On the move again…Off to Arizona…Last night’s Vegas Golden Knights game…

On our way to the Vegas Golden Knights game.

We’ll be leaving Richard‘s home in Henderson, Nevada, to begin the five-hour drive to Apache Junction, Arizona, in a few hours. Tom still is under the weather, but it’s time to move on. We’ve spent 11 days here, accomplishing everything we needed to and spending quality time with Richard and my sister Susan.

This morning after a decent night’s sleep, I bolted out of bed, knowing it was time to pack. We hadn’t packed a thing the past few days, and the entire job was ahead of us.

As I started gathering my belongings and toiletries, leaving enough out for Tom after his shower, I realized how quickly we could pack when weight is not an issue. Having purchased some new clothing while in the US made me realize how much more “thinning” I need to do in my clothing suitcase to comply with upcoming airline baggage restrictions in India.

Our seats were ideal in the center, about 20 rows back from the ice.

Since we’ll be in Arizona for almost seven weeks, I’ll be able to unpack everything and redefine exactly what I want to keep. For some odd reason, I am hanging onto some old clothing I no longer wear. That mentality doesn’t work in this lifestyle.

Our last full day in Nevada was good. We watched the winning Minnesota Vikings game with utter glee. A few hours later, we were on our way to T-Mobile Arena on the Strip to watch yet another sporting event, the Vegas Golden Knights hockey game. I’d say Richard is a super fan with his excellent season tickets.

He’d arranged for an additional two seats for us, next to him, and we couldn’t have been more pleased. Our mouths were agape as we entered the area of the arena. The music, the Christmas lights, the hoopla, and the enthusiasm were palpable.

Disappointingly, his team lost, but we were entrenched in the “show” the group puts on during the games to keep their fans well entertained. There was never a dull moment.

After the game, we made our way to an old favorite restaurant of mine from years past when we’ve visited him. (He’s been in Las Vegas for the past 30 years). The familiar smells and the energy in the California Pizza Kitchen create a pleasing and memorable ambiance.

The service was slow when many others had the same idea after the game. But we entertained ourselves in idle chatter, with leaving the next day on my mind. Of course, it’s been hard to say goodbye to family members whom we may not see again for another two or more years.

Back at the house, we wrapped up the evening as we both took a dose of Nyquil to keep the coughing under control during the night and aid in us getting a decent night’s sleep. I did better than usual. Tom, not so much.

This morning I focused on getting all the small stuff packed, leaving Tom with only his clothing. The sheets are in the washer, and once they are dried, we’ll remake the bed and be on our way.

This next phase of our travels, these weeks in Arizona, should be easy. It will be a short walk to Tom’s sister’s home, and we won’t have to be driving long distances to see family. Our days and nights should be uncomplicated and accessible over the Christmas season. 

This schedule will provide both of us time to recover from the coughs and prepare ourselves for the next leg of our journey. The only long drive we have ahead of us is to return the rental car to the Phoenix Airport in two days, which should be around a two-hour turnaround. We appreciate that Tom’s sister Margie’s kindly offered her vehicle to us while we were there. 

Tomorrow, we’ll be back with more, a new experience, living in a senior RV Park in Apache Junction, Arizona. Of course, photos will follow!

Have a great Monday!

Photo from one year ago today, December 9, 2018:

Traffic jam on the paved road in Marloth Park. Delightful! For more photos, please click here.

Oh, what a night!…The Minnesota Vikings big win and a date night to boot…

Tom was thrilled to be seated in the comfortable big booth in the bar with me, watching the live playoff game.

I was never much of a football enthusiast.  On the other hand, Tom was born in Minnesota, living and working there all his life up until we left in October 2012.(I lived there 42 years). His passion for football lies solely with the Minnesota Vikings.

In our old lives, he developed what I considered somewhat of an odd routine of preferring to watch the game alone without distractions. I stayed out of his way and didn’t interrupt him with such dumb questions as, “What time do you want to have dinner?”

Besides, he’s never cared what time we have dinner, always leaving the decision up to me, even now as we travel the world. It could be 3:00 pm or 8:00 pm and he’ll never comment one way or another.

