Saturday, March 31, 2018

Easter in Cleveland Ohio

  Today I spent the day inside the Great Lakes Science Center and it is a fantastic place. I had a great time with all the physics demonstration they have set up. They have a floor dedicated to the less than 8 year old crowd. 

  The ship and submarine are not open for the season yet, but my cousin and I walked around them anyway and I was able to explain a bow thruster to him. Then we went back into the Science Center. A simple yet interesting display was done by replacing the wall of an escalator with Plexiglas, I had always wondered how those steps work. It is amazing how simple yet ingenuous the system is.

  We had spent a day in the Dayton National USAF aircraft museum and a day is not enough. I had been there twice before and I just wanted Kathy to see how giant it was. It is free to all and has fine examples of every aircraft the USAF has flown. Plan to spend at least three days there if you want  to see everything.   

  The weather has been a bit windy and chilly here, guess I was too optimistic when I packed a pair of shorts to wear.

  Happy Easter!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Knoxville Area

Rare Malayan Tiger

   The family road trip is going well so far. We had a nice 7.5 hour drive from our Cabana to the hotel in West Knoxville. Day one was up early to stand in line at the Oakridge museum with a few other people to see if we could get on the tour bus. The museum is nice and very informative about K-25, Y-12 and X-11 and all the effort that went into the Manhattan Project. 

The generator and collector of a Cyclotron, missing is a twenty foot tall electromagnet. 

   The bus tour is a ride through the area and a bit disappointing. The building that was made a landmark and is still full of equipment, is open one week a year in June. We were able to see the open every day museum and the control room of the graphite reactor X-11. A graveyard of people who died in the war of 1812 was along the route also. A large building was pointed out as a centrifuge research facility. K-25 was destroyed as were all the rest as we no longer have a need for bomb grade material. So the bus takes you to a valley and you can imagine the worlds largest building. They do pass around a picture to help.  Kinda sad. That is my take on this, someone else might think this is the best tour. Our tour guide was great and knew his stuff. 

   Day two was the Knoxville Zoo ( a very nice zoo )with my niece and her just turned three daughter. She is at the perfect age to play with. We had spent time with her the night before and so we were old hat now.

  The weather has been nice, scattered clouds and temps in high 50's and mid 60's.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Just More Borrego Art

Vineyard Workers in steel
  Having a thunderstorm right now, so I decided to post more of the art in the desert.

He looks soft, but the metal is sharp. Be watchful with kids

Serpent is about length of foot ball field. Road passes over it's back 

  We had planned to start our drive today, but I finally got sick after all that time at Disney. So just been laying low and then this storm could pass over our car on the road or our car in the driveway. We chose to leave later as she had planned wiggle room in our schedule. Suits me well.

Update 3-22-18: Sure happy we stayed home, not well yet. That was quite a lot of heavy rain and winds we got. Yesterday was quite nice outside and I took a short walk to use my legs some. I did have my doubts of living thru this flu. Been a long time and I had forgot how painful and energy robbing they are. Hope I at least lost a pound for all the not eating and fever sweating that I endured. So far Kathy has not shown signs of it, hope she does not get it. 

  These pics were taken by parking car and walking to each one. That was a Kathy idea since it was mid 70's dry Sunny day and a nice time for a walk.
  It will take another post or two for the site on the other side of the circle. 

A sign like this is at each site. Very nice of someone to pay an artist to create art for anyone to enjoy

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Pink Martini with China Forbes great concert

Some Sculptures are small 

  Today was a recover from Disney and go through mail. Then we drove to Melbourne to see a concert and were quite pleased with the performance. ( March 1st 2019 Nashville 8 pm with Nashville Symphony )  It was a quick drive back and the car said it was 47 degrees outside. We are both happy with this dry cool air we have enjoyed since getting back.

Some are quite large

  Funny how this tiny 1300 sq ft Cabana seems huge after spending eleven nights in our camper. 

  Tomorrow we are back in the park to spend a last day with family spending spring break there. It should be a short day for us. Saturday I need to get car oil changed and tires pumped up etc, as Kathy's giant car trip is coming up. Most folks would call us crazy for starting a several thousand mile road trip in a car with 200K on it already. After our event with a brand new Dodge Charger RT in California, I do not trust a new car any more than a high mileage one. Anything is possible and we may come home in a rental.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

A tiring Day in Disney

Art in Borrego Springs

  Thought I would post a few pics from California since I have internet in Resort. Today was a great 62 degrees and dry, perfect for jeans and light jacket inside Disney World. It was crowded, make that overcrowded with young women on Spring Break. Disney needs to expand the area people can be, kinda like they did at Animal Kingdom Pandora. We were in EPCOT and even the loop around the countries was packed. We met Kathy's brother in law and her nephew at the Chinese restaurant and caught up on family news. The food was good also.


  I awoke this morning not knowing where I was. Anchorage? San Diego? Florida? After I got fully awake, I remembered which door was the bathroom. Living in three places and several hotels and resorts and very little sleep did a number on me. 

  Today we rode Frozen on FP+ and Soaring on extra hours walk on. Living with the Land was the same way.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Back at Cabana, 62 Degrees and Dry Air

15 days ago at home in Alaska

  I left the camp ground and Kathy did laundry as I tried to get as much sand as I could out of the 'Mouse House.' It provided us with 11 nights of warm dry sleep with bathroom, shower, hot water, fridge and comfy bed. 

  Then she followed me to gas station where I added 15 gallons of gas to the near empty tank. We then parked it in our storage spot and put tire covers on and unhooked batteries. Vents, windows and doors closed / locked and we said good bye.

