Visiting Mom Again!

Trip Start Jan 08, 2006
Trip End Dec 31, 2006

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Flag of United States  , Michigan
Thursday, August 17, 2006

So, here we are back in Michigan, back in the campground where we first promised (three months ago) to "get caught up soon" on stories and pictures from the road. Have we done it yet? No! Can we do it right now? Probably not! But before you sign off in disgust, let me explain a little about how we've spent our time these last three months - maybe you'll understand why even our best intentions in regards to the TravelPod were over-ridden. As you know, our main reason for our "aggressive" travel schedule this year was to visit and enjoy time with family and friends we hadn't been able to spend time with while we were working, as well as seeing some places we used to live (and some we'd never been to!)
We have truly accomplished that, and are still doing it - here's a rundown: Since leaving Rose's Cousins and Aunt and Uncle in North Carolina the end of April, we've spent time in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with Rose's sister Jill and her family and with Rose's Mom and her "bowling buddies" and friends, as well as with some of Rose's old friends. What was to be almost two full months of rainy days started soon after we got to Michigan, and stayed with us much of the time we were in New York, and then followed us into the Boston area.
We stayed in three different campgrounds in Upstate New York, where we visited old Cargill Salt friends, as well as seeing the salt mine Greg managed there, and going to some of the race tracks he had loved attending some thirty years ago; while in that area, we went to a few wineries, and found our friend Pat Barnes' picture in the Country Music Hall of Fame in Cortland, NY, we spent a full day at Niagara Falls and at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, made a side trip one day to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto; and, upon finding out we were only a couple hundred miles away, took a weekend run (in the car, not the "home") up to Ottawa to spend a little extra time at Greg's brother Mike's house. We also spent a few days on car problems - getting towed, getting repaired (or, in one case, getting something else damaged by the repairing dealer!).
After leaving New York, we traveled to the Boston Area, staying first in a campground in Foxboro, quite close to the stadium where the Patriots play football, then moving to a campground in Westford, quite close to the New Hampshire border. Rain has become pretty much a constant these last weeks, and our 3 weeks in Boston pretty much stayed in that mode. We took advantage of every sunny opportunity to sightsee, including the "Ducks" tour of Boston, a train tour of Cape Cod, a boat tour of Martha's Vineyard, a day at Newport Beach watching Keri playing volleyball. Despite light rain, we also toured the world's third largest tall ship, in port from Spain, and "Old Ironsides", the U.S.S. Constitution. Greg accomplished all of the "Daddy-Dos" on Keri's list, and even did a few that weren't on the list, which made both Greg and Keri pretty happy. Keri took us to Fenway Park to see the Red Sox play to celebrate both our birthdays, and the Sox even won for us! Keri had a party at her place so we could meet her friends - it was a great BBQ with lots of good food and even better conversation - fun to be able to put faces with the names we often hear!

The month of July in Canada was wonderful - the first two weeks spent at Mike and Sharilee's near Ottawa, the Pyke Family Reunion on the middle weekend in southern Ontario, near Goderich, and then the last two weeks up in Timmins with Lynn and Rich and their family. We packed in LOTS of touring everywhere we went, and have TONS of pictures to share. We saw Uncles, Aunts, Great Aunts and Cousins, many of whom Greg hadn't seen in a couple dozen years or more.
We left Timmins via Wawa and Sault Ste. Marie, so that we could stop off and see a couple more cousins, then went into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to see the campus of Michigan Tech, where Greg had graduated in 1970 (the last time he'd been there).
We spent a day in Hayward, Wisconsin visiting our old friend Vi, reminiscing about the many great times we'd all had snowmobiling up in that area.
From the Upper Peninsula we went to Minnesota, first to Myrna's cabin in Sauk Centre, then to the Minneapolis/St. Paul area where Rose managed to see some, but still not all of her old friends there - time just gets away from us, it seems.
Left Minnesota and got to our friends Frank and RuthAnn's place near Grand Rapids, Michigan - yep, the same Frank and RuthAnn we met up with back in Daytona, then in the Webster, Florida area, and who we went to the Nashville Speedway with! Got lots of little (and not so little) projects done there, thanks to the help of Frank, JP and RuthAnn. Lots of good food, great visiting, racing at Kalamazoo Speedway, and then we were on our way again.
So, here we are again, in Hartland Michigan at Waldenwoods Resort - we've gotten new front tires put on, and Greg's done some work that needed to be done on the motorhome while Rose spent time with Mom, visiting and shopping. Ended up the visit with Mom coming over to beat Rose at another game of Scrabble.
Have decided to stop being so hard on myself about not staying caught up with picture uploads on the Travelpod. We've had less than optimum (or zero) signal much of the time since July 1, which makes it impossible to upload, and even makes it difficult to do map pins and mini updates.
Being in the present and enjoying where we are and who we're with is a very good thing, and we'll enjoy looking back at it all as we slow down later this year and will finally be able to share those pictures with you all - and when we do get around to that, we hope that you'll enjoy looking in our rear view mirror, as well!
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