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LeuCat Adventures
Join us in sharing our adventures as we sail around the world. NEW!!************************************************************************* GET A COPY OF OUR TECHNO-TIPS DOCUMENTS--JUST CLICK ON THEM UNDER THE "FAVORITES" HEADING ON THE RIGHT
Year 8 Week 7 in the USA: Thanksgiving In February
02/19/2015, Tucson, Arizona USA

Our most favorite meal is our traditional Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. It consists of a large roasted turkey, stuffed with sausage stuffing, accompanied with gravy, a nice salad, candied sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, dinner rolls or bread, and all topped off with a pecan cranberry pie. Everything is homemade and is oh so good! We were so fortunate this last Thanksgiving to have most of these things when our friends on S/V Infini invited us over along with a few other boats to celebrate Thanksgiving last November while we were still in Simon's Town. It was wonderful!

Since Valentine's Day was coming up this past week, we decided to make this meal as a special "I Love You" treat. We teamed up with our daughter Christina and her husband Michael, and Michael's parents to make this feast. We all made a couple of the above dishes plus Jim, Michael's dad, make a special heart shaped chocolate cake, which is their family tradition for Valentine's.

Everything was delicious and as is usual with this meal, we were so full by the time we finished. It was just so hard to stop eating since each dish was made to perfection!

We hope all of you a wonderful Valentine's Day. We hope all of you were with the people you love if not in person but in your hearts and let them know you love them.

On Monday I decided to hope in the car and drive the 100 or so miles NW to visit the Casa Grande National Monument. Mary Margaret wanted to just kick back and rest some so I took off on this adventure by myself. Case Grande is the site of the village ruins of an ancient Native American Indian society known as the Huhugham people. They settled into this area around 300 BC and thrived here for almost 1800 years. They tamed the tough Sonoran Desert by digging a series of canals that channeled water from the nearby Gala River into the surrounding barren desert. This water was used to created vast areas of lush agricultural lands that supported the growth of a number of villages, one being located here at the National Monument. Case Grande is Spanish and means "big house". As you can see from the photo posted to this blog, the ruins of this large structure dominate over the rest of the village ruins.

It was discovered by in 1694 by Eusebio Kino, a Spanish Jesuit missionary who spent extensive time exploring the southwest and trying to convert various Indian villages to Christianity. The Huhugham people had mostly abandoned this area more than 200 hundred years before his arrival. The reason why they left is not known but it is speculated that a long term draught reduced the amount of water in the Gila River to such a degree that it could not long support life along its dried reaches.

The national monument was wonderful to visit and it had a great center which housed displays, artifacts and tons of historical information. The rangers there also gave a free walking tour of the ruins and offered a 30 minute film that gave insight into the ruins and the Huhugham people.

This week Mary Margaret and I also took in two great movies that were just released. The first was Kingsman: The Secret Service. The second was 50 Shades of Grey. We thoroughly enjoyed both and hardily recommend seeing them. Although 50 Shades of Grey is a bit risqué as it revolves around a relationship that uses bondage. That is a bit off our radar screen but the acting is superb and the sexual scenes are beautifully done.

Year 8 Week 6 in the USA Howdy Partner!
Mary Margaret /Sunny
02/12/2015, Tucson, Arizona USA

Time is flying by and I am continually amazed by how quickly it is passing. We still have lots on our "to do" list and it is slowly disappearing. However, it also continues to grow - go figure!!
Before we started sailing, we took dance lessons, as part of our connecting with each other after our children went off to school. We fell in love with dancing and I felt like I "created" a dancing monster because at one point we were dancing EVERY night during the week! Dave loved it so much. Anyway, we became fairly good so that we would dance in public at weddings, parties etc. But, when we started sailing there were few and far between opportunities to dance. And like anything in life if you do not use it you definitely will lose it! So when our daughter married we took a refresher class in dancing and enjoyed it immensely. So now, our son, David Paul, is soon to be married and it has been even longer since we have danced - yes indeed! We are taking dance lessons again! We have had two of them and do so enjoy it. We are so rusty but it is fun to dust off our dancing shoes and to take to the dance floor again. We CERTAINLY are NOT Fred and Ginger but we do laugh a lot and see the humor in life and our dancing. All of you if you have the time and can afford it take some dance lessons. It is great exercise and just lifts your spirits after you get on the dance floor. Or as Dave says "If I had known how much women loved men who dance I would have taken lessons a long time ago!!" For those of you wondering I took golf lessons to reconnect with Dave. I enjoyed them but have a hard time connecting with the ball! I have a pretty good short game so when I am on the course with Dave, I tee off, pick up my ball and let him get to the green and then I throw my ball close to the green and putt out! It saves a LOT of frustration on everyone's part since I have NEVER hit the ball farther than 75 feet and that was a good hit!!! However, I do get my money's worth since I get the course score after the first hole!!!!

