Because We Can - Fulltime RV'ing

Journal Archive 3/21 - 3/31 2009

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March 21 Saturday

This morning while looking at some emails I discovered something shocking, at first I hesitated to share it with the readers of the Daily Journal, but knowing that you really care about our lives, it's probably best to go ahead and share it. The problem with email is that no matter whether you try to hide them, or are open about them, someone who you don't want to know about those emails is eventually going to discover them, either by accident, or by searching for them.

I confess to being shocked almost beyond words at what I was on the screen before me. I don't know exactly how long it had been going on, but they were actually talking about getting together, and right behind my back. I couldn't decide whether to go back, awaken Linda and calmly, if I could contain myself that is, let her know what I knew about the relationship, or whether to keep quiet for the time being and see where it was going.

Deciding not to say anything, I went about trying as best I could to write. When she finally appeared, I never let on I knew anything, but unfortunately when she sat at her computer, that telltale email was also in her in-box. I could sense she was looking at it in shocked silence, no doubt wondering whether or not I had seen it, when she looked around and saw me looking at her screen. Maybe it was the look on my face, but what ever it was, it was at that moment she realized I too knew about it.

With what is best described as an embarrassed look, she said, "You've seen it, haven't you", to which I could not find words to reply, barely being able to nod in the affirmative. Forty two years of marriage and we were facing one of those defining moments. I really wasn't sure what to say or where to go from here, and there was no doubt my thoughts were being mirrored by hers. No accusations, no tears, only two distraught people with a common, though uncertain bond.

I guess we can share the details of this burgeoning affair, our beloved Easy Peasy had become enmeshed in a relationship, a relationship that had reached the point of planned clandestine meetings. As we read the email that included the details of their meeting and viewed a photo which Easy's paramour had sent, we were taken aback how such a plain piece of hard and software as Easy could attract the charms of such a silvery, sleek, sophisticated, modern, delicate yet divine device. I guess stranger things have happend, afterall Linda and I met on a blind date. But still our first thought was to nip this relationship in the bud, all we had to do was switch Easy's wireless off and it could not longer communicate over the Internet. It was then that I discovered Easy, along with all his many siblings had managed to prevent the F2 key from working on the ASUS 701 4G, which is the one that toggles the wireless on and off. I guess the only answer is to let nature take its course and see what happens. And you thought your day started out bad, now you know just how worse it could have been.

What we saw

Trying our best to put that situation in our past, we went about our life for the day. For Linda it was time for another haircut, which meant another chance for disappointment. When she returned and walked in the door my attention was focused on the keyboard, but sensing she had stopped as soon as she had come in, I looked up. She had that, what do you think look, that women get when they first show you a change in their appearance. I was amazed, because for someone who has a widow's peak that would top Pikes Peak, the girl in front of me was sporting bangs. I wasn't sure whether she had had a hairpiece or two cans of hairspray, but no matter how it was achieved, I liked the results. I could also tell from her reaction to my reaction, she liked it too.


When you have such a good looking haircut you want to show it off, and where better than church. As we have done several times before, we headed over to North Lindsay Road and Central Christian Church of the East Valley, one of a number of mega churches in the greater Phoenix area. As always, we enjoyed their beautiful campus, and even though Cal Jernigan, the senior pastor was not preaching, the message proved challenging and thought provoking.


Lest you wonder where all the people are if this supposed to be a mega church, let me take you back to the last time were here, which was for one of their special Christmas Eve services last December. When we had arrived it was just as the service was starting and we ended up standing for a while before finding seats. This time I was determined not to put myself on that side of Linda's bad graces. Believe me, the good side is much better to be on, so we were definitely earlybirds tonight. The good part is, at least as far as Linda is concerned, there is no such thing as arriving too early.

With the service starting at 4:30, it was after 6:30 when we arrived back home, where we sat outside, just contemplating how lucky we truly are. The service had concerned the congregation's outreach to a number of countries in northeast Africa, and the image of how those millions of people live, people who are just like us except for where they were born, was on our minds. But eventually reality set in and it was time for some refreshment, proving just how easy it is to shunt the world's problems aside to deal with our own, no matter how unimportant our own problems may be.

Strawberry drink

For dinner we had grilled Owens sausage patties on toasted whole wheat English muffins, along with Linda's beans and slices of tomato and avocado. Linda also tried to use up more of our leftovers, serving vanilla ice cream with warm huckleberry sauce for dessert. Something tells me this is going to be our dessert every night for the foreseeable future. To her question, was I complaining when I mentioned we had the same thing the night before, my reply said it all, "Complain, who me complain? No way." Thus ended our day, one that began with a shock and ended with a laugh. As the saying goes, any day is a good day but some days are better than others.

March 22 Sunday

Not every day is filled with interesting activities, challenging situations and nonstop action. Sometimes they are mundane, occurring outside the maelstrom of events that have an impact on our lives. Today was such a day. The kind that is "a lazy day for you and me", "a day for a day dreamin' boy".

It was a day where I really had fun writing the Daily Journal, something that, if you read the post for the 21st, I'd hope you'd agree with. Maybe it was because of the effort we both put into that post, or maybe it was just a desire to pause and catch our breath before the final big seven day push prior to leaving for Europe, but whatever it was, we were glad for it.

The fact that we got up at our normal time, yet didn't eat breakfast until 11:34 speaks volumes about the day. Not that we weren't busy during that time, Linda saw to that, having her house slave and haircare expert color her hair. It had been a while since I last colored it, so she seemed a little more critical than usual about my abilities to make sure those few gray hairs she has on her head (no doubt all put there by me, at least in her way of thinking)were properly pampered and completely colored.

Once that task was completed and she had changed from the drowned rat look back into the beautiful blond look, she announced she was going shopping. It sounded like a good idea, especially since the wind was starting to really kick up, something that was in the forecast, and it certainly wasn't a day to sit outside reading a book. She was gone for an extremely long time, and so I began to wonder whether something serious had happened to her, which meant our trip would be off, or whether she was buying so much stuff we'd be forced to cancel our trip because of lack of funds. Funny how the mind works, isn't it.

While she was gone, I fiddled with the ASUS netbook we are taking to Europe, continuing to remove unwanted software and installing some new software to test out. This coming week I plan to post the Daily Journal from it to make sure it is set up the way we want. While I was doing this I noticed more activity in the park, with a greater number of RVs pulling in than we had seen on any day up until now. That was when it dawned on me, the wind was forcing them off the road to seek out an RV park. Later in the evening when we learned the couple in front of us had planned to pullout this morning, but because of the winds were taking a wait and see approach, leaving either Monday or Tuesday depending on if the winds had stopped blowing. Thus the winds were affecting RVers in more ways than one.

