Sunday, August 29, 2010

Welcome Aboard!

I've had a few requests for some photos of the interior of our new (to us) little motor home.  This past weekend we took a short camping trip to try pulling our motorcycle trailer and to get a "feel" for the new RV. So before it got the camped in look, I took a few pics. Welcome aboard for a little tour!

Here's the boss behind the wheel.  The entire van is only twenty-five feet long, so things are pretty compact!  There are no slide-outs either, but still room enough for just the two of us.  The two bench seats will make into a second bed when the table is removed.  Just room enough for two or three little grandsons maybe!

This is looking from the front bench to the back.  The bed is almost a queen size, so plenty big enough for us.  One project this weekend was to install a memory foam mattress topper and now it's much more comfortable.  Someday I'd like to make a quilt to replace the brown ultra suede bedspread. 

There's really quite a bit of storage inside. And we found that for just a weekend trip we had more than enough room.  That is a microwave/convection oven.  I haven't tried the convection part of it yet but I was told that brownies bake nicely and meats can also be roasted.  It popped popcorn  very well though!  The sink and cook top both have glass covers that make for more counter space when those aren't in use. 

The full bath is back in the corner and though it's small it's nice not to have to rely on campground facilities.  The holding tanks are pretty good sized, so we could probably make it several days without having to take on water or dump the tanks.  There is also a generator if we ever need to "boon dock" or spend the night in a Walmart parking lot!  (Yes, most Walmarts will allow rv's to "camp" overnight in their parking lot for free.) Check out the monogrammed hand towel.  That's a project I completed in a machine embroidery class that week.

There's a nice  television and home theater system.  Although we've still got an issue with the antenna that needs to be diagnosed, we're able to watch movies or cable.  I've got no doubt that my handyman hubby will eventually figure out the problem get the show back on the road. 

So here we are at our campsite at Clifty Falls State Park.  Note the motorcycle trailer hiding behind. We purchased a  new little Weber Q120 grill to use which fits nicely in one of the outside storage compartments.  We have the larger version here at the house which we love but have just about worn out.  I was even able to cook some awesome pancakes on a griddle on the little grill.   We're not very familiar with the Indiana State Park campgrounds  but we were more than pleased with this one at Clifty Falls.  The sites were huge, most looked pretty level and ours had lots of shade.  There was a fire ring and a picnic table and the bath house/restrooms were much nicer than some at more expensive private campgrounds.  So on the OTRWJ rating, this one gets a 9 !  This is a nice park too, especially if you like hiking and it's near one of our favorite Ohio River towns, Madison. 

Now we're home again, trying to figure out our next destination!  But for the next few days, we're looking forward to a visit from daughter E and some relaxing time around here for all us.  Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Taste of New England

We were supposed to take another motorcycle trip last week.  But our plans changed when D was browsing ebay and came across something we've been looking for the past few months. 
Meet our new toy!  It is a 2007 LTV (Leisure Travel Van).  It's small enough to maneuver around town, up and down hills and back roads, but yet powerful enough with its diesel engine to pull our motorcycle trailer.  We're hoping to take some longer trips where we can park and camp and venture out on the bike to explore the area without all the long hours on the bike to get where we want to be.  One little glitch - it was in MAINE!  What else to do - but fly to NH, rent a car and drive to Booth Bay Harbor to make sure this was as good of a deal as it seemed and drive this little cutie back home.  Of course, neither one of us had been to Maine so we didn't have to think too long about making the trip.
Beautiful Booth Bay Harbor!  It seems as though it must be quite a tourist destination, as this little town was quite busy with families taking the whale watching tours and enjoying the shopping and the sights.  Since we didn't get to Maine until Thursday morning and we had to be home by Sunday evening, our sight-seeing time here was limited.  But now that we have a taste of the area, we'll definitely be back! 

So we did get a taste!  My one goal if I ever got to Maine, was to have fresh lobster at dock side.  We were lucky to find the Lobster Dock (not sure that this link will work though).  And now I can check that one off my list.  It was delicious, as were the crab cakes (a Bobby Flay Throwdown contender) !  Our first night in the RV was spent at Shore Hills Campground near Booth Bay.  If we're going to do much camping, I probably should start a campground review page like so many rv'ers have done.  So I would give this one maybe 8 1/2 stars out of 10. Our campground experiences are slim and from several years ago but this one is pretty good, except for the pay showers.   

Our long drive home began the next morning and  was broken up by a few stops along the way.  The L. L. Bean Flagship store in Freeport took a couple of hours just to see everything and I could have spent more time browsing some of the other stores in the town center.  At least with the RV, we have lots of space to load up on souvenirs - but we didn't! (But what we did for the grandsons are adorable - wish I could show you but then I'd spoil the surprises!)
After dropping off the rental car back at the Manchester, NH airport, we took some back roads for awhile to wind our way back to Indiana.  The towns along the way were just what you would expect in New England. Pretty white churches and houses were nestled in the wooded roadsides.  I was able to catch a photo of this classic New England (United Methodist!) church as we headed across New Hampshire. One regret from this trip is that we didn't have time to stop and soak in the  beauty of the area and take many photos.  Most were caught out the window as we drove home (similar to the motorcycle trips we take, except I was able to use the big camera).  After a quick overnight stop at  Hinsdale Village campground near the NH/VT border we were back on the road.  We weren't at this campground very long so rating is difficult, but they were very accommodating about getting us a site at a late hour and the bath house was nice with separate shower rooms and clean, modern restrooms.  You have to drive quite a ways through a nice "trailer park" to get to the campground and the sites are level but the roads aren't paved.  So I guess I'd give this one an 8 on the OTRWJ rating scale!


