As the name implies this blog follows our journeys, wherever they may lead.
San Xavier Mission
Sight Seeing With Family
January continued at a staggering pace what with classes being taken by both of us and attending our respective club activities and company.
Our friends John and Marilyn arrived for a couple day visit before moving onto a hotel. They spend their winters in Mexico tending to their boat and life. This time they were nice enough to tout some of our boat gear north to our place. When Pat had gone down to Mazatlan last November (2015) to remove certain pieces of boat gear not included in the boat sale contract, the gear was stored at their condo in Mazatlan.
No sooner had John and Marilyn moved on up to Tucson for his VA appointments then my brother, Jamie and his wife, Tina arrived from Minnesota, for a 12 day visit.
This was their first time to Tucson and the area so we had to take them to some of the local attractions. This included a visit to the town of Tombstone, the San Xavier Mission, the town of Tubac, The Presidio State Park in Tubac and the Pima Air Museum. We also went shopping at local markets and visited a couple of local RV parks and RV sales lots. My brother wants to buy a 5th wheel RV trailer and travel during the winter months. So that’s why we were checking out RV’s and campgrounds. We ended up buying a large Sun/Moon Art work at one of the markets, to hang over the Garage door. Jamie actually hung it up for us. We had a great time visiting and being with my brother and his wife and were sad to see them leave.
Susan had a scare near the end of the month when she started having pains in her chest during dinner that continued into the night. We took her into the ER, at the local hospital, in the wee hours, as the pain had not gone away. The local ER thought it was heart related but didn’t have proper care for her so she got to ride up to a Tucson hospital, in an ambulance, that had proper heart care facilities. After many tests and hours they could not determine the source of her pain. Finally in the end they released her and told her to see a local ENT for an endoscopy exam to see what he could see. This happened at the end of February, and turned out to be OK as well. So in the end much to do about a painful nothing. (we hoped!)
February started off with our good friends Brent and Molly came down from Mesa for a weekend of Letterboxing. There was an event scheduled for the weekend and so we might as well hunt for other letterboxes in the area at the same time. The evening before the event we all meet up for dinner and then the following day the event was held at Fort Lowell Park, Tucson. Next to the park was an arroyo so the planters had the finders running all over this area looking for letterboxes. By the end of the day we all were tired.
We decided to attend a class on playing “Pickle Ball”. This is a sport that has come into being in the last few years and is popular with senior citizens. We enjoyed ourselves and learned the ropes of the game. Unfortunately that’s is a far as it went this season, as you’ll see.
Our good friends and neighbors Tom and Kathy from Ocean Park beach base arrived for a visit. They were only going to stay for a few days. We took them to a performance at the Gas Light Theater in Tucson. We were finishing up our various classes and attending to doctor appointments all in preparation to go to Mazatlan. During this time Mike and Cheryl showed up in town for a quick visit. This called for a dinner party/BBQ. So besides Tom & Kathy, Mike & Cheryl, we invited Herman & Nancy, since we all knew each other from boating. We had a typical “cruiser” pot luck and waddled away stuffed.
It was now the end of February and time for us to head to Mazatlan. Tom & Kathy had asked if they could house sit while we were gone and that was a no brainer, Sure! The purpose of our trip was to retrieve the remainder of the boat gear left behind at our friends condo and at Rick’s Marine Service business warehouse, attend appointments with our dentist Dr. Paty one last time, visit the few remaining people we knew there and lastly eat at our favorite places one last time.
While in Mazatlan we stayed at our friend’s John and Marilyn’s condo where the boat gear had been stored. During this same time some other friends Ed and Marianne from Portland were down for their annual Mexico vacation. So we had a group of people to pal around with during our visit. There was plenty of card playing and sunset watching. We manged to meet up with the new owner of Perpetua and go aboard her during her metamorphosis into a day trip tourist island party boat. It was interesting to see all the changes being made to handle paying customers. Our visit was only scheduled for the first two weeks in March and all too soon it was time to return to Green Valley.
Within a day or so of our arrival in Green Valley, Tom and Kathy decided to move on with their journey. Next Molly came down from Mesa for a weekend. We also resumed our club activities/classes and doctors appointments. About this time of year the cactus’s start blooming. This is a great time to begin seeing the variety of flowers that pop out of the prickly bushes. It’s also the time of year when our Green Valley neighbors start heading home so this of course calls for a farewell pot luck dinner get together. At the end of the month our good friends Dave and Gloria (ex-boaters/ex-Portlandians) from Victoria Texas came for a long weekend visit. We took them on a tour of the Green Valley recreation facilities, a local public garden, called the “Arid” garden and shopping in Tubac. Then poof they were gone.
There was no reason to slow down, so on the first weekend of April, off we went on a planned weekend in Mesa for a Letterboxing event being held near there. We stayed at our good friends Brent and Molly’s. We had some time Friday evening so we all visited the Phoenix Botanical Garden’s night lights display. This was a lot fun walking through the all the various gardens that had been rigged up with a vast variety of lighting displays. Way Kuel! Lots of pictures too!
The Letterboxing event was interesting starting off with a gathering for a pizza dinner the night before the event. However on the day of the event it started out ok, but as the LB hunting went on a rain storm moved in, slowly at first and then finally it let loose. A Ramada (covered area with tables) had been rented, but unfortunately the roof was not solid and the rain got through its crakes and soaked every thing and everybody. We did mange to serve up the burgers, hot dogs and other goodies and find a few letterboxes before we were rained out and abandoned the event. Of course a few boxers continued on in the rain. More power to them!
