Carolina: Cruising Past 70: Hope I Don't Get Lost: from 350 to 1,200 Sq. Ft.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Hope I Don't Get Lost: from 350 to 1,200 Sq. Ft.

the new Fitness and Leisure Complex at Viewpoint
In 2004, after a full career in the Philippines as a jet-setting computer executive, I flew to the US to stay. Three years later, I met Bill on the Net and, after more than a year of dating, we married on board Champagne Lady cruising the Lake Union in Washington. He sold his business, and we embarked on a 4 1/2-year honeymoon in an RV that took us to 49 American states, 9 Canadian provinces, and 6 Mexican states. In 2015 I published the book, Carolina: Cruising in an American Dream, about that phase of my life.

Three years ago, we inched into a second phase. We parked our motorhome during winter at Viewpoint Tennis and Golf Resort in Mesa, Arizona. From that base, we went on some America road trips and flew to other countries in Asia, Central America, Europe, and Africa. The number of countries we have visited together quickly rose to 16. I went to 7 other European countries without him. It was incredible experiencing other cultures and traveling farther distances. Our travel lifestyle stepped up a notch.

Viewpoint view from the second floor, the Fitness Center, and the pool complex
Last November, as I turned 68 (Bill turned 73 this March), tired from an eight-month epic journey, we took a meaningful pause. As a result, we canceled Christmas gifts for each other and instead bought a home base at Viewpoint around its new clubhouse/pool/fitness center complex. The Resort not only has 4 clubhouses, 4 pools, 7 hot tubs, 2 golf courses, 10 tennis courts, 2 ballrooms, a dance studio, a billiard room, a pub/bar grille, a beauty salon, a computer lab, a library, and many other hobby and meeting rooms, plus horseshoe and shuffleboard areas, etc. It also has many clubs one can join. I found my home in 6: Karaoke, Word Games, Writing/Editing, Computer, Photography, and Gym. A frustrated tennis fanatic, I keep score for tennis matches, too.
from the installation, deliveries, and the housewarming party!
Yes, it’s official. We are 100% on to the second phase of our travel life! Our trips will consist of visits to our children. Bill’s kids are in different states: Alaska, Idaho, and Colorado. Mine are in three countries: San Francisco, USA, Calgary, Canada, and Melbourne, Australia. We also plan to use up the eight timeshare weeks we own elsewhere around the world. Thus, this phase will be Resort R&R months between trips. It was 4:8 last year; this year, 6:6; next year, 8:4. It is an admission we have grown older!

from top left, counterclockwise: living room, kitchen, dining, bedroom, Bill's study and my study, also guest rooms 
The past months have been dizzying and exhilarating. This is truly our first “home” together, aside from the RV. We briefly spent time at my condo in Seattle right after getting married, and he had his condo-duplex rented out. But as we left for our epic travels, we also rented mine out. Buying and furnishing a home together is a brand new experience. It was fun, and sometimes argumentative, choosing furniture, appliances, accessories and d├ęcor that all fit together into a look we BOTH like. But, yes, he carried me over the threshold. What an experience at this age!

goodbye to our RV, our home for the last 8 years!
I must admit though that, as we packed our down-sized belongings and prepared the RV for selling, we were enveloped by a certain kind of sadness. It dawned on me that the RV period of my life is rare not just for an American, but more especially for a Filipino in America. My book tells of this transformation. I “not only learned to be a wife without losing my identity but also to be an American without losing her roots." From a single parent and retired CEO, I became wanderer, writer, and wife!

Finally, I am tucking that experience literally in the bookshelf. It was a pleasant surprise that we sold the RV at noon of the day we put out the ad on Craigslist. Now we look forward to the travel we will have in the remaining months of 2017. None of our children live near each other, and we both love too many other places in the world to stay put. But, first, allow me to enjoy a month and a half of living in a home not propped up on wheels. With 8 good-sized rooms, we have moved from 350 to 1,200 square feet of space. I hope I don’t get lost!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave a Comment