Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Ah.......Internet in the Motor home! YES!

Yesterday was the BIG day...we ordered Century Link and they delivered us a WIFI modem & our reception is good!  Yippee!

Now we can blog, skype and I can do some writing.  We are "catching up" on things and look forward to connecting with you!

 McKenna enjoying time with the family for this Christmas/New Year week!
 The Chef is busy again fixing a good meal...steak & shrimp with mashed potatoes and broccoli...and sauteed onions with mushrooms!

Good job Nick...everything was finished & enjoyed!

 Nicky had a A&W restaurant in Anacortes WA and he added many items to the menu!  It did very well & was successful! 

Great keepsake - the menu...just look at those prices! 

 Jasmine, Nicholaas & sis McKenna enjoying special time on the couch!  Cute picture!
          "Say Cheese!"

More sunset shots LOOK AT THAT SKY!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

From Yuma to Casa Grande and then on to Mesa/Apache Junction/Scottsdale area!

We headed from Gila Bend to the town of Casa Grande and stayed one night.  And then we traveled onward to Mesa which was about 2 hrs. Casa Grande RV Resort 

Just on the outskirts of town - Nick & I went to the Casa Grande (large house) Indian Ruins


 Very Impressive!  Built in 1350!

 We continued our drive to Mesa, which took about 2 hours ~ 

Nick found a really nice park Lost Dutchman State Campground in Apache Junction!
 A Gorgeous Park...Look and See!!!!! It was lovely there! We were in a desert area with the Superstition Mountains right in front of us!  Oh it was a beautiful sight!
 This mountain range is called
Superstition Mountains...and it is GIGANTIC!

Quite a sight to see!
 Our timing to arrive was good...it as a little after 4 pm and at 5 it would begin to get dark!  So we found nice spot to park the motor home and quickly took some pictures!

 The light shown so pretty on this cactus...we are not familiar with this cactus...very prickly but very pretty too "at a distance!"
  The park was maintained by 3 camp hosts that kept it in immaculate condition!  Yes each RV parking spot was raked and tidied up each time a new person came!  It was lovely!  We enjoyed it for the 3 days while we looked for a permanent park we could stay in for a month or so in town!  Which we did!
 Gosh just look at this sunset?  How gorgeous huh?

 Time for dinner & relax...Good Night!

The next morning we took a walk......

 to see the surroundings and walked the many trails!  Good exercise!

and then Nick put up the flag pole and the 2 flags he had purchased.....

 ...yes the American & Dutch flag...(and without the blue band - it would be the Indonesian flag too!)

                     Hey Looking good Nick!

Nicky, Nick's son & Shannon had arrived in Arizona some weeks before...and our grandson, Nicholaas & Jasmine had recently arrived from New York and would also make Mesa their home!  So it was great to be together for Christmas!  McKenna, Nicky's daughter & our granddaughter would be arriving from Cabo San Lucas Mexico on the 27th for a week's visit ...so that will be great! 

So we quickly connected with Nicky and family!  They had just closed escrow on the house they had purchased and were busy with removing the carpet, linoleum and painting the inside.

It was fun to help!  They worked very diligently!  Nicky went out shopping for appliances and a couch and little by little the place started to look like home!

The wood floors gave it a very warm look inside & with the new paint colors chosen on the walls everything started to look really nice!  Good Job you guys! 
Nicholaas likes his Dad's motorcycle!
We were proud of all their accomplishments in such a short time!  Nicky prepared the first dinner there...and we enjoyed a wonderful salmon & pasta dish...yum! The "chef" does a good job - always!  

Nicholaas & Jasmine - Very sweet!

 Shannon is dishing up and we are all hungry!
Salmon with pasta - Looks good!

Nick & I enjoyed a very special Christmas Eve service at the East Valley Nazarene Church here in Apache Junction!  A sweet service as we sang many wonderful Christmas hymn's and the candles were lit as we all sang Silent Night together....very touching!  The small church was cozy & intimate as we gathered to remember what our Savior and Lord came to do for us all...save us from our sins!  What a gift...to be saved by His great sacrifice so that we may have "life everlasting" can you believe that? Yes it is true and God loves us that much! 

We enjoyed Christmas morning with the family doing a bicycle ride

to downtown Scottsdale...along the canals!  Each of us had our bikes and it was lots of fun to be together seeing the sights along the way...enjoyed our morning with them & having a Starbucks coffee!

Great picture Nicky & Shannon!
Get those leg muscles working! ha!

Later...early evening we went back to the house and enjoyed dinner with the family!

