Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Spring Fever...

It's almost the end of March and I'm itching to get on the road and GO!  It's been way to long since we've really "hit the road" for our cross-country trips!   I'm both anxious and nervous about this year's trip.  Having enjoyed so many wonderful years of easy travel, making reservations as we go, changing directions on a whim, staying longer when we wanted to, etc.  Now, I've been reading all kinds of articles about how all that's not possible any longer.  That campgrounds are crowded, reservations are tough to get, cost more, no longer flexible, that the "easy care-free style" is not longer out there.  Wow.  I've made two reservations so far.  One for over the 4th of July because we already know where we are going to be that weekend (wedding plans) and it's a holiday, and the other the first weekend we are traveling.  Both were pretty easy.  We had to take our second choice park for the July date, but that was OK, at least we got it.  I have no idea where we will be over Labor Day, so can't do anything about that!  If things go bad, we may end up early in Washington with family, so it won't be an issue!  ;-)  I just can't worry about it right now...

We did do one FUN THING before heading out the door though!  We were "drivers" for Mecum Car Auctions in Glendale AZ for three days!  What an experience!  They had about 900+ cars of all types and all years, from the early 1900's to brand new, from motorcycles to tractors, to Rolls Royce's!  Our job varied from driving the cars from one lot to another to just driving it to the staging area to driving them over the auction block then off to the sold lot again.  Some of the cars went vroom vroom, some sputtered, some smoked, some died on you and needed to be towed and some just hummed...all were different and all were an experience!  We got to talk to some of the owners, some of the buyers and some very interesting people too!  It all made for a very fun three days...and tiring too.  Each day started at 8:45a.m. and ended sometimes 6:00 p.m., and sometimes 8:15 p.m. 

I learned more and drove more different cars in those three days than I have in my whole life, and am ready to do it again next year!  It was a fun way to end our "Covid seclusion".  



Now it's time to start packing, and tucking things away, making lists and checking them twice!  It is just a couple of weeks and we will be off for this year's adventure...yea!  First "big stop" - Texas!  So, until then...

Marie

Thursday, January 7, 2021

2020 The year that went nowhere...

The last blog of the year is always my "year in review"...but wow, not much to "review" this year!  2020 was the year that went nowhere...thanks COVID!  It was also the year that we really experienced being truly Arizonians!  Living through the "historic hottest summer" Arizona ever had, qualified us, I'd say!  

We started out, as we usually do, in January, with great plans to travel up the eastern coastline, with extended visits to the Georgian Gold Coast Islands (something I've wanted to do for years). I was so excited to finally make this trip...

Things continued "as normal" at home.  Our show in the Resort went on as usual, and was a great success and a whole lot of fun.  


Then... news started coming in about this "virus" coming in from China, so we did a "wait and see".  As March turned into April and then May, it started to look like our trip wasn't going to happen at all.  A few of us (6) started to get together for morning coffee & treats, rotating between each other's homes, trying to keep ourselves company while the rest of the Resort buttoned up.  

As the months started passing along, Jack and I got busy working on "home projects", as it was pretty evident that we weren't going anywhere (far) this year.  COVID was here to stay, at least for the better part of the year, it seemed.  News that campgrounds, restaurants, public places like museums, etc. were all closing made travel hopeless.  Some whole states were even closed to "outsiders"!  So, we broke out the paint and wood, and whatever and got creative as best we could.  Turned the air conditioner on full-blast and worked inside during the heat of the day and only came out during the early morning or late afternoon.


By July though, I was getting "stir-crazy" and needed to get away!  So, we booked a week at our Time Share in Sedona AZ.  It was an easy drive and somewhere we've been to before so no need to feel like we had to play tourist.  Enough of a difference to give us a break, swim in a different pool, eat in a different restaurant, etc.  It worked.  



The following week we were able to book 5 days in a campground in Payson AZ, about 4 hours from here.  It hadn't been easy to find any availability around here as just about everybody from the valley was camping in the mountains!  Many own or reserve spots a year in advance because of the summer heat here.  We were lucky to get the 5 days!  

