Tag Archives: TowerPoint Resort

3 Best Things About Mesa AZ

A really neat thing about full-time RVing is our ability to live in our RV anywhere on the continent for however long we want (more or less). There are, we think, more places to try than we could sample in thirty-five years or more. In fairness we might need to try and stay a shorter time each place, maybe like Rob and Jan did in their very cool tour of 50 national parks, the original Sprinter Tour.

We do our best and find ourselves sticking down roots for weeks and sometimes months in favorite places. Gosh, before you know it we could up and buy a lot and find a builder and start roughing in utilities even! Nah! Been there, fooled that already. We really do want to keep sampling around and are excited about all the places we haven’t even seen.

Two and one-half years ago we tried TowerPoint Resort in Mesa AZ upon invitation from full-timers Bob and Faith. We knew them from attending WBCCI “Internationals”, airstream annual meetings. We’d had fun with them and accepted their invite to try out this place in Mesa for a month.

A month turned into six weeks so I could compete on the club’s team in the East Valley tennis league. A year later we committed for three months of winter at TowerPoint. Between flying back east for a wedding then a high school reunion then family Christmas we only spent six weeks at TowerPoint.

This year we committed for five months. Wow, that’s a big deal for us. We hadn’t stayed anywhere five months since we started on this odyssey almost five years ago. And we did get itchy feet midway and towed our home into the desert at Quartzsite AZ. Worth it, preserved our sanity and maybe our reputation for being travelers still.

Even after five months stay, we do love Mesa and the resort. We promised to tell the three best things we’ll really miss about the West and why we’ll look forward to getting back there this autumn. The following are not in any particular order, they are the top three favorite things we think about Mesa AZ.

Number 1
We’re still eating avocados, oranges, and grapefruit from Mesa AZ. We had these freely available all winter and they keep well too. Avocados are between $0.33 and $0.88 all the time for nice-sized ones. Oranges and grapefruit were free to us throughout most of March but were between $0.25 and $0.35 each at the stores. We’ve not eaten better ones either.

We’ll look forward to all the fresh produce at Superstition Ranch Produce across from TowerPoint Resort, the fresh veggies, bulk foods and fun lagers at Sprouts Supermarkets, and the general groceries at Fry’s.

Number 2
Our friends. Sure, we are lucky to make friends everywhere we go. We have found true what so many others also learn about resort community life. We share so many activities on daily basis, whether playing tennis or learning a foreign language or just enjoying the weather together.

The always sunny and almost always warm weather has a lot to do with how this works at TowerPoint Resort — we have countless opportunities to meet and greet and talk with our friends and neighbors. We enjoy it and can see in the faces of so many people how much they enjoy it too.

Number 3
Winter tennis in the southwest can’t be beat. There are more opportunities to play than anyone can take advantage of. The weather is incredibly cooperative — one of our sixteen weekly matches was rained out and we rescheduled and played it four days later. Yes, sixteen weeks of matches and we had one rain-out for my team.

Our courts are lit so we can play until 10pm if we want. We have two hundred members in our resort’s tennis club and thousands in our East Valley tennis league. Finding a game is always a cinch. Even easier is finding enjoyable tennis to watch — our club has scheduled team matches every morning Monday through Friday November 10 through March 10.

We try to play tennis year-round. But this is like living at the tennis club — our house, when we’re parked at TowerPoint, is less than 100 yards from the tennis complex. Tennis doesn’t get any more inviting or easy to engage in. We’ll look forward to the nice tennis club, the facilities, and the great people not only in the tennis club but in the entire resort.

There are many more reasons to love living in Mesa AZ. If we told you more than these three reasons then you would want to move there and it might get crowded. Besides, I’m already over 750 words. Good night.

Jim and Deb, the dreamstreamrs
locate us here
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©2007-2012 Dreamstreamr

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Dear Mom

We’re still at TowerPoint Resort in Mesa AZ. Enough going on to keep us interested. Zero bugs (scorpions aren’t bugs, right?) Low humidity and dewpoint mean we can, or not, use insulated cups for our drinks — the drinks can’t sweat regardless. It’s just too dry for condensing moisture. The low temperature a few nights ago was 40 here and 7 in Flagstaff, and our daytime temp made it to 70. What a great place for winter weather.