Brent and Molly had invited us to join them at a resort they were going to after the letterboxing event. So off we went to the Rancho Vistoso Resort for a few days of “relaxing” and letterboxing. On the way down from Phoenix we stopped at the Casa Grande Ruins National Park. This the site of a very old adobe dwelling ruins and a letterbox. Next we stopped the Tom Mix Memorial Site. He was a famous cowboy, movie star who crashed his car at this location in October 1940. We also collected a letterbox there that was an off road 4x4 experience. While at the resort we went up to a near by town by the name of Orcale, a cool old mining town, hunting Letterboxes and lunch. We also took a scenic drive up to Mt. Lemon, outside Tucson at 9131 ft. and the town of Summerhaven. There were great views and letterboxes along the way with a rewarding lunch in town. After our relaxing and fun time at the resort we returned to Green Valley.
Shortly there after we received news of Susan’s aunt passing away. This was not unexpected but was a shame it happened so close to Susan’s Mom’s 100th birthday.
Our friends John and Marilyn came up from Mazatlan for a quick visit. John has to see his VA doctors and pickup his prescriptions. We spent the rest of April attending club activities and having dinner at a friends home (Carlos and Betty). Towards the end of the month it was time to wake up the RV and get her ready for the summer. This involves cleaning and repacking. The house had to be readied for the summer along with care taker arrangements made (with Carlos). We decided to set up an automated water system for our plants along the back patio wall. It all came together on schedule so we locked up the house and headed north for our first stop in Phoenix. We spent a day visiting Pat’s daughter Lydia and her lovely family before heading on West & North through California.
Pat’s niece, Keely, was getting married in early May so we planned our trip to be able to attend that affair. We stayed in a nice camp ground, Gold Country Camp Ground, about 25 minutes away from Pat’s brother and sister in-law, Mike and Mary’s home. The wedding for Keely and Sean was help at Mike’s home. The reception was help in a near by town hall. Pat’s sister, Diane and her husband, Jerry had flown in from Minnesota for the event. It was great to have a mini family reunion as a side event.
Next we moved a few miles westward to a campground, near Concord. We were there to visit an old Portland boating friend, Dale and his wife, Patti. They had just moved back to Concord from American Samoa where they had sailed to and then lived for a number of years. It was nice to visit with them and another old salt, Wilbur, whom we hadn’t seen in many a year.
Our schedule was calling so we shoved off for Portland/Vancouver. We had little league games to see and grand children and great grand child and other family to visit before we had to board the train for Lancaster PA. The RV had started making odd noises on our trip north so we took it in to have it checked out. Turned out to be some bad spark plug covers, shorting out at high RPM’s.
Now it was time to go celebrate Susan’s mother’s 100th birthday. We had decided to take the train one more time, only this time we had a sleeper roomette. It was still three and half days on the train, but we were much more comfortable and had beds into which we shoe horned ourselves into for sleeping. We saw some awesome country on this train ride, however some of the best mountain scenery was shrouded in clouds and rain.
Susan had been planning and making arrangements for the 100th birthday event from afar now she had to make sure everything came off without a hitch. Early in our visit Anne, Susan’s mother, was notified that a state Senator (Ryan Aument) was coming to present her with congratulatory certificate from the State Senate. A small ceremony was held in a visiting area, where the senator presented her with the certificate after which was a photo opportunity. The final preparations were made to the room where the party was being held. The day of the party everyone of the staff were congratulating her mother. When it was time we got her mom seated in her honorary spot just as guests were beginning to arrive. The party was a success with about 40 attendees, Susan gave a nice speech and talked about her mother and the things that were happening in 1916. A couple of others gave speeches and then Anne got up and gave one about how she meet Ken here husband. Susan’s brother, Vern said a prayer and then the visiting and celebrating and eating commenced. It was a very nice party celebrating an unassuming, well meaning nice lady on her 100th birthday.
It was now time to board our train back to Portland. Somehow we had lucked out and had been upgraded to a sleeping bed room. This was a far bigger space and much more comfortable. It even had a rest room/shower and sink in the room. The scenery was just as good the only hitch was as longer then expected delay in Chicago due to some repairs being attempted on our sleeper cars. They were eventually replaced. Again the mountains were a disappointment due to fog and it being night when we passed through. We arrived on the last day of May safe and sound ready for the rest of the summer.
Once back our lives were full activities. We had to attend to doctor appointments. We also wanted our refrigerator ice maker repair/replaced. Our car need new tires. One of our grand children had a kindegarten graduation to go to and little league ball games to attend. Our little league player ended up on an all star team. This meant more games all around the cities and near by towns. This meant for us our last games to attend, were being held in Longview Wa.. We decided to move the RV to Camp Kalama an RV Campground Park
near by there in Kalama. This is also where the team was camping. In June we have two grand children birthdays to celebrate. This happened at the campground for the ball player and we drove back to Tigard for the other one. After the games and birthday celebrating was done we broke camp and headed out to our spot in Ocean Park. We spent the remainder of the June cleaning up our lot and relaxing.
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Lake Havasu City London Bridge
The Crossroads For Perpetua's Crew
When we got to Vancouver we hit the "Deck Running" as they say. Early Monday morning we got up and delivered the RV to the service center. We had been experiencing issues with our brakes and it was time for an engine tune up and to service the generator. As it turned out they needed to keep the RV over night. Fortunately we able to stay in our friends RV at the Stose's RV resort. We very much appreciate their kindness and friendship to no end!
We delayed our departure until we celebrated Susan's son Bill's birthday. We spent the time visiting Pat's son, Patrick's new digs and also, fishing and letter boxing with the grand kids (yes we're getting them hooked too). The time went by fast and all to soon it was time to depart.
We made a fast (for us) 5 day passage south with no extra stops a long the way to see attractions. We spent a night in Phoenix and visited Pat's daughter Lydia and her family.
