Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Waiting for better weather

We have a few things we would like to do while visiting this area of California.

One of them is to visit with some folks who are also staying at the Sands, and another is to try out some of the great hiking in this area.

With the cooler temps, and high winds, we decided to hold off on that, and do a few errands instead.

We picked up a few groceries we had forgotten from yesterday, gassed up the car, and treated ourselves to a mocha coffee.

In the late afternoon, Teresa decided to do some laundry, and had a great visit with some ladies from Canada.

The sun sets pretty early here, because of the mountain range to the west of us.

We are huge Survivor fans, so that will be our evening entertainment.

Not very exciting, but still a great day !!

Lousy weather, so let's shop !!

The weather really did not cooperate for our first full day in California.

It was cold and windy. 

If you look past these wind turbines, you can see a light dusting of snow on the surrounding mountains.

Since the weather was not conducive to being outside, Teresa suggested we hit the outlet mall.

I figured if I had to spend the day shopping, it might as well be a miserable day.

We made it to the mall around noon, and did not leave until almost supper.

Teresa scored big time, with three leather jackets, a pair of pants, and a very cute blouse.

Not to be outdone, I picked up a pair of jeans, and a nice hiking shirt.

File this under coincidental.  We met two people we knew from Regina while shopping here.  Small world, huh ??

On the way home, we still had to get a few things from Walmart, so we just grabbed a deli cooked chicken and headed for home.

Hopefully the weather will improve, or my check book is not going to balance !!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Desert Hot Springs, Ca

Just our luck, there were wind warnings out today, for our drive west to California.

Fortunately, by keeping our speed down, we managed to safely arrive here at the Sands park.

It is still windy, with the odd shower, so we pretty much stayed inside the rig, organizing for our stay here.

We are hoping to take in a few hikes, and Teresa is pretty excited about shopping in Palm Springs, so I think the time is going to fly by pretty quick.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Quartzsite, AZ

Well, we sure had a lot of fun in the Phoenix area the last month or so.

But, today was moving day.

We said our good-byes to Dave and Lise with hugs and promises to stay in touch.  I sure hope so !

We are on our way to Desert Hot Springs, Cali, and the midway point just happens to be Quartzsite.

The big RV show is pretty much over, but there are still some vendors and other attractions here.

We quickly found a free boondocking site, and relaxed for the rest of the afternoon.

We unhitched the car, so we could drive into McDonald's for the wi-fi, so naturally we had to order some fries ... lol.

Tomorrow we will arrive at the Sands RV and Golf Resort, for the next nine days.

Look out California, here come the Clampetts !!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Craving Fuddruckers

After a late start, we got ourselves organized and headed to an outlet mall for a little shopping.

We managed to find a few good deals, and picked up a few items for me, but Teresa walked away empty-handed.

Not to worry, we have plans to hit a large outlet mall near Palm Springs in the near future ... lol.

Of course, all that shopping makes a couple of snowbirds hungry, and Teresa has been craving a burger from Fuddruckers for quite awhile now.

Oh, boy, they were as satisfying as we had hoped for.  Since the store in Regina closed down many years ago, we try to find one whenever we travel.

Hmmm ... Teresa is sure having a lot of cravings lately. 

I sure hope the stork isn't going to be visiting us in the next few months ... gulp !

Friday, February 24, 2012

Craving Pizza

When Teresa and I woke up this morning, we wiggled our toes, moved our arms, and stretched our backs and legs, to see if we had any soreness from yesterday's hike.

Nothing too serious ... Yeah !!

We really didn't do too much today, but read and relax.

Teresa has been craving pizza for a long time now, so she asked Dave and Lise about pizza shops, and they recommended Barro's.

They also said that Friday was sometimes pizza night for them, so Teresa quickly put "two-plus-two" together, and came up with a plan for a pizza supper tonight.

We picked up our friends, and made the short drive to Barro's. 

All three of us waited and held our breath, as Teresa took her first bite.  The big smile on her face left us all relieved, and the conversation took off again.

Once again, we peppered our pals with questions and asked their advice on a variety of topics relating to RV'ing as Canadians.

I sure hope they will miss us, as much as we will miss them ... lol.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Hiking with Friends

A few days ago when our friends, Dave and Lise, asked us if we would like to go for a hike with them today, we jumped at the chance.

They are both experienced hikers, and have been hiking these parts for the last five years, so we felt very fortunate to be asked to go along.

