Tuesday, December 23, 2008

On the eve of Christmas Eve.

It rained a lot overnight but by morning the rain had stopped. The sun came out from behind the clouds periodically during the day. We attended the resort's weekly activities meeting, then went for our daily morning walk around the park. After lunch, David went looking for three people to make a foursome for golf. I took the suitcases out of the basement and did some laundry to get ready for our trip. We did most of our packing tonight and just have the last minute stuff to pack tomorrow. Only two more sleeps left before we see Liam as he will be fast asleep when we arrive tomorrow night.

We are very excited! It will be fun to again see Christmas through the eyes of a child.

Have a safe and happy Christmas everyone! Please, don't drink and drive!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Only three more sleeps to Christmas..

I can't believe how quickly Christmas has come. It might have something to do with the fact that we didn't have any Christmas shopping to do because we did it all in Chilliwack. You don't think about it so it just sneeks up on you.

David left around 8 am to go golfing and about an hour later, I went for my daily walk around the park. After that I got on the computer until he came home around 11:15 am. We ate lunch then we drove to the mall to pick up a little special something for our grandson. That took a while because I couldn't make up my mind about what to get. I'm not a very good shopper when I don't have something specific in mind. Then we went for supper at a restaurant close to the mall.

We are very excited because we are going home for Christmas and we get to see our little Liam whom we haven't seen since July. And of course we also get to spend Christmas with our daughter Renee and son-in-law Marc and our extended family. Tomorrow is laundry and packing day. Only two more sleeps before we leave...

I'm cheating. This picture was taken last year and the Santa hats were borrowed so we couldn't repeat it this year. Maybe we should buy our own hats...

David and I would like to wish everyone, family, friends and our readers, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Didn't do much of anything.

We thought we might go for an easy hike today so we looked through our book on hikes around Superstition Mountain and picked a trail. But then I decided that since we had spent a lot of time in the car yesterday, I would rather stay home and do nothing today. But first, we took a 30-minute walk around the park to get in our daily exercise. It was a beautiful sunny day although it was a little on the cool side. I think the temperature went up to 64F (18C). We sat outside anyway to read and to just enjoy being.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A drive to Casa Grande.

We decided to go for a drive this morning so after breakfast, we jumped in the car and headed for Casa Grande. We always take East US60 then south on N. Pinal Pkwy (AZ-79) which goes through Florence. It's a more scenic route than the alternative which is to go west on US60 to I-10. From Florence we follow highway 287 which goes through Coolidge and brings us directly into Casa Grande. We had no other plans than to eat lunch there, walk around some of the stores and drive back home.

Florence is home to a State prison which opened in 1908 after being built by the inmates. You can see this very large complex from the road. We didn't stop... but we did take a drive down main street and there are a lot of empty old buildings. I would say business is not booming there.

We had to get home early enough to get ready for our night out on the town. We had tickets to Barleen's Arizona Opry for dinner and a show. This is a family-owned theatre and they provide a very good meal and a great musical show afterwards. This is the second year in a row that we have attended their "Christmas" show and we were not disappointed. There were a few Christmas songs and even an appearance from Willie Nelson and Elvis. It was great for an evening of entertainment. We were home by 10 pm.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Hiking day!!!

Because of rain, Wednesday's hike was rescheduled to Friday so today was hiking day. Our hike today took us to Camelback Mountain in Phoenix. It's a bit of a drive to get there but well worth it. David had hiked Camelback Mountain trail last year but this was my first time. This hike is only 1.2 miles but it's all uphill with an elevation of approx. 1,300 feet from the bottom to the top. It's very challenging but also very exciting to climb. It made me feel like a kid climbing a play structure only a lot more fun.

The hike begins with these steps...

Looking back towards the parking lot and view of Phoenix.

Then it's just rocks... step carefully!

This is almost like a rock wall... they added a railing so you can pull yourself up.

Those dots down there in the middle of the picture.. are people working their way up.

Challenging but a lot of fun.

The view looking back & down.

And we made it to the top.

This is a real Christmas tree someone brought to the top... and decorated it.

We found this 'cave' off the trail. It has two openings.

Inside of the cave - very roomy and what a view.

Sign at the beginning of the trail.

If you like a challenging hike and you're ever in the Phoenix area, I recommend you do this one. It's a lot of fun even if you're legs feel like jello when you get back to the bottom. We were back home by mid afternoon but what a great day!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Golf for David and housework for me...

Doesn't seem fair does it? We had more rain overnight but we woke up to sunny skies and it was warmer today. Thursday is David's normal golf day so he was out the door just as I was sitting down to eat breakfast. After breakfast, I decided to clean the bathroom and wash the floors before going out for my walk. After my 45-minute walk, I got on the computer and paid some bills; David came home and we went to the restaurant for lunch. We are getting into the very bad habit of eating out. It just seems so much easier. At 2:00 pm he went golfing for the second time today; this time to a different golf course and with a different bunch of guys. I grabbed a couple loads of laundry and headed to the laundry room. That only took about 1 hour & 1/2. I spent the rest of the afternoon reading my book and put more time on the computer. David came home around 5 pm and we had supper at home.

