Monday, April 25, 2011

RV Spaces For Sale...Am I the Only One Who Didn't Know??

I didn't know there were RV parks where RVrs can buy their own space. I was only familiar with organizations like Thousand Trails where memberships can be bought, but I've learned something else about RVing.  I wrote about another park to buy into in Palm Springs in my post Thoughts on Palm Springs...After a Week on 4/22/11.  

Today I went to look at two more, also in the Palm Springs area.  One is in Cathedral City and the other one is in Indio.  I'm still reeling after looking at the last one.  I want to move in tomorrow but there's a slight problem and I'll talk more about it when I share what I learned about that park.  

The first one is called Outdoor Resorts Palm Springs and it's located in Cathedral City.  I want you to know that I took a very long time attempting to create a Picasa collage with the following pictures and I wasn't successful.  I'll practice some more when I'm not in the middle of writing a post.  

Outdoor Resort Palm Springs

RV sites next to lake

RV site next to outside wall
Lot prices start at $54,000 and go up to $130,000.  The average size of the lots are 2,000 sq ft (35' x 63').  The information sheet says that the sizes are 35" x 63" and I'm thinking that's not right.  Association fees are $322/month and include unlimited green fees, water, daily trash pick-up, cable TV and grounds maintenance.  The resort is 137 acres with 7 lakes, 6 swimming pools, an on site restaurant and convenience store, just to name a few features.  Owners may rent their lots when not in town and realize 72% of the rent.  There is a shopping center nearby that I would consider close enough to walk to.  It, too, is a gated community.  

Now onto the primo RV park known as the Desert Shores  Motor Coach Resort...  

This park is stunning and at the present time I don't qualify to move in because I don't have a Class A motorhome 36' or longer.  That's the slight problem I mentioned in my opening paragraph.  I know that I could be comfortable and happy living there, but it's the old champagne taste on a beer budget that is also in my way.  

This is a casita to the right of the parking space for the RV...

The two windows seen in the picture are the double garage which also has the washer and dryer, not to mention lots of storage. 

 Next we go inside the casita...

Living  room


Shower stall

Outdoor spa

Can't forget the the view and sounds from the waterfalls...

I think the pictures say it all.  I love water and the sound of waterfalls. I also like privacy and this park provides all of that.  However, the lowest price is in the $300,000 range.  HOA dues are $565/month.  Like I said earlier, I have champagne taste on a beer budget.  At least I'm having fun looking and then I can write about it and share what I've learned.  

Loving the sun,


Saturday, April 23, 2011

College of the Desert (COD) Street Fair

I was told by friends back home that I had to go to the COD Street Fair and today was the day.  I got there early enough that I got a decent parking place but what did it matter since I was going to be walking for hours anyway.  

This shadow box was my first purchase...

The artist, Deano Serkes...

Finding his work and talking to him at the beginning of my day at the street fair was perfect.   We found out we're both born in July and both love water.  Duh, of course we love water, we were born in July.  I have purple toe nails and he has blue.  He also lives in an RV full time!!  I got a hug from him before I moved on and it was a lovely start to my day, after purchasing my shadow box, that is. He held onto my purchase until just before I left so I got another hug!!  I guess I'm feeling hug deprived.

My next purchase was this lovely summer scarf...

and then this sun visor...

 This is how they look together...

Aren't my mannequins great?  A ceramic cat and wood giraffe.  I know, you'd never be able to figure out it was a cat because there was no head.  Sorry, it wouldn't fit. If I showed the cats head then part of the scarf was missing and the objective was to show the scarf, so, sorry cat.  

I was watching a demonstration on small pellets that absorb water and can replace soil in plants.  I was intrigued and thinking about buying a package or two, when a man who I think was part of the booth, lit a cigarette and all the smoke came into my face.  The smell was awful and I took off without making a purchase.  

OMGosh, I just heard a strange noise coming from outside, looked up and there was a road runner out on the patio...

