Sunday, May 26, 2019

A Lot of Catching Up To Do

Looks like another month has flown by without a new post, although I had good intentions. We've shaken things up around here so blogging has been put on the back burner but things have settled down so it's time to catch up. 

We are now happily relaxing in a lovely house near the Sandia Mountains in Albuquerque, NM, caring for two sweet cats until mid-August, but more about that later.


We like our new neighborhood.

A few weeks ago we visited Prescott, AZ for about 10 days to visit with several friends. We had a great time hiking, biking, eating out (Bill's Pizza, Tara Thai, and Hans and Lisa's house, all excellent), and enjoying many happy hours at The Raven Cafe.


Our favorite site at White Spar Campground

We spent one night at North Ranch SKP park in Congress on the way to Prescott and back, where this javelina walked behind our site.

He was on his way to the watering hole in front of the office, totally oblivious to people or cars.

Beautiful flowing cactus in someone's yard at North Ranch


In Prescott we hiked the Salida Gulch trail, new trails across from Thumb Butte, Wolverton Mountain and Aspen Creek trails.

Maureen, Eric, Hans, Jim and Lisa taking a break on the Salida Gulch trail

View from the trail

We always enjoy biking the Peavine and Iron King Trails.

Jim and Sandy on the Peavine, while John was out riding the "real" mountain bike trails.


Scenic Watson Lake from the trail

View of  Prescott from the Wolverton Trail

Fortunately, this was just a controlled burn

View from Aspen Creek trail

We really enjoyed our time in Prescott and it was great seeing Eric and Maureen, who have lived there for several years, John and Sandy, who were at a local RV park for a month, and Hans and Lisa, who now have a lovely home just north of town. 


The day we arrived in Prescott we got the Lazy Daze set up on our site and then took a hundred mile drive to Fountain Hills, AZ to look at an apartment. We got an email a couple days before from Park Place Apartments, which we looked at last winter when we were at McDowell Mountain, telling about their summer rent specials. There was only one available two bedroom on the Avenue of the Fountains side with a view, which we did not get to look at when we toured the place last December. We had ruled it out then because we thought the rent was too high, but they were offering a substantial rent reduction and giving 10 free weeks, and although we will be here until the middle of August, we negotiated and got them to postpone our move-in date to July 1. Since there is no rent due until mid-September we decided to go ahead with it, which means we will be making our way back there when we leave Albuquerque. So just like that, it looks like our full-time RVing days are over!

We had planned to leave the Lazy Daze on our lot at Jojoba Hills over the summer but decided to give up our membership so we wouldn't have to drive all the way back to California after we leave Albuquerque. Fortunately, our neighbors and some other friends bought just about everything we acquired with the lot, and the rest we gave away. Since we only had a week after getting back from Prescott, we were happy it turned out to be so easy.


Jojoba served our needs for the past year and a half, and it's a very nice park, but we just didn't care for the location. We did have fun playing pickleball there, and I enjoyed working with the landscaping committee. On our Wednesday morning work parties there might be anywhere from 15-20 people show up, but on the last project I helped with we needed more muscle to spread 14 tons of rock in the revamped cactus garden by the clubhouse. Over 40 people came to help, and we got it done in just a couple hours.

The power of volunteers

The finished garden looked great. We removed a lot of old, half dead cacti and planted a few new ones.

It was quite a challenge for us figuring out what to take to Albuquerque for three months, then cleaning out the RV and preparing it for storage. Having lived in it for almost 11 years and never storing it, we didn't realize how much work was involved. We hate for it to sit there baking in the heat all summer but it was going to do that at Jojoba anyway. For now we will keep it and see how much we use it before we decide whether we think it's worth the trouble and expense to store and maintain. We've only been at the house in Albuquerque for a bit over a week, but we are both happy knowing we don't have to go back to living in a 30' box when the housesit is over. We love having counter space in the kitchen, a washer and dryer, and not having to dump tanks. Those were things we adjusted to but we aren't missing any of it so far. We may feel differently as time goes on, but we had both become disenchanted with RVing and felt it was time for a change.

Jim cleaning off all the bugs at the storage lot in Fountain Hills.


We spent the night at a hotel in Fountain Hills after locking up the RV. Good thing it was less than a mile away since Jim had to go back twice for things we forgot.

This will be our new home on the right. Fearless Kitty Rescue is on the left.

I will probably be spending too much time here :-)

The saguaros were all in bloom

Back to Albuquerque and our job for the summer, caring for these two adorable cats. It is such fun having cats around the house again, but we won't be getting any when we move to Fountain Hills. Since Fearless Kitty Rescue is so close to our new apartment, we will be able to get a cat fix whenever we like.

