My Last Month in Tucson

I began my life as a Tucsonan on Aug 04, 2011, spent six years as a PhD student at The University of Arizona. However, everything has an end, and my life in Tucson ended on Aug 31, 2017, after I accepted a research job in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Move to Sahara Apartments

My apartment lease at University Arms Apartments ended on Aug 01, 2017. I needed one more month in order to finish editing my dissertation. I chose Sahara Apartments for my short-term accommodation.

On Jul 15, I went to Sahara Apartments to "apply for a room". I received a tour promptly, but I was told to apply online, because they do everything online. Despite being a small community, Sahara had a complicated website for all the business procedures, including new resident application, rent payment, maintenance requests, shuttle reservation, and policy violation reporting.

I put in my online application a day later, and received an invoice within a few hours. The invoice indicates that paying by credit card would incur a 4% convenience fee, and paying by personal check would incur a five-day delay to make sure the check clears. WTF?

A week before my move-in date, I visited the leasing office again to submit my check. The owner and manager of Sahara Apartments, Ted Mehr, greeted me. He accepted my check, and told me that I could pay with the checking account number through ACH debit, which clears immediately and avoids the convenience fee.

packing up at University Arms

I rented a car on Jul 31, and moved from University Arms to Sahara. I was assigned room 3316 on the third floor. Although there is an elevator, moving everything from the car to the third floor was a tough task that resulted in several sweat-soaked shirts.

Life at Sahara

Short-term stays are considered "hotel accommodation" at Sahara Apartments. Rooms are furnished with bed sheets, towels, dinner plates, and kitchen utensils. This means I could donate my own pans, pots, and plates to Goodwill, as I don't plan to bring them to Maryland with great effort only to have them smashed on the way.

Sahara's amenities are comparable to NorthPointe Apartments. There is a swimming pool, a hot tub, a little fitness center, a games room, a lounge, and a small movie theater that I never figured out how to use. A dozen on-size laundry rooms are open 24/7, and the price is $1.75 per load, half of the price at University Arms. I took advantage of the cheap pricing, and washed all my clothes in the machines during the month.

gas grill at Sahara Apartments

My favorite amenity is the gas grill, which isn't available at University Arms. I can cook steaks, salmon, leek, onion, carrots, and broccoli on the grill. I can also take a dip in the pool while my red meat is cooking.

The ugly part of Sahara Apartments is a colony of ants. Whenever I have fish in my room, thousands of ants would find their way in, in an attempt to remove nutrition from the fish bones. Apartment management would not do anything until I have filled a form online; then, the maintenance guy would show up with a spray bottle.

"One Last Time"s

August is my final month in Tucson, so that I wanted to relive some of the good experiences by visiting my favorite places, eating my favorite local food, and participating my favorite activities "one last time".

getting wet at Brandi Fenton splash pad

I rode a bike along The Loop, found more geocaches, and played in the mud. I went to 2nd Saturdays and Tucson Improv Movement. I ate at El Güero Canelo, Zemam's, Yoshimatsu, and Tucson Tamales. I continued to enjoy the heat, the monsoon, and one last hike.

squat at Lohse Family YMCA

There were also some "first time"s, for the activities that I always thought I could do "next time" until realizing that I wouldn't have more time. This includes a visit to Arizona State Museum, and a few workouts at downtown YMCA.

The End

I moved all my stuff to CubeSmart Self Storage, and departed from Tucson on Aug 31, 2017. Although I could return to Tucson in the future, it would be unlikely for me to spend more than a few days in Tucson. Thus, I have officially left Tucson, the city I know and love.