We awoke to rain several mornings earlier this week, sort of rare for around here. Sure, we get a sprinkle now and then. But to have an entire morning of rain? There’s nowhere for it to go, the resort is probably 75 percent pavement and has no retention pond other than the tennis courts area. So a river runs down our street and down into the tennis courts. Unfortunately the rain didn’t let up before the courts filled up on the second day of rain. We ended up with between one and two inches of rain in Mesa in under two days.

Rain doesn’t interfere with much for us. My tennis team match was rained out two weeks ago and later the same day other teams were able to practice on the same courts. We rescheduled for four days later, played the match, no problems. And missed a practice this week but had clear weather for our Thursday match.

Sometimes we think we’re pretty busy before we step back and look at what’s really going on. We read the paper Sunday and after church Debbie hit the tennis courts for almost three hours of doubles. I pedaled across the street to another resort to visit with friends and help Jim KB0U get to know his Yaesu ham radio better.

Upon my return we had a visitor, Melissa, who stopped because she saw the NOMADS door signs on our truck. Melissa also is a full-timer and volunteers with NOMADS like we do but we hadn’t met before. We had a nice visit comparing some of our work projects and locations and hope to talk again.

By now it was time for me to run to the courts and practice. I had reserved court time and the ball machine for an hour. While I waited for Darren and Jan to finish their time with the ball machine I practiced serving balls on another court. Then I spent a wonderful hour hitting almost 1,000 balls, cross-court, cross-court, cross-court, cross-court, DOWN THE LINE! Rinse and repeat. . .

Backhand ten times, forehand ten times, backhand ten times, forehand ten times. Sounds repetitious, right? Finally I changed it, hit nothing but volleys for the last basketful of balls. The machine only tattooed me once, it shot a ball right at me at the net and somehow the ball avoided all my strings and the racquet frame. I usually don’t get hit by balls — gosh, it hurt!

The practice is paying off. I read somewhere, in whatever we want to learn and do well, we should work very intentionally and “over learn”. Over-learning is to practice something over and over again until it becomes almost automatic. When you need the skill you confidently let it rip, says the teacher. Last year I lacked confidence in my topspin hits. My confidence is up and now the ball sometimes even goes where it’s supposed to.

Oh yeah, I was talking about how busy we might or might not be? Sunday was pretty typical for us, visiting with friends and playing tennis and Debbie and me spending time with each other. Six days every week we can watch tennis matches in our resort’s tennis complex and we could play every day but try to give our arms and shoulders a break from the action.

Almost every week there’s some sort of street party or potluck in the resort. We spent last Thursday afternoon at the resort-sponsored party with free burgers and beverages and dance music. We line-danced, had fun with a lot of swing music, had a few slow dances. Not a lot of people were on the dance floor but we don’t care, we have fun.

Saturdays we often go hiking with tennis friends. Phoenix has great hiking in the hills all around. We’ve hiked in state and county parks on three or four Saturdays and are so fortunate to have Bill (my tennis partner) willing to lead the hikes. He knows his way around and always provides a nice five or six mile hike for the small group.

Sitting here writing I forgot all about my nine o’clock ham radio network. Rats! I have another one at ten and another one at three every afternoon, if I can just remember. Bob w7iry and I have been playing around with the club’s FLEX 3000, a really neat software-defined ham radio. It’s a challenge running ham radio without visible antennas, but we don’t want to create problems for the resort or our neighbors so we try to not call attention to ourselves.

Some mornings, according to my neighbors on one side, they’ve heard talking on their stereo radio speakers. Which is kind of odd — they say the stereo radio wasn’t turned on. I guess I’ll invite them to keep a brief log of when it happens, date and time, and I’ll compare it to my ham radio log. D’ya think the logs will match? We’ll see and experiment from there to solve it.

The resort has a sewing and quilting room, a lapidary room, a woodworking shop, a nice library, ping-pong tables, billiard tables, dance lessons, and classes in conversational Spanish. We’ve attended the Spanish classes twice weekly for six weeks and are coming along okay so far. Leslie is a great profesora, trying to drag our wild bunch of seniors along into a fun new language.

