As the name implies this blog follows our journeys, wherever they may lead.
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!
Honest, we were just looking and then we found it - Our new townhouse in Green Valley, Arizona - Aka the Pairaiso Base (712 W Pairaiso Pl). Put I'm getting way ahead of myself. Let's rewind to our arrival in Mesa, Az. in October (2013).
We traveled east out of Oregon and down through eastern Nevada. It was a cold drive as we were up in altitude and in late fall. By the time we passed through Las Vegas it was beginning to warm up. Our target was Mesa Az and RV park that had a good fall special. The first week or so were restful as we settled into the Apache Well RV Resort life style and Arizona in general. Our spot was within a stones through of our friends Brent & Molly. They own a park model and have been coming here for years. We did some letterboxing and family visiting. One of the Letterbox people we meet lived in a RV park where another resident had 2 pet tortoise. Of course we had to see them!
Susan left for a week in PA at the end of October, she ended up having to stay for three weeks as her mother had fallen for a second time in two weeks by the time she arrived, injuring her back and was then scheduled for an operation. She stayed until her mother was stabilized and in a rehabilitation center.
Susan arrived back in Mesa by thanksgiving. She brought back news that her mother will most likely be moving out of her independent living cottage and into an assisted living situation and that we had volunteered to move her out, dispose of her belongings and move her into her place and store the remainder her belongings. However we weren't sure when that was going to happen. This was going to impact our plans and become a moving pivot point for the season.
We finished out our reservation at the RV park by mid-December. We enjoyed visiting with our friends and family that live in the area. We also managed to get in a few Letterbox finds.
We drove to our next RV park, Mt View RV Ranch in Green Valley. We use this RV park because its close to our friends Herman & Nancy's place and now our new place. This would be a short stay as we had to prepare the RV to sleep for a few months. Within 4 days we were driving the car to McKinney TX., and our next adventure. We had made a commitment last June to accompany my daughter, Jenica, and her three children to Disneyland for the Christmas holiday and the following week through New Years Eve.
Everyone had a great time wondering around Disneyland, waiting in long lines, eating very expensive mediocre food, while seeing all their favorite attractions. Besides being there on two days when they closed the attendance doors as the crowds had exceeded the 65,000 limit, Pat managed to pickup a sinus infection and had to visit the ER. That put him on the side lines for three days, while the two ladies managed to keep the young ladies attending attractions. (they are saints) Everyday the troupe would return to our room totally worn out. Everyone got the appropriate amount of souvenirs, Pat included, lots of video was shot of all the action and crowds. I'm sounding a bit negative, sorry, I think the grand kids had a wonderful time, I think my daughter had a wonderful time showing her kids Disneyland and seeing the excitement and joy in their faces. The grandparents ran out of energy long before they climbed in the return plane seats. I think after a week of running around everyone was tired and ready to go home too.
January started off relaxing while we waited to hear from Susan's mother's nursing care as to when she was going to be released to her new assisted living studio. Also, Pat's daughter had scheduled a foot operation in early January that we (Susan) were asked to help out around the home while she convalesced. After a week she was able to function on her own.
So by mid-January all was in place for us to fly to PA and move Susan's mom out of her independent living cottage and into her assisted living studio. This was a scheduled two week operation. Susan's brother had arranged for the movers and a storage place and a place to resell some of the nicer furnishings. So when we got there we started by having Susan's mother identify everything (clothes/furniture/paintings/etc.) she want in the studio or just kept. Next Susan and her brother made choices of the items either they or a family member might want either now or later. Then the items for resale were identified and packed up for subsequent pickup. So within the first few days Susan's mother was moved in and setup in her new studio and the reseller had picked up those items. Next we had to divide the remaining stuff into items for storage, for the "reuse it" store and the rest being garbage. I won't bore you with the box/trash bag counts for each destination but suffice it to say there was a lot of everything to get ready. Most every night we eat dinner with Susan's mom in her new digs and then went back to her mom's old cottage and collapsed. Finally everything was moved out including us, we had to move to a motel for the last three nights. But wait there's more! Despite having a closet and moving three dressers into her mom's new studio room she still insisted that she didn't have enough storage space for her hanging clothes. So we ordered a new upright closet. Of course some assembly was required, in fact all of it. Our last two days were spent assembling the new closet, rearranging the clothes and finalizing the studio setup. Susan's mom was thrilled at how everything had happened so fast and now she was ready to begin the next phase of her life, at 97.
