We have been in total tourist mode for almost 2 months and now we are shifting gears into visiting friends and family. It is great that our house has wheels because we can see folks we haven't seen in awhile!
We left Colorado and headed to a stop over in Ellis, KS, on our way to NE to visit a dear friend. Lakeside Campground in Ellis was only meant to be a quick one night stop to rest and then back to the windshield for lots more driving. Funny how when you like a place, in this lifestyle, you can change your plans and stay awhile. We liked it soo much, we ended up staying 3 nights!
This delightful little park has 17 W/E pull thru sites which is run by the cute little city of Ellis. It is a first come, first serve system with a payment box at the entrance. There is a dump station, bathhouse, aside a beautiful little river AND has free WIFI!!! Holy Cow!!! All for $20 a night and let me tell you, they are popular! Soo much that they have plans to expand and offer a couple more sites. They have a storm shelter at the church next door and a really nice police officer that comes through often and he alerts you to severe weather. True to Kansas, we had 3 tornado sirens in less than 3 hours!
We had a great time exploring this little town and nearby Hays, KS. We finally saw Avengers End Game for a sweet price of $3.69 each. Yup, that's their price! We went to the Ellis Railroad Museum. Ellis was a big stop on the railroad back in the day because it was halfway between Denver and Kansas City and had a water supply for the steam engine.
We also visited the boyhood home of Walter Chrysler. They had a nice little museum that walks through his life and also the Chrysler Corporation. Did you know they produce tanks?? Yup They also were heavily involved with NASA back in the day.
Since we decided to stay in Ellis for 3 nights, we had a longer than usual drive to my dear friend, Lauralie and family's home in Eagle, NE but we enjoyed driving the back roads of KS and NE, even if my navigating led us onto a dirt road! We spent one night at Firefly Meadows, which is a campground and motel/cabin that is getting a second life. The owner is really dedicated to making it a great campground and the bathrooms are beautiful with rain shower heads to make for a luxurious experience. It is right off of I80 in Central NE.
We finally arrived to me friends home and after not seeing each other for about 10 years, we picked right up where we left off without a beat! It was great to just relax, chat and laugh! We also loved earning our keep! Rick stained some rocking chairs, worked on the pool and I cooked dinner. It was nice to hang out at their beautiful house but it did take a moment to realize I didn't need to look for the foot pedal to flush the toilet! They took us to a delicious greek restaurant in Lincoln called the Parthenon, where we all fully enjoyed our food and the AMAZING desserts!
Rick and Dave took a day to go visit the Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum. Both being military veterans, they had a great time exploring all the aircrafts and missiles displays. The Strategic Air Command was integral part of the US strategic deterrence in the Cold War. They have the world's largest collection of aircrafts and artifacts from the Cold War.
While the guys went to the museum, the girls spent some precious time at the pool. Floating, reading, relaxing, with an emphasis on relaxing. Our 4 days went by way too fast and we bid farewell and see you next time. Thanks Lauralie, Dave and Grace (of course Seamus and Buddy too) for the hospitality!
Our next destination was a 2 night stop at Lake Paradise Resort. You know how sometimes you get that great campground and then others just don't quite live up to expectations??? This one was the "other". I am sure that in its heyday it was an amazing place. But now it looks like the resort from Dirty Dancing, left to age for numerous years. It is HUGE! There are almost 300 FHU sites and probably half are overgrown. It used to be a private resort with a huge 500,000 gallon pool that sits in a lake and a restaurant. Really cool in the day, but empty. Now there are maybe 50ish sites occupied by full time residents and seasonal folks. One plus it has is the peaceful countryside it sits in. No freeway noise here! It has been through several owners and hopefully one day the right owner will bring it back to its heyday.
We chose this Passport America campground because it was half off with the program and because it was close to another friend I wanted to see. Paula is a gem of an employee turned friend I met while working at United Healthcare and expanding my markets into KS and NE. She was such a trooper to take on these markets with me! It was challenging, but we had a good time and lots of laughs and adventures! We met Paula and her husband for dinner and were sooo busy catching up and eating some great BBQ at Jack Stack in Lee's Summit, MO that we forgot to take pictures of us or the food!! Oh well, next time we visit!
We are now off to spend almost two weeks in Lake of the Ozarks with Rick's buddies from the Army, who he served with in the 11th ACR in Germany guarding the East/West border...Guardians of the Frontier of Freedom.
We are also celebrating a year on the road! WOW!!!! Time has flown!
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