Monday, January 31, 2011

Wandering through the Desert

Since we got here Meg and I have had a regular morning walking date. We have covered a lot of the country around our site here and thanks to our GPS we can actually show it all on a map. To date this month we have covered 137.44 miles, a large portion of that here in desert near Bouse, Arizona. Not only do we get to see a lot of the country but it also helps me deal with all the good food we are eating on a daily basis here.

January Hikes

Tonight we had Happy Hour down at Mike and Janna’s rig and even with the wind howling as it has since mid morning it was great spending time with our friends.

We will be bidding adios to those friends here in the desert as our time here is coming to an end at least for the near term, tomorrow we are off to Maricopa, Arizona to see some friends from back in Alberta who have a winter spot over there and then we are thinking a visit to Yuma might be in the plan also before we come back to this little piece of paradise.


Sunday, January 30, 2011

Another Laid Back Day



Just like every other day the sun rose over the Granite Wash Mountains to the east of us. Today there was some cloud around so it was even more spectacular than usual. It was a little cooler today and the wind was out of the East with a little more vigour than other days. Still not cool enough that you couldn’t enjoy sitting outside and getting some Vitamin ‘D’ but not as hot as other days.

It was just perfect for walking and we (Meg and I) wandered about the desert for an hour and half and checked that everything was just where it was last time we went by….lol.

Brenda was doing some baking today so I had to once again assume the arduous job of being the official taster, wouldn’t want to serve company any bad cookies you know. But alas that company didn’t get here soon enough and the cookies are disappearing at a rapid pace.

Today I ran into the Bouse Community Park and got another bladder full of water for Glenn and Sylvia across the way. That should give them enough for the rest of their stay here or at least until they have to run in and dump their tanks anyway.

Other than that it was a pretty lazy day here in the desert and once supper was done I popped out to catch a sunset photo and then it will be more reading and maybe a little tube watching.



Saturday, January 29, 2011

Happy Birthday Ellie

Another great day in the Arizona desert. I took a stroll through the hills to the North of us and saw a few deer and a lot of old mining activity along the way.


It was a little longer than usual but that meant I could try ALL the desserts at Ellie’s birthday party. Today I hauled a load of water out from the Bouse community grounds and that should hold us until we head off for Maricopa on Tuesday morning.

This afternoon we all gathered down at Rollie and Gina’s for a birthday dinner for Ellie. There was Gumbo and a couple of different kinds of corn bread along with a great salad. Followed of course by birthday cupcakes (red velvet) and a Margarita pie. And don’t let me forget the great rice that Rollie whipped up also.



Friday, January 28, 2011

Mining, Line Dancing and the “Q”

Another beautiful day in the desert. Meg and I took a little different trail today and headed more south than west. That put us up against the mountains and we hiked along the ridges looking at a lot of the old mining activity that has gone on here for decades. Although some of the sampling was done with modern machinery a lot of the more remote ditches appeared to be dug by hand. No easy feat out here in this rocky land. We saw another Bighorn this morning but we only had the little point and shoot along and it was not capable of zooming the sheep in close enough to make a good picture so I had to be satisfied with just a shot of the desert from our ridge top.


Desert Landscape

The little green circle is our rig!

But once I got back to camp I was able to catch these active folks doing their line dancing with the other camera. I was going to join in but after my morning stroll I was just to tired.

This afternoon we made another foray into Quartzsite and the crowds seem to be dropping off a little. Brenda had seen some chairs she wanted and Rod and Deb were easily convinced that they needed a pair also. While in there we had lunch at the Taco Mio restaurant and the food was all good. The enchiladas I had were excellent and I almost licked the plate so I must have been hungry. Hard to believe but we don’t eat ALL the time down here.

Rod I checked the photo’s on all three of my machines here from the 17” screen on my HP down through the Mac to the Netbooks 10” screen and they all looked OK at this end.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Another Sunny Warm Day!

Being a weatherman here in Arizona must be a very boring job. It is blue skies and warm temperatures every day with a little cooler at night. Athough I am sure it gets tedious and hot here in the summer. Meg and I took a stroll up to the local mountain to get a shot of our group of seven here in the desert outside of Bouse.

The Group

If all things work right clicking on the above photo should enlarge it and you’ll be better able to see the numbers. We are getting quite a little group here now.

