IS THIS WHAT IT FEELS LIKE BEING RETIRED? OR NOW I KNOW WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT! CHAPTER NINE FEBRUARY 3 – MAY 4, 2018

 

Friday, May 4, 2018

May the fourth be with you! I can’t believe I said the same thing one year ago! Star Wars day is here again!

When I came back from my bike ride around the park, Alex had washed Sergio.
We bike over to a recycle center to cash in our cans. The park had can recycling that the local park clubs collected and turned in, using the proceeds for their organizations. We took our cans there to help them and the environment. But, since everyone is gone, the recycle bins have been shut done. I can’t just throw my recyclables into the trash, so we took them to the recycle enter and ended up making $2.20. A win-win for us and the environment.

Back at the coach, we do some general get ready to leave stuff, get the bikes on the coach, put away the chairs, extra hoses, etc., then get ready to meet Barry and Dottie and Brooklyn V’s for pizza and our farewells. A fun time, but sad knowing our time together is coming to an end.

At home on the news, we learn of the Waymo crash, Google’s project, that happened earlier in the day. This autonomous vehicle is the second this month, neither of which was the reason for the crash. I have to admit, it is interesting to see these cars on the road. I am looking forward to the future when they are the norm.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

We start the day with our bike ride around the park. I am going to miss this. Early in the morning, it is so peaceful and quiet. It is nice riding around in quiet contemplation, seeing what is going on. At this point, not much, but nice none the less. Two or three coaches leave every day. We’re getting into moving mode. Alex cleaned the barbecue, ick, it was disgusting! I cleaned the inside of Sergio. His bath time would be later today or tomorrow. We need to get the dirt off, especially after the ten second rain the other night. All it did was make everything a muddy mess. After all our yucky cleaning, we headed off to the hot tub and pool for a nice relaxing soak.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

There is a resident breakfast at the Activity Center at nine this morning. We are attending before heading to the Japanese Friendship Gardens in Phoenix. Breakfast is continental, pastries and bagels, juice, coffee and tea. And all the park news.

I love Japanese gardens. I love Asian architecture, furniture and pretty much all things Asian, so this is going to be fun! This isn’t a monster size garden, but it is big for being in the heart of a city. A high rise apartment building sits next to the gardens. If you have to live in an apartment, I can’t think of anyplace I would rather look upon than these gardens. What a way to start and end your day!

There is a small gift shop as you enter where you buy your tickets. A six dollar entry gets you into the gardens. They do have specialty tours and traditional tea ceremonies for different fees and specific dates and times. Unfortunately, we weren’t visiting on one of those days.

The gardens make a big loop around a pond packed with koi fighting for guests to feed them. Vegetation, sculptures and wildlife are everywhere you turn. There is the traditional tea house at the back of the garden. It is an extremely peaceful and spiritual place. I take a gizzillion pictures of the foliage and even more of the architecture. We had bought koi food to feed the fish and the ducks, watching them swim on top of each other to get at the food. We were fooled by two swans in the pond. On our journey around the pond we thought they were real. They moved peacefully around in the pond. Turns out they were fake, but such a good ruse. What a beautiful and inspirational place!

 

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

It’s the low of the weather roller coaster, seventies today. It’s nice and cool, great for a long bike ride. It’s day two getting Alex CBD oil and this time, after some better research, we have success.

Monday, April 30, 2018

A quiet day riding our bikes around the now very empty campground. We did our usual hot tub and pool experience, the only difference, we have a rowdy bunch of young people who have invaded our pool, so we have moved off to the main pool area.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Alex spent the morning watching NASCAR trying to pass kidney stones. He was in pain, so we didn’t go to our last trivia.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

We finished the lighthouse jigsaw puzzle. It was an easy one, for a change. But, it was missing a piece in the snowman’s body. This was a puzzle we swapped at the puzzle room. We didn’t know it was missing a piece when we swapped it.1937343C-BCA2-41E5-A618-D029C74274AAOur bike ride lead us to the hot tub and pool. I’m getting used to this. When we got home, Alex passed a few kidney stones and spent the night in pain trying to give birth to more.

Friday, April 27, 2018

We start out today with a follow up visit to Alex’s back doctor, then we’re off to Scottsdale and a long awaited destination, Taliesin West, the winter home of Frank Lloyd Wright. I am so excited. I am like a kid at Christmas. When we arrived, we were greeted by a road runner making his dash across the parking lot. I take that as a good sign.

We have a one thirty Insights tour reservation. They offer several tours, each pertaining to different aspects of Wrights’ life and the property, each in varying durations and costs, including one at night, which will be on my list to do, if we come back this way again. The Insights tour is the basic, offering a walk through Wrights’ private quarters and living room, the gracious Taliesin West “Garden Room,” the drafting studio, his, not the school’s, the Music Pavilion, the Cabaret, and the grounds. My love of architecture and building makes me feel like I have died and gone to heaven. Being in the master’s creation, is the equivalent of Eden, Mecca, Jerusalem and any and all other spiritual experience this earthly life has to offer all rolled into one. I take a gizzillion pictures to admire and inspire.

 

Once we are back down to reality again, we set off for home and the hot tub and pool.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Cleaned up a bit around the house, then went for an hour long bike ride before the heat of the day set in. Today’s crock pot adventure, beef brisket.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

We spend the day inside working on the lighthouse jigsaw puzzle. I tried making Chicken Cacciatore in the crock pot. Not bad.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

I did some calls and paperwork today. Around four, I went to the fitness center, while Alex went into the hot tub, where I met up with him after my workout. I could get used to this.

Monday, April 23, 2018

We bike to Camping World to get some more measurements for the theater seating for Claudia. Back at the campground, we bike around awhile, then home for lunch and finish our jigsaw puzzle.5E8F44C9-31B7-4C59-9A4B-EF570BDD2AFB

Sunday, April 22, 2018

We take a bike ride to Camping World for replacements parts for the drawer latches. While we are there, we are taking a serious look at the theater seating to replace our L-shaped sofa that is so terribly uncomfortable for television viewing. We took pictures of the tag information and got dimensions, now we can see if it will work in our coach. When we get home, I change and head to the fitness center. It’s trivia night, so no time to waste once I get back. We almost took third place. If we would have bet more points on two answers, we would have had it.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Today is the long awaited Crab Fest at Barry’s County Club. While we were in Alaska, eating King Crab at thirty dollars a pound, Barry was at the Country Club eating thirty dollar all-you-can-eat King Crab. Life’s just not fair!

Being all-you-can-eat, it is a buffet. There is a shrimp mixed vegetable dish with mushrooms, sausage and potatoes, coleslaw and let’s not forget chocolate mousse for dessert. But who cares about any of that, there’s mountains of crab, seven hundred fifty pounds. Bon appétit!

Friday, April 20, 2018

I am invited by Dottie to bingo. I don’t much about the details, except I have to bring a ten dollar gift and there will be lunch, to which I am contributing. As it turns out, bingo is at the house of one of Dottie’s friends, also named Dottie. There are sixteen other women there. So, this is how bingo goes. Entry to bingo is your gift and five dollars. The first half of the day, bingo is played on a disposable card with three games boards on each of the cards. Each time we start a new game with a new card, the objective is different, the letter F, the letter X, and so forth. The winner picks one of the gifts, which are listed on a poster board. You get an index card with the prize name on it which you turn in at the end of the day for the prize. When all of the gifts are gone, it’s lunch time. After lunch it’s gets a bit crazy. Now you play on cardboard game cards using pennies to mark your numbers. This time if you win, you steal a gift from someone. I won a makeup set in the first round and stole a bottle of Cabernet in the second, but by the time the game was over I lost it all. The last leg of bingo is back on the disposable cards with different objectives, the last being a full card, which I won, but had to split the thirty five dollar prize with another woman. So, I walked out with seventeen fifty. The adventure cost me fifty cents. The most fun I have ever had for fifty cents.

