December 17, 2015

Tonight we took part in a "Hosted Dinner" for Christmas. Because most people in this park have limited space, and many friends, tables are set up in one of the halls and you can use one or more of these tables to host your dinner party and invite your friends. This works, as well, for those who are alone for Christmas. 
(l to r:  Wayne and Doris (Oregon), Caroline (Sky Valley), myself and Michel, Evelyn and Henry)

We were invited by Evelyn and Henry. who hail from Chilliwack, BC. They hosted our party and cooked the ham supplied by the park. Then we all brought the rest of the meal. And what a great meal it was!!  

There were 6-8 other parties who took advantage of this room, and as many again using the room the next night.

Gabe led the group in a few Christmas carols after dinner.


And there was even a visit from Santa.

December 8, 2015

Today we said good-bye to our friends Bob and Ann. We had a great visit and really enjoyed sharing this little park model with such good friends.

But, before they left we visited Joshua Tree National Park.

Known of course for the Joshua Trees, this place is a haven for hiking, climbing and camping. 

There are trails for everyone from wheel-chair-accessible trails to strenuous trails. 

First stop along the way was Hidden Valley Trail. Upon arriving we were witness to some very experienced climbers.... 

Hidden Valley is a one-mile loop trail. It starts in the picnic area and winds among massive boulders through this legendary cattle rustlers' hideout.

Joshua Tree's boulders may look like layers of sandstone, but they are actually a kind of granite. 

Across the way from Hidden Valley is Barker Dam, another one-mile loop trail, built around 1900 to hold water for cattle and mining use. 

Cattle ranching was short-lived in this area. When rainfall decreased in the early part of the century, grasses and springs dried up.

Today the dam is a reminder of the past. It forms a small rain-fed reservoir used by park wildlife.

Native Americans travelling through here in their search for food and water left behind evidence of their activities. Petroglyphs have been found carved into the canyon walls and boulders.

Keys View is the last of our stop today, although there was still very much more to see and explore. It was nice to end on that note. 

From an elevation of 5,185 feet you can overlook a stunning expanse of valley, mountain and desert. 

December 5, 2015

Monday was a trip to the Thousand Palms Oasis in the Coachella Valley. 

This is a delightful haven in the middle of the desert.  

I didn't go this time, so Michel, Bob and Ann enjoyed the walk into oasis without me....

Friday night was the "Dillon Roadhouse" experience. Two-for-one cheeseburgers, jugs of beer, and karaoke..... does it get any better than this??

Rich and Tina also came with us, joined a little later by Doug and Ginette.

We have to admit there were some pretty good singers on the karaoke stage.

Michel even got up and sang a Jimmy Buffet number....

Richard was on his game that night - lol

November 29, 2015

Our good friends Bob and Anne (from West Kelowna) arrived on Wednesday (Nov 25th) by air to visit us for a couple of weeks.  We picked them up at the Palm Springs Airport, loaded the car and, after a quick lunch and a short shopping trip to Costco, brought them back to our place in Sky Valley (thank you again to Steve and Doreen for the use of their park model). Needless to say the first night was an early night for them. But, the next day we took them to "Villagefest" in downtown Palm Springs. Had dinner at Las Consuelos (Mexican) then shopped the vendors.

Saturday morning we headed up to Yucca Valley, 25 miles north of Palm Springs, where we visited Pappy and Harriet's Pioneertown Palace.  

This western-style town was built in 1946 by a group of filmmakers and used for more than 50 films and TV programs through the 40's and 50's.

It was purchased in 1972 by Francis Aleba and her husband. They developed the property into a cantina until it shut down 10 years later. In 1982 Aleba's daughter Harriet and her husband Claude "Pappy" Allen bought the place and renamed it "Pappy and Harriet's Pioneertown Palace". The food there is wonderful, we are told. That is why it is so busy.......

On our way home we stopped to visit Cabot's Pueblo Museum in Desert Hot Springs. This carving behind us is called "Waokiye" meaning "traditional helper" in the Lakota language and was carved in 1978 by Hungarian-born sculptor Peter Toth. 

Cabot Yerxa built this masterpiece between 1941 and 1950 using mostly found materials and it was his home and personal museum until he died in 1965.  

The museum displays artifacts from his travels, his paintings and his collection of Native American crafts.

Sunday morning was a trip to the Open Air Market at College of the Desert. A trip to Palm Springs is not complete unless you've visited COD!!

October 21, 2015

Yesterday we enjoyed happy hour at Lana and Bob's place here at Sky Valley. They have been working so hard to build their back yard and their deck and it's finally finished.  They called this little get-together their 'soft opening'....just a few people - 8 of us! 

Don and Sue were also included as well as Fred and Caroline, all from Sky Valley.

Lana made some very yummy appies and we all sat around and visited and had a drink (or two)

We even had a fire in their new firepit. 

Thank you Lana and Bob for a good evening and for introducing us to your friends.

That's all folks!..........until next time............thanks for reading!

