Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fun in the Sun on Canyon Lake, Part One

A couple of weeks ago, 30 crazy people rented 3 pontoon boats and spent 5 hours on the beautiful, scenic Canyon Lake in Arizona.

It was the brainstorm of a guy named Jim. Here he is giving marching orders to the gang before leaving our park. He's the one in the blue shirt.

We left the park by 7:15 am, got to the marina by 8:15 am, and were on the boats by 8:30 am. It was a gorgeous morning. The sun was just coming over the mountains.

This wasn't a "Three Hour Tour" like "Gilligan's Island", but a "Five Hour Tour". Nonetheless, Lenore wanted to play the part of "Ginger" because she had a fancy hat.


Lenore, a.k.a. "Ginger"
We all clamored into the boat. Henry was to be our Captain. The boys, particularly Doug, seemed fascinated that there was a table on the boat.

The first boat led the way as we head out on the lake.

The scenery was stunning. The lighting was PERFECT so early in the morning for pictures. Judge for yourself.

The first stop was 2 miles down, called Beer Can Point. It had primitive bathrooms (no running water). Obviously there were no bathrooms on board the boats, so we DEFINITELY wanted to stop there! Here we are docked at the pier. Henry entertained us with his singing and guitar playing, and the girls did an impromptu dance!

Ellen (l), Pat (not me), Lenore, Diane
Lou was on one of the other boats. He brought two water guns.

Diane learned what it was like to feel a big gun.

It's a showdown!

Meanwhile, Diane's husband, Henry, paid no attention to her nonsense, and serenaded "da boys". Just look at their contented faces, especially David's, the guy in the center!

A man on one of the boats realized that he forgot his bag with his camera and wallet back on the dock two miles back! They couldn't contact the marina because of no cell service in the canyon. So they had no choice but to circle back and hope that the items were still there.

We didn't care. We waited at Bear Can Point and partied. We were lucky not only to have one musician on board, but TWO. Here is Doug, strumming a tune or two.

We armed the two waiting boats with the water guns and ambushed the other boat when it returned from its "rescue-the-wallet-mission". Pretty soon we were acting like a bunch of teenagers and racing up the lake, shooting the water gun at each other!

Our boat and the other boat that was armed took turns shooting at each other and the defenseless boat. Finally, the defenseless boat used the only ammunition they had: ugliness. That's right. A guy bent over and MOONED us! I'll only show the beginning of the moon so I don't offend anyone!

Ugh! An image I have to poke out of my mind's eye!

Henry raced off, leaving the other two boats eating our "dust".

It seems that the next turn on the lake brought more gorgeous scenery, if that was at all possible.

To be continued.....

Monday, March 28, 2011


I know I promised you photos and such from our recent Variety Show, but I've run into some problems. First I was waiting to get the video of Jim's routine from various people. Once I got the video, (three different ones, actually!) I was going to post it on YouTube. One woman had already tried to post it and she got slapped with "copyright infringement" because of the music that was used in the background! Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman sing, "Time to Say Goodbye" while a group of guys perform on stage. I'm not going to give away what the act is yet. So, I sent an e-mail to Andrea Bocelli yesterday, 'cause we're like best buds, *wink*, asking permission to use his music on this video. Who knows if I get a response. Stay tuned....


Our time is winding down here in Mesa. We will leave on Saturday, April 2. Some of our friends have already started the trek back home. It's a rude awakening, especially if the weather is still cold back home!

But it's TIME to go home. We have a wonderful, wonderful time here with our friends. We eat a lot, drink a lot, party A LOT, dance a lot, and laugh. Boy do we laugh.

It is a gluttony of activity.

And we eat it all up.

Both literally and figuratively.

So although we are sad when we leave, it does our body good to do so. We slow down, hang our liver on the clothesline to dry out for awhile, hang up our dancing shoes, put up our tired feet, and just REST. We eat better, we slow down. Why, there are even some days that there is NOTHING on our calendar. Hard to imagine.

But I always feel sad to say goodbye to my friends here. I pray we all return safely in the fall.


Speaking of gluttony, that's what it's like with all the grapefruit trees here. All the grapefruit have to be off the trees by the middle of March for the trees to begin to blossom for the next season. It was a good year for grapefruit. Our friends, Ray and Viv, had over 300 grapefruit on their tree! It was a common sight to see a box with the words "FREE" or "HELP" written all over it full of the fruit sitting by the curb in front of many park models. And ironically, half the people here can't EAT this fruit because they are on cholesterol pills!

Once the trees start to bloom, the smell is just intoxicating. The sweet smell permeates the air, and it gets stronger in the evening. Some people think the smell is a bit cloying; me - I love it!

(photo courtesy of flikr)

I just found out that Estee Lauder makes a perfume out of grapefruit blossoms. Plus orange blossoms, lemon leaves, sweet tangerine and lavender flowers, among several other ingredients. It's called Bronze Goddess:

and is available here.

Only problem is, I'm afraid that if I wear it Jim would just be sneezing and blowing his nose the whole time.

And what fun would that be?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Weekend Reflections - Kayaker

On a recent boat ride on Canyon Lake in Arizona, I spied this woman kayaking with her black dog. Then, all of a sudden, a little white haired dog popped his head up! I couldn't believe she could fit both dogs in her little boat. They both sat as still as could be as she paddled around!

For more Weekend Reflections, visit James here.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

St. Paddy's Day Celebration

I wanted to post this on St. Patrick's Day, but, alas, I'm late. We have had something scheduled just about every single day for the past week. I've hardly had time to comment on everyone's blogs, let alone post on my own!

Here are photos from the St. Patrick's Day Parade here in the park.

These are the Drillettes, the female marching team. Their usual costume is black pants, white shirt, red hat, but they were feeling a bit Irish that day!

Here they are doing one of their routines.

Our Val Vista line dancers were in rare form! Classes meet twice a week; one for beginners and one for advanced.

The Kitchen Band is one of the crowd favorites. It's made up of only a few REAL instruments; the rest are made from kitchen utensils and odds and ends.

The pot of gold

These are a couple of our "Rangers"; volunteers who escort new people to their sites. Love the doggies!

The pickleball team was lead by a couple of "cowboys"!

In case you've never seen a pickleball paddle or ball.....

Of course, the ball was tied to the paddle just for the parade!

Love this little leprechaun!

No matter what, this tortoise,

and this 43 year-old horse,

show up in every parade.

I think I can say without bragging, that the crowd's ALL TIME FAVORITE of the parade is the Lawn Chair Drill Team. Jim, again, was a part of it.

open chair (pink arrow is Jim)
throw chair over the shoulder and set behind self
"hike 'em up (pants)"
drop chair behind self

catch chair midway

Sit down!
march away
Here is the video from last year in case you missed it.

Some guys relaxing after the parade. The drill team was lucky; a guy ran out and gave them each a can of beer along the parade route!

The park sponsored a hamburger fry after the parade. For $5 you got a big hamburger, beans, bag of chips, pop or beer (1), and ice cream.

Chairs were set up in the ball room where a band called "Sixteen Tons" was playing. They were really good.

Or you could opt to eat outside and enjoy the warm weather.

But as you could see, the music was so good, even the food servers were dancing!

I couldn't resist this photo! It isn't everyday that you see a bunch of clowns sitting together!

This old guy was a cutie, too!

I've got to admit, I hang around with fun people!

Carol and Sandy
The cutest little leprechaun of them all! He is the grandson of a friend of mine.