Friday, May 24, 2024


 May 10 - 20, 2024
Tombstone, Arizona

Apparently the universe will just keep kicking you in the face until you realize you are not going to keep those plans you're holding on to! Geeeez, okay! 

I still hadn't heard back from the "travel unit" about our requested assistance in three states when it was time to set up the motorhome for our visiting family. There was also no word yet from the RV repair shop regarding the pending three items for our departure on 5/28. But I was still very much in planning-to-go mode.

And then I was very much NOT. 

The large slide that we just got fixed comes out 6-7 inches, only in the front, jams, and completely quits. Dead-at-the-switch quits. A few minutes of loud, creative language, some made-up words with clear meaning, and I'm sooooo done! 

After returning to the house and explaining to Bill why I'm burning the rig to the ground and never leaving the house again, I eventually decide there could possibly be less drastic options. None of which are keeping our summer plans. 

But we have all the Gravel boys and one DIL and grandson coming for the weekend so let's focus on that joy. Corey and family are in Tucson Sunday, so they pick up Travis from the airport (his flight from Virginia is delayed four hours), and arrive less than an hour ahead of Nick and Richie who have driven from SoCal. Their first visit here, we're soooooo excited to see them!

It's a whirlwind of catching up, meals around the big table, Cribbage games, exploring Tombstone and Bisbee, a few cocktails, and lots of enjoying the youngest grandson. Oliver is funny and smart and cute and a delight to be around. 

Nick 1, Travis 3, Richie 4, Dad and Corey 2.

Dads getting caught up - so fun they all have kiddos now.

Keeping an eye on all the activity.

More Daddy!

Morning is best for cooler temps and fewer crowds.

The Wyatts hang out on Allen Street before heading to their infamous shoot out at the corral next door.

Likely our most authentic historic location, Nick and Corey check out the Birdcage Theater.

Richie, Nick, Travis and Corey with son Oliver at the theater.

A friendly family game of Cribbage. Not so exciting for doggies.

Oliver likes the vintage cars in Bisbee's Lowell district.

Nothing makes our home better than happy grands having fun. 

Departures begin on Sunday morning and end with taking Travis to the airport on Monday morning. It's all over way too soon, but we're grateful for the chance to have them all here together.

Before the family gathering we enjoy a couple fun visits with friends.

First our pals Sue and Dave bring their new guide-dog-in-training pup Taos to meet us. A beautiful yellow lab with precious deep brown eyes that draw you in. We meet at their RV in Benson for outdoor visiting, then head to the Benson City Grille (I had no idea there is a golf course, let alone a decent grill in Benson!). 

Handsome and smart, and oh so loveable. 

And not shy about getting his photo taken :-)

Surprising beautiful views from the patio at the golf course grill.

The following day they come to see us and give Taos more new experiences as part of his training. We're happy to be one of his many lessons! He's a lovely guest and Tessa manages to be a good hostess by ignoring him.

It's always great to get caught up with these two dear friends, and we're happy Taos brought them to see us!

Having spent time with Kim and Jack (she from our high school, he her spouse) at our reunion in April, we made plans to visit them near their home in Tucson - at the Saguaro NP. We're hoping for multiple blooms in mid-May, but we're clearly a couple weeks too early. It's still a beautiful drive, and lunch at Saguaro Corners is tasty. Now that we'll be around, we'll get together with them again this summer.


Kim, Bill, Jodee and Tessa. It's hot!

Bridge construction in St David - making the N larger does not make it a M!

Alas, again, our summer looks different, and we'll make the best of it. Once the rig is fixed, again, we can plan, again, for a shorter trip within Arizona to see if we can navigate travel support.

Reese and Penelope excited that the pool is open!!

Cold temps persist on the mountain so Ezra and Elliott get creative with lots and lots of Legos!

Henry and Cassidy take their parents to see Bluey.


  1. Nooo !!! - Don't burn the rig! We're still rooting for you and travels, even if changed from the original plans. Glad you enjoyed a few days with the family.
    You have a good attitude about taking a few dry runs in AZ with all the gear required for planning a longer outing.
    Always enjoy watching your grands having fun.

    1. The rig remains uncharred and it still served well as our guest space for the boys so it's safe for now :-)))

  2. Oh Nooooo! Well, we should have known, shouldn't we.....your plans were too perfect and organized and too fun, and too overdue. Mother Nature loves to throw a monkey wrench in those kinds of plans, but she also loves to see us doing what we love so, just hold on, it will all work out in the end. Easy to say, I know..... It was wonderful to spend some time with you both, Taos can't stop talking about it!

    1. Such a chatty pup!! I suspect we'll see travel in our future once I've caught my breath :-) I don't know how retired folks sit around a house all day so a modified travel option is a must-do!

  3. Hi Jodee…I’m with Jeff and Sue. Don’t burn the MH and it will all work out in the end! I figure when these sort of things happen, we are guarded from something much worse happening. Joe and I have so enjoyed our “mini” trips and adventures. Tonka trucks are the best! What a great photo of the boys. And memories with family and friend are forever!

    1. Consensus is to save the rig from cremation so we'll work on getting it fixed - for longer than a few weeks! Your trips are definitely inspiring for what we can make happen moving forward - I can just copy some of your itineraries :-)

  4. Not sure there are words for your latest MH set back. I can only imagine how creative you got with your vocabulary when it would not come out correctly...again!!! Being retired allows us changing our plans and making news one at any time. I know you'll come up with a different plan and still have a wonderful summer:) What a great visit with the boys! So nice to have them all together at the same time. I love that first photo of the flowering saguaro with the desert and mountains. Beautiful! So glad you had a nice visit with Taos, oh, and Dave and Sue! Taos is so adorable. Good luck with your MH.

    1. Oh yeah, I could do my own dictionary of new words except they all mean the same thing :-)))) Having the boys all here together definitely raised our spirits. Yes I'm looking at late summer "quickie" routes with fingers crossed and a better attitude.

  5. Dang it! I'm with Pam, what a great visit with the family!! And the motorhome made an excellent guest house! How fun getting to meet Taos plus see Sue and Dave--our turn is coming! Here's hoping you make new, fun plans for the summer and get all that "travel assist" business figured out!

    1. I was so grateful that when the slide quit there was at least a little extra maneuverability for our guest. Having a positive purpose was helpful in keeping it from my temporary wrath :-))

  6. OMG I laughed so hard at you creatively cussing out the rig and telling Bill you were going to burn it to the ground. That is exactly what my initial response would have been, LOL!!! But I also love that you recovered quickly and have come up with a "Plan B," which actually sounds like a lot of fun, and good practice for longer trips. Meanwhile, what a wonderful gathering of the Gravel boys. There's so much joy in your time with family and with good friends. ❤️❤️❤️

    1. Yeaaaah, I did come to my senses, but the air was blue for a bit there! Undoing things means I then get to do them again so I'm glad I still enjoy the planning :-) It was such a wonderful visit.

  7. Well big bummer is all I can say. I can definitely relate to the creative language when yet another RV problem shows up although I don't think I've ever threatened to burn Winnona to the ground. I know you were really looking forward to your summer exploring and testing out the waters of on the road medical. And I was really looking forward to reading all about it. Bummer again. Great pictures of all those Gravel boys. Can't even imagine what it must have been like to have 4 of them all over the house growing up. .

    1. I'm still looking forward to sharing it with you and somehow remain hopeful we'll be able to do so! Richie was 11, and the others had already moved out, when Bill and I got together, but all of them and their friends made for a houseful during frequent visits :-)))))