Dottie and I drove back to her house and chatted for a while. Around five, I headed back over to Barry’s house, where he and Alex had been hanging out. The guys had gone for breakfast at Egg n Joe, then checked out the estate sales that were going on. FEB8A3A0-1E6E-49F6-B2FF-D8A341A3F6CBThe number of sales has drastically dropped since the snowbirds have gone. When we left Barry’s, Alex and I went to Rush Street Pizza for dinner.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

I worked nine hours on the butterfly jigsaw puzzle. From ten in the morning. Alex joined me around noon. We got so into the puzzle, all we had for lunch was string cheese. One more session should do it.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

I am riding the stationary bike at the fitness center, watching the seniors bobbing in the pool on the noodles like corks. This is how they spent their day. Bobbing like corks keeping cool in the pool. Alex went to Harbor Freight to get some things he needed to blow out the air conditioners. They have become loaded with dirt. While he’s cleaning the air conditioners. I run to Fry’s and Home Depot.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

It’s one of the roller coaster days where it’s only going to be seventy six today. The perfect day for a walk in the Sonoran desert. We’re meeting Barry at the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix this morning.

The Desert Botanical Gardens showcases 50,000 plants from around the world. As you walk along the trails you see different species of cacti, wildflowers and trees, each with a small sign telling you the name, origin and something about the specimen.

 

They have a small butterfly house, nothing like the one in Scottsdale, but nice none the less. FFE814A6-45EE-46B9-B2F6-3FB622949AAC259C38A8-CC1E-4717-AB42-A95D61BEEA89They have different events at the gardens, as well as horticulture classes, exhibitions and some interesting art and water features. The Garden Shop has plants, books, home and garden decor, gifts, and gourmet food. If you’re hungry, you can eat at Gertrude’s or the Patio Cafe. Nice as those choices were, we decided to go to Chompie’s in Tempe instead.

This was the worst Chompie’s we have been in. It took about five minutes to be seated. Then it took longer to get a menu and our order. I ordered a bowl of chicken noodle soup. It is the closest I have ever tasted to my Aunt Sophie’s, which I loved. They brought the sandwiches, but forgot my soup. When I mentioned it to the person who delivered our food, I got a cup of soup instead. Fortunately, our server caught it and brought me soup to go. After we ate, I went to the deli counter to get bagels. They were out. A very disappointing experience.

Monday, April 16, 2018

After my morning workout at the fitness center, I bike home and we call our friend Skip, in Alaska. He’s been trying to escape the Alaska cold and wander like we do, but his body has been giving him one hell of a battle. First, gout in both feet and one knee that landed him in the hospital. Then his knee was replaced. Now he’s working diligently to get back on track to join the retired nomads. After all our texts, it’s always nice to hear someone’s voice.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

An interrupted NASCAR race and trivia.

Saturday , April 14, 2018

It’s a beautiful morning. In the low seventies and only eight percent humidity. I set out to bike to the gym, but the day is just so nice I decide to just keep biking around the park instead. Almost two hours worth. Three coaches leave as I’m biking. The mobile homes all have their mailboxes tied shut. A sign the occupants have gone back to the summer homes. It’s like a ghost town here. Very quiet and very nice. While Alex naps, I read. Around four we bike over to the hot tub and pool, where we spend the next two and a half hours relaxing in the water.

Friday, April 13, 2018

We’re heading to Goldfield Ghost Town, north and east of Apache Junction at the foot of the Superstition Mountains. Back in the 1890′s, Goldfield boasted 3 saloons, a boarding house, general store, blacksmith shop, brewery, meat market and a school house. When the vein faulted, the grade of ore dropped and the town died a slow painful death. The town did come to life again from 1910 on and off until 1926.

 

Today, you can walk down the main street and visit the shops and historic buildings. Tour the historic Mammoth Gold Mine, or visit the Goldfield Museum. Pan for gold or take a ride on Arizona’s only narrow gauge train, with thirty six inch rails. There is an old west gun fight, but only on weekends. You can zip line, take a Jeep tour on the Apache Trail, visit the Reptile Exhibit and Mystery Shack, or try your hand at the Eagle Eye Shooting Gallery. Each of these activities has a price.

We get there a few minutes after ten, which is the time they say they are open. A few shops are, but we find out, from one of the shop keepers, that most don’t open until eleven. After wandering around, we go the Mammoth Steakhouse & Saloon for lunch. It’s an old time western saloon, complete with all the western charm and decor. There are old boots, some with the name and date is the deceased on them, hanging from the rafters. Other interesting items to look for are cowboy hats, chaps and mounted animal heads. They serve appetizers, the famous Mammoth Burgers, steaks and sandwiches. A limited menu, but not bad.

 

After lunch, we walk down to the lower level and the train station. It’s still early, so we head over to the Mesa Marketplace. Barry is with us and has never been. Since he has a new house to furnish, it’s a good place to check out. On the ride home, we have to stop at Dairy Queen. Barry put the idea of ice cream in my head and now with need to get it out.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Alex gets his last shot for his back today. That means up early, drive to the doctors, get drugged, him, not me, drive back, and veg out for the day. It’s a beautiful day today. In the 80’s with a nice breeze, although there are alerts, as that nice breeze can turn wicked.

While Alex sleeps off the drugs, I bike over to the gym. The nice breeze has turned into a stiff wind. After my workout I bike back. Now that stiff wind has turned into thirty mile an hour winds. I bike back, one hand on the handlebars, one hand one my hat. I turn a corner and see a dust cloud coming at me. It’s like biking into a hurricane. I can hardly see and keep me and the bike upright. What a workout!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

We’re going to the Arizona Science Center in Phoenix. 9797ED4E-0713-431D-B858-15DAD87789AFThe geek in me loves science centers. I wish I could say that about this one. If I were under the age of ten, I probably would think I died and went to heaven, if one exists. But, I’m far from ten. This is a giant science themed interactive playground for kids. And expensive. Adult admission is $18.00, not a bad price, if that were it. But that only gets you in the door to the playground. If you want to go to a planetarium show, there are four, it will cost you $9 for each. Check out one of the two giant screen movies, another $7.95 for each. Their featured exhibition will add another $11.95. You can’t just buy a ticket to any of these other more adult things without first paying the general admission. They do offer discounts, like $1.00 off the featured exhibit when you purchase it with a general admission ticket and a planetarium ticket. Big whoop! They do validate parking, so it’s $5 instead of $12.

We had several school groups there and the noise was deafening. They were running around as if in a playground. You really couldn’t enjoy, or get to, the few things that weren’t gym like or playground related. One boy ran and jumped and landed on me. I no sooner picked up my stuff, when I got hit with a second. The adult supervising them didn’t even say a word to me. She just stood there looking at me picking up my things.

They have a cafe that serves natural food, which was good and a gift shop packed with things geared for kids. As an adult, I would not go here. Very disappointing and definitely not worth the money.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The forecast has us going to 98 or 99 today and tomorrow. They say we could hit 100. I remember the days when I was wishing for the 80’s. Seems like I’m still wishing for them.

We bike over to the fitness center for our morning routine. Then a short bike ride around the park. It’s getting hot already. The nights have been cool enough that you can turn off the air conditioning and open the windows, but once the sun makes its appearance, the temperature starts to rise, and rises quickly. Even with the air on, it’s still warm. We spend the afternoon inside working on the new butterfly jigsaw puzzle.

Monday, April 9, 2018

We bike ride over to the fitness center for our morning workout. Near the end of my session, my oldest friend in the world, Pattie, calls to wish me happy birthday. We have known each other since we were three. I sit outside by the pool chatting. Such warm feelings when you are talking to someone from you past that is still part of your present and hopefully part of your future.

