Joe and Nancy

Joe and Nancy
Our Home on Wheels (Click on image above for our web albums.)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

US Open at Congressional Country Club, MD

The Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, MD was the host site of this year's US Open Golf Championship.  It was won by Rory McIlroy, a young 22 year old from Northern Ireland.  He blew the field away.
So, aftet leaving Lebanon and Oregonia and my family from the last blog, we headed towards Cherryhill RV Park in College Park, MD.  The distance was about 430 miles, so we pulled into a little dump, Sandy Hill RV Park at exit 15 of I-68 just east of Morgantown, WV.   Had us a big old thunderstorm just before sleep-time, but it did clear out a big pile of humidity in the area.  So, we got up Friday morning (6/10) and headed on in to Cherryhill RV Park, where we would settle in till the 21st.  Here are two of the French entries into the Open, practicing at hole # 6.
Below is Lee Westwood, one of the top golfers in the world.  He reigns from the UK.
I believe the next golfer is Adam Scott, from Australia.
Below is Padraig Harrington, UK.
Below is me in my cart deliverying water and ice to the coolers on the course.  Nancy was able to ride with me just about all day as her shifts didn't begin till Thursday.  As some of you may know, cameras and phones are prohibited on the course during the championship rounds Thurs thru Sunday.  However, cameras are allowed on Mon thru Wed. So, I take mine and shoot "targets of opportunity" for three days.
 Below is the caddie for Henrik Stenson, and they are from Sweden.
 And this is Henrik.
 And here they are in the fairway of hole # 6.
 And here is my able-bodied assistant, Nancy.
 Here Nancy is checking one of the coolers for me while I "guard" the cart.  :-)

And she reports that it is ok for now...:-)
 Not sure who this golfer is...
Nor do I remember who this one is...
 OK, this one is Miguel Jimenez, from Venezuela
 Forget this one's name too...sorry!
 ...but here he is "whacking" a ball off the tee...
There are so many international golfers at these major tournaments, it's hard to know just who they are...
 Below is Ernie Els from South Africa, a very well known and likeable personality and golfer, a good one too.
And this is Lee Westwood, one of the top three golfers in the world.  He finished in the top four of the Open.
 Note the bottom of his Ping driver...
Below is the clubhouse looking down the ninth hole.  The folks walking on the cart path is about 30 feet below the green.
 Below is hole # 8 looking towards the green.
 Below is KJ Choi (Korea) on the practice putting green near the club house.
 KJ Choi...
 And another view of the clubhouse...
Well, so ends our 2011 adventure at the US Open.  Next year we will be at the Olympic Club in San Francisco for the Open.  And this August, we will be at the PGA tourney at Atlanta Athletic Club.  We had a fun time volunteering, as we always do.  And getting there is half the fun, in our home on wheels.  While we were at Cherryhill RV Park, our daugters and six grandchildren were able to join us for a few days, and it too was a fun time seeing them.  The kids had a fun time in the pool and around the campsite.  But that story will be told in our next, till then, Joe & Nancy

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Lebanon, Ohio for a Week

My Mother, Shirley, will be 82 on her next birthday in January.

After we left Davenport, IA (6/2) we headed for my boyhood era home of Lebanon, Ohio.  But 430 miles is a bit too far for us in one day, if we don't have to.  So we overnighted in Indy Lakes RV Park.  We didn't have the time or inclination the next morning to go into the Indy Speedway/Museum, so I guess we'll save that adventure for another trip. 
My sister Debbie, and when she sees this photo she'll disown me, but it's the only one I snapped of her while visiting Lebanon.  Her and her hubby Walt were gracious enough to allow us to park our motor home in there side yard while were visiting.  They actually live about 5 miles or so out of Lebanon towards I-71 in a little 'burg called Oregonia.  It sure was nice and a peaceful setting as well in the country. 

Here is Walt on his hemi-engined Farmall F20 restored tractor.  Walt fixes, restores and shows tractors as a hobby.  He also is member of a local group of fellow tractor enthusiasts who all share similar likes.  He goes around the not-so-far-away country and attending tractor shows and tractor pulls.  While we were visiting in fact, he was rebuilding/restoring an on old Ford tractor for a friend of his.
He started this up and drove it around the barn and house the morning we left.  WOW!  What a powerful tractor, and loud.  What a sweet ride.  And he is (rightly) proud of his work.  It sure is a showpiece.
Their son, Walt, Jr, was given a couple tickets to the Reds ball game at the Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, so of I went with him to the game.  The played the Cubs, and won.  Here is a pic of him at the game.  Nevermind my face as I snapped it myself. 
Fun time at the game, and the large screen display.  We attended church services with my sister Debbie, and her daughter, Tabitha, and her son, Brady.
Here are a couple of pics of some old structures just up from the street in Waynesville, where we attended church services.
Well, while it hasn't been a very interesting blog compared to some of our past blogs about the country, my time visiting family, including another sister, Brenda and her daughters Mandy and Holly, and brothers Chris, below, and Greg in Cincinnati, was certainly enjoyable.  We have a family reunion every July at Debbie's house, but it looks like we're going to too busy to get back there for that, so we'll make like this was our reunion.
My brother Chis.
My Mother just asked me to put away my camera below, so I did.
And on that note, I'll put away my Toshiba and get ready for Church.  It's Sunday, 6/12 and we are parked at  the Cherryhill RV Park near College Park, MD.  We will be here till June 21 while volunteering at the Tiger-less US Open golf tournament being held at the Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, MD, just up I-495 from us.  Our next blog will include pics from the first couple days from the course, as well as some pics of our daugter Jennifer and her family, who live down the road a piece in Alexandria, VA.  So, till then, RVing Beach Bums signing off.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

