Mexican party! - January 29, 2009

Update from Jackie: Yesterday I developed a sore throat and was very tired so I spent the day in bed, trying to beat the illness before it got a good hold on me.  Fortunately I felt a little better today, because today the group of RVers we hang out with had another theme party. This time it was a Mexican theme, so Randy made pulled pork enchiladas. The site we used for the last couple of parties was still available so we set up a bunch of chairs and some tables there again. Everyone brought something, but after awhile we discovered that nobody brought desserts! So Randy brought over the blueberry-banana bread he baked yesterday – not exactly a Mexican dessert, but really good.
Nancy brought a piƱata and the guys took turns trying to break it.




Randy delivered the final blow and we found that there were several little miniature liqueurs mixed in with the candy! Unfortunately a couple of them broke as they hit the ground, but most survived intact, and were quickly snatched up. A lot of the candy was Mexican candy (naturally) and I have to say, I didn’t care for it. One example was pineapple-flavored candy with a salt-and-pepper outside coating. Not exactly Hersheys!




And here's a couple of pics of our cuties, doing what they do best - napping!






Wednesday January 27, 2010

Today has been a drury day. There was a slight chance of rain in the forecast and all we got was a cloudy sky and a sprinkle. The temperature was warm, in the lower 70's.
I just got back from a tag-a-long to Chris's Diner in Arizona City. Unfortunately Jackie couldn't make it as she had to work. The food was great as always. We only had 7 people at our table but our poor waitress got flustered and though we only order 4 different pizzas we ended up with 6 pizzas. I ended up bringing home more than a full pizza. Extra pizza is never a problem for me because I love it cold or hot.
Tomorrow I plan on getting things ready for the tax man and hopefully wash the Jeep (sounds exciting right????). We are trying to get things ready for Alaska. It appears that there are 2 main problems, one of which is that Sprint does not work in Skagway and the second is what to do with the handguns. Sprint has said that they would suspend service for 3 months for a nominal charge but after the 3 months the charge goes back to the original price. Well considering we will be Skagway for about 5 months that means we will be paying for 2 months of no service (so far I can't justify that cost). As far as the handguns, Canada does not allow them in the country. Therefore, I need to find a way to ship them either to Skagway or ship them to a friend or family. I just need to do some research to figure out what is my best option. If anyone has an idea please let me know.
To all our friends and family who read this blog i just want to say that we are doing fine and we really miss you.

Sunday January 24, 2010

Sorry it has been so long since the last blog. No excuses.

This week has been one for the books as far as the weather is concerned. On Thursday, Flagstaff was having blizzard conditions, Phoenix was having flooding and Casa Grande was having a dust storm. All these conditions at the same time and all within about a 100 mile area. I never realized how different the weather could be in such a small area. I also did not realize that Flagstaff gets an average of 100 inches of snow a year. I have a hard time comprehending snow in Arizona, but they get a lot of it here.

Last Sunday, January 17, we had our tag-a-long to Tucson Studios with a stop in Tucson for breakfast at The Blue Willow. There were a total of 8 of us on the trip.The food at the Blue Willow was great. Everyone enjoyed their meals and the service was fine. If you are ever in Tucson I recommend The Blue Willow. The studios was a lot of fun. We were busy from the time we got there till the time we left. There are quite a few shows, tours and gunfights to be seen. There have been a lot of movies and television shows filmed there over the years with a lot of different stars. Some of the movies include Tombstone, McClintock, Revenge of the Nerds, The Three Amigos and the Original 3:10 to Yuma. Some of the television shows are The Little House on the Prairie, Bonanza and High Chapparal. There is a mountian there called The Gold Gate Mountain which is probably the most photograped mountian in all of film history. The entertainers and guides are very informative and friendly. We also took a stage coach ride and I think we all agreed it would be a rough way to cross the country.





















While Lonnie and Chris were here we went rock hunting, turquoise hunting, and flea market shopping. We had a great time looking for rocks and hiking up and down mountains. It turns out that geology can be very interesting if you know what you are looking at. We found some petroglyphs nearby - no information on their age, but they are well known around here as the real thing.

















We spend most of a day at the large flea market in downtown Phoenix. There were a few treasures to be had and some food to be consumed. From there we went to a Mexican market. It was ok but not a big as the other market. one interesting point is Lonnie got his haircut at the mexican flea market and I believe the barber cut his hair the way she wanted it as opposed to the way he wanted it.

Today is a beautiful day. The sky is clear and sunny. It is hard to believe the other day we had the duststorm during the day and gusty winds and rain at night. But we made it through all the stuff and survived to fight another day.

Wednesday January 13, 2010

What an interesting day. Today started with a bang. Julienne decided to pee in the living room and I thought Jackie was going to kill her or at least ban her to her kennel for life. Not a good way to start the day.

We removed the sofa from our rig today because we both hated it and never sat on it. Now we have this beautiful area where we have set the Keyboard. Right now we do not know how we will fill the space but we also are not in a hurry to do so. We have talked about many options and none of them seem ideal so we will wait until inspiration hit us.

My brother, Lonnie and his wife Chris showed up today for a week visit. It sure is good to see them. We went to dinner at a Mexican restaurant called Mi Amigo Ricardo in Case Grande and had a great meal. After dinner Jackie had to go to work so I was the entertainment committee and we went to Cold Stone Creamery for dessert. This is the first time they had been in one and I think they both liked the ice cream. After dinner, but before dessert we stopped at the Food City Grocery store which tends to be more geared toward the Mexican community. They seemed to like it as they bought some cheese, crema, cumin and some snack items. I really like taking them to food places because they are eager to try different things.

After we returned to the park I took Lonnie up to the Cantina to get some brochures on local attractions. After that we walked through the park and ran into a couple of other Workampers, Skip and Dan. Well we spend about 20 minutes talking about variuos topics. One of the more interesting topics was the Automatic Tire Chain System. Neither I nor Lonnie had ever heard of such a beast and was under the suspicion that we were being fed a line. However, I did check and there is such a thing. I have added it as a favorite link but here it is also www.onspot.com. It is worth a look.

Tuesday January 12, 2010

What a day! I spent most of the day painting a building here at the park. Painting is not one of my favorite things to do but I still spent all day at it.

We are planning a Tag-a-long this Sunday to go to Old Tucson Studies. At the studios I believe there were over 300 movies made and many television series. Many of the movies had some of our favorite actors and actresses. One such is John Wayne. One of the television series shot there was High Chapparel (questionable spelling). I hope we have about 20 people but who know how many will be willing to get up and drive over an hour.

Tonight we had a guest singer at the park. Her name is Sarah Getto. She is blind and haas been since birth. She sings, plays the piano, violin and other instruments. Some of her work includes many of the songs from the Karen Carpenter era. She is very good and well worth a listen. She has a web site at www.sarahgetto.com. Check it out, you will definitely enjoy it.

This is short. I hope you will forgive me.

January 7, 2010

Jackie's update: I have been taking some time off of blogging. Not sure why, I just didn’t get in front of the PC for a few days (including email, so I have some catching up to do). So now, to avoid looking back on the beginning of 2010 and wondering what in the world I did, I need to jot down some scattered notes.

First - yesterday afternoon we got a call from Bonnie and Ken! I worked with both of them at Enterprise several years ago until they retired. They have been full time RVing since 2001 - that was the first time I had heard of this lifestyle, and that is when we started investigating it. They are currently at an Escapee RV park near Casa Grande, so we drove over to see them. They are both doing fine and still having a great time. It was so good to see them!!! Bonnie does the most beautiful beadwork I’ve ever seen. She makes jewelry and amulet bags that are prettier than anything you can buy anywhere. They have already made 2 trips to Alaska and gave us some good information. We also located some other friends (Frances and JoAnne) who recently moved from Quail Run to the same Escapee park. Frances and Jo’s RV has double slide outs, so eventually 10 of us ended up there, sitting around and talking for a long time.

Other miscellaneous items and random thoughts...

