Hello from the Motel 66

Well we are in the motel tonight and probably tomorrow night as they put the new radiator in the coach. We were fortunate to find a place at a reasonable rate that would allow pets. We found this place quite by accident. We were driving around the town when we stumbled upon it. The hotel is basic but very clean.

Hopefully we will be back on the road on Friday. If so we will still have time to make it to Las Vegas by Monday to meet Aaron and Dezina.

We are moving up in the technology world. We have a new IMAC and I got a Smart Phone (Sprint Epic). I have been driving the guys at Best Buy nuts asking questions, making them teach me and by just being a pain. The guys have been great and very helpful. So now I am able to receive text messages, pictures, download apps and all the things the cool people can do. LOL

More later.

Monaco Factory Coburg, Oregon

Hello from beautiful Coburg, Oregon. We arrived here last Saturday to get some work done on the coach. Monday they did the estimate and contacted the extended warranty company. Tuesday the inspector arrived and did his work. Wednesday they got approval and ordered a new radiator. This radiator has to be built and will take anywhere from 4 - 7 days. That means that they will have the parts either on Tuesday (our hope) or Friday. In either case it should only take 2 days to complete the work. If we get it Tuesday we will make it to Vegas in time to meet Aaron and Dezina. If it doesn't get here until Friday then we may not get to see them. We are praying that it gets here Tuesday.

The Coburg area is nice. There is an antique district down the road with a very interesting shop featuring Chinese and Japanese items. The owners took over the shop from her parents 40 years ago. They travel to the far east to buy items and they said it is getting harder and harder to buy because the Chinese don't need the money as much as they used to. Neither of them speak the language but apparently some of their great granchildren do.

We have found a great place to find RV parts that has allowed us to do some little fix up jobs on the coach. We have replaced an air conditioner cover, fixed a bay door handle and replaced the headlight assemblies (the lenses wer all yellow).

We also found a woodworking shop where they were doing lathe demos. Jackie turned an ink pen on the lathe that will be sent to a service man in Iraq. She thought it was pretty neat working with wood.

We don't get to do a lot of sightseeing because we have to be close to the coach in case they need inside. The reason of course is the pets.

Pray that we will get out of here by Thursday or Friday next week so that we can make it to Vegas on time.

Monday October 11, 2010 or Food, Food and more Food

Let's start by talking about our favorite subject... FOOD. Our friend Glenn from Alaska stopped by on October 5 and we went to dinner with him. We went to Sushi Chiyo. The concept was new to us. We sat at a counter and the various types of sushi went by on a conveyor belt. You have a "cheat" sheet to tell you what each thing is and what it costs. On the cheat sheet you determine the cost by the color of the plate and then you identify the item by the picture. You choose the items you want and at the end of dinner the waitress counts up the plates and charges you accordingly. The food was good and the experience was a lot of fun. I must say it was good to see Glenn again and look forward to the next time we are together.

On Friday we went to Bob's Red Mill factory for a tour. There were only four people there for the tour and we were given an extra long tour and were able to ask a lot of questions. We learned a lot about whole grains and different grains such as Quinoa, Amaranth, Chia and the surprising benefits of Flax. We are now seriously looking at incorporating more Whole Grains in our diet. After the tour we went to Bob's Red Mill store for lunch and to buy some supplies. The food was very good and the store is a great place to visit. The one really interesting thing I bought was a Myrtle Spurtle. A Spurtle is an item that is used to stir oats in Scotland. The proper use of it requires that you always stir in a clock wise direction. The one I bought is made of Myrtle wood, hence a Myrtle Spurtle.

Saturday we went to the Portland Saturday Market to speak to a gentleman about a product we may market in the near future, more on the product later. We had a good meeting and learned a lot. After the market we were going to a place called "Otto's Sausage Market" but on the way we saw a place called Edelweiss Sausage and Delicatessen. As it turns out this was a stroke of luck. Edelweiss had a little sandwich counter and a dining area. We saw some of the sandwiches people were eating and decided to have lunch there. We had a Corned Beef on Rye and a Chili-Cheese Sausage. Both were great. The meat counter was extensive and very busy. I believe this is a much better find than Otto's. But since were had set out to find Otto's, finding Otto's is what we did. Otto's fame comes from having been on Food network. The assortment of sausages was small and the prices were at least $2 per pound higher than Edelweiss.

You would think by this point we would be done with food but we're not. Today we went to the Oregon Culinary Institute on Jefferson St in Portland for lunch. We had a 3 course lunch for $9 each. They also serve a 4 course dinner for $18 each. The food was excellent, the service was impecable, the restaurant was spotless and the company was the best. What more can you ask for. If you are ever in the Portland area check out the Oregon Culinary Institute you will not be disappointed.

We have found Portland area to be a great place to visit and the 99 RV Park in Vancouver, Washington to be a great place to stay. The weather was beautiful today but there is a real hint of cold in the air and we will be leaving shortly to head south to get work done on the coach. Tomorrow we will be touring up the Columbia River gorge.
We scheduled some work on the RV in Coburg, Oregon later this month, so we need to stay in this area a few more days. But that’s no hardship – we are enjoying relaxing and being tourists. We had lunch at Old Town Pizza in Portland, which is supposed to be a very haunted place because it’s situated over the old Shanghai Tunnels. We didn’t see any ghosts but we did get some good pizza. We also enjoyed a trip to the Grotto; the area is well cared for and it’s very relaxing to walk through the beautiful grounds. And Portland has a Leonidas store – in my opinion, that is some of the best Belgium chocolate in the world. I was very, very good, and only got one candy bar. The Outdoor Store and Oregon Leather Store were cool – they are a nice change from the cookie-cutter stores we find in supercenters and malls.

When we drive into the north side of Portland, we go through an area that has a lot of vagrants. There are so many young people on the streets with cardboard signs that I did some research. Apparently a lot of them are out there by choice, having decided to join the culture of street-life. One lady wrote that her 19 year old son had a car, room and college fund waiting for him at home, but he took off to join the homeless cult in Portland. I am old enough to remember the 1960s when something similar happened in the hippie movement, sending lots of young people to live in the streets of Haight-Ashbury. Apparently history really does repeat itself.

We were excited to meet up with Andy and Jodie, compatriots from Skagway. We had a great dinner at BJs and caught up with life after Skagway. Hopefully we can continue to keep in touch!

For lunch today we went to the Screen Door restaurant. It is now on our list of “don’t miss in Portland”. Their specialties include fried chicken on a sweet potato waffle, and praline bacon. No matter if you think that sounds good or not, I assure you that it is very, very good! The portions are big and the taste is great - thanks to Andy for suggesting this one.

Another “don’t miss” the Portland Saturday Market (thanks again, Andy!). It’s actually a couple of markets – Portland Saturday Market and Skidmore Market. They have a ton of handmade items, and it's a very enjoyable way to spend a few hours.

Voodoo Doughnuts was a bit of a disappointment. The doughnuts are really pretty good, but the place is so famous that the line to get in goes around the block – and they’re just doughnuts! Fortunately there is a second Voodoo Doughnuts that isn’t as packed, so we went there for our doughnuts.

The longer we stay here, the longer is our list of things to do here!