A Travellerspoint blog

1st A Graduation to Attend

1st leg of our 2017 grandkids trip, a graduation

sunny

After a couple of days of packing up the RV we were able to leave in the early evening, only a couple of hours later than we’d hoped.
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Packing for a month on the road; freezing cold to moderately warm weather, enough stuff and food for 3 grandkids and Dale and I, and enough of everything to survive, we were off. The RV was stuffed, every bit of storage space stuffed, fridge and freezer stuffed until one had to push the doors closed. Add to all of our supplies, extra food requested by Bekki and our grandkids in NV, my sewing machine and whatever else Bekki needed.

We had to head to Nate’s as his oldest boy was graduating from high school. Elias was Master of Ceremonies and Salutatorian. We know him as our grandson so watching him give a speech and smoothly handle the ceremony was a real thrill. We were the dutiful proud grandparents.
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Elias and I have always had a good relationship. When he was small, and the family lived in China, he’d call and talk to me until the phone card would run out of time. We have had great discussions on every topic over the years. He is the one we spent several weeks with in Europe and enjoyed most every minute.

This trip we had great discussions on the UK elections. He came rushing into the RV on the morning after the results. Fortunately, I’d checked the news so we were both very happy that May had lost! It was so fun to share that with him. Now he will be off to college and a new chapter of his life.

Posted by Miss Chris 16:07 Archived in USA Tagged road_trip travel grandkids rv_travel Comments (0)

Car Rental Adventures

Renting a car in Iceland isn't so straight forward.

Well, it is always something.

I had looked at all of the car rental sites trying to determine which SUV/Sport Wagon style car would be best for our car camping in Iceland. Lots of cars are listed but they are European models so hard to know exactly what they are.

Our concern is that the back area is big enough with seats down. We have a tent, but in the event, there are high winds or heavy rains we need something that we can sleep in.

We determined what we thought was the equivalent of the Hyundai i10 and at the Hyundai car lot, we asked if they had the model we were looking for. The salesperson pulled out a car, we put the back seat down and climbed in, laying down to see how we’d fit. We didn’t, so figured we would rent something larger. I don’t think that the salesman ever figured out why we’d lay down in the back space of a car.

Finally, I’d made a decision and paid for it upfront, with a credit card. All settled, or so I thought.

Later that evening, I was reading about Iceland and found warnings about renting from some of the car rental companies. I looked up the company I’d just paid a bunch of money too and it looked like others had problems with them. I wasn’t sure what to do.

The next morning I woke up to a message that my credit card had not gone thru, they had thought it was a possible fraudulent charge. Well maybe it was but not for the same reasons.

I got back online and rented a car from a mainstream company, one I rent from all the time. We ended up getting something a little larger, more money but likely more comfortable and we know that we won’t be pressured into paying for other stuff we don’t want.

Posted by Miss Chris 16:37 Archived in USA Tagged road_trip outdoors iceland rental_car car_camping Comments (0)

Summer Trips, What Were We Thinking?

We promised to be lots of places this summer!

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Well, so much for blogging the remainder of our last trip. I suspect that I needed a break from the laptop. Instead of this blog, I started a photo blog which did not require a laptop or writing something intelligible.

We did return from a great trip to Canada and are now in desperate preparations for 5 summer trips. How did we get to this place? We wanted to have some time to breathe. Alas….

So our first trip will be to head back to Northeast Cali, actually just into Nevada, where kids now live. Our oldest grandson is graduating from high school and we must be there.

Because it will be boiling hot at home by then, from NE Cali we will head to the high country in Nevada, Great Basin National Park. Campsites are at the 7,000’ elevation. We do not have further plans for a few days but will figure it out as we go.

From Great Basin we will drive to Washington where we will meet up with our youngest son and his family, traveling up to Vancouver and back. We will travel with them as my parents did with us, meeting along the way.

We will be home for a couple of days before heading off to London and then Iceland where we will car camp for 2 weeks.

After Europe, another couple of days at home then, hopefully off to the Grand Canyon with Grandkids. That trip will include the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest.

Home for 1 day then off to the east side of the Sierras where we will backpack in for several days.

From the Sierras, home to wash clothes and repack the RV. Then off to Santa Fe where we will attend an opera at the Santa Fe Opera House. From Santa Fe, we will go where our spirits lead!

We intend to stay gone until the weather is nice at home. Of course, if a storm hits then we will head that direction.

