Friday, November 29, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving and Birthdays

We have just been hanging out and enjoying friends while taking care of a few RV chores.  Since returning from Mexico we have not done any real exploring around the area.  I have not even done a very good job of taking pictures.  We have seen Dave and Sarah a couple more times and had lunch with Alan and Sharon and I did not take any pictures.  This is why there have been so few blog entries this month.  I think December will be a bit busier.
We met snowbirds Dick and Lynn when we were here two years ago and were happy to see them again.
Sun Life had a Welcome Back party and a few people got into the party by monkeying around.
Nanc and I even hit the dance floor for a couple of tunes.
Some people went all out for the party.
One of those great desert sunsets.  Although we have had several great sunsets while we have been here I don't think they compare with the ones we saw while staying in the Keys such as the header picture on the blog.
A neat hummer that has been visiting out feeder.
We both celebrated birthdays this week.  Here I am at happy hour toasting another great year. 
We were invited to Sharon and Alan's for a wonderful Thanksgiving feast.  We had all the traditional foods including plenty of leftovers.  We followed up the meal with a bit of football.  Unfortunately the Steelers lost.   
This is the first time in two years that we have seen Murray (front) and Elsie who had just arrived at the end of our last visit.  They are great dogs. 
Nanc celebrated her birthday on Thanksgiving by getting the wishbone.  Can't wait until it dries out so we can see which of us will get our wish.
One small RV chore completed.  I have been looking for a Canada map to show the provinces we have visited and thanks to Gary I finally found one.  This sure shows what we have to be thankful for in our lives. We have been to 49 states, ten provinces and four foreign countries in our seven years of retirement  We are also thankful for all our friends and family who we have had the chance to spend time with during our time on the road and look forward to seeing them during our future travels.  We truly hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are all looking forward to the coming holiday season.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Fun Life at Sun Life

I have been real kicked back since returning from Mexico, as I picked up a cold on the plane coming back.  We have just hung around Sun Life RV Resort and met up with friends for dinner a few times.
On our last visit we discovered Red, White & Brew, a neat, local restaurant with a wonderful menu and a good selection of wine and beer.  We have been there so often we have joined the frequent diner's club.  If you are in the area check it out.
One of those times was a reunion of people who all met at Betty's RV Park in Abbeville.  Dave, Jim, Tony, Dan, Merlene, Sarah, Nanc and MaryBeth had a fun time getting caught up on all our travels.  We have gotten together with all of them several times at different places in our travels.  Truly one of the great things about our lifestyle is seeing friends all over the country.
Another day, another visit to Red, White and Brew.  This time with Mike and Linda.  I worked with Linda thirty years ago in Washington before she moved to Mesa to teach.  On our first visit to this area in 2009 we surprised her with a visit and have gotten together both here and in WashPA several times since then.   It's always great to see them no matter what part of the country we are in. 
Well Pittsburgh had the big ducky and so does Sun Life.
Well, not really:)
We went to the Mesa Flea Market where they have everything all the winter visitors need and more stuff than anyone really needs.  We did find a new RV outdoor rug, the only thing we wanted.  We can now say, "Been There, Done That".
Every afternoon here at Sun Life they have a band for happy hour.  It is a fun time to get together and enjoy the outdoors.  There is also a restaurant by the pool where you can get, drinks, snacks or a meal.  To paraphrase, isn't it great that a bunch of "old" people can get together and have a good time and nothing but a good time. 
Rene, Lance, Carol, Suzanne and Nanc at happy hour.  We met them here on our first visit two years ago.  Rene and Lance worked together at Sun Life of Canada insurance company and have come full circle as they now both winter here at Sun Life RV Resort.
 And of course we have enjoyed the spa and pool and the warm Arizona sunshine.  This is why we are here.  Just look at that sky!!!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Secrets Capri, Riviera Maya

When we were in Mesa two years ago we made the decision that we were going to start taking a vacation every year.  In 2011 we travelled to Hawaii and last year we visited Punta Cana.  This year we decided to go to Riviera Maya, Mexico for a ten day celebration of our 44th anniversary.  We stayed a Secrets Capri, an all-inclusive resort that is adults only.  We did not leave the resort at all.
 On November 1st we had a special, private dinner celebration for our anniversary.  It was a fantastic experience provided by Ivan, Antonio and Victor.  They made us feel really special.  
The entertainment team made sure there was never a dull moment.  Thanks to Alejandro, Jonathan, Alberto, Jorge and Denise for all the fun activities.
Just a few of the activities, (top) beer tasting (not really impressed with Mexican beer) and crazy games.  Bottom, daily water aerobics, tequila tasting and a class on making pico de gallo. 
On the first of November they had The Day of the Dead celebration to honor those who are deceased.  Each department of the resort made there own display for a contest.  Tradition is to leave food, beverages and other things the person enjoyed and the candles are to guide them to the treats. Some of the community displays were tributes to the famous like Elvis, Michael Jackson and others. It was interesting seeing what gifts were left for the departed. 
Some of the interesting animals we saw roaming around the resort.  We never did see the crocodile they told us was in the nearby swamp. 
Most days we had lunch at Cactus Club overlooking the Caribbean Sea.  Real tough to take:)
Of course a big part of an all-inclusive is the food and it did not disappoint.  There were four sit down restaurants offering Italian specialties, Asian specialties, steaks, seafood and a very nice buffet.  There was something for every taste. This was the meal we had on our anniversary.    
Another big thing is the evening entertainment and special celebrations.  Top left was the mariachi band that played at the Oktoberfest (go figure).  They also had a Halloween party and a perfect couple competition that we participated in.  There are no pictures but we did learn that tequila does make your clothes fall off:).  Top center is roboman and at right inside the balloon is juggling comedian, Karl Saliter, who was hilarious.  Bottom is the Cirque "Sensuality" Show and a great fire show. 
On Halloween afternoon the employees had a costume contest.  There was a contest for the guests in the evening.
Even with all those activities available this is what we did most of the day, lounge by the pool and soak up the tropical sun.  We did have a couple of days with passing showers and one that was a total rain out, but those helped to keep us from getting sun burned.
This is about half the pool with the swim up Manatee Bar.  We enjoyed this resort because it was much smaller than the others where we have stayed.
The pool area at night where the special buffets were held.
Even Nanc went into the sea water one day when it was very calm.
The beach area is pretty small because of erosion from past hurricanes.  On windy days at high tide it was really narrow.
We also had a couples' massage that included a wonderful hydrotherapy circuit.  It was a very relaxing afternoon. What a GREAT 10 days we had celebrating our anniversary!!