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RV Travel Tales: The Christmas Bike

In any family, there are Christmases that stand out—for one reason or another. Often, due to a mishap, a sadness, or sometimes, even a tragedy. I am relating the story of my son’s Christmas bike in this post; certainly a Christmas that my two daughters will always remember. At age 37, our Tim died—an age that was way too young. But then, any age that a son dies is way too young for a mother. Tim loved Christmas; he loved lights and trees with crystal ornaments. Even as a young child, he delighted in a tacky set of outdoor lights that spelled out Merry Christmas. My daughters saved those lights and put them up for him in the last years that he lived. However, the one Christmas they likely remember is one I’m telling in Tim’s own voice: 

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The Healthy Traveler: Baking Soda - A Must Have for the RV!

Baking soda has been a go-to household product for generations; however, when multitudes of commercial products became available for cleaning, laundry, personal care and pet care, people seemed to forget just how convenient and inexpensive this simple, handy household product is. Advertisements lured us in and convinced us that we needed to spend significantly more money on the latest cleaning product to hit the market, even though our grandmothers could tell us that baking soda would do the trick for a fraction of the cost.  

 Of course, baking soda is not just good for the home; it is also something that you should always have on hand in your RV. Aside from the most common uses, such as keeping an open box in the refrigerator and having a box on hand to extinguish grease fires, there are hundreds of other uses for baking soda that can help you save money, steer clear of chemical-laden cleaners and avoid filling the limited storage space in your RV with several different products. 

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The Silver Gypsy: St. Joseph to the Rescue

As some of you may know, I have been trying to sell my park model/sun porch RV lot in AZ.  Century 21 has shown it five times in the past year and that contract was up a few days ago.  I am considering selling it on my own.  That was not my preference because I didn’t want to deal with all the paperwork.  However, I am assured by others who have sold their own houses that the county will make sure I do it up right.  To make sure it looked bright and attractive, I painted the front door a bright orange and put up my Christmas decorations sans a couple of red bows I haven’t found yet.

In the meantime, I have received some interesting advice over and over again about how to sell it quickly and without fail, so I went online to see if others might have used this method.  Much to my surprise, there it was “How to sell your house with the help of the St. Joseph Statue.”  Protestants and Catholics alike have advised me to do this.

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Adventures in RVing: What Would MacGyver Do?

By definition RVers that boondock are a bit more resourceful and self-reliant than those that camp in a campground with hookups. Boondockers spend a little extra effort to locate a campsite, learn to conserve water, batteries and holding tank space and be ready to deal with those unexpected curve balls life throws at us from time to time.

Like the late 1980's TV character MacGyver, boondockers must learn to solve problems that come their way with everyday materials carried with them or found at the campsite as there is no camp store in the boondocks.

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Great Escapes: Naval Undersea Museum

Known as “Torpedo Town USA,” Keyport, Washington is home to the Naval Undersea Museum that features interesting and educational exhibits about the ocean environment, undersea exploration, and warfare. Although this might be a lesser-known museum in a small town, don’t let that fool you because it contains the most comprehensive permanent display of torpedoes in the United States. If you have an interest in naval undersea artifacts, be sure to stop at this FREE museum the next time you travel along the Evergreen state’s Kitsap Peninsula.

b2ap3_thumbnail_divesuit.JPGWhen you arrive, start with the outdoor displays. The Trieste II, a deep submergence vehicle that descended to 20,000 feet, and Deep Quest, the Navy’s research submersible that explored the ocean to a depth of 8,000 feet, will capture your attention right in the parking lot. The sail of the USS Sturgeon, lead ship of a class of 37 nuclear, fast attack submarines built and operated between 1963 and present day, is another huge outdoor exhibit.

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The Full-Timing Nomad: A Few Of My Favorite Things

With the holiday season in full swing, the Sound of Music's “Favorite Things” song keeps worming its way into my thoughts: 

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

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The 19th Hole: Speedgolf Growing in Popularity

I like playing ready-golf. In other words, when you’re playing a round of golf, whoever is ready to hit, takes their respective shot when ready. Along that note, I try and avoid golfing on weekends because of the excruciatingly painful time it takes to play a round of golf, oftentimes upwards of five hours.

One of the goals I have for next year is to try out the sport of Speedgolf. As a runner, and golfer, I’m sure to find this an enjoyable outing. In researching the sport of Speedgolf, here are a few things I discovered.

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RV Travel Tales: "It’s a Wonderful Life" at Silver Dollar's Old Time Christmas Festival

It’s a Wonderful Life, is a Christmas tradition. To many families, watching the Christmas classic is a highlight of their Christmas celebration. The1946 black and white movie is described as an American Christmas fantasy comedy-drama film set in the small imaginary town of Bedford Falls. Produced and directed by Frank Capra, the memorable movie stars a young James Stewart as George Bailey, a man who gave up his dreams to help others. An equally young Donna Reed plays his wife Mary. George Bailey’s guardian angel, Clarence Odbody, played by Henry Travers, guides the story’s hero to realize how one single life can positively touch an entire town. Although colorized versions have come out over the years, the original film is considered one of the most loved movies in American cinema, and has become established viewing during the Christmas season. The American Film Institute voted the ageless Christmas story as the “Number One Inspirational Film of All Time.” 

b2ap3_thumbnail_ARLINE-George-and-Mary-at-High-School-Dance.jpgAt Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri, the musical adaptation of It's a Wonderful Life is rapidly becoming another tradition for families visiting the 1890’s themed park. Although several musical versions of It’s a Wonderful Life tour the country, Silver Dollar City’s Brad Schroeder, Vice-President of Events & Entertainment, started from scratch to create a production custom-tailored to Silver Dollar City’s audiences. He originally wrote the script, thinking it would replace another park classic, A Dickens’ Christmas Carol, now running for the twelfth year at Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas Festival. Schroeder pitched his idea for It’s a Wonderful Life to the owners and the City’s management staff. They loved the story, but did not want to replace Dickens’ long run in the Opera House. 

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The Healthy Traveler: Is a Flu Shot for You?

Flu season is here, and folks across the country are heading to their doctor’s office or local pharmacy to get their annual influenza vaccine. If you regularly get a flu shot each year, then you have probably already been vaccinated or plan to take care of it soon. However, if you are new to flu shots or have heard some of the rumors of bad reactions and people getting sick, you likely have some questions you would like answered before deciding whether or not the benefits outweigh the risks. Here are answers to a few common questions about flu shots. 

Who should and should not get flu shots?

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The Silver Gypsy: The Birthday Present

For an exciting birthday present, I actually drove into Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (I NEVER do that!).   Within an hour of my arrival, I was standing outside the Security Checkpoint awaiting the expected tall drink of water with long, nearly black locks overflowing her shoulders.   Behold, this tall, skinny blonde in braids was suddenly hugging me.  Granddaughter, Becca, was the nicest, warmest, chattiest arrival, and a most welcome bundle of energy.  She had returned through Miami customs and was more than mid-way on her flight to Spokane, WA where her parents awaited their turn of tears and hugs.  I was privileged to claim her first.

After two plus years with the Peace Corps in Peru, Becca was home and all my grown rug rats and grand rug rats were on the same continent.

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