March 29 – Phoenix or Mesa, AZ

Tuesday we arrived at Good Life RV Resort in Mesa, Arizona. Very similar to the campground we left in Tucson. Not sure if you would call it a campground, better defined as a resort. It has 1200 sites, many park models, paved roads, palm trees and people running around in golf carts. The weather is cooler but yet dry. They do play pickle ball here but I haven’t seen anyone on the courts.IMG_1337

We read in a magazine that the Chicago Cubs were playing at Sloan Stadium at 6:40 PM, the closest spring training stadium to our campsite. We went over at 5 PM and noticed that no one was around. The stadium looked empty. A sign said they were sold out. Awhile later I found out that they played at 1 PM so we didn’t get to see the Cubs.  Also, they were sold out everyday.

We went to dinner and took a chance to go to the Blue Adobe Diner. It turned out to be great food and we had to wait 45 minutes to get a table.

Wednesday we ordered tickets off Stub hub and saw the Colorado Rockies and Milwaukee Brewers at Talking Stick Ball Park. Only stadium on an Indian reservation. It was cooler weather but had seats right behind third base dugout first row. Not much that evening as we relaxed at home.

Thursday we ordered tickets again, this time to see the Cincinnati Reds play the Cleveland Indians at Goodyear Park. It was a long drive as it was on the west side of Phoenix but the Indians won 3 to 1 and beer was only $5 as this was the last day of spring training and they needed to empty the kegs. By the time we got home it was late and we sat around camp.

Friday as I was walking the dogs, I finally found some people playing pickle ball. I asked about their schedule and if newbies were okay to play. They said “play now” but I had the dogs. I did spend some time writing the blog.

Later in the afternoon we went into Mesa and wondered around. They had a display of pianos outdoors that worked. People would gather with someone playing. Great idea to get people downtown.

They also had a map of statues that you could walk around and see. Brenda had to find the elephant and I found the newspaper boy. These statues were all in bronze. Did I tell you that I started my business career in the newspaper business? Oh yes, I was a paper boy.

To our surprise, not really but we found the Desert Eagle Brewery, right down town. Couldn’t pass the opportunity. They also had parts of the street blocked off for a three day bike race/event.  Mesa was a town that had unique décor, worth the walking around to view.

Saturday I did get a chance to play pickle ball, there was only 6 players and some of them were really good, I have a way to go but it is always a challenge to go up against better players. It improves your skills.

Brenda and I went shopping in the afternoon with the dogs. The Arizona sun is so hot, we bought a screen cover for the awning that drops down and reduces the heat somewhat. It was worth the investment. We also bought our calling or business cards. When we meet other full-timers many will often hand you a card with their basis information or web page. Now I can do that. And we finally found are extra wide zero gravity chairs that will put you to sleep, just ask Brenda.

Without fail, we found the Beer Research Institute a brewery restaurant that was pet friendly. We enjoyed a small meal and a good beer.

Sunday was church and we found one that had over 700 in attendance in 3 services. Haven’t been to a large church in a while so it was enjoyable to see so many people and their worship was somewhat contemporary.

After church we drove to Tonto National Monument which was a cliff dwelling where people in the 1400’s lived in caves. We had to walk about ½ mile up 350 feet to the site. It was exciting to see how people lived so long ago. We had the dogs with us and they were able to climb the trail too. They enjoyed the smells and sites of the desert.

We also saw the Roosevelt Dam, first large federal funded irrigation system. You can see why they needed irrigation here on the desert.

The one thing we are enjoying right now are the flowers in the desert.

On the way back to the camp, we came across the Handlebar beer garden and had a beer and pretzel to wind the afternoon down.

Monday I rode the bike trails around Mesa. They have quite an extensive pathway and so I took off early before the heat got too hot. I rode 21 miles and had a great time seeing the city from a bike. The rest of the day I relaxed as we leave tomorrow.IMG_1335

Tuesday we loaded up and headed back to Tucson. You ask why are you going backwards, well, Brenda had to have her sewing machine worked on and it wasn’t going to be ready before we left Tucson, so we are returning to pick it up and maybe play some more pickle ball.

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