After supper, I called Renee and talked on the phone for about an hour. It sure is nice having this land line with unlimited long distance calling to Canada. Unlike the cell phone, I don't have to worry about 'using' too many minutes on one call and I have a nice relaxing conversation. Then I called Adam and we got on the webcam and talked to our little grandson David. He was pretty excited because he's been opening Christmas presents for the past two days. They will be out of town for Christmas so they have been having an early Christmas with family and friends at home before they leave. We also got to see the baby, Dylan. He has changed a lot. He has lost that 'newborn look' and is starting to look more like his big brother. He just kept staring into the camera. There must have been something on the computer that was interesting to him. Us. LOL Thank goodness for webcams.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Good food and good friends.

It rained all through the night so when we got up this morning, the ground was wet and the sky was cloudy. The sun did come out most of the day but the temperature was only as high as the mid-50s. After breakfast, David and I went for a walk around the park. After about 25 minutes David went home and I caught up with my friend Micheline who was also out walking. We finally realized that we had been walking around for an hour & a half; I think we were starting to wear out the pavement... LOL.. so we both headed home. Just before lunch, David and I decided to go to the bookstore. There was a book that I wanted to check out for our grandson Liam. Since it was close to lunch time, our first stop was the Kokobelli Cafe on Power Road for a bagel sandwich and coffee. Then we went to Borders, the bookstore at the mall also on Power Road. The book wasn't what I was looking for so we left empty-handed. Unfortunately, this seemed to be one of those days where you go store to store like you are on a milk-run. We stopped at Sprouts for licorice for David and a dessert for the potluck supper tonight. Then we stopped at Goodwill as I'm looking for a used tennis racket. I'm hoping to join a couple of ladies to play tennis (for fun & exercise). They had an old wooden racket which was in good shape but I think that would be too heavy. So we left empty-handed there too. Then we stopped at Safeway for a couple of grocery items that we couldn't get a Sprouts... and finally headed home. As I mentioned, tonight was family potluck on the patio so we headed there around 4:30 pm. and enjoyed good food and good company. Our friends Gary & Karen from the Northwest Territories who had just arrived the day before invited us over to their rig for a nightcap which topped off a very nice evening.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A rainy day and a movie.

Well we had a light rain falling most of the day. It started after lunch but it was cold and windy all day. I don't think the temperature went much above 50F (10C). Our morning started with the weekly activities meeting at 9 am. Hey.. I won first prize for my colouring of the Christmas stocking. The prize... a 2 inch high silver cup (not real silver of course) with a green crayon in it. I wonder how much I can hawk that for at the pawn shop. LOL After the meeting, David and I walked around the park for our daily exercise. We had lunch early, just after 11 am. He was supposed to play golf at 2:00 pm but with the rain, that didn't happen. A bunch of us ladies were going to the theatre to see "The Secret Life of Bees" and we were leaving at noon. We were 15 who carpooled to the theatre. After the movie, we went to the Paradise Bakery & Cafe at the Gateway Plaza for coffee, goodies and to discuss the movie. Their 'cream cheese brownie' is to die for. I liked the movie. It was sad it some places but it is well presented. It was about 4 pm when I got back. and since neither one of us felt like cooking, we went out for pizza for supper. The rest of the evening was spent reading and watching TV.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Golf and doing nothing.

It was cold again when we got up this morning. But not too cold for David to go play golf. I ate breakfast then I went for a one hour walk, starting in the park, then walked to a residential area outside the park. At the start, I could have used gloves but I was too lazy to look for them in the basement. By the time I got back, I was carrying my jacket but still felt hot with my fleece on. It's not that the temperature was warmer, I was just hot after all that walking.

Other than going out for coffee, we just spent the rest of the day at home. We spent a bit of time on the computer answering emails, read our books and watched TV.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Weather is getting colder.

We woke up to a temperature of 48F (13C) and a cloudy sky this morning. This weather is supposed to stay this cold for a few days with a 50% chance of rain for three days. David noticed his watch had stopped last night and it still wasn't working this morning. He thought it needed a new battery so after breakfast, we went to the Superstition Springs mall up on Power Road. It's about a 20-minute drive. We left the watch at a watch repair store and walked around the mall for about half an hour until the watch was ready. I expected the mall to be much more busy since we are only two weeks away from Christmas. But it wasn't much busier than a normal weekend. I expect the recession has something to do with it. After picking up David's watch, we stopped for coffee before heading back home. We didn't get any rain so we were able to barbeque some chicken for supper. Then we spent a decadent evening of TV watching. LOL

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Flea market.

We went out for breakfast again then came back home. About an hour later, we decided to check out the Mesa flea market for waist packs and a suitcase. We are going to Ottawa for Christmas and as we only have one suitcase, we had to buy another one. Bingo... we found the waist pack with water bottles that we were looking for and the price of $11.99 was perfect. We also bought a really nice quality suitcase for $36.99. We had what we came for so we left the flea market and stopped at Paradise Bakery & Café in the mall next door where we had a coffee and shared a very good chicken & walnut sandwich for lunch.

A few hours later, David and I went for a walk around the park. We came across Tina & Terry who were going for a walk outside of the park. Tina had mentioned to me earlier about her walks in a nearby residential area so I tagged along because I wanted to know where she went. Somewhere else to walk if I got bored walking around the park. David's knee was acting up so he just went home.

Didn't do much for the rest of the day except stay home, read and watch TV.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The driving range and Happy Hour!

