Unit Happenings

Villas II ladies enjoy dinner at Cucina Rustica in Sedona

Villas II ladies enjoy dinner at Cucina Rustica in Sedona

Villas II

Susan Fusco

The morning of October 10 a group of SaddleBrooke women, eleven villas II residents and one former resident drove to Sedona for a ladies-only vacation. One group left extra early, as they planned to stop at a casino along the way, where one of their number did quite well. The cars were loaded with clothes, food and wine. They checked in at Los Abrigados Resort and Spa, looking forward to spending several days and evenings of fun, relaxation, shopping, eating and whatever else came to mind.

The first evening was a communal happy hour, with wine and food contributed by everyone, held in one of the spacious and pleasant rooms. Conversation, laughter and anticipation of activities to come were the order of the evening.

The next day involved water aerobics in the large pool, stopping at Tlaquepaque’s beautiful flower and fountain-filled shopping area of boutiques, lunching indoors or out at one of the lovely restaurants or simply relaxing as each of the women chose. As night fell, the group formed a caravan of cars on the way to Cucina Rustica, a very special restaurant in the village of Oak Creek. Twinkling lights greeted the ladies inside the arched entry to a courtyard which led into a gorgeous restaurant where they enjoyed drinks and fabulous food. It was an evening to remember.

Everyone pursued their own activities the next day. Some walked around town and shopped and a group drove to Jerome, a tiny copper town on a mountainside. They had fun perusing the little shops and reading signs around town telling of Jerome’s history as a booming mining town years ago. That evening the last happy hour was held with much eating and merriment as the ladies began contemplating the trip home the next day.

Breakfast for some, after checkout, was at Wildflower Bread Company where unusual and delicious breakfast combinations were enjoyed before the trip home. Some of the women met at an outlet mall at Anthem along the way and enjoyed a final round of shopping before finally arriving home, tired, but happy.

This event has become an annual getaway; open to all interested resident women. This year participants were Judy Tattar, Arlene Housmyer, Sandy Huble, Leigh Leuthould, Patty Muth, Susan Fusco, Glenna Sheerin, Phoebe Bax, Kay Tomaszek, Shirley Nuss, Lois Angus and Janice Motley. Past trips have included several visits to Tubac, a cruise up the Pacific Coast, Las Vegas, Scottsdale, Rio Rico (a resort south of Tubac) and Bisbee. The destination for next year’s trip? It is still to be decided.

Bob Sommer, Carol Sommer, Jon Chase, Ray Nichols, Hilda Nichols and Karen Bird

Bob Sommer, Carol Sommer, Jon Chase, Ray Nichols, Hilda Nichols and Karen Bird

Unit 15

Elaine Stamm

Residents of Unit 15 wined and dined on the patio of the Preserve on the sunny Sunday afternoon of September 24. We ordered from the Bar Menu and were served by the Preserve wait staff with their usual efficiency and aplomb. New residents met long-time residents and friendships were born or renewed. If you missed the party, you don’t want to miss the next. Watch for upcoming notices. Thanks to Suzanne and Dale Kirby for planning the Patio Party at the Preserve.

Keith and Carolyn McLean

Keith and Carolyn McLean

Unit 16

Keith and Carolyn McLean are the new representatives for HOA 1, Unit 16.

They moved to SaddleBrooke last March from Marysville, Washington and look forward to making their home on E. Desert Trail Drive their permanent residence.

Keith is a retired Fire Fighter from Bellingham, Washington, enthusiastically taking up golf again and Carolyn is retired from Personnel, Boeing Everett, Washington, active in the SaddleBrooke Paper Crafters Club.

Unit 21 Poker Run players assembled at the Roadrunner Grill anxiously waiting to see who had the best Poker hand. Photo by Dede Crowder.

Unit 21 Poker Run players assembled at the Roadrunner Grill anxiously waiting to see who had the best Poker hand. Photo by Dede Crowder.

Unit 21

Jim Hagedon

OK, what’s a Poker Run? Well, it involves playing cards, of course, but also Unit 21 residents homes, golf carts or other means of transportation, a party, food and, most likely, adult beverages.

On October 18, 74 Unit 21 folks took to the streets for the fourth annual event. By golf cart, car, on foot and by roller skates and skate boards (I’m not too sure about the roller skates and skateboards) they travelled to seven homes to retrieve a playing card in a sealed envelope from each stop.

With seven envelopes in hand, the players convened at the Roadrunner Grill to open their envelopes in front of the “officials.” Each player picked the best Poker hand and turned it over to the powers that be. Nothing to do now but wait until the winners were officially announced. Well, of course, there was the food and the uh, beverages.

During the excellent dinner served up by the HOA 1 Grill staff, the tension grew. There were discussions about what to do with the winnings. Would it be a new pool, a Casita or a new paver driveway? Perhaps a world cruise?

Finally, the prizes – bottles of wine – were awarded. First prize went to Carolyn Carr who won with four hearts. Sheila Clarkin came in second and, after a bit of a snafu, Terri Gage came in third. In an Oscar-worthy moment, Rich Friend was announced as the third place winner. Then, a scoring error was discovered and the prize was snatched from Rich’s hand and given to Terri. After a short time, the murmurs of a possible lawsuit died down. Also absent were further discussions about what to buy with the prize money.

