New, Tears, Win, Quilt, Again

We were very excited to get on the road. We were headed to Lake Havasu, AZ for a gathering of 300 RVs and that isn’t even counting the people! “Escapees” is an RV club started by Joe & Kay Peterson in 1978. They were traveling full-time and wanted to meet up with other people doing the same thing. Years later, Xscapers, a sub group for full-time travelers who are working remote, was started. This tends to be a younger group since they aren’t retired. Xscapers big yearly get-together is called Bash and that is where we were heading.

The event is sold out (we booked in July when it opened for reservations). I thought there would be a huge line of RVs when we got to Sara (Special Activities Recreational Area) Park but no, we got right in. There were volunteers everywhere and so happy and friendly. The sections you could pick when registering where: family, solar, general, party. We picked general so we can run our generator, if needed. Got set up and walked to Center Camp to get our packet. Fun bag full of cups, shirts, and other little things. Soon it started raining and we got a notification from Bash that the opening and welcome that was suppose to be at the rodeo arena was moved into the big tent. During the welcome, Kevin sat on the front row and turned to face me so he could interpret for me since I am deaf. So sweet. Xscapers was started by the grandson of the founders. His parents even ran Escapees. What a legacy of that family! This event is incredibly organized and I am extremely impressed.

Now THAT Is Talent! Lake Havasu, AZ 01/23

In the tent there was a band named Crown City Bombers, playing hulabilly. They were really fun to watch and Kevin said very talented. (I am deaf so I can’t hear how they sound.) They put on a great show and even the guy playing the upright bass, held it up over his head behind his back and played. Never seen that before!

Train Smoker, Lake Havasu, AZ 01/23

The first morning was catered breakfast burritos. They knew how to do it! Making them right there but they were fast. The line was short and always moving. Later we saw the smoker they used for the potatoes that looks like a train engine. Very cute. There was music at the gazebo and people just hanging out. We visited with people. One lady came up to me and started to use American Sign Language. Her hands were shaking and she said she was so nervous and almost didn’t come over. I am glad she did. Wow! She did great and Kevin stepped in when needed. She didn’t stay long as she was helping her daughter with marketplace. The marketplace is where  people can sell things. There was another person who also signed to me. Love it! She took it in high school and her teacher had told her she should be an interpreter because she is so expressive. We agreed! Later, I sent two pictures that Kevin took to my family. My brother soon responded back that he knows one of the ladies! Small world!! I couldn’t wait to find her and tell her.

View from Mountains from Rodeo Arena, Lake Havasu, AZ 01/23

Tuesday, for happy hour, the Border Hookups sang. We have seen them on Youtube. Food trucks tonight! There were two, we picked Le Chaparro. Kevin had a  navaho  taco and it was really good. I had 2 street tacos and they were fine. Standing in line we visited with a lady who learned Japanese and then went there for four months. She said it was an incredible journey. I bet. Then Joann came up to me. Her granddaughter used to be babysat by my friend Sue! When I had texted Sue the pictures of two ladies signing with me, she reply that she knew someone here! Sue texted the friend, who looked me up and yes, I was here. What small worlds!

Center Camp Has A Lovely Sunset View, Lake Havasu, AZ 01/23

Next was a silent auction for charity. We bid on a pair of pickle ball rackets but didn’t win. While looking at the stuff, we spotted the lady who had signed with me. We stopped her and told her who my brother is. She was blown away of the connection. She told us later that she had a nice chat with him on Facebook and got all caught up. The evening entertainment was 90’s Rockshow. They are a band out of LA. It was funny, Kevin and I didn’t know any of the songs. I remembered that in the 90s we were listening to country music. No country music here at Bash.

Wednesday we went to Center Camp where the tables are set for people to work. For lunch, we had free hot dogs and chips. While Kevin worked, I read on my iPad. “Mrs Harris Goes To Paris.” What a darling book! I know it was a movie this past season; now I will need to watch it. For dinner, it was another food truck night. We picked DJ’s Truckin’ Good Food. We had cheeseburgers and fries. Next was Xscapers Olympics. We didn’t want to join but probably will next year. Teams of 4. There were all sorts of games spread out all over the rodeo grounds. They had 2 hours to complete them. We watched one – a bounce house where people would have to hold on to ropes – it looked like human foosball! HAHA

Charla, in Red, Serving Mac & Cheese, Lake Havasu, AZ 01/23


Thursday was Mac & Cheese Madness. I like to cook, and have a yummy recipe for Mac & Cheese so I thought I would make some. I didn’t matter to me if it won or not, just fun to cook. There were tables set around in a U shape, and, to my horror, the cookers were seat at the table behind their dish! I thought this was a “blind” competition. It became apparent that each person would hand out the samples. I was so overwhelm – how am I going to serve and try to communicate with everyone! I sat down and the tears filled my eyes. Kevin asked if I wanted to leave, and I said no thanks. I needed to do this. He sat a chair by me. I got the tears out of my eyes. I bucked up and soon the competition started. Soon the doors were open and a ton of people came in. Kevin was so good to talk with everyone while I dished up the food. ♥️ We didn’t win but it turned out to be fun.

“I Win!” Lake Havasu, AZ 01/23

Friday we went to the seminar – Maximizing your Escapees benefits. It was good to learn more about the different events and programs. Escapade is the annual national rally and is the largest and most diverse gathering of the Escapees community. HOPS is Head Out Program. It includes excursions with fellow RVers that target unique locations, special events and theme-related activities. Escapees Hangouts provides more casual opportunities to make new friends and share fun, active and adventurous experiences together in a campground setting. Next session, Hollie (the director) told about upcoming events for 2023. Then she said the big announcement is the date for the next Bash: Jan 13-21, 2024, and will be held at the same place. She said Lake Havasu City is great to work with and their facilitates at the rodeo grounds work perfect. Then Hollie said for everyone to look under their benches. We causally felt under ours. Nothing. After a while she said, “This area needs to look again” and pointed around us. I stood up and Kevin lifted the bench. There it was, an envelope. She said he won a ticket to the next BASH! WAHOOOO Last year’s price was $300.00. What a great prize to win. We were already planning on attending it. The session RV Gadgets Show & Tell was great. I recognized Mark Nemeth from the Escapees magazine as tech advisor. Kevin picked up on a few things that would be nice to have. The show and tell invited people to bring their favorite gadgets. I talked to a lady afterwards who showed museum putty. I have heard a lot of talk about this. She said it really does hold. I might need to try some. 

The Quilt I Made Being Used For Trivia! Lake Havasu, AZ 01/23
The Team With My Quilt 🙂 Lake Havasu, AZ 01/23

Right after that was Trivia Night. What a great way to meet new people! The 5 rounds were each different and loads of fun! One was name the song and singer. (Yeah, I couldn’t help with that! HAHA) Another was look at a paper and identify each symbol. For example, Good Sam, National Parks, etc. Another round was a paper with titles of movies about something to do with travel or on the road. You had to name the actor. Oh, we messed that one up big time. HAHA The last round was a paper listing a campground. We had to name the National Park where that campground was in. Well, it was a cool day and earlier in the day, Kevin had brought me the National Park quilt that I had made. (About 5 ladies oohed and aahed over it during the day session. So sweet.) So, I held up the map part of the quilt so my team could see. I thought that seeing the map might help their memories of where the campgrounds were. It helped a little, we thought. Then, all of a sudden, a guy from another team walked over and asked if he could hold my quilt! HAHA I said, “Yes, and if you win, you owe me $20.00!” Everyone was laughing. Then the guy took the quilt over to his team and held up the quilt. Wouldn’t you know….that team won! I hollered, you owe me $20.00. HAHA He came over and pulled out a $20.00. I said no thanks, just teasing. While we were all laughing. He kept insisting to pay, laughing right along. I suggested he give to the charity Bash was supporting. He liked that. Isn’t that the funniest?!

The Status Crowes, Lake Havasu, AZ 01/23

There were two food trucks. We had another delicious burger from JD’s Truckin’ Good Food. The concert that night was a couple named The Status Crowes. They travel full-time and are a favorite of Xscapers. People call them the “Xscapers House Band.” He plays a guitar and sings and she sings and does some hand beats. They played for 3 hours.

Boom Bandits, Lake Havasu, AZ 01/23

Saturday at noon we went to see the session we hadn’t heard of before. It was: Gutted Season 2 Premiere w/ Cast Meet & Greet. This is a TV show where each team has 5 days to build out an RV, van, and school bus. The show wasn’t captioned so I just watch the video. It was the first time the cast had seen it. Then the cast went on stage and answered questions. At 5:00 was catered BBQ by BBQ Bandits. I looked them up to see if they have a restaurant in Lake Havasu and sadly, no. The meal was fantastic! BBQ pork, beef, or chicken sandwiches, potato salad, Cole slaw, Mac & cheese, I can’t remember what else. They used Sweet Baby Rays, our favorite sauce. A couple we met during trivia joined us and we had a great visit. From 7:00-9:00 PM was an act from Las Vegas named Lyte Bryte. They are a music group and wear neon flashing lights on their costume. Very fun! Everyone was invited to wear neon and boy did people go all out. Fun to see. The group performed on the gazebo. We had fun and danced along with the beat. At one point, the guy leader in the band said his pants were falling down and he needed a safety pin. After the girl sang the next song, he came back and said he was given 12 safety pins and a box of pins. The girl was surprised people had brought so many. He said, “Well, their homes are right there” and pointed to all our RVs. HAHA  At 9:00 pm – midnight, the entertainment was Boom Bandits. He is a DJ who “provides an obscene amount of fun with their professional entertainment and one-of-a-kind contraptions.” It was a dance party. We stayed for just a few minutes and then went home. Kevin could hear the beat, music, and even the DJ talking clear over in General 2 parking where we were. Sometimes, when you are ready for bed, it is nice to be deaf. 🙂 

This was our first time at a gathering like this. There were singles, couples, friends, and families. From tiny vans to honking-big motorhomes. There were people with all sorts of remote jobs. A very diverse gathering but all with the common core of love-of-travel. And with that? Not a stranger in sight.

