November 19 – Jan 1, 2017
When we last wrote we were still at Camp Service in Oregon, I’m glad to report that after 50 days we finally pulled up our jacks and headed out. We were still waiting on 3 or 4 items that needed to be installed or repaired but it was the 19th of November and we had reservations in Paso Robles at Wine Country Rv Resort. We also wanted to spend Thanksgiving week with Guy’s sister Robin and her honey Rueben. Monaco at Camp Service told us they would ship the parts for our repairs anywhere we went and would find someone to do the repairs, awesome. So off we went.
We also were getting some bad weather vibes…we had plans to stop one night in Lake Shasta, as we got closer it was snowing, the roads were starting to ice, and the temperature was dropping, deciding that this was not where we wanted to be, we kept going so we could made it to Redding, Ca. There had been so much rain in North Ca that the river at the campground in Redding was over its banks, and of course, the only spot open was next to that river. It rained on and off all night but luckily did not reach as far as the coach.
It was a wonderful week spending time with Robin and Reuben and their families. We spent Thanksgiving at Robin and Rueben’s family winery with his family, went to dinner with Robin’s son, Arron, his son, Ethan and his special girl, Danyel, and with her son; attended a Christmas musical, ate out at a Thai Restaurant, Robin cooked at home for us as well. Guy had taken the side by side off the truck and stored it at the winery, so on Thanksgiving the kids were loving riding around the grape groves.
It was a wonderfully busy week and so glad we got to spend it with Robin and Rueben. We missed Robin’s son Brent, as he has moved to Texas and would only be home for Christmas.
The day after Thanksgiving, one of my dear friends, Shelley, her husband Phil, and son Dustin were traveling thru Paso Robles, after spending Thanksgiving with their son, Brandon and his family in San Luis Obispo. They were able to meet us for lunch and spend the day with us, it was so great catching up. They also were traveling with Shelley’s cute new French bulldog, Rosie. We left her dog and ours in the coach while we went to lunch, the neighbors said that Rosie sat on our stairs and wimpered the whole time we were gone. Poor baby.
The winery and area around
I am not one to share my thoughts about campgrounds, I feel that what I like or don’t will influence someone else, I would rather you make your own decisions. But I wanted to say a little about the Wine Country Rv Resort. Let me start with how well they take care of it, there are lots of amenities, heated pool and Spa, fitness center, game room, play area for children, wine garden (dancing area, outdoor movies and wine tastings), as well as an area for adults only with wine and beer bar.
The sites are a different story, there is a premier camping area which is crowded, there are park models mixed in, it is nice, the outside surrounding sites were nice but to small for us. The interior campsites are where we were camped. These sites are situated so that you are front to back, meaning our front window looked into the back window of the coach in front, which was less than 4′ away. (I’m not kidding) Neither one of us could open our window shades, the coach on the driver side was less that 15” away from each of us. We shared the grass and picnic table area with the coaches across from us. There was probably 8-10’ between us, the tables were lined up in a row, so if you ate outside all 4 families would be eating together, which would be great if you were all friends. The coach across from us brought out their fire pit, dog enclosure, bikes, chairs, and firewood and proceeded to take up the whole area, even moving our table further away from us, with their bikes leaning against it. Needless to say there was no enjoying outside in our own chairs, with their music or their tv on. We finally gave up and asked if we could join in with them by their fire. Would we go back, that would be a very big NO.
On Sunday, November 27, we left Paso and headed to Bullhead City to keep with our new tradition of being with my sis Penny and her main squeeze Roger, and their family for some of the holidays. Penny had invited her children and grandkids to the River Shack for the weekend so we could all be together. Penny and Roger have 3 married kids with 8 grandkids. It was a busy weekend with 12 of us running around. Rogers brother John and his sweetie Sherry were there, Amy came with her 2 boys, her main squeeze Rob had a last minute meeting so couldn’t come out, Heidi, and her 2 kids came with her friend Jason, who brought the most tender, tasty steaks, everyone brought something to contribute to the main Saturday night dinner.
After everyone went back to California we had a few days to regroup and have some down time, Guy worked on the buggy and coach while I finished a quilt that I had started in Oregon. One of the days we were getting ready to go on a buggy ride but heard some loud engines and from the distance, we could also see lots of dust, we found out it was an off road buggy race, so off we went to watch.
Looking from the Laughlin, Nevada side up to the Bullhead City side.