Once in Green Valley we had to get the RV stowed and prepare ourselves to drive to Texas.
While on the way to Texas we got a phone call from our boat broker in Mexico. An offer had been made on the boat and were we interested in it. Bear in mind that at this point the boat had been for sale for 4.5 years. We'd been paying moorage fees and upkeep expenses all that time. Also, we had made several reductions in the asking price each time removing some of the gear that was portable and of some value. As in the past offers we'd received were lower than our asking price or for a ridiculous trade (ie a plane in Switzerland). This time it was no exception again less than of our asking price. So as we were whizzing along at 80 miles an hour across Texas, we looked at each other and said, let's do it! We accepted the offer then and there. In hind sight it now seems like a big decision had been made, but we were too busy driving and trying to get to McKinney and Pat's daughter's place to worry about it. Besides sometimes these things fall thru.
Our time in Texas was spent with the grand kids, visitng friends and family and getting new tires on the car. The kids were at school during the days, so we had some quality time with Pat's daughter, Jenica. Originally we were all supposed to go off to Florida for her wedding but that soon became too expensive, so we were tapped to ... babysit the grand kid's, while Jenica flew off to get married. Chris her fiance' was already there, as he was racing. (he's a race car owner/driver) When the jubilant couple returned after a slow drive home, they had scheduled a wedding celebration party a week later. We decided to stay for that event before heading back to Green Valley.
Once again, while traveling at 80 mph, on the way we got a call from the boat broker. This call reassured us that the deal was going to go through. The buyer, a Mexican, was "getting" the money together, his sister was fronting the money because the boat was to be used commercially in the tourist trade of Mazatlan. This proved to be an elongated process but eventually it did happen. So during this time we were still nervous about it going through and talked to the boat broker several times. He also told us that the a boat title transfer company in Seattle would be contacting us for the final transaction paperwork. This seemed all good, with one problem on our part. Remember all that stuff that had been removed from the sale price over the last few years. Well most of it was still being stored on the boat.
When we get back to Green Valley Pat tried in vain to get help from the folks he knew in Mazatlan to remove the gear and to store it. No one had time or resources to help him out. To the rescue came some friends that still had a boat in Mazatlan and who traveled to Tucson regularly for medical checkups at the VA. They were returning to Maz November 1st and I could catch a ride with them and since they usually stay in a rented condo near the marina, Pat could stay with them and store the boat gear there until spring, when we could get back to pick it up. In the mean time it was time for Susan to fly off and visit her mom for a week and this would over lap Pat's trip to Maz. We worked out the logistics of leaving the car in a storage lot at the airport when Pat left and Susan picking it up when she returned. The only thing left was how would Pat get back to the USA. That ended up being a Mexican bus.
Susan made her trip and Pat made his trip. All went well for both of us. Pat got everything off the boat in 2 days and stored at the condo. He meet the new owner and showed him around the boat, and ate at few of his favorite eateries. Pat was nervous about the bus ride, but his friends John and Marilyn assured him all would be OK and actually walked him through the ticket purchase and stood by until the bus left. The ride was a 19 hour overnight run to Tucson. The bus turned out to be a nice ride, it even had wifi for some legs so Pat talked on Skype to Susan and surfed the net. It stopped 5 times for various "checks", crossed the US boarder where we all had to exit the bus with all our stuff and walk across the boarder, showing our passports to the agents and have our stuff xrayed, before reentering the bus for Tuscon. Pat got off the bus in the south Tuscon bus station walked out the door and was meet by Susan, just like magic!
We barely had time to to catch our collective breaths because the very next weekend, we were off to a Letter Boxing event. First we drove to Mesa near Phoenix to our friends Brent & Molly's home. Then the next morning we were all off to Lake Havasu for the letter boxing event. Our friend Brent always manages to compile a list of Letterboxes along any route he travels. This was no exception. We stopped in Bouse and Parker to hunt down some finds (letter boxes). In Parker we stopped at a restaurant for lunch that Brent and & Molly knew about. Great food!
Once again while in route to some place, we received a call not from the boat broker but from the boat title transfer company. They wanted us to verify our banking information we supplied earlier. When we ask why, they said that the money was being transferred that day, this also meant that the boat title was also being transferred. We delayed leaving our lunch spot at the Crossroads Cafe in Parker, Az to make sure we gave them the correct account info for the transfer. Then we continued on to Lake Havasu City and our hotel. By the time we got to the hotel and checked our email and bank accounts the deal was done. The boat had been on the market so long we'd even talked about walking away from it and letting the moorage take her for the back rent. It all worked out in the end, Pat and Susan were now boatless after 41 years of owning Perpetua. We were in shock but not bad enough not to celebrate. Besides we had a Letter boxing meet-and-greet dinner to go to. Wah-Hoo !!
We spent the remainder of the weekend searching high and low around lake Havasu City for the many letter boxes that had been planted for the event and others that had been previously planted. We ran into several letter boxers that we knew and we all were having great fun comparing our clues and finds.
On Sunday we headed back to Green Valley. We stopped in Phoenix to visit with Pat's daughter Lydia and her family. Otherwise our trip back was uneventful and we had time to digest that fact that the boat had been finally sold.
Long Live Perpetua
Pictured Here Anchored in Bahia Tenacatita 2009
In a little over a week it was time for Thanksgiving. We held the event at our place this year. Brent & Molly came down and stayed with us for the weekend. Herman and Nancy came for Thanksgiving dinner. We all had enough to eat and then some. We spent the rest of the weekend Letterbox hunting around our area.
We resumed our club activities whenever we could. We manged to get up to Phoenix again to celebrate Pat's grandson, Tyrique's birthday and spend time with the family.