You Missed A Spot! Also, Date Palm Tree Farm.

Evening Photo Of Our Home On Wheels, Palm Desert, CA 01/23

Time to leave Malibu Beach RV Park in Malibu, California. We laughed and laughed because, guess what…no traffic! The entire way to Palm Springs, California. There were just a few cars and trucks along the way. Very thankful.

All Set Up! Palm Springs RV Resort, Palm Desert, CA 01/23

The drive to Palm Springs RV Resort, in Palm Desert, California, was so nice. 70° and sunny. We saw mountains along the way with snow on them. We drove past the campground but knowing we can’t get in before noon, and it was 11:00 AM, we just drove on and parked at a hockey arena packing lot to wait. When it was check in time, we went to the gate. The guy was very nice and busy. He said the lady that was suppose to help him with check in/out hadn’t come back from the office. He had to open the incoming and outgoing gates. That was fine and we were patient. Got set up quickly and easily. I vacuumed again – beach sand everywhere from the slides (but so worth it being at the beach!) 🙂 Sat outside enjoying the sun for a little while.

Watching Football At The Lodge At Palm Springs RV Resort,Palm Desert, CA 01/23

Kevin tried to get the Rose Bowl game on our TV – University of Utah Utes are playing. But no channels we have had it on. We decided to walk around. The Lodge has a huge meeting room with a fireplace and a TV with couches. No one was in there so Kevin turned on the TV, looked and found the Rose Bowl game! Wahoo. At 1/2 time, the score was tied. Taco Bell was a major sponsor and for good reason, it made us crave Taco Bell! Wouldn’t you know, there was one very close here. Kevin jumped in the truck and went and got it for us. He was back right as the 2nd half started. Fun to eat and watch the game. Well, then there was an 87 and an 88 yard punt return by Penn State. Yeah, we left and went to the hot tub. HAHA We had a very enjoyable visit with 4 other couples. OH, the huge pool is heated! We “swam” around there before the hot tub. A wonderful day.

“You Missed Some Spots.” Palm Desert, CA 01/23

Kevin contacted someone recommended by this campground to wash HOWE (our name for our Home On WhEels). We needed to get the sand and salt off from the beach. The crew came the next day and we thought did a very good job. Right as they were done, Kevin noticed his “office window” was very dirty and so he asked the guys to clean it again. While the guy was on the ladder cleaning the window again, Kevin noticed…the dirt was on the inside of the window! HAHAHAHA Kevin apologized greatly and they all had a good laugh. The nice thing about this campground is UPS, FedEx, and Amazon all deliver right to your campsite! (All the other campgrounds we have been to have deliveries to the office.) They even pick up at the campsite. We have just thought that was jolly fun. We went to the hot tub. Met nice people, a couple from SLC, a couple from Canada, and a guy who is 2 days into his full-time traveling. He has a 16 ft trailer. He asked everyone their advice. Kevin said, “Enjoy the journey.”  Later that night I thought next time someone asks me that I am going to suggest keeping a journal. (This blog is from parts of my travel journal.) As full-timers, we see so many places, do some many things, and learn so much and it can get lost or mixed up. Keeping a daily journal helps keep it alive in us.

Recipes! The other night, I made a pasta salad recipe that I had marked as 5 (highest rating) stars. That got me thinking; while it was delicious, I don’t want it all the time. So then I thought I need to change the rating system in my Paprika (online recipe folder) so that I can know better about how often I want it. So, LOL, I went through all 417 recipes. It was super easy on my MacBook laptop. Since I only keep really great recipes, see note, I know they are all going to be good. Note: I have kept a few recipes and added “yuck” in the title and place the lowest star with them. Otherwise, I am afraid they sound so good that when I see them somewhere I would make them again. Example: Senate white bean soup. Yuck! So my rating goes as follows: knowing the recipes are all good, 1= yuck, 2= want one time a year, 3= want every 6 months, 4= want once a month, 5= want everyday. One recipe I had marked as 5 stars I hadn’t made since 2015! HAHAHAHA Needed to rate that a little different. Delicious, but don’t want it all the time. It took me the morning to do it and I had a blast.

Palm Springs, CA 01/23

We knew that our aunt and uncle from Las Vegas come here to Palm Springs often with their timeshare. When we last saw them, we invited them to come down here for the weekend with us. Uncle jumped on it, got reservations that evening, and we were all surprised, since it is so filled up down here. On Friday, they invited us to the hotel/condo for dinner. Our uncle made Pasties for us. It is a Celtic recipe passed down from his great-grandma from Scotland. They would make these hot for supper and then the miners would take the cold ones for lunch. Delicious! Later, he wrote down the recipe for me and I will treasure it. While he made the Pasties, our aunt went with us to the hot tub. Beautiful grounds and lovely huge tub. We had a nice conversation with Kevin interpreting. She talked about growing up and then her parents. Fun stories. When we got back, they so kindly offered the garden tub to me for a hot bubble bath. (This is the ONLY thing I miss about not having a sticks & brick house!) Loved it! He put the Pasties in the oven to cook for an hour. I got out right in time. 🙂

Us: Charla & Kevin, Palm Springs, CA 01/23

Since I am deaf, I asked Kevin to please make sure I respond to people the correct way. I am afraid I might misunderstand ASL and laugh at something or say a wrong response when that wasn’t what would be the response if I heard what exactly was said. He said in the nicest way, “I got you.” AHHHHH And then said, “I always am aware and watch out for that.” He is a keeper, 30+ years and counting! A big thing to do here in Palm Springs is to ride a tram to 8000 ft mountains. We looked online for tickets last night and saw it was sold out! It said they keep some tickets back for walk ins so today we tried it . We drove over to the base of the mountain when the road starts for the tram. It was jammed packed road. The guy in the safety vest said tickets were sold out and to try back around 3:00. We turned around and headed to the downtown area. Fancy shopping, restaurants, and shops there. We parked and we were to walk around and meet back in an hour. I saw a marker in the pavement that said: private property, permission to pass over revocable at any time. 🙂

Refreshing On This 70° Day! Palm Springs, CA 01/23

We stopped at Great Shakes and got Almond Joy shake and Butter Pecan shake. They came with a tiny donut wrapped around the paper straw. They were delicious. Lots of people dining outside.

The Only One We Knew! Palm Springs, CA 01/23

There are names of people in the sidewalks but for all the walking around we did, we only recognized one person’s name. HAHA George Lopez. We had to take a picture since that was the only name we knew. HA

Visiting And Learning History, Palm Springs, CA 01/23

We passed a statue of a golfer, walked a few steps and an older gentleman, sitting in a bright colored outdoor table and chairs asked if we knew who that was. He told us great stories about the place. A fine gentleman with a great smile. At 3:00 we went back to the tram. The guard said the wait time was 2.5 hours. It would be dark before we even got on the tram. We didn’t want to do that so we left. We went back to their condo and watched the second half of the chiefs game. That was fun. Later, I fixed dinner that I brought. I cut up a lot of ham and added it to scalloped potatoes with a side of green beans. After we ate, our uncle said “THIS is the meals I love.” He loves comfort meals and misses cooking in their assisted living apartment (no kitchen). 

The Ladder Stays On The Date Tree, Indio, CA 01/23

The next day, on our way to meet up with our uncle and aunt, we were able to learn from Autio App about the riots of 1986. It was spring break and college kids swarmed the area. They got in fights, caused a lot of damage, and even dumped water in the open convertibles. After that, the town did all it could to discourage spring breakers from coming, even, routing Hwy 111 around the city and not going through it. Fascinating. We didn’t try the tram today because we saw the tickets were sold out for this day, too. Kevin and I can go another time. The four of us went to Shield’s Date Garden. What a place! You walk in to a large store. At the far end is a theater with a movie telling the history. We asked if it was closed caption, since I am deaf. The guy was nice and tried, even handing Kevin a remote to try to turn it on. No go. Sad but thankful for the try. After the movie, we walked outside, past a lovely dining patio and the food smelled good. Through a gate to “the walk”. We saw date palm trees all around. And then we saw lemons ON a lemon tree. Kevin and I have rarely seen those. We saw: Lisbon lemons, ruby red grapefruit, date palms, soap tree yuccas, Meyer lemons, Nagami kumquat, Dancy tangerines, Cape honeysuckle, and all sorts of other things. It was a nice, long, leisurely stroll and was there about 2 hours. We bought some dates to try as we don’t remember having them before. On the way back to their condo, we stopped at Costco for gas and then inside for steaks. Next we stopped at Ralphs for mushrooms and sweet potatoes for them and potatoes for us. Our uncle sent Kevin and I outside to grill the steaks. He made the mushrooms in A1 sauce and butter. The whole meal was scrumptious.

Oh, the tram we tried to go on? It had some mechanical problems on Sunday and 500 people were stranded at the top and on the trams for several hours. I am so glad they were sold out of tickets!

I read that Rancho Oso campground, in Santa Barbara, where we were in December, is closed until March 1 due to all the problems with the rainstorms. I feel bad for the people. A lot of places have damage.

