Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Last doctor appointment

Gerry went in for her follow up appointment today and passed with flying colors.  She is good to go for 5 years for that segment of health care.  

We had lunch with Ron K at Poco & Mom's, but my burrito wasn't as good as last time.  Gerry enjoyed her meal and said it tasted just like the first time.  Ron wasn't that impressed with the restaurant and I don't think he will be a regular there.

An early start today paid off since we got a lot of tasks finished before it got too hot.  After the lunch we came back to the MH and worked on finishing up all the little things that go into getting an early start tomorrow after being here for several months.  

One task was to work on the MH computer and get it running and up to date.  The computer monitor also serves as a backup camera and that is important to have working properly.  There is a very nice MH GPS program on the computer and I wanted to fix it, also.  The culprit was a loose cable in the back of the computer.  Easy fix, but I will have to take the screen out and secure the cable even better.

The checklist for the oil level, water, tires, etc was performed and all is well there.  The six batteries for the coach are all filled and charged up and working great.  The two batteries for the engine are sealed and either work or they don't.  The coach started easily and I think we are ready to go.

This will be an early to bed night and early to rise so we can get to Las Cruces before the winds pick up in the afternoon.  It's about a 5 hour drive if the winds are light and no dust storms.  We should be there in time for a late lunch and then have time to tour around Las Cruces.  We usually have a good time there, but will be staying at a different campground since the old one doesn't have any sites large enough for us.

It looks like we will be heading into some cold weather in West Texas, which is a big surprise for us.  Usually it's hot and stormy when we pass through that area.  As usual, we will be checking the weather forecast for storms and wind.

We booked our site here for next fall and are shooting for a Nov 1 arrival.  All that is subject to change, of course.

And away we go!       

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Carnival Leaves Town & Grazing

The last week and a half the carnival was at the Pima County Fair and going full blast.  We noticed the increased traffic and can see the lights from the RV park.  A few times we thought about going over there, but it was very hot during the day time and that deterred us from traipsing all over the fair grounds.

It was a very large carnival with some huge rides and many food, drink, music, etc places there.  Since we don't really enjoy riding on the different rides, it would have been a waste for us.   The bands performing were more attuned to a younger generation and that was fine with us.  Almost all of the snowbirds have left, so the Tommy Dorsey's band wouldn't have been well received.

Today it was possible to drive all around the fair grounds as long as we avoided the trucks, wires and people taking down the rides.  It was interesting seeing how hard these people have to work to tear down the carnival and now they will drive to a county fair in California and put it all back together again.  They will be on the road all over the Southwest until the Maricopa County Fair later in October.   Tough job.

I took a number of pictures of the carnival being dismantled and have included some below.  Warning, if you don't like carnival pictures, don't go any further.

Merry Go Around with Lions & Tigers

Ticket booths

Cotton Candy stand in operation

Tilt A Whirl

How would you like to take this apart?

Dodge 'em cars

They grow large lemons out here.

1920s milk truck still running.
  Sorry for so many pictures, but they speak for themselves.

They have fire alerts out here and with high temps in the forecast, it will only get worse for the area.  It was 97 degrees here today and a slight breeze that made it fairly comfortable.  Of course, it helped that we were in an air conditioned motor home.

Two more nights here and then we will be on the road.  Our first stop will be Las Cruces, NM for a few days and then head out for Arlington, TX to visit with Judy & Herb.  We don't have a set travel plan after that and will drift around and do some sightseeing along the way.  That is, if it isn't too hot in West Texas and we don't get caught in some bad weather.  This time of the year it's important to keep an eye on the weather forecasts.

Gerry, Ron K and I went grazing today at Costco and enjoyed the freebies samples.  They had a number of stands open and for a change there were some tasty items there.  We even bought a package of one of them.  Ron sprung for lunch and bought a couple hot dogs for us.  Gerry and I finished one off and Ron had 1/2 of his.  Costco has a special of a foot long hot dog and a large coke for $1.50 for the combo.

We were shopping for food items that we were going to take with us on our trip back east.  Gerry doesn't mind cooking, but when we are on the road it is nice to have easy to prepare meals available at the end of a long drive.  

That was our exciting day, how was yours?  


