Tuesday, January 25, 2011

1/25/11 Have been having warm and sunny weather here at Boomerville, which is the Boomer gathering at Quartzsite, AZ during the last 2 weeks of January. There are over 100 rigs here and we have been having nice social times with a lot of our RV friends. When we first arrived and went to the group Happy Hour, we were quite amazed at how many people we knew since we haven't been here for 3 or 4 years. We are parked right across from Mike & Marilyn Harrison, and Sam & Bob Fleckner, and right in front of Mick & Ann Mielike. Here is our rig parked in the desert:

Carole and Dick Schneider arrived last Saturday and are parked just down the row from us. Every day there are lots of activities, including a 9AM walk which we have been doing every day. Here is a picture of todays' walking group - at least the gang that made it all the way to the 2 1/2 mile marker. From left are Elaine, Jim Baker, Carole Schneider, and Linda and Sonny Kingsbury:

When we were first here, Escapees had a big Happy Hour which we attended and where we were able to reconnect with our good friends Lee & Susie Blattner:

Additionally, there were several Park Sierra neighbors at this event, and here is Elaine with Dave & Brenda Neal, and Val Jones:

Every year at this time hundreds of thousands of RVs come here because there is a gem and mineral show and a lot of other vendors who sell stuff here. But most of us come just to get together with all our RV friends who also attend. Here is a picture I took while we were on our walk. You can see all the white areas, which are RVs:

The Boomers donate items for a auction and the money goes to support the Care Center at Escapees headquarters in Livingston. It was held yesterday after Happy Hour and more than $2400 was raised!
Most evenings our little neighborhood has a campfire and we sit around a chat for a while, usually over a drink.

Then the desert sky starts to get pink and we have spectacular sunsets. Here is one of them:

Friday is Elaine's 64th birthday and we will be having a little party for her around the campfire.
Before I end this, I want to put a picture here which we took on our drive across highway 58 near Boron. It shows how flimsy RVs can be when they are hit by another vehicle. This one was a 5th wheel. I think we are a little better protected in a motorhome.

Monday, January 17, 2011

1/17/11 Yesterday afternoon we returned to our RV at Park Sierra after driving back from Los Angeles. The family cruise on the Mariner, which went to 3 ports in Mexico, was a wonderful week with the family and we all also greatly enjoyed the warm weather. This was the last week the Mariner was doing this itinerary so it also became the week of the reunion cruise for those who were onboard in 2008 when the ship traveled Around the Horn from Florida to Los Angeles. So our friends Len & Letty, Rick & Denice, and Carol & Byron were on board with us. Here is a picture of Darran & Marielle with (left to right) Denice, Byron, Carol & Rick.

During the week there were two formal nights so everyone got dressed up and we had a formal picture taken. From left to right in front are Paige, Mary & Elaine. Back row: Marielle, Darran, Alonzo, Tarra, and Laura.

For those of you who don't know the family, Laura is Mary's daughter, and Paige is Laura's daughter. Darran is Elaine's son and Marielle is his fiancee; Tarra is Elaine's daughter and Alonzo is her husband. Mary's son, Thomas, and his partner, Robert, were unable to join us for this cruise.
It was fun just being on the ship with the family and one of the first things they did was get into the hot tub together:

After a day of cruising, we started three days of ports. The first one was Cabo San Lucas. There is no pier there so we had to be tendered in. Here is the picture we took in front of the marina:

After some exploring in town and also a little shopping, we ended up at an outdoor bar where David, the bartender made margaritas from fresh juices and good tequila and we all enjoyed them. One of the entertainers from the ship was there and he took this picture for us:

The next day we were in Mazatlan. Tarra and Alonzo went off on their own while the rest of us took a water taxi to Stone Island for a day at the beach.

There was a long row of beach palapa restaurants so we grabbed a table and chairs at Victor's, which had been recommended by Jack, one of our cruise buddies. It was a good choice, and we spent the day eating garlic and coconut shrimp, chips and salsa, drinking local beers, enjoying each other's company, and shopping (by the kids) from the beach vendors.

Port number 3 was Puerta Vallarta, one of our favorite Mexican cities. We caught the local bus right outside the port gate and got off in the old downtown area. Here is the family at one of the sculptures along the malecon, which is the scenic beach walk.

The cathedral was nearby, so we walked over to check out the inside. The outside tower has a very different looking top - a replica of the crown worn by Emperor Maximillian.

A few blocks away was the Rio Cuale market on an island in the middle of the river. The kids bought a few Mexican handicrafts to bring back as gifts to their friends and families. We just enjoyed the sunny day and the warmth.

There was a nice outdoor restaurant alongside the river so we gathered there for a drink before having lunch at a small local restaurant in town.

Then Elaine and I did the walk along the malecon and enjoyed not only the permanent sculptures, but also the sand sculptures made by some of the locals.

The next two days were sea days so we all rested and enjoyed being together, especially at dinner. The kids enjoyed the food, the entertainment, and hung out by the pool. Of course, the weather got cooler as we traveled north again. Sunday morning the ship docked back in San Pedro and we took them to the airport. Now it is back to "real life" for everyone.
Our fridge got fixed today, and it is cooling nicely, so we have finished packing up the RV and will start heading for Quartzsite and the Boomer gathering in the morning. Hopefully, the heavy fog we had today will have disappeared by departure time.

Monday, January 03, 2011

1/3/11 Happy New Year Everybody! It has already been a good year and we hope it continues for us and all of you too. We attended the New Year's Eve celebration in the clubhouse here at Park Sierra. There was finger food which was brought by everyone, and a band which played a variety of music for listening and dancing. We shared a table with our good friends Glenda & Elleen, Ken & Carolyn, and Polly & Ernie. This being the home park of lots of fairly elderly people who often go to bed early, the event took place between 6 and 9. We were still getting used to this new time zone, so we were happy with this arrangement.
Today we returned from taking our RV to Manteca Trailer to have the bedroom slideout repaired. It was making loud screeching noises every time we opened or closed it, and underneath the outside part we were getting some scratches. We drove up there yesterday, in the rain, and got set up on their lot so we could have an early morning appointment today. We had fears that they would have to take the whole thing off to fix it, but they were able to adjust it and lube it from the inside and now it works well. They charge $132 per hour for labor (Yikes) but it only took an hour and minimal parts. Now we just have to leave our RV parked here at Park Sierra while we are cruising with our kids next week, and when the cooling unit for the fridge arrives, it will be installed. Then we can drive down to AZ for the last two weeks of January and attend the Boomer gathering at Quartzsite.
Yes, the long-awaited family cruise will be starting next Sunday. Elaine and I will drive down in our car on Saturday and stay overnight at a motel near the port where we can also leave our cars during the week we will be gone. Darran and Marielle will be bringing Laura and Paige with them from San Diego because they are flying in the night before. Tarra and Alonzo will fly into LAX Sunday morning. Now we just have to hope that the weather cooperates! Our next blog post will probably be a report about this event.