Panama Canal Cruise – Day Two

Today was the first of three days at sea so there was no rush to jump into the day.

We are on the eighth floor, the top cabin floor and mid ship.

A not so bad sunrise off our deck.

We had breakfast in the dining room, which also has also not changed.

First floor of the dining room, I call it the octopus dining room

Second floor of the dining room.

We enjoy the day with friends, wandered around the ship, spent some time around the pool and enjoyed happy hour on our deck with a beautiful sunset.

As the sun set we headed for dinner and then ended the evening watching a very funny juggler/comedian that we had previously seen when he performed as the warm up act when we went to the live taping of Last Man Standing.

Until next time …

Panama Canal Cruise – Day One

I started off writing the first few blogs about our cruise not using any names, as is my way, but we are on the ship with four other couples and it was getting confusing, even for me! So I will call them Mr. & Mrs. Maxx (that’s us 🙂 ); Mr. & Mrs. Cruise who we have know for years (our kids grew up together and they are our closest friends and their last name isn’t Cruise but it’s been a long standing joke between Mrs. Cruise and our daughter); Mr. & Mrs. L who we have also known for years and are friends of Mr. & Mrs. Cruise; and Mr. & Mrs. M, I worked with Mrs. M and we have coffee with them every Wednesday so hubby and Mr. M know each other well and have common interests … they are the couple who spent four nights with us in Yuma before we headed out on this cruise. Is that clear, or more confusing?

Mr. & Mrs. Cruise, Mr. & Mrs. L, and us have balcony rooms on the eighth floor next to each other. Mr. & Mrs. M booked later and where unable to get near us so they are on the first floor in a room with a big window.

Okay now that we have covered the details let’s start with the ship. We are on the Carnival Miracle which Mr. & Mrs. Cruise and my cousin and I were on fifteen years ago (hubby stayed home to earn money, his choice) … and unfortunately nothing on the ship has changed :frown: Although we did find out that we are fortunate enough to take the last sail on this ship before it goes into dry dock to be refurbished … lucky us!

Seriously when was the last time you saw a light valance that looked like this, it had to be back in the 70s!

And makeup mirrors with the theatrical light bulbs?

We had a happy hour with Mr. & Mrs. Cruise and Mr. & Mrs. L; the guys on the deck, the ladies inside because there wasn’t enough room on the deck for all six of us. The next day we were able to get the doors opened between the balconies to give us more room.

View of San Diego off our deck

View off our deck of the USS Midway which we toured several years ago.

A not so bad sunset.

By 5:30 we still hadn’t set sail, we were to leave at 4:00, so we headed up to the dining room and of course just as we were seated the ship left port so I missed all those cool shoreline pictures of San Diego. Our meal was okay but my spring rolls where tough from sitting out to long and most of our dinners, while tasty, were luke warm. We are chalking it up to the pressure of loading all the passengers and supplies and first day craziness.

All of this probably makes it sound like we aren’t having fun but we are because we are in great company with all our friends on board 🙂

I do have to say the bed is super comfy and we both had a great sleep.

Until next time …

And We Are Off 🙂

We left Maxx in the care of our trusty neighbours and the four of us, and all of our luggage, loaded into the rental car shortly before 8:30. It was fun to have the neighbours along our road come out and wave goodbye to us before we headed west along I-8.

Even the Blue Angels put on a little show for us around Seely, California, which is their home base.

We soon left the sand behind and headed up into the hills where the topography changes from sand dunes to mountains of boulders.

It was fun for our friends to pass through a border patrol check station.

Less than three hours later we arrived in San Diego and had enough time to drop off our friend and all our luggage before heading to the airport to return the rental car.

Have you figured out where we are going?

We are off on a two week Panama Canal cruise, a trip that has been on our bucket list for a long time. Our best friends invited us along last April and we didn’t hesitate to join them and another couple that we have know for years. After we booked our cruise we were talking about our trip during one of our Wednesday coffee groups and a girl I worked with and her husband decided they wanted to come along, they are the couple who have stayed with us for the past four nights. Also unbeknownst to us two other couples that we know booked the trip, so right off the bat we will know twelve people on the ship!

As I mentioned yesterday we won’t have Wi-Fi so you will have to wait two weeks to hear about our adventure but we have no doubt it will be a fun time :smile

Until next time …

Big Win 🙂

We took our friends to the egg game tonight and hubby walked away $250.00 richer! Which is great for us because tomorrow we will hop in our rental car, along with our friends, and head west. We will be back in two weeks and most likely won’t be able to tell you about our trip until we return due to a lack of Wi-Fi access.

