Archive for July, 2015

I am so proud of my husband!!! Look what he and his friend did!!!

July 29, 2015

Yes, I am  very proud of Kent and our friend Phil as they tackled something that I could only be sooo awestruck about. What am I talking about? I will tell you!

Our RV is a big fifth wheel towed by a BIG truck. In fact our truck is a old Walmart Semi truck. When we bought it we had some modifications made on it to make it easier for us. Now Kent had been thinking for several years about doing a serious modification on our truck! He wanted to do this with our friend that we have known since we lived in Alaska, Phil. So Kent has been researching for years to learn much about this. He wanted to lengthen our truck’s frame and move the axel back to make room for a small car on the truck…and only one small car would fit and that was the Smart car.

So for you to realize how big of a project this was..let me show you what our truck used to look like.

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Now you can see the truck and small platform and the boxes and bikes etc as it was before any alteration. This was the way it has looked the past 8 years.

We have some dear friends that live in Oregon. Phil has been a welder and has a shop for this kind of project. He also has engineering abilities and ideas to help as well as connections in his town with like minded people that could help.  Jeannie was kind enough to feed Kent lunch throughout this process even while she had 2 family deaths and surgery herself. THANKS Jeannie!!

The first thing for us to do was to trade in our little Suzuki for a Smart car, because only the SmartforTwo is short enough to do this kind of a carry on our truck.  We did that in December..and here is the Smart. Also here is the little car “talking” to the BIG truck.

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So in moving to Oregon I drove our SmartCar all the way up from Phoenix. Not a problem, it drives great.

Now for the mechanics that see this…I am NOT a mechanic and so this explanation will be from my perspective not that of a mechanic. IF after you see this blog and you have Questions…you would have to contact Kent.

First the guys took everything off the truck frame, Kent’s aluminum boxes for his tools, air compressor and miscellaneous things he needed. Also our bikes were on the truck  and the trucks fenders.  All of these things are here waiting to be put back on.   Here is all the stuff sitting next to the truck … and also the truck frame empty and ready for the work. Note our friend Phil’s wonderful large shop area where the truck could be worked on in the shade or out of the rain.

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So after stripping the truck of all the stuff, they could get to the project. They had to add 3 feet to the truck’s frame, which also meant adding 4 feet of drive line because of moving the axel back 4 feet as well.  This was when it was all apart and for me, looking a bit scary… BUT I did trust Kent and Phil to put it back together…

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Here you can see the new driveline laying on top,  getting ready to be installed.  And Phil and Kent conferring on the next steps to do.

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Then they made a platform for the car to rest on as we travel down the road. Here Phil is measuring for the car platform  with the ramps laying alongside.

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Here Phil’s backhoe holds the platform as they are getting ready to check to see if is was ready for the painting.

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This they also painted and then placed it on the truck and bolted and welded it on. Here Phil is painting the car’s platform and (Kent is behind the camera here), and then the platform is ready for attaching to the truck.

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Here is the truck with the additional frame attached. They also have the platform on the truck at this point.

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On the passenger’s side of the platform,  they made tire chalks to keep the tires from moving when riding on the back of the truck.  They made “holders for the tires as well.

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They had to put on a reciever to put the winch motor in. The winch is that part that is sticking up ,but the winch motor would be stowed in one of the boxes when going down the road. They had to make a hitch for the winch to pull the car up. Yes it is a little bump on an additional rod that is attached to the car’s bumper. Notice you can see where the winch motor is attached to the car’s bumper.

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The ramps for the car we had purchased to hold a bit more than what our car weighs, 1800 lbs. So the ramps can hold 2,000 lbs each. So plenty of strength there.  They also had to re-bolt/re-attach all the parts that they had taken off. They had to remake some of the boxes to fit in new places. They also changed where some of the bigger boxes were so some of that needed some adjustments. You can see some of the boxes back in place here.

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Next they had to figure out where to put the ramps when going down the road… and to keep them from moving around so as not to scratch anything. Here they are stowing the ramps under the car. Kent then uses bungie cords to hold them in place.

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Here is the car on the truck for the first time. Now they had to figure out if there were any problems to be worked out. If any it wasn’t many. Great job guys!!

