Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas 2008

On Monday, 12-22, we headed out from Happy Trails to SoCal. Our destination was our son Matt's house in Hemet, CA. However, before we get there we stopped by Lois's house in La Mirada to drop our dog Pearl off for her Holiday visit with her best friend Misty. There was tail wags galore, and Pearl really appreciated some time on real grass instead of rocks in AZ. We also picked up some Christmas items we would need during our stay.

Since we were taking our dog with us to SoCal, it limited our space in the Pilot for presents. We had to run around a little bit to pick up some last minute items. Linda started a new tradition for our children's presents this year. We would limit the presents to three-one based on a want, one based on a need, and one that was a surprise. It seemed to work out very well. We did more shopping this year on the Internet with the items being shipped to us. We got some unique products, good prices, and surprise, all of the items arrived before Christmas!

On Tues. 12-23, John had a follow up appointment with his Doctor in Santa Monica. With all of the traffic it was an all day ordeal. But it was worth it, the x-ray showed the hip mending well and even some new bone growth. He still has to do physical therapy and come back for another x-ray in 2 months, but we're really encouraged.

On Christmas eve we headed out to John's cousin Linda's house in San Bernadino to celebrate with his side of the family. It was a lot fun seeing all of the family and how they had grown over the past year. Linda and her husband Mike made a good Lasagna dinner with all of the trimmings, and we caught up on all of the news with the families. It really special to see John's Mom Betty and her sister Shirley. Both of them are doing well.

On Christmas day we headed down to Garden Grove for Christmas with Linda's side of the family. Our niece Val and her husband Rick were the hosts this year and they went all out to make the day special. Like I mentioned in the last post, our daughter Jeni couldn't join us this Christmas. She had to stay in SC to finish her project. But she was with us in electronic form through the Internet. Using web cams in CA and SC, we were able to share the Christmas experience together. When one of Jeni's presents was announced, someone would open it in front of the camera and she could see what her present was. It worked out pretty well, and Jeni got to see what everyone got. She did miss an excellent dinner, though. Here's a picture of the computer with Jeni on the other end.

Of course the real center of attention was the three little ones, our nieces and nephew. Here's a closeup. From left to right we have Chase, then Iris in the middle, and on the right is Violet. Aren't they cute!

It was another great Christmas even though we missed Jeni. Next year we'll have everyone back together again, and it will be even more special. If you want to see all of the pictures from Christmas, click in the link to see our web album:
After Christmas it was back to Matt's house. On 12-26 we picked up John's mother at her sister's and took her home. Normally Matt, Suzanne, and Jeni join us, but Matt had to work and Jeni was in SC, so it was just Linda & John. But we had a good time exchanging presents and catching up.
One of the present we got Matt was a water fountain for his front door. John had to put it together, and then Linda planted some pots around it to add some color. It ended up real nice and makes their front door area real inviting. It fun to see the kids making progress on their new house.
On Monday we picked up Pearl and headed back to Happy Trails for the New Year. We pray that everyone had a great Holiday and we hope 2009 turns out to be a great year.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Getting Ready for Christmas

We do get some nice sunsets when it gets cloudy here at Happy Trails! This is the view from our patio.

When I posted about our visit to the light show, I didn't have the pictures in the computer yet. So, belatedly, here's some of the standing displays we drove by. Here's a train that John had to stop and take a picture of:

Here's a fire truck for our nephew Michael who is a fireman:

We've talked a lot about our friends here, so we thought a picture would be a good idea. Starting from the left we have Bob Lawler, then Allan Kainu, Sharri Kainu, and Maggie Lawler.

We spent most of the week deciding and shopping for Christmas presents. We leave on Monday for our Sons Matt's house for the Christmas week. John has a Doctor's appointment on Tuesday, 12-23 for his hip. And then we celebrate with John's family on Christmas Eve, and Linda's family on Christmas Day. The sad news is that our daughter, Jeni, will miss her first Christmas with the family. She's snowed under with dissertation preparation, with a hard deadline of Jan. 5. So she doesn't have time for the coast to coast travel. We don't know who is more depressed, Jeni or us, but we'll just have to make up for it next year. Jeni has her eye on the target, and she will succeed.

