Friday, January 11, 2013

Freightliner, Gila Bend, Quartzsite, Parker

Now that we’re back on the road, we’re having lots of adventures, some better than others. We left the Davis-Monthan AFB FamCamp on Wed morning (in rush hour traffic) in time for our 8:00 am appointment at Freightliner in Tucson. Upon arriving, we checked in and all seemed fine. In fact, we met a man also checking in his Phaeton – identical to ours except one model year older – whose name was also Don!

Little did we know that the technicians in the garage were treating our Phaeton like it was busy work to be done when they didn’t have important work to do on trucks. We ran errands, met up with Bob and Molly Pinner who came to our rescue when the car battery decided to die in the WalMart parking lot (Thanks, Friends!), and went back to the Freightliner customer lounge to wait. We thought the job would surely be done by noon.

Seven and a half hours later, the simple oil change and generator service were finally done, after several frustrating queries about the progress! Freightliner has treated us right in the past, but, even though they charge 25% more to work on RVs than trucks, they did not do right by us this time. There was no excuse offered except to say that having an appointment doesn’t mean that they’ll actually start working on your rig, or that they’ll keep working on it if a truck comes in later and takes priority. We will take our business to Speedco in the future. We can be in and out of there in under an hour for the same work, and at a much lower price.

End of rant.

By 4:00 pm we were finally on the road to Gila Bend, 132 miles away, to catch up with our friends Larry & Marilyn Forbes and to have dinner at Little Italy, a great little Italian restaurant that we always enjoy. That meal and a good night’s rest was just what we needed to get back into a positive frame of mind for the good adventures that lie ahead. We awoke to a beautiful sunrise.


The next morning we caravanned to Quartzsite to pick up two packages we’d had sent there by UPS. On the way I called friends Susie & Denny Orr and Gloria & Frank King, who were in Quartziste already. They came to Taco Mio to meet us for lunch, bringing Liz & Roger Grant with them.


How nice to see our friends again! And of course it’s always nice to have good Mexican food. Quartzsite is sparsely populated now, but it should have lots more RVs by the time we return next week.


We added Frank & Gloria King to our caravan for the short drive to La Paz County Park north of Parker, AZ. The weather turned cooler and windy, so we had happy hour inside the Forbes’ motorhome.


For dinner, we went to Maya’s for – you guessed it – more Mexican food!


And here’s a first: Don actually ate the beans!


Monday, January 7, 2013

Polar Bears, Dancing and Fun

Tonight we attended our first Polar Bear Party at the Saguaro Escapees RV Co-op in Benson. Don and I have been to previous Polar Bear Parties at the Escapees Chapter 21 winter rally, but not to the bigger party at the park. There was a big turnout, 172 counted as attending, breaking last year’s record attendance of 165.


The only admission was a suggested donation to the Benson Food Bank, with boxes to receive the cans/packages set up on the first table. As you can see, donations spilled over the boxes. And, after cash donations exceeded the cost of the ingredients for the Polar Bears, over $200 was added to the goods for the Food Bank. Hors d’oeuvres were paid for by Chapter 21, and several volunteers served the trays of food and mixed the drinks.

Have you ever had a Polar Bear? Here’s one of the first ones being delivered.


A peek into the kitchen reveals some of the ingredients.


Kahlua, Vodka, vanilla ice cream and ice are blended into a yummy and innocent-tasting concoction, which made normally sane and sedate people get up out of their chairs and dance to the music! (Non-alcoholic root beer floats were also available. But that didn’t prevent those folks from dancing, too!)






Even the Polar Bear got to dance.


Lots of pictures were taken.


And friendships were made or rekindled.



Call it a late New Year’s celebration. We look forward to meeting up with lots of these friends in Parker at the Chapter 21 rally next week, and in Quartzsite afterward.