Friday morning after breakfast David and I both walked around the park for our 45 minutes of exercise. At 10 am, I went to the activities room where a bunch of ladies had gathered to colour. Yes, like you do in grade 1. We had a choice of three different pictures. I first coloured a Christmas stocking then I coloured an elf with a teddy bear. On Tuesday, during the activities meeting, we will find out which pictures get the prizes. It's all for fun and very silly and I guess that's why I participated. I like doing silly things sometimes plus I have to practice my colouring so I can keep up with my grandsons. While I was colouring, David checked out Walmart for those waist packs we are still looking for. Although they had some, he didn't buy them. They were not quite the quality we were looking for.

After lunch, we went to the driving range to hit some golf balls. It was cloudy but there was no rain in the forecast. The afternoon temperature was again in the mid-60sF (around 18C). We shared a large bag of balls and the pain in my right elbow flared up again. I think I might has strained some muscles around the elbow using weight machines at the YMCA in Chilliwack back in October. And it just won't go away. It's not really bad pain but just enough to be a bother once in a while.

At 4:30 we went to Happy Hour on the park patio. Today the park was serving a homemade turkey soup and hot turkey sandwiches with gravy as a thank you to everyone for being there. I think it's the leftover turkey from Thanksgiving but it was all very good. There was also some live country music by J.R. & Diane, also provided courtesy of the park owner. After we had eaten a bunch of us sat around the gas fire pit listening to the music and chatting while some people were inside dancing. After a very enjoyable evening, we finally came home around 9 pm.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Not doing much these days.

On Thursday, the temperature was still somewhat cool where it's around the mid 50sF (around 13C) in the morning and warms up to the mid-60sF (around 18C) by the afternoon. I haven't been to the water aerobics again this week. I'm just looking for a change in my routine. Don't want to be doing the same thing every day but I'm still going for my 45 minute walk around the park to exercise.

David left around 8 am to play golf; when he got back I was sitting outside on the patio reading my book. Last Monday, we went to the library so I could apply for a library card. I've finally realized that it's much cheaper to borrow books from the library then to always buy new. I was permitted to take out three books until I bring some correspondence with my name and Arizona address on it. In the meantime, the librarian kept my library card. When I take back the books we borrowed, I will bring our electrical bill from here and I will be given my library card.

We decided to go to Denny's restaurant for lunch then we went to Sports Authority, a store very similar to Sports Chek in Canada. We are looking for waist packs with bottle holders for hiking. We think they would be more comfortable for hiking than a back pack. Anyway, they didn't have the kind we were looking for so we came back home. We spent the rest of the day at home reading or watching TV.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Catching up on the last four days.

On Sunday morning, we went golfing with friends Jim & Linda at Fiesta Lakes golf course. It’s the same golf course we went to last Sunday. We all enjoy this get-together so we are thinking of making this a weekly event. After the game, we went to Applebee’s restaurant for lunch.

David took a picture of the start of a beautiful sunset.

Monday morning is usually golf for David but it had rained overnight so golf was cancelled as it was thought that the grass would probably be too wet. So we spent the day around the motor home and the park, only going out for coffee in the afternoon.

Tuesday morning we woke up to a beautiful blue sky, and after attending the weekly activities meeting, we decided to go for a hike just the two of us. We drove north up Meridian Road to the Meridian trailhead. We wanted to go up Wind Cave trail, which David hadn’t been on yet. Only we didn’t realize that we should have driven to the Usery Mountain recreational park on Usery Pass Road. It would have saved us walking for an hour and a half on Meridian trail before coming to the Wind Cave trailhead. This trail has a steep elevation and is quite challenging. Once we went to the top of the trail and came back to the trailhead, we still had to walk an hour and half on the Meridian trail to get back to the car. We made it back to the car by 3:00 pm and we had started out from the car at 10:30 am. A long day and the feet were getting pretty tired! We went home to relax and since neither one of us felt like cooking, we went to Applebee’s restaurant for supper. That’s two days in a row; there goes our ‘dining out’ budget for the month. ;-)

We walked up to that patch of light colour you can see below the peak.

David coming up behind me.

The top of Wind Cave trail.

A great view on the way back down the trail.

Wednesday is hiking day and at 9:30 am, 16 people in four vehicles left the park and drove to the First Water trailhead on the Old West highway (US 88). We went from First Water up to Second Water trail and later branched off on the Black Mesa trail. The total distance we walked was 6 miles. It was a good day for hiking with the temperature up around 68F or 20C. David and I had been on Second Water trail last year but had never gone as far as the Black Mesa trail. There is some talk of adding a couple of extra hikes to the weekly hikes. We sure hope so because we love it. It really gives you a sense of accomplishment when you’re done. When we got home, we took off the hiking boots, strapped on our sandals and went for coffee. After we sat out on the patio to read and enjoy the rest of the sun before it started to go down. It was getting cool so we went inside and started to think about making supper. Ohhh… this life of leisure – is there anything else like it!

Some parts of the trail were challenging!

Stopping for a bite and some relaxation before going back.

Everyone up and ready to return.

The Black Mesa trail marker.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Lazy Saturday.

We had nothing planned today. We got up and went out for breakfast. The park was hosting a yard and craft sale today so when we got back, we walked around the park to see what people were selling. But there wasn't anything of interest to us. We spent the rest of the day puttering around the motorhome and just relaxing. It was a beautiful sunny day and the temperature was 73F (23C) today.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Hiking day.

