Sunday, March 8, 2020

Big changes

That's a dramatic start to our blog BIG CHANGES!!

Well we think things are making a big impact on our lives. See if you agree?

The park we stay at each winter is Sundance 1 RV Resort in Casa Grande AZ It has everything we need and all the facilities to keep us busy. We have made friends with people in the park. It just feels like home when we arrive back around November 1st,

For the last couple of winters we have been looking at "Park Models" for sale.

To go back to basics let us explain the differences between our Motor Home and a Park Model.

The Monaco is classed as a Motor home, it is fully capable of moving along the road under its own power and contains all we need to live comfortably in it whether we are connected to outside power water and sewer or not. 

A "Park Model" (sometimes called a Mobile Home, Trailer or even a Manufactured Home) is a prefabricated dwelling on a frame with wheels and axles underneath. Technically it's a trailer as it has a detachable hitch so it can be towed along, although usually they are moved on the back of a truck.

A Park Model contains all the facilities needed to live such as plumbing, electrical systems, heating and cooling BUT it does not have holding tanks for water, grey and black water. Neither does it have a generator or any 12 volt systems that can run off batteries.

That means that a Park Model always has to be connected to mains electric, water and sewer.

Because technically it's still a trailer it is registered as one for legal purposes. This relieves it from real estate taxes and the owner from being a permanent resident of the state where it is located.

The down side is that in most cases you don't own the land it is on an so have to pay "Ground Rent" on the lot annually. This can and does increase annually. The owner of the park can impose rules about the condition of units and upkeep of lots.

So does the purchase of the unit mean we are giving up travelling?


We still intend to travel. BUT we aren't getting any younger (We both turn 70 this year) and eventually we may decide to either cut down on how much time we spend on the road each year or to take a "Year Off". 

We intend to winter in Casa Grande for the foreseeable future. We have watched the prices of units in the park steadily rise over the past couple of years.

So to us it makes sense to buy now. Another side to this is that during February and March there is a big demand for rental units. This gives us the opportunity to pay most of the annual grand rent by renting out the unit.

UH?? We are going to buy it and not live in it? Well not quite. We will arrive back in the park around November 1st as usual, but if we arrive early (Or late) it doesn't matter, we can move in whenever we want. We can stop by and stay for a week or so and carry on, there is no additional cost to do so.

Then from November until February we can live in it and store the RV in the storage yard on site. If we rent it out for a week or 2 we can get the RV out of storage and go camp at the Elks lodge. For longer periods we can find a spot locally of go down to Mexico if we want. Then we can move back in while we get the RV serviced and the park model cleaned up ready for laying it up for the summer.

The unit also has a BIG air conditioner so if for any reason we can't travel we will still be comfortable despite the 100+ degree weather.

So why not take an annual lease on a camping spot and just park the RV on it? 

Good question!

The Park Model is physically bigger than the RV. 12 feet wide compared to 8 1/2' and 40 ft long v 38'. It also comes with a storage shed containing a washer and dryer and there is a covered car port for parking. The bit we liked on this one is the back yard where I can paint and where we can have great parties with our friends.

Right now we still have 2 cars (The Fiesta law suit still hasn't settled). We can store one under the car port for the summer at no cost to us and put the battery on charge using a solar charger so it will be ready to go whenever we need it. Then for the winter we both have a vehicle, it's cheaper than renting one.

Some other advantages are Storage for stuff we don't need on the road and A PLACE TO HANG MY ARTWORK!

So we have been gathering together enough money to pay for it, thinking about the technicalities of TV, Internet etc and asking our friends who already own here what they do when it's closed up for the summer. We had a yard sale to get rid of stuff we don't use anymore like our bikes that have been rusting on the back of the RV for a year and a half!

So we are ready for the Big step.

Friday, January 24, 2020

The same old Winter Tale

We are as usual spending the winter in Sundance 1 RV Resort in Casa Grande Arizona. The place has grown on us and we have so many friends here.

This time every year the park is filling up after the Christmas Holidays. By February 1st it will be filled to capacity.

Things really get going about this time and we are both busy every day doing a wide variety of activities. I paint 4 days a week with various groups around the town. Barbara is part of the Elks Lodge Ladies Auxiliary knitting hats for newborns and attending meetings organizing fundraisers. We are playing darts 2 nights a week, having dinner with friends at the Elks Lodge, working together putting on art classes. 
The Shanty Shaker Crew doing Happy Hour
Our friends from the Shanty Shakers RV club are in Quartzite AZ for the big annual RV show/market, we just drove up there to see them for the day. It was a 375 mile round trip! Great to see everyone though.
Garth and Judy who hosted the Rally in Prescott last year
We started weight Watchers again to get back into shape for the spring and the RV needs those maintenance items taken care of that we put off all summer. 
Matt and Carol newly minted Full Timers!!
As a result the time just flies by. 

