Greetings From Hawaii Dear Friends!
Ha Ha Ha…I’m just kidding…were you wondering how Jim and Robin got old Ward here across the ocean? I really have an amazing sense of humor for a travel trailer…but I’m Canadian…the American brands are rather dull in the humor department…
I have so much to catch you up on…when we last spoke, I was in North Carolina while June, Jim, Robin and the doggers headed to Illinois for the holidays.
Their first stop was to pick up Cheyenne. I hear she has grown three feet since I last saw her…(another joke…that would make her extremely tall you know). On they went to Arlington Heights, to Holly and George’s house. It happened to be Holly’s birthday that evening, so they all went out to eat and had lots of fun…those pics are below:
Holly & Cheyenne
George & Deb
Robin Sporting Cheyenne's Hat
The annual Christmas Eve bash was held on December 27th…(ha…got you again! The Christmas Eve party was held on Christmas Eve…I am on a roll I tell ya!). I hear reports from June that at one point there were 20 people there…all of them standing in George and Holly’s kitchen. Why do humans DO THAT? June said she could see through the living room window from the driveway, and there were chairs and tables set up so nicely in the living room…but every mope crammed into the kitchen! Weird people.
Christmas Day involved relaxing, so I hear…but the temperature dropped a lot and June said she was freezing to death outside…poor gal.
On the 26th there were many stories to tell. Cheyenne was taking the Amtrak from Chicago to Champaign that day…Jim, Holly, Robin and Cheyenne all planned to take the Metra train downtown, do some window shopping and wait for the 4pm train to depart. Of course, the snow started that day, wind chill and all. George dropped them all off on the platform and soon after he was gone, there was an announcement that the train was delayed for mechanical difficulties. At this time, the snow was blowing and blowing. They were the only fools on the train platform, complete with Cheyenne’s luggage. The hilarious pics are below:
Holly Frozen Solid
Cheyenne Frozen To A Wall?
Cheyenne & Robin Frozen Together By Their Heads
Jim Finds A Bag! Perhaps We Can Burn It To Keep Warm!
Anyway, apparently they were on the WRONG platform and when the train finally arrived (they were out there at least 30 minutes), as it came into view, they saw they were off by one platform. This followed by Jim dragging Holly across the tracks, who was petrified she would be killed right there by the oncoming train, while Cheyenne and Robin ran across the tracks with luggage. Apparently they would rather be splatted on the Metra train tracks vs. stand on that platform in the blizzard any longer. They made it on the train but Holly was sure the conductor was going to yell at them.
Teenager Cheyenne was not only frozen but her feet were wet and cold. This led to Robin putting gloves on Cheyenne’s feet, as the pic shows:
There Just Isn't A Caption For This Photo
When they arrived downtown, they decided to look for a place to have lunch…but guess what? Everything was closed…Chicago was deserted. They actually had to eat at McDonald’s! Yuck.
Then they went up in Holly’s office to unload the luggage. It was on the 41st floor and they all looked crazy going up and down past security to an empty office in a skyscraper. I’ll let your imagination kick in here.
Later, Jim apparently asked Holly what time it was and thought it best to get moving to Union Station…however, Holly was apparently wearing a watch that she did not adjust to the time change MONTHS AGO…so they actually got there TWO HOURS EARLY. Luckily, Cheyenne had Rummikub with her, which she got for the holidays, so they passed the time playing.
In the end, Cheyenne got on the train ok and Robin, Holly and Jim took the Metra back to Arlington Heights….
Later that week, Jim and Robin got to see Beatrice and Orion…they had a nice lunch together and some visiting. Jim and Robin got Beatrice a lap harp for Christmas, which we got to see her strum. Then her daddy got his guitar and they sang their duet “the Beatrice Song” which goes Beatrice song, Beatrice song, Beatrice Beatrice Beatrice Song, Beeeeeee a triccccccce song. Then we heard the puppy song, which goes Puppy song, puppy song, puppy puppy puppy song, puuuuuuup ppppyyyyyy song. Apparently there are more cute songs to that catchy number. June says Jim and Robin were singing it all the way back to Holly and George’s after the visit.
Jim & Beatrice of the infamous "Beatrice Song"
Orion, Beatrice & Grandpa
June said the rest of the visit through January 3rd was really nice and relaxing…but frigid. She did mention that Robin made some ridiculous paper bag hats 20 minutes before New Year’s Eve…you can see those “gems” below…looks like a preschooler made them, I think:
George, Jim & Holly (yes, that is Holly) Wearing Robin's Party Hats To Make Her Feel Better About Her Artistic Abilities
Everyone said adios on the 3rd and Jim and Robin headed back to Nate, Amelia and Daniel’s house in North Carolina. They went through Indianapolis & Louisville, staying at the pet friendly Motel 6 in Lexington, KY on the third…the pets were exhausted, as you will see from this photo:
Ahhh...The Pet Friendly Motel 6
When they all finally made it back to me on June 4th, I was so happy to see them. Unfortunately, it was a record cold spell in the south and I thought I was going to freeze to death. Everyone was worried about old Ward that week, with evenings in the 20 degree range. They were blowing through propane faster than a 40ft motor home goes through diesel fuel at 5mpg…and believe me, I know…I talk to the other RVs when we camp…
So things were cold and mellow from January 4th through the 8th. My owners, while keeping me warm, were looking at the weather and a map…but unfortunately, the only place warm within the continental US was…nowhere. RECORD COLD, FLORIDA IS FREEZING, BLAH…BLAH…BLAH…so they did what any sensible owner would do, bought a heat lamp for my belly at night! They spent the week packing me up and finally, on the eighth, said goodbye to Nate, Amelia and Daniel…and headed off to a campground they saw on the internet, in Kinston, NC…about 100 miles away. Here we go again…off into the great unknown with my insane owners.
