Wednesday, September 29, 2010

First Three Days

We completed our first three days at  Got through the paperwork and safety information.  They have well developed Stow and Receiving Schools that left us feeling well prepared for our duties.

Yesterday we came home feeling pretty tired and, oh my goodness, we were sore all over.  Today it was better…..feet hurt less and body less sore….so the week or two of conditioning will be good and we’ll be in good shape to start our full 10 hour-shift.

The weather has cooled down considerably…from 97 degrees down to 70s.  It makes doing things so much better.  We sit outside in the evenings, visiting with co-workers that walk by.

Saturday nights here at Indian Ridge Campground we get together and play “Corn Hole”. You throw a small sack of corn into a board with a hole in it about 20 feet away.CIMG5159

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In the meantime others gathered on the patio to enjoy the “pickin and grinin” of guitar players.



While others enjoyed some “local” libations shall we say…yes, in a mason jar.  Some of it is mixed with apple cider, apple juice and cinnamon and they call it Apple PieCIMG5161. So smooooooth!




Saturdays are very popular around here ha-ha-ha-ha.  I did partake a bit, but I’ll stick with my EJ VSOP brandy, thank you very much.  That other stuff will put you on your knees real quick…it sneaks up on you.

Remember, you are loved!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Schmidt Coca-Cola Museum

SchmidtCokeMuseum (1) Friday we drove up to Elizabethtown, Kentucky, to see the popular Coke museum. Frederick Schmidt opened one of the first Coca-Cola bottling plants in the country in 1901. Later he divided his franchise among his three sons. The Elizabethtown plant enjoyed four generations of Schmidt ownership until it closed in 1999. The museum was started in 1977 and today contains over 80,000 pieces.

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The side of the building is pretty neat…a fist pushing out of the building holding a Coke bottle.



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When you walk into the museum proper, there are two long aisles with exhibits in glass cases along both sides of the two aisles.



Mainly the museum contains various advertising media, bottles and Coke machines.

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I picked up a postcard for my friends, Naomi, of a marble soda fountain from the 1800s, that I thought she’d enjoy.  When I was paying for it the clerk ask, “would you like to see the real thing?”. Well, yes, of course!!!  Here it is.
SchmidtCokeMuseum (29)It was all marble and was made for the 1893 Chicago’s World Fair. They have it in a side room reserved for private parties. The fountain is not used but is imposing in the room.

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This plaque sets on the front right side.


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In the same room is a very tall “Coke bottle of Coke bottles”, so to speak.  Note the one, lone filled bottle on the bottom row.  It was one of the last bottles filled at the bottling plant in 1999.


This was a very interesting museum and well worth the trip to Elizabethtown…oh, yea, the movie “E-Town” with Kirsten Dunst WAS partly filmed here.  Locals refer to Elizabethtown as E-town.

I was finally able to get my fill on salad by having lunch at Golden Corral. This was the cleanest and friendliest Golden Corral we’ve ever been in.  The food was fresh and very tasty also. Mama always said to “let people have their flowers while they are still alive”, so I did compliment the manager.

Remember, you are loved.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Arriving in Campbellsville

Wednesday we finally arrived in Campbellsville!  This has been a long time coming…since our decision in Quartzsite last January.

I had a problem driving through three major cities in two days…took photos of the skylines, but now don’t know which is which.  One of these is Chicago and the others should be Indianapolis and Louisville.

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Can you help me identify which is which?
******************************************* Here are some photos as we arrived at Indian Ridge Campground, as some of our friends will be coming here during October and were interested. 

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CIMG5083 Scene from our window CIMG5082
    Pretty spectacular!

The campground is very nice!!! The owners, Rocky and Connie, are very friendly and accommodating. We’re going to have a good time here on our days off. They have Corn Toss tournaments every Saturday night and various potlucks and breakfasts.  It should be fun.

Yesterday we drove around town finding the grocery stores, restaurants and other campgrounds. It is a very nice city and close to Bowling Green, Elizabethtown and Lexington.  It will afford us the opportunity to travel and explore many local areas on our days off.  We spent one night in Kentucky three years ago and wanted to come back – this was our opportunity to do so. 

We have worked for the last two years during the fall months in Coffeyville, Kansas.  This year their fulfillment center in Campbellsville, Kentucky, wanted to bring in 600 seasonal campers.  (The word “workampers” is a trademark so we can’t use that word.)  We’re glad they did so we could see this beautiful part of the country.

Our friends, Susie and Dave Smeal, put up a post on their blog, Dave and Susie’s Musings, that is pretty cute about the traveling vanilla.  Check it out!

Remember, you are loved!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Czech Plaza

We are pretty close to Chicago here in Woodstock. When we talked about which Slavic restaurant to go to Laurie remembered a place from her childhood, The Czech Plaza, in Berwyn, a suburb of Chicago.  Come to find out, she is part Czech.  So Sunday we took off on an hour’s plus drive.

CIMG5044The place is pretty large inside with the decor that hasn’t changed much in 30 some years.

CIMG5048The menu was extensive including foods from Germany, Poland and even Chop Suey.  We all got different dishes so we could sample. 


