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Showing posts from February, 2010

busy week

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Monday to Thursday Feb 22-24/10
On a rainy Monday morning we drove out in the desert to visit St Anthony's Greek Orthodox Monastery. I had visited the monastery 3 years ago with Lynn but now another chapel has been added and their gardens have matured. This monastery was started in 1993 when 6 monks from Greece started building chapels and gardens in the middle of the desert. Along with the chapels, now there are orange, lemon and grapefruit orchards, olive trees and grapevines. Note in the picture on the right that I am dressed up. The women must wear a kerchief and long skirts, long sleeves and closed toed shoes with socks. Men have to wear long sleeved shirts, long pants and closed toed shoes with socks too. The chapels are beautiful with amazing woodwork, brick and stonework. They are just completing their latest one which is built on a hill.

Tuesday, Feb 23/10
Another adventure to drag Don to. Our park is about 5 miles from the Central Arizona Campus at Signal Hill. I noticed t…

Skydiving Arizona

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Week of Feb 14 -21/10 Casa Grande Arizona

We have had a pretty quiet week of fun in the sun but the highlight was watching our friend Bill Ratke make his first skydiving jump out of a perfectly good airplane at Skydive Arizona which is located close to here at the Eloy Municipal Airfield. Bill is a good friend of Lynn and Tom's from Wisconsin and is a pilot himself but wanted the skydiving experience. $300 later he had a great thrill jumping tandem and has a 5 minute video to prove it. Skydive Arizona is the world's largest skydiving school with over 150,000 jumps. People from all over the world come to skydive here plus US Military and Germany and Dutch military too. We watched for a couple of hours and parachutes continually come down and plane loads of jumpers go up every few minutes. Their airplanes can put 170 skydivers in the air at one time with 500 jumps possible in an hour. The clear desert weather allows for around 340 jumping days a year. For more interesting info ch…

The Olive Grove and Indian Parade

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Wednesday to Saturday Feb 10 to 13/10
Enjoying the beautiful Arizona sunshine and visiting with our friends Lynn and Tom. On Thursday I did go for a tag-along adventure with other people from our RV Park to the Queen Creek Olive Mill outside of Phoenix. It was started by a guy from Ontario in 1998 when he moved down to the Phoenix area. He settled around Phoenix because there was a hockey league in Phoenix he could play in. It is the only Olive Glove Mill in Arizona and makes high quality extra virgin oil - the only kind anyone should be using apparently. From a ton of olives they harvest between October and December, they get 40 gallons of extra virgin olive oil. They also have a wonderful restaurant attached to the mill and gift shop where you can buy their oils - You have to pay the high prices for the good stuff. The Arizona climate is great for growing olives and no pesticides are needed because the temperatures of over 100 degrees here in the summer kill the olive fly that plaque…

Superbowl Weekend

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Saturday to Tuesday February 6-9/10

Enjoying the lovely Arizona sun these days. Saturday and Sunday we visited the Gourdfest again to keep filling up the trailer with gourds which we have doing a good job of. I even had my picture taken with one of the gurus of gourding here - Bonnie Gibson as she was instructing a class. She does amazing work and here is a picture of one of her expensive pieces that you could purchase.We hoped for 1/2 price works of art at the close of the show on Sunday but that didn't happen.
We spent Sunday night cheering for the Saints at the Superbowl with our friends Lynn and Tom.
Monday and Tuesday have been quiet with time spent biking and relaxing at the little pool. I have instructed the water aerobics class for the ladies twice now and will continue to do it 2x/week while I am here.

Casa Grande Gourdfest

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Friday February 4/10 Beautiful sunny 80 degree day

Today was the first day of a 3 day Gourd Festival at the Casa Grande Fairgrounds and it was incredible. Don and I were the purchase agents of the President of the Canadian Gourd Society (Barbara Bellchambers of Lakefield) and aspiring gourd artist Katie Marsden. Their goal is to fill up our trailer with gourds for their artwork. This gourd show is the largest in the USA with over 100 vendors and a large judging contest and other fun things like a gourd sailing regatta on the pond there and the racing of little gourd cars (like boy scout cars) and the kindergourden which teaches the public about gourds. Don took 250 pictures and you can view them through the http://www.themarsdens.ca/ website and link to the 3rd picture site - merry marsden travels.
We are in a small RV park with 125 sites. The people are very friendly - not too many Canadians and there are activities - art and craft classes, dinners and luncheons, bocce ball and field …

Travel to Casa Grande Arizona

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Monday to Wednesday Feb 1-3/10 1200 miles driven


Packed up and travelled up the road to San Antonio and then got on Interstate I-10 for many miles. Monday night we stopped at Segovia Texas - was an EconoLodge that had a few RV sites in a field beside it. Only $16 for the night but we had to go to the lodge lobby to use the internet and the restrooms were not pretty. The Lodge was run by an East Indian family which seemed out to place in Texas ranch land.
Tuesday we almost made it out of Texas but stopped on the east side of El Paso and ventured to the Cattleman's Steakhouse. This place was 5 miles off the highway and had all kinds of attractions with the restaurant - little zoo with rabbits, goats, peacocks, deer, llamas, buffalo, cattle and rattlesnakes; a lake complete with some Canadian geese; western movie set - a list of 10 movies were partially filmed on this site. Their largest steak in the Steakhouse was called the Cowboy - a 2lb T-bone. We did eat there ($50) and stayed the …