Where We've Been (46 out of 50 States)...Where We Are!

Where We've Been (46 out of 50 States)...Where We Are!
We are extensively traveling around...working and having a blast...Life is Grand!

Sunday, January 01, 2023

Wine Tasting 2022

 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. 


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.


Monday, December 26, 2022

So Much Is Happening…Great Things!

We are still in Yuma, Arizona operating the Fun Times Café at the Sun Vista RV Resort, baking all sorts of goodies and putting out some nice food!









We have moved out of the 5th Wheel they allowed us to stay in and with working full time, it only took 2 weeks.


 

We bought a 2015 Keystone Cougar travel trailer that was such a great deal it is ours outright…NO NOTE! Life is grand!





We have, as usual, remodeled it all…first we have had to downsize from all the stuff we have accumulated since January when we said goodbye to Maggie. It is so amazing how much we bought in just a few short months, furnishing apartments and most of it just won’t fit in our Cougar. Our extremely comfortable King Size bed won’t fit, our TV & Wine Stands, desk chair, lamps, end tables, shoe racks, rugs, clothes, and so much more…all being sold for hardly nothing or donated. 

 

We removed the uncomfortable couch & dinette and even though our recliners don’t really fit, we are making them work because we are not selling those, they are just so comfortable and we need the daily massages. 




We also removed the old stairs that were so scary and replaced them with these absolutely sturdy and safe ones that made such a huge difference.




The mattress was soft and mushy, so we replaced it with a firm cooling mattress just like our King, only a short Queen. The bedroom is a bit cramped but we will learn to live with it for awhile.



We are in the process of removing the glass shower doors that are extremely heavy and don’t slide very well, we are replacing them with a curved shower rod and curtain. The shower stall is huge and so comfortable.




The porcelain toilet has a foot flusher and we really love the hand flusher, so we are replacing it too! But, the great news is we fought the poop monster and we won! Seems like we were left with a pyramid…Ugh!



The downsizing has been the most challenging because reselling items are just too hard. Nobody wants to pay high dollar for quality, like new items. We are selling items we paid hundreds for a few months ago and only getting dollars for them. We don’t want to pay any more storage for items we will never get their value and we need to get our trailer ready for travel in just a few short months, so EVERYTHING MUST GO! Either by selling or we will donate or trash the rest this week.


We are having difficulty connecting our DTV to our trailer. Currently, we have the cable wire coming straight from the dish through a window directly into the TV. The cable plug outside doesn’t seem to be connected to the cable plug inside so we are trying to figure it out ourselves without calling in the pros. We have to call the pros for replacing the outer layer of the skylight in the shower because it’s cracked and I do not allow Jerry up on our roof or on the high ladders anymore.

 

The weather here has been almost perfect, especially compared to the rest of the nation, these temperatures are one of the main reasons we love to hang out in Arizona in the winter.



Life is grand and we are enjoying every moment, keeping busy but also taking those precious moments to reconnect with our hearts and each other. Life is way too short to waste any moment with regret or trying to repair old hurts that are over and done. We are living in the moment, forgiving ourselves for any and all mistakes that we have made, taking the time to enjoy the here and now! 2023 is right around the corner and it’s going to be exciting but today is even more precious!



Sunday, October 30, 2022

Best Decision EVER!!!

 We have been prepping the kitchen to open this week and we are definitely enjoying ourselves, especially because we are ending every night in the hot tub with some wine, our choice of medication.


Fun Times Café at the Sun Vista RV Resort is going to be a happening place this winter. We are making as many “from scratch “ items as possible, like cookies, pastries, cobblers, muffins, biscuits and so much more. We are going to create some excellent specials every week that will be quite tasty!





Jerry made my birthday special as he always does, he began my morning by texting me from the kitchen the sweetest, loving words he has ever said which says a lot because he constantly leaves me love notes and messages all the time, but this one was so heartfelt it made me quiver! 

 

We went to Red Lobster with a gift card to get my shrimp on…all we could eat and all the choices were delicious! Started with yummy seafood stuffed mushrooms and they ended our meal with a birthday ice cream sundae! Ended our evening with the hot tub and wine…we are so enjoying our lives! Best decision we ever made was to leave our last position. We are exactly where we need to be and having the time of our lives.







At the beginning of the week we took a drive up to Laughlin as we have almost every year we’re in Arizona, but this time was strange. We had planned to stay two days and meet up with some friends but after arriving, we both had such an uneasy feeling that neither of us could shake. We tried but things kept getting stranger so after one night we decided to head out and we did. As soon as we left, the uneasiness disappeared. We have learned from many years of experiencing times like this that we now listen to ourselves without having to explain, we just know we were not at the right place and needed to make that shift and things once again felt right. It’s not as if we could predict anything that was going to happen, we just knew something bad was going to occur if we did not leave. We both wish we had more information to go on at moments like those, but we don’t. All we know is that when we don’t listen to our guts and continue to force it, nothing goes right and bad things usually happen.








