Monday, January 28, 2008

Blythe, California and More Geo Caching

Our traveling has now brought us to Blythe, Cal. We are in a small county campground. Riverside County has this nice Mayflower Campground. We are right on the banks of the Colorado River. You would think that still being in the desert we would have the same climate. We are at a much lower altitude than when we were in Benson. When we got here, Friday, it was beautiful and warm. It rained all Saturday night and all day yesterday. Today it is very windy. We still went out to Geo Cache. We did well. Usually our searching goes about 50/50. Today we found all three. One was down a steep hill, and Tom went down alone. The clues were pretty good, but the spot was kind of dangerous, I thought. The other two were easily found, but you always have to watch for snakes here.
We went to the grocery store again. When we first got here, we needed some food. The prices were outrageous!!! Making a decision not to go back, we got what we needed and left. Well, plans changed. We wanted to go to Yuma to spend a few days. There was not a spot to be had. Call after call came up empty. The decision was made to stay put and do a day trip. So, another trip to the grocery store. We got what we think will hold us for a week, and will fill up on the other things when we get to Casa Grande.
We decided to stay here for another week. We have been moving or busy since we left in June, and we just need some time to do what we want, or nothing at all, if that is what we choose. I must say, being lazy for a day or two is not a bad thing.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

In the Desert

Just a short entry to let everyone know we are having a great time here in Quartzsite. Poor Emily is so dusty. When we move she' ll need a good wash down. We are camping with the Escapee Boomers. I have a bad head cold, and Tom thought maybe we would stay put today. I want to do the whole Q thing. Today we went to walk all the vendors. We didn't get to all of them. There are just too many. We have checked out some of the motor home dealers, too. We just like to look. Our view of the mountains is great, and some of the sunsets are pretty. It gets quite cold here at night. It's a good thing we have extra blankets. Jeff and Jill Funk, some friends from our club back in Pa., are here also. It's amazing how people just drive into the desert and park for a couple of weeks. So many of them have solar panels. We run our generator every night to check our e-mail, watch a little TV, and run the heater for a bit. We turn on the electric blanket to get the bed warm before we get in. We're in bed by about 10. All this cold fresh air and walking around poops us out. Tomorrow more of the same. We planning to leave on Friday morning. Rain is in the forecast. Maybe on to Congress Az. The good part is we can change our minds if we want. What fun.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Cochise Stronghold and Tombstone

Yesterday we took the short trip into the Dragoon Mountains to see Cochise's hideout. This is the place he fled to from the Cavalry Soldiers. It is very rugged and yet so amazing. He was born there and it is said he is buried there. You can almost feel them watching you as you drive into the area. As we looked up at the rocks and nook and crannies in the mountains, it is hard to think of anyone finding anyone who is trying to hide. There is a campground in the area, but there are size restrictions, and the road is not really good.
On the way out there and on the way back we saw this big smokestack and buildings. We decided to go see what it was. It turned out to be an electric plant out there all by itself. We took some pictures for you to see. We also stopped to take some pics of the pecan and pistachio groves.
Today we went to Tombstone. It's about 22 miles from where we are here in Benson. We went to see Boot Hill Cemetery. They give us this little pamphlet when we went in, and it tells about the folks buried there. The last person laid to rest there was the man who was so instrumental in bringing the cemetery up to it's present day condition. His request was to be buried there, so he is. The town is so cool. There are stage coaches giving rides. You can see folks in period dress all over town. They stop and talk, and tell you anything you want to know. Any number of shops line the streets, and you can buy anything your heart desires. You can go visit the original site of the Gunfight At OK Corral. They have shoot-outs every so often. They also give trips down into the old mine, where so many men worked in those days. It's kind of touristy, but a great place to take the kids. If it had been warmer we may have stayed longer. As it was, we were glad we took jackets with us. On the way home, we stopped to but some pistachios at a little stand near the campground. They sure are good.
Tomorrow we head to Quartsite. It is a mecca for RVers. We will be dry camping, which means no hook-ups. We will have to run the generator for electric, so we may not be on-line much. We'll have our phone, though. We'll be in touch in a few days. Off we go.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Good Month-Bad Month

