Written by Panorama resident, Mary Jo Shaw on March 28th, 2014.
First visit to Panorama
Our daughter Melody and son-in-law John came home to Las Vegas after interviews for jobs in Lacey, WA, and after visiting Panorama and other retirement communities for us. (Don’t miss my blog for February and March 13, 2014.) Recall their response, “Mom, Dad, you don’t want to go anywhere except Panorama,” and my challenge with hubby Chris’ not wanting to pack up, move, or even to see Panorama. Also, we had a big paid-in-full lovely home with lots of “stuff.”
I studied the literature and DVD much more than Chris. He agreed we’d visit Panorama and other places with one definite “but we’re not going to sign anything.”
“No, Chris, we’re not signing anything,” I said, “we’re just going to look and compare.”
In March we flew to SeaTac with Mel and John, rented a car, and headed to Panorama to drive through the grounds as a preview of our tour the next day. We were overcome with the beauty and majesty of the mature trees, large and small bushes, red, pink, white rhododendrons everywhere we turned.
“Look, at the residents out walking and visiting, even waving to us.” We observed all we could on that quick ride.
Later our kids introduced us to so much Washington has to offer like Budd Bay, quaint downtown Olympia with many little unusual shops, and the capitol. Also, famous Pike’s Place Market, with fresh fish eateries everywhere. We marveled at the lush greenery along highways, little country roads through high trees. I was envisioning our family and friends coming and having loads around for them to enjoy.
“I am so excited to pick the brains of some Panorama residents,” I said to David and Jean, residents driving us the next morning from Ramada Inn to nearby Panorama.
We were excited to meet Rachel Dobry in person. She was more lovely and considerate than imagined. I had calculated (and I’m not a mathematician) about how much I thought we could afford, since Chris had lost his 34 year retirement with a bankrupt airline.
We toured homes in that price range in the areas best for us: Woodland Ct., Chambers Lake Lane, Chalet apartments, and Marina Lane. Each residence had a beautiful view and seemed perfect to me. I wanted to explode with excitement, but didn’t want to scare Chris. After all, we’d agreed we weren’t going to sign anything. There was more of Panorama to see, too.
It seemed too good to be true. Was it? We’d get some straight-forward answers from the resident hosts, Jean and David, at the free lunch in the beautiful campus Chambers Restaurant! What did we learn about other retirement-living places we’d visit? Surely you’ll want to find out in my next blog in a few more weeks.