Which also means I won’t be able to read the blogs I follow so we hope you all have a great two weeks and we look forward to catching up with you mid February!

Until next time …

More Company, More Fun!

Late Tuesday afternoon friends of ours, from home, arrived for a four night stay. Now the question you might be asking is “are you crazy” or maybe you are more concerned for our friends and you are asking “are they crazy”? Well we are three nights into our visit and I know we aren’t crazy and they haven’t packed up and left so I’m thinking they are having fun so maybe they aren’t crazy either 🙂

No visit to Yuma would be complete without margarita’s in Algodones 🙂

If you live in an RV, even if you only do it for a short period of time, you know how little space there is … and I don’t think it matters if you have 35 feet or 45 feet, you are still talking about a small space for four adults.

Those that know me well will know that I am a bit of a neat freak, everything has it’s place and that’s were it needs to be, so you may wonder how could this poor couple come to visit and be comfortable?

Well I realized I needed to let go and just go with the flow and let whatever stuff was around stay there, but even more important was our guests were very comfortable living in a small space and making do with the space we gave them … honestly I think it was probably way harder for them than it was for me!

It’s January so the line up was long! We usually aren’t far enough back to see the river.

But it has been so much fun! They have gone with the flow, are so much fun to be with, and we have all had a great time.

We have taken them to see the new border wall, showed them some veggie fields being harvested, spent some time at the pool, made the obligatory trip to Algodones, and us ladies even found time for a pedicure.

Tomorrow we will hopefully visit the Garden Café for lunch, pick up our rental car (that is a whole other story), attend the egg game, have dinner, and then do some final packing for a new adventure that we will head out on Saturday morning.

But it’s nice that they have extended the shade cover further back.

We have had such a good time, and I sure hope our friends have as well!

Until next time …

A Tribute To Neil Diamond … Or Maybe Not

We have done the finishing touches on the outdoor kitchen and are really happy with how it turned out 🙂

Another awesome sunset 🙂

We have hosted a few informal happy hours … you know the ones where people stop by and you end up spending a few happy hours visiting … yup that is the life of snowbird whether you are in a park or out in the desert.

Tonight we went to a Neil Diamond tribute concert and I was really excited to go! So after the egg game, where we didn’t win anything 😦 we headed home for a quick dinner then up to the ballroom for the concert.

Well it didn’t start off very good, the sound was terrible and I couldn’t tell whether it was the singer or the music, or a combination of both but it was so disappointing. After a few comments from the audience the singer adjusted some of the sound and it started to get better … or maybe the gin and tonic I took with me was starting to kick in 🙂

Anyway the guy played for two hours and some of his songs were good, but he also played a lot of Neil Diamond songs that I have never heard of. We stayed until the end to get our $10.00 per ticket worth but I think I will play Neil Diamond off my playlist when I walk tomorrow and be happier with the real Neil Diamond music that the concert.

Although I do have an overwhelming urge to watch Jonathan Livingston Seagull again and hubby informed me he had it so I think that will happen before the weekend is over 😀

I watched this little guy one morning while I was making breakfast, I think he was contemplating climbing the stairs to Maxx so that he could reach those yummy green leaves but a golf cart drove by and scared him off.

Until next time …

A Little Of This, A Little Of That

We had a mixed bag this past week with lots of fun and some really sad news.

Let’s start with the sad news. At the end of November I wrote about a blogger friend who found out he had Cancer and sadly this past week his battle ended and he moved on to his next adventure. George Yates, who wrote the blog Our Awesome Adventures, always had a smile on his face and a positive outlook on life. He wrote loving of his wife Suzie and his children and grandchildren. George would walk early in the morning like I do and I often think of him when I am out walking. It is hard to believe that such a happy, positive man is gone so soon.

Rest in peace George, you are gone to soon but will be love and missed by so many.

After we built Momma Shed here at Cocopah a few years ago we thought we might add a small outdoor kitchen … mainly because we were missing the outdoor kitchen from our old house.

I also wanted somewhere to store our generator, propane fireplace, and extra leveling pads that sit under the back of Maxx and I think look junky. Of course that meant another project for hubby but, fortunately for me, he was up to the challenge and thus the outdoor kitchen came to be.

The counter along the back will be a space for serving and the angle counter to the right will hold our little Webber BBQ.

The picture above shows the dry fit for our Mexican sink, cause an outdoor kitchen needs a sink with running water … and an outdoor kitchen in the south needs a Mexican sink 😀

In the midst of our building frenzy we took time out to attend the Cocopah Horse Races where we had a fun time and walked away $10.00 ahead!

