Leaving on a Jet Plane (John Denver)

For sure Phoenix is a beautiful city but we have beautiful people back home who we love very much. 😊

Mixed feelings.

After playing shuffleboard games, 30 sequence games, domino games, and over 140 card games of 500, we are all still best friends lol. We will miss our partners Norm and Yolande:) By the way, girls won overall lol We have proof and a witness, Roadie the roadrunner ha! ha!

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Today we pack and get ready for an overnight flight. On our last night, Yolande and I walk the park and admire the decorations to get into the Christmas spirit.




Different to see a decorated cactus and hear Xmas songs when it is 70 degrees outside…

Happy Holiday Season everyone!

(Yolande skiing shortly)

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Photo by Susanne Jutzeler on Pexels.com

Yellow Submarine (The Beatles)

And for our German friends : Arne Alligator ha!

When you visit the Odysea Aquarium in Phoenix, you board a submarine to visit with sea lions, sharks, sea turtles, stingrays etc.

But inside the aquarium, you find Mighty Mike, the 800 lb alligator.


He did not like Roger staring at him ha! ha!


Then there is the walking batfish… quite unique!

walking fish

These otters are among the 8 hand raised as babies. In one year, they ate 200 lbs of…jello 😊


These African penguins like the warm weather. They are being hand fed and given vitamins. But how to know who was fed what?? Keep on reading lol


What a surprise to find a sloth on premise. Did you know they sleep 22 hours a day? Guess what Squidney was doing?? What a life!


Answer : Each penguin wears a loose bracelet on the left wing 🙂

The Toucans were also a surprise.


What colour this live coral!


At the end of the day,

Roger says : Best aquarium ever!
Yolande remarks : Very well designed and displayed; great for families.
Norm comments : It was a “whale” of a show; awesome!

But what are these two discussing lol


Good Morning Sunshine (Oliver)

The sun is shining, in…Val Caron…after a major snowfall yesterday.

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Thanks for the pictures Mel and Curtis 🙂 It is a winter wonderland. I guess this is a heads up for what we will see in a few days… ha

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But the wind was high and the snow, heavy… In Skead, trees fell and had to be cleared. On the positive side, instant Xmas tree!

Let’s try this again…

The sun is shining in Phoenix lol

Perfect day to spend at the park…  Papago park is where you can find amazing rock formations.IMG_7939



IMG_7957Because the Desert Botanical Garden is so close, we agree we should take a walk or sit and relax in extraordinary surroundings. How pleasurable for everyone!

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Sculptures are numerous,

Including the special exhibit from Milan : 1000 animal sculptures of recyclable plastic!




Miles of walking trails allow us to discover a myriad of plants.

Chain Link Colla

Somehow, this prickly pear cactus knows you will not touch it 🙂


Do you see the woodpecker at the top of the funny shaped saguaro?

Trivia : Why does the saguaro cactus have ribs?

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Perfect meal ends the perfect day. So off we go to Organ Pipe Pizza. 6 000 pipes…Built in the 1920’s, the Wurlitzer was reconditioned in 1975.


What sound! Great pizza helps of course 😊

Trivia question answer :

Ribs allow the cactus to expand or contract in response to the amount of moisture it is storing.



Ridin’ Down the Canyon (Willie Nelson, Leon Russell)

Vegetation in Arizona varies from desert landscape to pine forest on certain mountains.

Phoenix just happens to be in the Sonoran Desert where the plants are most interesting and unique!


The prickly pear cactus (front) is easily identified by its broad, flat, green pads.


When you see something new in a supermarket, are you tempted to try it? We tried to cook these ‘pads’…not recommended lol
The ocotillo is a large shrub with long cane-like unbranched spiny stem.

Can you guess why this shrub is called the Palo Verde? It can grow up to 400 years…


Quite easy to guess this guy’s name… the golden barrel!


The saguaro cactus is one of the defining plants of the Sonoran Desert. It is a large, tree-like cactus that develops arms…


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The birds love the Saguaro and nest in the little holes made by the woodpeckers.

Sometimes, it is hard to decipher what is what lolIMG_7856

Norm did not want to visit the Botanical garden…Too bad, he could have received this wise advice from a saguaro cactus lol


One thing is for certain…


Cab Driver (Mills Brothers)

The show last night, Barleens Dinner & Show was fantastic. Great food! Great family entertainment! Well it helps if you are approximately our age lol

Surprisingly, when you sit at the table, your desert awaits you. As they say at Barleens’: Life is short, Eat desert first.

Roger’s favorite

Signs on the road this Thanksgiving read : Wobbling after Gobbling, take a cab!

