Monday, March 26, 2012

Dang ... We both have colds !!

The last few days have been totally overwhelming.

We got home on Thursday, cold, tired, and worn out.

Fortunately, our awesome friend that was keeping an eye on our condo and mail, surprised us by cleaning our condo before we got home. 

Many many thanks for that, and no, we are not going to give out her name, because we want her all to ourselves.

We have stacks and stacks of mail, some requiring immediate attention.

I hauled all our clothes and food out of the motorhome, and now the condo is a disaster. 

The motorhome needed to be winterized immediately, because it went to -6C, then off to the storage place for now.

Feeling sick and miserable, I still had to venture out and get a few groceries.

Oh, and did I mention, it snowed here the day after we got home.

Okay, so now everyone is asking, Why the heck did we come home so early ??

Well, the main reason was our son and his family were going to be leaving for a Florida holiday the first part of April, and we were anxious to see them before they left.

We were going to take a week or so to get home, well, at least that was the plan.

What we didn't plan for, was the cold weather after we left Las Vegas, and the lack of open campgrounds.

Remember, this was our very first time heading south for the winter.

Our first night on the road found us at a Love's truck stop in Wells, Nevada. 

It went below freezing that night, and we did not have a great sleep at all.

I walked over to a McDonalds in the morning, and grabbed the largest coffees they had, started up the rig and headed out.

I think it was about 6 or 7 in the morning.  Unheard of for TnT !!

And we just kept driving.  It did not make sense to stop early, and just sit there and freeze in a snowy parking lot, so on we went.

About 11 hours later, we pulled into a Walmart in Great Falls, MT.

By this time, Teresa has a sore throat and is coughing her pretty little head off.  Gulp ... I knew I was doomed to catch it too.

We did manage to sleep a little better that night, probably because we were so totally wiped.

The next morning, I grabbed another couple of hot coffees and we were on the road before it was even light out, with the rig's heater on full blast.

As we approached the border we started getting a little anxious, wondering how our first crossing would unfold.

Teresa can write a book on being organized, so I was not surprised when she pulled out an envelope with receipts for all our purchases we would need to claim for the past 5 1/2 months.

Of course we went over the allowable $750.00 dollars worth of goods each, so we did not know how that was going to work out either.

Our border agent asked about alcohol ( one bottle of wine ) tobacco, (none), and the value of purchased items we were claiming ( $1800.00 ).

We then followed him inside, and were delighted when he said we only owe about $30.00 for our excess spending.  Yeah !!

Once back in Canada, we broke out in the Canadian Anthem, yes honestly, and made a beeline for our favourite store of all.

About three hours later we were pulling up to our condo, with our family waiting there for us !!

Our granddaughter ( two years old ), had changed so much !!

After everyone left, we ran a bath of hot soapy water, to soothe our sore and aching bodies.  Plus, we were unable to shower for the last three days .... phew !!

And that brings us up to date.  I am still dealing with the mail, Teresa is still doing laundry, and we are both still sick.

I am going to do a summary blog in the next couple of days.

We want to record our feelings about being away from family that long, how much money we spent, and what we remember the most of our journey.

But for now, it is back to the couch for some much needed rest.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

We're Home !!

We made it home safe and sound !!

By great fortune, our son and his family were in Regina, and a quick phone call later, our daughter joined us for supper.

Teresa was in her glory, to say the least !!!

We have had a couple of really long travel days, due to the cold weather, so we are going to shower and hit the hay.

Will post more tomorrow, but a huge Thank You to everyone for your best wishes and concern for us.

Good night ....   zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Long Travel Day - Wells, NV

We didn't mean to have such a long travel day, really !!

But, the weather was so cold, we did not want to do the boondocking stops that we had planned courtesy of Teresa and Derek

When we met Teresa and Derek in Maricopa, they shared some great spots to spend some time at, and we were going to, but the weather this morning in Ely was 17F !!

So, with our heater running full blast we rolled merrily along, promising to return and use the hot springs that we were privy to.

After a couple of turns in the highway, I realized we had a very stiff tailwind and we were making great time, with the engine just purring along.

We contemplated a couple of stops on the way, but I justified carrying on because we were getting record mileage, and we were getting free heat from our trusty motor.

Finally, after 7 hours, and over 375 miles, we turned in to the Love's Gas Station in Wells.

