Tuesday, December 29, 2009

December 21 to 29, 2009

Lise and I hope everybody had a wonderful Christmas. A special seasonal wish for all of you, including Murray and Myrna who sent their best wishes to us earlier. We still don't know how to answer people's comments properly in this blogger format.

Christmas was quiet for us. We opened a few presents and spent the day trying to phone family. The Resort put on a very nice Christmas dinner (although the meat was prime rib :-) ) and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. 198 people were served which is to say that there were a lot of people staying here over Christmas instead of going home.
We've been to see a couple of movies in the last few days - first we saw 'It's Complicated' with Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin; that was a pretty good movie - and then we went to 'Avatar' with our friends Art and Linda. I really liked that movie. The others thought it was pretty good. I thought it was awesome, but then it is quite up my alley as a sci-fi fantasy reader. I think I'd go to see it again for sure.
Yesterday a few of us decided to go out on a hike to try to find an arch at the top end of a canyon. Even though we didn't find the arch we still enjoyed the hike. I think everyone was pretty tired after this hike. It was 7.3 miles round trip and we had a bit of climbing to do while climbing up the canyon. After we got back we sat around in the motorhome of our hike leader, and enjoyed a nice glass of wine, some snacks, and of course, fellowship. I needed to spend a few minutes in the hot tub later in the evening to relax sore muscles :-).

stopping for lunch before heading further up the canyon

looking back at our highest point on the 'trail'

Sunday, December 20, 2009

December 18 to 20, 2009

We're finally starting to think about Christmas. Most of our christmas purchases were finished a long time ago but we have a few things left - mostly for each other. Even though we don't feel the need for receiving anything it is always nice to be able to open something on Christmas morning. Lise brought a few things back with her so we have something to open from the kids as well.
Lise has been drafted into an over 50 ladies baseball team. She had her first practice yesterday. It lasted about two hours and I played golf while I waited for her (tough life, eh?) Certain muscles are starting to tighten up on her this evening so it's a good thing she doesn't have another practice until Wednesday. I think she is looking forward to playing again. It's been at least 20 years since she's been involved in organized baseball.
Today Lise spent most of the day cleaning the motorhome. I thought it was pretty clean, but I guess not :-) I can certainly see the difference now that it's clean again. Maybe I should have noticed before she got back :-)
We met up with our friends Jim and Linda this afternoon. They dropped by to say hello. They introduced us to hiking, geocaching and golfing here in Apache Junction and were the first friends we made on our arrival here. Now we know which park they're staying in we'll have to drop by to visit them. I do have tentative plans to go golfing with him and other people we know sometime in the next few weeks. Should be fun.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

December 14 to 17, 2009

Lise arrived on schedule Tuesday evening. I've probably stated before how user friendly the airport is for picking up and dropping off passengers. Very efficient. It's nice to have her home; I feel complete again. Trent had it right and I'm sure many of you probably feel the same way.

We went out for supper at Village Inn; a late supper as it was almost 8:00. The staff and management there were very friendly and dropping by to see how we were doing every few minutes. Of course, we would probably have preferred a bit more privacy as we tried to get up to date on goings on but, no complaints.!~

The weather has started to warm up again and we headed out for a nice hike on Wednesday morning. This hike is special because it introduces a few different experiences other than just walking on trails. This hike is on South Mountain which is well known for its' views of Phoenix, and is a popular evening driving experience for star gazing, watching the sun set and seeing the lights of Phoenix playing out below. It is not something we've tried yet - but, some day.

Discussing worldly events during a brief break
Passing between rather large boulders - good thing I hadn't eaten lunch
Rather large pass through under some well-balanced boulders
Today I went with a group of 20 others to visit the Ping factory in Phoenix. It was very interesting and wetted my appetite for a set of fitted golf clubs :-) I think for me it'll be one club at a time!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

December 10 to 13, 2009

I've been busy enough over the last four days - visiting with friends, playing golf and doing lots of reading. But, mostly, I've been missing my wife and after three weeks away she's finally heading back home - on Tuesday. When your soul mate is not by your side it makes you feel incomplete. That has become more and more obvious as each day is ticked off. I must say, Tuesday can't come fast enough for me. And, I know Lise is looking forward to coming back as well.