Linda eventually returned, thank goodness, having bought a pair of silk pants and a small pair of scissors for our trip, and enough pens, pencils and other miscellaneous items to overload a smaller RV, none of which we needed for our trip. I guess she just decided to do her part in jump starting the economy. By the way, if she thinks I'm going to lug all that stuff she bought today to Europe in my suitcase, she's going to be disappointed.

Dinner was Puerto Penasco bay scallops, some western beans she had fixed today and a salad. I was busy cooking the scallops, when I looked over and saw the salad she had made. I think she immediately sensed my thoughts, based on my facial expression, snapping off a curt, "Don't you say anything." I believe that is what is known as taking the initiative to place your opponent in an untenable position. It had certainly accomplished that with me, as I was facing one of those danged if I do, danged if I don't moments.

Unfortunately, for me at least, I was wearing my hearing aids, negating the, I didn't hear you defense. The whole problem revolves around what a woman really means when she uses those words, and don't think for a second I'm going to explain it here. Even if I'm married to her for another 42 years, I'd still never get it figured out, and sometimes I wonder if she herself, even knows what she wants from me at times like this. Unfortunately I did promise something about for better or worse and it doesn't take a genius to figure out which this was. Afterall, what would you say if you were looking at this, knowing it was going to be about third of your meal.

What I saw

I'm fairly certain your thoughts, upon seeing that whatever it is, were the same as mine; What is that? The difference being that you thought yours, I blurted mine out, not paying any attention to her warning. Bad move Bob, but once she had calmed back down to simply being an outraged woman, and I had tasted it, finding it better than expected, an uneasy peace descended over the coach. It took a while but eventually all the details came out and I learned she had tried to make one of my types of salad dressing, unfortunately choosing the leftover huckleberry sauce as her main ingredient [Editor's comment: I only used one tsp. of the sauce in the dressing, we just had to not look at it when we ate it].

The person that wrote the song about love and marriage going together like a horse and carriage, obviously never had a wife who tried to grease the axles with huckleberry sauce, and with that I shall say no more about this episode in the ongoing adventures of Bob and Linda because this is one sleeping dog that I want to let lie.

March 23 Monday

It's one of those 'hard to believe copy' deals, but a week from today we will be off to Europe. As you might guess, we spend time each day planning, researching, and even occasionally making reservations. We still do have a three week block in June where we're fairly certain which countries we'll be in, (Germany and Poland for sure), but other than that, those weeks are still unplanned.

The parts of the trip that Linda is responsible for are all planned out in terms of what countries we are visiting, which cities, and the hotels in those cities. Most of the day to day activities once we are in a city, we decide as we travel, not that there aren't exceptions, but in general that is the way we live. Much of our research comes from the Rick Steves and the TripAdvisor forums, plus these everuseful, and seemingly indispensable guide books.


Don't think we are taking all of them along, what we do is rip out the sections that pertain to the areas or cities we know we will be in, or have a high probability of visiting. Take Germany for example, last year we visited the western and southern part of the country, this year we will be in the eastern part. That makes the decision on what pages we will be taking much simpler.

We also have all those last minute things to buy, and because Linda is part of this twosome, that means today and tomorrow are about as last minute as it gets. You can also bet we weren't going to shop, we were going to buy. She had to be happy, because that meant two days in a row where she got to go buying. Our first stop was Big 5, a sporting goods store where shoes, socks and a pedometer were on her list. Now even though she already has all those things, her need for something different was the driving force. The shoes had to be something other than white athletic shoes, which scream "American" when worn in Europe. The socks were to supplement the one pair she plans to take, all her dozens of other pairs being unsuitable. The pedometer will be replacing the one she normally uses, the current one being pronounced unreliable by her ladyship as it seems to record lesser distances than she believes she has walked.

I had to admit the pedometer she bought was great, a very modern, slim design, and if it works as promised, it will be perfect. Of course the way it needs to be carried means that it goes in my pocket instead of hers, but she was positive it would be no problem for me. I hope this isn't the first tiny step getting the camel's nose in the tent scenario, the one where I end up lugging half her stuff because she just can't do without it.

Her new shoes not only felt good, they looked good, and besides, for only $20, if they don't work out she can just throw away in Europe and buy another pair. Next was Best Buy to do some more research on cameras. There she learned the model she wanted still had not been released for sale, and her backup had been discontinued, meaning it was no longer available. I can see this fast becoming a case of price is not an object, I just need something. We are a little restricted, having decided based on our past experience, if it isn't a Canon, it isn't worth buying, but still she found one that looks fairly promising. In a perverse way I have to laugh because it is now down to, is it in stock, the heck with color, etc.

Next came Target, where a package of "dainties" for me, and a look at their camera selection was on tap, though not in that order. It was while walking through the women's clothing section on the way to the camera department that she muttered to herself, "I'm certainly not going to be losing any weight while we are in Europe." In days of old this would have went unheard by me, but my Zounds hearing aids have opened an entire new world to me. I figured what I had heard would also have me opening my wallet, which proved the case. After checking out the cameras, it wasn't long before she was looking for the fitting rooms, a stack of clothing draped over her arm.

At the rate she's buying things, if we don't leave for Europe pretty soon, she just may lose weight when we are over in Europe, mostly due to lack of funds to eat, though as she she would say about things, "In your dreams Bob, in your dreams." We also stopped at the Zounds hearing center, getting some more foam inserts, enough to last the trip, and also getting to talk to Jeff, the person who originally fitted me, plus it was nice to get reassured that everything was working just as it should.

There were a couple of other stops along the way, and when it was all tallyed up, there was a problem, not in money spent, but in the time spent. It was that by the time she had triumphantly exited the last last store with her final purchase of the day tightly clutched in her hand, it was after 5 o'clock. For some 38 years I had faced this situation, oftentimes in strange cities due to all the business travel I had done, but now, now I'm a retired old guy and I don't have to do this anymore. This being driving in rush hour traffic. The last time we did this was also in Phoenix some three years ago. I swore then, never again, but today I learned just how long never can be.

Driving along, I stole several glances at her, establishing, in my mind at least, that she was lost in happy thoughts of all she had bought, while I suffered the slings and arrows of fate, fate having been that blind date those many decades ago and the inevitable result leading to the present. But since all things must come to an end, before long I was busy fixing dinner for the now shopping satiated superwoman, which was fish tacos, salad fixing's and beans.

Fish cooking

While I cooked, Linda did something even more important, calling our grandson, Zachary, who has been going through a rough time these past few days really missing his grandma and grandpa. Zachary is a great boy, doing a super job in school, but who is just feeling a little sad right now. We love you Zach, and we are so glad you are our grandson, we are the luckiest grandma and grandpa in the whole wide world.

After dinner we decided to do something about Linda's weighty problem she has foreseen in her crystal ball. Figuring a little exercise would do her good we set out to walk around the RV park. While many of the people we see walking do exactly that, walk around the outside of the park, I planned our walk to be more tailored toward shaping up before shipping out, choosing to walk every row in the park.

