October 20, 2013

Las Vegas, Nevada

Just kicking back here in Las Vegas. Weather has been great since we arrived last Wednesday -- in the 70s during the day and the 50s at night. We are staying at Sam's Town where we have stayed a number of times in the last seven years. John and Marijean are parked right next to us. We love traveling with friends and relatives where each couple does their own thing, yet we get together enough to enjoy each others' company, share food and good stories.

Last night, the four of us saw Jersey Boys at the Paris Hotel. What a production and show! Very creative, great music and engaging from beginning to end.

John and Marijean are leaving tomorrow and driving back to Temecula, California. Jerry and I will leave on Tuesday and make the long trek to Long Beach, California. With that, we will have traveled to 42 states in the last 20 months, having left California in March 2012. It will feel good to be back and see the family and grandkids again.

Did not take any pictures while in Las Vegas, but I did take some out of the front window of our coach while traveling from Williams to here on Wednesday. So, here is one picture of John and Marijean's coach traveling in front of us along the highway.

John and Marijean traveling in front of
us on our way to Las Vegas.

Just a heads up -- once we are back in California, we will probably not be updating this blog as frequently.  When we get back to Pismo Beach, however, we will post a recap of our 2012-2013 trip. And, we will continue to post pictures from time to time -- though not on any regular basis.

Enjoy the life you love and love life!

October 15, 2013

Williams, AZ (Grand Canyon)

First of all -- thank you Arizona for opening up the Grand Canyon to visitors during the US Government shutdown. Today, Marijean and I rode the Grand Canyon Railway 65 miles to the Grand Canyon. Both Jerry and John decided not to make the trip. We had such a fun day! It took 2 hours and 15 minutes each way, and we had a good four hours to walk along the rim of the Grand Canyon, eat and take pictures before we had to be back on the train.

 The Grand Canyon Railway train that we rode.

Marijean enjoying the scenery on the 
way to the Grand Canyon.

It was a beautiful day for taking pictures. 
Temperature was 57 degrees.

There were walking paths all along the rim
of the Grand Canyon when we left the train.
But, some people chose not to stay
on the path. A bit scary if you ask us, 
especially considering that we were 
at an altitude of 7,120 feet where anyone
could get a bit light-headed.

We ate lunch at a wonderful restaurant, walked a bit more, and were back on the train when it left the station at 3:30 p.m. However, train robbers accosted the train, stopped it and came aboard on our way back. Must say, the Grand Canyon Railway goes all out to make the whole experience for the passengers enjoyable. On both the morning ride and the afternoon ride back, a cowboy vocalist with a guitar entertained the passengers with memorable songs.

Fake train robbers (picture taken out
of my window of the train).

It will get down to 24 degrees tonight. We are leaving tomorrow and traveling 210 miles to Las Vegas where we will spend the next week.

Enjoy the life you love!

October 13, 2013

Albuquerque, NM

After leaving Monument, Colorado, we spent one night at the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, New Mexico. It is basically a shooting range out in no-where.

Parked at the NRA Whittington Center in Raton, NM

Then, on Sunday, John and Marijean and Jerry and I arrived at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. Couldn't tell you how many RVs were there, but we were located near the front of the park, and the park extended back behind us for over one-half mile. And that was just one of the parks. We dry-camped for the week for $30 a night. However, if you wanted water and electricity (no sewer), you could have parked in the elite section for $165 a night.

Arriving after the first weekend of the festival was over was a good move because we were able to enjoy the balloons and activities without too many people. But, by the last weekend, of the festival, the place was packed. 

The first morning, Jerry and I got up early (still dark outside) to see the Dawn Patrol Show (helps pilots determine wind conditions).  Here are the pictures we took early in the morning.

 Dawn Patrol blowing up the balloons early in the morning.

Some of the venders selling hot coffee etc. as
the sun is coming up.

One of the balloons on the ground ready to
be set up. Sun still not up.

Fanning air into the balloon.

Another balloon being prepared while some others
are further along in the process.

The larger balloons take longer to get up.

Darth Vader lifting off of the ground.

Still waiting for this guy to get up.


This was the 42nd Annual Albuquerque Balloon Festival
with over 500 balloons participating.

The balloon floated towards the RV park.

Flying right over John and Marijean's and
our coaches.

Some came awfully close to the coaches.

Others ended up landing between the coaches.

This one is on its way down.

Another landing in the RV park
(John actually helped the crew guide one down.)

And this is how they pack them up again.

There were a lot fewer balloons later in the week
because the winds came up. In fact, none of the
balloons could go up on Thursday because of the
high winds and a few rain showers.

Then on Friday night, we attended the balloon
glow. There were lots of balloons on the ground
and lots of people for this second weekend of the festival.

Afterwards we were treated to the most spectacular
fireworks display. New York -- we saw your fireworks
display over Niagara Falls on the 4th of July. You need
to learn from New Mexico on how to put on a fantastic 
fireworks display.

Also spent one afternoon in Old Town Albuquerque.
Here, Marijean, John and Jerry are
enjoying their Margaritas.

Saw this in Old Town.

Yesterday (Saturday), we left Albuquerque a day early to beat the rush of RVers all trying to leave at once today. We drove to Winslow, Arizona, and are staying at the Meteor Crater RV Park. This is a really nice little park. Our mission here: to see the world's largest crater caused by a meteor over 50,000 years ago. It is 550 feet deep and could accommodate 20 football games being played simultaneously with two million fans. I used my wide angle lens to try to capture the whole meteor site and couldn't do get the job done. 

World's largest meteor crater (see the people
on the walkway to the right of the photo.)

A closer view.
Tomorrow, we all are leaving here and going to Williams, Arizona -- where we will spend a little time at the Grand Canyon.

Until next time, enjoy the life you love!

October 4, 2013

Monument, Colorado (Week 2)

John and Marijean joined us here at the Monument Heights RV Park on Tuesday. They are parked next to us.

It has been nice catching up with them again. Dinner at their place one night, and then at our place the next night. Great weather until today. Right now it is snowing and 28 degrees.

Icicles on the roof of our coach

Snow on our car

But, last weekend, Tom and I attended the memorial for our friend, Stu, in Cumming, Georgia. Here is just one picture of Tom and Tracy, Donna's niece, who came to visit us each summer when we lived with Donna and Stu back in the 70s and 80s.

Tom and Tracy

Yesterday, Jerry and John took the railway cog up to the top of Pikes Peak. Here are the pictures Jerry took.

View from the top of Pikes Peak

Leaves starting to turn

While they spent their time traveling up Pikes Peak, Marijean and I toured the Olympic Training Center.

Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado

Construction underway to expand the Center
(expected to be finished in February 2014)

We learned that the top 10-15% of the athletes in the various sports get to stay at the Center for free. They train from 4-8 hours each day, except for Sundays.

The pool is 6 feet, 7 inches deep around the edges, and
9 feet in the center. This is designed to keep the 
waves down when the athletes compete.

Shooting range

Wrestling Center

Weight Room

Sculpture in front of the Center

View from in front of the Center

Afterwards, Marijean and I went to lunch at the Broadmoor Hotel. This is an old hotel that Marijean's dad took her to some 50 years ago. There were nine restaurants from which to choose. The food was great.

Front of the old Broadmoor Hotel

The restaurant in which we ate

Marijean in the restaurant

If the weather improves, we will all leave here tomorrow and make our way to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where we will be attending the Balloon Festival.

Continue to enjoy the life you love.