Sunday, March 31, 2013

We’re in Palm Springs, CA.


March 31, 2013                                                                                                         Lorraine’s Report

Happy Easter everyone...We hope today is filled with fun, family and happiness!  

Well, we are in Palm Springs Thousand Trails.  It is a beautiful day here today, going to be in the 80's.  

We have had a great time here being with our Lewis & Clark friends.  There is something going on all the time.  Today we will have a pot luck with a bunch of people invited over.  Yesterday we went up to Two Springs for a last get together at several friends of theirs  "end of the season breakfast".  Two cars went up and enjoyed a wonderful full meal deal.  There was so much food, a buffet if you will and it was pretty good, too.

Last night Chuck & I went up to see Tom & Dorothy.  We went to the Elks Lodge for a steak dinner with them, and in spite of being full from breakfast at 8:30-9, we were hungry again.  We didn't eat lunch, but did enjoy a wonderful steak dinner with Tom & Dorothy.  

And it was wonderful to see Tom & Dorothy again.  Tom & Dorothy went up to Alaska in 09 with us.  They had to leave the road a year later and sold their rig, but it is always nice to visit with them.  Tom is busy with their new dog, a little Chihuahua and some other mixture, but enjoys taking it for a walk all the time.  Angel was rescued from a pound, and I think she likes being their new pet.   Dorothy is as busy as ever, working, being president of the Emblem club and volunteering her services where ever.  As I said, we love to visit with them! 

Monday we were still in Peoria.  One day we were being taken around by a real estate person, and low and behold I saw a name from the past.  Holland and Phyllis Bannon from Ferndale/Lynden-not quite sure where.  Well, Chuck had worked with Holly all those years ago.   Holly was one of the "first hired"   and  had retired from ARCO in 2006.  When he retired, they moved to the Roy Rodgers "Happy Trails" RV Park, there in Sun City.  So Chuck got out and copied down their number; a few days later he called them to see if we could meet up with them.   Of course Holly said "yes" so off we went. 

We enjoyed another wonderful visit with old time friends, learning about their lives from when he retired.  It was great to see they are doing well. There is life beyond ARCO/BP! 

Dave & Sandy called and came by; we played “Pass the Love”  It was so nice to see them once again, and I look forward on seeing them this summer.  They are such nice people.

Tuesday we moved from Peoria to Yuma, got set up in Fortuna and toured the foothills area.  I have to say that since we were there in Fortuna De Oro RV park, the prices have been raised a whole bunch.  The new owners are pretty proud of their new acquisition of the RV park.  Will probably have to look for a new place to put the rig this next year, if that's they way they have it. 

Wednesday found us contacting a Real Estate company and going over to look at more sites.  Patty was very helpful and told us about Yuma, the area and a whole lot of other stuff.  She them printed out a bunch of places of spots for us too look at; which we did.   From there we went to Dillard's, then the Cracker Barrel.  I love the Cracker Barrel; their breakfast is so good, even if for dinner. 

Thursday found us moving from Yuma to Palm Springs; the 1000 Trails.  But first we had to head back into Mexico to get a couple of prescriptions we had failed to get the first time there in Mexico.  We pulled the rig and car into Quechan's Casino, the stay over parking area for RV's and big rigs.  From there we went into Mexico to get the pills, then home and on the road by 12ish; then another two and half hours into Palm Springs, getting in by 3 or so. 

Friday was spent restocking some of the stuff we use everyday around here.  That day we went to a casino, and Chuck brought me the Seafood buffet.  It is a bit pricey, so he didn't eat, but waited until we got home.  And of course, I played a bit and actually came out ahead.  Yeah for me. 

Today is Easter and I went to the church services at the recreation center.  It was a nice service; about 50 or so people. It was short and I enjoyed his preaching. 

Guess that's it for me....Until next time...



3/31/13                                                                                                                              Chuck’s report

Happy Easter to one and all.  Once again, remember the reason, it’s not all about a bunny!

Let’s see, if I remember correctly, last Sunday we spent time looking over Sun City once again.  We like lots of things they have going on here, the different areas and houses would make for a tough decision if we ever decided we would like to settle there.  And like I said before, they have something for everyone with all their crafts, swimming pools and such.  A nice place that’s still on our list. 

Tuesday went over to Happy Trails again.  Last time we were there, we were with a realtor and Lorraine noticed a name from our past, Phyllis and Holly from Birch Bay.  I called them and we got together at their house.  Phyllis has been visited with all the ‘Ritus brothers and doesn’t get around as well but it sounds like they both keep active.  Holly is busy helping the Veterans through the local Elks Lodge too. 

