Carolina: Cruising Past 70: OLA: Dockin' with the Docks, Pittsburg, Kansas!

Monday, October 15, 2012

OLA: Dockin' with the Docks, Pittsburg, Kansas!

the cowboy couples having brunch at Fort Scott near Pittsburg, Kansas
From August 18 (and possibly until the end of October), the home of the Docks, Bill’s sister Rosemary and her husband Jack, has been our base.  Our first reason for going, besides visiting, is to attend Bill’s 50th high school reunion (please see the post The second reason was for me to see Jack’s family doctors for my chronic hives, their dentist for a problem tooth, and their optometrist to upgrade my prescription glasses. In short some ‘Carol(house)keeping’.

our RV parked right on the Dock driveway
Our rig fit exactly into one side of their driveway, up to their 2-acre property line, just past the old maple tree, and right in front of the carport.  Jack hooked us up to 15-amp power, potable water, AND their cable system! The only thing we did not have was our own sewer system and Jack did not want us to hold our breath about this one! So we had meals and showers at their house. I loved our bed which had been installed with a wedge for my GERD. So we used it mainly for sleeping. But their kitchen island and den with the large picture window became favorite places for hanging out. And Rosemary had regular subscriptions to the magazines I like to read…Time and People, the latter frowned upon by Bill!

Rosemary and I, cooking together!
Bill and Jack, grilling together, with Rosemary looking on
We alternated cooking dinners, although I must admit hers were always better than mine (since I have only been cooking for 8 years)! And Bill and Jack alternated doing the dishes, of course.  She helped me find a seamstress to shorten my dress for the Reunion Gala Night.  And Susie, their 13-year old Yorkie, though blind, seemed to recognize me as time went on.  I felt ‘at home’ and began to wish we had a place of our own to settle in to whenever we wished. Bill and I have already talked about looking for a place in the southwest this winter when we finish our North American cruise.

can you spot little froggie?
A cute story was about a little tree frog that 'inhabited' Rosemary's hanging spider plant. She brought it in to the RV to show us but little froggie jumped out of the planter when Bill clicked his camera several times to take his picture. That night we slept with a frog leaping around the rig. But in the morning, he was back in the planter which Rosemary smartly left inside the RV for him to go home to!

Becky, Pittsburg's tough pretty cop!
the couple over pizza at the Docks' dinner table!
The youngest of Rosemary’s children, Becky, 39, is a tough but pretty Pittsburg cop. We met her and her fiancĂ©e Tommy (they’re getting married in April next year), another cop but at nearby Frontenac. If ever there was a couple that fit to a ‘t’, then they are it. Although he is 6’4’ and she is 5’2’, their sense of humor is the same and they seem to look at the world with the same lens! They brought pizzas one night, we visited them (with their 3 dogs, Dakota, Huck, and Gauge, at their home one day, and we went to a seafood buffet at Downstream Casino one night.  

the Dark Knights...Bill with Tommy of the Frontenac Police
Joe and Susan with the Docks and us and, of course, Bella
The oldest of the three is Joe, 48, a project manager at Accenture in Kansas City and is married to Susan, 46, a busy events manager at Fiserv (where Bill used to be a business unit CEO) who travels about 60% of the time. Their home is a 3,500 sq. ft. 2-level beauty designed with exceptional classy taste. Though Susan had to meet with a friend, Joe went to a favorite local pizza chain, The Bronx, for more visit time with us.  Like his mother, Joe and Susan have a yorkie named Bella.

Bill and Joe with the Docks at the Bronx, a great pizza place in Kansas City
Bill and Kevin with the Docks and us at First Watch
The middle son is Bill, who graduated summa cum laude (4.0 GPA) from Pittsburg State University where he was also ASB president and president of his fraternity. His work with a major textbook book publisher/distributor includes a lot of traveling. Kevin, his partner, manages at ‘Wild about Harry’, a classy men’s boutique near the presidential library and museum of Truman, known for haberdashery, in Independence, Missouri.

Bill and Kevin at 'Wild About Harry'
Kevin and Bill with Franklin and Suede and,,,me
They live in a pretty bungalow filled with Kevin’s works of art, some of which had been featured in magazines, and aptly decorated for the season.  Kevin also takes great pride in the landscaping which he has been developing for over 10 years…and their 3 lovely cats, Suede, Franklin, and Ginger are a delight to have around. They are a lively couple, so much fun to be with! After our one night stay over, we had brunch at First Watch, a wonderful place for delicious and healthful dishes! And, when we left, I almost, but not quite, cried when Kevin plucked the best rose from his garden and gave it to me!

lying with all the pumpkis in the world
the Docks' great grandkids with their grandma and dad
But before we left for New Mexico we had the unique experience of the pumpkin patch Halloween Weekend. The Woods Farm was just 5 minutes from the Docks' home. Rosemary and Jack's greatgrandkids, Ethan, 5, who was celebrating his birthday, and Trinity, 3, by BJ, Laurie's (Jack's only daughter) son. It was one big children's party even if kids' admission fees were at $5 while the adults were at $2! There were animals (alpacas, steer, shetland ponies)  to pet, a corn crib to swim in, a slide between bales of hay, an orange train, a corn maze, and a hay ride through trees with hanging skulls, ghosts, spooky bats, and gigantic spiders. And, of course, there were thousands of pumpkins (and I found a yellow one!).    

fine dining at the Downstream Casino
Susie meets up with friend Ally at Rosemary's pretty garden
Jack and Rosemary and Bill and I took turns treating each other out at Harry’s and Fat Daddy, both local favorites for bountiful breakfast, Chicken Mary (since we went to Chicken Annie for the reunion), a nice Italian lunch at a local Italian restaurant, Napoli’s. But I wanted to go back to that wonderful steak dinner we had at Downstream Casino when I first visited Pittsburg in 2007. It is the only casino located at the intersection of three states: Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma!  The dinner was excellent but we could not have done any better docking with the Docks!