1. Avery’s

2. Kendall’s

3. That’s Us

4. Meacham’s

5. McFall’s

6. Thurston’s

7. Clark’s

That hike up the mountain didn’t quite met the minimum for our morning strolls so we came back down and then continued all the way around the base of the hill before heading back home. On the way back down I spotted this little fellow hanging out on the side of the mountain.


IMG_6541-1The rest of the day was spent soaking up the sunshine back at the rig and then Happy Hour at Jim and Ellie’s this evening. Another beautiful day with good friends.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Company’s STILL Coming

Today we had more company arrive here in the desert. But before they got here I got in a nice walk in the desert. Amazes me that as much as I have walked around here over the last couple of weeks there is always something new to see. The air is crisp in the morning and there is usually only a nice breeze to keep me from overheating. I see tracks along the way but only rarely jump a rabbit or coyote. There must be a lot of activity over night though. As for the weather it is another blue sky day here in Arizona. Our solar system is more than keeping up with our usage even though we are not conserving much power. If it gets cloudy I guess we will have to watch it a little more closely.


First up the road was Rollie and Gina


Next around the corner came Mike and Pat McFall


And last but certainly not least was Glen and Sylvia Avery


The Happy Hour and Hot Dog cookoff crowd starting with with Brenda in the hat on the far side to the left is Jim, Ellie, Rollie, Gina, Deb, Rod, Sylvia in the pink jacket, Glenn, Janna, Mike, and Mike McFall is behind him, Pat and then me.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Company’s Coming

Another beautiful day here in the neighbourhood.


Sunrise this morning was pretty nice and then it warmed up just right for my walk. After a quick shower we headed into Quartzsite to return a couple of LED lamps that the fellow had given Mike and I to try the other day. I decided to go with the Warm White version, as it is a more normal kind of light than the stark bluish white that was the other choice. Quartzsite was as expected a zoo act so we just dropped our lights off and got out of town.

We picked up 40 gallons of water in Bouse with the bladder on the way home so are full to the gunnels right now.

The Kendall’s and Meacham’s arrived right on schedule this afternoon so Brenda and Janna had prepared a dinner for us all and we gathered at our rig for Happy Hour and then continued inside when it was time to eat.


From the left, Rod, Jim, Ellie, Brenda, Deb, your author, Janna and Mike


Janna’s shish kabobs


Monday, January 24, 2011

Off to Town

Todays walk was a little more exciting than usual. About halfway through the planned meander Meg, who was coming back from one of her exploratory trips, crossed our trail for home yesterday and she was following her nose I guess. Soon after she hit the trail we had came out on and followed it the two miles back to the rig. I figured if she got home without me Brenda might get concerned so I headed back the short way. Turns out she didn’t even notice Meg was back so she wasn’t worried about me either.

Today was laundry and grocery day so I dropped Brenda at the laundromat and I headed over to the lab in Parker to get a little blood work done. It is always a challenge to get folks here to accept a Canadian doctors order for blood work although once they figure out that I want to pay cash they get a little easier to deal with.

A quick trip through the Safeway to pick up a few essentials and we were on our way back to our desert hideaway.

Tonight we were invited down to Mike and Janna’s for dinner, great stew and fresh corn bread, and the CHOCOLATE ice cream with caramel was to die for. Hmmmm, more walking in my future I guess…


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Another Lazy Day

Meg and I started this day the same as all the others, after checking our email and reading a few blogs we hit the trails to see what we could see. We have covered a lot of the country close in to our rig fairly thoroughly over the last couple of weeks so are having to go farther afield to see it from a different perspective. Good thing to as with all the good food we are consuming we need the extra miles to work some of the calories off. For those who wonder how an old guy like me could walk the legs off a border collie dog, see if you can find Meg in this picture. Although I usually wander through the landscape here, Meg usually sees every nook and cranny so she covers 2-3 times as many miles as I do.


The rest of the day was spent sitting in the lee of the rig and reading a book on my Nook while listening to some great Ian Tyson ballads, with some Jimmy Buffett thrown in for variety on the stereo. Got a little sunburn in honour of Jimmy and a little windburn for Ian.