We are putting plans together for the rest of the year. We have to go to South Dakota to renew our Drivers Licenses. The Escapees have their rally in Wyoming in June. We really want to go back to the North East and visit the Finger Lakes in NY. Of course we HAVE to go to Maine and eat lots of Lobsters!! Between Wyoming and Maine there are a lot of places to see as well and we hope to drop by and see David and Sheri.

So although this is a short post it is an exciting one for us, so stay tuned for more big news soon!

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Hanging on the telephone

Here's the long and stressful story of how I lost my phone and the terrible experience of trying to get a new one!

I mean how hard can it be right?

On the way back from UK before Christmas we were between flights at Atlanta and I decided to charge my phone in the waiting area. Somewhere between there and getting off the plane in Phoenix the phone vanished.

I called the airport and the airline but they hadn't had it handed in. We had one of Barbara's old phones so we re-activated that with a new SIMM and my number. Of course it didn't have all the apps I wanted and I spent some time reinstalling them.

That phone is several years old and used to be a T Mobile phone that we brought over to ATT. The T Mobile software caused a few hiccups and makes it slow but it can't be removed apparently.

After 3 weeks the airlines and airports stop looking for things and if its found after that it goes into the lost property auction. Time for a new phone.

We've had both Verizon and ATT in the past. Both have given us such poor customer service that we've switched back and forward and been to T Mobile too. Lately ATT have been pretty good with fair customer service as opposed to Verizon whose customer "Service" left us with no internet for over a month last time we were with them (A whole different story).

As we were currently with ATT I went to the store. A lady who claimed to be the manager came to help. I explained that I'd lost my phone and the one I had was slow, so I wanted a new one. I'd paid off what I still owed on the lost one the night before, so I could start fresh.

She looked at my phone and started giving me a lecture about how it was a T Mobile phone and the were numerous apps open and no wonder it was slow. I was a little taken aback because all I wanted was a new phone. She started telling me I could get a better contract and more data, but if I got a jetpack I would only have 10 gigs and I couldn't do this that and the other. On top of that I hadn't paid off the phone, just put money into the account. I still had to pay off the phone.

All I went for was a new phone on my existing plan! Finally I walked out and went home to call Customer Retention. They are the ultimate people to call and we have had quite impressive service from them in the past. You have to ask specifically for them and they have lots of power to make customers happy and keep them as ATT customers.

This time I got a guy who apologized profusely for the store managers attitude and proceeded to tell us he could give us a great deal with 2 brand new phones, a jetpack for internet connections and unlimited data. If I would wait on hold for a few minutes he'd get all the information.

While I was on hold the call got cut off. I waited 20 minutes hoping he'd call me back but he didn't, so I called in again. 

Understand here that every time you call you have to wait between 30 and 40 minutes before you get to talk to somebody. After another 40 minutes I got back to Customer Retention and to a gentleman who described himself as the supervisor of the section.

I had to go over the whole thing again and described the deal the previous gentleman was setting up with unlimited data and a jetpack. 

That whole thing was impossible, there was no such plan, we could only get 10 gig of data on a jetpack. We could get a new plan with 2 phones.

I called a halt to everything, we already have a plan with 40 gig and a tablet for a hotspot, All I want is a new phone to replace the old one I lost.

He launched into another rant about phones with 100 gig, and what did I want all the data for anyway?

I explained we live full time in an RV and use the service for internet as well as phone service. If we had more data we would stream some TV too. He went into another rant telling us we couldn't share to other devices on this plan, it would not be covered under the data with the phone, we'd have to pay extra for that on another plan.

All I wanted was another phone. I told him I'd go to Verizon as I wasn't happy with the treatment I was getting. He said threateningly "So you want me to cut off your service RIGHT NOW?" 

Of course if I let him do that we would lose our phone numbers! I said I'd take care of that myself and hung up.

We drove down to the local Verizon store, but only after a friend with a Verizon plan checked if we could get a signal at our campsite. Verizon is notorious in our park for having complete dead zones. You can't even get a signal to dial 911 in some places. Luckily we were seeing 3 bars on her phone.

