After two and a half weeks in Arizona - and going home tomorrow - we're seriously considering spending January and February here next year. It's been a beautiful, leisurely trip. In fact, I think it's been too much leisure for me. I'm ready for more to do.
I wish that weren't the case. I'd love to be able to say I'm most content living quietly at home. I'm actually better off when I have the chance to have people and activity around me.
In Sedona we took seven short hikes, just the two of us, in the first ten days. And then we had old friends come for three days. That was fun. Conversation, a day trip to the Grand Canyon, meals with company.
Grand Canyon, South rim
View from our Tucson condo
We looked at three possibilities for spending part of the winter in Arizona:
1. A large daylight basement studio apartment in Sedona. We met the owners and they'd be very glad to have us there. Advantages: lowest rent of all the places we explored - though not cheap; in Sedona, which we love. Disadvantages: Sedona is a year-round community, and for people like us coming in for a couple of months, we'd have to find our place. People are already living their lives there.
2. A manufactured home rental in Tucson Estates, on the northwest side of Tucson. We stayed in this 55-plus community for one night, with a couple we contacted through Evergreen Club. Advantages: midrange rent; lots to do; our friend would keep an eye out for rentals for us between now and then. Disadvantages: none, really, except it looks a lot like a 55-plus community and the manufactured homes are fairly close together - quite a contrast from our neighborhood at home, with its larger treed lots. About 60 percent of the population in the winter leaves in March or April, so we we'd have that in common with them.
3. A park model rental in Voyager RV resort, on the southeast side of Tucson. We spent yesterday with our old friends there, looking around. Advantages: enormous number of activities; multiple pools and ball courts. Very friendly people who walk right up to you and introduce themselves. Disadvantage: highest rent. About 90 percent of the population is winter-only people. This is the place I like best except for the rent.
The rent. But then I look at what we've done this year to get away from our Pacific Northwest winter: flew to Hawaii for ten days in December and rented a car to get around; flew to Arizona for 18 days and rented a car to get around; flying to Ecuador for three weeks and paying a driver to get around. We did Hawaii and Arizona using timeshares, and Ecuador is a home exchange. But still, when I consider airfare and car rental, the rent to stay in one place for two months doesn't sound as bad. Not to mention we'd go there once and stay.
I've realized quiet time is good, but I'm not a hermit. I need activities and people around me - and the option to participate.
Who would have thought we'd consider being snowbirds in Arizona?