Monday, November 28, 2005
Back 'home' with the whole 'family'. This is where we spent Christmas last year. Such a great place - room for 3 motorhomes to park, and a 'cabin' where we can all gather for meals etc. Pretty good parallel parking job, doncha think? And, we get to take our morning walk with Lynne and John, letting the dogs run free in the desert and even getting a little exercise ourselves hiking up the hill. Gee, maybe we should set up a geocache here?! Then, on Saturday, we even got our kayaks in the water!! Yep, kayaking the might Colorado River. Yeah - I know, it's pretty tame here. We put in at Blythe, about 90 miles north of the Mexico border. I understand the Colorado is barely a trickle by the time it gets there. It was great to get outside and paddle ... even if we didn't have to paddle very hard! To see a picture of me, you gotta go to Lynne's blog! This is the second time she's beat me to the post! So, tomorrow we get on a plane to Austin to work the Coach Connect booth at the ARVC convention. We're leaving the motorhome and the dog with Dick, Frankie, Lynne and John. I probably won't post in here till we get back next weekend. Hope you all had as wonderful a Thanksgiving weekend a we did!
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Lynne and John came and stayed in the site next to us for the weekend. She beat me to the punch, publishing it in her weblog! It didn't take long after they got here for Jim put John to work climbing up on a roof and repairing an antenna connection. But, they are so good at making it clear that all work and no play is no good! We had dinner together Friday and Saturday night and, we took a few hours off on Sunday and went geocaching. It was a short - but steep and challenging, walk. This was a quick find. Then, back home to Palm Creek. And, back to work. Here's how I scoot around this 2000 space park to help people with their Wi-Fi Internet connections. Tuesday morning we gave another seminar. This one was on 'Safe Computing'. Next, it's our turn to visit. We'll be headed to Quartzsite to stay with Lynne and John ... and Frankie and Dick ... For the Thanksgiving weekend.
Saturday, November 19, 2005
The other day, Jim and I did our Wi-Fi seminar. We had an audience of about 35 people. Some folks who had never tried it, some who tried it and liked it, and some who tried it and hated it. But we find that everyone appreciates some good, straight information. I get such a kick out of hearing Jim ramble on and on ... when I can hardly get him to say 3 words to me sometime! For example, there have been times that Jim will say something like, "I ran into Harry at Home Depot today." I'll say, "Cool, tell me about it." Jim, "I just did." But give him an audience ... on a topic he knows so much about ... and he can talk for hours! The next day, I made a lot of customer visits while Jim worked with the network engineers troubleshooting some issues. Ever have one of those days?
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Sunday, November 13, 2005
We left Austin on Thursday morning, traveled all day and into the night, and we were still in Texas! Here we are Friday morning at the rest area where we slept. And, Odie was happy to find that he had his very own rest area: So sorry that we couldn't stop and take advantage of some of the sights in West Texas. Someday we really must spend some time in the Big Bend area. And, we even passed right by a couple other sights on our 'must-see' list: Caverns of Sonora and Balmorhea Springs. They scuba dive there! But, alas! We have a job to do and we need to be in Las Cruces right now to do it. If you want to see a blog by people who are really seeing ALL the sights in this country, check out our friends Diane and Andy. Diane's been keeping a wonderful blog - showing us everything we've missed! Gee, thanx Diane! But then I remind myself, there aren't too many people I know (who are working) and get to wake up to scenes like this: That's our site at Hacienda RV resort, where we had some work to do for Coach Connect. We were also here last year. It's Deja Vu all over again! We always look at the Datastorm Users Map when we stop at a new place to see who else may be parked near us. At Hacienda, we saw that Weigh It was right in the same park, so we went over and said hi. Come to find out they will weigh our rig (each corner independently) without us doing a thing. And, it only cost $30! We've had this done before but it's probably been a year - so we said, let's do it. They do the weighing right at your site, all you have to do is drive up a couple feet. Here's how they do it: Then they feed all the numbers into their computer and give you a printout. We sit down and discuss it. The good news was that our weight is very evenly distributed left to right, front to rear. More good news is that we haven't added any weight during our life and travels of the last year. The bad news is that we were about 1,000 pounds overweight last year, and we're still overweight now. They put a little more air in our rear tires according to the tables of weight to tire pressure ratios. And, we vowed to toss a few more items. If you've been reading our blog for a while, you know that we got 6 really good brand new tires last fall. So we still feel pretty