2/28/2016

February 22-28, 2016 Casa Grande, Tucson, and Yuma

Time flies, doesn’t it!  And I continue to update weekly – YAHOO!

We had another great week:

On Monday, Andy did more packing in the shed.  We expect to bring most of our “stuff” to our lot in Yuma.  I went to crafts and had a great time chatting with the ladies.

On Tuesday we were up early and on our way to the VA in Tucson for Andy’s appointment.  The appointment went well and we will be back in early April.  Bruce and Sue were also there and we had a nice time getting caught up and it continued thru lunch.  I have to say that with all the bad press about the VA, we have always had wonderful service at the Tucson VA – what an impressive place.

Wednesday was spent doing the final packing, deciding what we are taking to Yuma and what we are taking back east.  After lunch, we said our goodbyes to so many good people that we will not see the rest of the season.  Sad smile.    We finished the day having dinner and drinks with Jan and Ken (we hope to see them when we return in April.) We are so blessed to have these folks in our lives – always puts a smile in my soul when I see them.

Thursday we headed west to Yuma.  The desert is really green:

02-25-16 A Travel to Yuma I-8 (2)

Miles Traveled: 196 Miles

Routes Traveled:

Arizona:  South Montgomery Road, Florence Avenue (first east, got gas, then west), SR-84; I-8; SR-195; East County 14th Street; South Avenue 4E; East County 17th Street

We arrived at our lot in Yuma and started the unpacking.  After lunch I did a quick trip to Walmart and a stop at Jan’s Bead Addiction to sign up for a class on Saturday.  We finished the afternoon at a Happy Hour at Cal and Kitty's – what a wonderful time!

Friday thru Sunday, Andy was been busy organizing the shed and motorhome bays while fighting another cold – Sad smile.  Friday and Sunday for me was the usual cleaning, laundry, etc..

On Saturday, I had a great class with Judy at Jan’s Bead Addiction.  She is so talented and a great teacher.  It was great to finally master a stitch that I have just had a hard time teaching myself!

This afternoon as Andy and I sat out enjoying the beautiful weather, we had two visitors:

02-28-16 Yuma (8)a

02-28-16 Yuma (9)a

Can’t believe they came so close to us.

The cats just sat at the screen door and watched.  Amazing.

Dusty has also been enjoying the nice weather:

02-28-16 Yuma (16)a

Bella is just too afraid of being outdoors so I don’t stress her – she just watches over Dusty- Smile.

So that is our week when we are not really traveling and sightseeing.  Last year at this time, we were traveling in Texas:

02-15-15 D Marfa to Fort Davix TX118 (22)

02-15-15 D Marfa to Fort Davix TX118 (31)

Looking forward to exploring new places again.

Until next week, enjoy today.

Pt28M5a

2/21/2016

February 15 to 21, 2016 Visiting with Friends

Had to believe it has been a week since I last updated.  My goal is to update weekly when we are not traveling (Fingers crossed)

So what have we been up to besides the normal cleaning, laundry, shopping, and of course, visiting..  Smile

On Tuesday, the park held a health fair where 30 vendors from the area had booths.  It was great to see all that was available.  One of the vendors also donated a lunch – Yum!

On Wednesday, the temperature reached a record 92 degrees so Andy and I decided to spend the afternoon at the movies.  We saw “The Finest Hour” – WOW!  Good movie.  We stopped at the Elks on the way home so by the time we did get home, the sun went down and it was much cooler.

On Thursday, Jan and I had a girls day visiting a number of thrift shops and lunch at the Creative CafĂ© in Casa Grande.  Andy and Ken went tool shopping and solved the world’s problems (isn’t that what guys do – LOL).  At the end of the day, we got together for Happy Hour at the Moose – what a nice day!

Ken, Jan, me, Andy:

02-18-16 Casa Grande (2)

On Friday, I went to lunch with a long time friend, Joyce.  We had a great time getting caught up with each other and it was nice to see her new home.  (But I didn’t get a picture – sorry.)

Also on Friday, check out the gas prices!!  WOW, can’t remember the last time gas was this price.

