Friday, June 12, 2009


On our journey home we visited the Deming, NM SKP Park and saw this Smart car being hauled up in front of the 5th wheel. I had to have a pic of it! (3/08 and left on 3/15/09).

We also stayed at the Trapark in Pecos, TX, which is the home of the world’s first rodeo back in 1883 on July the 4th. In 1881, the Texas & Pacific RR arrived in Pecos. It was on the Ft. Worth to El Paso route. The Texas & Pacific RR dining cars served the sweet Pecos cantaloupe bringing its nationwide fame. And while Ken was filling the truck up with diesel at the local truck stop, I spotted a couple Rascal Flatts semi trailers and had to have a pic of their truck. I'm sure it was one of their setup trailers but I thought it was cool. I love their music. (Left on 3/17/09)

While in Hondo, TX, we drove up to Fredericksburg (considered TX Hill Country) to attend Trader Days: Six barns and acres of antiques, collectibles, tools, crafts, etc. Also in Fredericksburg we toured Wildseed Farms. It is one of the nation’s largest working wildflower farms. All kinds of flowers growing-they were beautiful. Then the store had the seeds available for sale. I had to buy a few packets.
Then we went through the National Museum of the Pacific War that’s located right on Main Street with parking across the street. I got to see some of the things that my Father might have seen at Iwo Jima. It’s a place to see for anyone that might be traveling through this area.
Very Important: We had the best chicken fried steak at Bill & Rosas in D’Hanis-Just west of Hondo. Ask anyone at the park and they will tell you. It’s great and the waitresses are friendly. We will eat there every time we go through Hondo. (Left on 3/23/09)

3/25/09-Spent the day with my brother, Al, and sister-in-law, Judy, in Broken Arrow, OK. We spent most of the day visiting and then Judy and I had to get a little shopping trip in. My niece, Angela, and her husband, Larry, came over with their babies-Nicholas, Kaitlyn and Lauren for a hamburger cookout. We all had a great time. Kaitlyn and Lauren are winking at me. :)

Then it was finally home for us to Bella Vista, AR on Thursday, March 26, 2009. We got back just in time for the last snow storm of the season on the 28th. Boy where is that AZ sunshine??

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


This is my cousin, Don Crow, and his dog, Ladybug. Don and Ladybug live in Tucson, AZ.

We always have to give Don a call to get directions from I-10. We can get close to the right exit but then we can never remember how to get down to his neighborhood. So, when he knows we are coming, I’m sure he has his phone ready to answer because he knows we are going to call him saying, “Don, we are lost. How do we get to you from where we are?” He just laughs and I give the phone to Ken.

As we visited with Don sharing stories about our winter travels, we got to show him some of our travel photos on his computer. He had been to most of the locations that we had been to but we got to hear his interesting stories, as well. He saw that I had gone on a hike in Borrego Springs, CA, to see where the Indians had ground grain on top of big boulders. So, he gave me a stone that he had gotten on one of his trips that was actually used by the Indians to grind the grain. Thank you so much, Don, I will always treasure it.

Don also told us that he was writing his own personal memoirs. Way to go, Don! We asked for a copy when he was ready to share and encouraged him to keep it going. We had told Don that we wanted to take him out to eat. So, he picked a nice steak restaurant not far from his home. The food was really good and we all really enjoyed it. But, Don wouldn’t let us pay for the meal. He did make us a promise that next time he would let us pay. We love you Don.

Thanks again, Don! We enjoyed it very much and we will see you next time we are through Tucson.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009




Our AT&T phones did not work in Tonto National Forest. We had to drive into Phoenix for Ken to get a phone connection to communicate with his work contacts. This made getting his work completed in a timely manner a little difficult. So, we decided to relocate to the Escapee Park in Casa Grande, AZ.

Saturday, February 21st, we met back up with Sam and Carolyn Kidd in Mesa, so that Carolyn and I could attend the Fountain Head Crafts Fair in Scottsdale, AZ. Ken and Sam did their guy stuff in Mesa. Carolyn and I had a blast at the crafts fair. Lots of vendors with neat merchandise and good food booths but it was hot!


On the 22nd of February, Ken talked me into driving up to Flagstaff, and Sadona, AZ. I don’t normally like long day trips. But this trip had its good points. We did have lunch at a neat little sandwich place in Sadona, which had tables out back behind the shop in a small garden area that was very beautiful and quaint. Then, we drove through Sadona. It was so picturesque that I kept making Ken pull over so that I could take a picture.


