Thursday, January 28, 2016

Tunica, Mississippi

Today I am picking up our 2005 travel story.

We spent about ten days in cold weather in several Arkansas locations and were ready for warmer.  On Tuesday, February 21, 2006 we left the Cloud Nine RV Park in Hot Springs, AR and moved to Sam’s Town in Tunica, MS. The drive was about 200 miles. After thawing water and sewer lines we were able to leave Hot Springs about noon. It was not a fun morning. We were tired of being cold and snowed in. The roads were clear and it was a smooth ride to Tunica. We stopped along the way to get propane and get the motorhome washed – it was filthy. Driving in the snow is much nastier than driving in the rain.

We paid less than $12 per day to stay in the RV park. A nice paved park with all the amenities, but after being on a snowy hilltop in Arkansas, just the pavement was enough for me. I assume they planned to get our money at the casino instead of the RV park and that was okay with Kathi and I. We were ready for entertainment.

We went to bed and neither of us could sleep, so we got up and went to the casino about 2 am. Believe it or not, the casino was empty, so we had our choice of machines. We had fun for a couple of hours, but never hit anything significant.

It was rainy and cold all day, but no snow and no below freezing temperatures. I tried several times to get TV reception in our RV with no luck. I even took out our portable satellite dish, thinking something was wrong with the automatic dish, Still no luck. I was sure that was an omen that we needed to be gambling instead of watching TV, so back to the casino we went. This trip we went to the Hollywood Casino. Results were the same as the previous night – a little fun and no winnings worth mentioning. We did try the Hollywood buffet and it was just okay.

Thursday we spent the afternoon and evening at Fitzgerald’s casino trying to stay out of the rain. Kathi never seemed to get tired when slot machines are nearby. She wears me out. We ate the buffet at Fitzgerald’s and it was much better than the Hollywood the day before. We stayed inside the casino until the rain stopped.

Friday, we drove to Memphis, TN. It was about 50 miles each way. We were looking for a Walmart store, but never found one. What we saw in Memphis was a tired, rundown and dreary city -- not a place where we would be interested in spending our time. It rained in the evening and most of the night. I tried our TV satellite and it worked perfectly. I never did find out what was wrong the previous two days.

February 25th was Kathi’s birthday. We spent the afternoon and evening at the Grand Casino to celebrate. We obviously celebrate at the drop of a hat, since that seemed to b a normal day when casinos are nearby. The Grand buffet was great. Gambling was fun, but the best we could do was break even, which I consider winning.

Next Stop: Nashville.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Cool with Sunshine

Today’s entry is an update on current events in the lives of the extended Boozer family.

As I write I am looking out the window at another beautiful day – cool with sunshine. I have had an upper respiratory infection the last week and some chest congestion that kept me inside most of the week. I went to the doctor on Monday and got a shot and a z-pack. My head is still congested, but I am feeling better. The first time Kathi would let me out in the cold was yesterday when we had lunch at Jimmy Changa’s and it was great, as usual. We shared the Vera Cruz again. It makes a great meal for two at a reasonable price.

Now I am worried about Kathi, who has a raspy throat. I am really hoping I was not contagious to share my ailment with her.

Kathi has been going over to her brother’s house every morning to cook a second breakfast for him after his wife Andrea goes to work. Remember her brother is Larry Clark and is recovering from leukemia. She is trying to put some of the 60 pounds he lost back onto his bones. He likes pancakes, sausage and eggs. Sometime biscuits and gravy replace the pancakes. I was enjoying that breakfast right along with him until I got sick.

Larry is walking with a walker most of the time and doing exercises daily to improve his strength. He is getting stronger all the time. They changed his schedule at the Methodist Hospital Clinic to only once every two weeks. We go back to the clinic on Thursday.

We found out yesterday that my nephew, David Clark has left Houston and moved to Colorado Springs. We wish him well in his new adventures. We missed seeing him at our family get-together on Thanksgiving.

One of my sons got his W-2 earlier in the week and I spent yesterday with TurboTax to file his return for him. Somehow they had a wrong e-mail address for him and would not let me change it on-line. I talked to a representative at TurboTax and it took me a while to prove I was not an identity thief. They asked all kind of questions about what the found out about him on his credit report. His credit report indicated he lived at the address where his grandmother lived, because he had something shipped to that address once. Even harder was trying to remember the model year of a truck that was stolen last year. I guess I finally got the right answer on my third try, because they let me file the return.