Afterwards we take our bike ride around the park. When we first got here, biking down any street meant you were riding in a canyon of structures, wall to wall with coaches or mobile homes. Now the snowbirds have flown north and the park is deserted. I can look to my left or right from any street and see straight through to the exterior block walls. And this place holds 1,667 sites. A pretty big place, and now, nobody. It’s kind of nice. Not many people or cars or bikes. Peace and quiet.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

NASCAR and Trivia. We didn’t do very well the first half, but came back in the second. We still didn’t win. Maybe next time.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

After our session at the fitness center, we have to head back to the Fiat dealer in Scottsdale to pick up Sergio’s fog lamps. It’s a quick ride up and back, then a stop at Fry’s and Home Depot to get something to insulate the big window at the driver side of the coach. The early morning sun and 90 degree days just bakes the coach. We’re trying to keep the very hot Arizona sun out of our tin can and not cook us.

And Alex puts Sergio’s fog lamps in. Sergio’s a happy boy!

Friday, April 6, 2018

We’re off to Scottsdale to the Fiat dealer to finally get Sergio his fog lamps. They were destroyed in our trek through Canada. Barry is meeting us there so we can check out the Penske Racing Museum when we’re done.

They only have one lamp in stock, so we place an order for the second. It will be in tomorrow morning. Guess we’ll be making another trip back.

The Penske Racing Museum is about two miles from the dealership. It is not a big museum, you can see everything in an hour, unless you’re a real gear head and spend a great deal of time drooling over the cars and engines. In addition to the winning cars and engines, there are trophies, memorabilia, a gift shop and cafe. Fifty years of Team Penske Indy and NASCAR racing are represented. These aren’t the only cars you’ll be drooling over. The museum is right smack dab in the middle of Scottsdale 101 Auto Collection. That’s Porsche, Ferrari, Maserati, Rolls Royce, Aston Martin, Bentley and Lamborghini, to name a few. If it’s an expensive car, they sell it here!

 

Lunch is at Cold Beers and Cheeseburgers and they don’t lie. As the name suggests, great burgers and ice cold beer. I thought it was an independent restaurant. Turns out there is one in Chandler. Who knew?

Thursday, April 5, 2018

We start out with our workout and bike ride, then go to Wallyworld for some shopping and pick up a prescription.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Day three of our workout. The difference, we finish the wolf jigsaw puzzle and start on an insane butterfly puzzle.D10BBDC5-C0AB-4315-BD00-61A0DF53A63E

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Back to the fitness center, our bike ride and jigsaw puzzle.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Today we hit the fitness center, then rode our bikes around the park for about an hour before the heat kicks in. We spend the afternoon inside working on our jigsaw puzzle.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Easter Sunday. Quiet day spent relaxing around the house with the AC on. It’s in the nineties outside so a nice milkshake was called for.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

We’re heading to the Arizona Military Museum today with Barry. We meet up at his new house and make the journey to Phoenix. Hunger strikes and we decide to stop for a bite before going into the museum. There weren’t a lot of options between the highway and the museum, so we picked Gypsy’s Roadhouse, a biker bar. We got some stares as we walked in, but no drama. The food was good and the drinks even better.

The Arizona Military Museum is operated by the Arizona National Guard Historical Society, a private non-profit corporation. The museum celebrated its 25th anniversary on September 30, 2006. The raw adobe building, that houses the museum, was constructed in 1936 as a Depression-era public works project. It served as a National Guard arsenal until World War II, when it was converted into a maintenance shop for German prisoners of war confined at a nearby POW camp. Admission is free, though they do take donations and request you sign the guest book to help prove attendance and keep funding for the museum going.

Inside, is the history of the US military and its conflicts from the Arizona perspective. This is all about the Arizona soldier. Each section is a different time, beginning with the Spaniards in the 1500’s to the present. 05CA9DAD-73DF-4A7F-AC03-9F80EC62D001CF574096-1A02-4AF9-90AA-3BD0437AF6C1DE42BB77-B0C5-449D-8D86-4C31AF19B09AYou can see the changes to uniforms, patches, medals, lifestyle and warfare over the centuries. The Vietnam room was of particular interest to the guys, complete with helicopter and Jeep. B1FE084E-FF6E-44B5-9C01-4AF6E335FAD7ECD16567-0830-47A1-AE23-2DF48084C8F9D08AFBF9-1734-451F-817F-79038572F40CIf you are a veteran or a military buff, it’s an interesting place to spend some time.

On the way home we made a quick stop at Fry’s to grab some snacks before heading back to Barry’s to hand out. An enjoyable day, indeed.

Friday, March 30, 2018

We’re driving to East Mesa to the Mesa Marketplace, only open 7-4 on Friday, Saturday and Sundays. As you can guess, it is a giant market with 1,500 vendors selling clothes, shoes, handbags, outdoor decorations, tools, food, doors, hot tubs and just about anything you can think of, from cheap to expensive. If we had a house, the car would be loaded up, but, I can only look. If you go, dress for the hot weather and wear comfy shoes. You will do a lot of walking.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

I had a bad night sleep and now we’re up early so Alex can get his second back shot. When we get home, he’s drossy from the sedation and I’m just pooped, so the rest of the day is spent napping.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The Arizona Museum of Natural History in Mesa is our destination for today. Dinosaurs, the stars and so much more. The main entrance is packed with the remains of mammoth, ancient armadillos and tortoise. Walk under the giant jaw of a prehistoric shark and you step into the stars and the evolution of the earth. Explore different rocks and minerals. Then stand before a scene from the time when dinosaurs roamed the earth, complete with a thunderstorm and the flood from the mountain. Discover ancient tribal cravings. See what the Mesa jail was like. It was so secure, the Federal Government used it to house its prisoners when transporting them through the state. All this, and interactive areas for the kids, a movie area and a gift shop.ED63BBC2-B49C-4F09-914E-F537CBF933424A77A86A-130D-44B2-8F65-063B7E8592B6E31B7ED1-7284-4F2C-9C41-F86019A532C4E8C72064-BE6D-42E4-B10A-07C0FFEE700F143A6510-ADB5-4EC3-A08D-98BCB7D8E0A2B1C3F8D1-9B94-4B77-96E2-B5EBB5717E3DF165B32C-600F-4B93-A1E4-4BB0CD472C04E495D335-8873-4B10-AAA6-E5C01AAB7F728D7FAED7-8530-4F16-AED2-EDA5EF761D95C3B2C372-A6FE-4A82-B01F-E7ECD9137340C5668C08-B214-402A-9AC8-21927171B98C

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

We are spending the day figuring out where to stay, what to do and for how long on our Tucson trek.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Phone calls! It seems there is always something that needs attention and it ends up taking up most of the day. I would laugh at the commercials, with the poor person repeatedly saying representative, if it weren’t so painfully true.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

NASCAR was postponed until tomorrow because of the snow storm in Virginia. Reading and others odds and ends around the house.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

The Country Club where Dottie lives is having a California Vineyard Wine paring tonight and we are there! Five different foods pared with California vino. Who could ask for anything more? Good food, although was more like appetizers than individual courses, good wine and good company.634C8A10-409B-405C-B8F6-11B086F0B4AA

Friday, March 23, 2018

We are driving to Tucson, a two hour drive east, to go to the Greater Tucson RV Show. The show advertises lots of vendors, campgrounds, tow vehicles and more. What a disappointment! There were less vendors than I have fingers. It was just RV dealers selling their stock. I did get some very useful information on RV satellite systems, particularly DISH, from CM Wireless, a company that does nothing but RV installations, so I guess it wasn’t a total waste. Since the price is right, we might just have to consider taking the plunge. Before we head back we stop at Fired Pie for some pizza.DD3A3C4E-4789-4913-A1EA-885BDE49B83EA0BC25E7-2C84-49B1-8648-3DDC92EFCB1D

Thursday, March 22, 2018

A trip to Barry’s new house, the brown house, as he calls it, is a shorter ride than going to the red house, the house he was renting. We’re heading over to see the newly painted walls and the new furniture. But before we leave, we have drama in our little corner of paradise.