We arrived at Neuseway Nature Park and Campground on the 8th. We all froze quite solid the first few nights but at least it didn’t snow! OH MY GOSH…WE HAVE TO BACKTRACK HERE…I FORGOT TO MENTION NORTH CAROLINA AND SNOW!
Before we left Lillington, NC, we were watching TV on the 7th with Amelia…and there was quite a bit of chaos in NC. You see, they rarely get snow…and they haven’t quite figured out what to do about it but GO INTO EXTREME PANIC, CLOSE EVERYTHING DOWN AND HAVE BREAKING NEWS BULLETINS ACROSS THE BOTTOM OF THE TV SCREEN. This was hilarious…I mean it. On the January 7, we watched as the trembling meteorologists dominated 99.7% of the nightly news explaining it MIGHT SNOW tomorrow…up to…now hold on to your hats…ONE INCH. I am not making this up….they closed all schools for the morning…even started classes hours late at Fort Bragg…for the POSSIBILITY of one inch of snow!! They had machines treating the bone dry streets throughout the night…interviews with the DOT on every channel “how are you PREPARING for this storm?”…I cannot stop chuckling…I really can’t. And in the morning, while all kids were home from school, Fort Bragg was deserted….guess what? We woke up to dry ground, looking just like it did the day before. Quite different from Montana where they won’t even consider a snow day…you are expected to have your kids at school, even if a dog sled team has to bring them there…and they better not be late!
Ok…I’ll get back to Kinston, NC. So we froze. Jim and Robin went with June to sightsee as much as possible, going to New Bern, Greenville. It was a cute place. I got to park right on the river and there were nature trails that, once it warmed up a little, the dogs got to take walks on. There was a nature museum with a live cockatoo that continually said “Happy Birthday” (never a dull moment in our lives…never, ever). Here are some pics. Also, note the pic of the sign that showed how HIGH the water got during hurricanes! I would become a boat really quickly, according to those watermarks!
Signs At Our Campground...Real Nice...Great
Our Campground On The River - June Didn't Know This Photo Was Being Taken And Got A Part Of Her Hood In The Photo...Oops!
…So that leads us to our latest journey and, folks…let me tell you we FINALLY had 70 degrees today…at our new location in Dulah, NC. After a week in Kinston, the owners decided to take a chance on a place they heard about months ago…it is a campground and vineyard called The Grapefull Sisters. It is surrounded by woods, is very remote…lots of land to walk around…very nice and friendly people…but it is only 15 miles from North Myrtle Beach so they get to see the ocean (they promise to take me there, too…we’ll see). We all arrived on January 15th and actually paid for a month because Jim and Robin really liked the feel immediately. There are only a few other RVs here in the entire place, but they are friendly (though no Canadian Award campers to be seen…I’m truly one-of-a-kind!).
Owner Robin, not fond of crowds, enjoyed going to the ocean yesterday because NO ONE IS HERE. It is off-season…but you can imagine the hooplah here during spring break. Three lanes of traffic each way down the “strip” in North Myrtle Beach…but for now, the streets are quite quiet…and where I’m parked, it is so quiet and forested…I really like it here.
My owners actually are going to perform here (music…that is) for their little Valentine’s party…and I can see the stage and porch from my site, so I can listen, too. Here are some pics of our most recent landing:
Our New Place In Dulah, NC
This Is The Property It Is On...And The Campground Is Back Behind Those Trees...I'm Back There! Kinda Like "Where's Waldo?" Guess We Can Call It "Where's Ward-o or Weirdo"
One Of Many, Many Tall Buildings That Block What Once Used To Be A View Of The Ocean
As for me…well…I’ve sure had one heck of a journey to date…and it feels good to settle down for a bit. I have had a lot of time to reflect, given how often I’m abandoned while my owners run here, run there.
For me, I can report my perception of the world…well, at least the USA, during my travels thus far. I’ll sum it up in the words of one of my favorite musicians, Greg Brown: “the whole world is struggling to become one bland place.” What I see is one long strip mall beginning somewhere in North Dakota, going all the way to the Atlantic. It appears Best Buy and Target travel everywhere together (like June and me), Walmart and Dollar Tree are available every five miles in any direction…and it just starts over and over with every little town along the way. Sure, some have pine trees in the background, some have oceans, some have the plains…but it is the same scene again and again. That’s what I’ve seen on my journey…but I’m having fun…and documenting it in this blog to share with the little ones someday (if June will have me) makes it all worthwhile!
Hope the sun is shining wherever your are…old Ward is gonna sign off and do some serious sunbathing now…everyone tells me I’m so pale…Aloha!! Probably as close to Hawaii as I’m gonna get, eh? (that’s Canadian for “huh?”).
Warm Regards, Ward. Hannah…No…Hannah……..You just have to steal the show, don’t you….???!!! Look at this picture………..
Hannah In My Window!