Saturday, November 14, 2009

We have been in Mesa for over 2 weeks now and it is good to be back with friends and getting into our winter routine. We attend exercise classes 4 times a week, and play Texas Hold 'em twice a week. Mike has joined the golf team and I go to fused jewelry class. We ride our bikes, enjoy the patio, cook good food and party. Now that we are in a routine it is almost time to go home for the holidays. Depending on the weather, we will going home for the holidays on Friday, November 20th.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Halloween in Las Vegas with the grandkids, Alex, Ian and Tea.

Monday, November 2, 2009

After a couple of weeks at home, we are on the road again. It snowed the week we were planning to leave so we had to watch the advancing storms to pick our depart date. We wanted to be in Las Vegas on Halloween to see the kids and grandkids. When leaving Vegas we wanted to go over Boulder Dam to check the progress of the road and bridge construction. Since 9/11, they will only allow you over the dam after a thorough inspection to determine no one is carrying explosives or other destructive devices. At the check station it was determined that we had locked the truck keys in the truck, so they would not let us go over because we could not unlock the back of the truck for their exam. We turned around and went back to Boulder, called our emergency road service. Our rescuer opened the door and once again we were on our way over the dam. The construction is really progressing and something to see. We arrived at Towerpoint, in Mesa Arizona, our winter home last night, with a dead battery in the truck. Oh well we are here and ready for the next adventure. By the way, it was 86 degrees when we arrived, sure beats the snow and 30 degrees.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Airlie Winery

Airlie Winery-Mary Olson, Owner

Elizabeth Clark, Winemaker

We spent the last 2 weeks at the Winery, as the first shift of the Harvest Crew, along with Jake and Lynn Whalen from Phoenix, Arizona, Bob and Kathy Gray from Prescott, Arizona and Tom Danger from Tuscon, Arizona. The grape ripening was slower than expected. We were able to bring in the Muller Thurgau and Marechal Foch before we left for home. Mary is still waiting for the other grapes to ripen a little more and praying the rain soon stops. They still need to bring in the Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Chardonnay. During the time we were there, Bob Gray along with the Clean Up Crew almost finished a new deck as an addition to the tasting room. The tool shed was re-organized, the Foch and Gris barrels were cleaned in preparation for barreling down the new wines. We picked sample grapes and tested them so Elizabeth could determine if they were ready for picking. We worked the de-stemmer, pressed the white grapes and sent the red grapes to fermentation tanks, innoculated the juice, cleaned the filter, punched down the juice and labled some of the 2008 wines. Mike worked his favorite job, bringing up the totes of grapes with the tractor. One tote on the front end and one on the back end. Each tote holds about 800 to 1000 pounds of grapes.

Last year we helped plant 2700 new grape plants, it was great to see them growning when we arrived this year. It takes about 4 years before they will start producing. Mary now has about 38 acres of grapes.
Elizabeth developed a new wine she named, 7 . It is a blend of 7 different white grapes. It is one of my favorites.

We ate lots of wonderful meals, laughed alot and even drank a little wine. The work has only begun, Jake and Lynn are staying another week and then another crew will need to finish up.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Yesterday we moved to Newport, Oregon. This is one of our favorite places, it is a little larger than Florence but still a small town. A good place to have lunch is called Local Ocean Seafood. There is a great kite store called The Kite Company that is worth the stop. Of course I couldn't leave without buying a new flag. Tomorrow we will be moving to Airlie Winery in Monmouth for our annual volunteer work. Mary called this morning and said we need to come in tomorrow so we can get parked before the wood is delivered for the addition to the tasting room. Bob Gray is currently working on this project. It looks like the picking will start on Monday. Get your boots on it will be really busy on the crush pad next week.

Friday, September 25, 2009

We have been Florence, Oregon for almost a week. Florence is located on the coast of Oregon, it is beautiful here. The ocean is on one side and it is forest like on the other. We visited the Heceta Lighthouse, which began service in 1894. The 56 foot tall light lighthouse is rated as the brightest light of any of the lighthouses on the Oregon coast-its "first order" Fresnel lens is visible some 21 miles out to sea. The views from the lighthouse are amazing. Since it sits 205 feet above the sea on a jagged and rugged cliff line, its sightline is unobstructed. The guys spend a day fishing on Mercer lake, Mike caught 1 yellow perch, Jake caught a few and Bob enthusically hooked 21, which he made sure that Mike and Jake knew he was well ahead of them. We spent one day on the Ocean Dunes golf course, the golf course was built on sand dunes and yet there was forest all around us. We shopped and ate at great resturants. One not to miss if you are ever in Florence is the Waterfront Depot in Old Town. You need reservations so plan ahead. The Crab encrusted Halibut is fantastic and only $11.00.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

On September 16, 2009, we left on our next adventure. We spent the first night with Jerry and Zola Hatch in Hansen, Idaho, they have a wonderful house on 5 acres where they watch all the critters eating their beautiful manicured garden. Then on to Pendleton, Oregon where we were planning to stay at "Walmart". But to our surprize it was the start of the Pendleton Rodeo and quess who was taking the entire parking lot, yep Cowboys and Cowgirls, so we meandered over to the Wildhorse Casino and stayed with the rest of the Cowpeople. On Friday we traveled to Tualatin, Oregon so we could meet up with Darla Lindsey and her partner Linda. They took us out to a wonderful Italian dinner. Saturday, Sept. 19th, we met up in Florence, Oregon with our traveling friends Lynn and Jake Whalen from Phoenix, Arizona. We will be here for a week or so waiting for Mary Olsen to call us to come to the Winery with news are ready to harvest. We are camped at the Elk's Camground in Florence across the street from the Pacific Ocean, It is beautiful here and the weather is too.

Mike and Jake worked on our coach. One of the cabinets over the passenger side door was falling off the wall, and we were having problems with the lights on the truck. It appears that all the repairs have been taken care of for now.

Friday, May 8, 2009

RV Fire

What a hectic 8 months we have been through. In August 2008, our 2004 American Tradition Motor Coach burned to the ground while in the shop for some repairs. Of course this happened just prior to us leaving for an extended trip. After working with many insurance companies and trying to categorize all our losses, we met up with our replacement Motor Coach in Mesa, Arizona on January 8, 2009. Luckily we had replacement insurance for the Motor Coach, so we did get a 2008, American Tradition. We did not get to choose the one we wanted as our insurance policy required that the insurance company pick out one that was comparable to the one we lost. Mike spent the winter fixing all the problems on the new coach. Now that we are home, the coach is in the shop getting the rest of the issues resolved. The joys of a new coach!

The one thing that we learned from this was how necessary it is to keep an inventory list of everything you have in your RV. Thanks to several friends who helped us compile our inventory. We are still remembering items we lost, several months after the list was turned in.