The little woman did a good job of keeping up with my substrolling pace, which may have been due to her wearing her new shoes, but complaining only once about a hot spot on her left foot. As we walked, I counted the number of vacant spots, there being 53, which comfirmed our observation that there are far more RVs leaving everyday than come in the park.

It also occurred to me that I could use this as an inducement for our continued walking, something that both of us sorely need to be doing in preparation for our upcoming 16 weeks of daily walking in Europe. As I sat at my computer congratulating myself on just exactly what a brilliant job Linda did in picking a husband, I looked up to see this.


That is what you call a bad omen, a very bad omen. Between her teeth and her feet, if one isn't giving her a problem, the other most likely is. The fact she was rubbing the foot with the hot spot was not good, not good at all. Then I saw what she was doing, spraying alcohol on it, indicating she had a blister, something she readily confirmed. Just about the time I was seeing visions of me carrying both her and my own backpack on the trip, she told me it was just a tiny blister which didn't really hurt. Hallelujah, praise be, sometimes it isn't as bad as it seems.

That seems a good place to end the day, wishing that everybody's problems would turn out to be not as bad as they first appear.

March 24 Tuesday

It's easy to tell which mornings our Internet is misbehaving, those are the ones when the Daily Journal gets written bright and early. That's what happened again this morning, though it won't tomorrow. That's because Linda took care of the problem, re-pointing the dish and locking in onto a very strong signal. I guess I could have done it, but then I wouldn't have had the time to write as much as I did.

Linda is proving serious about this early rising business to help mitigate the effects of her, soon to come, multiple time zone change. It also meant she was anxious to head out to do some more buying. There was also some returning to do, since one of the socks she bought yesterday at Big 5 already had a hole in the toe. They made have been the national brand, Danskin, but they were just another example of a never ending stream of made in China junk.

She made it quite obvious that I was holding things up, and I was trying my best to finish what I was doing, which was attempting to fix something for her. She had been complaining that my RSS feed would not automatically update on her reader, which is the GreatNews reader. Since I hand code my RSS feed, I figured there was some little thing in there that wasn't right, which was confirmed when I plugged the code into the W3 feed validator. I made several changes but it still wasn't correct, which meant I needed to figure out what the guid element was used for. Now I know it sounds like a bunch of Greek, and at the moment it was the same for me.

Between her obvious displeasure at not getting ready to go shopping, and her frustration with the reader not updating, I was getting pulled in multiple directions at once. At last I solved the RSS problem, everything seeming to work as it should, meaning it was time to go, only we couldn't. We hadn't had breakfast yet. That woman has grown so dependent on her slave of a husband doing everything in the way of cooking for her that she never lifted a pan to fix anything. It meant a hurried scrambled egg and jalapeno cheese breakfast, but at least I got it cooked.

Our first stop was Big 5, which we were lucky to find even though we had been there the other day. I turned at the wrong spot, ended up wandering through several parking lots and then almost missing the right turnoff once I got on the street that I should have turned onto in the first place. Had nobody to blame but myself since I told her there was no need to bring the GPS since I'd been there before. We ended up parking around the corner from the store, where I stayed in the car since she said it would only take a minute.

First five minutes passed, then ten minutes with no sign of Linda. My mind was working in overdrive, I couldn't see the store from where I was parked, so I didn't know what was happening. Meaning I was entertaining such thoughts as, she threw such a fit when they wouldn't take those socks back, the manager had to call the police, or there was an armed robbery of the store and she was a hostage in there. You know, the kind of things that would go through any man's mind in circumstances like these.

It turned out that she did get the refund, no problems, I don't know anyone who would say no to woman with a look on her face like she had when she left the car, then she bought some more socks. A quick look confirmed they were American made, so at least she did good there. Next it was off to WalMart where we had a very limited list of things to buy, and for once only bought a couple more than were on the list.


Since we are trying to eat up all our food before we leave, we only had the necessary items to sustain life on the list, things like unsalted peanuts and avocados. As far as those items that weren't on the list, well a picture is worth....

Foot things

Those $20 shoes are looking like less of a bargin with every passing moment. First it was the additional pairs of socks, the ones which got the hole in them and necessitated driving out of the way to return them, then it was the blister on the ball of her foot during last evenings walk. Now it is the moleskin to take on the trip in case she gets another blister, plus the gel pads she bought to cushion the shoe in the area where she just got the blister. Of course the gel pads worked so good she now wants to go back to the WalMart to buy pads for the heels. At this rate those $20 shoes are going to end up costing $70. It's that old, keep the base price low, and make your money on all the accessories and upgrades that American companies are so fond of employing. Think of the iPod for example, is there anyone who owns just a basic IPod without a single accessory. It's turning out to be the same thing with these shoes. Next thing you know she'll want to get a suede brush to keep them looking new. I can see this mushrooming to the point where we will have to charter an airfreighter just to get all her shoe stuff to Europe.

We also had to take our daily walk around the park, something that we combined with paying for another week, though we may be leaving a day or so early when we take the coach to put it in storage. That's something we haven't worked out all the details on yet. The count of empty spaces had only increased by one today, totaling 54, but what is happening is that the people who stayed for the winter are continuing to pull out and people staying for a short time are coming in, some of them no doubt checking out the park to see if it would be a good place to spend next winter.

Another week

After that it was back to the coach to spend time getting ready for the trip. Linda was making copies of the tour participants and tour hotel lists for our Rick Steves tours when I decided to take a photo. As you can tell from her expression, she was less than pleased about this, saying, "Why do you always have to take a picture when I have a mess." Now that is a good point, and in rebuttal I will point out when you live in a house this small messes are a fact of life, that I wanted show just how much work it takes to get ready to spend over 15 weeks in Europe, and also that if she really looked at what she was doing, it wasn't messy at all, on the contrary, it looks very organized, something she is very good at. Or to make it brief, men and woman simply think differently.

Highly organized mess

Dinner was an interesting combination as we tried to use up more of our freezer food. We finally got smart and listed out what was in it and when we would eat what. That little exercise had placed scallops on the menu for tonight along with a salad and Linda's beans and spanish rice.

Good food

Our grandson Zack was home sick from school today, and we want to let him know that we hope he gets better soon. We also heard he wants grandma to put the recipe for the chili she always makes for him on the website. Guess what Linda is going to doing tomorrow, and just remember, every day is a great day, but a day when we can do something really nice for someone is an even better day.

March 25 Wednesday

A day of expectations coming up, one where the wait for the UPS truck will be the foremost thing in both our minds. One of our packages is set to arrive today, it's hardly fair to Linda, but it is the one without the camera, meaning it's the one with the flash memory. One of our activities of yesterday, which I didn't write about, was ordering Linda's new camera and flash memory for the computer and the cameras.

