We are enjoying our time in Arizona and grateful we have been able to partake of this opportunity to get a break from winter. It is hard to visualize snow and cold while walking around outside without a jacket or boots, and without worrying about slipping and falling. At home I have trouble giving myself permission, or knowing how much time is OK, to spend on things that are not necessary or productive. For many years when working full time while raising kids there was zero extra time. I am still getting used to the idea that being retired, and here in this place, there is time to relax, work on knitting and weaving, participate in events at the RV Park, hike, go on interesting outings, take naps. When we get back to “normal” life in Minnesota, there will be more things requiring my time.
The RV park has live musicians scheduled to perform every Wednesday and Thursday during happy hour. Recently we listened to two Jimmy Buffet style guitar playing brothers while enjoying an amazing desert sunset on the patio area around the pool.
We also spent some time in the Billiards room at the RV Park on a rare rainy day. I used to be good at pool back in the day, but clearly I need a lot of practice now.
The Museum of the West in Scottsdale is super interesting with art and artifacts from the old west. https://scottsdalemuseumwest.org/ There is some cool street art in Old Town Scottsdale including a sculpture, “The Doors” by Donald Lipski, that looks like a kaleidoscope when you step inside.
The Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix was worthwhile https://dbg.org/, but we have seen some beautiful sights while hiking too.
There was a cowboy theme party at the RV Park where residents came wearing fun western costumes. Another night we went to dinner at a burger joint in Apache Junction, just to the west of Gold Canyon. There was a live band playing, with locals dancing while wearing jeans, cowboy hats and cowboy boots. They were not costumes.
We met some friends from Minneapolis for brunch in Old Town Scottsdale. It is ironic that we hardly see these friends at home, but went out of our way to get together with them here. We also spent an evening with some of Wayne’s cousins. One lives in the Phoenix area, the others were visiting from North Dakota and Minnesota. Everyone we talk to at home knows someone who is here.
While staying in our rental unit we have collected cans, bottles, plastic and cardboard for recycling like we do at home, assuming there must be pickup or collection here. When I inquired at the information desk, they said that there used to be recycling collection but the service that came to pick it up “dropped” them. WHAT? Instead I was given a list of several locations in the Mesa area where you could drop off your recycling. When we were on an outing in that direction we loaded the bags of recycling into the car to drop off while we were out. When we got to the first address, it was a community services building, but we could not see any dumpsters or containers. I went inside to ask, and was informed that they “no longer do recycling” anywhere in Mesa. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? We tried several other options on the list we got at the RV park, but did not have any success.
After the brunch in Scottsdale we tried another recycling drop off that Wayne found by searching on the internet, that was on the way back to Gold Canyon. When we got there it was another bust. Not ready to give up, Wayne decided to google recycling in Scottsdale. There seemed to be an option there, so we drove back 10 miles to within blocks of where we had brunch, and BINGO there were drop off dumpsters. In the end, I think we caused a larger carbon footprint by driving all over looking for a drop off place than was saved by recycling of our items.
Goldfield Ghost Town in Apache Junction was a little touristy for me, but I liked their Cowboy Commandments.
Our time in Arizona is wrapping up. Now that we have experienced this snowbirding thing, I can see why people do it. You can bet we will be back here next winter, one way or another.