Thursday, February 26, 2009

Happy Birthday, Carole....

Well it's hard to believe that I turned 67 years old today. It seems not that long along I said to MY mother on MY 40th birthday....."did you ever think you would have a daughter 40 years old?" And here I am today, 67 and have a daughter 42. However, I must remember, it is only a number as I feel great and am living a wonderful dream...travelling the country and enjoying life.

Today was a baseball day and what a baseball game it was. We saw the SF Giants play the LA Dodgers in SF spring training camp in Scottsdale, AZ. The sun was a fabulous 85 degrees, the peanuts (for me) and hot dogs (for Will) were plentiful and the Dodgers beat the Giants ....16 to 7 the end of a perfect game. After the game we walked over and had a Mexican dinner to cap off the birthday celebration. However, we should have stopped before.....we were "full" going into the restaurant but forged on. It was delicious Mexican food and actually brought most of it home. Can you imagine, Will Lyon walking out with a take home box....that's a first.

Fortunately, tomorrow is a day of rest (like watching baseball is hard) and then we will be back on the "baseball circuit." Much love to our family and friends.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Baseball Started Today

Monday, 2/23/09 has been a day of rest, that would be...Me, laying by the pool and Will waxing the car followed by some grocery shopping and then we were exhausted. Nancy keeps asking me how come I'm so tired when I don't do anything...and I have no good's just the way it is.

Tuesday, 2/24/09 - I started this day with a treat for me, a manicure & pedicure at the local Asian nail shop across the street from the RV park in Mesa. I must say it was outstanding, included in the cost of $30 f0r both, she gave a great neck & should massage plus the pedicure included a "hot rocks" treatment. It was a real treat and they even had my very favorite color! After I returned home, Will and I set out for a repeat of Tortilla Flat on the Apache Trail. We loved the trio band that plays there everyday, 12 to 4 pm and Will wanted to try what we heard were great hamburgers. So off we went. We couldn't believe the crowd but they say it's like this every day. Will got in the hamburger line while I tried to find 2 seats out on the patio where the band was playing. After Will got a look at the hamburger only menu and prices I know he was very grateful I'm a vegetarian and brought my own lunch, as the cheapest hamburger was $7.50. I thought surely he would bolt from the line but he hung in there and finally got his order. OK Rog, (the hamburger guru) Will said it was absolutely deeeeelious and on a scale of 1 to 10, he gave it an 8 and NEVER even mentioned the price.. The music was wonderful and it was a great day and we look forward to coming back next year.

Wednesday, 2/25/09..Well at long last, spring training baseball starts TODAY. Our first game, compliments of Nancy, was the Chicago Cubs at their stadium Hohokam Park playing the LA Dodgers. We arrived and Nancy's connection, Vijay met us outside and gave us our tickets. A very nice young man from Chicago who comes out to AZ to work for about a week at spring training & then goes home to the cold & snow. We had absolutely wonderful seats, 3 rows up from the Cubs dugout, the first base side, right at home plate. You couldn't ask for better!! We sat behind a wonderful young couple from Chicago, Kate & Mike, out for their very first spring training games in AZ. They arrived this morning & were already at the ballpark by 12 noon. Kate had an impressive camera and promised she would email us some pictures she took. Will tried to convince them they should move to California, which we didn't think it would take much to convince them. They were loving the 85 degree were we. All in all it was a wonderful day, the Cubs beat the Dodgers - 5 to 3 (sorry Uncle Lloyd.) Tomorrow it will be the Giants & Dodgers in Scottsdale. Much love to our family and friends.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The LA Dodgers have arrived in AZ

On Friday 2/20/09 we drove out to Glendale, AZ to see if we could catch the Dodgers in some batting practice. This is a brand new facility that the Dodgers are sharing with the Chicago White Sox's. As a matter of fact, the stadium & parking lot are not even finished, they are working frantically to have it completed for their first game...March 1st., which we bought tickets to. There very first game ever will be the White Sox's versus the Dodgers....and we will be there.

