Sunday, May 13, 2018

Mothers' Day & a 72oz Steak

I've been out of the blogging mode for a while and finally have something to blog about.  We left Tucson heading to Camp Verde & Sedona May 3rd for a short visit there.  I will go back and write about our time in Sedona later this week, but wanted to publish our visit in Amarillo, TX and celebrating Mothers' Day.  


I hope all the mothers in the family and friends of ours had a great day and were treated specially.  This is how Gerry spent the afternoon celebrating her special day dining on a rack of baby back ribs, one of her favorite meals.  We shared a 64 oz pitcher of a Hefenwezin beer. 

We are waiting for a part for the motorhome and lucked out and arrived in Amarillo where we can get it serviced.  We are in a rv park across I-40 from the repair facility which makes it very convenient.  In addition, we are about 1/2 mile from the Big Texan Steak Ranch, home of the 72oz steak.

In 1960, R. J. “Bob” Lee opened The Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo on Route 66, the “Mother Road. Its distinctive architecture soon became recognized across the Mother Road as a good stopping place for great steaks grilled over an open flame.

The towering sign of a long-legged cowboy that Bob erected next to the building became a major landmark on Route 66. From the beginning, the Big Texan welcomed weary travelers and migrating families whose roots spread all across America. The now World-famous FREE 72-oz. steak came to life not long after Bob opened the doors to the Big Texan Steak Ranch.

Beginning in the mid-1960s signs began cropping up along the Mother Road inviting travelers to come in for a 72-oz. steak dinner that was FREE if it could be eaten in one hour. Thousands of road-weary youngsters practiced their ciphering as they converted 72 ounces into four and one-half pounds. Those Big Texan signs became as much of the nation’s culture as the old Burma Shave signs. One company has long-since disappeared with the dust of the old road, but the other still flourishes. Big Texan Steak Ranch billboards can still be seen to the east and west of Amarillo along Interstate 40 and on major north-south routes that run through the Panhandle.

In the early 1970s, Interstate Highway 40 muscled its way across the country replacing Route 66 as the major traffic lane. Bob Lee purchased land along the route for the new highway.
He and his family built an new, bigger and better Big Texan Steak Ranch fron the ground up along I-40.

The giant cowboy, now an historical icon, was moved by helicopter from its original location on the Mother Road to its current home on Interstate 40.

The main restaurant is on two floors with the 2nd floor being a balcony area.  The photo below shows about half of the ground floor and the balcony area.

They have numerous animal heads on the 2nd floor overlooking the main dining room.

Gerry's ribs came out just like she likes them and the sweet potato, salad and garlic bread set it off.  She couldn't finish the ribs and brought them home for lunch tomorrow.

One brave person decided to try the 72oz steak challenge and thought he could finish it off.  It included potatoes, salad, rolls, drinks and a 4.5 lb steak.  He had 60 minutes to consume it all and lasted until the last 8 minutes when he gave up.  It cost him $72 for the challenge and had to pay off when he couldn't finish.

We were close to the grill and I went back to check it out.  The cook said they prepared 700-800 steaks a day along with many other entrees.  Those steaks sure looked good.

I ran into a large grizzly bear on the way out and he was huge.  Glad that he was stuffed and I didn't have to fight him or try to outrun him.

I ran into a few friends and stopped to chat with them.  They were shy and didn't have that much to say.

Gerry managed to find two sets of earrings and a nice ring in the gift shop.  She wasn't that happy to see the live 6ft rattlesnake they had in  a glass enclosure.  It was constantly moving around checking how to get out of there.  Glad I didn't see the rattlesnake while out geocaching.  I know it could move faster than I can.

That was our day, how was yours? 

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Doctors, Hummels & Dinner

Today was a busy day for us and we are worn out this evening.  We hit the road early with a list of things to get accomplished.

