Saturday, January 9, 2010

27 degrees and holding

It's a balmy 27 degrees and we are heading out for an afternoon of shopping and sightseeing.

I hope to be able to post later and give you actual 'details'. That doesn't seem to be my strong suit of late.

Have a great Saturday!!!

~ Kassidee

Friday, January 8, 2010

Good tidings from Taos, New Mexico

How are you doing out there? We have arrived in the beautiful city of Taos. It matters not what time of year you visit this place - it is always spectacular. We are staying at a lovely RV Park - Taos Valley RV Park. The surroundings are beautiful and the landscaping here is meticulous. I am looking forward to walking around tomorrow.

I believe we are headed into town tonight for dinner (just Ken and me [or should that be myself?]) and tomorrow we will bring Mom and make a day of it. We are hoping to see our good friend Charles Collins. If you haven't seen his work before, you should check it out. It's pretty amazing. He is also one of the sweetest people you'll ever meet.

Hopefully I'll be able to get up to date with my blogging while we are here. If I remember correctly, we just left Florida and spent the night in Mobile and now I have to fill you in on our visit to Lake Charles. I know I posted some of that, but I don't think I got it all.

Eventually, I will just have to post some random photos from the trip as well. Some are funny and some are pretty but they are in no particular order.

For now, I will say good-bye and go get ready for dinner!
~ Kass

Leaving Amarillo

Good morning and welcome to another frigid day in Texas. No hot water this morning - our pipes/hoses seem to have frozen. Oops. I guess the next time it's this cold we have to make believe we are home - and leave the faucets dripping. I hope there is no permanent damage.

I wanted to get on last night and tell you about our last full day in Florida but I couldn't get the internet up and running. I'll try to do it now, but we are about to head out and I don't know if I will have enough time to post the amazing photos.

We left Boynton Beach on Sunday and headed to Homestead, Florida. Ken had always wanted to go to The Coral Castle and here was his chance. Words nor photos can do this place justice. It is about a heartbroken man who spent the rest of his life creating a monument to his true love. The amazing part is that he used only hand tools, worked in secrecy, and lifted blocks of coral that weighed well over 30 tons! I urge you to check out the website because I would only be repeating what is there in my blog. I will add photos now and hope there is enough time for them to upload.
We had a crappy lunch at a supposedly 'good' Cuban restaurant and then headed back to Joan and Bernard's for a barbeque. Charles' brother and family were there as well and we all had a great time hanging out and eating chicken and hot dogs.

The next morning (Monday) was a travel day and we headed north and then west towards Louisiana. We spent the night in Mobile, Alabama at a Walmart that did not want RVs parking in their lot. When we woke up the next morning there was a car (very deliberately) parked in front of the RV in an attempt to make us unhook the toad and have to back up to back out. Luckily, we were able to make the turn and get out but boy was I ever pissed! I took a bunch of photos but I doubt I'll bother to write a letter. I almost went in and asked for the manager that morning - but I didn't want to get arrested in Mobile!

We are headed to Taos, New Mexico today and I believe I will have internet at the RV park there. Have a great day y'all!

~ Kassidee

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Shoes and Socks

The socks, I knit.

The boots, I bought today in Amarillo!

Windchill temperature: 6 degrees

On the upside: 42 days to pitchers and catchers!

It is downright frigid and I haven't even ventured outside yet! I'm cold just thinking about it. I was toasty warm last night and comfortable on the new foam mattress cover. I have to figure out which pillows to use now, but I think it will be a major improvement in the long run.

I guess I should try to finish up Florida. Where did I leave off? I think I was telling you about the horrible service at the anniversary dinner. The next day was Boxing Day or Happy Katie's Birthday Day. It was also the day of the 'invasion'.

The 'small' party at the house that Joan and Bernard were throwing turned into over 75 people when all was said and done. Luckily, the food was catered so all we had to do was go pick it up. Ken made potato latkes and we did the whole crudités thing with the veggies we had gotten the day before at the Green Grocer. There were chips and dips and olives and hummus and crackers and cheeses and that kind of stuff but the big meal was just platter and serve. It arrived hot - thank goodness!

There was a huge carved turkey with gravy and trimmings. Tzimmes, string beans, cranberry sauce, rolls, and challah. There were about a dozen desserts ranging from fruit pies to chocolate cakes, to baklava and cookies. There were a few musical numbers done by friends and a good time was had by all!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Big Texan

Well - we had dinner and also got to watch someone actually finish the 72 oz steak dinner in one hour! I can't even imagine. I was just praying he wouldn't throw up.

