After an explosive, emotionally charged therapy session, the sisters go on a desert retreat to resolve their issues, have fun and strengthen their bond. But as it often goes in the Braxton clan, things don’t quite happen as planned.
Following Toni’s big disappointment during the Georgia Music Hall of Fame induction, the sisters find themselves at a crossroads, unable to see eye-to-eye on anything. While discussing their issues during a session with Dr. Sherry, Tamar tells Toni she wants to be treated like a friend and sister, not a fan; a teary-eyed Trina admits that she wants Towanda to move out; Towanda and Toni reiterate that Tamar has gotten extremely mean, who unsurprisingly gets defensive and plays the victim. The weaves hit the fan when Toni honestly states that Traci needs to lose 20 to 40 lbs. BFVQuotes: “She needs to stop thinkin’ that her tummy stickin’ out is hot, ‘cause it’s not. She’s too cute of a girl not to care and to let herself go like that.” Naturally, Traci goes on the defense over Toni’s personal request that she slim down; her feelings are visibly hurt, and she storms out.
Toni then admits that she wants time to focus on herself as a woman, building her own identity. When Traci returns to Dr. Sherry’s office, she explodes into a regret-filled rage, stemming from a record deal in the 1990s that her sisters all signed, and Traci did not, because she was pregnant at the time. An angry Traci ends the session by saying she wants distance from her sisters.
During a family dinner at Evelyn’s, Tamar tries to get Traci to open up, who declines. BFVQuotes: “Tamar, unlike you, everybody don’t need to be shootin’ off at the mouth all the time.” Tamar attempts to relate to Traci feeling left out, which quickly backfires. BFVQuotes: “Like, for real?! Traci and I always seem to be on the outside, while Towanda and Trina act like they’re in Toni’s ‘Get Fresh’ crew! All I wanted to do was stand up for Traci, and she still don’t have my back.” When Towanda says they often take turns being outsiders, Toni suggests they go on a sisters’ retreat to reconnect. So they jet off to the luxury Montelucia Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona.
After a day of shopping, the girls spend their first night at the resort taking shots together and switching country line dancing for some wild cage dancing. Back in their room, they relax in their pajamas and order a late-night snack from room service, making sure to flirt with the cute young waiter.
During breakfast the next morning, Trina opens up about her rocky marriage with Gabe. Toni then shares that she and Keri are officially over, and he is moving out. When the girls head out for an afternoon of horseback riding, Toni skips out, which upsets her sisters. What they don’t know is that Toni wasn’t feeling well and didn’t want to be out in the sun with her Lupus, so she decided to spend the day at the spa, instead.
While Toni gets a facial and massage, Trina, Towanda, Traci and Tamar sort of have a blast playing diva cowgirls — horseback riding, shooting guns and throwing axes. BFVQuotes: “I’ve been horseback riding before, however, there’s usually some kind of a stable, and the horses are separated. It’s not like this okay corral where all these horses are just standing around together. It’s very intimidating.” The one thing the sisters can all agree on is that this resort is just a wee bit overly outdoorsy. BFVQuotes: “Peeing horses and poop and dirt and flies?! Get me the hell out of here.” When it comes time to play John Wayne at the shooting range, Traci comes into her own. BFVQuotes: “I’m not used to these old-timey western guns. Now a long-barrel .45? That’s how we roll in the DMV.”
After a fun weekend in the desert, Toni sits alone on the plane ride home, which further upsets the girls, who think she is being a bit snobbish and aloof. In reality, Toni is just afraid of flying. On the other side of the airplane, Tamar announces that she wants to do an album, which visibly excites Traci. The girls then exchange friendship bracelets, with Toni sitting completely alone, missing out on the sisterly bonding.
Do you think the retreat helped the girls’ increasingly tumultuous relationships with each other? What could Toni do now in order to better her bond with her sisters? Comment with your thoughts!
My name is Gail. I’m 70+ and my job is to act, sing and direct plays. I decided to live in Arizona because my son moved here years ago. He said, “Mom, how long do you want to work full time?” He kept sending me brochures about this community and I did want to be closer to him, so I came.
