Saturday, October 13, 2007

Pennsylvania Layover

This post is more about NOT traveling than it is a bout traveling. We had a two week layover in Pennsylvania to help out with family matters. Thousand Trails, Hershey is a beautiful place this time of year. The harvest time in Dutch country is something to celebrate for sure.We always try to visit as many of the local farmers markets as we can when time allows. Green Dragon is a perennial favorite, my family has been going there since I am knee high to a grasshopper....
Some cowboys brought their horses to TT for some riding action during the apple harvest festival at the campground. We had other places to be and things to do that day but took in some of the sights before we headed out for the day.
Thought this was a cool sign on the side of the horse trailer.
Dad was well enough to take a night out for dinner at the local family diner. On the right is our dear family friend Joan. My parents call her "Shep" (as in shepherd) and she has taken care of them in many cases when no one else could fill the bill. If everyone had a friend like her, the world would be a far better place. We are not related to her by blood, but by all other measures- she IS family.

We brought a package of "Chicken Feed" (gold concentrates ready to pan out - for my nephew Josh, who did a fine job recovering the treasure in the bag as he learned how to "pan."
Pennsylvania Dutch farmers have roadside stands everywhere along the route from TT to my parents house in Reading (about an hour drive each way each day) Their farms are still run by manual means and horses rather than mechanical devices like tractors. Their produce is simply sensational...
We also got in a couple visits with Aunt Dot, who's on the mend after a hip replacement surgery. She's always been a cool customer, but those shades? They are WAY COOL! That's my sister Barby on the right.
Next run- another mad dash back to Florida to get the house packed up and ready to sell. If that goes well, we will truly be full time travelers- a goal that took a little bit longer to realize than expected, but don't they all?????

Monday, October 1, 2007

Like Lightning Striking Again

A long (make that very long) dash across the good old US of A came to a safe and happy conclusion Sunday as we pulled into Thousand Trails- Hershey, our home base when we are here to visit family. It's a beautiful and comfortable and friendly park. Those of you who have followed the blog for some time, and some of you who have enjoyed it well enough to go back and pick it up from the early days, will remember the "Cosmic Cousin" post, where we unknowingly and unwittingly pulled into a parking slip at this very camp a year ago, almost to the day, and happened to be parked right smack next to Marilyn's cousin - out of a possible 400 or so spots to pick. Something had brought us together. We have enjoyed their friendship and camaraderie at every turn when we meet up on the road since.
So we greeted the gate guard with "Honey, I'm home" and drove on in to pick out a spot that looked good. Found one in short order near the lake and close enough to the club house to get a good wifi signal, but the angle for pulling in was the wrong direction from the direction we had approached it, so as we always do before making a move in a big rig, we stopped for a moment to formulate a plan. A camper parked in that neighborhood walked over to point out the drop between the road and the slip; said he had seen some others come and go and scraped bottom on that spot. I had already noted that drop and decided to drive around the loop and back in from the other side. Thanked him and proceeded around. Once I was in position, Marilyn assumed the position at the back of the slip to signal me in and keep a watchful eye- a procedure we follow religiously for safety- and also in an attempt to avoid the major humiliation of backing into the power pole or something similar while everyone is watching. Once I had positioned the coach where we wanted it, I checked procedure for shutting things down. But before I could even shut the engine down and start to level, a woman from the coach parked directly across from us started walking toward the coach and the drivers side window. Was there something else about this site that I should know? I opened the window.
"You're Greg; your wife is Marilyn"
Well I already knew that! Obviously I was talking to someone who knew us. But I couldn't place her, so it was almost as much of a mystery to me as when Bob and Susan had posed the same questions a year ago.
Hearing the conversation, Marilyn let out the now familiar Luckraft family reunion battle cry. Had it actually happened again? Does lightning ever really strike the same spot twice? Apparently it not only does; it had.
So with the big diesel still running, hugs, greetings, introductions all around as Cousins Ken and Linda announced their presence. It goes on... They had earlier been in another site, but moved to this one. We had assumed the last site in the H loop that remained open in the area we preferred. THERE THEY WERE!
We had a short visit before heading off to Senior Gundyville for the parents 64th wedding anniversary celebration! A formal dinner of "ARBYS" out of paper bags at the table in the solarium on the back of the house made for a nice informal first visit with the gang.
Later, back at camp, some Luckraft family chat around the propane camp fire was a nice way to end the day and kick back after a long trip and no one had to haul firewood that night.
Like Bob and Sue before them, Ken and Linda will head to Florida later in the winter. See you in Orlando, guys.....but don't park in our favorite site this time. I mean it!!!! (not).

Abby's "cousin" Barney came over for some biscuits and a get acquainted session as well. Cute little rascal is just starting his "full time" life on the road. Way to go, Barney! (I'm still not seeing the family resemblance between Abby and Barney though.)