Baby Shower Weekend in Wisconsin

My nephew Carl married Kariline Binge in 2020. They met in Washington where she was finishing her residency in Orthopedics and Carl was working for an airplane equipment manufacturing company. They relocated to La Crosse Wisconsin near her family farm where she works at a Mayo Clinic and Carl works at a refrigeration equipment manufacturer nearby. They are expecting their first child – and the first Tubridy Grand baby – the end of the year.

Tubridy-Bringe Clans - Kari's Baby Shower
Kari & Carl’s Living Room. Back row Adam, Lisa, Kari, Baby Uno, Carl & Mary Joe. Front row Myhra, Rick, me, Dave and Armand.

Dave, Lisa and I arrived on Thursday and stopped at a local bar near the airport for lunch. The waitress asked Dave what kind of beer he wanted and he replied a cold one. She replied that she would bring him a shitty light beer. Boy were we surprised!

We hung out with Carl on Friday while Kari was working and toured the local sights.

On the way to the farm we stopped at Goose Lake to watch many different types of waterfowl on their way south.

The Baby Shower was on Saturday at the Bringe Farm near Viroqua Wisconsin. While the women celebrated with Kari the guys drove the tractors!

Video of use driving the Combine Harvester
Armand, Carl & Dave
Kari’s Father Armand with Carl & Dave at the Bringe Farm

We had a great time visiting and handing out candy at Kari and Carl’s house on Sunday with Armand and Mary Joe. It was a wonderful time and I look forward to visiting again on the 2022 Excellent Adventure coming soon!

Tippy
Tippy dressed in her Halloween costume

NOLA

Our first stop – a New Orleans wedding reception for my nephew Adam and his beautiful bride Zeynab!

Getting there

We arrived safely at the NOLA (New Orleans Louisiana) with some interesting challenges along the way!

On the way to brother Dave’s house on the 19th we ended up getting a nail in one of the trailer tires. Thankfully I was immediately aware because of the TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) I installed before I left. Good move on my part for sure after reading tails of what could have happened. But it did not and we met some interesting people which actually re-instilled a sense of faith in this country for me.

We arrive here safely on Thursday with no incidents on our way from Panama City and with some trouble found the KOA campground near the airport. the drive here was through territory relatively new to me (in the past 40 years at least) as will be the rest of the journey until I hit Fort Collins.

Driving in this city is fucking crazy – worse than Atlanta and Atlanta is pretty bad. Once I got the trailer setup I setup the X6 for Sport mode and took it in stride. I am amazed how well the X6 drove in heavy fast traffic!

The KOA here is in a compound of sorts but very nice and not too full. It took me about 30 minutes to get to where everyone else was staying.

We visited with them Thursday evening. Friday I dropped Jake off at Pet Paradise boarding and helped them setup the venue.

Zeynab and Adam’s Reception

Marigny Opera House

The reception was held at the Marigny Opera House slightly east (down-river) of the French Quarter. An old Catholic Church turned into a Opera House and then abandoned after Hurricane Katrina. It has been partially restored now by the local community and serves as a multipurpose venue including weddings and performances.

This is the first time the whole Tubridy family has been together since Kari & Carl’s wedding in Florida in 2019. Zeynab’s Family was there in force from the Washington DC area. Zeynab family is from Somalia and they all belong to the same tribe! Her mother was going to school in the US and forced to stay here after political unrest in her country some 30 years ago before Zeynab was born.

Adam, Lisa, Dave, Collin (the third son!), Rick & Myhra, Carl, Kari & The Dude
Carl, Rick, Dave and Adam

After a great meal of traditional local cuisine (and boy does NOLA have cuisine!) the main act arrived. A fantastic performance by a traditional New Orleans Jazz Band the Young Fellaz played for several hours and included a second line march around the opera house!

Young Fellaz
Second Line street parade at Zaynab & Adam’s Wedding

The event was very special – as special as Adam and Zeynab are. It was great to meet her family – now part of ours – and what the future will hold!

Saturday we all got together with Adam, Zeynab and her mother Fay for a great brunch at Broussard’s – a famous dining establishment in the French Quarter. I was fascinated as Fae told us the story of her family in Somalia.

I picked up Jake later that day – he did better than I expected and of course everyone loved him. We headed back to the Excellent Adventure and prepared for our journey to Alamagordo!

So far…

This blog starts where the last one left off – with the death of my beautiful Mother Betty.