Our weekend outing with the grandchildren and kids was to Old Tucson. This is a lovely historic old town were many movies have been made and are still being filmed. It is a tourist destination and very family oriented. There were shows and demonstrations about the old West. They also have a fair amount of children's activities to do. Isaac enjoyed a horseback riding ride and they have a restored carousel that we all enjoyed! They have a train ride around the entire park that we could all experience as well. We had lunch at Old Town and we enjoyed our break! Between all the walking and the sun - the weather has been and is amazing - we all were tired! We saw a few more shows, the saloon girls and a shootout and then went home!

We see the children and family about four to five times a week. We have a lovely and fun time with them but there is no need to go into detail so until we speak again... we wish you all well.

Year 8 Week 5 in USA Great Friends and Life After Cruising
Mary Margaret /Sunny
02/05/2015, Tucson, Arizona USA

This week we continued spending time with our daughter and her family. It is super being able to spend time with all of them 4 to 5 times each week. We do not do anything special just spend 3 or 4 hours together in the evening. We are slowly getting to know the grandchildren better and learning their routines, as well as they are getting to know us! It is a slow process but well worth the effort.

We spent Sunday at their home to watch the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl, for those of you not from the US, is our professional football teams' championship game. This is the "real" football not soccer! A little US bias here. We had a lovely group of people come to watch the game. Michael's parents and brother came over and my best friend of all times, Shalene and her sister all were there. Everyone pitched in and brought food so a good time with good eats was had by all. We all had a "super" time getting caught up on each other's lives.

Shalene was in Tucson for family business with her sister. I have known Shalene since we were 15 years old! That is longer than my husband of 45 years!!! We have remained in contact and remained good friends through marriage (she was my bridesmaid), children, raising them, marriages (of children) and now grandchildren!!! Boy, do I love her! She is so special! When we see each other or call it is like we just saw each other yesterday. It is awesome! The amazing thing is there were times when we did not see each other for 5 to 10 years and maybe only called once a year but our friendship continued on - now that is so great! She and her husband, also David, came to visit us in Tahiti. It was an awesome time and we Never stopped talking the two weeks they were with us! We wrote about them in the blog so if you are interested you can look up our fun time! Shalene's sister Danene also came and it was great seeing her all grown up. I last saw her when she was 14 years old! She is 4 years younger than Shalene and she would spend time with us when I would be at her house. Even though I knew what went on in her life (from Shalene) it was fun seeing her and getting to know her in person. If you have a friend like Shalene, call or write them and let them know you love them, friends like her are to be cherished and are so rare!

The other exciting thing we did this week was go to a recreational vehicle show (from now on known as RV). Why, you say is this exciting? Well.... I have always turned my nose up at RV's and was quite closed minded about them but I saw an ad about this show and how large it was. For those of you who do not know, the first step that we took to go cruising was going to a boat show!! We all know how that ended up!! I decided that if Dave was interested, we should go to the show and I should not ignorantly just say no to RVing! I should first learn about them and see what is available. Oh Boy! Are we glad that we did just that. It is amazing how lovely they are and not as gas guzzling as we thought. Like I said at the boat show... "I could live in one of these! We shall see but this has opened up another really nice option for us when we stop cruising! So until we speak again....

Tucson Zoo

These were really good friends!

Tucson Zoo

The king of beasts and his pride.

Tucson Zoo

There were a ton, literally, of elephants. Here is a mommy with her new little one.

Tucson Zoo

That's not a python looming above Grandma and Stella, is it?


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