Gold Canyon, Az

Gold Canyon, Az
New Years Day 2015, Gold Canyon, AZ

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Hitch Itch

Its been a week or so since my last blog post and thought I should let you know that we are still here and all is A OK.  We have fallen into a bit of a routine or perhaps its a rut.  The difference is subtle but we are still enjoying ourselves so lets call it a routine.  A little Yoga, a little Pickle Ball,  a Photography Club meeting, a pancake breakfast and some trips to Silly mountain.  That plus some grocery shopping has been our past week.

We have also gone to a couple of movies, The Hobbit and Into The Woods.   Every year for the past 10 years or so we have gone to a movie on New Years day with our friend Lori A.  The movies have always been the current release of the saga of Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter or more recently, The Hobbit.  Sorry Lori, but this year we saw the most recent and, thankfully, the last episode of The Hobbit without you.  It would seem that they ran out of story line about 3/4 of the way through.    The other movie we saw was Into The Woods which is a musical and not my favourite genre.  Lori liked it but it dragged a bit, especially at the end.  We went to both shows at mid-day during the week and each show had only about 10 people in it.  It was interesting walking through the lobby and noting the age of the average movie goer.  Had to be about 70.  Snowbirds rule!  Walking around the local stores you realize how much the local economy depends on the snowbirds.  After trying to get around the grocery stores with my shopping card I can also understand how the locals can get a bit frustrated.  These Q Tips (white hair and white kneehigh socks)  slowly walk down the middle of the aisle pushing their shopping carts, stopping frequently cause they have forgot what they are looking for.  Hey, I can say this cause I am one, minus the white socks.

We have been at Gold Canyon for 6 weeks which is the longest we have ever stayed in one place.  We are starting to get a little restless, or as they say in the RV world, we have a case of Hitch Itch.  Not sure how someone stays in the same resort for 5 months.  Too many great places to see and explore.

Today we made our final visit to the Premium Outlet Mall and gave our Visa another workout.  One good reason to stay in the RV park.  You don't spend much money.  Generally we have found that prices in the US, with a few exceptions, are not that much different from Canada.  When you add in the current exchange rate things are more expensive here.  The one big difference is that when Americans have a sale they don't fool around.  50-80% off is quite common, especially at the Outlet mall, so of course we found a couple of deals we couldn't pass up.  We have to pack lighter next time.  Out closets are getting full.

I have a bad habit of learning how to use something but never exploring the full extent of its capabilities.  My camera, Canon 60D, and my iPhone are no exceptions.  At the last Photography Club meeting we talked about using the camera on the IPhone to take great pictures.  One feature I had never tried is the Panorama feature.  The above is an example of what it can do.  Pretty cool.
On Thursday the Camera Club is going on a field trip to a bird sanctuary so I hope to have some good pictures to show you.  This trip has scratched my camera bug itch which could turn out to be quite costly.  Just ordered a Polarizer filter on Amazon for $100.  Guess a new lens will have to wait.  

 Here are a few shots, from my iPhone, of the Premium Outlet Mall here in Phoenix.  Much nicer layout than the sister mall in Minneapolis.  Our favourite store has got to be Izod.  Great casual/sports clothing and 70% off most items.    

Lori wanted to go to the Chandler Fashion Centre where I found the Starbucks at the B&N and, as you can see by the bag on the table, Lori found the Vera Bradley store.  I'm guarding her treasure while she is off looking for more gold at the end of the rainbow.

You may recall my blog of a few weeks ago where I recounted my trip to the ER.  I got a copy of the bill today, gulp.  The original has been sent to my Travel Medical Insurance Co. for payment, I hope.   As a Canadian I have no idea what this would have cost in Canada.  We never concern ourselves with the cost as its covered under our Medicare plan which of course is funded by the taxes I pay.  So its not free but when you need it, its there.    

The flip side is that I know that I never would have had the prompt service or the number of procedures and quick results if I was at home.  Of course, after running me through a number of procedures, they never did find the cause of the stomach cramping that I was experiencing.  Ironically by the time I left I was feeling much better and I really do believe that I was simply dehydrated and the IV that they put me on fixed me up.  Not once did they mention dehydration as a cause. (Note to prospective Az travellers.  Drink lots of water, then drink some more.  If your still not peeing like a horse you need to drink more water.  The sun, heat and lack of humidity just sucks you dry.)  While they did find a potential future problem with my Gallbladder, in retrospect, I think they were a little too quick in ordering the CT and Ultrasound.    Here's the skeptic in me, since it is a private hospital, it is very profitable to run these tests.  And since  I had insurance, why not pad the bottom line.  

So we're going to play a little game.  I'm going to tell you what they did to me and I'd like you to guess how much it is going to cost the Insurance Company.  Put it in your comments, whether in Google or Facebook.   In my next post I will let you know the  final bill for 3 hours in the ER.
Without all the medical jargon on the invoice here is what they did: One IV bag + Blood and Urine tests + CT scan + Ultrasound = $$$$
Here is an example: Specimen Collection - $32.00  Hey, I did all the work. They just had to pick up the little bottle and deliver it to the lab.

Thats it for today.  Hopefully some bird pictures in the next post.