2014 Winter in Tucson, AZ (home)

 December 10:

We haven't done a lot other than get ready for Christmas since we have been in Tucson. We did go to Phoenix to see the Colts play the Cardinals. Alas, the Colts had one of their bad days, and lost.  We have tickets to see the Pacers after the first of the year and are looking forward to a little revenge.  We'll be heading up to Indiana and Tennessee the 19th of December and returning after Christmas. We hope to be able to do some more things when we get back. Bob has been going to the Eastside Chess Club here in Tucson and played in the Phoenix Open chess tournament. We did spend an afternoon at the DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun which has the works of Ted DeGrazia featured. DeGrazia is well know for working in different media and has a unique way of expressing his view of the world thru his art. I usually don't get into art, but in this case I was enthralled by the pieces on display. Below you will be able to see pictures of many of his works. Please forgive the poor quality of the pictures as I only had my phone. I highly recommend this trip.

January 8, 2014 -- We had a wonderful Christmas, visiting family in Indiana and Tennessee.  Even the weather was more cooperative this year.  We were able to spend time with son Mike & family in Tennessee. We had a nice dinner at O'Charlies in Spring Hill and visit with them. We are looking forward to seeing them again the inte spring and perhaps we can take Grace to the IndyCar race in Birmingham. Spening time with Mike, Amanda, Patrick, Shelby, Abby and Grace was as always special.


We were also able to spend time with our families in Indiana.  We enjoyed granddaughter, Nora and her first visit with Santa (Grandma thinks she wanted a new car!); Kathy was able to visit her aunt Nellie and spend time with her sisters.  We had a nice dinner at Capri Ristorante in Indianapolis with Bob’s sister and her boyfriend and Bob visited with some hometown friends. 


Grand Children

Thanks to Eric’s girlfriend, Kristin for giving us tickets to the Indianapolis Colts’ final home game against the Jacksonville Jaguars; a great finish to our visit.


Things were busy at Rincon Country West, our winter home in Tucson, before we returned north for Christmas but the activities have really picked up since our return.  The weather has been quite nice and we’ve been enjoying being outside.

We went to the Pacers Suns game in Phoenix on January 22nd. Before the game we stopped a the Indian Fry Bread House for dinner. At the game we had a great seats in the 8th row behind the Pacers bench. Before the game we got to visit with Naptown Seth from the Pacers Digest who was at the game with his wife and we both visited with Chris Denari (TV announcer for the Pacers). We were shown on the broadcast and Chris mentioned us on the air, saying that we were from Greenfield IN and traveled full time in our RV. That was the highlite of the game as the Pacers came out flat and lost badly. I took lots of pictures and below you will see the best.


Here are thumbnails of some of the game pictures. It's much easier to take good pictures when you are close to the  floor.

The day after the Pacers game we went down to the Arizona State Captiol building. It was very nice. It's always a constant surprise to us, how the capitol building are so diffferent and all so beutiful. After visiting the capitol we went to the Mystery Castle outside of Phoenix. This 18 room, 3 story house was built from recycled materials over 15 years by Boyce Gully for his wife and daughter. The story and the house are facinating. We ended our stay in Phoenix with a stop at the Organ Stop Pizza where we were able to see and listen to the mighty Whertlzer Organ. I hope you enjoy the pictures. 


When we returned from Phoenix Bob played in the Tucson Open Chess tournament. You can click on the link to see some pictures and my games.

Oh yeah I saw this car in a parking lot and thougt I would share a picture.

One other thing - Last Wednesday nite I went to a Blitz Tournament at the Eastside Chess Club here in Tucson. I'm expecting a bunch of kids and for me to lose almost all the games. What I found was several adults and most were good players inlcuding, get this, a Grand Master, an International Master and a Womans FIDE master. Oh yeah I also won 4 of 10 games....pretty good nite!!! Here are some pictures for your enjoyment.

            WFM  Amanda Mateer  me   GM MacKenzie Molner                         me       IM Alex Dulger

Me with Chess Organizer Martha Underwood

January 31, 2014 -- We have been busy in the last month. We spent an afternoon visiting the Mission San Xavier del Bac here in Tucson. Construction started in 1783 and was completed in 1797. This Catholic Mission is a working church as well as a national landmark. The murals and statues are original and is it very interesting to see the archatecture and the overall design. We bought a new camera and this was the first time we tried to take pictures with it. Hope you enjoy the pictures.


February 20 we viewed the 89th La Fiesta de los Vaqueros parade, the Tucson Rodeo Parade.  Known to be the largest non-motorized parade in the country, we were amazed at the turnout as well as the number of participants.  It was quite a treat.

One gorgeous Saturday morning the RV Park Garden Railroad Club had a train marathon, which was really fun.  They have quite a G gauge layout that has developed and grown over the years.  It is probably 100' by 50'. By the end of the marathon there were seventeen trains under human control running the tracks at the same time.

The park celebrated Mardi Gras in February, culminating with a parade through the park and an outdoor lunch.  Kathy participated in the parade with the Cactus Quilters, which was quite fun.  Many residents really got into the festivities with fabulous costumes.  A few days before the parade, there was a “doggie Mardi Gras contest and you can see the winner in these photos. 

March 7, 2014

We spent a beautiful afternoon in Saguaro National Park Rincon, northwest of our RV Park.  It had been recommended we drive across Gates Pass, which is a beautiful mountain pass along the crest of the Tucson Mountains; elevation: 3172 feet.  There were beautiful views and places we could pull off to really enjoy the scenery.  The road led us from Tucson to the National Park.  We saw a variety of cactus, a few in bloom.  There was quite a bit of Fairy Duster, an airy cactus with lovely lavender blooms.  We were able to enjoy a beautiful sunset while there.

Kathy was able to get a “sneak preview” of the Indy Eleven soccer team in action as they played a preseason game in Tucson against the Portland Timber.  She talked with a few fans that had a relative on the team, which made the game even more fun. 

 Our RV Park, Rincon Country West, has many clubs including their very own quilt club, the Cactus Quilters.  In February they held a quilt show and we were amazed at the beautiful entries.  All quilts had to be made by park residents and there were 127 entries in ten categories.  The following week, the Digital Imaging club sponsored a photography contest, with 175 fabulous entries. (click on thumbnails below to see full pictures)