Monday, April 14, 2014

April 14 - 20, 2014 - AZ

Monday, April 14.   On my walk this morning, I headed straight over to Jan and Jim's to say goodbye.  They were loading up their RV for their summer travels to be camp hosts on Mt. Lemmon, on the north side of Tucson.  I'm hoping it is a fun experience for them and I also hope that I can get over there to see where they are.

Last night, Rob sent me a link to a little travel trailer, a 2010 Sierra Campfire XL that is up in Tomahawk, WI and boy would I like to get my hands on that.  It is only 14' long, weighs 1850# and the interior is beautiful, all of the walls are birch, not the plastic covered panels that are seen in most campers these days, it is kind of like the old vintage trailers. In addition to the beauty, it has everything that I need, especially AC and a bathroom.  The company makes customized horse trailers and made these for about 4 years.   It costs about $4,000 more than what I have decided I could reasonably spend, although I think the price is good for what it is.  I will just have to ponder it a little more to see if I want to draw that much more out of my savings.  

Arlene and I loaded up the car with food and clothes for a few days and headed to her cabin in Strawberry, just a little northeast of Payson.  It's a beautiful drive and her cute little cabin sits along a Fossil Creek (it's been pretty dry, there's not a lot of water in it).  Many of the hardwood trees haven't leafed out yet, but it smells like pines - reminds me of Mike's parents cabin up here, although it is a little more open.  It is quite a bit cooler, we both grabbed sweaters and socks as soon as we got here.

Once we got settled, we relaxed, read our books and took a little nap.  I fixed dinner tonight - spicy baked shrimp, roasted broccoli and a salad.  We were both ready for bed by 9:00.  It was a chilly 50 degrees when I took Frisco out before bed.

Tuesday, April 15.  It is a chilly 38 degrees when I got up around 7:00 - brrrrrrr!  Arlene slept in for a while, so Frisco and I took a walk down the road and did some exploring.  A Jack Russell terrier greeted us and followed along wherever we went.  A lady who almost hit him with her car told me that he runs around the neighborhood all of the time.  I think he has adopted us, as he followed us back and has been hanging out ever since.

It is a cool, although beautiful day and I spent a lot of it sitting in a sunny spot, watching the birds and reading.  Connie loaned me "Living Without Reservations" by Barbara Elaine Singer, a story about a woman who decides to do those things in life that give her enjoyment and meaning, rather than what society dictates, after years of having a successful career in the rat race of the working world.  Her lifestyle is a lot like ours was when we full-timed in the motorhome - go where you want, when you want, and see and learn along the way.  It makes me think that maybe I should just buy that little trailer - who knows what's around the corner.  I could hold off and die without ever getting to do something that I feel like I really want to do.  What good is my money if I'm not here to enjoy it? Hmmmmm.

Once Arlene got moving, we had some breakfast and enjoyed the outdoors.  We dug up some Daffodils and Iris (she loves gardening as much as I do) for Arlene to take home with her and I found a couple of rocks that I will take home with me.  The daffodils just finished blooming, the neighbor has a few tulips in bloom, and the iris has buds that will open soon.  It is spring here and many of the trees haven't leafed out yet.

We just hung around, her listening to books on tape and me reading and playing games on the iPad (we have no internet, in fact, I have no signal at all), and take naps.  Later on, for happy hour, we have a Bloody Mary.  It is her turn to fix dinner and she makes chicken breast, coleslaw, and biscuits.  We are both ready for bed by 9:00.  When I take Frisco out, he gets all excited because he sees something out there in the dark.  I couldn't spot anything with the flashlight and he finally settles enough to go potty.

Wednesday, April 16.  I'm awake at 6 and hop in the shower - talk about water pressure!  
It almost knocks me over, it is so strong.  I have to turn it way down so it is comfortable and then I really enjoyed it.  Once I get dressed, stretch, and get the coffee ready, I look out the window at the thermometer and it reads 30 degrees.  Yikes!  I'm definitely going to wait for the sun to warm up before I go for a walk.

It warmed up nicely and I spent a lot of time sittings outside reading, watching the birds (mostly woodpeckers), and just enjoyed the surroundings.  I wandered around and took a few photos.

We packed things up and headed for Pine, where we had a very nice lunch at the Randall House. This was a wonderful getaway and I so appreciate Arlene for sharing her place with me.  Originally, we had planned to stay for 3 nights but I had a doctors appointment on Thursday morning.  I looked at the calendar when I got home and realized the appointment is a week from Thursday - dang, we could have had another day up there.

