Archive for the ‘Tucson Area Accomodations’ Category

Active Adult Community? Questions to Ask Yourself…

Monday, December 7th, 2015

AdobeStock_80344017_WMSo you are thinking about a retirement community…or in the proper parlance, an active adult community.  There are several questions you should consider and discuss with your partner.

You can do what is known as a “Ben Franklin”- take a sheet of paper, fold it in half lengthwise, and on one side write all the pros – reasons you want an active adult community- and on the half, list all the cons – reasons you may not want an active adult community.  Both parties should do the same, and the fun of the game is not to talk with each other about your lists.

Give yourself two weeks or so to do this.  As you go about your daily business, you will think of reasons for either column, then write them down.  At a previously agreed upon time, over coffee or wine, in a relaxed atmosphere, pull out your lists and discuss them.

You may want one thing and your partner another…this is a time to sit and discuss what is on the list and prioritize what you have created.  You will find that this exercise will help you both formulate what is important to you both, or what is important to one, but perhaps not another.  It will help you to understand what you features you can comprise.

Do you want a single family home?  And if so, what kind?  A regular Single Family home or a patio home?  Or do you want a town home or a condo.  In my last blog, I discussed the differences.

Are you looking for a community which provides a plethora of activities which are pretty much contained within the community?  Or do you want to participate in activities such as classes at Olli, classes and activities from Parks and Rec which run the gamut from learning how to play tennis to advanced pottery classes.  Or are you a volunteer type of person who would become a docent for the Symphony, for the Desert Museum.

This is your retirement and this is your opportunity to do what you have always wanted to do!  Unfortunately many people never think about this and just kind of stumble along in life.  Make this time for you, for you are the most important person in your world!  Do the hard work now so you can enjoy your time in retirement, wherever it is!

Sun Warmth and Happiness!

Monday, November 30th, 2015

Wafting through the air is the fragrant smell of turkey soup, simmering on the stove. The heat is cranked to take the chill off the house, and outside lies the beauty of the first snow…diamonds laden on the trees, undisturbed. The snow plows have not yet rumbled through the neighborhood, turning the pristine precipitation to an unappealing brown mess.  I am too old for this cold, this icy season where temps go to zero, when the wind blusters through the trees, and a foot of snow needs to be shoveled from the driveway.

Escape!  Escape to Tucson is the answer!  I will join the hundreds of winter visitors escaping from the northern climes to sun, temps in the 60’s and 70’s, to being able to take a walk outside without slipping and sliding on ice covered pathways.

Tucson is a haven for those who want to escape to a warm, dry climate.  Those arthritis sufferers suddenly find relief from the pain in the dry climate, and some come on the recommendation of their physician. Others swell the Tucson population because they want to golf and enjoy the myriad of outside activities, not spending  winter cooped up inside their northern abode.

Winter rentals are abundant, and Thanksgiving marks the influx of “winter visitors”, affectionately called “snowbirds”.  The majority however arrive after the Christmas holiday.  Many have purchased winter homes, often in active adult communities where activities range the gamut from book clubs to pool tournaments, from cooking classes to exercise classes.  Golf, pickle ball, and swimming is a draw for many of these communities, as well as restaurants on premises, community dinners, and group outings to various places in Arizona.

The cultural scene in Tucson is also a draw, the city is the home of the University of Arizona, and those who desire ongoing education can attend to Olli ( ).  Broadway comes to Tucson at the many theaters, both large, and small and intimate, and the music scene encompasses all genres.

Tucson has several art museums as well as the Center for Creative Arts at the University of Arizona, home to the Ansel Adams collection. And Tucson is a gastronomical delight with the best Mexican food in the nation, as well as restaurants which represent all cultures:  Ethiopian, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Spanish, plus a myriad of excellent food trucks.

How can you not want to escape cold, grey, dreary weather and exchange it for warm, bright, sunshine and a city which will welcome you with open arms?







Get Out of the Cold…Come to Arizona… Take Resorts and Second Homes CRS Class

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Are you an agent looking to get out of the cold and wintry weather and need a good reason to leave snow, sleet, ice, and chill?