02-19-16 Casa Grande

On Saturday, Andy went with the guys (Lee, Dave, Pete) to the racetrack – great time.  Us ladies just hung out – Smile

Today, Sunday, Andy and I decided to explore the Mesa Marketplace.  I did pick up another geode.  This is what they look like from the outside (the crack is what I did):

02-21-16 Casa Grande (2)

And the inside – oh my – Beautiful!  The pictures just do not pick up the sparkle.

02-21-16 Casa Grande (4)

02-21-16 Casa Grande (5)

Can you tell that I just find these fascinating – Smile?

Another great week!

For those of you that use blogger, Google has just announced that they are retiring Picasa next month.  How that will work with Open Live Writer is unknown.  All my Picasa Albums are in Google Photos so there may not be an issue.  Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the change is seamless!

Enjoy today.

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2/14/2016

January 23, 2016 to February 14, 2016 Yuma and Casa Grande Arizona

If you blog, have you downloaded the latest version 0.6.0.0?  Check it out – spell check and categories have been added.  If you have a problem, sign out of all google accounts, restart computer, and log back into google.  AWESOME!  Okay, back to blogging..

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On January 23, we said our “see you laters” and headed back to our lot in Yuma.  Shelly and Bill were at the park and we were able to spend some time with them over the next few days before they journeyed south to Mexico.

We did have a busy week here.

On Tuesday, 26th,  we did the Yuma Proving Grounds at Ease Tour.  We had wanted to do the “Behind the Big Guns” Tour but it was booked for the season. So this tour was added and we were able to get 2 seats.  The difference between this tour and the Behind the Big Guns Tour is that we stay on the bus for most of the tour.   So we were not able to see the test sites but that was okay…

So what is the Yuma Proving Grounds?

It is a United States Army facility and one of the largest military installations in the world.  The proving ground conducts tests on nearly every weapon system in the ground combat arsenal. Munitions and artillery systems are tested here in an area almost completely removed from urban encroachment and noise concerns.

The key word here is testing.  As our tour guide told us, what they do here is have the soldiers play with the equipment.  Anything can look good on paper but in the field, does it work, does it need improvement or changes?  It is better to find out here than in the deserts of Afghanistan or whenever it is needed.

There is some great info here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yuma_Proving_Ground

https://www.yuma.army.mil/

We spent some time at the museum/visitor center then had lunch at the restaurant on base.  Both the restaurant and museum are open to the public (ID’s needed to get on base) and we hope to go back and spend some time at the museum.

A great day!

On Thursday, 28th, we (Andy, me, Bill, and Shelly) went to the Yuma Historic Theater to hear/see “The Piano Man” – a great tribute to Billy Joel and Elton John.  I had read about it in the paper in early January and made reservations.  Shelly and Bill were able to get seats near us – it was a wonderful tribute. 

I also found out that the theater has about 2 or more shows a month so we hope to get to a few of them.  (I think I may need to go to the Yuma Visitor Center and find out what is in town if we intend to spend our winters here.)

Not the best picture but this is the show:

01-28-16 Piano Man

We also got our movie fix in – on Wednesday, 27th, we saw “The Revenant” (pretty gruesome) and on Monday, 1st, we saw “Star Wars” (loved it!).  In December, Andy and I got Harkins T-Shirts and Cups which entitles us to a free medium popcorn and a medium soda for $1.50 – not bad.

I also went to beading at Della’s – always good to see the ladies.  And Shelly and I were able to get away two separate days for shopping and hanging out.  Wonderful.

We said our “see you laters” to Bill and Shelly and hopefully we will see them when they are back in the states in the spring.

On Sunday, 31st, we had a horrible wind and dust storm.  If you look between these RV’s, you can see how foggy looking it is – that is dust.  Yuck!  We put on the air cleaner and air conditioner but I could still taste the dust….

01-31-16 Yuma (7)

We were supposed to go to Casa Grande on Monday, 1st, but decided to stay another day because of the wind.  We are glad we did.

On Tuesday, 2nd, we woke to beautiful blue skies and no wind so away we went. 

The desert is really green!:

02-02-15 A Travel Yuma-CG I-8 (8)

We arrived a little after lunch and set up.

We are here mainly for Andy’s VA appointments.  As of now (2/14), we will be here thru the 24th, subject to change.

And we have been busy here too.

