Sunday, November 30, 2008

Last Day at Verde Valley Campground…for a week

We said goodbye to Ron, Marilyn and Rodney this morning. The rest of our morning was quiet. After lunch I drove over to the laundry room to do the wash. The laundry room is by the main Lodge so I took my laptop and to surf the net while the clothes were washing and drying. A lady I met earlier in the week came in to use the campground’s wireless connection too and we chatted a bit. She is from Colorado and didn’t realize that the DOT often has webcams of roads throughout the states. I frequently peek at the DOT cams in Washington to see what the weather is like in our old home town. She looked up the webcams in Colorado and found the main road they usually travel covered in snow! Luckily they are not headed home for a few months yet.

Tomorrow we will change campgrounds, only over to Camp Verde, AZ about 6 or 7 miles from here. We really enjoy this area, and this Thousand Trails campground in particular. I’m sure we will make it a stop on future journey’s.

Photo:
The moon and a couple stars taken this evening
Video:
A few shots from our visit with Ron, Marilyn and Rodney.


Saturday, November 29, 2008

Fun Day

Today we spent the afternoon and evening with our new friends Ron & Marilyn and Rodney (Dennis didn’t come camping this weekend) and had a great time visiting and laughing. There were snacks and wine in the afternoon and for dinner Marilyn had brought homemade turkey soup and turkey drumsticks. It was all very yummy.

After dinner the guys went in to Home Depot and picked up a propane patio heater. Once they got it assembled we were able to sit outside in comfort, those heaters really do a great job taking some of the chill out of the evening air. So we talked, enjoyed the evening and some banana cream pie for dessert.

All in all a fun day with some really fun people.

Photos:
Top: Dennis & Rodney's extra cute dogs (Bichon's)
Bottom: my new balloon wind sock

Friday, November 28, 2008

Winery Visit

We went into town to get the mail today plus a stop at Walmart. On our way home we decided to stop at the Alcantara Winery that is right beside the campground. It’s a small winery, the owner spent a lot of time explaining their wines and just wine in general to us and the others there. We ended up buying a couple bottles.

On the way in to the Thousand Trails Verde Valley campground there is a large area of open land. As we drove through that area we stopped let Cheye out to run off some energy, she loved it! Then it was back to the trailer to put our stuff away and to decorate for Christmas. We don’t have room for a tree, well I suppose we could put up a small one but it would just be in the way, so I bought a couple garlands and covered them with lights. It makes it quite festive in here.

We had a crazy rain and hail storm this afternoon. It didn’t last a long time but it sure came down for a while.

Photos:
Top: View on the way to the Winery
Bottom: Cheye staring out the window with a rawhide hanging from her mouth
Video: Alcantara Winery, Cheye & the weather


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

We had a lovely Thanksgiving. After a night of heavy rain storms with thunder and lightening today was a little drizzly. The sun would peek out for a minute or two occasionally.

We both worked on our computers this morning, took Cheye for a couple walks. At 2:00 we headed out for Thanksgiving dinner served here at Thousand Trails Verde Valley. Quite a crowd! I heard that last year they served over 300 people between the 3 seating’s. The food was great; turkey, mashed potatoes & gravy, candied sweet potatoes, sage stuffing, peas & baby onions, spinach greens, cranberries and either pecan or pumpkin pie all for $12.95 each. We were stuffed.

After dinner we called around to family to wish them all a Happy Thanksgiving. Sounded like everyone was having a nice day. Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving day too!

Video: Thanksgiving Feast

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Rain

We said our goodbyes to Dave & Anne as they headed out this morning. A very soggy morning…it rained some last night and then it continued on and off all day today. Evidently we are supposed to get more tomorrow.

Our day was mostly spent indoors, I worked on editing video of the first few months of our journey, Dave read and watched the DVD he got yesterday. This afternoon Dave suggested we go over to the Pool Lodge and play some ping-pong so we did. After that we played some pool, I’ve never played before so Dave had to teach me as we went along. It was a fun diversion. We also, of course, took Cheye out for walks between rain squalls, but that was about it for this rainy ol’ day.

Video: the Pool Lodge at Thousand Trails Verde Valley

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Off to Prescott

We decided on a trip to Costco in Prescott, AZ today. The store was extremely busy, I’m guessing with pre-Thanksgiving shopping. We bought some DVD’s, a Wii game and a fair amount of food and goodies, there was so much to tempt us! Of course we broke the rule of never going grocery shopping when you’re hungry. After Costco we stopped at KFC for lunch and then home. The weather today was cloudy and we even got rained on a little on our trip.

