Sunday, January 25, 2009

Week at Quartzsite

Sunday, January 25, 2009
Lorraine's Report

Wow, what a week for us again. Since last Sunday, we dry camped at Quartzsite, AZ, with several thousand other rigs, of every size, shape and kind you can think of. The days were busy shopping, looking and trying to get the best deal for whatever we were trying to buy. The weather started out hot but ended up with scattered rain showers and cool. Just enough rain to splatter our dark car and make it messy. The dust and wind blew the whole time we were there. Needless to say the coach was filthy inside and out.

Monday, we found the dollar “sliders”, a hamburger with grilled onions, lettuce; you add the condiments you wanted on it. They were delicious and for only a dollar, we ate that several times during the week.

Happy hour was set each day for 5 o’clock. Everyone brought stuff for all to share, and boy did we ever have good food. Virgil made chili one evening, while Patsy and Linda#1 did several types of corn bread. One night Linda #1 made ribs and I made potato salad and Sandy A made macaroni salad. For dessert one evening, I made up my Christmas fudge. That was a hit with everyone.

Thursday was Chuck’s initiation into the Elk’s lodge at Desert Hot Springs. That morning we left the camp site at 10 am and didn’t get back until 1 am. Sure made for a long day for us. It was two and a half hours each way. We met up with our friends, Tom and Dorothy Warren from Desert Hot Springs that afternoon. Tom was happy to have Chuck join, since he had been working on getting Chuck into the Elks for six months. Thank you Tom, we really appreciate all your hard work. Dorothy had her sister Mary, and her niece, Marissa over that day from the Los Angeles area and they went to the Elks for dinner with us, as well as her older sister, Dessa. It was nice to meet Dorothy’s sisters and her niece.

Earlier in the day, we stopped at Walmart in Palm Springs to shop for our trip into Mexico. I went into the beauty salon there and asked what it would cost to have my hair done. She told me $45.95 and she could get me in about ten minutes later. So I went back and she put two colors on my hair for $45.95, the cheapest I have ever had my hair done, and she was fast and very professional. The color is good, looks like the way my hair used to be. She also deep conditioned it after the color and then cut the ends, all for less than what they normally charge to do my hair. I’ll have to go back there again.

Also, on Thursday four rigs pulled out of our circle and four more were coming back in.
Leaving were Richard and Patsy King, Mark and Sue Didelot, Manuel and Connie Esparza and Canada Bob and Karen. Coming in were Earl and Linda Hall, Mike and Kathy Nicks, Jim and Marsha Cauley and Sue Tsuda.

Two nights around the campfire was the initiation of the new members joining our circle of friends this year at Quartzsite. There were four new couples that joined this year. Steve and Sandy Alguire, Dave and Sandy Hasselberg, Connie and Manuel Esparza and Jim and Marsha Cauley. (We were in the class of ’08)

Friday was our last day at Q and we spent the day looking and picking up things we wanted, before we left.

Saturday we pulled out and drove down to Yuma. We got in before noon. Once there, we started cleaning the coach. The wind blowing all that dust, sure made for a messy, dirty coach and the little bit of rain didn’t help either. Chuck washed the windshield after the drive down. There were some bugs that hit the windshield, in January if you can believe that.

We called Richard King, since that group left Q and went to Yuma. We found out where they were, went to eat, then on to see them where they camped at Paradise Casino. We visited, and then Chuck and I went to play at the casino. We both came out with more money than we went in with.

Last night, Chuck and I decided to leave Yuma and caravan with Richard, Mark and Manny down to where we are now, Gila Bend, AZ. We will be here for two nights, then onto Aho, AZ to pick up our insurance for our trip into Mexico. We are going with 12 other couples with their rigs into Porta Penasco, Mexico for a week. The group we were with at Q this year and last, went there two years ago and have decided to do this trip every two years. They stay at a resort right on the beach, it has electric, water and sewer. They go fishing on a charter boat, then the last night they all go on the same boat for a sunset dinner cruise. So next Sunday, I’m not sure if we will be able to post. We plan on going in on Wednesday, January 28 and coming back February 4.

Oh, insurance was a whole other problem. Chuck may talk about that. Any how, we
are able to go with the motor home, but have left the car at our friend’s RV spot in Yuma. Mark and Sue Didelot said we could ride with them.

So I’ll say bye for now and will post as soon as we can…Take care……Lorraine

Chuck's Report

Today was moving day again so we didn't get this one posted in the morning as per our plan. But we are going to get 'er done now. It's almost 4:00 and here I am just getting started.