We had a good visit them, they gave us their thoughts on where to settle in the Phoenix area too.  Of course, they live in one of the places that was high on our list anyway so it was really good to get “insider’s” information.  This park in very high on our list of possibles whenever we get serious about settling down.  We like the idea you can keep your rig on your property and build a structure there too. 

Later that afternoon, we got a call from our friends Dave/Sandy.  They were going to be close to our place and wondered if they could stop by.  It wasn’t even a decision, we said YES.  They had been out and about and found some information about lots in a town close to Yuma that they thought would fit some of our items for settling down.  Thanks for that info, we’ve added it to our growing list of possibles.

We played cards for awhile before they had to head back to their place in Cave Creek.  We’ve had lots of fun and enjoyed our visits with them while we were both in the same area.  Hope to see you folks in June when we get back to Minnesota.   

Wednesday morning we made the decision to leave Peoria and head to Yuma.  We had paid for a month at the resort where we were staying but needed to head on down the road before the month was out.  We liked lots of things about the Phoenix/Peoria area and we have to remember what we liked when the time comes.  Of course, there will be another trip there in our future!

We stopped at Fortuna, our normal park in Yuma, and found they have raised their rates.  There are lots of other places in the area and we may have to find a new “home” next time we are there.  But we did want to check the Foothills area and compare it to the places in Peoria area.  We have always liked the Foothills, even stayed with TJ/Sharon on their lot for a month a few years ago.  This time we stopped by to talk to a realtor and she gave us some information about the area and printed out some info on places we might like to see. 

We drove by a few of the places before I had to stop, I’ve been fighting some sort of bug and needed to go back home.  We didn’t even get to contact TJ/Sharon because after we got back, I fell asleep.  Sorry about that, but you can bet we will be back and will attempt to see you then. 

And I must say, with the large lots and all the different possibilities in the Foothills and the fact we really like Yuma, this is on our list of possibles too.  But then again, it always has been, we’ve liked the area from the first time we were there in 2007.  Lucky for us, we don’t have to make any decision right away either. 

Thursday morning we packed up and headed out for 1000 Trails park here in Palm Desert.  But first we stopped by the local casino, unhooked the car and drove to the border in Mexico.  We wanted to pick up a few medicines while we were that close.  It only took about 2 1/2 hour, we hooked up the car and continued on our road trip to Palm Springs. And I can say neither of us lost any money in the casino, we only used their parking lot to unhook and hookup the car, ha. 

Once again I say the California roads needs some work.  About 15 miles out, our front windshield shade dropped on the passenger side.   Because we were so close and I could see just fine, we left it hanging and continued on.  I called the shade manufacturer, MCD, the next day and they are sending out replacement parts for the piece that broke and I’ll put it back together when they get here.  They said they have beefed up the part that broke and will send me replacements for both sides of the shades.  It will be nice to have our shades back, they are tie wrapped up until then.

We got here about 3:00 and set up the coach.  I was getting ready to wash the bugs off the front windshield when some friends of ours noticed we were in.  Keith and Mary are parked just behind us, they are members of the FMCA Chapter Lewis and Clark that we joined a few years ago.  We found out there are over 6 couples staying here who belong to Lewis and Clark, small world considering the chapter is from Oregon. 

Between visiting with all the folks here, it took me awhile to get back to the bug on the windshield but I did finally get ‘r done. 

Our good friend from Lynden, Tim, was here also.  He also joined the Lewis and Clark Chapter a few years ago but he didn’t notice anyone who was here.  We got together with them a couple of times, I think we managed to solve all the problems of the world if anyone would just listen to us, ha.  A good group of folks who enjoy being down here and visiting with  others. 

Friday Lorraine needed to do Wal-Mart and such.  We also needed to go by Petco and get some dog food for Misty. 

After we got stuff unloaded and put away, Lorraine said she wanted to go to the Lobster Buffet at one of the local casinos.  Of course, we also tried the slots too, once again, Lorraine won more than I lost.  In fact she won enough that her buffet was paid from her winnings.  I don’t care for seafood and with it being a Lobster Buffet, it was more expensive than a normal buffet so I didn’t partake.  I was happy to see her enjoying lobster and the rest of the rest of the meal   They only serve one lobster at a time so I was the “runner” for her, even pulled a couple out of the shell for her too. 

