Archive for category RV Parks

Marathon Drive and Secrets

Stunning day poolside at Fiesta Grande RV Resort

Stunning day poolside at Fiesta Grande RV Resort

After eight days of travel experiencing some of our countries worst major highways (thank you Louisiana) in a Class C motorhome, our road weary bodies have landed in the world of secrets.

Driving a Class C motorhome over potholes, through construction zones and wind tunnels can be compared to driving around in a tin can of marbles. The noise level and bruit strength it takes to maneuver “Ms. Piggy” almost 2000 miles in eight days is enough to beat the crap out of a person. We. Are. Tired.

As we pulled in to our RV park excited to just sit still for the next 5 days we remembered that we had no groceries left nor toad to get us to the store. So we made a U-turn out of the park and headed for the nearest Walmart…pouting, short tempered and spent.

Oh to just stop moving!

We finally pulled into the Fiesta Grande RV Resort in Casa Grande Arizona, a very large 55+ community of park model homes and RV’s. We evidently arrived at happy hour as neighbors congregated under carports at every turn. We didn’t realize that it was “Thirsty Thursday”. Our timing was impeccable!

We met many nice folks from all over North America who flock to the great southwest for winter.

After a good nights sleep we showed up the next morning at the pickle ball courts ready to kick some retirement community butt. But with 30 or more “retirees” on 3 courts who spend 2 hours a day playing this addictive sport we were handed our rears in a hurry…thank you very much!

These men and women were fierce and feisty with lots of friendly banter and encouragement, just enough to keep things fun.

The three new courts are a first for Fiesta Grande, just installed in November to the pride of the community. But they have quickly realized that more courts are needed, as Pickle Ball is the fastest growing sport in the country. We were told that another RV Resort down the road has 28 courts in their community. That’s a lot of pickles!

After being humiliated on the courts and a two-hour nap we sat on our patio watching the beehive of activity that is all around us. People are out and about on bikes, scooters and foot either going to or from some planned community activity or event that is available on a daily basis. Computer classes, tai chi, variety shows, potlucks by state, shuffle board, card games, wood shop. There was something going on for everyone.

Sun City AZ

Activities for everyone

The next day after 2 hours of pickle ball, we headed to the pool to cool off and were quickly invited to play water volleyball. And after 2 more hours of humiliation we shook it off with a nice soak in the hot tub with our volley-mates.

The mix of guys were from New York, Michigan, Canada, Seattle, Idaho and Oregon all talking about the snowy cold temperatures back home with huge grins on their faces. They had no sympathy for the sorry suckers back home who were shoveling their driveways right about now.

These guys were pranksters, calling passing folks “tourists”, and in general very happy giddy people. I couldn’t help but feel as if they had a secret amongst themselves. As if they had found the fountain of youth or the true meaning of retirement that so many others don’t find or stopped looking for.

Reality is, they have found THEIR fountain of youth, their meaningful retirement. It’s a youthful exuberance for life that is filled with activity, comradery and relationships in a delightful setting of 70-80 degree winter temps. What’s not to love about that!

Casa Grande AZ

The secret to a happy life!

We regretfully have to move on to our final destination, The Good Sams Rally in Phoenix. Casa Grande has left a lasting impression in my heart as the land of secrets where the fountain of youth has been found. I can only hope that Jeff and I will carry a piece of our learnings with us into our own meaningful retirement.

See you around the bend!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Back to the land of trees

Arkansas

Home Sweet Home..briefly

We made our way back to Arkansas for a quick stop over. After mid west temps in the teens we are giddy with the idea of finishing our winter in sun kissed Florida and the desert bliss of Arizona. Despite a week of cold temps this has been one of most enjoyable winters ever!

KOA Tucson AZ

Lazydays KOA, Tucson AZ

Our fast track from Quartzsite to Arkansas was a trip back to the land of trees with market stops (part of the job) at KOA’s along the way. Jeff and I are partial to wide open spaces and prefer camping in boondock obscurity. But when we are on a mission to get to one destination to another in lightening speed (over 2000 miles in 5 days) we usually do quick overnights at KOA’s.

KOA has had a bad wrap for a lot of years due to run down, cramped accommodations. Yet the organization is making a valiant effort to improve their image/brand. They have a ways to go, but two of our four stops were impressive enough to see that the brand renewal is gaining some traction.

Our first stop was the Tucson/Lazydays KOA. What a fabulous RV park! Clean spacious sites, an event center, pool & spa and sparkling laundry room. And even more thrilling was that Airstream was having their AlumaFiesta onsite while we were there.

A couple hundred shiny bullets both new & vintage were a sight to behold. And since Lazydays RV  had their ribbon cutting of their new Airstream showroom and gift shop, shopping for key chains, coffee mugs and 2015 models fresh off the runway were available for purchase.

Airstreamers are a loyal bunch. We were surprised by the number of folks who trade up or down frequently all the while never straying from their beloved brand.

