Archive for December, 2014

First days of Tucson

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Our first weeks in Tucson seemed like never-ending shopping trips. We were trying to furnish our house and we quickly signed ourselves up for some DIY projects like building a bed and shortening the legs of our counter-height table, which meant we were buying power tools in addition to furniture, dishes, groceries, and other miscellany.

It was hot. Like unbelievably hot. I walked out of my sister’s house in Mesa one day when it was 117 degrees and I felt like I had just opened the oven door. A hot wind in my face. It was so nice to have a place to stay when we got here though. A sister with a guest room and a swimming pool was just the best thing we could have asked for. But we had also booked our townhouse just a week or two before we arrived. That was a little terrifying since I had never seen the place before, but the whole move became easier because we had an address: getting drivers licenses, car insurance, voter registration; changing our address with all the various organizations that need to know where we are.  Everything turned out to be a breeze.

Furnishing the house was a little harder than we expected, though. This was the third (or fourth?) time we’ve moved to a new place without any furniture and we’re usually pretty good at snagging things for free or cheap. In the past, we’ve been able to find things that look pretty nice, but not so nice that we’ll miss them when we leave them behind (ok not entirely true. I truly loved a lot of the furnishings we left in Boston).  But even in the birthplace of Freecycle, the free market is pretty sparse here. And if you want used stuff for sale–even lousy looking used stuff–its selling for much more than I’m used to paying.

One of the first things we bought was a piano. The unfortunate seller said he would deliver it himself for an extra $35 dollars. I thought he was crazy, and I think he did regret it afterward, but a deal is a deal! The funniest part was when he finally got it in the door and realized he forgot the bench. Oy.

But all this running around and shopping in the city called for a few excursions. I’m not sure where this hike was, exactly, but a couple of the pictures are from the parking lot at Sabino Canyon.

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Stampede

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As I said in my last post, we returned from England to Calgary right in the middle of Stampede. The Calgary Stampede is the largest rodeo in the world and the whole city goes all out.  There was a cowboy band at the airport that serenaded us as we waited at the luggage carousel.  All the bus drivers wear cowboy hats. Hay bales are basically everywhere downtown. And “business casual” suddenly becomes plaid shirts, jeans, belt buckles, and cowboy boots.

Since E was born around Stampede time last year, I didn’t get to go, so this year we were determined to make it happy. The free family day was the day after we arrived, and we had to get there before 9am or something in order to get in for free. We thought this might be a crazy idea because we might be jetlagging and unsettled, but it actually worked out alright.

We got to watch a few races, some acrobatics, but mostly we looked at the animals in the expo center.  E was intimidated by the horses and cows, but the races and the chicks were a big hit.

But this first day back in Calgary was also the first day of our next wild ride. We had one week to finish packing, selling as much of our stuff as we could, and moving out of the city.  We stayed in Penticton for one week before catching a plane to our new home in Tucson, Arizona.

Our stay in Penticton was a lovely time with lots of visiting parents, grandparents, and friends, paddle boarding, swimming, and some much-needed relaxation. M has all the pictures from that trip on his phone, which brings me to a question: how do you store your photos? I’m trying to navigate the best way to get photos from my camera, my phone, and my husband’s phone all in one place. If you have advice, do tell.

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