Cottonwood Arizona Observations (so far)

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by Kraffty, Jun 19, 2019.

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  1. Jun 19, 2019 #1

    Kraffty

    Kraffty

    Kraffty

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    So now that we’ve lived here a little while I have to say that our assumption that the small town life would be just fine seems to be pretty accurate. Before moving we reasoned that for the most part we shopped, ate-out, found entertainment or visited friends all in about a 5 mile radius from home. On the occasion we’d travel further for a concert or for a getaway type weekend it always seemed like it was at least an hour drive but more often a couple of hours of travel. In addition, Lori’s parent’s house in Lake Havasu was a 5-1/2 drive compared to a 4 hour drive from here. As small as it is, the city does have the shopping necessities covered - Sears outlet, Home Depot, WalMart, 3 grocery stores and at least 3 full western outfitters and a Tractor Supply. I think we have a better assortment of restaurants than our neighbors in Sedona, we have a couple of golf courses and I don’t know how many wineries and breweries existing and popping up. For more needs than that we have Flagstaff 50 miles north, Prescott 40 miles west and Phoenix 90 miles south.

    The transition from Los Angeles area to Cottonwood area living has been surprisingly seamless. We don’t offer up the fact we’re just in from California to everybody but we have accidental slip ups from time to time. I refused the suggestion to go through the self check out at the grocery store because I had beer in the cart, the clerk laughed, saying it’s ok in AZ unlike CA. A lot of the people we’ve met are transplants from other states and the vast majority of people we encounter are by far more friendly, outgoing and helpful than what we’re used to dealing with in So. Cal. We’re having to relearn our standard “don’t look any stranger in the eyes” procedures. We’ve traded in our SoCal Casual Attire for the most part for jeans and boots. There does seem to be a bit of a Twilight Zone thing here where a suspicious amount of the men have matching grey hair, pony tails, goatees and wear Tee shirts with bands from the 60’s displayed on the front which cover their beer bellies of varying size all the while driving an assortment of very similar pick up trucks and wearing cowboy boots (the more worn the better). I have to admit it’s not that much of a morph for me to slide into that formation except for the ponytail, the wife has put her boot down on that idea.

    Finally, local entertainment and engagement. We’re joining in, enjoying and embracing what there is to offer. You don’t want to compare size or scope of events because it’s just not the same thing. I’ve never liked crowds. L. A. county fair grounds can easily have 100,000 people in attendance at any time. We’ve been there for the Fair, Home shows, RV shows and even Car or Horse Races and as much as we’ve wanted to enjoy the events the crowds make it just miserable. A couple of weekends ago we went to the Verde Valley Home Improvement Show. The Fairgrounds are 1.1 miles from the house. There were approximately 40 to 50 vendors and probably 100 visitors there at 11:00 on Saturday. We talked in depth with 10 or 12 local companies, bought a couple things and even got a lead for the foundation guy we’re using from a couple with a countertop company (probably use them too). I also got to meet Stephanie who handles the building permits for the County where we’re building and ask a bunch of questions ahead of meeting her at the office. Just take a look at the attached flyer, we’ll be there for the 4th and I’m sure, have a blast. Also heading over to the Prescott 4th of July Rodeo on the 6th of July to meet friends. In September Thunder Valley Rally happens with motorcycles downtown, food, drinks, music, contests all about 1/2 mile from home. $15.00 covers all weekend events including concerts at Riverfront park which is about 1/3 mile behind us, I think we’ll walk to that one. Headline bands this year are 38 Special and Great White. I keep mentioning the costs of things because those low numbers are so new to us. The Prescott Rodeo is $20.00 for admission, by comparison I paid $25.00 just to park during our last visit to the L. A. Fairgrounds. We have local Farmer’s markets all around selling local produce and beef with business hours spread out from week nights to weekends with none overlapping. There are Downtown walk around evenings where the wineries and restaurants take their goods to the sidewalks to share. We haven’t even begun to explore the historical aspect of the area. Mining, Indian Pueblo Ruins, National Monuments and Parks, Railways and much much more.

    I imagine some of you members here from smaller communities laughing at the majority of this post and me sounding so awestruck but I’ve only ever lived in the greater San Francisco or Los Angeles areas and the perspective here is 180 degrees from all of my previous experiences. I didn’t plan on writing a tourist info promotional brochure for the city but we are really happy here and haven’t come up with a single negative aspect of living here so far.