We are back. First I am sad to say my Dad has passed. He would have been 90 on the 28th, but was just so tired. We were told he would have maybe six months. He only had 5 days. Tom and I had to hurry and make plans to go to upstate New York. We decided to fly out of Tucson. We called the Escapee Park in Benson, Az. They were ever so nice, and agreed to keep Emily for us. We gave them a key, and kept her plugged in. They don't usually let folks just take off and leave like that. Because of the circumstances, they said not to worry. Off we went to the airport. We had a very uneventful flight, with a slight hold over in Chicago. We arrived in Syracuse, N.Y. Our daughter met us along with our niece, Diana, and of course. George the granddog. He was so thrilled to see us. Cried all the way to my brother's house.
Dad had military honors, and he would have been so proud to be saluted and carried by all of his grandchildren. It was all just the way he would have wanted it. He will be missed.
We stayed for a week altogether. We visited with my Aunt Izzy and Uncle Don. They are both in their 90s. Aunt Izzy is recovering from a bout of pneumonia. She seems to be doing somewhat better. It was good to see them. Also, stayed and made sure Mom was doing OK before we left. I must say, she is doing much better than I expected. They had been married almost 62 years. The week before Dad died was the bad time for her. At least they had time to say good-bye.
Then came the trip back. Let me just tell you, it was not the most wonderful trip we ever took. Something told me when I hugged my brother at the airport, something was going to go wrong. I'll tell you the story, and you make up your own mind. First of all, they took my hair spray-non aerosol. They they took my body wash. Almost empty. hen they took my brand new face wash. Now I was getting mad. Then they took my tooth paste. Again, almost gone. Tom's wasn't taken. He had more in his tube than I did, but they took mine. I was not happy!!!Tom kept saying let's just go. Man, I would have made a fuss. Tom was afraid that they would take the cross form Dad's casket. I never thought of that. We kept it with us for safe keeping. I left. Mad-but I didn't argue. Mind you, all of these items had all gone through the airport in Tucson. Syracuse was just a little picky. I suppose it is all a good thing, good security. But what was I going to do with face wash? Scrub 'em to death?
Then we boarded the plane and took off. We were in the air for about 20 minutes, and the beverage service started. I took a glass of ginger ale. I had it about 2 minutes when I spilled it all over my lap. It looked like I wet my pants. Heck, it FELT like I wet my pants-except it wasn't warm. I had to sit like that all the way to Atlanta. Oh----Atlanta. Nice sunny Atlanta. WRONG! They were in the middle of a snow storm. No snow for 5 years, and it snows when we want to land and catch a flight to Tucson. When we hit the ground, we couldn't get to our gate. Planes were lined up for deicing, and a plane was in our spot. We waited and waited. Finally we taxied to our spot. At least we thought it was our spot. They let us off on the tarmac, and we had to run through the rain in to the building. They didn't tell us that, and we all just carried our coats. One good thing was no one thought anything about my wet pants. We ran to get our plane, but it was to late. It was already dispatched. We had to stand in a really long line to get other tickets for the next day. First they were going to route us through Minneapolis, Minn., but that flight got cancelled. Thank God! Can you imagine? Atlanta to Minnesota to Tucson? Crazy. We took stand-by at 11 the next morning, and tickets for 6:40 p.m. the next evening. We were sent to the Comfort Inn, which was very nice. I did have some different jeans in my bag, so at least I could change. We were also given meal vouchers. After all this we were so hungry, we went down to the restaurant for something to eat. It was Mexican. WE DON"T LIKE MEXICAN! We did find some garlic shrimp on the menu that we ordered. It really wasn't too bad. Of course the salad had guacamole and sour cream. Yuck. We ate the rice and shrimp, and called it a day.
We got to the airport before 9 a.m. The lines where like the most popular ride at Disney World. We went through security without a hitch, and off we went to see if we could get on the stand-by flight. Nope. Not to be. We stayed there till the plane left, and went to the gate for the 6:40 p.m. flight. What was really neat, was that we met someone that graduated from Waterville High School a few years before me. We had both been in the Waterville area for funerals. It's a small world. We ate a sandwich and just sat around waiting to go. When we finally got going, it was the biggest plane for the whole trip. Tom and I were not seated together, he was just in front of me. When the beverage service came I hung onto that baby really tight. I wasn't spilling this one! We got on the ground, and hoped out bag was waiting for us. Wonder of wonders-there it was. The way things had gone, that was a miracle. The rest of the trip back to Emily took us about 40 minutes, and boy, were we glad to be back home. Did we ever sleep!
Tomorrow I'll tell you all about what we have been doing since we came back. Home is where you park it.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

On a Mission to see the Missions

We started off today about 11:00. We were on our way to see the missions of San Antonio. We found them all with the help of Nelly, our GPS. She got us to each one easily. Of course she got sick of saying RECALCULATING. We kept making turns to things we wanted to see. Like the cemetery. They decorate them for Christmas! We took some pictures to let everyone see. It must be a custom for the Mexicans. They put up Christmas trees and tinsel, and lots of flowers. At first we thought it was a new grave, but then we realized it was everywhere. Tom will do the pictures later. He still has to do the ones from yesterday.
The missions were so amazing. Some of the stone work must have been so time consuming. One was having mass, so we didn't go in. One had a mariachi band outside, and one had just finished mass. Some of the ruins were original, some have been restored through the years. Each one has it's own history. The history of the aqueduct is neat. It is so dry here, they used the ides from the Europeans and had irrigation for all of their fields. You can see the fields and much of the aqueduct system is still there. It shows how they directed the water to a mill and ground the wheat. Then all of the water was then sent back out into the system to be used in the fields. All this in the 1700's. We could take a lesson from them in conservation.
This afternoon when we had had our fill of missions, we wanted to go to Culvers for burgers. Nelly goofed up big time. I know she can only tell us what is fed to her, but we really wanted those burgers. She took us to a housing development. The roads must have been renamed or something when they built it. Then she took us to a Wal-Mart that was closed. We told her to take us home, and I saw a Wal-Mart up ahead, so that's where we went. Then we came home.
Needless to say, we are pretty tired. I told Tom this tourist stuff is really tiring. We've done a lot of walking the past couple of days. Golly, we are having fun, though.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Tom Goes to the Alamo

