Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Good Hiking and Good Jazz

Wednesday 2/9

Tuesday evening we tried out a new Mexican restaurant very close to us called Los Nopales. It was small and crowded, had to wait for a table, but the food was excellent and the service was fast. This is probably the closest restaurant to the park, so we will be back.

Nancy has been trying to complete the tether from her new phone to her laptop without much success. She should be able to surf through the data plan on her phone, but the app does not want to link up. So we made an appointment at the Genius Bar at the Apple store - which naturally is on the exact opposite side of the city from where we are, over in the high rent district.

So we trekked all the way over there and in spite of trying for a full half hour the tech was also unable to make it work! Oh well, we will figure it out eventually. At this point we need to try a new cable.

On the way back we stopped at The Garland Bistro for lunch. We had seen it driving by and looked at their Asian flavored menu on line. Turned out to be a very nice place in a relatively inconvenient spot, although it is close to the university.

Back home we took a nice walk and relaxed the rest of the day.

Thursday 2/10

Off to Tucson Yoga for our weekly yoga fix this morning, then a fairly relaxing day puttering around. Cleaned the car up and then did some house cleaning, Dennis finished cleaning up the wiring on the new stereo installation, bundling cables with zip ties, etc. and put in some wood blocks to keep the tuner from moving around in the cabinet when we are traveling. We have the electronic stuff pretty well permanently done now and it only took four years to get it the way we want! The Sirius radio is working well, now we can reliably get all the NPR shows that we like to listen to, along with the BBC World Service and a plethora of music stations.

We signed up for the Ala-Carte subscription where you can choose 50 channels for $6.99 per month as opposed to the regular subscription cost of $12.99. There were one or two other stations we would have liked that are not available on the Ala-Carte, like the XM NPR feed, but not worth the extra six bucks a month.

The next project is to get the Sirius receiver working in the Volvo, and get all of the speakers there back on line. The Sirius receiver came with a car kit, so we have ordered an antenna that will clamp on one of the mirrors. The magnetic antenna included in the kit will not work since the entire upper part of the truck cab is fiberglass. We may also need to get a new radio for the truck, but that remains to be seen.

Friday 2/11

Still a bit chilly in the mornings, low 30’s so we are not getting our desert walks in until later in the day. Today was shopping day, hit a couple of grocery stores, etc.

Went to dinner at Coyote Pause with Nancy’s friend Karen who is staying here for the winter also with he labrador retriever Molly. Nancy goes over to the dog run often in the afternoon and has gotten to know a lot of the dogs (and their owners). Most dogs come right up to her and nose the pocket where she keeps the dog treats!

Saturday 2/12

Warmer this AM, 48 degrees, so we were off for a ice walk in the desert first thing in the morning. Then we enjoyed being able to turn on the Saturday morning NPR shows without having to fiddle around with FM reception or on line.

Speaking of on line, we have been listening to the Blackhawk games on WGN on the net. As I mentioned earlier, we lost our Blackhawk TV coverage when we changed out Dish Network location to Tucson so we can get the local channels. Just as well - if I was watching this week I probably would have had a stroke over the officiating. When it is so bad that Troy Murray is calling the refs out on the radio it is pretty bad.

We had given some thought to running up to Phoenix today to catch the Blackhawks playing the Coyotes. Well, I guess I waited to long to look for tickets, the cheapest seats available are $369 each! Plus $15 for parking! Needless to say, we are going to listen to the game on the radio!

Sunday 2/13

Just a quiet day around home today, relaxing and reading. Sat outside most of the afternoon as temp was in the low 80’s - not ready to turn on the AC yet!

Monday 2/14

Happy Valentines Day.Monday AM meeting at the campground to review the days activities. Did some shopping. On the way we stopped at Rincon West RV Park to check it out. It is mostly permanent park models witha few RV’s sprinkled in, although they do have one RV area with a clever concept: the RV’s are parked in groups of four, all facing inward to a grassy area with picnic benches. An interesting layout as it gives everyone some space and access to a nice open area outside their door and encourages neighborliness. We were not looking for ourselves as we have already made reservations to return to Desert Trails next winter. Nancy’s sister Joan has found out that an acquaintance has a place there and rents it occasionally. It is closer to us than the hotel where she has been staying (and cheaper!) so she may stay there next winter.

As I said, we have reserved space here for next winter and have been able to move one space to the west into a roomier spot. The one we are in now is a bit tight, there is a cactus garden at the front of our site which does not leave a lot of room to park the truck and the truck somewhat blocks access to the walkway that runs next to our site. In the new site we will be able to back the trailer deeper into the site and make room for the truck. So we are happy.

Tuesday 2/15

Took a long hike in the desert this morning, a little over two hours. Hiked up through Tucson County Park to the Ironwood picnic area on South Kinney Rd. and back. Of course on the way back we missed a turn and somehow got off the trail we took on the way out, which meant we kind of went a longer way around to get back to the park, no big deal. There are a lot of trails in the park, we have three maps and they all are different, so it is a bit of a crapshoot figuring out which way to go sometimes. Pretty hard to get really lost though.

After our hike we cleaned up and went to Coyote Pause for brunch. Relaxed in the afternoon and then we decided to go over to the Sheraton on East Grant Rd. to hear the Tucson Jazz Institute band who are there on Tuesday evenings.

They did a show here in the campground a few weeks ago and were really good. They had a sizable group there and they put on a great show of traditional jazz! From older folks to young kids it was a pretty varied group, trombone players who looked no older than 15 and a female drummer who is in seventh grade! They also have a young man who does a pretty credible impersonation of Louis Armstrong. Overall a real enjoyable evening sitting around a fire pit under the full moon and stars, listening to good live jazz.

On the way over to the Sheraton we went to Shlomo & Vito’s NY Delicatessen on Skyline Dr. Good sandwiches and soup, to bad it is all the way over on the other side side of town. We will probably stop there again though as it was very good.

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