Did a little figuring on our power consumption also. We got the new LED lights and as near as I can figure the old lamps used about 0.8 amps of power while these new ones are so low I can’t really measure the usage. Maybe if I get enough of them I can get rid of my solar panels, eh!!   LOL!  Probably not! And although they really save the power they are pretty expensive, but I guess I have spent money on less worthwhile things in my life.

Here is the sunset tonight.


My friend and the initial inspiration for this blog Heather is saying farewell to Baja California and heading north to Canada for a while before heading off on her next adventure. Much as I liked the visit with her to Los Barilles I am voting for Nigeria for her next adventure as I have never been there and it will be nice to travel there virtually with Heather and visit our mutual friend Carley and her new hubby over there.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Two Years Gone, but sure not Forgotten



Two years ago this morning I was down Plomosa Road, not far from where we are now, when at about 5:00AM my cell phone started ringing. Scrambling around looking for the phone wondering what wrong number this was going to be had my heart rate raised. It was brother Brent calling to tell me that our little brother had died at the very young age of 50.

I was walking through one of the washes here in the desert this morning thinking Kelly had never been here but he would have loved scrambling around in the desert. And you know it was pretty obvious to me that in some way he was right there hiking through the sunshine with me.

So rest assured “Younger Mon” wherever you are we are thinking of you.

Here is the link to the entry I had soon after he left us and after re-reading it I am thinking I don’t have any better words now than I had then.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Trip into the Madhouse

I took a stroll through the desert today first thing this morning. Meg was on Day 2 of her enforced time off, but I think she snuck away and came looking for me. Mike and Janna found her heading down the trail looking for me and brought her back to Brenda. There is a cave/excavation on the hillside below where I saw the Bighorn and today I scrambled up there to have a look inside. I am not much of a spelunker, so it was a pretty tentative look inside although I made it out safely. Not to hard considering that it was only about 50 feet deep into the hillside.


And here is a view across the desert from the mouth of the cave. That little white spot in the centre is our rig.


I just love the ability to walk in any random direction out here and the scenery is always changing. Each and every wash is a different view and the way the country changes from one hill to the next never fails to amaze me.

This afternoon we headed into Quartzsite, and yes it was busy. I wanted to look at some LED lights for the RV and Brenda wanted to get some new parts for her vacuflo. Only she would wear out the wheels on the vacuum head in barely a year of full time use, but they are worn and thanks to the vendors in Quartzsite they are now replaced. I got a couple of LED lights for the reading lights and couldn’t make up my mind whether to take the Warm White or just Plain White so the guy said take one of each and come back tomorrow after you have decided which is right for you and pay me for the one you want to keep. He said the same thing to Mike and I am sure others that came in today so once we decide we will head back and probably buy more than we need after that demonstration of trust.

Tonight we got in a Skype conversation with our oldest daughter Bec and her husband Ved while Brenda was whipping up supper for us. Sure like this Skype thingy. Neat to be able to talk to folks and see them at the same time.

Video call snapshot 15

Now it is time for us to wander down to Mike and Janna’s as Janna is making a banana split for Brenda, she has never had one, and I am going along in anticipation that there may be enough for me too….LOL.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Breaking in the New Grill

Meg stayed home today to make sure no one bothered Brenda and I went on my walk by myself. Good thing to as I covered some rough ground with a lot of sharp rocks and her feet are a little tender. The rest of the day was just a relax around camp day and I spent the afternoon reading and snoozing while Brenda spent some time making an apple pie for supper tonight.

We had our friends from Dease Lake, Bill and Margaret, coming over for supper and also our good friends and neighbours here in paradise Mike and Janna. Today we decided to break in the new grill my cousin Mike made for us and what better to make for its first meal than an old family favourite, tube steaks. Mike, like his Dad before him, travels with a cooler full of wieners and it seemed only fitting that the first time we used the new grill it be to do up a feed of hot dogs. Now we had a few extras like Janna’s potato salad and a Caesar salad along with fresh apple pie and ice cream that are not everyday fare around the campfire but we are roughing it here in a civilized way.


From the left Brenda, Margaret, Mike, Janna (with Emmi on her lap), and Bill, and of course that grill full of tube steaks.


