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Saturday Oct. 12 to Friday Oct. 18- Westminster CO to Sun City AZ

Saturday- We left Westminster at about 8:00, driving west on I-76 to US 470 south. We turned farther south onto CO Hwy. 85, traveling to Castle Rock ( below is the castle rock and hot air balloons floating beside the highway.

Castle Rock

Balloons south of Denver

where we picked up I-25  south. We continued south through Colorado and into New Mexico, stopping in Las Vegas and staying at Storry Lake State park, for the second time.

The last time we stayed here, once we entered the park, we turned left. We did that but all of the pull thru sites with water and electric were taken. We drove back the other direction and found four open sites. We were glad we arrived when we did as they were all filled soon after our arrival. Water and electric sties are $14 per night. We had to back into the site, so we had to disconnect the CRV. Not a problem.

Once we were set up, we went into town to check out the Elks Lodge. The Lodge has four sites, all back in, with water and electric. We could have stayed there, but we had hoped that we had hoped to have a pull thru site at the State Park.

We returned to the motor home, ate dinner, watched TV ( on the satellite which was now working, hmmmm).

Sunday-  We took our time this morning, filling our pill boxes and paying bills. Since I have the new computer, I had to work at getting Quicken to work, since it was not completely set up by the Geek Squad. I still cannot get it to back up correctly, so I am going to have to work on that.

We left at around 9:30, traveling south on I-25, through Santa Fe and almost to Albuquerque. Our destination was the Sandia Casino, We stopped at the San Felipe Casino truck stop for diesel, $3.679/ per gal, debit card or cash only. I was driving and the winds were really picking up at this point. I was holding onto the steering wheel with two hands and had to slow down to 45-50 mph.

We were not happy! It took us 50 minutes, as there were 18 wheelers in the two working islands, and the truckers had seemed to disappear. I finally went in to ask the staff what was going on, and hooked up with another lady, who has a diesel truck hauling horses. We both spoke to security, who really could not care less. The security gal stated that this happens all the time. Finally, one of the trucks moved and Bob could get to the island  Just as he was finishing, the other truck driver arrived to start pumping his diesel. How rude! He had been gone this entire time! We assume he was either eating lunch or gambling.

We continued to Sandia, where we met up with friends Margie and Wayne, our Alaska travel buddies. They are in ABQ for the International Balloon Fiesta. Wayne had done balloon chase and had a great time.

We parked the motor home, with the CRV attached, up with the other RV’s. The casino usually has one RV parking lot, but for the Fiesta, there were two. We walked down to the casino, and after hugs, went to lunch at one of the grills. Bob had an Indian Taco (fried bread with taco meat, lettuce, tomatoes and cheese). I had a BLT on Texas toast. We split an order of onion rings. $10.50, with free drinks, for the both meals. They were really good! Wow, lunch out for two for $10.50, a real bargain!

We sat talking until 2PM, when we bid Margie and Wayne a fond farewell. We are not going to be seeing them again for awhile, as they are heading to Breckenridge for the winter!

We drove back onto I-25 south and turned west, in mid-town, onto I-40 west. . Once we were out of town, the winds picked up again, going from south to north, so they were hitting the side of the motor home. Bob had to slow down to keep the rig on the road.

Our destination was Milan, a small town, right on I-40. We stayed at Bar S RV park, 50 amp, FHU, $22. Good thing I called to make reservations, as we got one of the last two sites. This is a Good Sam park, so we received the Good Sam discount. In addition, we had a free night stay at Good Sam for renewing our membership. We have to mail in the coupon, but we get reimbursed for our stay!

It had really warmed up today. Into the  mid 80’s. We are going to have to turn on the air conditioner tomorrow. We did not have it ready to go today We set up camp, ate dinner  and settled in to watch the Redskin game, a loss again.

Monday-  We left the RV park at 8:00, continuing west on I-40. No wind currently, but when we arrived at the Arizona Welcome Center ( which was closed for the holiday), they had high wind warnings posted.

We continued to Flagstaff, where we turned south on I-17 for about 60 miles. We dropped down from 7000 ft. to 4000 ft., in a very short period of time. Bob counted 1000 ft. per 11 minutes.  We left the interstate at the Cottonwood exit and drove west on Hwy. 260 to the Verde Valley Thousand Trails. We checked out four of the five areas. We finally decided on a 30 amp site, which was fairly flat and facing north, in the ‘H’ section . Facing north means that the side of the motor home where we sit out is in the shade in the afternoon. No winds today!

