741D2D5C 0812 4AAB 835C F2869AC3D409 e1520046466557 - CoCo's Guest Blog: From Country to Coast

CoCo’s Guest Blog: From Country to Coast

Good help is hard to find.

I give the dog one thing – just… one… thing – to do: write a blog about our travels.

Six weeks go by – we travel from the “Country” (Nashville) to the “Coast” (San Diego) – and not one word from the canine. He is so easily distracted. From Navy fighter planes flying overhead to seagulls dive bombing for fish in the Bay to simply moving air through his long, pointy nose… his mind wanders aimlessly… and constantly.

So it seems that I (CoCo the Cat) have to step in.

To Albuquerque for Football and Friends

Here is the lowdown: we left Nashville on January 18 and hightailed it to Albuquerque where we had reservations to watch the ever-important NFL playoffs with our friends, Ray and Louise.

We made a quick stop at the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, TX where we spray painted “Austin’s Dog Blog” on a few old Cadis.

Cadillac Ranch
I personally didn’t venture outside at the Cadillac Ranch. My parents and Austin did, however. They left their red mark (see “Austin’s Dog Blog” on the upright Cadillac next to my dad). I have to give Austin credit: his bandanna matches the scenery perfectly!

We made it to Albuquerque in two days and ate a feast (thank you Louise!) while watching the Vikings embarrassingly get their tails (do Vikings have tails?) whooped. We were all pretty depressed by the end of the game.

Hey, at least the Vikings got beat by the Super Bowl Champions.

Before and After pic afer the Vikings lost the playoffs
It’s all fun and games… until the Vikings lose.

We left Albuquerque (you see, Ray, Austin’s not the only one who knows how to spell your city) on January 23 and arrived in Tucson that evening.

The Search for a House in Tucson

Tucson is where we got buried.

Here’s the deal. My parents went to Tucson to buy a home they could rent out as a luxury vacation rental. The market for luxury vacation rental homes is quite good in Tucson. The plan, from what I understood, was to buy a house where, when we are in town, we could park Brigitte and stay either in Brigitte (when renters were in the house) or in the house. I believe it sounded like a good plan and I gave my parents my full approval.

On a rock in Tucson
What a view! Saguaros are plentiful on the west side of Tucson.

We decided to search for properties that had some acreage (like, say about five acres) so Brigitte could be far enough from the house that renters wouldn’t notice her (right… think you can NOT see a 45-foot Prevost in the desert?). It would mean running electric and water out to Brigitte but other than that, my parents didn’t see any other obstacles.

And that is when we learned about Pack Rats.

The Packers in a Party Bus

I am a Vikings fan because of blood relation. That means I automatically do not like the (Green Bay) Packers. So, for the sole purpose of a little feline humor I’m calling Pack Rats “The Packers.”

The desert, so I’ve read, is full of unfriendly creatures. The Packers, who are very friendly (perhaps too friendly), live amongst the cacti (particularly prickly pear). They build nests which can be very large, like the size of a tree house. They also mark their nests with urine to invite their Packer friends. How uncivilized. We cats use urine to mark our territory too.. but we don’t use it as an invitation.

pack rat
Pack Rats, aka The Packers, are quite destructive. This photo of a Pack Rat in front of his nest is courtesy of Take a Hike Arizona.

Anyway, The Packers use all sorts of materials to build their nests. They are very inventive; they use scraps of fur and hair, pieces of cacti skeletons… but they really like shiny objects, especially wires. Do you think a 45-foot shiny object with a rather large engine full of wires would be attractive to The Packers?

Uh. Yeah.

Turns out that planning to put a bright, shiny bus in a secluded desert location might not be healthy for the bus.

And, as if The Packers aren’t bad enough, once The Packers arrive, their predators start slithering and scampering in… fun-loving creatures such as rattlesnakes and coyotes and bobcats.

Brigitte could be a real party bus!

Rattlesnake
Rattlesnakes like to snack on Pack Rats. And small cats. Thank you Brent Myers for scaring me with this photo.

The only solution would be to build a secure, enclosed building in which to house Brigitte. A building that would cost about $100,000.

Another, slightly more practical, solution would be to find a property not so reclusive, where Brigitte could stay when renters are not staying in the house. When renters are in the house, Brigitte (and me and my parents and maybe Austin) would stay somewhere else in Tucson (such as the Air Force Base, which is where we stayed during this visit).

After four long weeks of looking at houses every single day (I lost count after 50), my parents found a house that has outstanding potential, with just a little elbow grease and fine decorating, to be a stunning luxury vacation rental home. It is in Oro Valley, which is in the northeastern part of Tucson.

tucson backyard
This is just a tease photo since it’s only of the view from the backyard. We will share more photos of the new vacation rental house in Tucson once we move in.

We close on the house on March 13. I will prod Austin to write a blog so you can see pictures of the house.

Relaxing by the Sea

After finding the house and setting our talented interior-designer cousin (in Tucson) to work to find furnishings, we took off for Coronado Island, which is in San Diego.

San Diego Bay
This is my view from the front of Brigitte looking out over the San Diego Bay. We love staying at Fiddler’s Cove, which is a military campground on Coronado Island.

Coronado is one of our favorite military campgrounds. We discovered it three years ago when we first started our bus voyage and we’ve come back every year. I love the view. And I love walking along the beach near the marina stocked with waiting sailboats. I don’t get my paws wet but I do like the sand and especially the smell of fresh fish.

Prevost in San Diego
Brigitte is a stunning sight against the San Diego Bay with the skylights of San Diego glimmering in the distance. Contrary to rumor, my dad did not custom order Brigitte’s Viking-purple lights.

Austin loves this campground too because there is a lot of space which means lots of off-leash running and playing. I suppose *sigh* that’s why he hasn’t been writing the blog. Poor thing. He’s tuckered out from all that exercise.

Really?! He’s a puppy! He’s supposed to have boundless energy! He’s does… and it all comes out starting at 10 p.m. Honestly. I’ll be glad when this whole puppy-thing is behind us and he is instantly submissive to my powers of persuasion.

Oh Sh*t: A Maniacal Macerator

Remember in Nashville when we had to replace/fix the holding tank (which is the tank that holds… well… you know… smelly stuff)? In Coronado, my dad got to rebuild the macerator, which is the grinding pump that chews up all that… stuff… so the stuff can go from the now-new holding tank, through a garden hose and into a sewer. My dad was glad he attended Olympia Luxury Coach’s Mechanics School in Nashville for four weeks. Once he got the part, he fixed the macerator in just a day! Go Dad! I think he may have a bright future in holding tanks and macerators.

coronado campground
There are worse places for my dad to study about bus macerators…

And That’s All the News

You are now officially up-to-speed. We are in Coronado and we plan to leave for Tucson a few days before closing on the new house. We will post pictures of the new vacation property as soon as I can persuade (I have my methods) Austin to stop chasing tennis balls and concentrate on writing.

Meow Out!

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5 comments

  1. Austin. Glad to hear you found a house! That should be fun. We are in our new house now.

    We were wondering what route you took from Tucson to Coronado? We want to go there this summer and see friends.

    1. Congrats on your new home! We took I-10 to I-8, drove straight through, about 7 hours (with a short stop or two)

  2. I love your writing, Coco! You really stepped-up for Austin… I think he owes you one now 😉 Take care of all of them.

    Love, your new friend and San Diego cousin, Carrie

  3. Coco: Did Mom and Dad tell you the high in Tucson gets well over 100 degrees? Not so much in Albuquerque.🙀Also, Dad’s got some mail from Tricare.

Can’t wait to see what you say! Woof!