I wanted to give you a quick weather update and then Ken and I are going to watch a movie and then go to sleep on our new 2 inch foam mattress cover. I am hoping this will make a HUGE difference in the horrible RV mattress on which we currently (attempt to) sleep!

It is now 20 degrees out with a windchill temperature of 9 degrees. Count them...all nine....argh! Poor Ken is out walking the dogs. He is SO good to me. The wind gusts are now up to 30 miles per hour. I am afraid Norton will blow away.

Tomorrow I am off in search of the perfect pair of cowboy boots. We'll see what happens. Ken says when I see the price of any cowboy boots I won't want to get them anymore; never mind the perfect pair! Only time will tell.

I'll try to post more in the morning before we head out for the day.
Stay warm - wherever you are!

~ Kassidee

Hello from frigid Amarillo!

It is a whopping 24 degrees here in Amarillo. With the windchill it feels like 12. The winds are gusting up to 25 miles per hour and there is a "light freezing drizzle mist" in the air. There is a wind chill advisory and we are heading out for dinner. At least the toad is 4 wheel drive!

We will be here tonight and tomorrow night and unless my computer gives me fits, I will have internet access until we leave. My plan is to finish up Florida and catch up so I don't always feel like I am behind. I don't know if I will keep blogging once I get home but I do know that it will be much easier to do when I have consistent internet access.

We are staying at Overnight RV Park and so far, we like it here very much. We arrived to sweet, friendly cats at the office, a free video lending library while we are here, and a book exchange. The only down side I can see is that we are near the airport and you can hear the planes going by overhead. So far there has only been one plane and we've been here over an hour. It actually sounds kind of neat (there goes another one) and I don't think it will interrupt our sleep. I'll keep you posted.

Tonight we are off to The Big Texan for dinner. I don't think either of us will take the 72 oz steak challenge but we are looking forward to a nice steak dinner! We are leaving Mom on board in the warmth of the RV and braving the forces of nature. Wish us luck!

See you later!
~ Kass

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Still trying to catch up

Good morning from sunny, but freezing, Lake Charles. Ken is taking a shower before we hit the road so I thought I'd try to finish up Florida before we get to our next destination. It's a race against time - we'll see who wins. (My money is on Ken).

Friday morning was Christmas and Joan and Bernard's 51st wedding anniversary. I woke up to find a gift on the kitchen table from Ken. It was a beautiful hand-made journal. I had seen it in a store in Athens and when I was busy getting yelled at for taking a picture of the cat in the basket, he was next door buying it for me. The pages are made out of completely recycled materials and it is bound and covered in leather with a beautiful design hand carved into the leather. It has a huge stone in the center and it is so pretty I don't know what to use it for. Something that nice should have extra special thoughts inside. My husband is just too sweet!

We headed over to Joan and Bernard's house and they were just sitting down to lunch with Charles and Lori and the kids. We hung out until they were done eating and then we had a chance to catch up with the Brooklyn contingency. It was a wonderful afternoon. Charles made a plane out of an egg crate and he and Ken and the boys went out to try to fly it.

When they got back inside it was about time to go back to the RV and get ready for dinner. We all got dressed up (I even put on lipstick!) and Ken, Mom, Ingrid and I headed over to the restaurant. The drive over was beautiful. We drove along the water and through some neighborhoods with huge houses. Charles' brother and his wife and son were also at dinner and so there were 13 of us when all was said and done. The restaurant was lovely. They were so fancy that although there were white linen napkins on the table when we sat down - they came around with dark napkins for people wearing dark clothing so as not to get the wrong color lint on their clothes! I must say that is the first time I ever saw that happen!

They had split the tables into one table of 6 and one table of 7 because we were at at the back of the restaurant where a long bench seat ran along the entire wall. The thinking was that everyone would have to get up and out to let any one person out if they put the tables together. We were sort of like 2 separate parties but I guess it made sense. Charles and Gordon and their families were at one table they referred to as the kid's table and the rest of us were at the grown up table. It would have been nice to all be sitting together - but such is life.

Oddly enough, the food was only good if you didn't order fish. Kind of sad since the name of the place was Charley's Crab. It seems Ilene ordered her fish dry - not well done but dry as in no sauce etc. Her piece fish, as well as Ken's, came out like shoe leather. Without knowing the other was doing it - they both sent their food back. Bernie was NOT pleased. In a place this fancy they really ought to know how to make fish 'dry' and also not to assume that because one person asks for it that way that everyone wants it that way!

