Sunday, April 22, 2012

Phoenix Gay Pride 2012

Well a bunch of us decided to take the Metro into Phoenix this weekend to watch Gay Pride 2012
The temperature reached 101 degrees at one point but we came prepared with lots of water, sunscreen and hats or umbrellas to shade ourselves form the sun.  It was a fun day with great friends

Our ride on the Metro was great - air conditioned and clean cars with comfortable seats and lots of windows to view Mesa, Tempe and Phoenix as we rode towards downtown.

Here we all are under Under the Rainbow - this location was the entrance to the park where the Festivities were to be held following the parade.

Here's a close up of our little group. Left to right: Susan, Flo, Cheryl, Susan, Robin, Pearl.
Unfortunately there were Christian Right Wing Hate-mongers screaming (very Un-Christian like) obscenities and and hateful things to all the parade attendees, parade viewers, and anyone who walked by.... pretty sick.

This was our view on the parade route - note the water bottle....

The 'Theme' of this year's parade was Lady Gaga's title song "Born This Way" - so this float had people dressed as babies dancing to that song. Very fun.

And following that float was this one titles: 'Born to Sing'... with a Kareoke machine and lots of folks singing off tune.... 
The Motorcycle contingent is usually a pretty big one in these parades - but this one was pretty small - less than a dozen motorcycles but still great to see.

And of course being Arizona - they followed the motorcycles with the Cowboys.

Even Macy's was represented in the parade - very cool.

And leading a political contingent was the Statue of Liberty looking for equality for all.

This float was very cool - you can see people looking like President Obama and Michelle Obama atop this float with all the signs reading 'no (hate)H8'

As you can see - here in Az. umbrellas are not for rain - but to shade the sun.

And of course the parade had it's share of attention getters in extreme costumes (or lack of them).
This was a Wells Fargo Bank contingent - celebrating Stonewall Survivors.
These honorees were among the eldest Stonewall Survivors.  
 To read more about the 1969 Stonewall Inn Riots go to : 
 Also you can see images from the Riot if you google: Stonewall Riot photos

The PFLAG contingent is always my favorite - it's "Parents, Families and Friends of Gays" and the parents and children's signs are always very touching.

This was one of the marchers from the Circe de Soleil contingent - very colorful.

And speaking of colorful - the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgents were very colorful as well.

And it wasn't just the parade marchers that were colorfully dressed - the viewers were as well.

"Miss" New Mexico was one of many 'beauty queens' at the festival after the parade. 
 Though the Arizona Pride Parade and Festivities was alot smaller than the San Francisco or Boston it was certainly fun and interesting.  Though alot hotter as well - we still had a blast and enjoyed all.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Celebrating Easter 2012

Easter was celebrated with many of our very good friends here in Apache Junction.  Co & Flo hosted a wonderful delish dinner with lots of fun - games - prizes and great conversation.  Many of our gals are golfers - so of course we watched the Masters Gold tournament where a golfer named 'Bubba' won this year.... I'm not a golfer but I enjoyed anyway.

They appealed to the kid in every one of us - all got goodies and chocolate bunnies.

Our good friend Kaye send our hostesses flowers from Canada.

Susan was the big winner of the Easter Egg Hunt - a bucket full of Easter goodies - everyone wanted a handful - including Cheryl.

The 'Boobie Prize' - a pair of Duck Slippers - that actualy 'quacked' went to Deidre.

Bunnies were everywhere

And each was cuter than the other.

Kitty having a little fun with Mr Bunny on Nancy's head.

But in the end - Susan took Mr Bunny home.

This was our fun Easter 'Family'

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Apacheland Days in Arizona

Today we went to visit the Apacheland Days at the Superstition Mountain Museum here in Apache Junction, AZ.  They had actors who were dressed in period costumes.

This Cowboy and Saloon girl are married in real life - so they made a cute couple.

Here we have a Fur Trader and his 'Sqaw' girlfriend.
This cowboy was a handsome and believable sheriff.

These 'Saloon Gals' were a crowd favorite.

They had a gunfight re-enactment which was fun and exciting.

But in the end the women were the tough and rugged winners.
At the same show we also saw the very entertaining Native American Hoop Dancers.
This young man's feet were moving very fast to jump though all these hoops.
He gave a whole new meaning to the term 'jumping through hoops'. He's airborne here.

If you've never seen Hoop Dancers - it's quite a treat to watch them intersect all the hoops all the while dancing quickly to the Native American singing and drumming.

Each group of hoops represents something - the above ended up looking like the world and this one once connected was a bird flapping it's wings.
They had many Native American Artisans and Craftsmen and this woman was one of them... she was weaving beautiful baskets that she was selling and trimming with leather. 
 We had a great day here at Apacheland Days.....

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Happy New Year in the Mexican Riviera

A bunch of us decided to give ourselves a Cruise to the Mexican Riviera this year as a Christmas gift.  We cruised on this ship "the Oosterdam" on the Holland American Cruise Lines. 

Our cruise ship left from the port of San Diego, California on Dec 30.

We all stayed over in San Diego the evening before departure.

After a nice dinner out in San Diego we watched the sunset over the skyline.

We boarded our ship first thing in the morning on New Year's Eve - this is our Stateroom.

The best thing about our staterooms was the veranda - our rooms were all joined and so were our verandas which was great fun to all sit outside together as the ship cruised along the ocean.

Every night we all watched beautiful sunsets from our verandas together.
New Year's Eve we celebrated on the ship in the Vista Restaurant - one of the 4 restaurants on board.
The food was terrific - we all had different appetizers - mine was a seafood cocktail.

And we all finished our meals with a different desert - Cheryl's was this Chocolate Tuxedo Mouse.