Earlier in the year we had decided to travel to New Holland PA to spend Christmas with Susan's mother who was 99 at that time. We also decided to travel by train. This was our first time traveling this way for any amount of distance and time. The trip was going to take three and a half days and we'd have to change trains three times and we still had to rent a car to complete trip. So we had an adventure to plan for and get ourselves ready. First off where is the train station in Tucson and on from there it went.
We manged to get ourselves organized and on the train on time. We'd made our reservations to late to get a "sleeping car" so we were going to be setting and sleeping in our chairs. Fortunately they reclined (some) and had foot rests, even so, parts of our bodies were uncomfortable most of the time. There is an observation car with different types of seating and beautiful viewing of the scenery available. Also in that car is what is called a Cafe', this store has snacks, breakfast and lunch foods, soft drinks, coffee, beer and wine. There is also a dinning car which as the name implies is where you have your meals. However we soon learned that if you were going to eat all your meals in the dinning car you'd need DEEP pockets. So we ended up mostly using the Cafe' services and reserved the dinning car for our dinners.
Now in order to move around on the train while it's moving and jostling along, back and forth, up and down all at the same time, is an acquired skill. Fortunately Susan and I had our boating on the river and ocean experience to give us a leg up on learning the skill. This worked out to be two hands for the train somehow and any gear had to be slung over the shoulders and secured to prevent it from bashing the heads of folks still seated along the way. Don't get me wrong we had a grand time and is an experience one should have at least once. The scenery was fantastic including all the little towns and cities we pass through, you really get a sense of how large and vast the US is and all the varied types of terrain and farming that goes on across the country.
We had a very nice Christmas with Susan's mother and family. We visited her sister Alice and had a nice lunch together. We'd only planned on staying a week before returning on the train. That was long enough for our body parts to readjust and prepare for the return trip. We were traveling near the new year and we'd arrive on New years eve.
As usual there are folks in every crowd that like to party and some go at it from dawn to dust. We had one obvious person that fell into this category. Roaming up and down the train inserting herself into other peoples conversions and generally making a nuisance of herself. Her down fall happened when she missed a train stop at a designated smoke stop, because of being involved in one of these conversions. (no smoking on the train, it is a federal law and isn't tolerated) She put up quite a fuss and ended up opening a window in the exit area to have a smoke. Of course she was caught and she was removed from the train at an unscheduled stop and handed over to the local police. We arrived back in Tuscon with no further events. Happy new year!
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Created on Deecember 9, 2016
At The Beach on Longbeach Peninsula Washington
Susan soon returned from visiting her mother and helping her celebrate her 99th birthday. We both had doctor visits to be taken care of, we both checked out ok and grand kid little league games to attend and a couple of birthdays to celebrate, so our visit extended on into June.
When we stay in the Portland area we have some super duper friends (Tom & Sue) that allow us to "Urban Camp" in Vancouver, in their driveway. It's a complete full service camp ground with full hookups (water/sewer) and free WiFi, its hard to beat or turn down when offered to stay. Along with other urban campers in the other driveway, the parents of one of the hosts also live there.
Tom's mother had been in failing health for some time. We all knew and loved Grace as a friendly, spunky, feisty and sometimes stubborn person. It was heart breaking for everyone to be in attendance while she slowly slipped away. We all knew she was finally at peace early one mourning when we were notified by the family of her passing and the usual people showed up to take charge.
All of us still had to go on with our lives and therefore we wrapped up our visit by visiting a few family members and friends we hadn't yet seen. We visited Ray and Anne who treated us to a boat ride on Lake Oswego, which is near their home. Ray had restored an older run about and wanted to show her to us and take a trip on the lake. We stopped for lunch at one of the water front haunts on the lake. We visited Chris and Kim at their marina where they live abound their boat, we cruised with these folks in 1999 and 2000, they're getting ready to do it again in a couple of years. Finally we said our good byes to our Vancouver friends and then headed out to our property at the each.
If you've ever neglected your yard for a long period of time you know that there is lots to do once you arrive and get settled. This year was no exception.
We managed to get the place ready for our 4th of July party. We had folks show up in their RV and tents to camp, some that came and stayed with friends and others that came over from their place to visit. We had a nice day visiting and playing games and then had a pot luck that was on the 3rd and then we repeated it on the 4th put this time the pot luck was held at our neighbors place where we joined their crowd of visitors and another feast that couldn't be bet. Later we all went off to see the Longbeach firework display which is out over the beach. We and several thousand folks who also brought their own fireworks display saw a spectacular display of pyrotechnics. Alas that concluded the party.
July continued to unfold with a Letterboxing Event (Exploring the Seas) that was held at Fort Stevens State Park in Warrenton, Or. (just across the river) This was a three day event and provided much fun meeting new letterboxer's and searching for all the intriguing hiding places of the letterboxes. There were other letterboxing opportunities around the area that we took advantage of with our friends Brent & Molly.
We traveled to Portland for Pat's eye doctor visit and the Mt Hood Highland Games. Susan's son Steve participates in these games, this event usually results in a family reunion. This year was no exception.
We had visits from both grand children at the beach (but not at the same time). We also had our friend Gloria from Texas (ex-PDX/ex-boater) come out for a visit.
We made final preparations around our place for the August family camp out.
Over all July turned out to be a busy month at the beach.
The first weekend in august is when we have our family camp out. This year we had 16 members attend. It's a three day camp out for those that can stay for the whole time. There's always yard games to be played, beach visits, sitting around visiting with everyone, watching the young kids playing and plenty of food. We celebrated 2 grand kid birthdays, Owen & Eleanor born a week apart. There's gifts , kid games, culminating with a pinata and of course cake. A good time was had by all.
