I had so much fun showing off my new home to my guest this week. I had the company of my sister-in-law to visit thrift shops, consignment stores and an outdoor mall called Scottsdale Quarter. We went out to lunch, had fun sitting around talking until late in the night — (anything past 8 p.m. is late to me!) We hiked, walked and swam in the pool.
We took her to the lake last night. She loved it and said she’s coming back with her husband. They have a boat and spend summer days on a lake.
We watched sunsets and of course the wildlife with our bobcat as the highlight. It was interesting to view my home of nine months through the eyes of someone who has never been here before. It was like seeing it for the first time.
These are the photos she took with her Android. I have an iphone SE and my camera isn’t nearly as good!
What are your favorite things about having guests? Do they stay with you or nearby? Do you like to cook for them? If you do, what do you like to prepare? If not, where do you like to go out?
It’s an especially hot week in Arizona — and in Palm Springs — my old home. I’m talking high teens hot.
We splurged this weekend on two things. We rented a boat for a half-day and bought a new cooler.
View from the boat.
I hadn’t heard about YETI until I was writing an article for a trade magazine about top Christmas gifts at hardware stores. Exciting stuff? Eh. I got paid 🙂
I also learned something new. Everyone I interviewed mentioned YETI as a top seller.
“Can you spell that?” I asked the first time. “Can you tell me what that is?”
Then my son, his girlfriend’s family and my daughter went camping last summer in the Redwoods. My son said he bought a YETI cooler, the Tundra — which is the biggie. His girlfriend’s family are seven adult siblings who are athletes. They eat a lot — especially the youngest who is the only boy and is rowing in college. Hence the need for the largest YETI made.
My son said it was unbelievable — both the redwoods and the cooler. He said his ice lasted the entire trip of three days and all the food stayed cold.
I’ve wanted a YETI since he told me that last summer — the summer of lots of camping with his bubble during the pandemic shutdowns.
We rented the boat and invited new friends who are moving here from Seattle. They asked me if there was water around here and I told them about the lake. They currently live by Lake Washington and love the water. I told them next time they were in town, we’d show them the lake. They’re here visiting and we decided because of the heat and hours in a boat it was time to invest in a YETI.
I sent my son the photo of the new cooler and he gave me instructions on how to use it. He said the secret is to cool it down the night before by putting in a block of dry ice. That wasn’t going to happen, so I used ice from our freezer. He also told me to pack the cooler full, no empty space. So, I’m glad a got “The Roadie” model which is smaller than my son’s. The third secret he told me was to make sure anything I put in the cooler is already cooled. For example, if you put in warm water bottles they will absorb all the energy to get cold. To top off my son’s advice, he sent me a YouTube of how to pack my YETI! You’d think at my age, I wouldn’t need YouTube to pack a cooler! It was actually helpful.
We spent four hours yesterday touring Bartlett Lake by boat, dropping an anchor to dive into the water and cool off. It got unbelievably hot, which meant lot of anchoring and swimming. The YETI cooler was smack in the sun, but the sandwiches, water, veggies, watermelon and dips all stayed ice cold.
It was a beautiful day at the lake with our friends. One day, I hope to repeat the fun when it’s not quite so hot.
What is your favorite way to stay cool in the summer heat?
We tried out the Tonto Bar and Grill for lunch yesterday. It was located on a golf course and this is the entrance. The shrimp tacos were pretty good. I’m on a quest to find the best fish and chips and shrimp tacos.
I see dozens of bunnies whenever I walk. I spotted tiny babies a few weeks ago, but they are quickly getting bigger. I like how the ears are translucent in the morning sun.
My Aunt gave me this beautiful painting of our cabin in Robe, Washington. It was painted by my grandmother. My parents built the cabin with their own two hands. It’s long gone. But we still own the land and have family reunions there. I had the painting framed and picked it up this week.
Here’s a photo of my cabin from the 1970s.
My husband and I spent Thursday evening at the lake again. We had a new pop-up tent that didn’t blow away.
When I went to the Farmer’s Market in Carefree, I ran across this slide in the park. If I were a kid, I’d be terrified of it. How about you?
I’m spending my afternoons reading in our casita. It’s a really good book called “Next Year in Havana” by Chanel Cleeton. Olive keeps me company by resting on the top of the sofa next to me.
How was your week? What were some of your highlights?
We did it! We drove up to the lake after my husband finished work last week. I packed a picnic dinner of chips, sliced peppers, cauliflower and dip, fried chicken, coleslaw, spinach pasta salad and fresh strawberries. After discovering Bartlett Lake on Memorial Weekend, we made a deal that we’d head back up during the week when it would be less crowded.
It’s unbelievable how quick the drive was through the Tonto National Forest. There aren’t any trees so I’m not sure why it’s called a forest. But, it’s breathtaking all the same. Once at the lake, we headed for a campground we discovered where you can park your car on the shoreline. We were thrilled to see only five other vehicles there. On Memorial Weekend there were hundreds. We picked a nice empty area and set up our pop-up tent and chairs.
My husband immediately dove into the lake for a swim. I was getting myself ready when the pop-up tent got hit with a gust of wind and it cartwheeled into the lake. I was yelling for my husband, but he had his head in the water and didn’t hear me. I ran into the lake and grabbed a leg of the pop-up tent before it sank.
I was furious. I had asked my husband if we should bring the weights for the pop-up, or buckets to fill with water to tie it down. But no. We couldn’t find the weights that came with the tent. We might have left those in the RV that finally sold last month back in California. He thought a few rocks to anchor it would work. It did not.
My husband surfaced and saw me clambering after the pop-up. He joined me and we dragged it out of the lake onto the rocky beach. The pop up was obviously beyond repair as it laid with broken legs poking out at uncomfortable angles.
Now we had no shade for our dinner and it was 101 degrees. My husband implored me to swim with him and not let the broken pop up ruin our evening. After floating in the lake, my anger swam away.
We enjoyed the view from our chairs with our feet in the water. We snacked on the peppers and cauliflower and had a pleasant time. My husband said he’d tie the pop-up to the back bumper of the car and we could haul it up to the dumpster several hundreds yards away up the hill.
“No, we can do this.” I jumped up and started dragging the fractured tent to the dumpster. We got it there in a matter of minutes.
Sitting next to the dumpster were three other broken tents. On top of the dumpster heap, I counted another four. Who knows how many were inside buried from sight. We weren’t the only unprepared idiots. Next time we’ll be more prepared.
I think this was a lesson for me to relax and not sweat the small stuff. Material things are just that. Material things.
My husband was helping a friend who lives nearby with some errands. He kept seeing trucks pulling boats on our main street. I’ve noticed the boat traffic, too. I didn’t give it much thought where they were headed. They are going north from our house. They certainly aren’t taking boats to the Grand Canyon, are they?
“There’s a lake 15 miles up the road,” our friend said.
Water in the middle of the desert. Who would have known? And the good news: it’s super close to us. It was crowded on Memorial Weekend with lots of campers and boats, but it’s a short drive for us to check out mid week. We explored during the busy weekend for future visits. And we bought a map and marked all our destinations, so my husband was a happy camper.
Our plan is to head up to the lake after my husband is done working. It’s in the Tonto National Forest and the drive is breathtaking. We’ll take a pop-up tent for shade, beach chairs and a cooler full of water and a picnic dinner. The only problem will be the heat, but maybe it won’t be so bad after getting wet. It will be a nice change to enjoy a lake instead of the pool.
I was excited to find out we live so close to water! The lake has several campgrounds, two restaurants and a marina that rents kayaks, jet skis, pontoon and speed boats and stand up and paddle boards. I’m finally going to try SUP.