safe. But we know that weight and tires, tires and weight - that's probably the most important aspect of being safe on the road. So, we will keep working on it. Jim finished his work at Hacienda and we got back on the road. Another Deja Vu. Here's the highway photo I took of west New Mexico on Highway 10. It sure looks an awful like the photo I took last year on this same stretch of highway! And, we also stopped again at St. Clair winery in Demming, NM. We enjoyed the wine tasting, stocked our 'cellar' and even replaced the wine glass (bought here last year) that we broke! Now we're in Arizona where we have work waiting for us at Palm Creek Golf and RV. We stayed the night at Cochise Terrace RV resort. We're over 4,000 feet in elevation here, and the weather is crystal clear and 55 degrees. What we noticed right away is that, although the park was clearly able to handle big rigs, there were a lot of smaller ones parked here. We discovered that it was a rally of RVing Women. Cool. And, here's a Roadtrek, our favorite camper van style of RV. Actually, it's Roadtreks that started this whole adventure. My Mom had her eyes on them for many years and so, introduced Jim and me to them as well. That's what we were planning to get (actually put a deposit down) until we decided to go full-time and found our current motorhome on eBay!
Saturday, November 12, 2005
Ahhhhh .... back on the road again. We left Austin on Thursday, headed for Las Cruces New Mexico and then on to Casa Grande Arizona. It's a straight shot on Interstate 10 all the way. We've learned a lot about Interstate highways. Did you know that the even numbered highways are east/west and the odd-numbered are north/south? The ones that end in 5 are the major N/S roads. And the numbers get higher as you go north or west. Here's my rough rendition of the east west highways I-10, as you can see, is the southernmost: And, just because I'm on the topic, here's my take on the major north/south highways: Here's what I-10 looks like in West Texas. This picture was taken while we were at a rest area. Miles and miles of Texas. I love rest areas. There's no doubt that you're 'on the road' when you're using a rest area. Here we are: We did a record 450 miles that day! And, Jim was so happy that he had installed the backup camera and rearview mirror that he bought in Fort Lauderdale. You may have noticed in some of our photos that our motorhome has no window in the back. So, that means you have no way of seeing behind you. New motorhomes come standard with backup cameras, but ours didn't have one. It still had a rearview mirror. In the beginning I would find myself glancing at that rearview mirror all the time and being so surprised that all I could see was the bedroom! Why did they leave the stupid mirror there if it couldn't do it's job? Well, Jim found a backup camera that uses an attachment over the rear view mirror as it's display. Cool. Here's the little bitty camera that he mounted on the back of the rig. Then, the tricky part was getting the wiring inside the rig (he used a 'fishing wire' ... or maybe it's called a 'wire-fish' I'm not sure!) and stringing it all the way up to the front to attach to the monitor. The monitor is the size and shape of the rearview mirror and it attaches right over the existing rearview mirror. Way Cool! Now, when I glance at that rearview mirror - I see the view behind the motorhome. What a difference. It makes it so much easier to change lanes. And, we really know that the car and the kayaks are still there! Pictures of it don't come out so good, but maybe you can see what I mean in this one. If you look carefully on the left side, you can see the top of our yellow and blue kayaks (which are on top of the car) and a car coming up to pass us on the left. We drove till way past dark that first night, so we just slept in a rest area. Doesn't matter where you are when you close the doors, turn on the generator, raise the satellite dish. We can have our wine, cook and eat dinner, sit down at the computer to check some email. Then go to bed.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Thanx to Frank and his folks, Frank Sr and Carol, for taking us out on the town for my birthday and our 'farewell to Austin'. Here's our Austin family! The Austin night skyline is dominated by the Frost building. Actually, the daytime skyline is dominated by it too - but it's extra pretty lit-up at night. And, the capitol building is a classic beauty: I had been talking about how we couldn't leave Austin without seeing some of the famous night life and entertainment. So, we drove down 6th street where you can hear live music coming out of every doorway. And we visited a couple authentic old-time bars: Donn's Depot and Mean-Eyed Cat. Probably the most amazing thing about these bars was ... NO SMOKING ... I didn't think that was actually possible, but Austin has proven it can be done. They actually enforce the no smoking rule, even in bars! What a treat. y'know - if only there was an ocean nearby, Austin would be a pretty nice place to live. There's still some things we wanted to do while we were here - paddle kayaks in Town Lake and walk the entire trail on the Barton Springs greenbelt - but, it's time to go. Arizona is calling us! We're back on the road today.
