This week my cousin from Ohio is here with me for a few days!

I picked Teresa (my cousin) up at the airport in Phoenix and we decided to stop for a late breakfast. We stopped at Denny’s, which was a good choice, as there was a Native American Market going on right behind the restaurant.

After breakfast we walked over to the market. They had some very nice items and also had entertainment with Authentic Native American singing and dancing.

It was a beautiful day to do some shopping of the jewelry, blankets and other wares that were there.

We then had tickets to the OdySea Aquarium in Scottsdale, Arizona for the afternoon. We arrived at the Aquarium, which is very modern in design and visited our first exhibit in the ladies room.

Play the video to see what we were seeing in the ladies room.

There were many fish that I had seen at previous aquatic venues, but I still want to share some with you.

Lobster for Dinner?

Giant Catfish


Walking fish

Underneath an Octopus

Tiger Fish

Tiger Shovelnose Catfish

Sea Horse

The children, as well as the two of us, were just fascinated by the big tank and the spotted stingrays.

This little guy just loved to swim over and look at the visitors.

Among the exhibits they had a parrot and a cockatoo.

They even had a sloth.

So, it’s now time for the SeaTrek Encounter. We have waited all day for this! We will put on our swim suits, then a wetsuit and some crocks to walk in.

We are now ready to enter the deep sea tank surrounded by tropical fish, stingrays and a shark.

Once under water we were able to touch the stingrays and feed them. I am so glad Teresa talked me into doing this with her.

This is a short video of our underwater adventure.

What a great way to spend time with my cousin!

The next day we took in some local culture by dining at an Authentic Mexican Restaurant and then taking in a show at the local theater downtown. The show was “The Voices of Motown”, by Gwen Wright and the singers were fabulous taking us all back to our younger years.

Diana Ross

Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell

Stevie Wonder

We had a really good time and Tracy and I will most likely take in the next feature show at the theatre while we are here in Casa Grande.

Some other local flare downtown.

Well, you know I love to hike and Teresa had learned about Camelback Mountain in Phoenix from a co-worker so that’s what we did.

This by far was the most difficult hike I have done in my entire life. We climbed rocks, we had to hold onto rails to work our way up the incline and it was warm.

This is Camelback Mountain. The camel is laying with its head to the right of the picture, then you have its back leading up to the hump.

A 1.23 mile hike to the top at an elevation of 2704 feet.

With plenty of water and lunch in our backpacks, we are off.

These are the rails you had to hold onto going up and coming down the mountain in a few particular areas.

There were a few stairs.

Mostly though….rock!

It took us 2 hours and 20 minutes to get to the top, but well worth it!

Of course we only had the O H !!

As we ate our lunch we took in the views of Phoenix and the surrounding area.

All the while on this hike we were passed by youngsters who were actually running up and down the mountain. There was even one guy who did it bare foot and then this guy who, well didn’t require much in the clothing department! Yup that really happened!

We made friends with some very in shape young men on the way back down.

And this guy didn’t seem to mind all the traffic going by him.

I love the small flowers that we passed that somehow seem to survive in this environment.

Some other views of our hike.

After nearly five hours on the mountain WE feel very accomplished for a couple of 60 year olds!

I had a great visit with Teresa and I think she had a good time too. It was nice to sit in the hot tub, lay in the sun and end the day with a nice campfire. We even found time to visit a nearby casino.

Tracy and I took Teresa to the airport to catch her flight home. I hate she had to go back to below zero temperatures but at least she had a few days of warmth and sunshine to rejuvenate her body.

After we dropped Teresa off at the airport we took the back roads out of Phoenix to the Casa Grande National Monument & Ruins.

Casa Grande Ruins National Monument preserves the remains of the farming village of the Hohokam.

The structure you see below is the Casa Grande (Great House). It was 4 stories high, 40 feet wide and 60 feet long. Materials used to build the Great House and surrounding structures were sand, clay and calcium carbonate or caliche (cuh-LEE-chee).

The Great House was built around 1350. The Huhugam people were hunter-gatherers who lived in this area of Arizona for several thousand years.

Today the proud remains of the Great House are still standing despite weathering, neglect and vandalism. The canopy that protects the Great House was built in 1932.

In 1892 the Casa Grande became the nation’s first archeological reserve.

All around the Great House were remains of smaller buildings used as dwellings for several families.

Life around Desert Springs RV Park is relaxing and easy. The sites each have a cement pad for a patio and room enough for most to park their RV and towing vehicle.

The park offers two very nice bathrooms with showers, an extraordinary laundry, a pool and hot tub, lounge chairs and patio, a fire pit for groups, a nice big recreation building with pool table, chairs and sofas, a driving range, a pickle ball court, a bocce ball court and the beginnings of a golf course. I love it here!

Today we went to lunch at the Big House Cafe in downtown Casa Grande and then made a visit to The Museum of Casa Grande.

The church was built in 1926 and held services up until 1971. The church then became a mortuary for several years and in 1977 the Casa Grande Historical Society purchased the building.

The Mission Revival style building now hosts events and weddings and is called The Heritage Hall.

The Museum, which is located behind the church you can find artifacts and documents from the early days of Casa Grande.

The early days in Casa Grande depict a mining town with a few buildings along the railroad tracks.

Outside is an old one room schoolhouse named after Rebecca Dallis, the first African American to teach at the school.

There was a huge old bar in the back building.

And then there were these two goofs.

There was a blacksmith display.

Farming tools.

Weaving looms.

A very old gas pump.

Here we are at the end of another week. Arizona is a beautiful place for our temporary homes.

Hope the weather breaks for a lot of you and your week ahead is a good one!


  1. So glad u guys made it to the top! I bet the view was exilerating ! I couldn’t get in with the fish like u guys did! Kudos! Did u notice the 1st pic of a cactus looked like it was a hand flipping u off?! The campground looks amazing! Keep having fun, luv u & travel on sista!


  2. I liked your new blog entry and then followed you back to your New Orleans visit. Martha and I lived there for a number of years pre-katrina. Keep up the good work with the blog, it was very entertaining except for the guy in the thong…yikes.



  3. Wow you have done so much here. Love the sealife centre, must have been amazing to go under and get up close to so many different fish. And Camelback Mountain looks fantastic. A long hot climb up but what an experience. Great photos.


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