At the store we got an enthusiastic young man who told us that we could get 2 new phones for $1 a month, A jetpack for our internet needs, a tablet we could also use for internet and unlimited data. I mentioned the park we were in and the poor signal, he said we could try it and if it was bad we could get a free signal booster which would fix things. They transferred our apps to the new phones but the old T Mobile phone I had couldn't transfer anything.

The jetpack would be $50 and we'd then own it outright. We signed up for all that and asked for a receipt. Everything got packed up. On our way out I remembered he didn't give us a receipt, so we went back in and he gave us a one sheet receipt. We left with the 2 phones, a jetpack and a tablet.

Back in the park we were getting 3 bars on the phones but trying to put apps on mine was taking for ever. I started up the jetpack but it was only getting 1 bar. I called customer service and got to wait 40 minutes to talk to somebody. Apparently I needed to talk to a technician and went back on hold, I got cut off before I talked to him! Another 40 minutes on hold than they had me open the jetpack, remove and reinstall the SIMM then remove and reinstall the battery, reset the device and some other stuff.

Finally they said "Sorry the signal isn't strong enough where you are, nothing we can do". I asked about the signal booster (We've had a booster before, so I know what they are). Then they told me that their device isn't actually a signal booster but actually picks up another wifi signal and redirects it thru their jetpack to provide service. I asked if they would be paying for the other wifi service? "No".

The rep then said I could take everything back and we'd get our money back as we'd had everything less than 14 days.

Back at the store the original guy wasn't there but the manager and another rep (who kept floating in and out of the conversation) announced that we'd have to pay $35 per device as a restocking fee. I pointed to my receipt which only listed a restocking fee on the jetpack. He told me it was a 2 sheet receipt and sheet 2 listed the other devices as having the restocking fee. As we only got ONE sheet I asked how we were supposed to know that? He printed the second sheet but I made him sign it as received separately from the original sheet and had Barbara witness it. I didn't like the way things were headed. Then the other guy floated back in and said we'd have to pay $175 early cancellation fee on the 2 separate contracts that were taken out on the jetpack and the tablet!

I was furious by this time. There was nothing on the receipt about 2 year separate contracts and we didn't even want the tablet. We thought we had bought the jetpack and the tablet was free! Verizon customer service had told us we'd get our money back and not that there would be early cancellation fees. We'd had the phones for 5 days (Over Christmas) and hadn't made a single call on them!

He said he'd call customer service. To my delight they have no direct connection and we all sat round on speaker for 40 minutes before we got thru! Then they had to put us on hold and we got cut off again!! Another 40 minutes and we finally got thru, but he took the phone off speaker so I couldn't hear the other half of the conversation. He hung up and said they had waived the early cancellation fees but not the restocking fee. I had him write that on our original receipt and sign it with Barbara as a witness.

The other guy came floating back and started looking at the phones and tablet and muttering about "Stains on the equipment". I blew my top again. We'd had the things 5 days, never made a call and been charged $35 each as a restocking fee, How in the heck did he have cause to claim stains on the equipment? The first guy hurriedly told him to be quiet, but he immediately said he was going to cut off the service and we'd lose our phone numbers.

I grabbed all the stuff and left the store. We went to T Mobile and a very pleasant young lady soon had our numbers ported from the Verizon phones to 2 identical phones on T Mobile that were free! We didn't get a jetpack but each phone was good for 20 gig and we'd get free Netflixs which wouldn't use up any data and we could stream TV or YouTube free too. We could share the data with our Roku on the TV. Better yet this would all cost $90 a month as opposed to $180 from ATT or Verizon.

We went back to Verizon and gave them all the stuff back and told them to stop our service. The "Floating guy" came back and told us we'd lose our phone numbers. He looked quite downfallen when we said we'd already ported them over to T Mobile!

The T Mobile phones got 5 bars of 4G signal and really fast internet. After all the hassle with the other 2 companies it was finally over!

Except 2 days later I got an e-mail from Verizon saying my bill was ready and I owed them $650!!

Another 40 minutes on hold, I was told I owed $41 for the previous months service and $600 for the 2 phones we'd retained!! I pointed out that they'd charged me $35 each to restock the phones so how could I have retained them??  Plus we only had the phones 5 days and hadn't made a single call so how could we have a previous months bill? I was to be put on hold again, but only after I got the persons name and gave them my phone number with a promise they would call me back if we got cut off. 

