Rear End Camera Installation

7/23/14 Wednesday in Rochester, MA (Gateway To Cape Cod-TT/OW)

The day started out warm and lovely but we knew it would become very hot and humid. Part of the ebb and flow of weather in the East. We weren’t inclined to get hot walking as tourists or especially sitting on a hot, sunny beach so John got busy setting up the rear view camera all morning.  It’s a Voyager WVCMS10B-Digital Wireless Color CMOS Camera that we’d purchased from   I cleaned house plus I worked at cleaning off the silicone from the Zanzibar’s camera cover, so we could attach it with new silicone successfully.   Thank heavens for air conditioning.

More inside efforts during the afternoon: I worked on the blog while John figured out (with some assistance from Monaco) how to get the 12 volt power to the monitor using the original wires, then to the camera. The new wireless set (camera and monitor) are smaller than the original so he also needed something to mount them on. After getting the power working, he rested (napped I say). When he got up he’d figured out how to mount both monitor and camera. We’ll see how it pans out tomorrow. It’s supposed to rain all day so it’ll be great for this sort of project. I’m just thrilled with what he’s accomplished at this point.

This rhododendron was at the Plimoth Plantation. Rarely see them in partial bloom like this.

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Hyannis: JFK Museum and Memorial, Korean Memorial, Cape Cod Potato Chip Tour then Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute

7/22/14 Tuesday in Rochester, MA (Gateway To Cape Cod-TT/OW)

This was a gorgeous sunny dry day, so we felt it was good for more exploring.

Hyannis (on Cape Cod) where JFK experienced his most relaxing times with family. A quote of his: “I always go to Hyannisport to be revived, to know again the power of the sea and the master who rules over it and all of us.” They said he really loved the water. The little museum there had lots of neat family photos and videos of Ted Kennedy sharing. The boat is a replica of the one he sailed since he was 15 until late in his life.

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The Kennedy Compound on Hyannis Port is not as accessible at the Bush Compound. If you go my car you’re greeted with a very tall stockade fence. If you take the harbor cruise route you won’t actually see the Kennedy homes because of the angle of vision you’ll have. So we were satisfied with photos of there. The big house is where Rose and Joe lived and where the whole family would gather over the years.

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On to the JFK Memorial (also in Hyannis): You could park here for free for 30 minutes. Other than that you paid for parking in this town! It’s right next to the Korean Memorial and next to that is the Veteran’s Park. We were tempted to eat our picnic lunch there on the shaded picnic tables but it cost $15 to park there! So we drove on to the Cape Cod Potato Chip Factory (on the outskirts of town, so free parking).

You see the harbor from these memorials which was a great symbol for them.

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It was a short but well organized tour. Do you know the movie playing in 1980? “The Empire Strikes Back”. Nice informative posters as you walk along a hall looking through large glass panes at the activity inside. Short with a prize at the end – a small bag of potato chips. Since I don’t eat potato products John got both of them. The beauty of it is they had 1 picnic table along the path you take to the factory building from the parking lot. So we enjoyed our lunch there. As one lady was leaving she commented what a great “idear” it was!!

Off to another town, Woods Hole. Strange name you say? You’re right! We came there to see the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, so first stop was their information center (in town, just after you cross the little drawbridge, at the blue and white striped awning). We’d stopped prematurely at a big silver sign for Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute only to find out that was one of their many big labs. Anyway, the lady at the information place gave us a copy of the article that explained the name. John went to plug our parking meter while she was doing that. I got to read some before he returned. I’m explaining all this because I can’t find it!!! What I remember: When someone wanted to purchase the land it was described to them as “Wood his own Hole” his own was an old fashioned way to say the possessive (Wood’s). Hole meant a dreary place. Someone tried to change the name to something nicer, like Wood’s Holl, but it didn’t fly, so there you have it!

They had a great exhibit of the Titanic that sank in 1912 (I sure didn’t know they were the ones who found it) and of the submarine (Alvin) that carries 3 people deep down in the Ocean. Bonus, you get to see me taking the photo of the replica of the ship 1 hour after the iceberg hit.

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Then we walked past a cool vine covered building of theirs to a cute really small museum where a very wise looking docent explained things to us. He was quite the talker and soon we had to get back before our meter ran out. But I really wanted to take his picture. Not the best, but people change when they know you’ll take their photo.