The next weekend we went up to the Whidbey Island Highland Games. This time not only did Steve participate, his daughter, Jamie, also took part in the games. It was fun trying to watch each persons event attempts when they were at different times and across the field from one another. We stayed in Everett and took the fairy over to Whidbey Island and back. All in all it was great fun.
We had yard work to keep up with and this year we needed to leave the beach earlier as we had to get to Texas for a wedding. We were also sorting through our stuff in the shed and to determine what to take south in the RV. We spent an afternoon at the kite festival and several nice afternoons touring the area.
All to soon it was time to close up the beach base, load up th RV and head to Cathlamet, Wa. for the Annual Mexico Cruisers Rendezvous. This event is made up mostly of ex-boaters, a few still have a boat though. Some come for the day, others bring their RV's (aka dirt boats) and stay the weekend, and others find an available cabin, yurt or couch to crash on. This is what our friends Herman & Nancy did, we invited them to stay with us. The time is usually spent visiting, touring the town or taking a side trip to the Friday market on Puget Island. While others play cards, nap or just enjoy the beautiful scenery from their deck chairs. Saturday is the pot luck of all pot lucks and everyone has to try at least a little bit of everything. Sunday it was time to pack up and head to Vancouver. We had a RV service appointment setup that we needed to be at on Monday August 31.
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Created on November 26, 2016
The Texas family contingent left on January 1st. Started missing them as they drove away and as they were vowing not to return in the winter ever again. You see it had been usually cold during there visit.
We were still immersed in our art and camera clubs. Each of us worked on projects for our respective clubs. Susan was painting once a week and Pat was taking and preparing photos for his special interest group (SIG) weekly picture reviews.
Together we signed up for a two day Mosaics class. This was a fun class in which we made hot plates out of various glass chard's, tiles and beads.
Pat signed up for a ten week course in digital photography, a new weekly SIG for users of his new camera, and a one day low light photography class. These kept him rather busy but learning new stuff and having a lot fun.
Then early one morning Pat came to on the floor, bleeding badly above his right eye. It seems that due to a bad sinus infection Pat had had a coughing fit, had sat up on the edge of the bed coughing, coughed so hard he passed out, then did a face plant on the rug covered tile floor. This resulted in a trip to the VA emergency clinic at 4:00 AM. He needed 6 six stitches above the right eye, but had a more worrisome swilling in the right eye. The ER doctors worked their magic and after five hours he was released. Over the next several weeks Pat visited various doctors to follow up on his eye, the stitches and the sinus issues. Over all not a pleasant experience.
Things didn't slow down as the various club and class activities continued. We had noticed some maintenance issues on the wall in the back patio and also on the front of the house under the window. We located the appropriate service people and supervised their work.
Late in the month our friends Tom & Sue came from Vancouver, Washington for a quick visit. Then we all drove up to Mesa Arizona to celebrate our friend Brent's 70th birthday. We helped out at the large party that was being thrown for him at his RV park and winter home. A good time was had by all!
While in Mesa we stopped in to visit Pat's daughter and her family. It sure is nice having family just a couple of hours away in Phoenix.
We left from Mesa and headed to Texas, as we had made arrangements to attend a nieces' wedding in St. Paul Minnesota and we were bringing Pat's daughter and her three girls along from McKinney Texas. After a long drive we made it to Texas, took a day off and then headed north on another long drive to St Paul. By the time we were in Kansas City we were in snow and ice country. We had no problems as the highways were clear and it wasn't snowing.
We had a wonderful time visiting family and attending the wedding. There was an open house at my brothers home so that all the family could stop by and visit. All to soon it was time to return to Texas.
On the way back we hit some sleet and freezing roads. We actually spun out on a windy slick spot. We did a 180º spin and landed sideways in the median. After assessing everyone's condition inside and the car outside we placed the car in low 4 x 4 and drove out of the icy median and carefully reentered the highway. We pulled off the highway at the next exit and took a break to calm everyone's nerves. The young ladies thought it was fun after the initial scare! NOT THE ADULTS THOUGH!!
Once in Texas we then spent a few days baby sitting the grand kids while mom and her fiancee took a trip and had time to themselves. This was nice to be with the kids and not traveling. Shortly after my daughter returned we left for Green Valley, Arizona. Our return trip was uneventful, which is always nice.
The remaining months just flew by, what with doctors visits, The Art League and camera club activities. Pat joined a photo editing special interest group (SIG) to learn about a new and "free" photo editing tool (GIMP). Susan took classes to qualify her to join the ceramics club and then proceeded to create a cookie jar and a grapes plaque wall hanging. We took a special 2 day class, in mosaics. Pat joined a wood carving group, Susan made a new quilt for the newest great grandson. Did I mention more doctor visits. Also, we had visitors come, my brother, Perry and his wife, Amy spent a delightful lunch at Shelby's Bistro then explored Tubac and others visitors (Tom & Kathy & Brent & Molly) stayed with us and some of those visits lead to local Letterboxing activities.
In early April Susan had a diverticulitis attack and spent a night in ER. This was no fun and of course resulted in more doctors visits. Pat's ENT doc cleared him of the need for operation until we returned next fall. We went up to Mesa near Phoenix to attended a Letterboxing event. While in Mesa we went to the Butterfly Wonderland. This is like a bird atrium but for butterflies. There was hundreds of butterflies of all kinds flying every which way. Pat couldn't take pictures fast enough.
The Letterboxing event was being held at White Tank Regional Park west of Phoenix. This is a lovely place in the desert with good sized mountains as a back drop. We attended the event with our friends Brent and Molly, staying with them in their RV for the weekend. We found many letterboxes that were planted for the event.
Susan joined a Doodling SIG, took Still life drawing class, and took a ceramics Talavera class then made two platters and a giant turtle for our front garden. Finally Susan took an Encaustic Wax painting class (?? ask Her).