Lorraine is typing her report and she will probably put more into hers than I will this one. I will only hit the high spots. The days sort of run together when at Quartzsite, most days we went to peruse the vendors and see if they had anything we just couldn't live without. We had our "Happy Hour" at 5:00 each evening and most nights there was enough to eat without anyone having to cook dinner later that evening. We would stay around the campfire until 7:30 or so, depending on the wind and temperature. Once it started to get too cool, everyone would head for their rig and call it a night.

I tried to start each day off with a walk through the desert. Dave joined me most mornings, Mark and Sue came along twice. We tried to get in a fairly brisk, 45 minute to an hour walk. We liked to walk around and see all the different rigs people have, from tents to the million dollar rigs.

We were boondocking the whole week, the only water was what we had in our fresh water tank and we didn't want to overfill our holding tanks. We didn't have power hookups so would run off the batteries and charge them by running our generator a couple of times a day. We also had to run the generator when Lorraine was using the microwave, hair drier or air conditioner or any other high electrical usage.

At night, we would run our diesel boiler as needed for heat. Even though the weather wasn't too hot or too cold, it was nice to have air or heat when we were inside. We spent a lot of time outside visiting or shopping.

One day that was different from most was Thursday. I was going to be initiated into the Elks club back in Hot Springs, California, about 2 1/2 hours away. Lorraine and I decided to leave Q, go to Palm Springs for some shopping and then head for the Elks. While in Palm Springs, Lorraine had an opportunity to get her hair done so I went looking for a Verizon Phone store, my phone hinge is starting to break. I didn't have any luck but Lorraine is very satisfied with her hair.

We met Tom and Dorothy Warren at their house and drove over to her sister's new house. Her sister is 87 and just bought a new to her house. She has a nice place and she doesn't seem to be the least bit intimidated about living in it alone. A very gutsy lady.

The Elks initiation went very well, I paid my money and signed the bylaws and now I am a member of Desert Hot Springs Elks Lodge # 2639. This seems like a good organization with good people in it, looking forward to visiting more of them on the road.

We are now in Gila Bend, Az for two days before we head South to Mexico. I called our insurance company to find out what coverage we have for going to Mexico and was surprised to find out we don't have any. I could, however, purchase a week's worth of insurance for motorhome and car for only $800, that didn't count liability coverage for another $125. I politely declined and looked for other coverage. There are lots of companies that sell Mexican insurance and I called a couple of them, found one that would cover us for a week without taking an arm and leg. We decided to leave our car at TJ's (thanks again, TJ and Sharon!) and try to bum rides for the next week.

As we will be in Mexico next week, we can't use our cell phones or Verizon Air Card for Internet service so I don't think we will have a post next Sunday. If by some chance someone allows us to use their satellite for Internet, maybe we will. If we are able to post, I will send out a note to the normal contact list letting people know.

I was asked to try and tell where we were planning on being the next week in our blogs. People said if they knew where we were going, maybe they could meet with us vs reading where we had been. So on that note, next week we are planning on gong to Porta Penasco, Mexico for a week. The campground we are going to is on the water, although we aren't parking in the first row, on the Sea of Cortez. As I said earlier, I don't know if we will have cell phone or Internet service so we may not be posting next week but will update when we can.

And now for the best part, pictures. There are lots of pictures for this week, we were with lots of friends and did lots of stuff. We got a picture of most of the people standing in front of their rig but didn't get everyone.

Frank and Dave discussing the world situation. I think they should run for president and vice-president.

Lots of nice sunsets in the desert, must be the smog from LA.

A group picture of some of the gals at our campsite. Starting on the left we have Connie, Sue, Lorraine, Patsy, Linda and Sandy.

Sitting at the table where we got $1.00 hamburgers, they were good too.

Canadian Bob and Karen, they are from Vancouver Island.

Sandy and Steve Alguire from Lynwood, Wa.

Patsy and Richard King from Texas.

Manuel and Connie Esparza from Texas.

Sue and Mark Didelot from Louisiana. They are planning on going to Alaska with us this summer.

Notice Dave's rig on the right, sorry I don't have a better picture. He has his 15' boat inside the bed of his pickup, nice setup Dave.

Sandy and Dave Hasselberg from Minnesota. That's his rig in the above picture.

That's us, just to show we were there.

Bob and Linda Kline from California.

Mike Descha and Linda Oddo from California. They are sort of the brains behind this group getting together every year. Thanks for all the work, Mike and Linda.

Frank Beights from Texas.

Lorraine flying a kite in January. Really, it was a nice day with a bit of a breeze, about 70F.
A picture of Lorraine's kite with the clouds.

Part of our camp circle. There were six Tiffins there this year.

La Mesa RV center puts on a free breakfast every morning. This is their front desk from an Allegro Motorhome.

Steve showing proper etiquette when eating with two forks. Make sure to keep the pinkies out.

I don't blame you Richard, I wouldn't want that in my mouth either.

Three new couples getting the official welcome into our group, Steve and Sandy, Manuel and Connie, Mike handing out hats to them and Dave and Sandy.

At the Elks Lodge where I got initiated. That's Tom and his niece Marissa with Lorraine on the left.

Another sunset picture, not too much color but nice anyway.
A shot of the mountains outside of Yama.

We stopped for a Date Shake on the way to Gila Bend.

Manuel and Connie's Phaeton and toad.

Mark and Sue's Phaeton.

Pulling into our campground in Gila Bend. With Passport America we paid half of the advertised price, good deal for us, huh?
So another week has passed in review. Until next time - - - -

Thanks Chuck

Sunday, January 18, 2009


January 18, 2009
Lorraines' Report

Sunday night and I’m late in posting for the blog, again. Well, all I have to say for myself is that I have been busy-still. This morning I woke up at 8 am, only to find the coach empty. Chuck had gone out walking with our friend, Dave Hasselberg and forgot to wake me. I needed to be up because I was supposed to make breakfast for our friends here at Quartzsite, AZ. I think there may have been fifteen or so that came. While we were at the FMCA Rally last week, there was a booth that gave out a free bag of waffles and a free bag of pancakes. I kept ours for this week and told our friend Patsy King I would make breakfast for the group. Connie Esparza called last night and offered to bring scrambled eggs. I told her I was doing the waffles, pancakes, sausage patties and an orange/banana fruit cup. So we did breakfast for everyone. I think everyone enjoyed the food and the friendship this fine Sunday morning.

Then everyone headed off to the big tent, hoping it wouldn’t be as crowded as yesterday. Chuck drove us gals over, me, Connie and Patsy King. Then he went his way and we all went ours. It wasn’t as crowded and we had a fun time. Connie and I ended up buying things together at the big tent, taking advantage of the vendor’s offer of lower prices for quantity. I think we both felt like we made out like bandits.

We got back in time for the first football play off game. While the guys watched the game at our coach, the gals went to the King’s coach where we played two games of golf or as we call it “pass the love”. The gals also made food for the guys to eat while watching the game.

We finished in time for 5 o’clock happy hour and enough time to make the food to share for happy hour. We sat around the fire visiting and eating. We saw a beautiful sunset, one of the nicest ones I’ve seen here in the desert. And here I am now, writing for the blog.

This week since last Sunday was spent cleaning up the coach from the Rally, it was filthy; doing laundry for this week, including the rugs, stocking up for this week at Q and trying to catch up on sleep. I slept twelve hours the first day after the Rally, then eleven hours the second day. We were busy with friends, Joe and Alice Morin from Bellingham, WA. We saw them twice, went to dinner with them once, along with Mike and Linda from our group here at Q, (I have to mention that we ran into Linda at a Walmart there in Palm Springs. That was how we all ended up going out to dinner). We went to dinner with Tom and Dorothy Warren, our friends from the Rally. Then it was time to leave to come over here to Quartzsite.

We got into Q on Friday around 1:30 or so and were whisked away by Mark Didelot and Richard King, for shopping before the big influx of people for the opening of the show. We got home around four o’clock and set up our rig, then I got food ready for happy hour.

Man, time sure goes by fast when you’re busy and having fun. I don’t know how I used to do it all when I worked. At least the weather is warm during the day, into the 70’s and down to the low 40’s at night. In this dry climate I have been able to come off one of my heavy duty arthritis medicines, which is good for me.

So until next time, bye for now, take care and I’ll see you down the road….. Lorraine

Sunday, Jan. 18, 2009
Chuck's Report

Once again, it's been a busy week. Last week we were at the FMCA Rally in Indio, left there on Sunday and went to 1000 Trails in Palm Springs. This place was full, only had a couple sites empty each night. Saw lots of motorhomes that were at the Rally, figure they were there for the same reason we were. After spending a week boondocking (camping without hookups) at the fairground, they were ready for some electricity and water.

We spent Monday cleaning the coach, inside and out. It got pretty dusty at the fairgrounds and they allow anyone to wash their rig at their sites. So on Monday I got the top, driver's side and front washed. (Don't want to overwork myself and do it all in one day.) Lorraine cleaned most of the inside on Sunday and finished on Monday, looks good. After that we headed to Super Wal-Mart to restock.

Tuesday I finished washing the outside while Lorraine cleaned out part of her closet. She ended up with a bag for Goodwill and got everything organized. She also had bought some plastic baskets and re-organized one are of the cupboards. You know the drill, a place for everything and everything in it's place. She also took all our throw rugs and bedding to a laundry mat, found a real nice one thanks to Joe and Alice.

Our friends, Joe and Alice came over for a visit on Wednesday. I tried to hook Joe up to our computer but was unable to connect. I called Cradlepoint in Idaho, was on the phone with them for 1/2 hour before they found the problem. That's good service from a company, we got our router a year ago at CHRISTmas and they still provide good service, I like that.

I also worked a bit with Joe, showed him how we do our blog. He said he may start one, I'm looking for it Joe. I know you are going to Costa Rico but expect to see a blog soon after that!!

Wednesday was a quiet day as I remember. We didn't have too much planned for the day so we went to Wal-Mart to stock up for our week in Quartzsite, Az. We happened to bump into Linda at Wal-Mart and made plans for a dinner with Joe and Alice, Mike and Linda and us. We ended up a nice Mexican place and had a good time. We stayed around for awhile and had lots of good conversation with much laughter.

Thursday, I met Joe and Alice in the morning as they were leaving town. They are keeping some stuff we don't want to carry into Mexico, we will see them again later this winter in Yuma. Sad to see them leave, they are good friends and we enjoy being with them.

Thursday evening we made dinner arrangements with Tom and Dorothy Warren. We went to Applebees and found they had surprising good food. We had a nice waitress who flirted with Tom throughout the night. We, once again, enjoyed spending time with them, they may make a day trip over to Quartzsite this week.

Friday morning was moving day for us. We planned on going to Quartzsite, filling our tanks at Flying J and parking with our friends. Just before we were ready to start the engine, the people parked next to us, Fred and Marilyn from British Columbia, wanted to see the inside of our coach. This put us a little behind our self imposed schedule but no problem, it's always nice to visit with people. Then just before we pulled out of the site, Mark Didelot called and wanted to know what time we planned on getting into Q. To make a long story short, Mark, Manuel and Richard were planning on getting into Q by 9:30 on Wednesday last week but they didn't get there until afternoon. One of the people already there gave them and their coaches (they all drive Tiffin brand) a bad time on his blog about being late. I didn't want that to happen to us so I said we would be there around 3 - 3:30, knowing full well we would be early. So when we got there at 1:30, no one was expecting us. They had headed into town and had to return to escort us to our site, my bad. Sorry about the time thing Mark, was trying to protect the Tiffin name, ya' know.

We didn't even set up but headed off to town with Mark and Richard. We met up with their wives and Manuel and Connie Esparza. We spent a couple of hours exploring then heading back to the campsite. We got set up and visited with all our friends, both old and new. I don't have pictures of all the people who are here now, we expect more to show up today and Monday so I will include names and pictures next time I post.

Saturday was an all day affair at the big tent for us. This tent is huge with lots of vendors inside and surrounding it. This week is RV week in Quartzsite so most of the vendors are RV based on their wares. If you want something for a RV, most likely they have it somewhere in Q this week. We looked but didn't buy much, every booth that I was interested in had way to many people there. This place is busy!!

Friday and Saturday afternoon most of the group sat in their chairs and visited until it was time for our 5:00 cocktail hour. Now nobody drinks too much but the ladies bring enough snacks to feed everyone. We sit around a campfire, eating snacks and listening to Richard tell stories. It starts to get dark by 6:30 and cools off so everyone moves a bit closer to the fire and/or head for their coach. By 7:30 most of us called it a night and headed home to our coach.

Sunday morning Lorraine and Connie fixed up a late breakfast for everyone. After breakfast we again went to the big tent for awhile before returning back to watch the NFL playoffs. All of us were we sort of rooting for Arizona vs Philly. Currently we are watching Baltimore play at Pittsburgh, we are rooting for the Ravens.

Picture of Palm Trees at 1000 Trails, Palm Springs. These are all Date Palm trees, each site has at least two trees.

More Palm Trees.

Mike and Linda at dinner on Wednesday.

Joe and Alice at dinner Wednesday.

Lorraine and Chuck at dinner Wednesday night.

Another picture of 1000 Trails from our roof. Lots of people here.

Looking to other direction.

Manuel and Connie Esparza
Mark Didelot and Richard King working on a project. I think they finally had to ask their wives for assistance to figure it out.

