Monday, October 31, 2016


Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 62 Partly Sunny High 86) 

Richard Brown, this one is for you :-)

Happy Halloween!

Although we were at this park in 2015 we don't remember the extent of the Halloween decorating going on that we see this year. It starts with the new stuff put in by the new owners.

It continues throughout the park as a lot of folks have the Halloween spirit. 

This is neat to look at but we hope it doesn't mean we'll have a lot of kids expecting free stuff just because they dressed up :-)

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Saturday, October 29, 2016


Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 65 Sunny and Very Warm High 93) 

When the mobile service tech in Albuquerque diagnosed the slideout problem he was afraid that there was something structurally wrong that would require ordering parts. Because of that he was unwilling to work on it in the field. Our timing was also bad since the Balloon Fiesta had just ended and all the dealers and repair places in Albuquerque were booked and the earliest we could get it looked at was late October or early November. That was when we decided to forego most of our fall plans and head to Goodyear. We called ahead for an appointment the day after we arrived.

On the heaviest slide that we have, the kitchen slide, the operation is that the top of the slide hits first. As the bottom is pushed in it lifts the slide inside the coach off of the floor. There is a piece of trim screwed to each side of the main box of the slide with a bracket that must remain stationary for this to work.

Steve from KISS RV came out and did a thorough job of troubleshooting the problem. At first he also thought it was structural, probably a busted weld. He checked the rollers and they were OK. He then checked the assembly underneath and no busted welds. Once he got to the bracket he found multiple problems. Lifestyle RV used screws that were too short, some screws were broken off and some were missing and there could have been more. Plus the locking set screw to stop the slideout was not locked. Over time the screws gave way and bent the trim back at the top while bottom of the slide wasn't flush. Luckily this problem was caught and fixed before we damaged the floor.

Steve started the repair but ran out of the longer screws so he had to come back yesterday for a second visit. We wish that we had taken photos to show the difference but suffice to say it is much better now. Here is the side of the slide showing the trim and bracket.

Here is the slideout fully extended.

Thanks to KISS RV and Steve we got this fixed without having to take the RV into the shop. Plus it was much cheaper than we were worried it would be. Finally, it was done before we would have been able to take it into the dealer in Albuquerque. Needless to say we are very glad that we came to Goodyear to get our slideout repaired. If you are ever in the Phoenix area and need service we highly recommend KISS RV.

We cannot believe how hot it has been, the BWE (Baskerville Weather Effect) is in full effect with temperatures 10 degrees above normal. In fact this is one of the hottest Octobers on record. We are in the midst of 25 days in a row 90 degrees or hotter. The day before yesterday was 100 which also set a record for the latest 100 day in the year, BWE rears it head again. Even though it is hotter than normal we are happy to be at our winter digs, especially with the worry of the slideout behind us.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Wednesday, October 26, 2016


Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 68 Mostly Sunny and Hot High 95) 

With temperatures in the mid 90s we had a flashback to when we were desert rats and spent the summer here and that was not a pleasant thought. With temperatures that high we felt it was a good time to checkout the new Harkins Theater near us. Here is a picture taken from McDowell Road on the way to the Estrella Falls Harkins Theater.

We dusted off our popcorn shirts and cleaned our commemorative refill cups and saw "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back".

We've said this before that at first we questioned the casting of Tom Cruise (5'6") playing Jack Reacher (6'5"). He is such a great actor you quickly forget about the size difference. Based on the Lee Child "Never Go Back" book this movie is action packed, well written and well directed. Casting Cobie Smulders from the Marvel movies as Major Turner was brilliant. Lee Child had a Stan Lee like cameo. It is a great movie.

We also liked the new theater and will be attending many more movies during our stay.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Monday, October 24, 2016


Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 66 Some Sun Then Clouds High 92) 

We have been coming to Destiny Phoenix West in Goodyear Arizona since our first visit in February 2010.

Truth be told it was getting a little rundown over the years and it needed some sprucing up. Enter the new owners who purchased earlier this year. They finished the paving project that was started by the previous owners including a lot of the sites that were not occupied, but they did not stop there. They added a pickleball court.

Exercise equipment

A putting green

They spruced up the office/convenience store area and added new flags and items throughout the park. Seems like we are visiting a brand new park, one that we like a lot.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Friday, October 21, 2016


Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 69 Sunny High 96) 

On the way to our park this trip we took the Arizona 303 Loop from I-17 to I-10. They have been working on the 303 Loop for a long time. The last time we drove it there was a few spots that weren't done. This trip it is all done, started out as a 2 lane road near I-17 and then a three lane road. Here is a photo closer to I-17.

