Monday, December 11, 2017

Week of December 4 - 10 (Monday - Sunday)

Its been a week since I last posted. After working pretty hard at being tourists we needed to take it easy for a few days. Not a lot to report, but here's what we've been up to:

December 4 (Monday)
Went to Jack in the Box for a burger for lunch then to Lowes. Bought a piece of lumber to build a 2 inch step for the trailer. With the trailer level the step up to the first stair is a bit high. Just a couple of inches makes the steps even height and easier to make that first stair.. 
Then off to Walmart to buy some groceries and look for Christmas decorations. The pickings were slim so we didn't get anything.
Lots of folks have laser lights that shine displays on the side of their trailer of the shine them in the trees. They reflect on the tree leaves. It looks very cool. Just don't shine them in the air within 10 miles of an airport. The Marines might fire on you!
Always a nice sunset around here.....

December 5 (Tuesday)
I walked down to the Southwest Exchange RV Superstore. What a place. Tons of parts and gadgets for home and RV. Prices are fair, selection is huge and they seem to have very knowledgeable staff. I'll be back!

Talked to the lady in the Park office about a new site away from the highway noise. She suggested maybe site 286 near the back of the park. I walked down and had a look but lots of real old and permanent sites there. Also backed against a brick wall. Our current site 6 is noisier but nicer. We'll stay here.

I talked to the Park gardener about the flowers. The big green bushes with red flowers are Bougainvillea. They have thorns nearly 2 inches long on the stems. They grow very fast here and the gardener has been trimming them back, along with the Prickly Pear Cactus.

December 6 (Wednesday)
Didn't go far today. Went to the Fairgrounds to see the Snowbird trade show. We picked up a bunch of brochures. We talked to a Border Protection Services officer who told us a bit about visiting Mexico. He did say the line-ups were longest on Sunday and Monday coming back into the US, so we'll choose another day of the week to visit.
We stopped for lunch at Del Taco (never again!). Picked up a rotisserie chicken from Walmart and then back to the trailer.
We booked a site for Feb 16 - 23 in Mesa at Mesa Spirit RV Park. This is an Encore park and had a weekly special for new customers at $250/week. About $100 off. Also booked a site for Feb 23 - 27 at Lost Dutchman State Park. $20/night. We will be around Quartzite Feb 1 - 16. Still not sure where exactly. Likely LaPosa South LTVA.

December 7 (Thursday)
Book keeping today. We entered all the receipts for the past few months into a spreadsheet. The news is NOT good. Even without USD exchange rates we spent about $4500 in November. Obviously not sustainable! Our monthly budget is $3200, so we have some work to do to get the spending under control. It was our first month in the US so I'm hoping now that the liquor cabinet and pantry is full and much of our towing miles is done for a while that we can keep the credit card in the wallet.

Camping Fees
Fuel Expenses
Eating Out
Department Store
RV/Home Repair
          hair cuts
Big Ticket Items


December 8 (Friday)
I found two new favorite stores. Al's RV Service and Supply is about a ten minute walk east and Southwest Exchange RV Superstore is about a 5 minute walk west. Both have a good variety with the largest selection going to the RV Superstore. Given our out of control budget, these stores are not going to help! I did buy two new light switches, but only about $10 total.

December 9 (Saturday)
We had heard about some of the flea markets here so we tried out one that was advertised. Unfortunately it wasn't much. Many of the vendors were closed. Some products were worthy of a look but nothing we needed, so it was a quick visit.

We went looking for a park today. We headed down to the Wetlands Park beside the Colorado River. This is right on the edge of downtown, and a very popular spot for the locals. There were lots of families, birthday parties, wedding photo shoots, and tons of kids. We had a nice walk around and enjoyed the sights.

The mighty Colorado River.

I wish I knew the names of these flowers, shrubs and trees. I'll work on it. So many lovely ones and very different from those in Alberta. And this is December! This place must be amazing in spring.
Remember to click on a picture to enlarge.

This little guy followed me around.

The biggest kids play structure I have ever seen!

Lots of folks having picnics....

 A spectacular sunset tonight....

December 10 (Sunday)
Another quiet day. I washed the truck, got fuel, and went grocery shopping in the morning. Fuel at Fry's was $2.68/gal.
After brunch we went out to some of the local dollar stores to snoop out some bargains. Found a couple.

Just a couple of observations on Arizona drivers (not that different from Alberta actually). Did you know that when they order cars down here that signal lights are an option and that rarely do people check that box! It's either that or I didn't spend enough time soaking up the Sedona vortex energy because I haven't got that knack of reading drivers minds! It's just a guess as to whether they are turning or which way they are turning.

....and that was Our View From Here!


  1. How true on the drivers ... we find this "problem" almost everywhere down here. In Phoenix with 5 lane highways they zoom in and out with no notice. Kind of hard to stop quickly in a motorhome towing a car though. So far we have not had any near misses this year, fingers crossed. Still a lot of drivers on cell phones while they drive as well. Yup that first year on the road after retirement is real expensive when you are not used to having a "fixed" income and treat the trip like a vacation. I think everyone has that problem the first year, I know we did, especially when we went down to one income that was only 2/3 with Ray's disability. The first month down though is always more due to fuel costs as is the last month travelling back. Merry Christmas to you and Cheryl.

    1. Thanks Deb, we'll definitely need an 'attitude adjustment' when it comes to spending. RV resorts are far too expensive and actually we don't enjoy them that much.
      Safe travels home and Merry Christmas to you and Ray!

  2. That is a lot of money you spend on camping fees, last year we spent $660.00 for 6 months, helps the budget. Arizona market Place is large market to check out on the weekends as well as The Yuma Swap meet..
    So many great places to visit and enjoy , continue to have fun.

    1. I sure need lessons on frugal camping George! You are an expert. When you are out in Yuma we may need to get together for a coffee and I'll take some notes. (I'm known for that!)
      Thanks for the tips on the markets!

  3. Another store you may like is
    We also find private parks too expensive. That's why we prefer State Parks, BLM and Core of Engineers Parks. Beautiful sunset pics!

    1. Don't tempt me with Harbor Freight! I'm already struggling with a budget! :-)
      I'm not sure if State Parks are that much cheaper. If I pay $600/month at a resort that is $20/night which is about the same (or maybe a bit more) as a State Park. Certainly you can't beat BLM prices!

  4. The outdoor Yuma Swap meet is much better and after New Years more of the vendors will be open. We stayed at Westwind the first time we stayed in Yuma and made many trips to Southwest Exchange. Lots of neat stuff. We found paying big bucks for the full service RV Snowbird parks at $900 plus p/m a waste of money when we were out sightseeing all the time. This year we are staying put in Gold Canyon for 4 months and really appreciate all the activities that $900 p/m gets u.

    1. We went to Yuma Swap Meet today. Wow! What a place. So fun.
      I agree with your assessment of park fees. We are in sight-seeing mode this year and haven't made use of any of the facilities here, so not good value for us.