Nearing the middle to end of April the cactus start blooming in the area, our place too. We went and visit the Green Valley Arid Garden. It's always fun to walk through this garden and see what's blooming.
We were so busy with everything that it was nearly the end of April and we realized that it was time to pack up the RV, close up the townhouse and head north. We both wrapped up our club activities and projects by the end of the month. We arranged for the townhouse caretaker and were ready to go.
We woke up the RV loaded the last remaining items from the house onto the RV and headed to Phoenix. Our grand daughter Zenaiyah was having her 3rd birthday. We had a nice visit and birthday party too. We also visited our friends Brent & Molly in Mesa and did some LB with them.
Next we traveled to Lake Havashu State Park, in Lake Havashu City, Az. We spent a few days there exploring the area which included the famous London Bridge across to an island. This is the real London bridge that was purchased in England, dismantled piece by piece, tranported from London to the site here in Arizona and reassembled here. Quite and interesting sight. We took a pontoon boat ride to the "Copper Canyons" on the lake. In the past copper mining was viable up one of the canyons, now of course its flooded and the mining has stopped long ago. One of the old mines was repurposed by a family of owls. We also went hunting for the local Letterboxes and found Sara park just out side of town to explore.
We left Lake Havashu and headed north this time going up through California. Not our favorite trip. However we stayed one night in Lodi and were able to connect with Pat's brother, Mike, his wife, Mary and his family for a dinner at "MooMoo's" burger joint. We completed our trip north in Vancouver, Wa staying at our friends Tom & Sue's, in their driveway.
We commenced seeing family and friends and Susan had doctor visits planned ahead of time. Near the end of the month, Susan had planned a visit to see her mother for her 99th birthday. So off she flew! Pat remained behind to take care projects and his doctor visits.
Thanks for visiting our blog. More to follow for sure!
Created on May 31, 2015
In November we gingerly slipped into a couple of the activities available through the GV Recreation Center. Pat joined the Green Valley camera club and Susan joined the Santa Rita Art League of Green Valley. We had weekly meetings to go to at each of our SIG (special interest groups) we'd joined.
Pat's SIG group's weekly activity is to review five photos from each person who wants to participate, providing them with constructive criticism. Pat learned a lot from these reviews about his and the other peoples photographs. In between sessons Pat spent time learning the photo editing tools in order to "fix" his pictures from the review and preparing a set of pictures for the next session.
Susan activities included spending time working on various paintings and when ready including them in their weekly review sessions.
Susan noticed an ad in the Green Valley News regarding an art showing of yard art at the sculptors' home. On the scheduled day we along with the Herman & Nancy Ford visited the yard. We spent a good two hours with the sculptor, as our tour guide, wondering around his yard area. Every side of the house had his work displayed. It was either stuck in the ground or mounted to a structure. The Casa Vertigo yard Art visit was very interesting, entertianing and we came away with our purchase of "The Bird" statue.
Susan had purchased a, new to us, kitchen sink faucet before coming south. So with free time on our hands and a leaking faucet in GV we had a small project to do. The project went fairly well with the only issues were Pat having the ability to get into and out of the space under the sink and working upside down. Now we have a new faucet. (I'm getting too old to do this ... !)
Following another ad in the GV News, the Ford's and us headed off to Patagonia State Park for a pontoon boat ride. Apparently the park had a good sized lake in it and they offered two different boat rides. One to spot birds and the other to just tour the lake. We choose the later. It was almost an hours drive from our place to get to the park entrance. We enjoyed all the scenery en-route, and only got turned around once (thanks GPS). The park has other amenities such as camping, boat rentals, boat launch, fishing, hiking and other day uses. We paid our fees and had to get suited up in a PFD (life jacket). Most of our group had no problem finding PFD's that fit. Once the boat was back from the earlier tour we boarded and headed out. Besides the Captain, and a Naturalist/Conservationist there were 8 guests on board. Our tour lasted about an hour. We traveled around the south end of the lake from the boat landing. We went up a couple of small bays, down by the earthen retaining damn, a couple of islands and several of the lake camping spots. (accessible only by boat) All through the cruise the Naturalist provided information about the park's beginning, and it's history, and evolution plus the wildlife, the topography and the geology of the park. We all had a pleasant cruise even though it was windy and choppy on the return passage. Next we looked for LB's and Susan planted a new LB (Letterbox), along the way we stopped for a picnic lunch. Over all it was a great day!
Around the Tucson Arizona area are located space telescope observatories. They are on some of the mountain tops in the area. Each of these have multiple telescopes. We visited the one closest to us the Lawrence Whipple Observatory. There is a visitors center and at which you can join tours (reservations Required) to the summit observatories. Around the visitors center there are 4 gamma ray telescopes synchronized together while searching the heavens, plus there are several smaller ones for observing the nite sky.
It was too late in the season to take the tour, however, we enjoyed the visitors center exhibits and then moved over to a near by park with restrooms and picnic area with tables and a mile nature trail. We ate our packed lunch, took in the views and decided where to plant a Letterbox.
On the way up to the observatory we stopped at the Juan Bautista De Anza National Historic Trail. This is an access point to this historic trial. This is a lovely spot with desert and mountain views especially Elephant Head a local predominate monolith. It deserved a Letterbox plant so others would be able to appreciate the spot. If you're into hiking or biking this spot lets you begin traveling the trail.
We decided that since this was our first year in our new home we'd have Thanksgiving at our place. We invited everyone we knew was in the area and we had 8 folks including us over for dinner. Everyone of us are either still cruising or have sold their boats. There was no end to the sea tails. All the participating cooks out did themselves. If you didn't get enough to eat it was your own fault.
