Monday, October 17, 2011

Tough Transition from Pacific Northwest to Southwest

Even though I’ve been here just a few days, it has been a tough transition.  First is the heat.  It’s been in the 90s since I got here and it’ll probably be that hot the rest of this week.  The space I’m in at the RV park is awful…

no side to side parking for me.  They won’t let me move into a different space either.  Tucson is looking shabby to me.  Maybe it’s the graffiti that I’m not used to seeing and haven’t seen for awhile but which is prolific here.  Maybe it’s the beige dirt that I haven’t gotten used to yet. 

Practically from the start I’ve been perfecting my version of “shoot myself in the foot” syndrome.   I was out driving looking for rentals when I went to an area that draws me.  There was a house for sale with a terrific view of the Catalina Mountains and an end unit.  For some reason I called a realtor I’ve worked with many times in the past to check it out.  Huh???  For Sale does not mean For Rent/Lease.  Fortunately, it was way too large and an offer had already been made on it. 

This realtor I’ve dealt with is like a Mack truck and I’d forgotten that about her.  Anyway, next thing I know we’re looking at houses for sale.  Whaaaaat???  While she gave me a list of rentals to check out, she works in sales, so we looked at houses for sale.  So much for the best laid plans.  I managed to convince her that I’m not into buying, that I want to be foot loose and fancy free, especially now that my house is leased for a year. 

It’s a good thing I was able to realize that I needed to get some rest prior to making any serious decisions.  However, being as close to the train tracks as this park is, sleep has been optional.  I finally gave up on the couch…it’s just too short, not that I’m that tall, but it’s shorter than I am.  The up above bed is doing ok and I’ve been able to get some sleep between trains. 

I started driving around looking for a new RV park yesterday.  I get really irritated when the weight limit on dogs is 20 lbs.  I think the dogs that weigh the least make the most noise.  Just because my dog weighs almost 80 lbs doesn’t make him a problem dog. 

One place that I decided to check out is a 55+ park…the Voyager RV Resort.  It’s close to I-10 at exit 270 but far enough away that I don’t think traffic noise will be an issue.  I don’t think there’s a train track in sight, either.  It’s also enormous, as in over 1,500 spaces.  A lot of the spaces are Park Models.  There is also a separation from people with dogs and people without.

I think it’s similar to a Del Webb community, only for RVers.  Like I said above, it’s enormous, i.e., mass humanity, and it has lots of activities.  The ones I’m interested in are Beginners Line Dance, exercise classes, Mah Jongg and because glass fusion is an interesting name I think I might check it out. 

They also have a restaurant, bar and grill, health clinic, pet grooming, a day spa, massage, etc., etc.  Since this is similar to what I’ve been looking for when I was checking out Del Webb communities, I’m going to at least give it a month and see what I think. 

I’m thinking it’ll be a good way to meet other RVers because we’ll (me maybe) be around for awhile.  Athena, the lady at the registration desk, and I had a tough time finding me a space that wasn’t reserved for later in the year, should I decide I really like it and want to stay longer, but we managed after I kept driving around and getting space numbers I hoped would work. 

I know, I know, I said I was going to rent a place for a year because of my dog having difficulty getting up and down steps.  Well, we’ve worked out a routine where I’m doing all the work but at least he’s able to get in and out of Olivia. 

Before I decided on the Voyager, I considered renting a house, especially because of all the stuff I’ve shipped down.  Which is a whole other issue to be addressed.  Having stayed at a few RV parks on my way down here I realized how friendly most RV people are.  If I rent a house, I won’t be around people like in an RV park and there probably won’t be activities on site.  Fortunately, on the way to the RV park is a storage facility and they have space available.  I know because I stopped by and checked.  That’ll take care of my stuff on the way down. 

I have a dilemma and I don’t think it has anything to do with my tendency towards shooting myself in the foot.  The longer I’m in Olivia, the smaller she gets.  I have a bunch of stuff in the back of my Volvo that I can’t put anywhere (mostly clothes) because there’s no room.  When I move tomorrow I’m going to drive Olivia to the RV park and then take a taxi back to where I’m at now because I can’t tow my Volvo behind her.  It’s about 15 miles so that will be an expensive ride.  My head whirls with ideas and possibilities.  Do I get a larger RV so I can tow my Volvo?  Do I keep renting a space so that I can take off in Olivia and leave my Volvo behind?  Is there another option that I haven’t thought about?  I truly like driving Olivia and I wonder if I would feel that way about a Class A.  I know there were times on the way down when I would have liked to have had more power.  Diesel costs a whole lot more than regular gas.  I know, I know, Olivia is a lot smaller so there is probably quite a difference overall price wise. 

I'm looking forward to moving to the new RV park tomorrow.  Maybe I'll get a social life for awhile.  I'll either love it there or hate it.  But I'm going to give it a month to see what happens.  




  1. Why can't u tow the Volvo with Olivia?

  2. I think renting a class A before changing RV's would be a good idea, or get a park model(more space for your stuff) in that community - rather than renting. If you stay in an RV park long term, you could probably install some type of deck for your dog to make it easier for him to get into your RV.

  3. I think the suggestion of a park model is great. If you can find one to rent. It would give you some room, the dog a firm ground, and the experience of being part of an RV community.

  4. I love the Voyager park - great folks! My dad had a mobile home in the development next door, and I would stay at the motel at the Voyager whenever I would visit him. There are activities GALORE, and the restaurant is a good value too! I think you'll enjoy your time there, and I hope it allows you some comfort while you get things thought through...

  5. sounds like once again you have some decisions to make!..good know what to do that will work for you and your pooch!

  6. That comment you made about the area being a bit of a disappointment and, "Maybe it’s the beige dirt" made me chuckle. When I think of Arizona I think brown. I was somewhat surprised when you said that you wanted to move to Tuscon. Personally I need lots of greenery as well as blue water. I hope you find your special place. Keep looking and don't settle.

  7. Jeana, I live in between both places, I am willing to help you out I can meet you at the voyager and drive you back to the Prince for your other vehicle. 520-262-8987 A cab will cost a fortune. I am having a repair guy for the tv sometime between 8-12 but I can get someone to wait for him and leave them a check in case there is a charge.

  8. I always check out RV Park Reviews before I decide on a place...

  9. Hi Jeana,
    I'm having so many thoughts about your post. You are definitely transitioning. I haven't stayed at the Voyager but family members have and they have enjoyed it. My father-in-law rented one of the park models there for a brief period and liked it. Is there a park model that you could rent while there that would make your stay a bit more comfortable? I like the little resturant. A friend use to work there as a waitress. Her name is Joy and if you happen to meet her, please tell her that Levonne said hi. I'm wondering how I might be able to help. I know that when Tucson is covered with graffiti, it can be depressing. As you know, the government structures and services have been greatly reduced due to the recession and tax income reductions. So no more shining city with the graffiti removal trucks. I think that basically, you'll need to get yourself somewhere that you want to be in the City that is a respite for you, then give yourself time to settle in. It's going to cool off soon I'm sure and it will feel lots better. What kind of experience are you looking for there? Do you want to create a community for yourself? Do you want to feel like you're on vacation? What things would you like to get involved with? I'd say to try to reconnect with your dream for being there and see how far you are from the dream. Hang in there. Transitions are always stress filled. So many decisions and so much change.

  10. We have stayed at the Voyager and loved it. You can be as busy as you want to be. My suggestion is go check out some Class A's and take some for a test drive on/off the freeway, down residential streets, in/out parking lots, etc. Take your time. And enjoy your new adventure.