Our Mottos

‎"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go..."
— Dr. Seuss (Oh, the Places You'll Go!)

"It is good to have an end to journey towards, but it is the journey that matters in the end." - Ursula LeGuin

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Things continue to hum along just fine in our lives. We are loving the new place more and more each day. We really feel a peace about living here. It is cozy and truly feels like home. Even the pets are loving living here. We get morning sun streaming through the front windows so you can find our furry friends lounging all over the living room floor basking in the sun. Brenda commented today that sunshine can bring enemies together. It is funny to see the dog lying beside the cats all in the name of a good sun spot.

Today, we finally got Brenda and her computer reunited. Even if it isn't her original computer. Let me back up and give you the back story. Once we were all moved in, we proceeded to get her computer hooked up. Unfortunately, it would start. There was no power to it at all. So we took it in to replace the power pack. To make a long story short, they no longer make the special part needed for her computer. We had to buy her a new computer. We got a really good deal on a Lenovo laptop at Best Buy. We took the new computer in to the repair place to transfer all her files.

We took in in last Friday and thought we would get it back yesterday. That was not to be. It turns out her hard drive was slowly dying and they were having trouble retrieving the files. They were finally able to get it all done and we picked it up this afternoon.  Now we both have our own computers again so I will be able to get on mine more often.

It has been a very frustrating 5 weeks waiting on her computer but the good news is she has a new computer and still has all her old files. Now she just gets to spend hours getting everything else set up just like it was on the old one.

We are looking forward to spending Christmas with my family in Brooksville, Florida. That is where my parents have chosen to do their snow birding. We will be flying out Christmas morning from Phoenix. We are spending the night in Phoenix so we don't have to do all that really early morning driving. I love the Sleep, Park, Fly deal. You stay one night in a participating hotel and you can park the car in their lot while you are gone. The price of the hotel is comparable to parking at the airport. Plus, we can have a more leisurely drive up there and and easier morning. They have a shuttle that takes you to the airport and picks you up. We will head up there after I get off work Saturday and we plan on having a nice dinner up their and a relaxing evening. We fly back to Phoenix on the 31st and I get to go to work the next morning. No big deal since I only work the weekends and I will be off the rest of the week.

I am continuing to stay focused on the abundance in my live and to keep being thankful for all that I have. I am seeing a difference in my live. We always seem to have exactly what we need when we need it. It is amazing to me just how blessed I am. I may not be rich with money but oh my gosh am I rich with what matters.

May you all have an abundant holiday season that gives you much to be thankful for!!!!!!!!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Time to Update

I guess it has been a while since I lasted posted. I have been so busy it just slipped my mind. Sorry about that.

We are all moved into the new place. We absolutely love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!! In fact, I think the longer we are here the more we find to enjoy about it. I will have to get some pictures posted. Brenda's computer has the photo program and it has been in the shop since we moved. It was working just fine but when we plugged it in here, nothing! I took it to the shop and they had to order parts. I will do some follow up on Monday to see get a status update.

The weather here has turned cold and rainy. In fact, there is snow up in the mountains. We made our first fire in the fireplace last night. I have missed having a fireplace. It just makes it so cozy and warm.

Prior to the cold weather, we spent a day at one of our favorite places, the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum. If you ever come to Tucson, it is a must see. It is so awesome-its part museum, part zoo and part botanical gardens. You really learn a lot about the desert. Again, once we get the computer back, there will be lots of pictures.

Only three more weeks until Christmas. Hard to believe. I am looking forward to our trip to Florida to see my family. I wish the trip was a road trip, but we do not have enough time so we are flying. We will be taking an early spring road trip back to Indiana to see Brenda's family and the new granddaughter due in February.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Making Progress

We are doing really good downsizing. I can't believe how much junk stuff we are getting rid of. The house is a total mess as we are going through stuff and only taking what we actually use. In fact, I would say we are only taking a fraction of what we own. There is more stuff going to charity than actually getting moved. I look around and see so much stuff but Brenda keeps reminding me most of it is trash or charitable.

