Tuesday, December 23, 2008
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
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
Saturday, December 20, 2008
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
The hike begins with these steps...
Looking back towards the parking lot and view of Phoenix.
Challenging but a lot of fun.
The view looking back & down.
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
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
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
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
Saturday, December 13, 2008
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
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
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
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
Friday, December 5, 2008
The group taking a break with Saguaro Lake in the background.
Looking back at the trail (it's only wide enough for one person).
We went off the trail and went down to the lakeshore.
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
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
David, Michel & Micheline smiling for the camera.
Monday, December 1, 2008
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.
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
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).
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.
David and me..
This is the whole group except for me. I took the picture.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
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
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
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
Saturday, November 22, 2008
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
Thursday, November 20, 2008
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
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
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
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
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
Totem poles - also taken at the Capilano Suspension Bridge.
Friday, November 14, 2008
View of London bridge on the island 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.
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.