In the meantime Nick & I did find a Mobil home / RV park with a monthly lease. We paid for a month for now...but will most likely stay a few months!   It is a smaller park on the outskirts of town  so not so busy.
because Mesa, Phoenix & Scottsdale are very populated areas...lots going on and many many people coming from many areas who have come to Arizona to get out of the COLD!  We have heard that the population of Arizona doubles during the winter months!  Can you believe that?
We see it....everywhere cars...RV parks....mobil home parks!  People are here from Canada, and Montana, and Wisconsin and northern Utah, Washington State and Oregon...and they call them "SNOWBIRDS" getting away from the snow...I guess we too can call ourselves that!

So far we have experienced weather around 65-73F here...but they are saying at the moment there is a cold front coming in...and the weather has dropped during the night to 32F (freezing!)  Thou during the day it has been Sunny and warm...and we have blue skies!  No T-shirt weather yet though! 

In our park we have many friendly people - some live here all year round, some come in their motor homes from other areas...and some people have their 2nd house here in the park and come only for the winter months and then return back to their homes elsewhere!  This is a 55+ park.  Many - do lots of fun things ....our neighbor "Marv" & his wife just purchased a 4 wheel ATV "all terrain vehicle" !
They enjoy riding the rugged trails here in the desert set aside for just that!

We are updating you after a week of settling here.  Next week we will have internet in our motor home and will be able to be more in touch with you all!  (we are still coming to Starbucks to update you on this blog!)

Warm Greetings from us!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Rejoice!  It’s Christmas!
Nick & I are grateful to share with you this Christmas season and Year end!  We hope all is well with you and your family and that you also have many things to be thankful for as you look back to the year of 2014!  I am sure there has been hardships too…loosing a loved one, illness, ups & downs that “life” can give us! Yet – through it all…we remember this special season of the year with thankfulness and gratitude, and the Gift of Life, God has given us!…and for Nick & I, it is giving our God & Lord all the Glory for His Care & Keeping over us this past year and a half!  Yes we have much to be thankful for!
We can hardly believe we have been gone for so long…16 months…returning on October 1st, and our hearts our Full of wonderful memories trip & experiences!!
When we departed in June 2013 from San Francisco to Singapore, we had no idea from day to day where we would be and what we would be doing…but we continued to travel – all one-way tickets whether it was airplane, train, trolley bus or horse & man buggy!  You name it we did it!  Enjoying Malaysia & Thailand.  Then visiting our missionary friends Jerry & Wilma in Batambang, Cambodia who have beem there for 14 years! Amazing Grace! From there traveling to Sumatra, taking a hired car through the jungles of Sumatra…and we actually spent a total of 10 months in Indonesia!  We had been traveling for some time and wanted to settle in this beautiful country!  Both Nick & I are amazed how the Lord directed us to the very town where Nick & his sister & parents & other family members lived for the  first 6 years of his life ….yes the town of Salatiga, Java!   We fell in love with the people there…and felt so “connected” with them – both Nick & I knew it was because of our Dutch/Indo heritage with these gentle people!  We met & made many friends in our immediate neighborhood (Kampung) called Dukuh!  Sweet as can be!!!
It was also a blessing when we found out that foreigners from all over the world come to Salatiga to learn the Behasa Indonesian language…so again we met and befriended many wonderful people who live there and spend time in Indonesia!  It was a  r e a l  blessing to us both! 
All together it was a life changing experience for both Nick & I …there is a “BIG” gap it seems in our hearts right now as our hearts & minds wander back to our beloved Indonesia…so’ we are waiting to see what God’s direction is for us in the future!
( See our blog of our complete trip www.middelplaats.blogspot.com )
After departing Indonesia we flew into Jordan & then by road to Israel…and on to Greece & Italy.  When we arrived into Austria, we rented a car and travelled through the Alps enjoying the Tirolian countryside!  We continued to drive along the Rhine River in Germany and then entered into southern Holland!  Yes we enjoyed our last 2 months in Holland visiting my son & family – and my sweet little granddaughter Skyler…now 2 ½ yrs old!  Spending 2 months in Holland gave us the chanc to  visit many family members both on Nick & my side …and that too was such a Joy for us both!  Some of the families we visited we had not seen in 25 yrs plus!!!! Everything together made it a very special time! 
And here we are in Arizona…Yes!  Upon arriving back into the US we purchased a used motor-home and after visiting our home town Bend Oregon and seeing our family, friends & church family again…we headed south to a warmer climate!  After having been in Asia for all that time – these two “sissy’s”  are still adjusting to a different kind of weather!
(Follow us on our new blog www.diemelrv.blogspot.com )
  We are grateful to the Lord for this past 1 ½ years and look forward to God’s Plan in the new year to come!  God Bless You & Yours this Christmas Week and into the New Year to come!
“The Lord Bless you and Keep you and Shine His Grace Upon you!”
Happy & Blessed & Healthy 2015 to each & everyone of you !!!
In His Love ~ Nick & Ellen