We had lunch with my sister Carol and her husband Lloyd Jackson a week or so ago. Carol and Lloyd have both been sick in recent weeks with similar symptoms that I had this week. It took Lloyd a while to get over his bout with this flu-like sickness. We are all glad they are both doing better now.

Cool with sunshine – love it.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Arkansas in 2006

Today I am writing a continuation our travel story for 2006.

It was Saturday, February 11, 2006 and we were at the Turkey Creek RV Park in Hollister, MO. We were not planning on moving, but it started snowing in the early afternoon and we were low on propane. We could not find a place in Hollister, MO to buy propane, so Kathi and I decided to move south 50 miles to the KOA in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. We knew most KOA’s sold propane.

We went south on US 65 until we got into Arkansas, then we went south and west on AR 21 to Berryville, then west to Eureka Springs. We were a little apprehensive about driving in the snow, but the roads were clear, so driving was no problem. We found the KOA was closed for the winter, but they filled our tank with propane and let us stay the night. Really nice people.

The next morning, we drove about 50 more miles south to the McGaugh Service Center in Springdale, AR to boondock for the night, so we could be there early Monday morning for some RV repairs. We found an Outback steak restaurant for dinner and stayed in for the evening. It was still cold, but we had no snow and were able to keep warm using our propane heater. The mechanic was through with the RV repairs by one in the afternoon and we moved a few miles further west on US 62, then south on I 49 to the Outdoor RV Park in Russellville, AR.

Our big slide out was still not working properly and left rear tail light on the car would not work when we were towing it with the motorhome. We would still need some RV work done, but we decided to stay in Russellville a couple of days before moving further south for warmer weather.

Tuesday was a beautiful day. Russellville was a small town, but we drove around to see the sites, anyway. That took less than an hour. We stopped at a Taco Bell and picked up dinner to take home. Wednesday was overcast and we stayed home all day. Kathi made pizza for lunch.

We got a call from our oldest son AJ and he told us he might have his bachelor’s degree from San Francisco State in December. It was good and exciting news for all of us.

On Thursday we moved to the Cloud Nine RV Park in Hot Springs, AR. Other than to visit family, the only vacation my family ever took when I was growing up was in Hot Springs. I was looking forward to being there. The drive was only about 100 miles and the weather was great, except for the wind. I had to fight to keep the RV in my lane during the drive.

After getting set up on a hilltop outside of town, we drove into Hot Springs and did some Walmart shopping. We found an On the Border restaurant for a Mexican food lunch and the food was delicious. The next day was cold and windy and we drove to Benton to catch up on our laundry. We spent Saturday at home reading and watching TV. It snowed during the night and the snow was still on the ground Sunday morning. We decided to stay put a few days until we had warmer weather for travel.

Patience was never a strong point with me. I always wanted to move north too early. As a mental note for the future, we decided going north in the winter was not such a good idea. I know – I was always slow to catch on, but I finally got it that time, while sitting home watching the snow fall outside  the window. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Branson and Hollister

We were staying at the Stage Stop RV Park in Ozark, MO on Monday, February 6, 2006. Our oldest son AJ started classes at San Francisco State the previous week. He was studying psychology, thinking he might like to work as a counselor.

Our youngest son Christopher was on his way to Okinawa with the Marines. We had not heard from him in a few days, so we were not sure of his exact location. We were glad he was being deployed to a safer place than his last deployment in Iraq.

We drove into Branson to look around and see the theaters and see what shows had tickets available. We found out at our first stop that this was the off season and there were no big name performers in town. We had a wonderful time anyway. The sun was bright, it was cool and Kathi and I were driving around in the hills together – what a life. We got a call from Christopher while we were driving and he was safe in Okinawa.

We spent two days exploring Branson. I stayed lost most of that day and the next as we explored. The lady at the Branson Tourism Center gave us a map and told us to just follow the loop around. I guess I was too loopy, because I found a lot of loops. The whole experience is still a blur to me. If we ever go back to Branson, it will feel like my first time. I do not remember ever seeing the city center.