Bob Kline and Richard fooling around at one of our 5:00 happy hours.
So that was our week, hope you enjoyed yours too. Most of these folks we met in the past year, seems everywhere we go we find good people. So after our fun filled week, I will say bye for now, 'till next time.
Thanks Chuck

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sunday, January 11, 2009
Lorraine's Report

Sunday again- and it’s time to write for the blog. PHEW, it sure was a busy week here at the FMCA Rally in Indio, CA. We left the fair grounds at 9:30 and pulled into Thousand Trails around 9:45. Already it has been a busy day.

Chuck tried to wake me up around 6:15 this morning for me to go sing with the Maestros this final day of the rally. I couldn't even move anything, much less wake up. So I continued to sleep. I woke up around 7:15 and found the coach empty; Chuck had gone up for donuts or muffins and hot chocolate. They have that every morning of the rally, free coffee, tea, and some kind of pastry, all you want to eat. The Maestros sing for the crowd during this time. So I got started getting ready to go over to the main meeting room. Just about that time, Chuck got back and I told him I wanted to go over to sing for the last time with the group, so he walked me over. Only about a third of the group showed up, the rest slept in or were getting ready to leave. It was gospel, they had a duo leading everyone, she didn’t follow the written words or the director, just doing her own thing, just wasn’t as much fun as all the other days we sang. They said that was how they ended the program each year; I was disappointed.

The group sang each morning from 7:00 am to 9:00 am. We had to be at the tram stop by 6:30. So that meant I was up at 5:15 each morning. The group practiced probably around twelve hours, the band more, before the rally started. It was fun and the music was fun to sing. The group all put on a great show, ending each day with a tribute to the armed forces and America. Every day happy hour was 4 pm. There was lots of great food, meeting new friends and relaxing.

After singing at the rally, Dorothy Warren, my friend from Desert Hot Spring and I would go to the seminars. We learned how to make soda can hat bands, how to shorten t-shirts that are too long, and a bunch of other things. We attended a Red Hat Tea with around 300 other Red Hatters, we shopped at the vendors booths, didn’t buy much. We had really great food, the weather was hot with the Santa Anna winds blowing through here. We met up with some of our friends, Joe and Alice Morin from our home town of Bellingham, WA; Steve and Sandy Alguire from Lynnwood, WA. They had friends along with them, but I can’t remember their names.

Chuck was interviewed for the Elk’s Lodge in Desert Hot Springs and will be initiated later this month. We gambled a bit at one of the local casinos, Dorothy, Chuck and I did ok; Dorothy had her name drawn and won a hundred dollar bill. We saw the Platters in concert, they were very good. Forgot to say about a third or more of the band and chorus had heavy colds this whole time, at least since pre-rally, including Dorothy and I. The cold sure made it hard for us to sing very well. All in all, it was a very busy time, but lots of fun.

We pulled into TT here in Palm Springs this morning and started cleaning the coach. It was so dirty from all the dust at the fair grounds. There’s still more to do, but right now I need more sleep and rest, before we gear up and head into Quartzsite next week.

This was our third rally and I would call it a medium sized one. The one in Oshkosh, WI was a small one; that was our first rally, with about 350 coaches, the one in St. Paul, MN was a large one with around 2500 coaches, and this one was medium with 1500 coaches.

I’m looking forward to sleeping in, getting over this cold, and watching some tv. I didn’t see much tv for over a week.

So till next time, I’ll say bye for now…..Lorraine
Chuck's report
Once again it's time to write our report from the last week. Today was a moving day for us so the blog didn't get posted Sunday morning as normal, instead I'm working on it this afternoon after setting up and while watching the football playoffs.
We spent the week at the FMCA Rally in Indio, California with 3000 of our closest friends. I heard there were over 1500 rigs at this Rally but it was well organized, they handled that many people very well. They had shuttle rides to/from the activities, things were well laid out and we were with the Frustrated Maestros. The Maestros are a group of people that preform during the Rally. The actual Rally started on Thursday but Lorraine's group had choir practice scheduled for twice a day on Tuesday and Wednesday so we were able to park on Monday.

They were asked to show up at their performance on Thursday thru Sunday at each morning at 6:30 which meant getting up to an alarm clock, something we aren't used to. We made it on time each morning except for today, Sunday, we were a little late. They performed from 7:00 - 9:00 each morning, they really get into it too.

Tuesday we heard from Steve and Sandy Alguire, friends of ours that we met in Red Bay, Alabama last spring. They full time in their Phaeton motor home, used to live in the Seattle area and now spend their summers in Washington and last winter in Arizona. They are at this Rally also, they are parked in a different area than us so we drove over to meet with them. We had a good time with them, got caught up on their experiences over the past year. It was good to meet up with them and we were able to spend some time with them at the Rally too. They are also going to be at Quartzsite with our group of friends from RV America so we will be able to spend more time with them next week. I forgot to get a good picture of them but will do so next week.

