We had our granddaughter Meagon with us for the weekend so decided to go to Benchmark Alpaca Farm in Goodrich, MI. We were met by co-owner Barrie Lynn Wood who gave us a detailed tour of the facilities. WOW!!! What an education it was. There are over 100 Alpacas here and they are raised and used mostly for breeding and sale. The fleece from the Alpaca is beautiful, super dense and soft making it extremely warm when used in clothing or blankets/quilt stuffing. The Alpaca is originally from the Andes Mountains in South America. They are a prey and not a preditor so do not warm up to people easily. Of course, any animal seems to warm up to Meagon so she had her hands on them frequently. She was advised not to pet the Alpaca like a dog but to burrow her fingers into the thick fleece and massage the skin. This got the Alpacas following Meagon for more massages. I had the perfect day surrounded by two of my beauties, a friendly, informative host and wonderful, soft Alpacas. Mrs. Wood told Meagon as we were leaving that, if she ever needed any research on South America (where Alpacas are from) or Alpacas, she should revisit, call or email her and she would help. This is the place that I will recommend if asked by someone where they could learn about and/or want to get started in raising Alpacas.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
We stumbled into another "hidden" restaurant last night, Grandma's Recipes on Richfield Rd. This is not far from our home RV park in Davison. From the outside, it sure does not look like much but, once inside, it was immediately known that this was going to be good. The waitresses are all friendly and efficient and the food seems home cooked. The prices are reasonable and who could ask for anything more in a restaurant? Because of the large size of the portions, there was no room for the home made desserts so I guess we'll just have to come back. Since we won't be traveling again until January, we will continue exploring our own "back yard" for these great jewels in the rough.
Posted by Jim and Carol at 5:11 AM
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Today I had a real taste for broasted chicken. Thought we would try the Chicken Shack in Clarkston and discovered we would have done better at Mickey Ds. The chicken seemed OK but the "broasted taters" were soggy and after eating only a few, have a real heavy feeling belly. Wont be long now until we can feast on some Texas BBQ and fresh seafood. (of course, there will be other items than seafood for Carol) COMEONFIRSTOFJANUARY so we can be on our way. Family getting together Thanksgiving at Renee's. This always has been a great time! Richelle brought the kids over for a while yesterday - Sure brightens up our household!
Posted by Jim and Carol at 3:13 PM
Monday, November 16, 2009
This was a great weekend! Saturday night we saw two of our daughters and five of our grandchildren at a soccer game. Our granddaughter, Meagon, was playing and the rest came to watch. What a game - another future superstar? Planning goes on for our winter "recon tour" of Texas and Arizona. Discovered another Montana Owners Club couple that will be in Rockport, TX at the same time as we will. 'tis truly a small world. A week ago we got a call from the Flint Tourist Bureau saying that they read our blog and wanted to hook us up with a local newspaper reporter. We met with the reporter in a coffee shop and a real nice article was placed in the local weekly paper. http://grandblancview.mihomepaper.com/news/2009-11-12/News/Mundy_Twp_couple_blogs_about_RV_trips.html We were blown away by the attention and are getting calls from neighbors kidding us about being "celebrities." Whodathunkit?
Posted by Jim and Carol at 6:09 AM
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Today was beautiful - 72 and sunny. Probably the last of the nice days for the year. We were not going to be stuck at home, beautiful and it and the countryside around here are so off we went. First stop was Elsie, MI where we found an interesting statue of Elsie the Cow. I always thought Elsie was a girl cow but it appears that this statue is a bull. I asked a passerby about this he/she cow and he laughed and said that this has been a topic of conversation for a long time around there. Elsie is all ready for Christmas with a wreath hanging from the neck. We then took country roads further west ending at Rosie's Diner in Rockford, MI. This is a throwback to the diners of the 1940s and 50s that I remember. I won't say "we" because Carol won't admit remembering anything in the 1940s. The food was just like I remember the diner food being back then, fast, good and reasonably priced. I had a great cheeseburger and Carol had a fried egg sandwich. We both thought we had great fare. They came with home-made chips. Be brought home some of the meals. Oh, yeah - what would a stop at a diner be without a malt or shake so we shared a Chocolate hand made shake. Fabulous! next time, and there WILL be a next time, we will try the home made pies. Took country roads both ways and it was a very interesting and relaxing day. Been too long since we have done this. This is how we see the area when we travel so we will check out our own home state while we are here before leaving for Texas in early January.
Posted by Jim and Carol at 2:25 PM
Friday, November 6, 2009
We are real fond of www.RoadsideAmerica.com and The Food Channel's Guy's Drive-ins, Diners and Dives so Sunday we will travel to Elsie, MI to see and photograph Elsie The Cow. This is supposedly a large statue to the cow in the center of town. That should be so exciting that we will have to then travel to Rockford, MI and have lunch and "unwind" at Rosie's Diner, a throwback to the 40s and 50s. We have eaten at a few of the other featured dives and diners from this show so this could pan out to be a real experience. We have seen most of the RoadsideAmerica sites between there and here but will undoubtedly come across some other interesting item along the way.
Posted by Jim and Carol at 10:32 AM
Thursday, November 5, 2009
We were given some suggestions regarding routing and have found a better way to go from San Antonio to Tucson. Steve and Vicki Reigle, our full timer friends from the Montana Owners Club, recommended using US-90, instead of I-10. Along this route is the town of Brackettville, TX, where John Wayne filmed The Alamo and other westerns. The sets are still there to see. Also, there is Langtry, TX, the home of judge Roy Bean. Then we cross the Pecos River near where it joins with the Rio Grande. Also, near this route, is Big Ben NP, where we would also like to spend some time. At this rate, we may not leave Texas this year but it will be interesting, nevertheless.
Posted by Jim and Carol at 8:54 AM
Monday, November 2, 2009
The plans for the first of the year are taking shape. We plan on spending the last two weeks of January in Rockport, TX. We are meeting some friends there and will check out the Gulf Coast, including Padre Island. We plan to go next to the Rio Grande Valley to a campground in Edinberg, TX for a week or so. From there, we head north to the San Antonio and Hill area for a couple of weeks or so. It looks like we will then meander west to the Tuscon area, on up to Phoenix area, the Grand Canyon and then to Vegas. From there, we will head to Utah. There is much to see in the many National Parks in Utah and we want to see as much as we can. Depending on the weather, we will then head either on up I-15 to Glacier National Park in MT, or through Denver and then to Casper, WY on our way home. We just hope that this is not too ambitious for the time we have - so much to see and do, so little time to do it all in.
Posted by Jim and Carol at 3:26 PM