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Ride to Tombstone to Pick Up a Skull

We got a request from our FSILINC to pick up a cattle skull in Tombstone today.  We hopped in our trusty old car and motored on up to Tombstone.

We made good time driving there since there wasn't much traffic on the road.  It took us a couple tries at stores in Tombstone to find a skull like he wanted.  Thank goodness he didn't want a buffalo skull since they were $135 on up and quite large.  We found a nice cattle skull that will take care of his request.  It looked like the one below without the post.  Don't ask what he wants it for.

I wish I could remember where I saw this one and go back and get it.  It looks quite a bit like the one we picked up for him.  What do you think of it, Henry?

We decided to take some picture while we were in Tombstone to go along with the 100 or so we took in previous visits.  Never have too many pictures.

Stagecoach ride

Main Street

We had to drive back fairly early so we wouldn't miss The Amazing Race at 7pm, so we didn't spend a lot of time there.  We did look for a restaurant that we went to in 2006.  The town might be "too tough to die", but the restaurant wasn't that tough.  The building is still there, but it is vacant.  Too bad, since we enjoyed the meal and atmosphere.

The return trip was delayed a little while we had dinner at Montgomery's in Vail, AZ.  It is just a neighborhood bar in a small shopping center, but it is a friendly place with good food.  The cold beer also helped convince us to stop there for the last time this spring.  

The temps were in the mid 90s, but it cooled off nicely around sunset and it was beautiful outside.

Our neighbors from Erie, PA left this morning after buying new coach batteries.  They had to wait until 10am to leave in order to get some propane and then the coach wouldn't start.  The new batteries did the trick and they pulled out around noon.  Jan came over to sit in our MH because we had the a/c on. They had already disconnected their MH utilities.  We had a nice chat and look forward to seeing them again in the fall.  Safe travels guys.


Saturday, April 27, 2013

Packing out

We've picked a date for leaving Tucson after being here for 6 months almost exactly.  We hadn't planned on staying here this long, but circumstances have dictated otherwise.  All our doctors appointments but one are finished and we don't expect any surprises with this one.  The big day is May 1st and we will be heading east and taking our time getting back to our cabin.

We have been putting stuff away in the bins and nooks and crannies of the motorhome the last few days.  Drawing down of the frozen food is another chore to be finished before we leave.  The oldest stuff is being used up and getting the fridg ready for some fresh frozen foods.  Fresh and frozen don't seem to go together, but some items we still have date back to September.

We have items all over the place and consolidating them is the first order of business.  It's hard to believe how much effort goes into getting ready to hit the road after sitting in one spot for 6 months. 

The weather forecast has the dreaded 100 degrees in it for next week, so it looks like it's time to leave.  Yes, it is a dry heat, but it is heat and uncomfortable.  We lived in West Africa and temps like that weren't uncommon, plus it was humid.  Thank God we had air conditioning in the house, car and workplace.

Hopefully there will be some interesting places to visit and write about in the next couple months.  Stay tuned.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Settlement Pt 2 & Free Lunch

We needed to pick up some interior halogen lights for the motor home today and went to La Mesa RV to pick them up.  La Mesa gives out a free lunch, so we called Ron K and asked if he wanted to join us.  Free lunch, you bet I want to take advantage of that.  They had a nice tuna melt, brownies, chips and a salad for the lunch.  It was a nice meal and we all enjoyed it.

After lunch we went to their parts department to pick up the bulbs and the lady remembered Gerry from the last time she bought bulbs there.  We cleaned her out the last time and it happened again today.  She had 5 of them left and we took them all.  They say halogen lights all last about the same length of time and that seems to be the case with ours.  We have 6 more lights out and most likely more in the next month or so.

While we were in the parts department, Ron K was checking out LaMesa's inventory of toy haulers.  They didn't have anything that was of interest to him this time.  However, when we drove across the street we went to the toy hauler area of new units.  One of those caught Ron's eye.  What do you think, Ron?

We stopped by Camping World to pick up a few things, but found out our Camping World membership had run out.  It seems every time we want to buy something there our card is out of date.  We didn't renew the card and won't unless we have something expensive to buy there.  