On Tom's "things I really want to do" list, going to the Alamo was one of the most important. Today we went. They have a really great plan going here. You can get a round trip ticket here at the campground for $4.00 that will take you to downtown San Antonio and back. You can also take any of the trolleys that travel around the city stopping at all of the touristy places. We left this morning about 10:30, and got home around 6:30.
We were really disappointed in the River Walk. We were expecting something different. The water was mostly drained, and it looked all muddy and filthy. We thought we would find some shops and different little places to go into and browse. All that was there were restaurants. What a let-down. We had already eaten. We walked for awhile, and then decided to do something else. I mentioned that I thought this market thing looked interesting, so we rode down to the market. Ta Da!! We found what we wanted. There was a magician. The kids were really enjoying him. The we saw a couple of mariachi bands strolling through a place to eat. Then there was a terrific pan flute player. He was accompanied by a guitar player. They were really a treat. The shops there had some cute little thing we found for Connor. Of course the post cards came home with us, too. Mom and Dad like to see them. So does Tom's mom.
The Alamo was better than we thought it would be. Tom has been a Davy Crockett fan since he was about 4 years old. He even had a coon skin cap and buck skins. Today he saw one of Davy's guns. Some of Jim Bowie's famous knives were also on display. It was neat to be in the same room where the women and children were found after the fighting was over. They even have the ring Travis gave the girl as a remembrance of the ordeal. Some folks say there is nothing great about going there. They say there is nothing but the front wall left. Not true. Some of the barracks rooms and hallways are there and some of the outside wall. Much more than we anticipated.
As I said, we ate. We ate a Pat O'Brien's. It was very similar to the one in New Orleans. Tom had gumbo and Jambalaya. I had a craw fish cake sandwich. All was very good. Just before we caught the bus to come back, we stopped and got some Blue Bell ice cream. Tom had banana split, I had some more of that great Moolenium Crunch. The perfect end of a great day.
I would be very remiss if I didn't mention that we had lunch yesterday with Ed and Hazel. Our new friends who were also volunteers at CARE. They had gone 2 1/2 weeks before we did. We were so happy to see them. They had been in Mission, TX to visit with Ed's parents. On the way back to Lampasses, where they are staying near their kids for the holidays, they were coming through San Antonio, so we made plans to go to lunch. Sometimes it happens that you meet people you feel like you've know all your life. That's how we feel about Ed and Hazel. We'll see them again in Arizona. They have a spot in Apache Junction. We might meet up in Quartzite, too.
Tonight we are feeling like we walked all day. Maybe cause we did!!! We are really pooped. It's so good to be tourists.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Saying Good-bye and Ice Cream

Today we said good-bye to CARE. It was so easy to give hugs and kisses, but very hard to think it's the last time for quite a while. We know we'll go back next year. We're not sure right now when that will be. Some of the residents have become ill this week. They'll be in our thoughts till we know they are feeling better. Miss Ellie gave me her special kisses, so I'll be even-steven for a few days. We were off a little past 9:00 this morning.

Our first stop is in Brenham, Tx. Home of the Blue Bell ice cream factory. It's terrific ice cream!! We paid our admission, then went in the little store to buy something for Connor. We bought him a little ice cream dish shaped like an ice cream cone. I comes with a little spoon. Then our number was called, and we started the tour. It started out with a short movie telling us how the company was started, then we toured the factory. We saw how the process goes from start to finish. The best part was when we went to get ice cream at the end of the tour. I got what is called Moolennium Crunch, and Tom got White Chocolate Almond. YUMMY!!!!!

On the way home we stopped at Wal-Mart and picked up some food. We have to fix our own meals now. Of course we helped cook when we were at care, but that was different. Cooking for 2 is different from cooking for 80. We've had so much green salad that we probably won't but lettuce for about a month.

Right now we are at home hoping tomorrow will be a little warmer. It has been quite cold here. Now, I know that up north you folks are quite a bit colder, but for here it's cold. I guess I can't complain. Instead of living our lifestyle, I could be sitting home hibernating like I do every winter. This is much better. The forecast is for 60 degrees for Friday. Much better.

Tomorrow it's off to San Antonio. We hear the River Walk has been drained for cleaning. What a shame we can't see it the way it usually is. Oh well, there's always next year.