I knew as I got older I still wanted to do what made me happy, which is acting, singing and directing plays. I am not the kind of person to sit around talking about doctors appointments. I am single, not dating. I am too busy doing what I do and not answering to anybody.
I love being in Arizona because the weather is always warm and I am near my son but Surprise needs to grow up and become a culturally diverse city with a transportation system.
I did work full time so that has changed. I was always involved in theater so it hasn’t really changed that much. The only thing that has changed is being involved in Sunset Daze and I am very thrilled to be doing it.
I attended college in New York City. A few years ago I tried taking Spanish lessons but gave it up. When I got to Surprise I joined the singles clubs but found it to be too “cliquey.” I joined Hadassah and sang the Hatikvah at their monthly meetings. I am not really a joiner. I joined the Drama Club and that is plenty.
My son is my only family. He is also my hairdresser. I see him every week to get my hair done.
I would describe myself as outgoing, fun loving and very talented. Life is what you make it. If you want to sit around and do nothing, then you can do it anywhere. I chose not to do that, so whether I am a senior citizen or not, I like to keep busy doing what I love to do.
What do I miss about being young? Being young! What’s not to miss? l don’t enjoy being older. It’s something you have no control over. I hope I can go on the way I am going now – healthy and full of life.
Sunset Daze has been wonderful for me. It has given me an opportunity to show people how talented I am and what I can contribute to the theatrical community. I hope the series continues and I can realize my dream of being a star!
My name is Joanne. I am 63 years. young. I retired in 2001 as a real estate salesperson. I am married to Jim, Mr. CSI. Jim was a Lab Director for the Michigan State Police. My husband played golf in Scottsdale (once) and knew that he wanted to retire to AZ, so here we are! I guess truly the most important decision about moving here was that I have Multiple Sclerosis (diagnosed in my late 20s) and the “dry heat” was much better for me than the humidity.
Living in Sun City Grand offers us a large range of activities. There is something here for everyone. I love golf and there are many wonderful and challenging courses. From my golf, I have established an incredible group of friends. We meet most afternoons at 3:00 for a glass of wine and we do solve most of the problems of the world. Surprise, AZ. is “a gem within the mountains.”
Moving to Surprise has allowed me the ability to interact with people that are at the same stage in their lives and have chosen to enjoy an active lifestyle. It’s like high school or college, but without all the baggage of those time periods.
I currently belong to the Ladies Grand Niners, a league of women that prefer to play 9 holes of golf instead of the traditional 18. There are over 300 of us. Thursday I play again with a group of gals that like to play 18 holes, as well as, a Sunday golf group. I am also a member of the Blue Thong Society. Our chapter is very involved with a home for domestic violence victims. I guess I would describe myself as a very active women; I have always taken the position with my Multiple Sclerosis that if you don’t use it you lose it! My husband and I have owned two Harley Motorcycles. I would be the one riding on the back-not driving. What can I say… loved the clothes, disliked the riding part.
My children are very active. They love coming, not just to take in the sun, but we have done some skiing, hiking and touring AZ with them. When we first decided to move to Surprise, I called my children to let them know our plans. They asked in what area of AZ are you thinking. I said “Surprise” — I was trying to be funny; they didn’t laugh!
The word “senior citizen” means to me the beginning of a new phase in my life. I have raised my family and now it is the time for me to step back and reap the rewards. I also like the senior discounts! Being older gives me the wisdom to live my life smarter and the freedom to enjoy it as I choose. I have lived an action packed life in my 63yrs., for which I count my blessings. I would not want to redo any of my past years. I appreciate where I am now and am enjoying every moment of it! And I do buy green bananas!
I can not begin to tell you how thrilling it is working with WE tv on the upcoming series Sunset Daze. I have been just in awe as to what all goes into the making of this project. I have had the pleasure of meeting people, that without Sunset Daze, I would never have met. The degree of professionalism is unsurpassed.
I’m Ron and retired. I decided to live in Surprise, AZ after choosing to look at Sun City Grand. Moving to Surprise has changed my perception of the aging process, there are so many thing to do especially for seniors. I live here with my wife, and we find it extremely peaceful, with easy access to the freeway! It’s a great place to live.
My wife and I are doing many things in Surprise, AZ that were not available in our previous hometown. Surprise is similar to high school in that we get to meet new friends and participate in group activities.