There is a fifth wheel two spots down on the opposite side of the street. They have a pretty white cat with spots that they let roam around freely, a no-no in campgrounds. Some of the annual residents have complained. That hasn’t stopped the braggadocious guy from letting the cat out. So, karma took a bite today. The are checking out and leaving, or supposed to be checking out by eleven. But the cat has other ideas. While they were hooking up, the cat headed out the door. So, now the guy is cursing and chasing the cat with a broom, she’s trying to coax it with food and the cat has a screw you attitude. I can’t understand why! The whole neighborhood is involved in the capture mission, but the cat seems to like sitting under our coach or hiding under a neighbor’s house. When we leave for Barry’s, the hunt is still on and it’s past eleven.

His place is shaping up. Soon it will be a home. We hang out for a bit, then we all drive to Keegan’s Grill for lunch. Back at Barry’s afterwards, we work on setting up his television. Then it’s homeward bound.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Claudia’s Spring cleaning.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

I have an eleven o’clock doctor appointment for my last shot in my knee. We drive over to the Chompies in Chandler for lunch. Love their chicken soup. It tastes just like my Aunt Sophie made. I had a full brisket sandwich and Alex had a triple decked. Neither of us could finish so we brought food home. Looks like I know what we will be having for dinner.C11909FA-58B4-4169-94B7-8769B8A619C597EE7B5E-673D-4939-9CD7-CE5B6900320867A6F4F8-2D16-4205-8279-2602C8D72999

We take a ride to see The Eddie Basha Collection, housed in the Zelma Basha Salmeri Gallery, also known locally as Basha Museum. Eddie grew up captivated by the American West. In 1971 under the encouragement and guidance of his Aunt Zelma, he began collecting art. His hobby quickly grew into a passion, and his collection has grown into one of the largest private collections of contemporary Western American and American Indian art in the world. Well over 3,500 pieces of art are displayed in the gallery, including oil paintings, watercolors, acrylics, pastel and charcoal drawings, pen & inks, bronze, wood and natural stone sculptures, wood-turned bowls, basketry, pottery, katsinas and jewelry. We spend a very interesting afternoon looking at the extensive collection reading and learning about the American West.

 

A quick stop at Fry’s and it’s home again.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Chores and paperwork. They seem to never end.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

NASCAR and trivia today.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

We’re spending Saint Patrick’s Day at Barleens in Apache Junction with Barry and Dottie and a bunch of other people that are part of a group, none of which we know.7DFA6021-D205-4885-A024-3A07CB272178 Barleens is a dinner show that has been around for thirty one years. We drive the fifteen miles east and get there a little before noon for an afternoon show. We didn’t know what to expect, but boy what a good show and the food wasn’t bad either.

First, lunch was served. Mashed potatoes with gravy, a piece of beef that melted in you mouth, seasoned veggies, a roll, and I think the only losing item was something that was trying to imitate chicken. But it was edible. Plus dessert, a big piece of chocolate cake, which they advocate to eat first, because life is uncertain, and a drink. Then the show starts. It’s a variety show, emphasis on variety. All different genres of music. They did a rendition of Stray Cat Strut by the Stray Cats that rocked, a lot of country and a few solo performers that had magnificent voices. There’s an impressionist who also has a fabulous voice and did a few solos. He played Sonny to the owner’s Cher, which was hysterical. The entire show was about two hours and well worth the money.590EEBF8-185B-4957-9F17-B49BDDA18072

Friday, March 16, 2018

The weather turned cooler today, chilly, so we’re continuing on our wolf jigsaw puzzle.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

The weather turned cooler today. Alex gets his first shot for his back this morning, at 7:50 AM. Getting up at six to be at the doctors, which is a half an hour away, is too much like work!

All goes well and we are home by 9:30. He has to do nothing all day, so we caught up on some television shows, like The Alienist that we missed the other night because of the time change. Now, the east coast is three hours different and each television channel decides what time shows start. Some are still two hours different, some are three. Want to guess what way TNT went with The Alienist?

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Another hot day. We stay in working on the wolf jigsaw puzzle.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Another eighty plus degree day today. We decided to take a bike ride to the office to see about extending our stay. Alex’s last doctor appointment would be after our departure date and we also want to stay for the all you can eat crab legs at Barry and Dottie’s club. When we finish with our extended reservation, we take a ride around the park. We want to check out the woodworking, lapidary and silver shops. There is also a quilting room which is an entire small building. I did lapidary and silver work many years ago. Unfortunately, there wasn’t anyone around to talk to about this. They are only there in the mornings. The woodworking shop was open and I found it costs forty dollars to join for the year. You buy your own materials and you have the use of all their tools, which are quite extensive. We might want to think about this to build shelves for the wonderful pantry in the coach. We’ll see.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Running errands and grocery shopping. It’s in the eighties today and boy is it hot! I think the lack of humidity makes the temperature hotter.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Trivia today.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Today marks one year living in our motor home. Time sure does fly!

We’re going to Dottie’s tonight for dinner, but first I’m getting my nails done, then a quick stop at Walmart to pick up a few things and then a stop at All Pierogi Kitchen to pick up tonight’s dinner. Dottie ordered three different kinds of pierogi and since the store is by us, we picking them up on our way to her house.

The five of us, Barry, Dottie, Alex, me and Bennie, Dottie’s African Grey parrot, have a wonderful time. Munchies before dinner, wine and then the pierogis and stuffed cabbage. We talked the night away and had a great time!

Friday, March 9, 2018

We’re going to the thirtieth annual Ostrich Festival. At eight dollars a person it’s a steal!

It is a three day event in Chandler at Tumbleweed Park. So much to do! They have a Main Carnival with rides and attractions for big kids and a carnival just for little kids. Throughout, there are stages with music and shows going on at different times of the day. The main path through the festival has tons of food vendors and shops selling all sorts of things. There’s a beer garden and Pangaea, the dinosaur place in Scottsdale, has an inflatable dinosaur land. But for us, the best part was all the attractions. We got to see pig races. I thought they would take forever to run the small track, but the double stuffed Oreo cookie at the finish line got them moving so fast my eyes couldn’t believe it! C3510CF9-9D85-4592-9098-3C6B1A9D5ADDWe sat in the arena and watched emu races, camel races, chicken races and of course, ostrich races. The emus and chickens, roosters really, ran without jockeys. The camel and ostriches had jockeys. The jockeys riding the camels fared far better than the ostrich jockeys. They didn’t fall off as much. C3DAF0C3-1C29-482F-91E1-7C0ACB2FB0443AA32FA5-9461-412B-9C4F-BF92E5446852ACD96356-D7C1-4F6C-B607-A5A492FBF2FA5EB4589B-42F1-4DCB-A3A1-B1EDD53BD65EThe ostriches threw their riders off and one jockey was trampled by the three hundred pound bird. The bird ended up on the ground as well. Not pretty for the both of them.9DA9A45E-E692-4C74-B434-63B7316803BD

We watched what was called Dock Dogs. If you have ever had a dog, you know how much they like to fetch sticks. And if you live near water, the dogs love to jump into the water chasing the stick. This event combined both. A giant pool was set up with markings indicating the length of the pool in feet. On the platform, the owner would throw a stick into the water as far as they could and the dog would jump in after it. The dog that jumped the farthest was the winner.B54E58BC-365E-43C2-A1B2-8DEF7A6332F5

We watched the Professor Smart Science Show. He was a combination comedian, magician and science guy all rolled into one. He would bring kids on stage to help him with his science experiment. The kids in the audience had a blast! So did we!3C826C21-453B-4250-A65B-E6AECD92AE6E

One of the best things, if not the best, was the Pirates of the Columbian Caribbean show. These high wire crazy people put on one great show all centered around a treasure map one group found and the other wanted. An amazing performance!db82e40c-1712-4326-bd99-97d48ef9a3fb.jpegFB8AA590-62A5-4FAA-9650-92BECDC6F3308670DB33-188C-42DF-A1D1-41B5DCC4322339E56599-8066-4FAA-B64F-D7C9071923AB

You can take a camel ride or a pony ride, spend time with the animals at the petting zoo, or learn about science, technology, engineering and math at the Imaginology “STEM Tent”. FF9D261A-2D72-4E16-9204-090B08E5B669Fun and education for all ages. An great day!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

We are heading back to Scottsdale to Butterfly Wonderland. Barry is meeting us at nine thirty.