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This time we were headed for home earlier, so there wasn’t as bad a hold up at the roundabout near the bridge and we were back before 4 pm. First thing as we arrived at our campground was to see if our wireless rear view camera/monitor were here. They were! Yay!!! John checked them out a bit before supper.

When we got home our neighbors (Carole and Dave) invited us to share where we went (and we were interested in their exploits), so as soon as we got our stuff in the rig we commenced visiting until supper time.

As I was finishing the supper dishes I noticed John talking to neighbors across the way (Gloria/Ron) who have a 36 foot Journey, so I had to see what I may be missing. Thus we were busy until time to get ready for bed. Then our friend, Greg, called. Dang. I was supposed to call him but kept getting distracted. So we talked awhile out at the picnic table (for better cell service) but the mosquitoes were having a feast on us, so we retired to the rig. Thank heavens the cell phone worked well enough there so we continued our conversation. Ah such a big, fun day!!!

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Cape Cod National Seashore and Old Harbor Life-Saving Station

7/21/14 Monday in Rochester, MA (Gateway To Cape Cod-TT/OW)

It rained all night long but we still went to the end of Cape Cod today, taking a couple hours to get there. You have 1 two lane road covering a long narrow peninsula (actually the Cape Cod Canal has made it an island as John likes to point out), so it’s similar to the Keys – you have to be patient.

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It’s a pleasant, tree lined trip so that was good.  This shot is from the beginning.  It did become a two lane road soon.

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When we reached the Visitor Center at Salt Pond, we asked about trails and recommendations. Here are the trails and places we enjoyed:

Nauset Marsh Trail

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Marconi Station Site, sits at the elbow of “the Bared and Bended Arm of Massachusetts” as Thoreau put it. Here is where Guglielmo Marconi first sent a successful Transatlantic signal to England in 1903. Over time remains from the wireless station have been lost as the shoreline has eroded. We could see where asphalt was broken and gone bye bye to the ocean. They used to have a shelter and concrete pad here but that’s gone too. They’ll put something up near the parking are in the future. The ranger at the visitor center jokingly said you could see to Europe. Maybe on a clear day.

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Highland Lighthouse

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Beech Forest Trail

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I took this last photo attempting to catch a bird shot.  I think it turned out nicely despite the missing bird!

Province Lands Visitor Center and the last surviving US Life Saving Station Building (Old Harbor), built in 1898. Two groups, the Life Saving group and the Revenue group combined in 1915 to form the Coast Guard. The wood in the last image is from a ship wreck-you can see the pegs that kept the pieces of the ship together.

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Inside the Life Saving Station: Kitchen, Storm Clothes and Mess Rooms where they’d gather after touring the beach in the cold stormy winds to find warmth and comfort.

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These are part of their tools. The thinner rope is wound so it will come off quickly,easily and it’s shot from the mini canon. Once it has reached the distressed ship, it’s tied to the mast, then they can pull it along so the thick rope (attached to the thinner rope) will follow onto the ship. Now they can send a basket over for a man to climb in, then be pullyed over to shore. They used that metal structure to the right of the building to practice this skill. The boat is called a surfboat – they’d walk it into the sea and row to a distressed ship.

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Nearby was a cute fox who was happy where he was, knowing we were roped off from his territory.

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We also saw more beach roses, as everyone calls them, but discovered they are actually considered a salt spray rose. This was a deeper pink than I’d seen before. Gorgeous.

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Off to Race Point Beach. The sand was so deep and fun to scrunch your bare feet in… The sand moves unless vegetation stabilizes it. They have piping plovers and other birds nesting on the beach area, so a lot of the beach is fenced off and dogs aren’t allowed. John always likes to see how cold the water is so here he is waiting for it. His determination: very cold, like the Pacific Ocean. I was amazed how many people were there on such a cold dreary day.

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Another stop was Provincetown, way at the end of the Cape. It was packed with people and cars. No place to park so John drove to the full parking lot and turned around. I snapped what photos I could as we left. This is not a place for cars-not only short on parking spaces but narrow one way streets everywhere. The tall tower is the Pilgrim Monument that marks where they landed. They stayed here 36 days before sailing on to Plymouth. They were lucky they didn’t crash on the sand bars like so many did then.

