By: joealaska , 1:47 PM GMT on June 02, 2014

Well the big BIRTHDAY BASH WEEKEND is technically over, but my sister and her husband from Boise (Cyber and Senor Llave) are still here until this evening, so we will all go out to a final lunch today.

Dot Mom is already streaking toward 81.

Later today I plan on hitting Walmart and bulking up on the basics, from charcoal to cat litter, so that I leave town Weds set up for the near future.

Late yesterday afternoon we had a heavy rain here at the camp, another shower late last night. Storms likely later today and tonight. Rain is in the forecast for the next few days. The cruise could have a wet beginning, no big deal. There is a chance of severe weather here locally.

I spent most of Thursday getting LEGGS worked on to be ready for the cruise. Replacing a tire is not such a simple process with that big dog. Friday I dropped off my car and spent a bunch of money getting that ready.

The weekend was a big success. Friday we rented some interesting bicycles and rode across The Big Four railroad bridge. This is near downtown Louisville, a big old bridge that has been converted into a walking / biking bridge over the Ohio River and over to Indiana. The bikes are set up for two people pedaling, with your feet more in front of you rather than below. There is room for someone else in back. Dot Mom sat there. It was a tight spot that took some agility to get in and out.

It is 3 days later and my knees have almost recovered from the pedaling.

Saturday we saw BOOK OF MORMON. I think it is the only real Broadway production I have seen. It was great. The main characters were very talented. Normally dance numbers do not do much for me, but this was the exception. The dance moves were made to be humorous, and it was all very entertaining. There was a lot of profanity and some of the subject matter was pretty off-color. But we all knew it was coming, and it was pretty funny. The production was at Kentucky Center for the Arts. First time I had been there and it was an impressive venue. The place was packed.

Saturday night we had a nice dinner at home and several good family friends stopped by. I have plenty of pictures, most of them personal. But I have some that you should enjoy seeing, will try to post later.

Tomorrow night there will be a final dinner with the family.

48 hours from right now I will be pulling out.

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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12. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
1:37 AM GMT on June 05, 2014
joealaska has created a new entry.
11. dotmom
12:42 AM GMT on June 05, 2014
He is in Coralville! Talked to him tonight. He is going to give us the scoop on a blog. Hope he isn't too, too tired!
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10. cybersuze
10:57 PM GMT on June 04, 2014
Looks like clear skies in Coralville if he makes it that far today!
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9. dotmom
8:21 PM GMT on June 04, 2014
I know he has gone! Just hope and pray all is going well for him. He's been itchin' to get on the road!
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8. dotmom
1:16 PM GMT on June 04, 2014
Joe: Tell us you are waiting until tomorrow!
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7. joealaska
2:56 AM GMT on June 04, 2014
The comfy chair and matching leg rest are loaded in the back of RED ROVER, The BBQ grill is stashed in LEGGS, A chunk of bad weather is heading this way. Too far ahead to decide anything, looking at radar AM.
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6. cybersuze
2:36 AM GMT on June 04, 2014
Well it was great to meet Dutchie and see Fluff and JA again. Now JA's gearing up for his new adventure! Leggs looks comfortable. Hope the weather holds out for his departure tomorrow and if not that he has the sense to stay put! Bon voyage! Do keep us posted!
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5. osdianna
4:25 PM GMT on June 03, 2014
After reading the swan boat episode courtesy of UK, I can now blame you and your rowdy sister for all further swan boats, dragon boats, etc. being stuck on a rail that dictates where one goes and at what speed and duration! Thanks a lot you hooligans! I had to resort to go-cart track racing to get my speed fix.

As for the pedal across the metal (bridge, probably not metal any longer with all the lightning you folks have back there), Joe was gracious enough not to make Dotmom pedal while he sat in the rumble seat (using the excuse "use it or lose it" to ensure HER knees remained in good working order); it could have been worse.

Well, time is growing short until the blastoff into the next stage of the journey. Being a born worrier, I keep thinking of the many things Dutchie can do to throw a monkey wrench into your plans; good thing you are allowing yourself plenty of leeway with the trip. By now I am sure she is aware something is up, and is making her own plans to hide out in the surrounding woods until she senses you have given up this mad plan to get in that big thing and move....unless the weather cooperates and forces her inside of course. So all you have to do is keep tabs on her from now on...have you tried a large ball made of cage materials with a trap door? You pop her inside and as she walks she propels the ball across the dirt/grass...sort of like an enclosed hamster treadmill. Maybe you could make your fortune designing, producing, and selling such an item! I don't believe I have seen any in the Foster and Smith Catalog.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this grand adventure (and job search), and are able and willing to share it with all of us. Drive carefully, and if the cats get too crazy you can always drop them off here for a while.
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4. insideuk
11:57 AM GMT on June 03, 2014
Sounds like a good time was had by all, except the sore pair of Joealaska knees. This pedalling with your legs out front type business was the cause of one of the biggest ever fights between my sister and I when we were kids. And there is quite some competition amongst the anecdotes for that trophy...trust me...sisters just 21 months apart are prone to serious spats...

The pedals in question were, on this occasion, attached to various 'water based creature' themed vessels, and they floated around a quiet and respectable boating lake in the delightful seaside resort of Cromer, North Norfolk. My Grandma, in her infinite wisdom (and years as a school nurse attending to the health needs of a gathering of 2000 kids daily), had thought she would treat us to a short duration swan rental. My sister and I clambered aboard and set off with quite alarming levels of pitch and roll, straight toward the middle of the lake.

It was only then that it became obvious that my sister and I had hugely varying idea about who was captain and who was crew with regards to steering decisions. Obviously there was a need for 2 pairs of feet for pedal power, but only one hand was required for the rudder/ rear plumage. It was an oversight not to have done the whole paper wraps stone/ stone blunts scissors/ scissors cut paper fist thump decision making process whilst still on dry land. On water it just went straight to the fist thumping without delay. I can still hear my Grandma wailing “girls!, girls!, stop that at once!”.

The swan owner had to rescue us after several minutes of punching the living daylights out of each other moved rapidly toward tearing each others hair out, as we were quite unknowingly taking on considerable amounts of water and were in real danger of capsizing.

I suspect that it was just as well there hadn't been room to sit my Grandmother on the back.

We visited Cromer several times a year throughout childhood and well into our teens but we never once revisited the boating lake.

A quick glance at the forecast for the Illinois, Iowa, north east Missouri area to which you are headed tomorrow has thrown up a BIG CODE RED FLASH FLOOD WATCH for that generalised location. Storms thru Tuesday night and into Wednesday are capable of dropping 4 or 5 inches of rain causing creeks, streams and rivers to suddenly become raging torrents.

So, if you don't wish for the pedalling sore knees to become damp paddling ones then take note of your surrounding area before you set up camp.

I can't recommend a fibre glass swan boat even if Walmart do have them on buy one get one free this week.

Though I do recall thinking that the Loch Ness Monster pedal boat had much more seaworthy substance about it...perhaps that's an unfair comparison to be making. Both would be crap in a flash flood eventage given the state of your knees.
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3. dotmom
2:00 AM GMT on June 03, 2014
Not to worry Ylee about that streaking stuff. I have to put food out to draw any window peekers!!! It was a great weekend. We were busy. After lunch today, (thank you JoeA) we came back to the house and watched a disc of old movies. Saw Joe when he was just a little guy. Our children provided lunches and dinners all around. They were great. And it was all appreciated. They didn't want Dotmom to fuss and you know, that was just right with me. I've probably gained a couple pounds - especially with the desserts we had. Can you eat a turtle ice cream pie or a DQ ice cream cake and not gain weight??? Now I have my work cut out for me.

As I say, 80 isn't bad - it's a privilege not everyone gets to enjoy. I am blessed in so many ways.

The weather was beautiful all weekend. Forecast for the next couple of days may be some rain. That's okay, the plants need a drink too.

Knowing Joe is making final preps to leave town makes me sad. I'm glad for him, because I know he is anxious to get started and get the feel for this travel but I am going to miss him a whole lot. I miss the others too that live in New Mexico and Boise. We still have one with us - so that is a good thing.
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2. Ylee
6:37 PM GMT on June 02, 2014
Dotmom streaking? It may be warm here, but please tell her to put some clothes on! :' )
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1. osdianna
4:47 PM GMT on June 02, 2014
I am a firm believer in roundly celebrating ANY day past the age of 21, so of course the older I get the more I believe in celebrating, not that I do...but somebody should! For my 60th birthday I drove into Seattle and saw a live stage production of The Lion King; that was nearly 10 years ago so it is time to make plans for my 70th birthday celebration...it will be in January so I won't be climbing Mt. Rainier, that's for sure! Maybe I will do as you did Dotmom and arrange a get-together with family. We have never been that close, but have been trying to stay in touch a lot more than in the past, and it's about time for a gathering. I think we are all ready to finally be family again.

So the state of Kentucky is going to send you off with a bang, and Dutchie will celebrate with songs of her own. Oh boy! The new adventure begins. There should be some sort of blessing of the Leggs ceremony. Many blessings upon the RV and it's precious contents...that sort of thing.

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I have just taken a new job in Great Falls, Montana. A new state and new areas to explore.

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