Friday, August 14, 2009

A family campout in Wisconsin

We're way behind in posting updates to the blog. My apologies. But we have rock solid excuses, we had poor cell phone connections at our location in Governor Dodge State Park here next to Dodgeville, WI. Secondly, our RV is just shy of being 4 years old, and guess what the house batteries decided to do? They laid down on the job and would hardly hold a charge. So with no battery power to speak of and poor cellphone service for my internet air card, we were left out in the cold. We didn't get our email until we arrived here at daughters this afternoon and found 94 messages in the queue. But nothing urgent or earth shaking.

We had a great time with our daughters and the extended family. Plus we were honored to have the wife and two daughters of Sandy's nephew join us. Their daughters are the same age as our grand daughters and they go well together. The two youngest are 12 and the oldest are 14, so this is probably one of the wilder gatherings to be experienced. (I'm assuming that as they age, the level of the squealing and yelling will moderate some -I hope.)

As an engineer, the study of human nature was not one of my strong points in school. However, I have found it to be an enjoyable pass time as the years go by. Watching the 4 girls (or young ladies) interact was very interesting. Surprisingly, the youngest of the group was almost the most mature. She was the great helper, doing things around the meal time before the need was apparent. Her maturity was interesting to observe.

The gathering ended today and we had to vacate the state park. Normally when Sandy and I have traveled, we will bail out of a campground early in the morning, irrespective of the park policy. However, my daughters had other ideas. Obviously, they needed to go for another hike and locate a geocache. Check out time was 3 pm and at 1 pm, we still hadn't heard from the hiking group. Eventually, they arrived and then we had lunch, followed by clean up and departure. We actually pulled out of the site at 2:30 pm. I was surprised that the new occupants hadn't arrived before we left and impatiently waiting for us to leave.

From the park, we traveled about 10 miles to Beth's house, where both of us have parked our RV on the street in front of her house. Our plan is to make an early departure in the morning, we for a family reunion in Iowa and Julie for their home in New Jersey. The big event is that as we leave, we are also taking our two granddaughters with us for 6 days. Sandy has a full schedule set up for them for the week. It starts with a family reunion on Sunday, then moving to a C.O.E park near Des Moines so that we can attend the state fair in Des Moines for Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday is travel day to the farm near Williamsburg and a quick visit to my mother. Friday, we take them to the Cedar Rapids Airport where we check them in to the airline for a return flight to New Jersey. They are traveling as juveniles and Julie has paid extra for the airline escorted service. They have traveled by air often with Julie while they were in Germany, so the air travel experience is nothing new for them. It will be different for grandma and grandpa to see them go via air.

It's bed time. Grandpa needs a good nights rest before the challenges of driving 300 miles tomorrow with 3 navigators.


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