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Now the long trip home, during commuter traffic time. Oh well, good practice in patience, especially at the roundabout before the bridge over the Cape Cod Canal. They call these a “Rotary” here….

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Back at Miss Zanizibar we spent our time before supper discussing our day with our next door neighbors Carole and Dave. Quiet evening.

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More Rest

7/20/14 Sunday in Rochester, MA (Gateway To Cape Cod-TT/OW)

Today after church we checked out the smoothest path to the Interstate when we leave next Sunday.

During the afternoon I worked on the blog and checked out Internet email and research, while John read and watched golf. All caught up with “homework” and ready to explore tomorrow.

Watched a couple episodes of “Breaking Bad” before hitting the sack.

Some summer for your delight.

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Member Appreciation Day (TT)

7/19/14 Saturday in Rochester, MA (Gateway To Cape Cod-TT/OW)

A day to kick back and relax. Boston was great fun but really tiring, so it’s amazing how I can get excited to see new places, then get excited to just sit back and absorb.

Thousand Trails has a Member Appreciation Day. It used to be monthly, but maybe now it’s just yearly. This time we get free coffee and donuts in the morning. They really like Dunkin Donuts here on the East coast. This was John’s first try of one and he wasn’t impressed. In the afternoon we got free chocolate ice cream and cake. Outside of that we visited with a gentleman wanting to sell his 2002 Monaco and our friends Roy and Kathy who went to Boston with us. John then worked with his numbers and I with the blog.

At night we enjoyed “Django Unchained”, then the music down at the campground pavilion.

A bit of spring to keep your spirits up:


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7/17-18/14 Thursday and Friday in Rochester, MA (Gateway To Cape Cod-TT/OW)

Warning: lots of words and photos

We took the Metro train (from Middleboro/Lakeville station/parking lot) to Boston. The parking cost $4 for the day (you need dollar bills).

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It was an interesting, smooth hour long ride where the conductor collects your money and gives you your ticket: adult is $21 round trip and senior (65+) is $10.50 going from Middleboro to South Station Boston. A great deal if you’re over 65!

South Station is for all the trains headed South of the city and back, North Station is for those from the North. These commuter rail trains are much nicer than those we rode to Chicago. They have an information desk here, lots of great food choices (loved our burrito-had to share one it was so large). We got our trolly tickets here.

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Rather than organize my story by time, I’ll just share main topics. It should be easier for you to follow and maybe shorter (wink wink). Boston is one really clean, neat city. The sections that used to be for the poor were torn down along the way so they tend to live in the suburbs. It’s very expensive to live in the city but many (young urban professionals) do because they are close to where they work and where the action is. Boston was originally almost an island with a small neck of land that made it a peninsula. Over 10 years they moved the dirt from 2 of the 3 hills surrounding it to the water at the neck and other areas so it’s more of a filled in peninsula. The U.S. Constitution was based on Massachusetts’ Constitution which was written by John Q Adams.

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Our trolley (Upper Deck) may have been more expensive than the others. We chose the premium ticket with 2 days on the trolley and lots of extras including a “Duck” boat tour: adult $39.05, senior (65+) $35.24. We loved the Duck tour and crossed that off our bucket list. We didn’t get to do many of the other options, though, so maybe you wouldn’t get full value. Part of that is because we spent time on a Freedom Trail tour (NPS) that wasn’t part of the trolley options. Also we got stuck in Friday night 4:30 pm traffic, so it took a long time for the trolley to return to South Station that day. What we enjoyed most of all was the upper deck view, huge windows and very smooth ride. Way better for picture taking and an enjoyable ride to boot. The narration was great as well.

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Boston architecture, a blend of old and new, plus some quirky images: public alley and Boston drain.

Old Hancock Bldg  at left with curved roof and New Hancock Bldg on right.

Old Hancock Bldg at left with curved roof and New Hancock Bldg on right.

architecture 1a architecture 1b architecture 2 architecture 3 architecture 4 architecture 4aAbove is Old Hancock Bldg at left with curved roof and New Hancock Bldg (tall) on right.

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Steam comes out of the tea pot constantly although it’s hard to tell in this photo.  People rent? this public bikes.  We even were at a crosswalk next to a man with one.

Scenes around the harbor, including the USS Constitution “Old Ironsides”, our Duck boat (yellow) that travels on land and water as well as real whale boats which were pulled by the whale until it got too tired to fight (small with long oars).

