For the last two weeks, dh and I have been in Boise enjoying our second home. Most of the time the weather's been great but it's gotten very hot in the last few days. It hasn't stopped us from making some great summer memories, though.
Last week we spent two days in McCall, one of my favorite areas and about a two-hour drive from Boise. Payette Lake is in McCall and we found it to be very quiet and not at all crowded during the week.
For a reasonable fee, you can dock you boat at the marina. Payette Lake is popular for waterskiing, jet skiing, and fishing. There are abundant hiking and biking trails at the Ponderosa State Park.
Through our timeshare we were able to stay in a comfortable two-bedroom apartment with great amenities... we were able to cook some of our meals in the well-stocked kitchen.
We had fun watching the resident raccoon. I think he lives under the deck and comes out when he hears folks talking or grilling on the gas BBQ that is provided for guests. "Mmmm... can I have a piece of chicken, pleeeease?"
There was no cost to use the apartment, except for the annual fee that we pay. When you take into account these timeshare fees, it comes to ~$37 a day for accommodations. Not bad for a place that sleeps six.
We are finding that in Boise, most people are friendly and helpful. Life just seems slower-paced and simpler. We can go to the local theater complex and see a movie for $6.75 each (senior discount) and not worry about getting a seat. We went to see Harry Potter on the second day of its release. It was good... it was long and lacked the impact of the first movies, but still worth seeing.
Boise is a bike-friendly city. We've been riding our bikes quite a bit but since the heat wave started, we are riding less. The
We went to the Shakespeare Festival on Saturday to see Comedy of Errors... it was a lot of fun, especially because DD1 and SIL went with us. We enjoyed a nice picnic dinner, followed by DDs homemade strawberry shortcake... which was decadently good.
Even grocery shopping in Boise is more enjoyable for me... you can actually find parking at Costco on a Saturday. That's a big deal for me because, back in Silicon Valley, we NEVER go to Costco on a Saturday due to the crowds and difficult parking.
I'm finding that the cost of living is much less in Boise, especially food and gas. I used Sperling's calculator and found that it is 42% cheaper to live in Boise than in San Jose. Housing is 62% cheaper in Boise than San Jose. This is good news for us because our retirement dollar should go farther when we move here permanently next year as planned.
In our neighborhood, it seems that the real estate market is perking up. Last year in June there were 40+ properties for sale (newly-built homes and lots). Now there are about 12. With a few exceptions, the homes in our neighborhood are well-cared for, thanks in part to our HOA that is doing a better job of monitoring CCR enforcement.
Our Boise home has limited storage so we are getting bids for adding a large storage area in the attic space above the garage. We will be getting two or three bids and will make our decision after we analyze the proposals. It will be interesting to see how ID construction costs compare to CA.