Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Part Nine~Our Arizona Home For Two Days & A Surprise Birthday Party

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

16 comments:

jonibooks1991 said...

What a nice place, I wouldn't mind staying there while it's raining up here.  Nancy has such a nice looking family.  I never would have recognized her, she looks great.  The bus is unusual to say the least, great pictures of it.  Funny what you run into out there on the road.  Joni

justplainbill said...

Linda, not to complain, but i did not get to see the pictures. It went though a loading process and then up pop this

justplainbill said...

Linda, not to complain, but i did not get to see the pictures. It went though a loading process and then up pop this

justplainbill said...

Linda, not to complain, but i did not get to see the pictures. It went though a loading process and then up pop this

justplainbill said...

this is what popped up Nope I did copy on it but it will not paste here. It looks like some sort of a colored error message, but with my eyes I can't read it. Did not see the pictures after reloading it again. Sorry Bill

justplainbill said...

What it says is "The server request timed" I have no idea what that means. It only took twenty seconds to load. Bill

mariealicejoan said...

I'm not happy with the changes AOL has made with the journal pictures either.  I prefer the old way, but then again, I'm an old dog that doesn't take kindly to new tricks!  In any case I am still really enjoying your narrative and the pictures of your trip.  It truly sounds the trip of a lifetime!

Marie
http://journals.aol.co.uk/mariealicejoan/MariesMuses/

fasttrack58 said...

I don't like how the pictures don't stay in order either and that it takes so long to view the pictures now... but then having choices is nice...
What a great surprise party!! and I'm sure it did feel good to spend a couple of days in the house with beds and tvs and showers, lol...
Have a great day!
Linda :)

jilla29680 said...

What AOL Journal pictures are all of you talking about?  I haven't seen any pictures that AOL has to offer other than the limited ones on the modules for the AIM Pages.
Nobody ever tells me nuthin...
Deb (pouting)

sunnyside46 said...

I kinda like the way the pics are now...all artsy and stuff...I am enjoying accompanying you on your journey.
Marti

ally123130585918 said...

Linda loved your pictures ~ and am enjoying your trip ~ didn't like going through that snowstorm though ~ that bus sounded interesting wonder if they live in it all the time ~ or just use for holidays ~ The party sounded lovely ~ Ally x

jeadie05 said...

I loved all of this (well I love all of the others too but you know what Imean lol) The party was fantastic ,see Nancys face! look at you your Beautiful !,loved looking at the rooms in the house too ,I liked the colour sceme in the room you slept in ,..love Jan xx

labdancer51 said...

I`m feeling really envious of your travels Linda, each of your postings are so interesting that I wish I were there too.  It took ages to see your photos though and it`s all AOL`s fault...lol!  I love the bus, it looks as though it`s owned by hippies...lol! :o)

Love Sandra xxxx

jlocorriere05 said...

Linda, I loved seeing Arizona again, it's one of my favourite states. I love those gigantic Saguaro cactus and it looks like the party was a huge success! Love the old school bus/VW, it must be fun to drive around in! I drove in an old school bus in South Dakota, it was very shaky but a great experience! I heard that AOL is putting our pics back to the old way of posting sometime this weekend or early next week, I can't wait, it's OK to click on pics and enlarge them but the slide show carries on and you miss the next few! Thanks for posting these, looks like you had a wonderful time in  Arizona! Jeannette xx  http://journals.aol.co.uk/jlocorriere05/Welcometomytravels/  

queenb8261 said...

More wonderful photos. I too don't like AOL's new photo format. But it's nice to be able to click on them and see the captions.  the party looks like it was a great success.  How much fun have you had up to that point? What a trip. Thanks sfor sharing it.
Barb  

photographybymon said...

That hippy bus is something else!  It's a shame you didn't stop at Ojai when you passed so close.  The whole town is special in my humble opinion. :-)

Monica