Randy already mentioned the hike up Picacho. On the way there we thought we’d get a breakfast biscuit at Carl’s Jr, which in the Midwest is aka Hardee’s, and Hardee’s is famous for their biscuits. But out here biscuits are not on the menu at all. What they did serve was unmemorable and pricier than a fast-food breakfast should be, so we won’t stop bother with it again. I think my favorite part of that day was soaking in the Park’s hot tub after the 6 mile hike!

Randy gave a cooking class this week about soups. 11 people came to the class and everyone seemed to have a great time. He is so good at that – at one point he had two different soups going at the same time, and still kept everything straight!

Recently we drove to the Phoenix area and had breakfast at a place called Joe’s Farm, which was recommended by Skip at the park. It was a bit unusual - one of their signature dishes is waffles with short ribs on top of the waffles. That doesn’t sound good, but it was.

One of the RVers in our group won the RV Christmas decorating contest, so she decided to treat some of the gang to Pizza night out. Since Pizza Hut is still having the “any pizza for $10” special, we went there and had a nice evening with friends.

Randy mentioned the New Year's Eve party, but he didn't mention that he was asked to work with the Activity team for 2 days on the appetizers. As usual, everything turned out great! It was one of their better parties.

Yesterday some of the women in our group went to see “It’s Complicated” at the local theater.

And despite the fact that most of my blog is about food, I continue to lose weight. I have a long way to go, but now I fit into the smallest jeans I have with me, and I haven’t been able to fit into them for a couple of years. Thank you, Cracker Barrel!

January 3, 2010

What a beautiful sunny day. It started out in the 40's but has quickly warmed up to somewhere in the mid to upper 60's. This is the weather we came to Arizona for.
This being the first part of the month I am still doing my monthly chores which includes running the engine, generator, checking the batteries, etc. It is hard to belieive we have been here for 3 months already but we have. Soon we will be heading to Alaska (only 2 1/2 months away).
Yesterday we went to Picacho Peak which to hike to the top. The path we took is about 3 1/2 miles long from base to peak. Picacho Peak is at an elevation of 1500 feet and is the site of the western most battle of the civil war. The actual battle was fought about 1/2 mile away from the peak in a valley. Currently the actual battle site is on private property and therefore you can't visit it. The park is a great park with some wonderful views of the surrounding valley. We didn't hike all the way to the top. We did hike about 3 miles of the trail but toward the end for some of the path you need to use cables to help you along. When we reached the cable portion we decided that was far enough for this trip. By the time w got back to the car I can honestly say we were both tired. We went to a pizza place in one of the nearby towns for dinner. The pizza was OK. It was not like we have back in St. Louis but it was well done and tasty.

Today Jeannie, the park manager asked me if I would like to cater the Valentine Dinner. This is a tempting request. I guess I will need to put together a menu and a cost estimate and then discuss it with them to see if we can come to a consensus. I will keep you posted incase anyone wants to come to Valentine Dinner.

Well I need to get bus on recipes for the Soup Class this Wed. Have a blessed day.

January 1. 2010

Happy New Year!!!! Wow another decade in the books. Is it my imagination or is time speeding up? It just seems like yesterday we thought the world would end when the calendar changed to January 1, 2000 and now here we are in 2010.

We went to a New Years party at the park last night and it was a lot of fun. We didn't make it all the way to midnight but none the less the world is still on a somewhat even keel. It seems harder and harder to stay up late and with that in mind I say when you get tired go to bed.

I have made no resolutions this year because Last Year I made a resolution not to make resolutions anymore. (Doing pretty good right?)

I will say that I have some hopes for the future year. The first hope is that we have a safe, fun and productive trip to Alaska this year. Also I hope that I get healthier this year which means I need to learn to keep my mouth closed at the dinner table.

We are starting to get things ready to go to Alaska. It seems there are a lot of things that we must do prior to the trip. We need to be sure the pets records are up to date, that our insurance is valid in Canada, what we will do for phone service, what to expect on the trip up and the list goes on. If anyone reading this blog has suggestions for things to checkon or pitfalls to be aware of I would appreciate your thoughts.

May this year be the best of your life. We hope that you receive many blessings.