Here is a map showing the 303 and the rest of the major roads in the greater Phoenix area.

As mentioned before they have been working on it for a long time and are still working on it. Don't know if they have plans for it but a ramp is needed at the I-17 intersection, right now it is a stoplight. At I-10 they are working at that intersection. Here is a photo showing the work as we approached I-10.

The long range plan is to extend the 303 Loop south then loop east and intersect with I-17 again. To do that they not only need to get the I-10 intersection but also the main east west road we use to get to the park, Van Buren. Here is the working being done diverting Van Buren for the time being around an overpass.

Progress is like everything else in life, a trade off. We liked the convenience and much lesser traffic of the 303 Loop on our drive here. But we know we are not going to like the increased traffic and building up of the area now that the 303 Loop is moving along. 

For those coming to Destiny this winter the 303 Loop is an excellent choice.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 64 Plenty of Sun High 92) 

We left Meteor Crater RV Park near Winslow Arizona yesterday and headed to Goodyear Arizona. Our destination was Destiny Phoenix West RV Resort.

It was approximately 195 miles, a fairly long day for us but we wanted to get to Goodyear to get the slideout repaired. This is the route we took.

It is always great when coming back to the valley to see your first saguaro at about 3000 feet elevation.

We had heard so much about the new owners and the upgrades they made so we are interested to see the 'new' park. We'll report on that later.

KISS RV mobile service is coming this morning to assess what repairs are needed and whether they can be done here or in their shop. If parts are needed they will be ordered and available so if we have to go to the shop it can be a 1 day turnaround. This is great for us as we would have to get a pet friendly hotel. If we stayed in the Albuquerque area we couldn't even get an appointment at a repair shop until November. Plus we know it would have been a multiple day, maybe a multiple week event, with us in a hotel.

We have moved some of our medical appointments up since we are arriving earlier than planned and we have a couple of those tomorrow.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


Currently in Winslow AZ (Low 45 Sunny Currently 51)
Heading to Goodyear AZ (Currently 67 Very Warm with Lots of Sun High 91) 

We went to Saturday night Mass in Winslow at St. Joseph Church. Here is a picture from the web of the exterior.

The parish was established in 1896 and the current church was built in 1921. Here are the main and side altars.

A closeup of the side altars.

The main altar.

The Choir Loft

We cannot say it enough how great it is tour this great country and attend Mass at such beautiful churches.

We leave the Winslow area today and head to Goodyear Arizona for the winter. The mobile service will be out tomorrow to assess the slideout repair. Plus there are a couple of things we want them to look at, as there always is :-)

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Sunday, October 16, 2016


Currently near Winslow Arizona (Low 46 Sunny and a Few Clouds High 83) 

We left Gallup New Mexico yesterday and headed to Arizona and a 1 hour time change since Arizona does not observe daylight savings time. Our destination was the Meteor Crater RV Park near Winslow.

It was approximately 145 miles, this is the route we took.

We will be here three nights and then we will head to Goodyear to start the process of getting the slideout repaired.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Saturday, October 15, 2016


Currently in Gallup NM (Low 37 Sunny Currently 45)
Heading to Winslow AZ (Currently 46 Sunny and Windy in the Afternoon High 86) 

After 2 and 1/2 weeks of mostly New Mexican cuisine that was excellent we decided to try a couple of new to us places in Gallup New Mexico.

WisePies Pizza and Salad - this place is also fairly new to Gallup. It is one of the new concept places where a custom pizza is made in front of you and ready in about 5 minutes. We both got the lunch pizza and salad combo for $10. The pizza is a 9" pizza with as many toppings as you would like on 4 different crusts. They also have a few ingredient combinations you can order. The side salad that comes with the lunch combo could be either garden, caesar or greek. We both got greek salads. They also have larger salads that can also be custom made.

Even though Bob thought he was swearing off New Mexican cuisine like green chile he could not pass up on "The Fredo" which had a green chile alfredo sauce with chicken, cheese and tomatoes.

Jo had "The Gambino" which had a red pepper marinara with roasted red peppers, kalamata olives, cheese, and banana peppers. WisePies is regional with only a few places in Arizona and New Mexico.

Angela's Kitchen - Jo saw online that they have stuffed burgers, one stuffed with peanut butter so we had to try one. Here is a photo from Yelp.

