Christmas parade in the neighborhood…Another fun night with the family!…

Yesterday was Tom’s niece Laurie’s birthday. Instead of a traditional birthday cake, Laurie opted for a fruit tart. Looked good.

After yesterday’s big shopping trip and putting everything away, we feel organized with our little house tidy without clutter. It feels good to be settled in for a while. We’ve certainly been on the move for the last several months.

Tom is still coughing quite a bit but my cough has diminished greatly with only a few bad coughing jags during the day or night. Its a relief to finally be on the mend. I only hope Tom progresses further in the next week.
Several residents of the RV park decorate their golf carts in order to participate in the annual
Christmas parade through the neighborhood.

Regardless of how we’ve felt, we’ve continued to participate in family get-togethers and activities. Last night was no exception when Mary and Eugene’s daughter Laurie (Tom’s niece) arrived with her husband Craig to celebrate her birthday. 

They have a holiday home for about an hour from here. It was a pleasure to see both of them and all nine of us had an extremely fun time. The evening ended with us playing a hysterical game app on Laurie’s phone entitled “Heads Up,” a US-only game with questions relevent to US culture. We did a lot of laughing.

This classic car zoomed by during the parade. (I am still learning to use my phone’s camera. Please bear with me).

This morning, we’re returning the rental car to the Phoenix Airport and will be using sister Margie’s Cadillac which she so generously offered to us during our lengthy stay. This saves us hundreds of dollars. I will follow Tom to the airport while he drops off the car.

From there, we’ll find a restaurant on the return drive and stop for a late lunch. Yesterday, we cooked steaks on the grill around 3:00 pm and didn’t bother making any dinner instead of snacking on some tidbits at Mary and Eugene’s home.

More golf carts came around the corner as we all cheered.

Today, we’ll stop at a market to purchase snack foods to offer when everyone comes to our place to hang out. Honestly, with the small kitchen, I have no interest in cooking. Yesterday we’d purchased many items for easy meals, items we can cook on the grill with a side of a few vegetables and rice for Tom. 

For some odd reason, I’ve totally lost interest in cooking these past few months. In essence, it’s really been since I had the surgery last February. Standing in the kitchen for hours holds no appeal to me anymore.

Preoccupied in conversation, I almost missed this shot. Excuse the lack of clarity.

Once we leave the US at the end of January, we won’t purchase groceries or cook for at least three months, two in India and another 29 nights on the cruise from Mumbai to Greenwich (UK). From there, we’ve yet to book anything but will do so in the next few months.

For now, we prefer to settle back and not engage in lengthy and time-consuming research as to what we plan to do once we arrive in Greenwich. We’ll have a little over six months to fill until our next cruise from Lisbon to Cape Town (providing we receive the required visa waiver).

Santa and Mrs. Claus were sitting on the back of this golf cart.

Should the waiver come through, most likely we’ll spend the six months in and around Europe where we’ve spent little time overall. For us, as wildlife and nature enthusiasts, Europe although an amazing draw for most tourists, holds less interest to us than many other parts of the world.

Now, we’re off to the airport, lunch and a little more shopping.

We’ll be back with more tomorrow.

Have a splendid day!


Photo from one year ago today, December 11, 2018:

This is Cupid with a heart-shaped marking on her throat.  She was particularly loving the lucerne we’d purchased for the garden. For more photos, please click here.

A different lifestyle for the next seven weeks…We try it all!…

The compact living room has everything we need.

Well, folks, we’ve lived in a lot of houses throughout the world, but this experience here in Apache Junction will be totally different from anywhere we’ve lived in the past.

We will be living in an RV park in a permanently affixed house trailer that basically, although small, has everything we need. Sure, it’s small, although much bigger than a ship’s balcony cabin.

The kitchen is small but without a dishwasher and has minimal cooking supplies.
Subsequently, we will keep meals simple, using the outdoor grill for most of our meals.

Our longest cruise was for 33-nights when we circumvented Australia which began on Halloween, October 31, 2017. We had no problem with living in that small space, nor will we here.

Three of Tom’s sisters and spouses; Mary Ellen and Eugene, Margie and Colleen and Gene live in this same 55+ complex of trailer homes and RVs, only a stone’s throw from our unit. It appears that most afternoons around 4:00 or 5:00 pm, we’ll all get together for happy hour drinks and snacks. 
Convenient table-for-two.

Most days, we usually dine around 6:30 or 7:00 pm but it makes sense if we now redo our thinking as to when we’ll have our big meal of the day. Most likely, we’ll start having our big meal midday and not worry about dining in the evenings.

This morning, we headed to Fry’s Market, one of the largest supermarkets we’ve seen (not counting Costco or Sam’s Club) and were surprised at its size. It had 59 rows. By the time I finished shopping, I’d put over 5000 steps on my fitness device.

We spent over $300 on groceries and managed to find ample space for all the items we purchased. The storage in this unit is excellent with more space than we’ve had in many holiday homes in the past.
This is the most comfortable bed we’ve had in our travels. It appears to be a memory foam bed.

The five-hour drive from Las Vegas to Apache Junction was uneventful. Tom has seen some improvement with his back injury and cough and he managed the long drive easily without asking me to drive. We chatted about our experiences in the US thus far and our plans for the future. The time went quickly.

Tonight there will be Christmas parade in the neighborhood. We’ll all get together to watch the parade and to celebrate Mary and Eugene’s daughter Laurie’s birthday. She and her husband Craig will be arriving at 5:30 for the festivities.

The WiFi signal and flat-screen TV are good.

We’re good. The time we spent with family, although tempered by both of us being sick with this dreadful cough, was precious and meaningful. Now, over these next weeks, we’ll spend time with Tom’s sisters. He’s the youngest in the family and it’s important we spend this time with all of them.

We’ll make every effort to continue to take photos to share here as we continue to post during our remaining time in the USA!

Have a fantastic day and thanks for hanging in there with us!

Photo from one year ago today, December 10, 2018:

For the first time ever, this lizard approached the veranda, looking at us.  He didn’t seem to like pellets so we tried to figure out what we could feed him. For more photos, please click here.