It was a short hour drive from Tucson to Casa Grande. We weren't here five minutes and we'd already met all our neighbours. Things are looking up! The weather is gorgeous but quite cool at night. We re-set up the tree and the decorations and threw the lights on the ground outside - that's where they look best!
Christmas Eve we had Chinese food at Big Wa (we had eaten here years ago and it is still just as good) and Christmas dinner was a nice BBQ'd bone-in turkey breast. Maureen was able to make soup with it the following day. On Boxing Day we both went for massages. Raoul was the therapist. He told us how he is re-enlisting in the military - he is trained as a paratrooper and will leave for Alaska on January 15. On the 27th we met four other Swan Lake couples for lunch at Chili's in Chandler. It was great to see everyone.
On the 28th Larry took the Jeep to Henry Brown Jeep dealership for an oil change (we had a coupon) and they discovered while he was there that the transmission lines were leaking. They couldn't seem to decide how much it would cost.
On the 29th on one of our exploratory drives we went out towards Gila Bend. We drove by at least 5 huge dairies on the way - thousands of cows! You can often smell them from our RV site. There are also trains here but we can't hear them like we could in Tucson.
The 30th was a most entertaining day (at least by Larry standards). We started with a foot long hot dog from Sonic (and yes, they have foot long buns to go with them). Then we had a wheel alignment done - the cutest little dog was happy to see us and sat in a chair beside us while we waited. Then we went in search of a second opinion about the transmission lines - the first stop (My Transmission Shop, a recommendation from someone sitting at Sonic) wanted to charge $339 then we found Middleton Automotive (a recommendation from the guy who did the alignment) who would do a fix for $160. Meanwhile we got a call from the Jeep Dealership who would do it for $449. Needless to say we went with Middleton.
New Year's Eve Larry took the Jeep into Middleton for what was supposed to be an hour and a half - it took an extra hour. Then we went to the Whiskey Rose Saloon in Chandler AZ for lunch - Aaron and Alison had bought us two gift certificates for Christmas. It was excellent and we will go back to use the second one. Then we went to a movie - Saving Mr. Banks - which was excellent. We used part of the gift certificates we had bought each other for Christmas. We managed to stay up until about 11:30 on New Year's Eve. The only thing happening here at the park was a dance which didn't interest us.
New Year's Day was the Rose Parade, the NHL Heritage Classic and the Rose Bowl. On the 2nd we golfed 18 holes at Robson Ranch with a couple (Dennis and Helen) that we had met in the hot tub a week before. They are from Burnaby and it turns out he used to own Houle Electric until 15 years ago. We have some acquaintances in common. We were both pretty exhausted when we were finished because it's been a while since we golfed. Plus it was close to 80 out with a nice little breeze. A beautiful day!
Not much happening - lots of sun! It's been cool at night (5C, 40F) but during the day it eventually gets up to about 20C (70F). Very nice!
We drove to Vegas on the 6th with the Jeep. It was about a five hour drive. We stopped in Kingman for lunch. We stayed at Sam's Town which was a very pleasant surprise. The price was right - about $34 a night! We were there for three nights - Panda Express the first night, Billy Bob's Steakhouse the second night (wonderful dinner) and the Firelight buffet for dinner the third night (only $9.99 and barely worth that). We were here for CES (Consumer Electronics Show). Larry used to bring his staff here every year. Companies bring their concept ideas and present them to see how they are received. One of the big things is 3D printers. Another is Ultra Hi Definition TV (some flat, some curved). They have an amazing picture and they're so thin they could go just about anywhere. Larry's scooter performed very well. We arrived there about 9:00 each of Tuesday and Wednesday and got back to the car about 4:00. The scooter battery just made it! The stress of constantly running on carpet ran the batteries right down. The first day we found a plug in and relaxed for about an hour. Maureen did a lot of walking! A suggestion next year would be to bring our small folding lawn chairs - there was no where to eat lunch or drink a coffee. The second day we stopped at Dunkin Donuts on the way in and bought a couple of muffins for lunch to go with our coffee - which we had to eat sitting on the floor! The weather was beautiful when we were outside and the drive there and back was uneventful.
On the 11th the park held its second Welcome Home Party. Those who signed up got a free hot dog each, as well as iced tea, an alcoholic drink and ice cream. They had brought out 1,100 chairs to start and kept bringing them out. Larry went back to our site with the scooter and got our own chairs. People who knew the ropes had got there very early to save seats.
We met some of our neighbours who have been coming here for years - people from Alberta, Kelowna and Montreal. Jim, next to us, lives here year round - originally from Minnesota. We've also met some nice people in the hot tub. After January 1, the park has filled up considerably (still not full) so there are a lot more in the tub each evening.
On the 18th we met Jim and Marie from South Surrey at Whiskey Rose Saloon (used our second coupon from Aaron) for lunch. There was no one in there when we got there so it was nice. On the 19th we headed for Tucson, back to get the work on the coach finished (front night shade, toilet handle and the latches for the fridge and a drawer). This was free parking with water and electricity in a lot beside the service centre. We had to arrive before noon because there were two important football games in the afternoon. Larry was disappointed when New England lost but we were both happy about Seattle. We were into the service line-up promptly at 8 am. We did a Costco shop and then met a couple from Campbell River for coffee. Maureen had met Lorraine on a Facebook site called RV Tips. We had a nice visit with her and her husband Greg. They are off to Texas next.
Everything was finished up at Lazydays by 4:30 so we figured we might just as well head down the road. We arrived at Destiny RV Resort in Goodyear (west of Phoenix) about 6:30. It's never fun to arrive at a new place in the dark but we managed to fit in a site without unhooking the Jeep. There are two couples staying here from Swan Lake (Leo and Sharon, Fran and Gary) so we had a few drinks with them. Then we were off in the morning. We stopped in Quartzsite for lunch with Glen and Donna from Swan Lake. What a zoo! It's the annual RV show and it's crazy busy.