Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Colorado Christmas

This year, since we are in Arizona and closer, we decided to go up to Eric & Kari's in Colorado for Christmas.  All we have to do is dodge any snow!  So, we packed the trunk full of what winter gear we still own, Christmas presents for the grandsons, some snacks and headed north to real winter...

We got as far as Bluff, Utah the first night, Sunday, December 22, 2013, and stayed at the Desert Rose Inn.  The next day, Monday, December 23rd, we arrived in Minturn and got settled in.  Good to see them all again!  The next few days were very busy and fun.  Kari's parents, Ken & Harriet came from Denver to join us for the holiday.  I'll just let the photographs tell the story...

Jonah, the master snow scooper!

Kodiak, Jonah & Kari

Jonah got excited about each gift:)

Jacob loves sports, so this was a hit!

Kari's parents, Ken & Harriet

Jacob will love driving this!
Jonah had to try out his new tool kit.

Eric & Jacob on the ski lift.

Kari helping Jonah on the Magic Carpet.

Jonah's learning to ski!

And liking it!!

Headed down the bunny hill...

"Hold me, Daddy - I'm tired!"

Jacob looks like a pro already!


"Am I skiing now?"

Eric & Jonah having fun!

Fun day!

Never knew skis were so colorful...

Vail is beautiful during the holidays!

And, busy...

Really, really busy!

Jacob & Jonah love riding the buses in the Vail Valley.

Let's go to Beaver Creek!

Ice skating rink in Beaver Creek.

The ice sculptures were awesome.

Grandpa & Jonah checking out the creek.

Jonah & Jacob enjoy making popcorn
Grandma reading to Jonah & Jacob

Jacob learning to bake

Tuesday, December 31st: there's a storm headed this way.  Kari was at work and as soon as Eric got home from his part-time job at the ski shop, John & I hopped in the car and headed west.  We're not prepared for winter driving any more!  Before we left, though, John & his able assistant, Jacob, did some baking:)

Jacob & the finished product - yum! yum!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014.  It's a new year!!  We spent last night at the Hampton Inn in Moab, Utah and then drove south, taking a little detour to see Monument Valley (turned west on Hwy. 95 just south of Blanding and then took Hwy. 261 south).  On the way, we stopped at Mule Canyon Ruin to explore the remains of a small Anasazi village that was intermittently occupied from about A.D. 750 to roughly A.D. 1000 to 1150.
Remains of the tower

The kiva

Remains of the room block (14 rooms)

More room ruins

We love the red rocks here in Utah!

What we didn't know was that our route choice would take us down the Moki Dugway to Monument Valley.  We thought we might have heard the name "Moki Dugway," but didn't know much about it.  Found out fast!  10% grades, 5 mph. switchbacks and 3 miles of gravel - all in the same place!  It was awesome and the views were incredible!!  Fortunately, there were lots of wide spots on the switchback corners so we were able to stop and take photographs.

Here's our first clue that we were in for an adventure...

Oh, my...

Like falling off the edge of the earth...

But what stupendous views of the valley 1,200' below!

Check out that switchback!

A panoramic view.

Almost down!

Wonder why they didn't have a sign like this at the top??
 Monument Valley was pretty cool, too.  We would like to come back through here sometime and spend more time.

We drove as far as Flagstaff and holed up for the night at the Holiday Inn Express.  Fun day!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Tucson Winter - Part A

Well, we left California on Thursday, October 24th at 8:45 a.m., crossed into the state of Arizona just before 1:00 p.m. and stopped for the night at Saddle Mountain RV Park near Tonopah AZ at 3:30 p.m.  Yesterday, Friday, October 25th, we left Saddle Mountain at about 10:00 a.m. and pulled into Lazy Days RV Park in south Tucson at 1:30 p.m.  Nice, short day!  Time for a nice relaxing winter in our new "home"...
Here's our home on wheels on our site.
Well, can't start relaxing quite yet.  After spending a few days settling in, on Wednesday, October 30th, we headed down to the airport and flew to San Antonio for John's VA physical on the 1st.  During that week we enjoyed spending some time with John's cousin Judy and her husband Rick.  In fact, they graciously let us stay with them!  We always have a good time hanging out with them and, among other things, we all enjoyed a trip to Dripping Springs for a soup bowl fundraiser and also checked out the Wimberley flea market.  Amazing place!   Impossible to see it all in one day!  On Wednesday, November 6th, we flew back to Tucson. 

Enjoyed all the fruit trees (grapefruit above) at Lazy Days...
After a few more weeks here, during which we lived our typical retiree life of visiting friends, going to an occasional movie, shopping, getting haircuts, doing laundry, etc. etc., I finally realized that - although John enjoyed it here, I was quite bored.  So bored, in fact, that one afternoon I actually went around the park and knocked on the door of every rig that sported Alaska license plates and organized an informal "dessert" gathering at the park's restaurant that evening.  We enjoyed visiting with about four other Alaskan couples.  But, this park had no organized activities and one can only visit local friends so much before you become annoying!  So, on Monday, November 25th, we spent the day touring three other RV parks, Rincon Country East, Voyager Resort, and Rincon Country West.  RCW got our vote: plenty of activities and the RV section had plenty of palm trees and even had separate pet and non-pet sections.  We don't have anything against pets but have to admit that it was nice not to listen to a barking dog right next door!
Rincon Country West's main street
So, on Sunday, December 1st, we pulled in the slide and drove the 10+ miles to Rincon Country West.  Think we're going to like it here...

Me hanging out on "our" patio

On Wednesday, December 4th, we toured the Tucson Botanical Gardens.  We always love tours and visits to gardens - so much to photograph!  This one even had a butterfly house...
Atlas Moth

Barrel Cactus

Fairy Duster


The next weekend, brother Sam & wife MaryAnn were in town for a softball tourney.  We went over to watch a game or two and then enjoyed a picnic dinner with them and the rest of the team at Voyager RV Resort.

Our 42nd anniversary arrived, so on Wednesday, December 11th we celebrated by driving down to Esplendor Resort in Rio Rico.

Our balcony view

Big thanks to Anchorage neighbor kid, Ryan, for passing along a gift certificate he and Louise were unable to use!  We had a wonderful time!!  After checking in we went over and played 9 holes of golf and then enjoyed a nice dinner down in their restaurant. 

On Thursday, December 12th, after wandering around to see the resort grounds...

...we checked out and drove home by way of Patagonia where I became the proud owner of a third Native American flute!  Fun!!  Also, in Patagonia we wandered around a little town park that had some cool painted tiles.  Couldn't resist playing with this photograph on the computer:

Original photograph
Version #1
Version #2

Version #3

Pretty long horns!

Beautiful views along Hwy. 80, 82 or 83 -
not sure exactly where we were!

Well, it's time for a holiday road trip...