AZ, Boondocking!, Solar

Christmas in Quartzsite

Christmas & New Year’s Eve

Back to Quartzsite we go!  Our plan was to have a nice quiet Christmas and NYE with minimal fuss and we certainly achieved that.  This time we we stayed on the north side of town at Plamosa Road BLM area.  This area is nice and quiet and a lot further out in the desert than Dome Rock.  Our closest neighbors were half a mile away and there was a real sense of peace and tranquility.

All set up at Plamosa Rd BLM!
All set up at Plamosa Rd BLM!

Our two weeks at Plamosa was pretty nice.  Most days were sunny which afforded us long walks with great desert views!  And what clouds we had really helped give us spectacular sunsets!

A riot of color!
A riot of color!

Christmas day found us in the kitchen!  Mark made fabulous lox and bagels to start our day along with yummy mimosas!

Then for dinner we had the most yummy – PRIME RIB (if you don’t like red meat, look away now lol)!  Our prime rib was made Paula Deen style (recipe here), with smoky green beans & bacon and herb roasted red potatoes.  TASTY in the extreme!  Dessert was Rum Chata over ice!

The week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve found us walking a lot (had to burn off that dinner!) and just taking short drives around Quartzsite.  People were starting to roll in and the place was really filling up all around town!

For New Year’s Eve we again planned a quiet day/night.  While in California we had gone to Costco and found a huge magnum of Prosecco!  My favorite!

We enjoyed a wonderful day of reflection and all that we had done, seen and achieved in 2015.  We know that 2016 brings a lot of fun things for us and perhaps some changes as well.

We will be working on our new property this summer and well as taking a trip out to South Carolina in August when our daughter graduates from college!  This is such a huge achievement in her life and we are so proud of her and all she has accomplished.  🙂

We also hope you and your family have a wonderful, safe and healthy New Year!  May 2016 bring you everything you could ever desire or deserve.

Happy New Year!!
Happy New Year!!
CA, Holidays, RV Park Reviews

Sam’s Family Spa ~ Desert Hot Springs, CA

November 17 – December 21, 2015

Ahhhh…. hot springs and relaxation.  What could be better?  Especially over the holidays while having to deal with all the intricacies of family! 🙂

Mark’s family reside in the Los Angeles area of California.  Knowing how difficult the area is, especially the traffic, I was adamant that we would not take our rig in too close to the city.  So we looked around and again I fell back to Wheeling It for a recommendation.  Just two hours drive from Mark’s family, Sam’s Family Spa seemed too good to pass up!

Desert sunsets were just one of the many perks to staying here!
Desert sunsets were just one of the many perks to staying here!

With no reservations required and a decent rate (for California) at $540/mo it seemed perfect.  Not to mention all the amenities that came with it.  How can you pass up glorious pools filled with hot water?  I sure can’t!

Sam’s Family Spa is a combo RV park and mobile home park.  It has tons of RV spaces and even during Thanksgiving it did not get completely full.  The sites are a bit awkward for larger rigs as they are not angled well and you have to back straight in (no pull through sites), but all are 30/50 amps with great views of the mountains above Palm Springs.

The waterfall entrance to the park
The waterfall entrance to the park

So on November 17th we made our way from Quartzsite, AZ to Desert Hot Springs, CA.  A short two hour drive brought us to the land of warm weather, hot springs and expensive everything!  This was a treat for us and of course a chance to see Mark’s mom who is nearly 86 so it was worth it.

Arriving at Sam’s, you don’t go straight to the office.  You go and find a site you like, get set up and then go to the office to register!  All sites are first come, first served which I find really fair and so simple.  I wish all parks were like this.

Our site at Sam's Family Spa. The sites are a bit strange to get into but are so worth it!
Our site at Sam’s Family Spa. The sites are a bit strange to get into but are so worth it!

We chose a site kind of in the middle of the park but close enough to walk to the hot springs!

Hot Springs pools (photo courtesy Sam's Family Spa)
Hot Springs pools (photo courtesy Sam’s Family Spa) How can you resist??

