My Week in Review…

It’s been a while since I updated you on my travels.  As you know, I’m currently touring the southern part of our country making appearances for my latest novel. So far, it’s been terrific!

When last I wrote, I was still in Indianapolis completing the recording of the audiobook version of Mirage.  After a couple of glitches – – one day of technical difficulties and another where my voice turned on me and I sounded like Wolfman Jack, we conquered these mini mountains and completed the task at hand last Friday. Of course, my little Lola was the perfect lady throughout the recording sessions.

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On Saturday, before leaving Indiana, I had the opportunity to see one of my cousins that I haven’t seen in 14 years.  He took me to Cerulean, a wonderfully eclectic restaurant that he knew would be right up my alley.  If you’re ever in the Indianapolis area, I highly recommend you visit at least once. Though I looked like a tourist, I couldn’t resist snapping pics uncontrollably – – here are just a few:

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I left IN and spent a couple of days in Illinois and Missouri.

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In Effingham, IL, I was able to view the world’s largest cross.  It’s quite beautiful, and unfortunately, the photo doesn’t capture all of that beauty.

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The next stop on my journey was to Little Rock for a photo shoot with my photographer of nearly 10 years, Lamont Campbell and visits to a few local book stores.  I just about fell in love with this cozy literary haven, Wordsworth Books and Company.

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I visited Little Rock Marketplace and climbed Pinnacle Mountain while I was there, as well.

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Alas, my Little Rock adventure came to an end, and I had to move on to my next stop in Tennessee.  So, here I am getting a bit of rest and preparing for my next book signings in Memphis on Friday and Saturday.  I do plan to do a bit of sightseeing, and as always, photos will follow!

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Indiana — The Journey Begins

Alas, I’ve started my journey! Before my first book signing in the south, I will spend the next few days in IN recording my latest novel on CD. I had several requests while at my MN signing, and of course, I always aim to please! It was a great honor to even be asked.

I spent my first night at a Flying J in New Haven — can you say, RVers dream?!?” Filled up the necessary tanks, emptied the others, watched a bit of telly, and had a very peaceful sleep. I was very tempted to get a bite at Huddle House, but I stayed on the healthy side and cooked instead.

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After riding a couple of hours, I saw a wonderful spot to have lunch…

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…and finally, this was the highlight of my day as I traveled through Anderson — a GIANT Nestlé bunny! It’s great that we can hold on to a little piece of the child that still lives inside of us!

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I felt so comfortable at Flying J last night that I found another that will be my domicile this evening. Goodnight, all!

Weekend Pics

Here a pics of the places I called home last weekend in New Baltimore, Belleville and White Lake, MI.  Please take note of Jacob’s Boots and Saddles – – gotta LOVE small town life 🙂 This will be my last taste of the north for a while as I will be heading to the southern states in just a couple of days! Like the old saying goes, “I’m always at home wherever I roam!”

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Extra Storage and Kicking Back

One thing I believe all RVers will agree on is that we’re always looking for ways to make the most efficient use of our space.  We may want to add items to our rigs, but we don’t want them to utilize any additional room.  Well, I wanted a small ottoman to put in front of my swivel lounge, but I needed it to be functional, also.  As well, I didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg, and of course, I needed it to match my decor.  I searched on Ebay and Etsy, and found several that I liked, but again, I didn’t want to spend a great amount of money.  The cost of the ottomans along with the shipping costs didn’t work for me (It’s amazing, once you start saving money, you want to spend less and less.)

I stopped at Walmart and found a very inexpensive storage ottoman ($16.88.)  I then went across the parking lot to JoAnn Fabric and purchased a remnant piece for $3.30 to cover the top to match my decor.  Now, not only do I have the perfect footstool when lounging in my chair, I have additional storage and because it fits perfectly between my twin beds, there’s no need to find a special place for it when it isn’t in use.  Good stuff, indeed!

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Stovetop Baking

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When I decided to purchase the Rialta, I was sold on every aspect except for the fact that I would have no oven (well, there’s a microwave, but that doesn’t count…) The idea that I would be unable to bake did not settle well by any means. Well, lo and behold, I found a solution. After much suspicion, I purchased an Omnia Oven.  I couldn’t believe that what appeared to be a typical bundt pan would allow me to bake without a convection oven.  I ordered it anyway, and although I was still suspect when I felt how light the box was when it arrived, I immediately made a blueberry quick bread.  Well, my doubt has waned and my skeptical tongue has been silenced!  In a matter of 40 minutes, I was feasting on warm blueberry bread with cinnamon honey butter that I whipped up while my Omnia was working it’s magic.  Granted, it doesn’t produce a well browned top as it would in an oven, but that’s a very small concession when I can still bake cookies and rolls and quiches… oh my!  So, I’ve got buttermilk biscuits on right now, and plan on being in brownie heaven tonight.  This life just keeps getting better and better!

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My Lighthouse View

I’ve read many times, that besides their obvious function, lighthouses symbolize a beacon beckoning people back home. More personally, in the history of African Americans who were once enslaved, the lighthouse searched for near the Ohio River meant freedom and hope.

As I look at the lighthouse in front of me this morning, I’m reminded of unwavering optimism, life on steady ground and a sense of home. It’s just lovely.

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Graduation Bust…

As I indicated in a previous post, I planned to attend my friend’s graduation today. Note to self and fellow RVers — Downtown Minneapolis is NOT the place to try to find parking.

Most parking facilities come in the form of towers and ramps, and obviously, with clearances of under seven feet, these are a definite no-go. Now, there are some lots, several in fact, that could accommodate a rig. At under 21′, mine wouldn’t be an issue, however, at a couple, I was told my vehicle is considered oversized and I’d have to pay for two spaces. That wouldn’t even be a problem, but they were too far from the convention center and I’d need public transportation to get there. Also not a problem if I had more time.

The major issue was that these lots were unattended, not secure and came with a warning from the locals that break-ins were commonplace. Enough said. No one wants their car broken into — for me, it would be my car, home and office! No thanks, I’ll pass.

After driving around a maze of one way streets, tourists and construction cones for over an hour, I was done. I was quickly reminded of why I have yet to find a downtown area for which I have any affinity and why I love nature filled environments. I decided to head to the site of the book signing to make sure that I wouldn’t run into this issue tomorrow. To my great pleasure, it is in a vast strip mall with hundreds of parking spaces right in front! Good stuff!

I’ve decided that I will stay here in the Brooklyn Park area rather than venturing back to Bloomington. This morning’s debacle wore me out and now I’m ready to have a nice cup of tea whilst pondering the readings I will share tomorrow. Last night, I traveled to Lebanon Hills Campground in Apple Valley to fill up on fresh water, so I’m all set for boondocking my last night in MN!

Oh, I almost forgot. While on my wild parking space hunt, I got to see this Peddle Pub — once again, the sites haven’t disappointed 🙂

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Nope, Not Disappointing At All!

So, I decided to head back over to the Mall of America RV area to make breakfast and start my day.  As I sat down with a nice hot cup of java, this is what was in front of me! Coffee and a good laugh – – can I ask for anything more?!?

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Twin City Adventures

Twin City Adventures

I arrived last evening in Minneapolis. I drove nearly 13 hours straight through, which kind of defeats the purpose of having an RV, but in addition to my book signing on Sunday, a friend of mine is receiving her Master’s … Continue reading