Oshkosh to Pepin
Jul 28, 2007
|Last Monday Lowell and I went to the air show in Oshkosh, WI. It was a perfect day, temps in the upper 70's, sunny skies and moderate crowds.
We started off in the homebuilt/experimental area then worked our way through the war birds, new aircraft and then a few exhibits. I talked Lowell into sitting in some of the cooler new aircraft. If I can get her excited about a luxury sports car-type aircraft, there may be a chance of us getting another plane one day. I did all the right things: helped her climb in some of the smaller tighter fitting fuselages, picked out the interiors that complimented her wardrobe, and commented on how "tiny" she looked sitting behind the yoke of the aircraft. I think she may actually be giving it some thought.
I also complimented her on how blue her eyes looked sitting in that $300,000 model. (I first had to check to see if her eyes were blue---sometimes I can't remember.)
After all the window shopping we found a comfortable spot out near the runway and settled in to watch the nearly 2 hour air show. The demonstrations and flying were great. I've had about 15 hours of acrobatic training, but I couldn't begin to do the things they do now. It was fun watching. I even told Lowell how "hot" she would look in the back of a two-seat stunt plane. (Men, you have to keep working all the angles to get what you want---remember, my book on "How to Get What You Want From Your Significant Other" will be out early next year. You can order your very own autographed copy for 3 easy payments of $29.95 plus shipping and handling.)
At the end of the air show they had The Beach Boys playing for 2 hours. This was the first time we had seen them live. At least what was left of the originals.
After the air show we walked back through the grounds to our car. I was careful to make sure we passed by all the planes that I thought Lowell would look good in. Guys, are you starting to see how this works?
The next day we spent close to camp. Doing some laundry and talking to the new neighbors that pulled in while we were at the show. They are veterans of almost 4 years of living on the road. They had a motor home like us and have been all over the country and into Canada many times. The wife said she loved it and neither of them had any desires to move back into a house. This is what I like to hear. I think from what I've read and heard, about 75% of full timers, like us, would prefer to stay in their RV and continue to travel or set up camp in 2 or more places each year. All I have to do now is figure out how to move my new airplane and the motor home around every month or so.
We left late Thursday morning in the rain and drove to the western border of Wisconsin. We landed in a small town on the Mississippi named Pepin. It's about 70 miles down river from Minneapolis and is noted for being the birth place of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Remember the TV show Little House on the Prairie? She was the little girl in the story. Interestingly, she started teaching school at age 14, but had never finished school herself. She wrote her first book at age 65 (Little House in the Big Woods) which was set in Pepin in the 1870's. It was so well received that she then began the series of books that became Little House on the Prairie. See, I am getting a little education on this trip.
Friday, Lowell and I got up early (8:45) and went for a bike ride around town. Except for the traffic(about 4 cars in 1 ½ hours) it was a nice ride along the Mississippi and up and down a few streets in town. We stopped for coffee and a cinnamon roll in one of the little shops and then rode back to the motor home. Later, after my nap, we hopped in the car and drove north along HWY 35 towards Minneapolis. What a scenic road. We followed the river most of the way there, passing through some quaint little towns, all the while watching the river flow by and looking at all the rock formations on the other side of the road. This stretch of highway is listed as one of the most scenic roads in America. It has my vote. On the drive up we stopped at an overlook and met a really nice couple. She was riding a Harley Davidson and he was on a 1995 Honda Goldwing. Since I used to have a 2005 Goldwing I had to stop to chat of course. They live in this area and told us of some places to visit. We told them about what we are doing now and she thought it was great, but he said he was too old (72) to camp. Hey, you're never too old to have fun.
Our destination was Mall of America. It's the largest mall in the country, with a huge amusement park in the middle of it. Lowell did great. I was so proud of her. She didn't buy a thing in the three hours we were there. She did, however, keep a couple of shoe salesmen busy for about an hour trying on sandals. I think she has 14 pairs already — I'm going to check the next time she's outside washing the car or motor home. (Remember guys, the book will be out early next year.)
We left the mall after a few hours and only bought hot dogs and a Coke. Cheap entertainment. On the drive back we spotted a drive-in theater across the road. They were showing a double feature — The Simpson's Movie and the new Harry Potter Movie. We had never been to a drive-in together so I turned the car around (I actually turned it around three times because I missed the turn the first time and had to double back again) and pulled into line to go in. $15 for two people to see two new movies. Not bad, and there was always a chance of making out in the car during the movie. OK, the making out part was a long shot, especially since she found the first cut of my new book that I had cleverly hidden in my underwear drawer. I still don't know why she was in that drawer.
The movies were okay, but we started falling asleep during the second one. We still had an hour drive back to the motor home, so we started the engine to leave. This probably made everyone in the 4 or 5 rows ahead of unhappy, since the headlights in our car come on when you start the engine. At least some people got to experience the "making out" part of the evening as was evidenced by the steamy windows and the heads popping up when my lights hit their window. Oops, my bad.
Somehow we managed to stay awake on the drive back to Pepin and got in around 12:30. It was a good excuse to sleep in today and work on the journal.
That's all from the turnpike.