Finally they came back on again and acknowledged there was no previous months bill. They would put a hold on the $600 so a debt collection agency wouldn't come after us for the money (!!!!!) but until the phones got checked into their warehouse they wouldn't show up as returned, Once they did get checked in the $600 would go away.

Talk about a nightmare. All I set out to do was get a new phone on my existing plan, We ended up going thru 3 different companies in 5 days, 8 different devices, hours on hold, cut off 3 or 4 times, irate to the point of speechlessness. I just can't comprehend how these companies can call what they have "Customer Service".

Hopefully Verizon will actually finally get the phones to their warehouse and leave us alone. They were bad when we had service with them many years ago and from my experience they are even worse now. ATT are a close 2nd for bad service in my experience.

Update 1/24/20

I had hoped this was all settled and done but 2 weeks later I got TWO bills from Verizon. One for over $400 and one for over $600!!

I called their collections department as they were marked "PAST DUE".

The operator looked up the account and said she didn't understand why we had received those bills as their records showed we only owed 20 CENTS and the account was closed.

After a brief hold she came back and said they were waiving the 20 cents. I asked for that in writing but they couldn't do that, Instead they sent we a vaguely worded e-mail to the effect that the account was now closed.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

2019 summary

Our 2019 travels

This year we stayed on the West Coast and explored Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. We finished the year up by seeing some of Arizona that we haven't previously been to. Another good year and the first full summer we have spent in the new Monaco coach.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

December surprise

Hard to believe that we've been stationary for nearly a month already! Sundance RV Resort just sucks you in and the time flies by.

Naturally we got right back into darts on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons were taken care of.

Friday evening sees us at the Elks Lodge for dinner, usually with all our Elks friends from the park.

We decided at the spur of the moment to go up to Tempe AZ (which is a suburb of Phoenix) for a Detective Dinner Theater. We treated ourselves to a night in a hotel too to avoid a 50 mile drive home afterwards.

It was a fun night, first you have to give yourself a "Code Name" before you enter. Dinner was a nice 3 course meal and we both chose fish for our entree, a tasty baked cod dish.

The stage was set when the "Victim" staggered in and the chase was on! The various actors were in the audience but nobody knew who they were. Clues were presented, everyone had to figure it out for themselves! It was both funny and entertaining and although Barbara and I got the right suspect (after being suspect by our fellow table mates for a while) we didn't get all the clues.
We had a few drinks afterwards and slept soundly. The next morning we found time for a visit to the local Elks and to Jerry's Artarama (a big art store) before heading home.

Art naturally is consuming much of my time, with different groups on Monday, Tuesday and 2 on Thursday!! I have spent most of my time completing work I hadn't finished rather than starting anything new, but that's very satisfying too and means I don't have a cupboard full of half finished paintings.

Out of the blue one of my nephews asked if I had any photo's of my sister Beryl from when we were younger. She turns 80 in December and they were planning a surprise party for her back in our hometown in England.

Finding photo's wasn't difficult but it lit an ember. What if WE showed up as a surprise too? Humm.

Barbara was on board as soon as I mentioned it so I started looking up flights from Phoenix to Manchester UK. $1750 each! Ow. We can't justify that.

I have used a travel search app in the past. Called "Hopper", it takes where you want to leave from and where you want to go. When you tell it when you want to go it starts searching continuously for fares across all airlines and routes. Then it searches for similar places and dates and lets you know the alternatives. Finally it watches for trends in fares, so if they are going up or down it notifies you.

The big difference was that from Manchester to home would be about 40 miles. London to home? 240 miles.So what next? Fly, rail or drive from London?

There came a shock, flying those 240 miles would cost MORE THAN THE 5000 MILES FROM PHOENIX TO LONDON!! Rail fares weren't much cheaper.

My niece works for and their price for renting a car for a week was about $400 so that settled it we would be driving. But that meant we would have transport during the week too and could go and see some of our friends and relatives at same time.
As the time got closer I started thinking about flying again. I love flying. I loved my job because it involved a LOT of travel around the world and occasionally I miss that.

I was sitting early one morning watching TV (I usually wake up around 5am), and a thought came flitting into my head. "It will be good to travel again". Then the other side of my brain broke out laughing. "Dummy, all you do is travel now!!"

We had tickets thru Virgin Airlines but they code share with Delta. Code sharing means they have one flight but both airlines can sell tickets on it! Which is great if Virgin's ticket is 1/3rd of the price of Delta's, but the service is the same.

