1/30/12 We are now in the parking lot at the Lone Butte Casino in Chandler, AZ. This is south of Phoenix and not very far from Gilbert, where we have an appointment at 8AM tomorrow to have our inverter/charger repaired. This casino has a very liberal parking policy for RVers, which we appreciate. It is conveniently located and they don't care how long anyone stays. Our friend, Marie von Minden, has been here off and on for months while she writes a book. So we have had her over for dinner the last 2 nights and I have enjoyed petting and walking her little cairn terrier named Kristi.
I promised to post some pictures from Boomerville at Quartzsite, where we spent most of January. The Boomers is a sub-group of the Escapees RV club which meets every January on the desert and besides all the Quartzsite shopping and RV shows, the Boomer group has lots of other activities. No one is in charge; each activity is suggested and coordinated by a volunteer. The other appeal is that so many of our friends attend this. So we have social events with friends as well.
The first night we were there we had this view:
The second day our Park Sierra friends, Glenda & Elleen, arrived and stayed overnight with us. They had planned to come in their own little Minnie Winnie, but just before they left, it had an engine problem and before they could get it fixed, it caught fire and their rig was totaled! So they stayed in with us and we had a great visit. The next day they went on to Phoenix and flew to Florida for a vacation.
Our friends David & Diane Wilson have cruised with us many times. We talked them into joining us for 10 days in their RV. Then we showed them all the charms of Quartzsite and Boomerville. Here they are in one of the many shopping venues in town:
There are always lots of gems and minerals for sale, including fossils like these from Morocco. When we were in Morocco we saw similar ones and I think they are cheaper here!
There is a small museum which has some wonderful displays of crystals such as this:
One of the first Boomer activities was a chili cookoff. I made some, and so did about 20 other people. Here are some of the judges tasting the entries:
There were also lots of good side dishes to go with the chili, and we ate with our friends, David & Diane:
One of the Boomer couples, Gretchen and Bob, made pancakes just about every other day for anyone who wanted to come and have some. This was quite a feat given that there were over 130 rigs at Boomerville. All they asked was for donations, which went to CARE. This is a place at Escapees headquarters in Texas where members can go when they need assistance due to a medical situation. Here is the pancake queen:
Down in our area, which Carole Schneider nicknamed "The Ghetto", we had a big 46th anniversary party for Anke & Herb. It was on the 21st and it was so windy out that Mike and Marilyn Harrison, the co-hosts with us, pulled their rig over near ours to make a windbreak. Here is the happy couple with their wedding picture in between:
Lots of the friends were having a great time, as you can tell by this picture of Judy & Paul, Ann sitting on Elaine's lap, Mick & Dona:
Betty & Duane, one of the sweetest couples, came to help celebrate. They are high school sweethearts themselves:
Elaine was partying with Dick & Carole Schneider while Mick took pictures:
Dona & Joe, new members, sit with Beth and Elaine:
Marilyn, her cousin Jeanne, and Diane:
Marilyn sits with old friends Sam & Bob, and the couple they brought along, Nu & Dana:
Herb & Anke with Mary & Elaine:
And with the other co-hosts, Marilyn & Mike:
Anke is a really good cook and baker and she gave Diane, Elaine and me a lesson in making rolls:
Herb & Anke had provided really expensive and delicious champagne for the party. The next day, while we were baking in our rig, Herb brought over a leftover bottle of chilled champagne and 4 glasses for us to share.
Another Boomer activity is the Geraldine contest/fashion show, where some of the men dress up like women in fancy outfits and with very funny explanations. Connie Farquar was the commentator, so she dressed in a man's suit. It is very entertaining and here are this years participants:
Larry and Joyce Space were with us when we drove down to Panama and back in 2004. They
attended Boomerville this year and here is Larry in his Geraldine outft:
Other good friends, Carol & Ron Leonard, sopped by for a few days. Here they are with the friends at Mike & Marilyn's campfire:
Morning coffee around the campfire helped everyone bond.
Sometimes someone would bring out special treats to serve, such as when Herb shared some crostinis:
Another evening we drove to the other side of the valley for a potluck with some Park Sierra friends. The food was delicious, and it was nice to reconnect with our "neighbors". Then we all enjoyed a campfire:
Our other favorite group is the RoVing Rods, and they were also meeting over on Plomosa Road. We joined them for a fish fry on the 27th. Ron and Barb Bonham are in charge of the group and coordinated the potluck/fish fry:
Betty had made several really delicious pies for Elaine's birthday. Here is Elaine with Betty:
And here are the pies:
Then there was another big campfire:
Besides socializing, other things get handled too. Tom Vineski took the time to investigate and troubleshoot our electrical problem and coordinate things with the Xantrex technician on the phone. In exchange, Doctor Elaine did some work on the foot of his wife, Nancy:
Every year we have to have a big party for Elaine's birthday, and this year she was 65 so Saturday night there was a celebration. Our very dear friends Lee & Susie drove over from the Boondocker gathering and here they are with the birthday girl:
Some of the other party animals were the Rayners, Jan, Joyce Space, and Dick & Carolyn Babione:
There were actually 3 birthday people this year, so here are Dick, Nu, and Elaine with the cake I made for them:
Life on the Arizona desert often involves some spectacular sunrises and sunsets. Here is one of the sunrises (yes, I was actually up that early...)
And I will close with a sunset over Mike and Marilyn's rig. Goodnight.