We arrived at batting practice to find the one & only Tommy Lasorda driving around in his golf cart, dressed in his Dodger blues and signing autographs (no sighting of Joe Torres.) We watched batting practice and then as the Dodgers are famous for....VERY FAN FRIENDLY, they walked down a path right next to the fans & stop to sign autographs and pose for pictures. It was very fun, Will has his baseball hot dog, he got an autograph for Uncle Lloyd and I tried to take pictures with my "throw away Kodak camera." The new park is beautiful and we look forward to coming back for a game.

Saturday, 2/21/09 was a very busy day, we were invited to a "Meet and Greet" your friends & neighbors on L Street...which is where we are parked in Mesa Spirit - L65, at 9 am. You were to bring your favorite snack (I brought a fruit tray) your coffee cups and come & visit, which we did. It was a wonderful gathering & we met so many of our neighbors, most all which are from very cold country...Canada, Minnesota, Maine, Wisconsin & more. They can't believe that people from California would be here as a matter of fact I don't think we have met anyone else from CA. We explain about "tule fog" and of course your non stop rain but it doesn't make much sense to them.

After leaving the gathering we had reservations for a matinee at Baleen's Arizona Opry, which is a variety show much like the Grand Old Opry. Lunch was served at 12 noon & the show started at 1 pm. We shared a great table with couples from WA & Minnesota, the table was great fun & lots of talking & laughing. The show was very entertaining and designed for "snowbirds" however after seeing it once I don't feel the need to go back. The best part of the show for Will & I was two of the entertainers we had just seen at Tortilla Flats & loved their country music & jokes were part of the matinee performances. That was a bonus for us!

Of course, this still being Saturday, there is bingo at 7 pm in the activities hall at Mesa Spirit and of course we are now owners of bingo markers so off we went at 6:15 so we could find a seat, buy our games & get prepared...this is serious business folks. Well it was a fun evening but again we didn't win any jackpots, oh well, there is always next Saturday night! Needless to say we were dead tired & came home & fell into bed grateful for another fun day in Arizona.

Sunday, 2/22/09 was a day of chores & rest. First off was to clean the house, which we share in doing then I was off to wash clothes & lay in the sun in 80 degree weather. Will stays home to clean his car and motor home....he is always cleaning something on them and they look fabulous. Well as you can is good in AZ and we truly love this park and hopefully we will be able to come back next year.

Re: the blog, friends are telling me they are having trouble posting comments, no worries just enjoy reading it as I'm like doing it. I will tell you that I went into the comments page & took off several restrictions they had set up so perhaps it will be easier now to leave comments. Until next time, much love to our family and friends.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Baseball is getting closer....2/25/09

Well, we are really adjusting to this wonderful weather and tempo in AZ. With staying in this RV park for one month we are not running so frantic with sightseeing as we have done in the past. Recently our days consist of grocery shopping, Super WalMart, washing clothes, going out for a nice Chinese dinner and for ME...laying in the sun by the pool. Here's the routine. I go down to the RV laundromat & put the clothes in the washer, head out to the chaise lounge....with the other pool ladies....lay in the sun. Back in to put the clothes in the dryer & hang clothes on their clothes line, then back to the pool. Boy, am I glad we didn't get a washer/dryer in the RV, I would have missed this fabulous routine.

Thursday, 2/19 we headed out to Old Town in Scottsdale, AZ. Old Town is a western " Carmel town, lots of tourist shops, art galleries and many restaurants. It is also the home of the SF Giants, spring training ballpark. We walked in & out of shops and galleries and then walked over to the baseball park. It is open & you can just wander in for free to watch them take batting practice and run wind sprints. I bought a Kodak camera & took some pictures for my old friend Ken Mackey, a die hard Giants fan.

Actual spring training baseball games between the teams that are down here starts next week, Wednesday, 2/25. We have tickets to 6 different games at this time. LA Dodgers, San Diego Padres, SF Giants, Chicago Cubs, Seattle Mariners. We are both excited and looking forward to getting our fill of baseball down here. Thanks much my dear daughter.

Hope all is well with everyone...tonight we are dead tired & going to bed early. Much love to our family and friends.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Bingo Night in Mesa

Well it finally happened, we went to a Saturday night bingo game at our RV park in Mesa. Now I must tell you, these folks take their bingo very seriously. They were very organized; you went down this long table line, purchasing each of the different bingo games and also the marker. I thought Will would "bolt" at that moment but we purchased the whole package & then managed to find 2 seats together. This is a BIG hall and it was really filling up fast. Well fortunately, we had nice people around us that explained through out the evening how these games were played. We of course did NOT win any money but a man & woman next to us won jackpots of $145 each. It really was a fun evening and now we own 2 bingo markers so I bet we go back!

On Sunday 2/15 we drove out to Pioneer Living History Village where they were celebrating 40 years of being in existence. Actually, we missed the reading of the statehood proclamation by Wyatt Earp, great-grandnephew of the famed lawman of the same name. We did see a western gunfight, Indian ceremonial dances, a civil war reenactment battle and then visited all of the buildings that are staffed by volunteers, in costume of 1890 and spoke as such. Many of the building are the actual buildings moved here from around the state of Arizona and some are reproductions. There was a general store operated by Goldwater's father, an opera house, 1870 log cabin, 1890 Victorian house, a cowboy church and many more. The costumes, furnishing and tools were truly amazing. It was a wonderful, living history lesson and very enjoyable day.

Monday, 2/16 we drove over to Sun Lakes, AZ and visited a retired Kastner school teacher, Mike Cooley and his wife Donna. They retired in 2008 and moved to AZ and have a beautiful home in a huge retirement complex with golf courses, and from what they said, every activity you can want or imagine. We spent a very nice afternoon and hopefully will see them again before we leave here. Luckily them, they leave for Nashville, TN (my favorite place) this week to visit their son & family. Safe travel folks.

The trip is going well, rain was predicted today but never happened (rumor has it Angelo Stallis is also Phoenix's weather man) it is still chilly but should end in a couple days and get back into the 70's..I can't wait. I have a chaise lounge at the pool all picked out and have started putting in some serious tanning time. Yes, Alice, I'm wearing my sunscreen! Hope all is well with everyone and much love to family and friends.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Bannished from square dancing in Mesa, AZ

After getting settled in our new RV park, Mesa Spirit, we checked out the many activities that are offer here and we spotted, beginning square dancing. We decided, that was for us and how lucky we were, it was offered the very next day. On Wednesday, 2/4 we headed down to the hall at 10 am where the lessons were given. We were promptly advised by "the caller" - the head square dancing guy, in a very nice way, I might add, "that the group/class had started 1/7/09 and we would be to far behind & hold everyone else back." They were all sorry (at least that's what they said) and so we left.....banished from beginning square dancing...go figure.

Not wanting to waste the day, we headed over to the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix. This place is spectacular, I know I said the gardens in Tucson were the best, but I truly believe this has them beat. They have many different sections of cactus including many rare and endangered species...the brochure says 145 acres with more than 50,000 plants, we spent all day there. In additional they are having a special exhibit by Dale Chihuly, (the literature show that he has had shows all of the world) - The Nature of Glass. Of course, we have never heard of him but you should have seen the crowds there just for his exhibit. There were amazing glass pieces, in many colors & shapes mixed in with the gardens. If you get a chance google his work just to get an idea of what it is. It is very hard to describe how beautiful it is.

Thursday, 2/12 was they day the GE guy was coming to look at the "clunking" microwave. Of course this is the 3rd service call so I am getting ready for a fight, because I want a new microwave. Nice guy, knew exactly what was wrong with it, fixed it temporarily and ordered the parts for a permanent fix. He will be back latter this month to complete the job. No more clunking sound and actually the popcorn pops better...........

