On Monday (4/17), Alastair’s climbing friends left Las Vegas to head back home, and we left Las Vegas to head farther south to Yuma, Arizona. I’d been looking forward to this part of the trip because we’d be stopping by my Grandpa’s house to spend a couple days with him.
We felt quite spoiled while we were there with amenities like sleeping in a real bed, taking showers every day, and doing laundry. Grandpa also made sure we were fed well. Our first evening in town he treated us to a nice and unique dinner at a restaurant named Julieanna’s. In addition to serving good food and having an outdoor patio that felt like an oasis in the desert, they also had fancy free-range birds for entertainment. There were a variety of colorful and chatty parrots hanging out on nearby wooden structures, but the real attention-grabber was a peacock that slowly strolled around the patio with no particular agenda. On several occasions it quietly approached and then circled our table with its display of beautiful long feathers trailing behind.
The following evening Grandpa hosted a barbeque and invited several of his fellow snow-birding friends to join. I have met some of them before but it had been several years since I last saw them. Many have been reading the blog and following along with our journey, so it was fun to reminisce about South America and to also talk about our current and upcoming travel plans. Everyone seemed to enjoy each other’s company and share common interests of sarcasm and light-hearted banter. There was definitely some good comradery between everyone in this group and I’m grateful my Grandpa has such a good support system within the community.
We took advantage of our down time by re-organizing and cleaning the van as well as stocking up on groceries and other supplies. Despite the 100-degree weather, it felt great to have a home base for a couple days in order to regroup and recharge, all while being entertained by my Grandpa. We got to hear a selection of stories I hadn’t heard before, including a couple about my dad getting in trouble as a kid (which, strangely enough, both involved him going to get ice cream). By Wednesday morning (4/19) it was time to hit the road again. Our visit to Yuma felt short-lived but we enjoyed the time we had and I’m so glad we included it as a stop on our road trip.