We ran into the town of Cottonwood to pick up ground beef  and carrots to cook the dogs food. We returned to the motor home. While sitting outside, a guy named Skip came by for a visit with his black lab, Oscar. He also owns an Alfa and is a member of the Alfa See Ya’s and the Roadrunners. We had not met before, but he was also at the Alfa National Rally in April and will be there again. He will be staying for 4 months at Palm Desert in Casa Grande through the rally.

We ate leftovers for dinner with both of us falling asleep while watching TV. We went to bed at 10. We had gained an hour when we crossed into Arizona. Arizona does not participate in Daylight Savings Time,so this means we have already changed times and won’t be changing again in early November.

Tuesday- I left Bob washing the sheets and went to Cottonwood to have a mani/pedi. While having the mani/pedi, they had the TV on to Bar Rescue, a reality show on SPIKE. I was hooked. I had to turn on the TV when I returned home to finish watching the episode. I doubt it will hold my interest for long, but it was fun to watch!

We decided to go to lunch in Cottonwood. The town was much larger than we anticipated. Bob had found a Mexican restaurant on Yelp, so we headed there. We arrived and there were four cars in the parking lot at noon. Forget that. We drove down the street and found another Mexican restaurant, with a full parking lot,  and went there for lunch. My Chili Rellano wasn’t all that great, but Bob’s Tamale was very good.

We went across the road to the Visitor Center. The gal, Judy, helped us with giving us maps and telling us about various museums and attractions to visit in Phoenix. She also sent us downtown, to Cottonwood’s old town. It was a cut little town with some nice shops. We bought some pumpernickel bread and some Cranberry-Pear oil/vinegar, for marinating chicken.

We returned to the motor home and took a much needed nap. We sat outside, but it quickly became chilly in the shade, as it was in the 60’s. We ate dinner and watched TV.

Wednesday- We left the park at 8:30 for an easy drive south on I-17. We turned west on I-101, getting off just a few miles from Paradise RV Park, an Encore park. Encore is also owned by the same company as Thousand Trails, so we have a three month discount. We did 2,  three month contracts, through to April 16. Longer than we want to stay, BUT, it was less expensive to do the three month contracts than to do a three month and 2,  one month contracts.

We were guided to our site. The site was designed when RV’s were 8 feet wide. Now they are 8.5 ft. wide. So I had to assist Bob with maneuvering the motor home between the concrete pad and the sewer access. Tricky, but we have a lot of practice with doing this kind of maneuvering. We have 50 amp + 30 amp, FHU. We have to pay for electric and water. There is a propane truck which comes around twice a month, so we can purchase propane if we have the need. We don’t anticipate using all that much propane.

We quickly settled in and ate lunch.  I changed clothes and was off to my appointments. Bob went to the front desk to settle up, riding his bike up there while I was gone. He also set up more of our permanent ( for 6 months) camp.

My first appointment was with my new boss, Joan. We met in the east lobby of the hospital and went over some items. Then she showed  me the way to Employee Health. I had to fill out some paperwork then take a color test. First time I had to do that! I aced it. Then it was on to ‘peeing in a cup’ for the drug test. I jokingly told the nurse, Linda, that all she would find would be Celebrex!  Passed that test also…

Next I was passed off to Kathy, who confirmed all my info  in the computer system. She took all my paperwork, as I gave her the documentation about my flu vaccine, titers( proving that I have been exposed to Chicken Pox, Measles, Mumps etc), authorization to work from my primary care Physician, and my health history.

She then gave me the PPD ( tuberculosis test). For my nurse friends, they have a new two step PPD. They do the usual testing, twice, a couple of weeks apart. Okay with me, they are paying for it. Kathy also re-drew my titers, as she wanted some different ones. So I will have all that info when I return to have the PPD read on Friday, which I can add to my file.

By now it was 2:30, so I returned to the motor home to meet up with Bob. We sat outside on our patio, enjoying the 82, dry, degree weather. At about 4:30, we decided to ride our bikes around the park.

The park is larger than we expected, yet smaller than Palm Desert ( the place we loved so much last winter). I think this resort has about 400-500 sites, whereas Palm Desert was over 1000.

