11.18.13 Bye Bye Kentucky, Hello Louisiana!!!

The last of our touring ended with the Lost River Cave when we decided to head straight back home to Louisiana. We decided home was where we wanted to be instead of seeing more in other states right now.

We left a snowy Kentucky last Tuesday morning and spend Tuesday night at the Mississippi Welcome Center parking lot.  When we arrived in Mississippi we noticed a lot of water coming out from under Dora.  Roy tried to find out what he could there in the parking lot but had no success then.  He did determine it was probably coming from our fresh water tank so we felt we were okay to make the rest of the trip to Hammond. IMG_20131112_061441_589 IMG_20131112_061459_953 IMG_20131112_061534_471 IMG_20131112_062612_146 IMG_20131112_062616_863 IMG_20131112_062634_568

Wednesday morning we headed to Hammond and arrived at Berryland Camper before noon.  We made an appointment for them to check out the water leak and stayed in their RV parking area overnight since our reservations were not until Thursday at Jellystone Yogi Bear Campground in Robert.

Wednesday after lunch we surprised our son Chip at his work at Bill Hood Ford.  He was very very surprised since we didn’t tell anyone we were heading home before we originally planned to.  We went with him over to Madisyn’s new home nearby and had a wonderful reunion with her.  When she saw us pull up she spotted her Paw Paw and clung to him crying such sweet tears of happiness.  I got my turn with her too and didn’t want to let go.  She was so happy wanting to show us everything around her new home.  We brought her home with us to see Dora and later we all went over to Chip’s apartment for dinner and to meet Chip’s girlfriend Kimberly and her two little boys Braxton and Bentley.  We really like Kimberly and the boys and had a marvelous evening getting to visit and have fun together.  Roy took a video of us that we thought was only a delayed snapshot.  We kept saying cheese and you can see how happy we all were!  This is a link to it on facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=741706022510759&set=vb.100000141051853&type=3&theater

Madisyn went home with us to spend the night. When we were going to sleep she asked me if I’d sing her the hush a bye song I always sang her (I sang it to her daddy Chip and his brother, our oldest son, every evening when they were little) so I sang it through a couple of times and she was sound asleep.  I slept so soundly with that little one snuggled on my shoulder!  When we woke up in the morning I told her I was so happy she came to spend the night and she said “I’m just so happy to see you!” A child’s love is so healing and such a blessing! We took Madisyn to her pre-k school and got to see her class, teachers, and the playground (very important).

On Thursday morning before we left Berryland Campers, Roy got under Dora and figured out what the water leak problem was, replaced the part and Dora’s all fixed.  He’s pretty amazing like that! We cancelled the appointment to have her fixed and headed over to Yogi Bear and found our spot here where we’ll stay for a week or two.  We really like it here and look forward to a fun time with Madisyn on Saturday enjoying some of the recreation at the campground.

Madisyn came to stay with us Saturday and Sunday.  Paw Paw planned a tea party for us, we took her all around the campground playing putt putt and other things.

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jellystone faces madisyn tree hanging

After the tea party and playing, Paw Paw and Madisyn had their special ice cream time.  She even licked the bottom of the bowl! Within 15 minutes of finishing the ice cream she was sound asleep

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We went to Chip and Kimberly’s church with them Sunday morning  and they came over for BBQ after and then to watch the Saints win!!!  We got to play with Madisyn, Bentley and Braxton and we were absolutely dead when they all left but oh so happy. In the picture of Bentley (left) and Braxton (right), Bentley does look like that but this must be Braxton’s wicked smile we captured!

madisyn on seatmadi prayingb and b

Roy saw the orthopedic doctor yesterday and is scheduled to have knee replacement surgery on December 9th.  I’ve been having neck and shoulder pain since we left Minnesota and am going to have physical therapy for the next three weeks and then possibly have an MRI  to find out what’s causing it and what to do! I don’t plan to write very much about our time at home with family and friends (I will let you know how Roy’s knee surgery goes)  but if you are followers of our blog you’ll know when we begin posting again since WordPress sends you an email.