Arizona Chapter Certified Residential Specialists is kicking off the educational year February 22 and February 23 in Tucson with the two day class, Resorts and Second Homes.

With temperatures now in the high 60’s and low 70’s, Arizona is definitely a second home state and considered to be a “resort” state.   Now is the time for second home buyers to flock to the state to purchase resort homes at pretty much rock bottom prices.

The two day core class is designed “to teach the essentials of Buying, Selling, or Managing resort properties for recreation, investment, and development by U.S. and International clients and customers in the United States”.

Nationally known instructor Gail Lyons will teach the two day class.

Eight hours as an elective towards a CRS designation will be awarded, as well as continuing education hours towards earning a ABR designation.  Attendees will earn the Resort and Second Home designation.

For attendees  holding an ABR, ALC, CCIM, CIPS, CRM, CRS, CRB or the National Association of Realtor’s Green designation, payment of an administrative fee, in addition to the course cost, of $195 to REBAC as a one time fee will insure the RSPS designation for life without an annual fee.

Arizona Chapter CRS has made special arrangements with a The Windmill Inn, a local hotel in an upscale Plaza,  for a rate of $135 a night plus applicable taxes.  Persons wishing to begin the CRS designation are welcome to attend the two day class.  For information about the class or the special arrangements with The Windmill Inn, contact Arizona Chapter CRS President Terry Bishop at or

Tucson International Airport is an easy airport to maneuver and have direct flights from many areas of the country.

Charge for the two day class is $110 for Arizona Chapter members and $125 for non members.

Information about The Windmill Inn is below, as well as information about registering for the class.  If you have difficulty, contact Terry Bishop,   The Arizona Chapter wants to welcome you to the beautiful state of Arizona!

About Tucson:

The Windmill Inn:[0].numberOfAdults=2&tab=prices&arrivalDate=02-18-11&hotelId=121120&validate=false&destination=Tucson,+Arizona,+United+States#prices

How to Register for Resorts and Second Home Class:

Login or create a new profile

Click on Calendar of Events on left hand side

Scroll down and select the class

Click on the link to register

Click on “Submit Your Order”

Or contact Christine Sanchez: 520-382-8848 or 866-440-9804

Or contact Terry Bishop:  520-884-7201

Tucson International Airport:

Tucson International Airport, A Gem of an Airport!

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

Tucson is a warm weather destination for thousands of people who want to exchange snow, sleet, ice, and freezing weather for warmer temperatures, sunshine, and the exercise of a round of golf rather than shoveling snow.

With an efficient international airport, Tucson is easy to reach.  Many airlines have direct flights from their hubs, and the airport is within 20 minutes of Tucson proper.   There are also daily flights to points in Mexico.

The Tucson International Airport website (listed below) features daily deals for airlines, a terminal map, information about ground parking, transportation options, a list of arrivals and a list of departures with their “on time” status, as well as information about the artwork which greets visitors as they wander through the airport.

Tucson International is an easy airport to navigate and when walking out the main doors, the warmth of Tucson greets visitors framed by the majestic mountains which surround the city.

It’s easy to get to either I-10 which goes to the center of town, or to I-19 which one takes to get to Sahuarita and Green Valley.

There are plenty of rental car places, both on site at the airport, or off site.  Like most airports, those off site may charge a bit less.  But if you want the best deal, rent a car from a place in the city so you don’t have to pay the airport surcharge which most cities charge…and use the coupon which you get either on line or from The Entertainment Book!

People often think flying into Phoenix is cheaper, but I’ve tried that when flying to the east coast. I took the shuttle to Phoenix which is now $37 one way if booked a day in advance with a 25% discount for the second or third passenger, but still that adds $74 to the price of a ticket for one person round trip.  The ride was more than two hours, as opposed to 20 minutes to the Tucson Airport, and I groggily boarded the shuttle at 4:30 am for a 8:30 am flight.