February 1st we flew back to Mckinney, Tx where we recovered from our two week forced march. We visited with the family. We have some friends that live in different parts of Texas so we decided to visit them, so off we went south to Austin and a visit with fellow RV'ers, Jim & Marg. These folks are also Letter boxers which meant we spent time searching out new finds around Round Rock Texas. After a couple of days we headed south again to Victoria. We had never been in this area of Texas where some of our Portland friends, Dave & Gloria had moved. These folks are ex-boaters and very casual Letter boxers. We didn't do any LB during our visit but we did travel to the gulf coast and visited Port Lavaca and then on to Matagorda and a glimpse of the gulf. As you would have it it was RAINING and foggy so we didn't see much! We could tell that this area would be fun to explore if you had more time and the weather was better. We also went on a second trip to Goliad Texas and visited the Mission Espiritu Santo and a fort named Presidio la Bahia. The mission was one of several in Texas, created by the Spanish as they moved north settling the area. The fort and the area around Goliad played a big roll in Texas independence struggle with Mexico. After our tours we went into Goliad and had lunch the Hanging Tree Restaurant. The restaurant is named as it sits across the street from the Goliad hanging tree on the grounds of the court house. Lunch was very good and we did watch our Peas-N-Ques carefully making sure we didn't break any laws ... that we know of .... :->
This was the end of our southern Texas visit and we turned northwest to head back to Green Valley, Arizona. However we had to made a detour to Mesa, Az to turn over some cloths that Pat's Texas daughter was handing down to his daughter that lives in Phoenix. We stayed the weekend then headed to Green Valley. It was now time to get ready to head to Mazatlan to visit the boat after a two year absence. But that was not to be for awhile yet.
When we are in Green Valley we usually stay at Herman and Nancy's townhouse. They are very good friends from our days of cruising, their boat is a 36' Cape Dory named Sea Tern and is now for sale in San Carlos. (more on SC later) Now they winter in Green Valley and summer in the NW in their RV. We've been staying with them on and off for 4 years now and we like their neighborhood and the Green Valley Recreation Center amenities that came with ownership. We had thought that maybe sometime down the road we'd get a place in this area. So as we past time getting ready to head to Mazatlan we decided as a "lark" to see some of the town houses that were currently for sale. Just to see what you get for the money and the different interior layouts right ...
These fun activities were interrupted by Herman waking up with symptoms of a stroke on the following Sunday after our arrival. Nancy got him to the hospital and we immediately decided to stick around and help where ever we could. He stayed in the hospital for several days for observation, so we spent our free time looking at more townhouses. A couple caught our eye, but we didn't think we could qualify for a purchase at this time (see how easily we slipped into purchase mode). So we found ourselves in a recommended local bank, filling out forms to qualify for a loan, somehow we did! (this blew us a way) So the next logical step was to see if we could buy a place. (what are we saying/doing?) After more paper work, our offer was accepted. (Here is a video of our new place if you haven't seen this before: The Pairaiso Base Video). By now Herman was getting out of the hospital, that was good news now we could continue prepping for our trip to Mazatlan.
