Good Times In the Sun

There really isn’t much to write about, life has carried on but it is carrying on under sunny skies and surrounded by green grass … as opposed to the white grass most people back in the northern areas are seeing.

This hibiscus has been trying to bloom since mid December.  I thought it would bloom when we were away for Christmas but it got mites while we were away.  After I dusted it a week ago it finally bloomed this morning.

We did come back from Alberta with colds, well to be fair I came back with a cold hubby then caught it a few days later.  Yes we are pretty sure they were just colds and not COVID or Omicron because I had two negative COVID tests before I could fly.  Our grandkids had the usual runny noses and sneezes that little kids get when they go to pre school and kindergarten, and of course I was happy to have those runny, sneezy, little people climb all over me, so I think my cold was inevitable but I was happy to take it on 🙂  We are both feeling much better although I still have a runny nose but that’s from allergies to the grass and an allergy pill usually takes care of that.

Our hope to do some bike riding has been put on the back burner because of the winds we have been getting but hopefully that will change in a few days.

And that about sums up life in the southern US … just enjoying good times in the sun.

A fellow blogger 5C’s Que Pasa sent me the picture below and I love it!

For folks at home I wish you an end to the cold weather, snow, and rain … hopefully a dry spring comes sooner rather than later!

Until next time …

Back In Our Winter Home

Last Sunday we went off to get our fourth COVID test in two weeks, checked in for our flight, packed up our suitcase and then enjoyed our last evening with our son and family … all the while sitting on pins and needles every time our phone made a noise saying an email had come in. Fortunately, none of those emails where from the airline.  Monday morning we had our final snuggles and although we were sad to give up the snuggles we were looking forward to warmer weather and our own bed.

Just as we were leaving for the airport, we got a notice that the flight was delayed by an hour. Well, I guess the good part is we weren’t already on our way to the airport so we didn’t have to spend an extra hour in the airport with our masks on.

Brr, doesn’t it look cold out there!

We were surprised at how quiet the Calgary airport was, every time we have been there it has been a hopping place.  As we approached our departure time we were informed of another half hour delay to allow the crew to clear customs.

Finally they called pre boarding and priority boarding and it appeared our row was a priority boarding row so off we went. We showed our ID and boarding passes, cleared through the gate and made it through the door towards the plane when we were all called back and told we could not board and they were not sure why 😦  Great, we were pretty sure this is where the flight was going to get cancelled but fortunately after fifteen minutes we were allowed to board. We had another delay as we went through de-icing but finally two hours and ten minutes late the plane left the ground and we were on our way back to our winter home.

De-icing the plane

I just like this picture 🙂

We really enjoyed our time with family for the past two weeks but are so happy to be back in warmer weather with sunny blue skies and green, not white, grass 🙂

Our grandson added a picture by his sister and a tree that he made to our suitcase, so now we have fridge art!

Until next time …

Hmm That Wasn’t The Plan

Yesterday was our last full day in chilly Airdrie, Alberta and also our last full day of snuggles.  We were going to miss the snuggles, not the chill and while we have heard that it is cooler in Yuma right now, 15C/59F is still much better than -30C/-22F!

We checked in for our flight yesterday afternoon, went for our COVID tests around dinner time yesterday … we were both negative, came home for snuggles and then we put the grandkids to bed (their parents had popped next door for a drink with the neighbours), poured ourselves a drink and settled in for some TV.  I was going downstairs to start packing our suitcase when hubby received an email saying our flight had been cancelled 😦

The only picture I have taken recently and only to show a friend how little snow we had … it’s too cold for snow!

While we weren’t totally surprised because many airlines have been cancelling flights, we were annoyed that we had already paid $80.00 for our COVID tests which would no longer be any good, and we now had to spend time on the phone trying to get a new flight.  It took 2 hours and 36 minutes but just before midnight we were rebooked on the next available flight, which isn’t until Monday.

Hubby did ask the fellow he was talking to if the airline was going to cover the cost of $80.00 for new COVID tests but was told that question would have to be sent up the chain of command and we should call back the next day to see what the answer was.  Hmm another two and a half hours on the phone … yuck … so imagine our surprise when the phone rang at 1:45 a.m. and we were told that yes they would cover the additional $80.00 🙂  Okay I didn’t really want to be woken up at 1:45 a.m. when we had just fallen asleep, but I do appreciate that the fellow made the effort to look into it and to call us back.

So now we are here for another three days, not the end of the world as our son has a very comfortable guest room and they not in any hurry for us to leave … at least that is what they are politely telling us 😀

I was looking forward to getting back into my morning walks, which haven’t happened here because of the cold and lack of warm clothing, but tomorrow it looks like it will warm up to -9C/16F and my boots, gloves, winter jacket, and a borrowed hat should keep me warm enough for an outside walk.  Well that is the plan, we will see what happens.