More on Christmas in the next post.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

What's Happin With the Huber's

Sunday we started with the church service here at the Resort. It's an interdenominational service and there was about 450 attendees. There are 2 retired pastors who conduct the service, and best of all there's a 70 member choir. They sing all of the old hymns and the sermons are down to earth.

After church we went out to breakfast with some friends from Vancouver, WA. We went to a local restaurant called the Maui Grill. It's a coffee shop with a Hawaiian theme. Linda had the macadamia nut pancakes, and John had the crab melt. Both were delicious!

On the way back to the resort we stopped at a couple of open houses in Sun City Grand. Just doing more research. Then we went to the workout room and tried out the equipment. It's very nice, and we're planning on using it on a regular basis.

On Monday Linda attended a beading class, and on Tuesday John joined the woodworking group called the Sawmill. He hopes to learn some new skills and build a couple of small projects after the first of the year.

Thursday night we went to a special drive through Christmas light display which included many action figures and 6 drive through tunnels. Afterwards we all went to devour some pizza at a local place called NYPD, with New York style pizza.

We also had some happy hours with our friends during the week, and a special dinner on Friday night. Bob & Maggie hosted us for a Jamaican themed dinner, which was very good. There was jerk chicken, Allan & Shari prepared fried plantains, and we made the collard greens. Even John tried the collard greens which were good.

Saturday night our group finished off the pizza leftovers with a great salad Linda made. And we bid farewell to our Allan & Shari. They left on the first flight on Sunday to Seattle to be with their family. We even got up a 4:00am to take them to the airport. When John turned on the water for a shower, there was no water. We thought the worst, but when we got back to the MoHo it was only a loose connection! Whew! Needless to say, we went back to bed and slept well.

So that's been our week. Oh, we did some shopping, Linda continued her morning walks, John got a library card, and we did some more shopping. So it was a fun week.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Our First Week at Happy Trails

We got here on Monday and got the MoHo setup and leveled. On Tuesday we worked around the lot. We had to get a new sewer hose for the hookup here. Since the satellite dish is covered by the awning we had to hook up to an external dish mounted on the roof. Luckily it was pointed at the right satellite, and we had TV by the early afternoon.

Linda cleaned the desert sand that we had picked up in Desert Hot Springs out of the interior of the coach, and John fixed the Bar-b-que so that we could use it while we're here. We also took advantage of the washer & dryer, and began to explore the park.

One of the events we enjoy is getting together with our friends for "Happy Hour". It's great fun having great neighbors again. Here we are with Bob & Maggie at Shari & Allan's lot. Allan was out of town, and Shari was getting appetisers so they're not in the picture. John has a lot of work to do on improving his photos.

There's a nice area called the town center across the fairway from our lot. There's a large auditorium for shows and dances, several work rooms for the different crafts, a library, billiard room, and an exercise room.

The Chuckwagon is the on site restaurant serving breakfast & lunch Mon-Fri, and special dinners. There's both pickle ball and tennis courts, a wood shop, and 2 other clubhouses. There's also a great pool and spa.
There are many special events. The first one was on Wednesday, a craft fair. Linda went and found some unique handmade items. Who could she had bought something for? On Friday was the monthly vendor day where there are many booths setup selling anything from makeup, food, to carpet and rv accessories. Most of these events are held inside the auditorium and outside on the plaza are around the fountains.

On Friday night, the Huber's had their first dinner party here at Happy Trails. We invited three other couples to our lot, and they brought the sides and desserts. John used the grill to cook some great NY strip steaks from Costco, and we served some delicious wine. It was a fun evening and we even burned a fire in our outdoor fireplace. We plan to do a lot more of these get together's.
Every morning Linda has been getting up at the crack of dawn to go on a walk with her girlfriends, Shari & Maggie. They walk about 31/2 miles through the park. It's great to have someone to walk with and they are keeping themselves very motivated.
On Sat. even John got early for the first half of the two part yard sale inside the park. Twice a year they have a designated day for yard sales, and everyone rushes around in their golf carts looking for bargains. We didn't find anything to buy, but Allan & Shari found a nice wicker table for their patio area.
So that's what we've been doing. I'll try to keep up to date with what we're doing. It's a lot of fun and very busy. And the classes haven't started yet!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Our Home at Happy Trails

We promised you pictures of our home for the next four months. Here we are, starting to settle in lot 676. We're just 3 lots from the corner, and a half a block from our good friends from Monaco Northwest Bob & Maggie and Shari & Allan. There's a full cover over the patio and the coach, and the two story shed is towards the front of the lot. There's plenty of room to park the car and golf cart in the front.