We crossed the lower part of Vermont across some beautiful hilly, twisty roads.  It's not far across this little state at this point and we were quickly into New York.  But along the way we stopped at a little store to buy some maple syrup and cheese,  then at Hogback Mtn. where we saw dozens of motorcycles (this is a great road to ride, we'll keep that in mind!) then a another stop at the little town of Wilmington where I found this great quilt shop, Norton House, and the wonderful County Store full of everything (including fudge!).  Oh, how I wish we'd had more time here!

The rest of the trip home was pretty un-eventful.  We abandoned the pretty back roads and traveled I-90 across New York (a fortune in tolls for an rv!).  We spent our last night at a KOA south of Buffalo near the shore of Lake Erie (probably only a 6 on the OTRWJ scale) with a friendly office staff and good wifi.  We got up early for the long trip the rest of the way home.   Now that we're home again, we'll start to plan some trips where we can pull the motorcycle and then do some day trips out and about from our campsite.  D is even planning on working from the road a little so good wifi is important to where we plan to camp.  I'm not sure if I'll be able to take my sewing machine along, but maybe the embroidery machine or else just plan on doing some type of handwork to keep me busy.  I'm sure some of you think we're crazy but we're looking forward to this next adventure.  We don't really think of this as a new hobby, but as a better way of doing what we love to do and seeing more of this beautiful country! 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Happy Two !

Last weekend was the Big  Birthday Party for two special two year olds.  Grandson J has a friend who is just a few days younger, so the moms combined forces for a fun filled party. 

Here they are with some of the gifts we brought.  Grandpa made the little bench using his newest woodworking machine and I made the little "princess-in-training" t-shirt using my new embroidery machine.  So we're finally putting them to good use!  I think I've been more productive with mine since I've embroidered several kitchen towels and pillowcases lately.  Of course, D would argue that his is much more complicated - and he's probably right!

We had a wonderful weekend visit with these two grandsons! 
Someone is growing up soooo fast and showing lots of personality!

A couple days of babysitting this busy grandson are in store this week.  His favorite thing to do is annoy Beamer (who is gradually becoming more tolerant of tail pulling!)

Like most of the country, we "enjoying" some steamy summer weather these past several weeks.   I've given up on most of my flowers in pots and the ones in the ground are suffering.  Our grass is starting to become slightly "crispy" and even though I said I wasn't going to, I dragged out the sprinkler and tried to green things up a little.  Today a few thunderstorms popped up with a little rain relief but the rest of the week is predicted to be just as hot.  We're supposed to participate in the Home Front Fight Memorial Ride this Saturday but with temps in the upper 90's, I'm not too excited about riding.  We might just go by and drop off our donation.  Yes, you may call me a wimp!  There is a trip planned in the near future, so I'll have some more blog material coming! 

Stay Cool!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Just Catching Up a Little

Anyone else tired of summer yet?  One way to avoid the heat and humidity here at our house is to escape to the basement and my sewing room.  One quilt top is done (photos will have to come later) and delivered to the LAQ and now is as good of time as any to play catch up.  These are the January, February and March BOM's that I finally started on the other day. April is almost done and May and June are waiting.  I still need to go pick up the July block.  Maybe I'll finally be caught up by the time the August block is available! I've still got the 2009 Among Friends Block of the Month quilt that needs to go to the quilter too.  Just need to piece the backing and give it all a good pressing.  I'm liking the colors of this quilt much better than that one.  


Here are my newest projects.  I'm having fun making pillowcases and then using my new embroidery machine to stitch names on them.  I downloaded this cute font the other day from Embroidery Designs.  I made the two oldest grandsons each  a car pillowcase and little J's "girlfriend" one too. (She and J are sharing a two-year old birthday party this weekend.  That should be lots of fun!)  There are so many different websites with cute embroidery designs that it gets overwhelming to look through them.  I'm still learning how to use my machine but I'm signed up for another class in a few weeks so hope to get some tips. 

See these wonderful Happy Daisy fabrics?  I purchased these this past spring when Fat Quarter Shop had them half price.   I must have had something in mind for them, because there's a jelly roll, 2 half yard pieces, 1 full yard and 3 yards (for a backing I suppose).  Since I've evidently forgotten what I intended to make - any suggestions are welcome! 

 Beamer hasn't had a guest appearance here in awhile. He celebrated his ninth birthday a few weeks ago and though he doesn't look too happy about it he's out-lived any  other cat we've ever provided a home for!  I  was browsing through my old posts and realized that it has been almost exactly THREE years since I started this silly little blog.  Guess who was in one of those very original posts.....yes, Beamer!  It's kind of embarrassing but you can see that post here.   I swear he's not been sitting on this same chair the entire three years!  But I should thank those of you who've stuck with me through these 290 posts!