It feels good to be back in the Gold Canyon and Mesa area. I really like it here. We will be at Canyon Vistas Resort for a week and move to Valle del Oro for another week. These parks are part of a corporation called Cal-Am. There are 10 resorts sprinkled throughout Apache Junction, Mesa and Surprise. Cal-Am has been servicing the housing and recreational needs of adults and families since 1988. They are one of the largest owner/operators of Manufactured Housing Communities , RV Resorts and Apartment management companies in the United States. The resorts are generally populated with a higher percentage of park models than RV's. They participate in Passport America. What is really surprising is the 50% discount rate is valid October through March. This is the high season in Arizona. Go figure. We can stay a maximum of 7 days in each park during a calendar year. They are nice parks, convenient for our purposes at an affordable rate.
Nancy and I tried breaking some more shop until you drop records. Len & JC tried breaking some computer fine tuning and TV watching records.
Bunko, a popular dice game, is at Nancy's, the Christmas Queen. These ladies really do it up for Christmas. Nancy was very generous sharing her Christmas fun with me. Best Christmas at home away from home!!
Since I was going to be included in the festivities, I needed to come up with a dozen or so gifts. Two years ago I was included, but didn't know about the gift exchange. I was not going to let that happen this time. So what do you make or buy for a bunch of friends you barely know?
I was talking with my sister, Laura, about Christmas and what she was making for our family. She gave me the idea of making a homemade liquor. This is really funny because I don't drink. She was sipping on the Amaretto she made last year. That sounded like the perfect project.
So while sitting around in the cold in Naco, I made my sisters 'tried and true' recipe. It is Brandy, Vodka, sugar water and pure Vanilla Extract. Very simple. The hardest part was finding the quart jars I needed. This is not canning season. Finding the right gift bottles was really hard. I wanted them to be about 8 ounces but something a little fancy. I actually started shopping for the gift bottles the beginning of November while we were at the Catalina State Park in Tucson. I finally found some at the Pier One store in Mesa the week before Christmas. Bunko was on the 26th. It was a lot fun with a bunch of really nice ladies.
We had the chance to see Fred & Jo Wishnie. This couple are blog friends that we have met up with whenever our paths cross. They met Len and Nancy this last summer in their travels. Sometimes this world seems so small, but believe me it is not. They fell in love with Fred & Jo's dog, Boo Boo. Who could not? Exactly how all this came about I do not know, but Boo Boo was a house guest for a week or so through the holidays while Fred & Jo flew home for the holidays. That little dog is a pistol. We sure had some fun.
We will be moving on to Yuma on January 3rd. First stop will be Starlight Solar to upgrade our solar power system. Our goal is to completely charge the batteries without any assist from shore power or the generator.
JC had a checkup with an ENT specialist in Mesa on December 27th. He needs to be checked every 2 months for quite a while. He is being examined checking his where is tonsil was, his throat, blood pressure, etc. and asked a bunch of questions to make sure there are no symtoms that need further study. We are expecting that at 6 months which will be the end of May, he will be given a Cat or Pet Scan to confirm there is no cancer cell activity.