Once home we sat out under the awning and the neighbors on our left stopped to talk for a little while. They left once it started getting a little breezy and we went inside to try out our new Wii game we bought at Costco. It wasn’t quite what we expected but still fun. Then Anne stopped by (one of our neighbors on our right) and invited Dave & I over for “happy hour” . So we went over to their lovely Class A coach and had another extremely enjoyable visit. Unfortunately they leave tomorrow but we are hopeful we will see them again at another Thousand Trails campground.






Photos:
all taken on our trip between Cottonwood and Prescott, AZ

Monday, November 24, 2008

Some More Visiting

Today started off quietly here at Verde Valley Preserve in Cottonwood, AZ. Cross stitching, reading, computing. Dave took Cheye for a walk early in the morning and I took her for one mid-morning. We had lunch and repeated part of our morning routine! :o)

Later in the afternoon our neighbor stopped to say hello. His name is Dave, he and his wife Anne are from England. We chatted for a bit and then Anne came out with 4 glasses and some wine so we all chatted through a couple glasses of wine. They have traveled from Florida across the southern states. We had a very enjoyable conversation with them that only ended when it got dark and started getting cold. Fun people.

Photos: Taken when we visited Sedona, AZ last Thursday

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Fun Time

We had a fun weekend. Our new friends Ron & Marilyn introduced us to their friends (and neighbors) Dennis and Rodney who were also camping here this weekend. Yesterday Rodney cooked chili and invited us all over for lunch. The chili was wonderful! We ended up chatting, laughing and snacking into the evening. We really enjoyed ourselves. They all headed back home this morning, it’s going to be awfully quiet without them around!

I started today with some cleaning, Dave worked on rearranging some of our stuff outside. We took Cheye out for a walk and ended up hiking up on the hills overlooking the park, really beautiful. Later there was laundry and grocery shopping to do. I went to the store and after dropping the groceries off I went over to do the laundry. When I got back Dave had a roast cooking on the bbq which turned out great. Tonight it’s going to be a little TV and probably an early night.

Photos & Video: all taken on our hike this morning at Valley Verde Preserve in Cottonwood, AZ

Friday, November 21, 2008

Some Cactus

We started today by going to the “Biscuit Mania” for breakfast. They have a choice of either biscuits and gravy or biscuits and jam. It was a nice breakfast, we both had the biscuits and gravy. After we got back we took Cheye for a long walk and then back to the trailer. I did some cleaning and Dave worked on a little trailer repair. After lunch we relaxed, I worked on a cross stitch project and Dave read.

The couple we met yesterday, Ron & Marilyn, walked by and stopped to chat. We have a good time talking, the are really fun people. Not full-timers yet, maybe in the future!

Photos:
Some of the cactus viewed in the park.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sedona, AZ

Today we finally got to see Sedona, a place we have wanted to visit for a long time, and we were not disappointed. It is beautifully set in the middle of gorgeous red rock cliffs. It is so pretty it almost looks fake! Lots of shopping so we wandered through the shops a while and then drove around a little. Definitely a place I’d like to go back to. Next time I think we will map out some places with scenic views.

On our way home we stopped at Walmart for a few things, grabbed a couple burgers to go and then back to the trailer. We relaxed for a while after we ate lunch and decided to go on a walk. There is a road heading up the hill through the brush so we hiked up the hill. A very pretty view from up there. On our way back to the trailer we met a really nice couple from Phoenix and we sat down and chatted with them for a while. Again another terrific day.

Photos:
Taken in Sedona today
Video: More of Sedona, Arizona


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Beautiful Weather

It is such amazing weather here in Cottonwood, AZ. I admit nights are chilly and we run the heater in the mornings, but the afternoons are glorious. Blue sky and in the high 70’s, I couldn’t ask for more beautiful weather! If there is a down side to this weather it’s that you start the day in long jeans and a sweatshirt and have to change to shorts and a t-shirt around lunch time, but that’s a burden I’m willing to bear. :o)

This morning we had a hot air balloon float over. They are so pretty and peaceful just floating along. Dave was outside having his coffee and called to me to grab the camera so I caught a little video of it. Besides that it was one of our typical quiet days…reading, walking Cheyenne, some Wii Fit and just enjoying this fabulous weather.