Checking prices this morning for Southwest;  from Phoenix to Chicago is $109 on a “Wanna Get Away” airfare, and only $10 more from Tucson, at $119.  The “Anytime” flight is $403 from Phoenix and $437 from Tucson; and the “Business Select” is $423 from Phoenix, one way, and $457 from Tucson, still less than a one way shuttle price.

Sky Harbor Airport parking is $7.00 a day if you leave your car there.  Tucson International parking is $4.00 a day if one parks at Park’N Go, and the shuttle buses come every five to seven minutes.  Drivers are polite and always willing to help with luggage.

It is a given there are more direct flights from point to point at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor, but it is worth considering that flying into Tucson may be worth a half hour layover in Denver or Dallas.

If it is a two hour drive to Sky Harbor one way and you don’t want to bog down in Phoenix traffic, then think about flying into Tucson International.  You’ll begin your vacation much more relaxed!


Tucson International Airport

Fiesta de Fuego…on Tonight!

Saturday, September 25th, 2010

Toe tapping and the unbridled desire to dance and undulate to the rhythms of  the blues band, Cross Cut Saw is on the menu tonight served up with Domingo DeGrazia, a Spanish guitarist whose fingers fly across the strings. The Tucson Omni National is the scene of Fiesta de Fuego where hot salsa and chips, tequila tasting, a silent auction with gifts to please everyone, a cash bar, and Latin music reverberates with the blues. 

There are those of us who will agitate to dance, and those of us who appreciate the music and will sit and enjoy, and there are those of us who will work the pulsation and enjoy every second of the musical beat to stamp our own interpretation  of the music into the dance floor.  And of course there will be those of us who are so irritated that our partners will not dance that we thank God that women can dance with women without judgment!  Fiesta goers are guaranteed a rollicking time having fun supporting The Hearth Foundation, which provides housing for homeless women with children, building lives “one brick at a time”.

Tucson Omni is the place, $10.00 per person is the cover charge, make reservations at the link below. 

Omni Tucson National Resort, set in northwest Tucson, with the backdrop of the beautifully craggy Catalina Mountain which reflect the colors of the sunset, is home to an award winning golf course which will be the site Sunday of the Golf Tournament.  

Temperatures will be in the 70’s during the morning and rise to the low 90’s in the late afternoon, but a comfortable breeze will sweep across the manicured course throughout the day.  The humidity will be 29% at check in time Sunday at 11 am and the day promises to be glorious  fall Tucson day.  Come be a spectator and cheer for your favorite golfer.

The day culminates with a Golfers Banquet at the Omni restaurant.  Golf prizes will be awarded to the day’s top conqueror of the links.  And the results of the raffle will also be announced.

Raffle tickets are available on line:  Prices are $10 each or three for $20.00  –

Prizes include:  7 days/6 nights in a 2 BR/2BA  suite at Napa Valley, CA; 

Romantic Playa Grande Resort, Cabo San Lucas Mexico, 7 days/6 night;

and a Winter Wonderland Get A Way in Santa Fe New Mexico, 7 Nights, 6 nights, November through March only.

Restrictions do apply and all get a ways must be booked in advance. Winners must provide their own transportation.

Come and watch, enjoy Tucson’s fall season at a beautiful resort.  Support The Hearth, an organization supported by the Tucson Realtor® community and the community at large.  The Hearth is a non profit organization 501(c)3 organization.

 For more information or to book reservations for Fiesta De Fuego, go to this website:



Pizzeria Vivace…Seconds Please!!!

