The old year of 2010 is ready to turn itself in and give way to the brand new baby 2011. I thought this picture taken from Flickr sets the tone for this entry quite well. I feel like this now, looking in my rear view mirror at things behind me and eager to "hit the road" so to speak onto a new life. If things go the way we are planning, we will be seeing a lot of the open road in the next month or two... all the way to Reno Nevada.
How did we settle on Reno you might wonder??? Well that's a bit of a long-ish roundabout sort of story but I'll try to write the condensed version here. Scott spent some time in Arizona when he was in the Air Force, and he really loved the desert climate and lifestyle. He never wanted to leave there actually, but ended up in Florida against his own desires, since his ex wife wanted to come here to be closer to her parents. Well in a way, it's good that things happened that way, or else he and I would never have met....
But I digress, back to my point. We both want to get out of Florida, and have for a long time. I prefer a mountain climate, with cool nights and mild summers. I initially chose Durango Colorado as our destination, but Scott voiced his concerns about the amount of snowfall they receive there since he really doesn't like snow (but I love it). The whole snow issue is what crossed New Hampshire off our list early on (sorry Suzanne, I was hoping we could meet up finally but not this time...), that and the fact that the northeast is a very expensive region of the country to live in, and we are on a strict budget.
So, I did some more looking around online in hopes of finding an area that had BOTH desert and mountains... and came up with Reno! There is some snow and cold weather (for me) but it is a "high desert" climate zone (for him) so it appears we have found a happy medium! I really like the fact that Reno is close to Lake Tahoe (would love to visit there) and San Francisco California is a day's drive to the west. The Yosemite National Park is within driving distance as well, a place I have not seen since I was a small child around 5 years old or so, I have pictures taken of me there, but I do not remember the trip itself, I was too young.
I really like the idea that the Sierra Nevada mountains are a stone's throw away, because I enjoy the mountains very much, and look forward to spending time walking and hiking the trails around Reno and the foothills of the Sierras. I also like the vibrant downtown area with the casinos and nightspots, and the great buffets! I have heard a lot of people saying that downtown Reno has "gone downhill" and is a sad reflection of it's glory days back in the 1960's. I guess that could be said for people who prefer the uber-modern to the retro kitsch. I personally *LOVE* the old kitschy signage and architecture. I was born in the 1960's for goodness sake, and I love that era. I can't wait to photograph Reno, it looks like lots of fun!
There are first-run shows and concerts at some of the larger casinos and like Albuquerque NM, there is a hot air balloon race every year that would be fun to attend. I hear the summers are quite warm but there is an afternoon wind that starts around 3pm, and of course once the sun sets, the air cools considerably. To *NOT* have 8 months of sweltering summer heat means I can get outside more often and not feel like I am going to pass out, I am so tired of being housebound all summer and half of spring and fall until it cools down.
So that's how we settled on Reno. The cost of living seems to be about the same as here or a bit lower, we plan to sell our home here and purchase another one similar to it when we get to Nevada. Moving is such a chore, but this time I am going to buy a bunch of plastic storage bins and put bulky or odd shaped things in them for easier moving and transport.