The 2018 Dodge Charger RT that lasted 76 miles before having to be towed to shop. 12 days ago.
  The cost of keeping a camper to use like this is high. The less we use it the more each night costs. For this year 2018 we have used it once ( 11 Nights )and that makes each night cost $ 147(includes $ 35 night site cost.) That is reasonable for such a prime location on the beach. With our Fall trip ( ten Nights ) included the price per night drops to $ 92 a night.

 The year 2017 costs us $ 87 a night on the beach. The big question is how much longer will the camper function or become not worth the cost. Time will tell, but for now it allows us to have a California beach fix and a home base for day trips.
  We checked into Base Lodging and took hot showers and put on clean clothes after the Camper storing event. Then one last trip to Bagby Beer Company for a great diner and tasty micro brew. Afterwards a nice drive thru Oceanside before returning to Base to get a good night sleep before leaving at 7 AM to get to the airport to return the high mileage yet dependable Toyota Camry. Total car cost $ 330.  

  The flight was uneventful and our car appears to OK. We had a light diner at Chick-Fil-A and then drove back to the Cabana.

  Tomorrow will be checking into the Disney resort and spending a few days with Kathy's nephew and brother in law who are spending a week there. After that we have tickets to another Pink Martini concert with a different singer China Forbes.

  This not working for a living is busy.

Friday, March 9, 2018

The Boys Were Leaving Late

  The boys were leaving late today. They came back at midnight

  After a great day at the San Diego Zoo, we decided to hang on the beach today. It was a warm low overcast type of day and great for beach walks.

  Spent some time fixing a few things inside the camper.

  The weather is forecast rain tomorrow, so I have an airplane flying lesson scheduled for 1 pm. Sorta doubt it will happen. They told me today the plane was fixed and being flown at the time. I will also have a different instructor. Hope it goes well.

  Nothing flying today and tomorrow not looking good either. We have one more day here and have reservations inside Disney World after that.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Grey Whale Watching

  Today was perfect weather and I drove us 41.1 miles to park on Coranado Island.  We then rode the ferry to the Embarcadero, where the 3 hour tour started.

  The Grey Whales are migrating from Mexico to Alaska for the Summer. They have to leave early as they can't fly Alaska Air. We saw at least five whales and several Navy ships and helicopters.

  Then a fine diner at a famous seafood place and a ferry ride back to our car at night. San Diego is beautiful at night from the harbor.

This plane was too heavy and did the longest run I have ever seen

  Tomorrow's activity is yet another Groupon deal.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Fun Day trip to borrego springs

  I have not figured out how to get a pic from this IPad onto this post. So just imagine how a new style USMC armored floating tank looks. Today was a evaluation test of new against old. I took pics and spoke with gov inspectors and company reps as to specs etc. I had camera around my neck and snapped a few as we spoke. No problem and people were standing on our picnik table with IPhones taking pics.

  After all had left, Mr Ass who is now parked behind us, came over to loudly inform me that if he were still active duty, he would take my camera away for taking those pics. He informed me he was Retired Navy and what branch was I associated with....  Hopefully I will not run into him again. I dumped the black and grey tanks and filled the car with gas.

  Then it was a nice 91 mile drive to see the giant art in Borrego Springs. It was a clear sky and 72 degrees, just wonderful for seeing art. If you are close it is a must see.

  I got to the circle park which has good bathrooms and free WiFi and wondered where the art was. So I asked a nice looking lady and she had a book with pics of all the sculptures and was with a man who gave great directions. It is located about four miles out from the circle in two directions on Borrego road. A lot of people visit this and now I know why.

  If you know IPad and Blogger, can you tell me how to add pics?

25 YO Camper Purrs, 2018 Dodge Charger Dies

Well used Toyota replaced the brand new yet failed Dodge Charger
  It has been a good vacation so far. Camper providing warm dry shelter. Kathy walks the beach each morning. I sleep in.

 Yesterday was a bite tour of San Diego and I was stuffed afterwards. The weather was great for the walk.

 The Toyota Camry is not nearly as fun to drive and less comfy also. At least it did not die at 76 miles. The Charger RT uses an electric power steering, a Fiat fuel saving device. They have a history of failing and the car has to be towed. Not a good design. It is 38 degrees outside and 63 degrees inside at 4am.

 I have the California Benchmark map and plan is easy day trip to Borego Springs today.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Two Chilly Sunny Days

  We flew the redeye Anchorage to LA, then a twenty minute flight on a CJ 200.  Kathy rented from Alamo Cars due to very low cost. The girl tried to get me to upgrade, but Kathy was firm that we were paying all we could afford. It turned out that they were out of the type/size of car we rented. The garage girl put us in a new Dodge Charger. It is fun to drive and has plenty of power. The only problem is I bang my head getting in.

Update: The Dodge Charger electric power steering failed today. So afternoon was not spent at Safari Park, but rental car place. Now have a well used Toyota Corolla.

  The camper started and ran good. The battery's were on the low side, but came up quick with the engine running. The fridge works fine on LP or electric. The electric hot water is great also. The Sun and salt has made it look even worse. Kathy says it really looks like a clunker now. The recording thermometer shows high was 119.4 degree and low was 22.1 degrees. A lot better than Tucson, but still mighty warm while we were away.

  Inside two of the four traps I left, had fresh killed mice. So I had to sweep and vacuum the sand and mouse poop. They made their home in the same drawer with Kathy's old under ware. She had placed her good things in a plastic bin and it was fine. So my attempts at mouse proofing failed.

  We have been comfy and ceramic heater keeps the camper at 63 degrees. Long pants and sweat shirt is my norm now, the shorts not needed in mid 50's days. It is 41degrees now.