Sunday, March 1, 2015

Fun on Land, Sea, and Air

I admit that the title of this post crosses over into hyperbole ... but not by much!


Jim’s good friend and neighbor, Rob, invited the Mittry Lake vagabonds for a Sunday cruise on the Colorado River.  Chris, Jimbo, Gayle, Suzanne, Debbie, Bradford, Jim, and I climb aboard Rob’s pontoon boat and motor away. 

Captain Rob and First Mate Bradford

The scenery is absolutely beautiful.  The banks of the Colorado are lined with rushes and desert palms.  This distinctive foliage against the desert mountain backdrop make it seem as though we are floating up the Nile.  One certainly wouldn't think Oh yeah ... Arizona.

Unfortunately none of that is conveyed by these photos.  I was too busy gawking to capture much of it!

Jim, Debbie, and Kim amidships

Suzanne and Gayle aft

We stop at 2 lakes along the way and later moor for lunch in a sheltered cove - a short hike away from this abandoned miner’s cabin. 

Suzanne and Chris

We encounter some gridlock in one of the narrow passages

and run aground on a few shallow sandbars.  Debbie disembarks and helps Rob push us out of trouble.

Debbie and Chris

We have a fantastic time and are so grateful to Rob for his generous hospitality!


Yesterday Jim takes Bradford, Debbie, and me to the annual Marine Corps Air Station Yuma Airshow.  

On the way to the Marine base, Bradford gives me a tutorial on Plants versus Zombies.  Even playing upside down, he manages to fend off a vicious attack of the undead.  

I was really looking forward to the event as I have fond childhood memories of our annual airshows at Minot AFB.  The entire town would show up for the occasion, as they seem to in Yuma.  It is packed!  Fortunately, Jim has a VIP pass for a quick entry and getaway.  And - bonus - the weather is great. 

Watching the Osprey perform is rather like an optical illusion, as it hovers and even goes in reverse!

 Stunt fliers wow the crowd

as do this wing-walking husband-and-wife team.  (Mister flies the plane).

The Search and Rescue Team gives an impressive demonstration.

Debbie and I spot this aircraft and have the same thought: An Airstream!.  

A team of paratroopers suit Bradford up for a jump as he struggles to remain upright in the heavy equipment.

There is even a Classic Car display.

And plenty of opportunity to climb all over and into the exhibits.  

And, BTW for you smart-alecks back home, here's proof that this blog isn’t all about the tacos.


Elliot, Debbie, Chris

The other day, three of us do a short hike from camp and enjoy the early signs of a desert Spring. 

Ocotillo Blooms

A bee revels in the blossom of a Beavertail Cactus

Rupert, on the other hand, is more concerned with his ongoing harassment of the lizard population.

Our stay at Mittry Lake is coming to a close as our most excellent nomadic group disbands (for now) and its members scatter in all directions.  

What a lovely home this has been! 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

More Yuma Fun and Sun

We all keep forgetting it’s not summer everywhere!

But then, we also never know what time it is.  Or what day it is. Seriously. Because it really doesn’t matter. 

I think back to my past life as an overwhelmed schedule-slave to back-to-back meetings, endless stacks of papers, to-do lists far longer than hours in a day, and waking up in the morning knowing I was already behind. 

But this life?  I might as well be living in an alternate universe. 

Back to the Base

Last week Jim invited Debbie and me for another day at the Yuma Proving Ground.  We had a great time strolling all over the base and visiting the many fine facilities – the community center, theater, dog parks, commissary, and library.  We could have spent the night on these comfy library couches. Real furniture is always a welcome treat for an RVer!  

We also stopped by the bowling alley for some vanilla soft-serve ice cream.

Jim sure knows how to show the girls a good time!

Scandinavian Festival

Saturday was also fun-filled as we attended the Sons of Norway Scandinavian Festival.  

Me and Thor

Debbie, (she of Norwegian ancestry), guides us through the various booths and smorgasbords.  

Though there is live music, sadly, we have no opportunity to polka. Here we are sharing a waffle and some other Nordic treat (names which I have forgotten, probably due to the overabundance of vowels). 

We also come away with some heavenly homemade pickled herring, polish it off before any photos are taken, and are left wanting more. 

Speaking of food ….

Prison Brewing Company

Debbie and I set our hearts on returning to Old Town Yuma to feast on this dish served up at the Prison Brewing Company.  We heard encouraging scouting reports about this grilled burger and, well, just had to. 

Extreme close-up of the topping.  That's a deep-fried avocado half, people!

We were delighted when Suzanne was able to join us and she ordered The Shank as well.  Note the embedded 'file' in the burger.  And the prison-inspired serving plates above.  Our booth has a name: Holding Cell 3.

And yes, the burger and fries are as good as they look.  The beer flight was pretty tasty too.

El Cositos

The following day, Debbie and I made a trip to town to do laundry and tacos.  If ever you are in Yuma, this taco stand is a must.  Suzanne and Debbie were there a couple of weeks ago and I couldn't wait to try it.

The fresh corn tortillas are cooked-to-order.  I’ve never had such over-the-top delicious fish or shrimp tacos.

We plan to return.  Over and over.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Los Algodones, Mexico

So what’s a winter in Yuma without a good dental cleaning?

Suzanne, Debbie, and I show off our freshly-polished smiles.  

Crossing the border for an appointment with one of the many Los Algodones dentists is a rite of passage for snowbirds.

Thanks to Dr. Eva Urena and staff.  Doesn't she have a beautiful office building?

Web Photo

Suzanne proudly displays her pesos before paying the $35 cleaning bill.  What a bargain!

Next on the agenda - what else? - food and drink.

We pass a fun afternoon of strolling, dodging street vendors, and browsing the many offerings of drugs and alcohol.

Relax .... everyone does it!

Entering Mexico is a breeze – we stroll right in, no lines, no waiting.  Re-entering the U.S. is another issue altogether but we gab away the 30-minute wait through Customs. (I had to marvel at the realization that, just 6 months ago, Debbie and I crossed into yet another foreign country and spent the day in Victoria, British Columbia).  

Meanwhile back at the desert oasis that is our temporary home ...

... life continues good.

Scenes of happy domesticity.

Happy Hour (courtesy of  Nina)

Jeanne gives me a knitting demonstration.

She is so talented!  Here is a selection of  her pretty handcrafted notebooks.

La Chica and me share the sunset.

Suzanne gave me a beautiful bouquet of Tootsie Pops for my birthday last week!

Dapper Riley

Irresistible Chica