Many thanks go out to all who helped make this a fun evening. Event Chairs Dale and Ruth Leman were ably assisted by Ron Morris and Dolores Root. The “dealers” were Jon and Pat Broers, Richard Friend and Carole Deutcher, Glen and Terri Gage, Pat Huska, Victoria and Carter Wareing, Lissa White and Gary and Dee Zellinger. The “officials” asked their names not be used but, in the interest of full transparency, they were Judy Saks and Steve Llakos.

A fun evening was had by all and plans are already in the works for next year!

The food table at the Lancasters’ Snack and Chat; photo by Nelson Rodrigues.

The food table at the Lancasters’ Snack and Chat; photo by Nelson Rodrigues.

Unit 27

Sue Case

It may now seem like ancient history but, if you recall, part of the U.S. was privileged to view a total eclipse and those on a path from Oregon to Georgia were in the best viewing area. Unit 27 resident Larry Meyer was able to be on the line of totality and took some awesome pictures which he shared with fellow Unit 27 residents; almost like being there. Thanks very much, Larry!

The summer Dine Around was held on September 19 at the historic El Corral Steakhouse on River Road. Due to the fact that September is a popular time for travel, a relatively small number of residents attended; however, those that did were immersed in the reminders of another era when Western movie sets flourished in Tucson and when it was not unusual to make movie star sightings. The attendees sat with pictures of the very young Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, a handsome John Wayne, an ageless Gabby Hayes and many more. The evening was fun and the food good as ever.

Barb and Dave Lancaster hosted the September Snack and Chat on Saturday, September 30 and provided both indoor and outdoor seating opportunities which gave a theoretical opportunity to those willing to bear the heat. Those hardy residents that stayed in SaddleBrooke during all or most of the summer thought the heat would never leave; however, Barb and Dave provided just the right venue, as well as apparently having just the right laid-back personalities because almost all of the attendees were heard to comment on how much they had enjoyed that particular evening.

Fira Stout is coordinating the Unit 27 Bocce Ball monthly event. She reports that 10 resident players enjoyed an evening of Bocce Ball on Tuesday, October 24; the games made comfortable by a light breeze. Although several challenging games were played on two courts, no overall winners were noted. Everyone had a good time and Kathy Plum brought Halloween treats.

A reminder that the Ladies’ Holiday Lunch will be on Thursday, December 7 at Vivace Restaurant and the (combined units) Holiday Party will be Friday, December 8 at the MountainView Ballroom.

BBQ’ers packing the Preserve Patio; photo by Ed Skaff

BBQ’ers packing the Preserve Patio; photo by Ed Skaff

Units 42, 43, 45

Ann Lange

The Preserve (Units 42, 43 and 45) celebrated summer survival yippee ki-yay style on Sunday, September 17. The ordinarily peaceful, serene patio at The Preserve was a-buzz with howdy-dos and neighborhood chatter as 86 residents had a rowdy old good time with a lip-smackin’, chin-dribblin’, finger-lickin’ BBQ palooza. Anyone looking for some good eats or who needed an attitude adjustment after such a long, hot, muggy, insect-gone-wild summer knew exactly where to hitch their horse. Nothin’ like the aroma of tableside grilling while sipping a long, tall cool one under the misters to get that ear-to-ear grin back on your face.

King of the Grill, Chef Peter Budich, and Pit Masters Sous Chef Josh Smith and Head Cook David Amador, put on quite a BBQ spread with all the fixin’s. Heapin’ piles of tender steak, mouth-watering ribs, succulent chicken, coleslaw, cornbread, cowboy beans (yeehaw!), grilled pineapples and brownies covered the serving tables. As always, a vegan entrée was available so as to please everyone in the crowd. Our always friendly and efficient Servers Ami Fujita and Kayla Evans took orders for moonshine. And our hats off to the rest of the restaurant team who were not present on the patio, but who rolled up their sleeves and pitched in an old cow-hand to help make this shindig such a success.

Although there was enough food to feed every mouth in the South, with limited patio space, some folks didn’t get their name in the hat soon enough to stake out a seat. The Preserve has been growing faster than a summer corn field, with about 265 homesteads now, so you’d better giddy-up a little faster next time. To help us out, Gilbert Zazueta, Manager at The Preserve, offered to dedicate the restaurant for the next gathering so that the entire Preserve neighborhood could be rounded up.

At the end of the trail, 86 full bellies and BBQ sauce stained shirts stood and applauded Bonnie Barazani, Social Chairman for The Preserve, for organizing this wingding and for her endless hours of time and dedication to making life here at SaddleBrooke a hootin’ and hollerin’ grand old time. Yep, for a smokin’ hot time, y’all drop on in at The Preserve or dial 1-800-BonnieB.

Unit 49

Diane Marchand

On a clear and sunny Friday, October 13, Unit 49’s Dining Divas carpooled to Florence for a visit to the beautiful grounds of St. Anthony’s Greek Orthodox Monastery, established in 1995. Women must be modestly dressed to visit, so all 23 of us arrived fully covered from head to toe with head scarves and long skirts. We were greeted by one of the monks who offered us a traditional kerasma (water and something sweet) before leading us to St. Anthony’s Church, where they hold traditional Byzantine style services and everything was brought in from Greece, including paintings and carvings.

We were free to roam the grounds, enter and tour the four chapels. The monastery has an elaborate system of gardens, pathways, gazebos and Spanish fountains that gives one the feel of a peaceful oasis in the desert.

After our tour, we drove into Florence to Mount Athos Restaurant and Café where we had a delicious Greek lunch! Fabulous day!