Thursday, January 2, 2014

3/26-4/2 - Palm Desert RV Resort, Palm Desert, CA

As many of you have discovered, we did not go to Las Vegas after San Diego, but kept traveling in California.  If you haven't been in Palm Springs before, IT IS WINDY!!!!!!  It blows sand around like there is no tomorrow, but the wind dies down the closer to the mountains you get.

We took the downtown tour and checked out the Hard Rock Hotel, ate lunch at Las Casuelas, and looked around at the Thursday Fest.  The big statue of Marilyn was being dismantled and moved somewhere else, so they had a big do as a sendoff.

at the National Monument

still snow up top!
We also took a drive into the Santa Rosa/San Jacinto National Monument (mountains) and took a trip up on the Palm Springs Aerial Tram, which is in the park area.
top of the tram
top of the tram

We also toured Joshua Tree National Park.  These are weird trees, a cross between a shrubby tree and a cactus.

Skull Rock!

2/26-3/26 - Chula Vista RV Resort, Chula Vista, CA

this is the marina next to our park
One of the car carriers.
This is a fun place!!! Our park is right by a marina and a park, so it is very pretty.  Our rig, however, looks out over a car storage area where Fiats are unloaded from containers, staged here awhile, and then trucked off to the dealerships.  Busy 24/7!!!

We had dinner on the south end of the Bay several times.  As soon as we got here, it rained for two days.  All our friends were very happy, and congratulated us on bringing an end to the drought!

Seals have taken over this pier
One of the first things we did was take a cruise of the San Diego Bay.  The north side had the touristy stuff, and the south side has the Naval yard and all of the manufacturing that goes with that.  It was very interesting and we got to see lots of cool ships.  We found out that the Coronado bridge is 2.1 miles long.  They had to put the big curve in it to make it over 2 miles long so they would be able to get federal funds for construction!  Our government rules at work!

Navy Trimaran
Great view of the Coronado Bridge.

Once we figured out the train system, that was how we rolled to everyplace!  Very easy access with senior discounts, and you can travel almost everywhere you want to go.  One of the first places we went was the Gaslamp District, where we ate at the Hard Rock.
Pool Area

Where we ate lunch looking at the beach
Beautiful Hotel!
One day we toured Coronado Island and ate lunch at the Hotel del Coronado.

We also were able to meet Las Vegas friends Kim and Ronn (with dog Hannah) for dinner downtown!  Steve visited them several times at their rented condo in Imperial Beach.

On another day, we met Las Vegas friends Carol and Ron in Temecula and visited wineries and had a wonderful dinner to celebrate Carol's birthday.
sailboat off Point Loma

We also took the time to tour Point Loma and the Cabrillo National Monument, with lunch on Shelter Island.

view from the Point!

great viewpoint

We did get to take a whale watching tour, and DID see whales, along with their dolphin posse!!!

Whale breath!

new lion cub!
We met up with California friends Janet and Bill to tour the San Diego Wild Animal Park and also a nearby winery!

California Condor
check out the difference between a hummingbird egg and an ostrich egg!

beautiful tree at the fort
On another day we took the train to Old Town, and toured the old fort, ate lunch, and listened to a great group playing Inca flute music!

concert area
We also toured Balboa Park!  What a huge place with lots to do and see.  There was an organ concert while we were there, so we listened to the whole thing!


We also met up with RV friends Brad and Nancy and toured the Carlsbad Flower Fields full of ranunculus flowers.  They were beautiful.  That evening we had dinner in Imperial Beach at Sea 180, a great place to eat!

2/19-2/26 - Pilot Knob Resort, Winterhaven, CA

This is our "home resort" with ROD.  Not a real resort, but kind of homey!  We get parked, but Steve is not paying attention, and we back up over the water pipes.  Way to go!  The maintenance folks come out to dig the water line, and get it out from under our rig.  One more rip in the skirting!

They spend a lot of time in this place having meals.  We go to Thursday taco salad dinner, have a free cheeseburger dinner on Friday after watching a presentation on Sky Med, have a steak dinner on Saturday, eat breakfast and have ice cream on Sunday.  WOW!

We think we are going to see the Yuma River Days, but the brochure had the wrong date, and we find out it was last week!  Steve also tours something called the Center of the World!?!

We get our RV washed, waxed and have the interior steam cleaned.  We also have a few minor issues worked on, and now the hot water doesn't "sing" to Cathy while Steve takes a shower!!!