We came back to the motorhome and then decided to go out for dinner.  The first Friday of April we went to The Settlement steak house and weren't pleased with the service.  Gerry decided to call the restaurant and voice her displeasure with the service.  The call went to voice mail and the manager called back the next day.  After she explained what made her unhappy, he agreed that it was uncalled for and sent her a letter with a big discount for our next meal there.  Tonight was the night.

As it turned out, all you can eat ribs was the special tonight and Gerry loves ribs.  That gal sure can put away some ribs.  I had a sandwich and snuck a few of the ribs off her plate.  We were very happy with the service and the quality of the food.  Gerry said the ribs were excellent and we will return again in the fall when we come back to Tucson.

We chatted with the manager and the bar manager after the meal and affirmed that we were happy with the meal and service.  The bar manager was a nice young lady and looked too young to be the manager.  I must be getting old.  The pictures below were the manager, bar manager and our waiter, plus outside shots of the restaurant.  If you are in the Vail, AZ area and want a nice meal, check out The Settlement on Old Spanish Trail.

It was another windy day in Tucson with gusts around 30mph; however, the temps were around 88 degrees.  Later in the evening it was down around the high 70s and beautiful outside.  If this was typical weather year around for Tucson, we would move out here.

That was our day, how was yours?     

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Poco & Mom's & Doctors

We went to our next to last doctor's appointments today and passed with flying colors.  Yesterday was the eye doctor and that went well, also.  One more to go and then we will be free to get out of here.

I hadn't changed my address with Social Security and today was my chance to do so.  There was a SS office on the way to the doctor's office and we stopped on the way back.  The last time I was in a SS office, it was full of Latinos.  That was in Wheaton, MD and today in Tucson there was one Latina and the rest were "Others".  We were in and out of there in 30 minutes, so that was a relief.  The clerk was polite, helpful and efficient.  Who said SS staff didn't care about their jobs?  She was a pleasure to work with.  I got the address changed and we hit the road.

We've heard about and have driven past Poco & Mom's Mexican Restaurant for many years.  They are located in an old Taco Bell restaurant that has been modified greatly.  It is still a "quaint" place, and not exactly posh by any means.  Poco passed away a few years ago and Mom is now retired and living in Silver City, NM.  The restaurant is owned by the wife of Poco & Mom's grandson.  

We weren't too hungry and ordered a burro for me and beef enchilada with sour cream & green chili sauce for Gerry.  They brought out huge dinner plates and the food covered them completely.  Boy was it filling.  I helped Gerry out and took a few bites and hers was great.  My burro was great also, but next time I will order what Gerry had.    We are going to add this place to our must stop restaurants when we are in the Tucson area.

It was around 90 degrees in Tucson today, but there was a breeze and it didn't feel that warm.  6% humidity will fool you into thinking it is cooler than it is.   The wind speed of 7mph was higher than the humidity.  How many areas can claim the above?

Our neighbor is leaving on Sunday and heading back to their home in Erie, PA.  He is worried about the flooding in the midwest since he will be traveling through St. Louis and likes to take the southern bypass.  If the flood stage rises, it could close down that route.  He won't be there until a week from now so he should be in good shape.  With everyone leaving, we may have to turn off the electricity when we leave.

Just another day out here in the desert.     

Sunday, April 21, 2013

We're Back

There are days that we do interesting things and then there are those doctor appointments, dentist appointments, and run of the mill events in our lives.  We had all those the past few days and there hasn't been a lot to blog about that is interesting.  We did return some books to the library today.

We went to Guadalajara Fiesta Grill with Ron K this past week.  He had heard about the place from the many entries in the blog, so we invited him to go there with us.  He loved the place and I think he will be a frequent visitor there.  When we arrived he got to sit in the big boy's chairAs usual we had a great time and hope to get there one more time before we head east. 

Another exciting event was the turning of the odometer on the Saturn to 120,001 miles today.  I was watching for it to turn over to 120,000 miles, but just missed by one mile.  Close, but no cigar.

We had a late luncheon date with Jerry & Suzy today.  They are staying at a campground on the other side of town, so we drove over there to dine with them.  There aren't a number of restaurants on that side of town, so we picked a rustic, local place to meet.  We had been there a couple years ago, but seem to have remembered it in a more favorable light than was the case today.  We did enjoy our meals and the drinks were cold, so that worked out fine.

