Monday, December 7, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas ... in the Desert

I’m embarrassed to see that my last posting was November 1st, and here it is December 7th and I’m finally back to the blog …. how time flies when you’re having fun.

What have we been up to? Quite a bit, actually. In a nutshell, here’s the recap:


- House Hunting and Purchase
- Visiting – Family, old friends, and new friends
- Hiking
- Golfing
- Sporting Events (Football, Hockey)
- Concert (KISS)
- Grey Cup Weekend
- Shopping

A little more detail on each ….

House Hunting and Purchase:

God bless our realtor Kristy - we had her log many, many miles in our search for investment property in Phoenix, with never a complaint. As we were unsure of what area(s) we wanted to narrow our search to, we had her show us properties in Mesa, Queen Creek, Glendale and Maricopa.

We put in one informal and two formal offers before receiving an acceptance on a house in Queen Creek. It’s a very nice house – 1909 square feet, 4 bedrooms/2 baths, with a large backyard, nice pool, and outdoor barbeque/bar/fire pit. The house is in great shape – ‘move-in ready’ as the realtors say.

The deal was to close December 15th. We have had, however, one major hiccup with the deal. After opening an account with Chase Bank, we requested a wire transfer of funds from our Credit Union back home. I was advised that the transfer would take 2-5 days. Unfortunately, after 6 business days, it now appears that our funds are floating aimlessly in cyberspace somewhere. Stress. We’re praying they show up Monday, or we will be faced with having to put in a claim with the Credit Union, who doesn’t seem to be all that sympathetic to our situation.

Now begins the madness – furnishing an entire house. Terry and I are both scratching our heads over the fact that ….. hmmm …. didn’t we just get rid of an entire house full of all that stuff about a year ago??

So the new house has lovingly earning the title of “The Money Pit”, and rather than spending our time doing fun things like golfing or hiking, we are wandering bleary-eyed through furniture, appliance, electronic and department stores in dogged pursuit of all the trappings needed to make the house a home. (Pictures of house to follow.)

Visiting …

We’ve had a lot of fun spending time with friends and family. We’ve had a great time golfing, ‘happy houring’ etc. with Harvey and Carol Robb. We’ve visited Marlys and Erlin Kaiser, Janet and Granite, Bruce and Mary Bieber – all from Olds. We hung out with ‘the cousins’ from Saskatchewan.

Sister Judy and buddy Wendy flew out for a 6-day visit, and we fit a lot of touring/golfing/visiting/shopping into those days.
A group of Terry’s buddies from Olds made a trip out to take in some hockey/NFL football/Nascar events, and we managed a visit while they were here.

Our buddies from Penticton - Adrian and Brenda Thompson – stayed at our park before heading further south. Old friends Kelly and Carolyn Martin stopped by for drinks.

So we’ve obviously not been lonely ….


I’ve linked up with a hiking group from the park. Hikes are scheduled for Monday mornings, and I’ve managed to take in three hikes so far. The hikes have been fairly close in proximity to the park, and not too challenging in difficulty. Views have been lovely, and obviously very different from our hikes back home.

No sign of any ‘creatures’ so far, although there is a lot of evidence of their presence. I see many, many holes along the trails, but don’t know if they house rattle snakes, lizards, geckos, scorpions, tarantulas …. nor do I care to find out.


With all the house madness, we have not been golfing much recently. However, since our arrival we have been able to golf both the 9 and 18-hole courses at our park, along with Johnson Ranch, the Links of Queen Creek, and the Duke at Rancho Eldorado in Maricopa. Nice courses.

My game was coming along nicely until last week, when I managed to hit both a house and a car while golfing the 9-hole course in the park. Good job Sandy.

Sporting Events:

We’ve taken in an NFL football game (Cardinals vs. Sea Hawks), and a hockey game (Coyotes vs. Flames). Both the football stadium and hockey arena are amazing venues. The stadium roof opens, and the grass is real – it is rolled outside after each game and rolled back in game day.

There is also a fantastic shopping/dining area between the stadium and the arena.

It was really interesting to see how many Flames fans wore their jerseys at the Coyote/Flames game.

We definitely outnumbered the Coyote fans!

Partied Like ‘Rock Stars’ ….

After hearing rave reviews of the KISS concert from Kevin and Kathy, us old farts decided to attend their Phoenix concert. They have a lot of die-hard fans, and it was quite neat to see them decked out in their face paint and KISS uniforms. If Terry and I can figure out how to get the pictures off of our cell phones and into our computers, I’ll post some pictures taken at the concert.

Grey Cup ’09:

Not wanting to miss the Grey Cup festivities in Calgary, Terry and I flew back home last Friday. Mother Nature obviously wanted to make a point with us, so we arrived to a storm. The roads were like a skating rink, and the traffic had slowed to a grinding halt along virtually every roadway in and around the city.

We were supposed to meet up with Kathy and Kevin, and stay with them and Lyle at Dwayne and Corey Rowland’s house in Springbank. However, the roads were so bad Judy ended up picking us up, and all three of us stayed at the Hilton close to the airport.

Taxis were non-existent, so the C-Train ended up being our primary means of transportation. We joined Kathy, Kevin, Wendy, Rod and Lyle downtown for the festivities and 54-40 concert Friday night, then met again the next morning for the Grey Cup Parade. That evening we took in the concert at the Saddledome, which featured a number of Canadian performers, including Great Big Sea.

With the Calgary Stampeders out of the Grey Cup, Terry made the decision to sell his Grey Cup tickets to a Saskatchewan fan for a fairly tidy profit. Myself and ‘the boys’ watched the Grey Cup game from the comfort of the Rowland home in Springbank. Great game, unless you were cheering for the ‘Riders!

Back to Phoenix:

We flew home Monday. Since then, we continue to wait for the wire transfer from the Credit Union (GRRRRR), and shop for house contents.

It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas around Phoenix. The park itself is quite pretty, with a different theme for every street.

You’ll all be happy to know that the weather is cooling off here as well. As I type this Monday morning the outside temperature is 13 degrees Celsius. We even had rain early yesterday morning. We’re back wearing our jeans, and having to wear a jacket in the evening. We are comforted, however, in seeing that the weather back home is a horrific minus 29 degrees Celsius!!

Hopefully my next blog posting will take place in our house – cross your fingers for us!

1 comment:

Prince said...

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