We called a moving company today and scheduled all the furniture to be picked up on the 15th. By all the furniture, I mean about 9 pieces. We have sold so much stuff and only have a few big pieces left. We are moving the smaller stuff over with the cars. We have made about three trips and are almost done. Amazing. By Friday we should have just the bare essentials left at the old place.

I found a listing on Craigslist for an organization that needs and wants everything and anything and they will come pick it up. I will call them tomorrow and see if we can get them to come and take away all the stuff we don't want. We will be donating lots of towels and blankets to a local no-kill animal shelter. We have been on the fence as to whether we should have a yard sale. We decided it wouldn't be worth the hassle so we will just donate all our stuff.

It has been a week since we said our goodbyes to Mattie. I still have lots of ups and downs. Some of the habits and routines are hard to break and a few times I forgot she was gone. The move is helping me. And as time goes by and I look at the older pictures of her, I can really see how much she had deteriorated at the end. I am so glad I didn't make her suffer any longer.

Tonight, we got to check out our new hot tub! It is great to have it just outside the front door. We will definitely be giving it a lot of attention. And now with the weather being much cooler, I can't wait to try out the fireplace. I am imagining cool nights with the fireplace roaring drinking hot adult beverages. YUMMMMMM!

As soon as we get them downloaded, I will post pictures of our new abode.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Bittersweet Times

Tonight we stand on the threshold of a new life. With it comes some good byes and hellos.

Tomorrow morning we have to say good bye to Mattie, our 14 year old lab. She is old and has many health issues and does not really have any quality of life. She is in a lot of pain. It is so hard to see her suffer but it is even harder to say good bye. I have had many moral and ethical conversations in my head about this. I could probably write a whole blog about it. I love her so much and don't want her to suffer. Mattie and I have been through a lot together and I don't remember what life was like before she came into it.

On Wednesday we get the keys to the new apartment and begin the arduous task of moving. It should be much easier since we have really downsized. We have sold lots of furniture, clothing and other assorted junk. We still have lots more we can get rid of. There are still quite a few items that we haven't been able to sell yet. I am hoping we can still get them sold and out of here. I am really looking forward to living at the new place. It will be a big adjustment but it gets us closer to our goal (not to mention a nicer area with better amenities.)

So this week is going to be bittersweet. I am so thankful for the joy, love and memories that Mattie has brought me and I am glad she chose to live her long and happy life with me. I am also looking forward to this move. It is another step toward our ultimate goal of living on the road. As always, life is changing and with it so will I.

Friday, October 21, 2011

We have been busy going through stuff and getting rid of all the unnecessary junk and furniture in this house. We have been very successful on Craigslist selling almost everything we have posted, at least all the big stuff. Today we posted a desk and it was sold within a few hours. We even sold a bunch of stuff before we could even post it to Craigslist.

We have also been lucky finding the replacement items needed. We found a great microwave cart the other day and today we got a great small dining table and chairs. I love that we are finding really great pieces.

Here's the table and chairs we bought today. They were even better that we had expected.

The other thing we have been dealing with is pack rats. They got up into Brenda's car and ate the spark plug wires. She was running on just three cylinders. Fortunately, we were able to get that fixed relatively cheaply by our awesome mechanic friend. We then went to the car wash and pressure sprayed the engine area to get rid of their marking scents. I will be glad when we move to the new place because it won't be so open to the desert areas.

Less than two weeks until we get into the new place. Our goal is to get all the small stuff in then have a mover get the big heavy stuff. I figured I have earned the right not to have to move the big stuff up those stairs. At the rate we are going, there won't be too much big stuff and the small stuff is quickly diminishing.

Friday, October 14, 2011

My Love Grows Strong For you Craig

I don't know who Craig is or when he started his list, but I love him so much.

We have been posting items on Craigslist and selling them quickly. We now have enough money for the deposit and all for the new apartment plus we have lots more to sell. And we still have 3 weeks before the money is due. We rock!!!!

Now we are seeing how much money we can get to help pay for movers so we can just sit back and tell guys where to go. LOL

We are also watching Craigslist for deals for us to replace some of the stuff we are selling. We are getting smaller items in place of the bigger ones we have sold. I enjoy reading Craigslist and seeing all the fun stuff people sell. Not only that, but it is hysterical reading some of posts. Many of them seem to be written by people who are unfamiliar with punctuation, spelling and the language in general. (I was going to post a great example, but when I went to copy it, it was flagged :( Oh well.)

Back to the entertainment!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I Really Am Still Around

I haven't posted lately because, well, nothing really exciting is happening. We are busy getting ready for the move and yard sale.

I don't even have any pictures to post. I suck.

I will try to go out and create some excitement in my life so I can have a fun post.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy

Been a busy week around here. Here is a quick recap:

Monday was Brenda's birthday but we were both working so we decided to celebrate on Tuesday night. I did, however, surprise her with flowers and chocolate chip cookies when she got home that night. I am so thoughtful.

Tuesday morning, we found out we had no hot water. No problem, I put in a call to the apartment office. Knowing the reputation of maintenance around here, I figured they would show up on Wednesday. Well to my surprise, they showed up that afternoon. Of course, it was while Brenda was giving a massage here at home. It took two maintenance guys to try to figure it out. In the end they decided we needed a new water heater. So they would get one asap.

That night, we went out with some friends to an Italian Restaurant in the neighborhood that had been recommended by friends. It did not disappoint. The food was amazing. They have a nice outdoor patio area so we sat outside. It was a beautiful evening with a slight breeze. It had rained shortly before we got there so the temperature had dropped to a very pleasant level. It was a perfect evening. We both had so much food left over that we had several meals out of it. I love it when that happens.

On Wednesday, we headed up to Mt. Lemon. It is a beautiful drive up there and at 9000 feet, it is much cooler and a totally different climate. The drive is only 25 miles, but with stopping and taking pictures, it takes hours to get to the top. We had stopped at Jimmy Johns and got sandwiches for a picnic. At the top is a cute little general store that has some really good fudge. Of course, we had to stop in and get some.

Looking out over the valley.

The picnic area

Trying to photograph our vistor

Cute little purple bug that joined us for lunch

Tall pine trees at the top

A little brook

More tall trees

The hoodoos. My favorite part.
I am so proud of myself for figuring how to get these off my cell phone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Remember how I was telling you about the water heater? Well we had called the office on Wednesday afternoon and they told us they had to order a new water heater and it hadn't come in yet. They were expecting it Thursday morning and they would install it as soon as it came in.

Thursday we both had sinus headaches so we took it kind of easy. We did go out to Red Robin and used Brenda's birthday coupon for a free burger. We also did some shopping.

Today we had bunches of running around to do. But, the first thing I had to do was call the office and find out where our water heater was. The girl said she would find out and get back with me. About 5 minutes later she called back and said it had just arrived and they would be installing it this afternoon. We decided to go do our errands. As we were getting ready to leave the maintenance man came and began the process of replacing our water heater. We went ahead and left while he was working.

While we were out, we got some pieces for our Halloween costumes, did lots of window shopping for furniture ideas for the new apartment and got the oil changed on my car. I feel so productive.

When we got home, the water heater was all installed. After dinner, I took a good long HOT shower. It was heavenly. Now I am getting ready to head to bed. I need to go to work tomorrow and get some rest.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Moving Along

We are a mere 5 weeks away from signing the lease on the new apartment. I am really starting to get excited about this move. I haven't been as wildly ecstatic as I normally get when big change occurs. Probably because there were times we weren't sure if we were getting the place we really like. I think its definite that we ARE getting it.

We have sold several things through Craigslist and to people I work with. The more I sell and get rid of, the more I want to sell and get rid of. We still have lots we can sell so we are planning a garage sale the middle of October. I guess it will be a yard sale since we don't have a garage. DUH!