Our five year old grandson told hubby this morning that it was going to be a sad New Years because the world is sick 😦  Let’s all do our best to heal the world … do your part, get vaccinated, wear a mask, wash your hands.

We wish you all the very happiest New Years Eve, stay safe and stay warm.  Let’s hope and pray that 2022 will settle into a more normal year than the last two!

Until next time …

Some Canadian Humour

I have wanted to post a blog but we haven’t been anywhere to write about … why is that you might ask?  Well it’s because it is beyond cold here in Airdrie, Alberta, the last three or four days had a high of -40C/-40F (yup that is where the temperatures meet) and that is without the windchill.  Even the dog goes out, pees fast, and runs right back in!  I even had to change my flip flops for a winter version 😦

Meanwhile back in BC where a white Christmas is not uncommon but really cold temperatures are uncommon, Kelowna is seeing temps around -20C/-4F but they have a lot more snow than we do here in Alberta.

So all we can do is stay inside, spend time snuggling with cuddly grandchildren, and enjoying time with our son and his family 🙂

And of course share some of the funny meme’s I have received from friends and family … enjoy!

I have heard the story below from our son when he was in the military and always get a laugh out of it.

Until next time …

A Cold Crisp Walk

Last night we all bundled up and went out to check out the Christmas lights in our son’s neighbourhood.  Remember all those warm clothes we packed?  We had most of them on and we were both still a little chilly but it was still fun to go out and see all the decorations.

Unfortunately I forgot my camera and had to take these with my cell phone.

Our granddaughter rode in the wagon all bundled up in her snow pants and winter jacket, covered up with a blanket, and drinking hot chocolate while daddy and grandpa pulled her along.  She invited me to join her in the wagon and boy do I wish I would have fit 😀

I love the feel of this neighbourhood, there were lots of people out walking and everyone is so friendly.  There are some pretty impressive hockey rinks around the pond and people go to a lot of work to maintain them and make them accessible for everyone in the neighbourhood to use.

It wasn’t a really long walk but we all came home in a very festive mood 🙂

Until next time …

Hang In There British Columbia

Someone sent me this picture and I thought it was so appropriate and I just had to share it.

British Columbia has had a very challenging year but the province and its people have proved they can handle it.  Proof of that came on Monday when the Coquihalla Highway was reopened to commercial traffic thirty five days after it was damaged in more than twenty places, which included seven collapsed or washed-out bridges.  More than 300 workers using 200 pieces of equipment moved more than 400,000 cubic metres of gravel, rock, and other material to reopen this major route and allow supplies to flow throughout the province.

I have always been so proud to call British Columbia my home and I know we can handle whatever mother nature throws at us, but I sure hope she gives us a break in 2022!

Until next time …

A New Road and a New Airport

Our flight yesterday left from Mesa/Gateway Airport rather than Sky Harbour in Phoenix and because we were headed to Mesa, AZ instead of Phoenix, AZ we were able to take a new road.

Lots of pretty Saguaro

At Gila Bend we stayed on Hwy 238 instead of turning onto Hwy 85 up to I-10 and it was a much prettier drive.

The first picture made it look like it was a busy road but this is what we had most of the way.

This route takes us on a diagonal from Gila Bend to the airport and it took us right through Chandler, AZ which we both thought is a very pretty city.  If we were going to live in the Phoenix area, Chandler may be the place.

We were really impressed with the long term parking at the airport, it was well maintained and had a great shuttle service.  I didn’t take a picture of the outside of the shuttle bus but trust me it was a pretty high end classy black bus.

The airport itself was a bit of a disappointment from what I had read.  We were a little early to check in so we were hoping to get a tea or coffee but there was nothing but gates.  I’m not sure what I was reading but it was definitely a different airport!

For those of you wondering, we had to show our vaccine passports and negative COVID tests when we were checking in and they also made sure we had completed the ArriveCan app but that whole process didn’t take very long.

Going through security at the airport was quick and easy with our Nexus cards. There was a long line up but we were able to go through the pre-screened lined and it took no time at all.

Once we cleared security, we stopped at OHSO Brewery for dinner and to kill some time since our trip to the airport, check-in, and clearing security went much faster than we expected.

We decided not to pay the fee for seats and took the seats that were assigned to us, two middle seats in the same. It was a three hour flight so it was really no big deal if we couldn’t sit together and odds were we would be able to change that once we were on the plane and sure enough that is what happen. We were on a fairly new 737 and the plane was less than half full. In fact, we were the only two in our row, hubby in the center seat on the left side and me in the center seat on the right side, so once we took off we had no problem changing seats and sitting together for the rest of the trip.