We park in the exact same spot we had the other day. Barry is waiting for us on a bench at the front door. When you enter, the first thing you do is watch a short movie on the Monarch butterfly. This butterfly is the longest living of its kind, the king of butterflies. The average butterfly lives about two weeks. In the span of one year, the Monarch butterfly will have an amazing three generations because of their migration pattern. The movie shows us how the first generation lays eggs in Texas. That new generation migrates north where the next generations are born. When the weather starts to change, the last generation makes its migration back south where it will hibernate till spring and the cycle starts anew. Mother Nature is amazing!

After the movie, you enter the nursery, where the pupa or chrysalis are hanging, waiting to be born. Once they emerge, they stay in the protective case with the other pupa until their wings dry. Then they are moved to the butterfly conservatory. If there is heaven on earth, this is it. You walk into a giant garden with thousands of butterflies of every kind. 7738F7B3-EAD4-4D4A-89FA-1B9CD77ECDB2Butterflies are everywhere.

 

 

You are told to watch where you step because the butterflies will rest on the ground. They fly by, they land on you.

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Barry and his new friend.

It is some kind of enchanted land. In the center, there is a koi pond where you can feed the fish. 800E507C-E9AF-4087-A427-83663C82CB07A12DAED2-E806-4DDB-A421-41CA67DFC371There is a section off to the right that houses honey bees, complete with a look into a hive.F44FF74F-47B6-4AFD-B661-63EC444BE9AA I could stay in this magical place with a big smile on my face forever!

Eventually, we leave this beautiful space and make our way to the cafe for a breakfast snack. From the cafe we walk through three small exhibits of giant insects, rainforest reptiles, and tropical waters. 87E6A6B2-4AEB-418C-AD12-9DDAE795DBF2FCB958E5-8B27-4BDA-864A-4F8251171C904B1BD6BA-8CF5-4A0B-9E9D-D1505FE2EAD2A quick stop at the gift shop and we’re back out in the real world.

It’s lunchtime when we emerge. Barry suggests Chompies, a real New York Deli, owned and operated by a family from Brooklyn. Did I mention Barry is from New York? I google to see if there is a location close by and there is. So off to Chompies we go. And it is a real NYC Deli. Real rye bread, brisket, cream soda and bagels, glorious bagels! And homemade cream cheese of numerous varieties. I had a sip of Barry’s Dr. Brown Cel-ray soda. It really did taste like celery. It was good, but I don’t think I could drink a whole can of it. I prefer my Dr. Brown Cream soda. I couldn’t leave without without buying bagels, cream cheese and pickles to take home with us. Got my fix for a few days.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Chores today. Alex is working on the basement and I’m stuck with paperwork.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

While Alex is busy cleaning the exhaust vents, I have a one o’clock appointment for my second shot to my knee. I thought it was Supartz, but my insurance switched it to Orthovisc. Had both in the past and the Supartz worked better. We’ll see. Then it’s time for Sergio to get his oil changed at Midas, which is the driveway next to us.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Today I conquer the taxes. Ick! Double ick!!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

It’s trivia night, which means not a lot of time before we have to leave. A ham and egg breakfast, a load of wash, showers and before you know it, it’s time to go.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

We are going to the newest aquarium in the country, OdySea Aquarium in Scottsdale, twenty minutes north. We love aquariums. We tend to visit every one in our path. Each is different, with some other kind of twist to it.

Being Saturday, the place is packed with kids, and I can see why. There isn’t just an aquarium. Butterfly World, which we have tickets to as well, is there. Plus Laser + Mirror Maze, Dolphinaris, and Pangaea, Land of the Dinosaurs. These attractions form the outer perimeter of a circular courtyard that has twenty stores and restaurants. In the courtyard itself are bubble machines, bumper boats, dinosaurs and tons of other things for kids to do and see.99B22742-C699-4AB8-B412-448FF82D129349A4F38A-77B5-4C46-A72C-FE49FDC02E16

The aquarium has lots of interesting critters, fish from different seas and rivers, penguins, otters, sharks, sea turtles, tropical birds and tidal touch pools, to name a few.D769436E-9404-494B-9530-79D6F0841D1F193C1544-1BA7-4A3F-9BB3-FB77C4BE37A359263215-77D9-48F6-BFAE-F8649263E4C429AAEA7F-36F8-434D-B468-FC26C2F5578D2407910F-5209-497F-A1BC-345778C9BA22CEFA098C-B17B-4C0D-8F3D-00E2A58642DB EC2BBF88-12E6-4851-84AC-F25399867CB5But the two coolest things in the aquarium are the bathrooms and the Living Sea Carousel, which is dubbed the submarine. You may wonder what’s so great about a bathroom, but until you wash your hands with sharks swimming by, you have only just answered nature’s call. 6A1AE06F-F299-4E23-BD62-28783BA584546DE4940D-35D9-4050-BA23-8B526010549CThe other fun thing is the submarine. Geared for kids on a submarine mission, you sit in the circular theater while going on an adventure. The theater moves to different tanks or “underwater locations“ that we, as recruits, have to explore. A lot of fun and very beautiful!A84E6D3B-E3EB-4C0D-94BD-CE4136A8F5279F2BCE4B-DBA2-4283-BC50-1D03E2AD4D80124B90B5-DE81-4F8D-B1FC-FDAF6BD4BA87

It was after two when we were finished with the aquarium, and hungry, so we decided to have lunch at Dolphinaris. They have a giant pool where the dolphins swim and you can pay to get into the water and have different levels of encounters with them. Being old, and having done this before, we just sit at a table by the pool and watch while we eat our lunch. Their menu is limited, good food of primarily tacos and burgers.DEB533C5-EE38-4AED-BD94-C77EB78EEEC7A51F4B43-FEB5-412F-BE5B-72BF58773ABCDB594F4C-31C2-4748-8016-D6C9E2AF9C1159671F58-0EE2-4A6D-98B5-98ABECD09914

Afterwards, we walk both levels of the courtyard, checking out the stores and other restaurants. We stop at Frozen Penguin for ice cream. On our first walk around Alex saw a sign for a chocolate chip mint ice cream sandwich that would make the perfect desert. So, before heading home he got one, while I had a milk shake. Sufficiently stuffed, we make our way to the car and start our trek home.

Friday, March 2, 2018

We are heading over to Barry’s to checkout the new tile floor. It looks so nice and bright. But not too bright. It’s going to be a great canvas for him to decorate. On to painting. And furniture.

The guys checkout the attic and a few other things, like why the air conditioner is running. We spend some time sorting though the linens and household stuff he got from his neighbors and the former owner.

It’s Friday, pizza day, so Bruce, Barry’s realtor, had said there was a good pizza joint nearby. Off we go to Rush Street Pizzeria in Chandler. Bruce wasn’t lying. It was good. Two sixteen inch pies with different toppings and soda. I got my fix for awhile.579A9E15-044B-4FD1-9E7D-A675780C1D31

Back at Barry’s, the guys tackle the AC again and we sit around chatting. On our way home we stop at Dick’s to look for baskets for our bicycles. Not a one. Then Best Buy to get a toner cartridge for our printer. And what do you think is right next door to Best Buy? A bike shop. They have a good selection. We check out the handlebar mounts and take pictures. Now we just need to decide what ones.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

We have an exterior windshield molding issue that popped up since we had the windshield replaced in Coburg. We have a scheduled appointment for next week, but got a call this morning that they had an available time slot today, between eleven and one. Would we be available? Absolutely. We were supposed to go to Barry’s to checkout the new tile floor, but this is important.