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The first day we stopped for lunch at the bar that inspired “Cheers”-it is called the Bull & Finch after a great architect in Boston, Charles Bullfinch (who also designed the newer State House and Faneuil Hall) The food and service were excellent, the prices reasonable.

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The Big Dig: Boston had I-93 cutting the city in half, rising above it in an ugly green structure. To rectify this ugly blight on the city, they built a Central Artery/Tunnel underneath. There is a tunnel putting I-90 underneath and the Rose Kennedy Greenway in the space above ground vacated by the previous I-93 elevated roadway. Construction began in 1991, completed in 2007. It was the most expensive highway project in the US (up to $22 billion in the end, including interest). It was supposed to be done by 1998 and cost $6 billion (adjusted for inflation). Height restriction is 13.5 feet. It certainly helps the look of the city from my perspective.

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This bridge is being painted (Fenway green). Underneath it to the west is where they park the new cars arriving from the Orient (think Toyota and Subaru) and Europe (think Volvo and BMW). At first they didn’t restrict the paint and it sprayed over a great many of those new cars, we were told. This is the carrier they arrive in.

bridge 1 bridge 2The lifeboat on the right holds all the crew members!

Places in Boston:

Boston Public Garden: The Swan boat ride is only $3.  This Garden existed before Frederick Law Olmstead designed an “emerald necklace” of parks around the city.

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Public Library: The Boston Library is the oldest lending library in the US

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Fenway Park: It was falling apart a few years ago and everyone wanted to tear it down except for the owners so they promoted saving the parts that make it unique (intimate venue, green monster where the scores show) and renovate the rest. They even put their money into the project. It still has no parking lot.

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Over in Cambridge are many of the colleges/universities. The city swells by about a third when the students come back. Over 70% of the city (possibly for Boston as well) consists of college and above graduates. Here is a shot of MIT through the tour bus. Our driver said they wanted it to look like it was going to fall apart!

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Sites along the Freedom Trail:

Old State House/New State House: The original (Old), then the New one. The Declaration of Independence was first read from the balcony of this (original) building. The New State House was designed by Charles Bullfinch, overlooking the Common. It’s cornerstone was laid by Samuel Adams and Paul Revere in 1795. The New State House had wooden shingles covering the dome and they leaked so Paul Revere built a copper dome to cover them. This dome remains but is now covered by a more modern dome.

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Park Street Church: It’s stood here since 1809 as an active Congregational church, organized in reaction to Unitarians who were gaining control in many of the old Puritan churches. The hymn “America” was first sung here.

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Granary Burying Ground where famous patriots like John Hancock, Paul Revere and Samuel Adams as well as victims of the Boston Massacre are buried.

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King’s Chapel and Burying Ground: This was an Anglican church of beautiful Georgian design and a stronghold of Loyalist opposition, with many members leaving for England and Nova Scotia in 1776. In 1787 those who were left formed the nation’s first Unitarian congregation. In the burying ground nearby is the gravestone that inspired Nathaniel Hawthorne to write “The Scarlet Letter”.

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Two places we were told were a must, everyone who comes to Boston must visit these places: Faneuil (FEN uhl) Hall and Quincy Market. Faneuil Hall, “The Cradle of Liberty” is the town meeting house where “Sons of Liberty” like Dr. Joseph Warren and Samuel Adams got the groups of angry people into agitated mobs over taxation, gathered on the second floor. They invited those who could vote as well as women and the poor. It’s now a place for vendors and the National Park Service Visitor Center on the 1st floor and still a meeting room on the second, a forum for the debate of national issues. You could say it was intended to serve Bostonians as a market place for food on one level and ideas on the second. They give free tours of the Freedom Trail starting from there. Quincy Market is filled with food vendors. To it’s right and left are South Market and North Market, filled with even more things to buy. They are an experience. We had our lunch there the 2nd day-so many choices, so good. The crowd is enjoying (we did too) a street performer doing a juggling and balancing act. Our friends Kathy and Roy saw the Body Worlds exhibit: real cadavers inside plastic enclosures reverently positioned so you could see bodies in various positions with specific internal body parts visible.