After breakfast, I packed a lunch for both David and I. Around 9:15 am we went outside to meet up with the folks going hiking. We were 11 people so we drove had to take two vehicles. We drove to Saguaro Lake, about 30 minute drive which is off Bush highway in the Tonto National Forest. We hiked this trail three times last year. It's a nice hike but can be difficult for someone who is not in good shape. It's not a high elevation but it goes up and down a lot. There isn't much shade on this trail and it was warm today. The temperature went up to 75F (24C). When we got home, we threw some meatballs in the slow cooker to bring to the 5 o'clock Happy Hour. They were already cooked; we just had to warm them up. After everyone had eaten, there was music and a bunch of us sat around the fire pit (gas). We finally came home at 9 o'clock.

The group taking a break with Saguaro Lake in the background.

Looking back at the trail (it's only wide enough for one person).

The mountain in the background is called Four Peaks. In January, the peak will probably be white.

We went off the trail and went down to the lakeshore.

Beautiful sunset.

It was a little cooler this morning when I went for my daily walk. It was cloudy although there was no rain in the forecast. David left around 8 o'clock to go play golf. After my walk, I went to the water aerobics. When David got back around 11 am, we went to the restaurant for an early lunch because we were both hungry. On the way home we gassed up the car at $1.759 a gallon. Those gas prices are sure coming down nicely. It's about time too! We spent the rest of the day just sitting at home reading and/or watching TV.

And around 5:15 pm, we had the most beautiful sunset I've seen in a long time. The sun was reflecting on this huge cloud formation and it made a really wide sunset.

As the sun was going down, the clouds were getting darker. David was outside putting garlic bread on the barbeque.

This pictures were all taken at about 1 minute intervals. The sun sinks pretty fast.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wasting time waiting for the telephone man.

Today is my baby sister Margot's birthday so HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARGOT. Hope you had a great day! You deserve it. Love you lots.

Wednesday is usually hiking day but it was postponed to Friday. Another activity organized for today took precedence. After breakfast, I put oven porcupines in the crock pot then went to the 9 o'clock water aerobics. We'd been invited by some friends to a happy hour at their home at 4 o'clock this afternoon. We were also expecting the telephone company some time between 2 and 6 pm and we're hoping the installer would be here sooner than later. We were getting a land line installed because our cell phone plan doesn't give us enough minutes to call all of our kids and other family members. David and I went to the Village Inn restaurant for lunch then just hung around home sitting outside most of the afternoon waiting for the installer.

Well wouldn't you know it. It was almost 5 o'clock when he finally arrived so we had to phone our friends to say we wouldn't be able to make it to the happy hour. It was 6 o'clock by the time he was done. So I cooked some potatoes and we had those porcupines with the potatoes for supper. I made them with ground turkey instead of beef and it tasted good. We pretty much have replaced ground beef with ground turkey in all our recipes, even for chili and spaghetti sauce. We like it; it tastes very good.

Well, I finished reading the book World Without End by Ken Follett this afternoon. The setting is 14th century England. It's such a great story that I didn't want the book to end. Now I'm reading The heart is a lonely hunter by Carson McCullers. It's an old book; the first printing was in 1940. I picked it up in Chilliwack at a fundraising book sale and paid $1.00 for it. The setting is the old south; it's not the usual type of book that I normally read. I'm not quite sure what it's about yet; it's a little slow moving but just interesting enough to keep me reading.

We had a nice day again today. The temperature was around 74F (23C).

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Our first bicycle ride this winter.

This morning, after breakfast, we made our preparations for our bicycle ride. We were going to Tempe, approx. a 45-minute drive, because there are no bicycle paths like that around Apache Junction. So, while David was getting the bikes ready, I made us a lunch. We were ready to go when Michel & Micheline drove by in their car at 9 o'clock. Although we were going together, we each had to take our own car. Our starting point was Tempe Beach Park where we parked the cars and left on our bicycles. We crossed the bridge over the Salt River then had to find our way through some construction under the bridge to get on the multi-use path that starts along the river. It eventually heads away from the river and meanders through parks and alongside some golf courses. It has several short hills so you get a pretty good workout. It was another sunny day, great for bicycling as the temperature was only going up to 74F (23C). Otherwise it could be too hot if the temperature was in the mid to high 80sF. David always brings our Garmin Legend GPS which gives us our speed, miles driven, time taken and elevation. So today, we rode our bikes 22.4 miles (36 kilometres) in 3 1/2 hours which includes 1 hour stop time for breaks & lunch. We think that might be the longest bicycle ride we've ever done in one day. On the way home, I have to say it... we stopped for coffee. Since we were driving by Camping World, we decided to stop there too and buy the water softener. We've thougth about it and decided that although expensive it will be worth it in the long run. We do not want to end up with plumbing problems which could be created by hard water; and that's the kind of water we have here. When we got home, I sat outside reading while David installed the water softener. Around 4:30 pm we went inside and stayed home for the rest of the evening.

David, Michel & Micheline smiling for the camera.

Monday, December 1, 2008

We were up to our usual tricks again.

I got up around 7:15 am which I usually do during the week. David and I headed out the door at the same time. He went golfing as he usually does Monday mornings. I started with my 45-minute walk around the resort then changed into my swimsuit for the 9 o'clock water aerobics. After water aerobics, I went into the hot tub for about 10-15 minutes. It was just past 10 o'clock when I got back home. After my shower, I grabbed a bottle of water, something healthy to snack on, and sat outside on our patio to read my book for an hour or two.

When David got home, it was almost lunch time so we went in to eat. Later on, David went to the ice cream social where he gets a bowl of ice cream for $1.00 and I stayed inside to wash the dishes. Then I filled a bucket with soap and water to wash our bicycles. They get greasy when we travel, more so when it rains, and we hadn't cleaned them since we arrived here. We are going for a bike ride tomorrow with another couple from Quebec and I didn't want to ride a dirty bike.

Later on, we went to Starbucks for coffee and stopped at Lowes to see if they sell water softeners for RVs. They don't. We saw some at Camping World for $250.00 but we wanted to check if they were cheaper anywhere else. The resort has hard water and people say if you don't have a water softener, the hard water can eventually cause some damage to your plumbing.

When we got back, we sat on the patio to read until the sun starting to go down and it was getting cool sitting in the shade. The sun starts going down around 5 pm. It was time to make supper anyway. We were having leftovers so we were done in no time. The temperature was up to 74F (23C) today. It was another beautiful sunny day in paradise.

A little bit of golf, a little bit of cards...

We woke up to a beautiful sunny morning again. We ate breakfast at home then just puttered around. At 10 o’clock our friends Jim & Linda picked us up to go golfing. I don’t really golf but I have an old set of clubs that were given to me a few years ago. The golf course we went to is a 9-hole executive course. In my whole life, this is the third time that I have played golf. I golfed one time with David this summer in Chilliwack and once before, about five years ago.

We got home around 1 pm and hadn’t eaten yet so we decided to go out for lunch. From the restaurant we went to the grocery store then came back home again. By then, it was mid-afternoon so we sat outside on our patio to relax and read our books. Jim came over and invited us to play cards with him & Linda and another couple, John & Donna. He said to meet them in the card room in the activities building around 6:00 pm. David and I rarely play cards. He likes to play Crib though. That's his game... he and our son-in-law Marc often play 'best two out of three' when were home. Tonight we played Hand and Foot . It was the guys against the gals and unfortunately, the guys won tonight. But I still enjoyed myself. At 9:00 pm we all headed back to our own motor home. Today the temperature was again in the low 70sF.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A movie and buttered popcorn...mmmmmmm!

I had an 8 o’clock appointment with my hairdresser this morning. When I got back, we jumped in the car and headed for our favourite bagel café, the Kokobelli on Power Road. They have good breakfast bagel sandwiches, good coffee and the price is right. They have some tables outside where we can sit and enjoy the sun. When we got back home, I did some house cleaning then got on the computer to catch up on my blog. In the meantime, David took his bicycle to a bicycle repair shop because his back wheel was sticking again. They said it would be ready in an hour, so we went to Starbucks then picked up the bike on the way home. Turned out to be a broken spoke, which has happened before. If it happens again, we will have to replace the wheel.

We decided to go see the movie ‘AUSTRALIA’ so we had an early supper. We like to get there early but we were there a little too early. The earlier showing wasn’t even over yet. It's long though; 2 hours & 45 minutes so it was almost 10 pm when we got out. But it's well worth it. It's a great movie. After the movie, we just came straight home. Today the high was 71F (21C).

Hiking and Happy Hour..

Since we didn’t hike on Wednesday, eight of us went on a hike this morning to the Usury Mountains, a five-minute drive from the resort. We went up Pass Mountain trail but we were only going as far as the 'saddle', a 2-mile hike (4 miles return). The sun came peaking through the clouds once in a while and the temperature was in the low 70sF; a good temperature for hiking. This trail has a lot of switchbacks as you go up the side of the mountain and you get a really great view of the valley. On a clear day, I'm sure you can see for hundreds of miles. We were back around 1 pm and had lunch. Later on, David took a power nap while I watched TV. I was just about ready to fall asleep on the sofa when he got up and said he was ready to go for coffee. Figures!

At 5 pm we went to Happy Hour out on the patio where everyone brings food to share. After everyone had eaten, they turned on the karaoke machine. Of course, David and I just watched. It was a lot of fun. It’s the great camaraderie in this park that makes us come back here. The party ended at 9 pm and everyone went home. It was a good end to a fun day.

This is the front end of our hiking group on a switchback above us. I don't know if there is something wrong with my camera because my pictures are a little fuzzy.

We sat around for a little while before heading back down the mountain.
Micheline, Michel & David..

David and me..

This is the whole group except for me. I took the picture.

We took a different route down, following the wash instead of the trail. Since we were in the wash, there was a rock wall on either side of us. You see those some small caves in the rock. It looked like animals were using them as dens; someone thought they could be Javelinas. The clue was that there was some scat (poop) on the ground just outside of these holes.

Here's a funny piece of rock carved out by Mother Nature.
David standing it front of that rock.
I thought this was kind of neat. You can see a Saguaro cactus through this large hole in the rock face.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Another excuse to have turkey.

We had turkey for our Canadian Thanksgiving Day back in October with Adam and Leah. Luckily we love turkey because today was Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. and the resort put on a nice turkey dinner with all the trimmings. Everyone had to bring a side dish or dessert. It was well attended and the food was great. I didn’t pig out but I still felt full after. The people that organize and cook these special dinners at the resort always do a really great job. There were some tables set up inside the building and some tables outside under the covered patio. We were expecting rain later on this afternoon so David and I sat inside. Although it had been cloudy most of the day, the sun came out just when dinner started so those people who sat outside were quite comfortable. I had been fighting a headache for most of the day so David and I came back home right after dinner. Anyway, we wanted to watch the result show of ‘So You Think You Can Dance Canada’. We also got a 45-minute thunder and lightning show later on in the evening with about 15 minutes of heavy rain towards the end. The weather is supposed to start changing tomorrow. We sure hope so!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

It's raining so no hiking today.