Posted by Miss Chris 20:40 Archived in USA Tagged grandkids retired rv_travel summer_travel living_the_life Comments (0)

Adventures Await

semi-overcast 60 °F

A little over 1 week ago we left for yet again, another adventure. I inspected a couple of last claims as we headed north to Oregon. Now we are heading back to Oregon after a couple of days in NE California.

We have been driving for nearly 8 hours, are hungry and really tired of being in this truck. But not to complain, it is wonderful to be able to work on photos while Dale takes his turn driving, or do word games or just look out the window. Not having to work with my head in the laptop every minute is so amazing!!

Well, you are probably wondering what adventures we have encountered. And yes, we’ve had one doozy, one I’d really rather not repeat.
I always check our bank accounts, every morning 1st thing. Just to make sure that there are no nasty surprises.

Last week I checked our account to find that an electronic check, for the entire amount of our account was being processed. Not only were we out of state but heading soon out of the country with no cash. I called the bank but we couldn’t find out any information as the check hadn’t processed.

The following morning I checked the account and found that someone had taken our banking info and put another name on the check, wiping out our account. Fortunately, the bank reversed the funds but strongly suggested that we put a freeze on the account. We will deal with all of this when we get home.

I wrote a check to one of our sons, from another account for some cash and we have our cards, which charge no foreign transaction fees anyway.

2nd issue we found when we picked up our RV that we’d left at an RV park near Clayton’s. It had rained for 3 days and there on our newly warped kitchen counter top was a puddle of water. We apparently have 2 roof leaks. We will try to tape the roof and then have it repaired when we get home.

On the plus side, we’ve had great fun with grandkids and have enjoyed visiting with our kids. We’ve also had some beautiful weather for the last couple of days.
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So we will just keep on moving down the road and see what awaits us. It’s always something.
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Posted by Miss Chris 13:35 Archived in USA Tagged road_trip nature travel outdoors grandkids rv_travel Comments (0)

An Anniversary to Remember

What an amazing anniversary trip to Finland

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I love the breakfast here; smoked salmon, herring, veggies and coffee. We will try more of these breakfasts at home

We had to get out for our reindeer safari at 10am so we had to eat breakfast sooner than later. We found that we were sharing the safari with 4 other people. The others were parents with 2 kids, a 7 and a 2-year old.

Our guide arrived, dressed in the garb of his people. We learned that he is part of the Sami, an indigenous group, located in the Lapland area. They are known for raising reindeer. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sami_people

The guide introduced us to a bit of his life. The reindeer belong to him and he is so kind to them, they are really like his children. He pets them, smiles and speaks so kindly to each reindeer. The ride itself was so beautiful, quiet except for the sled going over the snow.
We each had a reindeer skin to sit on which kept us really warm. Then nice wool blankets to cover with.

Each sled had a reindeer to pull it but all were attached to each other in a long line. The reindeer behind us kept coming over to Dale’s side and tried to lick Dale’s face on a couple of occasions. The reindeer in front is a leader in the group and the other reindeer let it eat meals first. It knew the way and would sometimes run, sometimes walk, sometimes slow way down to put his nose in the snow or grab a bit of snow.
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After our ride, we were invited into the guide’s tepee. This is a place where he likes to sleep in during summer months. He built a fire, served coffee, tea, and cakes, and then played a couple of songs of his people.

We had a sleigh ride scheduled for 9:45pm. We arrived at the reception desk and met our guide, then walked to the barn. The guide handed us a basket that contained a small bottle of champagne, lots of chocolates and 2 traditional wood cups. He said that we could have the champagne when we wanted.

The snow was so beautiful in the dark. Again, it was so quiet except for our sled, and again we sat on the reindeer skins.

We saw some lights in the distance, which we assumed were a house. Instead, they were lights from candles, a sort of Finnish farolito, in the snow. The guide had dug a hole then built up a wall of snow around the edge, with a hole one side leaving the top open. There were several of these candle holders. There was also a table, covered with snow, and candles. In the back, there was the structure of a tepee, only the wood, no covering.
We set our basket on the snow covered table, poured our champagne, ate some chocolate and took photos with the big camera on the tripod.

Wow, what an end to our trip!!! This has been an amazing journey.

Posted by Miss Chris 16:34 Archived in Finland Tagged snow walking finland outdoors reindeer winter_in_finland kaksluttanen sleigh_ride Comments (0)

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