We weren't sure when a big brown truck would appear in front of the coach, but you can bet we weren't going on any extended outings. Due to the nervous energy generated by the anticipation, I had no trouble writing the Daily Journal, something that I'm working diligently on with high hopes that it will carry over to our time in Europe.

Breakfast was our usual, with the addition of the ruby red grapefruit we bought yesterday. That had been an adventure in shopping because of how we ended up with them. It was also a lesson in the need to keep looking if you don't like what you see. We were at the WalMart buying our avocados when the subject of grapefruit came up. Or maybe I should say we passed by the grapefruit, with the fact they were $1.18 each making it easy to do. Instead we picked out six good looking tangerines which were more reasonably priced at 44¢ apiece.Then when looking for the avacodos we found bagged grapefruit that were six for $2.50.


When we'd returned home, we continued shopping, only this time on Amazon's website, the results of which I was now impatiently waiting for. There were many things we did to pass the time, one of which was to continually check both the UPS and Amazon package tracking pages to see where those purchases where at. Linda also packed most of what we planned to take in our bags so we could see how full they would be and also what they would weigh.

We are not only taking clothes and the other normal items one travels with, though our toiletries are limited as we will be buying more once we arrive, but we also have to take guide books and travel info for the 108 days we will be gone. One trick to pare down the weight of those books is to only take the sections which pertain to the places we will be visiting. That requires no small amount of ripping and tearing, something that isn't all that easy.

Getting ready

Even with all this work we will still be carrying almost four pounds of paper when we leave, which is a pound less than it would have been had we not torn out those sections.. But it will almost immediately start to lighten as we start to throw away whatever we have used. This also affords Linda the opportunity to buy souvenirs and gifts without concern about how much they weigh. Well, within reason that is, there aren't going to be any half scale replicas of Stonehenge coming back for example.

At long last a large brown object appeared stopped in front of the coach and the wait was over.


As for what was in the box....


It was flash memory, 48 GB to be exact, 16 of which was in one card that would be used as the main disk for our ASUS eee PC computer, the others being for the cameras and to store a backup copy of our photos. We figure each 8 GB card will hold about 4500 images which should be enough for the trip.

Once we had those little buggers it was time to check them out and get them installed. First off was the 16 GB card for the computer, which meant transferring all the files from the old 8 GB card to the new card. That included the entire directory for the website, which is the current website, the old website and a number of experimental websites that I play around with and it also includes all the website photos. All of this is only 193.9 MB in size, something that is mainly due to the fact I resize all the images that I use, trying to keep them under 30 KB in size.

While I was happily engaged in this task, Linda was on the phone talking first to her sister, and then to her brother, and when she was done, she commented that It was good to get caught up on what was happening in their lives.

Talking time

As you can tell from the two glasses in the picture, she was well fortified in preparation of what ever came up. Dinner was not at the expected time because while she was talking, I decided to look at our menu plan. It was bad news, hamburgers was what it said, and hamburgers were what we wanted, the problem being they were still in the freezer and I do not like microwave thawed meat.

While we waited, we watched TV. Not just any show, rather one that is in my top five all time best movies, and one you've probably never heard of, The Valley of Light, which is closely based on the Terry Kay book of the same title. The critics may say what they want, but it is a movie that deeply moves me every time I see it on the Hallmark Channel.

Valley of Light

Dinner was made more interesting with Linda's attempt at decorating the kitchen with mustard. There's a lesson in this, which is, if you store the mustard container upside down, be prepared for what happens when you shake the container when it doesn't need to be shaken.

Missing mustard

I call that the loving husband angle, since it shows the fact she eventually got some mustard on the hamburger, and not the mess on the cabinet door her finger is pointing at. That movie makes me think about the kind of person I am and the kind of person I could be, which isn't a bad thing at all, no sir, not a bad thing at all.

To end the day, here is a photo of our grandson, Zachary in his ju-jitsu robe and belt. The smile shows how proud he is of his accomplishments. And Zach, grandma and grandpa are also really proud of you. Keep up the good work and know that we love you very much.


March 26 Thursday

What to do, that was the question. Use the eee pc to post today's Daily Journal was the answer. It took a while, and not just because of those tiny little keys, since I had to squint to see the periods, commas and spaces on the screen. All in all, with numerous interruptions, it took some five hours to do everything and properly post the results. The most aggravating problem came after the upload to the Internet. The files had the wrong permissions attached to them, not allowing anyone to view them. Instead, the dreaded 404 not found error message occurred. Once I figured out what the problem was, it was easy to fix, but in the meantime I aged far more than I normally would.

Typist at work

It was while I was busy typing that Linda got to work on breakfast. Something tells me she not only read my recent comments about her fixing breakfast, she actually took them to heart.

Getting breakfast ready

Looking at that photo, it is easy to see how well organized she is. How nicely dressed she is. How carefully she has turned the eggs, making a perfect fold. But, there's always a but isn't there, note the color of the eggs. To some that is the way they should look, but to those who know better, mainly me, it is symptomatic of a defect Linda has. Didn't think she had any defects did you? Well let me enlighten you about one that that has been there since day one. The first meal she ever cooked for me, she burnt the peas. Now how in the world do you burn peas? Just add some water, wait a while, take them off and they're done, what could be simpler.

Back to this mornings breakfast, the root of the problem deals with Linda's approach to cooking. It's the if a little is good, then more is better approach to what stove burner setting to use. I never use a setting higher than 3 to cook, with most things cooked at a setting of 2 or lower. Those eggs were cooked at a 4 setting, then she wonders why they took on the color of old shoe leather. On the plus side, I will concur they tasted great, proving once again that what you see isn't always what you get.


Most of my day was consummed in trying to figure out how to prevent what happened this morning with the website permissions issue from happening again tomorrow. Linda on the other hand was still plagued by my mother, some 11 months after her death. Today she was working on doing the income taxes for her estate. Linda, at one time in her former life had spent some eight years doing this sort of thing, so it wasn't like she was tackling something new. After multiple phone calls and a trip up to the office to receive a fax, she had all she needed and it was time to start TurboTax.

It was in the midst of all this that she was handed a major distraction, her new camera arrived. It took us both by surprise, as we figured it would arrive today at the same time as the delivery yesterday did. I had to admire how she could stay focused on the taxes while the unopened box sat just a few feet away. When she was done, it was another story however, because somehow or other she had forgotten about the camera. But it only took the barest hint of a reminder from me to have her spring into action.

New camera

It was a Canon SD1200 IS, with a green body, or actually, a green face. It was, as Arnie would say, a girly camera ( but in looks only that is). She also surprised me when she opened the instruction book and start reading before playing with the camera. Soon the battery was charging while she continued to peruse the book. It only took several hours to charge, and then it was time to take those first few pictures. I have to believe she wanted to set the tone of all her future photos by selecting the perfect subject for that all important photo number one.