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We learned a lot about Paul Revere on our tour of the North End (oldest residential area of Boston-1st Irish then Italian) part of the Freedom Trail (visible on map you saw at the beginning). His father was French (Revior) Huguenot, sympathetic with the French. Paul was the oldest of 10 or 12 kids and inherited his father’s business (silversmith) and house. At 13 he had to quit school to apprentice with his father. Apparently he was very handy with his hands, eventually creating more than silver items (like the copper dome) and managing iron foundries. He was very active, having 8 children with his first wife, then soon marrying after she died in childbirth and having another 8 children with his second wife Rachel, who brought her house into the equation. His is the gray wooden house. We’re looking at the back because our tour didn’t stop to see the rest of the house ($3/person). Paul had sold it when his family were grown but later his descendants bought it back in 1902 and have had it restored the second floor to its condition when he lived in it. The first floor is restored to 1860, when the house was built.

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Paul Revere was very involved politically and had volunteered to be a rider. He’s famous for his ride only because of Henry Longfellow’s Poem, written in 1861, 86 years after the ride. People knew that the British were planning to capture supplies in Concord. Lexington was on the way there from Boston and Samuel Adams and John Hancock were there. The general saw a good two-for-one chance by capturing them and squashing the rebellion at Concord. What the Minute Men (home grown militia ready to fight in a minute’s notice) needed was to know if they were coming by land or by sea. Paul told the church attendant to set the lantern signal (one if by land, 2 if by sea) in the North Church tower because he knew, having been a bell ringer there, that this was the highest point in the area. Then he got in a rowboat in the Charles River. When he got on the other side he mounted the best horse in the area and rode towards Concord, yelling the warning “the regulars (or redcoats) are coming”. Not the British are coming because they were all British! He did feel that Boston was his home far more than England, though. Dawes was already on the other side to alert everyone. He warned Adams and Hancock when he reached Lexington. Soon they were joined by Prescott in Lexington, then headed to Concord when they were stopped by a British scouting party. Someone grabbed his horse’s bridle and pointed a gun to his head. The other two patriots spurred their horses and ran on to Concord. The British are proper, so since Paul hadn’t committed any crime, they simply took his horse and let him go. Since he was just a mile from Lexington and much farther from Concord, he walked back to Lexington. The poem was never meant to be factual (it’s a poem), but that story is the one that has lived on in our memories. The last photo is a sign placed in the women’s restroom near there.

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Boston Common:

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Remember how congested the traffic was as we were on the trolley to South Station Friday afternoon? Close to South Station was a policeman literally in the middle of the street directing traffic. At one point someone just stopped in the middle, so the policeman had to yell -”Get moving idiot”. He even whistled at a row of cars to get their attention to go.

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Thunderstorms/Heavy Rain and Ordered Wireless Rear Camera/Monitor

7/16/14 Wednesday in Rochester, MA (Gateway To Cape Cod-TT/OW)

Finally, as they’d predicted this time, the big rains and lightening and thunder came at midnight. Woke me up several times during the hot humid night. The rain brought huge puddles in the roadway during the day but we weren’t affected. It did rain all day.

Note: this paragraph is all about the rear camera situation. Yesterday I’d called Monaco for guidance on our rear camera. They recommended contacting (they specialize in RV rear cameras) which I managed to do this morning. Since the problem is likely (according to both Monaco and rvcams) to be more than the camera, we elected to purchase the digital wireless version that should work in our RV. It’s made by the same company that made our original (no longer built) model. It’ll get here Tuesday. We’d also heard of a recommendation from a friend this morning for RV repairs, so we called Major’s RV to see if they would diagnose and install so our warranty company would help in the cost. They will!

For the rest of our day we watched “Paint Your Wagon” and “The Odd Couple”. First time for me to see them, John had them memorized. I completed that spilled laundry soap project. For several days I’d put a fan on that shelf to dry the soap, then would periodically scrape the remains with a putty knife. Today I finished it off by scrubbing the shelf surface with coarse sandpaper. Then the fun part, I cut-to-fit a shelf liner that’s got a slip proof bottom (to set on the remains of rubber cement glue from the old carpet surface). It looks SO good and feels good too. Nice to put my things back in place.

Our fun at night was playing cards, we each won a game, while enjoying our mudslide drinks. I swear I had good cards because the drink hijacked my mind!

Showers bring flowers so here’s one from Canada (Niagara Falls area):

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