Friday, December 30, 2016


Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 50 Clouds Giving Away to Sun High 71) 

Blogging for us is hit or miss. When we are hitting on all cylinders traveling across the country we have a lot to blog about, sometimes more than one per day. We then try to remember those when we are in our winter place where we don't do much blogging. Here is one of our 'Catching Up' entries.

Long time readers know that we really like touring old churches. Recent readers will remember that we blogged about the Riordan Mansion and the Riordan family support for the building of the 'Church of the Nativity'. We even teased that we had toured the church and that a blog entry would follow. Well, here it is!

Built of native volcanic rock in 1929 this impressive Gothic Church sits in downtown Flagstaff. It is now named the 'Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Chapel' with the parish relocated to another church. The only regular services that we could find that are held in this church are the Greek Orthodox which just finished a service before we took these pictures of the inside. 

The Roman Catholic parish uses the church for weddings and funerals. Here are photos from the interior showing both the Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic influences.

The gargoyles on the outside of the church are in need of repair and here are the workman.

An outdoor exhibit in honor of the unborn.

Another great church.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Tuesday, December 27, 2016


Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 36 Mostly Sunny High 69) 

As we have mentioned before the only medical insurance Bob can get in 2017 is an HMO based in Texas. Since he has to establish himself with his new doctors we are leaving Arizona mid-January and heading to Kerrville Texas.

We will be camping at the Kerrville-Schreiner Park.

We "hope" to establish everything medically in time to be able to come back to Goodyear for a time in March so that we can keep our plans for at least April to October of 2017.

We always remember a few sayings when it comes to planning:
- Man plans, God laughs
- Our plans are in jello
- We have no definite plans

We also have mapped out our 2017 in case we have to stay in Kerrville. We shall see what happens, when it happens.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Sunday, December 25, 2016


Currently in Goodyear AZ  (Low 39 Mostly Sunny and Cool High 55)

Merry Christmas!!

The following is note that we sent along with our Christmas cards this year.

We had a great year, we call it the ‘family, friends, bucket list, and backroads tour’. Jo’s neck and back pain are always with us but she did get some relief from the nerve cauterization and the neurostimulator implant. She just said she was going to live her life and enjoy this great country. We have blogged ( throughout the year and following our blog is the best way to keep up on us. Our photos of all the places we have visited since we began fulltiming is at Here is a brief summary of what has happened in our lives over the last year, both planned and unplanned.

We spent last Christmas at Saddle Mountain RV Park in Tonopah Arizona and then moved to our normal winter spot in Goodyear Arizona. 

When we left Goodyear our first stop was in Congress Arizona to get our RV weighed at the Escapees SmartWeigh station. We got good news that we were underweight, well at least our RV is, and that we just had to move things around a little. We then dodged the weather, mostly high winds but some thunderstorms, on our way to the Kansas City area. We spent a month in the Kansas City area and it was filled with visiting friends and family and eating at some of our favorite places.

This is where the family part of the tour really kicked in. We went to Iowa and then to Illinois where we met aunts, cousins, an uncle, and nephew. The unplanned nature of living fulltime in an RV reared its ugly head first in Illinois when a lawnmower threw a rock into our RV door. This caused a delay which meant we didn’t get to visit an item on our bucket list, Sleeping Bear Dunes in Michigan. We were able to visit Sault Ste. Marie Michigan (The Soo) and camp along the St. Mary River watching the big ships heading to and from the locks which was a bucket list item. 

After The Soo we visited the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum on Whitefish Point which was also on our bucket list for its exhibit on the Edmund Fitzgerald.

You knew that if we were on the Upper Peninsula that we would try to visit Houghton and one of our favorite RV parks, the City of Houghton RV Park. We were able to stay there 6 weeks and decompress from our whirlwind travels, a vacation of sorts. After Houghton we were able to get a sliding cargo tray for the basement storage area that Bob has wanted ever since we got the Lifestyle. Then it was off to Minnesota where Bob met an old college buddy then on down to Iowa for more friends and family (Bob’s sisters and niece). During our visits in Iowa Bob’s sister was able to join us camping at a few spots and some other friends that also camp a lot also joined us for a weekend. It was a great time. Missouri was next and we saw friends and family again. Leaving Missouri we were on our way to another bucket list item, the International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque. 

Along the way we had our first major problem with the truck causing us to stop in Oklahoma City. Luckily all was needed was reprogramming of the control module, one of the cheaper alternatives it could have been. In Amarillo we had another truck issue, the emergency brake failed the safety inspection. It took multiple visits to multiple Ford dealerships to get this repaired, along with finding other items that needed to be repaired.

