Sunday, November 30, 2008

FIRST WEEK IN YUMA ARIZONA

Greetings from sunny Arizona! Our marvelous coach, Penny the Pace transported us south from Oceanside CA on I-5 and then east on Highway 8 to Yuma AZ this past Tuesday without incident. We were very grateful because on Wednesday night all H--- broke loose and this area of the state experienced a spectacular thunder and lightening storm. The rain reminded me of the type of torrential downpour, usually experienced in the tropics, arriving in waves with Yuma ultimately receiving over 2 inches. (BTW-no leaks in Penny!) Fortunately, there was no wind but that also meant the storm hung over us for several hours. The cloud cover was so low and thick we lost contact with our Internet satellite and then a few minutes later, we lost the TV satellite connection. Hmmmm … no internet AND no TV … we just sat back and watched in awe as Mother Nature reminded us she is in charge! The next day it was sun as usual ... we love it!

As I mentioned last Sunday we went to Balboa Park to attend the weekly Spreckles Organ Concert. Located in the heart of the park and celebrating its 90th birthday, the gigantic organ was a gift to the people of San Diego from John and Adolph Spreckles (of the sugar family) and is the largest outdoor organ in the world. In continuous use since 1915, the concert was performed by civic organist, Dr. Carol Williams. Lasting only an hour, the concert was wonderful and I really wanted to share some of the music with you so I figured out how to take a video with my digital camera. However, trying to upload the video into my blog has been an exercise in futility. Our internet connection speed is just up a notch or two from dial up and a one minute 30 second piece would have taken over three hours to upoad! I tried it using Blogger and Viddler without any luck. If someone knows a better way please share your expertise with me! Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

Balboa Park, just minutes from downtown is a priceless jewel in the heart of the city of San Diego. At 1500 acres, it is home to 15 major museums, many performing art venues, lush gardens everywhere along with cultural and recreational attractions including the San Diego Zoo that we explored last week. We walked for over an hour after the concert and soaked in the ambiance of the extraordinary architecture, ogled the diversity of people and listened to many entertainers including a didgeridoo playing duo along with a variety of other musicians. There were magicians, palm readers, face painters, caricature artists, dogs on leashes in all sizes and shapes, an enormous Koi pond leading up to a fabulous botanical garden dating back to 1915 just to name a few things we saw. It was late so we skipped the museums saving them for another trip. It is indeed a magical place and the people of San Diego are so fortunate to have it in their back yard.

The movie, "Australia" opened on Wednesday and we went to the matinee and really enjoyed it. To quote the male lead (and recently voted the sexiest man alive by People Magazine), Hugh Jackman on the Tonight Show, “It isn’t "Gone with the Wind" but it is an epic that will stand the test of time.” We agreed. Nicole Kidman did a wonderful job in her part but 11 year-old Brandon Walters who played the half-cast Nullah steals the show from both stars. We will hear more about this young man in the near future. The spectacular scenery was in itself worth the price of admission.

Phil and I celebrated our birthdays (both born on 11-27) which also fell on Thanksgiving this year and we received birthday greetings from our children and our lovely niece, Tammy. Of course, our dear friend, Gloria was the first to call and wish us both a “happy birthday!” Together with my precious cousin, Nada and her partner, Andre’ we enjoyed our holiday dinner at the Happy Greek Chef in old town Yuma. As usual, the food was very good, the company was wonderful and there were boxes of leftovers to take home. Nada is staying in Yuma for awhile to get caught up at work and hopefully, find a buyer for her house that has been on the market since late summer. Somehow, I forgot to take any pictures! I hate it when that happens.

We had another delightful get-together on Friday joining fellow fulltimers, Bill and Diane (again at the Happy Greek Chef) for lunch. We have known Bill and Diane (there is a link to their blog on the Backroad Chronicle’s sidebar) for a couple years but this is the first time we have been in the same location at the same time long enough to find time for a good visit. It was fun and we look forward to seeing them again at the Gypsy Journal Rally in February, 2009. After lunch Phil and I made a stop at the first Wal*Mart Supercenter we have seen since Oregon and picked up a few groceries and one of my prescriptions. Yesterday, Phil got out the buckets and gave our Penny a good scrubbing and she looks like her shiny self again. After that, he went over to Aunt Elaine’s place and besides having the sad task of informing her neighbors of her passing went to work cleaning up the yard. We have no idea what Elaine’s children will decide to do with her winter home here in Yuma but we will contribute what we can to keep it looking “lived in” until they make their decision.

We have a “to do” list of our own to get to work on so our days will be filled with a variety of chores for the next couple months. Phil and I trust everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and thank you for taking the time to check in on the blog and keeping up with our (sometimes mundane) adventures. We really appreciate you stopping in!


Until next time ...

6 comments:

  1. Sorry we missed you, as we're in San Diego right now!! =)

    Leaving tomorrow, though, for Desert Hot Springs.

    Happy Travels!
    Suzanne & Brad
    campingandtravels.blogspot.com

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  2. Joy & Phil... Happy belated birthday... Sounds like fun was had by one & all... I would have loved to been with you guys for the day... We love that kind of stuff... Have a wonderful Sunday...

    (((HUGS)))
    Donna

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  3. Joy and Phil --
    We have studiously avoided most of Southern California because of (1) past experience and (2) traffic.

    Now, thanks to you guys, we are drooling over the opportunity to visit San Diego and especially Balboa Park!

    You asked for our apple burrito recipe. As soon as we can figure it out, we'll post it. Thanks for asking!

    Jerry and Suzy

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  4. Hi:

    So sounds like you were near Quartzsite, Az. My Dad goes there every year because they have a big shindig between Thanksgiving and through February. I heard it's a sea of motor homes during that time.

    I've often wondered what it would be like to sell everything and hit the road. Good to know someone's decided to try it.

    Wishing you good luck as you live your dreams.

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  5. Oooh, I'm so jealous that Penny doesn't leak...

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  6. Joy and Phil --
    So glad you enjoyed the apple burritos! The recipe is easily adaptable, as you found out with the additional Splenda. You could also switch out the raisins in favor of dried blueberries, Craisins,, or a mixture of any and all!

    Yes, we always freeze some for New Years Day breakfast, and they come out tasting and looking just as fresh as they did Thanksgiving morning.

    We've been hearing so much about these burritos and the recipe that we are hungry for them again!!! Yes, it's a bunch of work, but OH so worth it!

    Jerry and Suzy

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