We spent three days in Ozark at $16 per day using our Passport America membership. The fourth day the price went up to $32, so we opted to moved down the road to an Escapees park on Wednesday. We moved into the Turkey Creek RV Park in Hollister, MO for $15 per day. The trip was only 35 miles and it was closer to Branson. It got cold in the evening, but we stayed warm in the motorhome. We heard the temperature was going to be in the teens on Thursday night. We started thinking about south and warmer again.

On Thursday we went to the Roy Rogers – Dale Evans Museum. There was a lot of information about their family and careers. Pat Brady's Jeep Nellybelle was there, Trigger, Jr. was there, also. He was stuffed. Roy and Dale mannequins were there with them dressed in their western clothing. One of the most impressive pieces to me was a dining room table that George Montgomery had made for them. Since Montgomery was a western actor it did not surprise me that they were friends, but I was surprised that his hobby was woodworking.

Sorry for the quality of the pictures I took inside the Roy Rogers -- Dale Evans Museum in Branson. At least you can recognize the subject matter. Roy was my favorite cowboy when I was a kid and I could not pass up the opportunity to reminisce at the museum.

The Rogers' convertible

Pat Brady's Jeep Nellybelle

Trigger, Jr. stuffed

Dale Evans' horse -- Buttermilk

Friday was cold and doubly cold for us as it was laundry day and we were in and out a lot. We were glad to get all our clothes clean again. After laundry we went to Red Lobster for lunch, then some grocery shopping. It was a nice day, but with our RV traveler mindset, we were ready to move again.

Monday, January 11, 2016

First Time In Missouri

In February 2006 we were still wandering around with no particular destination. We left the Cedar Valley RV Park in Guthrie, OK on Thursday, February 2, 2006 and made a short 135 mile trip to Bartlesville, OK where we settled in the Riverside RV Park. The park was not much to look at, but it was a Passport America park and the price was $12 per day,

The weather was cool and the drive was pleasant with Kathi and I listening to music as we traversed the rolling hills on the back roads of Oklahoma. We left Guthrie on I-35 moving north, then turned east on OK 81 to Stillwater. We moved to US 177 moving NE until the road changed to US 412 which we stayed on until we reached Hallett. We left Hallett on OK 99 north through Cleveland, Hominy and Wynona. At Barnsdall we took OK 123 into Bartlesville.

Since we only had a short drive and started early in the morning, we had some time to look around Bartlesville in the afternoon. We found Montana Mike's steak house and decided to give it a try. We both had rib-eyes with baked potatoes and the meal was delicious. The steak was cooked to our liking and very tender and juicy. I recommend Montana Mike's if you are in the area and want a good meal.

Friday we found a Super Walmart and did some grocery shopping. The weather was still great and it was a nice day to be outside. We did hear a weather report on the radio that said the temperature would be much lower in the evening. We were having fun and we did not care about the weather.

We went back to Montana Mike's on Saturday and Kathi did not like her meal as much as our first time there. I had chicken fried steak and thought my meal was okay, but not as good as their rib-eye.

We drove around Bartlesville, which did not take long. Many of the building were named after the Phillips family. We assumed it was the Phillips Petroleum people. It was much cooler with sunshine during the day and we expected the temperature to be in the twenties in the evening.

Sunday we moved on down the road to the Stage Stop RV Park in Ozark, MO. This was another Passport America park and the price was $16 per day. Our route for the trip was US 60 east, switching to I-44 at Miami, MO. We left I-44 just east of Springfield and moved SE on MO 360, US 60 and US 65 to Ozark. Some of the roads were narrow, but it did not detract from us enjoying being on the road. While we drove we discussed moving a little further south to escape the cold weather. We put off the decision until time to plan the next leg of our journey.

Branson was only about 25 miles from Ozark, so that will be the topic of my next post.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Gordonville to Guthrie

This is a retro post from our 2006 travel year.

We spent the 2005 year end holidays at the green Caye RV Park in Dickinson, TX, so we could be with our family for the holiday period. We left Green Caye on Friday, January 20, 2006 and moved to the Village RV Park in Nacogdoches. We spent a couple of days visiting my old haunts in Nacogdoches, then we were ready to move along again.

