Saturday, October 5, 2019

Last of ABQ and the Beginning of our New Life in Fountain Hills




Our new home, within walking distance of almost everything town has to offer.


Yes, we are alive and well and settling into our apartment in Fountain Hills, AZ. I've been meaning to do a blog post but it's been a busy time and there isn't really a lot to tell. I decided to write this because I followed a lot of full-time RV blogs over the 10.5 years we were on the road, and I was always struck by how most people just dropped out of the blogging world after they moved out of their RV. Now I fully understand, since most of what we've been doing is not really blogworthy, but I was always curious about how they made the transition since I knew we would be doing the same one day, so here is the short version of our past couple months, in case anyone is interested.

But first, a few more photos from our house/catsitting gig in Albuquerque. We loved the location of the Sandia Heights neighborhood we were in but didn't get a warm fuzzy feeling about Albuquerque in general. It was still a good three months living in a lovely house, with tolerable temperatures, and very sweet cats.

We miss Luke and Keira. They were both such fun to have around.

On some of the days when temps got near 100 we were happy to drive less than an hour up to 10,000' Sandia Crest for a cooler hike.

Very scenic views from our last hike on the Crest trail

New restaurant "Ten 3" that opened a couple days after we left

Our first housesitting experience was a good one, and it's something we will most likely do again in the future if we can find one in the right location.

Waiting for us next to the garage when we pulled up one day.


We left Albuquerque on August 16th just after the homeowners returned from Italy. They kindly invited us to stay another night but we were anxious to move on and get settled in our new apartment, despite the fact that it was still triple digit heat in AZ. We spent a night in Show Low,  a fun evening of margaritas and dinner with some Jojoba Hills friends on our way to Fountain Hills. 

Unlike some fulltime RVers, when we left Pensacola in October 2008 we didn't keep anything that would not fit into the car or Lazy Daze, so furnishing an empty apartment was a daunting task. Since our friends Terry and LuAnn were already living in the apartment next to ours, they got our key so we could have a few things delivered before we got there. We were so glad we did that since at least we had a reclining loveseat and mattress and were able to spend the first night there in relative comfort. The following day we went to the Lazy Daze and grabbed a few things from the kitchen, then began the long process of shopping for everything else. If anyone is in the market for a mattress, so far we are very happy with the soft hybrid one we ordered from Amore.

Besides hours spent in furniture stores, we also did a lot of internet shopping, mainly on Amazon. Of course, that meant assembling everything since things came boxed. We got pretty lucky and most of what we ordered was not too difficult to put together, except for some patio furniture we bought locally, which we returned in mid-assembly due to missing parts and various other issues.

Below is the anatomy of a dining table and chairs. It wasn't the easiest to put together due to the number of pieces, and the seat frame of one of the chairs was cracked. Amazon's offer was to return it (they would send someone out to pick it up and we would not have to box it back up), or they would pay to have it repaired if possible. I really liked it and they would not have a replacement for a few weeks, so Jim found a local handyman who came out and fixed it in a day for $25 and Amazon gave us a credit. They got off easy.











Here are some recent photos of the apartment which is now mostly furnished. The rest are things we can live without for now.



The bedroom is still a work in progress

Went from barely 12 inches of counter space in the RV to now over 12 feet but I'm not complaining.

Decided to go with "only" a 55" TV since the living room is not that big. It seems huge!

Our balcony, which has been getting more use now that the mornings and evenings are cooler. Fearless Kitty Rescue is the building with the red awning on the right just across from us.
We have a little view of the lake and fountain when it's going off.


We also have a front row seat for events along the Avenue. This was the high school homecoming parade. Next up is Halloween in the Hills, which might be more entertaining.

So other than working on furnishing the apartment, we've been walking early in the mornings when it's cooler, working out at the gym, volunteering at least a few times a week at Fearless Kitty Rescue, and Jim getting some minor medical issues taken care of. We're enjoying living here so far. It's great having Terry and LuAnn next door, and Alex and Ellen showed up early at the nearby RV park a few weeks ago, so with friends around it feels like home here already. 

There are many sculptures around town.

The community center and library are just a couple blocks away.

Very nice library. We haven't been to the museum yet.

Great views from the Lake Overlook trail.

Monsoons were sparse this summer so the desert is quite brown.

Unlike the park around the lake that gets watered with reclaimed water.

Some of the locals out strolling down the street one morning,

In case you were worried, yes we have cat photos.


Beautiful Sibbi got adopted despite having some stomach issues.

New Mexico kittens. The shelter in Las Cruces was out of space so Fearless Kitty took some. Pictured are Taos (on the floor), Santa Fe (black and white), Soccoro and Belen. There were 5 but Las Cruces got adopted.

Jim is holding Chris, who has been adopted twice and returned, not due to anything he did. It shouldn't take long for him to find another home since he is very sweet and affectionate.

Dodge loves laying in whatever box he finds.
Even if he barely fits.

It's a challenge cleaning the kitten rooms. They run to the cabinet and try to get in as soon as we open the door.

So that's about it for now. The Lazy Daze survived the summer in storage but the house batteries did not, so we replaced them a few days ago and all is well. In a couple weeks we are planning a little trip to Cottonwood to see if we still remember how to do the RVing thing. Stay tuned.

