Monday, November 3, 2014

My Going-to-Arizona lists

In four weeks we're leaving for our winter home in Tucson. This will be the third year for us to travel from our home in Seattle

to our park model in Tucson

but it's more complicated this year for a couple of reasons: (1) we own the place now and (2) we're taking Larisa, our Designer Cat.

If you're renting your winter residence, you just find someone to live in your regular house and take loving care of your Cat for a few months, find three nights worth of lodgings, load up your car with clothes and personal essentials (CPAP machines, small exercise items, food coolers), and go.

If you now own the winter place, you load up your car with the usual stuff plus what you have in Seattle that you want to take to Tucson permanently: the extra Keuric coffeemaker you bought on sale at Fred Meyer last week, decorative items that will look better in your Southwest place than they do in your Northwest place. One way to declutter in Seattle is to decorate in Tucson.

If you are taking your Cat, you make plane reservations for one person. You don't want the Cat roaming in the car for four days - because the car is loaded with your stuff - or caged - because there isn't room in the car for the cage. Plus, you don't want to hassle with three pet-friendly lodging places or stop at rest areas to put on a cat harness and leash. You think first class will be better because of more legroom, and you buy Happy Traveler, an herbal capsule you will sprinkle in the Cat's food on the day of the flight so she will be calmer than you are. You try it out a month early and find out the Cat gets quite loaded and calm. A good sign, you think.

The car needs to get to Tucson before the Cat because the driver has to go to PetSmart in Tucson to pick up a cat box and litter and a favorite spin toy, and also get groceries and get the park model in some kind of livable shape so there's not a lot of settling-in chaos that will disturb the Cat, who will be freaked out enough just because she's in an unfamiliar place. So the Prius will leave Seattle on about November 30, driven by husband Art and brother-in-law Virgil. They'll probably make the 1600-mile drive in fewer than our usual four days; I've heard mutterings about "driving straight through, because my brother and I made it to San Antonio 45 years ago in 36 hours without stopping".

So, here are the lists I'm making:

1. What to load in the car: anything Art decides, plus:
  • All my clothes for four months, except what I'll wear on the plane
  • A bin full of paper records and projects; we'll be doing our taxes in Arizona
  • A case of Purina Friskies Prime Filets with Ocean Whitefish & Tuna in Sauce - purchased on sale, six cans at a time. The only food the Cat will eat without throwing up.
  • Two laptops and a wireless printer
  • Christmas cards and a few decorations
  • Two CPAP machines
  • A new king-sized blanket I bought in March and had hemmed to fit the queen-sized bed in Tucson
2. What to do between November 30 when the men leave and December 3 when I get on the plane:
  • Clean out both refrigerators at home; they'll be unused for four months
  • Stop the Seattle paper
  • Have the mail forwarded
  • Start the Tucson paper
  • Do a final load of laundry so I'll have something clean to wear on the plane
  • Everything Else 
3. What to take on the plane:
  • The Cat in her Sherpa carrier lined with her favorite blanket from our bed in Seattle - in her harness because she will have to be taken out of the carrier going through security
  • A purse with my essentials for the day
  • Nothing Else
These lists will probably be added to during the next few weeks. They're all my lists. Art has his list in his head and I have no idea what's on it. I know from previous trips that he's pretty reliable about getting the necessities packed. And he doesn't want to know much about what's on my lists. He knows from experience that I'm pretty reliable about doing most of the planning.

We haven't got a lot of time. We leave next Sunday for 12 days on the Big Island of Hawaii, then come home for a week to celebrate Thanksgiving with the family, then leave for Arizona. That's why I'm making these lists in advance.

The Pacific Northwest is entering the Long Dark. We're going to the sun.


Janette said...

Then give my old home state a big hug.
Sounds like a good plan!

Teresa Evangeline said...

It sounds like you have it all together and the end result will be wonderful! Sun in AZ! Hope the kitty makes the transition peacefully.

DJan said...

You are definitely an accomplished list maker. I'm like Art and keep them in my head. Actually, when I'm traveling, about a week before I leave I designate a corner in the apartment my travel corner. I put my suitcase and everything else that I can remember over there until the time comes to pack it all up. Works for me! Happy travels, Linda! I envy your trip to Hawaii. :-)

Madeline Kasian said...

What a nice busy time for you! Welcome back to Arizona (soon..!) I wish I still had a small palce down int he Valley wher eit is warm.We moved full time to the mountains and I do love it.But we rented out our large home in Chandler, and now I have to stay with girlfriends when I go down and visit.I kind of liked having a place there and a place here but it did not work as a long term plan for retirement, at least not quite yet!

Soon you'll be basking in the sunshine and enjoying those exercise classes and activities with your tucson neighbors,Linda!!

Thanks for sharing your journeys online with us!

Tom said...

Oh, but it's all worth it, isn't it!

Bob Lowry said...

It seems that the lava flow that was threatening an area on the Big island has run out of steam (literally) for the time being. Just watch for hot spots when you go for your morning walk!

"The Long Dark" in the Pacific Northwest from now until April is the only reason we don't live there full time. I need my sun.

Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma said...

This cracked me up: "One way to declutter in Seattle is to decorate in Tucson."

Your list-making is awesome. The fact that you are going to Hawaii before Arizona is equally awesome. You guys really know how to enjoy retirement!

Olga said...

Been there! Cat and all. I am making a drive to FL in December, but I will leave the car there and fly form now on.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

Wow! You've really got a busy November coming up!
You're an impressive organizer and list-maker! Hope all goes well with the cat. That DOES complicate a trip for sure but has its compensations at the destination.
I recently returned from some book signings in California, the last trip with a little crippled kitten in tow. (He had been featured at an event called Catoberfest and was thought unadoptable. So of course...) He was an angel during the 9 hour trip to Arizona -- much better behaved than I was! So glad you now own your special place in Tucson!

Arkansas Patti said...

Looks like you have snow bird down to a science. So glad you now own that home in Az so you can put a lot of things there that you had to tote before.
Glad you are leaving the long dark behind and that trip to Hawaii will get you in the mood for a long sun.

Muffy's Marks said...

I love lists. I make lists for those who use our home in the winter while we're in Arizona. I make menu lists when the kids all come home for long weekends. I have started my 'to take' list for Arizona, and the lists go on............Safe travels.

Grandmother Mary said...

You're the list making diva. And I laughed out loud at the de-clutter strategy! Have fun in Hawaii and good traveling to Arizona.

wheels4me said...

Have two great trips!

Perpetua said...

"One way to declutter in Seattle is to decorate in Tucson." The story of our wandering life in many ways. :-) Mind you, the complexity of getting everything there, plus the Cat, makes our regular trips look simple.

Have a wonderful time in Hawaii.

b+ (Retire In Style Blog) said...

Oh my gosh Linda...lucky you! Our cat disappeared several days before Halloween so we are not thinking about traveling with the old guy any more. We alway took him with, stayed in cat friendly motels or simply left him in the car with food, a litter box and water. Life is much simpler now I think.

You have everything under control I think. Don't forget...if you turn off the water, turn off the water heater too. The water heater will be ruined if you don't.

Talk to you soon. We are leaving on the Sunday after least that is what our stay-in-Hillsboro daughter tells us. It turns out she has plans for us this year! she lives a few blocks away and we depend on each other during the summer.

Be well.