Saturday, April 13, 2024

Kansas City is the birthplace of the candy coating on M & M's.

Kansas City is known for its BBQ!

We are on a short stop in Lee's Summit for Doctor visits. Not much time to do touristy things, however...

Kansas City's Parade of Hearts is a non-profit organization that brings a unique art experience that celebrates diversity, unites communities, and supports local non-profits. They have provided 5' heart sculptures for local artists to create an art experience.  From April to August of 2024 these hearts will be displayed throughout Kansas City to show the world why KC is known as America's Heartland.

The big reveal was Saturday where, for one day, you could view all 100 hearts in one place before they place them out in the community.  Besides the hearts you could visit with the artists with some having artwork for sale. Live entertainment, interactive activities, and lots of people made for a nice morning.  

As much as I like to drive around and search for sculptures this appeared to be a much more expedient way to see them in a short time. Check out some pictures and some views of KC below. All 100 hearts (they had designs on the front and back) were amazing. The following link has pictures of the hearts and if you click on each heart you will find links to the artist who created them, as well as the inspiration for their design: Parade of Hearts.

I can't imagine someone actually designing this. 

One night we stayed at a Harvest Host in Peck, KS.

Elderberry Concentrate (just a teaspoon a day I think) is suppose to help with your health. We'll see.

It was almost dark when I went for a walk in Grain Valley Friday. We stayed in Trailside RV Park for the first 3 months 5 years ago. 

This was one of my favorites just because there was an older lady (yes older than me) who was SO excited to tell me about how she rode this trolley.

The artist had 3-D glasses for this design. So cool!

Every year we stop at Hawg Jaw Que and Brew, one of our favorite BBQ joints. We also stock up on enough of our favorite BBQ sauce to get us through another year.

Another yearly stop to check on what we have left of our former life in our 5 x 10' (Pat insists that because of the door its only 4 1/2 x 10') storage unit. It doesn't seem to have as much in it as I remember although as you can see it's pretty full. I wonder, when we get a place again, how much of it we will actually want. I also wonder if I will be surprised at things I've forgotten about. We got rid of a couple of things Sat. and had a few things that we've carried around unused for 5 years to add. 

Where are the Piepers now? Grain Valley, MO

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Cloud cover predicted, did we or didn't we?

Let the show begin!

Eric, Alexa, and Clara from the Houston area and Chris from Iowa joined us this weekend at Freedom Lives Ranch RV Resort, located near the town of Buchanan Dam, TX. We were dead center in the middle of the eclipse path with 4 1/2 minutes of totality as long as the clouds didn't get in the way. Clouds were projected for all day with severe weather late afternoon on Monday. Positive vibes paid off and the clouds parted in just the right spot at just the right time of day. What a great view! It was amazing!! Also, clouds after, but no storms or even rain.

Toni, Emma and Lilah were in Houston and saw the partial. Josh, Zia, Cyrus, and Samira stayed on the east coast where the weather was predicted to be best. They drove about 4 hours north for a great viewing and it took about 9 hours of heavy traffic to get back home. Eric and the girls headed back to Houston right after the eclipse and had some traffic, which added a couple of extra hours to their travel. We left Tues. morning for Dallas where we will spend the night and Chris flew back to Iowa. No sun on Tues. just clouds and very heavy rain. Probably means we'll have water inside somewhere.😞 P.S. We did.

Everyone at our small park was hopeful Sunday. Some had multiple telescopes,  binoculars and cameras set up the day before. We all were excited for and impressed by the eclipse!

I can't thank Machelle from Freedom Lives enough! We made reservations a year prior.  They were so accommodating through the whole process and went to a lot of trouble to make this weekend special for all of us at the resort!

This is one of Eric's pictures which shows some solar flares.

Eric sacrificed his head to keep the camera cool. Pat did offer him another hat.

When totality passed and it started to get light again I heard a rooster crowing.

Pat and I left San Antonio Friday. It seemed like we spent a good portion of our time just going through San Antonio. It was a beautiful drive after. Bluebonnets, the Texas state flower, were in full bloom along with Indian Paintbrush and other spring flowers and they lined the roads as well as filled many fields. Burnet, TX, about 15 miles from Freedom Lives, hosts their Bluebonnet Festival next weekend. 35,000 people attend this annual festival in a small town with a population of 6,000. It's on my list of to-do's!

Dam on Buchanan Lake

Freedom Lives (there's history behind its name) is a small, peaceful park. They probably had 60 hook-up sites and then a field for dry-camping. In between the two was a path that took you past the donkeys, very sociable horses, and barn.

Cisco would trot over to the fence whenever people walked by. 

...and Patches. 

The church next door was going to offer horse rides but the person doing it got sick. Of course the girls were anxious to ride amd disappointed. Machelle really went above and beyond on this. Thank you to Lisa who boards Cisco and Patches at the ranch for making two girls very happy!

A belated birthday celebration for Eric with 'Shirley Gorsuch's Brownies." The RV must not have been quite level so one side of the pan was like Brownie jerky Pat said (not burnt though). The other side was a little dry too. It's the thought that counts, right?

Cross and Spurs Cowboy Church

A cowbell started church services and can you see the baptismal font (trough) on the right on the platform.

The girls were captivated with the 6-week old kittens in the barn. I think they each had a favorite. Hopefully none got stashed in their suitcase!

Lisa said Patches is a gentle old horse but she rode him first to get any 'wiggles' out.

Lisa explained everything to a captive audience as she put the saddle on Patches.

Alexa getting ready to go. This was not the little ride around the arena I expected. They got a full horseback riding lesson today from an excellent instructor. It was fun watching them hold on to the saddle horn for dear life when they mounted and by the end both were holding just the reins and guiding the horse by themselves with confidence.

Sunday night we went to Kingsland, TX for dinner.

And fun!

Sunday night entertainment at the park.

Concluded the night with Mario Kart. ♥️ 
Where are the Piepers now? Alvarado, TX