Late 2015 to February 2016
We traveled to Arizona earlier than usual (1st of October instead of late) because Brad had been dealing with severe pain due to his hip. It seems the Robinson's hips are genetically problematic and as Brad's was bone on bone it was time to replace the joint with a new titanium one. The new surgery for hip replacement is less invasive (incision from the front of the leg) and Brad was on his feet shortly after surgery walking around. Needless to say Brad rehabbed in a couple of weeks and as of this writing is completely healed and walking without pain again.
It was so warm when we arrived (105F !) that Brad bought and erected a Tiki hut for shade and to set up his outdoor kitchen in. It has since become a favorite hangout for our friends in the neighborhood and a few other Tikis sprang up. It's so nice to extend our living environment to outside and especially to have Brad's trifecta of cooking apparatus; his smoker, fryer and grill! We also have our little convection oven outside for more counter space for me!
We visited my brother John Cooper and his wife Lisa and Lisa and I attended a "Day of the Dead" tea together.
The last pic in the group is of Brad's awesome fried chicken, sooo good!
Newport Beach, California
We headed to So Cal for the holidays and stayed at Newport Dunes RV Resort on the back bay of Newport Beach for the month. It's a favorite of ours as just a short bike ride away you can be on Balboa Island and take a quick ferry ride over to the peninsula and then on to the boardwalk where you can ride up the coast.
One of our favorite dive bars (right off the ferry) and our first stop for a coldie is "the Class of 47" where we hang with the locals when low and behold who should be perched on a stool at the bar, none other than Dennis Rodman! He enjoys rather an infamous reputation with some of the more affluent residents of Newport Beach but is a favorite among the blue collars. We got to know him as he regularly hung out at the "Class of 47" and he admired our tattoos (which helped him remember us, too) and on one occasion he favored me with a bottle of his vodka, signed the bottle and insisted that we take a pitcure! Well, I still have the bottle, (thanks Dennis!) and one of these days I'll crack it open and try it with someone who likes vodka (Brad does not) to ascertain it's desirability...
Being in Newport enabled us to see Brad's family easily and we also enjoyed the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade with all the rich guy yachts decorated with lights and the opening ceremony fireworks.
Christmas Eve with Jack & Marilyn Robinson
We spent Christmas Eve at Brad's father's with his brother Lance and wife Tina and were treated to Chinese dinner out. So good to see the Robinson men together (between them they have 7 hip surgeries!).
Christmas Day with Marie Aspenwall
We spent Christmas with Brad's mother and Lance and Tina and went to Dim Sum at Sam Woos for lunch, Chinese twice in 2 days, yum! (If you have not tried Sam Woos in the Irvine, Ca area it's the best outside of San Francisco China Town!)
Visit with Adam and Sarita Wetzel
My nephew Adam and his family were on holiday from Fairbanks, Alaska where they live and we were able to get together for an Italian feast at Buca di Beppa and send them off with presents for the kids Hazel and Christian.
After the holidays we headed back to Arizona with an overnighter in Quartzsite to rock hound a little, the weather was chilly and wet so we hightailed it back to Peoria. I did manage to find a pretty stone to make a necklace for a friend.
We made it back to our home base and Brad got the Tiki hut set back up for me to decorate and promptly bought new flowers to replace the ones that had gotten frost bitten while we were away. Seems the month of December was pretty cold here, anyway we had John and Lisa over in the hut for a luncheon and settled back in for the rest of the winter.
The Barret Jackson Car Auction, Scotttsdale, Arizona
Brad being able to walk comfortably again we checked out the Barret-Jackson car auction held in Scottsdale and saw some fantastic cars and trucks. Quite the venue, we recommend the event, lots to see!
Waste Management "The Players Championship", Scottsdale, AZ
We also attended the "TPC" golf tournament put on by Waste Management this year in January, we had perfect weather as you can see. the pics are of a little roadrunner bird that ran by, also of Phil Mickelson at the tee and one of Jason Dufner looking right at me as he walks down the fairway (for you golf followers).
These are some of the projects that kept me busy the last couple of months: "Goddess Earrings" (see the woman figure?), Chiastolite "Cross Stone" cabochon necklace with beaded bezel, "Spring Bee" quartz cabochon pin with beaded bezel and copper bumble bee, and "Dragon" beaded lighter cover.
Lastly, looking forward to our summer travels up the coast of Oregon and Washington but for now the Tiki hut feels like home! XoXo ~ S