We finally got the truck repaired and made it to Albuquerque for the Balloon Fiesta. Our good friends TC and Linda offered their 30a hookup and the street to park (what is called moochdocking) just a few minutes from the ballon park. Not only a place to park close by but they also recorded the Chiefs game and we watched that after parking and then they fed us supper. Camp TC was very hospitable. Then it was off to the Balloon Fiesta. We had a RV site that sat above the launch field so we could take our chairs and watch all the activity. It was something to see 550 balloons ascend to the skies in a short period of time. 

Unfortunately another unplanned item was also happening. Our kitchen slideout was acting up but we could not get it looked at in Albuquerque until for a month or so. We decided we could cancel some plans and hot foot it to Goodyear getting there before all the snowbirds and get it repaired there by a good mobile service company we know. That worked out great as we had the slideout repaired long before it would have even been looked at in Albuquerque.

As we mentioned before this was the year of backroads. We usually travel interstates while towing and then sightsee in the truck. This year we traveled more backroads; Highway US54 in NM, TX, OK and KS. The neat thing about US54 is that we were in those 4 states in one trip. We took US71 in Missouri to Iowa and then US30 across Iowa. Of course all the highways in the Upper Peninsula are backroads as the only interstate is from the Lower Peninsula to Sault Ste. Marie. Interstates are nice but it is nice to get off them and experience small town America on the backroads.

We jammed a lifetime of vacations into this year but there is still so much more to see and do. Next year we plan on heading again to the Great Lakes area for the summer then then hit the Midwest in the fall on the way back to Denver for Bob’s Beryllium testing. After Denver it is off to Texas in the winter. We will miss our friends in Goodyear next winter and we hated to leave in January due to health insurance coverage for Bob. We have loved being here and appreciate the friendships we have enjoyed for so many years
We hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

See you on the road sometime!!

Bob and Jo

Friday, December 23, 2016


Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 56 Sunny Clouds and Sunshine High 64) 

We recently saw "Collateral Beauty" starring a star studded cast lead by Will Smith and Helen Mirren.

"Collateral Beauty" deals with the unimaginable tragedy of a loss of a child and how that affect Will Smith's character and those around him. In a serious funk he writes letters to Love, Death and Time, his three Whys in life from his advertising business. He is shocked when Death, played by Helen Mirren, shows up and talks to him. This is followed by Time and Love.

The great cast helps carry the movie through some noticeable slow periods and some very sad periods. The acting is great and we give this movie a cautious recommendation since it may not be for everyone.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Monday, December 19, 2016


Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 50 Mostly Sunny High 71) 

We were recently with our friends Bob and Wilma shopping at "The Pork Shop" in Queen Creek Arizona when our Bob saw "side pork". There was a sign warning that this is "Fresh Side" and that it is not bacon. "Side pork" is actually from the side of the pig above the belly but it is not cured. Bob remembers growing up eating side pork so he had to get a package. Here is what it looks like.

Bob didn't remember exactly how to cook it so he called his older sister who told him that Mom cooked it slowly covered with a little water to cook it first and then take the lid off and fry it after seasoning with seasoned salt. 

For the first time cooking it by himself Bob felt that it was a pretty good job, some got a little tough but some were cooked pretty good. He cooked up about half of it and will try again.

The second time was much better as Bob added a little more water and cooked it at a little lower temperature. Bob wanted to use this method so he could fix gravy and use the leftover grease as flavoring. Gravy fixed this way is amazing.

Can you see biscuits and gravy in our future?

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Saturday, December 17, 2016


Currently in Location (Low 44 Sunny and Cooler High 60) 

We are certain that our cat Sandra will be embarrassed when this is published but we couldn't resist. Bob had finished giving the cats the last of a bag a cat treats and placed the bag in an empty 12 pack to take to the trash. Sandra either saw Bob put it there or sniffed it out. Here is JJ offering support for Sandra's digging efforts.

Pretty soon there was success.

Bob feels bad but he had to take a photo before taking the bag off. When he did he didn't feel too bad as the bag was licked clean. Only when it was clean did Sandra want the bag off.

We will leave with this photo, our cats are rarely in the same frame and rarely this close together. They were bonded together by a closed bedroom door which drives them crazy.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Friday, December 9, 2016


Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 42 Pleasant with Clouds and Sun High 69) 

Still catching up on our summer travels, this covers our stay at Kritter's North Country Campground near Newberry Michigan. Our GPS devices brought us right to the park and that's when the fun really began. Bob forgot that the campgrounds were limited in the area and chose a good line of sight for our roof mounted satellite instead of a sewer hookup. He forgot it during checkin which made it a little awkward. When he later checked his notes he realized his mistake and apologized.