24 comments:

  1. Well, kudos for continuing to blogging after going off the road. Doesn't look like you've been reading ours, but we've been on the road for four years and are not yet at the stage where we are ready to quit. Like us, there are probably others who would be interested to know what it was that made you know when to flip the switch and how you decided where to settle. Nice job with your blog; it would be a shame for you to give it up. And congratulations, by the way!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. To try and answer your question, after 10 years Jim was getting tired of living in a 30' box, and I was getting tired of the planning, which became more challenging as the years passed due to so many more people out there in RVs. The spontaneity we enjoyed during our early years of travel was getting harder and harder to accomplish. We've been coming to McDowell Mtn Park, just a few miles up the road from Fountain Hills, since 2010, and visited most winters for a couple weeks to several months just about every winter after that. Also we made the Mayo Clinic our primary care after Jim had his gallbladder removed there in 2011, which gave us another reason to return each winter. We've looked at property in only two places since we began fulltiming, Bend, OR and Fountain Hills, AZ. Decided the weather was better for more of the year here than in Bend, we both like the desert, and after we began volunteering at the cat rescue in 2015 I was pretty certain that when we decided to put down roots somewhere it would have to be Fountain Hills, so here we are! As surprising at it seems, we don't miss RVing yet, but then we've been quite busy and that may change. We always said as long as we were having fun we would continue to fulltime, and since it was becoming less fun we thought this was a good time for a change. Who knows, when our lease is up next summer we may be back to living in the Lazy Daze again :-)
      Enjoy your life on the road!

      Delete
  2. Nice you practiced bigger space living before this current nesting. Looks nice inside and out. Great to get the kitty fixes. I hope you won't drop off the blog radar.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it would have been tough moving back into the Lazy Daze after living in a 2,100 sq ft house all summer!
      Not only have I not been blogging, I have barely been reading other blogs. Hope to get caught up one of these days.

      Delete
  3. If you want to continue to blog, just make it easy to do and it will just take care of itself. No need to make a tome each time; just a few pictures and some narrative. Who can resist kitty pix?

    Virtual hugs,

    Judie < -- hoping to see more from you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Blogging is a chore to me now, so something I put off. I used to really enjoy it. Maybe I will get a renewed interest now that things have quieted down around here.

      Delete
  4. Thanks for the update, with us in our 14th year fulltime still no desire to get of the road yet. Enjoy you new home.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you are still enjoying the fulltime RV lifestyle. We were ready for something new and different and decided to give this a try. We'll see what happens!

      Delete
  5. Reading your post was deja vu for us! I can commiserate with everything you wrote! There are potential house sitting opportunities in Prescott...I'll email you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I remember your stories about furniture assembly. Glad most of it is over, although we still are looking for barstools, a dresser and a desk. I told Jim if we decide to go back to RV living again this stuff is going into storage no matter what it costs so we don't have to go through this again!

      Delete
  6. No more "trailer trash." Welcome to Cosmopolitan living...where the grass is always green and cut, fountains spout, and vegan TV dinners warm in the new oven. :)
    I bet you even have fast internet!!!
    Change is good.
    The now officially disbanded, Ex-Red Rocks Gang President...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, our "trailer trash" days are behind us now, but we have very fond memories. I am appreciating the little things as much as the big things, like not tracking in dirt and rocks every time we go in and out of the apartment :-)
      We would love to join you in Utah but can't muster up the enthusiasm now that our favorite area is closed to boondocking. Everything changes.
      You know you will always be Mr. President to us!

      Delete
  7. Congrats, and thanks for the update... we too don't own a thing that isn't in our CRV or our RV and will eventually have to do what you are doing now...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When we first began buying furniture it made us a bit ill thinking about how we worked so hard to get rid of everything so many years ago!

      Delete
  8. The apartment looks great! You've done well getting it livable and comfortable. Wahoo! Jim got his big TV!! Sounds like you have found the town you enjoy. Such a beautiful area. It is interesting to go from life on the road to part time. Nina explained it best in her blog. I am still trying to wrap my head around adjusting to both. It's...different! Enjoy Fountain Hills and the new apartment. We are in Tucson for the month of Jan. Maybe we could meet half way for an afternoon get together.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, it IS different getting off the road, but so far it feels good. We had gotten to a point where some days I would just think how stupid it was to keep moving from place to place, after so many years of loving doing that very thing!
      I would like to take a trip to Tucson this winter, maybe in January, as we haven't been in a few years. Will keep you posted.

      Delete
    2. I'll keep in touch as our time approaches. It will be great reconnect.

      Delete
  9. So glad to read your newest post! I've been looking for a new post almost daily since I was so curious how things were going with the new apartment. It looks great, and seems to be a wonderful location. Congratulations, and good work on all that furniture assembly :) I think Jim may need to adopt Chris the Cat. (Cali the Cat is now 23 and still doing pretty well - just have to have lots of potty pads for her. I may go pet-less for awhile when she is finally gone, but I'm beginning to think she might outlive me ;) )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not sure what we did wrong but none of our cats ever lived past the age of 16. We did not buy cat-proof furniture this time around, and they charge $40 a month extra per pet, so there is no danger of us getting one as long as we are living in this apartment!

      Delete
  10. So good to hear from you guys! Your new place looks great. And yes, I can imagine how much work it was to start from scratch! I hate putting furniture together. The directions are always ridiculous.
    Love seeing the adorable kitty photos.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Nice to hear from you, too! Some of the furniture didn't even come with directions, and others were pictures only, which is really challenging. So far nothing has fallen apart, so I guess we did alright.

    ReplyDelete
  12. We are really excited for you two. Your apartment looks lovely. I love the balcony. I can picture you two sitting out there and enjoying a nice craft beer and soaking in the scenery. Glad to read that you are still going to take trips from time to time. Keeping enjoying the good life.
    Thanks for the cat photos. I love the photos of the cats lying leisurely in the boxes. Too cute.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So nice to hear from you! Hope you guys are doing well.
      It's hard for me to do a blog post without cat photos :-)

      Delete
    2. We are doing great. Loving spending so much time with our new grandson.
      You know we love the cat photos!

      Delete