Saturday, October 25, 2014

Arrival back in the USA

 Wow Nick are we really back in the country?  Yes, it sure looks it on the screen...OK let's go get our suitcases!

We had rented a car and off we went with a Dodge Charger leaving Vancouver Airport and down to the border to the United States of America!  It was 9 pm and we were wide awake after our 9+ hours of flight from The Netherlands!

We were excited ... seeing some familiar sights along the freeway!  Then we came to the border patrol...
and the young man at the check point border booth says     "Hi Folks...Welcome to America!"  Wow that sounds so' good!  After almost 16 months of travel since we left San Francisco to Singapore in June 2013, it was good to be back to our home country!

Yes both our parents had immigrated to the US back in 1956 and we have lived here many years & raised our families here!  We so enjoyed our time in Singapore, Malaysia & Thailand and then visited our good friends Jerry & Wilma serving in Cambodia ......then Indonesia for 8 months, living in Salatiga Central Java,  and then we traveled on to Israel,Greece, Italy, Austria, Germany and into The Netherlands!  Wow - we met so many wonderful people and had an amazing time enjoying every day with anticipation and doing all this on "one way tickets"...traveling by plane, train, buggies, motorcycle, walking & name it - we've done it! 1 suitcase and 1 backpack! 

If you are interested to see our trip please go to our previous blog -   Our Bucket List: Asia Here we Come!

 We have ended that blog and now begin a new adventure here in the in a motor home......BECAUSE....when we left back in June 2013.... we sold house, furniture and cars to be able to make this dream trip!  Nick & I had always hoped to do this some day when we retired!  And our dream came true!

So here we are arriving back in the US with many many wonderful memories and a heart full of thankfulness to our God for making it all possible!  We have had good health and we were safe!

Again...if you are interested please click on the link below which opens to that wonderful trip starting with a one way ticket to Singapore!  When you go onto this will find on the right hand column that the last post is on the top...and if you go down the list on the right will find the first "posts' and work yourself up to the present...which was our last 2 months in Holland where I was where my family & Nick's family still live!

 Well back to this blog and post: 

 We entered into WA and returned the rental car in downtown Seattle...Nick had contacted our dear friends Al & Sue in Seattle and they welcomed us with open arms....Yes we could stay as long as we liked!  We enjoyed seeing them both...and heard their son Hadley had started school down in the LA area...exciting! 

We had both decided a while back that we would not get back into a home purchase just yet but to buy a motor home - yes we need something to sleep.  We would do a little traveling here and enjoy seeing family & friends both in Oregon, California and then seek the warmer weather!

After two days of hunting on Craigslist - we did find one...a Southwind "Storm" 14 years old...from a "private" 2nd owner that had only had it one year...and before that is was garaged all those years by the original owner!  Oh my...what a beautiful 30 foot motor home it was...Nick & I knew it was "The ONE!" ...even without driving it!  We knew it!

 The couple we bought it from had taken care of it too and also had it stored ~ so Nick & I were in good hands with it - and the mileage was so low...25,000 miles only! Yes would you believe it... it looked it!  It was in great shape! 

The next day we did the paperwork and purchase with John & Linda & got some insurance for it.  With that in place we headed back to Al & Sue and enjoyed our last evening with them.  They drove us to the motor home and we said our good-byes!
Thank you Al & are tops!  We love you! 

So off we went...down the road to Oregon...saying "farewell for now" to our dear friends Al & Sue.

 Nick has had a motor home in the past...and Boy...he got behind the steering wheel and off he went...yes carefully because going from a motorcycle which we had ridden on for most of last year...and then some rental cars in Europe...well this 30 footer was a little bit of a change!  But he did well! 
 We headed south from the Tacoma area onto Hwy 5 to the Oregon border!  It was a lovely drive...sitting up so high...and seeing the surrounding areas - Washington State is beautiful!  We were amazed after being in Asia and Europe how the roads were so

After tanking gas and checking on the stats of things we headed down the freeway to the Columbia River...and the Oregonian border!  Can you believe it Nick...we are entering into Oregon after being away almost 16 months!  Just look what is written there...Portland...yes Nick we are there!  Back into our home State!  

 Look Nico...there's Mount Hood!!!!  How great to see!  Columbia River divides Washington State with Oregon State ~

 Columbia River Click on this Link!
Cascade Mountain Range - Mt Hood

Our first meal in "the Whale"

 As we entered into Oregon at around 7 pm .... we headed directly to the airport area where they have many shops...including my favorite...IKEA a wonderful Scandinavian store that specializes in small quarter...yes practical and useful housewares for small places!

We didn't have any bedding in the motor home...and we had to sleep in it that evening!  So we parked our motor home in the IKEA parking area and walked over into the store...yes it would be open still till 9 pm...EXCELLENT!  Nick & I were busy the following 2 hours getting some towels...and a bed cover & pillow etc!  It sure was fun...I was happy to be shopping again...especially in one of my favorite stores ever!  In Europe I had of course seen the IKEA store in several countries...but traveling with one suitcase and one backpack...well not a whole lot you can pack in there especially when you have already traveled 16 months - there was no room for any special things I saw from many different places we had visited!  NOW...we had a motor home to shop Ellen was a good girl and did her best to shop the "needs" we had for this "house on wheels!"

We were pretty tired...we unpacked and then walked over to a restaurant close by to have something to eat....and then we "crashed" under our new sheets and covers!

We slept right there on the parking lot a corner... we did hear the parking lot cleaners sweeping the lot that night - but otherwise we were not bothered there in Portland airport problem!

Then the next morning we drove to McMinnville to visit my Uncle Paul & Janet and Mike- what fun to see them again!  They were so supportive to Nick & I while being in Indonesia all that time!  We so appreciated our skype time and many emails of support!

They had some very cute pumpkins outside at the entry!
Later that afternoon we departed and headed to Newburg to visit my aunt Terry!  Aunt Terry lives in this beautiful retirement facility and we found her in the dining room having dinner with her friends and as I walked into the dining area...she saw me right away and had a BIG smile as she got up to welcome us!  How great...and I gave her a BIG hug! 
Again - we had a wonderful visit and so enjoyed seeing her again!  Well it was getting late and we decided to find a Walmart again so we could park and sleep for the night....We heard that there was a new Super Walmart that had recently opened in Sherwood...which was on the way back to Hwy 5 anyway to get us to Bend the next day.....perfect!

 Walmart allows people that travel with trailer, camper or motor home to park on their parking lots all across the United States!  Yes that is really great and we are familiar with that incentive!  As long as the people stay in their homes on wheels and not set up "a campsite" around their rig...yes they can stay...even for a few days...and many people use this to get from one city to the other as they travel over this vaste country!

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