Saturday, February 28, 2015



The last week before spring training starts and Hiromi (he-rome-me) and I took our last day trip of the winter. We left at 4:30am and arrived at the Grand Canyon around 9:00am. She thought we were only going to drive along Route 66, so when I turned off and headed towards the Grand Canyon she was excited. It's hard to surprise her, she knows I can't keep a secret from her. The weather was cold, but unfortunately, there was no snow covering the tips of the canyon picks. We watched the parks video and checked out the views around the visitors center. With us arriving early in the day we felt tired and had bags under our eyes (just look at me in the first picture below), so we exited the park with time to get a hotel room to take a nap. We stopped at McDonald to use the wifi and call the hotel. The room was $149, I looked the hotel up on and got the same room under $100.  After our nap and making reservations for dinner in the hotel, we headed back into the park to see the other half. We drove around looking at the canyon from it's different view points. As the sun started to set we found the spot where almost everyone else in the park wanted to stop and see too.  

We got back to the hotel with about 30 minutes to spare before our dinner reservations. Hiromi had salmon and I tried the wild swordfish. It was the first time I have ever had swordfish and like I always say, "I have to try everything at least once". The swordfish was tough like a steak, but tasted like fish. Without saying, I was impressed and if I see it on a menu again I'll order it.

I could not believe how big the hotel room looked. After 3 years in a 31' RV I guess everything looks larger. The tub was big enough to get a full body soak, just like our home in Japan had. The beds where roomy, we had the chance to stretch out and hog the bed all to ourselves. We even had our own patio. Oh, how fancy is it to have a phone in the bathroom?

The next morning we got up and it was cold. We were use to the 80's in Buckeye, but in the Grand Canyon it was a cold 27. We packed the car, turned the heater on to high and made our way West to The Rusty Bolt on route 66.

Our trusty navigator was not so trusty today as our final destination was a large open field. We knew we were close, so we just kept driving the country side road for a few more miles before we arrive at the enter section of Route 66 and we could see The Rusty Bolt just down the road. It is only a souvenir store, but it was decked out in the Route 66 theme of roadside attractions with manikins on the roof and Cadillac's out front along the street. Unfortunately, last year a tourist was driving while looking and sideswiped the Cadillac's. They are currently off site and getting fixed. 

We then, stopped to eat at Roadkill Cafe. Our drinks came in canning jars Hiromi had the clubs and I had roadkill. As our road trip came to an end, we heading back to Buckeye, AZ and the 6 hour drive.

Look at her tail

Friday, February 13, 2015



This week I got a new toy and I have not stopped playing with it yet. We meet some fellow bloggers and the wind did a number to our RV entrance door.

I got a Gopro 3 and have not put it down. I recorded action in the pool, hike in the desert and the sunset. Looks like I will be using the Gopro on our 2015 road trip. I like the small size along with the 3-in-1 tripod makes it easy to carry. The only down side is I can’t preview what I’m recording without the wifi connection, and we don’t have a smart phone so it would be useless to get the adopter.

Not one, but two bloggers are in the park this past week, Jim & Chris from geeks on tour and John & Stephanie from rv daily life. Jim & Chris were taking their quadcopter to the open desert to fly with their Gopro 3 to do some video shooting. We got together with John & Stephanie (who are around our age) to play a few rounds of shuffle board. Neither of us has ever played before, needless to say we did not stand a chance of winning, but we all had fun. If you got some free time click on their links and check out their blogs.

The other day, the wife opened the door and the wind took it out of her hands and six rivets snapped off leaving the door just hanging. I don’t have a rivet gun, so I had to get the parks handyman to come over to fix it. He had to drill the old rivets out, and then put new ones in. Easy fix, but I did not have the tools. This is the third time I needed a rivet gun and did not have one. I think I’ll have to invest in one soon.

Just finished our Oregon video and is now uploaded to our youtube page. Click on the link to the right to view all our videos.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015



I know it’s been a while since my last post, but January was a time to kick back, rest and relax. Unfortunately, for me that did not happen. I had a long “honey do list” of small fixes to the inside and outside of our RV. For some reason, that list is still getting longer every day. With a weak Wi-Fi single to the RV I have to move all my internet actives to the community room. Along with Arizona having more rain fall in one month then we have in six months last year put a dapper on our adventures too. We did however squeeze in some adventures including a RV park trip to Organ Stop Pizza, Pro Bowl practice held at Luck AFB and added another State Capitol Building to our growing list.

Ever year Leaf Verde makes a trip to Organ Stop Pizza, this year was no different. Organs like this one were made for the silent movies to give the audience a feeling of what was going on. To try and make it as easy as I can to explain, it’s an all you can eat pizza place with a musician playing the organ. However, you must stop and get a taste of it first hand, as it’s an experience I cannot fully explain in words alone. The wife said the pizza tasted better this year and I thought that the performance was a little shorter than last year, but we still had a good time. If you want a recap from last year’s visit, click here.

With the Pro Bowl being played in Arizona the NFL had the first practice held at Luke AFB. Practice was open to 1,500 military personnel to watch. Each team practiced for an hour and after the players signed autographs for about 30 minutes before returning to the team bus and heading back to their hotel. The only down side was the media. They were allowed on the field to interview players taking up their time to interact with the military fans. The media can talk to them whenever they want, but today they were on base for the military and all the military fans got shafted in the end. I did however make out pretty nice with a NFL sign football where I got Andrew Luck, TY Hilton, Joe Thomas, Calais Campbell Kyle Williams, Tamba Hali, Justin Houston, Patrick Peterson and Antoine Bethea to autograph.

Since I’m talking about football and the season has officially came to an end I finished the regular season at 172-83 and the postseason at 8-3. I had a 67.6% correct pick season alone with picking the Super Bowl Champs. I would take those odd to Vegas any season.

We put another State Capitol Building in our books as we took a half day trip to Phoenix. The Arizona Capitol Building is the smallest we have seen so far, but full of stuff to see and learn. The first floor is dedicated to the USS Arizona. A sad time in American History and the starting point for the US in WWII.

Rooms that use to be office spaces are full of exhibits. One cool thing was the Arizona State flag made from Legos and I was shocked how small the House Chamber was. One of the exhibits I found interested was the one on Ira Hayes. He was an Arizona Native and one of the men in the Historical Military Icon in raising the American Flag on the Island of Iwo Jima.  

The Capitol Building construction began in 1898 and began operation in 1901 before Arizona even became a State in 1912. Their dome roof was known as the copper dome, but was made of wood just painted copper. Later copper was donated to make the dome. Also a cool fun fact is the lights throughout the building. On each light there are two sets, one pointing up and the other set pointing down. The set pointing up was lit from oil and the set pointing down was lit from electric. Today, all the lights are electric.  

The Capitol Building might be small, but everywhere I have been so far their Memorial Plaza is second only to Washington DC National Monuments. It honors Arizonans who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in protecting Freedom. There is a Korean War, Vietnam, Endure Freedom, 9-11 remembrance and even a K9 to dogs who have lost their lives in the line of duty. At the front of this Memorial stand an anchor along with two 14” gun barrels and the mast all coming from the USS Arizona. Any veteran from any state will be proud of what stands in front of them. I know, because I felt it.