Sunday, June 26, 2016

Almost Time To Head West

Monday 6/13

Sunny and warmer today, headed for high 80’s. Did some paperwork first thing in the AM, then hooked up and dumped tanks. Checked tire pressures and replaced a couple of Pressure Pro senders that had died. Then I painted the muffler and tailpipe on the Wrangler with black hi temp paint.

Late in the AM we headed into Geneva to run a couple of errands, stop to pick up prescriptions, post office to mail package, then lunch at Cotto Linga on third street. Then a stop at the Blue Goose, the library and back home mid-afternoon.

Tuesday 6/14

Up early and headed into Geneva to have some accessories installed on the Wrangler at Lou’s Jeep. I worked closely with John and his Dad when I worked for AMC/Jeep and they were a Jeep dealer, long before I actually lived in Geneva. Had side steps and front grab bars installed. Also purchased a bag for storing the plastic windows and a Best Top bikini top for use in Arizona. Once we get settled this winter with an actual garage the regular top will be coming off and the bikini top will go on, more or less permanently!

Nancy drove in to the Chicago Outlet Mall in Aurora to meet Joan and do some shopping, then they had lunch at Nosh in Geneva and came back to Big Rock.

Quiet afternoon other than a run into Sugar Grove to pick up ice for the cooler.

Wednesday 6/15

Quick run back into Geneva this morning to look into rattles in the Jeep “A” pillar after the grab bars were installed. I thought a couple of bolts had dropped behind the trim pieces, but it turned out to be just loose bushings in the grab handle mounts. Fixed in about 15 minutes.

A lot of heavy rain last night and some serious thunderstorms! Good thing there is good drainage here in the campground! Beautiful sunny day today, but warm and humid.

Headed into the city this afternoon for an F1 roundtable discussion with the commentators from NBC Sports. Taking the train, unfortunately my Metra senior reduced fair card is packed with our household goods! Had to pay full fare! Bummer!

We’ve made a decision about taking the Jeep back to Tucson. We had thought about Nancy driving it and following me while we went back in July, but that was always an unfavorable option for both of us. The noise and discomfort of the half doors and soft top on the interstate pretty much sealed the deal on that option anyway.

Alternatively I had planned to fly back in September after we returned from our cruise and drive it back by myself. Now we have decided that we both will fly back in September and then drive the Jeep back using only US and State highways, avoiding the interstates and taking our time along the way. Nothing really going on in Tucson in September other than house construction, so no real hurry to get back at that point. We tend to stick to the Interstate highways with the truck and trailer, so it would be fun to try the “blue highways” with the Jeep.

Had a nice evening in the city. Took the train from Aurora and walked over to the Union League Club. Decided to take advantage of Irene’s membership before we cancel it.

Had a drink in the Rendezvous Room and then a really nice dinner in the Wigwam. Nothing like a place like that to make you feel wealthy and privileged! 

Taxi to Park West and a very enjoyable two hours with Lee Diffey, David Hobbs, and Steve Matchett. Very interest behind the scenes info and a lot of humor.

Train back out and home around midnight.

Thursday 6/16

Nancy headed into Batavia first thing this morning to meet with Maria Elena, her former English as a Second Language student. I did some cleaning.

We went into Hinkley to South Moon Bar-B-Que for lunch. Split a full slab of ribs with frys, cole slaw and good beer!

Back home I put top dressing on the Jeep soft top, but ran out of my old supply. Checked on-line and found a dealer for Wolfenstein's products in St. Charles, Riggs Brothers, and made a quick trip in to pick up another bottle. Very helpful manager also recommended Mother’s plastic window cleaner and polish for the Wrangler windows. Helps keep them clean and protect from scratches.

Back home I finished treating the top and polished all the plastic windows inside and out.  Nancy headed off to St Charles in the late afternoon for a pedicure.

Friday 6/17

Off to Joan’s this morning. Took the Jeep and went the surface street route: US 30 to Plainfield, across to Lockport, IL 7 across I-355, then 159th St. to 84th Ave, to 167th St.  Bit of a construction delay on US 30 just east of Plainfield and then on 159th, but still only took a bit over an hour & half. A much more relaxing drive than the tollway, especially in the Jeep.

Quiet day at Joan’s, Nancy did laundry (“Your gypsy relatives are here with their laundry!") and we ran down to Culver’s for lunch, our favorite lunch spot!. Joan made sandwiches for dinner and we headed home early in the evening. Nancy was a good sport and agreed to make the whole drive both ways with the upper door halves off! One drawback to the half doors is you cannot just roll up your window if it rains or gets cool! No window! Just upper frames with plastic windows. You have to stop and put the upper door halves back on!

On the way back home we ran into the remnants of a parade and community celebration in Lockport. Main streets through town closed, both East - West and North - South!! You have to go through the center of town to get to the bridge across the river so the apparent solution is just to close the streets and just direct traffic in both directions into the neighborhoods! Narrow streets, full off parked cars and pedestrians, parade floats wandering around in every direction and no posted detours!!! Chaos and really stupid! Spent more than half an hour wandering around through town, frustrating, but interesting none the less.

