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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The One We’ve Been Waiting For

Our newest grandkid (and fifth granddaughter) arrived on Sunday, April 27th.  Of course, we were in Florida for the weekend when she was born, after waiting in Missouri for her for the last several weeks.  Good timing on our part.

Here she is, Charlotte Reagan Dahl, all of 8 lbs. and 3 oz..


Mimi Marti is only too happy to hold her.


Even her new “Big Sister” Rebekah (who is 23 months old herself) is thrilled with little Charlotte, whom they are going to nickname “Charlie”.


Dad Ryan and Charlie.


Taylor and Charlie.

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Kierra and Charlie.

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Mom Amber taking a little nap with Charlie, she deserves it after all that work.  ;c)


We’re staying here ready to pitch in as needed until 9 May, when we head to the Winnebago Factory in Iowa for some repairs on the Journey.  After the repairs, we plan on returning for a few more days before moving on.  Have to get as much of a “granddaughter fix” as we can.  :c)

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Monday, April 28, 2014

End Of A Great Career

Marti and I took a break from our incoming grandbaby watch to fly to Jacksonville, FL for the retirement ceremony of my best friend and former partner in the Coast Guard Investigative Service, CWO4 Ron Cerino, USCG.  He retired after 30 years in the U.S. Coast Guard and the ceremony was to honor and remember his service.



Many of my old Coast Guard friends were there in attendance, including the former Chaplin of the Coast Guard, Monsignor Cuddy, who gave the invocation, and as usual, had us all cracking up with his Irish humor,


to another great friend and special agent buddy, CWO4 Scott Miles, USCG, who was the Master of Ceremonies.


The Distinguished Guest and Keynote Speaker was Retired Coast Guard Commandant, Admiral Thad Allen, whom we all had worked for as part of his protection detail.  He gave a great speech and had us all laughing recalling great moments and some not so great moments in Ron’s career.


Ron’s kids all took a turn, too, to speak and tell how much of an impact he had on their lives and how much they appreciated his love and guidance over the years.


Then came a major surprise…for me.  Ron stopped his ceremony and called me up to the front, to honor me and our time serving together.  We spent years working as a team and had adventures that took us all over the world.  We always joked that we spent more time with each other than our own wives.


He then presented me with a Shadow Box that contained my awards and insignia that I had earned and wore over the years during my career.  Due to circumstances beyond my control, I never was able to have a retirement ceremony at the end of my career.


It was a total surprise and an honor to be so recognized.  I admit I got very choked up.


The whole idea cooked up by Ron and his wife, Amy, (also know as CWO4 Amy Cerino, USCG, pictured here in civilian clothes),


in collusion with my son, Chief Petty Officer Ryan Dahl, USCG, my other son Corey, my daughter Heather and of course, Marti.


Amy conspired with Ryan to have the flag flown over his cutter, the USCGC CHEYANNE,


while Marti and Heather raided my uniform stored at Heather’s house for some of the pins which they sent to Amy.  Ron and Amy obtained the box and many other pins and ribbons and assembled the whole thing, without my knowledge. 

I was so blown away.  I’ve also grounded Ryan, Heather, Corey and Marti for being so sneaky.

After the ceremony, there was a fantastic reception, topped off with a cake representing Ron’s uniform shirt, along with a second cake in the shape of a Honey Badger.



It was delicious!


We got many of the gang together for a group photo, it was many years since we’ve all been together.


Truly a wonderful day and one that I’ll never forget.  Now Ron and Amy along with Marti and I are going to plan some RV trips together.  Yep, they have a 28 foot Class C that they love to travel in!  :c)

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Quick Update

Marti and I are here in Jacksonville, FL for the weekend where we attended a retirement ceremony for my former partner in the Coast Guard Investigative Service.

And, of course, our long awaited seventh grandchild arrived this morning near St. Louis, MO. 