“Chasing 70°!” Oh Yeah! Palm Desert, CA 01/23

That evening I was starting to cook supper and Kevin said there was a knock at the door. He answered it and it was Karen, one of the ladies we met in the hot tub. She knew a little sign language and I was thrilled. So gave me a shell she had painted. So sweet! She gathers shells at Whaler’s Rest, Oregon (where we will be this spring) and then paints them. This one has a little beach and ocean on it. I was overwhelmed by her thoughtfulness. We had a nice visit and hope to see each other again.

Wait, How Old Are We?

View From Our Campsite At Malibu Beach RV Resort, Malibu, CA 12/22

Up and out of here for the day, down the mountain to Santa Barbara, California. The day was clear, sunny, and long sleeve shirt- warm. With the rain cleared, you could see Channel Islands today.

Beautiful Building! Superior Court of California, Santa Barbara, CA 12/22

We went to Superior Court of California County of Santa Barbara. It is a site that everyone recommends visiting. We were able to park our big, long truck in a parking garage right across the street. (The website had suggested this place.) This building was rebuilt after the 1925 earthquake. We were like, “Ah, it isn’t that old.” Then later, I said, “Well, it is almost the same distance of time as when we were born compared to the end of the Civil War.” OH my gosh, we laughed…and felt very old! There is a breezeway in the middle of the building. We turned right and went inside. There is Spanish-looking style tiles up the walls, at least as tall as me. The app for this building is great – gives a lot of interesting information about the rooms plus, you can click on an “i” and get even more specific information.

Where Does The Door Go? 🙂 Santa Barbara, CA 12/22

Above one of chandlers, the ceiling is at least 3 stories high. There is a doorway with a small balcony – the only way to get there is through the door that goes outside! Way above the ground. HAHA The Mural Room is someplace to see. Paintings, tall ceilings, 100 year old draperies, court bench, etc. On the 3rd and 4th levels, you can see the working of the clock that is displayed on all four sides and then great views. Looking north, we see La Cumbre Peak with an elevation of 3,985 ft! Just a short ways south is the ocean. That tells you the dramatic rise of mountain here and it is beautiful.

Tuba Bands Playing An Outdoor Concert, Santa Barbara, CA 12/22

We walked a few blocks to watch/listen to Tuba Bands play outdoors. The concert was outside on a closed part of State Street. There were more than 60 people in the band. Kevin said they were really good. (I am deaf, so I was only able to watch.) They played a verse and a chorus and then were done with that song. That was nice; got through a lot of Christmas songs. A guy from the city brought out more chairs and everyone in the audience was able to sit down. I thought that was very nice. Next, a school band played. After that it was a band of about 20 people. The concert went from 12:00-2:00 PM. By this time, we were hungry. We walked to Cali-Forno Pizzeria and shared a thin-crusted BBQ chicken pizza. Very tasty. Outside, we walked around and saw a street band of 9 people plus a Santa. They were very good. We don’t know their story but they were very professional looking, sounding, and instruments.

Fancy Shopping Area, Paseo Nuevo @ Santa Barbara, CA 12/22

At the Paseo Nuevo shopping area, there was also a band, with 4 guys sitting outside a restaurant. Just fun and adds a lot to the festive feel. The outdoor markets were interesting – nothing really christmasy, as in, decorations or nativity sets. I wanted to get a unique one for my friend but didn’t find even one.

Hanging Out At The Beach, Montecito, CA 12/22

The next day we slept in a little and then went back to Santa Barbara. By this time, we had seen everything we wanted to see so we drove to Santa Barbara without a plan. We turned on some side roads and then Kevin saw a McDonalds. Yes, I am hungry, I answered, when he asked. We drove around to go to the drive through…and no drive through! There were park lanes for app ordering and parking to go inside. After we ordered inside, we sat in the truck (sunny and warm) to eat. I looked online about drive throughs in Santa Barbara and sure enough, about 40 years ago they tried to get rid, or stop them. The reason is because of space. I read ChickFila really went after the city about that. So, interesting…no signs above trees to tell you what is ahead, no advertising (nice!), and very few drive throughs. What a town! Driving around we soon ended up on the more east-side beach. We were able to park for free with no time limits, took our camp chairs and walked down some steps to the beach. What a glorious day!!! Beautiful beach, water, boats, fun to people/dog watch, excellent. We were there for over 3 hours! Didn’t even read books just sat and watched and relaxed.

See The Stick Kevin Used As A Marker? Montecito, CA 12/22

At one point, Kevin notice the tide coming in. He found a stick about a foot long, walked to the edge of the water, and stuck it in so we could see how far up the beach the water was coming. Over the next while, we saw 3 different dogs put their mouths around it but then left it along. Later, a guy, a human, walked over, pulled it out, and threw it for his dog. That made Kevin and I laugh so hard, we had to hide our faces so he wouldn’t hear us. We saw paddle boards, sail boats, paraglider, divers, and helicopters. One time, a guy came back from walking, asked us if we had moved our chairs, we said no, he said, oh good, he knew this was the place he parked. HAHAHA We were the only people sitting on camp chairs on the beach. From there we went to Stearn’s Wharf for lunch, again, same place as last weekend.  No waiting as it was mid afternoon. The view was clear and food delicious.

The night before we move, travel, to the next place we like to get everything packed up and put away for the drive. I say, “Kitchen is closed” and we get pizza for dinner. Leftovers is eaten the next day for lunch while in the truck. We laughed that our tradition “pizza-the-night-before-travel-day” wasn’t available since we are in the middle of nowhere. HAHA No pizza places anywhere close to Rancho Oso RV & Camping Resort, Santa Barbara, California!

A Great Place To Wait For Check In Time, Point Mugu, CA 12/22

Getting set up to leave today, we weren’t in a hurry because we only have less than a 2 hour drive and can’t check in before 1:00 PM. Drove out of Rancho Oso without meeting anyone coming up the 1 mile extremely narrow driveway. Whew, that was good. Driving down the side road I saw a shadow that looked like a tall box on the roof of the cab. We pulled over and I jumped out to see. It was the shadow of the mirror. HAHA Got down off the mountain just fine, on 101 South and then took Pacific Coast Hwy 1. We knew we were ahead of time and weren’t sure about where to go if we had to wait along the way, so we pulled off at Point Mugu. It has a hard dirt area and we easily pulled off there. Kevin lined up the truck and trailer so we could see the ocean. We went inside to use our bathroom and discovered a cupboard door, under the coffee counter, had opened, and then closed. Out came 12 cans of chicken broth -still in the cardboard thin holder, peanut butter, chili, pumpkin pie cans, etc. Sigh! Thankfully, there was no damage to the floor and no damage to the cans! As I gathered them up, Kevin set out our camp chairs to the side of the truck. What a great view of the ocean and beach!

Foot-Tall Decoration At Our Campsite @ Malibu Beach RV Park 12/22

Got to our next campground, Malibu Beach RV Park, and wow, the views did not disappoint. We have ocean view and, as Kevin said, “Well worth the money!” We got to our site and we saw what they meant by us backing down into this area. It took us probably gazillion back and forth but we got it exactly where it needed to be. In front of our site, on the other side of the black top is a curb with flowers, trees, extra, so you can’t drive over it to back in. It was our most time to get backed in but we just took our time and made it happen. After getting set up, Kevin set up the outdoor mat and our chairs. We look right off the edge of a cliff that overlooks Pacific Hwy 1, the beach, and the ocean. Just stunning. I set up my holiday yard signs with Santa at the beach. They are super cute. I placed them at our feet where we can see them as we look out over the ocean.

We pried ourselves away from our site and started walking to Malibu Seafood. I could see on the map there are trails from this campground down to it. Well, we got there and it is really steep. We turned around and walked back to the truck and drove there. Oh, you can’t turn left on Pacific Coast Hwy 1 out of this campground. So we turned right, made a U-turn at the light but our truck is so long, we had to back up in the road. Won’t do that again. HAHA Thankfully no one was behind us. Drove to the little cafe and the parking lot was completely full.

View From Our Window Seats At Sunset Restaurant, Santa Barbara, CA 12/22

We looked on our iPhones and found The Sunset Restaurant. This being the weekend (Friday) of Christmas, at around 3:00 PM, I thought it would be packed. As we drove up, I didn’t care if there was a 2 hour wait, because this would be a great place to eat. Literally ON the beach! Kevin pulled up, asked a guy where to park for the restaurant, and he said it valet parking was right there. We’ll take it. HAHA Walked in and got seated right away. Wahoo. We were seated at the window overlooking the beach. It was right there. Perfect. The view, priceless. Saw the sun set to a perfect day. Thrilled to watch people watch the sunset.

As we left, we saw something that made us giggle. Not funny for the person, I am sure, but…. (sorry, not a clear picture)

Car Stuck In The Sand On The Beach, Being Pulled Out By Tow Truck, Malibu, CA 12/22

Thank you for reading. We do so many things and we love sharing it with you. I write in my travel journal everyday. You would be so tired of reading if you read it all. HAHA We try to pick out the highlights for you.

Danish Town and a Boat Parade

Shells With Golden Leaf Between – Found It This Way On Beach, Santa Barbara, CA 12/22

Walking along the beach at Santa Barbara, California, we came upon this stunning display of nature. Each 1/2 of the shell is the size of Kevin’s hand. We noticed the gold colored leaf in-between the two halves. So beautiful,we just stopped and stared. And then, took a photo.

