John & Brenda's Excellent Tour travel blog

Brenda on the Tahquitz Loop

March 24

Happy Birthday, Linda!

Today Brenda and I took a long bike ride on the City Wide Loop and continued onto the Canyon Country Club Loop. Kurt and I had scouted it out in the car and noticed it did have some hills; by bike, they were really some hills! It was a great ride and we both commented that the conditioning of our bums and legs matched our overall gain in stamina.

March 25

On Sunday I took pity on Kurt who has longed to go for an extended ride so Brenda took him around the Tahquitz Loop. He really enjoyed it and I think we've convinced him he needs a TREK Navigator too.

Before lunch Brenda and I took a tour of some fabulous show town homes we had seen on yesterday's bike ride. They were much like the lottery homes back home but on a smaller scale and well priced at a mere $900,000 to $1,300,000. We'll get right on that! Brenda was able to arrange a haircut appointment for Thursday with a hairdresser recommended by one of our neighbours.

Sunday night we went on a blitz of on-line booking and have our northern Arizona stays mapped out:

April 1 Laughlin, Nevada

April 2, 3, 4 Flagstaff (Grand Canyon, Sedona)

April 5, 6 Chinle (Canyon de Chelly)

April 7, 8 Santa Fe

We'll see how that works and then add some more.

March 26

We golfed at Escena in town on Monday (senior discount) and things were going quite well until the wind came up for the last 6 holes, turning fun into work. Anyone who saw the pros on the last day of the Bob Hope Tournament can relate to what it was like...high wind, high scores. At one point, a cereal bar wrapper blew out of our cart and I wish we had got a picture of Heather as she chased it down the fairway trying to step on it. Brenda's still laughing about it. The bottom line was the girls won the match, AGAIN!

The wind blew hard all night. We bet the Allens and Littles are glad they're home and not in the Barlow House.

March 27

Brenda and I braved a bike ride through the Tahquitz Loop, which was fine downwind but coming back it was into the wind and worse than most hills we've encountered. The wind blew harder in the afternoon and we got a later report from Ken and Lorraine that they were caught in a "brown-out" (blowing sand equivalent of a blowing snow whiteout) near Indian Wells on Highway 111.

Later in the afternoon, Kurt went to the driving range while the rest of us went for personal care sessions (manicure, pedicure). While we were being pampered there was a massive downpour outside that forced a bunch of people into the mall. It was quite a sight to watch Brenda and Heather with their newly painted toes carefully navigating the puddles through the parking lot back to the car. We were glad it was a day off from golf. We picked up a speedometer/odometer at a bike shop so we can track our cycling performance.

That night we successfully completed booking our week in San Antonio for our stay with Penny; a quiet condo in a gated community.

March 28

Today was Kurt's birthday and we headed off to golf at Diamond Valley south of Hemet. It was a beautiful day and the boys led the match until the 18th hole when the girls took 2 to win 1 up....DAMN!

Kurt's choice for dinner was Lord Fletcher's in Rancho Mirage, recommended by our good neighbour, Bob. While Brenda and I had our usual Martinis for cocktails, Heather discovered her new favourite, Cosmopolitans....delicious. The service was awesome and the food lived up to Bob's recommendation.

We capped off the evening with a nice long call with Katie; we're really missing each other and looking forward to New Orleans/Mobile with her in May.

March 29

Thursday biking took us on the Tahquitz Loop where our new speedometer told us it's 18 km long. We started our preparation for leaving; mostly discussions of timing for packing and cleaning.

Brenda and I headed downtown for her haircut and a nice lunch. We dropped Kurt and Heather off for their own activities and they decided to walk home. A relaxing sit around the pool to keep cool (wind's gone and the heat's back) followed just before dinner. We had a long chat with Ann (our rental agent) about next year's arrangements. It's complicated because she is moving in April and won't be doing the booking next year.

For the record, JO/JO round 2 sits at 10 - 9 for the boys. Apparently the girls are gaining confidence from their golf performance.

March 30

For our final day of golf before we leave, we had arranged to golf with Cathy and Barry Bertwell and Ken and Lorraine Johnston at Moreno Valley Ranch. Not only were the weather perfect and the scenery spectacular, but also Kurt shot a personal best 90. It really was a great way to cap off our stay. We had cocktails back at our place before a nice, spicy dinner on the patio of the Blue Coyote.

Just before bed, I confirmed on-line that the Giants had won their first round of playoffs over Chilliwack 5 - 1....yeah! Go Giants!

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