Tortilla Flats & Bridge

Thursday: This morning, after breakfast, I tried to book tee times but ended up canceling everything. So no golf today. Instead, it was to be a reading day. Ed and Jessie watched the Australian Open Tennis semi-finals replayed on TV. Then I showed Ed upload photos to his blog. Then, after lunch, we decided to go for a ride. We headed out to Tortilla Flats for an ice cream. We got back to our house by about 5pm. The four of us went for a walk along the back nine holes of Mountain Brook, ending up at Bashas. We bought shrimp for our supper. Met Ed and Val shopping there too.

Sue and Jessie made shrimp stir-fry for supper and then we played bridge till bedtime. Tomorrow we’re going to try booking 18 holes of golf.

Hieroglyphic Hike and afternoon golf

Wednesday: After breakfast we got in the van and drove out to the parking lot for the hike up Superstition Mountain. We were going to go with Ed & Val as well, but Ed phoned and said Val was really not feeling well at all, so they would not be doing the hike. So it was the Hildebrands and Nikkels — well, actually it was a LOT more people than the four of us. It was probably one of the nicest days we’ve had here in Gold Canyon this winter, and quite a few other people thought it might be a good day for a hike. Still, the hike was worth it — we took some photos of Ed and Jessie up at the petroglyphs. We got back to the house at around 12:30. Just in time for another terrific lunch!

Then in the afternoon we went to Greenfield Lakes Golf Course, near Santan Village Shopping Center. We’d arranged to meet Al and Shirl there at 5pm to hand off our gift (a digital photo frame with our photos) for Sue’s mom (she’s turning 88 tomorrow). Al and Shirl are leaving tomorrow, driving back to Manitoba. We actually met them on the parking lot of the golf course — and they teed off just a few minutes after our foursome. The golf course is an ‘executive’ course — mostly par threes — and it was very busy this afternoon. We spent more time waiting than golfing. But the weather was great and we had a pretty good time, even though I at least didn’t really golf very well.

We had a beer at around 5pm, said goodbye to Al and Shirl, and then headed back to our house. We had (another) great supper — barbecued chicken breasts and potatoes and salad. A small ice cream for dessert. Watched some more tennis (Australian Open) while we played bridge. Today the girls won most of the hands (and the tennis matches too — the men’s finals are later tonight, at around 2am!). Tomorrow we’ve scheduled a ‘free day’.

Golfing with Ed & Ed

Tuesday: Breakfast, followed by a couple of bike rides: first Ed and Rudy went around the loop while Sue and Jessie shopped groceries. Then the girls took the bikes while the boys sat and read. Lunch at 12. A bit more reading. Our Amazon order (a digital photo frame) arrive so I ‘borrowed’ the memory card from my camera and loaded it up with our travel photos — and boxed it all up again, ready to be delivered to Sue’s mom.

I had emailed Ed & Val and invited them to join us for our golf game. At 3:15 we picked up Ed Peters and went to Mountain Brook for nine holes. My drives were not as good as they were yesterday, but in the end my score was a bit better! I shot 48, Ed Peters shot a 46, and Ed H won with a 42 (not quite the 36 he scored yesterday). But the sun was shining, the temperature was about 68, and we had fun.

I barbecued the salmon for supper — which was delicious! Then we cleared off the table and played bridge until 10:30. We’ve arranged to go hiking to the hieroglyphics tomorrow morning at 10 (Ed & Val will join us) and then drive to Gilbert for an afternoon golf game and maybe a drink with Al & Shirl (they’re heading for home on Thursday — and will take our photo frame home for us).

A Day with the Hildebrands

Monday: After morning breakfast (toast) and a couple of hands of bridge, Ed and Jessie and Sue and I went out for a hike. We hiked up Silly Mountain behind our house; we hiked to the top of the front 2 peaks and then circled back along the Superstition View trail. It was time for lunch by the time we got back. The weather was great: not hot, a bit cloudy, just right for outdoor activities.

Ed & Jessie at Mountain Brook GolfAfter lunch we hung around at our house for a bit — Ed had a little nap outside and I had a shower and Sue read. Then we headed out to Mountain Brook for nine holes of golf a little after 3pm. Again, despite the forecast for afternoon showers, the weather turned out perfect for golf. Cloudy, not too hot, no golfers to slow us down or hurry us up. And although Sue had a poor game, the rest of us had a wonderful time. We finished our round at around 5:30. Ed completed 9 holes at 1 over par (36), Jessie scored 5 over par (40). I’m not sure what my score was, but for once, my fairway wood performed well — most of my tee shots were longer and straighter than I’ve shot so far. Now if only my putting were a little better.

We drove around our loop before going home, and still got to see a rose-coloured sunset reflected on Superstition Mountain. Wonderful!

Sue made spaghetti and meat sauce for supper. And after a few more hands of bridge she made banana flambé for dessert. A little more bridge. At 10:30, after watching a bit of tennis (Australian Open) we headed to bed.

Championship Weekend

Saturday: Since I forgot to update yesterday’s events this will be an entry for  the weekend.

Yesterday (Saturday) we had bacon and eggs for breakfast. Then Dave D came over to ‘do some business’. Sue was cleaning up for the weekend — Ed & Jessie are coming for the week tomorrow. We went to the fruit market before lunch. Another big shop for lots of fruit for not too much money. We also went to Fry’s for groceries. Got home after 1pm and had lunch. At 3pm Dave stopped by to pick me up for 3pm golf. MaryLou came by and worked on her Carillon article and blog post while Sue baked monster cookies. Dave and I had a nice nine holes, although my great idea of using my 3 wood instead of my driver didn’t work out as well as I had hoped.

For supper we barbecued burgers. Then we got into Dave’s car and went to see a movie at 7:30 — “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” — a pretty good movie, although not 5 stars. The Driedgers dropped us off and we went to bed not long after we got home.

Sunday: After breakfast and watching Fareed, Dave and MaryLou were at our place by 9am. We took them to the airport for their flight to Honolulu. We got back about 90 minutes after leaving — a quick roundtrip. Then we settled in to watch the NFL League Championship games.

Game 1, Ravens in New England. Game went quite well — an exciting game that the Ravens could have (and should have) won — except that their receiver dropped a touchdown pass in the final minute, and then the field goal kicker missed the opportunity to tie the game by kicking it wide. So the Pats won 23-20.

Game 2, Giants at San Francisco. Another great game. We watched the first have (and had a little snack. The half ended with the Giants ahead 10-7. Then we got into the van and headed to the Sky Harbor Airport to pick up Ed and Jessie Hildebrand. We listened to the game on the radio while we waited in the ‘cell phone waiting’ lot for the Westjet flight to arrive. When they arrived Sue met them and we got their bags into the van and hurried home. Luckily the game ended in a tie — and we were back home in the house in time to watch the overtime period. The Giants won with a field goal after the ’49ers fumbled a kick return.

After the game we sat down for a late supper — kind of a ‘faspa’ that Sue had prepared for us. A bit of visiting and we were all in bed by 11pm.

Weekend Ahead

Friday: I was going to read this morning — but that was before I got Skyping with Mary Ann Loewen who is in Bolivia. The Loewens have two new MacBooks and need a bit of help setting things up. After at least an hour on Skype I still had a couple of minutes to read before our 11 o’clock bike ride.

Went to Walgreen’s and picked up a DVD rental (Super 8). When we got home we had lunch and then I really did read for nearly 2 hours. Finished my “Looming Towers” book.

At 3:30 we teed off at Mountain Brook. The warm sunny day had brought out more golfers than usual. That meant the golfing was s-l-o-w. I started off very well, parring hole number 1 and 4. But after hole number 5 I packed it in — Sue was especially frustrated with the group ahead of us and thought she’d ‘encourage’ them by pressuring them on the tee blocks. I walked back to the clubhouse and got a small bucket of balls. Best move of the week! After scattering half the bucket all over the driving range with my #1 driver, I put it back into the bag and worked on my fairway wood. And I shot farther and straighter than ever before. Dave and MaryLou also golfed nine and stopped by on their way off the course. When Sue arrived we hopped into the van and headed to the Firehouse Pub to order a pizza.

At the Firehouse we again met Dave and MaryLou — so we had a beer with them while we waited for our pizza. Back home we had supper and then sat down to watch the Daily Show and Colbert Report. At 8pm we watched our movie — science fiction directed by Stephen Spielberg. Boring! After 10 Sue played a bit of Scrabble on her iPad while I updated my journal.

Farewell to the Neufelds

Thursday: I woke up early today — like around 5 a.m. I spent a bit of time at the computer. After breakfast I read my Osama book — and continued to read that throughout the day. At around 11 Sue and I went for a decent hike around Silly Mountain.

After lunch Sue called Ken Neufeld on his cell phone — and found out that our friends are going golfing (18 holes) after lunch. We tried to book our own tee time but were surprised to find that nothing before 3:50 was available. That’s too late for us — we are hosting a dinner party tonight and need to be home for them by around 5:30. So we decided to forego golfing today. We both read for most of the early afternoon. Then, at around 3:30, we went to the golf course and hit a couple of buckets of balls. Didn’t really settle anything.