We should have researched this a little better because when we got there for lunch the stuffed burgers weren't on the menu. Turns out they have a very small kitchen so can only do breakfast until 10:30a then lunch until 5p then dinner. Stuffed burgers were available for dinner and they still had the peanut butter stuffed burger. This answered one of our questions to determine if we were coming back for dinner.

The other question would be answered by how good lunch was. If good we would consider dinner for a rare eat out twice in one day, day. For lunch Bob had the 1/2 pastrami on rye with a cup of the mushroom bisque. Jo had the 1/2 chicken salad on croissant and the mushroom bisque soup. To answer the 2nd question we made plans for dinner.

We called to get a couple of stuffed burgers to go but when we placed our order we found out that they no longer actually stuff the burgers, it is two patties and the peanut butter between. We have done that at home so decided against takeout. This is still a good place to eat, just not for stuffed burgers.

We also liked that Angela's Cafe was in the historic train station. To often the older building get torn down. There is a statue commemorating that this was the station that the famous Navajo Code Talkers departed from in 1942.

We leave today for Winslow Arizona continuing our trek to an earlier than expected arrival in Goodyear.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, October 13, 2016


Currently in Gallup NM (Low 31 Mostly Sunny and Comfortable High 74) 

After 2 and a 1/2 weeks parked somewhere in the greater Albuquerque area we packed up and headed to Gallup New Mexico. Our destination was the USA RV Park.

It was approximately 165 miles, this is the route we took.

We will be here three nights and then we are heading to Winslow Arizona. You can tell we are in the high desert as the overnight low was just below freezing. It was nice for the cool nights in Rio Rancho that we could run the heat pump but 30 degrees is too cold for that so we used the propane furnace last night. We are not complaining because we realize it will be still fairly hot when we get to Goodyear in mid-October.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


Currently in Rio Rancho NM (Low 44 Mostly Sun Mixing with Clouds Currently 55)
Heading to Gallup NM (Currently 38 Mostly Sunny and Beautiful High 74) 

We've heard it said a number of different way, our plans are in jello, or we have no definite plans, etc. No matter how you say it you need to be flexible in your planning and never write them down in ink.

The more we got thinking about the slideout problems the more we got worried. If we continued our plan to get the slideout fixed once we got to Goodyear that we would be bringing in the slides and putting them back out 7 times. That number of times just increases the chance that maybe it won't work the next time. And then of course it would fail in the worst possible location with not a good mobile service in sight. So we have changed our plans and are now getting into Goodyear next week instead of late November.

We leave today for Gallup New Mexico for a few days then Winslow Arizona then Goodyear.

We leave you with a photo of Yoda and one of his sayings, "do or do not, there is no try". You can "try" to plan but life always interrupts.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


Currently in Rio Rancho NM (Low 45 Mostly Sunny High 80) 

Kind of a mixed bag review of the Presidents Campground at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. On the plus side you cannot beat location, location, location. The park is on a bluff overlooking the launch field and we were in the 2nd row with a pretty good view of the launch field out our back window.

The directions to the park on the website are good. The roads and sites are asphalt. The hookups were convenient. The electric in the first few rows were 30amp. The last rows were 50amp and they plan to convert all to 50amp over time. There are no sewer hookups but depending on your length of stay you get so many dumps by the honey wagon service.

Cons are that some sites already taken and others reserved even though it was stated as rally style, first come first served parking. We were also kind of surprised how disorganized it was. Nothing was available at check-in. Packets, badges, honey wagon passes, all came later. Finally, this is the most expensive, the most we have paid for a night ever.

Here is the Lifestyle from the front

To the right

To the left

From the rear, photo taken from the seating area on the bluff above the launch field.

Since this will probably be for us a once in a lifetime event for us, our gift to each other for our 25th wedding anniversary this year, we didn't mind paying the high price. Since we were able to see the activities from the bluff and avoid the crowds we feel that it was worth the high cost and disorganization.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Monday, October 10, 2016


Currently in Rio Rancho NM (Low 44 Mostly Cloudy High 76) 

We got some sunset photos while at the Presidents Campground at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

We also got some very rare sunrise photos.

Rare because we are retired and rarely get up before the sun rises. The balloon fiesta was one exception.Since yesterday was the last day of the 2016 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta this will the last balloon fiesta blog for awhile. Believe it or not we still have some from our travel this summer.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Sunday, October 9, 2016


Currently in Rio Rancho NM (Low 45 A Shower or Thunderstorm in the Area High 66) 

In addition to all the "Special Shapes" there were a lot of traditional balloons that caught our eye. Here are some of our favorites.

We will never forget.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo