Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas!!!

December 17 to December 25

The past week has been pretty quiet. We visited the two flea markets in town, did some regular shopping and believe it or not Ed and I actually ventured out onto the tennis courts. We've attempted to play tennis a few times now and are actually improving with each visit. The biggest adventure was Margaret and my hunt for a fresh turkey. We tried 4 different groceries stores and no fresh turkeys — lots of chickens and turkey breasts but no turkeys. Ok one store did have a fresh turkey in a fellows grocery cart but he had ordered it a month ago and we couldn't convince him to sell it to us. Margaret asked at the meat counter and no they hadn't ordered any extra fresh turkeys. We were ready to settle for a frozen turkey but couldn't find anything less than 25 pounds and there were only a couple of those. A nice 7 pound fresh chicken was purchased instead. Colin was very disappointed that there wasn't going to be turkey for Christmas that he decided to go out in search of one. Of course he found a nice 15 pound frozen turkey at Sam's Club (Margaret and I totally forgot about Sam's Club). The turkey was deep fried ---- mmmmm good!

Arizona Zaphod wishes you a merry Christmas

Look what I got, nice ball... eh?

What? Why are you looking at me with a grin?

Mom??? why do I have to get dressed up to go visit next door?

everyone's a copycat

Friday, December 16, 2005

Mexico Again

December 15 to December 16

We decided to go to Mexico on Friday but thought we would try a different town. About 30 miles south of Yuma is the town of San Luis, at which you can walk into a Mexican town just the other side of the border. The tourist literature indicated that this was not a typical border town but we decided to give it a try. The first clue that this town was different was the number of grocery carts left on the US side of the border, the second clue was that most of the people walking across the border were Mexican and the third clue was when we were stopped on the sidewalk and a young women asked if she could take our picture — she worked for the local newspaper. It turns out that Mexicans cross the border into the US to shop instead of Americans going into the Mexico to shop. Now I understand why Wal-Mart wants to open a store in San Luis and why the local merchants are so opposed.

The Mexican border -- note the shopping carts.

The Scotiabank is alive and well in Mexico.

A street scene in Mexico.

Another street scene.

Yet another street scene.

An iguana on the wall of the US customs building.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Was that a Plow on the Road?

About 30 miles west of Yuma are the Imperial Sand Dunes in California. This area is very popular for RVers especially those who own dune buggies. It certainly looks like a lot of fun! Zaph, of course enjoyed playing on the dunes. At one point on the drive we saw a truck plowing the road — luckily it was only pushing sand off the road not snow! Another spot we saw huge fields with hundreds of bales of hay stacked at the edges. As we were wondering what all the hay was for we drove past thousands of cattle in pens with a large sign indicating this operation was a cattle feeder.

The Imperial Sand Dunes.

Another view of the dunes.

A couple of dune buggies having fun.

Zaph having fun.

A tree by the sand dunes.

This was an old plank road that they used to get cars over the sand dunes.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Santa in a Golf Cart?

December 10 to December 13

We spent the weekend hanging around the trailer doing the usual stuff. Zaph didn't mind it though as he convinced us to go to the dog park a lot. Tuesday evening was the Park's Golf Cart Parade — people decorated their golf carts and drove through park. Zaph got into the spirit of things by putting on his santa hat and standing at the end of our site watching the golf carts go by. After the parade was a carol sing complete with hot chocolate (one pot had be fortified with schnapps). Our neighbor is definitely into Christmas with lots of decorations and lights, making our single Christmas decoration looks at little sad compared to theirs.

Zaph gets his picture taken with Santa (our neighbour).

One of the decorated golf carts. Our neighbours yard is in the background.

Another golf cart.

Singers at the "piddle patch pavilion

Friday, December 09, 2005

Christmas Parade

Yuma City had their Christmas Parade this evening — a parade of lights. Let me tell you it was a
lot nicer to watch a parade when the temperature is greater than 60F, then when it is below
freezing. The parade reminded me a lot of the Waterdown parade for the past few years — a lot
of local businesses decorate their vehicles and drive in the parade getting free advertising. My
favorite was a herd of goats dressed to look like camels — very cute. The decorated dogs were a
close second.

One of the decorated vehicles in the parade.

One of the floats.

Another float.

