We've left the dark, rainy Pacific Northwest for 17 days in Arizona. We made a day trip to Houston in November to gather the last of the 20,000 miles we'd need to have our Alaska Airlines MVP status renewed for this year. And we were delighted to be upgraded to first class on our flight to Tucson. An MVP benefit on our first flight of the new year! How cool is that?
We'd made arrangements in Tucson to stay with a couple we contacted through Evergreen Club, an online network whose members are couples over 50 who travel and host other travelers. Nancy and John were most welcoming - we felt right at home immediately. They took us to a favorite restaurant in downtown Tucson where we spent nearly four hours eating and talking. In the morning they fixed us a hot breakfast and we took a walk through their 55+ community. We're now considering renting a place there for a couple of months next winter.
We now prefer Evergreen Club to Couchsurfing. Evergreen has an annual membership cost (about $65, I think), and a $15 nightly cost, per couple, paid to the hosting couple. We've had eight experiences with this group - two as travelers and six as hosts - and generally we find them to have values similar to ours. Couchsurfing, the other online group we belong to, is free to join and free to stay; we've hosted a single professional man and a pair of traveling German grad students, among others. We've only had one negative experience, but it was enough of a negative that we're considering dropping out of this group.
It's a four-hour drive from Tucson to Sedona, where we are now for the next couple of weeks. Here's a picture I took this morning from our bedroom balcony.
We bought a timeshare at Arroyo Roble Resort five years ago after trading into this resort with a week from another timeshare. We liked the place so much we looked around for an after-market week. You're entitled to use of the resort for seven days a year, but in the months of January and February, you can string together last year's and this year's weeks and get two weeks. Which we've done three times now. It's like living in Sedona for two weeks. We've explored most of the area on previous visits, so this time we'll be mostly walking and reading and hanging out. I love that the sun comes over the rock outside our condo, and that we can hear Oak Creek just outside.
The day we left home, 30 complimentary copies of our book were delivered. We'll be sending some of them to Veterans Administration clinics in Washington and Oregon, suggesting that the counselors read them and perhaps recommend them to the vets they counsel. In Seattle there's a group for vets of each war. We want to reach all vets, but especially those from Viet Nam, and sending a copy to the clinics was suggested by a former clinician who's read the book. Since we're in Sedona and the books are in Washington, I've made arrangements with a friend to ship them to the clinics for me. So here I am, in Sedona, on a sunny day, writing letters to 11 VA clinicians, which I'll attach to an email to my friend. I love how technology helps us. On the other hand, the technology means I stay busy even when sitting in the sun. Oh, well! I can live with that.