Found the Mall

It was an exciting day! Probably not for all, but it was for me. Although we have very good local shopping with the quaint shops on the Square in historic Georgetown, along with the many local businesses along Williams, plus the two strip malls which have Home Depot, Walmart, Target, Kohl’s, Pier One, Best Buy, TJ Maxx, Hallmark, Yankee Candle, and many other small stores, plus a variety of restaurants, but what Georgetown does not have is an indoor shopping Mall.

I am far from an avid shopper. Actually over the last few years I have shopped less and less. I used to live and work very close to a Mall so I was there multiple times during the week, but with our move to Florida and Texas, we were farther and farther away from a Mall, so I found most times that I usually talked myself out of going to the Mall as I actually didn’t need anything. So except for those few times of year that I was looking for something to do and didn’t mind the drive I went to the Mall.

The closest Mall we have is in Cedar Park. The best thing is that it is not down I35 so you do not have to deal with that crazy traffic on that road. The Round Rock Outlet Mall is off I35 along with Ikea, but the good old-fashioned indoor Mall is in Cedar Park. It was about a 25 minute drive with most of it being on open country roads. It was a rather pleasant drive. I was surprised at the size of the Mall. It was a very good size, 2 stories and had lots of stores, many that I’m really not familiar with. The variety of stores was good. The Dillard’s and Macy’s was very nice and I have to say it’s one of the biggest Macy’s I have been in recently.

It was a nice change of pace for the day. Was able to check out our new area traveling on new roads. One fun element of moving to a new area is finding all the new things in the area such as the shops, and restaurants, movie theaters and activities. The roads we are now traveling are not boring and the same old thing, but offer new sights and adventure. It was a fun day traveling down our road today, hope yours was safe and fun also. To new adventures whether in a new area or your home turf, enjoy your travels…………….

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Christmas in Georgetown, TX

NB, Georgetown and house 086

Here is Georgetown, TX – our new home town.

This is the Courthouse on the Square that was refurbished in the early 2000’s.  I don’t have any history on the courthouse at this time, but later in the month we will be going on a tour, and I will hopefully will be able to share more details with you.  The Courthouse is surrounded by a lovely square that has a nice variety of shops and restaurants.  The library is nearby and there are some nice parks and walking trails also nearby.  It is Christmas time in Georgetown.  The next few photos will show it getting darker than there will be the Christmas lights.

On the Friday of Thanksgiving weekend we visited downtown to listen to the Carolers and wait for the lighting of the town, it was all very nice and quaint.  The town is lit up very nice and it’s a nice Square to take a walk around, even if you don’t shop.  Last Friday the shops were open late and most shops offered some tasty treat to savor while you looked at their merchandise.  Next weekend they are having some type of Christmas Fair on the Square and looking forward to that.  As I mentioned in one of my earliest blogs we love small Texas towns with the old courthouses.  Texas has done a great job investing in these wonderful structures to preserve them.  Although Georgetown has all the “new stuff” – strip malls, shopping, etc… it’s the core of the historic old town that keeps attracting me.  Please enjoy the remaining photos.

NB, Georgetown and house 088

NB, Georgetown and house 089

As all good small Texas towns have, yes there is a winery on the Square.  We considered part of the Hill Country and we are surrounded by small Texas award-winning wineries.

NB, Georgetown and house 094

This is on our list of “to do’s”.  This is an old movie house converted to a theater.  New Braunfels has one also and it was always on our “to do” list.  This time we will be going there to see a play in 2013, one more of those small items that need to be accomplished.

NB, Georgetown and house 119

NB, Georgetown and house 120

One of the local stores on the Square – their windows were done up so nice, it was like a Vintage Toy Store, only available in small towns!

NB, Georgetown and house 123

Courthouse once the sun goes down and the lights go on.  All 4 sides are decorated.

NB, Georgetown and house 126

One of the streets on the Square all done up with the lights and the stores open for business.