We seem to be on the right track nowadays and we don’t want to take any steps backwards. We are enjoying each and every moment with such enthusiasm and lust for life once again and it all feels right. Life is grand and we are looking forward to a winter of exciting work with a lot of fun thrown into each day!





Yes, we rented a golf cart for the winter, this resort is HUGE!

Sunday, October 16, 2022

What a Different Experience

We started at Desert Springs Senior Living on June 1st and it was rough physically right from the beginning, due to the running around like chickens without heads because we were being pulled in every direction. The past management did not have their act together and it showed in everything we touched. They left a bunch of trash to clean up and it’s made the turnover very hard. We were the Co-Managers, brand new to the company and the Managers have been with the company for several years but started at this location the same day and they were total chaos.

There were at least a dozen residents that belonged in assistance living not independent and since we were on call 4 nights a week, we were inundated with ECalls at all hours of the night, as well as all day long too. We did not get enough sleep and our mind and bodies paid a high price. But, things took a hard turn after one month when we got off of hourly wage to salary. The manager even made a comment that we were hers now since she no longer had to pay us for all hours worked including the ECalls. She meant every word too because we immediately went from about 45 hours to 60 hours a week, and the ECalls continued without any additional compensation.


There were some very nice and independent residents that we would have loved to speak with more but the ones that needed more care were overwhelming us with all the time needed to keep them safe. There were several deaths and many that had left for one reason or another, it’s very emotional!


We keep our apartment cold since the temps outside are near 100 degrees everyday and we need a cool place to come home to at no cost to us. It’s a nice apartment that we had to completely furnish because we had no furniture at all, luckily we have other items like dishes, pots and pans, etc. We did have to professionalize our wardrobe since we weren’t allowed to wear shorts, t shirts and flip flops but we found most of our new wardrobe at thrift stores. They actually have a “gourmet” Goodwill in Oro Valley that is like no other Goodwill we have ever been to, more like a boutique than a thrift store.





We have not been given the proper tools to run this community in the professional manner expected. We have only 1 computer for 4 managers to use and we are expected to make at least 10 sales calls per day from information on the computer on top of all the other things that need a computer to complete. Everyone we asked about only having 1 computer gave us the same answer. They say it’s the biggest complaint from all managers but they always seem to get it done. In other words, the managers makes the sacrifices. So typical of this company.


We were left with a volatile situation where we needed to evict a 70ish man from his apartment because he’s been a nuisance to staff and other residents. We as managers have to complete all paperwork, file and appear in court to declare why this man needs to leave when we were not here for the charges. It’s insane! It has gotten so ugly and he is showing us why he should be evicted. He has threatened us personally several times and he was getting scarier daily because as he had stated several times that he is untouchable. It seems he might be on to something since our Home Office (HO) didn’t get it done for over 3 excruciating months, and he would still be there if we did not push the issue HARD as we did. It seemed to be the norm with EVERYTHING, it wasn’t as simple as doing the paperwork, but we also had to follow up and follow up and follow up until we pushed so hard that it finally got completed or denied.


The garbage disposal in the kitchen was down for weeks all because of the red tape we have to go through just to get it replaced. The same with carpet replacement in several units that we need to rent out to make our quotas, residents and kitchen air conditioning units down for weeks in over 100 degree temperatures. Instead of speedy installation and repairs, we receive excuses from everyone that are claiming to have our backs.


We get away every weekend, as a matter of fact, we are on call until 7am on our last night but we are packed and out the door minutes after 7am on Sundays.


We headed to cooler temperatures several times. We stayed at Holiday Inn Express in Show Low, Arizona and had the spa and pool to ourselves for hours. We were the pruniest we had ever been and our bodies were so relaxed. The room wasn’t anything special and the bathroom was cramped. We picked up subs from Firehouse Subs. It was our first experience eating their subs and though they were great tasting, they were very expensive, so we will most likely stay with Subway for our future subs.







They say, “Nothing in life is free”, we beg to differ. We didn’t travel too far one week, just around 2 hours and had a nice stay at Apache Gold Resort Casino in San Carlos, Arizona. They had a great special going on for first time visitors which we were, so we got a great room rate, $24 each for food, gas, and play money, totaling $144 in free stuff. We didn’t use all the food money since what we ordered was so much food there was no way to use all the coupon amount, and our gas tank was fairly full so we just used a portion of it.





They are sprucing up the hotel and they are almost complete, the elevators are still nasty looking but the room was nice, comfortable bed, great shower and the room is not cramped at all. BUT, as far as customer service, they need a whole lot of sprucing up. We got there early, before noon which is normal for us and only a handful of times do we get hit by this brick wall attitude from the front desk. We asked if it was possible for an early checkin and without looking she immediately began quoting the checkin time and that they were sold out…blah, blah, blah! We have worked in hotels and know that there are always rooms ready. So, we were upset but that didn’t change her attitude so we changed ours and asked for the earliest time for us to return, and she said 2pm, and that is when we returned. The room given to us at that time was not freshly cleaned, you could tell with the dust on items and also with the temperatures over 100 degrees outside, there was no air conditioning on and it was stifling in there. No way anybody had been in there to clean that day. That is just poor customer service which we will not be returning anytime soon and we won’t be recommending a stay there at all.





