Friday, March 28, 2014

Family Time

One of the great things about spending the winter in Arizona is the fact our son in Colorado loves to come here with his family for spring break. Wednesday night, they came to our place for dinner. Except for wind, the weather was beautiful and we sat outside for a while.

Afraid that the wind would blow our plates of food away, we came inside for the rest of the evening. Fourteen-year-old Kylie was in fashion with a stocking cap on her head while wearing shorts and a tank top. She loves to take pictures with her iPhone, especially selfies.

Her 8-year-old (going on 9) brother, John, also had a stocking cap.

They enjoy playing Old Maid.

Thursday we spent most of the day at the Phoenix Zoo. Here are the grandchildren in front of a large noodle.

The petting zoo was a highlight of our time at the zoo. Kylie enjoyed combing this goat. She even took a selfie of the goat!

This goat so wanted to be petted, he first cuddled up to me, then to John.

Grandson John and his siter both tried milking the plastic cow.

A living cow was preparing to give birth in a nearby stall, but we all decided not to wait around and watch.

The zoo here is wonderful and we had a good time walking to nearly all of the animal areas. There were a large number of turkey vultures. What interesting-looking heads they have.

Another exhibit had a different type of vulture. I only saw them from a distance and don't know what kind they are. But I don't think I would like to meet them up close!

Young John's favorite was the tortise. I didn't get a good photo of it, but I was able to get one of Kylie's favorite, the giraffe.

They sold snow cones in one snack stand. I think this young boy had his hair painted to advertise the different snow cone flavors.

Look at this sleeping female lion. She doesn't look very dangerous at this moment.

We were fascinated by these graceful gerenuks.

We were able to walk through an enclosed area with these small monkeys. They are so cute.

Who knew that elephants sleep on their side, just like horses? A little later, we saw her (him?) up walking around.

These warty pigs are a little scary looking. The zoo keepers spend a lot of time in close contact with the animals so they know humans are safe and so the keepers are able to examine the pigs and give them shots.

There were lots of other animals, but if you want to see them, you will have to make a trip there yourself. This blog is long enough.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Snowbird Winter

There are two people here at Valle del Oro that everyone knows. And they help us to keep track of what is going on for snowbirds. In December, there is Christmas, of course.

And then comes New Year's Eve.

And who are these people? They are figures displayed by the Dunn family in front of their park model on the main road into the resort.

We had a cold snap in January

and when the sun came out to warm us up, we all went outside to enjoy it.

Winters here give us time to play cards.

and play golf.

Many people cheered for the Seattle Seahawks in the Superbowl.

And of course, there is Valentine's Day. (Be sure to read the sign the wife is holding behind her back.)

St. Patrick's day means green beer.

and a rough night after.

Sometimes the Missus gets the Husband to wash the windows.

By the end of March, the mass exodus toward the north has begun. Our figures are shedding a tear as they wave goodbye to all their friends.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A Quick Trip to Colorado

Sunday, right after church, we headed to Colorado. In 77 1/2 hours, we were back at our RV in Mesa--after driving nearly 1700 miles. Sunday, we made it to Albuquerque. In the morning it was on to Colorado. This is a great view of one of the Spanish Peaks near Walsenburg.

We took a short walk in through our old Willow Creek neighborhood.

There was time for a good visit with our grandchildren.

And dinner with the family. Thanks for fitting us in on a busy evening.

Tuesday, we saw Kylie and John off to school

loaded the "stuff" we had in storage in Littleton into a U Haul truck

And drove south in a snow storm! Yuk, Yuk, Yuk.

I drove our truck and followed John in the U Haul.

There was a lot of wind and dust in northern New Mexico.

Finally, the sun came out and the rest of the drive into Albuquerque went smoothly.

By 2:30 this afternoon, we were back here in our RV home in Mesa. We have never covered that many miles in such a short time without getting on an airplane. It went well, but I don't want to do it again any time soon.

Hopefully, next winter we can sort through all these boxes and files and pare down even more. That was our goal in making the move.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

It's Serious

There's the souvenirs

the cars waiting to race

the spectators--and notice the parking meters, so they don't stay too long

It's the Cal-Am 5th annual Pinewood Derby! (Cal-Am is the company that owns a number of RV resorts in the Phoenix area.)

Here's the racetrack with a jumbo-tron (sort of) in the background so you can see the race.

As with any sporting event in the country, we began with the national anthem. Since nearly half of the Arizona snowbirds are from Canada, that meant both "O Canada" and "The Star Spangled Banner."

Here is a closer look at the track, from the finish line. We had laser recording of lapst times. That is the black screen in the foreground.

And score boards with photos of each contestant and their times on each lap. There were 91 cars competing. So that each vehicle could race on each track to make sure one track didn't give anyone an advantage, there were innumerable laps. The score board even showed when someone made a new track record. By the way, there are as many women as men competing in the event and some of the women were doing very well.

This is the automatic starting gate.

And the finish line with
 times shown.

Cars are limited in length and weight, but they can be made in any shape and color. Here is one with a rabbit.

Three of our closest neighbors raced vehicles in the event. Here Nicki is working on her 5th-wheel RV. You can see a black truck on the table--her husband Gary's entry. Nicki's RV has amazing details, from the designs on the sides to bumper stickers, bikes hanging on the back, and TV antenna.

Here it is on the track today and you can even see the Santa she put on top--just like it was positioned before Christmas.

And here is the Tiki Bar car. It was made by another neighbor. He and his wife and two other nearby work campers staff the bar by the pool each afternoon. This car was definitely not aerodynamic.

We didn't stay around to see who won, though we do know none of our neighbors were doing well in the standings.

It just goes to show, cub scouts don't have anything on senior citizens.