The patio and sitting are is behind the shed and next to the coach. We like this because it gives us a large area and its screened from the street. The back of the patio looks out over the 17th tee of the golf course, and has a fireplace for cold nights.
Although the view of the golf course is of the 17th tee, which isn't that spectacular, at least we don't have any golf balls flying towards the MoHo.
We also have a nice outdoor kitchen with a Bar-b-que, hot plate, and a nice counter for laying out food for guests. We're still in the midst of cleaning it up and making sure everything is working. The weird wooden box on the right is an outdoor shower, which we'll probably never use.

Inside the shed is a stacked washer and dryer, a workbench, and a refrigerator. Pretty nice for us as it gives us room to spread out and we'll even be able to shop at Costco for food again. There's a second floor available for extra storage.
Since John took these pictures, Linda has cleaned everything up, John has fixed the bar-b-que, and we've added two tables and 8 chairs. So now we can entertain more than 2 other people for the first time since we left Turlock and started this adventure.

So we're real excited. We get a morning newspaper everyday, and we even have our own mailbox. Our mail address is:
John & Linda Huber
17200 W. Bell Rd., Lot 2427
Surprise, AZ 85374
So write us if you get a chance, and visit us whenever you can. The weather has been in the mid 70's and we haven't even had a cloudy day!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Moving Day

Once again the Hubers have the MoHo on the road. We've been in SoCal for over a month visiting Doctors, doing physical therapy, and most important, visiting with family and friends. The time has come to make our move to Happy Trails in Surprise, AZ, just west of Phoenix. It's hard to leave our family and friends, but we hope they will visit us during our 4 month stay there.

Linda started getting ready to move on Saturday by putting away all of the chairs, rolling up the awnings, and taking off the tire covers. While uncovering the passenger side rear tires, she noticed that one of the tires was low. John said no problem, we'll just pump it up using the air compressor on board the MoHo that runs our brakes and air bags. Except when John tried to connect the hose to the air outlet, it wouldn't fit. Off to Home Depot, to buy new parts. Has John ever done project that didn't require a trip to the hardware store? He got back to the park, and tried the new parts-didn't fit. It turned out the coupler to the air line was corroded. It must have been the moist WA air! So today John called our roadside service company who sent out a nice man with a compressor in the back of his truck. He felt that the braided extensions were slowly leaking and he tightened everything up and filled the tire. By the time all this was done, it was 10:00am. Still plenty of time to drive down the I-10 to get to Happy Trails before dark.

Our good friends, Bob & Maggie Lawler were staying in the park with us and they also were heading for Happy Trails so we caravaned to our new home. We both wanted to get fuel after we got to AZ, and John remembered Zips Truck Stop that had been recommended by Allan & Shari last year. So we stopped there and filled up with diesel for only $2.04 a gallon. When we were in WA in June we filled up at $4.79 a gallon. That was very good news.

We filled up first and started heading east on I-10 before Bob & Maggie, knowing that they would catch up to us at Happy Trails. Well, John took the wrong exit, and almost got stuck on a dead end road. So by the time he got back to the freeway Bob was way past him. Oh, well. At least we didn't get stuck!

It was still light when we got to the resort. John had been worried about the coach fitting in the space we rented because there are some close poles that support a roof over the coach. But with Linda & Shari's great help he got it in with room to spare. We got hooked up and then went over to Shari's space for a great lasagna dinner. What great friends.

We'll be here until April 1, so we would like everyone to come visit us. And we're going to go back to SoCal a few times to visit with family. It's only a 5 hour drive to L.A. Tomorrow I'll take some pictures and tell you a little more about Happy Trails.