Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Spirit--My New Home

A few weeks ago frigid weather descended on Southern Arizona so I opted to drive Halcyon II to Yuma and wait for warmer weather.  The reason for the drive was to avoid freezing the pipes in the RV and Yuma never freezes.  Besides it had been months and months since I had last taken a trip in the little Roadtrek.  So...while I was wandering around Yuma checking out the orange orchards, Indian Casino, and Cracker Barrel I decided to take a look at the RVs for sale and see if anything looked interesting.

I was in the market for what I thought might be my next home--something about 5 years old and about 2 feet longer.  What I found that I could not resist was brand new,  much taller, and 4 feet longer than the Roadtrek.  It had all the luxuries I was looking for....

A bigger bed....

and bigger refrigerator (it's there on the left)...

A bathroom with a door....

with its own sink and shower.

There is also a double bed over the cab that I plan to use solely for storage plus a breakfast booth that will make into a double bed if I ever have company.  

I will not be able to 'stealth park' as readily as I could in the Roadtrek but the conveniences this one offers will make up for it--I hope.

She is an Itasca Spirit built by Winnebago Industries on a Ford chassis.

I immediately called Ron who drove over to Yuma from San Diego the following weekend to test drive Spirit.  By that time I was back in Tucson but when Ron said he approved  then I dashed back to Yuma and took possession of my new home.  

What is happening to Halcyon II?  As it has turned out, my sister, Mary and her husband are looking to do a little exploring this summer.  They will take over the Roadtrek for a few months and, in the meantime, I will store it in Yuma.  It took a few days to move from one vehicle to the other but Ron and Loretta drove, again, from San Diego to help me move. 

And, as much fun as it is to live in, and adjust to, a new home, I felt ever so sad saying goodbye to Halcyon II.  She got me started on this adventure, she gave me confidence that I could handle the lifestyle, she was a cozy home for Sigh Me and myself and I will miss her.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Gem Show--The African Village

My initial visit to the African Village was 15 years ago when I first moved to Tucson.  At that time the village was the highlight of my introduction to the Gem Show.  I have been to that particular venue for a total of four times now and each time I have found it sadly less interesting than the original.

It is, however, still worth the visit.

From the first visit to this time-- one food booth with regional food versus a 1/2 dozen or more the first year.

Also, I remember lots of music where, this time, there was only one small booth of musical instruments tucked in a corner.  Occasionally, a passerby would stop and give a small tattoo on some of the drums.  It only made me wish for more.

I still loved the costumes.  How sad we Americans revel in our bland sweatshirts, faded jeans and blah running shoes.  

And why not some colorful headgear? It sure beats baseball caps and sun visors.

And then there is the alternative.  Note the beads.

Color was everywhere...

I would have bought one of these if I had a wall big enough for it in the RV.

Maybe my next RV should have a mantlepiece--or not.

Her expression made me chuckle.

And I wanted a dozen of these but no space or money.

Feathers and masks.

Lots of signs.

"Fear woman and save your life"  (?) 
I think this artist has some anger issues.

It really helps my pocketbook that I don't have room for all this stuff.  

And, of course, there were beads. I think I have had enough Gem Show for this year.

Coming soon:  My new home. Stay tuned.

Monday, February 15, 2016

More Gem Show Fossils

I know you are all tired of looking at rocks so let me show you lots of bones....

These were all at one of the venues.

The thigh bones connected to the....

It's a bird!

Friend Andrea.  

Okay, there is only one more post of the Gem Show--my favorite coming soon, The African Village.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

More Gem Show

We did not get to the venues that feature the fine jewels (#1 reason, mostly open to wholesalers; #2 reason, mostly open to people with money to spend;  #3 reason, our feet gave out)

But there was jewelry everywhere anyway and we managed to find a few things that fell within our budgets.

I wanted him but couldn't convince myself that I needed him.

The array of beads of every color and quality, 

made me want to take up jewelry making.

There are hundreds of these booths throughout the show.

And the variety of crafts using semi-precious stones....

are something to behold.

How is it that the rocks I encounter along a trail never look like this?


Unless you break the rock open, slice and polish it.

Who ever figured out that the dull grey rock along some pathway had this on the inside?

These geodes are being purchased and shipped all over the world.  

Andrea is hoping the price will come down on this one.

These are lamps made from stones.

 And bowls made from stones.  These are way too huge for any salad I would ever make. 

The colors in these two pieces were......


Stay tuned--there is more to come.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Tucson Gem & Mineral Show--day one

Tucson has one major event that comes each year the first 2 to 3 weeks in February--The Gem Show.  This event takes over the city and offers the most amazing array of 'stuff'--stones, rocks, gems, jewelry, fossils, crafts, makings for crafts, food, people watching, and a chance to meet visitors from every nation on the planet.

This year there are 45 venues.  If this show continues to grow I am not sure where they will find space for many more.  Each venue is made up of dozens of exhibitors from every part of the planet.  Andrea and I met people from France, Morocco,  China, India, Australia and all over Africa.

Every hotel or motel in town is either full of exhibitors or their exhibits.  We spent hours at a Ramada Inn just going from room to room.

Some of the hotel rooms were well laid out...

Some were just crazy.

I wonder about the weight of the luggage put on airplanes coming to Tucson.  And because of the weight of so much of this 'stuff' the prices on everything will drop drastically the last week of the show.

So if you are just dying to add to your collection of fossils you have lots to choose from here. 

Dinosaur Poop for Sale.

Pooped Pets not for sale.

Nature in all its glory is on display here.   

The color in this piece was exquisite but my silly little camera hardly does it justice.

The really big venues with the most expensive diamonds and emeralds are at the convention center and are only open to wholesalers the first two weeks.  The final week they open up to everyone.  Andrea accompanied me to four of the lesser shows but that took two days with hours of walking.  Some people actually spend every day of the three weeks traveling from show to show to see it all.  

Pyramids ?

Stay tuned, there is more to come.