October 10 – Belleville, IL

This is the blog I believe that I will have a hard time writing or at least writing the close to this part of the story. Had so much fun and conversations with friends that I already miss them. Our time in St. Louis and Belleville went really well and all the people that did meet with us, I thank you for your friendship and the time you gave us. We really appreciate being able to spend time with you. Especially after a year on the road, it can be lonely (though we have met some really neat people on the road) but it is always good to see folks we know.

We did hit some of our favorite restaurants, Mission Taco, Salt and Smoke, Dewey’s, and the Horseshoe. There are probably a few others, but when you wait to write, it is sometimes hard to recall.

We did make the Urban Chestnut and 4204 Brewery (actually 3 times for 4204) and we enjoyed some good beer. No wineries though we did drink wine on many occasions.

One of the highlights was Happy Hour with my ex-office. Great time was had and sharing all the stories and catching up with each other’s lives was fun. But City Hall always enjoyed happy hour. I don’t miss the work but I do the people.img_1986

Brenda’s sister flew in from California while we were there. She stayed with us one night and then rented a car to visit her mom at the Lake of the Ozarks. Enjoyed that time because we don’t see her often.img_1991

Got to do some consulting work (that’s what engineers do) but this time not about structures or roads – instead it was about Full time RVing. A friend from U City contacted me and asked if they could stop by and discuss the pro and cons. They had many questions and we hope we provided them some good direction and thoughts about a life style that is so rewarding. We encouraged them to move forward as it is a joy being this free.

We did have some doctor and dentist appointments in-between and both of us are healthy and ready to go!

Had to get a new air conditioner, our first major repair. Fortunately most of the time the air was out (two weeks) we had cooler weather. A few days we sweated but that’s camping.

Also got a new mattress, the sleep number bed we had was tough to sleep on. Now we are sleeping till 6:30 AM.

We spent 3 nights at Mike and Sharron Malloy’s (our best friends in Belleville) front yard img_1992and enjoyed catching up with their busy lives (they work and travel and have 3 kids and 3 grandkids). Mike is thinking about retirement and I hope the smile on my face encourages him to make the big step.

They were in the midst of their daughter’s wedding so we left their front yard and found out that the local mobile home park had four sites for RV’s at an outrageously low price of $15 for a full hook up and wifi. I know where I will be staying next time I am in the area.img_2062

I did get a chance to get on the bike and ride some of the trails. I rode twice (23 and 19 miles) and the trail system is really nice. Great scenery and connecting to many parks. Some of the trail I was involved with the design and construction while I was City Engineer for Belleville. They are taking good care of them, which is important.

Hansel and Gretel are enjoying the travels.

We attended the Belleville Chili Fest and had a chance to see many acquaintances from the past (I had lived in Belleville for 11 years). A fest (with alcohol) in Belleville always draws a crowd.

The other highlight of this trip was attending the wedding of Kim (Mike’s daughter) and James Fickinger. It was a beautiful event and they had great food and music and people. Again I had a chance to meet some friends from the past and even met some new people (friends of the Malloy’s). Everyone had a great time and we wish Kim and James the very best and many years of happiness.


I do apologize for the lack of pictures I take when I am visiting.  Time seems to slip away and the night is over and I forgot to save memories.

So it’s time to leave and I feel sad. We had a really great time with everyone we had the chance to get together with and will miss their company. I guess they say it is bittersweet – sad and happy. Yes we will miss our friends, but we have so much to look forward to and so much to see this next year.

Before I get too mushy, all I can say is we will be back again and do it all over again (except for Kim’s wedding). Love ya all!

Finally an update on Tecopa – doing well and we miss him a lot!img_2078

Categories: Uncategorized

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