Monday, August 29, 2016

Surprise Phone Call!

While we were eating I received a phone call from our granddaughter, Ally.  She said her boyfriend had proposed and she said yes!  And a new chapter begins.  Congratulations!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

A Quiet Day and Wrapping Up

Pat and Kelly texted from the airport Saturday when they were at their gate.  In the late afternoon they texted they were in their car on the way home.  They said they had a great vacation and that made me happy.

Ted and I did laundry here in the park, I had changed the sheets, and vacuumed the carpets.   We watched sports on TV and at 5:15 we left for Mass that actually started at 5:00, not 5:30.  He and Eileen said it was 5:30 and I believed them.  I didn't really remember and didn't check.  We missed the beginning prayers and readings but came in during the homily.  

It had been cold and rainy in the morning and I had the fireplace on.  By afternoon we needed the A/C and by church we wore jackets.  Crazy weather here at 7,000 feet.  We leave for Phoenix on Thursday and it is to be 101!  I planned coneys for dinner since we have eaten out so much but it was too chilly to eat outside.  It was an easy dinner and clean up that left our evening free and we just stayed inside taking it easy.

On Sunday we headed to Arizona Snowbowl ski area to ride the chair lift to the 11,500 San Francisco peak.  It is about a 20 minute ride up, some time at the top enjoying the gorgeous scenery and another 20 minute ride down.  We wore jackets up and were comfortable but the ride back down into the wind was chilly!  We really enjoyed it.

The start of the chairlift.  Sit down, pull the bar, put your feet up and away you go!

First slope we came to.

Tom and Eileen behind us.

Tiger Trail to the right and left.

To the right ...

To the left ...

We are as high as some very tall trees!

We arrived!

Some scenes from the top.

From there we set out to find Dove Chapel.  We passed it at first because we were all looking across the road at the Watchable Wildlife Trail.  We don't know much about the chapel but it is stocked with booklets, handouts, CDs, etc. so someone tends to it.  The architecture is certainly different.  It starts with a six foot door and builds to a large glass triangle window on the back wall.

We then went across the road to walk the trail.  Our wildlife count was three chipmunks!  But it was a beautiful day and a nice walk.

Anita, our tour guide at the Riorden Mansion, had suggested we eat at Black Bart's Steakhouse.  

She said the waiters sing while you eat and there was a coupon on line.  It was close to their 5:00 opening time so we checked it out and decided to eat there.  The food was very good and the singing was enjoyable but as the restaurant filled it became harder to hear.  They need a better sound system or singers who can project their voice better.  I doubt you will get people to quiet down during dinner.

Our waiter Scott.

On the way home I could hear what I thought was the brake under me on the back wheel.  Tom listened and eventually we could all hear a noise when he braked.  Tomorrow he and Ted will try to find a decent automotive repair shop here in Williams.  Our agenda is very fluid these last 3 days so we will play it by ear until the car problem has been repaired.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Pat and Kelly's Last Day in Williams

We made arrangements to meet at Cruisers for lunch.  Pat and Kelly went into town while I balanced my checkbook, paid our estimated taxes and did a few things that I had been neglecting.  The four of us drove into town and we all arrived at the restaurant at the same time.

It was too cool to sit outside and rain threatened so we asked for inside and were shown to the last table in the back of the restaurant.  A waitress stopped and asked us to give her 3 minutes while she delivered some drinks.  We said OK.  This place may have Route 66 ambiance but their prices are more like New York!  The offerings were normal fare but at greatly inflated prices.  We are not into $20 burgers and $18 brisket plates.  But we all settled on something we could live with ... and we waited.  There were 5 employees standing around and no sign of the waitress who approached us.  Finally I said "I am game to get up and leave if you all want to."  They couldn't get out of their seats fast enough.  We went to the Pine Country restaurant around the corner where we had soup and pie earlier in the week.

From there we headed to Flagstaff to visit the Riorden Mansion, built in 1904 for two Riorden brothers and their families.  They owned and operated the sawmill in town.  No pictures were allowed. The house is built from Ponderosa Pine and was two 6000 square foot wings attached in the middle by a 1000 square foot common room that both families shared as a family recreation room.  It had hot and cold running water, indoor bathrooms and electricity.  Many of the furnishings, including Stickley furniture, belonged to the families.  Lots of photos and a family tree were also displayed.

Our tour guide was a work camper staying on the property.  She was delightful and made sure we had a great visit.  There were so many interesting facts she knew because until recently one of the granddaughters, in her 90s, would come and sit in the house and talk to visitors.  Anita listened to her stories and has added these tidbits into her tour.

Here are a few plagiarized internet photos.  None of them show the house totally from the front where you can see the two "wing" houses and the common room in between so use your imagination.

From the corner of the west wing.

Most complete front photo I could find.

Nice close up view of the east wing.  The arches in the back are to the front door porch.  This allowed comings and goings in either house out of view of the other wing.  Note the use of local volcanic rock in the foundation and arches.

