The drive out wasn't bad at all.. Surprise #1. We both thought it was going to be awful..since our dogs aren't the best in the car.. but really other than having to stop every couple of hours.. they did great. They settled in each night at the hotel, no accidents in the hotel room and generally just traveled like they did this all the time. Who knew?
The house I rented.. totally doing everything over the internet is wonderful! Surprise #2.
I hung up my bird feeders in the front yard and within an hour I had birds and hummingbirds! The house is perfect.. and in a really nice neighborhood. To put this into Cincy perspective.. Surprise AZ is geographically similar to where Monroe sits in relationship to Downtown Cincy...
Back yard.. notice all the rocks!
The desert landscape is good and bad.. No real yard work to do.. but the rocks get HOT every afternoon and the dogs can't even go out to the bathroom without me running out to hose down the patio.. At least until Sept.. when the weather should change.
The views are amazing. Everywhere you drive you get to look at scenery like this. This is about 1/2 mile up the street from my house but gives you an idea of what its like to just drive around...
But .... there are a LOT of people here, and the snowbirds haven't even returned. We understand from everyone we talk to that in a couple of months it gets crazy... with lots of senior citizens returning from up north... who only drive 20 MPH. NOT looking forward to that.
Which might explain another strange thing about this city... There are grocery stores EVERYWHERE. And not just grocery stores.. every kind of store is repeated it seems like every 5 miles. Paradise Bakery, which is basically Panera's out here is as common as Starbucks. And I googled this.. I have 14 (soon to be 15) grocery stores within 3 miles of my house. Including 2 Fry's (aka Kroger). BUT.. and here is where I have been spoiled,,, most of these are small and old looking. I have to drive 5 miles (OMG) to get to the Fry's Marketplace store which is like the Harpers Point Kroger. Most of the others kind of remind me of what IGA was like in Cincinnati.
Oh and about that DRY heat.. It's great.. but it's still hot. Before I got here all I heard was Yeah... but it's a dry heat. And once you get used to this low humidity..which takes about 2 days..you can't imagine how you ever lived some place where 70% humidity was not uncommon. But when the temperatures go up to about '110 and the sun is relentlessly shining (because there is no cloud cover.. we don't get rain!) you just can't be outside in it. Which was a little depressing. Because you see I just left an area where we were all holed up and inside until almost MAY because the weather had been so cold and nasty. We were just getting out and enjoying the outdoors, going to farmers markets on the weekend, planning things to do outside.. and now guess what.. I'm in hibernation mode again. Farmers markets shutdown here from June 1st through October 1st. Everyone plans things to do indoors. So I'm patiently waiting to start to really enjoy the area I moved to. The mountains are taunting me.