Mule Deer

Monday, January 7, 2019

Hoildays with family...Illinois, Indiana and Arizona with a side trip to Vegas

Time sure flew since being here in Arizona approaching the holidays. We had to celebrate in stages. We hopped on the plane in Mesa and flew to South Bend, IN to spend our first part of family Christmas there. The grandkids there are a little older and more into their things and our grandson, Caden, is now 16 and has a job at McDonalds. Very proud of him for searching out that job and landing it. We missed having Brooklyne and Jasmyne there since they both live in other states. Jasmyne in Henderson, NV outside Vegas and Brooklyne with her Dad in Georgia. We'll see Brooklyne in May at her High School graduation. Anyway, we had a good time visiting at Sommer and Todd's house and enjoyed our Christmas celebration. Things are paired down some since our retirement but everyone enjoyed their gifts.

Ryleigh got a purse

Caden got money for video games

Sommer got a gift card and socks

Todd got Packer pens and gift card

Everyone got some additional money to spend on themselves...I think Ryleigh liked her amount.

The last night in town we had a great meal at Bone Fish Restaurant

And Glenda made here famous Candy Cane cookies

It was a quick visit over the weekend but time for us to move on to our next destination in Bloomington. Normal, Il. That's where the kids grew up, we retired from that area and my brother, Kent, still lives there. It was a fun time visiting him and his girlfriend, Nancy. We had a couple dinners out and they made a delicious meal on our last night there. And a huge thank you to Kent for letting us stay at his second house while we were there. And for all the great wine and beer tastings.

Glenda spent a day with her good friend, Diana. They of course did some shopping and had dinner.

We continue to move on now to our next destination at Heather and Paul's house in Bartlett, IL. They are parents to our youngest grandson, Aiden. He's 5 years old and he still likes to have grandpa and grandma play games with him. He certainly keeps me busy playing trains with him. He likes to set up the wooden tracks in their foyer and we pretend to carry all sorts of things around the track. He really keeps me young but after a few hours crawling around the floor, I do feel my age.

We started one train track in the basement

Then it was up to the foyer for more train fun

Paul, of course, smoked some ribs and made a couple other fantastic meals. We also had a meal at a new brewery in town. Paul and I try to come up with new beers to taste together and he sure did not disappoint. Again, it was time to open some presents. So much fun when the grandkids are young.

Wii Games

Stripe shirt

Wild shirt

Heather loves my Dad jokes so we got her a calendar she can use at work with a ton of them

Steeler pens and gift card for Paul

We took a trip to the mall nearby and they have a train that runs around the mall. Grandma and Aiden had to take a ride.

Then it was time to make a gingerbread train. Can you tell Aiden loves trains. Heather and Aiden worked together to put the train together and decorate it. It turns out fantastic. Hmmm...I didn't get to have a piece of that gingerbread train. I'm sure it was good.

Aiden was so proud of their work, as he should be

Aiden got to wear his new shirt around the house and I think he'll be wearing it to school when he goes back after the holiday break. 

Can you see me now Grandpa? 

Glenda made some cookies at Heather's house too while we were there. We made sure they had some delicious treats to give to Santa on Christmas Eve. 

I saw this photo of Aiden and Paul from Heather's friend, Casey and Bryan's wedding. Aiden was the ringbearer. Looks like he'll be on duty again in April when his Uncle Chris and Aunt Kendra get married. Everyone said he did a wonderful job. He looks pretty handsome. 

Well the fun had to end and we needed to get back to Arizona and some warmer weather. Except the weather in AZ wasn't all that much warmer. I'll still take it though. We had a great visit with family and wish we could spend more time. Everyone is so busy and have their lives to live as we do so we make the most of the time we are together. 

Happy New Year!!!

Now for our side trip to Vegas. We haven't seen our oldest granddaughter, Jasmyne for about 2 years. She was living in Michigan going to school and working there but decided to move to Henderson, NV with her friend, Brenna's family. She found a good job and a new school to get her nursing degree. Being this 5 hours away, we decided we needed our Jasmyne fix. Great way to start the new year. We got a hotel reservation near where she lives in Henderson and made plans to hang out. We checked in and let her know we were in town. We had dinner that night together and since she had the day off the next day we got back together and drove around Lake Mead near Hoover Dam. We stopped at a small beach and walked a couple of trails near by. The weather was cool so we had to bundle up a little. 

It was a fun day that ended up with dinner at a Mexican restaurant in a casino. Well after dinner we did a little slot machine play and Jasmyne did end up with some money. Dinner was wonderful and Jasmyne's friend, Brenna joined us. We had a great waiter who enjoyed my Dad Jokes and made dinner fun.  He even offered to take our photo. 

