Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Kalamazoo, MI

Odometer 31759
Trip meter 184

Saturday May 4th

We are at Campers Cove RV Park which is just east of the small town of Wheatley, Ontairio on the shore of Lake Erie, visiting our good friends George and Shona Havens.
We enjoyed dinner at the Lucky Wok, in Wheatley, while we caught up with the news of the last 3 months. After the first several moments, it felt like there had been no time interval at all, we were soon laughing and joking like old friends.
Joan's cold was not getting any better, so we imposed on Shona to take us into Leamington to the walk-in clinic where the doctor got us a couple prescriptions that should have Joan on the road to improvement. Later that afternoon we were treated to a tour of the countryside, which included a stop at the Pelee Island Winery. This part of Ontario is the garden spot of the Province, with most of the land under cultivation. Local crops include wheat, corn, cucumbers, and lots and lots of tomatoes!
The ports around Lake Erie are also home to a large fishing fleet, and the fishing boats are much different than what weve seen in the ocean ports along the Gulf states. They are uniquely adapted to the regions waters.
At first, I wasn't willing to believe that these were fishing boats, but they have a cool design with large doors and hatches that can be opened the deploy and tend their nets.

Sunday May 5th- Cinco de Mayo
This morning we worked on laundry and other chores in the morning and at about 11 AM George and Shona took us to the Viewpoint Winery for lunch, and it was fabulous! The winery is set on a bluff above the shore of Lake Erie, where we watched freighters heading in and out of the port, while dining and tasting wine, on their outdoor patio.

After lunch, George and Shona took us sightseeing to the historic town of Amherstburg where we visited historic Fort Mulder.

 It was hard to leave this beautiful setting, but Joan and I wanted to see a little of Windsor before we headed back to the RV. We were glad we did, the city is beautiful and vibrant.  George once worked at the Hiram Walker Distillery in Windsor, and they took us on a tour of Walker's Town later to be re-named Walkerville, a small company town built by Walker in 1858 to support his distilling and bottling venture.

Walker and his family lived in this fine estate.  Walker also built homes for his workers, along with a beautiful church.  These homes were so well made and architecturally pleasing, that they are highly prized in today's real eastate market.
While we were in Windsor, we got to watch one of the large freighters we had seen from the winery, come up the Detroit River.

 Here the freighter passes in front of the General Motors Renaisance Center Complex and the Detroit skyline.

Monday May 6th

Leaving Campers Cove in Ontario, Canada, and our good friends George and Shona Havens was so hard to do.  But leave, we must, because we had an appointment in Kalamazoo, MI to have our motorhome serviced.

Freightliner of Kalamazoo, Michigan

Freightliner, the manufacturer of our motorhome chassis, has Oasis Dealers, who are specially equipped do deal with motorhomes that come in for service and repair.  They understand that we live in our homes and make arrangements for us to stay on site, and as much as possible, in our homes, as the service is being done.  While we cannot be in our MH, they have a special waiting area that has restrooms, showers, laundry facilities, a kitchen, and a lounge area with comfortable furniture for reading and watching TV.

We had a long list of items that needed attention, including transmission fluid and filters, airbrake line dryer and filter, engine tune-up and valve adjustment, new oil in both axles and the differential, new engine air filter, new power steering fluid, new drive belts, and coolant drain/ flush, and refill, and transmission oil seal.  I was pretty sure it was going to take at least 2 days.

We checked in on Monday afternoon at about 4 PM and Alex our service writer reviewed the items on my list with me, and got us set-up on the lot for the night.  Not full hook-ups mind you, but a night of boon-docking in their paved and fenced lot was a $35- $40 savings to us.

Tuesday the 7th of May

Joan and I spent the previous evening getting ready for this morning.  Up at 6 AM, we folded up the bedding, took the dining table off the wall and put our mattress against the wall in it's place, un screwed the bed platform and stowed that with the mattress.  We stowed our bedding and four kitchen chairs (folding) in the back of the CRV, unbolted the engine access panels, and pulled the HM into the service line-up at 7 AM.

Here's our baby in the shop.
Alex Haskins, our Service Advisor planned to have us all complete in one long day.  At 4 PM Alex turned us over to Bob Daly the night Advisor, and let us know they were waiting on the transmission seal which was on it's way from Grand Rapids.  By 10 PM the coach was finished and Bob offered us another over-night on the lot.  Joan and I sprung into action putting the bed back together and putting our freshly laundered bedding back on- so we could fall into bed for the night.
Good job Freightliner of Kalamazoo!

Tomorrow we are off for Michigan's west coast- possibly Grand Haven- we'll see what tomorrow brings!

Your Travelling Friends

Jeff and Joan

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