Mom passed away in October of 2019 on the one year anniversary of Dave & Lisa’s house being destroyed by hurricane Michael. My cousin Sandra came down from Delaware for her funeral service.

Mom's Funeral
The three brothers, Carl, Adam, Sandra, Myhra and Lisa in Rick & Myhra’s backyard

Then 2020 hit like a Tsunami! Dave and Lisa made a trip in the Summer to check out Rick & Myhra’s new digs in Rockledge. We were able to get together at Mom’s final resting spot at St Josephs in Palm Bay.

Dave, Ed & Rick at the Cemetery tag St Joseph’s in Palm Bay.

Several years before my retirement I started thinking about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I have always had in the back of my mind that it would be fun to travel the USA in a RV of some sort. The idea began to take shape and I created a map with all of the places I could think of to visit. Over the next couple of years I would add places to the map.

Where to go?

Now that I own a boat my initial idea was to buy a small motor home of some sort. I started looking at those but at the same time didn’t care much for the idea of have a large vehicle like that as a tow vehicle. I also felt it would really restrict what I could do on the road.

Dan & Maggie in Port Canaveral

In late 2019 I got a visit from my good friends Dan and Maggie Matheson from Colorado. They visited in their Winnebago RV that they have owned now for several years and made many trips. I was very impressed and started thinking this might be the way to go.

I have owned some sort of SUV since my days in Colorado in the 1990s. I had seen the BMW X6 a few times and was instantly drawn to it’s unique styling. I checked into it as a tow vehicle and determine it would fit my bill perfectly. I could tow it to the destination and then enjoy the X6 to drive and see the sites.

I started looking right at the peak of the pandemic and found a low-mileage, red (of course) 2016 X6 in South Florida. Research told me to stay away from the bigger motor and everything I read said the V6 had plenty of power (boy howdy!) For a month they wouldn’t even talk to me because of the shutdowns. I was finally able to pick it up around Memorial Day. It was of course a blast to drive although a very different ride than my past Porsche and Mercedes SUVs. And yes – plenty of power and awesome stick with a twin-turbo 3 liter through a 8 speed high tech wizardry transmission and drive systems.

2016 BMW X6 xDrive 35i
Flamenco Red Metallic 🤩

Does one actually take vacations when they are retired?

Me to Jake

Later that Summer Jake & I did our first trip in the X6 to North Carolina to spend my birthday with Brother Dave and Lisa. We enjoyed the idea of getting away (even in retirement) I decided to start looking for a RV. I started to embrace my Dad’s concept of going on vacation when you are retired!

Jake & Eddie in North Carolina

By the end of the summer I was set. I research and found a Micro Minnie slightly smaller than Dan & Maggies and new 2021 model. I was very impressed with the quality of fit and finish when I looked at it. It took me a while to figure out the equipment I needed to safely tow the trailer including lowering the suspension to be more compatible with the X6.

Winnebago Micro Minnie 1808FBS
Winnebago Mico Minnie 1808FBS

The rest of 2020 was spent outfitting the trailer. In March of this year we took a shakedown trip to a campground just north of Gainesville. I was very happy with the way the X6 and trailer handled although not so much with the nearly 50% drop in fuel mileage! The layout and features fit Jake and I very well it seems.

Jake & Eddie's Excellent Adventure
Jake & Eddie’s Excellent Adventure

Meanwhile back at the Beach

Before any of this transpired I first started taking the steps to build my dream workshop out in the backyard. Also something that I had been thinking about since my brother Dave planted the seed at Mom’s funeral. He suggested I look into a portable shed to put in my backyard and build out a workshop. After some research I found what I was looking for with a 12 x 20 foot shed built in south Georgia and shipped by truck to yours truly in Cocoa Beach.

The execution was straight forward – I opened a part of the back fence and made sure they could get the shed down the drop in the back of my yard. It all went well and soon the shed was in place.

I added a 100 amp power circuit and proceeded to insulate and panel the shed, build shelving and hang the appropriate tools after figuring out how to put all the tools jammed into the garage into the new digs. I was worried that it would be too tight but ultimately those fears were dispelled after optimizing the layout.

Workshop
Workshop today

As an added bonus I got the garage back! The M Coupe is much happier being inside these days and I actually drive it a lot more now that it’s easier to do. I also have been able to setup a second workshop for household and auto work saving the workshop for more refined activities!

Orlando Garage
Happy M Coupe!