It’s a nice place to visit…

gorgeous blue eyed cat on a walk

This gorgeous blue-eyed Siamese-mix was on leash in my old park.

We’re back home in Arizona for a bit. Christmas in my old life and Movie Colony of Palm Springs neighborhood was not as stressful as I worried about in advance. We spent two nights at my 90-year-old dad’s house and then met part of the extended family at a VRBO the kids selected — five blocks from our family home of 28 plus years.

I had mixed emotions about the entire trip. Then I saw my favorite checker from Ralphs’ grocery store my first night there. I saw a fellow swim parent in the parking lot. It made me cry and smile.

We (me, my daughter and son’s fiancee) got pedicures at the place we used to go to. We got hugs and a huge welcome. They wondered where we’ve been for two years — while they were closed for COVID and we moved. Thank goodness they are still in business!

As for getting all the food we missed from our favorite restaurants? That was one of my goals. We cooked most meals with people taking turns. Every meal was delicious. I never ate out.

My daughter went to one of our old favorites with a friend and said it was an insult to Italian food.

We took turns with cooking and cleaning. I think this was a very good family time! Loved every second. Although they didn’t want me to replay “Funky Town” too many times…Or dance~!

How was your Christmas and holidays? What are our plans for the New Year?

A Perfect Getaway: Puerto Peñasco

Sunset on the Gulf of California at Puerto Peñasco, known in the US as Rocky Point.

We are home safe and sound from a quick trip to Puerto Peñasco, Sonora Mexico with another couple. I was having anxiety over the trip because it’s the first time spending more than an hour or two with these new friends. I wrote about that HERE.

My worries were for naught. Mostly because of the condo we stayed in. It had two master suites with patios, plus a shared kitchen and living room with an expansive patio between the bedrooms. We weren’t on top of each other. We were steps from pools, hot tubs and the beach. Sometimes we went to the pool or beach together — and sometimes not.

This was my third trip to Puerto Peñasco. I liked this condo complex better than the other ones we stayed at. It wasn’t overwhelming with younger people ready to party or giant towers of too many rooms. It had many pools many tucked away in private settings. It did have a main pool and bar with a stage with live music at night that was quite good.

The pool areas were separated with lush landscaping and green lawns where families played soccer, football and frisbee.

Here are a few more of our sunset views:

Sunset view from Bella Sirena condos on Sandy Beach.
This view is from Wrecked at the Reef, a restaurant with live music, a sports bar inside as well as tables on the sand. We ate dinner the first night here and watched the sunset from a table a few yards from the ocean.

I’ll post more pictures of our Mexico beach trip this week. The best thing about Puerto Peñasco is it’s four hours from home. I love it when we make it there and when we return home. A perfect getaway.

Do you have any favorite places where you can spend a few days relaxing or adventuring?

What’s causing anxiety?

Beach in Mexico
Beach in Mexico.

I woke up this morning with anxiety. In fact, I woke up several times during the night. I tried to figure out what I’m anxious about. Is it the world’s confusion and troubles? Is it the upcoming elections? Is it the economy and high prices? Is it the fact we’re leaving for a short vacation this week and I have a lot to get done before we leave?

Probably all of the above.

We are headed down to Mexico with another couple. I’m anxious because a year ago I didn’t know this couple. I’m sure we’ll all know each other much better by the time we return!

The husband is the brother of one of my husband’s best friends. I’m talking about our friend who died Thanksgiving 2021 from Valley Fever. He introduced me to my husband going on 40 years ago. I first met this couple at the services. We’ve made a commitment to keep memories of our friend alive and get together from time to time.

If you get anxious, what is it that triggers anxiety?

Would you go on vacation with people you weren’t that close to?

Quest for the best dolphin video

This was the winner of y best dolphin video quest during our recent beach vacation.

My husband and I named our August 2022 beach vacation, “The summer of dolphins.” Despite the sadness of sea lions infected with toxic Domoic Acid, that I wrote about HERE, the dolphins were thriving.

Every day we saw dolphins. I was mesmerized watching them. I love to watch them cruise, leap and play. One teenager was swimming along with mom and dad. He’d roll over on his back and do a backward flip — showing off.

This video was taken on our second to last night. The water was like glass, the sunset shimmering pink reflected on the sea. You can see the dolphins tails as they dive.

We decided the best times of our vacation were:

Evenings at the beach during our last week

The visit with our son and his girlfriend

Farmer’s market fruits and vegetables

Dinners with friends

Fresh seafood

What are your best memories from vacations?

First two hours of vacation

View from the Vrbo.

We had only been in the Vrbo for two hours when we lost one key. Fortunately, we started with two keys in the lockbox.

The key got lost during unpacking. I had placed the key on top of the dresser. My husband complained about things I was stacking on the dresser while finding a home for them. I was sure he had knocked the key off onto the floor or behind the dresser while he moved some of my stuff.

I was so upset. We were supposed to go to our friends’ house for dinner and we were thirty minutes late — before we realized the key was missing.

We looked in the drawers, under the dresser, under the bed, in the kitchen and bathroom. I texted my son that we had lost one key already. There was one in the lockbox and to please keep the one remaining key there when he arrived later that night. I didn’t want to lose both.

After a delicious dinner of chicken mole with our friends in their backyard, I came home and continued the search.

I finally found the key! My husband had knocked the key off the dresser just as I suspected. He managed to land the key in my dresser drawer — into my white shorts back pocket! Husbands!

What has your wife, husband or friend done that truly amazed yougood or bad?

On the Road Again

We planned two road trips for this summer. One to Park City, Utah and the other to a tiny town on the California coast called Summerland. I wrote about the Park City trip HERE. On our way to Summerland, we stopped to visit my 90-year-old dad at the halfway point. Then we headed to a Vrbo near the beach.

Beach house near Santa Barbara
We’ll be returning to this beach cottage for the seventh summer.

It’s tough to decide if it’s best to drive straight through to our final destination — or stop along the way. The way we drove it was two days of driving four and a half hours each day.

I think if it wasn’t for my dad living four and a half hours along the way, we wouldn’t stop but try to push through.

An hour from our destination, we stopped in Filmore at the Filmore Historical Museum where they have the Hinckley House — a home that was originally owned by my husband’s relatives. One was an artist, Lawrence Hinckley, that I wrote about HERE.

I’ll share more about the museum trip on another day complete with photos.

Right now we’re waiting for the Vrbo previous renters to leave and the house to be cleaned. That could be a whole other story — since they are hours late leaving. What if they don’t leave? I’ve heard of such things.

When you take a road trip, do you like to make the trip in one day? Or do you like to take your time along the journey? Is it about the journey or the destination?

Do vacations motivate you?

When we moved in the closet was perfect.

Vacation motivated me to clean out my closet. Seriously, every time I come home from a trip I want to throw things out. It’s because I manage to live with very few things on vacation. I love the lack of clutter and stuff. I manage to pack just what I need and live quite well without anything extra.

I decided to make a promise to myself this week. One shelf or drawer per day. That’s it. It’s doable. Like my husband says, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”

What happened on day one was I did two shelves — one shelf led to another. On day two I did the entire dresser. Today I am doing the hanging clothes. It will be done before the week is over. I’m surprised at some of the clothes I moved. I wonder why I didn’t throw more out at that point? I think it was because I got exhausted with all the decision making of moving from a house of 28 years.

I feel better. I feel more organized, lighter. However my husband said he can’t tell any difference. Thanks a lot.

What motivates you to clean closets? How do vacations motivate you?