Friday the 13th didn't scare us so he packed our picnic lunch and headed for Apache Trail. This has been named, Best Scenic Drive" in Arizona. The Apache Trail once served as a stage coach route where Indians, cowboys and miners all roamed the mysterious Superstition Mountain. It's where the Lost Dutchman Mine is still waiting to be discovered. Of course today, there are many tourist attractions along the way so we set off to visit some of them. First stop was Superstition Mountain Lost Dutchman Museum (including the Elvis Presle Chapel) Lots of interesting history of the area plus a wonderful museum.

After leaving there we headed to Goldfield Ghost Town which was interesting but designed to sell the tourist lots of different souvenirs. All we bought was an ice cream cone and had our picnic lunch in their parking lot taking in the gorgeous scenery. Then it was on to Tortilla Flats, which really didn't have much to offer except they had a wonderful band playing country music. It was so enjoyable we stayed until they stopped, 4 pm. It is said, Tortilla Flats has the best hamburger ever (are you listening Rog) so we plan to go back for lunch and of course sit through another set of the music. It was really a wonderful day and we are both dead tired...but happy. I'm sure tomorrow will be a day of rest. On our last big trip we were able to run & tour every day but this trip....we can't - but that's ok, it's still a fabulous way "to live." Hope all is well with our family and friends & our condolences to the Kinard family for the recent loss of their hamster. Much love to all.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Goodby to Casa Grande

Well our last day in Casa Grande, Monday, 2/9 we decided to do a little sightseeing and in Casa Grande, it only take one day! Well the AAA book says don't miss the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, so off we headed in our shorts & sweatshirts and of course our trusty GPS. Well "she" took us right there and as luck would have it this is a National Park so our Golden Age Passport got us in free...(another perk of being a senior.)

These ruins are the remains of the ancient Hohokam Indian farming village. The main building - The Great House - is a four stories high and 60 ft long structure and quit impressive. This structure has a free standing covering over this building that protects it from the elements but allows you to see it. They discovered homes/huts, ball courts, a complete village of these people. The museum on site tells about the people, the canals they built and many of the artifacts they have found. When we got there it was cool but ok but as the time went on it got down right cold. We ran to the car to gather up any more clothes we had & waited for the 12 noon - 50 minute guided tour. After about 35 minutes of the tour we both were now freezing & was the wind blowing.....we left. We took our picnic lunch that we had brought and went home and ate it at our kitchen table with the heater & fireplace going full blast. Later in the afternoon the wind started to blow like I have never experienced mixed in with a fair amount of rain. The wind & rain lasted all evening and night. So as far as wearing my black shorts everyday, it is now levis & sweatpants. However, they do say this will end soon, but not soon enough for ME.

Tuesday, 2/10 we arrived in Mesa, AZ a small community outside of Phoenix. I choose this park because they had a coupon in one of the books from Quartzside, that advertised, pay for 1 week ($250) and receive one week free, so this made the 2 weeks pretty cheap. Well we arrived at Mesa Spirit RV park and found they have over 1,800 spaces. It's like its only little city. After we got checked in & they escorted to our spot that has a cement patio & carport...amazing and very quiet (we are NOT in the pet section) we decided to go back & ask they what they would charge us for 2 more weeks (1 month total) = answer, an additional $55.00...I said Will, give her the card. We didn't ask anymore questions, just paid & got out of there so now we are settled in & don't leave here until 3/10. The schedule of events for each day are amazing...tomorrow we are taking beginning square dancing, will you posted on this one.

The trip is going wonderful, the RV is working beautiful and Will & I are still speaking. We are having minor problems with the GE microwave, but I have scheduled an appointment with GE for this Thursday to come and look at it again. This will be the 3rd visit and I am hoping for a whole new unit, so we shall see. Hope all is well with our family and friends. Much love to all.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Arrived in Casa Grande

It was sad saying goodbye to Tucson as we both agreed it has been our favorite place so far. We are sure to come back again some day. However, it's Friday, 2/6 and it's time to head out for Casa Grande, which is only about 40 miles from Tucson and our "free RV spot" for 4 days.

