Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Life in a 55+ Resort

What’s it like to live in a community like Valle del Oro? There are 1761 spaces at VDO for RVs and park models--a community of up to 3600 people, plus those who come in to work. And everyone who lives here has come to play. We’re all in our second childhood.

The tennis courts are busy during all the daylight hours and sometimes at night. The softball field has games on Mondays and practice several times a week, with both a men’s team and a women’s. The streets are busy, and getting busier every day, with cars, bikes, golf carts and walkers. Almost everyone has either a bike of a golf cart. Most are very ordinary, but this is my favorite golf cart.

It is safe to go out for a walk or bike ride after dark because those driving cars look out for others. Everyone says hi when they pass you. Often people on their porch or patio say hi as you pass by. Any evening you go out you see people having company for dinner or cocktails.

We just received an “Itinerary to Fun,” which has nine pages in 8 or 9 point type listing classes, clinics, workshop, games, cards, clubs, groups, health and fitness and recreation activities. There are 12 rooms set aside for games and crafts, a woodworking room and a tool shed housing saw horses, shovels, wheel barrows, ladders and other items the people in RVs and park models might need to use once in a while but not travel with. There are two swimming pools, a large shuffleboard court, horseshoe pits, croquet/bocce ball area, golf driving cage, and a garden scale railroad.

The daily schedule for Mondays lists aquacise, aerobics/dance, ballroom dance, Bible study, bicycle rides, bike club, billiard lessons, bingo, book club, bridge, ceramics, Church Family Home Event, coffee on the Patio, computer groups, croquet, dancercise, family home evening, flex/stretch, Friends of Bill W, garden railroad, hardanger class, hiking club, jam session, lallygabbers, lapidary, leathercraft, line dance, lost wax, Mah Jongg, massage therapy, Mexican Train dominoes, painting, poker, pottery, prophet makers, sewing, shuffleboard, silversmith shop, singles group, snack bar, softball practice, stained glass, sunshine committee, tool shed, VDO artist guild, walk aerobics, water exercise, water volleyball, woodshop, woodworking and yoga. Whew!

One concern we had when we came here was that our neighbors would have expectations that we participate in community events. There are so many things to do here, no one knows if you are doing something or not. There is everything you might possibly want to do and no need to do anything you aren’t interested in. We walk, run and bike here at VDO. We hike by ourselves and take in sites in the greater Phoenix area. And we have all the privacy we want.

We have seen cottontail rabbits and Gambel Quail in our yard and one morning I saw a coyote walking through the park just after dawn. And yet we are in the middle of Arizona's third largest city. What else could you ask for--unless it would be dark skies and a little less activity. As much as we enjoy dark, it is the street lights that make it possible to bike and walk after dark. There are always compromises.

We are really enjoying our stay here as Snow Birds.


  1. Sounds like a great place to call home. With the growing number of full-timers there needs to be more "Meccas" out there to accomidate the needs of this exploding group of the American population.

  2. Glad that you are enjoying your stay at the resort. We had the same concerns when we took the workamping job last year in Phoenix. I felt the place would overwhelm me. However, like you, I found I could do a lot of things or do nothing at all and really enjoyed the stay. No pressure to participate if you didn't want to do so.

    The Holidays should be a fun time. Enjoy!

    Connie and Art