Wednesday, November 5, 2014

On the Road Again. . .off to “Play House”

Hail, rain, gray skies and gusty winds – the combination made a perfect send-off from the Pacific Northwest last week as we kicked off the first of our ‘travel season’ adventures.




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Pinnacle Peak - Scottsdale, Arizona
 The High Plains Drifters, our nom de blog, when we head to the Southwest set forth on our journey last week. Our destination: our Phoenix/Scottsdale Arizona timeshare homes where we have taken up residence for the better part of this month.

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Snoqualmie Pass - Washington State
Our route took us over the Cascade Mountain range then through Yakima and Walla Walla Valleys and past the Tri Cities, in all a nice long stretch of Washington State’s Wine Country.  No time to sample any though as we were headed across the Columbia River and into Oregon before stopping for the night in Baker City, Oregon. A town so charming that it is deserving of an entire blog post - one that will be forthcoming in future weeks.




Statue of Meriwether Lewis seeking directions from local Chief - Capitol grounds Boise
Our second night was spent in Boise, known as the City of Trees -- a most appropriate name for this city, the capital of the state of Idaho. We sliced through the southern tip of the state and headed for Utah.


We took a route through Utah and were blown-away (literally and figuratively) by both its vast beauty and emptiness AND its strong winds! Our third night was spent in southern Utah - Cedar City - where we were awakened by a storm in the middle of the night. The winds howled and shrieked from 2 a.m. on and as we left town we saw signs and dumpsters toppled by the strong winds. Luckily we missed the snow forecast to fall later in the day.

Arizona Spring 2012 131We undertook our journey at a leisurely pace, so we didn’t arrive in Arizona until the fourth day.

Saturday night was spent in Camp Verde, in northeast Arizona so that we could time our arrival in Phoenix to coincide with the early afternoon check-in at the Marriott Canyon Villas, our home for our first week.

Regulars here know that we’ve become sold on the timeshare-vacation-home approach to life.  It allows us to ‘live’ in Arizona in the fall and to move our Hawaiian ‘residence’ in the winter.








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Our home - Marriott Vacation Club Canyon Villas - Phoenix, Arizona
Because we traded a studio week that we own at the Marriott KoOlina in Hawaii, we are spending our first week in a spacious one-bedroom condo at its sister Vacation Club here. Next week we will move to our Four Seasons timeshare home.

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An Arizona Afternoon
I call our timeshare time, ‘playing house’ because we do spend our days much as we do back in the Pacific Northwest:  time at the gym, time writing, time reading, doing grocery shopping, cooking, doing laundry . . .plain old every day retirement living.

What we don’t do are chores and cleaning, repairs and upgrades – those things are handled by staff. Isn’t that a nice concept? All that in exchange for an annual maintenance fee which we gladly pay!

Arizona Spring 2012 127 In fact this ‘playhouse’ allows us the time to do nothing – a luxury even in retired life. We can hop in the car and take excursions on a whim (the kind we put off in the Northwest because we have chores to do.)

Sometimes we do nothing more than laze at poolside or watch the wild bunnies that scamper through the grounds. . .

. . .and that is far more fun than watching rain and hail fall up north!


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On the Road in Nevada

Have you taken any road trips lately? If so where did you go? Let us know in the comments below or shoot us an email.

Happy and safe Travels to you and thanks so much for the time you spent with us today! Hope to see you back again next week! Bear with the looks of the blog until I get the hang of using our new Surface - that we purchased just before the trip. I've not yet downloaded Windows Live Writer so you are seeing a mishmash of blog layout. . .I had another mosaic that I managed to kill out or lose somewhere. . .oh, the joys of technology~

We are linking up with these fun blogs – drop by for some great armchair getaways:

Travel Photo Thursday – Budget Traveler’s Sandbox 
Travel Inspiration – Reflections En Route 
Travel Photo Monday – Travel Photo Discovery 
Mosaic Monday – Lavender Cottage Gardening

30 comments:

  1. Lordy! Will you and Joel just adopt me? I'm terribly sorry that you have those horrible choices between Hawaii and Arizona, Jackie *wink*! I love road trips but haven't been on any recently for obvious reasons. I hope all is well with you two! :)

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    1. We took our first real road trip after we lost the second of our 'boys' as I have written you about Mike. We had to get out of the house. And with no 'boys' at home to welcome us back we find that it just gets easier and easier to be gone. Do take care!

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  2. Retirement living without the chores?! Yes, please!;-)

    Have the best time!

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    1. Yes, Jess, it is a joy to not be working on yards and driveways and leaf cleanup etc. for at least a few weeks a year. . .it really is a home away from home!

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  3. We love timeshare too! Spent 10 weeks last year in Mazatlan and loved having full maid service twice a week and having my linens changed every few days!!
    Love road trips too.