It is supposed to go below freezing again tonight, so I am predicting some snuggle time to keep warm.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Trader Joe's - Last visit this year ?

With all the walking we have done the last few days, we literally hit the pillows sleeping.

Plus, with the much cooler weather, our RV park on the strip is considerably quieter.

We were too pooped to party today, so we spent time discussing our trip home and which roads to take.

Somehow the subject got onto how much food we have left, and then we remembered there is a Trader Joe's near us.

Okay, let's go !!

Teresa carefully bought just enough food to take us back to Canada, so we will hopefully have an easier border crossing.

Plus, we are on our last alcohol beverages, so we won't be over on that limit either.

We are starting our trek home in earnest tomorrow, and watching all the different weather reports.

Safe travels to all snowbirds heading home in the next few weeks.

The Fremont Street Experience

Thank you to all our loyal readers for your understanding, and your helpful hints.

Today was a much better day !!

We kind of just kicked back and relaxed all morning.  I did walk over to a discount ticket booth, but there were no outstanding deals on any shows we were interested in.

We decided that today would be a great day to visit downtown Las Vegas at the Fremont Street overhead light show.

Again, thanks to your helpful comments, we decided to take the bus to this attraction.  The bus is called the Deuce, and for $7.00 you can jump on and off as many times as you want in a 24 hour period.

The Deuce makes several stops at most major hotels on the strip as well.   We recommend taking this bus to avoid traffic nightmares.

We arrived at the Fremont Street Experience around supper.  There are numerous casinos that offer great prices on meals.  We had a really good 10" Chicago style pizza for $3.50.

The light show doesn't begin until dusk, then it is on the top of each hour.

I had somehow managed to keep it all a surprise to Teresa, so she had no idea what the overhead canopy was for.

There was free entertainment at various corners in this two block long party.

Suddenly, most of the other lights go out, and Don McLean's - American Pie starts blasting on a great sound system.

Everyone pretty much freezes in their tracks, and looks up.

Teresa was in awe, and started clicking away on the camera.

Almost everyone, including us, was singing this popular song.

Then, as quickly as it began, it was all over.  In less than 10 minutes, the show was over, the rest of the lights came back on, and people began laughing and talking in the street.

We took the Deuce back to the strip, but instead of heading right home, we went further down the strip, enjoying the lights and music, from the comfort of our bus.

It sure is a different feel at night, and some of our favourite sights were the skyline of New York, New York,  the Eiffel Tower at Paris, and the dancing waters of the Bellagio.

So, after day two, we are feeling more comfortable with the loud music, flashing lights, and rowdy crowds.

Who knows, by tomorrow we might actually start enjoying this crazy city called Las Vegas.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Las Vegas - A day on the Strip

Last night was not the greatest for sleeping. 

We had quite a few young folks in our campground hootin' and hollerin' all night.

Add sirens from the strip, and car alarms, and you have two tired RV'ers this morning.

Oh well, this is Vegas right ?? 

Let's go have fun, and walk the strip.

We started out with pretty high expectations, and big smiles on our faces.

We felt a little uncomfortable, with a few patrons, having just a little too much fun, and shouting at people walking by.

With a combination of Spring Break, and St. Patrick's Day, the streets were packed, making walking difficult.

We popped in and out of a few shops, and noticed immediately how expensive everything is here.

We were hoping to take in a couple of shows later, so we priced a few things out. 

Whoops, that's a lot of money for a few hours of entertainment.

And, we were totally unprepared for the street vendors that are very aggressive while handing out cards of scantily clad ladies, enticing you to visit their XXX shows.

We walked through a few of the casinos, but we are not gamblers, so we felt out of place.

We wanted to visit Margarita Ville, or the Hard Rock Cafe, but the lineups were way too long.

In fact the only place that did not have a lineup was good old McDonald's.

It was about this time, that it started to sprinkle out.  Oh, oh, we were pretty far down the strip, so let's head back.

Now remember, the crowds were thick as flies, so it was impossible to move too fast.

As the rain started getting heavier, we picked up the pace.  By the time we got back to the rig, we were pretty wet.

Okay, we know what everyone must be thinking ... Hey, TnT, what the heck did you expect ?

Well, to be honest, we did not know what to expect, but suffice it to say we were totally out of our element today, and Vegas is now on the "been there, done that" list.

We must be getting old, because we sure saw lots of evidence of young people having the time of their lives.

We are going to see the Fremont Street Experience tomorrow or the next day, so we still have some fun ahead of us.

But for now, this boring old couple better get to bed !!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Oatman, AZ and Las Vegas, NV

The plan today was to get to Vegas. 

But first, we wanted to take a road trip to Oatman, on the original Route 66 highway.

I am so glad that other bloggers had warned us about not taking the motorhome, because it was tense enough just in the car.

The fastest we ever got was about 45 mph, but most of the time we were creeping around corners and switchbacks, without guard rails.

We did pass a few folks with motorhomes.  Obviously, their blogging friends aren't as helpful as ours.

Thankfully, Oatman wasn't too far down the highway.

Shortly after getting parked, we found the burro's walking right down main street.

We shopped for a bit, and even made a couple of purchases.

By this time, we were getting hungry so our next stop was the Oatman Hotel.

Guess what ... they also have dollar bills attached to the walls and ceiling.

Soon we were back to our rig, and on the way to Vegas. 

The traffic got busier, the closer we got.

I must admit, even though I am getting a little more used to freeway traffic, times like this are still pretty quiet in the motorhome.

We decided to stay at the KOA at Circus Circus. 

The good news is that it is right on the strip, so we can just walk to all the attractions.

The bad news is that it is right on the strip, so driving here was a bit stressful.

However, we made it and we are all set up for the next four nights.

Although pricey at $50.00 per night, I found an internet deal where you pay for three nights, get the fourth free.

By the way, this campground is nothing more than a parking lot, but location, location, location.

Tomorrow we hit the strip, and hopefully win us a new motorhome.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Lake Havasu and Kingman, AZ

We were boondocking yesterday, so we did not have access to the internet.

On Wednesday morning, we said goodbye to our friends and neighbours at the resort.

As we were driving away, I remarked to Teresa that now we know how Adam and Eve felt, leaving the garden of Eden ... sigh.

We hit the road for Lake Havasu, AZ.  It really was quite a long drive, because we were fighting some cross winds.

We found our camping spot, in the desert, only a few minutes outside of the city.

After a great night of sleep, we headed to the famous London Bridge.

Did you know that next to the Grand Canyon, this is the most visited spot in Arizona ?

It was a real scorcher today, perfect for the beach.

We were very surprised to see the water was crystal clear.  I guess because this canal is always flowing back to the Colorado River.

There was only one little glitch in our plans.  Spring Break.

Even though it was only around noon, there were lots of young folks out having fun, and drinking beer on the beach.

Not that they were causing any trouble at all, in fact, I thought everyone was pretty well behaved.

After a couple of hours, we headed back to the rig, and were soon on our way to Kingman.

It was a short drive on yet another great day.

We headed for old Kingman, famous for its part of Route 66.

We enjoyed touring this museum, dedicated to the famous roadway.

We read most of the exhibits, and watched a short video on Historic Route 66.

We had been advised, that no trip to the museum is complete, until you visit Mr. D'z  Route 66 Diner.

We loved the fun atmosphere of this shop.

And what else do you order ??  None other than a couple of malts !

You can bet these bad-boys spoiled our supper, but it was worth it.

We have a big day tomorrow, visiting Oatman, then we are on our way to Las Vegas.

We are slowly working our way north, but we want to have fun doing it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Blogger Buddies - John and Judy

The incredible weather just continues in Palm Springs.

Everyday this past week has been hot and sunny.

Our highlight of the day was hosting John and Judy for lunch today.

John is a great writer and has a real sense of humor.  You can check their blog out here  RV Life on Wheels

Teresa prepared a great meal of fresh buns, assorted cold cuts, salads, and of course pickles and cheese.

John and Judy very thoughtfully brought a bottle of lovely wine !

We had a great time visiting and comparing travel notes.  These two are fulltimers, and show no sign of slowing down.

Their love for this lifestyle is contagious, and it doesn't take long after listening to them, to want to go fulltime yourself !!

After lunch, we all jumped into our car for a tour of this magnificent resort.

I think they appreciated the beauty of this place, as much as we do.

It was about that time I came up with a great idea. 

I offered to go in halves on a lot with them.  They could have it for the summer months, and Teresa and I would use it for the winter months.

I think I had John convinced, but Judy is pretty shrewd and put the brakes on that idea .... darn.

We promised to keep in touch, and with hugs they were on their way to new adventures.

Safe travels John and Judy !!