Wednesday, May 27, 2015


Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 64 Sunny High 96)

The last posting on our "Day Trip to the Florence Arizona Area" was our 700th blog posting. Our blog started out in January 2008 shortly after Bob retired first detailing our remodeling of our house and continued all through our 5 years and 8 months of living fulltime in our RV and traveling this great country of ours. Here is one of our favorite photos from our travels, this one from Yosemite National Park.

Almost 125,000 hits on a blog from 10 countries that we first started out to let friends and family know what we were up to. It grew as we met new friends in blogland into a history for us to relive our adventures long after we come off the road. Here is our map of states visited while full-timing. We plan to visit the east coast maybe next year.

Other interesting stats; Firefox is the most common browser at 42%. As expected Windows is by far the operating system of choice at 72% with Unix coming in at less than 1%. We use numerous mechanisms to communicate. We have 71 followers on blogspot, 32 subscribers to an email generated by blogspot when a posting is made, almost 100 Facebook friends, and  6 that get an update from our Yahoo Group. Certainly not a big time blog by any means but it amazes us how many pageviews and friends that get notices when we post.

Hope everybody is with us for the next 700 blog postings.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 64 Partly Sunny High 96)

We recently took a day trip to the Florence Arizona area. Our first stop was the Queen Creek Olive Mill in Queen Creek Arizona.

What started out as a warm getaway from the chilly Detroit winter for a couple in 1997 turned into an empire. While visiting they were surprised to see the number of olive trees in the area. Being of Italian descent and knowing the goodness of olive oil they decided to move to Queen Creek and started out with a few trees as a hobby selling the olive oil locally. That quickly caught on and they added more to the product line in their gift shop and a small cafe. They now supply the Valley and its surrounding cities with farm fresh, local food and of course Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the Queen Creek location and three retail stores across Arizona.

We started off with breakfast and it was really good food from their small cafe. 

Bob got the mushroom omelet and Jo got the peach waffles, sorry no pictures. We then bought some great olives from the gift shop. But we have to go back, the food was excellent and we need to try the homemade gelato and their other desserts looked yummy. We also want to do a tour but we had more things planned so we moved on. We then went to the Pork Shop, a local butcher shop for some excellent sausage that we blogged about earlier here

Then it was off to Florence for the Tom Mix Monument, the sight where Tom Mix was killed in a car wreck.

Then it was off to downtown Florence for a rare urban state park, McFarland State Park. We toured the visitor center and learned that POWs were held in the area.

We walked around downtown Florence, here is the tree planted in the movie "Murphy's Romance". 

A Catholic Church.

We then had some great homemade ice cream. Then it was off to the prison outlet store.

Prisoners create all the artwork and items in the outlet store by hand and some of it is amazing. 

The rest of the story about the prison outlet is that it self funded and employs nearly 2,000 inmates. They produce products for business, institutions, schools, and more in addition to the outlet store. This operation returned over $2 million dollars to Arizona's General Fund last fiscal year and contributed more than $195 million dollars to the Arizona economy. For inmates in the program the repeat offenses rate is reduced by over 30%. The money they earn is kept for them upon their release to help their transition back to society with a marketable skill. Amazing story, amazing products. We bought a roadrunner to place outside. Here is the metal roadrunner that we bought staked out under our grapefruit tree.

On the way back to the park we ate at Rudy's BBQ and Country Store for some incredible Texas brisket.

It was a great day trip. The weather has been cooler than normal here in the Valley of the Sun recently and we are not complaining. But the heat is on its way.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Friday, May 8, 2015


Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 56 Breezy Slight Chance of Rain High 72)

We are enjoying the cooler temperatures, high of only 72 today, at least for awhile. We have been sitting outside in the shade reading books from the library for the last few days.

Who knew that there was a museum dedicated to all kinds of musical instruments? Who knew that it was located in Phoenix? Finally, who knew it was an incredible museum? Well we knew that it was in Phoenix and we found out that it was great during a recent visit. There are so many musical instruments from around the world that it is hard to believe. Here are some examples:

At checkin you get wireless headphones that pick up the signal from the area that you are in sync'd with the video that you can watch at the displays. Make sure that you do this, this is really neat. The museum is subdivided a few ways. The main divisions are by place of origin. There are other areas dedicated to artists.

A couple of things stood out for us. First was the very first Steinway piano ever made on display. Who knew that a piano made in Steinway's kitchen would be the start of that great company.

But the most amazing was what they called trash instruments, instruments made from the trash from a massive landfill in Cateura, Paraguay. Visionary music teacher Favio Chavez gathered a small team to plunder the landfill for usable materials and create an ensemble of "recycled" instrument. For example a cello was made from oilcans, scraps of wood, an old spatula and pieces of a meat grinders. Watching the video how they made the instruments and then hearing them play just sent shivers up and down our spines.

This is an incredible museum and should be on everybody's list. Visit the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Tuesday, May 5, 2015


Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 58 Partly Cloudy High 85) 

With the temperatures hovering near 100 recently we decided it was time for an indoor activity so we went and saw "Avengers: Age of Ultron". 

As we have mentioned before we are big fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Funny thing is that when Bob was growing up he preferred and read more DC than Marvel Comics. But we feel that the Marvel movies are much better than the DC movies.

"Time to call in the Avengers" spoken by Coulson in the television series "Marvel's Agents of Shield" really kick-started our enthusiasm for this movie. We really like the tie in to the TV series to the movie. Ultron is a artificial intelligence robot created by Tony Stark to act as a peacekeeping force. As Ultron matures, voiced by the terrific James Spader, he feels that if mankind were eliminated entirely and there was only Ultron there would be peace. So as Coulson says time to call in the Avengers.

Stark's Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Director Fury, Hawkeye and Black Widow are back joined by some newcomers to the Avengers. An action packed couple of hours that was good fun. We especially liked the Hulkbuster Armour versus the Hulk scene, among many others. A great addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe but in our opinion not as good as our two favorites, Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy.

There is a short 'bonus' feature about 2 minutes into the credits but nothing at the end of the credits as is usual for Marvel Movies. There is a Stan Lee cameo which was funny.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Saturday, May 2, 2015


Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 65 Sunny and Hot High 96) 

We had our first 100 degree day yesterday this trip in the Valley of the Sun, officially 101 in Phoenix. During our winters here we have had one other 100 degree day and that was when we stayed until mid-April one trip.

This certainly won't be our last one as we will be here until at least late August. Jo has a multi-step treatment plan for the problems with her neck. After that we plan to leave the heat and by then the monsoon season when the rains come and the humidity rises. When we are back here for the winter the pain center will start on her lower back.

We did have some good news when we got back late afternoon yesterday. Without any awnings and in the direct sunlight it was 75 degrees inside while our outside temperature was 100. Now both air conditioners were running all the time but it was comfortable inside. We plan to add some reflective material on the inside of a few windows to help. 

It's HOT!!

Till next time,

Bob and Jo