By the time the guys come and do the repairs, it’s after one. Too late to go to Barry’s. He has his weekly Thursday night social event at four and there just wouldn’t be enough time. We will get together tomorrow. So, instead we work on our wolves jigsaw puzzle.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Today’s the day we learn the results of Alex’s MRI. He has stenosis. The choices are shots or surgery. After much discussion, he opted for the shots. Now we wait for the call to get them scheduled.

A quick stop at Fry’s and Walmart, and we’re home again. The cold weather, at least cold for us, 50’s, has kept us in. We finish watching “Absentia” on Amazon Prime and start “The Frankenstein Chronicles”.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Alex got up early for an 8:00 blood work appointment. I stayed in bed. When he got home, we left for my doctor appointment to get my first of three Supartz shots for my knee. We stopped for a fast breakfast at Jack in the Box. They don’t serve hot tea. Last breakfast I will be having there.

Monday, February 26, 2018

I had a doctor appointment this morning. After lunch, we hiked to the fitness center and spent the afternoon working out. Get the old body moving.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

It’s trivia night. We were tied for first place, then blew it at the end. Oh well, better luck next time.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

We hung around the house today and caught up on “The Alienist”. It’s been hit and miss with cable, so today we decided to binge all the episodes and be ready for Monday night.

Friday, February 23, 2018

It’s still chilly, so we stayed in and finished our Route 66 jigsaw puzzle. 9F027D6F-D41B-434D-9571-759BB96E08A6We’re meeting Barry at Brooklyn Vs tonight for pizza. Or so we thought.

He decided to come over before we were to meet at the restaurant and we sat and had a “before dinner drink” which led to another which led to chicken from KFC on the corner and conversation. A nice relaxing time.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Winter in Arizona, part three. Cold in the fifties, again.

I have been wanting to check out Living Spaces, a furniture and home accessory store, for some time. Since Barry has a whole house to furnish, he’s decided to come with us to check it out. We agree to meet there at eleven thirty. It’s a big store and we spend over an hour looking around. They have some very interesting things. His biggest priority is furniture for the living room and master bedroom. He found a few bedroom sets that he liked, so we took some pictures to keep them in mind while he continues the search.

Lunch is the next thing on the agenda. We are in Gilbert. This area is nothing but stores, for as far as the eye can see, in some fashion of a mall. Across from Living Spaces is a giant mall that is really streets lined with every kind of store and restaurant. For lunch, we pick Gordon Biersch Brewery where the boys an get a local brew. Good food, nice atmosphere, we plan on coming back to walk the stores and have another nice lunch.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Winter in Arizona, part two. Cold in the fifties, again. It has been down in the thirties at night. Makes me long for the eighties of Tampa!

We run over to the place where Alex had his MRI done to pick up the report and film. While we’re out, we make a stop at PetSmart and then head to WallyWorld to pick up my prescription and some supplies.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Winter in Arizona. Cold in the fifties, sunny, but cold. We stayed in and did our Route 66 jigsaw puzzle.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Today the weather forecast is iffy. There’s a slight chance of rain. It’s windy and the temperature is only in the fifties. Add in big clouds. The combination makes it a bit chilly. Who said it’s warm in Arizona in the winter?

We decide to brave the elements and go to the Arizona Renaissance Festival, east of Apache Junction. It is a straight shot east on 60, Superstition Highway. There is only one way into the Festival and only way out, so naturally, traffic stops dead about four miles from the parking lot. With only two lanes, the left is for thru traffic and the right is for the Festival. We inch along and finally park the car.

It’s off to the ticket booth, which turns out to be a long snake of a line curving its way around the parking lot, a mile or so before we get to the actual ticket booth. You’re tired before you even begin. You can buy tickets online, but you can’t use any discount coupons, and I have a two for one coupon. Instead of paying $26 each, our coupon gets us both in for $26. We could buy senior tickets at the gate for $23 apiece, but $26 is better than $46. I’m always looking for a bargain. After an hour, we finally get into the Festival.

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The Holy Grail better known as the ticket booth
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The line behind us

This is the thirtieth anniversary of the Festival. It started out with nine acres of exhibits, attractions and entertainment. It has grown into a medieval amusement park with thirteen theater stages, a thirty acre circus, arts and crafts fair, rides, jousting and a real medieval feast fit for royalty. As you walk through the village, you don’t know where to look first. There are shops in old style buildings selling all sorts of hand made crafts, from hair ornaments to decor. 1DAAC809-1ECF-4D86-81A4-4835A2C95622AAE9FD54-4DC1-4622-97D5-1341FC78263F3947333A-67F6-4EDB-A719-619800835949C55FCEA2-E326-4CC7-8BE5-4DC4AB8915048C9BA4AD-2223-466C-BFE2-D640AC38B12BThe streets have medieval characters advertising their wares. F46BB916-59A1-4E1E-BE06-920720D9D07DWe found the walking tree taking a stroll. 498D8D18-1EDE-4BE4-86A0-91F9B9436FE0If you’re hungry, you can eat at the five course medieval feast or munch on a turkey leg, steak-on-a-stake or bread bowl. Of course, there is also the more traditional food of chicken or shrimp, and chocolate abounds as well as ice cream. You can take camel or elephant rides. 2C62B552-7801-48A9-A5FA-AC9A2032AE27C767F345-157A-44AE-9ED5-B975F2F32B8188BA954D-C9D1-4A66-B59E-9E1105BBBAD3The kiddos have a ton of medieval themed rides or old style arcade game to keep them amused. 982A3FF9-833B-4C2F-8E98-14C0390C150CSomething for everyone.

There are performances going on at different times on the different stages throughout the day. We catch the fire juggler, Don Juan & Miguel, two funny characters doing period comedy, and of course, the highlight of the Festival, jousting. 704EDB52-4606-4E16-968B-2A3E23594F063BD69A6D-7071-4C59-B6F9-33B98D2ECA05.We got to the jousting arena and found seats on the opposite side of the entrance under the musician area, in the middle of the arena where the performers enter. The wind was blowing so hard that is was causing the cymbals to continually crash. The sky was nothing if not threatening. And it was COLD. There was still a half an hour to showtime, but the arena was filling up fast. It wasn’t long before it started to rain. Light at first. Umbrellas started popping up. The wind and rain picked up. Before long, it was a deluge. The show hadn’t started yet. People were fleeing like rats off a sinking ship, us included. We got to the entrance and I looked across the field. I could see the knights on their horses ready to come out. We were wet already so we decided to stick it out. 416FA4B0-A36E-4FE8-9381-5AF093006EB189887ACB-05BE-4988-987E-C34FD001E5DFCBE9476F-1AAC-44F7-B2E7-16050EC92318We climbed the bleachers to the very top so we had the wooden fence at our backs. Since the wind was coming from that direction, it blocked the rain, somewhat. One of the horses was not happy being in the mud and rain. He was bucking and eventually threw his rider, Sir Arcadia. Fortunately, he wasn’t hurt, or at least didn’t show it. FE09ECC7-3C4C-42FB-9BDE-0C96265E3F21E848A742-B639-4D39-8663-0EC88B41ED341DCC720F-AED8-49A9-9108-2B5FACEE851793944BEE-DF22-4CCE-B122-B4682D7EDBDDWe watched the entire performance in the rain, but once it was over, we headed for the gate, soaked to the bone.

Now for the mass exodus. Remember one way in, one way out. An hour and twenty minutes later, we finally made it to the freeway, a distance of four miles. And that was with me cutting through parking lot lanes to move as close to the exit as I could get. The Renaissance Festival is a fun place, and I would do it again, but they really need to do some about their ticket process and traffic. When you spend more time doing battle with lines to get in or out of the Festival than you do at the Festival, there’s problem. I would hate to think of the disaster if there were any kind of emergency situation.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

It’s race day! NASCAR’s Daytona 500, the start of the season. Big day for NASCAR fans, of which Alex is one. We’re going over to Barry’s, so the boys can watch the race before trivia tonight. Out here the race starts at twelve thirty.

