Saturday, November 7, 2009

Birthday Celebration

Yesterday was the second time that Suzy LeRoy and I have celebrated our birthdays together.


Suzy’s birthday is today (Nov. 7) and mine was Thursday (Nov. 5), so our party was held on the day between (Nov. 6). She and hubby Jerry have a site in the Escapees Saguaro Co-op in Benson, so we’re only about 7 miles apart. They write a wonderful blog called Our Life on Wheels, and Jerry has been inspirational and helpful to me in learning to write and improve my own blog. We went out for dinner last year for our birthdays, so it seems that this will continue as an annual event. We’ve already made a date for November 2010.

When the party was originally planned, Don offered to grill tri-tip and Suzy offered for Jerry to fix some accompaniments. By the time it actually happened, our little party had grown to 8 people!


This photo shows (L-R) Don, Liz and Craig Del Rosario (Don’s son and D-I-L), Suzy, Me, Jerry, Ken and Maryanne Watson. Ken and Maryanne are long-time RV friends who live in Cave Creek, AZ. They were stopping by on their way home from a several-month trip to Indiana and other eastern points.  This photo was my first attempt at using the timer on my new camera, and I didn’t have the focus set correctly. But at least you can see that we had a great party.

Craig is an independent unexploded ordnance technician, and works on various projects in different locations throughout the U.S. He recently finished a job and hasn’t selected the next one, so he and his wife came in their motorhome to Cochise Terrace to spend some time with us. They recently became full-time RVers and have found this lifestyle to work well for his profession. We were able to get them a site in the deeded lots area of the resort, about a block away from us. We don’t know how long they’ll be able to stay, but we’re really enjoying having them here.


Ken and Maryanne are very proud of their new home on wheels, and it *is* a beauty.


It even has a big outdoor kitchen that slides out, providing countertop, stove, BBQ, sink, refrigerator and storage. We’ll look forward to a nice dinner from you, Ken!


My birthday present from Don came a few days early, so I’ve been enjoying riding around the park on it.


It’s a persimmon-colored Townie 21-speed bike, constructed to allow the rider to sit on the seat and have both feet on the ground. I’m not quite flat-footed when both feet are down (the right one is on the pedal in this photo), but I’m much more stable when starting off than I was on the old one. And I think I ride better and am definitely more comfortable. Don has the same bike (only taller) and has enjoyed it much more than his old one.

I gave myself a birthday present, too, if you want to call it that. Since my Sony camera with 4x zoom bit the dust recently, I decided it was time to upgrade. I had been wanting a more powerful zoom, so I chose the Nikon Coolpix S630 with 7x optical zoom and 12 megapixels. I really didn’t need the higher megapixels, since I downsize the photos for emailing and blogging, but the zoom is really nice for distance shots. And there are lots of nice features, too, which will keep me in a learning curve for awhile.

I love sunsets, so I’ll close with this photo, taken from the back of our RV lot, using the Sunset Scene setting.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Back in Benson

After several months of traveling in the Pacific Northwest and California, we arrived on Halloween Day to beautiful fall weather in Benson, Arizona, and are now parked on our lot at Cochise Terrace Resort. Daytime temps are warm and sunny, and nights are a bit chilly, as they should be this time of year. We can still see some leaves changing color, even though they were more spectacular in some of our more northern travels.

On Sunday, Nov. 1, we got together with our very good friends Jerry and Suzy LeRoy at their new-to-them park trailer in the Escapees Saguaro Co-op, just a few miles away on the other side of Benson. What a lovely place! You can read all about it on their blog at Our Life on Wheels. There are several entries about the purchase, moving and setup of the trailer, followed by furnishing and decorating it. The end result is a beautiful new home that’s very comfortable.

During the evening, Jerry gave me a tip about blogging, leading me to Windows Live Writer. This entry is my first using this (free) software from Microsoft. I have yet to explore all its capabilities, but it promises to make it easier to blog. (So maybe I’ll do it more often??)

While we were in Las Vegas (more on that later), I had a small accident with my Sony Cybershot camera. When getting out of the car in strong winds, the camera fell on the pavement and subsequently died. It gave me one last photo (how did that happen?) of the ceiling in the Bellagio Hotel lobby. These are glass-blown flowers, covering an area at least 20 x 80 feet above the casual lobby seating area.


Afterward, the camera refused to open when I pressed the On button. I took it to a camera shop, and the clerk said it would be $80-120 to repair, and it might take a while. I’ve been wanting a more powerful zoom lens, so I decided it was time for a new camera.

After shopping online, as well as at the Ft. Huachuca Post Exchange, Wal-Mart and Best Buy (the winner), I finally chose a Nikon Coolpix S630 with 12 megapixel resolution, 7x zoom, and ISO 6400 capability. It has a 2.7 inch high-resolution LCD, which is very sharp and clear, vibration reduction, 17 scene selection options, plus an auto setting, and a continuous shooting setting for stop-action photos. I can take short videos, too, with sound if desired. There are so many features that I haven’t explored; I have a steep learning curve ahead of me!

Here’s one of the first photos. The full moon last night over Benson with the Dragoon Mountains in the distance gave us the feeling that we’re happy to be in our winter home.


I promise to catch up with the adventures we had during the past few weeks of our summer/fall travels…soon! In the meantime, I wish everyone a happy Autumn, my favorite season of the year.