Yesterday, plans were made for a bunch of the Lewis and Clark folks to go to breakfast at a RV park a few miles away from here, Two Springs near Desert Hot Springs.  They put on a spread every Saturday during the season and folks who stay there or are willing to drive over have a good breakfast.  This was the last time they were doing this until the fall so we got in under the wire.  A very good breakfast and it was made more enjoyable with the food people with us. 

We had made plans to go to Desert Hot Springs Elk Lodge, our home lodge, on Saturday evening for dinner with another couple of friends, Tom/Dorothy.  They helped us “learn the ropes” when we met them at our first FMCA rally back in ‘08 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  They also traveled to Alaska with us three years ago.  They have lived here for quite a few years and we always try to see them whenever we are in the area.  We only managed to see them for a short visit in January so it was nice to visit over dinner and later at their house. 

They have given up motor homing but manage to keep very busy anyway.  Dorothy works a couple of days a week and is busy with charities and such the rest of the time.   Tom is still active in the Elks Lodge, he is the editor of their monthly newsletter too.  Always good to see you two. 

This morning, Sunday, Lorraine headed over to Church at the rec center here in the park.  While she was gone, I wanted to get some work done on an electrical  project I’m working on.  I needed to turn off the power to the coach while I was moving some components around.  Tim stopped by and with his assistance and tools, I managed to return power and air conditioning to the coach shortly after Lorraine got back from Church. 

So that’s the reason the blog is late getting out, my story and I’m sticking to it.  We have a pot luck later with Lewis and Clark folks so need to get the pictures added and this thing posted. 

Driving around the Phoenix area. 

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This is Happy Trails RV Park on left, Phyllis and Holly on right.  

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On the road to Yuma. 

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Lots of Solar Panels in this field.

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More pictures on the road to Yuma.

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That’s the entrance to the RV park we stayed at in Yuma.


Some Cacti in bloom.

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A Palm Tree nursery near Sultan Sea. 

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That’s the Sultan Sea in the distance. 

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Our front window shade fell down about 15 miles from Palm Springs, that’s the view we had for the remainder of the trip. 


At Breakfast with some of the Lewis and Clark folks on Saturday morning. 


At the Elks Lodge with Dorothy on the left and Tom on the right. 

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Dorothy holding their new dog, only had it a month or so. 


The wind was blowing pretty hard per these Palm Trees. 


Saturday, March 23, 2013

We’re still in Peoria, AZ


March 24, 2013                                                                                                              Lorraine’s report

Happy Spring everyone! What a great way to start this time of renewal; spring is a time of new faith, hope and love.  We have had a nice week with the warm sunny skies, the cooler nights are wonderful. 

We have enjoyed our time here.  It is nice to see friends from our olden days, (before Chuck retired).  Jan and Glen are from those days. Glen hired on about 4-5 months after Chuck, so the things they lived through are really pretty amazing on how the refinery ran.  They didn’t have all the refinery’s rules and regulations the refinery has now. 

It was great to see Dave & Sandy, one more time before we head back west. They had us over for steak; Dave & Sandy did a very nice BBQ for us.  Dave & Sandy, Chuck wanted you to know we feel so welcome to where ever you are, you make us feel very welcome.  Thank you both.  We will see you down the road.

As we end our time here, I must say Phoenix is pretty nice.  We haven’t seen it all, but the people are pretty nice.  Not sure where we will end up. but this area is pretty nice.  We will have to think about this area.

Until next time…


3/24/13                                                                                                                               Chuck’s report

This is our third week here so I shouldn’t have too much to write about for this week.  But I can say we are still enjoying our stay and exploring the area. 

Last Sunday we drove down to see our friends Glen and Jan at their place in Sun Lakes for a couple of months.  They bought a house down there a few years ago and try to get to it as often and as long as they can.  They are considering making this their primary home and use their motorhome when they leave and head back to Washington.  We had a good visit with them and they showed us around their area, lots of places to see there also.  Thanks Glen/Jan, we had a good time and good visit with you two.

Monday we decided to check out Sun City once again, lots to see there yet.  This time we stopped by a realtor’s office to get some information.  They gave us a good map and lots of information about the area, glad we stopped.  Anyway, we continued with our search of the area and toured some of the clubhouses and other facilities.  The realtor also told us about Sun City West, Sun City Grand and Happy Trials.  West and Grand are more of the same, just newer phases and some changes like garages vs. car ports and such. 

Happy Trails, however, is a bit different than just mobile homes and houses.  Here you can keep you rig at your lot and build it up lots of different ways.  You can put up just a cover, build a shed or casita or have an Arizona Room.  These are more like a house but for some reason they can’t call them houses.  We had to have a realtor drive us around and we stopped to look at some of the different type buildings and I must say, I can’t tell what the difference are between some of them. 

