Monday, December 28, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!

Well, we have had a wonderful Christmas holiday and we hope you did too. We have had a chance to spend a lot of wonderful time with many of our family members. On Christmas day, we went and visited with Calvin, Joyce, Tish, Chris, Tori and Halie. On Christmas Day afternoon, we went to spend the evening at Brandee and Kevin's place with them and Marge. We had a wonderful dinner of Lobster which was quite a score considering we had prime rib the night before on Christmas eve with Katie and Russ.

This was just a wonderful Christmas and a great way to wrap up the year. We are looking forward to seeing in the new year, 2010, in just a couple days. The RV park is fairly empty for the Christmas Holiday, but it is starting to fill up a little bit for new years eve. There is a lot going on in Plymouth for New years this year. There is a dinner dance at the rec hall here at the park. There is a blue moon celebration complete with Fire works on new years eve at the county fair grounds which is right next door to the RV park. There is a large group here at the rv park that has hung all sorts of lights in the surrounding trees that really make this section of the park look nice and stand out.
We hope that all of you have a wonderful and safe new years eve and day. We'll update the blog once we cross into the new year.
Merry Christmas and Happy New year!

Eric and Carol

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Holidays everyone!!!

Hi there everyone, well, I have to apologize that it has been a while since I updated the blog, but I’m sure you all have been too busy too take much time to read our blog either. We have been very busy getting ready for our first Christmas while living full time in the Cougar and we couldn’t be happier. Every new adventure that we undertake living in the RV comes off just swimmingly as they say. We managed to complete all of our Christmas shopping for ourselves and Katie and Russ and of course the dogs and still have managed to hide things from one another before the big day.

We attended the Beauty Emporium Christmas party and had an absolutely wonderful time with Brandee, Kevin, Daniel and all of the girls and their spouses from the shop. The gift exchange was full of excitement and everyone had a great time. Brandee, her mom Sandy, and in fact everyone did a wonderful job contributing to a wonderful buffet of food.

On Christmas Eve, Carol and I hosted Katie and Russ for a dinner of Prime rib. Carol once again prepared a wonderful meal with her little oven that has proven that even though it is small in size, it is big in ability to prepare even the finest meal. The Prime rib and twice baked potatoes were wonderful.

I’ll try to post another blog in a day or so after the Christmas celebration winds down.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Winter is here!

Well, I have to apologize for it being such a long time since I have updated the family blog. I'm working on my second book, and just don't have a lot of spare time on my hands. None the less, I know I needed to take a few minutes to update you on what has been going on with us.

Well, for starters, as I indicated, I've started my second book. I'm hoping to have it done in time for a RV rally in Yuma Arizona in March. It is a book on Microsoft Office. That seems to be the topic of interest with those that already know how to use their computers, so I'm working diligently on that new book.

We had a great Thanksgiving celebration. We had dinner on Thanksgiving at Brandee and Kevins house. It was a wonderful celebration with 15 of us for dinner. On the Friday after Thanksgiving, we had dinner at Billy and Loretta's place in Pioneer. Sincere thanks has to be sent out to Carols sister Sandy for putting together 80 percent of the food at both evenings. On Saturday, Karen and Mike arrived in Plymouth on the last leg of their north American tour in their Safari Motor home. All in all, they covered about 12,000 miles in almost 4 months. Check out their adventures at .
Since thanksgiving, the world around us has been springing up with Christmas decorations and snow, down to the elevation of Sacramento no less!!! This morning, the outside temperature was 26 degrees at 6:00 AM. Thank goodness we got the pipes wrapped up.
With my employers company Christmas part behind us, we are going to have to start doing some Christmas shopping. But first, I have one more gig as Santa Paws at our local Petco. I've had a great chance to meet a lot of great pooches so far and am looking forward to another day of doing some fuzzing up!

Well, I gotta get some work done on my book now, so I have to run. Have a great holiday season and I'll try to get another update in before the end of the year.
Happy camping! - Eric and Carol Anderson -

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A sad day

I received a phone call last night from my sister Karen. The call came at 9:30 PM PST and I knew, with Karen and Mike being in the Central Time zone, that something was wrong. Karen informed me that Mike's mom, Louise, passed away yesterday.

Louise Wraight had lived well into her 90's before her passing. She survived her husband Walter by about 5 years, living in her apartment in Medford Oregon. I'm so thankful that her son's Mike and Chuck lived in the town of Ashland to look after her. Louise was a staunch Army nurse who served in World War II. I will always remember her as a strong woman who always had such kind thoughts in her heart. I can remember Louise as far back as any memory I have and I am so glad to have had her as part of my life.

It was a little over 10 years ago, that Carol and I got married and it was at the dinner before our wedding that we celebrated Walt and Louise's 60th wedding anniversary. I'm so glad we got to share that time together.

Fortunately, I got word a couple weeks ago that Louise's health was failing and I had the opportunity to get up and see her. It had been almost a year since I had seen her and I would have been very sad if I had not had a chance to see her before she passed.

Rest in Peace Louise, We love you! Eric and Carol

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Our anniversary part 2

This Sunday we took a trip to Sacramento to look at motorhomes and to have a dinner out that Karen and Mike bought us for our wedding anniversary. We took the long way to Sacramento by going out highway 49. There was this very cool bridge in Auburn that was way up there.

After a two month delay, Carol and I finally made it to our long awaited dinner in Sacramento that Karen and Mike bought us for our wedding anniversary. Our dinner was at the Broiler downtown Sacramento. It is at 12th and J streets in Sacramento. This was a casual steak house that my mom and dad would have been proud of. The materde Jose made Carol and I feel like royalty. Once he found out the reason we were there, he moved us to the best seat in the house.

The concern of he and his staff for our enjoyment were just amazing. This reminded me of some of the upscale places that I use to eat at with my mom and dad in southern California 30 some odd years ago. We'd like to thank Karen, Mike and Jose for a absolutely wonderful evening out.

Happy camping! - Eric and Carol -

Our trip home from So Cal

Hi there everyone,

Sunday November 1st, 2009

Well, this posting is a little late but we had an un-eventful trip home from Lancaster where the Southern California Samboree was held.

We had a wonderful stop at the Bakersfield RV Resort in downtown Bakersfield. This is the first RV park that we have stayed at that had a 1st class restaurant as part of the facility. They had Steak, chicken and seafood on the menu. Carol and I both had chicken dinners and they were both fabulous. The food was very reasonably priced and the service was great. We even had a chance to talk to the owner of the RV park about the park and restaurant and were very favorably impressed.

It's a family run operation. They will even have site-service where they will bring any dish to your door. The rest of the trip home went great. The Hulkster and trailer did great the entire trip. I owe both of them a bath. We can't wait for our next trip out which will probably be to Quartzsite in January.

Happy camping! Eric and Carol

Saturday, October 31, 2009

So Cal Samboree Part II

We had a wonderful experience at the 2009 Southern California Samboree. We met so many wonderful people, played a lot of fun Carnival games at game night and attended a very fun Bridal Gown show. Carol attended a ladies Tea. We hung out with some really great folks and just had a wonderful time at the Samboree.

The group is generally older than we are, but just an absolute blast none the less. There were a lot of 'Ham' radio operators that were part of the group that were raising money for 'Dogs for the deaf'. The founder and owner of 'Dogs for the deaf' was even in attendance and organized several dog/owner related activities. We had great breakfast buritos each morning and hot dogs for lunch. We just can't say enough about how much fun we had. The time just absolutely flew.

We met some great folks: We'd like to thank Len and Chris Bunts, Scott and Denise Thompson and Smitty and Louise Smith, just to name a few for making us feel so welcome this last week.
The dogs were very understanding while Carol and I were gone all day to various seminars, vendor activities, dinners, teas and the like. They are just the best dogs in the whole wide world.
The weather has been much more cooperative the latter part of this week. The sky is clear and the temperature mild. We can't wait to come back again!
We are headed home now and will spend the night in Bakersfield. But, we can't wait for our next Samboree event. There is one in March in Tuscon Arisona that we would very much like to attend. It's not even 2010 and I already have all of my vacation spoken for. :-(

Happy camping all! Eric and Carol

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The So Cal Samboree

Hi there everyone,

Well, this has been a very busy couple of days. We left Twin Lakes and arrived at Lone Pine to check out the Lone Pine area including the Manzanar National Monument. This is where a large number of Japanese were interned during World War II. It turns out that there was some sort of weather system coming through the area. So, we left Lone Pine after being there less than 24 hours. We were supposed to be there two days, but because of the high winds that were expected, we pulled out a day early.

We did manage to get in a visit to Manzanar. This is a place that everyone should visit. It is important to see the adversity that the Japanese were forced to endure back in World War II here in the US. Though the US may have treated those of Japanese ancestry better than the Germans did those of Jewish decent, for the Japanese, it was no party. There is only one building left on the grounds from World War II. It is the gymnasium that was used back then by the internees. The old gymnasium has been turned in to the visitors’ center. In the last couple of years have lead to the building a replica of a guard tower. Additionally, a barracks of the same type used at Manzanar was found in Bridgeport California and moved to Manzanar to help complete the displays. There are also some of the famous Japanese rock gardens that have been un-earthed at the facility. This really gives one an insight of the environment that the Japanese were forced to live in but also the spirit that they carried with themselves through the experience.

As soon as we got back to the trailer, we hooked up and headed to the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds which are right next to Lancaster in Southern California. We got here a day before the Samboree opened up, but stayed at the nearby RV park. The weather forecasters were on the mark. We woke up to 35 to 45 miles an hour winds in the middle of the night. There were supposed to be gusts up to 60 miles per hour and I’m sure there we many times the winds got up to that. It even got so windy at times that we brought all the slides to the trailer in to ride out the foul weather.

We got to the Samboree gathering Tuesday morning and got set up in the middle of very strong winds. There was a very nice reception held Tuesday night. The events start Wednesday. We are pretty much dry camping except for 20 amp electrical outlet. The winds have died down a little bit, but at times it gets a bit gusty. We’ve managed to shelter the Satellite dish in a pocket beside the back of the trailer and the rear slide out. As a result, with the Satellite, Water, propane and other stuff on board, we have all of the comforts of home. Well, that’s all for now.
Happy camping! Eric and Carol

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Traveling from Twin Lakes to Lone Pine

Carol and I had a beautiful drive from Twin Lakes to Lone Pine on our way to Lancaster for the Samboree. The weather has been perfect. We had a nice stop along the way in Bishop California where we had lunch and got some wonderful bread from Schatts bakery.

The three dogs have been such great travelers. They are perfect when we are home in the trailer or on the road. Something that we have noticed about both Bishop and Bridgeport is that the drop in the economy has hit these areas off of 395 very hard. There are a lot of closed of store fronts, but they are haning in there as best they can. Some that are still open are up for sale, but hoping for the best.
The Campground in Lone pine is very nice. They have a great little store that is open til 9:30 in the evening. They even have free wifi. Tomorrow we will go check out Manzanar and hopefully the Motion Picture museum in town. We'll keep you posted on how things are going.
Happy camping! - Eric and Carol -

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Bridgeport and Bodie

We are setting out on our first and only vacation of 2009. Volcano telephone has been keeping me very busy. I’m working on a project that will allow us to control our Cable TV accounts from our Telephone billing system. I’m just hoping the Telephone software vendor hangs around long enough to provide support for their software, but enough work stuff.

We have headed out on a round-about trip to Lancaster California where we will be attending a Samboree which in laymen’s terms is a Good Sam Rally! Our path though is the indirect use of State highway 395 which travels on the eastern side of the Sierras. Our first stop is Twin Lakes RV resort which is about 12 miles south west of Bridgeport. Carol had the rig all ready to go on Friday afternoon when I got home from work. We left Plymouth around 2:00 PM and got to the RV resort around 7:00 PM. The longest (most stressful) part of the run was the drive through the Sierras, but when you live in an area where they are your back yard, you kind of have to expect that. Once we got to Minden Nevada, the steep windy roads were behind us, at least for the day. Traveling from Minden to Twin Lakes was a nice drive through some very gradual hills.
The RV park we are staying at is the ‘Twin Lakes RV Resort’. To borrow from Buzz Aldrin, as he referred to his visit to the moon, ‘This has a stark beauty all it’s own’. The RV park is in high desert, among pine trees and sage brush. It is very unique and a nice change from home. Carol’s sister Sandy called the other day and they were talking about our trip. Sandy asked if we were all packed and ready to go and Carol remarked, ‘… that’s the beauty of living in the RV, we’re always packed and ready to go!’. And that we are! On Saturday morning, I woke up and took the dogs out for a morning walk. Lily has a bladder infection, so it is important to get up and get her out to keep her comfortable. Well, as I looked at the outdoor thermometer, I saw it was 35 degrees out. A little chilly. I also noticed that we were missing a cat. It turned out that angel was a little chilly last night.

Another oddity of the area is that the deer are very tame. Apparently, those that come to visit give them lots of treats. They will come right up to the door of the rig looking for food!
Our Saturday was a full one. We spent a couple hours at the ghost town of Bodie Saturday morning. This was a very cool experience for both of us. It had been some 20 years since Carol had been here last, and I’ve never been there. I found it odd that the state put in 7 of the 10 miles as far as paved road to the the Bodie state park. This ghost town has probably over 50 some buildings still standing from the late 1800’s. The majority of the town has burned down due to a pair of fires late in the 1800’s and early in the 1900’s. There are no amenities there except for a bathroom. We found that we were getting hungery so we cut our visit short.
We then traveled to the town of Bridgeport. This is a cool old town. The only ‘Chain’ anything out here was a Shell station. There were no Starbucks, no Raily’s or Safeway and not even a Walgreens. We had a lunch at a local inn. We then walked around town. We found a very cool old jail house. There was also a museum that we would have liked to have checked out, but it closes for the season at the end of September.

After we got done checking out the town of Bridgeport, we went and found a couple of Geocaches in town. One of them was at an old helipad that used to be used by the State Parks system for life flights when someone is injured in the area. One of the great things about geocaching is that it takes it to places we normally wouldn’t go. This Helipad location allowed us a great view of the valley.

As we headed back to camp, we stopped at that one Shell station in town and topped off the tank of the Hulkster, at $3.89 a gallon, thank you very much. We paid a dollar less just 2 days earlier in Jackson at the local Safeway store fuel station. We haven’t seen prices this high since this time last year when we went to the Portland and Seattle. We also got a chance to get caught up on the weeks laundry.

We head off to Lone Pine and Manzanar tomorrow morning. Hopefully, we can update the blog on Monday evening.

Happy Camping! – Eric and Carol -

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Carols Busy Birthday week

Hi there Everyone,

The last week or so has been very busy for us. Around the 13th, we had our first storm system of the year come through the area. It was a mix of a former typhoon and a cold air mass from Alaska. It was a very windy and rainy system. We got 3 inches of rain out of the storm and a lot of wind. The trailer faired very well out of the storm as did the rest of the RV park. The trailer was really rocking and rolling at times, but everything held up great.

On the 15th, Carol started her birthday celebration a day early by getting a tattoo at a local shop. The Tattoo is of a chicken with Katie’s Name underneath it. A tattoo is something that Carol has been thinking about for some time now. Don’t expect Eric to be following suit any time soon. On Friday the 16th, the family celebrated Carol’s 48th birthday at Outback steak house. It was a wonderful gathering of friends, family and great food. The dinner was capped off with a wonderful birthday cake from Safeway that was chocolate with raspberry filling.

On Saturday the 17th, yours truly, Eric, made a speed trip to Ashland Oregon. Mike’s mom, Louise has been fighting off some sort of respiratory ailment and was pretty weak lately. So I wanted to shoot up there to see her before we left on our vacation. It was a very nice but quick visit. I got to spend some quality but quick time with Chuck and Terry Wraight. My main purpose however was to go say ‘Hi’ to Louise. Despite the fact she has been under the weather, she remembered me the minute I walked in the door. Not bad for the ripe old age of 95. When we left the hospital where Louise is recuperating, Chuck and Terry took me through Lithia park in downtown Ashland. It is obvious that Fall has arrived in a big way. There are so many beautiful trees that are changing color. It was quite the color fest.

This week, we are frantically getting ready for our trip. We are leaving Friday. We will be going down 395 and checking out Bodie, Bridgeport, Bishop and Manzanar on our way to a Good sam Samboree that is being held in the Antelope Valley in Southern California. It’s our first major trip since we went to Portland and Seattle last year.

Stay tuned for more frequent updates next week as we set out on our new adventure.
Happy camping! – Eric and Carol -

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The 2009 family reunion

This was the second annual family reunion gathering, once again, organized by Sandy Ealy. This year was another great gathering, with a couple of firsts to go along with it. This was the first family reunion where all of the siblings were able to attend. Tommy could not attend last year because he had just started a new job and could not get the time off. Additionally, Julie, Tommy's wife was able to attend this year. This was the first time in 11 years, that she was able to join Waite family gathering. Julie did attend Cortney's baby shower earlier this year, but only the ladies were invited to that event. :-)

There was a lot of fun with the games on Saturday morning and great food on Saturday evening. We introduced a new game to the Saturday events, it was a plunger relay. It was a very funny event. A non-scientific analysis by Kevin McCann determined that those that are gravitationally enhanced had better control of the plunger. The Waite brothers won the new relay event. Kevin McCann and Billy Waite won the Horseshoe tournament.

At the potluck on Saturday night, there was wonderful food after a slight panic party because the bar-b-que was giving us fits. Thanks to Todd Waite for using his truck to bring in a bunch of small bar-b-que's to cook all of the food. We also used the RVITGUY projector to show pictures taken during the events of the day.

Friday night, as Carol and I rolled in, we heard a grinding coming from the brakes. It turned out that the adjustment screw had fallen out of it's place. During the time it rolled around in the brake drum, it trashed the brakes. I spent a good portion of Sunday trying to find the brake pads that needed to be replaced. Most of the Napa auto parts stores in the Stockton/Lodi are have been closed because the owner of all of them passed away. As a result, I found the parts at the Jackson Napa store. So, I got up early Monday to run up to Jackson and get the parts. So, I was back and had the brakes back in before check out time.

Well, I guess that is about all for now. We hope you have a great day.

Happy Camping! - Eric and Carol -

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Sacrmento 9-11 memorial

Carol and I started this weekend with a trip out to Sacramento to see the an RV show at Cal Expo. There were a few nice class A motor homes out there, but the vast majority of the rigs were towables such as Travel trailers and Fifth wheels. Only about 1 Percent of the rigs there were Diesel class A motor homes. As a result, we didn't spend much time at the RV show.
Once we were done checking out the motorhomes, we went to check out the new September 11th exhibit at Cal Expo. This is a permanent exhibit, but you can only get to it when events are going on at Cal Expo. Carol and I were both very moved when we entered into the exhibit. There is this massive (3 foot in diameter) granite ball with the names of all who perished that day as a result of the terrorist attacks. There were numerous other items on display as part of this exhibit. There are parts of an I beam that came from the world trade center.
This is a very special place for us. Carol, Katie and I were fortunate enough to visit New York and theWorld Trade Center, in 1999. Carol commented how those I beams at onetime, in a way, supported our weightas we were checking out those buildings back 10 years ago.
The other thing that touched us back that horrible day was that the flight that we took home from NewYork when we visited just two years earlier was Flight 93. That is the flight on 9/11/2001 that the famous term "Let's Roll" was coined as those onboard during the hijacking decided to fight back!
We encourage everyone who passes through this area, to check it out.
Carol and I were both deeply affected when we walked into the exhibit.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A year since our last vacation

Well, it has been a year since our last vacation and I can remember a year ago, thinking as we traveled through the great north west that I was sad because I was sure we were going to have to put Roxy, our Austrailian shepperd down. She has a tumor that is growing in her belly. She has bad lungs and congestive heart failure, so putting her under to try to address the tumor is not an option. We really thought we were going to have to find a veterinarian along the way to put her to sleep. A year later, she is still going strong. And, quite frankly, we think she is doing a little better. We know the tumor is still there, and growing. Carol Palpates for it on occasion and has seen an increase over time with it, but, Roxy seems to be tuffing it out, and for the most part, happy with each day of life.

Also, a year later, we find that diesel prices are atleast a dollar less than they were a year ago. As a result, we find that we are still able go out with our RV on occasion. The current price of diesel $2.99 a gallon. Last year at this time if I remember, we were looking at about $4.19 a gallon.

We will be taking a week off to go to Acton, in the Antalope Valley of Southern California to Join a Samboree of a bunch of folks. We're looking forward to this trip 'cause we will get to also get to see the Manzanar National Historical park. But, before that happens, we will be joining the entire Waite family for what is going to start being an Annual Family reunion at the Lodi Tower Park KOA. Today, we went and checked out the facilities and finalized our reservations. We also joined in helping Carols brother Peter in celebrating his 61st birthday.

Next weekend, we join up with an Escapee's club at the Jackson Rancheria RV park. Tune in next weekend for an update.

Happy Camping! - Eric-