First on the list was for me to stop by the Lab and have blood drawn.  I have to have it drawn monthly and sent back to my doctor in Pennsylvania.  I lucked out today and there were only a few people ahead of me in line and the technician took me in fairly fast.  I asked him how many people he processed in a day and he said he didn't keep count and then expressed his displeasure about how boring the job was.  

We each had a $2 discount at Panera Bread and since it was just around the corner, we headed there.  As usual, there was a long line ahead of us and it took a while to get to our turn.  One cashier processed the customers' orders over the other cashier by a 4 to 1 margin.  In any case, we were served and enjoyed the lunch there.

It was too early for our next appointment at the doctor so we went geocaching along the way there and found a couple caches. We then found some more after the office visit.  It was our annual skin check and all went pretty well.  They took a biopsy of one area of mine and will send it off to be checked.  Gerry got a clean bill of health and is finished for the year.

We were still early for our dinner appointment and geocached a little longer.  We wound up near Christina's Antiques and Gerry went in to just look around.  There was construction in front of the shop and I had to park in a no parking, towaway zone while Gerry went inside.  Mistake on my part.  Having her in there alone without my supervision was dangerous and costly.  She wound up finding two really nice Hummels and bought them.  I did get a great big smile out of her, so it was worth it.

 We finally joined our good friends Ellen and Jim at the Longhorn Steakhouse for dinner.  They are fellow Illini who we met last year at the Diamond J RV park where we stayed last year.   We wound up spending 4 hours there and just about solved all the world's problems.  They are leaving in a couple weeks and we are trying to meet them again for lunch or dinner before they leave.  Really nice couple.

Me, Gerry, Jim and Ellen.

Gerry has been wanting to stop at Coldstone Creamery for the last couple months and it hasn't worked out for her.  Since it was on the way home, we finally stopped and were the last customers of the day.

Wait, there is more.  On the way home we came across a 4-5 car accident.  Just as we arrived, the police cars showed up.  I managed to get around the mess and we continued on our way.  

That was our day, how was yours. 

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Great Day For Geocaching

We didn't have anything specific planned for the day so I suggested we go geocaching in the area.  Over 200 geocaches have been placed during the past year and we thought we'd pick up some of them.

The green boxes on the map below are geocaches that we haven't found and the smiley faces are ones we have found.  I captured a picture of the caches before and after we went looking for them.

Before picture
 We went out after lunch for a couple hours and found 16 caches in short order.  I thought there wouldn't be much traffic along the road but I was wrong.  It was quite busy and parking was tight, but we made it.

After picture
 As you can tell, it doesn't take much to entertain us and we had a great time in the lovely 70 degree weather here in Tucson.

Gerry was successful in finding this cache after looking for a while.  It was windy and she was trying to keep her hair looking great but the wind was playing havoc with it.


By the time we were finished playing it was time to head to Rancho Rustico for dinner.  We arrived early and were seated quickly.  Since it was Monday, I didn't think they would be that busy.  Wrong again, the place filled up very quickly and there weren't many tables free when we left.  As usual we had a great meal and the waitress did a great job.  They do serve large portions and the 22 oz Dos XX settled in fine.  Then it was time to head back to the motorhome and relax and let the food settle in. 

Gerry spent 30 minutes picking thorns out of her shoes and then we watched "The Butterfly Effect" movie that was quite strange to say the least.  Gerry is still thinking about whether she liked the movie.  I didn't care for it at all.  Not my cup of tea.

College student Evan Treborn (Ashton Kutcher) is afflicted with headaches so painful that he frequently blacks out. While unconscious, Evan is able to travel back in time to difficult moments in his childhood. He can also alter the past for friends, like Kayleigh (Amy Smart), who was molested by her father (Eric Stoltz). But changing the past can drastically alter the present, and Evan finds himself in nightmarish alternate realities, including one where he's locked away in prison.
Release date: January 23, 2004 (USA)

That was our day, how was yours?