The interior roads were narrow and there was a sign in a spot it shouldn't be, let's just put it that way (that's his story and he is sticking to it). Bob swung the Lifestyle to make the turn and unfortunately scraped the side. The good news is that nobody died in this adventure and with a lot of elbow grease and MacGuier streak remover the scrape is barely noticeable. The sad news is that Bob saw the narrow road and tight turn and didn't ask Jo to get out and help him. Bob needs to get better at that as we journey down the road.

The narrow roads are gravel and the sites are grass which made it interesting when we got rain a couple of the days during our stay. The hookups were convenient. The Verizon 3g/4g was mostly 3g and the cellphone signal was 1 tower at best. Luckily the free WiFi provided by the park was fair but at least better than Verizon 3g.

Since we were able to see  and blog about Tahquamenon Falls here and the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum here and here we have no need to visit this area again so doubt we will ever visit this park again so we did not take our usual campgruond pictures. We'll leave you with a picture of the falls and of the Shipwreck Museum.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, December 1, 2016


Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 35 Sunny to Partly Cloudy High 62) 

The nice thing about the neurostimulator implant that Jo had for her back pain is that it is permanent. As the healing process went on the neurostimulator had to be adjusted and as time goes on periodic adjustments are needed. For her neck pain Jo had Radio Frequency Ablation (RFA) in 2015 which cauterizes the nerves but is not permanent. Typically RFA results are good for about a year and she has been 18 months since the RFA on her left side. Jo says it feels like they are alternatively driving a stake and then a red hot poker as they cauterize the nerves. Here is a photo from the web showing the 4 leads that they use.

Jo had the RFA on her left side in November and will have one on her right side later this month.

We'll keep you posted.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Saturday, November 26, 2016


Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 50 Nice with Variable Clouds High 75) 

We are on a quest to find the perfect bed. When we got the Cameo it was a very cheap mattress which we replaced fairly quickly with a Tempurpedic. This was not ideal since when it got cold it got fairly rigid making it difficult to change positions. We like to sleep in a cool environment so the quest continued.

When we got the Lifestyle it had a fairly highly rated Black Label mattress. This did not work for Jo's back so we thought a memory foam pad might work thinking since there was less memory foam than the Tempurpedic that it might work out but we had the same problems. So the quest continued.

We did some research and talked with friends and decided to get a Sleep Number king bed, the R5, specifically adapted for RVs. UPS delivered it yesterday and we began the setup. At first we were very confused. The air chambers had a sticker that said California King and the foam layer had a sticker that said Eastern King. Since these are three different sizes (King, California King and Eastern King) Bob called Sleep Number. Turns out they don't have labels specifically for the R5 so the labeling system kicks out the closest name to the size of the piece. Here is where it gets real strange. Although the label said California King for instance, the barcode was for the air chambers for the R5. Luckily they packed the correct barcoded items and we were good to go for setup.

Here is our new Sleep Number bed with the air chambers filling up for the first time.

After the air chambers filled up we added the foam layer and the cover and we were good to go.

Now what to do with the old mattress and pad until we can get them picked up for donation next week, very challenging in an RV. We did not want to put them outside since there is a threat of rain over the weekend. We placed the mattress in the main living area and leaned it up against the island. Wasn't too long and we had our first ascent to the top. Here is Sandra, queen of the world.

Sandra really enjoyed herself running back and forth, so much we were worried she might fall off.

JJ also had to get into the act.

We cannot wait until the truck comes next week. 

Our review after 1 night is fairly positive. We think we had less back pain and changing positions was a lot easier than with the old memory foam pad. It will take us awhile to get used to it though. One added bonus is that the Sleep Number R5 is lighter than the old mattress/pad combo. The lifters on the bed would not hold the mattress/pad combo up and Bob was contemplating buying better ones. The lifters work just fine on the new mattress.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Saturday, November 19, 2016


Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 53 Mostly Sunny and Comfortable High 81) 

We have the best in TV watching, a roof mounted automatic satellite dish from Winegard for high definition DirecTV.  

Plus we have the Genie DVR that we can record 5 shows at once and a Genie client in the bedroom. The challenging part is making sure you have a good line of sight for the best reception. Calling the parks can be part of the challenge. Some parks have a good idea but others do not. We think it should be a requirement if answering the phones that you should at least visit the park once in awhile and know if a particular site has trees or not.

After a few close calls early on we started using Google Earth and that made it better. Traveling across the country can change where the dish is pointed so we needed something better. We are currently using showing here for our park in Goodyear Arizona. The green line shows the line of sight from dish to satellite.

You can switch from map to satellite and check for trees.

You can move the pointer to your actual RV site and zoom in.