Tuesday afternoon we went to a local casino with Dorothy and met Joe and Alice there. We didn't stay too long, I believe I was the big winner. They have a drawing each Friday night and you can earn random amounts of entry just by swiping your card through the week. I was able to get 150 entries, Lorraine and Dorothy only got 50 each.

Wednesday evening we went to dinner with Tom and Dorothy to a local hamburger place, food was ok but the service left a lot to be desired but we sill had a good time. After dinner, Tom and headed to the Elks club in desert Hot Springs where I was investigated and indoctrinated. I am to come back next Thursday and get initiated. Looking forward to joining this group, they seem like nice folks.

Thursday Joe and Alice met us at the Rally. We were able to spend some time with them going through the vendor area. They also went through the new/used coaches for sale but I was in a seminar so didn't go see the coaches.

Friday we again went to dinner with Tom and Dorothy. They belong to another group and were meeting them at the same place we had dinner on Wednesday. The food was good, the service was even worse, don't think we will be going back there again. After dinner we went back to the local casino where we again swiped our cards for entries into their drawing. Dorothy had her name called and won $100, Lorraine, Joe, Alice and I were just witnesses to this, we didn't get our names drawn, shucks.

Saturday was another day at the Rally, we split up again and did our own things. Steve and I went to a vendor selling a system to monitor diesel engines. They sell these with displays for over $2000 but it can be hooked up to our PC that is already in the motor home. We got his name/phone number and he will come to see us in Quartzsite later this week and give us more information. Always something to spend money on!

Saturday night we went to the entertainment, the Platters. Remember earlier I said we were with 3000 of our closest friends? Well, most of them showed up to the concert, it was crowed, hot and they didn't play any songs that I knew. I decided to leave early, Lorraine said as soon as I left, they started playing the oldies but goodies. She said I missed the best part, story of my life.

Sunday we went to the the morning performance of the Maestros (better late than never) and then got the coach ready for travel. We had to go almost 15 miles to a Thousand Trails park here in Palm Desert. We got here, set up, cleaned up, dumped the tanks and then set down for some rest and quiet time.

That brings us up-to-date again. We hope this week is a bit slower so we can rest up before meeting up with all our fiends at Quartzsite. This is a very nice park with lots of palm trees along the interior drives. They have a nice swimming pool and a small store here too. Here's hoping for a good week for us and for you.

We are certainly enjoying the weather here in the desert, warm to hot during the days, cooling off enough at night enough to need a heater. Sorry to hear about all the flooding going on back home in the Northwest. Hope everyone fairs well through this stretch of bad weather, seems that's all you've had this winter. Although we are glad we aren't there and going through it too, I do feel bad for you. I hope the weather will be better the remainder of the year back there.

The Maestros practicing at the Rally.

The whole choir group at practice. Lorraine is 5th from the left in the front row.

Decorations at the Rally, the theme was "Wonders of Ancient Egypt".

More decorations.

The Maestros, in uniforms, preforming for the crowd. Lorraine IS 4th from the right, looking for me on the other side. Fooled her, didn't I?

More Maestros

Here they are with everyone playing a Kazoo. I guess that's the way this group actually started years ago and has now grown into a band with choir.

Tom getting center stage during the song of "It's hard to be humble". He said he didn't ask for this but I think he set it up.

They close each performance with a salute to the Armed Forces and presenting of the flags, very nice. The crowd really enjoys this part, I think, I know I did!

So another week gone by, full of fun and meeting of friends. Although we were busy at the Rally, we did enjoy ourselves and didn't buy too many thing we "had to have". So until next time, be good to one another, it's the right thing to do.
Thanks Chuck

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Computer working 1/5/09

Saturday Dec. 3, 2009
Lorraine's Report

Another week-gone, and it’s time to write for the blog. Time flies when you’re busy and having fun.

Well, we left the bay area on Monday, December 29 and started driving to the RV Park we are now in, Catalina Spa and RV Resort, an RPI park in Desert Hot Springs, CA. It’s so hard for me to leave our daughter and grand daughter, but I survived, after many tears. We spent Monday night in Bakersfield at the Orange Grove RV Park. There are oranges trees around the whole park and you can pick all you want, as long as you aren’t in someone else’s site. We pulled in around 4ish, so Chuck went out to pick oranges before dark at 4:30. My goodness, fresh oranges are so good just picked off the trees. He picked a bunch so we could give some away to our friends at the Rally this next week in Indio, CA. Some he picked are the size of grapefruit or small cantelope, juicy and heavy and so sweet.