Thursday, April 17.  I did it!  I put $$$ down on the trailer that Rob found for me in Tomahawk, WI.  Thanks for searching, Rob!  The unfortunate thing is that I won't have it for my trip from SF to Minneapolis but I will have it for the remainder of the summer. 

So, here it is...the start of another new chapter and adventure.  I have pondered this for a long time now - I miss being a part of the RVing world, it was such an enjoyable lifestyle, although it will be lonely and different without Mike to share the experience.  I don't know how much time I will be spending in actual RV parks in the future, but State and National parks are reasonably priced.  I see this as a more affordable way to travel than staying in hotels and I don't see me cutting back on travel.  I much prefer to sleep in my own bed.  I'm going to give it a shot and see how it goes.

There are very few of these trailers around - they were only manufactured for 3 years by Sierra Custom Interiors, a company that has been doing the interiors on luxury horse trailers for years (they get rave reviews).  I'm putting my trust in the dealer, who describes this as a beautiful little trailer and so much nicer than the Casita or Scamp.  I would have to pay this much for one of those that is over 10 years old. This is much like the White Water Retro that I have looked at several times and considered and that is priced about $5,000 more.  From the photos and the salesman, it appears that the quality in this is much better.  It is small, but I think it will be just right for me and Frisco.  Now, I can't wait to see it in person.

I spent the day just hanging out at home, getting ready for Randy and Julie, who arrive on Sunday.  I'm also starting to get things together for my upcoming travels - yes, I have a box of camping stuff packed already (dishes and cooking stuff left over from the motorhome).  Ot
her than that, I did some laundry and ran a few errands.

Friday, April 18.  I was up at 5:30 this morning - I'm not sure why but I was.  Might as well get up and get moving.  By the time 8:00 came around, I had enough coffee, walked Frisco, and did some housecleaning, so I headed out to a nearby estate sale and took in several garage sales before Costco opened its doors.  I needed to replenish some of the supplies in the clubhouse and I've got that trip down - I know just where everything is.  I had forgotten to make a list of what was needed, but ik managed to get everything.

When I got back home, I borrowed Arlene's hedge trimmers and trimmed my Texas Sage shrubs that write starting to get out of hand.  If I left them until I got back home in the fall, they would be 10 feet tall.  It was a comfortable cloudy day - unusual around here.  My yard looks so pretty right now.  You just have to look beyond all of the ugly mechanicals - they can't be hidden and aren't going anywhere.

I joined Arlene and her daughter Sharla, my next door neighbor, Betty and her son Jamie to have dinner at The Melting Pot tonight, in celebration of Betty's birthday on the 17th and mine next week.  It was an excellent dining experience.  We shared 2 types of cheese fondues, then had salads, then chose our fish/meat entrees and had 2 types of broth fondues - a burgundy and a coq au vin, and that was followed by dessert of chocolate/caramel and white chocolate/strawberry fondue.  Yummy, yummy, yummy!  I'm so lucky to have such great neighbors and good friends!

Saturday, April 19.  I got busy with projects around the house this morning.  The wood furniture needs a good cost of oil and the leather on the dining room chairs needs to be treated before they sit in this hot house for 4 months this summer.  I've been trying to do it at least twice a year, so today was the day.  I've also been getting things together for my trip.  What a surprise - there is a large suitcase sized storage compartment in my new car, the space where a spare tire would go (it hangs on the door).  I know I will be filling that up.

Connie called to see if I wanted to meet her and her daughter, Donna, at the pool.  It sure felt good - why haven't I been doing that?  I hung out for about an hour, then had to get to he grocery store since I have guests arriving tomorrow, my brother Randy and his wife Julie.  

When I got back home, Connie and Donna came over for a drink.  While we were sitting on the patio chatting away, we decided to go see the movie, "Heaven is for Real" tonight.  Bruce and Carmen stopped by for a quick hello and then we headed to the movie.  It was a good story and it takes place in Imperial, Nebraska, the small town where my neighbors, Arlene and Betty grew up.

Sunday, April 20.  This morning, after my walk, I got a pot roast with carrots, onions, and potatoes going in the slow cooker and proceeded to get the house ready for visitors.  Randy and Julie's flight was almost a half hour early and they got here around 3:30.  It is so great to feel their hugs again.  We had a great visit and dinner wasn't bad either.  By 9, we were all ready for bed.