Well, we got pretty much packed up on Monday afternoon after our most excellent burgers on the grill, baked beans and tater salad dinner…all washed down with some brews. With that being done yesterday morning was a pretty easy underway. We had breakfast and coffee and got started working about 0730 with the final putting away, tank dumping, utility disconnecting, hitching and hitting the road…and we pulled out of White Acres Campground right on schedule about 0930…with about 286 miles to go. The first 15 miles or so were on this bumpy, lumpy, curvey, narrow country road known as KY-62 but after that we pulled onto I-65 North and headed for Louisville. We passed pretty much right through the center of town then jumped of onto I-64 West right along the Ohio River for a bit then continued across the width of Indiana stopping for fuel about 30 miles before we crossed the border into Illinois.
Along the way we passed the Indiana Welcome Center…and while we were in using the facilities Neil noticed a little exhibit about Old Abe Lincoln’s boyhood home (nope, not that boyhood home in Kentucky…the other one in Indiana). Anyway; he lived in Indiana from age 7 to 21 at a total of 3 cabins but as it turns out…even though they got one of those Lincoln Boyhood Home National Memorial that all of their historical stuff is just as fake as the one over in Kentucky. Sure; they got a recreation of an old cabin and a collection of memorabilia that supposedly is similar to what the Lincoln family might have own…but no siree, nothing actual Lincolnesque in nature so we’re glad we decided not to stop.
So…we got here to our site 7 at the Carlyle Lake Boulder Recreation Area run the the Corps of Engineers about 1500 CDT (we crossed the time zone from EDT on the way here) and were set up and ready to go by 1600. After sitting around under our awning for a bit Neil decided he didn’t feel like cooking the pizza we have for dinner and was saving it until Wednesday so we headed off for the nearest bar and grill. We actually passed up the nearest one since it only had Bud and Bud Light and Suzie’s Pizza and instead headed into nearby Carlyle, IL to see what we could find. Lo and behold…right in the center of town on the square we found the LuBar and Bistro…and quickly decided the Bistro was too upscale for us (shorts, flip flops, and t shirts) so headed down to the basement LuBar…so named because the whole establishment used to be known as something else but was owned by a cigar smoking little old lady named Lu…when she retired the people that bought it renamed it to LuBar in her honor. We did get stopped awhile by a tracked excavator traveling down the road at the awesome speed of 4 miles an hour or so for a bit but no big deal.
We quickly discovered the local brew (well, sort local anyway). It’s named Saluki Dunkledog Ale after the Southern Illinois University Saluki’s (a Saluki is a hunting dog also known as an Arabian Greyhound). Dunkel beer is a Munich invented style of brewing…Dunkel is the German word for dark so it turned out to be a dark amber ale with some nice notes of vanilla. It’s brewed by Big Muddy Brewing in Murphysboro, Illinois. The town is located right on the Big Muddy River…no, not that Big Muddy (the Mississippi)… the other one…the river actually named the Big Muddy…but the latter does empty into the former about 100 miles downstream from Murphysboro so maybe the confusion isn’t quite so confused after all…but I digress again. Anyway…it was really good beer…so good in fact that we’ll probably go out and have some more to make sure…and it did meet all of our prime beer drinking specifications…
- not made of wheat as only silk boxer wearing pansy-assed preppies drink that swill
- a local brew if possible
- on tap with large mugs available…large mugs optional, we can always drink two small ones and we will drink beer from a bottle in a pinch as long as it meets everything else
- amber to used motor oil in color…if you can read the menu through it in a dimly lit pub then it isn’t worth the trouble of drinking it
- not Bud
- plentiful (she tapped a new keg for us)
- did I mention cold
- not Bud
so we had the nice young bartenderette tap us a couple of large ones in cold, frosty mugs and we ordered some food to go along with it. Neil had some nice Asian flavor wings and Connie had some Spinach-Artichoke Dip with fried pita chips for dipping. Both were mighty good and Connie had extra chips so Neil scarfed down on a bunch of them…they were really thin and crispy and not oily at all which is a big improvement over most edible dipping utensils. After that we scouted out a nail place for Connie to pop into one day this week and headed home.
Here are a few shots of our site…#7 with our rear window looking directly west so we can watch the sun set over he lake…although it’s actually a small portion of the marina right behind us but we could walk a couple hundred yards and have a really nice view. There are about 150 sites here… but all the really nice ones on the lake with a lot of shade have electric hookups only and since we like our showers and having water we’re glad we passed on them. It’s about 15 yards from our pad down to the water.
And a nice pano taken standing on the grass looking roughly west from right next to the fire ring in the second photo. All of these are iPhone pics…not as nice as with the big camera but pretty decent nonetheless. Speaking of big camera…there is a lot of bird life around here and I think Neil will be able to sit outside with the big lens and get some shots before we leave…leastways I’m hopin’ he does it for me.
Ok, enough with that…on with the news. NDA is computer talk or Department of Defense talk for Non Disclosure Agreement…which means you don’t get to talk about all the stuff you know…like the stuff that that Snowden miscreant butthead decided he didn’t need to really follow the rules about…but I digress again (gotta stop that…people might mistake me for the idiot police or something…no wait, I don’t mind being the idiot police…not one bit).
Anyhoo…we knew about this back in late April but were told to keep our traps shut until yesterday so here it is. Connie’s been about to wet her panties in anticipation of being able to pass on the news…and you know how retired ladies (can’t call her old…nope, not me) have trouble holding their water anyways so she’s been sufferin’ with a double whammy on that account for ‘bout a month now.
Yeppers…those human kids of their’s dun got themselves a bun in the oven…hatched themselves little carpet muncher (why do they call babies that Neil wonders)…got preggers…whatever ya call it they dun it. They told us the news back when we were visiting in April…Connie made some joke about their dog Betty being her grand puppy and Bryan told her he got her another one…which mightily confused the poor woman as she was sure that they were not having any kids…then she looked over at Jen who had this silly grin on her face and told her “Yep, we’re pregnant.” I’m tellin’ ya’…ya’ coulda knocked Connie over with a slight puffy breeze when she figgered it out. Then we headed off the next week and visited Neil’s sister MJ who immediately asked when Connie would be a grandmother…and she was forced to lie to her since the news was under embargo until Jen’s first doctor visit. MJ got the first call after Connie got off the phone with Bryan and Jen though.
So anyway…the little thing…or grape as Bryan called it…will be popping out sometime around Dec 28 as she’s 9-1/2 weeks along (as if the doctor can really tell that how far along a baby is other than by asking the parents when they did the deed)…which immediately got Neil to thinkin…ya know, his first grandmother will be just another notch on the old bed post if ya knowwhadImeanVern…and iffn we had a bed post. I’m sure that Neil and Connie will spoil the little guy or gal rotten as soon as we get the chance…just in time to give him back to his parents. But we’ve been given the go ahead to spill the beans…so consider them spilled. You can see it’s head and little hands in the sonogram above.
I figure I’m gonna have to talk about this little-person-to-be (not little person as in dwarf; I mean little person as in small ya dummy) a lot as Jen gets farther along…and keeping on keeping on doing that whole he/she bit is (a) far too politically correct for the likes o’ me and (b) too much wasted keystrokes, I only got so many in these paws ya know…so if you don’t mind I’m just gonna call it him or he until such time as a Type 1 hands on physical inspection of said little-person-to-be can easily identify the proper gender pronouns to be used…but heck, I’m gonna call it him anyways even if you do mind…but then it’s my blog so that’s all I’m gonna say about that.
(Note to the non-geek: the Official Disclaimer is the start of a paragraph style in web page HTML code and the /Official Disclaimer is the standard way of saying that this is the end of that style…that’s what the / is for.)
Connie immediately informed Jen of course…that she would just be the vessel for the cloning, just like she was with Bryan…who is exactly like his dad…who is exactly like his dad…for as Darth would say about those Laubenthal genes…“The force is strong in this one Luke.”
Seriously…both Connie and Neil are absolutely thrilled for the kids (me and Kara are thrilled to…at least as thrilled as we can be considering we’re like a cross between the Scarecrow and the Tin Man and have neither a brain or a heart)…and Neil has already figgered out that this means that all roads to and from Fort Myers to wherever we are traveling to in the spring/summer/fall will pass through Midlothian for the foreseeable future…this is clearly the first corollary to the New Horizons owners truism that “all roads lead to Junction City”. He’s not thrilled that he’s now got many more miles to drive BAT and the house each year…he doesn’t really consider Virginia “on the way” if you’re going from southern Florida to say Utah…but Connie says it is so it is…but he is thrilled to have a munchkin on the way. Congrats kids…ya dun good…we didn’t think you two were going to have kids so this is really mahvelous news.
Connie asked him what he wanted the kid to call him…Paw Paw, Gramps, Grandpop, Distinguished Ancestor, Aged One, HNIC (head nuke in charge)…his reply was “he can call me anything he wants…just don’t call me late for dinner”. He’s sure that she’ll come up with some pet name for herself…he thinks “Hey You” or “Scary Old Bag Lady” sounds ‘bout right…but that’s between the kid and her.
Got up this morning and Neil headed over to the laundry just across the canal from us…a buck a load which is pretty cheap for laundry and got back about 1215 with nice clean clothes. Connie’s been working all day getting her final student paperwork done since she got the one additional clinical site position she needed late last week…her goal is to get everything all in place so when we head over to Ireland she doesn’t have to work much beyond any emergencies and keeping up with her email.
Dinner tonight will be the pizza we didn’t eat last night and some leftover pineapple from the other day.
Tomorrow it’s supposed to rain…but then it was supposed to rain today and it’s been clear and hot all day so either they lied or it will just be one of those PM Thundershowers when you will get wet unless you’re a mile one way or the other in which case you’ll stay dry. Connie has some Fun Stuff© planned out and we’re thinking we just might get our kayak wet over the weekend sometime. We’ll be here through Monday then Tuesday we head off 160 miles southwest to Fulton, Missouri but then we’re staying until Wednesday morning instead of only Tuesday morning…with the last 290 miles to Junction City Kansas where we’ll leave the rig at Camp Horizons while we head across the pond to the old country. We’ve got about everything we need for our trip…tickets, reservations, rental car and the like are all planned out along with our basic route and a list of various things to see divided by area of the country. We’re going to play a lot of the places we stop and pictures we take by ear rather than have a super detailed plan…other than the stuff we had to get reservations for and pay for ahead of time we’ve got more things to do than days to do it in…but I’m sure we’ll manage to keep ourselves out of trouble in any event. Neil does have a few gotta do’s on our list and a whole bunch of like to do’s…but he’s really thinking that we can’t possibly fit it all in; even though we will do our best to make it so.