2010 Travels travel blog

Carpe Diem at Forest City Airport

Sandi at the SPAM® Museum
Located in Austin, MN this is an amazing...

Carpe Diem on the Rally Grounds
Alone for now, but there will be...

Winnebago Rally Grounds
The same scene one week later

Winnebago Rally Grounds
As seen from atop our flagpole

Winnebago Rally Grounds
An aerial view. More than 1,250 coaches. Winnebago Factory in...

Winnebago Grand National Rally
Opening ceremonies

Winnebago Grand National Rally
Opening ceremonies flag raising

Winnebago Grand National Rally
365 Group pot luck (we ate very, very well)

Winnebago Grand National Rally
Row Party. Everyone visited other groups (free food)

Winnebago Grand National Rally
Sandi with Centennial Charley, the RV industries 100 anniversary...

Tue, 29 Jun: Today we drove 230 miles from Pender to Forest City. We took US and State highways with only a few miles of Interstate as we looped around Sioux City. We really enjoy these highways and their slower pace. We get to drive through numerous towns, mainly small communities. It is the real America.

We're parked at the Forest City Airport, where we'll remain until 10 Jun when we move to the Winnebago/Itasca Rally Grounds. Pre-rally (365 group) and rally will keep us in the area until 23 or 24 Jun. We already had the coach in Winnebago's Factory Service Center, where they expertly addressed and corrected several issues. We also purchased parts only available from Winnebago (such as replacing a defective rear view monitor).

While in the area we'll visit with Bob's dad (95 years old) who is in a care facility a few miles from here (Lake Mills).

Don't know how many update pix we'll post here, but if there are any of note from the rally we'll get them uploaded.

Tue, 06 Jul: Drove the car ninety miles to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Sandi had a follow up appointment to have her eyes checked. All OK and we were out by 11 A.M. On the way back we stopped in Austin, MN, home of Hormel Foods manufacturer of SPAM® (the meat, not junk e-mail). There is a SPAM Museum that is a wonderfully entertaining experience. We really enjoyed the stop.

Fri, 09 Jul: We're still in Forest City, and have been busy as can be. Since we've arrived we've had Carpe Diem in for service twice, and they're working their way through our list of "issues". As we write this we're in the customer lounge (excellent wireless connection) waiting for the techs to complete the final few items on our list.

Highlights of our activities include (in no particular order...):

• Drove to Mason City for laundry.
• Visited Dad in Lake Mills every other day. Yesterday (Thurs) we took him for a drive in the car. He loved it!
• Washed Carpe Diem! That was a chore, but she's clean now.

Tomorrow we move from our airport parking to the rally grounds. Sunday starts the pre-rally events, so we'll be occupied with all those critically important activities, e.g., happy hour!

Mon, 12 Jul: On Saturday we relocated Carpe from our Forest City Airport parking area to the Grand National Rally (GNR) rallygrounds. As you can see from the picture, we were pretty much alone on this multi acre site. By next week at this time we'll have more than 1,200 other coaches sharing the space. Pre-rally activites include daily happy hours which allow us to visit and swap experiences with other Winnebago product owning full timers. Lotsa fun...

Fri, 23 Jul: Whew! We're pretty exhausted after almost two weeks of nonstop "rallying". It was a busy time with seminars, happy hours, classes, pot lucks, vendor visits, socializing, repairs, happy hours, and (you guessed it), more happy hours.

We've added several photos of rally scenes, but they just don't do justice to the experience. Somewhat like a state fair, trade show, and reunion all wrapped up in one. We're hoping to attend again next year if our schedule allows.

We also visited with Dad several times during the rally. Allan and Carolyn Swanson spent a few days in the area and it was great seeing them again. All four of us visited Dad and he was thrilled to see two of his sons at the same time.

Tomorrow (24 Jul) we'll finally roll wheels and head east. Destination, Elkhart, Indiana to see if we can have some interior remodeling done. We're also looking forward to rendezvouing with Carmen and Domingo Davila, our dear friends from Saginaw, MI. They're planning to drive down on Tuesday and spend the week.

More frequent postings will take place once we get rolling again.

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