By Friday afternoon hubby had most of the outdoor kitchen complete and I think it looks great … and it has already hosted a few happy hours.

We spent Friday, Saturday and today with friends from home who came to visit us. We had a great time and lots of visits which included margaritas in Algodones today and a steak with fresh shrimp dinner tonight. It was so much fun to share our life here with our good friends!

We have lots going on this week and more friends from home arriving next week … life just keeps getting better.

Until next time …

A Peek At Our Christmas Present

It took a few days longer than promised but our newly recovered furniture arrived home Sunday afternoon. It was ready Sunday morning but Canada was playing Russia for the gold in the World Juniors Hockey tournament and I wasn’t leaving until the game was over … and just in case your interested it was a heck of a game, it wasn’t looking good for Canada but in the end we came away with the gold 😀

But back to the furniture … we are really pleased with the results, well we were a little disappointed with the couch but hubby fixed what we didn’t like. The original couch cushions were attached and we had asked the upholsterer to make two separate cushions so that we could rotate them. He did that but had some trouble hiding the hinges, which is why it took a few extra days.

This is what the couch looked like before.

This is what it looked like when we got it home … not a fan of the big gap below the cushions or the white fabric showing behind the hinges.

But hubby to the rescue! He flipped the white fabric over and used the darker fabric on the other side and made it smaller so it didn’t hang over the hinges. He also added more stuffing into the panel below the cushions and voilà it looks so much better.

We didn’t notice how bad that area of the couch looked until we had it set up inside Maxx and I’m sure we could have taken it back and had the upholsterer fix it up but having hubby do it was just easier. It’s not easy getting it in and out of Maxx and we are really lucky to have such a great neighbour who just shows up anytime heavy lifting needs to be done 🙂

The chairs before … notice how orange the fabric was, I never really liked that.

And the new chairs, I like this colour much better.

We had the foam replaced in both the chairs and the couch and right now it is really hard, I feel about three inches taller when I sit in my chair, but I’m sure it will soften up in time.

And the dollars and cents … well it wasn’t cheap but buying new furniture wasn’t going to be cheap either and it would not have fit in as well as our existing furniture so we are happy with the just shy of $2,000 (gulp USD) that we spent. Hmm maybe this will be next years Christmas present as well.

Until next time …

Hello Flip Flops, I Missed You

I started 2020 by ditching my winter boots and putting on my flip flops and just like that winter was gone 🙂

We had a great time at home with our daughter and her family and I already miss being with them but they are heading to Mexico tomorrow for ten days so there really was no point in staying longer. We also had great visits with my sister and friends which all made the two weeks fly by!

A generous pile of snow greeted us Tuesday morning as we headed to the airport but it was to dark to get any pictures. Fortunately our flight got out with only a short delay but I did hear that many others were not so lucky.

We had another delay on the runway as our plane was de-iced.

That delay did have us hoofing it from one side of the Vancouver Airport to the other side to catch our flight to Palm Springs but we made it … but not with enough time to have the breakfast we planned to eat in Vancouver 😦

By late afternoon we were at hubby’s cousin’s place enjoying a New Years Eve drink and a yummy steak dinner. Most years we spend New Years Eve driving home from the airport in Phoenix so it was nice to get into Palm Springs early and celebrate with a great group of people instead of siting in the truck driving back to Yuma.

Certainly a different end to the day than the start of the day!

New Year’s Day we drove back to Yuma and found a new route, there was hardly any traffic and it shaved almost a half hour off our drive.

We are not fans of driving through El Centro, CA to connect up with I-8 since it is a long stop and go drive through town, so a few years ago we found a turnoff before El Centro that took us into Holtville and then onto I-8. That route has worked well for us but this time we decided to drive down the east side of the Salton Sea for some different scenery.

Our plan was to join up with our regular route near Brawley, CA but as we drove through Calipatria, CA hubby noticed a sign that said Holtville, CA so we made a left and a new … and better … route was born.

Once we arrived back at our winter home and caught up on the news with our neighbours we unpacked our suitcases and head out for groceries. I was surprised that the grocery stores were opened, at home they are all closed on New Years Day, but it was nice to be able to pick up a few things to keep us going for a few days.

And we are back to desert sunsets 🙂

I will leave you with a quote I read and really liked …

With each New Year we get a fresh, clean page to start over. Here’s hoping that life writes a beautiful new chapter for all of you this year.

From our house to yours Happy New Year and safe travels in 2020!

Until next time …