But this is more like what we’ve been looking for, a single building with a place to keep the rig right there.  Lots of places have RV ports with the RV completed covered too.  And of course, like most places down here, there is a golf course with all these lots around the greens and such.  This place definitely has potential for us for a long term place, just not in the works right now, too many places to see and things to do before we stop.  I think if we were to buy a lot, we would feel compelled to visit every year instead of checking out other areas of the country.  

On Wednesday we were invited to Dave and Sandy’s place in Cave Creek park again.  They fixed us a nice steak meal and we had a good time with these good folks once again.  We did play a couple of games of dice, not sure who won but who cares, we had a good time. 

Thursday we had tickets to go to a Cactus League Baseball game here in Peoria.  This is where the Seattle Mariners have their spring training, they actually share the park with the San Diego Padres.  We wanted to see the Mariners and got the tickets a few days ago for an evening game.  It’s getting too warm and sunny to sit outside for a 1 pm game, we were afraid we would get sunburned, ha.  They have tickets from $60 for good seats down to bleacher seats for $12 or even $7 “seats” on the lawn outside the field.  Glen suggested we may not like the lawn seating as they are all on a hill and it’s uncomfortable to sit on a hill that long.  We decided to go for the bleacher seats, not real good seats but then we aren’t that big of fans of baseball anyway. 

It was only about 15 minutes from our place to the ball park and the traffic and parking was pretty easy.  We got to the park early enough that we could try to get autographs from the players when they came to the field for warm-up and such.  However, the places to try to get autographs was very crowed with LOTS of kids so we didn’t try to get meet any players and get their autographs, left that to the kids.

But we did get to watch a good game.  The Mariners broke out to a lead but by the 7th inning, the score was tied.  Unfortunately for the home team, the Chicago Cubs scored 2 more runs in the 8th and 1 more in the 9th and won 7 to 4.  Oh well, it was a good game and we’re glad we went.  But even though we went with cheap tickets, the food and souvenirs were just as expensive as any ball park we’ve been too, $7.50 for a hot dog for example.  But it was great to be outside at night and not have to worry about the cold or even dew. 

Yesterday we decided to head out to the Mesa Marketplace, billed as the biggest swap meet in the Phoenix area.  It took us about an hour to get there, the traffic wasn’t too bad as it was mostly freeway.  I read somewhere that the Phoenix area is 100 miles across East to West and 40 miles from North to South.  The area has really grown in the past 15 years, it’s now the 6th largest city in the US and has over 6 million people who call it home and that doesn’t count all of us snowbirds. 

But the swap meet was crowed with  lots of people, must be a popular place.  We saw lots of stuff we might want for lawn decorations and such if we had a place down here.  So if we ever did decided to buy, we know where we might be able to get some decorations and such, ha.  We did find a few thing we could use now, however.  In fact, Lorraine found the socks she’s been looking for at all the swap meets we’ve been to.  She found some she liked three years ago at Quartzsite and hasn’t been able to find them again until yesterday. 

The weather has been really nice, in the high 80s every day with the night time lows only dropping to the high 50s or low 60s.  This isn’t too hard to take, glad the weather warmed up from a month ago when we were in Benson and Tucson.  We’ve had a couple of days when it got to the 90s but I’m not complaining about that for sure. 

We plan on leaving here sometime this week, probably on Wednesday.  We are going to Yuma area for two nights so we can go over to Mexico and get some medicine and such.  We then are planning on heading to Palm Springs 1000 Trails for awhile before we go back to our spot in the Bay area for our grand daughter’s birthday.  Susy, tell Katie that Nana is on the way and will be there for her birthday!

We didn’t take too many pictures this week so it shouldn’t take too long to go through them and pick out which ones to add here.  Guess I’ll do that and get this posted. 

Flowers are blooming down here, should have taken more pictures of the different flowers but there are lots around, even roses are in bloom.


Glen and Jan on the left, Lorraine and Chuck on the right.

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Overlooking one of the swimming pools at Glen/Jan’s place.


Just one sunset picture this week.


Phoenix Stadium, home of the NFL Cardinals.

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Statue of Pat Tillman, ex-Cardinal player who joined the Army and was killed in Afghanistan. 


A black bird with white under the wings.  Looks like a Red Cardinal except it’s black.  I know, picture isn’t that good but click on it to expand.   

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At Peoria Stadium watching the Mariner’s and Chicago Cubs in a spring league game. 

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Ok, I’ll get this posted now. 

Thanks    Chuck