I had duck and it was delicious! Mom had scallops that were amazing. Everyone had a lovely meal except for the fact that one person at each table had to sit and wait for their food. And they waited a long time. Almost as if their ticket went back into the queue instead of coming out next. Our waiter was horrible, too. He never came back to see if everything was okay. When Ken wanted to send his food back, he had to flag down a different waiter. When we wanted more rolls or needed more butter (because our waiter couldn't be bothered) we flagged down anyone we could find. We never had our water glasses refilled and no one seemed to care. Not the busboy, not the waitstaff, not the manager who brought over the replaced fish dishes. For such a fancy and expensive restaurant - they should have better staff and be prepared for holidays. All that being said - a great time was had by all and we toasted the happy couple and laughed and talked and ate and walked out smiling.

We said our goodbyes and when we got back to the RV we changed into comfortable clothes and wandered down to the boat. We hung out on the bow for a few hours, just enjoying 'being there' and then called it a night. It was a very merry day!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Catching up is hard to do

Ok - I think I have a pretty good idea of where we have been. Ken and I just went over it and I think it's pretty accurate.

I left off with dinner at Flakowitz on Tuesday the 22nd - the night we arrived in Florida. The next day Ken helped Bernie on the boat and I went with Ingrid to a Goodwill type place looking for a mattress for the RV. Although I was pretty sure RV mattresses are shorter than regular ones, Bernie suggested (read: wouldn't take no for an answer) that we go down there and check them out anyway. This place was huge and had new as well as used items of all sorts for sale. I found a plate that matched my set, bought a few albums for Ken and picked up a hard cover of one of my all-time favorite books - A Bridge Across Forever by Richard Bach. Read it if you get the chance - then tell me what you think!

From there, Ingrid and I went over to the house to help Joan get ready for the 'small' party they were having that weekend. We figured out which tablecloths fit which tables and where they were going, made a list of all the stuff that needed doing, wrote out shopping lists, and tweaked the menu a bit (to include Ken making potato latkes).

Eventually, the 'boys' joined us and we all went out to dinner together. We went to Ralph and Rosie's. It was a yummy meal (Italian) and we found out later that R&R live in the same community with Ingrid. We were invited to come back over to the restaurant on Christmas Eve when they do the Feast of the 7 Fish.

The next morning we met up with Joan and Bernard to go to the Green Grocer. It is a huge, fresh market with every fruit and vegetable you can imagine! We bought stuff for ourselves and they bought stuff for the party - including a dozen huge poinsettia plants!

We went back to the house with them to help unload and rearrange refrigerators (they have 2) and another general going over for the party on Saturday. After that, we were on our own.

We went back to the RV and took a walk down the road to the boat. We were enjoying the weather, hanging out on the dock, and just relaxing a bit. Eventually, we decided to go back to Ralph and Rosie's for Christmas Eve dinner. Let's see if I can remember the 7 fish dishes. There was shrimp cocktail and mussels marinara, anchovy Sicilian pizza and raw clams. There were raw oysters that Ken says are up there among the best he's ever had. There was a ziti dish and lots of garlic bread. I am forgetting something - but you get the idea. Merry Christmas - Italian style! Bernie stopped by on his way to the airport so we chatted a while and had a lovely time! He left to go get Charles, Lori and the kids and we headed back to the RV.

I don't want to make this post 'too' long so I will stop here and fill you in on dinner and the party in my next post. I am almost caught up on Florida it's progress!

We are leaving Louisiana as early as we can in the morning so we can (hopefully) miss rush hour and meet up with Shelley and Jay for dinner. Wooo Hoooo! Can't wait!

~ Kass

Mostly old (and not much) news!

I found one of the 'copy and paste' messages that never made it over here so I will start with that. It is dated 12/28/09.

The bad news is we left sunny Florida. The good news is this should be the last copy and paste for a while. We are heading to Lake Charles today (Monday) and the RV park there, although nothing to look at, does at least, have wifi. Take what you can get, I guess!

It’s 8:41 A.M. in sunny Boynton Beach, Florida and although it will get humid in an hour or so – for now it is a lovely clear morning. We are packing up and getting ready to go. So many little things to do. I did all I could and now Ken is finishing up and then we’ll try to maneuver the RV out of this parking spot we are in.

