Thursday, January 1, 2015

Christmas Time

December 22-31, 2014:

One of the consequences of this full time gypsy RV lifestyle is that the family home base is lacking and with the family spread out all over the country it is impossible to be everywhere for those special occasions.  In spite of that I do think and long for the happy family all assembled around the Christmas Tree opening presents on a snowy Christmas morning.  I do miss those family events and not being being there.  That being said, Happy Birthday Jessica !  The best Christmas present I ever received was on December 23, 1976, when you was born. 

I did get some of that old family holiday feeling this Christmas in Phoenix with my mother, my sister and her family.  It was great, as usual, and we will see them again before heading out again in the spring.

Katy Perry CD for Tatum
Mom looking on
Mom with new quilt
Marie got a quilt too
New cookware for Cindy
Wine for John
Twinkles showing off her new bracelet 
Tatum trying out her new skateboard
Angie trying out her new massage chair
Ready to eat
Nice cookies

We are in the midst of a cold spell here in Tucson with hard freeze warnings for December 27th and 28th.  Then more rain and cold on the 31st and even snow flurries in the evening.  It's actually very nearthe temperatures of central New Jersey, except that the sun heats things up toasty warm in the afternoon, provided you stand in the sun.

After the Holiday eating binge and a followup weigh-in, we are feeling the need to work off some of our fat with a renewed emphasis on hiking. We started off with a hike out behind the campground into an area known as the "Mines".  There are many old hand dug small mines all over this area, they are dangerous to go into and are either filled in or fenced with warning signs.  This must have been a busy area back in the days of prospecting and there are unmarked trails all over the place.  Next was a hike  to Brown Mountain which is a beautiful hike up the mountain and then along a ridgeline in Tucson Mountain Park.

Many mines with open pits
View from Brown Mountain trail
Another trail view
Many arms
Twinkles is soaking in the view
A baby arm busting out
An unusual Saguaro shape
Periodic maintenance is required so off I go to the dentist expecting an exam and a cleaning all combined. The hygienist does the cleaning and then there is no exam, seems I have to schedule that part separately. Medical care is confusing and difficult on the road, especially if you have any issues. Next is a stop at Big O tire for an oil change and a free tire rotation on the Jeep. Then to Camping World to buy a "Wingman" attachment for my existing "Batman" TV RV antenna.  It just snaps onto the bottom of the Batwing, very easy to do.  The objective is to receive digital channel 6 (PBS) which we don't get while the people on each side of us are getting it. Amazingly it worked, but I latter find that it only works in good clear weather conditions.  In the middle of all this I stop for lunch at the "Territorial Bar and Grill".  It is a nice basic "God bless America, the NRA, the Military, the MIA, Budweiser and Harley Davidson biker bar.  They are always interesting and the food was OK, no ill affects.

If it has an interesting sign, I go there
The Territorial Bar decor, mostly beer ads
I go on the 30th to the Hotel Congress for the annual Arizona Blues Hall of Fame induction ceremony.  It is one of the better music events in Tucson, practically every musician is a Hall of Fame member.  They are now starting a program to do educational blues history programs in schools.  The blues scene is practically devoid of youth and most alarmingly blacks in general.  The current generation seems to dismiss blues as "slave music" when they should be proud of it.  It will eventually change, every generation tries to come up with it's own, (not their parents), music.  Everything eventually goes around. 
The unique stage at the Congress
Hotel Congress sign
We attend the New Years Eve Dinner put on by the campground and a group of campground volunteers. It is excellent as usual in spite of the complications due to cooking steaks and ribs outside on BBQ grills in the cold rain.

I will attempt to summarize what we did during 2014 in the next blog, although it is very hard to pick favorites, there were so many, 2014 was a great one !

Happy New Year to all,
Twinkles and Slick

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