My wife and I have not joined any clubs yet, but we play a lot more golf since moving here. There’s nothing extraordinary about me; I try to enjoy each day I’m blessed with. The senior life style in Surprise, AZ is alive and well. Life at any age is what you choose to do. Age is only a number. The only thing I miss about being young is my health; it’s always changing with age. Now I have a lot more time though, and my schedule is my own. I have the option of chillin’ all day or not.
Our family is happy that we’ve retired. They love the AZ weather and like to visit us and just hang out. We miss them but they visit as often as possible. My wife and I are extremely happy with our children, family and friends. We are blessed to have a comfortable life style here in AZ. The Sunset Daze experience has given me the opportunity to share my story of being born into a racist environment, moving to another state at age 11, and being allowed to see and experience a better way of life. Sunset Daze has been a welcome extra added attraction to my life. What a blast…
My name is Ann and I’m 61 years young. I am a former elementary school teacher with public and parochial teaching experience in Ireland, England, Belgium and Canada. I am now a happy housewife.
I had never lived in the U.S before and was looking for a place with a sense of community. We chose Surprise when we visited a friend and just fell in love with the place. The feedback from the people we met was so positive about social interaction and the facilities available to do just about anything we wanted to do.
My perception of the aging process since I moved here has become more positive. I now see the aging process as a time to revisit my dreams and make them happen.
I believe the number of experiences ahead of me may just be as many as I’ve had before coming to live here. I am very appreciative of the strong bond I have with my neighbors who are sharing the final trimester of life with me.
I am married to John, the love of my life.
The advantages of living in Surprise are many. Great friends. Great weather and at my age, sunrises are more important than sunsets. We are close to the city of Phoenix for the arts as well as the nation’s eight busiest airport. Surprise is located in a region great for visiting geological and manmade attractions in the SW of the United States. There are many opportunities to be creative and productive by joining the many clubs available. Surprise is a warm haven of opportunities and possibilities for retirees.
I have more time to spend with my husband, I have time to decorate and enjoy our beautiful home, I have more time to exercise and take care of my health, I have more time to be reflective on the meaning of life. I have more time to develop my interest in photography. I have more time to travel and in general I have more of everything.
I can compare Surprise, AZ, high school and college in two ways; how they are similar and how they are different.
All are academies of learning in their own way. People in Surprise have expertise in an amazing number of disciplines. This expertise is there for the asking. For single people this can be a return to the dating scene. Extra curricular activities provided in high school and college are duplicated in Surprise through clubs, sports and the adult learning classes.
A very important difference is that we are not influenced by peer pressure. Rather, we choose the people who embellish our lives. I am now mature enough to be in the moment, to live in the moment and recognize that it is my journey and not a journey to please anyone else.
I have learned a lot about photography, computers and relaxing. In the photo club, help is given to me on a one to one basis by other members . Field trips afford me the opportunity to travel and see the world with new eyes. Ongoing classes and competitions challenge me to new levels. I have learned new computer skills which have helped me to be creative with my photos. These activities help me to relax and enjoy the gift of giving through my photos.
My family members are all amazed at the active living in Surprise . They are astounded at how easily I have adjusted to living in the United States. Their initial reaction to hearing of my living in a retirement community was one of horror as they visualized me living with old people waiting to die. They visit on a yearly basis and are now encouraging their friends to spend time with us in the sun. I LOVE when they visit as it gives me so much bonding time with them to catch up and show them how happy I am here surrounded by wonderful neighbors.
I am a happy fulfilled housewife and I would like to dispel the misconception that life in Surprise is boring, and a waiting game for death. It is active, alive, healthy, full of opportunities, new adventures, rebirth and contentment.
What I miss the most about being young is full health and the energy of youth. What I enjoy most about being older is knowing who I am and having the time to enjoy my life without having to waste time on imaginary insecurities.
Through the “Sunset Daze” experience I have found a new confidence within myself. I have met new, interesting people who give the world of television to us. I appreciate their help negotiating me through this new experience in my life. They taught me the importance of accepting their advice as professionals in the industry so that I would look my best in front of the camera. I now know all about a “green screen” and I am much more particular about applying my make up!!!!!!