My name is LaWanda. I’m 74 years old and have been retired for 12 years. I saw an advertisement in a magazine about Sun City Grand, in Surprise AZ. The name “Surprise” fascinated me and the area looked so beautiful and inviting we had to come see for ourselves.
After our first visit (we visited 3 different times as we couldn’t get enough) we were so taken by the beauty of the amenities, the pleasantness of 4 golf courses, 5 beautiful swimming pools and 90 activities to choose from. There was something for everyone and it was beyond anything I ever imagined. After our visit here, we went across the United States and looked at other retirement communities, and NOTHING even came close to Sun City Grand in Surprise.
My husband of almost 39 years and I live here together and have for almost 7 years. Living here has given us a whole new chapter in our lives. I dance with a performing troupe called, “The Grandettes” and have been doing that since I first saw the annual Variety Show our community puts on every year. When I saw how talented and beautiful the ladies looked on stage (remember that all are over 55 years and older) I immediately joined the troupe.
I’m Eileen. I’m 64 years young, retired and a budding entrepreneur. We were looking for a home and community we could retire in. Part of our criteria was a community with a social life, golf available and access to a gym and other activities. After looking at several developments we decided this was the place. We made the decision to purchase this house in a short period of time… It was a wonderful choice – to live in Surprise, AZ.
I don’t think about demarcations in life such as age. I am a believer in “seize the day” I think living has taught me how precious time with loved ones and friends is and how important learning, laughing and doing are. I am married to the love of my life, Gary.
My perception of the aging process has changed because everyone you meet is so full of energy and so active. Everyone is busy walking, dancing, golfing and just having fun….age isn’t an issue. I am single but in a wonderful relationship so I’m not interested in dating anyone else.
Living in Surprise, AZ comes with so many perks in the community, fitness clubs, pools, educational, cultural and recreational activities, golf courses and SUNSHINE!! It is a city filled with energy, activity and new beginnings.
My name is Sandy, I’m 68 years old and retired. My husband and I visited his sister and brother-in-law in Arizona February of 2003 while on vacation from Portland, OR. We absolutely fell in love with the Sun City Grand Retirement community. Since I knew I was going to retire in December of that year, we decided to buy a home. My husband was 8 years younger and still working, so he presented a proposal to his company that allowed him to telecommute when we moved. It was approved and the rest was history. Moving to AZ was the best thing we did. We both loved the sunny days which allowed us to play golf with “NO RAIN GEAR.” I think the sun has such great affect on one’s life in a positive way. I was able to walk in shorts and play golf in shorts, what’s not to like about that, especially in the winter and spring time months of the year. The move gave me another perspective on life. I have never regretted the move.
My life has changed a lot since I moved to Surprise, AZ. Two months after I moved into my new home, my husband was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. After 18 months, he lost his battle to this disease. To say I was devastated is an understatement.
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 Jack. I’m 72 years young and retired. I moved to Surprise, AZ to live in Sun City Grand because it is a fantastic active adult community comprised of just about anything you might want to enjoy. To say it is beautiful would be an understatement, and I think I’m growing younger every day.
I am single, active in the singles club and dating. There is so much to do that I seem to be busier now than when I was working, and I’m enjoying every minute. There are about 10,000 homes and 18,000 people in Sun City Grand, and about 400 in the singles club. The city of Surprise is one of the fastest growing new towns in the suburban Phoenix (metro) area with about 110,000 people, and is close to Phoenix/Scottsdale for big-time shopping and entertainment.
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!!!!!!