We always hike on Wednesdays but it was cancelled today due to the fact that it was raining. What a bummer! Again it wasn’t very warm; the temperature was around 69F (20C). Days like that are sort of depressing so we decided to go out for breakfast. It rained on and off all day so we just stayed home for the rest of the day. Except for a trip to the grocery store in the afternoon, there wasn’t much else to do.

I made what we call in my family 'Pate Chinois' (it's similar to Sheppard's Pie) for supper and baked it in the micro-convection oven. I made it with ground turkey instead of ground beef and it was very good. We even had enough leftover to freeze for another meal. It was the first time I used the convection oven successfully. Now that I know how to use it, it's much easier to use than a propane oven like we had in our other motorhome. With the propane oven, you don't know whether or not the oven has reached the temperature you want.

We ended the day by watching our favourite TV shows.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The weather is changing.

It was cloudy and windy this morning so we ‘wimped’ out on going into the pool for water aerobics. It was a cool wind okay…. ;-)

We attended the weekly activities meeting. We already know what all the activities are for the week because they are pretty much the same thing week after week. So it’s kind of redundant to attend the meeting but at the same time, it’s an opportunity to socialize, so we go. We don’t have anything better to do at 9 am on Tuesday morning anyway.

We had nothing else planned for the day except to bring the gifts for the two Christmas angels to Starbucks. So it goes without saying that we went there for our daily cup of strong java too. We did get a few sunny breaks but it stayed windy most of the day. The temperature was only around the low 70sF (low 20sC) but felt colder with the wind.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Starting our second week already!

We are starting our second week here. We've settled into our routine of walking and water aerobics for me, golf and water aerobics for David and hiking for both of us on Wednesdays. It's pretty much a carbon copy of what we did here last winter. I guess it's a good thing as long as we are doing something we enjoy. And we haven't given up our habit of going for coffee in the afternoon. We just have a different hangout here. There are no Tim Hortons so we have to frequent Starbucks. We never even step into a Starbucks when we are home! What's nice though is that we can sit outside with our coffee. It's just too nice to be inside.

So this morning I went for my walk around the park at about 7:40 am. David picked up his golf buddy Jim R. around 8 am to go golfing. At 8:30 am I came back to the rig to change into my swimsuit for the 9 am water aerobics. It had felt cold when I started my walk but you could feel the sun warming up by the time we were in the water. And the water is heated so it feels really nice. So far there are only about 6-7 women in water aerobics so we are not crowded. The park gets fuller after January 1st and that's when the pool and laundry room can be more crowded. But not to the point where you are elbow to elbow.

David was craving hot dogs yesterday so he bought some turkey hot dogs with 0g of fat and low sodium. They looked pretty good so I also had two for supper tonight. I don't usually eat that stuff but tonight I had a craving for them too. They tasted pretty good considering... and I didn't even burp once after.

We picked up two Christmas angels yesterday from Starbucks so tomorrow we are going shopping. I choose two girls. We have four grandsons so we are usually buying stuff for boys. It'll be fun to shop in the girls section for a change.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A much needed laundry day.

It's a little cool in the morning when we wake up around 6:30 or 7:00. I don't usually get up until David has turned on the furnace and warmed up the bedroom a little bit. After breakfast, I did some reading for about an hour. I'm really enjoying my book and at the same time, I feel sad to be coming close to the end. it's so good!
About mid-morning, I headed to the laundry room with my two full laundry baskets (with David's help of course). There are about 10 washers and 12 dryers so you don't usually have to wait to use any. I was done in about 1 1/2 hours and it was time for lunch. Again we ate at home. We are trying to eat at home more. We sometimes get carried away and eat out too much. Not good for the wallet and not good for the waist line either. ;-)

We spent the rest of the afternoon either sitting outside. We were eating supper when I noticed this beautiful sunset. I opened the window and took this picture from inside the motorhome.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Breakfast on the patio.

We were up early so that we could go have breakfast on the resort patio. With the help of volunteers, the Activities office puts on a breakfast twice a month. For $4.00 you can have eggs, pancakes, potatoes, sausages, orange juice and coffee. The food is good and at that price, it beats going to the restaurant. After breakfast, we went back to the rig. David did stuff outside while I did some housework inside. We had an appointment at 1:30 pm to have the outside of the rig washed. These outfits come to the park with their own equipment and even bring their own water. For a reasonable price, they hand wash your rig. We got a call around 10:30 am that they had a cancellation and they would be here in about 15 minutes. The motorhome gets very dirty when we travel in rain so it really needed a good wash. Now it shines again and it looks great!
After they left, we decided to go out for lunch. We went to the Village Inn restaurant at the Gateway Mall. The restaurant is not attached to the mall buildings but is in another part of the parking lot. The mall is the same type of 'big box store' outside mall that is now more common. This is also the mall where we go to see a movie. It's not the biggest movie theatre but it has 12 theatres and there is also an IMAX theatre.
The LA Fitness part seems to be the most prominent section of the mall. Love the Palm trees.

I took this picture when we came back to the resort. This is the entrance. You're looking down the road to drive out of the park and on the other side of those Palm trees is the road to drive in. Just over that grey pickup truck, you can see part of our motorhome. As you can see, we are parked right in front of the office/activities building.