Handsome Luke, who likes to follow us around and keep an eye on what we're doing.

 Keira, a very petite former stray with a scarred right eye. She has the cutest squeaky meow.

We haven't yet gone out and done any exploring around Albuquerque since we've been enjoying just hanging around this comfortable house and taking long walks around the neighborhood. 

It was cold, windy and rained some our first couple days here. We awoke to snow on the mountains but it melted quickly when the sun came out.


We can walk for miles on the streets of the neighborhood, or be on a trail in less than a mile.

This deer is actually in a yard between two houses, but the houses are far apart and the yards must be left natural

It's very hilly so it's easy to get a good workout even if we stay on the streets

Hazy view of Albuquerque



Foothills trail

Another part of the same trail

Start of the Sandia Tramway as seen from one of our hikes

We may have to do this on a hot day since the tram goes up to 10,000'. There is also a 7 mile trail to the top, with 3,700' of elevation gain, and you can take the tram down.  We need to get back into hiking shape for that one.

I think that's all the news from our world. We have RV friends coming to town over the next few weeks so I will try to keep the blog updated. I also intend to stay caught up with blog reading to see what we are missing this summer and maybe give us some motivation to get back out on the road again. For now, we're content hanging out with cats and enjoying the views. Oh, and the 55" TV is pretty nice, too.

Pleasant views from almost every window in the house.


43 comments:

  1. Welcome back. I think that you folks needed to do the RV life to give you a decent chance to decide what your future would best be lived like. Your choice is excellent I feel. Congratulations.

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    1. Don't know if we will stay in Fountain Hills, but a year in an apartment there will give us a chance to see if it's where we want to be.

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  2. Lots of folks making the temporary or permanent move off the road in the last year. Interesting that no one has landed back where they left from. We're also looking at property for a winter base in southeast Arizona.
    I think North Ranch has the most beautiful blooming cacti I've ever seen!
    Enjoy your time in Albuquerque, looks like a lovely place to spend the summer.

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    1. Yes, we know quite a few fulltimers who have come off the road over the past year or two. We lived in Florida and knew that was NOT where we wanted to end up. We agree with you that AZ in the winter is the perfect place to be!

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  3. We will all hang up the RV keys at some point,we have our spot in San Diego. Glad you found yours.

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    1. We still plan to travel but just not sure how much. We love San Diego but hate the traffic in So Cal. You are fortunate to live in such a great city!

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  4. Wow!! That’s a lot of changes in your lives!!! I think you know when it’s time and it sounds like you all are very happy with this new chapter!!!! Enjoy!!!!

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    1. We'll see how it goes but we felt it was time for a change.

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  5. Good luck with hanging up the keys, we took the tram up and down at Sandia peak a few years amazing views.

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    1. I'm not big on heights so not sure I can handle the tram!

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    2. I don't like heights either at all but did the tram.

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    3. There used to be a restaurant with good beer selections at the top...if that helps. Do the "Sunset" time slot. Great views up there...

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    4. Beer is always an incentive, but the restaurant at the top is under construction and hasn't reopened yet. It might be open before we leave.

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  6. An exciting new chapter for Jim & Gayle. Well done. Enjoy!

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  7. a decision we all have to make some day... looks like you made a good choice

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  8. Great location at the foot of mountains and out of the "city." Yes, change is good :).

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    1. This is a great part of Albuquerque. We feel fortunate to have found this house sit.

      It feels good making a change, whether it turns out to be right or wrong :-)

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  9. Looks like an awesome neighborhood in ABQ, I remember liking north ABQ when we were there.

    Have fun adjusting to the new space and eventually shopping for furniture in your new place!

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    1. The house we're in is about the size of yours, 2,100 sq ft, which is a bit too much house for us. The apartment is 1,200, which should be just right. Been doing some internet window shopping so we're hoping we can figure out what we want and need before we get there, which should make it a little easier.

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  10. We chuckled when you mentioned storing the Lazy Daze and how much work it was. After 11 years of fulltiming we finally put the bus in storage last October and had to winterize it as well, had never done that. Took quite a while to get it all done. And we're dreading reloading it in a couple weeks to leave here for the summer. Will be interesting to see how we like it after having a real kitchen, counter space and a washer dryer. Congrats on your changes, wise to rent before you buy.

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    1. Yes, we will be curious as to how you feel being back in the RV again. We had the Lazy Daze for a year before going full time but it was parked in our driveway so it was much easier to load and unload for trips.
      Not sure we ever want to own a place again. Renting is much easier to get out of!