    If I run into Barney, Opie, Andy or Aunt Bea on 4th of July at the fairgrounds I’ll be sure to post a picture…..

    FourthFlyer.jpg
     
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  2. Jun 19, 2019 #2

    ibglowin

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    Sounds like your acclimating just fine to the Southwest. Now the only question left is. Red or Green?
     
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  3. Jun 19, 2019 #3

    Kraffty

    Kraffty

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    Funny you ask that, I was just getting ready to roast these up to make a green sauce to cook up some chicken for tacos tonight. Just picked them from the yard.
    Smell awesome, first cook of the season.
    Mike
    green.jpg
     
  4. Jun 20, 2019 #4

    Trevor7

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    Shhhh.... You don't want to expound on the great points of leaving SoCal.... you want to keep the new life a secret! :)
     
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  5. Jun 20, 2019 #5

    ibglowin

    ibglowin

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    Our oldest daughter and SIL live in Burbank. Our granddaughter goes to one of the nicest daycares in the area over in Pasadena which is about 2 blocks from where SIL works. One child full time is ~$18K a year. They are currently working on another. Cost for two children full time is ~$32K a year......

    Cost of living out there is insane.
     
  6. Jun 20, 2019 #6

    Kraffty

    Kraffty

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    I agree, I'm beginning to look at So. Cal. and LA like the planet Krypton. If you can survive the gravity and prosper then eventually escape to anywhere else you'll basically have the superpower of laughing in the face of living expenses and have almost unlimited spending powers. Your kids are probably setting themselves up for a very comfortable future.
    Mike
     
  7. Jun 20, 2019 #7

    ibglowin

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    SIL is born and raised in LA (90210) I think they would like to not raise a family in LA but our daughter is actually the larger of the two bread winners and she works in Post Production (Executive Editor) in TV. New Mexico is killing it in the film industry these days with huge deals with Netflix and just last week NBC Universal as well as countless other smaller studios and TV series. But that is Production, not Post Production. They film out here and send the footage off either FedEx overnight or through that series of Tubes that everyone uses these days back to beautiful downtown Burbank (still the post production capitol of the free world). They could currently sell their place in SoCal and buy a McMansion in ABQ free and clear. They would just need to find some gainful employment either in the industry our outside of it.
     
  8. Jun 20, 2019 #8

    mainshipfred

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    Glad you are enjoying you new area. I should consider myself lucky living where I do in Northern Virginia. I live in the suburbs although each year it's getting more urban so I have this, but an hour West or Southwest I'm in a different world. Forests, mountains, clean rivers and lakes, small towns you name it. Maybe a little over an hour to the East I have the Chesapeake Bay with their many small towns. Even Annapolis has the quaint small town atmosphere. We won't talk about Baltimore although it does have a very nice aquarium.
     
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  9. Jun 21, 2019 #9

    Boatboy24

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    That's what I keep thinking about being here in DC. Almost as bad as SoCal for traffic and cost of living. Aside from the traffic and busy lifestyle, we like it here. But slightly quieter places are calling me and I could retire earlier if we make the jump. Seems you two are getting quite comfortable already. Glad things are working out.
     
  10. Jun 21, 2019 #10

    balatonwine

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    I had a pony tail when my wife married me. So she has no say in that. :)

    But, after 7 years, I did agree to cut it from waist length to shoulder length. Everyone must compromise in a marriage. :b
     
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  11. Jun 21, 2019 #11

    joeswine

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    I myself like the southwest, been to Santa Fe 3 times, çousins in Phoenix,sadona 3 times Utah once.
    Time slows down ,and so does the body.
    Gong back next year, don't know we're but definitely the southwest.
    Short trip to Charlotte Va then to Williamsburg lover it there. Sorry got carried away.
     
  12. Jun 21, 2019 #12

    Kraffty

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    Joe, if your travels bring you near here give me a heads up. You've got a place to hang out, enjoy a meal and a bottle or two with us anytime.
    Mike
     
  13. Jun 21, 2019 #13

    joeswine

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    Thank you sounds great, I'll be retirrring next year looking forward to more travel then I already do.
     