Some of the weeks were tougher than others, almost intolerable. The resident who is evicted is getting nastier and now another resident who is friendly with him has a gun in her possession which is not allowed. But, instead of her being congenial about getting rid of it, she too is becoming nasty because she sees how it seems to be acceptable behavior around here. This place is an absolute shit show! Not sure if other places within this company are like this, but this is totally unacceptable for us to have to endure this chaos every moment of every hour we are on duty. We had so many ECalls over our shifts and 2 of our nice residents left in ambulances.


So many times through the past few months, we were so done, we looked for a trailer or RV where we could begin traveling again and working where things are lighter with not so many life or death moments. We can’t wait until we can afford the Class A we want, so we’re going to find a small trailer that our truck can pull safely and get some work and just begin enjoying life again. Well that didn’t work out according to our plan. We have excellent credit ratings, over $40,000 in available credit card charges, and our annual income is very close to 6 digits, but still we are being denied for a $30,000 loan of a great deal for our Class A…WTF! Life just seemed to be against us every week. Our managers continuously had us covering for them and explained it was all approved by the higher ups…NOT! It didn’t take us long, within a week to figure out that she was a train wreck, and don’t get me started on her totally crass and unprofessional husband.


We needed a jacuzzi bad, so we finally found an indoor pool with spa in Sierra Vista at the Hampton Inn.  Checkout time was noon and we got there shortly afterwards and Ashley at the front desk was gracious enough to put a rush order on our room. We were able to watch the NASCAR Pocono Race in the lobby while we waited, just happens to be the race we have tickets for that we were unable to be there in person, a sad day for sure. Once the room was ready we got our suits on and had a few hours of just us and a well jetted, warm spa and a refreshing pool. The room was just okay, had a few conveniences we enjoyed like a walk-in shower but the doors were old and falling apart. The bed was soft, springy, very uncomfortable and the top cover was grey and dingy. The chairs were uncomfortable but there were two ottomans to elevate our legs but the room was cramped.







Several weeks we stayed at Drury Inn, one located in Tempe, Arizona and the other in Happy Valley with jacuzzi and away from all the drama.










A night stay in Scottsdale at the Talking Stick was great. They gave us an upgrade to a high rise suite with room service included and we took full advantage.







One day we took a long drive to Cliff Castle Casino in Camp Verde, Arizona and we had the best of both worlds. The jacuzzi was perfect and we had fun playing the slots, and even made enough to pay for it all and more.








Another night we stayed at Desert Diamond in Tucson that actually ended up being our last getaway before all hell broke loose.





Every week gets worse than the other which we think is impossible, but again we are wrong. This was the toughest of all. Everyone was getting sick and calling off which left us holding it all. We were running out of energy and everyone kept wanting more, our Home Office was no help at all, so we finally had to just throw in the towel and tell them we had enough and they would have to send help. Instead, they coaxed the management team into coming in sick, spreading their germs to everyone which finally the building went into quarantine status. We were not happy about it since we care about our residents and it was not safe for them. We have decided we are done and even if we don’t find other work, we are giving our notice.


On our return to work again there were more surprises in store for us. Management was being transferred, again now leaving us holding the entire shit show by ourselves…OMG! This has been a nightmare!


We worked over 9 days of 24/7 shifts waiting for the new managers to arrive and it was the toughest time for us. Remind you, without ANY additional compensation, we were making under half of minimum wage. We were also interviewing and were finally going to settle for heading to Virginia for work. The company seemed great but, we weren’t thrilled about spending a winter in snow but we needed to get free from this shit show. 


Then as if the skies opened up, we got a call from out of the blue offering us exactly what we were looking for that we hadn’t even contacted but instead they found our resume.


We are going to run the Fun Times Café at Sun Vista RV Resort in Yuma, Arizona for the winter season. We will be serving up breakfast and lunches and a handful of Special Events. We will be staying in a 5th wheel that belongs to them within the resort, that is until we find our own trailer or motorhome. We are happy campers once again, we even rented a golf cart for the winter.







If it does not work out, we will roll with the punches and try to always smile and take the high roads even though inside we might struggle, we might hurt, we might cry, we might feel overwhelmed, we might scream, and we might have meltdowns. The difference is hardly anyone sees those moments because we almost always get over it quickly and don’t hold onto it for too long. We put on our big girl and boy panties, suck it up and move onward with a smile because we hold on to the thoughts that at any moment our dreams could happen and when they do, we don’t want to be at our pity party, or worse yet be down that black hole of despair and miss the opportunity to take us to our dream life. Yes, even though we are in our 60s and we have not reached the easy life, we still believe it can happen.