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    1. Oh Jackie I remember your posts from Mexico but didn't realize you were living a 'timeshare' life there as we do. Sounds like you are like us - you love the lifestyle!! Glad to meet others who do. Thanks for writing~

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  4. You both live quite the high life! No chores sounds just fine by me. And that wind you that experienced sounds quite a lot like our Provencal Mistral...
    Enjoy...
    xo
    Heather :)

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    1. That is so interesting you should say that Heather because at one point Joel said to me, "Do you suppose this is anything like the Mistral that we've heard about?". Glad you confirmed that for us! And thanks for stopping by ~ always nice to see a comment from you! xxx Jackie

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  5. Seems like you did a reverse of the road trip I had planned to take. Instead a flight to Portland and a quick road trip to Bandon. Tomorrow fly back to the warm and dry AZ where I look forward to my rolling home parked for the winter. Unfortunately there will be chores.

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    1. Gaelyn as we came into Phoenix from the north I said to Joel that had you been 'en state' I would have insisted we find you on our way down here. Sounds like you had a great time in Oregon though and missed last week's cold snap here! Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. thank you for the road trip. We have never tried time-share, but it is an interesting concept, especially if you get to stay in places as beautiful as this.
    I look forward to seeing your continuing adventure. Happy travels. And thank you for stopping by my blog this week.

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    1. And thanks back to you Jill for stopping by here. We are enjoying this timeshare life of ours - sort of a nomadic feel to it and not too 'retirement living' which is what I do like! See you soon ~ at your blog!

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  7. Hi Jackie! I love seeing the US through your lens. What I have seen of Washington State I love, and you have shown me so much more than that here. You condo looks lovely. Enjoy your weeks of no chores! Thanks for linking up this week. #TPThursday

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Nancie! You must get back to Washington State and set aside at least a day and I'll give you an insider's tour! Congrats again on the big 200!!

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  8. I love following your retirement life. I want to be you guys when I retire :) What a great way to enjoy life on the road. I've been hearing of torrential downpours in the Pacific NW from friends so I'm glad you're basking in the sun now. Safe travels!

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    1. Mary, you will likely be just like us because you've made travel a goal - we did that early on as well and squeezed in as much as we could while working and saved like crazy so we could do this when not holding down those 8 to 5 jobs. Thanks so much for the visit and the comment! See you back again soon I hope!

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  10. Playing house in that cozy vacation club in sunny Arizona sounds like a fairytale! The pic of Joel sitting on the bench in that wonderfully warm sunshine, surrounded by the beauty of nature, with that lovely, wispy tree in the background and adorable bunnies scurrying about, visiting all their neighbours is pure storybook serenity. What page can I come in on?:))

    Happy Sunday!

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    1. I loved that photo you reference Poppy because it is a garden setting at the JW Marriott hotel (near us) and we go there to watch 'the critters' - bunnies and birds. The hotel pipes in Native American music - that haunting stuff of flutes and melodies and it really does take us far from reality into, as you said, storybook serenity! Happy day to you, my friend! Hugs, Jackie

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  11. Timeshares can be a fun way to vacation, every year. You are in the right place at the right time with the arctic storm coming this week--I doubt AZ will be effected. Enjoy your vacation!

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    1. Well Pat we just missed the first snow in Boise on our way down and it rained in northern AZ, but we are lucky and it has finally warmed up here -- believe it or not, it was chilly when we arrived -- now we are in the 80's! Yay! Thanks for your visit!!

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  12. I'd say you two have found the good life Jackie. We have a road trip coming up the end of January when we travel to Florida to rent a house. Normally we rent a condo but this place kind of fell into our laps. (friend of a friend owns it) We'll have our own pool in the back for daily exercise and it comes with a pool boy once a week. :-)
    Thank you for linking to Mosaic Monday.

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    1. Oh Judith I do hope you'll be telling us about your time in Florida on your blog! I love that idea of pool and pool boy to take care of it! Thanks for stopping by!

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  13. How wonderful to get away for a while and just BE. :-) Your playing house sounds exquisite to me. :-)

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    1. I was just thinking of you and wondering what you were up to! Thanks for stopping by and have a great week~hugs to you! Jackie

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  14. Jackie, Jim and I love a good road trip. We go on them all the time. It's the way we travel best. Love your itinerary...sounds like so much fun. Thanks again for linking up with #wkendtravelinspiration!

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    1. We do love the luxury of road trips when I can fill the trunk and the back seat with gear and stuff that I don't have the luxury of taking with me when we fly! And we did find that it was cheaper to drive from Seattle to Phoenix - even with the cost of overnights and gas - than had we rented a car down here for three weeks. Their rental prices are ridiculously high! Thanks for the inspiration Corinne!

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  15. A nice leisurely trip to enjoy as well as your destination.

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    1. Yes, it was Donna. Felt a little bit long on our third day when we traveled the length of Utah, but other than that it was good!

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