NB, Georgetown and house 118

The Courthouse has a real cool dome that is lit up green for the Holidays.  You don’t realize until you’re driving around Georgetown but this area, the downtown historic district, sits on quite a high hill, you can see this for miles around.

Well, that concludes today’s tour of Christmas in Georgetown.  Promise I’ll have more for you soon.  Hope you’re having fun traveling down your Christmas roads and making your wonderful memories.  Until next time, drive carefully on your road you are traveling……………..

Week Three

This Monday we will be here 3 weeks. In some ways it seems like 3 months and other ways it seems like we just arrived yesterday. We have accomplished a lot in 3 weeks but we still have had time to enjoy ourselves. Most things are put away, the Christmas decorations are up, so now it’s time to start looking at the big projects. It’s nice to be able to buy new, but buying resale you can find some good prices on homes. This time we bought a resale, and although it is certainly livable, and some people might not change a thing, we are getting to a point that we will start looking at the big projects that need to get done. Some we will do ourselves, but others will require getting some type of contractor in here.

Although it is nice to be able to come in and put your own colors on the walls, it’s still a lot of work to do. The house has no color. Every house in Sun City is painted the famous “Sun City White”. Let’s just say it’s not very uplifting, and rather boring. Especially when you get a room painted it makes the rest of the house look dull. We have the master bedroom and bath painted so now we are anxious to move forward with getting the rest of it started. This is not going to be a small job and you really want to make sure you pick the right colors because this is a job that you don’t want to do for a lot of years once done.

Painting is one of the jobs, then there is getting stonework done for a grill, and the biggest job, changing and improving the landscaping. The landscaping really sucks! But what to do first and how quickly really depends on when we can get quotes and once picked when they can start. I foresee that maybe at our first anniversary of moving in we hope to have most of the projects done, but we’ll see. We moved here to enjoy the “fun stuff” and that is what we are going to do, and somewhere we will fit the work in.

Sun City is place to come to be with similar aged people, people who want to have fun, and hopefully people who you will find some common interests with. Once you attend the orientation programs it is really up to you to get going and get involved. You do need to have some of your own initiative. The activities are there, you personally need to go out and get involved. No one is going to pull you out of your house and say “hea, join our group”, but you need to make an effort to find out what time the activity is, and be where they meet and be socially adept to join in. You make of your stay here as enjoyable you as you want. If you don’t want to participate in group activities, be sociable with your neighbors, and volunteer to get involved, then don’t move here. If you’re happy to sit inside, stay on the computer all day or watch TV, and maybe meet with friends once a week, then you can live anywhere.

Our realtor was very helpful as she lives in the community to help us realize that it is not only the Community Association that is important, but your neighborhood. Each section is broken out into Neighborhoods. Some larger while ours is on the smaller number size. I believe we have gotten very lucky to have purchased in a rather active neighborhood. We have heard that purchasing in some older communities people are disappointed by the lack of involvement, but so far, I think we did pretty good. Our neighborhood is only 3 years old, so no one has gotten tired of “doing stuff” and considering this is a retirement community, they are rather on the young side. Many people buy new homes as most believe the newer communities are the most active. I do have to warn you, as we have been warned, don’t over commit, it is so easy.

As of today we are already involved in 3 different groups for game nights in a month, and I have joined the neighborhood book club, which is also monthly. Our neighborhood consists of 3 blocks so we have a monthly block party, and Howling at the Moon monthly party that the entire neighborhood participates in. We have 3 annual neighborhood parties, of which we just went to the Christmas party, which was very nice. Each block is responsible for handling a year, so every 3 years our block is responsible for the Christmas party. I have already joined a yoga class every Wednesday and I can tell already that I will certainly be joining more excercise groups. It’s close, it was fun and not that expensive, it is so nice that everything is so convenient.