I had to work really fast to get this one, but I got it.  How cool is that? I haven't seen a road runner for at least five years, the last one being in Tucson.  Now I'm wondering, am I right?  Is that really a road runner? Does anyone know for sure??? Judy???

OK, back to the street fair.  I've seen almost everything and have just a couple booths left.  This being one of them...

I love the barrel cactus, want one or two or three, but they won't fit in my suitcase.  I am going to have to drive back in my RV.

My last stop was at a flower stand...

I figured they'd have something that would look wonderful in the vase I bought yesterday and they did...

Leo the cat thinks they're pretty nice, too.  Unfortunately for him, I moved the flowers and vase out of his way.  I'm going to have to figure out a way to get this cat back home with me.  Yes, I'm a dog person but Leo has managed to work his way into my heart and I'm sold on him.  

The winds still haven't died down.  The weather person said it would happen today but not so far.  There's still nine hours left to today so I'll wait and see.

I really enjoyed walking the street fair and I might go back again tomorrow.  I don't have any plans for Easter so that will help fill up part of the day.  They're going to be open but I don't know how many actual booths will be occupied.  Doesn't matter, I'll enjoy the ones that are there.

Loving the sun,


Friday, April 22, 2011

Thoughts on Palm Springs...After a week

Turns out that the lack of traffic on my arrival day was just a fluke. Bummer.  It isn't too bad, so don't take that as a complaint.  I've noticed that the area is big on four way stops...not my favorite way to stop.  It just amazes me the audacity of people who pull up to a four way stop with the intent to turn but don't use a turn signal.  I just want to get out of my car and throttle those people, but my mom taught me better so it won't happen.  

We've had some pretty severe winds the last four days and it's predicted that it'll end tomorrow.  We're also looking at 98 degrees next week.  I'll let you know what I think of it since that's part of being back in the desert...can I stand the heat after being back in the Northwest for five years???  Oh, yeah, I almost forgot...gated communities.  They're all over the place.  Last but not least, the speed limits here.  Now I understand why Californians go so fast in Washington.  First of all, they're probably gnashing their teeth and cursing like crazy because our speed limits are so much lower.  I was on the 111, that's what they call it...the 111, and the speed limit was 50 mph or higher.  The question running through my mind the first time I drove on it was how the heck do I find anything cause I'm going too fast to see what's around.  I'm used to lollygagging as I drive down the street...not the speed limit, or higher, or get run over.  I'm adjusting.  

After I bought Olivia, while at Camping World spending a good portion of my life savings, I picked up a brochure for an RV park called Two Springs RV Resort.  

I wanted to check it out because the RV lots are for sale and I hadn't heard of that before.  Driving on I-10 was a whole lot of fun because of the strong winds and I think I was fortunate not to get blown into another lane.  Remember, I'm driving a Prius right now and my sense is that they're not all that heavy, like my Volvo or View RV would be. Since I'm sitting here typing my post I guess that's a good indication that all went well.

Right now the resort has 197 sites and will be adding 194 sites in a future expansion.  The sites are approximately 2400 square feet, or 45' wide and 50-56' deep.  Here's an undeveloped site with the Prius in it. I guess it would have made more sense for me to take the picture straight on, but I didn't, so sorry.

Here are a couple sites that have been developed...  

Here are some of the amenities...

This is the view across the street...

I have never seen so many wind turbines in one location.  

Lot prices start at $44,950 and go up to $62,500.  Annual maintenance dues are $2400/year which includes garbage, sewer, maintenance of the resort, administration of the resort and property taxes.  It's located in Riverside County and they only allow RVrs to reside in the park for 9 months a year.  Mark, the owner, told me about some really expensive resorts that I'll be checking out later.  I have to find them on Mapquest first, then I'll report on them.

I made it to Native Foods Cafe today.  I mentioned it a couple posts ago and said that it was vegetarian and the selections sounded wonderful. Not only am I learning a new area but to get to the cafe I had to read my directions backwards and that was a major  challenge.  I never realized how difficult it could be to flip my brain upside down in order to find my way around, but with a couple wrong turns and one phone call, I made it.  The address says it's on El Paseo, so while driving down El Paseo looking for the number it wasn't where it was supposed to be. Turns out it's a number of businesses in a row with a split in the middle. The cafe is located in that split.  Go figure.  