When we started this full time traveling adventure we knew that some how we would always make it back to Alabama to spend Christmas with our children and grandkids. Holidays spent away from family is just not the same, we love all the festivities that come with getting ready for Christmas. Last year we drove to Alabama, but after dealing with all the snow and accidents on the highway coming back, we decided this year we would fly. It worked out great as we were very lucky there were no weather related problems in the direction we were flying.
Our flight from Las Vegas to Alabama was pretty early in the morning and with the drive from Bullhead City to Vegas being 2 hours we decided to leave a day early. We decided we wanted to go by Hoover dam. We had taken our son there about 4o years ago, and had taken the tour inside the dam, and walked on the dam at that time. This time we were just interested in viewing it from above. There were big changes since we had last been there…amazing
Hoover Dam is on the border between Nevada and Arizona. It was constructed between 1931 and 1936 during the great depression. The construct was the result of a massive effort involving thousands of workers and cost over one hundred lives.
When we got to Las Vegas we met up with Joyce and Ron, we met them at Camp Service in Oregon in 2015 and 2016. They are not full timers but travel to Vegas while it is snowing in Idaho where they live. Joyce owns a quilt shop and was going to take my quilt to have it quilted for me. Wahoo, I worked all week to get it done so she could take it. We took a tour of the campground they stay in and then Joyce served us a great lunch. We were excited to see them as they had traded in their Monaco 2015, for a new 2017 Entegra, we wanted to see their new home.
Our kids were all at work when we landed, we did not want them taking time off just to get us, so we rented a car to use so we could get to the hotel we were staying at in Birmingham and then down to our storage unit in Alexander City, where our little car is stored. We stay in hotels as neither one of our children have enough space for us to stay in their homes, we also don’t want to move the grandkids out of their bedrooms. Our kids live 2 1/2 hours from each other, our doctors are the same, so logistically making appointments and hotel reservations was challenging. We stayed the first week in Auburn, Al , by our son, Stephen and his son Ryan. Ryan is 16, driving his own car and works at an Italian restaurant with his step dad, Flint. When we asked what he and his dad wanted for dinner their pick was Italian. We were ok with that as it is great food, and we visited with Flint and his parents while there.
This was also our time for all the once a year doctor and dentist appointments, yuck!. It was nice to to get them done and over with, for another year. There was one added visit that we had not planned, the dreaded colonoscopies!! But glad to say done, and done!!
We head back to Alabama in March, so Guy will have his appointment with his cancer and heart doctors. Great to say that all is well in the Alexander household health wise.
While we were home we met up with lots of friends for lunches and dinners, but we ran out of time and with it being the holidays everyone is so busy it was hard fitting in everyone. We will be spending the month of April at Camp Alexander, in Blue Ridge GA, before heading up the east coast in May, so we hope to see more of our friends then.
Our Christmas eve tradition, gingerbread houses or trains
The final week we stayed in Birmingham, Al about 20 mins from, Kristi and Jason. Since we were eating with them for dinners it wasn’t to far to drive. Kristi wanted to make a special gift for her and Jason for Christmas and needed her daddies help! They did not have a tv cabinet for their tv room and Kristi found just what she wanted on Pinterest.
Off to Home Depot she and Guy went for the wood and and paint to make the cabinet. She already had the tin, she had gotten from Jason’s hunting camp. I will say they took on a big project for a short week. There were many late nights trying to get it done, Jason was out of town which made hiding the process easy.
It was a wonderful time spending the holidays with our family, it was over so fast and so hard to believe that it was time to leave, but alas there are more adventures in our future so off we went back to Bullhead City.
My sisters family came back to the River Shack for New Years, we watched the ball drop in New York and then I think most everyone was in bed before midnight in AZ. Another awesome week of great food, 5 mile walks to Davis Dam, lots of laughter, buggy rides and just plain fun was had by all.
Davis dam and Lake Mohave
Davis Dam is on the Colorado River about 70 miles from Hoover Dam. It stretches across the border of Arizona and Nevada. The dam holds the water back which makes Lake Mohave.
Friends of Roger and Penny’s, Ricky and Sherry, also have a home in Bullhead City and were there for New Years. Since we had lots of food and extra seats in the buggies they decided to go with us in the mountains and see the wild burros.
It was a great New Years weekend, we won’t see Penny and Roger, John and Sherry again until March when we all take a “vacation” to Cabo San Lucas. Wahoo!!
Good Night all, thanks for hanging with us “Rovers” on our journey around this wonderful country. See you again from Quartzsite, Arizona.