Even though the park is smaller, there are still lots of activities. So while on our bike ride, we stopped and walked through the Activity Center. There is a craft area, woodworking, shuffleboard, lawn bowling( much to Bob’s delight), pool, two hot tubs-one inside and one outside, a large exercise room with lots of nice equipment. There is a ceramics shop and a stone cutting shop. Plus they have a huge dance hall, with a really nice floor. There is a nice little restaurant., open for breakfast and lunch.

We finally stopped in to visit MaryAnne and Ray.  We are in the ‘pet’ section, on row 21, they are in the non-pet section, row 13. So we are not too far apart. We sat and talked for awhile, then decided to go out to dinner. We returned to the motor home , fed the dogs, then drove back to pick them up. We went to Good China, a very nice sit down Chinese restaurant. The food was very good and so was the company! We picked up a take out menu for future reference!

We returned home at about 8:30, settled in, watched TV and went to bed. The temp had dropped to the low 70’s by bedtime. No winds…

Thursday-  I woke up very early, as the mind clicked on! Bob( and the dogs) slept in. What is the point of being retired if you can’t sleep in when you want to!

I used the early morning time to get ready for tomorrow, when I have to go downtown to do the credentialing. I also worked on the blog.

There was a special at one of the Spa’s and MaryAnne had emailed me about this so I had scheduled a massage. So at 10:15, Bob dropped me off at Corte Bella Spa. The massage was great.

Bob had some errands to run, including going to Home Depot to pick up a new handle for the bathroom door. We had been having a problem keeping the door closed. He had cleaned the mechanism, but it just was no longer working properly. So he needed a new one to replace the original one.

We went to Kohls, as it seems that I missed bringing my blue pants  for working  here. Not sure how that happened!  So I picked up a new pair, on sale, with another 20% off, for $13. Not bad!

We went to lunch at the Paradise Café, a local place, similar to Panera. The sandwich’s were just okay, but they are known for the cookies. The sandwich comes with an awesome chocolate chip cookie!

We returned to the motor home and I took a nice nap to catch up on waking up so early. We sat outside in the beautiful weather, cooked dinner and started watching TV. About 8, MaryAnne and Ray stopped by while on their evening walk.

Friday-  Bob put up the steering wheel table for me so I put the Halloween cover on it. Then we put out the large mat on our concrete pad and set up the fencing for the dogs. We still have some more decorating to do. At 9AM, we left to go to Mesa. On the way out of town, we stopped at the mail room to pick up our mailbox key. We had some fliers from the resort in the box.

We drove the 40 miles to Mesa, taking I -101 to  AZ 202. We arrived at the Banner Health corporate office building, about  45  minutes later. We had to find the Banner Staffing Office, which is actually who I am going to be working for…. I parked the car so that Bob could be sitting in the shade, and he read his book while I went inside to do the credentialing. I was to arrive anywhere between 9 and 12. There was another nurse there, although she is not a Case Manger. The receptionist took my originals of my CPR, ACLS, drivers license, and CCM certification and copied them. Then both of us were taken into a small conference room and they went through all the paperwork with us. I have never seen so much paperwork in my long career. The two HR gals went through every piece of paper, line by line. They reviewed my job description with me, double checked the I-9 and took everything to another person to review. Finally, after an hour, I was done and on my way. 

We were close to downtown Mesa, so we went towards the downtown. On the way we spotted a Farmers Market, so we stopped. We bought some Pineapple salsa, but tried some breads, peach cobbler, and some of the salsas

We went from there, as by now it was almost noon, to The Landmark for lunch. The Landmark was recommended by MaryAnne. The restaurant is located in an old Mormon church The Mormons moved to a bigger facility in the early 1950’s, and the building was used by a law firm before being turned into a restaurant in the 1980’s. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The restaurant has a sit down menu, but is famous for their salad bar. The salad bar was huge, with 6 soups and every kind of salad that you can think of…. I ran out of plate before I ran out of salads to try!

We left there and returned back towards home. We passed the RV park, and continued on to Del Webb hospital. I wanted to try a different route to the hospital, so that I have several routes to use. I like this second route better. I had to go back to Occupational Health for my PPD to be read. We returned home, walked the dogs and sat out enjoying the weather. It was 86 degrees and felt like it was in the 70’s, with the dry air. We rode out bikes around the park for 1/2 hour, then BBQ’d some chicken and watched some TV.

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