Yes silly hats and noise makers of course.

The ship was beautifully decorated for the holidays so we explored every inch of it.
We sailed the entire next day making our way down along the Mexican Baja Peninsula

Sunrise the following day found us in the port of Porta Vallarta.

The waterfront area was very busy with other tour boats - here you see a Pirate Ship tour boat.

A few of us decided to wander on our own through some of the areas or Porta Vallarta - along the Malecon where we found this angel outside one of the popular discos.

Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patron saint of this Mexican town and this is her church. (note the beautiful crown on top).

We walked along the boardwalk where many of the popular sights were and of course the beautiful green ocean.

This is one of the many pantomime actors along the boardwalk.  This angel appeared to be suspended in air (don't ask me how he did it - I was mystified).

The Diamonds International store is where I bought a beautiful new watch.

And a few of us enjoyed great Margaritas & a yummy Mexican lunch here in Porta Vallarta.
On our 2nd day in Porta Vallarta we hired a driver to take us all around the island.  His name is 'Ricky-Ricardo'.  He was great! He took us to many small neighborhoods that we wouldn't see on a regular tour.

Ricky took us to the homes of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.  Unfortunately because of the poverty here - the homes have been left to decay as there is no money to rehab the properties.  Liz Taylor named her home Kimberley.

They build this bridge that connected both homes because when they lived here Liz was still married to Eddie Fisher.  So they would visit each other via the bridge - and when they had their terrible fights they would tear the bridge down and then rebuild it when they made up.  Money!!

As Ricky-Ricardo drove us through the various little neighborhoods we would see the little businesses there - this is a tile maker's shop.

And one of the homes on our drive through another little neighborhood.
From our drive we could see the beach where Hollywood shot "The Night of the Iguana"
And rightly so our tour guide found someone that just happened to have an Iguana.
We took turns touching it's leather hide - but Flo was the only one brave enough to hold it for a photo
Ricky our driver took us down to the beach so that we could take some fun pics with our 2012 NewYear's Eve Hats and signs.
As in most places that we visited the Pelicans came to visit us at the 'Iguana Beach'.
We all wished that we had an extra day to spend swimming and boating here at this beach - the water was so nice and warm and the waves were not too high at all.
Next we went to a location within the rain forests where there was a great restaurant (shown here behind us).  This location also had 5 great Zip-Lines and a whole crew to hook you up and help you if you had never done it before.  If we had more time I would have signed up to ride the zip-lines.  They didn't look too high and looked pretty easy - and it was only $30 for all 5 zip-lines.

The other thing they had here was tons of beautiful parrots.

Next Ricky took us to a Tequila Factory.  This was a family own business in the mountain area.  These folks used all natural original ways of making tequila.

They grow this Blue Agave plant on their farms in Guadalajara, Mexico.  And then they harvest the plants and ship the Agave 'Pods' here to the factory for processing.

The higher end tequila will age in these American Oak barrels 1 to 10 years.

These are the "pods" from the blue agave plant all ready for pressing to become tequila.

Our host and owner of  El Baston Del Key Tequila factory was ready to pour us samples to taste.
Though Flo & Co are not tequila drinkers - they were great sports and tasted everything that was poured for us.  They enjoyed the flavoured 'after dinner' sipping tequilas - and bought that.

Cheryl enjoyed everything our host poured - but we decided to buy a bottle of the Reposado Tequila to make Margaritas with.

Our tour would not be complete without a little shopping - yes we all bought some of these colorful bowls to take home.
A great choice of hats were available.
Of course I bought one.

And all of the pottery that is made here is so beautiful and colorful. Not enough room in the suitcase.

Driving down from the mountain area - we saw this man working on the gravestones for the local cemetery.
We got out to visit the local cemetery which was just beautiful.  Most of the bodies here are buried above ground with very ornate grave markers and statues.

Like all of Mexico it was very crowded - but ornate.

After a long day we came back to our ship to watch the sunset over the water.

As most evenings the setting sun was beautiful over the rolling ocean.

As our ship pulled away  - we bid Porta Vallarta a fond farewell.

We woke up the next morning in the port of Cabo San Lucas.  It seemed as though the Pelicans had followed us Purto Vallarta to Cabo.

We had to be taken to shore by smaller boats as the port was too shallow for our ship to come in close.  So we saw many of our Pelican friends up close.

This Parrot greeted us as we came off the ship.

Cheryl was a little nervous to have this guy on her shoulder.

But not our Flo - she let this guy nibble her eyebrow even.
The waterfront area in Cabo is all about the shopping - lots of jewelry stores

Anyone remember wearing high heels this high?  Pretty but deadly for me.

We visited the Mission San Lucas a lovely little church.

The interior of Mission San Lucas.
While in Cabo we hired a boat and skipper to "The Arch" - Los Archos and other rock formations.

No only was Edwardo a great skipper - he took our cameras and snapped photos of us as well.  The rock formation behind us looks like the Baja Peninsula.

And of course 'Los Archos' within that beautiful green ocean water.

Our skipper took our boat around the other side of the Arch for a different look at it.

And of course our friend followed us ......
Back on land we dropped into the local pub to have a cool Margarita and listen to Mexican music.

Once back on the ship we went to our verandas and kept watch over The Arch and the waterfront.

As the sun set our ship pulled away from Cabo San Lucas.

And our friends the Pelicans flew along side our ship to say goodbye as we puled out of port.

After the sunset over the Baja Peninsula our ship headed out to sea again to go back home.

The ship had a Mexican Fiesta to celebrate our time in Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas complete with a roasted pig..... eyeeeeeeeeeee

Even the ship's staff enjoyed dressing the part.

We had a wonderful time on our cruise and hope you enjoyed sharing some of it with us.