A Different Kind of Trip
After leaving what felt like Mars (really Winslow, AZ), we headed to Mesa. The funny thing about the Phoenix area is that 99% of the RV campgrounds are age restricted. As in, no young peeps. At the very minimum you had to have someone that was 55 or older (thank you Mom!) and any other guest had to be 19 or older. Well, that was the rule at the campground we were in. Most others wanted the younger person to be at least 30 years of ago or old. So basically we had slim pickings.
Fortunately, the one that we stayed in was quirky and charming enough to be just right for the week. Phoebe LOVED the older people. The calm energy suited her well. Not only were we the minority in age, we were also the minority in living arrangements. Most people were permanent residents (at least for the winter) and lived in 90s style mobile homes. A few looked a little bedraggled but often, they were well kept and had 150 yard decorations and lovely cacti out front. My favorite yard decoration was a sign that said, "Slow! Seniors at play." Ha! Actually, many of them were fairly active so it was pretty accurate.
Our loose plan was to spend time with our uncle (from Scottsdale) on Sunday and then do some exploring and hiking the rest of the week. I didn't know what to expect but what ended up unraveling was far better and more special than we certainly anticipated.
He arrived for lunch on Sunday with bourbon, a box full of gorgeous (and delicious!) pastries and small cakes, and some Girl Scout cookies. For someone who doesn't know us very well (yet), he certainly knew what would make our stomachs happy!
Even more impressive than the generous gifts was one of the first things that came out of his mouth - his goals for the week.
1. Get to know us better.
2. Help us in any way that he can with the RV.
I was impressed.
(I know this is all probably very embarrassing for you Uncle Pete but it has to be said. Hello by the way!)
We had some fun excursions together. We went to Saguaro Lake and Canyon Lake (with a small detour to Tortilla Flat). The first grouping of pictures is from Saguaro Lake and the second part is from Canyon Lake. It was really great to have our uncle as our guide to tell us about the surrounding area, desert plant life and stories of his time here in Arizona. And we also learned more about each other along the way while driving in the car - something he did with my Aunt Cardie many years ago.
We ate a few of our meals at the RV but a handful of them were out and about in Mesa or Scottsdale. We found a hole in the wall pizza place and crashed my uncle and aunt's Valentine's Day dinner, along with a few other yummy spots. My mom finally got to Cantina Laredo (her favorite restaurant that closed in Nashville) so we can now breathe a sigh of relief.
The second aspect of the trip was receiving a generous amount of help from our uncle in regards to the maintenance of the RV. First, he fixed our door - something that was already attempted by a repair person in Raleigh. We officially no longer have to SLAM our door shut every time. In Austin, I tried slamming it three times and my fingers were so cold it wouldn't work. Now, we don't disturb our neighbors or the surrounding counties every time we close our door.
He also did a repair on our commode and set us up with tire pressure tools so that we know when to get them filled. He also discovered that our stairs have height adjustments and that pretty much made our week.
I think my favorite addition of all was the superstar block levelers that he got for us. Our status has once again improved - professional newbie to a few steps from being a full on professional. A guy in Connecticut graciously gave us some square sheets of wood to do the same job but over time, they have peeled, gotten heavy and very splintery. We are now very giddy owners of plastic blocks that will stand the test of time. Woohoo!
So, with the exception of Monday, we spent the whole week together. And as we waved good-bye to him on Friday, I slumped back into the RV and bawled. Spending time with people drains me but I was happily overwhelmed by our time with Uncle Pete. I'm really looking forward to our next adventure with him.
Thank you again Uncle Pete, for everything, but most of all your company.