While we didn’t do much exploring as our time was divided between our RV and family in LA for Thanksgiving and Hanukkah, so when we were at the RV we mainly just relaxed in the pools, visited with friends and enjoyed some good food/drink as well as more beautiful sunsets!

Wow!!
Wow!!

We had some great neighbors during our month stay (Wheeling It, Technomadia, RV Geeks to name a few) and had a surprise visit at happy hour from Mali Mish!  If you don’t follow Mali Mish you should – they are on an exciting journey with their kids to Mexico at the moment and it looks fabulous!

Just to give you an idea of the amazing amenities, here are a few more photos of our stay.  We enjoyed our month here immensely and didn’t want to leave but the desert was calling us away and so back to Quartzsite we went.

AZ, Boondocking!, General info, Holidays, Solar, Travel

Ok, now where was I?

Oh yes… on to Quartzsite!

The holidays kind of got me sidetracked.  We left New Mexico on November 2nd with the intention of stopping in Quartzsite and taking it all in before heading to California for the holidays.  Since we had never been to “The Q” before I checked out Wheeling It’s blog to see where they recommended.  There are many BLM areas in Quartzsite that are free 14 day stays as well as an LTVA area (Long Term Visitor Area) where you can pay to stay ($180 from Sept 15-Apr 15).  That area includes a dump station and water.  The basic BLM areas provide no services at all.

Ahhh... all set up!  Time to relax.  Our spot at Dome Rock BLM
Ahhh… all set up! Time to relax. Our spot at Dome Rock BLM

We took Nina’s recommendation and stayed at the Dome Rock BLM area.  It’s a pretty basic desert BLM area with a lot of large flat surfaces to camp on.  It’s on Dome Rock Rd that gets a lot of traffic and Interstate 10 isn’t too far off so there is a bit of road noise but it has easy on/off highway access and for a 2 week stop it worked out perfectly.

The town of Quartzsite is quirky, to say the least.  It is basically one big rummage sale with a few good deals thrown in.  Since we arrived the first week of November there wasn’t a lot going on really but that was alright with us.  We spent a lot of time enjoying the abundant sunshine, had tacos at Taco Mio (awesome tacos!) and managed to get our pizza fix on at Silly Al’s.

We made a couple of day trips as well.  Lake Havasu City is a MUST SEE as well as the London Bridge!  If you’re ever in the area you must get there to see this beautiful place.  The river is glorious, the town is pretty cool and the drive is breath taking!

One really great thing about this life is you get to meet some amazing people!  Laurie & Scott of LaurieandScott.com contacted us to let us know they were heading to Quartzsite and would love to get together.  Awesome!  So we met up with these two wild and crazy kids at Beer Belly’s Adult Day Care.  Beer Belly’s is an open air bar in the middle of everything!  At the time we were there they were not serving food but apparently when they do they have great burgers.

As things worked out, we had a great time with Laurie & Scott!  They even camped with us one night and we had so much fun chatting with them.  They are such great people! (Instagram @laurieandscott).  They are really into health and fitness and offered a bunch of great ways to stay healthy on the road!  If you’re struggling with diet and fitness or just need some encouragement, by all means, contact these wonderful people!  They are fabulous coaches and will help you reach your goals while still enjoying life!  Everything in moderation, people. 🙂

With Laurie & Scott at Beer Belly's!
With Laurie & Scott at Beer Belly’s!

We also managed to meet Wheeling It (Paul, Nina, Polly & the cat crew) in person!  I’ve been following their blog for years and they are truly the sweetest people.  Extremely helpful and Nina knows her stuff when it comes to finding the best boondocking sites!  It was a brief meet and greet with promises to get together in Desert Hot Springs for happy hour.  Our kind of people! 🙂

After spending two weeks enjoying the free camping it was off to California – and the HOT SPRINGS!!  A month of visiting family for Thanksgiving & Hanukkah and soaking in hot pools of glorious spring water.  Ahhhhh!!!

Goodnight, Quartzsite!  See you in a month!
Goodnight, Quartzsite! See you in a month!