I've also been watching lots of football - I'm starting to really enjoy the american teams. It's a little bit different game than we have in Canada but I'm starting to really like 4 down football :-)
Of course, once Lise comes back I don't foresee being able to watch too much of that (oh well). Don't think I'll complain too much :-)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

December 9, 2009

I woke to another beautiful day today. I have been watching the storm track through eastern US and Canada so I won't say too much about the weather here. I couldn't resist taking a picture of the sunrise, though. Usually we see the sunset, so when I saw George, the Activity Director, out with his camera I realized he was shooting the sunrise and I ran to back to get the camera before it was too late.

We had a good turnout for our hike today; 18 people showed up. Our Hike leader, Terry, wasn't able to make it as he was under the weather. (somehow when you say 'under the weather' around here I don't think it has the same impact :) ) Some of us knew the Saguaro Lake trail so off we went. It's about 35 minutes from the park but the travel time is worth it. I noticed on this trip that you don't always see just desert scenes so I tried to take pictures which represented that view.

Saguaro Lake and the boat dock across the lake

Sometimes I get an unexpected bonus and take a great picture :-)

marshy area in the lake - favourite spot for loons
When we arrived at the trailhead to start our hike we had forgotton that each vehicle needs a Recreation Area pass. We had five vehicles and nobody had any passes! In the past we always had enough passes to cover whatever vehicles we had with us. Not today. It was too late to go back to Apache Junction so we took a chance and headed out. Everybody was pretty anxious when we arrived back in the parking lot but, no problems, nobody had a ticket. Hopefully at this time of year they're not as conscientious in their visits to the parking lot. Anyway, we dodged a bullet this time. Next time we'll check on passes before we leave the RV park.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

December 7 to 8, 2009

Someone knocked on the door of the rig Sunday night during the football game. It turns out I won some of the pool from having the right score after the completion of the third quarter of the Arizona/Minnesota game. That was great. I haven't won anything for a long time.

Woke up bright and early on Monday, as usual. Of course it wasn't 'bright' but it was early. The rain that had been forecast was obviously on its way. By 10:00 in the morning it started to rain off and on, and the wind picked up as the afternoon progressed. It didn't stop people including me) from turning out for the ice cream social on the patio at the clubhouse :-)

I was invited out for supper with Terry and Tina Monday evening. We had a great meal and enjoyed a fun evening playing cribbage. Terry was happy to have a new player as Tina had been trouncing him lately and he needed somebody new to change the dynamics. It seemed to work as he won more than his fair share of the games. As I was heading home I noticed that people were putting their lawn chairs away and storing awnings, etc. I had already done that. When I went to bed I could hear and feel the rear bedroom slide awning flapping around. Not wanting to take a chance on damaging the awning I put one of the rear slides in. It cured the problem with the awning and also greatly diminished the sound so I had no trouble getting to sleep after that. It was a pretty wicked storm; we lost power at the park at midnight and didn't get it back til early morning.

By the time I got up this morning, about 7:00, the wind and rain had stopped and the sun was shining as though it had been out there all along! It was cool but with the sun out it's much easier to take.

We played golf this afternoon and the course was in pretty good shape; the ground was damp in parts which changed the game somewhat but there was no standing water. Afterwards I went out for dinner with Art and Linda to celebrate Art's 69th birthday. He liked the chinese restaurant we went to last week so we decided to try it again. No complaints all around. We did manage to limit ourselves to one plate of food this time :-)

After I got home it was time to get out my dart set and head for the dart game that starts at 6:00 every Tuesday. That was fun and then it was time to relax, finally, back at the rig and watch a little TV (So You Think You Can Dance). Did a little channel surfing and watched the Ottawa Senators lose to the Montreal Canadiens (Hockey).

Sunday, December 6, 2009

December 6, 2009

I managed to sleep in 'til 7:30 this morning. I had decided to be good and eat breakfast at home - save some money. But, wouldn't you know it, no cereal in the house. So, it was off to Village Inn for b and e.
I did a little 'house cleaning' before lunch and managed to make a big dent in my latest novel. I've been rereading the Terry Goodkind sci-fi/fantasy saga. I'm now on the last book. Reading the story over again has made me realize how much repitition and padding the author puts in the story. I get impatient with all the exterraneous material and usually jump ahead to the action sequences. The Sword of Truth series has eleven volumes. If you took out all the repitition it could have been condensed into six or seven novels. Oh well, I suppose it helps keep the story fresh in your mind.

This afternoon was the street party in the park, prior to the Minnesota Vikings vs Arizona Cardinals football game on the big screen in the clubhouse. The party was great with a real good turnout. The temperature was only 58*F but nobody looked too cold. Of course we all had long pants, sweaters and coats on :-). Unfortunately Mediacom, which provides phone, tv and internet services here, has been having trouble with their service today and it doesn't look like we'll be able to watch the game. Someone has one of those portable Cube satellite internet systems and they're going to try to hook it up to the big tv so we may get the game in yet. It'd be a shame if it doesn't happen as the afternoon get together was such a success. I have satellite tv service in my rig so I can get the game but I can't get 50 to 80 people in here! Hopefully it will still come together.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

December 3 to 5, 2009

I guess I'm losing track of the days. I thought it had only been two days since my last posting. Guess not :-)
The weather has been slowly changing to cooler and cloudy. Today I'm not even sure if it hit 60 F. Rain (showers) is expected by Monday.
Some people at the Resort built a float and entered it for the Christmas Parade. Apparently they won a prize for their efforts. I took the picture below as they were getting people into the float. With all the people going to the parade I didn't expect many people to attend happy hour this week but it was well attended. As usual I had a chance to meet some new people. Some of the people that stay here like to reserve tables for friends but Lise and I both prefer to just sit wherever there's room. It is a great way to meet people and find out what their stories are. It is always interesting.

Art and I went out looking for RV parts for his bus yesterday. The Garmin GPS I have is a great help for getting around a city that's not too familiar. We were able to find the places he wanted to visit and we came away with what he was looking for (his wallet was $500 lighter though). Of course we had started out in the morning and by the time we were done it was lunch time. We found a Paradise Bakery, again using the GPS, and had a quick meal before heading back home.

The Resort put on a French Toast breakfast this morning, which I attended, of course :-) Later on I went to the golf course to see if I could get on by myself for some twilight golf. As it turned out the course was not busy at all and I was able to play 9 holes. My game was quite a bit better than the other day so I'm all smiles again. Hopefully I can do as well during our team play next week.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

December 1 to 2, 2009

Tuesday, December 1: I attended the Tuesday meeting to see what was on the agenda for this month. Busy as usual - or at least, as busy as you want to be. There are Christmas type of activities this month that I'd really like to see - festival of boat lights in Tempe, the christmas lights and festivities of the Mormon Church, and others. Perhaps when Lise gets back we can take in some of those.
The main thing on Tuesday is golf. I had been golfing late last week and spent some time on the range on Sunday trying to improve my game. I felt I had made some gains and was anxious to try out my game on the course. I think I should have lowered my expectations. People always say - a good result on the range doesn't always translate to the course. I guess I'm the proof of that. Oh well, I always go back. I really love the game and I'll keep trying!
I didn't go to darts in the evening as my friends Art and Linda invited me out for dinner and we went to a chinese buffet type restaurant. Love it. I wouldn't want to go too often but once in a while is fine.

Wednesday, December 2: It was a little cool this morning but the sun was shining so it looked to be a great day for a hike. Terry is now managing the hikes and he had a nice easy hike of about 4 miles in the Hackaberry Trail area. There was a good turnout - 13 people, and the weather warmed up just fine - it always helps when there are no clouds in the sky and the wind is calm:-)
I decided to attend the dinner and dance that had been arranged in the park tonight. It was a 60s theme so there were a few people with no shame reliving their versions of what they thought the 60s looked like. I captured a few of the celebrants!
a look back at the terrain we travelled through today
today's group - and a few friends from last year joined us

Some of these folks would definitely be able to remember the 60s

Mike and Grandpa (the magician)
Jim and Shirley