Friday, January 15th, 2010
Classic Pepperoni Pizza anyone?
Classic Pepperoni Pizza anyone?
The attention to detail which Daniel Scordato pays in his white table restaurant Vivace, carries over to the
casual pizzzeria, also in St. Philip’s Plaza, Pizzeria Vivace.  Only fresh ingredients are used and the creamy mozzarella cheese used in all dishes in homemade. 
The pizzas, more than enough for one person, are far from the “delivery type” pizzas.  From the simple Margherita which is fresh mozarella and basil on a tomato sauce, to the more complex vegetarian Eggplant, Zucchini, and Roasted Pepper with mozzarella and Trugole cheese with both tomato and pesto sauces, Pizzeria Vivace will not dissapoint.
The crust is crisp and light and does not overpower; the distinct taste of each ingredient comes through
and dances on taste buds. An interesting shrimp pizza is on the menu, with mozzarella and pecorino romano cheese with both the tomato and pesto sauces  – and also the most expensive item on the menu at $17.00.  This should tell you Pizzeria Vivace is affordable.
Although the Italian Grinder, shown above, is no longer on the dinner menu, perhaps a bit of prodding might get the kitchen to reinstate it.   The crunchiness of the bread combined with the sopprasetta, mortadella, crescenza cheese, ham and chopped kalamata olives sent my son into rave reviews. 
It is easy to see the freshness of the greens with a light dressing – bad salads need to be drenched to offset the stale flavor.
Located on the south size of St. Phillip’s Plaza, almost in the back of the plaza on the “river side”, finding it might take a bit of doing, but well worth the effort.  There are two smaller rooms for parties, or intimate dining, as well as the main dining area plus bar area.  Now open only for dinner between 4 and 9 pm Mondays through Thursdays, and Fridays and Saturdays between 4 and 10 pm, reservations may be a good idea:  520-529-2700. 
Like the gourmet restaurant across the way, a full complement of wines, domestic and imported beers are available.  And not to be outdone by Vivace’s, desserts are legendary – Honey Panna Cotta with rasberry sauce, a Chocolate Hazelnut Gelato with more chocolate sauce and hazelnuts, and the old standby, Cheesecake with lemon prosecco zabaglione.
Stuffed Red Pepper with Chicken Meatballs, Mushrooms, and Tomato Sauce

Stuffed Red Pepper with Chicken Meatballs, Mushrooms, and Tomato Sauce

Vivace Restaurant:

Weekend Wanderings…Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain

Friday, January 8th, 2010

The Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain has opened its doors and vies as another world class establishment.  Situated against the Tortolita Mountains in Dove Mountain, the hotel picks its colors from the Sonora Desert and the Southwest.

The Ritz Carlton is located north of  the Gallery, for which Accenture Match Play is famous.  The Accenture Golf Classic pits the best golfers in the world against each other and is an international draw for golfing afficianados.  Now golfers will have a world class place in which to hob nob about the tournament and the course designed by Jack Nicklaus, and the course played by Ritz Carlton guests.

Only a little more than seven miles east of I-10 off of Tangerine and north on Dove Mountain Boulevard, the ride to the Ritz Carlton meanders up Dove Mountain, past new master planned communities, and rises into a land of saguaros, a signature of the Sonora Desert.  Nearly to the end of Dove Mountain Boulevard is the turnoff to the Ritz Carlton, and one climbs further into the moutain, past the guard gate.  The land is pristine, craggy with rock formations and typical Sonora Desert vegetation providing green contrasts of sage, cacti, deset marigold,  brittle bush, and creosote.

The hotel has several patios which face the mountains, and the main lobby glass window fronts to the mountains, providing  a spectacular view of mountainous desert scenery.  It is not a contradiction that the mountains are in the desert.   The Sonora Desert is not like the Gobi or Sahara; a living green desert is often its moniker.

Situated so one can go out at night and overlook the city lights of Tucson, or stand at the entrance to the hotel and watch a spectacular sunset, the Ritz Carlton has left as much of the desert natural as possible; therefore the resort can offer adventures in hiking and bking many resorts, not attuned to the environment, cannot.   The normal resort ammenties are also available; pools, exercise rooms,  golfing, and of course a full service spa for ultimate pampering.

Unlike a city property, there are acres and acres to explore.  Not only are there rooms and suites, but there are also casitas available for those guests who would like to stay for longer periods of time.  Locals can enjoy breakfast and the scenery, or a leisurely lunch with friends on the patio, or for those who want a night on the town, dinner is scrumptious.

We welcome another world class establishment!   Salude to the Dove Mountain Ritz Carlton!  May you live long and prosper!