But first, we chat with Skip, our Alaska friend. He’s scheduled to have his knee replaced tomorrow morning and we want to wish him well. Then it’s out the door with a quick stop at Jersey Mike’s for Italian subs to go. We eat while the race gets underway. While the boys watch the race, I play games and wait for Dottie to pick me up so we can get a table at trivia. Our trivia skills finish us in the middle of the team rankings. I swear the questions they ask here are harder than Jeopardy!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Alex has a noon MRI appointment, so after breakfast we drive over to the diagnostic center. It’s not far from our house and by one we’re home. We’re having dinner at Va Bene, a nice Italian restaurant in Phoenix, with Barry and Dottie. Happy hour starts at four. We agree to meet around four thirty. We have drinks and calamari at the bar, then go into the main dining room at five thirty. Beautiful restaurant with beautiful decor. Another fun night with great friends!

Friday, February 16, 2018

We’re meeting Barry and Dottie at Barry’s new house. His realtor is meeting us so Barry can get in and get some measurements. He wants to lay the tile samples on the floor to get a better idea which one will be the winner. I really like the house and I am especially fond of the backyard. It’s not huge, but it’s nicely landscaped and it has an outdoor kitchen. His neighbor, on the other hand, I’m not so sure about. I think a big, tall wall is needed!

It’s lunchtime. Food is an important part of our retirement life. Bruce, the realtor, suggests we go to the Hanger Cafe at Chandler Municipal Airport. I google it to get the address and off we go. The cafe is on the tarmac. Think local airport, not a giant international one, no monster planes roaring by. The cafe is small but it has good food and funny signs on the walls, like “Flying is the 2nd greatest thrill known to man, landing is the first”.2B17484B-7B1C-439E-8553-4EB4F41398AAEB1DEDF0-229A-4C80-9EB9-811E7FF45EF1AD0C6417-EB25-4754-94CC-8E83A9967D52261356D4-E852-4C62-8AEB-AC87C8B4472E1411FFE4-B6BA-459E-8739-A8B34DC8FA38

After we finish enjoying our lunch, we head our separate ways. Dottie has a two thirty appointment, Barry has to do battle to get his utilities connected and we need to stop at Bed Bath and Beyond and Walmart.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

It’s a day of rest and relaxation. It’s only in the 50’s, cloudy and still some rain, so it’s a good day to park it on the sofa and continue our binge watching of Star Wars. Today it’s “A New Hope” and “The Empire Strikes Back”.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Dottie tells me Arizona has 360 days of sunshine, but, of course, the day we pick to have dinner over here in our tiny house, is the one day it decides to rain. Instead of having dinner outside on our spacious patio, we are crammed into our cozy dining room. But, it’s nothing plenty of wine can’t fix. We ate and drank the night away, talking and sharing stories. It’s a habit I can get used to!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

After breakfast, Alex starts working on running the cable into the coach. I’m planning on making braised beef short ribs for dinner tomorrow. Since the largest Dutch oven pot I have isn’t large enough to cook all the meat at one time, I decide to cook it all today and do the reheat act tomorrow. Two batches at three hours each. That’s my day. Alex has success and gets us sixty cable stations. Not a bad day!

Monday, February 12, 2018

My doctor appointment for this morning got rescheduled by the doctor, so our only appointment today is for Alex. On our way out, we stop at the Activity Office to see Jared. Yes, I went to Jared’s. He wasn’t in his office, so I left a message, not before making my displeasure known. It’s been a week, and still no cable.

On our way to the doctor, we stopped at Whataburger for a quick lunch. Then drive to Alex’s appointment. Just as we thought, he will need an MRI to see what’s going on with his lower back.

We’re having Barry and Dottie over for dinner on Wednesday, so we make a stop at Fry’s, to get the makings for our feast. Fry’s is like Freddy’s, you remember Freddy’s, both owned by Kroger. They have Kroger brand products. Happy, happy, I have found my new grocery store.

When we get home, there are two DISH techs at the house. They ran a cable from another location to us. We go in and run a scan to program the stations. We only have twenty. We should have sixty something. They claim this is the first and only RV Park to have HD television, something they have been working on. I’m not so sure about that. Maybe in this area. Other parks that we have been in claim HD as well. Anyway, it’s a big mystery that I really don’t care about. They are looking for splitters to reconfigure our coach to get us more channels. Since we don’t live here, I don’t want them to start messing with our system, I don’t want to lose service everywhere else we go. They can’t find anything anyway, so they are off. Before they go, they do mention that if we bypass our system and pipe directly to the television, we would get the full channel selection. Something Alex plans on tackling tomorrow.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

We are going to play trivia at the Country Club by Barry’s. On our way, we stop at Camping World to pick up Claudia’s windshield wiper covers and the shelf for the shoe cabinet in the bathroom. Divide and conquer. Alex goes for the wiper covers while I go get the shelf. But, of course, the one shelf that was there the other day is no longer there. I ask a salesperson to check if they have any in stock, and after awhile he comes back with a no. Oh, well, better luck next time.

We drive over to meet Barry and get to his house about quarter after three. Then jump in his car and go to the club. Even though trivia doesn’t start till five, he says you have to get there early to get a table. Everyone eats prior to trivia, so by four we’re having dinner. Now I know I’m old! They have a buffet or you can order from their menu. We opt for the buffet, which has what they were calling beef stroganoff as the main item. It was good, but was really beef stew. Salad, soup, mashed potatoes, green beans and desert, lots and lots of desert and ice cream. Add wine, beer, trivia and friends and it was quite an enjoyable evening.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Day six waiting for DISH to show up. I stop at the office, again, and go another round with the people who work there. This time I ask to speak with the manager. Jared is off, but will be in on Monday. If nothing happens today I will be back on Monday, a very unhappy camper.

While Alex continues with our outdoor decorations, I head out to get my nails done, then make a stop at Safeway to pick up some stuff. We are settling in nicely, except for the cable.

Friday, February 9, 2018

While Alex is busy washing Sergio, I take care of paperwork. Still no DISH tech, so, hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s back to the Activity Office I go, again. My complaining is getting louder.

We’re meeting Barry and his sister, Dottie, for dinner at Brooklyn V’s Pizza, about six miles down the road from us. Barry says they are supposed to make good pie. His food option is one of the few I trust. He’s a New Yorker, so we have similar taste.

Even though Brooklyn V’s serves pizza, calzones, salads, subs, strombolis, pasta dishes and Italian dinners, we decide to order two large pies with different toppings to pick from. Gotta try the pie, and I have to say, it was like a good ole New York pie. Alex found a new beer, Four Peaks Kilt Lifter, to love. Barry was drinking Shock Top, a beer with a wedge of orange, which reminded me of Blue Moon, and I had Merlot. We spend an enjoyable evening eating and drinking the night away.C995A4B0-DEDA-4901-AF94-3C1F749F731D

Thursday, February 8, 2018

We set out this morning on our bicycles to Camping World. It’s not far down on Main Street, where our campground, Mesa Spirit RV Resort, is located. Just as we got in front of Camping World, a guy on a motorcycle went down right in front of us. Nobody was there, nothing in his way, but he just went down. Another guy in a pickup truck driving behind the biker, stopped and put on his flashers. He called 911 while we checked out the crash victim. He lost a sneaker and a lens on his sunglasses. He was complaining about his arm. The pinky finger in his right hand was bent in three different directions. The police and ambulance came, but the guy refused to go to the hospital. Statements were given to the police. The consensus was, he didn’t see the new construction traffic pattern ahead. It went from three lanes to one and he wasn’t in the one. When he realized it, he overreacted, and hit the brakes a little too hard and took down his bike.