Charlotte Reagan Dahl, 8 lbs., 3 oz., 21 inches.  No pictures yet.  We’ll be flying back to St. Louis tomorrow (Monday) night.

Looking forward to seeing this little lady.

Let the spoiling begin!  :c)


Monday, April 21, 2014

Failure To Launch?

We’re here in Missouri to help watch our three granddaughters while mom and dad are busy with the delivery of granddaughter number four.   We made sure to arrive a couple of weeks ahead of the due date because DIL Amber gave birth two weeks early on the girls. 

Except she’s broken new ground and is already one day past the due date.  A bit perplexing to say the least and the poor girl is sure ready to get this over with.

Another doctor’s appointment on Wednesday and we’ll see where she goes from here.

A fly in the ointment, Marti and I are flying out Friday from St. Louis to Jacksonville, FL for the weekend to attend my old partner, Ron’s retirement ceremony from the Coast Guard, another 30 year man.

When we booked the flights, hotel and rental car, we were sure the new granddaughter would have arrived by that time.  Now we potentially could not be here if the baby arrives then, defeating our purpose for being here.  Oops!

So we’re hoping that we have something transpire quick, really quick this week.  Fingers crossed. 


In the mean time, we had a really nice Easter with the girls.  Marti actually got them to sit still for a couple of seconds in their nice Easter outfits.


Little Bekah doesn’t know it yet, but she’s about to become a big sister and she’s not even two yet (her birthday is next month).

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Her mom and dad are going to have their hands full.  Thank goodness big sisters Taylor and Kierra are wonderful helpers. :c)

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

The PDD Driving Club

Yes, I am guilty.  Guilty of sitting herein Missouri with too much time on my hands waiting for the birth of our granddaughter.  She is due any day (second) now so we’ve been briefed on how to hold down the fort with Taylor, Kierra and Bekah when their mom and dad head off to the hospital.

For a while now, the term “PDD” has been going around the RV blogland, it was created by my good friend Sherry.  For those of you that don’t understand, let me ‘splain.

Back in our working days, we had very little time to enjoy our love of RVing and seeing the country.  We’d try and steal weekends away from our busy lives and look forward to a brief vacation to see some of the wonderful places in this country.  We became destination drivers, putting in long days driving huge distances to get to a location where we could spend as much time as possible before scurrying home and back to work.

Our first long trip was back in the summer of 2002 when we did a cross country jaunt in our RV from our then home in Northern Virginia to the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas and Carlsbad Caverns in 12 days.  One of the driving days set my all time record of 758 miles.

As we look back at that trip, which really whetted our appetites to travel full time, most all of our pictures were through the windshield of our Class C RV.  It was lots of driving, but we had a ball.

Fast forward to 5 December 2011.  The Virginia house was sold, I had retired and it was Marti’s last day of work before she retired.  I was waiting outside her office in the Journey, with the engine running.

Our plan was to make a cross country trip to our son’s home in Astoria, Oregon, with a stop in Sioux Falls, SD (to get our residency set up) in time for Christmas.  Being that is was winter, we knew we’d have to make some tracks.

Of course Murphy intervened, screwed up our alternator and gave us three days in Harrisburg, PA getting it replaced.  That put us behind schedule already, and we were watching the weather closely.  So we blew off Sioux Falls for a later trip and boogied straight out to Astoria, doing long driving days.  Yep, we made it for Christmas, actually, we arrived on 15 December.

That’s when the “PDD” became famous.  It stands for “Paul Dahl Disorder” (thanks Sherry!) because I still tend to put in longer driving days compared to the average RV traveler (maybe I am a little crazy).

Being the pioneer of this driving style, I thought I’d lay out the rules for becoming a member of the PDD Driving Club.

First, all driving has to be done in an RV, the type doesn’t matter.  As an eye to safety, the driving can be split up between multiple drivers as long as they all are traveling together in the RV.

