There's a new game in town when it comes to RV-ing. We had no idea. It's the RV uber-resort. The kind of place that has a concierge. Where the pea gravel (not just any old tacky rock gravel) is raked meticulously at each site. Where there's an outdoor fireplace and lounge area. Where the laundry room is also the library and a place you'd actually want to hang out (with a fitness room next door). Where the shower rooms are personal dressing rooms and are so clean you wonder if you're the first person to use them. Where you get a free USA Today and free breakfast. (You can't imagine how good toast tastes when you haven't been able to make toast for 3 weeks.) Our place last night in Las Cruces is a "destination resort" and a snowbird destination--folks are there for months. But we, as overnighters, were welcomed warmly and given card keys (card keys!) to access the various amenities 24/7.
Actually, this isn't really our cup of tea, but it was fun to try. Tonight, we're in a 55+ community (!) with 700+ sites (40 of which are reserved for us overnighters, who don't have to be 55+. Actually, no one asked me my age. Now, I'm wondering if I need to buy more expensive face cream and get my hair colored more regularly....)
It really is neat to learn about all of these alternative communities. The lady who checked us in said that she's a "Camp Host." We've seen these folks at state parks (they get free parking in exchange for helping check in folks), but never at a commercial park. Turns out that she and her husband started full-time RVing right when Katrina hit and drove up the price of diesel, making their dream unaffordable. So, they started hosting. The gig works like this: Work 1 week (mostly checking in late folks like us) and then 2 weeks off. Park gives you free hookups (water, electric, sewer, DSL) and free propane--everything you need to live. What a deal. Something to file away for future years. (I keep telling Lisa that if she meets an untimely end, I'll be a camp host in one hot minute--my favorite thing is hosting ;-)
At any rate, we're in Casa Grande, AZ tonight. We figured out last night that we should rejoin I-40 up in Needles, CA and head home, avoiding LA traffic AND the mudslides and bad weather down there. All we knew that we wanted to do today was to bag another National Park, which we did. Saguaro NP. These plants are amazing--so huge, so old, each one distinct from the next. Here's our favorite "girl" Saguaro:
The desert is beautiful. We toured the eastern part of the park, and it felt like driving through a botanical garden. I wish I had had a macro lens (yes, Jim, I will get one eventually) for the beautiful colors:
And here is a photo that I've sent our rental folks (who asked for photos of where we've been):
So, the BEST part of the day came tonight when we got settled and on email. We had no idea what we'd be doing tomorrow on Thanksgiving--thought we might eat turkey sandwiches in some state park, or maybe a pathetic turkey meal at a Denny's or Cracker Barrel. Here's the wonderful email we received tonight. Another reason we love RVing--the people are just great:
Thank you for choosing our resort for your overnight stay. Since you are arriving on Thanksgiving Day, I would like to invite you to our Thanksgiving Dinner that we will be having. We have social hour at 4:00 pm and Dinner is at 5:00pm. If you do not want to join us that is fine but I wanted to invite you anyway. Have a safe trip out here. Mary Bek, owner
Isn't life great?
Happy Thanksgiving to you, too. We are grateful to be out in this amazing world of ours, meeting amazing people, and appreciating all the people (that's you) and things that life has to offer.
Julie & Lisa