Photo:
Top: Balloon over Thousand Trails Verde Valley
Bottom: View from the Verde Valley preserve
Video: The balloon and the park


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Moved

We had to move from the site we were at… the electrical pedestal died. It started about 1 a.m. with electronics going on and off, beeping each time they did. Finally the power just didn’t come on in the trailer. Dave used the generator to make his coffee this morning, shortly after that the power came back on. After checking the electrical pedestal he found when we were plugged in to our sites receptacle it made a crackling noise, if he plugged us in to the next sites receptacle it was good. To make a long story short the Ranger told us to move. So we buttoned up the trailer, found another site and moved.

This morning we signed up for the Thanksgiving Dinner they hold here at the park. There are 3 sittings, 11:30, 2:30 and 4:30 so we picked the 2:30. They serve turkey and all the trimmings, should be fun.

We also saw a little of Cottonwood today on our way to pick up the mail. It is a larger town than I expected, a large Walmart, Home Depot, a number of restaurants and various shops. Should be a great place to pick up anything we might need.

Photos:
Top: Trees turning color in the park
Bottom: our trailer & pickup

Monday, November 17, 2008

Changes

We were on the road at 7:30 this morning on our way to Cottonwood, AZ and the Thousand Trails Verde Valley campground. It was a peaceful, uneventful drive with typical Arizona scenery until we got a bit south of Flagstaff. There is a stretch of 6% downgrade that has some beautiful scenery. Junipers, cactus, plateaus and areas of red rock.

The Verde Valley park is quite large and spread out. The section by the main club house was pretty full so we picked the section by the pool and close to the Verde River. After we set up and ate lunch we took Cheye down to the river. It is actually out of the park but is a wild area and Cheye loved romping around. We finally found the river and Cheye had to wade out and enjoy the water. Once we got back to the trailer we relaxed outside under the trees and noticed Cheye pulling at her fur.... burrs, lots of nasty burrs wound in her fur. I got the scissors and cut out a bunch of them. I guess no more walks out in the brambles!

After looking at this park we decided to change our plans. Originally our reservation was for one week and then off to Apache Junction, now we will be staying here for 2 weeks. I’m looking forward to seeing the sights in this area and relaxing in this peaceful, lovely park.

Photos:
Top & Middle: views taken while on the road
Bottom: View in the park


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Trip on the Dixie Belle

Ever since we saw the Dixie Belle paddle wheeler docked by the London Bridge here in Lake Havasu City I had been wanting to go on the boat’s trip around Lake Havasu. Unfortunately with the wind the last few days it just wasn’t in the cards. They run “weather permitting” and with white caps on the lake we figured it wasn’t permitting. But this morning there was no wind. On our way over to the club house for Sunday morning cinnamon rolls we decided if the Paddle Wheeler was running today we would go. So at noon we took the one hour ride around the lake. It was a very pleasant excursion and on a perfect day as far as the weather went.

After we got back it was laundry, watching Nascar and taking Cheye out. We should have been getting things organized for our trip tomorrow but didn’t. Oh well we have the routine down pretty well.

Photos:
top: Dave & I aboard the Dixie Belle
middle & bottom:
taken while aboard the Dixie Belle
video: taken while aboard the Dixie Belle


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Another Buffet


The wind calmed down some today, enough that I joined Dave in a swim this afternoon. Earlier I drove in to the Mall and just browsed around. I went through Dillard’s (like a Macy’s or Nordstrom’s) and Penney’s, then it was over to Walmart to stock up on groceries.

This evening we decided to try the Golden Corral buffet. We have heard good things about them over the years and were not let down. Quite the selection and everything I tried was very good. As a matter of fact I’m stuffed. I imagine when I get on the Wii Fitness board tomorrow it will ask me if I’ve been snacking....

Photos:
top: Thursday’s sunset
bottom: Golden Corral

Friday, November 14, 2008

Windy Day

Gosh, it was like being back in Benton City (where I used to live) today... blowing, gusting, dirt and grit, by far the windiest day we have had here in Lake Havasu, AZ since we arrived. Actually it wasn’t quite as bad as I’ve seen it back in the Yakima Valley. At least it was warm, in the mid 80’s, so we had the windows open which made it pleasant in the trailer. Even though the keyboard on my laptop kept getting gritty it wasn’t bad inside. It is different being in a 30 foot trailer in a wind storm rather than in a 2000 sq ft house, the house doesn’t bounce around.