Santa Barbara Harbor, Santa Barbara, CA 12/22

We headed down the mountain to Santa Barbara, California for the day. It had been raining and with the clouds on the mountains it made beautiful scenery. Couldn’t see the ocean as we came down the mountain due to the low hanging clouds. I said I felt bad for people traveling through here for their first and only time- they probably think the ocean is “right there” but can’t see it. Anyway, Kevin told me about a book he is reading about being stoic. I am deaf. When Kevin is driving, we use an app on my iPad that turns voice to text. That way he can have both hands on the wheel and not be using American Sign Language. Kevin said something and the app wrote his words, “I am learning about being stupid” instead of stoic. We laughed so hard we about choked! 🙂

Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, Santa Barbara, CA 12/22

We went to Santa Barbara Maritime Museum. It is right on the harbor. The first thing we saw was the top of the lighthouse from Point Conception. Beautiful glass work. We learned about how the weather and rocks have caused a lot of crashes over the many years. Check out https://sbmm.org/

Dinner View, Harbor Restaurant, Santa Barbara, CA 12/22

We drove down from the harbor to Stearn’s Wharf. We parked along the beach, free, 90 minute limit. We walked onto the wharf. We were here in October 2016 for a shore excursion on a cruise with Princess Cruise. We went to the same restaurant we ate at back then. It was mid-afternoon and there was no wait. Got seated by the windows over looking the harbor, beach, and ocean. Perfect views!

Delicious Fish Tacos and Burger On The Wharf, Santa Barbara, CA 12/22

I had Baja fish tacos and Kevin had…a burger. HAHA We rated them: Once A Week. It was a nice and relaxing meal.

That Is A Lot Of Rain Water, Santa Barbara, CA 12/22

On Dec 10th, right here at Rancho Oso RV & Camping Resort (Santa Barbara), in the last 24 hours, we had 2.1 inches of rain (according to weather app)! I saw a bunch of water on the seat of my camp chair and wanted to send a picture to my cousin about our “rain collection”. HAHA I didn’t want to go outside so, I opened the window and then the screen, leaned out of HOWE (our 5th wheel we named for Home On WhEels), took a great picture, closed it all back up. 🙂 

Animatronic Bakers, Solvang, CA 12/22

One day Kevin wanted to stop in Solvang at a Dutch bakery. Solvang, California is a place to check out. https://www.cityofsolvang.com/442/Solvang-History  It was founded in 1911 by three Dutch immigrants who purchased 10,000 acres. Solvang has become famous as a Dutch utopia in Southern California. They even have four windmills. People were everywhere and we had to park a few blocks away. Found a Dutch bakery with no waiting. They had cute little animatronics with “bakers” in the windows. A smart idea because it caught our attention.

Don’t Know How To Pronounce Them But They Were Very Good! Solvang, CA 12/22

We got in line and had no idea what to get. HAHA We got 2 things and they were delicious. Very flaky. After walking though some shops, we were done and headed on down the road, north on Hwy 101.

Bright Green Wild Grasses, Santa Maria, CA 12/22

We went from steep mountains to green wild grass (a color that you won’t believe if you saw it in a picture – bright green), rolling hills with short trees every once in a while. We saw horses, cattle, and lots and lots of grape fields.

Fields Surrounding House & Barn, Los Olivos, CA 12/22

Wineries all along here and the places are beautiful! Going on north we soon came to fields filled with plantings of all sorts of vegetables.

Greenhouses As Far As The Eye Can See, Orcutt, CA 12/22

I continue my rant that it should be a law that if you plant something along the road, you need a sign to say what it is! 🙂  I want to know what is growing there.

All Sorts Of Crops, Nipomo, CA 12/22

Miles and miles, as far as the eye can see. Just stunning!

Fields Seen In Rear View Mirror, Santa Maria, CA 12/22

Ah, the smell of onions.

At Oceano we stopped at a roadside veggie stand. They had the best looking strawberries and blueberries. We got them plus some Dutch apple jam made right there. Later I made homemade crepes and added the strawberries and blueberries. Yum! We took Pacific Hwy 1 down south to Santa Barbara.

Boats Going Out Of Harbor For Parade Of Light Boat Parade, Santa Barbara, CA 12/22

It was a full day since we first stopped at Solvang in the morning. We wondered if we should go to the Parade of Lights boat parade in Santa Barbara. We both decided that we would go and if we found a parking spot that was easy to get into, then we would stop. If not, no worries, head on home. We drove down the street along the beach and no open spaces. At the parking lot, yes, there were some on the very end and large enough for our extra long truck. As we pulled in, we decided to park along the beach so if we wanted, we could watch from inside the truck. So smart!!! Got out, paid at the machine to park and then walked a short way to the west to Stearn’s Wharf. There were quite a few families walking that way because there was a Christmas tree lighting right before the boat parade. We continued on down to the end of the wharf and walked to the side facing the harbor. Right then we saw the boats were lined up and heading out to sea. It was a thrill to watch them. They kept coming and coming out of the harbor place. Some had their holiday lights on already. With the sun setting, it was very pretty. A guy made an announcement over some speakers and Kevin was kind even to interpret for me. He told of the route the boats would go and that they would turn into the beach on the other side of where we were standing, get as close to the beach as possible, then go along the side of the wharf for judging, then back into the harbor. As it got dark, the wind was a tiny bit cool on our faces (59°), not bad, but…since we had the truck AND it turned out to have front seat views of the parade, we walked back to the truck. We had the binoculars which was fun to see up close. Perfect viewing area; nice and warm. So fun. We are thrilled it worked out so great. After the parade, the website and the announcer had said, there would be “small” fireworks. We both know what amazing and big firework shows are so we decided to not wait around for it. We got out with not a stitch of traffic. So very thankful. A very full and fun day!

Sharing Our Full-Time Traveling Decorations With You.

When Christmas Is At The Beach…These Are The Stocking You Need To Make! 🙂 12/22

We discovered our freezer needed to be thawed. I have never done that before. Well, I guess, if you count doing my mom’s freezer growing up, yeah, I have an idea. I put all the frozen food in our cooler. Then I let it sit for about an hour. I could then peal off big chunks of ice from the back wall. I used a hair dryer to soften the rest of it and was completely easy and fast. Organized the food like I had it before when I put it back. Nice, easy, fast.

A Small Section Of Ivanpah Solar Complex, Ivanpah, CA 12/22

The drive through Las Vegas, NV and down to Barstow, CA was easy. Not the bad traffic we have had in the past. So thankful! As we passed the big solar panels at Ivanpah Solar Complex, just over the California line, the travel app Autio told us there are 174000 heliostats and 173,000 garage-door sized sets of mirrors over 3500 acres.

Helicopter With Rope Down To Two Workers, Ivanpah, CA 12/22

We saw a helicopter hovering above. Soon we saw it move with it’s long cord over a power line to people who we were working on it. That was a sight to see! 

We pulled into Shady Lane RV Campground in Barstow, CA around 1:00 PM. I had reviewed the place, of course, and read it was a good place to stop, with full hookups. As we drove in a guy was there to meet us. Very nice. Had us follow him to our site on his golf cart. The place has a lot of older motorhomes that live there permanently. Some are cleaned up outside and others have junk around. The perimeter of the small campground has a lot of old junk around – cars, barrels, equipment, etc. I saw several large, nice, newer 5th wheels around. Kevin’s eyes were big, though. The site was so level we didn’t even unhook the truck! It was okay for a quick overnight stop.

Nice To Have Your Bathroom & Kitchen For Whenever You Want To Stop! California 12/22

After a good night sleep, we woke up at 7:00 AM and headed out. Stopped outside of Barstow for diesel. With Kevin’s Open Roads EFS card, it was $4.60 a gallon. It saved us $1.10 per gallon! Yay. The EFS card was designed for over the road trucks. Open Roads has opened it up to RVers. It only works for diesel. There is an app that shows what our price would be at the pump. Kevin likes to pull in and act like a super trucker when we fuel. Our drive took us along the northern freeway of Los Angeles valley, 210. Kevin and I always marvel over how nice California drivers are. You put your signal on and they back off and let you in. So nice. We have seen this every time we have been here. At one point, we stopped at a strip mall parking lot to use our bathroom and get snacks. It is so nice to have those with you. 🙂

One Section Of Our View, Santa Barbara, CA 12/22

It was cloudy as we got closer to the Pacific Ocean coast and had some soft rain. Used the wipers but the rain didn’t cause a problem for driving. We had our usual conversation about how the roads “need” to be higher so we can see the ocean over the trees. 🙂 We were finally able to see the Pacific Ocean and it is as beautiful as always. From Santa Barbara, we headed straight up in the steep mountains but our truck and HOWE (our 5th wheel name for “Home On WhEels”) didn’t bog down at all. At several passing lanes, drivers weren’t in a hurry to get around us and some just stayed behind us. Such polite people. Down the road we saw some houses, farms, and ranger station. Passed a firehouse. Then turned off to the 1 mile driveway that everyone talks about as being crazy narrow. Yes, it is narrow with hairpin turns! Sure wouldn’t want to meet anyone with the a trailer going the opposite way! But the road is good, paved, and we took it safe. Thankfully no one coming down. I had read the great advice of not going up it until checkin time because otherwise you might meet people coming down at checkout time. Good advice. This campground is right in the tall mountains, has paved roads, and each site road is terraced. What a view we have! As we parked, a guy came walking his dog. He stopped and talked. After he saw Kevin using American Sign Language with me, he said he has some tinnitus due to “guns and loud rock and roll music,” He said, “May I ask you a personal question?” Yes, we knew he was asking about how I became deaf. He was so polite and I am always happy to share. We got set up and sat outside enjoying the beauty – clouds on the tops of the mountains, rolling with the storm, sun peaking out. Later, we walked down and around the campground. We saw their playground, store, 2 huge swimming pools, hot tub with temp 102°, and the main lodge.  We went back, got our swimming suits on and enjoyed some time in the hot tub. We were surprised as it was only us there in the entire pool area.