Monday, February 26, 2018

Gaslight Theater - The Lone Stranger

Gerry did play the powerball on Saturday and wound up winning again.  She had 3 of the winning numbers and wound up with $7.00 in her pocketbook.  Now that doesn't sound like a lot, but it is the first time we've had more than 2 of the winning numbers.  She's on a roll.

Gerry and I along with a number of rvers from Cactus Country RV Resort attended the Gaslight Theater Sunday's showing of "The Lone Stranger".  My memory must be slipping but we saw the same show around 10 years ago and it took me a while to realize that.  I checked back through our photos and came across this one with Gerry, me, Ron & Dee attending "The Lone Stranger" in 2008.

The same two actors were featured a couple years ago in the same play and were great again.

 Little Anthony's diner is part of the theater complex and many people enjoyed having lunch there.  We had a small lunch before we arrived at the theater, so we passed this time.

The seats weren't reserved buy number and it was first come first served.  Gerry and I were first in line and snared a nice table with the aisle in front of us.  We had a great view and also a lot of room to spread out.
They have small tables bunched together in the theater.  You could order drinks, meals, etc to enjoy during the performance.  Free popcorn was on all the tables.  The stage is quite small and they use some imaginative props to get their message across.  The piano player, guitarist and drummer sit to the side of the stage and provide the background music, along with playing country songs and some oldies but goodies during intermission.

We started off with a beer and a glass of wine to go with the popcorn.  Later we ordered nachos and tried to eat them in the dark.  I won't go into detail how that went over.

 We enjoyed the play and had a lot of laughs.  The actors played to the crowd and encouraged audience participation.  They had a simple story line but the actors did a great job pulling it off.

 After the play was over the actors came back and sang a number of songs.  The lead singer and actor had a great voice and sang songs made famous by Merle Haggard, Garth Brooks and others.

 Most of the cast came out and performed some dancing and singing featuring the girl in the middle.  She had a nice voice and the other two were great also.

 Out came Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson and they did a great job.  Willie sounded a lot like the real Willie Nelson and I don't know much about Merle Haggard so can't comment on how they compared but he sounded great.

We enjoyed the show very much and are looking forward to attending another show later in March.  

 That was our day, how was yours?

Friday, February 23, 2018

Grand Prize Winner

There was a Tiffin Rally at the Pima County Fairgrounds this week with 300 motorhomes of Tiffin Allegro Club members who attended.  We are located about 2 miles from the fairgrounds and decided to check it out on Wednesday.  

Most Rallys have a number of vendors hawking their products and services.  The vendors were not allowed to camp in the fairgrounds and many of them were parked here at Cactus Country RV Resort.  Our neighbor was a vendor for Fantasy Tours and we got to talking. He said we should come over and see what was there.  There were only a few booths that interested us and we lucked out and were there when the Tiffin attendees were in sessions and it was easy to walk around.

Gerry stopped at the Adventure Caravan Tours booth and started chatting with a lady there.  She gave Gerry a low key sales pitch and asked if she wanted to enter the drawing for the Grand Prize.  Gerry loves to enter these drawings and filled out the form and all I could think of was that we would be bombarded by emails and literature telling us how great they were.  The thought of winning did not enter my mind.

Well, Gerry got a phone call last night informing that she was the Grand Prize winner! She couldn't believe it.  The lady calling assured her it was real and she would drop by with the prize today.  True to her word she showed up with a $2000 coupon for one of their tours.  The tour to Albuquerque for the 2018 Balloon Fiesta was on the list and now we have to figure out how we can get there in October.  We were surprised to see what was included in the package; very impressed.  

The lady presenting the certificate expressed her delight at a Tiffin motorhome owner won the grand prize since it was a Tiffin rally.  What a pleasant addition to a warm, sunny day that was!

There are other tours that are interesting so we will have to see if any of them fit into our schedule.  We are planning on finding a home in the Charlotte, NC area this summer and will have to plan around that.

I think she should have bought a Powerball ticket on Wednesday and used her luck on that.  Since she is on a roll, I can see more Powerball purchases in the future.

That was our day, how was yours?