2/28/2009 - Seal Beach, CA: Having maintenance done on the Motorhome went pretty smooth. The cruise control repair only took 45 minutes, so we headed directly over to the tire shop. They were able to get us in immediately and took a couple of hours (and $1500). This put us a day ahead of plans. Instead of fighting city traffic, we decided to spend the night at the local Sam's Club parking lot. We got permission from the manager and were set for the night. I now remember why we don't stay in parking lots very often. Although we didn't have any train or highway noise, we sure had plenty of noise from the parking lot. It seemed that all night long, someone was outside with a blower, a vacuum, a street sweeper, a hedge trimmer, or some other loud engine noise. Add the constant bright parking lot lights to the noise, and it wasn't a very restful sleep.
The next day, we drove a few hours away to Quartzsite, AZ. As previously discussed, there's plenty of free BLM land to stay on there. We went to the "Hi Jolly" short-term camping area a few miles north of town. We wanted to get away from any highway noise. And our efforts were greatly rewarded! The camping area wasn't very busy and we selected a beautiful piece of desert to park for the night. We were entertained by hummingbirds and other wildlife right out our front door and the weather was a pleasant 70+ degrees. The evening was dark, peaceful and quiet, except for the expected early morning yipping of a coyote. If I hadn't already made reservations at the Naval Weapons Station RV Park at Seal Beach, CA, we would have stayed in this desert paradise for a few more days.
The drive on I-10 from Arizona to the Los Angeles area is a fairly boring drive. The drive through the Palm Desert area is usually very stressful, due to the high winds. Then comes entering the valley full of smog, increased traffic, and crazy drivers. By the end of this drive, I'm always stressed out and ready to relax. On this trip, our destination was the Navy base campground at Seal Beach. This was a good decision, as the RV Park is very nice, well kept, quiet and dark (now you know what I like in RV parking spots).
We plan to stay here at least a week, and possibly two. Our main goals for coming here were to 1) check out this RV Park, 2) see friends, 3) visit family, and 4) visit Disneyland. Disney Parks is having a "Military Appreciation" offer going on that gave us a complimentary 3-day park hopper pass and a second 3-day pass for only $88. Since we hadn't been to Disneyland in over 20 years, and have never been to Disney's California Adventure, this was a deal we couldn't pass on. A couple days ago we decided to go for the day. It took over 2 hours to park, get our passes, and get through the gate and this was on a slow day!!! After that, the day went smooth and relaxing. We visited the California Adventure park. We rode a few rides and walked the entire park. It's not very large. Luckily, the crowds weren't too bad and the longest line was about a 30 minute wait. Some of favorite attractions were the Toy Story (3D arcade) ride, the Bugs Life 3D show, and the Tower of Terror. We have a couple of weeks left to use the remaining two days on our passes.
Last night, we visited friends we had met for the past couple of years at Huntington Lake, where we've been working for the summer. Steve and Joanie Stevens are a wonderful couple that we've kept in touch with! They had us over for dinner in their beautiful home. Their house has a wonderful view of the snow capped mountains. It's surprising how many people we've just met while they were camping that we still keep in contact with. Of course, it's Connie who is the great social coordinator.
2/21/2009 - Queen Creek, AZ: Our time left here is down to a few days. While Connie has mixed feelings about leaving the kids and grand-babies again, I'm ready for new scenery. This is what we call "hitch-itch". Our medical appointments are over (for now). Larry accomplished one of his main goals this winter - redesigning the U.S. Military Campgrounds and RV Parks website. The new website went off without many problems, but there's always "tweaking" to be done. However, there's many smaller projects that didn't get done.
We've still been playing racquetball about 5 times a week. We're now up to playing 90 - 120 minutes for 2 days in a row, then a day off. We'll miss this routine. We didn't loose as much weight as we wanted, but we're happy to have lost the 15 pounds (each). Normally, we gain weight in the winter, as we're not very active.Recently, we've provided more baby-sitting (Leslie sure will miss us!) and fixed a few things at Cynthia's new house. We spent an evening out with friends Gene and Patti for dinner and a movie, and Connie recently met her old workmates for drinks and dinner.
We'll pack up a few things tomorrow and be ready to "hit the road" on Monday. However, we're not going very far. We're taking the motorhome in for a small recall repair. We've put it off for a couple years and thought we'd better get it done. It's some safety issue with the speed control. We'll spend the night in some parking lot, then have 3 new tires put on the motorhome on Tuesday. If you've been reading these travel logs, you'll remember we had a blow-out coming here in November. It's recommended to replace RV tires every 5 - 7 years. We've already replaced 3 tires, and the remaining 3 are now over 7 years old. At almost $500 a tire - it hurts! $$$
2/7/2009 - Queen Creek, AZ: Although we're not currently working, we sure seem to keep busy! We've continued visiting the Gym about 4 times a week. Connie's getting better at racquetball, winning a game every once and awhile. We're also still getting our share of being "grand-parents". Leslie and Andy decided to go away for their 5th wedding anniversary and asked us to watch the kids. It was fun spending the weekend with them 24 hours a day. But Connie was getting tired of getting up every few hours to feed the 2 month old. Otherwise, both granddaughters were pretty good and fun to play with.
One week was spent visiting Parker, AZ while we worked a recruiting booth at the RV Show in Quartzsite. Besides helping out at the booth, this was a quarterly meeting for Larry with our summer employer (California Land Management). Although it was a working week, we enjoyed meeting fellow workers and friends again. Who knew we would ever love working. ???
We also visited friends in Tucson for a couple days. It was nice of Nancy and John Grindley to let us come stay with them while we catch up the year's events. We also held a "gathering" for the website users of our Military Campgrounds site. More people showed up than we expected, so the event was as organized as it should have been. We've learned our lesson for next year. Larry also spent most of January redesigning the Military Campgrounds website.
We feel a little bad, as new friends at the RV Park keep inviting us to dinners, breakfast, and pot-lucks, but we haven't had time to attend many of them. We did get to a pizza night out recently. But time is running out on us. We've got an appointment to have our motorhome worked on a couple weeks. We'll also get some new tires, since ours are over 6 years old now. From there, we'll be heading to Seal Beach, CA. We'll visit Connie's parents and "we're going to Disneyland"! Disney is having a Military Appreciation program that we'll take advantage of. Two 3-day hopper passes for the price of a single one-day pass. This was a deal we couldn't pass up, since we haven't been to Disneyland in many years. From there, we'll be heading north to our summer job. It's a tad early to go, but we're excited and will take our time traveling. Although spending the winter here has been fun, I'm ready to get moving again.