Picture perfect

No sooner had the flash blinded me that I heard the words that often accompany her pictures, "Darn the flash was on." A little fiddling, several false attempts, and an another photo was taken.

Picture perfecter

As you can she, one again she picked what could be considered the perfect subject for the perfect picture, at least in my esteemed opinion. She also tried our new 8 GB flash card, the results of which, other than using a less than picture perfect subject, turned out to work just as expected. When I saw her deleting those other photos I had to believe it was because it was simply because I wasn't in them. Her thoughts in reply would have been something about, in your dreams. Eventually we got around to eating, which was scallops sautéed in peanut sauce, and our by now standard beans, rice and salad. We both agreed the scallops were top shelf food, and you can bet we will again do them this way. It couldn't have been simpler, first sauté the scallops in a little oil as you normally would cook them, then add the peanut sauce and stir while it cooks down to a somewhat crusty consistency. The combination was spicy, peanuty and scallopy in that order in our mouth as we eat them.

Later we went for a walk, once again counting RVs, and discovering that the exodus back to the north was continuing. Tonight's tally showed 65 empty spaces, up 10 from our last count of two days ago. At this rate it will be nearly empty before we leave to put the coach in storage for our upcoming trip to Europe. I was not a late night person tonight, the stress of the problems with the balky website, having taken the starch out me as the saying goes. As I headed back to bed I reflected on just how different our Life would be, come just two weeks from tonight, as that would be our first night on the canal boat in France.

We won't be in an RV, but the Hitchitch website still sums it up best of all "The restless urge to see new territory, to find what is beyond the curve in the road ahead." The roads will be across the Atlantic, will sometimes be water rather than macadam, but the result will be the same, " the dream, exploring this great land...", only in Europe instead of America.

March 27 Friday

Went back to the old way of doing things today, writing the Daily Journal on the laptop rather than the netbook. Am still having a few issues with it, but solving them is half the fun, the other half is that the more I learn, the more I realize I don't know. While I was writing, the early to rise, smart and wise woman was also busy.

Shredder at work

Whenever she does this I am always reminded of a wonderful, caring woman I once worked with. We were having problems with the office shredders, they never seemed to last very long before they were on the verge of being reduced to a useless piece of metal and plastic. That was when Roseanne came up with the brilliant idea of putting a sign out cautioning about the overfeeding of the shredder. I don't remember the exact words, something about what we should and should not shred, but the thing that got me was her mis-spelling of shred, because in big bold type it was SHREDD. Isn't it funny how some things that are meaningless in the grand scheme of things, just seem to stick with us, while often the important things are forgotten.

Despite all these distractions, I was able to write something coherent, then start on making breakfast. As we get closer to departure, we keep checking to make sure we will run out of food no earlier or later than necessary. Since you can not buy just one or two eggs, a half dozen being the smallest quantity they sell, it was a one egg breakfast this morning. Unfortunately Linda had taken yesterdays comments about her ability to cook eggs to heart, so she "allowed" me to cook while she performed her editing chores.

Getting the errors out

I guess you could say she went from shredd it to edit. OK, OK, that was bad, but remember, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Much of the day was spent in getting ready for leaving for Europe on Linda's part, and getting the computer set up on my part, and both of us were successful, and I'll skip all the gory details, but know, at least no blood was spilled.

As early evening approached, it was time to relax and unwind a bit as the stress is beginning to get to both of us a little bit. To say it gets a little testy at time would be right on, but like Linda says, she has to do everything while I get to do nothing, so is it any wonder I get testy, what with all that time on my hands, but just what was her excuse? She doesn't have any time to get testy, what with all the work she has to do.Maybe it is just the difference between how men think and how women think, i dunno.

Full and fuller

That's an example of what I was talking about, first thing off she accuses me of shorting her glass. I tried to point out the it was merely an optical illusion, that both glasses had the same amount of the good stuff. She wasn't buying that, claiming anyone with even just one eye could see there was more in mine. Never did convince her, stubborn woman, but the three ice cubes in mine simply made it look like mine was fuller.

To put some distance between us, Linda decided to take her tiny little drink outside, something she immediately regretted when she discovered it was much warmer in the coach than outdoors. Coming back, she noticed something unusual about the RV next door. She went over to let them know, and even though the man of the house claimed nothing could be wrong, he ventured out to check.

What is it

It was as Linda had said, as this close-up of what we was looking at shows.

How'd that happen

It was a case of water, water everywhere, and not a drop would you want to drink. It looked like he might have left his tank flush water running, which completely filled the tank and somehow overflowed. Regardless of what it was, he had a real mess on his hands and we decided it was better to be little birdies looking at what was going on than going out to find out in person. After all, if it happened to you, would you want all the neighbours over checking it out and no doubt offering unneeded advice.

Later we decided to take our daily counting walk, though we weren't optimistic the numbers would show an increase in empty spaces, there having been a group of RVers who arrived together today.. The interesting thing was the number of vacant spaces, 65, the same as yesterday, which meant a number of people had left. We also learned the group was here to see the Arizona Opry when we stumbled upon a group of Minnesotans huddled around a fire acting like it was 30 below instead of 75..

Fire and smoke

Maybe we didn't stumble upon them and maybe they didn't really act like it was 30 below, but in a way it reminded us of when we walked up to a fire several years ago and ended up going to Mexico a few days later with the RV America group. We had a good time talking about our Life and our guide, Sara N. Dippity.. It turned out they had been coming here for a number of years to winter, and would be heading back to Minnesota in a few days. Something tells me we will stick to our plans of going to Europe rather than follow them to Minnesota.

Arizona evening

Now that photo gives you an idea of what an evening in Apache Junction is really like. it reminds me of what you would see on a postcard, but it is real. It's no wonder they have been coming here to winter for so many years. Unfortunately the idyllic postcard life had to end, at least for me, and so it was back to the coach to fix the little woman's dinner. Darn, I forgot to show them my slave bracelet, but they, probably figured out I was Linda's slave from the way I catered to her every need and only spoke when spoken to.

Dinner was sausage patties, beans, rice and salad. The salad of lettuce, onions and tomato was eaten on the sausage, and was it ever good. As the day ended we realized that tomorrow will be the last full day of our current Life, because on Sunday we move the RV to the storage place, then on Monday morning we leave for Spain.

Today once again proved how true that little motto at the bottom of every page truly is: "Life is not a dress rehearsal, Don't be afraid to laugh, love and retire early." Have a great one, we did.

March 28 Saturday

From now on any posts you will see until we return from Europe will have been written using the eee pc. So any mistakes or errors of omission and transgression, with at least a few fumble finger typing mistakes thrown in. One of the advantages to this process is there wasn't time to fix breakfast, so Linda stepped up to the plate both figuratively and literally.


