Friday, February 16, 2018

Fun With Friends in Arizona

February 6-15, 2018
Yuma - Casa Grande - Tombstone, Arizona

We're in Yuma to see our friend Teri - another high school friend who Bill stayed in touch with for many years. She doesn't go to the reunions so we're happy to see her here when we can.

I continue to feel better, but Tuesday we take it easy at home. Coming down the hill into town on Monday the Check Engine light comes on again. It's always been computer updates so we aren't concerned. Bill makes numerous phone calls and finally finds a service center who can take us on Wednesday morning. 

Tuesday evening it's pizza and pasta with Teri and her partner Ashley. We spend a couple hours getting caught up. She doesn't do photos on social media so I forgo getting a pic.

Rush Trucking takes us in at 8:00 and we head to a little diner nearby. Tasty breakfast and good coffee to linger over while we kill some time. From there we spend the day at the theater!


Penny's Diner at the Oak Tree Inn

Can't imagine my kids being "criminals" as their high school mascot.
The Post is an amazing movie - both exciting history and timely commentary. Attempted censorship of the press by the White House is an ugly issue. After lunch we return and see Hostiles. Also ugly and historic, this one is morbidly depressing. 

The motorhome is ready to go with a new nox sensor installed, and a $100 deductible. Cummins picks up the $600 balance and we're down the road at 4:00. 

We grab a one night site at Blue Skies Ranch RV Park where we have a nasty neighbor, and we're once again reminded how much we love that our home is on wheels!

A single night in Casa Grande to break up the drive to Tombstone takes us to a Thousand Trails park where we are given badges to wear - any time we're away from our site?? Most of the park is seasonals and it's a bit "Stepford" for us. 

The drive to Tombstone is a familiar one and by mid-day we're set up in our favorite Arizona home - the home of our dear friends, Donnie and Anna. It's our fourth time mooch-docking here, and we always have a wonderful time.


Of all the beautiful places we see throughout the country, the yellow-grass plains are at the top of my favorites list.
Bill and Donnie make a trip to Tucson, see a local college basketball game, hang out at home. Anna and I visit Fort Huachuca where she worked for 36 years before retiring last year, take Tessa for a much-needed grooming, take in a small museum, get a haircut.  Together we all watch the Olympics, eat amazing home-cooked meals, visit Slaughter Ranch and the Whitewater Draw with her sister and brother-in-law, enjoy the company of life-long friends and beautiful sunsets.



Much better :-)
Long views from the top of Reservoir Drive at Fort Huachuca.

Sheriff John Slaughter built this ranch in the late 1800's. The Mexican border is yards from the property fence.

It could be 200 years ago.....

Beautifully restored homestead.

The grounds are a welcoming oasis in the desert.

Donnie and Anna - and their photo-bombing goose.

A beautiful Southern Arizona day.

Bill making burro friends.

Jimmy and Cindy looking for critters.

One of several long-horn cattle on the ranch.
Checking off my bucket list - Sandhill Cranes at Whitewater Draw - so many, they look like acres of gray rocks.

A flock of Snow Geese drop in.

Several species of duck add to the variety of the scene.

Such interesting birds with wonderful haunting cries.

This huge toad never moves from the path along the water.

Flocks of these pretties fill the tall grass.

Clouds roll in.

A hawk watches for prey along the ground.



The Buffalo Soldier exhibit is well done.

Apache scouts were required to wear red scarves to identify them in battle.

A short film on the history of the Women's Army Corps at the base.



Hard to beat Arizona sunsets.
Serious Olympic watchers.
In addition to all the fun we have with these friends, we have the opportunity to visit with even more. On Sunday another high-school friend from Tucson, Reggie, and his girlfriend Meredith, join us for dinner. 


Bill, Jodee, Donnie, Meredith, Anna and Reggie
On our last day, we join John and Pam at Michael and Janna's lovely desert home in the small community of Pearce. I'm upset I waited until we were leaving to take photos of the renovated house and golden grasses on their property - and then couldn't because of the rain.


The rain brings out the colors along Ghost Town Road - and turns the dirt into slippery mud, making for an exciting drive.

Cute, little Emmi shows us her home.

The greatest blessing of this nomadic life is making wonderful friends - Michael, Emmi, Janna, Bill, Pam and John.
The smell of rain in the desert - heavenly.
Our week flies by, and Friday we return west.


Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Wrapping Up Our Time in California

January 27-February 5, 2017
Valencia - Corona, California

With poor Internet and my not feeling great I manage to get behind here. Mostly we just hang out at home or run around town a bit. We see the kids and Ezra, but unfortunately no more Maximus visits :-( . Hoping for more of that next time!

We have Ezra for the afternoon, and after he and I run around we bring back ice cream for he and PopPop.
Corey, Kristy, Bill, Gabby and Richie

Travis, Bill and Richie
My "borrowed daughter" Megan and husband Chris drive up for a wonderful visit. We have a "last for now" breakfast with most of the family, and the other two stop by on our last evening. Saying good-bye to Ezra this time is very tearful - it is hard to leave this special little boy.

Ezra looking at pics with Chris.

Ezra shows "Meggits" how to play his game.
Travis, Richie, Bill with Ezra, Jeff, Brian and Shalise.
Bill's new glasses come in so he looks more like "himself" again. Never did have any pain from my oral surgery and the follow up appointment takes five minutes. I'll be back for the implant in June. Another trip to the doctor gets me stronger meds for my "issue" but I'm still not feeling well by the time we head out.

Best of all, the parts for the slide repair come in and we're able to get the rig in and out of service in one day as promised. It's the very last day, but it's still done on time!! We are so lucky that it never broke with all the times we moved it in and out since it starting making noise, and it feels great to no longer have to worry about it. Getting it done for just our deductible is nice too!

Which means we pull out of Valencia on Thursday with no plans to return before the wedding in June. Can't believe we've been here, or coming back here, since October 31!

Our two hour drive to Corona is uneventful, although it's one of my least favorite routes through the northern perimeter of Los Angeles. We do manage to time it well and have no traffic. We're set up at Glen Ivy RV Resort by mid-day where we can't get level, have 30 amp, and are given the spot next to someone else although there are several empty spaces where we'd all have more room. It's a huge park of mostly permanents. They require copies of registration and insurance for both vehicles and check-in takes 20 minutes. People are friendly, but it feels weird here. Oh well, we aren't here to hang out at the park. And the Passport America rate of $17.50 makes most everything bearable :-))))

We're here for Super Bowl weekend to see our good friends Jimmy and Maggie and celebrate Jimmy's recent retirement. Friends Donnie and Anna from Tombstone are coming on Friday too! I get almost no pics the whole time - but we did have a really great time.

Thursday evening we enjoy a quiet dinner at their house, getting caught up on the month since we saw them in the desert. The next day we go with Jimmy to pick up their 5er and meet the other two for lunch. Dinner back at the house then we head home.

Tessa checks out the pygmy goats where Jimmy keeps his 5er.

Checking out the goat house - she decides she likes hers better.
Saturday we hang out until Bill joins the gang for early dinner and a birthday celebration. I'm feeling worse and not very good company. I'm starting to think we might have to return to Valencia to see the doctor again and this makes me feel even worse!!

Fortunately I feel a little better and make it to the Super Bowl party on Sunday. Although I can't eat any of the wonderful food, it's still a fun day visiting with people and watching most of the game. And the outcome is perfect!! Love the M&M commercial with Danny DiVito :-)

Donnie, Bill and Marc - friends since grammar school.

Maggie and Jimmy opening retirement goodies.

Fluffy Dog enjoying the game.
I continue to feel better so Monday morning we continue east. Whew! It's a longer-than-normal drive day of 270 miles, and later-than-normal arrival time of 6 PM, but we're set up in Yuma, Arizona for a couple nights.

It's good to be back on the road!



Friday, January 26, 2018

Thank Heaven for Little Boys

January 19-26, 2018
Valencia, California


Sometimes two negatives create a positive. Of course, there's still the two negatives to deal with :-(

The weekend starts out perfect with Ezra coming to visit. He and PopPop play with his new Lego's and he and I spend some time at the playground. He is so smart and delightful, and we love every minute we get to spend with him.

Ezra loves playing with his PopPop.

Nothing better than a big pile of clean sand to climb!

Happy

Serious

Balanced

Precious

This would be great for playing in that sand!
Sunday we're invited to Travis and Emily's (engaged, wedding in June) to watch the NFL playoffs, but I'm feeling like a cold is coming on and figure staying home is best for me. 

I've never thought of corn chips as dangerous, but when I bite into one I feel and hear a gun shot go off in my mouth! I broke my tooth? Having never had a cavity or root canal, I guess this is going to be bad.

The pain is bearable overnight, and Monday my dentist office is able to get me an afternoon appointment. My regular dentist, who I adore, doesn't see patients on Mondays, but when I'm waiting for his brother and partner he comes in to see me. Such a considerate professional.

He confirms that the tooth has broken in half. A perfectly healthy tooth, maybe I grind my teeth? Fortunately an appointment has opened up first thing in the morning, and I can get the extraction and implant done in one surgery. Not something I look forward to.

All goes well, no pain, no anxiety, still surgery. I sleep for most of the next two days. Remarkably I have zero pain. Without pain meds. None!

Definitely a negative, on top of the negative of our delay. But, without that delay we would have been in Morro Bay, away from my regular dentist, and I doubt I would have had such a positive outcome.

By Thursday I'm ready to get out of the house. Missing our two weeks at the beach, I realize it will be a long time before our travels bring us back to the ocean. It's less than an hour away, so we take the drive to Ventura.

On the way we check out the RV park we'll be staying at for the June wedding, then find a dog friendly stretch of beach near a small marina. It's very windy, and gets colder while we enjoy watching the crashing waves. Unfortunately it's not a place where Tessa can do zoomies. There's lots of other dogs, and leashes required.

Large rocks protect the shore from the pounding waves.

Ezra would love playing in this ship!

Scorched hills behind Ventura already showing signs of new grass.


The Mermaid of Sorta Point

We could watch the waves crash for hours - if not for the cold wind!
Having gotten a small ocean fix, we head back and visit Ezra and his mommy. He loves to entertain us, and is most happy when he makes us laugh. Starting to speak in full sentences now, he is such a character. 

We're treated to a fiery sky on our way home.
Friday Brian, Shalise, Jeff and Ezra join us for taco lunch at our place. It's chilly outside so we hang out and visit. And I finally get another family pic for my desktop! The last one was from June 2016 so I'm very happy to get an updated one :-)))

Peek-a-boo!

Love!