NEW TO US AT A CAMPGROUND: The other day, Kevin and I noticed an ambulance coming into the campground. Soon it came over by us and turned down our campsite road and stopped 2 sites from us. Then, a fire truck came. Then, a coroner’s truck, white van and two police cars. Sad. We found out the next day from talking with a neighbor that a lady made coffee and took it in to wake up her husband. He had died in his sleep. Sad. The same afternoon that he died, we headed down the mountain to go to the beach. At the campground gate, in comes the fire truck. Down on the 1 mile driveway, the same ambulance as that morning. What happened now? We found out a guy 2 sites farther down from the one who died, had a stroke! Sad. Kevin and I are always mindful to live our best life we can because you never know when it will be over.

Decorations In Our Living Room And Kitchen. 12/22

This was a fun space to decorate. I made and quilted the stockings.

Stockings Hung By The Fireplace 12/22

Kevin worked out the math to get the loops looking so perfectly even. 🙂

Of Course We Need A Tree In Our Bedroom 12/22

We like the light this tree makes at night.

“Joshua” The Snowman Is Out Even In The Summer. 🙂

If you remember way back when, I posted about this darling snowman that my dear cousin, Jennette, made for me. I like snowman a lot and this one is so cute. She suggested the name, since I like Joshua Trees so much (they each have their own personality!). Joshua is always out, hanging around, even in the summer. HAHA

Oh YEAH! 12/22

If you know me at all, besides snowmen, I am a big fan of Hallmark Christmas/Holiday movies. I record all the new ones and then start watching them right after Thanksgiving. 🙂 Kevin got me this mug and it is perfect…hot chocolate with a boat load of whipped cream on top.

New Deaf Friends! Fabric Everywhere. Relatives. Amish Community.

Autumn Beauty In Missouri 10/22

Up early and ready for shopping. 🙂 We haven’t been inside Missouri Star Quilt Co but have driven past it over the years. This is Hamilton, Missouri, where Kevin grew up. (Read last week’s post about his memories and visiting.) I read online that you start in the Main store. We walked in and were greeted by a friendly worker. Kevin explained I am deaf and was my interpreter. She did very well in explaining things: there are about 12 stores with different types and themes of fabric, sign in on an iPad to get a printed paper with name and email so points can be added from each store, the main store has a sample of each store with the name so you can go directly there if you are short on time, take a pic of what you like and the outside of the store so can find were something is, stuff like that.

My Shopping Pass, Hamilton, MO 10/22

After telling her we are traveling Full-Time, she entered for me “everywhere” when it asked where we are from. 🙂 Then Kevin left to go back to work in HOWE (the name for our 5th wheel Alliance Avenue, Home On WhEels) and I wandered around. I went into each store. I found about 6 quilt patterns that I liked, plus another 3 Yard Quilt book and bought them. Ahead of time, I had paper and pen ready so workers could write down their communication with me since I am deaf. Around noon I got hungry and texted Kevin. It was such a sunny and warm day so I started walking home to the campground. My fitness app on my Apple Watch said it was 1/2 mile. I made sandwiches, ate, and then off for more shopping. 🙂 Kevin dropped me off on his way to drop off FedEx at the dollar store. Since my new patterns use 5 inch squares or jelly rolls(the name for a roll of fabric that is 2.5 inches wide), that is all I looked at the second time to purchase. I went through every store again and bought some nice ones. It was a lot of fun.

Kevin Happy With My Purchases & Wanted Me To Get More! He’s A Keeper! Hamilton, MO 10/22

Yesterday, when we got to this campground, the host said he had talked to me for the reservations. No, I am deaf and Kevin always makes the calls. He said no, he had talked to me through interpreters on the phone. No, not me. Oh, he said, other deaf people are coming. I was pretty excited! When I got home today, the deaf couple pulled up. The campground hosts must have told them I am deaf, which is great, and the couple came over to meet us. They were in the site right next to us. Do you know how RARE it is to find someone who is traveling and deaf and a quilter????? Our hands were flying in American Sign Language (ASL) and I was beyond thrilled to communicate so freely with someone in the campground. They left the next day but don’t you know, we have been texting the second they left and text most every day. What a blessing!!! OH, and the gentleman had a question on something with the RV and Kevin was able to communicate in ASL with him and helped him out. It was fun watching those two sign with each other. Meeting them was a really highlight for us!

Gorgeous Sunset. Our Niece & Her Family’s Land. Missouri 10/22

We have concluded something. There isn’t a level spot in all of Missouri. HAHA The drive to the house of our niece and her family was very nice – sunny with a slight breeze. Our niece and her husband were so great in helping Kevin find a spot to park our 36 ft, 5th wheel on their property.

Our Niece Can COOK! Missouri 10/22

The dinner she made was outstanding! She cooked local steaks on her charcoal grill! She also cooked Vidalia onions, deviled eggs, and green beans. Delicious and we were so full!

Bring A Picnic & Enjoy The Beauty. Trenton, MO 10/22

Our niece, her husband, Kevin and I went to the Amish community of Jamesport, MO. My mother-in-law and I would come here often when we lived in the area more than 25 years ago. I like their baked goods and the bulk items. I have been looking forward to this for weeks, as I have been hungry for some good baked goods. 🙂  .

Kevin Holding Fresh Made Deliciousness! Jamesport, MO 10/22

In Jamesport, we stopped at the bakery that I remember, Annies. We saw the open sign, walked in and saw the yummy food on the counter but there wasn’t anyone there to take our money. We waited a little bit and then left. On to Countryside Bakery, which was right behind H&M where my favorite Amish store is. Oh the treats inside! We got fried apple pies, cinnamon bread, dinner rolls and the biggest gingersnap cookies with vanilla frosting inside. I am in heaven! On over to the store and I found butterscotch chips! Score! There were a lot of bags of them; I bought 4. We also got bulk: trail mix, pineapple/papyri bites, a sweet trail mix, taffy, and more. We were like kids in the candy store. By this time it was around 10:30 so we decided to eat lunch at Jamesport. I am so glad we did. We ate at Country Dutch. The fresh buffet of fried, juicy chicken, real mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls, salad stuff, and other things was a great find.

Breathtaking Beauty. Trenton, MO 10/22

We had a wonderful time with our sweet relatives. They were gracious hosts. We loved our visit with them: great chats, delicious meals, softball games, seeing the land, everything was really special to us.

Let Me Push You On The Swing. Missouri 10/22

Until next time….

Little Duck in a Big Pond

Farm Tractor & Equipment Ready For Tomorrow, Kansas Sunset 10/22

We headed east on Hwy 50 out of Dodge City, KS. At Wright, KS, we both saw a train in front of us. There was another train on the siding and I wondered how long we would wait for both trains to get across on the one track. Kevin started slowing down to be prepared to stop. Then as we got close, we saw the road turned a sharp left and didn’t go over the tracks at all. We started laughing and realized we BOTH thought the road crossed the tracks. We were belly-laughing.

From A-Ways Back, It Looked Like This Road Crossed The Track. HA Wright, KS 10/22

Then Kevin felt so bad for the guy behind us, as we had been slowing down to 35 mph on a road with a speed limit of 65 mph. Oops, sorry guy.

Nice Place To Stop, St John, KS 10/22

I started to read our library book out loud but put it down as there was so much to see along the way! We both really like taking the side roads because you get to see America and how people live, as opposed to the freeways. Lots of farms and little communities. At one point, we pulled off at a Kansas rest area. So nice to just open up HOWE (our name for our Home On WhEels, 5th wheel) door and use our own bathroom. Then on the road again. We drove to the fairgrounds at Hutchinson, Kansas and got there a few minutes after 11:00 am. When Kevin called them for reservations, he was told it is first come first serve, they have 200 full hookup sites, and only fill up during state fair week, in August.

What A Find! Great Place To Camp At Kansas State Fairground, Hutchinson, KS 10/22

As we pulled into the campground, Kevin said, “We are in the middle of a HDT Rally!” HDT is Heavy Duty Truck. That means these are semi trucks pulling very long 5th wheels. He was like a kid at Christmas to see all of the big rigs but said he was “embarrassed” to be seen in, you know, our 3500 diesel 4 door long bed 3/4 ton truck (a big, powerful truck as far as pickups go.)  🙂 A Rally is where people with something in common get together for a few days. We dropped off HOWE and headed out. To pay for the camping site, it is self-pay station, $30 a night. Right near there was a guy outside with his HDT and very long 5th wheel. He and Kevin started talking. Kevin told him 30 years ago, he was driving these. The guy said, “Do you know what we call your truck over there?” No, what? “LGT…Little Girly Truck!” Made us crack up! Later in the day, Kevin would start chuckling and he said he was remembering what the guy called our truck. HAHA

Years ago, Kevin drove a box truck from Kansas City to Hutchinson with stops along the way. We drove around the mall where he used to deliver to Learner, Lane Bryant, Limited, Victoria’s Secret, etc. The mall now is almost completely dead. No stores inside to speak of and a Harbor Freight at one end. A movie theater there. 30 years later and nothing is the same or familiar but it was fun to drive around. That is why we picked this town to stop for the day.