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  11. Wonder if Keira and Luke have figured out yet that they hit the mother lode as sitters go.

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    1. We may be giving them more attention than they want ;-)

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  12. Wow, congratulations and best of luck on the next page!

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    1. Thanks, we're ready for a change in lifestyle.

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  13. Wow, this was an exciting post to read! So many changes for you guys in the space of a month. Everything seemed to fall into place so easily (well, except for unloading the RV, LOL!). Loading and unloading our trailer was one of the things that pushed us into fulltiming. Seriously.

    Although we're still happy to be traveling fulltime, I do miss our big kitchen counters and I really miss our washer and dryer. And our gardens. I better not think about it too much because there are still a lot of places we want to see before we settle down again. :-)

    Your time in Prescott looks like it was fun, your housesit in Albuquerque looks delightful (those kitties!), and your new home location is perfect. So glad life is so good for you guys. Enjoy!

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    1. I can understand that loading and unloading the trailer would push you into fulltiming. It doesn't take long to get spoiled to having all of your belongings with you no matter where you are! You guys are fortunate to have a home to go back to when you get tired of the RV lifestyle.

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  14. John and I were just talking about you two the other day. We were wondering if you would get something after visiting Terry and LuAnn in Fountain Hills and doing your house sit with all the space (and the BIG TV). Change is always fun which is why we enjoyed living on the road for eight years. Having the house has so many good points but I so missed doing something different all the time. So having the MH gives me the best of both worlds. I am loving being back on the road but do miss having the beautiful view of our backyard. I'm sure you'll want to head out in Lazydays again after some time in the same place. It was wonderful to see you made the decision to get a place and best of all, it is across form your favorite place!! Enjoy your cat sit and the stick and bricks!!

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    1. We had made a decision that we would try to find a place in Fountain Hills this winter and give up the lot at Jojoba, but we couldn't pass up the apartment. It's good in that it forced us to do something quickly and now we're happy that part is behind us. Furnishing the apartment is going to be the next challenge, but we have a few months in Albuquerque for research and window shopping.

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    2. Good you had to make a decision quickly. That seems to work well for all us. Too much think time leads to not doing anything. Good luck with your furniture shopping!! We are heading to LA in early July to help our son furnish his new apartment that he just chose today for his move to LA in early July. His place will be just blocks from the beach and right near LAX. It will be nice having him so much closer.

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    3. I remember you saying Kevin was thinking of moving to LA. How exciting for him, and for you being an easy day's drive away. Except for getting through the LA traffic! Let us know when he finds a good bed. We are having a tough time deciding with all the choices out there.

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  15. Congratulations Jim and Gayle on your new chapter in life. You could move to the North Georgia mountains, we love it here. Take care. Kathy Berry

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    1. Thanks, Kathy. We love your place in N GA but after spending so much time out west we have come to really like the desert.

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  16. Love that window view from the house you staying. I would be up early to walk the neighborhood and enjoy the quiet sound of bird singing and watching neighbors head to work. Enjoy your sabbatical and keep us updated on your new adventures.

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    1. Hi, John. We really like this ABQ neighborhood for walking. We are still having to stop and check the map frequently to keep from getting lost, but we're learning!

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  17. How exciting!! Look forward to meeting up with you on your "home ground".

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    1. Thanks, we think it will be a nice "home ground".

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  18. Wow! Big news! Congratulations on making the decision. I know you have been contemplating a change for several years. Jojoba was a nice transition from full time RVing to having a home base. We will be in Tucson again in January for several months. Maybe we can venture your way for a meetup. Enjoy ABQ and do keep posting now and then on your blog!
    Marti and Charlie

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  19. Yes, we would love to try to meet up with you next winter. Haven't been to Tucson in several years so we might just take a little trip in the Lazy Daze while you are there.

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  20. I am disappointed. I was secretly hoping for a real blockbuster, like hearing you were buying a sailboat or houseboat and living at a marina, or that you were selling the Lazy Daze, and buying a Mercedes Sprinter 4WD van!

    But as for backsliding into bourgeois normalcy -- with a weedwhacker, riding lawnmower, and Sears Kenmore washer and dryer -- all I can say is, 'How have the Mighty fallen!'

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    1. Last time I rented an apartment was 1982. I'm pretty sure that they don't require you to do any landscape work.

      Some of us simply don't have the stamina that you have and I'm just lazy and like creature comforts. Plus I'm old.

      Gayle would probably live out of an old VW beetle with 5 cats if she had the opportunity.

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