Big Daddy and New Shoes for Baby

Ordering Burritos!!!

Our last installment had us in Chicago, eating, drinking and making merry with friends. We also visited our various medical and dental professionals – appointments that create a level of apprehension that I don’t remember when we were younger. All was well, though – the Docs all basically said “Keep doing what you’re doing…” and so we shall!

The Dog House!

Our comestible selection included the requisite Burrito(s)…

Beef Samiches…

The Dog

Chicago Hot Dogs…

All, the major food groups that we miss so much were acquired and consumed.

Liz’s new do

Liz even found time for a NEW DO!!!

While in Chicago, I FINALLY identified a Tire shop (a Family-owned local chain) that had tires of a recommended brand AND of recent manufacture. I tee’d up an appointment, and the plan was to get the tires in the AM, and then head to ANOTHER Bluebird rally – this one in SHipshewanna, Indiana. The “plan” went awry almost immediately…

Baby FINALLY Got New Shoes!

I called the night before to confirm both the appointment and the specific tires/dates (which had been put aside for me). Yep.  CONFIRMED, said the manager.

We showed up, they had me pull in a bay, and they proceeded to remove the tires. THEN, they went to get the tires, and found ONLY 3 (of the 6 that we need) dated in 2021. I told them they had been put aside for me; please look again…apparently NOT. I said I would NOT accept tires older than 2021, and they could put my old tires back on…

The service manager asked for a moment to go back and look…and FORTUNATELY found 3 more. Not the ones “put aside for me,” but still hot from manufacture (which is how the Manager referred to my request). So, problem averted.

Liz had decided she would finish closing up the apartment and then drive out to the tire shop around noon – no reason for her to sit and wait. Problem is, by noon, only 2 tires were on! It turns out that the tires/alignment/Shock Replacement took until 5:30 – I have never been to a shop so good at making a full day out of a half-day of work. Fortunately, the price had already been negotiated. Anyway, Liz DID have to sit for a half day, but not for a full day, and we departed about 6:30. We HAD planned to meet friends in Bridgman, Michigan for dinner, but there was NO WAY that was going to happen, so we apologized, and stayed overnight instead at the Cabelas in Hammond Indiana.

After that, we continued on to Shipshewanna, where we had a great few days with some of our Bluebird friends. This is one of the few rallies where ABSOLUTELY NOTHING is planned, so instead, we BBQ, eat, hang out with Bluebird friends and talk. One of the highlights of this rally is the Ice Cream Stand IN THE PARK, that has rotating flavors of frozen custard.

Dad’s Domain

After leaving Shipshewanna, our next destination was Minneapolis, where we planned to see my dad, recently out of COVID Lockdown. We had intended to be there for Father’s day, but had some issues necessitating a return to Chicago, and that delayed us past the actual Father’s DAY.

Called Dad, who solved the problem: “What’s so important about SUNDAY…let’s just have Father’s day on the following THURSDAY!”

In keeping with that theme, my sister is planning “Friendsgiving” in August to replace last year’s missed Thanksgiving, Dad’s Birthday in March and 2021 Thanksgiving, which will see at least some of the family in Las Vegas watching Chet’s Gonzaga Bulldogs playing Duke on Black Friday. More on that later.

It’s 104 miles to Chicago, we have a full tank of Gas, half a pack of cigarettes, its dark and we’re wearing SUNGLASSES. HIT IT!!!

While in Minneapolis, we stayed with friend Julie, whose driveway was just the right size and her neighbors just the right level of tolerance for invaders from Chicago.

Blues Seniors

Pulling out brought to mind that most famous of movies about Chicagoans of suspect reputation…see if you can remember too… 

Dad’s Chosen Lunch Delight

Visiting with Dad was great – he’s been locked down in his Senior Community, and we are all grateful to the staff there for the compassionate, professional job they did for the past year, resulting in NO COVID cases among residents. Finally, with all residents and most staff vaccinated,  the building reopened for  fully-vaccinated visitors. So,  to celebrate (and for “Father’s day”), we asked dad what he would he like for lunch?


I am blessed that Liz will also eat WC, as long as it is not more often that once a year, so we got carryout and had a feast!!!

We visited twice more while in Minneapolis…great conversation and spirits (ours and Dad’s) lifted.  in one of those wide ranging conversations with Dad, he explained how he is managing in the Assisted Facility with his various old-age issues (we all got ‘em) and throughout lockdown. I thought I would share what he said, because we could all apply this to our own lives. Dad said,

“I have pretty much figured out how to do everything I need to do, and if I can’t figure something out in my current reality, I wonder how much I really need to do it?”

Those there are words to live by!!!

“THE” Spot for a St. Louis Visit

Leaving Minneapolis, we had marked a couple spots on the map: Kansas City and St. Louis – both places we have not spent any time. At the latter, we were able to secure a PRIMO parking spot in EAST ST. LOUIS, directly across the river from the Gateway Arch – and July 4 Fireworks! I’ll describe that more in the next post…

I realized we would be driving RIGHT PAST our friends the Florers in West Des Moines, en route to KC. I also know that the Florers know US well enough to say “NOT A GOOD TIME” for an ad hoc visit — I knew their kids (and Grandkids) were visiting for “Gramma Camp” and the farm would be pandemonium. So I called Steve to make sure we would not be an imposition.

He said, “What’s 2 more…” I was pretty sure that was a confirmation, or he would have said “TWO MORE???!!! Or even, “DON’T YOU DARE…” Anyway, that is what I CHOSE to hear and believe, So we went!!!

And, as usual, we had a great time with great friends (and all their kids and grandkids). There was HOME MADE ICE CREAM, even, which Steve manufactures with the world’s most  Red Neck Ice Cream Churn. Remember, Steve is the guy who makes Redneck Potatoes with a portable drill and veggie peeler. 

So OF COURSE his Ice Cream machine is made from a 1926 Motor RESCUED FROM THE DUMP and connected to the Ice cream Churn with some old Fan Belts. And, as with the Potatoes, the result was FANTASTIC!!!

I realized what bad parents we would have (could have) been

I wondered about the timing of everything, though. The Ice Cream was prepared and consumed in mass quantities by the collected kids (and adults) in the late afternoon. BEFORE dinner. While I fully support the concept of eating dessert first, I wondered about the wisdom of this order of consumption for the Kids. I guess It’s a good thing Liz and I don’t have kids, because once Cindy ‘splained, I realized what bad parents we would have (could have) been.

“If we give them Ice Cream in the afternoon, the Sugar High will be over before bedtime – -whereas if we had Ice Cream for dessert, none of us would get ANY sleep!”

Anyway, it all worked out, and, after having MORE Ice Cream for breakfast the next morning, we headed onwards to Kansas City.

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