It was almost 5:00 when we started back so we had a bit of traffic and some rain during the drive home.  We went to Eileen's motorhome for some ice cream and then Pat and Kelly left to pack.  They are driving to the Phoenix airport this morning for a noon flight.  It is cool and raining in earnest this morning so the fireplace going and the pitter patter of the rain on the roof will make for a cozy day inside.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Lazy Days

Pat and Kelly were up early and at Grand Canyon Park by 7 a.m.  They had great weather and saw most everything in good light.  I put ribs in the crockpot for dinner and chose our stopping spots for our last week on the road.  Around 11:00 we left for Camping World, Walmart and Sam's.  Our toilet pedal has been getting stuck so we bought a replacement part.  We picked up a few groceries and then came home.  The ribs were close to being done so I took off the liquid, coated them in BBQ sauce and put them back in on low for an hour and then warm until dinner time.  I also made cole slaw.  Eileen bought potato salad and frozen ears of corn.

Kelly and Pat didn't return until almost 6:45 and we had finished eating but I kept plates for them so they ate by themselves.  Afterwards Pat took our new pedal part and fixed it.  Neither of us could get down in that small space to even look at what needed to be done.  They stayed for a short while before heading back to the motel. 

A rainbow and sunset from our campsite.

We left for Sedona about 9:30 on Thursday.  It is a beautiful drive down the Oak Creek Canyon.  There is a several thousand feet drop in altitude as you descend.  Sometimes your ears pop!

We checked in with our tour company and we were able to leave earlier than our 12:30 scheduled time.  This would give us enough time for lunch between the two tours.  

When they say a rough ride, they aren't whistling Dixie!  Without seatbelts we would have been tossed out of the jeep.  Patrick's Fitbit registered 4600 steps while riding!  Our final destination was a cabin used in the movies Blood Moon and Purple Sage.  Here are some scenery photos.

We returned to town, bouncing most of the way, and headed to a restaurant for "lupper" again.  Tom is still wrestling with this one meal a day concept.

We had until 3:00 for our trolley tour so we walked around town.  

This is a dancing sculpture.  Periodically they twirl and twirl in a waltz.

The sign said no climbing so Ted settled for this photo with the horse.

The town sits in a valley surrounded by these beautiful buttes, plateaus and mesas.  However, no one has been able to tell us the difference between a plateau and a mesa!

This sculpture of a newsboy is in front of the local newspaper offices.  What struck me is that the headline reads TRUTH!  What a novel concept in today's world.

I bought a turquoise pendant on a sterling chain for our neighbor who takes in our mail and corresponds with me about things that need attention.  Chris still refuses to handle the mail.  Just as well, because Nancy is so organized and astute about it.

We took the trolley tour around town and the highlight was Holy Cross chapel.  

This spot was chosen for the chapel because the architect thought this rock looked like Madonna and Child.

This rock has an outcropping that the fellow said looked like an eagle.  Personally, I thought a chicken!

The clouds were gathering and the light was growing dim so we decided to go south a bit to pick up I-17 rather than drive the hairpin turns on Oak Creek Canyon in the dark and rain.  It rained some but not heavy and we arrived back about 7:00.  It had rained hard at the campground because Tom's motorhome was now waterfront property.  

Pat and Kelly stayed for awhile.  We ate some snacks and watched the program on the National Parks that are celebrating their 100th anniversary this year.  It was a nice day.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Change in Plans

We had a Jeep and a Trolley Tour booked in Sedona on Tuesday but the weather was not cooperating.  We called at 9 am and asked if we could reschedule for Thursday when the weather is supposed to be better and they said no problem.  

Ted and Tom went to Camping World, Eileen made cupcakes, Pat and Kelly went into town to walk around and I looked at the time and places still ahead of us.  We have no reservations after Labor Day and need to do some planning.  When Pat and Kelly returned, the three of us went to Bearizona.  

This is a 160 acre wildlife park and small zoo.  We weren't expecting too much but were pleasantly surprised.  It is an attractive park with much construction continuing and I believe it will be exceptional when completed totally.

First we went to the new jaguar enclosure that is in the area still being built out.

Then we walked around the zoo area.  This is  a nice park for children because it isn't so far to walk and the animals are in natural habitats but up close to be seen.

A badger.  Their fur looks like a cape, sort of unattached at the bottom.

Dall sheep.  There were cattle guards in the roads that kept animals in their own areas without big fences.

After that we took in the Rapture Show.  The lady narrating was very good, not only educational but entertaining as well.  She warned us it was a free flight show and we could possibly be brushed by a bird flying over us.  Sure enough, both Pat and I had our head brushed by a hawk's wing.

Two owls in the show.  I learned they track their prey by using their fluorescent vision to see tracks of urine.  They hunt by sound when going in for the grab.

This owls face features direct sounds up to his ears.

This is the hawk that ruffled Pat and my feathers!

Lastly we drove through the wildlife park that had lots of space and many animals.  There is a trolley you can take instead of driving and we soon learned the animals must get some tidbits because they galloped toward us, went around and stood at the trolley behind us.  So we waited and followed the trolley which gave us great photo opportunities.

The Bears

The Bighorn Sheep we thought were coming to see us!  Not so.

The bison that galloped across 300 yards to get to the trolley now in front of us.

We headed back home for dinner.  Eileen had cooked BBQ chicken thighs in the crockpot and made some beans.  I had macaroni and cheese plus a tossed salad.  When dinner was finished we had cupcakes and leftover lemon pie.

It has been cool here in the mornings and evenings.  We have all been wearing jackets and I turn the fireplace on in the morning.  We will wish we had this over Labor Day in Phoenix.