Brookield Zoo

Brookield Zoo
Brookfield Zoo

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Keeping the pace up and Christmas in AZ

We continue to maintain our active lifestyle here in AZ with Pickleball, Line Dancing and visiting with friends. Of course we always try to get some hiking in too.

We recently got together with our friends Ron and Patsy and did a hike at the Usery Regional Park to the Wind Cave. It's a steady uphill trail with great views of the Phoenix area. The cave isn't really much of a cave, more like an overhang of rock but still scenic.




Stairway to Heaven?

The Wind Cave

It was a nice cool sunny day for our hike and we had a great time getting some outdoor air exercise.

We stopped at the Wind Cave to have some snacks when we noticed a lot of chipmunks around us. They seemed to swarm as they became bolder and bolder and closer and closer as we ate. IT almost got a little creepy but it was still fun to see them running around.


The little black specks are all chipmunks

They like apples

Our views were amazing and we could even see some of the Phoenix downtown skyline in the distance.





Another fun day of hiking with friends. OF course we always end our hikes with lunch somewhere and this was no exception. Once we got back to the truck we headed to an great Mexican restaurant.




We haven't had a chance to be with our son, Chris for Christmas for about 5 years wince he had moved to Nashville, TN and then on to Mesa, AZ so this was a wonderful opportunity to get together. He has a very nice house and plenty of room to cook and have a gift exchange and dinner. We had already enjoyed time with him and his girlfriend, Audrey at Thanksgiving so this was a special treat.

We had the usual turkey, mash potatoes, Jello salad, green beans and rolls. Of course we stuffed ourselves. Very happy we could spend quality time together.




After dinner we watched some football and I think I may have even dozed off a little. Good food will do that to me. We made sure to call the daughters and my Dad to wish them a Merry Christmas. This has been a very good year and we've seen a lot of places and shares some incredible times with family and friends. Still loving this lifestyle. We only have 2 more months here in AZ before we hitch up and begin moving slowly east trying to stay far enough south until the weather gets warmer up north. We're beginning to put some plans together for that trek and once we fully work it out you'll be the first to know. Thanks for following along. So hard to keep up on the blog when we're having so much fun. I'll keep working on it.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Keeping busy at our winter home

Time does sure fly when having fun and that's what we're doing now that we've been back in AZ after our visit with family and friends in IL. I can't believe it's been over a month since we left AZ to watch our grandson, Aiden and just under a month that we've been back. I've neglected the blog but for good reason. We've been keeping busy.

One of the first things we did was have Thanksgiving dinner with our son, Chris and his girlfriend, Audrey. They cooked a wonderful ham, green bean casserole and mashed potatoes. We brought some veggies and dip, cheese and crackers, marshmallow fluff, sweet potatoes and of course, pumpkin pie. What a thankful, delicious dinner and time we had. And what goes better with Thanksgiving than Football? We definitely watched that too. :-)

What a spread

Happy faces after dinner

The amenities here in the RV park are so many there just isn't time to do everything so Glenda and I tend to concentrate on what we like best. For Glenda that's line dancing. She goes to classes twice a week and learns new dances. This is probably the most popular activity at the park.



 And for me, it's Pickleball. I try to play 3-4 times each week and get into a round robin tournament on Saturday mornings. Great exercise and good for the reflexes.

Photo from the web

However both of us enjoy hiking with our friends Ron and Patsy.

Picketpost in the background

Picketpost Mountain

Saguaro cactus and the mountain

Once or twice and week we try to get out for some hiking with our friends. Picketpost Mtn is about 25 miles further east of our park near Superior, AZ. Going to the top of Picketpost is a very challenging hike but none of us were ready for something like that right now so we did out hike about half way up the mountain to get some great views of the surrounding desert.



This was our first hike after coming back to the SW. We had a great hike and had some lunch in Superior after. We recently did another hike on the Coffee Flats trail near Peralta trailhead. It's a nice up and down trail with mild elevation changes but great landscape.

Trail leading to Coffee Flats

Miner's Needle

Grasses growing in a wash

The magnificent Saguaro cactus

Looking out over Coffee Flats

Lush color

Follow the leader?

We never get tired of the desert and the beauty that we find. Some may look at it as just rocks and sand but if you look really close you'll find life in every fashion. Can't get enough.

Continuing on with our activities, our friends Ron and Patsy had company come for a few days and they invited us to go with them to Organ Stop Pizza. This was a first for their company but we've been before and jumped at the chance to go back. If you CLICK ON THIS LINK I did a full write up of our first visit there in 2014. The history is certainly something to learn about, the pizza is very tasty and the music is something you should not miss. If you're ever in Mesa, AZ you need to go.

 Last weekend we had the opportunity to see Chris in a Holiday parade. His class in lineman school had a float(truck) in the Chandler-Gilbert Holiday Parade and Festival. Chris dressed in a Coyote costume and was on top of the float waving to the crowd of people.

Coyote Chris

Every parade has horses

And dogs?

It was a festive parade and tons of people lined the streets. After Chris's float got to the end of the route he headed back to where were watching the parade pass by and we decided to see what they had for food at the festival.

Nothing like a festival with Deep Fried Klondike Bars and Bacon Lemonade

Chris and Audrey

After we taste tested some OTHER foods, we parted ways and headed home. It's so nice to be able to spend time with Chris leading into the Christmas season. I noted in my last post, we won't be going back to IL and IN this year. We'll certainly miss everyone back there but not the weather they're getting right now.

We love the activities here at the RV park and have made so many great friends. We love the weather here and are so happy we tried AZ after we retired. Such a beautiful state. Tomorrow we plan to go on another hike with our friends. Keeping busy in AZ. Thanks for following along.