Finally, in August, with diligence, I was able to get another reservation in Flagstaff as well.  Our friends joined us too, which made it even more enjoyable.  We only planned on the one week, but after spending the week, I went to the host and begged her to see if there was any way at all she could find us a spot for another week....and she did!  Yea!  The trees, the peace, the pure loveliness was wonderful.  I had to really stretch our food supply as we hadn't planned on being there that long and hadn't even brought the toad, but there was a little cafe across the street that we ran to for a couple of extra meals ;-)

By mid September I was ready for another break though, so we headed to California to another Time Share room in Dana Point for a week.  A couple of friends joined us for the weekend, which was super nice and then later in the week my nieces and family joined us for dinner one night making our trip that much more special.  The Time Share hosts treated us to a really nice dinner one night too, so all in all it was a great trip.  

After we got back, a few days later, my niece and nephew from Washington came for a quick 2 day visit (they had been visiting Sedona).  It was fun showing them all around our Resort on my new golf cart and then going out to dinner.  I had to laugh at how my nephew complained at how "hot" it was...and it was only around 90!  I just told him he was a wimp....should have come a month ago when it was in the triple digits!! 

In October, we finally got to go "real camping"!  I say "real" because it took more that a couple of hours to get to our destination!  Our RV Club had planned a group camping trip months and months ago to Lone Pine CA.  Originally, 23 rigs were scheduled to go...because of COVID and then the CA fires, only 3 rigs ended up going.  Sad.  BUT, we all had a GREAT time!!  In some ways, maybe a better time than we (I) would have had if everyone would have made it...who knows?


November, our Resort tried to bring back some normalcy...as much as they could.  We held an Arts and Crafts Fair (for residents only) of which I decided to participate, not that I sold much, but it was fun to get out a bit and mingle.  

December, the RV Club had it's winter campout at the Lost Dutchman Campground in AZ.  Once again, it originally had about 23 rigs signed up, but this time we did have 11 rigs come.  Beautiful campground with a great view of the Superstition Mountain.  Nice campfires, with good company and fun outings.  A great way to end the year.  


Although we didn't camp much, or even travel much, it wasn't a bad year, just a different one.  We are lucky, we have our health, a good warm roof over our head, food on our table and our bills are paid.  I pray that the coming year will be better for all of us, that this awful virus will be knocked out and that life as we knew it will go back to some sort of "normal" for all of us.  As I write this, I, once again am planning on that "eastern coastline trip"...as I am, and will always be, an optimist!  

To you, my fellow travelers and friends, stay safe, and hopefully, we shall see you once again on the road!


...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:  http://www.flickr.com/photos

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Christmas with family, Texas style!

Two and half years without seeing "my grand babies" is just to long, COVID or not!  I just had to fly to Texas this year and be with those two little guys for Christmas before they forgot who their grandma was!  Being only 6 and 3, it doesn't take long for them to forget all the fun times we've had in the past and wonder who this person is that Dad just talks to on the phone!  Besides, I was really missing those wonderful, squishy hugs and mushy kisses and sweet giggles that only little ones can give you!  So, off to Dallas I went...mask and all.  

I sure lucked out with the weather!  Sunshine all the way!  So, wonderful visits to the park to play, lots of fun times outside to break up our "hide-and-seek" games, baking Santa cookies and computer times inside.  While we were outside, we met some new neighbors visiting from China, including a 4 year old boy to play with!  My daughter-in-law made us a delightful picnic one afternoon and we all exchanged American and Chinese food together, what fun that was!  

I actually woke up before the family on Christmas morning (excited, I guess!). Watched the sunrise over the lake, so beautiful, and so peaceful...especially before all the "excitement" that was to follow any minute!  

As you can imagine, Christmas with two small boys was full of chaos and noise...just as it should be!  Lots of "Oh my golly!"  and "wow!"  and "just what I wanted!" was heard...along with the noises of the rat-a-tat-tats of the toys and rumbles of the trucks!  Ahhh...boys' toys!  Memories of my own boys' at that age...


I found out that my son's favorite Christmas movie is Swiss Family Robinson...so, we had a wonderful fire going in the fireplace and rented the movie and sat back and watched, as he explained it to his sons.  We laughed at the various animals and antic that they "discovered" on their island and would my grandsons like to ever live on an island like that (no thanks!).  Afterward, all settled down though for afternoon naps by the warm fire...even the dogs took a break...

Before I knew it the week was over and it was time to fly back to Arizona, though...

I was lucky with the trip, not to crowded coming or going, treated like "royalty" by my family and by the airline staff, can't ask for anything better!  So glad I came!  Wonderful way to end the year and look forward to a much better year ahead...


...kicking back in Arizona,  Marie