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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Final Full Day at KOA Flagstaff

Aloha Everyone,

This has indeed been a wonderful respite. Until now, our pace of RVing has been "muy rapido." But due to Honu's malfunctioning cabin electrical system plus waiting for replacement parts to arrive from Canada, J.J. and I decided to relax and wait. This turned out to be a perfect place. Quiet and secluded yet short distance to specialty restaurants and supermarkets plus great WiFi. The two of us settled into a comfortable routine devoting time to reading, writing, studying and doing research. Such a joyful and carefree existence! 

George is the very conscientious General Manager of Flagstaff KOA. This morning he was inflating the jumping pillow. When I ask him if he needs to inflate and deflate on a daily basis, he answered YES because the current fence is inadequate to keep children from playing late at night. It takes about 1/2 hour to inflate, but longer to deflate.

Bill was traveling with his daughter Sandy, son Bill Jr and son-in-law Tom. An extrovert with a dry sense of humor, Bill and his family were visiting from Anaheim, California.

Before we close the chapter of our our stay in Flagstaff, let me share with you the best meal we had. It was the 1/2 roast beef and  Gorgonzola cheese sandwich with shrimp & corn chowder soup at the Wildflower Bread Company. Absolutely delicious and unforgettable, we attempted a return visit, but unfortunately there was no parking stall long enough for Honu.

Aloha -- Cathi

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Connie & Peter from Germany

Aloha Everyone,

Their motorhome looks different. It stands out. Actually it look more like a military truck.

The couple, Connie and Peter are from Germany. Peter is a retired fireman who converted a fire truck to a motorhome. They are 5 months into their one-year travel. The couple shipped their motorhome from Germany and started their land travel in Canada. For Canada, German citizens do not require visa and they can stay six months. However to enter USA on the visa waiver program, German citizens may only stay a maximum of 90 days.

From here, Connie and Peter are headed to Baltimore, Maryland to ship their motorhome to South America. There, the couple will travel for 5 months exploring such countries as Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Argentina.

Aloha -- Cathi

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

To Prescott for Lunch with Jeff & Jane

Aloha Everyone,

Prescott is located about 95 miles from Flagstaff in Yavapai County. The scenic drive on I-17 South took us approximately 2 hours each way. The population of Prescott, based on the 2010 census was 39,843. New figures released last Friday by the U.S. census Bureau shows the Arizona continued its most rapid growth among its largest communities. We are not surprised that Prescott Valley tops local population increases. As we drove towards the city, J.J. and I noticed increased vehicular traffic and ongoing construction. It's a change from the sleepy community the two of us visited a few years ago.

Our lunch get together with Jeff and Jane at the Prescott Brewing Company in the old town was wonderful. Kind and generous mid-westerners, Jeff and Jane love Prescott where it has been their home for 16 years. When we mentioned about noticing new hilltop homes and large residential condominium projects, they commented that Californians in particular are selling their over-inflated priced homes and buying in Prescott often at a half the price and twice the size. Again, changes are inevitable but I can emphasize with those who prefer to keep their community small and intact.

Aloha -- Cathi

Monday, August 28, 2017

Dogs and Camping

Aloha Everyone,

During my morning walk inside the KOA Campground, I met a couple from Phoenix with 3 magnificent Great Danes. Two males and a female the owners said are pedigree. I was told that each one of them are winners of various competitions.

Full grown male Great Danes are between 30 to 34 inches tall and they weigh between 120 to 200 pounds. Females are a little smaller. They stand between 28 to 32 inches tall and usually weigh between 100 to 130 pounds. The owners assured me that they are very friendly, but I am allergic to animal hair. Beside anything that can tower over me when they stand on their hind legs and outweigh me, I rather admire from a distance.

J.J. and I notice that one out of 3 campers have dogs. Many travel in motorhomes that are a size of large passenger bus and have ample room for their pets. But we've also seen a large German Shepherd comfortably sharing the space with his human companion in a motorhome smaller than Honu. By the way, cats don't travel well.

Other promenaders I met were all from Oklahoma. They were shy about my taking their photos so early in the morning, but graciously agreed for their pets to be photographed.

Jessie, a Schnauzer

Dover, Goldendoodle (mix of Golden Retriever and a poodle)

There is a dog nature walk area as well as two dog parks at this Campground. 

Aloha -- Cathi

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Great Morning Walk

Aloha Everyone,

I get my morning work out which includes walking. My minimum daily goal is to do 60 minutes of brisk walk or 3 miles, weather permitting. This gives me cardiovascular benefits but more than that it makes me happy!  

Today I increased my target to walking 2 hours or 6 miles. Rather than retracing the KOA Campground's wooded trails, I decided to venture outside.

At 6:00 am, the sun was rising behind a mountain range. Air was fresh, temperature was at 56 degrees. It was perfect for exercise. I went on a bike path which connects from a small dirt trail off this campground. Sunday vehicular traffic was light but occasional passing cars gave me comfort that I was not alone.

No obstacles, not even a biker using the path and absolutely no pollution. It took me just about 1/2 hour to reach the Flagstaff Mall, then I turned back to the campground. For the second hour, I listened to the Kundalini yoga meditation mantras using my EarPods.

By the time I returned to Honu, J.J. was busy working on his laptop and getter ready to brew our morning coffee. Having a comfortable walking route helps make my workout a lot more enjoyable.  

J.J. and I decided to extend our stay for another few days before returning to California. I look forward to repeating this morning's walk!

Aloha -- Cathi

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Four Personality Types

Aloha Everyone,

One of the useful business executive training courses J.J. and I took was how to recognize four basic personality types. By understanding how and even why people react to the same situation, we are able to associate with different people.

Generally people can be roughly categorized into four main personality types. They are:

1.  Analytical
  • positive - very deep, thoughtful, serious purposeful, orderly, organized, perfectionists, sets very high standards, economical, self-disciplined, have dry but witty sense of humor 
  • negative - can be moody and critical
2.  Driver
  • positive - dynamic, active, exudes confidence, takes leadership positions, visionaries, sees big pictures 
  • negative - can be insensitive, unsympathetic, harsh, proud, and sarcastic

3.  Amiable
  • positive - patient, well-balanced sympathetic, kind, easy going and diplomatic
  • negative - stubborn and weak 

4.  Expressive
  • positive - generous, outgoing,  ambitious, charismatic, and persuasive
  • negative - disorganized, talkative and undisciplined
No one truly fit in one of the four categories. Chances are our personalities overlap two, three of even a combination of all four dominant personality types. Learning to recognize the strength and weakness of people, we can also come to understand our own and will help us better relate to people we meet on our travels.

Aloha -- Cathi

Friday, August 25, 2017

Pancho & Marie

Aloha Everyone,

Another interesting neighbor at this RV park were Pancho and Marie.
The previous night, it rained heavily for several hours. In the morning, I looked out and noticed two clothes lines strung between pine trees with bedding items were being dried.

Pancho, a large towering man (but then most people towers over me) was affable and approachable. He and his wife Marie are serious bikers from Maryland. The couple love the Northern Arizona topography.  They were tenting and it seems that their tent is not water proof. To my comment of their predicament, Pancho  shrugged his shoulders and said, "It's just rain. No big deal! The sun will dry them."

This is a "downtime" for J.J. and me. Taking advantage of the mostly pleasant weather, excellent WiFi, the two of us are spending a great deal of time catching up with our reading, studying and planning our next big overseas' trip.

Here are some of the meals we've enjoyed in the past 7 days.

Aloha -- Cathi

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Compact But Equipped JUCY RV

Aloha Everyone,

Whenever J.J. and I see bright green and magenta colored JUCY Mini RVs, our curiosity perks up. In nearly 95% of the time, campers who chose JUCY are adventurous and interesting people. They also tend to be Europeans. We met a number of Swiss, Germans, Scandinavians and occasionally Australians. 

If is an economic way to see the USA. There is a rooftop bed as well as the seats in the van that converts into a bed.

Glen is a former police officer who studied Shotokan Karate under famous masters, Sensei Hirokazu Kanazawa and Sensei Mikio Yasuhara. Glen also taught Karate in Japan and has studied other martial arts including kendo, Tai chi and archery.

Owner of the Suffolk Academy in Suffolk, England, Glen was a previous coach of the UK National Karate team.

Gary is a close friend and a Karate student of Glen. The two friends are about midway through their tour of the USA.  After the USA, Gary will continue his travels in Asia for another 7 months, visiting and studying various forms of martial arts.  Glen on the other hand will return to England.

They were about to cook lamb for dinner. Here is a photo of their fully-equipped outdoor kitchen.

Aloha -- Cathi

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Selective Attention and Awareness

Aloha Everyone,

Jeff did a lesson in his class about the importance of paying attention and being aware.

Please watch these two short video clips and test your selective attention and awareness.

Aloha -- Cathi

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Don't Deprive Others of the Joy of Giving

Aloha Everyone,

"For it is in giving that we receive." -- Francis of Assisi

"Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give." -- Eleanor Roosevelt

We have been taught that our true purpose in life is to help others to better their lives. One receives more when giving. My Mother's life is richer because of her serving her community as a volunteer for over 45 years. Giving sincerely from your heart with no expectation of thanks or reciprocation can result in true blessing and happiness.

During our recent visit, Bunny shared with J.J. and me the following story.

"I was doing volunteer work for a community with my music. I did this for free with no intention of getting anything in return. Then one day, the person in charge gave me some money. I tried to refuse saying that I volunteer for the pure joy of giving and I do not want any payment.

The woman scolded me by saying "What's wrong with you? You get joy by sharing your music. So why would you want to deprive others the same joy of giving!"

Bunny told us that this message struck her core and she has learned to accept others' genuine act of kindness.  

Aloha -- Cathi

Monday, August 21, 2017

Total Solar Eclipse, Return to Flagstaff

Aloha -- Cathi

The total solar eclipse was visible 65-miles-wide from Oregon to South Carolina. (Photo from internet, courtesy of Cameron de Silva, for ABC News)

J.J. and I decided watch in Honu in Bunny and James' comfortable and spacious driveway. With excitement and anticipation we waited and waited. It never got dark at 68 percent in Show Low.

I am sure animals and birds are much more sensitive to such occurrences. Almost precisely at 10:38 am, the birds flew as if possessed and dogs barked incessantly at invisible intruders.

For the two of us, it was a nonevent but our friends witnessed this incredible happening in Bend, OR, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO, Peachtree, GA and even in Schenectady, NY.

Holbrook is located in Navajo County about half way between Show Low and Flagstaff. For our lunch stop, J.J. spotted a cafe near the West entrance to I-40. Dusty parking lot with the signage being held up by wire. It did not look very promising.

A Navajo man looking rather shy seated us at one of 6 tables. His hard leather-like skin the color of dark chocolate looked as if he has lived under the blazing Arizona sun all his life. He apologized that he was filling in for a waitress and carefully copied the items J.J. and I pointed in the menu.

Our simple Mexican dishes with no adornment were far better than their presentation. But what made our lunch stop memorable was the owner/chef, Robert. He came out to greet us. With a booming, commanding voice suitable for an operatic tenor, he transformed the place into fine-dining! J.J. left a very generous 30% tip for our quiet and nameless server.

Back at KOA Flagstaff, we met an interesting father and son. Mark now works for a construction firm. He was a builder, contractor and real estate broker who sold his own custom built homes. Bob, Mark's son is a middle school teacher in Madison, WI. He recently earned his Master's and will be working as an Assistant Vice Principal. His wife is studying veterinary medicine at the University of Wisconsin. The twosome were on their way to Vegas for Bob to return to Madison and for Mark to pick up his wife at the airport.

So you can see how the four of us found mutually interesting topics. Over the camp fire we also talked of retirement and travels until it was nearly 10:00 pm, way pass my bedtime.

Aloha -- Cathi