Thursday, March 30, 2017

A beautiful day on the lake!

We had a "free day" the other day and one of the couples that we are visiting suggested that we take a day trip somewhere.  They hadn't been doing them since they arrived in Surprise and asked me to come up with a trip for us to do the next day.  I did a little "web search" and discovered that about an hour from here was a boat tour of Lake Saguaro that sounded like just the ticket!  

The weather was perfect (just under 80 degrees) so off we went!  We got to Mesa about 11:30 a.m. and the guys dropped us ladies off at the ticket booth that already had a long line in front of it for the 12:30 p.m. tour while they went in search of a parking spot.  By the time we finally made it to the window, they were sold out of the 12:30 trip, but were selling tickets for the 2:45 p.m.  They had a nice looking restaurant at the marina, so we decided that worked out just fine, we would all have lunch, then take that later tour, so bought our tickets and went over to the restaurant!

We were seated right away "inside", as all the patio seats were full (pretty day that it was).  Got our drinks right away and ordered from an interesting menu.  They were hopping!  We waited patiently, after all, we had plenty of time.  And time went by...and by...and by.  Finally, somewhere after 1:00 p.m. we were able to grab our illusive waiter and ask him just when he thought our food might arrive?  "He would check on it".  It finally arrived about 20 minutes later.  Thank goodness we had plenty of time!  At least it was tasty!  ;-)

The boat tour, aboard the Desert Belle was fully narrated and done quite well, by and wonderful captain who told us all kinds of interesting things, not only about the lake but about the surrounding area as well.

Lake Saguaro is formed by damming the Salt River and is rare in that it is an arch dam and not connected to a mountain or hillside on either side of the dam.  It was completed in 1930.

One of the interesting things the captain pointed out along the was was a large rock that had lime green lichen growing on it.  He explained that the only time you will see that color it when it's "welded tuff".   This is formed only on volcanic rock.  Pretty neat.

Also "left by the volcano" was this little bitty island that they had to put a small light on so that boats wouldn't run into it (I thought they should have put a cute little lighthouse myself!).  They just call it "Shiprock". 

Of course the Brittlebush was in bloom everywhere!  Here are a couple of my favorite shots.  One was at the parking lot before we loaded, the other along the lake...

The lake wasn't named "Saguaro" for nothing!  They were everywhere...from "lone" ones to "meadows" full of them...

They even had a rare "Crested Saguaro" to show off!

All in all, it was a lovely day, with beautiful sights to see, cool breezes and fun learning about new things!  Well worth the trip! 
...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, March 27, 2017

Time for a change…

Every now and then, it’s time for a change.  Even when one has a “sticks & bricks” home, people like to change things…you paint walls, buy new furniture, rugs, even remodel a room.  Well, it’s no different living in an RV!  One gets tired of looking at the same old surroundings after 5 1/2 years! 

Many of our friends over the years have either bought new RVs or even traded their RVs in for something else.  We aren’t ready to do that, so instead, I just “freshened” it up a little!  “It was time” I told my husband, who always thinks things look just fine the way they are.

So, knowing that we were going to be in one spot for three months, and with girlfriends who were experienced and handy in changing out old valences with new ones, I had it all planned out!  Now, all I needed was the right material and the right time.  What I hadn’t planned on though was breaking my wrist.  THAT wasn’t in the plan…and put a damper on the process. 

The other challenge was our dining chairs.  To cover our old ones, or buy new.  We spend a lot of time in them as we use them while we are on our computers, and sometimes that’s for hours.  They are not the most comfortable, so we decided that we would really prefer new chairs if we could find the right ones…if not, we’d cover the old ones.

So, off we went shopping!  Several stores and weeks later, we were able to find the perfect chairs!  Yea!  So that solved the problem about covering the old chairs.  Then, it was on to finding the material…that too was a success, a lovely “country” look at a nearby JoAnn’s

 Now all I needed was to heal enough to help my friend with the work.  Weeks, then months went by and my hand made progress, but it still wasn’t up to doing the labor necessary.  I was getting worried.

With only a few weeks left before we were to leave, my wonderful friend Doloris just bit the bullet and came over one day, surveyed the situation and said “OK, tomorrow I’m bringing over my tools and I’m doing it, you can just watch”.  So she did.  My small contribution was holding up a piece or two while she tucked and pinched the cloth, and then later going over the tucking, hot-gluing the braiding nice and tight against it all.  She and the guys (they had to take some of the valences off & back on again) did it all.  She also covered my three pillows and made me two arm covers for my chair.  What a sweetheart!

What a wonderful difference my new room looks!  So bright and cheery!  The other style was just too “stuffy” for me, this new pattern is much more my style.  First thing my husband said when he came in and saw the first two windows was “wow, how pretty!”  He may be the last to recognize we need a change, but he will be the first to appreciate it when we do make it!