Gerry, me, Suzy & Jerry at the local watering hole.  We picked a table away from the other patrons, but the place filled up quickly with families, couples, cowboys and everyone else.  It got so loud that we couldn't talk over the din and finally left there for dessert at Jerry & Suzy's motorhome.  They are staying at Justin's Diamond J RV Park and have a nice site with a great view.  We chatted with them for a while and then got a phone call that we had to attend to.  It was great seeing them and hopefully we can join them in Benson this fall for another dinner.  

Linda asked if we were on the road already since we hadn't blogged for a few days.  No, we are still in Tucson and have three medical appointments this week.  Assuming all of them go well, we will be leaving here around May 7th.  There will be a trip to Los Angeles before we leave, but we will drive there in the car.  More on that later.

Some of the cactus flowers are blooming and it won't be long before there are fields of these beautiful flowers.  This group was in the RV park and captured our eye.



Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Maryland Rain Tax

As many of you know, Gerry and I lived in Maryland for 50 years and saw it go down the tube very rapidly.  We moved out in 2012 and our only regret is that we didn't move sooner.  I won't go into detail describing all the taxes, rules, and elements that made it highly undesirable as a place to live.

I thought I'd seen it all with the taxation issues, but I was wrong.  Now they have instituted a "Rain Tax" on businesses,  homeowners, churches, non-profit groups and even environmental groups.  BTW  The environmental groups pushed for this "Rain Tax" and then tried to get an exemption and not pay the tax.  Who would have thought they would do that?   What is next, are they going to charge a fee for trash cans viewable from the street?  

Here is a link to an article regarding this tax.  Unbelievable!!

Maryland Rain Tax - No Joke  

The state also imposed an additional tax on those making over $1mil and as a result collected less tax money from this group.  We do live in a mobile society and it's easy to move to another legal domicle. 

In case you don't know it, Maryland is called: "The Free State".  I wonder what the "Free" stands for now?    

Monday, April 15, 2013

Casino Del Sol

Gerry has been wanting to go to a casino since we arrived in Tucson in November, but events out of our control kept her from doing this until today.  We had a change of plans concerning a doctor appointment and the afternoon was freed up.  

We've been going to the Desert Diamond Casino since it is closer, so I decided to drive the extra few miles this time and visit Casino Del Sol.  The casino is newer than DD and is one of the better Indian casinos we have explored.  Gerry got there and found a machine she liked and claimed it as her own for 3 hours or more.  I took a book along and read 120 pages while sitting in the bar lounge in a comfortable chair.  

Gerry managed to play the machines that long and only spent $10 doing one of her favorite things, playing the slots.  She managed to more than double her initial money, but really enjoys playing and if she wins, that is a bonus.  I like to play to win and play for larger stakes, so my money doesn't last nearly as long.  

It was getting late and I was getting hungry, so we decided to try the buffet at the casino.  Their desserts were the hits of our choices.  We both enjoyed the afternoon and will try and make it to Desert Diamond before we leave.  Maybe one of us will hit the jackpot.

We heard about the bombing at the Boston Marathon and the cowardly people who planted the bombs.  It's too early to know who was responsible, but I am sure they will track down the culprits.  Then we should give them a fair trail and hang them the next day.  Send out a message loud and clear, but I don't think this Administration has the guts to do this.  We shall see.  It does appear that security wasn't that good at the finish line, but that is an early observation. 

It was a little windy today, however it was one of the nicest days this year in Tucson.  We came back from the casino with the windows on the car down and we felt like we could just drive and drive.  Beautiful weather day out here.  Of course the hot weather will be arriving in a couple weeks and I can't brag about the nice weather.  We should be out of here by then and facing West Texas weather.  Hope we can break the string of getting caught in a hailstorm there like the past two years.

Our friends Jerry & Suzy are going through a tough time now with health problems.  See their blog at: Jerry & Suzy Life on Wheels   Hang in there Suzy and get well soon.

Al & Sharon are in Redding, CA and will be there for a week resting up after their mountain driving from Carson City, NV to Redding.  They took back roads as much as possible and gave the truck and 5th wheel a real workout.  Have fun guys.