Monday, September 27, 2010

Homeward bound

We left Chicago and headed south through Illinois and into Missouri spending the night in Cuba, MO at the Candy Cane RV.  We had managed to avoid the Labor Day crush as we left in the morning.  The other side of St Louis the traffic was very heavy and we saw three accident.  We found this RV camp way back of the road.  Just perfect for an overnight stay.  Soon the clouds rolled in it was the outer band of a hurricane that slipped into Texas moving northeast from the pacific.

we visited Ruth and Ron in Carthage MO.  It always rains when we visit them, it was on and off alday and poured all night.

I do miss Ruth and wish it was not so far away.  

Chicago 2

Chris walked along the river and around the lake just about every morning.

Chicago is full of fountains small and large.   

   This is the water district display.

This is the cancer survivors garden.  it is very close to John and Liz's apartment. 


Chicago s now my favorite city.  It brims over with energy and excitement.  The diversified population puts a sparkle into everything.  The neighborhoods, the food, music, art, lifestyle.  Our visit was enhanced by our friends and the weather, sunny all the time.  Our friends live overlooking the lake, Grant park and the Museum of Science and Industry.  It is easy to go anywhere and find incredible food. 

Chris and I attended the Jazz Festival a three day free event in the park.

   The farmers markets are all over the city.  They are very Yuppy events but the fresh produce and bread is wonderful especially in early September.

Friday, September 24, 2010


We visited john and Liz in their new apartment.  Wow it is gorgeous and the view is spectacular.

Chris went walking around the paths aound the lake and river.

 Out with John
 and Liz indulging in great food and wine.  
 Outside of their apartment is the entrance to the Cancer Survivors park.

More from Chris's walks.  This time at Navy Pier. 


 Chris found that there were car races at Chicagoland the weekend  before we were to come north to Chicago to visit our friends John and Liz. Since this is not an RV friendly state we had to find somewhere to leave the RV and Tow.  Chris found this great place to stay that did not take reservations that is because it is up for sale.  Parking is free round the speedway, designed for tailgating and it was close to the RV Park.  We headed out to the pre-race show on Thursday afternoon.  
Chris in the race simulator.

 Nice bar at the track.  Well this is Chicago and they have a civilized attitude to drinking.

From inside the track.  it was so hot

N. Carolina

From Bristol we set off in pouring rain for Biltmore.  It was a beautiful ride, this is such a beautiful part of the country.   The RV park in Asheville was one of the most difficult to find as to get in as  was off the interstate exit.  So after several turns around the freeway system and some great u-turns by Chris we arrived.  Finding the farmers market although less than a mile away was also a night mare.  At least by then we were minus the RV.  This is me in Asheville.  This part of the country reminds me of the north of england as it was an industrial town and they made and use red bricks for buildings and side walks.   They had tarted up the city centers and I had a fabulous espresso at a coffee shop on the main drag.  

We visited Biltmore and I enjoyed it as they had made it a lived in home not just a vast estate.  Since I am not in love with all things vintage I found the house interior ugly although better than Hurst castle  They at least treated their servants well.  I loved the grounds and this fountain.

It was my birthday so we ate at the grill, very good food.  Their wine is OK.  It would be so pleasant to visit the grounds but the cost to visit this estate is $75 a person not encouraging to a tourist.  They do offer a deal that is great for locals. 

From Asheville we headed to Maggee Valley and the Blue Ridge trail.  We visited the museum and village at Cherokee.  It was the best Indian reservation we have ever visited.   It was clean an tidy.  They we just building a huge casino.  never fails to blow my mind away that despite the recession the parking lots at casinos all over the country are full. 

This is along the Blue Ridge Trail.  It was fabulous until the motor cycles rolled in and drowned out the bird songs.  Always want to come and amble along the trail it is just so beautiful.  

NC is a state friendly to RV travelers so there are many RV parks.  We like to be away from the road and not slide to slide with other coaches.  We stayed at Trails End, Waynesville/Maggee Valley, for two night.  It is on the Passport America list so they have special rates for one to two nights.  We hate to pay for amenities we never use. Some RV sites are ridiculous.  Especially once they use the word resort in their title!  

From this lovely spot we headed north through TN, KY to Indianapolis. 

Bristol MSW

Bristol MSW is billed as the "Fastest half-mile in the world" Looking down from the Stadium  is like looking down onto a toy track as we were able to see the whole track.  The lead cars catch up with the slow ones.  It holds 160,000 people. This is the first year they were not sold out in their 30 year history.  Our seats were opposite the pits were you can see them change tires and fill up cars a a great speed.

Looking down for our seats at the truck race.  The pole winner was sent to the back of the line up because his crew altered the car after the qualifying race.  The driver is Kyle Busch, the crowd always boos him.  Chris said watch him, by lap 20 he will be up front and he was.  Then he went on to win the next 2 races and has continued since then.  They really boo him because he drives a Toyota and worked his way up through childhood without benefit of rich relative who owns a team.  I decided he is the man to follow.  it has been fun as he goes on winning.  The overall NASCAR winner will be Jeff Gordon, can't stand him and he has not won a race all season, just winning on points.  it's like awarding a job to the person in the company the longest, even if their performance is not stellar.  Another male invention.  Oh kyle Busch's sponsor, well one of them is M&Ms.  So I am now back to buying them especially as they have a dark chocolate variety.  They go well with JD

For the days of races the area round the stadium is full of activities by the sponsors.  Regretfully, I only found Jack Daniels open one time and they only sold their whiskey by the shot.  ( It beats NSIADs for hip pain).  They had sold out of barbecue chips made from their barrels. Now doesn't that sound like a culinary delight for grilling.

So here we are before the final race.

This was on of the many attractions in the Speed TV tent . By signing up for their email you could have this photo taken.  There were many other sponsor tents. I was excited to find Crayola was a major sponsor, regretfully they were only open just before the race started and a couple of other times.  They must be a reluctant sponsor.  They gave you a sheet on shiny card stock on which to write a slogan and hold up at the race.  They were so inept and the guy gave me only one crayon plus it was in full sun, no shade covers.  I plan to use the card-stock to try out some techniques and my SHARPIE poster pens.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Day 3 Lord willing and the crick don't rise

We arrived in Bristol TN about noon.  It was raining.  In fact it was pouring and the camp site was on the between a creek and a small stream. hence the title.  Overnight the "crick" held, the following night it filled flooded thee tent campers fled to higher ground; as soon as it went down every tenter returned. 

The road to Bristol TN

I intended to start my blog of the trip when i arrived home alas my plans were thwarted by a broken AC and it was a week before the fan replacement was installed and it cool enough to sit at the computer.
Day 1 was a drive east to Clinton AK in 104F weather.  We stayed in the County Fairground, the scene of  the aftermath of a 3 day watermelon festival.   

Day 2 was cooler and we arrived in Tarbark RV park in the TN hills.  It appeared miles from anywhere and just gorgeous country.  Emma, who manages the park had designed and set up a network, here I intended to start my blog!!!! Instead i emptied boiling fat over my left hand.  Emma and Nathan told us of an emergency room at the next exit and just to the right on the highway past Walgrens.  The next exit, Dickson, was 10 miles away and we finally arrived at the Horizon Medical Center with my left paw in a jug of cold water.  Immediate, efficient and friendly care followed.  Dr. Fatsea, a transplant from Boston, fixed me up and a few hours later, no pain and my paw healed exactly as he and the nurse predicted.  The medical Center was all computerized.  
Tarbark RV park high in the TN hills.  Very friendly and the park is a perfect over night stop.