A couple of our Thanksgiving Day guests stayed at our place until Sunday. We spent the time hunting for Letterboxes by first going to Patagonia State Park and ultimately driving around the Santa Rita Mountains through Sonoita and Sahuarita. We made a stop in the town of Patagonia as they were having and open market. This is a very picturesque town, where many artists now live. We walked around the market and had lunch at the local hotel restaurant. It was a good time had by all and our Letterboxing hunting was successful too.
Seems in the south west as in Mexico they are always having Fiesta's to celebrate something all the time. In December, we learned about one near by being held at the San Jose' De Tumacacori mission. La Fiesta de Tumacácori: "In recognition and celebration of the many cultures that were historically and are presently associated with the Santa Cruz Valley, the Tumacácori Fiesta presents the traditional creations of these cultures." At this fiesta there were several folkloric dance groups. There were booths setup around the parade grounds with all sorts of native artisan crafts for sale and some food booths too. We had a good time at this annual cultural event. The Mission was open to the public so we also wonder around the grounds and marveled at the construction accomplished in the 1600's by the native Indians.
Susan and I continued to attend our clubs we'd joined and Pat even joined a new club of wood carvers. This was an activity he had been interested before the boat purchase. So he's slowly getting back into it one wood chip at a time.
Our micro wave had been behaving oddly and finely it stopped worked working correctly. We had home owners insurance, so we filled a claim found out what they would allow and found a new micro wave, with us covering the difference. It was delivered and installed without incident. It all happened in a matter of a couple of weeks. You may be wondering why I'd mention this event in our blog. This event might not seem out of the ordinary to you but for us having lived in Mexico and dealing with boat parts, sometimes you wait a long time before it all comes together, ie our refrigerator took 2 seasons (1.5 years) to resolve all the issues and get back to working properly again.
Our good friends and Letter Boxing buddies, Brent and Molly came down for a weekend. We went to Tubac, a historic town and tourist center, once there we hunted for LB's, had some great lunch and did some shopping. Tubac was first a Spanish Presidio (fort) San Ignacio de Tubac was founded in June of 1752 it lasted until 1849 before it was abandoned. By 1853 it was again being resettled and still flourishes today as both a state park and a arts and crafts tourist town.
All too soon it was time for the Christmas holidays. There are many goings on around Green valley as each club has scheduled events. We went to as many as we could. Also this holiday season was going to be special for us, because Pat's two daughters and their families were going to be together on Christmas day, at our new home, for the first time in a very long time. The Texas ladies arrived a few days before Christmas and stayed through New Years. The Phoenix family drove down for the Christmas day celebration. This was a great day for us having everyone there for dinner and to Celebrate Christmas.
All to soon everyone had to go home. However before my daughter from Texas left, her soon to be fiancee arrived by air to help drive her back to Dallas. All in all it was a grand way to end the year.
As you can tell I'm way behind in transcribing our journey's. So I'll have to keep hard at it!
Thanks for visiting our blog. More to follow for sure!
We arrived on June 22nd and we were so glad to be parked at the beach base that we decided to just soak up the peace and quite. We gave ourselves three days! We then had to get our place prepared for our first visitors.
Susan's 2 granddaughters were coming for part of the weekend. The older one, Brittany, was also coming with her family. So our first visitors ended up being 3 adults (Spencer, Brittany, Jamie) and 2 young kids. They all camped out in their tent. The skipper had erected an extra large tarp, attached to the normal RV awning, that was supported with outstretched poles and tie downs. This allowed the campers to setup up under an extra cover. It was a good thing they did, as it rained over night. We made a visit to the beach and everyone had a good time making sand castles and splashing in the surf. In the evenings there was a fire and when the coals were ready "smores". Yeah! Our season was off to a good start.
The following weekend was the forth of July. For the last couple of years our friends Tom and Sue have joined us for the holiday in their RV. We had a pot luck dinner on Saturday after the forth that could be beat. Friends even come out from Portland (Brent/Molly, Herman/Nancy, Gary) and friends staying in their park model (Dwight/Jan) a couple of miles further up the peninsula and our neighbors Tom & Kathy. We are all boaters/ex-boaters, so there was a lot of sea stories to catch up on. Alas this party too had to end and everyone returned home.
It seemed like the rest of July flew by what with doctor visits back in Portland, Letterbox hunting and Pat starting a sinus therapy. All Susan's tests were negative so she's doing great, after a year and half. We made a trip to Jan and Dwight's place in Rainier for a card game and Sea Story sessions, this helped break up the middle of the month. Fun was had by all!
Near the end of the month we picked up Susan's grandson, Grant. He spent a couple of days with us before the August family weekend. We had lots of fun playing on the beach and in our lot. There were lot and beach games, sand castles and kite flying, everyone gave the kite flying a try. Some of our time was spent getting the place setup for the annual family get together camp out.
Families started arriving on August 1st. Early arrivals get their choice of camp spots, the yard only has so many premo spots. By the time everyone arrived we had added fourteen people (9 adults and 6 kids) and 4 tents to the beach base camp ground. The facilities were stretched to the limit. Needless to say, visiting occurred, meals served, some dipper changing as appropriate, games were played, beach visits were made, adventures experienced, beach jogging for those inclined, no kite flying though due to lack of wind (really?), camp fires built and smores were had by all. By Sunday after noon everyone had left for their homes and it was time to clean up, put the games away and generally pickup the yard Then it was time to listen to the silence.
August blurred by like July. More doctor visits in Portland, grand kid birthday's in Portland and returning out of town visitors who were welcomed in Portland with a great pot luck and BBQ.
We did manage to squeeze in a day trip to Fort Stevens State Park outside of Hammond, Or. It turned out there were some Letterboxes that needed to be found. We made a day of it with our neighbors and their guest campers. We had a nice picnic lunch near Coffenbury Lake then continued on our adventure and subsequently errands.
