We arrived home late night/early morning and it was very nice being greeted at the airport by Peter and Dianne. After a relaxed morning we had our friends John and Suzanne and their beautiful chocolate lab Rio over for a visit. Fellow full-timers who were passing through the area. We had a nice visit of catching up and laying the ground work for a caravan trip with them to Alaska, North West Territories and the Yukon in 2021. Always great seeing them even if it is just for a few hours.
It felt good to be back in Tucson and getting back to normal life, no more chocolates on the bed at night, no more waiter service for dinner and no more formal clothes every evening. Our routine now was playing pickleball in the morning and cycling in the afternoons. With Peter and Dianne still in town for another month, and Robert and Trina here for 2 weeks, it gave us time to spend with our Jedicke family, which of course includes Toni and Charlie. So between dinners, a hike at Sabino Canyon, and lectures at the University, slide show presentations of various trips and going to the theatre to see the Book of Mormon the time went by very quickly. June had unfortunately come home from the trip with a very bad bad cold, so she did miss out on a few of the excursions.
We also had dinner a couple times with Kent and Maureen, always fun and it was so good to see them! Once at their place for Chinese takeout, and once we met them at one of their favourite restaurants, a great Thai restaurant downtown by the Fox Theatre. We will definitely go back there, it was excellent!
That was just the socializing that we did with our friends OUTSIDE of the park! Inside the park it was becoming a routine for Larry to golf Mondays with Jimmy, Peter, Lorne, Larry and Ted and for June to golf Tuesdays with Sherry, Doreen and Char. We both played pickleball with the morning gang and we even got recruited to play bocce ball in the park tournament, sadly we ended up 0-3! June had a rough February, being sick with her cold and when she recovered from that she then fell against the RV and cracked some ribs. So most of the sports were left to Larry.
With the park having an observatory for night sky watching we got up early the one morning and watched Mars disappear behind the moon and come out the other side. Pretty cool. We also tried to catch a glimpse of the Atlas comet but unfortunately it broke up before we could see it.
February as it turned out, was to be the last normal month in a world that was about to be turned upside town. We had extended our stay this year to include March because the Book Fair, the 4th Ave Street Fair, the air show (or so we thought ) and many fun events in the park happen then.
So March 1st June headed down to the Activity Office and purchased tickets for all the fun events for the month. One day we went to Pikachu Peak State Park with Toni and Charlie for a hike and to see the wild flowers. The flowers were pretty, but the hike was a little too much for June’s ribs so it was cut short, and then we finished with a wonderful lunch supplied by Toni &Charlie.
The world started to change drastically on March 12th. Due to the Covid-19 virus that was spreading around the world the US Stock Market had its worst day in 30 years and Pro sports in North America ground to a halt. A world pandemic was declared on March 13th and life changed forever. Many of our Canadian friends in the park started to make plans to head back to Canada due to health insurance cancellations and as border closing fears started to escalate. We checked into our insurance supplier and we were still covered until May 1st, so our plans stayed in place.
Our life in the park at this point did not change much, as pickleball, golf and cycling are good social distance activities. On March 16th all the amenities at the park were closed, as well as the events that June had bought tix for were cancelled 🙁 All of this did not stop June’s birthday celebrations as we had a very nice birthday dinner at Toni and Charlie’s.
Our last half of March obviously changed drastically and our plans for April were slowly evolving. Our plan was to go to Page, AZ in early April and then spend most of the month in Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park. With places starting to close, we changed all of our reservations to April 2021 and decided just to hunker down in Rincon until we head back to Canada on April 28th. With our summer plans now also in jeopardy due to closures, we postponed all of our reservations to the summer of 2021. We managed to negotiate with the owner of Camp Bridal in Chilliwack to allow us to quarantine and then spend May and June in the park. Then we secured from July to November at Holiday Hills RV Resort in Penticton. So thankful that these 2 places were able to fit us in, as there were not a lot of places available. So with the next 6 months figured out we were able to breath a little easier and enjoy the Arizona sunshine.
Even though all the events and party’s had been cancelled there were some positive and amazing things that happened. As we look back, we have realized to be grateful for them. Here are three of those things:
The beauty of the desert.
We have seen glimpses of the desert flowers in the past. Cacti flowers are some of the most amazing brilliant flowers in the world. April in Arizona gave us the opportunity to see all of these amazing flowers. In particular, the opportunity to see the saguaro flower for the first time. It is hard to explain how beautiful these flowers are. Amazing. The beauty of the desert.
Two couples, that live in Tucson came into Rincon with their motorhome so that they could have some socialization and be safe. Carol & Bob and Leah & Chuck were a bright spot for us. Carol’s enthusiasm for pickleball was very contagious and our happy hour bocce with Carol and Leah we really miss. New friends.
Getting to know friends better.
Being isolated in the park and with more restrictions we started getting together with Phil & Kay and Mark & Sue. It started with a dinner invitation and then turned into a weekly dinner club, with lots of gourmet barbequed food, good discussions, laughter, and of course some drinks!!! Getting to know friends better.
With the end of April fast approaching it was time to make the dash back to BC. We planned to stay in Tucson as long as possible and drive back to Canada as quickly as possible. Typically, we are not in a hurry and drive 4-6hrs a day, but since both of us drive now we decided to drive 8-10hrs a day. Doing it this way we could do the 2,800 km in 3.5 days. We said our goodbyes to our friends still here and the morning of April 28th we left Rincon and we hope to come back for December 1st. We will see what the world allows.
Now, the rest of the story just in pictures!