We came home and I showered while Sue started supper. And soon enough, our friends showed up. We sat around and visited; then I barbecued, then we had supper around the table. It all turned out pretty good. The food and the conversations were both great.

Our friends , the Newfelds and the Driedgers, seem to have had a good expeience here. Tomorrow the Driedgers will take Ken and Kaaren to the airport and bid them farewell. And then on Sunday we will take the Driedgers to the airport for their trip to Hawaii.

We watched a bit of ‘news’ (Republican Presidential debates) before going to bed.

Visit with Al & Shirl in Chandler

Wednesday: A bit of reading this morning — still reading my Osama book which I find very interesting. After lunch we hopped on our bikes and returned our rental to Walgreen’s. Also took a spin through Mountain Brook (hoping to see Eric and Joyce?) on our way home. I did my best on the downhill but only managed 62.1 kph — 1 kph less than my record.

After showering, at around 4pm, we headed out in the van. We were supposed to be at Al & Shirl’s mobile home at around 4:30, but our ‘pit stop’ at the Wine Store in Santan Village took more time (and money) than we had planned on. Still, it was a good stop.

Shirley was sitting in a lawn chair on the driveway, reading, when we pulled into the trailer park. After a short tour of the trailer (where it appears they have put in some serious time cleaning and fixing things up), Shirley suggested that we go back to Santan to a Mexican restaurant for supper. Which we did. And there I stood outside and waited for them to show up. Which they didn’t. And Sue was none too happy about me ‘taking off’ on them. But they knew the address, and the direction, and they programmed it into their GPS.

Finally Sue asked to use the restaurant phone and phoned Al. They were lost. Just around the block. (Well, actually, as it turned out, they had missed the turn-off and had done a 12 mile loop along the 202 freeway first!) Okay, I’ll stand out here a bit longer and flag them down while Sue sits in a booth inside the restaurant and warms up. My shorts and sandals are NOT the right gear for this. And they don’t come driving by. For a long time. Sue finally calls Al again. Where are they? In front of such-and-such a restaurant. Hey, that’s 50 yards from where we are! I go back out to wave them in. They park the van. They were lost. Oh well, now they’re here. Let’s celebrate.

We had a nice meal. Then we visited. Then we started talking about whether or not Al should buy that trailer. And Sue and I basically said what we thought — which was exactly what we had decided we would NOT say. And Rudy thinks that Al will probably still buy it, and Sue thinks that Al will probably NOT buy it. We’ll see. Anyway, after all that, we still had a good visit. We’ll likely see them one more time before they head back home.

Back home we stopped at Bashas (what else is new?) for some more groceries before unloading our purchases and restocking our fridge. Then a glass of wine and some late night TV. And that’s the kind of day it’s been.

(Another) Very Good Day

Tuesday: What a great day! Made a couple of phone calls this morning and then read my book again — which I hadn’t done for quite a few days. We had a late lunch. Sue went to Bashas to pick up some groceries. Then we high-tailed it out to Mountain Brook for our 3pm tee time. We hit a bucket of balls on the driving range before the round. Our games were okay — not as good as we thought we could have golfed, but the sky was clear, the sun was shining, and we were having fun.

After golf we went to Walgreen’s to pick up our movie rental. Then another stop at Bashas for beer and hotdog buns. I burned the burgers on the barbecue a bit, but that was probably the only disappointment of the day. After supper we sat down to watch our DVD — a pretty good movie called “The Ides of March”. After the movie we watched Frontline on PBS. All in all, a very good day.

Al & Shirl Visit Gold Canyon

Monday: After making a few ‘business’ phone calls Sue and I went for our morning hike up Silly Mountain. We walked quickly and managed to find a ‘new’ trail with great views of Superstition Mountain (under a dark cloudy sky — remnants of the weekend’s cool rainy weather). We were back home for lunch (and a load of laundry) by noon. After lunch Sue went to Bashas to buy supplies for tonight’s dinner.

I was sitting at my computer when Sue walks in with Al (Sue’s brother) and Shirl. They are staying in a trailer in Chandler. We had booked a 3pm tee time at Mountain Brook, so after a short bit of looking around our place we were off for 9 holes of golf.

Al-and-Shirl-golfingThe weather once again cooperated — it turned out to be a perfect afternoon for golf. By the ninth hole the sun was setting and doing its best to paint the shadows on Superstition Mountain.

We barbecued steak for supper. Sat around the table and visited. Had frozen yoghurt for dessert. By around 9pm Al and Shirl left. We arranged that we would take a drive out to their place in Chandler later this week. A bit of TV and then to bed.