Painters Hanging From The Water Tower, Hutchinson, KS 10/22

You might have read where I write about the land being flat. 😉 See, Kevin and I have been living in a valley surrounded by tall, steep, rugged mountains for years. So things like flat lands, rolling hills and water towers are fun to see again. 🙂 This picture is a water tower with people painting it.

Train Used In Moving Salt From Salt Mines, Hutchinson, KS 10/22

We continued around the town. We went to the salt mine, Strataca and just looked at some displays outside. We didn’t want to go on the tour that goes 400 ft in the ground. The buckets used to pull out the salt carries the weight of 2 elephants!

It was around 1:00 pm by this time so what to do. I researched and found Reno County Museum close to downtown. We very much enjoyed it. Some things we learned:
*Ben Blanchard discovered salt in Reno County in 1887.
*We saw a brick with words “Don’t spit on sidewalk.” This refers to Dr Samuel Crumbine’s campaign to prevent tuberculosis in the early 1900s.
*We learned that different men would run their new rail lines around each other to try to one-up the other guys.
*Wherever the railroad went, that is where the towns stayed alive, at least when the trains were the main transportation.
*Kansas was able to decide for themselves if they were going to be a slave state or a free state. There were 7000 votes cast…but only 3000 registered voters!!
*Clinton Hutchinson started the town. It was on the edge of the county and at that time, the county seat would be around the center of the county. He got his political friends to re-draw the county border lines so Hutchinson would be in the center, and thus, the county seat. He was quite the swindler!
* Ben Blanchard bought 280 acres around Hutchinson and tried drilling for oil. Didn’t find any. But then he discovery salt in the ground. In the 1880s, in the Midwest, salt was more valuable than oil!

Evening Walk-About, Hutchinson, KS 10/22

Back at campground, we walked around looking at the semis and their 5th wheels. We even saw an Alliance Paradigm. 🙂 That is the same company that made our 5th Wheel, Alliance. There was maybe 20 semis there. We sat outside and enjoyed the evening. Look at all the Smart Cars. They are so tiny next to the big trucks. People put them on sideways behind the cab of the truck and then use them to scoot around town. 🙂

Lots of Big Rigs And Travel Trailers, Hutchinson, KS 10/22

Saturday we left Hutchinson, Kansas and headed north. We like to drive on the country roads. Even if it takes longer, we don’t care because you see so much more of life. We drove clear up to about 15 miles south of Nebraska boarder, then turned east on Hwy 36. 

Empty, But Oh What Memories This Place Must Hold! Concordia, KS 10/22

I am 100% deaf. I lost my hearing 2 years ago. I often use apps, example AVA and Live Transcribe, where it will put the words it “hears” in writing. They work ok, not great, and only if one person is talking and no noise in the background. I had noticed with the latest upgrade for Apple iPhone, they now have Live Captions and a microphone setting. I turned it on and we tried the microphone. It works great! A million percent better than the apps. I am pretty ecstatic about it.
As we drive along, we see historical markers on the sides of the roads. We like to stop and read them but it is impossible with our total length for our truck and 5th Wheel of 54 ft! Then I remembered an app put out in part by Kevin Costner. It is called Autio. I downloaded the app and tested the live captions part and it worked! The app notifies you when there is something interesting. Then you click on it and hear a voice. The iPhone Live Caption picked up the voice and typed out the words and grammar perfectly. What a thrill!!!!!! What did we hear? We learned Hiawatha, KS has the longest continually running Halloween parade in the country. Why? Because back when, people would do cruel and bad tricks. Started in 1914. Fun things to learn! Just so you know, we aren’t affiliated with Autio and we aren’t sponsored by them. (No one sponsors us, HAHA!) But we highly recommend this app to EVERYONE that does any traveling and likes to learn fun and interesting tidbits.

HUGE Combine With The Header Being Towed A Few Trucks Behind, Baileyville, KS 10/22

Where did we stop next? Hamilton, Missouri. Kevin is going to write and tell you all about his home town area next time.

We Highly Recommend Dodge City, Kansas!

Our Home On WhEels (HOWE) at Dodge City, KS

We were sooo ready to get on the road, we could hardly get to sleep. We set the alarm for 6:30 AM but we were both awake at 6:00. We got up, pulled the slides in, unhooked the water, took down Starlink and we were on our way. We headed east on I-40. I put the leftover pizza in the truck and we snacked on that throughout the day. Also had homemade Oatmeal-Butterscotch cookies. I made them a few weeks ago, sealed them in Food Saver, and frozen them. I thawed them last night. We saved a ton of money by not buying pop and treats every time we stopped for diesel. The new cooler worked great with drinks in it. HOWE (our name for our 2022 Alliance Avenue 5th wheel, Home On WhEels) followed along with no problems and Kevin drove great, as usual. I read aloud a library book about Doc Holliday, the Earp brothers, and Dodge City. Perfect since we are heading that way. We both got a little giddy when we got to the place that the road was new to us, we hadn’t been on it before. 🙂 We were so engrossed in the book that we totally missed the sign telling us we were in New Mexico! HAHA Continued on over Sandia Mountains which are just east of Albuquerque, New Mexico. On the side of the road was a semi and trailer that had caught on fire. Kevin said it looked like the sleeper started first. Hopefully everyone got out ok. On top of the mountains, it started to rain just a little. It didn’t really slow us down but had to use the wipers for probably about 15 minutes.

Santa Rosa Campground & RV Park, Santa Rosa, NM 10/22

The landscape changed to low, rolling hills. Lots of tall dry grass with juniper-pinion looking trees spread around. We got to Santa Rosa, NM around 3:00 PM. The campground was easy to get to and the guy checking us in was a hoot! He told us they have a BBQ Restaurant and showed us the menu. He said the special tonight isn’t on there. It is Himalayan Squirrel. He said it is fresh, because they found him-a-layin on the road that day! Oh that was funny.

Getting Set Up At Santa Rosa Campground & RV Park, Santa Rosa, NM 10/22

Got to our site and set up. We got out our camp chairs and sat on the grass. It was so dry and had goat head thorns. But the space was good for one night stop. We caught up on our phones (texts, emails, etc.) and then called and ordered BBQ dinner. The campground restaurant is carry out only right now and they deliver your meal to your campsite on a golf cart. The lady asked what time we wanted it delivered, which was nice. He said we are flexible but 5:30 sounds fine. Sure enough, the lady was there.

Delicious BBQ Dinner From Campground Restaurant, Santa Rosa, NM 10/22

The food was good and I would get it again if we stay here another time. We both had brisket, and I had baked beans and baked potato. Kevin had cole slaw and fries. We shared peach cobbler and a side of ice cream. Kevin said the peach cobbler was the best he has ever tasted. It was delicious!

Flat As A Pancake! Kismet, KS 10/22

We set the alarm for 6:00 AM but at that time it was still very dark out. Boy, what a difference with Flagstaff being same time as California right now – early sun up, early sun down.  We changed the alarm for 6:30. It was barely light out and by the time we were ready to go, the sun was just coming up at around 7:00 AM. Another great day driving. Perfect sunny weather. So thankful. We snacked on homemade cookies (I told about yesterday) and cheese and crackers. At one point I said, “How can these cookies taste better than right out of the oven?!?!” Kevin said he was thinking the exact same thing. Wow, that Food Saver is great.

Corn Is Very Tall! Dalhart, TX 10/22

At Tucumcari, we turned onto Hwy 56 and went through Texas, Oklahoma, and to Kansas. In Texas, we saw miles of feed lots, full of cattle. In Oklahoma, we saw miles of corn. In Kansas, we saw miles of milo and some corn. Now the bridges are the highest point around! Flat, flat, flat. See for many miles. There are also a lot of granaries, silos, or Kevin calls them elevators. 

Gunsmoke RV Park, Dodge City, KS 10/22

We got to Dodge City at 2:00 PM. Got checked in quickly at Gunsmoke RV. The nice man gave us some brochures about the area. Kevin asked him his favorite restaurant and he circled several on a brochure. As you enter this campground, on the west side of Dodge City, there are sites close together. But we are in the back, on the very end and it is nice. We have a front yard and back yard, both with wooden picnic tables. There is grass, although it is dried up. The sites are wide apart. We got set up for the week and headed into town. Drove around town for a little bit. A lot of streets close to historic downtown are brick. At one point we passed a water tower and Kevin said, well, this is the highest point in town. 🙂  We see the trains on the tracks and are “glad” the campground is on the north side because in our book, all the “bad” places were south of the tracks. HAHA (Not the case these days.) OH, we read in the book about Arkansas River and how they had a bridge over it and made it a toll bridge. But today, that river is completely dried up. I mean, you can tell there hasn’t been water there for a long time. Where did the water go? (We asked a tour guy at the train station later in the week. He said Kansas and Colorado have fought over water for years and years. Some dams were built along the river in Colorado.)

“AH, Doc Holliday, Put Your Gun Away!” HAHA Dodge City, KS 10/22

Monday: Kevin enjoyed the view from his desk today. It faces west and we see a rise in the ground, up to a fence. On three sides of the campground are fields. We saw a red pickup truck today with two workers in the field. One guy would stand in the bed or on the ground and hold a tall pole. It looked like a flag pole. Kevin noticed they were doing some surveying. The went all along the west, north, and east of this campground. Fun to watch. I mostly worked on travel journal and pictures today. When Kevin was finished with work we headed off to Boot Hill Museum. We knew the place would be closing soon. The young guy taking our fee said he would give us a receipt to get in to the museum tomorrow, too, since with work and early closing, we won’t be able to come earlier. That was very thoughtful and very much appreciated. We learned so much in the short time we were at the museum. A few highlights are:


*In 1872, Fort Dodge Commander Lt. Col. Richard Dodge closed the sutler’s bar to enlisted men and forbade alcohol on the military reservation. The result was a tent saloon five miles from the fort, and the start of Dodge City.


