Monthly Archives: March 2015

EXTENDED VACATIONS in the SUNSHINE- Instalment #7

EXTENDED VACATIONS in the SUNSHINE- Instalment #7

BACK TO REALITY

So now we’re headed back after our two months away, and I’m back to rain and wind in Portland. I feel cold and chilled, but this too will pass. Whenever I think of our vacation, the warmth and the sunshine is front and center. My husband and I are both looking forward to returning home and spending time with our family and friends, repairing the damage done by the deer in our yard (Did I say looking forward to that?), and settling back into our Island life. I know that more than ever, I will be hiking, biking, sailing, and just enjoying my time spent in the outdoors and nature. Hopefully the sun will … Read the rest

EXTENDED VACATIONS in the SUNSHINE- Instalment #6

EXTENDED VACATIONS in the SUNSHINE- Instalment #6

OUTDOOR PERSON DISCOVERED

Something I’ve known forever, but just never acknowledged before this trip to the desert, is that I’m an outdoorsy girl. I craved to be outside in the sunshine all day long. I’d start my day off with a 2 hour hike or walk and then sought every other available opportunity to be outside. With the sun shining, it was painful for me to sit in front of my computer or scrub bathrooms, when I could be:

  • swimming,
  • outdoor shopping in Scottsdale,
  • outdoor touring (e.g., the spring training baseball game (Los Angelas Angels versus the Arizona Diamondbacks), Queen Creek Olives, wineries, Tucson Western Movie Museum town, Roosevelt Dam, South Mountain),
  • visiting Outdoor Cafes and Restaurants,
  • touring show homes
Read the rest

EXTENDED VACATIONS in the SUNSHINE- Instalment #5

EXTENDED VACATIONS in the SUNSHINE- Instalment #5

HOW DID THEY KNOW WE WERE CANUCKS?

SCARY, AREN'T THEY?

SCARY, AREN’T THEY?

Having pedicures available across the street from our condo was fantastic. My toenails continued to be flaked, dry and ugly looking from swimming. Scraping one’s feet and nails against the rough concrete sides of the pool was disastrous!

The fellow giving me my pedicure took one look at my toes and remarked, “You’re Canadian, aren’t you?”

THE NAILS GIVE IT AWAY!

THE NAILS GIVE IT AWAY!

I admitted I was and asked him how he knew.

He replied, “It’s March! No one in Phoenix swims in March! It’s too cold! (Oh yeah, 86-90 degree weather is chilly… right!) We never hit the pool until May. You have to be Canadian to go swimming in the Read the rest

EXTENDED VACATIONS in the SUNSHINE- Instalment #4

EXTENDED VACATIONS in the SUNSHINE- Instalment #4

SOCIALIZING IN THE DESERT

Fortunate for us, we had lots of family vacationing or living in the Phoenix area, so we had tons of get-togethers and went several places with one another. That was a real plus to our desert experience!

2015-03-01 17.39.57

2015-02-08 18.54.11

2015-03-01 17.39.34We also had the good fortune to have friends vacationing in Palm Springs. A highlight for us was having them stay over for a couple of nights on their way home. Now, you have to know that these two are extremely fit, and so we planned a couple of early morning desert hikes with them. Of course, the one morning when we wanted to be up and at it before it got too hot, the hosts slept in! We … Read the rest

EXTENDED VACATIONS in the SUNSHINE- Instalment #3

EXTENDED VACATIONS in the SUNSHINE- Instalment #3

ARRIVAL AT THE RENTAL CONDO

What does it look like when you rent a condo for the duration? First of all, I recommend that you arrive in daylight to find your specific apartment. We paused in Palm Springs to wash the car… visit a flea market… and meet up with some friends from home for lunch. So by the time we arrived in Phoenix, it was dark and all we had was an address. The condo addresses were hidden in alcoves and impossible to read from the street! It took us forever, scurrying from building-to-building, before realizing there was no logical pattern to their numbering system. Thankfully, just when we thought we’d be spending the first night in the … Read the rest

EXTENDED VACATIONS in the SUNSHINE- Instalment #2

EXTENDED VACATIONS in the SUNSHINE- Instalment #2

PACKING FOR TWO MONTHS IN A RENTAL CONDO

What was it like to pack for a two month car trip down to the Phoenix desert? Well, considering one needed to take one’s office – computers X2, printer, iPads and tablets, cameras, phones, besides all the anticipated clothing and shoes for the different climates- it was a most daunting task!

Reflecting back to what was packed and what should have been left at home is an interesting exercise. Yes, we used and needed every technology gadget packed. No, neither of us required multiple pairs of shoes, hikers, and boots (especially since, we still bought Sketchers, Sperry Shoes, and Nordstrom Rack deals). Clothing items could have been cut down to one single … Read the rest

EXTENDED VACATIONS in the SUNSHINE- Instalment #1

EXTENDED VACATIONS in the SUNSHINE- Instalment #1

AN EXPERIMENT

Husband Ryan and I embarked on a desert vacation that provided us an extended time away with six weeks in the sunshine. Normally one hears of this happening once the couples have completely retired. This wasn’t exactly our position, as one of us is still gainfully employed and the other (that would be me) is continuing to pursue her second career in writing. This was our experiment, to see what it might look like if we were to consider this option as we progress towards our senior years. (Don’t say it; you think we’re already there, don’t you?)

Winery Tour in Napa M&R

I’m curious about how you became SNOW BIRDS. Did you spend some or all of the winter months Read the rest

CHRONICLES OF DESERT HIKES

CHRONICLES OF DESERT HIKES

CHRONICLE #1

Hiking the Phoenix desert mountain peaks is a fascinating study in human behavior. One’s approach and compulsion can differ drastically from person-to-person- let alone from couple-to-couple.

Take my husband and I, for example. Upon arriving in the desert, we were automatically at different fitness levels. I had been power walking the rocky hills of Nanoose Bay daily for a few months prior to our arrival. He, who still works from home in front of a computer, had gone on the occasional stroll…

I am primed to get up at whatever hour it takes to get a hike in (surely 7:30 is a reasonable time to rise when one is on holiday), while he must be up before … Read the rest