We haven’t spent much time at the pool so far. The swimming pools are gorgeous and the chaise lounges are comfortable, nice music piped in for the pool decks, lots of nice people to talk with. When the weather is best, really nice sunny days, we like to be at the tennis courts.

I guess the conflict of interest between the tennis courts and swimming pools sort of sums up our “time situation” pretty well. We aren’t so busy as just doing a lot of what we want to almost every day. The weather is generally outstanding. And there’s so much we can do. We can’t complain about being too busy — but it does seem like we don’t have time to do everything we’d like to.

We hope this finds you all well and enjoying the run-up to the holidays. We’re sorry we haven’t written before now — we do think about you and want to write. I feel like we have been dropped into funland and almost can’t get enough every day. There are no good excuses on this end and we will try to be better about staying in touch.

We’re so lucky we don’t have any more serious concerns than time management. Life is great and winter in Arizona is a blast.

Love,
Jimbo and Debbie

P.S.
Mom, you can really easily see where we are by clicking on the highlighted spot here

Jimbo

©2007-2011 Dreamstreamr

Almost enough tennis

We’re parked really close, essentially adjacent, to the tennis club at TowerPoint.  All to the good, this location is for us.  We can readily see who’s out there, what courts are available, are the two ball machines in use already?  Cal-Am, the resort management, sprung for a big season opener party with beverages and burgers.  Celebrated the largely refurbished tennis facilities and return of the many tennis players.

Great new courts, lighting, and vinyl-coated fencing

Trained so hard the first couple of days hitting with the ball machine on the tennis courts my hand was sore, my legs were sore, my shoulders were sore, my feet were sore.  Going to have to pick up the conditioning as we go — season started last Monday.  A couple of hours every day is working, and a new pair of sneaks to put more bounce in my jumps.

Debbie and I’ve each competed in two East Valley Seniors Tennis League (EVSTL)  matches these past two weeks.  My partner won one and lost one.  Debbie and her partner placed second both times in their matches, but they’re starting to win games.

The season is young, a lot of players haven’t arrived yet.  Still there are plenty of players already here and we can get as much hitting as we can stand.  I’m playing in another league, too, and its matches are Wednesday afternoons.  The Wednesday matches give me a chance to tune up for my Thursday morning matches.

Last night we had our tennis club’s first monthly dinner.  The dinner was well attended, maybe 200 people.  It was an opportunity to recognize Darren and Jan for their work all summer, helping with various needs in the resort.  We thanked DJ for guiding the resort’s addition of our fifth tennis court and many amenities for the Tennis Club.  And we recognized new members, some of who just arrived and already expressed interest in the Club.

Ten or more consecutive days of two hours daily tennis was enough, we decided to take a few days off last weekend.  This has felt like a crash fitness course for us.  We both needed the weekend for recovery time and to catch up on a few other things including blogs.  I sketched outlines for four blog posts so should be able to post at least once weekly from now on.

Yesterday evening, after tennis, I went through our box of friends’ business cards.  It took a couple of hours but if you gave me your contact card then you are in our address book.  Just one more way to organize the lot of things in our little space.  We promise not to sell your card!  But we can look you up more easily.

See you down the road!

Jim and Debbie
locate us here
visit our website

©2007-2010 Dreamstreamr

Who’s been busy?

It’s great to be here and Jim’s especially thrilled he’s back in tennis-land.  We’ve been all over the place in the last couple of weeks, a little above our normal pace.  It’ll be nice to stop awhile in Mesa Arizona.

We’ve traveled 4,000 miles in October.  Most of the miles, thankfully were via American Airlines.  We drove from Washington state’s Long Beach peninsula to Boise to Ketchum/Sun Valley to Mesa, flew to Charlotte then drove to Lynchburg to Charlotte and flew back to Mesa.  Can you believe we still feel a little inertia?  We’re ready to settle down long enough to play some tennis and collect ourselves.

Early last week we left sunny and cool Ketchum (Sun Valley) Idaho  for our long drive to Mesa.  We broke the 980 mile drive into a long day and a shorter day by stopping in southeast Las Vegas the first night.  The former Holiday Travel Park (and decades before that, the Holiday Inn Travel Park) is a pretty nice place to stop over or stay awhile.