October 16, 2015

Well we arrived in Vegas. 
Stayed at the Luxor Casino on the 14th and 15th. While here we've had a Dinner Buffet for two as well as a Lunch Buffet for two. This was all complimentary because we play My Vegas on Facebook. We did have to pay the resort fee for two nights, so our two-day stay cost us just under $60.00....and we didn't even gamble, so we didn't loose any $$ either!! 

Can't complain too much about that! 

The Luxor is an amazing building. This huge pyramid, from the outside looks like it's made of glass.   

Here are a few pictures of the inside. We were on the 16th floor. 

The 15th was a busy day... We visited the 'Shark Reef' at the Mandalay Bay Casino. This too was a My Vegas buy. Two for the price of one. It's main tank has 1,300,000 US gallons of water. The facility itself is 95,000 sq ft. and houses over 2000 animals - over 100 different species of sharks, rays, reptiles.....  Very interesting!!

So later in the evening we decided to go down to Freemont Street.  I like it better there than roaming around the strip..... On our way we discovered that The "Pawn Stars" pawn shop was opened and virtually empty so we stopped to have a looksie.  We were here once before and never got in because the line up was around the block.. Our lucky day!!

Here's a picture of Michel with Rick from the show - lol  - only a cardboard cutout....They could almost pass for brothers...

Then onward to Freemont Street. It was bustling with people, bands playing on the corner of each street. 
We took in an Elvis show while downtown.  Steve Connolly is the Spirit of the King and he was a very good impersonator. Small venue so no bad seats - and he walked around the crowd and involved them in the show. It was fun - and it wouldn't be right to be in Vegas and not see an Elvis show....  

A little more walking after the show, then it was time to go back 'home'. It was a fun-filled day, and a long one, we didn't get home until 1:00 am! 

The Luxor by night....  we should be able to make contact with other planets with a beam like that - lol! 

October 3, 2015

Today we went to the Meat Draw at the Legion. The prizes were Turkeys and Hams.  Of all the times we've been this year and never won anything - today we won TWO turkeys.  

We had a great time and a few beers with good friends. 

Afterwards Steve and Doreen came over for probably what will be our last fire of the year. We roasted wieners and sang a few songs.  Another good evening....who has more fun than us??

October 2, 2015S

Tonight was the last of our 'themed' dinners for this year!   The theme: Traditional French Canadian, hosted by Solange and Leo. 

We dressed for the occasion ......

My contribution was the appetizer, which is pictured here on the left.

Brie baked in puff pastry. My pastry had a tiny hole in it that I never noticed when I popped it into the oven, thus the spread of cheese.
But it was good anyway!

Solange was busy cooking all week preparing a host of homemade dishes traditionally served up on Christmas Eve. 

The whole meal deal!!! 

The table was set in anticipation of the wonderful food we were about to eat....  bring on the food!!

We started with pea soup. And I have to say it is probably the best pea soup I have ever eaten!

The main meal:  tourtiere, ham, turkey, dressing, potatoes & gravy, baked beans, carrots, fresh oh my... we all ate way too much.  

But save room for the dessert. Doreen brought triffle ... yummy!

We had a great evening.  Steve brought the guitar and although he didn't play for very long we all had a very good time.  Thank you again Solange and Leo... you really set the bar high for the next season of "themed dinners"...

September 21, 2015

Birthday Fun!  
Melody is 8 - unbelievable.....

A last minute decision and I was on the plane from Kelowna to Edmonton last Thursday. My wonderful daughter, Tammy, picked me up at the airport that afternoon. On Friday evening, my son Farren along with his girlfriend Jade and baby Violet drove down from Grimshaw. Saturday afternoon we all partook in Melody's birthday party. It was held at Centennial Park on Sylvan Lake.  What a beautiful day for an outside party. The sun was shining, and a good time was had by all, especially Melody. (Melody is Farren's eldest daughter and lives with her mom in Sylvan Lake. 

Melody loves her baby sister Violet.
What a lovely picture of my two beautiful granddaughters.
It was wonderful to spend this time with my kids and granddaughters. My grandson Tristan was unable to make it to his moms this weekend so it was disappointing not seeing him. But I got lots of cuddle time with the girls so that will have to tide me over until spring. 


My daughter and son chatting. It was a long day regardless of the fun. 

Sunday morning photos ....

This is the first picture I have of Farren and his family. As much as most people hate to sit for photos I was happy to get them to sit still for a short time - even the dog Sasha sat still.

The weekend went by so fast it was almost a blurr.  

Melody, our little monkey, chillin on Sunday morning.

Aunty Tammy holding Violet, our little munchkin!

And I suppose you all think while I was off having fun I left Michel at home to tend to the mess in the yard....  not true.  

Michel took this time (Thursday to Monday) to spend in Kelowna with his parents. They are both 87 and still living in their own home. So he visited with them and helped them with whatever needed doing.  He was the chief cook and bottle washer for a few days, oh and don't forget taxi.... but he enjoyed it.  He said he cannot remember the last time he spent such quality time with them. Usually we're in and out inside of a day.