As the years passed, those then 21 years we’d spent together (now approaching 27 years), I busied myself in cooking Sunday dinners or other tasks during the three-plus hour period the football game was on TV.

What always surprised me was his lack of yelling, cheering, and booing during the games. He never made a peep. I could only determine the outcome of the game when he walked into the kitchen after it ended with a smile on his face or not.

I was always used to the loud, explosive comments and rampant jumping around of my two sons, Richard and Greg, who both remain loud and explosive today as the games have continued over the years.

Oddly, once we left Minnesota in 2012 to travel the world, I became interested in the Vikings when Tom became a member of  NFL GamePass. There’s an annual fee was from US $99 (ARS 1,848) to US $199 (ARS 3,714) per season depending on the package he chooses.

This annual service allows out-of-the-country-only access for all NFL football games including playoff and Super Bowl games, either watching it live with commercials or waiting several hours to watch it commercial-free. 

They were ready for the first play of the game.

Since Tom likes to spend free time on Facebook, where often the progression of a game is posted, he prefers to watch the game live so he’ll be surprised by the outcome like everyone else. This, of course, depends entirely on our time zone.

The time in Minnesota is three hours earlier than Buenos Aires.  Last night’s playoff game, between the Vikings and New Orleans Saints, started here at 6:40 pm. Next week’s game will determine which teams go to the Super Bowl and will be aired here at 8:40 pm. 

Although I don’t watch every game with him, when often he watches while I do the day’s post, I’ve been paying close attention to what’s transpiring and now consider myself a fan. 

I still don’t ask him a lot of questions during the games but after being in each other’s presence 24/7 these past years, he’s changed his ways a little and will talk to me during the game. I won’t take credit for this. It’s simply due to the fact he can pause the game and readily hit “resume” at any time. But, he still doesn’t hoot and holler. Instead, I do that for both of us.

With my added interest in the outcome of last night’s playoff game, we decided to make a night of it. With the hotel almost devoid of guests again, we asked if we could watch the game at one of the big booths in the bar.  No problem. We didn’t even have to wear ear pieces with no one around.

We loaded up the balance of a bottle of red wine and a few beers for Tom and got comfortably situated at the huge table in the bar, sitting closely side by side in order to watch it on his 15.6-inch laptop monitor. 

I kept my laptop on, open to Facebook while commenting with various friends throughout the world and also son Richard as the game progressed. It couldn’t have been more fun! Tom and I chatted endlessly while he continued to educate me on the finer points of the rules and various plays, some of which I’d never taken the time to learn.

The Vikings won during the last few seconds of the game when I found myself involuntarily, loudly, and explosively expressing my enthusiasm. Nowadays, Tom will talk to me during the game, although I do keep my line of questioning football related. 

We had a blast!  Maybe if they hadn’t won I wouldn’t be saying that so freely.  Most enthusiastic fans don’t say it was fun when their team loses. Now we’re looking forward to next Sunday night’s game, albeit late for us, but we won’t be able to avoid watching it!

Here in Argentina, most are huge fans of soccer is the case in many other parts of the world.  Every country seems to have its own variation of football, soccer, and rugby fans as excited as those in the US and sometimes, even more.

It’s a happy day for our friends and readers wherever they may be celebrating the wins for the Minnesota Vikings, the Philadelphia Eagles, (who’ll the Vikings will play next week in their final playoff game), the New England Patriots, the Jacksonville Jaguars, all competing for the position of the two final teams to participate in the 52nd Super Bowl game to be played at the new stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Note: The Minnesota Vikings will make NFL history if they reach Super Bowl LII, becoming the first team ever to play for the title in its home stadium. That’s even more exciting!

Happy day to all, wherever you may be and whatever sport you may follow!       
Photo from one year ago today, January 15, 2017:

As we posted our final photos of Penguin, Tasmania we gushed over the charm of this special town and how it whimsically celebrates its fairy penguins. For more photos, please click here.

Settled into Scottsdale…two new Windows 8 touchscreen laptops…

We purchased two Acer laptops with Windows 8 touchscreen.  What a time to learn a new operating system!

We’ve moved into the vacation home in Scottsdale on Saturday afternoon.  The property, exactly as shown in photos is not only clean but, in very good condition, equipped well beyond our expectations. 