And Brenda got out for a short walk today also.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sunshine and a Happy Hour

Today was another great day here in Arizona. Weather in the mid 70’s and nothing to hamper our solar array from pumping our battery bank back up to 100%. Don’t you just love it when a plan come together. LOL

Today was the Escapees Happy Hour over in the Scadden Wash 14 day area near Quartzsite. We loaded our chairs some snacks and a bunch of water along with Mike and Janna and headed over to see if any of our friends were hanging out at the SKP shindig.


There were a bunch, in the light blue shirt scratching his shoulder is Keith, whose wife Donna escaped my shutter, then Brenda hugging Kevin, while his wife Arlene shakes hands with Bob, as Molly looks on. Bob and Molly are the Hoogama’s for Escapees Escapade this year in Gillette. We first met all these folks a couple of years ago in Kerrville, Texas when we took a 900 mile detour on our way home to go to a potluck out there. Meeting all these great folks and many more made the little drive well worth the time.

We also got to meet for the first time Cindy and Ken from Frerx Adventures one of the blogs we follow but it is always great to actually put voices to the facts we glean from their writing. And there were many other folks who we had met before like Mac and Netters who came late to the party as they were shopping for a new motorhome on their way to the Happy Hour.

We thought we should pick up a few groceries for tomorrow on our way out of town but after the girls scouted out both Markets in Quartzsite it appears they were out of the staples we needed like hot dogs and buns, so once we got back and rescued Meg and Emmi from their captivity in the motorhomes Brenda and Janna headed off for Parker and a little shopping expedition.

And if you want a look at a little different type of winter holiday jump over to my friend Heathers blog for a look at how the rich and famous live down on the Sea of Cortez. Heather is a friend and ex-colleague of mine who is usually working the oil sands portfolio and is making sure that my pension stays fully funded. Thanks Heather and enjoy your Mexican vacation with Brian and Kim.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Today was a town day, we ran into Parker so Brenda could talk to the folks at the Urgent Care about her knee. She had heard that maybe a cortisone shot would relieve some of her pain. The Nurse Practitioner there thought that it might give her some relief but said they didn’t do cortisone shots there. So we were off to Wal-Mart to pick up a prescription for pain pills and a few groceries as we are expecting visitors this afternoon.

Once we got home it was time to head over to Mike and Janna’s where we were meeting them and Laurie and Odel for a late lunch, early dinner. Right on time Laurie and Odel arrived in our little conclave although they were wondering if maybe the Clark’s and us didn’t get along as we are parked so far apart. We have lots of room to spread out here so we do.


Here is a shot of Laurie and Odel getting their plates ready and Mike tending the grille. The burgers were great along with all the trimmings and Laurie’s pea salad got rave reviews as did the sweets that we picked up in Parker.

Need to make my walk a little longer tomorrow morning.

After Laurie and Odel had to leave we moved up to our spot and lite our fire as it was a beautiful evening and we had a load of firewood that was just itching to get burned.


The moon is almost full tonight and the weather was warm with no wind at all, for most of the evening, so it was a very enjoyable time sitting around the fire telling stories. Although in the shot above you can see Janna had her wiener stick with her we didn’t get anything cooked as I think we were all to stuffed to think about more food at this point.


Monday, January 17, 2011

I Have a Dream

Today was another great weather day, warm in the morning, changing to hot in the afternoon. Meg and a I found some new country to walk in today and found another trail that beckons for tomorrow hike. Probably a little longer than our usual one but should be pretty.


Hmmm, didn’t realize that we were in an active volcanic region!


That peak in the centre of the picture is the one Meg and I were up yesterday, where we found the Desert Bighorns.











The pictures above are todays high point

This afternoon it was laundry day and time to haul a little water. Brenda and I headed into Quartzsite and I dropped her at the laundry and then headed over to pick up some stuff at the hardware to make the water transfer a little smoother. I had bought a bladder over in Louisiana and this was its maiden voyage. I picked up a load of water in town, Brenda at the laundromat, and then we headed out Dome Rock Road to find Bill and Margaret from Dease Lake. It had been a while since we saw them last so it was great to catch up on things with them.

Once we got home I unloaded the water into the rig while Brenda whipped up some of those enchildas she made the other day and a great salad.

Unlike Martin Luther King my dream was for a warm sunny day and it has certainly come true in this beautiful spot we have found.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

More of the Same

Today started off a little overcast but that made for a much better sunrise than other mornings.


