Where is The Sandman?

January 18, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

July, August, September, October, November, December 2022……

Okay we haven’t updated in a while.

We had so much fun with our families especially the little ones we didn’t do any writing.

So how about a quick look back.


-Still no truck or Airstream-

July 2022

We bought lots of fireworks for the 4th and had a great time lighting them in the driveway with the family.

We took care of the littlest Grands while their parents went on a well-deserved European vacation. Baths, food and bedtime reminded us why we had little ones when we were young!  We even all went out for a Sunday brunch and everybody behaved J   It’s been an awesome time getting to spend so much time with them!!

ColoringColoring DeclanDeclan Fireworks-01Fireworks-01 Fireworks-02Fireworks-02 LC Fair (69) MKLC Fair (69) MK LC Fair (329) MKLC Fair (329) MK Park benchPark bench ShowtimeShowtime Silver DinerSilver Diner WatermellonWatermellon

Firworks vid



August 2022

-Still no truck or Airstream-

The entire family went to Oak Island North Carolina for a week at the beach. Lazy days on the sand, playing in the surf and lots of seafood made for a fun week. The kids enjoyed the pirate treasure hunt and the light sticks were a big hit.

After we took possession of our West Virginia house we immediately began looking for ways to make it our own. We hired a contractor, with the help of our agent Nan.  But first - we had a weekend pool party with the whole family.  So much fun!  Everybody brought what was needed as remember – the house was completely empty…we had the perfect time along with a slumber party to top things off….

Jose our contractor was amazing. With the help of his crew, walls were removed and the entire house completely repainted inside and out. New sinks, fixtures and all new door hardware that Donna and I replaced made the place “ours”.  We are so happy with the results. 

We spent our week days at the new house. It made it easier to answer questions and make decisions being there. Mike learned how to mow 5 acres of grass and do pool maintenance. Donna worked in the yard and found a few snakes (not her favorite thing!).  Making meals amongst the dust was almost impossible, so we found the Mountain View Diner to be our favorite dinner spot. On weekends we would spend time with our family bike riding, playing games, and movie watching.  We even went to a high school football game.

A retirement present to ourselves were tattoos.  We found a great guy simply by accident as we were out exploring our old stomping grounds one day.


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September 2022

-And still no truck or Airstream-

We took Camden, our oldest Grand, to the National Zoo in DC for a day. We traveled both ways on the subway and had lots of fun listening to Camden tell us all he knew about the zoo animals. We celebrated with another Grand on her 5th birthday (Paige), with a dinner date at the Silver Diner, just the three of us. We had bought her a cute new outfit to wear and she picked where she wanted to go. She loved it!

 The air show at Leesburg Airport (our old stomping grounds) was a special treat.  Hadn’t been able to see it for years and it was almost across the street from where we used to live.  Good times!!

As the leaves began to change, the work on the house was complete.  Now time to find renters. After putting so much work into our new house, we debated staying and simply abandoning the Airstream plans. After careful thought we realized we would regret not going out to explore.  With the help of our fantastic agent Nan, she found a couple to rent the house starting Dec. 1.  We met them before we left the east coast and they are in love with the house.  They offered to purchase it and we said…………..nope!!!  J


Air showAir show Camden zoo-01Camden zoo-01 Camden zooCamden zoo

Declan SchoolDeclan School Paige goes to schoolPaige goes to school

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October 2022

-And…… still no truck or Airstream-

But wait. A text from the dealer told us The Sandman was off the assembly line and soon enroot to the west coast. Could it be true? We still didn’t have any way to pull it. We needed a tow vehicle!! After telling a few friends we needed a truck new or used, we began getting calls from all over the country with offers. Then, an ad shows up on Donna’s Facebook. A 2021 Dodge RAM with only 5k miles, only an hour’s drive from Tiffany’s (our daughter) house. Could it be true? 5 thousand miles! By weeks end we had our tow vehicle. So we began making plans to yet again drive across the country. Keep in mind that the truck we ordered in January, still not available yet!!!  What the heck is going on??????

One of the beautiful Sycamores in the side yard of our Harpers Ferry house was sadly infested with termites. We hired a local company to bring it down. It was not an easy job bringing down a 40 ft. tree. We did save a few pieces to burn, the rest into the chipper.

Halloween was rainy but that didn’t dampen the spirits of pirate Camden. He collected lots of candy and was more than willing to share it.  J   The other Grands had a fantastic time going around their neighborhood with some other littles….

 Sunday afternoons was watching Camden’s soccer team and family dinners J


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Back yardBack yard



Big tree vid Camden first Soccer  (154)Camden first Soccer (154)




November 2022

With the house construction all finished we spent a beautiful fall day hiking around Harpers Ferry. We climbed to the top of Maryland Heights for a mountain top view of our new home city. We went to Tennessee twice for reunions. First, Shipmates from Mike’s time in the Navy, from the USS Oakridge gathered in Oak Ridge Tennessee. We all served together in Rota Spain in the late 70’s. It was great to see every one again. The second reunion a few weeks later was with several classmates from Donna’s DOD school in the Philippines in Nashville for a long weekend. We had driven through the area several times but had never stopped or spent time poking around.  What a fun city!  We took the “Redneck Bus Tour” – what a hoot!!

After Camden’s birthday we began another cross country journey to California on Nov. 18th. This was number 3……On this trip we needed to obtain a Texas driver’s license and register the truck. Not as easy as it sounds. In order to get a driver’s license, you must be resident of the state (6 months). How do you do that in one day? We did a lot of planning ahead. We changed our address at the bank and insurance. First things first. Get the truck inspected. We found a garage that does that for only $7. Next drive to the county you domicile in. For that we are using a company called Escapees for mail service. They cater to full time RVers like us. So we drive to Livingston Texas. Find the County tax assessor’s office, pay the taxes and get licenses plates for the truck. Now we need a driver’s license. Because COVID had backed up all appointments in the big cities we started looking for a small office that we could make an appointment. We found a hole in the wall office at the end of the runway at a small airport. We have found everyone in Texas to be friendly except the people at the Department of Public Safety. Anyway, after a couple hours we are now residents of the great state of Texas. Y’all…. 

