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.