We left gorgeous Cave Creek and headed for Lake Pleasant RV Park and Marina, about 35 minutes NW of downtown Phoenix. The first evening was gorgeous, so Richard and I rode our bikes down to the marina. The marina was lovely and at the end of a long walk over the lake, there was a great bar and grill. Because of the time of year, and because the winter was so wet, the flowers are blooming like crazy!
Down at the restaurant, we did not hesitate to pose in our finest bathing suits, along with about half the people that were there. We also enjoyed the humorous signs at the restaurant – over all a very fun place to dine!
On our second day there, we received a call from our realtor. You know it’s not good when she starts out saying, “I have bad news”….yikes. Well, we found out that the lot we selected was too short to have our home plan with an extended garage, which we need so that the BAT (Big Ass Truck) can fit in it. Thankfully, we had changed our plans so that we had an extended stay at Lake Pleasant which is about 20 minutes away from where our new home will be. This allowed us to go back and forth to view properties, sign papers, etc.
The next day we headed over there and looked at lots that WOULD accept the larger garage. Long story short, we found another lot, directly behind the first one that is 10′ longer, and faces south, which after some thought, we decided we’d like better anyway. And because it was their mistake, they gave us a nice credit in price toward the larger property. So all in all, this turned out to be quite the blessing and we are very happy with the outcome!
Halfway in to the week, our dear friend Brooke flew out to assist us in the 2-day Design appointment, where we would pick out everything, I mean EVERYTHING that is going in to that house.
From faucets to tile to flooring to insulation to home security systems to appliances, you name it. Brooke was a godsend. She is practical but has such a creative eye and really helped us. Richard and I are both not very good at this and we could have easily been overwhelmed. There is absolutely no hard sell at these appointments, but the Shea company has this very well thought out and it’s difficult to navigate through this without spending a boatload of bucks. I’m very blessed in that Richard is so handy and can do a lot of this stuff himself (i.e. under the cabinet lighting in the kitchen, replacing their “standard” faucets with our own store-bought ones, etc.)
Still, all in, we managed to spend about 20% of the cost of the house to outfit it the way we want. For anyone considering this type of lifestyle, it is absolutely well worth it, but you need to go in armed and educated! We were so focused on doing this appointment that we forgot to take photos, but thankfully, Brooke got one of us working with our designer, Regina, who was also terrific in helping us out.
After Day 1 of our appointment, Brooke, Richard and I met some other friends, the Haakenson’s, in Cave Creek for dinner. It was great to connect with them!
Maggie Mae came with us not only through the all day appointment, but to dinner as well. She was a champ, happily hanging out in her pet carrier for most of the time.
This picture shows how tired she was by the end of the day!
Brooke left to go back home to WA and Richard and I had one more day at Pleasant Lake RV Park. We spent it buried in spreadsheets and analysis, trying to ensure that we have everything we want for the home without breaking the bank. We are close! Next up, we begin the trek toward the Grand Canyon – a week in Prescott, then a week in Sedona, where we hope to connect with my cousin Linda, then a week spent in and around the Grand Canyon. We will put the home out of our minds for a bit. They will break ground in about 30 days, we need to come back in July-ish timeframe for our first inspection and to approve the granite slab for the kitchen (OMG it’s amazing!). We will likely be back one more time before the final walk-through and closing which is currently scheduled for early October. We will spend some time moving in and then hit the road again for another month or so, as we are planning on spending the holidays with our son and daughter-in-law Michael and Ryanne in Florida.
This is quite the detour from what we originally planned, but we believe this was the right decision for us at this juncture in our lives.
As for me, I’ve taken to retirement like a duck to water. I can’t believe how easy it’s been to move from working full-time to overnight being unemployed. I must’ve been really ready for it. And besides, I’m on the road with my best friend and partner-in-crime!
This week, you will find us at the Point of Rocks Campground in Prescott, nestled under some trees with some amazing rocks to explore. Stay tuned!