On the 3rd, I met up with Sue (who is in Benson) in Tucson and we spent the day at the To Bead True Blue - part of the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show.  Over the years, I have heard about the show but always wanted to go so… after talking with Sue we decided to meet and explore.  To Bead True Blue was at the Doubletree Reid Park and had over 800 vendors.  Overwhelming!  And we had a ball!  We were able to see some of the new items that are available and so many beads, so many shapes, so many colors – OH MY!!!  (I was good – Smile)  We met Geri and Judee for lunch.  Then Sue and I ended the day at “The Little Bead Show” where we met up with Cathie and Melanie.

In front is Cathy and Geri, in back is me, Judee, and Sue:

02-03-16 Gem Show (2)

In the middle is Melanie who has a booth at the show:

02-03-16 Gem Show (4)

What a great time.  Sue and I did learn that next year we need to come with a list of what we need because it is overwhelming and if we can, stay a few days – Smile.

On Thursday, 4th, we had dinner with Larry and Cheryl; Friday, 5th, Jan and Ken had us over for dinner; Saturday, 6th, we had dinner with Katy and Gary.  I just love the smaller get together!

We also went to the local Escapee luncheon on Tuesday, 9th and I spent the day with my cousin Kris in Tempe on Wednesday, 10th. 

Then everything stopped.  Andy came down with a bad cold and I followed right behind.  So as I write this we are on the upswing.  In other words, not as sick but energy levels are low.  So hopefully we will continue to get stronger.

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Stats for the last two travel days:

01-23-16  Quartzsite to Yuma

Miles Traveled: 99 Miles

Routes Traveled:

Arizona:  Plomosa Road; SR-95; Araby Acres Road US-195; E. County 14th Street; S. Avenue 4E; East County 17th Street

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02-02-16  Yuma to Casa Grande

Miles Traveled: 171 Miles

Routes Traveled:

Arizona: East County 17th Street;S. Avenue 4E; E. County 14th Street; US-195; I-8; South Montgomery Road

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Hopefully I will not be so lax – I know, you have probably heard that before…  But I am trying – Smile

Happy Valentines Day

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2/13/2016

January 14 to January 23, 2016 Blythe, CA and Quartzsite, Arizona

(02/14/16 - I have been a little lax in updating so hopefully over the next few days, I can get caught up.)

On Thursday, January 14th, we packed up and headed west and north to Blythe.

Our travels took us thru desert scenery:

01-14-16 A Travel to Blythe CR-34 SR78 (6)

01-14-16 A Travel to Blythe CR-34 SR78 (17)

01-14-16 A Travel to Blythe CR-34 SR78 (33)

Into farm country:

01-14-16 A Travel to Blythe CR-34 SR78 (84)

It amazes me how it goes from desert beige to farm green in a few short miles:

01-14-16 A Travel to Blythe CR-34 SR78 (92)

Interesting houses:

01-14-16 A Travel to Blythe CR-34 SR78 (104)

We arrived in Blythe, met up with Bill and Shelly who were coming in from Casa Grande, then headed to the Colorado River Fairgrounds where we will be for the next four days.  We have never been to a bluegrass festival – a new adventure. Smile

Andy and Bill:

01-15-16 Blythe Bluegrass (1)

Shelly, me, and Bill:

01-15-16 Blythe Bluegrass (4)

The festival ran from Friday thru Sunday.  There were two stages set up and each day, four bands played at each stage.  Most bands played a few times throughout the three days so we did get to hear quite a few of them.  Our favorites were: The Gibson Brothers, Blue Canyon Boys, Vintage Martins, Band of Ruhks, and David Parmley & Cardinal Tradition.  The talent of these folks is just amazing!!  

This is the Colorado River Boys Stage:

01-15-16 Blythe Bluegrass (5)

This is the Bommer Stage:

01-15-16 Blythe Bluegrass (11)

Many folks set up chairs in both areas.  If the chairs are empty, anyone is welcome to sit in them until the owner shows up.  Very interesting!

It was great to see some old friends and meet new ones.

On Friday, Pam and Steve came in from Boomerville in Quartzsite – great to see them:

01-15-16 Blythe Bluegrass (7)

Sherrie and Jack came in on Saturday – didn’t get a picture – sorry – Sad smile.   Barb and Larry were there too but no picture again – bummer.

On Sunday afternoon, one band that was scheduled had to leave, so there was a jam session made up of members from several bands – what a treat.

Speaking of jam sessions, there were quite a few sessions on the grounds each evening.  It was wonderful.

Besides the music, there were vendors selling food, jewelry, clothing, etc. and on Saturday, a wonderful quilt show.

Would we go again? ABSOLUTELY!  There are a few festivals in this area of the country during the wintertime – we hope to check a few of them out also.  New Adventures – Smile

On Saturday, 16th, we went to Quartzsite to a celebration of life service for a friend who passed away this summer.  The service was very beautiful especially sending all the lanterns into the sky.  Ginny, we will miss you.

Stats for the 14th  - Yuma to Blythe:

Miles Traveled: 103 Miles

Routes Traveled:

Arizona: E County 17th; South Avenue 3E; I-8 Business; I-8

California: I-8; SR-S34; SR-78; W. Hobson Way; US-95; East Chanslor Way; Olive Lake Blvd

The Bluegrass Festival ended on the 17th so on the 18th, we packed up and made our way to Quartzsite (20 miles away).

Up and over the mountains:

01-18-16 A Travel to Quartzsite I8 (2) 

Into Quartzsite:

01-18-16 A Travel to Quartzsite I8 (19)

We made a stop behind Silly Al’s pizza to dump and fill with water and then made our way to Plomosa Road where we camped with Chapter 6 and 21 for the next few days.

It was so great to see everyone and spend some time getting caught up with each other.   That evening, Andy, me, Sue, Bruce, Geri, John, Jackie, and Bob, all went to Silly Al’s for dinner.  We have all not been together in a year and it was great just to get caught up and laugh and laugh. 

Two of the days, Sue, Geri and I went shopping – one of the days we went to all the bead stores and Tyson Wells.  Another day was spent at the QIA for their POW-WOW!  What fun.

At the POW-WOW, Geri and I bought geodes.

This is what there are like before opening:

01-22-16 Geodes (1)

This is what they are like when they are open – Beautiful!

01-22-16 Geodes (3)

Honestly, it is not that easy..  The vendor promised us hollow geodes for a reasonable price.  Andy and I went geode shopping one of the days and the vendor was VERY EXPENSIVE!!!  Yikees.  Now we just need to go find those rocks for ourselves!

Chapter 6/21 has their annual polar bear / soup here and it was wonderful.  Polar Bears are a drink with ice, vodka, Kailua, and ice cream – very rich.  The soup was hobo stew where we all donated 2 cans of vegetables.  It was great to see old friends and meet new ones – Smile

I always loved Quartzsite and every year I say that I would like to spend a few months here.  And I continue to say it!

The sunsets here always take my breath away.  The mountains in the east turn red:

01-19-16 Quartzsite (7)

And the sky to the west looks like it is on fire:

01-19-16 Quartzsite (14)

01-19-16 Quartzsite (32)

01-19-16 Quartzsite (35)

01-19-16 Quartzsite (43)

01-19-16 Quartzsite (64)

Even Bella found it interesting – not really, she was just looking for the night creatures:

01-19-16 Quartzsite (68)

One of the days we went to Boomerville to get caught up with friends.  Here we are at Gloria and Frank’s rig (thank you, Sharon for the photo):

L-R: Gloria, Frank, Nancy, Linda, me, Andy, Jim, Karen, and John:

01-21-16 Q Boomerville

We stayed thru Happy Hour to say hello to more folks.  I missed being out there but I don’t miss being sick from the dust…. 

The great think about being here this time of year is seeing the great folks that we have met along the way.  The downside is that we don’t get to spend some one on one time to get caught up.  Just one of those things…  (I guess I should say that I do better one on one then in a big crowd..Rolling on the floor laughing)

We headed out to Yuma on the 23rd but that will be the topic of the next blog.

Stats for January 18 -  Blythe to Quartzsite

Miles Traveled: 35 Miles

Routes Traveled:

California: Olive Lake Blvd; US-95; I-10;

Arizona: I-10; I-10 Business; SR-95; Plomosa Road

Enjoy today!

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