28 May – 20 June, 2016; On to WI, Graduations, Family

Greetings all!  It has definitely been too long as I realized when I looked at the dates from our last post.  There has been a lot going on, so let’s get to it!

We spent the remainder of our time at Scott County Park in IA with great new friends John, Kathy and Ellie.  John loves to grill and use his smoker, and since they only live a few miles away, he comes fully prepared for long weekends!  We had some of the most awesome meals and enjoyed their company, as well as some of their friends through the Memorial Day weekend.

Grilling out at John and Kathy’s camper with Ellie and some of Kathy’s family.

The weekend went way too fast, and we were having so much  fun that I forgot to take any more pictures!  Just like that, it was Monday, the 30th, and time to head to Wisconsin.  Just as we were departing, I noted a check engine light, followed by an error code on my engine diagnostics system.

This will show a brief description of what the issue is (fuel control) but does not give any more specifics than that. Only Cummins has the diagnostics for that. Luckily enough, the code cleared in short order, and off we went. More on this issue later!

We had a very pleasant drive to the Cliffside Park in Caledonia, WI where we typically stay when we are near Ashley and family.  It is a very nice park, as we have posted before.  We got in and were set up in site 50 by late afternoon.  We had not stayed in this site before, and now we know why.  It is very un-level.  We were able to finally get set, but would be looking to change sites the next week.  I wish it were level, as the site itself is very spacious.

Site 50 at Cliffside Park.

We had a great night, and headed over the next day to get Toby from school and spend some time with him and the rest of the family before taking him to swimming lessons.

Grams and Toby playing Frisbee in a park near their house.

Toby doing the old “I fooled ya” backwards throw while Shiloh looks on.

Garreck and Ashley invested in a Lacrosse Wicket and ball that works really well to give this girl a good workout.

After some of that fun, it was off to the Rec-Plex for Toby’s swim lessons. What a nice facility! Huge indoor pools, ice rinks, basketball and volleyball courts, weight room, aerobics rooms, etc.

After swim lessons we had dinner with the family at Ashley’s house, then carted Toby off with us to the Coach, or Grampa’s Bus as he calls it.  We were up early to have some fun and take care of some maintenance tasks.

It was time for us to drain and rinse out the hot water heater. This should be done every other month or so. I have not done it in a lot longer time than that, but it was all very clean thankfully.

After we shut the water off, and the breaker to the hot water heater, we let it sit for a while to cool down.  Then Terri and Toby accessed the pressure relief valve and drain.  Once the pressure was off, they removed the drain plug and let everything inside come on outside.  Toby thought that was great…like an outside shower!

In this shot, Terri is using a neat little tool we picked up that attached to the hose. It is a wand that is made specifically for rinsing out the inside of the hot water heater.

After everything was hooked back up and the water back on, we opened all the faucets and bled the air out.  The whole process takes less than a half hour, and is well worth it to prevent calcium from getting too built up on your heating element within the tank.

We spent one last night in this spot, as we found another spot we liked on the other end of the campground and would move in the morning.

Later that evening we got a photo from Jason and Meghan of Logan. Look out world…he’s more mobile than a bit ago!!

That evening we had a campfire and just hung out.

Grams and Toby spent some time drawing and coloring.

Followed by a fudge pop.

Yep, they taste and act just like the old days…

We were up early on Thursday, the 2nd to move to our new site.  After Toby helped us with that, we headed into town for Toby’s T-Ball practice, followed by dinner with the family.

Friday was spent on getting things squared away at the new camp site, followed by Eli’s 8th grade graduation ceremony.

Eli escorting two of his classmates off the stage after the ceremony. Way to go Eli!

Terri and I had certainly forgotten what it is like in Gymnasiums in WI with a few hundred folks in the late spring…it was a great night all around though.

On Saturday, we headed into town to head to the farmer’s market.  It was a bit of a gloomy day, but nice just the same.

On the bike trail along the lake toward the market in the harbor.

Toby waiting for a doughnut.

Even though it was wet, it was still very well attended. This is in downtown Kenosha.

Garreck’s parents made it to town later that evening from Buffalo, and would be staying the week with them.  Terri and I headed back to the Coach to get a good nights sleep, as Sunday was church, followed by Emma’s high school graduation.

Waiting for the festivities to begin. This gym was air conditioned!!

The grad doing her Marilyn impression…

Ashley and Emma. Emma will be attending Hope College in Holland, MI this fall. It is the same school that Ashley went to, as well as my sister, who also teaches there.

Garreck, Emma, Ashley, Eli and Toby

Garreck’s parents, Emma, Terri and I.

It was such a nice day, that after the graduation we spent some time riding around the harbor.

We had a nice dinner all together, then headed back to the Coach.  On the way we were treated to a thunderstorm, and this cool cloud:

On Monday we pretty much hung around the campground, and Tuesday and Wednesday were pretty much a blur running back and forth, swimming lessons, and projects around Garreck and Ashley’s.

