Monday, November 29, 2010

A-one An-A-Two... Wunnerful, wunnerful!

There is a small golf course and resort in Southern California that was developed by the King of the Bubbly himself, Lawrence Welk. It's called, not surprisingly, Welk Resort and Champagne Village, although its original name was the simpler Lawrence Welk Village. I can't speak to the quality of the golf courses, although I'm sure they are first class, but I can tell you about the museum. Yes, there is a museum dedicated to Lawrence Welk, nestled snuggly in a corner of the lobby of the theater, the theater located just to the side of the musical note fountain, it in turn overseen by a statue of a batonned Mr. Champagne himself.

The museum is free, and the day we stopped by we were the only visitors, although the reservationist was in the same room and she was on the phone selling tickets without a break. The lobby is dedicated to Lawrence Welk and his early life: how he was born in a small, German settlement in South Dakota where his father got him his first musical instrument -- a $400 accordion. He promised his father he would pay for it by working on the family farm until he turned 21, which he did.

He learned to play it on his own, and fulfilled his repayment promise, but stayed not a day more -- on his 21st birthday he left the farm to play in Big Band orchestras, eventually forming his own band. The "Champagne Music" tagline was born during a Pennsylvania tour when a patron said his band sounded "light and bubbly like Champagne."

The museum's centerpiece is this huge crystal champagne glass, said to be "the world's largest." It may at times be bubbly and lit, but it wasn't the day we were there. It quite charmingly sits in front of the theater's refreshment stand.

But the best part of the museum has to be the life-size cut-out of Mr Wunnerful himself, with a vintage TV camera focused on him and a live feed from the camera displayed on a ceiling-mounted TV. How could we not take advantage of THAT photo op?

Lawrence Welk died in 1992 at age 89. The Lawrence Welk Show aired for an amazing 27 years from 1955 to 1982, and can still occasionally be seen on television today.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving At Mitry Lake

Thanksgiving Day Feast at Mitry Lake, just north of Yuma can be summed up as a boondocking adventure with failing batteries, chilly nights, great food, and good friends!

We got here just before total darkness on Tuesday, so we didn't get a chance to look around until Wednesday morning. Coming in as darkness fell, we only knew that the road out of Yuma had become a dirt road, and then got even more narrow, rutted, and rustic, until it emerged through the trees onto a flat gravel area overlooking Lake Mitry -- our new home for a few days.

In the morning we looked around a bit more. The lake could be seen in the distance from our haphazard parking in the dark, but we'd need to move the rig because we'd never get level there. A fire ring had been constructed, but we only had a couple bundles of wood which wouldn't last long. This may be Arizona, but temperatures were set to drop into the 30s. A good fire seemed a must. So we moved the rig a short distance away, and then John tackled the wood problem.

Not so tough a solution -- he ordered a cord of wood to be delivered. He met the truck and guided them into the campsite. The driver was, to say the least, a bit surprised to come through the rutted roads and find a slew of RVs parked everywhere he looked!

Thursday morning: We got up in time to watch Santa arrive on the Macy's parade. Football followed as John made a Yam Casserole for Thanksgiving dinner. It was excellent.

Everyone brought their dishes out at 2 P.M. for a fantastic feast. To paraphrase Nancy E., you get a lot of RVers together who basically live in 400 sq. foot homes, and yet they find enough tables and chairs to serve a dinner for 38 people!

The firepit turned out to be a great idea -- temperatures did get very chilly, but the fire was warm and kept us all outside and socializing long after the cold would have driven us in. We discovered that our coach batteries are not holding a charge as they should, so we have no heat during at night when we can't run the generator. Thursday, the temperature fell to 48 degrees inside! Two quilts on the bed and some cuddling for warmth kept us from being miserable, but getting up for night bathroom breaks was not much fun!

And what would a Boomer get-together be without a group photo? This was taken by Becky Hazen, who kindly emailed it to us all. Thanks, Becky!

More photos of the event can be seem on my Picassa album clicking on the following:

Lake Mitry Boomer's Thanksgiving

Hope you all had a Happy Turkey Day !