This was not to be, as we got some horrible news that our grand son had past away in Portland. Susan immediately flew there to be with the families and help out. Pat stayed to continue the house purchase process (what did I just say ??) It was a good thing to as Herman woke up the following Sunday with blood in his stools. He'd started taking blood thinner and this was a risk. So he went back into the hospital to determine where the blood was coming from. Meanwhile Susan was busy in Portland and Pat was busy in Green Valley running around getting all the paper work handled and helping out Nancy as much as necessary. By the end of the first week of March, Herman had returned home from the hospital and seemed to be on the rebound. Susan was scheduled to return at the beginning of the next week. We decided it was now or never to made a quick visit to the boat. So Pat finished getting everything done related to the house purchase, the pending closing on April 17th and packing for Mazatlan. So by Wednesday Susan had returned and we left for Mazatlan.
We stayed the first night in San Carlos which is our normal first stop. We meet up with some boating friends Brian and Laurie (SV Exodus) and went out to dinner. At the restaurant we meet another couple that we knew, Ron and Karen (SV Aegean Odessa) so we all sat together and had a great time telling sea stories. The next day we moved on to Mazatlan.
After all the delays and the pending closing we ended up with just a month to check out Perpetua and address any issues. Another reason we had wanted to be there was that there were two couples from Portland coming down for their winter shot of warm weather. That meant we'd have some buddies to hang around with. As other folks, who are normally there wouldn't return until just before we left. As usual after inspecting the boat and testing its systems there were issues to be dealt with, surprise surprise. So between boat projects, dentist visits and bingo (BINGO!?) sessions at The Torres Mazatlan a local time share hotel, breakfasts and dinners out we were quite busy. Also we had prospective buyer making inquiries and trading offers on the boat and then disappeared back into the woodwork. While in Mazatlan Herman and Nancy contacted us to ask if we would help them do some work on their boat Sea Tern after we returned to GV. Our month in Mazatlan zipped by fast and ended all to soon. The return trip to Green Valley through San Carlos was uneventful.
Within days of returning we closed on the house, bought groceries, moved into our new townhouse, and unpacked our suit cases, most everything else was included. (did I just say this?) It was real weird for Pat as this was his first purchased brick and mortar home ever! The DBBB is just a lot we park the RV on. We celebrated our newest purchase by having Herman and Nancy over for dinner. Within a couple of days we had our first guests. Our good friends from Brent & Molly from Mesa came down and spent a couple of days in our new guest bed room. Even did a couple of Letterboxes.
The San Carlos work party on SeaTern was scheduled for 4 or 5 days. We did it in 4 days. The boat had been moved from the storage area into the work yard ahead of time, so once we arrived we could start, Right?, well not quite. They had asked for the boat to be washed which it hadn't and we realized that the main cabin key was forgotten. Not a problem the broker had a key except he was hard to find. After running around we got the key and scheduled the boat washing. Susan and Pat commenced sanding the top side wood, while Nancy cleaned down below and Herman worked on charging the batteries in preparation for starting the motor. We ran into Ron and Karen (SV Aegean Odessa) at our hotel, so during our off hours we had some more cruisers to share dinners and sea tales. The work moved along quite well and we managed to get all the required wood painted the inside of the boat cleaned and the engine even started, after 3 years. Nancy and Susan finished up by replacing the bad sections of the screening used to cover the boat. With the work completed it was time to head state side. By late Thursday afternoon we were back in the Pairaiso Base.
A longtime friend of Pat's had indicated that he might be able to visit us at the Pairaiso Base. We finalized the arrangements and our second guest showed up more or less on schedule. He could only stay for a few days. It was great seeing him and catching up after 14 years. Dale lives in America Samoa and rarely gets to the states. We celebrated his 79th birthday royally and then he disappeared back into the wind. I miss him lots!
