Where we’ve been…All 48 lower…Where we are…Extensively traveling…Working and having a blast!

Where we’ve been…All 48 lower…Where we are…Extensively traveling…Working and having a blast!
LIFE IS GRAND!

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Countryside RV Resort TT

2701 S Idaho Rd

Apache Junction, AZ 85119

(480) 982-1537

12/2020, 1/2021-4/2021, 1/2024



2024 UPDATE - It was a very last second decision since we were not happy with the other park we had reserved for us and they were gracious enough to let us in. They gave us several options and since our sites have been on the main roads plenty of times we chose this one. Not knowing that this road had turned into a drag strip…OMG…all hours of the night, noisy cars, trucks, motorcycles…the worst we have ever heard and we have slept on the infield of many NASCAR and other races, this was so over the top that we couldn’t wait to move to our next destination.



We used our Thousand Trails Membership for a 20/30/50 amp site with water and sewer on gravel with a slab patio. Our site was located in a great spot, on one side was a permanent resident that was for sale so no neighbors our entire stay, and on our other side was a walkway and a putting green, it was really exclusive.




We loved it so much we extended our stay through March. We had some deals because of low attendance in the park but we also paid high for a few of our weeks out just so we could stay in the same site.

They used the non contact checkin procedure that we are starting to really love and hope they continue doing it this way. We get an email one week before our arrival date that we complete, then on the day prior to our arrival they email our site number with a map. Upon arrival if site is occupied or not satisfactory, we then call and they reassign us accordingly. No reason to go into the office for anything…no idle chit chat after a long day drive…no escort since we have been doing this for years and do not need assistance.

 

Most of the facilities were open on a limited schedule, but they were still opened. There were several laundry facilities and each one was nice.





We would highly recommend this resort for many factors…customer service was excellent, especially Andrea in the office, she went above the call of duty to give us excellent service, the residents were all very friendly, a great location near shopping and several places of interest, facilities were clean and well maintained.

 


 

 

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Happy New Year

We don’t care how many years pass, the pain is always enhanced during this season…losses are hard to bear, and time DOES NOT dull the pain, especially at certain times. Hug your loved ones a little tighter and enjoy every awkward moment because a bad moment is better than NO moment at all! Songs…movies…commercials…phrases…are bringing us to tears and breaking us down, but when it’s over, we will ring in 2024 with fresh dreams and hopes. We are so grateful that we have one another to help each other through the holidays!

My ending of 2023 was very abrupt, it was supposed to be a long day at work on New Years Eve, but my knee had different ideas…I was down for the count and could not put any kind of weight on it at all, so I was stuck at home while Jerry went to work. Not a great ending but seems typical to a very strange year, we are really looking forward to a fantastic 2024!

 

I worked on my books, getting them ready for publication…AGAIN! Once again, the plan is to get them ready for publication, AND this time get them published. I have to change my thought process and understand that the knowledge we bring with these books would help others and bring laughter and joy of our trials and tribulations in our traveling adventures to many people. So, here is to finally making it happen in 2024.

 

The work we’re doing is not hard since we are very familiar with catering and kitchen work but being on our feet all day on those hard floors, and the cold, damp weather is taking a toll on our bodies, but we will get through it. We love our chef and the other workers, and we seem to be appreciated by everyone and we appreciate all of them. 






We are attempting to get ourselves better, so we are able to do something more than just recuperate on our days off…all work and no play is not good for us. Hopefully, the weather starts cooperating so at least we can begin enjoying the hot tubs again, it has been too freezing and wet to go to them in the past few weeks and we miss that time.

 

Our anniversary is this week on Thursday…27 years! The universe knew exactly who we needed in our lives when we met and married. He gets me and I get him, there is nobody else in this world that I would rather grow old with and share it all, the good, the bad and the ugly of growing old. It ain’t pretty and it ain’t for the weak, but together, we got this!





Tuesday, January 02, 2024

Monte Vista RV Resort

9060 E Steven Pollard Avenue

Mesa, AZ 85209

(480) 618-0460

12/2023

 

We paid $0 per night using our Thousand Trails membership for a water, 30/50 amp electric, sewer, backin site on a concrete slab with a patio.




We had extremely high customer service, going above and beyond with such a great, high-energy attitude was so appreciated, and we felt welcomed.

 

They have a separate area for RVs, away from the Park Models, but we are able to enjoy all the amenities throughout.

