Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Retirement Living...Tucson Arizona as a choice!

Catalina Mountains
the photographers dream
come true!

Saguaro Cactus
growing under the nurse tree.

Nogale, Sonora, Mexico
Market Bargains

Spring Training

March 2008
Green and brown...these are the two colors we live with. In Oregon on the west side of that state we live with rain. That makes everything very green and lush...year around. We love the smell of things growing when we return home in the late spring. Flowers bloom with wild abandon and moss grows on the north side of the trees.
In Arizona the earth turns brown in the winter and the only green to be seen are beautiful cactus. But the sun shines...a lot. We golf in January, February, March and April. We go back to Oregon in May. The rain is not a problem. We have just enough cold weather to allow us to set our seasonal alarm clocks.

The culture of the two places reflect the weather in many ways. Oregon is a very green, liberal state in a lot of ways. Conservation, recycling and public transportation is very big, at least in the metropolitan parts of the state. The eastern side of the state is more an agricultural region, making it more conservative by nature. That part of the population is comparatively small and the laws in the state reflect that truth. The state is a beautiful tourist mecca drawing people from around the world. The Columbia Gorge, Central Oregon mountains, Willamette Valley verdant landscape and Pacific Ocean coast line provides something for everyone. Whether you want to ski, lay on a sandy beach or stay in a fine hotel near theaters and shopping the state has it all for you. Bicycling both in the down town part of Portland and on beautiful mountain trails make life for enthusiast very good. Outdoor sports are a big part of the culture. However, a cosmopolitan almost European feel pervades the Portland area. Restaurants, theaters, transportation and shopping all reflect that atmosphere.

In Arizona, the outdoors draw everyone in the winter. Seniors flock to the state to enjoy the benefits of an active lifestyle while their northern homes are locked in winters grasp. The state is a very conservative one and struggles to keep it's head above water given the fact that taxes are low and there is a huge segment of their population that is low income level workers. But in spite of that the cultural influence of the Hispanic community is one of the things that draws people to the area. The art work, food and local missions hold a great deal of appeal. Tucson, AZ is just a short one hour drive from Nogales, Mexico. The artwork is beautiful and the fun of bargaining makes a day drive even more enjoyable. It is a very casual, small town feel even though both Tucson and Phoenix are huge cities.

If you are fan of baseball, Arizona is a wonderful short vacation stop either in Phoenix or Tucson. Spring training starts toward the end of February and ends at the end of March. The parks are small and you can see some very good baseball in a small stadium for not very much money. We love it.

But the place we see the greatest difference between Oregon and Arizona is in the style of housing, the colors used to decorate and the landscaping use around businesses and homes. The water is precious and the summers are hot....very hot. Monsoon season can be a very interesting time of year when storm rage of the area and water rushes down the dry washes from bank to bank. We have never been here to witness it but we have been told stories that might frighten you. In fact the roads have low lying areas to allow for drainage and Arizona posts signs warning you not to enter when there is water present. They will fine you if they have to help you out. The law has been dubbed "The Dumb Tourist Law". Figure that one out!

Even though we feel like split personalities, this life style truly has enriched our lives in ways we did not even imagine. I would recommend it to any retired couple. Come on down and see us.

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