*Railroads & Daily Life – Imagine having to reset your watch 300 times as you travel across the country. That was once the reality, because each town set its own time based on the sun’s position. Railroads operating over long distances needed a better system. On November 18, 1883, they set up four time zones across the US and Canada. Dodge City, on the 100th meridian, sat in both the Central and Mountain time zones, so the depot had a clock with each time.

*AT&SF’s first conductor, John Bender (1844-1907). Once when John Bender asked a drunken passenger for his ticket, the man hiccuped, “I wanna g-go to hell!” Benders reply? “Get off at Dodge.”

*A Town Transformed – Longhorns carried but were immune to a tick-borne disease that killed Kansas herds. Ranchers demanded a quarantine on Texas cattle, and as ranching moved west so did the quarantine line. IN the mid-1870s, Dodge City was the easternmost railhead for longhorns. By 1885, the line reached Colorado, and the Kansas legislature banned all cattle from Texas. 
(* taken from signs and displays at Boot Hill Museum, Dodge City, KS)

Fascinating Information! Dodge City, KS 10/22

We decided to drive to the stockyard overlook. It is a large pull-off with a circular road. We got out and saw humungous fields of cattle. Even say a lot of buildings and a ton of semi trucks and trailers.

Cattle As Far As The Eye Can See, Dodge City, KS 10/22

We drove on smaller roads and even dirt roads and went around all four sides. Then we turned south and happened upon Fort Dodge. The fort is now a home for soldiers. We wanted to look around but there was a sign that all visitors must check in at some hall. It was getting late so we didn’t go further. We might another day.

Kansas Veterans’ Cemetery at Fort Dodge, KS 10/22

At the end of the Fort and across the street we found Kansas Veteran’s Cemetery. We got out and walked around. The oldest birth year we found was 1834! I looked up and read that civilians are also buried here. Left at sundown, drove a little more around town and then headed home.

Boot Hill Museum, Back Buildings, Dodge City, KS 10/22

Tuesday: After work, we drove back to Boot Hill Museum. We walked to where we had ended yesterday. Then out the museum, across the yard to old-time looking buildings. First we went into the General Outfitting Store. They had candies, trinkets, and clothes for sale. Next door was Long Branch Saloon. It looked real and the guy behind the counter was serving real alcohol. Two guys were sitting at a table drinking. From there, you walk through the rest of the buildings from inside. G.M. Hoover Cigars had a good display and information about cigars. Dry Goods, guns, photos, drug store, etc. all down the line. Kevin and I thought the displays were set in a way that really drew a person in to learn. Of course, from reading the library book, we are drawn to the names we “know”: Holliday, Earp brothers, Hoover, Wright, Mathewson brothers, etc. We feel like we really know them. 🙂 It is a crazy feeling. Shows what a great writer she is! We didn’t read every sign and display as we only had a short before closing but feel we got a good part of it.

Best Tasting Steak! Dodge City, KS 10/22

Then Kevin decided we should try out the steak place the campground host recommended. Casey’s Cowtown Steak House. Let me tell you, after the first bit of my chicken fried steak and Kevin’s steak and shrimp, he said to me, “What are you going to order from here tomorrow?!” It is THAT delicious! The steak was so tender, but thoroughly cooked, that I cut the pieces with the edge of my fork. The mashed potatoes were creamy with a few skins on – definitely homemade. I am craving it just typing this. Kevin rates his steak and shrimp: “Several times a week”…which isn’t even an option on our rating scale! HAHAHA My chicken fried steak rating: “Every day.” The place is divided in different rooms or areas with plastic plates and all sorts of memorabilia on the walls. It was great. In the parking lot…mostly Ram trucks! I even started walking to the wrong one. HAHA Kevin, seeing all those trucks, giggled with happiness.

Walking Tour, Dodge City, KS 10/22

Wednesday: As soon as Kevin was done with work, we headed out to do the walking tour of Dodge City. Whoever put it together did a great job! There is a booklet that has a map, description, and good details about all 70 places. It says it is approximately 3 miles. It was fun to see the exact spot where certain buildings were. If it wasn’t the spot, they had great iron hangings from light poles that are in great detail and depict something from the area. There were also “stars” from the TV series Gunsmoke in the sidewalks. We didn’t care much about that but someone who watched the shows would probably like it. At one point, we crossed over to the train depot. Inside, a very nice worker named Carl said they would be closing in 20 minutes. I looked around and saw we could never get through the whole thing in that amount of time. So we decided to come back here tomorrow when we would have more time.

Remember how we rated the food at Casey’s Cowtown Steak House? Yeah, Kevin said we are going back for dinner. Rated every day. HAHA Tonight I had the House Sirloin and it was melt in your mouth. Kevin had a Dodge Strip (as opposed to New York Strip, the menu says). We both rated it: “Every Day”. Kevin said his baked potato was light and fluffy inside.

Train Depot, Dodge City, KS 10/22

Thursday: Walking through Dodge City Train Depot is like walking back in time. A lot of it is original from the beginning. At one end they have made a dinner theater there. Oh, I wish it was running tonight but Carl said they are in between plays right now. Carl, the city guide, was a wealth of information.

One Of Two Sun Dials, One For Each Time Zone, Dodge City, KS 10/22
Funny! Dodge City, KS 10/22

Kevin says, “This is how you use a sun dial…stand near it…and look at your Apple Watch! 🙂

Friday: I made some cookies. After work, we drove west to see famous wagon wheel ruts of the Santa Fe Trail. We didn’t see any but read the sign. Not disappointed as the drive for the 11 miles was nice. We decided to try the other steak house that was recommend by the campground host. Prime On The Nine is at the local golf course. The grass was beautiful green and the restaurant very nice and a bit fancier than other places here. We both had the chicken fried steak and it came on top of mashed potatoes and a jalapeño gravy. We were a little weary of that because we are wimps and can’t handle spicy. But it turned out that the jalapeños just added the tiniest of kicks. Very good. We rate it: Every Few Months. (I just added that new rating because it is somewhere between once a month and once a year! HAHA) The best part was our server. She saw us signing and got really excited and animated, asking, “How do you sign….” It was cute. A real joy to see someone excited to learn and communicate. As we left, Kevin wrote the Lifeprint.com on a card and we told her about it. It is a great way to learn American Sign Language. As we walked out, she was adamantly showing it to a coworker. Back to HOWE we got things ready for a travel day tomorrow.

NASA, DART, Pluto, & History Made!

Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, AZ

Monday 09/26/22

DART – NASA crashes into an astroid! On purpose! When growing up, if I could pick a topic for a report, I most always did the report on space. I have always loved learning about planets and the universe. (Not sci-fi, though!) Being newly deaf, I have faced many frustrating and disappointing times when I want to learn so much but without captions or interpreter, I am left in the dark. So, I emailed Lowell Observatory, here in Flagstaff, AZ and wrote: “I am deaf and love astronomy. The event on Sept 26 where the earth ‘strikes back’, is this something I can watch with my eyes and not need to hear anything? Would I be able to be close enough to see what is going on since I wouldn’t be able to hear what people are saying?”  The next day I got a reply from Madison, content marketing specialist: “Hi Charla. Thanks for reaching out! We will be more than happy to make accommodations for you at the event. If you’d like, we can reserve a space for you in our Astrolab to ensure that you can view the DART impact with closed captioning. Please let me know if there’s anything else we can do to help you enjoy this landmark event!” I responded and then bought our tickets. This was definitely a reason for us to stay longer in Flagstaff.

Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, AZ

Today we drove to Lowell Observatory at 2:30. As we pulled in, there were a lot of vehicles in the parking lot but a few spaces left. I wasn’t sure how many people would come to this event. We walked in to the visitor center and checked in at the front desk. Kevin told the man that we had heard from Madison that we had reserved seats. He chuckled with a sly grin and said, “She is my girlfriend.” Sweet. Then he said something to a lady named Sarah and she signed to me in American Sign Language! She said she took ASL in high school and Kevin remarked to her how she must have kept up with it because she was very good.

The Roof Rolls Back And Then You Can Look Through These Telescopes To The Sky.

She walked us up the hill to Giovale Open Deck Observatory, past some big telescopes and into a room. There were 2 rows of chairs and she had saved us the front middle seats. So thankful!

Front Row Seats @ Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, AZ

As we sat down in front of the big screen TV, it was on NASA TV and the countdown was 54 minutes. I was fully able to see and read all the captions and NASA did a great job with the captions. Full immersion into what was happening was provided for me and I couldn’t have been more thrilled at this event. Lowell Observatory was showing the event in all corners of the complex plus the auditorium. It was nice to make it so a lot of people could watch. Soon we had people standing at the back of the room and at the large, open doors the side. My heart was pounding so hard with excitement! It was thrilling to watch the “target locked”, “NAV has full control”, and all systems good. We all clapped when the astroid was hit. I loved watching the interviews with people before and after and just reading about all the time, planning, work, and what is next. Incredible.

A Thrill Of A Lifetime @ Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, AZ

We watched for some minutes more afterwards and then went outside to get dinner.

Food Trucks For The DART Event @ Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, AZ

They had a few food trucks there and we had Frito pie. It was a bit spicy, made my nose run, but very good. The weather was perfect and we ate outside at a table.

