It was so nice to not have to spend hours of the day in the car. It was nice to not have to spend any time in rush hour traffic. It was just a nice day.

On the first day I was here, Pam and I went to the flea market near her house. I didn’t buy much but what I did buy was a very small container of Sen Cha dragon fruit mints. They have a green tea base and were nice little mints and they were sugar free (although how much sugar could be in each one is minimal). I offered one to Dick and he liked them. So he kept asking for more. I didn’t have the container anymore and although I could remember what it looked like, I wasn’t going to be able to replace it anywhere else.

As we were driving along on Friday, but before we got into rush hour traffic, I had told him I wanted to get back to the flea market to get some more of the damn things. So the plan was to go to the flea market again and Sunday was busy, so it was now or never. Pam was looking for another of her cute little apron towel things because we couldn’t find the booth where they were sold last time we were there.

Dick thought it would be just Pam and me who were shopping but I dragged him along. He was amazed. It is really an astounding place. There is everything there from the ridiculous to the sublime. There were places full of the most eclectic array of junk to refurbished golf carts and we only did two of the rows.

I found the booth with the mints and bought all they had there. I did come home later and with the can in hand, could search the interwebs and find that they are for sale on Amazon as well as some other places. Now I know I don’t have to run out of them, so that’s also a plus.

Pam noticed that stall over there with “Low Carb” on their bread. The bread was tasty and there are only 7 carbs per thick cut slice. I bought a loaf of that and dreamed all day of a turkey sandwich. More on that later.

There was an aisle display of beautifully worked wood items. There were baskets of wood and tables and bowls of various sizes. We had seen them on our first trip and didn’t notice there was a booth of the stuff, too. This time, we walked into the booth and I fell in love with one of the mid-sized bowls. The thing is about twelve to fourteen inches across and about six inches deep. I bought it and now have to get it home. I’m sure it will fit in my suitcase and I will wrap it safely in my clothes. I hope the airline is kind to my luggage.

We opted to stop shopping after just two rows because 1) it was cold and 2) we had to get back for the next adventure. Also, I had what I had come for. The woodworking group puts on a yearly brat luncheon with a raffle available to win some of their handmade items. We had tickets to the lunch and so needed to get back here to dine with the millions.

I don’t like brats and ordered a hotdog instead. I asked Dick to get me a pickle, but he didn’t hear me and so I didn’t get an extra pickle. I also don’t like sauerkraut and so I didn’t get any. We were getting a to go box for Aunt Babe who opted not to come out in the cold and I could have gotten extra sauerkraut to put in her box (if I had known this in advance) because she loves the stuff. So, we all got what we wanted from the dinner, but none of us got the extras we didn’t eat to share with others because we did not plan well.

Pam took Aunt Babe’s meal to her when we were done eating and Dick and I walked around the rest of the common area. I showed him two of the swimming pools, the many buildings full of activity centers, the tennis courts, the baseball field, croquet field, and the pickle ball area. We watched them playing pickle ball, talked with a couple women who could explain it to us, and decided this was something we could probably learn to play.

The day was warming up and when we met up with Pam again, we decided to go for a walk and see the newer parts of the park where they have built the RV stations. Most of them are drive through and the pads are poured. They still have work to do with the amenities and whatnot and it is hoped it will be open next year for the season. We then stopped at Safeway on the way back home and picked up some extra treats (Dick got some key lime pie and I found some low carb coconut/granola things).

Then we visited the third pool area where the new park model houses have been going up. We decided we wanted to tour some of the model homes, so we dropped off the groceries and came back to tour the open models. Pam got some questions answered about the rest of the current built and we noted on our way home, we really liked Pam’s house better than any of the models open to view.

As I searched for the mints and the cookies (which are way more expensive when not on the clearance rack and not worth as much as the makers believe them to be), Dick was looking up local pickle ball courts. There aren’t any. There are only a few of the things in the whole state of South Carolina and none of them are within reasonable driving distance of our house. The closest is a Del Webb place (so not open to us anyway) and is about 25 to 45 minutes away depending on traffic. So that doesn’t seem like a thing we can do right now.

I have shared the misery of the horrid, hateful baby blanket that took more and more yarn and did not turn out as I had hoped or expected. I have not shared the delight of the baby blanket that went according to plan. However, I finished it. It was a granny square stitch done corner to corner and I had so much extra yarn that I could put a nice border on it and still have leftover yarn to leave for Pam’s future scrap blanket. This one turned out nicer than I had hoped or expected, so I guess it is all even. The unlovely blanket is only unlovely to me. It is soft and some baby will enjoy it, it just didn’t turn out the way I pictured it. Pam’s stack to donate is growing and I don’t have to deliver these two bankies myself.

It was finally time for that turkey sandwich. I had been dreaming of this all day. The low carb, low everything else highly expensive bread was waiting. I bravely made a leftover turkey sandwich and took the first bite with a bit of apprehension. Some of the low carb stuff I’ve tried has been unsuccessful ranging from not very good to totally inedible (I’m looking at your Miracle Noodle Zero Carb, Shirataki Pasta). But this stuff was good. I savored each and every bite of my sandwich.

Pam invited Marsha over to play cards and we got the kitchen cleaned up and ready for the next event. I had one perfect hand, which was really fun to play. I was sitting next to Marsha, who later in the game had her own perfect hand and kept feeding me more and more cards. This hand was not as enjoyable to play. Marsha lost the game when I had the perfect hand. I lost the game when she did. Sometimes you are just stuck with bad cards. Sometimes you get wonderful ones. I had some of both last night.

After we put all the card stuff away, we sat and talked. And talked. And talked some more. We talked about all the times we forgot how to drive and had the wonderful intervention of the police. Little Joey crying “Don’t take my daddy to jail” had saved Dick long ago, and Pam also had a couple crying kids in the back seat saving her, although that was not quite as long ago.

We had lots of stories to tell and stayed up far into the night telling them. Finally, we had to admit defeat and toddle off to bed.

Superstition Mountains, covered in snow, as seen from Monte Vista

Pam is looking for a companion apron for this cute thing