Saturday, November 2, 2013

Sunday, October 27, 2013, through Saturday, November 9, 2013: In Camp Verde (Cottonwood, Part 2):

We made the 8 mile trip to the Camp Verde RV Resort early on Sunday without incident (except that we left Willis, our steel dog sculpture at the old place by mistake; I retrieved it later).   We got a nice site, and settled in easily. 

We’ve been here before.  It’s not exciting, but we like the place.  It has a lot of grass, and that’s relaxing.  It also has an unrelated menagerie next door and Ramsey loves to interact---through the fence, of course---with the chickens and goats that come to see him.

We are going to be here for two weeks.  We made back-to-back one-week reservations through two of the organizations to which we belong.  The first week is to be free under one program; the second week is to be half price.  When we arrived, we were told the second reservation was invalid due to a particular rule.  We were aware of the rule, but thought we had somehow bypassed it.  Becky pleaded our case to the clerk, who agreed to see if the general manager would cut us some slack.  The next morning, the clerk called to say the manager had decided to offer to let us stay the second week for a fixed price that was actually less than what we had booked.  That was a no-brainer.  Thank you, Becky. 

Monday was a typical day---Sedona, gym, Wal-Mart.  Tuesday was very different.  After the radiation treatment, we went to an early movie at the Harkins Theatre [sic, how pretentious] in Sedona and saw Gravity, with George Clooney and Sandra Bullock. 

Wow!!!!!  It was gripping, with great special effects and well-sustained tension.  Well worth seeing.  Then we went to lunch at Szechuan, a Chinese restaurant with a Sushi Bar in Sedona.  We had gone for quite a while without sushi so it was not hard to sell me on having lunch there.  (We initially went to Hiro’s Sushi, where we had eaten before, but it was closed for some reason.)

The day was cold and windy, so we came home after lunch and just got comfortable.

Over the weekend, the fan motor in our electric fireplace started making a growling noise that indicates it is on its last legs. 

Starting on Monday, I contacted the national distributor, Panel Solutions, which is located in Elkhart, Indiana.  It’s a small operation, apparently, and its CEO is out temporarily for a medical “procedure” according to the person I talked to, Sonya, who has been with the company for less than a month and, therefore, has only limited knowledge of anything.  As a result, it took two days to determine that the fireplace is out of warranty, and, as of this writing, no one there seems to be able to figure out how to sell us a new one.
On Wednesday morning, Sonya informed me that she had figured out how to order us a new fireplace.  We completed the process and she promised we would receive our new one by Monday.  Otherwise, Wednesday was a typical day.  As was Thursday, except that our toaster died and we replaced it at the Cottonwood Ace Hardware.

On Friday, the day started out so cold that Becky decided to switch our summer and winter clothes.  That involves almost emptying our “basement” and replacing all of our stored clothes with the summer ones, and throwing out some stuff that we haven’t worn in a long time.  It’s time-consuming enough that Becky stayed back and did it while I went to Sedona (finishing the fifth of my eight weeks of therapy) and the gym.  In the afternoon, she then took a very large bag of old clothes to the Goodwill in Cottonwood. 

Saturday was the day for the Taste of the Verde Valley, held at the Cliff Castle Casino in Camp Verde.  It was fun, and we tasted some nice wine and some delicious food. 

One part of the entrance fee was set aside for a $10 chit at the casino.  After we ate and drank at the "Taste" we stopped at the casino for 15 minutes and won $43 at a slot machine.  Thank you, Cliff Castle.

After a pancake breakfast at the lodge in the RV park on Sunday, and an ensuing 11-mile bike ride by Becky, we went to the Fort Verde State Park in Camp Verde.  It's a very interesting and nicely maintained/restored place, one of the few old forts left from the Indian War days.  

Among other things, we learned where the term "Buffalo Soldiers" came from.  The Indians likened the appearance of the hair on the heads of the black soldiers to the hair on the heads of buffalo.  Very interesting and very non-PC.

Monday we went to Sedona, but not to the gym or Wal-Mart.  Instead, we tracked down a local who restores Airstream trailers.  We were looking to see if he might be in a position to advise Rick on his restoration. 

The guy is a bit of an oddball, who has three of the tiny trailers, including a 1949 model, that he uses for himself and his family.  He does quality work, but has no apparent eye for style.    

On Tuesday, our new fireplace arrived, and I installed it immediately.  It has some interesting new bells and whistles. 

On Wednesday, we received the news that our friend Alan Buckelew, the President of Princess Cruises, had been elevated to Chief Operating Officer of Carnival Cruises, the parent company of Princess.  According to the press release, Alan will have extensive duties:

Buckelew will have oversight of all maritime and port operations around the world and our group collaborative functions, including information technology; group strategy and global operations; ship retrofits; newbuilds; research and development; risk advisory; and quality assurance. Additionally, Buckelew will have oversight of Carnival Asia, with responsibility for coordinating all our brand and related activities in that part of the world.    

Congratulations, Alan!

Thursday and Friday were typical.  On Thursday, Becky went on a hike with some local women while I took Ramsey with me to Sedona.  On Friday, we went on a four-mile bike ride through the neighboring area.  It's a fairly unimpressive area of rural, mixed-use properties.   

Saturday night, we celebrated our 28th Wedding Anniversary (which is really on Sunday) by having dinner at the Schoolhouse Restaurant in Cottonwood. 

According to Trip Advisor, it's the best restaurant in Cottonwood.  Trip Advisor understated the case.  The place was marvelous.  I had a delicious filet mignon and Becky had wonderful sea scallops.  The food was complemented by a nice bottle of Cline zinfandel.  We followed with a luscious peach cobbler.  The food was divine and the service was impeccable.  (The bill was slightly incorrect, and I thoroughly enjoyed pointing out their clerical error.)  We talked with the people next to us, a youngish couple who moved here eight years ago from Southern California to live in a less expensive environment.  From all appearances, they are thriving very well.  It was a terrific way to end our two weeks in Camp Verde.       


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