We thought about the hassle of checked in bags and picking the bags up at the carousel, it's always a pain and a delay. We finally decided to just do carry on bags. We were only going for a week and better still we could do laundry at our daughter's house so we only took clothes for 4 days.

Bill ran us up to the airport (Thanks Bill) so no long term parking. Karen will pick us up on the way back (Thanks Karen). Seemed like everything was set.

The reality of travel around Thanksgiving made us plan on getting to the airport in plenty of time to allow for rush hour traffic in Phoenix and the huge crowds at the airport.

So how did the plans go?

The day before our flight we watched the weather channel and there was a big snow storm predicted for Minneapolis our stop over on the way to London. Humm.

The traffic we expected in Phoenix? NONE! 

The huge crowds at the airport? NONE!

BUT before we left home the airline sent a message saying that the flight to Minneapolis was delayed 2 hours and that was bad news because we only had an hour to get on the flight to London. We still went to the airport early.
Departure gate
At the check in we asked what our alternatives were. They said "No Problem". It turned out the earlier flight to Minneapolis was also delayed 2 hours so it would actually be leaving an hour before our scheduled flight. Amazingly they had free seats and before we could blink we were going thru security.

The early flight was 2 hrs late but we left an hour before we were supposed to!
If you haven't flown lately, security and immigration has changed completely. It's all based on facial recognition now and you slide your passport into a scanner while it takes your picture! We were TSA pre approved and it was so easy.
Snow at Minneapolis
Minneapolis had snow on the ground but the runways were clear, time for a drink, then we were taking off for London. We were not looking forward to travelling Delta. When I traveled for a living I avoided them as generally their customer service was poor and seats uncomfortable.

This was a complete surprise. Excellent service, great food, free booze, great entertainment system. It made the 8 hr flight a lot nicer. This is the 2nd time we've been pleasantly surprised by airline service, last time we flew to England 2 years ago British Airways was excellent and cheap too. Maybe there's enough competition that they have had to improve?

Heathrow is not my favorite airport. Its old and worn. I ALWAYS have problems renting cars there and have been ripped off royally a few times. With my niece working for Rentalcars,com I was hoping for a smooth ride.

I was wrong. Rentalcars had offered me full coverage insurance for $12 a day which I accepted and I got a confirmation e-mail which warned me not to accept any attempts by the rental company (Europecar) to sell me more.

Now the $88 a day had turned into 88 Pounds a day, which is about a 30% increase. Further they said they didn't show any insurance coverage and that would be an additional $60 a day! I showed them the e-mail but they pointed out that it didn't have any details of the policy which  they could put on the agreement. We called Rentalcars on a conference call call and they denied all knowledge of any insurance despite me giving them the confirmation number. Being a cool calm collected guy I blew my top!! I cancelled the reservation without penalty and we caught the shuttle bus back to the terminal.

As we got off their shuttle, the shuttle for National Rental pulled up and we got on it. We talked to them and mentioned we have a Shamrock membership with them. Immediately they jumped in and made the whole thing seamless, we told them we wanted the cheapest they had.

We then got offered a free upgrade to the next size up which naturally we took, but as we walked across the lot the rep said what size car would you really like and we ended up with a very nice SUV with with all the bells and whistles. A Vauxhall Mokka.

Vauxhall is a GM brand in UK
That all made the 250 mile drive to our hometown (Birkenhead) easier. The comfortable car was a pleasure to drive and the adrenaline from the fight with Europecar kept my jet lagged body awake for the next 5 1/2 hrs.
This is the daytime HIGHS for UK
We were staying with my middle sister Jackie, she apparently had blabbed to my older sister Beryl who now knew we were coming to the surprise party which wasn't a surprise party anymore.

Our daughter Sally didn't know though so there was still one surprise left.
Sally Iain and Niail
The party was a great time, aunt's cousins, nephews and neices. Sally nearly fell thru the floor when we walked in. Our grandson Niail didn't figure it our for a little while then he was all over us. His sister wasn't there having gone to the ballet with a friends family.

Safety team standby the candles

Beryl gets help from Niail with the candles
Much catching up was done.

Beryl dancing (Right)

Nieces dancing

Nephews watching dancing

Cousins, nieces, wives
We dropped by Ken and Angie's house and managed a quick visit before they left the following day for a trip to Prague. Quite a coincidence as when we went to visit Barb's sister Hilary, Barb's brother and his wife Linda were all there as THEY were leaving the following day to go to ...Prague!! It turned out they were on different trips though.