Once the excitement dies down, we go into Camping World. Alex is looking for new windshield wiper covers for Claudia. We are going to be sitting in the very hot Arizona sun for two months and need new covers to help protect our wipers. I am looking for some type of shelf to go into the cabinet under the sink in the master bathroom where we’ve turned it into a shoe cabinet, well, more like a shoe dump, hence, the need for a shelf to better organize and maybe even get more in. We both get the measurements of our items. There is only one shelf left and my instincts tell me to get it, and if it doesn’t work, return it, but since we’re on our bikes with limited means of carting anything, I decide to wait. We head back to the campground and spend some time biking around learning where everything is located. I think it is easier to learn the roads than it is to learn the campground. This place is a maze!

When we get home, we still haven’t had a visit from DISH, so a trip to the Activity Office is in store. I also go and locate the fitness center, which we didn’t find on our bike ride. It is inside the gated area where the pool in our unit is located. This is a nice center. It has a bike, aqua rower, weight training and several elliptical machines. I am going to enjoy this!

Back at the camp site, Alex is starting the process of putting out our toys. We have wind chimes and various other type things to make the place look more like home. It’s not something we do for short stays, but being that we are going to be here for two months, we’re settling in.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

We stop at the office to get back on the DISH service schedule on our way out for the day. This morning we both have doctor appointments. Afterwards, we head over to Barry’s place. It is a very nice furnished house he is renting while finding his own home, which he just did. Now he has to step up his game and get everything for his new house. To me, that’s what I call fun!

Alex noticed a Jersey Mike’s in one of the many shopping malls on our way over to Barry’s, and that got him jonesing for a sub. So, we introduced Barry to the Jersey Mike’s experience, then go over to the Country Club in Barry’s development and spend the afternoon at the bar drinking and chatting. It’s amazing how many people are in the bar with us. So this is retirement!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

After working his way through the 1,667 site maze of our campground, Barry comes over this morning for coffee and a visit. It’s been almost a year since we last saw him and it was great to see his face. Hopefully, the first of many times over the next two months.

Early in the afternoon, Barry leaves to take care of some business for the house he just bought. It is a busy time for him and I am glad we are here to see the new changes. We head off to Walmart to pick up Alex’s medicine and stock up on supplies. Of course, while we were gone, DISH showed up and did nothing but leave us a “Sorry we missed you” love note.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Today we are moving to Mesa, Arizona, where we will be living for at least two months. Our friend, Barry and his sister, Dottie, live in the area so we will be annoying them for awhile. Another reason we’re staying here so long is we need to visit a few doctors. When we made our reservation here, we made the doctors appointments.

This journey is a longer one than we have been doing, 226 miles, but it is a pleasant one. We travel through some beautiful scenery and arrive after two o’clock.

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Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge
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Parker Strip
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Parker Strip

We have some problems getting our site. It’s seems the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. When we tried to book the campground online, we got a pop up giving us a phone number to call since we wanted to book more than 28 days. So, we called the number and made the reservation, supplying all the information relevant to our coach. Apparently, that wasn’t passed on to the reservation desk. So, our forty foot coach, with sides, came as a surprise. And, that’s why we had some problems getting our site! But, eventually we did, and got setup, only to find no cable hookup. And I mean no cable hookup. It looks like somebody forgot to disconnect and took out the whole connection. It’s always something! I went down to the office to report it and one of the guys who works in the park accompanied me back to show us how to hookup. When he got there, he agreed there was nothing to hookup to. He put us on the list to have the DISH tech come out. We’re told we don’t have to be here for them to get us service. That’s good.

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Our view from the master bathroom.

We are on a corner site in the heart of mobile homes. It isn’t as bad as it sounds. We have a large concrete pad with room enough for the car, chairs, table, hammock, bikes and lots more. The mobile home next to us makes a kind of wall that blocks the sun. It is sort of isolated. We like it.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

We’re hanging around home today. It’s Super Bowl Sunday.

Television watching out west is a challenge. An eight o’clock show back east is usually seven o’clock out west, but it can be eight o’clock. Everything can depend on how and where you’re getting your signal. It can make you crazy. But one thing for sure is sports. Whatever time the event is on back east, just adjust for your time zone and that’s what time it is out here. As a result, the Super Bowl for us starts in the afternoon. So you can see why we aren’t going far.

It’s a great game! At half time, we drive to KFC for a huge bucket of chicken, corn, mashed potatoes and gravy. Then zip in back to chow it down while watching the second half.

Game over. Congratulations to the Eagles!

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Oh, man, it’s finally warm! I put on sandals and a short sleeve tee shirt. This is nice. I suppose I should start doing the toenails again. I haven’t bothered since the feet have been covered in boots or shoes, but it’s time.

The high point of Lake Havasu City is, you guessed it, the lake, which was created by the Parker Dam, damming the Colorado River. And on that lake sits the London Bridge. This is the real London Bridge, brought over from England. There have been many London Bridges down through the centuries, but this particular one was designed in 1799 by Scottish engineer John Rennie. It opened in 1831, spanning the River Thames in London. Not having been designed for modern traffic, by 1924, the impact of the twentieth century was causing the bridge to sink. The City of London put the bridge up for sale in 1967, and, on April 18, 1968 the winning bid went to Robert McCulloch, the founder of Lake Havasu City, for $2,460,000. Each block of the 130,000 ton bridge was numbered, disassembled and shipped overseas to California where it was then trucked to Lake Havasu City and reconstructed. The rededication ceremony was held on October 10, 1971 and it has been the main attraction of the city and one of Arizona’s biggest attractions ever since. The bridge links the mainland to marinas and a looped path in an area known as the Island. A few fun trivia facts; the bridge is said to be haunted by a British Bobby and a woman in black. Fun fact number two; the vintage lamps on the bridge are made from the melted down cannons from Napoleon Bonaparte’s army. I am a cesspool of useless information!

We drive down to English Village, a quaint little area right on the water under the bridge. Here you can stroll along the water visiting shops, restaurants, book tours on land, water or air, fish, boat and jet ski. 6079A58B-F0BE-4A5E-BDC4-74E0B885F0A54F14FC8B-B543-4C82-9863-792EA9C31A0DEEDD542B-52F8-45BD-A23E-E91C5771E90847C00568-6729-4E43-B2C5-1E9E98A453FBD9872BC5-35B5-412C-AC22-EDA3E91A09DAD33D9E6F-7470-44DE-9F2A-E76E499196F3751770F7-FAA0-4015-8E8F-CEDDACAB56400A742AC9-56C2-4301-AF9A-DD1B2FA0114COne of the more unique boat tours is the Lake Havasu Lighthouse boat tour. Even though Lake Havasu City is more than 200 miles from any ocean, it is home to more lighthouses than any other city. Twenty six US Coast Guard approved replicas are here, thirteen can be accessed by land, the remaining by boat. I want to check this out, but as it turns out, this tour is on a day when we will no longer be here. Next time around, I guess.

After wandering around awhile, our tummies were calling to us. When we were in the Chicago Grill yesterday, they had a beer from a local brewery called, Mudshark. Usually, breweries have food and one of the foods is a bar pie, pizza for all you non-pizza people, so we figured we would check it out. The place wasn’t far, a few streets away. We walked in and I saw a picture of one of their signature dishes, pastrami. It was on an anemic roll, not rye. I turned to Alex and said, “This isn’t a good sign.” He looked past me and saw the conveyor pizza oven and said, “We’re out of here.” So, choice number two was Papa Leone’s Pizza, which turns out is right back where we were in English Village on the third floor of the shops.

We order a pie and find a table on the balcony overlooking the lake and bridge.

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The red tint is the umbrella.

It is a gorgeous day, blue skies, no clouds, sunny and warm. Another couple around our age sits at the table next to us. The guy’s accent is reminiscent of the NYC area, so naturally we have to ask where he’s from. Rhode Island, would never have guessed. We start chatting. They live in California and are planning on retiring in March. They just bought a place here in Lake Havasu City. We find we have many things in common and end up spending the beautiful afternoon sitting on that balcony chatting the day away. This is what retirement is all about! Good food, good weather, crystal clear blue waters and good conversation.

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