Pat's granddaughter in Phoenix was turning 2 and the two granddaughters in Texas were having their first Gymnastics competition. ROAD TRIP! So on the 9th of May we headed to Phoenix for Zenaiyah's second birthday party. It was as grand party! (for a 2 year old) Our friends in Mesa Brent and Molly put us up for the night and gave us a chair for our new place that they no longer wanted. We said we'd give it a good home and gave them visiting rights whenever they are at the Pairaiso Base. The next day we were off to Texas. We got there on mothers day, the 1st anniversary of Jay's passing (Jenica's husband). We spent a great week with the grand kids and the gym competition was well attended by parents and grandparents. Also, the events moved around the gym floor for each different event. Since we had 2 girls participating we had to split up and hope we got to see each compete. It was a great performance by all the gymnasts and quite the challenge for the observers charging around the gym all of us with cameras.
Susan had decided to fly to Pennsylvania to visit her mother. She usually does this twice a year. Fall and spring. (this last year was an exception) The catch 22 was that she was flying back to Tucson. So that meant Pat had to drive back alone (what!) and get back in time to pick her up at the airport. This all worked out with a couple of days to spare. The well traveled new chair was setup and placed in the front room, and the car unpacked. Susan arrived on schedule on the 24th of May.
The next day was Pat's birthday and Pat's daughter from Phoenix, Lydia and her family were supposed to come down to see our new place and help celebrate his 67th birthday with our other friends Herman and Nancy. However after reading on Facebook that they were sick and a couple of phone calls it was decided that they would not come down for the visit. The party was very nice if not smaller.
No rest for the aged, on the 26th on May we got the RV out of storage moving it to a nearby Mt View RV Ranch. Then we began getting it ready to head north. We had to pack all our stuff to go north back into the RV, plus other stuff that had to go north, get some groceries, test the water system, take on fresh water, check engine fluids and test all the RV systems. A few things weren't working perfect but nothing that prevented us from leaving. Oh yeah, we had to close up the Pairaiso Base and make arrangement to have a caretaker look in on the place and check our mail.
On our scheduled departure date the 28th we picked up Herman and Nancy as they were making the trip with us, because they couldn't drive back themselves and it was cheaper then flying. Pat had planned a 5 day 4 night trip to Vancouver. The first night we stayed at a campground on Lake Pleasant. This is a large county park on a reservoir just north of Phoenix. We got there early in the day. We double checked with Lydia to see if the flu had run its course and it hadn't. So we explored the park only to find out that the visitor's center was closed. Did I say that it was hot outside, it was, so in mid-afternoon we all donned our swim suites and found a place we could drive almost into the water to park and then slipped into the chilly water. We got used to it fast and it was a great relief from the heat of the day. Herman tried to avoid the swim saying he'd forgotten his suit, Pat got out one he could wear after cinching it tighter by several sizes. He was glad he slipped beneath the water and he was the last one out!
The next day we were off to Phrump, Nevada. We have some boating friends (Mel and Shari MV Mi Casa) that had just bought a place there and had space in their drive way for our RV. When we got there they wined and dined us with a great meal. We had fun visiting and catching up on each other activities.
The next three days were spent driving up the eastern side of Nevada, passing by Walker Lake again, and stopping in Fernley and the NW side of California. Once again passing through Klamath Falls, Oregon and then on to Vancouver. Our friends there let us park in their driveway. We arrived there on June 1st. Herman and Nancy had their daughter come over and pick them up.
June 1st was our friend and host, Sue's birthday, so let the partying begin. We spent the next three weeks visiting family and friends, seeing many baseball games, ballet performances. We celebrated birthdays and anything else we could come up with. We both managed to catch nasty colds which we are still recovering from. On June 22nd we headed the land yacht, toward the Dirt Boat Beach Base (DBBB). This completed our round trip starting last October. Whew!
If all that travel wasn't stressful enough during this same time period we lost 1 grandson, 3 aunts and 1 cousin.
To say we're glad this season is over is an understatement!
Thanks for visiting our blog. More to follow for sure!
While in Texas the skipper caught some sort of a bug, that turned into a sinus infection. Although a treatment was started before he returned to the NW at the end of June, it mutated into pneumonia by mid-July when it was finally correctly diagnosed and treated. It wasn't until mid-August that he was feeling well and his strength had come back.