It was very festive seeing all the Christmas lights when we took off out of Phoenix.

When we arrived in Canada we were again able to bypass the long line through customs because of our NEXUS cards.  We completed our declaration at one of the kiosks, where handed two sheets about COVID protocols and sent on our way … easy peasy.

We arrived at our son’s place just after 11:00 p.m. and were greeted with a very inviting place to stay but that is another blog.  Now I have to try and get some sleep because I have been warned that our grandchildren plan to wake us up as soon as they get up 🙂

Until next time …

The Checklist – Complete

Christmas baking done and given away – check

COVID test done, passed, and results are back – check

Pretty easy, drive up, shove a swap up your nose into your brain (okay not that high but it felt like it) rotate for 15 seconds, insert into other nostril rotate for 15 seconds, remove and put back in the envelope. We had the results less than two hours after we did the test.

ArriveCAN app complete – check

Every friggin warm piece of clothing we own packed … we are heading to -15C/5F 😦 – check

Our two gifts to each other packed along with daughter-in-law’s vanilla and son’s sun glasses … heaven forbid we forget those sun glasses!  Fortunately we dropped off the gifts for our grandchildren before we headed south – check

It’s a good thing we took these with us when we visited at Thanksgiving, they definitely would not have fit in our suitcases!

Pretty party dress for our little princess granddaughter and another seal for our little grandson packed – check

This pic is for our five year old grandson … a real San Francisco seal that we left in the habour because we wouldn’t be able to get him through airport security.

A cute soft San Fransisco seal coming home with us, he smells better and is more in to cuddling.

Suitcase packed and weighs less than 50 pounds and it was much easier than I thought to keep under 50 pounds – check

Keys for Maxx passed over to trusty neighbours who will look after him while we are gone – check

Canadian wallets, phone sim cards, passport & NEXUS cards ready to go – check

Plants watered and chairs secured against wind – check

They are safe folded up with the side tables tucked underneath.

Maxx’s windows closed … we forgot to do that one year … not a good idea when dust storms happen on occasion 😦 – check

Traditional drink outside in warm sunny weather the day before we head back to cold, snow, and no sitting outside – check

I always send a picture to which ever child we are visiting with on our trip home, just so they know what we are giving up to come home … of course I’m teasing and more than willing to give it up for a couple of weeks 🙂

We have everything done and are now heading to the airport in Phoenix, I am very excited for warm snuggly cuddles and family time 😀

Oh the weather outside is delightful

And we are headed to something frightful

But let it snow, let it snow, let it snow 🙂

Until next time …

COVID And Airplane Travel

We had three other couples over last Sunday for the Golf Cart parade and it was a fun night.  I made up a crock pot full of chili and served it with some buns, cheese, sour cream, and Caesar salad.  We had just finished eating when the parade started so we gathered around the fire and waited for the carts to hit our street.

I think this was one of the best parades I have seen in the park, the turnout was good and all of the people did a great job of decorating their carts.

 We even saw two electric bikes in the parade … hmm maybe we will enter next year … or maybe we will just invite friends over and watch the parade … I guess that is a decision for next year 😀

Electric bike

Before we fly to our son’s place for Christmas we have to get a COVID PCR test and that has presented some challenges for us.  I booked our flights for a Monday evening not realizing that most places in Yuma that do COVID testing are closed on the weekends.  We have to have a negative test within 72 hours of our flight which means the earliest we can take our test would be Friday evening at 6:30 p.m.  With places closed by that time and not open on the weekend it was looking like we would have to drive to Phoenix on Saturday morning, take the test, and then drive back home … a six hour round trip.  Now just for a little more stress we have been told by every place we contacted that it can take two to five days to get the test results back, if we don’t get our results back within two days we will have to give up our flight.  Oh and we have been told by some people that the tests cost anywhere from $150.00 to $300.00 each.

This was my favourite

Well hubby did some more research and was able to get us appointments at a CVS pharmacy in Yuma for Saturday morning at a cost of $130.00 each.  Our neighbours beside us here in Yuma had heard that Walgreens will do the test for free so hubby got on the phone with them and they are open for testing on Saturday but we can only book our appointments three days in advance.  Walgreens says they will have our results back in twenty-four hours so first thing this morning hubby got on the phone and was lucky enough to get us appointments for Saturday, so that big stress factor is now gone.

When we fly back to the United States, we require a negative rapid Antigen test and those results must be within 24 hours of our flight.  We have a line on a place to get those tests done close to our son’s house at a cost of $40.00 CND each and those results are back within fifteen minutes … but we will deal with that appointment after Christmas.

For now I am just hoping everything goes well with our tests on Saturday and that we are able to fly back to Canada Monday evening.

Until next time …