower - now it wasn't the Ritz but it sure as hell wasn't "squatting in the grass" so I was pretty happy.

2. The RV parks we stayed at we not picturesque - at all

The Entrance

If the entrance shot didn't really make you want 
to hop in and RV and take off maybe
this shot will!

Lesson learned: if you want to RV plan your trip early that way you can get spots in the pretty places - which I think would have made a difference.

3. RV'ing in NOT cheap. Renting an RV for a week is about $1200. Gas is about $200. Food I don't know $150. Beer - now that is where the expense comes in because if you don't have a car what is there to do? It's not like you can go meet the neighbors - we didn't really see anyone out - so I drank a lot of beer.

4. From the beginning Shelly said she would go on the trip but she would not drive the RV. I said "well if you won't drive then you can to be responsible for eliminating the waste." God love her - she kept her word and got rigged hooked up in record time every time we pulled in to a new site:

5. If you don't think you can make the turn do not - I repeat do not try. Back story - Shelly wanted me to take her home. I said "Shell I don't think I can get the RV through your gate" She said "Sure you can." I said "No really - I don't think it's a good idea" She said "You can do it" so ..... I went ahead and pulled the rig into Shelly's neighborhood - but not without some difficulty.

I couldn't get the RV through the gate - we were stuck - I said "Now what do we do?" Shelly called the cops!!! She said "The cops will come and get us out."

And there he is - the officer that saved the day - he ended up stopping traffic and guiding me back and forth until I got it lined up straight and then I could "get her through". That was probably the scariest part of the trip.

But we made it there and back. Shelly said she is glad she did it but doesn't need to do any more RV trips. Me? I'd do it again tomorrow.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

The Big Rig or a week in an RV - Part I

(no access to internet - logged this post in my journal)

Mon Oct 16, 2017
Paducah, KY
Walmart parking lot in an RV Camper - Check

Shelly and I are taking an RV trip to Asheville, NC. We left St. Louis at 4PM with no camp site booked so we found the local Walmart here in town and parked. There are about 6 or 7 other RVs here so this is really a "thing" - RVers park on Walmart lots when they are in between RV parks. The RV is roomy and we stocked it with good food and plenty of cold beer so life in the Walmart parking lot is pretty good! Shelly is laying down and I'm on my 3rd beer and I am hoping it will put me to sleep! Tomorrow we will be at a campsite with a "full hookup" which means we can use the microwave, stove, coffee maker etc. Tonight we are using the lights which I hope won't run down the battery - It is very odd sleeping in a parking lot where you can hear people drag racing down the main strip. I apologize for this being so boring but nevertheless, here we are - two women in our 60's taking off across the USA in an RV. Unheard of 50 years ago. It's great to be a women in 2017.

Made it to Nashville

We made it through out night on the Walmart Parking lot but not without plenty of uncomfortable moments. We had no heat and it got cold!!! I woke in the night hearing Shelly saying "I'm freezing" while she was trying to get her sleeping bag down from my sleeping cubby hole. She got it down and then froze the rest of the night even with the sleeping bag. How do I know that you may ask? Because she announced it through out the long, cold night. Personally I didn't mind the cold - it's the heat that 
I can't bear.  Wednesday dawned beautiful - blue skies -  nice weather. We loaded up and hit the local Cracker Barrel. Then it was "On the Road Again. Got here, set up camp and we have electric!!! All is well in Two Rivers RV Site. We have water, but we haven't quite figured it out yet. We think the hose needs some kind of adapter.

We rested up and Ubered to the Grand 'Ole Opry - I bought tickets and requested "best seats available" What did we get? Literally the Worst Seats in the House!!! The Last Row - way up high, high, high - it was center stage though. That aside it was a GREAT show. I had never been before and next time I go to Nashville I will be sure and go back. Tonight we had an appearance from Brad Paisley - it was really neat. It's a very conformable place - lots back and forth with the audience. Brad Paisley was there to welcome Chris Young into the Grand 'Ole Opry membership and it was pretty cool to watch.