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Arizona - From Yuma to Gila Bend and then to Casa Grande

We headed out from Yuma west on Hwy 8 to Gila Bend and then on to Casa Grande.  The plan is to head north to Nicky & family!

We enjoyed a stop over at the
 a rest stop and saw this king size Saguaro cactus!  Look how tall that one is!!!!
Saguaro Cactus

After a lunch break at the rest stop we continued on the freeway and came to a sign that seemed interesting.....
"Hey Nick...let's turn off and go see this OK?"

So we did...and drove 11 miles towards the mountain area ~
 We passed this LARGE Solar Water plant....it spread out for miles it seemed!
 We came to the park and it was also a State Campground...and for $4.00 a night with Nick's Senior Golden Eagle card discount we had it good for the night!  It was "dry" parking which is fine...(no electricity or water)

We filled out a card and put the money into the envelope and found a parking spot - there was plenty!
 Nick & I took a walk to see the rocks and also went around the park!
 We were interested to read about the rocks and the Indians that had lived here in the past!

The Hohokam Indians...that lived many years in this area...around 1350 actually!

Interesting Facts about the Hohokam 

Neat to see the etchings on he rocks!

 As we walked around the State park enjoying the ruggedness and the beauty of the desert...we came across a really "different" kind of camper/trailer!!!
We saw the couple sitting at the picnic table and found out they were from France! Christian & Sylvie have been in North America already 18 months!
They had purchased this truck - Italian/German made and had changes made to adapt it to all kinds of terrain, they said!  The truck was shipped from Le Harve France (west coast) and it went to Nova Scotia Canada and drove through Canada to Alaska and then into the US - My! 

 It was an amazing truck to see IVECO "the EuroCargo" and we were impressed!  It had solar on top, a shower & toilet, a washing machine (compact) and kitchen, bunk and nook area...very compact but still everything one needs!
Watch this Video Clip some made of it on YouTube!

It was kind of Sylvie to show it to me...I was pretty nosy! ha!

Their Road Trip - Wonderful Pictures!
They gave us their card...and we gave them ours!
Chris & Sylvie have kept a photo gallery of their trip these 18 months!  Click on the link above and enjoy! 
Had to take a picture of our new friends!
They had the "Dutch" wash clothes hanging on the clothes line!
Yes two big tires on the back too!  They were ready for all kind of challenges!  Way Cool!

Lots of fun to talk to and we wished them well on their travels! 
As the Sun went down we enjoyed a game of Scrabble!


Well time to head out again...so we did just that!

Heading to the town of Gila Bend Gila Bend AZ

and then on to Casa Grande!
Casa Grande AZ 

Stopped for some gas along the way...

"Oh my Nick...can you believe the gas prices here in Arizona????"
Hm.....interesting...dinosaurs too!

OK OK...dinosaurs and gas right?
It began to get a little more greener as we headed east...and we saw lots of cactuses out there...and sage brush...so pretty!
Beautiful formations of clouds....
Yes...can you see it?
Can you believe it you guys?????

YES! $2.15 for unleaded!!!
We were shocked and blessed at the same time!   Now that is a blessing for us...driving a 10 cylinder motor home!  We are thankful - that is more then a $1,00 less then when we left Oregon!  

We made contact with Nicky & family in Mesa and we are heading that direction this afternoon!  We had some rain (much needed in these parts!) last night but dry again during the day!  We plan to head up today - stopping for sights along the way!  

Enjoying a cup of coffee here at the coffee shop and doing this blog to keep you all updated!  The gal who owns this shop Brownies Ice Cream & Espresso is from Newport OR she says!  They have been here in Casa Grande these past 4 years! She has a adorable shop and we are glad to sit here and have the wifi availability! Brownies! A Very nice place to be in Casa Grande!

Oh yes - Nick was chatting with a gentleman here in the coffee shop and "Steve" graduated from the very high school Nick did in San Francisco back in 1957...one year earlier then Nick....small world!  Steve has been here already 8 years he said...but also lived in Eugene!  ha!