Sunday, January 17, 2010

We Just Get the Backyard Oasis Finished – And Off We Head For Mexico!

Life has been hectic since my last post. As a little update for everyone:

Our New Year’s Eve was spent at Casino Arizona. Terry and I decided to do something different and ‘dress up’, so I bought myself a new dress, Terry donned his finest suit, and to the Casino we went, intending to treat ourselves to a little gambling, a lovely meal and perhaps take in some live entertainment.

Turned out the Casino was PACKED, the line-up for the entertainment didn’t appear to be moving at all, and the one-armed bandits were completely occupied. It was the busiest I have ever seen any casino. The crowd was an odd mixture of designer suit wearing high rollers to folks wearing their best sweatpants, and everything in between. Not the most memorable New Years.

Terry’s mom and dad (Lyle and Agnes) came to stay with us from January 1st-13th, so much time was spent visiting, touring, shopping, and card playing.

Daytrips included a drive out to Casa Grande to visit Lloyd and Karen Knox, and a road trip to Tortilla Flats. The drive out to Tortilla Flats is lovely, taking you past Superstition Mountain and Canyon Lake, and through the beautiful green and gold desert hillside.

The work on our backyard continued for the duration of their trip, so Lyle spent a great deal of time supervising the ‘boys’ and watching over the project as it unfolded.

The transformation was incredible to watch. Each segment of the project brought out its own ‘experts’, who were responsible for a very specific skill or task.

The construction of the spa was particularly interesting, and we watched as things progressed from a hole in the ground to framing and plumbing, shotcrete, rock work and water feature addition, tiling, pebble tec application, etc. We added a boiler to heat the pool and hot tub, so a trench for the gas line had to be dug along the entire length of the house. The pool was drained, acid washed and refilled.

Landscaping included the planting of three palm trees (Queen Palm, Pineapple and Mexican Fan Palms), and 10 other shrubs/grasses indigenous to the area, plus the corresponding installation of an automatic watering system, and finishing with the addition of landscape lighting. Final touches included the addition of our barbeque and outdoor fridge, setting up our gas firepit, and paint.

We had hoped to have everything wrapped up before Lyle and Aggie left so they could enjoy some time in the pool and hot tub, but they missed it by 8-hours. They’ll have to come back next year to see in person how it turned out! It's even nicer than we hoped, and can only imagine how beautiful it will be when we return next year and the plants have come into their own. Many, many thanks to Chris Melby from A2Z Construction & Landscaping - great job!!

While Agnes and I were shopping at the local Wal-Mart early into their visit, we ran into Rob and Judy Turner, good friends of ours from B.C. Turns out they were on a house-hunting mission as well. As they had brought their Harley with them, we planned a motorcycle trip to Tortilla Flats that Sunday. Beautiful ride, and obviously a popular one with the motorcycles, as there were many out that day.

The yard work was completed on Thursday, so we’ve had just a couple of days to enjoy it before we start getting ready to leave for Mexico. We’re planning on heading out Monday, January 18th, and will be travelling again to Bucerias. Along the way we will stop for a quick visit with friends Brenda and Adrian Thompson, who are staying at Teacapan, which is just 100 km south of Mazatlan.

While we are sad to be leaving our new home, we are also looking forward to Mexico. The beaches … the tropical heat …. the warm ocean …. lots of friends and family to visit … the seafood … the beer …whale watching … bike rides to the quaint interior towns - can’t wait! It may, however, be a little tough breaking it to the cats that they have to move back into their 'house on wheels'.

Once again, it is ‘farewell USA’ and hola Mexico!

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