Upon arriving at Desert Shadows/Western Horizon at Casa Grande we get checked in & they tell us our "presentation" will be at 2 pm on Saturday. We also get our schedule of events that they are having at the park & find out that tonight they are have root beer floats at 6:30 pm with a Ladies Choral Ensemble at 7 pm (is anyone jealous yet?) It actually turned out to be a fun evening & I of course had a diet root beer w/vanilla ice cream (that should help the bottom line) and the ladies were very good. Of course they sang songs neither Will or I had ever heard of but we enjoyed it.

On Saturday, 2/7 they had a patio sale from 8 am to noon which was a flee market in the RV park. As I was out taking my exercise walk, which I do every morning....45 minutes at a fast clip, I kept checking out the stuff. One old man, near our RV, was putting out a stack of books and I stopped & asked if he had any cowboy books for Will, as he has turned into quite a reader. Well, the old man had a good selection so I told him to gather them all up and I would bring the money back. So Will is now the proud owner of 17 new/used cowboy books.

Well our appointed time of 2:oo pm came & we went down for our 90 minute presentation. This is an amazing concept of how it works & I won't bore you with details but we were shown the RV parks they have in their system & they explained how it works....14 days in a park & 7 days out of a park, blah, blah, blah. Then our presenter asked us what we thought so far & were we interested (this was before they even got to the money part) and Will replied he was not interested. She said, even if I gave this to your for free? He said NO, not interested. With that, she spoke with her partner, the financial person, & they agreed there was no point going any further, they thanked us for coming & hope we enjoy our 4 days....and we left. End of sales pitch and way before 90 minutes.

That evening the clubhouse was having a steak or chicken dinner with all the trimmings for $8.00 so we signed Will up and I took my own salad. We sat next to two ladies from Nebraska that have an RV and are members of this park. They said the cost was approximately $7,000 to join & dues were about $320 a year and they weren't that happy with it. So I guess Will made the right decision after all....The amazing thing about this deal is the people who join are also the volunteer/workers. They run & plan all the events, are the caretakers...they do all the work at the parks and what they get is they can stay longer at a park than the 14 days. Will said, this is one smart owner.....he charges the people to join & then gets them to volunteer to do his work. After the dinner, we stayed for the entertainment which was another member who sings & plays the guitar....he goes by the name of "Casual Cowboy." He was enjoyable & sang old country songs.

Sunday, 2/8 has been a rain filled day which has kept us pretty much house bound. However, we did venture out for a Super Wal Mart run. All in all it has been a quiet stay here, we cleaned house, washed clothes & grocery shopped. I'm looking forward to moving on to Phoenix on Tuesday, 2/10. Hope all is well with everyone and we send our love.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Farewell to Tucson

On Wednesday, 2/4 we had our plans changed as when we woke up that morning and discovered that the Queens throne was broken (that would be my porcelain toilet didn't work.) Actually, just moments before I discovered it didn't work I saw a black widow spider (if your from Fresno you know those things) going up towards the seat. As I tried to swat/kill him she disappeared under the was after no longer worked or flushed. Of course I insisted Will find out what was wrong so we were looking through the manual again and even called the dealer for assistance, however, they said it was probably the pump (not the spider) so we would have to take it into a dealer. We called a very large RV dealer here in Tucson & was able to get an appointment for today...Thursday. So Wednesday was clean the RV, wash clothes, go to the grocery store & then for fun we visited the Mission San Xavier del Bac. This is a very beautiful mission, much more so than any I have seen in CA. It has been under restoration for 6 years and the details are amazing. You can check it out at

Today, Thursday, 2/5 we took the RV in for the big repair to the toilet plus the curtains on my side of the passenger seat didn't close easy so I wanted them fixed. It's all under warranty so get it fixed NOW....that's my motto. After dropping off the RV we headed to the downtown area of Tucson to check out the historical area (every town has a historical downtown area you know!!)

