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It's getting to be that time of year, when people start asking, "Where are you going on vacation this summer?" Some are surprised at my answer this year. When I think of summer, the first thing that I think of is our annual neighborhood BBQ/swim party. We are fortunate to have a very large yard (about an acre) with a huge swimming pool and tall trees.
When we first moved to this house in Fair Oaks California we introduced ourselves to many of the neighbors as we saw them outside. Everyone was very nice, and they had lived on the block for anywhere from 10-25 years.
There was a big pool in our yard but it had been drained and needed some work. Our homeowners insurance company said we had to fill the pool immediately. We could fill it with dirt or with water.
We wanted the pool, so we got bids and found that it would cost almost as much to fill it with dirt as to completely resurface the pool, replace the deck, add molded stairs at either end, more skimmers, a new floor drain, an auto refill, beautiful new tile trim, and all new pool equipment!
That seemed like a no-brainer. We had the pool redone. When it was finished, it was so beautiful, that we invited all of the neighbors on our block to a big August BBQ and swim party. We had a large crowd, and to our surprise, we had to introduce them to each other! We were the newbies, and the only ones who knew everyone.
Everyone had such a good time that it has become a tradition, and our Fair Oaks neighbors plan their summer vacations around our annual party (and so do we). From time to time my kids have come to town for the party, and some people have brought extended family members, so it is quite a fun party. We provide the meat, buns, condiments and drinks. Everyone else usually brings a side dish or dessert to share, so there is always loads of food.
Actually, even if we can't get away on a vacation trip, that party is so much fun that we don't miss it. This year we had thought we might take a trip, but my daughter and I will be traveling to the Greek Island of Santorini in 2013, and she will be coming out from Texas this summer so we can sit together and make all of our reservations - and undoubtedly spend some time in the pool.
And ... if that's not exciting enough, when she comes out she'll be bringing her fiance with her, a pretty special guy Jon and I haven't yet met in person. Jon's buddy is coming up to stay with us in July while he and Jon finish recording their latest CD, and we always have a lot of fun while he's here, including some more fun in the pool.
So, I don't know if there will be any traveling this summer, but there will be plenty of fun in the sun in our own back yard, which our friends and family have described as feeling like they are in a resort, far away from the real world. That's how I feel about it too, and just going out back and sitting by the pool makes me relaxed at any time of year.
I can be heard sighing Ahhhhhh, and you will see me sitting with a smile on my face, soaking up the positive ions in my beautiful yard in my beautiful Fair Oaks!
Since I work from my home office 95% of the time, I can take mini-vacations whenever I want by stepping outside, and my work and clients don't suffer. The phone and laptop are left in the house, and any missed calls or emails can still be dealt with comfortably.
If I do travel to a place where I am not going to be available my phone (like Santorini next year), I have a good friend who is an agent in our office, and I know I can count on her to help me if my clients need immediate assistance in my absence, as I have done for her. I do warn all of my clients when I will be away and I check in periodically just to ease my own concerns.
I have also prepared an offer, gotten it signed, submitted and accepted and opened an escrow - all while on a vacation a thousand miles form home. It was an adventure and I met some nice folks in another state while I was getting it done long distance with the help of a realtor in that area who let me use his computer and printer.
But my favorite getaway is often right in my own backyard for plenty of fresh air and fun in the sun, and I have already started dipping my feet in the pool, even though it hasn't heated all the way up for swimming yet.
****************** Susan Neal Broker / Realtor
Susan Neal Fine Properties
Century 21 Noel David Realty Fair Oaks, California
Full time real estate services in Fair Oaks CA, with friendly professionalism, 30+ years experience. I work hard to give my buyer or seller a low-stress transaction.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.