Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Sedona Arizona R&R

There is more than one kind of "R&R" in Sedona...Rest & Relaxation, of course...Red Rocks, lots of beautiful ones to see, and to add to all that, we found out that they also have a great RailRoad!

Long before we ever thought of the RV lifestyle, we purchased a timeshare, so from time to time, we take a break from the rig and book a week into one of the condos and just kick back.  I look forward to the big luxurious kitchens and comfy couches that face fireplaces so that I can curl up and read, while Jack looks forward to the big bathrooms with great big tubs!  2013 got away from us, and I had to book a week fast or loose it, so I grabbed a spot in Sedona in early February of 2014 (still using the 2013 week).  This is where we found ourselves this last week.

In my hurry to book, I guess I didn't read the "fine print", or maybe they just didn't share the details much about their rooms!  Imagine my surprise when we came to our room, and found NOT the big comfy couch, nor the nice kitchen, but instead a bedroom smaller than the one in our rig!  When I dashed back down to the front desk to explain how "this just wasn't going to work!"  They explained right back to me that they were sorry, but that they were full, and there was nothing they could do!  Ugh.  Jack did have his big bathroom tho, so we made do.  We ate out a lot....and sat by the pool and read.  Thank goodness the weather was beautiful most of the time!  OK, that's the first R & R...

Sedona Arizona is known for it's Red Rocks, but I have to say, they are even more beautiful at sunset and sunrise!  Now, anyone knowing me at all, knows that I'm great at the sunset stuff, but getting me up early, well, that's just not my thing...but after we did the sunset, and Jack said "if you think this is pretty, you should see it at sunrise honey, the sun comes up over here, and hits those hills and just lights them up!"  Well, he convinced me to do it.  Valentines Day started with the alarm going off at O'dark hundred, up and at 'um we got, made a pot of coffee & dashed off to the airport (highest hill around and best view of the valley).  Joined by a few other brave souls, we stood in the cold and slowly watched the sun do it's rise.  It was worth it, every minute.  Jack was right, beautiful.  Afterward we found a great cafe and had a light breakfast.  I didn't want to eat to much because I knew we would have much to eat aboard our great train ride later that day!

The highlight of our third R&R, was the RailRoad trip!  We love trains and this one turned out to be one of the best so far! Verde Canyon Railroad Wilderness Train, out of Clarkdale AZ is a 4 hour train ride from Clarkdale to Perkinsville & back.  We enjoyed the "Valentines Chocolate" special first-class coach that included more chocolate goodies, sandwiches, salad, munchies, champagne, etc than one could eat, along with wonderfully comfortable couches & small tables with an adjoining open-air coach to take pictures from.  Narrated, of course, plus staff to point out additional sites and tend to your every need.  Add to that a 73 degree sun-filled day and one couldn't ask for a more delightful adventure!  We have been to the Sedona area many times, but had never taken this trip, what a delight it added to our week!

We managed to sprinkle in a day here & there of shopping at Tlaquepaque, a visit to  Chapel of the Holy Cross, two movies supplied by the management and a visit with a girlfriend who lives in nearby Prescott.  All in all, a lovely respite...

Sedona Sunset
Early Sedona sunrise
Sun hitting the Sedona valley
Our Chocolate Valentine set-up aboard the Verde Canyon Railroad Wilderness Train
Verde Canyon Railroad Wilderness Train
Verde Canyon
Alter,  Chapel of the Holy Cross

Me with the "Basket Lady Elder" statue

...kicking back in Arizona,   Marie

If you wish to view the rest of the photos from this trip, you can at my Flickr account at:

Monday, February 3, 2014

Lake Havasu with friends...

Showing friends around a town you've visited before (albeit two years ago) is different, and fun!  Something we've not done in a long time - certainly not since we've been RV'ing, that's for sure!  Lake Havasu was one of our first stops when we started out two years ago, "newbies" to RV'ing.  Nice campground and nice area to get "acquainted" to RV'ing.  Two years ago the weather was mostly colder with a day or two of sunshine that included their beautiful balloon festival.  This year it was almost all sunshine, but we missed the balloon festival - a trade off I guess.