I have to confess that we have heard from non-airstreamers that Airstream owners are clickish and a particular engineer type (don’t shoot the messenger…my dad was an engineer), but our experience in the desert of Borego Springs and at this event proved that they couldn’t be a more welcoming and warm bunch…just like the rest of us RV’ers.
And after invitations to tour several feet of sparkle and shimmer, we are finding ourselves drawn to the quality and modern design of Airstream. Could there be a silver bullet in our future? You will just have to wait and see. Who doesn’t like a little sparkle? 😉
We rolled down the road to KOA’s in Lordsburg, NM, then to Abilene,Tx where the accommodations were of the typical old school setup. Abilene being the nicer of the two. Then again, we drove 10 hours that day. A moldy foam cushion under a bridge would have sounded heavenly!
KOA Durant OK

Choctaw RV Park, Durant OK

Our last stop was in Durant, Oklahoma at the Choctaw Casino/KOA about 1 1/2 hour north of Dallas.  This KOA is owned by the Choctaw Indian Reservation with an associated Casino. It’s a newer campground with event center, pool, laundry AND the most beautiful bathrooms/shower facility we have ever seen. Charlie and his wife manage the place as if it were their own. They know their business and pride themselves on cleanliness and upkeep. The grounds are laid out around a pond with each site being nicely spaced, level, paved with a bit of separation by hedges on each site. They even have round covered picnic tables for each RV.

It’s hard to imagine that Durant OK would be a destination in such a small town, but with the Casino offering free shuttle pick up right from your site and big buffets we could see this place being a nice weekend get-a-way or for stay-cations.
As I type this I am flying to Tampa where I will meet up with Jeff for a sales conference before picking up a Class C show vehicle. We are transporting “Ms. Piggy” to Phoenix for the Good Sams Rally in two weeks and then to Tucson for the Escapees Escapade in March. If you are in the area stop by and look us up! We love to meet you and hear your RV story.

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Trailer Trash Meets the Spa

Sams Family Spa & RV Resort

Sams Family Spa & RV Resort

We have been hanging out in Desert Hot Springs, CA at the Sam’s Family Spa Hot Water Resort. Sounds pretty fancy. But the reality is it’s an “older” RV and mobile home park…with hot spring pools.

We came here to visit our full time RV superheros, Wheelingit and Technomadia, who have a steaming spa induced gravitational pull to this area about this time every year. And now that we have experienced this place for ourselves, we may find ourselves doing the same.

Sam’s Family Spa Hot Water Resort was built in 1971 on over 50 acres with underground hot mineral water springs. The therapeutic pools are naturally heated by hot mineral water pumped from three underground wells, which are constantly flowing through the pools.

Hot springs spas...yes please!

Hot springs spas…yes please!

It is a pricy place, but the $50/night camping fee includes endless use of the outdoor hot spring fed spas, large heated outdoor swimming pool, steam room and sauna. And if you stay 6 nights you get the 7th night free, stay a month and it is $525 plus electricity. Everything is a bit tired here, but the super nice staff, the spotless grounds AND the spas more than make up for it.

It is an ideal location for everyplace that either starts or ends with a Spring, Palm or Dessert all with the backdrop of snow topped Santa Rosa and San Jacinto mountains.

Outstanding view

Palm trees and snow capped mountains…oh my!

Our intent was to stay for two nights, collect our mail from the Post Office and move on. But the two-day delivery turned into seven and it was necessary to soak in the hot springs wait for things to arrive. Hey, you do what ya gotta do!

There are tons of things to do and see here. There is endless hiking just outside the resort and Joshua Tree National Park is just around the corner. You can also take a tram to an alpine forest, do a driving tour of celebrity homes in Palm Springs and ATV to your hearts content.

Thousand Palms, Joshua Tree National Park

Thousand Palms, Joshua Tree National Park

Located within Joshua Tree is Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve. This preserve is a little grove of palms, an oasis, in the middle of the desert that is watered by underground springs and shallow ponds. We walked the trails through the ancient palms smack dab on the San Andreas Fault. It was a sight to behold and free to boot!

We’ve met some interesting and wonderful people here in our short 7 day stay.

Our first night in the spas we met a very intoxicated Californian who had a habit of asking very philosophical questions unrelated to any other conversation happening at the time. And just as anyone would begin to answer he would submerge himself underwater for about a minute. We all wished he would stay under so we could have a normal conversation.

Giant Palms

Giant Palms

We met John and his wife emigrated from Romania during the height of Jewish persecution. He plays hymns on his saxophone every morning outside under the pavilion as praise to God in gratitude. They sent us off with a wonderful prayer from Numbers 6:24-26.

We also met Dave, a recently retired commercial photographer. He and his wife just sold everything in Pennsylvania 3 months ago and bought a Class A motorhome, their first RV ever. They are at the tail end of a cross country journey to see their kids on the West coast for Christmas. He is still learning how to maneuver 40’ of home into small RV spots and admits he still doesn’t know how to work half the buttons in it.

Well, we have stocked up at Walmart and are heading to Borrego Springs next, a winter hotspot for boondockers from Canada and the US.

Until next time…go out and play!

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