I do think Linda is getting older because 20 years ago if we were so much as going camping for the weekend, she would have had everything packed on Wednesday night. Now we are leaving in two days forover three months in Europe and there are still things to be packed. It's not that she has forgotten, at least when it comes to what I'm supposed to do at least. After hearing several, "You are going to shine your sandals, aren't you", with strong emphasis placed on the last to words of that command, I mean query, I took saddle soap in hand and did as suggested.


It wasn't long before she was outside with me, making a pocket case for her new camera. She had gone to the post office to mail out the last few packages, and I had thought she was gone longer than she should have. turned out she had gone shopping and what she bought was a piece of fabric that had a leather like finish on one side. I thought the piece looked awfully small, and when I asked, she said it was seven inches wide. I wonder what the sales lady thought when Linda asked her to cut that little piece off the bolt . Those old eyes now need all the sunlight possible to see where to place her stitches.


It's times like these that the lessons in hand stitching that seemed so old fashioned, after all everyone uses a sewing machine today, actually come in handy.

We had another outside job to do, though it didn't start out as one. I have a watch, a Casio G Shock which Linda gave me for my birthday many years ago. From the atomic time setting to the solar power, up to and including the light that automatically illuminates the dial in low light conditions when you look at it, this watch is everything I could ever use in a wristwatch. The problem comes in changing any of the settings due to the 70 page instruction booklet.


Linda came up with the bright idea of photographing the appropriate pages, but unfortunately we were having trouble finding a good spot with enough light to take the photos. Outside there was bright light, so outside we went. It was while she was taking these photos, that's my fingers holding the page, I had an even brighter idea. Why not check on the Internet for the instructions. A little searching, and a PDF file was residing on one of the thumb drives we are taking along. Now we have three places to check for those tiny little printed instructions. The computers ability to zoom is our friend.

Ours wasn't the only activity taking place outside today, as all around us others were also busy, though for a different reason. The park hosts were all working this weekend, not on maintenance, but with checking out the people who were leaving, and this was a common sight out our window.

Time to go

Dinner was once again a joint effort, I think I could get used to having an assistant chef in the kitchen, though as talented as she is, it wouldn't be long before she became the executive chef, while I did all the work again. We were originally going to have shrimp, but really switched things around, going with scallops instead. That was when I definitely pulled a Linda, managing to turn the peanut sauce into a black crumbling mess, but with a shout of "Don't scrape, don't scrape" coming from Linda, I salvaged the scallops.

I figure, what with all the meals she's burned over the years, though there was only one time when I was home that flames were shooting up from the stove, she was well experiencd in what to do in these situations. Now I wonder what kind of editorial comments that will bring. [Editor's comment: he asked for it so...I only burned food when I was engrossed in helping him or the kids, distractions are a legit excuse.]

Time to eat

As planned we both went back to bed early tonight, part of our effort to mitigate the effects of the 9 hour time change we will be going through. Needless to say, sleep did not come easily, but then again, isn't that part of the adventure of Life: To try something different.

March 29 Sunday

For somebody who is supposed to be getting up early to mitigate the effects of our up coming jet lag, the hour I arose this morning was bad. After managing to be up and at them around 4AM the past week, I chose this morning, the dress rehearsal day for our trip, to pop my eyes open just a few minutes before 5AM.

Linda didn't have my problem, getting up at her new normal time of 6;30. Before she gets too much credit, let me point out that she has been getting up at this time because I wake her up, because that's what she's told me to do. She hadn't been up long before she noticed the spots next to us were empty. We had seen someone outside last night disconnecting the water using a flashlight to see, so we had figured they would be leaving early. They had, but in their place something different had appeared.

Bird and bunny

We'd seen many quail, but this was our first rabbit, but why did it have to make an appearance on our last day here, such is luck. Something else made an appearance, but it was its last appearance, our frozen parsley cubes that we have been storing in the freezer for quite some time. Just how old they were was something we noticed when opening the package.

A little old

Some where along the line it had changed from the chopped parsley as stated on the label, into parsley mush, plus it no longer had an aroma that was even faintly reminiscent of parsley, but at least it was still green.

Somewhat greenish eggs and turkey

That might look like green eggs and ham, but unfortunately it was not. The correct caption would be: greenish eggs and chopped turkey, which is neither as colorful, nor as flavorful as the real thing, not that it wasn't good, it was. The rest of the morning was spent doing the little tasks necessary to put the coach into storage for the next 111 days. The coach maintenance engineer had forgotten about washing the bugs off the windshield, but once I got the ladder out and set-up, her memory improved.


While she was doing this, I was right there, handing the buckets up to her, moving the ladder as needed and pointing out any spots she had missed. Unfortunately I was a total failure at the latter job, either that or she manage to perform the perfect application of soap and water to the windshield. Knowing her, I'll opt for the her being perfect, after all I married her, didn't I.

Next it was time for me to struggle with the permission issue I have been fighting the past few days, not the one with Linda, I'll never get that one remedied, rather the one with the computer. This time I realized exactly what the problem was, that always helps, doesn't it, and then the solution while simple, was time consuming. All that work made us hungry, and it wasn't long till I had it fixed.

Green lunch

Looks like we had a green theme for food today, but what comes out of the refrigerator is what goes on the plate..Shrimp pirata tacos with jalapeno cheese and a cilantro sprig, lettuce topped with an avocado mayo blend, and the last of our grapes. Not bad for a couple of country kids who spent the first 18 years of their life eating boiled beef, mashed potatoes and green beans most of the time.

Later, when we had the coach in a more manageable condition, we drove it over to where it will be stored. Then it was time to do the last task that pertained to packing, going over Linda's checklist. That is always an exciting time, eliciting outbursts from both of us directed at each other and also no one in particular. I contended she should have put the items on the checklist in the order they are packed. She contended that if I had half the brain I claim to have, I could easily find the item she was reading from the list.

No blood was spilled, but the temperature in the coach rose to the point where she had to stop and open some more windows. Eventually we came to the last item, which meant, I could clear off the bed, and finally get some sleep. It also meant that if we do manage to forget anything, it will be my fault for saying I saw it, when I just said I did so we could get this ordeal over and I could go to bed. I'd never say it, but the real reason it wouldn't be packed was because she didn't have it on her list. [Editor's comment: He sure is full of it, isn't he]

It was 9 o'clock when my head hit the pillow, an hour later than I had hoped, and all because of Linda's inefficiency. What a way to begin our trip. Now if we can just get up when the alarm goes off at 3AM, and Super Shuttle is on time and Linda remembers to pack our boarding passes and ....