On one of the bike trails at Cliffside that take you to the Lake Michigan. The lake is up 4 feet this year, and is the highest level it has been in many years. This has caused severe erosion in several places.

On Thursday we headed into Kenosha to meet everyone for the Kenosha Kingfish baseball game.  The Kingfish are part of a college league for those that have pro prospects.  It was also Snap-On Tools night at the game.  Garreck works at Snap On, so we had a great time with a barbecue before the game and great seats.

I like the way they turned this old boat into a bar. I would have thought they would sell Lienies Canoe Paddler here instead of Blue Moon…

It’s hard to read, but one of the items you can order is “Pudgy Piggy.” It is a hot dog, brat, bacon and pulled pork on a hoogie bun!!

Great seats, but watch out for those foul balls!

The night would not have been complete without toilet bowl races!

Here are the “Elvi’s” (as they call them) dragging the field. Quite  a talented group…especially the little guy.

What a great night!  Toby decided to come to the Coach with us after the game, and the next day we checked out the play grounds followed by another great bike ride near the campground.

Hamming it up with the lake in the background.

Later in the day, the whole gang showed up for a great cookout at the Coach. Terri outdid herself once again, and we were all stuffed!

On Saturday we were back at it early, as not only was the farmers market going on, but there were civil war re-enactments in town.  Kenosha has a very large and nice Civil War museum.

A Civil War era band with instruments from that period. They were quite good!

Hanging out at one of the encampments.

We then headed back to the house, and Terri proceeded on with the wall paper removal that Jean had started earlier.  All the wall paper in the kitchen and dinette area is coming off to be replaced with paint.

Terri found where the person that hung the paper signed his name and date.

A lot of work, but by the end of the week working on the project every now and then, Terri got all of the rest done.

Later that afternoon, Terri and I enjoyed some time back at the Camp Ground while I worked a bit. This is my outdoor office.

Monday was move day again.  We found another nice site we wanted to try, and since it was time to dump the tanks anyway, it was good timing.  The other thing that is important with motor homes is to fire them up and exercise them every now and then to prevent things from binding up.  In fact, we were talking with the camp host, who parks his motor home in the same place all summer, and found out that last year he experienced quite an expensive bill due to the fact he had not exercised the brakes on his coach and they seized up on him.

While moving to the dump station, and over to the new site, I kept getting the fuel control fault codes again…very frequently.  So I called Cummins (which is located only 7 miles away and is a Coach Care facility) and made an appointment for Friday.

Tuesday, we went for another bike ride to check out some more of the erosion and the lake shore.

The erosion here is very noticeable compared to last year.

On Wednesday we had Toby, and did some more scouting.

Nice bike trails!

Great colors in the lake.

More erosion.

Toby set up a restaurant in the playground and was taking orders.

On Thursday, the 16th while Terri was finishing up the wall paper removal, I finished staining the picnic table, after several attempts to get most of the old chipping paint off.

Shiloh supervised.

Almost the entire day Friday was spent at Cummins.  To make a long story short, in the end, we had a faulty fuel system transient suppressor, which they replaced and we were back in business…after dropping about $500.

On Saturday, we were up and at it early.  Terri and Ashley were spending the morning at garage sales near Ashley’s house, as it was this communities annual garage (or rummage) sale event as they say here.  Garreck, Toby and I headed out to a dairy farm for Kenosha Counties annual dairy breakfast, which was scheduled from 0630 to 1030.  We arrived at about 9, and now know to get here much earlier next year.

Hundreds of vehicles in and out.

Since there were over 300 people in line for breakfast , and the line was moving slow, we decided to just check out the animals, machinery and the barns.  In the end, we found out they fed over 3,700 people that morning!

They had all kinds of nice set-ups for interacting with animals and machinery.

Baby Chicks.

And goats…

Since we skipped breakfast at the farm, we found a great little restaurant in the country. Best biscuits and gravy I’ve had in a long time!

Nicely converted old school house, cash only, small, but great food.

After breakfast, we still had some time before Emma’s graduation party at her mom’s house, so Garreck found this nice little nature preserve where he used to take the boy scouts.  This is a neat way to collect rain water and get some sound effects.

Toby making himself into a deer in the hands on discovery area.

They had great trails outside as well, but after we were about a half mile in, we were getting hammered by mosquitoes, so we spent time inside.

Great displays that foster great questions, especially from an almost four year old. 

Everything you can imagine to touch and discover here. Snake skin, fossils, leaves, skulls, bones…

Our recent grad at her party!!

We ended the night at the Racine Marina…we were supposed to attend a German Beer Fest, but is was not anything like advertised, so we had a nice time on the water.

On Sunday, we enjoyed another really long bike ride with the whole clan, topped off by a stop at the ice cream store!

That’s all for now folks.  We are in packing mode today, as we start our trek to Michigan tomorrow for our nephews wedding.  More to come on that later!

As always, we hope this finds you Happy, Healthy, and Living Your Dreams!!



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