We worked in the yard a little yesterday and really didn’t get much accomplished. After visiting with the neighbors, I only got about a third of what I thought I would accomplish. But that’s OK, it’s not like when I was working and time was limited and when you worked on something you had to get it done because who knew when you were going to have time again. There is a reason for this phrase “there’s always tomorrow”. My husband has a little issue with that but not me, interrupt me that’s my motto.

So as I said at the beginning, it’s been 3 weeks. With the tasks that we need to yet do, it feels like we’ve been here a short time, but the involvement with our neighborhood, activities and social scene I feel like 3 months. Our neighbors have been so welcoming. We have received more wine and cookies and more “welcome to the neighborhood” than ever before in my life. I can honestly say that I have never felt more welcomed then we have here, and considering the amount of times we have moved, that is quite an achievement. I hope that our relationships grow with our neighbors. I’m looking forward to the Ladies monthly luncheons, joining the woman’s golf league, learning how to play pickle ball, and participate in the Zoomers activities. I foresee my travels ahead to be exciting and to be very very busy. I’m sure we’ll hit a few bumps along the way, but I am hoping my road has few obstacles to block my way. Until next week, enjoy the Holiday activities and all the Christmas lights.

A Long Two weeks

It’s been awhile since my last post.  I finally have a few minutes to sit at the computer and get up to date on the last 2 weeks.  I can honestly say that I have never been so busy!  From the closings, to the actual moving to now the unpacking, it is endless.  I am so happy that I do not have to get up and go to work every day, as I don’t have enough time in a day as it is, I can’t even imagine how I would have fit work into this.

I can now say, the last box was emptied today – yeah!!!  We have accomplished so much, but by the end of the day my legs and back hurt so much, I can tell you after popping 2 Advil I sleep like a rock.  I remember when I worked the restless nights I would have thinking about the issues I was dealing with at work, my mind running and running and feeling my stomach in a knot.  Now my head hits the pillow and I’m out for the night.  So although I’m physically tired at the end of each day, it’s a good tired, I sleep well, and start each new day with new energy.  I really haven’t thought of work, or missing it.  I still get all the daily and weekly notifications from Monster and Linked In and a multitude of other job sites, I look at them quickly and delete.  I can honestly say I’m just not interested in getting a job right now.  This might change as we get to January and February, but the task at hand seems so big and is looming overhead that I don’t even think of it or want it.  To the workaholic I used to be, this is simply amazing.  I am a strong believer that things happen for a reason, and I feel from the day I quit on 8/31, everything has fallen into place regarding timing and this move.  We were able to visit family in Chicago, we found a nice home to move to and we had time to enjoy our previous home before leaving it.  The packing kept me busy and now the new house setup is definitely keeping us busy and will for some time to come.

The new neighborhood.  It seems that for the month of December things slow down a little when it comes to activities.  Many retirees either travel to be with family or family travels here to be with them so many groups don’t meet in December, but start again in January.  Again, timing that seems to be working out for us.  By end December we should be as settled as we can be, and we’ll be ready to start enjoying all the New Year activities, and let me tell you, there are quite a few.  You can be as busy as you want to be, and honestly could fill up an entire day going from one thing to the next.  We were able to attend the New Residents introduction meeting and all the clubs and groups were present to tell you a little about their activities.  My best analogy that I’m using is that you’re like a kid in a candy store.  Seeing all the different candies (clubs and groups) and you want to pick them all, but you know you can’t so you have to choose which ones to try now and maybe try the others later.  I can see how you can easily take on too much, too soon, and too fast.  We’re going to be here for a long time so if we try to do everything the first year, what will we do with the rest of the years.