March 30 Monday

The alarm clock was off this morning. Not the one that Linda set to wake me at 3 AM, my internal alarm that went off 40 minutes early at 2:20. I was debating whether to get up or not, when I heard,"Stop figiiting" come from the other side of the bed. I did my best for the next 30 minutes or so because I was not getting up before 3 AM.

Getting up at the appointed time I got ready, then went out to the front of the coach and started working on the Daily Journal. I'd only been at it a few minutes when Linda came bouncing out. Since she had not planned on getting up until 4 AM, I figured I was in deep trouble. Turned out not to be the case, and she simply started in finishing up the packing. At some point I finished the Daily Journal and uploaded it, then we made breakfast from the last of our refrigerator food.


We had emptied the last of the food from it last night, putting it in the sink with the ice from the ice maker. She sopped up the water from the little bit of melted ice in the freezer compartment, then threw away the few things we hadn't been able to eat. It was just a little bit of mayo, barbecue sauce and a couple of other things. As she worked she commented on how she never thought we could do such a good job of eating everything. I held my tongue, but wanted to say that maybe my superior menu planning had something to do with. Then I remembered that it was her that did the menu planning for the last week.

In the meantime I found out the website had not posted, and Linda was reminding me to finish my packing. Proving I can do more than one thing at a time, here is breakfast, computer and the last of my packing. all together.


Breakfast over, it was time to get rid of breakfasts past, which is a nice way of saying it was time to dump the tanks. Not only did I, notice that I did the dumping, but I also used the clean-out wand to make it really clean. Linda then put the good smelling stuff in so she doesn't come back to odors. We also got a goodbye call from our son, something that he'd promised to do.

Once that was done it was time to head off to where we were to meet the Super Shuttle driver.


Super Shuttle give a 15 minute window on the pick up, and when the driver isn't there in the first minute of the window, our thoughts, quite naturally, turn to whether he is going to be late. That didn't happen, he hit the window dead center, and with that we were off to Sky Harbor Airport. After making two more pickups, we arrived with more than two hours to spare.

The technology of the flight check-in is evolving faster than our ability to figure it out, and I'm sure more than one person wondered at the stupidity of the old guy with the good looking blonde. Thankfully one of the agents came to our aid, and after that it was easy. Out at the gate so early, an opportunity to use a wall plug and write a little of the daily Journal presented itself.

Just like old times

The also had wireless Internet,something that makes me envious of the hardships I used to go through trying to find a phone to connect with the modem, these guys have it so lucky today. On the other hand, so do I, I don't gotta work no more, which makes up for all the past trials that my constant business travel engendered.

Eventually we boarded the plane, the use of "zones" to control who boarded when was something new to us, but actually made the process much better. Our Delta Flight to Cincinnati was completely full, but still took off on time. As we became airborne it was time to say goodbye to the desert gray and tans of Arizona.

In the air

We had been in the air about three hours when the state where we had lived many years ago was underneath the plane. The spring greens were not in full color yet, none of the trees had leafed out, but still, the contrast with Arizona was significant. Ohio looked pretty good to two former Buckeyes.


We had a short connection in Cincinnati, which meant it wasn't long before we were heading east once again. This flight was only a half to two thirds full, which was nice, especially since it allowed for better service from the flight attendants. The plane was a 767 and with our window seats we actually had a far better time than my dazed look would indicate..

Flight or fright?

Don't let that photo mislead you as to how much we were enjoying our travels, because while I was old sober sides, Linda was the cut-up kid.


The heck of it is, she didn't use that mask to help her sleep. Maybe she thought she would give the little baby across the aisle such a fright, it would scream all night.. With the plane taking off at 7:30 PM and landing at 8:30 AM, with a 4 hour hour time change, there wasn't going to be much time to catch our forty winks.

With this being an international flight, it meant dinner and wine were complimentary. Unfortunately we were so hungry by the time the meal was served, it was all I could do to capture the remains of the day..

Flight food

The day ended with us somewhere over the Atlantic, blazing the trail that President Obama would follow in just a few hours. Now who would have ever thought that we were that important. To say it was a good day would be right in more ways than one. With luck and Internet connections we hope to be able to share our joys and foibles with you for the next 110 days.

March 31 Tuesday

Unlike yesterday morning, today there was no alarm clock going off at an early morning hour, only the steady drone of powerful jet engines noticed as we repeatedly awakened for a few moments before going back to sleep during the short night. If you've ever flown to Europe, you know what we mean. If you've never flown to Europe, have you got a real treat waiting for you,though once you've experienced it, treat may not be the word you use..

Neither of us could tell how many hours we slept during the night, As far as I was concerned, everytime I woke up, Linda was snoring like a hibernating grizzle and I hoped everyone else on the plane was wearing ear plugs. Her comment was that everytime she woke up I was sweetly sleeping in my seat. Looking back, those moments she was awake were probably the only quiet moments during the night , so it was natural that I would be sleeping then.

Since we both awakened at the same time, I can only conclude Linda must have let out such a might blast of snoring that it woke both of us up. Lifting the shade and looking out the window, this was what greeted us.

Atklantic daybreak

We had to be somewhere between Cincinnati and London, but exactly where we did not know. Then the movie we hadn't watched, ended, and a map appeared on the screen showing we were just approaching the southern tip of Ireland. We were fully awake by the time our breakfast of a banana, croissant and orange juice, airlines style, was served.

After choking it down, we settled back to watch the clouds roll by outside the window. Once it was announced we were approaching London Gatwick Airport where we would be landing, there was still no break in the clouds. Finally we broke though and got our first close-up glimpse of England. We had seen it from the air on our flight to Amsterdam last year, but it was from umppty thousand feet and we really couldn't see anything.

English countryside

The fact that all the fields were so small was intriguing. I'm not sure that I had a preconceived notion of what the English countryside looked like, but I know this wasn't what it was. The touchdown and landing at Gatwick was so smooth, it wasn't even noticable, then we were at the gate and debarking. The one thing I remember was out of the several hundred people getting off the plane, was only one of a half dozen or so poeple and myslf were in short sleeves, all of whom spoke in an American accent. The Brits were all bundled up like immigrants from the Arctic, and for good reason, It was cold.

Even though we were connecting to a flight to Alicante, Espana, we still had to fill out our A-92 or somewhat such number form. We easily cleared British customs/immigration whatever it was, and found ourselves totally lost. Eventually we discovered where we needed to be and following the signs as best we could, ended up on the second floor of the North Terminal. The problem was that all we could see had something to do with BAA, or British Airlines.

Lost, not us, we simply didn't know where EasyJet, the airline we were looking for was located. Seeing that Zone A, B, C etc were all BAA, we decided to see what was further done the alphabet. As it should be, the "E" in EasyJet was down the list, and before we knew it, Linda was madly searching for the toenail trimmers she had made a special trip to WalMart to buy.. Once security had confiscated them, we were cleared to go to our gate.