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And every time something didn’t work they way they thought..they would go back and look at it and try to figure out a new way. Both of these guys have an engineering mind and it was amazing to watch them work out these things.

Finally they tried the whole thing out.  Watch this video to see how the first test went. I must say it was EXCITING and Scary all at the same time!!! You have to go to Vimeo to see the video.

Here is the link:  https://vimeo.com/134805717

Here is what we look like all hooked up with truck and Rv and car.

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I just stood there amazed at how it all had come together… But I am very proud of Kent and Phil too for this is quite an engineering feat!

Love, Jan for the Roaming Reimers

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A Wonderful Unexpected Visit

July 8, 2015

A week after we came back from our anniversary trip to Eastern Europe, we were gladly heading back north on I-5 to Seattle. Our daughter Kara and Husband Nick and Ivan were coming to Seattle for a few days.  Nick had some training at Microsoft’s headquarters in Seattle but they came a few days before so everyone could go and visit Kent’s parents who live about 2 hours north of Seattle.

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What a very special time we all had!! Ivan was just over 6 months old and such a delightful little boy. Everywhere we went he seemed to smile at anyone that looked at him!!

We had a very pleasant visit with Kent’s Parents for two days. We were able to go to church with them and “show off” Ivan. How precious! We also got a rare 4 generation picture.

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Kara, Nick and Ivan were able to stay with a dear friend Ed Karber. Ed and his wife Goldie have prayed for our family for years and they are very dear friends almost like another set of grandparents.

Goldie is now in a care facility. We all went and visited her. She even got to hold Ivan. So sweet!

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We returned to Seattle and Kent and I were able to stay with first cousins of Kent’s. And then LeAnn Kent’s sister came from Portland and spent a few days with all of us.  We all enjoyed Ivan. While NIck had his training we had time to visit and enjoy being together.

Kara took Kent and I to a garden area nearby. It was great as we walked and talked Ivan slept in his stroller. Yeah!

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All too soon it was time for Kara and Ivan to go and meet Nick to fly home. But we had time for a few more cuddles and some pictures. It was a very blessed visit!!

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We do miss seeing this little guy grow up but are so grateful for every minute that we do see and hold him. And see his parents too! Ivan is a big blessing to our entire family.

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For more pictures of this wonderful visit. See them at:https://vimeo.com/132772682

Love, from Jan for the Roaming Reimers

3 days in Bavarian Germany

July 3, 2015

We had three more days and I had planned a quiet three days after the cruise. I was able to find a rental car in the small town where the cruise ended and so we had that to look around the countryside.

I wanted to unwind time. So I went to the airbnb website(https://www.airbnb.com/) again and looked for a country setting to stay at.  We found a little farm that had horses in such a small town that we even had trouble finding it on the google earth map.  It looked like such a nice quiet place that I was excited to go there. Ida and Thomas were such great hosts even with our limited language between us. They struggled to understand our English and we used a translator to help with some of the words. they showed us around their little farm. They had refurbished so much of it. We could certainly see all the work they had done. Wow! we could appreciate all that hard work but the place looked so nice now!

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The view of the little town nearby and the view from their farm.

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Ida had known that we were celebrating our 40th Wedding Anniversary and had a very special gift for us. She had earned a medallion as a child because she had hiked many miles with him as a child of about 7 years old. And this medallion she had had for 40 years…so she wanted to share it with us. Wow!!! I was so overwhelmed and so appreciative!

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They took us into their closest town for a traditional Bavarian meal. Then we walked around and looked at the town and stopped for a ice cream. We loved this quiet place and would have loved to stay longer.

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Thomas and Ida were such gracious hosts too. You don’t get that kind of service at a hotel!!!

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They told us about a museum to preserve the Bavarian way of life. We went and spent 4 hours there just looking around. Neat.

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Our next stop was a small town called Mossburg which was about 30 miles from Munich airport. I again went to Airbnb and found a nice place to stay for our last two nights. Once again we had great hosts, Hubert and Angelika. They had a nice comfortable room for us. We walked to a local Bavarian restaurant and were trying to order when a local heard us and came over to help us in English. He was such a help too.

