Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Near Chicago

On Sunday we did travel to Madison and attended church at the Calvary Chapel there.  They meet in a building that they moved into about a year ago, and still don’t have a permanent sign.  Other than that, they seem to have finished the building, and it includes a radio station which reaches out to the Madison area.

After church we started looking for a Cracker Barrel, but instead stumbled upon a Panera Bread....we both love their soup served in a bread bowl...so that’s what we did.  After getting back to the RV Park, we were happy to see that nearly everyone...at least 80% of them, had left!  It was going to be a peaceful day after all....

On Monday we left around 10:30, headed to just past Jaynesville where I filled up with fuel, and then we headed to the RV Park that is on the outskirts of Chicago.  We had initially selected a different park, but it did not have sewer hook-ups.  Marcia found this park, and we both agreed that it would be better.  That was before we actually arrived....

This park, which will be named in a future blog, is, well....95% permanent users, and 5% daily or multiple day use.  Now the permanent user part does not bother me...after all, I lived in a RV park for 6 years in Arkansas which was 15% permanent users, 85% in and out users.  But what got both of us here was just how tight and narrow it is.

We pulled in, and the sign at the entrance booth says, “pay at the restaurant”, with no directions as to where that is.  Another sign around the corner says “office” with an arrow....but does not tell you that you have to drive deep into the park to find the office.  Anytime you pull a vehicle as we do, you don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you have to back-up...because that means you have to disconnect the vehicle to do so.  So we timidly continued down the road....and eventually came to the office
, never did find a restaurant.  The office is what we need, and we got directions back to where the entrance is without having to turn around, but there were tight turns, and narrow streets, and it was not fun.  This area is where our site was, but we did not know the fun had just begun.

I unhooked the car where the lady told me was a good place to do so, and parked it, and drove on to our spot....following her route to the gravel pad.  When we get there, it did not take long (one try getting into the spot) to realize that “if” we were going to be able to make the turn to back in, it would have to be from the other way, so I took another tight turn, narrowly missing a tree, and found an area where we can loop around and head the other way.  After my third attempt going this way, I narrowly squeezed in....all the while Marcia is saying, “I am so sorry!  I am so sorry!  I am so sorry!” because she had found this park.  It will be much easier to pull out than it was to pull in, so now that we are settled, all is well.

 Above is the driver’s side...you can see the tree near the front window.  Across the street is another tree, which made it impossible to turn to the right and back into the slot from that direction.  And the tree near the front window made it hard to turn left when I decided we needed to come in the other way...but I was able to make this turn.  Below is the other side, and you can see another tree which I had to aim near while backing in, all the while trying to be sure that I did not back into the tree which is to the left of the driver’s window.  On top of that, there was a truck in the pad next door, and I had to watch the RV’s which are on the other side of the road.  It was tight, but I made it!
These next three pictures show some of the “RV’s” which surround us.  It is a mixture of 5th wheels, trailers, motor homes, and a few, what they call, “park models” Rvs which are like small mobile homes.

That night (Monday) we had a nice dinner with Marcia’s two grandsons that live in the area, and their father.  It was nice to see them again after over a year....they are doing well, and the oldest one has a job that he really likes, has a VW car, and seemed real happy.  The youngest one is autistic, high functioning autism.  His father is trying to get him the social help he needs which will provide him training, and hopefully a job somewhere down the road.  Essentially, if he was to learn a new task, it would take a set of directions which is two to three times the level of directions that the average person would need.  And like many with autism, social skills are lacking, but in his case, not nearly as much as others with autism.  He is a High School Graduate, and with the right help, he can be a very productive member of society.  In fact, he made the comment that he wants to be self sufficient....wish other people in our society who are not lacking as he had the same attitude as he has, but unfortunate there are too many who wish to sit back and collect without having to work for it.

Tuesday we toured Barrington and Barrington Hills where Marcia lived when she lived in the area.  As when I toured Sacramento with her, she found that the area has changed a lot in the past 20 years.  Some buildings were gone, some new buildings have been built, trees are much bigger, houses which were very familiar to her along the streets she lived are different colors, and at times, she wondered where she was even though she knew she was on the right street.  Neither of us thought to take pictures....and perhaps that is best.  Sometimes memories are better than the new reality.

As for the dogs.....Skruffy and Bubba “REALLY” like it here...it has grass, there is a lot of action, but what they really like....something they have not seen in awhile....is “There are SQUIRRELS” here!  Even Bubba is on “window watch”, waiting for a squirrel to run by.  He has even let out a bark or two.

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