 

This included several pool areas, three with hot tubs and the closest one to us only had the pool, so we enjoyed the other areas several times with nice hot and bubbly spas.





It was quiet even though our site was near a main road and firehouse with sirens. The common areas were always well maintained.

 

 

 

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Work…Rest…Not Enough Play and Summary of 2023

We began our work at CalAm as Cooks and we came in running, on the first few days there were events, so we just did whatever we could to assist. This place is so organized and it’s really nice NOT having to do it all ourselves. Our Chef is great to work with, knowing the easier ways to do things and sharing them with us is deeply appreciated. 

We moved from Meridian RV Resort to Monte Vista RV Resort, all just a few miles from one another and under 10 miles to work. We are really enjoying our winter with great work, excellent money coming in, and some really great places to move to every 3 weeks. 





We both worked on Jerry’s birthday, but instead of the free food we get at work, he wanted some lobsta from Angie’s Lobster in Mesa, and it did not disappoint. We both had the Lobster Roll, then I had the Grilled Shrimp Roll and Jerry had the Spicey Honey Fried Shrimp Roll. It was all delicious. The lobster with melted butter was succulent. The shrimps in both rolls were colossal with a good meaty bite to them, and the spicey honey was just spicy enough without being too much. We do plan to get more in our near future.





Our holidays were normal to us, just cooking our favorite meals and not much more than hanging out, relaxing and waiting for them to be over. The week in between Christmas and New Year’s is going to be a busy week at work, we are scheduled for 6 days and for a 15-hour day on our 6th day, which is New Year’s Eve, but then we will have a 3-day time off to recuperate. Recuperation will definitely be the best thing for us by then, we’re just not as good as we once were doing all those hours and days of work, but we will get through it.





2023 Summary…

 

It was a year filled with many ups and downs, especially the downs but the big difference was our attitudes about it all which made it so much easier to get through it all without too much damage to us or our lives.

 

We traveled almost 15,000 miles with our new to us truck and trailer without any major issues. We stayed at many nice resorts, campgrounds, and hotels.



We worked at several not so good places, but we also worked at several really great places. We met some wonderful people that we are still keeping contact with so we can meet up again in our future travels.

 

All in all, it was a good year that we will be happy to put an end to and begin fresh with new beginnings and new adventures in 2024. We are very grateful for all the lessons we learned throughout our trials and tribulations.

Sunday, December 17, 2023

Wine Tasting 2023

 During our travels, we pick up bottles of wine, not only in the grocery stores in different states, choosing the local brands that sound good, but also during our wine tasting excursions at wineries, as we taste them, we will share our findings.

Kick’n Kolada 

Stone Hill Winery

Hermann, MO

11.5% alcohol 

While passing through Missouri, we stopped for gas and the Phillip 66 station had a wide variety of local wines, so we bought a few bottles. This one is the last one and we really don’t think we will be tasting anymore Missouri wines. This one wasn’t too sweet and sort of tasted like a Pina Colada but was not appealing to us at all.




Sweet Cat Catabaw Rose

Meramec Vineyards 

St James, MO

12% alcohol 

While passing through Missouri, we stopped for gas and the Phillip 66 station had a wide variety of local wines, so we bought a few bottles. Not as sweet as other Catabaw’s we have tasted with a very floral taste. Not one of our favorite wines and we will not be purchasing again.




Sweet Harvest Riesling

Chateau Grand Traverse, LTD 

Grand Traverse, MI

12% alcohol 

Michigan being my home State, we always have to grab a few bottles whenever we travel through the area, and this time was no exception. The sweetness on the bottle was a 4 ½ on a scale from 0 to 5. We do not agree, we think it’s more like a 3 with a very dominant apricot finish. We will not be purchasing this one again, but we do recommend for a drier wine drinker.


White Moscato 

Crown Valley Winery

Ste Genevieve, MO

10% alcohol 

 

While passing through Missouri, we stopped for gas and the Phillip 66 (Stuckey’s) station had a wide variety of local wines in their wine cart, so we bought a few bottles. This one was definitely way too sweet for us which is not usual for us. We could barely get through it, and only could when we mixed it with a drier wine we had available to use. Hopefully, the others we purchased are not as sweet.



 

Cherry Moscato

Oliver Winery & Vineyards

Bloomington, IN

6.8% alcohol 

 

The cherry and spritzer in the Moscato were delicious that toned down any sweetness that at times appears with many Moscato. Refreshing and light ending that leaves you wanting more.



