Thursday, December 26, 2013

About That "On The Road Again" (December 26)

Dear Family and Friends,

Hello from Galveston, Texas. Yes, we are thrilled to be on the road again. It has been an amazing two months with motor coach and tow vehicle changes as well as a myriad of other things that have needed our attention. The pics below show our progression to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area and then to Galveston.

 We rented a UHaul trailer to move those "treasures" that had been in storage since our full timing began three years ago.

 The trailer is loaded and ready to be pulled by the Unity.

 Putting the finishing touches on our vehicles before we left Tucson on Sunday, December 8th.
 While Roger drove the Unity with the trailer, I followed in the Fiat 500.

We spent one night in Van Horn, Texas and two nights in Abilene, Texas, waiting for the DFW area to thaw from their unseasonably cold weather. 

We found the Ft. Worth roads to be drivable, but icy in spots. Navigating through lots of construction (an ongoing 10 year project near the DFW airport) and iffy roads, we arrived at Grapevine RV park, where we spent two weeks with family before heading to Galveston for Christmas and our final year of traveling full time.

 Our grandson Jackson is enjoying a Christmas goody.

 No Perry (the Rob Radcliff's Rhodesian Ridgeback), you cannot have chocolate!

 Our granddaughter Abby opening her present from Mimi and Grandad.

 The pink purse is great, but the cash inside is even better.

 Rob is helping a thrilled Jackson open a new Buzz Lightyear.

 Mom, Suzanne, with Rob help Jackson.

 Oh yeah, I love Grandad.

 Bear gets a cuddle from Abby.

 Suzanne and Jackson

 Roger and I are at my brother's home for a Christmas party.

Our visit went quickly and soon we were on the road to Galveston. Our route took us along I-45 through Houston and into Galveston. We are glad to be in warmer weather with this motor home.

 This is how we roll.

 Driving into Houston

 Galveston and the Gulf of Mexico

 The view from our spot at Jamaica Beach RV Resort.

Christmas dinner at the Hotel Galvez

We are staying in Galveston for a month and that is a change from our original plans. Our beloved dog Bear has developed some sort of nasty virus or fungal infection that has laid him very low. We are working with a vet in Galveston who is in contact with our vet in Tucson. Bear has had some extensive blood work and at this posting we are awaiting the results. Roger and I are extremely concerned and we ask your prayers as we fight this illness.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

About Those "Best Laid Plans" (November)

Dear Family and Friends,

The last blog that I published stated that we would be in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area for Thanksgiving. As Blake once said, "the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray." Our plans have certainly gone astray as we are still at Davis Monthan in Tucson, Arizona. On a routine dental checkup, my dentist found an abscessed tooth that has required major work requiring us to extend our Tucson time by several weeks. Suffice it to say that I was thrilled to be in Tucson, under the care of my long time dentist, rather than on the road. On the other hand, we missed Thanksgiving with our family in Dallas. Roger has kept my spirits up and believe me, I am most grateful to have had the care of this dentist who has seen me for over ten years.

Staying in the Tucson area has given us a chance to continue fine tuning what we need for travel in the coming year. Downsizing from 43 feet to 24 feet has been a challenge. In addition we have been able to spend more time with family and friends in the area. Bear has been able to go to Sit, Stay and Play, his doggie day care.

So if all goes well with my final dentist visit on December 5th, we will leave for Texas on the 9th. Below are a few pics:

 Tucson is known for it's beautiful sunrises and sunsets.

How thrilled Roger and I were to be invited to my long time cycling buddy, Sandy, and her husband Jeff's home for Thanksgiving. On many of our rides, we discussed recipes. I knew that Sandy would prepare a delicious Thanksgiving dinner and she did not disappoint. On the contrary, it was outstanding.

 Jeff and his father, Glenn, lower the turkey into the deep fat fryer.
This was my first deep fat fried turkey, so I was very interested in the preparation.

 Filling the deep fat fryer with lots of peanut oil and then recycling it (at Home Depot) was an education.

 The finished turkey looks fantastic.

 Sandy, Jeff's mother Irene and Jeff put the finishing touches on dinner.

 Jeff's grandmother Pauline is 95 years old. "Ma" along with Glenn and Irene drove to Tucson to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with their son, Jeff and Sandy.

 Local friends, Mike and Rachael

 Sandy watches friend Bill chomp down on her homemade rolls.

