Sunday, March 29, 2009

First Camping Trip

We just got home from our first camping trip of the year. It rained, of course. But camping is camping and I loved it. However, the Duke felt differently. The first trip of the season the Duke always expects to forget something, or have some maintenance adjustments and such. But this was not good. Last fall the RV dealer replaced the entire kitchen counter top because it was de-laminating and still under warranty. The trailer went into storage for the winter as soon as they did the repair. So, after doing all the dinner dishes on Friday night, there was a huge mess under the sink because the dealer did not tighten the fittings when reinstalling the sink and faucet. The Duke was not a "Happy Camper". Then the microwave broke. Then the Duke noticed water running down the wall behind the stove. And it pretty much got worse from there. The Duchess calls that "Making Memories".

This is me just hanging out watching TV.
The Duchess ordered this super soft blanket just for me.

No Bear! This is my sofa.

Did I mention the rain?

I only left for a moment, and when I came back the Duke was in my spot!

My Sir Bear

We had one "sun-break" that lasted about 3 minutes.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Peace Offering

Remember that Fairy? Well, I've been her worst nightmare since I found the door to her Fairy Castle! I've had the place staked out almost around the clock. The few times I had to leave for "a break" she'd sneak out and zoom right out the back door. You can't see her, she's too fast. But you can feel the breeze when she goes by, and I can smell her! Anyway, I guess she's tired of playing our game because I found a "peace offering" on her doorstep. And a Queen never turns down an offer of peace. Especially one that's tasty!

Meanwhile, since there's nothing else to do when it rains...............

And you know what the best part of a bath is..................?

Getting dry!

My Royal Cape :)

Pretty spiffy looking if I do say so myself.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Rain, Rain, Rain and more Rain

I'm soooooooo bored. Is it ever going to stop raining? I want to go camping. I want to play outside in the sunshine all day. I want to chase the squirrels. I don't want another bath because I'm muddy. I'm going to die of boredom!!!

What???????? Can't a girl have an opinion?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Visitor's in The Castle

Is that a Fairy I smell?
I'll bet she went in there!

I knew it! She's behind this little door!

I'm not leaving till she comes out!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My Toy

This is my toy.

No! It's my toy....

I said this is MY toy!

Ok, please can I have my toy back?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Air Force One (part 3 of 3)

This is my last installment of this “mini-series” on Air Force One. Mostly it is pictures of items from the plane or with the Presidential seal on them. Thanks for visiting!

When you are served a snack, the tray has a blue disposable liner on it, and of course a napkin. There are larger liners for larger trays.

And if you get bored, you can always play cards. (Gotta love the Joker.)

Lot’s of music to choose from. This multi-fold pamphlet opens up to 5 silver pages filled with music of all kinds.

The entire experience was amazing. Through the years, before he retired, brother Brad sent more keepsakes to add to the Duke and Duchesses collection. There are coffee mugs, can huggers, matches, Zippo lighters, and hats among other things. And the Duchess still says that Air Force One is awe inspiring, no matter who is in the White House!

Matches and a glass jar.

Coffee Mug – one of two styles

Can “huggers” – no, the Duke is not allowed to use them!

And finally, here’s a picture of the collection. (Or most of it).
The framed photo on the top shelf is brother Brad.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Air Force One (part 2 of 3)

As soon as the Presidential Limo and motorcade drove away, the Duke and Duchess were separated from the crowd and taken beyond the ropes. As they were escorted toward the plane, the crowd looked on in wonder. By this time the official greeters had left the area, the Presidents door had been closed and the main door of the plane was opened. (The Presidents door is on the second floor. The main entry is on the first floor right next to the Presidential Seal.)

At the foot of the stairs, the Duke had to empty his pockets and the Duchess had to surrender her purse, umbrella, and camera. Knowing they had weapons pointed at them made the Duchess very uneasy. A Secret Service Agent then made them stand with their arms out and legs apart while he passed a wand over them to check for any metal. The Duchess blushed, and the crowd looked on.

Finally, the real tour began. Up the stairs and into the flying “White House”. The Duchess was speechless. (Believe me, that doesn’t happen often!) In fact, the whole thing became a blur. The thing she remembers most clearly is the President and Mrs. Bush’s bedroom. It was so personal and private. There was a flight jacket tossed casually over the arm of a chair, personal toiletries, etc. The Duchess felt they should not be there, it was so personal.

