By Machelle James
(Written January 2) As we celebrated and welcomed 2020 from home, asleep and sick with some severe head and chest colds, we are happy and thankful we are on the mend today!
We had a wonderful Christmas with AJ’s family, who visited us from California. We had 10 people here in our tiny cabin and I was definitely feeling stressed out that there wasn’t enough room for everyone. But we made it work as his parents stayed at the local Best Western and his sister’s family stayed with us. It was cozy and we were able to play cards, color and play games at our kitchen counter.
We also had two Elf on the Shelfs that had to make their appearance every night. Those girls wouldn’t sleep for hours so they could “catch” the Elves moving. Needless to say there were some sleepless nights in there.
We also played in the snow, as we had our first White Christmas! It was as beautiful as you can imagine – with soft snow falling all day and the days after. We had about 6-8 inches of snowfall last week. It was just like in a Hallmark Movie!
What is so beautiful about AJ’s family is that even though his mom and dad are remarried to wonderful people, they actually hang out with each other! As in, it wasn’t weird to have all us women in the kitchen cooking and all the men outside working on our side patio – together – with NO drama. I absolutely love that about his family. We all get along and joke, poke fun, play games, and also love and hug as one big happy family.
As the men worked feverishly outside in the cold, the ladies cooked and cleaned so they could finish the patio before they went back home.
Jenna was able to visit with Santa at the local cafe, and we met locals who recognized us and wished us success on our campground. It was a fabulous day!
It was over way too fast, as we hugged and said our “See you next time” goodbyes.
We had our first Planning and Zoning (P&Z) meeting on New Year’s Eve to get the feedback from our plans that we submitted. It was good feedback and we learned what the Board needed more information on, such as what are our quiet hours, how are we fencing off the storage area, and more detailed engineering drainage information.
We also need to confirm which way we are going with ADEQ (Arizona Department of Environmental Quality) – whether we will start in phases or go all-in with the more-than-3000-gallon-per-day water usage. We are waiting to hear back from ADEQ to confirm pricing and fees from them to decide which way to go. P&Z did not like our partial hookup plan with electric only: They want full hookups or nothing at all. So we have a big decision to make.
It was also recommended to host a Site Plan meeting with our neighbors. We do not have to do this by law, but it is the neighborly thing to do so the neighbors can see what we have planned. It also lets us hear if there are any concerns they may have as well. I will work on this in the coming weeks and let you know how that goes.
We have the green light to start putting up our fence and to start building out the RV storage area. That may be hard to do in the snow but I will keep you posted in the coming weeks.
The ball is finally rolling in the right direction and we are confident we will have some spaces up and running for the 4th of July weekend!
Thank you for following our journey and as always, see you in the trees. And please leave a comment!
Read Machelle’s previous articles here.
Machelle James and her husband, AJ, are building, from the ground up, a 15-acre RV park in Heber-Overgaard, Arizona, in the beautiful White Mountains 140 miles from Phoenix. Follow them on Facebook @ AJ’s Getaway RV Park or on Instagram at ajsgetawayrvpark.