It will be a long 2 driving days to Louisiana but I started knitting Ken’s socks so I have what to keep me busy. The cats are trying to help Ken get ready so I guess I better go wrangle cats.

I’ll post ‘from the other side’ (of the Mississippi) and hopefully be able to catch up on the journey thus far. I hope wherever you are that you are having a great day. May we all get where we are going without complications!

See you down the road…
~ Kass

Back to the present - although dinner is almost ready so this may be short. (Yes, I know it's after 10 P.M. and we are having dinner - but it's been a busy last day in La.

I got my teeth cleaned this morning and that was a lovely and uneventful procedure. Oops - Dinner is being served in the main dining room - so I'll cut this short.

More soon, I hope!
~ Kassidee

Well - there was a slight issue with the html so this didn't post before I ate and so now I will just add on to the rest. I realized, as I thought about everything, that I am so far behind half of what happened today won't make any sense.

Here is my new plan. I will post this now and then go back to the day I stopped posting about life in Florida and then go forward until I catch up with myself! How does that sound?

Are you confused? Good - so am I!
~ Krazy Kass

Monday morning in hazy Lake Charles

We decided to stay an extra day here and so we won't be leaving until tomorrow. Today, I have a dental appointment at 11 A.M. I was supposed to get my teeth cleaned back home at the end of December and so I moved my appointment to our dentist down here. Luckily, he is a high school friend of Ken's. His wife also works at the practice and so we are getting to sneak in a visit with them as well. Sort of killing to birds with one stone.

I realized last night that I never filled in the 'missing' days in Florida. You haven't heard about the anniversary dinner or the 'small' party for 75 people at the house the next day. I'll try to fill in the blanks - maybe this afternoon since I can't imagine I'll have much to say about the dental appointment. [At least I hope I won't have anything to say about it!]

We are supposed to get together again with Matt and Annie and the kids and Ken is supposed to teach Victor to ride a bike. I am hoping to get on my bicycle as well since the week in Louisiana has added a few pounds to my waistline that I am NOT happy about! Tis the season and all that - but this is ridiculous!

Happy trails,
~ Kass

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Tuesday-Friday Chicken on a Sunday

If it's Paul's fried chicken, it must be Tuesday-Friday. I guess I should explain. (By the way - according to my husband, it's actually Tuesday f***ing Friday). The fire department in Lake Charles works on a 3 week schedule that starts on a Wednesday. They work 24 hour shifts every other day for 2 weeks (except Friday which is half a day) and then get a week off. The week off starts on a Wednesday as well, so the 2nd Tuesday they work is a Friday in that it is the day before their 'weekend'. They tend to cook the same food on the same day of the week each cycle. (Think Prince spaghetti day). If this makes no sense - worry not. Just know that on Tuesday-Friday Paul used to make fried chicken. I would show up for dinner at the fire station and bring chocolate chip cookies for Paul as a thank you. Tonight was obviously not Tuesday so it wasn't Tuesday-Friday chicken night - but Paul made me chicken anyway. I brought ingredients to bake cookies at the fire station and a good time was had by all. In case anyone wants to know - the chicken is still the best fried chicken around!

Earlier today, we got in the Honda and took a drive back to Lafayette. It's a little over an hour from here and it wasn't in our original Louisiana plan but an opportunity presented itself that doesn't come along every day. A little over 20 years ago, I met Steve at an event in Coney Island. I was there for my job and he was in the army band and stationed at Fort Hamilton. They played at this ribbon cutting ceremony and we met on line waiting for food and drink. Well, actually I was waiting - the guys in uniform got to eat first. It was about 100 degrees out there and I walked up to a few guys in line and asked if one of them could grab me a cold soda so I didn't pass out waiting in line. Steve got me a soda and we started to talk. The rest, as they say, is history. We lost touch for a good number of years and out of the blue a few years back, Steve looked me up on the internet and gave me a call. He is now driving a big rig across the country and living in his home town of Buffalo. He was in Texas and driving to Florida and I was in Louisiana. We were too close not to make a plan to get together. It is the first time we've seen each other in over 15 years! We ate at a wonderful Greek/Lebanese restaurant called Zeus. We had a wonderful time reminiscing and hanging out and eating lots of good food. I guess it's just been a good food kind of day!

Here's hoping all your meals are good ones!
~ Kassidee (3 pounds heavier than she was last week)