The new chairs are sooo comfortable and make “blogging” so much more a joy as I sit here, no more back aches…

Ahhh…life is good…

Kicking back in Arizona,  Marie

Sunday, March 12, 2017

FMCA's Rally in the Valley

We just got back from Chandler Arizona where FMCA (Family Motor Coach Assn.)) held their 95th International Convention and RV Expo.  Five days of meeting up with approximately 5000 other like-minded folk in over 2200 RVs plus another 600 chimerical RVs.  We had great weather (no rain, yea!!), but dusty, dusty, dusty!  Phew!  As it always is with this large of a group, you get parked in large open areas that are covered in gravel or dirt.  Being out in the open, you either get rained on or if lucky not and get the sun and hopefully a breeze...but at the cost of DUST!  We've had the rain, and quite frankly, I'll take the dust over the rain/flood that we've had in the past...;-)

The Rawhide Western Town & Event Center was kind of a fun place to hold the various seminars, even if it was a bit of a walk from our coaches.  They had tram/bus services to & from all day and evening, but when I could, I chose to walk as I needed the exorcise.  Sitting all day in those tiny chairs didn't do much for my posterior!  ;-)

Since we were only coming from Surprise, just an hour away, we thought we would get an early start to the arrivals on Monday and hopefully avoid a lot of the long lines to get into the parking.  Well, we did get there by a little after 11:00 and "in line", but would you believe it took us until well after 3:00 to get settled into our parking spot?  That's how crazy the parking situation was!  In and out of lots, zigging and zagging around and around, it was crazy!  We were caravaning with some friends and had managed to stay together right up to almost the end, when just as they were sending us to "our lot" when one of the parking lot attendees separated us!  We had told, and retold them we were together, but no mind, this particular attendee "didn't care" and separated us anyway!  We kept trying to get back together, but just couldn't seem to make it happen.  Just when we had given they came, driving right up next to us!  The had been led around and around, but ultimately, right to our row!  So, in spite of it all, we ended up OK.  We were suppose to have an additional couple as well, but they ended up selling their RV two weeks ago and getting a "destination cottage", so now was just going to come over on a day pass.

Once we were all settled in, we all set off to go get our "welcome packets" and see where everything was.  Our friends were "first timers" so they, along with our neighbors on the other side were off to their "First Timer Welcome Reception" while Jack and I settled in with a refreshing glass of wine and sat back and enjoyed one of many sunsets!

For the next few days it was off to various seminars and to see what the vendors had to sell us!  My interests were mostly about writing including blogging, more info from the Geeks to add to my blogs (maps!  yea), cleaning tips, and household products.  Jack's were understanding our TV, fire & life safety, generator operation & maintenance, suspensions and always a watchful eye as to when the coffee and donuts station opened in the morning!

We didn't buy to much this time, and actually won a gift basket from the Almost Heaven MicroFiber folks that had a whole bunch of wonderful things in it!  Lucky us!  Our friends at the rally ended up buying a kit that helps your back realign and our friends that came for the day-only ended up buying battery-assist-stand-up bikes.  So I'd say everyone found a little something to bring home!

The evenings were the best, tho I thought.  The temperatures dropped, and the cool breezes came in.  The sunsets were just beautiful.  We BBQ'd each night and shared wonderful meals together.  Each night had fun entertainment.  Tuesday night was a movie that we skipped and just sat around and enjoyed each other's company and got to know our neighbors.  Wednesday night was a very funny comic by the name of Dick Hardwick.  I haven't laughed that much in a long time.  Afterward Jack and I ended up sitting up another couple of hours talking to our neighbors who are from California.  She recently had surgery on her right wrist too, so we chuckled about both of us being "handicapped".  She is just about ready to retire and they are thinking of going full time very soon, selling their California home (they still have one in Prescott AZ tho).  Super nice folks.

Thursday and Friday were music nights.  Keith Anderson and his band played on Thursday and was a bit loud and probably and bit more of the "electric guitar" than some of the older folks could handle, so he lost about 100 or so as he played.  The crowd was a bit smaller on Friday night as about a third of the attendees decided to leave early, but boy did they miss a good show!  The entertainment, Sapphire Sky band was fantastic!  What a great band!  They put out a dance floor and it was full all night (we even got out for a few dances!).  Fun, energetic, easy to dance to, not to loud, just a great happy group.  They played for two hours and no one left early!  A great way to end the event.

It was a nice break from our stay at Happy Trails in Surprise and my twice weekly physical therapy appointments.  The chill of the last few months have definitely left us and "summer in the west" has arrived so out with the sweats and on with the shorts and bathing suits!  ;-) 

With only three more weeks here, it's time to plan our next adventures...we know we are heading to Lake Havasu for a few days, but after that??  Hm mm

...kicking back in Arizona, Marie