But, first, Teresa needed new hiking boots.  Our friends gave us a few tips for choosing a pair of boots, and we found a great deal at a local sporting goods shop.

So, yesterday, we were both tromping around our campsite, breaking in our new boots.

Because the forecast was for hot weather today, we got a fairly early start.  Teresa and I even had to set the alarm clock, and we chuckled to ourselves this morning, saying how thankful we are that we don't wake up to that disturbing noise every morning.

After a short drive, we were at the trail head for the Lost Goldmine Trail.

Our fearless leader, Dave, took the lead and Teresa chose to be the last in line, so she could take photos and document our climb !

With the excessive heat, and with Dave feeling sorry for us, we had a lot of breaks for water and photos.

We just could not get over the fact that here we are in February, wearing shorts and basking in the sun.

At the end of this trail, we were rewarded with some awesome views, and some petroglyphs on the rock walls.

After begging asking Dave to have mercy on us, we sat down for some munchies and a drink of water. 

Once it looked like we were going to survive, our fearless leader declared our break was over, and it was time for our decent.

Back at the parking lot, Teresa and I were bemoaning the fact that we never had time for our coffee this morning, so again, our friends took pity on us, and we all went to Paradise Bakery for some snacks, and the best coffee we have had in a long time.

Once home, Teresa and I enjoyed some cold beverages in the shade, and gave thanks for the opportunity to be living this lifestyle.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Organ Stop Pizza

Everyone we have talked to in this area, kept saying we had to go to Organ Stop Pizza.

Not for the pizza ... lol ... but for the entertainment. 

The main attraction here is the 1927 Wurlitzer Pipe Organ. 

This organ was installed in the Denver Theater Auditorium, as the music for the era of silent movies.

It is pretty cool as the organ and musician rise up from below the stage in a circular motion.

Not only does the organist play the pipe organ, but he also controls some drums, puppets, bells, and other props.  His hands are a blur.

Teresa was totally enjoying the whole atmosphere, and snapped a ton of photos.

Oh, and by the way, the food is very satisfactory, and very reasonably priced.

We had some delicious lasagna for $10.00 a plate.

If you decide to go, be prepared for long lineups, because this place is very popular, and many people are repeat patrons.

But, it is definitely worth the wait !!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Visitors from back home

We are staying at Meridian RV Resort, and I must say the residents here are all very friendly.

Like most parks in this area, we are packed in pretty tight, but for some reason it just seems to work when everyone gets along.

There must be something special about this place, because time after time, we here folks tell us that once they got here, they did not want to go anywhere else.

Maybe it has something to do with the gorgeous pool.

I think this is the first pool we have seen with it's own waterfall.

The courtyard is kept meticulously clean, and is the site of organized get togethers.  The fountain is a nice touch.

We had a great surprise visit today. 

We knew Lorna and Lloyd were staying at a nearby park, and we were in contact by email over the past few weeks.

The funny part is, I had tried to email them just this morning, to see if we could get together today.  I even tried to phone them, but it seemed like they must have been away.

Imagine our surprise when we turned around, and saw them in our park, looking for us !

We had a great visit with these fine folks, and shared some good stories and touring tips.

Sadly, our visit ended too quickly, as they are leaving tomorrow and still had other errands to do.

They both w*rk for a living, and their fun time was coming to an end.

Safe travels, dear friends, and we will save you a place in the sun for when you can stay a little longer ... lol.

Shortly after our friends left, we got together with another couple here in the park for a nice visit before supper.

They are Canadian fulltimers, so I always pepper them with questions whenever we get together.  But, they always patiently answer all my questions with lots of smiles, so I don't think they mind too much.

Just another typical awesome day.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Apache Junction

Today was moving day for Teresa and I.

We made the short jaunt to Apache Junction from Maricopa, taking less than an hour.

We were very thankful that traffic was fairly light.

We are only about ten minutes away from where we were staying at Canyon Vistas a week ago.

The reason we are at this park, is because we found a coupon for  $99.00 for one week, if you are a first time visitor.

We have a very nice feeling about this park, and the residents are very friendly, so I think it will be a great seven days.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Lazy Day

Our wonderful coffee break in bed, lasted over two hours this morning. 

During that time we talked about our future travels, RV resorts, and homes in the States.

We are very analytical, and Teresa's Mom used to say we discuss things to death ... lol.

