Saturday, December 31, 2011 (Eagle View RV Resort, Fort McDowell, AZ)

I’m sitting here this morning in my recliner with my laptop and coffee watching the sun rise in a clear blue sky.  The temperature is 52F/11C outside right now and the high is expected to be 77F/23C today....ahhh...it’s good to be back!

We landed at the Phoenix Airport at about 7:00 last night and after getting through Customs (a British Airways 747 flight arrived at the same time...sheesh!) we finally made our way out to find Rick from PJ Cabs waiting for us...gotta like it!  This was the third time we have used his services so we were greeted like long lost friends as he took our suitcases and led the way to his car.
About 40 minutes later we were back at our rig...everything was as we had left it (and the mousetraps were empty) and we soon had the sliders out.  I put the furniture back into place while Steve connected the water.  Before long, we were all unpacked and relaxing in front of the fireplace watching TV.  We love our home!
We had a wonderful two weeks back in Victoria...catching up with friends and spending time with family...a great Christmas!! 
Snow covered mountains as we left Phoenix...

Our flight from Phoenix to Victoria took us over the Grand Canyon...Steve took pictures from the plane...



The first thing we did Saturday was go shopping for the perfect Christmas Tree...
Angie and I having a little hot spiced cider...
Decorating the tree...

Chris (our son) came over from Vancouver on the 17th and after decorating the tree, we had a delicous pre-Christmas dinner prepared by Angie and Rob.  Angie is leaving for Winnipeg on Monday to spend Christmas with her family so we enjoyed the weekend spending time with her.

Here I am between Rob and Chris...
Angie preparing dinner...
 Setting the table for dinner...
“Shortie Dad between Chris and Rob...
Sitting down to a delicious dinner...

Sunday night Rob and Angie opened their Christmas gift (before Angie left the next morning)...

Our week before Christmas was very busy with appointments, lunch with friends and shopping.  Before we knew it, it was Christmas Eve and the four of us (Rob, Chris, Steve and I) were sharing what has become our tradition...cocktails, lots of appetizers and playing games (this year we played marbles...also known as Aggrevation).  We really missed Angie but it was just like the “old days” with just the 4 of us!

Christmas Morning...Dexter (Chris brought over his cat from Vancouver) waiting to open gifts...


On my way to being a “birder”...

Christmas Dinner was at “our house” with Steve’s sister and family (Nadine, Mike, Amanda and Matthew) and his Dad...so altogether there were nine of us at the dinner table.  Here is Rob carving the turkey...
Chris was also helping out in the kitchen...
Alas...dinner...

The rest of the Holiday Season was spent relaxing and just spending time together.  Chris brought his Wii over with him so we played golf and bowling...great competition between the 4 of us!  We also watched full seasons of Dexter, Sons of Anarchy and started on a new series, Homeland.  Just spending time together was the greatest Christmas gift of all!
Steve`s Dad has finally agreed that it is time to sell his house and move into an assisted living facility.  His health has been steadily declining.  He was just diagnosed with severe emphysema and will be going onto oxygen soon, so we are happy that he has realized that he needs care.  We have no idea when a suite will become available for him but at least we have started the process...it`s going to be a big job cleaning out his house and getting it on the market...I think we are going to be very busy with that this spring and our travel plans will delayed.
Dexter really enjoyed being combed...
Chris decided to head back over to the mainland on Tuesday...one of the busiest days for BC Ferries.  We live only a short distance from the ferry so he monitored the conditions via the web and decided to wait until the evening when the traffic had eased up a bit.  He ended up on the 8pm ferry which I believe was a little late departing.  We had had a really great visit with him.
Before we knew it, Friday was upon us and it was time to say goodbye and head to the airport.  It was really great having direct flights between Phoenix and Victoria! 
Bye, bye Victoria (actually, the Saanich Peninsula)...

Beautiful sunset from the plane...

Tonight is New Year’s Eve and the first time that we have not spent it with family and friends back home.  But we were going to go the Casino to partake in the celebrations there, so we headed over to catch the shuttle shortly before 7:30.  While waiting for the shuttle, we met 2 other couples from the RV Park who were also going to the casino...Randy and Pam; and Art and Connie.  Both couples are from the area (Phoenix and Mesa) and decided to camp here for the weekend and take advantage of the free shuttle to the casino.

We had a fabulous time at The Fort Casino! The place was just packed...they had free appetizers, party favours and a champagne toast at midnight. The band playing in the Lucky 7 Saloon was called ‘The Whip Its’...an 80’s tribute band and they were great!  They started at 9pm and played until 1am and we stayed the whole time watching, listening, singing and dancing!  They had taken all of the tables and chairs out of the bar having only tall tables to stand around...they likely did this because the Lucky 7 is quite small and they knew it was going to be packed...and it was!  I’d say this is the first time that I have gone to a casino and not spent any time on a slot machine.  I literally was on one machine for like 2 minutes...lost $5 and that was it!
We took a bunch of pictures but unfortunately they didn`t turn out very good (I think I need a new camera)...this is about the least blurry of all of them...

We grabbed the shuttle back to the RV Park...our legs and feet sore and our ears ringing...but what a great evening!  Happy New Year everyone!! 


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