How grateful the Radcliffs were to be included at this special dinner.
Many thanks to Sandy and Jeff!

Our final week in Tucson will be spent riding bikes, last dental visit (fingers crossed), a check up for Bear, and loading the trailer for the trip to Ft. Worth. Roger and I hope all of you had a lovely Thanksgiving. Thank you for your continued interest in our travels.

Monday, November 11, 2013

About That Downsizing (November)

Dear Family and Friends,

Hello from Davis Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona. Avid blog readers know that we began our RV traveling from Tucson, where we lived for 12 years, on April 22, 2011.  Additionally, Roger was commander of Davis-Monthan AFB during our Air Force days here. (1994 - 1995). Yes, Tucson has a special place in our hearts.

Tucson has been a great place for the continuation of our downsizing into the Unity. During this time we moved one storage unit's contents closer to the Air Force Base (that storage is joining the things we took out of the Tour). We will load a U-Haul trailer on November 21 in preparation for moving those things to Ft. Worth.

After much thought Roger and I decided to trade in our Terrain for a lighter Fiat Abarth Cabrio (convertible). What a peppy car and much easier to tow behind our 24 foot Unity! This car has manual transmission and can be towed in neutral. Thank goodness I have had other cars that were manual and after a few minutes behind the wheel, it all came back. So far we are very happy about our decision.

One morning I woke up to find this huge moth on our stars and stripes windsock. He waited patiently for me to take his picture.

The past few weeks have found us fine tuning our lives in the Unity, working on bike safety with new locks (we now use five) in hopes of slowing down any would be thieves, preparing the Fiat for towing and enjoying family and friends in the area.

 It is much easier to air the Unity's tires.

 Our new bikes with their 5 locks (we are having the cover made here)

 The Unity is so easy to drive in busy traffic and park in shopping center parking lots.

We love taking Bear on walks in the morning. He is quite a trooper on our 4 mile jaunts.

 Bear and Roger pose in front of a sahuaro cactus.

We took a break this past weekend for a day trip to Sonoita, Patagonia, and Nogales. The Fiat was so much fun. Because we were so close to the border, there were several Border Patrol stops along the way.
 Border Patrol Stop

 Chirachaua Mountains

 Even southern Arizona has a Fall.

A major border patrol stop on I - 19 back to Tucson.

Thank you for being so patient as I have missed two publishing Saturdays. We will be here until November 22nd when we start our trip to the Ft. Worth/Dallas area for the Thanksgiving holidays. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

About That Unity (October 15 - 25)

Dear Family and Friends,

Our last days at Nellis AFB in Las Vegas were filled with exercising, walks with Bear, continuing our downsizing tasks in preparation for the switch from the Tour to Unity.

We did manage to spend a wonderful evening at Caesar's with guest artist in residence, Shania Twain. Her show was such a thrill as she sang all of her standards. Yes, she is "still the one." The finale was "I Feel Like A Woman" with a full music ensemble, fabulous wardrobe and great scenery.

We left Nellis for San Marcos, California, on Monday morning.

 Roger is leaving the Tour for the last time at San Marcos.

 The combination of the Tour and Terrain have been great!

 Holland RV did a great job of welcoming us to our new home. Roger, Bear and I are standing in front of the Unity.

 This Leisure Travel Van is 24.7 feet long. It has a Mercedes Diesel engine. Though we bought it in California, we had to pick it up in Yuma, Arizona. Holland RV drivers drove it to Yuma and we followed in our car.

 San Diego traffic is among the worst that I have ever seen. We are following the Unity.

 Hooray, we take delivery of the Unity and head off to Tucson. At this point we cannot tow a vehicle until we have driven 1,000 miles. I followed in the Terrain.

The inside of the Unity is quite snug. I like to think cozy! We are still in the process of arranging household items for the best fit.

 The twin beds make into a very large bed. We selected this model of the Unity for the additional storage, both inside and outside the coach. The bedroom television is behind the cabinet on the left.

 Bathroom (the shower is across the hall)

 The kitchen with the microwave/convection oven that sits on the refrigerator is across from the sink and cooktop.

Both driver and passenger chair swivel around to watch the television in the kitchen.

As you can imagine we have been busy settling into our new Unity. We have lots to do while we are in the Tucson area in preparation for our final year on the road full time. Thank you so much for your interest in our travels. We appreciate your desire to be a part of our lives.