Ok...after driving thru a snow storm we found a rest area about 40 miles south of Flagstaff. We settled in for the night and woke up the next morning to beautiful blue skies. When I opened the curtain over the kitchen sink I noticed this strange bus parked down from us in the rest area. I sent Bob on a "mission" to check this thing out. So he strolled nonchalantly down the sidewalk and came back...."Linda you have to come and see this for yourself." So I grabbed my camera and went to check it out. It was an old school bus, with the top of a VW van that's been cut off and welded to an opening in the top of the bus. There were two gals, and the brother of one of them, traveling together. The brother sleeps in the upper area & the two girls us the bottom of the bus for their living quarters. They have a propane stove, fridge & sink for washing dishes, etc. I forgot to ask if they had a bathroom. The bus starts on diesel fuel but after it gets warmed up, it runs on old vegetable oil they get from restaurants. A cheap source of fuel...Such a deal, huh ?
Friday morning we left the rest area about 9am headed for the Phoenix area. Bob's former wife & her mother were at their vacation house in Phoenix so we headed there to get the keys & directions to the "patio" house owned by Bobs' daughter and son in law. It was so good to be able to be in a real house again, if even for a couple days. I did loads & loads of laundry. We cooked a nice steak dinner cooked on the BBQ, and I got to sleep in (or on) a real bed for 2 nights. Bob chose to sleep in the camper, he says he's more comfortable there. I was also able to hook up my laptop and really getback on line again. The house has everything one would need to be comfortable....all you need is your clothes and your food. Friday night we explored the area...found the local Wal Mart and the Goodwill. I loved all the different species of cactus and palm trees, that I saw as we drove around. Saturday, Bob did a few odd jobs around the place, while I pulled the ironing board into the living room, turned the TV on and ironed all the stuff that needed ironing. Bob washed the truck and got in trouble from one of the neighbors . There is already a water shortage in the area (we weren't aware of this) and the neighbor let him know he was wasting their water washing the truck. We both felt bad about this. We were supposed to be at the church where the surprise party was being held by 5pm, so we took off about 3:30pm. It was hot and we still had no air conditioning, so I decided to make the 44 mile trip in my coolest summer clothes and then change in the camper once we got to the church. We went in and I introduced myself to Nancy's daughters. They had arranged for Bob & I to sit at the table where Nancy & her husband would also be sitting. There was a "lookout" person who was going to announce when Nancy and her husband arrived and then the word would be passed to those in the large social hall of the church. Everyone was to stand up and yell "Surprise" when they came in. That is all the people stood up but me. I stayed seated with my back to the entry way. She actually tried to escape when she saw all the people but Don grabbed her and brought her back. She started making her way thru the crowd, greeting people and then all of a sudden Bob poked me in the back and said "turn to your left"...I looked and there she was. I was afraid she was going to have a heart attack...she looked at me and her mouth fell open. The next thing I knew we were hugging. She just couldn't believe I was there. The party was so nice..all done in an Italian theme. There was so much food (all Italian) and such beautiful decorations...I wish I'd taken more pictures of all the decorations, etc. I loved the main birthday cake, there was a picture of Nancy as a little girl, the same picture that was on the invitation. Her two daughters did all the planning and with the help of their dad's Visa card did an absolutely fantastic job.
After the party, we drove back to the patio house and settled in for the night. We knew the next morning, we had eat breakfast, pack up the camper again, get showers, and get the towels from the house washed and dried and back in their places. Bob's daughter had requested that we turn the water and hot water tank off when we left, so that was the last thing we did. We then went to the other house they have there in the area. It's newer and much bigger. They also rent it out and some people were actually checking in there that afternoon but Bob's daughter wanted a clock out of that house brought to her in Pasadena, CA. So we rushed over there, got the clock, made sure the house was all in order and then locked it up and took all the keys back to his former wife.
I have included pictures of both houses, so that if any of you out there are interested in renting one of these places during the cold winter months, you can contact me and I'll put you in touch with Bob's daughter for more information.
Nancy & her husband had invited us over to eat leftovers from the party, so we headed for their house in Tempe. All the kids were there, some of the grandkids, and some other friends. We had an enjoyable, relaxing afternoon and that fetuccine, etc was even better warmed up. It was hard to say goodbye but we did pull out of their driveway about 5:30pm. We drove west for about 3 hours and finally stopped in Quartzite, AZ. We went to several RV parks but could not rouse anyone so finally just parked in a dirt parking lot next to a gas station. Our wild weekend in Arizona was over.
Until next time........Linda