Hall of Fame photo (second from left Emily Lee, to left of John his daughter Jennifer Jones, to right of me John's son Jason Jones)
I finally got some photos from the Kentucky State Fair scanned. What a fun night!
We are in Missouri. On Interstate 44. Headed northeast. I think it is a nice day out. In my peripheral vision I can see some sun. I haven't looked up in about three hours for fear of seeing another one of those sleazy shops along the highway. I'm not crazy about where we are at the moment.
We had a rather bad experience in St. Louis a few years back. I won't go into huge details but we attended a horseman's convention there at a big hotel. We ate lunch at the restaurant in the hotel and by the time we began eating our dinner during an awards ceremony we both started feeling ill. We spent the entire night taking turns in the bathroom. We were so sick that at 4:00 in the morning I looked at John and said, "I think we should get to a hospital." He looked back at me and said, "We are in East St. Louis. I'll take my chances here at the hotel." He had a good point. Four o'clock in the morning on Sunday at an emergency room on St. Louis would probably have been riskier than staying put. We drove home the next day (how I'm not sure) and spent the next two days in bed. It was bad. So the idea of getting anywhere near St. Louis makes me queasy. I apologized to Mary this morning before we left. We will be staying in Mt. Vernon, Illinois at a small campground out in the middle of nowhere.
Last night we had our moment of total hilarity for this trip. It actually didn't start out that way. I'll try to describe this the best that I can but I'm sure I'll lose something in the translation. The slide-out on the co-pilot's side of Mary contains most of the kitchen. When you open it there is a counter and cupboard that is revealed. When it is closed you can only see the end of the counter. I'm inserting a photo to help you understand what I'm describing.
Narrow counter and cupboard hidden with slide closed
When we travel I usually keep a few things on the narrow counter like water bottles, dog cookies and munchies,so I have to reach back into a hole to get them but it is, or at least I thought it was a secure place to keep such items when we are moving. Yesterday I had a bottle of water, a box of dog cookies and a bag of potato chips (Kettle Chips...my favorites) that had a bag clip on the top. When we stopped last night (more on that later) I opened the kitchen slide and when I looked at the narrow counter there wasn't anything on it but the box of dog cookies. I was perplexed. Where did the other stuff go? I stuck my head under the cupboard and looked and what I saw was the bottom end of the upturned water bottle jammed between the end of the slide-out and the wall. I reached back there and tried to budge the bottle but it was stuck in there and wouldn't move at all. John was outside hooking up the water and electricity so when he came in I asked him if he could pull the water bottle out when I moved the slide in just a little bit. He agreed so I waited until he was ready and hit the button that moves the slide in. "Is that enough?" I asked. "Nope, just a little more." I hit it again, "Nope." Again. "Nope." Finally he said, "Just move it all the way in." So I did. He pulled the water bottle out and handed it to me. Then I said, "I hate to tell you this but there is an open bag of potato chips down in that hole." Closing the slide all the way and taking the water bottle out left a small space (where things sitting on that shelf fall when you are traveling). My problem solving husband said, "No problem! I know how to get it out of there! I can do this!" and he trots off to the bedroom and retrieves his metal awning rod. It's about three feet long and has a hook on one end and a loop on the other. He put it down in the small space and started fishing for the potato chip bag by hooking the bag clip. There was just a little cussing as I watched him contort himself this way and that to try to hook the bag clip. Finally he got it and slowly pulled it up. "Oh shit!" he says. "What?" I asked as he came up with the bag clip but no bag. "Now how am I going to get it?" We had a moment of quiet brainstorming and then I said, "The vacuum hose!" He nodded. "That might work." It has a long solid plastic attachment. I figured that the suction would attach the bag to the attachment and he could pull it out of there. So off he went to get the vacuum hose (Mary has a central vacuum system) and plugged in into the wall. He gently fished it down into the hole and contorted this way and that until I heard him say, "I got it!" He very, very carefully pulled the bag up to the top of the hole. "Oh shit!" he says. "What?" I ask. He pulled the bag out...upside down. All of the chips were still in the hole. We disintegrated into hysterics. We both doubled over and laughed and laughed and laughed (we are a little travel weary). After I regained my composure I took the bag and put it into the trash. "How do I get the chips out of there? We can't leave them in the hole. They will attract mice." I shuttered at the thought. "I guess you just fish around in there with the vacuum hose until you get them vacuumed up. So he went to work. I heard chips rattling down the hose for a few minutes and finally he announced that he thought that he had gotten them all. We looked at each other and collapsed into laughter again.
He went outside and took Breezy and the frisbee to exercise her leaving Ransom with me. It was time to start dinner so the first thing I did was to go to the control panel and open the kitchen slide. As I was cutting the chicken I heard Ransom munching on something. Munch, munch, munch. I look down and he is madly eating potato chips! They are all over the floor. When I opened the slide the chips that John missed with the vacuum were left on the floor for Ransom to snack on. As I was convulsing with laughter John came in and asked me what was so funny. I couldn't talk I was laughing so hard. Finally I told him and we both lost it again. We couldn't look at each other for an hour without collapsing into laughter.
You probably had to be there...
Ransom ready to go home
Last night we spent the night at the Will Rogers Downs Casino. As we turned off of Interstate 40 onto Interstate 44 yesterday in Oklahoma City I had a sad, bad feeling. Normally I don't worry too much about finding places to stay along our routes so I don't do a whole bunch of pre-planning. We just go until we feel like stopping and then I get on the internet or into the Trailer Life directory. I decided to start looking when we turned off. No KOAs anywhere near where we were going. Those are the easiest and usually the best places for us to stop. I got into the RV directory. Nothing...I looked and looked and looked. Finally I found an ad for the Will Rogers Downs Casino. It said that it was just off of I-44 and had 400 RV spaces. I immediately visualized a big nice parking lot with tons of spaces next to a large casino with restaurants and entertainment...you know what I'm saying. So I called to make a reservation. After wading through layers of automated telephone system I got a hold of a woman who informed me that we didn't need a reservation because they had 350 open spaces. Okay...I hung up with an address to put into the GPS (grrrr....) and general directions in case the GPS (grrrr...) doesn't do it's thing correctly...which is a lot of the time. "Useless piece of shit" is Garmin's name...yes, the same nick name as Tom Tom. It's useful for some things, like Tom Tom was.Not useful for a lot of other things...like finding where you are going. Enough about the GPS (grrr....).
We had gone over 500 miles and had been over 500 miles the day before so we were both tired. We had to stop on 44 (a turnpike) and pay ridiculous tolls ($17.50 in one stop!) and by the time we went through the second one I realized that it probably would have been cheaper to go the extra 50 miles through Memphis and avoided the drive through Missouri. But it was too late for all of that so we drove on. We got off of 44 and headed out into the country looking for a huge casino. What we found was a race track (horse) and a huge field with 400 RV hookups and no RV check in office anywhere. So the only thing to do was to stop and call the casino again. I waded through the automated system and got a hold of a young man who when I explained that we were 42 feet with a car sitting in their parking lot wondering where to go said, "Just pick a spot." So I explained that we needed 50 amps if possible. "Oh...wait a minute." I heard some confusion in the background. Then he said, "Go to C-39". I said, "Okay. Where is that?" I'm looking out at a sea of grass with tons of little poles sticking out of the ground. "It's over on the north end by the bath house." I looked around and couldn't find the bath house. "I don't see it," I say. He says, "Just drive around and you'll find it." My patience is running very thin. "Look, we are 42 feet of motor coach towing a car. We can't screw around out here very much. Where is it from the Administration office (which we had passed coming in)?" I said. "One through thirty two are all 50 amp over by the administration building." Great. We took off looking for those spaces and found them right away. Only one problem...they weren't 5o amp. John is running out of patience at that point. I looked out the window and spied a security vehicle across the parking lot. I figured it wouldn't be long before he came and checked out what we were doing.
Sure enough. He drove up to Mary and he and John engaged in some conversation. I stayed out of it. When John came in he said that it was one through SEVEN that were 50 amp. So he started Mary up and we moved to number two. He got out, the security guard disappeared (telling us not to worry about paying until morning) and he opened the electrical hookup to find that it too was a 30 amp not a 50 amp. I saw the look on his face and said, "Washing undies can wait." I had expressed the need to do some laundry earlier and we have to have 50 amps to do that. Skipping undies was a small price to pay to just stop. I'm getting pretty travel weary and the fact that our house in Lexington isn't on wheels is one of my happiest thoughts today.
After we hooked up, the potato chip bag fiasco happened and after that we had a nice dinner and listened to the Colbert Report for some laughs before going to bed. We turned out the lights and listened to every red neck in local area pass by Mary in their hopped up four wheel drives on his/her way to the little casino for some off track betting. Amazing...
At this moment we are on Interstate 64 (sing and dance!) heading directly for Lexington, Kentucky. We are stopping at the only RV park on our path that has both 50 amps and cable television (its that political thing you know) and we should pull in at about 5:30 Central time. Breezy, who is lobbying me for her dinner right now, will get her dinner and I'll talk Ransom into eating his. Sometimes he is a good eater and sometimes he could care less. Only the threat that Breezy will eat it will get him started on some days. Anyway, I have some talapia to fix for dinner and we will have one last night in Mary before we get home. Home...that sounds wonderful.
We have been gone since September 2nd and have had the most wonderful trip ever...EVER. When we left we couldn't have imagined how much fun we would have, what smooth sailing we would have and how many great people we would be spending time with. To all of you, we love you and thank you for all of your time, hospitality, fun and friendship! To my loyal blog followers thanks for your patience for the long absences between blog posts! And too our friends in Lexington we missed you and will see you soon!! And last but not least to our beautiful motor coach and all the people who were responsible for us getting her, thank you!
We will be back on the road before Thanksgiving. In the mean time I'll do what I promised to do...put together the photo album of our trip and post it soon.