Here is a link for a photo of our new apartment. Its the one on the end on the second floor:


We love the big wrap around porches in the front and back. Our apartment faces the pool and hot tub. We also love that we will have a fireplace again. We love fireplaces and haven't had one for a long time. Nothing like a nice fire to keep warm and snuggly.

In other news, we both just had our birthdays so that is always reason to celebrate!!! We have had some amazing dinners. We have tried several new places and we have used more Groupons. We even went to Red Robin where I got a free burger for my birthday. Go me!!!! Tonight we went out with friends to a great Italian place to celebrate Brenda's birthday. Her's was yesterday but we both worked so we decided to celebrate tonight. Now, I am sitting on the couch like a beached whaled vowing to never eat again (at least for the next several hours.)

Another new concept in our life is we are trying to become complaint free. We both just read the book A Complaint Free World. In the book the author challenges the reader to attempt to be complaint free for 21 days. It is not as easy as it looks or sounds, but it is eye opening. We are enjoying the challenge (for the most part) and can see how negative thoughts and energy produces negativity in life. Its all part of the laws of attraction. I strongly believe that you attract the things you dwell on. I have seen proof of this in my life so many times.

We are also continuing to be thankful in all things and celebrate the abundance in our lives!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Where Have I Been?

Sorry I was MIA this week. I was picking up some hours at work for a coworker so she could take some much needed time off. Not only did it help her, I was able to make a little extra money to put toward the move.

I have a few more extra days scheduled plus I had worked a couple of extra days the week before. My paychecks are getting fatter. Perfect timing.

I noticed as I was looking at pictures from other blogs there is a new feature. When you click on a picture, it brings up a slide show of all the pictures in the blog. I like it. Instead of having to open each picture individually to see it bigger, I can see all the pictures posted in a bigger size.

I just threw in a few random old pictures so you can try it too. It also makes for a more interesting post.

Travel safe.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Update On The Dilemma

So I talked with my parents yesterday to discuss the furniture situation. I am amazed at how much their need to keep everything has changed as they get older. I really do believe they are realizing clutter and memories are not the same.

Several of the pieces of furniture have been given my parent's blessing to find a new life. Whew! I was really happy to hear that. And, we may be able to incorporate some of the stuff in the new place, at least temporarily. We will check with other family members and if they want some of it they can make arrangements to come get it or pay to have it shipped to them.

I did find out something very interesting. We have two wood chairs that I know are antiques. I was told that they were valuable but I just found out they are Stickley Brother chairs. Wow. A search online showed they are worth hundreds of dollars each. Well no wonder my parents don't want to part with them. My dad did say that if they change their minds about keeping them we could sell them. Wow, selling them would be a great way to increase our savings toward an RV.

Just to clarify, there was never any doubt about my parents making the arrangements to get the furniture or to pay to have it shipped or stored. I have had this furniture for years and love it. It has come in handy and I have appreciated being able to use it. If we weren't downsizing, I would not be getting rid of it. I guess I was just thinking about how expensive this would be for them and I was feeling bad about that.

In other news, we talked with the management of the new apartment complex and everything is a go for our move. We hadn't heard anything so I was a little concerned. I kind of thought that if something was up or they needed more info they would let us know. But, I was also thinking maybe we got lost in the shuffle since the move is so far off. I called them today and they assured me everything was fine. I figured that was the case but wasn't sure. So now I am even more excited about the move.

Today we went to Best Buy and I got the necessary cables so that we could hook up my computer to the TV. Now we can watch streamed movies and TV shows. We watch another Dexter marathon tonight. We have to be careful because we could easily keep distracted and not get anything done around here. I have been wanting to do this for a long time and now that I see how easy it was, I wondered why we hadn't done this a long time ago. Since we can watch just about anything through the computer, I am wondering if we really need cable anymore. If we got rid of cable and just had internet, we could save a bunch of money each money. Hmmm, food for thought.

Monday, September 5, 2011

When Two Worlds Collide

Such a dilemma. I am not a pack rat. I hate clutter and if I have something I don't need or want anymore, I get rid of it.

In my quest to simplify and reduce, I have a situation. I am in possession of furniture that has been in my family for a long time. Some of it is old and valuable and some of it just has sentimental value.

My parents, on the other hand, are pack rats. Not the type where I will be calling in the Horders group for an intervention, but they do keep some of the most unusual things. For example, they have the original brochures for every vehicle they have ever owned. At least in their need to keep such important documentations, they are very neat and orderly. No joke. In fact, as I think about it, I have a lot of pack rats in my family.

Somehow, we have to figure out the logistics of getting said furniture from Tucson back to Indiana to my brother. That is, if he wants it. I am not sure he really wants it because his house is full of stuff too. He inherited the pack rat gene. My parents don't have room for the furniture so if he doesn't want it, it is going to open another can of worms. I can't see paying to keep it all in storage for who knows how long. It will get very expensive and I am not sure anyone will ever want it. I would rather sell the furniture to someone who will appreciate it and take care of it. However, knowing my parents, selling is not an option.

Now don't get me wrong, I am sentimental and do have feelings for these lovely pieces, but I no longer need them or want them. They have served me well and it is time for us to part ways. I will always have the memories. I just won't have room for all of it in the new place and hopefully the next time we move it will be into an RV.

For all the things my parents gave me in this life, I am most grateful for the one thing they did NOT pass onto me-the need to keep EVERYTHING!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

When Dreams Enter Your Dreams

Even with all the excitement and planning for the move to the new apartment, I do keep looking and dreaming about our life in an RV. I read all the blogs I can and live vicariously through all of them. It does seem, though, that the upcoming move has totally consumed my every waking moment.

So, I find it interesting that for the last two nights I have had vivid dreams that we are living in an RV. You know, the kind that seem so real that when you wake up you aren't sure what is real and what was a dream.

Perhaps it is the universe letting me know that, yes, we will be full timers soon. So, I will continue to dream both in the waking hours and as I sleep at night.

Travel safe!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Another Step Forward

In yet another step toward our dream of full time RVing, we have found a much smaller apartment. This means that we have to get cracking even harder at getting rid of lots of junk. Since we can't afford to buy an RV yet, we continue to get rid of more stuff and downsize. By the time, we can get the RV, it should be fairly easy to move right in.

I am cautiously excited about the move. Don't get me wrong, I am really excited about the apartment. It has a fireplace, really nice patios, has updated fixtures and its right by the community pool and hot tub. In other words, it is awesome! We have looked at a lot of apartments and this is the best of the best. It just feels right.

There are several reasons we decided to make yet another move. The biggest factor was the extremely high utility bills here. We are paying about the same for utilities that we paid while we were renting the big house with the pool. Granted, this is a fairly large townhouse, but they shouldn't be that high. Poor insulation and very aged equipment, I am sure, are to blame.

Another issue I have is the lack of maintenance here. Broken light fixtures, incomplete landscaping and office staff that have a nonchalant attitude are getting old. I don't get that warm fuzzy feeling that a home should provide. Besides, as we have found, we can get a lot more amenities for less money.

Now, I am one that is usually looking forward and not second guessing my decisions. But for some reason, I have been hedging on which complex to live in. I kept going back and forth on which one would be the best. It was as if I was scared to make a decision. I guess I was just afraid of making a bad choice. After much talking and worrying and more talking, I realized no matter what we choose, it will be the best. And, we are renting, its not like we are stuck with our choice (as all our moves can prove.) We are hoping to be on the road in a year anyway.

So today we went back to the best choice and filled out the paperwork. The other day we had put some money down to be put on a waiting list. We went back today to get measurements and look at the apartment again. We went ahead and filled out the application and started the process.

I am really nervous about getting approval. We filed bankruptcy two years ago and I am always afraid I won't get approved to move in. We make more than enough money and we have never had any late payments, so hopefully there should be no problems. I won't relax, though, until we hear back. Probably the worst case scenario would be that we have to pay more deposit money. It wasn't an issue with this apartment so hopefully there will be no problems. The other issue is all the money needed to move. We have to save lots of money, so we will be living a meager life for a few months.

I think the true reason I am not as excited about this as I normally would be is that there will be one less tenant in the new apartment. It has become very apparent that our 13 year old yellow lab, Mattie, is nearing her end. We can see the deterioration in her health almost daily. I don't want to see her suffer but I am struggling with knowing when the time is right. I know she will let me know when she is ready, I just don't think I am truly ready to listen. It will be a hard decision even though I know she won't be suffering anymore. I am trying not to dwell on the end. I want to enjoy each moment I have left with her.

For now, the best thing I can do is keep busy and continue to purge, purge, purge. Tomorrow, we start tackling the closets and dressers. We will also be selling lots of furniture and other unnecessary items as we go. The purging always makes me feel better. I do not do well with clutter. I love a clean, uncluttered life.

As always, everything works out for the best and happens at the right time. I will go to bed tonight keeping that as my mantra as I fall asleep. I have nothing to complain about. I have an abundant life and for that I am grateful. Abundance will continue and I will continue being thankful.

Travel safe.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Interesting Quote

I came across an interesting quote today. I just wanted to share it.

"The world is filled with amazing places to visit. Don't limit yourself to the same destination all the time. Even taking a different road home from the office will broaden your horizons." Loretta LaRoche

Not only is this fitting for travelers, it should be the way we view life. Open your mind and soul to new experiences all the time and you will learn to appreciate life more. I have always felt a connection to all things in nature. The more I learn about all that is in this world, the more I learn to appreciate myself. 

I believe this is the way to true happiness.

Safe travels, everyone.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Change Is In The Wind-Or Not

For about a month now we have been thinking about moving again. (I know, it seems we move more than most RVers.) We have lived in Tucson for just under 5 years and we are in our fourth residence. I am not afraid to pick up and try something new if what we are doing isn't working.

There are some positives about where we are. I love the location and the views we have. The patio area is great for the dogs. It is a townhouse and we have lots of room-almost 1300 square feet. And, we really like our next door neighbors. However, there are many more negatives that are making us consider other options.

First, since we moved here, there is a serious safety issue that has never been addressed. There are several outside lights that have not worked causing it to be extremely dark around us. It is a safety issue when we are coming home after dark and cannot see. Who knows whats lurking out there-could be man or beast. When we mentioned it to the management they told us the lights were being replaced. That was 8 months ago. There is no sign of change. In fact, there is another light that is no longer functioning making the situation worse.

Second, we are paying extremely large utility bills, just a little less than what we were paying in the big house with a swimming pool! These apartments are very old and don't seem to be very energy efficient. Not very budget or wallet friendly.

Also, looking around, we could get a much nicer place for less than what we are paying now! In addition, we would have many more amenities and be in a little safer area of town. If we downsize and spend less money, we can save more money to go toward buying an RV. Our lease is up in three months so we have been considering our options. We have been looking at other apartment complexes and really like a few of them. All of them would be cheaper and one option would even allow me to walk to work.

One concern we have is our big dog, Mattie. Most places don't allow big dogs. She is a 70 pound Lab. She is also 14 years old and is definitely showing signs of deteriorating health. I am not sure how much longer she will be around. This is a big factor in deciding what we are going to do.

The best solution would be to go ahead and start our full time RVing. I wish we could, but it would take a miracle for that to happen. (I do believe in miracles and it could happen.) We are not in a financial position to get an RV right now. (Of course, if anyone would like to donate to the cause-we wouldn't turn it down LOL.)  I have been keeping my eyes peeled for something cheap but reliable that we could pay for with cash. Those are hard to find. We are probably unable to qualify for any loans due to filing bankruptcy two years ago. Even if we could get approved, we would probably need a large down payment, which we don't have, and have a very high interest rate causing the payment to be so big we would be financially strapped and limit where we could go. And, I am not sure I would want to start out full timing with that kind of debt. (I do miss the days when I had excellent credit and probably would be able to get a heck of a deal right now.)

So lots of creative thinking going on in this gourd of mine right now. I am not worried about it, I just enjoy looking at all the options and keeping an open mind. Besides, it keeps me occupied and gives me something to do. As always, everything will work out better than I could ever imagine.

Safe travels, everyone!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Same O' Same O'

Not much happening here in Karinland. The weather here is happy with a high pressure joy system blowing in from Contentment.

I am eagerly awaiting my new phone which is scheduled to arrive tomorrow. I know as soon as I get it, I will be playing with it for hours. (It might even keep me away from playing on the computer for a bit....we'll see.)

We are in the process of cleaning out the guest closet. It has been fun going through old stuff and getting rid of lots of junk. I came across my camera. We stopped using it when Brenda got her camera. We figured we didn't both need to be taking lots of pictures of the same stuff. I got it out and am charging the batteries. It is a really nice Olympus but it is a bit bulky for carrying around. I bought it to replace the camera I lost in the tornado 8 years ago. It may be a bit old but it has some really nice features on it. At least, we can use it until we replace Brenda's camera next week. We found one we like on Amazon and will order it next week. It is a newer version of her old one with some nice upgrades.

Not much else is new so I will sign off for now.

Safe travels everyone!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Out With The Old, In With The New

I have been wanting and avoiding a smart phone for a long time now. I thought they looked like fun but I really didn't want to pay the big bucks for one and the extra monthly fees for the service. (Sometimes, I am really tight with my money.) I know that when we go to full timing, we are going to want one and there were several times on our trip that I wished I had one.  We wanted to wait until November when Brenda's contract is up and then go with a family plan. I just found out we won't save any money by switching. I also found where I could get a Droid X for free. So, I bite the bullet and ordered it. I should have my new phone on Tuesday.

The other day, the dogs were going unusually crazy at the back door wanting to go out. I went to let them out and saw a very small baby bunny on the patio. I called Brenda over to see it. It was so cute. I told her to get the camera. She did and when she turned it on, the view finder had a really distorted picture with cool psychedelic colors. The pictures came out the same way. We did some research and found that this is a fairly common occurrence in cameras that age. The sad news is, it will cost more to fix it than the camera is worth. Brenda loved that camera and was just learning more about features it had that she never knew about. (To go back a bit, we were able to catch the bunny in a box and set him free with the other bunnies around here roam. That was quite the ordeal that I may write about later.) Anyhow, we found a newer version of her camera with lots of new features, better zoom and more pixels. We ordered a new one from Amazon and it should get here next week.

We spent yesterday going through our guest room closet and getting rid of more junk stuff that we don't need anymore. There is a big pile of stuff to throw away and another big pile of stuff to go to charity. Now, we have to lug it all downstairs and pack it in the car and take it away. It feels good to purge!

We are thinking about moving again. We want to downsize and spend less each month. This is all in preparation for going full time RVing. We keep going to smaller, cheaper places until we get the RV. We found a place that is right next door to where I work. The rent will be about $100 cheaper a month. It is smaller and newer so the utilities should be cheaper as well. And, I could walk to work so we could sell one of the cars and save even more money on insurance and maintainence!!!!! We have about 3 months before our lease is up, so we will continue to research the concept and see what happens.

Safe travels!

Monday, August 1, 2011

My Summer Vacation, Part 7

This is the last post about our summer vacation and it is a study in opposites.

For the two nights we were in Hungry Horse, MT, we stayed in a camping cabin at the Mountain Meadow RV Park. It was a beautiful park full of steep hills and lots of trees. Exactly what you would expect from a camping trip. For all our RV friends, it has FHUs and wireless. However, the farther your site is from the office, the less signal you get. And, there are lots of trees so if you have satellite, I don't think you could get a signal. I am not sure how level the sights are either.

Anyhow, the camping cabin was a basic cabin with electricity. We even had a small refrigerator. There was no water in the cabin but there was a spigot just to the side of the cabin. The bathhouse was way down at the bottom of a steep hill. Getting there wasn't too bad, but coming back up was quite the workout.  We decided (being old and of weak bladders) driving was the best way to get there every morning (or during the night when the urge struck us.)

Here are some pictures:

The front of the cabin.
Looking up at it from the road.

Our view!
Interior of the cabin

Really big table.
Loading the small refrigerator.

So after two days of roughing it, we headed out early in the morning. We were driving all the way to Provo, UT before the end of the day. Thirteen hours later, these Beverly Hillbillies check into a Residence Inn in Provo compliments of my brother. It was beautiful and felt luxurious compared to the last two nights. We had a quick dinner then went back to the hotel and took long, hot showers, played on the computer and just marveled at modern conveniences.

The next morning we took our time getting up and had a wonderful complimentary breakfast at the hotel. Very nice spread. We then had a short 6 hour drive to Vegas, the last night of our trip. 

If we thought the Residence Inn was fancy, we were in for a giant surprise. We arrived at the hotel around 1:30 in the afternoon. We left our car with the valet and went inside to check in to our room. WOW was all I could say. So very fancy! Our room wasn't quite ready, so I had the bellhop check our luggage in and we headed to lunch and some exploring. 

After a delicious lunch at Pampas Brazilian Steakhouse, we did some sightseeing. While out, the hotel called and told us our room was ready anytime. Since we were tired, we decided to go back and just relax. The drive from the day before was exhausting and I think we were ready to go home.

The hotel

The view from the kitchen.
The full kitchen !

The dining room table-seating for 6!

A two-headed shower!

The very plush bed with the soaking tub
 Some views from our sightseeing:

The Chandelier Bar in the Cosmopolitan Hotel

A cool restaurant in the Aria

Unique sculpture
Cosmopolitan Hotel 

That evening, we went up to the rooftop bar. WOW again. The views were spectacular. The evening had cooled down and it was very comfortable up there so we ordered some Pina Coladas and watched the sunset.

Me enjoying the view.

The sun is setting
Looking down on the City Center. Love the roof lines.

Brenda enjoying the views.
The lights are coming on.

Love all the lights.

 The next morning we got up and headed home. This was a wonderful trip full of awesome memories. I am so glad we got this opportunity. It really makes me want to travel all the time. I look forward to the day when we are able to be free and come and go as we please.

I hope you enjoyed this tour as much as I enjoyed giving it. 

Stay safe!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

My Summer Vacation, Part 6

The second day at Glacier National Park was just with my parents. My little brother and his family were heading to other parts. Since we saw the west side the first day, we drove around the park and came in on the east side. Again, the scenery was breathtaking. We drove through the park as far as we could then headed back west. I was afraid that I would feel cheated not seeing the part we missed, but honestly, I saw so much I was content. I will definitely come back again so I can drive across the park.

Without further ado, I will let the park speak for itself:

 I literally risked my life to get this picture. I had to climb a really steep, wet hillside. I truly was scared. However, (now that I am safe) it was definitely worth it. I don't even know how he was able to stand there.

There were some wild horsed that were grazing along the side of the road.

 Picture perfect. The island out there is called Wild Goose Island.

That's my mom playing in the snow. "Its cold," she said. Well, yeah, its snow!

Brenda had to play, too. We don't see much of that white stuff in Tucson.

Brenda loves taking foot shots. I love a sandaled foot in the snow.

Look, its a glacier!

This was the end of the road for us. The plows were about two miles past this stop. You were allowed to hike it if you wanted. We decided not to.

We did a little hike along the stream. Again, being from Tucson, we don't see many rushing streams (or any water for that matter.)

 Trolls under the bridge. Oh wait, that's just Mom and Brenda during the hike.

The lake. It was so beautiful and calm. There was a tour boat on the water as well as some kayakers. I would love to try that next time.

Another picture of the lake.

Brenda hanging by the lake.

Another view of the lake. Every time we turned the bend in the road, there was another beautiful angle of the lake.

There were a bunch of mountain goats just off the side of the road. This one started heading toward us for his close-up.

You can really see him shedding his winter coat in this one.

I think Glacier National Park is one of my favorite national parks. I was so glad to get the chance to see it.

Come back tomorrow and get the next installment of the trip.