A few years ago a friend (and her family) who lives overseas in mission work was home on a sabbatical. I suggested trying to get together with our friends from long ago (saying that makes me feel older than I feel!) VS days in northwestern Ontario. It didn’t suit that year but when they returned back to the states for a family wedding in 2020, and the pandemic affected their return, we had a good bit of time to work out a date that it suited all of us. Unfortunately, our friend in Ontario couldn’t come because of the pandemic as well as family health issues. The rest of us set about planning a weekend together in the mid-April.
One of them suggested Arizona, which had so far not been very high on my list of must-sees. I’m so glad that she suggested it and it worked out to go. See, when you live in a hot climate in the summer, in April, you’re still thinking, let’s not go anywhere hot! The other 3 live in cold weather climates, and they were itching to go somewhere warm!!
I’m just very glad we didn’t hit AZ in the summer! We flew into Phoenix and stayed in an apartment in Mesa. The temps in mid-April were already mid-90s. Thankfully, we hit a little cooler pocket when we went and the highs barely reached 90*. The biggest difference between AZ and southeast GA is the humidity! Where we have lush and green and tall green trees, AZ has dry and dusty and cacti, at least southern AZ does. Northern AZ is about different from southern AZ as north GA is from Southeast GA. 90* in the humid south is completely different from 90* in the arid climes. I tell you in another post about UT and WY. Another time, another trip.
There were lots of beautiful things blooming around the city. I didn’t get any pictures of the bright yellow trees and the bright red/hot pink bougainvillea along the freeway. But I’ll show you some of the rest of the fascinating scenery!
About 20 minutes from where we were staying was Superstition Mountain. I’m not sure where it got its name but I have seen it several times since in movies and ads.
We stopped at the entrance of a state park near the mountain to take some pictures. We stopped twice, actually. Late afternoon and early the next morning on a trip into the wilderness.
Lots of prickly things!!
We headed out early the next morning to drive into well, not sure what it was we drove into but I think a wilderness would be a good description. But first, the state park again.
There are so many Dr. Suess-like plants.
There was even a large lake along the way. There were lots of watercraft and the one picnic area we passed a bit later required a pass to even enter. We begged the frowning park ranger to let us stop long enough to use the restrooms. The coffee was speaking and the wilderness didn’t have any restrooms.
About this point we turned around because we had one friend who was hanging out at the pool and we couldn’t let her fry herself! *wink* Actually, we had plans to join her. Speaking of the pool…. they the coldest water that I think I’ve felt since the lakes of NW Ontario! It was so cold you could hardly breathe. I’m guessing they chill it somehow because they had been having nearly 100* weather the week before. Some places have heated swimming pools. I think theirs was chilled.
One evening we toured the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix. It was beautiful and I would highly recommend it if you enjoy plants. The majority were plants I had not seen before. All kinds of prickly things. All kinds of textures. Lots of blooms.
Found a little quail couple quietly scuttling along the paths.
If you have ever wondered what a cactus trunk is made of, here is a view of the wood inside. Somehow I wasn’t expecting that.
We had such a lovely time! We figured out that that the 4 of us (plus Sheila in Ontario) haven’t been together in about 20 years. I’ve seen all of them in the last 6 years, just not together. We were there from Thurs to Monday. We did not cook a single thing! Simple breakfast foods of parfait makings and coffee, and leftovers for lunch from the generous servings of our restaurant food from the night before carried us through. Between us all we have 17 kids, well, they have 17 kids. We all enjoyed a break from the kitchen, especially them.
We ate good and we ate diverse. The plate up top was from a mid-eastern restaurant. I can’t remember the exact country/ethnicity.
This was a delicious Thai meal. ^ The dish was called Ginger Binger and it was very gingery!! And I got a basket of sticky rice to eat with it!!! I haven’t had that in a few years.
A few scenes from around around our apartment. Any green grass was heavily watered. Get this: Phoenix’ record wettest year was 19.73″ of rain in 1905. The driest was 2.82″ rain in both 2002 & 1956! Our average rainfall is around 60″, give or take.