May 02, 2015

Our Winter in Sun City

Betty and I headed for Arizona the first week of January. It was -15 degrees when we left MN. We drove south and it did not get above zero until we had travelled through three states. Two days later when we arrived in Sun City, it was in the 70's. And that is why we head south in the winter. The weather has been spectacular, mostly sun and warmth. Yes, it rained a few days, but nothing to cry about.

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Centerpiece Candleholder
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Bill, Lise, Daisy and Betty
Bill, Lise, Daisy and Betty
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Gambel's Quail
IMG_6214: Gambel's Quail
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So, why Sun City? Betty seems to think it is some sort of Eden. It is fairly low cost. Sun City has a lot to do. You join the recreation centers, where one can find almost every kind of activity. I am not going to itemize them, but I would like to mention what we have done. We took bridge lessons and played bridge at one of the dozen bridge clubs. Betty joined a 500 (card) club. I joined one of the three woodworking clubs. I went bowling. We played pool. We played tennis several days per week. Betty took swim lessons and finally learned to swim. She also took a water aerobics class. There are three rec centers within one mile of our rental, and I like to walk to them.

Here is some info on our rental. This is a twin home with a 1800 sf unit. We paid $1350 per month which included everything. The normal rent on this place is $1500 to $1800 per month on a four-month basis. There are two bedrooms and two baths. There is a formal dining area connected to the living room. There is also an Arizona room, a room that might have once been a large enclosed porch - but is now an extension of the living room. There is a large decorative orange tree out front, and huge grapefruit tree in the back. There was a ton of fruit on the tree when we arrived. I drank juice almost every day and we often had grapefruit Margaritas. What a refreshing drink that is. The owner bought it a little over 18 months ago for $90 K, furnished, and has not had to do anything to it. It is full of 1970's things - especially in the kitchen.

I built a lot of small projects in the wood shop. I made three end-grain cutting boards for Birgitta, Dain and our house. I made a garden bench as a test project, then gave it to Dain and Marleta. I made some very nice centerpiece candleholders. I learned how to make small wooden boxes. I really enjoyed the workshop, and I spent a lot of days making things.

All the rec centers have pools where we swam and mini-golf courses. In two of the rec centers, there are county library branches.

You can buy a house for $80 to $250k with most homes going for about $110k. Rentals for a couple of months are close to $2000 per month but $1000 or less for six months or more.

We had several visitors. My brother Brian and his wife Judy stayed nearby for about two and a half weeks. My brother Steve and his wife Ellen came and stayed with us for a week. Our old friend Lise Nicholson of Alberta visited a friend of hers in Sun City West and we hung out with them a lot. We were hoping for more visitors but maybe they will come next year.

Yes, we are coming back next year. I am not wild about the idea, but it is a done deal. Betty has signed a lease for a bigger and yet less expensive rental.

The most abundant form of wildlife in the area is the grouse. They are everywhere. Next up is a little bunny. There are all kinds of other birds. In the morning and evening they are all singing. The cacophonous sound is wonderful We hear there are coyotes all about, but we have not seen one. We have seen lizards, a tortoise and a blue heron.

Well that's it. We are headed north tomorrow.

By the way, we drove to Palo Alto for Easter. There is a set of pictures from the Facebook campus and its new mega-building with the living roof. See the set at this link. John, Matt, and Susan came over for one of Betty's scrumptous Easter hams. It was great to visit with them and to stay with Dain and Marleta.

Posted by bill at 10:57 PM | Comments (1)