We did not really have a destination in mind, so we just kept moving along awaiting an inspiration. The next Monday we departed Nacogdoches and moved 285 miles west and north to the Gone Fishin' RV Park in Gordonville, TX. We left Nacogdoches moving west on TX 21 toward Alto, then north on US 69 until we hit I-20 near Lindale. We followed I-20 west to Garland, then went north on US 75 to Sherman. A few miles west on US 82 and a few miles north on FM 901 got us to Gordonville.

The weather was great – cool and sunny. We did not encounter much traffic along the route and the scenery was pleasant to look at as we drove. We tried listening to the radio, but could not find stations with enough range that we could pick up in the motorhome. I suspected we had some kind of antenna problem with our radio. We did have a CD changer, so we listened to some Conway Twitty and Celene Dion as we drove.

We got set up and settled in after a long drive, so we stayed in for the evening. The $10 daily rate at the RV park was perfect for us. The next morning, we drove across Lake Texoma into Oklahoma. It was another great drive in the sunshine at a leisurely pace through the rolling hills. This was the first time we had seen the lake and seeing something new was a real pleasure.

On Thursday, January 26th we left Gordonville moving north on US 377, then west on TX 32 to Marietta. We then got on I-35 north through Oklahoma city and stopped at the Cedar Valley RV Park in Guthrie, OK. It was only 175 miles and a short drive for us at that time in our traveling life. The weather was cool and clear with a moderate wind blowing. The RV was on a golf course, so the grounds were pleasant to see. I saw a lot of birds I was not used to seeing and even spotted a woodpecker who disappeared before I could get my camera out.

We spent the evening visiting with Kathi's brother Carl Clark and his wife Cheryn. We had a good time catching up and reliving some of our past. The next morning the four of us drove to The Lucky Star Casino in Concho, OK. It was about an hours drive each way. Kathi and I recycled our money several times playing old slot machines and Carl won $300 playing blackjack. We had a lot of fun at the casino and then decided to eat at their restaurant for lunch. The food was good also, making it an overall pleasant day in the life of two RV travelers.

Monday, January 4, 2016

My First Blog Post of 2016

I am going to start off the new year with this blog post talking about current events in our life. Christmas on Lake Georgetown was great. Kathi and I had a nice relaxing Christmas week in a pleasant, relaxing setting. We had sunshine for the first few days of the week, then overcast on Christmas day.

New Years was quiet at our house. We could hear fireworks in the distance, but they did not awaken Kathi. It has been many years since we were interested in watching the ball drop in Times Square. The 1st and 2nd days of the new year were overcast in Dickinson, but on the 3rd the sun came out. Today is a beautiful day. Our alarm went off at 6:00 am and it was cold inside. Our heat pump often does not work when the outside temperature is near 40 degrees Fahrenheit. I turned on a couple of space heaters in our motor home and jumped back in bed for a few minutes as the temperature rose inside. Our propane heater need some work.

We are staying with Kathi's brother, Larry Clark in the daytime. He is adding some weight and strength as he recovers from leukemia. Physical therapists have been coming by once per week and he is doing exercises on his own when therapists are not scheduled. He bought a Gwee Gym exercise gadget that he uses for strength development. He is already wishing he had bought one with adjustable tension. He is still shaky when he walks and uses a walker much of the time. We expect the walker will only be necessary for a few more weeks.

Kathi has been making bacon and eggs or sausage and eggs for Larry and I. She is trying to help him put on weight and I just like to eat her cooking. She is making tacos for lunch today. She has her own recipe and technique for tacos and her tacos are definitely my favorite Mexican food.

Tomorrow we will take Larry back to the clinic at Methodist Hospital. He has been getting by only going one day per week for blood tests and infusions as necessary. The infusions are coming less frequently. His blood chemistry is changing and medication is being adjusted slowly to get all the blood numbers back to normal range. He also takes medication to slow the rate of the bone marrow transplant taking over new blood creation. His doctors think steady, constant recovery is better.

We are looking forward to 2016 being a better year for all of us. I have a lot of friends my age and many of them are continually fighting health issues. We lose a few friends each year, but that is what happens as we grow older. Most do not give up and continue the good fight. We all just try and live the best life we can and get as much enjoyment out of life as possible. That advice I would give to anyone at any age.

I wish everyone a great 2016.