Nashville RV Park

We are up and have had our coffee  - we're just hanging out until we head downtown

Those are the words that were written in my journal. That didn't happen. Instead we thought since we were camping we should build a fire and roast hotdogs. It was only noon but we cracked open the beers and enjoyed the sunshine on our little patio. We set up our BBQ  and had some really, really good hotdogs - best we had ever tasted! By now it's 4:00 - we are a little buzzed - Shelly goes to lay down and I played on the internet. I'm sad to admit that was our day and night in Nashville. 

Shelly outside the Big Rig

All set up and ready to Q the Dogs.

Enjoying a beautiful day at the park..

 The view

Shelly  with the park in the background

Tuesday, March 28, 2017



Arrived via train on Weds evening. We took a cab to our hotel - the cab ride reminded me of a 007 movie - the roads appear to be alleys and it was a little bit foggy - I was a bit nervous, but not to fear we were welcomed with open arms. They have us a glass of champagne and escorted us to our rooms. From there we went out - the Christmas market was almost right outside our door. It is a beautiful one with a huge tree as it's center piece. We met Nick for dinner - we ate in the cellar of the 12th Century building, there was piano music playing in the background - I thought I was a wonderful dinner - I have no idea what Nick thought of it.

When I met Nick for dinner  in Prague - my, my
but we've come a long way from
South County!

 This picture does not do this Christmas tree
justice. It was one of the coolest trees I've 
ever seen and it was less than a block
from our hotel.

 The Christmas Markets of Europe are
all about food, family and gifts. At most of the 
markets there are little petting stalls scattered
around for the kids to have some fun

 Check this out! Hams cooking on a spit over
an open fire - when you order some ham
they just go and slice you off some.....
wish I had some right now!

Another animal stall

 This was our transport up to the Prague Castle

I thought it was pretty cool....

 The outside of the castle. The term castle is misleading
it is really a whole village behind those gates.
When the court would move literally hundreds of people
moved with it. I wish I had some pictures of the 
village. Cute little houses and shops lining the cobblestone
 One of many, many manger scenes I saw
this one is done in hay.

This is stained glass at the church
on the castle grounds. Notice St. Lukas
I took that for Tony, his son is named
Johnny Luca - and now he knows his Saint.

Upon leaving the castle there is this statue
of a naked boy - I don't know why - but apparently
everyone around the world wants to rub his
you know's quite polished.
I won't post the picture of me polishing the nob.

 There is a famous artist, David Cerny who was 
commissioned to build this tower when the
country was under Soviet rule. Just to piss them
off he sculpted babies crawling all over it. 

Then to ad insult to injury he sculpted this horse
for the Soviets and then hung it upside down.
What I've read about him states that this was 
an act of civil disobedience and considered
"hooliganism" and he was briefly arrested.

A day in Vienna

December 2016
The only city that was not bombed by the Germans - Hitler visited
Vienna before the war and he loved the city so much that he
gave strict instructions that the city was not to be bombed.

We started the day with a car tour, this will be the first time I've come to Europe and gained weight- our tour was really nice - this is a beautiful, old city.

 A church we stopped in our guide told us this is the church that Royalty use to get married in

 An eclectic neighborhood - the artist that designed this neighborhood 
has a museum but he went ahead and brought his art
to the street.

 Look an old fashioned phone booth
I couldn't pass this up - after 30 years with 
the "phone company" it's odd / nice 
to see a phone booth.

more of the neighborhood the artist built

 The  sign on the street
at the beginning of the "artists" neighborhood.

During a museum tour we got to pop in
to a cooking demonstration of how 
the Viennese make the wonderful
apple strudels.

Look carefully - no need to let
language barriers disrupt 
bathroom manners.....only in

The old guard shack -

Kate and Stammie

We took a tour of this castle 
it was quite interesting to witness how
royalty used to live

At the top of the hill is the Queens little house
the King built for her so that she could
escape the hustle/bustle for awhile.

the walk way to the Queen's private palace

An example of the statues that reside all along
the walk way.

 Outside our hotel

in front of the hotel
The whole city dresses up for the holidays

And this beauty was in the lobby of our hotel
she was backlit with candles - beautiful

this was my breakfast most mornings in Vienna

I ordered a hot chocolate it was served on
a nice silver tray - I love the way they
all of the dishes over here!!!

 I took a fondue class in the St Louis and they
ended the class with Raclette - which was delicious
now I find it here at a Christmas Market in Vienna

Just a random shot of the market - people of all
ages enjoying the market day and night....