Next, this type of driving is strictly voluntary.  Nobody is going to twist your arm to do it.  We all have our own driving styles.

Finally, there are three levels, Bronze, Silver and Gold.

Bronze Level:  Complete 300 miles in one 24 hour driving day.

Silver Level:   Complete 400 miles in one 24 hour driving day.

Gold Level:     Complete 500+ miles in one 24 hour driving day.

Your reward for attaining the Gold Level?  Personal satisfaction that you are among the very few that have traveled that far that fast (Never say never).

As an added bonus, you now have a legitimate reason to seek psychiatric treatment.  :cD

(Disclaimer:  I hope you understand this is all said in jest!)

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Monday, April 14, 2014


We’ve been enjoying spoiling, er, visiting with our granddaughters here in Missouri.  It’s what grandparents are supposed to do and we are working hard to live up to that ideal.  The girls have been having a blast visiting us at the campground, riding their bikes, playing at the playground and the mini golf course.  We had to re-energize them with some ice cream.


I had a chance to reconnect with a good friend from high school, who lives near St. Louis.  Brian and I had attended classes together and spent lots of out of school time riding our motorcycles.  But, as has happened to many of us, time caused us to lose contact.

That changed when I, by chance, happened on his page on Linkedin, a sort of “Facebook” for business professionals.   I sent him an email and we soon were corresponding and looking forward to getting together when Marti and I came up to Missouri.

Last night, we met at a nice restaurant and caught up.  It was 41 years since we last saw each other.


He retired from the U.S. Air Force after a career as a pilot and now works for a major aircraft manufacturer.  We had a great time sharing about our lives and careers over the years.  It was a great reconnection.  Marti and I also got to meet Brian’s special lady, Michelle. 


A nice evening which went by too fast.  We’ll be looking forward to getting together again the next time we are up in Missouri.

Just another little thing we love about our RV travels, we get to go places and enjoy the company of good friends and pick up as if 41 years was just yesterday.

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.


Friday, April 11, 2014

Dead Eyes

Not everyday as a full time RVer is about traveling to exotic locals and seeing amazing things.  Sometimes the beauty of living in an RV is being able to spend time with family, and that’s an important thing for us.

We’re here in Missouri for a little over a month visiting with our son Ryan, DIL Amber and of course, our granddaughters Taylor, Kierra and Becca, while standing by waiting to help and hold down the fort while Amber has her next baby, any day now.

So we’re close by their house and visit a lot, but try not to upset their day-to-day routine.  Amber is quite a talented young lady, along with being a great mom, she is homeschooling the girls.  Everyday they spend time on their school work, and they are excelling.

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Becca wants to learn, too and spent time working on some learning games on “Mimi’s” (Marti’s) iPad.


It’s not all schoolwork though, we’ve been fortunate to be here for Kierra’s seventh birthday.  She had a hard time deciding where to start with all her gifts.



One activity the girls love is archery.  They’ve been going to lessons twice a week for about nine months and they’re doing very well.



Can you say “College Scholarship”?  Or maybe future Olympians?


Yep, they are quite the “Dead Eyes” with their bows.  :c)

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Monday, April 7, 2014

Fun With The Grandkids

We made it successfully to the Pin Oak Creek RV Park despite the high winds.  Another reason we are glad to have the Journey, it was affected somewhat by the wind, but we were able to continue on.  If we had been in our previous motorhome, a 2003 Winnebago Adventurer, we would have had to stop and wait out the blow because it was a bear to handle in heavy winds.

In no time we were set up and went to visit the girls.  Taylor,




and the wiggly worm Rebekah (Becca).


They’ve enjoyed visiting us here at the campground, about 15 minutes from their house.  They love the playground equipment.




Here’s the new granddaughter we’re awaiting.  Mom Amber is looking pretty ready.


We’re awaiting the call to babysit the girls when Amber and our son Ryan head to the hospital any day now.  Stay tuned!  :c)

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.