Although the line of sight does show some trees we are high enough on the roof to still get a good signal.  If we are heading to a new park to us and we see a lot of trees we use Google Earth and then rotate the image to see the line of sight from the ground. This does not always work since the satellite image may be old and the trees may be taller. We therefore need an aid to help us once we get to the site. We got an app for our smartphone called "satfinder".

Using "satfinder" you can get a sky view and center the circle for the satellite on screen target.

That way you can see if there are trees in the way. In the bright sun this sometimes is hard to see so in these cases the app also has a compass mode using the smartphone getting the direction once the compass reading goes green.

As you can tell we like our television watching.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, November 17, 2016


Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 50 Sunny and not as Warm High 72) 

We still have a few blog entries from our travels this summer so we are catching up on a campground review of Aune-Osborn Campground in Sault Ste. Marie Michigan. 

Location, Location, Location, this campground has this going for it. It is located right on the St. Mary's River which is border between the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and Canada.

Our GPS devices got us right to the park. The interior park roads are asphalt and easily navigable. The sites are a mixture of gravel and grass. There is a lot of spacing between sites. We had a great line of sight for our roof mounted satellite dish. While the electric hookup was convenient and 50amp instead of the 30amp as shown on the website map the rest of the hookups were a challenge. We shared a city water hookup with the site next to us so we need 50' of hose to get connected. As for a sewer hookup, there was none.

Here is the Lifestyle from the front with a view of the river

To the right

To the left

From the rear

Since we are on the river here is a couple of additional photos. The campsite to the right on the river towards the Soo Locks.

Campsite to the left away from the Soo Locks.

We would stay here again. We were able to survive an entire week without a sewer hookup, our longest ever, the location more than makes up for the slight inconvenience.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Monday, November 14, 2016


Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 52 Sunny and Very Warm High 86) 

On the way back from Sunday night Mass we saw the 'SuperMoon'. None of our cameras did a very good job.

That may have been super but what Bob is facing in 2017 is not super. 

He is facing a 62 percent increase plus there are no nationwide plans available, only HMO plans based in Texas. With that in mind we decided we needed to move from our usual winter place in Goodyear Arizona to Texas and establish doctors. We don't know exactly when we will be leaving but it will be mid January at the earliest after we complete all of our checkins with our doctors here. Then we will have to establish new doctors in Texas.

At least that was our plan until we got an email from the RVer Insurance Exchange telling all to not make insurance decisions until December. Apparently there are plans in work to change the 2017 insurance offerings since we have a new President-elect. We are a little skeptical since Inauguration Day is not until January 20th. The last day you can enroll is December 15th so we will probably make a decision around December 10th.

We'll keep you posted.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Friday, November 11, 2016


Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 55 Plenty of Sunshine High 82) 

We are the home of the free, because of the brave.

Both of our fathers served in WWII in the Navy. We have numerous relatives and friends that have served and we'd like to thank them all, and all that have served. We apologize that we haven't done it every day.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, November 10, 2016


Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 53 Plenty of Sunshine High 82) 

We recently saw the recent addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, 'Doctor Strange'.

Starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Steven Strange, a brilliant but arrogant surgeon who gets injured in a car crash. Unable to perform surgeries anymore Doctor Strange starts looking for nontraditional therapies. He tries a mystic approach near Katmandu that leads him into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

He is told the Avengers protect against physical dangers and the group that he found protects against the mystical dangers. Of course you knew there had to be a mystical danger to be confronted in this movie :-)

A mystic master goes rogue and wants to connect with another universe in the mystical multi-verse. Doctor Strange leads the effort to stop him. The special effects were amazing, this is a great action movie. The extra material after the credits showed Dr. Strange being part of the future Avenger movies and a movie of his own. It is a great time to be a fan of comic book characters being made into movies, especially on the Marvel side. 

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Tuesday, November 8, 2016


Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 55 Sunshine and Patchy Clouds High 91) 

Everybody knows JJ, here as an Olympic Judge

In his den

As a blogger

But what you did not know, and neither did we, that JJ had a twin sister. Bob is walking by the front door and about has a heart attack when he sees JJ on the steps looking in. At least JJ at first glance when he started opening the door and then he started having some doubts and started closing the door. Jo comes down the steps and says to "open the door for JJ, why are you closing it?". Only when we got a good look did we realize it was another cat and not JJ.

They sure do look alike don't they? Now we get worried about a friendly cat wandering around especially with coyotes in the area. We are sitting outside talking to a neighbor and he looks at our front door and sees JJ looking out and asks why his cat is indoors. Then he realizes it is JJ and not Ginger his cat. Still worried about a cat running loose but at least she has owners who feed her. They would like to keep her inside but she has figured out how to open the door and get out.

We have good news on Jo's ballot, they finally found the priority mail envelope and it arrived at the clerk's office yesterday afternoon. So now we know she voted too.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo