Visiting Friends & Family – Summer 2019

We left North Carolina the end of June and started a whirlwind trip to try to see “everyone we know” (well not totally, but it felt like it!)

First stop was Fairmont, WV, just south of Morgantown – Home of the West Virginia Mountaineers – where my daughter, Nikki, lives.  This was our first time to visit her new home and to see the renovations she and Rob have done.  It is lovely and very comfortable.  Certainly, Sage 1 thinks so!

While we visited, we introduced Rob to Dominion and gave Nikki a fix.

Judith & I helped with a couple yard projects — building a planting box in the back yard and renovating a planting circle in front.  Judith got her planting fix!

Then we all went for Ice Cream!

The view from their back yard is delightful!

(Thanks to Nikki for letting me steal her pictures.)

Our next stop was to a campground outside of Pittsburgh.  There we visited Judith’s long time friend and patient tennis partner, Nancy, and her husband Pete.  We had some wonderful meals together, reminisced, and even played 1950’s, 60’s & 70’s “Name That Song”!  We also went sight-seeing at Mt. Washington and the National Aviary (who knew the National Aviary is in Pittsburgh?) where we saw African Penguins, Smew (a strange name for a lovely bird), and many others, plus a great free-flying raptor show.


Nearby was a funky place called Randyland and Randy was present and talking to visitors!

While in Pittsburgh we also visited with Judith’s cousin, Richard, and his friend Terri.  We had a delicious lunch together and went to the Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens where a van Gogh exhibit was in place.  This included floral and botanical displays replicating numerous of van Gogh’s famous works.


There were also some Chihuly works, which Judith loves.

Then it was on to Cleveland for a round-robin of visits.  We had lunch with the crew of Networkinguys, the company where I worked and still work part-time.  Then on to Applied Laser Technologies to see Judith’s friends and work mates.  We also visited with her long-time friend Gale, past work friend Babs, school friends Janet & JoAnn, and had dinner with friends, Kristen and Mark, a dinner with Carol, Loraine and their husbands, dinner with Karen and Mike, plus dinner with my genealogy cousin, Debbie and Scott.

My son, Michael, joined us for an evening and dinner, along with his friend, Nina.

Judith’s sister, Barbara, and her husband and daughter joined us in Cleveland where we met with her brother, Don, and his friend Eve.  We had an outing to the Tall Ships Cleveland; and had a picnic with Noah, Amy, and their family (Avery, Hadley, & Isaac) that included some dance moves by the girls, and an outing to the Cleveland Museum of Art.  Such fun!



(Thanks to Barbara for some of the pictures included here.)

Then it was on to Toledo to visit my old college roommate, Dave & Barb.  (Well, he IS older than me – by about 5 months! And Barb was really only a part-time roommate.)   Dave, again congratulations on finally retiring!  Their daughter (and my god-daughter), Katie, and her daughters joined us for dinner and  the evening.  Great to see them all. (Such cuties!)

Then it was off to Ft. Wayne, IN, where we got to spend some time with my cousin, Roger.

We also ran into a bit of an “issue”, our refrigerator suddenly quit working!  After some frantic calling all around to repair shops all across the nation along our planned route, we finally found a nearby company who would and could make the repairs in a timely manner:  National RV Refrigeration, Shipshewana, IN.  Thank You!

Then it was on to Chicago to visit our old neighbors, Jerry & Ellen.  We had left our RV in Indiana for the repairs, so they opened their home to us and our cat.  We had a delightful visit!

After visiting with Jerry & Ellen, we returned to Shipshewana, IN, to pick up our RV, Lucy, now with a refrigerator that was working properly!  Unfortunately, this forced us to change our itinerary and miss our visit to Madison, WI, and our friend Rachel.

We had already driven through Chicago traffic twice and after picking up the RV we had to do it “One More Time” on our way to Wahoo, NE.  (Yes, it is a real town – and it has a wonderful butcher shop!)  We parked in Leah & Kevin’s front yard and had a great time and some wonderful meals together (don’t ask about the delicious sirloin roast with horseradish sauce!)  We had a great time playing with Leah’s cats — however many there are.  Kevin’s sister, Karen, helped us out with a woodworking question.  I think we got them hooked on Dominion, too.  And we had a fun outing at the Wahoo Rodeo!

After eating our way through six states and the entire month of July, we needed to travel on to Utah to visit our friends Roger & Cindy who have managed to lose substantial amounts of weight using the Keto Diet.  (Photos by Cindi & Roger.)

(Images borrowed from their blog site:  Happilyrvafter

Utah has some of the most amazing scenery!  We spent one night at a rest stop along I-40 that had the most amazing view!

Our time with Roger & Cindi was great.  We played lots of Dominion, helped around their new site, took some hikes and a four-wheeler ride, and we got started on the Keto Diet, and learned a good amount about the science behind it.  We met several of their neighbors, and had some other interesting neighbors who occasionally came to visit.

Their land is part of an 8,000 acre ranch which is very near the intersection of Bryce Canyon National Park, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, and Dixie National Forest.  The scenery is fantastic, but the drive to town was a bit challenging (20 miles of dirt roads followed by 30 miles of mostly county paved road.)


While the calendar says that August is one of the longest months, the time flew past and before we knew it, it was time to pack up and head out to Bosque del Apache NWR.  But we will see them again soon in New Mexico!

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