Also during July we had friends from Vancouver, Texas and Arizona visit in their RV's. So we had lots fun showing our freinds the delights of the Long Beach peninsula and some Letterbox hunting too. Places like Beards Hallow take you back in time as you search for your Letterbox treasures. The hiking is wonderful too!
One day we ventured into Astoria, Oregon (25 miles away) to see some of the sites. There we took a step back in time while visiting Fort Clatsop at the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park.
"Fort Clatsop is the site on the Lewis and Clark River where the 33 member Lewis and Clark Expedition wintered from December 7, 1805, until March 23, 1806. The park includes the 2006 replica of the 50' square fort; a visitor center with exhibits, bookstore and theater; historic canoe landing, and a view of a seasonal spring joined by trails through the wetlands and rainforest (young Sitka spruce and western hemlock) of the park." We really enjoyed ourselves wondering through the indoor exhibits, the fort itself, along the tree lined paths, punctuated by lush forest smells and by being entertained by the folks performing reenactments. These are folks dressed in period clothes talking about everyday life at the fort as if you were there at the time.
Next we went to the Astoria Column. After a couple of wrong turns we made it. The column sits atop one of the highest hills in Astoria and commands a view of the entire valley, all the way to the ocean on a clear day. Our visit provided us with spectacular views in every direction.
We had lunch at one of the watering holes along the river front and the Riverfront Trolley tracks. Of course after lunch we had to ride the Trolley. This restored trolley cruises most of the Astoria water front. The ride takes about 45 minutes round trip and is well worth the 1 or 2 (all day) dollar fee. What else is there to do after a great train ride but find a couple of Letterboxes before heading home.
Other Letterbox outings included trips to the Northhead light house, parts of the Discover trial, Oysterville and Leadbetter State Park. Other activities included attending the Long Beach Sand Castle festival and the Kite Museum. Alas all our friends had to move on down the road.
We finished up July by having Susan's grandson, Grant, out for several days. We went to a local rodeo, played games at the beach, visited our neighbors, visited Astoria, and rode the trolley. In Astoria we went to the Astoria colunm again, only this time Grandma and Grant climbed the 164 steps to the top. Once there Grant had a great time tossing glider planes off, which he had gotten for free from the gift shop, for that purpose. We also meet up with some friends for lunch. They had just completed a world circumnavigation on their boat. Grant really enjoyed visiting the sailboat and talking to the owner.
August started with a family campout weekend at our place. This is a busy time preparing and coordinating the meals, activities, beach visits, kite flying and campfires. This year we had 29 members attend for the weekend. Fortunately the weather was good. All had a good time!
Near the end of August we went to Cathlamet, Wa for the annual Mexico cruiser rendezous weekend get together. We had fun visiting with everyone and needless to say the pot luck was great. The weather turned out good. The views of the Columbia River were as spectacular as can be expected.
September brought more visitors to our place. Our good friends Herman and Nancy spent 10 days with us in their RV. We had fun visiting, Letterboxing and Susan and Nancy painted. We made a drive down the coast on a Letterbox hunt. We went as far as Cannon Beach on the Oregon coast, had lunch at Mo's one of our favorite resturants. All to soon our friends had to hit the road. They are like us in that they head south as snowbirds for the winter months.
Now it was time for us to prepare our Ocean Park place to sleep for the winter. By the end of September we had moved the RV to our friends Tom and Sue's place in Vancouver. We spent the time visiting family and friends in Seattle and Portland. By mid-October we'd said our goodbyes and retracked the jack's, pulled in the slideouts and headed for warmer weather. Our joints have much less to complain about when they are warm!
However we had to pass through some chilly, darn cold areas, with temps in the 20's and teen's in the mornings, 50's in the PM, before reaching the nice weather of Mesa, Azizona. We've visited with our new grandson and family, and our friends. Susan is planning to fly to New Holland, Pa for a visit with her mother, who is now 97 and not doing well. Susan may have to stay longer then expected. Otherwise we'll be in Mesa until mid-December, before moving on to our next adventure.