We did go over to the club house for breakfast this morning. Dave went swimming a couple times today, the wind doesn’t really bother him. Besides that the day was spent inside doing the usual reading, computing and Wii. Not a bad day, but if you know me you will know I really do not like the wind! I guess not every day can be perfect weather.


video

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Half a year and counting

This morning I did yoga, aerobics, strength training, played tennis, bowling, golf and a couple of innings of baseball, all on the Nintendo Wii of course. This is the first time I’ve tried tennis, bowling, golf and baseball games. I liked tennis best, followed by golf, bowling wasn’t bad but baseball just wasn’t my thing.

After all of that exercise I sat outside with my coffee drink and read. It was very relaxing until the wind came up. The awning started to really flap so I had to interrupt Dave’s exercise time to have him roll up the awning. At that point I moved my reading inside. Besides our usual walks out to the desert with Cheye we relaxed and went swimming....in a swimming pool with water, not on the Wii!! After that it was dinner (bbq’d Salmon) and a little TV. Another pleasant day.

Wow, I almost forgot... 6 months ago today Dave & I began our adventure as full time RVer’s! So far it’s been great!

photo: Lake Havasu
video: Around the Lake Havasu RV Park


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Blustery Day and Beautiful Sunset

It was sunny, in the low 80’s and rather windy today. Dave took the awning down around 10:00 this morning because it started flapping around. We sat outside for a few hours this morning, reading and enjoying the sun but at lunch we went inside. The afternoon was spent looking at maps and talking about places to go along with taking Cheye for a walk, surfingthe net and relaxing. It was pleasant in the trailer with the breeze coming through the windows.

Tonight we decided to go into town to the China Buffet for dinner. Pretty good and a big selection. After that we drove to the other end of Lake Havasu City and went to Walmart. Along the way a beautiful sunset was forming over the lake and a huge moon rising over the hills. Really beautiful! Happily I had my Flip Video with me so you can see what I mean....

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

London Bridge

This morning we decided to go to the Lake Havasu State Park and see if there was a place Cheye could get in the water. After paying $10.00 for day parking we talked to the Ranger and he suggested we take a hiking trail that gets down to the water in a few places, so that’s where we went. It was a nice little walk that took us by the lake and to a small garden area with lots of cactus.

From there we drove to the London Bridge. If you haven’t read about it here is a link. They have a nice little area with shops at the base of the bridge. There is even a paddle wheeler that takes people out on an hour ride around the lake.

After that it was lunch at In-n-Out Burger and back to the trailer. This afternoon we just loused around the trailer, did some reading and some internet surfing. We took Cheye out for a few walks and on our last walk we ran into some people, Verne & Dottie, that were parked by us at Vegas! Small world.

Photos:
Top: The London Bridge
Bottom: Lake Havasu
Video: Lake Havasu and the London Bridge


Monday, November 10, 2008

Lake Havasu, AZ

We left Vegas about 8:30 this morning. Our trip was pleasant, the roads mostly straight and flat. The park we are staying at is a Colorado River Adventures park, we aren’t members of that group but they also accept RPI members which we do belong to.

The park is nice, it is split in two areas and our site is in the West area. The spaces are side by side but the park is fairly empty so we don’t have any real close neighbors. We didn’t find any sort of dog area when we walked the park so we asked at the office. They don’t have any off-leash area but there is an opening in the back fence that leads out into open desert. So we went out that way and Cheye had a good romp and sniff. We haven’t visited the East side of the park yet.

We just relaxed away the afternoon and before dinner we went back out to the desert area. There was a really beautiful sunset tonight, hopefully the first of many while we are here in Arizona.

Photos:
Top: Along the drive
Middle: Cheye in the desert
Bottom: Welcome to Arizona
Video: Arriving at Lake Havasu


Sunday, November 9, 2008

A Soggy Start

We woke up to rain this morning. As I have mentioned it has been cooler here but I didn’t realize rain was on the menu. It cleared up in the afternoon but was breezy with broken clouds all day. However in the morning I looked at a webcam at Richland, WA (close to where we used to live) and saw they had hazy, damp, cold looking wet weather…I’ll take rain in Vegas!

Today was spent watching the Nascar race and getting things ready to move tomorrow. We also ran a few quick errands, fuelled up the pickup (only $2.79 a gallon diesel) . Since we have been here for 3 weeks there is a lot to put away. I also thought I’d get the laundry all caught up, I learned not to assume there is a laundry room at every park!