Lunch started out with water until I saw a glass with a gorgeous red color to it.  I asked what it was, found out it was Native Iced Tea and decided to go for it. It was made with organic hibiscus tea, wild berry tea and sweetened with organic agave.  It was wonderful.  

My meal was the Portobello and Sausage Burger and it was fantastic. The description read like this...juicy grilled portobellos, our homemade Native Sausage Seitan, caramelized onions, pomodoro, sweet roasted garlic, creamy pumpkin seed pesto and mayo.  I will go back.  Not only did I have a fantastic lunch but I got to sit outside!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After lunch I decided to walk around and see what the shops were all about.  I bought this flower vase for Olivia once I hit the road...

It's plastic and is able to hold water.  There's nothing breakable and I thought I'd be able to find a place for it since it's not too large.  

I went into a gallery and fell in love with an oil painting that was gorgeous.  It was steps going up surrounded by fields of flowers.  It was probably 6' tall and 4' wide for only $6900.  I passed.

I think that I'll go to the College of the Desert swap meet tomorrow. Friends back home told me I have to go to it, so tomorrow it is.  I'll take my camera and report back with pictures.

Loving the sun,


Monday, April 18, 2011

What a Difference a Day Makes

The day I arrived here in Palm Springs/Indio Candace (the person I'm pet sitting for), took me to a natural food market and I saw a tube of Cranberry Orange Scones...

I love scones and cranberry and I couldn't quit thinking about them plus the fact that they're all natural.  So that means they're alright, doesn't it??? I found my way to the grocery store yesterday, bought a ton of healthy food and a tube of scones.  Shortly after I got home I cooked them and let me tell you, they were gone in record time...and they were fantastic.  While I didn't get sick I did get lethargic and just vegged for the rest of the day, which is why there was no post yesterday.  

I was at the 9:00 cardio group this morning at the community center and let me tell you, it was the most vigorous cardio group I've ever gone through.  It was definitely a step or two above what I experience at Silver Sneakers. I feel vindicated, though, so I've forgiven myself for my slip yesterday.  It was sure worth it.  I also know that I won't be buying any more because I like them too much.  While I love veggies, it's not quite the same.  I don't have a tendency to pig out on veggies like I did with the scones.  I wonder why that is.

OK, now on to other stuff.  This was the temperature yesterday...

And this is today...

It's also quite windy...

The sky is pretty brown today with all the dust in the air (not in this picture, but a few miles away from here).  I hesitated to get onto I-10 because I didn't want to get into a pile up should that happen, but it wasn't a problem...phew...big sigh of relief.  

Obviously, I don't have a whole lot to talk about because this post is mostly pictures, but aren't pictures worth a thousand words?  So far, 4,000 words and counting.  

Someone didn't have a very good shot as evidenced by the location of this golf ball...

It's right outside the window by the kitchen table where I've got my computer.  That's me waving to you as I took the picture.   I found the ball this morning so I think it's here because of a bad shot, not the wind.   It should be out there...

Yesterday I went swimming in the pool here at the house and for a bike ride later in the day.  Swimming was before the scones and the bike ride was after I came out of the scone coma.  It's been years since I've been on a bike and I enjoyed myself.  Candace left her helmet for me to use and it turned out to be too small.  I guess that means I have a big head so I went looking for her husband's.  It was a tad bit too large but it worked.  

That brown air I mentioned earlier?  It's here now.  I just went outside to see if the pond/lake/body of water has whitecaps on it and I'm still trying to get the dirt out of my eyes.  This is what the body of water looks like...

Not quite whitecaps, but it is rising over the edge on the north side of the picture.  I'm pretty sure the white bird is a egret.  

I'm going to post this now and then take the time to get caught up on what you all are doing out there on your blogs.  I'm so far behind.