3 Days in Texas gave us time to visit peeps we knew from other areas we lived and they all now live in Texas.  We visited Donna’s friend Robynn, and her former manager Shawn and his wife Kate. Fun times. Thanksgiving dinner was with friends Mark and Jean who used to live near us in CA. Tucson Arizona was next. Driving through west Texas is a long and boring drive. At a rest stop I overheard some truckers talking about snow.??? A half hour later the flakes began. The snow piled up to about 3-4 inches on the road. We used 4wheel drive for several hours before we were out of it. We met Admirals old friends Don and Addy at the Queens Copper Mine in Bisbee. Really glad we went, really cool place to visit. We ended the day with dinner in Tombstone. The next day a visit to the Sonoran Desert Museum just outside of Tucson, with a raptor bird demonstration.

On to California. We stayed with our good friends Steve and Arlana in Del Mar. They are such great people. They fed us and let us use their downstairs apartment with a very comfortable bed.

Camden birthdayCamden birthday L'BergeL'Berge Mike and DonnaMike and Donna packed truckpacked truck SnowSnow Texas-01Texas-01 Texas-02Texas-02 Texas-03Texas-03 ThanksgivingThanksgiving

December 2022

Our dreams are about to come true – after waiting SO long…..

We finally got to see our new home on wheels for the first time on Dec. 1st. First time we see itFirst time we see it The Sandman was at the back of the lot getting shined and prepped. Talk about nerves, excitement and anxiety!!! We spent an hour in awe finally able to see it. The next day was our walk through. That night we had a really nice time with our good friends Jonathan and Becky, telling stories from our summer. I don’t think we slept at all that night. The excitement of our life changing adventure was about to begin. Because we didn’t want to give the State of California any more money than we had to, we opted to take possession of The Sandman in Arizona. We were informed during our walk through that we had to be at Exit 1 Ehrenburg Arizona at 8:30 am the next day Dec. 2nd. Oh that’s a 4 hour drive!!! So we made hotel reservations for that night. Erick in Service at Airstream of Orange County was absolutely amazing. A usual first timers walk through is 3 hours. He gave us almost 8. He explained everything from using the stinky slinky to the tires. Front to back, inside and out we learned it all. We had dinner with Jon and Becky and then we hit the road. Huntington Beach CA to the Arizona line is not a fun drive, especially in the dark. Again not a lot of sleep. A short drive on Friday morning from our hotel to the Wendy’s at Exit 1, we met a notary, signed papers and we owned The Sandman.  J  Wow – it’s really happening!!!!

Fortunately we had made camping reservations at a campground in Quartzite AZ only 20 miles away. Luckily we got a pull through site and could check in early. So trying to plan a head, the next day we would have to back into our site in Oceanside. I decided we should practice. We really didn’t do very well. After I went around the park for the fourth time, some very friendly folks came to inform us it was a pull through. I tried to explain I was just practicing. We all laughed. J

















The next morning Dec. 3rd, we nervously and cautiously drove 5 hours to Oceanside CA where we stayed at Guajome Regional Park for 5 days (12/3 – 12/8). A very nice camper from Canada helped us get into our space by driving it in for us. I was able to learn a few things about parking a 30 foot trailer. We spent the next week emptying our storage unit in Oceanside of stuff for the inside of our home on wheels. Several friends came by to look at our new home - Jean, Nina, Mark and Darleen, Joe and Donna, Joe and Rosie.  It was fun showing off our new home.

Good bye Pacific oceanGood bye Pacific ocean Camp Del MarCamp Del Mar

The following week we moved to the Surf and Turf RV Park in Del Mar for a week (12/9 – 12/15). We boldly drove the coast road - yikes…. I was holding my breath every time we had to pass parked cars. Parking at the new place in Del Mar was much easier. We had more space and with Donna’s guidance we felt good about what we are doing. Several more friends came by to look.



Leaving Del Mar we made our way to a very nice campground in La Quinta, CA – Lake Cahuilla Veterans Regional Park for 10 days (12/16 – 12/26) . Donna’s help made backing much easier. We had a beautiful site on the lake. We hiked in the desert and around the lake. We even got our bikes out for a ride as the weather was perfect. We took a nice hike up into the surrounding hills.  We are getting better at planning our grocery store trips. Cooking is getting easier. We are now sleeping better. Donna has done an amazing job to make The Sandman look like a home. Nice touches of Christmas decorations. We went to the animal park in Palm Desert to look at Christmas lights. Walked Palm Springs and enjoyed the Christmas season. Robbie and Erin (our son/daughter in-law) gave us 2 nights at a time share in Palm Desert. It was nice to sleep in a large room and endless hot water showers. We had Christmas Eve dinner at a seafood place.


Camp La QuintaCamp La Quinta Horse in the desertHorse in the desert LightsLights Christmas pic-01Christmas pic-01 Merry ChristmasMerry Christmas SedonaSedona

Lake Havasu State Park in AZ was next. A short stay of a couple days (12/27 – 12/29).  We saw the London Bridge and had a nice Mexican dinner nearby. We had a perfect site that overlooked the lake with its own beach to enjoy.  In hindsight we wished we could have stayed longer.  The small town was beautifully decorated for Christmas which made strolling after dinner a nice treat.  J

Lake HavasuLake Havasu

Lake HavasuLake Havasu














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