O'neill, NE to Davenport, IA

OK, we got up Sunday morning (5/29) and headed out of a very soggy RV park and Badlands.  It had rained about an inch overnight and didn't stop until about 10 minutes before we fired up the motor home.  On the way up highway 240 towards I90, we stopped for a few minutes and took a couple of grey-sky photos above.  And when we reached I90 we stopped at the visitor's center for the Minuteman II National Monument, and watched a 20 minute video.  Neat!  We didn't get a chance to view the video the day before.  And away we went, down (east) I90 and into the rain and fog and just downright dreary weather for the next 5 hours.  YUK!  We overnighted in a parking lot of an ALCO discount store, and cuddled up to a book and fell asleep.  It was real windy and foggy and we could here the thnder and saw flashes of lightening to the east towards Norfolk.  But they missed us.  Thank you!

Up the next morning and and away we went down US20 towards Des Moines, Iowa.  We wound up spending two nights at Cutty's RV Park & Camp Club, in Urbandale, a suberb in west Des Moines.  Nice little (not so little) RV Park.  We slept in and after lunch drove into the State Capital to have a look-see.  What a beautiful capital building.  Here are some pics.
This is inside, in the center of the capital looking straight up.
We were just blown away at how this building was built, preserved and designed.  Just gorgeous!  Here are a few more pics.  We spent about an hour or so just walking around viewing everything, even a "Patriot" exhibit in a giant glass case with 8x10 framed photos of the service people from Iowa who had made the ultimate sacrifice fighting for and defending America's right to freedom.
Iowa House of Representatives Hall
Iowa Senate Hall
Our neighbors in the Cutty's RV Park had mentioned to us that we should stop by the Amana Colonies just off I80 about 10 miles and do a little sight seeing and perhaps lunch.  So, we did. 
From Wiki:  The Amana Colonies are a group of settlements of radical German Pietists in Iowa, comprising seven villages. Calling themselves the Ebenezer Society or the Community of True Inspiration, die Gemeinde der wahren Inspiration, they first settled in New York near Buffalo in what is now the Town of West Seneca. However, in order to live out their beliefs in more isolated surroundings they moved west to the rich soil of east-central Iowa (near present-day Iowa City) in 1855. They lived a communal life until the mid 1930s. Due to this, the Amanas are sometimes mistaken as Amish.  We checked out the lunch possibilities, which there were several, and decided on this one.
Great German chow!  I am part German, being born and raised in the Rhineland of America, Cincinnati, Ohio.  So, I am accustomed to German culinaries.  Here is what my "lunch" looked like, and if you've ever been to Germany, and I have, this is the way they serve dinner there:  Family style!
Three diferent knocks & brats with homemade spicy mustard.  Sauerkraut, fried taters w/ brown gravy, corn, slaw, and cottage cheese, rye bread with spinach/butter spread.  YUM!  I couldn't eat everything.  I tried!  After lunch, we walked down the street to the bakery and picked up a couple of pieces of, you guessed it, German chocolate cake, for later in the evening.
And directly across the street was the choco factory.  And six orange dark-chocolate truffles later, we marched and walked down the street to Iowa's first microbrewery.
Millstream Microbrewery, where I picked up a few bottles of their seasonal pale ale.
Right beside the brewery was this interesting bit of history, the canal that was dug by the Amanas back when they first settled the colonies.
So, we sure did like the recommendation the fine folks offered us the evening before back in Des Moines.  Local knowledge is so important when your on the road.  We make it a point to be friendly with our neighbors and are always ready to turn a listening ear to their ideas and experience of the local events and places of interest.  So, chalk it up as a place had never heard of and a place we will not soon forget, and we'll certainly return if we are in the area again.  So, climbed in the Diplomat and drove on down towards Davenport, IA.  But first, a stop by the world's largest truck stop.  This place was recommended by another follower of our blog, Pat.  A Arizona Holiday is Pat's blog.  Thanks Pat for following us and letting us in on so many things.
This ginormous truck stop has everything.  It is at exit 284 in Walcott.  It is actually a small city, with about a thousand trucks parked at any time here.  Well maybe not that many, even though  it seemed like it. 
This place is unreal!  Huge!
They actually had these big boys for sale.  And they are like like a small motor home inside.  shower, satellite TV, LCD TV, separate generator for HVAC, small kitchen...unbelievable!
So, we left here and drove on into the Interstate RV Park in Davenport, IA.  We overnighted here, got up this morning (6/2) and drove on into Indianapolis, IN.  We are overnighting at the Indy Lake RV Park.  In the morning, we'll drive on into Oregonia, OH, and park the motor home at my sister's house for a few days.  While tghere, I'll visit my Mother in Lebanon as well as a few of my other siblings.  I am the oldest of eight (and the best looking I might add).  :-)  Not sure what our next blog will be about, but, we will have one.  Till then, Joe & Nancy, the RVing Beach Bums.