Meg and I took off on our walk today and decided to see if we could find those Desert Bighorns that Mike and Janna saw yesterday. We found the sheep but they had moved up the hill so we ended up climbing right up to the top of the highest peak in our area. Nice to see those guys moving around on that steep hill and even though we were unable to get any real close-ups we did see them so the walk was a success. We like to do about 4-5 miles everyday but today that 4 miles included a lot of vertical work so maybe tomorrow we will take an easier route. By the time we got halfway up the peak the clouds had burned off and it turned into another hot sunny day.

While we were up there I thought I should take a couple of shots of our area. The only rigs in site are ours and Mike and Janna’s.


This afternoon we took a road trip over to the Quartzsite area with the Clarks to have a look at a trailer and solar system and then we stopped in town for a bite of supper at the Grubstake.

Caught this sunset on the trip



Saturday, January 15, 2011

Hot and Sunny

I think the temperature was up in the high 70’s today. It was a great day for kicking back and reading a book while watching the hummingbirds buzz each other at the feeder.


I went for my walk today and Meg stayed home and gave Brenda a hand around camp. Not sure what they did but she is not happy being a camp dog while I am out trekking through the desert. But one more day should get her over her footsoreness and maybe she can come back walking.

Mike and Janna were out walking too and rumour has it they have some shots of a couple of Desert Bighorns on their blog tonight. Here they are coming back from their own walkabout.


Brenda and Janna headed into Quartzsite for a little retail therapy this afternoon and from all reports the season is starting in the ‘Q’ and the desert over that way is filling rapidly.

Here is another fellow who buzzed by today.



Friday, January 14, 2011

Laid Back #2

We are getting into this laid back lifestyle here in the desert. This morning I had to leave my walking partner home as she needs a break. Must be the constant rocks she is running over out here. I am sure a day or two off will have her back to normal. As Retired Rod says it is unlikely that I can out walk her but she doesn’t know when to take it easy and insists on running at least twice as far as I walk everyday. So the only way to get her to take a day off is leave her in the rig when I go out.

I did manage to get through the George W. book today. It was an interesting read and nice to see the last eight years and some of the major decisions from his point of view rather than the press’s. Like he says though it will probably be fifty years until the jury comes back in on whether or not he made the right ones.

We walked down in the afternoon and had a nice visit with Mike and Janna even though Meg spent most of the time working hard to train them to throw sticks. So far they are resisting the temptation and maybe, just maybe, she will give up after a while. Oh who am I trying to fool, there is no quit in her. I was a little worried about how she and Emmi would get along but it seems that she is so preoccupied with sticks that she hasn’t even noticed Emmi yet.

Today was the nicest day so far, I think the temps got up into the 70’s by early afternoon and stayed there right till after sundown. We had a little cloud cover drifting around today though and that made for a better sunset than we have seen since we got out here.



Thursday, January 13, 2011

Relaxin’ in the Desert

Today was another great day here on Yellowbird Drive. Not a sound all night and although a few folks went by today there was hours between each incursion on our privacy. Meg and I did our regular walk and although I am doing OK, I think tomorrow I will leave my escort at home. She is getting a little footsore and doesn’t know when to quit so I guess I will have to leave her in the rig for a couple of days to give her feet a rest. Who would have guessed that I would eventually wear her out. Not me that is for sure.

This morning started off with a great sunrise but soon the clouds, if you can call those wispy things clouds, moved off and it warmed right up. The days are really pretty warm here, I think the high today was in the low 70’s, and there is not a cloud in the sky all day and that cloudless sky is pretty great for generating solar power if not great sunsets. Oh well that is a sacrifice we will have to make to keep this great weather.


Some of the desert we are seeing on our strolls through the countryside.

It has a stark beauty all of its own only emphasized by the emptiness.

This afternoon we did the tour of Bouse, that took 8 minutes, and dropped off our garbage in town, before heading over to Mike and Janna’s for supper. We had some great steaks, salad, spuds and maybe the first brussel sprouts I have ever eaten that I enjoyed. Sautéed in olive oil and garlic is the secret for great brussel sprouts I guess. Mike and Janna are parked just down the desert from us but almost out of sight from our spot. Here are a couple of photos I took from a hill to the west of us today. There are two little red spots on the photo below Mike and Janna’s rig is on the right.