There really is no right or wrong answer on this one.  Each decision comes with it's own pros and cons, and only we can decide what is best for The Canadian Snowbirds.

After a whole pot of coffee in bed, we continued our discussions over brunch.

Finally, we decided it was time to get cleaned up and get ready for our seafood buffet at the local casino named Harrah's.

This was undoubtedly, the most magnificent buffet we have ever experienced.

Teresa and I have never had crabs legs, so we were very thankful when an understanding server walked up to us, and offered us some much needed assistance.

We also had shrimp, calamari, oysters on the half shell, salmon, steak, chicken, pork tenderloin, roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy, potatoes au gratin, Chinese food, and lots of salads.

Of course, we were sampling some of these things off each other's plates, and did not consume all that food per person.

Then, believe it or not, in an act of insanity, I had some selections from the dessert table.

We could barely move, but everything was so good, we didn't want to miss out on a thing.

If you find yourselves in Maricopa on a Friday night, Teresa and I would highly recommend the seafood buffet at the casino, just be sure to wear your sweat pants !!

Another Day at the Community of Province, Maricopa

After spending a few hours looking at floor plans, we went back to Province in Maricopa, to look around and get a better feel for the place.

They have 125 acres of green space and 50 acres of lakes.  It really feels like a resort.

Literally everyone we talked to, could not say enough about how much they loved this gated community.

We just walked around a small portion of the 5 miles of walking paths, and could not stop smiling.

The outside pool is over 5000 square feet.

The inside pool is 25 meters long, for swimming laps.

The fitness center is second to none.  Each treadmill and elliptical has it's own TV.

The resident's here seem very active and love the outdoors as well.

After touring the Village Center and grounds, we went back to the model homes.

These homes are built by Meritage, which have been in business for over 25 years, and specialize in energy efficiency.  You can even order a solar package, reducing your electric bill to near zero.

If I sound a little excited, I guess it is because I am.

By the time we were finished touring the homes, it was 4 pm, and happy hour was under way at the courtyard.

The drinks were $2.00 each, with free appetizers ordered in from a local caterer.  All the while, a live band was entertaining us under the Arizona sun.

Teresa and I got to talk to many residents there, who were very friendly and upfront about life in Paradise Province.

Now a lot of friends and readers have been asking why we are looking at houses already, our first year out.

We are not sure how to answer that except to say that these houses are no more expensive than a new motorhome, and we are thinking in terms of an investment.

Time will tell !!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Meeting Blogging Friends

A couple of days ago, Teresa and Derek emailed us, indicating that we would be crossing paths, and would we like to meet up.

Why, yes we would !!

Knowing that they would still be travelling after our get together, we offered to have them over for a bbq.

Teresa and Derek have an absolutely adorable three year old named Cassia, who reminds us of our granddaughter.

So it was no surprise to me that when we were in town to pick up some groceries, my Teresa was slipping in a few toys for Cassia !!

We enjoyed getting to meet this beautiful family, and I have to tell you they are very genuine, down to earth people, that draw you in like a magnet.

Because we both travel in small rigs, we had to have our supper at the club house, next to our rig. 

Alas, the time flew by, and soon we were saying goodbye, and giving hugs.

This little family really touched our hearts, and we wish them all the best in their future travels.

Just as I had expected, seeing Cassia had my Teresa fighting back the tears thinking of our family back home.

Only two more months to go, honey !!

Province, Maricopa

We spent the better part of today in a fabulous Active Adult Community called Province.

It was voted the best over 55 adult community in all of the United States.

This place is amazing.  It is like an RV resort, only with gorgeous houses, instead of RV's.

It is a gated community, with an attendant, plus a car making regular patrols.  Crime is virtually non-existent.

They have an indoor and outdoor pool, tennis courts, pickelball courts, bocce ball, walking and biking paths, and man made lakes, complete with stocked fish.

Then there is the 32,000 sq ft village centre.  They have a fitness centre, ball room, dance floor, his and hers saunas ( wet and dry ), card room, billiard room, coffee shop, and fire pits.

They have clubs for hiking, biking, cars, dance, spinning, quilting, exercise, yoga, and you name it ...

The homes are absolutely stunning.  The granite counter tops, tile floors, nine foot ceilings, and huge walk in closets, all contribute to the "wow" factor.

Apparently, the Canadian population is huge here, nearly 50 percent.

Teresa armed herself with mounds of floor plans, and information, and can't wipe the smile off her face.