At the end of the month it was our time to move the RV to attend the annual Mexico Cruisers Rendezvous at Cathlamet, Washington. This is the first year we took a power and water site usually we boondock on the waters edge. This year the RV house batteries are on the verge of failing and we needed the 110v power. It was different for us being away from the river and amongst the other RV's. There is a pot luck on Saturday afternoon. However we like to arrive on Thursday and leave on Sunday. This gives us plenty of time to visit with all the other attendees and do other activities, this year like last year we road the trolly out onto Puget Island and went to their Friday afternoon farmers market. Great fun!
Once back at the DBBB it time for us to start to get ready to close up the lot for the season and in addition we needed to unload the RV and then reload it with things from our storage shed that we wanted to take to our new Green Valley winter digs. (the Pairaiso Base) This effort took about a week, then we said our good byes to good friends and neighbors Tom & Kathy.
We headed to Vancouver on September 1st. This turned out coincidentally to be our Vancouver host's birthday. We joined the celebration as the party was beginning.
The first few weeks of September was spent visiting family and friends. Attending grand kid soccer games, driving up to Olympia's Cabelas for lunch with Susan's oldest son, LB with the grand kids, cards games and generally hanging out. Oh yeah the skipper and skipperette managed to wax the RV too. (badly needed) We were also making plans to head south to Phoenix towards the end of the month.
We left Vancouver on September 20th, traveled for 5 days and arrived one day before we were scheduled to depart for LA. Along our travels we stopped for 2 LB (Letterboxes) and took new routes and stayed at different RV parks. We had mostly nice weather although one day it rained for most of our passage. We didn't make the time for any other explorations due to our schedule. Once in Phoenix we completely unloaded the car, packed for the wedding and our 3 days in Newport beach, Ca. Reloaded the car for the weekend trip, closed up the RV and left early on Friday morning.
The driving trip to LA was uneventful. We arrived in plenty of time to unload the car and to shop for some car seats for the young ladies flying in later. We were ready to make the first run to the John Wayne airport to pick up Pat's daughter, Jenica and her three girls. The bride and groom had already arrived as they left Phoenix earlier then us. We all had dinner together and retired to our rooms.
The next day was mostly relaxed visiting with everyone and baby sitting grand kids during shopping excursions and picking up Pat's son at the airport. That night was a big dinner party outing at the Olive Garden. Both families attended and it was great getting to meet everyone and having a fine dinner too. It's too bad we arrived late and missed our reservation and had to wait outside for one and a half hours before finally getting seated. The restaurant did come out with appetizers a couple of times to help tide us over which was real nice of them to do. (for free) After dinner the older folks and kids retired to their rooms while others partied on.
The day of the wedding was very busy for some folks and others baby sat the grandkids. The wedding it self was in the evening on board a large vessel designed for such affairs. It was a truly lovely sitting and cruising around Newport harbor at sunset was spectacular. The wedding was beautiful, the food and music was fantastic as well. The whole event lasted 4 hours and there must have been thousands of pictures/videos taken by everyone as it seemed every one was taking them. Then it seemed as if all at once everyone was dancing and really enjoying themselves. By 10 PM the boat was back at the dock and we were heading back to the hotel, some of us dragging our tails. Although I have it on good authority that some folks partied on to the wee hours.
The last day Monday was spent packing and saying good byes and making two trips to the airport to get the flying family members back home. The lastly we headed back to Phoenix arriving by five PM. We unloaded the car and kicked back and relaxed away the remaining day.
The rest of the week was spent visiting friends and family and then the grand parents co-baby sat the grand kids while the newly weds went on their honey moon. By October 6th all was back to normal and we headed south, in the RV to Green Valley.
We had made reservations at our normal RV park for 3 days however it took 4 to get all of our tasks done. We had brought a lot of house hold items from our storage shed at our place in Longbeach. In addition after living full time in the RV for so long we had lots of more "Stuff" to off load and take to the new "Pairaiso Base". The RV park is 12 miles from our new place. We made 8 trips with a loaded car before we were done with everything we could think of immediately. (since then we've been back several more times to retrieve more "Stuff".) We were finally able to spent our first night in our new place 2 days after arriving. Then we had to prepare the RV for a winters sleep and that took another day and half. Finally the RV was moved to the storage lot and put to sleep.
No rest for the old folks though as now we had to find someplace for all that "Stuff" in the townhouse. (boy did it get small all of a sudden) Once we had "arrived" our social life kicked into high gear. What with Susan's painting and Pat's camera club activities, our water aerobics, playing Bocce ball, attending a forum presentation on Monarch butterflies, taking in Anza Days, an annual local festival that started at the Tumacacori Mission then following the Anza Trail through Tubac, Az. where the festival was held, and the White Elephant's 50th anniversary parade, we hardly had time to be ready for the fall, HOA all you can eat pizza dinner. The next few weeks flew by and then it was time for Susan to visit her mother in New Holland for nine days. She's back now from her visit. So we can continue getting involved in the local activities. (hope we survive!)
Thanks for visiting our blog. More to follow for sure!
|Vessel Make/Model:||1964 Piver Victress Trimaran|
|Hailing Port:||Portland, Oregon|
|Crew:||Pat & Susan Canniff|
|About:||Pat has owned Perpetua since 1975, she was built in 1964. Pat's dream started before he purchased Perpetua. Susan joined the dream 26 years ago. Together they made it a reality. We left our homeport in 1999, cruised down the Columbia River and turned left for points south.|
|Extra:||Never let the dream fade. Pat once got an award, from his local yacht club, for having the longest 5 year plan, in the club. Create a plan, work the plan, and keep on dreaming.|