She also remembers the cockpit. When you enter a normal airplane, you have the cockpit on the left, a small galley straight ahead, and the first class section to your right. Add all of these together, then add some more, and you have the cockpit on Air Force One. There are many people involved in the flight operations of AF1, not just the pilot and co-pilot. The Duchess recalls wondering how anyone could possibly learn what all those knobs and switches were for! Another thing that delighted the Duchess were the telephones. Almost everywhere you looked were telephones. A white phone and a beige phone, side by side. One for casual calls, the other for encrypted confidential conversations.
The Duke and Duchess were each given an envelope with items in it from the plane. The onboard snack during the Bush Sr., Clinton, and Bush Jr. administrations was M&M’s. Only Clinton had his signature on the box though. (The Duchess says he was a bit “full of himself”). The Reagan administration served jelly beans, while Carter served peanuts, of course.

One of the items in the envelope was a small booklet with the President’s complete itinerary for the Portland trip. (And I mean COMPLETE, right down to jogging with Vice President Al Gore).

Also included was a small booklet about the plane. Here are some of the more interesting pages. (I hope you can see them. I don't know why you can click on some pictures to enlarge them and others you can't. But, after spending hours trying to get it to work, we finally gave up.)

Drapes! On a plane!

More to come tomorrow!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Air Force One (part 1 of 3)

With this story I am breaking my rule about not having pictures of humans on my blog. However, the story is worth telling and sometimes you just have to bend the rules to do it right. Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I will enjoy sharing it.

The Duke’s brother Brad was a Crew Chief on Air Force One through several Presidential administrations. During a Presidential visit to the Northwest in the late 1980’s, the Duke and his family were treated to a tour of the plane. That was back when the airplane was a Boeing 707. (That plane now permanently resides in the Ronald Reagan Presidential Museum in California.) In 1990 the 707 was replaced with a gigantic Boeing 747.

Sometime around February 1993, brother Brad called and said “the President is flying to Portland, Oregon for a conference on April 1st and the plane will be on the ground overnight. How would you and your lovely new wife like to have a personal tour of Air Force One?” He went on to say that he would not be on the trip but the pilot or another of his buddies would do the honors. Now, this is a really big deal because no one boards Air Force One without a personal invitation. There are no public tours, etc… So, over the course of the next month or so, the Duke and Duchess were cleared by the FBI, CIA, and the Secret Service. The Duchess thought that was pretty exciting, and although the Duke kept trying to tell her what to expect, she couldn’t grasp the enormity of what she was about to experience.

When the day finally came, the Duke and Duchess drove to the Air National Guard Ramp at the Portland airport, showed their passes, parked their car and proceeded inside the building. After going through security, they walked out the other side of the building to a roped off section of the tarmac. A large crowd was gathering to see the arrival of President George H. W. Bush. The Duke was delighted to point things out that the Duchess would have otherwise not noticed.

For instance, the black Suburban on the tarmac is filled with every kind of weapon conceivable – just in case –

And the rooftops all around them had sharpshooters in position, watching every move on the ground and in the air. The Duchess says she would not have believed him if she hadn’t seen it with her own eyes.

When at last the giant plane landed and the President stepped out, the Duchess was amazed at how much bigger he was in real life! (He looks so small on television) The crowd cheered and the President waved as he made his way down the steps to the waiting dignitaries and Air Force personnel.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

My New Scanner

Ta da! True to her word, the Duchess came home and hooked up my scanner. The very first picture we scanned was this one of me when I was just a "wee Princess". (Totally adorable, huh?) My nose stayed pink until I was almost 3 years old. Now it's all black and much more dignified for a Queen.

We've had a bout with the 24 hour stomach flu at the castle this week. The Duchess had it on Monday, and the poor, poor Duke has it today. I've been very busy comforting everyone. Sure hope I don't get it! (that can't happen, can it?) Anyway, as soon as everyone is firmly on their feet again I will have a great story to share.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Time to Celebrate

The Duchess is home! The Duchess is home! Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, full body wag, full body wag. Oh joy, oh joy! Life is good....sigh........
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