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  • Writer's pictureSue.

Our First Snowbird Experience

On 3/15/22 we arrived at Palm Creek Resort and Residences - a very large and active 55 and over community in Casa Grande, Arizona. This Resort has 32 pickleball courts, a golf course, beautiful soft ball facility, one pool used for water volleyball and classrooms and workshops that include pottery, stained glass and a silversmith. There are 4 pools and 4 hot tubs. Everyone we met was super friendly. There are approximately 1100 small homes with more being completed every day. There are also 1,000+ RV sites. The weather was warm to hot and the sun was shining every day except one! The main reason for our return to Arizona and our visit to Palm Creek was the Renegade Rally which took place April 7 to 10. An amazing event that will be discussed in the next blog!

Pickleball at Palm Creek is a very serious affair. The private club has 1200+ members and is managed by a group of very dedicated volunteers. Ken and I joined with a $25 fee each. With membership we had access to the on line schedule with automatic invitations to upcoming round robins for our ranking. Everyone who joins the club receives a ranking from 1.0 (never played) to 5.5 (wins tournaments). We started at 2.5 but Ken was quickly promoted to 3.0. During round robin play there is a volunteer on every court to help with instruction and assess the players.

Ken (yellow shirt) serving and scoring 2 points.

The pickleball courts from the club's website and one page of the online schedule.

The pickleball "office" and the end of season Margarita party attended by 400 friendly players.

Things were winding down at Palm Creek when we arrived on March 15th. Many of the snowbirds start the migration back to their homes in the northern states and provinces at the end of March. There was a group of RVer's from Oregon in the next row. Many of them have been meeting to spend the winter at Palm Creek for years. Our activity at Palm Creek included 2 dances with live bands, running and bike rides and lots of pickleball for Ken. I learned to play pickleball left handed due to an injury to my right bicep and shoulder. This was a sad state of affairs since I really thought Pickleball glory was in my future. Instead, we visited an orthopedic surgeon in Phoenix twice and I also had an MRI.

Photos from around the resort - the entrance, the golf course, the end of season party and show, 2 pool photos, lawn bowling, sunset on a row of small homes, one of the ponds and softball.

Overall, our experience at Palm Creek was great. The weather encourages a lot of outdoor activity and socializing. During the winter season there is live music every weekend, workshops and classes and many club activities. I should have asked how many residents and visitors stay during the summer. It must be a very low percentage. The resort was empty and quiet when we departed on April 17th.

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