Feb 24, 2009

Living with Nature in Tucson

Living here in the desert of Arizona in the winter has allowed us to witness the wonders of nature up close and personal . We have a cactus across the street from that is home to two or three Cactus Wren nests A hummingbirds feed in front of our window and reprimands us when the sugar water has been sipped into nothingness. We live in harmony with bees and lizards...even an occasional rattlesnakes finds it's way into our park. Javelin's live in the wash about 25 yards from our front door and have managed to get lost in our neighborhood even in the middle of the day. One of the neighbors feeds Road Runners when they come and peer in her sliding glass door. We all respect each other's right to be here and for the most part nothing bad happens.

Yesterday when we were playing golf at the Fred Inke Municipal Golf Course on the east side of Tucson, we had the privilege of seeing a Bobcat run across the road in front of us. As I approached my tee box I looked to the left and saw this beautiful feline resting in the shade. Even when I came close it did not move. The golf course is it's home and golfers sight this particular creature often. I am told that one a Bobcat couple raised their kits in the park for several summers. Once it made an abandoned triple wide it's home and another time it went to live near to our pool. It is such a miracle for us all.


Feb 17, 2009

Retirement Living...Tucson Arizona as a choice!

Catalina Mountains
the photographers dream
come true!

Saguaro Cactus
growing under the nurse tree.

Nogale, Sonora, Mexico
Market Bargains

Spring Training

March 2008
Green and brown...these are the two colors we live with. In Oregon on the west side of that state we live with rain. That makes everything very green and lush...year around. We love the smell of things growing when we return home in the late spring. Flowers bloom with wild abandon and moss grows on the north side of the trees.
In Arizona the earth turns brown in the winter and the only green to be seen are beautiful cactus. But the sun shines...a lot. We golf in January, February, March and April. We go back to Oregon in May. The rain is not a problem. We have just enough cold weather to allow us to set our seasonal alarm clocks.

The culture of the two places reflect the weather in many ways. Oregon is a very green, liberal state in a lot of ways. Conservation, recycling and public transportation is very big, at least in the metropolitan parts of the state. The eastern side of the state is more an agricultural region, making it more conservative by nature. That part of the population is comparatively small and the laws in the state reflect that truth. The state is a beautiful tourist mecca drawing people from around the world. The Columbia Gorge, Central Oregon mountains, Willamette Valley verdant landscape and Pacific Ocean coast line provides something for everyone. Whether you want to ski, lay on a sandy beach or stay in a fine hotel near theaters and shopping the state has it all for you. Bicycling both in the down town part of Portland and on beautiful mountain trails make life for enthusiast very good. Outdoor sports are a big part of the culture. However, a cosmopolitan almost European feel pervades the Portland area. Restaurants, theaters, transportation and shopping all reflect that atmosphere.

In Arizona, the outdoors draw everyone in the winter. Seniors flock to the state to enjoy the benefits of an active lifestyle while their northern homes are locked in winters grasp. The state is a very conservative one and struggles to keep it's head above water given the fact that taxes are low and there is a huge segment of their population that is low income level workers. But in spite of that the cultural influence of the Hispanic community is one of the things that draws people to the area. The art work, food and local missions hold a great deal of appeal. Tucson, AZ is just a short one hour drive from Nogales, Mexico. The artwork is beautiful and the fun of bargaining makes a day drive even more enjoyable. It is a very casual, small town feel even though both Tucson and Phoenix are huge cities.

If you are fan of baseball, Arizona is a wonderful short vacation stop either in Phoenix or Tucson. Spring training starts toward the end of February and ends at the end of March. The parks are small and you can see some very good baseball in a small stadium for not very much money. We love it.

But the place we see the greatest difference between Oregon and Arizona is in the style of housing, the colors used to decorate and the landscaping use around businesses and homes. The water is precious and the summers are hot....very hot. Monsoon season can be a very interesting time of year when storm rage of the area and water rushes down the dry washes from bank to bank. We have never been here to witness it but we have been told stories that might frighten you. In fact the roads have low lying areas to allow for drainage and Arizona posts signs warning you not to enter when there is water present. They will fine you if they have to help you out. The law has been dubbed "The Dumb Tourist Law". Figure that one out!

Even though we feel like split personalities, this life style truly has enriched our lives in ways we did not even imagine. I would recommend it to any retired couple. Come on down and see us.

I post occasionally about specific restaurants or events. Scroll down through to see what you might be interested in. Hopefully, I can be of help to you.


Feb 14, 2009

Bicycle Road Riding...Tucson, AZ life style!

Road riding bicyclists returning from a road ride to the Vail Flea Market. A beautiful day in Tucson, AZ.

I think that retirement is ALL about quality of life. When you choose the lifestyle that suits you, be it golfing, travel, hiking or biking, the location you select will make all the difference. The thing that will surprise you most of all is that it does not have to be expensive.

My husband and I winter in an RV resort on the eastside of Tucson, AZ. The award winning park is called Rincon Country East (8989 East Escalante Rd.). We live in a Park Model (trailer) that is about 12 feet wide and about 35 feet long. It over looks the Pantano Wash and the Rincon Mountains in the east and the Catalina mountains in the north. It cost us less than $15,000. ( We also own another park model that is for sale or rent. We rent it for $50 a day.) We do rent the park model spaces but it is a small price to pay for a million dollar location!

Now comes the life style part. We live a 5 minute or less drive from the beautiful Fred Inke public golf course. Road riding bicyclist can ride to leave the park and take the Saguaro National Park loop or get on the Old Spanish Trail road to go for a day ride.

We have not sacrificed one single thing in the "life style" department and we can still afford to do almost anything else we want. What a deal!!!


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