We took off Tuesday and made it to Catalina Spa that afternoon. My friends, Dorothy and Tom Warren live close by and we were suppose to meet up first Tuesday evening, then Wednesday, but Dorothy is still working and was still at work at 5 pm on New Year’s Eve. So we met up with our other friends, Joe and Alice Morin, who were staying at Thousand Trails, we spent New Year’s Eve with them. We went to Spotlight 29 Casino for their $15.95 prime rib buffet dinner. And when Chuck was paying, we ended up getting a buck off that price. Our timing was perfect, a short line, we were seated right away and had a great dinner. We all decided we wanted to gamble a bit, so we met up first at 8:30, then we decided to go a little bit longer. We left at 9:15 because everyone was tired so we went home. That was our exciting New Years’ Eve out.

We invited Joe and Alice and Tom and Dorothy over on New Year’s Day to watch football. Chuck polished all the wood work while I made up snacks. The guys were outside watching the game, it was sunny and warm, around 74 degrees or so, while the gals and I had a hot game of “Pass the Love” going on inside the coach. Good friends, good food, what more can you ask for.

Friday, I started laundry, we ran errands, then met up with Tom and Dorothy. Tom is working on getting Chuck into the Elk’s Lodge; some lodges have free or reduced camping and there are lodges all over the US.

Today we went to the Swap Meet in Indio by College of the Desert. It was crowded, lots of venders, and lots to see and hear. Then I had practice for that singing group I joined up at the Rally in Oshkosh, WI, The Frustrated Maestros. We practiced for two hours, stopped promptly at 4 for happy hour, then dinner at 5. There’s practice two times tomorrow; on Monday we are to meet up with the big group and caravan into the Fair grounds. Then there are more practices the next two days. Wednesday, January 7 the Rally starts and we will be singing with the band for breakfast all the days of the Rally. Busy times for sure, with me having to be there ready to sing by 6:45 am, and me not being an early morning person, should be interesting, but it is so much fun and I enjoy myself and enjoy meeting new people.

On a sadder note, I had a call from my sister, Thelma, late Friday evening. She had just gotten home from the hospital in Bellingham. She had entered her husband, John, into the hospital that afternoon. They didn’t know it, but he had had a stroke on Monday. They told her when they examined John, that he had a big mass on his brain, and that it possibly could be cancer. We didn’t find out until late Saturday after many tests that indeed it was a stroke, but he did not have brain cancer. The mass on his brain was blood and it was gone, by today. Thelma said he should be home sometime tomorrow, maybe. Please pray for them. They need all the help they can get. Thank you for all your prayers. I appreciate it.

So till next time…Take care and see you down the road…..Lorraine

Chuck's report

We left the Bay area on Monday with very mixed emotions, it’s great to be on the road again but we are sad to be leaving Susy, Mark and Kaitlyn until April. We have been in/out of their lives since Halloween, kept Kaitlyn out of her pre-school when we could and even had Susy and Kaitlyn travel with us when we drove down to Las Angles. Lorraine has really enjoyed being Nana and spending time with them.

We made it to Bakersfield on Monday night. We had stopped at a rest area earlier in the afternoon and a fellow traveler reminded us of a campground we had heard of before but never visited. We decided to stay at Orange Grove RV Park. Once we got there, we could easily understand their name, there were orange trees throughout the whole park, the oranges were ripe and we could pick as many as we wanted. Most of the lower branches on all the trees were already picked but we managed to find some trees outside the fence that had lots of oranges on their lower branches so we picked two bags full. Lorraine tried one right away and pronounced it ripe and very juicy. She has been eating at least one a day since and hasn’t had a bad one yet.

On Tuesday, we pulled into another new to us campground, this one in Desert Hot Springs, NW of Palm Springs. This is a very nice park, they say 5 star and they accepted us via RPI so it was $10/day.
We wanted to meet up with some friends of ours while here, Tom and Dorothy Warren who live in the area, we met them in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, last saw them in St. Paul, Minnesota in May last year. The other couple we want to meet up with are Joe and Alice Morin from Washington. Joe and I started work at the refinery on the same day, he retired about 5 years before I did (not talking about ages here or anything, you understand).

Tom has been trying to help me get into the Elks club as a member and we are working to get me into the local club here in Desert Hot Springs. We are still struggling a bit with the scheduling but it’s starting to come together, THANKS TOM.

