Carolina: Cruising Past 70: Our Lifestyle Adventures: Taking a Break V

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Our Lifestyle Adventures: Taking a Break V

the palo verdes are blooming in the desert!!!
dinner at Lilybeth and Mark's lovely home
The palo verdes are blooming in the desert...yellow trees!!! So I now consider spring in the desert as beautiful as fall in the temperate places! So, after a week of work, it was a good time for visits with friends, two parties, and a memorable Phoenix concert.

The first visit was to the vacation home of Lilybeth Brazones, Ann Gatmaytan’s sister, and husband Mark. Lilybeth is my constant playmate in WWF. They came to visit us in February when we began playing other games like Rummikub, Squabble, and Cadoo. This time around we played Scattergories and talked about their recent trip to Iceland so we could get tips for our own visit there in June.

view from their New River home
St. Rose Philippine Duquesne Church
Before we proceeded to their home, Bill and I heard mass at the St. Rose Phillipine Duquesne Catholic Church. I thought it was a church dedicated to Filipino parishioners but, no, Philippine is the middle name of St. Rose Duquesne. It is a lovely church in Anthem, Arizona, about fifteen minutes from their New River home that is atop a hill with a beautiful view of the surrounding valleys. 

at Joe's Crab Shack, with Bev and Dan
Then Bev and Dan Johnson, a couple we met at a campground in Moses Lake in eastern Washington in 2010 and who were with us in Florida when Bill had a heart attack in December of 2011, were camped at Goodyear, Arizona about an hour from ours. We met halfway in Tempe at Joe’s Crab Shack. Wow! We not only feasted on Pacific Dungeness crabs (most like our Philippine alimasag), but we also excitedly caught up with each other’s happenings in the past two years. 
Unfortunately, the six month hiatus we are having in Viewpoint RV and Golf Resort is about to end. Some of our neighbors are leaving in a couple of days, others in the first week of April, while Bill and I will leave on April 15. So, as a tradition, our street block had a party! It was a potluck that ended with a great ice cream sundae buffet so I had seconds. As everyone reintroduced himself or herself, Bill said he was my driver and every other husband who followed him echoed the sentiment!

5500 Street Party 2014
at Cheesecke FActory with Tess
And, surprise of surprises, my sister Ellen's good friend and my BFF Jingjing's bff, Tess Nonato was in PHoenix for a conference with her company Allied Residences where she is a regional manager. We picked her up from her Embassy Suites Hotel and had dinner at Cheesecake Factory to reminisce her days with Ellen and Jingjing. 

Val's (standing) birthday 
And, before many were gone from Viewpoint, we also had the final birthday celebration of Val at their park model home at Viewpoint. Val is a director of the homeowners’ association. But, we had to leave early because, for the first time, Bill and I had to go to downtown Phoenix to go to a concert, one of the perks of being in a big city. We were not fast enough to book the Andrea Bocelli concert but we were able to buy early tickets (usually a lot cheaper than when you buy close to the concert date) of the Il Divo concert.

at Comerica Theater for Il Divo
the stairs at Comerica: a keyboard
I love this quartet and, when we were just dating, I gifted Bill with their most popular cd and Bill began to love them, too. The show was at the Comerica Theater, a state of the art show venue with 5,000 seats in downtown Phoenix. Of course, I dressed up for the occasion for it was going to be a romantic evening! But the biggest surprise of the evening was that Lea Salonga was blended in to the show, not just a front act.

Lea Salonga with Il Divo
Il Divo in concert at Phoenix
But, why not when the Il Divo Musical Affair was about the greatest songs from Broadway? After all, she had won a Tony for her performance in Miss Saigon. She has also starred in Les Miserables, Aladdin, and Mulan. Her special arrangement of On My Own and I Dreamed a Dream from Les Miserables was a definite highlight. But Carlos, Urs, Sebastien, and David wowed the full-packed theater with songs from Phantom, Man from La Mancha, Evita, West Side Story, Lion King, etc. all-time greats of musical theater.

Well, that’s my timeout from writing. Definitely, loads of fun!


  1. Some very good pics! You said it was Val's last birthday???
    Sounds like you really enjoyed Il Divot and the Filipina who joined them. Nice night

    1. Ooooops. I meant birthday party fir the season! Yes, Lea Salonga is such a great Filipina singer!


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