The 24th of February, we drove into Phoenix and went to the Ikea store. It was amazing! For those that don't know, this is a Swedish owned store known for their design and quality on furniture and home décor items. Their slogan is: “Work a little. Save a lot.” They choose manufacturers who can deliver quality at a low price and then they buy in bulk. Then they save on transportation and storage by packaging things flat. Then the customer picks up the furniture or items and takes them home and assembles them. This store (more like a big warehouse) in Phoenix had two floors where you could choose, compare and test all the things in the showroom before you decide to purchase the item. I loved this store! I think the closest store to my home, Bella Vista, AR, is probably Dallas, TX. So, I’m going to have to make sure our next trip through Texas takes us through Dallas, so I can check out that store.

Saturday, May 2, 2009



Whenever we are in the Phoenix area, we always contact our good friends the Martirossians and arrange a time to visit them. Ken and Raz used to work together at Citgo Petroleum Company in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for more years than either one of them would probably want to admit. But, they forged a great friendship and throughout the years have kept in contact with each other and from time to time they call each other just to keep up with what’s going on with the other one and their families. And when we meet, it’s like we are all family. So, we got to spend Sunday afternoon with Raz, Stella, Garren and Tallin. Garineh, their eldest daughter was away at college and we missed seeing her but hope to see her on our next trip.
It was so good to see Raz and Stella and the family. We could not believe how grown-up their children were: Garren is now 21 years old and their youngest daughter, Tallin is now 19. Their eldest daughter, Garineh, is now 26 years old and has a fiancée, named Chris. We are so proud of all the Martirossian children! They have always treated their parents with respect and are so well mannered but they have also known education was very important. This year, Garineh will have completed all her educational requirements and will become an Optometrist. Way to go Garineh!

Also, we got to meet the family dog, Goldie, and two of their cats: Pishy and Coco. They said the third cat, Shiba, was probably in its favorite sleeping/hiding spot up on the roof.

We got a tour of the Martirossian’s new home which was gorgeous. Stella had her home beautifully decorated and Raz had done some beautiful interior remodeling. (Raz, now we know you’ve got potential for a second job-Ha! You did a very nice job.)

All of us sat around talking, laughing and eating while enjoying hearing stories that Ken and Raz told on each other when they worked together. We all laughed so much you would have thought we were all crazy. Raz and Stella, as always, made us fell so welcome and Stella had plates of fresh fruit and the best homemade Armenian pastries that Ken and I couldn’t quit eating, but we knew they were taking us out to dinner and we knew we better quit but it was just too good. You know, it’s really hard laughing so much on a full stomach but we did and it hurt.
Anyway, with some restraint, after a few more stories and good memories, we left for the restaurant, the Black Angus. It was very good. I can’t believe we ate again but we did. Raz and Stella’s son, Garren, went with us. Their beautiful daughter, Tallin, had a friend over and she was also on a diet so she stayed home.

On one of our visits many years ago, I can remember Garren making me and his Father a cup of Armenian coffee and he was very young. That was one of his favorite things to do. I can remember the coffee is very strong and it’s served in very small china cups. I remember Garren did an excellent job. Well, after our dinner at the Black Angus, we went back to Raz and Stella's home, Garren asked if I wanted a cup of coffee and I had to pass but he fixed his Father a cup. It brought back good memories. What a nice young man!

Here is a nice pic of the guys together:

Thank you Martirossian family for your hospitality and for dinner. We enjoyed our visit. It was great! See you next winter unless you come to OK or AR before then-HA.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


02/14 – 2/21/09

We traveled with Sam and Carolyn Kidd to Mesa, AZ, which is just north of Phoenix. We camped in the Goldfield Recreation Area. Carolyn picked this area because she was told it had easy access to several lakes-(Canyon, Saguaro, Apache, and Roosevelt) and she had just purchased Sam a two-person inflatable kayak for his birthday and wanted to get it in the water.

Tonto National Forest encompasses almost 3 million acres of spectacular country, ranging from Saguaro cactus studded desert to pine forested mountains. Elevation of the forest ranges from 1,300 to 7,900 feet.

Tonto is the fifth largest national forests in the US, and is one of the most-visited “urban forests” with approximately 5.8 million visitors annually. It is bounded by Phoenix to the south, the Mogollon Rim to the north, and the San Carlos and Fort Apache Indian Reservations to the east and the Gila River Indian Reservation and Salt River Indian Reservation to the West.
Our time here was very enjoyable. We saw wild horses running across the desert near our campground, we saw
an eagle nesting not far from our campsite; and we were within walking distance of the Salt River. We explored several walking trails and saw several large Saguaro cactus. It was beautiful!

As for Sam and Carolyn, they had one day that they might say wasn’t all that enjoyable. It was the day they put their kayak in at Saguaro Lake at Butcher Jones Recreation Area. This was another beautiful area and the lake was gorgeous. Their launch went well. They paddled out with another couple and spent the morning exploring the lake. They came in for lunch and then headed back out to enjoy the lake a little bit longer. Then it happened! Carolyn got a leg cramp and started moving her leg around to get it to quit hurting. In doing so, she turned them over… Not Good! Cold Water-Wet Camera-Lost Sunglasses, etc.