Unfortunately for us, Dorothy was working both Tuesday and Wednesday so they were unable to visit with us. We were able to visit with Joe and Alice at their motor home after our trip to Wal-Mart. I don’t want to gloat or anything but it was definitely shirt sleeve weather, almost 80F, sunny and bright. It is strange to look up in the hills and see snow just a few hundred feet higher than us and be so warn down here but I’ll take it.

Wednesday was New Year’s Eve so we made plans to go to a local casino with Joe and Alice for dinner and a little fun. We knew it would be busy there so we planned on a long wait as we didn’t make reservations. Much to our surprise, we were able to walk right into the buffet plus they gave us a discount with our player’s card. We had a very good time, much laughter was heard from our table.

Lorraine had asked both couples to come over to our coach on New Year’s Day to watch the Rose Bowl football game, have some snacks and maybe a couple adult beverages. Once again, it was a good time; the guys watching the game on our outside TV, the gals staying inside watching TV and playing cards. I know I heard lots of laughter from inside and it wasn’t when something funny was happening in the game so assume they were having fun with their card games. After the game, everyone left us and we had a quite time for the rest of the evening.

On Friday, I got up and did all the normal things except I couldn’t get logged onto the internet. After a bit of troubleshooting on my part, I determined the router was working but our Verizon Air Card decided it didn’t want to work this year. We have very short bursts of access but don’t know when or how long it will stay attached, very frustrating as we haven’t had problems and have come to rely on it working all the time. I haven’t been able to contact them yet but will on Monday to see what the problem and correction is, here’s hoping it’s nothing but an upgrade I have to do.

Friday we had more errands to run, I needed a haircut pretty bad. We were able to find a good barber that knew what he was doing so I’m satisfied. After our running, we met with Tom and Dorothy and they treated us to a dinner at the Elks club. Seems like a good group of people in this club, looking forward to joining and becoming a part of it too.

Saturday we had made plans to go to a swap meet with Joe and Alice but the one we were going to go to wasn’t opened so we went to one near us by ourselves. Although there is lots of stuff at this swap meet, we didn’t walk away with too much, a dozen wooden roses for Lorraine and some socks for me. Big day, huh.

Another reason we wanted to be in this area now is the Family MotorCoach Association Rally that will be held in Indio next week. Lorraine joined the Frustrated Maestros, a group that gets together at these Rallies and provide entertainment, both signing and playing music. This group got together in a Pre-Rally in a different park and they have practices scheduled twice a day. Tom and Dorothy are members of this group also and they are staying at the other campground also.

After our trip to the swap meet we traveled to the other campground so Lorraine could attend the afternoon practice session and get acquainted. We met with Tom and Dorothy there, Lorraine and Dorothy went to the practice, Tom and I went over later for dinner with this group of people. Once again, there are lots of nice folks in this group; it should be fun being with them next week during the Rally.

On Sunday, Lorraine went to the morning practice, Tom and I went back to the Elks club to check on some scheduling for my joining. The person we needed to talk with is out of town and will not be back until Tuesday.

After we got back to the practice, Lorraine and I left and headed out to meet with Joe and Alice for a bar-b-que. Joe and Alice are staying at a local county park, very nice and quiet, surprising not very busy either, for this time of the year. They put on a very nice meal for us and again we enjoying the company and conversation too.

So another week is in the books. It was a busy week for us but a good time was had visiting with friends. We are really enjoying the weather even though it has gotten windy and the high temperature is only in the high 60s, tough life. I don’t know when I will get this posted but will keep it ready to go when I get a good connection.

So until next time, be good to one another. We both hope you had a Happy New Year celebration and wish you a very good, happy, prosperous and healthy year.

Thanks Chuck

This is from our coach at the Orange Grove RV park, those are orange trees.

Here are the wind generators just West of Palm Springs but notice the snow in the hills. We were showing about 65F at this time but snow wasn't too far away.

A picture of snow in the hills to the West of us, we were in the 70s down here though.

Another picture of snow coming in from
Bakersfield to Palm Springs.

Now this is more like it, what we wanted to see when we head South.

More of the wind generators, they have lots of them here so we weren't too surprised when the wind picked up for two days.

Our good friends Joe and Alice Morin from back in Washington. We will see them in Yuma in a few weeks too.

Our good friends Dorothy and Tom Warren from Desert Hot Springs. They are going to be at the Rally with us this week.

A picture of some people we just met, Ira and his wife Jean. Their FMCA member number is 4809, the lowest I've seen. Ours is 392,803, currently they are issuing above 400,000, shows they have been members for a long time.
Until next time - - - - Chuck