Between our friends visiting, going to a few really nice dinners and a couple great shows it’s been a great 3 weeks in Vegas.

Photos:
Top: Clouds over the park this morning
Bottom: Our trailer with a bit of blue in the sky
Video: Along the Vegas Strip


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Mystere

It’s going to be a really short post tonight…it’s late and I’m bushed!!

This morning we went down to Henderson to get mail and stopped at the Camping World there. After a little wandering we made our way back to the trailer stopping at Walmart (new flashlight) and the bank on the way. Our afternoon was quiet as we knew we were heading into town for the show Mystere tonight.

If you didn’t read the blog a couple days ago, we sat through a timeshare presentation and received vouchers for the Cirque du Soleil show Mystere for tonight. I wasn’t totally sure if we would get tickets with these vouchers, but sure enough, we not only got tickets, we got pretty good seats too! After we picked up our tickets we had dinner at Treasure Island’s buffet and then wandered around until the show. Mystere was great, we’ve seen it before (more than once) and have never been disappointed. Definitely my favorite Cirque du Soleil show!

Photos:
Ads for Mystere

Friday, November 7, 2008

Back to the Buffet

This morning we decided to go over to Boulder Station and check out the new buffet. It just opened yesterday and is very nice, a definite improvement over the old buffet. They have added a number of dishes and the layout is better. All that and they didn’t raise the price!

After we got back I went down to Walmart for a couple things. I supposed I shouldn’t have been surprised, but gosh, Christmas music already??? I knew the decorations would be be set up but wasn’t ready for the music.

Later this afternoon I went over to the pool, did a few laps and relaxed a while. Dave took Cheye for a walk and was relaxing when I got back. After that it was our Wii Fitness workouts and dinner. Not a lot of excitement, but a very nice day.

Photo:
Paris Casino taken Halloween night
Video: A little bit of the M&M store in Vegas taken a couple days ago
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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Maybe Another Show

We started our day a little differently than usual…we went to a timeshare presentation. No, we didn’t buy one but we received vouchers for Mystere, a Cirque du Soleil show here in Vegas, for sitting through the presentation. The show is dark tonight & tomorrow so the tickets are for Saturday night. If it all pans out it should be fun! Sorry, but I can be a bit of a pessimist when it comes to “free” stuff, but that way I’m not disappointed if it doesn’t come out. :o)

It’s definitely cooler here in Vegas. Only getting into the mid to high 60’s but it is sunny and warm if you’re in the sunshine.

Since it is getting dark so early in the evening we have had to break out Cheye’s Pup Light. It really gets a lot of comments around the park. What I like is it makes her much more visible to people and cars. It’s also nice that she carries her own flashlight! I’ve taken some video of it….

Photos:
Top: The Strip Halloween night
Bottom: MGM Grand sign
Video: Evening walk with Cheye wearing her Pup Light


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Little Wandering and Relaxing

We started our day by going to the Peppermill restaurant over on the strip. We have eaten there on previous Vegas trips and thought it would be fun to see if it had changed. Nope, looks just the same. The interior has these (fake) large pink blossomed trees, a good menu and enormous portions. The food is good and the place is always busy.

From there we drove down to Excalibur, parked in their lot and began wandering. We spent about 2 ½ or 3 hours looking around in some of the casinos and shops. By noon we were back at the trailer. Dave spent some time cleaning the pickup this afternoon plus we took a couple walks and played with the Wii. A nice day, a good combination of busy and relaxation.

Photos:
Top: Inside the Peppermill restaurant
Bottom: Outside the Peppermill restaurant
Video: A little trip down the Las Vegas Strip


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Quiet Day

Today was one of our typical quiet days. We did do our Wii fitness workout this morning and Dave added a jog around the park with Cheye. I did some vacuuming a couple loads of laundry. We also walked to a small grocery store just a couple blocks away and picked up a few things. Besides that there just isn’t much to tell!

The park has stayed pretty full the entire time we have been here. We are still really enjoying it here at the Thousand Trail park, it’s fairly quiet and as I mentioned before it is located close enough to the strip but also far enough away! You can either avoid the craziness of the strip or drive a little way and enjoy it. All of the sites have full hook-up and the facilities are nice. I imagine it will be a place we will visit fairly often.

Photo: Our site here at Thousand Trails Las Vegas
Video: Around the Thousand Trails park in Las Vegas