The rest of the week we spent spoiling the grand kids as much as possible, we took them for a walk in the local park, picked them up from school and took them toy shopping. We all had lots of fun.
But a week doesn't last long. We were soon packing the bags again and driving back to London for the flight home.

Walking in the park

Grandma gets to play
We had a great time and apologize to the many friends and relatives who we didn't get time to see. We intend to spend the entire summer in 2021 in UK so we will get to see you then, in fact you might get tired of seeing us!

A stop for lunch and a thatched cottage

A cozy pub for lunch
Now to try and get our sleep patterns back to normal!

Tuesday, November 26, 2019


I can't believe it.
Thank you all so much.

What the heck is he talking about??

My little blog turned 50,000 hits today!!

I'm amazed and humbled, thanks for following our travels and my ramblings

Brian and Barbara

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Sedona and south.

Water and electric sites for $15 a night and a free dump station just around the corner, what else can you ask for?

Things are winding down for our winter break but we have a few things to do before then. From Bisbee we circled back thru Casa Grande and then headed up to Prescott Valley again but instead of staying with John and Debbie we dropped in at a Shanty Shakers RV Rally at Orchard Ranch RV Resort.

A happy bunch of Shanty Shakers
We like to surprise people and I think we achieved that. Our hosts Garth and Judy had everyone over for dinner TWICE and had side trips to local spots laid on. A potluck at John and Debbies, catching up with everyone's news and San Diego happenings filled in the rest of the time!

Our gracious hosts Garth and Judy (right)

We had a nice trip to Jerome up a winding mountain road AZ 89A. The Miata was in heaven powering thru the hairpin bends. Barbara only said “Oohhh: a couple of times.
Jerome iis one of many mining towns in Arizona

Pretty soon it was all over and we had to decide where to go for the next week. November 1st was approaching rapidly and with it our arrival at Sundance 1 for another winter. It's amazing that will be the 5th winter out of the last 6 that we will have been in Sundance!

Sedona is famous for the vivid red rocks
So what to do? I am due to be in another paint out in Sedona in mid November. We've heard a lot about the place which is rightly famous for the Red Rocks on which it is built. In order to have a feel for the place we decided to spend a few days exploring the area first.
Flowering cactus
We stayed at the Elks Lodge which unfortunately was closed for most of the time, and from there we looked around.

The Church on the Rock
First impressions where of traffic. This place is jammed with it! Driving south on 179 along a marked scenic highway we saw a backup that lasted 3 miles coming the other way. There weren't any wrecks on the road, it was pure congestion. Every scenic overlook was full, stopping at the Church on the Rock we found the last parking space, People were everywhere pushing and shoving. Not our kind of place at all.

Time to move on and we have less than a week before the big winter layover, but only a couple of hundred miles to go so we thought about where we would like to spend the next 4 days and the Escapees North Ranch came up.

Wickenburg is a Western Town. Even the street signs wear cowboy hats!!
A pleasant spot about halfway to Casa Grande and part of our RV'ing and Escapee history since we did “RV Boot Camp” before we even bought an RV.

One of the several Antique Stores
Since then we stayed there in the first couple of weeks fulltiming whilst we waited for the house to sell and again when our friends Graham and Elaine came over from England and we went to the Blue Grass Festival.

This is where Elaine bought her Fox Fur stole that she wears in 1940's events in UK.
That all seems so long ago! North Ranch was just as we remembered it, low key and friendly and fairly busy. It won't be much longer until the snowbirds stream in after Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Naturally we visited the Elks Lodge! We collect the unique “Pins” (Badges to our UK friends) that each lodge have and when we checked we didn't have one from here. As usual a great big Elks welcome awaited us and we were soon chatting away with a whole new group of friends. They invited us to partake in a dice game and we won a drink for 25c. We were invited back the next night for dinner and Bingo and because my membership number ended in zero we won another drink for 25c so dinner for 2 and 2 rounds of drinks came to less than $20! We had a tough time tearing ourselves away, but we had to.

November 1st means it's our last day traveling for this year. We are due back in Sundance today for our winter stay. E-mails are arriving for the various groups and clubs we are involved with, we can feel the call of “Home”. Fill the rig up with propane, put the fuel stabilizer in the tank and fill it for the last time. Back the rig into our “New” space (It points us the opposite way from the one we've been in previously, which gives the patio shade during the day). Set the jacks, put out the slides, set the satellite dish, plug in the power, water and sewer.

We're HOME!