Wednesday, January 12, 2011


This morning as the day began it was apparent that our internet was not working correctly. As much as we like to be off in the desert in a remote location we still like to be able to get in touch with our families and friends and the internet is the means by which we do that. We carry two aircards down here one on the Sprint network and another on Verizon, although both are with third party providers. That covers us most anywhere we go with pretty good service. This morning it was our Cradlepoint router that was not working correctly. Luckily, for us, we bought it from the 3G Store and their service is just as good three years later as it was when we first started talking to them about the equipment we might need. I gave them a call this morning and one of their tech support fellows spent about 45 minutes walking me through a couple of fixes that needed to be done. In a nutshell we reset the defaults to the factory settings and uploaded the latest firmware versions and then he helped me get it all back to the way we like it to operate. Success we are back on the net.

Once that was done it was time for some of that great jam that Janna left with us last night. It was even better than I expected, I will have to get my name on the list for a pail of this stuff next year, lol.

The sun is blazing down and rather than head right out on our walk it seemed like it would be a good idea to get our solar system deployed and making power for us. I gathered up the cleaning stuff and the support brackets and scrambled up onto the roof. Once I cleaned all the panels our power production went up 10% and then once I got the panels all lifted off the roof and angled towards the horizon the production skyrocketed up another 90%. Makes a huge difference in the winter when the sun is so low in the sky to get those panels pointed more directly at it.

Then it was off on Meg and my stroll through the desert surrounding our site. I walked a four mile circle around our two rigs and although I will admit in a couple of spots I could see other outfits off in the distance there were none within that perimeter. Which probably explains the deafening silence last night and the total darkness. It sure is good to be back in the desert. We saw a lot of country and never another person.

We got back and it was time to kick back and relax and get some reading done. I am in the middle of George W. Bush’s Decision Points book and it is an interesting read and gives another perspective on his presidency than the one the press would have us believe. I am sure that the reality lies somewhere in the middle but I will give George W. the benefit of the doubt as in my experience the press is usually looking for some sensationalized bunk to sell media time rather than telling it like it is. That’s the way this reporter see’s it anyway…


It is a tough life but someone has to do it so why not me?


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Leaving the Big Smoke Behind!

Sunday we had some of Brenda’s old friends Earl and Lynne over for dinner and Brenda worked her magic on some more of those great Louisiana shrimp as well as a few scallops and some linguine. Best Seafood Linguine I have ever eaten I think. We had a great visit with them and got caught up with what is going on in each other lives since the last time we met a couple of years ago.

Monday we were out and about stocking up on all the things we need to head for the desert for a few weeks. Laundry was first on the list and took a big part of the morning then it was off to Wal-Mart for some groceries followed by a trip to Costco for all the things that you can only get there. And of course some of those great rib-eyes are included in that.

We got going early this morning, topped up the fresh water, dumped and then headed down the road to top up our fuel and propane tanks. Ready, Set, Go. Usery Mountain is a beautiful spot but it is oh so close to about 3 million people and that is not our favourite spot to be so we are off to the desert for some decompressing time.


Now that is a little better, some desert pavement and a lot of space. We are meeting some friends out here but there is room for a few folks here without getting overcrowded. Once we got setup Meg and I decided we needed to stretch our legs a little and see a bit of the country. It will be great for her here there are not so many cacti laying on the ground and with our dearth of neighbours she can run free on our walks and not be restricted to staying with me as I wander my way through the desert. Two miles and a bunch of altitude later we arrived our spot up on that hill behind and to the right of our rig.


When I got back from my walk Mike and Janna had arrived and were parked a few hundred yards to the east of us. Brenda had whipped up some hamburgers and they joined us for dinner after they got parked. And with them they brought some of that Caramel Apple Jam that Janna was tempting me with on her blog back in October. So it is toast and jam for breakfast in the morning. See what a little begging will get you.


The first picture in todays entry was taken from the same spot but with the benefit of the telephoto lens. The rig is sitting right about where that red spot is in this photo.

For a little variety in your day take a peek at my brothers blog, Bunch of Brown’s on a Beach, he and his family are spending a couple of months enjoying Costa Rica and learning Spanish while they are down there.