Saturday 6/18

F1 qualifying from Baku, Azerbaijan, on TV simultaneously with the start of the 24 Hours of LeMans! Thankfully with the DVR we can watch one - qualifying - and record the other. Almost wall to wall coverage of LeMans on Fox Sports.

Quick run into town for ice and a few groceries, then a relaxing afternoon watching Lemans.

Late afternoon we dumped the tanks. Could have gone another day, but we did not want to tie up the dump station when weekend campers are leaving on Sunday, get a line there sometimes and we have almost 40 RVs in the campground this weekend. We also want to have full tanks so we can dump when we leave on the 30th. We go five to six days between dumping so it should work out just right.

Sunday 6/18

Watched the end of LeMans, then F1 race. Late in the morning we drove into Batavia and had lunch at Panera. Used their WiFi to scope out camping at San Luis State Park in Colorado and made a reservation for five days after we leave Cherry Creek in Denver.

Stopped at the library in Batavia and returned some books, I used the WiFi there for a while.

Stopped at the Ace in Sugar Grove to get a bolt to fix our outside steps. We noticed the last couple of days that they were looser than normal and Nancy had said they did not feel right when she folded them to move to the dump station the other day. When I looked closely this morning I found that the pivot pin on one of the primary support arms was broken. Thought I could just punch out the broken pin,  but nooo, frozen in place! After couple of hours I finally managed to cut the head of the pin off with the Dremel, drill it out partially and then drive the remains out with a punch. Temporary fix with a bolt, but the bolt head interferes with folding the steps, so I will have to refine the repair before we leave.

Monday 6/20

Off at mid-morning to Kathy Reller’s in Oak Park for haircuts. Amazingly light traffic all the way in and not bad on the way out either.

Back home by a little after three and relaxed. Hot again today, low 90’s

Tuesday 6/21

Just a perfect day today, right around 80 with a light breeze and not a cloud in the sky! As a result I got a bit of a burn working outside all day

Right after breakfast I went out and did the final repair on the entry steps. Then I replaced a broken foot on one of our lawn chairs. We have two nice ones and two cheapies, so I took a foot of one of the cheap ones to replace the broken one on the good chair.

Then as long as I was on roll I washed the outside of the trailer!

After lunch we made a run into Hinkley Fresh Market in Hinckley to get brats for dinner. They have a really amazing butcher shop for a small store and a hardware section.

Back home I cleaned off the cars and washed the truck. Nancy spent the day studying Spanish and enjoying the beautiful weather.

Cooked brats on the campfire tonight! Ate outside and then made smores on the campfire. 

Wednesday 6/21

As nice as yesterday was, today went in the opposite directions. Rain during the night and when we arose in the morning. Then thunderstorms off and on most of the day, sometimes the sun came up and the heat and humidity went up between storms.

Good day to stay inside and read!

Thursday 6/22

Drippy and foggy this morning. Once the fog burned off we headed off to Joan’s for the day. Took the Jeep and the surface streets as we did before, a bit slower but more pleasant in the Jeep.

Nancy did laundry, I paid bills using Joan’s WiFi. At Big Rock we have to be using the hot spot on our phones. We expanded our Verizon data plan to 12 gig to cover cover our usage.

Turned into a nice afternoon. Back home around 5 PM and then we ran into Hinckley to South Moon BBQ for dinner.

Friday 6/23

Headed into Geneva this morning to run a couple of errands, doctor’s office, financial advisor’s office, lunch and groceries. Had to wiggle around the back streets in Geneva as it is Swedish Days and the traffic is pretty much gridlocked. 

Back home we dumped our tanks and then back into North Aurora to Mark & Renee’s for great home brewed beer and fried alligator! Had a nice evening with a mixture of old friends from the mill, folks we had met at Mark or Ron’s parties, and some new people. Always good beer at Mark’s!

Saturday 6/24

Headed into Geneva this morning for a quick stop at Swedish Days to hear the Swedish Choir. Took the smart in case we had to squeeze into a parking space. Plenty of parking around the train station though.

Listened to the choir, stopped at the All Chocolate Kitchen for a gelato, did some shopping - Nancy picked up a couple of T shirts with a Minion in Blackhawks hockey gear. Down to Batavia to East China Inn for lunch, back to St Charles to Josef’s Meats for Italian sausage. (Dodging around back streets all the time to avoid the Swedish Days traffic!)

Then we stopped at the mill to help Mark and Scott set the sails and visit with friends there, then back home late afternoon.

Sunday 6/26

Starting to get things ready for hitting the road. Tonight is our last night “on duty” as Campground Hosts. We plan on heading West on Thursday. We have enjoyed spending time back in the Chicago area and visiting with Joan and our friends in the area.

Quiet day, Sunday AM news shows and Indy Car race from Road America. Sure wish they would run Formula One there, but it is way to small a market for the high rollers!

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