CIMG5049Waitress in Czech dress

CIMG5046This is a liver dumpling soup..yes, I know, but it tasted great!
This was my dish-combo of fresh kielbasa, smoked pork butt, meatloaf, pork loin
Roast duck and breaded pork loin. Large dumpling sliced, you cover it with gravy
Huge stuffed cabbage with dumpling
Dessert fruit dumplings-blueberry, plum and peach

I was disappointed in the two vegetables offered – cabbage or sauerkraut – as both were sweet! Even the tomato gravy on the stuffed cabbage was sweet.  My plate was very tasty, as was the duck and breaded pork loin.  Very surprised that the dumplings were so huge, but was great covered in gravy.

So I had my Polish/Czech taste buds satisfied –  wasn’t as good as my mom made, but when is that ever accomplished?
We spent a wonderful night Saturday with a big bon fire, with Jeff the Fire Keeper.






We so appreciate Jeff and Laurie’s wonderful hospitality during our stay in their backyard.  They have been so gracious and giving….great hosts…thank you so very much!

We are off this morning heading for Campbellsville, Kentucky, and our job with where we start working next Sunday.  We hope to get to the Elks Lodge in Jeffersonville, Illinois, but it is 368 miles and we’ll see if we make it that far.

Remember, you are loved!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Woodstock, Illinois

We arrived around noon in Woodstock. It was so great to see Linda and Jim Mossman again after five months!!!

We have been enjoying staying in their son and daughter-in-law, Jeff and Laurie’s, yard next to the Mossman’s. Afternoon happy hours are in force with daily meals eaten out. Hot tub in the evenings. It has been fun eating at the favorite restaurants they have talked about so much. So we’ve had Dusty’s pizza and the chili dogs and chopped salad from Portillo’s.

Tomorrow we will either go to the Czech Plaza near Chicago or Warsaw Inn nearby. I am half Czech and half Polish. I haven’t had any authentic Czech or Polish food since I left home at 18 years old – yes, that’s 50 years ago. Jim doesn’t particularly like Slavic cuisine so I don’t cook it. Being so close to Chicago I’m going to take advantage of the abundance of Czech and Polish restaurants. I am so excited and anxious.

We’ll be here till Tuesday and Wednesday and then head to Campbellsville, Kentucky.

Remember, you are loved.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Rapid City to Sioux Falls, SD

We headed out early Wednesday, about 7 a.m. and headed east…didn’t know where we would end up spending the night as we had a couple of stops to make.

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First stop east was Wall, South Dakota about 55 miles from Rapid City.  It is the home of Wall Drug Store.  Started back in the 30s when Ted and Dorothy Hustead bought the drug store in Wall, SD. Ted gave the new venture 5 years to succeed. They struggled up to the last few months of the 5 year deadline.  One day Dorothy went to take a nap but soon gave up because of the noise of the jalopies on Route 16A.  As the history on their website says, “Well, now what is it that those travelers really want after driving across that hot prairie? They're thirsty. They want water. Ice cold water! Now we've got plenty of ice and water. Why don't we put up signs on the highway telling people to come here for free ice water?”.

And as they say, “the rest is history”.  They modeled their signs after the Burma Shave road signs and soon people were buying stuff after refreshing themselves with the free iced water. 

WallDrug (1) Walking through the many connecting stores

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Coffee is still 5 cents
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There is wonderful collection of western art
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They are known for pecan rolls and free iced water

Wall Drug is interesting but basically a tourist area.  There are many, many shops all interconnected.  But it is one of those things you have to see as you tool down I-90.

After a while we came to Mitchell, SD and their famous Corn Palace.  Here is the description from their website.CornPalace (6)

“The original Corn Palace, called "The Corn Belt Exposition" was established in 1892. Early settlers displayed the fruits of their harvest on the building exterior in order to prove the fertility of South Dakota soil. The third and present building was completed for it first festival at the present location in 1921. The exterior decorations are completely stripped down and new murals are created each year. The theme is selected by the Corn Palace Festival Committee and murals are designed by a local artist.”

Yes, everything on the building is made from different colored corn cobs, the corn husks and some other grains. They draw the designs on tar paper and fill it in with the corn cobs following the abbreviated color terms.  Here’s a simple example.

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Note LR=light red cob etc
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Finished project

The workers were in the process of taking down the 2010 designs and had put up the tar paper with the designs for next year.

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Admission is free and inside it is set up for basketball games.  There are beautiful corn cob designed scenes on the wall of the auditorium as well. The detail is extraordinary!!!

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We carried on down the road and ended up in Sioux  Falls at a very nice Walmmmmmmart (sorry, bumpy road in southern Wisconsin). We had driven about 400 miles…long day. This was the first time we have spent the night at a Walmart in our new rig and it was really a good experience. I only had to move the two driver side slides out six inches and I  had full use of our whole rig.  I cooked dinner and used the computer and we didn’t feel cramped as there is about 2 feet of space inside even with the slides completely closed. We slept well…not even noisy right there on the major road…

Yesterday we drove through all of Minnesota and saw some beautiful scenery, including a peek at the Mississippi River.

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We spent the night at Fox Hill RV Park, a Passport America park, in Baraboo, Wisconsin.  It is a very nice and quiet park we really liked. 

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Well, we are off this morning a little later than usual, but we had to dust and vacuum and get ready for company….we get to see The Mossman's today…..hallelujah!!!

Remember, you are loved!