Thanks for visiting our blog. More to follow for sure!
While we were in Vancouver seeking new letterbox finds at the local library we meet a couple of other LB'rs. We ended up having a lunch date a few weeks later and learned of a planned upcoming LB event at Millersylania State Park which is located just south of Olympia, Washington. Along with our hosts we decided to go to the event. Our plans were made and as happens so often in the NW a rainy and windy storm was predicted and the event was canceled. We went anyway, because we were on our way anyway to the coast, our friends were ready for an adventure and we're "unstoppable" as the local weather guys say. There was some rain and wind but not as much as was forecast. Actually there was a few sun breaks too. We did a lot of hiking while looking for several letterboxes planted around the park. Also just to show how obsessed we are we drove around the local area sight seeing and seeking more LB finds. This included grave yards, other parks and the Tumwater Falls park. Our weekend total was 17 finds. We had a great time together, and we all enjoyed the hiking to find the LB, including "RV" the dog. To learn more about letterboxing, click this link. By Sunday it was time to finish our trip back to our place at the coast.
Since being back at our place at the coast, we've been rather busy. One of Susan's pet peeves about our lawn is that it's really good in some places and really bad in other places. You can actually see the bad lawn in the satellite view, to the right of the stick pin. Thus one of the first things to be done this year was to attempt to correct this issue. Of course the correct way to start this project was to rototill the areas to be reworked, then to flatten it down and then add new top soil (12 yards). Once that was done, Susan spread grass seed and fertilizer. Then we watered it twice a day and proceeded to watch the grass grow! Next new flowers had to be planted and the garden areas re-bark dusted. Not yet done we decided to replace the wood rounds on our path as they were falling apart and had become slippery when wet and stepped on. Our replacement was to be with gravel. Pat had been wondering if we could plant and have a garden. We found an above ground garden kit at Home Depot so a garden was born. So a yard of dirt and a yard of rock was ordered. The garden kit was assembled and planted. The old path was removed, leveled and replaced with "1/4 minus" gravel. We had left over gravel so we added an 18" apron around the fire pit. There was some other bad spots in the lawn so we turned over the old sod, stomped it down, added left over dirt, seeded, fertilized and watered the patched spots. We had to draw the line some place so after we bought a hanging flower pot and one of strawberries and replanted a third we stopped yard improvements. It's now time to cut the grass! Oh yeah continually watering everything!
By the end of April we'd completed the yard work, made one trip back to Vancouver to see a grand kid Tee Ball game and an adult kid softball game. Susan planned to go back east to visit her mother for Mothers day. So in early May we went back to Vancouver to see Susan off and then Pat returned to DBBB to water everything. There was a heat wave at the coast for a week. Which has made it very dry spring here in the NW!
On May 9, my son and his girl friend and her 2 children called to see if they could come out and camp at our place on the weekend. It was going to be for one night, as they had to be back for work. They had a great time camping, visiting the beach and we even had a fire in our fire pit. They made "smores" and the rain held off until after all were in bed.
Over the weekend we got news of a terrible and tragic accident that had happened to Pat's daughters husband. I had to ask my son to pack up and leave early so that I could catch a plane to Texas.
We had a memorial service for Jay the following weekend. We had the service on May 19th. 550 people were in attendance. He was much loved by many people at Discount Tire, family members and friends. There has been such an out pouring of help that at times my daughter is over whelmed. I again got to see my son and my other daughter and her family from Phoenix and three of my Minnesota siblings and a sister-in-law. It was nice to see everyone but not under these circumstances. Susan and I are staying on in McKinney, Texas for a while to help my daughter and her three daughters get back on an even keel.
Susan will be returning to the NW in the middle of June for family and personal business. Pat will stay on in Texas for a while longer.
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.|