For sure I’m going to join the neighborhood book club, getting on a few sub lists for game nights, and hoping to join a new game group that is being setup.  Already signed up for 3 yoga classes.  I said I was going to do this and I’m doing it.  Now only once a week for 3 weeks, but it’s a chance to try yoga and hopefully will like it so I can sign up in January again.  We’re going to join the Country Western Dance group and I’m going to join the ladies 9 hole weekly golf group.  Sounds more like a fun group and for someone who hasn’t golfed in a long time, it’s a perfect way to get back into it.  We’re going to join a group called the Zoomers. We hear this is the “in” group of Sun City.  Sounds like they do a lot of activities from luncheons, day trips, even 1 and 2 weeks trips.  This seems to be the biggest group in the community and the most active.  My husband wants to join bocce ball, and is considering work working.  We both think Pickle Ball sounds interesting, so we might give that a try.  I think starting with these activities is a good way to see how things go.  Of course, we want to have time to use the state of the art fitness facility and the pools also.  They have a wonderful library, I don’t think I’ll every have to buy another book again.

So all those activities are the future.  For now, I’ve been stuck inside with my boxes.  For some reason the stupid Unpacking Fairy missed our house so I have been on my own.  The rooms are setup, the Christmas decorations up, the knick knacks in place, so only a few things left.  I can say that the “to do” list is now shorter than the “do” list I started with 2 weeks ago.  Not sure how much I’ll get done this week.  We have fitness orientation, Neighborhood Christmas party and we’ll be attending a show in the Grand ballroom on Thursday, and of course, my first ever yoga class.  Then on Friday I do want to go see the lights in the historic section of Georgetown since the shops are open late.  I can tell you I won’t be bored this week.  I sure would like to find some time to read a few chapters in my book, maybe the following week.

I hope your road you’re traveling on is being good to you and you’re enjoying it.  I’m on a new road, I have high hopes and I’m trying to see what’s around the next bend.  I’ll keep  you posted on what I find.

Almost a Week

On Monday we will have owned our new home one week.  Although we had a Holiday this week, Thanksgiving, it basically has been a blur.  From closing on two houses, packing up the last-minute things, going to a neighborhood farewell party, moving out of one house and moving into the next house the next day, and cleaning and painting and unpacking, these last 6 days are a blur of activity and being very very tired when going to bed.

Overall, based on some of the horror stories regarding moving and closing on houses, I guess you can say ours was uneventful, which is always a good thing.  The movers overall did a good job, with only 1 broken  yard plant pot, and some minor scratches on the furniture that can be touched up.  Putting things away I have broken two things, so the Movers have a better track record than I.

Our new home is a resale so it was previously lived in.  The more I’m here I really do like the floor plan, but regrettably it hasn’t had a good cleaning in quite a while, so not only is unpacking required, but before anything can be put away, a thorough cleaning must be done.  I think I truly have dish pan hands!  I have never washed and cleaned so much in one week, and we still have a lot ahead of us.

One of our new neighbors brought over cookies on Wednesday and that was really appreciated, they were homemade and was good snacking.  You need that sugar energy to keep you going.  Although it seems like endless work we do try to stop by 8PM, but that is a long day since we start about 8:30.  I would never have guessed how badly my feet hurt.  Although wearing shoes all day, it’s amazing that one’s feet can hurt so much.  I give all retail people a big kudos for I have no idea how they can stand all day long, every day.  I have been at it a week and every evening my legs and feet just ache.  I wonder how long it takes until your legs and feet just get numb and they don’t hurt any longer?

On Thursday we enjoyed a very nice dinner at Cracker Barrel along with many other people.  Since Cracker Barrel was about the only restaurant open in the area, it was a big hit with many people.  On Friday we joined the locals in Georgetown’s square, listened to Christmas carols and watched the Town Square come alight with Christmas lights.  It was all very small town and all very nice.  It was a nice way to welcome in our new town.  There were many people so we will be going back this week to take some photos and I will post later in the week.  As we get settled in I’ll start carrying my camera with me and start taking more photos to share with you as I progress down our new town roads.  Welcome to Georgetown, TX, I can’t wait to share with you all the things I find and learn about this area. Although only 90 miles from where we previously lived, it feels much farther, and is all brand new.  Enjoy your Holiday travels and be safe and happy when traveling the roads!