Loving the weather,


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sunny and Hot...Staying Inside

One thing about me and the sun...I love it when it's out and I don't have to be out in it.  Hence, the title of this post since I've been inside all day.  

Except for a quick trip to check out a store called Fresh and Easy and then the community center here at Sun City Shadow Hills where I checked out a couple books to read.  The store wasn't what I was hoping for but they had neat large cloth grocery bags so I got one.

Before I forget I'd like to welcome my two new followers:  Sara who it appears doesn't have a blog and Glenn from To Simplify... and nomadTunes.  Thanks for joining me.  I'll be hitting the road after I finish this wonderful pet/house sitting that I'm currently doing in Indio, CA.

My potato chips and wine dinner a couple nights ago freaked me out a bit so I spent a lot of time today cooking enough food so that I don't run out for awhile. Tomorrow I'm going to try and find a vegan restaurant called Native Foods Cafe because I understand their food is wonderful and I love vegetarian food.  While I'm not vegetarian I wouldn't find it too difficult to go that way, but I don't see it happening. Two of my favorite restaurants in Tucson are vegetarian and I'll be going to both of them this summer.  

I have to show you what fake grass looks like now.

I remember the first roll of grass I bought back in '93 to place outside my fifth wheel and it sure didn't look like this.  In fact, it looked so bad I bought fancy bricks to cover the dirt and put a fountain out on the bricks and it was pretty nice.  I was permanently located in an RV space so it wasn't a waste of money. 

I just remembered I was going to say something about the Prius I'm driving.  Talk about having to relearn operating a vehicle.   This is good though, it keeps the brain working.  I think it's probably similar to driving a vehicle in England or Australia where they drive on the opposite side of the road from us.  

First of all, this gadget is amazing...

If it's in my purse I just have to push the Power button to start the car, no key is needed...

That would be the round thingy to the left of the vent.  Down below the vent is the other amazing thing.  It stays in this position until I push it to go into drive or reverse and than it pops back to where it is in the picture.  Just below the button that operates the vent is a button with a white letter on it...that would be P for Park.  The way to be sure it's in the right gear is to look at the gauge that doesn't appear until the car is turned on...

It's a long ways away but I'm kind of getting used to it and I think I like it.  I'm not done.  That black gadget I mentioned a couple pictures ago...if I have that with me there's a button on the door handle that I push and it locks the car.  To unlock the drivers door I just have to touch the door handle.  Amazing.  Aaaaaand, it gets 44 mpg.  Wow.

I turned the heater on in the pool so that I can go swimming tomorrow!!!

Loving the sunshine,


Friday, April 15, 2011

First Day Alone...Settling In

This is where I'm sitting as I write this post. It's rough duty but someone has to do it and I'm a most willing participant.  

Warm enough to write outdoors

86 lovely degrees

This is the outside temperature on the patio right now.  It's a lot better than the 40+ degrees back home.  My attire today is shorts, sleeveless top and sandals.  

This is my first day alone as the pet/house sitter.  I started it out, after feeding the animals and myself breakfast, by participating in a Total Body on Ball exercise program at the community gym and it felt pretty good.  Most of it was pretty new to me and I know that I'll go back next week because I enjoyed it.

I belong to 24 Hour Fitness and changed my membership before I left WA so that I could go to the Indio gym for Silver Sneakers.  Turns out they don't have Silver Sneakers so I'm paying to participate in something that doesn't exist nearby.  Bummer.  Obviously, I didn't do my homework.  Doesn't it seem rather strange that a gym, located within blocks of a retirement community, doesn't offer a program for seniors?  At least after two months I can go back to what I originally signed up for.  I'm thinking I might go to the Indio 24 Hour Fitness tomorrow and try out Zumba.  

Returning to the house after exercising was a challenge, even with a map.  This community is huge and all the houses are basically the same color.  I drove and drove and drove, finally making my way back to the community center after not being able to find the house.  I decided to go in the other direction since I couldn't find the street I needed and that turned out to be the right decision.  I don't think I'll make that mistake again, but ya never know.