And we face that row of RVs.

We had plans to go to the movies tonight. David wanted to see the new James Bond movie. It's not my kind of movie so I checked out what else was playing. We have done that before where he goes to one movie and I go to another. But my choices in the kinds of movies I like were Bolt and Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa. I didn't want to spend $10.00 to see a 'cartoon'. I enjoy watching them but would rather wait to rent it. So David went to the movies alone and I stayed home and watched TV.

It was another beautiful sunny day in paradise. Since we've been here, the temperature in the afternoon has been up in the mid 80sF (high 20sC).

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday is Happy Hour!

We did the usual water aerobics at 9:00 am then just sat out on our patio enjoying the sun and reading. Later on in the afternoon, we went to Starbucks for coffee then picked up a few items we needed from Safeway to make an appetizer for happy hour. Every Friday we have Happy Hour here at the resort. People meet out on the patio near the pool, bring an appy to share with everyone and whatever they want to drink. It's a great way to get together with friends and meet new ones. There was some live music so it was about 8:30 pm when everyone headed back to their rigs. If there is no music, people usually head back around 7:00 pm. Real party animals. LOL..
So as usual, we just watched TV the rest of the evening.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Golf and exercise.

Another beautiful sunny morning! I had forgotten how every day is like that here. Cloudy days are few and far between. At 8 o'clock David left to go golfing with his golf group while I started out on my 45 minute walk around the park. I had just enough time to go back home, change into my swimsuit and head for the pool for the water aerobics. I'm very glad to be doing that again. It's fun and easy exercise and it really works to keep your muscles toned. It won't be as fun when the weather gets cooler but we always jump in the hot tub after. Right now, it's not cold so I usually stay in the pool and just float around for about 15 minutes after aerobics. I came back to the motorhome to shower and dress then sat outside to read for a couple of hours. David came back from golf and he was pretty happy with his score. This group he golfs with golf every Monday and Thursday morning at two different 9 hole golf courses. He got into it last year and now really enjoys it.

About an hour after lunch, we went to our usual waterhole in Arizona, Starbucks, and sat outside with our coffee. When we got back, we went to our neighbours David and Shirley who are from Vancouver Island and sat on their patio for a couple of hours. They were also here last year so it's nice to get reacquainted and catch up on each others doings over the summer. Next thing we knew it was 4:45 pm so we walked back to our motorhome and started on dinner. Then we just watched TV until bedtime.

Sorry I don't have any pictures today but I'm going to start taking pictures around Apache Junction just to show what it looks like around here. I just have to remember to bring my camera with me. ;-0

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Our first hike.

Wednesday is hiking day so I didn't take my morning walk or get into the pool. After breakfast we just sat outside waiting for 9:30 am to arrive. Six of us from the Park headed out to the Hieroglyphic Trail which is down by Kings Ranch Road (off US-60). This is the 4th time we've done that hike (our first this winter). It's not very long (it's almost 3 miles return) but it's a steep climb. At the end, you come to a rocky area where there are petroglyphs on some of the rocks. We work our way up to longer and higher hikes as we get into better shape and this hike is considered (for us anyway) one of the easier hikes.

I forgot my camera so I'm cheating. This is a picture of the petroglyphs which I took during one of our hikes last year.

We were both feeling very tired after that hike (I'm still adjusting to the heat) and after lunch, we both laid down to nap. Or I should say, David napped and I kept trying to but I sleep lightly and noises from outside constantly woke me up. I finally got up and sat outside to read. Not long after, David joined me. He wanted some licorice so we jumped in the car and headed to Wal-Mart, about five minutes away. We also picked up some baby spinach for dinner. After dinner, we went for a walk around the Park before settling down to an evening of TV watching.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Settling into our winter routine.

I woke up around 7:15 am to a typical Arizona morning with the sun shining and a clear blue sky. David was already up and sitting outside drinking coffee so I grabbed my bowl of cereal and went to sit outside too. It's usually around the high 60sF or low 70sF in the morning so it's very pleasant sitting outside. After, I went for my 45 minute walk around the park. Then David and I attended the 9 o'clock activities meeting. Usually we have water aerobics at 9 am but on Tuesdays, water aerobics is after the meeting. So it was almost 10 am when we went into the pool. By the time that was over and we had showered and dressed, it was lunch time.

After lunch we sat outside for a couple of hours to read. Then we went to Starbucks where we sat outside to drink our coffee. As long as you're in the shade, it's really nice sitting outside. Otherwise, for me it would be too hot in the sun. The forecast for the week is temperatures in the high 80sF. Your typical Arizona forecast.. sunny, sunny and sunny... That's why we love it here. Right now, the sun sets around 5:45 pm so after dinner we watched TV.

Monday, November 17, 2008

A typical start to our week

David had an early start this morning getting up at 6:00 am as he was leaving with some of the other 'boys' to go play 9 holes of golf. I think they had a 7:00 am start but for $20.00 they also got a cart and breakfast. I was up at 7:00 am so I could have breakfast and get my 45 minute walk in before the water aerobics at 9:00 am. The pool is heated so the water is great and I usually stay in the water for another 15 or 20 minutes after aerobics just enjoying the water. The sun is not too hot yet so it's not beating down on your head. By the time I got back to the motorhome around 10:15 am, David was back and sitting on our patio reading. I went in to shower and get dressed then also sat outside to read while David went to WalMart to pick up some transmission oil or something.