If I don’t write before then ya’ll have a very Blessed Thanksgiving and Christmas!

Dora, Boots and the Chauvi’s

Ya’ll come back now ya’ hear!

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11.18.13 Lost River Cave, Bowling Green, KY

The last of our field trips in Kentucky was to the Lost River Cave in Bowling Green.  After the excessive walking of the last three tours we chose an underground river boat tour which was a very different and welcome cave experience.

There are four blue holes outside around the cave which use to be underground water that the ground on top of it wore out and the water came to the surface and it’s blue in color.  We walked along a trail to get to the cave.

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To the left of where you get in the boat there is a big open air ballroom that people in old times would dance on to the music of a big band.  The original rock stairway that guests would come down to the dance floor has crumbled and was replaced by a metal staircase which you’ll see in the photo.

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We climbed aboard the boat and were treated to a short but very interesting tour of the cave.  Right after taking off we all had to lean forward so our heads would make it under the very low hanging rock formation that was fairly long.  When we were stooping down, we could reach up and touch the roof which was very smooth.  Once we were past that we could see many formations and a couple of times the boat bumped up against an underground rock which sounded like thunder when it hit.  The temperature in the cave was around 58 and the water temperature was 50.

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Ya’ll come back now ya’ hear!

11.14.13 We have landed in Hammond, LA!

Just a quick note that we are now back in our hometown, Hammond, Louisiana! I’ll write about the tours we took in Kentucky before leaving there Tuesday morning when we settle down here some. The blogs are written, I just need to put the pictures in.  Probably this evening when we get settled at Jellystone Campground in Robert, Louisiana or tomorrow.

I may not be writing much while we are here but if you are followers of our blog you’ll get an email when I start writing again so if you’d like to get that email sign up to follow. It’s a button on the right hand side where you enter your email address. We have lots of followers already and would love to have more!

Ya’ll come back now ya’ hear!

11.12.13 Mammoth Cave here we come!

Mammoth Cave is the world’s longest known cave system with over 400 of cave already explored.

We made our way to Mammoth Cave and we set out on a day of cavern climbing up and down and up and down all 500 steps of the place. It was so physically demanding that I thought I’d collapse a couple of times and we had to stop and rest.  They have several different types of tours available and we chose the New Entrance tour which is a new entry way they opened several years ago and takes you a good way into the cave.  It has new metal steps and railings instead of the older wooden steps in the original entry way.  I liked that part!  The only picture taking allowed was without a flash so I tried to only choose the pictures of this tour that came out clear!

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After we got off the bus coming back from the cave we were required to walk across some white sudsy stuff that is suppose to remove something not good for the bats outside the cave.

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I started feeling sick (tummy) when we got home and we took it easy the rest of the day.  I also think I over did the walking and pulled some muscles in my legs because they still hurt today.  There is a good bit of walking in our future and Roy’s feeling better so we’ll forge ahead!

Ya’ll come back soon, ya’ hear!

11.11.13 Louisville Slugger Museum and Jim Beam Distillery!

Roy started feeling better so we went to the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory.  They manufacture baseball bats and many of the major league baseball players have their bats made there.  The factory/museum is in downtown Louisville, Kentucky which is about an hour from our RV park.

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Roy holding one of Babe Ruth’s bats
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The plaque explaining that it was Babe Ruth’s bat.
old machine
The old style way of making a bat
memorabilia
Baseball memorabilia
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Dozens of bats hung from the ceiling
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Banners of many of the MLB teams

They do not allow cameras in the factory, which is what I’m finding at most of the factories.  The tour took us from where the bat is just a round piece of wood to a specialized bat made for a specific player.  We did sneak our camera out to take a picture of Brian McCann’s (catcher for our Atlanta Braves) bat when we got to hold it!

brian mccann bat

There is a batting cage for older folks and one for little guys.

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They were having an auction of old memorabilia while we were there and the two pieces of furniture were sold while we were there.  The sofa for $6,300 and the chair for $4,900.

chair in auction

The bat outside the building is amazing.  It’s made of steel and weights 68,000 pounds and stands 120 feet tall.  The Big Bat is an exact replica of Babe Ruth’s 34 inch Louisville Slugger bat. The baseball glove sculpture inside the museum is handcrafted from 450 million year old Kentucky limestone, and weighs 17 tons. We love everything baseball so we were quite happy to spend time here! When we were leaving there was a bride outside having her picture taken by the big bat!

bride by bat

rosiebigbat rosiebig bat3 big glove

We went to the Jim Beam Distillery while we were in Louisville but all their tours were sold out so we were only able to take the self-guided tour which was nice and even included a whiskey tasting that we went to.  I chose a cinnamon flavored whiskey which actually did taste like cinnamon.  Roy chose a black cherry whiskey and he said it was okay.  We heard from people who did go on the real tour that it was fantastic so if you get the opportunity to go there make sure you make reservations on line a couple days ahead of time.  If we can find another distillery or a winery on the way south we’ll probably try to tour it.

beam main building

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old time distillingtasting

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That’s it for our visit to Louisville, KY. The weather has been beautiful and we’re enjoying the peace and quiet here a lot!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

11.10.13 Out with the old bed and in with the new!

We are currently at Diamond Caverns Resort in Park City, Kentucky.  We really like it a lot.  It’s very quiet and only half of the RV sites are filled so we’ve spread out a bit over two spaces.

When we got here on Tuesday (before we knew Roy had shingles) he went into Bowling Green (about 30 minutes from here) to Camping World to purchase a new heavy duty sewerage connection line.   They had the Queen size Sleep Number mattress we wanted in stock, so Roy bought that also and brought it home.  Once we found out he has shingles I figured it would stay in the boxes for a while.

real sleep number box

But NO the day after we went to the doctor I woke up to Roy taking the parts to the mattress out of the boxes and then he pulled the old mattress off the bed.  Before I go any farther let me tell you that a normal mattress is very different than a sleep number mattress.  It doesn’t come in one piece like a normal mattress does.  It comes in several pieces and has to be assembled.

When he got into it he discovered other things to fix so it took him almost all day to put it together.  We spent a few hours of that time in Bowling Green looking for an elevator bolt to replace one that broke off when he was reassembling everything.  If you know Roy well you will understand when I say he completely rebuilt the area where the bed sits to reinforce every single thing that makes up the bed area.  The bed in our RV sits over where the RV engine is located which makes the whole thing even more odd and interesting.

I took some pictures as he was assembling the bed but only have one picture when he was reinforcing everything underneath.  Roy is a perfectionist about everything which makes anything he works on take so much longer but the end result is always something you can really count on to be sound and safe.

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With the old bed removed Roy is working on all the old wires, tubes and machinery that operate the sleep number function.
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The foam frame in place, the left side blown up and the right side started to be filled with air.
bed inflated
Both sides filled up and the side covers wrapped over it.
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A layer of foam is laid over the whole bed
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The mattress cover in place and tied into the air system. The final piece.

Our old mattress was broken in that the bladder that is blown up with air was busted on the right hand side of the bed causing a caved in area on that side.  When the left side was pumped up you slept on a hill and then fell down into the cave if there was no one on the other side.  Roy didn’t like sleeping on the hill or in the cave so he wound up on the sofa most nights.

The new mattress is far superior to the construction of the old one and we’ve slept very well every night since.  Roy cut apart the old mattress into pieces and he carried them all over to the big dumpsters here.

Other than that Roy has been resting, finally…….  Our plans for sightseeing are delayed until the weekend so that Roy’s better before we take to the road again.  I’m spending a lot of time outside reading in the sun which is really nice after spending so much of our time inside these last few weeks.