Sunday, November 06, 2005
It looks like we'll be heading west and leaving Austin sometime this week - so this weekend was a deadline for doing any 'tourist' stuff. Probably the biggest tourist attraction in Texas, The Alamo, is in San Antonio - about an hour and a half away. And, I've been wanting to see the Riverwalk, also in San Antonio. It was pretty easy to find the Alamo - just follow the crowds. Yep, it looks just like it's pictures! And, there's a pretty courtyard too. For those of you who don't know, or have forgotten (like me) the story of the Alamo - it is not the scene of victory. It is the scene of a devastating defeat for the Texas revolution. Every one of the nearly 200 'defenders' lost their lives against Santa Ana's Mexican army. I put 'defenders' in quotes because they weren't all army - many of them were volunteers. They fought enormous odds, taking 600 of Santa Ana's men with them. It may have remained a defeat but for the fact that Santa Ana allowed the slaves, women and children go free to tell the tale. They told the story of these 200 brave men, including the likes of Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie, fighting for freedom against 4 - 5,000 Mexican army forces. The story provided inspiration for those who followed to win their revolution with the cry, "Remember the Alamo". Ok, on to the fun stuff - the Riverwalk. Basically, it's one big party place and mall. It is really pretty though. I've wanted to see Riverwalk for years because, when Fort Lauderdale decided to develop it's downtown with a riverwalk, it was supposed to emulate San Antonio. I am mostly familiar with Fort Lauderdale's river area by being a boater. San Antonio's Riverwalk is much different. The river is not a navigable waterway. But, they do have a little boat tour - it takes about a half hour and you get the overview of the area. One of the things our tour guide told us was where to get the best Margarita. Hey, you don't have to tell us twice! And, speak of the devil! There's our tourguide now. In a way, the Riverwalk reminds me of Atlanta's underground. It's kinda hard to find because it's at a lower level than the rest of the city. There's stairways to get up and down from the river-level to the street-level. Then there's the upper level with all the high-rises! Did you know that San Antonio is the 7th largest city in the country?!
Thursday, November 03, 2005
I had a little cold a few weeks ago - Jim didn't get the cold, he just sneezed a little. .... And, he's been sneezing ever since. I know what allergies are like. I used to have asthma. One year, about 12 years ago, I slept at the office many a night because my asthma was so bad at my house. I never did figure out what that was, but I started on a series of homeopathic allergy treatments that completely cured me. I haven't had asthma for years. I also used to sneeze and sniffle ALL the time. No more. Apparently, now it's Jim's turn. Come to find out that Austin is known for bad allergies. And this is the season for Ragweed and Cedar. Jim sounds like he's in the middle of a really bad cold, but cold remedies don't help (neither do allergy remedies). Just another good reason for having a house on wheels! We're not leaving yet, but we know there will be an end in sight. Bless You! or ... maybe he's just allergic to work. y'think?