Guard Tower over the Cistern
Steve peeks through the gate!
Yuma Territorial Prison was an interesting visit.  We saw the guard tower, which was built over the water cistern to keep it from evaporating; the "dark cell" where the punishments were carried out, and some of the cells.  There were 6 men to a cell, 8' x8', locked up from 9pm to 7am.  No ventilation except the door and a very tiny window about 12 feet off the ground.  Claustrophobia city!!!

Cell size

2/12-2/19 - Verde Valley Resort, Cottonwood, AZ

Yummy Eats on the Train!
Ken and Charlene
Steve and Pete and the giant margarita!
We come back to this campground to meet friends Ken and Charlene, and Holly and Pete, to go on a Verde Canyon special Chocolate train ride!  The scenery is beautiful, the chocolate desserts are great, and the company is fantastic!  After the ride, we have a great Mexican dinner and Steve tries the gigantic margarita!  He even gets all of it down!

We also take the opportunity to take the truck back to the folks that put on the trailer bed on the back.  They get the fuel line back where it is supposed to go, and now we can fuel up without being up on blocks!!!

We have a wonderful Valentine's Day dinner with Ken and Charlene!  Great friends are WONDERFUL!!!!

common area at Arcosanti
We also toured a place called Arcosanti, which is a concept community where the multi-use structures are built high, and everything is close enough to walk to.  It is currently inhabited by about 50 workers who craft the ceramic and brass bells that are sold to finance the community.  The architect studied with Frank Lloyd Wright in the 50's and wanted to merge architecture and ecology as a way to maintain a neighborhood.  Very interesting!!

1/15-2/12 - Voyager Resort, Tucson, AZ

OMG, this is a BIG place!  This complex has a big RV only area, a combined RV/Parkmodel area, a home area with car ports, and a different home area with garages!  They also have a hotel, a store, a cafe/grill, a bar, a massage on duty, a hair salon, a medical clinic, PLUS all of the other recreational amenities that many large resort parks have!!! (Pools, spas, classes, tennis, pickleball, etc.)

We get checked in, with Cathy backing in the RV.  All the ladies come over to congratulate her on a fine job, and off she goes to the quilt show with them!

We take advantage of the blood drive in the park to donate!  Then we participate in a neighborhood party with a firepit and good eats!!!!

We visit our friend Sandy and her new husband, Chad in northern Tucson.  They have a great place, and we wish them well!

Tumacacori Mission
We visit the Tumacacori National Monument which is one of the first missions in the area.  Then on to Tubac, where we visit the Presidio, which was built to provide security to the missions in the area.  Tubac is also a current day artist colony, and we have a great time looking around.

Cathy gets signed up for pickleball lessons, and Steve tries to perfect his serve!  Too hot to play much during the early part of the day, but even Cathy likes it better after 5 when the sun is lower!

Duane and Ruth
Our Nebraska friends, Duane and Ruth come down for a visit, and stay at the hotel here.  Wouldn't you know that it is Gem and Mineral Show week!!!  We take a look at one of the shows and stay most of the day, until it is time for the Superbowl.  Ruth and Cathy find some things they can't live without!

One evening, the movie showing in the ballroom is The Lone Ranger!  We find out what Kemosabe means!  Johnny Depp is a hoot!!!!

Ruth and Cathy check out the Tubac Art Festival, finding even more things they can't live without; while Duane and Steve check out the Pima Air Museum and Airplane Graveyard, and Tombstone!  The day is rounded out by a great meal of Mexican food and many margaritas!  Alas, we are left to our own devices much too soon.
Steve can find these anywhere, even Tombstone!

Pima Air Museum

Our touring is capped off with a trip to San Xavier del Bac, a beautiful, partially restored mission, which still holds services.

1/8-1/15 - Fiesta Grande Resort, Casa Grande, AZ

Right after we pull in, Steve's brother Randy, and his wife Jackie arrive in town for a visit!!!

Car show
Casa Grande Ruins
We have a great time, taking in the resort's big Craft Fair/hot dog lunch; visiting the Casa Grande Ruins; going to the movies; going to another craft fair; and yet another car show!

Plum Crazy Challenger
After the other Colton's leave, Steve takes the day to go to the Barrett Jackson auto show and auction, to see even more vehicles!  He has a blast!

gull-wing Mercedes

Yes,that IS the Batmobile!