That’s it for the Chauvin’s in Kentucky!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

11.05.13 Roy has Shingles & Look out Kentucky – the Chauvins have arrived!

Roy has shingles and he’s miserable.  The shingles shot Roy got last Wednesday either gave him shingles or it’s a coincidence that he got shingles the day after he had the vaccine.  He started running fever and had a bad headache yesterday and today and has been having pain in his back and legs since Monday.  We went to It’s All About You Urgent Care in Bowling Green here in Kentucky today and a really nice lady Kyra Sharp took care of him.  All of his feeling horrible and being in pain the last couple of days is from him the shingles and bronchitis.  We picked up all his medicine from Walgreens and stopped at Sams to pick up some special food treats to make him feel better and he’s back home napping on the sofa right now.  Hopefully the bronchitis will get out of him soon so he can deal with  shingles without feeling lousy from the bronchitis. Please keep him in your prayers as he heals from this.  Some of the places we were planning to see may get cut off the list you’ll see down below.  We’ll take it a day at a time from here on!

Ya’ll know how we like to take pictures of everything we do so we took a picture at the Urgent Care center with the ladies that took care of Roy.  That’s the first smile I’ve seen on his face in a few days but he’s got pretty ladies around him so I understand!

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I wrote the post below before today but I felt that Roy’s medical concerns should go at the beginning of the post so don’t get confused because of the order.

Now that Thanksgiving is the upcoming holiday we put our Give Thanks sign in the front of the window.  What you see in the picture is from the inside so it’s backwards.  It’s a challenge to decorate an RV and I really like these gel window signs!

give thanks sign

We spent the night last night at an interstate rest stop with several 18 wheel trucks!  Roy’s back and knees were hurting him so badly that we had to cut yesterday’ journey short.

I woke up Tuesday morning around 8 am to the sound of Dora going 60 miles per hour down the interstate!  That is such a strange feeling!  The trees along the roads are brilliantly yellow and orange now.  It’s such a blessing to get to see this beautiful scenery as we travel. orange leaves

We arrived about 11:30 am at Diamond Cave Resort in Park City, KY where we’ll stay for a week or so.  It’s nice to know we’ll be somewhere that has grass and trees and we can set up our little outdoor space for a while. We’ve set up everything inside and out and I’m going outside to read for a while which is something I’ve missed these last three weeks. mammoth cave park sign

Going from the very flat land in Indiana to the mountains in Kentucky is a drastic change.  Our plans are to rest today and take in the following sites over the next week:

Mammoth Cave

Jim Beam Distillery

Louisville Slugger Factory and Museum tour

Diamond Caverns

Corvette Assembly Plant and Mueseum Tour

My Old Kentucky Home State Farm

Chaney’s Dairy Barn

That’s a big list and we hope to do most of that if not all.  We’re not too far from Bowling Green and right outside of Mammoth Cave Park and the weather is cool but not cold.  As we move south the temperatures are getting warmer as you would expect .  We’re 10 degrees warmer than when we left Decatur, Indiana.

It’s helped us a lot to get recommendations from ya’ll about things to see so if there is anything specific in the I-65 area between Louisville, KY and Bowling Green, KY that you think we’d like to see please let us know!

Ya’ll come back now ya’ hear!

11.03.13 Bye Bye Decatur Indiana! Onward to Kentucky!!

TIME TO SAY BYE BYE TO DECATUR, INDIANA!!!

The a/c hose we’ve been waiting on forever for Dora came in this morning and we are having it installed right now!!!!!! It went in perfectly and we will be leaving for Kentucky shortly.

In the last couple of days we’ve enjoyed watching Hallmark Christmas love story movies, made some gumbo and vegetable beef soup and attended Hope Missionary Church with Ron Aschliman and his children (the family that invited us to their house for dinner last week). Mama Nichole went to Florida for a surprise visit with her sister. Daddy Ron got all three children to church and they looked adorable!  Their church was wonderful and huge but very friendly.  The Pastors sermon was about the danger of making pleasure an idol. Very thought provoking.  After telling the sweet little ones and Ron goodbye we came home to endure the Saints game.  Ugly, ugly loss.  Woke up this morning to the good news that the part had arrived!

Some of our followers haven’t been with us from the beginning and haven’t seen the RV we live in.  They also might not know who we are referring to when we say Dora,  Boots and the Explorers.