The only problem was that no gate had been assigned, the arrival/departure board only showing, "awaiting gate", meaning no gate had been assigned and so we had no idea of which of the 111 gates we would be going to. The only thing going for us was that we were in England, where other than the really funny accent everyone used when they talked, we could understand both the signs and the language.

We had about an hour and a half until the gate was assigned, so we took turns wandering around the terminal. Linda found a book store and a neat fountain, while I located an ATM so we could pay for whatever she found..


At last the gate was posted, and of course it had to gate 107, which meant that only gates 108 thru 111 where further from the terminal building than it was. We weren't the only ones waiting for that gate assignment and so we just joined in with the people following the signs.

It was on the way out to the gate that I got my first look at a "Loo", as the British call them. it was one of those once in a lifetime experiences, and I need to share it, in all its glory, with you.

My first loo

One of the questions we had was ,would our bags be within the strict carry-on size requirements of this low cost British airline. Finding a bag size checker, we learned our fate.

Baggage check

Now we knew the Rick Steves 21 inch backpack style bag could be taken aboard EasyJet. One word of caution, our bags were not expanded, weren't stuffed full, volume wise, and Linda's weighed 19 lbs, while mine was just a shade under 21 pounds. They contained everything we had brought for traveling 3 1/2 months in Europe, some of which such as our travel literature, would be thrown away during our travels, to be replaced with a small amount of gifts and souvenirs.

The bags fit

The bags easily fit in the overhead bins, but it is what this photo doesn't show that is more important. When I used to fly on business we would refer to some planes as cattle cars because of the size and closeness of the seats. Let me tell you that after taking this flight we had no concept of what a cattle car was. As Crocodile Dundee might have said: Those weren't a cattle car mate, this is a cattle car. There is no legroom and the seats don't recline, which meant Linda, who was sitting in the center seat was getting claustrophobia to the point of becoming physically ill. Fortunately there were several open seats at the rear of the plane, one of which was an aisle seat, so that unpleasantness was avoided.

If there hadn't been an open aisle seat, Linda was going to as the man in the aisle seat next to her to change places. If he refused she was going to tell him she was about to get sick from the claustrophobia and she was going to be facing in his direction when she did because she sure wasn't going to get sick on herself,bor her husband. Now you know why I always say yes dear when she wants something and make sure to wear my Linda's slave bracelet.

Continuing our theme of what does it look like from the air, here was what the coastline along the Mediterranean looked like as we approached Alicante, Spain.


There was no jetway at our gate, so we had to wait for a shuttle bus to pick us up and transport us to the terminal. It was cool and windy, but at least it wasn't raining at the moment. When we got to the terminal we had our first surprise, there was no customs check, so they didn't stamp our passports..


What followed next was your usual traveler like a fish out of water flopping around till it gets lucky and flops back in the water story. Linda had instructions from off the Internet where we needed to go to catch the bus into Alicante, but the stop wasn't where I thought it was. We went back to the terminal, and at the information desk found out it was down the nearby stairs and right across the street instead of way off yonder where we had been walking through the airport parking lots.

Bus stop

At least, once we got to the bus stop, it was well marked and so we settled in to wait for Súbus C-6. It only cost Euro 2.40 for both tickets, and I had asked the bus driver if it went to the train station, which was where we wanted to go, which it did. We then proceeded to hang on for dear life as the driver propelled the full sized bus we were in, down the roads at speeds that would have done a Formula one or NASCAR driver justice. The instructions we had said the trip would take about 40 minutes, but within 15 minutes it looked like we were already in the town of Alicante, even though the airport was quite a distance from town.

As I sat there amazed that the driver could keep the bus upright, let alone on the road and not hitting any vehicles, Linda asked the lady sitting in front of use if she spoke English.She did but she didn't know which stop was for the Train station. At the next stop, everyone, but that lady and Linda and I got off. At that point she, the lady, went forward with Linda and I following to talk to the driver. It turned out that was our stop, it wasn't marked as the train station. only by the name of the street, and we would have to wait until the next stop, then walk back.

It was one of those special kindnesses we encounter, and I wished I had taken her picture. It's also why we travel, to help us understand that we are all just people, as that lady from Africa showed a special kindness to two Americans. It was a long walk back to the area of the train station where our hotel was located, and of course the one short cut I convinced Linda to take caused us to bypass the street the hotel was on. For some reason she didn't think it was fun walking through a narrow alley going uphill with the pack on her back, just so we could turn around and go back downhill to the hotel.

We had, or I should say I had one last bit of flopping to do before we were back in the water, or in this case the hotel. And that was to trip on the low slanted step in front of the hotel and start to do a face plant into the glass door. Fortunately Linda picked that very moment to open the door, but I had to wonder what the young man behind the counter thought when he saw me stagger through the door.

It was La City Hotel,and for Euro 60 for the one night, it was far better than the typical Comfort Inn, Motel 6 or Best Western in the states. There were only four rooms on each floor, with only six or seven floors, our room was on the fifth floor so that was a high as we went, and as is typical, a double meant two people in a room in twin beds.

La City Hotel

As you can see, the bathroom had a bidet.


It didn't take Linda long to make the room home, especially after noticing I had sat on somechewing gum. First she used a cold can of soda form the room's refrigerator to get most of it out, then washed it and dried it. I thought her inventive use of what she had available, especially when it came to drying, spoke volumes about why I keep saying she is so great. When was the last time you sat on a bidet and used a hair dryer to dry clothes. See what I mean.

Clothes dryer

All that hard work made the poor woman hungry and thirsty, so once they were dry enough to put back on, we set off in search of food. We had seen a Taperia nearby when we were trying to find the hotel, and not into further searching, went in. What a great experience it turned out to be.

First course

We began with two small glasses of draft beer, which we followed with pork in tomato sauce and chunky sour cream potato salad for Linda, calamari and creamy spicy potato salad for me, and a plate of awesome deviled eggs which was followed by the special desert, The owner didn't speak much English as so couldn't tell us what was in it, so we took a flyer on the dessert. It turned out to be bread pudding of some type, something I liked much better than Linda.


We both agreed it was one of our best meals in long time, at a restaurant that is. It was also hard to believe that all that food, along with the two beers was only Euro 17. It looks like Spain is turning out to be a great place. Back at the hotel, I worked on the Daily Journal, while Linda wrote her own journal that she wants to keep this year. We have already forgotten so much of what we did last year because we didn't write it down, shame on me for not keeping the Daily Journal up, but we were on the go constantly. So this year she's taking matters into her own hands, quite literally.


We were definitely tired when we turned the lights out, even though it was only one o'clock in the afternoon back in Arizona where we had been just a day earlier. Now to see whether all my early rising paid off in terms of reducing my jet lag, which so far was no problem for either of us.

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