Staying at a resort-like, age restricted, active adult community in suburban Phoenix for ten weeks with my friend, Kathy, has been a bit like camp. A very nice camp. (http://www.grandinfo.com/) But what would camp be without a letter to mom and dad. So channeling my ten your old self, my letter home…
Dear Mom and Dad,
Thanks for sending me to camp this year with the older kids. It’s been a blast! Our cabin is real nice and I like it a lot, but the other cabins behind us are a little too close for me. Did you know there are 9550 cabins here? In March when we got here, there were about 17,000 campers, but now, about half of them have gone home including a whole bunch who went back to Canada.
Almost every day, I start with the same routine – a nice, long walk around camp, followed by breakfast on the patio. All of the blooming cactuses have been the best surprise for me here. We have lots of hummingbirds, quail, bunnies and little lizards. This week, we had a special treat with two families of baby quail. They are the smallest things you’ll ever see, but boy, can they move.
Somedays, we go hiking, but it’s easy for me to get pretty freaked out when I see signs warning about rattlesnakes. I even panicked the first time at the prospect of seeing a gila monster, a poisonous, two foot long lizard that lives where we hike. Then I was ok when I learned that they spend most of their time underground. Except for spring. I wanted to wear bells on my shoes, but my friend Kathy told me that was for bears.
So far, we’ve had a lot of really fun field trips. Did you know Mesa really means “land of RV parks and pawn shops”? We went to a baseball game, museums, concerts, parks, plays, art fairs, but my absolute favorite was our daylong trip to Wickenburg, a cowboy town an hour away. We visited a real dude ranch and then, we went to a team roping competition. I don’t even like horses, but I loved this day, even though we smelled and looked terrible after spending all afternoon in the sun.
One of the funnest things here are the clubs and groups. There are more than 100 to choose from, and I like arts and crafts best. Of course, the day I got my Sun City Grand Stitchers name tag was a big day for me. I’ve also played pickle ball and I did some line dancing, and I’ve even taken some exercise classes. And we love to go swimming and read and just hang out at the pool which is a very short walk for us. Lots of days after lunch, we have our quiet time and the campers in our cabin like to nap.
I know my report cards aren’t very good, but I love learning here. I did a class on government and why ours is so screwed up, another one on writing about trips I take, and another about these Navajos who made up a really cool code that helped us win World War II.
Now remember, even though our bus leaves on Tuesday, we have tons of stops on the way home – Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois. I’ll be excited when I get home to drink cold water from the faucet because this water is terrible, and it’s always warm, and eat some food off the grill, because ours is broken. Oh, and keep an eye out for a couple of packages – I had to ship some home, cuz there’s no more room on the bus.
Thanks again for letting me come here. And just so you know, they told us we could save money if we signed up for next year already so I did. Hope you don’t mind!
Until I get home, kumbaya…