Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Someone had a birthday...

This date happens to mark the day my mother gave birth to her baby girl, after having two sons already.  And that is basically how I view it, as I have never really been the type of person who makes a big deal about it.  In fact; I don't like attention drawn to me, so low key events work just fine for me -receiving phone calls, text messages, Facebook messages, cards, and dinner for the occasion.  Okay, okay...the hubby does get me a gift too.

Everyday is a celebration for not only me but for the hubby too, especially now that we travel full-time.

After getting up;  we decided neither of us really cared to get out and about, so we had a relaxing day hanging out in the rig.  I got to work on my new hobby - making ear rings, Jerry decided to work on us a new playlist for the iPod and Max decided it was a great day chasing lizards in the desert.  We even decided to postpone our dinner celebration until we get to our next city where there is a little better of a selection for restaurants.

Cherishing the small things, as there are more of them.....

Friday, March 22, 2013

Spring 2013; Desert Blooms & Explore Backcountry

Awe, Spring time is in the desert air. In my opinion the best time to be in the desert; warmer temps and the glow of the blooms shine above the desert floor.

The average temps are around high 40s to high 80s with a few blistering days around 97F. Oh my those 97 degrees days where a bit much; reminded us too much of being back in Texas - lol. Although we heard the Spring will be warmer than usual this year with no help for states in the drought climates. Beginning to think Texas will be the new desert if things don't change soon.

Here's just a few blooms and views we are getting to explore in SW Arizona.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Watch out Phoenix; Girls Day Out

It was time to shake off the dirt from desert living and hit the city for the day with our own tour guide. Christine had lived in the Phoenix area, so she was pleased to take Barb, Cathi, Gigi, and I on a personal tour while we worked our way to the Phoenix Zoo and possibly the Botanical Gardens. So we thought it ended up being a day of eating, site seeing, and a few animals.

After our few errands; Christine introduced us to Pita Jungle , which specializes in organic healthy eating.  They have 17 locations; 14 in Arizona and 3 in California, so if you happen to be in either of these two states; I would highly recommend checking them out.   I fully enjoyed my wood-fired chicken dinner (wood-fired marinated chicken breast on a bed of wilted spinach and garlic herb smashed potatoes with a light garlic tomato sauce)...excuse me as I wipe the drool – lol.  After such a wonderful meal; it was time for the zoo as I really needed a little exercise to help work-off our lunch feast! 

GiGi, Cathi, Christine, Me, & Barb

I personally like to see animals in a more natural sitting instead of cages; so wasn’t too sure what to expect visiting the Phoenix Zoo.  It was a quaint local zoo; not too many animals on site and small natural enclosures, and it appeared the landscape needed a little TLC.   Just was not what I had experienced in other zoo environments; plus we arrived early afternoon and most of the animals were napping, which was also a big disappointment. However I was with great company and enjoyed seeing the beautiful animals – after all it’s not every day you get to see wild animals.  All that walking did us some good; emptied our stomachs enough to try another favorite of Christine’s.

Barb & I enjoying a drink after all that walking

But before that; she took us to Scottsdale to show us the unique and quaint downtown area.  We didn’t really have the time to get out and scout around, however it did draw me in to say; “have to come back someday”.  All types of shopping, eateries, museums, and people watching.  Then we headed back to Chandler, AZ to have a little Mexican food at El Zocalo .  Again, another outstanding eatery and the services were excellent.  But it didn’t end there…

Road Runner

While having dinner, we started talking about ending the day with dessert.  Of course being at a Mexican eatery we saw sopapillas with fried ice cream on the menu.  However, one of the ladies never had it, so she was asked what was her favorite dessert?  Cheesecake quickly came out, so…. what better place to get cheesecake…The Cheesecake Factory .  Although we got them to go this time, as most were too full, getting late, and/or want to share with our hubby.  Not mine; he got his own… that’s just the way I roll…

Awesome outing gals; hopefully we can do it again someday!  Now it’s time to rest…

Rainbow; got his name due to rump was rainbow colors

Loin's napping together

Tiger, what a beauty
Big Horn Sheep

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Completed the Circle

October 2012 marked the completion of the first year of our journeys which was a large circle in the Western United States.  We were amazed at the changes we found when we returned back to where home was; family/friends changed jobs, got engaged/married, moved away and/or started families.  During our break we took time to visit with family and friends, correct problems with the Cruiser (aka toy), replaced unused items with things we wished we had brought from storage last year, took care of yearly check-ups, worked the horse sale in Shawnee, OK, and got repairs taken care of on the RV… oh until we had to be towed (more on that in a later post).
We met lots of new friends which taught us a lot on how to live on the road.  We learned about solar and what an important part it plays while boondocking (dry camping).  We learned what was important in picking a new rig; things like large fridge, storage, and the importance of slides and how much they improve our living space.  Comfort is more important when you are a full-timer versus heading out for a couple weeks.

The challenges of the next journey is how to integrate ourselves into our new lifestyle, all our lives we worked for the house, two kids, dog and a white picket fence.  This has now turned into a house on wheels, kids spread across the USA and a dog that wants to go out even when it is below freezing outside.  Looking out our windows the view is constantly changing; grass to tall… move to a freshly mowed area, too hot… time to go to the mountains, too cold… head for the desert.  Sounds great; we have to say it mostly is.  Only hard part is the friends and family we leave behind at home or the new friends when we part ways.  Our biggest challenge is becoming involved with a “Workamper” lifestyle, keeping everything in good shape, our bellies full and fuel to warm us or move us down the road. It has cost more than we anticipated which is partly why Deb worked last summer. We plan to travel the 2013 summer, but plan on some sort of work to support our new habit as time goes on.  We will take the time to decide the next direction and what type of work we can include so we are not stuck in one area for too long at a time.  But for now we will enjoy and rest while finishing out the winter in Quartzsite, AZ. 

Jerry with brothers Buck & Bill

May our journey never end and our paths continue to cross.

Jerry, Deb & Max 

Oldest son; Ryan, JoAnn, Jerry, Gene

Youngest son, Kyle, Kelly, Max, & Jerry
Deb's family; Megan, Dennis, Hailey, Gene, Pepper, Patsy, & me