July, 2012
Did someone say "HOT!"?   We thought we'd left the heat behind in Arizona.  But most of you know that the whole USA suffered in the heat during the month of July.  We were
grateful for our 50-amp hookup and A/C at the Big Sandy Campground near Toledo.  We were looking forward to the stay of several weeks in our old hometown, but we had no
set agenda.  We did have a list of errands to run and things to check out, but most of those could have been taken care of any place that we stopped.  The advantage here
was that we knew our way around and where to get certain things taken care of.  Our campground proved to be a quiet and peaceful place with very little traffic and few
"campers" other than the seasonal ones whose places are at the back of the property.  The only exception to that was, no surprise, on the 4th of July.  While the campground
had their own rowdy celebration, we celebrated the holiday with our good friends Kathy and Dennie - having a barbeque dinner at their house and then attending the
fireworks in the town of Waterville.
Each time we come back to Toledo we find a few changes...and this trip was no exception.  One of the first that we checked out was the new Hollywood Casino.  We have
been to several other owned by the same company in various places, and even parked overnight in a Hollywood lot, but the shiny new Toledo casino is definitely
not RV
friendly.  Luckily we visited the facility in our car and did not find ourselves stopped in front of the parking garage on the very short entry drive.  Inside the casino we found a
pretty typical place except for the fact that it is totally a non-smoking place.  That made it really nice!  We made a tour of all the games over a several hour visit and managed
to bring home a few extra dollars as well.

A second new facility since our last visit was the Toledo Pickleball Club.  Inspired by his time at our RV park in Arizona, Al Hager got a group of people from Toledo and the
surrounding area interested in playing the game and they worked hard to get some courts built.  We actually don't know Mr. Hager and there were no people at the courts
when we stopped by, but their courts look beautiful.

Over the years we had visited the Toledo Zoo many, many times.  Since we've been "on the road" they have made some great changes, so one (hot, of course) day we went
with our friends Kathy and Dennie Dew to visit the zoo.  Not surprisingly, many of the animals were sprawled on the ground in whatever shade they could find and resting.  
The new elephant facility and the somewhat new African Savannah were the high spots of our visit.
Over our four week visit we enjoyed visits with various friends and family.  In between the medical and financial appointments and running errands there were trips to visit
with Tom's mom at her care facility, lunches and dinners out and company for dinner at our place.  One 100* evening we decided to eat out in Bowling Green, OH with Tom's
sister and brother-in-law, Judy and Ron, and we drove from place to place trying to find a restaurant with an operating A/C system....whew!  We finally found one, but what a
trip!  There were multiple evening shared with former neighbors, Dick and Liz, and with good friends Kathy and Dennie.  Tom was able to get in several golf games, but with
the temperature near 100* and high humidity, it wasn't an inviting prospect to get out on the course.  One day we drove up to Jackson, MI for an afternoon visit with Mary's
mom.  We had a great get together with our Alaska travel buddy Jacques Everhart and a very special dinner with Bob and Jan Weaver.  Bob was the best man at our wedding
and we haven't seen much of them over the years.
Some weekend events in the Toledo area gave us some diversion on a couple of occasions.  It was great fun watching the "Ultimate Air Dog" competition held at a local
retailer.  Obviously, these dogs have been practicing.  It was fun to watch them, on a command from their owner, chase after a toy, fly through the air and land in a big pool.  
Bet it felt good on a 100* day, too.  Another day found us at another "water event" in downtown Toledo.  We watched the "11th Annual Dragon Boat Races" on the Maumee
River.  Various local businesses put together teams to race in the charity event.  Some looked like they had practiced quite a bit more than the others, but they all showed a
lot of effort.  Again, it was a really hot day, but we didn't see any of the colorful boats turn its occupants into the water.
We had paid Big Sandy Campground for a four weeks stay ending July 24, but had no real plans after that.  Near the end of our commitment to the campground our son Reid
confirmed that he was going to accept a new job in Lansing, Michigan.  On July 22, he drove up from West Virginia for a several day visit to check out the Lansing area once
again and to see about housing prior to his August 20 start date.  He spent his first night at Mary's Mom's in Jackson and then drove to Charlotte, MI to meet up with us.  We
had driven up the same day to Charlotte, which is just a short drive south of Lansing, and provided a "home base" for Reid's visit.  Over the next several days we learned our
way around Ingham County, Lansing and East Lansing and looked at a lot of houses for sale.  As usual in this situation, we found some gems and some real "interesting"
properties.  In the end, it appears that Reid has found a really nice place to call home for a while and he is anxious to get all the details worked out.  He returned to West
Virginia on July 26 to face the list of moving chores and to tie up things on his job at WELD.
Toledo had now become a "casino town."
The valet entrance faces I-75 and the casino is
definitely not "big rig" friendly.
The windsock at the Toledo Pickleball Club will help
the players know how far their shots will fly.
They have some beautiful new pickleball courts which
will no doubt draw some new players to the game.
It had been a long time since our last visit to the
Toledo Zoo.  Friends Kathy and Dennie went
along with us.
The new elephant home was
designed to give them lots of
exercise.
The giraffes came running when an
attendant put out fresh food.
The polar bear had the best spot on a hot day, but
we're not sure how he could balance for such a long
time on a rock under the water.
It was great to catch up with our buddy Jacques.
When we invited Liz to dinner, we didn't expect her to
show up on her bike.  It took her an hour to ride out to
the campground on the Wabash-Cannonball Bike Trail.
Dick joined us, too, for dinner after a game of golf with
Tom.
Bob grilled us some great steaks on our visit to his
and Jan's great home!
Not only did the dogs need to run and catch, they needed to
know how to swim back to the exit ramp.
Flyin' high!
The drummer sits in front and beats the pace for the rowers of the dragon boat.  The person standing in the
back is in charge of steering the team to the finish line.   All together now....!
There were four boats in each 'heat' of the races...and they appeared to be having a great time even if they
weren't the most successful team.
Meanwhile, we returned to Big Sandy Campground near the Toledo airport and settled in for another several week stay.  Our first several days were busy with catching up on
laundry (we'd not been able to find a spot with full hook-ups in the Lansing area) and re-stocking the pantry.  We were able to attend a Memorial Service for a former neighbor
and chat with a few people we hadn't seen in a while.  The campground was busier than when we'd left and we had to wait a few days to move back into our full hook-up site,
and the "mature trees" meant Tom had the task of setting up the portable satellite.  We'll likely stay here until Reid returns to Lansing and be available to help with some of
the inevitable moving tasks.  We're getting pretty good at that!
return to our "home page"
return to "What we've been doing..."
The "House Hunters"
The July 23 episode of the TV show was in Lansing and
we recognized two of the houses from the show while we
were touring with an agent from the same office.