We are going to go back and hopefully talk to a few residents so we can get a few more questions answered.

So now, we have another option to consider !!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Maricopa, AZ

It was with heavy hearts that we pulled away from Canyon Vista RV Park this morning.

We met some really great people, and could definitely see ourselves fitting right in with this crowd.

We exchanged our email address with promises to stay in touch.

Well, we have more to see, so we hit the road to Maricopa.

This city offers incredible real estate deals, and there are a lot of Canadians scooping up some great bargains.

We are here on a fact finding mission, and we are not prepared to sign on the dotted line, however, we are open to the possibilities of an investment.

The closest RV park to Maricopa is called the John Wayne RV Ranch, and it seems like a nice stopover.

They are a Passport America park, so our nightly rate is $15.00

On a funny note, the couple right next to us in this park have just bought a house in Maricopa.

Not too sure how long we will be here, but it will be long enough to get a feel for the area.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Having too much fun to post ...

We are really starting to bond with this park.  Or to be more exact, the people in this park.

On Thursday, we met a wonderful couple who taught us how to play bocce ball on the brand new bocce ball fields.

Later,  we met them for appetizers and wine, where we talked for hours about travel, family, and RV's.

Then today, we played tennis, pickelball, bocce ball, and went for a swim.  At the pool we met another absolutely wonderful couple, who invited us to their rig for a bbq. 

We brought scallops, while they supplied fresh salmon fillets.  It was very, very delicious.  We thoroughly enjoyed our time with them, and did not even realize how late it had become ... 11:30 pm !!

It is amazing how you can just meet another couple, and yet feel like you have been friends forever.

I think we could get very used to this lifestyle !!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Pool Day .... for Trent

Our park has construction going on right behind our rig. 

As a result, we have quite a bit of dust getting into our home.

Today, Teresa told me to get the heck outta her way, 'cause she was a cleanin'.

So I decided to try out the pool in our resort.  I grabbed a book and a jug of water, and headed out.

The water was warm, but not too warm. 

As you can see, I basically had the pool to myself.   I would spend half an hour at a time in the water, then come out and read in the sun.

I am sure I nodded off a couple of times in there as well.

The hot tub was just the icing on the cake.

By the time I got home it was almost supper time.

When I walked into the rig, I practically had to put on sunglasses, it was just that bright and shiny.

Something tells me Teresa might have a little pool time coming her way, while I am busy washing and waxing the rig next time !!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Busy day

Teresa and I had a busy day today.

Let's see if I can remember what we did, and in what order.

First, coffee in bed.  ( What can I say ? )

Then we checked out a couple of RV parks. 

First was Mesa Regal.  Wow, this is a very nice park, but it is so large !!  This was like a small town, with tons of activities, some shops, and a bar and grill.  We can see why people return here year after year.

Next was Valle del Oro.  Also a Cal-Am park.  Not quite as large, but still gigantic.  And there was a real buzz around the resort today, because Rich Little was performing in a few hours.  Again, a ton of activities and very friendly residents.

Our third park was more a fluke.  We were driving down Main St. when I saw a park a co-worker of mine has a mobile home in. 

Unfortunately, she was not there, but we met her better half, who was a most gracious host, and gave us some great tips on the area.

Next, we found Costco, where we picked up some great deals on coffee and wine, and a few other staples.

Last was a trip to Trader Joe's.  This was only our second TJ's,  and we love it more and more.  As a bonus, they even had a wine tasting today.

We picked up some prepared meals, and of course, a few more bottles of wine.

By that time it was supper.  Easy one today, as Teresa threw a lasagna from TJ's in the microwave.

Voila, supper is ready, hun !!

I don't suppose any of our astute readers can guess what we washed it down with can you ??

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Melting Pot

We have a new favourite restaurant !!

It is called the Melting Pot, and our daughter insisted that we give it a try.

Jackpot !!

This is a very classy fondue style restaurant.  Because we had no idea of what to order, we relied heavily on our superb waiter Sean for advice.

He was great, and guided us to culinary perfection ... lol.

We were celebrating Teresa's birthday from yesterday, and she could not have been happier. 

By the way, Teresa is a softy, and she was very touched by all the emails and comments that she received on her special day.

Everything about our meal was perfect, and the melted chocolate dessert lingered on our lips for the entire drive home.

We recommend everyone try this great place, and we suggest you do not eat anything else the entire day before your meal.

You will leave very, very satisfied !!