After our dinner and slot play we went back to our hotel room to give Jasmyne her presents we brought. We played a card game of Clue and hang out talking and more catching up. It was getting late and Brenna and Jasmyne had to work the next day and it was time for us to head back to AZ. 

Never too far to go to visit family. maybe some day more of our family will move to the Southwest. We love this area and will most definitely be exploring the Southwest more in the future. 

We did have a quick visit from Chris and Kendra at our home(motorhome) after we got back so we could have our Christmas with them. I smoked some ribs and Glenda made some mashed potatoes, corn and salad. The ribs turned out ok(not great) but I'm still learning so I'll keep working on my technique. Like a good blogger, I didn't get photos of them or the meal. Just believe me when I say we had a good time. We took a walk around the park and checked out some the new park models being built and worked off some of the food we ate. We'll be spending more time with them as winter continues here in AZ. 

The holidays are over and time for everyone to get back to their routines. We are back to Pickleball and Line Dancing and looking forward to meeting up with friends in Quartzsite, AZ for some dry camping in a couple weeks. A nice little break in our routine. I hope to see one other blogger, Rick and Kathy from It's about Time. Rick and Kathy have followed my blog almost from the beginning and I have followed theirs. They're Canadians and by the way they write their blog we know we'll enjoy meeting them as we have with so many other Canadian friends here in our RV park each winter. 

Quartzsite, AZ here we come. I hope you'll continue to follow along. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Enjoying the much to do

We've gotten settled in for sure here at Canyon Vistas RV Resort. Glenda and I had taken a couple hikes to some familiar trails and a hike on a new trail. I mentioned one of our favorite trails in the last post called The Old Mine Trail. We enjoy that trail because it's easy and the landscape is so desert.

Our next hike took us to Usery Mountain Park. We hiked the Blevins trail....again an easy hike but we got in about 4.5 miles. I even found a few geocaches. And I found out that the Cholla really do seem to jump out at you.

Superstition Mountains in the distance

This saguaro pointed the way to go on the trail

Look at my left elbow closely...ouch

It took some doing to get all the cholla spines out. They seem to go every which way. Still a wonderful hike on a beautiful day.

Typically when we hike with friends, we go out to eat after. Since we didn't have our usual friends with us....we went home and ate. Saved a few bucks though.

On another day we took a drive up to Fountain Hills, AZ about an hour drive. They have a great park with a walking path around. And about every hour the fountain shoots water into the sky. It has 4 jets to do this and can reach heights of about 560 feet. Typically only 2 jets are functioning which shoots the water up about 300 feet. Quite spectacular.

As we walked around the park we noticed some frisbee golfers playing. Come to find out the Regional Frisbee Golf Championship was going on. Each player had to show different skills at different stations around the park. These guys and ladies can really play and throw a frisbee.

This station was really hard as they tried to throw the frisbee across a section of the lake. Some made it and some didn't. We found out that if the frisbee is close enough to the shore they're able to retrieve them with long poles. As we walked we came across the trophies the player could win. They were quite unique and creative.

The winners trophy

It was a beautiful day and lots of folks around the park enjoying the weather and scenery. 

A few more fountain photos

We had such a great time at Usery Park hiking a few days prior so we headed back to try a new trail. We started on the Blevins trail and veered off on the Cat Peaks Trail. Just a walk around the Cat Peaks. 

We love the desert landscape and can't seem to get enough of it. We plan to continue our hikes and try different trails. Of course we keep up our activities at the park with Pickleball and Line Dancing.

Our most recent excursion took us to The Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch off of Guadalupe Rd in Gilbert, AZ. If you'd like more information, please follow the link above. The town of Gilbert is very ecofriendly. 

Several trails around 7 ponds in the park and they connect with the Canal Trail going north and south. Great for walking and bicycling. 

Not sure what kind of bush this was but they were very puffy and giving off tufts like a Cottonwood tree would do.

The main lake allows visitors to feed the water fowl so as you walk along the lake the ducks, geese and coots follow you around looking for a meal. 

The weather here in the Phoenix area has been great since the hail storm a few weeks ago but looks like it's going to get cooler over the next couple highs in the 50's and lows in the upper 30's. Compared to what we used to experience in Illinois.....we can't complain. 

A golf game with my son, Chris and a couple of his friends will be happening next Sunday so I hope to keep up with these
youngsters. Then on we fly back home in December to celebrate an early Christmas with Heather, Sommer and families. A trip to Bloomington/ Normal to see my brother will happen too. Looking forward to our visits and hoping the weather holds out while we're there.

A big hello to all from under the awning

Thanks for following along.