The Las Vegas RV Resort (their current name) is located ten blocks from I-515, so it was easy enough to get outta there Monday morning.  Getting there from the north wasn’t so pretty — we followed the gps routing and ran five miles of very busy four-lane city streets with poorly timed traffic signals and lots of construction lane narrowing.  Take I-515 to Flamingo or Boulder Rds if you go.

Our route from Idaho could have been, like last year, through Salt Lake City or through Nevada.  A lot of the Utah drive was fantastic, especially the southern parts.  We spent a lot of time in Utah earlier this year and wanted something new.

We had over-nighted in all the western states except Nevada, so decided to see new things this time.  Bob had given us great advice on roadside stopping places north of Las Vegas but we had our mileage hats on, it was Sunday, and we decided to clear Las Vegas before we stopped.

The bridge stands high above Hoover Dam

The plan worked great — we left Las Vegas around 09:00 a.m. on a Monday morning and had very little traffic until one mile past the Hoover Dam.  Construction on the new bridge bypass highway caused us a traffic delay of 1.2 hours.  Had we waited another few days to travel this route the new bypass would have been open.

But then we might not have driven across Hoover Dam and seen it and the new bridge high above it.  Pretty neat, and next time we’ll probably try the new bridge.

We neared Phoenix a few hours later.  Monday evening we parked in TowerPoint Resort within earshot of the gorgeous tennis park (all five courts newly resurfaced, new lights, new vinyl-coated fencing, and a great ramada overlooking it all.)  Wednesday morning last week we hitched a ride to the Phoenix airport (thanks, John!) and flew to Charlotte.

Our first task was to shop for wedding clothes — in our storage boxes.  We carried our storage inventory (on our Mac) and hustled Thursday morning to the storage unit.  The mission was planned long in advance and we had done our homework.  We knew a document we needed was in a certain numbered box.  We knew where the clothes would be (that’s especially simple, there’s only one clothes wardrobe and one clothing tote).

We are delighted the document was in its appointed box and we were able to find clothes for attending the wedding and attendant functions.  Coolest though was to test, for the first time in three years, our ordering of the boxes in our little storage unit.  The space is five feet (5′) by seven feet (7′) and nine feet tall.  We arranged 35 boxes according to the weight and the likelihood of accessing their contents.

The dreaded scenario is a hunt for something in a bottom box anywhere, particularly in the back corner of the stack.  Sometimes an adjacent storage unit is empty.  Especially sweet is when the one across the hall is empty — we just open that door and stack a few boxes in there so we’re not working in the corridor.

Imagine stacking 20 boxes in the corridor while we dig for something at the bottom of the stack?  Moving all those boxes and totes would require some hard labor and an hour or two.  And really great stacking in the hallway, all the time hoping the guy doesn’t need that storage unit behind your temporary stack.

The past week’s travel to North Carolina and Virginia marks the first time in three years we’ve abandoned our silver home on wheels.  Thanks to Bob and Faith for loaning us a suitcase, our carry-on stays in the storage unit since there’s really no place to stash it with us unless we strapped it onto the truck.

We felt strange and sad locking up the trailer last week to go to the airport.  Never mind the nagging questions like: did you turn off the water heater? did you stop the newspaper? did you empty the washing machine? did you kennel the dog? what if the sump pump fails and the basement floods? Oh, never mind, those are from the old house.

Our questions now would be: are the roof vents on automatic so they’ll close in even of rain? are the windows latched except for the one to allow ventilation? is the water off? There, that’s simpler.  And we hit all the marks on our list.  But we still hated leaving our home for the first time.  We left a set of keys with the park office and gave our neighbors our personal card so they could call us if the house burned down.

Everything turned out fine.

Hal and Debbie wonder at St Paul's Episcopal in Lynchburg

Three nights ago we flew American Airlines from Charlotte to Phoenix after attending the wedding of Jim’s nephew.  We flew from Mesa to Charlotte, drove to Lynchburg for the day and back to Charlotte again.  The wedding, a fabulous social event, was in Lynchburg Virginia.  Jim’s mom, brother, and two of three sisters also attended.  It was really nice to see family and friends.

Even for full-timers, there’s no place like home, wherever you park it.  We’re glad to be back in our own digs.

Jim and Debbie
locate us here
visit our website
©2007-2010 Dreamstreamr