I desperately needed to go grocery shopping because what I ate yesterday was not good.  I found a bag of potato chips and the left over wine from when the owners were home and that was dinner.  Yuck. Not at all healthy.

For some reason, I've been famished for about a week or so and want to eat everything in sight.  At home I had plenty of healthy food to munch on so it wasn't really a problem.  It was a problem here at first, because I hadn't gone shopping or done any healthy cooking.  That's why the potato chips and wine last night.  

Candace, the mom of the animals I'm caring for, took me to a grocery store my first day here and I bought just a few things to tide me over, which was ok, but my famishness got in the way, hence the scarfing down potato chips, followed by wine.  

I couldn't remember the name of the store we went to so I went searching online. What I remembered was the name began with an H. I found it, wrote down directions and headed off for healthy food.  

I commented in yesterday's post how little traffic there is here.  Well, that changed overnight and it now looks like Seattle traffic followed me down.  Turns out there's a music and arts festival in Coachella Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  I remember reading about it and reminded myself to stay away from the area.  What I didn't know was that I had to drive right through where the festival is going on to get the grocery store.  It also turns out that what felt like half the festival was at the same grocery store!!  I survived, bought healthy food, so no more potato chips and wine for me.

This is the pool at night and it's my favorite color.  

I love the shadows I see in the pool and I've been taking pictures to try and capture what I'm seeing.  I'm not sure that I've really done a good job, but here's what I've come up with.

I really like these cacti and I've included the non-shadow picture below.

These are right next to the spa and I really like the look of them, shadows and real life.  

Someone asked me if I rented a car. The people I'm sitting for are letting me drive their Prius.  I'm being yelled at by Tai Chi to feed him dinner so I'll write about the Prius tomorrow.  That could be a  post all by itself.

I also noticed I have two new followers and I'll thank you tomorrow.  

Loving the weather,


Thursday, April 14, 2011

I Found the Sunshine!!!

The people that I’m pet/house sitting for are wonderful and I’m going to be sorry to see them leave.  Since I’m here to housesit, it’s a given that they have to leave and so they will.  I think I mentioned that I met them through a friend of a friend so we met yesterday for the first time. 

They live in a Del Webb 55+ community in Indio, CA and I’m really liking it.  What I like the most, so far, about the area is the lack of traffic and I don't mean in the Del Webb community, although it's pretty quiet there too.  I was thinking with Palm Springs being a resort area that the traffic would be awful, but there isn’t any!!!  Coming from the Seattle area, that’s almost incomprehensible to me and I think I could get used to it.  I was told that even when the snowbirds are here there isn’t a traffic problem.  That amazes me and boggles my mind. 

Pool in backyard facing golf course
I’m going to be so spoiled by the time I go home.  This is one of the reasons…

and then this... 

Outdoor Spa

I’m in love with the idea of having my own pool in the backyard and when it hits the 90s this weekend I know where I’m going to be!!  Speaking of weather, I saw where it snowed in Bellingham this morning.  That’s north of Seattle, but still, snow on April 14th???? Go figure.  

View from backyard

As I’m writing this post I’m sitting here wearing a short sleeve blouse, sandals, capris, NO LAYERS, and NO GLOVES under a slowly rotating fan.  I didn’t need an electric blanket last night.  I’m feeling blissful.

Tai Chi

Here's one of the reasons I'm here.  This is Tai Chi...short for tiny chihuahua.  

Then there's Leo, a very large 13 lb cat...


And last, but not least...Lu Lu.  She's timid and spends most of her time hiding.  It's a good thing I have a telephoto lens since she was hiding under a chair and I couldn't get any closer to her.  

All in all, I'm feeling wonderful and loving the sunshine and warm weather.  No more complaining about the weather in Seattle.  I imagine  you'll be as glad not to have to read about it as I am glad not to have to be in it.  I know it was time for a change and since Seattle wasn't changing I'm glad I was able to get away.  

Happy in the sun,