Join Date: Sep 2011
A hearty band of FROGs gathered this past week at the beautiful Lazydays RV Park in Tucson, AZ. Lazydays is an outstanding Forest River dealer, and everyone there welcomed the FROGs with enthusiasm and open arms.
Most of those attending were from the Arizona and southern California region. There were also members from Indiana and Ohio, but all of those were easily trumped by Jerry and Janet from Anchorage, Alaska, who had come all the way from there specifically for the rally and other activities.
Several members arrived a day or two early and got a start on exploring the stark but spectacular desert region around Tucson. Among those were John (Iggy) and Di, Gary (Youroo) and Joyce, and the aforementioned Jerry and Janet. Folks rolled into the event in everything from Berkshires (three of them) to an r-Pod and a Rockwood A-Frame, and pretty much everything in between. As has happened at previous FROG events, old friends were warmly greeted, and strangers quickly became friends. Forum members who had previously met only through a keyboard soon became fast friends face-to-face.
Cindy and I arrived on Tuesday, having spent Saturday night enjoying a potluck dinner and a campout with current and new members in Tulsa. Our day was a mix of greeting attendees, getting to know one another, and coordinating final arrangements with the Lazydays staff.
Events quickly kicked off on Wednesday with afternoon registration, followed by an evening featuring a fabulous dinner of chicken marsala and numerous sides, dessert and beverages. We conducted a little bit of business, introducing the photo contest, talking about the just-completed dealer expo, discussing and showing the video of the International Rally, and mentioning some upcoming events.
Thursday began with a full breakfast buffet (we quickly got hooked on those), followed by a class conducted by a Lazydays instructor discussing safety, preventative maintenance, and RV systems. A large majority of attendees took advantage of this seminar. Lunch followed, with the afternoon and evening free to explore the area. Attendees reported visiting the Pima Air Museum and aircraft “boneyard”; the San Xavier Mission, dating back to the 17th century; Biosphere 2; the Desert Wildlife Museum; and the Saguaro National Park, among other local attractions. Some who stayed behind were treated to a tour of the Lazydays facility, with stops in the sales, lounge, service, and parts operations, as well as a tour of the campground. The entire complex covers 85 acres, and is spotlessly clean and beautifully maintained.
Friday again kicked off with a full breakfast. Afterward, about half of the group took part in a driver safety class, again conducted by Lazydays staff. Over 50,000 people have taken this course over the years, and most of our group reported that they had learned new operating techniques, as well as being reminded of some things that had gotten “rusty.” That afternoon, many of the group availed themselves of a driving opportunity as a follow-up to the classroom instruction.
Friday’s dinner was a big event, featuring a Mexican buffet and a serenade / concert by a mariachi youth group whose name translates to, “The Ugly Little Monkeys.” This assemblage, featuring traditional instruments and authentic costumes, amazed and delighted the crowd as they entertained through and well beyond dinner. The group is made up of middle school and high school students, who perform until they graduate high school. They are then eligible to receive financial assistance for college from funds that the group has received for performances.
Saturday dawned clear and warm, as did every day while we were there. We were joined for yet another full breakfast by Bob Grady, General Manager of Lazydays Tucson. Bob welcomed the group and thanked us for being there, discussed the company’s service philosophy, and answered questions. He especially seemed to enjoy learning that one couple in the group had decided to purchase a new RV during our stay. Congratulations to Larry and Rhonda on their beautiful new Cedar Creek Silverback fifth wheel. The grin on their faces as they pulled out on Sunday filled the cab of their truck from door to door.
Saturday’s dinner consisted of a Western Bar-B-Q, accompanied by music from Coyote Supper Club, a terrific local duo who provided a mix of country and western, blues, and other musical styles. They held the crowd for nearly two hours with a blend of old favorites and new material.
Sunday’s finale consisted of – what else? – a breakfast buffet with made-to-order omelets, ham, fried potatoes, fresh fruit, pastries, juice and coffee. Following a few brief announcements and countless hugs and address exchanges, FROGs packed up and moved on to their next great adventures.
Many thanks to the entire staff of Lazydays, from Bob Grady to the receptionists to security, and everyone else who made our stay such a joy. Special thanks to Luís, whose kitchen turned out such consistently amazing meals; to Catalina and David, who were so helpful in our planning; to Vicki at the front desk; to Becca, Gudde, Chris, and Steve for their help with meals; to Ed, Jon and Willie who conducted the seminars; to Larry who used us as guinea pigs on his facility tour and scored us the freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies; and to everyone else who did so much to make us feel so welcome.
And special congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Youroo (Gary and Joyce), who celebrated their 46th wedding anniversary at the Tucson Rally!