  14. Jul 4, 2019 #14

    Kraffty

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    So beginning monday this week we got back to going out walking to start the mornings. Monday we did laps around and through the RV park, Tuesday Riverfront park, Wednesday visited the cottonwood community garden and this morning walked the cottonwood cemetery. Had a nice visit with one of the local gardeners and I'm thinking I'll lease a garden plot, a 16x16 plot costs 40.00 a year and that includes all the water and mulch you want. The cemetery isn't one of those old west kind but does date back to 1892, is mostly rock and sand and dirt, has an interesting history and is still actively used. Saturday should be fun, we plan on walking to Old Town, being at Crema restaurant when it opens and having a bloody mary for breakfast. I haven't had one yet but they're huge and are topped with bacon, a bit of waffle and a boiled egg (perfectly acceptable breakfast if you ask me). Then a slow and easy 3/4 mile stagger back home! Happy 4th of July to all!
    Mike
    CottonwoodGrave3.jpg
     
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  15. Jul 4, 2019 #15

    joeswine

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    What are your plans for your wine making?
     
  16. Jul 4, 2019 #16

    Kraffty

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    I'm hoping to throw in with my future neighbor for this years crush but as of yet I haven't shared that bit of information with him. Then hopefully back to my California Reds in 2020 when the house is done. It would be educational to get a chance to see the differences between the two states processes.
     
  17. Jul 5, 2019 #17

    joeswine

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    My limited experience with Arazona wines there were on the sweet side
    Jerome and Phoenix actually, sodona also .not to many wineries out there are there?
     
  18. Jul 16, 2019 #18

    Syrah-volution!

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    Wife and I spent 4 days in Cottonwood a few months ago. Damn what a great time we had! Visited a couple monuments, did some good hiking and relaxed. Absolutely loved the Italian place Bocce. We went there two nights in a row, just fantastic. We ended up joining AZ Stronghold and Chateau Tumbleweed clubs'. Tumbleweed's single vineyard cabs blew me away. Also enjoyed bottles from 4-8 Wineworks, Caduceus, Merkin, Bitter Creek and Carlson Creek. We would go back in a heartbeat. You're lucky you get to live there!
     
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  19. Jul 17, 2019 #19

    jswordy

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    @Kraffty and @Boatboy24 - Your discussion of So. Cal. and DC life prompted some thoughts. A refugee from Illinois and then Williamsburg, Va., I live in the country near Huntsville, AL, which is a HUGE magnet for DC refugees as well as a NASA and defense behemoth. The town has a lot of transplants. Many transplants arrive here after retirement. They sell their houses in DC and come here to buy a house that's three times larger, or else buy a smaller home to keep two-thirds, and then they enjoy the cost of living, which rates about a 92 overall when compared nationally.

    Huntsville SMSA is about 500,000 and it has the largest number of doctorate degrees per capita in the nation, so it's a Smart Place to Live, Work and Play - as the Chamber keeps telling us.

    I live on a small farm in nearby Fayetteville, TN. It's Mayberry in very many ways. So I get the small-town life and also, nearby, the intellectual stimulation and salary I require. To be completely honest, I like everything about the area except the politics. But my experience is that there's always an "except." If there is only one "except," that's pretty good.

    The beauty of living in the high tax states is that they also are the places typically producing the highest wages. If I were counseling a young person, that's what I'd tell them. If you are not tied firmly to the place of your birth and childhood, then move to the high earning places first and move to cheap places to live later in your life, once you have made your savings and investment money. That's what makes the move to lower tax areas work.

    We recently sold my Dad's estate house, a small home on a lot. The property taxes we paid in Illinois for six months would have equaled three years of property tax for my entire farm in rural Tennessee. And, if you work in-state, Tennessee has no income tax (I work in Alabama, so I pay it there).

    After we arrived here 29 years ago, I was fortunate to land a Huntsville job with a national company for 19 years, which gave me a salary much higher than Alabama jobs typically pay. When that job sunset, I was in position to join the university at lower pay, in order to extend my working life and preserve my investments from drawdown. It's all working out pretty well.

    Kraffty, enjoy Arizona! I understand what you are experiencing. Jim, do consider a move when it's time.
     
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  20. Jul 18, 2019 #20

    joeswine

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    I was thinking of retirement in Williamsburg ,at one-time I even put a down payment on a house in New Kent.
    Oh well I'm stuck here in NJ and having a hard time closing down my business. I really want to ⁿ
     
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