Dora is the name we’ve given to our RV and Boots is the name of our toad which is a Dodge Dakota.  A toad is what RVers call the vehicle they tow behind them to use for  driving around the city or on trips when the RV is parked for a while.  We got the name Dora and the Explorers  from the TV show which we watched often with our granddaughter Madisyn since she was a baby.  Since we are exploring the USA we decided to be The Explorers who go with Dora.  Since Boots always follows Dora we thought it only appropriate for our toad to be called Boots since he follows our RV everywhere!

The link below is to an album of pictures of Dora on Facebook.  These pictures were taken by the Berryland Campers where we purchased her and some were taken by me.  We’ve replaced both of the old style TVs with flat paneled TVs so imagine nice flat paneled TVs where the ugly old clunky TVs are in the pictures!

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10100318757479754&set=a.10100318757439834.2338551.50313942&type=3&theater

When we get to Kentucky and start looking around there we’ll share those adventures with ya’ll. Have a great week and

Ya’ll come back now ya’ hear!

11.01.13 Madisyn, Berne Indiana, Super duper Pizza and Shingles/Flu Shots!

When we were living in our driveway in Hammond we often included pictures of our granddaughter Madisyn. She’s grown so much since we left and here are a couple of recent pictures of her.  One is her Halloween costume and the other is her Thanksgiving outfit that we ordered for her. She and her mom are now living in Louisiana so we’ll be seeing lots of her once we get back to the south for the winter!  We’re very happy about that!

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Wednesday we drove to Berne, Indiana, a charming Swiss community with a distinctive heritage which was founded by Swiss Mennonite immigrants in 1852. We saw horse-drawn Amish buggies and the towns buildings were of Swiss architecture complete with flower boxes.

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In the middle of town was a huge tower with a beautiful clock on all sides.  The tower is on one side of a city block that has been landscaped with benches and sidewalks.

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Across from the tower is the First Mennonite Church which is a very large old building.  Mennonite’s are different from Amish in many ways.  One of which is that Mennonites meet in a church buildng and Amish do not meet for church in a building but they meet in the members’ homes on a rotating basis.   If we are here long enough I’d like to attend the Mennonite church.

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We checked out a woodworking company in Berne but found out they only do tours one week a year.  We then drove back to Decatur to see the Thunderbird company that makes Formula raceboats like Al Copeland’s Popeyes racing boats.  They no longer do tours but we got to see a couple of really old boats and looked through the big glass doors into the factory to see the new boats being made.  They are huge and quite impressive.

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In our driving around we saw that Walgreen’s is giving flu shots and shingles shots so we stopped there to get ours. We found out that you have to be 60 or over to get a shingles shot without a prescription so only Roy could get that one but we could both get the flu shots.  When Roy first asked about the shots he was told that the shingles shot was 219 so we figured $2.19.  When they rang it up it was actually $219.99.  We are so thankful to have insurance that covered 100% of the cost of all the shots! We even got a picture of the pharmacist giving me the flu shot!

rosalyn flu shot

We made our way to a recommended pizza place in town called Pizza King.  It reminded me of the old Pizza Inns. We ordered the Super King and it was scrumptious and twice as big as we could eat so we brought lots home to enjoy Thursday evening.

uper king pizza 1

I cooked a pot of gumbo today and let it cool while Roy and I went out to dinner at the Back 40 Junction restaurant for their Friday night seafood and regular food buffet.  It was good food but not seasoned like us Louisianans expect of seafood.  The atmosphere and music was very unique and the place was crowded.  An Amish family with three little children sat by us. The children’s clothes were just like their parents2013-11-01_17-02-28_642013-11-01_17-07-45_8322013-11-01_17-12-20_7962013-11-01_17-20-39_123. The boy was the youngest and it was hard not to watch him he did so many cute things.

The part for our RV hasn’t arrived yet so we will be here until at least early next week.  We found out about an arts and crafts fair in Berne tomorrow which we’ll go to.  We’ll go to church Sunday with the Aschliman family that had us over for dinner this week.  Can’t wait to see their kids again!  Hopefully by Monday we’ll know more about when Dora’s ready to get on the road again.

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!