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The next day we drove around a bit as it was raining. We went to the country seat which was the town of Freising.

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There we saw lots of old buildings and had some coffee and sat and watched the people go by.

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It was very relaxing. That evening Hubert and Angelika took us to another Bavarian restaurant.

Next day we headed off to go to the airport in Munich. We were ready to get home. We had a great time but we were ready to be back in familiar surroundings again. Our flight back was uneventful.  Kent’s sister and husband met us at the Portland airport. We tried to stay awake  after traveling about 18 hours and share some of our trip. It was so gracious of them to host us overnight.

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The next day we drove the 4 hours back to our RV house. We thank God for a marvelous trip and a wonderful way to commemorate our 40th Wedding anniversary.

Here is a video with more pictures. Check it out at:https://vimeo.com/132401034

Jan for the Roaming Reimers

Now …the Danube River Cruise

July 1, 2015

What can we say? This River Cruise was very spectacular! It was all we had hoped for and more!!!

Since we have never been on a large cruise ship except to see them in our town in Alaska, we weren’t sure what to expect.  We were attracted to this River cruise because it was smaller boats with only about 160 guests and 40 some crew. We had the opportunity to sit where we wanted for dinner and could intermingle with all the guests better that way. A lot of stuff was already included and it was a more intimate and peaceful feel to it. I liked the fact to that it cruised during the day, sometimes so you could enjoy the beauty around you.

So we started off in Budapest. We had been there already for two days but had not gone to the spots that the cruise city guides went to on purpose. So on Sunday afternoon we went to get settled into our rooms and have a quick bite to eat on the ship as we were instructed. People were still arriving all evening.

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We had heard of a OLD coffee house and looked it up. It was one of those that were lavish inside. We took some pictures but all the patrons were eating and having coffee outside..as it was such a nice spring day.

The next day we had a English speaking city tour guide and bus to take us around the city. We saw by Heroes Square, where all the Hungarian Heroes were in Statues, and the beautiful Art Museum. We also got to see the beautiful Mattias Church on the hilly Buda side. I was so glad that we also got to see the inside of it. They drove us all around the city and we saw many beautiful buildings. They were quick to tell us the Hungary used to be a large empire before communism that is. That was a bit of history that I learned.

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We ended our day back on the ship and some Hungarian entertainers with their typical music. It was a good first day. We sailed away from Budapest at night. What a beautiful night time scene.

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The second day found us in Bratislava the capital of Slovakia. I loved this quaint capital. It was smaller and less commercialized and we had a wonderful witty, city guide. we still saw old building We also made some new friends from our cruise.  streetIMG_3143IMG_3146  IMG_3115

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Our 3rd day we went to another capital, Vienna, Austria. It was a cloudy day but thankfully did not rain on us. But again beautiful old buildings, coffee houses and in the evening Kent and I went to a concert to hear Mozart and Strauss music at a concert hall in Vienna.

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Our fourth day we cruised through the day in the beautiful and scenic Wachau valley. Many old buildings and a few castles and vineyards dotted the landscape. We did have some rain so the pictures are not as bright as they might have been.

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We then stopped at the town of Melk and were taken to see the beautiful Franciscan Melk Abbey on the top of the hill. WOW! See for yourself. The second picture is the ceiling of the chapel

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Day 6 Docked at Linz, Austria but we had an all day trip by bus to Salzburg. Much of the movie “Sound of Music” was filmed here as well as many old buildings and history.

Although it was a rainy day you could see the tops of the Alps mountains on our way.

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Our last stop was in Passau, Germany. This is a small town on the border of Germany with Austria. It was a nice small town to end our journey. We had an entire day here and so were able to see

Sauerkraut at a Farmer’s Market that we got to visit.

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We also got to have a free Organ concert at the local cathedral. Beautiful! It was also the actual day of our 40th Anniversary and so we had a special time with our new friends. We also said goodbye to the crew as we all were leaving in the morning.

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This was the end of our cruise. It was a great time. We still had three days in Germany to enjoy before heading back to the United States.

For those that want more pictures I have put a video together and here is the link for that. Enjoy!

https://vimeo.com/132347784

Jan for the Roaming Reimers