 


Summerland

Northern Flow Vineyards

Clayton, NY

11.5% alcohol 

 

We picked this one at a wine tasting room in Lake Placid, New York while we visited the area. It was right at the semi dry/semi sweet balance, sort of like a dry Riesling with a pear flavor and a refreshing touch to the ending.




Fire Boat White

Coyote Moon Vineyards

Clayton, NY

We picked this one at a wine tasting room in Lake Placid, New York while we visited the area. Has an enticing taste using the Niagara Grape which is one of the frequently used grapes in the Northeast and Midwest regions. Sweet, fresh, crisp popping flavor with a clear ending that we would definitely enjoy again.


Winter White

Leelanau Wine Cellars

Omena, MI

12% alcohol 

 

A great refreshing white wine with a light finish that we picked up during our visit to Michigan. We would definitely recommend it and would purchase again.


 

Bicentennial Blush

Glades Pike Winery

Somerset, PA

 

We were just a short drive to their vineyard, but they also came to the campground while we were there. We tried a few tastes but ended up buying a few bottles of Bicentennial Blush only. Made with several types of grapes and has a tint of floral but not overwhelming, it’s sweet but dry with a refreshing end to it. 









2021 Harvest Select Sweet Riesling

Chateau Ste Michelle

Columbia Valley, WA

10.5% alcohol 

 

Given to us as a gift, it is a nice wine that is a fruity burst in our mouths but not overbearing. Not too sweet and not dry at all, leaving a crisp and refreshing ending. We had tried this one back in 2012 with a similar outcome. Would definitely recommend and we would purchase again for ourselves.

 



Brut Champagne 

Gruet Winery

Albuquerque, NM

12% alcohol 

 

Given to us as a gift, we usually do not like a brut champagne but we didn’t want to throw it down the drain so we bought some cranberry juice and made our version of a Mimosa. That did fixed the brutness of the Brut and we were able to finish the bottle and not ever purchase it for ourselves, it’s more on the high end of cost for us anyway, we try to stay under $10 and this is way over it.




White Zinfandel Moscato 

Berlinger Main & Vine

Ripon, CA

8% alcohol 

 

85% White Zinfandel 15% Moscato, found at the end of Main Street, where the shops slowly fade into the vineyards and wine country begins. Semi dry with a crispness at the end of the sip. A gifted wine from a dear friend that if we would have seen it on the shelf, we would have bought it ourselves. It really needs more Moscato percentage for our absolute liking it, otherwise it was intriguing.

 


PB&J

St. Julian Wine Company, Inc.

Paw Paw, MI 

10.5% alcohol 

What were we thinking? There are no peanuts used but it tastes just like Concord Grapes and Peanut Butter, we even had that peanut butter taste left on the roof of our mouths. It’s a novelty but we couldn’t drink it, after a few sips, we gave up.



I am Detroit

St. Julian Wine Company, Inc.

Paw Paw, MI 

NA% alcohol 

Since I’m from Detroit, this choice was a no brainer. From the shores of Lake Michigan this is fruit at its finest. It tastes like a Riesling and Moscato mashed together and it was amazingly balanced. It would pair with just about anything that has a touch of spice to it or a perfectly grilled steak.


Unsalted Cherry

SeaSalt Cellars

Fennville, MI 

12% alcohol 

Loved the bottle but the wine was not one of our favorites. It has a delicate but sweet taste to it but a bit on the sour side from the cherries. We did drink it all but we wouldn’t purchase it again.



Grand Traverse Select Riesling

Chateau Grand Traverse

Traverse City, MI 

12% alcohol 

Now this is how we love our Rieslings, sweet, fresh, and crisp. Would definitely pair with BBQ Ribs or Chicken and some Spicy StirFry. When we see this wine on the shelf again, we will purchase it.

MichMash Riesling 2019

Chateau Grand Traverse

Traverse City, MI 

12.2% alcohol 

 

A lot dryer than our normal taste buds enjoy, but it was light and fresh without any lingering dryness. Would pair well with great home cooking, that comfort food.

 

Michcato

St. Julian Wine Company, Inc.

Paw Paw, MI 

11% alcohol 


Has a sweet tone that doesn’t get sweeter as it leaves, but instead gets crispy and fresh. It’s a play on our favorite Moscato Wine and it’s so flavorful. Would pair well with a spicy meal, Tacos, Cajun, Blackened or Chinese. We did not get it from the winery but instead we picked it up at a Michigan Meijer Supermarket while in the area.