We are being ‘wise’ and besides, no one wants to drive in the dark and they are forecasting rain,



so we pre-order UBER. Great way to find out if the new ‘schedule in advance’ feature works. 5* Uber driver! He tells us we should have no problems coming  back…

Well, we did! So, we take a cab. The show was well worth it!

What an adventure! First, our driver tells us he just had a huge meal, turkey, steak, desert etc. etc. Needless to say he yawned more than a few times on the way… Then he says he is nervous driving in all this traffic. Finally, he does not stop talking.  Poor Yolande. It is past her bedtime and she is hoping to take a nap on the way home 😊

But wait… after paying him, the cab driver says :’maybe I will find a cheap motel instead of driving home!!!’  At least it is not raining… YET Maybe he had a crystal ball…


Oh What a Night!  (Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons).

First song that comes to mind this morning… Well, they did interpret Frankie Valli songs at the show, and very well at that.  Context not quite the same. (Roger and I just did not get any sleep! Norm and Yolande, they slept like babies. How blessed are they!) lol

When we are about to retire, the rain starts, and the wind… Norm says : There are white caps in the street … We have never experienced this type of weather before. Norm and Yolande will have experienced just about every possible scenario in Arizona…





Shopping (Barenaked Ladies)

No stay in a city is complete without a visit to Walmart and Costco lol.

Well, Walmart is on our way today and we need groceries…
In the store, we find a robot roaming the aisles. His name is Stanley and apparently his job is to take perpetual inventory!


When an annoyed man approaches him and says: ‘Get away Stanley’ the robot changes direction…

What will this world be in 10, 20 years from now???

We visit Costco mainly because we are looking for 100% cotton socks. Do you know how almost impossible it is to find some? Even at this boutique, Lost In Socks in downtown Scottsdale, no sock has more than 80% cotton!

Now, none of us enjoy shopping…so we decide to go back to the motorhome to…play the card game 500.

So far ladies are winning 6 series (10 games) to 4. 😊


The Long and Winding Road (The Beatles)

Frommer’s Guidebooks states the Apache Trail as being the ‘The best scenic drive in Arizona’.
It would take many visits to Arizona to agree or disagree… but even after the Grand Canyon drive, the Petrified Forest Drive, the Jerome to Sedona Drive etc., we have to say it is hard to judge. (especially since the most scenic and dangerous part of the Apache Trail is closed, maybe to never reopen to motor vehicles again…)


The museum at the base of Superstition Mountain, the start of the trail, is quite informative,


Superstition Mountain

the walking trails as well…

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Sets from movies filmed nearby are on display. Elvis, not Yolande is the famous actor here lol.

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The winding road leads to Tonto National Forest and Canyon Lake ….What a view!

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Then on to Tortilla Flats, (the end of the trail for now) and the last surviving stagecoach stop on Apache trail. Population, 6.

The few buildings standing offer a lot of history (or legends).


And some are very entertaining…What did this person do to deserve this??


With these rules, who knows…


Who’s who who’ve been through…Tortilla Flats of course…


On our way back, on those winding roads…


Roger says, look, we could drive this road with the motorhome… 14 ft clearance. ha! ha!


We stop at Goldfield Ghost Town.  Again history,


and fun…


and ice cream to top off the day 😊

Thank you Roger for bringing us back home safely!

Hair (Cowsills) suggested by Rachel Almost cut my hair (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young) suggested by Ray

So, eventually, everyone needs a haircut 🙂 Roger wanted an extension but Yolande convinced him it was not a good idea lol

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Decided to drive to Old Town Scottsdale, a must if you visit Phoenix.

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Norm and Roger were very enthusiastic 🙂

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Until we found a few special boutiques…

Nothing to see here, Denise…Move along…

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See Roger, you non-believer…

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Then back at the park, we look for a sunset… and we decide we miss home, because this is a sunset at 2981 Valleyview Rd. Ah well, soon enough we will be 😊

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Signs (Five Man Electrical Band-Ottawa)

The morning after…someone has to do the dishes 🙂


We do have to walk or bike to spend those calories. 😊

More signs in the park catch our attention.




Then, off to the movies. Everyone agrees that we should see A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. Nothing to add except that everyone should see the movie.

The AMC theatre just happens to be at the Desert Ridge Mall, very family oriented. Even if you do not like to shop (like Roger and Norm),

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you can easily spend a day admiring decorations,

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and keeping busy watching sport events or being active.

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There are numerous restaurants to choose from, but the one we select just happens to have 121 different draft beers and a very well equipped kitchen… What a treat!

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Tomorrow is Haircut day 🙂 Can you think of a song??