Well, after Sam and Carolyn got dried off and speaking to each other again-(just kidding), we all went out for pizza in Mesa, at Organ Pizza. It was an amazing place. They had an organ coming up from the basement into the center of this restaurant on a platform and all of the pipes and horns were all built-in around and above the eating areas. And the organist would play requests. The music was beautiful. It was a neat experience.

The pizza wasn’t the best we’ve ever eaten but it was a neat place to go for the atmosphere.

Our table was right under these horns.
They sounded great!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


02/08/09 - 02/12/09

We attended Nick Russell’s Gypsy Journal Rally in Casa Grande, AZ. This was an RV rally where RV’ers had an opportunity to meet up with fellow RVers to learn more about RVing and relative topics from Nick and other special speakers.

Nick and his wife, Terry, have been RVing for many years and are fulltimers. Nick publishes an RV newspaper. He has written several books and has websites and blogs that he maintains with a “tell it like it is” style we all like.

Nick and Terry take their readers meandering with them wherever they go. They want you to go with them and see and do the things they write about. They also take awesome photos. They have a great following of RV’ers. And I can see why after meeting them both. They are good people! I hope someday that maybe one of my readers will be able to meet them. If so, I don’t think they will be disappointed.

Back to actually pulling into the Casa Grande fairgrounds on 02-08-09, in the rain with our fellow Boomer friends: Sam and Carolyn Kidd and George and Janice Olsen. The fairground was muddy and they parked us all in a mud puddle. I think Sam got the worst parking spot. He had to hook up his electric standing in water up to his ankles. Not Good! But we were able to all park along side each other.

Parked along the front row of RV's was this unique 1965 White 3000 with a 1946 Trailmobile owned by Bob and Jan Vanden Berge. Ken and Sam got a tour through their RV and they thought it was very nice.

Ken really wasn’t feeling well when we pulled into the fairgrounds and he just didn't get better. And the weather just wasn’t cooperating-windy and cold-and raining. He missed the welcome and vendor introductions by Nick. The next morning Ken gave up and went to the urgent care center in Casa Grande. He had bronchitis.

The first evening of the rally, all three of us ladies won door prizes. There was music-jam session-cards and games after the session.

Every morning of the rally donuts and coffee were served in the community building. Our good friends Jerry and Suzy LeRoy sold raffle tickets there each morning for daily cash drawings that were drawn each night of the rally. They were so much fun.

Then it was time to attend the seminars of your choice. At check-in everyone was given a list of daily seminars and another handout giving a description of each seminar. There was a wide range of seminars some funny, some related to hobbies, some technical RV related, insurance, photography, scrapbooking, and you name it topics.

There were one or two daily seminars before lunch and then one or two seminars after lunch. Then an evening performance was given with door prizes and a raffle ticket drawn.

The last evening performance had the “Rally Queen Contest” which had a twist-As you can see from the photo. The winner was a real beauty!

Nick and Terry made it a blast!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009




Our good friends and next door neighbors, Hank and Edna Braker, drove out from Bella Vista, AR, to visit us. We met up with them in Tucson, AZ.

Hank and Edna stayed at a hotel right off of I-10. Let’s just say they were not impressed with their room. And it wasn’t the best hotel but one of the only places they could find.

We camped at the Cactus Country RV Resort on Hougton Road. Little did any of us know that one of the largest Gem Shows in the world was being held in Tucson the same weekend we were there. Lucky us!

Well, Edna and I thought we were lucky once we started shopping. I don’t think Ken and Hank thought so. Ha.


The day started with us shopping at one of the Gem Show buildings. Edna bought a beautiful paperweight at a very good price. She knows how to talk with those sellers. I bought some beautiful African beads for beading into some of my bracelets and necklaces.

After we stopped for lunch we had to take Hank and Edna to a Trader Joe’s for a few grocery items. They loved Trader Joe's.

Later, it was back to the hotel for a game of Mexican Train.



Hank and Edna picked us up and we drove through Saguaro West National Park.

A saguaro's growth is very slow. By the end of a year the saguaro may measure only 1/4 of an inch. After 15 years, barely a foot tall. At 30 years saguaros begin to flower and produce fruit. By 50 years they can be as tall as 7 feet. Somewhere around 75 years old it may sprout its first branch, or "arm".

It was amazing to see how old some of the these "green giants" where. We started counting the arms but gave up after a short time.

After Saguaro National Park, we went to Sabino Canyon. I think Edna fell in love with every rock she saw there.

We all enjoyed our time together. It just wasn’t long enough.

We had to say goodbye to Hank and Edna because they had family to see the next day in Phoenix. See you guys when we get home.