When he got back, we made lunch then sat outside again. Later on, we headed out to make a trip to the bank. We also wanted to check into the cost of getting the car washed, waxed and detailed inside (shampooing of rugs, etc) so we checked out this place in Mesa. They offered to do all of that for $159.00 which was around the price we expected to pay so we went for it. But then we were stuck having to walk over to the Mall across the street and waste 2 1/2 hours while we waited for the car to be done. Since we had left late to do this, it was 5:00 o'clock by the time we got back home. We sat outside for a while before going in to make dinner. The sun starts to set around 5:30 so there's not much to do or see outside. After dinner, we just watched TV.

See how the car shines. Next, we have to get the motorhome washed too because it's pretty dirty. It has a lot of streaks.

Here we are in front of the office building. Last year, we were behind the building.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Day of rest

Since today was Sunday, there were no organized activities going on. We spent most of the day getting reacquainted with a number of people in the Park that were also here last year. Everyone greets you as an old friend. It's quite nice! We also unloaded all the outside stuff that makes us feel at home like lawn chairs, tables, moon lights, barbeque and the patio mat.

Our friend Dave came over to help David fix the wiring under the passenger seat which had pulled apart when we tried to turn the chair around. The wiring was short because it was caught under the metal base that is bolted to the frame. So when we tried to turn the chair around, the wiring snapped. Since I couldn't be much help there, I took myself off to the Safeway to pick up grocery items that we needed. It was all fixed by the time I got back but the chair is going to stay facing forward anyway.

We love our corner site in front of the office building. We get to see all the comings and goings so you can sit there and people watch if you want. The motorhome faces South which is what we like but we have to keep the windshield curtains closed otherwise it would get very hot inside. We will also see a lot of sunsets from this site. We spent the rest of the afternoon sitting outside reading, walking around the Park and talking to people. It's pretty hard to walk around the Park without speaking to someone.

After dinner, we took another walk around the Park then watched TV until bedtime.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

We have arrived at our final destination

We were up and at 'em by 8:20 am this morning and again the forecast for today was the high 80sF. We drove out of Lake Havasu City heading South on SR-95 up to Quartzsite where we joined the I-10 East. We stopped for diesel at the Flying J Truck Stop in Phoenix and paid $2.379 per gallon. That is the cheapest diesel we have seen so far. Gas was even cheaper so it will be interesting to see how much it costs to fill up the Vue. After going through Phoenix, we took US-60 East which brought us to Apache Junction. We are finally here and will be staying for five months.
It's great to be back and see a lot of friends we met last year. We received some nice welcoming hugs from a few people who came over when they saw us arrive. After David got the motorhome parked on our site, he tried to get the satellite dish up but ran into problems. So we spent the rest of the afternoon trying to fix it. By the time we finally got the dish up and running, it was 6:00 pm. I think it was around 2:30 pm when we got here. Sheesh!! I didn't even see the sun set. I guess there's always tomorrow to start enjoying our stay. I'm sure the forecast for tomorrow is 'hot & sunny'... LOL.. Sorry to rub it in for you people up in the north. I'll try not to mention it again...
Since it was getting late, I just cooked up some pasta with some canned tomatoes for a quick dinner. After doing dishes, we went for a walk around the park but it was too dark to see who else that we know might already be here. We will find out tomorrow. We drove 238 miles today.
I don't have any pictures for today so I'm posting a couple of pictures from our trip to the Capilano Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver in August. It was quite an experience walking on the bridge. It bounces around as if someone is jumping up and down on it but it's just the effect from the people who are walking on it. Very weird.

Totem poles - also taken at the Capilano Suspension Bridge.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A day to relax and visit

We woke up to a beautiful warm sunny morning and the weather forecast for today is a high in the mid 80sF. I think I'll take that! After breakfast, I decided to do one load of laundry so headed to the laundry room. It's always nice to find a clean laundry room. Not all parks have them. Then we sat outside just to relax and enjoy the weather. The wind started picking up with gusts of up to 40 mph though and it remained windy like that all day. We went to the grocery store to pick up a few items we needed then came back to make lunch. After lunch, we headed out to see London bridge. Yes, it's actually the bridge that used to span the Thames River in London, England until it was sold in 1962. The bridge was originally built in 1831 and wasn't built to handle the ever-increasing flow of traffic so the city of London put it on the market. It was purchased by Robert McCulloch, the founder of Lake Havasu City and chairman of McCulloch Oil Corporation. It was disassembled and re-assembled here with recontruction completed in 1971. They dug a one-mile channel out of the peninsula in the lake and created an island. So the bridge now connects the small island to the mainland. There are a few RV parks on the island in addition to some houses. And a lot of new construction too.

View of London bridge on the island side.

View of the bridge from the mainland side.

View from the resort looking West. The resort is high above the lake and those mountains in the background are in California. The dividing line between California and Arizona is in the middle of the lake.

Same view, just a little further away.

View with the lake in the background. It looks hazy but its dust being picked up by the wind.

We took a drive around the island and walked down to the beach of lake Havasu. Those waves were about two feet high because it was so windy.

We went out for dinner again tonight. The restaurant we went to yesterday makes wood-fired pizza and we just had to try it. We asked for the wheat dough and it was great. Spent the evening watching TV. I have to get back to reading my book. I haven't read since we left B.C. I'm reading "World Without End" by Ken Follett which is the sequel to "The Pillars of the Earth". Both are great reads if you like the 13th & 14th centuries.