Overlooking the clear blue water of a well maintained swimming pool, this older condo is located in the heart of downtown Scottsdale, navigable by a trolley we can catch only a short block away. 

We unloaded the car of the six orange Antler bags, the two carry on bags, clothes for here, clothes for cooler Las Vegas, two laptops and various household items, all in tact after my obsessive security precautions as described in previous posts.

It all worked:  the stickers on the windows warning of a upgraded security system, the indestructible Kryptonite bike locks securing 350 pounds of luggage together, the over-sized black tablecloth that covered it all. 

We never used “The Club” to lock the steering wheel.  We never felt it was necessary.  Still unopened, I’ll either return it to Amazon or sell it on eBay

Opening the orange Antler bags now is intimidating.  In essence, we could avoid opening them at all until after we leave the US in less than 60 days.  But, my goal is to repack everything resulting in one or two bags each with items exclusively to be used while cruising.  This will avoid us rifling through so many bags while in the tiny cabin. 

We plan to do the repacking mid December before we leave for our eight days in Henderson, Nevada over Christmas, returning here to Scottsdale on the 28th, heading to San Diego on January 1st or 2nd, to spend a night or two with niece Kely (yes, spelled correctly) and her husband. Dennis.

After unloading the car, a wave of exhaustion washed over me.  We had no food for dinner, had eaten little all day and I had absolutely no energy to go grocery shopping to cook dinner. 

Searching online for a nearby restaurant, we discovered the highly reviewed Citizen Public House, a charming gastro-pub offering a wide array of local brews with a somewhat small menu of uniquely seasoned and presented foods.

Not much in the way of beer drinkers, we each tried unusual ales.  Tom and I swapped our beer after the first taste.  Moments later, the ambitious and attentive server willingly traded in mine for a more moderate and traditional light beer. 

The food, cooked to perfection, couldn’t have been more perfect, mine buttermilk baked chicken breast with roasted Brussels sprouts and Tom’s, a liqueur seasoned meat loaf with mashed parsnips and smashed red potatoes. The service?  Impeccable!

And this condo, after two days, what do we think?  Although not considered upscale, it’s decorated with well maintained comfortable furnishings, acceptable towels, pots, pans and dishes, outdated TV’s (we brought a 32″Toshiba flat screen with us for this leg of the trip.  Good thing!).  With no Vikings games on TV here, we downloaded the NFL app to Tom’s phone.  We’ll plug the phone into the TV to watch it as it becomes available after the broadcast.

Also, the view overlooking the pool is scrumptious. But, the bed is hard.  It hurts my shoulder. Lots of tradeoffs.  We knew this going in.

The temperature was 91 yesterday and should be 93 today.  Yum!  Maybe we’ll grab a lawn chair by the pool one day. Ha!  Not so quick.  Yesterday, we purchased our two new Acer 15.6 Windows 8 laptops with touch screen. The learning curve for an entirely new operating system is cumbersome although both of us are grasping is fairly quickly. 

Tom is not quite a digital kind of guy. His determination to learn to use technology always surprises me.  

Here, I am writing my first blog on my new lightweight laptop while noticing a few features are missing and need to be discovered, i.e., accidentally delete a sentence and then normally left clicking for “undo” to put it back in place. 

Anyone out there know how to do this in Windows 8?  If not, I’ll find the answer somewhere online.  Where are the days of a tidy manual that provides all the answers?  Ugh!

Yesterday, when we purchased the two identical laptops at Costco for only $799 each, a steal with new Windows 8 touchscreens, we dismissed our original plans of purchasing more sturdy industrial type laptops. But, we decided lightweight laptops were more important than durability, especially now that we’ve had the experience of hauling the bags this past week. 

Today is a busy day.  We already visited Starbuck’s for coffee, had the oil changed in the SUV, arranged with the maintenance guy to repair the  problematic wireless connection (done!) in the condo, picked up the five boxes we shipped to the UPS store a few miles away and now, my task is to empty them putting everything in its place. 

Next task, go sign up at a health club and work out, doing my usual HIIT (high intensity interval training).  Perhaps after all of this, there will be time to begin the process of “chilling out” in this 93 degree weather.