We checked in at the local Visitors Center & discovered they have a "yellow brick road" painted turquoise which is called The Presidio Trail which winds around the downtown area. A few of the spectacular things we saw: Tucson Museum of Art, the beautiful western paintings & drawings of Maynard Dixon, Arizona Historical Society Museum, Old Town Artisans & just so much more in the short time we were there.... After that it was time to pick up the RV and the "throne" was repaired....a loose wire, but no black widow spider. Will will be spraying tomorrow & thereafter, just in case she is still there.

We leave Tucson tomorrow, Friday, 2/6 for Casa Grande, AZ which is only a short distance from here. It is one of the "freebie" stays we acquired in Quartzside. The drill is, we sit through the 90 minute sales pitch of their RV campgrounds, Will says NO - then we get 4 nights free then it will be on to Phoenix.

This has been a wonderful stop and want to come back here some day. Hope all is well with our friends & family. Much love.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Fabulous Tucson, AZ

We arrived in Tucson on Friday, 1/30 by way of our brand new GPS. Yes, that's right folks, we went to a Target in Yuma with our friends, Al & Ann as they have a GPS and said if they could work it so could we. So we purchased a TomTom ONE that was on sale (actually the cheapest one they had) & were told we have 90 days to return to our Target in Fresno, so we took a chance. It works pretty slick & I am learning how to use it. I just put the address in & it finds the place. It's not as slick as Nancy's Hertz Never Lost....but our gal Mindy does a good job.

Our RV park in Tucson is located right in the Sonora Desert with just amazing & beautiful scenery. We are surrounded by cactus, mountains & lot of coyotes. Not that we see the coyotes but boy do we hear them at night...howling. On Saturday, 1/31 Will & I took a walk in the desert by ourselves from a trail that starts right from our RV park and is well marked with lots of interesting facts. At one point they had a couple of yard chairs out there so we just sat down, rested & took in the beauty around us. We both love this desert landscape. Tucson is definitely someplace we will come back & visit.

On Super Bowl Sunday, 2/1 we decided to spend the morning at Old Tucson Studios, which is only about 10 miles from our RV park. The Old Tucson Studios began in 1939 and so many old western films were filmed here. Well to say Will was excited is a complete understatement. He recognised almost all the building & scenery here. Of course, you must understand, he has NOT missed many cowboy movies that were ever made!! We spent the entire day there & saw & did everything. Watched two movies: Remembering John Wayne & Where Legends Walked; Miss Kitty's Can-Can Revue, where Angie Dickerson came down the steps in Rio Bravo in the Grand Palace Saloon (a highlight for Will) a Billy the Kid gunfight out in the streets and guided tours by "cowboys" telling the history of Old Tucson Studios. We went in all the old buildings, some with fabulous articles, clothes & memorabilia of movies & movie stars. We visited the High Chaparral Set, Little House on the Prairie, rode the train & had a wonderful but exhausting day. I'm sure this will be the highlight of the trip for Will. When we left we just made it home for the start of Super Bowl.

Today, Monday, 2/2 we set out for the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum which is located just a couple miles past Old Tucson Studios (all in the neighborhood.) This was another wonderful & exhausting day but sooooo worth it. It started out with Raptor Free Flight which are birds that have been rescued & are sent out in free flight as the docent tells about them. We then proceeded around the grounds viewing many of the 300 animals & 1200 kinds of plants that are native to this region. At 1:00 we went on a tour with a wonderful docent that explained so much and answered so many of MY questions. We both had an opportunity to learn about the Saguaro cactus that are everywhere here. Those are the cactus that grow tall & have the "arms" coming out of them. Of course if I had a camera I would post some pictures for you but we never got a camera before this trip....maybe the next trip we will have one.

Tomorrow at 9 am the park is giving a 2 hour guided tour in the desert around the park so Will & I will be dressed and ready. By the way Nancy, the hiking boots are great that you bought me in New York & I'm so grateful to have them here. Thanks!!!! much love to all.