Eight p.m., and I couldn’t be more content. Just 24 hours ago, it was a different story.
When we arrived at RV Renovators yesterday, things were going well… so well that everyone agreed it was likely the work would be finished no later than Friday. Whoopee! Great news! We answered some questions, made some last minute decisions, took some photos. The skylight over the shower was out (being cleaned); the TV was mounted but the other components and framing were yet to come; and guys were crawling around on the roof scraping off old caulking to be replaced with new. Another day’s worth of work, barring problems.
The couch was back in place and bolted down, and the new shelf behind it looks as though it is original equipment. I am very impressed by how well Billy matched the new wood to the existing wood, and the attention to detail where the old and new blend. The little flip top hides a box designed to hold magazines. It is just what I wanted, very well executed.
We left the shop feeling excited and pleased, still not SURE work would be complete on Friday, but ready to make a reservation at our park of choice, Apache Palms (where we stayed for a week last month). Apache Palms is one of few RV parks in the area with cable TV (odd, isn’t it?) – and we need a cable TV hookup to make sure the new TV and components are correctly wired.
Mid-February in Phoenix, Arizona. Are there more snowbirds gathered in one place anywhere else in the US? Maybe Florida, but Phoenix is the mecca for warmth-seeking seniors in the southwest in winter. Apache Palms? NO vacancy! :(
To the internet we flew, executing a dispiriting search in every-widening circles around Phoenix. Nothing to be found with cable TV; in fact, nothing to be found, period. We finally gave up and went to bed, not sure we could plan on getting Scoopy back on Monday, and wondering where we would stay if we did!
I awoke rejuvenated. As soon as I finished my morning tea, I called Apache Palms again and, guess what? They had a large, pull through site available – for three days beginning on Monday! We snapped it up. An excellent beginning to the day, and a sign of good things to come.
Sunny, cool, calm – the day begged for a hike. With nothing to be done at RV Renovators, we set off to explore new territory, McDowell Mountain Regional Park, 30 miles from downtown Phoenix. Like Usery, McDowell Mountain has an appealing campground, where we stopped to visit our new friends Gregg and Sally. What a view they had from their campsite (sorry, no photo)!
After our visit and a tour of the campground, we headed to the visitor center for hiking advice. The volunteer sent us off in the right direction: Scenic Trail, 4.3 miles (and 10,500+ steps) of pleasant up and down, through saguaros and scrub. Sixty sunny degrees. Just us, the jackrabbits, the cardinals, the cacti, the sunshine.
At the halfway point on the trail, we sat on a bench and relaxed in a quiet of the desert, letting the stresses of the urban area and the renovations fall away. I can’t wait to get back to the open spaces!
Then Odel flipped open his phone and called Eddie, our service writer at RV Renovators. How are things going, we wanted to know? Eddie’s answer: done! Friday they will clean up, wash the outside, then they’re done. Wow!
We finished our hike with bounce in our steps and went off to our last adventure of the day: dinner at Corbin’s Bar and Grill, using our Groupon coupon. Have you heard of Groupon? Each day, some sort of deal is available in the city of your choice (I have been watching three cities, Phoenix, Tucson, and Sacramento). Most of the deals seems to be for spa services, car washing, manicures… but many are offerings from restaurants, and you see an occasional good deal at a bookstore.
While we were in Yuma, I saw the deal for Corbin’s – pay $15 for $30 worth of food. I did a little internet research, checking restaurant reviews and the menu – where I saw Southern Style Fried Chicken, a favorite of Odel’s. That cinched it - I bought the coupon, $15 charged to my credit card immediately.
We used the coupon tonight. After our hike, we were hungry, and in a mood to celebrate. Our total bill (excluding tip) was $62. When they deducted $30 and the associated sales tax, we paid $29 (and of course I had already paid $15). The food was very, very good, the service friendly and attentive, and we were happy because we got a deal. What’s not to like? :)
The day began with a stroke of good luck and ended with a wonderful meal. In between, we explored a new area, spent time with new friends, and hiked a lovely trail. Tomorrow we’ll visit Scoopy and make a plan to move back in. Tonight, life looks very good, indeed.