Having friends join us was a real treat!  It was fun to know our way around and to have a couple of "favorite spots" - Mudshark Brewery for hamburgers and Donut Post for some of the best donuts anywhere!  We never got lost either and that's always a plus! ;-)

Of course we took them to the London Bridge, but this time we all got a "new treat" and added a boat cruise to our day!  Because the weather had been so cold before, it was something Jack and I hadn't done so it was nice to do this time.  We did the two hour "lighthouse tour" and it was a delight.  Capt. Rick was our guide and he was a wealth of information.  He has been doing tours on Lake Havasu for over a decade and seems to know every nook and cranny of it.  He certainly knew a lot of the history of the town and Robert McCulloch and his development of it in 1964.  There are about 23 lighthouses (1/3 scale) along the 45mile long lake that are replicas of both east & west coast famous lighthouses.  They are sponsored by individuals or by organizations.  Jack and I laughed and said that maybe when I "go", we will put one up of the Pt Loma Lighthouse in my honor! ;-)  Don't you think that would be appropriate?

Anyway...he also took us into some lovely coves along what's called "Copper Canyon".  Beautiful color and rock formations.  They have a sunset tour, that I wished we would have taken because I bet it would have really set those areas off beautifully!  Oh well, something for next time.  As it was, the day was a bit over-cast, so the pictures weren't as bright as I would have liked, but a fun trip all the same.

Another day we tootled on down "Main Street" and discovered it was the day they all bring out their classic cars!  After a meal at a "new favorite" the Red Onion, we enjoyed handmade ice cream at Scoops and cruised up and down the street admiring the handy work of the car owners.  Nice evening.

We managed to fit in a movie and of course some shopping!  Some lazy days in the sun and plenty of laughter.  On our last day we went over to the casino where they have the Da Vinci Exhibit.  What a nice treat!  Some lovely paintings and samples of his inventions.  A great breakdown of the history of his life from birth to death all on one wall.

The weather is changing here, cold and windy.  Our friends have traveled on and we are back on our own again.  We have a week of "no plans" before we are booked into Sedona at our timeshare.  We were going to try seeing some new country, a place someone had suggested, called Cottonwood in northern Arizona, but the weather is predicted to be in the 50's during the cold for us (wimps), so we've decided to turn this rig around and go south to Phoenix where it's a bit hotter, at least for a few days!  See, that's what you can do when you are "free & easy" like us!
London Bridge, Lake Havasu AZ
Entrance to the London Bridge Village, Lake Havasu AZ
Capt. Rick aboard the Kon Tiki, Lake Havasu AZ
East Quoddy (New Brunswick Canada) Lighthouse
Copper Canyon, Lake Havasu AZ

 Da Vinci's flying machines
Madonna of the Yarnwinder
 ...on the road in Arizona,  Marie

If you wish to view the rest of the photos from this trip, you can at my Flickr account at:   

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The "adventures" aren't always the fun ones you expect!

The knock on our door came at about 10:30pm.  It was our friend apologizing, asking us if we could take her and Bob to the hospital.  He was experiencing nausea, shortness of breath and dizziness.  It could be just his inner ear - but it could be a stroke - she didn't want to take the chance.  Judy's an RN and I trust her judgement!  I told her to give me a minute to put on some street clothes and Jack to find out where the nearest hospital was and we would be right there.

We had all just arrived at Lake Havasu that afternoon from a week in dusty, dry Quartzsite.  We had spent the afternoon enjoying the day washing off the dirt, walking around the lake and kicking back just relaxing.

The staff in the ER were super.  They took Bob right in and immediately attended to him.  Throughout the night (and early morning) they would ask me if I would like a blanket, as I "looked cold".  Somewhere around 2am they gave up on me saying "no thank you" and brought me two heated ones anyway, ohhh, they were nice...

Finely around 3am, Judy said they had run most of the tests, but wanted to keep hm overnight and do an MRI so were going to move him into a room and we could leave soon.  He was doing much better now tho.

As we drove back to the campground we spotted the moon hanging so low and so pretty, we all thought it was a picture on a billboard at first!  Guess we aren't used to seeing it at 4am!  ;-)

After a few hours of sleep and fresh showers, we were back at the hospital to see what was up.  The cell service here in the campground is awful, as we are in a canyon and all you get (if you get) is "I can't hear you" from the other end.  We found Bob sitting up and having lunch, feeling just fine!  ;-)  He had taken all his tests, but no one had been in to tell him any results.  We called for the nurses to find out what was going on and soon learned that this staff was very different from the ER staff!

Hours went by waiting on the staff Dr. to show up to tell us the results...but the good news was that it wasn't a stroke!  It was his inner ear exacerbated by not moving for a long time (computer games).  All is well now. 

It was 5 o'clock by the time we left - in time for all of us to go out and celebrate at our favorite hamburger place in town, Mudsharks Brewery!  Phew!  Not the way we intended to start our week here, but a great way to begin again!

Looking forward to showing our friends around the lake and enjoying some sunshine together!

...kicking back in Arizona,  Marie