The goats.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Solar Energy at Work

December 6 to December 8
One of the benefits of being retired is you don't necessarily have a schedule that you have to adhere to. Ed decided that we could spread our anniversary celebration out over three days. We went to Mexico on the 5th, had dinner out on the 6th and went to see the latest Harry Potter movie on the 7th. It was nice not trying to do everything in one day. The Harry Potter movies seem to be getting scarier to me --- given the people who were in the audience when we went the movie is definitely aimed at an adult audience.

One of our neighbours in the park told us about a walking trail near the river where they take their dog, so we decided to take Zaph and see what it was like. What we found was a park that is in the process of being built along the river. It's going to be very pretty when it is finished .... they built a pond, a hummingbird garden and a solar garden. Ed found the solar garden very interesting. It is a series of approximately 20 banks of solar panels that follow the sun in the sky. A man from the company that installed the panels happened to be taking some pictures and offered to answer any of our questions --- silly man (we had lots of questions). Arizona is an ideal place for solar power as they have an incredible number of sunny days in a year.

this field of solar panel track the sun, and is claimed to capture enough power for 25 homes (if such homes go easy on the power usage that is)

Monday, December 05, 2005

Happy Anniversary!

Can you believe that Ed and I have been married 19 years (co-habitating for 25 years)? Some days that seems pretty incredible to me .... I’m only 29 after all.

We decided to go into Mexico today to Algodones — it’s less than 5 miles from the RV park the way the crow flies but is about 15 miles by road. There’s a large parking lot on the US side of the border and you walk across the border into Algodones. Pharmacies, liquor stores and dentists are the first things you see when you cross the border. All of the items are a lot cheaper in Mexico than in the US. Restaurants and tourist shops fill in the area around the pharmacies. As it was our first time in this town we opted to have lunch in one of the larger more popular restaurants (and probably more expensive though a good size margarita was only $3).

Tonight was the first time we had company in the hot tub — two couples from Alberta. There certainly are a lot of Canadians down here.

entering Mexico, just walk on in, no one guards at all

some of the streets on the Mexican side

lots of street side vendors and stores all aimed at tourists.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Golfing Dogs?

December 2 to December 4

We spent a few days getting to know where everything is in Yuma. We’ve managed to find the post office, two Wal-marts, Home Depot, grocery stores, a big flea market and lots of other places. Yuma is actually fairly easy to get around except for the roads with multiple names. The people are very friendly here and appear to obey stop signs and traffic lights — I like this place a lot better than Las Vegas already.

Zaph has been loving the dog park and heads that way every time we let him out of the trailer. A lot of dogs arrive at the dog park in golf carts — they sit patiently in the golf cart till they arrive then hop out and do their thing. Poor Zaph will have to continue walking to the dog park.

When Zaph and I headed over to the dog park on Saturday morning a fellow was riding a golf cart around the park ringing the breakfast triangle reminding everyone of the pancake breakfast. Ed, Colin and I (Margaret has the flu and decided to pass) headed over to the ballroom to try out the breakfast which I think was put on by the social committee – all the scrambled eggs, sausages and blueberry pancakes you could eat. We had a nice visit with a fellow from Saskatchewan who has been coming to this park for over 12 years. The RV park has a lot of social events.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Green Grass and Vegetables

The road from Quartzsite to Yuma is through the desert — we passed some BLM areas where
you can camp and then we drove through a US military proving ground ... not sure what that is
but there was lots of "danger" signs. About 10 miles from Yuma we noticed the first green fields
with green trees on the edges as well as irrigation ditches. The number of green fields
(vegetables) and irrigation ditches increased the closer we got to Yuma — I hope there is a
garden market in town. The Colorado River passes through Yuma and provides much of the
water required by the farms. We understand that Yuma gets a 40% allotment of the total river's
water flow.

We are staying at an RV and Golf Resort on the Cocopah Indian Reservation on the west side of
Yuma. The resort has around 800 sites, a 18 hole golf course, 9 hole putting course, tennis
courts, shuffleboard, horse shoes, swimming pool, spa, library, ballroom, woodworking shop and
a 2 acre leash free pet exercise area that has green grass — not bad eh? Zaph is quite excited
about the pet exercise area and it is only a minute from our trailer. The "pet friendly area" area of
the park is large enough that he doesn't care that he can't walk through the entire park. It's
actually quite nice knowing that your neighbor isn't going to complain about your dog because
they probably have one if not two of their own. So far the people have been very friendly — I
already like Yuma better than Las Vegas.

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