Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tortilla Flat, Arizona

Tortilla Flat is allegedly the nation's smallest recognized 'official' community with just six residents located east of Phoenix nestled in the midst of the Tonto National Forest in the Superstition Mountain Range. Tortilla Flat was established in 1889 and became a stage stop in 1904 on the historic Apache Trail surviving fires and floods through the years. We drove along the very scenic Apache Trail with our friends Bob and Wilma to get to Tortilla Flat.

Arriving in Tortilla Flat we first walked the boardwalk to first the gift shop that had the usual touristy stuff but some very unique items as well and then to the Superstition Saloon for lunch. Walking in we saw real saddles serving as bar stools and the unique wallpaper which is really dollar bills and other currency from visitors world wide. After eating there we have to say that the Superstition Saloon is the best place to eat in Tortilla Flat, maybe because it is the only place to eat in Tortilla Flat :-) We sampled a hot dog, chicken sandwich and a burrito and the food although good would not be worth the drive, you go on this drive for the scenery.

We drove a little past Tortilla Flat and when the pavement turned to gravel we decided to turn around since it was a little rough in a 1 ton pickup. This was also where Bob dropped our brand new camera. When you think Phoenix you may think desert but let us tell you there are hard rocks there also and of course the camera with the zoom lens extended hit just right on a very hard rock and will no longer retract. We sent the camera off to be repaired or replaced. The road to the Tonto National Monument was closed but one day we would like to drive up there and see the cliff dwellings, maybe after the road is open and we have our camera back.

If you are ever in the Phoenix area a visit to Tortilla Flat is highly recommended, just remember to not drop your camera :-(

Photos from this trip have been added to the set for our current location at

Till next time,

Bob and Jo 

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NOTE: See our photos from places we have visited at

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

La Piazza Al Forno in Glendale AZ

If you are going to the "Glendale Glitters" holiday light show extravaganza we highly recommend eating at the La Piazza Al Forno which is located right across the street from the event. We got there before sunset and was able to park close by and then walk to the restaurant and then to the "Glendale Glitters".

La Piazza Al Forno, or loosely translated, "Piazza's Oven" is a brick oven pizzeria and italian kitchen that serves great food. We have eaten there twice and from the Linguine and clam sauce to the baked spaghetti pie to the 4 cheese ravioli everything has been excellent. But they are best known for their pizzas so be sure and give one of them a try.

Fans of Diners, Drive-Inns and Dives will want to try this place as Guy was there in October 2008.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Nothing says Christmas quite like a Palm Tree!!

We went with our friends Bob and Wilma to the "Glendale Glitters" held each Christmas season in historic Downtown Glendale. The area comes to life with the addition of about 1.5 million multi-colored twinkling holiday lights located throughout a twelve-block area that includes the Old Towne and Catlin Court Districts. This has been voted Arizona's Best Hometown Holiday tradition and the lights shine brightly from 6 to 10 p.m. every night.

We got a new camera and took a lot of pictures of the Glendale Glitters so we put all the other photos are on If you ever get the chance to be in the area during the Christmas season we highly recommend the Glendale Glitters.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas!! (our 2nd Christmas full-timing)

Last year we were moving from place to place so we did indoor decorations only. We blogged on this previously which described and showed some of those decorations. Since we are more stationary this year we added an outdoor Christmas display. Nothing elaborate when you consider that we need to be able to store everything when next year rolls around and we need to put everything away but still enough to get us in the Christmas spirit.

We also increased our indoor decoration by adding our Christmas stockings that Bob dug out of storage, some battery powered votive candles and a lighted snowman.

We may kick it up a notch next year and buy a tree for the outside and decorate it and then donate the entire kit and kaboodle to charity.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night,

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Geminid meteor shower

The Geminid meteor shower is an annual mid-December rain of meteors that occurs when Earth passes through a stream of space rock debris. As these small rocks fly through the atmosphere, they burn up, creating shooting stars. We went to the deck above the park office and sat and watched shooting stars for awhile until our necks gave out. We are getting a new camera so hopefully for the next meteor shower we will have some pictures to post.

When we were kids we both were interested in stargazing. As we got older and life got more hectic we did less and less. Now that we are retired and living the dream we find that we are able to renew our passion for stargazing. From meteor showers to planets close to the earth and finding our old friends like The Big Dipper, The Little  Dipper, Pleiades and others. When we started full-timing we said we would be able to catch up with old friends but we did not realize they would also be of the celestial variety.

We are looking forward to the lunar eclipse on December 20th.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Friday, December 10, 2010

We finally get it!

Before we came to Arizona a couple of times and experienced a 'winter' here we just did not understand why people kept coming back year after year. There are people in this park that have been coming back for 20-30 years and we wondered why but now we get it. The 'winter' weather here is pretty much ideal and comparable to the best fall days back in our old stomping grounds of the Kansas City area. But unlike the good fall weather that maybe lasts 2-3 weeks in a good year the good 'winter' weather here lasts for 3-4 months. To us an ideal day is 70 degrees and sunny and overnight fall back to 50. Now imagine that every day for as long as you are here and that is what we are talking about. It is hard to believe it is 'winter' time with weather like this but we always have the news to show us snow and ice to remind us.

That is not to say that the occasional cold spell does not affect the area. In late November the high temperature was 57 here and it was warmer in Kansas City for example than here. But shortly thereafter we were in the 70's here and KC was in the 30's. And it can also be warmer than normal as we are currently dealing with above average temperatures of 80 degrees which for those that know us know that is almost too hot, we know we won't be getting any sympathy for that. Even though we are in the desert there can be an occasional shower but it doesn't last long and a quarter inch is a big accumulation. Most of the time we are dealing with 70 and sunny.

All this good weather has caused us to possibly rethink our winter strategy. When we started out we thought we wanted to see what Florida is like (yeah weren't they just in the 30's), the coast of Texas (didn't we freeze our asses off last year), the Rio Grande Valley of Texas and the Hill Country of Texas and the Palm Springs California area and other places. As we watch the weather we realize that the best weather is right here in Goodyear Arizona. We thought we might spend next winter in the Hill Country of Texas but now are leaning towards part time here in Arizona and part time in California since they are so close to each other.

One thing is for sure is that as full-timers we have no definite plans, we just try to go with the flow. We'll keep you posted.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cutest cat ever!

 We know that we will get flak from others owned by a cat but Sandra has to be the cutest cat ever. Here she is sleeping on Bob's laptop and on a chair. We have a ton of cat pictures which we will someday put on with our other photos. We also plan to have blog entries on full-timing with cats, a multi-part series on the challenges and fun of not one but three cats in an RV.

We got Sandra from Wayside Waifs Kansas City's largest no-kill animal shelter. We got JJ at the same time as Sandra and Tiger later on which we will discuss in future blog entries.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo