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Monday, August 26, 2019

some pics....

Good morning.
The weather here has been nice, hot and sunny. Just the way I like it!
Been sitting out on the patio in the afternoons, sometimes with the fan, sometimes with the misters, and sometimes without anything.  The lack of humidity really does make the difference.   :-)
Here's my latest puzzle.....
And some current pics of the back yard.....

Here's a pic that my neighbor/sometimes walking, partner took the other day.....
And these are her doggies I've watched a couple of times when they were gone....
I got my long walk in this morning....all by myself. Gloria and Dave left yesterday for another week in Flagstaff, and my other walking neighbor Barbie, is currently on a Baltic cruise with her husband. So I'm picking up mail, checking on homes, and watering.  Barbie and Harry got a palm tree planted last fall, and they are suppose to feed it once a month, but never seem to remember, so I'm doing it for them. Another neighbor, Ken and Char, who are currently gone for the summer in their 5th wheel, planted a large shrub last winter and asked me to water it once a week. Then, my other neighbor Obbie, who's gone all summer, has a couple of potted cactus and an Aloe that I also water once a week. So I try to keep all that balanced between our own little trips.   :-)
And, since I am retired, I have plenty of spare time.  :-)

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

taking a Hawaiian cruise

Good afternoon.
We've finalized our cruise around the Hawaiian Islands.
We'll be flying into Honolulu, and spending a few days in Waikiki before we board the ship for a 7 day cruise.
We'll be sailing on the Norwegian Pride of America.
The only cruise ship flagged in the US.
Most all cruise lines and ships are flagged in either Panama, Bahamas or another country. I thought it was because of cost or stiffer regulations. And it is, partly. Us law dictates that a US flagged ship must be built and maintained in the US and staffed by US workers, and paid prevailing wages.
Well, that would make US cruise ships 3-4 times more expensive to operate than foreign competitors, so to compete, they flag their ships in a foreign port. And yes, this cruise is twice as expensive as a similar 1 week Caribbean cruise.
I also didn't know this but unless the ship is flagged in the US, it must include a foreign port in it's itinerary. So this ship is the only one that does just the Hawaiian Islands. All the others sail to Vancouver or Ensenada, Mexico and start or end on the west coast, adding another week to the cruise.
Anyway, here's a pic of the itinerary....
We spend an overnight in Maui and Kauai.
We've booked our flights, hotels, and picked out the excursions we want to take.  Should be a really nice trip!
As with the Panama canal cruise, we booked an inside room to save money, and hopefully. 90 days before departure, they'll open bidding on a balcony room. We saved over $3200 that way and got a nice balcony room for that cruise. Of course, that was also a 2 week cruise.  On this cruise, a balcony room is nearly $1000 more...per person than an inside room.
So, that's our winter trip this year.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Sunny Sunday

Good afternoon.
More beautiful sunny weather. A little warm at around 105 this week, but with the humidity at 1% and our patio misters, very comfortable.
I'm currently keeping an eye on 4 houses right now. Ironically, they are all side by side.  I'm getting mail for 3 of them.
On my walk around the houses, all of which face the golf course, I found this on one of the patios......
That's a golf ball sitting there. These homes are quite a ways from the fairway, but there sure must be a lot of bad golfers, as I'm picking up golf balls every few days. Then, on one of my morning walks, I see this.......
A poor little snake someone crushed with a stone. It was about a foot and a half long and about the thickness of my thumb. It wasn't a rattler, so pretty harmless.  Why can't people leave creatures alone. I myself haven't seen any snakes around, but people on Nextdoor have commented about them here in our community. But we do have a large pond, the golf course that weaves through us, and lots of greenery, so a nice place for all kinds of creatures.
And then, we had another full moon.
This view, across the street from our community, is going to change pretty quick as they have been prepping the land to build more homes. I think a total of 3000 or so will be built there eventually.
And I just can't believe all the homes they are building all around this area. But Vegas is a popular place to move to. People retiring like we did, and people from California looking for cheaper homes, taxes, and less congestion.
I guess that's all I have for now....

Monday, August 12, 2019

Rest of Flagstaff trip.

Good morning.Sorry for the delay in finishing this trip, but I've been busy the last few days booking air hotels and a cruise around the Hawaiian Islands. But more on that later.
So, while in Flagstaff, we one day drove an hour east, to Meteor Crater.

We'd been here before, but years ago. They've expanded the visitors center, and added more info on the Crater. They even had fossils of animals that were in the area when the Meteor hit. Back then the area was actually a tropical swamp.
It was interesting seeing it all again. Then we headed farther east, to Petrified Forest National Park.
The entire park is littered with chunks of fossilized tree trunks. It's fascinating how this all happened here You have to go online and read about it.
Then, just north of the park is Painted desert National Park.
The colors didn't turn out very good in these pics, but it reminded us of Badlands in South Dakota.
The last day in Flag, (that's what the locals call the city) We window shopped and ate and drank our way around downtown.
It was a fairly short trip. Sunday through Thursday, but had a very nice time and with our big New Orleans trip coming up, it was enough.

Friday, August 09, 2019

A Flagstaff trip

Good afternoon.
We've recently returned from Flagstaff, AZ where we spent several days away from the Vegas heat.   :-)
Flagstaff sits at around 6500 ft so the summers are very pleasant.  Our highs there were around 80.
Stayed at a very nice Super 8 motel.
It's in the Wyndham hotel group. We try to stay at cheaper Wyndham hotels and get points that we use at more expensive hotels, like we will be doing in New Orleans.
 While we were there, we took a few day trips. The first was up to the Grand Canyon. An 1 1/2 hour drive north of Flagstaff.

We were here 21 years ago and wanted to refresh our memories. It's still just as spectacular as the first time we saw it. I thought it looked the same, but Craig thought it looked a little deeper.   :-)
Here's a tower they built for an overlook....

And we saw this many times.....People going over the wall or railings to get out to the edge of the cliffs. No wonder there have been so many falls here.

One of the lodges that sit on the edge of the canyon.
And another crazy lady climbing down and walking out on a ridge.
Had a little lunch at one of the lodges. Then back to Flagstaff.
I'll post more of our trip tomorrow.