Nick Moskovitz Explains The Telescope @ Lowell Observatory On NASA TV

While in line, Kevin heard the couple behind us talking about Nick Moskovitz, and how he was going to give a talk at 6:30. Right before impact, Nick was ON NASA TV showing and talking about Lowell Observatory telescope and how it was used to find and map and help plan the entire DART program.

Presentation After DART Impact @ Lowell Observatory.

As we walked to the auditorium, Sarah came up and signed to me that she had our seats saved for us at the front. So sweet and accommodating! We didn’t expect that. Kevin did the interpreting and did a great job. Oh, we so enjoyed listening to Nick!

*2003, twenty years ago, when first started working on DART

*Lowell Observatory telescope, at 8000 ft, took more than 1/2 of the pictures for the entire project

*If the astroid was 40 BBL beer-making tank, DART was size of a pint

*At the last second, he got permission to show us on screen a picture from a telescope of DART hitting the astroid and the debris coming off it! (Even the next day, it isn’t online!) What an amazing privilege.

Next was Theodore someone who talked is post-doctorate. He talked so fast that Kevin could hardly interpret anything he said. He just talked about big holes and impacts. He did say that he and Nick are flying to Chile to the telescope and starting Wednesday will be collecting data and watching. They really are two of the few people able to do this. I feel such a privilege to be there and listen/see them. One of my most favorite lifetime events. The talks went until about 8:00 and then we were invited outside. We saw a sign that said No White Light. This is dark sky area and only red lights around and available to use from the front desk. We decided to go back to the telescopes we saw earlier. It was so dark!

Look Close To See The Blue Reflective Stars Painted Along The Curved Sidewalk.

Along one sidewalk we saw they had painted glow in the dark stars along it. That made me giggle out loud and tell Kevin that I am going to add that to our home base. Not kidding! HAHA At the top of the hill, back at the telescopes, we were able to see Saturn and then in another one a star cluster. Wow! As we walked back down we stopped at a museum.

PLUTO, where was it discovered….?
We learned that an important part of the success of Lowell Observatory has been the ability to build and fix telescopes, cameras, and other instruments. Percival Lowell used his knowledge of mathematics and celestial mechanics to “deduce that Uranus was perturbed not by Neptune along, but also by an as-yet discovered ninth planet.” Math and photographic efforts were needed to search for this planet. Mathematics figured out where the possible location was and the area was photographed. Unfortunately, telescopes then just weren’t strong enough to capture what was needed. As Lowell was working on this project, he was very secretive about it. Just a few people were involved and they were on need-to-know. He wanted to announce “a discovery, not a search.” After Lowell died, the search was put on hold for a decade. In April 1927 a new thirteen-inch photographic instrument, knows as an astrograph was built. Clyde Tombaugh was hired at Flagstaff in 1929 to start a systematic search using the area in the sky were Lowell had said the planet would be. PLUTO was discovered on February 18,1930 from photographic plates. The announcement to the world of the new planet was made on March 13, 1930 – that would have been Prevail Lowell’s 75th birthday.

Now, if you follow me around, you will know that I don’t like darkness. It is hard for me to see – plus, I am deaf! I have to be vigilant and make sure no one is following me, all that, for safety. I completely understand Dark Sky Cities and light pollution and all that but I get concerned about safety, both of walking and what a bad person might do. Every time we go somewhere at night, I always, I call it conversation but Kevin informed me yesterday it is complaining, as he laughed! I get on my soapbox about how it isn’t safe to have no lights in a parking lot or at intersections, etc. Well, at the Star Store, I saw a shirt I just had to have! It says, “First International Dark Sky City, Flagstaff, Arizona, Lowell Observatory.” Kevin and I just laughed and laughed and I said it need it because it goes against my “conversations”. HAHAHA He bought it for me and said I have wear it whenever we are out at night. 🙂 This event and being here AT the Lowell Observatory has been a true highlight for me and one of my most favorite events ever. Glad we stuck around Flagstaff for this. 🙂

NOTE: Frito Pie is just Frito chips in the bottom of a bowl and topped with chili and the fixings you like. 🙂

Being Deaf & Almost Getting Hit In A Mall Parking Lot In Las Vegas.

Watching Bryce Play Baseball In Henderson, NV. 06/22

It was very nice to be at a big city and pick up some needed things that aren’t available in smaller towns. We came to Las Vegas to watch our friend play baseball and to visit with my aunt and uncle. First stop was to Williams-Sonoma where I got a vegetable peeler. (My Pampered Chef one is in storage.) The cheap one I had from Walmart broke the other day. Then to Lens Crafters for glass cleaning cloths. It is at an outdoor mall. Really nice! We couldn’t find the store. Kevin called them and they are inside Macy’s, the first store we walked through. HA We got what we needed. In the parking lot, a younger lady in a truck was stopped in the middle of the road. I thought she was waiting for someone to pull out so she could get their spot but Kevin said she was dropping someone off. We walked past her staying close to the parked cars when suddenly Kevin grabbed my arm hard and pulled me far left to the other side of him. It turns out that lady wasn’t watching when she started driving and almost hit me!!! Scary. I am deaf and couldn’t hear the motor. I am so thankful Kevin is hearing and upon hearing the motor saved me! My hero. 🙂

This Lady Was Heading To Walmart And No One Was To Get In Her Way. 🙂

I don’t know this lady but her “drive” (pun intended) to get to where she was going was strong. Good for her!

By the time we were hungry. We found L&L Hawaiian, which I knew Kevin liked where we used to live. The food was fine, rated it “Once A Year.” Then to Costco. Oh how I miss Costco!!!! There isn’t one within 2 1/2 hours of Flagstaff. It was crowded but we weren’t in a hurry and just took our time. I got 2 packages of hamburger & some pork roasts, both of which I used my Food Saver with after we got home. Food Saver is a vacuum system that takes out all the air from the package. It makes food last a long time. Got some other things as well, but not toilet paper…not enough room in HOWE. 🙂 On the way home, we stopped at a new Maverick gas station – it even has RV lanes! Very nice. Maverick is Kevin’s favorite convenience store. We didn’t need the RV lanes but needed drinks. HAHA

Adding To The Door. Las Vegas. 06/22

The window in this door was clear glass. It made it hot when the sun would shine through. We bought this window film and Kevin installed it. We like it as it makes it so someone on the steps can’t see in but we can see the silhouette. Also, not so hot.

I have been doing a lot of reading. I am reading “The President’s Man” by President Nixon’s Aide. Very interesting and I like it. I made Tater Tot Casserole in my smallest Pampered Chef baking dish. It was perfect size. By then the sun had set and we went to the pool and hot tub. We were very surprised that we were the only ones in the pool and only 1 guy sitting in the recliners. The pool was colder than the other day. Again, surprised, since the day had been 97 degrees. We quickly ended up in the hot tub. Another couple came in. We had a nice visit with them. They are full time, too, and here helping their son convert a van for camping. 

Oasis Las Vegas RV Resort – A True Resort. One Of Our Favorite Campgrounds. 06/22

We met my aunt and uncle outside their place here in Las Vegas and then rode with them to Bahama Breeze. We all shared an appetizer and then each couple shared the coconut dinner. Everything was perfection. Even the broccoli was perfectly cooked with a nice buttery flavor. The yellow rice was scrumptious. I also liked the tall ceilings and decor of the building. I liked it so much that I put the address in my phone book so we can go there again. Back to aunt and uncle’s place to place to play the card game “Golf” with them. It was a lot of fun. We love visiting with them.

Bryce Hits The Ball. Henderson, NV 06/22

Up early to be at the ballgame across town in Henderson by 8:00 am. The weather was perfect and always a thrill to watch our friend, Bryce. He is a senior in high school now. The first game, the other team didn’t have enough players because the coach said they thought they played at 9:00. They are from Vegas so there wasn’t even the time zone excuse. The coach was very angry at the game-recorder and said the F-bomb. Not good! He finally told the umpire they would forfeit. The teams decided to play a scrimmage game, which I thought was nice, for the boys to be able to play. Later the coach changed it to not be a forfeit game. What? Anyway, we won. The second game started right afterward and we lost. Later we met Bryce and his parents, Brian and Heather, at Sunset Casino for visiting and dinner. We ate at the kind of fancy Italian place at the casino. It was good and we were all full afterward.

Sunday, got up even earlier to get going and to get HOWE (the name of our 5th wheel Alliance Avenue, Home On WhEels) all packed up for travel day. Got to the baseball park right as the game started. The game was a good one and very close. This was the last game for us to see Bryce play while in high school. He is a young man who has always been a joy to watch. Not only is he a great baseball player but he has the attitude you want to see. He is very encouraging to his teammates and the players on the other team. For example, one time when the play was extremely close, he got thrown out at first base. He got up, looked at the first baseman and said, “good play.” We have known him since he was two years old. Our dear friends walked us over and had a look inside HOWE. They were very impressed. Then we closed it up and headed to J&H RV Park in Flagstaff.

Tater Tot Casserole
1 lb hamburger
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 can cream of mushroom soup
8 oz sour cream (or you can substitute 1 cup of milk)
1 pkg (16 oz) tater tots
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
Brown onion and hamburger. Drain.
Line bottom of 9×13-inch pan with hamburger and onion.
Mix soup and sour cream (or milk) together. Mix well and pour over meat mixture. Top with partially thawed tater tots.
Bake at 450° for 35 minutes.
Remove and add grated cheese. Bake again for 3 minutes more or until cheese is melted.
Who is hungry now? 🙂

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