Lunch with Mark and Elaine

Arrived at Phoenix after a very enjoyable flight with BA and a great crew who were off for a 4 day adventure to raise money for a charity called Dreamflight which supports disabled and terminal ill kids by taking them on a 10 day trip to Florida.

Soon brought back to reality though when one of our bags didn’t turn up, more of which later.  Smooth pick up of hire car and then a two hour drive for Mike down to Saddlebrook Ranch Golf Estate.  Had to play eye spy on the drive to keep Mike awake!

Lovely welcome from Mark and Elaine, lots of chat, a light salad and we were off to bed by 2030, which was 0430 UK time.  We took our first day easy with a cycle around the Estate and then some serious shopping as we stocked up with provisions for our RV trip plus various items of clothing.

Day two and after a leisurely breakfast it was off to play the golf course.  Generally nice wide fairways but once off the green stuff it was dessert warfare.  Every golfer carries a desert club which avoids trashing the whole set!  A really nice layout but cart required as some long walks between greens and tees, plus temperature around 30.  Although the fairways were in good condition Mark told us that some courses they paint the fairways green after scalping and reseeding which happens every year! Jacqui and Mark had great rounds, Mark playing three under and Jacqui four under! On the other hand mike had a front nine to forget but managed to play to his handicap on the back nine.  The course looked very green with plenty of colour. Jacqui also spotted a small woodpecker. And a brown snake on one of the fairways. Apparently a rattlesnake hunter!  We also saw a couple of hawks and two baby humming birds the size of a large bumble bee in a nest by Mark and Elaine’s house.  Went out for a great Mexican dinner, margaritas and serenading from a small group of wandering musicians.

Whilst we were having fun we had a major issue with our lost bag.  It arrived in Phoenix on the next flight later on the same day as we had arrived.  Repeated calls from Jacqui to the call centre seemed to have no effect and eventually after escalating the problem to a supervisor we finally got some traction. It turned up At 2300 on the evening before we left for our RV trip.  A great relief as it had lots of our hiking kit, plus all our wash kit.