Sunday, November 30, 2014

Dashing West

Tonight we are in Midland Texas.
Garden Spot of the US...   Not!

We had planned on visiting Hot Springs Arkansas and spending a couple of days
 but cold weather continues to push us west.  

Our travel map for Fri, Sat, and Sunday

We left Asheville NC with snow and 27 degree temps.

Below is heading west thru the Appalachians on I-40

7 hours after leaving Asheville we were on Pin Oak Lake
in Natchez Trace State Park in Western Tenn.

Its a lovely state park and we would have loved to dawdle but
we were in search of warmth.

On Saturday we pushed west another 450 miles to Texarkana, Tx
and the Shady Pines RV Park.
Upon arrival we were greeted with 75 degree temps...  nice!

The park is just southwest of town on some nice ponds.
Its a pretty location with good services and only $27.

Here at the park we found an interesting RV of sorts.

A 1928 Ford.

This morning we left Texarkana and pushed another 500 miles west and are now
in Midland, Tx where we will spend the night.

Tomorrow will be Deming, New Mexico then on to Catalina State Park
in Tucson where we will spend 5 days tending to our road sores.

We also made appointments at an Optometrist for eye exams and then
will pick up some new eyeglasses before we head to Europe.

One sad note:

If you've followed our blog for a while you know about 
Mary Coyles Ice Cream in Phoenix.

We learned from our friends that after almost 70 years, 
on Sept 30th Mary has closed her doors.
Another institution gone.

We are thankful that we had the chance to experience the nostalgia before it closed,
and thanks again to Lindsay for sending us in that direction.

A reminder once again that nothing is forever...
So enjoy life while you can.
We will do our part.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Woof, Snore, Gobble Gobble.

Well, we are back in the DogHouse.

Having left home yesterday, we are back on the road and headed West.
Our first stop is Asheville, North Carolina - a 400mi drive west.

We left home in a growing Nor-easter.   
The balmy tropical airmass we had been
living in during the past week provided the fuel for the growing storm.
The rain was coming down in buckets, the winds were blowing and travel was slow.

About 100 miles west of Raleigh however we had crossed to the west side of the
cold front and the skies cleared while the temperature plunged.

Last night the temps were in the mid 20's.
We had light snow.
Thankfully the DogHouse (aptly named an Arctic Fox) is
well insulated with a great quiet heater.  We were snug and cozy.
The bed in the DogHouse is the most comfortable one that we own
 and we all slept like....  Doodles.

Normally I stuff and cook a turkey dinner before we travel over the holidays,
and then we vacuum seal and freeze the meal to eat on the holiday.
This time however we decided on a change of pace and go out for dinner.

It's been a dozen years or more since we ate out on Thanksgiving.

After checking around and making some phone calls we decided to make
reservations at the Highland Lake Inn, south of Asheville in Flat Rock.

The HLI we learned has a Thanksgiving Buffet 
arranged by their award winning Chef and staff.
The reviews have all been stellar and the menu looked amazing
so we have been eager to visit and graze.

The dining room was casual with a rustic elegance.
There was plenty of room between tables and the service was
efficient but unhurried.   We were seated next to the window and enjoyed
a nice view with our meal.

The dinner buffet was varied and delicious.
Soups and salads.   A half dozen entrees.  All the traditional Thanksgiving
fare plus a number of imaginative additions.
We enjoyed it with a couple of glasses of white wine followed by
 desert and coffee.   We were not disappointed.

We left just as the sun (and the temperature) was starting to sink below the horizon.

From here we will depart tomorrow (Friday) and continue our journey west.
I have some interesting stops planned along the way and new sights to see.

Our ultimate goal however is Placerville, Ca where we will visit with Ron and Maxine
and then leave the Doodles with them while Kate and I fly to Europe to
spend Christmas/New Year in Germany and Switzerland and visit our friends there.

The Doodles are looking forward to their return visit at Camp Ron!
(so are we!)

Upon our return from Europe we will pick up the Montana and do the usual
wintertime Arizona/California Desert fun in the sun till spring.

It's going to be busy from here on so stay tuned.

In closing - let me wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving.
I hope that all of you are able to count up an abundance of blessings on this special day.

Kate and I are thankful for so many things:

First of all - for finding each other.
Good health.
Great friends.
A Great Job.
A Great life.
A great country to live in.
All of those who sacrifice to keep us free.
And a wonderful planet filled with so much beauty.

Gobble Gobble!